Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/117

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The Ghost of Captain Brand

way into the house, but waited until they were all safe and sound in privily together before he should unfold his strange and wonderful story.

“This was left for you by two foreign sailors this afternoon, Barnaby,” the good old man said, as he led the way through the hall, holding up the candle at the same time, so that Barnaby might see an object that stood against the wainscoting by the door of the dining room.

Nor could Barnaby refrain from crying out with amazement when he saw that it was one of the two chests of treasure that Sir John Malyoe had fetched from Jamaica, and which the pirates had taken from the Belle Helen. As for Mr. Hartright, he guessed no more what was in it than the man in the moon.

The next day but one brought the Belle Helen herself into port, with the terrible news not only of having been attacked at night by pirates, but also that Sir John Malyoe was dead. For whether it was the sudden shock of the sight of his old captain’s face—whom he himself had murdered and thought dead and buried—flashing so out against the darkness, or whether it was the strain of passion that overset his brains, certain it is that when the pirates left the Belle Helen, carrying with them the young lady and Barnaby and the traveling trunks, those left aboard the Belle Helen found Sir John Malyoe lying in a fit upon the floor, frothing at the mouth and black in the face, as though he had been choked, and so took him away to his berth, where, the next morning about ten o’clock, he died, without once having opened his eyes or spoken a single word.

As for the villain manservant, no one ever saw him afterward; though whether he jumped overboard, or whether the pirates who so attacked the ship had carried him away bodily, who shall say?

Mr. Hartright, after he had heard Barnaby’s story, had been very uncertain as to the ownership of the chest of treasure that had been left by those men for Barnaby, but the news of the death of Sir John Malyoe made the matter very easy for him to decide.