In taking leave of the men she asked if she could hope to find them here again the next day. “The full moon will make it damnably light,” replied the father, “but they will scarcely venture to assail the right of asylum, and the ships anchored according to regulation at Tanis, with a cargo of wood from Sinope. Besides, for two years people have believed that we have abandoned these waters, and the guards think that if we should return, the last time to choose would be these bright nights. Still, I should not like to decide anything positively about the morrow until news came from Labaja.”
“You will find me, whatever happens,” Hanno declared after his father had ceased speaking. Old Tabus exchanged a swift glance with her son, and Satabus said: “He is his own master. If I am obliged to go—which may happen—then, my girl, you must be content with the youth. Besides, you are better suited to him than to the graybeard.”
He shook hands with Ledscha as he spoke, and Hanno accompanied her to her boat.
At first he was silent, but as she was stepping into the skiff he repeated his promise of meeting her here the following night.
“Very well,” she answered quickly. “Perhaps I may have a commission to give you.”
“I will fulfil it,” he answered firmly.
“To-morrow, then,” she called, “unless something unexpected prevents.”
But when seated on the thwart she again turned to him, and asked: “Does it need a long time to bring your ship, with brave men on board, to this place?”
“We can be here in four hours, and with favourable winds still sooner,” was the reply.
“Even if it displeases your father?”
“Even then, and though the gods, many as there are, should forbid—if only your gratitude will be gained.”
“It will,” she answered firmly, and the water plashed lightly under the strokes of her oars.
ETEXT EDITOR’S BOOKMARKS:
Cast my warning to the winds, pity will also fly away
Must—that word is a ploughshare which suits only loose soil
Tender and uncouth natural sounds, which no language knows
There is nothing better than death, for it is peace
Tone of patronizing instruction assumed by the better informed
Wait, child! What is life but waiting?
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