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atween our teeth, who'll be the wiser - eh?"

"Awh, that's all very fine," returned Joan, far from mollified, "but
there's a somebody hasn't a-kept their tongues silent; and who it can
be beats me to tell. Did Jonathan knaw for certain 'bout the landin'?
or was it only guess-work with un?"

"I ain't sure; but Jonathan's safe enough," said Jerrem, "and so's the
rest too. 'Twarn't through no blabbin', take my word for that: 'twas a
reg'lar right-down set scheme from beginnin' to end, and that's why I
should ha' liked to ha' give 'em a payin'-out that they wouldn't ha'
forgot in a hurry. I'd ha' scored their reckonin' for 'em, I can tell
*'eel"

"Awh! iss, I dare say," said Joan with scornful contempt: "you allays
think you knaws better than they you'm bound to listen to.
Howsomedever, when all's said and done, I shall finish with the same I
began with - that you'd no right to send that letter."

"Well, you've told me that afore," said Jerrem sullenly.

"Iss, and now I tells 'ee behind," retorted Joan, "and to front and to
back, and round all the sides - so there!"

"Oh, all right!" said Jerrem: "have your talk out: it don't matter to
me;" and he threw himself down on the settle with apparent unconcern,
taking from his breast-pocket a letter which he carefully
unfolded. - "Did you know that I'd got a letter gived me to Guernsey,
Eve," he said - "one they'd ha' kept waitin' there for months for me?"

Eve looked up, and, to her vexation, saw Jerrem reading the letter
which on her first arrival she had written: the back of it was turned
toward her, so as to ostentatiously display the two splotches of red
sealing-wax.

"Why, you doan't mane to say you've a-got _he?_" exclaimed Joan, her
anger completely giving way to her amazement. "Well, I never! after all
this long whiles, and us a-tryin' to stop un, too! - Eve, do 'ee see
he's got the letter you writ, kisses and all?"

"Joan!" exclaimed Eve in a tone of mingled reproof and annoyance, while
Jerrem made a feint of pressing the impressions to his lips, casting
the while a look in Eve's direction, which Joan intercepting, she said,
"Awh! iss I would, seeing they'm so much mine as Eve's, and you doan't
know t'other from which."

"That's all you can tell," said Jerrem.

"Iss, and all you can tell, too," replied Joan; adding, as the frown on
his face betokened rising anger, "There, my dear, you'd best step
inside wi' me and get a drop more o' your mornin's physic, I reckon."

"Physic?" growled Jerrem. "I don't want no physic - leastwise, no more
than I've had from you already."

"Glad to hear it," said Joan. "When you change your mind - which, depend
on it, 'ull be afore long - you'll find me close to hand. - I must make
up a few somethin's for this evenin'," she said, addressing Eve, "in
case any of 'em drops in. Adam's gone off," she added, "I don't know
where, nor he neither till his work's done."

"Might just as well have saved hisself the trouble," growled Jerrem.

"No, now, he mightn't," replied Joan. "There's spurrits enough to wan
place and t'other to float a Injyman in, and the sooner 'tis got the
rids of the better, for 'twill be more by luck than good management if
all they kegs is got away unseen."

"Oh, of course Adam's perfect," sneered Jerrem. Then, catching sight of
Eve's face as he watched Joan go into the kitchen, he added with a
desponding sigh, "I only wish I was; but the world's made for some: I
s'pose the more they have the more they get."

Eve did not answer: perhaps she had not heard, as she was just now
engaged in shifting her position so as to escape the dazzling rays of
the sun, which came pouring down on her head. The movement seemed to
awaken her to a sense of the day's unusual brightness, and, getting up,
she went to the window and looked out. "Isn't it like summer?" she
said, speaking more to herself than to Jerrem. "I really must say I
should like to have gone somewhere for a walk."

The words, simple in themselves, flung in their tone a whole volume of
reproach at Adam, for to Eve's exacting mind there could be no
necessity urgent enough to take Adam away without ever seeing her or
leaving a message for her.

"Well, come out with me," said Jerrem: "there's nothin' I should like
better than a bit of a stroll. I'd got it in my head before you spoke."

Eve hesitated.

"P'r'aps you'm thinkin' Adam 'ud blame 'ee for it?"

"Oh dear, no, I'm not: I'm not quite such a slave to Adam's opinion as
that. Besides," she added, feeling she was speaking, with undue
asperity, "surely everybody may go for a walk without being blamed by
anybody for it: at all events, I mean to go."

"That's right," said Jerrem. - "Here, I say, Joan, me and Eve's goin'
out for a little."

