The Baldwin Library
The disturbance which she caused to the eyes and thoughts of the
congregation.-Chap. xxix. p. 349.
THE VOYAGES AND ADVENTURES OF
fir Ampa 3Leigf, ltnifyt,
OF BURROUGH, IN THE COUNTY OF DEVON,
IN THE REIGN OF HER MOST GLORIOUS MAJESTY
RENDERED INTO MODERN ENGLISH
BY CHARLES KINGSLEY
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHARLES E. BROOK
IN TWO VOLS.-VOL. II.
MACMILLAN AND CO., LTD.
NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO.
The First Edition of Westward Ho was published in 1855.
CONTENTS OF VOL. II.
XVI. THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE OF THE
GOOD SHIP ROSE 1
XVII. How THEY CAME TO BARBADOS, AND FOUND NO
MEN THEREIN 27
XVIII. How THEY TOOK THE PEARLS AT MARGARITA. 36
XIX. WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA 54
XX. SPANISH BLOODHOUNDS AND ENGLISH MASTIFFS 91
XXI. How THEY TOOK THE COMMUNION UNDER THE
TREE AT HIGUEROTE 129
XXII. THE INQUISITION IN THE INDIES 155
XXIII. THE BANKS OF THE META 161
XXIV. How AMYAS WAS TEMPTED OF THE DEVIL .186
XXV. HOW THEY TOOK THE GOLD-TRAIN 219
XXVI. How THEY TOOK THE GREAT GALLEON 259
XXVII. How SALVATION YEO FOUND HIS LITTLE MAID
XXVIII. How AMYAS CAME HOME THE THIRD TIME 327
XXIX. How THE VIRGINIA FLEET WAS STOPPED BY
THE QUEEN'S COMMAND 347
XXX. How THE ADMIRAL JOHN HAWKINS TESTIFIED
AGAINST CROAKERS. 386
XXXI. THE GREAT ARMADA 410
XXXII. How AMYAS THREW HIS SWORD INTO THE SEA 438
XXXIII. How AMYAS LET THE APPLE FALL 467
ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOL. II,
The disturbance which she caused to the eyes and
thoughts of the congregation Frontispiece
Chapter 16, headpiece 1
"Gave her Iknow not what of prognostics and diagnostics" 11
Amyas fetched him out by the collar .21
Chapter 17, headpiece 27
Chapter 18, headpiece 36
"Yield idolaters Yield, Spanish dogs !" 42
Fell on with his sword like a very Colbrand 50
Chapter 19, headpiece 54
The cavalier lifted his hat courteously, and joined
her; bowing low 79
'The giant threw him over his shoulder, and plunged
blindly on 86
Chapter 20, headpiece 91
Then began a fight most fierce and fell .112
A wild figure rushed upward at the Spaniard 118
Chapter 21, headpiece 129
Cary bullied and jeered on the stragglers 134
They knelt all together and received the Holy Communion 150
Chapter 22, headpiece 155
Chapter 23, headpiece 161
Caught up a bow, and held it fiercely towards him 180
Chapter 24, headpiece 186
viii ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOL. II
Consulting the Daughter of the Sun 190
High in air gleamed Amyas's blade 214
Chapter 25, headpiece. 219
Clasped him in her arms, and leaped with him from the
narrow ledge into the abyss 227
"Did you ever guess, most noble cavaliers, what Cain's
curse might be like ?" 246
Chapter 26, headpiece 259
His eyes staring on vacancy, while the two priests stood
as close against the wall as they could squeeze them-
Chapter 27, headpiece 306
The honest fellow, falling on his knees, covered Aya-
canora's hands with kisses 322
Chapter 28, headpiece .327
She threw her arms round his neck, and bent her fair
head over his 334
Chapter 29, headpiece 347
The wonder of the little boys of iYortham 372
Chapter 30, headpiece 386
"My Lord, my Lord I they'm coming !" 405
Chapter 31, headpiece 410
The tall, mail-clad figure of his foe leaps up upon the
Chapter 32, headpiece 438
'Shame !" cried Amyas, hurling his sword far into the
sea. .......... 455
They retired a little space and watched him 462
Chapter 33, headpiece 467
She seized both his hands, and covered them with kisses 474
THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE OF THE
GOOD SHIP ROSE.
He is brass within, and steel without,
With beams on his topcastle strong;
And eighteen pieces of ordinance
He carries on either side along."
Sir Andrew Barton.
LET us take boat, as Amyas did, at Whitehall-
stairs, and slip down ahead of him under old London
Bridge, and so to Deptford Creek, where remains, as
it were embalmed, the famous ship, Pelican, in which
Drake had sailed round the world. There she stands,
drawn up high and dry upon the sedgy bank of
Thames, like an old warrior resting after his toil.
Nailed upon her mainmast are epigrams and verses in
honour of her and of her captain, three of which, by
the Winchester scholar, Camden gives in his History;
and Elizabeth's self consecrated her solemnly, and
having banqueted on board, there and then honoured
Drake with the dignity of knighthood. "At which
VOL. II. B w. n.
2 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
time a bridge of planks, by which they came on board,
broke under the press of people, and fell down with a
hundred men upon it, who, notwithstanding, had none
of them any harm. So as that ship may seem to have
been built under a lucky planet."
There she has remained since as a show, and more-
over as a sort of dining-hall for jovial parties from the
City; one of which would seem to be on board this
afternoon, to judge from the flags which bedizen the
masts, the sounds of revelry and savoury steams which
issue from those windows which once were port-holes,
and the rushing to and fro along the river brink, and
across that lucky bridge, of white-aproned waiters
from the neighboring Pelican Inn. A great feast is
evidently toward, for with those white-aproned waiters
are gay serving men, wearing on their shoulders the
City-badge. The lord mayor is giving a dinner to
certain gentlemen of the Leicester house party, who
are interested in foreign discoveries; and what place
so fit for such a feast as the Pelican itself ?
Look at the men all round; a nobler company you
will seldom see. Especially too, if you be Americans,
look at their faces, and reverence them; for to them
and to their wisdom you owe the existence of your
At the head of the table sits the lord mayor; whom
all readers will recognize at once, for he is none other
than that famous Sir Edward Osborne, clothworker,
and ancestor of the Dukes of Leeds, whose romance
now-a-days is in every one's hands. He is aged, but
not changed, since he leaped from the window upon
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
London Bridge into the roaring tide below, to rescue
the infant who is now his wife. The chivalry and
promptitude of the 'prentice-boy have grown and
hardened into the thoughtful daring of the wealthy
merchant adventurer. There he sits, a right kingly
man, with my Lord Earl of Cumberland on his right
hand, and Walter Raleigh on his left; the three talk
together in a low voice on the chance of there being
vast and rich countries still undiscovered between
Florida and the River of Canada. Raleigh's half-
scientific declamation and his often quotations of
Doctor Dee the conjuror, have less effect on Osborne
than on Cumberland (who tried many an adventure
to foreign parts, and failed in all of them; apparently
for the simple reason that, instead of going himself,
he sent other people), and Raleigh is fain to call to
his help the quiet student who sits on his left hand,
Richard Hakluyt, of Oxford. But he is deep in talk
with a reverend elder, whose long white beard flows
almost to his waist, and whose face is furrowed by a
thousand storms; Anthony Jenkinson by name, the
great Asiatic traveller, who is discoursing to the
Christchurch virtuoso of reindeer-sledges and Siberian
steppes, and of the fossil ivory, plain proof of Noah's
flood, which the Tungoos dig from the ice-cliffs of the
Arctic sea Next to him is Christopher Carlile,
Walsingham's son-in-law (as Sidney also is now), a
valiant captain, afterwards general of the soldiery in
Drake's triumphant West Indian raid of 1585, with
whom a certain Bishop of Carthagena will hereafter
drink good wine. He is now busy talking with Alder-
4 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
man Hart the grocer, Sheriff Spencer the clothworker,
and Charles Leigh (Amyas's merchant-cousin), and
with Aldworth the mayor of Bristol, and William
Salterne, alderman thereof, and cousin of our friend
at Bideford. For Carlile, and Secretary Walsingham
also, have been helping them heart and soul for the
last two years to collect money for Humphrey and
Adrian Gilbert's great adventures to the North-west,
on one of which Carlile was indeed to have sailed him-
self, but did not go after all; I never could discover
for what reason.
On the opposite side of the table is a group, scarcely
less interesting. Martin Frobisher and John Davis,
the pioneers of the North-west passage, are talking
with Alderman Sanderson, the great geographer and
"setter forth of globes;" with Mr. Towerson, Sir
Gilbert Peckham, our old acquaintance Captain John
Winter, and last, but not least, with Philip Sidney
himself, who, with his accustomed courtesy, has given
up his rightful place toward the head of the table,
that he may have a knot of virtuosi all to himself;
and has brought with him, of course, his two especial
intimates, Mr. Edward Dyer and Mr. Francis Leigh.
They too are talking of the North-west passage; and
Sydney is lamenting that he is tied to diplomacy and
courts, and expressing his envy of old Martin Frobisher
in all sorts of pretty compliments; to which the other
"It's all very fine to talk of here, a sailing on dry
land with a good glass of wine before you; but you'd
find it another guess sort of business, knocking about
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
among the icebergs with your beard frozen fast to your
ruff, Sir Philip, specially if you were a bit squeamish
about the stomach."
That were a slight matter to endure, my dear sir,
if by it I could win the honour which Her Majesty
bestowed on you, when her own ivory hand waved a
farewell kerchief to your ship from the windows of
"Well, sir, folks say you have no reason to com-
plain of lack of favours, as you have no reason to
deserve lack; and if you can get them by staying
ashore, don't you go to sea to look for more, say I.
Eh, Master Towerson V"
Towerson's gray beard, which has stood many a
foreign voyage, both fair and foul, wags grim assent.
But at this moment a waiter enters, and-
"Please my Lord Mayor's Worship, there is a tall
gentleman outside, would speak with the Right
Honourable Sir Walter Raleigh."
"Show him in, man. Sir Walter's friends are
Amyas enters, and stands hesitating in the door-
Captain Leigh !" cry half-a-dozen voices.
"Why did you not walk in, sir ?" says Osborne.
"You should know your way well enough between
"Well enough, my lords and gentlemen. But Sir
Walter-you will excuse me,"-and he gave Raleigh
a look which was enough for his quick wit. Turning
pale as death, he rose, and followed Amyas into an
6 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
adjoining cabin. They were five minutes together;
and then Amyas came out alone.
In few words he told the company the sad story
which we already know. Ere it was ended, noble
tears were glistening on some of those stern faces.
"The old Egyptians," said Sir Edward Osborne,
"when they banqueted, set a corpse among their
guests, for a memorial of human vanity. Have we
forgotten God and our own weakness in this our feast,
that He Himself has sent us thus a message from the
"Nay, my Lord Mayor," said Sidney, "not from
the dead, but from the realm of everlasting life."
"Amen!" answered Osborne. "But, gentlemen,
our feast is at an end. There are those here who
would drink on merrily, as brave men should, in spite
of the private losses of which they have just had news;
but none here who can drink with the loss of so great
a man still ringing in his ears."
It was true. Though many of the guests had
suffered severely by the failure of the expedition, they
had utterly forgotten that fact in the awful news of
Sir Humphrey's death; and the feast broke up sadly
and hurriedly, while each man asked his neighbour,
"What will the Queen say U"
Raleigh re-entered in a few minutes, but was silent,
and pressing many an honest hand as he passed, went
out to call a wherry, beckoning Amyas to follow him.
Sidney, Cumberland, and Frank went with them in
another boat, leaving the two to talk over the sad
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE. 7
They disembarked at Whitehall-stairs; Raleigh,
Sidney, and Cumberland went to the palace; and the
two brothers to their mother's lodgings.
Amyas had prepared his speech to Frank about
Rose Salterne, but now that it was come to the point,
he had not courage to begin, and longed that Frank
would open the matter. Frank, too, shrank from
what he knew must come, and all the more because
he was ignorant that Amyas had been to Bideford, or
knew aught of the Rose's disappearance.
So they went upstairs; and it was a relief to both
of them to find that their mother was at the Abbey;
for it was for her sake that both dreaded what was
coming. So they went and stood in the bay-window
which looked out upon the river, and talked of things
indifferent, and looked earnestly at each other's faces
by the fading light, for it was now three years since
they had met.
Years and events had deepened the contrast between
the two brothers; and Frank smiled with affectionate
pride as he looked up in Amyas's face, and saw that
he was no longer merely the rollicking handy sailor-
lad, but the self-confident and stately warrior, showing
in every look and gesture
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength and skill,
worthy of one whose education had been begun by
such men as Drake and Grenvile, and finished by such
as Raleigh and Gilbert. His long locks were now
cropped close to the head; but as a set-off, the lips
and chin were covered with rich golden beard; his
8 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
face was browned by a thousand suns and storms; a
long scar, the trophy of some Irish fight, crossed his
right temple; his huge figure had gained breadth in
proportion to its height; and his hand, as it lay upon
the window-sill, was hard and massive as a smith's.
Frank laid his own upon it, and sighed; and Amyas
looked down, and started at the contrast between the
two-so slender, bloodless, all but transparent, were
the delicate fingers of the courtier. Amyas looked
anxiously into his brother's face. It was changed,
indeed, since they last met. The brilliant red was still
on either cheek, but the white had become dull and
opaque; the lips were pale, the features sharpened;
the eyes glittered with unnatural fire: and when
Frank told Amyas that he looked aged, Amyas could
not help thinking that the remark was far more true
of the speaker himself.
Trying to shut his eyes to the palpable truth, he
went on with his chat, asking the names of one build-
ing after another.
