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TheProjectGutenbergEBookofSpanishDoubloons,byCamillaKenyon ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwithalmostno restrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayorre-useitunderthe termsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincludedwiththiseBookoronlineat www.gutenberg.net Title:SpanishDoubloons Author:CamillaKenyon ReleaseDate:June17,2004[EBook#12639]Lastupdated:April22,2012 Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKSPANISH DOUBLOONS*** ProducedbyAlHaines SPANISHDOUBLOONS BYCAMILLAKENYON WITHFRONTISPIECEBY LOUISROGERS 1919 ToL T Inrecognitionofherfaithinme CONTENTS IANAUNTERRANTIIAPOLLOANDSOMEOTHERSIIIIENGAGETHEENEMYIVTHE ISLEOFFORTUNEVTHECAPTAIN'SLEGACYVITHECAVEWITHTWOMOUTHSVIIA RABBIT'SFOOTVIIIANEXCURSIONANDANALARMIX"LASSIE,LASSIE "XWHAT CRUSOEANDIFOUNDXIMISSBROWNEHASAVISIONXIITHEISLANDQUEEN'S FREIGHTXIIIIBRINGTOLIGHTACLUEXIVMR TUBBSINTERRUPTSXVSOME SECRETDIPLOMACYXVILIKEACHAPTERFROMTHEPASTXVIIFROMDEADHANDS XVIIIOFWHICHCOOKIEISTHEHEROXIXTHEYOUNGPERSONSCORESXX'TWIXT CUPANDLIPXXITHEBISHOP'SCHEST SpanishDoubloons I ANAUNTERRANT NeverhadlifeseemedmorefairandsmilingthanatthemomentwhenAunt Jane'sletterdescendeduponmelikeaboltfromtheblue Thefactis,Iwas takingavacationfromAuntJane Beinganorphan,Iwassupposedtobeunder AuntJane'swing,butthiswasthemerestpolitefiction,andIamsurethatnohen withonechickenworriesaboutitmorethanIdidaboutAuntJane Ihadspent thelastthreeyears,sinceAuntSusandiedandleftAuntJanewithallthatmoney andnoonetolookafterherbutme,insnatchingherfromthebrinkofdisaster Hermostrecentandnarrowescapewasfromavelvet-tonguedpersonofhalfher yearswhoturnedouttobeaconvictonparole Shehadherhand-bagpackedfor theelopementwhenIconfrontedherwiththisunpleasantfact Whenshecame toshewasbitterinsteadofgrateful,andwentaboutforweekspresentinga spectacleofblightedaffectionswhichwastoomuchforthemostself-approving conscience SoitendedwithmypackingherofftoNewYork,whereIwroteto herfrequentlyandkindly,urginghernottomindmebuttostayaslongasshe liked MeanwhileIcameuptotheranchforalongholidaywithBessandthebaby,a holidaywhichhadalreadystretcheditselfouttoThanksgiving,andthreatenedto lastuntilChristmas Peoplewrotealluringlyfromtown,butwhathadtownto offercomparedwithasaddle-horsetoyourself,andalitterofcolliepupstoplay with,andababyjustlearningtowalk?Ievenbegantoconsiderranchingasa career,andtopicturemyselfstridingovermybroadacresintop-bootsand corduroys AstoAuntJane,mystateofmindwasfatuouslycalm Shewasstayingwith cousins,wholiveinasuburbandarefrightfullyrespectable Iwassurethey numberednoconvictsamongtheiracquaintance,orindeedanyonefromwhom AuntJanewaslikelytorequirerescuing AndifitcametoaretiredmissionaryI wasperfectlywilling Butthecousinsandtheirrespectabilityareofthepassiveorder,whereasto manageAuntJanedemandsaggressiveandcontinuousaction Hencethebolt fromtheblueabovealludedto Iwasswingingtranquillyinthehammock,Iremember,whenBessbroughtmy lettersandthenhurriedawaybecausethebabyhadfallendown-stairs Unwarned