Charles Goddard.

The Perils of Pauline online

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"Buried potatoes," snapped Filipo with a sudden reversion to his
unimpaired English.

"Well, at least you understand about tomorrow's breakfast now, don't

"Yes, mem. Boil 'um eggs to death; no peel 'um."

"No, no, no, Filipo - boil them two minutes and a half. Here, take my
watch and go by that. You must be very careful of it, Filipo."

"Yes, mem; boil 'um long time; stick fork in, see when soft."


Pauline caught the watch from him. "You don't boil the watch at all,
Filipo. You boil the eggs and watch the watch. Can you tell time,

"Yes, Mem."

"How long is an hour? Peel potatoes - hour is ver' ver' long. Talk
to ship's lady - whist! - hour is no time," answered Filipo with
upcast hands.

Again she eyed him through her long lashes a little askance. He was
rather subtle, this half-breed cook, for one who could not even boil an

"I will let you have the watch, Filipo," she said gravely, "but you
must give it back to me. It is one of the most precious things I have.
It was given to me by - Filipo, were you ever in love with a girl?"

"Su-u-ure, mem!" replied the cook with sudden enthusiasm. "Love
daughter big American - no love me. Big American daughter start from
Nassau - get buried treasure - not!"

"Filipo, where do you get all your New York slang?"

"Big American daughter, she sling slang-good," said Filipo.

"Why did you fall in love with her?"

"Nice girl - no eat much, no scold cook, no talk about potatoes -
just big fool 'bout buried treasure."

"What do you think love is?"

"Love-huh!" grunted the cook. "I like girl; girl no like me. Chase
all 'round world - no good."

"That watch was given to me by the man I love, Filipo," said Pauline.
"You won't-boil it - or anything, will you?"

As Filipo took the tiny diamond-scarred timepiece from Pauline's hand
there was a sound as of some one choking at the top of the steps.

The cook sprang to the deck, but there was no one in sight. He
returned to Pauline, while Blinky Boyd, gasping more from astonishment
than fear, reeled up to Owen and Hicks on the forward deck.

"She's gone clean crazy," he panted. "She treats that there cook as if
he was a nat'ral human man instid of a sea-rovin' gorilla, worse'n the
one I beat In Afriky."

"No more gorillas for a while, Blinky," commanded Hicks. "What's
happened now?"

"She's gone an' guv him her jooled watch to boil eggs by," said the

"By George, we will have to do something with that fellow," muttered
Hicks to Owen as they walked away.

"Do suthin' to him!" Blinky Boyd was fuming in the wake of Owen and
Hicks on their stroll up deck. "Do everythin' to him; make 'im walk
the old board; draw'n quarter 'im. Didn't he attempt me life an' ain't
he at present engaged in stealin' the fambly jewels?"

"Well, have you got any ideas?" asked Owen.

"The first thing," whispered Blinky, "is to git him under the
in-floo-ence of licker. They never was no cook could stand up agin'
the disgraceful habit o' takin' too much and doin' too little. Get 'im
under the in-floo-ence."

"And then what?"

"Then - well, ain't they a lot o' good blue water floatin' around atop
the fishes? Ain't they some accommodatin' sharks swimmin' atop the

"That's a bit crude - just to throw a man overboard for nothing," said
Owen, willing to arouse Boyd's anger.

"Fer nothin'? Didn't he insult the master o' this ship. Ain't he
tried to starve us to death? Fer wot kind o' nothin', says I." Boyd
smote his caving chest in emphasis of his accusations.

"And he would have the diamond watch on him in case he should be picked
up," suggested Hicks quietly.

"That's so," said Owen. "He would have been swimming to shore with the
stolen watch and drowned."

"But, of course, he would swim to shore, unless - well, it's a case of
making sure beforehand. We could persuade him to go in and try to kill
Blinky here while Blinky's asleep - then rush in and finish him. Even
Pauline was a witness to the attack he made on Blinky this afternoon."

The pirate's glowing countenance suddenly, went white.

"Not this trip," he said fervently. "I ain't goin' to kill no man in a
trap like that. I'm goin' to see it done fair and square in the open
- with plenty o' drink in 'im an' 'is conscience clear. I wouldn't
see no man die with murder in 'is heart fer me."

"I don't like it," said Owen nervously. "I don't like the idea of
doing too much. We've got one big piece of work to do that concerns
her." He nodded in the direction of the cabin. "Dye mean to say we
can't get a poor half-breed cook off this boat without killing him?
Why not discharge him?"

