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ALBERT DORRINGTON

BELMORE SUE

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A "BULLY" HAYES STORY


Ex Libris

As published in The Bulletin, Sydney, 16 October 1929

This e-book edition: Roy Glashan's Library, 2019
Version Date: 2019-08-30
Produced by Terry Walker and Roy Glashan

All original content added by RGL is protected by copyright.

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Illustration

The Bulletin, 16 October 1929, with "Belmore Sue"



ABOUT CAPTAIN "BULLY" HAYES

"BULLY" HAYES was a notorious American-born "blackbirder" who flourished in the 1860 and 1870s, and was murdered in 1877. He arrived in Australia in 1857 as a ships' captain, where he began a career as a fraudster and opportunist. Bankrupted in Western Australia after a "long firm" fraud, he joined the gold rush to Otago, New Zealand. He seems to have married around four times without the formality of a divorce from any of his wives.

He was soon back in another ship, whose co-owner mysteriously vanished at sea, leaving Hayes sole owner; and he joined the "blackbirding" trade, where Pacific islanders were coerced, or bribed, and then shipped to the Queensland canefields as indentured labourers. After a number of wild escapades, and several arrests and imprisonments, he was shot and killed by ship's cook, Peter Radek.

So notorious was "Bully" Hayes, and so apt his nickname, (he was a big, violent, overbearing and brutal man) that Radek was not charged; he was indeed hailed a hero.

Dorrington wrote a number of amusing and entirely fictitious short stories about Hayes. Australian author Louis Becke, who sailed with Hayes, also wrote about him.

Terry Walker




BULLY HAYES was of opinion that the last sovereign had vanished from the seas. From Fiji to the Marquesas there was a notable stringency. Traders who once blissfully jingled the minted stuff now offered him IOUs.

"If ever I set hands on an Australian quid again I'll get Murphy the policeman to sit on it," he confided to his mate, Tom Emery. "Silver is scarce, too. A sailor was murdered at Moresby a few weeks back because he'd got four thrip'ny-bits in his clothes.

"It's these Levuka planters that's got it tied up," Emery growled as he bent with hammer and sprigs over his dilapidated shore-going shoes. "They tread it into the ground and make bullion paths round their gardens.

"I believe they do, Tom," Hayes ruminated darkly. "The first time I catch one of 'em spreading his filthy money around I'll poison his goats."

The mate regarded his coral-torn shoes with a splenetic eye. It seemed years since he had received his last month's pay. And by all the omens it would be years before he received another month's. He spoke with his mouth full of nails.

"Old Jim Lewis says you're beginning to neglect cargoes; says you're scared stiff of the gunboats and won't stay in any port long enough to paint the anchor."

Hayes bristled instantly. "Is that what Lewis says? Why, the old bigamist hadn't enough labor on his run to weed a garden until I brought him the pick of the islands—fifty boys, not one of 'em over twenty. Three deaths only on the run to his dirty creek entrance. I scoured the Pacific to keep these sugar men alive in Queensland. And now they talk about gunboats!"

Hayes sulked in his hammock through the hot afternoon as the Leonora heaved in the flood wash at the mouth of the Telave River. Inland, a sheer wall of jungle blotted out the north and west. On his quarter a line of reef bellowed and raved under the surf. A cloud of sea-fowl hung about the Leonora's galley and rail. A hungry ship and a lonely stretch of reef and jungle!

Her Majesty's gunboat Penelope had been seen, as far north as the Bismarck Group, searching for Hayes in the Leonora. His capture and trial on charges of illegal recruiting were eagerly awaited in Sydney and Brisbane. So far the fast-sailing Leonora had easily eluded the slow- footed, ironshod keepers of the seas. But there was to be no peace for Hayes until he was gaoled or driven from Australian waters. Meantime his money chest was at low ebb, and traders had grown chary of delivering cargoes to an outlaw with no fixed address. Hence the Leonora cooled her heels off this wide- mouthed, reef-blistered river entrance, where the jungle met the skyline and the air was sullen with the breath of mangrove and poison swamp.

