“I got ’em,” said Maka, who understood English a good deal better than he could speak it,—“ham, cheese, lots things. All want supper—good supper.”
While the meal was being prepared, Captain Horn walked over to Mrs. Cliff and Ralph. “Now, I beg of you,” he said, “don’t let these men know we have found anything. This is a very important matter. Don’t talk about it, and if you can’t keep down your excitement, let them think it is the prospect of good victuals, and plenty of them, that has excited you.”
After supper Maka and Cheditafa were called upon to tell their story, but they said very little. They had gone to the place where the Rackbirds had kept their stores, and had selected what Maka considered would be most desirable, including some oil for the lantern, and had brought away as much as they could carry. This was all.
When the rest of his party had gone inside, hoping to get their minds quiet enough to sleep, and the captain was preparing to follow them, Maka arose from the spot on the open plateau where the tired negroes had stretched themselves for the night, and said:
“Got something tell you alone. Come out here.”
When the two had gone to a spot a little distance from the cavern entrance, where the light of the moon, now nearly set, enabled objects to be seen with some distinctness, Maka took from inside his shirt a small piece of clothing. “Look here,” said he. “This belong to Davis.”
The captain took the garment in his hand. It was a waistcoat made of plaid cloth, yellow, green, and red, and most striking in pattern, and Captain Horn instantly recognized it as the waistcoat of Davis, the Englishman.
“He dead,” said Maka, simply.
The captain nodded. He had no doubt of it.
“Where did you find it?” he asked.
“Sticking on rock,” said the African. “Lots things down there. Some one place, some another place. Didn’t know other things, but know this. Davis’ waistcoat. No mistake that. Him wear it all time.”
“You are a good fellow, Maka,” said the captain, “not to speak of this before the ladies. Now go and sleep. There is no need of a guard to-night.”
The captain went inside, procured his gun, and seated himself outside, with his back against a rock. There he sat all night, without once closing his eyes. He was not afraid that anything would come to molest them, but it was just as well to have the gun. As for sleeping, that was impossible. He had heard and seen too much that day.
Captain Horn and his party sat down together the next morning on the plateau to drink their hot coffee and eat their biscuit and bacon, and it was plain that the two ladies, as well as the captain, had had little sleep the night before. Ralph declared that he had been awake ever so long, endeavoring to calculate how many cubic feet of gold there would be in that mound if it were filled with the precious metal. “But as I did not know how much a cubic foot of gold is worth,” said he, “and as we might find, after all, that there is only a layer of gold on top, and that all the rest is Incas’ bones, I gave it up.”