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Dead Men Tell No Tales E. W. Hornung

Chapter XI I Live Again

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He was closing the door after her when Joaquin Santos reached it.

"Diablo!" cried he. "Why let her go? We have not done with her."

"That doesn't matter; she is done with us," was the stern reply.

"It does matter," retorted Santos; "what is more, she is my step-daughter, and back she shall come!"

"She is also my visitor, and I'm damned if you're going to make her!"

An instant Santos stood, his back to me, his fingers working, his neck brown with blood; then his coat went into creases across the shoulders, and he was shrugging still as he turned away.

"Your veesitor!" said he. "Your veesitor! Your veesitor!"

Harris laughed outright as he raised his glass; the hot young squire had him by the collar, and the wine was spilling on the cloth, as I rose very cautiously and crept back to the path.

"When rogues fall out!" I was thinking to myself. "I shall save her yet - I shall save my darling!"

Already I was accustomed to the thought that she still lived, and to the big heart she had set beating in my feeble frame; already the continued existence of these villains, with the first dim inkling of their villainy, was ceasing to be a novelty in a brain now quickened and prehensile beyond belief. And yet - but a few minutes had I knelt at the window - but a few more was it since Rattray and I had shaken hands!

Not his visitor; his prisoner, without a doubt; but alive! alive! and, neither guest nor prisoner for many hours more. 0 my love! 0 my heart's delight! Now I knew why I was spared; to save her; to snatch her from these rascals; to cherish and protect her evermore!

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All the past shone clear behind me; the dark was lightness and the crooked straight. All the future lay clear ahead it presented no difficulties yet; a mad, ecstatic confidence was mine for the wildest, happiest moments of my life.

I stood upright in the darkness. I saw her light!

It was ascending the tower at the building's end; now in this window it glimmered, now in the one above. At last it was steady, high up near the stars, and I stole below.

"Eva! Eva!"

There was no answer. Low as it was, my voice was alarming; it cooled and cautioned me. I sought little stones. I crept back to throw them. Ah God! her form eclipsed that lighted slit in the gray stone tower. I heard her weeping high above me at her window.

"Eva! Eva!"

There was a pause, and then a little cry of gladness.

"Is it Mr. Cole?" came in an eager whisper through her tears.

"Yes! yes! I was outside the window. I heard everything."

"They will hear you!" she cried softly, in a steadier voice.

"No-listen!" They were quarrelling. Rattray's voice was loud and angry. "They cannot hear," I continued, in more cautious tones; "they think I'm in bed and asleep half-a-mile away. Oh, thank God! I'll get you away from them; trust me, my love, my darling!"

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Dead Men Tell No Tales
E. W. Hornung

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