seen to shoot suddenly from the mouth of a cavern in the cliffs in which it had lain concealed. It was double-banked and full of armed men, and was rowed in such a way as to cut in advance of the Penelope. The vigour with which the oars were plied, and the rapidity with which the sail was run up, left no doubt as to the nature of the craft or the intentions of those who manned it.
"The rascals!" growled Arkal with a dark frown, "I more than half expected to find them here."
"Pirates, I suppose?" said Bladud.
"Ay--and not much chance of escaping them. Give another haul on the sail-rope, mate, and pull, men, pull, if you would save your liberty-- for these brutes have no mercy."
The sail was tightened up a few inches, and the vessel was put more directly before the wind. The way in which the slaves bent to the oars showed that the poor fellows fully understood the situation.
For a few minutes Captain Arkal watched the result in stern silence. Then, with an unwonted lo