Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, April 23, 1898, Page 12, Image 12

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The Raiding of Donna Clotildc.
( Copyright , 1S9S , by Cutcllffe llyw. )
If any ceo announced In the captain's
room at Ilallett's that a man could leave
that sanctum shortlr before turnk > j-out time ,
and be forthwith kidnapped In the open
itrect * of South Shields , every muter mar
iner within hearing would hvc jnit him
donn contemptuously as a gratuitous liar.
All opinions In the captaln'a room cro expressed -
pressed strongly , nnJ with duo .uurltlmo
force of language.
The place seemed to Its frequenter * the
embodiment of homeliness nnd aecurhy.
There was a faint smell of varrl h In the
atmosphere , and always had been , wi.bln
the memory of the oldest habitue , mid ship
master ! ) came back to the odor with a nigh
of pleasure , ua men do return to the nelgh-
torhooJ of an old and uoobtruslvc frlei.d.
Captains mot In that room who traded to
all parts of the globe , talkcJ , aiid soon
found acquaintances In common. It was a
sort of Informal club , with no subscription ,
and an unlimited membership. The holdIng -
Ing of a master's "ticket" waa the only en
trance qualification , and It was no : con
sidered polite to ask your uelghbor whether
ho was at that moment In or out of employ
U you were a genuine master mariner.
but of ait unclubablo disposition , you did not
go to the captain's room at Ilallett's a
eco J time , and always made It a point
of getting rather red , and speaking of It
rather contemptuously , when the place was
cncnttoned afterward. If you did not nold
A' master's ticket , even If you were that
dashing thing , a newly fledged mate , the
oki- maid on gtiarJ spotted you c-.i the In
stant , and said "that door was private , "
and directed you to the nmokc room down
ttho passage.
Into this exclusive chamber Captain Owen
Kettle had made his way that day after
tea , and over two molest half pints of bitter
beo. < hod done Ills eharo In the talk and
llstcclns from 8 till 10:30 : of the clock. He
had exchanged views with other shipmas
ters on cargoes , crews , Insurances , climates
and those other professional matters which
the p-ofane world ( not llie shipping Inter
est ) , finds eo dreary , and had been llotened
to with deference. He was a man who com.
mandcd attention : and though you might not
llko what ho said , you would not dream of
refusing to listen to It.
That special eight , however , Captain Ket
tle's personal views co maritime affairs were
listened to with moro deference than usual.
A large , red-haired man swung Into the
captain's room some few minutes after Cap-
.taln Kettle had seated himself , and after
ordering his beverage aad a cigar , nodded
with a whimsical smile In Kettle's direc
tion , and asked him how be liked the neigh
borhood of Valparaiso aa a residence.
"I forget , " said the little sailor , dryly
"All right , captain ; " said tbo red-haired
man , "don't you mln-d me. I never remem
ber too much , myself cither. Only you did
mo a coed turn out there , although you
probably don't know It , anJ I'd be proud If
you'd have a drink or a smoke with mo
now In remembrance. "
"You're very polite , captain. "
"Don't mention It , captain , " said the red1-
balrod man , and struck the bell. "Same ?
Half a pint ot bitter please , miss , and one
of your best fourpcnny smokes. "
The general talk of the captain's room ,
which had halted for a moment , nent on
again. Ono worthy mariner had recently
failed to show a clean bill ot health In Bar
celona , and 'had .been sent to do twenty daja'
pcnanco at the quarantine station , which Is
In Port Mahon , Minorca. As a natural con
sequence , lie wanted to give his views on
Spain and1 Spanish government with length
ami bitterness , but somehow t'lio opportunity
was denied htm. The rod-halrcd man put
In a sentence or two , and a question , and
It was Kettle's views on the question to
whldh the captain's room founj Itself listen
ing , A salvage question was brought up by
a Btout gentleman In the Daltlc timber
trade , who was anxious to air his scitl-
mcnls , but the red-haired man skilfully In
tervened , and "Kctllo on salvage" was a kcd
for and heard. And so on all through the
evening. The red-haired man did his work
cleverly , and no one resented It.
Now Kettle was a man who liked being
listened to , cud there la no doubt that his
vanity was tickled by all this deference from
hU professional equals. There Is no doubl
also that the snug security of Hullett's luljol
his usual seneo of wariness , which may In
part account for what happened afterwords
And so without further excuse for him ,
It Is my painful duty to record that an hour
after ho left the captain's room , the little
sailor was entrappeJ anJ kidnapped by what
to a man of his knowledge was of the
most vulgar of artlflccs.
Ho emptied his tumbler , stood up , and
Md | toe must be going. The rcd'-halred
man Jocks I at the rounJ cablr clock on
the wall , and mentioned that It was his
time also ; nnd together they went outside
Into the damp , dark main street of South
"Golngr back to your eMp , captain ? " askei
the .big stranger.
