Lysbeth, a Tale of the Dutch eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 465 pages of information about Lysbeth, a Tale of the Dutch.

“Certainly, and they will quite understand why you say it.  My mistress was getting uneasy already, and that was why she drove us from the room.  You will tell them that the treasure is buried but that the secret of its hiding-place was lost.”

“Even so, Martin, it is not lost; Mother Martha knows it, and they all will guess that she does know it.”

“Why, master, as it happened you were in such a hurry to get on with your story that I think you forgot to mention that she was present at the burying of the barrels.  Her name was coming when I dropped the sword upon your foot.”

“But she boarded and fired the Spanish ship—­so the man Ramiro and his companion would probably have seen her.”

“I doubt, master, that the only person who saw her was he whose gizzard she split, and he will tell no tales.  Probably they think it was you or I who did that deed.  But if she was seen, or if they know that she has the secret, then let them get it from Mother Martha.  Oh! mares can gallop and ducks can dive and snakes can hide in the grass.  When they can catch the wind and make it give up its secrets, when they can charm from sword Silence the tale of the blood which it has drunk throughout the generations, when they can call back the dead saints from heaven and stretch them anew within the torture-pit, then and not before, they will win knowledge of the hoard’s hiding-place from the lips of the witch of Haarlem Meer.  Oh! master, fear not for her, the grave is not so safe.”

“Why did you not caution me before, Martin?”

“Because, master,” answered Martin stolidly, “I did not think that you would be such a fool.  But I forgot that you are young—­yes, I forget that you are young and good, too good for the days we live in.  It is my fault.  On my head be it.”

CHAPTER XVI

THE MASTER

In the sitting-room, speaking more slowly and with greater caution, Foy continued the story of their adventures.  When he came to the tale of how the ship Swallow was blown up with all the Spanish boarders, Elsa clasped her hands, saying, “Horrible!  Horrible!  Think of the poor creatures hurled thus into eternity.”

“And think of the business they were on,” broke in Dirk grimly, adding, “May God forgive me who cannot feel grieved to hear of the death of Spanish cut-throats.  It was well managed, Foy, excellently well managed.  But go on.”

“I think that is about all,” said Foy shortly, “except that two of the Spaniards got away in a boat, one of whom is believed to be the head spy and captain, Ramiro.”

“But, son, up in Adrian’s chamber just now you said something about having made a map of the hiding-place of the gold.  Where is it, for it should be put in safety?”

“Yes, I know I did,” answered Foy, “but didn’t I tell you?” he went on awkwardly.  “Martin managed to drop the thing in the cabin of the Swallow while we were lighting the fuses, so it was blown up with the ship, and there is now no record of where the stuff was buried.”

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Lysbeth, a Tale of the Dutch from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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