"And so this is old Father Thames, with his bank
Yes. His banks are stately enough: yet, you see,
he cannot stay to look at them. He hurries down to
the sea; and the sea into the ocean; and the ocean
Westward-ho, for ever. All things move Westward-
ho. Perhaps we may move that way ourselves, some
"What do you mean by that strange talk ?"
"Only that the ocean follows the primum mobile of
the heavens, and flows for ever from east to west. Is
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
there anything so strange in my thinking of that,
when I am just come from a party where we have
been drinking success to Westward-ho ?"
"And much good has come of it! I have lost the
best friend and the noblest captain upon earth, not to
mention all my little earnings, in that same confounded
gulf of Westward-ho."
"Yes, Sir Humphrey Gilbert's star has set in the
west-why not ? Sun, moon, and planets sink into
the west: why not the meteors of this lower world?
why not a will-o'-the wisp like me, Amyas ?"
"God forbid, Frank !"
"Why, then Is not the west the land of peace,
and the land of dreams ? Do not our hearts tell us
so each time we look upon the setting sun, and long
to float away with him upon the golden-cushioned
clouds ? They bury men with their faces to the east.
I should rather have mine turned to the west, Amyas,
when I die; for I cannot but think it some divine
instinct which made the ancient poets guess that
Elysium lay beneath the setting sun. It is bound up
in the heart of man, that longing for the west. I
complain of no one for fleeing away thither beyond
the utmost sea, as David wished to flee, and be at
"Complain of no one for fleeing thither?" asked
Amyas. "That is more than I do."
Frank looked inquiringly at him; and then-
"No. If I had complained of any one, it would
have been of you just now, for seeming to be tired of
10 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
"Do you wish me to go, then ?"
"God knows," said Frank, after a moment's pause.
"But I must tell you now, I suppose, once and for all.
That has happened at Bideford which- "
"Spare us both, Frank; I know all. I came
through Bideford on my way hither; and came hither
not merely to see you and my mother, but to ask
your advice and her permission."
"True heart! noble heart!" cried Frank. "I
knew you would be staunch !"
"Westward-ho it is, then" .
"Can we escape ?"
"Amyas, does not that which binds you bind me "
Amyas started back, and held Frank by the
shoulders at arm's length; as he did so, he could feel
through, that his brother's arms were but skin and
"You? Dearest man, a month of it would kill
Frank smiled, and tossed his head on one side in
his pretty way.
"I belong to the school of Thales, who held that
the ocean is the mother of all life; and feel no more
repugnance at returning to her bosom again than
Humphrey Gilbert did."
"But Frank,-my mother ?"
"My mother knows all; and would not have us
unworthy of her."
"Impossible! She will never give you up!"
"All things are possible to them that believe in
"Gave her I know not what of prognostics andl I r."
Chap. xvi. p. 11.
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
God, my brother; and she believes. But, indeed,
Doctor Dee, the wise man, gave her but this summer
I know not what of prognostics and diagnostics con-
cerning me. I am born, it seems, under a cold and
watery planet, and need, if I am to be long lived, to
go nearer to the vivifying heat of the sun, and there
bask out my little life, like fly on wall. To tell truth,
he has bidden me spend no more winters here in the
east; but return to our native sea-breezes, there to
warm my frozen lungs; and has so filled my mother's
fancy with stories of sick men, who were given up for
lost in Germany and France, and yet renewed their
youth, like any serpent or eagle, by going to Italy,
Spain, and the Canaries, that she herself will be more
ready to let me go, than I to leave her all alone.
And yet I must go, Amyas. It is not merely that my
heart pants, as Sidney's does, as every gallant's ought,
to make one of your noble choir of Argonauts, who
are now replenishing the earth and subduing it for
God and for the Queen; it is not merely, Amyas, that
love calls me-love tyrannous and uncontrollable,
strengthened by absence, and deepened by despair;
but honour, Amyas-my oath--"
And he paused for lack of breath, and bursting
into a violent fit of coughing, leaned on his brother's
shoulder, while Amyas cried,
"Fools, fools that we were-that I was, I mean-
to take that fantastical vow!"
"Not so," answered a gentle voice from behind:
"you vowed for the sake of peace on earth, and good-
will toward men, and 'Blessed are the peacemakers,
12 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
for they shall be called the children of God.' No, my
sons, be sure that such self-sacrifice as you have shown
will meet its full reward at the hand of Him who sacri-
ficed Himself for you."
"0 mother! mother!" said Amyas, "and do you
not hate the very sight of me-come here to take
away your first-born?"
"My boy, God takes him, and not you. And if I
dare believe in such predictions, Doctor Dee assured
me that some exceeding honour awaited you both in
the west, to each of you according to your deserts."
"Ah!" said Amyas. "My blessing, I suppose,
will be like Esau's, to live by my sword; while
Jacob here, the spiritual man, inherits the kingdom
of heaven, and an angel's crown."
Be it what it may, it will surely be a blessing, as
long as you are such, my children, as you have been.
At least my Frank will be safe from the intrigues of
court, and the temptations of the world. Would that
I too could go with you, and share in your glory!
Come, now," said she, laying her head upon Amyas's
breast, and looking up into his face with one of her
most winning smiles, I have heard of heroic mothers
ere now, who went forth with their sons to battle,
and cheered them on to victory. Why should I not
go with you on a more peaceful errand ? I could
nurse the sick, if there were any; I could perhaps
have speech of that poor girl, and win her back more
easily than you. She might listen to words from a
woman-a woman, too, who has loved-which she
could not hear from men. At least I could mend
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
and wash for you. I suppose it is as easy to play the
good housewife afloat as on shore ? Come, now !"
Amyas looked from one to the other.
God only knows which of the two is less fit to
go. Mother! mother! you know not what you ask.
Frank! Frank! I do not want you with me. This
is a sterner matter than either of you fancy it to be;
one that must be worked out, not with kind words,
but with sharp shot and cold steel."
"How?" cried both together, aghast.
"I must pay my men, and pay my fellow-adven-
turers; and I must pay them with Spanish gold.
And what is more, I cannot, as a loyal subject of the
Queen's, go to the Spanish Main with a clear conscience
on my own private quarrel, unless I do all the harm
that my hand finds to do, by day and night, to her
enemies, and the enemies of God."
"What nobler knight-errantry?" said Frank,
cheerfully; but Mrs. Leigh shuddered.
"What! Frank too?" she said, half to herself;
but her sons knew what she meant. Amyas's warlike
life, honourable and righteous as she knew it to be,
she had borne as a sad necessity: but that Frank as
well should become "a man of blood," was more than
her gentle heart could face at first sight. That one
youthful duel of his he had carefully concealed from
her, knowing her feeling on such matters. And it
seemed too dreadful to her to associate that gentle
spirit with all the ferocities and the carnage of a
battle-field. "And yet," said she to herself, "is this
but another of the self-willed idols which I must re-
14 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
nounce one by one ?" And then, catching at a last
hope, she answered-
"Frank must at least ask the Queen's leave to go;
and if she permits, how can I gainsay her wisdom?"
And so the conversation dropped, sadly enough.
But now began a fresh perplexity in Frank's soul,
which amused Amyas at first, when it seemed merely.
jest, but nettled him a good deal when he found it
earnest. For Frank looked forward to asking the
Queen's permission for his voyage with the most
abject despondency and terror. Two or three days
passed before he could make up his mind to ask for
an interview with her; and he spent the time in
making as much interest with Leicester, Hatton, and
Sidney, as if he were about to sue for a reprieve from
So said Amyas, remarking, further, that the Queen
could not cut his head off for wanting to go to sea.
"But what axe so sharp as her frown ?" said Frank,
in most lugubrious tone.
Amyas began to whistle in a very rude way.
"Ah, my brother, you cannot comprehend the pain
of parting from her."
No, I can't. I would die for the least hair of her
royal head, God bless it! but I could live very well
from now till Doomsday without ever setting eyes on
the said head."
"Plato's Troglodytes regretted not that sunlight
which they had never beheld."
Amyas, not understanding this recondite conceit,
made no answer to it, and there the matter ended for
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
the time. But at last Frank obtained his audience;
and after a couple of hours' absence returned quite
pale and exhausted.
"Thank Heaven, it is over! She was very angry
at first-what else could she be ?-and upbraided me
with having set my love so low. I could only answer,
that my fatal fault was committed before the sight of
her had taught me what was supremely lovely, and
only worthy of admiration. Then she accused me of
disloyalty in having taken an oath which bound me
to the service of another than her. I confessed my
sin with tears, and when she threatened punishment,
pleaded that the offence had avenged itself heavily
already,-for what worse punishment than exile from
the sunlight of her presence, into the outer darkness
which reigns where she is not ? Then she was pleased
to ask me, how I could dare, as her sworn servant,
to desert her side in such dangerous times as these;
and asked me how I should reconcile it to my con-
science, if on my return I found her dead by the
assassin's knife 2 At which most pathetic demand I
could only throw myself at once on my own knees
and her mercy, and so awaited my sentence. Whereon,
with that angelic pity which alone makes her awful-
ness endurable, she turned to Hatton and asked,
'What say you, Mouton ? Is he humbled suffi-
ciently?' and so dismissed me."
"Heigh ho !" yawned Amyas;
If the bridge had been stronger,
My tale had been longer."
"Amyas! Amyas!" quoth Frank, solemnly, "you
16 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
know not what power over the soul has the native
and God-given majesty of royalty (awful enough in
itself), when to it is superadded the wisdom of the
sage, and therewithal the tenderness of the woman.
Had I my will, there should be in every realm not a
salique, but an anti-salique law: whereby no kings,
but only queens should rule mankind. Then would
weakness and not power be to man the symbol of
divinity; love, and not cunning, would be the arbiter
of every cause; and chivalry, not fear, the spring of
"Humph! There's some sense in that," quoth
Amyas. "I'd run a mile for a woman when I would
not walk a yard for a man; and-Who is this our
mother is bringing in 1 The handsomest fellow I ever
saw in my life !"
Amyas was not far wrong; for Mrs. Leigh's com-
panion was none other than Mr. Secretary, Amyas's
Smerwick Fort acquaintance; alias Colin Clout, alias
Immerito, alias Edmund Spenser. Some half-jesting
conversation had seemingly been passing between the
poet and the saint; for as they came in she said with
a smile (which was somewhat of a forced one),
"Well, my dear sons, you are sure of immortality,
at least on earth; for Mr. Spenser has been vowing
to me to give your adventure a whole canto to itself
in his Fairy Queen."
"And you no less, madam," said Spenser. "What
were the story of the Gracchi worth without the figure
of Cornelia ? If I honour the fruit, I must not forget
the stem which bears it. Frank, I congratulate you."
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
"Then you know the result of my interview,
"I know everything, and am content," said Mrs.
Mrs. Leigh has reason to be content," said Spenser,
"with that which is but her own likeness."
Spare your flattery to an old woman, Mr. Spenser.
When, pray, did I (with a most loving look at Frank)
refuse knighthood for duty's sake ?"
"Knighthood cried Amyas. "You never told me
"That may well be, Captain Leigh," said Spenser;
"but believe me, her Majesty (so Hatton assures me)
told him this day, no less than that by going on this
quest he deprived himself of that highest earthly hon-
our, which crowned heads are fain to seek from their
Spenser did not exaggerate. Knighthood was
then the prize of merit only; and one so valuable,
that Elizabeth herself said, when asked why she did
not bestow a peerage upon some favourite, that having
already knighted him, she had nothing better to be-
stow. It remained for young Essex to begin the
degradation of the order in his hapless Irish campaign,
and for James to complete that degradation by his
novel method of raising money by the sale of baronet-
cies; a new order of hereditary knighthood which
was the laughing-stock of the day, and which (how-
ever venerable it may have since become) reflects
anything but honour upon its first possessors.
"I owe you no thanks, Colin," said Frank, "for
VOL. II. C w. H.
18 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
having broached my secret: but I have lost nothing
after all. There is still an order of knighthood in
which I may win my spurs, even though Her Majesty
refuse me the accolade."
What, then ? you will not take it from a foreign
"Have you never read of that knighthood which
is eternal in the heavens, and of those true cavaliers
whom John saw in Patmos, riding on white horses,
clothed in fine linen white and clean, knights-errant
in the everlasting war against the false prophet and
the beast ? Let me but become worthy of their ranks
hereafter, what matter whether I be called Sir Frank
on earth "
"My son," said Mrs. Leigh, "remember that they
follow one whose vesture is dipped, not in the blood
of His enemies, but in His own."
"I have remembered it for many a day; and re-
membered, too, that the garments of the knights may
need the same tokens as their Captain's."
"Oh, Frank! Frank! is not His precious blood
enough to cleanse all sin, without the sacrifice of our
"We may need no more than His blood, mother,
and yet He may need ours," said Frank.
How that conversation ended I know not, nor
whether Spenser fulfilled his purpose of introducing
the two brothers and their mother into his Fairy
Queen. If so, the manuscripts must have been lost
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
among those which perished (along with Spenser's
baby) in the sack of Kilcolman by the Irish in 1598.
But we need hardly regret the loss of them; for the
temper of the Leighs and their mother is the same
which inspires every canto of that noblest of poems;
and which inspired, too, hundreds in those noble days,
when the chivalry of the middle ages was wedded to
the free thought and enterprise of the new.