J'Why no. captain , " said Kettle , "I live
here , and I'm off home. "
'Then I suppose I must aay good night.
Hope to meet you again , though. What boat
ftfo you on now , captain ? "
"Well , I'm putting In a bit of a rpcll
eahore , Just now. captain. Fuel U , I haven't
come across any employment quite to my
taste lately. 'Tkn't every ohlpowner I care
to servo under. "
"No , " said the red-haired man. They are
fcruttB mont of them. Dut look here , captain
-tfiero u to no offense In my getting you the
refusal of a berld , would Ihero ? "
Kettle fluohed. "Captain , " ho eild. "you'co
very good. You see , I'm married , with
cMiidrcn. and 1'vo never earned enough to
put anything by. Between men. I don't mind
telling you I m on my beamcnds. If I can't
got holdof an advance note this week. It
will niMn going to the
' pawnshop for Mrs.
Ke'lle'a nxt Sunday's dinner. "
The red-l.ulred sighed. "
man . "Well , .
< aln , he raid , "you needn't thank me. Ifa
Just my duty to my employers to put this
thing In your way. But we'll not rpeak of
K hero In the open. Come along off to mv
"night. " eald Kettle. "Where have
( ot her ? " you
"Sho's lying at a buoy 1n the river. We
can get a beat from the stepa. "
Nothing much more was saU between them
11 ' , Th.blgl . rea-hal d- man ssomed In
disposed for further talk
. , and Kettle was
too .proud to ask questlora. Together they
walked with their t-hort seaman's stride down
the wet new ctrceta of the
acaport. and Cap-
that ? MUI ° mdo hU braln ' "ho by hoping
woulJ not be another Item to add
iiart ! ° "B ° f olllaK" > lntmentfl.
' ' '
* 6 y'
'T W 8M tor
mnn.h E X
months , und ho
was In such straits for want
of money that ho was growing desperate
They got down to the steps and took
' a
waterman's beat ; turned up the pl T 3
J'tt ' > vhlch lay in the stern hrVand , at
o the
dry side ; and then puohed off Into the
Th ° man pi ked up
Ml.d Kcttle"PlM ura ! "
tdlsrv " . ' " Mld the "d-halred
Off the waterman. Ibo.rd. ? "PUIn , and I'll pay
again" ' ? better Walt to take me ashore
I U put you ashore
, u uut , w my
own boats when you go. Now , captain , hero
"wo " are. Come below In my room. "
VYou'v * got iteam up. I § e . " nld Kettle.
atthuy walked aft along the white '
PvK *
4 j
"My order * , " laid tha red-balred mm.
St. ' 18411 ioonT"
t"S"May ' " atari * any minute. We never know.
Vy. owner'a a. rare one for changing mind. "
Uluh ! " Mid Kettle. 'ttllght be a
< vemaB , " >
n _
'U "DevIlUti.'lIke ' a woman , " Mid the red-
'Uv - - ' -
v , rjrly. MM4 a doer at ]
ho font of the compaolonway , and turned
n electric light switch. "This Is my
room , captain , step right In. A drop of
whisky woull bo a good thing to keep out
ho cotd whilst r.o talk. Kxouso mo a
nxvjte while ! 1 go and get a couple of tum-
) lera. I gueea the Rtcward'o turned In. "
Kettle scaled himself on a velvet-covered
lofa , and looked round at the elaborate flt-
Ings of the cablo. "Satin wooJ panels , "
10 commented , "nickel battens to put the
harts cii , glass-bnckoJ bookcase and silk
mnk curtains ; no expense spared anywhere.
. .anil who wouldn't sell a farm aad go to
seaT But the old man tuld she wasn't
ileasurol I wonder what his game Is ?
Contraband , I guess ; mtny a yacht's great
on that. Well , cnyway , I'vo got to hear. "
The red-haired man came "back " with two
i.ilf filled tumblers anJ a water jug.
iHcro's the poison , " said ho. "Mix it ac-
ordlOR to your own weight. "
"That's rather more than my usual
vhaek , " said Kettle , eying the tumbler ,
'but It's a cold , < wet night , so hero's Dy
ho way captain , I'm afraid I've forgotten
: our namel"
"My rame ? " said' the red-haired man. " 0 ,
fee , I'm Douglas , Captain Douglas. "
"Captain Douglcs , " said Kettle , thought-
'ully. ' "No , "I c&a't say I recall It at pres
ent. Well , sir , anj'Aoy , here's your very
good health and prosperity. "
"Same , " eald the re > l-halred men , and ab-
"orbed his whisky and water with the dex-
: erlty of on artist. Out of politeness , Cap-
: aln Kettle finished his tumbler also ; there
3 an etiquette about these maUerfl.
