"Aye, aye," responded a voice in English; and the natives, as the rope was thrown to them, made fast the canoes and clambered up the sides, the two girls alone remaining in the first canoe, and looking with lustrous, wondering eyes at the crowd of strange faces that looked down at them from the barque's decks.
She looked for a moment at the two; at Anthony in his satin and lace and his smiling face over his ruff and his steady brown eyes; and Isabel on his arm, with her clear pale face and bosom and black high-piled hair, and her velvet and lace, and a rope of pearls. "Why," said the old nun, smiling, "you look a pair of lovers." Then presently the three went together up to the Hall.
But he gained confidence, at the sight of them, because he thought to himself: "If Danveld did not wish to keep his promise, he would not have ordered so many witnesses." Meanwhile Danveld raised his hand, and stopped the conversation; he then made a sign to one of the warriors, who approached Jurand, and catching the rope which encircled his neck, dragged him a few steps nearer the table.
The farmer got frightened, and would have been off; but when I saw what he was at, "No," says I, "not an inch do we budge without news of my Lord." So Jack stood by the rope, and let them see that 'twas as much as their life was worth to try to unmoor. Mercy, what a night it was!
Advancing cautiously along it, she came across a huge carpet snake coiled "all a same rope alonga boat." It was asleep where an opening in the roof of vegetation made a patch of sunlight on the jungle floor, and she passed by, treading noiselessly. For food she had the fruits of the jungle, crude, harsh, and bitter.
Wink sent one shot hurtling after them, just, as he explained afterwards, to encourage them, and Steve, having cautiously edged the Adventurer as near shore as he dared, gave his orders hurriedly. "Get the big cable from the rope locker, Han," he directed. "Joe, you and Harry jump into the tender and stand by here.
Oh! how easy it seemed to do so and thrust his fingers beneath the belt. As he closed them round it, the rope parted and all the weight that it had borne came upon Godfrey's arm! How long did he support it, he often wondered afterwards. For ages it seemed. He felt as though his right arm was being torn from the socket, while the ice cut into the muscles of his left like active torture.
All had strung their bows and placed their arrows on the ground in front of them in readiness for instant use. Cnut himself, with two others carrying the rope, advanced to the edge of the moat. None observed their doings, for all within the castle were intent upon the proceedings there.
So it was that as Kulonga emerged from the shadow of the jungle a slender coil of rope sped sinuously above him from the lowest branch of a mighty tree directly upon the edge of the fields of Mbonga, and ere the king's son had taken a half dozen steps into the clearing a quick noose tightened about his neck.
This soon told; the enemy's main-topmast was shot away, the foremast was badly wounded, several of her ports were knocked into one, and instead of the cloud of canvas which lately swelled proudly to the breeze, her sails were riddled, and, with rope ends, hung useless from every shattered yard.