"Had to hire him, eh? Best consulting engineer in the city. And he held out for a settlement," rallied Blake. "You were one of the party?" "Transitman." "Then apply to my auditor. He has your pay-check waiting for you." "How about interest? It's two years over-due." "I never allow interest on such accounts." Blake took out his cigar and looked at his antagonist, his jaw out- thrust.
Moreover, when he dwelt upon it, the doubt gathered strength; but there was nothing that he could do: Dick obviously meant to stick to his story, and Bertram could not be questioned. In the meanwhile, Blake sought Miss Challoner. "I don't think my uncle's looking well. Mightn't it be better to send for Dr. Onslow?" he said. "He wouldn't be pleased," Miss Challoner answered dubiously.
This, to me especially, was satisfactory news, for I had not forgotten the remark made by Colonel Blake to my father, that he should like to have me with him, and I felt very sure that he was a man who would fulfil his intentions. I mentioned this to Mr Robert Blake, who promised on the first opportunity to take me on board the flag-ship and introduce me to the admiral.
Before long the body of the Cavalier was discovered where he had fallen, at the entrance of the town, leading on his men. It was placed with all decency in a coffin, and Colonel Blake sent word that it was ready to be delivered up, and that he hoped, in return, his friend Mr Harvey would be set at liberty.
So, Blake and John Bottom walked off to the box stables and home paddocks. Frank ordered his horse, and complied with his friend's suggestion, by riding down to Igoe's. He was not in happy spirits as he went; he felt afraid that his hopes, with regard to Fanny, would be blighted; and that, if he persevered in his suit, he would only be harassed, annoyed, and disappointed.
Twenty minutes after leaving the ship they pulled up beside his cabin. There were two teams ready for the trail, one of six dogs, and another of five, each watched over by an Eskimo. The visor of Dolores' hood kept Blake from seeing how sharply she took in the situation. Under it her eyes were ablaze.
In a few yards they were off the causeway; the coach, striking deep water, settled like a boat, and turned over on its side, with the leaders swimming for their lives. As for the wheelers, they were pulled down with the vehicle, and were almost drowning in their harness. Cool as a cucumber, Blake had turned to the girl. "Can you swim?" he said. And she answered him as cooly, "Yes, a little."
And then, "Shut up, you old fool," he soliloquized. And he turned, and, re-entering the house, slammed the door behind him. Blake waited in the embrasure of the window, gazing down upon the Avenue below, with its confusion of moving vehicles and pedestrians. The June sun was overhead, warming the earth with gentle, kindly glow.
Beauty would have surrounded her, in Will's cabin as surely as in Blake Hall. And with the thought there came to him the knowledge, wrung from experience, that there are souls which do not yield to events, but bend and shape them into the likeness of themselves. No favouring circumstance could have evolved Maria out of Molly, nor could any crushing one have formed Molly from Maria's substance.
The energy of Vane indeed had already re-created a navy, squadrons of which were being despatched into the British seas, the Mediterranean, and the Levant; and Colonel Blake, who had distinguished himself by his heroic defence of Taunton during the war, was placed at the head of a fleet which drove Rupert from the Irish coast, and finally blockaded him in the Tagus.