iras SUMTER WATCHMAN ict.bu.hed April, 18S0. "Ba Jost ?nd Fear not-Let all the Ends thou Aims't at, be thy Coontrys, thy God s and Troth's " TBS ITO? SODSSBO?, BMaMMie* J*MI IM?
I consolidate* Aug. 2, 1881.1 ~~ SUMTER. S. C., WEDNESDAY. APRIL 20, I8Q2._ Sew Series- Yol. XL Ho. 38.
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THE SIH03DS NATIONAL BANK,
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FFe sat dotm on ti little oreen hillock to
On the western side of the Island o:
Arran, seldom visited and almost un
known to tourists, is the little island
named Uria. Between the two lies i
strait or roost, two miles and a hali
broad, with a dangerous current thai
eets in from the north. Even on th<
calmest day there are ripples and swirl*
and dimples on the surface of the roos!
which suggest hidden influences, bul
when the wind blows from the west ant
the great Atlantic waves choke up th<
inlet and meet their brethren which hav<
raced round the other side of the island,
there is such seething and turmoil thai
old sailors say they have never seen th<
like. God help the boat that is caughl
there on such a dayl
My father owned one-third part of th?
Island of Uf?a, and I was born and bree
there. My father had been enabled tc
6end me to begin the stn?y of medicine
at the University of Glasgow, and I had
attended lectures there for two wintei
sessions, but whether Lom caprice ox
from some lessening in his funds, he had
recalled me, and in the year eighteen
hundred and sixty-five I found myself
cribbed up in this little island with
just education enough to wish for more,
ami with no associate at home but the
grim, stern old man, for my mother bad
been dead some years, and I had neither
brother nor sister.
There were two youths about my own
age in the island, Geordie and Jock
Gibbs, but they were rough, loutish fel?
lows, good hearted enough, but with no
ideas above fishing and farming. More
to my taste was the society of Minnie
Fullarton, the pretty daughter of old
Fullarton, of Corrieinains. We had been
children together, and it was natural
that when she blossomed into a buxom,
fresh faced girl, and I into a square
shouldered, long legged youth ther?
should be something wanner than friend?
ship between us. Her elder brother was
a corn chandler in Ardrossan, and was
said to be doing well, so that the match
was an eligible one, but for some reason
my father objected very strongly to our
intimacy and even forbade me entirely
to meet her. I laughed at his commands,
for I was a hot headed, irreverent young?
ster, and continued to see Minnie, but
when it came to his ears it caused many
violent scenes between us, which nearly
went the length of blows. We had a
quarrel of this sort just before the equi?
noctial gales in the spring of the year in
which my story begins, and 1 left the
old man with his face flushed and his
great bony hands shaking with passion
while I went jauntily off to our usual
trj-sting place. I lia ve often regretted
since that I was not more submissive,
but how was I to guess the dark things
which were to come upon rs?
The wind was blowing freshly from
the northwest, and the great Atlantic
rollers were racing merri']}' in, one lie
hind the other, dark brown below, light
green above, and breaking with a sullen
roar at the base of the cliffs. Now and
again a sluggish one would be overtaken
by its successor, and the two would
come crashing in together and send the
spray right o**er me as I lay. The whole
air was prickly with the smack of the
sea. Away to the north there was a pil?
ing up of clouds, and the peak of Goat
fell in Arran looked lurid and distinct.
There were no craft in the offing except
one little eager, panting steamer making
for the shelter of the Clyde, and a trim
brigantine tacking along the coast I
was speculating as to her destination
when 1 heard a light, springy footstep,
and Minnie Fullarton was standing be?
eide me, her face rosy with exercise and
her brown hair floating behind her.
.*Wha*8 been vexing you, Archie?" she
asked with tue quick intuition of wom?
anhood. "The auld man has been speck?
ing aboot me again; bas he noT
It was strange how pretty and mellow
the accents were in her mouth which
came so raspingly from my father. We
sat down on a little green hillock to?
gether, her hand in mine, while I told
ber of our quarrel in the morning.
"You see they're bent on parting us,"
I said; "but indeed they'll fina they have
the wrong man to deal with if they try
to frighten me away from you.M
"I'm not worth it. Archie," she an?
swered, sighing. "Fm ower hamely and
simple for one like you that speaks well
and is a scholar forbye.
"A bad nicht for the puir sailors," she
continued sadly, glancing at the dari
wreck hurry lag up from the northward,
and at the white line of breakers on the
Winner sands. "I wonder what yon
brig is after. Unless it gets round to
Lamlash or Brodick bay it'll find itself
on a nasty coast."
She wa3 watching the trim brigantine
which had already attracted my atten?
tion. She was still standing off the
coast and evidently expected rough
weather, for her foresail had been taken
in and her topsail reefed down.
"It's too cold for you up here," I ex?
claimed at last, as the clouds covered
the sun and the keen north wind came in
more frequent gusts. We walked back
together until we were close to Carracuil,
when she left me, taking the footpath to
Corriemains, which was about a mile
from our bothy. I hoped that my father
had not observed us together, but he
Diet me at the door, fuming with passion.
