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First published in Argosy All-Story Weekly, 21 October 1922

This e-book edition: Roy Glashan's Library, 2020
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Argosy All-Story Weekly, 21 Oct 1922,
with "Down the Coast of Barbary"




"Say quick," quoth he, "I bid thee say
What manner of man art thou?"

IN the grounds of a villa outside Algiers, in the year 1730, two men were sitting on a low stone garden seat beneath an orange tree.

"A horse's head?" said Patrick Spence, and frowned. "With no inscription?"

"It needs none."

Dr. Shaw peered at the bronze coin in his hand, brushing the fresh earth from it lovingly.

As his spade and the dirt on his strong brown forearms testified, Spence had been at work in the garden when the coin turned up. He drew at his pipe with the quiet satisfaction of one who has labored hard.

He had the piercing, far-seeing eyes of a sailor.

Dr. Shaw had walked from the city. He wore a camel-hair burnoose, which kept the intense sunlight from his lean, spare frame; he was a tall man, erect and muscular. One sensed something sweet and kindly in his smile as he regarded the coin.

"This horse's head is inscription enough, Patrick," he mused. "It shows the coin to be of Punic times. I have not a few of them. You will recall the lines:

"Locus in urbe fuit media, laetissimus umbra,
Quo primum jactati undis...."

The younger man broke in upon the sonorously rolling lines with a laugh.

"No, no, doctor! The little Latin I ever knew was forgot in the vortex of navigation. You Oxford men always seem ready to spout Greek and Latinity—but we haven't time for much of that in America. And you'd better take off that burnoose or you'll sweat to death before you know it."

Absent-mindedly, Dr. Shaw loosened his garment. His eyes lifted to the sea.

"A sweet spot, Patrick!"

The American nodded. Well outside the tottering walls of Algiers, along the pleasant northern hill-slopes, the white blaze of sunlight was here broken by gardens and villas bordering a winding road. The scent of orange-flowers clustered thickly, the flashing red of pomegranates glimmered among the greenery; here were groves and fountains, flowers and running brooks, in sharp contrast to the squalid heat and crowded city streets.

"Something like this had Virgilius in mind," observed Shaw, "when he spoke of the old Corycian gardener and his wondrous fruit! By the way"—he glanced at his burnoose—"this garment is most interesting, Patrick! It must have been shaped after the cloak of the little god Telesphorus, straight about the neck, with a Hippocrates's sleeve for cowl. It answers, I take it, to the pallium, or the cucullus of the Gauls, mentioned by Martial, or to the cloaks wherein the Israelites folded up their kneading troughs, as do the Moors to this day—"

The younger man leaped to his feet.

"Hello!" he cried sharply. "Shaw, something's happened! Here's one of the consulate Negroes on the run!"

A man became visible running along the road. He was a black man. His nearly naked skin glistened with sweat. Panting, he turned in at the gate and came to them with a hasty salutation. He addressed Shaw in a chatter of Arabic.

"Bless my soul!"

The good doctor turned. He acted as interpreter, chaplain, and general factotum to the English consulate.

"They want me at once—I know not what has happened! Patrick, remain here, if you will. I am most anxious to have those specimen roots from Egypt laid under the soil before the sun withers them, if it be not imposing on your—"

"It's the least I can do," said Patrick Spence. "I'll be glad to keep busy. Don't forget the tobacco you promised to bring me! Be sure to get Virginia leaf from that shop next the consulate. All the others sell only Turkish, and I like not the stuff."

The Rev. Thomas Shaw, D.D., F.R.S., fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, strode away hastily with the Negro. He turned to wave his hand, then vanished from sight.

Patrick Spence knocked out his pipe and leisurely refilled it. He strolled down to the open gates, where the bale of Egyptian roots had been left by a muleteer, and smiled to himself at thought of his friend.

"A rare man enough," he mused. "Except when the classics fasten on his tongue, he has no more of the parson about him than I have. Lord knows that's little enough, at present!"

He stood between the open gates and looked out at the sea, in sight over the winding road. A wistful hunger grew in his eyes at sight of a speck of white far out.

"I'd like to be aboard her and heading for Boston town. But here I am, penniless and dependent upon a consul's charity—hello! We have strangers among us, it seems!"

Coming toward him along the road were two riders, and the gray eyes of Spence dwelt curiously upon them. He knew that these must be new arrivals in Algiers. Attracted first by their remarkable costumes, it was their faces which finally drew the keen interest of the American.

The man was robed in a burnoose of snowy white. Against this, about his neck, hung a most amazing thing—the glorious collar of the Golden Fleece, a jewel worn by kings alone! The woman beside him wore a silken dress of apricot hue; a huge sun- hat shaded her head.

The man's face was, or had been, extremely handsome. Once it had been full and rotund. Now it was thin and gaunt, lined with folds of empty skin, half hidden by a mustache and goatee of grayish black. Suffering lay in that face, and strange inward pain.

The black eyes that blazed like jewels held weird fires in their depths; they fascinated Spence, repelled him. No common man, this, who wore that collar of the Fleece! A prince at the least!

The woman—well, once she, too, had been handsome. Her face was tired, her eyes weary. In her gaze, Spence read things that moved him to pity; yet he knew that he liked her.

Following this pair, well in the rear, appeared a company of horsemen, in the gay robes of Moroccan Moors. Spence did not care to be spat upon as a Christian, and was about to withdraw when he saw the lady rein in her horse, smiling at him.

He saluted, sailor fashion, and the horseman inclined his head; slight as was that gesture, it was filled with a high courtesy.

"Good morning, sir," said the man, in English. "You certainly have a superb view here."

"Few compare with it," was the quiet reply of Spence. "Only one can surpass it—the view of one's own home shores."

The lady turned her face away, as though the words had burned her. The man looked at Spence from those remarkable eyes that flamed like living gems.

"Ah!" he said. "You are an Englishman?"

"I am from Boston, in America," and Spence smiled. "Since I was born there, I take some pride in calling myself an American."

The other plucked at his goatee, a thin smile in his jaded features.

"I congratulate you, sir, who have found for yourself a new country. It argues well for your capabilities. I have made the effort more than once without success; yet men are accustomed to speak well of my mental quality."

"That could not remain in doubt," said Spence, "after a moment of converse with you."

At this compliment the lady smiled, leaned over in her saddle, and spoke under her breath. The horseman smiled again; yet in his eyes lay an indefinable torment.

"I do not easily forget so kindly a speech from so courteous a gentleman," he said. "If you ever come into Morocco, señor American, pray consider me your friend and debtor."

He inclined his head again and passed on. After them spurred the Moors.

Two or three, officers of the Algerian garrison, flung Spence a word of greeting. So, then, that strange couple had come from Morocco! A Spaniard, doubtless; he had said, "Señor."

Spence remained at the gate, smoking, musing, forgetting the bale of herbs. In a whole month no English ship had come to set him on his way home again. His own stout Boston ship had been crippled by Tunisian corsairs, smashed by hurricanes, sunk.

His ship and all he owned were gone—the savings of ten years swept away. His men were gone. Alone, he had been picked up by an English frigate and landed here at Algiers. At thirty he was facing life anew, empty handed. It galled him sorely to depend on charity.

Thanks to Shaw and good Edward Holden, the consul, Patrick Spence found Algiers friendly, for Englishmen were highly favored here. Yet how to get on home again?

As he stood thus musing, he was aware of a man walking toward him. He recognized a Moor who occupied the adjoining villa, which belonged to the Bey of Algiers. Who he was, Spence had not the least idea. He was tall, athletic, of severely ascetic features, thinly bearded; his eyes were deep and somber.

As he came, his gaze was fastened on Spence. In one hand he carried a box of leather, a foot long, six inches wide and deep, fastened with strips of brass.

"I seek you," he said abruptly. "You are El Capitan Spence?"

From the man's face, voice, bearing, Spence instantly knew that this was no common man.

"I am, señor," he answered in Spanish. "May I offer you hospitality—"

"There is no time." The Moor flung a quick glance around, then his eyes fastened upon Spence again. "Know you who I am?"

"No, señor."

"I am Mulai Ali the Idrisi—like yourself, a fugitive. Know you a man named Ripperda?"

Spence shook his head. A sardonic smile touched the bearded dips of the Moor.

"Then you are better off than I. Now, I know your story, and I bring you a message from the astrologer of Arzew."

"A message—for me?" Spence did not hide his astonishment.

"Aye, I know what manner of man you are; from the stars, I know that your fate is twined with mine. You are to be trusted. Do you believe in the stars?"

"When they guide my ship, yes," said Spence. "As arbiters of destiny—decidedly no."

"But I do," said the other. "Señor, the stars have linked us together. Do you wish to make money—large sums?"

Spence eyed him shrewdly.

"Not enough to deny my religion."

The Moor broke into a laugh.

"Ah, I have no love for renegades. Now listen. I need a friend at once—one whom I can trust; if this box remains in my hands an hour longer it spells my death.

"When I was last at Oran, the astrologer of Arzew told me about you. Your fate lies with mine. You are the one man I can trust. If you will give me your help and friendship, I offer you three things: of money, as much as you desire; of power, more than you dream; and for a wife, the most wonderful woman in the world."

Patrick Spence thought he was dreaming. Yet he would have been a poor seaman had he not been able to think swiftly. This blunt speech, this haste, showed a crisis. He seized it.

"I do not sell my friendship," he answered, "either for money or power. As for a wife, I desire none."

The Moor stared at him.

"You refuse my offer?"

"Yes. If my help will avail you, I give it freely—but I will not sell it."

"By Allah, you are a man!" The dark eyes flashed suddenly. "Will you go to Morocco with me? Think well! The stars have promised me success. Perhaps your friend, Dr. Shaw, will go also. Yet death may lie ahead. Will you go?"

Spence shrugged.

"Yes, I will go."

"Good! Take this box and guard it. And here is the message from the astrologer: Beware of a man who wears a black burnoose. Adios!"

Mulai Ali hastily thrust into Spence's hands the box and a folded paper. Then he turned abruptly and strode away at a rapid pace, unusual in a Moor. Spence stared after his figure in bewildered amazement, then knocked out his pipe and pocketed it.

"What the devil!" he exclaimed whimsically. "A man wearing the Golden Fleece offers me hospitality in Morocco. Then comes this chap, who seems to know all about me, and offers me a job! And who's this astrologer person?"

He opened the paper and started. English characters met his eye.

To Captain Spence of Boston:

Mulai Ali has told me of you, as have others. You may trust him absolutely. I have persuaded him that you can help him—because I need your help. I am a slave.

If he makes promises, he can fulfil them, Tell the consul at Algiers that I have woven a net to catch Ripperda. If you be the true man I think you, then come with Mulai Ali and help me.

This note was unsigned.

"Ripperda! Who is the fellow?" mused Patrick Spence, frowning. "And I am to beware of a man who wears a black burnoose—plague take it all! Am I mad or dreaming?"

He filled his pipe again. He had been long enough in Algiers to know that the place was a hotbed of intrigue. Spanish armies were holding Oran against the Moors and the land was in turmoil. It was not so strange that he, a Christian, should have been picked on as trustworthy.

Yet, oddly enough, he found his thoughts dwelling not so much upon this astrologer, who was a slave, nor upon the Moor, who was a fugitive, as upon that man who wore the Golden Fleece. He was surely some great man—yet he craved a kind word, a compliment, as a hungry dog craves a bone! Who was he?

The sun went westering. Later came Thomas Shaw to the villa again, and with him, to spend the night, the consul, Edward Holden.

And they brought an explanation to Patrick Spence—an amazing explanation.


"Hardy he was, and wys to undertake;
With many a tempest hadde his berd ben shake."

THE three men, after hearing Spence's story, sat drinking coffee and discussing it.

"Arzew," said the divine, "is the ancient Arsenaria, twenty miles east of Oran. Since the Spanish siege, the Moorish provincial government is located at Arzew, under a proper Turkish rascal named Hassan Bey. Of this astrologer I never heard. Eh, Ned?"

Holden shook his head.

"Zounds! I wish I knew what net is spread for that cursed Ripperda!"

"But who is my man of the Golden Fleece?" demanded Patrick Spence.

"We come to that," said Dr. Shaw. "Most men are mad upon some point; you upon ships; I upon old ruins; Mulai Ali, like many Moors, upon the stars. This Mulai Ali is of the Idrisi blood, Morocco's royal line. His cousin is the sherif. He has been in hiding here—"

"But my man of the Golden Fleece—"

"Ah! That man, Patrick, is more than a little mad. He landed this morning, and departs tonight. Because of his coming I was so hastily summoned—all the consulates are in turmoil! Unless he goes the way of all flesh soon, that man will set the world by the ears—"

"But who is he?" cried Spence testily.

"The politest man in Europe. Born a Roman Catholic baron of Holland, he became a Protestant in order to go to Madrid as ambassador. At Madrid he again shifted religions, and his allegiance likewise. He became a Spaniard. He destroyed Alberoni, became a duke, a minister, then absolute ruler of Spain! It was he, the most astute politician since Richelieu, who handled the Vienna treaty. But regard the maggot of madness in his brain, Patrick!

"In a moment of reverse, this man lost his head. He deserted his family, fled with a Castilian girl, and finally came to Morocco a fugitive. Again he changed his faith. He was made a pasha, then prime minister of Morocco—and now rules that country as he ruled Spain. His errand here is to form a coalition of the Barbary States against Christendom; his name is William Lewis de Ripperda."

Spence started. "Ripperda! What connection has he with Mulai Ali, then?"

Both men shook their heads.

"We know not, Captain Spence," said the consul. "We do know that, unless we destroy Ripperda, this Ripperda will destroy Spain and Christendom! His ability—"

There was a knock at the door. A slave entered, gave Holden a low message. Holden, looking astonished, nodded. Into the room came a cloaked and hooded figure. The man stood silent until the door had closed, then uncovered his face; he was Mulai Ali.

"Señores! I must speak swiftly." He lifted a warning hand. "You know Ripperda is here?"

The consul nodded in puzzled silence. The Moor spoke with harsh, driving energy.

"Captain Spence has told you of the box I gave him? A month ago Ripperda sent me that box. In it were things he obtained through his agents in Spain—documents relating to the old Moorish kings of Seville and Granada, certain of their relics, and copies of treaties which Spain has made with other nations.

"Knowing that I was of the Idrisi blood, Ripperda proposed to set me on the throne of Morocco, by aid of these relics and my own power, and then to publish the Spanish treaties. Their publication would make Spain isolated, hated by her neighbors, distrusted. Ripperda hopes to unite the Barbary States and Egypt, means to conquer Spain again for the Moors—"

"This is madness!" exclaimed the consul.

"The madness of a great man and a great traitor. Now, finding himself more secure in Morocco than he had thought, the dog has betrayed me. I must flee or be slain. Ripperda commands the Moslem armies before Oran; the Dey dare not offend him. Do you wish to destroy this man Ripperda?"

The consul frowned, but Dr. Shaw disregarded the frown and spoke curtly.


"Then go to Morocco with me, by way of Tlemcen and the caravan route."

Mulai Ali spoke rapidly, excitedly.

"The Dey will provide an escort. I must go to Arzew in disguise, and shall meet you there. Hassan Bey, who commands at Arzew, is my friend.

"You are Christians; I can trust you. Once at Udjde, over the Moroccan frontier, I am safe. The Governor of Udjde is my kinsman and supports me. All Morocco will rise for me; the Sherif Abdallah is much hated. Speak quickly! Will you go or not?"

"I will go, for one," spoke up Spence eagerly. "Why do you wish our company?"

"Because you are true men. And through you I can make treaties with England; also, I need your advice and help. If I win, Ripperda is overthrown!"

"I will go," said Dr. Shaw quietly.