So mother and sons returned to Bideford, and set
to work. Frank mortgaged a farm; Will Cary did
the same (having some land of his own from his
mother). Old Salterne grumbled at any man save
himself spending a penny on the voyage, and forced
on the adventurers a good ship of two hundred tons
burden, and five hundred pounds toward fitting her
out; Mrs. Leigh worked day and night at clothes and
comforts of every kind; Amyas had nothing to give
but his time and his brains: but, as Salterne said,
the rest would have been of little use without them;
and day after day he and the old merchant were on
board the ship, superintending with their own eyes
the fitting of every rope and nail. Cary went about
beating up recruits; and made, with his jests and his
frankness, the best of crimps: while John Brimble-
combe, beside himself with joy, toddled about after
him from tavern to tavern, and quay to quay, exalted
for the time being (as Cary told him) into a second
Peter the Hermit; and so fiercely did he preach a
crusade against the Spaniards, through Bideford and
Appledore, Clovelly and Ilfracombe, that Amyas
20 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
might have had a hundred and fifty loose fellows in
the first fortnight. But he knew better: still smarting
from the effects of a similar haste in the Newfound-
land adventure, he had determined to take none but
picked men; and by dint of labour he obtained them.
Only one' scapegrace did he take into his crew,
named Parracombe; and by that scapegrace hangs a
tale. He was an old school-fellow of his at Bideford,
and son of a merchant in that town-one of those
unlucky members who are "nobody's enemy but their
own "-a handsome, idle, clever fellow, who used his
scholarship, of which he had picked up some smatter-
ing, chiefly to justify his own escapades, and to string
songs together. Having drunk all that he was worth
at home, he had in a penitent fit forsworn liquor, and
tormented Amyas into taking him to sea, where he
afterwards made as good a sailor as any one else, but
sorely scandalised John Brimblecombe by all manner
of heretical arguments, half Anacreontic, half smack-
ing of the rather loose doctrines of that "Family of
Love" which tormented the orthodoxy and morality
of more than one bishop of Exeter. Poor Will
Parracombe he was born a few centuries too early.
Had he but lived now, he might have published a
volume or two of poetry, and then settled down on the
staff of a newspaper. Had he even lived thirty years
later than he did, he might have written frantic
tragedies or filthy comedies for the edification of
James's profligate metropolis, and roystered it in
taverns with Marlowe, to die as Marlowe did, by a
footman's sword in a drunken brawl. But in those
yas fetched him out by the collar.-Chap. xvi. p. 21.-
Amyas fetched him out by the collar.-Chap. xvi. p. 21.
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
stern days such weak and hysterical spirits had no
fair vent for their "humours," save in being reconciled
to the Church of Rome, and plotting with Jesuits to
assassinate the Queen, as Parry, and Somerville, and
many other madmen, did.
So, at least, some Jesuit or other seems to have
thought, shortly after Amyas had agreed to give the
spendthrift a berth on board. For one day Amyas,
going down to Appledore about his business, was
called into the little "Mariners' Rest" inn, to extract
therefrom poor Will Parracombe, who (in spite of his
vow) was drunk and outrageous, and had vowed the
death of the landlady and all her kin. So Amyas
fetched him out by the collar, and walked him home
thereby to Bideford; during which walk Will told
him a long and confused story; how an Egyptian
rogue had met him that morning on the sands by
Boathythe, offered to tell his fortune, and prophesied
to him great wealth and honour, but not from the
Queen of England; had coaxed him to the Mariners'
Rest, and gambled with him for liquor, at which it
seemed Will always won, and of course drank his
winnings on the spot; whereon the Egyptian began
asking him all sorts of questions about the projected
voyage of the Rose-a good many of which, Will con-
fessed, he had answered before he saw the fellow's
drift; after which the Egyptian had offered him a
vast sum of money to do some desperate villany; but
whether it was to murder Amyas, or the Queen,
whether to bore a hole in the bottom of the good
ship Rose, or to set the Torridge on fire by art-magic,
22 THE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
he was too drunk to recollect exactly. Whereon
Amyas treated three-quarters of the story as a tipsy
dream, and contented himself by getting a warrant
against the landlady for harbouring "Egyptians,"
which was then a heavy offence-a gipsy disguise
being a favourite one with Jesuits and their emissaries.
She of course denied that any gipsy had been there;
and though there were some who thought they had
seen such a man come in, none had seen him go out
again. On which Amyas took occasion to ask, what
had become of the suspicious Popish ostler whom he
had seen at the Mariners' Rest three years before;
and discovered, to his surprise, that the said ostler had
vanished from the very day of Don Guzman's de-
parture from Bideford. There was evidently a
mystery somewhere: but nothing could be proved;
the landlady was dismissed with a reprimand, and
Amyas soon forgot the whole matter, after rating
Parracombe soundly. After all, he could not have
told the gipsy (if one existed) anything important;
for the special destination of the voyage (as was the
custom in those times, for fear of Jesuits playing into
the hands of Spain) had been carefully kept secret
among the adventurers themselves, and, except Yeo
and Drew, none of the men had any suspicion that
La Guayra was to be their aim.
And Salvation Yeo ?
Salvation was almost wild for a few days, at the
sudden prospect of going in search of his little maid,
and of fighting Spaniards once more before he died.
I will not quote the texts out of Isaiah and the Psalms
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
with which his mouth was filled from morning to
night, for fear of seeming irreverent in the eyes of a
S generation which does not believe, as Yeo believed,
that fighting the Spaniards was as really fighting in
God's battle against evil, as were the wars of Joshua
or David. But the old man had his practical hint
too, and entreated to be sent back to Plymouth to
look for men.
"There's many a man of the old Pelican, sir, and
of Captain Hawkins' Minion, that knows the Indies
as well as I, and longs to be back again. There's
Drew, sir, that we left behind (and no better sailing-
master for us in the west country, and has accounts
against the Spaniards, too; for it was his brother, the
Barnstaple man, that was factor aboard of poor Mr.
Andrew Barker, and got clapt into the Inquisition at
the Canaries); you promised him, sir, that night he
stood by you on board the Raleigh; and if you'll be
as good as your word, he'll be as good as his; and
bring a score more brave fellows with him."
So off went Yeo to Plymouth, and returned with
Drew and a score of old never-strikes. One look at
their visages, as Yeo proudly ushered them into the
Ship Tavern, showed Amyas that they were of the
metal which he wanted, and that,, with the four
North-Devon men who had gone round the world
with him in the Pelican (who all joined in the first
week), he had a reserve-force on which he could de-
pend in utter need; and that utter need might come
he knew as well as any.
Nor was this all which Yeo had brought; for he
24 TIIE MOST CHIVALROUS ADVENTURE
had with him a letter from Sir Francis Drake, full of
regrets that he had not seen "his dear lad" as he
went through Plymouth. "But indeed I was up to
Dartmoor, surveying with cross-staff and chain, over
my knees in bog for a three weeks or more. For I
have a project to bring down a least of fair water from
the hill-tops right into Plymouth town, cutting off the
heads of Tavy, Meavy, Wallcomb, and West Dart,
and thereby purging Plymouth harbour from the silt
of the mines whereby it has been choked of late years,
and giving pure drink not only to the townsmen, but
to the fleets of the Queen's Majesty; which if I do, I
shall both make some poor return to God for all His
unspeakable mercies, and erect unto myself a monu-
ment better than of brass or marble, not merely
honourable to me, but useful to my countrymen."'
Whereon Frank sent Drake a pretty epigram, compar-
ing Drake's projected leat to that river of eternal life
whereof the just would drink throughout eternity,
and quoting (after the fashion of those days) John vii.
38; while Amyas took more heed of a practical
appendage to the same letter, which was a list of
hints scrawled for his use by Captain John Hawkins
himself, on all sea matters, from the mounting of
ordnance to the use of vitriol against the scurvy, in
default of oranges and "limmons;" all which stood
Amyas in good stead during the ensuing month, while
Frank grew more and more proud of his brother, and
more and more humble about himself.
1 This noble monument of Drake's piety and public spirit
still remains in full use.
OF THE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
For he watched with astonishment how the simple
sailor, without genius, scholarship, or fancy, had
gained, by plain honesty, patience, and common sense,
a power over the human heart, and a power over his
work, whatsoever it might be, which Frank could only
admire afar off. The men looked up to him as in-
fallible, prided themselves on forestalling his wishes,
carried out his slightest hint, worked early and late to
win a smile from him; while as for him, no detail
escaped him, no drudgery sickened him, no dis-
appointment angered him, till on the 15th of Novem-
ber, 1583, dropped down from Bideford Quay to
Appledore Pool the tall ship Rose, with a hundred
men on board (for sailors packed close in those days),
beef, pork, biscuit, and good ale (for ale went to sea
always then) in abundance, four culverins on her
main deck, her poop and forecastle well fitted with
swivels of every size, and her racks so full of muskets,
calivers, long bows, pikes and swords, that all agreed
so well-appointed a ship had never sailed out over
The next day being Sunday, the whole crew re-
ceived the Communion together at Northam Church,
amid a mighty crowd; and then going on board
again, hove anchor and sailed out over the Bar before
a soft east wind, to the music of sackbut, fife, and
drum, with discharge of all ordnance, great and
small, with cheering of young and old from cliff and
strand and quay, and with many a tearful prayer and
blessing upon that gallant bark, and all brave hearts
26 THE ADVENTURE OF TItE GOOD SHIP ROSE.
And Mrs. Leigh, who had kissed her sons for the
last time after the Communion at the altar-steps (and
what more fit place for a mother's kiss ?)'went to the
rocky knoll outside the churchyard wall, and watched
the ship glide out between the yellow denes, and lessen
slowly hour by hour into the boundless west, till her
hull sank below the dim horizon, and her white sails
faded away into the gray Atlantic mist, perhaps for
And Mrs. Leigh gathered her cloak about her, and
bowed her head and worshipped; and then went
home to loneliness and prayer.
HOW THEY CAME TO BARBADOS, AND FOUND
NO MEN THEREIN.
The sun's rim dips; the stars rush out;
At one stride comes the dark."-COLERIDmn .
LAND land! land! Yes, there it was, far away to
the south and west, beside the setting sun, a long blue
bar between the crimson sea, and golden sky. Land
at last, with fresh streams, and cooling fruits, and free
room for cramped and scurvy-weakened limbs. And
there, too, might be gold, and gems, and all the wealth
of Ind. Who knew? Why not The old world of
fact and prose lay thousands of miles behind them, and
before them and around them was the realm of won-
der and fable, of boundless hope and possibility. Sick
men crawled up out of their stifling hammocks; strong
men fell on their knees and gave God thanks; and
all eyes and hands were stretched eagerly toward the
far blue cloud, fading as the sun sank down, yet rising
higher and broader as the ship rushed on before the
rich trade-wind, which whispered lovingly round brow
and sail, I am the faithful friend of those who dare !"
"Blow freshly, freshlier yet, thou good trade-wind, of
whom it is written that He makes the winds His
28 HOW THEY CAME TO BARBADOS,
angels, ministering breaths to the heirs of His salva-
tion. Blow freshlier yet, and save, if not me from
death, yet her from worse than death. Blow on, and
land me at her feet, to call the lost lamb home, and
So murmured Frank to himself, as with straining
eyes he gazed upon that first outlier of the New World
which held his all. His cheeks were thin and wasted,
and the hectic spot on each glowed crimson in the
crimson light of the setting sun. A few minutes
more, and the rainbows of the west were gone;
emerald and topaz, amethyst and ruby, had faded
into silver-gray; and overhead, through the dark sap-
phire depths, the Moon and Venus reigned above the
"That should be Barbados, your worship," said
Drew, the master; "unless my reckoning is far out,
which, Heaven knows, it has no right to be, after such
a passage, and God be praised."
"Barbados I never heard of it."
"Very like, sir: but Yeo and I were here with
Captain Drake, and I was here after too with poor
Captain Barlow; and there is good harbourage to the
south and west of it, I remember."
"And neither Spaniard, cannibal, or other evil
beast," said Yeo. "A very garden of the Lord, sir,
hid away in the seas, for an inheritance to those who
love Him. I heard Captain Drake talk of planting it,
if ever he had a chance."
I recollect now," said Amyas, some talk between
him and poor Sir Humphrey about an island here.
AND FOUND NO MEN THEREIN.
Would God he had gone thither instead of to New-
"Nay, then," said Yeo, "he is in bliss now with
the Lord; and you would not have kept him from
that, sir "
"He would have waited as willingly as he went,
if he could have served his Queen thereby. But what
say you, my masters ? How can we do better than to
spend a few days here, to get our sick round, before
we make the Main, and set to our work ?"
All approved the counsel except Frank, who was
"Come fellow-adventurer," said Cary, "we must
have your voice too."
"To my impatience, Will," said he, aside in a low
voice, "there is but one place on earth, and I am all
day longing for wings to fly thither: but the counsel
is right. I approve it."
So the verdict was announced, and received with
a hearty cheer by the crew; and long before morning
they had run along the southern shore of the island,
and were feeling their way into the bay where Bridge-
town now stands. All eyes were eagerly fixed on the
low wooded hills which slept in the moonlight, spangled
by fire-flies with a million dancing stars; all nostrils
drank greedily the fragrant air, which swept from the
land, laden with the scent of a thousand flowers; all
ears welcomed, as a grateful change from the mono-
tonous whisper and lap of the water, the hum of
insects, the snore of the tree-toads, the plaintive notes of
the shore-fowl, which fill a tropic night with noisy life.
30 HOW THEY CAME TO BARBADOS,
At last she stopped; at last the cable rattled
through the hawsehole; and then, careless of the
chance of lurking Spaniard or Carib, an instinctive
cheer burst from every throat. Poor fellows Amyas
had much ado to prevent them going on shore at once,
dark as it was, by reminding them that it wanted but
two hours of day.
"Never were two such long hours," said one young
lad, fidgeting up and down.
"You never were in the Inquisition," said Yeo,
"or you'd know better how slow time can run. Stand
you still, and give God thanks you're where you are."
"I say, Gunner, be there goold to that island?"
"Never heard of none; and so much the better
for it," said Yeo, drily.
