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Title: Carried Off - A Story of Pirate Times
Author: Stuart, Esmè
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 "Carried Off - A Story of Pirate Times" ***

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[Illustration: Cover]



[Illustration: "_HARRY’S BLOOD WAS UP._"  p. 12]



                              CARRIED OFF

                       _A STORY OF PIRATE TIMES_


                                   BY
                              ESMÉ STUART


              AUTHOR OF ’FOR HALF-A-CROWN’ ’THE LAST HOPE’
                        ’THE WHITE CHAPEL’ ETC.



                  _WITH FOUR FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS_



                                 LONDON
                     NATIONAL SOCIETY’S DEPOSITORY
                      BROAD SANCTUARY, WESTMINSTER
             NEW YORK: THOMAS WHITTAKER, 2 & 3 BIBLE HOUSE
                                  1888



                                  _TO_
                          _CLARISSA AND JOHN_


_I dedicate this story, knowing they are already fond of travelling.
They may be glad to hear that the chief events in it are true, and are
taken out of an old book written more than two hundred years ago.  Yet
they may now safely visit the West Indies without fear of being made
prisoners by the much dreaded Buccaneers._

_E.S._



                        [_All rights reserved_]



                                CONTENTS

CHAPTER


      I. THE SACRIFICE
     II. CAPTURED
    III. A BEAUTIFUL ISLAND
     IV. THE PIRATES ARE COMING
      V. THE SCOUTS
     VI. HATCHING A PLOT
    VII. TREACHERY
   VIII. A BRAVE DEFENCE
     IX. IMPRISONED
      X. A FELLOW-COUNTRYMAN
     XI. THE SECRET PASSAGE
    XII. A NEW EXPEDITION
   XIII. THE ESCAPE
    XIV. DEFENCE TILL DEATH
     XV. IN THE WOODS
    XVI. WAITING FOR LUCK
   XVII. DISCOVERED
  XVIII. HUNTING A FUGITIVE
    XIX. IN A LONELY SPOT
     XX. SAVED
    XXI. A BAG OF GOLD



                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


’HARRY’S BLOOD WAS UP’

CARLO REFUSED ADMISSION (missing from book)

CARLO BEFORE CAPTAIN MORGAN

’SHALL WE LAND?’ (missing from book)



                              CARRIED OFF.



                               CHAPTER I.

                             THE SACRIFICE.


It was a beautiful warm spring evening, and as the sun sank slowly in
the west it illuminated with quivering golden light the calm waters that
surrounded green, marshy Canvey Island, which lies opposite South
Benfleet, in the estuary of the Thames.

Harry Fenn had just come out of church, and, as was often his wont, he
ran up a slight hill, and, shading his eyes, looked intently out towards
Canvey and then yet more to his left, where Father Thames clasps hands
with the ocean.

The eminence on which young fair-haired Harry stood was the site of a
strong castle, built long ago by Hæsten, the Danish rover, in which he
stowed away Saxon spoil and Saxon prisoners, till King Alfred came down
upon him, pulled down the rover’s fortress, seized his wife and his two
sons, and relieved the neighbourhood of this Danish scourge.  How often,
indeed, had the peaceful inhabitants trembled at the sight of the sea
robber’s narrow war-vessels creeping up the creek in search of plunder!

Harry, however, was not thinking of those ancient days; his whole soul
and mind was in the present, in vague longings for action; full, too, of
young inquisitiveness as to the future, especially his own future, so
that he forgot why he had come to this spot, and did not even hear the
approach of the Rev. Mr. Aylett, who, having been listening to a tale of
distress from one of his parishioners at the end of the evening service,
had now come to enjoy the view from Hæsten’s hill.  As he walked slowly
towards the immovable form of the boy, he could not help being struck by
the lad’s graceful outline; the lithe, yet strongly built figure, the
well-balanced head, now thrown back as the eyes sought the distant
horizon; whilst the curly fair locks appeared to have been dashed
impatiently aside, and now were just slightly lifted by the evening
breeze; for Harry Fenn held his cap in his hand as he folded his arms
across his chest.  He might have stood for the model of a young Apollo
had any artist been by, but art and artists were unknown things in South
Benfleet at that time.

Mr. Aylett shook his head as he walked towards the lad, even though a
smile of pleasure parted his lips as he noted the comeliness of his
young parishioner, whom he now addressed.

’Well, Harry, my boy, what may be the thoughts which are keeping you so
unusually still?’  Harry started and blushed like a girl, and yet his
action was simple enough.

’Indeed, sir, I did not hear you.  I--I came here to have a look at our
cows down on the marsh. Father----’

Mr. Aylett laughed good-humouredly.

’Am I to believe that that earnest look is all on account of the cattle,
Harry?’  Harry felt at this moment as if he had told a lie, and had been
found out by Mr. Aylett, who was so good and clever that he could
almost, nay, sometimes did, tell one’s thoughts.

’No, sir;’ then, with a winning smile, the lad added, ’in truth I had
forgotten all about the cattle.  I was dreaming of----’

’Of the future, Harry.  Listen, did not those same thoughts run thus?
That it is dull work staying at home on the farm; that some of thy
relations in past days had famous times in our civil wars, and went to
battle and fought for the King, and that some even had been settlers in
the old days of Queen Bess, and that, when all is said and done, it
wants a great deal of self-denial to stay as thou art now doing,
cheering the declining years of thy good father and mother.  Some such
thought I fancied I could read in your face, boy, when singing in the
choir just now.  Was it so?  I would have you use candour with me.’

Harry turned his cap round and round slowly in his hands.  Mr. Aylett
was certainly a diviner of thoughts; but Harry was far too honest, and
of too good principle, to deny the truth.  It was his honesty, as well
as his pluck and courage, that made him so dear to the clergyman, who
had taught the boy a great deal more learning than usually fell to the
lot of a yeoman’s son in those days, even though Mr. Fenn farmed his own
land, was well-to-do, and could, had he so willed, have sent his son to
Oxford; but he himself had been reared on Pitsea Farm, had married
there, and there he had watched his little ones carried to the grave,
all but Harry.  Yes, Harry was his all, his mother’s darling, his
father’s pride; the parson was welcome to teach him his duty to his
Church, his King and his country, and what more he liked, but no one
must part the yeoman from his only child.

And Harry knew this, and yet often and often his soul was moved with
that terribly strong desire for change and for a larger horizon, which,
so long as the world lasts, will take possession of high-spirited boys.
However, the lad was as good as he was brave; he knew that he must crush
down his desire, or at least that he must not show it to his parents;
but he did not try to resist the pleasure of indulging in thoughts of a
larger life, thoughts which Mr. Aylett guessed very easily, but which
would have made his father’s hair stand on end. This evening Mr.
Aylett’s face looked so kind that Harry’s boyish reserve gave way, and
with rising colour he exclaimed:

’Oh, sir, I can’t deny it; it is all true, that, and much more; just now
I had such dreadful thoughts. I felt that I must go out yonder, away and
away, and learn what the world is like; I felt that even father’s sorrow
and mother’s tears would not grieve me much, and that I must break loose
from here or die.  I know it was wicked, and I will conquer the feeling,
but it seems as if the devil himself tempts me to forget my duty; and
worse,’ added poor Harry, who having begun his confession thought he
would make a clean breast of it, ’I feel as if I must go straight to my
father and tell him I will not spend my life in minding cattle and
seeing after the labourers, and that after telling him, I would work my
way out into the big world without asking him for a penny.  Sir, would
that be possible?’

Harry looked up with trembling eagerness, as if on this one frail chance
of Mr. Aylett’s agreement depended his life’s happiness; but the
clergyman did not give him a moment’s hope.

’No, Harry, that is not possible, my lad.  You are an only child.  On
you depends the happiness of your parents.  This sacrifice is asked of
you by God, and is it too hard a matter to give up your own will?  Look
you, my dear Harry, I am not over-blaming you, nor am I thinking that
the crushing of this desire is not a difficult matter, but we who lived
through the late troublous times see farther than young heads, who are
easily persuaded to cozen their conscience according to their wishes.
And if you travelled, Harry, temptations and trials would follow too,
and be but troublesome companions; and further, there would be always a
worm gnawing at your heart when you thought of the childless old folks
at home.  Believe me, Harry, even out in "the golden yonder," as some
one calls it, you would not find what you expect; there would be no joy
for you who had deprived those dependent on you of it.  Take my advice,
boy, wait for God’s own good time, and do not fall into strong distemper
of mind.’

Mr. Aylett paused and put a kind hand on the boy’s shoulder.  Harry did
not answer at once, but slowly his eyes turned away from the waters and
the golden sun, slowly they were bent upon the marshes where the cattle
were grazing, and then nearer yet to where Pitsea Manor Farm raised its
head above a plantation of elms and oaks.  Then a great struggle went on
in the boy’s mind; he remembered he was but sixteen years old, and that
many a year must most likely elapse before he became the owner of Pitsea
Farm and could do as he pleased, and that those years must be filled
with dull routine labour, where little room was left for any adventure
beyond fishing in the creek, or going over to Canvey Island to watch
when the high waves broke over the new embankments made by Joas
Croppenburg, the Dutchman, whose son still owned a third of the rich
marshland of the island as a recompense for his father’s sea walls.  But
young Joas used to tell tales of great Dutch sea fights and exploits,
which, if Harry made the sacrifice Mr. Aylett was asking him to make,
would but probe the wound of his desire, and so Croppenburg’s stories
must also be given up.

Harry’s courage, however, was not merely nominal, it was of the right
sort.  The sacrifice he was asked to make was none the less great
because it was one not seen of men.  He was to give up his will, the
hardest thing a man or a boy can do; but it needed only Mr. Aylett’s
firm answer to show Harry that his duty was very plain, and that God
required this of him.

It was like taking a plunge into cold water, where it is the first
resolution that is the worst part of the action; suddenly, with a quick
lifting of his head, and a new hopeful light in his blue eyes very
different from the unsatisfied longing gaze of ten minutes ago, Harry
spoke, and as he did so his clenched hands and his whole demeanour told
plainly that the boy meant what he said.

’I will give it up, sir; as it is, the wishing brings me no happiness,
so I will even put the wishing to flight.’

Mr. Aylett grasped the lad’s hand warmly.

’God bless you, Harry, you are a brave fellow. I am proud of you.  Come
to me to-morrow, and I will show you a new book a friend has sent me;
or, better, walk back with me to the Vicarage.’

’I would willingly, sir,’ said Harry quietly, ’but father bade me go to
the meadow and see if White Star should be driven in under shelter
to-night.  Our man Fiske has met with an accident, so I promised to see
after White Star before sundown.  She was a little sick this morning.’

’To-morrow will do well enough,’ said Mr. Aylett, glad to see that Harry
was beginning already to turn his mind steadily to home matters, ’and if
you have time we will go to St. Catherine’s Church on Canvey.  There is
a young clergyman come there to see if he will accept the cure, and I
know you will row me over.’  Harry promised gladly, and then Mr. Aylett
with another shake of the hand turned his face homeward.  When he was
gone Harry flung himself on the ground to think over the promise he had
just given.  He would--yes, he would keep his word.



                              CHAPTER II.

                               CAPTURED.


How long he lay there, Harry never could recollect afterwards, but
feeling a chilliness creeping over him he suddenly remembered his duty.
He must make haste, for the sun was setting, and if White Star did not
seem to be better she must be led home from the damp marsh meadows that
bordered the water.  Though Harry was feeling intensely sad, he had a
secret feeling of satisfaction at having conquered in a very hard
struggle, and this perhaps made him look more at the things he was
passing than, as he was wont to do, at the distant sea.  This evening
everything was calm and quiet, both on the darkening waters and on the
green meadows. Harry noted a gate that needed repairing, and made up his
mind to tell his father that it must be seen to, or the cattle would be
straying; then he glanced at the little cart-horse foal that promised to
be a rival of its mother.  The Pitsea Farm cart-horses were deservedly
famous, and Harry’s father, George Fenn, was as good a breeder of horses
as he was a staunch Churchman and opposed to the Puritan element only
now quieting down.

At last Harry reached the meadow where White Star was grazing and where
some thirty sheep were sharing the pasture.  He went up to examine the
gentle creature, and she knew well enough the young master’s voice and
touch, so that she hardly stopped chewing the cud to give him a kindly
stare.

’White Star seems not so bad,’ thought Harry. ’I’ll tell father to give
her another day in the meadow, she is not too ill to enjoy this sweet
grass.’

Harry had been so much engaged in attending to White Star that he did
not hear the soft splash of some oars at the bottom of the meadow he was
in, nor did he see that four strong, rough-looking men in seafaring
attire had quietly moored their long-boat to an old willow stump, and
that two of them were hastily scanning the sheep and cattle that were
only a few yards away.

’Zounds!’ muttered the first who stepped up the bank, ’what have we
here? a lad in this very field.  I’faith, I saw no one from the creek.’

’A mere sapling,’ laughed the other, ’take no heed of him, and he will
soon take to his heels at the sight of us.  Now, quick’s the word, the
captain is impatient to be off with the tide.’

In another instant the men had begun their work.  They had come for the
purpose of carrying off some sheep and cattle, and having waited till
this late hour they had not expected to find a witness to their robbery.
Quietly and stealthily as they had landed, however, their intentions
could not be carried out without some disturbance, and Harry was first
made aware of their presence by the sudden helter-skelter of the sheep
and the immediate curiosity expressed by poor White Star, whose evening
meal was to be so violently disturbed.

In a moment more Harry had seized the situation, which indeed it was not
difficult to do, as he now beheld one of his father’s sheep suddenly
captured by the clever expedient of an extemporised lasso, and when the
poor animal had been dragged towards its captor the robber made short
work of tying his victim’s legs together, and leaving it to bleat beside
him whilst he proceeded to capture another in the same manner, before
dragging them to the long-boat.

All the fierce courage of the hardy yeoman’s son rose to its height as
he beheld this daring robbery carried on under his very eyes.  Nay, when
the strongest and foremost man began unconcernedly to make his way
towards White Star herself, the boy’s indignation knew no bounds.

’How now?’ he cried indignantly.  ’What do you mean, you rascals, by
coming here? this is our field and our cattle; away at once, and unloose
the sheep, or, by’r laykin! it will be worse for you. I will call for
help, and you will soon be treated in such a manner as you deserve.’

This fierce speech had not, however, the desired effect.  The man
laughed ironically as if Harry were a mere baby, and approaching White
Star he swiftly threw the lasso over the animal’s sleek head.

’Out of the way, young blusterer, or it will be the worse for thee.  Our
master, the captain, requires these cattle to victual our ship before
sailing; come, off with thee! and don’t halloo all the breath out of thy
body.’

But Harry’s blood was up.  Enraged at the man’s daring and effrontery,
he seized a stout stick from the hedge-row and sprang upon the intruder
with the fury of a young lion.  He never considered the inequality of
the struggle or the folly of his engaging single-handed with a ruffian
of this description; he only thought of saving his father’s property and
avenging the insult.  Nor were his well-directed blows mere
make-believe, and as the man before him was suddenly aware of a sharp
stinging pain across his forehead, he let go the lasso and sprang on to
the boy with a fierce oath.

[Illustration: "_HARRY’S BLOOD WAS UP_"]

’What, you young viper, you dare to strike me?  Well, take that.  Here,
Jim, this way, bring the rope here; I’ll teach this churl to bethump
me.’

As he spoke he wrenched away poor Harry’s stick, and with a
well-directed blow he laid the boy on the ground.  Harry felt a terrible
pain in his head, his brain seemed to reel; bright, blood-red flashes
blotted out the familiar fields, and then with a groan of pain he
stretched out his right arm to grasp at some support, after which he
remembered no more.

The man appealed to as Jim had now run up, and laughed as he saw Harry
fall insensible on the dewy grass.

’Bravo! the lad fell in fair fight, Joseph; but i’fecks! who would have
thought of seeing you engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle with such a
stripling?  Hast done for him, comrade?’ he added with curiosity, in
which was mingled neither pity nor fear.  And yet the sight of Harry
Fenn might have softened even a hard heart, one would have thought, as
he lay there in the twilight on the dewy grass, whilst a slow trickling
line of red blood fell from his forehead over his fair curling hair.

’Here, make haste,’ said the first man, whom his friend addressed as
Coxon, ’the captain’s orders were that we must lose no time; there’ll be
several more trips this evening, and he means to run down the Channel
before morning.’

’Then we’d best not leave the lad here.  What say you, Coxon, shall I
despatch him for fear of his waking up and telling tales before we
return?’

Coxon looked down on the brave lad, and decided, he knew not why, to act
more mercifully.

’Let him be, or wait--tie his legs and throw him in the long-boat; on
our ship he’ll tell no tales, and when we cast anchor we can drop him
somewhere, or give him a seaman’s burial if he’s dead, for, to tell the
truth, it was a good whack that I dealt him.  Now, Jim, quick, for fear
some of those land dolts come down upon us, and deafen us with their
complaints.’

After this quick certainly was the word.  Harry was tied, much after the
fashion of his own sheep, and cast with little ceremony into the
long-boat; further booty was secured, till no more could be carried
during this trip, and then, as silently as it had come, the boat was
rowed swiftly down the creek till they reached their destination,
namely, the good ship ’Scorpion,’ a privateer bound for the West Indies,
after having lately made a very successful bargain with the cargo it had
safely brought home.

How long Harry remained unconscious he never knew: when he came to
himself it was some time before he could collect any sequence in his
thoughts.  He felt, however, that he was in a cramped and confined
place, and so put out his hands to make more room, as it were, for his
limbs; but he could give no explanation to himself of his whereabouts,
though he half realised that the night air was blowing in his face, and
that something like sea spray now and then seemed to be dashed on his
head.  His hands were free, but what of his legs?  He experienced a
sharp cutting pain above his ankles, and with some difficulty he reached
down to the seat of pain with one of his hands.  Yes, there was a rope
tied round his legs; who had done this, and where was he?  He remembered
standing on Hæsten’s mound looking longingly at the sea, and he also
recalled Mr. Aylett’s words and his own fierce struggle against his
strong inclinations, and then--what had followed?

Here for a long time his mind remained a blank, till a decided lurch
forced the conviction upon him that he was certainly in a ship, not on
the green marsh meadow at home.

Home!  He must make haste and get home; his father would wonder what
kept him so long, it was quite dark; how anxious his fond mother would
be.  He must at once get rid of that horrid thing that prevented his
rising, and he must run as fast as he could back to Pitsea Farm.  But
what of White Star?  White Star, the meadow, the--the----

All at once the scene of his conflict flashed into his mind, and the
awful truth burst upon him. He was a prisoner in some enemy’s ship--or
could it be in one of those dreadful privateers, whose ravages were
often spoken of, and whom Mr. Aylett had said ought to be put down by
Government with a firm hand?  Ay, and those ruffians who had treated him
with such brutality, they must be no other than some of those dreaded
buccaneers, whose atrocities in the West Indies made the blood of
peaceable people run cold, and wonder why God’s judgments did not
descend on all who abetted such crimes.  Harry, as we know, was very
brave, and yet he shuddered as the truth forced itself on his mind; it
was not so much from a feeling of fear, but because, to the boy’s weak,
fevered brain, the terrible calamity that had overtaken him seemed to
be, as it were, a punishment for his old and secret longings, and his
discontent at the dull home life.

Then followed a period of great mental pain for the boy, and after
having vainly tried to free himself, he lay back utterly spent with the
exertion, and with the feeling that perhaps he was reserved for worse
tortures.  Harry had heard many and many a terrible story of the doings
of these buccaneers, who plundered, without distinction, the ships of
all nations, and amassed treasures in the West Indies and the Spanish
Main, and whose inhuman conduct to their prisoners was not much better
than that experienced by the unfortunate Christian prisoners from the
pirates of Algiers. Harry’s courage was nearly giving way at these
thoughts, and as no one was by to see him a few bitter tears rolled down
his cheeks; but as he put up his hand to brush them away he suddenly
felt ashamed of his weakness.

’God helping me,’ thought he, ’whatever these rascals call themselves
they shall not see me in tears, be the pretence never so great; it were
a pretty story to take back to my father and good Mr. Aylett, that I was
found weeping like a girl; but all the same I wish they would give me
something to eat.  In truth I could devour very willingly a sirloin of
beef if it were offered me.’

Hunger is but a melancholy companion, and as the time still passed on
and no one came near him, though Harry could hear the tramp of feet
above him distinctly enough, the boy began to fear he should be left to
die of slow starvation; and though this idea was very fearful to a
growing lad, yet he determined that even this suffering should not make
him cry out, and, clenching his teeth together, he lay down again and
tried to say a few mental prayers.  Evidently he must have dozed off,
for the next thing he remembered was the sound of a rough voice telling
him to get up; at the same time the rope that tied his feet was hastily
cut and he felt himself led along a dark passage and pushed up a
hatchway, feeling too dazed and weak to notice anything till he was
thrust through the door of a small cabin.

By this time Harry’s spirit had returned; he forgot his pain and his
hunger, and, straightening himself, tried to wrench his arm away from
the iron grasp of the sailor that led him.

’What right have you fellows to keep me prisoner here?’ cried Harry.
’But as we are upon the high seas it’s not likely I can escape, so you
need not pinion me down in this fashion.’

At this moment a tall, powerful, and very handsome man entered the
cabin, and, hearing Harry’s words, burst into a loud and cheerful laugh.

’What, Mings! is this the boy you spoke of? By my faith, you have caged
a little eaglet!  But we can soon cut his claws and stop his pretty
prating. How now, boy: answer truly, and tell me thy name; for we are no
lovers of ill-manners and insolence.’

Harry Fenn had been struck dumb by the appearance of the new comer, so
that he had ceased struggling with Mings, and now gazed at the
courtly-looking man, whose whole bearing spoke of a certain rough
refinement and assured courage, such as Harry had believed attainable
only by a gentleman of birth and breeding.  Evidently the man before him
was the captain of the crew, but he was no mere rough sailor such as
Harry had often seen at home; on the contrary, his dress was both rich
and elegant; he wore his hair in flowing locks just below his neck; a
cravat of muslin edged with rich lace was round his throat, and the ends
of the bow hung over his thick doublet, which was embroidered in a
running pattern.  His scarf, thrown over one shoulder and tied at his
waist, was heavy with gold embroidery and fringe, and the sword that
dangled at his side was evidently of Spanish make, and richly chased. As
to his countenance, the more Harry gazed the less he could believe this
man had anything to do with the buccaneers of the West Indies he had
heard so much about, for the Captain’s expression was open, and even
pleasant.  His eyes were of a pale blue, shaded by soft and reddish
eyebrows; his nose straight and well formed; and though his mouth was
somewhat full and coarse, yet there was nothing bad-tempered about it;
and the curling moustache and small tuft of hair on his chin reminded
one of a jolly cavalier more than of a dreaded sea-captain.  Yes, Harry
fancied he might be mistaken, and that this gentleman was in truth a
loyal captain of His Majesty’s Navy, and that his own capture was all
some terrible mistake.  This idea gave him courage, and, shaking himself
free from his jailor, he advanced boldly towards the handsome-looking
man, who surely must be the soul of honour, and no enemy to the public.

’Oh, sir, I fancied I had fallen into the hands of evil men; but surely
I am mistaken, and you will see justice done me.  I am a yeoman’s son.
My name is Harry Fenn, and my father owns a farm at South Benfleet.  I
had but gone down to see after one of our cows who had been sick, when
suddenly your men waylaid me when I defended our cattle, and used me in
a brutish manner.  Had they wanted to buy cattle, my father could have
directed them to those willing to sell.  I did but my duty in defending
my father’s property, and I doubt not that they gave you quite a wrong
tale of my behaviour; but indeed, sir, it was not true, and though I
have been treated very roughly I beg you to see justice done to me, and
to have me landed on our English coast; for my parents will be sadly put
about on account of my disappearance, and very solicitous about my
safety.’

Harry paused, expecting the handsome captain to express his regret at
what had happened. Instead of this, his words were received with a loud
laugh by Mings; and apparently they also much tickled the fancy of the
Captain, for he joined in the merriment, though he looked with kindly
eyes on the handsome youth, who, in spite of his being a good deal
bespattered with mud and blood stains, was yet a very pleasant picture
of a bold, fearless English boy.

’Thou art over-bold, young fellow,’ said Mings when he had laughed
heartily.  ’Doubtless our captain will teach thee how to mind thy
speech. Shall I stow the lad away, sir, in the hold?  I take it he will
come forth in a humbler frame of mind, and with less zeal for defending
cattle.’

’Nay, Mings, leave him to me; such a home bird is an uncommon sight, and
having fallen on deck for want of a stronger wing, he must needs stay
aboard.  Go and attend to the guns, and tell the watch to keep a sharp
look-out for any strange sail, and I’ll see to the boy.’

Mings appeared a little sulky at this order, and took the opportunity of
roughly grasping Harry’s shoulder as he went by, with the remark:

’Keep a civil tongue in thy head, young scarecrow, or Captain Henry
Morgan will soon teach thee to wag it less glibly.  It would want but a
small gun to blow thee back to the English shore if thou art so anxious
to get back--eh, Captain?’

The Captain frowned instead of answering, and Mings made off as quickly
as possible; but by this time Harry had recovered from his surprise.

’Then it’s true,’ he said quickly; ’you are in truth the infamous Henry
Morgan the buccaneer, whose name is a terror to all honest folk.  I only
hope one of His Majesty’s men-of-war will give chase, and I will do all
in my power to give information. It is a dastardly act that you have
done, for you have stolen our property and allowed your men shamefully
to ill-use me.’

Harry never stayed to think how unwise his words were: he was so angry
at having made a mistake and having fancied this courtly man was an
honest gentleman, that he cared nothing at the moment about the
consequences of his violent language; indeed, he was all the more
furious when he noticed that Captain Morgan seemed only amused by his
burst of indignation.

’Thou art a brave lad, and I like to see thy spirit. Tell me thy name.
I wager it is an honest one.’

’Ay, truly.  Harry Fenn is my name--an honest English yeoman’s son, and
one that will receive no favours from a buccaneer,’ answered Harry,
crossing his arms.

’Then thou art my namesake, lad, i’ fecks!  See, I’ll forgive thy hasty
words, and take thee for my godson.  As for thy parents, well, they must
take the chances of war as others do, for there can be no putting back
to land now.  We had to be very crafty to avoid a large three-decker of
sixty-four guns that, I fancy, had scent of my poor frigate; but we ran
up the French flag, and so got off; and now we are making a very fair
journey towards Jamaica. Art hungry, lad?  There’s no use lying about
thy stomach, for it’s a hard taskmaster, and, now I come to think of it,
no one has heeded thee or thy wants since the cutter put thee aboard.’

Hunger was indeed a very hard taskmaster for at this moment Harry Fenn
felt a dizziness which he could hardly control, and he half fell on a
bench which was beside him, and against which he had been leaning.
Captain Morgan continued:

’Come, Harry Fenn, you’re a brave lad, and we’ll strike a bargain.  I’ve
taken a fancy to you, my boy, and I’ll try and protect you from the
sailors.  We are rough people at times, but not so bad as we’re painted;
so if you’ll work like the rest, I’ll warrant you good provender and as
merry a life as we sea-folk know how to lead.’

’I will not work for such as you,’ said Harry boldly; ’my father brought
me up in honest ways. I would rather die than join hands with such men
as your crew.’

’By my troth, boy, you are ignorant of our good deeds, I well see,’ said
Captain Morgan. ’Many of those in power are glad enough of our inroads
on the Spanish Settlements, for those rogues get only their deserts if
we make them discharge a little of their gold.  Hast never heard of our
worthy predecessors?  The authorities were less squeamish in those days,
and called the deeds of bold men by fine names, whereas now, in truth,
it is convenient to dub us buccaneers.  There was Sir Thomas Seymour,
and before him there were fine doings by Clarke’s squadron.  By St.
George, he was a lucky man! and after six weeks’ cruise he brought back
a prize of 50,000*l.* taken from the Spaniards.  And how about Drake,
Hawkins, and Cavendish?  There were no ugly names hurled at them, and
yet methinks they and we go much on the same lines.  In truth we have
done good service also against those rascally Dutch, and for that alone
we deserve better treatment than we get.’

Captain Morgan now noticed that Harry had become deadly pale, and,
hastily rising, the buccaneer opened a locker and took from it a black
bottle, the contents of which he poured into a glass.

’Here, lad, thou art faint; this will revive thy courage.  But first
swear that thou wilt be one of us.’

Harry had eagerly stretched forth his hand to take the glass, but at
these words he drew back.

’Nay, but I will not swear; if God wills, I can die, but I will not
sully my father’s name.’

Captain Morgan frowned angrily, and, striding up to Harry, took hold of
his arm with his left hand, and with his right seized the hilt of his
sword as he exclaimed--

’Swear, boy, or it will be worse for thee.’  Harry Fenn made one last
great effort and staggered to his feet; then with his right hand he
struck the glass with as much strength as he possessed, and saw the red
wine spurt out upon the floor and upon the Captain’s doublet.

’God helping me, I will not swear,’ he cried; but the words were barely
audible, as he fell fainting on the floor.

’As brave a lad as I ever cast eyes on!’ said the Captain, losing his
stern expression, and, stooping down, he poured a few drops of the wine
into Harry’s mouth; then, calling for the cook, he bade him tend the boy
till he should have regained his strength.

’Harry Fenn shall be under my protection,’ said the Captain to himself,
’but in time he must be one of us.’



                              CHAPTER III.

                          A BEAUTIFUL ISLAND.


It is the beginning of December 1670 in the beautiful little Island of
St. Catherine, one of the West Indian Islands, which were at this time
the rich treasure-house of most of the European nations, where
Spaniards, French, English, and Dutch all hoped to make their fortunes
in some way or other, and where, alas! the idle and good-for-nothing men
of the Old World attempted by unlawful means to win fame and fortune,
which, when achieved, as often as not brought them neither happiness nor
profit.

Though it is December, in St. Catherine there is nothing cold or
disagreeable in the weather, and all around the beauty of the scene
delights the eye.  The mountains, though of no great height, are wooded
with the loveliest tropical vegetation; the well-watered valleys are
little Gardens of Eden; whilst in some portions, not yet cleared by
either natives, Spaniards, or Englishmen, the original forests rise up
like giants of nature whom no hand of man has laid low.  In these
forests are endless varieties of birds--parrots, pigeons, and
hummingbirds of every colour.  Here, too, can be found land-crabs which
much resemble sea-crabs in shape and manner of walking; but instead of
finding a home under rocks and boulders, these crabs burrow in the
forests, and once a year form themselves into a regiment and march down
to the sea-coast for the purpose of depositing their young in the
waters.  This regiment has only one line of march; it never diverges
from it, but whatever comes in its way is climbed over--straight over it
go the crabs; and such a noise they make that you can hear the
clattering of their claws for a considerable distance.

We must not now stop to describe this West Indian island, which is full
of beauty and curious plants and trees; but if you come to the wood that
leads to the great Spanish fortress of Santa Teresa, you will find a
steep path through the luxurious forest, leading over a drawbridge to
the castle.  What a view can be seen from thence over the port!  But it
was not the view that the Governor’s children were thinking of as they
walked together in the garden which sloped down towards the sea, and
which was especially reserved for the Governor and his family.

Felipa del Campo was a tall dark girl of about fourteen years of age,
but she looked older, and there was a sad expression on her face as she
gazed up to her brother, a noble-looking fellow a year older, with the
long, grave-looking countenance of the Spanish nobility.  He was
dressed, after the fashion of that time, in embroidered doublet, short
velvet tunic, and trunk hose; whilst his well-shaped limbs were
displayed to perfection in silk stockings.  His shoes had buckles set
with diamonds, and his tall Spanish hat was plumed.

Felipa, on her side, had a long silver-embroidered skirt, beneath which
her dainty feet hardly appeared; a small stomacher sewn with seed pearls
set off her lithe figure, whilst her pretty, dark hair strayed from
beneath a rich black lace kerchief.

’Where is my father, Carlo?’ asked Felipa. ’Old Catalina says he has
been down to-day to give orders about the repair of the bridge between
the two islands.  Do you think he is expecting any danger?  Surely the
forts are well protected; but what can make him so busy?’

’I don’t know what to think,’ said Carlo sadly, ’our father is so
strange of late.  I have been trying to speak to you about it, Felipa,
for several days, but sometimes I fancy he seems to watch me as if he
suspected me; though of what I cannot imagine.  And then--have you
noticed?--he cannot make up his mind to anything; he orders something
one day, and the next he has altered his mind. He promised me the
command of the little fort of Santa Cruz when I should be fifteen; but
this morning when I reminded him of this he spoke quite roughly, and
told me I was fit for nothing but playing with girls.’

Carlo’s colour heightened at the very idea of this rebuke; for if there
was one virtue the boy admired more than any other it was courage. These
two children had been early left motherless; but old Catalina, a
faithful servant, had done all she could to make their lives happy since
she had brought them here from Spain, after the Marquis Don Estevan del
Campo had been made Governor of St. Catherine.

’Catalina says that our father is not the same man he was when our
mother first married him,’ said Felipa thoughtfully.  ’The many worries
he has have made the change.  But never mind, Carlo, this mood will pass
by, and we shall be happy again. When our brave uncle, Don Alvarez,
comes with dear Aunt Elena, then they will advise our father, and he
always takes Uncle Alvarez’s opinion.  He always does, because uncle
speaks so decidedly.’

The two children spoke in Spanish, but, strangely enough, they often put
in English words and whole English phrases; and the reason of this was
soon apparent, for at this moment a pretty, fair girl was seen running
towards them with nimble feet down the slope, and, picking her way among
the gorgeous flower-beds, she cried out in pure English, though with a
slightly foreign accent:

’Dear Felipa, what do you think!  There is a trading-vessel in the port,
and the merchant has just come to offer us some beautiful cloth, and
silver buckles!  Catalina dares not send him away till you have seen
him.’

Carlo smiled as he looked at the English girl’s beautiful fair hair,
rosy cheeks, and active limbs. To him she appeared like some angel, for
he was accustomed to seeing only dark people, and the Spanish women in
the island were anything but beautiful.  Felipa shook her head as she
answered:

’Tell Catalina to say I want nothing.’  The Governor’s daughter spoke
with just that tone of command which showed she was accustomed to be
first, even though her gentle manner and sad face plainly indicated that
her real nature was rather yielding than imperious.

’I can see Etta admired the silver buckles,’ said Carlo kindly.  ’Come,
Mistress Englishwoman, I will buy you a pair; for, with the dislike to
long petticoats that comes from your English blood, the pretty buckles
are more necessary for you than for Felipa.’

’Oh, dear Carlo, will you really!’ said Etta, her face beaming with
pleasure.  ’How good you are to me!’  All at once, however, the smile
died away, and, sitting down on a seat near Felipa, the English girl
added, with tears in her blue eyes:

’But no, Carlo, I will not accept your buckles: a prisoner has no right
to wear pretty things.’

