Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IX / The Bride of Fate >> Page 154

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 154 SOUTHWARD HO CHAPTER IV.
IT was midnight when the galley of the chief glided into the
harbor of Istria. The challenge of the sentinel was answered
from the vessel, and she took her place beside the shore, where
two other galleys were at anchor. Suddenly her sails descended
with a rattle ; a voice hailed throughout the ship, was answered
from stem to stern, and a deep silence followed. The fierce
chief of the pirates, Pietro Barbaro�the fiercest, strongest,
wisest, yet youngest, of seven brothers, all devoted to the same
fearful employment�strode in silence to his cabin. Here,
throwing himself upon a couch, he prepared rather to rest his
limbs than to sleep. He had thoughts to keep him wakeful.
Wild hopes, and tenderer joys than his usual occupations offered,
were gleaming before his fancy. The light burned dimly in his
floating chamber, but the shapes of his imagination rose up before
his mind's eye not the less vividly because of the obscurity in
which he lay. Thus musing over expectations of most agree-
able and exciting aspect, he finally lapsed away in sleep.
He was suddenly aroused from slumber by a rude hand that
lay heavily on his shoulder.
Who is it ?" he asked of the intruder.
Gamba," was the answer.
Thou, brother ?"
Ay," continued the intruder, " and here are all of us."
Indeed! and wherefore come you ? I would sleep�I am
weary. I must have rest."" Thou least too much rest, Pietro," said another of the broth-
ers. It is that of which we complain�that of which we
would speak to thee now.""Ha! this is new language, brethren ! Answer me�per-
haps I am not well awake�am I your captain, or not ?"" Thou art�the fact seems to be forgotten by no one but
thyself. Though the youngest of our mother's children, we
made thee our leader."
For what did ye this, my brothers, unless that I might com-
mand ye ?"
For this, in truth, and this only, did we confer upon thee