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´╗┐Title: A Modern Telemachus
Author: Yonge, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Modern Telemachus" ***

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Transcribed from the 1889 Macmillan and Co. edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org



A MODERN TELEMACHUS


   {'Be still' illustration: p1.jpg}

   'Be still; I want to hear what they are saying.'--P. 2.

ILLUSTRATED BY W. J. HENNESSY.

London
MACMILLAN AND CO.
AND NEW YORK
1889

_All rights reserved_

_First Edition_ (2 _Vols. Crown_ 8_vo_) 1886
_Reprinted_ 1887, 1889



PREFACE


The idea of this tale was taken from _The Mariners' Chronicle_, compiled
by a person named Scott early in the last century--a curious book of
narratives of maritime adventures, with exceedingly quaint illustrations.
Nothing has ever shown me more plainly that truth is stranger than
fiction, for all that is most improbable here is the actual fact.

The Comte de Bourke was really an Irish Jacobite, naturalised in France,
and married to the daughter of the Marquis de Varennes, as well as in
high favour with the Marshal Duke of Berwick.

In 1719, just when the ambition of Elizabeth Farnese, the second wife of
Philip V. of Spain, had involved that country in a war with England,
France, and Austria, the Count was transferred from the Spanish Embassy
to that of Sweden, and sent for his wife and two elder children to join
him at a Spanish port.

This arrangement was so strange that I can only account for it by
supposing that as this was the date of a feeble Spanish attempt on behalf
of the Jacobites in Scotland, Comte de Bourke may not have ventured by
the direct route.  Or it may not have been etiquette for him to re-enter
France when appointed ambassador.  At any rate, the poor Countess did
take this route to the South, and I am inclined to think the narrative
must be correct, as all the side-lights I have been able to gain
perfectly agree with it, often in an unexpected manner.

The suite and the baggage were just as related in the story--the only
liberty I have taken being the bestowal of names.  'M. Arture' was really
of the party, but I have made him Scotch instead of Irish, and I have no
knowledge that the lackey was not French.  The imbecility of the Abbe is
merely a deduction from his helplessness, but of course this may have
been caused by illness.

The meeting with M. de Varennes at Avignon, Berwick's offer of an escort,
and the Countess's dread of the Pyrenees, are all facts, as well as her
embarkation in the Genoese tartane bound for Barcelona, and its capture
by the Algerine corsair commanded by a Dutch renegade, who treated her
well, and to whom she gave her watch.

Algerine history confirms what is said of his treatment.  Louis XIV. had
bombarded the pirate city, and compelled the Dey to receive a consul and
to liberate French prisoners and French property; but the lady having
been taken in an Italian ship, the Dutchman was afraid to set her ashore
without first taking her to Algiers, lest he should fall under suspicion.
He would not venture on taking so many women on board his own vessel,
being evidently afraid of his crew of more than two hundred Turks and
Moors, but sent seven men on board the prize and took it in tow.

Curiously enough, history mentions the very tempest which drove the
tartane apart from her captor, for it also shattered the French
transports and interfered with Berwick's Spanish campaign.

The circumstances of the wreck have been closely followed.  'M. Arture'
actually saved Mademoiselle de Bourke, and placed her in the arms of the
_maitre d'hotel_, who had reached a rock, together with the Abbe, the
lackey, and one out of the four maids.  The other three were all in the
cabin with their mistress and her son, and shared their fate.

The real 'Arture' tried to swim to the shore, but never was seen again,
so that his adventures with the little boy are wholly imaginary.  But the
little girl's conduct is perfectly true.  When in the steward's arms she
declared that the savages might take her life, but never should make her
deny her faith.

The account of these captors was a great difficulty, till in the old
_Universal History_ I found a description of Algeria which tallied
wonderfully with the narrative.  It was taken from a survey of the coast
made a few years later by English officials.

The tribe inhabiting Mounts Araz and Couco, and bordering on Djigheli
Bay, were really wild Arabs, claiming high descent, but very loose
Mohammedans, and savage in their habits.  Their name of Cabeleyzes is
said--with what truth I know not--to mean 'revolted,' and they held
themselves independent of the Dey.  They were in the habit of murdering
or enslaving all shipwrecked travellers, except subjects of Algiers, whom
they released with nothing but their lives.

All this perfectly explains the sufferings of Mademoiselle de Bourke.  The
history of the plundering, the threats, the savage treatment of the
corpses, the wild dogs, the councils of the tribe, the separation of the
captives, and the child's heroism, is all literally true--the expedient
of Victorine's defence alone being an invention.  It is also true that
the little girl and the _maitre d'hotel_ wrote four letters, and sent
them by different chances to Algiers, but only the last ever arrived, and
it created a great sensation.

M. Dessault is a real personage, and the kindness of the Dey and of the
Moors was exactly as related, also the expedient of sending the Marabout
of Bugia to negotiate.

Mr. Thomas Thompson was really the English Consul at the time, but his
share in the matter is imaginary, as it depends on Arthur's adventures.

The account of the Marabout system comes from the _Universal History_;
but the arrival, the negotiations, and the desire of the sheyk to detain
the young French lady for a wife to his son, are from the narrative.  He
really did claim to be an equal match for her, were she daughter of the
King of France, since he was King of the Mountains.

The welcome at Algiers and the _Te Deum_ in the Consul's chapel also are
related in the book that serves me for authority.  It adds that
Mademoiselle de Bourke finally married a Marquis de B---, and lived much
respected in Provence, dying shortly before the Revolution.

I will only mention further that a rescued Abyssinian slave named Fareek
(happily not tongueless) was well known to me many years ago in the
household of the late Warden Barter of Winchester College.

Since writing the above I have by the kindness of friends been enabled to
discover Mr. Scott's authority, namely, a book entitled _Voyage pour la
Redemption des captifs aux Royaumes d'Alger et de Tunis_, _fait en_ 1720
_par les P.P. Francois Comelin_, _Philemon de la Motte_, _et Joseph
Bernard_, _de l'Ordre de la Sainte Trinite_, _dit Mathurine_.  This Order
was established by Jean Matha for the ransom and rescue of prisoners in
the hands of the Moors.  A translation of the adventures of the Comtesse
de Bourke and her daughter was published in the _Catholic World_, New
York, July 1881.  It exactly agrees with the narration in _The Mariners'
Chronicle_ except that, in the true spirit of the eighteenth century, Mr.
Scott thought fit to suppress that these ecclesiastics were at Algiers at
the time of the arrival of Mademoiselle de Bourke's letter, that they
interested themselves actively on her behalf, and that they wrote the
narrative from the lips of the _maitre d'hotel_ (who indeed may clearly
be traced throughout).  It seems also that the gold cups were chalices,
and that a complete set of altar equipments fell a prey to the
Cabeleyzes, whose name the good fathers endeavour to connect with
_Cabale_--with about as much reason as if we endeavoured to derive that
word from the ministry of Charles II.

Had I known in time of the assistance of these benevolent brethren I
would certainly have introduced them with all due honour, but, like the
Abbe Vertot, I have to say, _Mon histoire est ecrite_, and what is
worse--printed.  Moreover, they do not seem to have gone on the mission
with the Marabout from Bugia, so that their presence really only accounts
for the _Te Deum_ with which the redeemed captives were welcomed.

It does not seem quite certain whether M. Dessault was Consul or Envoy; I
incline to think the latter.  The translation in the _Catholic World_
speaks of Sir Arthur, but Mr. Scott's 'M. Arture' is much more
_vraisemblable_.  He probably had either a surname to be concealed or
else unpronounceable to French lips.  Scott must have had some further
information of the after history of Mademoiselle de Bourke since he
mentions her marriage, which could hardly have taken place when Pere
Comelin's book was published in 1720.

C. M. YONGE.



CHAPTER I--COMPANIONS OF THE VOYAGE


      'Make mention thereto
   Touching my much loved father's safe return,
   If of his whereabouts I may best hear.'

   _Odyssey_ (MUSGRAVE).

'Oh! brother, I wish they had named you Telemaque, and then it would have
been all right!'

'Why so, sister?  Why should I be called by so ugly a name?  I like
Ulysses much better; and it is also the name of my papa.'

'That is the very thing.  His name is Ulysses, and we are going to seek
for him.'

'Oh!  I hope that cruel old Mentor is not coming to tumble us down over a
great rook, like Telemaque in the picture.'

'You mean Pere le Brun?'

'Yes; you know he always says he is our Mentor.  And I wish he would
change into a goddess with a helmet and a shield, with an ugly face, and
go off in a cloud.  Do you think he will, Estelle?'

'Do not be so silly, Ulick; there are no goddesses now.'

'I heard M. de la Mede tell that pretty lady with the diamond butterfly
that she was his goddess; so there are!'

'You do not understand, brother.  That was only flattery and compliment.
Goddesses were only in the Greek mythology, and were all over long ago!'

'But are we really going to see our papa?'

'Oh yes, mamma told me so.  He is made Ambassador to Sweden, you know.'

'Is that greater than Envoy to Spain?'

'Very, very much greater.  They call mamma Madame l'Ambassadrice; and she
is having three complete new dresses made.  See, there are _la bonne_ and
Laurent talking.  It is English, and if we go near with our cups and
balls we shall hear all about it.  Laurent always knows, because my uncle
tells him.'

'You must call him _La Juenesse_ now he is made mamma's lackey.  Is he
not beautiful in his new livery?'

'Be still now, brother; I want to hear what they are saying.'

This may sound somewhat sly, but French children, before Rousseau had
made them the fashion, were kept in the background, and were reduced to
picking up intelligence as best they could without any sense of its being
dishonourable to do so; and, indeed, it was more neglect than desire of
concealment that left their uninformed.

This was in 1719, four years after the accession of Louis XV., a puny
infant, to the French throne, and in the midst of the Regency of the Duke
of Orleans.  The scene was a broad walk in the Tuileries gardens, beneath
a closely-clipped wall of greenery, along which were disposed alternately
busts upon pedestals, and stone vases of flowers, while beyond lay formal
beds of flowers, the gravel walks between radiating from a fountain, at
present quiescent, for it was only ten o'clock in the forenoon, and the
gardens were chiefly frequented at that hour by children and their
attendants, who, like Estelle and Ulysse de Bourke, were taking an early
walk on their way home from mass.

They were a miniature lady and gentleman of the period in costume, with
the single exception that, in consideration of their being only nine and
seven years old, their hair was free from powder.  Estelle's light,
almost flaxen locks were brushed back from her forehead, and tied behind
with a rose-coloured ribbon, but uncovered, except by a tiny lace cap on
the crown of her head; Ulick's darker hair was carefully arranged in
great curls on his back and shoulders, as like a full-bottomed wig as
nature would permit, and over it he wore a little cocked hat edged with
gold lace.  He had a rich laced cravat, a double-breasted waistcoat of
pale blue satin, and breeches to match, a brown velvet coat with blue
embroidery on the pockets, collar, and skirts, silk stockings to match,
as well as the knot of the tiny scabbard of the semblance of a sword at
his side, shoes with silver buckles, and altogether he might have been a
full-grown Comte or Vicomte seen through a diminishing glass.  His sister
was in a full-hooped dress, with tight long waist, and sleeves reaching
to her elbows, the under skirt a pale pink, the upper a deeper rose
colour; but stiff as was the attire, she had managed to give it a slight
general air of disarrangement, to get her cap a little on one side, a
stray curl loose on her forehead, to tear a bit of the dangling lace on
her arms, and to splash her robe with a puddle.  He was in air, feature,
and complexion a perfect little dark Frenchman.  The contour of her face,
still more its rosy glow, were more in accordance with her surname, and
so especially were the large deep blue eyes with the long dark lashes and
pencilled brows.  And there was a lively restless air about her full of
intelligence, as she manoeuvred her brother towards a stone seat, guarded
by a couple of cupids reining in sleepy-looking lions in stone, where,
under the shade of a lime-tree, her little petticoated brother of two
years old was asleep, cradled in the lap of a large, portly, handsome
woman, in a dark dress, a white cap and apron, and dark crimson cloak,
loosely put back, as it was an August day.  Native costumes were then, as
now, always worn by French nurses; but this was not the garb of any
province of the kingdom, and was as Irish as the brogue in which she was
conversing with the tall fine young man who stood at ease beside her.  He
was in a magnificent green and gold livery suit, his hair powdered, and
fastened in a _queue_, the whiteness contrasting with the dark brows, and
the eyes and complexion of that fine Irish type that it is the fashion to
call Milesian.  He looked proud of his dress, which was viewed in those
days as eminently becoming, and did in fact display his well-made figure
and limbs to great advantage; but he looked anxiously about, and his
first inquiry on coming on the scene in attendance upon the little boy
had been--

'The top of the morning to ye, mother!  And where is Victorine?'

'Arrah, and what would ye want with Victorine?' demanded the _bonne_.  'Is
not the old mother enough for one while, to feast her eyes on her an'
Lanty Callaghan, now he has shed the _marmiton's_ slough, and come out in
old Ireland's colours, like a butterfly from a palmer?  La Jeunesse,
instead of Laurent here, and Laurent there.'

La Pierre and La Jeunesse were the stereotyped names of all pairs of
lackeys in French noble houses, and the title was a mark of promotion;
but Lanty winced and said, 'Have done with that, mother.  You know that
never the pot nor the kettle has blacked my fingers since Master Phelim
went to the good fathers' school with me to carry his books and insinse
him with the larning.  'Tis all one, as his own body-servant that I have
been, as was fitting for his own foster-brother, till now, when not one
of the servants, barring myself and Maitre Hebert, the steward, will
follow Madame la Comtesse beyond the four walls of Paris.  "Will you
desert us too, Laurent?" says the lady.  "And is it me you mane, Madame,"
says I, "Sorrah a Callaghan ever deserted a Burke!"  "Then," says she,
"if you will go with us to Sweden, you shall have two lackey's suits, and
a couple of _louis d'or_ to cross your pocket with by the year, forbye
the fee and bounty of all the visitors to M. le Comte."  "Is it M. l'Abbe
goes with Madame?" says I.  "And why not," says she.  "Then," says I,
"'tis myself that is mightily obliged to your ladyship, and am ready to
put on her colours and do all in reason in her service, so as I am free
to attend to Master Phelim, that is M. l'Abbe, whenever he needs me, that
am in duty bound as his own foster-brother."  "Ah, Laurent," says she,
"'tis you that are the faithful domestic.  We shall all stand in need of
such good offices as we can do to one another, for we shall have a long
and troublesome, if not dangerous journey, both before and after we have
met M. le Comte."'

Estelle here nodded her head with a certain satisfaction, while the nurse
replied--

'And what other answer could the son of your father make--Heavens be his
bed--that was shot through the head by the masther's side in the weary
wars in Spain? and whom could ye be bound to serve barring Master Phelim,
that's lain in the same cradle with yees--'

'Is not Victorine here, mother?' still restlessly demanded Lanty.

'Never you heed Victorine,' replied she.  'Sure she may have a little
arrand of her own, and ye might have a word for the old mother that never
parted with you before.'

'You not going, mother!' he exclaimed.

''Tis my heart that will go with you and Masther Phelim, my jewel; but
Madame la Comtesse will have it that this weeny little darlint'--caressing
the child in her lap--'could never bear the cold of that bare and
dissolute place in the north you are bound for, and old Madame la
Marquise, her mother, would be mad entirely if all the children left her;
but our own lady can't quit the little one without leaving his own nurse
Honor with him!'

'That's news to me intirely, mother,' said Lanty; 'bad luck to it!'

Honor laughed that half-proud, half-sad laugh of mothers when their sons
outgrow them.  'Fine talking!  Much he cares for the old mother if he can
see the young girl go with him.'

For Lanty's eyes had brightened at sight of a slight little figure, trim
to the last degree, with a jaunty little cap on her dark hair, gay
trimmings to the black apron, dainty shoes and stockings that came
tripping down the path.  His tongue instantly changed to French from what
he called English, as in pathetic insinuating modulations he demanded how
she could be making him weary his very heart out.

'Who bade you?' she retorted.  'I never asked you to waste your time
here!'

'And will ye not give me a glance of the eyes that have made a cinder of
my poor heart, when I am going away into the desolate north, among the
bears and the savages and the heretics?'

'There will be plenty of eyes there to look at your fine green and gold,
for the sake of the Paris cut; though a great lumbering fellow like you
does not know how to show it off!'

'And if I bring back a heretic _bru_ to break the heart of the mother,
will it not be all the fault of the cruelty of Mademoiselle Victorine?'

Here Estelle, unable to withstand Lanty's piteous intonations, broke in,
'Never mind, Laurent, Victorine goes with us.  She went to be measured
for a new pair of slices on purpose!'

'Ah!  I thought I should disembarrass myself of a great troublesome
Irishman!'

'No!' retorted the boy, 'you knew Laurent was going, for Maitre Hebert
had just come in to say he must have a lackey's suit!'

'Yes,' said Estelle, 'that was when you took me in your arms and kissed
me, and said you would follow Madame la Comtesse to the end of the
world.'

The old nurse laughed heartily, but Victorine cried out, 'Does
Mademoiselle think I am going to follow naughty little girls who invent
follies?  It is still free to me to change my mind.  Poor Simon Claquette
is gnawing his heart out, and he is to be left _concierge_!'

The clock at the palace chimed eleven, Estelle took her brother's hand,
Honor rose with little Jacques in her arms, Victorine paced beside her,
and Lanty as La Jeunesse followed, puffing out his breast, and wielding
his cane, as they all went home to _dejeuner_.

Twenty-nine years before the opening of this narrative, just after the
battle of Boyne Water had ruined the hopes of the Stewarts in Ireland,
Sir Ulick Burke had attended James II. in his flight from Waterford; and
his wife had followed him, attended by her two faithful servants, Patrick
Callaghan, and his wife Honor, carrying her mistress's child on her
bosom, and her own on her back.

Sir Ulick, or Le Chevalier Bourke, as the French called him, had no
scruple in taking service in the armies of Louis XIV.  Callaghan followed
him everywhere, while Honor remained a devoted attendant on her lady,
doubly bound to her by exile and sorrow.

Little Ulick Burke's foster-sister died, perhaps because she had always
been made second to him through all the hardships and exposure of the
journey.  Other babes of both lady and nurse had succumbed to the
mortality which beset the children of that generation, and the only
survivors besides the eldest Burke and one daughter were the two youngest
of each mother, and they had arrived so nearly at the same time that
Honor Callaghan could again be foster-mother to Phelim Burke, a sickly
child, reared with great difficulty.

The family were becoming almost French.  Sir Ulick was an intimate friend
of one of the noblest men of the day, James Fitz-James, Marshal Duke of
Berwick, who united military talent, almost equal to that of his uncle of
Marlborough, to an unswerving honour and integrity very rare in those
evil times.  Under him, Sir Ulick fought in the campaigns that finally
established the House of Bourbon upon the throne of Spain, and the
younger Ulick or Ulysse, as his name had been classicalised and
Frenchified, was making his first campaign as a mere boy at the time of
the battle of Almanza, that solitary British defeat, for which our
national consolation is that the French were commanded by an Englishman,
the Duke of Berwick, and the English by a Frenchman, the Huguenot
Rubigne, Earl of Galway.  The first English charge was, however, fatal to
the Chevalier Bourke, who fell mortally wounded, and in the endeavour to
carry him off the field the faithful Callaghan likewise fell.  Sir Ulick
lived long enough to be visited by the Duke, and to commend his children
to his friend's protection.

Berwick was held to be dry and stiff, but he was a faithful friend, and
well redeemed his promise.  The eldest son, young as he was, obtained as
wife the daughter of the Marquis de Varennes, and soon distinguished
himself both in war and policy, so as to receive the title of Comte de
Bourke.

The French Church was called on to provide for the other two children.
The daughter, Alice, became a nun in one of the Parisian convents, with
promises of promotion.  The younger son, Phelim, was weakly in health,
and of intellect feeble, if not deficient, and was almost dependent on
the devoted care and tenderness of his foster-brother, Laurence
Callaghan.  Nobody was startled when Berwick's interest procured for the
dull boy of ten years old the Abbey of St. Eudoce in Champagne.  To be
sure the responsibilities were not great, for the Abbey had been burnt
down a century and a half ago by the Huguenots, and there had never been
any monks in it since, so the only effect was that little Phelim Burke
went by the imposing title of Monsieur l'Abbe de St. Eudoce, and his
family enjoyed as much of the revenues of the estates of the Abbey as the
Intendant thought proper to transmit to them.  He was, to a certain
degree, ecclesiastically educated, having just memory enough to retain
for recitation the tasks that Lanty helped him to learn, and he could
copy the themes or translations made for him by his faithful companion.
Neither boy had the least notion of unfairness or deception in this
arrangement: it was only the natural service of the one to the other, and
if it were perceived in the Fathers of the Seminary, whither Lanty daily
conducted the young Abbot, they winked at it.  Nor, though the
quick-witted Lanty thus acquired a considerable amount of learning, no
idea occurred to him of availing himself of it for his own advantage.  It
sat outside him, as it were, for 'Masther Phelim's' use; and he no more
thought of applying it to his own elevation than he did of wearing the
_soutane_ he brushed for his young master.

The Abbe was now five-and-twenty, had received the tonsure, and had been
admitted to minor Orders, but there was no necessity for him to proceed
any farther unless higher promotion should be accorded to him in
recompense of his brother's services.  He was a gentle, amiable being,
not at all fit to take care of himself; and since the death of his
mother, he had been the charge of his brother and sister-in-law, or
perhaps more correctly speaking, of the Dowager Marquise de Varennes, for
all the branches of the family lived together in the Hotel de Varennes at
Paris, or its chateau in the country, and the fine old lady ruled over
all, her son and son-in-law being often absent, as was the case at
present.

A fresh European war had been provoked by the ambition of the second wife
of Philip V. of Spain, the Prince for whose cause Berwick had fought.
This Queen, Elizabeth Farnese, wanted rank and dominion for her own son;
moreover, Philip looked with longing eyes at his native kingdom of
France, all claim to which he had resigned when Spain was bequeathed to
him; but now that only a sickly child, Louis XV., stood between him and
the succession in right of blood, he felt his rights superior to those of
the Duke of Orleans.  Thus Spain was induced to become hostile to France,
and to commence the war known as that of the Quadruple Alliance.

While there was still hope of accommodation, the Comte de Bourke had been
sent as a special envoy to Madrid, and there continued even after the war
had broken out, and the Duke of Berwick, resigning all the estates he had
received from the gratitude of Philip V., had led an army across the
frontier.

The Count had, however, just been appointed Ambassador to Sweden, and was
anxious to be joined by his family on the way thither.

The tidings had created great commotion.  Madame de Varennes looked on
Sweden as an Ultima Thule of frost and snow, but knew that a lady's
presence was essential to the display required of an ambassador.  She
strove, however, to have the children left with her; but her daughter
declared that she could not part with Estelle, who was already a
companion and friend, and that Ulysse must be with his father, who longed
for his eldest son, so that only little Jacques, a delicate child, was to
be left to console his grandmother.



CHAPTER II--A JACOBITE WAIF


   'Sac now he's o'er the floods sae gray,
   And Lord Maxwell has ta'en his good-night.'

   LORD MAXWELL'S _Good-night_.

Madame La Comtesse de Bourke was by no means a helpless fine lady.  She
had several times accompanied her husband on his expeditions, and had
only not gone with him to Madrid because he did not expect to be long
absent, and she sorely rued the separation.

She was very busy in her own room, superintending the packing, and
assisting in it, when her own clever fingers were more effective than
those of her maids.  She was in her _robe de chambre_, a dark blue
wrapper, embroidered with white, and put on more neatly than was always
the case with French ladies in _deshabille_.  The hoop, long stiff stays,
rich brocade robe, and fabric of powdered hair were equally unsuitable to
ease or exertion, and consequently were seldom assumed till late in the
day, when the toilette was often made in public.

So Madame de Bourke's hair was simply rolled out of her way, and she
appeared in her true colours, as a little brisk, bonny woman, with no
actual beauty, but very expressive light gray eyes, furnished with
intensely long black lashes, and a sweet, mobile, lively countenance.

Estelle was trying to amuse little Jacques, and prevent him from trotting
between the boxes, putting all sorts of undesirable goods into them; and
Ulysse had collected his toys, and was pleading earnestly that a headless
wooden horse and a kite, twice as tall as himself, of Lanty's
manufacture, might go with them.

He was told that another _cerf-volant_ should be made for him at the
journey's end; but was only partially consoled, and his mother was fain
to compound for a box of woolly lambs.  Estelle winked away a tear when
her doll was rejected, a wooden, highly painted lady, bedizened in
brocade, and so dear to her soul that it was hard to be told that she was
too old for such toys, and that the Swedes would be shocked to see the
Ambassador's daughter embracing a doll.  She had, however, to preserve
her character of a reasonable child, and tried to derive consolation from
the permission to bestow 'Mademoiselle' upon the _concierge's_ little
sick daughter, who would be sure to cherish her duly.

'But, oh mamma, I pray you to let me take my book!'

'Assuredly, my child.  Let us see!  What?  Telemaque?  Not "Prince
Percinet and Princess Gracieuse?"'

'I am tired of them, mamma.'

'Nor Madame d'Aulnoy's Fairy Tales?'

'Oh no, thank you, mamma; I love nothing so well as Telemaque.'

'Thou art a droll child!' said her mother.

'Ah, but we are going to be like Telemaque.'

'Heaven forfend!' said the poor lady.

'Yes, dear mamma, I am glad you are going with us instead of staying at
home to weave and unweave webs.  If Penelope had been like you, she would
have gone!'

'Take care, is not Jacques acting Penelope?' said Madame de Bourke,
unable to help smiling at her little daughter's glib mythology, while
going to the rescue of the embroidery silks, in which her youngest son
was entangling himself.

At that moment there was a knock at the door, and a message was brought
that the Countess of Nithsdale begged the favour of a few minutes'
conversation in private with Madame.  The Scottish title fared better on
the lips of La Jeunesse than it would have done on those of his
predecessor.  There was considerable intimacy among all the Jacobite
exiles in and about Paris; and Winifred, Countess of Nithsdale, though
living a very quiet and secluded life, was held in high estimation among
all who recollected the act of wifely heroism by which she had rescued
her husband from the block.

Madame de Bourke bade the maids carry off the little Jacques, and Ulysse
followed; but Estelle, who had often listened with rapt attention to the
story of the escape, and longed to feast her eyes on the heroine,
remained in her corner, usefully employed in disentangling the
embroilment of silks, and with the illustrations to her beloved Telemaque
as a resource in case the conversation should be tedious.  Children who
have hundreds of picture-books to rustle through can little guess how
their predecessors could once dream over one.

Estelle made her low reverence unnoticed, and watched with eager eyes as
the slight figure entered, clad in the stately costume that was regarded
as proper respect to her hostess; but the long loose sacque of blue silk
was faded, the _feuille-morte_ velvet petticoat frayed, the lace on the
neck and sleeves washed and mended; there were no jewels on the sleeves,
though the long gloves fitted exquisitely, no gems in the buckles of the
high-heeled shoes, and the only ornament in the carefully rolled and
powdered hair, a white rose.  Her face was thin and worn, with pleasant
brown eyes.  Estelle could not think her as beautiful as Calypso
inconsolable for Ulysses, or Antiope receiving the boar's a head.  'I
know she is better than either,' thought the little maid; 'but I wish she
was more like Minerva.'

The Countesses met with the lowest of curtseys, and apologies on the one
side for intrusion, on the other for _deshabille_, so they concluded with
an embrace really affectionate, though consideration for powder made it
necessarily somewhat theatrical in appearance.

These were the stiffest of days, just before formality had become
unbearable, and the reaction of simplicity had set in; and Estelle had
undone two desperate knots in the green and yellow silks before the
preliminary compliments were over, and Lady Nithsdale arrived at the
point.

'Madame is about to rejoin _Monsieur son Mari_.'

'I am about to have that happiness.'

'That is the reason I have been bold enough to derange her.'

'Do not mention it.  It is always a delight to see _Madame la Comtesse_.'

'Ah! what will Madame say when she hears that it is to ask a great favour
of her.'

'Madame may reckon on me for whatever she would command.'

'If you can grant it--oh!  Madame,' cried the Scottish Countess,
beginning to drop her formality in her eagerness, 'we shall be for ever
beholden to you, and you will make a wounded heart to sing, besides
perhaps saving a noble young spirit.'

'Madame makes me impatient to hear what she would have of me,' said the
French Countess, becoming a little on her guard, as the wife of a
diplomatist, recollecting, too, that peace with George I. might mean war
with the Jacobites.

'I know not whether a young kinsman of my Lord's has ever been presented
to Madame.  His name is Arthur Maxwell Hope; but we call him usually by
his Christian name.'

'A tall, dark, handsome youth, almost like a Spaniard, or a picture by
Vandyke?  It seems to me that I have seen him with M. le Comte.'  (Madame
de Bourke could not venture on such a word as Nithsdale.)

'Madame is right.  The mother of the boy is a Maxwell, a cousin not far
removed from my Lord, but he could not hinder her from being given in
marriage as second wife to Sir David Hope, already an old man.  He was
good to her, but when he died, the sons by the first wife were harsh and
unkind to her and to her son, of whom they had always been jealous.  The
eldest was a creature of my Lord Stair, and altogether a Whig; indeed, he
now holds an office at the Court of the Elector of Hanover, and has been
created one of _his_ peers.  (The scorn with which the gentle Winifred
uttered those words was worth seeing, and the other noble lady gave a
little derisive laugh.)  'These half-brothers declared that Lady Hope was
nurturing the young Arthur in Toryism and disaffection, and they made it
a plea for separating him from her, and sending him to an old minister,
who kept a school, and who was very severe and even cruel to the poor
boy.  But I am wearying Madame.'

'Oh no, I listen with the deepest interest.'

'Finally, when the King was expected in Scotland, and men's minds were
full of anger and bitterness, as well as hope and spirit, the boy--he was
then only fourteen years of age--boasted of his grandfather's having
fought at Killiecrankie, and used language which the tutor pronounced
treasonable.  He was punished and confined to his room; but in the night
he made his escape and joined the royal army.  My husband was grieved to
see him, told him he had no right to political opinions, and tried to
send him home in time to make his peace before all was lost.  Alas! no.
The little fellow did, indeed, pass out safely from Preston, but only to
join my Lord Mar.  He was among the gentlemen who embarked at Banff; and
when my Lord, by Heaven's mercy, had escaped from the Tower of London,
and we arrived at Paris, almost the first person we saw was little
Arthur, whom we thought to have been safe at home.  We have kept him with
us, and I contrived to let his mother know that he is living, for she had
mourned him as among the slain.'

'Poor mother.'

'You may well pity her, Madame.  She writes to me that if Arthur had
returned at once from Preston, as my Lord advised, all would have been
passed over as a schoolboy frolic; and, indeed, he has never been
attainted; but there is nothing that his eldest brother, Lord Burnside as
they call him, dreads so much as that it should be known that one of his
family was engaged in the campaign, or that he is keeping such ill
company as we are.  Therefore, at her request, we have never called him
Hope, but let him go by our name of Maxwell, which is his by baptism; and
now she tells me that if he could make his way to Scotland, not as if
coming from Paris or Bar-le-Duc, but merely as if travelling on the
Continent, his brother would consent to his return.'

'Would she be willing that he should live under the usurper?'

'Madame, to tell you the truth,' said Lady Nithsdale, 'the Lady Hope is
not one to heed the question of usurpers, so long as her son is safe and
a good lad.  Nay, for my part, we all lived peaceably and happily enough
under Queen Anne; and by all I hear, so they still do at home under the
Elector of Hanover.'

'The Regent has acknowledged him,' put in the French lady.

'Well,' said the poor exile, 'I know my Lord felt that it was his duty to
obey the summons of his lawful sovereign, and that, as he said when he
took up arms, one can only do one's duty and take the consequences; but
oh! when I look at the misery and desolation that has come of it, when I
think of the wives not so happy as I am, when I see my dear Lord wearing
out his life in banishment, and think of our dear home and our poor
people, I am tempted to wonder whether it were indeed a duty, or whether
there were any right to call on brave men without a more steadfast
purpose not to abandon them!'

'It would have been very different if the Duke of Berwick had led the
way,' observed Madame de Bourke.  'Then my husband would have gone, but,
being French subjects, honour stayed both him and the Duke as long as the
Regent made no move.'  The good lady, of course, thought that the Marshal
Duke and her own Count must secure victory; but Lady Nithsdale was intent
on her own branch of the subject, and did not pursue 'what might have
been.'

'After all,' she said, 'poor Arthur, at fourteen, could have no true
political convictions.  He merely fled because he was harshly treated,
heard his grandfather branded as a traitor, and had an enthusiasm for my
husband, who had been kind to him.  It was a mere boy's escapade, and if
he had returned home when my Lord bade him, it would only have been
remembered as such.  He knows it now, and I frankly tell you, Madame,
that what he has seen of our exiled court has not increased his ardour in
the cause.'

'Alas, no,' said Madame de Bourke.  'If the Chevalier de St. George were
other than he is, it would be easier to act in his behalf.'

'And you agree with me, Madame,' continued the visitor, 'that nothing can
be worse or more hopeless for a youth than the life to which we are
constrained here, with our whole shadow of hope in intrigue; and for our
men, no occupation worthy of their sex.  We women are not so ill off,
with our children and domestic affairs; but it breaks my heart to see
brave gentlemen's lives thus wasted.  We have done our best for Arthur.
He has studied with one of our good clergy, and my Lord himself has
taught him to fence; but we cannot treat him any longer as a boy, and I
know not what is to be his future, unless we can return him to his own
country.'

'Our army,' suggested Madame de Bourke.

'Ah! but he is Protestant.'

'A heretic!' exclaimed the lady, drawing herself up.  'But--'

'Oh, do not refuse me on that account.  He is a good lad, and has lived
enough among Catholics to keep his opinions in the background.  But you
understand that it is another reason for wishing to convey him, if not to
Scotland, to some land like Sweden or Prussia, where his faith would not
be a bar to his promotion.'

'What is it you would have me do?' said Madame de Bourke, more coldly.

'If Madame would permit him to be included in her passport, as about to
join the Ambassador's suite, and thus conduct him to Sweden; Lady Hope
would find means to communicate with him from thence, the poor young man
would be saved from a ruined career, and the heart of the widow and
mother would bless you for ever.

Madame de Bourke was touched, but she was a prudent woman, and paused to
ask whether the youth had shown any tendency to run into temptation, from
which Lady Nithsdale wished to remove him.

'Oh no,' she answered; 'he was a perfectly good docile lad, though high-
spirited, submissive to the Earl, and a kind playfellow to her little
girls; it was his very excellence that made it so unfortunate that he
should thus be stranded in early youth in consequence of one boyish
folly.'