bytheslightestpremonitorythrill,IkeptAuntJane'slettertillthelastand skimmedthroughalltheothers Ishouldbethankful,Isuppose,thatthepeace soontobesorudelyshatteredwasprolongedforthosefewmoments Irecalled afterward,butdimly,asthoughagulfofagesyawnedbetween,thatIhadbeen quiteinterestedinsixpagesofprattleaboutthePattersondance AtlastIcametoAuntJane Irippedopentheenvelopeanddrewouttheletter— afatone,butthenAuntJane'slettersarealwaysfat Shesaysherselfthatsheis ofthosewhosesoulsflowfreelyforthininkbutarefrozenbythecoldeyeofan unsympatheticlistener Nevertheless,asIspreadouttheclose-filledpagesIfelt amildwonder Writingsolarge,soblack,sostaggering,somadlyunderlined, mustindicatesomethingabove,evenAuntJane'susualemotionallevel Perhaps insobertruththerewasamissionary-experimentto"FindCapitalafter,or;" TwentyminuteslaterIstaggeredintoBess'sroom "Hush!"shesaid "Don'twakethebaby!" "Babyornobaby,"Iwhisperedsavagely,"I'vegottohaveatime-table Ileave forthecitytonighttocatchthefirststeamerforPanama!" Later,whilethebabyslumberedandIpackedexperimentto"FindPeriodin middle"explained Thiswasdifficult;notthatBessisasageneralthingobtuse, butbecausethepictureofAuntJaneembarkingforsomewild,loneisleofthe Pacificastheheadofatreasure-seekingexpeditionwasenoughtoshakethe strongestintellect Andyet,amidthewelterofinkandeloquencewhichfilled thosefatefulpages,therewasthecoldhardfactconfrontingyou AuntJanewas goingtolookforburiedtreasure,incompanywithoneVioletHigglesbyBrowne,whomshesprungonyouwithouttheslightestexplanation,asthough alludingtotheQueenofShebaortheSiamesetwins Bybeginningattheend andreadingbackward—AuntJane'slettersareusuallymostintelligiblethatway —youmanagedtopiecetogethersomeexplanationofthisMissHigglesbyBrowneandherplaceintheschemeofthings ItwasthroughMissBrowne, whomshehadmetatalectureuponSoul-Development,thatAuntJanehad cometorealizeherclaimsasanIndividualupontheCosmos,alsotodiscover thatshewasbynatureawomanofaffairswithatalentfordirectinglarge enterprises,althoughadverseinfluenceshadhithertokeptherfromrecognizing herpowers Therewasadarksignificanceintheseitalics,thoughwhetherthey meantmeorthefamilylawyerIwasnotsure MissHigglesby-Browne,however,hadassistedAuntJanetofindherself,andas aconsequenceAuntJane,forthecomparativelytriflingoutlayneedfultofinance theHarding-Browneexpedition,wouldshortlybethericherbyone-fourthofa vasttreasureofSpanishdoubloons TheknowledgeofthishoardwasMiss Higglesby-Browne'salone Ithadbeenrevealedtoherbyadyingsailorina Londonhospital,whithershehadgoneonamissionofkindness—yougathered thatMissBrownewaspreciselythesorttotakeadvantagewhenpeoplewere helplessandunabletoflyfromher WhythedyingsailorchosetomakeMiss Brownetherepositoryofhissecret,Idon'tknow—thisstillremainsformethe unsolvedmystery Butwhenthesailorclosedhiseyesthesecretandthemap— ofcoursetherewasamap—hadbecomeMissHigglesby-Browne's MissBrownenowhadclearbeforehertheroadtofortune,butunfortunatelyit ledacrosstheseaandquiteoutoftherouteofsteamertravel Capitalinexcess ofMissBrowne'sresourceswasrequired Londonprovingcoldbeforeitsgreat opportunity,MissBrownehadshakenoffitsdustandcometoNewYork,where amysteriouslypotentinfluencehadguidedhertoAuntJane ThroughMiss Browne'sgreatorganizingabilities,nottospeakofthosenewlybroughttolight inAuntJane,apartyofstaunchcomradeshadbeenassembled,asteamer engagedtomeetthematPanama,anditwasho,fortheislandinthebluePacific main! WiththislyricaloutburstAuntJaneconcludedthebodyofherletter Asmall crampedpost-scriptinformedmethatitwasagainstMissH.