THE TURNING OF THE TABLES

Dory Dornwood had made no promises in order to procure his release from
the bonds with which he had been secured, and he felt free to fight his
way out of the scrape into which he had fallen, if he could. Mr. Michael
Angelo Spickles had looked, talked, and acted as though he regarded his
prisoner with the utmost contempt.

They did not live in the same moral atmosphere, in the first place; and
the leader of the robbers had heard something of the prowess of Dory
from Matt Randolph. By taking him in the rear, he had twice overcome
him, and tied his arms behind him. Perhaps the fact that he had been
able to do so was the most direct source of his contempt. He went to
Sunday school, as Angy described his general character; and he did not
believe that a lamb of this sort could be a lion when the occasion
required.

Angy had been perfectly sure that the exhibition of his revolver would
reduce the prisoner to complete subjection if he proved to be refractory
after he had released him. He had not intended to shoot him, when he
snapped the weapon at him, for he knew something of the consequences of
such a murderous act. But Dory did not “scare” as readily as he had
supposed he would, and the fact that he was a Sunday-school scholar did
not make a coward of him.

As soon as the revolver missed fire, Dory decided not to wait for a
dryer cartridge to explode. The boat was jumping on the waves at a
furious rate, and was in the act of falling off into the trough of the
sea when Angy made his demonstration with the pistol. To prevent this,
he had attempted to use his oars. Dory made a long spring, and threw
himself on the chief of the burglars.

He came down upon him like a heavy body dropped from some point
overhead. The thwart on which Angy was seated slipped out of its place
under the concussion, and the two combatants came down in the bottom of
the boat. Dory seized his intended victim by the throat, and contrived
to get his legs on the arms of the fallen leader. Then he choked him
with all his might as he struggled to free himself from this fierce
embrace.

The boat fell off into the trough of the sea, and the water poured in
upon them. Dory saw, that, if the affair was not finished very quickly,
the conclusion of it would have to be reached in the water, with no boat
under him. But no human being could stand the amount of choking
inflicted upon Angy, and he soon weakened under the punishment. With a
sudden movement, Dory turned him over on his face, and crowded his head
down into the water in the bottom of the boat.

The rope with which Dory had been bound was within his reach; and, as
soon as the resistance under him would permit, he grasped it with one
hand, while he held the victim with the other. Angy realized what he was
doing, even while his breath was bubbling in the water under him; and he
made his last effort to shake off the Sunday-school scholar. But he was
too weak to accomplish any thing, and he had to give up the battle.

It was the work of but a moment for Dory to tie his arms behind him,
though he did it in the most thorough manner. He picked up the revolver,
and put it in his pocket. Then he dragged the fallen chief to the
stern-sheets, and dumped him in the bottom. The tables had turned, and
the leading spirit of the Nautifelers Club was the prisoner. He was
utterly exhausted by his choking and his useless struggles, and he lay
catching his breath where his conqueror had thrown him.

Dory realized that he had no time to spare, if he intended to get the
boat to the shore right side up. He sprang to the oars, and brought the
tender around before the wind. He was too tired himself to row, and he
simply kept the craft from getting into any dangerous situation. With
one hand he bailed out the boat, while he used an oar with the other.

Angy was rapidly recovering from the effects of the battle, and he
worked himself into a sitting position. Then he looked about him, and
especially at the stalwart young man in front of him, whose prowess he
had held in contempt. He did what Dory had done a dozen times while he
was a prisoner,–he essayed to test the strength of his bonds; but they
had been adjusted by one who was skilled in handling rigging. He said
nothing, but the situation looked very bad to him. The Sunday-school
scholar was not an infant, and Angy was willing now to believe what Matt
Randolph had told him about the paragon of the school.

Dory bailed out the boat till it was comfortable in her, and then he
hastened the progress of the craft by the use of the oars. It still
rained in torrents, but there was a light in the east which indicated
that it was the “clearing-up shower.” Looking behind him, Dory
discovered the land, and felt something like Columbus on another
occasion. He knew just where he was; and he changed the course of the
tender, in order to make a little cove.

Before he could get to the shore, the rain ceased, and the mist cleared
off from the surface of the water. Suddenly the hurricane seemed to
subside. The clouds, which had been dense and black overhead, began to
break. It ended, like all storms in this locality which come from the
south, as abruptly as it begun.

The La Motte could be seen quite distinctly, for she was hardly a mile
distant. The four robbers on board of her were hoisting the foresail,
which looked as though it had been reefed; and they were evidently going
in search of their lost chief. Dory was happy enough to smile, and he
did smile; for he was out of the reach of any pursuers in a large
vessel. The wind had greatly abated its violence; and Dory had been
obliged to pull some distance from his former course, in order to make
the creek. But the water was shallow around him, and the schooner could
not come near the land.

