Spanish Doubloons eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 233 pages of information about Spanish Doubloons.
and somebody turned out and resigned another to me.  I retired there to dress for dinner after several dismal hours spent in attendance on Aunt Jane, who had passed from great imaginary suffering into the quite genuine anguish of seasickness.  In the haste of my departure from San Francisco I had not brought a trunk, so the best I was able to produce in the way of a crusher for Miss Higglesby-Browne and her fellow-passengers was a cool little white gown, which would shine at least by contrast with Miss Browne’s severely utilitarian costume.  White is becoming to my hair, which narrow-minded persons term red, but which has been known to cause the more discriminating to draw heavily on the dictionary for adjectives.  My face is small and heart-shaped, with features strictly for use and not for ornament, but fortunately inconspicuous.  As for my eyes, I think tawny quite the nicest word, though Aunt Jane calls them hazel and I have even heard whispers of green.

Five minutes after the gong sounded I walked into the cabin.  Miss Browne, Captain Watkins of the freighter, and half a dozen men were already at the table.  I slid unobtrusively into the one vacant place, fortunately remote from the captain, who glared at me savagely, as though still embittered by the recollection of my aunt’s fits.

“Gentlemen,” said Miss Browne in icy tones, “Miss Virginia Harding.”

Two of the men rose, the others stared and ducked.  Except for Miss Browne and the captain, I had received on coming aboard only the most blurred impression of my fellow-voyagers.  I remembered them merely as a composite of khaki and cork helmets and astounded staring faces.  But I felt that as the abetters of Miss Browne a hostile and sinister atmosphere enveloped them all.

Being thus in the camp of the enemy, I sat down in silence and devoted myself to my soup.  The majority of my companions did likewise—­audibly.  But presently I heard a voice at my left: 

“I say, what a jolly good sailor you seem to be—­pity your aunt’s not!”

I looked up and saw Apollo sitting beside me.  Or rather, shall I say a young man who might have walked straight out of an advertisement for a ready-made clothing house, so ideal and impossible was his beauty.  He was very tall—­I had to tilt my chin quite painfully to look up at him—­and from the loose collar of his silk shirt his throat rose like a column.  His skin was a beautiful clear pink and white just tinged with tan—­like a meringue that has been in the oven for two minutes exactly.  He had a straight, chiseled profile and his hair was thick and chestnut and wavy and he had clear sea-gray eyes.  To give him at once his full name and titles, he was the Honorable Cuthbert Patrick Ruthmore Vane, of High Staunton Manor, Kent, England.  But as I was ignorant of this, I can truthfully say that his looks stunned me purely on their own merits.

Outwardly calm, I replied, “Yes, its too bad, but then who ever dreamed that Aunt Jane would go adventuring at her time of life?  I thought nobody over the age of thirteen, and then boys, ever went treasure-hunting.”

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Spanish Doubloons from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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