His face wad quite livid with rage, and
he held his shotgun in his han'ls. I for?
get if I mentioned that in spite of his
age he was one of the most powerful
men ? ever met in my life.
"So you've come!" he roared, shaking
the gun at me. "You great gowk"
i did not wait for the string of adjec?
tives which I knew was coming.
"You ke^p a civil tongue in your
bead," I said.
"Yon dare!" he shouted, raising his
arm as if to strike me. "You wunna
come in here. You can gang back where
you come fraei"
"You can go to the devil?" I answered,
losing my temper completely, on which
he jabbed at me with the butt end of the
gun, but 1 warded it off with my stick.
For a moment the devil was busy in me,
and my throat was full of oaths, but 1
choked them down, and turning on my
keel walked back to Corriemains, where
I spent the day with the Fullartons. It
seemed to me that my father, who had
Jong been a miser, was rapidly becoming
a madman-and a dangerous one to
My mind was so busy with my griev?
ance that 1 was poor company, 1 fear,
and drank, perhaps, more whisky than
was good for me. 1 remember that I
stumbled over a stool once, and that
Minnie looked surprised and tearful,
while old Fullarton sniggered to himself
and coughed to hide it. I did not set out
for home till half past nine, which was a
very late hour for the island. I knew
my father would be asleep, and that if I
climbed through my bedroom window 1
should have ne night in peace.
It was blowing great guns by this
time, and I had to put my shoulder
against the gale as I came along the
winding path which led down to Car
racnil. I must still have been under
the influence of liquor, for I remember
that I sang uproariously and joined my
feeble pipe to the howling of the wind.
I had just got to the inclosure of our
croft when a little incident occurred
which helped to sober me.
White-is a color so rare in nature that
in an island like ours, where even paper
was a precious commodity, it would ar?
rest the attention at once. Something
white fluttere?! across my path and st nek
flappiug upon a furze bush. I lifted it
up and discovered, to my very great
surprise, that it was a linen pocket
handkerchief-and scented. Now I was
very sure that beyond my own there was
no such thing as a white pocket hand?
kerchief in the island. A small com?
munity like ours knew each other's
wardrobe to a nicety. But as to scent
in Uffa-it was preposterons! Who did
the handkerchief belong to then? Was
Minnie right, and was there really a
stranger in tile island! I walked on
very thoughtfully, holding my discovery
in my hand and thinking of what Miu
nie had seen the night before.
When I got into my bedroom and lit
my rush light I examined it again. It
was clean and new, with the initials "A.
W." worked in red silk in the corner.
There was no other indication as to who
it might belong to, thongh from its size
it was evidently a man's. The incident
struck me as so extraordinary that I sat
for some time on the side of my bed
turning it over in my befnddled mind,
but without getting any nearer a conclu?
sion. I might even lia ve taken my father
into confidence, but his hoarse snoring
in the adjoining room showed that he
was fast asleep, it is as well that it was
so, for I was in no humor to be bullied,
and we might have had words. The old
man had little longer to live, and it is
some solace to me now that that little
was unmarred by any further strife be?
I did not take my clothes off, but my
brain was getting swimmy after its tem?
porary clearness, so I dropped my head
upon the pillow and sank into profound
slumber. I must have slept about four
honrs, when I woke with a violent start.
To this day 1 have never known what
it was that roused me. Everything was
perfectly still, and yet I found all my
faculties in a state of extreme tension.
Was there some one in the room? It was
very dark, but I peered about, leaning
on my elbow There was nothing to be
seen, but stil that eerie feeling haunted
me. At thst moment the flying scud
passed away from the face of the moon
and a flood of cold light was poured into
my chamber. I turned my eyes up in
6tinctively, and-good God!-there at
the window was the face, an evil, ma?
licious face, hard cut and distinct
against the silvery radiance, glaring in
at me as Minnie had seen it the night
before. For one moment I tingled and
palpitated like a frightened child, the
next both glass and sash were gone ?nd
i was rolling over and over on the gravel
path with my arms around a tall, strong
man-the two of us worrying each other
like a pair of dogs. Almost by intuition
I knew as we went down together that
he had slipped his hand into his side
pocket, and I clung to that wrist like
grim death. He tried hard to free it, but
I was too strong for him, and we stag?
gered on to our feet again in the same
position, panting and snarling.
"Let go my hand, damn youP he said,
"Let go that pistol then,** I gasped.
We looked, hard at each other in the
moonlight, and t'"?*n he laughed and
opened his fingers. A heavy glittering
object, which I could see was a revolver,
dropped with a clink to the gravel. I put
my foot on it and let go my grip of
"Well, matey, how now?" he said with
another laugh. "Is that an end of a
round or the end of the battle? You
islanders seem a hospitable lot You're
so ready to welcome a stranger that you
can't wait to find the door, but must
come flying through the window like in?
"What do you want to come prowling
arouud people's houses at night for
with weapons in your pocket?" I asked
"1 should think 1 needed a weapon,*'
he answered, "when there are young
devils like yon knocking around. Hullo!
there's another of the family."
