Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IX / The Bride of Fate >> Page 161

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Page 161

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription PURSUIT OF THE PIRATES. 1GI
suffered. He was no longer the lover, but the man; nor the
man merely, but the leader of men. Giovanni was endowed for
this by nature. His valor was known. It had been tried upon
the Turk. Now that he was persuaded by the Spanish Gipsy,
whom all believed and feared, that a nameless and terrible dan-
ger overhung his beloved, which was to be met and baffled only
by the course he was pursuing, his whole person seemed to be
informed by a new spirit. The youth, his companions, wondered
to behold the change. There was no longer a dreaminess and
doubt about his words and movements, but all was prompt, en-
ergetic, and directly to the purpose. Giovanni was now the
confident and strong man. Enough for him that there was dan-
ger. Of this be no longer entertained a fear. Whether the
danger that was supposed to threaten Francesca was still sug-
gestive of a Hope -- as the prediction of the Spanish Gipsy
might well warrant´┐Żmay very well be questioned. It was in
the very desperation of his hope, that his energies became at
once equally well-ordered and intense. He prompted to their
utmost the energies of others. He impelled all his agencies to
their best exertions. Oar and sail were busy without intermis-
sion, and soon the efforts of the pursuers were rewarded. A gon-
dola, bearing a single man, drifted along their path. He was a
fugitive from Olivolo, who gave them the first definite idea of
the foray of the pirates. His tidings, rendered imperfect by his
terrors, were still enough to goad the pursuers to new exertions.
Fortune favored the pursuit. In their haste the pirate galleys
had become entangled in the lagune. The keen eye of Gio-
vanni was the first to discover them. First one bark, and then
another, hove in sight, and soon the whole piratical fleet were
made out, as they urged their embarrassed progress through the
intricacies of the shallow waters.
" Courage, bold hearts !" cried Giovanni to his people ; they
are ours ! We shall soon be upon them. They can not now
escape us !"
The eye of the youthful leader brightened with the expecta-
tion of the struggle. His exulting, eager voice declared the
strength and confidence of his soul, and cheered the souls of all
around him. The sturdy oarsmen gave way" with renewed
efforts. The knights prepared their weapons for the conflict.