Sllenco ( IXyd the cabin for a mlnuto or eo ,
iroken only by the distant clatter or a
shovel on a firebar , and Kettle looked at the
cabin clock. It waa 11:30 : , and Mrs. Kettle
would bo expecting him home. "Hullo ! " he
saltf , "firing up ? 0 , I fuppcse you've cot to
keep steam in the donkey 'boiler ' whilst
rou're In the hanior to run your dynamo.
3y the 'way , you were talking about some
employment you could put In my way , cap
A\n \ , " he added suggestively.
"Kmploymont , " eald Douglas uneasily.
'O , was I ? Employment yes , to bo sure.
Well , you eco , capta'n , it was my owner I
was fpeaklng for , and I've been thinking it
over , and perhaps , on the wliole , you'd bet
ter see her for yourself. "
'Her ! " said Kettle. "Is there a woman
at the head of this concern ? "
! , 'A lady , call her. But look here , captain ,
rou're getting sleepy. Why not turn In here
for the night , and see her yourself In. the
morning ? " - v
Kettle yawned and ha ! head noMed. "I
am sleepy , and that's a fact , though I don't
( now why I should 'be. But It wouldn't do
'or me to turn In hero for the night. Mrs ,
Kettlo'o expecting mo at homo , and I've
never broken , word to her slrwe I was mar
ried. I should , take It as kind , capMIn , If
you couM glvo me some notion about this
plcco of employment how , so that I could
see whethe ? It's worth" Ho yawned again
and struggled with his heavy eyelids. "You
must understandplease , captain , that time
[ o scarce with mo. I muat get employment
at once. I can't stcnd by and see my missis
and youngsters hungry. "
Captain Douglao swore and hit the table
with his fist. "Ifa beastly hard , " he said ,
"and I hate myself for bringing you here. "
"Wtat'o that nolso overhead ? " said Ket
tlo. "What are your crew do'.ng on deck ? "
Ho tried jto rise , but fell back stupidly on
the sofa. Aharsh bell clanged from some
where beneath and the slop of water came
to him through "tho yacht's side. "Sho's
swinging ronnd In the stream and someone's
rung 'standby' to the engine room. "
"Sounca like It , " the red-haired man ad
Agala Kettle tried to rk'e , and , with an
Immecso effort tottered to hs ! feet , but he
had teen , given a drug too powerful' ' for
oven his iron will to fight , against , and he
swayed , and' then pitched helplessly slde-
wajs to the carpet.
The last fllckxsrlnpr gleams or conscious
ness were pa-oln away from him , but the
truth of what had * happened had flashed
upon , him at last. "Shanghaied , " he mur
mured ; "by St. Janus , yen , shanghaied ;
that's what this mcaaa , Well , I pity the
man that shanghaied me. By James yes. "
He breathed stcntorously a time or two more ,
oj though tr > lng to get out other words ,
and then dropped off Into a deathly stupor.
Then the door of tho'state coom cccaked
alyly open and ttio red-haired man started
violently. Ho turned and raw a tall , dark
woman Just crossing the threshold. "Donna
Clotlldel" he said nervously , "I thought
you ware ashare. Then It was by your or
ders "
"That the yacht was got under weigh ?
SI senor , I saw you come on beard with
the man wo hOjVo besn hunting for these
t two years dhd an 63cei as the pair of
you got below -J cent word to the mate
to call all l-andii and get out of Ihe Tyno
as soon ca the pilot could manage It " Ue
knelt besldo Kettle's prostrate body and
passed her ha'nd caressingly over Ills damp
.forehead. "You are sure you have nat over
done It ? " she.aekcd.
'T am euro of * nothing like that. " he
uinwcrcd grimly. "But , I gave the dose you
mewured cut yourselfso ; , what's done ls
your own aff lr . I only added enough
whisky _ todrown .tbo taste and the poor
llttlo beggar drank It all down at one
mouthful. " _ , ,
"I dori'-t ecs'you need pity him much. He
will bo all rightwhen , he wakes. "
" \\hen ho wakes It will be at sea and I
h'ivo ' h-card him speak ot his wife nnd kids.
That's why I pity hlcn , Donna Cloflldc. In
cidentally , I'm'a bit sorry for myself. " Ho
stooped over the prostrate msu and took a
revolver from the back pocket of hlu trous
ers. "Look there ! You flee the fellow took
a gun with him. voven to Hallett'a. It's
grown to be a habit with him. He's a dead
thot. too. and doesn't mind shjotlng. "
"I didn't think yqu 'wcro a coward ? "
"You know quite well I'm not , senorlta.
