Part 8 out of 9
And here they brought him food turn and turn about.
And so he chuckled to himself by day and night at the way in which he
had defeated his enemies, and escaped from Greek justice.
* * * * *
For three days and three nights he lay snug and quiet.
This was the most prudent course.
But long before the third night was over, Hunston had grown weary and
heartsick of this close confinement.
He had a sharp attack of the blues.
He got drink from the sailors and drank heavily to kill dull care, and
this defeated its own end.
He fell off into a heavy sleep and dreamt all sorts of terrible things.
He thought that without knowing it he had fallen into the power of the
Harkaways again; that in flying from them he had suddenly, when he
thought himself miles away from them and from imminent danger, fallen
into their arms.
And so went his alarming dream, when his worst enemies were assembled
in judgment over him. Jack Harkaway, Harvey, and Jefferson, together,
being his judges, the latter places were suddenly taken by three
visitors from the other world.
These were Harry Girdwood, young Jack, and oh, horror! Robert Emmerson,
his murdered friend.
His three visitors.
And these three threatened and put him to tortures unimaginable, until
he raved, stormed, and wept by turns; and then, broken in body and in
spirit, he prostrated himself before them and begged them to kill him,
and in this horrible phase of his vision he groaned so loudly that he
awoke, to find the perspiration pouring off him in a regular bath.
He was quivering like one suddenly stricken with ague.
Not an inch of his body was free from this fearful palsy.
"Oh, what would I give for the light now!" he thought; "will they never
What was that?
Merciful powers! his prayer seemed to be answered.
He saw the faint glimmering of a light
Yes, it was coming this way.
What a relief!
He drew a long, long sigh.
The light stopped suddenly.
Then it was shaded from the part of the hold in which he was hiding.
What could it mean?
Silence was around him.
He stretched forward to ascertain the cause of the light, and there he
saw that which froze the very marrow in his bones with fright.
The light was all reflected upon a young, handsome face which he knew
but too well--so real, so vivid, so lifelike.
The face, too, with the deathly hue of the grave upon it.
It was young Jack's face, but looking to Hunston's frightened eyes pale
Hunston stared; his optics dilated and appeared ready to start from
He gasped, made an effort to articulate, and then his senses forsook
him, and he became unconscious.
HUNSTON'S PERIL--BLACK VISIONS--A DREAM OF VENGEANCE--AN
UNKNOWN DANGER TO THE "WESTWARD HO!"
An explanation of the foregoing is scarcely necessary, we believe.
You bear in mind, of course, that Hunston was utterly ignorant of the
miraculous escape of his destined victims--young Jack and Harry
You must bear in mind, too, that although you, friend reader, may give
a shrewd guess at the truth, Hunston had not the remotest notion of
where he was.
This said, you may perhaps understand the fearful effect of this waking
vision upon the guilty wretch.
Bear in mind that he had been lurking in a close and stifling hold,
into which no single ray of sunlight penetrated, for three whole days--
three long nights.
Unwelcome conscience tapped and would not be deceived.
A man with the guilt of Hunston upon his mind could not afford to be
alone--nay, nor in the dark either.
* * * * *
When he recovered consciousness, his first sensations were of burning
in the throat, and opening his eyes, he found himself being cared
tenderly for by one of the sailors who had brought him there.
"Come, come, I say, mister," said the honest tar, who had had a bit of
a fright on finding Hunston's condition, "this won't do, you know."
"I am better now," murmured Hunston, faintly.
"You are a little, precious little. You will have to come on deck now,
and chance what the skipper says about the job."
"Yes, yes; I will," said Hunston, waking up.
"He can't kill us."
"Nor eat me," said the stowaway, with a sickly smile.
"Any thing is better than remaining longer here. I believe I should die
if I did."
"Then up you come at once, as sure as my name's Jack Tiller."
"Tell me, my friend," Hunston said; "whither are we bound?"
"For the Red Sea."
"Pheugh! A long cruise?"
"And then we are going further yet, and to travel on until we touch the
coast of Australy."
"That's it, sir."
"What's the name of the vessel?"
The sailor laughed.
"What makes you grin?"
"Why, I was wondering, messmate, why you never asked that before."
"My thoughts were too full of getting away."
"Ah, of course."
"What is her name?"
"The 'Westward Ho!' She was formerly the 'Seamew,' and the owner
"What's his name?"
"The skipper's? Why, captain John Willoughby."
"Mr. Jack Harkaway."
Had a thunderbolt dropped down in the hold between them, Hunston could
not have been more astonished.
His tone startled the sailor.
He saw it, and he did his utmost to calm himself.
"Who did you say?"
"Who?" echoed the sailor. "Why, who but Mr. Jack Harkaway? He's well
known enough. Surely you don't mean for to go for to say as you never
heard of him?"
"I--I think I have heard the name," muttered Hunston.
"Think! Well, so do I, unless you've been shut up in solitary
confinement for the last fifteen years. Blow me tight, but the man that
hadn't heard of Mr. Jack Harkaway, would be a living curiosity."
"Jack Harkaway the owner of this ship!" Hunston murmured, like one in a
dream, and relapsed into silence once more.
No wonder that he had seen that vision.
No wonder that the spirit of the murdered boy, young Jack, should hover
about the vessel where his destroyer was hiding--in which his father,
mother, and all that he held dear in life were journeying.
The situation grew graver than ever.
It was truly an alarming plight, and the more he thought it over, the
more desperate did he become.
"Jack Tiller," said he.
"I'll stay where I am."
"Oh, very good," replied the tar; "mum's the word. I thought your berth
wasn't over cheerful."
Jack Tiller gave a hoist at his slacks, and with something between a
sigh and a grunt, he wheeled round and went on deck.
* * * * *
"If I could only see my way out of this, I should like better than any
thing to fire the ship," said Hunston, to himself; "fire it and watch
it close by, chuckling at them while they roasted. What a glorious
return it would be for them. By the powers, it is about the only thing
I could do to wipe them all off at once, all, all! Jack, Harvey, Emily,
that Yankee braggart--curse him!"
And Hunston sat brooding in the black and evil-smelling hold day after
The only companion of his solitude being his own dark thoughts, his
vicious resolves for vengeance.
"It is my own cursed ill-luck," he would say to himself again and
again, "to be beholden to this Harkaway for my life. Why, even now, he
has saved me again, saved me in spite of himself. That's the merry side
of the question."
