EBooks - Fiction, Nonfiction 1000s of them ~ Index

 
 
 

The Corsair of Scio by James De Mille

 

CHAPTER I.

  The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
    Where burning Sappho loved and sung;
  Where grew the arts of war and peace,
    Where Phobus rose and Delos sprung—
  Eternal summer gilds them yet,
  But all except their sun is set.

-BYRON.

IT was morning among the islands of Greece and the dark blue sea on every side showed not a ripple upon its bosom. The sky was as calm and peaceful as the water which reflects its azure hue, and not a cloud appeared to mar its surface. The sun just rising cast a broad gleam of light over the scene, and threw upon the wide sea a long path of ruddy light. Around lay the isles of Greece—the home of classic poetry, whose trees and gentle brooks, whose groves and fields, whose very rocks and soil, bring up before the mind glorious memories of the past. There they lay, appearing double as their images were seen reflected in the mirror-like wave, the branches of their clustering trees hanging down gracefully—droopingly. But more glorious than all the lovely spots which dot these sparkling waves is Scio-the beautiful, the classic Scio. Here were the remains of many a glorious temple of the ancients. Here were rich vineyards whose vine yielded the famous Chian wine. Here the long avenues of orange trees and olives, of citron and lemons, appeared on every side, and odorous breezes from the East, laden with perfumes of spices and flowers, blew ever gently upon the blest shores of Scio.

It was in the middle of the eighteenth century, when Scio was at the height of her glory and prosperity, when the people were wealthy and happy, and all was delight and pleasure-it was at such a time that a small vessel might have been seen at a short distance from her northern coast. Every stitch of her broad latteen sails was unfurled, but no favorable wind came to fill them-no motion was in the air. Upon the south the green and richly wooded shores of Scio stretched along, upon which at times appeared the sheen of some marble cliff as it jutted out among the green vegetation.

The vessel was long and sharp. Two tall masts supported the broad triangular sails, and a red flag without device floated from the summit of the main; men appeared dressed in the Grecian costume lolling about the deck, some smoking, others talking, and others sleeping. At the stern the leader paced up and down. He was young, and had in his face all the high spirit and impetuous daring of youth. His features were perfectly Grecian, all as finely formed as those of some antique statue of his native land. A small fur cap was placed upon his head, from beneath which rich clusters of raven hair flowed down. His eyes were large and dark, and a jetty moustache and beard completed the manly expression of his countenance. He wore a rich crimson jacket, embroidered with gold, loose trousers with boots which reached to his knees, and a red silk scarf wound around his waist afforded a place where to put two pistols and a Turkish dagger. A larger sword dangled at his side, and in his hand he held a long light gun which, like his pistols, was richly ornamented after the oriental fashion.

"Maffeo," said he to his lieutenant, "how goes the wind now!"

"There is not any wind to go," said Maffeo, a strong and hardy man who was leaning over the side.

"Well, I think we will have a wind very soon."

"A wind? Do you? Why?"

"I feel it."

"You can always tell, I know not how, when there will be a wind. We are ready for it, however."

"Maffeo, what was that you heard about these cursed Turks, when you were ashore?"

"Didn't I tell you? Well, I heard that they had landed upon Komao, a little island near—"

"I know it well."

"Where there were only a hundred inhabitants. Monilon, the principal man there, was seized, beaten, robbed, and the worst of it was, his daughter Iona was carried away."

"What! carried away? Iona! I have heard of her as the most beautiful of all Grecian girls."

"She is gone like many others to the slave market at Constantinople."

"Ah, the accursed hounds! the dogs of unbelievers! Thus they tyrannize over us, and rob our men, and carry off our virgins. But great Heaven, shall this be done longer? Ah, the wretches! Maffeo, this will make us whet our swords more readily upon the next Turks with whom we fight."

"Whew!, there comes the wind! see how it blows around yon rock."

"And by all the holy saints and angels, Maffeo, there is a Turkish vessel. Ha! two vessels. By heaven, there are three!" he cried, as one after another three vessels came borne by the wind around the point where it blew.

"How can we get off? We have no wind. They will be upon us.-See, each vessel is larger than ours, and the decks are crowded with armed men: See that long gun. It can shatter us to pieces!"

"Peace, Maffeo. Be not so fearful. The wind will come to us before they can get near enough to use that long piece. Halloa there! up my men! There are three Turkish ships behind us!"