"Goin' out? Where to?" said Joan, coming forward toward the door, to
which he had advanced.

"Oh, round about for a bit - by Chapel Rock and out that ways."

"Well, if you goes with her, mind you comes back with her. D'ee hear,
now? - Don't 'ee trust un out o' yer sight, Eve, my dear - not further
than you can see un, nor so far if you can help it."

"You mind yer own business," said Jerrem.

"If you was to do that you'd stay at home, then," said Joan, dropping
her voice; "but that's you all over, tryin' to put your finger into
somebody's else's pie. - I doubt whether 'twill over-please Adam
either," she added, coming back from watching them down the street;
"but, there! if he and Eve's to sail in one boat, the sooner he learns
'twon't always be his turn to handle the tiller the better."

* * * * *

It was getting on for three o'clock when Adam, having completed all the
business he could accomplish on that day, was returning home. He had
been to the few gentlemen's houses near, had visited most of the large
farms around, and had found a good many customers ready to relieve him
of a considerable portion of the spirit which, by reason of their
living so near at hand, would thus evade much of the danger attendant
on a more distant transfer.

Every one had heard of the recent attack on the Lottery, and much
sympathy was expressed and many congratulations were tendered on
account of their happy escape.

Adam was a general favorite, looked up to and respected as an honest,
straight-forward fellow; and so little condemnation was felt against
the trade carried on that the very magistrate consented to take a
portion of the goods, and saw no breach of his office in the admonition
he gave to keep a sharp lookout against these new-comers, who seemed
somewhat over-inclined to show their teeth.

Adam spoke freely of the anxiety he felt as to the result of the
encounter, but very few seemed to share it. Most of them considered
that, having escaped, with the exception of strengthened vigilance no
further notice would be taken, so that his mind was considerably
relieved about the matter, and his heart felt lighter and his pace more
brisk in returning than when in the morning he had set out on his
errand.

His last visit had been to Lizzen, and thence, instead of going back by
the road, he struck across to the cliff by a narrow path known to him,
and which would save him some considerable distance.

The day was perfect - the sky cloudless, the sea tranquil: the young
verdure of the crag-crowned cliffs lay bathed in soft sunshine. For a
moment Adam paused, struck by the air of quiet calm which overspread
everything around. Not a breath of wind seemed abroad, not a sail in
sight, not a sound to be heard. A few scattered sheep were lazily
feeding near; below them a man was tilling a fresh-cleared patch of
ground; far away beyond two figures were standing side by side.

Involuntarily, Adam's eyes rested on these two, and while he gazed upon
them there sprang up into his heart the wish that Eve was here. He
wanted her - wanted to remind her of the promise she had given him
before they parted, the promise that on his return she would no longer
delay, but tell him the day on which he might claim her for his wife. A
minute more, and with all speed he was making a straight cut across the
*cliff-side. Disregarding the path, he scrambled over the projections
of rock and trampled down the furze, with only one thought in his
mind - how soon he could reach home.

"Where's Eve, Joan?" he asked as, having looked through two of the
rooms, he came, still in breathless haste, into the outer kitchen,
where Joan was now busily engaged in baking her cakes.

"Ain't her outside nowheres?" said Joan, wiping her face with her apron
to conceal its expression.

"No, I can't see her."

"Awh, then, I reckon they'm not come in yet;" and by this time she had
recovered herself sufficiently to turn round and answer with
indifference.

"Who's they?" said Adam quickly.

"Why, her went out for a bit of a stroll with Jerrem. They - "

But Adam interrupted her. "Jerrem?" he exclaimed. "Why should she go
out with Jerrem?"

"Awh, he's right enough now," said Joan. "He's so sober as a judge, or
I wouldn't ha' suffered 'en anighst her. Eve thought she should like a
bit of a walk, and he offered to go with her; and I was very glad of it
too, for Tabithy wanted to sandy the floors, so their room was better
for we than their company."

"'Tis very strange," said Adam, "that Eve can't see how she puts me out
by goin' off any way like this with Jerrem. I won't have it," he added,
with rising anger, "and if she's to be my wife she sha'n't do it,
either; so she'd best choose between us before things go too far."

"Awh, don't 'ee take it like that," said Joan soothingly. "'Twasn't
done with no manin' in it. Her hadn't any more thought o' vexin' 'ee
than a babby; nor I neither, so far as that goes, or I should ha' put a
stopper on it, you may be sure. Why, go and meet 'em. They'm only out
by Chapel Rock: they left word where they was goin' a-purpose."