Hicks uttered a grim chuckle. "I must say I never thought of that.
Get a boat manned, will you, Boyd, and we'll put him ashore within half
an hour."

"All hands for'ard," bellowed the pirate's voice. The "all hands" were
Owen, Hicks, the pirate and Pauline.

"Why all hands? Can't you handle the cook yourself?" said Owen.

"Not to put that cook ashore - ye need a navy," said Boyd.

Backed by Owen and Hicks, he moved to the cabin.

"You, cook, there - ye're fired. Get off the boat. Yer kerriage
waits," he cried down at the busy Filipo.

Filipo shuffled almost meekly toward the speaker. He saw the skiff
alongside and Hicks and Owen nearby.

"Grab 'im," ordered the pirate. "Here's the irons." He produced a
pair of rusty handcuffs that had been brought along, among other
ominous-looking junk, to impress Pauline.

But Filipo was not "fired" yet. With a sudden long-distance lunge he
knocked down the pirate, who, thought he was at a safe distance. But
Hicks, who had been well schooled in street-fight tactics, thoughtfully
stuck out a leg and tripped the cook, who fell upon the groaning Boyd.
Boyd, though down, was by no means "out," and held Filipo tight while
Owen and Hicks slipped on the handcuffs.

"Now to the boat with 'im an' dump 'im ashore wherever It looks hottest
an' hungriest."

"Yah," he snarled in the face of the prostrate cook, "ye don't
interfere no more with the capting of this here vessel. I hopes ye - "

But his sentence was cut short, or rather it ended in a shriek of pain
and fright, as the cook, suddenly swinging himself from his shoulders,
landed a terrifically propelled right foot in the pirate's middle.

He was pinned down again the next moment, but Boyd's yell had
penetrated to the cabin.

"What is the matter - who is hurt?" cried Pauline, rushing to the
group on deck.

"We have had to order this fellow put ashore. He has twice attacked
Boyd, and besides he is useless as a cook," explained Owen.

"You will assuredly do nothing of the sort," announced Pauline. "You
will take those horrid iron things right off and set him free."

"But, my dear Miss Marvin, he is a desperate man. It is dangerous."

"What did we come here for but to get into danger?" cried Pauline.
"Besides, Filipo is the most interesting person on the ship. I have
just devoted a chapter to him in my book, and if you think I'm going to
spoil my book because Mr. Boyd gets hurt, or the potatoes aren't done,
you're much mistaken."

Owen obediently knelt and unlocked the clumsy handcuffs.

"You are free, Filipo," said Pauline with the air of a proud princess
releasing a serf.

"No fired?" grunted Filipo. "Too bad. Bum job."

"Now go back to the kitchen, and promise not to strike Mr. Boyd any

"No hit 'um. Boil 'um. Three minutes; stick fork in hum," said the
cook with a cannibal glare at the still writhing pirate.

He shuffled off to his pots and pans. Blinky scrambled to his bunk,
and Pauline retired to elaborate the fascinating character of Filipo in
another chapter of her book of adventure.

She did not realize how late it was when at last she put down her pen
and moved with soft, slippered steps to the door of the cabin.

Over the great vault of the heavens the stars were sprinkled like
silver dust. The boat rolled softly, dreamily on the listless waters.
A cool breeze scented with the fragrance of the spicy land cooled her
brow. She realized that her little stateroom had been very stuffy. It
was beautiful here in the hushed night alone. She moved out on deck.

They had come to anchor for the night off St. Andrew, and the few faint
lights of the town tinged the scene with life.

Pauline was thinking of Harry. It would have been nice if he were here
now, in the moonlight just for this evening. Of course if he were a
regular member of the party, he would spoil the trip by his grumpiness,
and probably prevent them from finding any treasure at all. But Harry
was a good companion - usually, and Pauline was getting a little tired
of the company on the yacht.

The night was so still that even her light footstep could be heard on
the deck. And she was surprised to hear a muffled hail from some
invisible craft astern.

As she moved to the rail - her tall form in the yachting suit standing
out plainly in the moonlight - she saw a small boat scurry away. She
thought she recognized their own small boat - the one the yacht towed
- and she quickly made sure that this was true.

Pauline turned toward the cabin to rouse the others for a real pirate
chase, when she was silenced and stunned by the sight of Filipo, the
cook, staggering out of the galley, with his bearded chin drooping on
his breast, his knees swaying under him, his arms weaving cubist
caricatures in the air and his voice raised in unintelligible song.

