The Pirate Woman (Chapter 16)

 
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Chapter 16 : Page 1 of 9

Lucky it proved that Pascherette had been left behind when the schooner sailed after Yellow Rufe. Even Dolores, with all her consummate wisdom, had forgotten the existence of the old woman she had degraded to kitchen drudge; still more utterly had she forgotten the relationship existing between the old woman and the late victim of her terrible vengeance.

Sancho had called the old crone mother, whether with blood reasons or not none knew. And at bottom, much of Sancho's rebellion had come of anger at the treatment meted out to her. And it was Sancho's despairing cry, when Milo cast him out into the Grove, that brought the old woman from her concealment in the forest. The awful plight of the unlucky wretch had aroused in the woman's withered breast a demon of revenge that knew no limits; and the departing schooner, then barely visible to her, filled her brain with the knowledge that the strangers who came in that vessel had been the indirect cause of her Sancho's fate.

She knew they had been placed in the cells behind the council hall; she knew nothing of Dolores's last-minute decision that had taken them with her. She knew nothing as to who or how many were left in the camp; but she knew, she had terrible and ever-present proof in that moaning, groping, brainless thing that was Sancho, that her mistress had shown a leaning toward the strangers at the expense of her own people, and that she herself might expect no mercy if ever caught. And with the low animal cunning that served her for intellect she knew her penalty could be no greater if she struck one blow in revenge before taking to the woods in final flight.

 
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