"But, I say, Gunner," said a poor scurvy-stricken
cripple, licking his lips, "be there oranges and lim-
"Not of my seeing ; but plenty of good fruit down
to the beach, thank the Lord. There comes the dawn
Up flushed the rose, up rushed the sun, and the
level rays glittered on the smooth stems of the palm-
trees, and threw rainbows across the foam upon the
coral-reefs, and gilded lonely uplands far away, where
now stands many a stately country-seat and busy
engine-house. Long lines of pelicans went clanging
out to sea; the hum of the insects hushed, and a
thousand birds burst into jubilant song; a thin blue
mist crept upward toward the inner downs, and van-
ished, leaving them to quiver in the burning glare;
AND FOUND NO MEN THEREIN.
the land-breeze, which had blown fresh out to sea all
night, died away into glassy calm, and the tropic day
The sick were lifted over the side, and landed
boat-load after boat-load on the beach, to stretch
themselves in the shade of the palms; and in half-an-
hour the whole crew were scattered on the shore,
except some dozen worthy men, who had volunteered
to keep watch and ward on board till noon.
And now the first instinctive cry of nature was for
fruit! fruit! fruit The poor lame wretches crawled
from place to place plucking greedily the violet grapes
of the creeping shore vine, and staining their mouths
and blistering their lips with the prickly pears, in
spite of Yeo's entreaties and warnings against the
thorns. Some of the healthy began hewing down
cocoa-nut trees to get at the nuts, doing little thereby
but blunt their hatchets; till Yeo and Drew, having
mustered half-a-dozen reasonable men, went off inland,
and returned in an hour laden with the dainties of
that primeval orchard,-with acid junipa-apples,
luscious guavas, and crowned ananas, queen of all
the fruits, which they had found by hundreds on the
broiling ledges of the low tufa-cliffs; and then all, sit-
ting on the sandy turf, defiant of galliwasps and jack-
spaniards, and all the weapons of the insect host,
partook of the equal banquet, while old blue land-crabs
sat in their house-doors and brandished their fists in
defiance at the invaders, and solemn cranes stood in
the water on the shoals with their heads on one side,
and meditated how long it was since they had seen
32 HOW THEY CAME TO BARBADOS,
bipeds without feathers breaking the solitude of their
And Frank wandered up and down, silent, but
rather in wonder than in sadness, while great Amyas
walked after him, his mouth full of junipa-apples, and
enacted the part of showman, with a sort of patron-
ising air, as one who had seen the wonders already,
and was above being astonished at them.
"New, new; everything new!" said Frank, medi-
tatively. "Oh, awful feeling! All things changed
around us, even to the tiniest fly and flower; yet we
the same; the same for ever!"
Amyas, to whom such utterances were altogether
sibylline and unintelligible, answered by-
"Look, Frank, that's a colibri. You've heard of
Frank looked at the living gem, which hung, loud
humming, over some fantastic bloom, and then dashed
away, seemingly to call its mate, and whirred and
danced with it round and round the flower-starred
bushes, flashing fresh rainbows at every shifting of
Frank watched solemnly awhile, and then-
"Qualis Natura formatrix, si talis format ? Oh,
my God, how fair must be Thy real world, if even
Thy phantoms are so fair !"
"Phantoms ?" asked Amyas, uneasily. "That's
no ghost, Frank, but a jolly little honey-sucker, with
a wee wife, and children no bigger than peas, but yet
solid greedy little fellows enough, I'll warrant."
"Not phantoms in thy sense, good fellow, but in
AND FOUND NO MEN THEREIN.
the sense of those who know the worthlessness of all
"I'll tell you what, brother Frank, you are a great
deal wiser than me, I know; but I can't abide to see
you turn up your nose as it were at God's good earth.
See now, God made all these things; and never a
man, perhaps, set eyes on them till fifty years agone;
and yet they were as pretty as they are now, ever
since the making of the world. And why do you
think God could have put them here, then, but to
please Himself "-and Amyas took off his hat-' with
the sight of them Now, I say, brother Frank, what's
good enough to please God, is good enough to please
you and me."
"Your rebuke is just, dear old simple-hearted
fellow; and God forgive me, if with all my learning,
which has brought me no profit, and my longings,
which have brought me no peace, I presume at
moments, sinner that I am, to be more dainty than
the Lord Himself. He walked in Paradise among
the trees of the garden, Amyas; and so will we, and
be content with what he sends. Why should we
long for the next world, before we are fit even for
"And in the meanwhile," said Amyas, "this earth's
quite good enough, at least here in Barbados."
"Do you believe," asked Frank, trying to turn his
own thoughts, "in those tales of the Spaniards, that
the Sirens and Tritons are heard singing in these
"I can't tell There's more fish in the water than
VOL. II. D w. H
34 HOW THEY CAME TO BARBADOS,
ever came out of it, and more wonders in the world,
I'll warrant, than we ever dreamt of; but I was never
in these parts before; and in the South Sea, I must
say, I never came across any, though Yeo says he has
heard fair music at night up in the Gulf, far away from
"The Spaniards report that at certain seasons
choirs of these nymphs assemble in the sea, and with
ravishing music sing their watery loves. It may be
so. For Nature, which has peopled the land with
rational souls, may not have left the sea altogether
barren of them; above all, when we remember that
the ocean is as it were the very fount of all fertility,
and its slime (as the most learned hold with Thales of
Miletus) that prima material out of which all things
were one by one concocted. Therefore, the ancients
feigned wisely that Venus, the mother of all living
things, whereby they designed the plastic force of
nature, was born of the sea-foam, and rising from the
deep, floated ashore upon the isles of Greece."
"I don't know what plastic force is; but I wish I
had had the luck to be by when the pretty poppet
came up: however, the nearest thing I ever saw to
that was maidens swimming alongside of us when we
were in the South Seas, and would have come aboard,
too; but Drake sent them all off again for a lot of
naughty packs, and I verily believe they were no better.
Look at the butterflies, now! Don't you wish you
were a boy again, and not too proud to go catching
them in your cap ?"
And so the two wandered on together through the
AND FOUND NO MEN THEREIN. 35
glorious tropic woods, and then returned to the beach
to find the sick already grown cheerful, and many who
that morning could not stir from their hammocks,
pacing up and down, and gaining strength with every
"Well done, lads !" cried Amyas, "keep a cheerful
mind. We will have the music ashore after dinner,
for want of mermaids to sing to us, and those that
can dance may."
And so those four days were spent; and the men,
like schoolboys on a holiday, gave themselves up to
simple merriment, not forgetting, however, to wash
the clothes, take in fresh water, and store up a good
supply of such fruit as seemed likely to keep; until,
tired with fruitless rambles after gold, which they ex-
pected to find in every bush, in spite of Yeo's warnings
that none had been heard of on the island, they were
fain to lounge about, full-grown babies, picking up
shells and sea-fans to take home to their sweethearts,
smoking agoutis out of the hollow trees, with shout
and laughter, and tormenting every living thing they
could come near, till not a land-crab dare look out of
his hole, or an armadillo unroll himself, till they were
safe out of the bay, and off again to the westward,
unconscious pioneers of all the wealth, and commerce,
and beauty, and science, which has in later centuries
made that lovely isle the richest gem of all the tropic
HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS AT MARGARITA.
P. Henry. Why, what a rascal art thou, then, to praise him
so for running !
Falstaff. 0' horseback, ye cuckoo but a-foot, he will not
budge a foot.
P. Henry. Yes, Jack, upon instinct.
Falstaff. I grant ye, upon instinct.
Henry IV. Pt. I.
THEY had slipped past the southern point of Grenada
in the night, and were at last within that fairy ring
of islands, on which nature had concentrated all her
beauty, and man all his sin. If Barbados had been
invested in the eyes of the new-comers with some
strange glory, how much more the seas on which they
now entered, which smile in almost perpetual calm,
untouched by the hurricane which roars past them
far to northward! Sky, sea, and islands were one
vast rainbow; though little marked, perhaps, by those
sturdy practical sailors, whose main thought was of
Spanish gold and pearls; and as little by Amyas,
who, accustomed to the scenery of the tropics, was
speculating inwardly on the possibility of extirpating
the Spaniards, and annexing the West Indies to the
domains of Queen Elizabeth. And yet even their
HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS AT MARGARITA. 37
unpoetic eyes could not behold without awe and excite-
ment lands so famous and yet so new, around which
all the wonder, all the pity, and all the greed of the
age had concentrated itself. It was an awful thought,
and yet inspiriting, that they were entering regions
all but unknown to Englishmen, where the penalty of
failure would be worse than death-the torments of
the Inquisition. Not more than five times before,
perhaps, had those mysterious seas been visited by
English keels; but there were those on board who
knew them well, and too well; who, first of all
British mariners, had attempted under Captain John
Hawkins to trade along those very coasts, and, inter-
dicted from the necessaries of life by Spanish jealousy,
had, in true English fashion, won their markets at
the sword's point, and then bought and sold honestly
and peaceably therein. The old mariners of the
Pelican and the Minion were questioned all day long
for the names of every isle and cape, every fish and
bird; while Frank stood by, listening serious and
A great awe seemed to have possessed his soul:
yet not a sad one: for his face seemed daily to drink
in glory from the glory round him; and murmuring
to himself at whiles, "This is the gate of heaven," he
stood watching all day long, careless of food and rest,
as every forward plunge of the ship displayed some
fresh wonder. Islands and capes hung high in air,
with their inverted images below them; long sand-
hills rolled and weltered in the mirage; and the yellow
flower-beds, and huge thorny cacti like giant cande-
38 HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS
labra, which clothed the glaring slopes, twisted, tossed,
and flickered, till the whole scene seemed one blazing
phantom-world, in which everything was as unstable
as it was fantastic, even to the sun itself, distorted
into strange oval and pear-shaped figures by the beds
of crimson mist through which he sank to rest. But
while Frank wondered, Yeo rejoiced; for to the south-
ward of that setting sun a cluster of tall peaks rose
from the sea; and they, unless his reckonings were
wrong, were the mountains of Macanao, at the western
end of Margarita the Isle of Pearls, then famous in
all the cities of the Mediterranean, and at the great
German fairs, and second only in richness to that
pearl island in the gulf of Panama, which fifteen
years before had cost John Oxenham his life.
The next day saw them running along the north
side of the island, having passed undiscovered (as far
as they could see) the castle which the Spaniards had
built at the eastern end for the protection of the
At last they opened a deep and still bight, wooded
to the water's edge; and lying in the roadstead a
caravel, and three boats by her. And at that sight
there was not a man but was on deck at once, and
not a mouth but was giving its opinion of what should
be done. Some were for sailing right into the road-
stead, the breeze blowing fresh toward the shore (as
it usually does throughout those islands in the after-
noon. However, seeing the billows break here and
there off the bay's mouth, they thought it better, for
fear of rocks, to run by quietly, and then send in the
pinnace and the boat. Yeo would have had them
show Spanish colours, for fear of alarming the caravel;
but Amyas stoutly refused, "counting it," he said, "a
mean thing to tell a lie in that way, unless in extreme
danger, or for great ends of state."
So holding on their course till they were shut out
by the next point, they started; Cary in the largest
boat with twenty men, and Amyas in the smaller one
with fifteen more; among whom was John Brimble-
combe, who must needs come in his cassock and bands,
with an old sword of his uncle's which he prized
When they came to the bight's mouth, they found,
as they had expected, coral rocks, and too many of
them; so that they had to run along the edge of the
reef a long way, before they could find a passage for
the boats. While they were so doing, and those of
them who were new to the Indies were admiring
through the clear element those living flower-beds,
and subaqueous gardens of Nereus and Amphitrite,
there suddenly appeared below what Yeo called "A
school of sharks," some of them nearly as long as the
boat, who looked up at them wistfully enough out of
their wicked scowling eyes.
"Jack," said Amyas, who sat next to him, "look
how that big fellow eyes thee: he has surely taken a
fancy to that plump hide of thine, and thinks thou
wouldst eat as tender as any sucking porker."
Jack turned very pale, but said nothing.
Now, as it befell, just then that very big fellow,
seeing a parrot-fish come out of a cleft of the coral,
40 HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS
made at him from below, as did two or three more;
the poor fish finding no other escape, leaped clean into
the air, and almost aboard the boat; while just where
he had come out of the water, three or four great
brown shagreened noses clashed together within two
yards of Jack as he sat, each showing its horrible
rows of saw teeth, and then sank sulkily down again,
to watch for a fresh bait. At which Jack said very
softly, In manus tuas, Domine !" and turning his eyes
inboard, had no lust to look at sharks any more.
So having got through the reef, in they ran with a
fair breeze, the caravel not being now a musket-shot
off. Cary laid her aboard before the Spaniards had
time to get to their ordnance; and standing up in the
stern-sheets, shouted to them to yield. The captain
asked boldly enough, in whose name 1 "In the name
of common sense, ye dogs," cries Will; "do you not
see that you are but fifty strong to our twenty ?"
Whereon up the side he scrambled, and the captain
fired a pistol at him. Cary knocked him over, un-
willing to shed needless blood; on which all the crew
yielded, some falling on their knees, some leaping
overboard; and the prize was taken.
In the meanwhile, Amyas had pulled round under
her stern, and boarded the boat which was second
from her, for the nearest was fast alongside, and so a
sure prize. The Spaniards in her yielded without a
blow, crying "Misericordia;" and the negroes, leaping
overboard, swam ashore like sea-dogs. Meanwhile,
the third boat, which was not an oar's length off,
turned to pull away. Whereby befell a notable adven-
ture: for John Brimblecombe, casting about in a
valiant mind how he should distinguish himself that
day, must needs catch up a boat-hook, and claw on to
her stern, shouting Stay, ye Papists 1 Stay, Spanish
dogs !"-by which, as was to be expected, they being
ten to his one, he was forthwith pulled overboard,
and fell all along on his nose in the sea, leaving the
hook fast in her stern.
