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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

CHAPTER XI 

 

THE MEETING ON THE SEA

 

 

For another minute or more the _San Antonio_ held on until she divined 

the desperate purpose of her foe. Then, seeing that soon the carack's 

prow must crash into her frail side, she shifted her helm and came round 

several points, so that in the end the _Margaret_ ran, not into her, but 

alongside of her, grinding against her planking, and shearing away a 

great length of her bulwark. For a few seconds they hung together thus, 

and, before the seas bore them apart, grapnels were thrown from the 

_Margaret_ whereof one forward got hold and brought them bow to bow. 

Thus the end of the bowsprit of the _Margaret_ projected over the high 

deck of the _San Antonio_. 

 

"Now for it," said Peter. "Follow me, all." And springing up, he ran to 

the bowsprit and began to swarm along it. 

 

It was a fearful task. One moment the great seas lifted him high into 

the air, and the next down he came again till the massive spar crashed 

on to the deck of the _San Antonio_ with such a shock that he nearly 

flew from it like a stone from a sling. Yet he hung on, and, biding his 

chance, seized a broken stay-rope that dangled from the end of the 

bowsprit like a lash from a whip, and began to slide down it. The gale 

caught him and blew him to and fro; the vessel, pitching wildly, jerked 

him into the air; the deck of the _San Antonio_ rose up and receded like 

a thing alive. It was near--not a dozen feet beneath him--and loosing 

his hold he fell upon the forward tower without being hurt then, gaining 

his feet, ran to the broken mast and flinging his left arm about it, 

with the other drew his sword. 

 

Next instant--how, he never knew--Castell was at his side, and after him 

came two more men, but one of these rolled from the deck into the sea 

and was lost. As he vanished, the chain of the grappling iron parted, 

and the _Margaret_ swung away from them, leaving those three alone in 

the power of their foes, nor, do what she would, could she make fast 

again. As yet, however, there were no Spaniards to be seen, for the 

reason that none had dared to stand upon this high tower whereof the 

bulwarks were all gone, while the bowsprit of the _Margaret_ crashed 

down upon it like a giant's club, and, as she rolled, swept it with 

its point. 

 

So there they stood, clinging to the mast and waiting for the end, for 

now their friends were a hundred yards away, and they knew that their 

case was desperate. A shower of arrows came, loosed from other parts of 


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