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the Free that it should 80 civility, and even to a wife affect even the loch.”

there was nothing for Jack to “Never mind philosophis- say but,

“Never mind, it ing,” I said impatiently. doesn't matter," although he

Look ! is that the Free almost gulped over the forChurch ?

mula ! Our education was dear to After the first stricken moJack, but Skeletta considerably ments, things were better, as dearer, and this remark of at least there was much to be mine brought him up from done. Of course the tide was below explosively.

falling. People may have gone “Free Church !” he shouted ; aground on a rising one, but “how the devil can you see the somehow one does not hear of Free Church ? Good heavens! them, I suppose, because their We're practically on the plight is merely ignominious, Glorigs !.”

whereas, with a falling tide, it The shock of this news was has the dignity of tragedy. too much for Skeletta. Aban- Jack, now freezingly civil to doned by her lord and master every one, asked the Don, to women and dons, she gave “Would you mind telling me one shudder of disgust and what the tide is here ? dismay, and-stood still ! Not The leaves of the sailing so any one else. Jack took two directions fluttered agitatedly. tottering steps and fell ilat on I think the poor man even his face, the Don dropped the licked his fingers--and then useless symbols of navigation he read out over-hurriedly, and sat down abruptly amongst "Spring tide rises thirteen and them, while MʻLeod and Wullie a half feet, and leaps ten

, clung to each other in a short feet." and silent fox-trot! The sil- “Leaps ten feet!" I cried, ence, if short, was " significant “Good heavens ! of much.' Then Jack, nursing “No


Neaps, I à bruised elbow, ejaculated should have said," the poor --something,


added, man stuttered, very conscious Stuck!" One of the most of Jack's polite and silent atdreadful things in the world tention and pregnant “ Thank is to have to say something you ! ” to the victim of one's inex. Without further enlisting our cusable crushing mistake! It aid, Jack and the men set

! ought to count towards retri. about mysterious operations bution that one must just with all the spare spars.

The listen to oneself uttering inane Don and I found ourselves fatuities, and it matters little degraded to the rank of pasto the humiliation how they sengers, and felt our humiliaare received. But some things tion deserved but bitter. are 80 bad that there is no Juanita now came on deck, scope for them but complete looking recovered and com



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pletely at ease. She looked at Juanita's misunderstanding our isolated position with sur- of the state of matters was also prise.

rather endearing and soothing : “Oh, I thought we had come “I think it's 80 extraordinary alongside !"

the way you two understand We have rather forcibly,” all about these nautical matters! I said. “If you look over this What a comfort it must be to side, you

will see what we are Jack to have such a capable up against."

pair to help him!” About four feet below the As we sat thus "helpfully surface was a miniature moun- talking, and ostentatiously igtain-range, and we were sitting nored by the unappreciative ark-like on its Ararat ! On Jack, Skeletta, in spite of the the other side the sea appeared strenuous efforts to prevent as bottomless as usual, except her, began to show signs of towards the bows.

fainting. She had borne the "Are we not going to shove first shock gallantly, but as off again " Juanita asked. ?

she saw the ever-supporting We had to admit we were element prepare to desert her, kept outside the Committee of her much-tried nerves gave Public Safety, and could only way, and she gently swoonedguess its policy, but inferred fortunately towards the rock, that we were making prepara- and not towards the chasm tions to stay where we were opening on the seaward side. for a bit.

This choice on her part was "But we seem very steady,' not only the tact shown by said Juanita. “Why are they any elegant female in fainting, putting props along outside ?

but was no doubt due, in some “To be thus is nothing ; measure, to a rope tied high but to be safely thus- up her mast, and hauled out quoth the Don; and then pro- to an anchor on the island. ceeded to explain the vagaries The various crutches which of tides and the effect on a had been improvised along the deep-keeled boat if bereft of same side failed to support her supporting water. The whole entirely, for, like the said elephenomenon of tides was a gant female, Skeletta is pretty complete mystery to Juanita, heavy when you try to hold her I knew, also the matter of keels up. More and more she suband their shapes ; but the Don sided, till we felt like sliding has the most courteous and off the deck. Jack continued useful

of providing to ignore our presence, except mere women with the facts of to apologise politely for disthe case in the course of con- turbing us whenever their enerversation, and then listening getic doings necessitated our to their opinions, new-formed moving out of his way. It was thereon, with endearing defer- all very crushing, and Juanita's

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incense of admiration was more



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soothing to the Don than to refloat us, we should have six me, who would have been hours or so in which to exhaust more cheered by a friendly the interests of a knobby rocky swear-word from Jack.

islet a few feet square ! I This aloofly displeased person looked at my watch ; I noticed now came and spoke to us. the Don did the same, and

I am afraid I must ask then, because as usual his was you all to go ashore ; at this not going, he asked me the time angle the boat is not very safe, in a low hopeless whisper. and might possibly go over ; “Half-past four-or therefor your own sakes as well as abouts,' I whispered back. hers, it would be better to be (Jack is the only person who

ever has the right time; the Ashore ? ” said Juanita. rest of us have just time of a “How interesting ! How far sort. I suppose Jack main

tains his is right, because he “Just down the ladder," re- has so much more data to plied Jack unsmilingly.

judge from than any one else, “How amusing!" said the for

he keeps innumerable innocent Juanita, “to explore watches and clocks all going, this funny little island !” each “in case the others

The Don and I said nothing. come to untimely ends.) We might not know all about The Don's lips moved as nautical matters, but we knew though in prayer as we slid, a few salient unpleasant facts, one by one, off the roof-like the chief of which was that it deck and down the ladder. was only half-tide when we 'Not before eleven o'clock at went aground, and before it earliest," were the only words would be half-tide again and I' overheard.

