Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/192
i8o A MAINSAIL HAUL
Take and sign," said the voice again, ** but first consider what it is you do ; do nothing rashly. Consider."
So he thought awhile; then Yes" he said, " I'll sign," and with that he groped for the pen.
" Blood from your left thumb and sign," said the voice.
So he pricked his left thumb and signed.
" Here is your earnest money," said the voice, " nine and twenty "silver pennies. This day twenty years hence I shall see you again."
Now early next morning our friend came to him- self and felt like one of the drowned. "What a dream I've had," he said. Then he woke up and saw the nine and twenty silver pennies and smelt a faint smell of brimstone.
So he sat in his chair there, and remembered that he had sold his soul to the devil for twenty years of heart's-desire ; and whatever fears he may have had as to what might come at the end of those twenty years, he found comfort in the thought that, after all, twenty years is a good stretch of time, and that throughout them he could eat, drink, merrymake, roll in gold, dress in silk, and