"No reflecting man can gaze upon a field of carna;:e, with ils disfigured and gory corses, without feeling ashamed of hiy species ! If a proud man, his pride will be humbled."

"To find desolation and death, where we anticipate the calm bliss of domestic peace and happiness, is a trial few minds are prepared to encounter."— Spectator.

" Theirs was no hasty love, to bear for its bitter fruit a long repentance."— Maria of Meissen.



The round, white moon was just fading into the western skies, and the well-defined outline of the peak of St. Catharine w^as delicately gilded by the yet unrisen sun, while a roseate tint mantled half the eastern heavens, the morning subsequent to the scenes and adventures related in the preceding chapters, Avhen a little white spot on the horizon attracted the attention of the wounded officer of dragoons, as, under the refreshing influence of the morning breeze, he recovered from the swoon into which he had fallen from loss of blood, after being struck down by the buccaneer.

Casting his eyes over the distant sea, he appeared to watch the speck with much interest; and surprise w^as manifest on his features, when, instead of receding, he perceived that it enlarged, and evidently approached the island.

" Can the buccaneer be returning ! " he exclaimed ; " but he might as well finish me, as lea -e me so ! " and as he spoke, he raised, with a melancholy smile, liis mutilated arm. " Well, Captain Adaii',"

VOL. I.—9

Jie continued, '■ you may hang your sword upon the willow now—this Lafitte has done for you ! But that cannot be the pirate neither," he said, in a changed and eager tone ; '• his was a schooner, although she carried royals, like a sloop of war. Ha! there is another sail in her wake—a smaller craft—what can they be ? There! the larger veers a little—two, three masts—she's a ship under topsails, and the other's a schooner, a tender perhaps. But yet he's not a John Bull!" and after a few minutes silence, during which the anguish of his wound overcame every other feeling, he continued—

" It is either a Frenchman or an American ; but what can she want here ? Ha, there fly Monsieur's colours!"

The vessels, which attracted the notice of the officer, were now plainly visible, about two leagues from the land. She was a large frigate, displaying the ensign of France at her peak, and the same national distinction also fluttered at the mast head of the schooner. Standing into the bay before a free breeze, with royals and sky-sails towering aloft, and lower studding-sails set on both sides, in less than an hour from the time she appeared a mere speck, like the flash of a sea-gull's wing on the horizon, she had passed the capes of the bay. Running close into the land, and furling one sail after another, she gracefully rounded to, and, accompanied by the tender, came to an anchor opposite the entrance of the recess, denominated the " Devil's Punch Bowl," and within the shadow of a gigantic rock, to which nature had given the outline of a huge granite fortress.

This vast mass rose abruptly over her tall masts, in enormous beetling heads, crags, and precipices, leaving a narrow belt of white sand at its base, upon which the waves of the bay peacefully unrolled themselves, when the winds were low, but over

which they leaped in a stonii, thundering against the diff, and roaring in the caverns, with terrific sublimity. As the last sail was furled closely to its yard, the dragoon saw a sniall boat put oft^ from the frigate, manned by four nVeai and a steersman. An officer in a naval undress, with the insignia of the rank of a French captain upon his breast and collar, leaned back in the stern sheets, as the boat moved swiftly over the water, gazing upwards npon the giant rock, rearing its dark mass against the sky,—admiring its castellated outline, and its dizzy crags, springing several hundred feet into the air.

The oarsmen pulled rapidly in to the beach at the base of the cliif, whose projecting verge, as they passed into its dark shadow, suddenly hid them from the eyes of the wounded officer.

" Lay to your oars briskly, men—one strong pull more—there, we strike ! " said the French officer, as the boat, with a grating sound, grounded upon the beach, running half her length out of the water, on to the hard white sand.

The men shipped their oars and sprung out, respectfully raising their caps, as their officer passed by them in stepping ashore, and then turned to secure the boat from the action of the tide.

Delaying a moment to arm themselves with sabres and pistols, w4iich they took from the stern, they hastily buckled them around their waists, and stood ready to follow their officer.

While his men were thus engaged, under the command of the cockswain—a mere boy in the uniform of a midshipman- the officer stood a moment, aw^aiting their movements, gazing, with folded arms and thoughtful eye, upon the fine appearance his motionless frigate exhibited, as, towering above the dark hull, her lofty masts and slender spars appear-

ed drawn with the accuracy of pencilling^ against the sky.

He was a slightly-formed man, rather below than above the medium height of men, with a strikingly-elegant figure, finely displayed and relieved, by his blue frock and dark green cloak, falling negligently back from his shoulders in graceful folds. His forehead was high and expansive,, over which, as, for a moment, he raised his velvet cap to meet the cool breezes from the sea, flowed, with almost feminine luxuriance, thick clusters of dark auburn hair. That poftness of character, which this peculiarity anticipated, was, however,contradicted by the intellectual fulness of his brow, and the firm expression of his blue eye, which, although it might droop before a maiden's gaze, could flash proudly back the glance of a foe.

One lock of his hair seemed trained to lie over his forehead, and relieved the otherwise too perfect oval contour of his face. His^ complexion, naturally fair, was a little sun-browned, by exposure to the sun and seas of many climes; yet a healthy hue glowed upon his cheeks, while his upper lip was graced with a mustacho of the same rich colour of his hair. His hps were full, and rather voluptuous in their finely-curved outline, but, without any approach to sensuality. The general expression of his features, when in repose, as they now were, was intellectual, and, perhaps, melancholy. He might be above thirty years of age, though the iuvenile and extreme beauty of his noble forehead, the suddenly-manthng cheek, and the curve of his mouth and chin, which a Hebe might have envied, would indicate, that he had seen even fewer summers. He would, in the eyes of a romantic maiden, have been the Raleigh of the days of Elizabeth— the Ivanhoe of chivalry.

*'We are ready, monsieur," said the youthful cockswain, as he drew closer the belt that confined his w capons.

" Follow me, then, Montville ; the men may all remain ; and see"—he said, turning to them, '' that you make no brawl with these Englishmen, as before ! Those soldiers who felt your Gallic knocks, may take occasion to follow up their quarrel. If they approach, shove off at once, and lay on your cars beyond musket-shot."

"Ay, ay, sir," rephed the men, putting their shoulders to the boat, and floating her ; while their commanding officer, followed by his favourite midshipman, crossed the smooth belt of sand, and winding rapidly around the base of the overhanging crags, came to a part where the descent was less precipitous. By the aid of branches, and jutting irregularities of the rock, they ascended the chffj and, without pausing to glance at the magnificent panorama of woodland, sea, and mountain, spread out around them, entered a grove of pimento, whose deep green hue, presented a fine contrast to the unrivalled beauty of the fighter-tinged verdure underneath.

Their way lay by natural and artificial paths, through clumps of foKage of every variety and brilliancy of colours, now brightly tinted, as the sun-light shone through an occasional opening above, now black, in the impenetrable shadows cast by the loftier forest trees. After issuing from the grove, they wound through luxuriant bowers of West Indian vines, past a palm-tree, standing in lonely and towering pride, and spreading cocoas, and iDrazilettos, mingled wdth the vivid dyes of the plumage of the baml3oo, orange, and tamarind,— the whole presenting, in the brightness of the morning, a gorgeousness of colouring, unknown to lese genial climes.


