Each carried a strange banner swung from stem to stern above the upper works, and upon the prow of each was painted some odd device that gleamed in the sunlight and showed plainly even at the distance at which we were from the vessels. I could see figures crowding the forward decks and upper works of the air craft.
The fire from the vessels was most ineffectual, owing, as I afterward learned, to the unexpected suddenness of the first volley, which caught the ship's crews entirely unprepared and the sighting apparatus of the guns unprotected from the deadly aim of our warriors.
De Guiche, who had been looking among the different boats for one stronger than the others, which might offer a chance of reaching the English vessels, perceiving the pilot-boat getting ready to start, said to Raoul: "Do you not think, Raoul, that intelligent and vigorous men, as we are, ought to be ashamed to retreat before the brute strength of wind and waves?"
"And for no purpose," said De Wardes, "for with the wind in your teeth, as it will be, you will never reach the vessels."
On his arrival in England, therefore, Captain Phips solicited the king to let him have another vessel and send him back again to the West Indies.
The boat was intended for the purpose of going closer to the reef of rocks than a large vessel could safely venture.
He turned, and scampered to the bows of the vessel. In one instant he was out of his night-gown, in another he was on the bulwark, in a third he was gamboling luxuriously in sixty fathoms of salt-water.
Turlington's eyes followed him with a reluctant, uneasy attention as he swam round the vessel, the only moving object in view.
If danger threatens one of your vessels
on the ocean, the first impression is the feeling of an abyss above and below.
The time passed at length, and the appointed day we so longed for arrived; and, all following out the arrangement and plan which, after careful consideration and many a long discussion, we had decided upon, we succeeded as fully as we could have wished; for on the Friday following the day upon which I spoke to Zoraida in the garden, the renegade anchored his vessel at nightfall almost opposite the spot where she was.
But it was now most essential for us to be on the move, and carefully and quickly we regained the vessel, where those who had remained on board were waiting for us in apprehension of some mishap having befallen us.
At the same instant I saw that the thing that had struck us was the trailing anchor of a rather fair-sized air vessel
; possibly a ten man cruiser.
"But," replied the owner, glancing after Dantes, who was watching the anchoring of his vessel
, "it seems to me that a sailor needs not be so old as you say, Danglars, to understand his business, for our friend Edmond seems to understand it thoroughly, and not to require instruction from any one."
We had approached within a mile and a half perhaps of this foot of the bay, when some of the islanders, who by this time had managed to scramble aboard of us at the risk of swamping their canoes, directed our attention to a singular commotion in the water ahead of the vessel
. At first I imagined it to be produced by a shoal of fish sporting on the surface, but our savage friends assured us that it was caused by a shoal of 'whinhenies'(young girls), who in this manner were coming off from the shore to welcome is.
It is true, he was narrowly watched whenever a vessel
came in sight, lest he should escape and relate what had passed; but at other times he was treated with entire confidence and great distinction.