"Good! Tomorrow the Dey will give you safe conduct, and an escort of Spahis. I meet you at Arzew, if Allah wills! And bring the casket, and beware of a black burnoose."

With a brief salute he turned and was gone in haste.

The three men regarded one another in silence. Spence was smiling, the consul frowned gravely, Dr. Shaw was lost in abstracted thought.

"Zounds!" said Holden suddenly. "This is madness! Why do you go, gentlemen?"

"Because I want to see the ruins and Roman remains in the west," said Dr. Shaw. "I shall find much of interest. We must carefully compare Ptolemy and Abulfeda as we journey, Patrick! Besides, we go the errands of Christendom, if you want a better reason."

"And I," said Spence with a shrug, "because my fortune drifts that way, Mr. Holden. I am curious about that astrologer of Arzew; and I like this Moor! He is a real man."

The consul laughed shortly. "Have your own way. Pray heaven you bear luck with you—this Ripperda will menace all Europe if he be not pulled down!"

Spence, remembering that dark and tormented man, could well agree with such an assertion.

The situation seethed with intrigue. Ripperda was the actual ruler of Morocco. The Dey of Algiers, now allied with him, was furtively helping Mulai Ali. The bey was a sly fox. The Spaniards were tightly besieged in Oran. At sea, the Moorish fleet was supreme, under Admiral Perez. This renegade Carthusian, Ripperda's one actual friend in the world, was a great seaman.

It was typical of Ripperda that he should first intrigue to put Mulai Ali on the throne, then should turn against his puppet. Such madness had already ruined Ripperda in two countries.

With morning the three men went into the city. Holden and Shaw set off to interview the bey. Patrick Spence and a consulate guard went to the market to buy native garments.

Not far from the slave mart Spence halted before an open- fronted shop where an old Moor sat smoking a water pipe. Down the narrow street surged natives, soldiers, arrogant Spahis and Janissaries, horses and camels, shouting and disputing. The clamor was deafening. Spence let the Negro bargain for the clothes he wanted.

Suddenly he became aware of a man in a black burnoose watching him. Remembering the warning of Mulai Ali, he turned; but the man was gone. Spence had a memory of a twisted face that was marked by a purplish birthmark about the right eye.

"Devil take it!" muttered Spence. "I'll suspect every black burnoose, unless I get myself in hand! That fellow was only staring at a Christian."

Upon returning to the consulate he had come within a few hundred feet of his destination; he was passing a low-arched doorway carved with the hand which spells the name of Allah. From the shadowed depths two figures darted out, plunged bodily upon him. Spence fell backward, the two men on top of him; as he fell, he glimpsed that twisted face with the birthmark.

He crashed down. A knife clashed on the stone beside his ear, but already his long arms were busy. He jerked one man over his head, heaved, twisted himself. He pulled clear, rolled over, and leaped to his feet in time to meet the rush of the man in the black burnoose. Spence drove his fist into the misshapen features, and the man reeled away.

At this instant the consulate Negro dashed up, scimitar bared. A dozen other men converged on the scene. The two assassins paused not, but took to their heels, with a crowd streaming after them. Two minutes later, Patrick Spence was safe in the consulate.

He told Dr. Shaw of the incident, but the worthy divine related it to Holden in the light of an attempted robbery. Shaw feared lest the consul forbid the journey as too dangerous, and was taking no chances. So the matter was passed off without great comment.

That night, the safe conduct having been provided, Dr. Shaw and Patrick Spence packed up. The consul provided them with letters of credit upon a Jew of Mequinez, while Shaw lingered lovingly over his rapier, maps and instruments—particularly the latter.

"This brass quadrant," he discoursed, "I had from Mr. Professor Bradley at Wanstead. It is so well graduated that I can even distinguish the division upon the limb to at least one- twelfth part of a degree. And this compass hath the needle well touched—"

The good divine seemed quite oblivious to the fact that he was entering an almost unknown land, measuring wits against the most unscrupulous man of the age. Yet Dr. Shaw, as Spence knew well, was a shrewd comrade, reliable to the full, and quite able to use his sword as effectively as his instruments.

At dawn Spence wakened to the shrill cries of muezzins, lifting into the gray morning, calling the faithful to prayer. From all around they came; from the grand mosque, El Khebir, from the Mosque of Hassan, from the Zaouia, from the palace mosque, and others.

And in the courtyard the escort of twenty Spahis knelt at prayer, their gorgeous uniforms glittering in the new sunlight.


"He cheats the stars, and they him, and
both cheat fools, 'tis all one to me!"

SPENCE, with the leather box sewn in canvas and lashed at his saddle, rode westward with his friend and their escort. He was agreeably amazed by the ease and comfort of their journey, which followed the Chelif Valley road to Arzew.

Under the auspices of the swaggering Spahis, the guest house in each town was commandeered. In order to avoid the war zone about Oran, the route lay from Arzew to Tlemcen, thence to Fez by the ancient route of caravans and armies.

On the morning of the day they neared Arzew, Mulai Ali joined them. He rode toward their party, superbly mounted on a white Arab bearing the circle-bar brand of the Beni Rashid tribe. He was dressed in the richest of pale green and pink silks. From the gold-twisted fillet at his brow to the red Moroccan boots, he looked the chieftain. He was alone.

"Well met, Señores!"

He greeted Spence and Dr. Shaw in Spanish.

"All is safe?"

"All is safe," said Spence, knowing that the query referred to the leather box.

"You ride like a king," said the divine, perplexed, "yet we thought to find you in danger and disguised! What means it, Mulai Ali?"

"A good omen!" The Moor laughed. "Ripperda has not yet rejoined the army before Oran. Hassan Bey has made me welcome at Arzew. Before Ripperda learns I am there, I shall be gone. After leaving Arzew we must push hard for the south."

"Then," said Dr. Shaw, "you aim to enter Morocco by the back door and seize the throne while Ripperda and the army lie before Oran?"

"Exactly." Mulai Ali lifted his hand and pointed. "Here comes Hassan Bey to meet you!"

Arzew opened before them, with its extensive groves, its rocky precipices, its ruins. A dust cloud upon the road resolved itself into a hundred horsemen headed by Hassan Bey—a hard- fighting old Turk whose wine-frosted nose showed small regard for religious precepts.

With a great firing of guns and clamor, the parties met. Escorted by this guard of honor, Spence and Dr. Shaw entered the town. The bey had made ready quarters for them in the kasbah, or citadel, and received them with an entertainment that was lavish. The feast lasted far into the night.

In the morning Spence wakened to find Mulai Ali present. The Moor and Dr. Shaw were engaged in a discussion of religious points, which ended when the worthy divine sallied forth to inspect the ruins and make notes. Mulai Ali remained while Spence broke his fast.

"Well," asked the Moor, "and did you see the man in the black burnoose?"

Spence looked up sharply and described the attempted murder. "Who is the man, then?"

"His name is Gholam Mahmoud. He was once a Janissary; he is now one of Ripperda's bodyguard of renegades. We shall probably find him ahead of us on the road."

"H-m! You seem little concerned," said Spence with a shrewd glance.

"The event is in the hands of God, the compassionate! I saw the astrologer last night, and go this morning to receive my horoscope."

"Good! This astrologer is a slave, eh? An old man? And English?"

Mulai Ali smiled in a singular fashion.

"Yes, captured by Hassan from an English ship, and kept here secretly. Hassan is afraid of the astrologer, yet refuses to sell the slave to me. I have need of the stars to guide me, and should like to have the slave in our company, if possible."

"Oh!" Spence studied the other man, and chuckled. "You will aid him to escape, then?"

"After I have eaten the salt of Hassan?" The Moor gestured in dissent. "I could not do this. Of course, a Christian has no scruples, and might manage it."

Spence broke into a laugh.

"Certainly, I have no scruples! Let us be frank, Mulai Ali. You want me to steal this astrologer for you?"

"Let us ask the stars about it," said the other evasively.

Clearly, the Moor would not speak frankly; yet eagerness struggled against gloom in his eyes. The man was strongly tempted, thus to split hairs with his religious scruples.

"I will attend to it," said Spence curtly. "When can we see the astrologer?"

"Now." A curious smile stole into the bearded features. "You are ready?"

Spence nodded, rose, and followed.

They descended to the kasbah courtyard, where their Spahis and the garrison Janissaries were fraternizing. Hence, Mulai Ali passed into the gardens adjoining, the guards saluting him respectfully. They came to a square, commodious tower of stone, centered in a small grove of pomegranates.

Before the doorway of this tower squatted a huge black eunuch, half asleep, across his knees the glistening blade of a broad scimitar. Sighting them, he sprang up and saluted Mulai Ali, then loosened the bar of the door and stood aside. Plainly, Mulai Ali had unquestioned access to Hassan's astrologer.

"After you, señor," said the Moor.

Spence found himself in a well-lighted room, hung with gorgeous stuffs. Upon a stone stairway to the right appeared an old hag, who addressed them in Spanish.

"It is too early, señores—"

"Say that Mulai Ali the Idrisi is here," spoke up the Moor curtly. "And with him a Christian, who seeks guidance from the stars. Hasten, slave!"

Mumbling imprecations, the hag scuttled up the stairs. In a moment she was back again and beckoning them to follow.

They entered a chamber which had evidently been long occupied by gentry of the same profession. A stuffed crocodile, moth-eaten and musty, hung on wires from the ceiling; about the room were skulls, stuffed birds, instruments inherited from the Moors of elder years.

Above a curtained doorway hung a handsome pentacle of brass; beside it was the Arabic nine-squared diagram, the Haraz al Mabarak—a very ornate piece of work in wood, the ciphers inlaid with silver.

The astrologer appealed suddenly before them.

If he had stared before, now Spence stared with twofold amazement. No doddering old man was this astrologer—no man at all—but a woman, wearing a white burnoose. As he stared at her, so she stared at him, her eyes wide; dark eyes, set in a face that was suddenly white. Her hands gripped the curtain beside her in a tense grasp.

"We are here, señorita," said Mulai Ali courteously. "I have told my friend, Captain Spence, that you are the most wonderful woman in the world. If my horoscope is finished, the fact will soon be proved to his satisfaction."

The astrologer trembled slightly, then forced herself to speak.

"I have it here—if you will be seated—"

Spence controlled himself to silence, bowed, and seated himself.

Upon him was dumb amazement as the woman came forward. Woman? Nay, but a girl, and no Moor, either, but English! Despite the suspense, the emotion, that had gripped her, she was now completely mistress of herself. And she was beautiful, Spence realized; not with the coldly perfect lines of classic beauty, but with character that made for personality. Dark eyes, dark hair, a sweetly girlish face—and an astrologer withal! Here was a marvel!

"I have written it in Castilian," she was saying, giving Mulai Ali a scroll, which evidently held the horoscope. "You may study it at leisure—and it may be unpleasant."

"Allah controls all," said the Moor impassively. "Will my enterprise succeed?"

"It may. You are ruled by Taurus, which augurs well, though Mars and Scorpio have a strong influence. Tell me, señor! If you abandon this enterprise, you will live long and happily, a man of wealth, but holding no position or rank. Will you abandon it?"

A flash lighted the eyes of the Moor.

"And if I hold to it?"

"Then you will not live long—ten years, at a venture. They will be crowded with great events: wars, conquests, triumphs! Your fortune will increase to the end. You will sit upon a throne. But the end—ah! I know not the customs of your country; but it is cruel."

A harsh laugh broke from Mulai Ali.

"But I know them. Well, then—I have to choose between a long life of obscurity or a short life of greatness, at the end of which I shall be sawn asunder or burned to death by the Spaniards. Is that it?"

The girl inclined her head gravely.

"That is it."

"By Allah, ten years is enough for any man! I have chosen. Now, señorita, this is the Captain Spence of whom we have spoken. Speak quickly, lest Hassan suspect that we remain overlong with you."

The girl turned to Spence, her eyes alight. "You will help me?" she said. "I am English. I was traveling to Venice with my father, a student of astronomy, when the pirates captured me. Him they killed—since then I have struggled against disaster—"

"Madam, I am wholly at your service," said Spence quietly. "Your name?"

"Elizabeth Parks."

"Then, Mistress Betty, have no more fear!" Spence laughed with assumed lightness. "You shall go with us into Morocco, if that be possible. Can you trust any here?"

"None," she said, her lips atremble. "There was talk of the bey's harem—but I knew enough of the stars to make him fear me. It was my only chance. I managed to avert danger—"

"Fear not," said Spence. "We must depart now, but you shall hear from us. I take the responsibility on my own shoulders, Mulai Ali. You agree?"

"Very well."

The Moor made a gesture.

"You trust us, señorita?"

The girl smiled suddenly. "Have I not read of you in the stars?"

Spence brought her fingers to his lips, and with smiling assurance, departed, her eyes haunting him. He followed Mulai Ali to the garden, then, at a word, walked off among the trees and left the Moor talking with the black eunuch.

This amazing and unexpected meeting had overwhelmed him. He could realize how this quick-witted and desperate girl had seized one slim hope of escaping the harem, how she had worked upon the besotted and superstitious Hassan Bey until he feared her more than he desired her.

"By Heavens, what a woman!" thought Spence.

He turned as the Moor came toward him.

"Well, señor, what think you of the bride I promised?"

"I do not steal brides, Mulai Ali. I help her, because she is a woman. I desire no wife, however."

"You might do worse," said the other. "I have arranged with that eunuch, her sole guard. He will leave her with us and accompany us into Morocco."

"Can you trust him?"

The Moor smiled.

"He would rather be chief eunuch of a Sultan's harem than a slave in Arzew."

Spence studied the Moor.

"You seem confident, my friend! Yet you have no army. Ripperda's assassins are seeking you—"

"Allah rules all things; who would dispute the ways of God? If a thing is ordained, it will come to pass.

"Besides," added Mulai Ali dryly, "I am not without friends. Do you fear to accompany me, who go alone to seek a throne?"

"Fear?" Spence laughed, and put out his hand. "Luck be with you, and my aid!"

"Good. You and the astrologer must leave here tonight and ride ahead. We follow in the morning—you must warn Dr. Shaw to be ready. Come and give your orders."

He led the way to the courtyard, summoned two of the Spahis, and ordered them to do as Spence commanded. The American issued curt orders, which the Moor affirmed with a nod.

If the Spahis were surprised, they made no comment, their obedience to Mulai Ali was implicit. Spence fancied that they, too, looked forward to high commands in El Magrib when Mulai Ali won his venture.

"If you'll instruct that black eunuch what to do," said Spence to the Moor, "you may then leave all to me and dismiss the affair as settled. I know no Arabic, and I fancy the eunuch has no Spanish."

Mulai Ali nodded his assent, and departed.

Spence returned to his quarters and waited until Dr. Shaw returned. Then he informed the divine as to their divided journey. He said nothing about Mistress Betty; not that he doubted the hearty cooperation of his friend, but Shaw rather fancied his character of envoy, and would be spared by ignorance a good deal of worry.

"You can leave early in the morning, doctor?" he concluded.

"Certainly. I have carefully copied the inscription on the hypogeum, and there is little else to tempt me. Why are you thus going ahead, Patrick? I like it not."

Spence chuckled. "Private affairs," he said cheerfully. "Hassan is giving a feast tonight; kindly make no remark upon my disappearance, but get off early in the morning with Mulai Ali. Ride swiftly to Tlemcen. We'll meet there. Believe me, it is better that you know nothing of my errand just yet."

"Very well, very well," assented Shaw, not without a sigh. "But, Patrick, if there is anything forward that smacks of fighting, I pray you not to let my cloth prevent me from having some share! I am an excellent hand with the rapier, as you know—"

Spence clapped him on the shoulder.

"Cheer up, Shaw! I promise that you'll have fighting in plenty before you ever see Algiers again! And now give me a spare flint or two for my pistols, and I'll ask no more."


"Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon
him; his complexion is perfect gallows."

THAT night Hassan Bey, in honor of his guests, held high revel. There was no lack of wine, since the Turks paid small heed to Islamic prohibition. Further, there were entertainments by companies of dancing women, both of the town and desert, and by magicians of the Aissoua tribe. An hour before midnight the scene waxed riotous, for Hassan Bey and his captains were roaring drunk.

It was then that Patrick Spence quietly departed.

At his quarters he secured his few belongings, cloaked himself in a dark burnoose, and left the kasbah. He entered the gardens, found the guards in drunken slumber, and encountered no one until he came near the square tower of the astrologer. Then a dark shape arose before him, the starlight glittered on a naked blade, and he recognized the distorted shape of Yimnah, the eunuch.

Spence threw back the cowl of his burnoose, and the eunuch gestured toward the tower. A voice reached him.

"Captain Spence? Thank Heaven! I was afraid you could not get away—"

"Let us go at once, Mistress Betty! May I have your hand?"

He bowed over her hand, guided her to the waiting eunuch, and led the way from the gardens. Near the entrance he spoke again to the girl, quietly.

"We must ride to Tlemcen at once, and there meet Mulai Ali and our party. Do you speak any Arabic?"

"Enough to get along with," said the girl quietly.

Outside the kasbah, in the shadow of its high turreted walls, the starlight shone on the waiting Spahis and horses. From the girl came a deep sigh of relaxation.

"It seems a dream," she murmured. "To leave thus, unhindered, unquestioned."

"Let us assign the honor to Providence, and make the most of it," said Spence. "Now, mount quickly! We must be far from here when the muezzin mounts again to the minaret!"

The Spahis brought up the horses. Spence aided the girl into the high saddle, lashed behind her the small bundle she had fetched, adjusted her burnoose, and sprang to his own beast. Yimnah was already mounted.

All five walked their horses from the shadow of the citadel, put the beasts at a canter, and swept away from the unwalled city to the southwest. No common steeds were these, but blooded barbs, the finest in Hassan's stables, calmly appropriated by the Spahis.

Hour after hour through the night they rode, past the long sandy salt pits and the lake of Sibka, through silent and dark villages, along lonely wastes. Spence talked with the girl as they rode, telling his own story and touching upon their errand.

"It is a mad errand," he concluded, "yet Mulai Ali is a kingly man and may succeed."

"His horoscope truly reads him into a throne," said Mistress Betty. "Do not laugh at me! This business is not all charlatanry, although I have shamed the astronomer's art with my wiles. I knew of your presence in Algiers, through gossip, and set out to effect my rescue. Was that selfish? Perhaps. And yet—"

"No, not selfish; it was wholly admirable!" exclaimed Spence. "We ride south; you are free; Mulai Ali goes to friends and a throne; Shaw goes to pull down Ripperda—and all by a woman's wit! I am humble before you."

So they rode until the stars were paling into the false dawn. Then one of the Spahis called softly in his own tongue. Mistress Betty heard the words, and translated.

"He says that some one is riding hard on the road behind us!"

Spence drew rein.

"Forward! No protest, dear lady—forward, all of you!"

The party swept on, disappeared along the dim road. Spence waited. Presently he caught the hard beat of hoofs and sighted a vague figure. With a hail he sent his beast out into the center of the road. The onsweeping rider uttered a sharp, harsh cry, then a musket roared out and Spence heard the bullet as it whined past his head.

His ready pistol made instant reply. The other horse plunged; the rider fell headlong and lay motionless. Spence dismounted and fell to searching the man.

He was rewarded by a folded paper in the knotted pouch-end of the worsted girdle. Finding nothing more. Spence bound the Moor and left him.

He struck into a gallop after his own party, and within twenty minutes had come up with them. Then, not pausing, he pushed them on at all speed, for time was precious in the extreme.

When the true dawn glimmered into daylight, they halted beside a rivulet to water and refresh the horses. Here Spence inspected the paper he had captured. It was a note written in Arabic, and neither the girl nor Yimnah could read it, so he called in the Spahis. From their reading, Mistress Betty translated the note. It was unsigned, and was addressed simply to Gholam Mahmoud. It read:

The hawk is at Arzew and rides south. Catch him this side Udjde or his talons will be plunged into El Magrib. Slay him. Lay the snare at the Cisterns, with Allah's help!

"Ah!" exclaimed Mistress Betty eagerly. By 'the hawk' is meant Mulai Ali—this must be from a spy! They know he is coming! The Cisterns is a place west of Tlemcen on the highway."

"And Gholam Mahmoud, he of the twisted face, is ahead," said Spence. "Well, forewarned is forearmed! How far have we come?"

"Nearly halfway." She pointed ahead. "There is the Maila River; beyond, the Sharf el Graab, or Raven Crag—that high pinnacle of rock. At the river I shall show you a famous place."

Thankful that she seemed cheerful, even gay, Spence called to horse. They rode on.

Within ten minutes they halted at the river ford. Here the high banks were gullied to a depth of fifteen feet; a dense growth of trees concealed the river and opposite bank. The girl turned to Spence with a glow in her eyes, pointing to the sandy beach and ford.

"I used to read in an old French book," she said, "how, when the Spaniards were catching the great pirate Barbarossa, they pursued him to a river, where he scattered all his treasure, hoping in that way to delay them.

"I even remember the words: 'Il laissoit couler de tems en tems de l'or et de l'argent par le chemin.' This is the very place, where we are standing! It was here that he strewed his gold and silver—"

The words died suddenly on her lips. The Spahis also had been speaking of Barbarossa, for this place was famous in legend; they were now silent, staring. Spence looked up swiftly.

A rough, boisterous voice had risen ahead—a voice that sang in reckless gayety; a Spanish voice, twanging out the vowels with peasant whine. Some one was approaching from the other side of the ford. Spence looked at the Spahis, made a swift gesture. They wheeled their horses and vanished among the trees.

The voice of the singer came closer. The eunuch, Yimnah, baring his scimitar, slipped from the saddle and glided forward to the masking trees. Then he was back, his thick lips chattering words of fear, his limbs trembling.

"He says it is the ghost of Barbarossa," said Mistress Betty.

Spence chuckled.

"Wait here, then."

His musket ready, he urged the horse forward into the gully. Here he waited, motionless, looking at the man splashing and singing as he made his way across the shallows.

A big and burly man he was. The ruffianly face bore a spade beard and two enormous mustaches, all of flaming red, matching his long hair. Not until the horse plunged at the bank did the man see Spence sitting there above him. He clapped hand to sword—a long blade at his hip. Spence threw back his cowl, and the man cried out in surprise:

"Ha! A Christian!"

"No blustering, señor," said Spence sternly. "Your name and errand."

The glittering eyes drove to right and left as the bushes crackled. He saw that he was ambushed, and a sudden laugh burst from his lips. No Moor, this, but a Spaniard.

"Well met, caballero!" he cried jovially. "My name is Lazaro de Polan, though in some parts I am known as Barbarroja. I am a soldier by trade; can teach you tricks with saber or espadon, scimitar or brackmard, Italian blade or rapier of Toledo—near which holy city is Polan, my birthplace. My errand is to seek employment wherever it may be found."

"You are a renegade?" queried Spence.

The glittering eyes flamed at him, then laughed.

"Ha! I was captured by the Moors, caballero, saved my head by a less essential sacrifice, became an officer in their army, and made enough money to purchase my freedom. I am now seeking service as a guard or guide, for I know all the roads. Hire me, caballero! All the army knows me, and I can be of much service to you."

Spence regarded the man. There were many renegades, and this Barbarroja was more than a mere braggart, or he would not be traveling alone in Christian garb. The fellow could be useful in a dozen capacities, particularly if he were well known among the Moors.

"Done. I am Captain Spence, with safe conduct from the Dey of Algiers. Journey with us to Tlemcen. If you are no liar, I shall talk wages with you there. Is that agreeable?"

"Perfectly, señor Capitan!" Barbarroja gestured grandly in assent.

"And I do not care to answer questions."

"Nor I to ask, caballero!"

With a shrug, the renegade turned his horse to the ford again.

Spence called up his party. On the farther bank Barbarroja waited, his glittering eyes scrutinizing them, then he waved his wide hat and set out in the van. Spence sent the two Spahis to bear the fellow company, and rode beside Mistress Betty, telling her how he had engaged the man. To his surprise, the girl frowned thoughtfully.

"There are evil men on the roads." she said. "I misdoubt me that this renegade—"

"You fear him!" said Spence. "Then I shall dismiss the fellow at once."

"No, no!" she said hastily. "It would be silly, for there was no reason behind my words. Doubtless he is as honest as another, and may be useful, for he seems a stout fellow."

So Patrick Spence, thinking more of the girl beside him than of the red-bearded ruffian ahead, rode on to the south and felt well pleased with fate.


"Wert thou the devil, and wor'st it on
thy horn, it should be challenged!"

AFTER nightfall the party rode into Tlemcen, a great circuit of ruins inclosing a small walled space, perched disconsolately amid remnants of forgotten kingdoms. Barbarroja undertook to lead them to a quiet tavern, where they would meet no unpleasant questioning.

A cunning rogue was this, and evidently known to the city guards, whom he passed with a friendly hail. He led them through filthy, narrow streets, and near the ruinous mosque of El Haloui, knocked at a small doorway. A cautious wicket opened, and presently the door was swung ajar by a greasy fellow whom Spence took for a Levantine renegade.

The place proved decent enough. For Mistress Betty was secured in an upstairs chamber; a room opening from this, with a balcony overlooking the street, served Spence and Yimnah. A third room sufficed Barbarroja and the Spahis. Returning from his inspection, Spence joined the party below.

Leaving the three men to unsaddle he led the girl and Yimnah up the narrow stairs that ascended from the courtyard. The host waited at the head of the stairs to light them.

As they came to the upper gallery encircling the courtyard Mistress Betty stumbled. She caught the arm of Spence to save herself, but the cowl of her burnoose was jerked away, revealing in the lantern-light her features. And, in the shadows behind their host, Spence caught sight of another face turned upon them—a ghastly face, twisted awry, with a purple birthmark like a patch over the right eye.

A startled oath broke from Spence. He dashed the greasy host aside and leaped forward; adroitly, the Levantine tripped him. As he fell he saw that face fade into the darkness.

Regaining his feet he hurled himself into the obscurity. From ahead he heard running feet, then the slam of a door. Realizing that his pursuit was folly, Spence returned to the Levantine, took the man by the throat, and shook him savagely.

"Lead me to that man, Gholam Mahmoud!" he cried, hoarse with anger. "Quickly!"

The Levantine blurted out that he knew nothing of such a man, there were many in the tavern, how should he know which was meant? He knew no such name. Mistress Betty, who had caught up the fallen lantern, interposed.

"We are in no position to seek trouble, Captain Spence. I pray you, let this matter drop, at least until our friends arrive!"

Spence released the host.

"You are right," he said. "Yet that man was watching us, and saw your face when you stumbled. However, let it be!"

Disposing the girl in her quarters, Spence joined Yimnah in the outer chamber and wearily flung himself on his pallet.

He could swear that he had seen the face of Gholam Mahmoud, the confidential agent of Ripperda, the man against whom Mulai Ali had warned him. Spence knew he had not erred. As he thought of how those distorted, coldly lustful features had peered at the face of Mistress Betty, those predatory and malignant features, the American gripped his nails into his palms with impotent rage. But finally he slept.

In the thin grayness of morning Spence wakened to lie drowsily, eyes half closed. The drone of Yimnah's snores filled the room. Through this drone pierced a thin nasal cry from the minaret of the nearby mosque. "Come ye to prayer! Come ye to salvation! Devotion is better than sleep—"

"Here am I at thy call, oh, God!" muttered the eunuch, and stirred to his prayers.

Spence rose, slipped on his shoes. He went to the balcony that overhung the street, opened the lattice, and stepped outside for a breath of the morning air, tipped with mountain frost.

As he stood thus, drinking deeply into his lungs the keen air, he heard the creak of the tavern door from below. He glanced idly downward, wondering who was astir at this hour of prayer. He sighted a figure—and started suddenly. A black burnoose! As though drawn by the slight movement above, the figure looked upward. From Spence broke a savage cry.

"Ha, devil!"

He was only ten feet above the street level, and unhesitatingly bestrode the balcony. The rotten wood crashed away beneath him, yet he alighted on his feet and flung himself at Gholam Mahmoud. The latter, however, had already taken warning and was gone.

Darting back into the doorway the man slipped through and slammed the door in the face of Spence. The American burst it open ere it could be bolted, and dashed into the courtyard. He saw the renegade ahead of him, leaping for the staircase.

Sure of his prey, Spence gave no heed to the men around, but drove after Gholam Mahmoud. The latter reached the stairs slightly in the lead, took them two at a leap. Near the top he hurled a pistol under his arm; the heavy weapon struck Spence in the breast and threw him out of his stride for an instant.

Aided by this respite the renegade gained the gallery and took to his heels. Pursuer and pursued were silent, for death lay between them. Three strides in the lead, Gholam Mahmoud sprang into a doorway, slammed the door, shot the bolt home.

With a curse, Spence gathered momentum and hurled himself bodily at the wood. The door splintered visibly. Drawing back, he flung forward again. With a rending crash, the door was carried off its hinges, and Spence went staggering into the room beyond. He found it empty.

Ahead Spence descried another door, through which the renegade must have gone. He did not pause, but flung himself bodily at it, and struck the door with all his weight in the blow. Where he had expected resistance he found none.

The door drove open, lightly and freely. This unlooked-for give threw Spence off balance, sent him reeling into the room beyond. Something struck him a crashing blow behind the ear, and he fell in a limp heap—unaware even who had struck him.

"Neatly taken on the wing!" Barbarroja stepped forward, viewed the senseless figure complacently, and twirled his immense mustache. "There was a proper blow! Hold! Not so fast—"

He whirled suddenly, caught the arm of Gholam Mahmoud, stayed the dagger thrust meant for the unconscious Spence.

The two men glared into each other's eyes for an instant.

"He is mine!" snarled Gholam Mahmoud.

"Not at all," retorted Barbarroja coolly. "He is mine, and I am entirely ready to enforce the claim with three inches of steel in your ribs, caballero! I do not want the fool killed, just yet. Suit yourself whether we are to talk profitably, or to fight!"

The other calmed himself by an effort. Barbarroja released him.

"Now let us bind and gag him, wrap his head in a cloth, and throw him in the next room. Then we may talk in peace."

"He is a devil!" snapped Gholam Mahmoud.

The other twirled his mustache and laughed.

"I am something of a devil myself, as my master, the Sherif Abdallah, is aware. You and your master, Pasha Ripperda, are devils twain; but there are many ranks of devils, no less than of angels. So look to it! Now let us attend to him, and then have our talk."

Spence disposed of, Barbarroja whirled jauntily upon the sulky Gholam Mahmoud.

"You have desired to see me? I am here. My master, the sherif, is in Fez. Your master, Pasha Ripperda, is somewhere up north like a lion on the prowl. Let us talk, and make history!"

Gholam Mahmoud scowled. Stripped of his black burnoose, this white man with the Persian name showed himself to be a bony man of huge strength. His naked arms were in full sight. To an intelligent eye one of those arms betrayed a terrible and significant thing.

Upon the right arm was boldly tattooed the figure of a dolphin!

In that design showed the whole history of the man—his birth, education, achievements, his past and present! To all the Moslem world, this symbol spoke louder than letters of gold.

It told that this man was born a Christian, made captive in youth, and educated in the schools of the Janissaries; that so great was his ability as to win place in the Thirty-first Orta, or cohort, stationed around the Sultan. This entire body were the picked men of Islam, and upon the right arm of each man was tattooed the insignia of their cohort—the proudest token of the Sultan's army, the dolphin crest!

