Chapter 52444503

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Chapter NumberNone
Chapter TitleSYNOPSIS
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52444503
Full Date1893-01-04
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count3169
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleUnder the Great Seal
article text

I TALES AND SKETCHES.

[NOW FIRST PnBLMDED.]

UNDER THEREAT SEAL,

A NOVEL,

BV JOSEPH HATTON.

Author of " Clytie," " By Order of tho Czar,'

"John Needham's Double," "Cruel Lon- don," &c.

[ALL niOHrS RESERVED.]

SYNOPSIS OP PREVIOUS CHAPTEUS.

Cim-rans I. «KO H.-David Plympton, thc master of Heart's Delight, Newfoundland, his a daughter I Hannah, beloved tty «lan Keith, u young, estimable

fisherman. She ls1 ado loved hy a whining hypocrite notned Ilontz, hut her father, when he speaks to him, threatens to bolt the wolf traps w ith his carcase If ho speaks of lt. Alan's snit ls more favourably received, und as he is projiosiiig for her hand to her fattier she herself approaches. Thc intenten- lias tuen witnessed tty Renta, who creeps stealthily away.

Ciurrp.ns 111. ANO IV.-Alon Keith and Hannah Plympton hu been married a year, and a child liss been born to odd to the happiness of Heart's Delight. Pathcr Lavclla. the priest io eliarge of Uic station, hears occasionally of tire mischief brewing between the American (polony and thc Government of King George of Knorlaiid, and one dav thc serenity of Heart's Delight is ruffled hy the arrival nf Adniir.it lllstock a-.d Vice. Admiral Ituddock with theil- men. They bring orders under the irreal «eal for thc inhabitants of Heart s Delight to destroy their buildings and to cease culti- vation of the la id, Ivvciiiy-fnur hours being {riven them to remove their household goods prior lo thc destruc- tion. Alan Keith Indignantly rfeßes the visitors, but at the suggestion of Master Phmptau Uic twenty-four hours is taken advantage of mid Uie Admiral's men are withdrawn to thc ship». Ristack vows that he «III have Keith In lions hetore the night ls over.

Ciiirrcas V TO VII-A meeting ot the principal men io the village was callad, and after considerable dis- cussion it was resolved to quietly accede to the behests

of the Government- In che nienctftne Rtatack -and Haddock resolved to apprehend Alan fcfeith as thc ring- leader, and Lester Bents undertakes to pilot a picked boat's crew to a point where Uley could quietly approach

tile ti root House.

CHAITOB VIII ATO IX.-When all ts silent In thc Great Mouse, Alan Keith and his wife silently talking together af. cr Uie doings of tuc day, with their faithful dog, Hanipson, lying sb their fed, a noise is heard out- side, and a maAliheatrlasktiigforassifltincc. Hannah, suspecting evil, begs her husband hot to go to the door, 'but he chinks llgutlv ot danger and opened thc door. Instantly he lc set upon by some half a doten men and secured, and Hannah ls also gagged, while tile dog is alain by one of the ruffians.

CBAFTIÍR X.-PAT DOOLAN TO THE RESCCE.

Pdt Doolan slept in a hammock of his own construction in a catlin of the Great House, not far from the Master's room. He had been swinging about nneotnfornibly, harassed by troublous dreams, for «orne little time before he awoke with « groan conscious that some- thing was wrong. He peered out into the night. There were shadowy forms moving about near the house.

Poshing open his cabin-window, that was formed like a port-hole, ho heard mutterings, and now decidedly a smothered scream. He supped into his breeches, dragged his big boots upon his big feet, fastened bte belt about bis waist, thrust a couple of pistols into it, gripped a short hard stick, and sallied forth.

First be ? wont into the Master« room, the door of which was always left ajar, «woke bira with the information that sonreí hing bad waa afoot,' and then going out into the night, made for the door of Keith'spart of the Great

House.

Arrived in front of the little porch of the Keith annexe, befell over the dead body of the dog Sampson, and stumbled through the open door into the room where Ruddock and Lester Bents had bound Mrs. Keith, and just at the moment when they were baviug trouble in the next room with Sally Mumford. He knew nothing of the condition of Mrs. Keith, who was lying by the settle gagged, but Sally was proclaiming her woes with unmistakable vigour. She had been «wakened to meet thc gaze of a couple of ruffians who had turned a dark lantern ^psn ber for what villainy she did not know,' but of course it was nothing

short of murder. . - ' ' ' "

" Have at ye, ye bastes of'prey 1" exclaimed Pat, dashing to her assistance.