-B.'swishesthatshe revealedtheirplanstoanyone,butthatshedidwanttohearfrommebefore theysailedfromPanama,wherealettermightreachherifIwasprompt However,ifitdidnotshewouldtrynottoworry,forMissBrownewasvery psychic,andshefeltsurethatanystrongvibrationfrommewouldreachhervia MissB.,andshewasmyalwayslovingJaneHarding "Andofcourse,"IexplainedtoBessasIhurledthingsintomybags,"ifaletter canreachhersocanI AtleastImusttakethechanceofit Whatthosepeople areuptoIdon'tknow—probablytheymeantoholdherforransomandmurder heroutrightifitisnotforthcoming Orperhapssomeofthemwillmarryherand sharethespoilswithMissHigglesby-Browne Anyway,ImustgettoPanamain timetosaveher." "Oryoumightgoalongtotheisland,"suggestedBess Ipausedtoglareather "Bess!Andletthemmurdermetoo?" "Ormarryyou—"cooedBess OnemonthlaterIwasclimbingoutofalumberinghackbeforetheTivolihotel, whichrisessquareandwhiteandimposingonthelowgreenheightabovethe oldSpanishcityofPanama Inspiteofthemeltingtropicalheattherewasachill fearatmyheart,thefearthatAuntJaneandherbandoftreasure-seekershad alreadydepartedontheirquest InthatcaseIforesawthatwhatevernarrow marginoffaithmyfellow-voyagersontheCityofQuitohadhadinmewould shrinktonothingness Ihadbeenobligedtobesoqueerandclam-likeaboutthe wholeextraordinaryrendezvous—forhowcouldIexposeAuntJane'smadness tothemultitude?—thatIfeltitwouldtaketheactualbodilypresenceofmyaunt toconvincethemthatshewasnotamyth,oratleastofthewrongsexforaunts TohavetraveledsofarinthedesperatehopeofheadingoffAuntJane,onlyto befrustratedandtolosemycharacterbesides!Itwouldbeastroketoomuch fromfate,Itoldmyselfrebelliously,asIcrossedthebroadgalleryandplunged intothecooldimnessofthelobbyinthewakeofthebellboyswho,discerninga helplessprey,hadswoopedenmasseuponmybags "MissJaneHarding?"repeatedtheclerk,andatthecoolnegationofhistonemy heartgaveasickeningdownwardswoop "MissJaneHardingandpartyhaveleft thehotel!" "For—fortheisland?"Igasped Heraisedhiseyebrows "Can'tsay,I'msure."Hegavemeanappraisingstare Perhapsthewoeinmyfacetouchedhim,forhedescendedfromtheeminenceof thehotelclerkwherehedweltapartsufficientlytoadd,"Isitimportantthatyou shouldseeher?" "Iamherniece IhavecomeallthewayfromSanFranciscoexpectingtojoin herhere." Theclerkmeditated,hisshrewdeyespiercingtheverysecretsofmysoul "Sheknewnothingaboutit,"Ihastenedtoadd "Iintendeditforasurprise." Thiscandorhelpedmycause "Well,"hesaid,"thatexplainshernotleavingany word Asyouareherniece,IsupposeitwilldonoharmtotellyouthatMiss HardingandherpartyembarkedthismorningonthefreighterRufusSmith,andI thinkitverylikelythatthesteamerhasnotleftport IfyoulikeIwillsendaman