Merry as it was, it never made him smile.
One dreadful thought filled his poor mind.
One fearful fancy took such complete possession of him, that day and
night he was brooding on it.
"Once let me see a clear landing," he would mutter to himself, "once
let me see my way straight to get ashore in a safe place, and then I'll
make the 'Westward Ho!' too hot to hold them. Too hot--ah, yes, a
precious deal too hot to hold them, that I would; for I would make up
such a blaze as they would never be able to extinguish."
And so he began devoting himself to the arrangements for this
What is more, he got all his plans mapped out, all ready for the
execution of this most diabolical deed.
Little did the happy passengers in the "Westward Ho!" dream of the
fatal danger threatening them.
They would not have enjoyed so many sweet slumbers, could they have had
the faintest inkling of the truth--if they had suspected that near them
was the villain Hunston, following them with a deadly purpose of
revenge, which seemed to have increased year by year ever since the
schooldays of Jack Harkaway.
YOUNG JACK'S CONFIDENCES--HOW TWO INNOCENT CONSPIRATORS
REPENTED--A CHANCE SHOT STRIKES HOME.
"Harry," said young Jack, as they walked up and down the deck arm in
arm, "I must tell you something that has been upon my mind for days
Harry Girdwood turned round. Young Jack's serious manner impressed him.
"What is it, Jack?"
"I know you'll laugh," began Jack.
"Do you, Jack?" returned Harry Girdwood, promptly; "that being the
case, tell me at once. I like to laugh, as you know."
"Well, Harry, it hasn't made me laugh. I was lolling half drowsily over
the hatchway there, the other evening, when I suppose I dropped off
asleep, and I dreamt of Hunston. I dreamt that I was going through all
that ugly scene again, and while in the thick of the dream, something
"What do you think it was?"
"Hunston's voice, moaning, groaning with pain apparently."
Harry Girdwood opened his eyes in wonder at this singular speech.
"What are you talking about?"
"Nonsense, rubbish; is it not? So I thought since. But you know that
sort of dream when you wake up with the vivid effect of your vision so
strongly upon you, that the dream-drama appears to continue after
"Well, that is exactly what happened to me. I heard Hunston when I was
There was something strangely impressive in his manner as he said this,
which caught Harry Girdwood's attention in spite of himself.
"Fancy," he said, with an assumption of indifference which he was far
from feeling; "fancy, my dear Jack."
"Of course," answered young Jack; "but very strange."
"Not exactly strange, either, every thing considered, after all we have
gone through. Why, Jack, you will hardly believe me when I tell you
that I scarcely sleep without dreaming of Hunston. And what is there
wonderful in that, after all that has taken place? It was enough to
shake the strongest nerves, to startle the bravest man that ever
"You allude to the attempted execution of ourselves?" said young Jack.
"Yes; and in spite of that brave brigand girl's assurances, there was
great danger when we stood upon the brink of our grave with a firing
party aiming at us."
"I felt a good deal of confidence in her," said Jack, "but I couldn't
help thinking that an accident in her calculations might happen very
"That's true. Supposing one of the bullets had been left in?"
"Why, then one of us would have been food for worms by now, unless the
wolves or bears had rooted us up out of our graves and made dinner off
us; but I haven't told you all about my vision yet, Harry."
"Did you dream again?"
"What more have you, then, to tell? Out with it. What else was it?"
"The moans I heard grew more distinct while I listened, and I followed
"In your sleep?"
"No, awake. I followed the sounds to the hold."
"They were plainer heard there. I pushed my way over the barrels and
boxes, and nosed down in all the corners with my bull's eye lantern,
when suddenly I heard a half-suppressed cry, a violent gasp rather, as
if someone had too suddenly found himself on the edge of a precipice,
or had seen a ghost."
"Well, at that very moment a hand was placed upon my arm."
"I started back and drew my dirk, and then I found my self attacking--"
"No. Joe Basalt."
Harry Girdwood burst out laughing at this.
"So it was Joe Basalt that was hiding and having a lark with you all
"I didn't say so," replied young Jack, thoughtfully.
"Why, then, what, in the name of all that's wonderful, do you think it
could have been?"
"I don't know, but Joe Basalt chaffed me. He swore I was walking in my
sleep; but I have come back upon my old opinion since I have thought
the job over."
"You mean that you actually believe there is someone concealed in the
"Is--or was. Now, you watch Joe Basalt, Harry, and see if there is not
some thing very strange in his manner."
"I will, if you like, but--good-morning, Tiller."
This was to Jack Tiller, who came up to them touching his forelock.
"Good-morning, Master Jack--morning, Master Harry. We've got a fishing
party on, gentlemen, and thought as you might like to jine us."
"Me and Sam Mason, Tommy Shipwright and Bill Adams, Joe Basalt and old
Higgy--only that lot among the common folk," added he, with a grin.
"And who among the superior class?" asked young Jack, laughingly.
"What, Mr. Mole! Why, what on earth is he going for?"
"That's exactly the p'int of it, young gentlemen,"
"We're going a-fishing with something new-fangled which Mr. Mole has
The two boys looked at each other and grinned.
"Larks are on, Jack," said Harry Girdwood. "I'm in it, for one."
"And I too."
"That's your sort," cried Joe Basalt. "Mr. Harvey's going, too, and Mr.
Jefferson; now I go to Mr. Harkaway and ask his consent."
And Joe left them singing--
"Avast!" cries Jack, "do you suppose
I ain't a man my dooty knows?
For liberty afore we goes
To ax the skipper I propose."
And the well-disciplined sailor went to Harkaway's cabin and broached
"All right, Basalt," said Harkaway; "only look sharp after the young
gentlemen; you know what boys they are to get into mischief."
"All right, your honour; trust me."
"I do, Joe Basalt," responded Harkaway; "I do, for I know that there
was never a straighter or truer man ever trod a deck than you are."
"Come, I say, your honour," remonstrated Joe Basalt, modestly, "draw it
"No deceit about you, I know it; nothing underhand about Joe Basalt."
A sudden thought flashed through the sailor's head, and it brought up a
very unpleasant reminder.
With it came a flush to his bronzed face.
He touched his forelock respectfully to Harkaway and ran up stairs.
As he went he muttered to himself--
"I felt like a miserable swab!" he muttered; "a d--d, deceitful son
of a sea-cook--that's what you are, Joe Basalt, I wish I'd never had
nothing to do with that precious stowaway."
