|Chapter Title||THE SECRET REVEALED.|
|Newspaper Title||The Macleay Chronicle (Kempsey, NSW : 1899 - 1952)|
|Trove Title||The Last of the Pirates; Or Doom Driven. A Romance of the End of Ocean Outlawry|
The Last of the Pirates; or, x- o o ztx x- RxVa wr .
?-, '.' ? ?'. ?.' — ? — » .. '.- . A Homance of the Eridof Ocean Outlawry.*
-. -? ? . -?, ?/-';. . ' ? — — ^- — ' - .:L~r ??:'?''. .-/ ????? Bv Col Prentiss Ingraham, Author of.' Merle the Mutineer,' &c, Sic
. CHAPTER -XLVI. THE SECRET REVEALED.
The morning broke rainy and dismal at the home of the fugitive maiden. Mr. and Mrs. Leslie had been away from home for days, visiting a relative, and only the day before had returned. They sought their daughter's room, and there, upon her bureau, pinned to a silken pin-cushion, were two notes, one being addressed 'To Father
and Mother, ;ihe other ??? To Kate Randolph.' . The note to his wife and himself the planter . quicklyX broke open, which stated that she had gone away with Basila Bartons, who bad promised to make her his wife. The letter, in which she begged forgivennesB, was evidently written under great excitement. Mr. Leslie road it to his wife, who listened with bowed head and trembling form. Their sorrow at the flight of their daughter, their only child, was great ; but their sympathy lor Kate Randolph, for Rodney Randolph, and their parents was greater. They ordered the carriage, without delay, and the two drove through the rain to Ran dolph Range. Kale met them at the door, her face a little sad, for she had felt that Basil would tell her of his love before he went, and he had said no word about his coming back. She saw by the faces of her visitors that something had happened Mrs. Leslie led her into the back parlour, and, still holding the letter in her hand, said : 1 Kate, my dear child, be brave, for I have bad news for you. See, here is a letter from Luline, and she left one for us also.' She took Ihe letter with dread, fearing some evil to Luline, and broke ihe seal and read : 'My Poor, Dear Kate,— What^will be your thought ot me, of him, when you know that we have fled like guilty beings, for ever gone from the dear old home and those we loved. It is true, and for all pain that I may give yon by my act in flying with Captain Bartons ? ' Here the letter fell from her hand, and she sunk back upon the sofa in a swoon. ? Aid was called, her parents came to her side and heard all, and then, almost like guilty beings, Mr. and Mrs. Leslie crept away to go back to their desolate home. Kate returned to consciousness, but was in delirium, and those bending over her feared that she was mad. Rodney Randolph was at once written for, and eventually the young master returned. His father's letter had told him all, and the change in the handsome, dashing young officer was startling. He uttered no word of reproach, but silently went about the house, often sitting for hours in the arbour on the shore. At last Kate rallied, and was pro nounced out of danger of death ; but her mind was gone — she was a maniac. To an asylum her brother took her, and then he went back to his duties. Rodney 'wrote regularly, and his letters always tried to cheer his parents up, but they could see that the iron had entered deep into his soul. He had alsp-written to an old midshipman friend in Lima, Peru— one who had fallen in love with a pretty Peruvian girl and married her, resigning from the United States Navy, and going to Lima to live. He had related to him the story of Basil Barton, telling him that be was an American, but had Peruvianized his name into Don Basila Bartona. He asked him to tell him all about him. Nearly a year passed away, and one day a vessel-of-war dropped anchor in the little harbour of Randolph Range. Rodney Randolph had applied for sea duty, and was her commander, and he was on .his first cruise. He had been to Baltimore, and received there his mail, and in that mail was a letter from his friend in Peru. That letter he read in a hoarse, trembling voice to his parents, and from the lips of his mother came the words : ' Better our child's madness than the wife of that man. ' Then, with the letter in hand, Rodney Randolph went over to the Leslie plantation. He knew that he was to deal a fearful blow, but better from his hand, in sympathy, than have the truth come to them in another way. They saw by his manner that they had to expect evil. Then in a low, sympathetic tone he read the letter. It went on to state that Basil Barton had obtained the papers from the
man. But it had afterwards transpired that be was Basil the Buccaneer, and at once he had been outlawed by Peru. Then the letter ended with the words : ' You now know, my dear Randolph, that the man of whom you ask is none other than the red-handed pirate, the terror of Southern waterB, who is known as Basil the Buooa nser.' Could news be more terrible to those' loving hearts, the parents of Luline, and to him who still loved 'her? — for Rodney Randolph was a man to love but once in a lifetime. Let us draw the veil of pity over their grief, and change the scene. CHAPTER XLVII. THE PIRATE'S HOME. To a lonely villa in the island of ^ Cuba, Basil Barton had carried his
