List Of Contents | Contents of Black Bartlemy's Treasure by Jeffrey
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nearer, great head out-thrust, peering.

"Why," says he at last, "why--bleed me!  If--if it aren't--aye
'tis--Martin!  Why for sure 'tis my bonnet Marty as saved my skin
time and again aboard the 'Faithful Friend!'  Though ye go mighty
fine, lad, mighty fine!  But good luck t'ye and a fair wind, say
I!"  And thrusting the dagger into his girdle he nodded mighty
affable.  "But look'ee now, Marty, here's me wishing ye well and
you wi' a barker in your fist, 'tis no fashion to greet a
shipmate, I'm thinking."

"Enough words!" says I, stepping up to him.  "Do you go--alive,
or stay here dead--which?"

"Split me!" says he, never stirring.  "But 'tis small choice you
offer, Marty--"

"My name's Martin!"

"And a curst good name too, Marty.  But I've no mind to be
worm's-meat yet awhile--no!  Come, what's your quarrel wi' me? 
First Andy would murder me and now 'tis you--why for?  Here's me
wi' a heart of gold t' cherish a friend and never a friend t'
cherish!  What's your quarrel, lad, what?"

"Quarrel enough, what with your drugging me and murder aboard

"Avast, lad!  Here's unchancy talk, ill and unmannered!"

"You murdered divers men aboard the 'Faithful Friend.'"

"Only three, Marty, only three--poor souls!  Though yours is a
foul word for't.  I took 'em off, lad, took 'em off as a matter
of policy.  I've never took off any yet as I wasn't forced to by
circumstances.  Look'ee, there's men in this world born to be
took off by someone or other, and they always come a-drifting
across my hawse and get took off accordingly, but don't blame me,
lad, don't.  And as for a-drugging of ye, Marty, true again!  But
love me!  What was I to do?  But I didn't take you off, lad, no,
nor never shall unless you and policy force me so to do.  I'm no
murderer born--like Adam--curse him!  Clap me alongside Adam and
I'm a turtle-dove, a babe for innocence and a lamb for meekness! 
There never was such a murderer born into this wicked world as
Adam Penfeather, with a curse!  'Twas he as murdered Black
Bartlemy and nine sweet, bright lads arter him, murdered 'em here
one by one, and wi' a parchment rove about the neck of each poor
corpse, Marty.  'Twas he as drove their mates out to sea to
perish in a leaky boat--ask Abnegation Mings!  'Twas him nigh
murdered me more than once, aye me, lad, as can't BE killed
according to the prophecy of the poor mad soul aboard the old
'Delight.'  Why Adam, curse him, has murdered more men than you
have years.  And talking of him, how cometh it you aren't blown
t' hell along wi' him and the rest?"

"Do you tell me Adam is dead?"

"Blown up aboard the 'Faithful Friend,' lad.  Just after we run
her aboard and grappled, aye blew up she did and nigh took us wi'
her.  Aha, but Adam's dead at last, curse him!  Unless he can't
be killed either, unless he is--"

Here, and all at once, he turned to stare away across
Deliverance, then shrinking, cowered towards me as in sudden
terror stabbing at the empty air with his glittering hook:

"Ha--what's yon!" cried he in awful voice; and I turning whither
his glaring eyes stared (and half-dreading to behold my lady) had
the pistol wrenched from my hold and the muzzle under my ear all
in a moment; and stood scowling and defenceless like the vast
fool I was.

"Split me!" says he, tapping me gently with his hook "O blind me
if I thought ye such a lubberly fool!  So old a trick, Marty! 
Now look'ee, were I a murderer and loved it--like Adam, curse
him--I should pull trigger!  But being Roger Tressady wi' a heart
o' gold, I say sit down, lad, sit down and let us talk, friend,
let us talk.  Come--sit down!  Never mind Andy, he shan't trouble
us!"  So with the pistol at my ear we sat down side by side and
the dead man sprawling at our feet.

"Now first, Marty lad, how come ye here alone on Bartlemy's

But sitting thus chin on fist I stared down at Red Andy's
stiffening body silent as he, I being too full of fierce anger
and bitter scorn of my folly for speech.

"Come, come, Marty, be sociable!" says Tressady, tapping my cheek
with the pistol-muzzle, "Was it Penfeather sent ye hither t' give
an eye to--the treasure?  Was it?"


"'Twould be the night he made the crew drunk and spoiled my
plans.  Ha, 'twas like him--a cunning rogue!  But for this I'd
have had the ship and him and the treasure.  O a right cunning,
fierce rogue was Adam, and none to match him but me."

"But he nearly did for you once!" says I bitterly, "And he such a
small, timid man!"

"Look'ee, Martin, when Adam grows timid 'tis time for your bold,
desperate fellows to beware!  But he's dead at last, though I'd
ha' felt more comfort, aye I'd ha' took it kinder had he been
took off by my Silver Woman--or this!"  Here he thrust his hook
before my eyes.  "It ain't a pretty thing, Martin, not pretty,
no--but 'tis useful at all times and serves to shepherd my lambs
wi' now and then, 'tis likewise a mighty persuading argument,
but, and best of all--'tis sure, lad, sure.  So I'd ha' took it
kinder had I watched him go off on this, lad, this.  My hook for
my enemies and for my friends a heart o' gold!  And, talking o'
gold, Marty, what--what o' Bartlemy's Treasure?"

