too, was scored a letter of the alphabet, a plain "Y", and would have passed for nothing more perhaps to any not born in Moonfleet; but to me it was the cross-pall, or black "Y" of the Mohunes, under whose shadow we were all brought up. So as soon as I saw that, I knew I was near what I sought, and that Colonel John, Mohune had put this sign there a century ago, either by his own hands or by those of a servant; and then I thought of Mr Glennie's story, that the Colonel's conscience was always unquiet, because of a servant whom he had put away, and now I seemed to understand something more of it.

My heart throbbed fiercely, as many another's heart has throbbed when he has come near the fulfilment of a great desire, whether lawful or guilty, and I tried to get at the brick. But though by holding on to the rope with my left hand, I could reach over far enough to touch the brick with my right 'twas as much as I could do, and so I shouted up the well that they must bring me nearer in to the side. They understood what I would be at, and slipped a noose over the well-rope and so drew it in to the side, and made it fast till I should give the word to loose again. Thus I was brought close to the well-wall, and the marked brick near about the level of my face when I stood up in the bucket. There was nothing to show that this brick had been tampered with, nor did it sound hollow when tapped, though when I came to look closely at the joints, it seemed as though there was more cement than usual about the edges. But I never doubted that what we sought was to be found behind it, and so got to work at once, fixing the wooden frame of the candle in the fastening of the chain, and chipping out the mortar setting with the plasterer's hammer.

When they saw above that first I was to be pulled in to the side, and afterwards fell to work on the wall of the well, they guessed, no doubt, how matters were, and I had scarce begun chipping when I heard the turnkey's voice again, sharp and greedy, "What are you doing? have you found nothing?" It chafed me that this grasping fellow should be always shouting to me while Elzevir was content to stay quiet, so I cried back that I had found nothing, and that he should know what I was doing in good time.

Soon I had the mortar out of the joints, and the brick loose enough to prise it forward, by putting the edge of the hammer in the crack. I lifted it clean out and put it in the bucket, to see later on, in case of need, if there was a hollow for anything to be hidden in; but never had occasion to look at it again, for there, behind the brick, was a little hole in the wall, and in the hole what I sought. I had my fingers in the wall too quick for words, and brought out a little parchment bag, for all the world like those dried fish-eggs cast up on the beach that children call shepherds' purses. Now, shepherds' purses are crisp, and crackle to the touch, and sometimes I have known a pebble get inside one and rattle like a pea in a drum; and this little bag that I pulled out was dry too, and crackling, and had something of the size of a small pebble that rattled in the inside of it. Only I knew well that this was no pebble, and set to work to get it out. But though the little bag was parched and dry, 'twas not so easily torn, and at last I struck off the corner of it with the sharp edge of my hammer against the bucket. Then I shook it carefully, and out into my hand there dropped a pure crystal as big as a walnut. I had never in my life seen a diamond, either large or small - yet even if I had not known that Blackbeard had buried a diamond, and if we had not come hither of set purpose to find it, I should not have doubted that what I had in my hand was a diamond, and this of matchless size and brilliance. It was cut into many facets, and though there was little or no light in the well save my candle, there seemed to be in this stone the light of a thousand fires that flashed out, sparkling red and blue and green, as I turned it between my fingers. At first I could think of nothing else, neither how it got there, nor how" I had come to find it, but only of it, the diamond, and that with such a prize Elzevir and I could live happily ever afterwards, and that I should be a rich man and able to go back to Moonfleet. So I crouched down in the bottom of the bucket, being filled entirely with such thoughts, and turned it over and over again, wondering continually more and more to see the fiery light fly out of it. I was, as it were, dazed by its brilliance, and by the possibilities of wealth that it contained, and had, perhaps, a desire to keep it to myself as long as might be; so that I thought nothing of the two who were waiting for me at the well-mouth, till I was suddenly called back by the harsh voice of the turnkey, crying as before--

"What are you doing? have you found nothing?"

  By PanEris using Melati.

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