I turned my head and there was my
father almost at my elbow. He had
come around from the front door. His
gray woolen nightdress and grizzled
hair were streaming in the wind, and he
was evidently much excited. He liad lu
his haml the double barreled gun with
which he had threatened me in the
morning, ile put this np to his shoulder
and would most certainly have blown
out either my brains or those of the
stranger, had i not turned away the bar?
rel with my hand.
"Wait a bit, father," 1 said, "let us
hear what he has to say for himself.
And you" I continued, turning to the
stranger, "can come inside with us and
justify yourself if you can. But remem?
ber we are in a majority, so keep your
tongue between your teeth."
"Not so fast, my young bantam," he
grumbled; "you've got my six-shooter
but I have a Derringer in my pocket
learned in Colorado to carry them Ix
However, come along into thia shanty
yours, and let us get the damned pala
over. I'm wet through, and most
My father was still mumbling to h
self and fidgeting with his gun, but
did not oppose my taking the stran
into the house. 1 struck a match ant
the oil lamp in the kitchen, on which .
pruner stooped down to it and be;
smoUng a cigarette. As the- light
fuil on his face both my father an
took a good look at him. He was a n
of about forty, remarkably handsome
rather a Spanish type, with blue-bh
hair and bearii and sunburned featm
His eyes were very bright, and their g.
so intense that you would think that tl
projected somewhat unless you saw h
in profile. There was a dash of reckle
ness and deviltry about them which, w
his wiry, powerful frame and jam
manner, gave the impression of a ra
whose past had been an adventurous o
He was elegantly dressed in a velvet?
jacket and grayish trousers of a forei
cut Without in the least resenting c
prolonged scrutiny he seated hims
upon thu dresser, swinging his legs a
blowing little blue wreaths from
cigarette. His appearance seemed to
assure my father, or perhaps it was t
sight of the rings which flashed on t
stranger's left hand every time he raia
it to his lips.
"Ye munna mind Archie, sir,** he S?
in a cringing voice. "He was aye
fcishious bairn, overquick wi' his han<
and wi' mair muscle than brains. I w
fashed my sel' wi' the sudden stour, b
as tae shootin at ye, sir, that was a' ?
auld man's havers. Nae doubt yo'n
veesitor, or maybe it's a shipwreck, I
no' a shipwreck, is't?" The idea a wo
the covetous devil in my father's soi
and it looked out through his glisteni;
eyes and set his long stringy hands
"I came here in a boat,** said t
stranger shortly. "This was the fil
house I came to after 1 left the shore, ai
I'm not likely to forget the reception yt
have given me. That young hopeful
yours has nearly broken iny back.'*
"A good job too.*" I interrupted hotl
"why couldn't you come up to the do
like a man instead of skulking at tl
"Hush, Archie, hushr said my fath
imploringly, while our visitor grin m
across at me as amicably os if my speet
had been mort conciliator}-.
"I don't blame you," he said-he spol
with a strange mixture of accents, som
times wi th a foreign lisp, sometimes wi I
a slight Yankee intonation, and at oth*
times very pnivly indeed. "I have doi
the same, mate. Maybe you noticed
brigantine standing on and off the shoi
I nodded my head.
"That wan mine,** he said. *Tl
owner, skipper and every tiling ela
Why shouldn't a man spend bis mone
in his own way? I like cruising abou
and I like new experiences. 1 suppos
there's no hann in that I was in th
Mediterranean last month, but I'm sic
of blue skies and fine weather. Chios i
a damnable paradise of a place. Tv
come up here for a little fresh air an
freedom. I crnised all down the wester
isles, and when-we caine abreast of thi
place of yours it rather took my fancj
so I hauled the foreyard aback and cam
ashore last night to prospect It wasn'
this house I struck, but anoth?r farthe
to the west'ard; however, I saw enougi
to be sure it was a place after my owl
heart-a real quiet corner. So I wen
back and set everything straight aboan
yesterday, and now here I am. You cai
put me up for a few weeks, I suppose
Tin not hard to please, and I can pa]
my way; suppose we say ten dollars i
week for board and lodging and a fort
night to be paid in advance.**
He put his hand in his pocket and pro
duced four shining napoleons, which ht
pushed along the dresser to my father,
who grabbed them up eagerly.
"I'm sorry I gave you such a rough re
ception,** 1 said, rather awkwardly, "i
was hardly awake at the time."
"Say no more, mate; say no more,** he
shouted heartily, holding out his band
and clasping mine. "Hard knocks arc
nothing new to me. I suppose we maj
consider the bargain settled then?**
"Ye can bide as laug as you will, sir."
answered my father, still fingering the
four coins, "Archie and me *11 doa* we
can to make your vecsit a pleasant anew
It's no* such a dreary place as ye might
think. When the Lam lash boats come
in we get the papers and a' the nf wa."
It struck me that the stranger looked
anything but overjoyed by this piece of
information. "You don't mea?? to say
that you get the papers here?" he said.