Where, I know not how, being seized with some
panic fear (his lively imagination filling all the sea
with those sharks which he had just seen), he fell a-
roaring like any town-bull, and in his confusion never
thought to turn and get aboard again, but struck out
lustily after the Spanish boat, whether in hope of
catching hold of the boat-hook which trailed behind
her, or from a very madness of valour, no man could
divine; but on he swam, his cassock afloat behind
him, looking for all the world like a great black monk-
fish, and howling and puffing, with his mouth full of
salt water, "Stay, ye Spanish dogs Help, all good
fellows! See you not that I am a dead man? They
are nuzzling already at my toes! He hath hold of
my leg! My right thigh is bitten clean off! Oh!
that I were preaching in Hartland pulpit! Stay,
Spanish dogs! Yield, Papist cowards, least I make
mincemeat of you; and take me aboard! Yield, I
say, or my blood be on your heads I am no Jonah;
if he swallow me, he will never cast me up again It
is better to fall into the hands of man, than into the
hands of devils with three rows of teeth apiece. In
manus luas. Orate pro anim--- /"
42 HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS
And so forth, in more frantic case than ever was
Panurge in that his ever-memorable sea-sickness; till
the English, expecting him every minute to be snapped
up by sharks, or brained by the Spaniard's oars, let
fly a volley into the fugitives, on which they all leaped
overboard like their fellows; whereon Jack scrambled
into the boat, and drawing sword with one hand, while
he wiped the water out of his eyes with the other,
began to lay about him like a very lion, cutting the
empty air, and crying, "Yield, idolaters! Yield,
Spanish dogs !" However, coming to himself after a
while, and seeing that there was no one on whom to
flesh his maiden steel, he sits down panting in the
sternsheets, and begins stripping off his hose. On
which Amyas, thinking surely that the good fellow
had gone mad with some stroke of the sun, or by
having fallen into the sea after being overheated with
his rowing, bade pull alongside, and asked him in
heaven's name what he was doing with his nether
tackle. On which Jack, amid such laughter as may
be conceived, vowed and swore that his right thigh
was bitten clean through, and to the bone; yea, and
that he felt his hose full of blood; and so would have
swooned away for imaginary loss of blood (so strong
was the delusion on him) had not his friends, after
much arguing on their part, and anger on his, per-
suaded him that he was whole and sound.
After which they set to work to overhaul their
maiden prize, which they found full of hides and salt-
pork; and yet not of that alone; for in the captain's
cabin, and also in the sternsheets of the boat which
" Yield, idolaters Yield, Spanish dogs !"-Chap. xviii. p. 42.
Brimblecombe had so valorously boarded, were cer-
tain frails of leaves packed neatly enough, which being
opened were full of goodly pearls, though somewhat
brown (for the Spaniards used to damage the colour
in their haste and greediness, opening the shells by
fire, instead of leaving them to decay gradually after
the Arabian fashion); with which prize, though they
could not guess its value very exactly, they went off
content enough, after some malicious fellow had set
the ship on fire, which, being laden with hides, was
no nosegay as it burnt.
Amyas was very angry at this wanton damage, in
which his model, Drake, had never indulged; but
Cary had his jest ready. "Ah!" said he, "'Lutheran
devils' we are, you know; so we are bound to vanish,
like other fiends, with an evil savour."
As soon, however, as Amyas was on board again,
he rounded his friend Mr. Brimblecombe in the ear,
and told him he had better play the man a little more,
roaring less before he was hurt, and keeping his
breath to help his strokes, if he wished the crew to
listen much to his discourses. Frank, hearing this,
bade Amyas leave the offender to him, and so began
upon him with-
Come hither, thou recreant Jack, thou lily-livered
Jack, thou hysterical Jack. Tell me now, thou hast
read Plato's Dialogues, and Aristotle's Logic ?"
To which Jack very meekly answered, "Yes."
"Then I will deal with thee after the manner of
those ancient sages, and ask whether the greater must
not contain the less ?"
44 HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS
Frank.-And that which is more than a part, con-
tain that part, more than which it is ?
Frank.-Then tell me, is not a priest more than a
Jack (who was always very loud about the dignity
of the priesthood, as many of his cloth are, who have
no other dignity whereon to stand) answered very
boldly-" Of course."
Frank.-Then a priest containeth a man, and is a
man, and something over-viz. his priesthood ?
Jack (who saw whither this would lead). -I sup-
Frank.-Then, if a priest show himself no man, he
shows himself all the more no priest ?
"I'll tell you what, Master Frank," says Jack,
" you may be right by logic ; but sharks aren't logic,
nor don't understand it neither."
Frank.-Nay but, my recalcitrant Jack, my stiff-
necked Jack, is it the part of a man to howl like a
pig in a gate, because he thinks that is there which
is not there ?
Jack had not a word to say.
Frank.-And still more, when if that had been
there, it had been the duty of a brave man to have
kept his mouth shut, if only to keep salt water out,
and not add the evil of choking to that of being eaten?
"Ah!" says Jack, "that's all very fine; but you
know as well as I, that it was not the Spaniards I
was afraid of. They were heaven's handiwork, and I
knew how to deal with them; but as for those fiends'
spawn of sharks, when I saw that fellow take the fish
alongside, it upset me clean, and there's an end of it!"
Frank.-Oh, Jack, Jack, behold how one sin begets
another! Just now thou wert but a coward, and now
thou art a Manichee. For thou hast imputed to an
evil creator that which was formed only for a good
end, namely, sharks, which were made on purpose to
devour useless carcasses like thine. Moreover, as a
brother of the Rose, thou wert bound by the vow of
thy brotherhood to have leaped joyfully down that
Jack.-Ay, very likely, if Mistress Rose had been
in his stomach; but I wanted to fight Spaniards just
then, not to be shark-bitten.
Frank.-Jack, thy answer savours of self-will. If
it is ordained that thou shouldst advance the ends of
the brotherhood by being shark-bitten, or flea-bitten,
or bitten by sharpers, to the detriment of thy carnal
wealth, or, shortly, to suffer any shame or torment
whatsoever, even to strappado and scarpines, thou art
bound to obey thy destiny, and not, after that vain
Roman conceit, to choose the manner of thine own
death, which is indeed only another sort of self-
murder. We therefore consider thee as a cause of
scandal, and a rotten and creaking branch, to be ex-
cised by the spiritual arm, and do hereby excise thee,
and cut thee off.
Jack.-Nay faith, that's a little too much, Master
Frank. How long have you been Bishop of Exeter
Franlc-Jack, thy wit being blinded, and full of
46 HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS
gross vapours, by reason of the perturbations of fear
(which, like anger, is a short madness, and raises in
the phantasy vain spectres,-videlicet, of sharks and
Spaniards), mistakes our lucidity. For thy Mani-
cheeism, let his lordship of Exeter deal with it. For
thy abominable howling and caterwauling, offensive
in a chained cur, but scandalous in a preacher and a
brother of the Rose, we do hereby deprive thee of
thine office of chaplain to the brotherhood; and warn
thee, that unless within seven days thou do some deed
equal to the Seven Champions, or Ruggiero and
Orlando's self, thou shalt be deprived of sword and
dagger, and allowed henceforth to carry no more iron
about thee than will serve to mend thy pen.
"And now, Jack," said Amyas, "I will give thee
a piece of news. No wonder that young men, as the
parsons complain so loudly, will not listen to the
Gospel, while it is preached to them by men on whom
they cannot but look down; a set of softhanded
fellows who cannot dig, and are ashamed to beg; and,
as my brother has it, must needs be parsons before
they are men."
Frank.-Ay, and even though we may excuse that
in popish priests and friars, who are vowed not to be
men, and get their bread shamefully and rascally by
telling sinners who owe a hundred measures to sit
down quickly and take their bill and write fifty: yet
for a priest of the Church of England (whose business
is not merely to smuggle sinful souls up the backstairs
into heaven, but to make men good Christians by
making them good men, good gentlemen, and good
Englishmen) to show the white feather in the hour of
need, is to unpreach in one minute all that he had
been preaching his life long."
"I tell thee," says Amyas, "if I had not taken
thee for another guess sort of man, I had never let
thee have the care of a hundred brave lads' immortal
And so on, both of them boarding him at once
with their heavy shot, larboard and starboard, till he
fairly clapped his hands to his ears and ran for it,
leaving poor Frank laughing so heartily, that Amyas
was after all glad the thing had happened, for the
sake of the smile which it put into his sad and stead-
The next day was Sunday; on which, after divine
service (which they could hardly persuade Jack to
read, so shamefaced was he; and as for preaching
after it, he would not hear of such a thing), Amyas
read aloud, according to custom, the articles of their
agreement; and then seeing abreast of them a sloping
beach with a shoot of clear water running into the
sea, agreed that they should land there, wash the
clothes, and again water the ship; for they had found
water somewhat scarce at Barbados. On this party
Jack Brimblecombe must needs go, taking with him
his sword and a great arquebuse; for he had dreamed
last night (he said) that he was set upon by Spaniards,
and was sure that the dream would come true; and
moreover, that he did not very much care if they did,
or if he ever got back alive; "for it was better to die
than be made an ape, and a scarecrow, and laughed
48 HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS
at by the men, and badgered with Ramus his logic,
and Plato his dialectical devilries, to confess himself
a Manichee, and, for aught he knew, a turbaned Turk,
or Hebrew Jew," and so flung into the boat like a
So they went ashore, after Amyas had given strict
commands against letting off firearms, for fear of
alarming the Spaniards. There they washed their
clothes, and stretched their legs with great joy, ad-
miring the beauty of the place, and then began to
shoot the seine which they had brought on shore with
them. "In which," says the chronicler, "we caught
many strange fishes, and beside them, a sea-cow full
seven feet long, with limpets and barnacles on her
back, as if she had been a stick of drift-timber. This
is a fond and foolish beast: and yet pious withal; for
finding a corpse, she watches over it day and night
until it decay or be buried. The Indians call her
manati; who carries her young under her arm, and
gives it suck like a woman; and being wounded, she
lamenteth aloud with a human voice, and is said at
certain seasons to ding very melodiously; which
melody, perhaps, having been heard in those seas, is
that which Mr. Frank reported to be the choirs of the
Sirens and Tritons. The which I do not avouch for
truth, neither rashly deny, having seen myself such
fertility of Nature's wonders that I hold him who
denieth aught merely for its strangeness, to be a ribald
and an ignoramus. Also one of our men brought in
two great black fowls which he had shot with a cross-
bow, bodied and headed like a capon, but bigger than
any eagle, which the Spaniards call curassos; which,
with that sea-cow, afterwards made us good cheer, both
roast and sodden, for the cow was very dainty meat,
as good as a four-months' calf, and tender and fat
'After that they set to work filling the casks and
barricos, having laid the boat up to the outflow of the
rivulet. And lucky for them it was, as it fell out,
that they were all close together at that'work, and
not abroad skylarking as they had been half-an-hour
Now John Brimblecombe had gone apart as soon
as they landed, with a shamefaced and doleful counte-
nance; and sitting down under a great tree, plucked
a Bible from his bosom, and read steadfastly, girded
with his great sword, and his arquebuse lying by him.
This too was well for him, and for the rest; for they
had not yet finished their watering, when there was a
cry that the enemy was on them; and out of the
wood, not twenty yards from the good parson, came
full fifty shot, with a multitude of negroes behind
them, and an officer in front on horseback, with a
great plume of feathers in his hat, and his sword
drawn in his hand.
"Stand, for your lives!" shouted Amyas: and
only just in time; for there was ten good minutes
lost in running up and down before he could get his
men into some order of battle. But when Jack be-
held the Spaniards, as if he had expected their coming,
he plucked a leaf and put it into the page of his book
for a mark, laid the book down soberly, caught up his
VOL. II. E w.H.
50 HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS
arquebuse, ran like a mad dog right at the Spanish
captain, shot him through the body stark dead, and
then, flinging the arquebuse at the head of him who
stood next, fell on with his sword like a very Col-
brand, breaking in among the arquebuses, and striking
right and left such ugly strokes, that the Spaniards
(who thought him a very fiend, or Luther's self come
to life to plague them) gave back pell-mell, and shot
at him five or six at once with their arquebuses: but
whether from fear of him, or of wounding each other,
made so bad play with their pieces, that he only got
one shrewd gall in his thigh, which made him limp
for many a day. But as fast as they gave back he
came on; and the rest by this time ran up in good
order, and altogether nearly forty men well armed.
On which the Spaniards turned, and went as fast as
they had come, while Cary hinted that, "The dogs
had had such a taste of the parson, that they had no
mind to wait for the clerk and people."
Come back, Jack! are you mad ?" shouted Amyas.
But Jack (who had not all this time spoken one
word) followed them as fiercely as ever, till, reaching
a great blow at one of the arquebusiers, he caught his
foot in a root. On which down he went, and striking
his head against the ground, knocked out of himself
all the breath he had left (which between fatness and
fighting was not much), and so lay. Amyas, seeing
the Spaniards gone, did not care to pursue them: but
picked up Jack, who, staring about, cried, "Glory be !
glory be !-How many have I killed ? How many
have I killed ?"
Fell on with his sword like a very Colbrand.-Chap. xviii. p. 50.
"Nineteen, at the least," quoth Cary, "and seven
with one back stroke and then showed Brimble-
combe the captain lying dead, and two arquebusiers,
one of which was the fugitive by whom he came to
his fall, beside three or four more who were limping
away wounded, some of them by their fellows' shot.
"There!" said Jack, pausing and blowing, "will
you laugh at me any more, Mr. Cary; or say that I
cannot fight, because I am a poor parson's son ?"
