J I J I
pressed forward, to emerge at
length, bleeding and torn, at the
head of the little bay. It was
late afternoon ; a cottage stood on
the bank not fifty yards distant;
and the boat just showed among
the mangroves. Brewster crept
cautiously toward it. He pulled
it from its place into the shallow
Then he discovered that, with
the chain and ball, he could not
enter it. He could not lift his
leg from the swampy bottom of
the bay; nor, had he done so,
could he have climbed in without
upsetting the craft.
Under the seat, as he had been
advised, he saw the little oilskin
package containing the money
and the key. But he could not
reach so far. His finger tips
stopped short a full foot; to
stretch further meant to upset
the little craft. He struggled till
the sweat poured down his face,
then, turning, he became aware
that a small child was watching
him, a girl about five years old,
evidently from the cottage.
"Come here," said Brewster
hoarsely, and the child obeyed.
"Do you see that package under
that seat? Could you get it for
The child stood watching him,
finger in mouth, half frightened,
half interested. It was evident
she had no intention of doing
what .the strange man told her.
Brewster resolved to try the ef
fect of fear.
"Majorie! Majorie!" called a
clear voice from the cottage.
"Come here!" cried Brewster
in a hoarse, angry whisper,
climb in there at once and get x
me that package!"
Terrified, the child began to
cry. Brewster lost control of
himself and she set up a scream,'
Then the mangroves parted and
woman, perhaps Brewster's own (I
age, confronted him.
"What are you doing with Ma
jorie?" she cried. "Do you think.
we are afraid of tramps here? Off
with you, or I'll set the dogs on.
you." Then her eyes fell on ther
ball and chain and she recoiled a
step, but stFTT stood facing him,
one hand holding Marjorie tight
ly to her.
"A convict," she said, and only
half veiled her terror.
"Yes," said the man. "I'll make
a clean breast of it. I'm Brew
ster Richard Brewster. I see
you know who I am. There is a
package under that seat with a
key that will unlock this padlock,
and five hundred dollars. I can't
reach it with this attachment.
Get it for me and I'll divide the
money with you."
"We don't help convicts here,"
answered the girl, watching him
steadily. She half turned, still
clutching the child
"I'll give you all," shouted
Brewster. iMve hundred. Uood
Lord! I could buy your crazy W
cottage for that and you too."
She turned on him. "I guess
that's where you're wrong," she
answered bitterly. "Some folks'
can't be bought. If they could
my folks would be richer than
they are. Perhaps you know my
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