The sound of a voice calling from the river bank took Emery to the Leonora's rail, the half-mended shoe and brad in his hand. A man of thirty, wearing a dapper suit of shantung and panama, was signalling with a handkerchief.

The mate regarded him pensively, and then turned to the brooding, debt-tormented Hayes in the hammock.

"There's a chap on shore making signs to come aboard," he growled. "Looks as if he and fallen off a saloon coastal packet. Got a tulip or something in his buttonhole. What's to be done?"

Hayes relaxed suddenly, then spoke with out turning his head. "Ask him what he wants. Be careful. He might be a blamed admiral out of a nursery rhyme. They do fall off the bridge when the ship rolls. Listen!"

The mate leaned over the Leonora's rail to catch the words flung out by the impatient man on shore. Not a syllable escaped Emery as he hung forward watching the gesticulating arms and handkerchief.

"I want a passage to Cooktown. There's no vessel due here for a month. Any chance of you sailing shortly?"

"Not much," the mate gave back dubiously. "We want a cargo. Your passage money wouldn't pay for wiping the mud off our anchor."

There was a silence in which the young man in the spotless shantung appeared to be making swift calculations. After a while he spoke again.

"I'll pay a hundred pounds for a safe landing anywhere on the Australian coast, Cooktown preferred. A hundred pounds ought to tempt you people. There's not much cargo offering at this port except beetles and bamboos."

Hayes skipped from the hammock with no more sound than a ghost. "What's that I heard about a hundred quid, Tom?" he asked in an undertone.

"Wants a passage to Cooktown, quick, by the sound of him," the mate confided. "Mentioned a hundred skinners as the price he'll pay. S'truth! He must like Cooktown!"

"A hundred quid!" Bully Hayes swallowed a big breath, his brow buckling in a effort of mental concentration.

"Tom, he said huskily, "bring him and the money aboard at once. He can have the ship and the moon and all the stars between here and the Barrier Reef We'll treat him like the Sultan of Kilamaroo. Another week in this river and we 11 be eating the barnacles off our plates. Put on a clean shirt. Tom. We'll swing the longboat over and fetch this Rupert Rothschild aboard in style."

The longboat, with Amalpi and another Papuan deckhand at the oars, pulled ashore, the mate steering. The man in the white shantung followed their movements closely as Emery made fast to a tangle of roots.

The mate's glance passed to a small pile of luggage almost hidden by the tangle of foliage higher up the bank. Seated on one of the leather bags was a girl of twenty, a palm-leaf fan waving briskly in her hand.

The mate stifled an exclamation at sight of the slim, elegant figure while the man in the spotless shantung laughed quietly.

"I ought to have mentioned that the young lady goes with me."

"Is she your wife?" Emery asked. "The Leonora isn't a passenger ship. A lady on board is going to be awkward."

"She won't make a bit of difference. You'll find her quite easy to get on with. The fact is we're going to get married at the first Australian port. At the moment all I can say is that it's a runaway match."

The intending passenger cast smiling glances in the direction of the girl seated on the big leather bag. Emery's smile had vanished. He was thinking how Hayes would receive this young girl, the daughter of some rich planter, probably. It was a touchy problem.

The man in the shantung was speaking, his foot on the longboat's rowlock. "My name is Baring—Montagu Baring. I am connected with a bank in Batavia. I'm willing to add another fifty pounds to the passage money if you will take Susie—Miss Shenstone—to Cooktown."

Tom had a wife and daughter in Sydney, and, tough old blackbirder though he was, had always frowned on runaway marriages; although no one but a Chinaman would have run off with his Emma, he believed in parental rights and parental authority. At the same time he had a kindly feeling for young people cast away, so to speak, on a God forsaken peninsula.

"I'll take you both aboard," he decided at last. "We'll let the skipper settle the matter."

He turned to Amalpi, the gigantic Papuan with the brooding eyes, and spoke quickly.

"Get that luggage over there and stow it in the stern. We're going back now."