SHARK-FISHING--BILLY LONGBOW'S YARNS--TELL THAT TO THE MARINES
--A NOVEL BAIT--HOW MR. MOLE HAD THE LAUGH HIS OWN WAY.
The fishing expedition consisted of two boat-loads.
To wit, the pinnace and the cutter.
In the former were Jefferson, Dick Harvey and four sailors.
In the cutter were young Jack, Harry Girdwood, Mr. Mole, Joe Basalt,
Sam Mason, and Jack Tiller.
"Now Jack," said Mr. Mole, settling himself comfortably at the rudder
lines; "and you too, my dear Harry, you know, of course, we are going
shark-fishing. You understand what that is?"
"I know what a shark is, if you mean that," answered young Jack.
"Rather," said Harry, with a shudder at old recollections "we had a
white one after us once."
"A white shark!" said Mr. Mole, beaming upon the boat's crew generally.
"_Squalus Carcharias,_ the worst of the family."
"They aren't got no families, axing your pardon, Mr. Mole, sir," said
Joe Basalt, "for they eats their own mothers and fathers and children
"Why, Bill Longbow told me a yarn once, your honour," said Sam Mason,
"about a white shark. I mean," he added, nodding at Mr. Mole
respectfully, "a squally cockylorium--a blessed rum name for a shark--
as devoured all his family for dinner, supped off a Sunday school out
for a pleasure-trip in a steamboat, and was a-goin' to wind up with a
meal off his own blessed self, when his dexter fin stuck in his
swaller, and he brought hisself up ag'in."
A general laugh greeted this sally.
So boisterous was their mirth, that it caught the occupants of the
"That's Sam Mason at one of his Billy Longbow's yarns," cried a sailor
in the pinnace.
"So you had a white shark after you in the water," said Mr. Mole.
"Rather unpleasant that."
"It was indeed unpleasant at such close quarters," said Harry Girdwood.
"Very close?" demanded Mr. Mole.
"Not further off than--"
"Than that squally cockylorium is from you now, your honour," cried Sam
Mason, pointing behind Mole.
The old gentleman looked quickly behind them, and there, paddling about
the stern, was a monstrous white shark.
Mr. Mole slid off his seat to the bottom of the boat with wonderful
"Don't like the look of him?" said young Jack.
"Ho! I'll tackle him presently, but I--I slipped down," said Mr. Mole.
"So I see, sir."
"And I mean to show you some novel sport in the way of shark-fishing,"
said the old gentleman.
He had brought a large hamper with him, which he now proceeded to
unpack, the occupants of the boat looking on with great interest in the
"Billy Longbow told me a yarn once," said the irrepressible Sam Mason,
"about a wooden-legged nigger."
Mr. Mole looked up.
"A wooden-legged nigger," said Sam Mason, touching his forelock
respectfully at Mole. "No offence, your honour, to your legs."
"Go on, Sam," said young Jack, laughing; "out with Billy Longbow's
"This nigger was stumping along the banks of the Nile one day, when who
should he meet but a blessed big crockydile about a hundred feet long,"
"Draw it mild, Sam."
"Well, that's what Billy Longbow said--a hundred feet long."
"Oh, damme!" cried Joe Basalt, "make it ninety-nine, Sam, for decency
"I won't give in half a foot," persisted Sam. "Well, when Snowball sees
Muster Crockydile so near as there was no getting out of the way, he
says--'You jist wait a bit, Massa Crock, I'll gib yar suffin to sniff
at.' An' so, without more ado, he unscrews one of his wooden legs, and
walks into the animal's jaws."
"Oh, oh, oh!"
A general groan of incredulity.
"Absurd," said Mr. Mole, without looking up from his task of watching,
in case the shark should again show itself.
"A fact, sir," said Sam Mason. "Well, he holds up his wooden leg
perpendicular and the greedy crock comes on with a snap, but the wooden
leg was a trifle more than he could get over; there it stuck and
propped his great ugly maws wide open; out crawls Snowball, a kind of
sorter modern Jonah, none the worse for it."
"Ho! it is quite true, for it's Billy Longbow's version of it," said
the modest Sam.
"And is that all?"
"Not quite. He squatted down upon his stump, and prodded the crock in
the eye with the other wooden leg until he caved in."
"Oh, oh, oh! Sam, Sam!" they cried in a chorus.
By the time the laugh had subsided, Mr, Mole was ready with his novel
fishing-apparatus. Novel, indeed.
He took a soda water bottle, filled with gunpowder and tightly corked,
and through the cork was a twisted wire that was attached to the line.
The other end of the line was a small square box, which was furnished
with four handles, similar to that of a barrel organ.
One of these handles was to pay out line, another was for winding in.
"And the other two?" demanded Harry Girdwood.
"Simple enough," said Mr. Mole; "this box is a battery, and in my line
is a conductor that goes through the cork into the powder. When I feel
a tug, a turn or two of my handle here sends a spark into the powder,
and our friend the _Squalus Carcharias_ gets a good deal more than
he has time to digest."
"I begin to see."
"Really, it is a very great plan, Mr. Mole."
"Now for the pork."
He had provided himself with a large morsel of fat in a flat strip, and
this he proceeded to tie round the soda water bottle with twine.
When this was done, he put out about thirty feet of his telegraphic
line, and then hurled his novel bait out to sea.
They looked eagerly out in the direction, and saw the great sea-monster
dive swiftly after it.
Then its huge carcase was clearly perceived in the limpid water turning
Mole waited a moment.
The line tightened.
"Now for it."
He gave two of his handles several vicious twists.
There was a shock, and a kind of water spout not far off.
Mole chuckled quietly, and wound in his line.
"Do you think it has succeeded?" demanded young Jack, anxiously.
"Do I think, do I know? Of course it has."
They watched the place eagerly, and in the space of a few minutes the
carcase of the huge white shark, completely rent asunder, rose to the
surface of the water, and floated about.
"Damme!" ejaculated Joe Basalt, "if that ain't the queerest fishing I
ever come nigh."
"And ain't Mr. Mole the best fisherman you ever see?"
"That he is."
"Let's give him a cheer; hip, hip, hip!"
And they towed the vanquished shark alongside the "Westward Ho!" while
Isaac Mole became the hero of the day.
MORE DEEDS OF DARING--HOW JEFFERSON SHOWED UP IN AN EMERGENCY--
SINGLE COMBAT AND ITS RESULT--MR. MOLE TO THE FORE WITH A FRESH FEAT ON
"They've got a bite in the cutter," said Parry.