Iri a moment, with his short bit of timber, a souvenir of thc uuld country, be had felled

first one and then tho other of the two in traders. ,

. Surrender I" he went on, planting his

right foot upon one and dominating the other

with his cudgel, "surrender, or bi gerran yoor dead men, and bi gerran I think ye are whether ye surrender or not." .. ,

Here he picked np a dark lantern which one of them had dropped and turned it upon the two marauders. ...

"Oh it's usybor. Bentz and one o' the Admirals, is it? Sure, ye'ro a mighty fine brace o' thu vee, ar'n't ye, to disturb moSea

slve settlers in thc middle av God's blesssd

night! Lie still where ye are while I disarm ye, or PU blow ye both to thc devil 1"

Pat stooped over them, took away their weaponB, which he stuffed into his own belt, and then addressed Sally.

"Sure and ye ere, quite safe,..Mistress Sally; get un wW ye'and light the candjes; III tum my back while ye put ou youl-ball dress and make your twylot. Don't whimper Master David, it's all right ; Pat Doolan'« by your sido.1" i . ,

Thc child had uttered a little cry,,but Was hushed habit to quiet hy Sally,' while elie' pulled the curtain about her and put on her things. Ruddock and Bentz. meanwhile thought it good poHcy tb remain quiet, In the hope that their comrades, Tmssmgtnem, would

return atid ballthèrh to-the boute.

'. At this juncture the Master entered the front room with a lantern. Glancing about the place he saw Hannah, abd'released her. "Great Heaven's:- what,bas happened?!' he asked. '. 1 . Hannah could not answer him., He had, raised her up. ' She fell into his aruiB. ' '

"Are you hurt, uiy narlingT'' he;asked, fondling her.

. " Ho," she whispered. She could only speak in whispers.

"Who has done this thing? Where is

Alan!"

" Alan," she whispered, "bas gone." " Where, my love, where ?"

"They have killed htm," she said, and re: .lasing her hold upon her father Would "have slipped to tho ground but Tor thc strong arm

he had wound about hot' waist.

. " Haunah, don't give Way i he brave ; be strong ; tell me, dear, what hos happened ?"

But Hannah was speechless. He laid her lipon the window seat, and lookcd.about for water, found a jug, loathed ber face, and she ^revived. . ; * . ..

" I am better." abo whispered, liatf-rising. Then Fat Bowdan's voice was heard in the next room saying, 4< Now Sally go and see about the mnrtress ; where is she? That's

right, give us light; oh, ye cursed villains!"

Before the Master bad made a step towards the next room the front door was Glied with sailors. ''Admiral Ruddock,'' said the spokesman, "aro yon hero?"

"Yes," shouted Ruddock from thc next room, "I'm a pi isoner; idease ino !"

" Bring in your lah tern," said the spokes- man, addressing someone outside.

A sailor, armed to the teeth, entered with a «hip« läutern. ' She spokesman ligtied for the man to advance, and for another to

support him with his cutlass. The Master

stood by Hannah, Who had once more rises to her feet.

" What ere you doing here ?" he asked.

" Bi gornall, that's the Master," exclaimed Pat from the next room. " Sure, «orr, we're all right, and little David's nil right. And, by the holy St. Patrick, the man that pnts his snout in here I'll blow bis head off! I mano it, by mc saul !"

Thcro was a doad silence. Thc click of Pat's pistols were heard distinctly.

"Oil, I'atdear ¡"said Sally, half-pleadingly, half-admiring.

" It's a thrue hill, s'Jielp mc, bi jabera !" said Pat.

" Wo only want our comrades ; wc intend no harm ; our work is accomplished," said tile spokesman.

"Indade and is it?" said Vat. "I can't say as much for myself, then."

" What was your work, may I ask, besides Uiaving gagged and bound my daughter, .rlllain?" asked thc Master.

K " Wo have done ber no other barm ; it was

roçoAvry^at slit sJipuMAa^rgjvented from

" Voa scoundrel !" exclaimed the Master. '. Nay, I did not do it," said tho spokes- man, "but it had to be done, I suppose, and there's an end of it. Come forth, Admiral, and you, Master Bcntz."