Susie Shenstone was tall and straight as a young bamboo. She smiled eagerly as Emery helped her into the longboat. She carried a valise, and the fragrance of a hundred islands seemed to have gathered in the yellow of her hair.

In a moment they were speeding back to the brig that hung still as a shadow in the hot, lifeless air. In all his life Tom Emery had never sat so near a beautiful woman. He had encountered the hefty brown and shaded belles of many an island trade-house. But here was something more akin to a perfect Australian peach, vivid, radiant. From her prettily-shoed feet to the top of her shimmering hair she exuded the charm of a young sultana.

"How, how in Hell did she get into this fever hole?" he asked himself as the long boat stood under the Leonora's lowered gangway. How had she travelled from Batavia to the spewy death lands of the Telave? She looked as if she had just stepped out of a ballroom!

And here was Hayes in his long-discarded pilot-jacket and white trousers waiting to receive them. Bland and handsome, curious as any schoolboy, the big seaman drank in the slim creation that mounted the gangway.

Emery called up to him from the long boat: "The gent, Mr. Baring, will explain about the lady, Cap'n. I'll stand by in case you can't take her."

Montagu Baring greeted Hayes the moment he reached the deck. "I have explained to your officer in the boat," he said, "that Miss Shenstone and I desire to get married in Cooktown. To refuse us now would be a calamity. We've burnt our bridges!"

Hayes gripped the proffered hand, his sharp eyes alive to the arresting beauty of the woman before him. He had met many society women in his day, the wives and daughters of consuls and governors. For the moment his manner was direct yet courteous.

"I'm sorry to say this brig wasn't built for passenger carrying," he said. "My ways are rough and the brig's rougher. There isn't a place, so to speak, where a lady can rest in comfort."

Miss Shenstone's glance went up and down the brig, over the little group of Kanaka deckhands squatting in the forepart, and then rested on the big-voiced seaman in the blue jacket.

"It's a clean ship and it smells good," she answered. "We're asking a great favor, I know, Captain. But if you refuse me a passage and send me back in the boat I shall die of jungle fever."

Her slender, jewelled fingers touched his sleeve, and his eyes twinkled merrily.

"Wherever you die, Miss Shenstone, there will be roses for remembrance," he told her gallantly. "I'm glad you like the Leonora: she's as smart and well found as anything you'd see at Farm Cove." Then he spoke to a couple of boys standing in the brig's waist. "Tidy up those two cabins next my stateroom. One for this lady; one for the gentleman. Get that chintz chair of mine and put it in the lady's cabin. Plenty linen in my lockers. Lay it out nicely," he instructed with the air of a saloon-cabin steward.

The Leonora stood away before a freshening nor'-easter. Emery was at the wheel. Miss Shenstone had long ago gone to her cabin, while Mr. Montagu Baring sampled some of Hayes's cheroots in the only deck-chair aboard the brig.

Hayes sat alone in his little stateroom, a month-old bundle of newspapers on the writing-desk before him. Whenever the chance offered he always collected the latest papers—for one thing, they told of the movements of the ships of the Australian naval station.

Days before the coming of Montagu Baring and Miss Shenstone his eye had fallen on an item of news which had gripped his imagination. It concerned the looting of the bullion vault aboard the four-thousand-ton Empress of India, bound from Sydney to Calcutta. The purser had been drugged one night when the Empress was entering Singapore. It was discovered later in the day that two of the Empress's passengers from Australia had left the ship. One, a young girl travelling in the saloon, had booked under the name of Sellars; the other, Bernard Nolan, a steerage passenger, had stepped on at Brisbane.

The name "Sellars" clung to Hayes's memory in a tantalising way. There was Dan Sellars, who ran a shooting-gallery on a vacant plot at Belmore Park. Dan's daughter Sue, in those days a leggy kid of thirteen, used to load the rifles on Saturday nights and gaff with the men and boys who thought they could make bull's-eyes. He tried to recall this leggy, larrikin girl with the tongue of a serpent and the face of a madonna. Alongside her father's shooting gallery, he recalled, she was often in control of a spinning board where sailors and boys put their shillings or pennies on a number.