They had, and it seemed to be a strong one. They had got a Tartar.
A big fish was hooked, and dragging their boat through the water at a
"We must go and lend them a hand," said young Jack.
They laid down to their work, and were soon upon the scene of the
Aye, strife is the correct expression.
Strife it was.
A steam tug could not have dragged them along at a better pace, or have
made resistance more hopeless.
"Aye, aye, sir!"
"Lay down to it, my lads," cried old Mole, excitedly; "look how they
are flying through the water."
"Aye, aye, sir!"
"I remember Billy Longbow once," began Mason.
"Hang Billy Longbow now!" said Joe Basalt.
"Yes, let's bag this fish first and then--"
"Ain't Mr. Mole got another of his soda water bottles?"
"Lots of bait," replied Mr. Mole; "but the tackle isn't up to the
"Now he's slackening."
"Yes--he's getting blown."
"Now he rises."
So he did.
As they spoke, the flight of the cutter was checked, and a huge shark
rose to the surface of the water for air,
A couple of fowling pieces gave him a warm greeting, but without
appearing to damage him much.
The pinnace now pulled sharply round, and young Jack, standing up on
the head of the boat, held the harpoon ready for use when they should
be within reach.
The moment was soon found.
The harpoon flew from his grasp whizzing through the air, and struck
Tough as his hide was, the harpoon would not be denied admission.
The shark snorted as it was struck, and dived down, down, until the
line grew taut.
Had there been but a single line to hold the voracious monster in
check, it would have been but little use, so violent was the struggle,
and so desperately sudden was the strain.
But the two lines worked well together now.
Much as the shark objected to their company, he had no choice but to
cruise about within the comparatively narrow limits of his tether.
"Beast!" said Dick Harvey, snapping a pistol as it rose once more to
the surface. "You take a thundering lot of killing."
"This must be settled," said Jefferson.
"I'll show you," returned the Yankee, promptly.
He drew his bowie, and watching the shark intently for a moment, he
sprang over the boat's side into the sea.
A cry of horror arose from one and all.
What could this mean?
Suicide--the maddest suicide that ever man had contemplated.
Nothing could save him now.
"Jefferson!" ejaculated Harvey.
"Hush!" cried one of the sailors, with suppressed excitement; "don't
worrit. Let him have the same chance as the shark at any rate."
It wanted a bold fellow to do such a deed as this, but Jefferson was a
bold fellow, few bolder.
He was no braggart; but his self-confidence was amazing, and it brought
him through many and many a desperate strait.
Would it bring him through this present affair?
Doubtful--sadly doubtful, indeed.
The wounded shark caught sight of the intrepid American, and all
heedless of its hurts, dived after him.
The spectators held their breaths.
Jefferson rose to the surface in an instant, drew a long breath, and
then down he plunged again.
Barely was he under when up came the shark snorting, puffing, and
There was a momentary pause just then.
Then its huge tail lashed the water into foam and it rolled over, the
water surrounding it being crimsoned with its life blood.
"That's another gone coon," said Sam Mason exultingly.
As he spoke, Jefferson shot up to the boat's side, where half a dozen
eager hands dragged him in.
"Phew!" he said, shaking the water from his face and head, "that beast
has cost me my knife and my cutlass."
He had sheathed them both in the shark before the ugly beast was done
The spectators gave him a cheer.
"That's sharp work, Jack," said Harry Girdwood.
"It wants a quick hand and a sharp eye."
"And it has got it, too, there," said Isaac Mole, enthusiastically;
"the smartest performance I've seen for many a long day."
Jefferson nodded and smiled at the speaker.
"Thank'ee, Mr. Mole," said he; "such praise is indeed gratifying coming
from you, the real hero of the day."
Mr. Mole was radiant with smiles at this.
"Jefferson," said the old gentleman, in his most condescending and
patronising manner, "you remind me of myself in my best days."
The boat's crew generally laughed at this.
But Mr. Mole was not at all abashed.
"Really, Mr. Mole," said Jefferson, "you flatter."
"Not I," protested Mr. Mole; "I rarely remember doing a neater thing
"Is it possible?"
"Humility itself," ejaculated another.
The exaggeration of their expressions of wonderment as well as
admiration did not at all upset Mr. Mole's moral equilibrium.
He had a very large swallow for admiration, and he pleased to take it
all as his legitimate due.
"The only thing which can at all compare to Mr. Jefferson's gallant
deed was an adventure that I will tell you of," said he, modestly. "I
was on a whaling expedition up north---"
"Yes, yes, I, Jack. What is there surprising in that?"
"Nothing, sir," responded young Jack; "only I was not aware you had
ever done any thing in that line."
"Now, how can you expect to know all my past career, my dear boy?"
"Of course, sir."
"Whaling, I repeat. We were chasing an enormous spermaceti whale. I was
carrying the harpoon and tackle, and as we got within range I let fly
at him with all my force. Now, perhaps I ought not to say it, but there
were not many men who could approach me in handling the harpoon. I
spitted the animal clean through the middle,"
"No sooner did he feel himself struck than he sounded. Out went the
line, but hang me if I could pay out fast enough, for he jerked me
clean off my perch into the water."
Mr. Mole smiled grimly.
"Not so bad as it sounds, after all," he said. "It startled me a bit,
as you may suppose."
"It would, of course," said Dick, tipping the wink to Jefferson.
"But I had got back my presence of mind in half a crack, so I hauled in
my line until I found myself on the whale's back. There I stuck on like
grim death, jobbing and stabbing away with one hand, while I held on to
the hilt of the harpoon with the other. I had only a dirk or short
sword with me, but it was quite long enough for the whale."
"No doubt, no doubt," exclaimed Dick.
"In a few minutes I had jobbed all the go out of him, and he floated on
the top of the water dead as a bloater, with me on the top, rather
blown with being so long under water, but with that excepted, not much
the worse for it."
Such were the mildest tributes of admiration which Mr. Mole's fanciful
reminiscence drew forth.
"You must have shipped a good lot of water, your honour," said Jack
"That I did."
"More water than your honour has ever took since."
Mr. Mole half smelt a lurking sarcasm in this, but the honest tar's
face showed no signs of slyness.
