Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/335

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The Ruby of Kishmoor

When I left thee and went out into the street I was accosted by a little gentleman clad in black.”

“Indeed!” cried the lady; “and had he but one eye, and did he carry a gold-headed cane?”

“Exactly,” said Jonathan; “and he claimed acquaintance with friend Jeremiah Doolittle.”

“He never knew him!” cried the lady, vehemently; “and I must tell you that he was a villain named Hunt, who at one time was the intimate consort of the pirate Keitt. He it was who plunged a deadly knife into his captain’s bosom, and so murdered him in this very house. He himself or his agents, must have been watching my gate when you went forth.”

“I know not how that may be,” said Jonathan, “but he took me to his apartment, and there, obtaining a knowledge of the trust thou didst burden me with, he demanded it of me, and upon my refusing to deliver it to him he presently fell to attacking me with a dagger. In my efforts to protect my life I inadvertently caused him to plunge the knife into his own bosom and to kill himself.”

“And what then?” cried the lady, who appeared well-nigh distracted with her emotions.

“Then,” said Jonathan, “there came a strange man—a foreigner—who upon his part assaulted me with a pistol, with every intention of murdering me and thus obtaining possession of that same little trifle.”

And did he,” exclaimed the lady, “have long, black mustachios, and did he have silver ear-rings in his ears?”

“Yes,” said Jonathan, “he did.”

“That,” cried the lady, could have been none other than Captain Keitt’s Portuguese sailing-master, who must have been spying upon Hunt! Tell me what happened next!”

“He would have taken my life,” said Jonathan, “but in the struggle that followed he shot himself accidentally with his own pistol, and died at my very feet. I do not know what would