They had now reached the hedge of aloes and paknettOj forming the boundary of the grounds surrounding the villa of Velasquez.

Winding around it in a direction contrary to that taken by the depredators of the preceding night, they soon came to a small, latticed gateway, partly hid in the hedge, and close to the unoccupied wing of the mansion. The gate, which his young companion was hastening forward to unlock with a small key handed him by the officer, was battered in pieces, and the dead body of a seaman lay in the thresh-hold, with a fragment of a dragoon's sword, half buried in his head.

" Mon Dieu !—what mischief has been here ?"— exclaimed the officer, stooping to examine the features of the dead man. " He is a Spaniard, and by his garb and arms, no doubt, a pirate. Cold, and stiff!" he added, touching his temples, " he has been long dead.—Allons ! allons!" he cried to his companion, bounding through the broken gateway—" God preserve dear Constanza !"—and both drawing their swords, they rushed up the avenue, every few rods of which exhibited traces of a recent and severe fight.

By the body of a horse lay a dead dragoon, with the blood oozing from a pistol-wound in his head, grasping, convulsively, the body of a Spanish sailor. Although a deep gash cleft his cheek, he still hved, white a consciousness of the death-grapple in which he was held, overcoming the pain of his wound, he writhed his features into a terrible expression of horror—his black, lustrous eyes, rolled wildly in their sockets, and his feeble fingers vainly worked to release the vice-like grasp of the dead man.

" Oh, Senores, for the love of God, help me ! Ay de mi—Ay de mi!—Ave Maria!" and he extended his arms, imploringly,

The officer arrested his rapid progress to the house; his humane feelings overcoming his desire to proceed ; and. perhaps, he was at the same time anxious to learn the nature and full extent of the bloody signs surrounding him.

"Hold, Montville! let us. aid this wretch," he said, arrested by the imploring language of the sufferer. "What a fearful embrace 1" With their united efforts, but not without the exercise of great muscular exertion, they disengaged the arms of the dead man from around the living body of his foe— who, during the slow-moving hours of the long night, had borne such unspeakable tortures. How fearfully was the dead avenged! clasping in his close embrace the breathing body of his slayer!

" What, monsieur ?" inquired his deliverer, as the buccaneer grasped his cloak, and gave way to a shower of tears, unable to express, in language, his gratitude. " What means all this bloody work ? You, it seems, should know something of it!" and his cheek and eye betrayed the intensest excitement as he spoke. " Speak, speak!" he reiterated, as the man held up his clasped hands in silence: " Answer, man ! or, by Heaven ! I will give you to a worse fate, than the arms of this dead soldier."

The man shuddered at the allusion, and his eyes glared with terror.

"Mercy! Senor, mercy!" he cried, clinging to his cloak, without looking up.

The impatient officer drew a pistol from his bosom, with a threatening air, when the Spaniard, with difficulty and hesitation, articulated,

" Lafitte!"

" He has been here ?" rapidly interrogated the officer. " Where is Don Velasquez, and his daughter ?"

" I know not, Senor ; yo no se, yo no se—"

The officer, without hearing more, freed his

cloak from his grasp, and darted forward, passing by pistols, cutlasses, and a portion of the pirate's booty, thrown away, in their flight. The sward was cut up, with the feet of horses, and blood reddened the green surface of the avenue, in many places. In a few moments, after leaving the Spanish sailor, they ascended the terrace, and came, at once, upon the scene of the severest conflict. With a sword in one hand, and a pistol in the other, the officer leaped over the dead bodies of two soldiers, and a headless seaman, and rushing to the front of the house, flew along the piazza, to an open window in tl»e farthest wins^. The sisrlit that here met his eyes appalled him !

Upon a couch, in the extremity of the apartment, lay the corpse of the old man, cold and rigid. The floor was covered with pools of blood, and the dead iDody of a dragoon, with a pistol-wound in the forehead, lay under the window.

A deadly sickness came over his soul, as he gazed upon the horrid spectacle—his hand fell powerless, at his side, and he leaned against the window for support.

His more youthful companion, sprung into the room, and laid his hand upon the heart of the old man ; but pulsation had ceased !

'• He has been a long while dead," he said.

'• Dead!" mournfully repeated the officer, half unconsciously, " dead, is he—and poor Constanza! is she living ? or worse ? " he added, in a hollow voice. " Oh, merciful heaven, blast me not, at one stroke, and so cruel a one !"

'• To the rescue, to the rescue !" after a moment's silence, he suddenly shouted, in a voice like a trumpet, "ho! my men, all!—Alas, alas, Con-stanza !" he added, in a changed voice, " vain, vain^ all in vain—but—there—is— revenge .'" he slowly, a,nd with strange distinctness, articulated. " I will

revenge you, terribly revenge you," and his eye lighted up with a fierce light, his form dilated, and his glowing features wore a fearful sublimity as he spoke.

Approaching the couch, he placed his hand upon the marble brow of the corpse.

" Senor Velasquez, your death, your grievous wrongs, shall be avenged. I make this cause of mine and yours, a sacred one !" and he kissed, as he spoke, the cold forehead, and the crucifix, which, grasped in the old man's hand, lay upon his breast, '' You have not died, by ball or steel—deep griefs have killed you. Terribly ! most terribly, you shall be avenged! "

" Ha ! what more ?" he exclaimed, as distant voices, and the tramp of horses' feet fell upon his ear. Springing to the window he saw, wheeling rapidly around the ruined wing of the building, a troop of horsemen, who drew up on the terrace, while their leader dismounting, and followed by two or three of his men, hastily approached the gallery.

The Frenchman immediately stepped forth to meet them.

" What, who have we here ?" he exclaimed, cocking a pistol, which he had drawn from his holsters, as he ahghted ; but, observing the gentlemanly air of the stranger, and detecting his naval attire, he modulated his tone, to one of more courtesy.

" Your pardon. Monsieur! you are the Count D'Oyley, commander of the French frigate, in the bay, if I mistake not ?"

The stranger bowed.

" This has been an unpleasant business," he continued ;'' a party of buccaneers, with Lafitte at their head, came last night, in strong force, robbed the old man, who, also, I am told, is dead, shot his

nephew, and carried off his daughter. We have been out, part of the night, in pursuit of them. Since our return, we find that, after a hard fight A\'itli another detaciiment, he escaped to his vessel, with the old Don's child, and immediately put out to sea."

" Are you ill, sir ?" he inquired, observing the face of the officer grow pale at his recital.

" No, Monsieur, no !" replied the Count, recovering himself; 'I thank you, for the interest you have taken in this affair. The old Castilhan and his daughter, were not unknown to me. He once saved me froiTt a conspiracy, auned against my life. It was in Mexico. He now lies in that room, dead : and his daughter—Oh, Alphonse, Alphonse, where were you, in that evil hour ?—But there is vengeance," said he, looking upward, " there is just vengeance of Heaven, and I will be its instrument ! Adieu, Monsieur ; I leave the burial of Se-fior Velasquez to your kindness. I must away! the business, which brought me here, is ended— alas, how ended! Adieu, Monsieur," he said, warmly pressing the hand of the sympathizing Englishman. Then hastily descending to the terrace, " Messieurs, adieu !" he added, raising his cap, as he passed the mounted dragoons : and then silently, and rapidly, accompanied by his young friend, he hastened to the shore.

