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John Oxenham
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 313 pages of information about Carette of Sark.

When Rachel’s boy came she made as much of him as if he had been her own.  And the two between them named him Philip Carre after his grandfather,—­instinct, maybe, or possibly simply with the idea of pleasing the old man, whose heart had never come fully round to the marriage,—­happily done, whatever the reason.

For Martel, outside business matters, which needed a clear head and all a man’s wits about him unless he wanted to run himself and his cargoes into trouble, soon proved himself unstable as water.  The nature of his business tended to conviviality.  Successful runs were celebrated, and fresh ones planned, and occasional losses consoled, in broached kegs which cost little.  Success or failure found equal satisfaction in the flowing bowl, and no home happiness ever yet came out of a bung-hole.

Then, too, Rachel Carre had been brought up by her father in a simple, perhaps somewhat rigorous, faith, which in himself developed into Quakerism.  I have thought it not impossible that in that might be found some explanation of her action in marrying Paul Martel.  Perhaps her father drew the lines somewhat tightly, and her opening life craved width and colour, and found the largest possibilities of them in the rollicking young stranger.  Truly he brought colour enough and to spare into the sober gray of her life.  It was when the red blood started under his vicious blows that their life together ended.

Martel had no beliefs whatever, except in himself and his powers of outwitting any preventive officer ever born.

Rachel Carre’s illusions died one by one.  The colours faded, the gray darkened.  Martel was much away on his business; possibly also on his pleasures.

One night, after a successful run, he returned home very drunk, and discovered more than usual cause for resentment in his wife’s reproachful silence.  He struck her, wounding her to the flowing of blood, and she picked up her boy and fled along the cliffs to Beaumanoir where Jeanne Falla lived, with George Hamon not far away at La Vauroque.

Jeanne Falla took her in and comforted her, and as soon as George Hamon heard the news, he started off with a neighbour or two to Fregondee to attend to Martel.

In the result, and not without some tough fighting, for Martel was a powerful man and furious at their invasion, they carried him in bonds to the house of the Senechal, Pierre Le Masurier, for judgment.  And M. le Senechal, after due consideration, determined, like a wise man, to rid himself of a nuisance by flinging it over the hedge, as one does the slugs that eat one’s cabbages.  Martel came from Guernsey and was not wanted in Sercq.  To Guernsey therefore he should go, with instructions not to return to Sercq lest worse should follow.  Hence the procession that disturbed the slumbers of the Creux Road that day.

CHAPTER II

HOW RACHEL CARRE WENT BACK TO HER FATHER

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