“Sure,” said Lynch, “by the looks o’ yerself ye should know.”
Monsieur Benoist pulled his sinister mouth into as pleasant a grin as he could manage, and veiled the dangerous light in his eyes. Then he replied, in a loud voice that caught the attention of all the men in the room, that he was certainly in a position to know, having come straight from a little harbor to the southward where a handful of fishermen had just salvaged two chests of good French gold from a wreck. He told the whole story of the wreck and of the subsequent fight in which his companion had been killed. To add reality to his tale he described several of the fishermen minutely.
“That bes the skipper himself!” cried Dick Lynch. “That bes Black Dennis Nolan, ye kin lay to that—aye, an’ Bill Brennen an’ Nick Leary! Sure, then, ye’ve come from Chance Along, b’y—the very place I comes from meself. Two chests o’ gold, d’ye say? Then I tells ye, b’ys, there bes as much more there besides. Chance Along bes fair stinkin’ wid gold an’ wracked stuff.”
He went on excitedly and gave a brief and startling outline of the recent history of Black Dennis Nolan and Chance Along, not forgetting his own heroic stand against the tyrant.
“B’ys, all we has to be doin’ bes to go an’ take it—an’ then to scatter. This here captain wid the rings in his ears has the right idee, sure! Wid all the gold an’ jewels in Chance Along shared amongst us sure we’d never be needin’ to hit another clip o’ work so long as we live. Aye, ’twould be easy wid guns in our hands; but we must be quick about it, lads, or the law’ll be gittin’ there ahead o’ us,” he concluded.
The others clustered about Lynch and the French sailor, a few of them reeling, but all intent upon coming to some arrangement for laying hands upon the treasure of Chance Along. Big fists pounded the sloppy table, husky voices bellowed questions, and stools and benches were overturned.
“There bes twelve o’ us here,” said Tom Brent, of Harbor Grace, “twelve able lads, every mother’s son o’ us ready for to make the trip. Now the first thing bes for every man to tell his name an’ swear as how he’ll do his best at gettin’ the stuff an’ never say naught about it to any livin’ soul after he’s got safe away wid his share.”