The Harbor Master eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about The Harbor Master.
applied the hatchet to the left side of the window.  He worked all round the sash in this way and at last pushed it inward with both hands until it hung below the sill by a couple of bent spikes.  He thrust the hatchet in his belt and entered the room.  He put up his hand to the rafter that crossed the low ceiling and so felt his way along to the middle of the room.  Halting there, he removed the fur mitten from his right hand and felt about until his chilled fingers discovered a thin crack in the whitewash of the rafter.  The little square of dry wood came away in his fingers.  Next moment he held the leather-bound casket in his hand.  He opened it and felt the cold jewels which he could not see.  Then he closed it, slipped it into a pocket, replaced the square of wood in the beam and made his cautious way back to the window.  He crawled over the sill, turned and tried to lift the sash upward and outward to its place.  The sash came up easily enough but the bent spikes would not hold.  After a few minutes of fruitless effort he turned away, leaving the window wide open.  The sky was black as the throat of a chimney.  A breath of wind came from the northwest.  Foxey Jack Quinn was not weatherwise, however.  He climbed the path to the edge of the barrens and turned to the north.

“Diamonds white an’ red,” he muttered.  “I seen ’em, and I knowed what they was.  Every little stone bes worth more nor all the fore-and-afters on the coast.  I bes a rich man now—­richer nor the governor, richer nor any marchant in St. John’s—­richer nor the king o’ England, maybe.  Holy saints be praised!  Never agin will I wet a line at the fishin’ nor feel the ache o’ hunger in my belly.  Denny Nolan will soon be cursin’ the day he batted me about like a swile.”

His plans for the immediate future were clear in his mind but for the more distant future they were vague, though rosy.  He would make the ten miles to Brig Tickle in less than three hours, and from there turn a point or two westward from the coast and strike across country to the head of Witless Bay.  He had a cousin in Witless Bay and could afford to rest in that cousin’s house for a few hours.  There he would hire a team of dogs and make the next stage in quick time.  Dennis Nolan, who would not discover the theft of the diamonds until after sun-up, would be left hopelessly astern by that time.  So Quinn figured it out.  On reaching St. John’s he would go to a shebeen that he knew, in a narrow and secluded back street, and there rent a room.  Then he would commence the business of disposing of one of the diamonds.  Just how he was to go about this he did not know, but he felt sure that Mother McKay, who kept the shebeen, would be able to give him some valuable advice on the subject.  And after that?  Well, the prospects were rosy but vague.  He would get word to his wife in some way to move herself and the children to Witless Bay.  He would send her twenty dollars, and after that, for the rest

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The Harbor Master from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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