to shed tears. "Your blood be on your own head," he squeaked at last, and rushed out. It is a curious question how far Cornelius was sincere in that performance. Jim confessed to me that he did not sleep a wink after the fellow had gone. He lay on his back on a thin mat spread over the bamboo flooring, trying idly to make out the bare rafters, and listening to the rustlings in the torn thatch. A star suddenly twinkled through a hole in the roof. His brain was in a whirl; but, nevertheless, it was on that very night that he matured his plan for overcoming Sherif Ali. It had been the thought of all the moments he could spare from the hopeless investigation into Stein's affairs, but the notion--he says--came to him then all at once. He could see, as it were, the guns mounted on the top of the hill. He got very hot and excited lying there; sleep was out of the question more than ever. He jumped up, and went out barefooted on the veranda. Walking silently, he came upon the girl, motionless against the wall, as if on the watch. In his then state of mind it did not surprise him to see her up, nor yet to hear her ask in an anxious whisper where Cornelius could be. He simply said he did not know. She moaned a little, and peered into the campong. Everything was very quiet. He was possessed by his new idea, and so full of it that he could not help telling the girl all about it at once. She listened, clapped her hands lightly, whispered softly her admiration, but was evidently on the alert all the time. It seems he had been used to make a confidant of her all along--and that she on her part could and did give him a lot of useful hints as to Patusan affairs there is no doubt. He assured me more than once that he had never found himself the worse for her advice. At any rate, he was proceeding to explain his plan fully to her there and then, when she pressed his arm once, and vanished from his side. Then Cornelius appeared from somewhere, and, perceiving Jim, ducked sideways, as though he had been shot at, and afterwards stood very still in the dusk. At last he came forward prudently, like a suspicious cat. "There were some fishermen there-- with fish," he said in a shaky voice. "To sell fish--you understand." . . . It must have been then two o'clock in the morning--a likely time for anybody to hawk fish about!

`Jim, however, let the statement pass, and did not give it a single thought. Others matters occupied his mind, and besides he had neither seen nor heard anything. He contented himself by saying, "Oh!" absently, got a drink of water out of a pitcher standing there, and leaving Cornelius a prey to some inexplicable emotion--that made him embrace with both arms the worm-eaten rail of the veranda as if his legs had failed--went in again and lay down on his mat to think. By and by he heard stealthy footsteps. They stopped. A voice whispered tremulously through the wall, "Are you asleep?" "No! What is it?" he answered, briskly, and there was an abrupt movement outside, and then all was still, as if the whisperer had been startled. Extremely annoyed at this, Jim came out impetuously, and Cornelius with a faint shriek fled along the veranda as far as the steps, where he hung on to the broken banister. Very puzzled, Jim called out to him from the distance to know what the devil he meant. "Have you given your consideration to what I spoke to you about?" asked Cornelius, pronouncing the words with difficulty, like a man in the cold fit of a fever. "No!" shouted Jim in a passion. "I did not, and I don't intend to. I am going to live here, in Patusan." "You shall d-d-die h-h-here," answered Cornelius, still shaking violently, and in a sort of expiring voice. The whole performance was so absurd and provoking that Jim didn't know whether he ought to be amused or angry. "Not till I have seen you tucked away, you bet," he called out, exasperated yet ready to laugh. Half seriously (being excited with his own thoughts, you know) he went on shouting, "Nothing can touch me! You can do your damnedest." Somehow the shadowy Cornelius far off there seemed to be the hateful embodiment of all the annoyances and difficulties he had found in his path. He let himself go--his nerves had been overwrought for days--and called him many pretty names,--swindler, liar, sorry rascal: in fact, carried on in an extraordinary way. He admits he passed all bounds, that he was quite beside himself--defied all Patusan to scare him away--declared he would make them all dance to his own tune yet, and so on, in a menacing, boasting strain. Perfectly bombastic and ridiculous, he said. His ears burned at the bare recollection. Must have been off his chump in some way. . . . The girl, who was sitting with us, nodded her little head at me quickly, frowned faintly, and said, "I heard him," with childlike solemnity. He laughed and blushed. What stopped him at last, he said, was the silence, the complete deathlike silence, of the indistinct figure far over there, that seemed to hang collapsed, doubled over the rail in a weird immobility. He came to his senses, and ceasing suddenly, wondered greatly at himself. He watched for a while. Not a stir, not a sound. "Exactly as if the chap had died while I had been making all that noise," he said. He was so ashamed of himself that he went indoors in

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