Excerpt: ... That the man's company will not be pleasant, I need hardly say; but we can't afford to be particular with so much at stake. Remember that we came here to make money, and not in search of adventures, or to maintain our dignity." Dane only nodded, and so the conference concluded. Sooner than lose what he hoped for he was prepared to ...Read MoreExcerpt: ... That the man's company will not be pleasant, I need hardly say; but we can't afford to be particular with so much at stake. Remember that we came here to make money, and not in search of adventures, or to maintain our dignity." Dane only nodded, and so the conference concluded. Sooner than lose what he hoped for he was prepared to concede anything; but it might have been better if he had adhered to his own simple plan; for it is difficult to make a bargain with such a man as Rideau, and keep it without material losses as well as diminished self-respect. Early the next morning Rideau arrived, bringing with him an imposing number of colored desperadoes; and a written agreement was drawn up. They were to share all risks and expenses, and divide what gold they won on its safe arrival at the coast. Rideau showed bland satisfaction when he read it through; but, before he filled a rusty pen, Dane rose and laid Bonita Castro's keepsake on the table. "Faith is a question of training, and exactly what each man believes concerns only himself; but probably all of us respect this as a symbol," he said. "Is that not so, Monsieur Rideau?" Rideau glanced from the speaker to Maxwell, and there was a gleam in his eyes, then he bent his head. Flinging down his battered sun-hat, Dane laid his right hand on the object on the table, saying: "So I solemnly promise, first to keep this bargain and faith with my partners, if it cost me my life or fortune; and secondly, to demand a full account from either should Pg 166 he betray his trust, as, if I fail them, they shall do to me." Maxwell in turn recorded his promise with quiet simplicity; but Rideau started when the object was passed on to him. It was a beautifully wrought crucifix of medieval workmanship. For a moment he stared malevolently at Dane, and then a look akin to fear crept into his eyes. But, raising one hand aloft, he pledged himself more solemnly than either, and attached his name first of all to the foot of...Read Less
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