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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 166

This story was repeated by the nurse, but she was ignorant, she had no proofs, so it was not generally believed; yet there was a perceptible difference in the treatment of Dane by his neighbors, and among the superstitious negroes it was declared that he had sold himself to the devil. If he had, was it an air from hell that sounded in his ears when he was alone?—the "Ave Maria" of a sinning but repentant woman. The coldness and suspicion were more than he could stand. Besides, who could tell? Evidence might be found against him. He would dig up his treasure and fly the country. It was a year from the night when he had fired his ship. Going out after dark, that none might see him, he stole to the tree and began to dig. Presently a red light grew through the air, and looking up he saw a flaming vessel advancing over the sea. It stopped, and he could see men clambering into a boat at its side. They rowed toward him with such miraculous speed that the ocean seemed to steam with a blue light as they advanced. He stood like a stone, for now he could see the faces of the rowers, and every one was the face of a corpse—a corpse that had been left on board of that vessel and had been in the bottom of the sea for the last twelvemonth. They sprang on shore and rushed upon him. Next morning Dane's body was found beneath the oak with his hands filled with gems and gold.


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