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In the year 1613, King Philip The person chosen as head III. of Spain, son of Bloody of the Mission was Don Garcia Mary's not inconsolable wid- de Silva y Figueroa, a permaower, determined to send an nent civil servant, who had for Embassy to Shah Abbas the many years been employed in Great of Persia. The object the Foreign Office at Madrid. of the Mission was twofold, He was already an elderly corresponding to the several man, having been born in 1550, interests of the two separate and we learn from the editors of crowns of Spain and Portugal, his Commentaries that he which, since 1580, had been was a “notable geographer," united in the person of the while another contemporary King of Spain. The first and traveller, who saw him in Permainly Spanish interest was to sia, declares him to have had a secure the continuance of Per- white beard and no teeth, but sian hostilities against Turkey, to have been robust all the in order to keep the Sultan same.

His credentials simply occupied, and divert his atten- describe him as persona de tion from Europe. The other, calidad y muy buenas partes.") purely Portuguese, concerned

Poor gentleman ! he little the welfare of the Portuguese knew what he was letting himsettlements on the Persian Gulf, self in for when he accepted the about which apprehensions had post, doubtless with a view to been aroused (not without solid acquiring fresh geographical grounds, as events subsequently knowledge. proved) by the recent annexa- Although the Ambassador's tion to Shah Abbas's dominions credentials bore the date of of the Kingdom of Lar. This 9th August 1613, it was not brought the Persian into direct until the spring of the followcontact with the Portuguese, ing year that the Mission and the Mission was to dissuade started. The intervening time, him from any aggression against we may conjecture, was occuthese settlements, which he pied in preparing the presents, would also be less inclined to without which no Ambassador undertake if his hands were could appear before an Oriental fully occupied with the Turks. potentate. These were numerIn fact, King Philip ingenu- ous and costly, and consisted of ously hoped to manoeuvre him- the sword which Philip III. self into the position of tertius had worn on the occasion of gaudens between Turkey and his marriage ; twenty-two gold Persia.

chains and a gold oup; a silver brazier and a silver writing- start the journal of his adventable;

à gilded chest, con- tures, which he wrote, obvitaining a complete table ser- ously for future publication, vice in silver; a box of the under the title of 'Comentarios same metal with pillars of de D. Garcia de Silva y Figueroa gold ; emerald and other rings; de la Embajada que de parte pieces of velvet and purple del Rey de España Don Felipe cloth ; Milan breastplates, hel- III. hizo al Rey Xa Abbas de mets, and arquebuses ; a mas- Persia.' tiff dog" of notable generosity It must be confessed that and strength"; and no less Don Garcia, who imitated than three hundred camel-loads Cæsar both in styling his of pepper, which the editors of memoirs “ Commentaries " and the 'Diary' rather indelicately in writing of himself in the suggest was required to stimu- third person as “El Embalate the jaded nervous system jador," was a trifle long-winded, of the polygamous Shah. The and that he could have set whole was valued at over a forth the history of his Mission hundred thousand ducats. in a quarter of the thousand

The first week in March was odd printed pages presented to the usual time for the India the reader. But he was of a fleet to start, but this year it Donnish turn of mind, in the was delayed in the Tagus by University as well as the Spancontrary winds, and only got ish sense of the word, with a off on 8th April 1614. There passion for imparting informawere five ships, but only three tion on every imaginable subof them reached Goa that year, ject which might crop up, and of which the Nuestra Señora de an insatiable curiosity ; and, la Luz, on which the Ambassa- as it turned out, the habit of dor and his suite, or, as he calls keeping a voluminous log must it, his "family," embarked, have been a perfect godsend was one.

to him in view of the interThe first half of the voyage minable delays which dragged proved uneventful, although un- out his expedition to no less duly prolonged by the bad than ten years. navigation and bestial obsti- Nothing particular happened nacy” of the Portuguese pilot, until the Luz got safely round who managed to get out in his the Cape in August, four months reckoning by a trifle of four after leaving Lisbon, and turned hundred leagues, and declared north-east by the route outthat they had already rounded side Madagascar, as the standthe Cape of Good Hope when, ing instructions for shipping as a matter of fact, they were were that no vessel rounding still a fortnight's sail to the the Cape later than 25th July north-west of it. Progress was should attempt the passage at the best slow, and Don through the Mozambique ChanGarcia found ample time to nel. Then the supply of water

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