But th's ' Captain Kettle will remember that
I was the fellow that decoyed him on beard
and he'll be pretty" anxious to square Up
the account when ho wakes. "
"You arc well paid on purpose to cover
onrlflks , " eatd the woman with some con
tempt. I
"And I r.hall be earning my pay. "
the red-haired man. doggedly. "Ths ! smil !
peraon hero's a holy terror. Well , I must
be getting on deck to eco the pilot take her
down the river. Here. I'll put him on the
bed before I go. He'll sleep It off moro
comfortably there. "
"You shall not touch him , " said Donna
Clotildc"I will do all that's needful ,
have waited for this moment for three long
years. "
"Well , you must bo pretty keen on him
If you ecu sit by him , when ho does noi
know you. "
"I bavo loved him since the first momenl
wo met and he > knows"lt and I do not mine
who else knows It also , I am entirely with
out shame In the matter ; I glory In It ; I
tin not one of your cold-blooded European
women. "
"V.'ell. " ho said , "you're paying me to
run this yacht , and I must bo oft to cee
the pilot takes her out of the river with
out losing us nny paint. " And he went
out of his room and left Donna Clotllde La
Touche alone with thla man by whom she
was so fiercely attracted.
The yacht steamed out between Tyne pier
heads and the pilot left her In the coble
which had been towing stern first alongside
Her destination was the Mediterranean , hu
she did not porf her helm at once. Insteai
ebo held on straight out jnto the North sea
and then turned off to make Iho Mediterra
nean north about that Is , through the Pent-
land and round Scotland. She kept clear o
Ireland also , making a course for hersel
through the deeper wildernesses of the North
Atlantic , avoldlnc the north and south traf
fic of the bay. and in fact sighting scarcely
a elnsle vessel till the red-hatred men at
last t rbpardpjl hla helm and put her eas
for the straits.
The voyage was not one of monotony
Captain Kettle lay for the first twenty-four
hours In a state ot snoring unconiclouenere
and when he did come to his wits agalt
found himself ( n a cabin alone. He got up
and stretched. His limbs were heavy am
languid , but he wai not conidoua of having
received any hurt. He clapped a hand to
tbo region ot his loins and nodded Ills grim
head alenlftcantly. His pfetol waa raining
He looked In th * gUaa and taw that hii
Caw above ta r4 tOTped * beard wu draw *
ind whl\ ( and that his eyes were framed
n black , dissipated looking rlngi. There
wu an evil taste In his mouth , too , which
even a bottlefut of water did not allay ,
lowcvcr , all ot these wcro mlnof details ;
they might be , repaired afterwards. His first
cuulrcincnt was revenge on the nwn who
had lured him aboard.
His natural Instincts of tldynrss made
ilm go through the ceremony of toilet , and
.hen ho put on hlfl cap , and , spruce , and pale ,
went out through the luxurious cabin and
lassagowayi ot tbo yacht and found his way
on deck.
The tlmo was night , the cold air was
'nil of moonshine and fortune favored him
insomuch that the red-haired man whom ho
sought was himself standing a watch. Ho
walked up to him without any concealment ,
and then , ewlft as light , clung out his right
1st , sending every ounce of his weight after
It. nnd caught the rej-halred man squarely
on the peak of the jaw.
Ttto fellow went down as It he had been
x > lcaxed and Kettle promptly on top o !
Urn. The three other bands of the watch
on deck wcro coming fast lo thelc big cap
tain's oEAlgtanco and Kettle made the most
of hid time. Ho had been brought up In a
ichocl where ho waa taught to hit hard and
lit first and keep on hitting , and , moreover ,
ho was anatomically skilled enough to know
where to hit with meet effect. Ho had no
tlmo Ihcn for punctilious fighting ; he In-
; ended to mark hLi man In return for value
tecelved and ho did It. Then ( ho three
lusty deck hands of the watch came up and
wrenched him oft and held him for their
officer In turn to take vengeance on.
Kettle stood In their grip , panting and
pale and exultant.
"You great , ugly , red-pollecl beggar1 ho
oald , "I've made your face match your head ,
jut you needn't think mo for It. You'd dare
to lhanghal mo , would you ? By James , I'll
make jour ship a perfect hell tll | I'm off It. "
"You lilt a man when ho'a not looking. "
"Liar , " said Kettle. "You eaw mo plain
enough. If you wcro hair a sailor you'd
never have been hit. "
"You'co half my size. I ODuIdn't fight
you. "
"Tell your hands to set tno adrift and
try. "
The big man was -tempted , but ho swal-
He turned deliberately away from her ,
walked forward , and wtnt below ; and after
a llttlo wattlpg Donna Clotlldo shivered r.nd
went back to her own luxuriousetato room.
