“Cease to fear, daughter of Alca,” answered Kraken. “He who speaks to thee is not a wandering spirit, but a man full of strength and might. I shall soon possess great riches.”
And young Orberosia asked:
“How dost thou think of acquiring great riches, O Kraken, since thou art a child of Penguins?”
“By my intelligence,” answered Kraken.
“I know,” said Orberosia, “that in the time that thou dwelt among us thou wert renowned for thy skill in hunting and fishing. No one equalled thee in taking fishes in a net or in piercing with thy arrows the swift-flying birds.”
“It was but a vulgar and laborious industry, O maiden. I have found a means of gaining much wealth for myself without fatigue. But tell me who thou art?”
“I am called Orberosia,” answered the young girl.
“Why art thou so far away from thy dwelling and in the night?”
“Kraken, it was not without the will of Heaven.”
“What meanest thou, Orberosia?”
“That Heaven, O Kraken, placed me in thy path, for what reason I know not.”
Kraken beheld her for a long time in silence.
Then he said with gentleness:
“Orberosia, come into my house; it is that of the bravest and most ingenious of the sons of the Penguins. If thou art willing to follow me, I will make thee my companion.”
Then casting down her eyes, she murmured:
“I will follow thee, master.”
It is thus that the fair Orberosia became the consort of the hero Kraken. This marriage was not celebrated with songs and torches because Kraken did not consent to show himself to the people of the Penguins; but hidden in his cave he planned great designs.
VI. THE DRAGON OF ALCA
“We afterwards went to visit the cabinet of natural history. . . . The care-taker showed us a sort of packet bound in straw that he told us contained the skeleton of a dragon; a proof, added he, that the dragon is not a fabulous animal.”—Memoirs of Jacques Casanova, Paris, 1843. Vol. IV., pp. 404, 405
In the meantime the inhabitants of Alca practised the labours of peace. Those of the northern coast went in boats to fish or to search for shell-fish. The labourers of Dombes cultivated oats, rye, and wheat. The rich Penguins of the valley of Dalles reared domestic animals, while those of the Bay of Divers cultivated their orchards. Merchants of Port-Alca carried on a trade in salt fish with Armorica and the gold of the two Britains, which began to be introduced into the island, facilitated exchange. The Penguin people were enjoying the fruit of their labours in perfect tranquillity when suddenly a sinister rumour ran from village to village. It was said everywhere that frightful dragon had ravaged two farms in the Bay of Divers.