bng xp hng b¨®ng ¨¢ nam sea games 30
"English sportsmen, eh! How long have you been shooting?" he asked. "Eight months." "Eight months! Then guard them securely, Montes; they are doubtless rich Englishmen, and we shall get a good ransom for them. English se?ors who come out here to shoot must be men with plenty of money; but likely enough they are not sportsmen, but gold-seekers. However, it matters little." "I protest against this," Harry said. "Our consul at Lima will demand satisfaction from the government." The other laughed. "Government!" he said, "there is no government; and if there were, they would have no power up in the hills." So saying he turned away. Plunder that had been collected was brought in and divided among the party, four of the men with muskets keeping guard over the prisoners. "I don't see anything of Dias and the mules," Bertie said in English. "No, I have been expecting to see them brought up every minute. Now I am beginning to hope that they have got safely off. I think the fellows began their attack at our end of the village. "You know how watchful Dias is. Very likely he or JosÃ© were up, and you may be sure that the moment they heard the uproar they would drive the mules out and be off. You see only two of them are laden, and they could have thrown the things on to their backs and been off at once. He would know that it was useless to wait for us. I expect he would turn them off the road at once and make down towards the lake. If these fellows had caught him and the mules they would certainly have brought them up here before this." "I hope he got offâ€”not so much because of the mules, as because I am sure that, if he gets fairly away, he will do what he can to help us." "I am sure he will, Bertie. We must make the best of it. There is one thing, we have got a good month before us. It will take them all that time to go down to Lima about our ransom and return; and it is hard if we don't give them the slip before that." A quarter of an hour later the band started with their booty and prisoners for the hills. "I don't suppose they will go far," Harry said. "Quinda has got his hands full, and will be wanting to start as soon as he can to join Vivancohidas. He won't lose time in hunting the scoundrel who has caught us, so I expect the band make their head-quarters in some village at the foot of the hills." This turned out to be so. After a march of four hours the band halted in a village in a valley running up into the hills. The prisoners were thrust into an empty hut, and four men with muskets told off as their guard. Next morning the captain of the band came in. "I shall require a hundred thousand dollars for your ransom," he said. "We could never pay such a sum," Harry said. "We are not rich men. I am a lieutenant on half-pay in the English navy, and, having nothing to do at home, came out with my brother for a year's sport. I could not pay a tenth of that sum." "That we shall see," the man said. "If you cannot pay, your government can. You will at once write to your consul at Lima, telling him that if this hundred thousand dollars are not handed over to my messenger within four days of his arrival there, you will both have your throats cut." "I will write the letter if you wish," Harry replied quietly, "but you won't get the money. If you like to say ten thousand dollars, I dare say the consul will do his best to raise that amount." "One hundred thousand is the smallest sum," the man said angrily. "He can get it out of the government there. They will not choose to risk having trouble with your country for the sake of such a sum." "Gamarra is away," Harry said, "and it is pretty certain that he will not have left a hundred thousand dollars in the treasury; and even if he has, you maybe sure that his people there would not give it up, for he wants every penny for his war expenses." The man shrugged his shoulders. "So much the worse for you. Write as I told you; here is paper, pen, and ink. Do not write in English. I will come back in a quarter of an hour for it." "This is awkward, Bertie. It is evident that I must write. As to their paying twenty thousand pounds, the thing is absurd; if he had mentioned two thousand they might have considered the matter. What I hope is that they will not send up anything. I feel certain that we shall be able to get away from here within a month; and if they were to send up one or two thousand pounds, we should probably miss the fellow on the way. In that case we should have to repay the money when we got to Lima, which I certainly should not see my way to doâ€”anyhow, until I got to England, when I could, of course, sell out some of my stock. There is nothing here that we could use as invisible ink. If there were, I would risk writing a message with it; but even then it is fifty to one against their bringing it to light. Well, here goes!" and he wrote in Spanish the required message.