tothewater-frontwithyouandyoumaybeabletogoonboardandhaveatalk withyouraunt." DidIthankhim?IhaveoftenwonderedwhenIwakedupinthenight Ihavea visionofmyselfdashingoutofthehotel,andthenthehackthatbroughtmeis bearingmeaway Bellboyshurledmybagsinafterme,andIthrewthemlargess recklessly Somearch-bellboyorotherpotentatehadmountedtotheseatbeside thedriver Madlyweclatteredovercobbledways Outonthesmoothwatersof theroadsteadlayshipsgreatandsmall,shipswithstrippedmastsandsmokeless funnels,otherswithfaintgrayspiralswreathingupwardfromtheirstacks Was oneofthesetheRufusSmith,andwouldIreachher—orhim—beforethethin grayfeatherbecameathickblackplume?Ithoughtofmyauntatthemercyof theseunknownadventurerswithwhomshehadsetforth,helplessasalittlefat pigeonamonghawks,andIfelt,desperately,thatImustreachher,mustsaveher fromthemandbringhersafebacktoshore HowIwastodothisattheeleventh hourplusaboutfifty-sevenminutesasatpresentIhadn'tconsidered But experiencehadtaughtmethatonceinmyclutchesAuntJanewouldofferabout asmuchresistanceasaslightlymeltedwaxdoll Shegetssosoftthatyouare almostafraidtotouchherforfearofleavingdents Sotogetthere,getthere,getthere,wastheoneprayerofmysoul Igotthere,inaboathastilycommandeeredbythehotelclerk'sdeputy Isuppose hethoughtmeabelatedpassengerfortheRufusSmith,formybaggagefollowed meintotheboat "Pronto!"heshoutedtothenativeboatmanasweputoff "Pronto!"Iurgedatintervals,myeyesuponthefunnelsoftheRufusSmith, wheretheoutpouringsmokewasthickeningalarmingly Webroughtupunder thesideofthelittlesteamer,andthewidesurprisedfaceofaSwedishdeckhand stareddownatus "Letmeaboard!Imustcomeaboard!"Icried Otherfacesappeared,thenarope-ladder SomehowIwasmountingit—adizzy feattowhichonlythetumultofmyemotionsmademeindifferent Barebrawny armsofsailorsclutchedatmeanddrewmetothedeck ThereatonceIwasthe centerofacircleofspeechlessandastonishedpersons,allmenbutone "Well?"demandedalargebreezyvoice "What'sthismean?Whatdoyouwant aboardmyship?" Ilookedupatared-facedmaninalargestrawhat "Iwantmyaunt,"Iexplained "Youraunt?"heroared "WhythedevilshouldyouthinkI'vegotyouraunt?" "Youhavegother,"Irepliedwithfirmness "Idon'tseeher,butshe'shere somewhere." ThecaptainoftheRufusSmithshooktwolargeredfistsabovehishead "Anotherlunatic!"heshouted "I'dassoonhaveawhitehorseandaminister aboardastogotoseainafloatingbedlam!" Asthecaptain'sangrythunderdiedawaycamethesmallanxiousvoiceofAunt Jane "What'sthematter?Oh,pleasetellmewhat'sthematter!"shewassayingasshe edgedherwayintothegroup Inherseverelycutkhakisuitshelookedlikea plumplittledumplingthathadgotintoasausagewrappingbymistake Hereyes, round,pale,blinkingalittleinthetropicalglare,rovedoverthecircleuntilthey litonme RightwhereshestoodAuntJanepetrified Sheendeavoredtoshriek, butachievedinsteadonlyastrangledwheeze Herpoorlittlechindroppeduntil itdisappearedaltogetherinthefoldsofherplumpneck,andsheremained speechless,stricken,immobileasawaxfigureinanexhibition "AuntJane,"Isaid,"youmustcomerightbacktoshorewithme."Ispoke calmly,forunlessyouareperfectlycalmwithAuntJaneyouflusterher