Sue Sellars, he remembered, too, had the tiniest hand in the world, as many a tipsy sailor discovered when he searched his pockets after Sue had hustled him.

Hayes wondered now if Sue Sellars remembered him and the nights he used to make the wheel hot with spinning, or the money she won scoring bull's-eye after bull's eye against him at her father's racketty old gallery!

Three of the newspapers before him gave Sue's history in Sydney until she had been traced aboard the Empress of India. She had graduated from the shooting-gallery and the spinning-wheel to the card saloons of the big B.I. liners.

He recalled how she used to dance at Clontarf with her pretty pink sash and fairy feet. And woe to the newchum who stepped too near when she was dancing! A nod from her had put a nark of a policeman over the cliffs once. The push was fifty strong, and Sue had them in the hollow of her hand.

And this Bernard Nolan? The papers knew nothing of him. Maybe he was too cheap and too pasty to have a history—one of those derelict card-sharks you could pick up by the tail anywhere between Thursday and the billiard-room at the Bull and Mouth. Probably Sue had met him by accident. The drugged purser of the Empress of India and the burgled bullion vault had come out of Sue's brain; Nolan had merely stood by while she dug out the sapphires and emeralds.

Better than the old spinning-board! Better than the smoky little rifle-range with its kerosene flares! Better than dipping into the pockets of tipsy sailors and giving away the money to the first blowsy old dame who came to the stall with a crying face.

Yes, Sue had always been a good little giver.

Hayes scanned the dates of the newspapers on the desk, and arrived at the conclusion that it had taken Sue and Nolan exactly three months to travel from Singapore to the Telave River. Proas, sampans, cargo tramps, rice-boats; Batavia, Surabaya, Lombok. And that valise had never left her hand! In jungle rest-houses and paddy boats, on catamaran and paddle steamer, it had never left the little hand that used to search the tipsy sailormen's pockets.

And here she was, crazy to reach Sydney with the boodle, fighting her way through cane and swamp, dodging the big liners and public routes with a nerve of steel, making east and south for home. Good little Sue!

Bully helped himself to a stiff glass of whisky, and then reached for a small red-backed book on the desk. Opening it his eye traced certain items:

Hanrahan for stores at Townsville...	 89.13. 0
Matsu Hayadi ditto, Thursday...		  17. 0.10
Mother Lanigan, Dawes Point...		 100. 0. 0

"Mother Lanigan—her hard-earned savings!"

There were other items for stores and canvas amounting to five hundred pounds in all. Hayes closed the book with a grunt. Then he passed to the door and called to a boy at the stairhead.

"Tell Mr. Emery to come here when his trick's over. And say to Amalpi he'd better put that accordeon away and wash down the scuppers—the big swab !"

It was some time before Emery left the wheel. He entered the stateroom, the lines of his jaw and brow relaxing at sight of the proffered whisky bottle. He helped himself in silence, and then waited for what was coming.

Hayes was biting the end of a lead pencil, conning a row of figures. It seemed a long time before he spoke.

"We're out of stores, Tom. I'm blamed if I know how that Chinky cook of mine turns salt junk and a few rotten spuds into crisp patties and omelettes. We're on our last barrel of flour and the last of the molasses. And this kid Baring said the dinner to-night was a treat! Now, Tom," Hayes went on, "we've got to run this ship or take to the beach. The hundred and fifty I got from Baring won't fatten us or my creditors. I guess your missus, standing over her little tub in a Sydney back yard, has to step round to make up her rent."

The mate shifted his feet uneasily and was silent. Hayes listened to the sounds on deck, the crush of foam alongside, the continuous small voices of hull and rigging. Then:

"Only a mutiny will save us!" he declared at last. "And you've got to fix it, Tom!"

"A mutiny?" The mate's eye blazed suddenly. He stood away from the desk and stared almost fiercely at the big man in the chair.

A slow, mirthless grin touched the buccaneer's lips as he contemplated the spell-bound Emery.

"Listen, Tom. This Miss Shenstone has a packet of bullion-room jewellery in that bag she sleeps with; and God knows what besides in those trunks you brought aboard. The pickings and findings from a score of saloon cabins."