bride, for he had run into San Augus tine, after leaving ibe . Chesapeake, and a priest had made Luline his wife — for she was a Catholic. Then to the island of Cuba he had sailed, and a secluded plantation villa upon the coast, which he well knew of, had been selected as his home. He bad landed by night at a small seaport, sent an agent to purchase the place and put it at once in condition, and then, until ready for bis wife, he had cruised about the seas. He had avoided ail tracks of vessels, and no one — not even a seaman — would have suspected the schooner of being the pirate Basil's vessel. One night he stood in towards the little harbour near his home and landed. Up to the hill whereon the villa was. situated he led his bride, while his men followed with the lug gage. The servants were there, awaiting the coming of their new' master, and Luline was ushered into her new home. After a few days spent at his new home, Basil Barton departed in his vessel, leaving Luline mistress over all. ' But he sailed by night, and his movements were all arranged to pre vent suspicion against himself, or the presence of his vessel on the coast being known. Thus the weeks passed by at Buena Vista Villa, as the home of the pirate was called*- and the young bride was alone, excepting for Mam' Priscilla. Remorse gnawed at her heart, and yet she tried to feel that she had done no wrong. Luline had written home, telling her parents of .her elegant home and happiness, and begging them to write her oiten, and, when' the winter months should come, to be sure and make her a visit. But her letters never reached their destination, for the overseer to whom she entrusted them was a spy upon the fair young wife One night the schooner ran into the little bay, and sought her hiding place in the lagoon that flowed into it. Then Luline was happy, and in the few days Basil Barton remained, the home was an Eden to her. Again he departed, and again she felt miserable. But the next time Basil the Buccaneer ran in by night and visited his home, his beautiful young wife welcomed him with a tiny baby boy, two months old, in her arms. A week only he remained at home, and then he told Luline that he was going to give up the sea, and to ex pect him back in a few months to remain. It was six months before he came, and then be sprung from a vclante which had driven him home from the city. His vessel, he said, he had turned over to the Government of Peru, and he meant to devote himself to a life of happiness with his beauti ful wife. Did he keep his promise ? CHAPTER XLVIII. BAD NEWS FOR THE BUCCANEER. More than three years passed away after the flight of Luline Leslie with Basil the Buccaneer, and yet no word had come to the young wife from her parents. But she was happy with her husband, and but for the memory of the past, no cloud would have ob scured her life. After his return home without his ship, Don Basila, as he was called, seemed happy in his hoine life; per suading himself that he had buried the past, and would live for his beautiful wife, his darling child, and none should ever know that Don Basila Bartona, the Corsair, was Basil the Buccaneer. Such was his reason ing after be had been six months at home. As he sat one day musing, a vessel came in sight and soon, ran into the harbour. Instantly he hastened down to the steep path leading to the pier. Here he met Senor Alfrida, the young Peruvian who had been his second in the duel with the British officers, and the first officer of his. schoonet. He looked disturbed in mind. ' Well, Alfrida, what story have you to tell ?' ' Senor Captain, a British brig ofi war came to the island rendezvous, piloted .in by a traitor, and captured the schooner and all of the men. We had, as you suggested, found a settle ment there, and pretended to be an honest island colony, while the
scnooner we usea ior a uauwg iraoci between the adjacent ports. But some traitor told that we were the crew of Basil the Buccaneer, and brought the brig into the harbour. The schooner, our little smack, and all were seized, and the men all put in irons and the women under guard. Then the brig, leaving two-thirds of her men, set sail to Bermuda, where
a large fengusn trigate is stationed, to bring her back to rescue all the results of the capture. Fortunately I was out with my carrera, and -no one spoke of it, while one of the Peruvian women, the wife of my boatswain, put out to sea unseen, in a mere shell, and headed us off. I at once came to you, for if we cart get a good crew somewhere, and run in under English colours, as though sent by the brig, we can recapture all.' ' It can be done, Senor Alfrida, and I will start at once. But who was the traitor ?'