Sherepliedonlybyaslightgobblinginherthroat,buttheotherwomanspokein aloudvoice,addressednottomebuttotheuniverseingeneral "TheYoungPersonismad!"ItwasanunmistakablyBritishintonation ThisthenwasMissVioletHigglesby-Browne,Isawagrim,bony,stockyshape, inacompanioncostumetomyaunt's Aroundtheedgesofhercorkhelmether shortiron-grayhairvisiblybristled Shehadamassivehead,andaseamedand ruggedcountenancewhichdiditsbesttolivedownthehumiliationofa ridiculouslittlenosewithnobridge Bywhatpropheticironyshehadbeen namedVioletisthesecretofthosepowerswhichseemtolovealaughat mankind'sexpense Butwhatrivetedmyeyeswasthedeadlyglarewithwhichherswereturnedon me Isawthatnotonlywassheascertainofmyidentityasthoughshehad guidedmefrommyfirsttotteringsteps,butthatinaflashshehadgraspedmy motives,aimsandpurposes,andmeantonceforalltoface,out-generaland defeatmewithgreatslaughter Sosheannouncedtothecompanywithdeliberation,"TheYoung Personismad!" Itnettledmeextremely "Mad!"Iflungbackather "BecauseIwishtosavemypoorauntfromsucha situationasthis?Itwouldbecharitabletoinfermadnessinthosewhohaveled XXI THEBISHOP'SCHEST W3waitedninedaysforthecomingoftheRufusSmith Duringthattimean episodeoccurredasaresultofwhichIsatonemorningbymyselfontherocks besidethesloop,onwhichsuchardenthopeshadbeencentered,onlylikethe derelictitselftobewreckedatlast ItwasalonelyspotandIwantedtobealone Ifeltabused,andsad,andsore IrealizedthatIwasdestinedtodonothingbut harminthisworld,andtohurtpeopleIwasfondof,andbemisunderstoodby everyone,andtoliveon—ifIwasn'tluckyenoughtomeetwithaprematureand suddenend—intoasour,lonely,crabbedoldage,whenIwouldwishto goodnessIhadmarriedanybody,andmightevenfinishbyapplyingtoa MatrimonialAgency AsIsatnursingthesemelancholythoughtsIheardafootstep Ididnotlookup —forIknewthefootstep Ishouldhaveknownitifithadtroddenovermy grave "Itakeityouarenotwantingcompany,youhavecomesofaroutofthewayof it,"saidDugaldShaw StillIdidnotlookup "Nobodyseemedtowantme,"Iremarkedsulkily,afterapause Hemadeno reply,butseatedhimselfupontherocks Foralittletherewassilence "Virginia,"hesaidabruptly,"I'mthinkingyouhavehurtthelad." "Oh,"Iburstout,"thatisallyouthinkof—thelad,thelad! Howaboutme?Don'tyousupposeithurtmetoo?" "No,"hemadedeliberateanswer "Iwasnotsureofthat Ithoughtmaybeyou likedhavingmenatyourfeet." "Likedit?LikedtowoundCuthbert—Cuthbert?Oh,ifonlyithadnothappened, ifwecouldhavegoneonbeingfriends!Itwasallmyfaultforgoingwithhim intothecave Itwasafteryouhadburiedtheskeleton,andIwantedtoseepoor Peter'sresting-place AndwespokeofHelen,anditwasallfrightfully melancholyandtender,andallatoncehe—hesaidit AndImeanthenever should!"InthesorenessofmyheartIbegantoweep "There,lassie,there,don'tcry!"hesaidgently "Theboydidn'tspeakofit,of course ButIknewhowitmustbe Ithashithimhard,Iamafraid." "Isuppose,"Iwept,"youwouldhavehadmemarryhimwhetherIwantedtoor not,justtokeepfromhurtinghim." "No,"heansweredquickly "Ididnotsaythat—Ididnotsaythat Iwouldhavehadyoumarryhim No,lass,Ididnotsaythat." "Thenwhyareyouscoldingme?"Iaskedinachokedwhisper "Scoldingyou?Iwasnot Itwasonlythat—thatIlovethelad—andIwishyou