historical fiction story
The terrible old man dwells all alone in a very ancient house on water street near the sea and is reputed to be both exceedingly rich and feeble, which forms a situation desirable to men of the profession of Ricci and Silva, for that profession was nothing less dignified than robbery. According to the inhabitants, the terrible old man which generally keep safe from the attention of Mr. Ricci and his colleagues. The old man was a strange person, believed to have been a captain of East India Clipper ships in his day, so old that no one can remember when he was young and so taciturn that only a few know his real name. He maintains a strange collection of large stones, oddly grouped painted so that they resemble the idols in some obscure Eastern temple. This collection frightens away most of the small boys who love to taunt the terrible old man about his long white hair and beard or to break the small-paned windows of his dwelling with wicked missile These folk say that on a table on the ground floor are many peculiar bottles, in each a small piece of lead suspended pendulum wise from a string and whenever he speaks to the bottles, the little lead pendulum within makes specific, definite vibrations as if in answer . Some were quite sorry in their way for the lonely, unpopular old fellow, whom everybody shunned, and at whom all the dogs barked but business is business, and to a robber, there is a lure and a challenge about an ancient and feeble man They also feared it might be unpleasant work making the terrible old man loquacious concerning his hoarded gold and silver. Little things make considerable excitement in small towns, people talked all the spring about the three unidentified bodies, horribly slashed as with many cutlasses and horribly mangled as by the tread of many cruel boot-heels which the tide washed in and some people spoke of things as trivial as the deserted motorcar found in ship street or specific inhuman cries but in this idle village gossip the terrible old man took no interest at all. He was by nature reserved, and when one is aged and feeble, one’s reserve is doubly secure. Besides so ancient a sea- captain must have witnessed scores of things much more stirring in the far-off days of his unremembered youth.
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historical fiction story
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