Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
enemies.  Do as they bid you, and make as if you would yield unto them, but take heed you come not within the compass of the ropes—­be sure to keep yourselves free of them.  And presently he went aboard the ship, and took a bundle of straw and a barrel of gunpowder, strewed it round about the compass of the cords, and stood by with a brand of fire or match lighted in his hand.  Presently came the horsemen with great fury, and the foremost ran almost home to the ship, and, by reason of the slipperiness of the bank, they fell, they and their horses, to the number of four and forty; which the rest seeing, came on, thinking that resistance had been made them at their arrival.  But Panurge said unto them, My masters, I believe that you have hurt yourselves; I pray you pardon us, for it is not our fault, but the slipperiness of the sea-water that is always flowing; we submit ourselves to your good pleasure.  So said likewise his two other fellows, and Epistemon that was upon the deck.  In the meantime Panurge withdrew himself, and seeing that they were all within the compass of the cables, and that his two companions were retired, making room for all those horses which came in a crowd, thronging upon the neck of one another to see the ship and such as were in it, cried out on a sudden to Epistemon, Draw, draw!  Then began Epistemon to wind about the capstan, by doing whereof the two cables so entangled and empestered the legs of the horses, that they were all of them thrown down to the ground easily, together with their riders.  But they, seeing that, drew their swords, and would have cut them; whereupon Panurge set fire to the train, and there burnt them up all like damned souls, both men and horses, not one escaping save one alone, who being mounted on a fleet Turkey courser, by mere speed in flight got himself out of the circle of the ropes.  But when Carpalin perceived him, he ran after him with such nimbleness and celerity that he overtook him in less than a hundred paces; then, leaping close behind him upon the crupper of his horse, clasped him in his arms, and brought him back to the ship.

This exploit being ended, Pantagruel was very jovial, and wondrously commended the industry of these gentlemen, whom he called his fellow-soldiers, and made them refresh themselves and feed well and merrily upon the seashore, and drink heartily with their bellies upon the ground, and their prisoner with them, whom they admitted to that familiarity; only that the poor devil was somewhat afraid that Pantagruel would have eaten him up whole, which, considering the wideness of his mouth and capacity of his throat was no great matter for him to have done; for he could have done it as easily as you would eat a small comfit, he showing no more in his throat than would a grain of millet-seed in the mouth of an ass.

Chapter 2.XXVI.

How Pantagruel and his company were weary in eating still salt meats; and how Carpalin went a-hunting to have some venison.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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