Queen Hildegarde eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about Queen Hildegarde.
round Brazil for nothin’?’ he says.  ‘There’s di’monds in Brazil,’ he says, ’whole mines of ’em; an’ there’s some di’monds out o’ Brazil too;’ and then he’d wink, and laugh out hearty, the way he used.  He was always laughin’, Father was.  An’ when times was hard, he’d say to my mother, ’Wealthy, we won’t sell the di’monds yet a while.  Not this time, Wealthy; but they’re thar, you know, my woman, they’re thar!’ And when my mother’d say, ‘Whar to goodness be they, Thomas?’ he’d only chuckle an’ laugh an’ shake his head.  Then thar was his story about the ruby necklace.  How we youngsters used to open our eyes at that!  Believed it too, every word of it.”

“Oh! what was it?” cried Hilda.  “Tell me, and I will believe it too!”

“He used to tell of a Malay pirate,” said the farmer, “that he fit and licked somewhere off in the South Seas,—­when he sailed the ’Lively Polly,’ that was.  She was a clipper, Father always said; an’ he run aboard the black fellers, and smashed their schooner, an’ throwed their guns overboard, an’ demoralized ’em ginerally.  They took to their boats an’ paddled off, what was left of ’em, an’ he an’ his crew sarched the schooner, an’ found a woman locked up in the cabin,—­an Injin princess, father said she was,—­an’ they holdin’ her for ransom.  Wal, Father found out somehow whar she come from,—­Javy, or Mochy, or some o’ them places out o’ the spice-box,—­an’ he took her home, an’ hunted up her parents an’ guardeens, an’ handed her over safe an’ sound.  They—­the guardeens—­was gret people whar they lived, an’ they wanted to give Father a pot o’ money; but he said he warn’t that kind.  ’I’m a Yankee skipper!’ says he. ‘’Twas as good as a meal o’ vittles to me to smash that black feller!’ says he. ‘I don’t want no pay for it.  An’ as for the lady, ‘twas a pleasure to obleege her,’ he says; ‘an’ I’d do it agin any day in the week, ’xcept Sunday, when I don’t fight, ez a rewl, when I kin help it.’  Then the princess, she tried to kiss his hand; but Father said he guessed that warn’t quite proper, an’ the guardeens seemed to think so too.  So then she took a ruby necklace off her neck (she was all done up in shawls, Father said, an’ silk, an’ gold chains, an’ fur an’ things, so ’s ‘t he couldn’ see nothin’ but her eyes; but they was better wuth seein’ than any other woman’s hull face that ever he see), and gave it to him, an’ made signs that he must keep that, anyhow.  Then she said somethin’ to one o’ the guardeens who spoke a little Portuguese, Father understandin’ it a little too, and he told Father she said these was the drops of her blood he had saved, an’ he must keep it to remember her.  Jest like drops of blood, he said the rubies was, strung along on a gold chain.  So he took it, an’ said he warn’t likely to forget about it; an’ then he made his bow, an’ the guardeens said he was their father, an’ their mother, an’ their great-aunt, an’ I d’ ‘no’ what all, an’ made him stay to supper, an’ he didn’t eat nothin’ for a week arterward.”

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Queen Hildegarde from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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