Captain Frederick Marryat
Part 7 out of 9
"With all my heart, Mr Vanslyperken, but none of your attacks on my
vartue; recollect I am an honest woman."
"Don't be afraid, my good Moggy--I never hurt a child."
"I don't think you ever did," retorted Moggy, following Vanslyperken,
who could hardly keep his feet.
"Well, there's Abacadabra there, anyhow," observed Coble to Short, as
they went down.
"Why she turns him round her finger."
"Yes," quoth Short.
"I can't comprehend this not no how."
"No," quoth Short.
As soon as they were in the cabin, Moggy observed the bottle of scheedam
on the table. "Come, Mr Vanslyperken, you'll treat me to-night, and
drink my health again, won't you?"
"Yes, Moggy, yes--we're friends now, you know;" for Vanslyperken, like
all others suffering under the stings of conscience, was glad to make
friends with his bitterest enemy.
"Come, then, help me, Mr Vanslyperken, and then I'll give my message."
As soon as Moggy had taken her glass of scheedam, she began to think
what she should say, for she had no message ready prepared; at last a
thought struck her.
"I am desired to tell you, that when a passenger, or a person disguised
as a sailor, either asks for a passage, or volunteers for the vessel,
you are to take him on board immediately, even if you should know them
in their disguise not to be what they pretend to be--do you understand?"
"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, who was quite muddled.
"Whether they apply from here, or from the other side of the channel, no
consequence, you must take them--if not--"
"If not, what?" replied Vanslyperken.
"You'll swing, that's all, my buck. Good-night to you," replied Moggy,
leaving the cabin.
"I'll swing," muttered Vanslyperken, rolling against the bulkhead.
"Well, if I do, others shall swing too. Who cares? damn the faggot!"
Here Mr Vanslyperken poured out another glass of scheedam, the contents
of which overthrew the small remnant of his reasoning faculties. He then
tumbled into his bed with his clothes on, saying, as he turned on his
side, "Smallbones is dead and gone, at all events."
Moggy took leave of her friends on deck, and pushed on shore. She
permitted Smallbones, whom she found fast asleep, to remain undisturbed
until nearly three o'clock in the morning, during which time she watched
by the bedside. She then roused him, and they sallied forth, took a
boat, and dropped alongside of the cutter. Smallbones' hammock had been
prepared for him by the corporal. He was put into it, and Moggy then
left the vessel.
Mr Vanslyperken was in a state of torpor during this proceeding, and
was, with great difficulty, awoke by the corporal, according to orders
given, when it was daylight, and the cutter was to weigh anchor.
"Smallbones has not come off, sir, last night," reported the corporal.
"I suppose the scoundrel has deserted," replied Vanslyperken, "I fully
expected that he would. However, he is no loss, for he was a useless,
idle, lying rascal." And Mr Vanslyperken turned out; having all his
clothes on, he had no occasion to dress. He went on deck, followed by
the tail-less Snarleyyow, and in half an hour the cutter was standing
out towards St Helen's.
In which a most horrid spectre disturbs the equanimity of Mr
Two days was the cutter striving with light winds for the Texel, during
which Mr Vanslyperken kept himself altogether in his cabin. He was
occasionally haunted with the memory of the scene in his mother's
room.--Smallbones dead, and the stream of blood running along the floor,
and his mother's diabolical countenance, with the hammer raised in her
palsied hands; but he had an instigator to his vengeance beside him,
which appeared to relieve his mind whenever it was oppressed; it was the
stump of Snarleyyow, and when he looked at that he no longer regretted,
but congratulated himself on the deed being done. His time was fully
occupied during the day, for with locked doors he was transcribing the
letters sent to Ramsay, and confided to him.
He was not content with taking extracts, as he did of the government
despatches for Ramsay; he copied every word, and he replaced the seals
with great dexterity. At night his mind was troubled, and he dare not
lie himself down to rest until he had fortified himself with several
glasses of scheedam; even then his dreams frightened him; but he was to
be more frightened yet.
Corporal Van Spitter came into the cabin on the third morning with a
very anxious face.--"Mein Gott! Mynheer Vanslyperken, de whole crew be
in de mutinys."
"Mutiny!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, "what's the matter?"
"They say, sir, dat dey see de ghost of Smallbones last night on de
bowsprit, with one great cut on his head, and de blood all over
"Saw what? who saw him?"
"Mein Gott, mynheer! it all true, I really think I see it myself at de
taffrail, he sit there and have great wound from here down to," said the
corporal, pointing to his own head, and describing the wound exactly.
"The people say that he must have been murdered, and dey kick up
"I did not do it, corporal, at all events," replied Vanslyperken, pale
"So Smallbones tell Dick Short, when he speak to him on bowsprit."
"Did it speak to Short?" inquired Vanslyperken, catching the corporal's
"Yes, mynheer; Mynheer Short speak first, and den the ghost say dat you
not do it, but dat you give gold to old woman to do it, and she knock
him brain out vid de hammer."
To portray Vanslyperken's dismay at this intelligence would be
impossible. He could not but be certain that there had been a
supernatural communication. His knees knocked and trembled, and he
turned sick and faint.
"O Lord, O Lord! corporal, I am a great sinner," cried he at last, quite
unaware of what he was saying. "Some water, corporal." Corporal Van
Spitter handed some water, and Vanslyperken waved his hand to be left
alone; and Mr Vanslyperken attempted to pray, but it ended in
"It's a lie, all a lie," exclaimed he, at last, pouring out a tumbler of
scheedam. "They have frightened the corporal. But--no--he must have seen
him, or how could they know how he was murdered. He must have told them;
and him I saw dead and stiff, with these own eyes. Well, I did not do
the deed," continued Vanslyperken, attempting to palliate his crime to
himself; but it would not do, and Mr Vanslyperken paced the little cabin
racked by fear and guilt.
Remorse he felt none, for there was before his eyes the unhealed stump
of Snarleyyow. In the evening Mr Vanslyperken went on deck; the weather
was now very warm, for it was the beginning of July; and Mr
Vanslyperken, followed by Snarleyyow, was in a deep reverie, and he
turned and turned again.
The sun had set, and Mr Vanslyperken still continued his walk, but his
steps were agitated and uneven, and his face was haggard. It was rather
the rapid and angry pacing of a tiger in his den, who has just been
captured, than that of a person in deep contemplation. Still Mr
Vanslyperken continued to tread the deck, and it was quite light with a
bright and pale moon.
The men were standing here and there about the forecastle and near the
booms in silence and speaking in low whispers, and Vanslyperken's eye
was often directed towards them, for he had not forgotten the report of
the corporal, that they were in a state of mutiny.
Of a sudden, Mr Vanslyperken was roused by a loud cry from forward, and
a rush of all the men aft. He thought that the crew had risen, and that
they were about to seize him, but, on the contrary, they passed him and
hastened to the taffrail with exclamations of horror.
"What! what is it?" exclaimed Vanslyperken, fully prepared for the reply
by his own fears.
"O Lord! have mercy upon us," cried Bill Spurey.
"Good God, deliver us!" exclaimed another.
"Ah, Mein Gott!" screamed Jansen, rushing against Vanslyperken and
knocking him down on the deck.
"Well, well, murder will out!--that's sartain," said Coble, who stood by
Vanslyperken when he had recovered his legs.
"What, what!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, breathless.
"There, sir,--look there," said Coble, breathless, pointing to the
figure of Smallbones, who now appeared from the shade in the broad
His head was not bound up, and his face appeared pale and streaked with
blood. He was in the same clothes in which he had gone on shore, and in
his hand he held the hammer which had done the deed.
The figure slowly advanced to the quarter-deck, Vanslyperken attempted
to retreat, but his legs failed him, he dropped down on his knees,
uttered a loud yell of despair, and then threw himself flat on the deck
Certainly, the pantomime was inimitably got up, but it had all been
arranged by Moggy, the corporal, and the others. There was not one man
of the crew who had not been sworn to secrecy, and whose life would not
have been endangered if, by undeceiving Vanslyperken, they had been
deprived of such just and legitimate revenges.
Smallbones disappeared as soon as Vanslyperken had fallen down.
He was allowed to remain there for some time to ascertain if he would
say anything, but as he still continued silent, they raised him up and
found that he was insensible. He was consequently taken down into the
cabin and put into his bed.
The effect produced by this trial of Mr Vanslyperken's nerves, was most
serious. Already too much heated with the use of ardent spirits, it
brought on convulsions, in which he continued during the major part of
the night. Towards the morning, he sank into a perturbed slumber.
It was not till eleven o'clock in the forenoon that he awoke and
perceived his _faithful_ corporal standing by the side of the bed.
"Have I not been ill, corporal?" said Mr Vanslyperken, whose memory was
impaired for the time.
"Mein Gott! yes, mynheer."
"There was something happened, was not there?"
"Mein Gott! yes, mynheer."
"I've had a fit; have I not?"
"Mein Gott! yes, mynheer."
"My head swims now; what was it, corporal?"
"It was de ghost of de poy," replied the corporal.
"Yes, yes," replied Vanslyperken, falling back on his pillow.
It had been intended by the conspirators, that Smallbones should make
his appearance in the cabin, as the bell struck one o'clock; but the
effect had already been so serious that it was thought advisable to
defer any further attempts. As for Smallbones being concealed in the
vessel for any length of time there was no difficulty in that; for
allowing that Vanslyperken should go forward on the lower deck of the
vessel, which he never did, Smallbones had only to retreat into the eyes
of her, and it was there so dark that he could not be seen. They
therefore regulated their conduct much in the same way as the members of
the inquisition used to do in former days; they allowed their patient
to recover, that he might be subjected to more torture.
It was not until the fourth day, that the cutter arrived at the port of
Amsterdam, and Mr Vanslyperken had kept his bed ever since he had been
put into it; but this he could do no longer, he rose weak and emaciated,
dressed himself, and went on shore with the despatches which he first
delivered, and then bent his steps to the syndic's house, where he
delivered his letters to Ramsay.
