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He reported, that three streaks of the sheathing, about eight feet long, were wanting, and that the main plank had been a little rubbed.

Beneath the symbolic, triple crown, in the golden sheathing of his cope, he seemed to have grown taller.

"Then, Pharaoh, hearken! To-morrow I leave Egypt for another land, giving you back your generalship and sheathing the sword that I had hoped to wield in its defence and yours when the last great day of trial by battle comes, as come it will. I tell you that I go to return no more, unless the lady Amada yonder shall summon me back to fight for her and you, promising herself to me in guerdon."

It was instantly obvious that the "ground ships" would prove to be the "tanks" of the Twenty-fifth Century, and with due allowance for the fact that they were protected with a sheathing of annihilating rays instead of with steel, that they would have about the same handicaps and advantages as tanks, except that since they would float lightly on short repeller rays, they could hardly resort to the destructive crushing tactics of the tanks of the First World War.

In order to make their aim the surer, the aerostats descended to within three hundred yards of their prey, and where the missile failed to pass through the funnel it invariably struck the deck close to it, tearing up the armour sheathing, and wrecking the funnel itself so completely that the steaming-power of the vessel was very seriously reduced.

Beneath the symbolic, triple crown, in the golden sheathing of his cope, he seemed to have grown taller.

"Oo-oo!" groaned Bert at every slash, and shrank closer into the bushes and became very still. Presently came a sound of shots from the town, and then everything was quiet, everything, even the hospital. He saw presently little figures sheathing swords come out from the houses and walk to the debris of the flying-machines the bomb had destroyed.

"Well, all in good time," cried Rodd. "They are fitting the copper sheathing on again, and to-morrow they will begin careening the brig over so as to get at the other side." "Ha! Yes," said the French lad, with a sigh of satisfaction. "Well, you take your boat to-morrow, and plenty of men and ammunition, and go on a good long excursion." "Shan't," said Rodd gruffly. "But why not?"

She was of wood, painted white. Her masts were of pine, veined with amber. Her white hull, with the drenchings of the seas, had become shot with ultramarine shadows, as though tinctured with the virtue of the ocean. The verdigris of her sheathing was vivid as green light; and the languid dock water, the colour of jade, glinting round her hull, was lambent with hues not its own.

The carpenter and his men were meanwhile hard at work at the copper sheathing, making such progress that they were busy with their saws, dividing plank and trenail and working their way round the hole by the time the tide had risen sufficiently to drive them back, and then the Count and his party grouped themselves as best they could about their old quarters, looking despondently at what seemed like the beginning of a very hopeless wreck, a good deal of confidence being needed on their part to feel that all would come right in the end.

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