PublicBookshelf Book Club
Aylward Edward Dingle
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Rupert Venner sat on the floor of his prison, tugging at his chains with an absent, aimless, all but perpetual motion; for he had long since convinced himself that his fetters could not be broken or loosed. The ruby light that had shown him the food and wine placed for him had faded away to the faintest red glow which scarcely sufficed to reach the tabouret. That mattered little; Venner had eaten when he was hungry, drunk when dry, and knew the position of the flagon and dish to the ultimate inch. He was not caring about the light. His mind was filled to the exclusion of all else with his plight and the predicament of his schooner.
"Confound me for a fool!" he mused aloud, gritting his teeth savagely. "Led by the nose by a saucy little chit who knows how to display her charms as well as her pearls!"
He pondered over his situation with growing irritation; for he knew only too well that his release could never be obtained by bribery; his keen sense of values told him that neither in the yacht or at home could he match the treasures he had already seen on the persons of Dolores, and Pascherette, and the other women of the camp. Yet he tried to console himself that after all these things might be displayed for his impression; might in fact be the entire store of the pirate queen, displayed for one gaudy, overpowering effect.