"Oo aye, The Scotsman an the (?las
gey Herald. But maybe yon would like
Archie and me to row ower to your ship
In the morn an fetch your luggage,"
"The brig is fifty miles away by this
time," said onr visitor. "She is running
before the wind for Marseilles. I told
the mate to bring her round again in a
month or so. As to luggage, I always
travel light in that matter. If a man's
purse is only full he can do with very
little else. All I have is the bnndle under
your window. By the way, my name ii
Digby, Charles Digby."
"I thought your initials were A. W.,"
He sprang off the dresser as if he had
been stung, and his face turned quite
gray for a moment "What the devil
do you mean by that?" he said.
"1 .hought this might be yours," I
answered, handing him the handkerchief
I had found.
"Oh. is that all!" he said, with rather
a ibrced laugh, "I didn't quite see what
you were driving at That's all right
It belongs to Whittingdale, the second
officer. I'll keep it until I see him again.
And now suppose you give me something
to eat, for I'm about famished.''
We brought him such rough fare as
was to be found in our larder, and lie
ate ravenously ?nd tossed off a stiff
glass of whisky and water. Afterward
ray father showed him into the solitary
spare bedroom, with which he professed
himself well pleased, and we all settler
down for the night As 1 went back to
my couch ? noticed that the gale had
freshened np. and I saw long streamers
of seaweed flying past my broken win?
dow in the moonlight A great bat flut?
tered into the room, which is reckoned a
sure sign of misfortune in the islands,
but I was never superstitions, and let
the poor thing find its way out again
In the morning it was ~':,1 blowing a
whole gale, though the sky was blue for
the most ?art. Our guest was up betimes
and we walked down to the beach to?
gether. It was a sight to see the great
rollers sweeping in overtopping one an?
other like a herd of oxen, and then burst?
ing with a r??ar, sending the Carracnii
pebbles? flying before them like grapeshot i
and filling the whole air with drifting ?
We were standing together watching
*Th? ^ arid ih^A^"
the scene, when looking round I saw t
father hurrying toward os. He had be
np und ont since early dawn. Whan
saw ns looking he began waving i
hands and shouting, bat the wind ?
ried his voice away. We ran towra
him. however, seeing that he was bea'
"The brig's wrecked and they're
drownedr he cried as we met him.
"WhatT roared onr visitor.
If ever 1 heard exceeding greit j*
compressed into a monosyllable it i
orated in that one.
"They're a' drowned and naethii
saved!" repeated my father. "COD
yoursel' and see."
We followed him across the Combe
to the level sands on the other sid
They were strewn with wreckage, bro
en pieces of bulwark and handrail, pa
eling of a cabin and an occasional caa
A single large spar was tossing in tl
waves close to the shore, occasional
shooting np toward the sky like son
giant's javelin, then sinking and disa
pearing in the trough of the great scoo
ing seas. Digby hurried np to the nea
est piece of timber and stooping over
examined it intently.
"By Godr he said at last, taking in
long breath between his teeth, "yon ai
right lt's the Proserpine, and all han<
are lost What a terrible thing!"
His face was very solemn as he spok
but his eye danced and glittered. I wi
beginning to conceive a great repnj
nance and distrust toward this man.
"Is there no chance of any one bavin
got ashore?" he said.
"Na, na, nor cargo neitb my f?
ther answered, with real grief in h
voice. "Ye dinna ken this coast There
an awfu' undertow ontside the Winner
and it's a' swept round to the Holy isl?
De'il take it, if there was to be a soi]
wreck what for should they no* ru
their ship agroond to the east'ard o' tl
point and let an honest mun have tl
pickings instead o' the rascally loons i
Arran? An empty barrel might float i
here, but there's no chance o' a se
chest, let alane a body."
"Poor fellows!" said Digby. -Bc
there-we must meet it some day, an
why not here and now. Tve lost m
ship, but th;.nk heaven I can buy at
other. It Ls ?tad about them, though
very sad. 1 warned Lamarck that b
was waiting too long with a low baron
etat and an ngly shore under hi s lee. H
has himself ? J thank. He was my fin
officer-a prying, covetous, meddlesom
"Don't call him names," I said. "He1
"Well said, my young prig!" he an
swered. "Perhaps you wouldn't be s<
mealy mouthed yourself if you lost ftv
thousand pounds before breakfast Bu
there-there's no use crying over spillec
milk. Vogue la gal?re! as the Preacl
lay. Things are never so bad but thal
they might be worse"
My father and Digby staid at tb
scene of the wreck, but I walked over ti
Corrieinains to reassure Minnie's mint
as to the apparition at the window. He.
opinion, when I told her all, coincidec
with mine that perhaps the crew of th<
brig knew more about the stranger thai
he cared for. We agreed that I sh o nie
keep a close eye upon him without letting
him know that he was watched.
"But oh. Archie," she said "ye mannt
cross him or anger him while he carrie*
them awfu' weapons. Ye mann be dono
and saft and no' gainsay him."
