“The object of my journey is now accomplished: and it only remains to hasten home with all speed. But I am feeling strangely unwell as I write this. My head has never fully recovered that blow at Bombay, and I think the hours during which I remained exposed to the sun’s rays, by the side of that awful image, must have affected it. Or perhaps the fatigue of the journey has worn me out. If I am going to sicken I must hide my secret. It would be safer to bury it with the Journal, at any rate for the time, somewhere in the garden here. I have a tin box that will just answer the purpose. My head is giving me agony. I can write no more.”
CONTAINS THE THIRD AND LAST PART OF MY FATHER’S JOURNAL: SETTING FORTH THE MUTINY ON BOARD THE BELLE FORTUNE.
“June 19th.—Strange that wherever I am hospitably entertained I recompense my host by falling ill in his house. Since my last entry in this Journal I have been lying at the gate of death, smitten down with a sore sickness. It seems that the long exposure and weariness of my journey to the Peak threw me into a fever: but of this I should soon have recovered, were it not for my head, which I fear will never be wholly right again. That cowardly blow upon Malabar Hill has made a sad wreck of me; twice, when I seemed in a fair way to recovery, has my mind entirely given way. Mr. Eversleigh, indeed, assures me that my life has more than once been despaired of—and then what would have become of poor Margery? I hope I am thankful to God for so mercifully sparing my poor life, the more so because conscious how unworthy I am to appear before Him.
“I trust I did not betray my secret in my wanderings. Mr. Eversleigh tells me I talked the strangest stuff at times—about rubies and skeletons, and a certain dreadful face from which I was struggling to escape. But the security of my Journal and the golden clasp, which I recovered to-day, somewhat reassures me. I am allowed to walk in the garden for a short space every day, but not until to-day have I found strength to dig for my hoard. I can hardly describe my emotions on finding it safe and sound.
“Poor Margery! How anxious she must be getting at my silence. I will write her to-morrow—at least I will begin my letter to-morrow, for I shall not have strength to finish it in one day. Even now I ought not to be writing, but I cannot forbear making an entry in my recovered Journal, if only to record my thankfulness to Heaven for my great deliverance.
“June 22nd.—I have written to Margery, but torn the letter up on second thoughts, as I had better wait until I hear news of a vessel in which I can safely travel home. Mr. Eversleigh (who is very kind to me, though not so hearty as Mr. Sanderson) will not hear of my starting in my present condition. I wonder in what part of the world Colliver is travelling now.