The arrival of the cutter had been duly notified to the widow
Vandersloosh, before she had dropped her anchor, and in pursuance with
her resolution she immediately despatched Babette to track Mr
Vanslyperken, and watch his motions. Babette took care not to be seen by
Mr Vanslyperken, but shrouding herself close in her cotton print cloak,
she followed him to the Stadt House, and from the Stadt House to the
mansion of Mynheer Van Krause, at a short distance from the gates of
which she remained till he came out. Wishing to ascertain whether he
went to any other place, she did not discover herself until she
perceived that he was proceeding to the widow's--she then quickened her
pace so as to come up with him.
"Oh! Mynheer Vanslyperken, is this you? I heard you had come in and so
did my mistress, and she has been expecting you this last half-hour."
"I have made all the haste I can, Babette. But I was obliged to deliver
my despatches first," replied Vanslyperken.
"But I thought you always took your despatches to the Stadt House?"
"Well, so I do, Babette; I have just come from thence."
This was enough for Babette, it proved that his visit to the syndic's
was intended to be concealed; she was too prudent to let him know that
she had traced him.
"Why, Mr Vanslyperken, you look very ill. What has been the matter with
you? My mistress will be quite frightened."
"I have not been well, Babette," replied Vanslyperken.
"I really must run home as fast as I can. I will tell my mistress you
have been unwell, for otherwise she will be in such a quandary;" and
Babette hastened ahead of Mr Vanslyperken, who was in too weak a state
to walk fast.
"The syndic's house--heh!"--said the widow, "Mynheer Van Krause. Why he
is thorough king's man, by all report," continued she. "I don't
understand it. But there is no trusting any man now-a-days.
"Babette, you must go there by-and-bye and see if you can find out
whether that person he brought over, and he called a king's messenger,
is living at the syndic's house. I think he must be, or why would
Vanslyperken go there? and if he is, there's treason going on--that's
all! and I'll find it out, or my name is not Vandersloosh."
Shortly after, Mr Vanslyperken arrived at the house and was received
with the usual treacherous cordiality; but he had not remained more than
an hour when Coble came to him (having been despatched by Short), to
inform Mr Vanslyperken that a frigate was coming in with the royal
standard at the main, indicating that King William was on board of her.
This intelligence obliged Mr Vanslyperken to hasten on board, as it was
necessary to salute, and also to pay his respects on board of
The frigate was within a mile when Mr Vanslyperken arrived on board of
the cutter, and when the batteries saluted, the cutter did the same.
Shortly afterwards the frigate dropped her anchor and returned the
salute. Mr Vanslyperken, attired in his full uniform, ordered his boat
to be manned and pulled on board.
On his arrival on the quarter-deck Vanslyperken was received by the
captain of the frigate, and then presented to King William of Nassau,
who was standing on the other side of the deck, attended by the Duke of
Portland, Lord Albemarle, and several others of his courtiers, not all
of them quite as faithful as the two whom we have named.
When Mr Vanslyperken was brought forward to the presence of his Majesty,
he trembled almost as much as when he had beheld the supposed spirit of
Smallbones, and well he might, for his conscience told him as he bowed
his knee that he was a traitor. His agitation was, however, ascribed to
his being daunted by the unusual presence of royalty. And Albemarle, as
Vanslyperken retreated with a cold sweat on his forehead, observed to
the king with a smile,
"That worthy lieutenant would show a little more courage, I doubt not,
your Majesty, if he were in the presence of your enemies."
"It is to be hoped so," replied the king, with a smile. "I agree with
But his Majesty and Lord Albemarle did not know Mr Vanslyperken, as the
reader will acknowledge.
In which is shown how dangerous it is to tell a secret.
Mr Vanslyperken received orders to attend with his boat upon his
Majesty's landing, which took place in about a quarter of an hour
afterwards, amidst another war of cannon.
King William was received by the authorities at the landing-stairs, and
from thence he stepped into the carriage, awaiting him, and drove off to
his palace at the Hague; much to the relief of Mr Vanslyperken, who felt
ill at ease in the presence of his sovereign. When his Majesty put his
foot on shore, the foremost to receive him, in virtue of his office, was
the syndic Mynheer Van Krause, who, in full costume of gown, chains, and
periwig, bowed low, as his Majesty advanced, expecting as usual the
gracious smile and friendly nod of his sovereign; but to his
mortification, his reverence was returned with a grave, if not stern
air, and the king passed him without further notice. All the courtiers
also, who had been accustomed to salute, and to exchange a few words
with him, to his astonishment turned their heads another way. At first,
Mynheer Van Krause could hardly believe his senses, he who had always
been so graciously received, who had been considered most truly as such
a staunch supporter of his king, to be neglected, mortified in this way,
and without cause. Instead of following his Majesty to his carriage,
with the rest of the authorities, he stood still and transfixed, the
carriage drove off, and the syndic hardly replying to some questions put
to him, hurried back to his own house in a state of confusion and
vexation almost indescribable. He hastened upstairs and entered the room
of Ramsay, who was very busy with the despatches which he had received.
"Well, Mynheer Van Krause, how is his Majesty looking," inquired Ramsay,
who knew that the syndic had been down to receive him on his landing.
Mynheer Krause threw himself down in a chair, threw open his gown, and
uttered a deep sigh.
"What is the matter, my dear sir, you appear ruffled," continued Ramsay,
who from the extracts made by Vanslyperken from the despatches, was
aware that suspicions had been lodged against his host.
"Such treatment--to one of his most devoted followers," exclaimed
Krause, at last, who then entered into a detail of what had occurred.
"Such is the sweet aspect, the smile, we would aspire to of kings,
"But there must be some occasion for all this," observed the syndic.
"No doubt of it," replied Ramsay--"some reason--but not a just one."
"That is certain," replied the syndic, "some one must have maligned me
to his Majesty."
"It may be," replied Ramsay, "but there may be other causes, kings are
suspicious, and subjects may be too rich and too powerful. There are
many paupers among the favourites of his Majesty, who would be very glad
to see your property confiscated, and you cast into prison."
"But, my dear sir,--"
"You forget also, that the Jacobites are plotting, and have been
plotting for years; that conspiracy is formed upon conspiracy, and that
when so surrounded and opposed, kings will be suspicious."
"But his Majesty, King William,--"
"Firmly attached, and loyal as I am to my sovereign, Mynheer Krause, I
do not think that King William is more to be relied upon than King
James. Kings are but kings, they will repay the most important services
by smiles, and the least doubtful act with the gibbet. I agree with you
that some one must have maligned you, but allow me to make a remark that
if once suspicion or dislike enters into a royal breast, there is no
effacing it, a complete verdict of innocence will not do it; it is like
the sapping of one of the dams of this country, Mynheer Krause, the
admission of water is but small at first, but it increases and
increases, till it ends in a general inundation."
"But I must demand an audience of his Majesty and explain."
"Explain--the very attempt will be considered as a proof of your guilt;
no, no, as a sincere friend I should advise you to be quiet, and to take
such steps as the case requires. That frown, that treatment of you in
public, is sufficient to tell me that you must prepare for the event.
Can you expect a king to publicly retract?"
"Retract! no--I do not require a public apology from my sovereign."
"But if having frowned upon you publicly, he again smiles upon you
publicly, he does retract. He acknowledges that he was in error, and it
becomes a public apology."
"God in heaven! then I am lost," replied the syndic, throwing himself
back in his chair. "Do you really think so, Mynheer Ramsay?"
"I do not say that you are lost. At present, you have only lost the
favour of the king; but you can do without that, Mynheer Krause."
"Do without that--but you do not know that without that I am lost. Am I
not Syndic of this town of Amsterdam, and can I expect to hold such an
important situation if I am out of favour?"
"Very true, Mynheer Krause; but what can be done? you are assailed in
the dark, you do not know the charges brought against you, and therefore
cannot refute or parry with them."
"But what charges can they bring against me?"
"There can be but one charge against a person in your high situation,
that of disaffection."
"Disaffection! I who am and have always been so devoted."
"The most disaffected generally appear the most devoted, Mynheer Krause,
that will not help you."
"My God! then," exclaimed Krause, with animation, "what will, if loyalty
is to be construed into a sign of disaffection?"
"Nothing," replied Ramsay, coolly. "Suspicion in the heart of a king is
never to be effaced, and disaffection may soon be magnified into
"Bless me!" exclaimed Van Krause, crossing his hands on his heart in
utter despair. "My dear Mynheer Ramsay, will you give me your opinion
how I should act?"
"There is no saying how far you may be right in your conjectures,
Mynheer Krause," replied Ramsay: "you may have been mistaken."
"No, no, he frowned--looked cross--I see his face now."
"Yes, but a little thing will sour the face of royalty, his corn may
have pinched him, at the time he might have had a twinge in the
bowels--his voyage may have affected him."
"He smiled upon others, upon my friend, Engelback, very graciously."
This was the very party who had prepared the charges against Krause--his
own very particular friend.
"Did he?" replied Ramsay. "Then depend upon it, that's the very man who
has belied you."
"What, Engelback? my particular friend?"
"Yes, I should imagine so. Tell me, Mynheer Krause, I trust you have
never entrusted to him the important secrets which I have made you
acquainted with, for if you have, your knowledge of them would be quite
"My knowledge of them. I really cannot understand that. How can my
knowledge of what is going on among the king's friends and councillors
be a cause of suspicion?"
"Why, Mynheer Krause, because the king is surrounded by many who are
retained from policy and fear of them. If these secrets are made known
contrary to oath, is it not clear that the parties so revealing them
must be no sincere friends of his Majesty's, and will it not be
naturally concluded that those who have possession of them, are equally
his open or secret enemies."
"But then, Mynheer Ramsay, by that rule you must be his Majesty's
"That does not follow, Mynheer Krause, I may obtain the secrets from
those who are not so partial to his Majesty as they are to me, but that
does not disprove my loyalty. To expose them would of course render me
liable to suspicion--but I guard them carefully. I have not told a word
to a soul, but to you, my dear Mynheer Krause, and I have felt assured
that you were much too loyal to make known to anyone, what it was your
duty to your king to keep secret; surely, Mynheer Krause, you have not
trusted that man?"
"I may have given a hint or so--I'm afraid that I did; but he is my most
"If that is the case," replied Ramsay, "I am not at all surprised at the
king's frowning on you: Engelback having intelligence from you, supposed
to be known only to the highest authorities, has thought it his duty to
communicate it to government, and you are now suspected."