The Countess began to yield.  She thought he might go as secretary to her
Lord, and she owned that if he was a brave young man, he would be an
addition to her little escort, which only numbered two men besides her
brother-in-law, the Abbe, who was of almost as little account as his
young nephew.  'But I should warn you, Madame,' added Madame de Bourke,
'that it may be a very dangerous journey.  I own to you, though I would
not tell my poor mother, that my heart fails me when I think of it, and
were it not for the express commands of their father, I would not risk my
poor children on it.'

'I do not think you will find Sweden otherwise than a cheerful and
pleasant abode,' said Lady Nithsdale.

'Ah! if we were only in Sweden, or with my husband, all would be well!'
replied the other lady; 'but we have to pass through the mountains, and
the Catalans are always ill-affected to us French.'

'Nay; but you are a party of women, and belong to an ambassador!' was the
answer.

'What do those robbers care for that?  We are all the better prey for
them!  I have heard histories of Spanish cruelty and lawlessness that
would make you shudder!  You cannot guess at the dreadful presentiments
that have haunted me ever since I had my husband's letter.'

'There is danger everywhere, dear friend,' said Lady Nithsdale kindly;
'but God finds a way for us through all.'

'Ah! you have experienced it,' said Madame de Bourke.  'Let us proceed to
the affairs.  I only thought I should tell you the truth.'

Lady Nithsdale answered for the courage of her _protege_, and it was
further determined that he should be presented to her that evening by the
Earl, at the farewell reception which Madame de Varennes was to hold on
her daughter's behalf, when it could be determined in what capacity he
should be named in the passport.

Estelle, who had been listening with all her ears, and trying to find a
character in Fenelon's romance to be represented by Arthur Hope, now
further heard it explained that the party were to go southward to meet
her father at one of the Mediterranean ports, as the English Government
were so suspicious of Jacobites that he did not venture on taking the
direct route by sea, but meant to travel through Germany.  Madame de
Bourke expected to meet her brother at Avignon, and to obtain his advice
as to her further route.

Estelle heard this with great satisfaction.  'We shall go to the
Mediterranean Sea and be in danger,' she said to herself, unfolding the
map at the beginning of her Telemaque; 'that is quite right!  Perhaps we
shall see Calypso's island.'

She begged hard to be allowed to sit up that evening to see the hero of
the escape from the Tower of London, as well as the travelling companion
destined for her, and she prevailed, for mamma pronounced that she had
been very sage and reasonable all day, and the grandmamma, who was so
soon to part with her, could refuse her nothing.  So she was full
dressed, with hair curled, and permitted to stand by the tall high-backed
chair where the old lady sat to receive her visitors.

The Marquise de Varennes was a small withered woman, with keen eyes, and
a sort of sparkle of manner, and power of setting people at ease, that
made her the more charming the older she grew.  An experienced eye could
detect that she retained the costume of the prime of Louis XIV., when
headdresses were less high than that which her daughter was obliged to
wear.  For the two last mortal hours of that busy day had poor Madame de
Bourke been compelled to sit under the hands of the hairdresser, who was
building up, with paste and powder and the like, an original conception
of his, namely, a northern landscape, with snow-laden trees, drifts of
snow, diamond icicles, and even a cottage beside an ice-bound stream.  She
could ill spare the time, and longed to be excused; but the artist had
begged so hard to be allowed to carry out his brilliant and unique idea,
this last time of attending on Madame l'Ambassadrice, that there was no
resisting him, and perhaps her strange forebodings made her less willing
to inflict a disappointment on the poor man.  It would have been strange
to contrast the fabric of vanity building up outside her head, with the
melancholy bodings within it, as she sat motionless under the
hairdresser's fingers; but at the end she roused herself to smile
gratefully, and give the admiration that was felt to be due to the
monstrosity that crowned her.  Forbearance and Christian patience may be
exercised even on a toilette a la Louis XV.  Long practice enabled her to
walk about, seat herself, rise and curtsey without detriment to the
edifice, or bestowing the powder either on her neighbours or on the
richly-flowered white brocade she wore; while she received the
compliments, one after another, of ladies in even more gorgeous array,
and gentlemen in velvet coats, adorned with gold lace, cravats of
exquisite fabric, and diamond shoe buckles.

Phelim Burke, otherwise l'Abbe de St. Eudoce, stood near her.  He was a
thin, yellow, and freckled youth, with sandy hair and typical Irish
features, but without their drollery, and his face was what might have
been expected in a half-starved, half-clad gossoon in a cabin, rather
than surmounting a silken _soutane_ in a Parisian salon; but he had a
pleasant smile when kindly addressed by his friends.

Presently Lady Nithsdale drew near, accompanied by a tall, grave
gentleman, and bringing with them a still taller youth, with the stiffest
of backs and the longest of legs, who, when presented, made a bow
apparently from the end of his spine, like Estelle's lamented
Dutch-jointed doll when made to sit down.  Moreover, he was more shabbily
dressed than any other gentleman present, with a general outgrown look
about his coat, and darns in his silk stockings; and though they were
made by the hand of a Countess, that did not add to their elegance.  And
as he stood as stiff as a ramrod or as a sentinel, Estelle's good
breeding was all called into play, and her mother's heart quailed as she
said to herself, 'A great raw Scot!  What can be done with him?

Lord Nithsdale spoke for him, thinking he had better go as secretary, and
showing some handwriting of good quality.  'Did he know any languages?'
'French, English, Latin, and some Greek.'  'And, Madame,' added Lord
Nithsdale, 'not only is his French much better than mine, as you would
hear if the boy durst open his mouth, but our broad Scotch is so like
Swedish that he will almost be an interpreter there.'

However hopeless Madame de Bourke felt, she smiled and professed herself
rejoiced to hear it, and it was further decided that Arthur Maxwell Hope,
aged eighteen, Scot by birth, should be mentioned among those of the
Ambassador's household for whom she demanded passports.  Her position
rendered this no matter of difficulty, and it was wiser to give the full
truth to the home authorities; but as it was desirable that it should not
be reported to the English Government that Lord Burnside's brother was in
the suite of the Jacobite Comte de Bourke, he was only to be known to the
public by his first name, which was not much harder to French lips than
Maxwell or Hope.

'Tall and black and awkward,' said Estelle, describing him to her
brother.  'I shall not like him--I shall call him Phalante instead of
Arthur.'

'Arthur,' said Ulysse; 'King Arthur was turned into a crow!'

'Well, this Arthur is like a crow--a great black skinny crow with torn
feathers.'



CHAPTER III--ON THE RHONE


   'Fairer scenes the opening eye
   Of the day can scarce descry,
   Fairer sight he looks not on
   Than the pleasant banks of Rhone.'

   ARCHBISHOP TRENCH.

Long legs may be in the abstract an advantage, but scarcely so in what
was called in France _une grande Berline_.  This was the favourite
travelling carriage of the eighteenth century, and consisted of a close
carriage or coach proper, with arrangements on the top for luggage, and
behind it another seat open, but provided with a large leathern hood, and
in front another place for the coachman and his companions.  Each seat
was wide enough to hold three persons, and thus within sat Madame de
Bourke, her brother-in-law, the two children, Arthur Hope, and
Mademoiselle Julienne, an elderly woman of the artisan class, _femme de
chambre_ to the Countess.  Victorine, who was attendant on the children,
would travel under the hood with two more maids; and the front seat would
be occupied by the coachman, Laurence Callaghan--otherwise La Jeunesse,
and Maitre Hebert, the _maitre d'hotel_.  Fain would Arthur have shared
their elevation, so far as ease and comfort of mind and body went, and
the Countess's wishes may have gone the same way; but besides that it
would have been an insult to class him with the servants, the horses of
the home establishment, driven by their own coachman, took the party the
first stage out of Paris; and though afterwards the post-horses or mules,
six in number, would be ridden by their own postilions, there was such an
amount of luggage as to leave little or no space for a third person
outside.

It had been a perfect sight to see the carriage packed; when Arthur,
convoyed by Lord Nithsdale, arrived in the courtyard of the Hotel de
Varennes.  Madame de Bourke was taking with her all the paraphernalia of
an ambassador--a service of plate, in a huge chest stowed under the seat,
a portrait of Philip V., in a gold frame set with diamonds, being
included among her jewellery--and Lord Nithsdale, standing by, could not
but drily remark, 'Yonder is more than we brought with us, Arthur.'

The two walked up and down the court together, unwilling to intrude on
the parting which, as they well knew, would be made in floods of tears.
Sad enough indeed it was, for Madame de Varennes was advanced in years,
and her daughter had not only to part with her, but with the baby
Jacques, for an unknown space of time; but the self-command and restraint
of grief for the sake of each other was absolutely unknown.  It was a
point of honour and sentiment to weep as much as possible, and it would
have been regarded as frigid and unnatural not to go on crying too much
to eat or speak for a whole day beforehand, and at least two afterwards.

So when the travellers descended the steps to take their seats, each face
was enveloped in a handkerchief, and there were passionate embraces,
literal pressings to the breast, and violent sobs, as each victim, one
after the other, ascended the carriage steps and fell back on the seat;
while in the background, Honor Callaghan was uttering Irish wails over
the Abbe and Laurence, and the lamentable sound set the little lap-dog
and the big watch-dog howling in chorus.  Arthur Hope, probably as
miserable as any of them in parting with his friend and hero, was only
standing like a stake, and an embarrassed stake (if that be possible),
and Lord Nithsdale, though anxious for him, heartily pitying all, was
nevertheless haunted by a queer recollection of Lance and his dog, and
thinking that French dogs were not devoid of sympathy, and that the part
of Crab was left for Arthur.

However, the last embrace was given, and the ladies were all packed in,
while the Abbe with his breast heaving with sobs, his big hat in one
hand, and a huge silk pocket-handkerchief in the other, did not forget
his manners, but waved to Arthur to ascend the steps first.  'Secretary,
not guest.  You must remember that another time,' said Lord Nithsdale.
'God bless you, my dear lad, and bring you safe back to bonny Scotland, a
true and leal heart.'

Arthur wrung his friend's hand once more, and disappeared into the
vehicle; Nurse Honor made one more rush, and uttered another 'Ohone' over
Abbe Phelim, who followed into the carriage; the door was shut; there was
a last wail over 'Lanty, the sunbeam of me heart,' as he climbed to the
box seat; the harness jingled; coachman and postilions cracked their
whips, the impatient horses dashed out at the _porte cochere_; and
Arthur, after endeavouring to dispose of his legs, looked about him, and
saw, opposite to him, Madame de Bourke lying back in the corner in a
transport of grief, one arm round her daughter, and her little son lying
across her lap, both sobbing and crying; and on one side of him the Abbe,
sunk in his corner, his yellow silk handkerchief over his face; on the
other, Mademoiselle Julienne, who was crying too, but with more
moderation, perhaps more out of propriety or from infection than from
actual grief: at any rate she had more of her senses about her than any
one else, and managed to dispose of the various loose articles that had
been thrown after the travellers, in pockets and under cushions.  Arthur
would have assisted, but only succeeded in treading on various toes and
eliciting some small shrieks, which disconcerted him all the more, and
made Mademoiselle Julienne look daggers at him, as she relieved her lady
of little Ulysse, lifting him to her own knee, where, as he was
absolutely exhausted with crying, he fell asleep.

Arthur hoped the others would do the same, and perhaps there was more
dozing than they would have confessed; but whenever there was a movement,
and some familiar object in the streets of Paris struck the eye of
Madame, the Abbe, or Estelle, there was a little cry, and they went off
on a fresh score.

'Poor wretched weak creatures!' he said to himself, as he thought the
traditions of Scottish heroic women in whose heroism he had gloated.  And
yet he was wrong: Madame de Bourke was capable of as much resolute self-
devotion as any of the ladies on the other side of the Channel, but tears
were a tribute required by the times.  So she gave way to them--just as
no doubt the women of former days saw nothing absurd in bottling them.

Arthur's position among all these weeping figures was extremely awkward,
all the more so that he carried his sword upright between his legs, not
daring to disturb the lachrymose company enough to dispose of it in the
sword case appropriated to weapons.  He longed to take out the little
pocket Virgil, which Lord Nithsdale had given him, so as to have some
occupation for his eyes, but he durst not, lest he should be thought
rude, till, at a halt at a cabaret to water the horses, the striking of a
clock reminded the Abbe that it was the time for reading the Hours, and
when the breviary was taken out, Arthur thought his book might follow it.

By and by there was a halt at Corbeil, where was the nunnery of Alice
Bourke, of whom her brother and sister-in-law were to take leave.  They,
with the children, were set down there, while Arthur went on with the
carriage and servants to the inn to dine.

It was the first visit of Ulysse to the convent, and he was much amazed
at peeping at his aunt's hooded face through a grating.  However, the
family were admitted to dine in the refectory; but poor Madame de Bourke
was fit for nothing but to lie on a bed, attended affectionately by her
sister-in-law, Soeur Ste. Madeleine.

'O sister, sister,' was her cry, 'I must say it to you--I would not to my
poor mother--that I have the most horrible presentiments I shall never
see her again, nor my poor child.  No, nor my husband; I knew it when he
took leave of me for that terrible Spain.'

'Yet you see he is safe, and you will be with him, sister,' returned the
nun.

'Ah! that I knew I should!  But think of those fearful Pyrenees, and the
bandits that infest them--and all the valuables we carry with us!'

'Surely I heard that Marshal Berwick had offered you an escort.'

'That will only attract the attention of the brigands and bring them in
greater force.  O sister, sister, my heart sinks at the thought of my
poor children in the hands of those savages!  I dream of them every
night.'

'The suite of an ambassador is sacred.'

'Ah! but what do they care for that, the robbers?  I know destruction
lies that way!'

'Nay, sister, this is not like you.  You always were brave, and trusted
heaven, when you had to follow Ulick.'

'Alas! never had I this sinking of heart, which tells me I shall be torn
from my poor children and never rejoin him.'

Sister Ste. Madeleine caressed and prayed with the poor lady, and did her
utmost to reassure and comfort her, promising a _neuvaine_ for her safe
journey and meeting with her husband.

'For the children,' said the poor Countess.  'I know I never shall see
him more.'

However, the cheerfulness of the bright Irish-woman had done her some
good, and she was better by the time she rose to pursue her journey.
Estelle and Ulysse had been much petted by the nuns, and when all met
again, to the great relief of Arthur, he found continuous weeping was not
_de rigueur_.  When they got in again, he was able to get rid of his
sword, and only trod on two pair of toes, and got his legs twice tumbled
over.

Moreover, Madame de Bourke had recovered the faculty of making pretty
speeches, and when the weapon was put into the sword case, she observed
with a sad little smile, 'Ah, Monsieur! we look to you as our defender!'

'And me too!' cried little Ulysse, making a violent demonstration with
his tiny blade, and so nearly poking out his uncle's eye that the article
was relegated to the same hiding-place as 'Monsieur Arture's,' and the
boy was assured that this was a proof of his manliness.

He had quite recovered his spirits, and as his mother and sister were
still exhausted with weeping, he was not easy to manage, till Arthur took
heart of grace, and offering him a perch on his knee, let him look out at
the window, explaining the objects on the way, which were all quite new
to the little Parisian boy.  Fortunately he spoke French well, with
scarcely any foreign accent, and his answers to the little fellow's eager
questions interspersed with observations on 'What they do in my country,'
not only kept Ulysse occupied, but gained Estelle's attention, though she
was too weary and languid, and perhaps, child as she was, too much bound
by the requirements of sympathy to manifest her interest, otherwise than
by moving near enough to listen.

That evening the party reached the banks of one of the canals which
connected the rivers of France, and which was to convey them to the Loire
and thence to the Rhone, in a huge flat-bottomed barge, called a _coche
d'eau_, a sort of ark, with cabins, where travellers could be fairly
comfortable, space where the berlin could be stowed away in the rear, and
a deck with an awning where the passengers could disport themselves.  From
the days of Sully to those of the Revolution, this was by far the most
convenient and secure mode of transport, especially in the south of
France.  It was very convenient to the Bourke party; who were soon
established on the deck.  The lady's dress was better adapted to
travelling than the full costume of Paris.  It was what she called _en
Amazone_--namely, a clothe riding-habit faced with blue, with a short
skirt, with open coat and waistcoat, like a man's, hair unpowdered and
tied behind, and a large shady feathered hat.  Estelle wore a miniature
of the same, and rejoiced in her freedom from the whalebone stiffness of
her Paris life, skipping about the deck with her brother, like fairies,
Lanty said, or, as she preferred to make it, 'like a nymph.'

{The cohe d'eau: p40.jpg}

The water coach moved only by day, and was already arrived before the
land one brought the weary party to the meeting-place--a picturesque
water-side inn with a high roof, and a trellised passage down to the
landing-place, covered by a vine, hung with clusters of ripe grapes.

Here the travellers supped on omelettes and _vin ordinaire_, and went off
to bed--Madame and her child in one bed, with the maids on the floor, and
in another room the Abbe and secretary, each in a _grabat_, the two men-
servants in like manner, on the floor.  Such was the privacy of the
eighteenth century, and Arthur, used to waiting on himself, looked on
with wonder to see the Abbe like a baby in the hands of his faithful
foster-brother, who talked away in a queer mixture of Irish-English and
French all the time until they knelt down and said their prayers together
in Latin, to which Arthur diligently closed his Protestant ears.

Early the next morning the family embarked, the carriage having been
already put on board; and the journey became very agreeable as they
glided slowly, almost dreamily along, borne chiefly by the current,
although a couple of horses towed the barge by a rope on the bank, in
case of need, in places where the water was more sluggish, but nothing
more was wanting in the descent towards the Mediterranean.

The accommodation was not of a high order, but whenever there was a halt
near a good inn, Madame de Bourke and the children landed for the night.
And in the fine days of early autumn the deck was delightful, and to dine
there on the provisions brought on board was a perpetual feast to Estelle
and Ulysse.

The weather was beautiful, and there was a constant panorama of fair
sights and scenes.  Harvest first, a perfectly new spectacle to the
children and then, as they went farther south, the vintage.  The beauty
was great as they glided along the pleasant banks of Rhone.

Tiers of vines on the hillsides were mostly cut and trimmed like currant
bushes, and disappointed Arthur, who had expected festoons on trellises.
But this was the special time for beauty.  The whole population, in
picturesque costumes, were filling huge baskets with the clusters, and
snatches of their merry songs came pealing down to the _coche d'eau_, as
it quietly crept along.  Towards evening groups were seen with piled
baskets on their heads, or borne between them, youths and maidens crowned
with vines, half-naked children dancing like little Bacchanalians, which
awoke classical recollections in Arthur and delighted the children.

Poor Madame de Bourke was still much depressed, and would sit dreaming
half the day, except when roused by some need of her children, some
question, or some appeal for her admiration.  Otherwise, the lovely
heights, surmounted with tall towers, extinguisher-capped, of castle,
convent, or church, the clear reaches of river, the beautiful turns, the
little villages and towns gleaming white among the trees, seemed to pass
unseen before her eyes, and she might be seen to shudder when the
children pressed her to say how many days it would be before they saw
their father.

An observer with a mind at ease might have been much entertained with the
airs and graces that the two maids, Rosette and Babette, lavished upon
Laurence, their only squire; for Maitre Hebert was far too distant and
elderly a person for their little coquetries.  Rosette dealt in little
terrors, and, if he was at hand, durst not step across a plank without
his hand, was sure she heard wolves howling in the woods, and that every
peasant was '_ce barbare_;' while Babette, who in conjunction with Maitre
Hebert acted cook in case of need, plied him with dainty morsels, which
he was only too apt to bestow on the beggars, or the lean and hungry lad
who attended on the horses.  Victorine, on the other hand, by far the
prettiest and most sprightly of the three, affected the most supreme
indifference to him and his attentions, and hardly deigned to give him a
civil word, or to accept the cornflowers and late roses he brought her
from time to time.  'Mere weeds,' she said.  And the grapes and Queen
Claude plums he brought her were always sour.  Yet a something deep blue
might often be seen peeping above her trim little apron.

Not that Lanty had much time to disport himself in this fashion, for the
Abbe was his care, and was perfectly happy with a rod of his arranging,
with which to fish over the side.  Little Ulysse was of course fired with
the same emulation, and dangled his line for an hour together.  Estelle
would have liked to do the same, but her mother and Mademoiselle Julienne
considered the sport not _convenable_ for a _demoiselle_.  Arthur was
once or twice induced to try the Abbe's rod, but he found it as mere a
toy as that of the boy; and the mere action of throwing it made his heart
so sick with the contrast with the 'paidling in the burns' of his
childhood, that he had no inclination to continue the attempt, either in
the slow canal or the broadening river.

He was still very shy with the Countess, who was not in spirits to set
him at ease; and the Abbe puzzled him, as is often the case when
inexperienced strangers encounter unacknowledged deficiency.  The
perpetual coaxing chatter, and undisguised familiarity of La Jeunesse
with the young ecclesiastic did not seem to the somewhat haughty cast of
his young Scotch mind quite becoming, and he held aloof; but with the two
children he was quite at ease, and was in truth their great resource.

He made Ulysse's fishing-rod, baited it, and held the boy when he used
it--nay, he once even captured a tiny fish with it, to the ecstatic pity
of both children.  He played quiet games with them, and told them
stories--conversed on Telemaque with Estelle, or read to her from his one
book, which was Robinson Crusoe--a little black copy in pale print, with
the margins almost thumbed away, which he had carried in his pocket when
he ran away from school, and nearly knew by heart.

Estelle was deeply interested in it, and varied in opinion whether she
should prefer Calypso's island or Crusoe's, which she took for as much
matter of fact as did, a century later, Madame Talleyrand, when, out of
civility to Mr. Robinson, she inquired after '_ce bon Vendredi_.'

She inclined to think she should prefer Friday to the nymphs.

'A whole quantity of troublesome womenfolk to fash one,' said Arthur, who
had not arrived at the age of gallantry.

'You would never stay there!' said Estelle; 'you would push us over the
rock like Mentor.  I think you are our Mentor, for I am sure you tell us
a great deal, and you don't scold.'

'Mentor was a cross old man,' said Ulysse.

To which Estelle replied that he was a goddess; and Arthur very decidedly
disclaimed either character, especially the pushing over rocks.  And thus
they glided on, spending a night in the great, busy, bewildering city of
Lyon, already the centre of silk industry; but more interesting to the
travellers as the shrine of the martyrdoms.  All went to pray at the
Cathedral except Arthur.  The time was not come for heeding church
architecture or primitive history; and he only wandered about the narrow
crooked streets, gazing at the toy piles of market produce, and looking
at the stalls of merchandise, but as one unable to purchase.  His mother
had indeed contrived to send him twenty guineas, but he knew that he must
husband them well in case of emergencies, and Lady Nithsdale had sewn
them all up, except one, in a belt which he wore under his clothes.

He had arrived at the front of the Cathedral when the party came out.
Madame de Bourke had been weeping, but looked more peaceful than he had
yet seen her, and Estelle was much excited.  She had bought a little
book, which she insisted on her Mentor's reading with her, though his
Protestant feelings recoiled.

'Ah!' said Estelle, 'but you are not Christian.'

'Yes, truly, Mademoiselle.'

'And these died for the Christian faith.  Do you know mamma said it
comforted her to pray there; for she was sure that whatever happened, the
good God can make us strong, as He made the young girl who sat in the red-
hot chair.  We saw her picture, and it was dreadful.  Do read about her,
Monsieur Arture.'

They read, and Arthur had candour enough to perceive that this was the
simple primitive narrative of the death of martyrs struggling for
Christian truth, long ere the days of superstition and division.
Estelle's face lighted with enthusiasm.

'Is it not noble to be a martyr?' she asked.

'Oh!' cried Ulysse; 'to sit in a red-hot chair!  It would be worse than
to be thrown off a rock!  But there are no martyrs in these days,
sister?' he added, pressing up to Arthur as if for protection.

'There are those who die for the right,' said Arthur, thinking of Lord
Derwentwater, who in Jacobite eyes was a martyr.

'And the good God makes them strong,' said Estelle, in a low voice.
'Mamma told me no one could tell how soon we might be tried, and that I
was to pray that He would make us as brave as St. Blandina!  What do you
think could harm us, Monsieur, when we are going to my dear papa?'

It was Lanty who answered, from behind the Abbe, on whose angling
endeavours he was attending.  'Arrah then, nothing at all, Mademoiselle.
Nothing in the four corners of the world shall hurt one curl of your
blessed little head, while Lanty Callaghan is to the fore.'

'Ah! but you are not God, Lanty,' said Estelle gravely; 'you cannot keep
things from happening.'

'The Powers forbid that I should spake such blasphemy!' said Lanty,
taking off his hat.  ''Twas not that I meant, but only that poor Lanty
would die ten thousand deaths--worse than them as was thrown to the
beasts--before one of them should harm the tip of that little finger of
yours!'

Perhaps the same vow was in Arthur's heart, though not spoken in such
strong terms.

Thus they drifted on till the old city of Avignon rose on the eyes of the
travellers, a dark pile of buildings where the massive houses, built
round courts, with few external windows, recalled that these had once
been the palaces of cardinals accustomed to the Italian city feuds, which
made every house become a fortress.

On the wharf stood a gentleman in a resplendent uniform of blue and gold,
whom the children hailed with cries of joy and outstretched arms, as
their uncle.  The Marquis de Varennes was soon on board, embracing his
sister and her children, and conducting them to one of the great palaces,
where he had rooms, being then in garrison.  Arthur followed, at a sign
from the lady, who presented him to her brother as 'Monsieur Arture'--a
young Scottish gentleman who will do my husband the favour of acting as
his secretary.

She used the word _gentilhomme_, which conveyed the sense of nobility of
blood, and the Marquis acknowledged the introduction with one of those
graceful bows that Arthur hated, because they made him doubly feel the
stiffness of his own limitation.  He was glad to linger with Lanty, who
was looking in wonder at the grim buildings.

'And did the holy Father live here?' said he.  'Faith, and 'twas a quare
taste he must have had; I wonder now if there would be vartue in a bit of
a stone from his palace.  It would mightily please my old mother if there
were.'

'I thought it was the wrong popes that lived here,' suggested Arthur.

Lanty looked at him a moment as if in doubt whether to accept a heretic
suggestion, but the education received through the Abbe came to mind, and
he exclaimed--

'May be you are in the right of it, sir; and I'd best let the stones
alone till I can tell which is the true and which is the false.  By the
same token, little is the difference it would make to her, unless she
knew it; and if she did, she'd as soon I brought her a hair of the old
dragon's bristles.'

Lanty found another day or two's journey bring him very nearly in contact
with the old dragon, for at Tarascon was the cave in which St. Martha was
said to have demolished the great dragon of Provence with the sign of the
cross.  Madame de Bourke and her children made a devout pilgrimage
thereto; but when Arthur found that it was the actual Martha of Bethany
to whom the legend was appended, he grew indignant, and would not
accompany the party.  'It was a very different thing from the martyrs of
Lyon and Vienne!  Their history was credible, but this--'

'Speak not so loud, my friend,' said M. de Varennes.  'Their shrines are
equally good to console women and children.'

Arthur did not quite understand the tone, nor know whether to be
gratified at being treated as a man, or to be shocked at the Marquis's
defection from his own faith.

The Marquis, who was able to accompany his sister as far as Montpelier,
was amused at her two followers, Scotch and Irish, both fine young
men--almost too fine, he averred.

'You will have to keep a careful watch on them when you enter Germany,
sister,' he said, 'or the King of Prussia will certainly kidnap them for
his tall regiment of grenadiers.'

'O brother, do not speak of any more dangers: I see quite enough before
me ere I can even rejoin my dear husband.'

A very serious council was held between the brother and sister.  The
French army under Marshal Berwick had marched across on the south side on
the Pyrenees, and was probably by this time in the county of Rousillon,
intending to besiege Rosas.  Once with them all would be well, but
between lay the mountain roads, and the very quarter of Spain that had
been most unwilling to accept French rule.

The Marquis had been authorised to place an escort at his sister's
service, but though the numbers might guard her against mere mountain
banditti, they would not be sufficient to protect her from hostile
troops, such as might only too possibly be on the way to encounter
Berwick.  The expense and difficulty of the journey on the mountain roads
would likewise be great, and it seemed advisable to avoid these dangers
by going by sea.  Madame de Bourke eagerly acceded to this plan, her
terror of the wild Pyrenean passes and wilder inhabitants had always been
such that she was glad to catch at any means of avoiding them, and she
had made more than one voyage before.

Estelle was gratified to find they were to go by sea, since Telemachus
did so in a Phoenician ship, and, in that odd dreamy way in which
children blend fiction and reality, wondered if they should come on
Calypso's island; and Arthur, who had read the Odyssey, delighted her and
terrified Ulysse with the cave of Polyphemus.  M. de Varennes could only
go with his sister as far as Montpelier.  Then he took leave of her, and
the party proceeded along the shores of the lagoons, in the carriage to
the seaport of Cette, one of the old Greek towns of the Gulf of Lyon, and
with a fine harbour full of ships.  Maitre Hebert was sent to take a
passage on board of one, while his lady and her party repaired to an inn,
and waited all the afternoon before he returned with tidings that he
could find no French vessel about to sail for Spain, but that there was a
Genoese tartane, bound for Barcelona, on which Madame la Comtesse could
secure a passage for herself and her suite, and which would take her
thither in twenty-four hours.

The town was full of troops, waiting a summons to join Marshal Berwick's
army.  Several resplendent officers had already paid their respects to
Madame l'Ambassadrice, and they concurred in the advice, unless she would
prefer waiting for the arrival of one of the French transports which were
to take men and provisions to the army in Spain.

This, however, she declined, and only accepted the services of the
gentlemen so far as to have her passports renewed, as was needful, since
they were to be conveyed by the vessel of an independent power, though
always an ally of France.

The tartane was a beautiful object, a one-decked, single-masted vessel,
with a long bowsprit, and a huge lateen sail like a wing, and the
children fell in love with her at first sight.  Estelle was quite sure
that she was just such a ship as Mentor borrowed for Telemachus; but the
poor maids were horribly frightened, and Babette might be heard declaring
she had never engaged herself to be at the mercy of the waves, like a bit
of lemon peel in a glass of _eau sucree_.

'You may return,' said Madame de Bourke.  'I compel no one to share our
dangers and hardships.'

But Babette threw herself on her knees, and declared that nothing should
ever separate her from Madame!  She was a good creature, but she could
not deny herself the luxury of the sobs and tears that showed to all
beholders the extent of her sacrifice.

Madame de Bourke knew that there would be considerable discomfort in a
vessel so little adapted for passengers, and with only one small cabin,
which the captain, who spoke French, resigned to her use.  It would only,
however, be for a short time, and though it was near the end of October,
the blue expanse of sea was calm as only the Mediterranean can be, so
that she trusted that no harm would result to those who would have to
spend the night on dock.

It was a beautiful evening which the little Genoese vessel left the
harbour and Cette receded in the distance, looking fairer the farther it
was left behind.  The children were put to bed as soon as they could be
persuaded to cease from watching the lights in the harbour and the
phosphorescent wake of the vessel in the water.

That night and the next day were pleasant and peaceful; there was no
rough weather, and little sickness among the travellers.  Madame de
Bourke congratulated herself on having escaped the horrors of the
Pyrenean journey, and the Genoese captain assured her that unless the
weather should change rapidly, they would wake in sight of the Spanish
coast the next morning.  If the sea were not almost too calm, they would
be there already.  The evening was again so delightful that the children
were glad to hear that they would have again to return by sea, and
Arthur, who somewhat shrank from his presentation to the Count, regretted
that the end of the voyage was so near, though Ulysse assured him that
'_Mon papa_ would love him, because he could tell such charming stories,'
and Lanty testified that 'M. le Comte was a mighty friendly gentleman.'

Arthur was lying asleep on deck, wrapped in his cloak, when he was
awakened by a commotion among the sailors.  He started up and found that
it was early morning, the sun rising above the sea, and the sailors all
gazing eagerly in that direction.  He eagerly made his way to ask if they
were in sight of land, recollecting, however, as he made the first step,
that Spain lay to the west of them--not to the east.

He distinguished the cry from the Genoese sailors, '_Ii Moro--Il Moro_,'
in tones of horror and consternation, and almost at the same moment
received a shock from Maitre Hebert, who came stumbling against him.

'Pardon, pardon, Monsieur; I go to prepare Madame!  It's the accursed
Moors.  Let me pass--_misericorde_, what will become of us?'

Arthur struggled on in search of such of the crew as could speak French,
but all were in too much consternation to attend to him, and he could
only watch that to which their eyes were directed, a white sail, bright
in the morning light, coming up with a rapidity strange and fearful in
its precision, like a hawk pouncing on its prey, for it did not depend on
its sails alone, but was propelled by oars.

The next moment Madame de Bourke was on deck, holding by the Abbe's arm,
and Estelle, her hair on her shoulders, clinging to her.  She looked very
pale, but her calmness was in contrast to the Italian sailors, who were
throwing themselves with gestures of despair, screaming out vows to the
Madonna and saints, and shouting imprecations.  The skipper came to speak
to her.  'Madame,' he said, 'I implore you to remain in your cabin.  After
the first, you and all yours will be safe.  They cannot harm a French
subject; alas! alas would it were so with us.'

'How then will it be with you?' she asked.

He made a gesture of deprecation.

'For me it will be ruin; for my poor fellows slavery; that is, if we
survive the onset.  Madame, I entreat of you, take shelter in the cabin,
yourself and all yours.  None can answer for what the first rush of these
fiends may be!  _Diavoli_! _veri diavola_!  Ah! for which of my sins is
it that after fifty voyages I should be condemned to lose my all?'

A fresh outburst of screams from the crew summoned the captain.  'They
are putting out the long-boat,' was the cry; 'they will board us!'

'Madame!  I entreat of you, shut yourself into the cabin.'

And the four maids in various stages of _deshabille_, adding their cries
to those of the sailors, tried to drag her in, but she looked about for
Arthur.  'Come with us, Monsieur,' she said quietly, for after all her
previous depressions and alarms, her spirit rose to endurance in the
actual stress of danger.  'Come with us, I entreat of you,' she said.
'You are named in our passports, and the treaties are such that neither
French nor English subjects can be maltreated nor enslaved by these
wretches.  As the captain says, the danger is only in the first attack.'

'I will protect you, Madame, with my life,' declared Arthur, drawing his
sword, as his cheeks and eyes lighted.

'Ah, put that away.  What could you do but lose your own?' cried the
lady.  'Remember, you have a mother--'

The Genoese captain here turned to insist that Madame and all the women
should shut themselves instantly into the cabin.  Estelle dragged hard at
Arthur's hand, with entreaties that he would come, but he lifted her down
the ladder, and then closed the door on her, Lanty and he being both left
outside.

'To be shut into a hole like a rat in a trap when there's blows to the
fore, is more than flesh could stand,' said Lanty, who had seized on a
hand-spike and was waving it about his head, true shillelagh fashion, by
hereditary instinct in one who had never behold a faction fight, in what
ought to have been his native land.

