- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 816MB
"So recently! Ah, this is a veritable house of tragedies. I must get you to explain. I have come here direct from Paris to get certain papers. Put the gas out and come into the dining-room where the shutters are up. We don't want the police fussing about. You can tell me everything. If I don't make a mistake you are Mr. Gilbert Lawrence, the novelist."
"Since the hour of her marriage she has never gone into her chamber without locking the door; she has never come out of it unarmed."
"Who?" I cried. "What! You don't mean to say--was that Lieutenant Ferry?"
"The ship had taken its cargo at Macao, and we went out to sea with a fine breeze. We had over a thousand 'passengers' in the hold, and only a small number were to be allowed on deck at one time, as several ships had been captured by the coolies, and we did not intend to be taken if we could help it. Two days after we started there was trouble among the coolies, and several of them ran about the space below-deck and threatened to set the ship on fire. They did build a fire of some of the dry boards used for making their sleeping-berths; but we covered the hatches with tarpaulins, and held the smoke down there, so that the coolies were nearly smothered and compelled to put the fire out themselves.At one point our way sloped down to a ramshackle wooden bridge that spanned a narrow bit of running water at the edge of a wood. Beyond it the road led out between two fields whose high worm-fences made it a broad lane. The farther limit of this sea of sunlight was the grove that hid the Sessions house on the left; on the right it was the woods-pasture in which lay concealed a lily-pond. As Gholson and I crossed the bridge we came upon a most enlivening view of our own procession out in the noonday blaze before us; the Sessions buggy; then Charlotte' little wagon; next the Sessions family carriage full of youngsters; and lastly, on their horses, Squire Sessions--tall, fleshy, clean-shaven, silver-haired--and Ned Ferry. Mrs. Sessions and Miss Harper, in the buggy, were just going by a big white gate in the right-hand fence, through which a private way led eastward to the lily-pond. A happy sight they were, the children in the rear vehicle waving handkerchiefs back at us, and nothing in the scene made the faintest confession that my pet song, which I was again humming, was pat to the hour:
"We are in time," Lawrence whispered, "in good time. I felt sure I could trust the one I picked out to assist me. If I had not been detained I should have been here before. There is not much for us to do."
There were not many passengers, perhaps a dozen in all, and they were mostly merchants and other residents of Shanghai on their way to Europe or to some of the southerly ports of Asia. Two of the passengers were accompanied by their Chinese servants, and the boys were greatly amused to hear the efforts of the latter to speak English. They had already heard the same kind of thing during their movements in China, but had not paid much attention to it in consequence of their occupation with other matters. Now, however, they had some leisure for investigation, and Fred suggested that they had better take a glance at the Chinese language.