The Water-Witch or, the Skimmer of the Seas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 569 pages of information about The Water-Witch or, the Skimmer of the Seas.
the master of the villa first looked to the trifling securities which were then, as now, observed in the fastenings of an American country house; when he walked forth upon the lawn, like one who felt the necessity of breathing the open air He cast more than one inquiring glance at the windows of the room which was occupied by Oloff Van Staats, where all was happily silent; at the equally immovable brigantine in the Cove; and at the more distant and still motionless hull of the cruiser of the crown.  All around him was in the quiet of midnight Even the boats, which he knew to be plying between the land and the little vessel at anchor, were invisible; and he re-entered his habitation, with the security one would be apt to feel, under similar circumstances, in a region so little tenanted, and so little watched, as that in which he lived.

Chapter XII.

    “Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand,
    That you, yet, know not of,——­”

    Merchant of Venice.

Notwithstanding the active movements which had taken place in and around the buildings of the Lust in Rust, during the night which ended with our last chapter, none but the initiated were in the smallest degree aware of their existence.  Oloff Van Staats was early afoot; and when he appeared on the lawn, to scent the morning air, there was nothing visible, to give rise to a suspicion that aught extraordinary had occurred during his slumbers.  La Cour des Fees was still closed, but the person of the faithful Francois was seen, near the abode of his young mistress, busied in some of those pretty little offices, that can easily be imagined would be agreeable to a maiden of her years and station.  Van Staats of Kinderhook had as little of romance in his composition, as could well be in a youth of five-and-twenty, who was commonly thought to be enamoured, and who was not altogether ignorant of the conventional sympathies of the passion.  The man was mortal, and as the personal attractions of la belle Barberie were sufficiently obvious, he had not entirely escaped the fate, which seems nearly inseparable from young fancy, when excited by beauty.  He drew nigh to the pavilion, and, by a guarded but decisive manoeuvre, he managed to come so close to the valet, as to render a verbal communication not only natural, but nearly unavoidable.

“A fair morning and a healthful air, Monsieur Francois;” commenced the young Patroon, acknowledging the low salute of the domestic, by gravely lifting his own beaver.  “This is a comfortable abode for the warm months, and one it might be well to visit oftener.”

“When Monsieur le Patteron shall be de lor’ of ce manoir, aussi, he shall come when he shall have la volonte,” returned Francois, who knew that a pleasantry of his ought not to be construed into an engagement on the part of her he served, while it could not fail to be agreeable to him who heard it.  “Monsieur de Van Staats, est grand proprietaire sur la riviere, and one day, peut-etre, he shall be proprietaire sur la mer!”

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The Water-Witch or, the Skimmer of the Seas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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