"We had to, sometimes, lest they should tell tales against us. Off Mauritius we were chased more than once by a sloop of war, and it would have gone hard with us if we had been captured. The French there have got a devil of a governor, La Bourdonnais, and he has vessels perpetually prowling up and down in those seas, and as far as Pondicherry and Chandernagore. But what do you say, cousin? Are you man enough to join us? You have the right stuff in you, I warrant--all the Fords have. Our great-grandfather fought at Naseby, and though he was a scurvy Roundhead, I'll swear he gave a good account of himself."
I hesitated, my whole heart on fire to accept, and yet held back by a subtle distrust for which I could in no way account.
"Come, boy, you have only to slip away to-morrow night, after I have gone, and join me privately in Yarmouth, at the sign of the 'Three-decker.' I will tell my worthy uncle in t