This man stood and scowled at Barbarroja, his twisted features malignant.

"We might work together," he said. "We have heard of each other. I am on business of my master, Ripperda; you are on business of the sherif. Does our business lie with the same man?"

"It does," affirmed Barbarroja. "Your Ripperda has burned his fingers with Mulai Ali, eh? And perhaps your master wants to regain a certain little box of leather?"

At this Gholam Mahmoud started.

"Ah! Does the sherif know about that casket?"

Barbarroja grinned.

"No, but I do! What use informing the sherif of everything? I shall take the casket to him—"

"What, you have it?"

"No, no, but I have it under my thumb. Come, let us be frank. Will your Ripperda Pasha pay well for the casket, caballero? I need money. Come, speak frankly! Let us join forces."

"Good," said Gholam Mahmoud. "My orders are to kill Mulai Ali before he reaches Udjde, and to regain the box of leather. Ripperda will destroy Mulai Ali utterly."

"Having changed his mind"—Barbarroja chuckled—"our affairs coincide, caballero! My master, the sherif, is particular about keeping his seat on the throne. So, then! You wish to kill Mulai Ali because Ripperda has changed his mind; I wish to kill Mulai Ali because the sherif has not changed his mind. Is that plain?"

"Plain as your beard." The other smiled sourly. "This Captain Spence—"

"Is my affair; leave him to me." Barbarroja yawned. "He will join Mulai Ali later, perhaps tonight. Now, shall we work together or not?"

"Yes," said Gholam Mahmoud curtly. "And what gain we by this mutual good will? How burns your end of the candle? Speak up!"

Gholam Mahmoud smiled evilly. "I need no money. I will take the woman in your party."

"Oh, dios de mi alma, but I understand now! You wish her?"

"Exactly. Who is she?"

"Devil take me if I know. Since she is not the wife of Spence she must be the daughter of Shaw, the English envoy. Well, take her, if you like! But where do I come in by this door of good luck?"

"Milk Ripperda," said Gholam Mahmoud brusquely. "Kill Mulai Ali and the others, take the woman and the box. Let my master, Ripperda, ransom the box, eh? Money to you, woman to me."

"Por dios, it is agreed!" thundered Barbarroja grandly. "Upon the word of a caballero! How to do the work? I have the sherif's seal and no lack of men to obey me. Do you set the trap, and I will lead the partridges into it."

They conferred together.

An hour later Barbarroja strolled into the other room, humming a gay air. He affected to be seeking some lost article, muttering about it between snatches of his song, and cursing the Moors for thieves. He stumbled over a prostrate form in the corner, and swore.

"Here is another of the drunken dogs—by the saints! If these are not the boots of the Captain Spence—holy mother! The valiant captain trussed and gagged like a goose—"

With a monstrous show of surprise he cut Spence loose. His amazement was so unbounded that Spence broke into a harsh laugh as he rose.

"Did you never see a bound man before, fool? Listen! Have you seen a man here—a man with a twisted face, marked at birth over the right eye?"

"Aye!" Redbeard scratched his nose. "I saw such a one half an hour ago—he was just leaving the inn, mounted on a good horse, too—"

Spence swore, perceiving that black burnoose had escaped him. He hastened back to the rooms he had quitted, rubbing his sore wrists and feeling anything but joyful. He found the canvas- covered box intact with his saddlery.

It would not have pleased him to know how Barbarroja was laughing at the moment. This redbeard much enjoyed his little joke, and fancied himself a fellow of infinite wit, a fancy which was destined to work him some ill before long.


"It will toast cheese, and it will endure
cold as another man's sword will."

SPENCE at once sent Barbarroja and a Spahi on the back trail to meet Dr. Shaw. He himself spent most of the day resting or talking with Mistress Betty. He could not restrain his admiration for the way in which she had controlled her fate.

Her father had taught her to draw a horoscope with some skill. When he spoke of getting his own drawn, however, she laughed and looked at him for a moment.

"Are you serious, my dear captain?"

"Middling so," acknowledged Spence whimsically. "If the future can be read—"

"Your future, sir, can better be lead in your face than in the stars—a future of much calm strength, of firmness, of self- mastery. But tell me! How long do we remain here?"

"Until we get word from Shaw and Mulai Ali. We shall meet them outside town. We dare not linger here in Tlemcen, lest messengers from Hassan Bey raise the pursuit after us. And I have found that Gholam Mahmoud has indeed been here."

He said nothing of his misadventure, lest he alarm her, but recounted what Barbarroja had said about seeing the former Janissary. The girl frowned over this.

"We are in a strange vortex of intrigue," she mused. "Mulai Ali, if he reaches Morocco, can gain the throne; the present sherif is hated by the whole land, for he is a mere tool in the hand of Ripperda. This renegade grandee of Spain must be a snaky sort of man!"

"He has qualities," admitted Spence, and told of his meeting with the famous Ripperda. "From the note we captured we can guess that this Gholam Mahmoud means to assassinate Mulai Ali, if possible. I find that from here we must go to Udjde, passing the Cisterns on the way. We may have trouble there, but we shall have to see what Mulai Ali decides."

It was afternoon when the messengers returned. Barbarroja bowed grandly to the girl, twirled his mustache, and delivered himself of his report. Mulai Ali and his party were waiting outside the city for Spence. The American turned to the girl.

"How soon can you leave?"

"Now." Smiling she reached for her white burnoose.

"Then I'll have the horses saddled at once."

Fifteen minutes later they rode out of Tlemcen by the north gate, unquestioned.

For an hour they cantered easily through a fertile champaign, more than once meeting parties of soldiery, wild, uncouth, mountaineers of the west, who exchanged a sulky marhaba with Barbarroja and passed on. At length they came to their companions, who were camped in a grove of trees beside a rivulet.

Dr. Shaw came forth to meet them, anxiety and delight in his countenance. Laughing, Spence swung from the saddle, and then presented his astonished friend to Mistress Betty.

"Dr. Shaw is entirely unaware of your story," he concluded, "so I shall leave him with you for explanations while I speak with our leader."

He swung off to join Mulai Ali. Looking back, he saw the divine helping Mistress Betty to dismount, and chuckled at the expression on his friend's face.

Mulai Ali was sucking at a water pipe that bubbled and hissed like a lading camel under a wide tree. Spence made a brief report of their journey, and handed over the note which he had captured.

The somber eyes of Mulai Ali glowed hotly at hearing of Gholam Mahmoud, and burned again as they read the note. Spence lighted his pipe from the perfumed bowl of the chibouk.

"Great is God, and infinite; God, God, and God, the compassionate!" exclaimed Mulai Ali after a little silence. "He ordereth all things; the ways of men are plain before him."

"True enough," said Spence. "I suppose you left Arzew before our flight was discovered?"

Mulai Ali nodded.

"Although, as Allah knows, I had nothing to do with the escape of his astrologer, Hassan will suspect and send after us. We must ride on. We cannot avoid the Cisterns if we are to reach Udjde. Since we cannot go back, we must go forward."

The Moor was silent again, evidently pondering some plan. At length Mulai Ali smiled.

"Here is the situation. This accursed Gholam Mahmoud will ambush me at the Cisterns, being charged with my death. Let him do it, and Allah upon him. Where Ripperda is no man knows; he is like a flea—he may be in Tlemcen tomorrow! But the danger is directed against me. You and the others have nothing to fear. The ambush will not be set against you.

"Therefore, all of you ride forward, taking Barbarroja and two of the Spahis. Ride to Udjde; the governor is my kinsman, and I will give you a letter to him. Tell him that I shall remain at the Cisterns, awaiting help from him. The Spahis will go with me, following you slowly. There are ancient ruins at the Cisterns, and we can easily defend ourselves there until help comes from Udjde. You understand?" Spence nodded. This plan assured Mistress Betty a modicum of risk, and suited him well.

"The leather box is safe?"

"Yes. Will you not take and keep it yourself, now—"

"No! The relics of the Moorish kings in that box will swing every chieftain in Morocco behind me. The copies of secret Spanish treaties are invaluable. The casket is safer with you; the stars declare that your fate and that of the astrologer are bound up with mine. It is evident that Allah, who alone knoweth all things, has so ordained the matter."

"Very well," Spence nodded. "Write your letter, and I'll tell the others of the plan."

He rejoined Dr. Shaw and the maid, whom he found seated beneath a tree in earnest discussion. They listened in silence to Mulai Ali's plan, and Shaw nodded quick assent.

"A good plan, Patrick! It assures little risk to any of us. We shall start at once."

"Then I shall go and thank Mulai Ali for his kindness," said the girl, and rising, departed.

Spence met the eyes of Dr. Shaw, and smiled.

"I suppose you're going to rake me over the coals for my imprudence, doctor?"

"Tut, tut, Patrick! You did exactly right, my boy! Do you know she is a most amazing young woman? I was just expounding to her my theory in regard to the eurodydon of Saint Paul's history, as opposed to the Vulgate reading; as you know, Saint Luke was present—"

"My dear doctor," intervened Spence, "you must give me your views on that point later. At present you had best gird up your loins and get ready. Our business makes us set out at once and ride hard to Udjde. Suppose you get Mulai Ali's letter, while I rouse the men."

Dr. Shaw sighed and obeyed placidly.

Spence found Barbarroja relating, with huge gusto, horrible tales of the Beni Snouss and other desert tribes through whose country they must pass later; the credulous Spahis listened agape, swallowing all his fancies. Spence angrily ordered him to saddle up.

"We are to ride ahead of the others. You will guide us. Two of the Spahis go also. Hasten!"

He turned to saddle his own horse, and did not observe that Barbarroja gazed after him with fallen jaw, as though completely taken aback by this information.

Within twenty minutes the start was made—Spence and Barbarroja leading, Shaw and Mistress Betty following, the two Spahis bringing up the rear with Yimnah. The party would reach the Cisterns some time that night.

Spence had no talk with Dr. Shaw until later. He noted that Barbarroja had lost his bold and jaunty air, seemed silent and uneasy, and often pawed his huge beard as though in deep thought; nor did the man respond to conversation. Spence thought little of it.

At the halt for sunset prayer, in which all save the three Christians joined, Dr. Shaw drew his horse alongside that of Spence.

"Patrick, I am told by Mistress Elizabeth that when you engaged this ruffianly red-beard, you told him you would discuss wages with him at Tlemcen. What agreement reached you?"

"Eh? Why, none! I forgot it."

Shaw shook his head.

"That looks bad, my son! If the man were what he seemed—well, well, let be. I gather that we reach the Cisterns tonight, and halt until morning?"

"No halts," said Spence curtly. "We must save Mulai Ali's neck, and that means hard riding. It's only fifty miles to Udjde, our horses are in good condition, and we must push on."

"But stop a few moments at the Cisterns," pleaded the doctor anxiously. "I have heard of notable inscriptions there, on a pillar near the wells. The moon will be at the full tonight, and I can copy it in a few moments."

Smiling, Spence agreed. So small a boon, which meant so much to Shaw, could not be denied.

After the prayer and a brief repast, they went on again at a brisk pace. An hour after nightfall the moon rose, full and glorious, lightening all the cold countryside with silver brilliance. Muffled against the cold, the party pressed their horses vigorously.

It lacked an hour of midnight when they approached El Joube, or the Cisterns.

There was no native village here; only a bleak hillside, covered with ancient ruins, where two brackish wells supplied water for travelers. The moon was at her zenith. The place, with its white marbles and broken columns, and jackals howling afar, was the very epitome of desolation. Spence sighed in relief when he saw that the camping ground was empty. Evidently they were ahead of any ambush. Mulai Ali might have come with them after all.

"No unsaddling!" ordered Spence. "We stop for food and water, then on again. May I spread cloaks on the ground for you, Mistress Betty?"

Shaw, forgetting all else, was already scrambling away amid the ruins.

Spence laid out his burnoose for the girl, fed his horse, and joined her with dates and couscous. Presently he lighted his pipe, and was getting it to draw when he heard the voice of Shaw from the tumbled ruins, excitement in its tone.

"Patrick! Come here at once and see what I have found!"

Laughing, Spence essayed to find the divine. This was no small matter, but, after circling a huge cistern, and stumbling over heaps of ruins, he came upon Shaw. The latter was seated before a broken pillar, notebook in one hand, sword in other; with the rapier he was scratching lichens from an inscription—the use to which he most often put the weapon. Dr. Shaw looked up excitedly.

"Patrick! Let me read you this remarkable inscription:


"Does that suggest nothing to you, Patrick? Does it betray no significance?"

Spence laughed. "Only that somebody wasted a lot of time. What's the big find, doctor?"

"Man, man! Do you not realize that this broken inscription refers to the grandson and great-grandson of Pompey himself? Finding them buried here beneath us, what a force and beauty are lent to the sublime epigram of Martial! Think of them being entombed here."

"I'm cold," said the practical Spence. "I'm thinking a lot more of ourselves than of Pompey's family. If you've finished copying those letters, suppose we move on."

"I forgot!"

The other rose.

"Patrick, I saw some men watching me from behind those stones—I said nothing of it, lest they interrupt before I had copied the words."

Spence stifled a curse.

"Come along, then! We've done enough talking—hello! Who's this?"

A swaggering figure approached them at this instant. It was Barbarroja, one hand at his hilt, the other twirling his mustaches. Beyond, Spence saw that Mistress Betty and the others were already mounting. Yimnah was lying down, drinking from the well.

"A word with you, señores!" exclaimed Barbarroja. "I have an offer to make you."

"Confound you!" snapped Spence. "What are you talking about?"

"Why, truce! Terms, capitulation, armistice! In a word, peace or war!"

"Are you mad?" demanded Dr. Shaw, peering at the renegade. Barbarroja chuckled.

"Not quite, señor. Listen! There is a company of men hidden here. At a call from me, they will attack. Now let us speak together—terms! My friend, who captains those hidden men, desires the person of the lady yonder. Now, how much is she worth to you? A word, and I can get you away from here without molestation."

"Villain!" cried Dr. Shaw, and hurled himself forward.

So unexpected was his attack, that Barbarroja was taken unawares. The amazed Spence saw his companion twine both hands in the flaming beard and jerk the ruffian forward. A wild howl of pain broke from the renegade, to be quenched in a groan as the lusty divine kicked him amidships and stretched him senseless on the stones.

"That's the way to deal with such gentry!" panted Shaw. "Now, to horse, Patrick!"

From the Spahis broke a shout of warning. A spattering of musket fire leaped from the hillside; men shouted, a ring of dark figures appeared, closing on the party. Spence and Dr. Shaw ran forward, trying to gain the horses.

"Ride, Shaw!" shouted Spence. "Ride with Mistress Betty and send aid! They've got us."

The ring of figures closed in upon them. Steel flashed in the moonlight.


"An honest fellow enough, and one that loves quails."

THE shots set the blooded, sensitive horses to plunging madly. One of the Spahis caught the bridle of Mistress Betty and spurred away with her, the other, his horse slain, leaped into the empty saddle of Barbarroja and galloped after his comrade.

Shaw was mounted, but two men were stabbing at him, a third had gripped his bridle rein. Yimnah was caught afoot. Spence missed his horse, which shied away; the two beasts were careering madly around, headed from the road and finding no outlet from the ruins.

Spence cut down the first man who sprang at him, and shouted again at the divine:

"Spur for it, Shaw! After her! Spur!"

"He who takes the sword," quoth the doctor, neatly putting his rapier through one of his assailants, "shall even perish by the same." And the thin blade split the throat of the man at his rein. "Farewell, Patrick! Woe is me that I must leave you."

His voice was lost as he thundered away.

