Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/236

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Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

somewhere, d’ye understand?” And then he added with a grin, “Ye can go to see Sally.”

Hiram pushed back his chair and arose. He leaned with his back against the side of the fireplace. “I’ll stay at home,” said he presently.

“But I don’t want you to stay at home, Hi,” said Levi. “We’ll have to talk business and I want you to go!”

“I’ll stay at home,” said Hiram again.

Levi’s brow grew as black as thunder. He ground his teeth together and for a moment or two it seemed as though an explosion was coming. But he swallowed his passion with a gulp. “You’re a —— pig-headed, half-witted fool,” said he. Hiram never so much as moved his eyes. “As for you,” said Levi, whirling round upon Dinah, who was clearing the table, and glowering balefully upon the old negress, “you put them things down and git out of here. Don’t you come nigh this kitchen again till I tell ye to. If I catch you pryin’ around may I be ——, eyes and liver, if I don’t cut your heart out.”

In about half an hour Levi’s friends came; the first a little, thin, wizened man with a very foreign look. He was dressed in a rusty black suit and wore gray yarn stockings and shoes with brass buckles. The other was also plainly a foreigner. He was dressed in sailor fashion, with petticoat breeches of duck, a heavy pea-jacket, and thick boots, reaching to the knees. He wore a red sash tied around his waist, and once, as he pushed back his coat, Hiram saw the glitter of a pistol butt. He was a powerful, thickset man, low-browed and bull-necked, his cheek, and chin, and throat closely covered with a stubble of blue-black beard. He wore a red kerchief tied around his head and over it a cocked hat, edged with tarnished gilt braid.

Levi himself opened the door to them. He exchanged a few words outside with his visitors, in a foreign language of which