The crew of the boat ceased rowing, and glanced at each other in surprise on hearing this.
“Ha! say you so?” exclaimed Montague, quickly.
“It’s a fact, sir. Ask my comrade there, and he’ll tell you the same thing.”
“He’ll do nothin’ o’ the sort,” sharply returned honest Bumpus, who, having been only a short time previously engaged by Gascoyne, could perceive neither pleasure nor justice in the idea of being hanged for a pirate, and who attributed Dick’s speech to an ill-natured desire to get his late commander into trouble.
“Which of you am I to believe?” said Montague, hastily.
“W’ichever you please,” observed Bumpus, with an air of indifference.
“It’s no business o’ mine,” said Dick, sulkily; “if you choose to let the blackguard escape, that’s your own lookout.”
“Silence, you scoundrel!” cried Montague, who was as much nettled by a feeling of uncertainty how to act as by the impertinence of the man.
Before he could decide as to the course he ought to pursue, the report of one of the guns of his own vessel boomed loud and distinct in the distance. It was almost immediately followed by another.
“Ha! that settles the question; give way, my lads, give way.”
In another moment the boat was cleaving her way swiftly through the dark water in the direction of the Talisman.
MASTER CORRIE CAUGHT NAPPING—SNAKES IN THE GRASS.
The Sabbath morning which succeeded the events we have just narrated dawned on the settlement of Sandy Cove in unclouded splendor, and the deep repose of nature was still unbroken by the angry passions and the violent strife of man; although from the active preparations of the previous night it might have been expected that those who dwelt on the island would not have an opportunity of enjoying the rest of that day.
Everything in and about the settlement was eminently suggestive of peace. The cattle lay sleepily in the shade of the trees; the sea was still calm like glass. Men had ceased from their daily toil; and the only sounds that broke the quiet of the morning were the chattering of the parrots and other birds in the cocoanut groves, and the cries of sea-fowl, as they circled in the air, or dropped on the surface of the sea in quest of fish.
The British frigate lay at anchor in the same place which she had hitherto occupied, and the Foam still floated in the sequestered bay on the other side of the island. In neither vessel was there the slightest symptom of preparation; and to one who knew not the true state of matters, the idea of war being about to break forth was the last that would have occurred.