"God in heaven! I wish I never had your secrets, Mynheer Ramsay. It
appears then that I have committed treason without knowing it."
"At all events, you have incurred suspicion. It is a pity that you
mentioned what I confided to you, but what's done cannot be helped, you
must now be active."
"What must I do, my dear friend?"
"Expect the worst and be prepared for it--you are wealthy, Mr Van
Krause, and that will not be in your favour, it will only hasten the
explosion, which sooner or later will take place. Remit as much of your
money as you can to where it will be secure from the spoilers. Convert
all that you can into gold, that you may take advantage of the first
opportunity, if necessary, of flying from their vengeance. Do all this
very quietly. Go on, as usual, as if nothing had occurred--talk with
your friend Engelback--perform your duties as syndic. It may blow over,
although I am afraid not. At all events you will have, in all
probability, some warning, as they will displace you as syndic before
they proceed further. I have only one thing to add. I am your guest, and
depend upon it, shall share your fortune whatever it may be; if you are
thrown into prison, I am certain to be sent there also. You may
therefore command me as you please. I will not desert you, you may
depend upon it."
"My dear young man, you are indeed a friend, and your advice is good. My
poor Wilhelmina, what would become of her."
"Yes, indeed, used to luxury--her father in prison, perhaps his head at
the gates--his whole property confiscated, and all because he had the
earliest intelligence. Such is the reward of loyalty."
"Yes, indeed," repeated the syndic, "'put not your trust in princes,'
says the psalmist. If such is to be the return for my loyalty--but there
is no time to lose. I must send this post, to Hamburgh and Frankfort.
Many thanks, my dear friend for your kind council, which I shall
follow," so saying, Mynheer Krause went to his room, threw off his gown
and chains in a passion, and hastened to his counting-house to write his
We may now take this opportunity of informing the reader of what had
occurred in the house of the syndic. Ramsay had, as may be supposed,
gained the affections of Wilhelmina; had told his love, and received her
acknowledgment in return; he had also gained such a power over her, that
she had agreed to conceal their attachment from her father; as Ramsay
wished first, he asserted, to be possessed of a certain property which
he daily expected would fall to him, and, until that, he did not think
that he had any right to aspire to the hand of Wilhelmina.
That Ramsay was most seriously in love there was no doubt; he would have
wedded Wilhelmina, even if she had not a sixpence; but at the same time,
he was too well aware of the advantages of wealth not to fully
appreciate it, and he felt the necessity and the justice to Wilhelmina,
that she should not be deprived, by his means, of those luxuries to
which she had been brought up. But here there was a difficulty, arising
from his espousing the very opposite cause to that espoused by Mynheer
Krause, for the difference of religion he very rightly considered as a
mere trifle compared with the difference in political feelings. He had
already weaned Wilhelmina from the political bias, imbibed from her
father and his connections, without acquainting her with his belonging
to the opposite party, for the present. It had been his intention as
soon as his services were required elsewhere, to have demanded
Wilhelmina's hand from her father, still leaving him in error as to his
politics; and by taking her with him, after the marriage, to the court
of St Germains, to have allowed Mynheer Krause to think what he pleased,
but not to enter into any explanation; but, as Ramsay truly observed,
Mynheer Krause had, by his not retaining the secrets confided to him,
rendered himself suspected, and once suspected with King William, his
disgrace, if not ruin, was sure to follow. This fact, so important to
Ramsay's plans, had been communicated in the extracts made by
Vanslyperken from the last despatches, and Ramsay had been calculating
the consequences when Mynheer Krause returned discomfited from the
presence of the king.
That Ramsay played a very diplomatic game in the conversation which we
have repeated is true; but still it was the best game for Krause as well
as for his own interests, as the events will show. We must, however,
remind the reader that Ramsay had no idea whatever of the double
treachery on the part of Vanslyperken, in copying all the letters sent
by and to him, as well as extracting from the government despatches.
"My dearest Edward, what has detained you so long from me this morning,"
inquired Wilhelmina when he entered the music-room, about an hour after
his conversation with the syndic.
Ramsay then entered into the detail of what had occurred, and wove in
such remarks of his own as were calculated to disgust Wilhelmina with
the conduct of King William, and to make her consider her father as an
injured man. He informed her of the advice he had given him, and then
pointed out to her the propriety of her enforcing his following it with
all the arguments of persuasion in her power.
Wilhelmina's indignation was roused, and she did not fail, when speaking
with her father, to rail in no measured tones against the king, and to
press him to quit a country where he had been so ill-used. Mynheer
Krause felt the same, his pride had been severely wounded; and it may be
truly said, that one of the staunchest adherents of the Protestant king
was lost by a combination of circumstances as peculiar as they were
In the meantime, the corporal had gone on shore as usual and made the
widow acquainted with the last attempt upon Smallbones, and the revenge
of the ship's company. Babette had also done her part.
She had found out that Ramsay lived in the house of the syndic, and
that he was the passenger brought over by Vanslyperken in the cutter.
The widow, who had now almost arranged her plans, received Vanslyperken
more amicably than ever; anathematised the--supposed defunct Smallbones;
shed tears over the stump of Snarleyyow, and asked Vanslyperken when he
intended to give up the nasty cutter and live quietly on shore.
In which is shown the imprudence of sleeping in the open air, even in a
The _Yungfrau_ was not permitted to remain more than two days at her
anchorage. On the third morning Mr Vanslyperken's signal was made to
prepare to weigh. He immediately answered it, and giving his orders to
Short, hastened, as fast as he could, up to the syndic's house to inform
Ramsay, stating, that he must immediately return on board again, and
that the letters must be sent to him: Ramsay perceived the necessity of
this, and consented. On his return to the boat, Mr Vanslyperken found
that his signal to repair on board the frigate had been hoisted, and he
hastened on board to put on his uniform and obey this order. He received
his despatches from the captain of the frigate, with orders to proceed
to sea immediately. Mr Vanslyperken, under the eye of his superior
officer, could not dally or delay: he hove short, hoisted his mainsail,
and fired a gun as a signal for sailing; anxiously looking out for
Ramsay's boat with his letters, and afraid to go without them; but no
boat made its appearance, and Mr Vanslyperken was forced to heave up his
anchor. Still he did not like to make sail, and he remained a few
minutes more, when he at last perceived a small boat coming off. At the
same time he observed a boat coming from the frigate, and they arrived
alongside the cutter about the same time, fortunately Ramsay's boat the
first, and Mr Vanslyperken had time to carry the letters down below.
"The commandant wishes to know why you do not proceed to sea, sir, in
obedience to your orders," said the officer.
"I only waited for that boat to come on board, sir," replied
Vanslyperken to the lieutenant.
"And pray, sir, from whom does that boat come?" inquired the officer.
"From the syndic's, Mynheer Van Krause," replied Vanslyperken, not
knowing what else to say, and thinking that the name of the syndic would
"And what did the boat bring off, to occasion the delay, sir?"
"A letter or two for England," replied Vanslyperken.
"Very well, sir, I wish you a good morning," said the lieutenant, who
then went into his boat, and Vanslyperken made sail.
The delay of the cutter to receive the syndic's letters was fully
reported the same evening to the commandant, who, knowing that the
syndic was suspected, reported the same to the authorities, and this
trifling circumstance only increased the suspicions against the
unfortunate Mynheer Van Krause; but we must follow the cutter and those
on board of her. Smallbones had remained concealed on board, his wounds
had been nearly healed, and it was now again proposed that he should, as
soon as they were out at sea, make his appearance to frighten
Vanslyperken; and that, immediately they arrived at Portsmouth, he
should go on shore and desert from the cutter, as Mr Vanslyperken would,
of course, find out that his mother was killed, and the consequences to
Smallbones must be dangerous, as he had no evidence, if Vanslyperken
swore that he had murdered his mother; but this arrangement was
overthrown by events which we shall now narrate. It was on the third
morning after they sailed, that Vanslyperken walked the deck: there was
no one but the man at the helm abaft. The weather was extremely sultry,
for the cutter had run with a fair wind for the first eight-and-forty
hours, and had then been becalmed for the last twenty-four, and had
drifted to the back of the Isle of Wight, when she was not three leagues
from St Helen's. The consequence was, that the ebb-tide had now drifted
her down very nearly opposite to that part of the island where the cave
was situated of which we have made mention. Vanslyperken heard the
people talking below, and, as usual, anxious to overhear what was said,
had stopped to listen. He heard the name of Smallbones repeated several
times, but could not make out what was said.
Anxious to know, he went down the ladder, and, instead of going into his
cabin, crept softly forward on the lower deck, when he overheard Coble,
Short, and Spurey in consultation.
"We shall be in to-morrow," said Spurey, "if a breeze springs up, and
then it will be too late: Smallbones must frighten him again to-night."
"Yes," replied Short.
"He shall go into his cabin at twelve o'clock, that will be the best
"But the corporal."
"Hush!--there is someone there," said Spurey, who, attracted by a slight
noise made by Vanslyperken's boots, turned short round.
Vanslyperken retreated and gained the deck by the ladder; he had hardly
been up when he observed a face at the hatchway, who was evidently
looking to ascertain if he was on deck.
