Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVIII / The Story of Blackbeard >> Page 451

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Page 451

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE YOUNG MERCHANT. 451.
see sights, should drink of the wine of the Indies, and enjoy
their fruits, and be clad in the beautiful silks of the Frenchman.
All sail was clapped on for pursuit. The Frenchman knew
his danger, at a glance. Not more certainly does the flying-fish
know his enemy the dolphin, or the tunny the swordfish, or the
sailor the shark, than the simple trader the deadly danger of that
pirate foe, who combined all the terrible characteristics of these
several marauders of the sea. Fleet was the Frenchman in flight,
but, unhappily, fleeter far was the outlaw in pursuit. Very pre-
cious was the Frenchman's cargo ; one more precious still,
among his passengers, was the fair creole wife of the young
merchant, Louis Chastaign, now, for the first time, preparing to
visit the birthplace of her husband. They, too, were soon made
aware of the danger, and, while the wife watched, and prayed,
and trembled, the young husband got his cutlass and his cara-
bine in readiness, and prepared to do battle to the last in defence
of the precious treasure of his heart.
" But his resolution was not to be indulged. The captain of
the merchantman had no adequate force for resistance, and he
prepared for none. He shook his head when Louis Chastaign
spoke of it, and appeared on deck with his weapons.
It will not do, 11Tonsieur Louis.''And shall we yield tamely to these wretches ? They are
pirates !'
I fear so. But they are two to one. We have no arms.
What can a dozen swords and pistols do against a hundred
men ?'"'Better die bravely fighting than basely to offer our throats
to the knife.'
Nay, our hope is that they will content themselves with
robbing us of our treasures.'
The young merchant turned with a look of agony on his
beautiful creole. He knew what the appetites of the pirates
were. He feared for the one treasure, over all, and thought
nothing of the rest, though the better portion of the ship's cargo
was- his own. The chase was nearing fast. The Frenchman
continued to try his heels, but in vain.
"'He gains rapidly, Monsieur Louis. Put away your weap-