With many an oath and imprecation, the sailors rose and hastily gathered their arms. One of them strung up at the foremast another flag, on which appeared a crescent beneath a cross.

"Now my brave men, we will have to run. But we do not always do so. Perhaps the time will come when we may have our turn at chasing. If they come up, fight, fight like fiends, and die like Christians!"

Loud cheers arose and shouts of "Long live Ranadar! Long live our noble captain, the brave Ranadar!"

And now the wind which Ranadar had prophesied, came down to them. It blew steadily and strongly, so that in a short time her sharp prow dashed the bright waves foamingly on either side. The Turkish vessels who had borne down toward the corsair, as soon as they saw him, and had felt certain of seizing him, now uttered cries of disappointment, as they saw him move away. Loud cries were sent across the water, shouts of ridicule and opprobrious names which the wind bore along to their ears.

Ranadar looked back and shook his scimetar at the Turkish vessels.

"Howl on! The time will come when you will tremble before me-Ranadar, the corsair!"

He cried so loudly, that they seemed to have heard him, for suddenly a shot came from the long gun, but it fell short, far short of the mark. The men of Ranadar shouted in derision, and jerked the flag whenever appeared the humiliated crescent, so as to attract the notice of the Turks.

Ranadar gazed anxiously upon his pursuers. Still they came bounding over the waves behind him, and his quick eye could not but see that the distance between them was gradually lessened.

"Maffeo, they are coming up to us."

"What, can a Turkish vessel equal our swift ship?"

"These are sharp, and see what huge sails they carry. I fear they will come up with us."

"Well, we will fight them-yes, all three!"

"Good, Maffeo. You are a brave man. Tell this not to the men for a time, yet."

Ranadar watched more anxiously. The hours of day passed on, and midday arrived. Though his own bark was swift, yet these were evidently more so. At morning, the foremost was about two miles off. Now not more than a mile separated them.

"Before night it will all be up. O the scoundrelly Sciotes! Why did they not give notice of this?" and Ranadar walked anxiously about.

"Men," he cried at last. "Ho, there! Listen. We are lost. These Turks will overtake us. But who will think of yielding? None?"

"No, no, none," cried the men.

"Then let us fight. Prepare a train, and when all is ready, when our decks are full-then fire, and blow these Infidels to perdition! We will make the Turks remember us, and when they pursue another corsair they will tremble, for they shall think of Ranadar the corsair." In obedience to his orders the train was prepared, but as it would be some time before their pursuers would come up to them, they did not make any preparation for soon firing it.

Three hours more passed, and now the nearest ship had arrived within gunshot. The long gun was loaded after some trouble, and pointed directly at the corsair vessel. Ranadar and his men cried out in tones of defiance. At last the shot came. A loud explosion thundered around, a ball came whizzing by, and passed through the sails, but did not touch the mast.

"What use is there to run, Maffeo?"

"None, whatever, captain."

"Are the guns all-ready-loaded?"

"Yes, every one."

"Bring them out so as to place them easily on this side."

The men loosed the guns which were not very large, and made them ready to be placed on the side opposite.

"Now! 'Bout ship-round with her!"

The men who understood Ranadar's design, obeyed, and the vessel turning, now bore down upon the nearest Turkish vessel. Those on board seemed perfectly thunderstruck at the sight of the chase thus turning the tables upon them.

"Fire!" he cried, as he arrived opposite the Turks.

The guns were fired directly into the crowded ship. Loud cries and screams, and the crash of a falling mast told how well those shots had been aimed.

"Now for the next!" screamed Ranadar, excited. "We will serve them in the same way!"

But the others were prepared, and drew up to await their approach. On came the vessel of Ranadar, and the flags flew proudly from both masts, while the men shouted enthusiastically. Loud sounded the thunder of her guns as she passed swiftly by the two vessels. But the report and the cries from the wounded were all exceeded by that of the broadside given back by the Turks. The mainmast fell down over the side with a deafening noise!

"Cut it away! Clear the ship!" cried Ranadar.

In a few minutes the mast was free, but the vessel moved only slowly through the water. Her sides were shattered by those terrific broad-sides, wounded men lay stretched upon the decks. The two Turkish ships were quite near.

"Give it to them again, my rovers!" cried Ranadar, as he himself picked out the Turkish captain with his gun. Another volley was fired and again another, with the same effect as before. And this was the last, for both Turkish ships coming quickly up fired broadsides, and grappled with the disabled corsair.