I laughed and promised her to be ver}
prudent, which reassured her a little
Old Fullarton walked back with me it
the hope of picking np a piece of timber,
and both he and my father patrolled th?
shore for many days without, however,
finding any prize of importance, for the
undercurrent off the Winners was verj
strong, and everything had probably
drifted right around to Lamlash bay ic
It was wonderfnl how quickly thi
stranger accommodated himself to out
insular ways, and lmw usefnl he maui
himself about the homesteading. Within
a fortnight he knew the island almost as
well as I did myself. Had it not bren
for that one unpleasant recollection of
the shipwreck which rankled in my re?
membrance 1 could have fonnd it in my
heart to become fond of him. His nature
was a tropical one-fiercely depressed at
times, bnt sunny as a rule, bursting con?
tinually into jest an?! song from pure in?
stinct, in a manner which is unknown
among us northerners. In his graver
moments he was a most interesting com?
panion, talking shrewdly and eloquent?
ly of men and manners, and his own in?
numerable and strange adventure?.
I have seldom heard a more brilliant
conversationist. Of an evening he wonld
keep my father and myself s?>ellbound
by the kitchen fire for hours and
hours, while he chatted away in a desul?
tory fashion and smoked his cigarettes.
It seemed to me that the packet he had
brought with him on the first night must
have consisted entirely of tobacco. 1
noticed that in these conversations,
which were mostly addressed to my fa?
ther, n&ed unconsciously perhaps to play
upon the weak side of the old man's na?
ture. Tales of cunning, of smartness, of
various ways in which mankind had
been cheated and money gained came
most readily to his lips, and were rel?
ished by an eager listener. 1 could not
help one night remarking upon it when
my father had gone out of the room,
laughing hoarsely and vibrating with
amusement over some story of how the
Biscay an peasants will strap lanterns to
a bullock's horns, and, taking the beast
some distance inland on a stormy night,
will make it prance and rear so that the
ships at sea may imagine it to be the
lights of a vessel and steer fearlessly in
that direction, only to find themselves
on a rock bound coast.
"You shouldn't tell such tales to an
old man," I said.
"My dear fellow," he answered very
kindly, "you have seen nothing of the
world yet Yon have formed fine ideas,
no doubt, and notions of delicacy and
such things, and you are very dogmatic
about them, as clever men of your age
always are. 1 had notions of right and
wrong once, but it has been all knocked
out of me. It's just a sort of varnish
which the rough friction of the world
soon rubs off. I started with a whole
soul, but there are more gashes aud
Rearos ano? sesm- in it now than there ar?
in iny body, and that's pretty f?.ir, at
you'll allow"-wi tb which he prilled opei
his tonic and showed roe- his-eisest
"Good heavensr f said. "flow on
earth did yon get those?"
"This was a bullet," he said, pointing
to a deep blnish pucker underneath hil
collar bone. "1 got it behind the barri
cades in Berlin in eighteen hundred
and forty-eight Langenback said il
jist missed the snbclavian artery. And
this,** he went on, indicating a pair o?
curions elliptical scars upon his throat,
M was a bite from a Sioux chief, when 1
was under Custer on the plains-I've gol
an arrow wound on my leg from thc
same party. This is from a mutinous
Lascar aboard ship, and the others are
mere scratches-Californian vaccination
marks. You can excuse my being a little
ready with my own irons, though? whee
Tye been dropped so often.w
"What's thisT 1 asked, pointier; to s
little chamois leather bag which wa?
bung by a strong cord around his neck.
"It looks Iik? a charm. *
He buttoned up his tunic again liasti
ly, looking extremely disconcerted. "It
is nothing." he said brusque ly. "I am fl
Roman Catholic, and it is what we call
a scapular.** 1 could hardly get another
word ont of him that night;, and even
next day he was reserved and appeared
to avoid me. This little incident made
me very thoughtful, the more so as I no?
ticed shortly afterward, when standing
over him, that the string was no longer
around his neck. Apparently he had
taken it off sf ter my remark about it
What could there be in that leather bag
which needed such secrecy and precau?
tion! Had I but known it, I would
sooner have put my left liane, in the fire
than have pursued that inquiry.
One of the peculiarities of our visitor
was that in all his plans for the future,
with which he often regaled ns, he
seemed entirely untrammeled by any
monetary considerations. He would talk
in the lightest and most offhand way of
schemes which would involve the outlay
of much wealth. My father's eyes would
glisten as he heard him talk carelessly
of sums which to our frugal minds ap?
peared enormous. It seemed strange to
both of us that a man who by his own
confession had been a vagabond and ad?
venturer all his life should be iu possea
sion of such a fortune. My father waa
inclined to put it down to some stroke of
luck on the American gold fields. I
had my own ideas even then-chaotic
and half formed as yet, but tending in
the right direction.
