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The Adventures of Captain Horn eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 376 pages of information about The Adventures of Captain Horn.

Now, as he walked back to his hotel, that future life lay before him radiant and resplendent.  No avenue in Paris, or in any part of the world, blazing with the lights of some grand festival, ever shone with such glowing splendor as the future life of Captain Horn now shone and sparkled before him, as he walked and walked, on and on, and crossed the river into the Latin Quarter, before he perceived that his hotel was a mile or more behind him.

From the moment that the Arato had left the Straits of Magellan, and Captain Horn had had reason to believe that he had left his dangers behind him, the prow of his vessel had been set toward the Strait of Gibraltar, and every thought of his heart toward Edna.  Burke and Shirley both noticed a change in him.  After he left the Rackbirds’ cove, until he had sailed into the South Atlantic, his manner had been quiet, alert, generally anxious, and sometimes stern.  But now, day by day, he appeared to be growing into a different man.  He was not nervous, nor apparently impatient, but it was easy to see that within him there burned a steady purpose to get on as fast as the wind would blow them northward.

Day by day, as he walked the deck of his little vessel, one might have thought him undergoing a transformation from the skipper of a schooner into the master of a great ship, into the captain of a swift Atlantic liner, into the commander of a man-of-war, into the commodore on board a line-of-battle ship.  It was not an air of pride or assumed superiority that he wore, it was nothing assumed, it was nothing of which he was not entirely aware.  It was the gradual growth within him, as health grows into a man recovering from a sickness, of the consciousness of power.  The source of that consciousness lay beneath him, as he trod the deck of the Arato.

This consciousness, involuntary, and impossible to resist, had nothing definite about it.  It had nothing which could wholly satisfy the soul of this man, who kept his eyes and his thoughts so steadfastly toward the north.  He knew that there were but few things in the world that his power could not give him, but there was one thing upon which it might have no influence whatever, and that one thing was far more to him than all other things in this world.

Sometimes, as he sat smoking beneath the stars, he tried to picture to himself the person who might be waiting and watching for him in Paris, and to try to look upon her as she must really be; for, after her life in San Francisco and Paris, she could not remain the woman she had been at the caves on the coast of Peru.  But, do what he would, he could make no transformation in the picture which was imprinted on the retina of his soul.  There he saw a woman still young, tall, and too thin, in a suit of blue flannel faded and worn, with her hair bound tightly around her head and covered by a straw hat with a faded ribbon.  But it was toward this figure that he was sailing, sailing, sailing, as fast as the winds of heaven would blow his vessel onward.

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