Spence conjectured that a score of men must have fallen upon them. He himself was ringed in against a block of marble, which secured his back. He pistoled two of the men before him, seized his sword again, and they recoiled momentarily from his attack.

A wide blade flamed in the moonlight. The hoarse, inarticulate rage scream of Yimnah rent the night like a paean of horror. The monstrous figure of the eunuch, streaming blood from a dozen wounds, rushed through the assailants, striking to right and left in blind fury. They opened before him, fell back from Spence, shrieked that this was no man, but some jinni of the mountains Yimnah leaped on them, struck and struck again, screaming.

"Fools!" cracked out a voice in Spanish.

A musket flashed near the voice. There died Yimnah, the wide blade sweeping out from his hand and clashing on the stones.

At this instant Spence leaped out suddenly as one of the horses plunged past; he caught the beast in mid-career, dragged himself into the high saddle. That harsh, crackling voice electrified him; it was the voice of Gholam Mahmoud. Now he perceived the man's figure, off to one side, and directed the plunging horse toward it.

"Assassin!" he shouted. "This time you shall not escape."

Another musket shot rang out. Spence felt a shock—and darkness came upon him. He bowed forward, his body supported by the huge Moorish saddle, his fingers twined into the mane of the horse. The frantic beast dashed away into the night with whirlwind hoofs.

Gholam Mahmoud leaped forward, raving like a maniac. To insure against discovery of the ambush, his horses had been left a quarter mile distant; pursuit was impossible. While Gholam Mahmoud cursed, Barbarroja came groaning to the scene, holding his hurt stomach.

"Ha, thou bitch wolf's fool!" cried the furious red-beard. "Why did you not await the signal?"

"You were too cursed long in giving it," snarled Gholam Mahmoud. "Now the woman is gone."

"A murrain on you and your woman!" shouted Barbarroja. "Now Spence is escaped, and Mulai Ali not come. Pot-head that you are—only one eunuch bagged, and half our men down!"

"Devil take you, get the horses and after them!"

"After them yourself," growled Barbarroja. "I stay here to kill Mulai Ali when he comes."

Ten minutes later Gholam Mahmoud rode away toward Udjde—alone.

When Patrick Spence came to his senses his horse was following a cattle track in a long and narrow valley. Where he was, Spence had not the least idea; he was completely lost. He had caught his own horse, and behind the saddle were provisions, water-skin, and the covered box belonging to Mulai Ali.

For a space he rode confusedly, until a twinge of pain recalled him to memory. He drew rein, found himself bareheaded, and discovered a slight wound along the scalp above his left ear. He made shift to wash the wound with water from his bottle.

"The devil!" he exclaimed suddenly. Realization smote him full force, left him appalled and bewildered. Why, Barbarroja must have been in league with Gholam Mahmoud all the time. He must have expected to lead Mulai Ali into that ambush; and, too, must have had some share in Gholam Mahmoud's work in Tlemcen.

"And I never suspected, when he found me trussed up and appeared so amazed," thought Spence, dumbfounded. "Well, Master Red-beard, just wait a bit. I'll have a word with you in time."

Presumably, Shaw and the girl had escaped with the Spahis. They would reach Udjde and send help to Mulai Ali. Thus the assassins had gained nothing, and Spence considered his own case as he rode onward again.

He was lost, sure enough. So far as he could tell, he was among a series of long, barren hills; the valley stretched interminably, and seemed uninhabited, yet he knew that this cattle track must lead somewhere. He let the horse take its head.

The hours dragged until the moonlight was gone. Still Spence perceived no sign of life among the bare hills. With darkness, he halted, hobbled the horse, and lay down to sleep until dawn, hopeless of wandering on through the obscurity.

With dawn he found the horse muzzling him for food. Stiffly he gained his saddle and sent the Arab onward. As the sun rose to warm them, Spence noticed that the beast quickened its pace; ten minutes later he made out a low group of trees, and the dull walls of a mud-thatched building in an elbow of the valley.

Renewing the priming of his musket, he rode forward. Not until he drew near the trees and shouted did he discern any sign of life. Then a misshapen old man came forth from the hut and peered at him, chattering Arabic volubly.

"Do you speak Spanish?" demanded Spence. "Or English?"

The hunchback started, and drew back. "Be you an Englishman, sir?" he quavered.

"Eh?" Spence started. "You're not?"

"God love ye, sir; God love ye!" broke out the ancient. "Out o' the stirrup and welcome to ye! It's two year and more since I've had a bit of English speech. A bonny bit o' flesh under ye, sir! God love ye, what a bonny creature it is."

"You're English?" said the astonished Spence, as he dismounted. "I need feed for the horse more than for myself."

"God love ye, an honest man thinks for his beastie first. Come in, and lead the horse after ye, sir. 'Tis like entertaining a prince to have a horse o' that blood under my roof! True Njed quarter strain, I'll warrant. Come in, sir, and welcome!"

Feeling as though in a dream, Spence entered the hut, a clean place, where the old man dwelt alone. A queer chap, this hunchback, with his wisps of gray hair, his tattered garb, his bleary old eyes and palsied hands.

His name, the man would not tell; but he chattered out his story. Indeed, his thought was all for the horse rather than for Spence. A cutpurse in Bristol, he had been jailed, taken into the navy with other criminals, and was aboard a sloop captured by Algerines. For thirty years he had been a slave. A natural liking for horses had made him the manager of an outlying herd of the animals which were bred hereabouts.

"Fifteen hands, and full o' the haunches," he mumbled, lovingly stroking the Arab's coat. "God love ye, didst ever see a finer slope o' the shoulder than this? And saddle-backed! Just the touch o' wiry springs, no weakness. What a head it is now, what a taper down from the brows! God love ye, sir, this beastie could drink from a pint pot and to spare! And the legs, twisted wi' sinew, but clean as a whistle, and the ear like a thorn—God love ye, this beastie must be out o' the bey's stables at Arzew! Not the bey himself has a horse o' Njed strain, but Hassan had two o' them. Ye bain't a slave on the escape, sir?"

Spence laughed.

"No. You're right about the horse, gran'ther; it's from the bey's stable."

He told briefly that he had been attacked by robbers at the Cisterns, and was lost. The ancient mumbled in amazement, but answered Spencer's queries as to his road to Udjde.

"The Cisterns? God love ye, it's far away from here! Follow the vale and 'twill bring ye out on the river a few mile ahead. There ye'll find the river road from Udjde to the sea coast. Turn south to Udjde, or north to Adjerud, a tiny bit of a port that the Moors use.

"For a fine gentleman like you 'tis no journey at all! Sunset will see ye safe with lackeys and servants, and sojers, too, belike! God love ye, sir, 'tis no ride at all. Now wait ye here till I get some fresh tomatoes from the garden—"

The ancient shuffled away.

Within an hour Spence had breakfasted and mounted again. Spence forced money on the old man, and with a final "God love ye!" ringing in his ears, he rode away down the valley.

"A grotesque blessing, yet why not?" he reflected. "I've met worse hospitality in Christian lands. God rest you, old man, renegade or not!"

He saw no living creature on his way, though mile after mile slipped past. Udjde, he knew, was fifty miles from the coast. The "river road" was doubtless one that ran north to the port of Adjerud, for the maritime Moors were not fond of being cut off from the sea.

Shortly after noon Spence found that the valley was insensibly disappearing, and presently saw a river line of trees in the distance. In no long while he came to a wide but shallow stream, crossed it easily, and on the farther side found himself actually upon the road of which the old hunchback had told him.

He noted, too, a cloud of dust coming toward him from the north, betokening other riders on the road to Udjde. Since he had a straight story to tell and naught to fear, he waited, meaning to join them and ask protection as far as Udjde. He perceived that no caravan was approaching, but a group of horsemen, perhaps a detachment going to join the army.

Then, as he watched, the curiosity of Spence changed to incredulous amazement. Here were a score of horsemen, brilliantly garbed, and amid the foremost rode one clad in a plain white burnoose. Against this white burnoose, at the throat, was a glitter—there could be only one man in all the world with the effrontery to display the collar of the Golden Fleece against the garb of a renegade.

It was Ripperda beyond question. Ripperda, and with him his bodyguard of renegades—and riding to Udjde!


"I'll learn to conjure and raise devils, but
I'll see some issue of my spiteful execrations!"

DOCTOR SHAW did not regain control of his terrified horse until he pounded up alongside the two Spahis, who held between them the reins of Mistress Betty.

Vainly had she ordered them to return and fight, vainly threatened them, vainly entreating them, all but swearing at them in an agony of supplication. They, dour, bearded Turks, shrugged their shoulders and pricked westward. So when Shaw came up with the three, and the girl saw that he was alone, she turned upon him fiercely.

"Where is Captain Spence?"

"When I left he was still fighting."

The divine gave no explanation of his desertion.

"Oh!" cried the girl. "Oh—coward that you are, to leave him! Shame upon you!"

The Spahis grinned in the moonlight. They did not understand the words, but had no need to. Shaw, who still carried his naked rapier in his hand, wiped and sheathed it.

"My dear madam," he said, the cool stiffness of his voice giving no hint of the tears that were upon his cheeks, "Patrick Spence is very dear to me. But it is I who bear the letter to the Governor of Udjde. It is I who am charged with a commission involving the fate of empires and of religions—"

"And you save your craven neck for that reason!" burst forth the girl, bitterly.

"Even so, and it pleases you," rejoined Shaw's emotional voice. "Unless I reach Udjde, our friend Mulai Ali falls into a trap back yonder, and receives no aid. In this event Pasha Ripperda remains sole ruler of Morocco. In such case, the Barbary States combine against Spain, who will be alienated from her allies; and the Moors will begin a holy war for the reconquest of the peninsula. It is very logical that—"

"A murrain on your logic!" snapped Mistress Betty. "Patrick Spence is worth more than all your fine plans and schemes!"

"So speaks the woman, mulier saeva," reflected Dr. Shaw. "The cruel woman who recks empire less than the little finger of a man! Truly says Clemens Alexandrinus that—"

His voice ended, however, in a choked silence and a gulp. Here, perhaps, Mistress Betty perceived that in him was a greater tenderness than appeared, and guessed that his desertion of Spence might have other reason than cowardice or logic, for after this she rode on in silence.

They rode into Udjde in the morning with a great and haughty shouting on the part of the Spahis, and demands to see the amel immediately. Udjde, amid its wide orchards and olive groves, the most fertile oasis in all the Nagad steppe, opened itself to them by way of the Bab el Khemis.

Amid a continually growing concourse of horsemen, curious townfolk, and men of the famed Barbary tribes, they rode to the kasbah in the south quarter of the town. Thirty minutes later a hundred men of the ancient Lamta tribe were spurring madly eastward along the caravan road to the Cisterns.

Dr. Shaw found himself and Mistress Betty given commodious quarters in the citadel and hospitably entertained by the amel, or governor—an old, hoary Moor who had managed to live long by dint of guile and not too high ambitions.

During most of the day the worthy doctor rested. Toward evening he was summoned to dine with the governor, with word that news of Mulai Ali was expected at any time. Mistress Betty, being a woman, was forced to remain in her own apartment with the female slaves allotted her.

Garbed in clean linen, Shaw was conducted to the private quarters of the governor, whom he found alone. While a bountiful repast was served, the two fell to discussing affairs in Morocco. The governor was certain that once Mulai Ali could get into the country his star would quickly blaze above that of his cousin Abdallah.

"All men turn to the new master," he said sagely, stroking his white beard with his left hand, while his right plunged into the food. "El Magrib is ripe for revolt—but Abdallah is strong, and stronger yet is Ripperda, in whose hands is the power."

"If Mulai Ali comes will you declare for him?" asked Shaw.

"Yes, and my warriors will ride to Fez with him. Know you who that renegade was—him with the red beard, whom you called Barbarroja?"

Shaw shook his head. The old governor chuckled as at a good jest.

"He serves the Sherif Abdallah and carries with him the royal signet. And the other of whom you told me this morning, the man in the black burnoose, Gholam Mahmoud, is the agent of Pasha Ripperda. He, he! No wonder those twain laid in ambush for Mulai Ali!"

Before Shaw could reply to this disclosure—indeed, for a moment he sat agape at hearing the truth about Barbarroja—a slave hurriedly entered and knelt. In his hands was a pigeon, which he presented to his master. Knowing that the force sent to the Cisterns had taken carrier pigeons, the quicker to inform the governor of what took place there, Shaw leaned forward anxiously as a tiny roll was taken from beneath the bird's wing.

The old Moor opened it, read a scrawl of Arabic, and turned pale.

"God, God, and God the Compassionate, the Merciful!" he ejaculated. "This is from a friend in Adjerud. It warns me that Pasha Ripperda is on his way here with his bodyguard of renegades. He should arrive tomorrow."

Shaw gave a start.

"Ripperda—with his bodyguard! No troops?"

The old Moor shook his head. He was extremely agitated; the very fact of Ripperda's coming had thrown him into consternation.

At this instant a second slave dashed in and presented a second bird. With trembling fingers the governor detached the missive. He read it, then crumpled the thin paper in his hand and sat staring before him, like a man who sees utter disaster ahead. In reality, his fertile old brain was scheming and planning, but Shaw did not know this.

"What is it?" demanded the divine eagerly. "News from Mulai Ali?"

For a long moment the Moor made no response. He stared straight before him, as though the question had been unheard. Shaw, unable to bear the suspense, reached out for the paper, but the Moor hastily tore it across.

"Catch Ripperda when he comes!" exclaimed Dr. Shaw swiftly. "You see your chance? Catch him at the city gates, capture him, raise the flag of Mulai Ali—"

The old Moor turned, lifted his head, regarded Shaw steadily.

"Ali," he said slowly, "is dead. The redbeard has done his work. The troops reached the place too late—Ali had been stricken by a bullet."

Shaw quivered under the blow. Then, silently, he resumed his seat and folded his hands on the table. Mulai Ali dead! Everything was lost. He did not observe that, while speaking, the eyelids of the Moor had fluttered slightly—an involuntary lowering of the lids, which is nature's signal of a lie issuing from the lips.

Swiftly the governor clapped his hands. A slave brought writing materials, and the old Moor dashed off several notes, which he sealed and dispatched. Then the captain of the troops, a splendid Berber of the hills, strode in and received rapid orders.

"The Pasha Ripperda arrives tomorrow. Prepare rooms in the citadel for his use. In the name of Allah, greet him as one who is the right hand of our lord the sherif!"

Again the two men were alone. The old governor turned to Shaw with a quiet gesture.

"You have eaten my salt. I cannot protect you against Ripperda. What wish you to do?"

Dr. Shaw had gathered his wits by this time, and his brain was working shrewdly.

"My friend Spence was not mentioned in that message? Then let us hope that he is alive. I shall remain here. Ripperda will not harm us, for I have a nominal errand to the sherif—regardless of his name! And I must await news of my friend, also. We shall remain here."

The Moor nodded. His eyes were narrowed in calculation, anxiety sat beneath the lids.

"May Allah further your undertakings! I have my own head to look after."

Dr. Shaw took the hint, rose, and departed to tell Mistress Betty his news.

In another portion of this town was a house, outwardly inconspicuous, inwardly a mass of sumptuous furnishings. Many slaves were here, white and black; the harem was large.

In a small room sat the master of this house, upon a thick rug before a writing table such as scribes use. A tiny shaded lamp burned before him; his face was invisible, only his sinewy arms showing in the circle of light. He clapped his hands, and a slave entered.

"When a man comes showing the signet of the sherif, bring him to me at once."

Alone again, the man went on writing. As his right arm moved in the light, one could see a design upon the skin—the figure of a dolphin, tattooed there. This man was Gholam Mahmoud.

Suddenly, almost without a sound, the door opened. A man clad in a dark burnoose came into the room; he threw back the hood and disclosed the flaming beard of Barbarroja. A weary oath broke from him as he sank down on the rug.

