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amounting, perhaps, to another two heaven ! his hand discovered the thousand. This might be a fine countess's garments ; he grasped prize to a sixteen-gun brig of some them tight; he began to drag dozing government, but the Demon her forward, but at this moment hig was built for greater things.”-“I foot struck against the casket for suppose, captain,” said Jack, “we which he was searching. He stoopgo on our usual plan, eh ? The spe- ed to seize it, and, as his hold on cie to be distributed among the ship's Margaret slackened, I contrived to company, and the jewels and per- pass towards his hand a portion of sonals to be appropriated, in a quiet the old flag-cloth, so as to impress way, by the officers ? And, for him with the belief that it was the once in a way, I hope there be no original object of his grasp. He breach of discipline, Captain Van- dragged it forward, and let it go. derleer, in asking where might be But he had disturbed the compact deposited that secret casket, con- adjustment of the sacks ; and as taining-you and I and one or two the vessel was now rolling violently more know what? I mean that we in a tempestuous sea, a terrible took from the Spanish-American lurch laid prostrate our treacherous brig.”—“ It is in the stern-hold, wall of defence, and we stood full beneath our feet, at this moment, exposed, without a barrier between answered the captain.—“A good ourselves and the ruffian comone for dividing its contents,” said mander of the Demon. To us it now Jack. “I'll fetch a light in the seemed that all was lost, and I leantwinkling of an eye.”_"No need,” ed over Margaret just to afford my replied the captain. “I warrant own bosom as a slender and last deme I can lay my hand on it in the fence. dark.” Without the warning of The Demon captain had gone to another moment, the Demon com- the light to pass his casket through mander was in our hold. On the the trap-door. The sun was rising, removal of the trap-door a faint and the crimson hues of dawn meetlight streamed into our prison, but it ing no other object in the hold save only fell on the part immediately the depraved and hardened counteunder the ingress, and left the sides nance of our keeper, threw on its in obscurity.
I suppose it was swart complexion such a ruddy about four in the morning. I had glow, as-contrasted with the surlaid Margaret down on some torn rounding darkness—gave him the old signal flags, in that division of appearance of some foul demon, the hold which Girod had assigned emerging from the abodes of the her, and had myself retired behind condemned, and bearing on his unmy own bulwark of meal sacks, in hallowed countenance the reflection order that my companion might of the infernal fires he had quitted. possess, for her repose, something That glow was, however, our salvalike the freedom of a small cabin to tion. The captain turned with an herself
. I had scarcely time to oath to replace the fallen sacks. glide round to the side of Margaret Anybody who has suddenly extinere the merciless buccaneer de- guished his candle, even on a bright, scended. We almost inserted our- starry night, knows that the sudden selves into the wooden walls of our transition from a greater to a less
and literally drew degree of light, produces, for a
The cap- second or two, the effect of abso tain felt about the apartment with lute darkness. And thus our conhis hand, sometimes pushing it be- cealment lay enveloped in utter hind the sacks and sometimes feel- darkness to our captain's eyes, dazing under them. And now he pass- zled by the morning's first flood of ed his arms through those which light. But it was difficult for the aided our concealment. Gracious half-breathless beings, so entirely in
his power, to realize this fact, fourth rescue from the very jaws of when they saw him advancing to- death. wards them, his eye fixed on the Day after day passed away, and spot where they stood, though he still we were the miserable, halfsaw them not; it was difficult to starved, half-suffocated, though unsee, and yet retain a conviction that known prisoners of the Demon we were not seen. The captain re- gang, holding our lives, as it were, placed the sacks instantly, and we by a thread, hanging, with scarce felt half-doubtful, as he pushed them the distance of a pace, between with violence against the beams time and eternity, and counting evewhere we stood, whether he had ry prolonged moment of our existnot actually discovered our persons, ence as a miracle. Girod at this and taken this method of at once period rarely dared to visit us. He destroying them by bruises and suf- came only when the business of the focation. His work was, however, ship actually sent him. The cabin only accompanied by an imprecatory above was now occupied at night by running comment on Girod's care- the captain and some of his most less manner of stowage. We depraved associates, so that smal! were now again buried in our con- alleviation of our fears-small recealment, but another danger await- laxation from our comfortless posied us. Jacqueminot descended to tion-small occasion of addressing a the cabin. An involuntary, though few consolatory words to each other, half-stified shriek escaped him when was afforded us either by day or by he saw the trap-door open, He night. At length I began to fear sprang into