Then they all took oars and rowed till presently they drew near a wharf.
“Now, daughters, make ready,” said Hans, and the girls stood up. As they touched the wharf Red Bow bent down and kissed Foy.
“The rest were in play, this is in earnest,” she said, “and for luck. Good-night, companion, and think of me sometimes.”
“Good-night, companion,” answered Foy, returning the kiss. Then she leapt ashore. They never met again.
“You know what to do, girls,” said Hans; “do it, and in three days you should be safe in England, where, perhaps, I may meet you, though do not count on that. Whatever happens, keep honest, and remember me till we come together again, here or hereafter, but, most of all, remember your mother and your benefactor Hendrik Brant. Farewell.”
“Farewell, father,” they answered with a sob, and the boat drifted off down the dark canal, leaving the two of them alone upon the wharf. Afterwards Foy discovered that it was the short sister who walked with Martin that was married. Gallant little Red Bow married also, but later. Her husband was a cloth merchant in London, and her grandson became Lord Mayor of that city.
And now, having played their part in it, these two brave girls are out of the story.
SWORD SILENCE RECEIVES THE SECRET
For half an hour or more they glided down the canal unmolested and in silence. Now it ran into a broader waterway along which they slid towards the sea, keeping as much as possible under the shadow of one bank, for although the night was moonless a faint grey light lay upon the surface of the stream. At length Foy became aware that they were bumping against the sides of a long line of barges and river boats laden with timber and other goods. To one of these—it was the fourth—the pilot Hans made fast, tying their row-boat to her stern. Then he climbed to the deck, whispering to them to follow.
As they scrambled on board, two grey figures arose and Foy saw the flash of steel. Then Hans whistled like a plover, and, dropping their swords they came to him and fell into talk. Presently Hans left them, and, returning to Foy and Martin, said:
“Listen: we must lie here a while, for the wind is against us, and it would be too dangerous for us to try to row or pole so big a boat down to the sea and across the bar in the darkness, for most likely we should set her fast upon a shoal. Before dawn it will turn, and, if I read the sky aright, blow hard off land.”
“What have the bargemen to say?” asked Foy.
“Only that for these four days they have been lying here forbidden to move, and that their craft are to be searched to-morrow by a party of soldiers, and the cargo taken out of them piecemeal.”
“So,” said Foy, “well, I hope that by then what they seek will be far away. Now show us this ship.”