After walking steadily onward, for many minutes, they emerged from the forest, on to the bluff, and on turning an angle in their path, encountered the officer whom Lafitte had wounded. He was slowly moving towards the villa, faint and weary.

" Gentlemen, for the love of God, ! a littie water ! I am dying of thirst!" he said, addressing them as they appeared.

Again the humanity of the stranger, was called into exercise; and for the moment, forgetting his

own sorrow, in sympathy for the distressed soldier, he stopped, knidly supported him to the shade of a large tree, and despatched his companion back, to communicate his situation to the party at the villa. ^ ^

" Can you tell me aught of Lafitte ? " he inquired of the wounded man, as they awaited his return.

'' Much, much," he replied, " he has left his mark, as he calls it, here !" and pointing, as he spoke, to his mutilated arm, he attempted to smile. " You saw hmi, then ! did he gain his vessel, as they tell me, with, with," and he hesitated, while his chest beat with emot'on.

" Yes, I both saw and felt him ! He fought hke a tiger at bay, a better swordsman never handled steel. Had he been less than Lafitte, or the devil he would not have escaped me—but he did escape me."

'• And—and, with him—? '' The Frenchman could say no more ; his tongue cleaved to the roof of. his mouth ; but he was understood.

'; The lady, whom we, at the post, call the Cas-tiihan nun, the Senorita Constanza ! but she had fainted, and was unconscious of her situation " replied the dragoon. '

" Oh, my God, my God !" ejaculated his listener, and groanmg, he struck his temples fiercely and bitterly ; and, deeply agitated, he paced the ground under the tree, in silence, until tlie arrival of Mont-viUe and a party of the wounded mans troop.

'• Describe his craft, if you please !" he asked of the dragoon, as he turned to go. '

" A schooner with a fore royal—long, black and very low m the water, with the masts much raking."

Bowmg his thanks, he pursued his way, alono-the cliff, with increased rapidity, and recklessly

descending to his boat, he was, in a few moments, on the deck of his frigate.

His orders were given, to get under weigh, with a starthng energy that surprised the creAv, and infused into them additional activity. In a few seconds, the heavy anchor hung from the bows, the broad top-sails were unloosed, and extended to the breeze, and the tall masts, covered with folds of canvass. The commander, then accompanied by Montville, left the ship, for the schooner, which also, immediately got under weigh.

At first, the frigate moved slowly and heavily, but gradually gathering power, as sail after sail was displayed to the wind, she increased her speed, the waves dashed from her foaming path, and with a velocity that seconded the impatience of their commander, the two vessels sailed out of the bay, and stood westward.

The schooner, which now contained the commander of the frigate, immediately after gaining the offing, sailed in the direction of Carthagena, while the frigate hauled her wind, and bore up for the island of St. Domingo.


" What tidings from the camp ? " " Heavy and full of wo, my lady."

" Speak ! does my father live ? was he unharmed amid the dread encounter of opposing hosts ? "

" Ladv, I grieve to tell the fatal news I bear—your noble sire—"

«Is — ?'"

** Alas—no more ! "


The pirate's schooner, which had now become the prison of the hapless Constanza, had long passed the capes of the bay, into which it had so gallantly sailed a few hours previous—and the outline of the mountains of Jamaica, were rapidly fading in the distance, before the outlaw, assured that there was no danger of being immediately pursued, prepared to leave the deck of his vessel.

" Keep her away Ricardo, with every thing she can bear, for Barritaria," he said, addressing the helmsman—" and call me if you see any thing suspicious; and before descending the companion-way, he cast one piercing glance around the horir Eon.

"Ha! a sail, and dead ahead!" he exclaimed, as his practised eye rested upon a scarcely visible gray speck upon the horizon, in the direction of his vessel's course. "Another—two! Keep her away a point, and let us reconnoitre them," he added, taking

VOL. I.—10.

his spy-glass, and closely surveying the distant objects.

The schooner kept steadily on her way, close-hauled to the wind, while the strangers came down upon them, with the wind nearly aft.

As they approaclied nearer, the foremost one showed the square rig of a large vessel, with royals and studding-sails set. In less than an hour from the time they caught the pirate's eye, they were within half a mile to leeward of the schooner—for at such a disadvantage had the pirate cautiously thrown her, by altering his course,—and distinctly displayed the tall and majestic apparel of a ship ©f war.

" A tiger, sir !" said Theodore, his young protege, after gazing at the ship for a moment, from the top of a gun-carriage, through a focus, formed by his diminutive fists—" her teeth glisten like Cudjoe's, here ; " and he looked toward the ungainly figure of the slave, who, with one long arm clinging to a stay, his head and body bent forward, and his lips drawn back with an admiring grin, was inspecting with much curiosity, the noble, and warlike spectacle which the strange sail exhibited.

"Do you know her, Senor ? " inquired the helmsman, with deference in his manner.

" I think not, Jean,'' he replied musingly—" but she and her httle tender seem to walk past us, as if disdaining to wet their cut-water with the same salt spray, which our pretty craft throws about her so merrily. Do you recognize her, Ricardo ?"

" Sj^e is, I believe, senor, the French frigate Le Sultan, that we saw going into Carthagena, as we were getting under weigh off Las Naranjas."

" Indeed ! '^ said the buccaneer, looking for a moment steadily at the passing ship. " I suspect you are right—she was accompanied by a schooner— her yards are not square enough for an American :

an Englishmaii she is not; she is too light rigged, and carries whiter canvass than John Bull. I suspect you are right, Ricardo."

" I know lier, captain, by the length between her mizen and mainmast, and the rake of her main-royal-mast, as if it had been sprung," said the helmsman.

''You have a seaman's eye, Jean, and you are right too,*' he quickly added, as the stranger showed two or three lights—" that reads' France !' But we have no time to dally in returning compliments. Hold to your course again, sir," he said, turning to the helmsman.

The schooner came closer to the wind, and rapidly held on in the direction from which she had diverged to avoid the strange ship, which, lowering her lights, silently and majestically with her companion, moved onward, apparently standing into the bay from which the schooner had just taken her departure.

" Theodore, how is our fair prisoner?" he inquired, as he descended into his cabin, accompanied by liis young officer.

" She sleeps, sir," replied he, in a low voice.

^' Poor girl, I almost wish she might not wake again to know her wretchedness," he said, feelingly. "It is ray fate to bring ruin upon all around me. Has she spoken, or been conscious of her situation ? " he abruptly inquired of the youth.

" I think not, sir," he answered. " By the aid of old Juana, who sympathizes with the misfortunes of the maiden, she was soon recovered from her death-like swoon, but directly passed out of it into a deep sleep. She is very lovely, Senor !" he added, with sudden animation.

'• Poor lady ;" said the outlaw, sadly, " I did not mean to take you from your father's bosom. But hQ was already dead !—And who slew him ? My

act, if not my hand ! But I will seek to atone for the father's wrongs, by treating the daughter with all honour. Leave me, Theodore, I would be alone," he added aloud.