"Come to our rescue," said Ruddock,

" there's a pistol at our heads."

" Pistol, by St. Patrick, there's two ; and if the murdering gang don't disperse nfl' thc face

uv thc earth before I count three I'll shoot your ugly faces into a jelly 1"

Herc Sally, with little David in her arms, rushed out of thc room, .sud the next moment the child was in its mother's arms, though they clutched it with a weak and faltering

embrace.

"Permit our comrades their freedom," said Smith, "and that is ult wc require. Our work is done."

" Master, what'll I do? Give mc orders to execute the villains."

"You will answer my questions sud leave this house without further molcetutiun, your comrades being released!" said Plympton, addressing the spokesman.

" Wc will," said thc spokesman. "Arc you here with authority Ï"

" Yes, the authority of thc Admiral of thc Fleet, anil with a force sufficient for thc re- lease of our comrades."

" Von seem to be a fair-spoken mun. I take your word. Pat !'

" Yes, sorr !"

" Release tho brave gentlemen 1"

" Yes, sorr ! My brave gallants with your great souls, get up wid ye !"

Mr. Bent/, und Admiral Ruddock came forth.

"Thank the boy for your lives," said thc Master, addressing them as Pat stepped out by their side.

" I'M none av their thanks, Master ; the hangman will take care uv them when it

comes to his turn."

"Smith, you will find us at the boats," said Ruddock, arranging his rufUed plumes, and nuking for thc door, Bcntz after him, Pat half-tempted to empty his pistol into them, os the spokesman made way for them. Hannah bent weeping over little David, Sally sitting by her side uud strokint; her hair.

" I'm sorry the young woman and thc child have lieen disturbed," said Smith, " I don't know why it was considered necessary."

"And what .authority could have justified an attack upon this lady !"

"That, you must ask iny betters," said Smith, " wc had orders to make au arrest, which I presume she resisted."

"What arrest! Nay, you need not say, since I find this poor child's husband absent. What has happened to him ?"

" No harm, said the spokesman.

"Oh, thank God," whispered Hannah,

hoarsely. "Oh, Alan, Alan !

"He is under arrest," continued the spokesman, " charged with rebellion against his Mnjesty the King, «nd other crimes.

" Yes ?" said thc Master, suppressing his anxiety and indignation ; "and where ia nc?"

" By this time he is on board the vessel of thc Admiral of thc Fleet." '"

"Merciful Heavens I" exclaimed Hannah, looking up with wild eyes and blanched face.

"Comfort ye, lady," said one of the ship's men, Donald Nicol, who had stood near the spokesman during tho brief colloquy with Plympton, "your gudc mon isca witboot

friends."

"Donald Nicol," said Smith, turning upon thc speaker, "I would have ye understand there is only ono spokesman here."

"Iamilano sure o' that," said the other; " there's nae a mon present whoso gotten a heart in his brest that wouldna like to say a kind word of hope to Alan Keith's young

wife."

" Whatever reparation in the way of explanation was necessary hos been made, and that's thc end of il, Nicol," said the spokesman.

" Dinna ye think I'm a log wi out a heart or a free voice, Jim Smith, ' Nicol replied. "Master Plympton, I tell ye, we're norry, mc an' my mates, that the gude lady has been put aboot, and if I'm yard-urmcd for it that's what I've gotten to say !"

"And mc," said a red-bearded fellow countryman of Nicol's. . ,

"So say we all of us, by-- !" exclaimed another, which drew forth a hearty response of " Aye-ayes."

" Men of the Admiral's ship," said Smith, ted with'rage, "Attention !"

The men fell together.

" Right-about. March !"

The men filed out, Smith at their head.

" Pat, get some brandy from thc liquor cupboard, said the Master.

" Yes, yer honour," said Pat. .

" Sally, -put your mistress to bed. "

"Yes, sir," said Sally, taking thc child From Hannah's arms and retiring with it to

her own room.

" Ah, bless it, it's a good bairn ; it knows

Its safe with its Sally ; class it's brave heart, , it will lie quiet and go to sleep."

Sally was heard cooing to her charge for

several minutes before she returned.

" My dear Hannah, it's a dreadful toliness,

but you must not give way. I know what : fou feel, but we'll soon have Alan back,'never fear; keep a good heart.for his sake, love, aud for mine." , ? J ;? .'.'.'.

