When they came to the bight’s mouth, they found, as they had expected, coral rocks, and too many of them; so that they had to run along the edge of the reef a long way before they could find a passage for the boats. While they were so doing, and those of them who were new to the Indies were admiring through the clear element those living flower-beds, and subaqueous gardens of Nereus and Amphitrite, there suddenly appeared below what Yeo called “a school of sharks,” some of them nearly as long as the boat, who looked up at them wistfully enough out of their wicked scowling eyes.

“Jack,” said Amyas, who sat next to him, “look how that big fellow eyes thee: he has surely taken a fancy to that plump hide of thine, and thinks thou wouldst eat as tender as any sucking porker.”

Jack turned very pale, but said nothing.

Now, as it befell, just then that very big fellow, seeing a parrot-fish come out of a cleft of the coral, made at him from below, as did two or three more; the poor fish finding no other escape, leaped clean into the air, and almost aboard the boat; while just where he had come out of the water, three or four great brown shagreened noses clashed together within two yards of Jack as he sat, each showing its horrible rows of saw teeth, and then sank sulkily down again, to watch for a fresh bait. At which Jack said very softly, “In manus tuas, Domine!” and turning his eyes in board, had no lust to look at sharks any more.

So having got through the reef, in they ran with a fair breeze, the caravel not being now a musket-shot off. Cary laid her aboard before the Spaniards had time to get to their ordnance; and standing up in the stern-sheets, shouted to them to yield. The captain asked boldly enough, in whose name? “In the name of common sense, ye dogs,” cries Will; “do you not see that you are but fifty strong to our twenty?” Whereon up the side he scrambled, and the captain fired a pistol at him. Cary knocked him over, unwilling to shed needless blood; on which all the crew yielded, some falling on their knees, some leaping overboard; and the prize was taken.

In the meanwhile, Amyas had pulled round under her stern, and boarded the boat which was second from her, for the nearest was fast alongside, and so a sure prize. The Spaniards in her yielded without a blow, crying “Misericordia;” and the negroes, leaping overboard, swam ashore like sea-dogs. Meanwhile, the third boat, which was not an oar’s length off, turned to pull away. Whereby befell a notable adventure: for John Brimblecombe, casting about in a valiant mind how he should distinguish himself that day, must needs catch up a boat-hook, and claw on to her stern, shouting, “Stay, ye Papists! Stay, Spanish dogs!”—by which, as was to be expected, they being ten to his one, he was forthwith pulled overboard, and fell all along on his nose in the sea, leaving the hook fast in her stern.

Where, I know not how, being seized with some panic fear (his lively imagination filling all the sea with those sharks which he had just seen), he fell a-roaring like any town-bull, and in his confusion never thought to turn and get aboard again, but struck out lustily after the Spanish boat, whether in hope of catching hold of the boat-hook which trailed behind her, or from a very madness of valor, no man could divine; but on he swam, his cassock afloat behind him, looking for all the world like a great black monk- fish, and howling and puffing, with his mouth full of salt water, “Stay, ye Spanish dogs! Help, all good fellows! See you not that I am a dead man? They are nuzzling already at my toes! He hath hold of my leg! My right thigh is bitten clean off! Oh that I were preaching in Hartland pulpit! Stay, Spanish dogs! Yield, Papist cowards, least I make mincemeat of you; and take me aboard! Yield, I say, or my blood be on your heads! I am no Jonah; if he swallow me, he will never cast me up again! it is better to fall into the hands of man, than into the hands of devils with three rows of teeth apiece. In manus tuas. Orate pro animâ—!

And so forth, in more frantic case than ever was Panurge in that his ever-memorable seasickness; till the English, expecting him every minute to be snapped up by sharks, or brained by the Spaniard’s oars, let fly a volley into the fugitives, on which they all leaped overboard like their fellows; whereon Jack scrambled into the boat, and drawing sword with one hand, while he wiped the water out of his eyes with the other, began to lay about him like a very lion, cutting the empty air, and crying, “Yield, idolaters! Yield, Spanish

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