A little mollified by this, Adam said, "I don't tell Eve everything,
but Jerrem and I haven't pulled together for a long time, and the more
we see o' one another the worse it is, and the less I want him to have
anything to say to Eve. He's always carryin' on some game or 'nother.
When we were at Guernsey he made a reg'lar set-out of it 'bout some
letter that came there to him. Well, who could that have been from?
Nobody we know anything about, or he'd have said so. Besides, who
should want to write to him, or what business had he to go blabbin'
about which place we were bound for? I haven't seen all the soundings
o' that affair clear yet, but I mean to. I ain't goin' to be 'jammed in
a clench like Jackson' for Jerrem nor nobody else."

Joan made no answer. She seemed to be engaged in turning her crock
round, and while bending down she said, "Well, I should go after 'em if
I was you. They'm sure not to be very far off, and I'll get tea ready
while you'm gone."

Adam moved away. Somewhat reluctant to go, he lingered about the rooms
for some time, making up his mind what he should do. He could not help
being haunted by an idea that the two people he had seen standing were
Eve and Jerrem. It was a suspicion which angered him beyond measure,
and after once letting it come before him it rankled so sorely that he
determined to satisfy himself, and therefore started off down the
street, past the quay and up by the steps.

"Here, where be goin' to?" called out a voice behind him.

Without stopping Adam turned his head. "Oh, Poll, is that you?" he
said.

"Iss."

"Have ye seen Eve pass this way? I think she'd got Jerrem with her."

"S'pose if I have?" said Poll, with whom Adam was no favorite: "they
doesn't want you. You stay where you be now. I hates to see anybody
a-spilin' sport like that."

With no very pleasant remark on the old woman Adam turned to go on.

"Awh, you may rin," she cried, "but you woan't catch up they. They was
bound for Nolan Point, and they's past there long afore now."

Then the two he had seen were they! An indescribable feeling of
jealousy stung Adam, and, giving way to his temper in a volley of oaths
against old Poll, he turned back, repassed her and went toward home,
while she stood enjoying his discomfiture, laughing heartily at it as
she called out, "I hears 'ee. Swear away! I don't mind yer cusses, not
I. Better hear they than be deef."




CHAPTER XXIX.


"Joan, you needn't expect me till you see me" - Joan turned quickly
round to see Adam at the door, looking angry and determined - "and you
can tell Eve from me that as it seems all one to her whatever companion
she has, I don't see any need for forcing myself where I am told I
should only be one in the way."

"Adam - " But the door was already slammed, and Joan again left in
possession of the kitchen. - "Now, there 'tis," she said in a tone of
vexation, "just as I thought: a reg'lar piece o' work made all out o'
nothin'. Drabbit the maid! If her's got the man her wants, why can't
her study un a bit? But somehow there's bin a crooked stick lyin' in
her path all day to-day: her's nipped about somethin', I'm positive
sure o' that; and they all just come home too, and everythin', and now
to be at daggers - drawn with one 'nother! 'Tis terrible, 'tis."

Joan's reflections, interrupted by the necessary attention which her
cakes and pasties made upon her, lasted over some considerable time,
and they had not yet come to an end when two of the principal objects
of them presented themselves before her. "Why, wherever have 'ee bin
to?" she said peevishly. "Whatever made 'ee stay away like this
for - actin' so foolish, when you knaws, both of 'ee, what a poor temper
Adam's got if anythin' goes contrary with un?"

Jerrem shrugged his shoulders, while Eve, at once assuming an injured
air for such an unmerited attack, said, "Really, Joan, I don't know
what you mean. Old Poll Potter has just been telling us that Adam came
flying and fuming up her way, wanting to know if she'd seen us, and
then, when she said where we'd gone to, he used the most dreadful
language to her - I'm sure I don't know for what reason. He chose to go
out without me this morning."

"But that was 'bout business," said Joan.

"Oh, business!" repeated Eve. "Business is a very convenient word when
you don't want to tell a person what your real errand is. Not that I
want to pry into Adam's secrets - far from it. He's quite welcome to
keep what he likes from me, only I'd rather he wouldn't tell me half
things. I like to know all or none."

Joan looked mystified, and Jerrem, seeing she did not know what to say,
came to the rescue. "I'm sure I'm very vexed if I've been the cause of
anything o' this, Eve," he said humbly.

"You needn't be at all vexed: it's nothing at all to do with you. You
asked me to go, and I said yes: if I hadn't wanted to go I should have
said no. Any one would think I'd committed a crime, instead of taking a
simple walk, with no other fault than not happening to return home at
the very same minute that it suited Adam to come back at."