the hold, and when he that Margaret would sink under the beheld the captain, his ghastly smile confined air, and the constant exof inquiry, for he spoke not, de- citement. Her breath became short manded if his ruin was sealed. “I and difficult. The blood passed have been seeing all your pretty through her veins in feverish, yet work here, Monsieur,” said the feeble and intermittent pulsation. gruff captain, pointing to the de- It was agony indeed to feel her conranged sacks,' behind which we vulsed frame, and hear her faintwere concealed. I caught a glimpse ly-drawn and dying breath, and through them of Girod's despairing know that I could not carry her incountenance. It was a fearful mo to the reviving breezes of heaven, ment, for it seemed as if we were nor afford a single alleviation of her about to be involuntarily betrayed suffering, without at once snapping by our ally, at the very instant that thread of life which was now when we had escaped our enemy. wearing away by a slow and lingerGirod's teeth literally chattered, ing death. At length her respiraand he murmured something about tion began to partake of the loud French gallantry and honor ; and and irrepressible character which the countess being a lady, and the is so often the precursor of dissoluCaptain Francillon an old acquaint- tion. She deemed her hour drawance. “And so because you cut ing on, yet feebly essayed, for my the throats of a couple of solan sake, to stifle those last faint moans geese-as your duty was, at your of expiring nature which might becaptain's command-you think he tray our concealment. I became must not even see to the righting of sensible that the latter could not his own stern-hold ?” said the cap- much longer remain a secret, and, tain, with a gruff and abortive ef- with a strange calmness, made up fort at pleasantry, for he felt Girod’s my mind to the coming deciimportance in amusing and keeping sive hour. I supported Margaret's in good humor his motley crew. Jac- head, poured a faltering prayer into queminot's answer showed that he her dying ear, wiped the deathwas now au fait, and thus we had a dews from her face, and essayed to
whisper expressions of deep and scended to the hold. “The die is unutterable affection. Happily for cast !” he said in his native lanus there was such a tempest of wind guage. “ The sloop gains fast on and sea, as drowned in its wild war We are about to clear the deck fare the expiring sighs of Margaret. for action."-"God be praised," I At this moment Girod descended to ejaculated." Amen!” responded the hold. He put his finger on his a faint and gentle voice.--"Do not lips significantly, and then whisper- praise Him too soon,” said Girod, ed in French -“Courage-Res- shrugging his shoulders ;“our capcue! There is a sail on our weath- tain is preparing for a victory. The er bow. She is yet in the offing: Demon has mastered her equals, Our captain marks her not ; but I ay, and her superiors, and this sloop have watched her sometime with a is our inferior in size and numbers. glass, and if she is not a British The captain does not even care to sloop of war, my eyes and the glass come to an accommodation with are deceivers together.” I grasped her. He has hoisted the Demon Margaret's hand. She faintly re- flag, and restored her name to the turned the pressure, but gently mur- stern.”—“ But
has his motley mured, “ Too late.” Ere the lapse crew," whispered I, anxiously, of a moment, it was evident that « ever encountered a British foe our possible deliverer was discover- of equal strength ? "_“I cannot ed by the Demon crew, for we tell- I cannot tell ; I have been in could hear by the bustle of feet and her but a short time, and will be voices that the ship was being put out of her on the first occasion,” about ; and the ferocious and deter- said Girod, as he hastily quitted us. mined voice of the buccaneer chief We now heard all the noise of prewas heard, even above the roar of paration for an engagement. The the tempest, giving prompt and furniture was removed from the cafierce orders to urge on the Demon. bin above us, and the cabin itself Girod promised to bring us more thrown partially open to the deck. news, and quitted us. The rush Cannon were lashed and primed ; of air into the hold seemed to have concealed port-holes opened, and revived Margaret, and my hopes guns placed at them. Seeing ultibegan to rise. Yet it was too soon mate escape impossible, the captain evident that the motion of the ves- took in sail and determined to give sel was increased, and that the crew his vessel the advantage of awaiting were straining every nerve to avoid the foe in an imposing state of preour hoped-for deliverer. After a paration for action. He harangued while, however, the stormy wind his men in terms calculated to abated ; the ship became steadier, arouse their brute courage, and exand certainly made less way in the cite their cupidity. I conf waves. A voice over our head said now almost began to tremble for the distinctly in French_“The sea is gallant little vessel, whose crew gone down, and the sloop makes seemed thus bravely pressing on to signal to us to lay too.” A quarter their own destruction ; I began to of an hour elapsed, and the voice fear that they would be powerless again said, “The sloop chases us !” to rescue her in whose life my own Oh! what inexpressibly anxious seemed bound up.