’A prisoner!  Oh, Etta!’ said Felipa, throwing her arms round Etta’s
neck, ’why do you say that? Do we not love you dearly?  Am I not a
sister to you? and Carlo a dear brother?  Do I not share all my things
with you?  And when Catalina is cross to you I make her sorry.’

’And my father has almost forgotten you are not one of his own,’ added
Carlo, standing behind Etta and taking one of the fair curls in his
hand; for he dearly loved this English sister, as he called Etta
Allison.

’Yes, yes, it is all true, and Santa Teresa is a lovely home; but I
cannot forget I am English, and that I am really a prisoner.  I once
asked Don Estevan to send me back to England by one of the big ships,
and he refused; and yet my mother’s last words were that I was not to
forget my own land.’

At the thought of her mother Etta’s tears came fast; but at this moment
the Governor of St. Catherine himself appeared in the garden, and Etta,
being afraid to be seen crying, dried her tears and stooped down to play
with Felipa’s little dog, so as not to show her red eyes.  When she
looked up again the sunshine had returned to her bonnie-looking face.

The Marquis Don Estevan del Campo was a small thin-looking man, who had
long suffered from a liver complaint, and in consequence his whole
nature seemed to be changed.  From a determined, clever administrator he
had become peevish, undecided, and ill-tempered; and the men under him
hardly knew how to obey his orders, which were often very contradictory.

To-day he walked towards Carlo, with a troubled expression on his face,
and on the way he took occasion to find fault with a slave who was
watering the flower-beds.  The slave trembled, as he was bidden in a
very imperious fashion to be quicker about his work.

Carlo came to meet his father, doffing his hat in the courtly fashion of
a young Spanish noble.

’What are you doing here, children?’ the Marquis said.  ’Is not this
your hour of study?’

’You have forgotten, my father, that it is a holiday to-day; and I was
coming to ask if Felipa and Etta might not come down to the bay with me
and have a row in my canoe.’

The Marquis looked up quickly.

’No, no: there must be no rowing to-day; I have set workmen to repair
the bridge, and you had best keep at home.’

’Then we will go to the Orange Grove,’ said Felipa, coming up and
putting her hand on her father’s arm, ’and Etta and I will pick some of
the sweetest fruit for your dessert this evening.’

’As you like, Felipa; but do not go far, and take Catalina and some of
the slaves with you, for I hear several of the wild dogs have been seen
in this neighbourhood.  Anyhow, you will not have very long before
sunset.’

’I will let the girls go alone, then,’ said Carlo, ’and come with you,
father.’  And so saying the Marquis and his son walked away, whilst the
girls with an escort of slaves entered the forest and went down the
mountain side.  This forest was not, however, such a one as could be
found in England.  Here the pleasant breeze played among the leaves of a
huge fan palm with leaf-stalks ten feet long and fans twelve feet broad;
next to it might be found a groo-groo or coco palm, and bananas and
plantains; and below these giant trees of the tropics were lovely
shrubs, covered with flowers of every hue and shape, round which flitted
great orange butterflies larger than any we can see in our colder
climate; and Etta with her English blood and active nature was never
tired of chasing them, though now and then a little afraid of meeting
with snakes.

A great deal of this forest had not been cleared; but close by the path
the Governor had had much of the undergrowth cut away, and lower down he
had planted a grove of orange-trees, whose green fruit Etta and Felipa
loved to pick; and round about was a lovely wild garden where grew
sensitive plants and scarlet-flowered balisiers and climbing ferns, over
which twined convolvuli of every colour, whilst the bees buzzed about
these honeycups, never caring to fly up to the great cotton-trees so far
above them, because they found enough beauty and sweetness in the
flowers below.

Felipa and Etta did not know the names of even half the beautiful
flowers they gathered that evening; but they invented fancy names for
many of them, and arranged with good taste a bunch of roses they picked
from a bush twenty feet high, glad that a few were within their reach,
and longing for Carlo, so that he might pull down some more for them.

Of course there were drawbacks even in this lovely place, for there were
the wasps and the spiders to avoid, and centipedes and ants, too; though
Etta was never tired of watching the ’parasol ants’ who walk in
procession, each carrying a bit of green leaf over its head, on which
were to be found now and then baby ants, having a ride home in their
elegant carriage.

Ah, it was a beautiful and wonderful home these young Spaniards had on
this Santa Teresa hill; but at that time even the children in West
Indian homes knew there were dangers that might come upon them, and St.
Catherine had already been the scene of disasters which Etta could just
remember, but which Felipa had seen nothing of as yet, having only been
brought from Spain when the Marquis was firmly established as Governor
of the island.

After the girls had gathered as big nosegays as they could carry they
began to ascend the hill again, for darkness would soon come upon them,
there being no twilight in this lovely region, and even with their
escort of slaves they were not allowed to be out after sunset.

’Dear Etta,’ said Felipa, putting her arm round her friend’s neck,
’promise me you will never again call yourself a prisoner.  You would
not care to leave me and beautiful Santa Teresa to go back to that
dreadfully cold, foggy England?  Surely you have not found us such cruel
Spaniards as your people talk of; and Carlo loves you better than he
loves me, I think.’

Etta smiled and kissed her friend, but she answered:

’I love you and Carlo very, very much, Felipa; but my dear mother told
me before she died that I was never to part with the letters she gave
me, and that some day I must go home and find my relations; for in my
country I come from an honourable family, but here I am only an English
prisoner.’

Felipa was going to argue the question again, when Carlo came running
down to meet them.

’Make haste, Felipa and Etta: my father has suddenly made up his mind to
go to the other island this evening; he means to sleep at the Fort St.
Jerome, and he says we may accompany him.’  The girls, always ready for
a little journey, as they seldom left Santa Teresa, clapped their hands
in joy and ran up the narrow path to the entrance of the castle, in high
glee at the unexpected pleasure.



                              CHAPTER IV.

                        THE PIRATES ARE COMING.


St. Catherine is composed of two islands, but so small was the space
between them that the Marquis had had a secure bridge built across the
tiny strait, and the two islands were always reckoned as one.  The
children were quite ignorant of the reason of their sudden trip to the
greater island, and indeed they only thought of enjoying the fun of
going to a new residence; for close to St. Jerome was the Governor’s
house, near a battery called the Platform, and in sight of the Bay of
Aquada Grande.  A river ran from the Platform to the sea, and the
Marquis had wished to assure himself of the forts being in good order,
as the captain of a friendly ship touching lately at St. Catherine had
sent a message to him that there were rumours of some attempt on Panama
being set on foot by the pirates, and that the Governor of Panama begged
Don Estevan del Campo to keep a sharp look-out at St. Catherine, for
that island had once been in the hands of the English pirates, and it
was known that since the great buccaneer Mansfelt had died and the
island had been re-taken by the Spaniards great hopes were entertained
by several bands of English pirates that this little island might once
more belong to them.  It was for this reason that the Spaniards had
constructed many forts on the island, especially on the lesser St.
Catherine, which was not quite so well provided with natural defences as
was the larger island.

It was the receipt of this news that had so greatly disturbed the
much-worn-out Marquis, and his nerves were indeed hardly equal to the
difficult duties entrusted to him.  Pirates had increased terribly of
late years.  Jamaica, though it had a Governor supposed to be engaged in
suppressing them, was yet quite a nest of these bold outlaws, who,
taking advantage of the English jealousy of Spain, cared not what
outrage they committed on Spanish towns and Spanish islands; though, in
truth, other nations fared but little better at their hands.

The Marquis had examined the fortresses in the lesser island, and was
much troubled at the few men that were at his disposal for manning them,
and for the defence of the island generally; and now, having come to St.
Jerome, he determined to send a boat down the river this very evening in
order to ask for help and advice from the Governor of Costa Rica, Don
John Perez de Guzman, who had five years before so ably retaken the
island. But all this amount of thought and anxiety had quite unnerved
the poor Marquis, who scolded every one about him, found fault with the
garrison, and severely punished some negro slaves for their idleness in
the plantations of the Platform; but, as the negroes were always idle,
they considered their punishment very unfair.

The next evening Carlo went into the pretty sitting-room of the girls,
which looked upon the river and out towards the beautiful bay; but when
Felipa, who was very musical, and could sing in French, Spanish, and
English, took up her lute, begging him to join in, he shook his head and
surprised her by his answer.

’Felipa, don’t ask me to sing; I am sure something is the matter with
our father.  He has got into a passion with Espada, and has put him in
irons. It is very unwise, for Espada is a revengeful man, and he has
great influence with the other men in the fort, some of whom were once
outlaws from Puerto Velo.  I wish I were a man and that my father would
consult me.  His Catholic Majesty ought to give my father a pension and
let us all go back to Spain, for I am sure this place does not agree
with him.’

Etta listened sadly to Carlo’s words; when he was troubled about his
father she was very sorry, for the boy was one whom nobody could help
loving and admiring.

’Dear Carlo, if the King of Spain knew you he would, I am sure, make you
Governor of beautiful St. Catherine, and then the poor negroes would not
be oppressed, nor the gentle Indians hunted with dogs as you say they
are sometimes.  My father used to tell me of the dreadful cruelties used
towards those poor people in past days.  In England such things would
not be allowed.’  And, so saying, Etta raised her head proudly, feeling
that an Englishman was better than a Spaniard.

Felipa passed her hands over the lute, saying, as the sweet tones were
wafted through the room:

’Do not talk of such things, Etta.  I am sure our Indians are not
unhappy.  Andreas loves us clearly; and we make the negroes, not the
Indians, work on the marshes.  Now I shall sing to drive away your ugly
fancies.’

And she sang softly an evening hymn in Spanish, and Carlo and Etta
joined in too, so that the sound of the young voices floated over the
clear waters of the river, whilst the scent of sweet spice plants was
wafted in.  Surely Felipa was right: it was not suitable to talk of
human miseries when all around nature was so exquisite.  Old Catalina
soon came in with the evening supper, saying the Marquis had gone out
and would sup alone; and very early the girls retired to bed; Carlo told
them not to dream of troubles, because he should be next door to them in
case they were frightened. He felt that his sister was under his charge
now that their father the Marquis was so little able to see after her.

Old Catalina counted her beads and muttered her prayers long after the
two girls were sleeping soundly; and as she stooped over Etta’s bed and
noticed how fair the girl was, she murmured: ’It is a pity this pretty
child is a Protestant; but I hope when she is older she will be one with
us; for otherwise the Marquis will thrust her out and not let her come
home with us to Spain, and my darling Felipa will break her heart, for
she loves her English playfellow dearly.’

But the night was not to pass as quietly and peacefully as it had begun.
Catalina lay on a mattress in her young mistress’s room; but, being a
heavy sleeper, she did not hear a hasty knock at the door, and the
repeated call of ’Catalina! Felipa! quick! open the door!  Why do you
all sleep so soundly!’

Etta was the first to awake, and, throwing a coloured shawl about her,
she ran to the door and opened it.

’What is up, Carlo?’ she said rather sleepily.

’Wake Catalina and Felipa, and make haste and dress yourselves.  My
father says we must fly from here at once: the pirates are outside the
bay. They will land early to-morrow, perhaps opposite this very fort.  I
beseech you, make all haste you can.’  In a few minutes the frightened
girl had shaken Catalina, and was trying to explain to Felipa what the
danger was which threatened them.

’Oh, Felipa, the pirates are coming!  Quick! quick! make haste and
dress, for the Marquis says we must go back to Santa Teresa at once.’

Catalina began wringing her hands as poor Felipa turned deadly pale.

’We shall all be killed!  May the saints protect us!  Ah, my poor lamb!
who could have believed those wicked wretches would have dared to show
themselves here again, and in your father’s lifetime. Alas! alas! make
haste, sweetheart, and let us fly!’

Felipa was so frightened that she could hardly dress herself; and poor
Etta, who knew more about the dreaded sea-robbers than did Felipa, tried
to be brave in order not to increase the Spanish girl’s terror.  Etta
was brave, and in many ways fearless in all ordinary affairs; but the
cry ’The pirates are coming!’ was one of the most dreaded in the West
Indies--a cry which had often taken the spirit out of the heart of a
bold sea-captain, who knew the desperate courage and reckless
indifference to life exhibited by the men who infested these seas.

When Catalina and the girls were dressed they stepped forth, to find the
Marquis and Carlo waiting for them.  The former was walking up and down
the hall of the house discussing the terrible news with some Spanish
officers.

’Your Excellency knows that this fort cannot long resist a fierce
assault,’ said one of them.  ’Were it not better to evacuate the
Platform and concentrate our forces on the lesser island batteries?  The
fortresses there are strongly built, and with our men we could put them
in a better state of resistance.’

’They will not land to-night,’ said the wretched Marquis, looking the
picture of an undecided man. ’If you think, Don Francisco, that flight
would be the best plan, give orders to your men.  Ah, here are the
children.  Are the horses ready?  We have no time to waste; and yet what
say you?  Perhaps these wretches will think better of it, and leave Port
St. Catherine in peace.  Were it not better after all to stay here?’

’Let us stay, father,’ put in Carlo.  ’If you will let me fight, I am
sure I shall be able to defend this place.  Do not let this handful of
rascals believe we fear them.’

’Give your opinion, Carlo, when you are asked, and not before.  Are the
horses ready?  Now, Felipa, wrap your scarf well round you; we have a
long way to go.  Yes, I think it is better to go than to stay.’

’We shall be safe at Santa Teresa, father, are you sure?’ sobbed Felipa;
whilst Etta, looking at Carlo’s fearless expression of face, determined
to say nothing, for he had once said girls were always afraid.

It was a very anxious and silent cavalcade that made its way back
towards the small island that night, and contrasted strangely with that
which had come hither but quite lately, laughing and chatting to their
hearts’ content.

Carlo, however, managed to ride near Etta occasionally when the ground
was clearer so as to allow their horses to walk abreast.  Felipa kept
close to her father, as if near him she would be quite safe from the
dreaded foes.  Every now and then she looked back into the darkness
towards the little village at the foot of the Platform; where, however,
all was at present still and quiet.

’Is it really true?’ whispered Etta to Carlo, as if she could be heard
from this distance; ’have they been seen?’

’I think so.  José the one-eyed, who, they say, was once a pirate
himself, noticed the ships creeping round towards the bay just before
sundown, and he came all the way from San Salvador to give the news,
hearing my father was here.  However, of course they may think better of
attacking us. José believes he recognises one of Mansfelt’s old ships;
but I think terror gives him double sight, For all that, I wish my
father would have stayed and driven off the rascals on their first
landing.  It looks as if we feared them, and that will make them
bolder.’

Not much more was said, and the cavalcade rode through the dark forest,
and then emerged on the sea coast, for towards the north of the island
the cliffs became lower, and before reaching the bridge there was a good
stretch of open country.

’God be praised, and all his saints!’ said Catalina, ’I can see the
crest of Santa Teresa.  We shall now soon be in safety.  The rascals
cannot climb our mountain; and if they come we can hurl them down into
the sea.  I wouldn’t mind helping to do that with my own hands.’

The Marquis had already sent on a messenger to collect several officers
at the Castle of Santa Teresa, which, with its thick walls, its great
moat, its impregnable cliff on the sea-side, and its difficult ascent
towards the land, was a secure retreat, where the Governor could hold a
council of war, and decide what course to take as to repulsing the enemy
should he land on the shores of St. Catherine.

’I wish my father would take his own counsel,’ thought Carlo for the
hundredth time, ’and then he would at least know his own mind.  However,
now there is real danger, he cannot prevent my helping to defend my
sister and my home.’  And this feeling made the proud, brave boy forget
that fighting does not always mean victory, and caused him not to be
altogether sorry that he should have a chance of distinguishing himself,
and perhaps--who knew?--the King of Spain would hear of it.  Carlo had
read of the deeds of brave knights and of their wonderful exploits, and
was eager to begin also his own career of fame; but reality is often,
alas, very unlike our dreams.

All nature was fully awake when the Governor reached Santa Teresa; and
the girls, once more safely surrounded by habitual sights and sounds,
forgot their fears, and, after a little rest and refreshment, began, as
before, running happily about the gardens within the enclosure.  The
guards were, however, at once doubled, and the negro slaves posted in
the wood.

’Here we shall not see the pirates land,’ said Felipa, now almost
disappointed, ’nor the punishment our people will give them.  I am sure
Carlo would have been able to defeat them with the help of a few men.
Don’t you think so, Etta?’

’I do not know; but, Felipa, let us say our prayers, and then we shall
be sure they will not hurt us.  Do you know that, in the excitement of
the journey, I forgot mine this morning; and I promised my mother never
to leave them out.’

’So did I,’ exclaimed Felipa, ’but I shall tell Padre Augustine and he
will forgive me.’  Etta had no such comfort, for she had been early
imbued by her parents with a great disbelief in the religion of the
Spanish settlers; but from living with Felipa, and being kindly treated
by her captors, she had begun to take Felipa’s opinions as a matter of
course; though now and then the girls had little differences as to the
various merits of their Churches.  Had Etta not been of a very
determined character, most likely she would have forgotten her own
faith; but early troubles had made her old in ideas, and passionate love
for her dead parents kept all their wishes in her mind.  She would
sooner have died than have become a Roman Catholic, and at present the
Marquis had not taken the trouble to inquire into the matter.  Had
Felipa not wanted a companion, Etta’s fate might have been a sad one; as
it was, she enjoyed all the privileges of the Governor’s little
daughter.  But often the English girl would steal away to read over some
of her precious letters, or to kiss the few relics she possessed of the
gentle mother who had died at St. Catherine.  In these days many sad
stories might have been told of the sufferings of the wives of the
merchants or Governors who had to live away from their country, or who
for some reason crossed the seas to come to the West Indies. The prisons
of Algeria and the haunts of the West Indian pirates could have
revealed, and did reveal, many a sad story of captivity and
ill-treatment.

But the day was not to pass without news of the enemy; for in the
afternoon Carlo, who had been round the fort with his father, ran in to
tell the girls that a messenger had just arrived from the other island.

’The saints protect us!  And what does he say? Have they made dried meat
of them already?’ said Catalina, referring to the meaning of the word
buccaneer.

’The enemy has landed below the Platform; they are about a thousand
strong, and their leader is no other than the terrible Captain Morgan
the Englishman,’ said Carlo, much excited.

’A thousand strong!’ exclaimed Felipa.  ’Then we shall need all our men.
But they cannot reach us here.  What does our father say?’

Carlo shrugged his shoulders.

’He will give no positive orders, but the rascals are really marching
through the woods towards us. I wonder at their rashness, for here we
are so well prepared to receive them that they will find it too warm for
them.  We are to have a council of war this evening.  Now, if I were
Governor I would starve them out.’

’Will father let you attend the council?’ asked Felipa, looking upon her
brother as already a knight of renown.

’Nay, but he must.  I can use a sword as well as any one.  Etta, you
shall tie my scarf, and I will wear your colours on my scabbard.’

Etta shook her head sadly.

’The pirates are from my country.  Your father will be angry with me,
Carlo; and yet my father was none of them.  He was a brave and honest
merchant.’

’No one shall blame thee, dear Etta,’ said the boy, ’or if they do, I
will offer single combat.’  And Carlo went through his military
exercises with great show and laughter, till Catalina and some slaves
arrived, and desired the young people to come and help with the defence
of the castle by taking away all the valuables and hiding them in the
dungeons below or in a well under the flags of the inner courtyard.

Carlo was very angry at this order of his father’s: it seemed to
presuppose the taking of Santa Teresa.

’As if the pirates would ever enter this stronghold!’ he said
impatiently.  ’If I may be allowed to speak, I will offer to lead out a
party from Santa Teresa, and the robbers will see something worth seeing
then.  I must go and find my father and persuade him.’

In spite of his objection, however, Carlo, as well as every one else,
had to work with a will within the walls of Santa Teresa; whilst the
Marquis, hardly able to hide his fears, paced restlessly up and down
without the castle, often sending negro scouts on all sides to ascertain
the real truth; but he got such contradictory answers that he half
feared the negroes were too much afraid to venture near enough to the
advancing enemy to ascertain how matters stood.



                               CHAPTER V.

                              THE SCOUTS.


The council of war presided over by the Marquis took place late that
afternoon; and Carlo, bent on proving his capabilities as a soldier,
slipped in with the officers and various Spaniards in authority who had
been able to leave their several stations to join in the discussion.
The Marquis was so much disturbed and troubled that he took no heed of
his son, for as the officers entered the private room of the Governor
the sound of cannon was distinctly heard in the distance, much to the
dismay of many present.

’Those are the guns of St. Jerome,’ said one of the officers.  ’The
enemy must have reached the bridge, and we may expect them here by
sunset. Shall we give the order for all the neighbouring guns to fire,
sir.’

’That will not be necessary,’ answered the Marquis, testily.  ’How many
guns are there at St. Jerome?  Surely enough to drive these robbers back
to their boats?’

’We have eight, Señor, at St. Jerome, and those will play freely on
them; they will be caught in a trap.’

’Well, then, that will settle them.  We know they cannot advance up the
river below this hill.’

’Only a canoe could reach us here, and that would hold but a few men,’
said Don Francisco.

’The blacks declare that Captain Morgan has only four hundred men with
him; if so, there will be no great difficulty.’

’Nay, but the Indian Andreas,’ said Carlo, ’has just told me they are
more like a thousand strong. I believe Andreas is the only scout who
gets near enough to know.’

Carlo had an especial liking for Andreas, who often accompanied him out
into the woods to kill the birds.  He was a very sharp fellow, and knew
every turn and winding in the islands.

’A thousand strong!  What nonsense, Carlo! Your opinion was not asked,
boy, and silence is your best course,’ said the Marquis, angrily.

Carlo blushed, but all the same he knew he was right, and was terribly
annoyed at hearing his father ask counsel first of one and then of
another, without coming to any decision.  He saw several of the officers
looking evidently anxious, and when the council of war broke up--having
decided nothing but that a scout should be sent to St. Jerome for news,
and that there should be another meeting next morning--Carlo went up to
an officer and said hastily:

’Why do we not collect a force of men and go out to meet them in the
marshes?--for that is surely the way they will advance.’

’The Marquis thinks otherwise, Señorito; and he may be right, for they
may find themselves in a sad fix in some of the swamps in the low ground
or in the woods, and then they may think it better to return without
trying to take a fortress. Besides, we do not know how much powder they
may have brought, and we must not waste our own ammunition.’

This was all the consolation Carlo could get, and he went back to his
sister’s room looking very crestfallen and anxious.  So to her eager
questioning he answered:

’I wish father would let Don Francisco de Paratta take the command; he
himself is quite unable to take it.  I could see by Don Francisco’s face
that he thinks we are doing wrong.  We have not even got true
information yet as to their number.  I have a great mind----’  Carlo
paused, for a sudden idea now entered his head.

’What are you thinking of?’ said Felipa, turning pale.  ’Oh, Carlo, do
not do anything rash.  What should we do without you?’

’Oh, you are safe enough here at Santa Teresa; it would be impossible to
take this place by storm with a thousand men, or even double that
number, so you need not be afraid, dear Felipa.’

’I know you mean to go and see for yourself,’ said Etta.  ’I wish I were
a boy and I could go with you.  To stay still makes one imagine many
impossible things.’

’Hush! don’t tell any one, especially Catalina,’ said Carlo, looking
round and seeing they were alone; ’she chatters so much.  My plan is
this: I will slip outside presently before the gate is shut and run down
the hill to the river.  There Andreas has a canoe safely hidden in the
bushes, and he will paddle me down to the mangrove swamps, and from
there we may get near to them and see for ourselves how the pirates are
situated.’

’But you will get killed,’ sobbed Felipa.  ’These wicked English pirates
are worse than cannibals; Catalina says that they roast their prisoners
alive, and----’

’Nonsense!  Dry your tears, little sister, and believe me, Andreas is
too clever a fellow to let us get eaten.  I shall be back before very
late, and I know the only breach that can be climbed.’

Seeing her brother so cheerful, Felipa dried her tears, and hung a
little coin round his neck, which, she said, would keep him from harm;
and then she and Etta determined to sit up till he should come back, for
when he was once gone they would not mind telling Catalina.

In the meantime all was bustle within the fort. The Spaniards had found
out now that the Governor had entirely lost his nerve, and this
increased the panic of the garrison.  The men on watch amused themselves
by telling thrilling and horrible stories of the various tortures
inflicted by the pirates on their prisoners, and speculated as to the
fate of the garrison of St. Jerome, whose fire had ceased when the sun
went down.  However, every one knew that Santa Teresa was safe enough,
and that even if some bold spirits climbed up the steep path on the land
side no great number could come on at the same time and so carry the
place by assault.

At nightfall, Carlo, unseen by any one, slipped out of the fort; and,
plunging into the wood, he was soon joined by the Indian Andreas, who
was a fine fellow, a Christian, and, moreover, devotedly fond of the
young Spaniard, who had always treated him with kindness.  Andreas spoke
fluent Spanish, from having been early taught by the Spanish priests,
who had brought him up after his father’s death.

’That’s right, Andreas,’ said Carlo, when he saw him.  ’Now make haste
and show me your path down to the river; the other one is watched by the
slaves, and they might set the dogs on us by mistake.  I reckon we can
reach the swamps in two hours with your canoe, and you tell me that you
are sure the enemy is encamped near there.’

’Yes, Señorito, that is the truth; my little boy brought me word.  And I
believe they are in great distress for want of food; but we shall see.
Look, noble Carlo: I have brought my arrows; and woe to any one that
tries to touch us!’

After some very difficult walking in the mazes of the forest, through
which no one but an Indian could have steered, the two at last reached
the river, which ran far below Santa Teresa; and though this stream was
only navigable for canoes, it was often used by the Indians and
Spaniards when in haste to reach the sea, instead of taking the longer
journey by the land road.  Andreas had powers of sight which appeared
quite extraordinary to Carlo; and when the two were seated in the frail
canoe, it was wonderful how the Indian paddled the boat, swiftly and
surely, avoiding the rocks as if it were broad daylight, and never
mistaking the many bends.  Had Carlo been alone he would have grounded
the boat half a dozen times, and not have reached his destination before
daylight; but as it was, in two hours the boat glided swiftly into the
midst of the mangrove swamp through which the river here made its way.
All was quiet at first; the canoe did not even disturb the herons and
pelicans which slept near by on the interlaced roots of the mangroves.

’If the pirates could have got into this swamp,’ whispered Andreas,
’there would be no need of our cannon; but they are too crafty for that.
They have doubtless seized a good guide who would not dare to betray
them; otherwise they never could have reached Guana’s Creek, where, I
hear, they have encamped to-night.’

They drew up the canoe near to a great stump standing out in the water,
and, mooring it there, Andreas stepped on to a dry piece of ground;
then, stooping down, he listened intently, till like a stealthy animal
he returned to Carlo.

’I am sure, Señorito, that I can hear the sound of the enemy.  I must
creep up through the grove and get to the higher ground; then I will
return with news, if you will wait.  I dare not let you come till I have
seen how the land lies.  Lie down in the canoe, and I will make haste.
But cover yourself up, for the air is bad here, Señor; indeed you must
chew this root, and then you will feel no harm.’  And so saying, Andreas
drew a dark-looking bit of root from his pocket, which was a secret
remedy against the swamp malaria, known only to the Indians; then,
walking quickly towards the jungle, he disappeared into the darkness.

Carlo had to wait what seemed to him a long time before Andreas came
back; and what made it worse for him was the rain, which began to fall
heavily.  At last, when he was beginning to think his Indian friend had
been caught by the pirates, he was startled by hearing a little splash
in the water beside him, and in another moment Andreas himself was in
the canoe.

’The young Señor did not hear me,’ said the Indian, smiling at the start
Carlo gave.  ’It was to show him how well Andreas can walk in silence
that I came so quietly.’

’Did you see them, good Andreas?  Tell me quickly, shall I come now, or
must we go back?’

’Yes, yes, Señor, I saw them.  They are many--a thousand, I fancy, or
about that number; but they are in a bad position; they have no food,
and no fire to cook it with.  I went up quite close and saw the
Captain.’

’Captain Morgan!  Oh, Andreas, did he look a wicked man?  Tell me what
he looked like.’

’A tall, fair Englishman, Señor, but not evil-looking; only some of his
followers had the bad countenances of wicked men.  I could see that they
were discontented; and I heard some discussing if they should go back to
their ships. Look now, Señor Carlo: if you can persuade the noble
Governor to send a hundred well-armed soldiers to-night against these
same men, we shall have no more trouble with them.  We could drive them
into the swamp, and then the swamp would do the rest.  Why, they were
badly off: some had naked feet like the poor Indians, and some had but
ragged clothes, and very few had firearms. They were angry with the
Captain at being led into the marsh, and they huddled together when the
rain began to fall, cursing their misfortunes.’

’It will go on raining all night, I fancy,’ said Carlo.  ’I have been
nicely sheltered here; but out where they are camped there are but few
trees. How could you see all this, good Andreas, for it is still dark?’

’Well enough, Señor, for the rascals had pulled down some of the Indian
huts that lie up above, and had made a fire of them.  Captain Morgan was
trying to make himself comfortable; and I saw a young lad about your
size and your age, Señorito, in the Captain’s rude tent.  I thought he
must be his son; but he looked sad and dejected, and not like one of the
pirates.  Perhaps some young prisoner they have taken.  He was busy
making up the fire, but I noticed that another fellow watched him pretty
closely whenever he strayed a little. Yes, I am sure he was a prisoner.’

This did not interest Carlo so much as Andreas’ idea about the hundred
men being sent out against the pirates.

’Andreas, you are right.  Quick, let us make haste home, and I will do
my best to persuade my father to send a body of soldiers here by
daybreak. If only he will believe us!  Are you tired?  Let me row a
little.’

But Andreas laughed.

’The Señorito would stick us in the mud at the next bend,’ he said, and,
taking up his paddle, he sent the frail boat into mid-stream, and as
silently as they had come they returned towards Santa Teresa.  During
the journey Carlo hardly spoke; he was planning the morning’s expedition
in his own mind; and already he had cleared the whole island of the
dreaded horde, and covered the name of Estevan del Campo with glory and
honour.

By the time the canoe shot into a tiny cove at the foot of Santa Teresa,
Carlo was glad enough to jump up and follow his leader through the
forest by an Indian path; and with Andreas’ help the wall was scaled,
and both entered the enclosure unperceived.

’It is to be hoped the pirates do not know this path,’ he said to
Andreas; ’but, even if they did, not more than a single file of men
could get up here.  Do the guides here know of it, Andreas?’

Andreas shook his head.

’Hush, young master, tell no one of it.  It is known only to the Indians
of my tribe, and there are but few of us now.  Good-night, Señorito; I
will be ready in the morning if you want another guide.’

Carlo warmly shook the faithful Indian’s hand as he bade him good-bye.
Before the Spanish occupation Andreas had been a chief’s son; but his
father had long ago been killed by the white men, and the tribe was
broken up.  The boy had been educated by the missionaries, but had never
altogether forgotten his childhood; and but for his love of Carlo del
Campo some said he would ere this have run away from the Governor’s
estate, where he was forced to tend the gardens and to see his children
brought up as something not much better than mere slaves, whilst his
gentle wife was expected to help Catalina in household duties, cook the
food for the black slaves, and wait on the young ladies.

Carlo was able to creep upstairs unheard by any one; and, seeing a light
in his sister’s sitting-room, he knocked softly.  Catalina opened the
door, and the girls, who had fallen asleep on a couch, jumped up
eagerly.

’Carlo, there you are!  Tell us the news!  How glad I am you are safe
home!’

’I dreamt you were drawn and quartered by the pirates.  My poor lamb,’
cried Catalina, ’how we prayed for you, till we fell asleep and forgot
to finish the Litany of Danger!’

’Nonsense! there was no danger at all; the pirates are in a bad way, and
it is raining hard. But tell me where my father is.  We have only to
send out men and we are saved.  Andreas knows exactly where they are
encamped.’

’The noble Marquis was in the guard-room below when I came up,’ said
Catalina.  ’No one has gone to bed this night.’

Carlo hastened away cheerfully.  He was some time absent; but when he
returned his young face was clouded over with deep disappointment.

’It is of no use; my father will not believe me. He refuses to do
anything till there can be another council, and then it may be too late.
Why am I not a man!’

’Never mind, dear Carlo,’ whispered Etta softly; ’the council may
believe you, and then----’

But Carlo shook his head, and, tired out, he went to his own bed and
fell asleep from sheer fatigue.



                              CHAPTER VI.

                            HATCHING A PLOT.


The next morning the rain stopped, and the sun shone out brightly and
powerfully over the beautiful wood which clothed the steep sides of
Santa Teresa.  The cocoa-nut trees and the various kinds of palms softly
waved their beautiful heads in the morning breeze; the sulphur and black
butterflies flew hither and thither about the crimson, yellow, and green
pods of the cocoa, and on the orchids that hung from the giant stems.
All this and much more beauty was unheeded by the people in Santa
Teresa, for before the council of war could meet Andreas came running
into the courtyard, where Carlo had just come down to hear what news he
could, too angry to seek out his father after his disappointment of the
previous night.

’Young master, where is the noble Marquis? Has he sent no one?  No?  Ah,
Señorito, now it is too late, for a canoe is coming up the river, and it
is not a mile distant.  The pirates have sent a messenger, and the young
English boy I told you of is with him.  They are flying a white flag;
that means, the pirate captain has sent them to parley. They have
recovered their courage this morning, or they would not have come to
treat.  It will be too late to attack them now, and you see the rain has
stopped.’

Andreas wrung his hands in a manner peculiar to the gentle Indian race
to which he belonged; whilst Carlo, much excited by the news,
impatiently drew him forward towards the Marquis’s room.

’Come and tell my father, Andreas.  I cannot persuade him you really saw
the men.  He says that you were mistaken last night, and that the
pirates are armed to the teeth.’

’The great Governor will not believe!  And yet I could have even brought
something away from the vultures’ tent,’ added Andreas with a smile.

Alas! it was only too true.  Instead of being surprised at the arrival
of a pirate messenger, Don Estevan del Campo seemed greatly relieved.
He had up to this hour decided on nothing, and was more excited and more
unfit to issue commands than he had been even the day before.  Carlo
appealed to Don Francisco; but this officer was powerless without the
sanction of the Governor, and the more the latter was urged to fight the
less he seemed inclined to do so.

The Marquis listened to the news the Indian brought, and then ordered
some soldiers to go down to the river and conduct the messengers into
the castle.  They were to be well guarded, and to have their eyes
bandaged for fear of discovering any secrets, such as taking notes of
the path up the steep hill of Santa Terea.

