“Where is the man who saved her?” said the disappointed Jaspar, after assisting Emily to her state-room.
Emily’s fall had not been accidental, as the reader will at once infer. Jaspar’s passion, and the danger which he thought the young officer’s presence menaced, had prompted him to an act which was not attended with his usual prudence, and the failure was likely to place him in a more uncomfortable position than his former one. With the instinct of deception, he immediately offered a liberal reward to the man who had rescued her.
“Where is he? Who is he?” shouted Jaspar, eagerly.
“Here!” cried a voice from the crowd.
Jaspar started and turned pale, for the voice was a familiar one.
“Where is he?” called Jaspar again, concluding that he must have mistaken the voice.
“Here!” again came forth from the crowd, and Hatchie stepped forward.
“Hell!” exclaimed Jaspar, staggering back as he recognized the man whom he supposed his rifle-ball had sent to furnish food for the fishes. But he recovered his courage instantly, feeling the danger of betraying himself.
“Here is the reward,” stammered he, holding out the money.
“Never!” said Hatchie; and, before the crowd could clearly understand the nature of the case, he had vanished behind a heap of freight.
At Jaspar’s suggestion, a diligent search was made in every part of the boat, but the mulatto was nowhere to be found. Jaspar, as usual, invented a story to account for the strangeness of the incident which had occurred. A liberal reward offered by him failed to produce the preserver of Emily.
much he dares;
And to that dauntless temper of his mind
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor
To act in safety.” SHAKSPEARE.
Although the general condition of the negro slaves at the South is the most degraded in which humanity can exist, there are some exceptions to the rule; and among them may well be placed the body-servant of Colonel Dumont, Hatchie, whose sudden and mysterious reaeppearance upon the deck of the Chalmetta must be accounted for.