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Dialstone Lane, Complete by W.W. Jacobs

Part 5 out of 5

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Brisket shook his head.

"Me and Peter are very busy," he said, softly. "We've been putting our
little bit o' savings together to buy a schooner, and we want to settle
things as soon as possible."

"A schooner?" exclaimed Mr. Tredgold, with an odd look.

Captain Brisket nodded indulgently.

"One o' the prettiest little craft you ever saw, gentlemen," he said,"
and, if you've got no objection, me and Peter Duckett thought o' calling
her the _Fair Emily_, in memory of old times. Peter's a bit sentimental
at times, but I don't know as I can blame him for it. Good night."

He opened the door slowly, and the sentimental Mr. Duckett, still holding
fast to the parcel containing Mr. Stobell's old boot, slipped thankfully
outside. Calmly and deliberately Captain Brisket followed, and the door
was closing behind him when it suddenly stopped, and his red face was
thrust into the room again.

"One thing is," he said, eyeing the speechless Tredgold with sly relish,
"she's uncommonly like the Fair Emily we lost. Good night."

The door closed with a snap, but Tredgold and Chalk made no move. Glued
to their seats, they stared blankly at the door, until the rigidity of
their pose and the strangeness of their gaze began to affect the
slower-witted Mr. Stobell.

"Anything wrong?" inquired the astonished Captain Bowers, looking from
one to the other.

There was no reply. Mr. Stobell rose and, after steadying himself for a
moment with his hands on the table, blundered heavily towards the door.
As though magnetized, Tredgold and Chalk followed and, standing beside
him on the footpath, stared solemnly up Dialstone Lane.

Captain Brisket and his faithful mate had disappeared.

[Illustration: "They stared solemnly up Dialstone Lane."]


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