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CHAPTER 17: THIEVES FALL OUT (continued)
I could hardly believe my ears; still I knew that it was treachery, all treachery; and the morning I should never see.
"But we can't leave him up here," said Rattray; "it would mean one of us watching him all night."
"Quite so," said Santos. "I will tell you where we could live him, however, if you will allow me to wheesper one leetle moment."
They drew aside; and, as I live, I thought that little moment was to be Rattray's last on earth. I watched, but nothing happened; on the contrary, both men seemed agreed, the Portuguese gesticulating, the Englishman nodding, as they stood conversing at the window. Their faces were strangely reassuring. I began to reason with myself, to rid my mind of mere presentiment and superstition. If these two really were at one about me (I argued) there might be no treachery after all. When I came to think of it, Rattray had been closeted long enough with me to awake the worst suspicions in the breasts of his companions; now that these were allayed, there might be no more bloodshed after all (if, for example, I pretended to give in), even though Santos had not cared whose blood was shed a few minutes since. That was evidently the character of the wretch: to compass his ends or to defend his person he would take life with no more compunction than the ordinary criminal takes money; but (and hence) murder for murder's sake was no amusement to him.
My confidence was further restored by Captain Harris; ever a gross ruffian, with no refinements to his rascality, he had been at the brandy bottle after Rattray's example; and now was dozing on the latter's bed, taking his watch below when he could get it, like the good seaman he had been. I was quite sorry for him when the conversation at the window ceased suddenly, and Rattray roused the captain up.
"Watches aft!" said he. "We want that mattress; you can bring it along, while I lead the way with the pillows and things. Come on, Cole!"
"Where to?" I asked, standing firm.
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