These few words overheard, satisfied Vanslyperken that Smallbones was
alive and on board the cutter; and he perceived how he had been played
with. His rage was excessive, but he did not know how to act. If
Smallbones was alive, and that he appeared to be, he must have escaped
from his mother, and, of course, the ship's company must know that his
life had been attempted. That he did not care much about; he had not
done the deed; but how the lad could have come on board! did he not see
him lying dead? It was very strange, and the life of the boy must be
charmed. At all events, it was a mystery which Mr Vanslyperken could not
solve; at first, he thought that he would allow Smallbones to come into
the cabin, and get a loaded pistol ready for him. The words, "But the
corporal," which were cut short, proved to him that the corporal was no
party to the affair; yet it was strange that the ship's company could
have concealed the lad without the corporal's knowledge. Vanslyperken
walked and walked, and thought and thought; at last he resolved to go
down into his cabin, pretend to go to bed, lock his door, which was not
his custom, and see if they would attempt to come in. He did so, the
corporal was dismissed, and at twelve o'clock his door was tried and
tried again; but being fast, the party retreated. Vanslyperken waited
till two bells to ascertain if any more attempts would be made; but none
were, so he rose from his bed, where he had thrown himself with his
clothes on, and, opening the door softly, crept upon deck. The night was
very warm, but there was a light and increasing breeze, and the cutter
was standing in and close to the shore to make a long board upon next
tack. Vanslyperken passed the man at the helm, and walked aft to the
taffrail; he stood up on the choak to ascertain what way she was making
through the water, and he was meditating upon the best method of
proceeding. Had he known where Smallbones' hammock was hung, he would
have gone down with the view of ascertaining the fact; but with a crew
so evidently opposed to him, he could not see how even the ascertaining
that Smallbones was on board, would be productive of any good
consequences. The more Vanslyperken thought, the more he was puzzled.
The fact is, that he was between the horns of a dilemma; but the devil,
who always helps his favourites, came to the aid of Mr Vanslyperken. The
small boat was, as usual, hoisted up astern, and Mr Vanslyperken's eyes
were accidentally cast upon it. He perceived a black mass lying on the
thwarts, and he examined it more closely: he heard snoring; it was one
of the ship's company sleeping there against orders. He leant over the
taffrail, and putting aside the great-coat which covered the party, he
looked attentively on the face--there was no doubt it was Smallbones
himself. From a knowledge of the premises, Vanslyperken knew at once
that the lad was in his power.
The boat, after being hauled up with tackles, was hung by a single rope
at each davit. It was very broad in proportion to its length, and was
secured from motion by a single gripe, which confined it in its place,
bowsing it close to the stern of the cutter, and preventing it from
turning over bottom up, which, upon the least weight upon one gunnel or
the other, would be inevitably the case. Smallbones was lying close to
the gunnel next to the stern of the cutter. By letting go the gripe,
therefore, the boat would immediately turn bottom up, and Smallbones
would be dropped into the sea. Vanslyperken carefully examined the
fastenings of the gripe, found that they were to be cast off by one
movement, and that his success was certain; but still he was cautious.
The man at the helm must hear the boat go over; he might hear
Smallbones' cry for assistance. So Vanslyperken went forward to the man
at the helm, and desired him to go down and to order Corporal Van
Spitter to mix a glass of brandy-and-water, and send it up by him, and
that he would steer the vessel till he came up again. The man went down
to execute the order, and Vanslyperken steered the cutter for half a
minute, during which he looked forward to ascertain if any one was
moving. All was safe, the watch was all asleep forward, and
Vanslyperken, leaving the cutter to steer itself, hastened aft, cast off
the gripe, the boat, as he calculated, immediately turning over, and the
sleeping Smallbones fell into the sea. Vanslyperken hastened back to the
helm, and put the cutter's head right. He heard the cry of Smallbones,
but it was not loud, for the cutter had already left him astern, and it
was fainter and fainter, and at last it was heard no more, and not one
of the watch had been disturbed.
"If ever you haunt me again," muttered Vanslyperken, "may I be hanged."
We particularly call the reader's attention to these words of Mr
The man returned with the brandy-and-water, with which Vanslyperken
drank _bon voyage_ to poor Smallbones. He then ordered the cutter to be
put about, and as soon as she was round, he went down into his cabin and
turned in with greater satisfaction than he had for a long time.
"We shall have got rid of him at last, my poor dog," said he, patting
Snarleyyow's head. "Your enemy is gone for ever."
And Mr Vanslyperken slept soundly, because, although he had committed a
murder, there was no chance of his being found out. We soon get
accustomed to crime: before, he started at the idea of murder; now, all
that he cared for was detection.
"Good-night to you, Mr Vanslyperken."
In which Smallbones changes from a king's man into a smuggler, and also
changes his sex.
If we adhered to the usual plans of historical novel writers, we should,
in this instance, leave Smallbones to what must appear to have been his
inevitable fate, and then bring him on the stage again with a _coup de
theatre_, when least expected by the reader. But that is not our
intention; we consider that the interest of this our narration of bygone
events is quite sufficient, without condescending to what is called
claptrap; and there are so many people in our narrative continually
labouring under deception of one kind or another, that we need not add
to it by attempting to mystify our readers; who, on the contrary, we
shall take with us familiarly by the hand, and, like a faithful
historian, lead them through the events in the order in which they
occurred, and point out to them how they all lead to one common end.
With this intention in view, we shall now follow the fortunes of
Smallbones, whom we left floundering in about seven fathoms water.
The weather was warm, even sultry, as we said before; but
notwithstanding which, and notwithstanding he was a very tolerable
swimmer, considering that he was so thin, Smallbones did not like it. To
be awoke out of a profound sleep, and all of a sudden to find yourself
floundering out of your depth about half a mile from the nearest land,
is anything but agreeable; the transition is too rapid. Smallbones
descended a few feet before he could divest himself of the folds of the
Flustering coat which he had wrapped himself up in. It belonged to
Coble, he had purchased it at a sale-shop on the Point for seventeen
shillings and sixpence, and, moreover, it was as good as new. In
consequence of this delay below water-mark, Smallbones had very little
breath left in his body when he rose to the surface, and he could not
inflate his lungs so as to call loud until the cutter had walked away
from him at least one hundred yards, for she was slipping fast through
the water, and another minute plainly proved to Smallbones that he was
left to his own resources.
At first, the lad had imagined that it was an accident, and that the
rope had given way with his weight; but when he found that no attention
was paid to his cries, he then was convinced that it was the work of Mr
"By _gum_, he's a done for me at last. Well, I don't care, I can die but
once, that's sartin sure; and he'll go to the devil, that's
And Smallbones, with this comfortable assurance, continued to strike out
for the land, which, indeed, he had but little prospect of ever making.
"A shame for to come for to go to murder a poor lad three or four times
over," sputtered Smallbones, after a time, feeling his strength fail
him. He then turned on his back, to ease his arms.
"I can't do it no how, I sees that," said Smallbones, "so I may just as
well go down like a dipsey lead."
But, as he muttered this, and was making up his mind to discontinue
further exertions,--not a very easy thing to do, when you are about to
go into another world, still floating on his back, with his eyes fixed
on the starry heavens, thinking, as Smallbones afterwards narrated
himself, that there wa'n't much to live for in this here world, and
considering what there could be in that 'ere, his head struck against
something hard. Smallbones immediately turned round in the water to see
what it was, and found that it was one of the large corks which
supported a heavy net laid out across the tide for the taking of
shoal-fish. The cork was barely sufficient to support his weight, but it
gave him a certain relief, and time to look about him, as the saying is.
The lad ran under the net and cork with his hands until he arrived at
the nearest shoal, for it was three or four hundred yards long. When he
arrived there, he contrived to bring some of the corks together, until
he had quite sufficient for his support, and then Smallbones voted
himself pretty comfortable after all, for the water was very warm, and
now quite smooth.
Smallbones, as the reader may have observed during the narration, was a
lad of most indisputable courage and of good principles. Had it been his
fortune to have been born among the higher classes, and to have had all
the advantages of education, he might have turned out a hero; as it was,
he did his duty well in that state of life to which he had been called,
and as he said in his speech to the men on the forecastle, he feared
God, honoured the king, and was the natural enemy to the devil.
The Chevalier Bayard was nothing more, only he had a wider field for his
exertions and his talents; but the armed and accoutred Bayard did not
show more courage and conduct when leading armies to victory, than did
the unarmed Smallbones against Vanslyperken and his dog. We consider
that _in his way_, Smallbones was quite as great a hero as the
Chevalier, for no man can do more than his best; indeed, it is
unreasonable to expect it.
While Smallbones hung on to the corks, he was calculating his chances of
"If so be as how they comes to take up the nets in the morning, why then
I think I may hold on; but if so be they waits, why they'll then find me
dead as a fish," said Smallbones, who seldom ventured above a
monosyllable, and whose language if not considered as pure English, was
certainly amazingly Saxon; and then Smallbones began to reflect, whether
it was not necessary that he should forgive Mr Vanslyperken before he
died, and his pros and cons ended with his thinking he could, for it was
his duty; however he would not be in a hurry about it, he thought that
was the last thing that he need do; but as for the dog, he wa'n't
obliged to forgive him that was certain--as certain as that his tail was
off; and Smallbones, up to his chin in the water, grinned so at the
remembrance, that he took in more salt water than was pleasant.
He spit it out again, and then looked up to the stars, which were
twinkling above him.
I wonder what o'clock it is, thought Smallbones, when he thought he
heard a distant sound. Smallbones pricked up his ears and
listened;--yes, it was in regular cadence, and became louder and louder.
It was a boat pulling.
"Well, I am sure," thought Smallbones, "they'll think they have caught a
queer fish anyhow:" and he waited very patiently for the fisherman to
come up. At last he perceived the boat, which was very long and pulled
many oars. "They be the smuglars," thought Smallbones.
"I wonder whether they'll pick up a poor lad? Boat ahoy!"
The boat continued to pass towards the coast, impelled at the speed of
seven or eight miles an hour, and was now nearly abreast of Smallbones,
and not fifty yards from him.
"I say, boat ahoy!" screamed Smallbones, to the extent of his voice.
He was heard this time, and there was a pause in the pulling, the boat
still driving through the water with the impulse which had been given
her, as if she required no propelling power.
"I say you arn't a going for to come for to leave a poor lad here to be
drowned, are you?"
"That's Smallbones, I'll swear," cried Jemmy Ducks, who was steering the
boat, and who immediately shifted the helm.
But Sir Robert Barclay paused; there was too much at stake to run any
risk, even to save the life of a fellow-creature.
"You takes time for to think on it anyhow," cried Smallbones--"you are
going for to leave a fellow-christian stuck like a herring in a fishing
net, are you? you would not like it yourself, anyhow."
"It is Smallbones, sir," repeated Jemmy Ducks, "and I'll vouch for him
as a lad that's good and true."
Sir Barclay no longer hesitated: "Give way, my lads, and pick him up."
