Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 376 pages of information about The Adventures of Captain Horn.
thing to do was to get it out of that place and away from the country.  Whatever is to be done in the way of fair play and fair division must be done somewhere else, and not there.  If I had informed the government of what I had found, this gold would have gone directly into the hands of the descendants of the people from whom its original owners did their very best to keep it, and nobody else would have had a dollar’s worth of it.  If we had stood up for our rights to a reward for finding it, ten to one we would all have been clapped into prison.”

“I suppose by that,” said Burke, “that you looked upon the stone mound in the cave as a sort of will left by those old Peruvians, and you made yourself an executor to carry out the intentions of the testators, as the lawyers say.”

“But we can set it down as dead certain,” interrupted Shirley, “that the testators didn’t mean us to have it.”

“No,” said the captain, “nor do I mean that we shall have all of it.  I intend to have the question of the ownership of this gold decided by people who are able and competent to decide such a question, and who will be fair and honest to all parties.  But whatever is agreed upon, and whatever is done with the treasure, I intend to charge a good price—­a price which shall bear a handsome proportion to the value of the gold—­for my services, and all our services.  Some of this charge I have already taken, and I intend to have a great deal more.  We have worked hard and risked much to get this treasure—­”

“Yes,” thought Burke, as he remembered the trap at the bottom of the mound.  “You risked a great deal more than you ever supposed you did.”

“And we are bound to be well paid for it,” continued the captain.  “No matter where this gold goes, I shall have a good share of it, and this I am going to divide among our party, according to a fair scale.  How does that strike you, Shirley?”

“If the business is going to be conducted as you say, captain,” replied the first mate, “I say it will be all fair and square, and I needn’t bother my head with any more doubts about it.  But there is one thing I wish you would tell me:  how much do you think I will be likely to get out of this cargo, when you divide?”

“Mr. Shirley,” said the captain, “when I give you your share of this cargo, you can have about four bags of anthracite coal, weighing a little over one hundred pounds, which, at the rate of six dollars a ton, would bring you between thirty and forty cents.  Will that satisfy you?  Of course, this is only a rough guess at a division, but I want to see how it falls in with your ideas.”

Shirley laughed.  “I guess you’re right, captain,” said he.  “It will be better for me to keep on thinking we are carrying coal.  That won’t bother my head.”

“That’s so,” said Burke.  “Your brain can’t stand that sort of badger.  I’d hate to go ashore with you at Marseilles with your pocket full and your skull empty.  As for me, I can stand it first-rate.  I have already built two houses on Cape Cod,—­in my head, of course,—­and I’ll be hanged if I know which one I am going to live in and which one I am going to put my mother in.”

Follow Us on Facebook