The White Wolf and Other Fireside Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 285 pages of information about The White Wolf and Other Fireside Tales.
came aft as if to speak to my husband (who stood at the wheel), and, halting a pace or two from him, lifted a revolver, called him by name, and shot him dead.  Before he could turn, my son had knocked him senseless, and in another minute had tumbled him overboard.  We buried my husband in the sea, next day.  We held on, we two alone, past Gibraltar—­ I steering and my son handling all the sails—­and ran up for Cadiz.  There we made deposition of our losses, inventing a story to account for them, and my son took the train for Paris, for we knew that our enemies had tracked the yacht, and there would be no escape for him if he clung to her.  I waited for six days, and then engaged a crew and worked the yacht back to F—.  I have never since set eyes on my son; but he is alive, and his hiding is known to myself and to one man only—­a member of the brotherhood, who surprised the secret.  To keep that man silent I spent all my remaining money; to quiet him I had to sell the yacht; and now that money, too, is gone, and I am dying in a workhouse.  God help my son now!  I deceived you, and yet I think I did you no great wrong.  The yacht I sold you was my own, and she was worth the money.  The figures on the beam were cut there by my husband before we reached Vigo, to make the yacht correspond with the Wasp’s certificate.  If I have wronged you, I implore your pardon.—­Yours truly,

“CATHERINE BLAKE.”

Well, that is the end of the story.  It does not, I am aware, quite account for the figure I saw standing by the Siren’s wheel.  As for the Wasp, she has long since rotted to pieces on the waters of the Mersey.  But the question is, Have I a right to sell the Siren? I certainly have a right to keep her, for she is mine, sold to me in due form by her rightful owner, and honestly paid for.  But then I don’t want to keep her!

PARSON JACK’S FORTUNE.

I.

From Langona church tower you see nothing of the Atlantic but a wedge between two cliffs of a sandy creek.  The cottages—­thirty in all, perhaps—­huddle in a semicircle of the hills about a spring of clear water, which overflows and leaps as from a platform into the hollow coombe, its conduit down to the sands.  But Langona Church stands out more boldly, on a high grassy meadow thrust forward like a bastion over the stream’s right flank.  It has no tree, no habitation between it and the ocean:  it breaks the northerly gales for the cottages behind and under its lee, and these gales have given its tamarisk hedge and even its gravestones so noticeable a slant inland that, by a trick of eyesight, the church itself seems tilted perilously forward.

Forward, in fact—­that is to say, seaward—­the tower does lean; though but by a foot or so, and now not perilously; the salt winds, impotent against its masonry, having bitten with more effect into the earth around its base.  But the church has been restored, the mischief arrested, and the danger no longer haunts its vicar as it haunted the Rev. John Flood on a bright September morning in 1885.

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The White Wolf and Other Fireside Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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