Cary took him by the hand, and asked pardon of
him for his scoffing, saying that he had that day
played the best man of all of them; and Jack, who
never bore malice, began laughing in his turn, and-
"Oh, Mr. Cary, we have all known your pleasant
ways, ever since you used to put drumble-drones into
my desk to Bideford school." And so they went to
the boats, and pulled off, thanking God (as they had
need to do) for their great deliverance; while all the
boats' crew rejoiced over Jack, who after a while grew
very faint (having bled a good deal without knowing
it), and made as little of his real wound as he made
much the day before of his imaginary one.
Frank asked him that evening, how he came to
show so cool and approved a valour in so sudden a
"Well, my masters," said Jack, "I don't deny that
I was very downcast on account of what you said, and
the scandal which I had given to the crew; but as it
happened, I was reading there under the tree, to fortify
my spirits, the history of the ancient worthies, in St.
Paul his eleventh chapter to the Hebrews; and just
52 HOW THEY TOOK THE PEARLS
as I came to that, out of weakness were made strong,
waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of
the aliens,' arose the cry of the Spaniards. At which,
gentlemen, thinking in myself that I fought in just
so good a cause as they, and, as I hoped, with like
faith, there came upon me so strange an assurance of
victory, that I verily believed in myself that if there
had been a ten thousand of them, I should have taken
no hurt. Wherefore," said Jack modestly, "there is
no credit due to me, for there was no valour in me
whatsoever, but only a certainty of safety; and any
coward would fight, if he knew that he were to have
all the killing, and none of the scratches."
Which words he next day, being Sunday, repeated
in his sermon which he made on that chapter, with
which all, even Salvation Yeo himself, were well con-
tent and edified, and allowed him to be as godly a
preacher as he was (in spite of his simple ways) a
valiant and true-hearted comrade.
They brought away the Spanish officer's sword (a
very good blade), and also a great chain of gold which
he wore about his neck; both of which were allotted
to Brimblecombe as his fair prize; but he, accepting
the sword, steadfastly refused the chain, entreating
Amyas to put it into the common stock; and when
Amyas refused, he cut it into links and distributed it
among those of the boat's crew who had succoured
him, winning thereby much good-will. "And indeed"
(says the chronicler), "I never saw in that worthy
man, from the first day of our school-fellowship till
he was laid in his parish church of Hartland (where
he now sleeps in peace), any touch of that sin of
covetousness which has in all ages, and in ours no less
than others, beset especially (I know not why) them
who minister about the sanctuary. But this man,
though he was ugly and lowly in person, and in un-
derstanding simple, and of breeding but a poor parson's
son, had yet in him a spirit so loving and cheerful, so
lifted from base and selfish purposes to the worship
of duty, and to a generosity rather knightly than
sacerdotal, that all through his life he seemed to
think only that it was more blessed to give than to
receive. And all that wealth which he gained in the
wars, he dispersed among his sisters and the poor of
his parish, living unmarried till his death like a true
lover and constant mourner (as shall be said in place),
and leaving hardly wherewith to bring his body to
the grave. At whom if we often laughed once, we
should now rather envy him, desiring to be here what
he was, that we may be hereafter where he is. Amen."
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
Great was the crying, the running and riding,
Which at that season was made in the place;
The beacons were fired, as need then required,
To save their great treasure they had little space."
Winning of Cales.
THE men would gladly have hawked awhile round
Margarita and Cubagua for another pearl prize. But
Amyas, having as he phrased it "fleshed his dogs,"
was loth to hang about the islands after the alarm
had been given. They ran, therefore, south-west
across the mouth of that great bay, which stretches
from the Peninsula of Paria to Cape Codera, leaving
on their right hand Tortuga, and on their left the
meadow-islands of the Piritoos, two long green lines
but a few inches above the tideless sea. Yeo and
Drew knew every foot of the way, and had good
reason to know it; for they, the first of all English
mariners, had tried to trade along this coast with
Hawkins. And now, right ahead, sheer out of the
sea from base to peak, arose higher and higher the
mighty range of the Caraccas mountains; beside which
all hills which most of the crew had ever seen seemed
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
petty mounds. Frank, of course, knew the Alps;
and Amyas the Andes; but Cary's notions of height
were bounded by M'Gillicuddy's Reeks, and Brimble-
combe's by Exmoor; and the latter, to Cary's infinite
amusement, spent a whole day holding on by the rig-
ging, and staring upwards with his chin higher than
his nose, till he got a stiff neck. Soon the sea became
rough and chopping, though the breeze was fair and
gentle; and ere they were abreast of the Cape, they
became aware of that strong eastward current, which,
during the winter months, so often baffles the mariner
who wishes to go to the westward. All night long
they struggled through the billows, with the huge
wall of Cape Codera a thousand feet above their
heads to the left, and beyond it again, bank upon
bank of mountain, bathed in the yellow moonlight.
Morning showed them a large ship, which had
passed them during the night upon the opposite
course, and was now a good ten miles to the eastward.
Yeo was for going back and taking her. Of the
latter he made a matter of course; and the former
was easy enough, for the breeze blowing dead off the
land, was a "soldier's wind, there and back again,"
for either ship; but Amyas and Frank were both
"Why, Yeo, you said that one day more would
bring us to La Guayra."
"All the more reason, sir, for doing the Lord's
work thoroughly, when He has brought us safely so
far on our journey."
"She can pass well enough, and no loss."
II. E 3
56 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
"Ah sirs, sirs, she is delivered into your hands, and
you will have to give an account of her."
"My good Yeo," said Frank, "I trust we shall
give good account enough of many a tall Spaniard
before we return: but you know surely that La Guayra
and the salvation of one whom we believe dwells
there, was our first object in this adventure."
Yeo shook his head sadly. "Ah, sirs, a lady
brought Captain Oxenham to ruin."
"You do not dare to compare her with this one?"
said Frank and Cary, both in a breath.
"God forbid, gentlemen: but no adventure will
prosper, unless there is a single eye to the Lord's
work; and that is, as I take it, to cripple the Spaniard,
and exalt her Majesty the Queen. And I had thought
that nothing was more dear than that to Captain
Amyas stood somewhat irresolute. His duty to
the Queen bade him follow the Spanish vessel: his
duty to his vow, to go on to La Guayra. It may
seem a far-fetched dilemma. He fomnd it a practical
However, the counsel of Frank prevailed, and on
to La Guayra he went. He half hoped that the
Spaniard would see and attack them. However, he
went on his way to the eastward; which if he had
not done, my story had had a very different ending.
About mid-day a canoe, the first which they had
seen, came staggering toward them under a huge
three-cornered sail. As it came near, they could see
two Indians on board.
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
"Metal floats in these seas, you see," quoth Cary.
"There's a fresh marvel, for you, Frank."
"Expound," quoth Frank, who was really ready to
swallow any fresh marvel, so many had he seen
"Why, how else would those two bronze statues
dare to go to sea in such a cockleshell, eh ? Have I
given you the dor now, master courtier ?"
"I am long past dors, Will. But what noble
creatures they are and how fearlessly they are coming
alongside Can they know that we are English, and
the avengers of the Indians ?"
"I suspect they just take us for Spaniards, and
want to sell their cocoa-nuts. See, the canoe is laden
"Hail them, Yeo !" said Amyas. "You talk the
best Spanish, and I want speech of one of them."
Yeo did so; the canoe, without more ado, ran
alongside, and lowered her felucca sail, while a splen-
did Indian scrambled on board like a cat.
He was full six feet high, and as bold and graceful
of bearing as Frank or Amyas's self. He looked
round for the first moment smilingly, showing his
white teeth; but the next, his countenance changed;
and springing to the side, he shouted to his comrade
"Treachery! No Spaniard !" and would have
leaped overboard, but a dozen strong fellows caught
him ere he could do so.
It required some trouble to master him, so strong
was he, and so slippery his naked limbs; Amyas,
58 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
meanwhile, alternately entreated the men not to hurt
the Indian, and the Indian to be quiet,, and no harm
should happen to him; and so, after five minutes'
confusion, the stranger gave in sulkily.
"Don't bind him! Let him loose, and make a ring
round him. Now, my man, there's a dollar for
The Indian's eyes glistened, and he took the coin.
"All I want of you is, first, to tell me what ships
are in La Guayra, and next, to go thither on board of
me, and show me which is the governor's house, and
which the custom-house."
The Indian laid the coin down on the deck, and
crossing himself, looked Amyas in the face.
"No, Sefor! I am a freeman and a cavalier, a
Christian Guayqueria, whose forefathers, first of all
the Indians swore fealty to the King of Spain, and
whom he calls to this day,in all his proclamations his
most faithful, loyal, and noble Guayquerias. God
forbid, therefore, that I should tell aught to his
enemies, who are my enemies likewise."
A growl arose from those of the men who under-
stood him; and more than one hinted that a cord
twined round the head, or a match put between the
fingers, would speedily extract the required informa-
"God forbid!" said Amyas, "a brave and loyal
man he is, and as such will I treat him. Tell me, my
brave fellow, how do you know us to be his Catholic
Majesty's enemies !"
The Indian, with a shrewd smile, pointed to half-
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
a-dozen different objects, saying to each, "Not
"Well, and what of that ?"
"None but Spaniards and free Guayquerias have a
right to sail these seas."
"Thou art a right valiant bit of copper. Pick up
thy dollar, and go thy way in peace. Make room for
him, men. We can learn what we want without his
The Indian paused, incredulous and astonished.
"Overboard with you!" quoth Amyas. "Don't
you know when you are well off?"
"Most illustrious Sefior," began the Indian, in the
drawling sententious fashion of his race (when they
take the trouble to talk at all), I have been deceived.
I heard that you heretics roasted and ate all true
Catholics (as we Guayquerias are), and that all your
padres had tails."
"Plague on you, sirrah !" squeaked Jack Brimble-
combe. "HaveIa tail? Lookhere!"
"Quien sabe? Who knows?" quoth the Indian
through his nose.
"How do you know we are heretics said Amyas.
"Humph But in repayment for your kindness, I
would warn you, illustrious Sefor, not to go on to La
Guayra. There are ships of war there waiting for
you; and moreover, the governor Don Guzman sailed
to the eastward only yesterday to look for you; and
I wonder much that you did not meet him."
"To look for us On the watch for us!" said Cary.
60 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
"Impossible; lies! Amyas, this is some trick of the
rascal's to frighten us away."
"Don Guzman came out but yesterday to look for
us? Are you sure you spoke truth?"
"As I live, Sefior, he and another ship, for which
I took yours."
Amyas stamped upon the deck: that then was the
ship which they had passed !
"Fool that I was to have been close to my enemy,
and let my opportunity slip If I had but done my
duty, all would have gone right !"
But it was too late to repine; and after all, the
Indian's story was likely enough to be false.
"Off with you!" said he; and the Indian bounded
over the side into his canoe, leaving the whole crew
wondering at the stateliness and courtesy of this
So Westward-ho they ran, beneath the mighty
northern wall, the highest cliff on earth, some seven
thousand feet of rock parted from the sea by a narrow
strip of bright green lowland. Here and there a patch
of sugar-cane, or a knot of cocoa-nut trees, close to the
water's edge, reminded them that they were in the
tropics; but above, all was savage, rough, and bare as
an Alpine precipice. Sometimes deep clefts allowed
the southern sun to pour a blaze of light down to the
sea marge, and gave glimpses far above of strange
and stately trees lining the glens, and of a veil of
perpetual mist which shrouded the inner summits;
while up and down, between them and the mountain
side, white fleecy clouds hung motionless in the burn-
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA. 61
ing air, increasing the impression of vastness and of
solemn rest, which was already overpowering.
"Within those mountains, three thousand feet
above our heads," said Drew, the master, "lies Saint
Yago de Leon, the great city which the Spaniards
founded fifteen years agone."
"Is it a rich place 1" asked Cary.
"Very, they say."
"Is it a strong place asked Amyas.
"No forts to it at all, they say. The Spaniards
boast, that Heaven has made such good walls to it
already, that man need make none."
"I don't know," quoth Amyas. "Lads, could you
climb those hills, do you think ?"
"Rather higher than Harty Point, sir: but it de-
pends pretty much on what's behind them."
And now the last point is rounded, and they are
full in sight of the spot in quest of which they have
sailed four thousand miles of sea. A low black cliff,
crowned by a wall; a battery at either end. Within,
a few narrow streets of white houses, running parallel
with the sea, upon a strip of flat, which seemed not
two hundred yards in breadth; and behind, the
mountain wall, covering the whole in deepest shade.
How that wall was ever ascended to the inland,
seemed the puzzle; but Drew, who had been off the
place before, pointed out to them a narrow path,
which wound upwards through a glen, seemingly
sheer perpendicular. That was the road to the capi-
tal, if any man dare try it. In spite of the shadow
of the mountain, the whole place wore a dusty and
62 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
glaring look. The breaths of air which came off the
land were utterly stifling; and no wonder, for La
Guayra, owing to the radiation of that vast fire-brick
of heated rock, is one of the hottest spots upon the
face of the whole earth.
Where was the harbour ? There was none. Only
an open roadstead, wherein lay tossing at anchor five
vessels. The two outer ones were small merchant
caravels. Behind them lay two long, low, ugly-look-
ing craft, at sight of which Yeo gave a long wheugh.
Galleys, as I'm a sinful saint And what's that
big one inside of them, Robert Drew ? She has more
than hawseholes in her idolatrous black sides, I
"We shall open her astern of the galleys in another
minute," said Amyas. "Look out, Cary, your eyes
are better than mine."
"Six round portholes on the main deck," quoth
"And I can see the brass patararoes glittering on
her poop," quoth Amyas. "Will, we're in for it."
"In for it we are, Captain.
