A Struggle for Rome, vol. 2
Fearful was the shock of meeting upon the narrow road between sea and rocks. The torches were extinguished in the skirmish; and the dawning day gave but a faint grey light.
The Huns, although superior in numbers to their bold adversaries, were completely taken by surprise. They thought that a whole army of Goths was on the march. They hastened to join their horses and fly. But the Goths reached the place where the animals stood at the same moment as their owners, and, in confused heaps, men and horses were driven off the road into the sea. In vain Johannes himself struck at his flying people; their rush threw him to the ground; he sprang up immediately and attacked the nearest Goth. But he had fallen into bad hands. It was Totila; he recognised him.
"Cursed Flax-head!" he cried, "so you are not drowned?"
"No, as you see!" cried Totila, and struck a blow at the other's helm, which cleft it through and entered slightly