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The captain of the kansas

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Title:TheCaptainoftheKansas
Author:LouisTracy
ReleaseDate:October28,2006[EBook#19649][Lastupdated:March23,
2011]
Language:English
***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHECAPTAINOF
THEKANSAS***

ProducedbyAlHaines


THECAPTAINOFTHEKANSAS
BY
LOUISTRACY

AUTHOROF"THEWINGSOFTHEMORNING,""THE

PILLAROFLIGHT,"ETC.

GROSSET&DUNLAP
PUBLISHERS—NEWYORK


Copyright,1906,by
EDWARDJ.CLODE

EnteredatStationers'Hall


CONTENTS
CHAPTERI
ITEMSNOTINTHEMANIFEST

CHAPTERII
WHEREINTHECAPTAINKEEPSTOHISOWNQUARTERS

CHAPTERIII
WHEREINTHECAPTAINREAPPEARS

CHAPTERIV
ELSIEGOESONDECK

CHAPTERV
THEKANSASSUSTAINSACHECK

CHAPTERVI
—BUTGOESONAGAININTOTHEUNKNOWN

CHAPTERVII


UNTILTHEDAWN

CHAPTERVIII
INAWILDHAVEN

CHAPTERIX


APROFESSOROFWITCHCRAFT

CHAPTERX
"MISSINGATLLOYDS"

CHAPTERXI
CONFIDENCES

CHAPTERXII
ENLIGHTENMENT

CHAPTERXIII
THEFIGHT

CHAPTERXIV
THEFIRSTWATCH

CHAPTERXV
INWHICHTHEUNEXPECTEDHAPPENS


CHAPTERXVI
CHRISTOBAL'STEMPTATION

CHAPTERXVII
AMAN'SMETHOD—ANDAWOMAN'S

CHAPTERXVIII
AFULLNIGHT

CHAPTERXIX
WHEREINTHEKANSASRESUMESHERVOYAGE

TheCaptainoftheKansas
CHAPTERI
ITEMSNOTINTHEMANIFEST

"IthinkIshallenjoythistrip,"purredIsobelBaring,nestlingcomfortably
amongthecushionsofherdeckchair.Astewardwasarrangingteafortwoata
smalltable.TheKansas,withplacidhumofengines,wasspeedingevenly
throughanazuresea.
"Iagreewiththatopinionmostheartily,though,tobesure,somuchdependson
theweather,"repliedherfriend,ElsieMaxwell,risingtopouroutthetea.
Alreadythebrisksea-breezehadkissedtheChileanpallorfromElsie'sface,
whichhadregaineditsEnglishpeach-bloom.IsobelBaring'scomplexionwas
tingedwiththewarmthofapomegranate.Atsea,eveninthebluePacific,she
carriedwithherthesuggestionofatropicalgarden.


"Inevergaveathoughttotheweather,"purredIsobelagain,asshesubsided
moredeeplyintothecushions.
"Letushopesuchablissfulstateofmindmaybejustified.Butyouknow,dear,
wemayrunintoadreadfulgalebeforewereachtheStraits."
Isobellaughed.
"Allthebetter!"shecried."PeopletellmeIamamostfascinatinginvalid.Ilook
likeacreamyorchid.Andwhatlucktohaveachumsodisinterestedasyou
wherealotofnicemenareconcerned!WhathaveIdonetodeserveit?Because
youarereallycharming,youknow."
"Doesthatmeanthatyouhavealreadydiscoveredalotofnicemenonboard?"
Elsiehandedherfriendacupofteaandaplateoftoast.
"Naturally.WhileyouweremooningoverthelightsandtintsoftheAndes,I
keptaneye,botheyesinfact,onourcompulsoryacquaintancesofthenextthree
weeks.Tobeginwith,there'sthecaptain."
"Heisgood-looking,certainly.Somewhatreserved,Ifancied."
"Reserved!"Isobelshowedallherfineteethinasmile.
Incidentally,shetookasatisfactorybiteoutofasquareoftoast.
"I'llsoonshakethereserveoutofhim.Heismine.Youwillsee
himplaypetdoglongbeforewemeetthatterriblegaleofyours."
"Isobel,youpromisedyourfather—"
"Tolookaftermyhealthduringthevoyage.DoyouthinkthatIintendonlyto
sleep,eat,andreadnovelsallthewaytoLondon?Then,indeed,Ishouldbeill.
ButthereisaFrenchComteontheship.Heismine,too."
"Youmeantofindsafetyinnumbers?"
"Oh,thereareothers.Ofcourse,IamsureofmylittleCount.Hetwistedhis
mustachewithsuchanairwhenIskiddedpasthiminthecompanionway."
Elsiebentforwardtogivethechattereranothercupoftea.


