Coming dead for us" the man's voice rose "close aboard; less'n two ship's lengths away!" As for a prearranged scene, the fog-curtain parted. There loomed silently and swiftly the Laughing Lass. Down she bore upon the greater vessel until it seemed as if she must ram; but all the time she was veering to windward, and now she ran into the wind with a castanet rattle of sails.

"They had scarcely passed the white fog-curtain when they were accosted by a gay party of young men and young women, numbering some eight or ten persons, in an elegant pleasure-boat. Pym and Peters being ignorant of the language of Hili-li land, and the Hili-lites being ignorant of the English tongue, it was of course impossible for them to hold converse beyond that permitted by signs.

For the source of the faint, diffused illumination that verberated through the vapor was hidden; it seemed to be a huge and fluctuating glow, off there somewhere beyond the fog-curtain that veiled whatever land this strange weird place might be.

A knot of men were struggling to lower a boat by the ghostly glare that lit the night about them, clambering and slipping against the rails, while a voice from beyond the fog-curtain yelled through a megaphone unintelligible commands.

Happy Jack gave a hoarse croak of triumph and fired, just as the fog-curtain swayed back maddeningly. Happy Jack nearly wept with pure rage. Weary and Slim came up, and together they galloped to the place, riding by instinct of direction, for there was no longer any sound to guide. Ten minutes they spent searching the gulley's edge.