The Genoese captain looked at him as a madman, and shouted in a confused
mixture of French and Italian to lay down his weapon.

'_Quei cattivi--ces scelerats_ were armed to the teeth--would fire.  All
lie flat on the deck.'

The gesture spoke for itself.  With a fearful howl all the Italians
dropped flat; but neither Scotch nor Irish blood brooked to follow their
example, or perhaps fully perceived the urgency of the need, till a
volley of bullets were whistling about their ears, though happily without
injury, the mast and the rigging having protected them, for the sail was
riddled with holes, and the smoke dimmed their vision as the report
sounded in their ears.  In another second the turbaned, scimitared
figures were leaping on board.  The Genoese still lay flat offering no
resistance, but Lanty and Arthur stood on either side of the ladder, and
hurled back the two who first approached; but four or five more rushed
upon them, and they would have been instantly cut down, had it not been
for a shout from the Genoese, '_Franchi_!  _Franchi_!'  At that magic
word, which was evidently understood, the pirates only held the two
youths tightly, vituperating them no doubt in bad Arabic,--Lanty grinding
his teeth with rage, though scarcely feeling the pain of the two sabre
cuts he had received, and pouring forth a volley of exclamations,
chiefly, however, directed against the white-livered spalpeens of
sailors, who had not lifted so much as a hand to help him.  Fortunately
no one understood a word he said but Arthur, who had military experience
enough to know there was nothing for it but to stand still in the grasp
of his captor, a wiry-looking Moor, with a fez and a striped sash round
his waist.

The leader, a sturdy Turk in a dirty white turban, with a huge sabre in
his hand, was listening to the eager words, poured out with many
gesticulations by the Genoese captain, in a language utterly
incomprehensible to the Scot, but which was the _lingua Franca_ of the
Mediterranean ports.

It resulted in four men being placed on guard at the hatchway leading to
the cabin, while all the rest, including Arthur, Hebert, Laurence, were
driven toward the prow, and made to understand by signs that they must
not move on peril of their lives.  A Tuck was placed at the helm, and the
tartane's head turned towards the pirate captor; and all the others, who
were not employed otherwise, began to ransack the vessel and feast on the
provisions.  Some hams were thrown overboard, with shouts of evident
scorn as belonging to the unclean beast, but the wine was eagerly drank,
and Maitre Hebert uttered a wail of dismay as he saw five Moors gorging
large pieces of his finest _pate_.



CHAPTER IV--WRECKED


      'They had na sailed upon the sea
         A day but barely three,
   When the lift grew dark and the wind blew cauld
      And gurly grew the sea.

      'Oh where will I find a little wee boy
         Will tak my helm in hand,
      Till I gae up to my top mast
         And see for some dry land.'

   SIR PATRICK SPENS.

It was bad enough on the deck of the unfortunate Genoese tartane, but far
worse below, where eight persons were shut into the stifling atmosphere
of the cabin, deprived of the knowledge of what was going on above,
except from the terrific sounds they heard.  Estelle, on being shut into
the cabin, announced that the Phoenician ship was taken by the vessels of
Sesostris, but this did not afford any one else the same satisfaction as
she appeared to derive from it.  Babette and Rosette were echoing every
scream of the crew, and quite certain that all would be massacred, and
little Ulysse, wakened by the hubbub, rolled round in his berth and began
to cry.

Madame de Bourke, very white, but quite calm, insisted on silence and
then said, 'I do not think the danger is very great to ourselves if you
will keep silence and not attract attention.  But our hope is in Heaven.
My brother, will you lead our prayers?  Recite our office.'  Obediently
the Abbe fell on his knees, and his example was followed by the others.
His voice went monotonously on throughout with the Latin.  The lady, no
doubt, followed in her heart, and she made the responses as did the
others, fitfully; but her hands and eyes were busy, looking to the
priming of two small pistols, which she took out of her jewel case, and
the sight of which provoked fresh shrieks from the maids.  Mademoiselle
Julienne meantime was dressing Ulysse, and standing guard over him,
Estelle watching all with eager bright eyes, scarcely frightened, but
burning to ask questions, from which her uncle's prayers debarred her.

At the volley of shot, Rosette was reduced to quiet by a swoon, but
Victorine, screaming that the wretches would have killed Laurent, would
have rushed on deck, had not her mistress forcibly withheld her.  There
ensued a prodigious yelling and howling, trampling and scuffling, then
the sounds of strange languages in vituperation or command, steps coming
down the ladder, sounds of altercation, retreat, splashes in the sea, the
feeling that the ship was put about--and ever the trampling, the wild
cries of exultation, which over and over again made the prisoners feel
choked with the horror of some frightful crisis close at hand.  And all
the time they were in ignorance, their little window in the stern showed
them nothing but sea; and even if Madame de Bourke's determination had
not hindered Victorine from peeping out of the cabin, whether prison or
fortress, the Moorish sentries outside kept the door closed.

How long this continued was scarcely to be guessed.  It was hours by
their own feelings; Ulysse began to cry from hunger, and his mother gave
him and Estelle some cakes that were within reach.  Mademoiselle Julienne
begged her lady to share the repast, reminding her that she would need
all her strength.  The Abbe, too, was hungry enough, and some wine and
preserved fruits coming to light all the prisoners made a meal which
heartened most of them considerably; although the heat was becoming
terrible, as the sun rose higher in the sky, and very little air could be
obtained through the window, so that poor Julienne could not eat, and
Rosette fell into a heavy sleep in the midst of her sighs.  Even Estelle,
who had got out her Telemaque, like a sort of oracle in the course of
being verified, was asleep over it, when fresh noises and grating sounds
were board, new steps on deck, and there were steps and voices.  The
Genoese captain was heard exclaiming, 'Open, Madame! you can do so
safely.  This is the Algerine captain, who is bound to protect you.'

The maids huddled together behind their lady, who stood forward as the
door opened to admit a stout, squarely-built man in the typical dress of
a Turk,--white turban, purple coat, broad sash crammed with weapons, and
ample trousers,--a truculent-looking figure which made the maids shudder
and embrace one another with suppressed shrieks, but which somehow, even
in the midst of his Eastern salaam, gave the Countess a sense that he was
acting a comedy, and carried her involuntarily back to the Moors whom she
had seen in the _Cid_ on the stage.  And looking again, she perceived
that though brown and weather-beaten, there was a certain Northern
ruddiness inherent in his complexion; that his eyes were gray, so far as
they were visible between the surrounding puckers; and his eyebrows,
moustache, and beard not nearly so dark as the hair of the Genoese who
stood cringing beside him as interpreter.  She formed her own conclusions
and adhered to them, though he spoke in bad Arabic to the skipper, who
proceeded to explain that El Reis Hamed would offer no injury to Madame
la Comtesse, her suite or property, being bound by treaty between the Dey
and the King of France, but that he required to see her passport.  There
was a little blundering in the Italian's French rendering, and Madame de
Bourke was quick to detect the perception of it in the countenance of the
Reis, stolid though it was.  She felt no doubt that he was a renegade of
European birth, and watched, with much anxiety as well as curiosity, his
manner of dealing with her passports, which she would not let out of her
own hand.  She saw in a moment that though he let the Genoese begin to
interpret them, his eyes were following intelligently; and she hazarded
the observation, 'You understand, sir.  You are Frank.'

He turned one startled glance towards the door to see if there were any
listeners, and answered, 'Hollander, Madame.'

The Countess had travelled with diplomatists all her life, and knew a
little of the vernacular of most languages, and it was in Dutch--broken
indeed, but still Dutch--that she declared that she was sure that she
might rely on his protection--a security which in truth she was far from
feeling; for while some of these unfortunate men, renegades only from
weakness, yearned after their compatriots and their lost home and faith,
others out-heroded the Moors themselves in ferocity, especially towards
the Christian captives; nor was a Dutchman likely to have any special
tenderness in his composition, above all towards the French.  However,
there was a certain smile on the lips of Reis Hamed, and he answered with
a very hearty, 'Ja! ja!  Madame.  Upon my soul I will let no harm come to
you or the pretty little ones, nor the young vrouwkins either, if they
will keep close.  You are safe by treaty.  A Reis would have to pay a
heavy reckoning with Mehemed Dey if a French ambassador had to complain
of him, and you will bear me witness, Madame, that I have not touched a
hair of any of your heads!'

'I am sure you wish me well, sir,' said Madame de Bourke in a dignified
way, 'but I require to be certified of the safety of the rest of my
suite, my steward, my lackey, and my husband's secretary, a young
gentleman of noble birth.'

'They are safe, Madame.  This Italian slave can bear me witness that no
creature has been harmed since my crew boarded this vessel.'

'I desire then that they may be released, as being named in my passport.'

To this the Dutchman consented.

Whereupon the skipper began to wring his hands, and piteously to beseech
Madame to intercede for him, but the Dutchman cut him short before she
could speak.  'Dog of an Italian, the lady knows better!  You and your
fellows are our prize--poor enough after all the trouble you have given
us in chasing you.'

Madame de Bourke spoke kindly to the poor man, telling him that though
she could do nothing for him now, it was possible that she might when she
should have rejoined her husband, and she then requested the Reis to land
her and her suite in his long-boat on the Spanish coast, which could be
seen in the distance, promising him ample reward if he could do so.

To this he replied: 'Madame, you ask what would be death to me.'

He went on to explain that if he landed her on Christian ground, without
first presenting her and her passport to the Dey and the French Consul,
his men might represent him as acting in the interests of the Christians,
and as a traitor to the Algerine power, by taking a bribe from a person
belonging to a hostile state, in which case the bowstring would be the
utmost mercy he could expect; and the reigning Dey, Mehemed, having been
only recently chosen, it was impossible to guess how he might deal with
such cases.  Once at Algiers, he assured Madame de Bourke that she would
have nothing to fear, as she would be under the protection of the French
Consul; and she had no choice but to submit, though much concerned for
the continued anxiety to her husband, as well as the long delay and
uncertainty of finding him.

Still, when she perceived that it was inevitable, she complained no more,
and the Dutchman went on with a certain bluff kindness--as one touched by
her courtesy--to offer her the choice of remaining in the tartane or
coming on board his larger vessel.  The latter he did not recommend, as
he had a crew of full two hundred Turks and Moors, and it would be
necessary to keep herself and all her women as closely as possible
secluded in the cabins; and even then, he added, that if once seen he
could hardly answer for some of those corsairs not endeavouring to secure
a fair young Frank girl for his harem; and as his eye fell on Rosette,
she bridled and hid herself behind Mademoiselle Julienne.

He must, he said, remove all the Genoese, but he would send on board the
tartane only seven men on whom he could perfectly depend for respectful
behaviour, so that the captives would be able to take the air on deck as
freely as before.  There was no doubt that he was in earnest, and the
lady accepted his offer with thanks, all the stronger since she and all
around her were panting and sick for want of fresh air.

It was a great relief when he took her on deck with him that she might
identify the three men whom she claimed as belonging to her suite.
Arthur, Lanty, and Hebert, who, in their vague knowledge of the
circumstances, had been dreading the oar for the rest of their lives,
could hardly believe their good fortune when she called them up to her,
and the Abbe gripped Lanty's arm as if he would never let him go again.
The poor Italians seemed to feel their fate all the harder for the
deliverance of those three, and sobbed, howled, and wept so piteously
that Arthur wondered how strong men could so give way, while Lanty's
tears sprang forth in sympathy, and he uttered assurances and made signs
that he would never cease to pray for their rescue.

'Though,' as he observed, 'they were poor creatures that hadn't the heart
of a midge, when there was such a chance of a fight while the haythen
spalpeens were coming on board.'

Here Lanty was called on to assist Hebert in identifying his lady's bales
of goods, when all those of the unfortunate Genoese were put on board the
corsair's vessel.  A sail-cloth partition was extended across the deck by
the care of the Dutchman, 'who'--as Lanty said--'for a haythen apostate
was a very dacent man.'  He evidently had a strong compassion and fellow-
feeling for the Christian lady, and assured her that she might safely
take the air and sit on deck as much as she pleased behind its shelter;
and he likewise carefully selected the seven of his crew whom he sent on
board to work the ship, the chief being a heavy-looking old Turk, with a
chocolate-coloured visage between a huge white beard and eyebrows, and
the others mere lads, except one, who, from an indefinable European air
about him, was evidently a renegade, and could speak a sort of French, so
as to hold communication with the captives, especially Lanty, who was
much quicker than any of the rest in picking up languages, perhaps from
having from his infancy talked French and English (or rather Irish), and
likewise learnt Latin with his foster-brother.  This man was the only one
permitted to go astern of the partition, in case of need, to attend to
the helm; but the vessel was taken in tow by the corsair, and needed
little management.  The old Turk seemed to regard the Frankish women like
so many basilisks, and avoided turning a glance in their direction,
roaring at his crew if he only saw them approaching the sail-cloth, and
keeping a close watch upon the lithe black-eyed youths, whose brown limbs
carried them up the mast with the agility of monkeys.  There was one in
especial--a slight, well-made fellow about twenty, with a white turban
cleaner than the rest--who contrived to cast wonderful glances from the
masthead over the barrier at Rosette, who actually smiled in return at
_ce pauvre garcon_, and smiled the more for Mademoiselle Julienne's
indignation.  Suddenly, however, a shrill shout made him descend hastily,
and the old Turk's voice might be heard in its highest key, no doubt
shrieking out maledictions on all the ancestry of the son of a dog who
durst defile his eyes with gazing at the shameless daughters of the
Frank.  Little Ulysse was, however, allowed to disport himself wherever
he pleased; and after once, under Arthur's protection, going forward, he
found himself made very welcome, and offered various curiosities, such as
shells, corals, and a curious dried little hippocampus or seahorse.

This he brought back in triumph, to the extreme delight of his sister's
classical mind.  'Oh mamma, mamma,' she cried, 'Ulysse really has got the
skeleton of a Triton.  It is exactly like the stone creatures in the
Champs Elysees.'

There was no denying the resemblance, and it so increased the confusion
in Estelle's mind between the actual and the mythological, that Arthur
told her that she was looking out for the car of Amphitrite to arise from
the waters.  Anxiety and trouble had made him much better acquainted with
Madame de Bourke, who was grateful to him for his kindness to her
children, and not without concern as to whether she should be able to
procure his release as well as her own at Algiers.  For Laurence
Callaghan she had no fears, since he was born at Paris, and a naturalised
French subject like her husband and his brother; but Arthur was
undoubtedly a Briton, and unless she could pass him off as one of her
suite, it would depend on the temper of the English Consul whether he
should be viewed as a subject or as a rebel, or simply left to captivity
until his Scottish relations should have the choice of ransoming him.

She took a good deal of pains to explain the circumstances to him as well
as to all who could understand them; for though she hoped to keep all
together, and to be able to act for them herself, no one could guess how
they might be separated, and she could not shake off that foreboding of
misfortune which had haunted her from the first.

The kingdom of Algiers was, she told them, tributary to the Turkish
Sultan, who kept a guard of Janissaries there, from among whom they
themselves elected the Dey.  He was supposed to govern by the consent of
a divan, but was practically as despotic as any Eastern sovereign; and
the Aga of the Janissaries was next in authority to him.  Piracy on the
Mediterranean was, as all knew, the chief occupation of the Turks and
Moors of any spirit or enterprise, a Turk being in authority in each
vessel to secure that the Sultan had his share, and that the capture was
so conducted as not to involve Turkey in dangerous wars with European
powers.  Capture by the Moors had for several centuries been one of the
ordinary contingencies of a voyage, and the misfortune that had happened
to the party was not at all an unusual one.

In 1687, however, the nuisance had grown to such a height that Admiral Du
Quesne bombarded the town of Algiers, and destroyed all the
fortifications, peace being only granted on condition that a French
Consul should reside at Algiers, and that French ships and subjects
should be exempt from this violence of the corsairs.

The like treaties existed with the English, but had been very little
heeded by the Algerines till recently, when the possession of Gibraltar
and Minorca had provided harbours for British ships, which exercised a
salutary supervision over these Southern sea-kings.  The last Dey, Baba
Hali, had been a wise and prudent man, anxious to repress outrage, and to
be on good terms with the two great European powers; but he had died in
the spring of the current year, 1718, and the temper of his successor,
Mehemed, had not yet been proved.

Madame de Bourke had some trust in the Dutch Reis, renegade though he
was.  She had given him her beautiful watch, set with brilliants, and he
had taken it with a certain gruff reluctance, declaring that he did not
want it,--he was ready enough to serve her without such a toy.

Nevertheless the lady thought it well to impress on each and all, in case
of any separation or further disaster, that their appeal must be to the
French Consul, explaining minutely the forms in which it should be made.

'I cannot tell you,' she said to Arthur, 'how great a comfort it is to me
to have with me a gentleman, one of intelligence and education to whom I
can confide my poor children.  I know you will do your utmost to protect
them and restore them to their father.'

'With my very heart's blood, Madame.'

'I hope that may not be asked of you, Monsieur,' she returned with a
faint smile,--'though I fear there may be much of perplexity and
difficulty in the way before again rejoining him.  You see where I have
placed our passports?  My daughter knows it likewise; but in case of
their being taken from you, or any other accident happening to you, I
have written these two letters, which you had better bear about your
person.  One is, as you see, to our Consul at Algiers, and may serve as
credentials; the other is to my husband, to whom I have already written
respecting you.'

'A thousand thanks, Madame,' returned Arthur.  'But I hope and trust we
may all reach M. le Comte in safety together.  You yourself said that you
expected only a brief detention before he could be communicated with, and
this captain, renegade though he be, evidently has a respect for you.'

'That is quite true,' she returned, 'and it may only be my foolish heart
that forebodes evil; nevertheless, I cannot but recollect that _c'est
l'imprevu qui arrive_.'

'Then, Madame, that is the very reason there should be no misfortune,'
returned Arthur.

It was on the second day after the capture of the tartane that the sun
set in a purple angry-looking bank of cloud, and the sea began to heave
in a manner which renewed the earlier distresses of the voyage to such as
were bad sailors.  The sails both of the corsair and of the tartane were
taken in, and it was plain that a rough night was to be expected.  The
children were lashed into their berths, and all prepared themselves to
endure.  The last time Arthur saw Madame de Bourke's face, by the light
of the lamp swinging furiously from the cabin roof, as he assisted in
putting in the dead lights, it bore the same fixed expression of
fortitude and resignation as when she was preparing to be boarded by the
pirates.

He remained on deck, but it was very perilous, for the vessel was so low
in the water that the waves dashed over it so wildly that he could hardly
help being swept away.  It was pitch dark, too, and the lantern of the
other vessel could only just be seen, now high above their heads, now
sinking in the trouble of the sea, while the little tartane was lifted up
as though on a mountain; and in a kind of giddy dream, he thought of
falling headlong upon her deck.  Finally he found himself falling.  Was
he washed overboard?  No; a sharp blow showed him that he had only fallen
down the hatchway, and after lying still a moment, he heard the voices of
Lanty and Hebert, and presently they were all tossed together by another
lurch of the ship.

It was a night of miseries that seemed endless, and when a certain amount
of light appeared, and Arthur and Lanty crawled upon deck, the tempest
was unabated.  They found themselves still dashed, as if their vessel
were a mere cork, on the huge waves; rushes of water coming over them,
whether from sea or sky there was no knowing, for all seemed blended
together in one mass of dark lurid gray; and where was the Algerine
ship--so lately their great enemy, now watched for as their guide and
guardian?

It was no place nor time for questions, even could they have been heard
or understood.  It was scarcely possible even to be heard by one another,
and it was some time before they convinced themselves that the large
vessel had disappeared.  The cable must have parted in the night, and
they were running with bare poles before the gale; the seamanship of the
man at the helm being confined to avoiding the more direct blows of the
waves, on the huge crests of which the little tartane rode--gallantly
perhaps in mariners' eyes, but very wretchedly to the feelings of the
unhappy landsmen within her.

Arthur thought of St. Paul, and remembered with dismay that it was many
days before sun or moon appeared.  He managed to communicate his
recollection to Lanty, who exclaimed, 'And he was a holy man, and he was
a prisoner too.  He will feel for us if any man can in this sore strait!
_Sancte Paule_, _ora pro nobis_.  An' haven't I got the blessed scapulary
about me neck that will bring me through worse than this?'

The three managed to get down to tell the unfortunate inmates of the
cabin what was the state of things, and to carry them some food, though
at the expense of many falls and severe blows; and almost all of them
were too faint or nauseated to be able to swallow such food as could
survive the transport under such circumstances.  Yet high-spirited little
Estelle entreated to be carried on deck, to see what a storm was like.
She had read of them so often, and wanted to see as well as to feel.  She
was almost ready to cry when Arthur assured her it was quite impossible,
and her mother added a grave order not to trouble him.

Madame de Bourke looked so exhausted by the continual buffeting and the
closeness of the cabin, and her voice was so weak, that Arthur grieved
over the impossibility of giving her any air.  Julienne tried to make her
swallow some _eau de vie_; but the effort of steadying her hand seemed
too much for her, and after a terrible lurch of the ship, which lodged
the poor _bonne_ in the opposite corner of the cabin, the lady shook her
head and gave up the attempt.  Indeed, she seemed so worn out that
Arthur--little used to the sight of fainting--began to fear that her
forebodings of dying before she could rejoin her husband were on the
point of being realised.

However, the gale abated towards evening, and the youth himself was so
much worn out that the first respite was spent in sleep.  When he awoke,
the sea was much calmer, and the eastern sun was rising in glory over it;
the Turks, with their prayer carpets in a line, were simultaneously
kneeling and bowing in prayer, with their faces turned towards it.  Lanty
uttered an only too emphatic curse upon the misbelievers, and Arthur
vainly tried to make him believe that their 'Allah il Allah' was neither
addressed to Mohammed nor the sun.

'Sure and if not, why did they make their obeisance to it all one as the
Persians in the big history-book Master Phelim had at school?'

'It's to the east they turn Lanty, not to the sun.'

'And what right have the haythen spalpeens to turn to the east like good
Christians?'

''Tis to their Prophet's tomb they look, at Mecca.'

'There, an' I tould you they were no better than haythens,' returned
Lanty, 'to be praying and knocking their heads on the bare boards--that
have as much sense as they have--to a dead man's tomb.'

Arthur's Scotch mind thought the Moors might have had the best of it in
argument when he recollected Lanty's trust in his scapulary.

They tried to hold a conversation with the Reis, between _lingua Franca_
and the Provencal of the renegade; and they came to the conclusion that
no one had the least idea where they were, or where they were going; the
ship's compass had been broken in the boarding, and there was no chart
more available than the little map in the beginning of Estelle's precious
copy of Telemaque.  The Turkish Reis did not trouble himself about it,
but squatted himself down with his chibouque, abandoning all guidance of
the ship, and letting her drift at the will of wind and wave, or, as he
said, the will of Allah.  When asked where he thought she was going, he
replied with solemn indifference, 'Kismet;' and all the survivors of the
crew--for one had been washed overboard--seemed to share his resignation.

The only thing he did seem to care for was that if the infidel woman
chose to persist in coming on deck, the canvas screen--which had been
washed overboard--should be restored.  This was done, and Madame de
Bourke was assisted to a couch that had been prepared for her with
cloaks, where the air revived her a little; but she listened with a faint
smile to the assurances of Arthur, backed by Hebert, that this
abandonment to fate gave the best chance.  They might either be picked up
by a Christian vessel or go ashore on a Christian coast; but Madame de
Bourke did not build much on these hopes.  She knew too well what were
the habits of wreckers of all nations, to think that it would make much
difference whether they were driven on the coast of Sicily or of
Africa--'barring,' as Lanty said, 'that they should get Christian burial
in the former case.'

'We are in the hands of a good God.  That at least we know,' said the
Countess.  'And He can hear us through, whether for life in Paradise, or
trial a little longer here below.'

'Like Blandina,' observed Estelle.

'Ah! my child, who knows whether trials like even that blessed saint's
may not be in reserve even for your tender age.  When I think of these
miserable men, who have renounced their faith, I see what fearful ordeals
there may be for those who fall into the hands of those unbelievers.
Strong men have yielded.  How may it not be with my poor children?'

'God made Blandina brave, mamma.  I will pray that He may make me so.'

Land was in sight at last.  Purple mountains rose to the south in wild
forms, looking strangely thunderous and red in the light of the sinking
sun.  A bay, with rocks jutting out far into the sea, seemed to embrace
them with its arms.  Soundings were made, and presently the Reis decided
on anchoring.  It was a rocky coast, with cliffs descending into the sea,
covered with verdure, and the water beneath was clear as glass.

'Have we escaped the Syrtes to fall upon AEneas' cave?' murmured Arthur
to himself.

'And if we could meet Queen Dido, or maybe Venus herself, 'twould be no
bad thing!' observed Lanty, who remembered his Virgil on occasion.  'For
there's not a drop of wather left barring _eau de vie_, and if these
Moors get at that, 'tis raving madmen they would be.'

'Do they know where we are?' asked Arthur.

'Sorrah a bit!' returned Lanty, 'tho' 'tis a pretty place enough.  If my
old mother was here, 'tis her heart would warm to the mountains.'

'Is it Calypso's Island?' whispered Ulysse to his sister.

'See, what are they doing?' cried Estelle.  'There are people--don't you
see, white specks crowding down to the water.'

There was just then a splash, and two bronzed figures were seen setting
forth from the tartane to swim to shore.  The Turkish Reis had despatched
them, to ascertain whether the vessel had drifted, and who the
inhabitants might be.

A good while elapsed before one of these scouts returned.  There was a
great deal of talk and gesticulating round him, and Lanty, mingling with
it, brought back word that the place was the Bay of Golo, not far from
Djigheli, and just beyond the Algerine frontier.  The people were
Cabeleyzes, a wild race of savage dogs, which means dogs according the
Moors, living in the mountains, and independent of the Dey.  A
considerable number rushed to the coast, armed, and in great numbers,
perceiving the tartane to be an Italian vessel, and expecting a raid by
Sicilian robbers on their cattle; but the Moors had informed them that it
was no such thing, but a prize taken in the name of the Dey of Algiers,
in which an illustrious French Bey's harem was being conveyed to Algiers.
From that city the tartane was now about a day's sail, having been driven
to the eastward of it during the storm.  'The Turkish commander evidently
does not like the neighbourhood,' said Arthur, 'judging by his gestures.'

'Dogs and sons of dogs are the best names he has for them,' rejoined
Lanty.

'See!  They have cut the cable!  Are we not to wait for the other man who
swam ashore?'

So it was.  A favourable wind was blowing, and the Reis, being by no
means certain of the disposition of the Cabeleyzes, chose to leave them
behind him as soon as possible, and make his way to Algiers, which began
to appear to his unfortunate passengers like a haven of safety.

They were not, however, out of the bay when the wind suddenly veered, and
before the great lateen sail could be reefed, it had almost caused the
vessel to be blown over.  There was a pitching and tossing almost as
violent as in the storm, and then wind and current began carrying the
tartane towards the rocky shore.  The Reis called the men to the oars,
but their numbers were too few to be availing, and in a very few minutes
more the vessel was driven hopelessly towards a mass of rocks.

Arthur, the Abbe, Hebert, and Lanty were all standing together at the
head of the vessel.  The poor Abbe seemed dazed, and kept dreamily
fingering his rosary, and murmuring to himself.  The other three
consulted in a low voice.

'Were it not better to have the women here on deck?' asked Arthur.

'_Eh_, _non_!' sobbed Master Hebert.  'Let not my poor mistress see what
is coming on her and her little ones!'

'Ah! and 'tis better if the innocent creatures must be drowned, that it
should be without being insensed of it till they wake in our Lady's
blessed arms,' added Lanty.  'Hark! and they are at their prayers.'

But just then Victorine rushed up from below, and throwing her arms round
Lanty, cried, 'Oh!  Laurent, Laurent.  It is not true that it is all over
with us, is it?  Oh! save me! save me!'

'And if I cannot save you, mine own heart's core, we'll die together,'
returned the poor fellow, holding her fast.  'It won't last long,
Victorine, and the saints have a hold of my scapulary.'

He had scarcely spoken when, lifted upon a wave, the tartane dashed upon
the rocks, and there was at once a horrible shivering and crashing
throughout her--a frightful mingling of shrieks and yells of despair with
the wild roar of the waves that poured over her.  The party at the head
of the vessel were conscious of clinging to something, and when the first
burly-burly ceased a little they found themselves all together against
the bulwark, the vessel almost on her beam ends, wedged into the rocks,
their portion high and dry, but the stern, where the cabin was, entirely
under water.

Victorine screamed aloud, 'My lady! my poor lady.'

'I see--I see something,' cried Arthur, who had already thrown off his
coat, and in another moment he had brought up Estelle in his arms, alive,
sobbing and panting.  Giving her over to the steward, he made another
dive, but then was lost sight of, and returned no more, nor was anything
to be seen of the rest.  Shut up in the cabin, Madame de Bourke, Ulysse,
and the three maids must have been instantly drowned, and none of the
crew were to be seen.  Maitre Hebert hold the little girl in his arms,
glad that, though living, she was only half-conscious.  Victorine,
sobbing, hung heavily on Lanty, and before he could free his hands he
perceived to his dismay that the Abbe, unassisted, was climbing down from
the wreck upon the rock, scarcely perhaps aware of his danger.

Lanty tried to put Victorine aside, and called out, 'Your reverence,
wait--Masther Phelim, wait till I come and help you.'  But the girl,
frantic with terror, grappled him fast, screaming to him not to let her
go--and at the same moment a wave broke over the Abbe.  Lanty, almost
wild, was ready to leap into it after him, thinking he must be sucked
back with it, but behold! he still remained clinging to the rock.
Instinct seemed to serve him, for he had stuck his knife into the rock
and was holding on by it.  There seemed no foothold, and while Lanty was
deliberating how to go to his assistance, another wave washed him off and
bore him to the next rock, which was only separated from the mainland by
a channel of smoother water.  He tried to catch at a floating plank, but
in vain; however, an oar next drifted towards him, and by it he gained
the land, but only to be instantly surrounded by a mob of Cabeleyzes, who
seemed to be stripping off his garments.  By this time many were swimming
towards the wreck; and Estelle, who had recovered breath and senses,
looked over Hebert's shoulder at them.  'The savages! the infidels!' she
said.  'Will they kill me? or will they try to make me renounce my faith?
They shall kill me rather than make me yield.'

'Ah! yes, my dear _demoiselle_, that is right.  That is the only way.  It
is my resolution likewise,' returned Hebert.  'God give us grace to
persist.'

'My mamma said so,' repeated the child.  'Is she drowned, Maitre Hebert?'

'She is happier than we are, my dear young lady.'

'And my little brother too!  Ah! then I shall remember that they are only
sending me to them in Paradise.'

By this time the natives were near the wreck, and Estelle, shuddering,
clung closer to Hebert; but he had made up his mind what to do.  'I must
commit you to these men, Mademoiselle,' he said; 'the water is rising--we
shall perish if we remain here.'

'Ah! but it would not hurt so much to be drowned,' said Estelle, who had
made up her mind to Blandina's chair.

'I must endeavour to save you for your father, Mademoiselle, and your
poor grandmother!  There! be a good child!  Do not struggle.'

He had attracted the attention of some of the swimmers, and he now flung
her to them.  One caught her by an arm, another by a leg, and she was
safely taken to the shore, where at once a shoe and a stocking were taken
from her, in token of her becoming a captive; but otherwise her garments
were not meddled with; in which she was happier than her uncle, whom she
found crouched up on a rock, stripped almost to the skin, so that he
shrank from her, when she sprang to his side amid the Babel of wild men
and women, who were shouting in exultation and wonder over his big
flapped hat, his _soutane_ and bands, pointing at his white limbs and
yellow hair--or, what amazed them even more, Estelle's light, flaxen
locks, which hung soaked around her.  She felt a hand pulling them to see
whether anything so strange actually grew on her head, and she turned
round to confront them with a little gesture of defiant dignity that
evidently awed them, for they kept their hands off her, and did not
interfere as she stood sentry over her poor shivering uncle.

Lanty was by this time trying to drag Victorine over the rocks and
through the water.  The poor Parisienne was very helpless, falling,
hurting herself, and screaming continually; and trebly, when a couple of
natives seized upon her, and dragged her ashore, where they immediately
snatched away her mantle and cap, pulled off her gold chain and cross,
and tore out her earrings with howls of delight.

Lanty, struggling on, was likewise pounced upon, and bereft of his fine
green and gold livery coat and waistcoat, which, though by no means his
best, and stained with the sea water, were grasped with ecstasy,
quarrelled over, and displayed in triumph.  The steward had secured a
rope by which he likewise reached the shore, only to become the prey of
the savages, who instantly made prize of his watch and purse, as well as
of almost all his garments.  The five unfortunate survivors would fain
have remained huddled together, but the natives pointing to some huts on
the hillside, urged them thither by the language of shouts and blows.

'Faith and I'm not an ox,' exclaimed Lanty, as if the fellow could have
understood him, 'and is it to the shambles you're driving me?'

'Best not resist!  There's nothing for it but to obey them,' said the
steward, 'and at least there will be shelter for the child.'

No objection was made to his lifting her in his arms, and he carried her,
as the party, half-drowned, nearly starved and exhausted, stumbled on
along the rocky paths which cut their feet cruelly, since their shoes had
all been taken from them.  Lanty gave what help he could to the Abbe and
Victorine, who were both in a miserable plight, but ere long he was
obliged to take his turn in carrying Estelle, whose weight had become too
much for the worn out Hebert.  He was alarmed to find, on transferring
her, that her head sank on his shoulder as if in a sleep of exhaustion,
which, however, shielded her from much terror.  For, as they arrived at a
cluster of five or six tents, built of clay and the branches of trees,
out rushed a host of women, children, and large fierce dogs, all making
as much noise as they were capable of.  The dogs flew at the strange
white forms, no doubt utterly new to them.  Victorine was severely
bitten, and Lanty, trying to rescue her, had his leg torn.

These two were driven into one hut; Estelle, who was evidently considered
as the greatest prize, was taken into another and rather better one,
together with the steward and the Abbe.  The Moors, who had swum ashore,
had probably told them that she was the Frankish Bey's daughter; for
this, miserable place though it was, appeared to be the best hut in the
hamlet, nor was she deprived of her clothes.  A sort of bournouse or
haik, of coarse texture and very dirty, was given to each of the others,
and some rye cakes baked in the ashes.  Poor little Estelle turned away
her head at first, but Hebert, alarmed at her shivering in her wet
clothes, contrived to make her swallow a little, and then took off the
soaked dress, and wrapped her in the bournouse.  She was by this time
almost unconscious from weariness, and made no resistance to the
unaccustomed hands, or the disgusting coarseness and uncleanness of her
wrapper, but dropped asleep the moment he laid her down, and he applied
himself to trying to dry her clothes at a little fire of sticks that had
been lighted outside the open space, round which the huts stood.

