Chapter 174028011

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Chapter NumberV
Chapter Url
Full Date1899-07-20
Page Number2
Word Count2244
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Macleay Chronicle (Kempsey, NSW : 1899 - 1952)
Trove TitleThe Last of the Pirates; Or Doom Driven. A Romance of the End of Ocean Outlawry
article text

The Last of the Pirates; - .-??'' ? ' . / ???.?? 7 ?'.' :: _ ???' o»» - __ ?= ? DOOM DXtlVXIBBT.

'A Romance of the End of Ocean Outlawry.*

V.'-L-:1;-- ? -Sv Col. Prentiss Ingraham, Author of ' Merle the Mutineer,' &c, ice ?.'-: : -.; '?????._? ' ?? t


jj': The schooner which the cruiser bad :'; been in hot chase of was the same which bad picked up the boat at sea, in which were the dead bodies of the ; two. women and the little boy. - .. : . . The vessel was none other than the ' famous pirate craft Spiteful, and he

; V; who had ordered 'Caps off!' when '' the dead were buried at sea was her corrimander— a man feared on land -and ocean lor bis many cruel and hasty deeds. When he had ordered the bodies to ;: be taken into the cabin he carried / ':. with him the little waif, and fora long time held him 4n his arms while he ; fed him with' nourishing food;, then ' .he had placed the little boy in his own - state-room and. watched him until he ?sunk to sleep, after which he crept ; softly out of the cabin. ' ' The body of the beautiful mother of the little boy had been placed upon , a lounge, and that of the* negress lay upon the floor.

? No. 7.— Basil fired at the lieutenant, win) fell to the deck'with a bullet in his brain.

. The pirate's face was very stern as he gazed upon the dead, and every atom of colour had fled from it. He stood by the lounge for a .moment, gazing down into the sadly lovely face,- and his features worked convulsively. ' ' Dead ! Can it be ?' The words came in a tone of anguish from his lips, and stepping to the companion-way he closed it to prevent intrusion. Then he returned to the dead woman's side. ' Dead !— my Luline dead ! And you, too, my faithful Priscilla ? What does it mean ? ' I pick you up in an open boat at sea, and my little boy of the three alone alive! He is suffering, too, and is too young to tell me what I would know. There is some strange mystery in all this — a mystery which I must solve. ' Lost to me for several years, and now, when I deemed them dead, they come to me, and death has done its work almost under my very eyes. 'But how strange that the boy lives ! ' For his sake I shall keep the re solve wbich flashed upon me when again I pressed him to my breast. ' I am rich — ay, immensely rich*, even though it be the wealth of a pirate ; and I will no longer float the black flag, but seek a home and live for my boy. ' He shall never know that I, his father, was a pirate, and he shall become a great and noble man. ' In this way I will seek to atone for the past all in my power by making Him what it was never destined that I should be. .'I swear this by the dead here before me !' He placed his left hand upon the head of the dead woman as he spoke, and dropping upon one knee raised his right hand towards Heaven. Then be repeated, in a low, earnest tone : 'Yes, pirate though I am, from this moment my career shall end, and I vow. to rear my son in honour, not in shame I* . ..' It, was after this, resolve that Basil the Buccaneer had the bodies of the beautiful woman, his wife, and the negress buried that night at sea. The next day, to his sorrow, he found the boy raving in the delirium of a high fever. ? Tenderly he bent over him, doing all in his power to save him from death, and seeming to care naught foi his vessel or his crew. Several sail had been reported to him, his lieutenant, Madrid, a dark faced Spaniard, telling him that he was sure that the craft in sight were rich prizes. ' It matters not, sir. Hold on the1 course- you are now sailing,' was the rejoinder. ? '» With a low-uttered oath the lieuten ant left the cabin, and, returning to tbe: deck, almost immediately went back to the state-room where lay the sick child, the chief still bending over him. ? - 'There is a large armed brig in sight, Captain Basil, and she is in chase/ ' Run from her, then, sir, if you wish to save your neck from the gallows 1' was the stern response of the pirate commander. Again the lieutenant went on deck,

and soon there came the deep boom of a heavy gun, and a shot went flying over the pirate's vessel. Instantly did Basil the Buccaneer run to the deck. ' He glanced aboiffhim for a moment, beheld the brig two miles away-in full chase of the . schooner, which was under full sail.- .''.'-' At tbe peak of the schooner floated the black flag. : - ' Who raised that flag upon this vessel without my orders?' thundered the buccaneer chief, with flashing eyes! 'Lieutenant Miguel, sir,' said the Spanish lieutenant, in a low tone, glancing, as he did so, towards a young officer standing not very far away. . ' Ha 1 My direct orders disobeyed and I defied ? Take that, sir !' As* he spoke Basil fired at the lieutenant, who fell to the deck with a bullet in his brain. [See Picture 7.] ' Haul down that flag, Senor Madrid, and if my orders are disobeyed again I shall visit death upon the disobedient one. Fly from yonder brig, but, mind you, not a shot shall be fired in response to hers !'

