The Jewel of Seven Stars eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 326 pages of information about The Jewel of Seven Stars.
which was or might be of interest to him.  But it will be necessary, or at least helpful, to understand other things which I shall tell you later.  You will be able to tell Doctor Winchester all that would aid him.  For I take it that our work will branch out pretty soon.  We shall each have our own end to hold up; and it will take each of us all our time and understanding to get through his own tasks.  It will not be necessary for you to read the whole book.  All that will interest you—­with regard to our matter I mean of course, for the whole book is interesting as a record of travel in a country then quite unknown—­is the preface, and two or three chapters which I shall mark for you.”

He shook hands warmly with Doctor Winchester who had stood up to go.

Whilst he was away I sat lonely, thinking.  As I thought, the world around me seemed to be illimitably great.  The only little spot in which I was interested seemed like a tiny speck in the midst of a wilderness.  Without and around it were darkness and unknown danger, pressing in from every side.  And the central figure in our little oasis was one of sweetness and beauty.  A figure one could love; could work for; could die for . . . !

Mr. Corbeck came back in a very short time with the book; he had found it at once in the spot where he had seen it three years before.  Having placed in it several slips of paper, marking the places where I was to read, he put it into my hands, saying: 

“That is what started Mr. Trelawny; what started me when I read it; and which will, I have no doubt, be to you an interesting beginning to a special study—­whatever the end may be.  If, indeed, any of us here may ever see the end.”

At the door he paused and said: 

“I want to take back one thing.  That Detective is a good fellow.  What you have told me of him puts him in a new light.  The best proof of it is that I can go quietly to sleep tonight, and leave the lamps in his care!”

When he had gone I took the book with me, put on my respirator, and went to my spell of duty in the sick-room!

Chapter X The Valley of the Sorcerer

I placed the book on the little table on which the shaded lamp rested and moved the screen to one side.  Thus I could have the light on my book; and by looking up, see the bed, and the Nurse, and the door.  I cannot say that the conditions were enjoyable, or calculated to allow of that absorption in the subject which is advisable for effective study.  However, I composed myself to the work as well as I could.  The book was one which, on the very face of it, required special attention.  It was a folio in Dutch, printed in Amsterdam in 1650.  Some one had made a literal translation, writing generally the English word under the Dutch, so that the grammatical differences between the two tongues made even the reading of the translation a difficult matter.  One had to dodge backward and forward among the words.  This was in addition to the difficulty of deciphering a strange handwriting of two hundred years ago.  I found, however, that after a short time I got into the habit of following in conventional English the Dutch construction; and, as I became more familiar with the writing, my task became easier.

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The Jewel of Seven Stars from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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