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SV2W1 ".TAI-VViV',AVVi'J',l5!" -" '
"But surely," said Mr. England,
"there would be no harm done. Has
crime pock-marked me? Am I
loathsome? And can you not, sir,
consider me at all? A few weeks
a short trial a speedy hangman a
dead England! How gayly could
those weeks be passed in the near
ness of a beautiful lady! Would you
send me onward, my captain, with no
"Mr. England," said the captain,
moved, "my duty is as plain as the
north star on a clear night; but in
utmost sincerity your sentiments are
tearing my mind."
"Let me appeal to her great gra
ciousness," said Mr. England. "Let
me tell her who and what I am, and
then, If she stand for me "
"You will tell her who and what
you are?" Bald the captain, weaken
ing. "My word!" said Mr. England. "At
the worst, she can but spurn and de
spise me and I shall have played the
"You shall have your chance." said
the captain. "And now, see she
"Her eyes are like the morning."
said Mr. England. And he added:
"I will lay my best gilt buckles
againBt a half dozen of your Bur
gundy that the lady takes the part
of the pirate."
"Mr- England," said Lady Pelham,
jestingly, "the time is come when you
did promise to confess your manifold
sins and wickedness before all men."
The time was night. The full
moon's sweet light radiated across
the dancing sea, and the while sails of
the Hynd Horn were lighted by it.
Mr. England hejd up his head
proudly, and Lady Pelham clasped
her pretty little hands attentively.
"Lady Pelham," said Mr. England,
"it Is a poor thing that boasts of its
own gallantry, but I have been no
stranger to blows, nor wild beasts, of
which some were lions and serpents,
and soir 'nen. I ask you to believe
that I 1 e never run away. But
now I would fain run from you, for
what I have to tell will lower me un
speakably in your gracious sight."
"I will pardon my courtier in ad
vance," said Lady Pelham, "for I
need his service."
She looked up at him with a won
derful girlish sweetness.
"Down to the southward," con
tinued Mr. England, "there was an
island of the sea. Seen from above,
it was like an outstretched hand upon
the waters; long, safe harbors were
between its fingers, and the five
knuckles were redoubtable moun
tains, susceptible to rare defenses. In
the harbors of that island was a great
safety and hiding-place for a certain
ship, and on the shores were deep
thatched homes for men. There were
storehouses full of silks and satins
and brocades, and spices, and all
good things. Many a chest of gold
and silver was in the keeping of the
Lady Pelham settled deeper to the
mystery of listening.
"There was a ship," said Mr. Eng
land, "so shapely and served with
such cunning sails that not one other
ship in all the world was so swift
upon the seas. The ship was manned
by a crew of a hundred men, and cap
tained by a devil."
Lady Pelham shifted uneasily.
"Now, what manner of kingdom
was that, Lady Pelham?" said Mr.
England. "Whence came those satins
and brocades, those chests of gold?
What manner of men lived in those
deep-thatched homes and sailed that
ship? What manner of man was
their captain? I will tell you, Lady
Pelham. We were bloody pirates, and
I was our captain. We robbed and
murdered on the high seas. Those
who despised us we shot; those who
were for us we hanged; those who
besought us we hauled down the
barnacled keel. We made coffins of
He paused, sweating from the en-
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