“What is the matter?” the former exclaimed; “and where is the governor?”
“The matter is,” Jack said, quietly turning round, “that the governor has drawn his sword, and, as you see, tried to kill my friend. In order to prevent his doing so, my friend and I have thrown the governor out of the window.”
“Thrown the governor out of the window!” gasped the astonished officer.
“Yes,” Jack said. “It was painful, but we had to do it. If you look out, I fancy you’ll see him.”
The officer ran to the window.
“Good heavens!” he exclaimed; “it is true. They are lifting him up already. He seems to me to be dead. You will have to answer for this,” he said, turning to the lads.
“Of course we shall answer for it,” Jack said. “He brought it on himself. His temper, as no doubt you are aware, was not always under strict control.”
The officer could not help smiling. He had himself often experienced the effects of that want of control of his temper on the part of his superior, and was at heart by no means sorry at the prospect of a new governor.
“His Excellency’s temper was hasty,” he said. “However, gentlemen, that is no business of mine.” Then, turning to the soldiers, he continued, “You will take these officers into custody, and remain here in charge of them until you have further orders.” He then left them, to inquire into the state of the governor. The soldiers muttered remarks to each other, by no means indicative of sorrow, for the tyranny of the governor had made him hated by all below him. One of them at Jack’s request at once went out and returned with a jug of cold water and a towel, with which Jack bathed Dick’s wounds, which were bleeding severely, and the midshipman was scarcely able to stand from loss of blood. Jack vainly attempted to stop the bleeding. “We must have a surgeon,” he said, turning to the soldiers, “or, as you see, my friend will bleed to death. No doubt there are plenty of them below. Will one of you go and ask one of them to come up here, telling him how urgent is the need?”
After a consultation among themselves, one of the soldiers retired, and in a minute or two returned with a surgeon, in whom, to his great delight, Jack recognized Doctor Bertmann, who upon seeing Dick’s state at once proceeded to attend to him. Cutting off his coat and shirt-sleeve, he examined his arm, from which the blood was flowing in a stream.
“One of the small arteries is cut,” he said. “It is lucky that aid was at hand, or he would have assuredly bled to death.” The severed artery was speedily found and tied up, and then the wound on the face was plastered and bandaged, and Dick, as he lay on the couch, for he was far too weak to stand, felt comparatively comfortable.
AN ESCAPE FROM PRISON
When he had dressed Dick’s wounds, Doctor Bertmann said he would go down and see the governor. He had already told the lads that he had received fatal injuries, and was unconscious, and that he might, or might not, recover his senses before he died. It was an hour before he returned, accompanied by the other officer. Both looked grave.