"Diantre! Get me some wine. I had to shout for half an hour before they would open the city gates—even the signet of the sherif barely satisfied the dogs. Allah upon them! I rode my horse to death and walked the last two miles of the way here."

A slave brought wine. Barbarroja twice drained a goblet, then sighed contentedly.

"You should have stayed with me." He grinned at his host. "You lost money, caballero! That is what comes of running after women. As it is, the reward is mine."

"Reward!" Gholam Mahmoud started. "Then—Mulai Ali—"

"Is dead."

Barbarroja twirled his mustache grandly.

"I do not say it was well done, nor am I proud of the matter, however, Allah knows I need the money! His Spahis fought off my men, and while they fought, I gained place in the rear—and put a bullet in his back."

"Where is his head, then?" sneered the other.

"Bah! The event will prove my words. Any news of the man Spence?"

"None. He is lost. The others readied here safely. Why are you interested in him?"

"Because," said Barbarroja coolly, "I have just learned that Spence carries the leather box behind his saddle. That makes you jump, eh? Well, it is the truth. Ripperda's casket!"

Gholam Mahmoud snapped out an oath. Then: "Have you any scheme, any way to find him?"

Barbarroja chuckled.

"Spence cannot go far alone, and dare not go back to Tlemcen; so he must come west. In that event, he will be picked up somewhere in this district. We have only to wait until he is brought to the governor. When he comes we take the casket—and you negotiate its sale to your master Ripperda. You comprehend? It is simple."

Gholam Mahmoud smiled his twisted smile.

"And suppose Pasha Ripperda comes here?"

"Let him come!" Barbarroja shrugged, but his eye was startled. "Do you expect him?"

"Perhaps tonight; certainly tomorrow."

"Bios! Very well."

The Spaniard made a grandiloquent gesture.

"I am a generous man. I shall allow you to share the credit of killing Mulai Ali; tell the pasha we did it together. The sherif's reward goes to me, however. This will rehabilitate your credit with Ripperda, who will then gladly pay a big sum for the casket. You understand?"

Gholam Mahmoud regarded him sneeringly for a moment. "I understand that in all this there is no mention of the woman whom I desire. If we are to work together, let the conditions be fulfilled—or I shall obtain the woman for myself! If you want the money, turn over the woman to me, and do it quickly. She is here now."

Barbarroja pawed at his great beard, and considered this demand.

"Agreed," he said, and yawned. "You shall have her tomorrow. Give me a place to sleep, caballero, and Allah will bring all things to pass!"

Gholam Mahmoud himself conducted his guest to a room on the upper floor.

Once alone, Barbarroja did not sleep, though he was worn and haggard. Instead he sat for a while staring into the lantern, and plucking at his huge beard. He was sore put to it.

"They will all be warned against me now, since that old goat of a governor knows me all too well," he reflected. "And the governor will avenge the death of Mulai Ali on me, if he catches me. How, then, shall I get the woman for yonder lecherous viper? Get her I must!

"If that devil of a Spence returns—ha! Old Shaw is the one to work upon, and I owe him a turn for the sorry trick he played me at the Cisterns. Shaw is the one—and it must be done speedily, before Ripperda comes, before that devil Spence turns up! Tomorrow, early."

He sat for a while longer, then blew out the lantern. Presently his chuckles died away into a droning snore.


"Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course."

AN hour after sunrise, Dr. Shaw hastily sought the presence of the governor. "Sleep is a trusty adviser," he said. "I have changed my mind overnight, and have decided to leave here at once, before Ripperda shall arrive."

"God knoweth all things."

The old Moor blinked. "Consider me at your command. What wish you?"

"Nothing," said Shaw. "I will take the two Spahis who brought me here and go on to Fez. I have obtained a guide. Give me a spare horse, food, and water-skins."

The old Moor blinked again. He smelled something amiss, since this was not the proper state for an envoy. But he was mightily glad to be rid of Shaw, who might interfere with his own artistic lies to Ripperda, and refused to inquire too close into Shaw's purpose.

Nor did he fail to note the inward agitation of Shaw. Putting one thing with another, he shrewdly guessed that this agitation was connected with the missing Spence. All his solicitude was for his own hoary head, however, so he sped his guests right courteously.

Half an hour later Dr. Shaw and Mistress Betty, attended by the two Spahis, rode toward the western gate of the city. With Shaw, in front, was a rascally one-eyed Moor. He was not only the guide, but the cause of their precipitate departure.

"You are certain you know the place?" said Dr. Shaw to the Moor.

"Aye, infidel," growled the guide. "It is the tomb of Osman, half a mile from the city gates—a deserted spot, since the tomb has fallen into ruin."

Shaw drew back beside the girl, who watched him with anxious eyes.

"I think it is all right," he said. "At least, it tallies with Spence's note, and we must trust the rascal. Let me study that note again, mistress."

The girl handed him a paper, which he read over as he rode. It was a note in English, signed by Spence, telling Shaw to meet him outside the western gate at the tomb of Osman, and to make no delay. Spence stated that he was slightly wounded, had no horse, and dared not enter the city; that Mulai Ali was dead, and all their hopes gone. All this tallied only too well with what Shaw himself knew.

As they neared the western gate, there came to them a distant sound of gunfire and a faint clamor of shouts. Shaw gave the girl a whimsical smile. This noise was the welcome to Ripperda, who was at that moment entering the city by the northern gate.

The gate behind them, the party rode toward the orchards and groves beyond the city. The Spahis were ahead, the guide between them; Shaw and Mistress Betty followed with the lead horse. In this order they entered the rich champaign and saw the city walls vanish.

The timeliness of this departure, and the expected meeting with Spence, put Dr. Shaw into high good humor. His anxieties disappeared, and he discussed with the girl whether they should strike on for Fez or return to Algiers. In the midst of this cogitation the guide called back to inform him that the tomb of Osman lay ahead.

This was the ruined tomb of some ancient marabout, as the domed building testified. A desolate garden surrounded the place, which was in ruinous disrepair. There was no sign of Spence to be seen, and Shaw strove to dissipate the uneasiness of his companion.

"He may be sleeping somewhere near by," he said, reassuringly. "At least, we can wait."

They drew near, and passed beneath the western wall of the old tomb, where there was shade from the morning sunlight. Shaw dismounted and gave his hand to the girl to help her from the saddle.

At this instant the trap was sprung.

The guide, with one lightning movement, plunged his long knife into the side of the nearest Spahi, then put spurs to his horse. The second Spahi whipped out his scimitar, and from the nearby trees came a ragged blast of muskets. Pierced by two bullets, the Spahi fell beside his dying comrade.

Three men came running from the trees, joining the treacherous guide.

So swiftly had all this taken place that both Shaw and the girl stood motionless, paralyzed by the rapid horror. Then, as the assassins ran forward, a cry broke from Shaw.


Red-beard it was, brandishing his sword, who led the other ruffians. He came to a halt and grinned widely at Shaw, while his men seized the horses and plundered the dead Spahis.

"Señor, I greet you! Behold, am I not a pretty writer of notes? It is not Spence."

"Scoundrel!" cried the doctor in a strangled voice. "You have deceived us!"

"Decoyed you into a pretty trap—exactly!" Barbarroja flourished his sword. "But there is no credit in decoying a weak partridge like you, little man."

One glance around showed Dr. Shaw that he was lost. He instantly became calm and cold.

"What is the reason for this treachery?" he demanded, hand on sword.

"It is twofold," was the cool response. "The pretty señorita would be reason enough for most men; but honor comes first with me. I owe you a debt for what you did to me at the Cisterns, and I shall settle the debt."

Barbarroja advanced, glaring at Shaw. Behind the latter stood Mistress Betty, motionless, watching and listening in utter despair.

"Oh, traitorous rascal!" groaned Shaw. "It is all your doing that—"

"My doing, indeed!" Barbarroja strutted with huge gusto. "Poor little chicken of a man. Was not I, Lazaro de Polan, sent to kill Mulai Ali? Well, he is dead as yonder marabout! And you are in my power, and my friend Gholam Mahmoud will take the leather box when Spence shows up, as he must soon do!"

He laughed at the despair of Shaw. It was a proud moment for Barbarroja, whose vanity was the greatest part of him. He stood there and laughed, while that great flaming beard of his curled and matted over his chest. Already Barbarroja was a little drunk with the prowess of his arm and his wits. His three ruffians watched him in proper awe.

"Now to our debt, little man," he went on. "You insulted me both in Christian and Moslem fashion. You kicked me, for which the ancestry of Lazaro de Polan demands recompense; and you tweaked my beard, for which the ancestry of Barbarroja demands vengeance. To what end have I, a great caballero, entered the portals of Islam, if I am not to enjoy the rights of that faith? So, as a caballero of Toledo, and a devout Moslem, I demand satisfaction!"

Shaw uttered a hollow laugh.

"You would murder me, you scurvy rogue?"

"Not at all," said Barbarroja grandly. "I, Lazaro de Polan, am no slaughterer of poor fools! In my capacity as a good Moslem, I should at once put steel into you; but in my capacity as a good caballero, I do not desire to sully my sword. Look at this sword, little man! Look at the spring of it! A true Toledo blade out of the sherif's treasury!"

He seized the long blade, bent it double, let it spring back again. Passion seized upon Shaw—the angry passion of one to whom all hope is lost.

"Vile renegade!" he spat out bitterly. "If you have the courage to face me, do so! Dog that you are, I suppose you will have your bandits pistol me in the back!"

A look of astonished fury swept into Barbarroja's face. He stared at Shaw, then swung and faced his men. At an order from him, they retired. He turned again to Shaw.

"For those words, I kill you!" He threw away his hat, bowed mockingly. "In my capacity as a caballero of Toledo, I salute you! To you is the honor of crossing blades with Lazaro."

Shaw, swift as light, lunged forward.

The rapiers touched, clashed, hung suspended; they ground against each other, steel against steel, wrist against wrist. With his free hand, Barbarroja carelessly twirled his mustache. Shaw disengaged and lunged again. Once more the steel slithered and twined and hung futile against the sky.

"Not bad, Englishman!" observed Barbarroja patronizingly. "Not bad! Come, thrust the point into this red beard of mine—thrust in the point! I recall a Frenchman who had learned the Italian blade and who fancied himself greatly, back at Ceuta."

Shaw attacked furiously, a silent deadliness in his manner. Barbarroja parried the attack, laughing, and continued his careless speech.

"He was a clever Frenchman! He had a thrust not unlike yours, a stiff and upright godliness in his wrist. When I warned him against this red beard, he laughed, and had the audacity to thrust straight into it. And what then? Why—"

A curse fell from Shaw's lips. Not even a doctor of divinity but is human; and for one flickering instant the point of Barbarroja had licked at his throat. He parried, lunged again, pressed the attack with a colder skill, a more supple wrist. Barbarroja escaped only by a backward leap, disengaging. Shaw was upon him instantly. Again the thin blades met and twined, and hung suspended with life wavering in the balance.

"We were speaking of that Frenchman," pursued Barbarroja, again twirling his red mustache. "He thought I jested, even as you think, little señor! And the point in my red beard—Bios! Have a care with that riposte—the point was tangled in my beard, señor, and my own point pricked him very neatly in the throat—thus—"

Barbarroja laughed very heartily; and midway of the laugh lunged like a demon.

In and out flickered his blade, a very tongue of death, and his eyes glared in sudden hot ferocity for blood. Shaw evaded that licking tongue by a hair; it reached around him, baffled him, bore him desperately backward.

He fought only by inspiration; his eyes upon the blazing stare of Barbarroja, his blade fending off the slithering death by sheer intuition. This could not last long, and Shaw knew it.

He was driven back and back, while ever those blood-hot eyes glared upon him, and the Toledo slid ever with more deadly lust. Now he was growing weary.

Abruptly Shaw gathered himself together, so abruptly that in the very midst of his retreat he plunged forward. The two blades went upward, locked at the hilts; then Shaw thrust back and forward again, leaped away, stood on guard. It was all in a flash.

Barbarroja moved not. He stared at Shaw with an expression of dismayed consternation. Then, unexpectedly, the Toledo dropped from his hand. Across his breast surged a sudden wide flare of crimson. His knees crumpled; he plunged forward on his face and lay quiet.

"Whether he died from the point," murmured Shaw, panting, "or from sheer amazement that I pinked him—'tis all one. The result, logically enough."

From the three ruffians came a wild, hoarse yell—a shout of mingled rage, despair, and fright. They broke and ran for the horses. With a rush, a scramble, a flood of hot oaths, they mounted and took to flight. Dr. Shaw gazed after them, wide-eyed. Then he felt the hand of Mistress Betty seize his arm—heard her voice crying out at him:

"Look! Look—it is he—Spence!"

Shaw whirled about. There, upon the road, he beheld a cloud of dust, and far ahead of the dust three riders already drawing close—the foremost of them Spence.

An instant later Spence was reining up beside them, while his men whirled on in pursuit of the three escaping rogues.

"Good!" cried Spence, exultantly shaking hands. "The old governor scented something amiss in your departure—he said I might catch up with you, so I came along. Shaw, what's been going on here? Why did you leave town, Mistress Betty?"

There was a moment of hurried explanations as all spoke at once. Then the girl seized upon the story, and Spence heard of what had taken place. Soberly he nodded at mention of Mulai Ali's death.

"Aye, we heard of his death—Ripperda was carried off his feet with delight. He is a gracious scoundrel, that Ripperda! Hello, Shaw, what are you up to?"

They turned. Dr. Shaw was muttering over the Toledo, which he had picked up. Now he lifted his face to them, his eyes gleaming with delight.

"Look!" he cried. "The rascal told the truth! This graving says that the blade was made at Toledo, in the year 368 of the Moslem calendar, by special order of the great Almansur of Cordova! To think of such a sweet tool—a historic relic—eight hundred years of age."

"Thrust it into your scabbard and let us be gone—with congratulations on your victory, doctor! A noble fight. But Ripperda is awaiting you, and so keep your wits about you."

Shaw stared with fallen jaw. Ripperda!

"Then look to yourself, Patrick!" he cried suddenly. "This Barbarroja told me that it is known you carry the casket behind your saddle! Gholam Mahmoud knows it."

Spence broke into another hearty laugh.

"Nay, let him search!" he cried gaily. "When I met with Ripperda, yesterday, I threw the box into the river. The box is gone, Mulai Ali is dead—there is an end to all intrigue! Here come three horsemen who rode with me."

The horsemen, among whom were some of Ripperda's bodyguard, were returning. At the saddle of the three foremost were three bloody heads. Steel, says the proverb, is swifter than judgment.

Thus the three, reunited, rode back into Udjde. If Patrick Spence thought that he was done with intrigue, however, he was far wrong, for Mulai Ali, though wounded and hidden away by the old governor, was not dead at all.


"He will spend his mouth and promise, like Brabbler the
hound; but when he performs, astronomers foretell it!"

PASHA RIPPERDA sat in the justice hall of the kasbah and enjoyed his triumph. With the death of Mulai Ali, the one external danger that menaced him was gone. This thin man with the haunted eye was the supreme ruler of western Africa; the combined Barbary armies and fleets obeyed his orders—Egypt was in alliance with him.

Inwardly, gout rioted in his blood. As he sat and gave orders and heard reports, agony twisted him. Around him were his famous renegades, bitter, cruel men, devoted to him. And they could not save him from the devils that dwelt in his blood.

Messengers were dispatched to the sherif with news of Mulai Ali's death—though the body had not been found—and Ripperda ordered a litter made ready that night, for he was returning swiftly to the army.

Dr. Shaw, Patrick Spence, and Mistress Betty entered the hall.