The Abbe too had fallen asleep, as Hebert managed to assure poor Lanty,
who rushed out of the other tent, nearly naked, and bloodstained in many
places, but more concerned at his separation from his foster-brother than
at anything else that had befallen him.  Men, women, children, and dogs
were all after him, supposing him to be trying to escape, and he was
seized upon and dragged back by main force, but not before the steward
had called out--

'M. l'Abbe sleeps--sleeps sound--he is not hurt!  For Heaven's sake,
Laurent, be quiet--do not enrage them!  It is the only hope for him, as
for Mademoiselle and the rest of us.'

Lanty, on hearing of the Abbe's safety, allowed himself to be taken back,
making himself, however, a passive dead weight on his captor's hands.

'Arrah,' he muttered to himself, 'if ye will have me, ye shall have the
trouble of me, bad luck to you.  'Tis little like ye are to the barbarous
people St. Paul was thrown with; but then what right have I to expect the
treatment of a holy man, the like of him?  If so be, I can save that poor
orphan that's left, and bring off Master Phelim safe, and save poor
Victorine from being taken for some dirty spalpeen's wife, when he has
half a dozen more to the fore--'tis little it matters what becomes of
Lanty Callaghan; they might give him to their big brutes of dogs, and
mighty lean meat they would find him!'

So came down the first night upon the captives.



CHAPTER V--CAPTIVITY


   'Hold fast thy hope and Heaven will not
   Forsake thee in thine hour.
   Good angels will be near thee,
   And evil ones will fear thee,
   And Faith will give thee power.'

   SOUTHEY.

The whole northern coast of Africa is inhabited by a medley of tribes,
all owning a kind of subjection to the Sultan, but more in the sense of
Pope than of King.  The part of the coast where the tartane had been
driven on the rocks was beneath Mount Araz, a spur of the Atlas, and was
in the possession of the Arab tribe called Cabeleyze, which is said to
mean 'the revolted.'  The revolt had been from the Algerine power, which
had never been able to pursue them into the fastnesses of the mountains,
and they remained a wild independent race, following all those Ishmaelite
traditions and customs that are innate in the blood of the Arab.

When Estelle awoke from her long sleep of exhaustion, she was conscious
of a stifling atmosphere, and moreover of the crow of a cock in her
immediate vicinity, then of a dog growling, and a lamb beginning to
bleat.  She raised herself a little, and beheld, lying on the ground
around her, dark heaps with human feet protruding from them.  These were
interspersed with sheep, goats, dogs, and fowls, all seen by the yellow
light of the rising sun which made its way in not only through the
doorless aperture, but through the reeds and branches which formed the
walls.

Close as the air was, she felt the chill of the morning and shivered.  At
the same moment she perceived poor Maitre Hebert covering himself as best
he could with a dirty brown garment, and bending over her with much
solicitude, but making signs to make as little noise as possible, while
he whispered, 'How goes it with Mademoiselle?'

'Ah,' said Estelle, recollecting herself, 'we are shipwrecked.  We shall
have to confess our faith!  Where are the rest?'

'There is M. l'Abbe,' said Hebert, pointing to a white pair of the bare
feet.  'Poor Laurent and Victorine have been carried elsewhere.'

'And mamma?  And my brother?'

'Ah!  Mademoiselle, give the good God thanks that he has spared them our
trial.'

'Mamma!  Ah, she was in the cabin when the water came in?  But my
brother!  I had hold of his hand, he came out with me.  I saw M. Arture
swim away with him.  Yes, Maitre Hebert, indeed I did.'

Hebert had not the least hope that they could be saved, but he would not
grieve the child by saying so, and his present object was to get her
dressed before any one was awake to watch, and perhaps appropriate her
upper garments.  He was a fatherly old man, and she let him help her with
her fastenings, and comb out her hair with the tiny comb in her _etui_.
Indeed, _friseurs_ were the rule in France, and she was not unused to
male attendants at the toilette, so that she was not shocked at being
left to his care.

For the rest, the child had always dwelt in an imaginary world, a curious
compound of the Lives of the Saints and of Telemaque.  Martyrs and heroes
alike had been shipwrecked, taken captive, and tormented; and there was a
certain sense of realised day-dream about her, as if she had become one
of the number and must act up to her part.  She asked Hebert if there
were a Sainte Estelle, what was the day of the month, and if she should
be placed in the Calendar if she never complained, do what these
barbarians might to her.  She hoped she should hold out, for she would
like to be able to help all whom she loved, poor papa and all.  But it
was hard that mamma, who was so good, could not be a martyr too; but she
was a saint in Paradise all the same, and thus Estelle made her little
prayer in hope.  There was no conceit or over confidence in the tone,
though of course the poor child little knew what she was ready to accept;
but it was a spark of the martyr's trust that gleamed in her eye, and
gave her a sense of exaltation that took off the sharpest edge of grief
and fear.

By this time, however, the animals were stirring, and with them the human
beings who had lain down in their clothes.  Peace was over; the Abbe
awoke, and began to call for Laurent and his clothes and his beads; but
this aroused the master of the house, who started up, and threatening
with a huge stick, roared at him what must have been orders to be quiet.

Estelle indignantly flew between and cried, 'You shall not hurt my
uncle.'

The commanding gesture spoke for itself; and, besides, poor Phelim
cowered behind her with an air that caused a word and sign to pass round,
which the captives found was equivalent to innocent or imbecile; and the
Mohammedan respect and tenderness for the demented spared him all further
violence or molestation, except that he was lost and miserable without
the attentions of his foster-brother; and indeed the shocks he had
undergone seemed to have mobbed him of much of the small degree of sense
he had once possessed.

Coming into the space before the doorway, Estelle found herself the
object of universal gaze and astonishment, as her long fair hair gleamed
in the sunshine, every one coming to touch it, and even pull it to see if
it was real.  She was a good deal frightened, but too high-spirited to
show it more than she could help, as the dark-skinned, bearded men
crowded round with cries of wonder.  The other two prisoners likewise
appeared: Victorine looking wretchedly ill, and hardly able to hold up
her head; Lanty creeping towards the Abbe, and trying to arrange his
remnant of clothing.  There was a short respite, while the Arabs, all
turning eastwards, chanted their morning devotions with a solemnity that
struck their captives.  The scene was a fine one, if there had been any
heart to admire.  The huts were placed on the verge of a fine forest of
chestnut and cork trees--and beyond towered up mountain peaks in every
variety of dazzling colour--red and purple beneath, glowing red and gold
where the snowy peaks caught the morning sun, lately broken from behind
them.  The slopes around were covered with rich grass, flourishing after
the summer heats, and to which the herds were now betaking themselves,
excepting such as were detained to be milked by the women, who came
pouring out of some of the other huts in dark blue garments; and in
front, still shadowed by the mountain, lay the bay, deep, beautiful,
pellucid green near the land, and shut in by fantastic and picturesque
rocks--some bare, some clothed with splendid foliage, winter though it
was--while beyond lay the exquisite blue stretching to the horizon.
Little recked the poor prisoners of the scene so fair; they only saw the
remnant of the wreck below, the sea that parted them from hope, the
savage rocks behind, the barbarous people around, the squalor and dirt of
the adowara, as the hamlet was called.

{Estelle: p96.jpg}

Comparatively, the Moor who had swum ashore to reconnoitre seemed like a
friend when he came forward and saluted Estelle and the Abbe
respectfully.  Moreover the _lingua Franca_ Lanty had picked up
established a very imperfect double system of interpretation by the help
of many gestures.  This was Lanty's explanation to the rest: in French,
of course, but, like all his speech, Irish-English in construction.

'This Moor, Hassan, wants to stand our friend in his own fashion, but he
says they care not the value of an empty mussel-shell for the French, and
no more for the Dey of Algiers than I do for the Elector of Hanover.  He
has told them that M. l'Abbe and Mademoiselle are brother and daughter to
a great Bey--but it is little they care for that.  Holy Virgin, they took
Mademoiselle for a boy!  That is why they are gazing at her so
impudently.  Would that I could give them a taste of my cane!  Do you see
those broken walls, and a bit of a castle on yonder headland jutting out
into the sea?  They are bidding Hassan say that the French built that,
and garrisoned it with the help of the Dey; but there fell out a war, and
these fellows, or their fathers, surprised it, sacked it, and carried off
four hundred prisoners into slavery.  Holy Mother defend us!  Here are
all the rogues coming to see what they will do with us!'

For the open space in front of the huts, whence all the animals had now
been driven, was becoming thronged with figures with the haik laid over
their heads, spear or blunderbuss in hand, fine bearing, and sometimes
truculent, though handsome, browse countenances.  They gazed at the
captives, and uttered what sounded like loud hurrahs or shouts; but after
listening to Hassan, Lanty turned round trembling.  'The miserables!  Some
are for sacrificing us outright on the spot, but this decent man declares
that he will make them sensible that their prophet was not out-and-out as
bad as that.  Never you fear, Mademoiselle.'

'I am not afraid,' said Estelle, drawing up her head.  'We shall be
martyrs.'

Lanty was engaged in listening to a moan from his foster-brother for
food, and Hebert joined in observing that they might as well be
sacrificed as starved to death; whereupon the Irishman's words and
gesticulations induced the Moor to make representations which resulted in
some dry pieces of _samh_ cake, a few dates, and a gourd of water being
brought by one of the women; a scanty amount for the number, even though
poor Victorine was too ill to touch anything but the water; while the
Abbe seemed unable to understand that the servants durst not demand
anything better, and devoured her share and a quarter of Lanty's as well
as his own.  Meantime the Cabeleyzes had all ranged themselves in rows,
cross-legged on the ground, opposite to the five unfortunate captives, to
sit in judgment on them.  As they kept together in one group, happily in
the shade of a hut, Victorine, too faint and sick fully to know what was
going on, lay with her head on the lap of her young mistress, who sat
with her bright and strangely fearless eyes confronting the wild figures
opposite.

Her uncle, frightened, though not comprehending the extent of his danger,
crouched behind Lanty, who with Hebert stood somewhat in advance, the
would-be guardians of the more helpless ones.

There was an immense amount of deafening shrieking and gesticulating
among the Arabs.  Hassan was responding, and finally turned to Lanty,
when the anxious watchers could perceive signs as if of paying down coin
made interrogatively.  'Promise them anything, everything,' cried Hebert;
'M. le Comte would give his last sou--so would Madame la Marquise--to
save Mademoiselle.'

'I have told him so,' said Laurence presently; 'I bade him let them know
it is little they can make of us, specially now they have stripped us as
bare as themselves, the rascals! but that their fortunes would be
made--and little they would know what to do with them--if they would only
send M. l'Abbe and Mademoiselle to Algiers safe and sound.  There! he is
trying to incense them.  Never fear, Master Phelim, dear, there never was
a rogue yet, black or white, or the colour of poor Madame's frothed
chocolate, who did not love gold better than blood, unless indeed 'twas
for the sweet morsel of revenge; and these, for all their rolling eyes
and screeching tongues, have not the ghost of a quarrel with us.'

'My beads, my breviary,' sighed the Abbe.  'Get them for me, Lanty.'

'I wish they would end it quickly,' said Estelle.  'My head aches so, and
I want to be with mamma.  Poor Victorine! yours is worse,' she added, and
soaked her handkerchief in the few drops of water left in the gourd to
lay it on the maid's forehead.

The howling and shrieking betokened consultation, but was suddenly
interrupted by some half-grown lads, who came running in with their hands
full of what Lanty recognised to his horror as garments worn by his
mistress and fellow-servants, also a big kettle and a handspike.  They
pointed down to the sea, and with yells of haste and exultation all the
wild conclave started up to snatch, handle, and examine, then began
rushing headlong to the beach.  Hassan's explanations were scarcely
needed to show that they were about to ransack the ship, and he evidently
took credit to himself for having induced them to spare the prisoners in
case their assistance should be requisite to gain full possession of the
plunder.

Estelle and Victorine were committed to the charge of a
forbidding-looking old hag, the mother of the sheyk of the party; the
Abbe was allowed to stray about as he pleased, but the two men were
driven to the shore by the eloquence of the club.  Victorine revived
enough for a burst of tears and a sobbing cry, 'Oh, they will be killed!
We shall never see them again!'

'No,' said Estelle, with her quiet yet childlike resolution, 'they are
not going to kill any of us yet.  They said so.  You are so tired, poor
Victorine!  Now all the hubbub is over, suppose you lie still and sleep.
My uncle,' as he roamed round her, mourning for his rosary, 'I am afraid
your beads are lost; but see here, these little round seeds, I can pierce
them if you will gather some more for me, and make you another set.  See,
these will be the Aves, and here are shells in the grass for the Paters.'

The long fibre of grass served for the string, and the sight of the
Giaour girl's employment brought round her all the female population who
had not repaired to the coast.  Her first rosary was torn from her to
adorn an almost naked baby; but the Abbe began to whimper, and to her
surprise the mother restored it to him.  She then made signs that she
would construct another necklace for the child, and she was rewarded by a
gourd being brought to her full of milk, which she was able to share with
her two companions, and which did something to revive poor Victorine.
Estelle was kept threading these necklaces and bracelets all the wakeful
hours of the day--for every one fell asleep about noon--though still so
jealous a watch was kept on her that she was hardly allowed to shift her
position so as to get out of the sun, which even at that season was
distressingly scorching in the middle of the day.

Parties were continually coming up from the beach laden with spoils of
all kinds from the wreck, Lanty, Hebert, and a couple of negroes being
driven up repeatedly, so heavily burthened as to be almost bent double.
All was thrown down in a heap at the other end of the adowara, and the
old sheyk kept guard over it, allowing no one to touch it.  This went on
till darkness was coming on, when, while the cattle were being collected
for the night, the prisoners were allowed an interval, in which Hebert
and Lanty told how the natives, swimming like ducks, had torn everything
out of the wreck: all the bales and boxes that poor Maitre Hebert had
secured with so much care, and many of which he was now forced himself to
open for the pleasure of these barbarians.

That, however, was not the worst.  Hebert concealed from his little lady
what Lanty did not spare Victorine.  'And there--enough to melt the heart
of a stone--there lay on the beach poor Madame la Comtesse, and all the
three.  Good was it for you, Victorine, my jewel, that you were not in
the cabin with them.'

'I know not,' said the dejected Victorine; 'they are better off than we?'

'You would not say so, if you had seen what I have,' said Lanty,
shuddering.  'The dogs!--they cut off Madame's poor white fingers to get
at her rings, and not with knives either, lest her blessed flesh should
defile them, they said, and her poor face was an angel's all the time.
Nay, nor that was not the worst.  The villainous boys, what must they do
but pelt the poor swollen bodies with stones!  Ay, well you may scream,
Victorine.  We went down on our knees, Maitre Hebert and I, to pray they
might let us give them burial, but they mocked us, and bade Hassan say
they never bury dogs.  I went round the steeper path, for all the load at
my back, or I should have been flying at the throats of the cowardly
vultures, and then what would have become of M. l'Abbe?'

Victorine trembled and wept bitterly for her companions, and then asked
if Lanty had seen the corpse of the little Chevalier.

'Not a sight of him or M.  Arthur either,' returned Lanty; 'only the ugly
face of the old Turk captain and another of his crew, and them they
buried decently, being Moslem hounds like themselves; while my poor lady
that is a saint in heaven--' and he, too, shed tears of hot grief and
indignation, recovering enough to warn Victorine by no means to let the
poor young girl know of this additional horror.

There was little opportunity, for they had been appropriated by different
masters: Estelle, the Abbe, and Hebert to the sheyk, or headman of the
clan; and Lanty and Victorine to a big, strong, fierce-looking fellow, of
inferior degree but greater might.

This time Estelle was to be kept for the night among the sheyk's women,
who, though too unsophisticated to veil their faces, had a part of the
hut closed off with a screen of reeds, but quite as bare as the outside.
Hebert, who could not endure to think of her sleeping on the ground, and
saw a large heap of grass or straw provided for a little brown cow,
endeavoured to take an armful for her.  Unluckily it belonged to Lanty's
master, Eyoub, who instantly flew at him in a fury, dragged him to a log
of wood, caught up an axe, and had not Estelle's screams brought up the
sheyk, with Hassan and one or two other men, the poor Maitre d'Hotel's
head would have been off.  There was a sharp altercation between the
sheyk and Eyoub, while Estelle held the faithful servant's hand, saying,
'You did it for me!  Oh, Hebert, do not make them angry again.  It would
be beautiful to die for one's faith, but not for a handful of hay.'

'Ah! my dear _demoiselle_, what would my poor ladies say to see you
sleeping on the bare ground in a filthy hut?'

'I slept well last night,' returned Estelle; 'indeed, I do not mind!  It
is only the more like the dungeon at Lyon, you know!  And I pray you,
Hebert, do not get yourself killed for nothing too soon, or else we shall
not all stand out and confess together, like St. Blandina and St.
Ponticus and St Epagathius.'

'Alas, the dear child!  The long names run off her tongue as glibly as
ever,' sighed Hebert, who, though determined not to forsake his faith, by
no means partook her enthusiasm for martyrdom.  Hassan, however, having
explained what the purpose had been, Hebert was pardoned, though the
sheyk scornfully observed that what was good enough for the daughters of
a Hadji was good enough for the unclean child of the Frankish infidels.

The hay might perhaps have spared a little stiffness, but it would not
have ameliorated the chief annoyances--the closeness, the dirt, and the
vermin.  It was well that it was winter, or the first of these would have
been far worse, and, fortunately for Estelle, she was one of those whom
suffocating air rather lulls than rouses.

Eyoub's hovel did not rejoice in the refinement of a partition, but his
family, together with their animals, lay on the rocky floor as best they
might; and Victorine's fever came on again, so that she lay in great
misery, greeted by a growl from a great white dog whenever she tried to
relieve her restless aching limbs by the slightest movement, or to reach
one of the gourds of water laid near the sleepers, like Saul's cruse at
his pillow.

Towards morning, however, Lanty, who had been sitting with his back
against the wall, awoke from the sleep well earned by acting as a beast
of burthen.  The dog growled a little, but Lanty--though his leg still
showed its teeth-marks--had made friends with it, and his hand on its
head quieted it directly, so that he was able cautiously to hand a gourd
to Victorine.  The Arabs were heavy sleepers, and the two were able to
talk under their breath; as, in reply to a kind word from Lanty, poor
Victorine moaned her envy of the fate of Rosette and Babette; and he,
with something of their little mistress's spirit, declared that he had no
doubt but that 'one way or the other they should be out of it: either get
safe home, or be blessed martyrs, without even a taste of purgatory.'

'Ah! but there's worse for me,' sighed Victorine.  'This demon brought
another to stare in my face--I know he wants to make me his wife!  Kill
me first, Laurent.'

'It is I that would rather espouse you, my jewel,' returned a tender
whisper.

'How can you talk of such things at such a moment?'

''Tis a pity M. l'Abbe is not a priest,' sighed Lanty.  'But, you know,
Victorine, who is the boy you always meant to take.'

'You need not be so sure of that,' she said, the coy coquetry not quite
extinct.

'Come, as you said, it is no time for fooling.  Give me your word and
troth to be my wife so soon as we have the good luck to come by a
Christian priest by our Lady's help, and I'll outface them all--were it
Mohammed the Prophet himself, that you are my espoused and betrothed, and
woe to him that puts a finger on you.'

'You would only get yourself killed.'

'And would not I be proud to be killed for your sake?  Besides, I'll show
them cause not to kill me if I have the chance.  Trust me, Victorine, my
darling--it is but a chance among these murdering villains, but it is the
only one; and, sure, if you pretended to turn the back of your hand to me
when there were plenty of Christian men to compliment you, yet you would
rather have poor Lanty than a thundering rogue of a pagan Mohammedan.'

'I hope I shall die,' sighed poor Victorine faintly.  'It will only be
your death!'

'That is my affair,' responded Lanty.  'Come, here's daylight coming in;
reach me your hand before this _canaille_ wakes, and here's this good
beast of a dog, and yonder grave old goat with a face like Pere Michel's
for our witnesses--and by good luck, here's a bit of gilt wire off my
shoulder-knot that I've made into a couple of rings while I've been
speaking.'

The strange betrothal had barely taken place before there was a stir, and
what was no doubt a yelling imprecation on the 'dog Giaours' for the
noise they made.

The morning began as before, with the exception that Estelle had
established a certain understanding with a little chocolate-coloured
cupid of a boy of the size of her brother, and his lesser sister, by
letting them stroke her hair, and showing them the mysteries of cat's
cradle.  They shared their gourd of goat's-milk with her, but would not
let her give any to her companions.  However, the Abbe had only to hold
out his hand to be fed, and the others were far too anxious to care much
about their food.

A much larger number of Cabeleyzes came streaming into the forum of the
adowara, and the prisoners were all again placed in a row, while the new-
comers passed before them, staring hard, and manifestly making personal
remarks which perhaps it was well that they did not understand.  The
sheyk and Eyoub evidently regarded them as private property, stood in
front, and permitted nobody to handle them, which was so far a comfort.

Then followed a sort of council, with much gesticulation, in which Hassan
took his share.  Then, followed by the sheyk, Eyoub, and some other
headmen, he advanced, and demanded that the captives should become true
believers.  This was eked out with gestures betokening that thus they
would be free, in that case; while, if they refused, the sword and the
smouldering flame were pointed to, while the whole host loudly shouted
'Islam!'

Victorine trembled, sobbed, tried to hide herself; but Estelle stood up,
her young face lighted up, her dark eyes gleaming, as if she were
realising a daydream, as she shook her head, cried out to Lanty, 'Tell
him, No--never!' and held to her breast a little cross of sticks that she
had been forming to complete her uncle's rosary.  Her gesture was
understood.  A man better clad than the rest, with a turban and a broad
crimson sash, rushed up to her, seized her by the hair, and waved his
scimitar over her head.  The child felt herself close to her mother.  She
looked up in his face with radiant eyes and a smile on her lips.  It
absolutely daunted the fellow: his arm dropped, and he gazed at her like
some supernatural creature; and the sheyk, enraged at the interference
with his property, darted forth to defend it, and there was a general
wrangling.

Seconded by their interpreter, Hassan, who knew that the Koran did not
prescribe the destruction of Christians, Hebert and Lanty endeavoured to
show that their conversion was out of the question, and that their
slaughter would only be the loss of an exceedingly valuable ransom, which
would be paid if they were handed over safe and sound and in good
condition.

There was no knowing what was the effect of this, for the council again
ended in a rush to secure the remaining pillage of the wreck.  Hebert and
Lanty dreaded what they might see, but to their great relief those poor
remains had disappeared.  They shuddered as they remembered the hyenas'
laughs and the jackals' howls they had heard at nightfall; but though
they hoped that the sea had been merciful, they could even have been
grateful to the animals that had spared them the sight of conscious
insults.

The wreck was finally cleared, and among the fragments were found several
portions of books.  These the Arabs disregarded, being too ignorant even
to read their own Koran, and yet aware of the Mohammedan scruple which
forbids the destruction of any scrap of paper lest it should bear the
name of Allah.  Lanty secured the greater part of the Abbe's breviary,
and a good many pages of Estelle's beloved Telemaque; while the steward
gained possession of his writing case, and was permitted to retain it
when the Cabeleyzes, glutted with plunder, had ascertained that it
contained nothing of value to them.

After everything had been dragged up to the adowara, there ensued a sort
of auction or division of the plunder.  Poor Maitre Hebert was doomed to
see the boxes and bales he had so diligently watched broken open by these
barbarians,--nay, he had to assist in their own dissection when the
secrets were too much for the Arabs.  There was the King of Spain's
portrait rent from its costly setting and stamped upon as an idolatrous
image.  The miniature of the Count, worn by the poor lady, had previously
shared the same fate, but that happily was out of sight and knowledge.
Here was the splendid plate, presented by crowned heads, howled over by
savages ignorant of its use.  The silver they seemed to value; but there
were three precious gold cups which the salt water had discoloured, so
that they were taken for copper and sold for a very small price to a Jew,
who somehow was attracted to the scene, 'like a raven to the slaughter,'
said Lanty.

This man likewise secured some of the poor lady's store of rich dresses,
but a good many more were appropriated to make sashes for the men, and
the smaller articles, including stockings, were wound turban fashion
round the children's heads.

Lanty could not help observing, 'And if the saints are merciful to us,
and get us out of this, we shall have stories to tell that will last our
lives!' as he watched the solemn old chief smelling to the perfumes,
swallowing the rouge as splendid medicine, and finally fingering a snuff-
box, while half a dozen more crowded round to assist in the opening, and
in another moment sneezing, weeping, tingling, dancing frantically about,
vituperating the Christian's magic.

This gave Lanty an idea.  A little round box lay near, which, as he
remembered, contained a Jack-in-the-box, or Polichinelle, which the poor
little Chevalier had bought at the fair at Tarascon.  This he contrived
to secrete and hand to Victorine.  'Keep the secret,' he said, 'and you
will find your best guardian in that bit of a box.'  And when that very
evening an Arab showed some intentions of adding her to his harem,
Victorine bethought herself of the box, and unhooked in desperation.  Up
sprang Punch, long-nosed and fur-capped, right in the bearded face.

Back the man almost fell; 'Shaitan, Shaitan!' was the cry, as the
inhabitants tumbled pell-mell out of the hovel, and Victorine and Punch
remained masters of the situation.

She heard Lanty haranguing in broken Arabic and _lingua Franca_, and
presently he came in, shaking with suppressed laughter.  'If ever we get
home,' said he, 'we'll make a pilgrimage to Tarascon!  Blessings on good
St. Martha that put that sweet little imp in my way!  The rogues think he
is the very genie that the fisherman let out of the bottle in
Mademoiselle's book of the Thousand and One Nights, and thought to see
him towering over the whole place.  And a fine figure he would be with
his hook nose and long beard.  They sent me to beg you fairly to put up
your little Shaitan again.  I told them that Shaitan, as they call him,
is always in it when there's meddling between an espoused pair--which is
as true as though the Holy Father at Rome had said it--and as long as
they were civil, Shaitan would rest; but if they durst molest you, there
was no saying where he would be, if once you had to let him out!  To
think of the virtue of that ugly face and bit of a coil of wire!'

Meantime Hebert, having ascertained that both the Jew and Hassan were
going away, the one to Constantina, the other to Algiers, wrote, and so
did Estelle, to the Consul at Algiers, explaining their position and
entreating to be ransomed.  Though only nine years old, Estelle could
write a very fair letter, and the amazement of the Arabs was unbounded
that any female creature should wield a pen.  Marabouts and merchants
were known to read the Koran, but if one of the goats had begun to write,
their wonder could hardly have been greater; and such crowds came to
witness the extraordinary operation that she could scarcely breathe or
see.

It seemed to establish her in their estimation as a sort of supernatural
being, for she was always treated with more consideration than the rest
of the captives, never deprived of the clothes she wore, and allowed to
appropriate a few of the toilette necessaries that were quite
incomprehensible to those around her.

She learnt the names for bread, chestnuts, dates, milk, and water, and
these were never denied to her; and her little ingenuities in nursery
games won the goodwill of the women and children around her, though
others used to come and make ugly faces at her, and cry out at her as an
unclean thing.  The Abbe was allowed to wander about at will, and keep
his Hours, with Estelle to make the responses, and sometimes Hebert.  He
was the only one that might visit the other two captives; Lanty was kept
hard at work over the crop of chestnuts that the clan had come down from
their mountains to gather in; and poor Victorine, who was consumed by a
low fever, and almost too weak to move, lay all day in the dreary and
dirty hut, expecting, but dreading death.

Some days later there was great excitement, shouting, and rage.  It
proved that the Bey of Constantina had sent to demand the party,
threatening to send an armed force to compel their surrender; but, alas!
the hope of a return to comparative civilisation was instantly quashed,
for the sheyk showed himself furious.  He and Eyoub stood brandishing
their scimitars, and with eyes flashing like a panther's in the dark,
declaring that they were free, no subjects of the Dey nor the Bey either;
and that they would shed the blood of every one of the captives rather
than yield them to the dogs and sons of dogs at Constantina.

This embassy only increased the jealousy with which the prisoners were
guarded.  None of them were allowed to stir without a man with a halbert,
and they had the greatest difficulty in entrusting a third letter to the
Moor in command of the party.  Indeed, it was only managed by Estelle's
coaxing of the little Abou Daoud, who was growing devoted to her, and
would do anything for the reward of hearing her sing life _Malbrook s'en
va-t'-n guerre_.

It might have been in consequence of this threat of the Bey, much as they
affected to despise it, that the Cabeleyzes prepared to return to the
heights of Mount Araz, whence they had only descended during the autumn
to find fresh pasture for their cattle, and to collect dates and
chestnuts from the forest.

'Alas!' said Hubert, 'this is worse than ever.  As long as we were near
the sea, I had hope, but now all trace of us will be lost, even if the
Consul should send after us.'

'Never fear, Maitre Hubert,' said Estelle; 'you know Telemaque was a
prisoner and tamed the wild peasants in Egypt.'

'Ah! the poor demoiselle, she always seems as if she were acting a
comedy.'

This was happily true.  Estelle seemed to be in a curious manner borne
through the dangers and discomforts of her surroundings by a strange
dreamy sense of living up to her part, sometimes as a possible martyr,
sometimes as a figure in the mythological or Arcadian romance that had
filtered into her nursery.



CHAPTER VI--A MOORISH VILLAGE


   'Our laws and our worship on thee thou shalt take,
   And this shalt thou first do for Zulema's sake.'

   SCOTT.

When Arthur Hope dashed back from the party on the prow of the wrecked
tartane in search of little Ulysse, he succeeded in grasping the child,
but at the same moment a huge breaker washed him off the
slipperily-sloping deck, and after a scarce conscious struggle he found
himself, still retaining his clutch of the boy, in the trough between it
and another.  He was happily an expert swimmer, and holding the little
fellow's clothes in his teeth, he was able to avoid the dash, and to rise
on another wave.  Then he perceived that he was no longer near the
vessel, but had been carried out to some little distance, and his efforts
only succeeded in keeping afloat, not in approaching the shore.  Happily
a plank drifted so near him that he was able to seize it and throw
himself across it, thus obtaining some support, and being able to raise
the child farther above the water.

At the same time he became convinced that a strong current, probably from
a river or stream, was carrying him out to sea, away from the bay.  He
saw the black heads of two or three of the Moorish crew likewise floating
on spars, and yielding themselves to the stream, and this made him better
satisfied to follow their example.  It was a sort of rest, and gave him
time to recover from the first exhaustion to convince himself that the
little boy was not dead, and to lash him to the plank with a
handkerchief.

By and by--he knew not how soon--calls and shouts passed between the
Moors; only two seemed to survive, and they no longer obeyed the
direction of the current, but turned resolutely towards the land, where
Arthur dimly saw a green valley opening towards the sea.  This was a much
severer effort, but by this time immediate self-preservation had become
the only thought, and happily both wind and the very slight tide were
favourable, so that, just as the sun sank beneath the western waves,
Arthur felt foothold on a sloping beach of white sand, even as his powers
became exhausted.  He struggled up out of reach of the sea, and then sank
down, exhausted and unconscious.

His first impression was of cries and shrieks round him, as he gasped and
panted, then saw as in a dream forms flitting round him, and then--feeling
for the child and missing him--he raised himself in consternation, and
the movement was greeted by fresh unintelligible exclamations, while a
not unkindly hand lifted him up.  It belonged to a man in a sort of loose
white garment and drawers, with a thin dark-bearded face; and Arthur,
recollecting that the Spanish word _nino_ passed current for child in
_lingua Franca_, uttered it with an accent of despairing anxiety.  He was
answered with a volley of words that he only understood to be in a
consoling tone, and the speaker pointed inland.  Various persons, among
whom Arthur saw his recent shipmates, seemed to be going in that
direction, and he obeyed his guide, though scarcely able to move from
exhaustion and cold, the garments he had retained clinging about him.
Some one, however, ran down towards him with a vessel containing a
draught of sour milk.  This revived him enough to see clearly and follow
his guides.  After walking a distance, which appeared to him most
laborious, he found himself entering a sort of village, and was ushered
through a courtyard into a kind of room.  In the centre a fire was
burning; several figures were busy round it, and in another moment he
perceived that they were rubbing, chafing, and otherwise restoring his
little companion.

Indeed Ulysse had just recovered enough to be terribly frightened, and as
his friend's voice answered his screams, he sprang from the kind brown
hands, and, darting on Arthur, clung to him with face hidden on his
shoulder.  The women who had been attending to him fell back as the white
stranger entered, and almost instantly dry clothes were brought, and
while Arthur was warming himself and putting them on, a little table
about a foot high was set, the contents of a cauldron of a kind of soup
which had been suspended over the fire were poured into a large round
green crock, and in which all were expected to dip their spoons and
fingers.  Little Ulysse was exceedingly amazed, and observed that _ces
gens_ were not _bien eleves_ to eat out of the dish; but he was too
hungry to make any objection to being fed with the wooden spoon that had
been handed to Arthur; and when the warm soup, and the meat floating in
it, had refreshed them, signs were made to them to lie down on a mat
within an open door, and both were worn out enough to sleep soundly.

It was daylight when Arthur was awakened by poor little Ulysse sitting up
and crying out for his _bonne_, his mother, and sister, 'Oh! take me to
them,' he cried; 'I do not like this dark place.'

For dark the room was, being windowless, though the golden sunlight could
be seen beyond the open doorway, which was under a sort of cloister or
verandah overhung by some climbing plant.  Arthur, collecting himself,
reminded the child how the waves had borne them away from the rest, with
earnest soothing promises of care, and endeavouring to get back to the
rest.  'Say your prayers that God will take care of you and bring you
back to your sister,' Arthur added, for he did not think it possible that
the child's mother should have been saved from the waves; and his heart
throbbed at thoughts of his promise to the poor lady.

'But I want my _bonne_,' sighed Ulysse; 'I want my clothes.  This is an
ugly _robe de nuit_, and there is no bed.'

'Perhaps we can find your clothes,' said Arthur.  'They were too wet to
be kept on last night.'

So they emerged into the court, which had a kind of farmyard appearance;
women with rows of coins hanging over their brows were milking cows and
goats, and there was a continuous confusion of sound of their voices, and
the lowing and bleating of cattle.  At the appearance of Arthur and the
boy, there was a general shout, and people seemed to throng in to gaze at
them, the men handsome, stately, and bearded, with white full drawers,
and a bournouse laid so as first to form a flat hood over the head, and
then belted in at the waist, with a more or less handsome sash, into
which were stuck a spoon and knife, and in some cases one or two pistols.
They did not seem ill-disposed, though their language was perfectly
incomprehensible.  Ulysse's clothes were lying dried by the hearth and no
objection was made to his resuming them.  Arthur made gestures of washing
or bathing, and was conducted outside the court, to a little stream of
pure water descending rapidly to the sea.  It was so cold that Ulysse
screamed at the touch, as Arthur, with more spectators than he could have
desired, did his best to perform their toilettes.  He had divested
himself of most of his own garments for the convenience of swimming, but
his pockets were left and a comb in them; and though poor Mademoiselle
Julienne would have been shocked at the result of his efforts, and the
little silken laced suit was sadly tarnished with sea water, Ulysse
became such an astonishing sight that the children danced round him, the
women screamed with wonder, and the men said 'Mashallah!'  The young
Scotsman's height was perhaps equally amazing, for he saw them pointing
up to his head as if measuring his stature.