"But how is it he's a seed you if you haven't a seed he?" said Joan,
fairly puzzled by this game of cross-purposes. "He came home all right
'nuf, and then went off to see whereabouts he could find 'ee to; and
'bout quarter'n hour after back he comes in a reg'lar pelt, and says,
'You tell Eve,' he says, 'that I'm not goin' to foace myself where I'm
told I sha'n't be wanted.' Awh, my dear, he'd seed 'ee somewheres," she
continued in answer to Eve's shrug of bewilderment: "I could tell that
so soon as iver I'd clapped eyes on un."

"And where's he off to now?" said Eve, determined to have an immediate
settlement of her wrongs.

"I can't tell: he just flung they words at me and was gone."

Eve said no more, but with the apparent intention of taking off her hat
went up stairs, while Joan, bidding Jerrem go and see if Uncle Zebedee
was roused up yet, returned to her previous occupation of preparing the
tea. When it was ready she called out, "Come 'long, Eve;" but no answer
was returned. "Tay's ready, my dear." Still no reply. - "She can't ha'
gone out agen?" thought Joan, mounting the stairs to ascertain the
cause of the silence, which was soon explained by the sight of Eve
flung down on the bed, with her head buried in the pillow. - "Now,
whatever be doin' this for?" exclaimed Joan, bending down and
discovering that Eve was sobbing as if her heart would break. "Awh,
doan't cry now, there's a dear: 't 'ull all come straight agen. Why,
now, you'll see Adam 'ull be back in no time. 'Twas only through bein'
baulked when he'd a come back o' purpose to take 'ee out."

"How was I to know that?" sobbed Eve.

"No, o' course you didn't, and that's what I told un. But, lors! 'tis
in the nature o' men to be jealous o' one 'nother, and with Adam more
partickler o' Jerrem; so for the future you must humor un a bit, 'cos
there's things atwixt they two you doan't know nothin' of, and so can't
allays tell when the shoe's pinchin' most."

"I often think whether Adam and me will be happy together," said Eve,
sitting up and drying her eyes. "I'm willing to give in, but I won't be
trampled upon."

"And he won't want to trample 'pon 'ee, neither. Only you study un a
bit, and you'll soon learn the measure o' Adam's foot. Why, 'tis only
to see un lookin' at 'ee to tell how he loves 'ee;" and Joan
successfully kept down a rising sigh as she added, "Lors! he wouldn't
let a fly pitch 'pon 'ee if he could help it."

"If he'd seen us before he came in first he'd have surely told you?"
said Eve.

"Awh, he hadn't seen 'ee then," said Joan, "'cos, though he was a bit
vexed, he wasn't in no temper. 'Twas after he went out the second time
that he must have cast eyes on 'ee some way. Jerrem wasn't up to none
of his nonsense, was he?" she asked. '"Cos I knaws what Jerrem is. He
don't think no more o' givin' 'ee a kiss or that than he does o'
noddin' his head or crookin' his elbaw; and if Adam caught un at that,
it 'ud be enough for he."

Eve shook her head. "Jerrem never takes none of those liberties with
me," she said: "he knows I won't allow him to. The whole of the time we
did nothing but talk and walk along till we came to a nice place, and
then we stayed for a little while looking at the view together, and
after that came back."

"'Tis more than I can make out, then," said Joan, "'cos, though I
wondered when you set off whether Adam would 'zactly relish your bein'
with Jerrem, I never thought 'twould put un out like this."

"It makes me feel so miserable!" said Eve, trying to keep back her
tears; "for oh, Joan" - and she threw her arms round Joan's neck - "I do
love him very dearly!"

"Iss, my dear, I knaws you do," returned Joan soothingly, "and he loves
you too."

"Then why can't we always feel the same, Joan, and be comfortable and
kind and pleasant to one another?"

"Oh lors! that 'ud be a reg'lar milk-and-watter set-out o' it. No, so
long as you doan't carry on too far on the wan tack I likes a bit of a
breeze now and then: it freshens 'ee up and puts new life into 'ee. But
here, come along down now, and when Adam comes back seem as if nothin'
had happened, and p'r'aps seein' you make so light of it 'ull make un
forget all about it."

So advised, Eve dried her eyes and smoothed down her ruffled
appearance, and in a short time joined the party below, which now
included Uncle Zebedee, Barnabas Tadd and Zeke Teague, who had brought
word that the Hart had only that morning returned to Fowey, entirely
ignorant of the skirmish which had taken place between the Looe boats
and the Lottery, and that, though it was reported that the man shot had
been shot dead, nothing was known for certain, as it seemed that the
men of Looe station were not over-anxious to have the thing talked
about.

