Shand, that your word will be opposed to the words of four other persons. 'Four perjured scoundrels, said Dick, with energy. 'Just so, if your story be true. 'It is true, sir, said Dick, with much anger in his tone. 'I hope so, with all my heart. You are on the same side with us, you know. I only want to make you understand how much ground there may be for doubt.
"Ten seconds," he said, "or you forfeit. Are you with me, Shand?" "Sure!" muttered the other. Joe, with a groan of nervous apprehension, made his cast. He got a ten. Another reaction took place in him. "Let me see you beat that!" he cried offensively. "I'm all right!" He smirked at the girl. Husky picked up the dice and with one hasty shake tossed them out.
He was deluded by the idea that if he talked a kind of pidgin-English and shouted loud enough she must understand. "Me, Big Jack," he explained; "him, Black Shand; him, Husky; him, Young Joe. You?" He pointed to her questioningly. "Bela," she said. It was the first word she had uttered. Her voice was like a strain of woods music. At the sound of it Sam looked up from his flour.
You had better get hold of him and bring him to me, Mr. Seely. Then Mr. Seely hung up his hat in London for three or four days, and sent to Pollington for Dick Shand. Dick Shand obeyed the order, and both of them waited together upon Sir John. 'You have come back at a very critical point of time for your friend, said the barrister.
It was a copy of Thomson's 'Seasons', and on the flyleaf was written in a girl's hand the name of its late owner, Maria Shand. The truth flashed upon him at once. She must have gone down on that last night after he was in bed, and thus have made her little offering in silence, knowing that it would be hidden from him till he was far away from her.
But Joe was held up in mid career. "They're gone!" he cried blankly. Following his eyes, they saw that the corner was empty. Their thoughts took a sharp turn. They glanced at each other suspiciously. Joe's anger blazed up afresh. "You did it, you traitor!" he cried, whirling around on Shand. "You made way with the guns so you could pick us off one by one!
Robert Bolton had procured a photograph of the note which the woman produced as having been written by Allan to Caldigate. The handwriting did not appear to him to be the same, but an expert had given an opinion that they both might have been written by the same person. Of Dick Shand no tidings had been found.
Caldigate, and were then made known by him to Hester. The old man, though he turned the matter much in his mind, doubting whether the hopes thus raised would not add to Hester's sorrow should they not ultimately be realised, decided that he could not keep her in the dark. Her belief could not be changed by any statement which Shand might make.
Then at about midnight they parted, and Caldigate, as he found his way down to his cabin, saw the quartermaster with his eye fixed upon Mrs. Smith. There is no so stern guardian of morality and propriety as your old quartermaster on board a first-class ship. 'You have been having a grand time of it with Mrs. Smith, said Shand as soon as Caldigate was in their cabin.
Now John Caldigate was certainly not her son, in the usual acceptation of the word, nor did Maria Shand believe that he was so even in that limited sense in which a daughter's husband may be so designated.