'Was I correct in my account of it, partner?' said Mr Wegg at length.
'No, partner. The question is now brought up, who is going to take care of this.
But his partner
could not and did not want to dance well.
Let me be your partner, and you'll see me rattle the dry bones of the Solomons.
A man and a woman, both young, partners on an isolated plantation.
After which I caused a procuration to be drawn, empowering him to be the receiver of the annual profits of my plantation: and appointing my partner to account with him, and make the returns, by the usual fleets, to him in my name; and by a clause in the end, made a grant of one hundred moidores a year to him during his life, out of the effects, and fifty moidores a year to his son after him, for his life: and thus I requited my old man.
Lastly, I wrote to my partner, acknowledging his industry in the improving the plantation, and his integrity in increasing the stock of the works; giving him instructions for his future government of my part, according to the powers I had left with my old patron, to whom I desired him to send whatever became due to me, till he should hear from me more particularly; assuring him that it was my intention not only to come to him, but to settle myself there for the remainder of my life.
This latter part we found to concern us directly, though we knew it to be false; yet, as my partner said, very justly, if we had fallen into their hands, and they had had such a prepossession against us beforehand, it had been in vain for us to have defended ourselves, or to hope for any good quarter at their hands; especially considering that our accusers had been our judges, and that we could have expected nothing from them but what rage would have dictated, and an ungoverned passion have executed.
I was some time of my partner's opinion; but after a little more serious thinking, I told him I thought it was a very great hazard for us to attempt returning to Bengal, for that we were on the wrong side of the Straits of Malacca, and that if the alarm was given, we should be sure to be waylaid on every side--that if we should be taken, as it were, running away, we should even condemn ourselves, and there would want no more evidence to destroy us.
Henry made no reply, and plodded on alone, though often he cast anxious glances back into the grey solitude where his partner had disappeared.
The dogs had laid down in the snow, and he walked past them to join his partner in the sled.
I gathered that the deserted partner
was very angry and threatened proceedings.