Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 314 pages of information about Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader.

“No, ye can’t prevent it,” said Bumpus, with an air of indifference.  “If you don’t choose to come to my way o’ thinkin’, ye can take yer own coorse.  But, let me tell you, there’s more people on the island that will take Gascoyne’s part than ye think of.  There’s the whole crew of the Talisman, whose cap’n he saved, and a lot besides; an’ if ye do come to a fight about it, ye’ll have a pretty tough scrimmage.  There’ll be blood spilt, Mr. Thorwald, an’ it was partly to prevent that as I comed here for.  But you know best.  You better take yer own way, an’ I’ll take mine.”

The cool impudence of manner with which John Bumpus said this had its effect on Ole, who, although fond enough of fighting against enemies, had no sort of desire to fight against friends, especially for the sake of a pirate.

“Come, Bumpus,” said he, “you and I understand each other.  Let us talk the thing over calmly.  I’ve quite as much objection to see unnecessary bloodshed as you have.  We have had enough of that lately.  Tell me what you know, and I promise to do what you recommend as far as I can in reason.”

“Do you promise to let no one else know wot I tell ye?”

“I do.”

“An’ d’ye promise to take no more than six niggers to prewent this escape?”

“Will six be enough?”

“Plenty; but, if that bothers ye, say twelve,—­I’m not partic’lar,—­say twelve.  That’s more than enough; for they’ll only have four to fight with.”

“Well, I promise that too.”

“Good.  Now I’ll tell ye all about it,” said Bumpus.  “You see, although I’m splittin’, I don’t want to get my friends into trouble, and so I got you to promise; an’ I trust to yer word, Mr. Thorwald—­you being a gen’lmun.  This is how it is:  Young Henry Stuart thinks that although Gascoyne is a pirate, or rather was a pirate, he don’t deserve to be hanged.  Cause why?  Firstly, he never committed no murder; secondly, he saved the lives o’ some of your people—­Alice Mason among the rest; and, thirdly, he is an old friend o’ the family as has done ’em good sarvice long ago.  So Henry’s made up his mind that, as Gascoyne’s sure to be hanged if he’s tried, it’s his duty to prewent that there from happenin’ of.  Now, ye see, Gascoyne is quite willin’ to escape—­”

“Ha! the villain!” exclaimed Ole; “I was sure of that.  I knew well enough that all his smooth-tongued humility was hypocrisy.  I’m sorry for Henry, and don’t wish to thwart him; but it’s clearly my duty to prevent this escape if I can.”

“So I think, sir,” said Bumpus; “so I think.  That’s just w’at I said to meself w’en I made up my mind for to split.  Gascoyne bein’ willin’, then, Henry has bribed the jailer, and he intends to open the jail door for him at twelve o’clock this night, and he’ll know w’at to do with his legs w’en he’s got ’em free.”

“But how am I to prevent his escape if I do not set a strong guard over the prison?” exclaimed Ole, in an excited manner.  “If he once gets into the mountains, I might as well try to catch a hare.”

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Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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