Great was the excitement in the castle when it was known that the
pirates had been bold enough to send an envoy.  Some suggested that
these heralds of robbers should not be received; others, that they
should be sent back with threats; others, that hanging was too good for
them; whilst Don Francisco declared plainly that a garrison of His
Catholic Majesty of Spain had no business to parley with English
rascals; but Don Estevan, going from one to the other, listened to all
the contradictory advice, merely saying at the end:

’No, no, good sirs, but we must hear what they say.  Most likely this
herald brings us an unconditional surrender, in which case we shall have
trapped the rats without wasting our powder.’  But Don Francisco
answered:

’That is not very likely, noble Marquis; there seems no doubt it is
Henry Morgan who himself leads the band, and he was never known to
surrender.  Andreas swears there are a great number of them.  If so,
they will surely attack us.’

The surmises were at length set at rest by the entrance of the soldiers,
who brought with them a short, thick-set man, whose determined face
spoke of dauntless courage and daring.  With him was a tall fair youth,
with a noble but sad and care-worn expression of face.

From the windows of their dwelling-room Felipa and Etta had watched the
entrance of the new arrivals; and Carlo, who had rushed in to do the
same, could not help an exclamation of surprise at the sight of the lad,
who was about his own age and size.  As for Etta, her admiration found
vent in words.

’Look, Felipa, that is an English boy!  How handsome he is!  He does not
look wicked, does he? Perhaps he is Henry Morgan’s son.  How I wish
these were not wicked pirates!  I would talk to them of England, and
perhaps they might know my relations and would some day take me back.
But the man looks every inch of him like an evil buccaneer.’

’Etta, what nonsense you are talking!’ said Carlo; ’the youth is most
likely as wicked as the rest.  Andreas saw him last night.  Yes, he must
be the Captain’s son.  Now I shall go and hear their propositions.  If I
had had my way there would have been no messengers alive by this hour to
suggest any terms.  One should give no quarter to such foes.’

After Carlo had gone, the two girls, who were busy over some beautiful
Spanish embroidery, still sat by the window hoping to see the pirates go
back blindfolded.  Such excitement had not before fallen to the lot of
Felipa; for during the five years she had been in this beautiful and
peaceful island home, nothing more exciting had occurred than a few
expeditions to the other island, or a row on the lagoon.  The Marquis,
her father, had been much blamed by his Spanish kindred for having sent
for his daughter from Spain; but his reasons had been, besides his
natural affection for her, a fear that after her mother’s death her
uncles might marry the young girl to one of their own friends and pass
it off as an order of the King.  Till now Del Campo had certainly not
regretted the step, for he wished to keep Felipa with him till she
should marry a man of his own choosing.  In those days young girls were
promised in marriage to men whom they had never seen, and very often
their lovers were old and unattractive, though they were of course
wealthy or had some other recommendation in the eyes of the parents of
the high-born Spanish maidens.

Felipa quite believed Carlo when he assured her and Etta that Santa
Teresa was much too strong and well-fortified to be taken by even such a
large number of pirates as had now landed; so the fears of the maidens
were, in consequence, much diminished, and a good deal of curiosity
mingled with their sympathy at Carlo’s disappointment.

’After all,’ said Felipa, who was not naturally brave, ’if Carlo had
gone out to fight the pirates he might have been killed, so it is just
as well our father waited for daylight, and to hear what Captain Morgan
had to say.  Don’t you think so, Etta?’

’Brave soldiers never think whether they shall be killed or not,’ said
Etta.  ’I am sure the Captain’s son is brave; he walked in with his head
thrown back, and looked so handsome.’

’Oh, Etta, if any one is an Englishman you think he must be perfect,’
said Felipa, crossly.  ’I tell you these pirates are all wicked, and
make war on defenceless women and children.  That is unworthy of any
great nation.’  But Etta retorted:

’Nay, but the Spaniards are more cruel than the English.’  They might
have gone on disputing over their nationalities had not Carlo
reappeared, carrying with him a document which he was trying to
decipher.

’Etta, here, quick.  This is crabbed English writing, and the Marquis
said that you were to help me to read it,  and to write it out in fair
Spanish, so that the council may deliberate on it. The boy who has
accompanied the messenger cannot speak many words of Spanish, and will
do nothing but shake his head.  If I had my wish I would have both man
and boy hung up on the tallest prickly palm of the estate.’

Etta in the meanwhile was deciphering the words, which had been written
on the rind of the fruit of the cabbage-palm, which rind looked very
much like a piece of parchment, and was indeed often used instead of it
in the West Indies.

The writing ran thus, though it took all the three some time to make it
out--


’To the Spanish Governor of the Island of St. Catherine.

’Hereby I, the world-wide famous Captain Henry Morgan, make known that
if within a few hours you deliver not yourself and all your men into my
hands, I do by my messenger swear unto you and all those that are in
your company that I shall most certainly put you and them all to the
sword, without granting quarter to any.’


Carlo flushed red with indignation when at last these words were made
out and translated, then hurried away to his father and the officers, to
give the writing into their hands.

’These words are an insult to our great country, my father.  I hope you
will give them a fitting answer.  Such vile caitiffs deserve no pity.’

’We must have two hours to deliberate on this paper, gentlemen,’ said
the Governor, uneasily; ’for I hear there is great panic on the island,
and that the people are leaving their homes and flocking to the
fortresses.  If so, a worse enemy than the pirates may trouble us, and
that will be famine.  Go, Carlo, and tell the messengers to return to
him who sent them, and say that my answer shall be taken to Henry Morgan
by my own trustworthy messengers, but that they must be promised a
safe-conduct.’

Carlo had nothing to do but to obey.  He found the man and the boy in
the courtyard surrounded by a strong guard of Spaniards.  He proudly
gave his father’s message, but, thinking of Etta’s words, he could not
help being struck with the noble bearing of the fair-haired youth, who
appeared to be much disturbed by the rude looks and taunts of the
soldiers about him, for he scarcely lifted his head till Carlo had done
speaking, when he suddenly looked up at him, as if he were going to say
something; but, evidently thinking better of it, he remained silent.

’Marry, then, in two hours our Captain will expect your answer,’ said
the pirate, ’and it were best not to trifle with him, as he is sure to
keep his word.  ’Tis no time to dally.’

’_Perros! nos veremos,_’ exclaimed a soldier after Carlo had turned away
in silence--which words mean in English, ’Dogs, we shall meet you,’ and
were accompanied by some insulting dumb show at the departing
messengers.

After this the boy went back to the council-room; but what was his
surprise at finding it barred and bolted, whilst a soldier, who was
guarding it, said respectfully that the Governor’s orders were that no
one might enter.

’That does not include me,’ said Carlo, angrily.

’Pardon, noble Señor Carlo; the Marquis said, "Not even my son."’


     [Illustration: _CARLO REFUSED ADMISSION_ (missing from book)]


Carlo turned away, too indignant to say anything in answer; and then he
went sorrowfully upstairs to get some comfort where he knew he should
always find it.  He told the girls what had just happened, adding:

’It is very unjust of my father.’  Then, as Felipa blushed with sorrow,
he added: ’No, I ought not to say that, for I fancy he did not mean to
exclude me, only that stupid Luis wished to show his importance and
invented the order.’

’Tell me, dear Carlo,’ put in Etta, eagerly, ’did you speak to the
English boy?  I saw the soldier escort him and his fellow down the hill;
and how I wished I could have had a few words with him!’

’What! with a pirate, Etta?  But would that I could go into the
council-room!  If my father decides to despatch several hundred men, he
must give me the command of at least a little band. You should see how
well I could command.’

’Your noble father only meant, Señorito, that you must not disturb the
meeting,’ said Catalina, joining in; ’and I know there is a door at the
other end, which is made but of light bamboos, and you can hear well
enough there all that goes on.’  Catalina spoke with so much certainty
that it seemed as if she had herself been eavesdropping.

Carlo was delighted with the idea.  ’Is that so, Catalina?  The saints
reward you, you dear old woman!  I will give you a silk kerchief worked
in gold thread the next time a merchant ship comes here from Panama.
Ah, Etta, I am afraid you will never see your fair English boy again, so
do not expect it, unless we take him prisoner; then I will spare him for
your sake.  That is a bargain. Now, Catalina, come and show me your
secret way.’  And delighted that he should not be quite excluded from
hearing the plans of defence, the eager Carlo followed Catalina, quite
believing that after all it was not his father but the stupid guard Luis
who had prevented him from joining in the council of war.  He was,
however, soon to be undeceived.



                              CHAPTER VII.

                               TREACHERY.


An hour later, when the Governor came out of the council-chamber and was
entering his own private room, he looked ten years older.  At this
moment Carlo rushed into the room and threw himself at his father’s
feet.

Don Estevan looked much surprised, and the papers he held in his hand
shook visibly.

’Father, you cannot mean it!’ cried the Governor’s only son, ’say it is
not true!  There is yet time: the messengers have not yet started.  I
beseech you think better of it.  I heard everything.’

’You heard everything?  What do you mean, you insolent boy!’ cried the
Marquis, angrily; ’you were not in the council-chamber.  Get up, Carlo;
what is done is done for the best.’

’No, no, it cannot be for the best to betray this island.  The stratagem
you have suggested is unworthy of you; it cannot be true that Don
Estevan del Campo will allow those villains to take this fortress
without so much as a blow!’

Poor Carlo was beside himself with grief; he had indeed heard only too
much from his hiding-place.  The Governor had entirely lost his head,
and was unable to make up his mind to fight the dreaded buccaneers; and
now that he had found out their real number, and the number of their
ships, he could think of nothing but temporising with them.  He had
forced the council to agree to send two messengers to Henry Morgan with
these terms: They were to say that, feeling himself quite unable to hold
the island against such a body of desperate men as Captain Morgan had
with him, the Marquis begged the Captain to use a certain stratagem of
war in order to make it appear to the people that the place was taken in
honest fight.  Captain Morgan was, according to this plan, to come at
night to the bridge which divided the two islands, and here he was to
attack Fort St. Jerome.  In the meanwhile the pirate ships were to
approach as near as possible to Santa Teresa and attack it from the sea;
also at the same time to land a body of men at a place hard by, called
St. Matthew.  Here the Governor was to be intercepted on his way to Fort
Jerome, taken prisoner, and forced to give up the keys of the castles of
Santa Teresa and St. Jerome, and the possession of these two strong
places would virtually mean that of the whole island.  There was to be a
feint, much firing on both sides, but no bullets were to be used;
moreover, they were to fire in the air, to make sure of no one being
killed on either side.

This was the shameful plan of surrender that Carlo had heard his father
propose, and not only propose but enforce on the majority of the men
composing the council; though Don Francisco de Paratta and a few others
had firmly refused to give their consent to such a base affair.

The Marquis also knew that Carlo, young as he was, was too bold and
fearless ever to give in his obedience to this idea, and for this reason
he had had him shut out from the deliberations.  He was therefore all
the more indignant and angry when Carlo declared he had heard
everything, and his burst of indignation was terrible to witness.

’You forget your position and mine,’ said the unhappy Marquis in a
passion.  ’What can you know, Carlo, of the defences of the island?  How
can I consent to a general massacre of my garrisons, when by this simple
means we shall avoid all loss? And in a few days these wild robbers will
leave the island for other more profitable fields, and--but why should I
explain my reasons to you?  What business had you to be eavesdropping?
Is that the conduct to be expected from my son?’

Carlo did not seem to hear his father’s personal abuse; his mind was
bent on averting the terrible blot which, if this plan were carried out,
must come on his father’s name.  However secret these negotiations might
now be kept, sooner or later they would become known, and the name Carlo
was so proud to bear would be for ever dishonoured.

’Let me go and stop the canoe; or if it is gone, Andreas can easily
overtake the messengers. Father, be angry with me, do anything; but do
not let us sell our honour!’

The Marquis was now in a worse passion than ever with his son who dared
to speak the truth to him.

’Carlo, you shall not speak so! you forget yourself.  Go from my
presence at once, sir, and consider yourself a prisoner on parole.  Do
not leave your sister’s dwelling-room till I give you leave; and
remember, if you disobey I shall have to show my son that he cannot
break my rules with impunity.’

Carlo turned away, convinced now that his father could only be obstinate
and firm in the wrong place. Covering his face with his hands, the brave
boy sobbed as if his heart would break.  He had dreamt of honour and
glorious deeds, and these dreams had only ended in a story of shame.
Going to his own room, he gazed down on the glorious tropical gardens
and woods of his beloved home, and caught sight of the Governor’s canoe
starting off with two men in her carrying the fatal message.  The clock
struck; the two hours allowed by the pirates were sped, and the Island
of St. Catherine was as good as taken by Henry Morgan and his thousand
men.

How long Carlo remained sunk in deep despondency, with now and then
interludes of sudden impotent rage, he did not heed.  He knew that the
sham attack would not take place till night, for evil deeds hate
daylight, and there was a long time yet before sundown.  But, alas! all
the need for exertion was gone, all the motive for brave resistance was
taken away.

’I will not be included in the treaty, however,’ he thought suddenly.
’I have spoken against it, and I will use my bullets and my sword as a
good and honourable soldier should do.’  Then, suddenly, the idea of
danger for his sister and Etta entered his head.  Tales of captivity
endured by women and children when they fell into the pirates’ hands
crowded into his head.  How could he trust his father now?  Certainly he
must be losing his mind: this was the only charitable way of looking at
his conduct. If this were the case, the welfare of Felipa was his duty,
and, slowly rising, he tried to wash away traces of tears which might
perhaps seem unmanly to those who did not know the reason.

When he entered the room to which he had been sent as a prisoner, the
girls at once noticed the expression of his face.

’Carlo, what is the matter?’

’Surely all will be well now,’ added Etta.  ’We saw the canoe start with
the answer.  Ah, those robbers will understand we cannot be taken in
brave Santa Teresa, whatever they may do.’

’I should think not!’ said Catalina.  ’Those infidels don’t understand
that the saints protect us.  So you heard the deliberations, Señor
Carlo?’

’Yes, well enough; but look, Catalina: suppose these pirates should get
the better of us--for they are reported to be very strong--is there any
place where you and the girls might hide?  My father is so busy giving
orders that he has not time to attend to all these matters.’

’No need to prepare for the impossible,’ said Catalina; ’José told me
that if Santa Teresa were besieged for a year it would be of no use; we
have fleet Indians who can pass through the forest, and could bring in
food unseen by any horde of pirates. So, Señorito, do not disturb
yourself about us.’

’But impossible things, as we call them, do happen, Catalina, and it is
best to be prepared. Well, anyhow, I shall go out to fight to-night; for
it is then the attack is expected, and then I will win a right to my
knighthood.’

’There is the great cupboard in this chamber,’ said Catalina, ’into
which opens the secret staircase. Few of the men know it, but the
Marquis told me of it.  That is safe enough.  If any steps are heard
without we can easily run down the stairs, and a door there leads to the
dungeons below. Never fear, Señor Carlo; old Catalina doesn’t mean to be
taken by men who would think nothing of murdering me unless they wanted
a wife.’

’Dear Catalina, you must never marry,’ said Felipa, kissing her old
nurse, ’at least not a pirate: I could not spare you.  But do leave off
talking of danger, Carlo, when there is none.  You frighten us for
nothing.  Look how lovely the garden is after last night’s rain: the
tamarind has spread out all its leaves to show us it is fine again.  How
I long to go out and have a game this morning!’

’And did you hear that Andreas killed a fer-de-lance snake this
morning?’ added Etta.  ’He says it is bad luck and an evil sign, but I
told him it was a good thing to kill those wicked, poisonous creatures.’

Carlo hardly listened to these remarks; he was thinking only of the
coming calamity; and though the affection of two girls comforted him he
could not join in their laughter.  They no longer feared the terrible
pirates, and were anxious now to be allowed to go out into the wood.
But as the only gate Santa Teresa possessed was closed, with strict
orders to let no one in or out, they had to content themselves with
sitting at the open window whilst the sounds of soldiers’ clashing
armour and noisy drill, mingled with loud orders shouted hither and
thither, only increased their excitement.

Then the sun went down on the beautiful island and darkness fell on the
exquisite landscape.  Carlo dared not leave the room till he knew his
father had gone forth with his band of men towards St. Matthew, which
was but a little further down the coast, and was not difficult of access
by the sea-shore.

As time went on the confusion increased, and no one seemed inclined to
go to bed.  At last the Marquis collected his men; and though Carlo
could not see much from his position, yet as he looked down from the
window and saw the torch-light fall on his father’s face he would hardly
have known him, so changed was he.  Carlo knew now that there was no
help for it; he must only be thankful that he had heard of the treachery
and that he was not himself starting out on this mock expedition as he
might otherwise have been doing.  This fact surprised the girls much.

’I cannot think why you are not going, Carlo,’ said Felipa, very much
disappointed at all the fine words of her brother ending in his merely
gazing out of the window; ’and is it not strange father has not come to
wish us good-bye?  Catalina says he told her it was not worth while, as
he would be home again so soon.  But he might have let you go with him
if there is so little danger.’

Etta said nothing, but Carlo saw that she also was much disappointed.
Yet, for all this, he dared not betray his father: it was better to be
thought a coward himself than to bring blame and discredit on the famous
old name of Del Campo.

So the boy walked up and down the room, whilst the girls told each other
stories in order to keep awake--so anxious were they to hear the first
news of the defeat of the rebels.  Then after a time the guns of St.
Jerome were heard booming through the night air, and all rushed to the
window--to see, however, nothing but the darkness.  At the same moment
there was a whisper heard through the keyhole, and they recognised the
voice of Andreas.

’Señorito Carlo, are you here?  Come quickly, in the name of Heaven and
Santa Teresa!  Do not be afraid; it is I--Andreas.  Open the door.’

Carlo rushed to the door and seized the faithful Indian’s hand.

’What is it, Andreas?  Speak quickly.’

’There must be some treachery, Señor, for a party of pirates are
climbing up towards the castle, and the guards below have disappeared
from the walls.’



                             CHAPTER VIII.

                            A BRAVE DEFENCE.


When Carlo rushed away, an impulse to follow and see what was taking
place seized the three whom he left behind. A strange silence had come
over the castle.  The moon was just rising and throwing a faint light
over the forest; but nothing could be seen save the tall palms and the
luxurious undergrowth in dark masses against the clear sky.

’Señorita, come here!’ cried Catalina, hurrying to another window which
looked on the sea side of the castle; and as the two girls hurried after
her they beheld the bay below; not silent and calm as usual, but with
the pirate boats busily plying backwards and forwards towards the shore
lower down.

’What does all this mean, Catalina?’ said Felipa, clinging to her nurse.
’Where is my father?  And what did Andreas mean by coming to fetch
Carlo?  What shall we do?  Etta, are you frightened?’

Etta was braver than Felipa, but at the same time she understood better
the dangers of this attack; and yet she had heard so decidedly, and felt
sure Carlo also believed, that Santa Teresa was too well fortified to be
taken by assault, that this sudden call from Andreas was a mystery to
her.

’I don’t understand what can be the matter. Catalina, let me run down to
the courtyard: I will be but a few minutes, and I shall find some one
there who will tell me.  Pedro is always kind to me, and he will tell me
all he knows.’

’But the pirates,’ cried Felipa--’if they come they will kill you!  No,
no; stay with us.  Come away, Catalina, and let us bolt ourselves into
our room.’  And the girl tried to drag her nurse away from the window.

But Etta smiled.

’I tell you, Felipa, the pirates cannot come into this place.  It would
take months to force a passage through the walls, and the gate is too
well guarded. I will run down and ask Pedro what Andreas meant.’

Catalina would have liked to go herself, but did not know how to leave
Felipa, who was sobbing from fear of she knew not what horrors.  Yet
poor Felipa, as she crouched near the window with her hand in that of
her nurse, could not help admiring the courage of her English
playfellow.

’Carlo admires Etta because she is brave,’ she said to Catalina; ’she
never thinks of danger for herself.  I would so gladly not be afraid,
but I cannot help it.’

’Never mind about being brave, my darling; that is for men and not for
girls.  What would the men have to do if we women were as bold as they
are themselves?  You see, the Señora Etta is English, and the people in
her country are not as civilised as we Spanish folk.  Dry your beautiful
eyes, dearie, and don’t be frightened.  The noble Marquis will soon be
returning, and then we shall find out that he has trapped all these
wicked robbers, and that not one remains alive.’

Thus comforting her much-loved young lady, Catalina soon forgot her own
fears till quite five minutes had passed away without the reappearance
of Etta.  What could the girl be doing?  And why was there suddenly such
a silence about the place? Catalina would not have been so brave had she
known the truth or witnessed the assault that was now taking place at
the gate of the outer wall.

When Etta ran down she was surprised to notice how few of the garrison
could be seen.  The loopholes from which poisoned arrows could be shot
were deserted; the entrance to the council-room and the arsenal also
remained unguarded.  She could make nothing of it, so she had wrapped
her dark mantle round her head and shoulders hoping to escape notice;
but, to her great astonishment, none of the usual servants seemed to be
about. She now hastened to the door that led into the courtyard.  It
stood open and the soft night air blew in.

’Pedro!’ she called softly; but no porter answered. Even the Indian
slaves were gone.  Etta’s curiosity was now fairly awakened.  It could
not be possible that the castle was deserted, and that she and Felipa
were forgotten by every one!

’Carlo!’ she cried louder, ’Andreas!  Pedro!’  No answer, and the girl
stepped out into the courtyard and walked a little way down to the
second gate.  Then sounds indeed reached her ears: the clashing of
swords, the loud tones of angry voices, the waving of torches, and the
shrill whoops of Indians, mingled with many fierce English oaths.

There was no longer any doubt: the enemy, by some means, which of course
Etta could not understand, had forced the passage leading over the ditch
to the great gate, and were now between that and the inner courtyard,
where, as Etta knew, no one remained to defend the gate of the castle
itself. Her first impulse was to rush back and fly to some safer place;
but so frightened was she that she felt hardly able to move; and at that
moment, gazing at the small mass of struggling beings, she saw Carlo at
the head of some dozen Indians barring the way before a far larger
number of the enemy.  This glance showed her also the form of the
English lad; so much slighter and so much fairer of face than any about
him that she could not mistake him as the torchlight fell on him.

’Carlo!  Carlo!’ she cried in her agony.  No sound came back in answer
but the yells and cries of the two parties; and with the instinct of
helping her dear Felipa she at last found strength to turn away from the
terrible sight and to fly back to the gate and so up the stairs, and as
she ran she called out, ’Shut the gates: they are coming!  They will
soon overpower our people.  Quick, make haste! Pedro, where are you?’

And still repeating these words, Etta dashed into the dwelling-room,
looking so excited and pale that there was no longer any doubt that the
worst had happened, as she exclaimed, ’We are lost!  The castle will be
taken!  What can we do?’

Nor had brave Etta been mistaken.  When Andreas had come to fetch Carlo,
the faithful Indian had just discovered that the path known only to Don
Estevan del Campo and a few of those in authority had been betrayed.
Before he could do more than collect the few slaves and soldiers left in
the castle, and station them at the entrance to the weakest portion of
the wall, fetch Carlo as described, and with the mere handful of men
then available make a brave stand, the chief gate of the castle was
really taken.  Andreas little knew that all his valour was useless; but
it was otherwise with Carlo, who, as he threw himself into the _mêlée_,
was conscious that no bravery could really be of any use.  Indeed the
attack on this side was but a ruse, for another body of men were quietly
making their way to the principal gate of Santa Teresa, and were now
being let in by one of the Marquis’s officers, whom he had easily
persuaded that a desperate encounter with these pirates would only
result in their all being taken prisoners, and most likely killed.

It was Andreas who suddenly discovered the treachery, and, not
understanding the real meaning of the extraordinary events which were
taking place, now shouted to those about him that there was yet time to
stop the entrance of those rascals.

In this rush Carlo was accidentally thrown down, and in falling his knee
struck against a rocky projection, so that for a few seconds he lost
consciousness.  When he came to himself he tried hard to struggle to his
feet, for he beheld at this moment a boy suddenly spring over the wall
and come hastily towards him.  Carlo heard the confused noise of the
assailants and defenders, who had passed on and left him, so that he now
found himself alone with a lad of about his own age, whom he had
previously seen, and who was doubtless Henry Morgan’s son.

Clenching his teeth, and grasping his sword, he tottered to his feet.

’Rascal! infidel! son of a pirate!’ cried poor Carlo, not caring what
names he bestowed.  ’You may kill me, but I will sell my life dearly.
You at least shall not come further.  Go and tell your father that Carlo
del Campo will not be a party to any treachery.’

Carlo threw himself on the tall fair Englishman, and would have dealt
him a blow which would have been serious had not his injured knee proved
at this minute so painful that he missed his aim, and once again fell on
the ground.  In a moment the supposed son of Henry Morgan was kneeling
by the brave Spanish lad.

’Hold, sir,’ he said, surprised at some English words that had fallen
from Carlo, ’you are mistaking me.  I am no pirate, and will never draw
my sword in such an unlawful business.  I am but a poor prisoner, though
kindly treated, and my name is Harry Fenn.’

As he said these words Harry stooped down to pick up Carlo’s sword,
which had rolled away from him as he fell, and gently gave it back to
the brave youth, who once more struggled to his feet, still blind with
rage and disappointment.

’How can I believe you?  That is a false story, some new treachery; no
one who is with these robbers can be trusted.  Stand to it, fellow, or
yield to mercy; for you go no farther!’  And, regardless of Harry’s
explanation, Carlo once again prepared to attack his enemy; but he was
made more furious at seeing that his supposed foe was not even trying to
defend himself.

’Stand to it, base scoundrel, and draw your sword if you have any spirit
at all; or, by St. Teresa, I must fall upon you!’

Still Harry Fenn remained motionless.  ’If you will not believe, it is
no fault of mine.  I have vowed to use no weapon during my captivity--at
least in an unlawful cause.’

Carlo dropped his hands, for this speech spoke more than weapons.  A
true knight could not fall upon an unresisting foe; but it was a deep
disappointment to find Harry was no pirate.

’But, indeed, Señor, let me help you back to the castle.  Captain
Morgan’s men are by no means particular, and might unintentionally hurt
you, though they have sworn to use no violence nor to fire at any one
this night.’

’It is true, then, and you know it?’ said Carlo, blushing with shame.
’This attack is all a farce, and our men are even now letting the
pirates into the castle--is it not so?  Tell me all you know.’

’It was the suggestion of the Governor; but I pray you make haste from
hence, or you may repent of it,’ said Harry, wishing the young Spaniard
would retreat into the castle now, for he certainly was in considerable
danger.

’And I am Don Estevan del Campo’s son,’ murmured the unhappy boy.  ’Is
it true that you are none of them?  If so, I will accept your help; for
my knee hurts me much, and I must get back to my sister.’

With some unwillingness Carlo put his hand on Harry Fenn’s arm, and in
spite of what had just taken place a sudden wave of sympathy seemed to
flow between them; each felt that among the crowd of fierce men they
seemed to be both of them sadly out of place.

The central gate was now deserted; the pirates and the defenders had
both disappeared; so the two lads found no difficulty in entering
unperceived by a side door into the castle itself.

’You are witness that I have never surrendered,’ repeated Carlo several
times, afraid, in spite of Harry’s kindness, that a trap was being laid
for him.

Harry almost smiled as he answered in the affirmative, adding:

’But how is it you talk English, Señor? Yesterday I could not make
myself understood; and had I known you understood my language I would
have spoken out.’

’My father wished us to learn it.  Here, this way; follow me, sir.  I do
not know what has happened to the garrison, but I fear I cannot fight
with this horrid pain.  Our men have outrun their fears.’

The two now crept silently up a back way, avoiding the entrance-hall,
where, from the sounds that rose toward them, it was not difficult to
guess that the pirates were intent on refreshing themselves with what
good things Santa Teresa could provide, and making up for the privations
of the previous day and night by a carousal.

When Carlo limped up to his sister’s door, he found it strongly
barricaded within, and it was some time before Catalina could be
persuaded to open it and admit him.  Then her exclamations knew no end.

’Señorito! where have you been?  And who is this young serpent?’ she
added, looking at Harry; but as she spoke in Spanish he did not
understand her, though he noticed her look of disgust.

’Hush!  Catalina, where is my sister? and Etta? Have you heard no news?
Everything is lost, and this place is in the hands of the pirates.  This
youth was the same one Etta saw.  He is a prisoner, he says.  If so, he
is a fellow-sufferer; and just now he behaved with much courtesy.’

’Come in, then, and let me bar the door once more. Oh, the noise those
wretches have been making. It is as if all the demons were walking
below. My poor Felipa is well hidden in that cupboard, and I made Etta
go there too.  Alas, alas, that I should be alive to hear such things!
But, anyhow, they must kill me before they touch her.  My _cara_ Felipa!
I believe she will die of fright.’

Harry Fenn stood by during this conversation, much perplexed at all he
saw; for he did not understand that the Marquis had not acquainted his
son with his treacherous surrender.  His surprise was still greater when
in another moment Etta, hearing Carlo’s voice, appeared out of the dark
cupboard where Catalina had insisted Felipa and Etta should hide, when
on the return of the latter she had understood that something
extraordinary was happening.

’Carlo, tell us--but, oh, who is this?  The English lad?  Are you
Captain Morgan’s son? No--it cannot be; for then you would not be here,
nor would you look so kind.’

’You were right, Etta; this English lad is a prisoner, and has kindly
helped me up here; otherwise I should be still lying under the wall, or
perhaps I might now be killed by those wretches.’

Harry Fenn was delighted at finding himself face to face with a
countrywoman of his own.  It seemed almost a miracle to be in a room
again--a room which spoke of civilised and refined life, and which
contained an English girl; for there was no mistaking her nationality,
though she immediately informed him of the fact.

’I knew you were no robber when I saw you come to the castle.  I am an
English girl, and a prisoner here.’

’Etta, what foolish talk!’ said Carlo.  ’As long as I am here you are no
prisoner.’

’But tell me how you came to be with that dreadful Henry Morgan,’ cried
Etta, much excited.

By this time Catalina, having gathered that Harry was no enemy, thought
that he might be hungry, and brought out some bread from a cupboard; and
the poor fellow fell upon it with such evident hunger that Etta’s heart
was touched, and she continued to talk to Harry.

’Those wicked men have, then, starved you?’ she asked, as Carlo, having
had his knee bandaged by Catalina, went into the large cupboard and
tried to persuade Felipa to come out, for at present there was no
visible danger.

’Not more than were all the others; the men all share and share alike;
and when we were on the marsh, with the rain falling upon us, we were in
such a bad plight that the men began to grumble finely at Captain
Morgan; indeed, if a body of Spaniards had appeared at that moment we
should never have reached this place.  I can tell you Captain Morgan was
glad enough to get the Governor’s letter; but he laughed in his sleeve
when he found his threats had been taken in earnest, for they were but
bravado.’

’Oh, hush! don’t tell Carlo all this,’ said Etta quickly; ’he is so
brave and good, and wished to go out this morning against them.  But the
place must have been betrayed, I think, for all said it could never be
taken.’

’Ay, so it was, young mistress; and, now I see it contained such brave
people and one of my own countrywomen, I am sorry enough; but before, I
was right glad, for we suffered a great deal.  Yet I ought to be used to
suffering, for all this is nothing to the grief I had when these men
kidnapped me from my home.  And never a word have I been able to send to
my parents that I am alive and well; for they take care I get no chance
to speak with any passing ship.’

’But mine were killed,’ said Etta, feeling as if she had known Harry a
long time.  ’It is five years since I have been a captive here.  You do
not know, I dare say, that this island was in the hands of pirates at
that time.  There was a Sieur Simon ruling it for the pirate Mansfelt,
who was, they said, never happy except at sea.  But the Governor of
Costa Rica determined to take back Saint Catherine, and when the pirates
heard this they sent to ask help of the English Governor of Jamaica, for
he was said to sympathise with them.  He refused, and pretended to have
nothing to say to them; but he hired a merchant ship, as if for honest
trade, and fitted it with stores, and put in some of the pirates that
found shelter in Jamaica, and gave them and the captain private
instructions.  My father, who was an honest merchant, never knew of
this; and, wishing to take my mother and me to Costa Rica, took passage
in this same ship, but on nearing the island the Sieur Simon came aboard
and begged the crew to sail into harbour.  Yet it was all a wicked
device, for the Spaniards had already possession of the island; so that
when we landed we were all seized and taken prisoners.  My father and
some of the others defended themselves bravely, but they were
outnumbered before our eyes, and were killed.  Mother and myself were
brought to one of Don Estevan del Campo’s fortresses, and she died of
grief there after some weeks.  Then the Marquis said I was to be treated
well, for he wished me to become the playfellow to his daughter and son
who were coming here shortly, so that I might teach them English. Before
her death my mother gave me letters and directions, telling me if ever I
could get back to my relations in England I was to do so.  But how can
I?  We are indeed both alike prisoners, and I see no chance of getting
away.’

Harry listened to Etta’s story with much surprise; it made him see that
after all he was not the only English sufferer even in these distant
islands, and that others had had a much worse fate--for he had been well
treated.

’But they are kind to you?’ he asked, glancing at Carlo, who, having
persuaded Felipa to come forth from her hiding-place, was sitting with
his arm round her near the window and telling her of his meeting with
the English youth.

’Kind?  Ah, yes.  I love Carlo and Felipa dearly, and old Catalina is
not harsh; but I am afraid of the Marquis; I can never love him, for he
looks upon me as one of his slaves.’

’He must be a false Spaniard, a feeble scoundrel, and no true
gentleman,’ said Harry decidedly, and then in a few words he told his
own story, and how, in spite of being such a favourite with Captain
Morgan, he had sometimes much to bear from the rough men.  At this
moment, however, Carlo jumped up and exclaimed:

’There is my father returning, and, gracious saints, he is a prisoner!’



                              CHAPTER IX.

                              IMPRISONED.


Before anything further could be said on this matter Pedro’s voice was
heard at the door, and when Catalina was assured that he was alone she
let him in, being herself very curious to know the ins and outs of the
occupation, and, as the Marquis had really returned, what was expected
of her and her charges.

’Thank heaven, Pedro, that you have come up! Tell me what all this
means, and are we to be roasted and eaten alive by those cannibals, who
are, I suppose, gobbling up all our stores?’

Pedro’s face was doleful in the extreme, and not at all reassuring.

’In truth, Captain Morgan is our master now; and so I suppose we must
make the best we can of the matter.  He is very angry at the death of
one or two of his men, and says we have broken our engagement.  As if
one could make engagements with such paltry ragamuffins!  It seems we
were never meant to resist, but I said it was by your orders, Señorito.
You remember that you would insist on taking us out to the walls, though
our orders were to do nothing.  Anyhow, Captain Morgan wishes you, Señor
Carlo, to come and deliver up your sword to him at once.  He was going
to send some of his drunken fellows to fetch you; but, thinking of the
ladies, I interfered, and I said you would prefer to come of your own
accord.’