But It the was content to spend the real
of the night In mere empty longing , Cap
tain Kettle was > putting his tlmo to moro
practical use. Ho was essentially a tain ot
Cautiously ho found his way to the stew-
ard'a trtore room , filled a case with meat
tins and biscuit , and then coming on deck
again , stowed It away In the lifeboat which
hung In davits out boardi without being no
ticed.'V.h equal success ho took the boat'd
breaker forward , filled It from a water tank ,
and got It fixed on Its chocks ngntn still
without being seen. The moon was behind
clouds , and the tlarkncss favored him. Ho
throw down the -tolls o ! the davit on deck ,
cast off one from where It was belayed , took
a turn , and carried Uhc bight to the other
davit so that ho could lower away both
tackles at once.
But ho was not i allowed to get much
further. The dtoused blocks screamed llko
a parcel of cats as the ropes rendered
through them ; thcro was a shrill whistle
from the officer cf 'the ' watch and halt a
dozen men from various parts ot the deck
came bounding along to Interfere.
Captain Kcttlojlct go both falls to over
haul as they chose , and picked up a green-
heart belaying pin tout ot the pin rail and
stood en the defensive. But the forward
fall kinked and Jammed , and though the llt
tlo man fought llke a demon to keep oft the
watch till he gel It clear , they ivero too
manv for htm. andi Urove him to the deck
by sheer weight of numbers. Ho had
cracUsd one man's forearm In the Ecufllc ,
laid open another's face and smashed In the
front teeth of a third , and they were rather
Inclined to treat him roughly , but the rcd-
halrcd skipper carnu up , and by sheer super
ior strength picked htm up , kicking and
struggling , nnd hustled him oft below ,
whether ho liked It or no.
The lifeboat dangled , half-swamped , from
the forward davit tackle , and all hands had
to bo piped before they could get her on
board again ; and by the time they had
completed this Job there was another mat
ter handy to occupy their attention. A fire
man came up from below , white-faced and
lowed down his Inclination. Ho ord-ered the
men who were holding Captain Kettle to
set him free and go away .forward again and
then ho thrust his own fists resolutely In
his pocketQ. "Now , " he said , , when they
were alone , "I'll own up to having earned
what you've given mo an3 I hope that'll
suit you , for , by Jove , If it doesn't I'll chopt
you llko a rat with your own gun. You've
handled me In a way no-other/man has done
before and so you can 'tlcklo your pride with
that and simmer down. It you , want to1
know I was a icon like yourself , hard up ;
and I wan paid to kidnap you and I'd have
kidnapped the devil for money Just then. "
"I know nothing about the devil , " said
Kettle , acidly , "but you've got me and you
couldn't very well flad a worse bargain. If
you are Tiot a fool you will set mo ashore
at once. "
"I shall act entirely by my owner's or
ders. "
"Then trot out your owner and I'll pass
the tlms'of day with him next. I'm not
particular. I'll kill the whole blooming
ship's company. If I don't get my own way. " "
"Man , don't bo o fool. You can't bit a
woman. "
"A woman ? "
"Yec ; 1 told you before. Dcnca Clotllde.
You know her well enough. "
"Donna Clotlldo who ? "
"La Touche. "
The stiffening seemed suddenly to go out of
the little mtn. lllo stepped wearily across
the deck , and leaned his elbows cm the
yacht's polished topgallant rail. "By
James , " ho murmured to "the arch of the"
night , "by James , that that woman. What
a ruddy mtea. " And then h brolco off Into
dreary musing. He had known this Donua
Clotlldo La .Touche before ; had entered her
revolutionary schemes by capturing a war
ship for her. In return she had conceived a
mad Infatuation for him. But all the while
ho regarded her merely as his employer. In
the cod he had been practically set adrift
at sea in an open boat as a penance for not
divorcing his own wife and marrying her. I
And now she was come to add to his other
troubles by'beginning ' to ipersecuito him again.
It was hard , bitterly hard.
By some subtle transference ot thought , the
woman in her berth below becoming con
scious of his regard , grew restless , woke , got
moro restless , dressed , came on dock and
saw this man with whom she was so fiercely
enamored staring gloomily over the bul
warks. With her lithe silent walk she
stepped across the dewy decks trader the
moonlight , nd without his hearing her ,
leaned on the rail at his side , and Hung an
arm across his shoulders ,
Capta'n Kettle woke from his musing with
a start , stepped coldly aside , and saluted
form&C'ly. ' Ha hid an eye for a good-looking
woman , and thl.j . ono wan deltcloualy hand
some ; ho was always chivalrous towards the
other sex , whatever might be their
characters ; but the fact of his own kid
napping at 'the moment of Mrs. Kettle'o pres
sing ne3d , made him almost as bard cs
though a man o'.ooi before him as hla
"Mies La Touche , " he eald , "do you wish
me to remember you with hatred1.