He was quickly followed by the Pirate, who, to Pauline's amazement,
actually presented a picture of sobriety in contrast to Filipo.

But on seeing her, Boyd looked frightened.

"They have stolen the skiff," cried Pauline.

"No, Miss," said Boyd; "they was four of 'em come aboard in one boat,
an' we let 'em take ourn ashore to bring a double load o' supplies."

Pauline was grievously disappointed. She turned her wrath upon the
musical and meandering Filipo.

"Filipo!" she demanded. "Go to bed at once."

For answer he reeled toward her.

"Cook boiled - boiled three minute," he said.

Then with a lurch he fell sprawling at her feet.

Boyd had started back to the cabin in haste and excitement. Pauline's
first instinct was to leave the inebriated man, but pity mastered her
and she stooped to lift him.

He sprang to his feet without her aid. His blue eyes looked clearly
into hers. His body towered again to its commanding height as it had
done when he was about to finish the Pirate.

He stooped and spoke rapidly, sharply in her ear. There was no pigeon
chatter. It was straight English.

But as the door of the cabin opened again and Boyd came out, the tall
form sank into itself, the knees began to rock, the arms to weave and,
staggering back up the deck, he disappeared in the cabin.

Pauline stood stupefied. She had been so startled by the sudden
transformation of the man that she had hardly understood his strident

Only one thing she could remember. He had commanded her to go to bed
and bar her door. She obeyed but she could not sleep at first. It
seemed that hours had passed when a sound outside her door brought her
to her feet.

She moved to the door and softly opened it. Across the threshold lay
Filipo, wide awake.

"Go to bed," he said. Again she obeyed and this time she slept.

The next morning everything seemed outwardly as usual, the skiff had
been restored to its place astern. The Pirate was intoxicated; the
cook sober. But there was the threat of trouble in the air, Pauline
felt it in the attitude of all the men, even of Owen and Hicks.

The Pirate showed a strange new tendency to make friends with Filipo.

"Can you steer, cook?" he asked after the latter had announced that
dinner was ready.

"Yes," said Filipo.

"All right, take the wheel and keep her as she's going till we round
that point ahead there."

Filipo took the wheel and the others descended to find the cabin table
set. There was a prodigious amount of fried steak and boiled potatoes
as the main part of the meal. To their dismay they found the steak was
as tough as leather. A wail of sorrow arose when the potatoes proved
to be so hard that Pauline doubted if they had been boiled more than
three minutes.

The "Pirate," whose table manners savored of the forecastle, tried a
biscuit and found it as hard as stone and almost as heavy. In his
anger he hurled it at the side of the cabin and was horrified to see it
go through the boat's side. He did not know that the biscuit happened
to strike a hole that had been temporarily stopped up with putty and
paint. He turned speechless to the others and saw Hicks lift a biscuit
on high about to dash it onto the cabin floor.

With instant presence of mind he seized the arm of Hicks, and in a
hoarse voice shouted:

"Don't do that, you'll sink the ship. Look what mine did."

They all gazed in amazement at the ragged aperture in the side of the
cabin through which the sparkling waters of the Atlantic could be seen
dancing past.

Events moved swiftly that afternoon. Owen, peering in the galley
porthole beheld the disguised cook remove his wig to wash his face and
recognized the curly light hair of Harry. About four o'clock the
launch tied up to the landing at the small village of St. Andrew.
There Owen had opportunity to reveal his discovery of Harry's presence
to the other two conspirators. They were frightened at first but soon
agreed that it was a fine chance to get rid of both at the same time.

The pirate confided to them that he had brought a clock-work bomb along
and had it in his bag. A few minutes' discussion produced a simple

Owen sent the disguised Harry with a bucket, in search of a spring and
Pauline was already hunting strange flowers among the palms and
creepers. This left the conspirators free to place the bomb under the
cabin floor boards, a matter which Owen attended to himself. It was
set to explode two hours later. Pauline and Filipo were then summoned
and told that there were comfortable lodgings and a good meal
obtainable at a village just the other side of the long narrow point of
land. If Pauline and Boyd and Filipo would go around in the launch
Owen and Hicks would climb through the jungle and get there in time to
have a meal already upon the boat's arrival. The two parties separated
and all was quiet for some time. Pauline sat on deck with the pirate
endeavoring to engage him in conversation. But he grew surlier and
surlier in his answers, looking frequently at his watch and often
stopping below for a drink.

