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Dead Men Tell No Tales E. W. Hornung

Chapter XI I Live Again

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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?"

"Of course."

"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.

"Go quickly!"

And again it was shut; next moment I was stealing close by the spot where I had knelt. I saw within once more.

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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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