'I know not, eenor, only it was said that he knew where you were in hiding, and would lead the brig officers to the retreat.' 'Ha! I must be on my guard.. But I will at once go with you, and when once more afloat in my good vessel, I can leave my home here -and seek another elsewhere. Yes, I will go to Spain, where De Costa is ;' and Basil the Buccaneer spoke more to himself than to his young officer. Then he hastened up the ipsth iJ*o; the villa, quickly toldli^inetitbat: hej had to sail at once for Havana on official business, a vessel having been sent for him, fetid bade her good-bye,
promising 10 reium wunin 8 momn. 'Now, Senor Alfrida, we will head for a port not much out of our way, and where I know we will be able to secure what men we need. How many hive you on the carrera ?' __ 'Nine, with myself, Senor Basil.' ' And the force left by the brig ?' ' Forty-five, the women said.* .??--. ?.'; ' And how many are there on the island of our people ?' 'Sixty-seven men, and about as many women and children.' ' Well, we will need forty men, and will get them,' was the determined reply. And away on her mission of peril sailed the^swift carrera, CHAPTER XLIX. ONCE MORE AFLOAXT Basil Barton well knew just where he could pick up a crew of desperate men, ready for any deadly work. He entered the port by night, and at once sought an agent with whom he had had dealings. ' I need forty men at any cost, at once, and they must be well armed and leady for any work,' was his order to his agent. With this incentive the agent went to work, and within three hours he had collected two-score as ugly set of villains as ever were banded together. They went at once on board the carrera, were hustled into the hold out of sight, and the vessel set sail. Thirty-six hours more and she run into the retreat of the pirates. Upon giving up his vessel, Basil had turned he* over to his young officer, and made him chief, as it were, of the island rendezvous, upon which had settled a small number of people. The crew had married in various ports, and they had brought their wives and children with them, and so quite a little settlement had been formed, the schooner ' having been stripped of her guns and large spirs, and transformed into an honest coaster — in appearance at least. Those who remained on the island expected no outside aid for ' the pirates. The man on watch over the harbour contentedly slept, fearing no foe, and so did not see the carrera run slowly into port under shortened sail. The carrera glided in to an anchor age, the boats were already in tow, and filled with men, and the first that the British tars knew of the presence of a foe, they were upon them, shoot ing them without mercy, and had become, in a short while, masters of the island. f At once did Basil Barton decide to leave the island as soon as he could do so, for the brig-of-war, accompanied by the flagship, might return at any moment. The guns of the schooner were hauled out from their hiding-place and got on board, the other spars and sails were bent, and by noon of the next day all was ready to sail. The carrera and smacks were loaded with booty and the people of the island, while, with his old crew on his deck and a few of his new men to make the number full, Basil Barton set sail. tie was once more afloat, and he gave orders to the carrera and its attendant fleet of small boats where to head to find another retreat, and among people as lawless as them selves, and where they would be welcome, he well knew. The crew of the brig-of-war, dead, wounded, and unharmed, were lett upon the island, the officer in charge being told to inform his captain, with the compliments of Basil the Bucca neer, that if he wished to find his vessel to look for her upon the high seas. ? Now to my home, Senor Alfrida,' said the buccaneer ; and the schooner was put away for the coast of Cuba. Just one month after his departure, he ran into the lagoon, his old hiding place. It was night, yet not late, and, as he reached the hill-top and crossed the lawn, he was surprised to see no light glimmering in the mansion. Tn the servants' quarter of the villa a light shone, and thither he went, when his knock failed to receive any response.