The iron swinging lamp, suspended above, cast a bright hght over the cabin, and its furniture. The sides were pannelled with a dark-coloured, West Indian wood; the floor was of the same material, and hard and polished, hke marble. The ceiling was low, and crossed at intervals by beams. Pistols and cutlasses, arranged in fanciful figures, were hung around the walls, and stands of muskets and boarding-pikes lined two sides of the room. On a case, which stood in one corner, lay two or three steel caps, for boarders—a blunderbuss with a muzzle like the mouth of a bugle, stilettoes, and the various paraphernalia appertaining to a vessel, whose trade is war. On the side opposite to the companion-way, a door opened into a state-room situated farther astern, and now occupied by Constanza.

On a pin near the companion-way, hung the full dress of a Spanish naval officer. Various dresses of citizens, soldiers, and seamen, were suspended near it, constituting a wardrobe well adapted to one, whose mode of life compelled him, not unfrequently, to adopt disguises, adapted to his purposes. Ptolls of charts, elegant rapiers, iron-handled broad-swords, canes, and a rifle, stood in a corner, and several articles of the ordinary apparel of seamen, lay about on camp stools ; several of which, with an oval table in the centre, a tall pedestal sustaining a handsome compass, constituted the only furniture of the apartment.

At the table, in the midst'of the cabin, and within the dark circle cast beneath by the bottom of the lamp, sat Lafitte, his features so far thrown into shadow, that their expression was in a great degree concealed.

With his forehead resting upon his hand he leaned upon the table, in an attitude of dejection; nor had he opened liis hps, or moved from that position which lie occupied on entering the cabin and dismissing Theodore, for more than an hour. No sound but the gurgling of the water, as the vessel glided over the moonlit sea, the occasional song of the labouring seamen, or the hoarse cry of the helmsman, as he told the watches of the night, and the monotonous tramp of the officer of the deck over his head, broke the stillness reigning around him.

There are times when conscience will wield her fiery sceptre over the soul, compelling the guilty to hide their faces in horror ! In that short hour, the whole of his past life passed before his memory, like some fearful pagefint, before the vision of the fevered sleeper. He thought of his first crime—against a brother's life ! of the blood-stained marble statue ! of his love for his cousin, and the dark sea of passions into .which he plunged in consequence of that love, and his subsequent jealousy ! He called to mind, while a cold tremour passed over his frame, and a deep groan escaped him, his last meeting with that brother—the descending knife, and fatal blow—then his rapid flight, and his artful tale to the captain who saved him that night, as his frail boat w^as sinking in a storm! His voyage to the Mediterranean sea—his capture by the Alge-rines" his imprisonment and escape, by the aid of a Moorish maiden, whom he dishonoured and left— his fatal rencontre in landing—his imprisonment and escape in an open boat for Ceuti, and second capture by the rovers—his union with, and subsequent command of, their vessel—all in their turn, became the subject of his thoughts. His features changed, as he thought of the dark sea of crimes, through v/hich he waded to that command, 10*

Then came his capture by the Turks—his freedom, and rapidly rising distinction in their navy— and he pressed his temples violently, when he remembered that he had changed the cross of his religion, for the turban of the Mussulman. He was now chief of an armed horde, and now a combatant in the ranks of the Egyptians, against his invading countrymen. Once more he was on the sea, and an Algerine rover called him its commander ! Then he was the captive of the Spaniard, and the Moro of Havanna became his prison. Liberated, again the quarter-deck of a pirate became his home, and the flag of Carthagena waved to the breeze above his head !

" What matters it," he suddenly exclaimed, " that I have gained the wealth of princes—that I have waded through crime and blood to the acquisition of the guilty fame that makes my name terrible !— that my hand has been against every man !—I am at last but a miserable being—penitent, vvathout the power to repent—remorseful, without hope— a lover of virtue, without daring to seek it—banned of God —outlawed of my race—fratricide, murderer!—hundred-fold murderer ! with the mark of Cain branded upon my brow, and burned deep—deep into my soul. Oh, God:! oh, God !—if there be a God"— he cried, clasping his hands and lifting his eyes to heaven—'' be merciful unto my iniquities, for they are very great!" And he fervently pressed to his lips the hilt of his rapier, shaped like a cross, and then dropped his head upon his arm, and wept, under the influence of feelings, which, at some seasons, will be experienced by the most hardened.

After a few moments silence, he continued, '•' Oh, for the days of childhood and innocence ! I was then happy; then we—my brother !—my little brother and I—kneeled nightly in prayer by our bedside! How beautiful! We were taught by oiur

venerable parent to put up our prayers, first to the Virgin, and then to our sainted mother. Oh, would to God I had died then ! Mother, you would have then embraced your son in heaven!—But no !— no!" as a ray of hope glanced over his mind, he exclaimed aloud, while his brow grew dark, " No ! too—too deeply dyed in crime. With a brother's blood I began—and should a brother's murderer shrink from lesser crimes ! Oh, how fatally consistent has been my life with its outset! Witness! " and he laughed, but his laugh was hollow and unearthly, as he spoke; "witness! I call ye to witness! " he cried, almost fiercely, " ye exulting demons, who madden me with your hellish triumphs—Ha! ha! ha ! I will yet be your leader! If I cannot be the last in heaven, I will be the first in hell!" and he sprung from his seat, and wildly walked the csCbin, under the influence of temporary insanity, while such tortures as only a fratricide can feel, harrowed his soul.

His massive forehead, lurid with the glare of the lamp, and contorted and writhing, as if the mind within conflicted with the agonies of tlie doomed, was lowered darkly over his ])urning eyes, which glowed with a fierce, lambent light, as Lucifer's might have glowed when hurled from heaven. His finely-curved lip curled with a satanic expression of hatred and malignity : and his form expanded, as though under the influence of some strong passion, uncontrollable Ijy human power. Suddenly he stopped, and stood with his arm outstretched in a menacing manner, while his dilated figure exhibited the attitude a painter would have seized, to represent Cain standing over the prostrate body of his murdered brother.

A low exclamation, in the adjoining state-room, of mingled terror and surprise, recalled him instantly to his accustomed self-possessipn, for the moment con-

trolled by the intense passions, which, from time to time, aroused by his guilty conscience, enslaved his spirit. The dark, scowling brow, resumed its serenity and beauty—the wild fire of his eye mellowed into a milder lustre—the impassioned and excited form became subdued and passive, under a calmer and happier influence ; and approaching the door of the state-room, with a smile, that might have won a maiden's love, mantling his lip, and in a voice modulated to the gentlest tones, he inquired after the w^el-fare of his lovely captive.

We must now return to the period Avhen Con-stanza was first restored to consciousness. The youthful officer had, with delicate address, given her up, after his chief had resigned her to his charge on gaining his vessel, to the care of an old negress, wife of the steward of the schooner, Avho, with that instinctive sympathy which is the characteristic of woman—even of the old and ugly, for the young and lovely of their sex—received her charge with many exclamations of sympathy and regret.

" Sweety lady^—ol' Juana hab pity much," said she, receiving her lovely charge, and laying her upon a sofa in the interior state-room of the vessel, which was fitted up with great taste and elegance. *' How white an' sof dis pretty han', wid de gol' ring —but ol' Juana Avont steal it off de little slender finger," she added, as an habitual disposition to do so Avas evident, by the sudden motion of her hand and eye.

•" I wis' de lady would open de eyes," she continued, applying strong stimulants, and resorting to the usual means for restoring suspended animation.

