But luck seemed to be against us, for we sighted nothing but craft flying the British flag, and most of those were men-o'-war. At length, however, the skipper grew disgusted, and determined to see whether better fortune awaited us farther afield.
Thus, apparently calm, I awaited the coming of misfortune; I repeated in a low voice what Brigitte had said, and I placed near her all that I supposed she would need for the night; then I looked at her, then went to the window and pressed my forehead against the pane peering out at a sombre and lowering sky; then I returned to the bedside.
The latter, who was of the taciturn school, contented himself, and his superior too, with a simple "yes" or "no." Up to this moment we had no knowledge of the fate that awaited us. We knew we had to die that we knew; but in what way we were still ignorant. I, for one, had made up my mind that the padre intended pitching us over the cliffs. We were at length enlightened upon this important point.
"I should be better out of the way," her bitterness said within her, and alas! it was true. Her great, gaunt room seemed very lonely, very full of shadows when she returned to it. Rupert, who always slept at her bedside, awaited her.
It was charged with gunpowder, and filled up with "tamping" or pounded granite, Then the miner lighted the fuse and hastened away, giving the usual signal, "Fire!" The others followed him to a safe distance, and awaited the result. In a few minutes there was a loud report, a bright blinding flash, and a concussion of the air which extinguished two of the candles.
Uli, order another bottle. Keep still now, girl, and don't interrupt me," continued her aunt, and she went on to tell how she should feel if they both went away; what evil days awaited her; shed painful tears over her own children, and said that she could still be made happy if it might turn out as she had thought it through in her sleepless nights.
"Uncle Josiah," she added suddenly, "Ophelia and I have a wonderful surprise for you and the boys." Old Heck looked at her without replying while he awaited an explanation. "We are going to give a dance!" Carolyn June went on. "A dance?" he repeated incredulously, "when " "To-night in the front room," she hastened to explain, "not a big dance just a little one for you and the boys.
She told him he must build a castle on the other side of the lake, made of nothing but gold, silver, and precious stones, and unless he could accomplish this within an hour, the most frightful doom awaited him. The Prince heard her words without anxiety, so entirely did he rely on the help of his black friend.
I awaited the arrival of my uncle, which was every moment to be expected, with feelings half of alarm, half of curiosity a sensation which I have often since experienced, though to a less degree, when upon the point of standing for the first time in the presence of one of whom I have long been in the habit of hearing or thinking with interest.
But at dinner she was calm again, and pale only for the shadows under her wide eyes. She had written her letter to Cheiron she knew not of such things as messenger-boys or cabs, and had got Priscilla to post it for her, and now with enforced quiet awaited his answer which she thought she could receive on the morrow.