"I should think they wasn't, neither," chuckled Uncle Zebedee.
"Sneakin', cowardly lot! they was game enough whiles they was creepin'
up behind, but, lors! so soon as us shawed our faces, and they seed
they'd got men to dale with, there was another tale to tell, and no
mistake. I much doubt whether or no wan amongst 'em had ever smelt
powder afore our Jerrem here let 'em have a sniff o' his mixin'. 'Tis
my belief - and I ha'n't a got a doubt on the matter, neither - that if
he hadn't let fly when he did they'd ha' drawed off and gone away
boastin' that they'd got the best o' it."

"Well, and more's the pity you didn't let 'em, then," said Joan. "I
would, I knaw. Safe bind's safe find, and you can never tell when
fightin' begins where 'tis goin' to end to."

"It shouldn't ha' ended where it did if I'd had my way," said Jerrem.

"Awh, well! there, never mind," said old Zebedee. "You'll have a chance
agen, never fear, and then we must make 'ee capen. How'd that plaze
'ee, eh?"

Jerrem's face bespoke his satisfaction. "Take care I don't hold 'ee to
yer word," he said, laughing. "I've got witnesses, mind, to prove it:
here's Barnabas here, and Zeke Teague, and they won't say me nay, I'll
wager - will 'ee, lads?"

"Wa-all, bide a bit, bide a bit," said Zebedee, winking in appreciation
of this joke. "There'll be two or three o' the oldsters drap in durin'
the ebenin', and then us 'll have a bit of a jaw together on it, and
weigh sides on the matter."

As Uncle Zebedee anticipated, the evening brought a goodly number of
visitors, who, one after another, came dropping in until the
sitting-room was pretty well filled, and it was as much as Eve and Joan
could manage to see that each one was comfortably seated and provided
for.

There were the captains of the three vessels, with a portion of the
crew of each, several men belonging to the place - all more or less
mixed up with the ventures - and of course the crew of the Lottery, by
no means yet tired of having their story listened to and their
adventure discussed. Adam's absence was felt to be a great relief, and
each one inwardly voted it as a proof that Adam himself saw that he'd
altogether made a missment and gone nigh to damage the whole concern.
Many a jerk of the head or the thumb accompanied a whisper that "he'd a
tooked hisself off," and drew forth the response that "'twas the proper
line to pursoo;" and, feeling they had no fear of interruption, they
resigned themselves to enjoyment and settled down to jollity, in the
very midst of which Adam made his appearance. But the time was passed
when his presence or his absence could in any way affect them, and,
instead of the uncomfortable silence which at an earlier stage might
have fallen upon the party, his entrance was now only the occasion of
hard hits and rough jokes, which Adam, seeing the influence under which
they were made, tried to bear with all the temper he could command.

"Don't 'ee take no notice of 'em," said Joan, bending over him to set
down some fresh glasses. "They ain't worth yer anger, not one among
'em. I've kept Eve out of it so much as I could, and after now there
won't be no need for her to come in agen; so you go outside there.
Her's a waitin' to have a word with 'ee."

"Then wait she may," said Adam: "I'm goin' to stop where I am. - Here,
father," he cried, "pass the liquor this way. Come, push the grog
about. Last come first served, you know."

The heartiness with which this was said caused considerable
astonishment.

"Iss, iss, lad," said old Zebedee, his face glowing under the effects
of hot punch and the efforts of hospitality. "That's well said. Set to
with a will, and you'll catch us up yet."

During the laughter called forth by this challenge, Joan took another
opportunity of speaking. "Why, what be 'bout, Adam?" she said, seeing
how unlike his speech and action were to his usual self. "Doan't 'ee go
and cut off your naws to spite yer face, now. Eve's close by here.
Her's as sorry as anythin', her is: her wouldn't ha' gone out for
twenty pounds if her'd knawed it."

"I wish you'd hold yer tongue," said Adam: "I've told you I'm goin' to
stop here. Be off with you, now!"

But Joan, bent on striving to keep him from an excess to which she saw
exasperation was goading him, made one more effort. "Awh, Adam," she
said, "do 'ee come now. Eve - "

"Eve be - "

But before the word had well escaped his lips Joan's hand was clapped
over his mouth. Too late, for Eve had come up behind them, and as Adam
turned his head to shake Joan off he found himself face to face before
her, and the look of outraged love she fixed upon him made his heart
quail within him. What could he do? what should he say? Nothing now,
for before he could gather up his senses she had passed by him and was
gone.

A sickening feeling came over Adam, and he could barely put his lips to
the glass which, in order to avert attention, he had caught up and


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