A TALE OF TWO TUNNELS
NOVELS, ETC., BY W. CLARK RUSSELL
Crown 8vo., cloth extra, 3s. 6d. each; post 8vo., illustrated boards, 2s. each; cloth limp, 2s. 6d. each.
ROUND THE GALLEY FIRE.
IN THE MIDDLE WATCH.
ON THE FO'K'SLE HEAD.
A VOYAGE TO THE CAPE.
A BOOK FOR THE HAMMOCK.
THE MYSTERY OF THE 'OCEAN STAR.'
THE ROMANCE OF JENNY HARLOWE.
AN OCEAN TRAGEDY.
MY SHIPMATE LOUISE.
ALONE ON A WIDE WIDE SEA.
THE GOOD SHIP 'MOHOCK.'
THE PHANTOM DEATH.
IS HE THE MAN?
THE CONVICT SHIP.
HEART OF OAK.
THE TALE OF THE TEN.
THE LAST ENTRY.
A TALE OF TWO TUNNELS. Crown 8vo., cloth, 3s. 6d.
THE SHIP: HER STORY. With 50 illustrations by H. C. Seppings Wright. Small 4to., cloth, gilt top, 6s.
London: CHATTO & WINDUS, 111 St. Martin's Lane, W.C.
A TALE OF
A ROMANCE OF THE WESTERN WATERS
W. CLARK RUSSELL
'THE WRECK OF THE GROSVENOR,' 'THE CONVICT SHIP,' ETC.
A NEW EDITION
CHATTO & WINDUS
|| THE DEVIL'S WALK
|| CAPTAIN JACKMAN
|| THE DINNER
|| THE PROPOSAL
|| BUGSBY'S HOLE
|| FATHER AND DAUGHTER
A TALE OF TWO TUNNELS
CHAPTER I. THE DEVIL'S WALK.
The ship Lovelace lay in the East India Docks, being newly arrived from an East India voyage. Her commander, Jackman, stood in her cabin and gazed in his glass; he looked at his face, and seemed to study it. There was a mark as of a blow close under the left eye, and he examined this mark with care.
He was a handsome man, with regular features and a dark brown skin. His eyes were black and flashing, and, contrary to the custom of that age, he wore his hair close cropped behind. Being satisfied, he picked up a bag, locked a drawer, quitted his cabin, withdrew the key, and left the ship.
He made his way on foot and by coach to Cannon Street, where the offices of the owners of the vessel were situated. Just when he was in the middle of the thoroughfare he was knocked down and his bag taken from him. He lay stunned for some moments, and, when he sprang to his feet, he caught sight of the darting figure of a man flinging the bag into some wide area and rushing on.
Captain Jackman gave chase, but did not somehow think of recovering his bag. Then, feeling confused and amazingly shocked by this theft of fifteen hundred pounds in gold and paper—mostly in gold—the money of the owners, he gave up, and walked sullenly, without even thinking of brushing his clothes, towards the offices.
Such was the story related to the owners by Captain Jackman of the ship Lovelace. He said he believed his assailant was a rascally little seaman whom he had shipped at Calcutta, and who had given him trouble all the way home.
Did Captain Jackman see the man?
Yes. Just outline enough of the flying figure to guess that it was he.
How was the money done up?
In three small bags.
Would he have had time to take these parcels out of the captain's bag in the narrow compass of time allotted him by the narrative?
Certainly. He had himself seen the sailor fling the bag down the area. Sailors are swift in breaking bulk. Some are born thieves. This sailor was peculiarly active, and was the one of the whole crew, knowing that Captain Jackman was going to carry a large sum of gold ashore, to rob him out of hand.
'How did he know that you were going to carry a large sum of gold ashore?'
'It may have leaked out through my servant, who, being a neat hand, packed the money for me.'
They went to the police. They searched the area, and found the bag, but they did not find the gold. What, then, was to be done? Raise a hue and cry?
Captain Jackman was grimly regarded by his owners, who had lost in Cannon Street a very handsome venture in their voyage.
'I hope,' said the captain, when he called at the office two days after the incident, 'that this will not make any difference in our relations, gentlemen.'
'You shall hear from us, sir,' answered one of the owners, a tall lean man with a dangling eyeglass, bending his form crane-like towards Jackman. The captain seemed to pause, to look confused and pained. He then, with a polite bow, raised his cap and left the place.
'I noticed a rather ugly mark near his eye,' said one of the partners. 'Ay,' said the other, 'and plenty of dust in his clothes.'
One day, some mornings after this, a fine young woman was pacing the sands of the sea-shore, lost in thought. The sands formed a noble stretch of promenade, brown and beautiful with ripples moulded by the waters of the sea. But from the wash of the surf the brine was sparkling and flashing: it was blowing half a gale. The tall, mid-Channel combers raced inshore, following one another like cliffs looking over cliffs. The girl's dress to windward blew to her figure, and showed her a beauty in shape: sometimes she paused, and turned to look at the sea, which swept into hilly heights of froth and obscured the horizon by miles of dazzle. Also, she took notice of a little barque staggering down Channel under close-reefed sail, sometimes vanishing, and then showing her whole shape. The sight was so toy-like, it made one linger. All the wet glories which came out of the sea with that little leaning, flying fabric glowed in each sparkling sunbeam that touched her. She was quaint, too, as an example of a vanished type of ship, though she belonged to her age. She was very high in the stern—a pink—and her bowsprit ran up like a mast. Her topsails,