Summary and Analysis
Part 2: Chapter 7
Ricardo continues his account of his and Jones' villainous escape from the schooner. He credits the gentlemanly habits of Mr. Jones for their stopping short of murder. Mr. Jones, it seems, has a finesse about murder. He will not allow ferocity unless it is necessary. Ricardo says he has learned to control himself, too. He wouldn't show anything in his face even though he intended to rip a man up in the next minute.
He lifts his trouser leg and shows Schomberg a knife strapped to his leg. Ricardo recounts their meeting with Pedro, the alligator hunter, and his brother. He describes how they murdered the brother and brought Pedro into their service. Schomberg can scarcely believe what he is hearing. "Do you mean to say that all this happened?"
Scornfully Ricardo continues. He brags of Pedro's strength and abject devotion to Jones — more devoted than a dog. Ricardo admits that the knife strapped to his leg belonged to the murdered man. Ricardo admits that Jones has fits of boredom, and the only way to relieve them is to "lever him out."
Schomberg insists that he needs their rooms, that he must have been insane when he allowed them to set up illicit gambling in his concert hall. Ricardo warns him that if he goes to the police, Pedro will handle him. He has done such things before. It just takes one snap of the neck and "the man drops like a limp rag."
Ricardo hasn't moved his head, but his greenish irises glide into the corners of his eyes nearest Schomberg with "a coyly voluptuous expression."
The purpose of these chapters is to reveal the four evil characters in the cast. Schomberg is a cowardly but dangerous gossip; Jones, a deadly spectre; Ricardo, his green-eyed, cat-like follower, dedicated to murder; and Pedro, a sub-human beast controlled by Jones. These four compose the villain force of the book.