"AndyoupromisedtoreadMolièreatleasttwohoursdaily!"shesighedgoodhumoredly.Eventhemostsensiblepeople,andElsiewasverysensible,begina
longvoyagewithidioticprogramsofworktobedone.
"ImeantosubstitutealiveFrenchmanforadeadone—thatisall.AndIamsure
MonsieurleComteEdouarddePoincilitwilldoourFrenchfarmoregoodthan
'LesFourberiesdeScapin.'"
"AmItobeincludedinthelessons?Andyouactuallyknowtheman'sname
already?"
"Readitonhisluggage,deargirl.Hehassuchalot.Seeifhedoesn'twearthree
differentcoloredshirtsforbreakfast,lunch,andtea.And,ifyourefusetohelp,
whoistotakecareoflep'titEdouardwhileIgivethecaptainatrotround.Don't
lookcross,there'sadarling,thoughyoudoremindme,whenyouopenyoureyes
thatway,ofadelightfullittleAmericanschoolma'amImetinLima.Shehad
driftedthatfaronherholidays,andIbelieveshewashorrifiedwithme."
"Perhapsshethoughtyouwerereallythedreadfulpersonyoumadeyourselfout
tobe.Now,Isobel,thatdoesnotmatterabitinValparaiso,whereyouare
known,butinParisandLondon—"
"WhereImeantobeequallywellknown,itisapassporttosmartsocietytobe
unpeurisqué.Steward!GivemycomplimentstoCaptainCourtenay,andsay
thatMissMaxwellandMissBaringhopehewillfavorthemwithhiscompany
totea."
Elsie'sbright,eagerfaceflushedslightly.Sheleanedforward,withacertain
squaringoftheshoulders,beingadeterminedyoungpersoninsomerespects.
"Foronce,Ishallletyouoff,"shesaidinalowvoice."SoIgiveyoufair
warning,Isobel,Imustnotbeincludedinimpromptuinvitationsofthatkind.
NexttimeIshallcorrectyourstatementmostemphatically."
"Goodgracious!Ionlymeanttobepolite.Tut,tut!asdadsayswhenhecan't
swearbeforeladies,Ishan'tmaketherunningforyouanymore."
Elsiedrummedanimpatientfootonthedeck.Therewasalittlepause.Isobel
closedhereyeslazily,butsheopenedthemagainwhensheheardherfriendsay:


"IamsorryifIseemcrotchety,dear.Indeed,itisnopretenseonmypart.You
cannotimaginehowthatmanVentanapersecutedme.Themeresuggestionof
anyone'spayingmecomplimentsandtryingtobefascinatingissorepellentthat
Icringeatthethought.Andevenoursailor-likecaptainwillthinkitnecessaryto
playthesocietyclown,Isuppose,seeingthatweareyoungandpassablygoodlooking."
IsobelBaringraisedherheadfromthecushions.
"Ventanawasadeterminedwooer,then?Whatdidhedo?"sheasked.
"He—hepesteredmewithhisattentions.Oh,Ishouldhavelikedtofloghim
withawhip!"
"Hewasalwaysthatsortofperson—tooserious,"andtheheaddroppedagain.
Thestewardreturned.Hewasahalf-caste;hisEnglishwastothepoint.
"Decaptinsayhebusy,henocome,"washismessage.
Elsie'sdisplayofirritationvanishedinamerrylaugh.Isobelbouncedupfrom
thedepthsofthechair;herdarkeyesblazedwrathfully.
"Tellhim—"shebegan.
Thenshemasteredherannoyancesufficientlytoascertainwhatitwasthat
CaptainCourtenayhadactuallysaid,andshereceivedacourteousexplanationin
Spanishthatthecommandercouldnotleavethechart-houseuntiltheKansas
hadroundedthelow-lying,red-huedCapeCaraumilla,whichstillbarredthe
ship'spathtothesouth—thefirststageofthelongvoyagefromValparaisoto
London.
ButpertinacitywasamarkedtraitoftheBaringfamily;otherwise,Isobel's
father,abluff,church-wardentypeofman,wouldnothavewonhiswaytothe
chiefplaceinthefirmofBaring,Thompson,Miguel&Co.,MiningandExport
Agents,theleadinghouseinChile'sprincipalport.NotwithstandingElsie's
previousoutburst,thestewardwassentbacktoaskiftheladiesmightvisitthe
bridgelater.Meanwhile,wouldCaptainCourtenaylikeacupoftea?Allthings
considered,therewasonlyonepossibleanswer;CaptainCourtenaywouldbe
charmediftheyfavoredhimwithboththeteaandtheircompany.


"Ithoughtso,"criedIsobel,triumphantly."Comeon,Elsie!Letus
climbtheladderofconquest.Thestewardwillbringthetea-things.
Thechart-houseisjustsplendid.Itwillprovidearefugewhenthe
Countbecomestoopressing."
TherewasatighteningofElsie'slipstowhichIsobelpaidnoheed.The
imminentprotestwasleftunspoken,forCourtenay'svoicecametothem:
"Pleaseholdonbytherail.Ifafootweretoslipononeofthosebrasstreadsthe
remainderofthedaywouldbeacompoundoftearsandsticking-plaster."
"Ithinkyousaid'reserved,'"whisperedIsobeltohercompanionwithawicked
littlelaugh.ToCourtenay,peeringthroughahatchinthehurricanedeck,she
cried:
"Isthebrassrailmoredependablethanyou,captain?"
"Itwillserveyourpresentpurpose,MissBaring,"saidhe,nottakingthehint.
Gatheringherskirtsdaintilyinherlefthand,Isobeltrippedupthesteepstairs.
Elsiefollowed.Courtenay,whohadthemannerandsemblanceofthefirst
lieutenantofawarship,stoodoutsideahavenofplateglass,shiningmahogany,
andwhitepaint.Thewoodworkofthedeckwasscrubbeduntilithadthecolor
ofnewbread.Anofficerpacedthebridge;asailor,withinthechart-house,held
thesmallwheelofthesteamsteering-gear.SomewhattoIsobel'ssurprise,
neithermanseemedtobeawareofherpresence.
"Sothisisyourden?"shesaid,throwingherbird-likeglanceoverthebright
interior,beforeshegavethecommanderalookwhichwasdesignedtobewitch
himinstantly."Surelyyoudon'tsleephere,too?"
"Oh,no.Thisroomisthebrainoftheship,MissBaring.Wearealwayswideawakehere.Myquartersarefartheraft.IthinkIcanfindachairforyouifyou
caretositdownwhileIhavemytea."
Thecaptainledthewaytoaspaciouscabinbehindthechart-house.
"Ihopeyoudon'tmindthechairsbeingsecuredtothedeck,"hesaid,takingoff
hishat."Sofarabovesealine,youknow,everythingthatisloosecomestogrief
whentheshiprolls."


