While Althea, as the goddess of Victory, held the wreath aloft, and loud applause hailed her, Hanno was thinking of the treasures which he had garnered since his father had allowed him a share of the booty, and of the future.
When he had accumulated ten talents of gold he would give up piracy, like Abus, and carry on his own ships wood and slaves from Pontus to Egypt, and textiles from Tennis, arms and other manufactured articles from Alexandria to the Pontine cities. In this way Ledscha’s father had become a rich man, and he would also, not for his own sake—he needed little—but to make life sweet for his wife, surround her with splendour and luxury, and adorn her beautiful person with costly jewels. Many a stolen ornament was already lying in the safe hiding place that even his brother Labaja did not know.
At last the shouts died away, and as the stopping of the clattering wheel wakes the miller, so the stillness on the shore roused Hanno from his dream.
What was it that Ledscha saw there so fascinating that she did not even hear his low call? His father and Labaja had undoubtedly left his grandmother’s house long ago, and were looking for him in vain.
Yes, he was right; the old pirate’s shrill whistle reached his ear from the Owl’s Nest, and he was accustomed to obedience.
So, lightly touching Ledscha on the shoulder, he whispered that he must return to the island at once. His father would be rejoiced if she went with him.
“To-morrow,” she answered in a tone of resolute denial. Then, reminding him once more of the meaning of the signals she had promised to give, she waved her hand to him, sprang swiftly past him to the prow of the boat, caught an overhanging bough of the willow on the shore, and, as she had learned during the games of her childhood, swung herself as lightly as a bird into the thicket at the water’s edge, which concealed her from every eye.
Without even vouchsafing Hanno another glance, Ledscha glided forward in the shadow of the bushes to the great sycamore, whose thick, broad top on the side toward the tents was striped with light from the flood of radiance streaming from them. On the opposite side the leafage vanished in the darkness of the night, but Myrtilus had had a bench placed there, that he might rest in the shade, and from this spot the girl could obtain the best view of what she desired to see.
How gay and animated it was under the awning!
A throng of companions had arrived with the Pelusinians, and some also had probably been on the ship which—she knew it from Bias—had come to Tennis directly from Alexandria that afternoon. The galley was said to belong to Philotas, an aristocratic relative of King Ptolemy. If she was not mistaken, he was the stately young Greek who was just picking up the ostrich-feather fan that had slipped from Daphne’s lap.