It was an ill deed that the traitor Ganelon wrought when he sold his fellows to King Marsilas! And now there befell a new trouble. King Almaris, with a great host of heathen, coming by an unknown way, fell upon the rear of the host where there was another pass. Fiercely did the noble Walter that kept the same charge the newcomers, but they overpowered him and his followers.
With such a chart and a compass it seemed as if even a child might be able to guide the largest ship through these perilous passes; and yet, a distinguished officer of the French Navy, Lieutenant Mage, who had explored the Niger, had been lost in these waters, with all his companions, and his vessel, the "Magician." It had happened that Captain Marsilas had never before navigated in these waters.
At this moment he heard a grating noise, then suddenly a terrible shock which shook the vessel from prow to stern. Then all was silent, and the "Alaska" remained motionless. She was wedged in between two submarine rocks. Commander Marsilas, his head bleeding from a fall, mounted the deck, where the greatest confusion reigned. The dismayed sailors made a rush for the boats.
Erik ran to his room. The door was fastened on the inside. He forced it open with a blow of his fist. Commander Marsilas lay stretched out upon the carpet, with a revolver in his right hand, and a bullet wound in his forehead. Seeing that the vessel was shipwrecked by his fault, he had blown his brains out. Death had been instantaneous. The doctor and Mr.
"What is the matter?" cried the captain, still half-stunned by his fall. "By sailing south-west, sir, according to your orders, we have run upon breakers," replied Erik. Commander Marsilas did not say a word. What could he answer? He turned on his heel, and walked toward the staircase again. Their situation was a tragical one, although they did not appear to be in any immediate peril.
The admiral and Mayor of Brest, the commander of the port, and the captains of the vessels which were lying at anchor, all came to pay an official visit to Captain Marsilas. A dinner and a ball were tendered to the hardy explorers, who were to take part in the search for the "Nordenskiold." Although the doctor and Mr.
These successive discoveries had produced consternation in the breasts of all who were present. Erik was the first to break the silence which had succeeded the conversation. "Poor Captain Marsilas!" he said, in a trembling voice, "he has suffered for us all. But since we have escaped almost by a miracle the fate which was prepared for us, let us run no more risks.
"A pleasant traveling companion truly," Mr. Marsilas could not help saying. Mr. Bredejord was about to answer, when a frightful noise at the head of the staircase prevented him. They heard cries, and barking, and a confusion of voices. Everybody arose and ran on deck. The tumult had been caused by Kaas, Mr. Hersebom's Greenland dog. It seemed that he did not approve of Mr.
After this they mounted their swift steeds, and clad themselves in armour, and made themselves ready for the battle. Said Roland to Oliver, "Brother, you know that it is Ganelon who has betrayed us. Good store he has had of gold and silver as a reward; 'tis the King Marsilas that has made merchandise of us, but verily it is with our swords that he shall be paid."
Their principal occupation was to watch the erection of the mausoleum which they were building for poor Captain Marsilas, whose funeral obsequies had been attended by the entire population of L'Orient. The sight of this funeral monument was not calculated to raise the spirits of the survivors of the "Alaska." But when they joined Erik again their hopes revived.