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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 210 pages of information about Adventure.

Facing them, clinging to the railing of the veranda for support, stood the sick white man.  Any one of them could have knocked him over with the blow of a little finger.  Despite his firearms, the gang could have rushed him and delivered that blow, when his head and the plantation would have been theirs.  Hatred and murder and lust for revenge they possessed to overflowing.  But one thing they lacked, the thing that he possessed, the flame of mastery that would not quench, that burned fiercely as ever in the disease-wasted body, and that was ever ready to flare forth and scorch and singe them with its ire.

“Narada!  Billy!” Sheldon called sharply.

Two men slunk unwillingly forward and waited.

Sheldon gave the keys of the handcuffs to a house-boy, who went under the house and loosed the prisoner.

“You fella Narada, you fella Billy, take um this fella boy along tree and make fast, hands high up,” was Sheldon’s command.

While this was being done, slowly, amidst mutterings and restlessness on the part of the onlookers, one of the house-boys fetched a heavy-handled, heavy-lashed whip.  Sheldon began a speech.

“This fella Arunga, me cross along him too much.  I no steal this fella Arunga.  I no gammon.  I say, ’All right, you come along me Berande, work three fella year.’  He say, ’All right, me come along you work three fella year.’  He come.  He catch plenty good fella kai-kai, {2} plenty good fella money.  What name he run away?  Me too much cross along him.  I knock what name outa him fella.  I pay Seelee, big fella master along Balesuna, one case tobacco catch that fella Arunga.  All right.  Arunga pay that fella case tobacco.  Six pounds that fella Arunga pay.  Alle same one year more that fella Arunga work Berande.  All right.  Now he catch ten fella whip three times.  You fella Billy catch whip, give that fella Arunga ten fella three times.  All fella boys look see, all fella Marys {3} look see; bime bye, they like run away they think strong fella too much, no run away.  Billy, strong fella too much ten fella three times.”

The house-boy extended the whip to him, but Billy did not take it.  Sheldon waited quietly.  The eyes of all the cannibals were fixed upon him in doubt and fear and eagerness.  It was the moment of test, whereby the lone white man was to live or be lost.

“Ten fella three times, Billy,” Sheldon said encouragingly, though there was a certain metallic rasp in his voice.

Billy scowled, looked up and looked down, but did not move.

“Billy!”

Sheldon’s voice exploded like a pistol shot.  The savage started physically.  Grins overspread the grotesque features of the audience, and there was a sound of tittering.

“S’pose you like too much lash that fella Arunga, you take him fella Tulagi,” Billy said.  “One fella government agent make plenty lash.  That um fella law.  Me savvee um fella law.”

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