“All fair and softly, Mr. Thorwald. Don’t take on so. It ain’t two o’clock yet; we’ve lots o’ time. Henry has arranged to get a boat ready for him. At twelve o’clock to-night the doors will be opened, and he’ll start for the boat. It will lie concealed among the rocks off the Long Point. There’s no mistakin’ the spot, just west of the village; an’ if you place your niggers there, you’ll have as good chance as need be to nab ’em. Indeed, there’s two boats to be in waitin’ for the pirate captain and his friends—set ’em up!”
“And where is the second boat to be hidden?” asked Ole.
“I’m not sure of the exact spot; but it can’t be very far off from the tother, cer’nly not a hundred miles,” said Bumpus, with a grin. “Now, wot I want is, that if ye get hold of the pirate ye’ll be content, an’ not go an’ peach on Henry an’ his comrades. They’ll be so ashamed o’ themselves at bein’ nabbed in the wery act that they’ll give it up as a bad job. Besides, ye can then go an’ give him in charge of Capting Montague. But if ye try to prewent the escape bein’ attempted, Henry will take the bloody way of it; for I tell you, his birse is up, an’ no mistake.”
“How many men are to be with Gascoyne?” asked Thorwald, who, had he not been naturally a stupid man, must have easily seen through this clumsy attempt to blind him.
“Just four,” answered Bumpus; “an’ I’m to be one of ’em.”
“Well, Bumpus, I’ll take your advice. I shall be at the Long Point before twelve, with a dozen niggers, and I’ll count on you lending us a hand.”
“No, ye mustn’t count on that, Mr. Thorwald. Surely, it’s enough if I run away and leave the others to fight.”
“Very well; do as you please,” said Thorwald, with a look of contempt.
“Good day, Mr. Thorwald. You’ll be sure to be there?”
“An’ you’ll not a word about it to nobody?”
“Not a syllable.”
“That’s all square. You’ll see the boat w’en ye git there, and as long as ye see that boat yer all right. Good day, sir.”
John Bumpus left Thorwald’s house chuckling, and wended his way to the widow’s cottage, whistling the “Groves of Blarney.”
THE AMBUSH—THE ESCAPE—RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE—AND CONCLUSION.
An hour before the appointed time, Ole Thorwald, under cover of a dark night, stole out of his own dwelling, with slow and wary step, and crossed the little plot of ground that lay in front of it, with the sly and mysterious air of a burglar rather than that of an honest man.
Outside his gate he was met in the same cautious manner by a dark-skinned human being, the character of whose garments was something between those of a sailor and a West India planter. This was Sambo, Thorwald’s major-domo, clerk, overseer, and right-hand man. Sambo was not his proper name; but his master, regarding him as being the embodiment of all the excellent qualities that could by any possibility exist in the person of a South Sea islander, had bestowed upon him the generic name of the dark race, in addition to that wherewith Mr. Mason had gifted him on the day of his baptism.