After about an hour and three-quarter, Pauline became a little
frightened at his behavior and descended to the cabin. There was the
cook reading a cook book, evidently his own. The moment Pauline was
out of sight the pirate heaved a sigh of relief and abandoned the
wheel. Stepping softly to the stern he pulled in the small boat which
was towing astern, leaped in adroitly and cut it adrift.

"Filipo," said Pauline, "you told us you were a good cook."

"Yes, senorita, I thought I was."

"Have you ever cooked before?"

"No, but I have a cook book which tells you how every one may be a
cook. I thought - "

Filipo, did not finish his sentence. His eyes were roving around the
cabin in search of something and Pauline was looking very hard at him.

"What's that ticking sound?" inquired the cook. He went to the cabin
clock and listened. No, it wasn't that. Pauline could hear it, too,
and it wasn't her tiny watch. Filipo made a search of the cabin and
finally located the sound under the floor. A moment more and he had
laid bare the pirate's bomb. He leaped on deck and took in at a glance
that the pirate had left in the only boat.

In another instant he was below again, tearing off his wig.

"Polly, it's I. There's an infernal machine ticking here ready to blow
us up."

He tried to lift up the bomb, but it was wedged fast.

"Harry, for Heaven sake, what do you mean?"

"I'll tell you in a minute in the water as soon as we have jumped
overboard. Come."

He seized Pauline, carried her up on deck.

"Where's Mr. Boyd?"

"Gone. Take this," answered Harry, putting a life preserver around

"Now, will you jump or shall I throw you overboard? One, two, three."

"I'll jump," said Pauline and with arms around each other they leaped
into the warm ocean. On went the white launch serene and unruffled by
the desertion of its crew. In answer to Pauline's demand for
explanation Harry only answered:


Finally it came.

A belch of flame shot up from the launch driving a column of smoke far
into the sky, where it spread out and formed a majestic ring, which
floated and curled for many moments. A concussion reached them through
the water and another in the air smote their ears.

The after part of the launch rode on the waters for a moment and then
disappeared. Finally a succession of waves tossed them and passed on.

"What does it mean?" gasped the girl.

"Insanity - sheer, downright insanity. That wretch of a 'pirate' was
a crazy man.

"He placed that bomb, intending to kill all of us. And Owen deserves a
sound thrashing for having anything to do with such a murderous

"I think you're rather hard on Owen, Harry," said Pauline. "Of course,
we all know that pirates aren't nice persons - but nobody could
foresee that the man was crazy."

"Well, perhaps. But don't talk, we have a mile and a half swim to

They were spared that ordeal by the Silurian liner Caradoc. Arrayed in
borrowed clothes they were notified of a second rescue and came out on
deck in time to behold in the dusk of evening the "pirate." He was
relating to an admiring throng how he had stuck by the burning ship
till it exploded. He had actually been blown into the air and had
fallen by good luck into the little boat.

"It's a lie," said Harry in the old man's cackling voice. The "pirate"
heard the voice of the old man and saw the face and the blond hair of

It was too much for his evil and murderous mind to bear. With a shriek
he hurled himself over the rail into the sea. The Caradoc stopped and
searched, but no trace of the "pirate" could be found.



Two weeks later Pauline and Harry were sitting in the library. Through
the half-closed blinds a soft breeze bore to them the fragrance of
carnations and roses.

For the first few days after their return Pauline was so thankful they
had not lost their lives that she was reconciled to not having found
the treasure. But only for the first few days. She was already
growing restless.

"You're wasting time, Harry," she said impatiently. "I'd rather face
anything than be bored to death."

"Polly, it's got to stop; it isn't safe, it isn't sensible, it isn't
even fun any more. Won't you drop the whole freakish thing and marry

Harry was holding Pauline by the hand as she drew her dainty way out of
the library. In laughing rebellion she looked over her shoulder and
jeered at him.

"Oh, I thought it was I who was going to be afraid," she said.

"Well, if you aren't, who is going to be?"

"You," she tittered.

He drew her back with a gentle but firm grasp.

"Honestly, Polly, aren't you satisfied yet? Adventure is all right for
breakfast or for luncheon once a month, but as a regular unremitting
diet it gets on my nerves."

"Still thinking of your own perils?" she volleyed.