bothsowell—Ithoughtperhapstherewassomemistake,and—itwouldnot matteraboutme,ifIcouldseeyoubothhappy." "Thereisamistake,"Isaidclearly "Itisagreatmistake,DugaldShaw,thatyou shouldcometomeandcourtme—forsomeoneelse." Therewassilenceforawhile,thekindofsilencewhenyouhearyourheartbeats Whenhespokehisvoicewasunsteady "Buttheboyhaseverythingtoofferyou—hisancientname,hissplendid unstainedyouth,aheartthatisallloyalty Heisstrongandbraveandbeautiful Virginia,whycouldn'tyoulovehim?" "Icouldnotlovehim,"Ireplied,verylow,"becausemylovewasnotmineany moretogive Itbelongsto—someoneelse Ishisnameancient?Idon'tknow It ishis,andheennoblesit Cuthberthasyouth,butyouthisonlypromise Inthe manIloveIfindfulfilment Andheisloyalandbraveandhonest—Iamafraid heisn'tbeautiful,butIlovehimthebetterforhisscars—" AfterthatIsatquitestill,andIknewitdependedonthenexthalfminute whetherIwentallthedaysofmylifecrownedandgloriouswithhappiness,or buriedmyshameandheartbreakunderthewatersofthecove AndthenDugaldShawtookmeinhisarms Byandbyhesaidhuskily: "Beloved,Ihadnorighttoaskyoutosharesuchalifeasminemustbe—thelife ofapoorsailor." AtthisIraisedmyheadfromitsnestling-placeandlaughed "Askme?Silly,Iaskedyou!Ofcourseyoucouldhaverefusedme,butI dependedonyournothavingthecourage." "AndindeedthatisachargeI'llnotallow—thatIamsolittleofamanastolet mycourtingbedoneforme No,no,itwasmylovecompellingyouthatmade youspeakthewordsyoudid—theloveofaselfishmanwhoshouldhave thoughtonlyofshieldingyoufromthehardshipsofsuchawandering,homeless lifeasmine." "Well,Heavenrewardyouforyourselfishness,"Isaidearnestly "Iamthankful youwerenotsonobleastoletmethrowmyselfatyourheadinvain Ihave beendoingitforeversolong,infact,butitissuchathickScotchheadthatI daresayImadenoimpression." "Sweetimp!You'llpayforthat—oh,Virginia,ifIhadonlysomethingtooffer you!" "YoucanoffermesomethingthatIwantverymuch,ifyouwill,andatnocost buttoyourstrongrightarm." "Itisanarmwhichisatyourserviceforlife—butwhatamItodowithitnow? AndindeedIthinkitisverywellemployedatthismoment." "Butitmustbeemployedmuchmorestrenuously,"Iremarked,movingalittle away,"ifyouaretogetmewhatIwant Beforeyoucame,Iwasmeditating possiblewaysofgettingitformyself Iwanteditforamelancholyrelic—asort ofmausoleuminwhichallmyhopeswereburied Nowitspurposeisquite different;itistobemybride'schestandholdthedowrywhichIshallbringto oneDugaldShaw." "Youmeanthechest—thechestthatheldtheSpanishdoubloons—thatliesunder thesandinthesloop?" "Exactly AndnowIshallknowwhetheryouarethetrueprinceornot,because healwayssucceedsinthetasksheundertakestowintheprincess." Itwaslowtide,suchatideashadallbutluredmetomydeathinthecave One couldgoandcomefromthebeachalongtherocks,withoutclimbingthesteep pathupthecliff ItwasnotlongbeforeDugaldwasbackagainwithspadeand pick Hetoreofftheshrunken,sun-driedboardsfromthecabinroof,andfellto work Itwasnot,afterall,alaborofHercules Thecabinwassmallandthechestlarge IwatchedwiththeprideofproprietorshiptheswifteasewithwhichthesteelsinewedarmsoftheScotmadethecakedsandfly Thenthespadestruck