"Come, Quashy!" cried Lawrence, leaping up and giving the negro a rough shake that brought him instantly to a sitting and blinking condition. "Get up. We must be off. Saddle the horses the hor why, where are the horses?" He finished the sentence in tones of anxiety, for no horses were visible.
"True," assented Lawrence, "and we may add yet another illustration: at one moment, subjects of contemplation most sublime, next moment, objects the most ridiculous." He pointed as he spoke to Quashy, whose grinning teeth and glaring eyes alone were distinctly visible in the background of ebony. He was creeping on his hands and knees, by way of rendering himself, if possible, less obtrusive.
"How do they know," asked Lawrence, as he and Pedro busied themselves in tying up the hammocks in a suitable part of the jungle, "when to expect the turtles?" "Who can tell?" said Pedro. "Instinct, I suppose." "But dey not stink at all," objected Quashy, "anyhow, not till arter dey's dead, so't can't be dat."
"It's not that kind of stink I mean, Quashy; quite another sort," said Pedro, who felt unequal to the task of explanation. "But look sharp; we must lend the Indians a helping hand to-night." "But I don't know nuffin about it," said Quashy, "an' a man what don't know what to do is on'y in de way ob oder peepil."
"I knows dat, Sooz'n, not even a nigger." "Ob course not," continued Susan; "so what does massa do, but goes off straight to Kurnel Muchbunks, an' he says, says he, `Kurnel, you's a beggar." "No, Sooz'n, he di'n't say dat. Dough you says it wid your own sweet lips, I don' beliebe it." "Right, Quashy. You's allers right," returned the bride, with a beaming smile. "I made a 'stake das all.
"Now, den dis is what I calls hebben upon art'," said Quashy, sitting down with a contented sigh. "To be here a-frizzlin' in de sunshine wid Sooz'n a-smilin' at me like a black angel. D'you know, Sooz'n," he added, with a serious look, "it gibs me a good deal o' trouble to beliebe it."
While Pedro was gone in quest of his friend, the Indian girl, probably feeling shy in the midst of such unwonted crowds, retired to the room provided for her, and Lawrence and Quashy found themselves left in the unusual condition of having nothing to do. Of course, in these circumstances, they resolved to go out and see the town.
Back to back they fought, and Quashy used his sword with such agility and vigour that in a few seconds he sent several Indians bleeding to the rear. Lawrence, despising the weapons of civilised warfare, held his now empty gun in his left hand, using it as a sort of shield, and brandished his favourite cudgel with such effect that he quickly strewed the ground around him with crown-cracked men.
You mus' nebber steal no more nebber. But I'll get massa to buy you a hoss. Das what I'll do." Quashy had scarcely given utterance to his intentions, when a shout from Lawrence summoned him. The party under Colonel Marchbanks was about to start on their journey eastward. The negro soon informed his master of his difficulty. As he had anticipated, it was removed at once.
The storm happily was short-lived, and when the sun appeared, enabling them to dry their garments, and a good breakfast had been eaten, the discomforts of the past night were forgotten, and Quashy even ceased to growl at the "skeeters" and lament his double nose.