To Have and To Hold
XXV. In Which My Lord Hath His Day
I AND Black Lamoral were leading a forlorn hope. With all my old company
behind us, we were thundering upon an enemy as thick as ants, covering the
face of the earth. Down came Black Lamoral, and the hoofs of every mad
charger went over me. For a time I was dead; then I lived again, and was walking
with the forester's daughter in the green chase at home. The oaks stretched
broad sheltering arms above the young fern and the little wild flowers, and the
deer turned and looked at us. In the open spaces, starring the lush grass, were
all the yellow primroses that ever bloomed. I gathered them for her, but when I
would have given them to her she was no longer the forester's daughter, but a
proud lady, heiress to lands and gold, the ward of the King. She would not take
the primroses from a poor gentleman, but shook her head and laughed sweetly,
and faded into a waterfall that leaped from a pink hill into a waveless sea.
Another darkness, and I was captive to the Chickahominies, tied to the stake. My
arm and shoulder were on fire, and Opechancanough came and looked at me,
with his dark, still face and his burning eyes. The fierce pain died, and I with it,
and I lay in a grave and listened to the loud and deep murmur of the forest
above. I lay there for ages on ages before I awoke to the fact that the darkness
about me was the darkness of a ship's hold, and the murmur of the forest the
wash of the water alongside. I put out an arm and touched, not the side of a
grave, but a ship's timbers. I stretched forth the other arm, then dropped it with a
groan. Some one bent over me and held water to my lips. I drank, and my
senses came fully to me. "Diccon!" I said.
"It's not Diccon," replied the figure, setting down a pitcher. "It is Jeremy Sparrow.
Thank God, you are yourself again!"
"Where are we?" I asked, when I had lain and listened to the water a little longer.
"In the hold of the George," he answered. "The ship sank by the bows, and well-
nigh all were drowned. But when they upon the George saw that there was a
woman amongst us who clung to the poop deck, they sent their longboat to take
The light was too dim for me to read his face, so I touched his arm.
"She was saved," he said. "She is safe now. There are gentlewomen aboard, and
she is in their care."
I put my unhurt arm across my eyes.
"You are weak yet," said the minister gently. "The Spaniard's ball, you know,
went through your shoulder, and in some way your arm was badly torn from
shoulder to wrist. You have been out of your head ever since we were brought
here, three days ago. The chirurgeon came and dressed your wound, and it is
healing well. Don't try to speak, - I'll tell you all. Diccon has been pressed into
service, as the ship is short of hands, having lost some by fever and some
overboard. Four of the pirates were picked up, and hung at the yardarm next
He moved as he spoke, and something clanked in the stillness. "You are ironed!"