Romantic scenes from a romantic time, that of Napoleon's Hundred Days. The recluse of Scarthey Lighthouse on the Lancashire coast, and his love-tale, the dare-devil privateer, the gold-smugglers, and the preventives.
something of the sailing trade, he found me another berth, on board a privateer, the St. Nicholas. My fortune was made from the moment I set foot on that lucky ship, as you know."
"And you have never seen your father since?"
"Neither father, nor brothers, nor any of my kin, save the cousin in question. All I know is that my father is dead--that he disinherited me expressly in the event of my being still in the flesh; my eldest brother reigns; many of us are scattered, God knows where. And my mother"--the sailor's voice changed slightly--"my mother lives in her own house, with some of the younger ones. So much I have ascertained quite recently. She believes me dead, of course. Oh, it will be a good day, Adrian, when I can come back to her, independent, prosperous, bringing my beautiful bride with me!... But until I can resume my name in all freedom, this cannot be."
"But why, my dear fellow, these further risks and adventures? Surely, even at your showing you have enough of this world's goods; why not come forward, now, at once, openly? I will introduce you, as soon as may be, in your real character, for the sake of your mother--of Madeleine herself."
The sailor shook his head, tempted yet determined.
"I am not free to do so. I have given my word; my honour is engaged," he said. Then abruptly asked: "Have you ever heard of guinea smuggling?"
"Guinea smuggling! No," said Sir Adrian, his amazement giving way to anxiety.
"No? You surprise me. You who are, or were, I understand, a student of philosophical matters, freedom of exchange, and international intercourse and the rest of it