“We’ve got you at last—you damned rebel!” said Clarke.
“I suppose you need some one to swear at,” Jack answered.
“And to shoot at,” Clarke suggested.
“I thought that you would not care for another match with me,” the young scout remarked as they began to move away.
“Hereafter you will be treated like a rebel and not like a gentleman,” Clarke answered.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that you will be standing, blindfolded against a wall.”
“That kind of a threat doesn’t scare me,” Jack answered. “We have too many of your men in our hands.”
IN BOSTON JAIL
Jack was marched under a guard into the streets of Boston. Church bells were ringing. It was Sunday morning. Young Clarke came with the guard beyond the city limits. They had seemed to be very careless in the control of their prisoner. They gave him every chance to make a break for liberty. Jack was not fooled.
“I see that you want to get rid of me,” said Jack to the young officer. “You’d like to have me run a race with your bullets. That is base ingratitude. I was careful of you when we met and you do not seem to know it.”
“I know how well you can shoot,” Clarke answered. “But you do not know how well I can shoot.”
“And when I learn, I want to have a fair chance for my life.”
Beyond the city limits young Clarke, who was then a captain, left them, and Jack proceeded with the others.
The streets were quiet—indeed almost deserted. There were no children playing on the common. A crowd was coming out of one of the churches. In the midst of it the prisoner saw Preston and Lady Hare. They were so near that he could have touched them with his hand as he passed. They did not see him. He noted the name of the church and its minister. In a few minutes he was delivered at the jail—a noisome, ill-smelling, badly ventilated place. The jailer was a tall, slim, sallow man with a thin gray beard. His face and form were familiar. He heard Jack’s name with a look of great astonishment. Then the young man recognized him. He was Mr. Eliphalet Pinhorn, who had so distinguished himself on the stage trip to Philadelphia some years before.
“It is a long time since we met,” said Jack.
Mr. Pinhorn’s face seemed to lengthen. His mouth and eyes opened wide in a silent demand for information.
Jack reminded him of the day and circumstances.
For a moment Mr. Pinhorn held his hand against his forehead and was dumb with astonishment. Then he said:
“I knew! I foresaw! But it is not too late.”
“Too late for what?”
“To turn, to be redeemed, loved, forgiven. Think it over, sir. Think it over.”
Jack’s name and age and residence were registered. Then Pinhorn took his arm and walked with him down the corridor toward an open door. About half-way to the door he stopped and put his hand on Jack’s shoulder and said with a look of great seriousness: