Dead Man's Rock eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about Dead Man's Rock.
for safety from showing it to any of the jewellers here; but on the one occasion when I saw the gem I measured it, and found it to be, roughly, some three and a half inches square and two inches in depth; of its weight I cannot speak.  But that it truly is the Great Ruby of Ceylon, the account of the Buddhist priest from, whom Mr. Trenoweth got the stone puts out of all doubt.”

     “E.  S.”

“As I finished my reading, I looked up and saw Mr. Sanderson watching me across the table.  ‘Well?’ said he.

“I pushed the parchment across to him, and filled a pipe.  He read the whole through very slowly, and without the movement of a muscle; then handed it back, but said never a word.

“‘Well,’ I asked, after a pause; ‘what do you think of it?’

“’Why, in the first place, that my father was a marvellously honest man, and yours, Mr. Trenoweth, a very indiscreet one.  And secondly, that ye’re just as indiscreet as he, and it will be lucky for ye if I’m as honest as my father.’

“I laughed.

“’Aye, ye may laugh; but mark my words, Mr. Trenoweth.  Ye’ve a trustful way with ye that takes my liking; but it would surprise me very much, sir, did ye ever lay hands on that Ruby.’”



“Sept. 29th, 1848.—­It is a strange thing that on the very next day after reading my father’s message I should have been struck down and reduced to my present condition.  But so it is, and now, four months after my first entry in this Journal, I am barely able to use the pen to add to my account.  As far as I remember—­for my head wanders sadly at times—­it happened thus:  On the 23rd of May last, after spending the greater part of the day in writing my Journal, and also my first letter to my dear wife, I walked down in the cool of the evening to the city, intending to post the latter; which I did, and was returning to Mr. Sanderson’s house, when I stopped to watch the sun setting in this glorious Bay of Bengal.  I was leaning over a low wall, looking out on the open sea with its palm-fringed shores, when suddenly the sun shot out a jagged flame; the sky heaved and turned to blood—­and I knew no more.  I had been murderously struck from behind.  That I was found, lying to all appearance dead, with a hideous zig-zag wound upon the scalp; that my pockets had been to all appearance rifled (whether by the assassin or the natives that found me is uncertain); that I was finally claimed and carried home by Mr. Sanderson, who, growing uneasy at my absence, had set out to look for me; that for more than a month, and then again for almost two months, my life hung in the balance; and that I owe my recovery to Mr. Sanderson’s unceasing kindness—­all this I have learnt but lately.  I can write no more at present.

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Dead Man's Rock from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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