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paid. Poor Polly was rather melancholy at hearing this, the more so that she could not help acknowledging that the account was, in all probability, perfectly true. Jack himself, however, had by this time become so smitten with Carry that he determined to accompany the Diana. As he was well known at Falmouth, he had no difficulty in procuring stores, and making all necessary pecuniary arrangements for the
voyage. It was agreed that the four yachts should keep close together, and thus in good order they crossed the now tranquil Bay of Biscay. Sir Paul had great confidence in his own knowledge of navigation. His master, Dore, was a good seaman, but was no navigator; he had, consequently, to engage a mate, Webb by name, as navigator, for he had the wisdom not to trust entirely to his own knowledge on the subject. He was, however, quite delighted when he found that his day's work agreed with Webb’s. Gibraltar was quickly reached. Only once during the voyage had the three gentlemen been able to pay a visit on board the Diana. They now came to inquire after the young ladies and Sir Paul. Leeson had intended to go back to England, but no sooner was he again exposed to the fasci. nations of Carry than he once more resolved to continue with the Diana.
A cruise through the Mediterranean is very delightful, as there is no part of the world of the same extent which affords more objects of interest; but it is not without its dangers and other drawbacks. There are white squalls, and Riff pirates, and the cholera and plague, and, worse than all, quarantine to be encountered, and occasionally & European or American, or more frequently a Greek, takes to do a little plundering and murdering on his own account, and the yacht of an English milord is looked upon as likely to prove an acceptable prize. The Diana, with her consorts, was of course able to set all such gentry at defiance; a sharp look-out enabled them to meet the only white squall they encountered, without damage; though the cholera and plague raged at several places they visited, by avoiding any communication with the unhealthy parts they kept both at arms length; but the quarantine beat them wherever they went. Sir Paul became irate, though not a grain of blue pills nor rhubarb had been swallowed on board, nor any other drug to his knowledge. Having touched at Alexandria, at not a port he entered were he and his friends allowed to go on shore. At length they sailed westward, and by the time they reached Naples, the forty days had expired since they touched at an infected place. It was proposed that, after seeing the lions of Naples, the
party should take a trip into the interior. Pompeii was explored, Vesuvius climbed, Herculaneum descended into, and numberless other places visited, when preparations were made for their intended expedition. Sir Paul had been very averse to it, for he had heard of bandits and brigands, and young ladies carried off captives and kept in durance vile. The three gentlemen had even hesitated about the matter, but the young ladies gained the day, as young ladies are apt to do under such circumstances. They travelled on horseback, and men went from each yacht to form an escort, well armed, which, with the gentlemen and the necessary guides, it was thought would form a force no brigands would dare to attack. For three or four days they wandered among the Calabrian
mountains, enjoying the scenery ; but, though they had brought a supply of provisions, the accommodation was rough and the work tolerably hard. They had one fine afternoon descended a mountain into a valley, which was to lead them to a village, where they proposed stopping for the night. The valley narrowed into a gorge, a suspicious-looking spot, where fifty men might hold the ground against a thousand.
Captain Peppercorne had just made some remark to this effect, when suddenly, in front, and scattered about on the cliffs on either side, there appeared a number of picturesque-looking personages, with long guns in their hands, pointed in the direction of the travellers. The young ladies behaved like heroines. They did not shriek nor tremble; but Carry exclaimed, “Let us ride quietly on, as if they could not mean to stop us!"
Carry's advice was followed, but the picturesque gentlemen with the long guns soon showed that they had no intention of allowing the travellers to pass unmolested.
Stop and deliver your jewels, and watches, and purses !” exclaimed some one in a gruff voice from behind a rock. Stop, I say, or we fire."
Had not the ladies been present the yachtsmen would undoubtedly have charged the brigands, and perhaps have put them to flight; instead of this, they hesitated. The brigands, knowing that Englishmen are apt to show fight, thought by firing a shot to intimidate them. It struck poor Webb, the mate of the Diana, who, throwing up his arms, fell to the ground. The moment they smelt powder, the guides took to their heels, and the travellers were left to the mercy
of the brigands. One of the latter now shouted out from bebind a rock that he was sorry any one had been hurt, and that he and his companions only wanted plunder; if they would stay quiet not another shot should be fired.
“By all means let us accept the rascals' terms!” exclaimed Sir Paul, trembling for his daughters' safety.
