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|Dead Men Tell No Tales||E. W. Hornung|
Chapter XI I Live Again
|Page 5 of 5||
In my madness I knew not what I said; it was my wild heart speaking. Some moments passed before she replied.
"Will you promise to do nothing I ask you not to do?"
"My life might answer for it -"
"I promise - I promise."
"Then wait - hide - watch my light. When you see it back in the window, watch with all your eyes! I am going to write and then throw it out. Not another syllable!"
She was gone; there was a long yellow slit in the masonry once more; her light burnt faint and far within.
I retreated among some bushes and kept watch.
The moon was skimming beneath the surface of a sea of clouds: now the black billows had silver crests: now an incandescent buoy bobbed among them. 0 for enough light, and no more!
In the hall the high voices were more subdued. I heard the captain's tipsy laugh. My eyes fastened themselves upon that faint and lofty light, and on my heels I crouched among the bushes.
The flame moved, flickered, and shone small but brilliant on the very sill. I ran forward on tip-toe. A white flake fluttered to my feet. I secured it and waited for one word; none came; but the window was softly shut.
I stood in doubt, the treacherous moonlight all over me now, and once more the window opened.
And again it was shut; next moment I was stealing close by the spot where I had knelt. I saw within once more.
Harris nodded in his chair. The nigger had disappeared. Rattray was lighting a candle, and the Portuguese holding out his hand for the match.
"Did you lock the gate, senhor?" asked Santos.
"No; but I will now."
As I opened it I heard a door open within. I could hardly let the latch down again for the sudden trembling of my fingers. The key turned behind me ere I had twenty yards' start.
Thank God there was light enough now! I followed the beck. I found my way. I stood in the open valley, between the oak-plantation and my desolate cottage, and I kissed my tiny, twisted note again and again in a paroxysm of passion and of insensate joy. Then I unfolded it and held it to my eyes in the keen October moonshine.
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|Dead Men Tell No Tales
E. W. Hornung
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