and men in its talons, and drops men's limbs, armor, timber, all that's left, down to the Dark Sea monsters who wait to devour the wreckage in their huge jaws. Ugh, 'tis an ugly thought, and enough to keep any man safe this side the world."
"In some places fair, in some dark," mused Christopher. "It would be worth sailing out there to find which was the truth."
"Where would be the good of finding that if you never came back, boy?"
Christopher shrugged his shoulders. "Just for the fun of finding out, perhaps," he said.
* * * * *
A month later Christopher saw a galley flying the flag of Genoa enter the harbor. When the captain came on shore the boy went to him, and telling him who he was, asked for a chance to go as sailor back to Genoa. The captain knew the boy's father, Domenico Colombo, and gave Christopher a place on the galley. She was sailing north, homeward bound, and a few days later, having safely avoided all hostile ships and storms, the galley came into sight of the