The only evidence of it being a dig at Mr. Mole's well-known weakness
for strong waters was to be found in the merry twinkling of the
"I remember something that happened to Billy Longbow--" began Sam
"Avast, Sam!" interrupted Jack Tiller; "Billy Longbow ain't in it with
Mr. Mole at a yarn."
HUNSTON'S TRIALS IN THE HOLD OF THE "WESTWARD HO!"--THE SHINE
WITH HIS PROTECTORS--A STRANGE REVELATION--TROUBLES.
Hunston was, meanwhile, getting into a very bad state of mind.
The mechanical arm was resuming its invidious advance--its mysterious
yet none the less terrible attack.
"I feel that I am going off the hooks," he would mutter to himself,
grimly, from time to time. "I shall put my old enemy Jack Harkaway to
the trouble of burying me after all.
"Well, one good turn deserves another. I buried his brat, he shall bury
me. Only he won't get as much for doing for me as I did for his son."
He little dreamt that both young Jack and Harry Girdwood were upon that
He had seen young Jack once, and then his fears were so excited that
they obtained a complete mastery over his cooler judgment.
He took him for his own apparition.
* * * * *
Joe Basalt and Jack Tiller felt unhappy.
They had long learnt to repent of their slyness in concealing the
stowaway on board the "Westward Ho!"
Honest Joe Basalt and rough-and-ready Jack Tiller consulted daily over
the dilemma into which they had fallen.
"Hark ye, Jack," said his pal Basalt, "we've bin an' made hasses of
ourselves in getting that chap aboard, but our dooty is clear now."
"To go and make a clean breast of it to the skipper."
"But the cove himself seemed so particular avarse to that."
"Cos why? Ain't he bin telling lies by the pint measure? He's been
humbugging of us," persisted Basalt.
"Let's go and talk reasonable to him, then," said Tiller, "for this
must come to an end. Damme, if I don't feel as if I'd been an' done a
hanging job at the very least."
They went to the hold and found Hunston.
The appearance of the wretched stowaway was by this time something
"We have come to the conclusion, mister," said Joe Basalt, "that there
is nothing for it but to let the skipper know all."
Hunston pricked up his ears at this.
"Do what?" he exclaimed, violently. "Split upon me, would ye?"
"That's a rum word to use," said Joe Basalt. "You are precious
feverish, and if you only was to see our skipper and let him know what
you told us when we picked you out of the water, he would help you--"
"To a halter," muttered the castaway.
"Did you speak?"
"No, Tiller, not I: I was only saying that he wouldn't care to see me,
so drop it."
"Can't," repeated Joe Basalt.
"Then listen to me," exclaimed Hunston, starting up with new energy;
"if you tell a word about me to anyone it will be a breach of faith and
I shall resent it."
"Well, if you means threatening me. I may as well tell you I ain't
afeared of no man, and when you gets round and pulls up your strength
again, I shall be happy to have half an hour with you quiet and
comfortable, and my pal, Jack Tiller, shall stand by and see fair
And honest Joe rolled up his shirt sleeves showing to the villain
Hunston a pair of powerful and brawny arms.
"I don't mean that," said Hunston.
"But I do."
"And so do I," added Jack Tiller.
"I mean to say that if you betray me to Harkaway or to any of the
party, I shall make a point of letting them know that you kept me snug
here so long because you were well paid for it, and it may not please
your master, perhaps, to learn that you are doing a little passenger
traffic upon your own account; and what's better, sticking to the money
you make over it."
This staggered the two sailors not a little.
"You lying, black-hearted swab," ejaculated Tiller, when he had got his
breath. "Would you dare?"
Hunston curled his lip contemptuously.
"Why, you sneaking, lying Judas," cried Basalt.
"Lying!" echoed Hunston; "is it not true?"
"Not true that I paid you for saving me and bringing me here?"
"But--but--but pickles. The tale I shall tell will speak for itself."
"Then, damme, you shall try it on now," ejaculated the exasperated Joe
Basalt, moving towards the companion ladder.
But before he could get any further, Hunston sprang before him, knife
"Stand aside," cried Joe.
"When you have sworn not to utter a word; but not till then--not till
The two sailors stared at each other in surprise at this outburst.
"Well, Joe," exclaimed his comrade, "did you ever see such a black-
"Not I. But put of the way with you, swab, or, damme, I'll make small
biscuit of you."
So saying, he ran at Hunston, and knocked the knife out of his hand.
Hunston endeavoured to close with him.
But the temporary strength with which his fury had invested him
vanished suddenly, and he fell to the ground, a dull, heavy load.
They ran to raise him.
To their dismay they discovered that he was breathless--lifeless.
"Is he? Then, by the Lord Harry, we must go and fetch the doctor, or we
shall get into an awful mess. Stay here, Joe, awhile. I'll go up and
see for the doctor."
"Stop a bit," said Joe Basalt, feeling the stowaway's chest. "He's not
dead yet. I can feel something moving here. Yes, it's beating."
"He's only fainting, then."
"Quite enough, top. I'll go up and let them know, before he can go on
again about it."
Up he ran.
Joe Basalt used his best exertions to bring the swooning man round.
* * * * *
Tiller found Harkaway on deck.
"Might I have half a word with your honour?"
"A dozen, if you like, Tiller," said old Jack, turning from the party
of daring fishermen, who had been relating their deeds of daring with
the sharks, and was quite elated with the narrations which they had
Jack Tiller hummed and ha'd, and looked uneasy, and so he pulled his
forelock and spluttered out--
"Please, sir, I've been and gone on like a darned bad lot, your
"Yes, your honour, I have. I've been and let a berth here on board, and
stuck to the money--leastways, that's what the passenger himself says,
though, the Lord help me, I hadn't the least idea of doing such a
thing; not I. I took a poor drowning wretch in, and I put him below in
the hold to keep him snug, and--"
Here Harkaway interrupted him with a cry of wonder and astonishment.
"What, Tiller, you mean to say you have a stowaway on board the
"Yes, your honour," responded the frightened mariner.
"You have done very wrong, Jack Tiller," said Harkaway, "very wrong
"I know I have, though Lord help me if I thought of wronging any man.
The poor devil in gratitude, offered me money, and I took it; and now I
feel as if I had been robbing your honour, that's all. But I'll be glad
to hand over the money, and so will my pal, Joe Basalt."
"Is he in it?"
"You surprise me."
"Devil a bit do I wonder at that, sir. We're a thieving, dishonest lot,
sir, little as I thought it, sir."
