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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about Days of the Discoverers.

“Not as to Spaniards, but as to Traitors, Robbers, and Murderers.”

When not one stone was left upon another in either fort, Dominic de Gourgues bade farewell to his Indian allies, and taking with him the lad so strangely saved from death and exile, went back to France.

NOTE

The full history of this dramatic episode is to be found in Parkman’s “The Pioneers of France in the New World.”

THE DESTROYERS

    The moon herself doth sail the air
      As we do sail the sea,
    Where by Saint Michael’s Mount we fare
      Free as the winds are free. 
    Our keels are bright with elfin gold
      That mocks the tyrant’s gaze,
    That slips from out his greedy hold
      And leaves him in amaze.

    White water creaming past her prow
      The little Golden Hynde
    Bears westward with her treasure now—­
      We’d ship and follow blind,
    But that he never did require—­
      Our Captain hath us bound
    Only by force of his desire—­
      The quarry hunts the hound!

    The hunt is up, the hunt is up
      To the gray Atlantic’s bound,—­
    The health of the Queen in a golden cup!—­
      The quarry is hunting the hound! 
    Like steel the stars gleam through the night
      On armored waves beneath,—­
    As England’s honor cold and bright
      We bear her sword in sheath!

    When that great Empire dies away
      And none recall her place,
    Men shall remember our work to-day
      And tell of our Captain’s grace,—­
    How never a woman or child was the worse
      Wherever our foe we found,
    Nor their own priests had cause to curse
      The quarry that hunted the hound!

XV

THE FLEECE OF GOLD

White fog, the thick mist of windless marshes, masked the Kentish coast.  The Medway at flood-tide from Sheerness to Gillingham Reach was one maze of creeks and bends and inlets and tiny bays.  Nothing was visible an oar’s length overside but shifting cloudy shapes that bulked obscurely in the fog.  But although this was Francis Drake’s first voyage as master of his own ship, he knew these waters as he knew the palm of his hand.  His old captain, dying a bachelor, had left him the weather-beaten cargo-ship as reward for his “diligence and fidelity”, and at sixteen he was captain where six years before he had been ship’s-boy.

Scores of daring projects went Catherine-wheeling through his mind as he steered seaward through the white enchanted world.  In 1561 Spain was the bogy of English seaports, most of whose folk were Protestants.  There was no knowing how long the coast-wise trade would be allowed to go on.

Out of the white mist flashed a whiter face, etched with black brows and lashes and a pointed silky beard—­the face of a man all in black, whose body rose and dipped with the waves among the marsh grass of an eyot.  So lightly was it held that it might have slipped off in the wake of the boat had not Tom Moone the carpenter caught it with a boat-hook.  But when they had the man on board they found that he was not dead.

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