Farewell, farewell, my parents dear,
I never shall see you more I fear.
Let's go in, nevertheless, and pound the Don's ribs,
my old lad of Smerwick. Eh? Three to one is very
"Not underneath those fort guns, I beg leave to
say," quoth Yeo. "If the Philistines will but come
out unto us, we will make them like unto Zeba and
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
"Quite true," said Amyas. "Game cocks are game
cocks, but reason's reason."
"If the Philistines are not coming out, they are
going to send a messenger instead," quoth Cary.
"Look out, all thin skulls !"
And as he spoke, a puff of white smoke rolled from
the eastern fort, and a heavy ball plunged into the
water between it and the ship.
"I don't altogether like this," quoth Amyas.
"What do they mean by firing on us without warn-
ing 1 And what are these ships of war doing here
Drew, you told me the armadas never lay here."
"No more I believe, they do, sir, on account of
the anchorage being so bad, as you may see. I'm
mortal afeared that rascal's story was true, and that
the Dons have got wind of our coming,"
"Run up a white flag, at all events. If they do
expect us, they must have known some time since, or
how could they have got their craft hither ?"
"True, sir. They must have come from Santa
Martha, at the least; perhaps from Carthagena. And
that would take a month at least going and coming."
Amyas suddenly recollected Eustace's threat in the
wayside inn. Could he have betrayed their purpose ?
"Let us hold a council of war, at all events, Frank."
Frank was absorbed in a very different matter. A
half-mile to the eastward of the town, two or three
hundred feet up the steep mountain side, stood a large,
low, white house, embosomed in trees and gardens.
There was no other house of similar size near; no
64 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
place for one. And was not that the royal flag of
Spain which flaunted before it? That must be the
governor's house; that must be the abode of the Rose
of Torridge! And Frank stood devouring it with
wild eyes, till he had persuaded himself that he could
see a woman's figure walking upon the terrace in front,
and that the figure was none other than hers whom
he sought. Amyas could hardly tear him away to a
council of war, which was a sad, and only not a peevish
The three adventurers, with Brimblecombe, Yeo,
and Drew, went apart upon the poop; and each
looked the other in the face awhile. For what was
to be done The plans and hopes of months were
brought to nought in an hour.
"It is impossible, you see," said Amyas at last,
"to surprise the town by land, while these ships are
here; for if we land our men, we leave our ship with-
As impossible as to challenge Don Guzman while
he is not here," said Cary.
"I wonder why the ships have not opened on us
already," said Drew.
"Perhaps they respect our flag of truce," said Cary.
"Why not send in a boat to treat with them, and to
inquire for- "
"For her?" interrupted Frank. If we show that
we are .aware of her existence, her name is blasted in
the eyes of those jealous Spaniards."
"And as for respecting our flag of truce, gentle-
men," said Yeo, "if you will take an old man's ad-
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
vice, trust them not. They will keep the same faith
with us as they kept with Captain Hawkins at San
Juan d'Ulloa, in that accursed business which was the
beginning of all the wars; when we might have taken
the whole Plate-fleet, with two hundred thousand
pounds' worth of gold on board, and did not, but
only asked licence to trade like honest men. And
yet, after they had granted us licence, and deceived
us by fair speech into landing ourselves and our
ordnance, the governor and all the fleet set upon us,
five to one, and gave no quarter to any soul whom he
took. No, sir; I expect the only reason why they don't
attack us is, because their crews are not on board."
"They will be, soon enough, then," said Amyas.
"I can see soldiers coming down the landing-stairs."
And, in fact, boats full of armed men began to
push off to the ships.
"We may thank Heaven," said Drew, "that, we
were not here two hours agone. The sun will be
down before they are ready for sea, and the fellows
will have no stomach to go looking for us by night."
"So much the worse for us. If they will but do
that, we may give them the slip, and back again to
the town, and there try our luck; for I cannot find it
in my heart to leave the place without having one
dash at it."
Yeo shook his head. "There are plenty more
towns along the coast more worth trying than this,
sir: but Heaven's will be done!"
And as they spoke, the sun plunged into the sea,
and all was dark.
VOL. II. F w. n.
66 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
At last it was agreed to anchor, and wait till mid-
night. If the ships of war came out, they were to
try to run in past them, and, desperate as the attempt
might be, attempt their original plan of landing to
the westward of the town, taking it in flank, plunder-
ing the government storehouses, which they saw close
to the landing-place, and then fighting their way back
to their boats, and out of the roadstead. Two hours
would suffice if the armada and the galleys were but
once out of the way.
Amyas went forward, called the men together,
and told them the plan. It was not very cheerfully
received: but what else was there to be done !
They ran down about a mile and a half to the
westward, and anchored.
The night wore on, and there was no sign of stir
among the shipping; for though they could not see
the vessels themselves, yet their lights (easily distin-
guished by their relative height from those in the
town above) remained motionless; and the men fretted
and fumed for weary hours, at thus seeing a rich prize
(for of course the town was paved with gold) within
arm's reach, and yet impossible.
Let Amyas and his men have patience. Some
short five years more, and the great Armada will
have come and gone; and then that avenging storm,
of which they, like Oxenham, Hawkins, and Drake,
are but the avant-couriers, will burst upon every
Spanish port from Corunna to Cadiz, from the
Canaries to Havanna, and La Guayra and St. Yago de
Leon will not escape their share. Captain Amyas
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
Preston and Captain Sommers, the colonist of the
Bermudas, or Sommers' Islands, will land, with a
force tiny enough, though larger far than Leigh's,
where Leigh dare not land; and taking the fort of
Guayra, will find, as Leigh found, that their coming
has been expected, and that the pass of the Venta,
three thousand feet above, has been fortified with
huge barricadoes, abattis, and cannon, making the
capital, amid its ring of mountain-walls, impregnable
-to all but Englishmen or Zouaves. For up that
seven thousand feet of precipice, which rises stair on
stair behind the town, those fierce adventurers will
climb hand over hand, through rain and fog, while
men lie down, and beg their officers to kill them, for
no farther can they go. Yet farther they will go,
hewing'a path with their swords through woods of
wild plantain, and rhododendron thickets, over (so it
seems, however incredible) the very saddle of the
Silla, 1 down upon the astonished Mantuanos of St.
Jago, driving all before them; and having burnt the
city in default of ransom, will return triumphant by
the right road, and pass along the coast, the masters
of the deep.
I know not whether any men still live who count
their descent from those two valiant captains; but if
such there be, let them be sure that the history of
the English navy tells no more Titanic victory over
nature and man than that now forgotten raid of
1 Humboldt says that there is a path from Caravellada to St.
Jago, between the peaks, used by smugglers. This is probably
the unknownn way of the Indians," which Preston used.
68 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
Amyas Preston and his comrade, in the year of grace
But though a venture on the town was impossible,
yet there was another venture which Frank was un-
willing to let slip. A light which now shone brightly
in one of the windows of the governor's house, was
the lodestar to which all his thoughts were turned;
and as he sat in the cabin with Amyas, Cary, and
Jack, he opened his heart to them.
"And are we, then," asked he, mournfully, "to go
without doing the very thing for which we came ?"
All were silent awhile. At last John Brimble-
Show me the way to do it, Mr. Frank, and I will
"My dearest man," said Amyas, "what would you
have 7 Any attempt to see her, even if she be here,
would be all but certain death."
"And what if it were What if it were, my
brother Amyas Listen to me. I have long ceased
to shrink from Death; but till I came into these
magic climes, I never knew the beauty of his face."
"Of death said Cary. "I should have said, of
life. God forgive me but man might wish to live
for ever, if he had such a world as this wherein to
"And do you forget, Cary, that the more fair this
passing world of time, by so much the more fair is
that eternal world, whereof all here is but a shadow
and a dream; by so much the more fair is He before
whose throne the four mystic boasts, the substantial
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
ideas of Nature and her powers, stand day and night,
crying, 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, Thou
hast made all things, and for thy pleasure they are
and were created !' My friends, if He be so prodigal
of His own glory as to have decked these lonely shores,
all but unknown since the foundation of the world,
with splendours beyond all our dreams, what must be
the glory of His face itself! I have done with vain
shadows. It is better to depart and to be with Him,
where shall be neither desire nor anger, self-deception
nor pretence, but the eternal fulness of reality and
truth. One thing I have to do before I die, for God
has laid it on me. Let that be done to-night, and
"Frank! Frank! remember our mother!"
"I do remember her. I have talked over these
things with her many a time; and where I would fain
be, she would fain be also. She sent me out with my
virgin honour, as the Spartan mother did her boy
with the shield, saying, Come back either with this,
or upon this;' and one or the other I must do, if I
would meet her either in this life or in the next. But
in the meanwhile do not mistake me; my life is God's,
and I promise not to cast it away rashly."
"What would you do, then?"
Go up to that house, Amyas, and speak with her,
if Heaven gives me an opportunity, as Heaven, I feel
assured, will give."
"And do you call that no rashness?"
"Is any duty rashness? Is it rash to stand amid
the flying bullets, if your Queen has sent you ? Is it
70 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
more rash to go to seek Christ's lost lamb, if God and
your own oath have sent you ? John Brimblecombe
answered that question for us long ago."
"If you go, I go with you !" said all three at once.
"No. Amyas, you owe a duty to our mother, and
to your ship. Cary, you are heir to great estates;
and are bound thereby to your country and to your
tenants. John Brimblecombe- "
"Ay!" squeaked Jack. "And what have you to
say, Mr. Frank, against my going?--I, who have
neither ship nor estates-except, I suppose, that I am
not worthy to travel in such good company?"
"Think of your old parents, John, and all your
"I thought of them before I started, sir, as Mr.
Cary knows, and you know too. I came here to keep
my vow, and I am not going to turn renegade at the
very foot of the cross."
Some one must go with you, Frank," said Amyas;
"if it were only to bring back the boats' crew in
case-" and he faltered.
"In case I fall," replied Frank, with a smile. "I
will finish your sentence for you, lad; I am not afraid
of it, though you may be for me. Yet some one, I
fear, must go. Unhappy me that I cannot risk my
own worthless life without risking your more precious
"Not so, Mr. Frank! Your oath is our oath, and
your duty ours !" said John. "I will tell you what
we will do, gentlemen all. We three will draw cuts
for the honour of going with him."
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
"Lots said Amyas. "I don't like leaving such
grave matters to chance, friend John."
"Chance, sir 1 When you have used all your own
wit, and find it fail you, then what is drawing lots but
taking the matter out of your own weak hands, and
laying it in God's strong hands ?"
"Right, John !" said. Frank. So did the apostles
choose their successor, and so did holy men of old de-
cide controversies too subtle for them; and we will
not be ashamed to follow their example. For my
part, I have often said to Sidney and to Spenser,
when we have babbled together of Utopian govern-
ments in days which are now dreams to me, that I
would have all officers of state chosen by lot out of
the wisest and most fit; so making sure that they
should be called by God, and not by man alone.
Gentlemen, do you agree to Sir John's advice !"
They agreed, seeing no better counsel, and John
put three slips of paper into Frank's hand, with the
simple old apostolic prayer-" Show which of us three
Thou hast chosen."
The lot fell upon Amyas Leigh.
Frank shuddered, and clasped his hands over his
"Well," said Cary, "I have ill-luck to-night: but
Frank goes at least in good company."
"Ah, that it had been I!" said Jack; though I
suppose I was too poor a body to have such an honour
fall on me. And yet it is hard for flesh and blood;
hard indeed to have come all this way, and not to
see her after all!"
72 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
"Jack," said Frank, "you are kept to do better
work than this, doubt not. But if the lot had fallen
on you-ay, if it had fallen on a three years' child, I
would have gone up as cheerfully with that child to
lead me, as I do now with this my brother Amyas,
can we have a boat, and a crew ? It is near midnight
Amyas went on deck, and asked for six volunteers.
Whosoever would come, Amyas would double out of
his own purse any prize-money which might fall to
that man's share.
One of the old Pelican's crew, Simon Evans of
Clovelly, stepped out at once.
"Why six only, Captain? Give the word, and
any and all of us will go up with you, sack the house,
and bring off the treasure and the lady, before two
hours are out."
"No, no, my brave lads! As for treasure, if there
be any, it is sure to have been put all safe into the forts,
or hidden in the mountains; and as for the lady, God
forbid that we should force her a step without her
The honest sailor did not quite understand this
"Well, Captain," quoth he, "as you like; but no
man shall say that you asked for a volunteer, were it
to jump down a shark's throat, but what you had me
first of all the crew."
After this sort of temper had been exhibited, three
or four more came forward-Yeo was very anxious to
go, but Amyas forbade him.
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
"I'll volunteer, sir, without reward, for this or
anything; though" (added he in a lower tone) "I
would to Heaven that the thought had never entered
"And so would I have volunteered," said Simon
Evans, "if it were the ship's quarrel, or the Queen's;
but being it's a private matter of the Captain's, and
I've a wife and children at home, why I take no
shame to myself for asking money for my life."
So the crew was made up; but ere they pushed
off, Amyas called Cary aside-
"If I perish, Will- "
"Don't talk of such things, dear old lad."
"I must. Then you are captain. Do nothing
without Yeo and Drew. But if they approve, go right
north away for San Domingo and Cuba, and try the
ports; they can have no news of us there, and there
is booty without end. Tell my mother that I died
like a gentleman; and mind-mind, dear lad, to keep
your temper with the men, let the poor fellows
grumble as they may. Mind but that, and fear God,
and all will go well."
The tears were glistening in Cary's eyes as he
pressed Amyas's hand, and watched the two brothers
down over the side upon their desperate errand.