It was not long before these suspicions
began to assume a more definite shape,
which carne about in this way. Minni?
and I made the summit of the Combers
cliff a favorite trysting place, ts I think
I mentioned before, and it was rare fora
day to pass vith? ?ja roar spending two off
three hours there. One morning, not
long after my chat with our guest, we
were seated together in a little nook
there, which we had chosen as shelter?
ing ns from the wind as well as from
my father's observation, when Minnie
caught sight of Digby walking along the
Carmen i 1 beach. He sauntered up to the
base of the cliff, which was bowlder
studded and slimy from the receding
tide, but instead of turning back he kept
on climbing over the great green slip?
pery stones, and threading his way
among the pools until he was standing
immediately beneath us, so that we
looked straight down at him. To him
the spot must have seemed the very acme
of seclusion, with the great sea in front,
the rocks on each side and the precipice
behind. Even had he looked up he could
hardly havi made out the two human
faces which peered down at him from the
distant ledge. He gave a hurried glance
around, and tb-n slipping his hand into
his pocket he pulled out tbs leather bag
which 1 had noticed and took out of it a
small object which he held in the palm
of his hand and looked at long and, as it
were, lovingly. We both had an excellent
view of it from where we lay. He then
replaced it in the bag, and shoving it
down to the very bottom of his pocket
picked his way back more cheerily than
he had come.
Minnie and I looked at each other.
She was smiling; I was serious.
"Did you see itT 1 asked.
"You? Aye, I saw it,"
"What did yon think it was, thenf
"A wee bit of glass," she answered,
looking at me with wondering eyes.
"No," I cried excitedly, "glass could
never catch the sun's rays so. It was a
diamond, and, if 1 mistake not, one of
extraordinary value. It was as large as
all 1 have s*?en pnt together, and must
be worth a fortune."
A diamond was a mere name to poor^
simple Minnie, who had never seen one
before, nor had any conception of their
value, and she prattled away to me about
this and that, but 1 hardly heard her.
In vain she exhausted all her little wiles
in attempting to recall my attention.
My mind was full of what 1 had seen.
Look where I would the glistening of
the breakers, or the sparkling of the
mica laden rocka, recalled the brilliant
facets of the gem which I had seen. 1
was moody and distraught, and eventu?
ally let Minnie walk back to Corriemains
by herself, while I made my way to the
homesteading. My ?. 'her and Digby
were just si. ting down to the midday
meal, and the latter hailed me cheerily.
"Come along mate," he cried, pushing
over a stool, "we were jnst wondering
what had Income of you. Ah! yen rogue,
I'll bet my bottom dollar it was that
pretty wench 1 saw the other day that
"Mind your own affairs." I answered
"Don't be thin skinned," he said,
"young people should control their tem?
pers, and you've got a mighty bad one,
my lad. Have you heard that I am go?
ing to leave your
'Tm sorry to hear it," I said frankly;
"when do yon intend to go?"
"Next week," he answered, "but don't
be afraid; you'll see me again. I've had
too good a time here to forget you easily.
I'm gc?- 0 to buya good steam yacht
250 to. or thereabouts-and I'll bring
her roun 1 in a few months and give you
"What would be a fair price for a
craft of that sort?" I asked.
"Forty thousand dollars," said our visi?
"You must von* rich," I remarked, "to ;
throw away so much money on pleas?
"Rich!" echoed my companion, his
southern blood mantling up for a mo?
ment. "Rich; why. man, there is hardly
a limit--but there. I was romancing a !
bit. I'm fairly well off, or shall be very
"How did you make your money?" I
asked. The question came so glibly to |
my lips that ? had no time to check it, :
though I fe1- the moment afterward
that I had nvle a mistake. Our guest
drew himself into himself at once, and
took no notice of my quer}-, while my !
father said: |
"Hush, Archie laddie, ye munna speer
they questions of the gentleman!" 1
could see, however, from the old' man'?
eager gray eyes, looking oat fsom under
the great thatch of his brows,, that he
was meditating over the same problem
During the next couple of days I hesi?
tated very often as to whether 1 should
tell my father of what 1 had seen and
the opinions 1 had finned about oar
visitor; bat he forestalled me by makin gr
a discovery himself which supplementen1
mine and explained all that had been
dark, ft was one day when the stranger
was out for a ramble that, entering the
kitchen, 1 found my father sitting by the
fire deeply engaged in perusing a news?
paper, spelling out the words laborious?
ly and following the lines with his great
forefinger. As 1 came in he crumpled
up the paper as if his instinct were to
conceal it, but then spreading it out
again on his knee be beckoned me over
"Wba d'ye think this cbiel Digby isT
he asked. 1 could see by his manner that
be was much excited.
"No good," I answered.
"Come here, laddie, come bereft be
croaked. "You're a Draw scholar. Read
lois tae me alood-read it and tell me if
you dinna think I've fitted tbe cap on
the right heid. It's a Glasgey Herald
only four days auld-a Loch Ranzn
feesbin boat brought it in the morn. Be?
gin frae here-*Oor Paris Letter.' Here
it is. 'Fuller details;' read it a' to me."
I began at the spot indicated, which
Was a paragraph of the ordinary French
correspondence of the Glasgow paper. It
ran in this way: "Fuller details have
now come before the public of the dia?
mond robbery by which the Duchesse de
Roch vieille lost her celebrated gem. The
diamond is a pure brilliant weighing
eighty-three and one-half carats, and is
supposed to be the third largest io
France and the seventeenth in Europe.
