Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/310

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Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

and so interesting was his discourse that they had gone a considerable distance before Jonathan observed they were entering into a quarter darker and less frequented than that which they had quitted. Tall brick houses stood upon either side, between which stretched a narrow, crooked roadway, with a kennel running down the centre.

In front of one of these houses—a tall and gloomy structure—our hero’s conductor stopped and, opening the door with a key, beckoned for him to enter. Jonathan having complied, his new-found friend led the way up a flight of steps, against which Jonathan’s feet beat noisily in the darkness, and at length, having ascended two stairways and having reached a landing, he opened a door at the end of the passage and ushered Jonathan into an apartment, unlighted, except for the Moonshine, which, coming in through a partly open shutter, lay in a brilliant patch of light upon the floor.

His conductor having struck a light with a flint and steel, our hero by the illumination of a single candle presently discovered himself to be in a bedchamber furnished with no small degree of comfort, and even elegance, and having every appearance of a bachelor’s chamber.

“You will pardon me,” said his new acquaintance, “if I shut these shutters and the window, for that devilish fever of which I spoke is of such a sort that I must keep the night air even out from my room, or else I shall be shaking the bones out of my joints and chattering the teeth out of my head by to-morrow morning.”

So saying he was as good as his word, and not only drew the shutters to, but shot the heavy iron bolt into its place. Having accomplished this he bade our hero to be seated, and placing before him some exceedingly superior rum, together with some equally excellent tobacco, they presently fell into the friendliest discourse imaginable. In the course of their talk, which after awhile became exceedingly confidential, Jonathan confided to his new friend the