^'Hi, massa Theodore, you rub dat lily han', while I rub dis, an' have de temple," she said, with an air of importance, fully conscious of the respon-

sibility with which she was so unexpectedly invested.

The youth, who, at the command of Lafitte, had remained to assist in the recovery of the maiden, respectfully bent on one knee by the sofa, and Avith tenderness took the unconscious hand, brilliant with gems; and with the embarrassed manner of one who felt guilty of sacrilege, endeavoured to restore warmth and circulation to the lifeless member.

By degrees, the blood returned to fill the blue veins, her bosorn heaved like the snowy breast of a wearied dove, and opening her dark eyes, she gazed vacantly about; but there was no soul in their expression—no inteUigence or consciousness of surrounding objects.

" She look, but she no see," said the nurse. " Marie ! what big black eyes ! dere she clos um' 'gen ! but she get life now—no matter—poor lily 'ooman go sleep ;" and the maiden, again closing her eyes Avith a deep sigh, placed her hand under her head, and on that soft and lovely pillow, rocked by the gentle motion of the vessel, fell into a sweet and refreshing slumber.

The kind old nurse watched by her couch with the anxiety and tenderness of a mother over the cradle of her infant, occasionally replying in a whisper to the interrogations of Theodore, as from time to time he came from the deck to inquire if she still reposed.

It was long past midnight, and still the lady slept, while the old negress waved mechanically over her a plume of the gorgeous feathers of some tropical bii'd, the light wind, which the motion created, gently lifting the raven curls from her blue-veined temples.

" O, hi! dere massa captain," she said, lifting her finger in the attitude of hstening, as she heard Lafitte, after giving his orders to the helmsman, de-

scend to tlie cabin; '• ol' Juana hope he no harm de lady—he good man, sometime—and sometime he bad! but he hab good heart at de bottom—ol' Juana know he do mos' much good as bad since she sail in de schooner ;" and the old negress continued habitually waving her plume over the sleeper, and musing upon the character of the Imcca-neer chief, when a deep groan from the adjoining cabin, where he leaned upon the table, disturbed her reflections.

" Ah. dere Massa Lafitte in one ob his glooms," she said to herself; '-de latly no fear noting now. Tank de saint," she continued, as she observed the maiden turn upon her side ; " she stir—she w^ake up ; poor ting, how sorry she be when she hear her fader dead, and know where she be. If ol' Juana be bad 'ooman, she no bad to dis pretty cliil', she hab no body to be kin' to her now but ol' Juana!" and the hideousness of the dark features of the old negress were redeemed for the moment, by tlie expression of kindness and pity which pa-ssed over them, as she thought of her helpless and lonely state. Besides her natural kindness of heart, retained in spite of her mode of life, there might have been some emotions of gratification, in having one of her own sex to relieve the dreary character of her rude existence.

The lady slightly moved, murmured indistinctly some name, while asweetsmile came for an instant to her lips; and before its scarce perceptible reflection faded from her cheek, she raised her richly-fringed lids, and like one awaking from a pleasant dream, looked peacefully around. Surprised, she surveyed a scene of taste and elegance unfamiliar to her eyes.

The state-room was fitted up in a style of gorgeous-ness, to which the wealth of many rich argosies had contributed. The maiden herself reclined on an ottoman of crimson velvet, ornamenting one end of the cabin. An alcove on her right, contained

a marble laver, supported by the tips of the pinions of three bronze cupids, each holding in his extended hands silver vessels, containing various articles for the toilet. Over this stand was a mirror, set with a richly-chased frame of ebony, inlaid with pearl. The front of this recess was draped by curtains of blue and orange damask, which materials, entwined in festoons, encircled the state-room. Opposite to the alcove, under a costly swinging lamp, which cast a brilliant light through the room, stood an escritoire with a black marble top, supported by two leopards, also of marble, but so variegated as to imitate both in form and colour the spotted skin of those animals, nearly to the semblance of life. Upon it were strewn,^ of the costliest materials and most delicate workmanship, apparatus for writing; a superb guitar; a jewelled dagger, sheathed in a gold case ; and a few Spanish and Italian poets, with one or two French and English authors of celebrity. An Alpine scene, done by a celebrated Florentine painter, set in an elaborately-carved frame, hung above it, while paintings of North American scenery adorned the other sides of the cabin.

Opposite to the sofa, occupied by the fair Castillian, stood, in a larger and deeper recess than the one containing the laver—a couch raised high from the floor, and fancifully shaped like a sea-sheli, covered with the richest material of intermingled purple and white. A thick curtain of green velvet, now partly drawn aside, was made to fall before the recess and entirely covered it from the eye. Against this couch leaned an antique German harp, of uncommon size and beaut)^, curiously constructed of the blackest ebony, and adorned with carved ivory-work. The floor of this luxurious abode was covered with one of those thick Turkish carpets, whose yielding surface betrays no footstep. The maiden gazed upon the splendour surrounding

her, at first with a wondering eye—pressed her fingers upon her eyehds. and looked again, and again. " I must dream I "—said she in a low silvery voice, "Agata—O, Agata!" and she looked up into the face of her attendant—''what?—no !—I still dream," she cried, placing her hand over her eyes, as though endeavouring to collect her thoughts—" Oh, Maria !—what a dream ! what a fearful dream I have had!" and again she removed her hands, and gazed wildly round the room. She now heard distinctly the sound of rushing waters, and was conscious of motion. , . , i "Father,—father! where am I?"—she shrieked wildly—" this vessel—the dashing waves ! Hah! who is it that calls ? Oh God ! Oh God !—I know it all—all!"—she shrieked, as the deep mellow voice of Lafitte, addressing her from the inner cabin, fell upon her ear;—and the wretched girl buried her face in her hands, and shed burning tears. " Sefiora, I would speak with you !" "Ha! that voice again—miserable Constanza! utterlylost—lost!"—she exclaimed." Suddenly her eye rested upon the gemmed stiletto lying upon the escritoire.

" Holy Virgin, forgive me !—but thus I can save my honour !" and she sprung for the weapon.

" Bon Giu ! Help, massa, help, she kill herself!" cried the terrified Juana.

The pirate threw open the door, but before he could enter, the unsheathed weapon was grasped in the elevated hand of the maiden ; her eyes were uphfted, full of a sublime and holy devotion.

''Forgive me, blessed Yirgin! " she uttered with wild and affecting energy, and the gUttering dagger was descending into her breathing bosom, when her captor sprang forward, and the weapon was sheathed in his intervening arm.

" My hfe, lady, rather than thine!" he said, as he drew it forth.

^' Ob, that it "had been thy life !"—she exclaimed, while her beautiful and excited features expressed the intensest mortification at her disappointment; her dark eye kindled with an^^er, while her colourless hp showed maidenly apprehension. For a moment she stood in the attitude in which she had been arrested, with these several passions agitating her bosom ; but the last overcame all other feelings, and with clasped fingers, and the uplifted eye of a Madonna, she said, imploringly and with touching eloquence.

