The Lost Hunter eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 419 pages of information about The Lost Hunter.

“I know the feeling,” said Faith.  “There is to me also a strange pathos in his voice that brings the tears sometimes into my eyes before I am aware.  What is the cause, I do not know.  I never heard it spoken of till now, and did not suppose there was another affected like myself.”

“You are a couple of romantic, silly things,” cried Anne.  “I flatter myself there is some poetry in me, but it takes a different shape.  Now, when I see Father Holden, I begin to think of Jeremiah and Zachariah, and all the old prophets, but with no disposition to cry.”

“Tears were never meant to dim those blue eyes, dear Anne,” said Faith.

CHAPTER XVI.

Dogberry.—­You are thought here to be the most senseless and fit man for the constable of the watch; therefore, bear you the lantern.  This is your charge; you shall comprehend all vagrom men.

    MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

It may well be supposed that the misadventures on the ice were ill calculated to soothe the excited mind of the constable.  He bore a grudge towards the Solitary before, for his failure and the beating he had received at the island, and now to be made the object of such abuse in the presence of his townsmen, and that on account of a person whom he looked down upon as a sort of vagrant, was more than his philosophy could bear.  For Basset, with that kind of logic which is so common with a certain class of people, could not avoid regarding the Recluse as the culpable cause of his misfortune in both instances.  “If he hadn’t gone agin the law,” he said to himself, “I shouldn’t have tried to take him; and if I hadn’t tried to take him, I shouldn’t have been treated so.”  Whatever Hedge or Mills may think of such logic, it was satisfactory to Basset.

His lucubrations, moreover, were very different in the daytime from those in the solemn shades of night.  As ghosts are said to disappear when they scent the morning air, so the constable’s apprehensions of them fled at the rising of the sun.  When in the dark at the island he received the blow that prostrated him on the earth, he was unable to determine in his confusion, whether it had been inflicted by the fisherman’s ghost or by Holden.  It never crossed his mind that it might have come from any one else.  On this subject he had mused during the whole time of his return from his nocturnal disaster, without being able to arrive at any conclusion.  If in those witching hours, when the stars gleamed mysteriously through the drifting clouds, and the wind moaned among the bare branches, he was inclined to one opinion rather than to another, it was to that which would attribute the blow to the ghost.  But with the light of returning day the current of his thoughts changed.  Things assumed an altered aspect.  Fears of inhabitants of an unseen world vanished, and Basset was angry at himself for entertaining such silly imaginations.  It was now evident that Holden by some means had obtained a knowledge of the design to capture him, or had suspected it, or had noticed the approach of the boat and laid in wait to take a most unjustifiable revenge.  “I wish I could prove it,” thought Basset; “if I wouldn’t make him smart for striking an officer!”

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The Lost Hunter from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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