Ingleby’s instructions and (if the shameful truth must be told) with her young mistress’s knowledgeand I believe I should have been deceived by it myself. I saw the girl afterwardand my blood curdled at the sight of her. If she is alive now, woe to the people who trust her! No creature more innately deceitful and more innately pitiless ever walked this earthThe forged letter paved the way securely for the marriage; and when I reached the house, they were (as the servant had truly told me) man and wife. My arrival on the scene simply precipitated the confession which they had both agreed to make. Ingleby’s own lips shamelessly acknowledged air jordan 13 high heels the truth. He had nothing to lose by speaking outhe was married, and his wife’s fortune was beyond her father’s control. I pass over all that followedmy interview with the daughter, and my interview with the fatherto come to results. For two days the efforts of the wife, and the efforts of the clergyman who had celebrated the marriage, were successful in keeping Ingleby and myself apart. On the third day I set my trap more successfully, and I and the man who had mortally injured me met together alone, face to faceRemember how my confidence had been abused; remember how the one good purpose of my life had been thwarted; remember the violent passions rooted deep in my nature, and never yet controlledand then imagine for yourself what passed between us. All I need tell here is the end. He was a taller and a stronger man than I, and he took his brute’s advantage with a brute’s ferocity. He struck meThink of the injuries I had received at that man’s hands, and then think of his setting his mark on my face by a blow! I went to an English officer who had been my fellow-passenger on the voyage from Barbadoes. I told him the truth, and he agreed with me that a meeting was inevitable. Dueling had its received formalities and its established laws in those days; and he began to speak of them. I stopped him. ‘I will take a pistol in my right hand,’ I said, ‘and he shall take a pistol in his: I will take one end of a handkerchief in my left hand, and he shall take the other end in his; and across that handkerchief the duel shall be fought.’ The officer got up, and looked at me as if I had personally insulted him. ‘You are asking me to be present at a murder and a suicide,’ he said; ‘I decline to serve you.’ He left the room. As soon as he was gone I wrote down the words I had said to the officer and sent them by a messenger to Ingleby. While I was waiting for an answer, I sat down before the glass, and looked at his mark on my face. ‘Many a man has had blood on his hands and blood on his conscience,’ I thought, ‘for air jordan 12 high heels less than this.’ The messenger came back with Ingleby’s answer. It appointed a meeting for three o’clock the next day, at a lonely place in the interior of the island. I had resolved what to do if he refused; his letter released me from the horror of my own resolution. I felt grateful to himyes, absolutely grateful to himfor writing itThe next day I went to the place. He was not there. I waited two hours, and he never came. At last the truth dawned on me. ‘Once a coward, always a coward,’ I thought. I went back to Mr. Blanchard’s house. Before I got there, a sudden misgiving seized me, and I turned aside to the harbor. I was right; the harbor was the place to go to. A ship sailing for Lisbon that afternoon had offered him the opportunity of taking a passage for himself and his wife, and escaping me. His answer to my challenge had served its purpose of sending me out of the way into the interior of the island. Once more I had trusted in Fergus Ingleby, and once more those sharp wits of his had been too much for meI asked my informant if Mr. Blanchard was aware as yet of his daughter’s departure. He had discovered it, but not until the ship had sailed. This time I took a lesson in cunning from Ingleby. Instead of showing myself at Mr. Blanchard’s house, I went first and looked at Mr. Blanchard’s yachtThe vessel told me what the vessel’s master might have concealedthe truth. I found her in the confusion of a sudden preparation for sea. All the crew were on board, with the exception of some few who had been allowed their leave on shore, and who were away in the interior of the island, nobody knew where. When I discovered that the sailing-master was trying in, to supply their places with the best men he could pick up at a moment’s notice, my resolution was instantly taken. I knew the duties on board a yacht well enough, having had a vessel of my own, and having sailed her myself. Hurrying into the town, I changed my dress for a sailor’s coat and hat, and, returning to the harbor, I offered myself as one of the volunteer crew. I don’t know what the sailing-master saw in my face. My answers to his questions satisfied him, and yet he looked cheap nike heels uk at me and hesitated. But hands were scarce, and it ended in my being taken on board. An hour later Mr. Blanchard joined us, and was assisted into the cabin, suffering pitiably in mind and body both. An hour after that we were at sea, with a starless night overhead, and a fresh breeze behind usAs I had surmised, we were in pursuit of the vessel in which Ingleby and his wife had left the island that afternoon. The ship was French, and was employed in the timber trade: her name was La Grace de Dieu . Nothing more was known of her than that she was bound for Lisbon; that she had been driven out of her course; and that she had touched at Madeira, short of men and short of provisions. The last want had been supplied, but not the first. Sailors distrusted the sea-worthiness of the ship, and disliked the look of the vagabond crew. When those two serious facts had been communicated to Mr. Blanchard, the hard words he had spoken to his child in the first shock of discovering that she had helped to deceive him smote him to the heart. He instantly determined to give his daughter a refuge on board his own vessel, and to quiet her by keeping her villain of a husband out of the way of all harm at my hands. The yacht sailed three feet and more to the ship’s one. There was no doubt of our overtaking La Grace de Dieu ; the only fear was that we might pass her in the darknessAfter we had been some little time out, the wind suddenly dropped, and there fell on us an airless, sultry calm. When the order came to get the topmasts on deck, and to shift the large sails, we all knew what to expect. In little better than an hour more, the storm was upon us, the thunder was pealing over our heads, and the yacht was running for it. She was a powerful schooner-rigged vessel of three hundred tons, as strong as wood and iron could make her; she was handled by a sailing-master who thoroughly understood his work, and she behaved nobly. As the new morning cam
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