" O, Sefior, I am your captive—but ransom, a king's ransom shall be yours, only let me go in peace and honour. I implore you by your mother! by the blessed virgin ! by your hope of heaven ! by your fear of hell! See ! I kneel to you ! Oh, Seiior, I know I am in your hands, but, as you hope for mercy, show mercy now ! "

"Rise, lady—I swear!"—and Lafitte bared his brow, and kissed the cross-hilted dagger—" I swear by my hope of heaven, my fear of hell, by my sainted mother, and by the Holy Virgin, that you shall remain in all safety and honour!" The sincere voice in which he repeated her adjuration—the solemn eye, and devotional manner, re-assiu*ed the agitated girl.

'• Oh, I would beheve you, Senor, yet," she suddenly exclaimed, "my father! where, oh, where is he?" And, although the moment before, she had shrunk from the touch of her captor, as he extended his hand to raise her from her suppliant posture, while she kneeled before him, she now clasped him by the arm, and with a trembling voice, scarcely articulated—• " My — my—father!—Oh tell me—where ? "' " Be calm, Senora.—You shall know all, but—" " You have murdered him !" she shrieked. "Nay, lady, he has not been murdered—he—" " He lives not! " she cried, with terrible energy

VOL. I.—11

in her voice, fixing her eyes upon his face, as if she would read in its changing expression what she sought, yet trembled to learn. " Without violence, he died upon his bed." "Died!" she shrieked; but the next moment, with altered voice and manner, she murmured, " Died?—died !—he then is dead—dead ! " Mournfully she spoke, and her fixed eye betrayed the temporary alienation of her reason.—'• On his bed—too—and where was Constanza, to close his eyes ? Dead ! dead ?—They tell me so—that my father is dead! and Constanza—living ? Oh that she were dead also ! How blessed it must be to die !—The good old man is happy now^; he cannot see his daughter's shame and misery. They tell me he died on his bed!—But they tell me false !" she cried, suddenly changing her abstracted manner, and low melancholy voice—" Oh, you have murdered him—'' she wildly shrieked, while she pointed at the wounded arm of Lafitte—" there is blood upon your hand—my fathers blood—Murderer ! murderer ! 'Na.y—Lafiite! Lafitte ! I can call you by no other name, that will so express my detestation, and your crime'—and the look which accompanied her words, was the more withering, from the extreme beauty of the features upon which it dwelt.

'• Sefiora, I beseech you be appeased," he said, with a tone indicative of wounded feeling. "Don Velasquez was not slain; he died naturally:— there was no hand laid upon his person. Calm your feeling:^. You think me guilty—I am, but not so guilty as you beheve. If you will hear me a few moments''—he proceeded, as he saw she listened with some attention, and less excitement, to his w^ords. " I will tell you all."

The maiden remained silent—but slightly inclined her head, with the air of one who would listen.

" Heberto Velasquez—" he continued, " you start!—guided my party to the vault contahiing your father s treasure, on condition, that he should share half the booty—while the whole wxight of the act should fall upon me. You were alarmed, and, during the removal of the gold, your father, seizing a pistol, shot Velasquez, who was below with us, dead."

" Velasquez dead !—and by my father's hand ?"

" Even so, seiiora."

" Then, Heaven is just!" she exclaimed.

" The alarm was given," he continued, " we were surrounded. I entered the room above"— here he bowed low, while a deep flush mantled his dark cheek, which was slightly reflected from the maidens, who, with conflicting emotions, listened to the pirate's relation—'' There, I first saw, you, never, lady, to forget you! I left your presence, and headed my men ; but, pressed on every side, I was forced to retreat to the villa. I sprung into the room, and you fainted. The thought flashed upon me, that I could save my hfe, and gain my vessel, by protecting—pardon me, lady,—by protecting my iDody with your sacred person. I caught up your lifeless form, and. holding you before me, retreated, step by step, till I gained my vessel:—and, to this protection, lady, I owe my life ! "—he added, wdth feeling.

''But, my father?"

'• Worn out and feeble, during the tumult around him, he expired." ,, ^

'• Alas! he was ready to die ! " she said, calmly, •' I have long schooled my heart to part with him— but not thus—oh! not thus!" and, leaning her head upon the table, the lovely orphan gave way to her filial grief.

Lafitte left her to the indulgence of her sorrows,

and after delaying, in his own cabin, to attend ta his slightly-wounded arm, ascended to the deck. A faint titnge along the eastern horizon, announced the coining dawn—the night breeze had lulled—and the sails, at every lift of the vessel, upon some larger sea, flapped heavily against the masts. The watch were sitting, or standing, with their hands thrust into their bosoms, around the windlass—the oflUcer of the deck paced his lonely round—the helmsman stood at the helm—and, like its master-spirit, directed the course of the yielding vessel, steadily towards the invisible point of her destination. The land had disappeared, save an irregular waving blue line along the horizon, which might be mistaken by the unpractised e3^e for the edges of a distant cloud, but in which, Lafitte recognized the fast disappearing mountains of Jamaica. All else was the broad heaving ocean, and the bending blue sky, in which, here and there, twinkled a solitary star, and the pale western moon, like a timid novice, modestly veiling her face, at the approach of the morning sun..

r •


" There are few lovers who can bear, with philosophy, the rejection t>f their suit. But when, in spite of this rejection, the lover makes his unrequited love his guiding star in the path to honour and distinction, And, without hope, lives that he may be still worthy of his mistress^ he is more than a philosopher—he has gained a victory over himself, and deserves, above the conqueror of arnaes, the admiration of mankind.''



Morning had advanced nearly into noon, when the commander of the schooner, who, wrapped in a cloak, had thrown himself upon the deck to refresh his weary frame, was aroused by a slight touch on his shoulder.

" The lady, sir ! " said Theodore.

" What of her, Theodore ? " he exclaimed, with a foreboding air, springing to his feet.

''She desires to speak with you, sir."

" Has she slept till now, Theodore ? "

"No, sir, she has been all the morning weeping. She is now calmer, and desires an interview."

" Say to her, that her slightest wish shall be obeyed. I will attend her," he rephed. And, turning to ascertain the position of his vessel, and the rate she had been running while he slept, he descended into the cabin, and delaying, for a few moll*

ments, to change his dress, marked with traces of the late battle, for one more beseeming the presence of a lady, he tapped lightly at the door of her stateroom, and was admitted by Juana into the presence of his fair captive.

Constanza had recovered her usual self-possession, and maidenly dignity of manner, though her cheek was pale, her lip tremulous, and her eye brilhant through tears. As he entered, she rose from the ottoman, struck with his fine figure, displayed to advantage by the rich dress he wore^ and motioned him to a seat.

^'Senora, I have obeyed your summons,"—he said, with deep respect.

" Nay, Seiior. it becomes not the captive to issue commands; it is for her to obey! Sefior, ' she added, with dignity, and yet with timidity, 'I have solicited this interview with you, from my knowledge of your native generosity of character—however it may have been clouded and perverted by circumstances, which, I am willing to do you the justice to think, may hav- been beyond your control. Now that I have seen you, and know how nobly you can act, if you will be guided by the more generous impulses of your own bosom—I feel that I am not casting too much upon the success of this interview."

" Senora, you have only to speak to be obeyed," he replied, with much respect in his voice and manner. " All that I can do, shall be done, to atone for your injuries, and mitigate your grief."

" Most sincerely do I thank 3^ou, Senor—^I have not, indeed, hoped too much ! " Here she hesitated to proceed, and her manner betrayed embarrassment.