It came into the possession of the family
through the great-granduncle of the
duchesse, who fought under Bussy in
India, and brought it back to Europe
with him. It represented a fortune then,
but its value now is simply enormous.
It was taken, as will be remembered,
from the jewel case of the duchess two
months ago during the night, and though
the police have made every effort, no
real clew has been obtained as to the
thief. They are very reticent upon the
subject, but it seems that they haw rea- !
son to suspect one Achille Wolff, an
Americanized native of Lorraine, who
bad called at the chateau a short time be?
fore. He is an eccentric man, of bohemian
habits, and it is jost possible that his
sudden disappearance at the time of the
robbery may have been a coincidence.
In appearance he is described as roman?
tic looking, with an artistic face, dark
eyes and hair, and a brusque manner.
A large reward is offered for his cap?
When I finished reading this my father
and I sat looking at each other in silence
for a minute or so. Then my father
jerked his finger over his shoulder.
"Yon's him," he said.
**Yes, it mast be he," I answered, think?
ing of the initials on the handkerchief.
Again we were silent for a time. My
father took one of the faggots out of the
grate and twisted it about in his hands,
"lt mann be a mackie stane," he said.
"He canna nae i t aboot him. Likely he's
left it in France."
"No. he has it with him," I said, like a
cursed fool as I was.
"Hoo d'ye ken thatf" asked the old
man, looking np quickly with eager
"Because I have seen it"
The faggot which he held broke in two
in bis grip, but he said nothing more.
Shortly afterward our guest came in,
and we had dinner, but neither of us al?
luded to the arrival of the paper.
/ heard mir visitor gi ix a great ?cream.
I have of te** been aransed, when read?
ing stories to d in the first person, to see
how the narrator makes himself ont, as a
matter of course, to be a perfect and spot?
less man. All around may have their
passions and weaknesses and vices, but
he remains a cold and blameless nonen?
tity, running like a colorless thread
through the tangled skein of the story
I shall not fall into this error. I see my?
self as 1 was in those days, shallow
hearted, hot headed and with little prin?
ciple of any kind. Such 1 was, and such
I depict myself.
From the time that I finally identified
our visitor Digby-with Achille Wollt',
tlie diamond robber, my resolution wa.*
taken. Some might have been squeam?
ish in the matter, and thought that be?
cause he had shaken their hand and
broken their bread he had earned some
port of grace from them. I was not
troubled with sentimentality of this sort
He was a criminal escaping from justice.
Some providence had thrown him into
our hands, and an enormous reward
awaited his betrayers. I never hesitated
for a moment as to what was to be done.
The more 1 thought of it tho more I
admired the cleverness with which he
bad managed the whole business. It was
clear that he had a vessel ready, manued
either by con federates or by unsuspecting
fishermen. Hence he would l>e indepen?
dent of all those parts where the police
would be on the lookout for him. A.^ain,
if he had made for England or for Amer
ca, be could hardly have escaped ultimate
capture, but by choosing one of the mor
desolate and lonely spots in Europe he
had thrown them off his track fora time,
while the destruction of the brig seemed
to destroy the last clew to his where?
abouts. At present he was entirely at
our mercy, since he could not move from
tho island without our help. There was
no necessity for ns to hurry, therefore,
and we cou1 mature our plans at our J
But my father and I showed no change
in our manner toward our guest, and he j
himself W?IS as cheery and light hearted
as ever. It was pleasant to hear him
singing as we mended the nets or calked ;
the l>oat His voice was a very high ?
tenor and one of the most melodious I j
ever listened to. I am convinced that !
he conld have made a oame upon the
operatic stage, but like most versatile
scoundrels he placed small account upon
the genuine talents which he possessed,
and cultivated the worst portion of his
nature My father used sometimes to
ey*e lum si de way* ? sc 'strange manner,
and I thought I knew what he wae-tbink
ing. about- ont thew I made a mistake.
One day ..about a waek after our con?
versation, li waa- fixing up? ?ne~o? the rail?
of oar fence? which had: beesi snapped in
tbs* gale,, when: my father cane- along the>
seashore^, plodding heavily among the*
pebbles, sad sat ?OWE. on a stone at my
elbow. 1 went ea knecking?x the p?i??y
bat looked at bim frota the-corner of ni)
eyes as-he palled away at his-short black
pipe. 1 could see that be had something
weighty on bia zskuU fcc he- knitted hist
brows and his lips projected,
**D'ye ta?a? wWfc waa u> yon, paper?*
he- said st hutt* knocking, kiaashea oat
against the stone;
"Yes," 1 answered shortly..
"Well? what's your opeemonr**" be?
"Why, that we- should have- the re?
ward, of coarser 2 replied.
"The re ward r he said with a fierq?
snarl "Yea would tak* the reward.
You'd let the stace that's, worth thoo?
sands?? thoosaads gang awa* back tao
some f nrrini Paotst. aa a' for the sake o*
a few pond tfiat they'd fling tili ye, aa
they ?rog a bane to a dog when the?
meat's a* gno. It's a dean flingin a wa*
cf the- gifts o' Providente-."