’Let me come with you, Señorito,’ said Harry Fenn, thinking that he
could perhaps soften the Captain’s wrath, which, he had learnt by this
time, was not to be despised, especially by a Spaniard, who would find
but little favour in the English pirate’s eyes.

Felipa, pale and utterly miserable, tried to dissuade her brother from
going down below, but in vain.  Carlo did not know the meaning of the
word fear.

’No, no, dear Felipa; that would be the action of a coward.  Besides,
you might suffer for my refusal.  This captain shall see that I am not
afraid of his threats.’

’You will petition Captain Morgan for Carlo, will you not?’ asked Etta,
turning towards Harry. ’How is it that he lets you have your own way?’

’I know not.  He took a fancy for me and calls me his godson, which is a
title very little fitting.  I often think that if my poor father could
see me, and kind Mr. Aylett, they would indeed be astonished; and yet I
have tried to do my duty and not forget my God and country in the midst
of this godless crew.  But trust me, even if I did not like this bold
young Spaniard, I would do my best for your sake, young Mistress
Allison.  You should have seen how he scorned to budge a step.’

Etta smiled at these words, and then said impulsively, ’Call me Etta,
and I will call you Harry Fenn.  Seeing you is almost as if I were at
home among my relations, who, my mother used to say, would love me
dearly and would not let me want.’

But there was no time now for more words, even though the young people
seemed to have much to say to each other.  Carlo followed Pedro and
Harry, feeling altogether angry and ashamed of his position.  He was,
too, a little jealous of Etta’s evident happiness at talking to one from
her own country; and besides, he could not bear to feel that he was
himself virtually a prisoner in his own house; and yet, thought he, ’I
have never delivered up my sword, and I have never owned myself
defeated.’  As for his father, he could not bear to think of him as a
traitor to his king and country.

When they entered the hall Carlo was dismayed by a sight such as he had
never expected to see in Santa Teresa.

Some long wooden planks had been laid on trestles and placed in two rows
down the hall, and round them sat some forty or fifty of Captain
Morgan’s chief men eating and drinking voraciously. A dozen or more of
the negro slaves waited on them, filling up their goblets when empty--a
duty which was by no means light or infrequent.  At a smaller table at
the upper end of the hall Captain Henry Morgan was also enjoying what he
considered a well-earned breakfast; for daylight was beginning to flood
the hall, showing that the long night of anxiety was over.  In the sky
beautiful clouds tinged with every conceivable shade of crimson and gold
were making lovely backgrounds for the tall palm-trees and the other
forest giants; but of all this beauty the soldiers and the buccaneers
thought nothing.  Henry Morgan was anxious, now that he was in
possession of the island, to secure it permanently for future need, and,
as soon as he could, to send on some of his men in search of still more
booty, the thirst for gold in these pirates being quite unquenchable.
After a moment’s pause Carlo walked proudly up to the top table, bent on
showing no fear; yet what made the deepest impression upon him was, not
the sight of the much-dreaded sea-robber, but that of his own father
seated opposite to the foe, and being treated apparently, not as a
prisoner, but as a friend, by the man whom Carlo hated as being both a
buccaneer and an Englishman.

The poor Marquis, however, could not be said to look happy; he carefully
turned away from Morgan, and now and then rose hastily from his chair
and paced nervously up and down the small platform, muttering audibly,
’I did it for the best.  There has been no massacre of the people. Who
will dare to blame me?  How could I do otherwise?  Why has Don Francisco
left me, and where is my son?’

’Marry! here comes the culprit!’ cried Captain Morgan, seeing Carlo
approaching.  ’Señor Governor, I suppose this young sprig is your son,
and the one who led the assault before sunrise?  The young scoundrel has
a puissant sword and despiteful ire.’

’My son knew nothing of our plans,’ said the poor Marquis, who in spite
of his own conduct could not help feeling proud of his boy.

’Then, i’fecks, you should have told him. Some one is answerable for the
death of two of my men and the wounds of several more.’

’Here, young sirrah!  What’s your name, and what do you mean by having
gone out to prevent the entrance of my skirmishing party, when they held
a pass from the Governor himself?  Speak out, silly coxcomb, and tell me
who set your thoughts agog in this manner.’

’I knew nothing of the pass,’ said Carlo haughtily, ’and I was bound to
fight in the defence of the castle.  We give no quarter to our foes.’

’Marry! proud as a strutting peacock, eh?  Ah, well, we’ll soon teach
you better.  How now, Harry--what hast thou been about?  Thou shouldst
have taught this young pate more wisdom.  I’ll have no jesting from such
a stripling.’

Harry did not answer, thinking silence the wisest course.  The curious
fancy which Captain Morgan had taken for the kidnapped lad was
apparently without rhyme or reason; for Harry, though respectful enough,
had never yet been made to act against his will and his conscience; and
when some of the men would have liked to use brute force, and shake what
they called the young fool’s stubborn will out of him, Captain Morgan
always interfered; he would not have the lad touched, he said, and
whoever did it would have to answer personally to him.

Carlo, the Spaniard, however, touched no chord of sympathy in the
Captain’s breast.  He heartily despised the Governor, who had been such
a weak tool in his hands, and was rather glad to punish him through his
son, as he had given a sort of promise that his person would be safe
from insults.

’Ignorance is a very convenient excuse, young Señor.  By my faith, you
are answerable for the death of two of my men, and should by rights be
hanged on one of your own bananas; but, considering your youth, I will
merely imprison you in your own castle.  Deliver up your sword to me,
sirrah! and, marry, you may thank me for dealing so leniently with you;
’tis more than you deserve.’

Henry Morgan spoke fluent Spanish, having had to mix much with the
various traders of the West Indies.  Harry Fenn, who could not well
understand the language, though he could see the angry frown on the
Captain’s face, looked from the latter to Carlo, wondering what was
being said. Then he suddenly saw the young Spaniard angrily lift his
head and clasp his right hand upon the hilt of his sword as he
exclaimed:

’I did but my duty, Señor Captain, and I will never deliver my sword to
any man, least of all to such rascals as you are.’

’Carlo, it is best to obey; pray do not anger the Captain,’ called out
his father anxiously.  ’Silly boy! what can you do against all these
men?  If you persist you must abide by the consequences.’

At these words Carlo hung his head, but he did not answer, nor did he
look at all as if he meant to give way; so that now Harry Fenn clearly
understood what was taking place, and secretly much admired the Spanish
boy; but he knew only too well that in the end he would have to yield.
As well try to bend a full-grown oak as turn the iron will of Henry
Morgan.

’And what good will that toy blade do for you?’ asked the pirate
captain, laughing scornfully; and when he laughed he was more to be
dreaded than when he swore.  ’It is no tried steel, young jackanapes,
but a somewhat spick-and-span new plaything.’

’I demand a free pass for myself, for my father, and the women in this
house,’ said Carlo, not daunted, but flushing with anger; ’for it is a
shame to remain under the same roof with such as you.’

’A shame!  Come, enough of thy vapouring and huffing!  We’ll see whose
shame it will be. Here, Cross, Simon, Watkins: seize that young scorpion
and fling him into the dungeons here; for I guess there are some down
below in which brave Englishmen have before now groaned away their
lives.  "A tooth for a tooth" is no bad saying, and in the dark thou
mayest learn that "haste makes waste."’

’Prithee, Captain,’ said Harry, rushing between Carlo and the advancing
men, ’spare this young Spaniard: he was as brave as a lion under the
walls, and bravery ought to find favour with you--he rallied a mere
handful of men when there was no hope for him.’

’Pshaw, Harry! away, boy, and mind thine own business.  I hear there are
girls here, and that one is an English prisoner or slave: go and tell
them to come here--that is work more befitting thee--and leave this boy
alone.’

[Illustration: _CARLO BEFORE CAPTAIN MORGAN_.]

In a moment Carlo was seized by the three strong, lusty men; his sword
was wrenched from him; and with two long Spanish scarves his arms were
bound tightly behind him, and in this helpless state he was dragged from
the hall; whilst the Marquis, rising to his feet, protested in vain
against the outrage to his son.  The truth was that Captain Morgan
wished to make an example of some one, and Carlo, being the Governor’s
son, would satisfy any murmurs his men might be inclined to raise at the
death of their comrades.

All was now noise and confusion, for the men began loudly to make all
kinds of requests to the Captain; and, seeing nothing would be got out
of them in the way of going to seek for cattle and provisions in the
island till they had finished their feast, Captain Morgan (who was a
very abstemious man himself) left the hall, begging the Marquis somewhat
roughly to show him over the place and to give him all the keys of the
stores. Harry Fenn was also commanded to be of the company, which
request he was glad enough to comply with, so as to get away from the
sight of the carouse and the sound of the rude jokes and laughter.

In the meanwhile Carlo, struggling bravely to the last against his fate,
and angry and indignant at his treatment, was carried down to the
dungeon below, old Pedro being forced to show the way. Presently, after
passing through dark passages, the porter opened the door of a cell-like
chamber where no light was visible, and which looked most unfit for a
living being, much less for the delicately nurtured Carlo.

’This is the only dungeon I know of,’ grumbled Pedro; ’and many a pirate
has made acquaintance with it,’ he added in a low voice.  ’Would that I
could lock up many more!’

’I fancy this will be good enough,’ said Simon in a French accent.
’Here, fellow, give me the key and let me lock it myself; there’s no
treachery these Spaniards are not equal to.  Bum! that will do; the
silly boy is safe enough.’

’Take it, then,’ growled Pedro, ’it locks well enough;’ but as he
delivered up the key he thought with a smile on his face, ’but there’s
sometimes more doors than one even in a dungeon.’



                               CHAPTER X.

                          A FELLOW-COUNTRYMAN.


The Indian slaves, who had been scattered like thistle-down in a wind
during this memorable night, now began to creep back to their various
stations and occupations at Santa Teresa; and from them poor Catalina
learnt, with more or less exaggeration, all that had taken place during
the memorable night, and that it was the Marquis himself who had really
betrayed them into the enemy’s hands.

The faithful servant would not abuse her master; but, taking Felipa’s
head in her arms, she sobbed over her as if this shower of tears would
make matters better; at the same time pouring out all her information,
which was no comfort to the poor girl.  Etta meanwhile stood by, pale
and calm, quickly trying to form some plan which would comfort gentle
Felipa.

But when all at once the bad news reached them that Carlo had been
thrown into a dungeon, and that the pirates had the keys, and, further,
that Captain Morgan was on his way to pay the young ladies a visit, Etta
could not help feeling afraid, though she made up her mind that she
would not show it.  She felt very proud of Carlo, and was somewhat
comforted by the idea that kind Harry Fenn would help him if he possibly
could.

Etta possessed one of those natures which troubles only strengthen.  Her
captivity, kind though it had proved for her, had not made her forget
her religion and her country; yet now she was anxious to do her utmost
to return gentle, timid Felipa’s love; so she did her best to cheer her
with hopeful words, and not to give way herself to fear.

’Do not be afraid, Felipa darling.  Captain Morgan cannot eat us, you
know, and he will not dare to do us any bodily harm, for your father,
the Marquis, is still a free man.  Besides, the pirates want food, Pedro
says, and when they have that they will most likely go away.  Why could
we not send Andreas to warn your uncle of this assault? He is a good
man, and would send us help.’

’Well, Señorita, that is a good idea, which never entered my head,’
cried Catalina; ’but where, in the name of all the saints, shall we find
Andreas?  The Indians are terribly afraid of the pirates, and are trying
to hide in the woods; for I have heard they were very cruel to them the
last time they were here.’

’You know, Felipa, that Carlo has taught me the peculiar whistle which
will bring Andreas to the foot of the south window,’ said Etta.  ’If he
is still in the neighbourhood he will hear it, and he would take his
canoe to the mainland and warn your uncle, the Governor of Chagres--I am
sure he would.’

’But how could he leave his own castle?’ answered Felipa.  ’Dear Etta,
you are so hopeful and clever!  If this could really come to pass! Poor
father would be glad, I am sure; for he must already be sorry all these
horrid men are in our hall.  Yet he did it for the best.’

This talk was now interrupted by the tread of footsteps without.  The
girls had not been to bed, and were still in the sitting-room.  Felipa
turned pale, and tremblingly clung to Catalina till she recognised her
father’s voice in the passage, though the tones were sadly changed.

The sun this morning shone gloriously in upon the frightened group as
the unhappy Marquis and Captain Morgan entered.  Felipa at once ran up
to her father and put her hand into his, asking in this mute way for his
protection; but Etta, who was never at her ease with the Spanish
Governor, stood alone by the window.  Yet, in spite of her inward fears,
she could not help feeling some curiosity at the sight of the dreaded
pirate about whom she had heard so much.

After all, the buccaneer was not as dreadful as she had expected; and,
even if his appearance were somewhat strange, yet Etta felt she was in
the presence of one of her own countrymen; and her fears were further
dispelled by the sight of her new friend, Harry Fenn, close behind the
Captain.  As for Catalina, she turned her face to the wall and audibly
muttered her prayers, or perhaps they were curses, on the intruder.

’This, Captain, is my daughter,’ said the Marquis, speaking in a very
nervous manner, ’and this other maiden is the English girl I mentioned.
Her father was an English merchant, and was killed here in fair fight;
she will tell you she has been very kindly treated.’

’Thou canst speak thine own tongue, I hope?’ said Captain Morgan; ’if
so, tell me thy name, little countrywoman.  I trust thou hast not
altogether forgotten the speech of merrie England.’

’My name is Henrietta Allison, and my mother told me our family was from
Kent; but oh, Sir Captain, will you release Carlo?  Do not take his
words amiss, for he is as brave as any Englishman, and I should be loth
that my countrymen did him any harm.’  Etta spoke with vehemence; her
love for Carlo made her bold, and she altogether forgot her fears.

Captain Morgan frowned a little as he said, ’Marry!  An overbold English
girl, I see.  That young ragamuffin has only got his deserts, for it
always goes ill with a son who does not follow his father’s footsteps.
But I like a wench that is fearless.  Speak up, girl, and tell me if
thou hast any other boon to ask.’

’If you will not grant me this one, I will have no other,’ replied Etta,
her flashing eyes saying far more than mere words.

’Marry!  That is showing a fine spirit!  Nay, nay, Mistress Henrietta
Allison, keep your angry looks for those who will be distressed by them.
Eh, Harry, hast made friends with your countrywoman? Stay here, boy, and
learn the courtly manners of the Spaniards, which, by my troth, our
rough fellows sadly lack.  Now, please you, Señor, we will finish our
inspection of the castle; for as soon as my men have become rational
creatures again we must proceed to business.  I fear I must disarm all
the inhabitants, and for mere form’s sake I shall need to examine a few
prisoners.  I must find, moreover, several bold spirits who will
faithfully show me the way to Panama; for I’ve sworn to take that city,
and "St. Catherine" shall serve as the war-cry of Morgan’s men.  Adieu,
fair maids; and do not distress yourselves about your companion; a few
days on bread and water will kill no lusty knight who has been routed in
battle.’

So saying, he led the way out, and intimated with a wave of the hand
that the Marquis was to be his guide.  Don Estevan del Campo staggered
out, feeling now, at last, that he had indeed made a mistake.  Rather
would he have perished sword in hand than have heard that the
inhabitants were to be made prisoners, and examined, most likely, under
torture.  His peace had, indeed, been bought dearly!

’Do not be unhappy about your brother,’ said Harry kindly, approaching
Felipa; ’he will be safe enough so long as the Captain is within this
place, and so long, too, as he bears his captivity patiently. That is
Captain Morgan’s way; he cannot bear to be thwarted; yet I have known
him do kind deeds when he was in the humour for it.’

’But I have a plan, bold Harry Fenn,’ said Etta, now all eagerness to
carry out her ideas, ’only--may we trust you?  You will not betray us.’

’You forget what I have told you.  I take no part in the affairs of the
buccaneers; I do not betray their secrets, because that would not be
honourable, but far less would I betray yours.  I work enough for
them--work that pays for my victuals; but I will not help in their
robberies.’

’Forgive me, Harry,’ said Etta frankly.  ’We are afraid of every one
now; yet we heard truly how you defended Carlo.  Felipa, where is the
parchment?  You must write to your uncle at once, and let the writing be
very small, for Andreas must carry it in his mouth; he says that is the
only safe hiding-place.’

Felipa sat down to write a few words to her uncle Don Alvarez, Governor
of Chagres Castle; whilst Catalina, who could not write at all, looked
on, giving her advice freely.  Etta in the meanwhile told Harry of her
plan, but she did not notice the start he gave as she mentioned that Don
Alvarez was Governor of the castle of La Chagres, and a noble and brave
gentleman who had sometimes paid them a visit at Santa Teresa.

When the note was at last written hopeful Etta went softly out of the
room to the end of a long passage.  Opening a little window, she
imitated the peculiar whistle which Carlo had taught her, and which was
his signal between Andreas and himself.  Harry had accompanied her, and
he seemed as anxious as she was about the arrival of the faithful
Indian.

’Did the Señorita Felipa,’ he asked, ’say in what distress you were, and
what was the reason of your needing help?’

’Nay; she said merely, "We are in great sorrow: come at once," and then
something more about her poor father,’ said Etta; and Harry could not
help admiring the golden hair and sunny face of his new friend.

But though Etta repeated her whistle no one appeared for a long time,
but just as she was giving up in despair all hope of seeing the Indian,
she noticed Andreas below creeping towards the verandah which he was
accustomed to climb in order to get within hearing of Carlo.  Now,
however, he merely shook his head and whistled softly a few notes which
meant ’Come here at sunset’; and with this she was obliged to be
contented, knowing that only real danger would keep him away.

’I fancy he is watched,’ said Harry; ’to-night he had better escape, if
he is wise.’  And then, very sorrowfully, the girl led the way back to
the sitting-room.

The girls dared not step out of their own chamber all the
morning--indeed Catalina kept good guard over them, so that it was some
comfort to listen to Harry Fenn’s adventures and to hear what he liked
best to talk of--the account of his home life. Felipa could not quite
understand how he could be so clever, being neither a noble’s son nor a
young priest; but Etta had English ideas, imbibed from her parents, and
her love of England made her listen eagerly to Harry’s talk of the old
church on the hill and of the learned and kind Mr. Aylett, who had
taught him so much and whom she hoped to see some day.  And, further, as
misfortune draws hearts together, he told Etta of that last day at home,
and how he had made the effort of renouncing his roving wishes, and yet
how he had been forced to cross the ocean and see strange new sights in
spite of himself.

’I have had it often on my conscience that God was punishing me for my
many discontented thoughts,’ said the boy; ’and yet I think Mr. Aylett
would not put it so.  He must have told my parents that I was willing to
stay.’

’No, no; he could not blame you,’ said Etta, clasping her hands, ’for
then you would have also to say that God is punishing me for having been
often in a passion when I was but ten years old.  We must always be
friends now, Harry, for our stories are much alike; but some day you
will get back home, and you will tell your parents all you went through
and of all your adventures, and then you will remember me and send some
good merchant to take me away from St. Catherine to my uncle’s house in
Kent.  I will show you the letters I have some time.’

’If an English man-of-war was to touch here, then I would run away,’
said Harry.  ’I have never given my word not to escape.’

’And did you really always say your prayers?’ said Etta under her
breath, who looked upon Harry as a very saintly hero.  ’For sometimes I
have forgotten them when nobody reminded me; and you must have found it
very difficult.’

’Nay, but without them I think I should have despaired entirely.’

Catalina now broke in upon their talk by saying, ’Come, young
Englishman, if you are as friendly as you pretend, why can you not get
my poor Carlo out of that dungeon?  He will die there, for I am sure
those ruffians will give him no food.’

’I will do my best,’ said Harry, ’and anyhow I will bring you news later
in the day; and I will go now and see if I can do aught with the Captain
for him.’

When he was gone, Felipa and Etta fell fast asleep on a low couch, being
quite wearied out with the events of the long night and morning, and so
for a little while they forgot their troubles.



                              CHAPTER XI.

                          THE SECRET PASSAGE.


Etta’s courage came back with new energy after her long rest; the
presence of Harry Fenn in the castle seemed to lessen the dangers which
now evidently surrounded the little party; and, at all events, so long
as he was here they would not be left in uncertainty.  But it was nearly
sunset before any one came to break their solitude in the sitting-room.
At last there was a sound.

’Hish!  Open: it is Harry Fenn.  Have no fears.’

Etta ran to the door and let him in.  He had a basket in his hands full
of fruit, and also some bread, on which Catalina seized with joy.

’I knew you must be hungry,’ said Harry, ’so I took these when no one
was looking.  All the slaves are working with unusual activity.  In
truth, the Captain has enough to do, and the Marquis has been sent to
San Salvador to make the garrison deliver up all the guns that are
there. It is sad to see him so cast down.’

’But what other news is there?  Can we soon go out of this room?  It is
so cool under the trees, whilst here we are so hot, and everything is
miserable,’ said poor Felipa, who felt the burden of her life greater
than she could bear now her father was away and Carlo in prison, and she
herself was not far removed from being a prisoner.

’I fancy, Señorita, that in a few days Captain Morgan will have decided
something.  He found great difficulty to-day in preventing his men
scattering themselves after booty.  All the main forts are in his hands,
and he is busy ordering the removal of guns and ammunition to the fleet;
and those who will show him hidden treasure get a title to his favour.
You can see some of the ships from the windows of this castle.  As soon
as he can finish this work, I expect he will set sail.  He does say he
will not leave a musket in the island; but I fancy some of the negroes
have already hidden away powder and muskets, for the men are inclined to
handle them too roughly.’

’They may take all the guns they like,’ said Catalina impatiently, ’if
they will release the Señorito Carlo to me.  I wish I could hang up
these villains on our tall groogroos!’

’Unfortunately the man who has the key of the Señorito’s dungeon has
gone away to the other island,’ said Harry, ’but as I passed by the gate
just now an old man asked me if I would tell the nurse Catalina that the
young Señor was not so fast locked but that she could get at him if she
so wished.  I know not what he meant, but I thanked him for his good
offices.’

At this Catalina clapped her hands, saying that Pedro was more cunning
than he seemed to be, and that Carlo need not now starve; but no one
understood her.

’It is close on sunset,’ said Harry to Etta, ’and if you are going to
keep your appointment with the Indian, I would like to come with you.  I
suppose you are sure he is to be trusted, for some of these Indians are
none too brave, our men say, and fly like crows when they smell powder.’

’Andreas!  Yes, indeed, he loves Carlo as his own son.  They often have
gone hunting together.’

So the two returned softly to the place of meeting at the window above
the verandah, and, after waiting till the sun had sunk and darkness had
suddenly come on, they heard the sound of soft whistling, and in another
moment Andreas had swung himself over the balcony and stood by their
side.

Etta seized his hand.

’Good Andreas, do you know all our misfortunes? Señor Carlo is still in
the dungeon, the Marquis has gone to deliver up some guns, and if it
were not for this kind friend we should be almost forsaken.’

Andreas made a low salutation, but, all the same, eyed Harry rather
suspiciously.

’Do not be afraid,’ continued Etta; ’he is a prisoner as we are, and
will help us.  Look, Andreas, could you manage to escape and take this
note of the Señorita Felipa to her uncle at the Castle of Chagres?  He
would bring us help if he knew how badly we wanted it.’

Andreas shook his head.

’It is impossible, I fear.  I am only at liberty because I can be useful
with the cattle and the horses in the compound.’

’But, good Andreas, you cannot know how important it is that this
Spanish gentleman should know that Captain Morgan has taken St.
Catherine,’ said Harry quickly.  ’If you cannot go, could you find some
one else?  Surely we have had enough horrors here and elsewhere,’ he
added, half to himself.

’The blacks cannot be trusted, and none of my tribe would care to go.
However, give it me, Señora; if I cannot go no one shall take the
writing from me.’  And with this Etta had to be satisfied; but she added
in English:

’If Andreas says no, it means no; for he is the cleverest and bravest
Indian there is in all the island.’

’When do you think the pirates will go, Andreas?’ she asked anxiously.

’The Captain is asking for men who know the roads on the mainland.  I
believe they intend to attack Panama; and yet that is a big rich city,
and is not badly defended, so that I can hardly believe that such is
really their intention.’

After this, Andreas said he must not stay longer, as he was obliged to
go back to the compound, but that he would come the next day at sundown
to the same place, if in the meanwhile he were unable to escape from the
vigilance of his new masters in order to go to the mainland, where, some
short distance down the Chagres River, stood the castle of that name,
strongly garrisoned by Spanish soldiers.

As Harry and Etta returned towards the sitting-room the former promised
he would come back early the next morning and bring what food he could
find, only begging that the Señorita and Etta would not dream of showing
themselves below stairs; for indeed the scenes that went on--the
drinking, swearing, and quarrelling--were no fit sight for them--’or,
indeed, for any Christian man,’ added Harry.  ’They will soon fall to
and begin to cross their cudgels, fancying they are full of wit and
valour; though, indeed, there are many who have only joined them because
misfortunes have come upon them in the old country, and they fancy this
wild life is better than starving.  Some, too, were trained to fight in
the late wars, and say that life is naught without a sword and a
war-cry; yet I know that many of them disapprove of the cruel deeds they
see.’

’But you would escape if you could?’ asked Etta.

’Yes, indeed; but Captain Morgan knows that, and I feel sure I am often
watched.  Good-night, Mistress Etta.  I will do my best to free you out
of this distress.’

Etta found on her return that everything looked more cheerful, and
indeed Felipa ran towards her friend and began kissing her as she
laughed and cried alternately.

’What is the matter? what has happened?’ said Etta; for Catalina looked
just as happy, and was praising all the saints in the calendar.

’Catalina is so clever and so good!  Fancy! she has seen Carlo, and,
look, he has shared our supper!’

’Where is he? have they freed him?’

’No, no--hush!--but it was good Pedro’s doing; they made him show them
the way to the dungeons, and he got him locked up in the cell that has
another door into it, and we can get at it from here.  You know that
nasty dirty little staircase which we were always afraid of?  Well, that
leads to his cell.  In former times, Catalina says, they used to go down
from here and try to get the secrets out of the prisoners by making them
false promises.  That is why there are two doors in it.’

’And have you seen him?  Oh, Catalina, let me go down at once and speak
to dear Carlo!  He will know now we are going to send a message to Don
Alvarez, for Andreas will try hard to get away.’

’No, no, Señorita, you must not go now.  I crept down like a snake, and
found my poor boy crouched in a corner quite faint for want of food.
How he started up when I pushed back the sliding panel! and, in truth,
he was ready to fight me, fancying I was a pirate come to murder him.
And when he saw it was only old Catalina he nearly cried; though he
laughed, too, afterwards.  He knew I could not see the tears, mind you,
in that dark hole.  Well, he ate the bread and fruit in a very short
time, and asked no end of questions, poor boy, and sent an especial
message to you to tell you he was not so badly off now he could hear
news of us.  It was as good as any feast, he said.’

’But, Catalina, why did you not bring him here?  We could hide him, I am
sure we could; and if not, he could escape by the balcony.’

’I suggested it to him, but he was wiser.  "My jailors may come at any
moment," he said, "and then, seeing me gone, they would soon search and
discover the door, and no one can tell what they might then do."  Ah, he
is a brave youth; it is a pity his father is not like him.’

It was indeed a great comfort to feel that their Carlo was so near to
them, and at all events would not die of starvation, as there was before
much chance of his doing if left to the tender mercies of his captors,
who were now beginning to recover from their carousal, and were being
sent to all parts of the two islands with orders to drive the harmless
inhabitants in to the various fortresses as if they had been cattle, and
to treat all who resisted the appropriation of their goods as if they
were rebels.

It was decided that Carlo could not be visited again till a late hour
the next morning, for fear of any one being discovered in the cell.
Etta, as more agile than Catalina, was then to visit the dungeon; and,
much comforted, the three this evening knelt down to pray together that
God would deliver them from their sad plight and take care of their own
dear Carlo and the Marquis.

Felipa was very fond of her father in spite of being a little afraid of
him; he had always been indulgent to her, and she fretted at seeing
nothing of him.  The truth was, that the Governor preferred even looking
after the betrayed fortresses to seeing the sorrow of his children; and
he was much afraid Felipa would reproach him for having allowed Carlo to
be imprisoned.

As the girls would not leave the sitting-room, through which alone they
could get at Carlo, Catalina spread some mattresses on the floor for
them; and this evening they slept soundly in spite of their many
misfortunes.

They were up at sunrise, and were all impatience for the first tidings
which Harry had promised to bring them; but when at last they heard his
voice, and let him in, he was not in a very cheerful mood.

’When is Captain Morgan going away?’ asked Etta, whose sweet face and
golden hair made Harry hunger all the more for his home, in order that
he might send or fetch her.  ’Make haste and tell us good news.  I have
a lovely plan for saving you from these people, Harry Fenn, but I dare
not tell it yet I would dearly love to hear their hue and cry after you.
How they would boggle at finding you gone!’

’You need not make plans for me, Mistress Etta: the Captain has even
just now told me that he wishes me to go aboard one of his ships.  He
knows I will not fight, but he would fain make me act spy on the others.
But see, this is all I could find for you, Catalina.  Here are some yams
and bananas and bread.  I wanted to bring you a cooked fowl, but one of
the men was angry at what he called my huge appetite.  They think that
as I will not do all their work I must not eat the good things, and that
I am not worth my provender, as they put it.’

’But when shall you go?’ asked Felipa, who looked so much more cheerful
this morning that Harry could not help noticing it.

’No, no: you must not go!’ said Etta, seizing his hand.  ’Stay with us,
and we will send you back to England.  The Señora Felipa will ask her
father, and when the pirates are gone----’

’Thank you for your kind good offices; but your plan is impossible, for
Captain Morgan does not mean to leave Santa Teresa just yet; he is
sending out four ships and a boat to try how he gets on in those parts.’

’Where?’

’That I durst not say, Señora; it was only by accident that I overheard
it; but I know that, in the future, the Captain’s mind is set upon
taking the great town of Panama.’

’He will never do that,’ said Felipa, tossing her head.  ’There is a
strong garrison there, and His Catholic Majesty would never forgive them
if they allowed it to be taken by such needy gallants as your crew.’

’That is what I think too, Señora.  However, I dare say our ships will
come back from this lesser expedition somewhat humbled and crestfallen.
At present their pride knows no bounds.  But, dear ladies, I am sorry to
say that I am the bringer of evil news, which it goes against me to
tell; but it is best to know the worst.  I heard Captain Morgan say that
the Señorito Carlo was to be released this morning and to be taken on
this expedition, because----’

’Oh, how dreadful!  Carlo to go with all those wicked men!  Nay, I know
he will never consent,’ cried Felipa.

’But in truth he will be less likely to get harm than in those damp
dungeons below.  I reminded the Captain that the Señor had had no food,
and that men would cry shame on himself if the Señor were to come to
harm.’

’Thank you, Sir Harry, for your kind intentions,’ said Felipa in her
somewhat quaint English, ’but indeed I had rather my brother were in the
dungeon than out at sea with such knaves as these buccaneers.  Cannot
you obtain this boon from your captain for us; for if my brother goes
what shall we do?’

Harry would not tell her he had no power; so, promising to do his best,
he hurried away, not daring to stay longer.



                              CHAPTER XII.

                           A NEW EXPEDITION.


The hours wore away very, very slowly for poor Carlo, who in his damp
dark cell reflected with bitter shame on the departed glory of his name.
Moreover, it was hard to bear this terrible confinement; and now and
then the thought would pass through his mind that he had been a fool for
his pains, for his resistance had done no good to any one, and had put
him into a very luckless place and a miserable condition. But Catalina’s
visit and the discovery of the secret door, though it opened only from
the outside of the cell into the narrow secret passage, took away all
the feeling of loneliness, which is almost unbearable to the young.  Now
all was different.  Upstairs and not far from him there were those who
cared for him; and, to say the truth, the food Catalina had brought very
much contributed to his more cheerful spirits. When first imprisoned
there had been no time to do more than thrust the boy into the cell, so
he was free to walk the two steps which were all that the width of the
place allowed; but it was a comfort to feel with his fingers for the
slight marks of the secret door, and to place his ear against it,
listening intently for coming footsteps.

This morning, however, it was in the outside passage that he first heard
sounds; and presently the key creaked in the lock, the bolts were drawn
back, and a rough voice called out with a seasoning of oaths:

’Here, young cub, take this loaf; it’s none of the newest, but good
enough for young teeth; and here’s water to wash it down with; for, ay,
marry, it’s all you’ll get till to-night, when the Captain has ordered
your release.  Maybe by then you’ll have learnt to cudgel less and show
less paltry spite.’

Carlo’s heart beat fast, for the very idea of once more seeing the sun
and enjoying the lovely sights and sounds of the tropical world made him
happy. No, he did not now regret his conduct: he had vindicated his
honour, and the price was not too great. He longed to know more, but of
course he would not ask this fellow for any news, so he received his
communication in silence.  In consequence of this he was favoured with
another volley of opprobrious titles, which he bore with patience, as
beneath the notice of a nobly born Spaniard.

When this visit was over, Carlo set himself again to listen for more
welcome footsteps; but it was only after an hour had elapsed that he was
rewarded by hearing, not Catalina’s heavy tread, but a gentle well-known
footfall.  It was Etta, who after some difficulty managed to slide back
the secret door; and, peering into the darkness without at first seeing
anything, she exclaimed:

’Carlo, are you there?  Oh, how dreadful! Here, dear Carlo, take this
bread, and a fresh banana; for you must be very hungry.  How glad I am
that you will not be here much longer!  And yet----’

’How do you know, Etta?  Was it Harry Fenn that told you?  Will they
give me back my sword? and where is my father?’

’We know hardly anything; for though of course we are not in this horrid
hole, yet we are as much prisoners as you are, my poor Carlo; and if it
were not for Harry Fenn we should have had to go down to the hall
amongst those rough men and beg for bread.  Even Catalina dare not do
that, for she cannot abide their rude jestings.’

’Never mind: when I am released I shall teach those ruffians manners and
see that you are not neglected,’ said Carlo, still a little jealous of
the doings of this new Harry.

’But, Carlo, did they not tell you?  You are to be put aboard one of the
pirate ships and to show them the way somewhere; and indeed you must put
a good face on the matter for fear they should handle you roughly.’

Carlo was struck dumb at this news; but at last he burst forth with--

’The rascals!  What! do they think they are going to use me as a guide
to some other unfortunate Spanish settlement?  That they never shall.
They may tear my limbs, but for such knaves----’

’Hush, hush, Carlo!  What if they heard you! But Harry Fenn is to go
too.  He knows nothing of your father or of what has happened to him;
and, alack! poor Felipa, who was so glad and happy yesterday, is now
all-sorrowful again.  Dear Carlo, when you are aboard try and bear their
raillery and stuff your ears, and----  But I dare not stay longer,
Catalina is so frightened lest I should be discovered here, or for fear
we should receive a visit from the Captain upstairs, and he would
assuredly ask what had become of me; so good-bye, dear Carlo!  Do not be
rash; for, in truth, they may put you on the ship, but they cannot make
you speak, and you do not know the roads of the mainland, so you can
easily baffle these boors.  Ah, now, I was forgetting to tell you that
Felipa wanted to come with me, but Catalina would not let her.  She sent
you all her true love.’