In a few minutes, Smallbones was hauled in over the gunnel, and was
seated on the stern-sheets opposite to Sir Robert.
"It's a great deal colder out of the water than in, that's sartain,"
observed Smallbones, shivering.
"Give way, my lads, we've no time to stay," cried Sir Robert.
"Take this, Smallbones," said Jemmy.
"Why, so it is, Jemmy Ducks!" replied Smallbones, with
astonishment--"why, how did you come here?"
"Sarcumstances," replied Jemmy; "how did you come there?"
"Sarcumstances too, Jemmy," replied Smallbones.
"Keep silence," said Sir Robert, and nothing more was said until the
lugger dashed into the cave.
The cargo was landed, and Smallbones who was very cold was not sorry to
assist. He carried up his load with the rest, and as usual the women
came half-way down to receive it.
"Why, who have we here?" said one of the women to whom Smallbones was
delivering his load, "why, it's Smallbones."
"Yes," replied Smallbones, it is me; "but how came you here, Nancy?"
"That's tellings, but how came you, my lad?" replied Nancy.
"I came by water anyhow."
"Well, you are one of us now, you know there's no going back."
"I'm sure I don't want to go back, Nancy; but what is to be done?
nothing unchristianlike I hope."
"We're all good Christians here, Smallbones; we don't bow down to idols
and pay duty to them as other people do."
"Do you fear God, and honour the king?"
"We do; the first as much as the other people, and as for the king, we
love him and serve him faithfully."
"Well, then I suppose that's all right," replied Smallbones; "but where
do you live?"
"Come with me, take your load up, and I will show you, for the sooner
you are there the better; the boat will be off again in half-an-hour, if
I mistake not."
"To France, with a message to the king."
"Why, the king's in Holland! we left him there when we sailed."
"Pooh! nonsense! come along."
When Sir Robert arrived at the cave, he found an old friend anxiously
awaiting his arrival; it was Graham, who had been despatched by the
Jacobites to the court of St Germains, with intelligence of great
importance, which was the death of the young Duke of Gloucester, the
only surviving son of King William. He had, it was said, died of a
malignant fever; but if the reader will call to mind the address of one
of the Jesuits on the meeting at Cherbourg, he may have some surmises as
to the cause of the duke's decease. As this event rendered the
succession uncertain, the hopes of the Jacobites were raised to the
highest pitch: the more so as the country was in a state of anxiety and
confusion, and King William was absent at the Hague. Graham had,
therefore, been despatched to the exiled James, with the propositions
from his friends in England, and to press the necessity of an invasion
of the country. As Nancy had supposed, Sir Robert decided upon
immediately crossing over to Cherbourg, the crew were allowed a short
time to repose and refresh themselves, and once more returned to their
laborious employment; Jemmy Ducks satisfied Sir Robert that Smallbones
might be trusted and be useful, and Nancy corroborated his assertions.
He was, therefore, allowed to remain in the cave with the women, and Sir
Robert and his crew, long before Smallbones' garments were dry, were
again crossing the English Channel.
Now, it must be observed, that Smallbones was never well off for
clothes, and, on this occasion, when he fell overboard, he had nothing
on but an old pair of thin linen trousers and a shirt which, from dint
of long washing, from check had turned to a light cerulean blue: what
with his struggles at the net and the force used to pull him into the
boat, the shirt had more than one-half disappeared--that is to say, one
sleeve and the back were wholly gone, and the other sleeve was well
prepared to follow its fellow, on the first capful of wind. His trousers
also were in almost as bad a state. In hauling him in, when his head was
over the gunnel, one of the men had seized him by the seat of his
trousers to lift him into the boat, and the consequence was, that the
seat of his trousers having been too long set upon, was also left in his
muscular gripe. All these items put together, the reader may infer,
that, although Smallbones might appear merely ragged in front, that in
his rear he could not be considered as decent, especially as he was the
only one of the masculine sex among a body of females. No notice was
taken of this by others, nor did Smallbones observe it himself, during
the confusion and bustle previous to the departure of the smugglers; but
now they were gone, Smallbones perceived his deficiencies, and was very
much at a loss what to do, as he was aware that daylight would discover
them to others as well as to himself: so he fixed his back up against
one of the rocks, and remained idle while the women were busily employed
storing away the cargo in the various compartments of the cave.
Nancy, who had not forgotten that he was with them, came up to him.
"Why do you stay there, Smallbones? you must be hungry and cold, come in
with me, and I will find you something to eat."
"I can't, Mistress Nancy, I want your advice first. Has any of the men
left any of their duds in this here cavern?"
"Duds, men! No, they keep them all on the other side. We have nothing
but petticoats here and shimmeys."
"Then what must I do?" exclaimed Smallbones.
"Oh, I see, your shirt is torn off your back. Well, never mind, I'll
lend you a shimmey."
"Yes, Mistress Nancy, but it be more worse than that, I an't got no
behind to my trousers, they pulled it out when they pulled me into the
boat. I sticks to this here rock for decency's sake. What must I do?"
Nancy burst into a laugh. "Do, why if you can't have men's clothes, you
must put on the women's, and then you'll be in the regular uniform of
"I do suppose that I must, but I can't say that I like the idea much,
anyhow," replied Smallbones.
"Why, you don't mean to stick to that rock like a limpit all your life,
do you? there's plenty of work for you."
"If so be, I must, I must," replied Smallbones.
"You can't appear before Mistress Alice in that state," replied Nancy.
"She's a lady bred and born, and very particular too, and then there's
Miss Lilly, you will turn her as red as a rose, if she sees you."
"Well then, I suppose I must, Mistress Nancy, for I shall catch my death
of cold here, I'm all wet and shivery, from being so long in the water,
and my back against the rock, feels just as ice."
"No wonder, I'll run and fetch you something," replied Nancy, who was
delighted at the idea of dressing up Smallbones as a woman.
Nancy soon returned with a chemise, a short flannel petticoat, and a
shawl, which she gave to Smallbones, desiring him to take off his wet
clothes, and substitute them. She would return to him as soon as he had
put them on, and see that they were put tidy and right.
Smallbones retired behind one of the rocks, and soon shifted his
clothes, he put everything on the hind part before, and Nancy had to
alter them when she came. She adjusted the shawl, and then led him into
the cave where he found Mistress Alice, and some of the women who were
not busy with the cargo.
"Here's the poor lad who was thrown overboard, madam," said Nancy,
retaining her gravity. "All his clothes were torn off his back, and I
have been obliged to give him these to put on."
Lady Barclay could hardly repress a smile. Smallbones' appearance was
that of a tall gaunt creature, pale enough, and smooth enough to be a
woman certainly, but cutting a most ridiculous figure. His long thin
arms were bare, his neck was like a crane's, and the petticoats were so
short as to reach almost above his knees. Shoes and stockings he had
none. His long hair was platted and matted with the salt water, and one
side of his head was shaved, and exhibited a monstrous half-healed scar.
Lady Barclay asked him a few questions, and then desired Nancy to give
him some refreshment, and find him something to lie down upon in the
division of the cave which was used as a kitchen.
But we must now leave Smallbones to entertain the inhabitants of the
cave with the history of his adventures, which he did at intervals,
during his stay there. He retained his women's clothes, for Nancy would
not let him wear any other, and was a source of great amusement not only
to the smugglers' wives, but also to little Lilly, who would listen to
his conversation and remarks which were almost as naive and
unsophisticated as her own.
In which Mr Vanslyperken meets with a double defeat.
It was late in the evening of the day after Smallbones had been so
satisfactorily disposed of that the cutter arrived at Portsmouth; but
from daylight until the time that the cutter anchored, there was no
small confusion and bustle on board of the _Yungfrau_. When
Vanslyperken's cabin door was found to be locked, it was determined that
Smallbones should not appear as a supernatural visitant that night, but
wait till the one following; consequently the parties retired to bed,
and Smallbones, who found the heat between decks very oppressive, had
crept up the ladder and taken a berth in the small boat that he might
sleep cool and comfortable, intending to be down below again long before
Mr Vanslyperken was up; but, as the reader knows, Mr Vanslyperken was up
before him, and the consequence was that Smallbones went down into the
sea instead of the lower deck as he had intended.
The next morning it was soon ascertained that Smallbones was not to be
found, and the ship's company were in a state of dismay. The boat, as
soon as Smallbones had been turned out, had resumed her upright
position, and one of the men when busy washing the decks, had made fast
the gripe again, which he supposed had been cast off by accident when
the ropes had been coiled up for washing, Smallbones not being at that
time missed. When, therefore, the decks had been searched everywhere and
the lad was discovered not to be in the ship, the suspicion was very
great. No one had seen him go aft to sleep in the boat. The man who was
at the wheel stated that Mr Vanslyperken had sent him down for a glass
of grog, and had taken the helm for the time; but this proved nothing.
His disappearance was a mystery not to be unravelled. An appeal to Mr
Vanslyperken was, of course, impossible, for he did not know that the
lad was on board. The whole day was spent in surmises and suppositions;
but things all ended in the simple fact, that somehow or another
Smallbones had fallen overboard, and there was an end of the
So soon as the cutter was at anchor, Mr Vanslyperken hastened to perform
his official duties, and anxious to learn how Smallbones had contrived
to escape the clutches of his mother, bent his steps towards the
half-way houses. He arrived at the door of his mother's room, and
knocked as usual, but there was no reply. It was now the latter end of
July, and although it was past seven o'clock it was full daylight.
Vanslyperken knocked again and again. His mother must be out, he
thought; and if so, she always took the key with her. He had nothing to
do but to wait for her return. The passage and staircase was dark, but
there was a broad light in the room from the casement, and this light
streamed from under the door of the room. A shade crossing the light
attracted Vanslyperken's attention, and to while away the tediousness of
waiting he was curious to see what it was; he knelt down, looked under
the door, and perceived the key which Smallbones had placed there; he
inserted his finger and drew it forth, imagining that his mother had
slid it beneath till her return.