Old Jack smiled at this.
"Well, well," he said, after a moment's reflection, "we'll go deeper
into that question when we have seen your stowaway."
"This way, sir," said the worthy Tiller.
Old Jack followed him down below.
On reaching the hold, he found Joe Basalt kneeling up in a corner over
the wretched stowaway, who was still in a deep swoon.
"How is he?" asked Tiller. "Any better yet?"
"Yes--hush! don't make a row."
"Here's the governor, Joe," said Jack Tiller.
Joe Basalt turned round with a start, and hung his head abashed.
"It's all right, Joe," said Harkaway, "Don't worry any more about it;
only you were wrong to conceal it from me, that's all. And now let us
look at the patient. He is ill, Jack Tiller tells me."
"Yes, your honour."
"Turn your lantern upon his face."
The sailor opened his bull's-eye.
As its glare flashed upon the half swooning man, he opened his eyes.
The recognition was mutual--yes, and instantaneous.
The stowaway glared fiercely upwards, and uttered but one word--
GOOD FOR EVIL--AN UNEXPECTED STROKE OF LUCK FOR
Harkaway, the noble and generous, and Hunston, the villain from boyhood
to manhood, together--face to face!
After all these changes and trials and vicissitudes.
After all these acts of villainy, treachery, and cruelty upon the part
of the miserable wretch Hunston. After so many acts of daring upon the
part of our dashing hero, Jack Harkaway.
Not a word was spoken for some moments.
This strange encounter literally deprived them of the power of
It was unexpected to both of them.
Startling--appalling was it to Hunston upon regaining consciousness, to
find himself face to face with the man of all others he dreaded and
Need we say why?
The reader has not, of course, forgotten that Hunston was ignorant of
the two boys' preservation. Little did he dream that those two destined
victims had, by little less than a miracle, escaped his vengeance.
Bitter, indeed, therefore, were his feelings now, for he fully believed
that young Jack was in his grave in the Greek mountains.
Under any ordinary circumstances he would have felt tolerably easy, for
well as he knew what an ugly customer was Jack Harkaway in a tussle, he
was also aware that Jack would not take advantage of an enemy's
powerless condition, no matter how deep were the wrongs inflicted.
The murder of Harkaway's boy, Hunston knew well, was a crime which
Harkaway would never look over.
His fate was sealed.
So deeply was he convinced of this that he would have laid violent
hands upon himself if he had had the power.
But the crowning crime of self-murder he was powerless to commit.
"So, Hunston," said Harkaway, sternly, "we meet face to face once
Hunston was silent.
What could he say?
"What new villainy brought you here?" said Harkaway. "What fresh act of
devilry had you in contemplation when you got on board my vessel?"
Hunston gave him a sickly and scornful smile.
"Do you suppose that I knew where I was?"
"Then all I have to say is, that you haven't improved in wit or wisdom
with increasing years. Why, the merest chance brought me here. I am not
guilty of gratitude as a rule, you will say."
"You haven't the satisfaction of saying it," retorted Hunston, quickly;
"I have said it for you. But the two men who hid me here had no idea
who I was. Being hard pressed on shore--where you made it too hot to
hold me--I took to the water, and when I was nearly sinking, I hailed
their boat. They took me in and--"
"And you returned the compliment."
"By taking them in," said Harkaway.
"They hid me away here to do me a service. I made my tale good to them.
As my time, I feel, is nearly up in this world, I don't want to do them
Harkaway listened in some astonishment.
The wretch's allusion to his approaching end thrilled Harkaway
"Do you feel so ill?" he asked.
Hunston smiled sardonically at this.
"Nearly all over," was his reply. "Laugh away--laugh away!"
"Hush, miserable man, hush!" exclaimed Harkaway. "You have known me
nearly all my life; you knew me as a schoolboy and as a man."
"And no one has better reason than you to know that Jack Harkaway does
not fight with helpless enemies, still less does he rejoice over the
sufferings of the worst foe he ever had."
Hunston looked up.
A faint gleam of hope appeared in this.
But no; it was impossible.
Too well he knew that his life was forfeited.
But while he was ruminating thus, Harkaway had sent one of the men up
on deck to fetch the doctor.
In the course of two or three minutes the man returned, accompanied by
the ship's surgeon.
"A stowaway on board the 'Westward Ho!'" said the doctor, as he entered
the hold; "I should sooner have expected to find one on board a man-of-
"Examine him, please, doctor," said Harkaway anxiously, "and let us
know how he is."
The doctor made no reply, but proceeded without any fuss or
demonstration to feel the sick man's pulse.
"Very low," he said; "in a bad way. We must get him up out of this
place, for it is enough to choke a black."
He was tended as carefully as if he had been one of their best friends,
instead of the bitterest, the most treacherous of their enemies; and,
strange to relate, Jack Harkaway appeared not a little concerned about
the villain's welfare.
"Do you think that there is any danger?" he asked.
"Immediate, do you mean, sir?" said the doctor.
"Humph! I can scarcely say. Not exactly immediate, perhaps, if care be
"You think he will live?"
"Unless the fever which has set in should take an unfavourable turn. He
is constitutionally strong."
"I know that."
The doctor looked at Harkaway in some surprise.
"You are a bit of a doctor, Mr. Harkaway?"
"A very small bit," he answered; "only I have known this man nearly all
The doctor's manner invited confidence, and it was quite clear that his
curiosity had been awakened.
Harkaway thought it over quickly and quietly, and he came to the
conclusion that he could not do better than let the doctor participate
in the secret.
"You are surprised that an old acquaintance of mine should be here on
board my ship, lurking and skulking as a stowaway?"
"Well," answered Doctor Anderson, in a constrained manner, "if I
confess the honest plain truth, I am."
"It is simple enough; the man did not know that he was on my vessel, or
it would be about the last vessel in the world he would have chosen for
"Yes; refuge is the word. Now I am the worst man in the world at half
confidences. Tell me, are you a good man to keep a secret, doctor?"
"Then I may tell you something that will rather startle you."
"Yes. That poor wretch you have the charge of is the worst enemy that I
have. It is my old schoolfellow, Hunston."
"Yes. You remember the name, I perceive."
"I do. But is it possible that the villain has the audacity to venture
"No; that is just what he would not do. He took to the water, being
hardly pressed by his enemies."
"Why, if your men knew who it was, they would tear him piecemeal."