So saying, Basil the Buccaneer re turned to the side uf his sick child, and though the shot from the brigof ?war flew about his vessel, killing and wounding a number of his men, . and damaging the rig and hull of the craft, he went not upon deck, and seemed wholly oblivious of what was going on. At last darkness came upon the sea, and the fleet schooner, in spite of her wounds, ran out of range and escaped her larger foe by running into a hiding-place inshore. But Basil the Buccaneer had another motive in running inshore than alone to escape the American brig-of-war. What that purpose was the next chapter will reveal.

CHAPTER VI. THE KIDNAPED DOCTOR. In his pleasant office, in a little town not far from the Atlantic sea coast, a doctor sat, poring over a large work on medicine. He had several severe cases of illness upon his hands, and was read ing up how best to save the patients from death and to alleviate their sufferings ; for he was a man of humane impulses, as well as a skilful physician and surgeon. One glance into his kind, noble face would inspire one with confi dence, and it seemed that the smile he wore was forced there, as though to hide some great bitterness in the' heart. A cheerful wood fire burned upon the hearth, for the nights were chilly, and without the wind blew half a gale, and moaned piteously about the eaves of the dwelling, which was a large old homestead just on the edge of the town. The office of the physician was in one wing of the homestead, and here alone was a light visible. The approach to it was from a gravel walk, and along this a man, closely muffled, as though to keep out the chill wind, walked at a brisk step. Ascending the steps of the little piazza, he knocked at the office door, and was answered by a cheery — ' Come in !' The physician had evidently not expected to see a stranger, for he looked up in surprise, as the man in sailor garb entered. He had thought it was some ' call from one in the little town. But lying a stranger, he rose politely, and said :

No. b'. — A boat with ten oarsmen was' near, and in a moment more it was flying over the rough waters towards a vessel at anchor not far away.

'Good evening, sir. Be seated, please(-and say how I can serve you.' 1 You are Dr. Barton, are you not ?' asked the visitor, somewhat gruffly. ' I am, sir.' ' There is one aboard our ship, sir, lying inTh'e inlet below, who is very ill, and I came to you to go on board with me to see him.' ' 1 he vessel is some six miles from here, if she is in the inlet:' ' Yes, sir.' ' I have several very critical cases on my hands, and fear that I cannot go ; so you will have to see another physician, my good man.1 } ' No other will do, for you are head and shoulders over all. You* must go, sir.'

* l regret to say I cannot leave my patients.' - .- - ' I wil) give you five hundred dollars; if you will,' persisted the man, The doctor fairly started at the sum named, and gazed more fixedly at the visitor. Then he said : 'The case must indeed be urgent for you to offer such a sum, but money will not buy me to neglect my duty to others, sir.' .. '... -. 'A thousand dollars, sir, if you will go.' * I am not to be bribed, sir.' ' Then go for the sake of humanity,

I implore you 1 The physician was silent an instant,* and then he said : 'I cannot resist your appeal,. sir, and I will go with you,- though my horses must be the sufferers, as I will have to drive them hard, for I dare not be long away.' He quickly threw on his cloak,

around, and went out, accompanied by the sailor, who said : ' I have a carriage, sir, if you will go with me.' ' I will do so, and spare my own horses.' They entered the vehicle, the driver whipped up his horses, and they fairly flew along the road, and were not long in covering the distance. Drawing up at the shore, the driver threw open the door, and the sailor and doctor sprang out. A boat with ten oarsmen was near, and in a moment more it was flying over the rough waters towards a vessel at anchor not far away. [See Picture 8.] ^'That iooks like a vessel -of-war, sir,' remarked the doctor, as the boat drew nearer. ' It is, sir.1 ' And I h»ve been so busy with my own thoughts I really have not asked you about the invalid. You will pardon me, I hope, for it was your voice that recalled painful memories of my past.' 1 Dr. Barton, you need not ask no pardon of me, for I, too, have been wrapped up in my own thoughts during my drive here.' ' And who is the patient ?' ' A child.' ' A child on board ship ?' ' Yes, sir. The captain's son, and I am the captain.' ' Ah, you did not give me your name, 1 believe, sir ?' 'Basil.1 ' Indeed ! How strange !' and the doctor spoke more to himself than to his companion. ' The child is 'very ill, with brain fever, sir, and I have no doctor on board.'

' / am Basil the Buccaneer, and your own brother, Dr. Barton.'

' And how came you to seek me?' ' I went to the town, sir, and of course heard you spoken of as the leading physician there, so sought you. But here we are alongside;' and the sailor aided the physician to the deck. ' Battle lanterns dimly revealed the guns and crew, but Basil gave the physician no time to look about him, but hastily led him into the cabin. Dr. Barton had often been on board the vessels of-war visiting the little port, and this one struck him as being so different from those which he had seen ; for never before had he beheld such magnificence as his eyes rested upon in the cabin of the schooner. There was the richest furniture, solid silver service, divans of silk and velvet, and weapons without number, the hilts set in diamonds and other precious stones.

What is the nationality of your vessel, Captain Basil, for she cannot, be an American cruiser, as she is so utterly unlike others of our war-crafts?' asked Dr. Barton, amazed at what he beheld ; and he stopped and gazed about him. Instantly the pirate chief turned and said, in his stern, deep voice : ' Dr. Barton, I brought you here to save the life of my child who lies in yonder state-room. To answer your question, I would say that my vessel owns no nationality ; for I, her cap tain, am Basil the Buccaneer, and your own brother, Dr. Loyd Barton !' To Be Continued.