So these two took leave, and Etta, drawing back the tiny door and
replacing the bolts, ran lightly upstairs, having put Catalina in a
great fright; for hardly had the door of the dark cupboard out of which
the turret stairs descended been shut when voices were heard close to
the door of the dwelling-room. The old woman was much excited as she
exclaimed--

’St. Teresa save us!  Etta mi!  What heart-palpitations you have given
me!  Quick, child! lie down on the couch and hide all the cobwebs and
dust which are on your petticoat.’

Etta did so, trying to conceal her smiles; and Catalina threw a lace
shawl over her, Spanish fashion; so that when Captain Henry Morgan
entered, followed by a gentle-looking Frenchman, only the most natural
sight in the world met their eyes.

’Marry! see you, Sieur Maintenon, here is the dovecot I mentioned; but
the dovelets are not so young but that they can coo.  Prithee here, my
English maid, and tell me anything thou canst of the mainland.  Was thy
merchant father wont to trade there?  If so, he must often have landed
at Panama, where rich stuffs are much _à la mode_ and prized.’

Etta was forced to get up; but Catalina, pretending to help her,
privately shook as much dirt as she could from her petticoat.

’No, Sir Captain, my father was an honest merchant who traded among the
English isles, Jamaica chiefly, and took trips to England, but he never
meddled with the Spanish settlements.’

’Was it so?  My experience is that merchants are glad to trudge wherever
they can get gold coins.  But you, Señorita, you have sometimes left
this island?  Speak plainly, for I like not capricious or saucy
maidens,’ said the Frenchman in soft Spanish tones to Felipa.

’Never, Señor, except to go a visit to my uncle, the noble Don Alvarez,
Governor of the Castle of St. Lawrence, which some call the Castle of
Chagres because of the river of that name; and I wish heartily that I
could let him know now of our distress.’

’Marry! pretty dove, do not have the doleful dumps on that score, for
such a message will not be difficult to deliver,’ laughed Captain
Morgan; ’the little Señorita can give it to that valiant warrior her
brother, for I purpose despatching four of my ships there this very
evening.’

Felipa and Catalina lifted up their heads in horror, and the former
burst into tears as she exclaimed, ’You will go to Chagres and attack
the great Don Alvarez!  That cannot be!’

’Why not?  Before the whole cheese is taken one must taste a little bit
of it and see if it is good.  From Chagres we can easily cross the
narrow neck of land, but we want good guides to traverse that marshy
region.  Know you any such?’

’I will send and warn my uncle,’ said Felipa proudly, drying her tears;
’he is better armed than we were here, and he will receive you in a
manner you will not like--that I can well foreknow.’

Captain Morgan nodded to his companion.

’So said I, pretty maid.  Mark you, Maintenon, I will tell Captain
Brodely to keep the ships well together; I hear from that vile caitiff
Espada that the mouth of the river is dangerous, and that there are
several gunboats stationed there.’

’And if it were not,’ put in Felipa incautiously, ’the castle is on the
top of the mountain and can never be taken.  My uncle Don Alvarez will
not be deceived by your tricks as was my father, and your fair promises
will be laughed to scorn by him, for he will fight to the death.’

’Thank you, pretty Señorita, for your advice. I will not forget to tell
my men what kind of brave gentlemen they will have to meet; an we are
worsted we must yield on honourable terms.  But, doubtless, your brother
will tell us more.  I’faith, Maintenon, I must see that the ships are
well manned and victualled: it does not do to trust any one but oneself
when there is much risk in an enterprise, and, for all we know, a mortal
crisis and some mangling of Christian bones.’

So saying, the Captain moved away, and smiled as he noticed old Catalina
in her corner busily muttering her usual imprecations against him. When
not thwarted Henry Morgan was an agreeable man with much sense of
humour; and it was partly this that had enabled him to keep his
heterogeneous horde together, though quarrels were frequent enough, and
led, as he said, to bangs and knocks sufficient to harden any softer
fists.

There was much indignation and many exclamations of despair from the
girls and their old nurse when they were once more alone, which were
only calmed when Felipa indignantly remarked:

’My uncle Don Alvarez will never be conquered by such people, and dear
Carlo will see him and tell him, when he has routed these knaves, to
come to our help.  If only I could see my brother!’

But it was not thought prudent to descend again after the narrow escape
Etta had had, for they could not tell at what hour Carlo might be
released.

’May the good God take care of my dear boy!’ sighed poor Catalina, much
depressed.  She was feeling that her responsibilities were almost too
great, and she heartily wished the Marquis would come back and take care
of his children.  Happily, till now Felipa had not fretted too much,
though the poor girl was beginning to show signs of fatigue and anxiety.
She was far more delicate than sturdy English Etta, whose spirits soon
reasserted themselves and made her inclined to forget the dangers that
still existed.

In the meanwhile Carlo waited impatiently in his cell for the time when
he should hear the steps of a pirate coming to release him; for now,
having thought the question out, he had come to the conclusion that he
had best take the matter quietly. Not being a prisoner on parole, he was
free to escape, and perhaps he should soon find some opportunity of
doing so.  Once free, he believed that the faithful Andreas could hide
him in the woods till such time as peace was restored.  He had leisure
now to make many reflections as to the future; but at last he heard
footsteps in the passage outside.  His heart beat fast, though he tried
to appear cool.  He could not guess the time of day, but he felt sure it
was not far off sunset, when at last his door was hastily opened and a
man told him roughly to get up and follow him. Carlo did so.  He was a
little stiff, and almost blinded by the light; but it seemed like a new
life to be breathing once more the fresh air, and to feel the warm glow
of the sunshine through his chilled veins.  At the end of the passage he
found several other men awaiting him; but they did not pinion him as
before--an insult Carlo would have found it difficult to forgive.

’Quick, young Señor, this way; we have no time to waste.  We want no
idle vermin among our crew.’

It was fortunate for Carlo that Etta had prepared him for this new
bondage, or he might have refused to follow the buccaneers out of Santa
Teresa.  As it was, however, he would not obey quite silently or without
protest.

’Where are you conducting me?’ he asked, ’I demand to be taken to my
father.’

’Very likely, sirrah; but those are not our orders.  Marry! it’s best to
ask no questions when one is Captain Morgan’s prisoner, else some
inquisitive knaves have learnt what it means "to swing like a skipper."’

Carlo thought this advice wise, and followed it.

Presently he saw that the men were joined by a fellow he knew well,
Espada, who had evidently turned traitor.  Carlo had seen him last at
the Platform, and he was horrified to hear him say he was prepared to
guide the men by a narrow path which led down the face of the steep
cliff, and which they could not have found unassisted.  It was by no
means a pleasant descent, but it saved a few miles of walking, and, once
at the bottom, they found a canoe awaiting them.  With a heavy heart
Carlo saw the massive walls of Santa Teresa disappearing.  After a short
row the boat he was in was moored alongside one of the pirate ships
stationed just outside the bay, and he was bidden to scramble up a very
rude rope ladder on to the deck of the ship, which, he found, was called
’The Falcon.’

’Is Captain Brodely on board?’ asked the escort, ’for here is the son of
that craven-hearted Governor.  By my faith! a valuable cargo, I take it;
for he’s to serve as guide, and to be hostage for the Marquis’s good
conduct in the future.  Now then, young sir, on with you this way.  And
best budge quickly; for there’s to be no tricks here, remember, or it
will be the worse for you.’

Poor Carlo! his Spanish pride inwardly rebelled; but, true to his
resolution, he replied nothing to all these taunts.  The Captain was too
busy to attend to him, so he was presently locked up in a small cabin
where the spirits stolen from Santa Teresa were stored; still he could
see the dancing waves through the tiny port-hole, and, compared to the
dungeon he had just left, this place was indeed like a palace, though
the only pieces of furniture were barrels of wine and spirit-kegs, in
which the Dutch carried on a brisk trade, and which therefore received
the name of Hollands.

When darkness fell over the beautiful shore the noise on board in no way
diminished, and such a shouting and holloaing was heard that it was easy
to see the pirates were in high spirits, and thought themselves
invincible and able to do as they liked.

After a time Carlo fell asleep, and was awakened only by feeling himself
gently shaken.  He started up, and saw by the help of the moonlight the
kind face of Harry Fenn bending over him.

’You here!  Thank God!’ exclaimed Carlo. ’At all events these wretches
will not murder me without some one knowing of it and reporting the
crime!’

Harry laughed at Carlo’s somewhat moody ideas.

’Oh, Señor, in truth you are safe enough now we have started, and I am
bidden to ask you to come and sup in the Captain’s own cabin.  He is
under strict orders to treat you well when once we are out at sea.  And,
look you, Señor: these men have not been told that you can understand
English, so prithee keep the secret.  They all come from the bigger
island, and were not at Santa Teresa.  Later on we may find it
convenient to understand each other in English whispers.  At present,
remember, I only know very few Spanish words.’

Carlo nodded, and with new hope followed the English boy into the
Captain’s cabin.



                             CHAPTER XIII.

                              THE ESCAPE.


Captain Morgan had done wisely in thinking that it was quite necessary
for him to have some base of operations on the mainland before crossing
the narrow neck of land which separated him from the coveted prize, the
city of Panama.  It was for this reason that the expedition under
Captain Brodely was sent out, whilst he detained the rest of his ships
at safe anchor at St. Catherine, and also kept his men in good temper by
letting them do as they pleased and ransack the two fair Spanish islands
of this name.

Captain Brodely was a daring seaman, who had seen before now the inside
of Spanish prisons, and knew the ground round about Panama pretty
accurately; but the Castle of Chagres was on the opposite side of the
isthmus, and the river Chagres, which flowed at the foot of the hill on
which stood the castle, was difficult to navigate, and great care would
therefore be needed to steer the ships into safe anchorage.  The Captain
had been told that the Marquis’s son knew well the castle and its
surroundings; but when Harry Fenn entered his cabin accompanied by
Carlo, the sturdy rover looked with scorn on the slight stripling whom
Captain Morgan had sent him for guide.  As hostage he might be all very
well, but for aught else the Englishman preferred trusting his own good
sense to the doubtful information abstracted from an unwilling prisoner
whose Spanish blood prevented him, in the eyes of Captain Brodely at
least, from having any regard for truth.

Carlo found himself, therefore, treated with silent contempt rather than
with severity by his new jailor, and as the ’Falcon’ bounded over the
water he could not help feeling happier than in his dungeon, wondering
much how it was that he had appreciated liberty so little until now.

After the first interview he received no special orders, nor was he
expected to do anything; so, wishing to be alone, he retired for the
night under a bale of goods stolen from one of the fortresses in St.
Catherine.  Harry Fenn, however, soon joined him, and the two spent the
rest of the night by no means unpleasantly under this shelter, which had
the merit of being out of the way of the crew. The next morning land was
dimly in sight, and they expected to strike it in the afternoon; so
before this time the Captain had several confabulations with his men.
They knew that their ships were certain to be seen, so that it was
hopeless to attempt to creep up in the dark unperceived, as their own
safety required them to use the daylight.

Chagres, as has been said, was built on a high hill close to the river;
it was surrounded by strong palisades buttressed with earth, and a ditch
thirty feet deep defended its near approach.  It had but one entry, and
that reached by a drawbridge over the said ditch.  Four bastions looked
landward and two seaward.  On the north side ran the river, and on the
south the hill was too steep for any invader to climb.  At the foot of
the mountain was another fort with eight guns commanding the river, and
two other batteries were placed a little lower down. This, then, was the
well-fortified place which the pirates were now determined to possess
themselves of; and no wonder that Carlo spoke rather scornfully to Harry
of the expedition as an impossible and rash dream.

’My uncle, Don Alvarez, is as wise and brave a man as can be found in
all the dominions of the King of Spain,’ he whispered to his companion,
when the two were left alone, unnoticed by the excited sailors.

’I have seen enough of these men, Señorito, to make me disbelieve in
nothing.  They will leap down headlong into danger, and get up unhurt.
But I see they are not making straight for the mouth of the river;
doubtless we shall land a little way off, so as to avoid the fire from
the fort.’

’If I could but warn my uncle!’ said Carlo earnestly.  ’Look you, Master
Harry Fenn, I will give you a handsome reward if----’

Harry tossed back his fair hair even as a young colt who is galloping
before the wind, as he answered:

’You forget, Señor, that though I may be among thieves, yet I am an
honest Englishman, and I take no reward for doing what I can.  I am no
knave that gripes after a reward.’

Carlo saw that he had insulted the boy who had saved his life, and with
his usual impetuous generosity he apologised fully.

’Indeed, indeed, I meant no harm.  I am sorely troubled; but you at
least will forgive me.  This luckless affair has made me foolish.’

Harry was easily pacified, and he himself at once suggested a plan by
which Carlo might accomplish his purpose.

’Look now, Señor Carlo: when our ships come to anchor, they will put
more than half the men ashore in order to carry the castle by assault,
and they will not trouble themselves much about us, I see.  If we could
escape then, and go faster than the attacking party, we might do some
good in warning Don Alvarez.’

’Yes, that is indeed a first-rate idea, and that also reminds me that,
close by the landing at the foot of the castle, there is a small steep
staircase cut out of the solid rock.  I have often climbed up by it for
quickness when I have been staying with my uncle and was late for
supper.  If we could somehow get there, trust me to distance them.  What
think you of this possibility?’

Harry’s smile showed that he appreciated the idea, so they were soon
deep in ways and means; for they could not help entering into the spirit
of the attack, now that they were planning a counter-expedition of their
own.  Very soon there was more than enough excitement, however.  Their
ships had been discovered, and the pirates seeing the enemy’s guns begin
to play upon them, Captain Brodely clearly understood it was useless
attempting to enter the river, so the ships bore down on a small port
about three miles from Chagres, and when the sun went down they lay at
anchor. There was to be no rest for any one that night. All was bustle
and confusion, some of the crew declaring they would land, some that
they would find it easy to run the gauntlet of the forts; and among all
this discord the Captain had more than enough to do to keep the peace,
and some show of authority.

’Now, Señor, here’s our time,’ said Harry, with eagerness, for some of
his fresh ardour and adventurous spirit was returning now that he could
lawfully indulge it.  ’We can take a small boat from our masters; or if
not, perhaps we can swim to shore from here and walk along the coast, if
that is possible in the darkness.’

’Yes, for the tide is low; but the moon will soon be up, and then trust
me for the rest.  But how shall we baffle the men?’

’The men are too busy to notice us.  I can let myself down by a rope.
Or wait--I will hold the rope for you, and when you are in the boat,
which is moored below, I will let myself down.  But cut the rope as soon
as you are in, for I can swim out to you.’

’But the sharks--are you not afraid of them?’ asked Carlo, who knew that
these dreaded enemies had always to be taken into account.

’They are less likely to be about at this time,’ said Harry, cheerfully;
’but of course I must chance them.  "Nothing venture, nothing have," is
an English proverb which the buccaneers certainly act upon.’

In truth, Harry’s plan was very cleverly thought out.  The pirates,
aware that no enemy would dare to come and attack them after dark, had
let down their small boats and canoes, and were busily preparing
everything for an early start.

Carlo now nimbly scrambled down, helped by Harry’s steady hand, and
safely descended into a canoe which was tied to the ship, and which was
ordinarily used for running up narrow creeks in the islands.  Then he
crouched down and waited breathlessly for Harry to follow; but, to his
horror, he suddenly heard voices above, and distinctly caught Harry’s
words, evidently meant for him to hear--

’I shall stay here as long as I choose: don’t wait for me.  Off with
you: your business brooks no delay.’

A gruff voice answered:

’Marry! but you’ll come with me too, young Pug-robin; the Captain says
there’s a good deal to do in stowing away the provision for to-morrow,
and idle hands are not wanted here.  Those that won’t work can filch no
booty.’

Then came the sound of retreating footsteps, and Carlo knew that all was
up as far as Harry was concerned; so, cutting the rope, and not caring
much whether he were discovered or not, so desperate had he become, he
took the oars, and as silently as possible he shot off into the
darkness, going, as far as he was able to judge, straight for the shore.

No one, however, seemed to have discovered his escape, for he heard no
hue and cry raised, nor sound of pursuers; and this fact, after a time,
raised his spirits.  Happily, his expeditions with Andreas had made him
a skilful oarsman, and when the moon rose he was able to see that he had
got well forward and was out of sight of the pirates, having turned
round a projecting cliff, and being now well in sight of the river’s
mouth.

If only Harry had been with him Carlo would have thoroughly enjoyed the
adventure.  He was so sure that, once in Chagres Castle, he should be
safe and free, that he was all eagerness to push on.

’I shall save my uncle, and be ready to fight for him,’ thought he.
’Ah, if only my father had not been so deluded, perhaps Chagres would
not now have to defend itself against this fierce horde.’

With these thoughts mingled ideas of the praise he should receive, and
also sad remembrances of the desolation of his own home, and of the
terrible story which he should have to tell his uncle; but he had
immense faith in Don Alvarez, and longed for his advice and kind
sympathy.  As he neared the shore he saw that great excitement prevailed
there, the authorities fancying he was a pirate ambassador come to
parley; for the arrival of the ships was known, and a strict look-out
was kept.  A boat full of soldiers was immediately dispatched, and was
soon alongside of him; and the astonishment was great when the men saw,
on close inspection, that the boat contained only a young fellow rowing
himself to shore.  At last Carlo, by dint of showing he had nothing with
him but food, and that he was in reality only the son of Don Estevan del
Campo, was allowed to land.  Then, fearful of some ruse, the soldiers
surrounded him, and took him before the officer who was now on guard at
the lower fort.  Fortunately, this latter had once seen Carlo, and then
all were intensely eager to hear the news.  After hastily telling the
bare facts, Carlo hastened up the rocky stairs, accompanied by a
soldier, who took the precaution of bringing a safe-conduct, signed by
the superior officer, for the edification of the porter; otherwise there
might have been some difficulty in entering the castle, so watchful and
so suspicious had every one become on hearing of the approach of the
dreaded pirates; for the name of Henry Morgan was sufficient to cause
almost a panic in a Spanish garrison.

The surprise and pleasure of Don Alvarez and his gentle wife, Doña
Elena, can easily be imagined when they saw their nephew, and heard of
his marvellous escape from the pirates’ ship; but the outline only of
the events which had taken place at St. Catherine could be now
discussed, Don Alvarez being so busy and eager to do everything in his
power to repulse the enemy.

’From what you say, Carlo,’ said Don Alvarez, ’the buccaneers cannot be
here till the afternoon, for the roads hither from the bay are almost
impassable since the rain.  That will give us some few hours before
sunset to rout them.  I doubt much if there will be any left.  For my
part, I call it a most impudent assault; but I shall use every
precaution, and not fall into the error of my poor brother-in-law; for,
in truth, to parley with such fellows is to disgrace the Spanish flag.’

Carlo retired to rest, kindly tended by his aunt, who rubbed sweet
ointments into his blistered hands and provided him with clean linen and
a new doublet of sturdy buff; for, in truth, Carlo was hardly
recognisable after all he had gone through, and his clothes were much
torn and soiled.

’God has indeed taken care of you, my brave Carlo; you have the true
Alvarez blood in your veins.  Your uncle will not forget your brave
conduct; and directly we are delivered from these men, he will go over
to St. Catherine with sufficient force to restore order and to give back
the island to its proper masters.  My heart grieves sore for my poor
little Felipa.’

’They will indeed be glad to see him, and you too, Aunt Elena; but
Felipa and the English Etta have been civilly treated.  Only, it seems
to me that these pirates think that so long as they have enough to eat
it does not matter if others starve.  If it had not been for Harry
Fenn--him I told you of--the girls would have fared badly enough.  But I
am as sleepy as a porpoise.  Do not forget to wake me early, and you
will see how I will fight these jailors of mine, and pay them back their
cudgelling with interest.’



                              CHAPTER XIV.

                          DEFENCE TILL DEATH.


It was two o’clock before the look-out from the castle discerned the
approach of the pirates, and then all was activity. Carlo, having no
fears, and being, besides, well rested and fed, was all eagerness for
the first encounter.  But Doña Elena had asked him to accompany her into
the church built within the palisade; and there, kneeling down, both
begged for a blessing on the Spanish arms.  Carlo thought too of his own
desolate home, and this rather calmed his spirits.  He wondered much
what had become of Harry Fenn, and whether he had been left behind or
forced to march to the attack.  On the face of it, nothing could have
been more foolhardy than this expedition; and so thought the pirates
themselves as they at last, after a dreadful journey through mire and
mud, came in sight of the strongly fortified castle.  Many a stout heart
wished at that moment that the owner thereof had not been quite so
clamorous in insisting on being chosen as one of the storming party; but
no one dared to put these thoughts into words, for to turn tail now and
receive the gibes and scorn of those they had left behind was not to be
thought of for a moment. They were now in an open space at the foot of
Chagres.  The enemy at once opened fire upon them with more or less
effect, and to pause at that moment was only to get into greater danger,
so, without waiting for rest, they daringly began to ascend the hill in
order, if possible, to get close up to the walls. But though there was
no lack of pluck, the danger was too great, the task impossible; and so
they reluctantly beat a retreat, followed by shouts of joy and derision
from the walls of the castle, and many uncomplimentary titles, ’English
dogs’ and ’Enemies of God and our King’ being the mildest.

Within the castle precincts, Don Alvarez was here, there, and
everywhere; and though Carlo was not allowed to go into the most
dangerous places for fear of some stray shot or arrow, he was, however,
ready for every opening which promised a source of honour.  He loaded
muskets, carried ammunition, dashed water over the heated gun-barrels,
and made himself very useful.

’They are repulsed!’ rang through the castle as the men so long on watch
now bethought themselves of their supper; and the women, coming out of
the church, where they had been placed for safety, were soon busy
serving the heroes.  Carlo’s bright eyes were sparkling with eagerness;
he felt that he was serving under a brave, honourable man who would die
rather than give in, and that he was wiping out his own disgrace.

But after sunset it appeared evident that the dauntless spirits of the
buccaneers were not yet crushed, and that they meant to try again.  The
small army advanced in a compact square, the foremost line carrying
fire-balls to throw at the palisades.  Up they dashed, heedless of shots
and arrows, which had fatal effect in thinning the ranks; but at first
the assailants were quite impotent to effect any harm.  The walls were
well manned, and it was difficult to get near enough to throw in the
fire-balls.

Again there was a thought of retreat, when a curious accident caused the
fight to be no longer advantageous only on one side.  One of the pirates
was wounded with an arrow, which, striking him in the back, pierced his
body to the other side.  With Spartan fortitude the man pulled it out,
and, taking a little cotton, he wound it round the arrow, and, putting
it in his musket, shot it back into the castle. This caused one of the
smaller houses within the precincts to catch fire, which, being thatched
with palm-leaves, easily ignited; and so eager was the fight that this
was not at once perceived, till suddenly the flame shot upwards, sending
a dull, lurid glow over the combatants.

Unfortunately, the house was not far from the powder-magazine, and a
smoking leaf was carried by the night wind towards this spot.  In a few
moments more both the besieged and besiegers paused in their work, for
with a noise of terrific explosion the powder-magazine blew up,
scattering destruction within the walls, and, what was even worse,
shattering a large portion of the bank which protected the palisade.

At this moment Carlo, who had been engaged in reloading a number of
muskets, saw a sight which made him turn sick with fear.  The fire was
gaining ground; the flames, like hungry furies, appeared to leap from
stake to stake of the strong palisade, and, further loosening the earth
round the breaches made by the explosion, allowed great masses of earth
to topple over into the ditch.

’Put out the fire! fetch water! hoist the bucket from the well!’ shouted
Don Alvarez, frantically rushing from post to post.  ’Keep up your
spirits, my men; don’t fall back; hurl the first pirate who scales the
ditch headlong down the cliff!’

These and many like orders were passed on; but from below came a
desperate cheer from the pirates, who saw how the fire had done the
hardest part of the work for them, and with renewed courage dashed once
more forward.

It was, indeed, a terrible sight; the fire that raged round the palisade
was awful in its effects. The Spanish soldiers on one side struggled
bravely to stand to their posts; while the pirates, still more
determined, crawled along over the scorching earth, or literally ran the
gauntlet of the fire, in order to pass into the enclosure; and a shout
of triumph here and there told plainly where they had succeeded.

On his side, Don Alvarez worked wonders. He never flinched from his
duty, and seemed not to notice any personal danger; but when daylight
came the situation looked most depressing.  Yet nothing could make him
give the order to forsake the various posts where the soldiers were
stationed.

Carlo saw now that most likely the pirates would conquer, and he could
have cried with shame and vexation.  What should he say after all his
boasting?  But one look at his uncle’s stern, noble face made him toil
on at his work without pausing to think, till at last he was aware of an
unusual disturbance on the opposite side of the castle, a deafening
shout, and a furious firing.  At this moment Don Alvarez reappeared at
his side.

’Carlo, here boy, quick: there is not a moment to spare.  Take this
note, climb down by the rock stairs, and deliver it safely to Don
Meliros, the officer at the entrance fort--him you saw yesterday. If we
are undone, don’t let him waste any more precious lives.  It is my duty
to hold out till death, but his to save his garrison.  Do you hear, boy?
And, if you see him again, bid good-bye to your father.  Tell him--nay,
nothing more.  But listen, Carlo: there is much danger in carrying this
message, my boy; but do it fearlessly: it may prevent greater
misfortunes for thee at least.’

Carlo did not hesitate a moment.

’Trust me, uncle: I will be as quick as possible, and come back to your
side.  Where shall I find you?’

’In the Corps du Garde, boy.  Good heavens! the men on the north are
giving way; that is our only strong point.  Quick, boy: don’t linger a
moment!’

Don Alvarez hurried away, and Carlo ran straight for the church, which
still remained untouched by the fire, and where the women and children
were huddled together repeating a Litany aloud, not at all realising how
great was their danger.  Carlo knew that behind the church there was a
piece of wall which he could scale, and which was not yet guarded by the
pirates, all of whom were now concentrating their forces on the opposite
side.  From this spot Carlo could climb round the parapet, and reach the
rocky stairs with his precious missive.

Being over-eager, however, Carlo found his task more difficult than he
had expected; in his case haste made waste, for twice he fell back, and
twice, being undaunted, he tried again.  He heard a deafening shout
behind him; alas! Carlo knew it was not the Spanish war-cry, and at
last, in desperation, he made a final effort to lower himself to a ledge
below without losing his balance, which would have caused him to be
hurled down the face of the cliff; then, clinging like a goat, he crept
along till he reached the stairs.

At this moment, when, feeling that he had already wasted much precious
time, he was about to hurry down, a familiar voice close behind called
him by name.

’Señor Carlo, wait a moment.  How I have looked for you!’  And then
Harry Fenn, with greater skill than Carlo deemed possible, scrambled
down from a point above him, and having joined him whispered anxiously,
seizing him by the arm--

’Now, Señor, don’t waste a moment: it is your only chance of safety.
They know you have been fighting, and the castle and all the ammunition
are now in the hands of the pirates.’

Carlo said nothing till both had reached the bottom; then, showing Harry
his letter, he said his uncle had bade him deliver it.  Before reaching
the fort, however, they both saw that any message was now useless, for
the Spaniards were already scrambling for the boats in order to fly up
the river into the interior.

’Then I must return to my uncle, Harry,’ said Carlo.  ’I promised to go
to the Corps du Garde after I had given up my letter; but do not wait
for me, for now is your chance of escape.’

’He does not want you now, Señor Carlo: he died at his post as a brave
soldier should.  I will tell you about it presently, for now we have not
a moment to waste: if you are found, or indeed if I am found helping
you, we shall both be shot without more ado, for the men are in wild
excitement.’

Carlo was speechless.  The whole events of the last twelve hours seemed
too terrible to believe, and he followed Harry in total silence.  The
latter, having now reached the bank of the river, was looking eagerly
about for a boat.

’Where can we go if you find a boat?’ said Carlo at last very sadly.
’It would be better for me to stay and die with my uncle.’

’No; indeed, I am sure he meant you to be saved by his sending you down
here; he must have known when he did so that all was lost, and the
letter to the officer was an excuse to induce you to leave him.’

’But my Aunt Elena--what will become of her? Alack!  Heaven is
altogether against us!’

’Do not distress yourself about her: she is of too great importance to
come to any harm; they will make her pay a heavy ransom--and, anyhow,
they will treat her well till Captain Morgan comes. Look, Señor, there
is a small boat with one Indian in it.  Have you any gold about you?  We
might perhaps bribe him.’

But Carlo was penniless; only, being able to make himself understood, he
began trying to strike a bargain for the canoe, which appeared now their
only chance of safety.

The fort was quite evacuated, and so terrified were the Spaniards now
escaping up the river, that, in spite of signals from Carlo, not one
would return. So, after some delay, during which Harry became every
minute more impatient, knowing how great the danger was, the boys
squeezed themselves into the small canoe, and, crouching down, bade the
Indian paddle out to sea.

For a long time Carlo lay there too much distressed to speak; but
happily Harry had all his senses about him, and had seized a pair of
small oars left behind by the fugitives.  Very soon he noticed that they
had drifted too near the pirate ships, and that they were discovered,
for Harry’s keen eyes at once noticed a slight stir on board.

’Señor Carlo, get up and row: we must make the best of our way towards
St. Catherine, if we cannot get up greater speed than this we may be
lost.’  And Carlo, thinking of his father and sister and his home, at
last roused himself and rowed with a will.

’But what is the use of our getting back to St. Catherine?’ he said;
’Captain Morgan will not be more lenient to me than his men would have
been.’

’He will come off at once on hearing of this victory, I am sure, for he
will want his share of the spoil.  My hope is that we may escape him in
that way.’

’But he will never forgive you for helping me,’ said poor Carlo, feeling
that he had brought misfortune on the noble English boy, who cared as
much as he did himself for freedom.

’That is of no consequence--I can risk that; indeed, if he would, he
would never dare forgive me now; his men would not let him.  Ah, Señor,
what is the matter?  The sun is too powerful; and indeed you have gone
through enough to make you feel ill.’

’Nay, I will not give way,’ said Carlo; but he felt so sick and giddy,
that in a few moments he had to give up his oar and lie down in the
boat; whilst Harry, seeing now that all danger from the pirate boats was
over, intimated to the Indian that they must make the best of their way
to St. Catherine.

Happily the Indian had some bananas and oranges on board which he had
been bringing down to the fort for sale, when the general exodus of the
Spaniards had prevented him landing.  This was the only food they had to
depend upon, and the distance was great for such a small craft.  But
necessity knows no impossibility, and now Harry felt, for the moment at
least, that he was really free; though he would, on landing, probably
fall again into the hands of his enemies; and if so, then he knew what
he must expect--a death which would most likely be accompanied by
torture.

’Mr. Aylett would say I had done well,’ was his consolation, and Etta
Allison would, perhaps, through his means, also be able to get her
freedom. So, humming one of the old hymns he had sung as a choir-boy at
home, he took courage and determined to reach St. Catherine or die in
the attempt.  ’Anyhow, Señor Carlo will be no worse off in dying of
hunger than in dying through torture.  They would have been sure to
imagine he knew where Don Alvarez hid his treasure.  I am free, free,
and the air seems fresher, and the sea smells sweeter; so, God helping
me, I will save him and myself.’

Whilst these events were taking place at Chagres the inhabitants of
Santa Teresa were by no means happy.  Deprived of even the slight
protection of Harry Fenn, the girls and Catalina found themselves in no
enviable position.  After the departure of the expedition, Captain
Morgan determined to settle as far as possible the affairs of the
island, so that directly he should hear of the success or failure of the
enterprise against Chagres Castle he should be free to go about other
business.  If the attack failed he must again unite his fleet--for the
greater number of ships were in the bay--and take counsel with his chief
officers; but if it succeeded, then all hands and all heads would be
needed for the attack on Panama, which was, in truth, the height of
their ambition.  For these reasons Captain Morgan still made Santa
Teresa his headquarters, but was full of occupation elsewhere; and, to
make the poor Don Estevan del Campo’s task harder, he required his daily
attendance upon him. The Captain was bent on demolishing all the strong
castles of St. Catherine, meaning to leave only Santa Teresa standing
for his own future use. He thus made Don Estevan assist at this
wholesale destruction, treating him outwardly with consideration, but
implying that the Spaniard was himself glad to help in the destruction
of the forts it had been his duty to look after.  The Marquis suffered
much more torment than if he had died as a soldier, and every day he
became more gloomy, more miserable, and so curious in his behaviour that
many said he must be losing his mind, and shunned him accordingly.  He
was, in fact, tormented with terrible regrets, and these were ten-fold
increased when he heard that his son had been sent with the expedition
against his brother-in-law. To make things worse, Captain Morgan had
forbidden the Marquis to enter Santa Teresa, saying that it would be too
severe a tax on the loyalty of the Indians and the negroes, who, for
convenience’ sake, were kept in their old places; but in truth it was to
make the Marquis feel he was in reality now simply a prisoner and
nothing more.  So he lodged at St. Jerome, and was narrowly watched, for
fear he should take it into his head to escape; and this did not add to
his comfort or his peace of mind.

Felipa was thus left to the care of old Catalina, and Captain Morgan
troubled himself very little about them, meaning in the near future to
make the Marquis ransom his own child from supposed captivity.

Though glad enough to be left alone, the trio were yet much puzzled as
to how they were to get enough daily food.  Andreas no longer came to
the balcony in answer to Etta’s soft whistling, so they concluded that
he must have either escaped or been killed.  The guards placed below
were all rough men of various nationalities whom Catalina dared not ask
for food; and she and her charges began to understand that they were as
much prisoners as if they had been in the dungeons below.  Catalina had
been able to secrete a small quantity of Indian corn and to bake some
cakes with it; but now this was finished, what was to be done?

One day, when all the food was gone, Etta, creeping out into the passage
once more to see if Andreas would come or answer her whistling, heard
the loud tones of Captain Morgan giving some order.  Forgetting
Catalina’s strict injunctions not to go below, forgetting everything but
that Felipa was crying from hunger, and that she herself was only
restrained by her English pride from doing the same, she ran down as
quickly as she could to the hall where some twenty men were tramping
about bringing in the evening meal, and Captain Morgan was listening to
a messenger who had just entered.

