Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/93

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The Ghost of Captain Brand

farther away, but to it my fine gentleman made no reply except to burst out into a great roaring fit of laughter.

There was another man among the armed men in the stern of the passing boat—a villainous, lean man with lantern jaws, and the top of his head as bald as the palm of my hand. As the boat went away into the night with the tide and the headway the oars had given it, he grinned so that the moonlight shone white on his big teeth. Then, flourishing a great big pistol, he said, and Barnaby could hear every word he spoke, “Do but give me the word, Your Honor, and I’ll put another bullet through the son of a sea cook.”

But the gentleman said some words to forbid him, and therewith the boat was gone away into the night, and presently Barnaby could hear that the men at the oars had begun rowing again, leaving them lying there, without a single word being said for a long time.

By and by one of those in Barnaby’s boat spoke up. “Where shall you go now?” he said.

At this the leader of the expedition appeared suddenly to come back to himself, and to find his voice again. “Go?” he roared out. “Go to the devil! Go? Go where you choose! Go? Go back again—that’s where we’ll go!” and therewith he fell a-cursing and swearing until he foamed at the lips, as though he had gone clean crazy, while the black men began rowing back again across the harbor as fast as ever they could lay oars into the water.

They put Barnaby True ashore below the old custom house; but so bewildered and shaken was he by all that had happened, and by what he had seen, and by the names that he heard spoken, that he was scarcely conscious of any of the familiar things among which he found himself thus standing. And so he walked up the moonlit street toward his lodging like one drunk or bewildered; for “John Malyoe” was the name of the captain of the Adventure galley—he who had shot Barnaby’s own grandfather—and “Abraham Dawling” was the name of the gunner of the Royal Sovereign