"You are happily welcome to it for all me."

"Why, that's spoke manly and like a friend, rot me but it is! 
And now where might it lie, Marty, where?"

"I've no idea."

"What ha'n't ye found it, lad?"


"Not even--seen it, then?"


"Why, think o' that now, think of that!  And you wi'--a fortun'
o' pearls on you, Marty.  These pearl studs and buttons, lad. 
Pearls--ha, pearls was meat and drink to Bartlemy.  And here's
you wi' pearls I've seen on Bartlemy many a time.  And yet you
ha'n't found the treasure, says you.  If I was a passionate man,
Marty, I should call ye liar, says I.  Howsoever what I do say
is--as you've forgot, and very right and proper.  But we'm
friends, you and me, so far, and so, 'twixt friends, I ask you to
think again until you remember, and to think hard, lad, hard."

Now as I sat (and miserably enough) staring down at my jewelled
buttons that seemed to leer up at me like so many small,
malevolent eyes, upon the air rose a distant stir that grew and
grew to sound of voices with the creak and rumble of oars.

"Here come my lambs at last, Marty, and among 'em some o' the
lads as sailed wi' Bartlemy aboard the 'Delight.'  There's Sam
Spraggons for one--Smiling Sam as you'll mind aboard the
'Faithful Friend.'  Now the Smiler knoweth many and divers
methods of persuasion, Marty lad, tricks learned of the Indians
as shall persuade a man to anything in this world.  But first,
seeing 'tis you, Martin, as played 'bonnet' to me and saved my
life aboard ship, though all unknowing, here's my offer:  show me
how to come by Bartlemy's Treasure as is mine--mine by rights,
let me get my hands on to it and none the wiser, and there shall
be share for you, Marty lad, share for you.  Otherwise I must let
Sam try to persuade you to remember where it lieth--come, what
d'ye say?"

"What--you'll torture me then?"

"If I must, friend, if I must.  'Tis for you to say."

"Why then 'twill be labour in vain, Tressady, for I swear I know
nought of this treasure--"

"Sit still, lad, sit still!" says he, clapping the pistol to my
ear again.  "Though a fool in many ways, Marty, you're proper
enough man to look at and 'twill be pity to cripple ye!  Aye,
there won't be much left when Sam is done wi' you, more's the

Hereupon he hailed loudly and was answered from the lagoon, and
glancing thither, I saw two boats crowded with men pulling for
the beach.

"A wildish company, Martin, desperate fellows as ever roved the
Main, as I do love no more than they love me.  So say the word
and we'll share Black Bartlemy's treasure betwixt us, just you
and me, lad, me and you!  Come, what's your will?"  But shaking
my head (and hopelessly enough) I set my teeth and watched the
coming of my tormentors.

And foremost was a short, plump, bright-eyed man who lacked an
ear, and at his elbows two others, the one a lank rogue with a
patch over one eye, the third a tall, hairy fellow.

And observing them as they came I knew them for those same three
rogues I had fought with in the hedge-tavern beside Pembury Hill
on that night I had first seen my dear lady.  Hard upon their
heels came a riotous company variously armed and accoutred, who
forthwith thronged upon me pushing and jostling for sight of me,
desecrating the quiet night with their hoarse and clamorous
ribaldry.  Unlovely fellows indeed and clad in garments of every
shape and cut, from stained home spun and tattered shirts to
velvet coats be-laced and gold-braided; and beholding this
tarnished and sordid finery, these clothes looted from sinking
ships and blazing towns, I wondered vaguely what had become of
their late owners.

At gesture from Tressady I was dragged to my feet and my arms
jerked, twisted and bound before me crosswise, and so stood I
helpless and in much painful discomfort whiles Tressady harangued
his fellows, tapping me gently with his hook:

"Look'ee, my bullies," quoth he, "I promised ye gold a' plenty
and here, somewhere on this island, it lieth waiting to be found. 
It needeth but for this fool Martin here, as some o' you will
mind for Adam Penfeather's comrade, with a curse, it needeth but
for him to speak, I say, and in that same hour each one o' you
may fill your clutch wi' more treasure than ever came out o'
Eldorado or Manoa--so speak he must and shall--eh bullies, eh?"

"Aye, aye, Cap'n!" they roared, pressing upon me with a shaking
of fists and glitter of eager steel.

"Twist his thumbs, Cap'n!" cried one.

"Slit his nose!" roared another.

"Trim his yeres!" cried a third.  But Tressady silenced them with
a flourish of his hook.

"Hark'ee, lads!" says he.  "You all mean well, but you're
bunglers, here's a little delicate matter as none can handle like
the Smiler.  There's none like Sam can make a man give tongue! 
Pass the word for Smiling Sam!  Step forward, Sammy."

