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XLVI THE DANCE AT GILMER'SHe was somewhat astonished, and also a trifle disappointed, when he learned the exact state of affairs.
Well, after what the Club has done to-day, he said, there is no telling whom they would blackball. But certainly I should have been, at one time, very happy to propose him.
"Well, I repeated to him the advice he had given me, and told him I saw in his face that he was sure to be sea-sick. He didn't recover during the whole voyage, and I never suffered a moment."The first move of our friends on landing was to go to Deshima, as they had a curiosity to see the little island, which was so famous in the history of the foreign relations of Japan with the outer world. The drawbridge leading to the island, and the box where the Japanese sentries stood, were still there, and so were some of the buildings which the Dutch inhabited; but the Dutch were gone, and probably forever. Outside of the historical interest there was nothing remarkable about the island, and the boys wondered how men could voluntarily shut themselves up in a prison like this. Only one ship a year was allowed to come to them, and sometimes, during[Pg 310] the wars between Holland and other countries, there were several years together when no ship came. They were permitted to purchase certain quantities of fresh provisions daily, and when they ran short of needed articles they were supplied by the governor of Nagasaki. But no permission could be granted to go outside their narrow limits. How they must have sighed as they gazed on the green hills opposite, and with what longing did they think of a ramble on those grassy or wooded slopes!
I asked if it was Oliver who shot him, and she nodded. "It was down at the front door; the Squire said he'd shoot him if he shot Charlotte, and Charlotte declared she'd shoot him if he shot the Squire, and all at once he shot at her and struck him."
"Yes, for one thing, I've got to tell him that old Lucius Oliver can't be hung too high or too soon. For months he has been--""I am but human."
He appeared to ruminate, still holding a finger against his nose. Then he shot his left arm out with a swift, gymnastic action and laid the flat palm of his hand upon Arthur's shoulder."Are you better now?" Arthur enquired.