The inlet was the mouth of a brook, and he pulled some distance into it.
When he came to a good place to land, he leaped ashore, and hauled up
the bow out of the water. Without a small boat, it was simply impossible
for the crew of the La Motte to follow him, even if they succeeded in
finding him.

Dory was tired enough to seat himself on a rock, and recover his
exhausted powers. He had a prisoner, and a resolute one, and he must get
him to the school in some manner. It was likely to be hard work. He took
Angy’s revolver from his pocket: he wiped the water off its barrels and
stock. Then he examined the cartridges. They were metallic, and ought
not to be affected by the water. Aiming at a small tree, he discharged
one of the barrels, and found it went off as well as it would if it had
not been in the water.

“That shooter served me a bad turn,” said Angy. “I never knew it to miss
before.”

“It served me a good turn if you aimed at me when you tried to fire it,”
added Dory. “However, it seems to be in condition to be useful to me if
I have occasion to use it.”

Its present possessor put it back into his pocket. He resolved to manage
his case so well that he would have no occasion to use such a deadly
weapon, and he shuddered at the very thought of firing at a human being.

“You have got ahead of me, Dory,” continued Angy, bestowing a searching
look upon his captor. “Chuck ruined me when he threw that painter
overboard.”

“In a moral point of view, that act may be your salvation,” added Dory.

“I don’t think I care about hearing any Sunday-school talk on this
subject,” replied Angy, with a scornful look on his face. “The time has
not yet come for my punishment.”

“Not just yet; but after you have thought of this thing for three or
five years in the State prison, you may come to the conclusion that the
Sunday school is not a bad institution for a fellow like you. If you had
attended one, and given heed to its instructions, you would feel a good
deal better than you do now.”

“I say, Dory, can’t we fix this thing up now?” asked Angy.

“Certainly we can; and that is just what we are going to do,” replied
Dory cheerfully. “I am only waiting a little while to rest. Then we will
fix it up.”

“You are a good fellow, or you could not have got the upper hands of
me.”




“Then you must be a good fellow, or you could not have rendered me the
same service.”

“I don’t think you understand me,” continued Angy uneasily. “I suppose
you like money, if you do go to Sunday school.”

“I don’t object to money: at least, I have no grudge against it.”

“That’s sensible; and I will give you a thousand dollars in cash on the
spot, if you will go home without me. Just untie my arms, and let me
pull off to the schooner, and it will be all right. You can go on the
biggest temperance spree you ever heard of on that sum,” said Angy
earnestly.

“Spot cash?”

“Spot cash.”

“You carry a good deal of money about with you, I see.”

“I happen to have it with me. You can take the money, and old Squalipop
will be none the wiser for what you have done.”

“Won’t he?”

“Not a bit of it! I shall get out of the way, and he won’t know that you
and I have met.”

“But I shall know it myself, and that will be just as unfortunate as
though he knew it.”

“You can go back with a thousand dollars in your pocket, which will come
handy during vacation.”

“Go back with a thousand dollars in my pocket,” repeated Dory, as though
he was musing over it. “A thousand dollars is a good thing to have, and
it is twice as good to have two thousand. I don’t think I shall be
satisfied with one thousand. But I think you had better come on shore,
Angy. I won’t ask you to do an impossible thing, and I will help you.”

Dory took the robber by the collar of his wet coat, and assisted him to
the shore. Angy made no resistance, though he evidently did not like the
proceedings of his captor. Dory seated him on a rock, and Angy continued
to argue in favor of the arrangement he had proposed.

“Do you really carry a thousand dollars about you? I have my doubts; and
if you have no objections, I should like to satisfy myself on this
point,” continued Dory; and as he spoke, he proceeded to make an
examination of the pockets of his prisoner.

“But I do object!” protested the prisoner, as he sprang to his feet with
an effort, and began to whirl about like a top. “Don’t put your hand on
me!”

“Be calm and gentle, Angy,” replied Dory, as he took the prisoner by the
collar, and tripped him up, so that he was forced to lie down, in spite
of himself.

With his foot on the form of his victim, Dory thrust his hand into all
the pockets of Angy; and from the one inside of his vest, he drew out a
pocket-book, thoroughly soaked with water. He opened it, and found a
roll of bank-bills, which had been hastily tumbled into one of the
pockets. He unrolled the bills enough to find four five-hundred-dollar
notes, which assured him that the money had been taken from his uncle’s
safe.

“I will keep this pocket-book for you,” said he.

The prisoner was furious, and began to kick at his captor.

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