"Exactly; and that's what I wanted to speak of to you, doctor. We must
take every care not to let them know."
"Really, you are as careful of him as though he were a cherished
"Not quite," answered Harkaway; "only I don't care to drop on a
helpless enemy, even such a viper as this Hunston."
"But he is such an utterly bad lot."
"True; and I should not feel the slightest compunction at taking his
life in a tussle, in a fair stand-up fight; but what I can't do, is
taking a man's life when he is helpless at my mercy."
The doctor saw that Harkaway did not wish to discuss it further, and so
he contented himself with obeying orders; and so Hunston got restored
to health in the ship of his old schoolfellow, the man whom he had
injured most deeply.
Care and skill of the first description were lavished upon him.
But for this, Hunston would probably have languished and died
wretchedly upon the coast of Greece, unless an accident had thrown him
into the power of the authorities.
In that case, his destiny would have been speedily accomplished.
His end--the scaffold.
HUNSTON'S PROGRESS--MISGIVINGS--THE WARNINGS FROM THE
"A word with you, if convenient, sir."
"Certainly, doctor," returned old Jack.
And they walked on deck together.
"It is only concerning the patient."
"What of him?"
"There is something concerning that mechanical arm which completely
baffles me. It is poisoned, I fear."
"You astonish me," said Harkaway.
While they were talking this over, young Jack dropped into the cabin.
Now, the boy knew better than anybody the history of the mechanical
It will not be forgotten by the reader that the death of Robert
Emmerson occurred on board the pirate vessel during the captivity of
young Jack Harkaway and Harry Girdwood.
Although so many adventures have been gone through since then, you can
not have forgotten that during their captivity Hunston and Toro had
striven might and main to compass the poor boy's destruction.
It is needless to recall to the reader's recollection that it was
during that time that this wondrous work was perfected by Robert
Emmerson, and that during that time his work was the indirect cause of
The legend of the steel arm was not forgotten by the boys.
* * * * *
"This arm was made by the notorious Protean Bob," said young Jack to
his father. "You remember Protean Bob?"
"He was a highly-skilled mechanician, it appears, and that he gave
himself thoroughly up to the manufacture of this arm."
"It is certainly a marvellous piece of work," said Doctor Anderson.
"The strangest part of the story is," said young Jack, "that only the
inventor knows the exact working of it, and that there is concealed in
the springs something deadly to avenge the inventor should the wearer
of the arm ever prove wanting in gratitude. And Hunston, as you know--"
"Never troubled anyone with gratitude."
"No, indeed," said Doctor Anderson, reflectively; "the strangest part
of that is, he never misses an opportunity of railing against you."
"Against me!" said Harkaway.
"Ungrateful ruffian!" exclaimed Harvey, who entered just as this was
"He thinks when he gets well, you will take his life, for he is still
ignorant of the boys being here, or of their lives being saved," said
"I see, I see," said young Jack; "he doesn't know that we escaped the
death which he fancied so sure. He ought to suffer for that."
"Hush!" said old Jack: "he is punished enough already."
"Not quite. I don't think he could be punished enough," said Harry
"Stop, stop," said Harkaway, seriously; "I have suffered more than all
of you, at the hands of this man, and if I can forgive him, surely you
* * * * *
Now, as Hunston gained strength, his old evil passions returned in
their full force.
The nurses appointed to attend his bedside, were the two sailors who
had rescued him from a watery grave, honest Joe Basalt and his friend
These two bluff tars had been appointed to the post for reasons which
the reader will readily comprehend.
They had received a long lesson from old Jack and from the doctor too.
They were forbidden to mention certain matters, and although Hunston
would wheedle and cross-examine with the skill of an Old Bailey lawyer,
he quite failed to get any information from them.
"At any rate," exclaimed the patient, in utter despair, "you don't mind
telling me whither we are bound."
"Oh, yes, I do," returned Joe Basalt, who was on duty for the time
"You don't think that Harkaway means to--"
"Mister Harkaway, if you please," interrupted Joe Basalt, surlily.
"Well then, Mr. Harkaway," said Hunston, impatiently.
"You don't think that he means to hand me over to the authorities at
the nearest port, do you?"
Joe was mum.
Not a word.
Hunston still remained in ignorance of the presence of the boys--aye,
even of their very existence.
* * * * *
"Massa Jack," said Sunday to our youthful hero, one morning, "we often
gib poor old Daddy Mole a teasing, sir, a frightening."
Young Jack grinned.
"Ought he not to get off easier dan dat dam skunk, dat Hunston fellar?"
"Yes, but you wouldn't recommend joking with him as we do with Mr.
"No. I'd let it be no joke, Massa Jack; I'd just frighten him out of
his darned skin, dat's all."
Harry Girdwood was taken into their confidence, and a fine plot was
The only difficulty was the sailor nurse.
Joe Basalt was on guard again.
They gave Joe Basalt a good stiff tumbler of grog--and where is the
sailor who could resist that?--and oh, wickedness! the grog was
In plainer language, that means drugged.
Not very long after drinking their healths in a bumper, old Joe felt
drowsy, and he fell asleep.
The patient slept, and would not have awakened probably for two hours
had not the two negroes Sunday and Monday set up a most unearthly,
The pitch was low but thrilling, and not the pleasantest thing for a
man to hear with a conscience laden with guilt as was the wretched man
The sick man was for some time oblivious of the sounds which were going
on for his special ear.
But after a certain delay it began to tell.
Then turned upon his back.
"Hunston! Hunston! oh, Hunston!" Sunday groaned. "Awake."
And then the two darkeys would groan together.
A responsive moan from Hunston was heard.
He opened his eyes, moaned and groaned, and awoke wakeful at once.
And when he awoke!
His startled eyes fell upon two awful and awesome figures.
The two boys, young Jack and Harry Girdwood, standing hand in hand,
their faces bearing the ghastly pallor of the grave and their brows
smeared with blood.
In the darkened cabin a flickering, phosphorescent light played upon
them, a hint which had perhaps been borrowed from the practical joking
in the chamber of the sham necromancer in Greece.
The two victims glared upon the sick man, while he could only stare in
Then he closed his eyes and rubbed them, and opened them again, as if
to assure himself that it was real.
But they never moved.
He essayed to speak.
But his tongue refused to wag.
It stuck to the roof of his mouth.
The perspiration stood out upon his brow in thick beads.
Presently, when a sound came from him, it was a dull, hollow moan of
anguish, that sounded like the echo of some "yawning grave."
