“They won’t suspect that we are here,” whispered Selim as the door to the passage creaked. “Keep quiet! Don’t breathe!”
The single electric light was still burning, as Selim had found it when he first came. The door swung open slowly, heavily, and Jacob von Blitz, half naked, mud-covered, reeking with perspiration, and panting savagely, stepped into the light. Behind him came a man with a lantern, and behind him two others.
They were white men, all. Von Blitz turned suddenly and cursed the man with the lantern. The fellow was ready to drop with exhaustion. Evidently it had been no easy task to remove the chests.
The four burly men sat down upon the chests, Von Blitz alone being visible to the watchers. They were fagged to the last extreme.
“Dis is der last,” panted Von Blitz, blowing hard and stretching his big arms. The guttural German tones were highly accentuated by the effort required in speaking. His three helpers said nothing in reply. For fully five minutes the quartette sat silent, collecting their strength for the next trip with the chests. Again it was Von Blitz who spoke. He had been staring savagely at the floor for several minutes, brooding deeply.
“I fix him,” he growled. “His time vill come, by tarn! I let him know he can’t take my vives avay mit him. Der dog! I fix him some day purdy soon. Und dem tarn vimmens! Dem tarn hyenas! Dey run avay mit him, eh? Ach, Gott, if I could only put my hands by deir necks yet!”
“Vat for you fret, Yacob?” growled one of the Boers. “You couldn’t take dose vimmens back by Europe mit you. I tink you got goot luck by losing dem. Misder Chase can’t take dem back needer—so, dey go to hell yet. Don’t fret.”
“Veil,” said Von Blitz, arising. “Come on, boys. Dis is der lasd of dem. Den ve blow der tarn t’ing up. Grab hold dere, Joost. Up mit it, Jan. Vat? No?”
“Gott in himmel, Yacob, vait a minutes. My back is proke,” protested Joost stubbornly. Von Blitz swore steadily for a minute, but could not move the impassive Boers. He began pacing back and forth, growling to himself. At last he stopped in front of the tired trio.
“Vat for you tink I vant you in on dis, you svine? To set aroundt und dream? Nobody else knows aboud dis treasures, und ve got it all for ourselves—ve four und no more, und you say, ‘Vat’s der hurry?’ It’s all ours. Ve divide it oop in der cave mit all der money ve get from der bank. Vat? Yes? Den, ven der time comes, ve send it all by Australia und no von is der viser. Der natives von’t know und der white peebles von’t be alive to care aboudt it. Ve let it stay hided in der cave undil dis drouble is all over und den it vill be easy to get it avay from der island, yoost so quiet. Come on, boys! Don’t be lazy!”
“I don’t like dot scheme to rob der bank,” growled Jan. “If der peeples get onto us, dey vould cut us to bieces.”