"Thenwhatbecomesofyourphotographs?"demandedIsobel,promptly,her
quickeyeshavingdiscoveredthepicturesoftwoladiesinsilverframesona
writing-table.
"Itakecaretoputthemaway.Thereisalwaysplentyofwarning.Noordinary
seacantroubleabighulkliketheKansas."
"Isthatyourmother,thedearoldladyinthelacecap?"
"Yes,andtheotherismysister."
"Oh,really!Isshemarried?"
"No.Likeme,sheisweddedtoherprofession."
"WillyouthinkitrudeifIaskwhatthatis?"
"Sheisahospitalnurse;thematron,indeed,ofapublicinstitutioninthesuburbs
ofLondon."
"Howwonderful!Idoadmirehospitalnursessomuch.Theyaresocleverand
self-sacrificing,andtheyalwayshaveasmileontheirsweetfaces.Onlydad
wouldn'thearofsuchathing,Ishouldlovetobeanursemyself."
AndIsobelsighed,droppedherlongeyelashes,andexaminedthetoeofasmart
brownshoewithawistfulresignation.Courtenaywaspolitelyincredulous,but
thearrivalofthestewardwiththereplenishedtea-traycreatedadiversion.
"Doletmepouryourtea,"criedIsobel."Imakelovelytea,don'tI,
Elsie?"
ElsielaughedsocheerfullythatIsobelflashedaninterrogatoryglanceather.
Certainly,thenotionofIsobelBaringclaimingthedomesticvirtueswas
amusing.ButElsieansweredatonce:
"Iknowfewthingsthatyoucannotdoadmirably,dear."
SoIsobelfilledacup,askedifCaptainCourtenaytookmilkandsugar,andsaid
demurely,withasipofaspoonful:


"LetmeseeifIcanguessyourtastes."
Elsie'sblueeyesassumedadeepershade.Menmightlikethatkindofthing,but
shefeltthatherfaceandneckwouldbepoppyredinanothermoment.Thusfar
shehadnotaddressedawordtoCourtenay,thoughbyhismannerhehad
includedherintheconversation.Shenowresolvedtobreakinontheattack
whichIsobelwasbeginningwiththeadroitnessofaskilledcampaigner.And
she,too,couldusehereyestoadvantagewhenshechose.
"Whatacuriouslibraryyouhave,CaptainCourtenay,"shesaid,looking,notat
him,butatarowofbooksfittingcloselyintoasmallcaseoverthewriting-table.
Instantlythesailorwasinterested.
"Why'curious,'MissMaxwell?"heasked.
"First,intheirassortment;secondly,inthesimilarityoftheirbinding.Ihave
neverbeforeseentheBible,WaltWhitman,andDumasincoversexactlyalike."
"Thatiseasilyexplained.Theyareboundtoorder.Myrealtroublewastosecure
editionsofequalsize—anessential,yousee—otherwisetheywouldnotpack
intotheirshelf."
"Butwhatagathering!Shakespeare,thePilgrim'sProgress,
Montaigne'sEssays,HerbertSpencer,Goethe'sLife,byLewes,Marcus
Aurelius,Martial,Wordsworth,TheEgoist,Thoreau,Hazlitt,and
Mitford'sTalesofOldJapan!WherehaveIheardorreadofthat
particulargalaxyofstarsbefore?"
"Goon.Youareontherighttrack,"criedCourtenay,settingdowntheteacupand
hasteningtoElsie'sside.Shewasleaningonthetable,readingthetitlesofthe
books.Themotiveofherexclamationwasmergednowinthefineardorofthe
book-lover.Shehadanunconscioustrickofplacingtheforefingerofherright
handonherlipswhendeeplyengagedinthought.ElegantasIsobelBaring
mightbeinherstudiedposes,Elsieneedfearnocomparisonassheexamined
thecontentsofthebookcasewitheagerattention.
"WhytheVicomtedeBragelonneonly,andnottheThreeMusketeers?"she
musedaloud."AndiftheLifeofGoethe,whynothispoems,hisessays,
Werther?—Ah,Iknow—'thecrowningoffenceofWerther.'AStevensonlibrary!
Eachvolumeherecommendsin'Bookswhichhaveinfluencedmen,'Isuppose?


