Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/309

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The Ruby of Kishmoor

“Indeed,” said Jonathan, “thou art right, friend. That is my occupation, and that is whence I came.”

“To be sure!” said the little gentleman. “To be sure! To be sure! The Susanna Hayes, with a cargo of Indian-corn meal, and from dear good friend Jeremiah Doolittle, of Philadelphia. I know your good master very well—very well indeed. And have you never heard him speak of his friend Mr. Abner Greenway, of Kingston, Jamaica?”

“Why, no,” replied Jonathan, “I have no such recollection of the name—nor do I know that any such name hath ever appeared upon our books.”

“To be sure! To be sure!” repeated the little gentleman, briskly, and with exceeding good-nature. “Indeed, my name is not likely to have ever appeared upon his books, for I am not a business correspondent, but one who, in times past, was his extremely intimate friend. There is much I would like to ask about him, and, indeed, I was in hopes that you would have been the bearer of a letter from him. But I have lodgings at a little distance from here, so that if it is not requesting too much of you maybe you will accompany me thither, so that we may talk at our leisure. I would gladly accompany you to your ship instead of urging you to come to my apartments, but I must tell you I am possessed of a devil of a fever, so that my physician hath forbidden me to be out of nights.”

“Indeed,” said Jonathan, whom, you may have observed, was of a very easy disposition—“indeed, I shall be very glad to accompany thee to thy lodgings. There is nothing I would like better than to serve any friend of good Jeremiah Doolittle’s.”

And thereupon, and with great amity, the two walked off together, the little one-eyed gentleman in black linking his arm confidingly into that of Jonathan’s, and tapping the pavement continually with his cane as he trotted on at a great pace. He was very well acquainted with the town (of which he was a citizen),