Meantime, Chesterton was aided by Fanny seeing to Webb. The wound was a very severe one, and it was with the greatest difficulty that they could stanch the blood; indeed, it seemed likely that it would prove fatal.
The brigands made short work ; they were evidently adepts. Purses, watches, and jewels were quickly transferred to their keeping.
“And now, my friends, it has just occurred to me that I may get a little more out of you !” exclaimed a good-looking bandit, who seemed to be a chief. “I propose taking charge of two of these young ladies, and when I receive a thousand scudi from you, I will undertake to deliver them
hands." “ Close up, men, and surround the ladies; we must fight rather than yield to this demand !” exclaimed Captain Peppercorne.
Before the brigands understood what was intended, the travellers were in a position to defend themselves.
“Your demand cannot be agreed to,” said Peppercorne, who spoke tolerable Italian. “But we are reasonable men, and know your requirements. We will give you our bond for the money to be paid in any way you may wish.”
“We always take security," answered the brigand, dryly. “It is our custom ; we never depart from it. We should have preferred the society of the young ladies, but if you object to their coming, we will take two gentlemen instead. You and your companion there," pointing to Jack Leeson.
Jack said that he should be very happy to remain as a hostage; that he should rather like the lark to see the way the fellows lived, and that his bankers at Naples would furnish the money. Peppercorne could, of course, make no objection; indeed, he was thankful for any means by which the Miss Pendergrasts could be saved from danger. The two gentlemen, therefore, having bade their friends good-bye, prepared to start up the mountains with the brigands, while the travellers, in no very happy mood, turned their horses' heads towards Naples. They had no great fear for the safety of their friends, but Emily and Carry felt it very dull without the society of their devoted and acknowledged suitors. Naples was, ho reached, and the stipulated ransom raised and forwarded to its destination. It was to be seen how far the brigands were men of their word.
THE FATE OF THE “ DIANA"-CONCLUSION. ABOUT a week after the events described, Captain Peppercorne and Jack Leeson appeared on board the Diana, and were welcomed by Fanny and Carry as young ladies would naturally welcome gentlemen who are engaged to marry them, and who have, besides, for their sakes, just gone through no little danger and inconvenience. They described the brigands' life as far from an agreeable one. Very often they were bard
up for food, in bad weather their lodging in the mountains was wretched, and they were constantly in apprehension of an attack from the troops out in search of them.
Poor Webb, the mate of the Diana, had never recovered from the wound he had received, and just as the yachts were ready for sea he died. It was impossible to fill his place, for Chesterton had found his own master a very inefficient navigator, and he could, therefore, not leave his own yacht. Sir Paul was, however, not sorry to put his own knowledge of navigation into practice, and he therefore announced his intention of navigating the Diana to England. The whole party were, indeed, anxious to be at home. Polly wished to learn what had become of O'Dowdy, Jane wished to see Mr. Halliday, and the other three Miss Pendergrasts were eager to be at home, perhaps because it had been arranged that they should marry the three gentlemen to whom they were engaged as soon as they got there.
Gibraltar was reached in safety. Sir Paul found no great difficulty in getting there, and so contented was he with his skill, that he kept to his determination of navigating the yacht to England. Chesterton ventured to expostulate.
Tut, tut, man!" answered the baronet. “It's what is done by thousands
upon thousands of fellows of every nation under the sun every year, and I really think that I have a head on my shoulders.”
"Very well, sir. You will allow me, at all events, as a naval officer,
to suggest the best course to steer, and we will all, as heretofore, keep together," answered Chesterton.
He had no great anxiety about the result; and probably, had not his Fanny been on board the brig, he would not have troubled himself about the matter. The weather appeared settled, and the vessels were not likely to separate during the night. Away they sailed, everybody in good spirits, and soon left the old Rock of Gibraltar far astern.
The proper course had been given, and the baronet, who soon got tired of making the exact calculations and taking the observations which would have been necessary bad he been alone, contented himself with inquiring the latitude and longitude every day at noon of his intended sons-in-law, and dotting them down on his chart. His great pleasure, however, was in instructing Dore, who assured his master that he had already got a good inkling of the matter from him. The wind was light and the sea smooth, so that every day the gentlemen came on board the brig, and very pleasant both parties found it.