Though the effort made his face livid, Ripperda arose and tendered the girl the pitiful ghost of that bow whose courtly grace had once been famous from Vienna to Madrid. Then he staggered and fell back among the cushions.

In the eyes of the girl lay pity. Dr. Shaw, after one cold bow, stood gazing at the man with no evidence of feeling. The shrewd doctor was sensible that he faced an enemy.

Ripperda began to speak in English, and suddenly the inner man shone forth. That tongue of Ripperda's had done incredible feats, and had not lost its cunning. He ignored Shaw for the moment and addressed the girl, whose story he had learned from Spence on the road.

"You have naught to fear under my protection, mistress," he concluded with that wan and haunted smile of his. "I shall take you to the coast and place you aboard he first Christian ship available; I have promised the same to Captain Spence. And, lady, I have heard much regarding your skill with the stars. I would talk with you later in the day regarding these augurs of destiny. This gentlemen, I take it, is the famous Dr. Shaw, of Algiers?"

Shaw bowed again, assenting dryly. Ripperda eyed him, smiled, assumed a blunt frankness.

"What say you—shall we consign the past to oblivion, sir? I know in whose company you have journeyed; but as our Spanish proverb say, 'The dead have no friends.' How say you?"

Shaw chuckled.

"It is also said that a living dog is better than a dead lion. I pay you my compliments for your generosity, admit my culpability, and pray your grace."

Ripperda, generous enough in victory, uttered a frank laugh.

"Greatness knows how to punish and how to forgive. I pardon you and welcome you, for your erudition is famed. I pray that you will join me for the noon meal; meantime, your late quarters are again at your disposal."

With a brief bow Shaw accepted the dismissal. The three were conducted to the quarters so recently vacated, and there, with the girl's permission, the two men lighted pipes and talked. Spence told what had happened to him, and how he had flung the leather box into the river and joined Ripperda.

"Ripperda was friendly enough," he concluded. "He knew all about our friendship with Mulai Ali, bore no grudge, and welcomed me. A most amazing man!"

"Very!" said Shaw dryly. "Before Ceuta, he had two Spanish spies impaled on the same stake one day, which amazed even the Moors! Mistake not, Patrick; we play with fire."

Spence shrugged.

"Mistress Betty," he said, "your predictions to Mulai Ali scarce jibe with the fate that has befallen him! How explain you this discrepancy?"

"I explain nothing, Mr. Spence," she said. "I am more interested in knowing what is to become of us. Will Ripperda keep his promises, think you?"

"He takes us to the coast tonight," answered Spence. "Yes, it—it—"

As he spoke he had glanced through the window, which overlooked the courtyard. His voice died away. Suddenly he turned, darted to the door, flung it open. In the doorway stood one of Ripperda's bodyguard, pistol on arm. The man, a Frenchman, did not budge.

"No one is permitted to leave," he said, and grinned. "By order of the pasha."

Spence slammed the door again. "Down there—Gholam Mahmoud, talking with the soldiers! The presence of that man bodes us ill."

Dr. Shaw started.

"The man in black—Ripperda's confidential agent! H-m! I see it all now. He has heard of Barbarroja's death. He is down there, questioning the renegades, looking for that leather box—ha, Patrick! Did Ripperda's men see you throw the box in the river?"

"Aye, most likely." Spence stood at the window, watching the ominous figure below. "They said naught of it, however. Perchance they saw it done."

A hammering at the door. Spence opened to admit a hulking Dutchman, the leader of Ripperda's bodyguard. He made a smirking bow.

"The pasha wishes to see the lady and talk about the stars."

Mistress Betty rose, calm and self-contained. She looked at Spence, and smiled.

"Do not fear for me, friends, for I think that Ripperda will keep his promise, and I may be able to help you. Farewell for the present!"

She left the room, the two men looking after her, helpless. Of those twain, one was destined to see her no more in life.

Mistress Betty entered the hall of justice, but was detained at the door. A tall figure in black passed her and strode rapidly to the side of Ripperda, to whom he spoke, low-voiced.

"Spence tried to destroy it, but I can recover it in a day or two. If I succeed will you give me this English girl for my harem?"

Ripperda's face was overspread with a mortal pallor from the anguish in his veins.

"Her and a dozen more like her," he said hoarsely. "A million curses on that Spence! Go, and fail me not. I shall await your report at Adjerud. The girl belongs to you."

Gholam Mahmoud circled the seat and vanished through a hidden door. Mistress Betty was brought forward, curtsied, and waited. Ripperda forced a mechanical smile to his lips.

"Mistress, plead not for your companions!" he said gently. "They have deceived me basely—"

"They are my friends," said the girl. "I cannot but ask your clemency for Mr. Spence and—"

Ripperda made a hasty, maddened gesture. His eyes flamed savagely.

"Very well, very well! Spence shall live; I will carry him to Adjerud and sell him as a slave. But Shaw—say no word of him, I warn you. Oh, how that man smiled at me! And in his heart he knew the box was gone, that I was defeated, unable to keep my promises—"

A spasm of rage came upon him. He writhed among his cushions, then with an effort got himself in hand.

"My horoscope!" he exclaimed. "Cast it. Fear not, gentle lady; you are under my protection and shall go safe to England. You have the word of Ripperda. So, while we journey north, do you cast my horoscope, for I think you will tell the truth about things."

So the man lied. Mistress Betty, sensing the lie from his very protests, went a shade whiter. There was no fear in her answer, however.

"My lord, I am no wizard. To diagram the stars aright cannot be done in an hour or a day; I have no books to help me. Give me certain information, and in a week it shall be done."

"A week!" repeated Ripperda. "Well, have your way. I shall have two women slaves given you, and new quarters here. We leave an hour before the sunset prayer. I shall send a scribe to you at once, let him write down what information you desire for the horoscope, and I will send it to you in an hour. Until night, rest, for we must travel fast."

So Mistress Betty went to her prison, and saw her friends no more.

An hour before sunset Ripperda and his cavalcade departed. In the courtyard was riding and mounting, a horse litter was ready for Ripperda, another for Mistress Betty. Spence and Dr Shaw, disarmed and bound, were dragged forth beside Ripperda's litter. From his curtained cushions, Ripperda glared out like some venomous reptile at Shaw.

"Smile on, fool!" said Ripperda acidly. "When the stake has pierced into your vitals and death is led before your eyes, remember Ripperda. Ho, there, amel!"

The old governor came forward obsequiously. Ripperda pointed to Dr. Shaw.

"When the muezzin cries for morning prayer, set this man upon a stake at the western gate. When he is dead, send his head to me in salt, that I may see whether he still smiled in death. Place the other man on a horse—forward, in the name of Allah!"

Spence was tied into a high saddle. To him pierced the voice of Shaw.

"Farewell, Patrick! God watch over you."

"And you," returned Spence in a choked voice. He looked back once, but Shaw had already been dragged away.

Through the city street, to the north gate, and then out in the sweet sunset through the olive groves and the fields of green alfalfa, passed the cavalcade, and on to the winding road that led north over the horizon to the sea. The sea! How the thought of it pierced Spence at this moment!

Himself tightly bound, destined to slavery, poor Shaw, impaled at the gate of Udjde, Mistress Betty, clenched in the grip of Ripperda and trusting to his treacherous word, and all these in the turn of a single day!

"A long score, Gholam Mahmoud," muttered Spence thickly. "This is your doing, somehow—a long score to settle—"

So the sun sank from sight, and the day was done.


"Fortuna... transmutat nicertos honores."

THE little town of Adjerud, at the mouth of the Tafna River, was enjoying a brief heyday of prosperity. Upon an eminence behind the village was camped the great Pasha Ripperda with his personal troops; he kept the roads busy with messengers to the camps at Oran in the east and Ceuta in the west. He had been here a week, and illness held him fast.

Below the village, and by the deposition of fate camped between Ripperda and the shore, were a thousand wild Berber horse men, come from Morocco to join the armies. Ripperda was holding them here, uncertain as yet where they were most needed.

In the tiny port lay two ships. One was a small brigantine of Tetuan, Ripperda's personal ship, manned by renegades like himself. On this ship, said rumor, were kept great treasures; Pasha Ripperda never knew when he was to be sent a wandering once more. The other ship was a battered hulk, brought in by a Salee rover to be repaired. Great crowds thronged the beach to watch her. She had come from a far country, and under her stern were the strange words, "Boston Lass."

Aboard her were a score or more infidel captives hard at work. Each night they were brought ashore and kept guarded in a fishing shed on the beach. Among them was Patrick Spence, turned over to the fate of a slave, working under the lash with his fellow American seamen.

In a separate tent adjoining that of Ripperda remained Mistress Betty and her two slave women. She was closely guarded, for her own sake; when she left the tent, it was usually at night. From her women she knew of Spence's fate, and knew that her own would be no better.

Upon the evening of Friday, "the day of the congregation," she was summoned to the tent of Ripperda. He sat propped among pillows, his swathed feet upon two stools. His harried features bore such a blaze of exultation that she knew instantly some great thing had happened. Messengers had come from Oran by land, and from Ceuta by sea.

"Good evening, lady," said Ripperda courteously. "Is not the horoscope finished?"

"At this time tomorrow night I will present it to you," responded the girl quietly.

"Ah! And does it tell of success or failure?"

"Only one failure have I seen so far, my lord, and that is death. But there are evil influences in the south, and I fear tomorrow may tell another story."

"Know you what has chanced today?" Ripperda gave a vibrant laugh. "Hear, then! The fleet and army of Algiers have joined my forces before Oran. A victory has been won at Ceuta. The Sultan of Egypt has joined me. And last—read this, which just came from Oran, from the hand of Admiral Perez himself!"

He extended a paper, a letter in Spanish. The girl read:

I write you hastily, during battle. The enemy attacked us and are trapped. Before me are the heads of the governor general, Marquis de Santa Cruz; the Marquis de Valdecagnas, Colonel Pinel, and a hundred officers of the Walloon and other regiments. In the name of Allah, who gives victory.

Thy friend,


"Now," cried Ripperda proudly, "let us see if your horoscope forecasts what must happen! The Spaniard driven from Africa—and what then? Finish your labors, fair lady!"

"Tomorrow night they shall be finished, my lord. And forget not your promise to me!"

"I renew the promise—you shall have one of the captured Spanish ships at Oran, to go whither you will!"

The girl left the tent trembling, for she feared the man and his purposes. For a space she stood gazing over the camp-crowded shore below, and the little bay where the ship lights glimmered. Sadness was upon her, the load of despair grew more hopeless each hour. All her hopes had crashed down.

Now she was aware that a dark-clad Moor approached the man who guarded her. They talked softly, there was the chink of money, then the Moor came forward and addressed her in Spanish:

"Señorita, I come from Udjde. I have a letter for you, another for Captain Spence."

Mistress Betty started violently. She took the paper extended to her.

"He is among the slaves yonder," she said, despairing. "You cannot reach him."

The Moor laughed quietly.

"Aye, we knew that ere I left. My master, the governor, has word daily by pigeon. I am told to bid you hope, and despair not. Adios!"

Crushing the note in her hand the girl turned to her own tent. In a fever of eagerness, she dismissed her slaves and bent above the lamp. She opened the paper and read:

If this reaches you, know that Mulai Ali is alive and well and will be proclaimed sherif ere this reaches you. Make what use of the news you can—he is already marching on Fez, but we keep it secret. The bearer will rescue you and Spence, if possible, and bears full powers from Mulai Ali to act for him. God keep you, sweet mistress!

Thos. Shaw.

Tears brimmed the girl's eyes. Rescue! Good Dr. Shaw alive and well. Mulai Ali alive!

Whether she could be plucked from Ripperda's hand was a large query. Spence was another matter; she felt sure that Mulai Ali's emissary would rescue him. That Moor must have many friends, men of Ali's party, enemies of the pasha. Was Shaw preparing some deadly blow against Ripperda, here in this place? Undoubtedly!

Exultation burned in the girl's eyes as she turned to the horoscope.

"Mulai Ali wins!" she murmured, her eyes wide in rapt thought. "Though Ripperda slay me for it I shall drive home one blow to his face—such a blow as he shall rue bitterly! The man means to play me false, break his promise; I read it in his eyes. Well, then, here is a weapon that shall strike home to him!"

She seized quill and ink horn, and fell to work.

The following day was quiet. Ripperda looked hourly for fresh dispatches from Oran, but none came. His gout was worse; in her tent, Mistress Betty could hear the deep groans from his quarters. Only his renegades were encamped here on the hill, for he would trust no others.

Late in the afternoon, from her tent, the girl saw the arrival of a dozen horsemen from the south. Their leader wore a black burnoose, and at sight of him the girl shrank. Gholam Mahmoud! What new evil did his presence foretell? Had the man come to warn Ripperda?

The girl's fears might have been both lightened and increased had she followed Gholam Mahmoud into Ripperda's tent. He swaggered in, saluted Ripperda, and laid down a bundle.

"You have it there?" Ripperda started up, eagerly.

"Aye," said Gholam Mahmoud. "As I thought, Captain Spence flung it into the river. Well, here it is! Being sewn in canvas, it has probably suffered little damage. It is unopened."

Ripperda seized on the bundle with trembling fingers, ripped away the canvas, took a knife and cut the stiffened leather around the lock. Opening the box he found a number of small packages wrapped in oiled silk. A long breath of relief came from him, and he relaxed amid his cushions. Gholam Mahmoud regarded him with sardonic gaze.

"And my reward?"

"Ah!" Ripperda started. "Wait until tonight. The girl is casting my horoscope. Remain, hear the reading of it—and take her. Are you content?"

"It is well, master. I shall go and rest until night."

The heel of the afternoon passed into sunset. As the daylight waned, the sail of a fast little sloop was seen speeding up the harbor toward the village.

It was now that Ripperda sent for Mistress Betty.

Starry-eyed she entered the tent, holding against the bosom of her white robe the scroll which was to foretell the doom of Pasha Ripperda. He sat among the cushions, smiling that weary smile of his. To one side sat Gholam Mahmoud, puffing at a water pipe; save for them, and the guard at the door, the pavilion was empty.

"The labor is done?" Ripperda's tone was silky. "And did you obey my request?"

"I did," said the girl. "My lord, your entire fate is written here."

"Then read it, read it!" Ripperda's interest quickened. "Tell first of the things I most want to know—the issue of my undertakings! I can study the whole horoscope later. Does everything go well?"

"Not so, my lord."

The girl's tone was grave; the gaze that she bent upon Ripperda was steady.

"If you desire flattery, I might give it; but what I have written here is the truth."

Ripperda leaned back, a dry smile upon his lips.

"Let us know the worst, mistress! When shall the infidel be driven from Africa?"

"Never." Mistress Betty unrolled the paper and read. "Your star has waned, my lord. The war against Spain is doomed to failure—nay, has already failed! Mulai Ali is alive and has been proclaimed sherif. You yourself have not a fortnight longer to enjoy life—"

An oath ripped from pasha's lips. He sat upright, fury in his eyes.

"What madness is this?" he cried out. "Why, this—"

A cry from the door; into the pavilion rushed a panting man, waving a paper. The guard at the door called in to Ripperda.

"A boat from Oran, lord! This message has just come! From the admiral!"

Ripperda seized the paper, tore at the seals. Within, he found only a few hasty lines:

Allah has turned victory into defeat. The Algerine fleet is crushed on the rocks. Our camp is taken. Our army is shattered. Pasha Ali is dead. Flee to Tetuan; I meet you there. All is lost.


From Ripperda burst a hollow groan. His features became ghastly, and for a moment he sat as though paralyzed. The paper fell from his nerveless fingers; Gholam Mahmoud, leaning forward, read the message in silence.

In this dread silence came another cry from the guard at the door.

"A courier from the south, with urgent news!"

"Admit him," said Ripperda in a dead voice.