He saw that he was in a village of low houses, with walls of unhewn
stone, enclosing yards, and set in the midst of fruit-trees and gardens.
Though so far on in the autumn there was a rich luxuriant appearance;
roots and fruits, corn and flax, were laid out to dry, and girls and boys
were driving the cattle out to pasture.  He could not doubt that he had
landed among a settled and not utterly uncivilised people, but he was too
spent and weary to exert himself, or even to care for much beyond present
safety; and had no sooner returned to his former quarters, and shared
with Ulysse a bowl of curds, than they both feel asleep again in the
shade of the gourd plant trained on a trellised roof over the wall.

When he next awoke, Ulysse was very happily at play with some little
brown children, as if the sports of childhood defied the curse of Babel,
and a sailor from the tartane was being greeted by the master of the
house.  Arthur hoped that some communication would now be possible, but,
unfortunately, the man knew very little of the _lingua Franca_ of the
Mediterranean, and Arthur knew still less.  However, he made out that he
was the only one of the shipwrecked crew who had managed to reach the
land, and that this was a village of Moors--settled agricultural Moors,
not Arabs, good Moslems--who would do him no harm.  This, and he pointed
to a fine-looking elderly man, was the sheyk of the village, Abou Ben
Zegri, and if the young Giaours would conform to the true faith all would
be _salem_ with them.  Arthur shook his head, and tried by word and sign
to indicate his anxiety for the rest of his companions.  The sailor threw
up his hands, and pointed towards the sea, to show that he believed them
to be all lost; but Arthur insisted that five--marking them off on his
fingers--were on _gebal_, a rock, and emphatically indicated his desire
of reaching them.  The Moor returned the word 'Cabeleyzes,' with gestures
signifying throat-cutting and slavery, also that these present hosts
regarded them as banditti.  How far off they were it was not possible to
make out, for of course Arthur's own sensations were no guide; but he
knew that the wreck had taken place early in the afternoon, and that he
had come on shore in the dusk, which was then at about five o'clock.
There was certainly a promontory, made by the ridge of a hill, and also a
river between him and any survivors there might be.

This was all that he could gather, and he was not sure of even thus much,
but he was still too much wearied and battered for any exertion of
thought or even anxiety.  Three days' tempest in a cockle-shell of a
ship, and then three hours' tossing on a plank, had left him little but
the desire of repose, and the Moors were merciful and let him alone.  It
was a beautiful place--that he already knew.  A Scot, and used to the sea-
coast, his eye felt at home as it ranged to the grand heights in the dim
distance, with winter caps of snow, and shaded in the most gorgeous tints
of colouring forests beneath, slopes covered with the exquisite green of
young wheat.  Autumn though it was, the orange-trees, laden with fruit,
the cork-trees, ilexes, and fan-palms, gave plenty of greenery, shading
the gardens with prickly pear hedges; and though many of the fruit-trees
had lost their leaves, fig, peach, and olive, and mulberry, caper plants,
vines with foliage of every tint of red and purple, which were trained
over the trellised courts of the houses, made everything have a look of
rural plenty and peace, most unlike all that Arthur had ever heard or
imagined of the Moors, who, as he owned to himself, were certainly not
all savage pirates and slave-drivers.  The whole within was surrounded by
a stone wall, with a deep horse-shoe-arched gateway, the fields and
pastures lying beyond with some more slightly-walled enclosures meant for
the protection of the flocks and herds at night.

He saw various arts going on.  One man was working in iron over a little
charcoal fire, with a boy to blow up his bellows, and several more were
busied over some pottery, while the women alternated their grinding
between two mill stones, and other domestic cares, with spinning,
weaving, and beautiful embroidery.  To Arthur, who looked on, with no one
to speak to except little Ulysse, it was strangely like seeing the life
of the Israelites in the Old Testament when they dwelt under their own
vines and fig-trees--like reading a chapter in the Bible, as he said to
himself, as again and again he saw some allusion to Eastern customs
illustrated.  He was still more struck--when, after the various herds of
kine, sheep, and goats, with one camel, several asses, and a few slender-
limbed Barbary horses had been driven in for the night--by the sight of
the population, as the sun sank behind the mountains, all suspending
whatever they were about, spreading their prayer carpets, turning
eastwards, performing their ablutions, and uttering their brief prayer
with one voice so devoutly that he was almost struck with awe.

'Are they saying their prayers?' whispered Ulysse, startled by the
instant change in his play-fellows, and as Arthur acquiesced, 'Then they
are good.'

'If it were the true faith,' said Arthur, thinking of the wide difference
between this little fellow and Estelle; but though not two years younger,
Ulysse was far more childish than his sister, and when she was no longer
present to lead him with her enthusiasm, sank at once to his own level.
He opened wide his eyes at Arthur's reply, and said, 'I do not see their
idols.'

'They have none,' said Arthur, who could not help thinking that Ulysse
might look nearer home for idols--but chiefly concerned at the moment to
keep the child quiet, lest he should bring danger on them by
interruption.

They were sitting in the embowered porch of the sheyk's court when, a few
seconds after the villagers had risen up from their prayer, they saw a
figure enter at the village gateway, and the sheyk rise and go forward.
There were low bending in salutation, hands placed on the breast, then
kisses exchanged, after which the Sheyk Abou Ben Zegri went out with the
stranger, and great excitement and pleasure seemed to prevail among the
villagers, especially the women.  Arthur heard the word 'Yusuf' often
repeated, and by the time darkness had fallen on the village, the sheyk
ushered the guest into his court, bringing with him a donkey with some
especially precious load--which was removed; after which the supper was
served as before in the large low apartment, with a handsomely tiled
floor, and an opening in the roof for the issue of the smoke from the
fire, which became agreeable in the evening at this season.  Before
supper, however, the stranger's feet and hands were washed by a black
slave in Eastern fashion; and then all, as before, sat on mats or
cushions round the central bowl, each being furnished with a spoon and
thin flat soft piece of bread to dip into the mess of stewed kid, flakes
of which might be extracted with the fingers.

The women, who had fastened a piece of linen across their faces, ran
about and waited on the guests, who included three or four of the
principal men of the village, as well as the stranger, who, as Arthur
observed, was not of the uniform brown of the rest, but had some colour
in his cheeks, light eyes, and a ruddy beard, and also was of a larger
frame than these Moors, who, though graceful, lithe, and exceedingly
stately and dignified, hardly reached above young Hope's own shoulder.
Conversation was going on all the time, and Arthur soon perceived that he
was the subject of it.  As soon as the meal was over, the new-comer
addressed him, to his great joy, in French.  It was the worst French
imaginable--perhaps more correctly _lingua Franca_, with a French instead
of an Arabic foundation, but it was more comprehensible than that of the
Moorish sailor, and bore some relation to a civilised language; besides
which there was something indescribably familiar in the tone of voice,
although Arthur's good French often missed of being comprehended.

'Son of a great man?  Ambassador, French!'  The greatness seemed
impressed, but whether ambassador was understood was another thing,
though it was accepted as relating to the boy.

'Secretary to the Ambassador' seemed to be an equal problem.  The man
shook his head, but he took in better the story of the wreck, though,
like the sailor, he shook his head over the chance of there being any
survivors, and utterly negatived the idea of joining them.  The great
point that Arthur tried to convey was that there would be a very
considerable ransom if the child could be conveyed to Algiers, and he
endeavoured to persuade the stranger, who was evidently a sort of
travelling merchant, and, as he began to suspect, a renegade, to convey
them thither; but he only got shakes of the head as answers, and
something to the effect that they were a good deal out of the Dey's reach
in those parts, together with what he feared was an intimation that they
were altogether in the power of Sheyk Abou Ben Zegri.

They were interrupted by a servant of the merchant, who came to bring him
some message as well as a pipe and tobacco.  The pipe was carried by a
negro boy, at sight of whom Ulysse gave a cry of ecstasy, 'Juba!  Juba!
Grandmother's Juba!  Why do not you speak to me?' as the little black, no
bigger than Ulysse himself, grinned with all his white teeth, quite
uncomprehending.

'Ah! my poor laddie,' exclaimed Arthur in his native tongue, which he
often used with the boy, 'it is only another negro.  You are far enough
from home.'

The words had an astonishing effect on the merchant.  He turned round
with the exclamation, 'Ye'll be frae Scotland!'

'And so are you!' cried Arthur, holding out his hand.

'Tak tent, tak tent,' said the merchant hastily, yet with a certain
hesitation, as though speaking a long unfamiliar tongue.  'The loons
might jalouse our being overfriendly thegither.'

Then he returned to the sheyk, to whom he seemed to be making
explanations, and presenting some of his tobacco, which probably was of a
superior quality in preparation to what was grown in the village.  They
solemnly smoked together and conversed, while Arthur watched them
anxiously, relieved that he had found an interpreter, but very doubtful
whether a renegade could be a friend, even though he were indeed a fellow-
countryman.

It was not till several pipes had been consumed, and the village worthies
had, with considerable ceremony, taken leave, that the merchant again
spoke to Arthur.  'I'll see ye the morn; I hae tell'd the sheyk we are
frae the same parts.  Maybe I can serve you, if ye ken what's for your
guid, but I canna say mair the noo.'

The sheyk escorted him out of the court, for he slept in one of the two
striped horse-hair tents, which had been spread within the enclosures
belonging to the village, around which were tethered the mules and asses
that carried his wares.  Arthur meanwhile arranged his little charge for
the night.

He felt that among these enemies to their faith he must do what was in
his power to keep up that of the child, and not allow his prayers to be
neglected; but not being able to repeat the Latin forms, and thinking
them unprofitable to the boy himself, he prompted the saying of the Creed
and Lord's Prayer in English, and caused them to be repeated after him,
though very sleepily and imperfectly.

All the men of the establishment seemed to take their night's rest on a
mat, wrapped in a bournouse, wherever they chanced to find themselves,
provided it was under shelter; the women in some _penetralia_ beyond a
doorway, though they were not otherwise secluded, and only partially
veiled their faces at sight of a stranger.  Arthur had by this time made
out that the sheyk, who was a very handsome man over middle-age, seemed
to have two wives; one probably of his own age, and though withered up
into a brown old mummy, evidently the ruler at home, wearing the most
ornaments, and issuing her orders in a shrill, cracked tone.  There was a
much younger and handsome one, the mother apparently of two or three
little girls from ten or twelve years old to five, and there was a mere
girl, with beautiful melancholy gazelle-like eyes, and a baby in her
arms.  She wore no ornaments, but did not seem to be classed with the
slaves who ran about at the commands of the elder dame.

However, his own position was a matter of much more anxious care,
although he had more hope of discovering what it really was.

He had, however, to be patient.  The sunrise orisons were no sooner paid
than there was a continual resort to the tent of the merchant, who was
found sitting there calmly smoking his long pipe, and ready to offer the
like, also a cup of coffee, to all who came to traffic with him.  He
seemed to have a miscellaneous stock of coffee, tobacco, pipes,
preparations of sugar, ornaments in gold and silver, jewellery, charms,
pistols, and a host of other articles in stock, and to be ready to
purchase or barter these for the wax, embroidered handkerchiefs, yarn,
and other productions and manufactures of the place.  Not a single
purchase could be made on either side without a tremendous haggling,
shouting, and gesticulating, as if the parties were on the verge of
coming to blows; whereas all was in good fellowship, and a pleasing
excitement and diversion where time was of no value to anybody.  Arthur
began to despair of ever gaining attention.  He was allowed to wander
about as he pleased within the village gates, and Ulysse was apparently
quite happy with the little children, who were beautiful and active,
although kept dirty and ragged as a protection from the evil eye.

Somehow the engrossing occupation of every one, especially of the only
two creatures with whom he could converse, made Arthur more desolate than
ever.  He lay down under an ilex, and his heart ached with a sick longing
he had not experienced since he had been with the Nithsdales, for his
mother and his home--the tall narrow-gabled house that had sprung up
close to the grim old peel tower, the smell of the sea, the tinkling of
the burn.  He fell asleep in the heat of the day, and it was to him as if
he were once more sitting by the old shepherd on the braeside, hearing
him tell the old tales of Johnnie Armstrong or Willie o' the wudspurs.

Actually a Scottish voice was in his ears, as he looked up and saw the
turbaned head of Yusuf the merchant bending over him, and saying--'Wake
up, my bonny laddie; we can hae our crack in peace while these folks are
taking their noonday sleep.  Awed, and where are ye frae, and how do you
ca' yersel'?'

'I am from Berwickshire,' responded the youth, and as the man started--'My
name is Arthur Maxwell Hope of Burnside.'

'Eh!  No a son of auld Sir Davie?'

'His youngest son.'

The man clasped his hands, and uttered a strange sound as if in the
extremity of amazement, and there was a curious unconscious change of
tone, as he said--'Sir Davie's son!  Ye'll never have heard tell of
Partan Jeannie?' he added.

'A very old fishwife,' said Arthur, 'who used to come her rounds to our
door?  Was she of kin to you?'

'My mither, sir.  Mony's the time I hae peepit out on the cuddie's back
between the creels at the door of the braw house of Burnside, and mony's
the bannock and cookie the gude lady gied me.  My minnie'll no be living
thae noo,' he added, not very tenderly.

'I should fear not,' said Arthur.  'I had not seen or heard of her for
some time before I left home, and that is now three years since.  She
looked very old then, and I remember my mother saying she was not fit to
come her rounds.'

'She wasna that auld,' returned the merchant gravely; 'but she had led
sic a life as falls to the lot of nae wife in this country.'

Arthur had almost said, 'Whose fault was that?' but he durst not offend a
possible protector, and softened his words into, 'It is strange to find
you here, and a Mohammedan too.'

'Hoots, Maister Arthur, let that flea stick by the wa'.  We maun do at
Rome as Rome does, as ye'll soon find'--and disregarding Arthur's
exclamation--'and the bit bairn, I thocht ye said he was no Scot, when I
was daundering awa' at the French yestreen.'

'No, he is half-Irish, half-French, eldest son of Count Burke, a good
Jacobite, who got into trouble with the Prince of Orange, and is high in
the French service.'

'And what gars your father's son to be _secretaire_, as ye ca'd it, to
Frenchman or Irishman either?'

'Well, it was my own fault.  I was foolish enough to run away from school
to join the rising for our own King's--'

'Eh, sirs!  And has there been a rising on the Border side against the
English pock puddings?  Oh, gin I had kenned it!'

Yusuf's knowledge of English politics had been dim at the best, and he
had apparently left Scotland before even Queen Anne was on the throne.
When he understood Arthur's story, he communicated his own.  He had been
engaged in a serious brawl with some English fishers, and in fear of the
consequences had fled from Eyemouth, and after casting about as a common
sailor in various merchant ships, had been captured by a Moorish vessel,
and had found it expedient to purchase his freedom by conversion to
Islam, after which his Scottish shrewdness and thrift had resulted in his
becoming a prosperous itinerant merchant, with his headquarters at Bona.
He expressed himself willing and anxious to do all he could for his young
countryman; but it would be almost impossible to do so unless Arthur
would accept the religion of his captors; and he explained that the two
boys were the absolute property of the tribe, who had discovered and
rescued them when going to the seashore to gather kelp for the glass work
practised by the Moors in their little furnaces.

'Forsake my religion?  Never!' cried Arthur indignantly.

'Saftly, saftly,' said Yusuf; 'nae doot ye trow as I did that they are a'
mere pagans and savage heathens, worshipping Baal and Ashtaroth, but I
fand myself quite mista'en.  They hae no idols, and girn at the blinded
Papists as muckle as auld Deacon Shortcoats himsel'.'

'I know that,' threw in Arthur.

'Ay, and they are a hantle mair pious and devout than ever a body I hae
seen in Eyemouth, or a' the country side to boot; forbye, my minnie's
auld auntie, that sat graning by the ingle, and ay banned us when we came
ben.  The meneester himsel' dinna gae about blessing and praying over
ilka sma' matter like the meenest of us here, and for a' the din they
make at hame about the honorable Sabbath, wha thinks of praying five
times the day?  While as for being the waur for liquor, these folks kenna
the very taste of it.  Put yon sheyk down on the wharf at Eyemouth, and
what wad he say to the Christian folk there?'

A shock of conviction passed over Arthur, though he tried to lose it in
indignant defence; but Yusuf did not venture to stay any longer with him,
and bidding him think over what had been said, since slavery or Islam
were the only alternatives, returned to the tents of merchandise.

First thoughts with the youth had of course been of horror at the bare
idea of apostacy, and yet as he watched his Moorish hosts, he could not
but own to himself that he never had dreamt that to be among them would
be so like dwelling under the oak of Mamre, in the tents of Abraham.  From
what he remembered of Partan Jeannie's reputation as a being only
tolerated and assisted by his mother, on account of her extreme misery
and destitution, he could believe that the ne'er-do-weel son, who must
have forsaken her before he himself was born, might have really been
raised in morality by association with the grave, faithful, and temperate
followers of Mohammed, rather than the scum of the port of Eyemouth.

For himself and the boy, what did slavery mean?  He hoped to understand
better from Yusuf, and at any rate to persuade the man to become the
medium of communication with the outside world, beyond that 'dissociable
ocean,' over which his wistful gaze wandered.  Then the ransom of the
little Chevalier de Bourke would be certain, and, if there were any
gratitude in the world, his own.  But how long would this take, and what
might befall them in the meantime?

Ulysse all this time seemed perfectly happy with the small Moors, who all
romped together without distinction of rank, of master, slave or colour,
for Yusuf's little negro was freely received among them.  At night,
however, Ulysse's old home self seemed to revive; he crept back to
Arthur, tired and weary, fretting for mother, sister, and home; and even
after he had fallen asleep, waking again to cry for Julienne.  Poor
Arthur, he was a rough nurse, but pity kept him patient, and he was even
glad to see that the child had not forgotten his home.

Meantime, ever since the sunset prayer, there had been smoking of pipes
and drinking of coffee, and earnest discussion between the sheyk and the
merchant, and by and by Yusuf came and sat himself down by Arthur,
smiling a little at the young man's difficulty in disposing of those long
legs upon the ground.

'Ye'll have to learn this and other things, sir,' said he, as he crossed
his own under him, Eastern fashion; but his demeanour was on the whole
that of the fisher to the laird's son, and he evidently thought that he
had a grand proposal to make, for which Master Arthur ought to be
infinitely obliged.

He explained to Arthur that Sheyk Abou Ben Zegri had never had more than
two sons, and that both had been killed the year before in trying to
recover their cattle from the Cabeleyzes, 'a sort of Hieland caterans.'

The girl whom Arthur had noticed was the widow of the elder of the two,
and the child was only a daughter.  The sheyk had been much impressed by
Arthur's exploit in swimming or floating round the headland and saving
the child, and regarded his height as something gigantic.  Moreover,
Yusuf had asserted that he was son to a great Bey in his own country, and
in consequence Abou Ben Zegri was willing to adopt him as his son,
provided he would embrace the true faith, and marry Ayesha, the widow.

'And,' said Yusuf, 'these women are no that ill for wives, as I ken owre
weel'--and he sighed.  'I had as gude and douce a wee wifie at Bona as
heart culd wish, and twa bonny bairnies; but when I cam' back frae my
rounds, the plague had been there before me.  They were a' gone, even
Ali, that had just began to ca' me Ab, Ab, and I hae never had heart to
gang back to the town house.  She was a gude wife--nae flying, nae
rampauging.  She wad hae died wi' shame to be likened to thae randy wives
at hame.  Ye might do waur than tak' such a fair offer, Maister Arthur.'

'You mean it all kindly,' said Arthur, touched; 'but for nothing--no, for
nothing, can a Christian deny his Lord, or yield up his hopes for
hereafter.'

'As for that,' returned Yusuf, 'the meneester and Beacon Shortcoats, and
my auld auntie, and the lave of them, aye ca'ed me a vessel of
destruction.  That was the best name they had for puir Tam.  So what odds
culd it mak, if I took up with the Prophet, and I was ower lang leggit to
row in a galley?  Forbye, here they say that a man who prays and gies
awmous, and keeps frae wine, is sicker to win to Paradise and a' the
houris.  I had rather it war my puir Zorah than any strange houri of them
a'; but any way, I hae been a better man sin' I took up wi' them than
ever I was as a cursing, swearing, drunken, fechting sailor lad wha
feared neither God nor devil.'

'That was scarce the fault of the Christian faith,' said Arthur.

'Aweel, the first answer in the Shorter Carritch was a' they ever garred
me learn, and that is what we here say of Allah.  I see no muckle to
choose, and I _ken_ ane thing,--it is a hell on earth at ance gin ye gang
not alang wi' them.  And that's sicker, as ye'll find to your cost, sir,
gin ye be na the better guided.'

'With hope, infinite hope beyond,' said Arthur, trying to fortify
himself.  'No, I cannot, cannot deny my Lord--my Lord that bought me!'

'We own Issa Ben Mariam for a Prophet,' said Yusuf.

'But He is my only Master, my Redeemer, and God.  No, come what may, I
can never renounce Him,' said Arthur with vehemence.

'Wed, awed,' said Yusuf, 'maybe ye'll see in time what's for your gude.
I'll tell the sheyk it would misbecome your father's son to do sic a deed
owre lichtly, and strive to gar him wait while I am in these parts to get
your word, and nae doot it will be wiselike at the last.'



CHAPTER VII--MASTER AND SLAVE


   'I only heard the reckless waters roar,
   Those waves that would not hear me from the shore;
   I only marked the glorious sun and sky
   Too bright, too blue for my captivity,
   And felt that all which Freedom's bosom cheers,
   Must break my chain before it dried my tears.'

   BYRON (_The Corsair_).

At the rate at which the traffic in Yusuf's tent proceeded, Arthur Hope
was likely to have some little time for deliberation on the question
presented to him whether to be a free Moslem sheyk or a Christian slave.

Not only had almost every household in El Arnieh to chaffer with the
merchant for his wares and to dispose of home-made commodities, but from
other adowaras and from hill-farms Moors and Cabyles came in with their
produce of wax, wool or silk, to barter--if not with Yusuf, with the
inhabitants of El Arnieh, who could weave and embroider, forge cutlery,
and make glass from the raw material these supplied.  Other Cabyles,
divers from the coast, came up, with coral and sponges, the latter of
which was the article in which Yusuf preferred to deal, though nothing
came amiss to him that he could carry, or that could carry itself--such
as a young foal; even the little black boy had been taken on
speculation--and so indeed had the big Abyssinian, who, though dumb, was
the most useful, ready, and alert of his five slaves.  Every bargain
seemed to occupy at least an hour, and perhaps Yusuf lingered the longer
in order to give Arthur more time for consideration; or it might be that
his native tongue, once heard, exercised an irresistible fascination over
him.  He never failed to have what he called a 'crack' with his young
countryman at the hour of the siesta, or at night, perhaps persuading the
sheyk that it was controversial, though it was more apt to be on
circumstances of the day's trade or the news of the Border-side.
Controversy indeed there could be little with one so ignorant as kirk
treatment in that century was apt to leave the outcasts of society, nor
had conversion to Islam given him much instruction in its tenets; so that
the conversation generally was on earthly topics, though it always ended
in assurances that Master Arthur would suffer for it if he did not
perceive what was for his good.  To which Arthur replied to the effect
that he must suffer rather than deny his faith; and Yusuf, declaring that
a wilful man maun have his way, and that he would rue it too late, went
off affronted, but always returned to the charge at the next opportunity.

Meantime Arthur was free to wander about unmolested and pick up the
language, in which, however, Ulysse made far more rapid progress, and
could be heard chattering away as fast, if not as correctly, as if it
were French or English.  The delicious climate and the open-air life were
filling the little fellow with a strength and vigour unknown to him in a
Parisian salon, and he was in the highest spirits among his brown
playfellows, ceasing to pine for his mother and sister; and though he
still came to Arthur for the night, or in any trouble, it was more and
more difficult to get him to submit to be washed and dressed in his tight
European clothes, or to say his prayers.  He was always sleepy at night
and volatile in the morning, and could not be got to listen to the little
instructions with which Arthur tried to arm him against Mohammedanism
into which the poor little fellow was likely to drift as ignorantly and
unconsciously as Yusuf himself.

And what was the alternative?  Arthur himself never wavered, nor indeed
actually felt that he had a choice; but the prospect before him was
gloomy, and Yusuf did not soften it.  The sheyk would sell him, and he
would either be made to work in some mountain-farm, or put on board a
galley; and Yusuf had sufficient experience of the horrors of the latter
to assure him emphatically that the gude leddy of Burnside would break
her heart to think of her bonny laddie there.

'It would more surely break her heart to think of her son giving up his
faith,' returned Arthur.

As to the child, the opinion of the tribe seemed to be that he was just
fit to be sent to the Sultan to be bred as a Janissary.  'He will come
that gate to be as great a man as in his ain countree,' said Yusuf; 'wi'
horse to ride, and sword to bear, and braws to wear, like King Solomon in
all his glory.'

'While his father and mother would far rather he were lying dead with her
under the waves in that cruel bay,' returned Arthur.

'Hout, mon, ye dinna ken what's for his gude, nor for your ain neither,'
retorted Yusuf.

'Good here is not good hereafter.'

'The life of a dog and waur here,' muttered Yusuf; 'ye'll mind me when it
is too late.'

'Nay, Yusuf, if you will only take word of our condition to Algiers, we
shall--at least the boy--be assuredly redeemed, and you would win a high
reward.'

'I am no free to gang to Algiers,' said Yusuf.  'I fell out with a loon
there, one of those Janissaries that gang hectoring aboot as though the
world were not gude enough for them, and if I hadna made the best of my
way out of the toon, my pow wad be a worricow on the wa's of the tower.'

'There are French at Bona, you say.  Remember, I ask you to put yourself
in no danger, only to bear the tidings to any European,' entreated
Arthur.

'And how are they to find ye?' demanded Yusuf.  'Abou Ben Zegri will
never keep you here after having evened his gude-daughter to ye.  He'll
sell you to some corsair captain, and then the best that could betide ye
wad be that a shot frae the Knights of Malta should make quick work wi'
ye.  Or look at the dumbie there, Fareek.  A Christian, he ca's himsel',
too, though 'tis of a by ordinar' fashion, such as Deacon Shortcoats
would scarce own.  I coft him dog cheap at Tunis, when his master, the
Vizier, had had his tongue cut out--for but knowing o' some deed that
suld ne'er have been done--and his puir feet bastinadoed to a jelly.  Gin
a' the siller in the Dey's treasury ransomed ye, what gude would it do ye
after that?'

'I cannot help that--I cannot forsake my God.  I must trust Him not to
forsake me.'

And, as usual, Yusuf went off angrily muttering, 'He that will to Cupar
maun to Cupar.'

Perhaps Arthur's resistance had begun more for the sake of honour, and
instinctive clinging to hereditary faith, without the sense of heroism or
enthusiasm for martyrdom which sustained Estelle, and rather with the
feeling that inconstancy to his faith and his Lord would be base and
disloyal.  But, as the long days rolled on, if the future of toil and
dreary misery developed itself before him, the sense of personal love and
aid towards the Lord and Master whom he served grew upon him.  Neither
the gazelle-eyed Ayesha nor the prosperous village life presented any
great temptation.  He would have given them all for one bleak day of mist
on a Border moss; it was the appalling contrast with the hold of a
Moorish galley that at times startled him, together with the only too
great probability that he should be utterly incapable of saving poor
little Ulysse from unconscious apostacy.

Once Yusuf observed, that if he would only make outward submission to
Moslem law, he might retain his own belief and trust in the Lord he
seemed so much to love, and of whom he said more good than any Moslem did
of the Prophet.

'If I deny Him, He will deny me,' said Arthur.

'And will na He forgive ane as is hard pressed?' asked Yusuf.

'It is a very different thing to go against the light, as I should be
doing,' said Arthur, 'and what it might be for that poor bairn, whom Cod
preserve.'

'And wow! sir.  'Tis far different wi' you that had the best of gude
learning frae the gude leddy,' muttered Yusuf.  'My minnie aye needit me
to sort the fish and gang her errands, and wad scarce hae sent me to
scule, gin I wad hae gane where they girned at me for Partan Jeannie's
wean, and gied me mair o' the tawse than of the hornbook.  Gin the Lord,
as ye ca' Him, had ever seemed to me what ye say He is to you, Maister
Arthur, I micht hae thocht twice o'er the matter.  But there's nae
ganging back the noo.  A Christian's life they harm na, though they mak'
it a mere weariness to him; but for him that quits the Prophet, tearing
the flesh wi' iron cleeks is the best they hae for him.'

This time Yusuf retreated, not as usual in anger, but as if the bare idea
he had broached was too terrible to be dwelt upon.  He had by the end of
a fortnight completed all his business at El Arnieh, and Arthur, having
by this time picked up enough of the language to make himself
comprehensible, and to know fully what was set before him, was called
upon to make his decision, so that either he might be admitted by regular
ritual into the Moslem faith, and adopted by the sheyk, or else be
advertised by Yusuf at the next town as a strong young slave.

Sitting in the gate among the village magnates, like an elder of old,
Sheyk Abou Ben Zegri, with considerable grace and dignity, set the choice
before the Son of the Sea in most affectionate terms, asking of him to
become the child of his old age, and to heal the breach left by the
swords of the robbers of the mountains.

The old man's fine dark eyes filled with tears, and there was a pathos in
his noble manner that made Arthur greatly grieved to disappoint him, and
sorry not to have sufficient knowledge of the language to qualify more
graciously the resolute reply he had so often rehearsed to himself,
expressing his hearty thanks, but declaring that nothing could induce him
to forsake the religion of his fathers.

'Wilt thou remain a dog of an unbeliever, and receive the treatment of
dogs?'

'I must,' said Arthur.

'The youth is a goodly youth,' said the sheyk; 'it is ill that his heart
is blind.  Once again, young man, Issa Ben Mariam and slavery, or
Mohammed and freedom?'

'I cannot deny my Lord Christ.'

There was a pause.  Arthur stood upright, with lips compressed, hands
clasped together, while the sheyk and his companions seemed struck by his
courage and high spirit.  Then one of them--a small, ugly fellow, who had
some pretensions to be considered the sheyk's next heir--cried, 'Out on
the infidel dog!' and set the example of throwing a handful of dust at
him.  The crowd who watched around were not slow to follow the example,
and Arthur thought he was actually being stoned; but the missiles were
for the most part not harmful, only disgusting, blinding, and confusing.
There was a tremendous hubbub of vituperation, and he was at last
actually stunned by a blow, waking to find himself alone, and with hands
and feet bound, in a dirty little shed appropriated to camels.  Should he
ever be allowed to see poor little Ulysse again, or to speak to Yusuf, in
whom lay their only faint hope of redemption?  He was helpless, and the
boy was at the mercy of the Moors.  Was he utterly forsaken?

It was growing late in the day, and he had had no food for many hours.
Was he to be neglected and starved?  At last he heard steps approaching,
and the door was opened by the man who had led the assault on him, who
addressed him as 'Son of an old ass--dog of a slave,' bade him stand up
and show his height, at the same time cutting the cords that bound him.
It was an additional pang that it was to Yusuf that he was thus to
exhibit himself, no doubt in order that the merchant should carry a
description of him to some likely purchaser.  He could not comprehend the
words that passed, but it was very bitter to be handled like a horse at a
fair--doubly so that he, a Hope of Burnside, should thus be treated by
Partan Jeannie's son.

There ensued outside the shrieking and roaring which always accompanied a
bargain, and which lasted two full hours.  Finally Yusuf looked into the
hut, and roughly said in Arabic, 'Come over to me, dog; thou art mine.
Kiss the shoe of thy master'--adding in his native tongue, 'For ance,
sir.  It maun be done before these loons.'

Certainly the ceremony would have been felt as less humiliating towards
almost anybody else, but Arthur endured it; and then was led away to the
tents beyond the gate.

'There, sir,' said Yusuf, 'it ill sorts your father's son to be in sic a
case, but it canna be helpit.  I culd na leave behind the bonny Scots
tongue, let alane the gude Leddy Hope's son.'

'You have been very good to me, Yusuf,' said Arthur, his pride much
softened by the merchant's evident sense of the situation.  'I know you
mean me well, but the boy--'

'Hoots! the bairn is happy eno'.  He will come to higher preferment than
even you or I.  Why, mon, an Aga of the Janissaries is as good as the
Deuk himsel'.'

'Yusuf, I am very grateful--I believe you must have paid heavily to spare
me from ill usage.'

'Ye may say that, sir.  Forty piastres of Tunis, and eight mules, and twa
pair of silver-mounted pistols.  The extortionate rogue wad hae had the
little dagger, but I stood out against that.'

'I see, I am deeply beholden,' said Arthur; 'but it would be tenfold
better if you would take him instead of me!'

'What for suld I do that?  He is nae countryman of mine--one side French
and the other Irish.  He is naught to me.'

'He is heir to a noble house,' waged Arthur.  'They will reward you amply
for saving him.'

'Mair like to girn at me for a Moor.  Na, na!  Hae na I dune enough for
ye, Maister Arthur--giving half my beasties, and more than half my
silver?  Canna ye be content without that whining bairn?'

'I should be a forsworn man to be content to leave the child, whose dead
mother prayed me to protect him, and those who will turn him from her
faith.  See, now, I am a man, and can guard myself, by the grace of God;
but to leave the poor child here would be letting these men work their
will on him ere any ransom could come.  His mother would deem it giving
him up to perdition.  Let me remain here, and take the helpless child.
You know how to bargain.  His price might be my ransom.'

'Ay, when the jackals and hyenas have picked your banes, or you have died
under the lash, chained to the oar, as I hae seen, Maister Arthur.'

'Better so than betray the dead woman's trust.  How no--'

For there was a pattering of feet, a cry of 'Arthur, Arthur!' and
sobbing, screaming, and crying, Ulysse threw himself on his friend's
breast.  He was pursued by one or two of the hangers-on of the sheyk's
household, and the first comer seized him by the arm; but he clung to
Arthur, screamed and kicked, and the old nurse who had come hobbling
after coaxed in vain.  He cried out in a mixture of Arabic and French
that he _would_ sleep with Arthur--Arthur must put him to bed; no one
should take him away.

'Let him stay,' responded Yusuf; 'his time will come soon enough.'

Indulgence to children was the rule, and there was an easy good-nature
about the race, which made them ready to defer the storm, and acquiesce
in the poor little fellow remaining for another evening with that last
remnant of his home to whom he always reverted at nightfall.

