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Table of contents
HOW PETER MET THE SPANIARD
JOHN CASTELL
PETER GATHERS VIOLETS
LOVERS DEAR
CASTELL'S SECRET
FAREWELL
NEWS FROM SPAIN
D'AGUILAR SPEAKS
THE SNARE
THE CHASE
THE MEETING ON THE SEA
FATHER HENRIQUES
THE ADVENTURE OF THE INN
INEZ AND HER GARDEN
PETER PLAYS A PART
BETTY SHOWS HER TEETH
THE PLOT
THE HOLY HERMANDAD
BETTY PAYS HER DEBTS
ISABELLA OF SPAIN
BETTY STATES HER CASE
THE DOOM OF JOHN CASTELL
FATHER HENRIQUES AND THE BAKER'S OVEN
THE FALCON STOOPS
HOW THE _MARGARET_ WON OUT TO SEA
ENVOI

win great fame and Heaven's glory." 

 

The crew looked at the waves running hill high, and the water-logged 

Spaniard labouring in the trough of them as she came round slowly in a 

wide circle, very doubtfully, as well they might, and made no answer. 

Then Peter spoke again. 

 

"There is no choice," he said. "If we give that ship our stem we can 

sink her, but then how will the women be saved? If we leave her alone, 

mayhap she will founder, and then how will the women be saved? Or she 

may win ashore, and they will be carried away to Granada, and how can we 

snatch them out of the hand of the Moors or of the power of Spain? But 

if we can take the ship, we may rescue them before they go down or reach 

land. Will none back me at this inch?" 

 

"Aye, son," said old Castell, "I will." 

 

Peter stared at him in surprise. "You--at your years!" he said. 

 

"Yes, at my years. Why not? I have the fewer to risk." 

 

Then, as though he were ashamed of his doubts, one brawny sailorman 

stepped forward and said that he was ready for a cut at the Spanish 

thieves in foul weather as in fair. Next all Castell's household 

servants came out in a body for love of him and Peter and their lady, 

and after them more sailors, till nearly half of those aboard, something 

over twenty in all, declared that they were ready for the venture, 

wherein Peter cried, "Enough." Smith would have come also; but Castell 

said No, he must stop with the ship. 

 

Then, while the carack's head was laid so as to cut the path of the _San 

Antonio_ circling round them slowly like a wounded swan, and the 

boarders made ready their swords and knives, for here archery would not 

avail them, Castell gave some orders to the captain. He bade him, if 

they were cut down or taken, to put about and run for Seville, and there 

deliver over the ship and her cargo to his partners and correspondents, 

praying them in his name to do their best by means of gold, for which 

the sale value of the vessel and her goods should be chargeable, or 

otherwise, to procure the release of Margaret and Betty, if they still 

lived, and to bring d'Aguilar, the Marquis of Morella, to account for 

his crime. This done, he called to one of his servants to buckle on him 

a light steel breastplate from the ship's stores. But Peter would wear 

no iron because it was too heavy, only an archer's jerkin of bull-hide, 

stout enough to turn a sword-cut, such as the other boarders put on also 

with steel caps, of both of which they had a plenty in the cabin. 


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