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The Great Captain: A Story of the Days of Sir Walter Raleigh   By: (1861-1931)

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The Great Captain

A STORY OF THE DAYS OF SIR WALTER RALEIGH.

BY KATHARINE TYNAN HINKSON,

Author of "The Golden Lily," "The Queen's Page," "Her Father's Daughter," etc.

New York, Cincinnati, Chicago : BENZIGER BROTHERS, Publishers of Benziger's Magazine

Copyright, 1902, by Benziger Brothers .

Printed in the United States of America

[Illustration: "While I stood stammering and staring a lean finger was pointed at me." (See page 24.) ]

CONTENTS.

I. Of Myself, that Great Captain Sir Walter Raleigh, and how I became his Leal Man ............................................ 7

II. The Apparition of the Monk ................................ 21

III. Of My Secret, the Lord Boyle, and Other Matters .......... 37

IV. The Dead Hand ............................................. 52

V. Of a Strait Place and a Quiet Time ......................... 67

VI. The Treasure ship ......................................... 83

VII. Our Last Years Together .................................. 99

VIII. An Unravelled Thread .................................... 113

CHAPTER I. OF MYSELF, THAT GREAT CAPTAIN SIR WALTER RALEIGH, AND OF HOW I BECAME HIS LEAL MAN.

I never knew my father and mother, having been born into a time like that of the great desolation foretold by the Scriptures. They were the days of what I have heard called the Rebellion of the Desmonds, when that great league was made against the power of Eliza, the English Queen, by the Irish princes, which went down in a red sunset of death and blood. Indeed I myself had starved, like other innocents, on the breasts of their dead mothers, had it not been for the pity of him I must ever regard as the greatest of Englishmen, albeit no friend, but rather the spoiler, of those of my blood and faith.

It was indeed while the end was not yet quite determined, for although Sir James Desmond, the wisest and most skilled of their generals in the art of war, was dead, there was yet the Seneschal of Imokilly and other Geraldine lords fighting for their inheritance and their country. It was on a day when Sir Walter Raleigh with a handful of troopers was returning from a visit to the Lord Deputy at Dublin that he found me. He had expected no ambush, and rode slowly, being fatigued by his journey, through the great woods to the Ford of the Kine. Now the woods covered many dead and dying, and as the Captain rode at the head of his men I came running from the undergrowth, a lusty and fearless lad of three, and held up my hands to the foremost rider. I had as like as not been spitted on a trooper's sword but that the Captain himself, leaning from his horse, swung me to his saddle bow.

He had perhaps a thought of his own little Wat, by his mother's knee in an English pleasaunce, for, as I have heard since, he talked with me and provoked me to confidence. Nor was I slow to answer all he asked, being a bright and bold child, which perhaps was the saving of me, since I flung an arm round the great Captain's steel clad neck, and perched by him as bold as any robin that is housed in the frost.

But as we rode along in the summer evening, fearing no danger, though danger there was, for my lord the Seneschal of Imokilly had word of our coming, and as we forded the river was upon us from the further bank with his kerns, three times our number. But the Captain rode at them with his sword drawn, slashing hither and thither, and sorely I must have hampered him, and much marvel it was that he did not loose me into the stream. But that he held me shows what manner of man he was, that being fierce and violent in battle he yet was of so rare magnanimity. Little lad as I was then, I remember to this day the cold of his steel and silver breastplate against my cheek... Continue reading book >>




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