Etta was quite reckless now, even though the men raised a shout at her
appearance, crying out, ’Here comes the little English wench,’ and one
said: ’Ay, but she’s got bonnie golden hair and looks ready for a
gambol.’  But the girl took no heed, and, running up to Captain Morgan,
insisted this time on being heard.

’Captain Morgan, prithee, will you let us starve up there?  We are all
so very, very hungry!  It is cruel of you; and meseems it is very unlike
an Englishman to starve his prisoners.’

The Captain received this burst of eloquence with loud laughter; and,
turning to the messenger, said:

’Marry! good Smith, do you hear the maid? She says it is not right that
any one should starve in this place; and, by my faith, when you bring me
such good news I think she is right.  We will give a feast to-day to
every soul in the castle. But in truth, bold maid, I bade that lame
fellow see after your provender, and now, methinks, he has gone to
Chagres and forgotten all about you. Here, Mings, send up a royal feast
to the fair ladies, and a few bottles of good wine besides to drink our
health in.  And mind you, little cinder witch, to tell your Spanish
friends that it is all in honour of the taking of Chagres.  By the way,
Smith, what has become of my godson and of the young Spaniard?’

Etta stood speechless as she heard the terrible news.  Where was Carlo,
and what would he do?

’By my troth, Captain, I know only that neither of them has been seen
since the taking of the castle; so either they were killed in the
skirmish or they have hidden themselves somewhere.’

Captain Morgan frowned.

’Brodely will have to answer for the safety of both lads.  If they have
escaped we shall soon catch them, and then----  And how many men did we
lose?  I would such valiant fellows were cudgel-proof.’

’A hundred bodies were counted before I left; and as to the wounded,
that will add another seventy; but we have taken much rich stuff, and
ammunition enough to serve for our next expedition, not to mention Don
Alvarez’s lady, whose ransom will be a fortune.’

’That will be my affair,’ said the Captain grandly.  ’Will they send the
prisoners here at once?’

Etta waited to hear no more; but though her expedition had procured them
a dinner such as they had not enjoyed for a long time, yet they could
not help shedding many tears over it.  Their grand hopes as to Don
Alvarez were crushed; and, worse still, what had become of Carlo?  Not a
ray of hope seemed now left to them.



                              CHAPTER XV.

                             IN THE WOODS.


But as when the night is darkest the dawn is near at hand, so the
sorrowful prisoners were not left altogether without comfort for long,
even though this comfort was in itself a sad one.  One evening, three
days after Etta had heard the news in the hall, Felipa lay wearily on
the couch beside the open window, vainly longing to get out and breathe
the pure air in what had once been her lovely garden, but which was now
sadly trampled over.

The poor girl looked much changed, and it was all Catalina and Etta
could do to keep her from spending most of her time in weeping silently.
She would not touch her guitar, and seemed to be fretting her life away.
These three days had also made a great difference in her appearance.
She kept constantly asking where Carlo was, what could have become of
him; and patient Etta, with ready invention, tried to find answers for
her friend which might calm her for a little while.  As to Catalina, she
could only moan and bewail their evil fortune, and wish every bad thing
she could imagine to overtake the pirates.

’If I could but go out,’ sighed Felipa, ’I could find Carlo.  I am sure
he must be hidden away in the forest.  But come quickly, Etta: see, who
is coming in; some of the soldiers?  Yes, yes; they are Spanish
soldiers, and they are certainly coming to save us.’

’Hush, dear Felipa; don’t you see that they are themselves guarded? no,
these must be the prisoners from Chagres, and--oh, yes--here are some
women and----  Surely--yes, it is Doña Elena!’

Felipa clapped her hands for joy, causing the lady to look up; and then
the sight of her aunt’s sad face made the girl suddenly draw back.  In
truth it was Doña Elena; but how changed she was! The face that looked
out from beneath her black veil was hardly recognisable.

In spite of this, Felipa was all excitement to know if her aunt would be
allowed to come up to see them.  Was she going to be left here, or what?

These questions were soon answered, for in a few minutes Doña Elena was
escorted to the sitting-room, and Felipa was soon sobbing on the
motherly breast of her aunt, who, sad as she was herself, was shocked at
the change in her little niece, whom she had last seen a merry, blooming
girl running races with Etta and Carlo down the lovely green slopes of
the tropical garden.

’My poor darling!  Ah, what sad troubles we have all been through!  I
can hardly believe it even now; but my dear husband died like a brave
soldier.  He was so noble, so true!  Alas that such as he should be
sacrificed!  But as to our poor Carlo, I cannot find out what has become
of him, though I have asked every one I came near.  That terrible
Captain has named such a price for my ransom that I must write to Spain
for the money. My poor brother!  When last did you see your father,
Felipa?  He has not been here, I am told; but they say he is at St.
Jerome.’

’You will stay with us, will you not, dear Aunt Elena?  At least they
will leave us this one comfort of being together.  But where is Carlo?
If only we could find out, I should be less unhappy. It is quite true
that our father has not come here for days.’

Doña Elena now told the party all she knew of Carlo and of his brave
escape from the pirate boats in order to give his uncle warning.  So
that even though their talk was not cheerful the presence of the elder
lady was a great comfort to the girls, and also to Catalina, who, good
and faithful as she was, could not think out many difficult problems.

That evening they had a last visit from Captain Morgan.  He had finished
his work of destruction, or had seen it well in train, and was now going
off in great haste to Chagres to see for himself the treasures found
there.

’Now, Madam,’ he said in Spanish to Doña Elena, ’you will stay here and
await my return. I have named the sum that will give you your liberty,
but till every piece of eight is paid you must consider yourself a
prisoner.  I am taking your brother Don Estevan del Campo and many of
the people here away with me--for change of air,’ he added, laughing,
’but he too will get his liberty when his ransom has been paid.  As for
his son, I hear now he escaped as no gentleman ought to do, and so----’

’Carlo never gave his word,’ said Etta, indignantly; ’he told us he felt
free to escape if he could.’

’Well, well, you are over-bold, mistress, and it cannot be hunger now
that forces you to plain-speaking. Prithee, courageous elf, have they
brought you enough to eat since your foraging expedition?’

Etta proudly muttered, ’Yes, Sir Captain, I was but defending the
absent.’  And evidently Captain Morgan admired her spirit, for he
laughed all the more, as if she had said something very witty.

’Marry, that may be; but mark you, if you know where the boy is hiding,
tell him that every avenue of the castle will be watched during my
absence, and none will enter or go forth from this island without the
knowledge of my trusty men. My boy, young Harry Fenn, has disappeared,
and yet I treated the lad as kindly as if he had been my own son; and,
in faith, when they are found they will be taught to make less free use
of their young legs.  I beg to take my leave of you, ladies, and I have
left orders for a good supply of food to be brought; but it were best to
keep indoors, as I cannot answer for accidents.  Some of my men are but
foolish rangers, and know nothing of good manners beyond such as Dame
Nature taught ’em.’

’But prithee, Sir Captain, let me say good-bye to my father,’ cried
Felipa; and Doña Elena joined in the petition, adding rather bitterly--

’My poor brother will long ago have found how wrong he was to trust you,
bold Captain, and if you are taking him prisoner, at least let him bid
farewell to his sister and his child.’

The Captain had no time, however, to waste on farewells; he declared
this boon was impossible to grant, as the Marquis had already been rowed
out to the ship; but he assured the ladies that he hoped soon to be
back, and that then they should hear great news.  With this he went away
as hastily as he had come, and the only comfort that could be extracted
from this visit was the pleasure of seeing the Captain hurry forth from
the great gate of Santa Teresa.

Catalina’s muttered farewell did not seem like blessings; but, though
the chief was gone, there were yet many jailors left behind.  The guards
were doubled without, although so few were now left within the walls,
every man that could be spared having been taken off to join the great
and long-planned expedition to Panama.  The Captain had considered that
a score of men would be well able to guard two women and two girls.  He
was, however, more vexed than he cared to show at the disappearance of
Carlo and Harry, and meant to make Captain Brodely pay dearly for his
carelessness; even such a powerful man as the great buccaneer was not
without his share of troubles, for it was only by keeping his men
constantly employed in plunder or adventure that he could prevent mutiny
and discontent.

The sitting-room and the other rooms on the same floor were left to the
ladies, the prisoners having been all taken elsewhere; so that Etta,
utterly tired of the confinement of the two rooms, often crept out to
the window above the balcony, where she could catch a sight of the bay,
and from whence she saw the departure of the fleet.  Every time she went
she softly whistled the Indian notes, especially just before sundown,
hoping to see Andreas.

To-day, just as the last sound died away among the great rose bushes,
Etta fancied she heard a very faint echo of her last note.  She paused,
straining her ears, then repeated the air again.  There was the same
echo.  Surely it was, it must be, Andreas! She determined to return
after sunset, but till then she would not mention her ideas, for fear of
having been mistaken.

Catalina was happier now that she was allowed the wherewithal to cook
her meals, and she was never weary of trying to concoct some new dish
out of the ordinary fare provided, in order to tempt poor Felipa, whose
appetite was failing, though she had revived much since her aunt’s
arrival.

Etta had been right.  Soon after darkness had fallen, suddenly, on the
lovely landscape, she heard the faint rustle of leaves below, and
Andreas crept on to the balcony, looking somewhat like a brown snake.

’Señorita, Heaven be praised that you have come!  I wanted to tell you
the news.  The noble Señor Carlo is here in St. Catherine--he and the
young Englishman who came with the pirates.’

Etta hardly stifled a cry of joy.

’Where are they?  Quick, tell me, Andreas! But do they know the castle
is watched, and that they will be taken if they are found?’

’Yes, yes, but the Señor Carlo cannot come--in fact he is ill, very ill,
Señorita; he has the fever.  But we will cure him; the white man does
not know the medicines the Indians use for the fever--these never fail.’

’But how did they come here?’

’I know not much of the story, for the English Señor cannot talk much
Spanish, but they came by night; there was an Indian with them, or they
would have been seen, but the Indians can see in the dark.’

’How glad I am, dear Andreas!  Do you want food, and where have you been
all this time? I have been here so often hoping you would come.’

’The English captain sent me to fetch horses and cattle.  He watched me
so that I could not come; but now they forget to keep watch.  I will
come again to-morrow, Señorita, at sunset.  If the noble Señor Carlo
gets better quickly, well; if not, then he must come into the castle.’

’That would be impossible, Andreas,’ said Etta; but Andreas smiled as he
disappeared into the darkness.

’But what is the use?’ said Felipa, when she heard the wonderful news of
her brother’s return. ’Carlo will die if he has only an Indian to nurse
him; and if he gets well Captain Morgan will come and take him
prisoner.’

’That is not trusting the good God, Felipa darling,’ said the noble Doña
Elena.  ’He will save our dear Carlo if he sees fit.  Since my great
trouble I have learnt more than ever to be resigned, and also to trust
Him.  Let us get a little bundle of linen ready, Catalina, to send it to
Carlo by Andreas. Wherever they are, poor fellows, they will need that;
and then let us hope for the best; we can do no more for them.’

The next evening Doña Elena accompanied Etta to the balcony; and when
Andreas understood whom she was he explained that Carlo was better, but
still very ill, and that the English Señorito was very anxious to get
him removed to the castle, for they were in the thickest part of the
forest, in a deserted Indian hut, and they had not enough good things
for the sick Carlo.

’If you could hide him I could bring him here to-morrow, noble lady: the
guards watch the wrong places, and now that the whip is not visible the
dogs keep but bad guard.’

’We must chance it,’ said Doña Elena, decidedly; ’my poor Carlo must not
die.  We are never visited, except twice a day--certainly never after
sunset, for the soldiers are afraid of this half-deserted house.  They
fancy it is haunted.’

The two then went back to tell Catalina and Felipa the joyful news that
Carlo was better and would come to them to be nursed.  Then they
discussed plans, and at last settled that they would put some blankets
in the cupboard and only bring him out when the visits of the soldiers
and the negroes were over.

’If we must soon be separated, at least let us enjoy each other’s
company as long as possible,’ said the brave Spanish lady; and Felipa
looked up brightly and smiled more happily than she had done since her
imprisonment.



                              CHAPTER XVI.

                           WAITING FOR LUCK.


Without Andreas Carlo never could have been carried safely into Santa
Teresa; but the faithful Indian was wonderfully clever in warding off
detection. The dogs had a harmless powder given to them, which stupefied
them for the time being, and, the night being very dark, with Harry’s
help Carlo was lifted bodily on to the balcony and then carried to the
ladies’ room.  Here kind, tender hands were ready with as many
alleviations as were at their disposal.

The soldiers were busy drinking and gambling below in the hall, and
never imagined what was going on above, the evening visit of inspection
having been paid.  Carlo seemed to recognise his friends as Harry and
Andreas laid him gently on the mattress, for he smiled and began to say
something; but the effort caused him to become light-headed again, and
Catalina and Doña Elena made every one leave the patient to their
nursing.  Etta had a great deal to say to Harry; she wanted to hear how
he had been able to save Carlo from the clutches of the pirates, and how
they had managed to land.

’I can hardly understand myself how it was,’ said Harry, simply.  ’We
nearly died of thirst, and had it not been for the Indian we could never
have reached this place alive.  Señor Carlo was often light-headed, and
fancied he was still at Chagres, trying to repulse the attack, and I
could only make the Indian understand me by signs.  It was not easy to
tell him that we must not land by daylight, and that our enemies would
pounce upon us if they caught us, but that we had friends if only we
could reach them.  Luckily we did manage it, and the first person who
discovered us was this faithful Andreas, and after that you should have
heard how the two Indians did discuss us!  We have hidden the canoe and
the Indian, for I was obliged to defer the promised reward till we had
seen you, Señorita.’

’My father hid a great deal of treasure in the woods,’ said Felipa, ’so
we can easily pay the Indian. Andreas knows the hiding-place, for my
father recognised how trustworthy he is.’  Felipa soon explained to
Andreas how much of the money he was to get; only, great precautions
must be taken so as not to be seen or followed by the dogs, which the
English pirates would most likely set on the track if they had the least
suspicion of hidden treasure.

’But you, Harry, what can you do?’ asked Etta, who did indeed feel proud
of her countryman, for she guessed that, though he made light of his
adventures, he had gone through much suffering for the sake of a
stranger.

’I mean to hide in these woods till I get a chance of escaping; after
what has happened I can never go back to Captain Morgan.  Andreas is so
grateful for what I have been able to do for the Señor Carlo that he
says I may stay in the hut. If a ship were to touch here, I would work
my passage back to Europe; but that _if_ is doubtful, Mistress Etta.’

’But you will take me too if the Captain will let me come on board?’
asked Etta.  ’Now Felipa has her aunt she would let me go back to my own
country, for the pirates have taken the Marquis, and so I need not ask
him.  In England, I shall never again be in dire terror of my life.’

Harry did not like to explain to the eager girl that there was but
little probability of his being able to take her on board.  The idea was
so delightful to Etta that she hardly knew how to contain her joy.

’And you will see your home again, and your father and mother; and you
will ask them to let me stay with them till I hear from my uncle.  Mr.
Aylett will write for me--I seem to know him already from all you have
said of him.’

Harry took a small prayer-book from his pocket.

’Look, Mistress Etta: this book has often reminded me of my dear master;
I have had it with me all the time.  I happened to have it with me on
the evening when I was taken prisoner--I was to learn the Gospel for the
next Sunday to repeat to Mr. Aylett.  I little thought then how precious
the book would appear to me.  Do you ever read the Psalms of David and
the Gospels, Mistress Etta?’

Etta shook her head.

’On Sundays I go to church with Felipa; I once told the Padre I was no
Papist, but he said I had better pray to God with Felipa, and that in
time I should be shown the right way.  Then I cannot read English very
easily, for we have no English books here, only I read the precious
letters left me by my mother, till I know them all by heart.  In truth I
will never be a Papist, nor forget that I am English.’

Etta turned over the leaves of Harry’s book with great care and
admiration, whilst he read over the collect to her which began ’Lord of
all power and might,’ which Etta, much delighted, said she could
remember.

’Without this I should sometimes have forgotten when Sunday came round,’
added Harry, smiling; ’for Captain Morgan’s men made but little
difference between week-days or the Lord’s Day, save now and then they
had extra rations and more spirits.  Good-night, Mistress Etta.  I see
Andreas wishes me to go with him, but I will come again to unloose my
tongue, as my speech will be limited in the woods, and mayhap I shall
turn into a wild man such as our sailors speak of; but Andreas says he
will teach me how to shoot with poisonous arrows.’

From this time there was much less dulness up in the dwelling-room at
Santa Teresa, and if they might have gone out, the girls would not have
been very unhappy, except as to Carlo’s state of health. For many days
he hovered between life and death, and Etta had to act as sentinel,
being most quick at hearing the distant steps of the soldier who brought
them their daily portion of food.  There was no more starvation now, the
point being to keep the prisoners in good health; for death would have
deprived their jailors of the much-expected ransoms.

How eagerly every morning the little party inquired for news, which the
soldier was not loth to give!  Captain Morgan was on his way to Panama;
he had twelve hundred men with him; they had scarce victuals, and had
sent back a boat to St. Catherine for more maize and Indian corn; the
men were only allowed one pipe of tobacco; the Captain was determined to
take the town, but he was in sore straits about victuals; they must
conquer or starve; and so on.

The little party hoped much that the pirates never would reach Panama,
and that other misfortunes might befal them; only, not knowing if the
Marquis were with them, it was difficult to wish they might all die of
hunger.

In the evening Harry would come and amuse Carlo, for as the days passed
slowly on the boy gradually began to mend.  He would tell him of his
hunting with Andreas, and how sometimes they had near escapes of being
discovered; but that the men left behind had enough to do to guard the
few fortresses remaining, and thought, besides, more about watching the
bays for possible enemies than of hunting the forest.  One day the Doña
Elena herself asked Harry to tell her all he knew of her brave husband’s
last hours, and he recounted simply what he had seen.  Carlo was sitting
up, propped with pillows, looking pale, but far different from what he
had been a fortnight before; and he joined in the request, saying:

’When I last saw my dear uncle he was just starting to help some twenty
men who were defending an important post.’

’Yes, and that was where I saw him,’ added Harry.  ’I was bent on
gaining an entrance into the castle, so that I might, if possible, save
you and your uncle.  I had tried to pass over some portions of burning
wall, for I had seen the pirates rush through, regardless of the danger;
but though I tried twice, the flames drove me back each time; so, at
last, climbing along the side of the mountain, I caught sight of the men
making a dash for this special breach.  I could not help admiring their
pluck, though the cause was bad enough.  I came up just as they carried
the position, in spite of the fierce resistance they met.  Following
them through the breach, I saw that this last effort would most likely
end in the capture of the castle; for I noticed several Spanish soldiers
throw themselves over the parapet rather than fall into the pirates’
hands alive. They would not ask for quarter--indeed, it would not have
been granted.  Just then I met a fellow who was badly wounded, and I
asked him if he knew whether the Governor were taken, or what had become
of him.  This man told me Don Alvarez had retired to the Corps-du-Garde,
and was defending it like a lion.  So, never thinking of danger, I
hastened in the direction to which he pointed, and beheld a scene I
shall never forget. Don Alvarez was standing at the head of a flight of
steps, and round him and below him were some thirty men.  The pirates
had double the number of men, and saw it was only a question of time,
and that a short one.  I was looking everywhere for you, Señor Carlo,
and, not seeing you, I was just going to hurry away, when I heard a
sharp report, and then a yell of anger; and, looking back, I saw the
noble Don Alvarez fall forward, struck through the heart with a
musket-shot.  I knew that I had not then a moment to lose; and, meeting
a fugitive Spaniard, I asked him to tell me where the young nephew of
the Governor had last been seen, for I was none of the enemy.  He hardly
believed me; but pointed to some spot behind the church; and the rest
you know, Señor Carlo.’

’If it had not been for you, Harry Fenn, I must have been caught at
last, or else died of that fever. I wish my uncle had lived to hear of
it and to reward you, but when my----’  Poor Carlo paused; he, could not
appeal to his father, for all that history was one he could not bear to
think about; so he added, ’When I am a man I will give you whatever you
like to ask of me.’

’There is nothing to thank me for,’ said Harry, laughing; ’in running
away with you I was but doing what I had planned for a long time.  You
see, I promised Mistress Etta to help her back to her own country; and
to do that I must e’en get back first myself.’

’And you, Aunt Elena,’ said Felipa, ’shall you really have to pay the
large ransom?  It does seem hard to be deprived of one’s home and then
have to pay the wicked men who have made one unhappy and miserable.’

’We must not complain, Felipa, for nothing would be allowed to happen
unless God saw that it was for our good.  If I could have seen my poor
brother I should have taken counsel with him; but I must resign myself
to a long captivity till the money can come from Spain.’

’Then why should you not go and fetch it yourself, noble lady?’ said
Harry.  ’If I were you, I would not stay here longer than I could help;
for if Captain Morgan were killed the pirates might choose another
captain who would not treat you as civilly as he does.’

’But there is little chance of one of our ships being able to come into
port here,’ said Carlo. ’Andreas told me that the bays were very closely
watched.’

’What I most fear is the return of the victorious pirates,’ said Harry,
thoughtfully.  ’If we hear news of the taking of the city of Panama, I
think we must try and escape, or at all events get to some Spanish
settlement whence they will send us on.’

So they talked and planned, but could do nothing at present except wait
patiently, Harry promising to keep a sharp look-out for any ship flying
the Spanish colours, adding:

’I fancy the Captain will certainly take the rich city if it is at all
possible, and after seeing the attack on Chagres I can believe these
bold men capable of taking even a large place, especially when driven to
great straits by hunger.  I was by when the Captain made all his men
sign the articles of common agreement between them, and in that they
bound themselves to obey him and to do their utmost to carry out all his
plans.’

’The selfish robbers!’ cried Catalina, indignantly. ’Heard you anything
else of importance, young Englishman?’

’But very little,’ answered Harry, rubbing his forehead and trying to
recall what had passed on the pirate vessel.  ’Every captain was to have
the share of eight men; the surgeon, besides his pay, was to have two
hundred pieces of eight for his chest of medicaments, and other officers
in some such-like proportion.  But I remember that for the loss of both
legs in battle the unfortunate buccaneer was to receive fifteen hundred
pieces of eight, and he was to get still more for the loss of both
hands.’

’All these ravages should be put an end to by the sovereigns who own
these people.  All nations of Europe have joined in it; and it is high
time it were stopped,’ said Doña Elena Alvarez.  ’But now, kind Harry,
it is time you went away, for Carlo is tired and must go to bed.’

’It is so dark to-night that I wonder how you will find your way to the
hut,’ said Etta.

’I have been making a store of candles from the Bois-de-Chandel.
Andreas showed me how the Indians prepare it.  Truly, how my parents
would laugh to see me in an Indian hut!  But I have to be careful of
shading my light, for Andreas says we must not trust the negroes, and
they often wander at night when the fancy seizes them.’

With this Harry slipped away; and Etta went with him so as to close the
window and secure it when he had let himself down from the balcony.



                             CHAPTER XVII.

                              DISCOVERED.


At last, after what seemed to him a long, weary time, Carlo began to
feel stronger, so that the difficulty to conceal him became much
greater, the high-spirited boy finding confinement quite unbearable.
His aunt and Catalina now suffered much anxiety on account of his
rashness, and as contact with danger soon makes people forget it Carlo
would often slip out even before sunset and go off to the woods to find
Harry.  He used to get over at the old spot, which was not now guarded,
and then, following the Indian trail, he and Harry managed to amuse
themselves in the woods.  True, he would slip back again, looking more
rosy and more cheerful; but Catalina was always saying that some day the
rash boy would repent of his want of prudence.  As it was, if it had not
been for the vigilance of Andreas even the lazy guards must have had
their suspicions aroused.  One day Andreas arrived at the Indian hut
just as the two, who were now fast friends, were preparing their arrows
to go hunting for pigeons, which Carlo took home to Catalina to cook so
as to make a change in their bill of fare.

’There you are, Andreas!  You are just in time to go with us,’ exclaimed
Carlo.

’No, Señor, I must be back at the compound in half an hour; but I have
just heard much news, and I came to tell you.  The Frenchman Simon has
just landed, and brings tidings from Chagres, where men have arrived
telling of the taking of Panama.  The Frenchman has brought several
officers with him who were wounded, but are now better; and I fear these
guards will have their eyes opened wider than the men now in charge.’

’Have they really taken Panama?’ exclaimed Harry and Carlo; and the
latter added, ’That is indeed a feat I had not expected--though you did,
Harry.  But did you hear any particulars, Andreas?’

’They are very full of all sorts of stories, but I fancy they are not
all true--how in one place they boiled leathern bags to eat and were at
death’s door for want of food.  After ten days of incredible hardships
they came in sight of the city, and there they engaged in very severe
fighting.  But the terror of their name did more for them than even
their valour, for they were but a handful compared with the Spaniards.’

’But what of the poor city?’ said Harry, when Carlo had translated the
news to him.

’The city was set fire to, which must have been a great and sad sight.
I was once there--when Padre Pietro took me as a boy--and I saw the
great merchants’ houses, those belonging to the Genoese being the
finest; and as for the convents and the private dwellings, the
churches--ah, they could not be numbered.’

’But the pirates will have enough gold and to spare,’ said Carlo;
’perhaps they will now let my father go free.’

’The thirst for gold seems never satisfied,’ answered Harry, ’and the
worst is when they divide the spoil; there is a great deal of
quarrelling over it, and I have seen them fight to the death over a few
pieces of eight.’

’The Frenchman Simon declares that they have taken a great deal of gold
and many slaves, and that when the Captain has settled everything he
will return here and make it so strong that no enemy will ever be able
to retake it.  The orders are that the work is to begin at once, and
that the ladies are to be taken great care of, as he will settle the
final ransom when he comes back.  That makes me tremble for your safety,
Señorito; it would, perhaps, be more prudent to hide in the secret
passage.’

’Then I may as well be taken by the pirates, Andreas.  I was stifled
before in that odious hole. No, no; let me keep my liberty as long as I
can. I promise I will keep a sharp look-out for this Simon.  Now let us
have a little fun; we try so hard to shoot the arrows as you do,
Andreas, but we have had as yet but poor success.’

’The Señorito was not born an Indian,’ said Andreas, a little sadly.
’Before the white man came all these forests were our hunting-grounds;
but there came good as well as evil with the strangers.’  Then after a
pause he added:

’If you will follow me I can show you a spot that few know how to
reach.’

The boys were only too glad to comply, and Andreas took out of a
hiding-place in the hut a curious blow-pipe, which was a reed from ten
to eleven feet in length.

’You will take my bow, Señor, and we shall see who will shoot the
farthest.’

Harry examined this new kind of weapon with great curiosity.  There was
no appearance of knot or joint in it; only the end which was to be
applied to the mouth was tied round with small silk grass cord.  The
arrows which Andreas next produced for his blow-pipe were nine or ten
inches long, made out of the leaf of a palm-tree, and as sharp as a
needle.

’An inch of the pointed end is poisoned, whilst the opposite end is
burned to make it hard,’ said Andreas, exhibiting these beautifully made
arrows; ’and this white stuff is the wild cotton.  See, this quiver will
hold five hundred such.  Now come, but you must tread softly as a cat.’

He led through an intricate path in the midst of the dense forest.
Harry would never have expected to find any human being able to thread
through such a tangled mass; but Carlo knew what were the powers of
Andreas in this respect.  Then suddenly the Indian stopped; he looked up
into the tall branches above him, and, putting his blow-pipe to his
mouth, he collected his breath for the fatal puff.  Two feet from the
end of the tube two teeth of the acouri were fastened, and these served
Andreas for a sight.  As Andreas lifted the pipe the boys waited in
breathless silence; then, suddenly and swiftly, the arrow flew
unerringly upwards. Had it missed?  Harry thought so at first; but no:
there was a flutter, and then a pajui, an excellent game-bird, came
falling heavily to the ground.

’Capital!’ cried Harry; ’I don’t believe I could do that.’  He was going
to pick up the bird, but Andreas stopped him, and Carlo cried out:

’Take care, Harry.  Andreas will know how to handle the bird; you might
touch the poisoned point.  This wourali is such a strange thing, though
it does not hurt the flesh of the bird in the least.’

Andreas smiled to see Harry’s astonishment, and, handing him the
blow-pipe, told him to try what he could do, as he himself had to return
to the compound; but, as can be easily imagined, Harry’s breath was not
equal to sending an arrow three hundred feet into the air; he would
require many years of practice before he could rival the Indian’s
dexterity.

After much excitement the two returned to the hut, Carlo thinking it
safer to stay some time in the wood after nightfall to make sure the
coast would be clear before his return to Santa Teresa.

By the light of their one candle the young Spaniard usually gave Harry
lessons in Spanish out of a book he had brought from the castle; and
Harry, having heard a great deal of that tongue spoken by the pirates,
was an apt pupil.  After the lesson they fell to talking about the
chances Harry had of finding an English ship, and Carlo a Spanish one.
Certainly the effort ought to be made before the chance of Captain
Morgan’s return; but how was it to be done?  For Andreas’ canoe was too
slight to trust on the sea, and was, moreover, much in need of repair.
This evening after their discussion Carlo added:

’I have been talking to Andreas about the caves which lie on the bigger
island; but how are we to get the girls and my aunt to them, not to
mention dear old Catalina, whom we could not leave behind? The bridge is
well guarded, and we have no boat to go by water; besides, we should be
sure to be taken by one of the pirate ships.  Whichever way I look,
escape seems impossible.  Then, too, the thought of my father makes me
sad; he has suffered so much that I cannot feel angry with him now as I
did at first.’

’Never say die, Señor; that is English advice, and it serves the purpose
of making one feel ashamed of giving way to despair.  I know there is
little chance for any of us, and yet I do go on hoping still.  God has
allowed me to escape so far, and I mean to keep up a brave heart.  At
night I dream of my home, and actually the other evening I woke up
telling my father about the capture of Chagres Castle.  I was deeply
disappointed to find myself alone in this hut, I assure you.  But
prithee, Señor Carlo, it is time you returned; the Señora will be
anxious about you, and will fancy you are in danger of new horrors.’

Carlo agreed, though he was sorry to leave Harry in such uncomfortable
quarters; but the latter answered, laughing:

’I am hardy by nature, and I have learnt now to be able to sleep on any
bed, even Mother Earth’s hardest mattress; and besides, Señor Carlo, I
feel more secure here than if I were in your gruesome hole in the
castle.  Give my duty to my countrywoman, and tell her I am carving her
a whistle to wear at her girdle when she is once more free to flit
hither and thither at her pleasure.’

Carlo made his way very cautiously out of the forest for fear of meeting
any stray dogs that might be prowling round.  But all was quiet and
silent as he crept up to the breach, which the pirates had never yet
taken the trouble to repair.  Whether Andreas’ warnings had made him
more nervous, or whether he were trying to be more watchful, he could
not tell; but as he approached the verandah he fancied he heard a slight
noise among the bushes. He paused, and the sound ceased; then he made a
few steps forward, and, hearing nothing more, he cautiously climbed up
the verandah and swung himself as usual over the low balcony.  The
window was left open, and before closing it he looked down into the
bushes.  Once again he fancied he heard a soft stir, but the darkness
prevented him seeing anything more than a slight waving motion among the
great rose-bushes.

In the sitting-room everything looked as usual. Felipa was bending over
some embroidery as if she were still the little mistress of Santa
Teresa, and Etta’s face looked flushed with excitement as she fixed her
blue eyes intently on a palm-leaf basket she was weaving, which work
Andreas had taught her long ago.

’Carlo, look!’ she cried.  ’I have had a mishap with two baskets, but
this one shall succeed.  How have you fared to-day, and did Harry Fenn
have good sport?’

’Andreas gave him a lesson on the blow-pipe, and I can tell you your
Englishman opened his eyes wide.  But what of the Frenchman, Señora?
Have you seen him?’

’No; but we heard a bustle in the hall, and the soldier who came this
evening said we should have a visitor to-morrow.’

’Has Harry Fenn heard of any ship in our neighbourhood?’ said Doña
Elena, anxiously. ’Catalina says this Frenchman has a bad name, and that
she fears you will be discovered if they set a stronger guard; so do be
careful, my poor Carlo.’

Carlo thought of the noise he had heard in the bushes, and wondered if
he had already been seen and betrayed; but he deemed it wiser not to
mention this.

’One thing I swear,’ he said suddenly: ’they shall not separate us
again.  Felipa, say you will follow where I lead, little sister.  If we
must die, let us at least die together.’

’Indeed I will, Carlo, for I am weary of being a prisoner,’ she answered
with a sigh; and Doña Elena, looking up, saw a strange look of pain and
sadness pass over the girl’s face.

Suddenly Etta sprang from the low couch on which she was sitting and put
her finger on her lips.

’Carlo!  Carlo!’ she whispered, ’hide quickly! Catalina, help him--I
hear steps.  Make haste, prithee, make haste!’

Carlo listened, but heard nothing, only Etta’s hand pushed him towards
the cupboard door, and to please her he retreated.  Poor much-tried Doña
Elena turned pale, whilst Felipa drew near to her; for now all of them
heard distinctly the steps.  In two more minutes, after an impatient
knock, the expected Frenchman entered, and his quick glances took in the
party as he made a profound bow, and said:

’Good! the Señora and the Doña Elena Alvarez, the nurse and the English
girl--that was as the Captain said.  Good-evening, ladies.  I suppose
you have not heard that the young Señor Carlo has returned to the
island, and that he is now secreted in the wood?’

’My nephew is not likely to keep in the woods when we are here,’ said
Doña Elena, with great presence of mind.

’That may or may not be; but Captain Morgan is coming back in a few
days, Madame, and he sent word that you would all be ransomed or sold as
slaves.  The young Señor was especially to be well cared for if he
landed here.  And I fancy I have heard something of such an event.’
Then he added: ’Perhaps that old Spanish woman could tell something
about him if we were to ask her questions below.’

Doña Elena rose to her full height.

’You must first kill me before you touch our faithful Catalina.  Leave
my presence, Monsieur.’

’Well, well, don’t be angry, Doña Elena: to-morrow is time enough.  As
for to-night, we will have a hunt with the dogs in the forest and see
for ourselves.  Good-night, ladies.’



                             CHAPTER XVIII.

                          HUNTING A FUGITIVE.


When Carlo was gone Harry went on with his lesson; and then, feeling
somewhat weary after his expedition, he prepared his bed, which
preparation consisted merely in fastening up an Indian hammock that
Andreas had made for him.  And as he did so he could not help thinking
of his comfortable bed at home, and of the love which had been his from
childhood till the day he was kidnapped. The thought of his parents was
always a very sorrowful one to Harry.  Ah, if only he could escape! and
then, once in England, he would hunt up Etta Allison’s uncle and make
him send for his niece.  But the ’if’ was not likely to be fulfilled.