The men poured from both ships into her. The Greeks seized their scimetars and rushed into the deadly encounter. Maffeo fought like a lion, killing three Turks in succession. Ranadar fired his pistols and killed two of the foremost leaders. Then hurling them at the heads of the followers, he rushed at them sword in hand. "Fight, Greeks, fight! Down with the Turk!" and crying this, he toiled on in the mortal strife.

But bravery could avail little against such numbers. The Greeks were driven back, killed, overpowered by the vast odds against them. Forced from the quarter deck into the middle of the vessel, they stood there like their forefathers at Thermopyl', and fought for their freedom. Not a word was uttered, not a cry from either side, but foot to foot and steel to steel the combatants waged their deadly warfare. Suddenly Ranadar disappeared below, and in a few minutes returned with a beaming countenance and fresh energy. Rushing at an enormous Turk who wielded a tremendous scimetar, the corsair attacked him. In a few moments the Turk was disarmed, but springing at Ranadar, he held his sword arm tightly, and sought to throw him over. Ranadar dropped his sword, and closed with the Turk. They swayed backward and forward, they fell and rose, they whirled round in endless convolutions, so that neither Turk nor Greek could strike a blow for his countryman. But even Ranadar seemed to gain. Holding his adversary tightly by the throat, he forced him to the vessel's side. He pushed—he strained—and then—and then—with a mighty noise which seemed as though the air was rent with a dazzling flash, and smoke, and fire, and blazing brands, and shattered vestiges of broken ships, amid arms, and dead bodies, and a thousand hideous shapes and forms-Ranadar felt himself seized by some irresistible force and thrown with the fury of a tempest far out upon the water. For a moment he was senseless, and lay perfectly still, clutching to the Turk. Then he looked, and a blackened corpse lay in his arms. Shudderingly he released himself, and swam around. Where the corsair ship and her two foes had lain, nothing was seen but some blackened fragments, and the whole sea far and wide seemed covered with them. At the distance of a few hundred yards he saw the first Turkish ship which he had disabled, coming down toward the horrid scene. He himself had been uninjured. The large Turk whom he had pressed closely to him had saved his life. His clothes were partly burnt, but that was all. With a prayer of thanks for his deliverance, he swam toward the Turkish ship.

"I will try how they will treat me. Better not die wilfully, since I have been so wonder. fully preserved. Great God I only! I alone out of so many!"

The men in the ship saw him. A boat was lowered and he was brought on board. For a few moments he was all unnoticed, so terrible had been the calamity. Boats moved slowly over the scene, but there were no more living beings to be found. All was one wide scene of havoc and ruin.

CHAPTER II.

Ranadar stood in silence awaiting his fate. At last the Turkish captain approached him.

"Dog of an Infidel! Who are you who are thus saved when Moslems have perished?"

"I am a Greek."

"I know you are, and that you are a corsair, and that you have served under Ranadar, the abhorred of heaven, whom Mahomet confound! But he is even now in Eblis."

"He is not. He lives."

"What! will you say that others are saved beside you?"

"No."

"How then can Ranadar live?"

"I am Ranadar!"

At that well known name the Turkish captain, laid his hand furiously upon his scimetar. The men who had been looking at the prisoner, or endeavoring to discern some living being upon the water, all turned as if by one impulse, to look at the dreaded corsair. He stood there with folded arms, glancing at them as haughtily and proudly as though he were victor, and not a captive.

"You Ranadar!"

"I am. I did that," said he, pointing to the blackened fragments upon the water.

"What! You come here, you confess your name, and your atrocious deed? Do you hope to live?"

"No."

"And you shall not be disappointed. Here, come forward," said he, to some of his men, who were, armed with axes. "Hew the ruffian from limb to limb!"

"Do your worst, vile Turk! I scorn you, and laugh at death. Better it is to die than live in captivity!"

"Ha! say you so? Then I will bring down your proud spirit, and Ranadar the corsair shall be Ranadar the obedient slave! Men, bind him."

"Look well to your bonds, then, for strong bolts and bars have before this failed to hold me."

"Bind him! Gag him! Stop the mouth of the dog!" shouted the fierce Turk, in ungovernable fury. "Take him below, away out of my sight."

And the corsair was bound and taken below.

