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Release date: 2022-07-04 07:08:18 Author:Shangke

To which the captain invariably replied in his fierce Marseilles accent,

Come, my dear Champcey; dont blame an old friend who has done what he thought was his duty to do.

Then, when he could no longer bear the sight, he went to the cafe on the wharf, where the captain of The Saint Louis was generally to be found.

But the lawyer had not sent for Daniel to speak to him of his plans and his hopes. Having learned from the chief surgeon that Lieut. Champcey was on the point of sailing, he wished to tell him that he would receive a very important packet, which he was desired to hand to the court as soon as he reached Paris.

Daniel was too painfully affected to pay much attention to the conclusive and sensible reasons alleged by the chief surgeon; he saw nothing but that his friends had taken advantage of his condition to keep him in the dark. Still he also felt that it would have been black ingratitude and stupid obstinacy to preserve in his heart a shadow of resentment. He therefore, took the hand that was offered him, and, pressing it warmly, replied in a tone of deep emotion,

This is, you understand, he concluded, an additional precaution which we take to prevent Maxime de Brevan from escaping us.

He tried in vain to get rid of the fixed idea which filled his mind,a mechanical instinct, so to say, which was stronger than his will, and drove him incessantly to the wharf where The Saint Louis was lying. Sitting on some bags of rice, he spent hour after hour in watching the cargo as it was put on board. Never had the Annamites and the Chinamen, who in Saigon act as stevedores, appeared to him so lazy, so intolerable. Sometimes he felt as if, seeing or guessing his impatience, they were trying to irritate him by moving the bales with the utmost slowness, and walking with unbearable laziness around with the windlass.

It was five oclock when Daniel left the court-house; and on the little square before it he found the old surgeon, waiting to carry him off to dinner, and a game of whist in the evening. So, when he undressed at night, he said to himself,

Your men will never finish, captain, he said. You will never be ready by Sunday.

But the surgeon was prepared for his justification. He replied with a certain solemnity which he rarely assumed,

I have only obeyed my conscience. If I had let you set sail in the condition in which you were, I should have virtually sent you to your grave, and thus have deprived your betrothed, Miss Ville-Handry, of her last and only chance of salvation.

But to-morrow, and the day after to-morrow, and the next days

He spoke easily enough of it,five days It was an eternity for a man in Daniels state of mind. In three hours he had made all his preparations for his departure, arranged his business matters, and obtained a furlough for Lefloch, who was to go with him. At noon, therefore, he asked himself with terror, how he was to employ his time till night, when they came, and asked if he would please come over to the courthouse, to see the magistrate.

Offering his hand to Daniel, he added,

When? On Sunday, in five days; and that ship is The Saint Louis a famous clipper, and so good a sailor, that you will easily overtake the two big three-masters that have sailed before you.

Daniel shook his head sadly, and said,

But the surgeon was prepared for his justification. He replied with a certain solemnity which he rarely assumed,

Daniel listened, quite bewildered.

When? On Sunday, in five days; and that ship is The Saint Louis a famous clipper, and so good a sailor, that you will easily overtake the two big three-masters that have sailed before you.

As usually, when he felt that excitement was overcoming him,a very rare event, to tell the truth,the old surgeon fell back into his rough and abrupt manner.

Your men will never finish, captain, he said. You will never be ready by Sunday.

I have only obeyed my conscience. If I had let you set sail in the condition in which you were, I should have virtually sent you to your grave, and thus have deprived your betrothed, Miss Ville-Handry, of her last and only chance of salvation.

This is, you understand, he concluded, an additional precaution which we take to prevent Maxime de Brevan from escaping us.

To which the captain invariably replied in his fierce Marseilles accent,

Daniel was too painfully affected to pay much attention to the conclusive and sensible reasons alleged by the chief surgeon; he saw nothing but that his friends had taken advantage of his condition to keep him in the dark. Still he also felt that it would have been black ingratitude and stupid obstinacy to preserve in his heart a shadow of resentment. He therefore, took the hand that was offered him, and, pressing it warmly, replied in a tone of deep emotion,

In the most eager manner the two gentlemen disappeared. They stayed away three hours; and, when they came back, their answer was the same as the doctors. They declared they had made inquiries on all sides; but they were quite sure that there was not a single vessel in Saigon ready to sail for home. Ten other persons whom Daniel asked to do the same thing brought him the same answer. And yet, that very week, two ships sailed,one for Havre, the other for Bordeaux. But the concierge of the hospital, and Lefloch, were so well drilled, that no visitor reached Daniel before having learned his lesson thoroughly.

I have attended you as I would have attended any one: that is my duty, and you need not trouble yourself about your gratitude. If any one owes me thanks, it is Miss Ville-Handry; and I beg you will remind her of it when she is your wife. And now you will be good enough to dismiss all those dismal ideas, and remember that you have only five days longer to tremble with impatience in this abominable country.

To which the captain invariably replied in his fierce Marseilles accent,

Whatever the future may have in store for me, doctor, I shall never forget that I owe my life to your devotion.

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