Next, Harry cooked his supper, and this was also a very simple affair;
he lit a tiny fire in a space within the hut between a few bricks, and
allowed the smoke to find its way out by a small hole at the side of the
hut.  After baking his maize cake he quickly extinguished his fire, as
smoke was a real element of danger even in this thick forest.

As he now ate his very modest meal, thinking over the plenteous fare in
the home-farm, he could not help dwelling on the thought of bright-eyed
Etta.

’She has the sweetest face I ever clapt eyes on,’ he thought, ’and her
hair is like golden light on a thistle-down.  How my mother would be
made glad with her sweet speecheries!  Nay, but when I get back--if God
wills I ever do get back--then I will e’en come here again and fetch her
away, if so be her uncle will not do it. In truth I will; and then I
will ask her to be my wife, and she will be the comforting of the old
people, for she has such brave, sweet, winning ways, and has far more
courage than the pretty Spanish girl, who could be turned about
whichever way the wind blew, and has, besides, no pretty witcheries.’

Harry, having thus settled his own future, took out his little
prayer-book and read a gospel, thinking as he did so of Mr. Aylett, and
wondering, as he had done many and many a time, what his friend had
thought when he had heard of his disappearance. Now and then he half
feared whether he had fancied that he had gone willingly with the
freebooters; and this idea troubled him; but at other times he put it
away as impossible.

Harry was about to kneel down to say his prayers--which worship seemed
only natural in the midst of this beautiful forest with the spreading
palms, and the Bois Chataigne opening its petals in the darkness and the
many other forest giants--when suddenly he heard Andreas’ very faint
whistle, although in the deep silence of solitude he had not noticed his
approach--indeed nothing around him but well-known sounds, such as
distant notes of a few birds.

Harry started up, and would have called out, but remembered caution, so
that he even put out his light before he opened the door.  He was glad
enough now that Carlo’s lessons helped him to understand Andreas’
meaning, if not quite all his words.

’Quick, Señor, and quiet; this place is no longer safe: they are going
to beat through the forest with the dogs to-night.  They fancy you are
the Señorito; but, thank God, he is safe, at least for to-night. Follow
quickly, but first take everything away from the hut.’

With quick dexterity the Indian unswung the hammock and rolled up in it
the few properties that were in the hut; then, placing this on his head,
he led the way forward, plunging yet deeper into the wood.  Harry
followed as best he could, enduring patiently many a scratch from sharp
prickles and thorns, and many a bruise and tumble.  ’Wait a moment,
Señor,’ said Andreas after a time; ’I will put this bundle in this
stream and drag it down some way; the dogs will then lose the scent.
Give me your hand: we must wade up this streamlet. Ah, Señor, it is a
cruel sport, hunting the human being with fierce dogs.  In the old days
the Spaniards hunted down the poor Indians--when I was a boy I have seen
them--and now the white men hunt each other.’  Then, with a low chuckle,
Andreas added, ’I have made the dogs stupid with my powder; they will be
very slow; but I dared not stupefy them altogether for fear of
discovery.  Now, Señor here is your hiding-place; I know you can climb.
This big trunk would shelter many men, but it is a secret few know of.
The Indians made the retreat long ago, and many a poor hunted being has
found safety here.’

Harry did as he was bid, and with a good deal of help, which he would
have despised had it been light, he found himself half-way up a great
trunk, now hollow in parts, and showing that decay had set its hand
there.  When they had reached this position Andreas crept through a tiny
aperture, and the two found themselves in a small room in the huge
hollow tree.  The hand of man had made a floor and roofed it in, so that
there was a hollow tree above and a hollow tree below.  It was so
beautifully contrived that when the door was opened it could be fastened
from within and leave no mark of its being a door on the outside, whilst
a hole in the ceiling would let in air and a small amount of light.
Andreas smiled at Harry’s exclamations of surprise and admiration.

’The Señor will be safe here if the dogs do not pick up the scent again;
if they do, see, here is a bow and arrow and some big stones.  Don’t let
any one climb up, but do not open the door unless you are sure you are
discovered; they will look up the hollow tree but will see nothing.’

Andreas did not wait to be thanked, and, with another warning not to
open the door, he slipped down, and was soon purposely making a false
scent to another hiding-place known to some of the Indians who might be
employed by the pirates to scour the forest for Carlo.

Andreas crept back to the castle an hour later, just as the party
organised by Sieur Simon was about to start, and, pretending he was
awakened by the noise, he crept out of his hut near the compound and
offered to join the party.  His services would most likely have been
accepted had not a negro told the Frenchman that Andreas was very fond
of the young Señor and that he would be of no use.

Simon, always on the look-out for treachery, told Andreas to go back to
his compound, and that when Captain Morgan returned it would then be
seen if the Indian knew anything of the runaway Carlo.

It was an awful procession which Andreas watched issuing out of the gate
of Santa Teresa. The dusky forms of the negroes with their black woolly
heads, their thick lips grinning at the idea of an exciting chase,
holding in the fierce baying dogs with long leashes, and accompanying by
blows their unearthly howling, and behind these again some
ruffianly-looking pirates taking their orders from the slight,
crafty-looking Frenchman.

Then at last all was ready, and with another long howl of cruel
eagerness both men and dogs rushed down the steep mountain-side.

Faithful Andreas had still some work to do; he knew how anxious Doña
Elena would be, and that in truth even Carlo was in great danger.  The
Indian sat by his hut for some time, thinking of some plan of escape,
knowing well that Captain Henry Morgan, once back, would make short work
of any fugitives hidden in the woods.  Not arriving at any satisfactory
solution, Andreas climbed up to the balcony, and, unfastening the
window, he stole softly to the door of the ladies’ room.

As he had expected, there was still a light burning.  The ladies had
been too much afraid of what was going to happen to have the heart to go
to bed; besides, their presence in the chamber guarded Carlo’s
hiding-place.  Suppose the dogs should trace him to the castle and into
their very presence? The idea made them shudder.  Carlo was still
crouching on the top step of the secret staircase, and was not at all
enjoying the situation, when Etta recognised Andreas’ whistle and opened
the door carefully to him.

’What news, Andreas?’ she said.  ’Oh, it was dreadful!  We heard the
dogs baying; it made our blood run cold.  Make haste and tell us all you
know.’

’But the Señor Carlo is safe?’

’Yes, yes; but Harry Fenn--oh, will they find him?’ exclaimed Etta,
almost crying.

’I hope not, Señorita; but there is much danger for all of you.  If the
noble Doña Alvarez will allow me, I will take counsel with the Señor for
a few moments at least.’

’Are you sure that dreadful Frenchman will not come back, Andreas?  He
made us tremble, for he looked so evil.’

’At all events, not till the dogs return.  As for the English Señor, he
is safely hidden, if there can be any place safe from those beasts.  Had
he been in the hut, they would have had him in a very short time.’

Carlo had now been let out by Catalina, and he and Andreas were soon
deep in a quick, low-toned conversation.  The danger for himself and
Harry was great; most likely the pirates would not spare their lives
after all that had happened; and still no ship was yet in sight.

’I know but one way, Señor Carlo: there is a small desert island which
is out of the track of the ships, and if we could steal a boat I could
take you and the Señor Harry to it.  If we could prepare everything we
might start to-morrow at sunset.  I will take care to keep back enough
dried meat from the store and take a skin of water.’

’But, Andreas, on your return you would be found out; and how could I
leave my aunt and sister?’

’The ladies will be safe if the ransoms can be paid; and as for myself,
Andreas is cleverer than the Englishmen.’  A sweet smile parted the
faithful Indian’s lips, and Carlo, who had often experienced this same
boasted cleverness, believed him.  ’And when Andreas returns he will
look after the ladies; but for yourself, Señorito, there is great
danger.  They are bent upon finding you, and Coca the negro saw you, and
betrayed you to the Frenchman for a sum of money.’

This plan seemed the only one that could suggest itself to the two bold
spirits.  Harry Fenn’s retreat could not long be kept a secret, as he
must have food taken to him, and every visit to the tree of refuge made
the discovery either by dogs or men more probable.  What Andreas did not
reveal, however, to Carlo was that for him this expedition was almost
sure to lead to harm.  His absence was certain to be discovered or
betrayed, even though he meant to arrange during his absence for the
well-being of the cattle under his charge; and if discovered Andreas
knew that his life would be taken.  He had faced the question, and had
accepted the danger, for his love for Carlo was stronger than any fear
of death.

Carlo explained what had been decided upon, and though Felipa and
Catalina both cried at the idea of the separation, Doña Elena saw that
this plan was the only one which gave her nephew a chance of safety.

’Ah, Andreas, God will reward you,’ she said, taking the Indian’s hand
in hers; ’for we poor captives can but give you thanks.’

Etta, who had been listening to all this, now added anxiously:

’But, dear Carlo, suppose Andreas does not return, how can we ever find
you or Harry?’

’I will tell you, Señora,’ said Andreas.  ’You are right to ask, for the
island has no name for the white men, and I never myself knew of a ship
that stopped there.  Give me some paper.’

Taking the parchment-like pith, which was all the prisoners could
procure to write on, Andreas roughly marked out with a thorn the
position of the island with regard to its distance from St. Catherine,
making clever indications to show where dangerous rocks were to be
found, and on which side the island could be approached.

’Keep that by you, Señorita, and if you can get away in a big ship, the
Captain will understand where to find the Señor Carlo.’  He then made
his Indian salutation and departed, saying he had much to do before the
next sunset, and that if all were well he would come and fetch the Señor
Carlo the next evening; but, till then, he advised great care, for fear
of discovery.

It was, indeed, a very anxious day the family spent, but also a busy
one.  Felipa made a little needle-book for her brother; Etta plaited him
a basket; and Catalina did up two blankets in as small a bundle as was
possible: whilst Doña Elena unsewed some gold pieces she had secreted
about her, and made a belt for Carlo, in which she hid this money, in
case they sighted a ship and needed provisions or passage-money.  Then,
lastly, when the soldier’s visit was over, and they had heard from him
that the dog-hunt had not been successful, for the animals had lost the
scent: but they meant to go again when the moon rose, being sure the
young rascal was hidden somewhere in the woods, for a negro had seen him
with his own eyes--then at last Carlo came out of his dismal
hiding-place, and all together the prisoners earnestly prayed for a safe
journey, and that God would save them out of the hands of their enemies.
Felipa cried much as she kissed her brother, feeling sure she would
never see him again; and Etta sent messages to Harry, saying he was not
to forget her if he went home to England, and to tell her uncle of her;
and, lastly, Catalina invoked every blessing which every saint could
give on her dear foster-child.  Then came Andreas’ call; he had done
wonders, having procured a boat, which he had hidden in a creek right at
the foot of Santa Teresa, and where Harry now was awaiting them, hardly
daring to move for fear of making the slightest noise and so attracting
the guards.  And thus once more, the friends were scattered.



                              CHAPTER XIX.

                           IN A LONELY SPOT.


The dark night happily favoured them; and what was also in their favour
was the fact that Sieur Simon’s boat lay at anchor, and his hoys had
been plying backwards and forwards all the afternoon, making the men on
guard pay but little attention to the gentle plash of the oars as
Andreas and Harry sent the long boat shooting off into the bay.  One
thought distressed the faithful Andreas: he had done his best to lay in
a store of food, but he knew it was a very inadequate provision if the
boys were to be left long in the desert island.

No one spoke for some time; then, when they had safely passed the ship,
and were well out to sea, they had plenty to say to each other.  Harry
told how he had heard the baying of the dogs from his hiding-place; how
they had come nearer and nearer, and he had felt a strange horror, which
nothing else had ever given him before, at the idea of being torn in
pieces by those blood-thirsty animals; then how the sounds had told him
the dogs were close at hand, the shouting and yelling negroes urging
them on, and the pirates mingling oaths with these cries as they were
entangled in the scrub or the mangrove branches.  Yes, and at last they
had come close by, up to the foot of the tree, and had paused there as
the baying dogs rushed round and round undecided, till one of them had
evidently scented out the trail made by Andreas, and the negroes had
hunted the dogs forward. Harry’s face as he told the story still bore
traces of the terrible ordeal he had passed through during those few
moments of intense suspense.

’I fancied before that I was brave, but I only know that when I heard
those evil beasts I had no more courage left in me than a zany at a
village fair; and when they had passed by, I lay on the floor of my
hiding-place as if I were already dead. I have never before been in such
dire terror of my life; but in truth such barbarous ways are not honest
warfare.’

’Yet I saw my father hunted down by wild dogs,’ said Andreas, on whom
this fact had made a lasting impression; and Carlo looked grave, for he
knew well enough that his people it was who had perpetrated such
cruelties on the gentle Indians, and that Spain would ever have to bear
the shame of the first cruelties in the New World--cruelties which other
nations had not been slow to adopt; till the black plague-spot had
spread all over the fair lands and the newly discovered islands.

All night they rowed hard, and when daylight came, and with it all the
glory of the tropical sunrise, St. Catherine was no longer in sight; and
unless any other knew the secret of the desert island and betrayed the
knowledge to Sieur Simon, they were saved.  Each in his own heart
thanked God.

Harry’s face began to recover its more cheerful expression: he was not
leaving his loved ones as was Carlo; but was this journey bringing him
much nearer his own home?

’When shall we sight this place?’ asked Carlo wearily, when the sun
beating down on their heads reminded him that he was now not nearly as
strong as before his illness; ’and what do you call it, Andreas?  It
seems as if we were going to a land of nowhere.’

’It has no name known to the white men, Señor; but my father, who took
me there when I was a boy, always called it by an Indian name which
meant "Queen of the Water," because of the one tall Jagua palm-tree
which stands high and solitary on it, and can be seen from a long
distance.’

’Then we are already in sight,’ said Harry suddenly.  ’Look, Andreas,
there, right ahead! You have come straight as an arrow.’

This welcome news gave them fresh courage, and on they sped.  Nearer and
nearer they came; they could now discern the wild scrub bordering the
sand on which the surf painted a long line of white foam; they could see
the motion of the leaves as the soft breeze disturbed the luxuriant
undergrowth; but suddenly Andreas, standing up, dropped his oar from
sheer surprise.

’Queen of the Water is not a desert island now!’ he said.  ’Look,
Señor!’

The boys also gazed now at the shore; and there, sure enough, on a small
rock that jutted out into the sea, they saw a weird-looking figure
walking slowly up and down, and waving long thin arms as if to warn off
the intruders.  The man, who hardly looked human even from this
distance, appeared to be intent only on this one action; and so strange
did it seem, that the three looked at each other with the same question
expressed on their faces, and this was, ’Shall we land?’


         [Illustration: "_SHALL WE LAND?_" (missing from book)]


’If there is one man there may be more,’ said Carlo, in despair; ’but I
can row no more.  We may as well be killed here as go on to another
island and die by the way.’

’He is no Indian, but a white man,’ remarked Andreas, again scanning the
rock; ’his beard is long, and his hair too.  He either wishes us ill, or
wishes to warn us from some danger; and yet I never heard of any one
living here.  This is indeed a misfortune.’

’Well, we must risk it,’ said Harry, seeing Carlo was looking terribly
white and done up; ’and I think if we run the boat in here, at our right
hand, that old fellow will not come up with us till we are well landed,
for he will have nigh upon a mile to walk.  If I’m not right, you may
call me an ass for my pains, Carlo.’

Andreas approved, and presently they were obliged to keep all their wits
sharp in order to enter the semicircular harbour, for there was some
danger in getting the boat through the tumbling surf.  But the Indian
was too well accustomed to landing a boat to come to grief, and very
soon the three stood on firm land; and after dragging up the boat out of
reach of the waves, they looked anxiously around their new home.  Near
them, above the low cliff, was a clearing made by nature, where grew
bananas, cacao, and bois-immortel, among which could also be seen a few
orange-trees and Avocado pears; so that there was no fear of dying of
thirst.  But what interested them most was the strange weird figure,
who, instead of following them, still kept on the same rock, and still
waved his arms as if warding off some visible enemy.  Andreas gazed a
few minutes in silence; then all at once his eyes lighted up.

’It is no enemy: it must be a poor man whom the pirates have brought
here.  That is their fashion.  I have heard them speak of it.  They land
some one who has offended them, and leave him to die alone; though often
they will give him a musket and a little powder.’

’Then I should say that poor man is mad,’ said Harry.  ’If so, he may be
more dangerous than a pirate.  But look, Andreas; if the pirates have
been once they may come again.’

’No, not for many a long day; they must have sighted this desert island
by chance, and landed this poor man here, knowing it was uninhabited.’

’Well, I will go and see what I can make of him,’ said Harry, ’whilst
you get a rest, Carlo; for you must not be ill here, and Andreas will
begin unloading the boat.’

’Take care, Harry,’ cried Carlo; ’nay, wait: I will come with you--I
can’t bear you to run the risk alone.’

’I have been through so many perilous scrapes that one more or less
makes but little difference. Still, come along, Señorito, we may perhaps
make the poor man forget his troubles.’

So the two walked slowly along the shore till they came within a few
yards of the weird figure; and Harry, wishing to attract his attention,
called out to him and asked him what he did there. Then the figure
paused, and gazed at the new-comers as if they were an unfamiliar sight,
and began muttering through his long grey beard Spanish words of no
meaning.

’Señor Carlo, this poor fellow is a Spaniard; but I see no sign of a
musket.  Speak to him, and ask him where he sleeps, and why he is here.’

Carlo began very courteously to inquire how the stranger had reached the
island, as no boat was in sight; but suddenly he stopped short in his
sentence, and clung wildly to Harry.

’Harry, Harry Fenn, look again, that man is--can you not see?  It is my
father; and yet I hardly knew him.  See the ring on his finger?’  Harry
would certainly not have recognised the Marquis, whom he had seen but
little of; but in his astonishment he called out his name.

’The Señor Estevan del Campo!  Surely it cannot be!  Gracious Heaven!’

’Yes, yes,’ said the poor man, ’that is my name.  Who called me?  Yes,
yes, Estevan del Campo!’

’Oh, sir, here is your son,’ said Harry; and then Carlo, summoning up
his courage, rushed toward his poor father and knelt by his side.

’Father, father, do you not know me?  I am Carlo, your son.  Forgive me
if I ever spoke harshly, father.’

’Carlo my son?  No, no, I have no son, no country. Don’t let any one
come here to find out my hiding-place; I warn them off.  The pirates
left me here; that was the kindest thing they did for me.  I have no
name, no titles.  Don’t tell any one where I am. What do they call
it?--marooning--they marooned me, left me to die alone.  It was their
kindness; I bear them no grudge for doing that.  No name, no country!’

’No, no,’ cried Carlo; ’we will take care of you, father; you shall not
die alone.’  And turning his arm round the poor thin arm of his father,
Carlo dragged him forward; and Harry, following behind, wiped away a few
tears from his eyes; for it was indeed a sight to have touched the
hardest heart. But evidently the poor Marquis was out of his mind and
had not much longer to live.

The sound of human voices seemed to soothe him after a time; and when
they reached the shade of the grove where Andreas had set out some food
for the travellers, he was no longer muttering his few sentences.  The
surprise of the Indian can easily be imagined, and the poor fellow’s
pity for his old master was quite touching to witness, even though he
had never received much kindness at his hands. Little by little the
Marquis began to take in dimly that Carlo was with him, and to accept
the services of Andreas as he waited on him; but though not actually
starved, he had taken but little trouble to collect food, and the horror
of loneliness and shame at his past treason seemed to have done the work
of years.  Carlo, who had all along been feeling a grudge against his
father, could now forgive and forget everything.

’Oh, Andreas, how fortunate it was that you brought us here!  Stay with
us now, and do not go back to St. Catherine: I am so much afraid that
your absence will be discovered, and then----  Do stay, and let us share
our misfortunes and our luck.’

It was a great temptation to Andreas, and for a few moments he brooded
in silence over the proposal; but he had learnt Christianity in a way
not understood by many Christians.  He considered that if he stayed he
would certainly save himself, but if he returned he might help to save
the poor ladies, who had now no protectors; and Andreas knew that the
word of a pirate was but a poor thing to trust in.  He believed that he
could help them, and anyhow he could give them the knowledge that Carlo
was safe and that the Marquis was found.  What did his life matter?  Had
not the Padre told him these words: ’Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends,’ and to the poor Indian
the words were simple and powerful, and to be, if needs were, carried
out literally.  It took him but a few moments to make up his mind.

’Andreas must go back,’ he said, smiling, now his decision was made;
’for the Señora and the Señorita will want to know the good news, and
they may want also to come to the Queen of the Water.  Andreas loves
Señor Carlo dearly, but he will go away first and then come again.’

So towards evening, several hours before the sun set, Andreas was
escorted to the boat, while the boys helped to push it off from the
shore, and the Marquis stood by once more as if he were giving orders,
though he merely said, ’Tell them, Andreas, that I did it for the best.
The rascals deceived me.  Tell them that, Andreas, and don’t let my
little Felipa think badly of me.’



                               CHAPTER XX

                                 SAVED.


Captain Morgan had sent word from Jamaica, whither he had gone after the
taking of Panama, that he might be expected in a few days at St.
Catherine, as he was going to fortify it against any future attack of
the Spaniards.  The Captain had taken the lion’s share of the booty,
and, finding the loud murmurs of the men to be more than disagreeable,
he set sail one evening and left the fleet to do as it thought best.
Still, he was anxious to get back to St. Catherine to conclude his
ransoms, and Sieur Simon had been instructed to watch closely that none
of the prisoners escaped.  What was, then, Simon’s rage at finding that
not only Carlo, but that young viper, as he called him, Harry Fenn, had
escaped in the night, and that Andreas the Indian had carried out the
whole plan. Unfortunately, the negro whom Andreas had trusted had turned
informer, fearing when the Indian came back he might suffer punishment.

The negro only escaped instant hanging by promising to betray Andreas on
his return, and the better to secure this he was to meet him and tell
him nothing had been discovered.  ’As to the hiding-place of the
vipers,’ said Simon,’ a little of the rack will make the Indian disclose
it; for if Captain Morgan comes and finds out the truth he may make me
answerable.’  To vent his wrath on some one, Simon marched up into the
presence of the ladies and told them all he knew, and his future
intentions.  He forbade them ever to leave the two rooms set apart for
them, placed guards in the corridor, and one below the window to which
Carlo and Harry had obtained access.  There seemed no hope now left them
of escape, and they could only wait most anxiously for any scrap of news
which might leak out through the very ill-tempered guards Simon had
placed near them.  Etta alone would not give in to low spirits: she felt
sure that Andreas would return and would let them know; and as she could
not go and watch by the window in the corridor as formerly, she kept a
good lookout from the sitting-room verandah.  She was indeed the
sunshine of the party; for Felipa had drooped again now that Carlo was
gone, and Doña Elena was hardly equal to more exertion and
disappointment.  Catalina would speak of the good old time when she had
first come to the island, and when Felipa had been treated as became her
rank.  She even began to turn against Etta, as being of the same race as
the hated Morgan.  But Etta would not despair nor give up hope; and so
it happened that one day at sundown she heard Andreas’ soft whistle
below.

’Felipa, dear Felipa, listen: that is Andreas! There!  Did I not say he
would come back?  It is so dark that I cannot see him.  What shall we
do, Doña Elena? for the good man will not understand he must not come up
here.’

They all crept on to the balcony now and listened intently, but the
sound died away; and just as they were beginning again to despair there
was a knock at the door and the negro Coca entered, bowing very humbly
before them as he presented a letter to Doña Elena.

’Andreas is not able to come himself, lady, but he sends letter, and
wants answer.’

Doña Elena opened the parchment quickly; but Etta, who was looking on,
said hurriedly:

’How did the guards let you pass if they will not allow Andreas to have
speech with us?’

’I was very cunning, Señorita: I said that I had great news to give the
Señora.’

Etta, still puzzled, listened to the words of the note, which Doña Elena
translated into French so that the negro should not understand.


’The Señor Carlo and the Señor Harry are safe.  They have found the
noble father.  I cannot see you yet.  God protect you!

’ANDREAS.’


’Andreas waits for answer,’ said the negro.

’Do not send one, Doña Elena,’ cried Etta quickly, in spite of herself
suspecting some plot; for what answer should Andreas require?  He could
hear for himself that they were safe, but Felipa said pettishly:

’Nay but, dear aunt, send him word that he must get us delivered from
this prison; I am weary of being shut up.’

Doña Elena, thinking of no harm, yielded; and soon the negro retired,
grinning as he again bowed low.

’I never can like those black creatures,’ said Catalina, turning up her
nose in disgust.  ’Indians are all very well; but negroes--no, no,
Señora, you should never trust a negro.’

’Nonsense, Catalina!  My dear husband said it was because we treated the
negroes so badly that they were sometimes treacherous.  Alas! we
Spaniards have much to answer for in that respect.’

Catalina was not convinced, and kept on muttering that Andreas might be
trusted because his colour was brown, but that black was the colour of
the Evil One.  Could she have seen what was going on below she might,
perhaps, have made even the enlightened Señora agree with her.  The
negro had taken the note straight to the Sieur Simon, and in a few
minutes more Andreas was seized and dragged into his presence, and
confronted with it.  The Indian saw that the negro had betrayed his
trust, and, setting his teeth tight together, he stood before his enemy
silent and brave.

’Tell me, dog of an Indian, where thou hast been, and where thou hast
hidden those young whelps,’ said Simon, angrily.  But Andreas was not
going to tell him.

’As well answer, for I know everything; the negro has told me; and if
thou ownest thy fault I will forgive thee,’ said Simon.  But Andreas
felt sure this was a trap: no one knew the retreat of Señor Carlo--no
one at least at St. Catherine.

’Come, my men, here is a dumb dog: see if a little torture will worm out
the secret.’

We must draw the veil over the horrible torments which noble Andreas
endured.  It was a cruel age, but the desperate men who had broken loose
from their country, their religion, and their laws outdid all the
cruelties of the age, and fancied because the poor defenceless Indians
could not now revenge themselves they were fair game.  When nature could
bear no more, and the half-dead man was thrown into a dungeon, not a
word having been extracted from him, Sieur Simon was rather sorry he had
ordered the torturers to go on to such a length, for now it was doubtful
if he could ever get any information from him, and he had been told that
Andreas knew many valuable secrets which would now most likely die with
him.

That night the pirates had a long carousal, because they knew that next
day Captain Morgan was expected back, and when he came the good things
generally disappeared; so Sieur Simon suddenly bethought himself that
most likely there must be treasure hidden away somewhere or other in
Santa Teresa.  He dared not touch Doña Elena or Felipa--they were able
to pay rich ransoms; but his mind turned at once to Etta, the English
girl, who was, of course, merely a slave of the Marquis.  Yes, she might
know, and if--well, if--anything happened to her, no one would care
much, and certainly no one would inquire, except Captain Morgan, who had
said the English girl was to be cared for; but he would not grieve much
about any one who could not bring him in any money.

’Go up, Nat Salt,’ he said to an Englishman ’and fetch down that English
wench.  I would wager a goblet of wine that she knows where the old
Marquis kept his treasures.’

’By’r laykin,’ said Nat Salt, ’that little cinder witch was rather a
favourite with the Captain. It’ll not be safe to meddle with her
over-much.’

’Nay, I will but make her feel the rope trick round her wrist, and I’ll
pledge you a flagon of red wine we shall then know all she does.’

’There’ll be naught more, then, Sieur Simon, or I would rather not
meddle in it; the Captain now and then loses his temper over a mighty
small affair.’

’My word as a brother,’ said Simon, using the term by which pirates
called each other when they were in a good temper.

Nat knew that even Simon would not break his oath, but he said the
morning would be more convenient for Etta’s examination; so that the
poor girl fell asleep without dreaming what was in store for her the
next day.

Once again Etta was to go down into the great hall, where now only Sieur
Simon was sitting, and she was to be tried in a far harder way even than
by hunger.  When the man called Nat Salt came to fetch her, Felipa
seemed to guess that something was the matter, for she clung to her
friend, crying out:

’Don’t take Etta away.  Catalina, Aunt Elena, don’t let the wicked man
take her.  Why is she to go?’

’Prithee, young madam, don’t take it to heart; this English girl is but
wanted to answer a few questions.’  But Etta, though pale, would not
show any fear even while her heart sank within her.

’I will follow you an you touch me not,’ she said, raising her fair head
loftily.

’In truth I’ll not touch thee, young one,’ said Nat Salt, who had a
curiously soft heart, considering what he had seen and done.  ’Come
then, it will not be ten minutes’ work.  But mind! don’t go acting the
dumb dog before that Frenchman; I’fecks, he’s as hard as a millstone on
man, woman, or child--Morgan’s an angel to him.’

As they passed out the two soldiers guarding the door stared hard at the
girl, who walked by Nat’s side as if she were a princess.

’There’s a bit of sunshine in the wench’s hair,’ said one of them, ’but
it will go hard with her if she is to get into the hands of the dragon.’

Poor Etta! it was to go hard with her.

’Come, child, make haste and tell me what I ask, and then you can go
back to your friends,’ said Simon.  ’Where did the Marquis hide his gold
before Morgan landed?  He must surely have been busy over that work.’

Etta lifted her pretty head, and gazed at the Frenchman with indignant
blue eyes.

’As if I should tell the secrets of the Marquis to you!’ she said
quickly.

’Ah! so you are not going to tell--for of course you know?’ and he
laughed softly.

’English girls don’t tell tales,’ said Etta.

’Well, we’ll see.  Come, Nat, where’s the rope? A little pressure on the
wrists acts to the tongue like oil to rusty hinges.’

Etta saw the rope, and some of her courage forsook her.  She tried to
run past Nat, but with one stride he caught her, and, twisting the rope
round both her wrists in a peculiar fashion, he began pulling the noose
tight, then tighter.  Etta shut her eyes and thought of Carlo and of
Harry.  She knew the Marquis had hidden some of the gold in an old well,
under the flags of the inner courtyard, but she did not mean to tell.
God helping her, she would not be a traitor.

’Now,’ said Simon, ’draw it tight, Nat, and see if that won’t make her
speak.  Where is the gold, girl?  Quick, and you shall be released.
One, two--where?  Pull tighter, Nat.’

Etta, in spite of herself, uttered a scream, shrill and piercing, which
made Simon laugh.

’I thought the bird would pipe to some tune. Come, Nat, a little
tighter.  Where is the gold?’

’It is not mine: how can I tell?  I won’t! no, I won’t!  It’s Carlo’s
money if his father is dead. Oh!’  She struggled to get away, but this
only increased her agony.

’One, two, three; it will hurt more yet if you don’t speak.’

’Come, tell Sieur Simon, wench.  You’ll not see the Marquis till
Martinmas, if then, so you needn’t be afraid of him.’

Another pull, another sharp agony, and Etta felt that she could bear no
more, when suddenly there was a rush into the hall of some half-dozen
men, all shouting and tumbling over each other, and looking scared out
of their lives.

Nat immediately let go Etta in sheer astonishment, whilst Simon seized
hold of the foremost man and asked him roughly what was the matter.

’I’faith, Captain, you may well ask; there’s not a minute to spare.
There’s a great man-of-war flying the English colours bearing down on us
and on the two ships in the bay, which have but some half-dozen men in
them.’

’Where’s the powder?’ cried another; ’the look-out man must have
deserted.  Gramercy! let’s get out of this gruesome hole, for the walls
have never been rebuilt, and we handful of men can’t hold it.’

’Then we’ll put you idle fellows to stop the breach,’ cried Simon,
angrily.  ’Here, Nat, haste and warn the rest of the garrison.  We must
get down to the beach and prevent their landing.  The forts are useless,
and that coxcomb Morgan dropped the guns into the sea before he left.’

In another moment all was confusion, and the men had scattered hither
and thither.  Etta had suddenly recovered her presence of mind as soon
as her great pain had ceased; in a moment she understood the situation.
She now ran as quickly as she could up another passage towards the
sitting-room.  On the way she met the two guards, who, having just heard
the news, were running helter-skelter over each other to get down to the
courtyard and join their companions.

’There’s a man-o’-war bearing down on us! Marry! there’ll not be a man
Jack of us left alive!’

Etta found that the confusion had spread everywhere; for as she rushed
into the dwelling-room no one prevented her.

’Catalina!  Felipa! free me; prithee cut this dreadful rope.  There’s an
English man-of-war in sight; and if only it will put in we are saved.’

’My poor child!’ said Doña Elena, with tears in her eyes; for, the rope
being cut, the deep red gashes round Etta’s wrists told plainly what she
had suffered.  But Etta was now too much excited to feel any pain.  She
knew that immediate action was necessary; if only she could find Andreas
perhaps he would put off to the ship in his canoe. But where was he?
She went to the balcony, as no one was guarding it now, and whistled the
Indian’s tune; but there was no answer.

Catalina and Doña Elena, on their side, went to the window that
commanded the bay; and there, sure enough, could be seen the big
man-of-war slowly approaching, and so great was the panic among the
pirates, who were only expecting Captain Morgan, that there was a
furious rush for the boats; believing, as they did, that the Marquis was
on board, and that on his landing not one of them would be spared.

In the meanwhile Santa Teresa was almost deserted, except by the slaves;
and to one of these Etta addressed herself as to where she could find
Andreas, and was led to the black-hole, where the poor fellow lay only
just conscious.

’Andreas! dear Andreas!’ sobbed Etta.  ’Those cruel men--what have they
done to you?  But we are saved now.  Catalina shall come and nurse you.
Say you are not suffering!  Lack-a-day!’

Old Pedro, who had managed successfully to trim his sails, now ran up,
exclaiming:

’Thank God! thank God!  Señora, the pirates are running off as if a
thousand devils were at their heels.  They say the Marquis is on board
the man-of-war, but I know not; anyhow, let’s secure our own gates.  Ah!
poor Andreas had better have told all he knew; I did, and managed to
keep a whole skin.’

’Then, Pedro, take a boat and go and tell the Captain that he must come
and take us away, and that I know where Señor Carlo and the English lad
are hidden.  Andreas, look up; tell me, are you in pain?’

But before Catalina or any one else could come, Andreas smiled happily,
tried to speak; then, with a gentle sigh, he died.  He had understood
that those he had died for were saved, and that reward was enough for
him.

Before long St. Catherine was rid of the pirates, for the man-of-war had
brought with it, not Don Estevan del Campo, but the new Governor of
Jamaica, who came to dispossess the former Governor who had abetted the
pirates; for King Charles of England was now sending strict orders that
no buccaneer was to be allowed to set forth from Jamaica to commit any
hostility upon the Spanish nation or any of the people of these islands,
and on his way to Jamaica the new Governor wished to sweep clean of its
pirates the little island of St. Catherine.



                              CHAPTER XXI.

                             A BAG OF GOLD.


The Pitsea Manor Farm was a dull place enough now, even though the
beautiful sunshine made Nature look at her best on this September
afternoon; but Mr. Fenn and his wife seemed to have no longer any heart
left for joy, and they had settled that there was to be no harvest-home
on the farm, for ever since the disappearance of their son the worthy
couple could do nothing but mourn.  They had indeed gone through
terrible sorrow, and their only comfort had been the long talks Mr.
Aylett had had with them, and his firm belief that Harry had not run
away, as the lad said he had once thought of doing, but that he had in
truth been kidnapped.

Mr. Aylett, being the brother of a rich squire, had powerful friends,
and he had done all in his power to find out news of Harry; but in those
days news travelled but slowly; and though much was guessed, the truth
had never been exactly ascertained.

At this moment Mr. Aylett was seen by the worthy Fenns to be walking
towards the farm, and very soon he was sitting by the sad-looking yeoman
in the great farm-hall, beginning as usual to talk of Harry.

’I’ve told the men I’ll have naught to do with a harvest-home,’ said Mr.
Fenn, decidedly.  ’I’ll give them money for the feast, and they may go
and dance their round reels on the green; but, now my poor boy is dead,
I care not for sounds of music, and joy does but make me dizzy.’

’And yet the Bible tells us to "rejoice always," good neighbour,’ said
Mr. Aylett.  ’Is it right to deprive others of joy when God has taken
ours from us?  Is not this somewhat selfish grief, and displeasing to
God?’

’It is my whim, Mr. Aylett.  I cannot feel like Job, for when I see the
lads a-merrymaking I think of my poor Harry’s goodly countenance, and my
heart seems like to break.’

’The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away,’ said Mrs. Fenn gently--’so
I tell Mr. Fenn; but such an ado I have to be a-comforting him that
sometimes I forget my own sore grief.  It’s a wonder I ever lived
through that time; and now when I sit in a quiet coigne I fancy I’m
another woman and in truth not Harry’s mother.  At this harvest-time I
think of the new doublet I had always ready for him, and how handsome he
looked.  Lack-a-day!’

’Tut, tut, woman!’ said her husband, who liked to think his grief was
the greatest, ’the lad was more to me than to thee.  You know how he
would follow me about when he could but just toddle.  Ay, ay, Mr.
Aylett, you too know what he was like.  It was a sight to see him riding
about the farm; and now there’s no one of my name as will inherit this
place.  And as for my cousin who has an eye to the place, i’ faith he’s
but a poor creature--ay, a paltry ass.’

’The Lord can bring back your boy,’ said the clergyman, with a quiet
assurance that appeared to be galling to the yeoman.

’I said naught to the contrary, Mr. Aylett; but there’s a sight of
things that the Lord could do as never happen in this world; and my
boy’s dead--I know it; and meseems, in truth, it’s folly thinking on it
longer.’

’’Tis much lacking in faith, good Mr. Fenn, that you are.  For my part,
I believe Harry will come home, and----’  But here the keener-witted
mother started up and called out:

’Mr. Aylett’s heard news of Harry!  Speak out, sir, or this old heart
will break; for my head feels dizzy.  Speak out, sir, for God’s sake!’
And Mr. Aylett now saw that he had sufficiently prepared the old people
for the joy that he had to tell them, and, standing up reverently, he
said:

’Ay, ay, good friends, God’s name be praised! Harry is safe and sound,
and has a long and wonderful story to tell you.’

’But where is he--oh, my boy! my boy!  You’re not deceiving me, Mr.
Aylett, else God have mercy on you!’

’God forbid!  Harry is in my house--brought here by a Captain Carew
himself; and with him is come an English maid who was a fellow-prisoner
in the West Indies.  But I must tell no tales, and I bade him follow me
anon--and, ay, look you, there he is, so I’ll leave you to hear his own
story, and go back to the maid, to whom my wife has taken a huge fancy
already, for there is as much sunlight in her eyes as there is gold in
our autumn corn; and, indeed, hers is as strange a history as you could
find even in tales of our Chaucer.’

We must leave Harry to tell his own wonderful adventures, but Etta had
already recounted to Mr. and Mrs. Aylett how Captain Carew had been
kindness itself to the prisoners of Santa Teresa when he landed at St.
Catherine, and how he had taken all the party on board, and, after
landing the new Governor at Jamaica, had gone to the island where Carlo
and Harry Fenn had been left, helped to find it by the rude chart which
Andreas had drawn. It can be easily understood how happy was the
meeting, and how Doña Elena landed to see her brother’s grave, and heard
how he had died in Carlo’s arms.  Then, last, Captain Carew had taken
them all on board again, and had landed the Spaniards in Spain, and Etta
had been comforted at the loss of Felipa by Carlo’s saying that she must
come some day as an honoured guest to his home; that when he was a man
he would travel to England, as he meant to be a Spanish Ambassador at
the Court of King Charles.  Then how excited she had been when she first
beheld the shores of England, and knew that she was indeed no longer a
prisoner, but a free English girl. Captain Carew, having relations of
his own near South Benfleet, had himself taken the young people to Mr.
Aylett, as Harry, now thoughtful beyond his years, knew that his sudden
reappearance at home might cause too great a shock to his parents;
besides, he thought Mr. Aylett could best judge what was to be done
about finding Etta Allison’s relations.

You can all imagine the joy of the homecoming; but I must add that there
was a grand harvest-home that year at Pitsea Manor Farm, and such joy as
never had been.  What made it seem so wonderful to Harry was that Etta
was there, dressed in a pretty gown of white _sémé_; and that he led off
the country dance with her; and that her sweet, brave face made the
whole hall appear merry; for, as Mrs. Fenn said, ’all could see Etta was
dancing a very Barley Bree o’ mirth.’

Her uncle had been found, and had come over to see her; but, being an
old bachelor, he was glad enough to pay a yearly sum to Mrs. Aylett, and
to let her stay with that excellent lady; saying he should leave her all
his money, and stipulating that she was to pay him yearly visits. No
wonder Etta was happy as she danced with Harry, or told stories of the
past.

                                  ――――

Will you like to hear something more, and can you guess that when Harry
Fenn married, his bride was Etta Allison?  And Carlo del Campo was, in
truth, present, as he had really joined the Embassy--though he was not
yet Ambassador--but he said at the wedding that he owed his success to
Etta, who had taught him English.  Poor Felipa died just before Carlo’s
journey.  She had never recovered the effects of all the hardships and
sorrows she had gone through; but before her death she sent some of her
jewels to her dear Etta, and begged her not to forget her; which, as
Etta’s heart was big, she was not likely to do.  You can imagine what
talks they all had together; and perhaps the most wonderful piece of
news that Harry told Don Carlo was that Captain Henry Morgan had now
turned over a new leaf, and that the King had knighted him, and made him
Governor of Jamaica; and that, wonderful to relate, he was now called
Sir Henry Morgan, a brave and loyal gentleman. Truly it was a case of
’set a thief to catch a thief,’ for the pirates were now no longer
tolerated in Jamaica; and Sir Henry was said to be vastly clever at
hunting them down.

Some years later, when there were happy children running about the old
Pitsea farmhouse, there came a mysterious visitor to Benfleet.  He gave
no name, but wished to see Harry Fenn, who was now the owner of the
farm; and when he was gone, Harry called his pretty wife Etta, who was
all curiosity to know what the visitor wanted; and then he showed her a
large bag, full of gold pieces--such a sum and such a glittering mass as
Etta and Harry had never seen all at once before in their lives; and on
a piece of parchment was written:

’For my godson Harry Fenn: a marriage portion for him and the little
witch, albeit they were so ungrateful and unmindful of their
well-wisher, Sir Henry Morgan.’

The gold pieces were of every nationality, and from every recognised
mint; and some of them looked as if they had been kept many years in
secret hiding-places known only to Sir Henry Morgan.

’This money,’ said Harry, ’is, if I mistake not, gold that was stolen in
Sir Henry Morgan’s raids. What think you, sweetheart?  I like not the
colour of it; and these adventures brought me but one gold coin of true
ring in it, and that was my own wee wife.’

’For shame, Harry,’ laughed Etta, ’to liken me to gold, which the Bible
calls the root of all evil! But why not give it to Mr. Aylett for the
poor on Canvey Island?  Thou knowest, dear Harry, that there are many in
need there, round about the little Church of St. Catherine; and if it
goes to the service of that church it will remind us of all our troubles
on the other St. Catherine; and remind us, too, not to forget to be
grateful to God for our past deliverance.’

’A right good thought, sweetheart!  And what say you to putting up a
stained glass window of St. Catherine herself?  And beside the wheel we
will place a cord in her hand, which will be in memory of the cruel knot
of which you still bear the marks.’

’For shame, Harry!  Nay, I was no saint. Why, if Captain Carew had not
come in the nick of time, I should, perhaps, have told everything I
knew.  There, put up the gold pieces in their bag--I cannot abide the
sight of them; but Mr. Aylett will say, I am sure, that God can, and He
will, sanctify even stolen treasure.’

And so out of evil they brought forth good, as all can do who set their
minds to it.  But that evening, when Mr. Aylett, with much surprise,
received the gold, he asked Harry, laughingly, if he were of the same
mind as of old, and if he would still like to wander forth.

’If Etta would come too, I would not mind seeing those beautiful lands
again,’ he said.  ’But, what with mother and the children, I know right
well she will not travel again for many a long year.’

’Prithee, then, go alone, Harry, an it please you,’ said his wife; and
as Harry shook his head in a very determined fashion, Etta Fenn fell
a-laughing softly, knowing well that her husband would never leave her
for all the gold of the West Indies.



                                 FINIS



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Descriptive of the career of a young schoolmistress in Northern Italy,
and of the manners and customs of the folk dwelling in the valley of
Fiorasca.  The lonely life of the Dutchwoman, Fransje, who has married
Benedetto Balli, and the good deeds she does, form a touching picture
that is full of pathos.



                    BY THE AUTHOR OF "STARWOOD HALL"

                           THE GOLDEN BUCKLE

By the Author of "Starwood Hall," "Peckover’s Mill," &c. With Five
Full-page Illustrations by W. S. STAGEY. Bevelled boards, cloth gilt,
price 3s. 6d.

A story of London in the year of the Great Plague, showing how one John
Garside, a hosier in Holborn, and his family took refuge on board The
Golden Buckle, which was then lying in the river with a cargo of sugar
and spice, and of the various things that befell them and theirs during
the long hot summer.



                           BY C. R. COLERIDGE

                          MAX, FRITZ, AND HOB

By C. R. COLERIDGE, Author of "The Green Girls of Greythorpe" &c.  With
Four Full-page Illustrations by W. S. STAGEY.  Bevelled boards, cloth
gilt, price 3s.

A tale of adventure four hundred years ago.  The scene is laid
principally at the Castle of Lindenberg, in the Bavarian highlands, and
the story is chiefly concerned with the doings of two cousins, named Max
and Fritz, and of a tame bear, which they have christened Hob.  The book
inculcates some admirable lessons on the duty of kindness to animals.



                             BY M. & C. LEE

                           ST. DUNSTAN’S FAIR

By M. & C. LEE, Authors of "The Family Coach," &c.  With Three Full-page
Illustrations by W. S. STACEY.  Bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.
6d.

"St. Dunstan’s Fair" tells of the folks living in a small country
village in Kent, in the year of Waterloo, of what happened at the Fair
itself, and of the consequences to Nancy Springett and poor George
Colgate.  The account of the visit paid by Molly and Chris to their
grandfather, Mr. Openshaw, and of the part played by the two children,
lend the story considerable variety of interest.



                          BY MARY H. DEBENHAM

                             MOOR AND MOSS

By MARY H. DEBENHAM, Author of "For King and Home," &c.  With Three
Full-page Illustrations by W. S. STAGEY. Bevelled boards, cloth gilt,
price 2s. 6d.

A story of the Border in the first half of the sixteenth century, of the
struggles that were for ever taking place, and the raids that were being
made, and (in particular) of the Armstrongs of Birkhope and the
Musgraves of Fairgill, and how peace and happiness were at last brought
to all.



                             BY M. BRAMSTON

                        THE ADVENTURES OF DENIS

By M. BRAMSTON, Author of "Abby’s Discoveries," &c.  With Three
Full-page Illustrations by J. F. WEEDON.  Bevelled boards, cloth gilt,
price 2s. 6d.

The adventures in question are those of Denis Lyndale while staying,
first at Liberty Hall on the high road between Derby and Chester, and
afterwards at Cathendean, in the hilly district of the Peak, and are
closely connected with the rising of 1745 and the retreat of Prince
Charles Edward from Derby to the north again.



                             BY ESMÉ STUART

                             A SMALL LEGACY

By ESME STUART, Author of "The Silver Mine," &c.  With Two Full-page
Illustrations by J. F. WEEDON.  Bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.

A story for children, concerning the life led by the coastguardsmen and
their families at St. Alban’s Head, and showing how it is possible for
boys and girls to be brave and honourable in all their actions, and,
sometimes, even heroic.  Little Peter is a pathetic figure, and one that
is likely to prove interesting to young and old.



                             BY M. BRAMSTON

                             LOTTIE LEVISON

By M. BRAMSTON, Author of "A Village Genius," &c.  With Two Full-page
Illustrations by W. S. STACEY.  Bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.

A South London story for young women and elder girls, describing how
Lottie Levison, from being brought up in a home of doubtful honesty,
conceived a desire to become "respectable," and not only succeeded, but
grew conscious of still better hopes, and was filled with a longing to
shed sunshine around her and to teach others the means of getting the
happiness which she had gained for herself.



                             BY ESMÉ STUART

                          A NEST OF ROYALISTS

By ESME STUART, Author of "Cast Ashore," &c.  With Two Full-page
Illustrations by J. F. WEEDON.  Cloth boards, gilt, price 1s. 6d.

A story of Blois in the year 1832, of an English family--the
Merediths--who went to live there, and of the circumstances under which
they became connected with a Royalist plot against the rule of Louis
Philippe. The description of the hiding-places of some of the
conspirators is likely to prove attractive alike to boys and girls.



           In addition to the preceding, the following Prize
               Books are also published by the Society:--



                         BY CHARLOTTE M. YONGE

Author of "The Heir of Redclyffe," "Cameos from English History," &c..



                         THE CONSTABLE’S TOWER

Or, The Times of Magna Charta.  With Four Full-page Illustrations by C.
O. MURRAY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

A tale of the days of Magna Charta, showing the nobility of the
character of Hubert de Burgh, and his loyalty to his king under very
trying circumstances, and concluding with a spirited description of the
sea-tight off Dover.

"One of the best children’s books published this season."--WESTERN
ANTIQUARY.



                         THE SLAVES OF SABINUS

With Five Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

A powerful story of the Christian Church in the days when Vespasian was
the Roman Emperor, and his more genial son Titus was freshly returned
from his conquest of the Jews.

"It is a story on a theme that draws all hearts--Christian faith and
martyrdom in the first century."--GUARDIAN.



                      THE CUNNING WOMAN’S GRANDSON

A Story of Cheddar a Hundred Years Ago.  With Five Full-page
Illustrations by W. S. STACEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt,
price 3s. 6d.

An attractive story of the social and religious improvements that wore
made in the Cheddar district through the philanthropic zeal of Miss
Hannah More and her sisters.



                            UNDER THE STORM

Or, Steadfast’s Charge.  With Six Full-page Illustrations. Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

In "Under the Storm" the author of "The Heir of Redclyffe" depicts the
troublous experiences of the family of a small yeoman farmer during the
great Civil War.

"’Under the Storm’ is in all respects worthy of the reputation of the
author of ’The Heir of Redclyffe.’"--SPECTATOR.



                            OUR NEW MISTRESS

Or, Changes at Brookfield Earl.  With Four Full-page Illustrations by C.
J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

"Our New Mistress" depicts with much truth to life the difficulties met
with by a young trained schoolmistress in taking charge of a village
school where innovations were not welcomed.  Jessie Martin, however,
finally emerges successfully from all troubles and difficulties.

"The Schoolmistress’s story has just the dash of primness which makes it
quite perfect."--SPECTATOR.



                         BY FRANCES MARY PEARD

           Author of "The Rose Garden," "The Country Cousin,"
                          "Paul’s Sister," &c.



                           THE ABBOT’S BRIDGE

With Five Full-page Illustrations by W. S. STAGEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

A story of life on the road in the time of Edward the Third, and of the
great rising of the townspeople of Bury St. Edmunds against the
authorities at the Abbey.

"Miss Peard should find her popularity increased by ’The Abbot’s
Bridge.’  It is a capital story, vigorously told."--MANCHESTER GUARDIAN.



                            THE LOCKED DESK

With Five Full-page Illustrations by W. S. STACEY. 8vo.  bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

In this book Miss Peard has left the historical field in which most of
her previous tales for young people have lain, giving us instead a story
of the present day, in which certain documents in Mrs. Barton’s locked
desk play an important part.



                            THE BLUE DRAGON

With Five Full-page Illustrations by C. J. TANILAND. 8vo, bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

"The Blue Dragon" is the sign of an inn at Chester, where the scene of
the story is laid, in the discontented, turbulent times that followed
immediately upon the battle of Bosworth Field.

"Every page is full of stirring interest."--CHURCH TIMES.



                            SCAPEGRACE DICK

With Four Full-page Illustrations.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth
gilt, price 3s. 6d.

A spirited story of adventure in England and the Low Countries in the
days of the Commonwealth.

"A book for boys, which will be read with equal pleasure by their
sisters."--PALL MALL GAZETTE.



                             PRENTICE HUGH

With Six Full-page Illustrations.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth
gilt, price 3s. 6d.

"Prentice Hugh" gives a graphic account of life during the reign of
Edward the First, mainly in the cathedral city of Exeter.

"Another excellent book....  Both boys and girls will enjoy reading
’Prentice Hugh’; it is in all respects one of the best books of the
season."--ST.  AMES’S GAZETTE.



                           TO HORSE AND AWAY

With Five Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

The fortunes of a Royalist family in the times of the Great Civil War
form the leading theme of Miss Peard’s story, which, together with many
adventures, gives a few graphic scenes from the life of Charles II. in
his flight from Worcester Field.

"’To Horse and Away’ will certainly give pleasure to girls and
boys-alike."--SATURDAY REVIEW.



                BY THE AUTHOR OF "MADEMOISELLE MORI" &c.


                          KINSFOLK AND OTHERS

With Five Full-page Illustrations by C. O. MURRAY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

A study in the conflicting duties that claim the obedience of Olive
Garth, who has been brought up from her earliest days by her
grandmother, and whose mother returns from Australia after an absence of
seventeen years.



                          BANNING AND BLESSING

With Five Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

Descriptive of country life on the confines of wild Dartmoor, at the
beginning of the present century.  The banning of Lois Smerdon, the
black witch, at length comes to an end, and so plentiful are the
blessings which follow that all ends happily and full of promise for the
future.

"A capital specimen of a book for girls."--SATURDAY REVIEW.



                         A LITTLE STEP-DAUGHTER

With Six Full-page Illustrations.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth
gilt, price 3s. 6d.

"A Little Step-daughter" is descriptive of life in the South of France
in the early part of the eighteenth century.

"The anonymous authoress of ’Mademoiselle Mori’ is one of the most
delightful of writers for girls.  Her books are characterised by a
delicacy of touch rarely met with."--STANDARD.



                             BY M. & C. LEE

      Authors of "The Oak Staircase," "Joachim’s Spectacles," &c.



                            THE FAMILY COACH

With Four Full-page Illustrations by J. F. WEEDON.  Crown 8vo. bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

A story of a family of children, their schemes and plans, and the
misfortunes that consequently ensue, in the course of a journey from
London to Mentone, where they are to meet their parents, who have just
returned from India.

"’The Family Coach’ is as attractive within as without."--TIMES.



                            GOLDHANGER WOODS

A Child’s Romance.  With Two Full-page Illustrations.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.

"Goldhanger Woods" is the story of the romantic adventure of a young
girl a hundred years ago among a band of desperate smugglers.

"This ’child’s romance’ is ingeniously planned and well
executed."--SPECTATOR.



                     MRS. DIMSDALE’S GRANDCHILDREN

With Four Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

A large number of old Mrs. Dimsdale’s grand children are gathered
together one Christmas time at the Downs House in Sussex.  Milly, in
emulation of Aunt Hetty, writes a play, and this receives a preliminary
public reading by Aunt Hetty.  Difficulties intervene, but everything
comes right in the end, and the story concludes with the acting of
Milly’s play.

"Full of stir and spirit."--GUARDIAN.



                             BY M. BRAMSTON

        Author of "A Woman of Business," "Rosamond Ferrars," &c.



                           ABBY’S DISCOVERIES

With Three Full-page Illustrations by W. S. STAGEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 2s. 6d.

The story of the successive discoveries, in very ordinary matters, that
little Abigail made in her earliest years, and the meaning and lessons
which they have for all those concerned in bringing up the young.

"We have not seen a better book about the feelings and experiences of
childhood than this since we read the ’My Childhood’ of Madame
Michelet."--SPECTATOR.



                            A VILLAGE GENIUS

A True Story of Oberammergau.  With Two Full-page Illustrations by J. F.
WEEDON.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.

A tale of Oberammergau and of the life of Rochus Dedler, the composer of
the music that is still used at the Passion Play there.  The true story
of a man who almost worshipped music, but was too tender and shy ever to
rise to the rank to which he was entitled.

"A sympathetic and charming sketch."--BOOKSELLER.



                            DANGEROUS JEWELS

With Four Full-page Illustrations by J. F. WEEDON.  Crown 8vo. bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

The opening scenes of this story are laid in Brittany at the time of the
great French Revolution, but the scene changes, and the later chapters
give some vivid descriptions of rough life in a lonely hut on the
moorlands of Devonshire.

"Plenty of stirring incident, and the scenes are novel and
unhackneyed."--MANCHESTER GUARDIAN.



                           A PAIR OF COUSINS

With Three Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND. Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s. 6d.

The pair of cousins are Flower Callaway, who has a weakness for
appearing interesting and attractive in the eyes of others, and Avis
Goldenlea, a healthy-minded girl of real sterling worth.  "A Pair of
Cousins" contains much sensible teaching, particularly for girls of a
sentimental turn of mind.

"The simplicity of Miss Bramston’s new story is one of its greatest
charms."--SCHOOLMISTRESS.



                      THE HEROINE OF A BASKET VAN

With Three Full-page Illustrations.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth
gilt, price 2s. 6d.

The heroine is little Phenie, whom her father, Jonathan Redmoor, takes
with him to travel about the country in his basket van.

"There are plenty of incidents in the tale to interest the reader, and,
as such a story should end, Phenie finds her right place after
all."--SCHOOLMASTER.



                               UNCLE IVAN

With Three Full-page Illustrations.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth
gilt, price 2s. 6d.

"Uncle Ivan" gives a striking and eventful picture of life in England
and Russia some forty years ago; together with some insight into the
methods of the Russian Government for dealing with political crime.

"A charming book, and one that must give pleasure to boys and girls, not
to mention any of their elders who may take it up to pass an idle
hour."--SATURDAY REVIEW.



                           SILVER STAR VALLEY

With Four Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

In this story Miss Bramston gives a striking and vivid picture of life
among a mining community in the Rocky Mountains.  The concluding
chapters furnish a brief account of the great social and religious
improvements that eventually took place in Silver Star Valley.

"Miss Bramston’s story is spirited and interesting
throughout."--SATURDAY REVIEW.



                           BY C. R. COLERIDGE

       Author of "An English Squire," "The Girls of Flaxley," &c.



                              FIFTY POUNDS

A Sequel to "The Green Girls of Greythorpe," &c.  With Four Full-page
Illustrations by W. S. STAGEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt,
price 3s.

A sequel to "The Green Girls of Greythorpe," showing what became of the
principal characters in that story after they had grown into young men
and young women.  The interest of the present story, however, to the
reader is in no sense dependent on its predecessor, but rather of a kind
likely to suit elder boys and girls.

"The book is very bright, the story never flags."--GIRLS’ FRIENDLY
SOCIETY ASSOCIATES’ JOURNAL.



                     THE GREEN GIRLS OF GREYTHORPE

With Four Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

A story of an old endowed institution that has come under the notice of
the Charity Commissioners, who decide that a reorganisation and
extension of the school is necessary, and that the education it affords
must be brought into harmony with modern requirements.

"The story is very prettily told, and, although quiet in tone, contains
a full share of incident and interest."--STANDARD.



                          MAUD FLORENCE NELLIE

Or, Don’t Care.  With Four Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.
Crown 8vo, bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

A story, showing how a veritable scapegrace of a boy, Harry Whittaker,
and his careless sister, Florrie, are gradually brought to see the costs
that may be entailed by the spirit that says "Don’t care" to every
gentle correction of a fault.



                             REUBEN EVERETT

With Four Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s. 6d.

Miss Coleridge’s "Reuben Everett" is the story of "a truant bird, that
thought his home a cage," and describes the early days of training
colleges and railways in England.

"’Reuben Everett’ is a story remarkably true to life."--RECORD.



                          BY MARY H. DEBENHAM

                   Author of "Our New Prentice," &c.



                           FOR KING AND HOME

With Three Full-page Illustrations, by J. F. WEEDON.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s. 6d.

Of the rising in La Vendee during the great French Revolution, and of
the adventures that subsequently befell a well-to-do family there,
together with an English cousin Dorothy, who was staying at the chateau
at the time.

"The events are well combined and cleverly conceived."--MANCHESTER
GUARDIAN.



                             MISTRESS PHIL

With Two Full-page Illustrations by C. O. MURRAY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.

"Mistress Phil" is Phillis Juliana Cheviot, and the story describes her
stay at Waltham Cross in the year 1760, and the results that followed
from it, giving also some lively pictures of mail-coaches and
highwaymen.

"A book good enough for anybody to read, of whatever age."--SCHOOL BOARD
CHRONICLE.



                            A LITTLE CANDLE

With Five Full-page Illustrations by W. S. STACEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

Miss Debenham’s story is concerned with Scotland in the stormy days of
Claverhouse.  The "Little Candle" that throws its gentle warming beams
on all around her is Bride Galbraith, who, by her tenderness and grace,
comforts and softens the time of trial and affliction.

"The character (of Bride Galbraith) is a very beautiful one, and Miss
Debenham has drawn it with exquisite touch."--PUBLISHERS’ CIRCULAR.



                            FAIRMEADOWS FARM

With Two Full-page Illustrations by W. S. STACEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.

The scene is laid in Hampshire about the time of Monmouth’s rebellion.
The story gives some vivid pictures of the opening at Winchester of
Judge Jeffreys’ harsh campaign against the rebels, and of the clouds
that hung over the neighbourhood for a time in consequence.

"A simple yet capitally related story, and the pathetic features are
very effectively realised."--LIVERPOOL COURIER.

ST. HELEN’S WELL

With Two Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.

"St Helen’s Well" is a story of events that followed the rising in 1745
in favour of the Young Pretender.

"The perils and hardships of the adventure are graphically
described."--GUARDIAN.



                    BY THE AUTHOR OF "STARWOOD HALL"



                              KING’S FERRY

In the Days of the Press-gang.  With Three Full-page Illustrations by W.
S. STAGEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s. 6d.

Concerning a certain ship’s doctor who came to Weymouth in press-gang
days, and, staying at King’s Ferry, tempted Simon Lydgate, the ferryman,
to do wrong; of the punishment that fell on Lydgate, and of the joy and
peace that followed the home-coming of his boy, Wat.

"Like its predecessors, this volume is full of picturesque pictures of
old life and manners."--TIMES.



                             JOAN’S VICTORY

With Two Full-page Illustrations by J. F. WEEDON.  Crown 8vo. bevelled
boards, cloth gilt, price 1s. 6d.

Descriptive of a young woman of quick, passionate temper and stubborn
purpose, and of the means by which a young child unconsciously brought
her back to her better self and helped to soften her heart.

"Admirably detailed.  Joan is really a very powerful psychological
study."--SPECTATOR.



                            PECKOVER’S MILL

A Story of the Great Frost of 1739.  With Five Full-page Illustrations
by W. S. STACEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

A story of a Jacobite conspiracy that was on foot in the time of the
great frost of 1739, showing how Silas Peckover came home from abroad
and took possession of the home of his forefathers, and how the sweet
womanliness and honesty of Mistress Ruth influenced him for good.

"Silas Peckover is a character quite worthy of Ainsworth."--ACADEMY.



                             CHRIS DERRICK

A Stormy Passage in a Boy’s Life.  With Two Full-page Illustrations by
W. S. STACEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.

This story supplies some lively sketches of what a mutiny often led to
at the beginning of the present century, and of the narrow shifts that
smugglers ran in escaping from the revenue officers.

"A spirited story of adventure."--SPECTATOR.



                             STARWOOD HALL

A Boy’s Adventure.  With Two Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.
Crown 8vo.  bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 2s.

A stirring story of how an honest boy fell into the clutches of a band
of highwaymen, or "gentlemen of fortune," in the middle of the last
century.

"The pictures of rural manners ... strike us as being extremely
life-like."--TIMES.



                             BY ESMÉ STUART

   Author of "The Little Brown Girl," "The Belfry of St. Jude’s," &c.



                            THE SILVER MINE

An Underground Story.  With Four Full-page Illustrations by W. S.
STACEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

An account of life on the rocky Devonshire coast, an unsuccessful
attempt to reopen a disused silver mine, and a long-standing family feud
between the Redwoods and the Pennants, with the incidents that served to
bring it to an end.

"A very bright, attractive story.  The children are natural, and the
style is fresh and spirited."--JOURNAL OF EDUCATION.



                            THE VICAR’S TRIO

With Five Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s. 6d.

The story of how young Lord Faulconbridge, a peevish and irritable boy,
is brought to see that the rank and wealth with which he has been
endowed bring with them equally great responsibilities.



                              CAST ASHORE

With Four Full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND.  Crown 8vo.
bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

It was little Mona, who was cast ashore on the North Lancashire coast,
after the total wreck of the ship in which she was travelling under the
care of her father’s servant, Hanson.  How the unprincipled Jephtha
Toppin afterwards lures her away, with a view to earning a reward, and
how she is eventually rescued--both are told with considerable power and
vividness.

"A most exciting and yet perfectly wholesome tale of
adventure."--BANNER.



                            FOR HALF-A-CROWN

With Four Full-page Illustrations.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth
gilt, price 3s.

Half-a-crown is the price that Mrs. Chemmo, a retired housekeeper living
in the cathedral city of Hedderstone on an annuity from her former
mistress, pays for a little waif, Natalia, to an Italian colony in a
squalid Portsmouth alley.

"There is a freshness and brightness about the book which too many of
the books for girls in which religious sentiments are at all introduced
lack very wofully."--PALL MALL GAZETTE.



                              CARRIED OFF

A Story of Pirate Times.  With Four Full-page Illustrations by J. F.
WEEDON.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

It was fearless Harry Perm, the son of an Essex yeoman farmer, who was
"carried off" by Captain Henry Morgan, the famous buccaneer, and his
men, to the West Indies, where the Spanish settlements are attacked, and
adventures in plenty follow.

"Miss Stuart has gone with the times, and has given us a vigorous and
well-told story of the days of the buccaneers."--STANDARD.



                           BY M. E. PALGRAVE

                               Author of
      "Under the Blue Flag," "Miles Lambert’s Three Chances," &c.



                               IN CHARGE

A Story of Rough Times.  With Five Full-page Illustrations by W. S.
STACEY.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth gilt, price 3s.

A stirring story of the days when smugglers were in plenty and
free-trading (as it was called) was in full swing.

"Full of incident and interest, very pleasantly told, and breathes an
excellent spirit throughout."--WESTERN MORNING NEWS.



                             A PROMISE KEPT

With Four Full-page Illustrations.  Crown 8vo. bevelled boards, cloth
gilt, price 2s. 6d.

A story with a lofty purpose, showing the amount of self-denial that is
necessary in those who leave their home and kindred to engage in
missionary work in far-off lands.

"Its tone is elevated and serious. Its purpose is to show the need of
aiming at a high standard of life, and the failure of those who only
dream noble things."--NATIONAL CHURCH.



                            LOST ON THE MOOR

By "TAFFY."  With Frontispiece.  Cloth boards, gilt, price 1s.

The story of Little Jack, how he was lost on the moor in a thick fog
through his brother’s disobedience, and how he was found and finally
restored to his home.

"An evening will be very pleasantly spent and attended with much good in
reading this interesting story."--SCHOOLMASTER.



                 NATIONAL SOCIETY’S RECENT PUBLICATIONS



                    THE LIFE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR
                              JESUS CHRIST



  _Illustrated from the Italian Painters of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth,
                       and Sixteenth Centuries._


A Preface has been furnished to this volume, on the Growth of Religious
Art in Italy, by Mr. F.  T.  PALGRAVE, who has also added Critical and
Explanatory Notes on the Pictures and their Painters.


Richly bound in cloth boards, bevelled, gilt edges, price 15s.


The Church Quarterly Review says: "This book is a perfect gem....  It
is, indeed, a relief to turn to such matchless designs as these.  It
would be impossible to speak too highly of the knowledge of the history
of art, the elevation of thought, and the elegance of style which Mr.
Palgrave displays."

The Spectator says:--"The drawings are executed with much skill; and the
chromo-lithographic process is here employed with delicacy and success.
Mr. Palgrave’s notes are pertinent and instructive.  His Introduction is
able and eloquent."

The Academy says:--"This is a very beautiful book, and the
chromolithographs with which it is adorned, or rather, which are
illustrated by the text, reflect great credit on the care and skill of
all concerned in their production."

The Athenaeum says--"Byway of preface, a highly intelligent and critical
essay on the growth, aims, and developments of religious art in Italy by
Mr. F. T. Palgrave.  Each well-weighed and thoughtful sentence is worth
reading.  The general purport of the book is well represented by the
title.  Mr. Palgrave vouches for the beauty of the drawings made by Mr.
Goodall, from which the chromolithographs were taken....  A very
ambitious effort has been extremely successful."

The Portfolio says:--"The eloquent and informing preface and the
critical notes on the pictures by Mr. F. T. Palgrave, are addressed to
an adult and cultured audience....  The literary part of the volume
deserves more careful consideration than is usually accorded to
letterpress penned to accompany even high-class illustrations."

The Art Journal says:--"A work which should be the most popular, as it
must be the handsomest, of Christmas books bearing a religious
character....  Twenty-four wonderful little chromo-lithographs from
drawings made on the spot....  The volume is in every way a beautiful
one."


THE STORY OF THE CHILDHOOD OF CHRIST.  By R. E. H.  2s. 6d.

THE STORY OF THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST.  By R. E. H.  2s. 6d.

THE STORY OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST.  By R. E. H.  2s. 6d.

THE STORY OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.  By R. E. H.  2s. 6d.


             Each of the above four Volumes is illustrated
               by Six Pictures from the Italian Painters
         of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Centuries.


         NATIONAL SOCIETY’S DEPOSITORY, SANCTUARY, WESTMINSTER.





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