"I do not wish you to have need to re
member mo at all. As you know , I wish you
to stay with me always. "
"That , as I told you before , miss. Is Im-
pccslble , for more reasons than , one. You
bivo done me infinite mischief already. I
might have found employment by thla clmo
bad I stayed In South Shields , and mean
while my wife and children are hungry. Be
content with that and set me ashore. "
"I repeat the offer I made you In South
America , Come with me , get a divorce , and
your wife chall have m Income such as she
never dreamed of , an3 men as you never
could have got her In all your life otherwise.
You know I am not boasting. As you must
know by this. I am one of the richest women
In the world. "
"Theok you , but I do not accept the terms.
Mcney Is not everything. "
"And meanwhile , remember , I keep you
on board here , whether you like It or not ,
and until you give way tp what I want ,
your wife may starve. So It she and your
children are In painful stralta you must
recollect that It Is entirely your fault. "
"Quito eo , " said Kettle. "Sho will be con
tent to starve when eho knovti Ihe reason. "
Donna Clotllde's eyes began to glitter.
"There are not many men who would re
fuse It I offered them myself. "
"Then , miss ; I muat remain curious , "
She stamped her foot. "I have hungered
for you all thla time , and I will not give you
up for mere words. You will come to love
mo In time as I love you. I te-M youyou
will , you must , you shall. I have got you
now. and I will not let you go again. "
"Then , raise , " ild Kettle grimly. "I
chall bavo to ebow you that I am 4oo hot
to hold. "
She faced him with heaving" breaeti. "We
will eo who wins. " ahe cried.
"Probably , " said Captain. Kettle , and took
off hi * cap. "Good ) night , mUw , for the
preaent. We know bow we stand ; the' gamete
to bc la between < w U * m MW > "
trembllnc. '
"The yacht's , hajf full of. water ! " ho
Now that their attention was called to it ,
they noticed the tluggish way she rode the
"Sho must have started a plate or some
thing , " the fireman went on excitedly. "We
got both bilge pumps running , and they
won't look at' ' It. . .Tha water's coming In
llUo n alulcc. " > > " ' c
"Carpenter , " aung out the red-haired man ,
"ccmo below withl-me and see If we can
find anything , " and ho led the. way to the
companion. Between decks they could hear
the water slopping about under the flooring.
It seemed a bad. an almost hopeless case.
Instinctively the ired-halred man went to
his own room to pocket bis valuables , and by
a chance he was. moved to lift up the door
of the floor which Covered the bath beneath
It. Ah. there wasthe mischief. The sea
cock which fllleditho bath was turned on to
the full , and the 'Iron ' tub waa gushing water
on every side. 'The ntxt state room was
empty , but the bath cock there was also
turned on to thelfull ; and after going round
the ship and finally entering Kettle's room
( and covering him ! with a revolver ) , and
turning off his water supply , ho found that
the sea had been pouring Inboard from no
less than eight separate apertures.
"And this U your work , you little devil , I
suppose. " said the red-haired man savagely.
"Certainly , " said Captain Kettle. "Shoot
mo If you like , put mo ashore If you choose ,
but don't grumble If you find me a deuced
ugly passengerIm ! not In the habit of be
ing made to travel where I don't wish. "
That afternoon Kettle contrived to set the
yacht an re. In three separate places , and a
good deal of damage was done ( and night
had fallen again ) before the sacred crew
managed to extinguish the flames ; and this
time Donna Clotllde Intervened. She asked
for Kettle's parole that he would attempt
no further mischief ; and when this was
flatly refused , incontinently put him in irons.
The lady was somewhat tigerish in her affec
tions. [ "
A second time Captain Kettle managed to
get the yacht In a blaze , at the Imminent
peril of immolating himself , and then from
lack ot further opportunity to make himself
obnoxious , lay quiet In his lair till such time
as the yacht would ot necessity go Into har
bor to coal. .The exasperated crew would
cheerfully have , murdered him it they bad
been given tbo chance , but Donna Clotllde
would not permit him to be harmed. She
was a young woman , who , up to this , bad
always contrived to have her own way , and
fho firmly believed that she would tame
Kettle In time.
When the yacht passed the straits she had
only four days' more coal on board and the
executive ( and Kettle ) expected that she
would go Into QlbtiiUar and lay alongside a
hulk to rebunkcc.But Donna Clotllde had
other notions. 8b < * had 'the ' yacht run down
the Morocco coast and brought to an anchor.