He held trembling by Arthur till all were gone, then looked about in
terror, and required to be assured that no one was coming to take him
away.

'They shall not,' he cried.  'Arthur, you will not leave me alone?  They
are all gone--Mamma, and Estelle, and _la bonne_, and Laurent, and my
uncle, and all, and you will not go.'

'Not now, not to-night, my dear little mannie,' said Arthur, tears in his
eyes for the first time throughout these misfortunes.

'Not now!  No, never!' said the boy hugging him almost to choking.  'That
naughty Ben Kader said they had sold you for a slave, and you were going
away; but I knew I should find you--you are not a slave!--you are not
black--'

'Ah!  Ulysse, it is too true; I am--'

'No! no! no!' the child stamped, and hung on him in a passion of tears.
'You shall not be a slave.  My papa shall come with his soldiers and set
you free.'

Altogether the boy's vehemence, agitation, and terror were such that
Arthur found it impossible to do anything but soothe and hush him, as
best might be, till his sobs subsided gradually, still heaving his little
chest even after he fell asleep in the arms of his unaccustomed nurse,
who found himself thus baffled in using this last and only opportunity of
trying to strengthen the child's faith, and was also hindered from
pursuing Yusuf, who had left the tent.  And if it were separation that
caused all this distress, what likelihood that Yusuf would encumber
himself with a child who had shown such powers of wailing and screaming?

He durst not stir nor speak for fear of wakening the boy, even when Yusuf
returned and stretched himself on his mat, drawing a thick woollen cloth
over him, for the nights were chill.  Long did Arthur lie awake under the
strange sense of slavery and helplessness, and utter uncertainty as to
his fate, expecting, in fact, that Yusuf meant to keep him as a sort of
tame animal to talk Scotch; but hoping to work on him in time to favour
an escape, and at any rate to despatch a letter to Algiers, as a forlorn
hope for the ultimate redemption of the poor little unconscious child who
lay warm and heavy across his breast.  Certainly, Arthur had never so
prayed for aid, light, and deliverance as now!



CHAPTER VIII--THE SEARCH


   'The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks,
   The long day wanes, the slow moon climbs.  The deep
   Moans round with many voices.  Come, my friends.'

   TENNYSON.

Arthur fell asleep at last, and did not waken till after sunrise, nor did
Ulysse, who must have been exhausted with crying and struggling.  When
they did awaken, Arthur thinking with heavy heart that the moment of
parting was come, he saw indeed the other three slaves busied in making
bales of the merchandise; but the master, as well as the Abyssinian,
Fareek, and the little negro were all missing.  Bekir, who was a kind of
foreman, and looked on the new white slave with some jealousy, roughly
pointed to some coarse food, and in reply to the question whether the
merchant was taking leave of the sheyk, intimated that it was no business
of theirs, and assumed authority to make his new fellow-slave assist in
the hardest of the packing.

Arthur had no heart to resist, much as it galled him to be ordered about
by this rude fellow.  It was only a taste, as he well knew, of what he
had embraced, and he was touched by poor little Ulysse's persistency in
keeping as close as possible, though his playfellows came down and tried
first to lure, then to drag him away, and finally remained to watch the
process of packing up.  Though Bekir was too disdainful to reply to his
fellow-slave's questions, Arthur picked up from answers to the Moors who
came down that Yusuf had recollected that he had not finished his
transactions with a little village of Cabyle coral and sponge-fishers on
the coast, and had gone down thither, taking the little negro, to whom
the headman seemed to have taken a fancy, so as to become a possible
purchaser, and with the Abyssinian to attend to the mules.

A little before sundown Yusuf returned.  Fareek lifted down a pannier
covered by a crimson and yellow kerchief, and Yusuf declared, with much
apparent annoyance, that the child was sick, and that this had frustrated
the sale.  He was asleep, must be carried into the tent, and not
disturbed: for though the Cabyles had not purchased him, there was no
affording to loose anything of so much value.  Moreover, observing Ulysse
still hovering round the Scot, he said, 'You may bide here the night,
laddie, I ha tell't the sheyk;' and he repeated the same to the slaves in
Arabic, dismissing them to hold a parting feast on a lamb stuffed with
pistachio nuts, together with their village friends.

Then drawing near to Arthur, he said, 'Can ye gar yon wean keep a quiet
sough, if we make him pass for the little black?'

Arthur started with joy, and stammered some words of intense relief and
gratitude.

'The deed's no dune yet,' said Yusuf, 'and it is ower like to end in our
leaving a' our banes on the sands!  But a wilfu' man maun have his way,'
he repeated; 'so, sir, if it be your wull, ye'd better speak to the
bairn, for we must make a blackamoor of him while there is licht to do
it, or Bekir, whom I dinna lippen to, comes back frae the feast.'

Ulysse, being used to Irish-English, had little understanding of Yusuf's
broad Scotch; but he was looking anxiously from one to the other of the
speakers, and when Arthur explained to him that the disguise, together
with perfect silence, was the only hope of not being left behind among
the Moors, and the best chance of getting back to his home and dear ones
again, he perfectly understood.  As to the blackening, for which Yusuf
had prepared a mixture to be laid on with a feather, it was perfectly
enchanting to _faire la comedie_.  He laughed so much that he had to be
peremptorily hushed, and they were sensible of the danger that in case of
a search he might betray himself to his Moorish friends; and Arthur tried
to make him comprehend the extreme danger, making him cry so that his
cheeks had to be touched up.  His eyes and hair were dark, and the latter
was cut to its shortest by Yusuf, who further managed to fasten some
tufts of wool dipped in the black unguent to the kerchief that bound his
head.  The childish features had something of the Irish cast, which lent
itself to the transformation, and in the scanty garments of the little
negro Arthur owned that he should never have known the small French
gentleman.  Arthur was full of joy--Yusuf gruff, brief, anxious, like one
acting under some compulsion most unwillingly, and even despondently, but
apparently constrained by a certain instinctive feudal feeling, which
made him follow the desires of the young Border laird's son.

All had been packed beforehand, and there was nothing to be done but to
strike the tents, saddle the mules, and start.  Ulysse, still very
sleepy, was lifted into the pannier, almost at the first streak of dawn,
while the slaves were grumbling at being so early called up; and to a
Moor who wakened up and offered to take charge of the little Bey, Yusuf
replied that the child had been left in the sheyk's house.

So they were safely out at the outer gate, and proceeding along a
beautiful path leading above the cliffs.  The mules kept in one long
string, Bekir with the foremost, which was thus at some distance from the
hindmost, which carried Ulysse and was attended by Arthur, while the
master rode his own animals and gave directions.  The fiction of illness
was kept up, and when the bright eyes looked up in too lively a manner,
Yusuf produced some of the sweets, which were always part of his stock in
trade, as a bribe to quietness.

At sunrise, the halt for prayer was a trial to Arthur's intense anxiety,
and far more so was the noontide one for sleep.  He even ventured a
remonstrance, but was answered, 'Mair haste, worse speed.  Our lives are
no worth a boddle till the search is over.'

They were on the shady side of a great rock overhung by a beautiful
creeping plant, and with a spring near at hand, and Yusuf, in leisurely
fashion, squatted down, caused Arthur to lift out the child, who was fast
asleep again, and the mules to be allowed to feed, and distributed some
dried goat's flesh and dates; but Ulysse, somewhat to Arthur's alarm, did
not wake sufficiently to partake.

Looking up in alarm, he met a sign from Yusuf and presently a whisper,
'No hurt done--'tis safer thus--'

And by this time there were alarming sounds on the air.  The sheyk and
two of the chief men of El Arnieh were on horseback and armed with
matchlocks; and the whole '_posse_ of the village were following on foot,
with yells and vituperations of the entire ancestry of the merchant, and
far more complicated and furious threats than Arthur could follow; but he
saw Yusuf go forward to meet them with the utmost cool courtesy.

They seemed somewhat discomposed: Yusuf appeared to condole with them on
the loss, and, waving his hands, put all his baggage at their service for
a search, letting them run spears through the bales, and overturn the
baskets of sponges, and search behind every rock.  When they approached
the sleeping boy, Arthur, with throbbing heart, dimly comprehended that
Yusuf was repeating the story of the disappointment of a purchase caused
by his illness, and lifting for a moment the covering laid over him to
show the bare black legs and arms.  There might also have been some hint
of infection which, in spite of all Moslem belief in fate, deterred Abou
Ben Zegri from an over-close inspection.  Yusuf further invented a story
of having put the little Frank in charge of a Moorish woman in the
adowara; but added he was so much attached to the Son of the Sea, that
most likely he had wandered out in search of him, and the only wise
course would be to seek him before he was devoured by any of the wild
beasts near home.

Nevertheless, there was a courteous and leisurely smoking of pipes and
drinking of coffee before the sheyk and his followers turned homewards.
To Arthur's alarm and surprise, however, Yusuf did not resume the
journey, but told Bekir that there would hardly be a better halting-place
within their powers, as the sun was already some way on his downward
course; and besides, it would take some time to repack the goods which
had been cast about in every direction during the search.  The days were
at their shortest, though that was not very short, closing in at about
five o'clock, so that there was not much time to spare.  Arthur began to
feel some alarm at the continued drowsiness of the little boy, who only
once muttered something, turned round, and slept again.

'What have you done to him?' asked Arthur anxiously.

'The poppy,' responded Yusuf.  'Never fash yoursel'.  The bairn willna be
a hair the waur, and 'tis better so than that he shuld rax a' our
craigs.'

Yusuf's peril was so much the greater, that it was impossible to object
to any of his precautions, especially as he might take offence and throw
the whole matter over; but it was impossible not to chafe secretly at the
delay, which seemed incomprehensible.  Indeed, the merchant was avoiding
private communication with Arthur, only assuming the master, and ordering
about in a peremptory fashion which it was very hard to digest.

After the sunset orisons had been performed, Yusuf regaled his slaves
with a donation of coffee and tobacco, but with a warning to Arthur not
to partake, and to keep to windward of them.  So too did the Abyssinian,
and the cause of the warning was soon evident, as Bekir and his companion
nodded, and then sank into a slumber as sound as that of the little
Frenchman.  Indeed, Arthur himself was weary enough to fall asleep soon
after sundown, in spite of his anxiety, and the stars were shining like
great lamps when Yusuf awoke him.  One mule stood equipped beside him,
and held by the Abyssinian.  Yusuf pointed to the child, and said, 'Lift
him upon it.'

Arthur obeyed, finding a pannier empty on one side to receive the child,
who only muttered and writhed instead of awaking.  The other side seemed
laden.  Yusuf led the animal, retracing their way, while fire-flies
flitted around with their green lights, and the distant laughter of
hyenas gave Arthur a thrill of loathing horror.  Huge bats fluttered
round, and once or twice grim shapes crossed their path.

'Uncanny beasties,' quoth Yusuf; 'but they will soon be behind us.'

He turned into a rapidly-sloping path.  Arthur felt a fresh salt breeze
in his face, and his heart leapt up with hope.

In about an hour and a half they had reached a cove, shut in by dark
rocks which in the night looked immeasurable, but on the white beach a
few little huts were dimly discernible, one with a light in it.  The
sluggish dash of waves could be heard on the shore; there was a sense of
infinite space and breadth before them; and Jupiter sitting in the north-
west was like an enormous lamp, casting a pathway of light shimmering on
the waters to lead the exiles home.

Three or four boats were drawn up on the beach; a man rose up from within
one, and words in a low voice were exchanged between him and Yusuf; while
Fareek, grinning so that his white teeth could be seen in the starlight,
unloaded the mule, placing its packs, a long Turkish blunderbuss, and two
skins of water, in the boat, and arranging a mat on which Arthur could
lay the sleeping child.

Well might the youth's heart bound with gratitude, as, unmindful of all
the further risks and uncertainties to be encountered, he almost saw his
way back to Burnside!



CHAPTER IX--ESCAPE


   'Beside the helm he sat, steering expert,
   Nor sleep fell ever on his eyes that watch'd
   Intent the Pleiads, tardy in decline,
   Bootes and the Bear, call'd else the Wain,
   Which in his polar prison circling, looks
   Direct towards Orion, and alone
   Of these sinks never to the briny deep.'

   _Odyssey_ (COWPER).

The boat was pushed off, the Abyssinian leapt into it; Arthur paused to
pour out his thankfulness to Yusuf, but was met with the reply, 'Hout
awa'!  Time enugh for that--in wi' ye.'  And fancying there was some
alarm, he sprang in, and to his amazement found Yusuf instantly at his
side, taking the rudder, and giving some order to Fareek, who had taken
possession of a pair of oars; while the waters seemed to flash and
glitter a welcome at every dip.

'You are coming! you are coming!' exclaimed Arthur, clasping the
merchant's hand, almost beside himself with joy.

'Sma' hope wad there be of a callant like yersel' and the wean there
winning awa' by yer lane,' growled Yusuf.

'You have given up all for us.'

'There wasna muckle to gie,' returned the sponge merchant.  'Sin' the
gudewife and her bit bairnies at Bona were gane, I hadna the heart to
gang thereawa', nor quit the sound o' the bonny Scots tongue.  I wad as
soon gang to the bottom as to the toom house.  For dinna ye trow yersells
ower sicker e'en the noo.'

'Is there fear of pursuit?'

'No mickle o' that.  The folk here are what they ca' Cabyles, a douce
set, not forgathering with Arabs nor wi' Moors.  I wad na gang among them
till the search was over to-day; but yesterday I saw yon carle, and coft
the boatie frae him for the wee blackamoor and the mule.  The Moors at El
Aziz are not seafaring; and gin the morn they jalouse what we have done,
we have the start of them.  Na, I'm not feared for them; but forbye that,
this is no the season for an open boatie wi' a crew of three and a wean.
Gin we met an Algerian or Tunisian cruiser, as we are maist like to do, a
bullet or drooning wad be ower gude in their e'en for us--for me, that is
to say.  They wad spare the bairn, and may think you too likely a lad to
hang on the walls like a split corbie on the woodsman's lodge.'

'Well, Yusuf, my name is Hope, you know,' said Arthur.  'God has brought
us so far, and will scarce leave us now.  I feel three times the man that
I was when I lay down this evening.  Do we keep to the north, where we
are sure to come to a Christian land in time?'

'Easier said than done.  Ye little ken what the currents are in this same
sea, or deed ye'll soon ken when we get into them.'

Arthur satisfied himself that they were making for the north by looking
at the Pole Star, so much lower than he was used to see it in Scotland
that he hardly recognised his old friend; but, as he watched the studded
belt of the Hunter and the glittering Pleiades, the Horatian dread of
_Nimbosus Orion_ occurred to him as a thought to be put away.

Meantime there was a breeze from the land, and the sail was hoisted.
Yusuf bade both Arthur and Fareek lie down to sleep, for their exertions
would be wanted by and by, since it would not be safe to use the sail by
daylight.  It was very cold--wild blasts coming down from the mountains;
but Arthur crept under the woollen mantle that had been laid over Ulysse,
and was weary enough to sleep soundly.  Both were awakened by the hauling
down of the mast; and the little boy, who had quite slept off the drug,
scrambling out from under the covering, was astonished beyond measure at
finding himself between the glittering, sparkling expanse of sea and the
sky, where the sun had just leapt up in a blaze of gold.

The white summits of Atlas were tipped with rosy light, beautiful to
behold, though the voyagers had much rather have been out of sight of
them.

'How much have we made, Yusuf?' began Arthur.

'Tam Armstrong, so please you, sir!  Yusuf's dead and buried the noo; and
if I were farther beyant the grip of them that kenned him, my thrapple
would feel all the sounder!'

This day was, he further explained, the most perilous one, since they
were by no means beyond the track of vessels plying on the coast; and as
a very jagged and broken cluster of rocks lay near, he decided on
availing themselves of the shelter they afforded.  The boat was steered
into a narrow channel between two which stood up like the fangs of a
great tooth, and afforded a pleasant shade; but there was such a
screaming and calling of gulls, terns, cormorants, and all manner of
other birds, as they entered the little strait, and such a cloud of them
hovered and whirled overhead, that Tam uttered imprecations on their
skirling, and bade his companions lie close and keep quiet till they had
settled again, lest the commotion should betray that the rocks were the
lair of fugitives.

It was not easy to keep Ulysse quiet, for he was in raptures at the rush
of winged creatures, and no less so at the wonderful sea-anemones and
starfish in the pools, where long streamers of weed of beautiful colours
floated on the limpid water.

Nothing reduced him to stillness but the sight of the dried goat's flesh
and dates that Tam Armstrong produced, and for which all had appetites,
which had to be checked, since no one could tell how long it would be
before any kind of haven could be reached.

Arthur bathed himself and his charge in a pool, after Tam had ascertained
that no many-armed squid or cuttlefish lurked within it.  And while
Ulysse disported himself like a little fish, Arthur did his best to
restore him to his natural complexion, and tried to cleanse the little
garments, which showed only too plainly the lack of any change, and which
were the only Frank or Christian clothes among them, since young Hope
himself had been almost stripped when he came ashore, and wore the usual
garb of Yusuf's slaves.

Presently Fareek made an imperative sign to hush the child's merry
tongue; and peering forth in intense anxiety, the others perceived a
lateen sail passing perilously near, but happily keeping aloof from the
sharp reef of rocks around their shelter.  Arthur had forgotten the
child's prayers and his own, but Ulysse connected them with dressing, and
the alarm of the passing ship had recalled them to the young man's mind,
though he felt shy as he found that Tam Armstrong was not asleep, but was
listening and watching with his keen gray eyes under their grizzled
brows.  Presently, when Ulysse was dropping to sleep again, the
ex-merchant began to ask questions with the intelligence of his shrewd
Scottish brains.

The stern Calvinism of the North was wont to consign to utter neglect the
outcast border of civilisation, where there were no decent parents to
pledge themselves; and Partan Jeannie's son had grown up well-nigh in
heathen ignorance among fisher lads and merchant sailors, till it had
been left for him to learn among the Mohammedans both temperance and
devotional habits.  His whole faith and understanding would have been
satisfied for ever; but there had been strange yearnings within him ever
since he had lost his wife and children, and these had not passed away
when Arthur Hope came in his path.  Like many another renegade, he could
not withstand the attraction of his native tongue; and in this case it
was doubled by the feudal attachment of the district to the family of
Burnside, and a grateful remembrance of the lady who had been one of the
very few persons who had ever done a kindly deed by the little outcast.
He had broken with all his Moslem ties for Arthur Hope's sake; and these
being left behind, he began to make some inquiries about that Christian
faith to which he must needs return--if return be the right word in the
case of one who knew it so little when he had abjured it.

And Arthur had not been bred to the grim reading of the doctrine of
predestination which had condemned poor Tam, even before he had embraced
the faith of the Prophet.  Boyish, and not over thoughtful, the youth,
when brought face to face with apostacy, had been ready to give life or
liberty rather than deny his Lord; and deepened by that great decision,
he could hold up that Lord and Redeemer in colours that made Tam see that
his clinging to his faith was not out of mere honour and constancy, but
that Mohammed had been a poor and wretched substitute for Him whom the
poor fellow had denied, not knowing what he did.

'Weel!' he said, 'gin the Deacon and the auld aunties had tellt me as
mickle about Him, thae Moors might ha' preached their thrapples sair for
Tam.  Mashallah!  Maister Arthur, do ye think, noo, He can forgie a puir
carle for turning frae Him an' disowning Him?'

'I am sure of it, Tam.  He forgives all who come to Him--and you--you did
it in ignorance.'

'And you trow na that I am a vessel of wrath, as they aye said?'

'No, no, no, Tam.  How could that be with one who has done what you have
for us?  There is good in you--noble goodness, Tam; and who could have
put it there but God, the Holy Spirit?  I believe myself He was leading
you all the time, though you did not know it; making you a better man
first, and now, through this brave kindness to us, bringing you back to
be a real true Christian and know Him.'

Arthur felt as if something put the words into his mouth, but he felt
them with all his heart, and the tears were in his eyes.

At sundown Tam grew restless.  Force of habit impelled him to turn to
Mecca and make his devotions as usual, and after nearly kneeling down on
the flat stone, he turned to Arthur and said, 'I canna wed do without the
bit prayer, sir.

'No, indeed, Tam.  Only let it be in the right Name.'

And Arthur knelt down beside him and said the Lord's Prayer--then, under
a spell of bashfulness, muttered special entreaty for protection and
safety.

They were to embark again now that darkness would veil their movements,
but the wind blew so much from the north that they could not raise the
sail.  The oars were taken by Tam and Fareek at first, but when they came
into difficult currents Arthur changed places with the former.

And thus the hours passed.  The Mediterranean may be in our eyes a
European lake, but it was quite large enough to be a desert of sea and
sky to the little crew of an open boat, even though they were favoured by
the weather.  Otherwise, indeed, they must have perished in the first
storm.  They durst not sail except by night, and then only with northerly
winds, nor could there be much rest, since they could not lay to, and
drift with the currents, lest they should be carried back to the African
coast.  Only one of the three men could sleep at a time, and that by one
of the others taking both oars, and in time this could not but become
very exhausting.  It was true that all the coasts to the north were of
Christian lands; but in their Moorish garments and in perfect ignorance
of Italian, strangers might fare no better in Sardinia or Sicily than in
Africa, and Spain might be no better; but Tam endeavoured to keep a north-
westerly course, thinking from what Arthur had said that in this
direction there was more chance of being picked up by a French vessel.
Would their strength and provisions hold out?  Of this there was serious
doubt.  Late in the year as it was, the heat and glare were as
distressing by day as was the cold by night, and the continued exertion
of rowing produced thirst, which made it very difficult to husband the
water in the skins.  Tam and Fareek were both tough, and inured to heat
and privation; but Arthur, scarce yet come to his full height, and far
from having attained proportionate robustness and muscular strength,
could not help flagging, though, whenever steering was of minor
importance, Tam gave him the rudder, moved by his wan looks, for he never
complained, even when fragments of dry goat's flesh almost choked his
parched mouth.  The boy was never allowed to want for anything save
water; but it was very hard to hear him fretting for it.  Tam took the
goatskin into his own keeping, and more than once uttered a rough
reproof, and yet Arthur saw him give the child half his own precious
ration when it must have involved grievous suffering.  The promise about
giving the cup of cold water to a little one could not but rise to his
lips.

'Cauld! and I wish it were cauld!' was all the response Tam made; but his
face showed some gratification.

This was no season for traffic, and they had barely seen a sail or two in
the distance, and these only such as the experienced eyes of the
ex-sponge merchant held to be dangerous.  Deadly lassitude began to seize
the young Scot; he began scarcely to heed what was to become of them, and
had not energy to try to console Ulysse, who, having in an unwatched
moment managed to swallow some sea water, was crying and wailing under
the additional misery he had inflicted on himself.  The sun beat down
with noontide force, when on that fourth day, turning from its scorching,
his languid eye espied a sail on the northern horizon.

'See,' he cried; 'that is not the way of the Moors.'

'Bismillah!  I beg your pardon, sir,' cried Tam, but said no more, only
looked intently.

Gradually, gradually the spectacle rose on their view fuller and fuller,
not the ruddy wings of the Algerine or Italian, but the square white
castle-like tiers of sails rising one above another, bearing along in a
south-easterly direction.

'English or French,' said Tam, with a long breath, for her colours and
build were not yet discernible.  'Mashallah!  I beg pardon.  I mean, God
grant she pass us not by!'

The mast was hastily raised, with Tam's turban unrolled, floating at the
top of it; and while he and Fareek plied their oars with might and main,
he bade Arthur fire off at intervals the blunderbuss, which had hitherto
lain idle at the bottom of the boat.

How long the intense suspense lasted they knew not ere Arthur cried,
'They are slackening sail!  Thank God.  Tam, you have saved us!  English!'

'Not so fast!' Tam uttered an Arabic and then a Scottish interjection.

Their signal had been seen by other eyes.  An unmistakable Algerine, with
the crescent flag, was bearing down on them from the opposite direction.

'Rascals.  Do they not dread the British flag?' cried Arthur.  'Surely
that will protect us?'

'They are smaller and lighter, and with their galley slaves can defy the
wind, and loup off like a flea in a blanket,' returned Tam, grimly.  'Mair
by token, they guess what we are, and will hold on to hae my life's bluid
if naething mair!  Here!  Gie us a soup of the water, and the last bite
of flesh.  'Twill serve us the noo, find we shall need it nae mair any
way.'

Arthur fed him, for he durst not slacken rowing for a moment.  Then
seeing Fareek, who had borne the brunt of the fatigue, looking spent, the
youth, after swallowing a few morsels and a little foul-smelling drink,
took the second oar, while double force seemed given to the long arms
lately so weary, and both pulled on in silent, grim desperation.  Ulysse
had given one scream at seeing the last of the water swallowed, but he
too, understood the situation, and obeyed Arthur's brief words, 'Kneel
down and pray for us, my boy.'

The Abyssinian was evidently doing the same, after having loaded the
blunderbuss; but it was no longer necessary to use this as a signal,
since the frigate had lowered her boat, which was rapidly coming towards
them.

But, alas! still more swiftly, as it seemed to those terrified eyes, came
the Moorish boat--longer, narrower, more favoured by currents and winds,
flying like a falcon towards its prey.  It was a fearful race.  Arthur's
head began to swim, his breath to labour, his arms to move stiffly as a
thresher's flail; but, just as power was failing him, an English cheer
came over the waters, and restored strength for a few more resolute
strokes.

Then came some puffs of smoke from the pirate's boat, a report, a jerk to
their own, a fresh dash forward, even as Fareek fired, giving a moment's
check to the enemy.  There was a louder cheer, several shots from the
English boat, a cloud from the ship's side.  Then Arthur was sensible of
a relaxation of effort, and that the chase was over, then that the
British boat was alongside, friendly voices ringing in his ears, 'How
now, mates?  Runaways, eh?  Where d'ye hail from?'

'Scottish!  British!' panted out Arthur, unable to utter more, faint,
giddy, and astounded by the cheers around him, and the hands stretched
out in welcome.  He scarcely saw or understood.

'Queer customers here!  What! a child!  Who are you, my little man?  And
what's this?  A Moor!  He's hit--pretty hard too.'

This brought back Arthur's reeling senses in one flash of horror, at the
sight of Tam, bleeding fast in the bottom of the boat.

'O Tam!  Tam!  He saved me!  He is Scottish too,' cried Arthur.  'Sir, is
he alive?'

'I think so,' said the officer, who had bent over Tam.  'We'll have him
aboard in a minute, and see what the doctor can do with him.  You seem to
have had a narrow escape.'

Arthur was too busy endeavouring to staunch the blood which flowed fast
from poor Tam's side to make much reply, but Ulysse, perched on the
officer's knee, was answering for him in mixed English and French.  'Moi,
je suis le Chevalier de Bourke!  My papa is ambassador to Sweden.  This
gentleman is his secretary.  We were shipwrecked--and M. Arture and I
swam away together.  The Moors were good to us, and wanted to make us
Moors; but M. Arture said it would be wicked.  And Yusuf bought him for a
slave; but that was only from _faire la comedie_.  He is _bon Chretien_
after all, and so is poor Fareek, only he is dumb.  Yusuf--that is,
Tam--made me all black, and changed me for his little negro boy; and we
got into the boat, and it was very hot, and oh!  I am so thirsty.  And
now M. Arture will take me to Monsieur mon Pere, and get me some nice
clothes again,' concluded the young gentleman, who, in this moment of
return to civilised society, had become perfectly aware of his own rank
and importance.

Arthur only looked up to verify the child's statements, which had much
struck the lieutenant.  Their boat had by this time been towed alongside
of the frigate, and poor Tam was hoisted on board, and the surgeon was
instantly at hand; but he said at once that the poor fellow was fast
dying, and that it would be useless torture to carry him below for
examination.

A few words passed with the captain, and then the little Chevalier was
led away to tell his own tale, which he was doing with a full sense of
his own importance; but presently the captain returned, and beckoned to
Arthur, who had been kneeling beside poor Tam, moistening his lips, and
bathing his face, as he lay gasping and apparently unconscious, except
that he had gripped hold of his broad sash or girdle when it was taken
off.

'The child tells me he is Comte de Bourke's son,' said the captain, in a
tentative manner, as if doubtful whether he should be understood, and
certainly Arthur looked more Moorish than European.

'Yes, sir!  He was on his way with his mother to join his father when we
were taken by a Moorish corsair.'

'But you are not French?' said the captain, recognising the tones.

'No, sir; Scottish--Arthur Maxwell Hope.  I was to have gone as the
Count's secretary.'

'You have escaped from the Moors?  I could not understand what the boy
said.  Where are the lady and the rest?'

Arthur as briefly as he could, for he was very anxious to return to poor
Tam, explained the wreck and the subsequent adventures, saying that he
feared the poor Countess was lost, but that he had seen her daughter and
some of her suite on a rock.  Captain Beresford was horrified at the idea
of a Christian child among the wild Arabs.  His station was Minorca, but
he had just been at the Bay of Rosas, where poor Comte de Bourke's
anxiety and distress about his wife and children were known, and he had
received a request amounting to orders to try to obtain intelligence
about them, so that he held it to be within his duty to make at once for
Djigheli Bay.

For further conversation was cut short by sounds of articulate speech
from poor Tam.  Arthur turned hastily, and the captain proceeded to give
his orders.

'Is Maister Hope here?'

'Here!  Yes.  O Tam, dear Tam, if I could do anything!' cried Arthur.

'I canna see that well,' said Tam, with a sound of anxiety.  'Where's my
sash?'

'This is it, in your own hand,' said Arthur, thinking he was wandering,
but the other hand sought one of the ample folds, which was sewn over,
and weighty.

'Tak' it; tak' tent of it; ye'll need the siller.  Four hunder piastres
of Tunis, not countin' zeechins, and other sma' coin.'

'Shall I send them to any one at Eyemouth?'

Tam almost laughed.  'Na, na; keep them and use them yersell, sir.
There's nane at hame that wad own puir Tam.  The leddy, your mither, an'
you hae been mair to me than a' beside that's above ground, and what wad
ye do wi'out the siller?'

'O Tam!  I owe all and everything to you.  And now--'

Tam looked up, as Arthur's utterance was choked, and a great tear fell on
his face.  'Wha wad hae said,' murmured he, 'that a son of Burnside wad
be greetin' for Partan Jeannie's son?'

'For my best friend.  What have you not saved me from! and I can do
nothing!'

'Nay, sir.  Say but thae words again.'

'Oh for a clergyman!  Or if I had a Bible to read you the promises.'

'You shall have one,' said the captain, who had returned to his side.  The
surgeon muttered that the lad seemed as good as a parson; but Arthur
heard him not, and was saying what prayers came to his mind in this
stress, when, even as the captain returned, the last struggle came on.
Once more Tam looked up, saying, 'Ye'll be good to puir Fareek;' and with
a word more, 'Oh, Christ: will He save such as I?' all was over.

'Come away, you can do nothing more,' said the doctor.  'You want looking
to yourself.'

For Arthur tottered as he tried to rise, and needed the captain's kind
hand as he gained his feet.  'Sir,' he said, as the tears gushed to his
eyes, 'he _does_ deserve all honour--my only friend and deliverer.'

'I see,' said Captain Beresford, much moved; 'whatever he has been, he
died a Christian.  He shall have Christian burial.  And this fellow?'
pointing to poor Fareek, whose grief was taking vent in moans and sobs.

'Christian--Abyssinian, but dumb,' Arthur explained; and having his
promise that all respect should be paid to poor Tam's corpse, he let the
doctor lead him away, for he had now time to feel how sun-scorched and
exhausted he was, with giddy, aching head, and legs cramped and stiff,
arms strained and shoulders painful after his three days and nights of
the boat.  His thirst, too, seemed unquenchable, in spite of drinks
almost unconsciously taken, and though hungry he had little will to eat.

The surgeon made him take a warm bath, and then fed him with soup, after
which, on a promise of being called in due time, he consented to deposit
himself in a hammock, and presently fell asleep.

When he awoke he found that clothes had been provided for him--naval
uniforms; but that could not be helped, and the comfort was great.  He
was refreshed, but still very stiff.  However, he dressed and was just
ready, when the surgeon came to see whether he were in condition to be
summoned, for it was near sundown, and all hands were piped up to attend
poor Tam's funeral rites.  His generous and faithful deed had eclipsed
the memory that he was a renegade, and, indeed, it had been in such
ignorance that he had had little to deny.

All the sailors stood as respectfully as if he had been one of themselves
while the captain read a portion of the Burial Office.  Such honours
would never have been his in his native land, where at that time even
Episcopalians themselves could not have ventured on any out-door rites;
and Arthur was thus doubly struck and impressed, when, as the corpse,
sewn in sail-cloth and heavily weighted, was launched into the blue
waves, he heard the words committing the body to the deep, till the sea
should give up her dead.  He longed to be able to translate them to poor
Fareek, who was weeping and howling so inconsolably as to attest how good
a master he had lost.

Perhaps Tam's newly-found or recovered Christianity might have been put
to hard shocks as to the virtues he had learnt among the Moslems.  At any
rate Arthur often had reason to declare in after life that the poor
renegade might have put many a better-trained Christian to shame.



CHAPTER X--ON BOARD THE 'CALYPSO'


      'From when this youth?
   His country, name, and birth declare!'

   SCOTT.

'You had forgotten this legacy, Mr. Hope,' said Captain Beresford, taking
Arthur into his cabin, 'and, judging by its weight, it is hardly to be
neglected.  I put it into my locker for security.'

'Thank you, sir,' said Arthur.  'The question is whether I ought to take
it.  I wished for your advice.'

'I heard what passed,' said the captain.  'I should call your right as
complete as if you had a will made by a half a dozen lawyers.  When we
get into port, a few crowns to the ship's company to drink your health,
and all will be right.  Will you count it?'

The folds were undone, and little piles made of the gold, but neither the
captain nor Arthur were much the wiser.  The purser might have computed
it, but Captain Beresford did not propose this, thinking perhaps that it
was safer that no report of a treasure should get abroad in the ship.

He made a good many inquiries, which he had deferred till Arthur should
be in a fitter condition for answering, first about the capture and
wreck, and what the young man had been able to gather about the
Cabeleyzes.  Then, as the replies showed that he had a gentleman before
him, Captain Beresford added that he could not help asking, '_Que diable
allait il faire dans cette galere_?'

'Sir,' said Arthur, 'I do not know whether you will think it your duty to
make me a prisoner, but I had better tell you the whole truth.'

'Oho!' said the captain; 'but you are too young!  You could never have
been out with--with--we'll call him the Chevalier.'

'I ran away from school,' replied Arthur, colouring.  'I was a mere boy,
and I never was attainted,' explained Arthur, blushing.  'I have been
with my Lord Nithsdale, and my mother thought I could safely come home,
and that if I came from Sweden my brother could not think I compromised
him.'

'Your brother?'

