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forecastle tower and gazed about them, to find that they were in a
land-locked harbour, and stranded not more than a hundred yards from
the shore. By tying a piece of iron to a rope and letting it down into
the sea, they discovered that they lay upon a ridge, and that there
were but four feet of water beneath their bow, and, having learned
this, determined to wade to the beach. First, however, they went back to
the cabin and filled a leather bag they found with food and wine. Then,
by an afterthought, they searched for the place where d'Aguilar slept,
and discovered it between decks; also a strong-box which they made shift
to break open with an iron bar.
In it was a great store of gold, placed there, no doubt, for the payment
of the crew, and with it some jewels. The jewels they left, but the
money they divided and stowed it about them to serve their needs should
they come safe ashore. Then they washed each other's wounds and bound
them up, and descending the ladder which had been thrown over the ship's
side when the Spaniards escaped in the boat, let themselves down into
the sea and bade farewell to the _San Antonio_.
By now the wind had fallen and the sun shone brightly, warming their
chilled blood; also the water, which was quite calm, did not rise much
above their middles, so that they were able--the bottom being smooth and
sandy--to wade without trouble to the shore. As they drew near to it
they saw people gathering there, and guessed that they came from the
little town of Motril, which lay up the river that here ran into the
bay. Also they saw other things--namely, the boat of the _San Antonio_
upon the shore, and rejoiced to know that it had come safe to land, for
it rested upon its keel with but little water in its bottom. Lying here
and there also were the corpses of drowned men, five or six of them: no
doubt those sailors who had swum after the boat or clung to its
gunwale, but among these bodies none were those of women.
When at length they reached the shore, very few people were left there,
for of the rest some had begun to wade out towards the ship to plunder
her, whilst others had gone to fetch boats for the same purpose.
Therefore, the company who awaited them consisted only of women,
children, three old men, and a priest. The last, a hungry-eyed,
smooth-faced, sly-looking man, advanced to greet them courteously,
bidding them thank God for their escape.
"That we do indeed," said Castell; "but tell us, Father, where are our
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