But what were moments were those. I felt that my feelings when I heard the capaid must come, and come speedily, tain retire to that part of the vessel or it would arrive too late. We could which had been the countess's cadiscover from the varying cries on bin, and there take a solemn and sedeck that the sloop sometimes gain- cret oath of his principal shipmates, ed on the Demon, while at others that they would, if they were boardthe pirate got fearful head of her ed by a successful enemy, scuttle pursuer. At length Girod de- the Demon, and sink her, and her
39 ATHENEUM, vol. 5, 3d series.
crew, and her captors, in one com- vessel reeled to and fro, and mon grave. It appeared, then, that sometimes half rose out of the wa either the failure, or the success of ter with the violence of the shocks the sloop, would alike seal our de- she received. I heard her masts struction.
cracking, and her timbers flying in Not a ray of light now penetrat- every direction. Yet still her men ed through the chinks of the trap- continued their yell of triumph, and door, and from the heavy weights her guns seemed to be served with which had fallen over it, I was in- as much spirit as ever. At length clined to think that shot, or even the firing on both sides appeared to cannon-balls, had been placed over slacken. One of the vessels was the mouth of our prison. We might, evidently approaching the
other for therefore, in vain attempt to show the purpose of boarding. But which ourselves, or make our voices heard was the successful adventurer? My amid the din of war, should our al- heart almost ceased to beat with lies (doomed to a watery tomb even intense expectation. The heavy in the midst of conquest) prove vic- grinding of the two ships against torious. Yet condemned, as we each others' sides was soon heard; seemed, alike by the fall or the tri- and, not an instant after, the shouts umph of our self-supposed murder- of the sloop's crew rose triumphanters, there was something in the oath ly over our heads. Long and desimposed by the captain which, as it perately raged the combat above showed a feeling of doubt as to the us; but the pirates' yell waxed result, inspired me with hope. Be- fainter and fainter; while the victosides, the noise of preparation for rious shouts of the British seamen, action had in it something inspirit- mixed with the frequent and fearing to my ear; and as it effectually ful cry, “No quarter, no quarter to drowned every other sound, I drew the robbers !” became each instant Margaret from behind the sacking louder and more triumphant. At into the most roomy part of our length every sound of opposition wooden dungeon ; endeavored, by from the Demon crew seemed alfanning her with her handkerchief, most to cease. But there was stil! to create a little freshness of air so much noise on deck, that I in around her; and spoke to her aloud, vain essayed to make my voice in the voice of hope and courage. heard ;-and for the trap-door, it It was a terrible thing, in such an defied all my efforts—it was imanxious moment, to be unable to see moveable. At this crisis, the ship, or hear distinctly avght on which which had hitherto been springing our fate depended. I listened anx- and reeling with the fierce fire she iously for a signal of the sloop's had received from her adversary, nearing us. At length a ship-trum- and the motion of her own guns, pet, at a distance, demanded, safe suddenly began to settle into an avand unhurt, the persons of Colonel ful and suspicious quiescence. But Francillon, the Countess of Fal- the victors were apparently too bucondale, and two female domestics. sy in the work of retribution to It was then evident that the pirate's heed this strange and portentous stratagem at Malta had transpired. change. I perceived, however, onThe Demon's trumpet made brief ly too clearly, that the Demon was and audacious reply :-“Go seek about finally to settle for sinking. them at the bottom of the sea.” A After the lapse of a few seconds, it broadside from the sloop answered seemed that the conquerors themthis impudent injunction, and was selves became at last aware of the followed by a compliment in kind treacherous gulph that was preparfrom the Demon, evidently dis- ing to receive them; and a huncharged from a greater number of dred voices exclaimed, “To the guns. The volleys continued. Our sloop !--to the sloop! 'The ship is
going down—the ruffians are sink- the sinking Demon offered
no specing her!” I now literally called tacle for woman's eye.
