“She’ll last a good few days yet, if it don’t blow up a gale,” said the skipper, waving his hand towards the wreck, “and maybe we’ll come back an’ get some pickin’s. But we bain’t wantin’ to raise any suspicions.”
He loosened the bindings at Mr. Darling’s wrists, so that they could be worked off in time, and then set out briskly for Chance Along with his three companions at his heels.
Of the future of the ship’s company little need be said. On their way to Nap Harbor they were set upon and robbed by a large force of big men. Their valuables vanished into the fog and darkness, as if they had never been—and their guides vanished also. They went on, following the edge of the cliff, and reached Nap Harbor about two hours after dawn. From Nap Harbor they sailed northward to St. John’s, and there reported the robbery to the police. The police calmed them with promises, and in time sent officers to Nap Harbor armed with search-warrants. Needless to say, the jewels and money were not found. Captain McTavish did not return to Nolan’s Cove to salve the cargo of his ship, for the agent in St. John’s explained to him that the task would be a profitless one. A few days later he was joined by Mr. Darling and the five men of the guard, and eventually they all sailed away. But the tall gentleman with the white face and the long cloak left a sting behind him. He was Sir Arthur Harwood, Baronet, and the lady who had wept hysterically, and been quieted by the ship’s surgeon, was Lady Harwood. By the wreck these two had lost much of value in clothing, jewelry and money; but their greatest loss was that of a necklace of twelve flawless diamonds and fourteen rubies. Sir Arthur offered a reward of five hundred pounds for the recovery of this necklace. In this reward lay the sting.
In the little retiring harbor of Chance Along, Black Dennis Nolan was a great man. His plans had worked without a hitch—and still the carcass of the ship lay in Nolan’s Cove, only waiting to be picked. A rich harvest had been gathered without the loss of a life, and without attracting a shadow of suspicion upon Chance Along. The skipper called together the twenty men who had shared with him the exertions and risks of that night. This was in his store, with the windows obscured by blankets, the door bolted and the lamp lit.
“Lads,” said he, “here bes twelve hundred golden sovereigns. I makes ’em into twenty-four shares o’ fifty each. Now, lads, step up an’ each take a share.”
The men obeyed, their eyes glowing and their hands trembling.
“Now there bes four shares still on the table,” said the skipper.
“Aye, skipper, aye,” stammered Bill Brennen, huskily. The others breathed heavily, shuffled their feet, gripped the money in their pockets and glared at the yellow pieces still glowing in the lamplight.
FOXEY JACK QUINN SLIPS AWAY