Harry's fine keen face took on a look of earnest appeal. He let go her
hand, but as she started to run up the stairs he held her with his

"You dear, silly boy," she cried, returning a step and clasping him in
an impetuous embrace. "You are the nicest brother in all the world -
sometimes - but just now I think that adventure is nicer than brothers
- or husbands. I'm having the time of my life, Harry boy, and I'm
going on and on, and on with it until I've seen all the wild and wicked
people and places in the world."

Harry caught her hand and smiled down at her in surrender.

A ring at the door bell and the entrance of the maid caused Pauline to
flutter up the stairs. They were preparing to attend the Courtelyou's
reception that evening to the great Baskinelli, whose musical
achievements had been equaled only by his social successes during this,
his first New York season.

"Anyway," she twinkled from the top of the stairs, "you needn't be
frightened for tonight. Nothing so meek and mild as a pianist can hurt

Harry tossed up his hands in mimic despair and started back to the

"Yes, I know she is always at home to you, Miss Hamlin," the maid was
saying at the door.

"What a privileged person I am," laughed Lucille Hamlin.

She was Pauline's chum-in-chief, a dark, still tempered girl, in
perfect contrast to the adventurous Polly. She greeted Harry with the
easy grace of old acquaintanceship.

"Still nursing the precious broken heart?" she queried.

"For the love of Michael, me and humanity," he pleaded, "can't you do
something? She won't listen to me. I'm honestly, deucedly worried,

"You know very well that nobody could ever do anything with Polly. She
always had to have her own way - and that's why you love her, though
you don't know it, Harry. Shall I run upstairs, Margaret?" she added,
turning to the maid.

"No, you're going to stay here," commanded Harry, seizing her hands.
"You've got to do something with Pauline. You're the only one who
can. She wants a new adventure every day, and a more dangerous one
every time. Talk to her, won't you? Tell her it isn't right for her
to risk her life when her life is so precious to so many people. No,
wait a minute; sit down here. I'm not half through yet."

He drew her, under laughing protest, to a seat beside him on the
stairs. She realized suddenly how serious he was. She let her hand
rest comradely in his pleading grasp.

"Why, Harry, yes, if it is really dangerous, you know, I'll do anything
I can," she said gravely.

They did not see the cold gray face of Raymond Owen appear at the top
of the stairs. The face vanished as quickly as it had appeared.

In her boudoir Polly was laying out her finery of the evening. There
came a soft rap at the door.

"Come in," she called, and looked up brightly in Owen's furtive eyes as
he opened the door and motioned to her.

"Don't say anything, please, Miss Marvin," he whispered, "just come
with me for a moment."

Bewildered by his manner, she followed to the top of the stairs. He
directed her gaze to the two young people in earnest conversation

It was a picture that might well have startled a less impetuous heart
than Pauline's. Harry's hand still clasped Lucille's, and he was
leaning toward her in the eagerness of his appeal.

"You, will? You promise? Lucille, you've made me happy," Pauline
heard him say.

Through mist-dimmed eyes, dizzily, she saw the two arise. She saw the
man she loved clasp Lucille's other hand. She saw the girl who had
been her friend and confidante since childhood draw herself away from
him with a lingering withdrawal that could mean - ah, what could it
not mean? Polly fled to her room.

In Owen's subtle secret battle to retain control of the Marvin millions
fate had never so befriended him. None of all the weapons or ruses
that he had used to prevent the faithful attachment of Harry and
Pauline was as potent as this little seed of jealousy.

Pauline rang for her maid.

"Tell Miss Hamlin that I am not at home," she said in a voice that
started haughtily but ended in a sob.

"But, Miss Marvin - " Margaret tried to demur.

"Tell Miss Hamlin that I am not at home," repeated Pauline.

Lucille had just started up the stairs, leaving Harry with a
sympathetic pat on the shoulder.

"Well, even if I caret do anything with that wild woman," she laughed
back at him, "you know Pauline bears a charmed life. Nothing has ever
happened to her yet. Guardian angels surround her - as well as

Harry walked into the library. The agitated Margaret met Lucille on
the stairs.

"Miss Marvin is - Miss Marvin is not at home," the girl said, flushing

Lucille paused, dumfounded.

"But, Margaret, you know I thought - I really thought she was, at
home, Miss Hamlin. I hope you won't be offended with me."

"I insist upon seeing her," cried Lucille. "I don't believe you are
telling me the truth. I'm going right up to her room."

Margaret burst into tears.

Lucille quickly reconsidered. Indignation took the place of

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Online LibraryCharles GoddardThe Perils of Pauline → online text (page 6 of 18)