Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/340

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Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

fortune that belongs to me, together with the person of poor Evaline Keitt herself, not only the stone and the wealth, but the woman also, are yours to dispose of as you see fit!”

Our hero was so struck aback at this unexpected turn that he knew not upon the instant what reply to make. “Friend,” said he, at last, “I thank thee extremely for thy offer, and, though I would not be ungracious, it is yet borne in upon me to testify to thee that as to the stone itself and the fortune—of which thou speakest, and of which I very well know the history—I have no inclination to receive either the one or the other, both the fruits of theft, rapine, and murder. The jewel I have myself beheld three times stained, as it were, with the blood of my fellow-man, so that it now has so little value in my sight that I would not give a peppercorn to possess it. Indeed, there is no inducement in the world that could persuade me to accept it, or even to take it again into my hand. As to the rest of thy generous offer, I have only to say that I am, four months hence, to be married to a very comely young woman of Kensington, in Pennsylvania, by name Martha Dobbs, and therefore I am not at all at liberty to consider my inclinations in any other direction.”

Having so delivered himself, Jonathan bowed with such ease as his stiff and awkward joints might command, and thereupon withdrew from the presence of the charmer, who, with cheeks suffused with blushes and with eyes averted, made no endeavor to detain him.

So ended the only adventure of moment that ever happened to him in all his life. For thereafter he contented himself with such excitement as his mercantile profession and his extremely peaceful existence might afford.


In conclusion it may be said that when the worthy Jonathan Rugg was married to Martha Dobbs, upon the following June, some