somethingwhichsentbackadullmetallicsoundthroughthemufflingsand Igavealittleshriekofexcitement HardlycouldIhavebeenmorethrilledifI hadbelievedthecheststilltocontainthetreasureofwhichithadbeenravished Itwasfilledtoitsbrass-boundlidwithromance,ifnotwithgold Alittlemoreanditlaycleartoourview,aconvexsurfaceofdarksmokybrown, crossedbythreemassivestripsoftarnishedbrass Dugalddugdownuntilthe cheststoodfreetohalfitsheight;thenbyitshandles—Irecognizedthe"great hand-wroughtloopsofmetal,"ofthediary—wedraggeditfromitsbed,and drewitforthintothecockpit Foralittlewhilewesatbeforeitinhappycontemplation Itwasindeedforits ownsakequitewellworthhaving,thatsturdyoldchest Eveninanantiqueshop Ishouldhavesuccumbedtoitatonce;howmuchmorewhenwehaddugitup ourselvesfromawreckedslooponadesertisland,andknewallitsbloodyand delightfulhistory Atlength,kneelingbeforeit,Iraisedwithanefforttheheavylid "Empty,ofcourse—nomorebrownbags Butoh,Dugald,hadeveragirlsucha wonderfulbride'schestasthis?O—oh!" "What'swrong?" "Nothing,onlythereisacrackinthebottom,runningallthewayalongwhereit joinstheside." "Warpedabit,Isuppose Nomatter,itcanbeeasilyrepaired—crack?Isay, lassie,lookhere!" UnderthepressureofDugald'sfingersthefloorofthechestwasswinging upwardonaninvisiblehinge Betweenitandthetruebottomwasaspaceof aboutthreeinchesindepth Itseemedtobefilledwithalayerofyellowed cotton-wool Foralongmomentweheldourbreath,gazingateachotherwitheyeswhich askedthesamequestion ThenDugaldliftedacornerofthesheetofcottonand pluckeditaway Atonceallthehuesoftherainbowseemedtobeflashingandsparklingbefore us Rubiesweretherelikegreatdropsofthebloodthatthechestanditstreasure hadwrungfromtheheartsofmen;sapphires,mirroringtheblueofthetropic sky;emeralds,greenastheislandverdure;pearls,whiteasthemilkofthe cocoanutsandsoftlyluminousasthephosphorescentfoamwhichbrokeonthe beachinthedarkness Andtherewerediamondsthatcaughtgleamsofallthe others'beauty,andthenmockedthemwithamatchlesssplendor Someofthestoneslaylooseupontheirbedofcotton;otherswereinmassive settingsofcuriousold-timeworkmanship Everygemwasofexceptionalsize andbeauty,thepearls,Iknewatonce,weretherarestIhadeverlookedupon Theywerestrunginanecklace,andhadaverybeautifulpendantofmingled pearlsanddiamonds Therewerenineheavybracelets,alljewel-set;twenty-threerings,eightofthem forthehandofaman Someoftheseringscontainedthefinestofthediamonds, exceptforthreesplendidunsetstones Therewerenumbersofelaborateoldfashionedearrings,tworope-likechainsofgoldadornedwithjewelsatintervals, andseveraljeweledlockets Therewasasolidgoldsnuff-box,engravedwitha coatofarmsandornamentedwithseventeenfineemeralds Therewere,besides thethreediamonds,eighty-twounsetstones,amongthem,wrappedbyitselfin cotton,arubyofextraordinarysizeandluster Andtherewasasortofcoronetor tiara,sownalloverwithclearwhitebrilliants Thereistheinventory,notentirelycomplete,ofthetreasurewhichwefound hiddenunderthefalsebottomofthechest,atreasurewhoseexistencenoneof thosewhohadstrivenandslainandperishedforthesakeoftheSpanish doubloonscanhavesuspected Thesecretofitdiedwiththefirstguardianofthe