Salute to Adventurers HTML version

9. Various Doings In The Savannah
I awoke in broad daylight, and when my wits came back to me, I saw I was in a tent of
skins, with my limbs unbound, and a pitcher of water beside me placed by some
provident hand. Through the tent door I looked over a wide space of green savannah.
How I had got there I knew not; but, as my memory repeated the events of the night, I
knew I had travelled far, for the sea showed miles away at a great distance beneath me.
On the water I saw a ship in full sail, diminished to a toy size, careering northward with
the wind.
Outside a man was seated whistling a cheerful tune. I got to my feet and staggered out
to clear my head in the air, and found the smiling face of Ringan.
"Good-morning, Andrew," he cried, as I sat down beside him. "Have you slept well?"
I rubbed my eyes and took long draughts of the morning breeze.
"Are you a warlock, Mr. Campbell, that you can spirit folk about the country at your
pleasure? I have slept sound, but my dreams have been bad."
"Yes," he said; "what sort of dreams, maybe?"
"I dreamed I was in a wild place among wild men, and that I saw murder done. The look
of the man who did it was not unlike your own."
"You have dreamed true," he said gravely; "but you have the wrong word for it. Others
would call it justice."
"What sort of justice?" said I, "when you had no court or law but just what you made
"Is it not a stiff Whiggamore?" he said, looking skywards. "Why, man, all justice is what
men make themselves. What hinders the Free Companions from making as honest
laws as any cackling Council in the towns? Did you see the man Cosh? Have you heard
anything of his doings, and will you deny that the world was well quit of him? There's a
decency in all trades, and Cosh fair stank to heaven. But I'm glad the thing ended as it
did. I never get to like a cold execution. 'Twas better for everybody that he should fly at
my face and get six inches of kindly steel in his throat. He had a gentleman's death,
which was more than his crimes warranted."
I was only half convinced. Here was I, a law-abiding merchant, pitchforked suddenly into
a world of lawlessness. I could not be expected to adjust my views in the short space of
a night.