a REWARD of FIFTY POUNDS to any Person who shall furnish such INFORMATION as shall lead to the APPREHENSION of the said ELZEVIR BLOCK, and a REWARD of TWENTY POUNDS to any Person who shall furnish such INFORMATION as shall lead to the APPREHENSION of the said JOHN TRENCHARD. Such INFORMATION to be given to ME, or to the GOVERNOUR of HIS MAJESTY's GAOL in Dorchester.


"There - that's the bill," he said; "and a vastly fine piece it is, and yet I wish that 'twas played with other actors. Now, in Moonfleet there is none that know your hiding-place, and not a man, nor woman either, that would tell if they knew it ten times over. But fifty pounds for Elzevir, and twenty pounds for an empty pumpkin-top like thine, is a fair round sum, and there are vagabonds about this countryside scurvy enough to try to earn it. And some of these have set the Excise-men on my track, with tales of how it is I that know where you lie hid, and bring you meat and drink. So it is that I cannot stir abroad now, no, not even to the church o' Sundays, without having some rogue lurking at my heels to watch my movements. And that is why I chose such a night to come hither, knowing these knaves like dry skins, but never thinking that the wind would blow like this. I am come to tell Block that 'tis not safe for me to be so much in Purbeck, and that I dare no longer bring food or what not, or these man-hounds will scent you out. Your leg is sound again, and 'tis best to be flitting while you may, and there's the Éperon d'Or, and Chauvelais to give you welcome on the other side."

I told him how Elzevir was gone this very night to Poole to settle with the Bonaventure, when she should come to take us off; and at that Ratsey seemed pleased. There were many things I wished to learn of him, and especially how Grace did, but felt a shyness, and durst not ask him. And he said no more for a minute, seeming low-hearted and crouching over the fire. So we sat huddled in the corner by the glowing logs, the red light flickering on the cave roof and showing the lines on Ratsey's face; while the steam rose from his drying clothes. The gale blew as fiercely as ever, but the tide had fallen, and there was not so much spray coming into the cave. Then Ratsey spoke again--

"My heart is very heavy, John, tonight, to think how all the good old times are gone, and how that Master Block can never again go back to Moonfleet. It was as fine a lander's crew as ever stood together, not even excepting Captain Jordan's, and now must all be broken up; for this mess of Maskew's has made the place too hot to hold us, and 'twill be many a long day before another ago's run on Moonfleet Beach. But how to get the liquor out of Mohune's vault I know not; and that reminds me, I have something in my pouches for Elzevir an' thee"; and with that he drew forth either lapel a great wicker-bound flask. He put one to his lips, tilting it and drinking long and deep, and then passed it to me, with a sigh of satisfaction. "Ah, that has the right smack. Here, take it, child, and warm thy heart; 'tis the true milk of Ararat, and the last thou'lt taste this side the Channel."

Then I drank too, but lightly, for the good liquor was no stranger to me, though it was only so few months ago that I had tasted it for the first time in the Why Not? and in a minute it tingled in my fingertips. Soon a grateful sense of warmth and comfort stole over me, and our state seemed not so desperate, nor even the night so wild. Ratsey, too, wore a more cheerful air, and the lines in his face were not so deeply marked; the golden, sparkling influence of the flask had loosed his tongue, and he was talking now of what I most wanted to hear.

"Yes, yes, it is a sad break-up, and what will happen to the old Why Not? I cannot tell. None have passed the threshold since you left, only the Duchy men came and sealed the doors, making it felony to force them. And even these lawyer chaps know not where the right stands, for Maskew never paid a rent and died before he took possession; and Master Block's term is long expired, and now he is in hiding and an outlaw,

"But I am sorriest for Maskew's girl, who grows thin and pale as any lily. For when the soldiers brought the body back, the men stood at their doors and cursed the clay, and some of the fishwives spat at it; and old Mother Veitch, who kept house for him, swore he had never paid her a penny of wages, and that

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