A Bough walk enlivened by rambling talk—Bumpus is “Agreeable.”
It is said, in the proverbial philosophy of nautical men, that “a stern chase is a long one.” The present instance was an exception to the general rule. Keona was wounded. Young Stuart was fleet as the antelope, and strong as a young lion. In these circumstances it is not surprising that, after a run of less than a quarter of a mile, he succeeded in laying his hands on the neck of the savage and hurling him to the ground, where he lay panting and helpless, looking up in the face of his conqueror with an expression of hopeless despair; for savages and wicked men generally are wont to judge of others by themselves, and to expect to receive such treatment from their enemies as they themselves would in similar circumstances accord.
The fear of instant death was before his eyes, and the teeth of Keona chattered in his head, while his face grew more hideous than ever, by reason of its becoming livid.
His fears were groundless. Henry Stuart was not a savage. He was humane by nature; and, in addition to this, he had been trained under the influence of that Book which teaches us that the most philosophical, because the most effective, method of procedure in this world is to “overcome evil with good.”
“So you scoundrel,” said Henry, placing his knee on Keona’s chest, and compressing his throat with his left hand, while with his right he drew forth a long glittering knife, and raised it in the air,—“so you are not satisfied with what I gave you the last time we met, but you must need take the trouble to cross my path a second time, and get a taste of cold steel, must you?”
Although Keona could speak no English, he understood it sufficiently to appreciate the drift of the youth’s words, even though he had failed to comprehend the meaning of the angry frown and the glittering knife. But, however much, he might have wished to reply to the question, Henry took care to render the attempt impossible, by compressing his windpipe until he became blue in the face, and then black. At the same time, he let the sharp point of his knife touch the skin just over the region of the heart.
Having thus convinced his vanquished foe that death was at the door, he suddenly relaxed his iron grip, arose, sheathed his knife, and bade the savage get up. The miserable creature did so, with some difficulty, just as the captain and his men arrived on the scene.
“Well met, Henry,” cried the former, extending his hand to the youth; “had I been a moment later, my lad, I fear that your life’s blood would have been on the sea-shore.”
“Then it was you who fired the shot, Captain Gascoyne? This is the second time I have to thank you for saving my life,” said the young man, returning the grasp of the captain’s hand.