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Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

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Author Topic: Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic  (Read 3242 times)
Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #90 on: January 27, 2009, 11:38:39 pm »

many families of the Christians, made their way towards Gibraltar. They did not make their escape, however, without attracting notice and obstruction. As they rode among the hills with their long train, soldiers, ecclesiastics, women, and children, they saw a galloping band of Arabs in pursuit. The archbishop bade them turn instantly into a deserted castle they were just passing, to drop the portcullis and man the walls. That they might look as numerous as possible, he bade all the women dress themselves like men and tie their long hair beneath their chins to resemble beards. He then put helmets on their heads and lances in their hands, and thus the Arab leader saw a formidable host on the walls to be besieged. In obedience, perhaps, to orders, he rode away and after sufficient time had passed, the archbishop's party rode onward towards their place of embarkation. Luis found himself beside a dark-eyed maiden, who ambled along on a white mule, and when he ventured to joke her a little on her late appearance as an armed cavalier, she said coyly, "Did you think my only weapons were roses?" Looking

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eagerly at her, he recognized the laughing face which he had once seen at a window; but ere he could speak again she had struck her mule lightly and taken refuge beside the archbishop, where Luis dared not venture. He did not recognize the maiden again till they met on board one of the vessels which the Arabs had left at Gibraltar, and on which they embarked for certain islands of which Oppas had heard, which lay in the Sea of Darkness. Among these islands they were to find their future home.

The voyage, at first rough, soon became serene and quiet; the skies were clear, the moon shone; the veils of the Spanish maidens were convenient by day and useless at evening, and Luis had many a low-voiced talk on the quarter-deck with Juanita, who proved to be a young relative of the archbishop. It was understood that she was to take the veil, and that, young as she was, she would become, by and by, the lady abbess of a nunnery to be established on the islands; and as her kinsman, though severe to others, was gentle to her, she had her own way a good deal--especially

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