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He looked so serious that Tom felt a little hurt. It seemed as if Dean had intended some reflection upon himself or some one belonging to him. “Why do you say that ?” he whispered.
“For good cause," was the answer. “What friends do you mean?” “Never mind,” said the man. "I don't mean anything that
" you need care about."
Poor Joshua was thinking of the man who, under a show of hospitality and kindness, had tempted him to drink, and afterwards persuaded him to part with his property; but Tom knew nothing about that.
Meanwhile the dog kept swimming about near the smack, as if anxious to come on board and see how his patient was getting on; but being repeatedly called away by his master, he left them at last, with evident reluctance.
“I love a dorg," said Bowley, " next to a human being; and many op 'em deserve it a deal more than some humans as I could name.”
“More than that fellow Chaffin, for instance," said Martin. But Tom did not want to hear any more about Chaffin, and bade him hold his tongue.
“Oh, I say!” cried Martin, going to his line after this rebuff; “here's a fish at last!” He began to pull in his line as rapidly as he could, and after several of the hooks had been brought on board with the baits untouched, a bright shining object was visible approaching the surface of the water, and he felt its weight and its struggles.
Tom ran to his side and watched him.
“A dorg-fish, I mean. It's good for nothing; pull up, though; there's more beyond.”
The dog-fish was landed, and after him a fine mackerel; then
another dog, then more mackerel. Martin was in great delight, and Tom went away to pull in his own lines, which were equally well furnished.
“I wonder what o'clock it is,” said Martin, suddenly, after they had been for some time engaged in this way.
"It's about three o'clock or after by the sun,” said Dean.
“Oh, I say! our train goes at five, and we are ever so far from the shore. How quickly the time has passed !”
“We had better put about at once," said Tom.
“Goes at five, does it?" Dean replied. “And suppose you were to be too late for it, what then?”
“It's the last train that stops at Abbotscliff," cried Tom. “We should not be able to get back to-night. Oh, I say, do go about.”
The thought of Dr. Piercey's displeasure, and of the scene which had occurred not long ago with Chaffin, rose up in the boy's mind, and his agitation was so great that Dean could not help observing it, and said, “They keep you very strict at the college, don't they?"
"They are very particular, of course," Tom answered; "and I should not like to be late. Make all the haste you can, please."
“I am afraid we shall not catch the train,” said the man ; "for though the wind is freshening, it's off shore. But I'll tell you what we can do. We can run round the point, and land you within a mile of the college before nightfall; we are part of the way there already, and can lay our course well.”
“Oh, capital! I should like that so much," said Tom; "lock up is at nine."
" We'll be there before nine," Dean answered; and in a few minutes sail was set, and they were standing towards the point which they were to double.
AN UNEXPECTED OPENING.
What's done we partly may compute,
He wind freshened, and the sea began to be a little rough
as they stood out; it was nearly high water, and a swell had come in with the tide. The Swallow ceased to twitter after his usual lively manner, and stretched himself upon a sail which lay at the bottom of the boat. Joshua Dean threw a
. coat over him, and left him to go to sleep, if he could. In due time they doubled the head, and steered their course for another point westward, beyond which the lighthouse and tower at Abbotscliff were visible upon the heights, though still some miles distant. The sea was rougher here, and even Tom Howard began to feel a little queer, for it was some months since he had been upon the water; but he said nothing about it, and seating himself upon the deck, tried to think how pleasant it was to feel the lifting of the vessel beneath him, and the fresh breeze upon his face. Certainly the fresh breeze was pleasant enough, but he looked pale, and the man Bowley, noticing this, came and asked him how he felt.
“Some people would recommend brandy," he said; "but there isn't such a thing aboard. We go on the tee-too-total principle here,” nodding his head towards Dean, "except nows and thens. There's never a drop of spirits comes aboard, whatever happens ashore. It's a good job too,” he added, “considering. He's the right sort, he is, when he is right. It's a great pity that a man like him should ever be overtook.”
. “What do you mean ?" Tom asked, in a state of bewilderment.
Bowley raised his elbow square with his shoulder, opened his mouth, and made a guesture to imitate the emptying of a glass down his throat.
A light burst upon our hero; he was sorry he had asked for an explanation. “That's at the bottom of it," said the man.
“I thought you knowed, else I wouldn't have said nothing. But he has took the pledge, and has not been like the same man since. He never goes outside the shipyard if he can help it, except into the boat.”
Dean came and interrupted them. Tom looked at him now with a strange kind of interest-pity mixed with admiration. He remembered Chaffin's “What will you take?” and set him down at once as the author of Joshua Dean's fall. He had heard how difficult it was for one who had so fallen to raise himself again, and it appeared that Dean had accomplished it. He longed to tell him of the sympathy and respect he felt; but of course he could not do that; so he began to talk about something else.
“Captain Broad will be surprised," he said, "when he comes back, to find so much building going on. You expect him soon, don't you?”
“ Yes,” said Dean.
"It's not mine ; I've sold it." He spoke as if in anger. He did not mean to spare himself even to this boy, if he asked him any questions.
“Yes, I've sold it-like a fool, if not worse."
“Yes; he persuaded me to let him have it; and now he means to turn me out of it, contrary to his promise. But it serves me right. If it was only me it would not signify. I sometimes think I might get it back again. A lawyer at Puddleford told me he thought I could.”
“Why, you see, the will-my father's will—says that the old mother is to occupy it as long as she lives; that gives her a sort of right to it."
“ Then I would make him give it up, if I were you."
Dean did not answer, but looked moodily at the water. He might have contested the sale with Mr. Chaffin on this point, if he had been able to return him the money he had paid ; but without doing that he could not in honour claim to have the property restored to him, either on his mother's behalf or on his own.
“I suppose he gave you a lot of money for it ? ” Tom remarked. “Not much money; he gave me bonds chiefly—bonds in this
' new company. If I had not been mad, or something worse, I should never have done it. He told me the bonds would soon be worth double the money. I should not have trusted him altogether, but he referred me to a gentleman in London who is up to all such business, and has a lot of shares himself, and he said the same.
Darville his name is.” “Darville! Louis Darville ? "
Tom recollected having seen Louis in company with Mr. Chaffin at the South-Western terminus, and the few words which had passed between them on the subject of investments were still fresh in his memory.
“Yes. Louis Darville, that was the name. Do you know him ? ”
Tom explained that Mr. Darville was one of his dearest