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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 536 pages of information about Jack Tier.
gaunt light-house, having the customary dwelling of its keeper at its base.  Nothing else was visible; the broad expanse of the blue waters of the Gulf excepted.  All the land in sight would not probably have made one field of twenty acres in extent, and that seemed cut off from the rest of the world, by a broad barrier of water.  It was a spot of such singular situation and accessories, that Mulford gazed at it with a burning desire to know where he was, as the brig steered through a channel between two of the islets, into a capacious and perfectly safe basin, formed by the group, and dropped her anchor in its centre.

CHAPTER V

  “He sleeps; but dreams of massy gold,
    And heaps of pearl.  He stretch’d his hands—­
  He hears a voice—­

  “Ill man withhold!’
    A pale one near him stands.”

Dana.

It was near night-fall when the Swash anchored among the low and small islets mentioned.  Rose had been on deck, as the vessel approached this singular and solitary haven, watching the movements of those on board, as well as the appearance of objects on the land, with the interest her situation would be-likely to awaken.  She saw the light and manageable craft glide through the narrow and crooked passages that led into the port, the process of anchoring, and the scene of tranquil solitude that succeeded; each following the other as by a law of nature.  The light-house next attracted her attention, and, as soon as the sun disappeared, her eyes were fastened on the lantern, in expectation of beholding the watchful and warning fires gleaming there, to give the mariner notice of the position of the dangers that surrounded the place.  Minute went by after minute, however, and the customary illumination seemed to be forgotten.

“Why is not this light shining?” Rose asked of Mulford, as the young man came near her, after having discharged his duty in helping to moor the vessel, and in clearing the decks.  “All the light-houses we have passed, and they have been fifty, have shown bright lights at this hour, but this.”

“I cannot explain it; nor have I the smallest notion where we are.  I have been aloft, and there was nothing in sight but this cluster of low islets, far or near.  I did fancy, for a moment, I saw a speck like a distant sail, off here, to the northward and eastward, but I rather think it was a gull, or some other sea-bird glancing upward on the wing.  I mentioned it to the captain when I came down, and he appeared to believe it a mistake.  I have watched that light-house closely, too, ever since we came in, and I have not seen the smallest sign of life about it.  It is altogether an extraordinary place!”

“One suited to acts of villany, I fear, Harry!”

“Of that we shall be better judges to-morrow.  You, at least, have one vigilant friend, who will die sooner than harm shall come to you.  I believe Spike to be thoroughly unprincipled; still he knows he can go so far and no further, and has a wholesome dread of the law.  But the circumstance that there should be such a port as this, with a regular light-house, and no person near the last, is so much out of the common way, that I do not know what to make of it.”

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