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The Disentanglers Part 67

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'Now tell us all about your adventures, Emmie,' said Mr. Macrae, sitting down and taking his daughter's hand in his own.

The narrative may have been antic.i.p.ated. After Blake was felled, Miss Macrae, screaming and struggling, had been carried to the boat. The crew had rapidly pulled round the cliff, the submarine had risen, to the captive's horrified amazement, from the deep, she had been taken on board, and, yet more to her surprise, had been welcomed by the Misses Van Huytens and their aunt. The brother had always behaved with respect, till, finding that his suit was hopeless, he had avoided her presence as much as possible, and--

'Had gone for the dollars,' said Macrae.

They had wandered from rocky desert isle to desert isle, in the archipelago of the Hebrides, meeting at night with a swift attendant yacht. Usually they had slept on sh.o.r.e under canvas; the corrugated iron houses had been left behind at 'The Seven Hunters,' with the champagne, to alleviate the anxiety of Mr. Macrae. Ample supplies of costume and other necessaries for Miss Macrae had always been at hand.

'They really did me very well,' she said, smiling, 'but I was miserable about _you_,' and she embraced her father.

'Only about _me_?' asked Mr. Macrae.

'I did not know, I was not sure,' said Emmeline, crying a little, and laughing rather hysterically.

'You go and lie down, my dear,' said Mr. Macrae. 'Your maid is in your cabin,' and thither he conducted the overwrought girl, Merton anxiously following her with his eyes.

'We are neglecting Lord Bude,' said Mr. Macrae. 'Come on deck, Tom, and tell us how you managed that delightful surprise.'

'Oh, pardon me, sir,' said Merton, 'I am under oath, I am solemnly bound to Logan and others never to reveal the circ.u.mstances. It was necessary to keep you uninformed, that you might honourably make your arrangement to meet Mr. Van Huytens without being aware that you had a submarine consort. Logan takes any dishonour on himself, and he wished to offer Mr. Van Huytens--as that is his name--every satisfaction, but I dissuaded him. His connection with the affair cannot be kept too secret. Though Logan put me forward, you really owe all to _him_.'

'But without _you_, I should never have had his aid,' said Mr. Macrae: 'Where _is_ Lord Fastcastle?' he asked.

'In the friendly submarine,' said Merton.

'Oh, I think I can guess!' said Mr. Macrae, smiling. 'I shall ask no more questions. Let us join Lord Bude.'

If the reader is curious as to how the rescue was managed, it is enough to say that Logan was the cousin and intimate friend of Admiral Chirnside, that the Admiral was commanding a fleet engaged in naval manoeuvres around the North coast, that he had a flotilla of submarines, and that the point of ocean where the pirates met the _Flora Macdonald_ was not far west of the Orkneys.

On deck Bude asked Merton how Logan (for he knew that Logan was the guiding spirit) had guessed the secret of the submarine.

'Do you remember,' said Merton, 'that when you came back from "The Seven Hunters," you reported that the fishermen had a silly story of seeing a dragon flying above the empty sea?'

'I remember, _un dragon volant_,' said Bude.

'And Logan asked you not to tell Mr. Macrae?'

'Yes, but I don't understand.'

'A dragon is the Scotch word for a kite--not the bird--a boy's kite. You did not know; _I_ did not know, but Mr. Macrae would have known, being a Scot, and Logan wanted to keep his plan dark, and the kite had let him into the secret of the submarine.'

'I still don't see how.'

'Why the submarine must have been flying a kite, with a pendent wire, to catch messages from Blake and the wireless machine at Castle Skrae. How else could a kite--"a dragon," the sailor said--have been flying above the empty sea?'

'Logan is rather sharp,' said Bude.

'But, Mr. Macrae,' asked Merton, 'how about the false Gianesi?'

'Oh, when Gianesi came of course we settled _his_ business. We had him tight, as a conspirator. He had been met, when expelled for misdeeds from Gianesi's and Giambresi's, by a beautiful young man, to whom he sold himself. He believed the beautiful young man to be the devil, but, of course, it was our friend Blake. _He_, in turn, must have been purchased by Van Huytens while he was lecturing in America as a poet-Fenian. In fact, he really had a singular genius for electric engineering; he had done very well at some German university. But he was a fellow of no principle! We are well quit of a rogue. I turned his unlucky victim, the false Gianesi, loose, with money enough for life to keep him honest if he chooses. His pension stops if ever a word of the method of rescue comes out. The same with my crew. They shall all be rich men, for their station, _till_ the tale is whispered and reaches my ears. In that case--all pensions stop. I think we can trust the crew of the friendly submarine to keep their own counsel.'

'Certainly!' said Merton. 'Wealth has its uses after all,' he thought in his heart.

Merton and Logan gave a farewell dinner in autumn to the Disentanglers--to such of them as were still unmarried. In her napkin each lady of the Society found a cheque on Coutts for 25,000_l_. signed with the magic name Ronald Macrae.

The millionaire had insisted on being allowed to perform this act of munificence, the salvage for the recovered millions, he said.

Miss Martin, after dinner, carried Mr. Macrae's health in a toast. In a humorous speech she announced her own approaching nuptials, and intimated that she had the permission of the other ladies present to make the same general confession for all of them.

'Like every novel of my own,' said Miss Martin, smiling, 'this enterprise of the Disentanglers has a HAPPY ENDING.'

Footnotes:

{232} Part III. No. I, 1896. Baptist Mission Press. Calcutta, 1897.

{242} See also Monsieur Henri Junod, in _Les Ba-Ronga_. Attinger, Neuchatel, 1898. Unlike Mr. Skertchley, M. Junod has not himself seen the creature.

{406} Periscope not necessary with conning tower out of water. Man could see out of port.

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The Disentanglers Part 67 summary

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