Whatacharmingidea!Ishallneverforgivemyselffornothavingthoughtofit
longago."
Courtenaylaughedandblushedlikeanyschoolgirl.Elsie'sappreciationhada
downright,honestringinitthatwentfarbeyondtheplatitudes.Sheaccorded
himthereadycomradeshipofakinsoul.
"Manypeoplehavebeensurprisedbymycollection;youarethefirsttodiscover
itsinspiration,"hesaid.
"Thatisnotstrange.Therearesofewwhoread.Readingmeansdiscerning,
interpreting.IamaworshiperofR.L.S.,butIhavebeenshockedtofindthat
forahundredwhocantalkgliblyofhisnovelsthereishardlyonewhohas
communedwithhiminhisessays."
"Wehaveactuallyhituponatopicthatshouldproveinexhaustible.
Believeme,MissMaxwell,thatismypetsubject.Morethanonce,
needingalistener,Ihaveevenlecturedmylong-sufferingterrier,
Joey,onthepoint."
Isobellaughedsoftly.Thetwostandinginfrontofthebookcasestartedapart,
withasuddenconsciousnessthattheywerespeakingunguardedly,forIsobel's
mirthhadmockeryinit—"therewasalaughingdevilinhersneer."
"Bytheway,whereisJoey?"sheasked.
Thedogansweredherquestionbyappearing,withastretchandayawn,from
beneathabunk.HehadheardhisnameinCourtenay'svoice.Thatsufficedfor
Joeyatanytime.
"Whatastrangeanimal!"wentonIsobel."Ishouldhavethoughtthathewould
bark,orpeepoutatus,attheleast,whenwecamein."
"Joeyhadadisturbednight,"saidCourtenay."Wepassedtheeveninginthe
HotelColon,andheregardsSouthAmericanhotelsasthenaturaldwelling-place
ofcats,andotherbadcharacters.Here,heisathome,andheknewthatIwas
present."
"Otherwise,hewouldhaveclassifiedusassuspicious?"


"Heisfartoodiscriminating.Whatdoyousay,pup?"
Joeylookedupathismaster.Apparently,hefoundtheconversationtrivial;he
yawnedagain,capaciously.
"Youdarling!Youmusthavesleptwithoneeyeopen,"saidElsie,stoopingto
pathim.
"Oh,takecare!"criedIsobel."Hemaybiteyou."
"Nothe!Whenyouseethatwistfullookinadog'seyes,havenofear.Hewants
tospeakthen.Youwon'tbiteme,willyou,dear?"AndElsiesankononeknee,
tostrokeJoey'swhitecoat;whereuponJoeytriedtolickherface.
"BetweentheStevensonLibraryandthecaptain'sdogyouareinstalledasa
primefavoriteonboardtheKansas,"commentedIsobel.Theothergirlrose
hurriedly.Shehadcaughtthetouchofmaliceinthesmoothvoice.
"CaptainCourtenayistoopolitetoremindusthatweareintruders,"shesaid
lightly."Weforgetthatheisbusy.Joey,candidlycanine,didnottrytohidehis
feelings."
Isobelswungherchairroundtofacethedoor.
"Thisisquitethebestplaceintheship,"shesaid."Iamverycomfortable,thank
you.Pleasedon'tsendusaway,captain."
BeforeCourtenaycouldanswer,theofficerofthewatchlookedin.
"CapeCaraumillabearingsou'westoftheBueiRock,sir,"heannounced,and
vanishedagain.
"Don'thurry,"saidCourtenay,takinguphiscap."Imustleaveyouforafew
minutes."
Hewasgone,withJoeyathisheels,andtherewasabriefsilence.
"Really,Isobel,weshouldgobackondeck,"urgedElsie,uneasily.Alreadyshe
halfregrettedtheimpulsewhichledhertointerveneinherfriend'sspecial
hobby.


"Ilikethat.Ididn'tcredityouwithsuchguile,ElsieMaxwell.Yousnapupmy
nicecaptainbeneathmyverynose,andcoollyproposethatIshouldvacatethe
battlefield.Ohdear,no!Ican'ttalkliterature,butIcanflirt,andIhavenot
finishedwithArthuryetbyalongchalk."
"Isobel,ifyouknewhowyouhurtme—"
MissBaringcrossedherprettyfeet,foldedherarms,andgavehercompaniona
smilingglance.
"Soartful,too.'Loveme,lovemydog,'eh?Youactuallytookmybreathaway."
"ItmayamazeyoutolearnthatImeanttoachievethatmuch,atanyrate,"was
Elsie'squietretortassheturnedtoselectavolumefromthequeermiscellanyin
thebookcase.
"Oh,don'tbecruel.LeavememyFrenchman!Sayyouwon'twheedleEdouard
byquotingtheclassicsofhisnativetongue!Poorme!HerehaveIbeenwarming
aserpentinmybosom."
Withamoueofmake-believeanguishIsobelleanedbackinherchair.Shewas
insolentlyconsciousofhersuperiorattractions.Wasshenottherichestheiressin
Valparaiso?Hadnotherfathercharteredthisship?AndwasnotElsieevennow
flyingfromanunwelcomesuitor?Sheknewfullwellthatherfriendwould
resenttheslightestsemblanceoflove-makingonthepartofanymanonboard.
AlreadyherastonishmentatElsie'sunlooked-forvivacitywasyieldingtothe
humorofmeetingsucharival.TheCountmightserveasafoil,butthereal
quarrynowwasthecaptain.Thatverynighttherewouldbeamoon.Andthesea
wascalmasashelteredlake.Isobel'slipspartedinadelightedsmileasshetried
toimagineCourtenaydesertinghertodiscussthosecelebritieswhomElsiehad
madethemostof.AndhowshewouldplayofftheCountagainstthecaptain!
TheyoughttobeatdaggersdrawnlongbeforetheStraitsofMagellanwere
reached.Certainlysheneverexpectedsuchsportonboardsuchahumdrumship
astheKansas.
Suddenlytheybothheardanexcitedbarkfromthedog,andthequickrushof
feetalongthedeck;Courtenay'svoicereachedthemwithanewandstartling
noteinit.
"Stopthat!"heshouted.