The Turkish ship left this scene of destruction and proceeded on her way to Constantinople. There she landed, and over the city spread the news of Ranadar's captivity, for his name was well known among the people. As he was brought ashore, a vast multitude assembled to have a look at the dreaded corsair. He looked around upon them, and save a slight smile of scorn, no emotion was visible upon his marble countenance.

The Turkish captain, whose name was Achmet, took him as his own slave, swearing that he would bring down his proud spirit, and tame him as he would a wild beast-by hunger. Accordingly, Ranadar was placed in a dungeon, whose moist floor, and dank, slimy walls showed it to be beneath the surface of the sea-far down under the ground.

He narrowly examined the dungeon in which he found himself confined. It was not more than ten feet square. At the side opposite from the door there was a small grating, through which entered some feeble rays of light. The iron stanchions were thick and strong, and beyond the first one which he saw, there was yet another. The aperture was about a foot square.

"Ha!" he exclaimed, when he first saw it. "That is what I wished for, Achmet will leave me here without food for three days. When he comes, perhaps the bird will be flown. My manacles are off! Good!-I can use my hands."

He slowly unwound the scarf which was around his waist, and disclosed beneath its folds doubled cords of silk, which, if extended, might reach forty feet. He examined this, tried its strength carefully, and then tied it round him. he then took off his Fez cap, and from beneath the lining he pulled out some small instruments. There was a knife, and a saw of the finest and hardest Damascus steel.

But little light now entered the window, for it was late in the afternoon. Ranadar went up to it and tried to pull the iron from its place, but in vain. Then he quickly but stealthily prepared to saw the iron through. There were eight bars in each grating through which he would have to cut. By working steadily through the greater part of the first night, he was able to take out the first grating, and finish half of the other.

"Now," said he, toward morning, "so much is done. To-morrow I will be out. But good heaven! Holy virgin!" he exclaimed, suddenly putting his hand to his breast. "Ah, kind heaven, thou hast not yet deserted me."

He took out a small bundle in which there were dates, and with a portion of these he satisfied his hunger. Night came on and found him with an unconquered spirit, still laboring at his work. At last, when it might have been an hour before midnight, the outer grating was displaced, and Ranadar passed through.

He found himself in a narrow passage which went for a long distance on either side. For a time he hesitated which way to choose, but at length, he turned toward the left and went on. He walked for a long distance, and at last came to a door, which, opening, disclosed a flight of steps. The blast of fresh air told Ranadar that here was a way to escape, for it led to the outside. The air also had the freshness of the sea, and brought with it the perfumes of distant shores, There was another flight of steps on the left at the top of which was a narrow chink, through which a feeble ray of light passed. The fugitive paused a moment, looked up the steps before him, and then up the others at the light.

"I will go here," said he, as a sweet stream of music accompanied by a mournful female voice, came down to his ears. "I will go here," and drawing his dagger, he went up the narrow steps, and reaching the summit, he saw a small niche in which he might stand and look into the room through an aperture, apparently made for the purpose. "Ha!" he murmured, "this is some plan of Achmet. Would that I could meet the villain now!"

Then gazing into the chamber, through the aperture, a beautiful sight met his view. The room was magnificently furnished. Rich curtains hung from the walls. The carpets spread upon the floor were from the looms of Persia, the couches and stools were carved in the most skilful manner. From the vaulted ceiling a brazen lamp was suspended, whose light cast a mysterious gleam upon the scene. All was in the most gorgeous and splendid style of oriental voluptuousness.

Upon a couch in one corner of the room reclined a young girl whose lovely countenance threw all else into the shade. Her dark hair was loose, and her eyes were cast down droopingly, shaded by their long black lashes. She was dressed in the elegant Grecian costume, and on her head she held a small guitar which she had just finished playing. Ranadar looked at the beautiful being, filled with wonder and profound astonishment at so much beauty. What was his amazement when he saw her raise her head and gently sigh his own name?

"Ranadar!"

He thought that she was some unearthly being when he heard it, and looked upon her as she buried her face in her hands and wept. A sudden noise alarmed her, and she raised herself languidly upon her couch. Footsteps were heard outside, and after a time Ranadar saw the door open and his hated foe Achmet, walk in.

"Allah save you, beautiful Grecian maiden! Who is there who in beauty can equal Iona? I hope you are more tender than you were yesterday?"

"Leave me to myself," she cried, waving her hand.

"O no, no,—do not send me away, do not deprive me of the light of your heavenly smile. You torture me. Why do you treat me so Maiden, you are my slave."