Hereupon cometh the great, fat fellow Spraggons who had been
bo'sun's mate aboard the "Faithful Friend," forcing his way with
vicious elbows and mighty anxious to come at me.

"O love my limbs!" says he in his high-pitched voice and blinking
his hairless lids at me, "O cherish my guts--leave him to me,
Cap'n!  Sam's the lad to make this yer cock crow.  See now--a
good, sharp knife 'neath the finger or toe-nails--drew slow,
mates, slow!  Or a hot iron close agen his eyes is good.  Or
boiling water poured in his yeres might serve.  Then--aha, Cap'n! 
I know a dainty little trick, a small cord, d'ye see, twisted
athwart his head just a-low the brows, twisted and twisted--as
shall start his eyes out right pretty to behold.  I mind too as
Lollonais had a trick o' bursting a man's guts wi' water--"

"Bring him to the beach yonder!" says Tressady, watching me ever
with his pale eyes, "There shall be more room for't yonder!"

So they hailed me along betwixt them, and with huge merriment;
but scarce were we out of the cove and hard beside Bartlemy's
tree than I started to the vicious prick of a knife, and whirling
about despite the fierce hands that sought to hold me, I saw
Smiling Sam about to stab me again.  But now, as I strove with my
reeling captors, was a flicker of vicious steel as Tressady
sprang and, whipping his hook beneath the great fellow's belt,
whirled Smiling Sam from his feet despite his prodigious weight
and forthwith trampled upon him.

"So-ho, my merry lad!" quoth Tressady, glaring down into Smiling
Sam's convulsed face, "And must ye be at it afore I give the
word?  Who's captain here--who?  Come speak up, my roaring boy!"
and he thrust his hook beneath the Smiler's great, flabby chin.

"Mercy, Cap'n--mercy!" cried Spraggons, his high-pitched voice
rising to a pitiful squeal.  "Not the hook, Cap'n--O Lord love
me--not the hook!"

"Hook?  And why not, Sam, why not?  'Tis sharp and clean and
quick, and hath done the business o' nicer rogues than you,
bully, aye and better, Sam, better--"

O Cap'n--for God's sake--"

"Who're you to call on God so glib, Sammy?"  'Tis marvel He don't
strike ye blind, lad.  Or there's your innards, Sam, here's that
may whip out your liver, lad--So!"  I saw the glitter of the
hook, heard Smiling Sam's gasping scream as the steel bit into
him, and then Tressady was on his feet smiling round upon his
awed and silent company.

"Look'ee, bullies!" says he, pointing to the Smiler's inanimate
form, "Here's poor Sam all swounded away at touch o' my hook like
any woman--and him my bo'sun!  Pshaw!  I want a man!"  Here he
stooped, and wrenching the silver pipe from Smiling Sam's fat
throat stared from one shuffling rogue to another:  "Step
forward, Abner," says he at last, "Come, you'll do--you're a
prime sailor-man, you're my bo'sun henceforth."

But now Smiling Sam awaking from his swoon moaned feebly and sat

"Not the hook, Cap'n!" he wailed, O not that--"

"No, Smiler, no, I keep it for better men.  Disobey me again and
I'll drown ye in a puddle.  And now up wi' you, Sammy, up wi' you
and stand by to teach Martin here how to talk."

"Aye, aye, Cap'n--aye, aye!" says the gross fellow, rising nimbly
enough, whiles his comrades closed about us expectant, and
glancing from me to Tressady where he had seated himself on a

"Here will do!" says he, pointing to a brilliant strip of moonlit
sand midway betwixt the shadows of the cliff and Bartlemy's tree. 
"On his back, hearties, and grapple him fast, he's strong well-
nigh as I am.  Now his hand, Smiler, his right hand--"

"Aye, aye, Cap'n!" quoth the fellow, kneeling above me where I
lay helpless.  "Will I cut it adrift--slow like?"  And as he
flourished his knife I saw a trickle of saliva at the corners of
his great, loose mouth, "Off at the wrist, Cap'n, or fingers

"No, fool!  His thumb-nail first--try that!"

Sweating and with every nerve a-quiver I watched that cruel
knife, holding my breath in expectation of the coming agony, and
then--from the black gloom of the cliff beyond burst a sudden
echoing roar, I heard the whine of a bullet and immediately all
was confusion and uproar, shouts of dismay and a wild rush for
shelter from this sudden attack.  But as I struggled to my knees
Tressady's great hand gripped my throat, and dragging me behind a
boulder he pinned me there.

"Stand by, lads!" he roared.  "Level at the cliff yonder, but let
no man pull trigger!  Wait till they fire again and mark the

Helpless in my bonds and crushed beneath Tressady's knee I heard
a stir and rustle to right and left of me, the click of cocking
triggers and thereafter--silence.  And, marking the gleam of
pistol and musket-barrel, I fell to an agony of dread, well
knowing whence that merciful shot had come.  For mayhap five
minutes nought was to hear save the rustle of stealthy arm or leg
and the sound of heavy breathing, until at length one spoke,

"What now, Captain?  Us can't bide here all night."

"How many are we, Purdy?"

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