Moran of the Lady Letty
IX. The Capture Of Hoang
"What smashed the junk? What wrecked her?" demanded Moran.
The deserting Chinamen huddled around Charlie, drawing close, as if finding comfort in
the feel of each other's elbows.
"No can tell," answered Charlie. "Him shake, then lif' up all the same as we. Bime-by too
much lif' up; him smash all to--Four- piecee Chinamen dlown."
"Drown! Did any of them drown?" exclaimed Moran.
"Four-piecee dlown," reiterated Charlie calmly. "One, thlee, five, nine, come asho'. Him
other no come."
"Where are the ones that came ashore?" asked Wilbur.
Charlie waved a hand back into the night. "Him make um camp topside ole house."
"That old whaling-camp," prompted Moran. Then to Wilbur: "You remember--about a
hundred yards north the creek?"
Wilbur, Moran and Charlie had drawn off a little from the "Bertha Millner's" crew. The
latter squatted in a line along the shore-- silent, reserved, looking vaguely seaward
through the night. Moran spoke again, her scowl thickening:
"What makes you think the beach-combers want our schooner?"
"Him catch um schooner sure! Him want um boat to go home. No can get."
"Let's put off to-night--right away," said Wilbur.
"Low tide," answered Moran; "and besides--Charlie, did you see them close? Were you
"No go muchee close."
"Did they have something with them, reeved up in a hammock-- something that smelled
"Like a joss-stick, for instance?"
"No savvy; no can tell. Him try catch um schooner sure. Him velly bad China boy. See
Yup China boy, velly bad. I b'long Sam Yup. Savvy?'!