'Lord Burnside.  He is at Court, in favour, they say, with King George.
He is my half-brother; my mother is a Maxwell.'

'There is a Hope in garrison at Port Mahon--a captain,' said the captain.
'Perhaps he will advise you what to do if you are sick of Jacobite
intrigue and mystery, and ready to serve King George.'

Arthur's face lighted up.  'Will it be James Hope of Ryelands, or Dickie
Hope of the Lynn, or--?'

Captain Beresford held up his hands.

'Time must show that, my young friend,' he said, smiling.  'And now I
think the officers expect you to join their mess in the gunroom.'

There Arthur found the little Chevalier strutting about in an adaptation
of the smallest midshipman's uniform, and the centre of an admiring
party, who were equally diverted by his consequential airs and by his
accounts of his sports among the Moors.  Happy fellow, he could adapt
himself to any society, and was ready to be the pet and plaything of the
ship's company, believing himself, when he thought of anything beyond the
present, to be full on the road to his friends again.

Fareek was a much more difficult charge, for Arthur had hardly a word
that he could understand.  He found the poor fellow coiled up in a
corner, just where he had seen his former master's remains disappear,
still moaning and weeping bitterly.  As Arthur called to him he looked up
for a moment, then crawled forward, striking his forehead at intervals
against the deck.  He was about to kiss the feet of his former fellow-
slave, the glittering gold, blue, and white of whose borrowed dress no
doubt impressed him.  Arthur hastily started back, to the amazement of
the spectators, and called out a negative--one of the words sure to be
first learnt.  He tried to take Fareek's hand and raise him from his
abject attitude; but the poor fellow continued kneeling, and not only
were no words available to tell him that he was free, but it was
extremely doubtful whether freedom was any boon to him.  One thing,
however, he did evidently understand--he pointed to the St. George's
pennant with the red cross, made the sign, looked an interrogation, and
on Arthur's reply, 'Christians,' and reiteration of the word 'Salem,'
_peace_, he folded his arms and looked reassured.

'Ay, ay, my hearty,' said the big boatswain, 'ye've got under the old
flag, and we'll soon make you see the difference.  Cut out your poor
tongue, have they, the rascals, and made a dummy of you?  I wish my cat
was about their ears!  Come along with you, and you shall find what
British grog is made of.'

And a remarkable friendship arose between the two, the boatswain
patronising Fareek on every occasion, and roaring at him as if he were
deaf as well as dumb, and Fareek appearing quite confident under his
protection, and establishing a system of signs, which were fortunately a
universal language.  The Abyssinian evidently viewed himself as young
Hope's servant or slave, probably thinking himself part of his late
master's bequest, and there was no common language between them in which
to explain the difference or ascertain the poor fellow's wishes.  He was
a slightly-made, dexterous man, probably about five and twenty years of
age, and he caught up very quickly, by imitation, the care he could take
of Arthur's clothes, and the habit of waiting on him at meals.

Meantime the _Calypso_ held her course to the south-east, till the chart
declared the coast to be that of Djigheli Bay, and Arthur recognised the
headlands whither the unfortunate tartane had drifted to her destruction.
Anchoring outside the hay, Captain Beresford sent the first lieutenant,
Mr. Bullock, in the long-boat, with Arthur and a well-armed force, with
instructions to offer no violence, but to reconnoitre; and if they found
Mademoiselle de Bourke, or any others of the party, to do their best for
their release by promises of ransom or representations of the
consequences of detaining them.  Arthur was prepared to offer his own
piastres at once in case of need of immediate payment.  He was by this
time tolerably versed in the vernacular of the Mediterranean, and a
cook's boy, shipped at Gibraltar, was also supposed to be capable of
interpreting.

The beautiful bay, almost realising the description of AEneas' landing-
place, lay before them, the still green waters within reflecting the
fantastic rocks and the wreaths of verdure which crowned them, while the
white mountain-tops rose like clouds in the far distance against the
azure sky.  Arthur could only, however, think of all this fair scene as a
cruel prison, and those sharp rocks as the jaws of a trap, when he saw
the ribs of the tartane still jammed into the rock where she had struck,
and where he had saved the two children as they were washed up the
hatchway.  He saw the rock where the other three had clung, and where he
had left the little girl.  He remembered the crowd of howling, yelling
savages, leaping and gesticulating on the beach, and his heart trembled
as he wondered how it had ended.

Where were the Cabeleyzes who had thus greeted them?  The bay seemed
perfectly lonely.  Not a sound was to be heard but the regular dip of the
oars, the cry of a startled bird, and the splash of a flock of seals,
which had been sunning themselves on the shore, and which floundered into
the sea like Proteus' flock of yore before Ulysses.  Would that Proteus
himself had still been there to be captured and interrogated!  For the
place was so entirely deserted that, saving for the remains of the wreck,
he must have believed himself mistaken in the locality, and the
lieutenant began to question him whether it had been daylight when he
came ashore.

Could the natives have hidden themselves at sight of an armed vessel?  Mr.
Bullock resolved on landing, very cautiously, and with a sufficient
guard.  On the shore some fragments of broken boxes and packing cases
appeared; and a sailor pointed out the European lettering painted on
one--sse de B---.  It plainly was part of the address to the Comtesse de
Bourke.  This encouraged the party in their search.  They ascended the
path which poor Hebert and Lanty Callaghan had so often painfully
climbed, and found themselves before the square of reed hovels, also
deserted, but with black marks where fires had been lighted, and with
traces of recent habitation.

Arthur picked up a rag of the Bourke livery, and another of a brocade
which he had seen the poor Countess wearing.  Was this all the relic that
he should ever be able to take to her husband?

He peered about anxiously in hopes of discovering further tokens, and Mr.
Bullock was becoming impatient of his lingering, when suddenly his eye
was struck by a score on the bark of a chestnut tree like a cross, cut
with a feeble hand.  Beneath, close to the trunk, was a stone, beyond the
corner of which appeared a bit of paper.  He pounced upon it.  It was the
title-page of Estelle's precious Telemaque, and on the back was written
in French, If any good Christian ever finds this, I pray him to carry it
to M. the French Consul at Algiers.  We are five poor prisoners, the Abbe
de St. Eudoce, Estelle, daughter of the Comte de Bourke, and our
servants, Jacques Hebert, Laurent Callaghan, Victorine Renouf.  The
Cabeleyzes are taking us away to their mountains.  We are in slavery, in
hunger, filth, and deprivation of all things.  We pray day and night that
the good God will send some one to rescue us, for we are in great misery,
and they persecute us to make us deny our faith.  O, whoever you may be,
come and deliver us while we are yet alive.'

Arthur was almost choked with tears as he translated this piteous letter
to the lieutenant, and recollected the engaging, enthusiastic little
maiden, as he had seen her on the Rhone, but now brought to such a state.
He implored Mr. Bullock to pursue the track up the mountain, and was
grieved at this being treated as absurdly impossible, but then
recollecting himself, 'You could not, sir, but I might follow her and
make them understand that she must be saved--'

'And give them another captive,' said Bullock; 'I thought you had had
enough of that.  You will do more good to this flame of yours--'

'No flame, sir.  She is a mere child, little older than her brother.  But
she must not remain among these lawless savages.'

'No!  But we don't throw the helve after the hatchet, my lad!  All you
can do is to take this epistle to the French Consul, who might find it
hard to understand without your explanations.  At any rate, my orders are
to bring you safe on board again.'

Arthur had no choice but to submit, and Captain Beresford, who had a wife
and children at home, was greatly touched by the sight of the childish
writing of the poor little motherless girl; above all when Arthur
explained that the high-sounding title of Abbe de St. Eudoce only meant
one who was more likely to be a charge than a help to her.

France was for the nonce allied with England, and the dread of passing to
Sweden through British seas had apparently been quite futile, since, if
Captain Beresford recollected the Irish blood of the Count, it was only
as an additional cause for taking interest in him.  Towards the Moorish
pirates the interest of the two nations united them.  It was intolerable
to think of the condition of the captives; and the captain, anxious to
lose no time, rejoiced that his orders were such as to justify him in
sailing at once for Algiers to take effectual measures with the consul
before letting the family know the situation of the poor Demoiselle de
Bourke.



CHAPTER XI--THE PIRATE CITY


   'With dazed vision unawares
   From the long alley's latticed shade
   Emerged, I came upon the great
   Pavilion of the Caliphat.
   Right to the carven cedarn doors,
   Flung inward over spangled floors,
   Broad-based flights of marble stairs
   Ran up with golden balustrade,
      After the fashion of the time,
      And humour of the golden prime
         Of good Haroun Alraschid.'

   TENNYSON.

Civilised and innocuous existence has no doubt been a blessing to Algiers
as well as to the entire Mediterranean, but it has not improved the
picturesqueness of its aspect any more than the wild and splendid 'tiger,
tiger burning bright,' would be more ornamental with his claws pared, the
fiery gleam of his yellow eyes quenched, and his spirit tamed, so as to
render him only an exaggerated domestic cat.  The steamer, whether of
peace or war, is a melancholy substitute for the splendid though sinister
galley, with her ranks of oars and towers of canvas, or for the dainty
lateen-sailed vessels, skimming the waters like flying fish, and the
Frank garb ill replaces the graceful Arab dress.  The Paris-like block of
houses ill replaces the graceful Moorish architecture, undisturbed when
the _Calypso_ sailed into the harbour, and the amphitheatre-like city
rose before her, in successive terraces of dazzling white, interspersed
with palms and other trees here and there, with mosques and minarets
rising above them, and with a crown of strong fortifications.  The
harbour itself was protected by a strongly-fortified mole, and some
parley passed with the governor of the strong and grim-looking castle
adjacent--a huge round tower erected by the Spaniards, and showing three
ranks of brazen teeth in the shape of guns.

Finally, the Algerines having been recently brought to their bearings, as
Captain Beresford said, entrance was permitted, and the _Calypso_ enjoyed
the shelter of the mole; while he, in full-dress uniform, took boat and
went ashore, and with him the two escaped prisoners.  Fareek remained on
board till the English Consul could be consulted on his fate.

England and France were on curious terms with Algiers.  The French had
bombarded the city in 1686, and had obtained a treaty by which a consul
constantly resided in the city, and the persons and property of French
subjects were secured from piracy, or if captured were always released.
The English had made use of the possession of Gibraltar and Minorca to
enforce a like treaty.  There was a little colony of European
merchants--English, French, and Dutch--in the lower town, near the
harbour, above which the Arab town rose, as it still rises, in a steep
stair.  Ships of all these nations traded at the port, and quite recently
the English Consul, Thomas Thompson by name, had vindicated the honour of
his flag by citing before the Dey a man who had insulted him on the
narrow causeway of the mole.  The Moor was sentenced to receive 2200
strokes of bastinado on the feet, 1000 the first day, 1200 on the second,
and he died in consequence, so that Englishmen safely walked the narrow
streets.  The Dey who had inflicted this punishment was, however, lately
dead.  Mehemed had been elected and installed by the chief Janissaries,
and it remained to be proved whether he would show himself equally
anxious to be on good terms with the Christian Powers.

Arthur's heart had learnt to beat at sight of the British ensign with
emotions very unlike those with which he had seen it wave at Sheriffmuir;
but it looked strange above the low walls of a Moorish house, plain
outside, but with a richly cusped and painted horse-shoe arch at the
entrance to a lovely cloistered court, with a sparkling fountain
surrounded by orange trees with fruit of all shades from green to gold.
Servants in white garments and scarlet fezzes, black, brown, or white (by
courtesy), seemed to swarm in all directions; and one of them called a
youth in European garb, but equally dark-faced with the rest, and not too
good an English scholar.  However, he conducted them through a still more
beautiful court, lined with brilliant mosaics in the spandrels of the
exquisite arches supported on slender shining marble columns.

Mr. Thompson's English coat and hearty English face looked incongruous,
as at sight of the blue and white uniform he came forward with all the
hospitable courtesy due to a post-captain.  There was shaking of hands,
and doffing of cocked hats, and calling for wine, and pipes, and coffee,
in the Alhambra-like hall, where a table covered with papers tied with
red tape, in front of a homely leathern chair, looked more homelike than
suitable.  Other chairs there were for Frank guests, who preferred them
to the divan and piles of cushions on which the Moors transacted
business.

'What can I do for you, sir?' he asked of the captain, 'or for this
little master,' he added, looking at Ulysse, who was standing by Arthur.
'He is serving the King early.'

'I don't belong to your King George,' broke out the young gentleman.  'He
is an _usurpateur_.  I have only this uniform on till I can get my proper
clothes.  I am the son of the Comte de Bourke, Ambassador to Spain and
Sweden.  I serve no one but King Louis!'

'That is plain to be seen!' said Mr. Thompson.  'The Gallic cock crows
early.  But is he indeed the son of Count Bourke, about whom the French
Consul has been in such trouble?'

'Even so, sir,' replied the captain.  'I am come to ask you to present
him, with this gentleman, Mr. Hope, to your French colleague.  Mr. Hope,
to whom the child's life and liberty are alike owing, has information to
give which may lead to the rescue of the boy's sister and uncle with
their servants.'

Mr. Thompson had heard of a Moorish galley coming in with an account of
having lost a Genoese prize, with ladies on board, in the late storm.  He
was sure that the tidings Mr. Hope brought would be most welcome, but he
knew that the French Consul was gone up with a distinguished visitor, M.
Dessault, for an audience of the Dey; and, in the meantime, his guests
must dine with him.  And Arthur narrated his adventures.

The Consul shook his head when he heard of Djigheli Bay.

'Those fellows, the Cabeleyzes, hate the French, and make little enough
of the Dey, though they do send home Moors who fall into their hands.  Did
you see a ruined fort on a promontory?  That was the Bastion de France.
The old King Louis put it up and garrisoned it, but these rogues
contrived a surprise, and made four hundred prisoners, and ever since
they have been neither to have nor to hold.  Well for you, young
gentleman, that you did not fall into their hands, but those of the
country Moors--very decent folk--descended, they say, from the Spanish
Moors.  A renegade got you off, did he?  Yes, they will sometimes do
that, though at an awful risk.  If they are caught, they are hung up
alive on hooks to the walls.  You had an escape, I can tell you, and so
had he, poor fellow, of being taken alive.'

'He knew the risk!' said Arthur, in a low voice; 'but my mother had once
been good to him, and he dared everything for me.'

The Consul readily estimated Arthur's legacy as amounting to little less
than 200 pounds, and was also ready to give him bills of exchange for it.
The next question was as to Fareek.  To return him to his own country was
impossible; and though the Consul offered to buy him of Arthur, not only
did the young Scot revolt at the idea of making traffic of the faithful
fellow, but Mr. Thompson owned that there might be some risk in Algiers
of his being recognised as a runaway; and though this was very slight, it
was better not to give any cause of offence.  Captain Beresford thought
the poor man might be disposed of at Port Mahon, and Arthur kept to
himself that Tam's bequest was sacred to him.  His next wish was for
clothes to which he might have a better right than to the uniform of the
senior midshipman of H.M.S. _Calypso_--a garb in which he did not like to
appear before the French Consul.  Mr. Thompson consulted his Greek clerk,
and a chest belonging to a captured merchantman, which had been claimed
as British property, but had not found an owner, was opened, and proved
to contain a wardrobe sufficient to equip Arthur like other gentlemen of
the day, in a dark crimson coat, with a little gold lace about it, and
the rest of the dress white, a wide beaver hat, looped up with a rosette,
and everything, indeed, except shoes, and he was obliged to retain those
of the senior midshipman.  With his dark hair tied back, and a suspicion
of powder, he found himself more like the youth whom Lady Nithsdale had
introduced in Madame de Varennes' _salon_ than he had felt for the last
month; and, moreover, his shyness and awkwardness had in great measure
disappeared during his vicissitudes, and he had made many steps towards
manhood.

Ulysse had in the meantime been consigned to a kind, motherly, portly
Mrs. Thompson, who, accustomed as she was to hearing of strange
adventures, was aghast at what the child had undergone, and was enchanted
with the little French gentleman who spoke English so well, and to whom
his Grand Seigneur airs returned by instinct in contact with a European
lady; but his eye instantly sought Arthur, nor would he be content
without a seat next to his protector at the dinner, early as were all
dinners then, and a compound of Eastern and Western dishes, the latter
very welcome to the travellers, and affording the Consul's wife themes of
discourse on her difficulties in compounding them.

Pipes, siesta, and coffee followed, Mr. Thompson assuring them that his
French colleague would not be ready to receive them till after the like
repose had been undergone, and that he had already sent a billet to
announce their coming.

The French Consulate was not distant.  The _fleur-de-lis_ waved over a
house similar to Mr. Thompson's, but they were admitted with greater
ceremony, when Mr. Thompson at length conducted them.  Servants and
slaves, brown and black, clad in white with blue sashes, and white
officials in blue liveries, were drawn up in the first court in two lines
to receive them; and the Chevalier, taking it all to himself, paraded in
front with the utmost grandeur, until, at the next archway, two
gentlemen, resplendent in gold lace, came forward with low bows.  At
sight of the little fellow there were cries of joy.  M. Dessault spread
out his arms, clasped the child to his breast, and shed tears over him,
so that the less emotional Englishmen thought at first that they must be
kinsmen.  However, Arthur came in for a like embrace as the boy's
preserver; and if Captain Beresford had not stepped back and looked
uncomprehending and rigid he might have come in for the same.

Seated in the verandah, Arthur told his tale and presented the letter,
over which there were more tears, as, indeed, well there might be over
the condition of the little girl and her simple mode of describing it.  It
was nearly a month since the corsair had arrived, and the story of the
Genoese tartane being captured and lost with French ladies on board had
leaked out.  The French Consul had himself seen and interrogated the
Dutch renegade captain, had become convinced of the identity of the
unfortunate passengers, and had given up all hopes of them, so that he
greeted the boy as one risen from the dead.

To know that the boy's sister and uncle were still in the hands of the
Cabeleyzes was almost worse news than the death of his mother, for this
wild Arab tribe had a terrible reputation even among the Moors and Turks.

The only thing that could be devised after consultation between the two
consuls, the French envoy, and the English captain, was that an audience
should be demanded of the Dey, and Estelle's letter presented the next
morning.  Meanwhile Arthur and Ulysse were to remain as guests at the
English Consulate.  The French one would have made them welcome, but
there was no lady in his house; and Mrs. Thompson had given Arthur a hint
that his little charge would be the better for womanly care.

There was further consultation whether young Hope, as a runaway slave--who
had, however, carried off a relapsed renegade with him--would be safe on
shore beyond the precincts of the Consulate; but as no one had any claim
on him, and it might be desirable to have his evidence at hand, it was
thought safe that he should remain, and Captain Beresford promised to
come ashore in the morning to join the petitioners to the Dey.

Perhaps he was not sorry, any more than was Arthur, for the opportunity
of beholding the wonderful city and palace, which were like a dream of
beauty.  He came ashore early, with two or three officers, all in full
uniform; and the audience having been granted, the whole party--consuls,
M. Dessault, and their attendants--mounted the steep, narrow stone steps
leading up the hill between the walls of houses with fantastically carved
doorways or lattices; while bare-legged Arabs niched themselves into
every coigne of vantage with baskets of fruit or eggs, or else
embroidering pillows and slippers with exquisite taste.

The beauty of the buildings was unspeakable, and they projected enough to
make a cool shade--only a narrow fragment of deep blue sky being visible
above them.  The party did not, however, ascend the whole 497 steps, as
the abode of the Dey was then not the citadel, but the palace of Djenina
in the heart of the city.  Turning aside, they made their way thither
over terraces partly in the rock, partly on the roofs of houses.

Fierce-looking Janissaries, splendidly equipped, guarded the entrance,
with an air so proud and consequential as to remind Arthur of poor
Yusuf's assurances of the magnificence that might await little Ulysse as
an Aga of that corps.  Even as they admitted the infidels they looked
defiance at them from under the manifold snowy folds of their mighty
turbans.

{The pirate city: p0.jpg}

If the beauty of the consuls' houses had struck and startled Arthur, far
more did the region into which he was now admitted seem like a dream of
fairyland as he passed through ranks of orange trees round sparkling
fountains--worthy of Versailles itself--courts surrounded with cloisters,
sparkling with priceless mosaics, in those brilliant colours which
Eastern taste alone can combine so as to avoid gaudiness, arches and
columns of ineffable grace and richness, halls with domes emulating the
sky, or else ceiled with white marble lacework, whose tracery seemed
delicate and varied as the richest Venice point!  But the wonderful
beauty seemed to him to have in it something terrible and weird, like
that fairyland of his native country, whose glory and charm is
overshadowed by the knowledge of the teinds to be paid to hell.  It was
an unnatural, incomprehensible world; and from longing to admire and
examine, he only wished to be out of it, felt it a relief to fix his eyes
upon the uniforms of the captain and the consuls, and did not wonder that
Ulysse, instead of proudly heading the procession, shrank up to him and
clasped his hand as his protector.

The human figures were as strange as the architecture; the glittering of
Janissaries in the outer court, which seemed a sort of guardroom, the
lines of those on duty in the next, and in the third court the black
slaves in white garments, enhancing the blackness of their limbs, each
with a formidable curved scimitar.  At the golden cusped archway beyond,
all had to remove their shoes as though entering a mosque.  The Consuls
bade the new-comers submit to this, adding that it was only since the
recent victory that it had not been needful to lay aside the sword on
entering the Dey's august presence.  The chamber seemed to the eyes of
the strangers one web of magic splendour--gold-crusted lacework above,
arches on one side open to a beauteous garden, and opposite semicircles
of richly-robed Janissary officers, all culminating in a dazzling throne,
where sat a white-turbaned figure, before whom the visitors all had to
bow lower than European independence could well brook.

The Dey's features were not very distinctly seen at the distance where
etiquette required them to stand; but Arthur thought him hardly worthy to
be master of such fine-looking beings as Abou Ben Zegri and many others
of the Moors, being in fact a little sturdy Turk, with Tartar features,
not nearly so graceful as the Moors and Arabs, nor so handsome and
imposing as the Janissaries of Circassian blood.  Turkish was the court
language; and even if he understood any other, an interpreter was a
necessary part of the etiquette.  M. Dessault instructed the interpreter,
who understood with a readiness which betrayed that he was one of the
many renegades in the Algerine service.

The Dey was too dignified to betray much emotion; but he spoke a few
words, and these were understood to profess his willingness to assist in
the matter.  A richly-clad official, who was, Mr. Thompson whispered, a
Secretary of State, came to attend the party in a smaller but equally
beautiful room, where pipes and coffee were served, and a consultation
took place with the two Consuls, which was, of course, incomprehensible
to the anxious listeners.  M. Dessault's interest was deeply concerned in
the matter, since he was a connection of the Varennes family, to which
poor Madame de Bourke belonged.

Commands from the Dey, it was presently explained, would be utterly
disregarded by these wild mountaineers--nay, would probably lead to the
murder of the captives in defiance.  But it was known that if these wild
beings paid deference to any one, it was to the Grand Marabout at Bugia;
and the Secretary promised to send a letter in the Dey's name, which,
with a considerable present, might induce him to undertake the
negotiation.  Therewith the audience terminated, after M. Dessault had
laid a splendid diamond snuff-box at the feet of the Secretary.

The Consuls were somewhat disgusted at the notion of having recourse to
the Marabouts, whom the French Consul called _vilains charlatan_, and the
English one filthy scoundrels and impostors.  Like the Indian Fakirs,
opined Captain Beresford; like the begging friars, said M. Dessault, and
to this the Consuls assented.  Just, however, as the Dominicans, besides
the low class of barefooted friars, had a learned and cultivated set of
brethren in high repute at the Universities, and a general at Rome, so it
appeared that the Marabouts, besides their wild crew of masterful
beggars, living at free quarters, partly through pretended sanctity,
partly through the awe inspired by cabalistic arts, had a higher class
who dwelt in cities, and were highly esteemed, for the sake of either ten
years' abstinence from food or the attainment of fifty sciences, by one
or other of which means an angelic nature was held to be attained.

Fifty sciences!  This greatly astonished the strangers, but they were
told by the residents that all the knowledge of the highly cultivated
Arabs of Bagdad and the Moors of Spain had been handed on to the select
few of their African descendants, and that really beautiful poetry was
still produced by the Marabouts.  Certainly no one present could doubt of
the architectural skill and taste of the Algerines, and Mr. Thompson
declared that not a tithe of the wonders of their mechanical art had been
seen, describing the wonderful silver tree of Tlemcen, covered with
birds, who, by the action of wind, were made to produce the songs of each
different species which they represented, till a falcon on the topmost
branch uttered a harsh cry, and all became silent.  General education
had, however, fallen to a low ebb among the population, and the wisdom of
the ancients was chiefly concentrated among the higher class of
Marabouts, whose headquarters were at Bugia, and their present chief,
Hadji Eseb Ben Hassan, had the reputation of a saint, which the Consuls
believed to be well founded.

The Cabeleyzes, though most irregular Moslems, were extremely
superstitious as regarded the supernatural arts supposed to be possessed
by the Marabouts, and if these could be induced to take up the cause of
the prisoners, there would be at least some chance of their success.

And not long after the party had arrived at the French Consulate, where
they were to dine, a messenger arrived with a parcel rolled up in silk,
embroidered with gold, and containing a strip of paper beautifully
emblazoned, and in Turkish characters.  The Consul read it, and found it
to be a really strong recommendation to the Marabout to do his utmost for
the servants of the Dey's brother, the King of France, now in the hands
of the children of Shaitan.

'Well purchased,' said M. Dessault; 'though that snuff-box came from the
hands of the Elector of Bavaria!'

As soon as the meal was over, the French Consul, instead of taking his
siesta as usual, began to take measures for chartering a French tartane
to go to Bugia immediately.  He found there was great interest excited,
not only among the Christian merchants, but among Turks, Moors, and Jews,
so horrible was the idea of captivity among the Cabeleyzes.  The Dey set
the example of sending down five purses of sequins towards the young
lady's ransom, and many more contributions came in unasked.  It was true
that the bearers expected no small consideration in return, but this was
willingly given, and the feeling manifested was a perfect astonishment to
all the friends at the Consulate.

The French national interpreter, Ibrahim Aga, was charged with the
negotiations with the Marabout.  Arthur entreated to go with him, and
with some hesitation this was agreed to, since the sight of an old friend
might be needed to reassure any survivors of the poor captives--for it
was hardly thought possible that all could still survive the hardships of
the mountains in the depth of winter, even if they were spared by the
ferocity of their captors.

Ulysse, the little son and heir, was not to be exposed to the perils of
the seas till his sister's fate was decided, and accordingly he was to
remain under the care of Mrs. Thompson; while Captain Beresford meant to
cruise about in the neighbourhood, having a great desire to know the
result of the enterprise, and hoping also that if Mademoiselle de Bourke
still lived he might be permitted to restore her to her relations.
Letters, clothes, and comforts were provided, and placed under the charge
of the interpreter and of Arthur, together with a considerable gratuity
for the Marabout, and authority for any ransom that Cabeleyze rapacity
might require,--still, however, with great doubt whether all might not be
too late.



CHAPTER XII--ON THE MOUNTAINS


   'We cannot miss him.  He doth make our fire,
   Fetch in our wood, and serve in offices
   That profit us.'

   _Tempest_.

Bugia, though midway on the 'European lake,' is almost unknown to modern
travellers, though it has become a French possession.

It looked extremely beautiful when the French tartane entered it, rising
from the sea like a magnificent amphitheatre, at the foot of the
mountains that circled round it, and guarded by stern battlemented
castles, while the arches of one of the great old Roman aqueducts made a
noble cord to the arc described by the lower part of the town.

The harbour, a finer one naturally than that of Algiers, contained
numerous tartanes and other vessels, for, as Ibrahim Aga, who could talk
French very well, informed Arthur, the inhabitants were good workers in
iron, and drove a trade in plough-shares and other implements, besides
wax and oil.  But it was no resort of Franks, and he insisted that Arthur
should only come on shore in a Moorish dress, which had been provided at
Algiers.  Thanks to young Hope's naturally dark complexion, and the
exposure of the last month, he might very well pass for a Moor: and he
had learnt to wear the white caftan, wide trousers, broad sash, and
scarlet fez, circled with muslin, so naturally that he was not likely to
be noticed as a European.

The city, in spite of its external beauty, proved to be ruinous within,
and in the midst of the Moorish houses and courts still were visible
remnants of the old Roman town that had in past ages flourished there.
Like Algiers, it had narrow climbing streets, excluding sunshine, and
through these the guide Ibrahim had secured led the way; while in single
file came the interpreter, Arthur, two black slaves bearing presents for
the Marabout, and four men besides as escort.  Once or twice there was a
vista down a broader space, with an awning over it, where selling and
buying were going on, always of some single species of merchandise.

Thus they arrived at one of those Moorish houses, to whose beauty Arthur
was becoming accustomed.  It had, however, a less luxurious and grave
aspect than the palaces of Algiers, and the green colour sacred to the
Prophet prevailed in the inlaid work, which Ibrahim Aga told him
consisted chiefly of maxims from the Koran.

No soldiers were on guard, but there were a good many young men wholly
clad in white--neophytes endeavouring to study the fifty sciences, mostly
sitting on the ground, writing copies, either of the sacred books, or of
the treatises on science and medicine which had descended from time
almost immemorial; all rehearsed aloud what they learnt or wrote, so as
to produce a strange hum.  A grave official, similarly clad, but with a
green sash, came to meet them, and told them that the chief Marabout was
sick; but on hearing from the interpreter that they were bearers of a
letter from the Dey, he went back with the intelligence, and presently
returned salaaming very low, to introduce them to another of the large
halls with lacework ceilings, where it was explained that the Grand
Marabout was, who was suffering from ague.  The fit was passing off, and
he would be able to attend of the coffee and the pipes which were
presented to his honoured guests so soon as they had partaken them.

After a delay, very trying to Arthur's anxiety, though beguiled by such
coffee and tobacco as he was never likely to encounter again, Hadji Eseb
Ben Hassan, a venerable-looking man, appeared, with a fine white beard
and keen eyes, slenderly formed, and with an air of very considerable
ability--much more so than the Dey, in all his glittering splendour of
gold, jewels, and embroidery, whereas this old man wore the pure white
woollen garments of the Moor, with the green sash, and an emerald to
fasten the folds of his white turban.

Ibrahim Aga prostrated himself as if before the Dey, and laid before the
Marabout, as a first gift, a gold watch; then, after a blessing had been
given in return, he produced with great ceremony the Dey's letter, to
which every one in the apartment did obeisance by touching the floor with
their foreheads, and the Grand Marabout further rubbed it on his brow
before proceeding to read it, which he chose to do for himself, chanting
it out in a low, humming voice.  It was only a recommendation, and the
other letter was from the French Consul containing all particulars.  The
Marabout seemed much startled, and interrogated the interpreter.  Arthur
could follow them in some degree, and presently the keen eye of the old
man seemed to detect his interest, for there was a pointing to him, an
explanation that he had been there, and presently Hadji Eseb addressed a
question to him in the vernacular Arabic.  He understood and answered,
but the imperfect language or his looks betrayed him, for Hadji Eseb
demanded, 'Thou art Frank, my son?'

Ibrahim Aga, mortally afraid of the consequences of having brought a
disguised Giaour into these sacred precincts, began what Arthur perceived
to be a lying assurance of his having embraced Islam; and he was on the
point of breaking in upon the speech, when the Marabout observed his
gesture, and said gravely, 'My son, falsehood is not needed to shield a
brave Christian; a faithful worshipper of Issa Ben Mariam receives honour
if he does justice and works righteousness according to his own creed,
even though he be blind to the true faith.  Is it true, good youth, that
thou art--not as this man would have me believe--one of the crew from
Algiers, but art come to strive for the release of thy sister?'

Arthur gave the history as best he could, for his month's practice had
made him able to speak the vernacular so as to be fairly comprehensible,
and the Marabout, who was evidently a man of very high abilities, often
met him half way, and suggested the word at which he stumbled.  He was
greatly touched by the account, even in the imperfect manner in which the
youth could give it; and there was no doubt that he was a man of enlarged
mind and beneficence, who had not only mastered the fifty sciences, but
had seen something of the world.

He had not only made his pilgrimage to Mecca more than once, but had been
at Constantinople, and likewise at Tunis and Tripoli; thus, with powers
both acute and awake, he understood more than his countrymen of European
Powers and their relation to one another.  As a civilised and cultivated
man, he was horrified at the notion of the tenderly-nurtured child being
in the clutches of savages like the Cabeleyzes; but the first difficulty
was to find out where she was; for, as he said, pointing towards the
mountains, they were a wide space, and it would be hunting a partridge on
the hills.

Looking at his chief councillor, Azim Reverdi, he demanded whether some
of the wanderers of their order, whom he named, could not be sent through
the mountains to discover where any such prisoners might be; but after
going into the court in quest of these persons, Azim returned with
tidings that a Turkish soldier had returned on the previous day to the
town, and had mentioned that on Mount Couco, Sheyk Abderrahman was almost
at war with his subordinates, Eyoub and Ben Yakoub, about some
shipwrecked Frank captives, if they had not already settled the matter by
murdering them all, and, as was well known, nothing would persuade this
ignorant, lawless tribe that nothing was more abhorrent to the Prophet
than human sacrifices.

Azim had already sent two disciples to summon the Turk to the presence of
the Grand Marabout, and in due time he appeared--a rough, heavy,
truculent fellow enough, but making awkward salaams as one in great awe
of the presence in which he stood--unwilling awe perhaps--full of
superstitious fear tempered by pride--for the haughty Turks revolted
against homage to one of the subject race of Moors.

His language was only now and then comprehensible to Arthur, but Ibrahim
kept up a running translation into French for his benefit.

There were captives--infidels--saved from the wreck, he knew not how
many, but he was sure of one--a little maid with hair like the unwound
cocoon, so that they called her the Daughter of the Silkworm.  It was
about her that the chief struggle was.  She had fallen to the lot of Ben
Yakoub, who had been chestnut-gathering by the sea at the time of the
wreck; but when he arrived on Mount Couco the Sheyk Abderrahman had
claimed her and hers as the head of the tribe, and had carried her off to
his own adowara in the valley of Ein Gebel.

The Turk, Murad, had been induced by Yakoub to join him and sixteen more
armed men whom he had got together to demand her.  For it was he who had
rescued her from the waves, carried her up the mountains, fed her all
this time, and he would not have her snatched away from him, though for
his part Murad thought it would have been well to be quit of them, for
not only were they Giaours, but he verily believed them to be of the race
of Jinns.  The little fair-haired maid had papers with strange signs on
them.  She wrote--actually wrote--a thing that he believed no Sultana
Velide even had ever been known to do at Stamboul.  Moreover, she twisted
strings about on her hands in a manner that was fearful to look at.  It
was said to be only to amuse the children, but for his part he believed
it was for some evil spell.  What was certain was that the other, a woman
full grown, could, whenever any one offended her, raise a Jinn in a cloud
of smoke, which caused such sneezing that she was lost sight of.  And yet
these creatures had so bewitched their captors that there were like to be
hard blows before they were disposed of, unless his advice were taken to
make an end of them altogether.  Indeed, two of the men, the mad Santon
and the chief slave, had been taken behind a bush to be sacrificed, when
the Daughter of the Silkworm came between with her incantations, and fear
came upon Sheyk Yakoub.  Murad evidently thought it highly advisable that
the chief Marabout should intervene to put a stop to these doings, and
counteract the mysterious influence exercised by these strange beings.