"By purchase-but I yield not to you."

"Hearken to me. You have defied me too long. You are in my power entirely. If you will not love me willingly, I would scorn to compel you. I have come this time expecting you to be more kind. I find you unaltered, I do not love you well enough to wait for you to change. You must die!"

Ranadar shuddered with ill-suppressed rage, but the lovely Iona gazed at Achmet unshrinkingly.

"I know you love another. I know your affection for that pestilent Grecian. I have watched you, seen your actions, and heard you sigh his name. He too shall die!"

"He will never be in your power."

"Will he not? He lies now in my lowest dungeon. There he shall starve!"

Iona who had thus far been firm, when she heard that, fell back upon the couch, but ashamed of her weakness, raised herself, and again confronted her enemy. But her face was deathly pale, and her hands were clasped tightly together.

"In one hour, Grecian maid-in one hour,"—and his voice sank to a deep, hard whisper—"you shall die, and nevermore shall your father behold you-nevermore shall Ranadar gaze upon you unless it be in Eblis." And Achmet departed.

"Alas, he never has gazed upon me. Ranadar never has seen me, but I have seen him-ah, too often."

Ranadar was filled with a variety of contending emotions. But passionate love and pity for the beautiful Iona were pre-eminent among them. He looked in silence after Achmet had gone, but suddenly remembered that no time could be lost in waiting there.

"Surely," he said to himself, "there must be something else here beside this aperture, there must be some small door by which one might enter. He searched narrowly around, and at length saw a small panel which seemed fastened by a concealed bolt. This he pushed back, the door opened, and Ranadar stood before Iona. At the noise of his entrance, she started, and looking up, muttered a few words in a daring tone, as though she supposed the slaves had come to put her to death, but seeing Ranadar the great corsair, the man whom she loved beyond all words, she uttered a faint scream of joy and raised her arms and face to heaven. He caught her in his arms.

"Fly with me, Iona. I know all. Come with your Ranadar. Ah, come quickly. Hark, there are sounds without. Hasten!"

She seemed incapable of motion. So great were the conflicting emotions which disturbed her soul, that she neither spoke nor moved.

"Iona, my own love, my soul!" he cried imploringly, and as she leaned gently upon him, he raised her in his strong arms, and passing back through the secret door, he bore her down the stairs. Then up he went with his lovely, trembling burden, up the stairs at which half an hour before he had paused, and a thrill of rapture went through him, as on reaching the top he found himself upon a low terrace which overlooked the sea. Iona's arms were clasped about his neck. The lovely girl, overcome by her sudden escape from death, from sorrow and misery—overcome at the sight of Ranadar, free, and making her free, felt a deep gush of joy and bliss, too great for utterance. Her tears of happiness flowed freely, and while she clung to him she sighed his name,—"Ranadar!"

"Cling to me closer, closer, Iona! There is the water beneath us. We must escape. See, yonder there is a boat. I must carry you there."

About a hundred yards away, upon the moonlit surface of the water, a small boat could be seen lying at anchor. None seemed to be on board. There Ranadar determined to swim. The water was dashing against the stone wall ten feet beneath. He unwound his scarf and fastening it firmly to an iron bar, he took Iona in his manly arm, and then descended. The cold water received the lovers and enfolded them. Iona clinging to Ranadar as he directed her feared nothing, for her lover was with her. He struck out boldly and swam slowly to the boat. Gradually he approached, and at last his hands grasped it. Raising himself stealthily, he looked into it, and found it empty. Then he placed Iona within, and crawling in after her, a few moments sufficed for him to hoist the sails. A fair wind blew from the harbor. The light boat felt its influence and started at the blast, and bounded over the waves carrying them home to Scio.

CHAPTER III.

Once more the waters of the 'gean Sea and the blue waves of the Grecian Archipelago shone beneath the morning sun. A small ship was seen stealing along the coast of the Isle of 'gina. It was gaily painted, but guns peeped through her sides, and a long one was mounted amid-ships. Aloft, a red flag streamed, and the sails, which were distended by the breeze, glistened from afar upon the blue water. She was slowly and noiselessly sailing toward a promontory, upon whose summit a strange flag was flying, apparently a signal of some kind.

Upon the other side of the promontory, and sailing directly toward it was a Turkish vessel. By the listlessness of all on board, it was evident that they were ignorant that an enemy was so near. The captain leaned over the stern and gazed into the water. An aged man in the dress of a slave, but whose intellectual countenance belied his costume, was cleaning a sword.