He fitted it to the lock and opened the door, when his olfactory nerves
were offended with a dreadful stench, which surprised him the more as
the casement was open. Vanslyperken surveyed the room, he perceived that
the blood had been washed from the floor and sand strewed over it. Had
he not known that Smallbones had been on board of the cutter the day
before, he would have thought that it had been the smell of the dead
body not yet removed. This thought crossing his imagination, immediately
made the truth flash upon him, and, as if instinctively, he went up to
the bed and pulled down the clothes, when he recoiled back with horror
at uncovering the face of his mother, now of a livid blue and in the
last stage of putrefaction.
Overcome with the horrid sight, and the dreadful stench which
accompanied it, he reeled to the casement and gasped for breath. A
sickness came over him, and for some time he was incapable of acting and
barely capable of reflection.
"She is gone then," thought he at last, and he shuddered when he asked
himself _where_. "She must have fallen by the hands of the lad,"
continued he, and immediately the whole that had happened appeared to be
revealed to him. "Yes, yes, he has recovered from the blow--killed her
and locked the door--all is clear now, but I have revenged her death."
Vanslyperken, who had now recovered himself, went softly to the door,
took out the key and locked himself in. He had been debating in his mind
whether he should call in the neighbours; but, on reflection, as no one
had seen him enter, he determined that he would not. He would take his
gold and leave the door locked and the key under it, as he found it
before her death was discovered: it would be supposed that she died a
natural death, for the state of the body would render it impossible to
prove the contrary. But there was one act necessary to be performed at
which Vanslyperken's heart recoiled. The key of the oak chest was about
his mother's person and he must obtain it, he must search for it in
corruption and death, amongst creeping worms and noisome stench. It was
half an hour before he could make up his mind to the task! but what will
avarice not accomplish!
He covered up the face, and with a trembling hand turned over the
bedclothes. But we must not disgust our readers, it will suffice to say,
that the key was obtained, and the chest opened.
Vanslyperken found all his own gold, and much more than he had ever
expected belonging to his mother. There were other articles belonging to
him, but he thought it prudent not to touch them. He loaded himself with
the treasure, and when he felt that it was all secure, for he was
obliged to divide it in different parcels and stow it in various manners
about his person, he relocked the chest, placed the key in the cupboard,
and quitting the room made fast the door, and like a dutiful son, left
the remains of his mother to be inhumed at the expense of the parish.
As he left the house without being observed, and gained the town of
Portsmouth, never was Mr Vanslyperken's body so heavily loaded, or his
heart lighter. He had got rid of Smallbones and of his mother, both in a
way perfectly satisfactory to himself.
He had recovered his own gold, and had also been enriched beyond his
hopes by his mother's savings. He felt not the weight which he carried
about his person, he wished it had been heavier. All he felt was, very
anxious to be on board and have his property secured. His boat waited
for him, and one of the men informed him his presence was required at
the admiral's immediately; but Mr Vanslyperken first went on board, and
having safely locked up all his treasures, then complied with the
admiral's wishes. They were to sail immediately, for the intelligence of
the Duke of Gloucester's death had just arrived with the despatches,
announcing the same to be taken to King William, who was still at the
Hague. Vanslyperken sent the boat on board with orders to Short, to
heave short and loose sails, and then hastened up to the house of
Lazarus, the Jew, aware that the cutter would, in all probability, be
despatched immediately to the Hague. The Jew had the letters for Ramsay
all prepared. Vanslyperken once more touched his liberal fee, and, in an
hour, he was again under way for the Texel.
During the passage, which was very quick, Mr Vanslyperken amused himself
as usual, in copying the letters to Ramsay, which contained the most
important intelligence of the projects of the Jacobites, and, from the
various communications between Ramsay and the conspirators, Vanslyperken
had also been made acquainted with the circumstance hitherto unknown to
him, of the existence of the caves above the cove, where he had been
taken to by the informer, as mentioned in the early part of this work,
and also of the names of the parties who visited it.
Of this intelligence Vanslyperken determined to avail himself
by-and-bye. It was evident that there were only women in the cave, and
Mr Vanslyperken counted his gold, patted the head of Snarleyyow, and
indulged in anticipations of further wealth, and the hand of the widow
All dreams! Mr Vanslyperken.
The cutter arrived, and he landed with his despatches for the
government; and his letters to Ramsay being all delivered, Vanslyperken
hastened to the widow's, who, as usual, received him, all smiles. He now
confided to her the death of his mother, and astonished her by
representing the amount of his wealth, which he had the precaution to
state, that the major part of it was left him by his mother.
"Where have you put it all, Mr Vanslyperken?" inquired the widow. And
Vanslyperken replied that he had come to ask her advice on the subject,
as it was at present all on board of the cutter. The widow, who was not
indifferent to money, was more gracious than ever. She had a scheme in
her head of persuading him to leave the money under her charge; but
Vanslyperken was anxious to go on board again, for he discovered that
the key was not in his pocket, and he was fearful that he might have
left it on the cabin table; so he quitted rather abruptly, and the widow
had not time to bring the battery to bear. As soon as Mr Vanslyperken
arrived on board, Corporal Van Spitter, without asking leave, for he
felt it was not necessary, went on shore, and was soon in the arms of
his enamoured widow Vandersloosh. In the meantime, Mr Vanslyperken
discovered the key in the pocket of the waistcoat he had thrown off, and
having locked his door, he again opened his drawer, and delighted
himself for an hour or two in re-arranging his treasure; after which,
feeling himself in want of occupation, it occurred to him, that he might
as well dedicate a little more time to the widow, so he manned his boat
and went on shore again.
It is all very well to have a morning and afternoon lover if ladies are
so inclined, just as they have a morning and afternoon dress, but they
should be worn separately. Now, as it never entered the head of Mr
Vanslyperken that the corporal was playing him false, so did it never
enter the idea of the widow, that Mr Vanslyperken would make his
appearance in the evening, and leave the cutter and Snarleyyow, without
the corporal being on board to watch over them.
But Mr Vanslyperken did leave the cutter and Snarleyyow, did come on
shore, did walk to the widow's house, and did most unexpectedly enter
it, and what was the consequence?--that he was not perceived when he
entered it, and the door of the parlour as well as the front door being
open to admit the air, for the widow and the corporal found that making
love in the dog days was rather warm work for people of their
calibre--to his mortification and rage the lieutenant beheld the
corporal seated in his berth, on the little fubsy sofa, with one arm
round the widow's waist, his other hand joined in hers, and, _proh
pudor!_ sucking at her dewy lips like some huge carp under the
water-lilies on a midsummer's afternoon.
Mr Vanslyperken was transfixed--the parties were too busy with their
amorous interchange to perceive his presence; at last the corporal
thought that his lips required moistening with a little of the beer of
the widow's own brewing, for the honey of her lips had rather glued them
together--he turned towards the table to take up his tumbler, and he
beheld Mr Vanslyperken.
The corporal, for a moment, was equally transfixed, but on these
occasions people act mechanically because they don't know what to do.
The corporal had been well drilled, he rose from the sofa, held himself
perfectly upright, and raised the back of his right hand to his
forehead, there he stood like a statue saluting at the presence of his
The widow had also perceived the presence of Vanslyperken almost as soon
as the corporal, but a woman's wits are more at their command on these
occasions than a man's. She felt that all concealment was now useless,
and she prepared for action. At the same time, although ready to
discharge a volley of abuse upon Vanslyperken, she paused, to ascertain
how she should proceed. Assuming an indifferent air, she said--"Well, Mr
"Well!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, but he could not speak for passion.
"Eaves-dropping, as usual, Mr Vanslyperken?"
"May the roof of this house drop on you, you infernal----."
"No indelicate language, if you please, sir," interrupted the widow, "I
won't put up with it in my house, I can tell you--ho, ho, Mr
Vanslyperken," continued the widow, working herself into a rage, "that
won't do here, Mr Vanslyperken."
"Why, you audacious--you double-faced----"
"Double-faced!--it's a pity you wer'n't double-faced, as you call it,
with that snivelling nose and crooked chin of yours. Double-faced,
heh!--oh! oh! Mr Vanslyperken--we shall see--wait a little--we shall
see who's double-faced. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken--that for you, Mr
Vanslyperken--I can hang you when I please, Mr Vanslyperken. Corporal,
how many guineas did you see counted out to him at the house opposite?"
During all this the corporal remained fixed and immovable with his hand
up to the salute; but on being questioned by his mistress, he replied,
remaining in the same respectful attitude.
"Fifty golden guineas, Mistress Vandersloosh."
"A lie! an infamous lie!" cried Vanslyperken, drawing his sword.
"Traitor, that you are," continued he to the corporal, "take your
reward." This was a very critical moment. The corporal did not attempt
the defensive, but remained in the same attitude, and Vanslyperken's
rage at the falsehood of the widow, and the discovery of his treason was
so great, that he had lost all command of himself. Had not a third party
come in just as Vanslyperken drew his sword, it might have gone hard
with the corporal; but fortunately Babette came in from the yard, and
perceiving the sword fly out of the scabbard, she put her hand behind
the door, and snatched two long-handled brooms, one of which she put
into the hands of her mistress, and retained the other herself.
"Take your reward!" cried Vanslyperken, running furiously to cut down
the corporal. But his career was stopped by the two brooms, one of which
took him in the face, and the other in the chest. The widow and Babette
now ranged side by side, holding their brooms as soldiers do their arms
in charge of bayonets.
How did the corporal act? He retained his former respectful position,
leaving the defensive or offensive in the hands of the widow
This check on the part of Vanslyperken only added to his rage. Again he
flew with his sword at the corporal, and again he was met with the
besoms in his face. He caught one with his hand, and he was knocked back
with the other. He attempted to cut them in two with his sword, but
"Out of my house, you villain!--you traitor--out of my house," cried
the widow, pushing at him with such force as to drive him against the
wall, and pinning him there while Babette charged him in his face which
was now streaming with blood. The attack was now followed up with such
vigour, that Vanslyperken was first obliged to retreat to the door, then
out of the door into the street, followed into the street he took to his
heels, and the widow and Babette returned victorious into the parlour to
the corporal. Mr Vanslyperken could not accuse him of want of respect to
his superior officer; he had saluted him on entering, and he was still
saluting him when he made his exit.
The widow threw herself on the sofa--Corporal Van Spitter then took his
seat beside her. The widow overcome by her rage and exertion, burst into
tears and sobbed in his arms.
