THE CASE OF JUAN DE LA CRUZ
Meanwhile, a new coxswain had been found for the launch, and as the old patron had left his vessel illegally, there was ground for his arrest on that score, so orders were given to the new patron and to the engine-driver to give him into custody if he came to claim his kit. Next time the launch arrived in Manila, sure enough the old patron appeared to fetch his belongings, and was taken to the calaboose of the captain of the port. The resident engineer called on that official, and, as a result of their conversation, the prisoner was put on board the launch to be conveyed to Cavite.
With all the stoicism of the Malay, he sat quite still and silent ; his impassive features betrayed no sign of anxiety or remorse.
But if the principal actor in this bloody tragedy could thus compose his mind, it was not so with others who knew more or less what had happened, but whose dread and hatred of the law and its myrmidons had kept their tongues quiet.
When the launch approached the Varadero near enough for the prisoner to be recognised, an unusual commotion occurred amongst the swarm of native workmen. A mysterious magnetism, an inexplicable vibration, pervaded the crowd. Unfelt by the senses, it acted on the mind, and seemed simultaneously to convey to each individual an identical idea.
The patron was a prisoner, therefore his crime was known ; no good could be done by keeping silent. Before this nobody knew anything about the disappearance of the two men. Now it leaked out, but only in confidence to Gustav Brown, whom they trusted. The native divers had seen the bodies when at their work on the foundations, and had moved them farther off out of their way. Men working at the jetties had seen them when they floated, but had looked in another direction. In fact, the corpses had been recognised, and the crime was known to scores of native and Chinese workmen, but no word or hint ever reached the foreman or the engineer till the culprit was arrested.
Now there were sufficient details to reconstitute the tragic scene.
The amour of the brothers with the San Roque girl was known, and also the well-founded jealousy of the patron, who at first endeavoured to obtain the engine-driver's discharge by the means already mentioned. This notThe amour of the brothers with the San Roque girl was known, and also the well-founded jealousy of the patron, who at first endeavoured to obtain the engine-driver's discharge by the means already mentioned. This not