Page images

honour likes to speir." This narrative, delivered with a wonderful quantity of gesture and grimace, received at the conclusion the thanks and praises which the narrator expected.

“ Had he no arms?” asked the Justice. · Ay, ay, they are never without barkers and slashers.” “Any papers ?" “ This bundle,” delivering a dirty pocket-book.

“Go down stairs, then, Mac-Guffog, and be in waiting." The officer left the room.

The clink of irons was immediately afterwards heard upon the stair, and in two or three minutes a man was introduced, hand-cuffed and fettered. He was thick, brawny, and muscular, and although his shagged and grizzled hair marked an age somewhat advanced, and his stature was rather low, he appeared, nevertheless, a person whom few would have chosen to cope with in personal conflict. His coarse and savage features were still flushed, and his

eye still reeled under the influence of the strong potation which had proved the immediate cause of his seizure. But the sleep, though short, which Mac-Guffog had allowed him, and still more a sense of the peril of his situation, had restored to him the full use of his faculties. The worthy judge, and the no less estimable captive, looked at each other steadily for a long time without speaking. Glossin apparently recognised his prisoner, but seemed at a loss how to proceed with his investigation. At length he broke silence. “Soh, Captain, this is

you have been a stranger on this coast for some years.

“Stranger!” replied the other; "strange enough, I think - for hold me der deyvil, if I been ever here before.” " That won't pass, Mr. Captain. ” “ That must pass, Mr. Justice - sapperment!”

“And who will you be pleased to call yourself, then, for the present,” said Glossin, “just until I shall bring some other folks to refresh your memory concerning who you are, or at least who you have been?”

66 What bin I? donner and blitzen! I bin Jans Janson from Cuxhaven. What sall Ich bin ?"

you ?

[ocr errors]

Barkers and slashers, pistols and swords. Donner and blitzen, thunder and lightning. What sall Ich bin ? what (or who) should I be?

Glossin took from a case which was in the apartment a pair of small pocket pistols, which he loaded with ostentatious care.

“You may retire," said he to his clerk, "and carry the people with you, Scrow; but wait in the lobby within call."

The clerk would have offered some remonstrances to his patron on the danger of remaining alone with such a desperate character, although ironed beyond the possibility of active exertion, but Glossin waved him off impatiently. When he had left the room, the Justice took two short turns through the apartment, then drew his chair opposite to the prisoner, so as to confront him fully, placed the pistols before him in readiness, and said in a steady voice, “ You are Dirk Hatteraick of Flushing, are you not?”

The prisoner turned his eye instinctively to the door, as if he apprehended some one was listening. Glossin rose, opened the door, so that from the chair in which his prisoner sate he might satisfy himself there was no eavesdropper within hearing, then shut it, resumed his seat, and repeated his question. “You are Dirk Hatteraick, formerly of the Yungfrauw Haagenslaapen, are you not ?”

“ Tousand deyvils! And if you know that, why ask me?” said the prisoner.

“Because I am surprised to see you in the very last place where you ought to be, if you regard your safety,” observed Glossin coolly.

“Der deyvil ! no man regards his own safety that speaks so to me.

“What? unarmed, and in irons ? Well said, Captain ! replied Glossin, ironically. “But, Captain, bullying won't do. You'll hardly get out of this country without accounting for a little accident that happened at Warroch Point a few years ago.”

Hatteraick's looks grew black as midnight.

“For my part," continued Glossin, “I have no particular wish to be hard upon an old acquaintance; but I must do my duty. I shall send you off to Edinburgh in a postchaise and four this very day.”

“Poz donner ! you would not do that?” said Hatteraick, in a lower and more humbled tone. “Why, you had the

[ocr errors]
[graphic][ocr errors]


matter of half a cargo in bills on Vanbeest and Vanbrug


“It is so long since, Captain Hatteraick,” answered Glossin, superciliously, “that I really forget how I was recompensed for my trouble.”

“ Your trouble? Your silence, you mean.”

“ It was an affair in the course of business,” said Glossin, 6 and I have retired from business for some time.”

Ay, but I have a notion that I could make you go steady about, and try the old course again,” answered Dirk Hatteraick. “Why, man, hold me der deyvil, but I meant to visit you, and tell you something that concerns you.

“Of the boy?” said Glossin, eagerly.
“ Yaw, Mynheer,” replied the Captain, coolly.
“He does not live, does he?"
“ As lifelich as you or I,” said Hatteraick.
“Good God! But in India?” exclaimed Glossin.

“No; tousand deyvils ! — here, on this dirty coast of yours," rejoined the prisoner.

"But, Hatteraick, this, that is, if it be true, which I do not believe, — this will ruin us both, for he cannot but remember your neat job; and for me — it will be productive of the worst consequences! It will ruin us both, I tell you." 6 I tell


,” said the seaman, “it will ruin none but you; for I am done up already, and if I must strap for it, all shall out."

“Zounds!” said the Justice, impatiently, “what brought you back to this coast like a madman ?

Why, all the gelt was gone, and the house was shaking, and I thought the job was clayed over and forgotten, answered the worthy skipper.

Stay — what can be done ?” said Glossin, anxiously, “I dare not discharge you, but might you not be rescued in the way? Ay, sure, a word to Lieutenant Brown, and I would send the people with you by the coast-road.”

“No, no! that won't do. Brown's dead — shot laid in the locker, man; the devil has the picking of him."

Yaw, Mynheer, yes, sir. Gelt, money. Clayed, covered.

« PreviousContinue »