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I seemed to wake up. “Your uncle the pirate!' cried, and was amazed at my own words.

Tomas Castro sprang up, and placed his rough, hand over my lips.

“Be quiet, John Kemp, you fool!” he hissed sudden energy.

He had spruced himself, but I seemed to see the i still flutter about him. He had combed out his be: but I could not forget the knots that had been in it.

"I told your worship how foolish and wrong-hea these English are,” he said sardonically to Carlos. / then to me, “If the señor speaks loudly again, I s kill him.” "He was evidently very frightened of something.

Carlos, silent as an apparition at the foot of the der, put a finger to his lips and glanced upwards.

Castro writhed his whole body, and I stepped ba wards. “I know what Rio Medio is,” I said, not v loudly. “It is a nest of pirates.”

Castro crept towards me again on the points of toes. “Señor Don Juan Kemp, child of the devil," hissed, looking very much frightened, “you must die

I smiled. He was trembling all over. I could ł the talking and laughing that went on under the br of the poop. Two women were kissing, with little ci near the hatchway. I could hear them distinctly.

Tomas Castro dropped his ragged cloak wit] grandiose gesture.

“By my hand!” he added with difficulty.

He was really very much alarmed. Carlos was { ing up the hatch. I was ready to laugh at the ide: Ydying by Tomas Castro's hand while, within five of me, people were laughing and kissing. I sho have laughed had I not suddenly felt his hand on throat. I kicked his shins hard, and fell backwa over a chest. He went back a step or two, flourished his arm, beat his chest, and turned furiously upon Carlos.

“He will get us murdered,” he said. “Do you think we are safe here? If these people here heard that name they wouldn't wait to ask who your worship is. They would tear us to pieces in an instant. I tell you-moi, Tomas Castro-he will ruin us, this white fool- "

Carlos began to cough, shaken speechless as if by an invisible devil. Castro's eyes ran furtively all round him, then he looked at me. He made an extraordinary swift motion with his right hand, and I saw that he was facing me with a long steel blade displayed. Carlos continued to cough. The thing seemed odd, laughable still. Castro began to parade round me: it was as if he were a cock performing its saltatory rites before attacking. There was the same tenseness of muscle. He stepped with extraordinary care on the points of his toes, and came to a stop about four feet from me. I began to wonder what Rooksby would have thought of this sort of thing, to wonder why Castro himself found it necessary to crouch for such a long time. Up above, the hum of many people, still laughing, still talking, faded a little out of mind. I understood, horribly, how possible it would be to die within those few feet of them. Castro's eyes were dusky yellow, the pupils a great deal inflated, the lines of his mouth very hard and drawn immensely tight. It seemed extraordinary that he should put so much emotion into such a very easy killing. I had my back against the bulkhead, it felt very hard against my shoulder-blades. I had no dread, only a sort of shrinking from the actual contact of the point, as one shrinks from being tickled. I opened my mouth. I was going to shriek a last, despairing call, to the light and laughter of meetings above

when Carlos, still shaken, with one white hand press very hard upon his chest, started forward and gripp his hand round Castro's steel. He began to whisp in the other's hairy ear. I caught:

“You are a fool. He will not make us to be moleste he is my kinsman.”

Castro made a reluctant gesture towards Barn chest that lay between us.

“We could cram him into that,” he said.

“Oh, bloodthirsty fool,” Carlos answered, recoveri his breath; “is it always necessary to wash your hands blood? Are we not in enough danger? Up-up! ! see if the boat is yet there. We must go quickly; ur up- ” He waved his hand towards the scuttle.

“But still,” Castro said. He was reluctantly fitti his wooden hand upon the blue steel. He sent a bale yellow glare into my eyes, and stooped to pick up ragged cloak.

“Up-mount!” Carlos commanded.

Castro muttered, Vamos," and began clumsily climb the ladder, like a bale of rags being hauled fr above. Carlos placed his foot on the steps, prepar to follow him. He turned his head round towards r his hand extended, a smile upon his lips.

"Juan,” he said, “let us not quarrel. You are ve young; you cannot understand these things; you canı weigh them; you have a foolish idea in your head. Vwished you to come with us because I love you, Ju Do you think I wish you evil? You are true and bra and our families are united.” He sighed suddenly.

"I do not want to quarrel!" I said. “I don't.”

I did not want to quarrel; I wanted more to cry. was very lonely, and he was going away. Romai was going out of my life.

He added musically, “You even do not understa) There is someone else who speaks for you to me, always —someone else. But one day you will. I shall come back for you—one day.” He looked at me and smiled. It stirred unknown depths of emotion in me. I would have gone with him, then, had he asked me. “One day,” he repeated, with an extraordinary cadence of tone.

His hand was grasping mine; it thrilled me like a woman's; he stood shaking it very gently.

“One day,” he said, “I shall repay what I owe you. I wished you with me, because I go into some danger. I wanted you. Good-by. Hasta mas ver.

He leaned over and kissed me lightly on the cheek, then climbed away. I felt that the light of Romance was going out of my life. As we reached the top of the ladder, somebody began to call harshly, startlingly. I heard my own name and the words, “mahn ye were speerin' after.”

The light was obscured, the voice began clamouring insistently.

"John Kemp, Johnnie Kemp, noo. Here's the mahn ye were speerin' after. Here's Macdonald.”

It was the voice of Barnes, and the voice of the every day. I discovered that I had been tremendously upset. The pulses in my temples were throbbing, and I wanted to shut my eyes—to sleep! I was tired; Romance had departed. Barnes and the Macdonald he had found for me represented all the laborious insects of the world; all the ants who are forever hauling immensely heavy and immensely unimportant burdens up weary hillocks, down steep places, getting nowhere and doing nothing.

Nevertheless I hurried up, stumbling at the hatchway against a man who was looking down. He said nothing at all, and I was dazed by the light. Barnes remarked burriedly, “This 'll be your Mr. Macdonald”; and, turning his back on me, forgot my e ence. I felt more alone than ever. The man in f of me held his head low, as if he wished to butt me.


I began breathlessly to tell him I had a letter 1 “my-my-Rooksby—brother-in-law-Ralph Ro by”—I was panting as if I had run a long way. said nothing at all. I fumbled for the letter in an i pocket of my waistcoat, and felt very shy. Macdo maintained a portentous silence; his enormous k was enveloped rather than clothed in a great volum ill-fitting white stuff; he held in his hand a great brella with a vivid green lining. His face was very I and had the leaden transparency of a boiled artich it was fringed by a red beard streaked with gray brown flood-water is with foam. I noticed at last 1 the reason for his presenting his forehead to me wa incredible squint—a squint that gave the idea that was performing some tortuous and defiant feat with muscles of his neck.

He maintained an air of distrustful inscrutabil The hand which took my letter was very large, v white, and looked as if it would feel horribly flak With the other he put on his nose a pair of enorn mother-of-pearl-framed spectacles—things exactly those of a cobra's—and began to read. He had : (precisely nothing at all. It was for him and what represented that I had thrown over Carlos and w he represented. I felt that I deserved to be recei with acclamation. I was not. He read the letter v deliberately, swaying, umbrella and all, with the s movement of a dozing elephant. Once he crossed eyes at me, meditatively, above the mother-of-p rims. He was so slow, so deliberate, that I own I be to wonder whether Carlos and Castro were still board. It seemed to be at least half an hour bei

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