The mate was about to light his pipe; the match burned to his fingernail, while his jaw sagged.

"That young girl, Cap'n! Pickings and findings! You're daft!"

Hayes whirled in his chair. "Stow that gab! She's the cleverest little spieler that ever tapped a ship's safe."

The mate fawned limply beside the buccaneer s chair, humbled in the presence of such high-sounding iniquities.

"Tell us about this mutiny, Cap'n," he stammered at last. "I ain't got the idea yet; and I don't like the word."

Hayes slammed the desk softly with his great fist. "There's got to be a mutiny! It's the only way we can fool her. If I was Ross Lewin or Pease I'd bust open her cabin door, snavel her little bag and ask her to blanky well stop screaming. That's what I would do, but won't. And for why?"

The mate glared in silence.

Hayes stood up and lit a cheroot. "For why? Because the moment she got ashore every man, woman and child in Sydney and Brisbane would hear how Bully Hayes had pinched Sue Sellars's few belongings, and left her to starve on a beach! I know what I am," he went on. "From the Rocks to Manhiki I've slogged and kicked to death more bullies and curs than you could pile on a wool waggon. But I never hurt a woman in my life!"

The mate nodded, waited for the rest.

"So I've got to put it across her without violence, Tom. Listen. The night before we reach Thursday Island we'll stage my mutiny with that big slob Amalpi in the star part."

"He'll go to sleep in the middle of it," the mate predicted. "Sleeps like a cat when he gets a chance. Beside, he's scared of his own shadow."

"He'll do," Hayes insisted, "because he's half a foot bigger than me. Sue would never believe that any other man on this ship could lay me out," he added with pride.

"He couldn't lay you out with dynamite and rum," the mate complimented.

"I guess not," the buccaneer grinned. "I found him up in the Huon Gulf, fishing off the reef. I brought him aboard the brig and threw his relations overboard when they came on deck demanding his return to the beach."

"What's he get for playing his part, Cap'n? I'll have to promise him something."

"All that turkey twill in the storeroom, a couple of good knives and an axe to take back to his village."

"Aye, Cap'n."

"The main point is to rush me while I'm asleep down here. Amalpi can do that. The others can make a darned row when he carries me on deck. Sue will see it all. And as to Mr. Baring, you'll tie him up, too, and throw him alongside me on the deck. You can throw him hard, Tom. And by this time the brig will be standing close in to Thursday Island. You'll put Sue and Baring into the longboat and send 'em ashore."

The mate grunted approval. A second glass of whisky from the bottle on the deck removed the last lingering doubt concerning his ability to deal with Sue and Baring. The valise she carried would not leave the ship.

Hayes prowled up and down the narrow stateroom, listening for sounds in the next cabin, where Sue was reading a book she had found in one of the lockers. Baring was still in the deck-chair.

"And then," Hayes halted near the mate and whispered, "the game's ours. We're fifteen strong, all told. Once the pair are safe in the longboat they haven't a squeak left. Thieves on the run have got no say with the cops at Thursday Island. The little heavy bag is ours. I'll tell you more about the bag later on."

The mate swallowed a deep breath. "And while this is being done, Cap'n, you'll be lying trussed up on deck?"

"That's it, Tom. I'll be bound with ropes and helpless. I'll only be able to call out how sorry I am these bloodletters of mine have turned on me at last. I'll tell her she's lucky to get away with her life."

THE night was drenched with mist and spray from the plunging bows of the sail-lightened Leonora. Through the driving fog the lookout caught the starry blaze of lamps and buoy-flares. Thursday Island lay under their quarter.

A small group of figures had gathered in the brigs waist. Amalpi, the Huon Gulf accordeon player, towered amongst them, a belaying-pin in his hand.

He spoke in a stammering undertone to the silent Kanakas around him, then gave out a piercing yell that was like the stroke of a whip on the overwrought nerves of Emery at the wheel.