The corporal poured out a glass of beer, and persuaded her to drink it.
"I'll have him hanged to-morrow, at all events. I'll go to the Hague
myself," cried the widow. "Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see who
will gain the day," continued the widow, sobbing.
"You can prove it, corporal?"
"Mein Gott, yes," replied the corporal.
"As soon as he's hung, corporal, we'll marry."
"Mein Gott, yes."
"Traitorous villain!--sell his king and his country for gold!"
"Mein Gott, yes."
"You're sure it was fifty guineas, corporal?"
"Mein Gott, yes."
"Ah, well, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see," said the widow, drying her
eyes. "Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, you shall be hanged, and your cur with
you, or my name's not Vandersloosh."
"Mein Gott, yes," replied the corporal.
In which Mr Vanslyperken proves his loyalty and his fidelity to King
Mr Vanslyperken hastened from his inglorious conflict, maddened with
rage and disappointment. He returned on board, went down into his cabin,
and threw himself on his bed. His hopes and calculations had been so
brilliant--rid of his enemy Smallbones--with gold in possession, and
more in prospect, to be so cruelly deceived by the widow--the
cockatrice! Then by one to whom he fully confided, and who knew too many
of his secrets already--Corporal Van Spitter--he too!--and to dare to
aspire to the widow--it was madness--and then their knowledge of his
treason--the corporal having witnessed his receiving the gold--with such
bitter enemies what could he expect but a halter--he felt it even now
round his neck, and Vanslyperken groaned in the bitterness of
In the meantime, there was a consultation between the widow and the
corporal as to the best method of proceeding. That the corporal could
expect nothing but the most determined hostility from Vanslyperken was
certain; but for this the corporal cared little, as he had all the crew
of the cutter on his side, and he was in his own person too high in rank
to be at the mercy of Vanslyperken.
After many pros and cons, and at least a dozen bottles of beer--for the
excitement on the part of the corporal, and the exertion of the widow,
had made them both dry--it was resolved that the Frau Vandersloosh
should demand an audience at the Hague the next morning, and should
communicate the treasonable practices of Mr Vanslyperken, calling upon
the corporal as a witness to the receipt of the money from the Jesuit.
"Mein Gott!" exclaimed the corporal, striking his bull forehead as if a
new thought had required being forced out, "but they will ask me how I
came there myself, and what shall I say?"
"Say that the Jesuit father had sent for you to try and seduce you to do
his treason, but that you would not consent."
"Mein Gott, yes--that will do."
The corporal then returned on board, but did not think it worth while to
report himself to Mr Vanslyperken.
Mr Vanslyperken had also been thinking over the matter, and in what way
he should be able to escape from the toils prepared for him. That the
widow would immediately inform the authorities he was convinced. How was
he to get out of his scrape?
Upon mature reflection, he decided that it was to be done. He had copies
of all Ramsay's letters, and those addressed to Ramsay, and the last
delivered were very important. Now, his best plan would be to set off
for the Hague early the next morning--demand an interview with one of
the ministers, or even his Majesty himself--state that he had been
offered money from the Jacobite party to carry their letters, and that,
with a view to serve his Majesty by finding out their secrets, he had
consented to do it, and had taken the money to satisfy them that he was
sincere. That he had opened the letters and copied them, and that now as
the contents were important, he had thought it right to make them
immediately known to the government, and at the same time to bring the
money received for the service, to be placed at his Majesty's disposal.
"Whether she is before or after me," thought Vanslyperken, "it will then
be little matter, all I shall have to fear will be from Ramsay and his
party, but the government will be bound to protect me."
There certainly was much wisdom in this plan of Vanslyperken, it was the
only one which could have been attended with success, or with any
chance of it.
Mr Vanslyperken was up at daylight, and dressed in his best uniform; he
put in his pocket all the copies of the Jacobite correspondence, and
went on shore--hired a calash, for he did not know how to ride, and set
off for the Hague, where he arrived about ten o'clock. He sent up his
name, and requested an audience with the Duke of Portland, as an officer
commanding one of his Majesty's vessels: he was immediately admitted.
"What is your pleasure, Mr Vanslyperken?" said the duke, who was
standing at the table, in company with Lord Albemarle.
Vanslyperken was a little confused--he muttered, and stammered about
anxiety, and loyalty, and fidelity, and excess of zeal, &c.--
No wonder he stammered, for he was talking of what he knew nothing
about--but these two noblemen recollecting his confusion when presented
to his sovereign on board of the frigate, made allowances.
"I have at last," cried Vanslyperken, with more confidence, "been able
to discover the plots of the Jacobites, your grace."
"Indeed! Mr Vanslyperken," replied the duke, smiling incredulously, "and
pray what may they be? you must be as expeditious as possible, for his
Majesty is waiting for us."
"These letters will take some time to read," replied Vanslyperken; "but
their contents are most important."
"Indeed, letters--how have you possession of their letters?"
"It will be rather a long story, sir--my lord! I mean," replied
Vanslyperken; "but they will amply repay an hour of your time, if you
can spare it."
At this moment, the door opened and his Majesty entered the room. At the
sight of the king, Vanslyperken's confidence was again taking
"My lords, I am waiting for you," said the king, with a little asperity
"May it please your Majesty, here is Lieutenant Vanslyperken, commanding
one of your Majesty's vessels, who states that he has important
intelligence, and that he has possession of Jacobite papers."
"Indeed!" replied King William, who was always alive to Jacobite
plotting, from which he had already run so much risk.
"What is it, Mr Vanslyperken? speak boldly what you have to
"Your Majesty, I beg your gracious pardon, but here are copies of the
correspondence carried on by the traitors in England and this country.
If your Majesty will deign to have it read, you will then perceive how
important it is--after your Majesty has read it, I will have the honour
to explain to you by what means it came into my possession."
King William was a man of business, and Vanslyperken had done wisely in
making this proposal. His Majesty at once sat down, with the Duke of
Portland on the one side and Lord Albemarle on the other: the latter
took the letters which were arranged according to their dates, and read
them in a clear distinct voice.
As the reading went on, his Majesty made memorandums and notes with his
pencil on a sheet of paper, but did not interrupt during the whole
progress of the lecture. When the last and most important was finished,
the two noblemen looked at his Majesty with countenances full of
meaning. For a few moments his Majesty drummed with the second and third
finger of his left hand upon the table, and then said--
"Pray, Mr Vanslyperken, how did you obtain possession of these papers
and letters, or make copies of these letters?"
Vanslyperken, who had been standing at the other side of the table
during the time of the reading, had anxiously watched the countenance of
his Majesty and the two noblemen, and perceived that the intelligence
which the letters contained, had created a strong feeling, as he
expected. With a certain degree of confidence, he commenced his
He stated that the crew of the cutter had been accustomed to frequent
the Lust Haus of a certain widow Vandersloosh, and that he had made her
acquaintance, by several times going there to look after his seamen.
That this widow had often hinted to him, and at last proposed to him,
that he should take letters for some friends of hers--at last she had
told him plainly that it was for the Jacobite party, and he pretended
That he had been taken by her to the house of a Jesuit, 169, in the Bur
street, nearly opposite to her Lust Haus, and that the Jesuit had given
him some letters and fifty guineas for his trouble.
He then stated, that he had opened, copied, and resealed them; further,
that he had brought over one of the confederates, who was now residing
in the house of the syndic, Van Krause. That he should have made all
this known before, only that he waited till it was more important. That
the last letters appeared of such consequence, that he deemed it his
duty no longer to delay.
"You have done well, Mr Vanslyperken," replied his Majesty.
"And played a bold game," observed Lord Albemarle, fixing his eyes upon
Vanslyperken. "Suppose you had been found out co-operating with
traitors, before you made this discovery!"
"I might have forfeited my life in my zeal," replied Mr Vanslyperken,
with adroitness; "but that is the duty of a king's officer."
"That is well said," observed the Duke of Portland.
"I have a few questions to put to you, Mr Vanslyperken," observed his
"What is the cave they mention so often?"
"It is on the bank of the Isle of Wight, your Majesty. I did not know of
its existence, but from the letters--but I once laid a whole night in
the cove underneath it, to intercept the smugglers, upon information
that I had received, but the alarm was given, and they escaped."
"Who is their agent at Portsmouth?"
"A Jew of the name of Lazarus, residing in little Orange Street, at the
back of the Point, your Majesty!"
"Do you know of any of the names of the conspirators?"
"I do not, your Majesty, except a woman, who is very active, one Moggy
Salisbury--her husband not a month back, was the boatswain of the
cutter, but by some interest or another, he has obtained his discharge."
"My Lord of Portland, take a memorandum to inquire who it was applied
for the discharge of that man. Mr Vanslyperken you may retire--we will
call you in by-and-bye--you will be secret as to what has passed."
"I have one more duty to perform," replied Vanslyperken, taking some
rouleaus of gold out of his pocket; "this is the money received from the
traitors--it is not for a king's officer to have it in his possession."
"You are right, Mr Vanslyperken, but the gold of traitors is forfeited
to the crown, and it is now mine, you will accept it as a present from
Mr Vanslyperken took the gold from the table, made a bow, and retired
from the royal presence.
The reader will acknowledge that it was impossible to play his cards
better than Mr Vanslyperken had done in this interview, and that he
deserved great credit for his astute conduct. With such diplomatic
talents, he would have made a great prime minister.
"The council was ordered at twelve o'clock, my lords. These letters must
be produced. That they are genuine appears to me beyond a doubt."
"That they are faithful copies, I doubt not," replied Lord Albemarle,
"But what, my Lord Albemarle?"
"I very much suspect the fidelity of the copier--there is something more
that has not been told, depend upon it."
"Why do you think so, my lord?"
"Because, your Majesty, allowing that a man would act the part that Mr
Vanslyperken says that he has done to discover the conspiracy, still,
would he not naturally, to avoid any risk to himself, have furnished
government with the first correspondence, and obtained their sanction
for prosecuting his plans? This officer has been employed for the last
two years or more in carrying the despatches to the Hague, and it must
at once strike your Majesty, that a person who can, with such dexterity,
open the letters of others can also open those of his own government."
"That is true, my lord," replied his Majesty, musing.
