"Tuan Almayer is speaking to a friend. There is no Arab here."
Almayer's heart gave a great leap.
"Dain!" he exclaimed. "At last! at last! I have been waiting for you every day and every night. I had nearly given you up."
"Nothing could have stopped me from coming back here," said the other, almost violently. "Not even death," he whispered to himself.
"This is a friend's talk, and is very good," said Almayer, heartily. "But you are too far here. Drop down to the jetty and let your men cook their rice in my campong while we talk in the house."
There was no answer to that invitation.
"What is it?" asked Almayer, uneasily. "There is nothing wrong with the brig, I hope?"
"The brig is where no Orang Blanda can lay his hands on her," said Dain, with a gloomy tone in his voice, which Almayer, in his elation, failed to notice.
"Right," he said. "But where are all your men? There are only two with you."
"Listen, Tuan Almayer," said Dain. "To-morrow's sun shall see me in your house, and then we will talk. Now I must go to the Rajah."
"To the Rajah! Why? What do you want with Lakamba?"
"Tuan, to-morrow we talk like friends. I must see Lakamba to-night."
"Dain, you are not going to abandon me now, when all is ready?" asked Almayer, in a pleading voice.
"Have I not returned? But I must see Lakamba first for your good and mine."
The shadowy head disappeared abruptly. The bush, released from the grasp of the bowman, sprung back