"In the name of God!" cried the dust-white man, flinging himself on his face at the entrance. "Mulai Ali is not dead, but alive, has been proclaimed sherif, is marching on Fez with all the Zenete tribes behind him. Also, an hour ago I met two Spahis from the army at Ceuta, who told me that the infidels have raised the siege there, and that a great fleet of Spanish ships has passed on the way to Oran—"

From Ripperda broke one choking cry. He rose, swayed, his face purpled with a rush of blood. Guards rushed into the tent, caught him in their arms. He could utter only one terrible word—

"Tetuan!" he gasped, and again: "Tetuan!"

He fell forward in their arms. Well, they knew that it was the signal to flee with him to his one refuge—Tetuan, on the coast. The captain of the bodyguard came running in hastily.

"There is mad tumult in the camp—by Allah! What has happened here?"

"Disaster," said Gholam Mahmoud coolly. "The armies at Oran and Ceuta destroyed, Mulai Ali alive and proclaimed sherif! The master says to flee to Tetuan at once. Take the ship."

"Listen!" shouted a renegade from the doorway. "Listen!"

From the camp below came rising a great chorus of voices, while muskets banged. "Ras Ripperda!" clamored a shrill, deadly yell, and the name of Mulai Ali rose high.

"They'll have his head; sure enough." Gholam Mahmoud gestured toward the unconscious Ripperda. "Get him away! You are cut off from the ship; you can't gain it now. To horse!"

"By Allah, that is the truth!" cried the captain of the guard. "We cannot reach the shore. Bring him out, comrades—to horse, to horse!"

A rush of excited men. The tent emptied, save for the girl shrinking to one side—and Gholam Mahmoud. The latter brought a whistle to his lips, blew a shrill blast. The next moment a dozen men—his own men—were crowding into the pavilion. A mad tumult was rolling up from the camp.

"Loot everything!" cried Gholam Mahmoud. "Get aboard Ripperda's ship—take her and her treasures for ourselves. Quickly! Scatter and meet at the shore!"

He turned upon Mistress Betty. One cry broke from her, but too late. A shawl was about her head, and he lifted her in his arms.

A moment afterward the rush of maddened Berbers, yelling the name of Mulai Ali and shrieking for the head of Ripperda, burst over the group of tents. These were empty. Only a hard-riding group of horsemen under the starlight showed that some few men had been faithful to the fallen pasha—faithful enough to flee with him.


"Now from the bow came a noise of humming,
and the crafty Odysseus sailed as he heard it."

WHEN that fateful evening cast its shadows over the bay, Spence and his score of fellow slaves were herded into their fish-shed, ironed as usual by wrist and ankle. But tonight they did not cast themselves down in hopeless despair on the piles of filthy nets. Instead there was a low murmur of talk in the shed. Spence eyed his companions eagerly.

Three of them were from Newfoundland, the others were Boston men. Two over the score lay to one side, sorely wounded. All the officers of the Boston Lass had been calm at her taking, and now it was to Spence that these men looked for leadership. Nor did he fail them.

"Fear not, lads," he said quietly. "That Moor was no liar! He and a dozen more men stand ready to aid us, and he bears an order from Mulai Ali to free us. Once escaped, we are safe enough."

"And the lady, master?" spoke up lanky Cyrus Roberts, whom Spence had appointed to be his chief mate. "Be yon Moor a going to get her aboard the ship?"

"So he promised me," answered Spence. "Hark! Something has happened in the camp."

They fell silent, listening tensely. Something, indeed, had happened; the shallop had come to shore, bearing news of the disaster at Oran. Now, as the news spread through the camp, there arose a great tumult of cursing and shouting. Amid this clamor a dozen men stole into the shed, and their leader came to the side of Spence.

"Make haste, capitán!" he cried in Spanish. "Disaster has befallen our army at Oran, and already my emissaries are spreading news of Mulai Ali. Presently the tribesmen will be crying for the head of Ripperda—here are robes and swords."

The Moor and his men were already unlocking the irons of the seamen. From somewhere close at hand boomed a musket, followed by a shrill yell: "Ras Ripperda!"

"I must go!" exclaimed the Moor. "I shall see to the señorita and meet you at the boats. Take your time and move carefully, lest you be recognized. These men of mine will obey you. Order them in Castilian—farewell!"

He was gone, running out into the clamor that now made an inferno of the camp.

Spence, freed of his irons, rose and took charge. There was no further need of caution, for the Berber camp was now in tumultuous confusion, guns flashing and torches flaring on every hand. Spence's voice commanded the seamen sharply, as he stood beside the pile of robes and arms which had been brought by the Moors.

"Every man file past me and get a burnoose. Mr. Roberts! Take charge of these scimitars and deal them out, while I show the men how to get into the robes."

"Aye, aye, sir!" responded Roberts promptly.

For any in the fever-hot camp to know that the Christian slaves were escaping, would provoke instant massacre, and Spence took no chances. He garbed each man in a burnoose, while Roberts handed out the swords and a few pistols which had been provided. Deep were the oaths of satisfaction which sounded as the men gripped the hilts and felt themselves once more free and about to strike a blow.

"Nigh enough like cutlasses, lads," sang out Roberts, "to make 'em swing well! All ready here, sir. Be they Moors goin' with us?"

Spence addressed the Moors, found that they were to help him capture the brigantine, and ordered them to lead the way. A last word to his men.

"Not a word until we get under her side, lads, or we may lose everything! She is Ripperda's own ship, and if he gets aboard her we may have stiff work of it. But she's our only chance of getting home again—look alive! Follow the Moors."

It was the hope of Spence that he might not only capture the brigantine, but take Ripperda prisoner, for it was deemed certain that Ripperda would flee to his ship. Even Spence perceived, when he emerged from the shed, that this was an impossibility. From every side the Berbers were surrounding the little eminence on which stood Ripperda's camp, and the pasha was quite cut off from shore.

"Unless he gets away by land, he's done for," thought Spence, listening to the frenzied yells of the mob.

Meantime, with his men, he was approaching the shore, where the fisher boats lay drawn up. Here, everything was darkness and confusion; several boats were creeping over the water between the shore and the anchored ships, and the Moors who were leading the party of white men came to a halt, counseling a wait for their leader.

Spence controlled the eagerness of his men, anxiously awaiting news of Mistress Betty. Suddenly a growl broke from Roberts.

"Master Spence! They've doused the lights on the brigantine—if they're not a hauling of her out, then sink me for a Dutchman! Aye—can hear the clink o' the pawls—kedging her, they are."

True enough. Spence, hearing that sound, imagining that he could see the vague shape of the brigantine already moving across the water, caught his breath sharply. He breathed a prayer as he stood there in agonized suspense. Freedom—slipping away in the darkness! Without that brigantine they were lost. He knew it, the others knew it. And they waited for a girl.

Around him he could feel the tense straining and quivering of the seamen—their panting breaths, their awful agony of fear in that moment. From one bronzed throat came a stifled groan, then silence again. At length one man spoke up in terrorized accents.

"Master Spence! 'Tis too much to bide here doing naught, waiting for a lady."

Somebody smote the man; there was the thud of a blow, then desperate silence. Spence felt a thrill as he sensed the quality of these seamen, sacrificing their hopes, jeopardizing their chances of escape for a girl they had never seen. He knew how bitter hard was that self-control.

"Ready at the boats, men," he said quietly. "Lay the wounded men aboard and stand by to launch."

A rustle of movement, a scrape of feet as they obeyed. All the while from the camp and the hill there was a flittering of torches and a continual outcry from the Berbers; the hapless servants of Ripperda were being slaughtered there.

Then a burst of running feet, and three men came hurtling out of the tumult. The foremost was the Moorish leader who had freed Spence, and from him came a sharp, terrible burst of words.

"She is gone! Gholam Mahmoud has seized her, taken her aboard Ripperda's ship—he and his men have seized the ship."

"Launch!" Like the snap of a taut cable came the word from Spence. "Run 'em out, lads—the lady is aboard the brigantine—after her!"

A growl of excited oaths, a. heaving of bodies, and the cumbersome fisher boats were scraped over the shingle. The men tumbled aboard, seamen and Moors intermixed, and there was a moment of confusion.

Spence, with six seamen only in his craft, and the Moorish leader were the first to get away. The oars dipped and tugged, the boat drew out from shore.

"What of Ripperda?" murmured Spence. The Moor whispered an oath.

"Escaped, may Allah blast him! His bodyguard rode away with him. Gholam Mahmoud had a dozen men there; they seized the lady and Ripperda's treasures, and got aboard his ship. I was detained."

"How many of them aboard her?"

"Thirty, at least, all corsairs."

Satisfied that the other boats were following, Spence drove ahead. The brigantine was moving along in tow of boats; she would catch the land breeze soon. Already sheaves were squeaking and canvas was slapping. A moment afterward it was evident that Gholam Mahmoud no longer feared those ashore. Lanterns flashed on the deck, and hoarse shouts echoed, in the bows of the brigantine a cresset broke out its smoky flare. Three boats towed her.

"At her, lads!" snapped Spence.

He steered for hanging lines in the ship's waist, and the men gave way. For a space it seemed that they would lay her board unchallenged; then, from her poop, cracked out a voice—the voice of Gholam Mahmoud. It was followed by the crack of a pistol.

"Off with the robes, lads! All up—boarders away!"

The boat surged forward—the oars fell. Spence caught a line, the agile Moor another, and they were over the rail. From the poop and bulwarks came a rush of men. The Moor emptied a pistol into them, then leaped forward with his curved blade swinging. Spence, cooler of head, stood by the rail, and his steel dropped the first man to reach him.

Now his men began coming over the side, sword in teeth; with a shout to them, Spence threw himself forward to the rescue of the Moor embroiled amid a crowd. "Hurray!"

The seamen streamed after him. A pistol cracked, and another; the Yankee rush burst the crowd asunder. The yell rose more shrill, as Spence's other boats came up, and for a moment he thought they would take the ship at a blow. Only for a moment! Now from stem and stern came a rush of figures; steel flamed in the lantern light; the confusion and whirl of blades made an inextricable turmoil across the deck. From all this stood forth one terrible vision which was burned into Spence's memory.

Himself engaged with a swarthy corsair, he saw Gholam Mahmoud cross blades with one of the Newfoundland men. A lantern lit them distinctly. He saw Gholam lean forward in a curious manner—saw his blade sweep out, then down and up—and with a scream the seaman died, ripped from abdomen to chin. It was the famous Mameluke stroke, the deadly and unavoidable cut which made the Mameluke swordsmen invincible throughout the east.

"Allah!" yelled the corsairs, and the Moors who fought for Spence responded in kind. Spence clove his way to the poop, and found the rail ahead of him. The waist was cleared. To bow and stern his men were driving the defenders. Then a rush changed the whole aspect. The seamen became bunched in the waist, fired on from poop and bow.

"Aft, lads!" shouted Spence, his voice rising over the din. "Aft! To the poop!" He leaped up the ladder, gained the poop, and found himself assailed by a corsair, the rais of the ship. Spence fended his head with his blade, and the steel shivered. He reeled, saw the swarthy face whirl in upon him, and leaped barehanded. He jerked up the bearded head, caught the naked torso, threw all his power into the terrific wrench. The corsair shrieked once, then went limp as his neck twisted.

"Up with you, men!" shouted Spence, but they were already coming.

From the deck Spence caught up a sword and led the rush. Behind, from the bow, the corsairs were pursuing, but the seamen gained the poop and began to clear it. Now amid the turmoil, Spence caught a glimpse of a white figure by the starboard rail, dragging a lantern from its place. He stared, incredulous, at the face of Mistress Betty—then a streak of fire and a roar leaped forth from her hand. A little swivel gun, mounted there at the rail, had been emptied into the crowded ranks of the corsairs!

In the flames of that discharge darted forward the face of Gholam Mahmoud, contorted and infernal in its rage. Spence saw the flash of a weapon, heard the girl cry out, hurled forward. Of what passed around him he saw nothing—now he had Gholam Mahmoud before him, and he heard the voice of Mistress Betty in his ears, and was fighting like a madman.

It was fortunate that Spence had seen and noted that dreaded Mameluke stroke, for now he saw Gholam Mahmoud lean forward again in that same curious manner. Spence leaped back and the blade hurtled up—a miss! Gholam snarled as Spence pressed in again. No words passed; the two men fought back toward the stern—back and back, quartering the deck with blow after blow.

Once again came that Mameluke stroke, this time so close that the steel point drew blood from Spence's chest. As the blow missed, almost before it had missed, Spence was in and struck fiercely, with all his strength.

He felt the blade go home—heard the sword of Gholam Mahmoud clatter down on the deck. Then, in a flash, the man leaped up to the rail—gained it! He stood there an instant, getting his balance for a spring to the water; in this instant came something like a streak of light that took him squarely between the shoulders.

A knife, it was—a long curved knife from the hand of a Moor.

Gholam Mahmoud threw out his arms, the knife haft standing from his back; then, convulsively, the body leaped. From below came a splash—no more.

Spence leaned on his sword, panting, out of breath, things swimming before his eyes. Nor could he move, even when Mistress Betty came to him; her voice seemed distant and far. Then he was dimly aware of Roberts exultantly addressing him.

"She's ours, Master Spence. Four of our lads killed, all a bit hurt—but she's ours!"

"Make sail," muttered Spence. "All hands—make sail!"


"A randy, dandy, dandy-o,
A whet of ale and brandy-o,
With a rumbelow and a Westward-ho!
Heave, my mariners, all-o!"

TETUAN was passed, and the narrow way of Gib-al Taric, and off Tangier the brigantine spoke a small galley which had come from the port to meet her. The two craft lay side by side, for the sea was like glass.

Here Spence said farewell to the Moor who had freed him, and to the six men who remained of the Moor's following.

From the lazaret of the brigantine was lifted a chest, one of several in which was laid away Ripperda's ill-gotten gold. This chest, with certain other plunder, was swung aboard the galley as Mulai Ali's share. Then Spence confided to the Moor that same water-stained leather box, which held in its care Ripperda's great schemes.

"To Mulai Ali this is worth more than the gold," he said. "Take it to him, with our thanks and good-will."

So the Moor passed to his own ship, and the galley departed. Spence called the crew into the waist, and with Mistress Betty beside him, laid a choice before them.

"Say now, lads, which way we steer? Whether to the north and England, or out across the Atlantic to home again. Many of you are wounded, we are short-handed, our charts are poor, our instruments worse. Yet we have food and drink to spare. Settle the matter by vote, and let us get out of these waters."

Now the men, grinning, looked one at another. Roberts was urged forth as spokesman. He touched his forelock to the girl, and regarded Spence with a wide smile.

"Why, sir, as to instruments and charts and such, that be your business. But that there gold down below—be there much left?"

Spence laughed. "Enough to make us all rich men, lads, and Ripperda pays the shot. So speak out freely."

"Well, sir, we would be fools to steer for any English port wi' that gold below," said Roberts. "The less any one knows of our business, say we, the better! If it please you, Master Spence, we vote to make Boston town, and if the royal governor hears naught o' that there gold, 'twill be good luck for us!"

"Very well," said Spence. "Master Roberts, lay the course for the Azores, and we'll try our fortune for home!"

A cheer echoed up from the crew. Spence turned to the girl—met her grave regard.

"Well, Mistress Betty! Will you be saddened in heart to see the hills of Boston over our bow instead of the chalk cliffs of Dover?"

A smile lightened in the eyes of the girl as her hand crept into his.

"Dear Patrick! Hast never read your Bible, then? Dost not remember what Ruth said to the man in whose hand her own lay—even as mine lies in yours?"

And Patrick Spence laughed out as he looked with her to the west, and the ship swung about to the wind.


Roy Glashan's Library
Non sibi sed omnibus
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