In the year 1672 this fear was realized, for when the ships of the Geuzen round about Naarden were stuck fast in the ice, and the Zuyder Zee was frozen, the enemy, armed with canoes and battle-axes, came over the ice from the Y and across the Zuyder Zee to Naarden. The best skaters among the Geuzen immediately volunteered to meet the Spaniards on the ice.
"We make zee passage, and we make eet queek to-night, as zee boy says," replied the brave and impulsive Drouillard. Adam Colfax turned to the Virginian and the Northerners. All nodded in affirmation. Then he turned to the two scouts, Thrale and Lyon. "It's now or never," they said, looking up at the dark skies. "Then it shall be done," said Adam Colfax firmly.
They repaired the fortifications, and strengthened them with considerable outworks, the magistrates themselves being the first to sacrifice their magnificent country houses in the suburbs for this purpose; they assigned to each of the regiments of burgher guards, who were ten thousand in number, a portion of the city to watch; took into their pay as soldiers all those inhabitants whom the cessation of trade would throw out of employment; stationed outlyers in the Y, Amstel, Zuyder Zee, and Pampus, and, cutting the dikes, laid the country to a great distance round under water.
One result of this mode of action was that he did not see where he was going, and inadvertently thrust one finger into Moses' right eye, and another into his open mouth. The negro naturally shut his mouth with a snap, while the professor opened his with a roar, and in another moment every man was on his feet blinking inquiringly. "Look! zee snake!" cried the professor, when Moses released him.
Leaving it upon the sixth, and returning to New York, to embark for England on the succeeding day, I was glad to think that among the last memorable beauties which had glided past us, and softened in the bright perspective, were those whose pictures, traced by no common hand, are fresh in most men's minds; not easily to grow old, or fade beneath the dust of Time: the Kaatskill Mountains, Sleepy Hollow, and the Tappaan Zee.
Had she been on land and armed with her staff, it would not have dared even to show itself; for, like all savage creatures, the reptile has a marvellous instinct, which warns it against the bearer of the vril wand. How they teach their young to avoid him, though seen for the first time, is one of those mysteries which you may ask Zee to explain, for I cannot.
"Big brunettes with long stelets On the shores of Italee, Dutch girls with golden curls Beside the Zuyder Zee..." Everybody cheered again; Andrews kept looking at the girl at the next table, whose face was red from laughter. She had a handkerchief pressed to her mouth, and kept saying in a low voice: "O qu'il est drole, celui-la.... O qu'il est drole."
I set off, accordingly, the 7th of the Sixth Month, and travelled seven days through a desert country to Amsterdam, I went almost one half of the way by water, across the Zuider Zee from Zwolle to Amsterdam.
"So it may, so it may, Peters; I did not think of that. Certainly that is likely enough. We know they have several ships cruising in the Zuider Zee keeping a lookout for the beggars. On a night like this, and with the wind astern, the sound will be heard miles away. We may have trouble yet. I was not much afraid of the galleys, for though the wind is so light we are running along famously.
The great ship canal to Amsterdam commences at this point, which is the only place on the coast of Holland where the deep water extends up to the shore, the tide rushing through from the Zuyder Zee keeping the passage open. The party had an opportunity to examine the mighty sluices and gates, and to observe the stupendous dikes, before described by Mr. Mapps.