"Your Majesty is well aware that suspicions were entertained of the
fidelity of the syndic, suspicions which the evidence of this officer
have verified. But why were these suspicions raised? Because he knew of
the government secrets, and it was supposed he obtained them from some
one who is in our trust, but inimical to us and unworthy of the
confidence reposed in him.
"Your Majesty's acuteness will at once perceive that the secrets may
have been obtained by Mynheer Krause, by the same means as have been
resorted to, to obtain the secrets of the conspirators. I may be in
error, and if I do this officer wrong by my suspicions, may God forgive
me, but there is something in his looks which tells me----"
"What, my lord?"
"That he is a traitor to both parties. May it please your Majesty."
"By the Lord, Albermarle, I think you have hit upon the truth," replied
the Duke of Portland.
"Of that we shall soon have proof--at present, we have to decide whether
it be advisable to employ him to discover more, or at once to seize upon
the parties he has denounced. But that had better be canvassed in the
council-chamber. Come, my lords, they be waiting for us."
The affair was of too great importance not to absorb all other business,
and it was decided that the house of Mynheer Krause, and of the Jesuit,
and the widow Vandersloosh should be entered by the peace-officers, at
midnight, and that they and any of the conspirators who might be found
should be thrown into prison. That the cutter should be despatched
immediately to England, with orders to seize all the other parties
informed against by Vanslyperken, and that a force should be sent to
attack the cave, and secure those who might be found there, with
directions to the admiral, that Mr Vanslyperken should be employed both
as a guide, and to give the assistance of the cutter and his crew.
These arrangements having been made, the council broke up, King William
had a conference with his two favourites, and Vanslyperken was sent for.
"Lieutenant Vanslyperken, we feel much indebted to you for your
important communications, and we shall not forget, in due time, to
reward your zeal and loyalty as it deserves. At present, it is necessary
that you sail for England as soon as our despatches are ready, which
will be before midnight; you will then receive your orders from the
admiral, at Portsmouth, and I have no doubt you will take the
opportunity of affording us fresh proofs of your fidelity and
Mr Vanslyperken bowed humbly and retired, delighted with the successful
result of his manoeuvre, and, with a gay heart he leaped into his
calash, and drove off.
"Yes, yes," thought he, "Madam Vandersloosh, you would betray me. We
shall see. Yes, yes, we shall see, Madam Vandersloosh."
And sure enough he did see Madam Vandersloosh, who in another calash was
driving to the palace, and who met him face to face.
Vanslyperken turned up his nose at her as he passed by, and the widow
astonished at his presumption, thought as she went on her way, "Well,
well, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see, you may turn up your snivelling
nose, but stop till your head's in the halter--yes, Mr Vanslyperken,
stop till your head's in the halter."
We must leave Mr Vanslyperken to drive, and the widow Vandersloosh to
drive, while we drive on ourselves.
The subsequent events of this eventful day we will narrate in the
In which there is much bustle and confusion, plot and counter-plot.
About two hours after the council had broken up, the following
communication was delivered into the hands of Ramsay by an old woman,
who immediately took her departure.
"The lieutenant of the cutter has taken copies of all your
correspondence and betrayed you. You must fly immediately, as at
midnight you and all of you will be seized. In justice to Mynheer
Krause, leave documents to clear him.
"The cutter will sail this evening--with orders to secure your friends
at Portsmouth and the cave."
"Now, by the holy cross of our Saviour! I will have revenge upon that
dastard; there is no time to lose; five minutes for reflection, and then
to act," thought Ramsay, as he twisted up this timely notice, which, it
must be evident to the reader, must have been sent by one who had been
summoned to the council. Ramsay's plans were soon formed, he despatched
a trusty messenger to the Jesuit's, desiring him to communicate
immediately with the others, and upon what plan to proceed. He then
wrote a note to Vanslyperken, requesting his immediate presence, and
hastened to the morning apartment of Wilhelmina. In a few words, he told
her that he had received timely notice that it was the intention of the
government to seize her father and him as suspected traitors, and throw
them that very night in prison.
Wilhelmina made no reply.
"For your father, my dearest girl, there is no fear: he will be fully
acquitted; but I, Wilhelmina, must depart immediately, or my life is
"Leave me, Edward?" replied Wilhelmina.
"No, you must go with me, Wilhelmina, for more than one reason; the
government have ordered the seizure of the persons to be made in the
night, to avoid a disturbance; but that they will not be able to
prevent; the mob are but too happy to prove their loyalty, when they can
do so by rapine and plunder, and depend upon it that this house will be
sacked and levelled to the ground before to-morrow evening. You cannot
go to prison with your father; you cannot remain here, to be at the
mercy of an infuriated and lawless mob. You must go with me, Wilhelmina;
trust to me, not only for my sake, but for your father's."
"My father's, Edward, it is that only I am thinking of; how can I leave
my father at such a time?"
"You will save your father by so doing. Your departure with me will
substantiate his innocence; decide, my dearest girl; decide at once; you
must either fly with me, or we must part for ever."
"Oh no, that must not be, Edward," cried Wilhelmina, bursting into
After some further persuasions on the part of Ramsay, and fresh tears
from the attached maiden, it was agreed that she should act upon his
suggestions, and with a throbbing heart, she went to her chamber to make
the necessary preparations, while Ramsay requested that Mynheer Krause
would give him a few minutes of his company in his room above.
The syndic soon made his appearance; "Well, Mynheer Ramsay, you have
some news to tell me, I am sure;" for Mynheer Krause, notwithstanding
his rebuff from the king, could not divest himself of his failing of
fetching and carrying reports. Ramsay went to the door and turned
"I have, indeed, most important news, Mynheer Krause, and, I am sorry to
say, very unpleasant also."
"Indeed," replied the syndic, with alarm.
"Yes; I find from a notice given me by one of his Majesty's council,
assembled this morning at the Hague, that you are suspected of
"God in heaven!" exclaimed the syndic.
"And that this very night you are to be seized and thrown into prison."
"I, the syndic of the town! I, who put everybody else into prison!"
"Even so; such is the gratitude of King William for your long and
faithful services, Mynheer Krause! I have now sent for you, that we may
consult as to what had best be done. Will you fly? I have the means for
"Fly, Mynheer Ramsay; the syndic of Amsterdam fly? Never! they may
accuse me falsely; they may condemn me and take off my head before the
Stadt House, but I will not fly."
"I expected this answer; and you are right, Mynheer Krause; but there
are other considerations worthy of your attention. When the populace
know you are in prison for treason, they will level this house to
"Well, and so they ought, if they suppose me guilty; I care little for
"I am aware of that; but still your property will be lost; but it will
be but a matter of prudence to save all you can: you have already a
large sum of gold collected."
"I have four thousand guilders, at least."
"You must think of your daughter, Mynheer Krause. This gold must not
find its way into the pockets of the mob. Now, observe, the king's
cutter sails to-night, and I propose that your gold be embarked, and I
will take it over for you and keep it safe. Then, let what will happen,
your daughter will not be left to beggary."
"True, true, my dear sir, there is no saying how this will end: it may
end well; but, as you say, if the house is plundered, the gold is gone
for ever. Your advice is good, and I will give you, before you go,
orders for all the monies in the hands of my agents at Hamburgh and
Frankfort and other places. I have taken your advice my young friend,
and, though I have property to the amount of some hundred thousand
guilders, with the exception of this house they will hold little of it
which belongs to Mynheer Krause. And my poor daughter, Mynheer Ramsay!"
"Should any accident happen to you, you may trust to me, I swear it to
you, Mynheer Krause, on my hope of salvation."
Here the old man sat down much affected, and covered his face.
"Oh! my dear young friend, what a world is this, where they cannot
distinguish a true and a loyal subject from a traitor. But why could you
not stay here,--protect my house from the mob,--demand the civic guard."
"I stay here, my dear sir, why I am included in the warrant of treason."
"Yes; and there would be no chance of my escaping from my enemies, they
detest me too much. But cheer up, sir, I think that, by my means, you
may be cleared of all suspicions."
"By your means?"
"Yes; but I must not explain; my departure is necessary for your safety:
I will take the whole upon myself, and you shall be saved."
"I really cannot understand you, my dear friend; but it appears to me,
as if you were going to make some great sacrifice for my sake."
"I will not be questioned, Mynheer Krause; only this I say, that I am
resolved that you shall be proved innocent. It is my duty. But we have
no time to lose. Let your gold be ready at sunset: I will have
"But my daughter must not remain here; she will be by herself, at the
mercy of the mob."
"Be satisfied, Mynheer Krause, that is also cared for, your daughter
must leave this house, and be in a safe retreat before the officers come
in to seize you: I have arranged everything."
"Where do you propose sending her?"
"Not to any of your friends' houses, Mynheer Krause, no--no, but I'll
see her in safety before I leave, do not be afraid; it must depend upon
circumstances, but of that hereafter, you have no time to lose."
"God in heaven!" exclaimed Mynheer Krause, unlocking the door, "that I,
the syndic, the most loyal subject!--well, well, you may truly say, 'put
not your trust in princes.'"
"Trust in me, Mynheer Krause," replied Ramsay, taking his hand.
"I do, I will, my good friend, and I will go to prison proudly, and like
an innocent and injured man."
And Mynheer Krause hastened down to his counting-house, to make the
proposed arrangements, Ramsay returning to Wilhelmina, to whom he
imparted what had taken place between him and her father, and which had
the effect of conforming her resolution.
We must now return to the widow Vandersloosh, who has arrived safely,
but melting with the heat of her journey, at the Palace of the Hague.
She immediately informed one of the domestics that she wished to speak
with his Majesty upon important business.
"I cannot take your name into his Majesty, but if you will give it me, I
will speak to Lord Albemarle."
The widow wrote her name down upon a slip of paper; with which the
servant went away, and then the widow sat down upon a bench in the hall,
and cooled herself with her fan.
"Frau Vandersloosh," said Lord Albemarle, on reading the name.
"Let her come up,--why this," continued he, turning to the Duke of
Portland, who was sitting by him, "is the woman who is ordered to be
arrested this night, upon the evidence of Lieutenant Vanslyperken; we
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