'^ Speak, lady! what can I do for you ? "

" Give me my liberty, Senor ! " she replied, firmly fixing her full dark eyes upon him, while her heart

palpitated, and her cheek paled, as she watched the* effect of this demand upon her captor.

He had anticipated her request, and replied, unmoved—

"Where, lady, will you go?—Your father!— forgive me, that I inadvertently touched so sensitive a chord ! But, Jady, have you where to go ? "

"Oh! no, no! but any where but here!" and she buried her face in the folds of the drapery.

'• Senora," said he, mournfully, and in a melancholy voice, " this is the bitterest moment of my life. That I am despised and proscribed of men, I care not! I can fling back their taunts : but, when so lovely a being turns from me with fear and detestation, then do I feel the galling of the outlaw's chain! Lady! " he continued, suddenly changing his tone to one of deep earnestness, " it is said, there is pardon of the Holy Virgin for the greatest crimes: and will not one, who must so nearly resemble her in person and spirit, also forgive?"

" Oh, Senor, speak not blasphemously ! You have all the forgiveness I can bestow. Would it could avail you hereafter! But oh, let me go hence, if, then, you hope to be forgiven."

" Where will you go, Seiiora ? Why will you go ? " he said, with impassioned energy. " Here, you shall be sacred from intrusion. No footstep shall approach you unbidden. It shall be my whole duty to render you happy—but oh, desert me not!—You feel an interest in my welfare— then do not leave me. You are the angel that would guide me back to honour and virtue. I already feel the holy influence of her presence upon my heart. Leave me, lady : and with you, will depart, forever, these l3etter aspirations. Again the dark spirit of my destiny, whose seat a purer spirit has assumed, will

usurp once more his empire ! Oh, leave me not to my own dark fate—extingxiish not, forever, the only star of hope that has ever beamed vipon my ill-fated bark! Lady—stay ! behold me at your feet!" and the impassioned outlaw, who had spoken his feelings with that intenseness peculiar to his impulsive character, kneeled before the maiden.

" Senor captain, kneel not to me," she said, step-, ping back with dignity—" Speak not to me, thus! I cannot listen to language like this. I am your captive.—but" she continued more earnestly, " oh, talk not to me thus. I would speak of my deliverance. If one so weak and simple as I am, can aught avail your return to society, cheerfully will I do all, that a free maiden, may do. Senor, my prayers, my influence, if I can command any, shall be yours—but—Oh ! use not to me such language ! I would go. Seiior !" she added, quickly.

'• You, then, despise me," he said, in a deeply-agitated voice ; " You, then, despise me ! Just Heaven, strike home—I am thy victim ! Listen to me, lady," he added, in a calmer voice. " In youth, I loved a maiden much like you; but my love met no return ; and for that passion I became an exile from my father's halls. Love made me what I am —may it not open for me a bright and virtuous future'? Speak, lady ! and bid me live to virtue— to heaven, and to you ! " and he gazed earnestly, his features beaming with the fervour of his passion, up into the face of the troubled girl as he kneeled before her. The maiden was deeply affect-ed by his impassioned appeal.

"Rise, Senor—I do not despise you—I deeply feel for you—but I cannot, must not listen to your language ! Yet you have strong claims to my regard, knowing you as I do. You have shown me a character, which, while the exhibition of it has surprised me, will ever command my esteem. I

must always honour the native nobihty and generosity of your character ! fallen indeed, yet aspiring to the height from which you have fallen. Oh. sir, forget this hasty passion for a lonely maiden who cannot return it, and be the being, proud in conscious virtue, you seek to be ! Let your desire to return to the paths of honour, depend upon no contingency in which 1 am involved. Go forward, Seiior, independently of extraneous circumstances, and make your own just perception of duty your guide, and you may yet be what you wish to be— what the world would desire to have you—what I sincerely pray you may become ! But think—think not of me—my affections "—and brow, cheek, and bosom were mantled with rich blood, as she added —'' my heart- my love —is—anothers !"

The chief still kneeled at the feet of the fair Cas-tiHian. The tones of her voice had long ceased, and yet he moved not. His features became deathly pale, his eye grew darker, and his lips were painfully compressed, while his chest heaved with strong emotion. For a moment he continued to kneel in a silence that appalled the heart of Constanza.. Then slowly elevating his form, he stood up to the full height of his commanding figure, folded his arms upon his breast, and gazed upon her for an instant with a bitter and sad expression upon his features. But when, at last, with a great effort, he spoke, there was a calmness in the deep tones of his voice, which fell forebodingly upon her heart.

" Lady, it is well! Ever thus has been my wayward and ill-directed destiny ! Forgive me, Senora, I will urge no more my fatal suit. I have loved you, Senora (nay, hsten, lady, I may tell you now) I have loved you—how fervently, heaven and my own heart alone can tell! But it has been a beautiful and happy dream. No more may I look upon you but as a distant worshipper upon the shrine of hi*

idolatry- A few short hours have changed me. lady !—For your sake, I will seek a name of honour among men; and when hereafter you shall learn that Lafitte, the outlaw, earned laurels, and a name, and perchance a death, in honourable war— remember it was your love that guided his bark out of the gulf of crime—your love that wafted it on to honour. Then, lady, do justice to his memory !"

The rejected suitor, then, turning with much emotion in his manner, hastily quitted the state-room.

" Sail, ho!" rung in his ears, as he entered his own cabin. Hastily concealing his gay apparel under a garment more befitting the deck of a piratical vessel, and the presence of his men, he ascended to the deck, and sought, in its bustle and activity, to forget the causes which agitated his bosom.

'•What do you make her out?" he shouted to the man aloft, in a stern tone, that startled even his men, with whom his trumpet-like voice was well familiar.

'• A brig, sir—standing to the south-east, with her courses hauled up, and under top-gallant sails."

'' Can you see her hull?"

•' Not yet, sir ; but she rises rapidly."

" Lay down out of that, sir," said Lafitte, impatiently : and immediately he sprung forward wit4i his glass, ascended the foremast, and standing on the cross-trees, closely surveyed the stranger. In a few minutes he descended, and ordered the helmsman to steer so as to gain the wdnd of her.

" What do you make her out, sir ? " inquired his second in connnand, Ricardo, a swarthy Spaniard, with an unpleasing eye, but otherwise a good-humoured countenance, half shaded by a forest of black whiskers, who was smoking a segar, as he paced the leeward side of the deck.

" A merchantman, bound probably into Kings-

" Ho, there —men ! " shouted the heutenant; " to your guns, and see that they are all prepared; and be ready, boarders."

" Aye, aye," cheerfully responded the crew ; and there was at once a bustle of warlike preparation on board. The crew, which numbered the day previous about sixty, now cut down to forty, by the severe losses of the preceding night, engaged with alacrity in preparation for the expected fight.

" This preparation is useless, Ricardo," said La-fitte ; " she will not resist us ; and if she is bound for Kingston, I shall not injure her—and the lady below must be sent back in her."

" Cielos ! without ransom, senor ? "

" No—I give my share of last night's booty as her ransom. Does that serve your purpose ? "

" Senor Captain, it does. I would give more for the glitter of a good Mexican dollar, than the sweetest smile that ever dwelt on pretty maiden's Hp. Mi-raculo! Captain, you soon weary of this lady's favours."