Therewasaninstant'spause.Theiralertearscaughtthesoundsofadistant
scuffle.Thenapistolshotjarredthepeacefuldroneoftheship.
"Sheeroff,there!"roaredCourtenayagain."NexttimeIshoottokill!"—
Withterrorintheireyes,withblanchedcheeks,theyrushedtothedoorand
peepedout.Courtenaywasnottobeseen,buttheofficerofthewatchwas
swinginghimselfoverthecanvasshieldofthebridge.Hedisappeared.Joey,
barkingfuriously,trottedintoviewandranbackagain.Creepingforward,they
sawthestolidsailorwithinthechart-housesquintatthecompassandgivethe
wheelaslightturn.Thatwasreassuring.Yetanothertimorouspace,andthrough
thecurvingwindowtheycoulddiscernCourtenay,holdingarevolverinhisright
hand,butbehindhisback.
Evenintheiralarmtheyrealizedthatnothingveryterriblewouldhappennow.
Butwhyhadtheshotbeenfired,andwhathadgiventhattenseringto
Courtenay'sthreat?
Venturingalittlefurther,theygainedthebridge.Onthemaindeck,alongway
beneath,nearanopenhatch,ahalf-casteChileanwaslyingonhisback.Hehad
evidentlybeenwounded.Bloodwasflowingfromhisleg;itsmearedthewhite
deck.Theofficerwhohadclimbeddownsospeedilyfromthebridgewas
directingtwoothermenhowtolifthim.Closeby,thechiefofficer,Mr.Boyle,
wasstanchingadeepcutonhischinwithahandkerchief.Atthesametimehe
curtlyorderedoffsuchdeckhandsandstewardsascamerunningforward,
attractedbythedisturbance.
Thegirlsweregazingwide-eyedatthissomewhatunnervingscene,when
Courtenayapproached.
"Bettergobelow,"hesaidquietly."Iamsorrythistroubleshouldhave
happened,atthebeginningofthevoyage,too.Ihopeitwillnotupsetyou.That
rascallyChileantriedtoknifeMr.Boyle,andthoseotherblackguardswere
readytosidewithhim.IhadtoshootquickandstraighttoshowthemImeant
whatIsaid."
"Ishedead?"askedIsobel,withacontemptuouscoolnessastothefateofthe
mutineerwhichCourtenayfoundadmirable.
"Notabitofit.Firedathislegs.Onlyafleshwound,Ifancy."


"Poorwretch!"murmuredElsie."Wastherenootherway?"
"Thereisonlyonewayofdealingwiththatsortofskunk,"wasthegruffanswer.
Thepityinhervoiceimpliedacondemnationofhisact.Heresentedit.Heknew
hehaddonerightly,andsheknewthatshehadgivenoffencebyherinvoluntary
sympathywiththesufferingChilean,who,withthepassingoftheparalyzing
shockofthebullet,washowlingdolefullynowasthesailorscarriedhimtowards
theforecastle.
Theman'sgroanstorturedher.Hereyesfilledwithtears.Joey,yelpingwith
frenzy,leapeduptoinvitehertolifthimabovethecanvasscreensothathe
mightseewhatwasgoingon.ButElsiecouldonlyreachblindlyfortherailof
thecompanion-way,andIsobel,afterasmilingwordoffarewelltoCourtenay,
followedher.
SoitcametopassthatneitherStevensonnorthemoonhadpowertodrawthe
captainoftheKansastothepromenadedeckthatnight.


CHAPTERII
WHEREINTHECAPTAINKEEPSTOHISOWNQUARTERS

DoctorChristobalbroughtsomeadditionaldetailstothedinner-table.Hewas
nottheship'sdoctor.TheKansas,builtforfreightratherthanpassengers,didnot
carryasurgeononherroll;Dr.Christobal'spresencewasduetoMr.Baring's
solicitudeinhisdaughter'sbehalf.Itchancedthatthecourtlyandgray-haired
SpanishphysicianhadrelinquishedhispractiseinChile,andwasabouttopaya
long-promisedvisittoamarrieddaughterinBarcelona.Friendship,notunaided
byagoodfee,inducedhimtotravelbytheKansas.
HehadbeencalledontoattendMr.BoyleandthewoundedChilean,andhe
reportednowthatthechiefofficer'sinjurywastrifling,buttheChilean'swound
mightincapacitatehimduringtheremainderofthevoyage.
"SofarasIcangather,"hesaid,"Mr.Boylehadanarrowescape.Thesehalfbreedshaveaniceanatomicalknowledgeofthesituationofthelung;theyalso
knowtheeasiestwaytoreachitwithasharpinstrument.CaptainCourtenay
firedastheknifefell,otherwiseourfirstmatewouldhaveattendedhisown
funeralthisevening."
"Whatwasthecauseoftheaffair?"Isobelasked.
"Themanisnotoneoftheship'screw,Iunderstand.HisnameisFrascuelo,and
itappearsthathewasengagedtoplacesomebunkercoalaboardearlythis
morning.Hesaysthathewasdrugged,andhisclothesstolen;thathecameoffto
theshipatalatehour,andthatsomeoneflunghimheadlongintoaholdwhich,
luckilyforhim,wasnearlyfullofcottonbales.Hewasstunnedbythefall,and
wereitnotforCaptainCourtenay'scustomofhavingallhatchestakenoffanda
thoroughexaminationofthecargomadebeforetheholdsarefinallybattened
downforthevoyage,Frascuelomightnowbeinatightplaceinmorethanone
sense."


