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Chapter 14 Shaws Again


'Hoseason kidnapped you because your uncle asked him,' said Rankeillor.' We have to hear him say that. Then we do not have to use the law. We can take the house and the other things. They are yours. And we won't have to ask Mr Thomson for his story'.

Mr Rankeillor called the man in the next office. The man worked for Mr Rankeillor. Then we went to Shaws. On the way, I ran into the trees and told Alan our plan. He laughed and came with me.

' Mr Thomson, this is nice,' said Rankeillor.' But I forgot my glasses, so I won't know you again. Perhaps we won't meet again. I know a ship's captain, and he'll take you to Holland tomorrow.'

It was dark when we came to the house of Shaws. We looked, but we could see no lights anywhere in the house.

' My uncle is in bed,' I said quietly.

Mr Rankeillor and his man and I went across to the house and stood near the wall. Alan waited, then he went to the front door. He hit it hard.

After some minutes, I heard a noise. Ebenezer opened a window. He had his gun.

' Who is it ?' he called down.' I have my gun! And I'll shoot!'

But Alan was not afraid of the gun.' Is that you, Mr Balfour?' he shouted. Then he smiled.' Be careful with that gun. They are dangerous things.'

' What do you want ?' called Ebenezer.' Who are you ?'

' I'm here about David,' shouted Alan.

'Be quiet!' said Ebenezer. 'Don't shout. Which David are you talking about ?'

Alan stopped shouting, but he said, loudly, 'David Balfour. Now come down, and we will talk.'

Ebenezer came down slowly and opened the front door of the house. Then he spoke.

'Yes? 'he said.

' David Balfour,' Alan said again.' We've got him. Now, do you like the boy? You can pay us and we'll bring him home again. Or don't you want him?You can pay us and we'll lose him for you. What do you think ?'

My uncle did not speak.

' Answer, before I take my sword to you!' shouted Alan.

'Wh-what!' said my uncle. 'What's wrong with you? I'm trying to think.'

' Then try quickly!' said Alan.

' What do you want me to pay ?' my uncle asked.

'What did you pay Hoseason?' asked Alan.

' What do you mean ?' said Ebenezer.

'When he kidnapped David,' said Alan.

' How do you know about Hoseason ?' said my uncle.

' I work with Hoseason,' said Alan.' We're friends. You'll pay us a hundred pounds and we'll lose the boy for you. Is that right?'

' No, that's not right!' said Ebenezer.' I only gave Hoseason twenty pounds. Not a penny more. He can get more when he sells the boy in the Carolinas, but not a penny more from me. No. I can't give him more than twenty pounds.'

'Thank you, Mr Balfour,' said Rankeillor. He moved away from the wall, and now Ebeneezer could see him.

' What- !' began my uncle.

'We know everything now,' said Rankeillor. 'I have some papers here. You will put your name to them. My man will put his name to them, too, because he heard everything.'

Rankeillor's man moved away from the wall.

'And Mr David Balfour is here, too,' Rankeillor told my uncle.

I came out from my place by the wall of the house.

My uncle could not speak. He looked at me, and his eyes opened wide. Some minutes later, Mr Rankeillor had to help him into the kitchen. We followed them and Mr Rankeillor put the old man down on a chair.

' Now, Mr Ebenezer,' said Rankeillor.' We will not be difficult. Give us the key to your wine cupboard and we'll get a bottle of wine. This is a happy day'.

Now Mr Rankeillor turned to me.

' Mr David,' he said.' I hope you will be happy here, in your house. In your house.'

' In my house,' I said happily.

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