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A Roving Commission by G. A. Henty

Dinah was standing at the entrance


was very good of him," Myra said; "when these troubles are over, Dinah, you may be sure that my father will reward him handsomely."

"Me suah of dat, mam'selle. He offer him ten louis, but Jake say no, if he be searched and dat gold found on 'im dey hang 'm up for suah. Marse say bery good, do much more dan dat for him when dese troubles ober. And now, dearie, how is madame going on?" and she went to the side of Madame Duchesne, put her hand on her forehead, and listened to her breathing. She turned round with a satisfied nod. "Feber nearly gone," she said; "two or tree days she open eyes and know us."

"And how did you get on, Dinah?"

"Me hab no trouble, sah; most ob de black fellows drunk all de day long. Nobody noticed dat Dinah was not dere. Some of de women dey say, 'What you do all day yesterday, Dinah?' and me say, 'Me ill, me no like dese doings.' Dey talk and say, 'Grand ting eberyone be free, eberyone hab plenty ob land, no work any more.' I say, 'Dat so, but what de use ob land if no work? where dey get cloth for dress? where dey get meal and rice? Dey tink all dese things grow widout work. What dey do when dey old, or when dey ill? Who look after dem?' Some ob dem want to quarrel; oders say, 'Dinah old woman, she hab plenty sense, what she say she say for true.' Me tell dem dat me no able to 'tand sight ob house burnt, no one at work in fields, madame and darter gone,

no one know where--perhaps killed. Dinah go and live by herself in de wood, only come down sometimes when she want food. She say dat to 'splain why she go away and come back sometimes."

"A very good idea, very good," Nat said warmly; "the women were not wrong when they said you had plenty of good sense. And now, Dinah, what is the news from other parts of the island?"

The old nurse was at the moment standing partly behind Myra, and she shook her head over the girl's shoulder to show that she did not wish to say anything before her, then she replied:

"Plenty ob talk, some say one ting some anoder; not worf listen to such foolishness."



Dinah lay down for a short sleep. It was far too late for Nat to start for Count de Noe's plantation, and when it was broad daylight, he went down to the pool for a bathe. When he returned, Dinah was standing at the entrance. She held up her hand to signal to him to stay below. She came down the steps, and sat down with him on a stone twenty or thirty yards up the stream.

"Mam'selle hab gone to sleep again," she said; "now we can talk quiet."

"And what is your news, Dinah?" he asked.

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