Dr.ChristobalwasproudofhisidiomaticEnglish.Hespokethelanguagewith
thecarelessfreedomofaLondoner.
"Frascueloseemstohavepassedaneventfulday,"saidthelittleFrenchComte,
whohadbeenwaitinganxiouslyforachancetojoinintheconversation.
"ButwhyshouldhewanttokillpoorMr.Boyle?"inquiredIsobel,aftergiving
theFrenchmananencouragingglance.Incidentally,shesmiledatElsie."Why
puzzleone'sbrainsoverforeigntongueswhenalltheworldspeaksEnglish?"she
telegraphed.
"Mr.Boyleisapeculiarperson,"saidthedoctordryly."Ihappentohaveknown
himduringsomeyears.YouandImightregardhimasamanoffewwords,but
hehasacquiredawonderfulvocabularyforthebenefitofsailor-men.Ibelieve
hecanswearineveryknownlingo.Hisaccomplishmentinthatdirectionno
doubtannoyedFrascuelo,whobecamefranticwhenheheardthattheshipwould
notcallatanySouthAmericanport.Iimagine,too,thattheunfortunatefellowis
stillsufferingfromthedrugwhich,hesays,wasadministeredtohim.Anyhow,
youknowhowtheaffairterminated."
"I,forone,thinksomeconsiderationmighthavebeenshownhim,"said
Elsie.
"ThereisnotimeforargumentwhenaChileandrawsaknife,Miss
Maxwell."
"But,ifhisstoryistrue—"
"Thereneveryetwasastowawaywhodidnotinventaplausibleyarn.
Nevertheless,Ibelieve,andMr.Boyleagreeswithme,thatthemanisnot
lying."
Theyfelttheshipswingroundonanewcourse,andtheraysofthesettingsunlit
upthesaloontablethroughtheopenstarboardports.
"Duesouthnow,ladies!"criedDr.Christobalcheerily."WehaveroundedCape
Cardones.Wepracticallyfollowtheseventy-sixthdegreeuntilweapproach
EvangelistasIsland.Thusfarweareintheopensea.Thenwepickourway
throughtheStraitsdiscoveredbythatdaringPortuguese,Fernandode
Magallanes,towhosememoryIalwaysdrinkheartilyonceweareclearofthe


CapeoftheElevenThousandVirgins.Ineverpassthroughthatgloomydefile
withoutmarvelingathiscourage,andthinkingthathedeservedabetterfatethan
murderatthehandsofsomepaintedsavageinthePhilippines.Peacebetohis
ashes!"
Andthedoctorliftedhisglassofredwinewithaquasi-masonicritualwhichlent
solemnitytohisdiscourse.
"Youarealongwayaheadofyourtoast,"saidIsobel.
"JustasMagellanwasaheadofhistimes,"wastherejoinder.
"Yethewasamanofleisurelyhabit,"putinElsie,whofoundDr.
Christobal'sold-worldmannersfullofcharmandrepose.
"Howso?"saidhe,puzzled,fortheworthyPortuguesenavigatorwas
notoriouslyaswashbuckler.
"Otherwisehenevercouldhavechristenedanyunhappypromontorybysucha
long-windedname,"sheexplained.
"Perhapshemetacontrarywindinthatregion,"saidChristobal,laughing.
"MonsieurdePoincilithere,wereheinaverybadtemper,mightexclaim,'Mille
diables!'WhyshouldnotourexcellentFernandorailagainstthealmost
inconceivableficklenesswhichcouldbedisplayedbyeleventimesasmany
youngladies?"
"IcameoutlasttimeontheOrellana,andIdon'tevenrememberpassingsucha
place,"saidIsobel.ShewasaChileanbornandbred,butshealwaysaffected
EuropeanvaguenessastothetopographyofSouthAmerica.Dr.Christobal
knewthisweaknessofhers;healsorememberedherbeautifulhalf-castemother,
fromwhomIsobelinheritedherflashingeyes,herpurple-redlips,andaskinin
whichtheexquisiteflushofterra-cottaonherchecksmergedintothedelicate
pallorofforeheadandneck.
But,beingatactfulman,heonlyanswered:"YourEnglishsailors,mydear,who
grufflydubbedtheadjacentpoint'CapeDungeness,'haveshortenedMagellan's
mouthfulinto'CapeVirgins.'—Yet,UrsulawasaBritishsaint,andhermemory
oughttoberevered,ifonlybecauseitkeepsaliveaclassicpun."


