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And yet there was no word from Durnovo no sign to suggest that he had even thought of securing the safety of his housekeeper and the few aged negroes in charge of Msala. This news only strengthened Oscard's determination to send Marie down to the coast, and he personally superintended their departure before taking his seat in the canoe for the up-river voyage.

And while she was dancing the second extra with the first comer at four o'clock the next morning, Guy Oscard was racing out of Plymouth Sound into the teeth of a fine, driving rain. On the bridge of the trembling tug-boat, by Oscard's side, stood a keen-eyed Channel pilot, who knew the tracks of the steamers up and down Channel as a gamekeeper knows the hare-tracks across a stubble-field.

His last words the inexorable intention of going away sapped her last lingering hope. She could never regain even a tithe of his affection. "I think," he went on, "that you will agree with me in thinking that Guy Oscard's name must be kept out of this entirely. I give you carte blanche except that." With a slight inclination of the head he walked to the door.

So the crop received due attention; but the two leaders of the men he who led by fear and he who commanded by love were watching each other. One evening, when the work was done, Oscard's meditations were disturbed by the sound of angry voices behind the native camp. He turned naturally towards Durnovo's tent, and saw that he was absent.

His lips were apart, his jaw had dropped; he was hanging breathlessly on Guy Oscard's next word. "He died of the sleeping sickness," said Oscard. "We had come down to Msala before him Joseph and I. I broke up the partnership, and we left him in possession of the Simiacine Plateau. But his men turned against him. For some reason his authority over them failed.

Whenever he opened his lips Sir John turned Oscard's thoughts aside. What he had told him was strictly true. He had an appointment with Jack an appointment of his own making. "Yes," he said, in pursuance of his policy of choking questions, "he is wonderfully well, as you will see for yourself." Oscard submitted silently to this high-handed arrangement. He had not known Sir John well.

"You are a good man for a crowd; I think I will follow in your wake," said Sir John. "A number of people of the baser sort. Got my carriage here somewhere. Fool of a man looking for me in the wrong place, no doubt. Where are you going? May I offer you a lift? This way. Here, John, take Mr. Oscard's parcels." He could not have done it better in his keenest day.

We await your further instructions in considerable suspense." She stared at him with bloodless lips. She did not seem to understand what he was saying. At last she spoke, ignoring Guy Oscard's presence altogether. "Considering that we are to be married to-morrow, I do not think that you should speak to me like that," she said with a strange, concentrated eagerness.

Then she changed her mind and let it pass, as he seemed to believe. "Joseph constructed a disinfecting room with a wood-smoke fire, or something of that description, and he has been disinfecting everything, down to Oscard's pipes." She gave a little laugh, which stopped suddenly. "Was it very bad?" she asked. "Oh, no. We took it in time, you see. We had eleven deaths. And now we are all right.

If any hold that men are not created so dense and unambitious as has just been represented, let him look nearer home in our own merchant service. The able-bodied seaman goes to sea all his life, but he never gets any nearer navigating the ship and he a white man. In coming down to Loango, Joseph had had the recently-made track of Oscard's rescuing party to guide him day by day.