as a servant met him. The negro answered in Spanish : 1 The senora and the young senor have gone,' Senor Master.' 1 Gone I And where?' ?The senora left a letter for my master. ~ Into the villa he went, lights flashed through the house, and the servant led him to his own desk, upon which lay a sealed envelope, with the ad dress in the handwriting of his wife. Basil Barton broke the seal, and
there was an inner envelope auurc»cu 'To Captain Basil, the Buccaneer.' He groaned in agony of spirit, and his hands, which could unflinchingly take a human life, trembled violently in opening the letter. He read : I have learned all, as you may know from the inner address upon this letter. I am a pirate's wife— my ohild is a pirate's son. Heaven grant that at least we have the honeist claim of wife and son! Were it otherwise, I would seek to kill you. Did I fail, I would rear my boy to seek your life. You, a man wearing the mask of a gentleman, a chevalier in your conduct openly, are the black-hearted, red-handed terror of the ocean, Basil the Buccaneer. I go from you forever. Every article of value you have
given me yon will find in my bureau drawer, and the key is in your desk. I brought With me, you may remember, a thouband dollars of my own money,'- and some valuable jewellery given ~tne by my parents and friends. This will support m until I can gel work, for I dare not go back to my desolate borne, my poor unhappy, parents.. Farewell, and may Heaven's cane rest upon rou, Basil Barton I— Luli}jb Babtoh, the Buccaneer' Bride. Twice the man read over this letter, full of anguish, bitterness, and con tempt for himself. Then he arose andsoughtto find out *hat the ser vants could tell him ; but they knew nothing. '?? -V t, .' . -V'\- - ?- . ? ?'.;?-'.. -. : : :- The oveiseer was sent for, but the senora bad not let hira'lnto the secret. He knew not that she was going until she had gone. - S\ Basil Barton at once started for the town . tb*track ~ her. There he bad learned that she bad taken a vessel for New Orleans. 'I will go there, for I will find hej.V . So hB said, and in two nights after the schooner was sailing away from Cuba. ? Hardly had ihe schooner dis appeared beyond the horizon, when a brig-of-war, flying the Cross of St. George, hove in sight ' It was the British brig on the track of the buccaneer, for the traitor who had betrayed his island retreat was leading his foes to the home of the pirate in Cuba. CHAPTER L. THE FLIGHT. It was a habit of Luline to always go out upon the hill-top each after noon, towards sunset, and watch the coming of twilight. One afternoon, as was her wont, site went there, and she saw a small goleta sailing into the bay. It was a tiny craft, and con tained but two occupants — an old' man, the other a youth. These came slowly up the steep path, the old man seeming to walk with difficulty. They saw her as they reached the hill-top, baited, said a few words together, and then came towards her. Both of them took off their caps as they approached, and the youth said : ' We have come to see the Senora Bartona.' 1 1 am she, so tell roe how I can serve you.' \ The old man then said : ? Senora, I am poor, and this boy is all that is left to me. I come to tell you the truth, and I beg you to hear my story. If you deem it false, then send me from you.' The old man's manner impressed Luline. Something, she knew not what, forced her to remain. ' I will hear what you have to say,' she said, calmly. ' I am a Cuban, senora, as you doubtless know from my language. I am a poor man, but time was when I was pretty well off for a man of humble calling. I had a pleasant home, a trim little craft, and this boy, and one whom I supposed would be my son-in-law some day, formed my crew. My wife was dead, and my child, Lilla, a beautiful girl, kept our home. One day a stranger called. I need not describe him, for he was your husband. At sight of him poor Lilla's head and heart turned, and forgetting her lover, her father's grey hairs, she fled with the handsome stranger. Months after she returned to us, a broken-hearted girl, and wearing no band of gold upon her finger to show that she was wedded. Her lover still kept true to her, for gave her, and asked her to become his wife. ? But no ; she went away from home again, and her motive was revenge. She sought the man who had betrayed her life's happiness. What had become of her we knew not for a long time. But one day, some years ago, my son, as I call he who was to have been the husband of my child, met an ofd shipmate of his boyhood. He had gone to the bad, but loving his boy, he had given up his evil life, for he had turned a pirate, and returned home. This man told my son a sad story. He said that poor Lilla had shipped upon the vessel of your husband as a sailor, and her sex was not known. In 'Spain she had sought to betray the vessel for what she really was, and gain her revenge by having the false man hanged. But her plot was discovered, just as it was on the verge of success, and she and the two men' who were aiding her were strung up to the yard arm. She appealed for mercy for the two men, and asked none for herself. But no mercy was shown. She told who she was — that she was a woman.' But the destroyer refused to believe her, and she was hanged, and then cast into the sea. My son told the pirate's story, and brought him to my house. Then he repeated all. and
my son and all of us vowed vengeance. The brave boy set forth to track the monster down, guided by the direc tions of the one-legged pirate, and he found the rendezvous of the man he sought — an* island two days' sail from here. But the man he sought had turned his schooner into a coaster, given up his career, and sought a home elsewhere, for he married a wife, it was said. My son found his home, told me, and my boy here, and then he went on board a British brig to destroy the island retreat. He has now gone there, and we, learning that the man had sailed from here, came to vou. to tell vou, senora, how
cruelly you were deceived. We came to tell you that the man who is your husband is not a Peruvian officer, as he professes to be, but none other than Basil the Buccaneer, whose name is a curse upon the waters. Do you hear, senora?' To Be Concluded. ? I niver.recaved sich an insooltin' letther in me loife. Phat would yez do about it, Pat, at all at all ?' Pat : ' Shure, Oi'd return it un opened.'