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      This announcement drew from the Opposition a torrent of abuse of Ministers, who, in reality, had only been carrying out the very measure which they had long recommended, and which Fox, in particular, had been seriously endeavouring to accomplish whilst in office. Their censures appeared to arise rather from the fact that the war was ended without their mediation than from anything else. Fox upbraided Lord Shelburne with having once said that, when the independence of America should be admitted, the sun of England would have set. Yet this had been the opinion not of Lord Shelburne merely, but of numbers who now saw reason to doubt that gloomy view of things, and there was the less reason for Fox to throw this in the face of the Prime Minister, as he had been himself, whilst his colleague, earnestly labouring with him for that end. Still he was naturally sore[299] from Shelburne's successful intrigues against his diplomacy. On the 18th of December he moved for copies of such parts of the provisional treaty as related to American independence; but in this he was supported by only forty-six members.If Cairness had not slipped and gone sprawling down[Pg 232] at that moment, the fourth bullet would have brought him up short. It sung over him, instead, and splashed against a stone, and when he got to his feet again the eyes had come out from their hiding-place. They were in the head of a very young buck. He had sprung to the top of his rock and was dancing about with defiant hilarity, waving his hands and the Winchester, and grimacing tantalizingly. "Yaw! ya!" he screeched. Cairness discharged his revolver, but the boy whooped once more and was down, dodging around the stone. Cairness dodged after him, wrath in his heart and also a vow to switch the little devil when he should get him. But he did not seem to be getting him.

      He stroked her hair pityingly. After all, she was only a half-savage creature bound to him by the ties of gratitude. He had seen the same thing in a Chiricahua girl baby he had once rescued, horribly burned, from the fire of an abandoned Indian camp, where she had been thrown by the fleeing hostiles, because she was sickly and hampered their progress. The hideous, scarred little thing had attached herself to him like a dog, and had very nearly pined herself to death when he had had to leave her for good. Afterward she had[Pg 59] marriedat the ripe age of twelvea buck of her own tribe. He thought of how she also had slipped her hard, seamed arm around his neck, and he drew away from Felipa.

      Maybe its the one off the hydroplane, Larry was dejected, but not convinced that the life preserver was a strange one to all.

      Youre the man who was in the amphibian when Mr. Everdail flew it! he said. How did you get here, with your injured shoulder?The Ministers, instead of making rational concessions to the demands of the people for Reform, proceeded without delay to fresh aggressions on their liberties. Not contented with the existing suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and with introducing into the Lords a Bill for the protection of the king's person and Government, they passed a law prohibiting all political meetings, and another to extend the law of treason; they recommenced arrests and prosecutions, and sent out shoals of spies and informers, so that all the safeguards of public liberty were completely annihilated. These despotic measures did not pass without energetic opposition and a good deal of violent language from Fox; but all remonstrance was useless against Pitt's majority. Still the alarm of the Government was not allayed. On the 8th of December the king sent a message to both Houses, reiterating his assurance of an earnest desire to negotiate peace with France. The Opposition very properly pointed out that, so far as France was concerned, victorious in its armies, and as anti-monarchical in its government as ever, there were less hopes of any consent on its part to peace than when the Opposition had so repeatedly urged the same measure. In this unsatisfactory state closed the year 1795.

      Sooner than that, Sandy guessed, the unknown person could not have quit the hydroplane: otherwise the turning from shore would have continued and the hydroplane, instead of proceeding in a straight course away from land, would have swept in a wide circle, round and round.





      Itsgone! Mr. Everdailthe lifepreserver