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“And why not, my lad? What do I want of it? I’ve got neither chick nor child, and am not likely to have. I’ve taken a fancy to you, and the money’ll do you more good than me.”

“You are very kind,” said Charlie, gratefully; “but I mustn’t take advantage of your generosity.”

“Nonsense, 长沙桑拿洗浴 my lad. I know what it is to be a poor boy, without money or friends, and nowadays money will bring friends. Mayhap it’ll start you in some business, and when you get rich you can pay me; or if, by and by, I take a notion to come to anchor on shore, you’ll give me a corner in your house, where I can smoke my pipe and spin my yarns.”

“That I will, Bill,” said Charlie, seizing the old sailor’s rough hand. “If I have a roof to cover me, it shall cover you too.”

“Thank you, my lad,” said Bill. “I know you would.”

Under Bill Sturdy’s rough exterior there[196] was a kind heart which warmed to our young hero, partly because of his solitary position on board, partly on account of his manliness and attractive qualities. So they became fast friends.

Charlie did not find his duties altogether distasteful. He was a bright, active 长沙桑拿哪里好玩 boy, not without ambition, and resolved to do himself credit in his new position, however it may have been forced upon him. For this reason it was that the captain and the mate, although they watched him with lynx eyes, hoping that he would afford them some pretext for showing their rancorous feelings towards him, watched ineffectually. By his activity, and his frank and manly disposition, he was fast ingratiating himself with the crew, who were the more disposed to espouse his cause, because they could not fail to notice the injustice with which the officers treated him.

But trouble was brewing for Charlie, and soon the storm broke forth.

The scuffle between Bill Sturdy and Antonio, of which Charlie was the occasion, will not have been forgotten. Antonio had before[197] hated Bill on account of his superiority in strength, 长沙桑拿价格多少钱 which deprived him of his former champion’s life. This feeling was increased by the issue of the contest which had resulted in his humiliation and defeat, and his anger was also stirred up against Charlie, who had been the occasion of it. Yet he did not dare to venture upon abuse, because it was generally understood that Bill Sturdy had constituted himself Charlie’s especial friend and protector.

But there were other ways of compassing his end. Antonio was subtile. He felt that his revenge must be a more secret one, and he desired that it should involve both Bill Sturdy and his protégé. If he could only involve Charlie in some offence which would draw upon him the active displeasure of the captain, and subject him to public punishment, he felt sure that Bill Sturdy would not stand

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tamely by and see it inflicted, while any 长沙桑拿全套 interference would be insubordination, and get his rival into serious trouble.

After reflection Antonio decided to implicate Charlie in a charge of theft. It happened[198] that the captain had a valuable gold ring, set with diamonds, which, for reasons unnecessary to state, he prized even beyond its pecuniary value. Captain Brace, however, was not a careful man. He would sometimes take off his ring, and lay it down on the cabin table. On one occasion Antonio, while upon deck, observed the captain pass, and ascertained by a swift glance that the ring was not upon his finger. He watched his opportunity, and slipping down into the cabin, found, as he anticipated, the ring upon the table. It was the work of a moment to snatch and conceal it in his pocket.

He returned to the work in which

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he had been engaged, and resumed it, 长沙桑拿都有什么服务 supposing he had not been observed.

In this he was mistaken.

Bill Sturdy had had his eye upon him from the time of his difficulty with him. He could see Antonio’s craftiness in his face, and the apparent affability and conciliatory manner of the latter afterwards had by no means deceived him.

“Look out for squalls,” thought he. “He’s[199] too fair seeming to be trusted. I’ve no doubt 长沙桑拿最好场子推荐 he’s hatching up something or other. I’ll keep a sharp lookout for him.”

When Antonio made his stealthy visit to the cabin, as above described, the vigilant eye of Bill Sturdy was upon him and his movements.

In a moment he reappeared. Bill saw it all out of the corner of his eye, though he appeared to be looking in just the opposite direction.

“What’s the fellow up to?” he thought. “Some mischief, I reckon. What business has he in the cabin? I must 长沙桑拿会所推荐 watch him.”

Of course, Antonio’s object will be understood. He meant to place the ring in Charlie’s chest, and when the loss should be discovered by the captain, he would suggest that a general search should be instituted, the result of which must involve our young hero.

Charlie was, of course, quite unconscious of the machinations which were being formed against him, and even 长沙桑拿服务 Bill was not yet quite certain for what purpose Antonio had made his visit to the cabin.

[200]

Antonio felt the necessity of doing quickly what he had in contemplation.

Going below, he made his way to the chest belonging to our hero, and, lifting the cover, for it was unlocked, let the ring drop into one corner.

Bill Sturdy saw his second disappearance from the deck. He could not ascertain precisely what he was doing, without following him,—a thing which he did not wish to do, since it would arouse Antonio’s suspicions, and place him on his guard.

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