Chapter 7


The Aurora continued three weeks at Palermo, during which the most active search had been made for the remainder of the galley-slaves, and some few had been captured, but still Don Silvio, and a considerable number, were at large; and it was said that they had retired to the fastnesses in the mountains. Our hero was constantly on shore at Don Rebiera’s house, and, after what had passed, he was now looked upon as soon to become a member of the family. The difference of religion was overlooked by Don Rebiera and the relations — by all but the confessor, Father Thomaso, who now began to agitate and fulminate into the ears of the Donna Rebiera all the pains and penalties attending heretical connection, such as excommunication and utter damnation. The effects of his remonstrances were soon visible, and Jack found that there was constraint on the part of the old lady, tears on the part of Agnes, and all father confessors heartily wished at the devil ten times a day, on the part of Don Philip and his brother. At last he wormed the truth out of Agnes, who told her tale, and wept bitterly.

“Ned, I don’t much like the appearance of things,” observed Jack; “I must get rid of that Father Thomaso.”

“You’ll find that rather difficult,” observed Gascoigne; “besides, if you were rid of him, you would have his place filled up with another.”

“He has frightened that poor old woman into the dismals, and she has the pains of purgatory on her already. I shall go and talk to Mesty.”

“How can Mesty help you?”

“I don’t know, but you can’t; so, for want of better advice, I’ll try the Ashantee.”

Our hero went to Mesty, and laid the difficult affair open to him.

“I see,” said Mesty, showing his filed teeth, “you want him skull.”

“No, I don’t Mesty; but I want him out of the way.”

“How that possible, Massa Easy?— ’ship sail day after to-morrow. Now ’pose I ab time, I soon manage all dat. Stop a little.”

“Confound it! but there’s no stopping,” replied Jack.

“Suppose, Massa Easy, you get leave go on shore— not come off again.”

“That will be deserting, Mesty.”

“By holy poker, I ab it— you go on shore and break your leg.”

“Break my leg!— break my leave, you mean?”

“No, Massa Easy— you break your leg— den captain leave you shore, and leave me to take care of you.”

“But why should I break my leg, and how am I to break my leg?”

“Only pretend break leg, Massa Easy. Go talk Massa Don Philip, he manage all dat.— Suppose man break his leg in seven pieces, it is not possible to take him board.”

“Seven pieces, Mesty! that’s rather too many. However, I’ll think of this.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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