Days of the Discoverers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 311 pages of information about Days of the Discoverers.

Otter Tail Lake, just north of the place where the stone was discovered, was one of the points marking the boundary between the Ojibway and Dakota country.  The position of the runes on the stone is precisely what it would be if the inscription had been finished, or nearly finished, as a guide to future exploration, and the account of the massacre added as a warning.

A song commonly sung at the time of the Black Death contains the lines: 

    “The Black Plague sped over land and sea
    And swept so many a board. 
    That will I now most surely believe,
    It was not with the Lord’s will. 
    Help us God and Mary,
    Save us all from evil.”


    We were Prince Henry’s gentlemen,—­
      His gentlemen were we,
    To dare the gods of Heathendom,
      Whoever they might be,—­
    To do our master’s sovereign will
      Upon a trackless sea.

    We were Prince Henry’s gentlemen,
      And undismayed we went
    To fight for Lusitania
      Wherever we were sent,—­
    The stars had laid our course for us,
      And we were well content.

    We were Prince Henry’s gentlemen,
      And though our flagship lie
    Where white the great-winged albatross
      Came wheeling down the sky,
    Or black abysses yawned for us,
      We could not fear to die.

    We were Prince Henry’s gentlemen,—­
      Around the Cape of Wrath
    We sailed our wooden cockleshells—­
      Great pride the pilot hath
    To voyage to-day the Indian Sea—­
      But we marked out his path!



“Those things that you say cannot be true, Fernao!  How do you know that the sea turns black and dreadful just behind those heavenly clouds?  If there are hydras, and gorgons, and sea-snakes that can swallow a ship, and a great black hand reaching up out of a whirlpool to drag men down, why do we never see them here?  Look at that sea, can there be anything in the world more beautiful?”

The vehement small speaker waved her slender hand with a gesture that seemed to take in half the horizon.  The old Moorish garden, overrun with the brilliant blossoms that drink their hues from the sea, overlooked the harbor.  Across the huddled many-colored houses the ten-year-old Beatriz and her playfellow Fernao could see the western ocean in a great half-circle, bounded by the mysterious line above which three tiny caravels had just risen.  The sea to-day was exquisite, bluer than the heavens that arched above it.  The wave-crests looked like a flock of sea-doves playing on the sunlit sparkling waters.  Fernao from his seat on the crumbling wall watched the incoming ships with the far-sighted gaze of a sailor.  Portuguese through and through, the son and grandson of men who had sailed at the bidding of the great Prince Henry, he felt that he could speak with authority.[1]

Project Gutenberg
Days of the Discoverers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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