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would daunt the arch devil himself-in time in time, mind! I don't know but that even a real gentleman would find it difficult to keep a stiff lip to the end. Presently we went to work getting our boat ready. I was busying myself setting up the mast, when the governor passes the remark:
“I think he wants to say something.'
“I had heard a sort of croaking going on for some time, only I wouldn't take any notice; but then I got out of the boat and went up to him, with some water. His eyes were red-red and black and half out of his head. He drank all the water I gave him, but he hadn't much to say for himself. I walked back to the governor.
“He asks for a bullet in his head before we go,' I said." I wasn't at all pleased.
“Oh, that's out of the question altogether,' says the governor.
“He was right there. Only four shots left, and ninety miles of wild coast to put behind us before coming to the first place where you could expect to buy revolver cartridges.
“Anyhow,' I tells him, 'he wants to be killed some way or other, as a favour.'
"And then I go on setting up the boat's mast. I didn't care much for the notion of butchering a man bound hand and foot and fastened by the neck besides. I had a knife then-the honourable Antonio's knife; and that knife is this knife.”
Ricardo gave his leg a resounding slap.
“First spoil in my new life," he went on with harsh joviality. “The dodge of carrying it down there I learned later. I carried it stuck in my belt that day. No, I hadn't much stomach for the job; but when you work with a gentleman of the real right sort you may
you are, Salong smart. how it looks
depend on your feelings being seen through your skin. Says the governor suddenly:
“ 'It may even be looked upon as his right-you hear a gentleman speaking there?—but what do you think of taking him with us in the boat?'
"And the governor starts arguing that the beggar would be useful in working our way along the coast. We could get rid of him before coming to the first place that was a little civilised. I didn't want much talking over. Out I scrambled from the boat. .
““Ay, but will he be manageable, sir?' “Oh, yes. He's daunted. Go on, cut him loose - I take the responsibility.'
«« Right you are, sir.'
“He sees me come along smartly with his brother's knife in my hand—I wasn't thinking how it looked from his side of the fence, you know--and jiminy, it nearly killed him! He stared like a crazed bullock and began to sweat and twitch all over, something amazing. I was so surprised that I stopped to look at him. The drops were pouring over his eyebrows, down his beard, off his nose—and he gurgled. Then it struck me that he couldn't see what was in my mind. By favour or by right he didn't like to die when it came to it; not in that way, anyhow. When I stepped round to get at the lashing, he let out a sort of soft bellow. Thought I was going to stick him from behind, I guess. I cut all the turns with one slash, and he went over on his side, flop, and started kicking with his tied legs. Laugh! I don't know what there was so funny about it, but I fairly shouted. What between my laughing and his wriggling, I had a job in cutting him free. As soon as he could feel his limbs he makes for the bank, where the governor was standing, crawls up to him on his hands and knees, and embraces his legs. Gratitude, eh? You
could see that being allowed to live suited that chap down to the ground. The governor gets his legs away from him gently and just mutters to me:
“Let's be off. Get him into the boat.'
“It was not difficult,” continued Ricardo, after eyeing Schomberg fixedly for a moment. “He was ready enough to get into the boat, and here he is. He would let himself be chopped into small pieceswith a smile, mind; with a smile for the governor. I don't know about him doing that much for me; but pretty near, pretty near. I did the tying up and the untying, but he could see who was the boss. And then he knows a gentleman. A dog knows a gentlemanany dog. It's only some foreigners that don't know; and nothing can teach them, either.”
“And you mean to say,” asked Schomberg, disregarding what might have been annoying for himself in the emphasis of the final remark, “you mean to say that you left steady employment at good wages for a life like this?”
“There!” began Ricardo quietly. “That's just what a man like you would say. You are that tame! I follow a gentleman. That ain't the same thing as to serve an employer. They give you wages as they'd fling a bone to a dog, and they expect you to be grateful. It's worse than slavery. You don't expect a slave that's bought for money to be grateful. And if you sell your work—what is it but selling your own self? You've got so many days to live and you sell them one after another. Hey? Who can pay me enough for my life? Ay! But they throw at you your week's money and expect you to say, 'thank you' before you pick it
He mumbled some curses, directed at employers generally, as it seemed, then blazed out:
“Work be damned! I ain't a dog walking on its hind legs for a bone; I am a man who's following a gentleman. There's a difference which you will never understand, Mr. Tame Schomberg.”
He yawned slightly. Schomberg, preserving a military stiffness reinforced by a slight frown, had allowed his thoughts to stray away. They were busy detailing the image of a young girl-absent-gone-stolen from him. He became enraged. There was that rascal looking at him insolently. If the girl had not been shamefully decoyed away from him, he would not have allowed any one to look at him insolently. He would have made nothing of hitting that rogue between the eyes. Afterwards he would have kicked the other without hesitation. He saw himself doing it; and in sympathy with this glorious vision Schomberg's right foot and right arm moved convulsively.
At this moment he came out of his sudden reverie to note with alarm the wide-awake curiosity of Mr. Ricardo's stare.
“And so you go like this about the world, gambling,” he remarked inanely, to cover his confusion. But Ricardo's stare did not change its character, and he continued vaguely:
“Here and there and everywhere." He pulled himself together, squared his shoulders. “Isn't it very precarious?” he said firmly.
The word precarious seemed to be effective, because Ricardo's eyes lost their dangerously interested expression.
“No, not so bad,” Ricardo said, with indifference. “It's my opinion that men will gamble as long as they have anything to put on a card. Gamble? That's nature. What's life itself? You never know what may turn up. The worst of it is that you never can
tell exactly what sort of cards you are holding yourself. What's trumps?- that is the question. See? Any man will gamble if only he's given a chance, for anything or everything. You toom "
“I haven't touched a card now for twenty years,” said Schomberg in an austere tone.
“Well, if you got your living that way you would be no worse than you are now, selling drinks to people beastly beer and spirits, rotten stuff fit to make an old he-goat yell if you poured it down its throat. Pooh! I can't stand the confounded liquor. Never could. A whiff of neat brandy in a glass makes me feel sick. Always did. If everybody was like me, liquor would be going a-begging. You think it's funny in a man, don't you?”
Schomberg made a vague gesture of toleration. Ricardo hitched up in his chair and settled his elbow afresh on the table.
“French siros I must say I do like. Saigon's the place for them. I see you have siros in the bar. Hang me if I ain't getting dry, conversing like this with you. Come, Mr. Schomberg, be hospitable, as the governor
Schomberg rose and walked with dignity to the counter. His footsteps echoed loudly on the floor of polished boards. He took down a bottle labelled Sirop de Groseille. The little sounds he made, the clink of glass, the gurgling of the liquid, the pop of the sodawater cork had a preternatural sharpness. He came back carrying a pink and glistening tumbler. Mr. Ricardo had followed his movements with oblique, coyly expectant yellow eyes, like a cat watching the preparation of a saucer of milk; and the satisfied sound after he had drunk might have been a slightly modified form of purring, very soft and deep in his throat. It