Abornraconteur,hepaused.
"Gorightahead,doctor,"cameavoicefromthelowerendofthetable.
"Well,thestoryrunsthatPrincessUrsulafledfromBritaintoRometoescape
marriagewithapagan—"
"Howodd!"interruptedIsobel,andElsiealoneunderstoodthedriftofher
comment.
"Notatalloddifshedidn'thappentolikehim,"saidChristobal."Shereached
Cologne,andwasmartyredtherebytheHuns.Longafterwardsastonewas
foundwiththeinscriptionUrsulaetUndecimillaVirgines,whichwasincorrectly
translatedinto'UrsulaandherElevenThousandVirgins.'Somelatercritic
pointedoutthatamissingcommaafterUndecimilla,thenameofahandmaid,
madeallthedifference,assumingthattwoyoungladieswereamorereasonable
andprobablenumberthaneleventhousand.Butwhatlegendevercaredfora
comma,orreachedafullstop?IfyougotoCologne,thevergeroftheChurchof
St.Ursulawillshowyouthebonesofthewholepartyinglasscases,and,
equallyamazing,thetownofBaozainSpainclaimstobethebirthplaceofthe
lot.Clearly,MagellanhadamanfromBaozaonboardhisship."
"Allmailsteamersoughttoprovidealectureronthingsingeneraland
interestingplacespassedinparticular,"saidIsobel.
Dr.Christobalbowed.
"IamsurethatsomeoftheofficersoftheOrellanacouldhavetoldyouthe
historyofCapeVirgins,butthey,nottomentiontheotheryounggentlemenin
thepassengerlist,wouldcertainlyfindyoubettersportthanpuzzlingyourpretty
headabouttheship'slandmarks."
"IalsocameoutontheOrellana,buttherewasnoMissBaringtobeseen,"
murmuredtheFrenchman.
"Youhadadulltrip,Itakeit?"saidthedoctor,quietly.
"Iwasveryill,"wastheresponse;but,afterastareofsurprise,hejoinedinthe
resultantlaughquitegood-naturedly.


"Itisastandingjokethatmycountrymenarepoorsailors,"heprotested,"and
thatisstrange,don'tyouthink,seeingthatFrancehasthesecondlargestnavyin
theworld?"
"Consoleyourself,monsieur,"saidChristobal."Threegreatsea-captains,
Nelson,Cook,and,itissaid,Columbushimself,alwayspaidtributetoNeptune.
And,ifIamnotmistaken,"headded,glancingthroughtheportwindows,"we
shallallhaveourstaminatestedbeforetwenty-fourhourshavepassed."
Headswereturnedandneckscranedtoseewhathadinducedthisunexpected
prophecy.Behindthedistantcoast-linetheinnergiantsoftheAndesthrew
heavenwardtheirruggedoutlines,withmanyapeakandglacierglintinginvivid
colorsagainstaskysoclearandbluethattheyseemedstrangelynear.
"Yes,thiswonderfulatmosphereofoursisenchanting,"saidthedoctor,when
assailedbyachorusofdoubts."Butitcarriesitsdeceptivesmilestoofar.The
verybeautyoftheCordilleraisasignofstorm.Iamsorrytobeacroaker;yet
wearerunningintoagale."
"Ishallaskthecaptain,"poutedIsobel,rising.
TheCounttwistedhismustache.Heknewthatbothladieswereintheforbidden
territoryofthebridgewhenthefracasoccurred.
"You,perhaps,areagoodsailor?"saidhe,addressingElsie.
"Iamafraidtoboast,"sheanswered."IhavebeeninwhatwascalledaNumber
Eightgale,whateverthatmaymean,andweathereditsplendidly,butIamolder
now."
"Itcannothavebeenlongago,seeingthatyourecallitsoexactly."
"Itwassixyearsago,andIwasseventeenthen,"saidElsie,hereyeswandering
tothepurpleandgoldofthefar-offmountains.
"ButyouareEnglish.Youarethereforeathomeontherollingdeep,"murmured
MonsieurdePoincilit,confidentially.Shedidnotendeavortointerprethis
expressiveglance,thoughheseemedtoconveymorethanhesaid.
"Notsomuchathomeatseaasyouareinmylanguage,"shereplied,andshe


turnedtoDr.Christobal,whomshehadalreadyknownslightlyinValparaiso.
"Areyoucomingondeck?"sheinquired."Iamsureyouareamineof
informationonChile,andIwanttoextractsomeoftheorewhilethelandisstill
visible.Itisalreadyassumingthesemblanceofadream."
"YouarenotsayingalastfarewelltoValparaiso,Ihope?"saidherelderly
companion,astheyquittedthesalon.
"Ithinkso.Ihavenotiesthere,savethoseofsentiment.Ishallnotreturn,
unless,ifadoubtfulfortunepermits,Iamablesomedaytorevisittwograves
whicharedeartome."
Therewasalittlecatchinhervoice,andthedoctorwasfartoosympatheticto
endeavorforthwithtodiverthersadthoughts.
"Iknewyourfather,"hesaidgently."Hewasamostadmirableman,butquite
unsuitedtotheenvironmentofanewcountry,wherethedollarisgod,andan
unstabledeityatthat.Hewasswindledoutrageouslybymenwhostandhighin
thecommunityto-day.Butyou,MissMaxwell,withyourknowledgeofSpanish
andyourotheracquirements,shoulddobetterherethaninEurope,provided,
thatis,youmeantoearnyourownliving."
"Iamproudtohearyouspeakwellofmyfather,"shesaid."AndIamwell
awarethathewasbadlytreatedinbusiness.Ifear,too,thathisadvocacyofthe
rightsoftheIndiansbroughthimintodisfavor.Ofallhispossessionstheonly
remnantlefttomeisabarrenmountain,withasliceoffertilevalley,inthe
Quillotadistrict.Ityieldsmethemagnificentrevenueoftwohundreddollarsper
annum."
"Howintheworlddidhecometoownlandthere?"
"ItwasagiftfromtheNaquillatribe.Hedefeatedanattemptmadetooustthem
byabiglandcompany.Thecompanyhassinceaskedmetoselltheproperty,
andofferedmeafairprice,too,asthecultivablelandisaverysmallstrip,butit
wouldbealmostlikebetrayingthecauseforwhichhefought,woulditnot?"
"Yes,indeed,"agreedthedoctor,thoughhisheartandnothisheaddictatedthe
reply."MayIaskyoutotellmeyourplansforthefuture?"hewenton.


