Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/327

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

The Ruby of Kishmoor

violence—appears to have driven these two men entirely mad, so that they instantly made the most ferocious and murderous assault upon me. See! wouldst thou have believed that so small a thing as this would have caused so much trouble?” And as he spoke he held up to the gaze of the other the cause of the double tragedy that had befallen. But no sooner had Captain Willitts’s eyes lighted upon the ball than the most singular change passed over his countenance. The color appeared to grow dull and yellow in his ruddy cheeks, his fat lips dropped apart, and his eyes stared with a fixed and glassy glare. He arose to his feet and, still with the expression of astonishment and wonder upon his face, gazed first at our hero and then at the ivory ball in his hands, as though he were deprived both of reason and of speech. At last, as our hero slipped the trifle back in his pocket again, the mariner slowly recovered himself, though with a prodigious effort, and drew a deep and profound breath as to the very bottom of his lungs. He wiped, with the corner of his black silk cravat, his brow, upon which the sweat appeared to have gathered. “Well, messmate,” says he, at last, with a sudden change of voice, “you have, indeed, had a most wonderful adventure.” Then with another deep breath: “Well, by the blood! I may tell you plainly that I am no poor hand at the reading of faces. Well, I think you to be honest, and I am inclined to believe every word you tell me. By the blood! I am prodigiously sorry for you, and am inclined to help you out of your scrape.

“The first thing to do,” he continued, “is to get rid of these two dead men, and that is an affair I believe we shall have no trouble in handling. One of them we will wrap up in the carpet here, and t’other we can roll into yonder bed-curtain. You shall carry the one and I the other, and, the harbor being at no great distance, we can easily bring them thither and tumble them overboard, and no one will be the wiser of what has happened. For your own safety, as you may easily see, you can hardly go away