There lay out until my voice became a hoarse the mangled bodies of our late scream. I struck violently against dreaded jailors, their fast-stiffening the top of our sinķing dungeon. I countenances still retaining, in cold pushed the trap-door with my whole death itself, that expression of darforce. All was in vain.--I heard ing and brute ferocity which seemed the sailors rushing eagerly to their effaceable only by the absolute deown vessel, and abandoning that of composition of their hardened feathe pirates to destruction. I took tures. I shall never forget the Margaret's hand and held it up to- scene of desolation presented by wards heaven, as if it could better that deck, lying like a vast plank or than my own plead there for us. raft of slaughtered bodies, almost All was silent. Not a sound was level with the sea, whose waters heard in the once fiercely-manned dashed furiously over it, and then Demon, save the rushing of the receding from their still ineffectual waters in at the holes where she attempt to overwhelm the vessel, rehad been scuttled by her desperate turned all dyed with crimson to the crew. It almost seemed that—de- ocean ; while the sun, setting in a termined not to survive her capture stormy and angry sky, threw his -- she were eager to suck in the bile rays—for the last time-in lurid and lows which would sink her to ob- fitful gleams on the ruined Demon. livion. At last, as if she had re A deep, and, as it seemed, longceived her fill, she began to go pent sigh escaped from the bosom of down with a rapidity which seemed Margaret when the fresh breath of to send us, in an instant, many feet heaven first played on her white deeper beneath the waves, and I cheek. I would have thanked her now expected every moment to hear brave deliverers—have gazed on them gather over the deck, and then her to see if life still returned-but overwhelm us forever. I uttered a the sea was gaining fast on us, and prayer, and clasped Margaret in I had lost the free use of my limbs my arms. But no voice, no sigh, by my lengthened and cramped conproceeded from the companion of finement. To one human being, my grave. Her hand was cold, however, I did not forget my gratiand her pulse quiet ; and I deemed tude. As we hurriedly prepared to that the spirit had warred with, spring into the boat, I saw that Giand overcome its last enemy, ere rod's pinioned members refused him our common grave yawned to re- the prompt aid necessary for effect
ing an escape in such a moinent. I Voices were heard; weights returned, seized a bloody cutlass seemed to be removed from the that lay on deck, and, without leave trap-door! It was opened ; and of the officer, cut at once through the words “Good heaven ! the fel- the bonds which confined our first low is right ; they are here sure deliverer.—“ This man,” I said, as enough!” met my almost incredu- we seated ourselves, “has been the lous ear. I heheld a British officer, instrument of Heaven for our prea sailor or two, and Girod with his servation. I will make myself anhands tied behind him. I held up my swerable for his liberty and kind precious burthen, who was receive treatment.” Girod seized my hand, ed into the arms of her compatriots, which received a passionate Gallic
and then, like one in a dream, salute. Our sailors now rowed te sprang from my long prison. Per- hard to avoid being drawn into the po hapo it might be well that Marga- vortex of the sinking ship. in ret's eye was half closed in death ful God! we were then out of the
at that moment ; for the deek of Demon! I supported Margaret in