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The murmurs in the corral rose louder. It was not that Kirby and his partners underpaid, underfed, or overworked the American citizens. It was that their language was decent and moderate; and the lash of the slave driver would have stung less than the sight of the black coats and the seven o'clock dinner. In the midst of white savages and red, the four clung to the forms of civilization with that dogged persistence in the unessential, that worship of the memory of a forsaken home, for which the Englishman, time and again, lays down his life without hesitation. That was the grievance.
FIVE-GUINEA PIECE OF GEORGE I.And before the next morning the picnic that kept the southwest interested for five years had begun. Victorio and two hundred hostiles had left the Mescalero Agency for good and all, killing, burning, torturing, and destroying as they went, and troops from all the garrisons were sent out post haste.
"It smells horribly," she exclaimed, dropping it on the floor, "it smells of hospitalsdisinfectants." But she stooped and picked it up again.It was plainly the cave. He went and stood in the mouth and looked into the dark, narrowing throat. A[Pg 219] weird silence poured up with the damp, earthy smell. He went farther in, half sliding down the steep bank of soft, powdery, white earth. There was only the uncanny light which comes from reflection from the ground upward. But by it he could see innumerable tiny footprints, coyote, squirrel, prairie-dog, polecat tracks and the like. It took very little imagination to see yellow teeth and eyes gleaming from black shadows also, although he knew there were no dangerous animals in those parts.
If the man who turnips cries,
As a rumour of the approaching visit of Lord Howe had reached the Spanish camp, all was in haste to anticipate his arrival, and take the huge fortress before he could succour it. Accordingly the great united fleet of Spain and France, which so lately had paraded in the English Channel, sailed into Algeciras Bay, and on the 13th of September the floating batteries were hauled out by a number of the ships, and anchored at regular distances, within six hundred yards of the English works. Whilst this extraordinary armada was approaching and disposing itself, tremendous fire was kept up from the land, with three hundred long guns and mortars, to divert the attention of the garrison; but old General Elliot was ready with his red-hot balls, and, the moment the floating batteries came within gunshot distance, he poured into them a most destructive fire-hail. The Spaniards, notwithstanding, placed and secured their monster machines in a very short time, and then four hundred cannon from land and sea played on the old rock simultaneously and incessantly. For some time the hot balls appeared to do no damage. The timbers, being of green wood, closed up after the balls, and so prevented their immediate ignition. In other cases, where smoke appeared, the water-engines dashed in deluges, and extinguished the nascent fire. But presently the fire from the batteries slackened; it was discovered that the ballswhich had many of them pierced into the timbers three feet deepwere doing their work. The floating battery commanded by the Prince of Nassau, on board of which was also the engineer, D'Arcon, himself, was found smoking on the side facing the rock, at two o'clock in the day. No water could reach the seat of mischief, and by seven o'clock it had become so extensive as to cause the firing to cease, and to turn the thoughts of all to endeavours for escape. Rockets were thrown up as signals for the vessels to come up and take off the crews. But this was found impracticable. The garrison actually rained deluges of fire, and all approach to the monster machines was cut off. No vessel could draw near, except at the penalty of instant destruction. For four more hours the vaunted floating batteries remained exposed to the pitiless pelting of the garrison. Before midnight, the Talla Piedra, the greatest of the monster machines, and the flagship, Pastora, at her side, were in full flame, and by their light the indefatigable Elliot could see, with the more precision, to point his guns. Seven of the ten floating machines were now on fire; the guns aboard them had entirely ceased, and those on land, as if struck with wonder and despair, had become silent too.
The heaven of hair, the pride of the brow,