"Monilon!" cried the captain, sternly, "Why are you so long. May Allah eternally confound you, indolent heathen of a Greek!"

"Achmet, you are my master. I am old. Do not beat me. I have not the strength of youth."

"Insolent greybeard! Be more respectful. Since your daughter's escape, you have grown suddenly bold. Beware!"

"I rejoice that Iona is out of a ruffian's power."

"Dog! What! Ha!" he cried, in amaze, as turning to fell the old man to the deck, he saw the Grecian vessel rounding the promontory. "Ho, men! up! To arms! A corsair!"

Instantly, every man sprung to seize his arms. The guns were made ready, and all was prepared for action.

"Monilon, go below. We will blow up these knaves in your absence. You will have company soon from the slaves in yon ship."

A wild shout from the corsair interrupted him. Suddenly the approaching vessel paused, and some movement was made upon her decks.

"By great Allah, they are afraid. Ha! They are moving that long gun. They are pointing it." A loud noise followed his remark, and a huge ball struck the ship sending the splinters around in every direction. Then the corsair bore down upon them. Yet not more than six men appeared upon her deck. When close by she poured a broadside into the Turkish ship, wounding and killing great numbers. The Turks sent back another, and shot off some of the rigging. But now the ships were close together. A trumpet was blown by a noble and splendidly apparelled youth who seemed to be leader. Instantly a crowd of men poured out from the hold. They came thronging the deck, and rushed after their leader into the Turkish vessel.

"Ranadar!" shouted Achmet.

"Ha, Achmet!" and Ranadar rushed upon the Turk. Their scimetars crossed and flashed fire. Three times the steel of Ranadar started the blood of Achmet. Twice he forced him upon his knee. At last the Turk struck furiously at the corsair. But the next moment his sword was whirled from his hand, and the Moslem chief fell gasping at the feet of Ranadar.

"Victory, victory! Down with the Turks," shouted the fierce corsair, as they rushed more furiously than ever upon their foes. "Victory!" and the shout which added force to the Greeks, took away the courage of the Turks. For a while the carnage raged, the Greeks cut down their enemies who still fought with the wild energy of despair. Many leaped into the sea. Others leaned against their dead comrades, and though wounded, still kept up resistance.

"Yield! yield! You are conquered!" cried Ranadar! "Yield, and I will be merciful!"

At this there was a pause. They threw down their swords, and acknowledged themselves prisoners.

But as Ranadar turned to look upon the dead body of Achmet, and to direct his men about the ship, he saw an aged man leaning against the side of the ship. For a moment he looked, and then springing forward, he caught the old man in his arms.

"Monilon, alive! Are you yet alive, then? Iona has mourned you long."

"Ranadar, Heaven bless you forever. Did you save my daughter?"

"I escaped, and she fled with me."

"Ranadar, your name is terrible to your foes, but O, how sweet, how dear, to your friends. God bless you, is an old man's prayer."

The Turkish vessel was plundered, and after dividing, enough was found to fill the corsairs with joy. The Turkish prisoners were carried to Scio, and after a long time were exchanged for Greek captives. The name of Ranadar gained new glory, and his deeds were spoken of everywhere.

One tenth of the spoil was Ranadar's, but this he forced upon Monilon, in order to enable him again to rebuild his ruined home in Komao. Monilon took it, for well he knew that Ranadar would have it again-well he knew it, by the happy smile and lovely blushes of Iona.

Komao rises from the sea not more than thirty miles to the north of Scio. It is a lovely spot, where trees of luxuriant foliage and richest fruit grow on every side. Here the vineyards are seen, where vines hang in graceful festoons from tree to tree; orchards filled with a thousand fruits, gardens where blooming and odorous flowers give forth their fragrance to the air—running streams and gushing fountains. In this paradise dwelt Monilon; here Iona was brought up, and here Ranadar came to take her to his home. But that home was on the same lovely island, and there they lived in happiness such as earth can seldom bestow, for if the tenderest love and the most beautiful scenes of nature can afford happiness, then Iona and Ranadar had nothing more to desire. The corsair seldom after sailed the sea. He was contented to dwell at home, and ever blessed the day when he was led captive to Achmet's dungeon.

 
 
 

EBooks - Fiction, Nonfiction 1000s of them ~ Index