High time, truly, Arthur and Ibrahim Aga likewise felt it, to go to the
rescue, since terror and jealousy might, it appeared, at any time impel
_ces barbares feroces_, as Ibrahim called them, to slaughter their
prisoners.  To their great joy, the Marabout proved to be of the same
opinion, in spite of his sickness, which, being an intermitting ague,
would leave him free for a couple of days, and might be driven off by the
mountain air.  He promised to set forth early the next day, and kept the
young man and the interpreter as his guests for the night, Ibrahim going
first on board to fetch the parcel of clothes and provisions which M.
Dessault had sent for the Abbe and Mademoiselle de Bourke, and for an
instalment of the ransom, which the Hadji Eseb assured him might safely
be carried under his own sacred protection.

Arthur did not see much of his host, who seemed to be very busy
consulting with his second in command on the preparations, for probably
the expedition was a delicate undertaking, even for him, and his
companions had to be carefully chosen.

Ibrahim had advised Arthur to stay quietly where he was, and not venture
into the city, and he spent his time as he best might by the help of a
_narghile_, which was hospitably presented to him, though the strictness
of Marabout life forbade the use alike of tobacco and coffee.

Before dawn the courts of the house were astir.  Mules, handsomely
trapped, were provided to carry the principal persons of the party
wherever it might be possible, and there were some spare ones, ridden at
first by inferiors, but intended for the captives, should they be
recovered.

It was very cold, being the last week in November, and all were wrapped
in heavy woollen haiks over their white garments, except one wild-looking
fellow, whose legs and arms were bare, and who only seemed to possess one
garment of coarse dark sackcloth.  He skipped and ran by the side of the
mules, chanting and muttering, and Ibrahim observed in French that he was
one of the Sunakites, or fanatic Marabouts, and advised Arthur to beware
of him; but, though dangerous in himself, his presence would be a
sufficient protection from all other thieves or vagabonds.  Indeed,
Arthur saw the fellow glaring unpleasantly at him, when the sun summoned
all the rest to their morning devotions.  He was glad that he had made
the fact of his Christianity known, for he could no more act Moslem than
_be_ one, and Hadji Eseb kept the Sunakite in check by a stern glance, so
that no harm ensued.

Afterwards Arthur was bidden to ride near the chief, who talked a good
deal, asking intelligent questions.  Gibraltar had impressed him greatly,
and it also appeared that in one of his pilgrimages the merchant vessel
he was in had been rescued from some Albanian pirates by an English ship,
which held the Turks as allies, and thus saved them from undergoing
vengeance for the sufferings of the Greeks.  Thus the good old man felt
that he owed a debt of gratitude which Allah required him to pay, even to
the infidel.

Up steep roads the mules climbed.  The first night the halt was at a
Cabyle village, where hospitality was eagerly offered to persons of such
high reputation for sanctity as the Marabouts; but afterwards habitations
grew more scanty as the ground rose higher, and there was no choice but
to encamp in the tents brought by the attendants, and which seemed to
Arthur a good exchange for the dirty Cabyle huts.

Altogether the journey took six days.  The mules climbed along wild paths
on the verge of giddy precipices, where even on foot Arthur would have
hesitated to venture.  The scenery would now be thought magnificent, but
it was simply frightful to the mind of the early eighteenth century,
especially when a constant watch had to be kept to avoid the rush of
stones, or avalanches, on an almost imperceptible, nearly perpendicular
path, where it was needful to trust to the guidance of the Sunakite, the
only one of the cavalcade who had been there before.

On the last day they found themselves on the borders of a slope of pines
and other mountain-growing trees, bordering a wide valley or ravine where
the Sunakite hinted that Abderrahman might be found.

The cavalcade pursued a path slightly indicated by the treading of feet
and hoofs, and presently there emerged on them from a slighter side track
between the red stems of the great pines a figure nearly bent double
under the weight of two huge faggots, with a basket of great solid fir-
cones on the top of them.  Very scanty garments seemed to be vouchsafed
to him, and the bare arms and legs were so white, as well as of a length
so unusual among Arabs or Moors, that simultaneously the Marabout
exclaimed, 'One of the Giaour captives,' and Arthur cried out, 'La
Jeunesse!  Laurence!'

There was only just time for a start and a response, 'M. Arture!  And is
it yourself?' before a howl of vituperation was heard--of abuse of all
the ancestry of the cur of an infidel slave, the father of tardiness--and
a savage-looking man appeared, brandishing a cudgel, with which he was
about to belabour his unfortunate slave, when he was arrested by
astonishment, and perhaps terror, at the goodly company of Marabouts.
Hadji Eseb entered into conversation with him, and meanwhile Lanty broke
forth, 'O wirrah, wirrah, Master Arthur! an' have they made a haythen
Moor of ye?  By the powers, but this is worse than all.  What will
Mademoiselle say?--she that has held up the faith of every one of us,
like a little saint and martyr as she is!  Though, to be sure, ye are but
a Protestant; only these folks don't know the differ.'

'If you would let me speak, Laurence,' said Arthur, 'you would hear that
I am no more a Moslem than yourself, only my Frank dress might lead to
trouble.  We are come to deliver you all, with a ransom from the French
Consul.  Are you all safe--Mademoiselle and all? and how many of you?'

'Mademoiselle and M. l'Abbe were safe and well three days since,' said
Lanty; 'but that spalpeen there is my master and poor Victorine's, and
will not let us put a foot near them.'

'Where are they?  How many?' anxiously asked Arthur.

'There are five of us altogether,' said Lanty; 'praise be to Him who has
saved us thus far.  We know the touch of cold steel at our throats, as
well as ever I knew the poor misthress' handbell; and unless our Lady,
and St. Lawrence, and the rest of them, keep the better watch on us, the
rascals will only ransom us without our heads, so jealous and
bloodthirsty they are.  The Bey of Constantina sent for us once, but all
we got by that was worse usage than the very dogs in Paris, and being
dragged up these weary hills, where Maitre Hubert and I carried
Mademoiselle every foot of the way on our backs, and she begging our
pardon so prettily--only she could not walk, the rocks had so bruised her
darlin' little feet.'

'This is their chief holy man, Lanty.  If any one can prevail on these
savages to release you it is he.'

'And how come you to be hand and glove with them, Masther Arthur--you
that I thought drownded with poor Madame and the little Chevalier and the
rest?'

'The Chevalier is not drowned, Laurent.  He is safe in the Consul's house
at Algiers.'

'Now heaven and all the saints be praised!  The Chevalier safe and well!
'Tis a very miracle!' cried Lanty, letting fall his burthen, as he
clasped his hands in ecstasy and performed a caper which, in spite of all
his master Eyoub's respect for the Marabouts, brought a furious yell of
rage, and a tremendous blow with the cudgel, which Lanty, in his joy,
seemed to receive as if it had been a feather.

Hadji Eseb averted a further blow; and understanding from Arthur that the
poor fellow's transport was caused by the tidings of the safety of his
master's son, he seemed touched, and bade that he and Eyoub should lead
the way to the place of durance of the chief prisoners.  On the way
Ibrahim Aga interrogated both Eyoub in vernacular Arabic and Lanty in
French.  The former was sullen, only speaking from his evident awe of the
Marabouts, the latter voluble with joy and hope.

Arthur learnt that the letter he had found under the stone was the fourth
that Estelle and Hebert had written.  There had been a terrible journey
up the mountains, when Lanty had fully thought Victorine must close her
sufferings in some frightful ravine; but, nevertheless, she had recovered
health and strength with every day's ascent above the close, narrow
valley.  They were guarded all the way by Arabs armed to the teeth to
prevent a rescue by the Bey of Constantina.

On their arrival at the valley, which was the headquarters of the tribe,
the sheyk of the entire clan had laid claim to the principal captives,
and had carried off the young lady and her uncle; and in his dwelling she
had a boarded floor to sleep on, and had been made much more comfortable
than in the squalid huts below.  Her original master, Yakoub, had,
however, come to seize her, with the force described by Murad.  Then it
was that again there was a threat to kill rather than resign them; but on
this occasion it was averted by Sheyk Abderrahman's son, a boy of about
fourteen, who threw himself on his knees before Mademoiselle, and prayed
his father earnestly for her life.

'They spared her then,' said Lanty, 'and, mayhap, worse still may come of
that.  Yakoub, the villain, ended by getting her back till they can have
a council of their tribe, and there she is in his filthy hut; but the
gossoon, Selim, as they call him, prowls about the place as if he were
bewitched.  All the children are, for that matter, wherever she goes.  She
makes cats' cradles for them, and sings to them, and tells them stories
in her own sweet way out of the sacred history--such as may bring her
into trouble one of these days.  Maitre Hebert heard her one day telling
them the story of Moses, and he warned her that if she went on in that
fashion it might be the death of us all.  "But," says she, "suppose we
made Selim, and little Zuleika, and all the rest of them, Christians?
Suppose we brought all the tribe to come down and ask baptism, like as
St. Nona did in the _Lives of the Saints_?"  He told her it was more like
that they would only get her darling little head cut off, if no worse,
but he could not get her to think that mattered at all at all.  She would
have a crown and a palm up in heaven, and after her name in the Calendar
on earth, bless her.'

Then he went on to tell that Yakoub was furious at the notion of
resigning his prize, and (Agamemnon-like) declared that if she were taken
from him he should demand Victorine from Eyoub.  Unfortunately she was
recovering her good looks in the mountain air; and, worse still, the
spring of her 'blessed little Polichinelle' was broken, though happily no
one guessed it, and hitherto it had been enough to show them the box.



CHAPTER XIII--CHRYSEIS AND BRISEIS


         'The child
   Restore, I pray, her proffered ransom take,
   And in His priest, the Lord of Light revere.
      Then through the ranks assenting murmurs rang,
   The priest to reverence, and the ransom take.'

   HOMER (DERBY).

For one moment, before emerging from the forest, looking through an
opening in the trees, down a steep slope, a group of children could be
seen on the grass in front of the huts composing the adowara, little
brown figures in scanty garments, lying about evidently listening
intently to the figure, the gleam of whose blonde hair showed her
instantly to be Estelle de Bourke.

However, either the deputation had been descried, or Eyoub may have made
some signal, for when the calvalcade had wound about through the
remaining trees, and arrived among the huts, no one was to be seen.  There
was only the irregular square of huts built of rough stones and thatched
with reeds, with big stones to keep the thatch on in the storm; a few
goats were tethered near, and there was a rush of the great savage dogs,
but they recognised Eyoub and Lanty, and were presently quieted.

'This is the chief danger,' whispered Lanty.

'Pray heaven the rogues do not murder them rather than give them up!'

The Sunakite, beginning to make strange contortions and mutterings in a
low voice, seemed to terrify Eyoub greatly.  Whether he pointed it out or
not, or whether Eyoub was induced by his gestures to show it, was not
clear to Arthur's mind; but at the chief abode, an assemblage of two
stone hovels and rudely-built walls, the party halted, and made a loud
knocking at the door, Hadji Eseb's solemn tones bidding those within to
open in the name of Allah.

It was done, disclosing a vista of men with drawn scimitars.  The
Marabout demanded without ceremony where were the prisoners.

'At yonder house,' he was answered by Yakoub himself, pointing to the
farther end of the village.

'Dog of a liar,' burst forth the Sunakite.  'Dost thou think to blind the
eyes of the beloved of Allah, who knoweth the secrets of heaven and
earth, and hath the sigil of Suleiman Ben Daoud, wherewith to penetrate
the secret places of the false?'

The ferocious-looking guardians looked at each other as though under the
influence of supernatural terror, and then Hadji Eseb spoke: 'Salaam
Aleikum, my children; no man need fear who listens to the will of Allah,
and honours his messengers.'

All made way for the dignified old man and his suite, and they advanced
into the court, where two men with drawn swords were keeping guard over
the captives, who were on their knees in a corner of the court.

The sabres were sheathed, and there was a shuffling away at the advance
of the Marabouts, Sheyk Yakoub making some apology about having delayed
to admit such guests, but excusing himself on the score of supposing they
were emissaries sent by those whose authority he so defied that he had
sworn to slaughter his prisoners rather than surrender them.

Hadji Eseb replied with a quotation from the Koran forbidding cruelty to
the helpless, and sternly denounced wrath on the transgressors, bidding
Yakoub draw off his savage bodyguard.

The man was plainly alarmed, more especially as the Sunakite broke out
into one of his wild wails of denunciation, waving his hands like a
prophet of wrath, and predicting famine, disease, pestilence, to these
slack observers of the law of Mohammed.

This completed the alarm.  The bodyguard fled away pell-mell, Yakoub
after them.  His women shut themselves into some innermost recesses, and
the field was left to the Marabouts and the prisoners, who, not
understanding what all this meant, were still kneeling in their corner.
Hadji Eseb bade Arthur and the interpreter go to reassure them.

At their advance a miserable embrowned figure, barefooted and half clad
in a ragged haik, roped round his waist, threw himself before the fair-
haired child, crying out in imperfect Arabic, 'Spare her, spare her,
great Lord! much is to be won by saving her.'

'We are come to save her,' said Arthur in French.  'Maitre Hebert, do you
not know me?'

Hubert looked up.  'M. Arture!  M. Arture!  Risen from the dead!' he
cried, threw himself into the young man's arms, and burst out into a
vehement sob; but in a second he recovered his manners and fell back,
while Estelle looked up.

'M. Arture,' she repeated.  'Ah! is it you?  Then, is my mamma alive and
safe?'

'Alas! no,' replied Arthur; 'but your little brother is safe and well at
Algiers, and this good man, the Marabout, is come to deliver you.'

'My mamma said you would protect us, and I knew you would come, like
Mentor, to save us,' said Estelle, clasping her hands with ineffable joy.
'Oh, Monsieur!  I thank you next to the good God and the saints!' and she
began fervently kissing Arthur's hand.  He turned to salute the Abbe, but
was shocked to see how much more vacant the poor gentleman's stare had
become, and how little he seemed to comprehend.

'Ah!' said Estelle, with her pretty, tender, motherly air, 'my poor uncle
has never seemed to understand since that dreadful day when they dragged
him and Maitre Hebert out into the wood and were going to kill them.  And
he has fever every night.  But, oh, M. Arture, did you say my brother was
safe?' she repeated, as if not able to dwell enough upon the glad
tidings.

'And I hope you will soon be with him,' said Arthur.  'But, Mademoiselle,
let me present you to the Grand Marabout, a sort of Moslem Abbe, who has
come all this way to obtain your release.'

He led Estelle forward, when she made a courtesy fit for her
grandmother's _salon_, and in very fluent Cabeleyze dialect gave thanks
for the kindness of coming to release her, and begged him to excuse her
uncle, who was sick, and, as you say here, 'stricken of Allah.'

The little French demoiselle's grace and politeness were by no means lost
on the Marabout, who replied to her graciously; and at the sight of her
reading M. Dessault's letter, which the interpreter presented to her, one
of the suite could not help exclaiming, 'Ah! if women such as this will
be went abroad in our streets, there would be nothing to hope for in
Paradise.'

Estelle did not seem to have suffered in health; indeed, in Arthur's
eyes, she seemed in these six weeks to have grown, and to have more
colour, while her expression had become less childish, deeper, and
higher.  Her hair did not look neglected, though her dress--the same dark
blue which she had worn on the voyage--had become very ragged and soiled,
and her shoes were broken, and tied on with strips of rag.

She gave a little scream of joy when the parcel of clothes sent by the
French Consul was given to her, only longing to send some to Victorine
before she retired to enjoy the comfort of clean and respectable clothes;
and in the meantime something was attempted for the comfort of her
companions, though it would not have been safe to put them into Frankish
garments, and none had been brought.  Poor Hebert was the very ghost of
the stout and important _maitre d'hotel_, and, indeed, the faithful man
had borne the brunt of all the privations and sufferings, doing his
utmost to shield and protect his little mistress and her helpless uncle.

When Estelle reappeared, dressed once more like a little French lady (at
least in the eyes of those who were not particular about fit), she found
a little feast being prepared for her out of the provisions sent by the
consuls; but she could not sit down to it till Arthur, escorted by
several of the Marabout's suite, had carried a share both of the food and
the garments to Lanty and Victorine.

They, however, were not to be found.  The whole adowara seemed to be
deserted except by a few frightened women and children, and Victorine and
her Irish swain had no doubt been driven off into the woods by Eyoub--no
Achilles certainly, but equally unwilling with the great Pelides to
resign Briseis as a substitute for Chryseis.

It was too late to attempt anything more that night; indeed, at sundown
it became very cold.  A fire was lighted in the larger room, in the
centre, where there was a hole for the exit of the smoke.

The Marabouts seemed to be praying or reciting the Koran on one side of
it, for there was a continuous chant or hum going on there; but they
seemed to have no objection to the Christians sitting together on the
other side conversing and exchanging accounts of their adventures.  Maitre
Hebert could not sufficiently dilate on the spirit, cheerfulness, and
patience that Mademoiselle had displayed through all.  He only had to
lament her imprudence in trying to talk of the Christian faith to the
children, telling them stories of the saints, and doing what, if all the
tribe had not been so ignorant, would have brought destruction on them
all.  'I would not have Monseigneur there know of it for worlds,' said
he, glancing at the Grand Marabout.

'Selim loves to hear such things,' said Estelle composedly.  'I have
taught him to say the Paternoster, and the meaning of it, and Zuleika can
nearly say them.'

'_Misericorde_!' cried M. Hubert.  'What may not the child have brought
on herself!'

'Selim will be a chief,' returned Estelle.  'He will make his people do
as he pleases, or he would do so; but now there will be no one to tell
him about the true God and the blessed Saviour,' she added sadly.

'Mademoiselle!' cried Hebert in indignant anger--'Mademoiselle would not
be ungrateful for our safety from these horrors.'

'Oh no!' exclaimed the child.  'I am very happy to return to my poor
papa, and my brothers, and my grandmamma.  But I am sorry for Selim!
Perhaps some good mission fathers would go out to them like those we
heard of in Arcadia; and by and by, when I am grown up, I can come back
with some sisters to teach the women to wash their children and not scold
and fight.'

The _maitre d'hotel_ sighed, and was relieved when Estelle retired to the
deserted women's apartments for the night.  He seemed to think her
dangerous language might be understood and reported.

The next morning the Marabout sent messengers, who brought back Yakoub
and his people, and before many hours a sort of council was convened in
the court of Yakoub's house, consisting of all the neighbouring heads of
families, brown men, whose eyes gleamed fiercely out from under their
haiks, and who were armed to the teeth with sabres, daggers, and, if
possible, pistols and blunderbusses of all the worn-out patterns in
Europe--some no doubt as old as the Thirty Years War; while those who
could not attain to these weapons had the long spears of their ancestors,
and were no bad representatives of the Amalekites of old.

After all had solemnly taken their seats there was a fresh arrival of
Sheyk Abderrahman and his ferocious-looking following.  He himself was a
man of fine bearing, with a great black beard, and a gold-embroidered
sash stuck full of pistols and knives, and with poor Madame de Bourke's
best pearl necklace round his neck.  His son Selim was with him, a slim
youth, with beautiful soft eyes glancing out from under a haik, striped
with many colours, such as may have been the coat that marked Joseph as
the heir.

There were many salaams and formalities, and then the chief Marabout made
a speech, explaining the purpose of his coming, diplomatically allowing
that the Cabeleyzes were not subject to the Dey of Algiers, but showing
that they enjoyed the advantages of the treaty with France, and that
therefore they were bound to release the unfortunate shipwrecked
captives, whom they had already plundered of all their property.  So far
Estelle and Arthur, who were anxiously watching, crouching behind the
wall of the deserted house court, could follow.  Then arose yells and
shouts of denial, and words too rapid to be followed.  In a lull, Hadji
Eseb might be heard proffering ransom, while the cries and shrieks so
well known to accompany bargaining broke out.

Ibrahim Aga, who stood by the wall, here told them that Yakoub and Eyoub
seemed not unwilling to consent to the redemption of the male captives,
but that they claimed both the females.  Hebert clenched his teeth, and
bade Ibrahim interfere and declare that he would never be set free
without his little lady.

Here, however, the tumult lulled a little, and Abderrahman's voice was
heard declaring that he claimed the Daughter of the Silkworm as a wife
for his son.

Ibrahim then sprang to the Marabout's side, and was heard representing
that the young lady was of high and noble blood.  To which Abderrahman
replied with the dignity of an old lion, that were she the daughter of
the King of the Franks himself, she would only be a fit mate for the son
of the King of the Mountains.  A fresh roar of jangling and disputing
began, during which Estelle whispered, 'Poor Selim, I know he would
believe--he half does already.  It would be like Clotilda.'

'And then he would be cruelly murdered, and you too,' returned Arthur.

'We should be martyrs,' said Estelle, as she had so often said before;
and as Hubert shuddered and cried, 'Do not speak of such things,
Mademoiselle, just as there is hope,' she answered, 'Oh no! do not think
I want to stay in this dreadful place--only if I should have to do so--I
long to go to my brother and my poor papa.  Then I can send some good
fathers to convert them.'

'Ha!' cried Arthur; 'what now!  They are at one another's throats!'

Yakoub and Eyoub with flashing sabres were actually flying at each other,
but Marabouts were seizing them and holding them back, and the Sunakite's
chant arose above all the uproar.

Ibrahim was able to explain that Yakoub insisted that if the mistress
were appropriated by Abderrahman, the maid should be his compensation.
Eyoub, who had been the foremost in the rescue from the wreck, was
furious at the demand, and they were on the point of fighting when thus
withheld; while the Sunakite was denouncing woes on the spoiler and the
lover of Christians, which made the blood of the Cabeleyzes run cold.
Their flocks would be diseased, storms from the mountains would overwhelm
them, their children would die, their name and race be cut off, if
infidel girls were permitted to bewitch them and turn them from the faith
of the Prophet.  He pointed to young Selim, and demanded whether he were
not already spellbound by the silken daughter of the Giaour to join in
her idolatry.

There were howls of rage, a leaping up, a drawing of swords, a demand
that the unbelievers should die at once.  It was a cry the captives knew
only too well.  Arthur grasped a pistol, and loosened his sword, but
young Selim had thrown himself at the Marabout's feet, sobbing out
entreaties that the maiden's life might be saved, and assurances that he
was a staunch believer; while his father, scandalised at such an
exhibition on behalf of any such chattel as a female, roughly snatched
him from the ground, and insisted on his silence.

The Marabouts had, at their chief's signal, ranged themselves in front of
the inner court, and the authority of the Hadji had imposed silence even
on the fanatic.  He spoke again, making them understand that Frankish
vengeance in case of a massacre could reach them even in their mountains
when backed by the Dey.  And to Abderrahman he represented that the only
safety for his son, the only peace for his tribe, was in the surrender of
these two dangerous causes of altercation.

The 'King of the Mountains' was convinced by the scene that had just
taken place of the inexpedience of retaining the prisoners alive.  And
some pieces of gold thrust into his hand by Ibrahim may have shown him
that much might be lost by slaughtering them.

The Babel which next arose was of the amicable bargaining sort.  And
after another hour of suspense the interpreter came to announce that the
mountaineers, out of their great respect, not for the Dey, but the
Marabout, had agreed to accept 900 piastres as the ransom of all the five
captives, and that the Marabout recommended an immediate start, lest
anything should rouse the ferocity of the tribe again.

Estelle's warm heart would fain have taken leave of the few who had been
kind to her; but this was impossible, for the women were in hiding, and
she could only leave one or two kerchiefs sent from Algiers, hoping
Zuleika might have one of them.  Ibrahim insisted on her being veiled as
closely as a Mohammedan woman as she passed out.  One look between her
and Selim might have been fatal to all; though hers may have been in all
childish innocence, she did not know how the fiery youth was writhing in
his father's indignant grasp, forcibly withheld from rushing after one
who had been a new life and revelation to him.

Mayhap the passion was as fleeting as it was violent, but the Marabout
knew it boded danger to the captives to whom he had pledged his honour.
He sent them, mounted on mules, on in front, while he and his company
remained in the rear, watching till Lanty and Victorine were driven up
like cattle by Eyoub, to whom he paid an earnest of his special share of
the ransom.  He permitted no pause, not even for a greeting between
Estelle and poor Victorine, nor to clothe the two unfortunates, more than
by throwing a mantle to poor Victorine, who had nothing but a short
petticoat and a scanty, ragged, filthy bournouse.  She shrouded herself
as well as she could when lifted on her mule, scarce perhaps yet aware
what had happened to her, only that Lanty was near, muttering
benedictions and thanksgivings as he vibrated between her mule and that
of the Abbe.

It was only at the evening halt that, in a cave on the mountain-side,
Estelle and Victorine could cling to each other in a close embrace with
sobs of joy; and while Estelle eagerly produced clothes from her little
store of gifts, the poor _femme de chambre_ wept for joy to feel indeed
that she was free, and shed a fresh shower of tears of joy at the sight
of a brush and comb.

Lanty was purring over his foster-brother, and cosseting him like a cat
over a newly-recovered kitten, resolved not to see how much shaken the
poor Abbe's intellect had been, and quite sure that the reverend father
would be altogether himself when he only had his _soutane_ again.



CHAPTER XIV--WELCOME


   'Well hath the Prophet-chief your bidding done.'

   MOORE (_Lalla Rookh_).

Bugia was thoroughly Moorish, and subject to attacks of fanaticism.
Perhaps the Grand Marabout did not wholly trust the Sunakite not to stir
up the populace, for he would not take the recovered captives to his
palace, avoided the city as much as possible, and took them down to the
harbour, where, beside the old Roman quay, he caused his trusty
attendant, Reverdi, to hire a boat to take them out to the French
tartane--Reverdi himself going with them to ensure the fidelity of the
boatmen.  Estelle would have kissed the good old man's hand in fervent
thanks, but, child as she was, he shrank from her touch as an unholy
thing; and it was enforced on her and Victorine that they were by no
means to remove their heavy mufflings till they were safe on board the
tartane, and even out of harbour.  The Frenchman in command of the vessel
was evidently of the same mind, and, though enchanted to receive them,
sent them at once below.  He said his men had been in danger of being
mobbed in the streets, and that there were reports abroad that the harem
of a great Frank chief, and all his treasure, were being recovered from
the Cabeleyzes, so that he doubted whether all the influence of the Grand
Marabout might prevent their being pursued by corsairs.

Right glad was he to recognise the pennant of the _Calypso_ outside the
harbour, and he instantly ran up a signal flag to intimate success.  A
boat was immediately put off from the frigate, containing not only
Lieutenant Bullock, but an officer in scarlet, who had no sooner come on
deck than he shook Arthur eagerly by the hand, exclaiming,

''Tis you, then!  I cannot be mistaken in poor Davie's son, though you
were a mere bit bairn when I saw you last!'

'Archie Hope!' exclaimed Arthur, joyfully.  'Can you tell me anything of
my mother?'

'She was well when last I heard of her, only sore vexed that you should
be cut off from her by your own fule deed, my lad!  Ye've thought better
of it now?'

Major Hope was here interrupted by the lieutenant, who brought an
invitation from Captain Beresford to the whole French party to bestow
themselves on board the _Calypso_.  After ascertaining that the Marabout
had taken up their cause, and that the journey up Mount Couco and back
again could not occupy less than twelve or fourteen days, he had sailed
for Minorca, where he had obtained sanction to convey any of the captives
who might be rescued to Algiers.  He had also seen Major Hope, who, on
hearing of the adventures of his young kinsman, asked leave of absence to
come in search of him, and became the guest of the officers of the
_Calypso_.

Arthur found himself virtually the head of the party, and, after
consultation with Ibrahim Aga and Maitre Hebert, it was agreed that there
would be far more safety, as well as better accommodation, in the British
ship than in the French tartane, and Arthur went down to communicate the
proposal to Estelle, whom the close, little, evil-smelling cabin was
already making much paler than all her privations had done.

'An English ship,' she said.  'Would my papa approve?' and her little
prim diplomatic air sat comically on her.

'Oh yes,' said Arthur.  'He himself asked the captain to seek for you,
Mademoiselle.  There is peace between our countries, you know.'

'That is good,' she said, jumping up.  'For oh! this cabin is worse than
it is inside Yakoub's hut!  Oh take me on deck before I am ill!'

She was able to be her own little charming French and Irish self when
Arthur led her on deck; and her gracious thanks and pretty courtesy made
them agree that it would have been ten thousand pities if such a creature
could not have been redeemed from the savage Arabs.

The whole six were speedily on board the _Calypso_, where Captain
Beresford received the little heroine with politeness worthy of her own
manners.  He had given up his own cabin for her and Victorine, purchased
at Port Mahon all he thought she could need, and had even recollected to
procure clerical garments for the Abbe--a sight which rejoiced Lanty's
faithful heart, though the poor Abbe was too ill all the time of the
voyage to leave his berth.  Arthur's arrival was greeted by the
Abyssinian with an inarticulate howl of delight, as the poor fellow
crawled to his feet, and began kissing them before he could prevent it.
Fareek had been the pet of the sailors, and well taken care of by the
boatswain.  He was handy, quick, and useful, and Captain Bullock thought
he might pick up a living as an attendant in the galley; but he showed
that he held himself to belong absolutely to Arthur, and rendered every
service to him that he could, picking up what was needful in the care of
European clothes by imitation of the captain's servant, and showing a
dexterity that made it probable that his cleverness had been the cause of
the loss of a tongue that might have betrayed too much.  To young Hope he
seemed like a sacred legacy from poor Tam, and a perplexing one, such as
he could hardly leave in his dumbness to take the chances of life among
sailors.

His own plans were likewise to be considered, and Major Hope concerned
himself much about them.  He was a second cousin--a near relation in
Scottish estimation--and no distant neighbour.  His family were Tories,
though content to submit to the House of Hanover, and had always been on
friendly terms with Lady Hope.

'I writ at once, on hearing of you, to let her know you were in safety,'
said the major.  'And what do you intend the noo?'

'Can I win home?' anxiously asked Arthur.  'You know I never was
attainted!'

'And what would ye do if you were at home?'

'I should see my mother.'

'Small doubt of the welcome she would have for you, my poor laddie,' said
the major; 'but what next?'  And as Arthur hesitated, 'I misdoubt greatly
whether Burnside would give you a helping hand if you came fresh from
colloguing with French Jacobites, though my father and all the rest of us
at the Lynn aye told him that he might thank himself and his dour old
dominie for your prank--you were but a schoolboy then--you are a man now;
and though your poor mother would be blithe to set eyes on you, she would
be sairly perplexed what gate you had best turn thereafter.  Now, see
here!  There's talk of our being sent to dislodge the Spaniards from
Sicily.  You are a likely lad, and the colonel would take my word for you
if you came back with me to Port Mahon as a volunteer; and once under
King George's colours, there would be pressure enough from all of us
Hopes upon Burnside to gar him get you a commission, unless you win one
for yourself.  Then you could gang hame when the time was served, a
credit and an honour to all!'

'I had rather win my own way than be beholden to Burnside,' said Arthur,
his face lighting at the proposal.

'Hout, man!  That will be as the chances of war may turn out.  As to your
kit, we'll see to that!  Never fear.  Your mother will make it up.'

'Thanks, Archie, with all my heart, but I am not so destitute,' and he
mentioned Yusuf's legacy, which the major held that he was perfectly
justified in appropriating; and in answer to his next question, assured
him that he would be able to retain Fareek as his servant.

This was enough for Arthur, who knew that the relief to his mother's mind
of his safety and acceptance as a subject would outweigh any
disappointment at not seeing his face, when he would only be an
unforgiven exile, liable to be informed against by any malicious
neighbour.

He borrowed materials, and had written a long letter to her before the
_Calypso_ put in at Algiers.  The little swift tartane had forestalled
her; and every one was on the watch, when Estelle, who had been treated
like a little princess on board, was brought in the long-boat with all
her party to the quay.  Though it was at daybreak, not only the European
inhabitants, but Turks, Arabs, Moors, and Jews thronged the wharf in
welcome; and there were jubilant cries as all the five captives could be
seen seated in the boat in the light of the rising sun.

M. Dessault, with Ulysse in his hand, stood foremost on the quay, and the
two children were instantly in each other's embrace.  Their uncle had to
be helped out.  He was more bewildered than gratified by the welcome.  He
required to be assured that the multitudes assembled meant him no harm,
and would not move without Lanty; and though he bowed low in return to M.
Dessault's greeting, it was like an automaton, and with no recognition.

Estelle, between her brother and her friend, and followed by all the
rest, was conducted by the French Consul to the chapel, arranged in one
of the Moorish rooms.  There stood beside the altar his two chaplains,
and at once mass was commenced, while all threw themselves on their knees
in thankfulness; and at the well-known sound a ray of intelligence and
joy began to brighten even poor Phelim's features.

Arthur, in overflowing joy, could not but kneel with the others; and when
the service concluded with the Te Deum's lofty praise, his tears dropped
for joy and gratitude that the captivity was over, the children safe, and
himself no longer an outcast and exile.

He had, however, to take leave of the children sooner than he wished, for
the _Calypso_ had to sail the next day.

Ulysse wept bitterly, clung to him, and persisted that he _was_ their
secretary, and must go with them.  Estelle, too, had tears in her eyes;
but she said, half in earnest, 'You know, Mentor vanished when Telemaque
came home!  Some day, Monsieur, you will come to see us at Paris, and we
shall know how to show our gratitude!'

Both Lanty and Maitre Hebert promised to write to M. Arture; and in due
time he received not only their letters but fervent acknowledgments from
the Comte de Bourke, who knew that to him was owing the life and liberty
of the children.

From Lanty Arthur further heard that the poor Abbe had languished and
died soon after reaching home.  His faithful foster-brother was deeply
distressed, though the family had rewarded the fidelity of the servants
by promoting Hebert to be intendant of the Provencal estates, while Lanty
was wedded to Victorine, with a _dot_ that enabled them to start a
flourishing _perruquier's_ shop, and make a home for his mother when
little Jacques outgrew her care.

Estelle was in due time married to a French nobleman, and in after years
'General Sir Arthur Hope' took his son and daughter to pay her a long
visit in her Provencal _chateau_, and to converse on the strange
adventures that seemed like a dream.  He found her a noble lady, well
fulfilling the promise of her heroic girlhood, and still lamenting the
impossibility of sending any mission to open the eyes of the
half-converted Selim.





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solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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