80 long as ehe 'htfl Captain Kettle in her
company upon the waters fihe did not vastly
care whether ebe > HM moving or at a stand
"You cannot icope me here , " she mid to
him -when the cable bad roared from the
house plpo and > the dandy steamer , had
swung to a rwt. "The yacht U victualled
for a year and I' can n'.ay faere aa long at
you choose.1 You/had tar better be phllo-
eophlcal. and glvd In. - ( Marry me now and
liking will come taftcnward. "
Kettle looked at Iihtf tigerish tore and re-
rent men t which blued from her black eye *
and answered wlthicold polltenpav that time
would show whati happened , though , to tell
the truth , Indomitable though be waa aa a
general 4hlng , h waa at that time feeling
4h t cecape waa aJawstdmposalble. Aad to
for the while ha , i ro or lea resigned him-
elf to captivity.
Under the baking blue of a Mediterranean
Icy thta one-aided courtship progreaaed ,
Ovaoa Clotilda alternating her eoatacle * of
florca endearment by paroxyams of Invective
and Kettle enduring both In equal' ' coldness
and Immobility. The crew ot the yacht
looked on stolidly non-lnterfecent and were
kept by their officers at cleaning and paint
ing as uecwrary occupiers of the mind. But
ono or other of them , of their own free will ,
always kept an yo on their guest , whether
ho wts on deck or below. Ho had given
them a wholesome tattc ot his quality and
they had an abject dread of what ho might
bo up to next 1f ho Tnaa lePt alone. They
qulto understood that he would destroy the
I yacht and all hands It by doing1 so ho could
rcgiiln his personal liberty.
But others , It Kerns , besides these already
mentioned In thta narrative , were taking a
lively Intcreot in Ihe loiart yacht and htc
people. She was at anchor In the bay off
the Rift coast and the gentry who Inhabited
the beach vlllgei' , and the villages In 'tho '
hills behind the beach , had always looked
upon anybody and anything 1hcy could grab
as their Just und 'lawful ' prey. The sultan
of Morooo , the war ships of France , Spain
and elsewhere and the emlmarlca of c > thr > r
Cowcrj had tlmo after time endeavored to
Dshocl them In the science of civilization
without effect , and so they still remain today ,
the only regular practicing pliates In the
western world.
The yacht was sighted firet from the hills ;
was reporteJ to the beach villages , and \\ct
reconnoltered under cover of night by a
tiny flsh'cig ' boat. The report was pleasing ,
andi word went round. Bearded brown men
collected at an appointed spot , each 'With
the arms to which he wao best accustomed ,
and when darknees fell four large bcato
wcro Tim down to the feather edge ot the
surf. There waa no Indecent hurry. They
did their work with method and careful
ness , like men who are used to U , and they
arrived alongElde the yacht at 3 a. m. and
confidently expected to take her 'by ' surprise.
But the crew of the yacht , thanks to Cap
tain Kettle's vagaries , were not lei the habit
of sleeping over ssunily ; they never know
what piece of dangerous mischief their little
captive might turn hla willing hand to next ;
and , as a consequence , when the- anchor
watch sung out his flret alarm , not many
seconds elapsed before every man aboard wag
on deck. The yacht was well supplied with
revolvers and cutlaesca , and half a mlnuto
sufficed : to get these up from bctow and dis
tributed , so that when the RlflUas at
tempted to board the de'endero were quits
ready to do them battle.
Bo this how It may , however , there Is no
doubt as to which side got the flret ad
vantage. The yacht's low forcboard made
but a email obstacle to a climber from the
largo beats alongside , and neither the deck-
httids nor the stokebold crew were any of
thorn tralnsd fighting men. In their 'prentice
hands the kicking revolvers threw high , and
were only u.rcful . as knuckledusters , and' ' till
they had thrown them down and got their
cutlcsscfl Into pay ! they eld hardly any exe
cution to speak about. The Riff men , on
the other hand , had been bred and born In
the atmcsphero of skirmish , and made
ground steadily.
At , an early point otthe scuffle Captain
Kettle came on deck with a cigar la hla
mouth and hands lnhls _ pockets , and
watched matters with a critical Interest ,
but did 'not ' offer to Interfere ona way or the
other. It was quite a new sensation to
him to watch an active fight without 'being
called upon to assist or arbitrate.
Aart then came up from .below . Donna
Clotlldo la Touche , dressed and weaponed ,
end , without a bit of hesitation , flung her
self Into the turmoil. he saw Kettle
standing on ono side , but neither bDJought
nor commanded him. She would have died
sooner than ask for his help and then be
met with a refusal.
Into the mclco the went , knlfo and pistol ,
cad thcro la no doubt that her example and
the fury of her rush animated the yacht's
crew , and made them stronger to drive the
wall of their assailants back. To glvo Donna
Clotlldo her due , ahe was as bravo as the
bravest man and moreover she was a certain
shot at moderate range. But after her re
volver was empty , and the press clcscd
around her , It was not long before an expert
hand twisted the knife from her gnysp , and
then the ead came quickly. An evil-smelling
man noted her glorious beauty ead mafked
her out as his especial loot. Ho clapped a
couple of sinewy arms around her and bore
her away toward the bulwarks and his boat.
