We are familiar with the picture of the boy leaning over the stream on that summer day, and looking at the old dwelling of his race, and swearing to himself his oath of Hannibal that some day he would, if the stars were propitious, win back his inheritance. Somewhere about a year after this oath of Hannibal the fortunes of the lad took a turn for the better.
Domini stood up and watched them. Androvsky did not come back. Some minutes passed. Then there was an exclamation of triumph from the stream. The girl in magenta held up the dripping cross with the bit of silver chain in her dripping fingers. Domini cast a swift glance behind her. Androvsky had disappeared. Quickly she went to the edge of the water.
Trusting to the soundness of my tackle, I struck hard and fixed my new acquaintance thoroughly, but off he dashed down the stream for about fifty yards at one rush, making for a narrow channel between two rocks, through which the stream ran like a mill-race.
The people on board waved back and they, too, used handkerchiefs pretty generally. Faster and farther backed the Robert Burns, until in midcurrent, after describing a great half-circle, she was pointing down stream. The engine bell jangled to stop, and to go ahead and she was started for New Orleans. They were off for California!
It was difficult to refrain from turning round to see what it looked like now, but as everything depended on the promptness with which Hillers and I handled our oars in obedience to Powell's orders, I waited for the plunge, every instant ready to execute a command. We kept in the middle of the stream, and as we neared the brink our speed began to accelerate.
The offending stream had shrunk back to its channel, and now seemed to feign an unconsciousness of its late excess, and had a virtuous air of not knowing how in the world to account for that upturned diligence.
"Tophet is ordained of old, yea for thee, thou Man of Sin, it is prepared: God hath made it deep, and large; the pile thereof is fire and much wood: the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it." Isa. xxx. 33.
They soon cleared the thicket, and a few minutes brought them once more to the banks of the stream, and the increased roar of the cataract.
After a mile or more from the camp, the banks widened out into a wooded valley, several hundred yards across, but when six or seven miles had been traveled the valley narrowed down again, and the mountains closing in, made what, at a little distance, seemed a solid wall in front. "Headed off once more, I fear," said Sedgwick. "The stream keeps up a full head.
I went once more to visit Madame Blandin, who poured out upon me a whole stream of reproaches against Christal." "'She was un petit diable always; and now, though she has been my own pupil for years, I would rather turn her out to starve than keep her in my house for another day. "'But, said I, 'you might at least find her some other situation.