Suddenly the waves are cloven asunder, and the mother of Nature and of Wainamoinen appears, to comfort her son, like Thetis from the deep. She bids him go and seek, in the land of Pohjola, a bride alien to his race. After many a wild adventure, Wainamoinen reaches Pohjola and is kindly entreated by Loutri, the mother of the maiden of the land.
Thus spake she, and they forthwith went down beneath the surge of the sea. And the silver-footed goddess Thetis went on to Olympus that she might bring noble armour to her son. So her unto Olympus her feet bore. But the Achaians with terrible cries were fleeing before man-slaying Hector till they came to the ships and to the Hellespont.
“All of Æolus’s train Springing o’er the blue main To our pæans reply With their long, long refrain; And the sea-folk upleap From their dark weedy caves; With a clear, briny laugh They dance over the waves; Now their mistress below,— See bright Thetis go, As she leads the mad revels, While loud Tritons blow! While loud Tritons blow! “With the foam gliding white, Where the light flash is bright.
Jack promised that he would give that advice his most careful consideration; after which he bade his fellow-countryman adieu, and made his way aboard the yacht, where Milsom was found busily arranging to take the Thetis alongside a coal hulk as soon as the water lighter had cast off.
With all due observance of the courtesies of the sea the graceful, white-hulled Thetis dipped a farewell salute to the Spanish warships in Havana harbour as she next morning swept past them, outward bound, shortly after nine o'clock in the morning of a glorious April day.
These also Jack ordered aft, and when they came abreast of the gangway he directed them down into the boat, whither Don Hermoso and his bereaved family followed them, Jack going last, and informing the skipper of the Maranon ere he left that he might now proceed on his voyage, which that individual forthwith did; while, as soon as the released prisoners were on board the yacht, and the boat hoisted to the davits, that craft continued her course to the westward until the convict steamer was out of sight, when the bows of the Thetis were again turned eastward and her speed reduced to dead slow, for she now had to be stripped of her disguise and restored to her normal appearance again, and some convenient spot for the performance of this operation had to be found, Milsom not deeming it wise to return and effect it in the spot from which they had so recently come.
"Why," said Sir Jocelyn, knitting delicate brows, "surely thou art the forester that o'ercame Duke Ivo's wrestler; aye, by the silver feet of lovely Thetis, thou'rt Beltane the Smith!" "Verily, messire," nodded Beltane, "and 'tis not meet that knight cross blade with lowly smith." "Ha!" quoth Sir Jocelyn, rubbing at his smooth white chin, "yet art a goodly man withal and lover to boot methinks?"
Kindly is she to all mortals, and she breathes into them soft desires, and she lightens the cares of him that is in longing. O dark-browed lady of Argos, in wedlock with Tydeus didst thou bear slaying Diomede, a hero of Calydon, and, again, deep-bosomed Thetis to Peleus, son of Aeacus, bare the spearman Achilles. But thee, O warrior Ptolemy, to Ptolemy the warrior bare the glorious Berenice!
Not long was he in making the shield and the other wonderful pieces of armour. As soon as the armour was ready Thetis put her hands upon it, and flying down from Olympus like a hawk, brought it to the feet of Achilles, her son.
Prince Peleus sprang from the bed and caught Thetis around the waist and lifted her and the child away from the blazing fire. He put them both upon the bed, and he took from her the child that she held by the heel. His heart was wild within him, for the thought that wildness had come over his wife, and that she was bent upon destroying their child.