chest,themerchantofLimawhowentoverboardfromtheBonnyLassonthat stormynightninetyyearsago Nowseaandsunandsandhaddonetheirwork andwarpedthewoodofthechestenoughtomakeusmastersofitsmystery And wesatinthesand-heapedcock-pitofthewreckedsloop,playinglikechildren withoursparklingtoys Ours?Yes,forwhetherornottherewereaninfectionofpiracyintheveryairof theisland,sothattoseizewiththehighhand,toholdwiththeirongrasp, seemedthelawoflife,wedecidedwithoutaqualmagainstthesurrenderofour treasure-trovetoitstechnicalowners Technicalonly;foronefeltthat,in essence,alltalkofownershipbythismanorthathadlongagobecomeidle Fate hadheldthetreasureinfeetogiveortowithhold SenorGonzaleshadhadhis chanceatthechest,andhehadmissedthesecretofthehiddenhoard,hadleftit tolieforgottenunderthesanduntilinsometropicstormitshouldbeengulfedby thewatersofthecove Morethanthis,hadhenotmostspecificallymadeoverto metheIslandQueenandallthatitcontained?Thiswasatitleclearenoughto satisfythemostexactingformalist Andwewerenotformalists,norinclinedin anyquibblingspirittoquestionthedecreesofFortune Astreasure-hunters,we hadbeenherdevoteestoolong SoafterallitwasnotmyscornfulskepticismbutthehighfaithofMiss Higglesby-Brownewhichwasjustifiedbytheevent,andtheHarding-Browne expeditionlefttheislandwellrepaidforitstoilsandperils Plusthetwobagsof doubloons,whichwereaddedtothespoils,thetreasurebroughtusasumso goodlythatIdarenotnameit,forfearoftheapparitionofSenorGonzalesand theSantaMarinannavyloominguptodemandrestitution Liketruecomrades, wedividedshareandsharealike,andbesurethatnoonegrudgedCookiethe percentageWhicheachwastaxedforhisbenefit Certainoftherarest;jewelswerenotsold,butfoundtheirwaytomeasgiftsof theExpeditionseverallyandcollectively Thebrightestofthediamondsnow shinesinmyengagementring Cuthbert,bytheway,showedupsosplendidly whenIexplainedtohimabouttheengagement—thattheresponsibilitywas entirelymine,notDugald's—thatIearnestlywishedIweretwinssothatoneof mecouldhavemarriedthebeautifulyouth—whichindeedIhadwishedalittle allthetime AndnowIcometothepurposeofthisstory—forthoughwellconcealedithas hadonefromthebeginning ItistoletHelen,whoeverandwherevershemay be,ifstillofthisworld,knowofthefateofPeter,andtotellherthatwhenshe asksforthemsheistohavemymostcherishedrelicsoftheisland,Peter's journalandthesilvershoe-bucklewhichhefoundinthesandofthetreasurecaveandwastakinghometoher Only,shemustletmekeepCrusoe,please THEEND EndoftheProjectGutenbergEBookofSpanishDoubloons,byCamillaKenyon ***ENDOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKSPANISH DOUBLOONS*** *****Thisfileshouldbenamed12639.txtor12639.zip*****Thisandall associatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.net/1/2/6/3/12639/ ProducedbyAlHaines Updatededitionswillreplacethepreviousone—theoldeditionswillbe renamed Creatingtheworksfrompublicdomainprinteditionsmeansthatnooneownsa UnitedStatescopyrightintheseworks,sotheFoundation(andyou!)cancopy anddistributeitintheUnitedStateswithoutpermissionandwithoutpaying copyrightroyalties 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