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VII.

On the morrow—rather, at a late hour the same day—while the sub-gang were absent at maize-hoeing, an Establishment officer visited the hut. Save him, no man entered the hut between the time of the gangers leaving it and their return. Yet when they came back for their noon-tide food, one and all


  ― 96 ―
of them—fellows who would have laughed at death had it come from Law and the authorities—changed colour as they saw on the stone table a scrap of folded paper.

On the outside of the paper was inscribed a single circle, with the figures “20” in its centre.

On the inside there was no word; only there were inscribed two circles, so—

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Image on page 96: Concentric circles

In the common centre of these was the roll-number of Henry Reynell—“No. 12.”

And below this symbol of the personality of the condemned was, stamped in candle-smoke, this—

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Image on page 96: Concentric circles with six-pointed star in the middle

It was the “One's” signature to his order of doom upon Henry Reynell, “No. 12” of Circle “Seven,” and the warrant was addressed to “No. 20” of Circle “Nine”—William Felix. It was his roll-symbol which was marked on the outside of the paper.note




  ― 97 ―

How Felix obeyed the warrant, and yet kept faithful to his vow to be sworn man to Reynell, will be told presently.

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