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the ship, and one of these struck the man with them through the throat,
so that he fell to the deck clasping at it, and presently rolled into
the sea also. Another pierced Castell through his right forearm, causing
his sword to drop and slide away from him. Peter seized the arrow,
snapped it in two, and drew it out; but Castell's right arm was now
helpless, and with his left he could do no more than cling to the
"We have done our best, son," he said, "and failed. Margaret will learn
that we would have saved her if we could, but we shall not meet
Peter ground his teeth, and looked about him desperately, for he had no
words to say. What should he do? Leave Castell and rush for the waist of
the ship and so perish, or stay and die there? Nay, he would not be
butchered like a bird on a bough, he would fall fighting.
"Farewell," he called through the gale. "God rest our souls!" Then,
waiting till the ship steadied herself, he ran aft, and reaching the
ladder that led to her tower, staggered down it to the waist of the
vessel, and at its foot halted, holding to the rail.
The scene before him was strange enough, for there, ranged round the
bulwarks, were the Spanish men, who watched him curiously, whilst a few
paces away, resting against the mast, stood d'Aguilar, who lifted his
hand, in which there was no weapon, and addressed him.
"Senor Brome," he shouted, "do not move another step or you are a dead
man. Listen to me first, and then do what you will. Am I safe from your
sword while I speak?"
Peter nodded his head in assent, and d'Aguilar drew nearer, for even in
that more sheltered place it was hard to hear because of the howling of
"Senor," he said to Peter, "you are a very brave man, and have done a
deed such as none of us have seen before; therefore, I wish to spare you
if I may. Also, I have worked you bitter wrong, driven to it by the
might of love and jealousy, for which reason also I wish to spare you.
To set upon you now would be but murder, and, whatever else I do, I will
not murder. First, let me ease your mind. Your lady and mine is aboard
here; but fear not, she has come and will come to no harm from me, or
from any man while I live. If for no other reason, I do not desire to
affront one who, I hope, will be my wife by her own free will, and whom
I have brought to Spain that she might not make this impossible by
becoming yours. Senor, believe me, I would no more force a woman's will
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