"Well,whenMr.BaringheardIwasgoingtoEngland,hewasgoodenoughto
promisemeemploymentinhisLondonagencyasSpanishcorrespondent.That
willfillintwodaysaweek.TherestIcandevotetoart.Ipaintalittle,anddraw
withsufficientpromisetowarrantstudy,Iamtold.Anyhow,Iamwearyof
teaching;Iprefertobeapupil."
"IcannotimaginewhattheyoungmenofValparaisowerethinkingoftoallowa
girllikeyoutoslipoffinthisfashion,"saidChristobalwithasmile.
"Mostofthemholdfirmlytothebeliefthatawife'swedding-dressshouldbe
madeofgilt-edgedscrip."
"Poormaterial—verypoormaterialoutofwhichtoconstructweddedhappiness.
Andastomyyoungfriend,Isobel?ShejoinsherauntinLondon,Ihear?"
"Thatisthepresentarrangement.Shemeanstohaveagoodtime,especiallyin
Paris.IshouldliketoliveinParismyself.Dearoldsmoke-ladenLondondoes
notappealsothoroughlytotheartist.Yet,Iamcontent—yes,quitecontent."
"Thenyouhavegainedthebestthingintheworld,"criedthedoctor,throwing
outhisarmsexpansively.
Thetwobecamegoodfriendsasthevoyageprogressed.Christobalwas
exceedinglywellinformed,anddelightedinathoughtfullistenerlikeElsie.
Isobel,tiringattimesoftheCount,wouldjoinintheirconversation,anddisplay
aspasmodicinterestinthetopicstheydiscussed.Therewereonlysixother
passengers,aBaptistmissionaryandhiswife,threeminingengineers,andan
Englishglobe-trotter,asingularbeingwhoappearedtohaveroamedtheentire
earth,butwhoseexperiencesweresummedupintwowords—everyplacehe
hadseenwaseither"Fair"or"Rotten."
EvenIsobelfailedtodrawhimfurther,andshesaidoneday,inatemper,aftera
spiritedattempttoextractsomeofhisstoredimpressions:"Themanremindsme
ofoneofthosedummybooksyouseeoccasionally,boundincalfandlabeled
'GazetteeroftheWorld.'Whenyoutrytoopenavolumeyoufindthatitismade
ofwood."
Sotheynicknamedhim"Mr.Wood,"andElsieonceinadvertentlyaddressedhim
bythename.


"Whatdoyouthinkoftheweather,Mr.Wood?"sheaskedhimatbreakfast.
Hechancedtonoticethatshewasspeakingtohim.
"Rotten,"hesaid.
PerhapshewonderedwhyMissMaxwellflushedandtheotherslaughed.But,in
actualfact,hewasnotfarwronginhiscuriouschoiceofanadjectivethat
morning.Dr.Christobal'sdismalforebodinghadbeenjustifiedonthesecondday
out.Leadenclouds,asullensea,andoccasionalpuffsofastingingbreezefrom
thesouthwest,offeredasorryexchangeforthesunnyskiesofChile.
ThoughtheKansaswasnotafastship,shecouldhavemadetheentrancetothe
StraitsontheeveningofthefourthdaywerenotCaptainCourtenaywishfulto
navigatethemostdangerouspartofthenarrowsbydaylight.Hisintent,
therefore,wastopickuptheEvangelistaslightaboutmidnight,andthencrack
aheadatfourteenknots,soastobeoffFelixPointonDesolationIslandbydawn.
Thiswasnotonlyaprudentandseamanlikecoursebutitwouldconducetothe
comfortofthepassengers.Theshipwasnowrunningintoastiffgale.Eachhour
theseabecameheavier,andeventheeightthousandtonsoftheKansasfeltthe
impactofthegiantrollersonherstarboardbow.Dinner,therefore,promisedto
beamealofmuchdiscomfort,cheeredonlybytheknowledgethatassoonasthe
vesselreachedtheleeofDesolationIslandthegiantwavesofthePacificwould
losetheirpower,andallonboardwouldenjoyaquietnight'srest.
Therewerenoabsenteesatthetable.Dr.Christobalstrovetoenliventheothers
withthepromiseofpeaceeremanyhourshadpassed.
"Paynoheedtothosefellows!"hecried,astheshipquiveredundertheblowof
aheavysea,andtheyheardthethudofmanytonsofwaterbreakingoverthe
bowsandforehatch,whilethedefeatedmonsterwashedthetightlyscrewed
portswithavenomousswish."Theycannotharmusnow.Letusratherthank
kindlyProvidencewhichprovidedMagellan'swater-way;thinkwhatitwould
meanwerewecompelledtoweathertheCape."
"Iambeginningtocatchontothereasonablenessofthattoastofyours,doctor,"
saidoneoftheminingengineers,ayoungAmerican."Ihappentobeateetotaler,butIdon'tmindopeningabottleofthebestforthegeneralwelfarewhen
weshoveournosepasttheCapeofthelargenumberofyoungandunprotected


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