Hannah began to cry for the first time.

? " It is very hard, I know, but wc must be patient." '

" Yee," elie said, between her Bobs, "Iain better now ; I will bear Tip, dear."

"Take a little of this," said her father, { handing her a cup with a mixture of brandy : and water. " You must, love, it is the finest medicine in the world."

Hannah took thc cup and drank. [ "That's right Now, Sally, assist your m¡Btress. You will be better after un hour or two. I will not leave the house."

" Ri jabcrs, it's true there's nothing like it," said Pat, helping himself to a horn full of thc liquor. "It s mate und drink sud firearms,

Burc it is."

Sally and Hannah disappeared, and the Master and Pat stood looking at each other.

I' Sure, Master dear, take a drink yourself." < ' " No, thank you Pat," said ' Plympton. 1 " Sit down, God bless you, Pat, for a staunch, . true, brave fellow !"

" Brave in it, wid a couple of spalpeens that I could break over my knee ; but what's to bc

done, Master?" '

" YOB, what's tobe dono? Tboy have tied

our hands, Pat ; wc arc hound hand anil foot ¡ with Alan a prisoner to Ristack ; it is an

awful business !" '

" So it is ; it's just the darkest hour we've I hud ut Heart's Delight. Couldn't wc collect a crew and go for a rescue ? There's thc little

fort ; wo could play on the blackguard ships j md cover a rosene party." '

" My dear Patrick, one round from their 1 long gun would settle us, and what could we io with a half-armed mob against their

muskets and small cannon ? No, Pat, wc must : he diplomatic, we must negotiate, and, above nil, wo must wait. They arc iu tho wrong ;

we must keep to the letter of the law. Go ' and rouse such of our neighbours as may be

sleeping, tell them what has happened, but j

without a flourish. Tell them simply that Alan Keith has been arrested ; tell them to lie

un betimes sud get away to the Back Bay ' Valley, so that we keep our part of the com- pact, and leave no further excuse for outrage.

First, Pat, wo must get tho women and ' children out nf harm's way ; make thom com-

fortable, do you Beo, with their own belongings '

about them, and be clear ont of Heart's 1 Delight within the four-uud-tweuty hours. 1 Our friend Prccdie knows all alnut Alan's ' arrangements for thc tent« and ' shelters. ' God has given us kind weather for the exodus, ' and He will not leave us to the fury of our

enemies."

"Please God, no," said Pat, reverently.

. " But let all things go on, just as if Alan

was witli us," i

*' Yes, your honour." , " You understand that!" "Entirely."

" The time may come for fighting, Pat ; I

think it will ; but wc must first umko our - dispositions."

" That's right," said Pat

" Put the garrison in order,"

i^^I^^^^m^^^n^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ;

" I om sore you do, Pat ; and now I want you to be as wily and discreet as you aro brave, Pat"

" Depind on mc. Master ; I'll emulate the aarpent Master Preedie spoke of, never fear. You shall find everything go just as smooth as if Heart's Delight was enjoying itself to ' the hitter end. I don't mean oxactly that,

but as if wc was just movin' out to Paradise, and it was the thing we'd been looking to all

our blessed lives."

"That's what I wish, Pat; go now, and when y ou'have seen the good people fairly settled at Back Bay Valley, then pat we will talk about fighting."

" Please God, sorr," said Pat, unbarring the door and disappearing.

Plympton followed him. "I'll see you again, Pat, when you come-back."

" Bight, sorr," said Pat, his voice already coming from a distance, for Pat thought he saw a spy, and was chasing bim.

" Bi jabera, I must keep calm," he said ; " it's a diplomat I am, not a warrior. Pat ! On guard I Stand at case. Steady !"

Thus bracing himself to the business of tho night, Put went on his way to Prccdie's limine, whilo Plympton, holding a lantern over thc canine martyr, Sampson, stooped to pat the faithful beast, remarking : " And are

wc sure that Paradise is mcaul for man alone ?

I hope, if ever I get there, dear dead friend, it may be good enough for such a true and loving companion as thou ! Good night. Sampson ; lie there, old friend, where you fell ut thc post of duty. It will bc a sight for some of thc men of Heart's Delight to re- member !"

(To be continued.)