They reached the pebble beach. There seemed no
difficulty about finding the path to the house-so
bright was the moon, and so careful a survey of the
place had Frank taken. Leaving the men with the
boat (Amyas had taken care that they should be well
armed), they started up the beach, with their swords
74 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
only. Frank assured Amyas that they would find a
path leading from the beach up to the house, and he
was not mistaken. They found it easily, for it was
made of white shell sand; and following it struck
into a tunal," or belt of tall thorny cactuses. Through
this the path wound in zigzags up a steep rocky slope,
and ended at a wicket-gate. They tried it, and found
"She may expect us," whispered Frank.
"Why not She must have seen our ship; and
if, as seems, the townsfolk know who we are, how
much more must she! Yes, doubt it not, she still
longs to hear news of her own land, and some secret
sympathy will draw her down towards the sea to-night.
See the light is in the window still !"
"But if not," said Amyas, who had no such
expectation, "what is your plan?"
"I have none."
"I have imagined twenty different ones in the last
hour; but all are equally uncertain, impossible. I
have ceased to struggle-I go where I am called, love's
willing victim. If Heaven accept the sacrifice, it will
provide the altar and the knife."
Amyas was at his wits' end. Judging of his
brother by himself, he had taken for granted that
Frank had some well-concocted scheme for gaining
admittance to the Rose; and as the wiles of love were
altogether out of his province, he had followed in
full faith such a sans-appel as he held Frank to be.
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
But now he almost doubted of his brother's sanity,
though Frank's manner was perfectly collected and
his voice firm. Amyas, honest fellow, had no under-
standing of that intense devotion, which so many in
those days (not content with looking on it as a lofty
virtue, and yet one to be duly kept in its place by
other duties) prided themselves on pampering into the
most fantastic and self-willed excesses.
Beautiful folly! the death-song of which two great
geniuses were composing at that very moment, each
according to his light. For, while Spenser was em-
balming in immortal verse all that it contained of
noble and Christian elements, Cervantes sat, perhaps,
in his dungeon, writing with his left hand Don
Quixote,-saddest of books, in spite of all its wit; the
story of a pure and noble soul, who mistakes this
actual life for that ideal one which he fancies (and not
so wrongly either) eternal in the heavens: and find-
ing, instead of a battle-field for heroes in God's cause,
nothing but frivolity, heartlessness and godlessness,
becomes a laughing-stock,-and dies. One of the
saddest books, I say again, which man can read.
Amyas hardly dare trust himself to speak, for fear
of saying too much; but he could not help saying-
"You are going to certain death, Frank."
"Did I not entreat," answered he very quietly, "to
go alone ?"
Amyas had half a mind to compel him to return:
but he feared Frank's obstinacy; and feared, too, the
shame of returning on board without having done
anything; so they went up through the wicket-gate,
76 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
along a smooth turf walk, into what seemed a pleasure-
garden, formed by the hand of man, or rather of
woman. For by the light, not only of the moon, but
of the innumerable fire-flies, which flitted to and fro
across the sward like fiery imps sent to light the
brothers on their way, they could see that the bushes
on either side, and the trees above their heads, were
decked with flowers of such strangeness and beauty,
that, as Frank once said of Barbados, "even the
gardens of Wilton were a desert in comparison." All
around were orange and lemon trees (probably the only
addition which man had made to Nature's prodigality),
the fruit of which, in that strange coloured light of the
fire-flies, flashed in their eyes like balls of burnished
gold and emerald; while great white tassels swinging
from every tree in the breeze which swept down the
glade, tossed in their faces a fragrant snow of blossoms,
and glittering drops of perfumed dew.
"What a paradise !" said Amyas to Frank, "with
the serpent in it, as of old. Look!"
And as he spoke, there dropped slowly down from
a bough, right before them, what seemed a living
chain of gold, ruby, and sapphire. Both stopped, and
another glance showed the small head and bright eyes
of a snake, hissing and glaring full in their faces.
"See i" said Frank. "And he comes, as of old,
in the likeness of an angel of light. Do not strike it.
There are worse devils to be fought with to-night than
that poor beast." And stepping aside, they passed the
snake safely, and arrived in front of the house.
It was, as I have said, a long low house, with
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
balconies along the upper story, and the under part
mostly open to the wind. The light was still burning
in the window.
"Whither now'" said Amyas, in a tone of des-
"Thither! Where else on earth?" and Frank
pointed to the light, trembling from head to foot, and
"For Heaven's sake Look at the negroes on the
It was indeed time to stop; for on the barbecue, or
terrace of white plaster, which ran all round the front,
lay sleeping full twenty black figures.
"What will you do now? You must step over
them to gain an entrance."
"Wait here, and I will go up gently towards the
window. She may see me. She will see me as I step
into the moonlight. At least I know an air by which
she will recognize me, if I do but hum a stave."
"Why, you do not even know that that light is
hers !-Down, for your life !"
And Amyas dragged him down into the bushes on
his left hand; for one of the negroes, wakening
suddenly with a cry, had sat up, and began crossing
himself four or five times, in fear of "Duppy," and
mumbling various charms, aves, or what not.
The light above was extinguished instantly.
"Did you see her?" whispered Frank.
"I did-the shadow of the face, and the neck!
Can I be mistaken'" And then, covering his face
78 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
with his hands, he murmured to himself, "Misery!
misery! So near, and yet impossible ?"
Would it be the less impossible, were you face to
face ? Let us go back. We cannot go up without
detection, even if our going were of use. Come back,
for God's sake, ere all is lost If you have seen her,
as you say, you know at least that she is alive, and
safe in his house "-
"As his mistress? or as his wife? Do I know
that yet, Amyas, and can I depart until I know 7"
There was a few minutes' silence, and then Amyas,
making one last attempt to awaken Frank to the
absurdity of the whole thing, and to laugh him, if
possible, out of it, as argument had no effect-
"My dear fellow, I am very hungry and sleepy;
and this bush is very prickly; and my boots are full
So are.mine.-Look !" and Frank caught Amyas's
arm, and clenched it tight.
For round the farther corner of the house a dark
cloaked figure stole gently, turning a look now and
then upon the sleeping negroes, and came on right
"Did I not tell you she would come?" whispered
Frank, in a triumphant tone.
Amyas was quite bewildered; and to his mind the
apparition seemed magical, and Frank prophetic; for
as the figure came nearer, incredulous as he tried to
be, there was no denying that the shape and the walk
were exactly those of her, to find whom they had
crossed the Atlantic. True, the figure was somewhat
The cavalier lifted his hat courteously, and joined her, bowing low.-
Chap. xix. p. 79.
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
taller; but then, "she must be grown since I saw
her," thought Amyas; and his heart for the moment
beat as fiercely as Frank's.
But what was that behind her ? Her shadow
against the white wall of the house Not so.
Another figure, cloaked likewise, but taller far, was
following on her steps. It was a man's. They could
see that he wore a broad sombrero. It could not be
Don Guzman, for he was at sea. Who then ? Here
was a mystery; perhaps a tragedy. And both
brothers held their breaths, while Amyas felt whether
his sword was loose in the sheath.
The Rose (if indeed it was she) was within ten
yards of them, when she perceived that she was fol-
lowed. She gave a little shriek. The cavalier sprang
forward, lifted his hat courteously, and joined her,
bowing low. The moonlight was full upon his face.
"It is Eustace, our cousin! How came he here,
in the name of all the fiends V"
"Eustace! Then that is she after all!" said
Frank, forgetting everything else in her.
And now flashed across Amyas all that had passed
between him and Eustace in the moorland inn, and
Parracombe's story, too, of the suspicious gipsy.
Eustace had been beforehand with them, and warned
Don Guzman! All was explained now: but how had
he got hither 1
"The devil, his master, sent him hither on a
broomstick, I suppose: or what matter how ? Here
he is; and here we are, worse luck!" And, setting
his teeth, Amyas awaited the end.
80 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
The two came on, talking earnestly, and walking
at a slow pace, so that the brothers could hear every
"What shall we do nowl" said Frank. "We
have no right to be eaves-droppers."
"But we must be, right or none." And Amyas
held him down firmly by the arm.
"But whither are you going, then, my dear
madam?" they heard Eustace say in a wheedling
tone. "Can you wonder if such strange conduct
should cause at least sorrow to your admirable and
faithful husband ?"
"Husband !" whispered Frank faintly to Amyas.
Thank God, thank God! I am content. Let us go."
But to go was impossible; for, as fate would have
it, the two had stopped just opposite them.
"The inestimable Sefior Don Guzman- began
"What do you mean by praising him to me in
this fulsome way, sir 1 Do you suppose that I do not
know his virtues better than you?"
"If you do, madam" (this was spoken in a harder
tone), "it were wise for you to try them less severely,
than by wandering down toward the beach on the
very night that you know his most deadly enemies
are lying in wait to slay him, plunder his house, and
most probably to carry you off from him."
"Carry me off? I will die first !"
"Who can prove that to him? Appearances are
at least against you."
"My love to him, and his trust for me, sir !"
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
"His trust? Have you forgotten, madam, what
passed last week, and why he sailed yesterday I"
The only answer was a burst of tears. Eustace
stood watching her with a terrible eye; but they
could see his face writhing in the moonlight.
"Oh!" sobbed she at last. "And if I have been
imprudent, was it not natural to wish to look once
more upon an English ship ? Are you not English as
well as I? Have you no longing recollections of the
dear old land at home 2"
Eustace was silent; but his face worked more
fiercely than ever.
"How can he ever know it ?"
"Why should he not know it ?"
"Ah!" she burst out passionately, "why not, in-
deed, while you are here 1 You, sir, the tempter, you
the eaves-dropper, you the sunderer of loving hearts!
You, serpent, who found our home a paradise, and
see it now a hell!"
"Do you dare to accuse me thus, madam, without
a shadow of evidence ?"
"Dare? I dare anything, for I know all! I have
watched you, sir, and I have borne with you too long."
"Me, madam, whose only sin towards you, as you
should know by now, is to have loved you too well ?
Rose Rose have you not blighted my life for me-
broken my heart? And how have I repaid you?
How but by sacrificing myself to seek you over land
and sea, that I might complete your conversion to the
bosom of that Church where a Virgin Mother stands
stretching forth soft arms to embrace her wandering
VOL. II G w. H.
82 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
daughter, and cries to you all day long, 'Come unto,
me, ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will
give you rest!' And this is my reward!"
"Depart with your Virgin Mother, sir, and tempt
me no more You have asked me what I dare; and
I dare this, upon my own ground, and in my own
garden, I, Donna Rosa de Soto, to bid you leave this
place now and for ever, after having insulted me by
talking of your love, and tempted me to give up that
faith which my husband promised me he would respect
and protect. Go, sir!"
The brothers listened breathless with surprise as
much as with rage. Love and conscience, and per-
haps, too, the pride of her lofty alliance, had converted
the once gentle and dreamy Rose into a very Roxana;
but it was only the impulse of a moment. The words
had hardly passed her lips, when, terrified at what
she had said, she burst into a fresh flood of tears;
while Eustace answered calmly,-
"I go, madam: but how know you that I may
not have orders, and that, after your last strange
speech, my conscience may compel me to obey those
orders, to take you with me "
"Me? with you?"
"My heart has bled for you, madam, for many a
year. It longs now that it had bled itself to death,
and never known the last worst agony of telling
And drawing close to her he whispered in her ear
-what, the brothers heard not-but her answer was
a shriek which rang through the woods, and sent the
WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
night-birds fluttering up from every bough above their
"By Heaven !" said Amyas, "I can stand this no
longer. Cut that devil's throat I must-- "
She is lost if his dead body is found by her."
"We are lost, if we stay here, then," said Amyas;
"for those negroes will hurry down at her cry, and
then found we must be."
"Are you mad, madam, to betray yourself by your
own cries'? The negroes will be here in a moment.
I give you one last chance for life then :" and Eustace
shouted in Spanish at the top of his voice, "Help,
help, servants Your mistress is being carried off by
What do you mean, sir ?"
"Let your woman's wit supply the rest: and for-
get not him who thus saves you from disgrace."
Whether the brothers heard the last words or not,
I know not; but taking for granted that Eustace had
discovered them, they sprang to their feet at once,
determined to make one last appeal, and then to sell
their lives as dearly as they could.
Eustace started back at the unexpected apparition;
but a second glance showed him Amyas's mighty
bulk; and he spoke calmly,-
"You see, madam, I did not call without need. Wel-
come, good cousins. My charity, as you perceive, has
found means to outstrip your craft; while the fair lady,
as was but natural, has been true to her assignation !"
"Liar!" cried Frank. "She never knew of our
84 WHAT BEFELL AT LA GUAYRA.
"Credat Judmus!" answered Eustace: but, as he
spoke, Amyas burst through the bushes at him.
There was no time to be lost; and ere the giant could
disentangle himself from the boughs and shrubs,
Eustace had slipped off his long cloak, thrown it over
Amyas's head, and ran up the alley shouting for help.
Mad with rage, Amyas gave chase: but in two
minutes more, Eustace was safe among the ranks of
the negroes, who came shouting and jabbering down
He rushed back. Frank was just ending some
wild appeal to Rose-
"Your conscience! your religion !- "
"No, never! I can face the chance of death, but
not the loss of him. Go! for God's sake leave me!"
You are lost, then,-and I have ruined you!"
"Come off, now or never," cried Amyas, clutching
him by the arm, and dragging him away like a child.
"You forgive me ?" cried he.
"Forgive you?" and she burst into tears again.
Frank burst into tears also.
"Let me go back, and die with her-Amyas!-
my oath!-my honour!" and he struggled to turn
Amyas looked back too, and saw her standing
calmly, with her hands folded across her breast,
awaiting Eustace and the servants; and he half
turned to go back also. Both saw how fearfully ap-
pearances had put her into Eustace's power. Had
he not a right to suspect that they were there by her
appointment; that she was going to escape with