They had killed one of the Americans who was sleeping in the enclosure, left another dying near him and the third gasping his last outside the gate. St. Johns staunched the blood from his wounds and crawled to the top of a pile of grain-sacks whence he could see over the unroofed wall. Here he stayed for three days and three nights.
Algates, in the abbot's chamber there be certain grain-sacks, whereto I can bring thee and spread thee thereon some small matter of bed, and there, an it please thee, thou shalt lie this night, as best thou mayst. Quoth Alessandro, 'How shall I go into the abbot's chamber, seeing thou knowest it is little and of its straitness none of his monks might lie there?
But as Ed threaded his way among the freight piles, he saw a white linen figure stretched in slumber upon a pile of grain-sacks under an awning, and said to himself, "That's one of them," and hastened his step; next, he said, "It's Charley it's Fairchild good"; and the next moment laid an affectionate hand on the sleeper's shoulder.
"I wanted to ask you whether you would sell us some grain-sacks, Mr. McCloud, to use at the river, if you could spare them?" "Sacks? Why, of course, all you want! But how did you ever get here? In all this water, and two lone women! You have been in danger to-night. Indeed you have don't tell me! And you are both wet; I know it. Your feet must be wet. Come to the fire.
To her, prudence was the true method of making your fortune; good management consisted in filling your granaries with wheat, rye, and flax, and waiting for a rise at the risk of being called a monopolist, and clinging to those grain-sacks obstinately. By singular chance she had often made lucky sales which confirmed her principles.
Had I bethought me of this, ere the curtains were drawn, I would have let his monks lie on the grain-sacks and have lodged myself where they sleep. 'Nay, answered the host, 'the case standeth thus; but, an thou wilt, thou mayst lie whereas I tell thee with all the ease in the world.
Dicksie answered quite in earnest: "Oh, but we are. We must!" "Why did you come, then? It's taken half the night to get here, and will take a night and a half at least to get back." "We came to ask Mr. McCloud for some grain-sacks you know, they have nothing to work with at the ranch," said Marion; "and he said we might have some and we are to send for them in the morning." "I see.
Four weeks from to-day, God willing, we will set sail for Greenland." The camp entered upon a period of bustling activity. Carpenters fell to work on the re-furnishing of the ship, until all the quiet bay echoed with their pounding. With infinite labor, the great logs were floated down the river and hauled on board. Porters toiled to and from the shore with loads of grain-sacks and wine-kegs.
They knew that the yellow oily flesh of these animals was not fit for food, and is only eaten by the hungry natives that their hides, although sometimes used for grain-sacks and other common purposes, are of very little value. For these reasons, they had suffered them to come and go quietly.
The abbot is asleep and his curtains are drawn; I will quickly lay thee a pallet-bed there, and do thou sleep on it. Alessandro, seeing that this might be done without giving the abbot any annoy, consented thereto and settled himself on the grain-sacks as softliest he might.