Waving the others aside, Amalpi hurtled down the narrow stairs leading to the stateroom, shot along the passage, and brought up with a snarl at the shut door of the stateroom.

Hayes was reclining on the old chintz covered sofa inside, a glow of satisfaction suffusing him at the blood-curdling disturbance coming in his direction. He heard Due's key snap in the lock of her cabin door. She, too, had heard Amalpi's war- whoop.

"He's a better derned actor than I thought!" Hayes muttered, rising from the sofa. "Now for it!"

The stateroom door fell in with a crash as the giant Papuan struck it with shoulder and belaying-pin. It was as though a charging bull had entered the apartment. Naked to his loincloth. Amalpi glowered uncertainly at the half-crouching Hayes, a tiny slaver of foam on his thick lips.

"Don't hang fire !" Hayes whispered. "Slam round, you big stiff. Make it rough. She's listening in the next cabin."

For an instant Amalpi drew away from the crouching figure of Hayes. Then he seemed to whirl across the floor, the pin smashing right and left among the stateroom furniture. In the bat of an eye mirrors and desk were flying splinters; the Blackwood piano Hayes had carried over the world was being smashed under the flailing blows from the iron pin.

Rage swept Hayes across the stateroom, his right fist slamming at the Papuan's jaw. "Fight me!" he snarled. "Don't wreck my damned ship!"

Amalpi swayed from the right-hander, and in the turn of a shoulder struck out with the heavy pin.

Hayes sagged, and rolled face down on the stateroom carpet. Amalpi bent over him, the lunatic fleck of foam still on his lips.

"You catch-um my father with this pin long time ago. Me no longer fright. Mine think you no more strong feller. You come alonga deck like one dam' chicken!"

With a coil of rope, placed ready to hand, the big Papuan bound Hayes, wrist and ankles, with the celerity and craft of a foresail hand. With scarcely an effort he gripped the white man in his arms and bore him up the stairs.

A deadly silence greeted Amalpi as he flung the unconscious Hayes on the for'ard hatch. The small group of Kanakas receded towards the fo'c's'le head as he turned to the poop, where Emery stood watching the bellying foresail from his post at the wheel. He chuckled at sight of Hayes, roped and inert across the hatch. The skipper was a good actor, he told himself. And that big fool Amalpi was doing himself credit.

Amalpi gained the poop with no more sound than if he had been a man-killing panther. He made his spring before the old seaman knew he had left the deck. The belaying-pin smote above the mate's right ear, and again as Emery crumpled under the poop rail.

Amalpi stood glaring at the hunched figure under his feet. Ukunumu! They wanted mutiny, these taubadas. It was easier than killing turtle.

The Tanna men in the waist and fo'c's'le were chattering with fear now that Hayes was hurt and helpless.

"Me no fright any more!" There was blood on the iron pin in Amalpi's fist. The sight of it woke the slayer in him as he leaped down from the poop. A death-hush had settled on the slow- heaving Leonora. The Kanaka crew were wailing behind the bolted fo'c's'le hatch. Not one of them would face him now.

He shattered an open skylight with a blow of the pin, and the sound of falling glass struck new terror into the listening Kanakas.

"Me no fright any more!"

Downstairs again, he halted at the cabin door of Mr. Montagu Baring. Mr. Baring was in his bunk, an oil lamp swinging from an overhead beam. He had been conscious of unusual sounds around him. But things were always happening on deck, shouts and cries, with the eternal trumpeting of the skipper's voice.

A tornado of blows on the cabin door lifted him from his bunk. Through a burst panel in the door he saw a demon-like shape smiting and pounding with an iron pin. A few more blows left space enough in the wood work for both men to sec each other clearly.

"You come along deck!" the Papuan shouted. "You go in one feller boat along Hayes. He no more cap'n here. Amalpi master now!"

"All right, Amalpi. I'll go ashore with Hayes. Easy with that belaying-pin while I call Miss Shenstone!"

The giant Papuan hunched his shoulders, eyes ablaze, the pin beating time to his snarled-out order.

"She no go ashore. She stay along ship. You jump-um now, quick!"