Things were not, however, always to continue in that state. They had just about entered the Bay of Biscay when it came on to blow hard in their teeth from the north-west. Dore proposed heaving-to, as a very heavy sea had got up, but Chesterton signalled that as the wind was fair for Corunna, they should run there. He led in the schooner, and the other three vessels followed. There is an excellent lighthouse, and the harbour is remarkably easy of access. By midnight all four yachts were at anchor in smooth water-a state of existence all wise people appreciate after knocking about at sea.
In the morning they went on shore, and rode out over the ground on which Sir John Moore fought his last battle, foiling the hitherto victorious army of the French, and then they visited the hero's tomb on the ramparts of the town, where he was buried at the dead of night. For three days the yachts remained at anchor, till the summer gale had expended itself, and then once more they sailed for Old England. The weather, however, had become uncertain. Scarcely had they lost sight of land than a thick fog came on, with the wind from the northward just as it was growing dark. So suddenly, indeed, did the fog rise, that the vessels were soon completely shut out from each other. On shore it may be best to stand still if you lose a person in a crowd ; at sea that cannot be done. Chesterton did the best thing he could under the circumstances of the case; he fired a gun at intervals, and stood close hauled to the westward. The gun was answered, and he hoped by the Diana. He stood on all night, expecting to see her and their consorts in the morning. Great was his disappointment when be discovered only the yawl.
Meantime, Sir Paul, when the fog came on and he lost sight of his consorts, began to consider what course he ought to steer. It occurred to him that the safest was the one Chesterton had given him when leaving Gibraltar; whether, however, this was really the safest, was to be proved. While still somewhat in doubt, to his great satisfaction he caught sight of the cutter. He hailed her. Leeson replied that his master had been seized with a fit, but that he had no doubt the course Sir Paul proposed steering was the right one, and that he would keep close to him. The morning found the cutter near the brig. The baronet, perfectly satisfied with his nautical acquirements, felt sure
that he should pass some ten miles or so to the westward of Ushant near enough, however, to show him his exact position. On he ac. cordingly stood with perfect confidence. Leeson, who did not pretend to know anything about navigation, followed in his wake under easy sail, and was rather annoyed when the mate suggested that they were somewhat too much to the eastward. Fanny and Emily were sorry to lose the society of Chesterton and Peppercorne, but, not dreaming that their father was rather out in his course, fully expected that they would soon rejoin them. The wind was light, and the sea tolerably smooth. For three days the brig glided calmly on. The third night began ; the sky was obscured by mist, the darkness was very considerable. Leeson had great difficulty in keeping the brig in sight. The young ladies had retired to their cabins. Sir Paul told Dore to keep a sharp look-out, as he hoped, should the weather clear, that they might, ere long, see Ushant on the starboard hand. Dore, though he had no great respect for his employer's knowledge of seamanship, thought that he must be all right in the matter of navigation. About midnight, as the brig
was gliding calmly on, a loud crash was heard; another and another followed; the vessel trembled from head to stern.
“ We are on shore-we are on shore !" was the cry.
Sir Paul, awoke by the fearful sound, rushed on deck, crying out for his daughters.
“Here we are, papa-here we are! What has happened ?" exclaimed the five young ladies, who had rushed on deck with cloaks and shawls, and anything they could pick up, thrown over their shoulders.
The sea, which appeared very calm when the vessel was gliding over it, now broke heavily over the opposing rocks and against the unfortunate brig. Dore showed that he was a true man, and was as cool as a cucumber. He said that he made out the land at the distance of three or four cables' length, and advised that the ladies should be immediately conveyed to it.
“We are ready for anything,” said Jane. And her sisters repeated the same words.
“ Bless you, young ladies! You are of the right sort !” exclaimed Dore, as he began with some of the crew to lower a boat on the port or shore side of the vessel, where the water was comparatively smooth.
“ What has become of the cutter ?—what has become of the Lady of Lyons ?” asked Carry even then amid the danger to which she was exposed, like a true woman thinking of her lover.
* Don't know, miss. I'm afraid she's ashore; but we'll go and see as soon as we get you all safe," answered Dore. “If she hauled off in time, so much the better for us.”
Fortunately, the vessel drove into rather deeper water on the inside of the reef, where the boat could float free of the rocks. It was necessary to make two trips, as the gig could not safely carry all the party. Sir Paul insisted that his three eldest daughters should go first, while he and the two younger remained. There was no time to be lost. The cabin
was already full of water, and no additional clothing could be procured. The night was warm, so that they were not chilled as they might have been. Their father assisted to lower them