The Half-Hearted eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about The Half-Hearted.
word of trouble, for he has no stomach for danger, if he can get out of it creditably.  So he will come down here to-morrow with a tale of the Bada-Mawidi in arms, and find no men in the place to speak of, except these two strangers.  I will have already warned them of this intended rising, and if, as I believe, they serve the Government, they will let no grass grow below their feet till they get to Forza.  Then on the day after let your tribesmen attack the place, not so as to take it, but so as to make a good show of fight and keep the garrison employed.  This will keep these young men quiet; they will think that all rumours they may have heard culminate in this rising of yours, and they will be content, and satisfied that they have done their duty.  Then, the day after, while they are idling at Forza, we will slip through the passes, and after that there will be no need for ruses.”

The chief rose and pulled himself up to his full height.  “After that,” he said, “there will be work for men.  God!  We shall harry the valleys as our forefathers harried them, and we shall suck the juicy plains dry.  You will give us a free hand, my lord?”

“Your hand shall be free enough,” said Marker.

“But see that every word of my bidding is done.  We fail utterly unless all is secret and swift.  It is the lion attacking the village.  If he crosses the trap gate safely he may ravage at his pleasure, but there is first the trap to cross.  And now it is your time to leave.”

The mountaineer tightened his girdle, and exchanged his slippers for deer-hide boots.  He bowed gravely to the other and slipped out into the darkness of the court.  Marker drew forth some plans and writing materials from his great-coat pocket and spread them before him on the table.  It was a thing he had done a hundred times within the last week, and as he made his calculations again and traced his route anew, his action showed the tinge of nervousness to which the strongest natures at times must yield.  Then he wrote a letter, and yawning deeply, he shut up the place and returned to Galetti’s.



When Lewis had finished breakfast next morning, and was sitting idly on the verandah watching the busy life of the bazaar at his feet, a letter was brought him by a hotel servant.  “It was left for you by Marker Sahib, when he went away this morning.  He sent his compliments to the sahibs and regretted that he had to leave too early to speak with them, but he left this note.”  Lewis broke the envelope and read: 


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The Half-Hearted from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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