Mr. Montagu Baring jumped and gained the deck, where the longboat had already been swung from the falls.

The door of Sue's cabin opened almost in the face of the fight-frenzied Amalpi. The glow of the cabin lamp brought out the brightness of her hair. Her face had become pearl white. A dark veil capped her head like a helmet.

For one instant she stared at the Papuan before her, while her eyes narrowed to slits of steel.

"So Baring scooted upstairs when you told him!" Her words held the lash of a hurt fury. "You said jump, and he jumped, eh?"

Amalpi hung hypnotised in the corridor. His fascinated eyes took on the gleam of a snake's.

"He bin jump quick. Me boss of this ship, now. Plenty fright everybody."

She leaned from the doorway of the cabin the better to see him. "You mean all those black blobs upstairs are frightened of you?"

A peal of jeering laughter broke from her.

"Why, I've seen things like you crawl under a heap of bananas. The ship frightened of you! Why, you're just one of those boojums the kids used to shoot out of my box in Belmore!"

Amalpi did not understand her words. But the savage in him was rent by her lightning scorn and mockery. He stood away like a sulking bull.

Came the sound of the boat being lowered as several of the Kanakas hastened to obey the dominant Amalpi. Sue heard, and under stood. Thursday Island lay abeam. A brig full of black mutineers was no place for her.

"I'm going on deck," she announced flatly. "Stand away!"

A Colt's revolver slanted from her clenched hand. Amalpi had seen the movement and leaped to grab her in his arms.

"You no leave ship!" he howled. "Me boss here!"

A shattering explosion boomed along the corridor. The big Papuan halted in his leap to stare at something unbelievable and profoundly interesting. Then he drooped and fell in a heap at her feet.

The deck was astir when she reached it. A group of bewildered Kanakas was standing near the falls, staring down at the boat where Baring was seated in the stern. Then she saw the roped figure of Hayes on the for'ard hatch. Her cheeks blazed.

"Ain't none of you got nous enough to untie the skipper!" she flung out, snatching a knife from the sheath of a jabbering deck hand. In a moment she had cut through the ankle and wrist knots.

Hayes fought to a sitting position on the hatch, his fingers caressing the great bleeding bruise on his forehead. Then his feet found the deck with the unsteady lurch of a hurt mastiff. Slowly, painfully he made his way to the head of the cabin stairs and stared down at the black huddle of arms and legs in the passage.

A bitter grin stayed on his lips. His chest heaved under the stress of his movements. "That's what you were worth to me, Amalpi," he said—"a bullet in the neck! And you thought she would stand for your guyver!"

Reluctantly almost he made his way to the falls where Sue was standing, the small, heavy bag in her hand.

"You needn't have stopped to cut me loose." he growled. "The boat was ready for you!"

"I always stop for little things like that, Bully!" she gave back with an uncertain smile. "You did as much for me one night at Belmore, when the larries kicked my stall over. You tried to fix it up again and told me not to cry. And, oh my"—she trembled for the first time—"that black pansy downstairs gave me a fright!"

Hayes spoke to a boy at his elbow. "The lady's bags, Goma. Put them in the boat!"

He turned again to Sue. "The Barrabool is due here to- morrow. She'll take you home."

He followed her down the lowered gangway to the boat under the falls. His face darkened at sight of Baring in the stern.

"He jumped," Sue cried, "when that black sugarstick ordered him. Please ask him to jump out of that boat, Bully, back on to this ship. You'll be kinder to him than I'll be."

Montague Baring crawled to the deck of the Leonora, and down to his cabin.

Something dropped from Sue's hand as she stepped from the gangway to the boat—a thick roll of banknotes. Hayes recovered it quickly, and was about to thrust it into her sash. She eluded him nimbly.

"I've got more than I'll ever eat in a lifetime, Bully. And you're so broke you can't buy tea and sugar!"

He watched the boat shoot away to the mist-wrapped lights at the pier head as Emery came stumbling from the poop, swearing, staggering across the deck. He saw Sue lean back among her bags as the binnacle light touched her hair to red gold.


THE END


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