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They scattered, each dashing for his own cabin, bursting open the door, sprawling inside, and shutting the door with his feet. After the last door had been slammed in his face, the skipper went home. He found Bill Brennen seated by the stove, trying a pipeful of Mother Nolan's tobacco. He had regained his broken oar and held it tenderly across his knees.

"The sound o' a horse nickerin' an' men cursin' it for the same." "A horse?" queried the skipper. And then, "On the cliff to the north? Where the divil has ye been to, Mary Kavanagh?" "Whist! Hark to that!" exclaimed the girl. "Sure, skipper, 'twas somethin' up back yonder," whispered Bill Brennen. "It sounded to meself like a gun slammin' agin a rock."

Bill Brennen and his party returned before sun-down, carrying a wounded comrade and a dead Frenchman along with them. There had been an ambush and a fight, and one of the sailors had escaped clean away. The skipper was in a rage; but, as the faithful Bill Brennen had commanded the party and Nick Leary had been a member of it, he kept his hands and feet still and let nothing fly but curses.

"The lads got to fightin' over the gold, skipper, an' Dick Lynch slipped his knife into Pat Brennen. Sure, the divil come ashore from that wrack. Never afore did them two pull their knives on each other; an' now Pat Brennen lays bleedin' his life out. The divil bes got into the lads o' Chance Along, nary a doubt, an' the black luck has come to the harbor."

Lift the trap, Bill, an' let them help theirselves." Bill Brennen stooped and hoisted a trap-door in the middle of the floor. The skipper left the table, lamp in hand. "Help yourselves, men," he invited. "Take whatever ye fancies." They came up meekly. Even the three who had so lately been disabled obeyed the invitation, leaning upon their companions.

They said some bitter things about Dick Lynch. The skipper visited the wreck, accompanied by Bill Brennen and a few of the men and boys who had not taken part in yesterday's mutiny. The sea was almost flat and there was no wind.

"Don't deceive me," said Philip, with a threatening look. "No, no, Mynheer Philip, I would not trust to your uncle Van Brennen for payment, but you have promised, and I know that you always keep your word. In one hour I will be with your mother; but you yourself must now be quick." Philip hastened home.

In that contree ben manye manere of serpentes and of other vermyn, for the gret hete of the contree and of the peper. And summe men seyn, that whan thei will gadre the peper, thei maken fuyr, and brennen aboute, to make the serpentes and cokedrilles to flee. But save here grace of alle that seyn so.

Presently he heard a mutter of voices and saw two dark figures ascending the path. "Good evenin', men," he said. The two halted. "Glory be!" exclaimed the voice of Bill Brennen. "The skipper himself, sure, praise the saints! Bes it yerself, skipper, an' no mistake?" "Aye, Bill, an' why for not?" returned Nolan. "Didn't ye t'ink as I could make the trip to Witless Bay an' back in t'ree days?

On reaching Chance Along he learned that the two swarthy strangers had already been there, and departed with two sealing-guns and a bag of food. The skipper sent Bill Brennen and six men on their tracks, for he did not want the strangers to carry out to the world the news of the wreck of the brig and the salving of the treasure-chests.

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