"Well, father," I said, laying down
the hammer, "you most be satisfied with
what yon caa get. Yea can only have?
what is offered."
"But if we got the stane itseiV whis?
pered my father, with a leer on fits face.
"He'd never give it np," I said
"But if he deed while he's here-if ha
"Drop it, father, drop itr 1 cried, for
the old man looted like a fiend ont of
the pit I saw nvw what he was aiming
"If he deed," he shouted, "wha saw
him come, and wha wad speer where
he'd ganged till? If an accident hap?
pened, if he came by a dod on the heid,
or woke some nicht to find a knifo at his
trapple, wha wad be the wiser?T
"Yon mustn't speak so, father," I said,
though I was thinking many things at
the same "time.
"It may as well be oot as in," he an?
swered, and went away rather sulkily,
turning around after a few yards and
holding np his finger toward me to im?
press the necessity of caution.
My father did not speak of this mat?
ter to me again, but what he said rankled
in my mind. I could hardly realize that
he meant his words, for he had always,
as far as I knew, been an upright, right
eons man, hard in his ways and grasp?
ing in his nature, bat guiltless of any
great sin. Perhaps it was that he was
removed from temptation, for isother?
mal lines of crime might be drawn on
the map through places where it is hard
to walk straight, and there are others
where it is as hard to fall. It was easy
to be a saint in the Island of Uffa,
One day we were finishing breakfast
when our guest asked if thc boat was
mended (one of the tholepins had been
broken). 1 answered that it was,
"I want you two," he said, "to take
me round to Lamlash to-day. Yon shad
have a couple of sovereigns for the job.
I don't know 'hat I may not come back
with yon-bat I may stay."
My eyes met those of my father for a
flash. "There's no' vera mach wind,*
"What there is is in the right direc?
tion," returned Digby, as I most call
"The new foresail has no* been bent,"
persisted my father.
"There's no use throwing difficulties
in the way," said our visitor angrily.
"If yon won't come, HI get Tommy
Gibbs and bis father, but go I shall It
it a bargain or not?"
"Ill gang," my father replied sullenly,
and went do-m to get the boat ready. I
followed, an'1 helped him to bend on tho
new foresail I felt nervous and ex?
"What do yon intend to dor I asked.
"I dinna ken." he said irritably. **Gin
the worst come to the worst we can gie
him np at Lamlash-but oh, it wad be a
peety. an awfu' peety. You're yoong
an strong, laddie; can we no' master
him between nsf*
"No," 1 said, "Fm ready to give bini
np. bat Tm damned if I lay a hand on
"You're a cooardly, white livered
loon!** he cried, bat I was not to be
moved by taunts; and left him mum?
bling to himself and picking at the sail
with nervous fingers.
It was about two o'clock before tho
boat was ready, but as there was a
slight breeze from the north we reck?
oned on reaching Lamlash before night?
fall There was just a pleasant rippl
upon the di.rk blue water, and as we
stood on the oeach before shoving off wo
could see the Carlin's Leap and Goatfell
bathed in a purple mist, while bevon *
them along the horizon loomed the long
line of the Argyleshire hills. Away to
the south the great bald summit of Ailsa
Craig glittered in the sun, and a singlo
white fleck showell where a fishing boa*
was l>eating up from the Scotch coast.
Digby and I stepped into the boat, ba*
my father ran back to where I had been
mending the rails and came back with
the hatchet in lus band, which he
stowe?! away under the thwarts.
"What d'ye want with the ax?" c*sr
"It's ? handy thing to hae aboot a
boat," my father answered with averted
eyes, and shoved us off. We set the fore?
sail, jib and mainsail and shot away
across the Roast, with the blue water
splashing merril}* nuder our bows. Look?
ing back I saw the coast line of our little
island extend rapidly on either side.
There was Carravoe which we had left,
and our own beach of Carracuil and the
steep, brown face of the Oombera, and
away behind the rugged crests of Beg
na-phail and Beg-na-sacher I couKl see
the red tiles of the byre of our home?
steading, and across the moor a thin blue
reek in the air which marked the posi?
tion of Corriemains. My heart warmed
toward the place which had been my
home since childliood.
We wen; about half way across the
Roost when ii fell a dead calm, and the
sails flapped against the mast. We were
perfectly motionless except for the drift
of the current, which runs from north
to south. I had been steering and my
father managing the sails, while tho
stranger smoked his eternal cigarettes
and admired the scenery; but at his sug?
gestion we now got the sculls ont to
row. I shall never know Ijow it began,
but as I was stooping down to pick op
an oar I beard our visitor give a great
scream that he was murdered, and look?
ing ap I saw him with his face all in a
sputter of blood leaning against th?
mast, while my father made at him wit
the hatchet Before I could move hand
or foot Digby rushed at the old man and
caught him round the waist "You gray
headed devil," he cried in a husky voice,
"I feel that you have done for me; bot
you'll never get what you want No
never! never! never!"
Nothing can ever erase from my
memorv the in**-n? tn \ concentrated
[CV? LB?SD OK ?'OCKTB T-UK J
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