Kingdom of the Blind eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 273 pages of information about Kingdom of the Blind.

“Not that I know of,” Granet replied.  “I want you to take me out sailing.  Is your boat ready?”

The man glanced up at the sky.

“I don’t know as I want to go,” he grumbled.  “There’s dirty weather about.”

“I think you’d better,” Granet urged.  “I’m not a bad payer and I can help with the boat.  Let’s go and look at her any way.”

They walked together down to the harbour.  Granet said very little, his companion nothing at all.  They stood on the jetty and gazed across to where the sailing boats were anchored.

“That’s the Saucy Jane,” Job Rowsell indicated, stretching out a forefinger.

Granet scrambled down into a small dinghy which was tied to the side of the stone wall.

“We’d better be getting on board,” he suggested.

Rowsell stared at him for a moment but acquiesced.  They pulled across and boarded the Saucy Jane.  A boy whom they found on the deck took the boat back.  Rowsell set his sails slowly but with precision.  The moment he stepped on board he seemed to become an altered man.

“Where might you be wanting to go?” he asked.  “You’ll need them oilskins, sure.”

“I want to run out to the Bishop Lighthouse,” Granet announced.

Rowsell shook his head.

“It’s no sort of a day to face the Atlantic, sir,” he declared.  “We’ll try a spin round St. Mary and White Island, if you like.”

Granet fastened his oilskins and stooped for a moment to alter one of the sails.

“Look here,” he said, taking his seat at the tiller, “this is my show, Job Rowsell.  There’s a five pound note for you at the end of the day, if you go where I tell you and nowhere else.”

The man eyed him sullenly.  A few minutes later they were rushing out of the harbour.

“It’s a poor job, sailing a pleasure boat,” he muttered.  “Not many of us as wouldn’t sell his soul for five pounds.”

They reached St. Agnes before they came round on the first tack.  Then, with the spray beating in their faces, they swung around and made for the opening between the two islands.  For a time the business of sailing kept them both occupied.  In two hours’ time they were standing out towards Bishop Lighthouse.  Job Rowsell took a long breath and filled a pipe with tobacco.  He was looking more himself now.

“I’ll bring her round the point there,” he said, “and we’ll come up the Channel and home by Bryher.”

“You’ll do nothing of the sort,” Granet ordered.  “Keep her head out for the open sea till I tell you to swing round.”

Rowsell looked at his passenger with troubled face.

“Are you another of ’em?” he asked abruptly.

“Don’t you mind who I am,” Granet answered.  “I’m on a job I’m going to see through.  If a fiver isn’t enough for you, make it a tenner, but keep her going where I put her.”

Rowsell obeyed but his face grew darker.  He leaned towards his passenger.

Project Gutenberg
Kingdom of the Blind from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook