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horse, holding to the stirrup leather.
His master made no answer, only Peter groaned aloud, for he too was sure
that they were Spaniards.
An hour later, just as the dawn broke, they with their men climbed to
the deck of the _Margaret_ while she was hauling up her anchor. A few
words with her captain, Jacob Smith, told them the worst. No boat had
left the ship, no Margaret had come aboard her. But some six hours
before they had watched the Spanish vessel, _San Antonio_, that had been
berthed above them, pass down the river. Moreover, two watermen in a
skiff, who brought them fresh meat, had told them that while they were
delivering three sheep and some fowls to the _San Antonio_, just before
she sailed, they had seen two tall women helped up her ladder, and
heard one of them say in English, "Lead me to my father."
Now they knew all the awful truth, and stared at each other like dumb
It was Peter who found his tongue the first, and said slowly:
"I must away to Spain to find my bride, if she still lives, and to kill
that fox. Get you home, Master Castell."
"My home is where my daughter is," answered Castell fiercely. "I go
"There is danger for you in that land of Spaniards, if ever we get
yonder," said Peter meaningly.
"If it were the mouth of hell, still I would go," replied Castell. "Why
should I not who seek a devil?"
"That we do both," said Peter, and stretching out his hand he took that
of Castell. It was the pledge of the father and the lover to follow her
who was all to them, till death stayed their quest.
Castell thought a little while, then gave orders that all the crew
should be called together on deck in the waist of the ship, which was a
carack of about two hundred tons burden, round fashioned, and sitting
deep in the water, but very strongly built of oak, and a swift sailer.
When they were gathered, and with them the officers and their own
servants, accompanied by Peter, he went and addressed them just as the
sun was rising. In few and earnest words he told them of the great
outrage that had been done, and how it was his purpose and that of Peter
Brome who had been wickedly robbed of the maid who this day should have
become his wife, to follow the thieves across the sea to Spain, in the
hope that by the help of God, they might rescue Margaret and Betty. He
added that he knew well this was a service of danger, since it might
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