A sound which seemed to contain the pent-up agony of a whole lifetime
But his tormentors were merciless.
They did not budge.
"Away, horrible creatures!" gasped the miserable wretch, in tones
scarcely louder than a whisper. "Away, and hide yourselves!"
And he strove to drag the coverlet over his head.
But there was a fearful fascination in it which forced him in spite of
himself to look again.
"I know you are unreal," he faltered. "I know my mind is wandering--
that I fancy it all--all. Begone! away!"
As well might he have invited them to shake him by the hand or to
embrace him affectionately.
There they stuck glaring upon him with eyes full of hideous menace.
"What brings you here?" he said again. "Why do you come to torment me
now? Rest in your graves. Away, I say, away!"
His manner grew more violent as he went on speaking.
"You had no mercy upon us," said young Jack; "and now remember when
last we were upon earth."
A groan from Hunston was the only response.
"Beware!" said Harry Girdwood, in sepulchral tones. "Beware, I say!"
"Beware!" chimed in the others, as in one voice.
"I warned you that the time would come when you would beg for mercy of
my father," pursued young Jack. "I told you that you should grovel in
abject terror, and plead in vain--aye, in vain."
"Never!" retorted Hunston.
"To-morrow will show you."
"What?" cried Hunston, in feverish eagerness, while he dreaded to hear.
"It is false."
"The rope is ready--the noose is run. You shall die a dog's death."
"And you shall die hard," added Harry Girdwood.
A groan, more fearful than any which had preceded, burst from the
"But Harkaway will be merciful."
"As you were."
"No, no, no; he is full of forgiveness, I know."
"But not for crimes like yours."
"He could not pardon you, even if he would."
"Why not?" demanded Hunston, quickly.
"Because the crew would drag you piecemeal. No, no, no, Hunston; your
fate is sealed. The rope is ready--the noose is waiting for you. In
torment and in suffering you shall die the death of a rabid cur, the
death of a loathsome reptile, of a poisonous thing of which it is true
humanity to rid the earth."
He could hear no more.
With a moan of incalculable terror he dived under the bedclothes to
shut out the fearful vision.
When he ventured forth again, they were gone.
They had returned as noiselessly as they had come.
* * * * *
The drugged sailor fought with the opiate which had been administered
to him and opened his eyes.
"There's no one here, is there, Basalt? Tell me."
"What are you muttering about now?" demanded Joe Basalt, in his
"Are we alone?"
"I have had such an awful dream, my good friend," said Hunston, still
on the shiver.
"Then keep it to yourself," retorted Joe. "I don't care the value of a
ship's biscuit for your dream--yours nor anybody else's--so stow your
gaff. Close your peepers, and let me get a few winks, if I can, always
providing as I'm not troubling your honourable self."
Not even honest old Joe's withering irony could affect the patient, so
profoundly pleased was he to find the supernatural visitors gone--
melted, as it were, into thin air.
Hunston turned on his side, muttering--
"If I had but the giant strength of Toro, I would soon take my revenge
upon all this ship contains--yes, a deep and deadly revenge."
After a moment, he again muttered--
"I wonder if the brigand Toro is alive or dead, or if I shall ever have
his help to destroy my old and hated enemy Harkaway."
WHEREIN HUNSTON'S EVIL PROPENSITIES CATCH HIM IN A TRAP--
DANGER--ANOTHER SHARK--MR. MOLE SUFFERS.
"I have had such horrible dreams, doctor," said Hunston the next
"I don't much wonder at your dreams being ugly ones," replied the
There was no mistaking the doctor's meaning.
The conversation hung fire for a moment.
"I can quite understand that you may dream of many things which would
scarcely bear repetition."
"That's not the case," angrily retorted the patient.
The end of it was the doctor treated the patient for the feverish
symptoms which the tricks of the night had created, and as the day wore
on, he got calmer and better.
Time wore on.
Days grew into weeks.
The mysterious ravages of the secret poisoning still baffled Doctor
Anderson and prevented the complete restoration of the patient.
"There's something very extraordinary in this," the doctor would say to
Hunston, "something which is quite beyond me. If we were not in the
nineteenth century, I should almost be inclined to believe in a spell
having been cast upon you."
"Yes; or rather upon that wonderful mechanical arm. I should almost
think that the wearer was under a ban."
The doctor's words thrilled the listener strangely.
Little did he know that Doctor Anderson was well acquainted with the
history of the mechanical arm, and of its ill-fated inventor, Robert
Little did he think that the doctor's words were meant to produce the
exact effect which they had.
The doctor's speech sank deeply into Hunston's mind, and he brooded day
But although it did not affect his health, it certainly had a most
unwholesome effect upon his mind, and the result of this soon made
* * * * *
That same afternoon the two boys and their tutor were on deck.
There was scarcely a breath of wind on the ocean, the sails were
hanging loosely from the spars as the vessel rose and fell upon the
"What a country this is for sharks!" exclaimed Mr. Mole, who was seated
on the low bulwarks of the weather quarter, enjoying what little air
there was, and carefully unloading his pocket pistol.
"Beg pardon, Mr. Mole," said Harry, "but what is the name of _this
Mole frowned horribly.
"You are a very impudent boy."
"No, sir, only a youth of an inquiring turn of mind. What is the chief
city of this country?"
"I never answer absurd questions."
Mr. Mole took another suck at the pistol (_i.e._ flask), and then
his countenance relaxed.
"It is a place for sharks, though," he said; "only look at that great
fellow down here."
Harry looked, and so did young Jack.
There was a monster of the deep moving slowly to and fro, occasionally
coming up nearly to the surface and then sinking apparently without an
effort almost out of sight.
The fish was of greater size than those they had already killed.
He came up and looked at old Mole and then turned away, evidently
thinking the worthy tutor much too old, lean and tough for his dainty
stomach; but when he caught sight of Jack and Harry, he showed more
Evidently they were more to his taste.
"I mean to have a try for him," said Jack.
"Do so, my boy. I shall make a sportsman of you yet, I see," observed
"You have certainly put us up to a wrinkle or two lately, sir."
"Bah! your father is considered a clever man in all that pertains to
sporting, but what is he in comparison with me?"
Young Jack did not hear the conclusion of this speech, for he had gone
away to get his fishing tackle, a large hook attached to a chain.
He quickly returned, and baited the hook with about ten pounds of beef,