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It's a man as was kinder fond o' me, and we understood each other's lingo. That's it he was afraid of my 'earing things that mightn't be wholesome for me to know. The man hadn't done no harm. And Durnovo comes up and begins abusing 'im, and then he strikes 'im, and then he out with his revolver and shoots 'im down." Durnovo gave an ugly laugh.

Victor Durnovo was smarting under a sense of injury which was annoyingly indefinite. It was true that Jack Meredith had come at a very unpropitious moment; but it was equally clear that the intrusion could only have been the result of accident. It was really a case of the third person who is no company, with aggravated symptoms.

Things go naked here damned naked." "And only language is adorned?" Durnovo laughed. He had to be alert to keep up with Jack Meredith to understand his speech; and he rather liked the necessity, which was a change after the tropic indolence in which he had moved. "Swearing, you mean," he replied. "Hope you don't mind it?" "Not a bit. Do it myself."

Victor Durnovo was still at work superintending the discharge of the baggage and stores from the large trading-canoes. They heard the shouting and chattering before coming in sight of the camp, and one voice raised angrily above the others. "Is that Durnovo's voice?" asked Meredith. "Yes," answered his companion curtly. It was a new voice which Meredith had not heard before.

In his ears there rang already the steady plash of the paddle, the weird melancholy song of the boatmen, the music of the wind amidst the forest trees. Durnovo rose briskly. "Then," he said, "you will join us? I may telegraph out to Meredith that you will join us?" "Yes," replied Oscard simply. "You may do that." "There is no time to be lost," Durnovo went on.

"I have got a partner," continued Durnovo, "a good man Jack Meredith, son of Sir John Meredith. You have, perhaps, met him." "No," answered Oscard; "but I have heard his name, and I have met Sir John the father once or twice." "He is out there," went on Durnovo, "getting things together quietly. I have come home to buy rifles, ammunition, and stores." He paused, watching the eager, simple face.

Her own danger, the horror of Maurice's crime, the hatred for Victor Durnovo, were all swallowed up in the sudden call to help Jack Meredith. And Jocelyn found at least a saving excitement in working night and day for the rescue of the man who was to be Millicent Chyne's husband. Maurice aided her loyally.

The Simiacine was, in his mind, relegated to a distant place behind weeks of sport and adventure such as his soul loved. He scarcely took Victor Durnovo au pied de la lettre. Perhaps he knew too much about him for that. Certain it is that neither of the two realised at that moment the importance of the step that they were taking.

"Every moment wasted adds to the risk of our being superseded. I sail for Loango in a fortnight; will you come with me?" "Yes." "Shall I take a passage for you?" "Yes." Durnovo held out his hand. "Good-bye," he said. "Shall I always find you here when I want you?" "Yes stay, though! I shall be going away for a few days. Come to-morrow to luncheon, and we will settle the preliminaries."

"I'm your man," he said, "with a few more details." Victor Durnovo was lying back at full length on the hard dry mud, his arms beneath his head. Without altering his position he gave the details, speaking slowly and much more quietly. It seemed as if he spoke the result of long pent-up thought. "We shall want," he said, "two thousand pounds to start it. For we must have an armed force of our own.