' Some ctio had switched on the electrls deck
lights and the fight was In a glow of radi
ance. Everything was to be clearly seen.
Donna Clotlldo waa being dragged , resisting ,
along the decks , and Kettle looked on
placidly , smoking his cigar. She was heaved
upon ( ho bulwarks. In another moment the
would be gone from hla path forever.
Still her lips made no sound , though her
great black eyed were full of wild entreaty.
But the eyca were moro than Kettle could
stand. He stooped and picked up a weapon
frqm among the litter on deck and curhed
, 'lorward and gave a blow and the ruffian
dropped limply , nd Donna Clotlldo stood by
the yacht's bulwarks , breathless and gasp-
"Now you get away below , " be ordered ,
curtly. "I'll soon clear this rabble over
the Bide. "
He watched to see her obey him and ehc
did It meekly. Then he gave his attention
to the fight. He broke a packet of car
tridges which lay on the deck planka , picked
up and loaded a revolver and commenced to
make himself useful to the yacht'a crew , and
from that mccnent the fortune of the battle
Captain Owen Kettle was ( and Is ) a beau
tiful fighter end this wan just hla fight.
Against his cool-headed ferocity the Rtffians
gave way like sand before waves. He did
not mien a blow , he did not waste a shot ; all
his efforts went home with the deadliest
effect. His voice , too , was a splendid ally.
The yacht's crew had been doing their ut-
mcst already ; they had been fighting for
their bare lives. But with Kettle's poison
ous tongue to lash them they did far more ;
they raged like -wild beasts at the brown
men who had Invaded their sicrcd decking
and drove them back with reslstles * fury.
"Hump yourselves , you lazy dogs , " Kettle
shouted. "Keep them on the move. Drive
them over the bows. Mucder those you can
reach. Am I to do ell this job myself ? Come
on , you mongrels. "
The red cutlasses stubbed and hacked ,
and .the shrieks and yells acid curses of the
fight grew to a climax , and then the Rlfllans ,
with a sudden panic , gave way , and ran for
the side , and tumbled over Into their boats.
There was no quarter asked or given. The
exasperating yachtsmen cut down all they
could reach , even whilst they wcro escaping ;
anl when the sound had gcrve , they threw
after > them the wounded to be rescued or
lost as they chose. Afterwards , having a
moment's respite , they picked up their re
volvers again , loaded them , and kept up a
spattering Ill-aimed fire till the boats were
out of reach. Then , when they turned to
look after their own killed and hurt , they
found a new crisis awaiting them.
Captain Kettle was on the top of the deck
house , which served as a navigating bridge ,
ostentationsly closing up the breach of his
revolver after reloadlog It. He wished for
a hearing , and after what they bad seen of
his deadly markmanthlp they gave It to him
without demur. His needs were simple.
Ho wanted steam as soon as the engineers
could glvo It to him , and he Intended to
take the yacht Into Gibraltar right away.
Had anybody aay objection to raise ?
The red-haired man made himself spokes
man. "We should have to go to Qlb any-
wai , " said he. "Some ofus , want a doctor
badly , and three of us want a parson to
read the funeral service. Whether you can
get ashore once we do run Into Qlb , cap
tain , Is your own concern. "
"You can leave that to me Jafely , " said
Captain Kettle. "It will be something big
that stops mo from having my own way
now. "
The men dispersed about their duties , the
decks' were hcsed down , and the deck lights
switched off. After Awhile Donna Clotllde
came' gliding up out of the darkness , aad
stepped up' the ladder to the top of the deck
house. Kettle regarded her uneasily.
To .bis surprise ahe knelt down , took his
hand and smothered It with burning ktosei.
Then she went bark to the head ot the lad
der. "My dear , " she said. "I will never see
you again. I made you bate mo , and yet
you saved my life. 1 wish I thought I
could ever forget you. " '
"Miss IA Touche , " said Kettle , ' -you will
< qd a man In your own station one of these
days to , make you a proper huiband , and
then you will look back at tbls cruUe and
think how lucky It wa * ) t > u to soon sickened
and kicked me away from you. "
She shook her head aad smiled through
her tear * . "You are generous , " she said.
' . 'Goodbye , my darling. Goodbye. "
Then the went down the ladder , aad Cap
tain Kettle never jaw her again.
A quartermaster came up and took the
wheel , The wlndlaii engine had been
clacking , aad 'tho red-haired ; ( who bad cea-
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stltuted himself temporary mate ) , called out
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