" Silence, sir—the lady goes to Jamaica in yonder vessel, if it he bound there," replied Lafitte, sternly ; and descending into the cabin, he once more sought the presence of his captive.

" Lady," he said, without entering her state-room, •' there is a vessel now approaching, and if, as I think, it is bound for the island, you are free to depart in her. Where would you prefer making a landing ?"

" At Kingston, Senor—I have an uncle there. I would land at Kingston ! Oh, sir," she continued earnestly, and advancing towards him, "jest not with my hopes—am I indeed at hberty ? "

" Lady, the uncaged bird is not freer than you shall be within the hour."

" May God bless you, generous sir !"

" Nay, I dare not keep you here," he replied;

I have not confidence in my own strength of pur* pose—I fear for you, remaining—absent, you are only safe ; whilst I, who would wish to forget, must live only in dwelling on your image. Adieu--I will again wait on you when I ascertain the character and destination of the vessel."

When he gained the deck, she was plainly visible about a league to leeward, under press of sail, evidently endeavouring to escape. She had hauled from her course several points since she first hove in sight, and now stood south before the wind, about a league distant.

" Shall we give chase, sir /" inquired the lieu* tenant,

" Aye, we must come up with her! put h^r away;" and the schooner failing off a little, with a freer wind, darted rapidly after the stranger, who was using every exertion to escape. But the buccaneer rapidly gained on her, and in about half an hour the chase was within the range and conunand of her guns.

Ten cannonades frowned along the pirate's deck, and a gang of fierce and reckless men, some stripped to their waists, and armed with pistols, knives, and cutlasses, stood around each gun.

"Clear away that starboard gun amidships," shouted the lieutenant.

/' All clear, sir."

" Pitch a shot then across her fore foot."

The seaman stooped to the gun, and with his eye on a level with the piece, gave it the proper direction.

" All ready, sir."

u Yire ! "

The littl^ vessel trembled and recoiled under the loud report of the gun, which had scarcely ceased ringing in the ears of the crew, who watched the ball as it ricochetted over the water, marking a line

of foam as it passed just across the bows of the vessel, when the brig threw her main-top-sail to the mast, hoisted American colours, and awaited the pleasure of the pirate.

" Lower and man the boat—go on board, Theodore, and ascertain what she is, and where bound," said the pirate, as the schooner approached nearly within hail of the stranger. The pirate lay to until the return of the boat—Lafitte the while leaning over the quarter, gazing in silence upon the vessel.

" Well Theodore ? " he inquired, as his messenger returned.

"She is an American brig from New Orleans, bound to Porto Rico, but will touch at Kingston, if there be gold to be made by it."

" Aye, gold—gold ! well, they shall have it."

In a few minutes Constanza had changed the warlike vessel, and gorgeous cabin of the pirate, for the homelier accommodations of the peaceful and plain merchantman.

" Lady, adieu," he said, taking his leave on the deck of the brig; " you may soon forget me, but while my heart throbs with life, never can I forget Constanza Velasquez. That name shall be the talisman of a more honourable destiny—for I cannot be hnked with guilt, bearing your image in my heart. Lady, farewell—Theodore will accompany you to your friends, and you will also have Juana, to wait upon you."

" God bless you, Sefior—how deeply I feel my debt of gratitude to you—I shall ever remember you with friendship—may God and your country receive henceforth the duties you owe to each. Farewell, and the blessed Maria be your protector!" and she extended her hand to the chief as she spoke, who tenderly and ardently pressing it to his lips, sprang over the side into his boat. He waved his hand to

VOL. I.—12

her distant figure, as he stood once more on the deck of his schooner, which immediately resumed her former course, while the merchant vessel, again making sail, stood steadily towards the port of hey destination.



** No phenomenon of nature is invested with the sublimity of a tempest upon the ocean at midnight. The incessant thunder—the fierce lightnings—the continuous roar of the agitated waters—the driving clouds—the flashing sea—and the loud sound of the rushing winds—what sublime accompaniments ! How little, then, in compari-Bon, is man I And yet how great, as guided by his genius and intellect,-— he fearfully commits himself to the deep, and on a few planks skilfully bound together, rides careering on the storm."


The sun went down that evening with an angry aspect—lurid clouds were piled around him, and the western skies wore that brassy hue, reflected upon the leaden waters, which, in those seas, is the precursor of a storm. The commander of the brigan-tine, which had now become tlie temporary abode of Constanza, was standing upon the quarter-deck, watching the huge masses of piled-up clouds, and threatening appearance of the heavens, with an anxious eye.

"Make all snug," he said, turning to his second in command, after a long survey of the brewing tempest. " We are likely to have a hard night of it—you had better send down the royal and top-gallant sails, and single reef the top-sails."

The necessary orders were given by the mate, and speedily executed by the active seamen; and the brig held on her course, steadily, under her lessened sail. The clouds rapidly rose in the west, and extended along the heavens, gradually unroll-

ing like a scroll, till the massive edge of the huge embankment hung, like a beetling crag above the vessel, casting a black shadow, over half the sea.

" Strike the top-gallant-masts, and close-reef the top-sails and stay-sail," shouted the captain, quickly, as the clouds came careering on, driving before the invisible, and yet unfelt tempest.

The night was fast setting in, though the red twihght, still lingered in the east—while along the western horizon, both sky and sea, were enveloped in terrific gloom. Suddenly the light breeze which had wafted them along, died away— and a fearful stillness dwelt in the warm air, while respiration became painful. The sailors stood at the several posts, where the coming danger might most require their presence—conversing in low tones wnth each other—now watching anxiously the gathering storm, which momently threatened to burst upon their helpless bark—or now, with an inquiring gaze, marking the face of their captain—a veteran seaman, with his head silvered by the storms of sixty winters.

He stood near the helmsman wrapped in a long drab pea-jacket, buttoned closely at his throat—a glazed hat, with a broad brim, upon his head, and. a trumpet in his hand. His eye was full of care,' but wore no expression betraying doubt, but rather a consciousness of being able to contend successfully, with whatever might occur—a consciousness originating in long and successful experience. His features were calm, and his voice full and natural, when, occasionally, he addressed his officers, or the helmsman.

Suddenly a flash of lightning shot along the face of the black bosom of the cloud, like a glittering serpent—and the air was rent witli a report so Joud, that every startled seaman placed his hands suddenly, and intensely to his temples. A tomb-like

silence succeeded, and the dark cloud unrolled, till it covered all the heavens, encircling the horizon in a fearful embrace.

" What, my lovely passenger !" said the captain, with gallantry, as the slight form of Constanza met his eye. " The thunder has alarmed you ! shall I attend you to your state room ? "

" No, oh no, Senor, the cabin is too close—It is but thunder, then! I thought it the firing of cannon ! We are not pursued ! Bless thee. Santa Maria," she continued mentally " I feared that dangerous man had changed his mind—I did him injustice. But oh, that I were safe beneath my uncle's roof! Is it far to Kingston, Seiior ? " she inquired.

"Twelve leagues, lady—if we safely weather this gale, we shall be there by morning."

" Thank you, sir, for such cheering words ; but is there, as your words imply, danger ? See ! that light upon the sea! what is it 7" she inquired eagerly, pointing to the west.

" Now we have it—stand ready, all!" he shouted, as a line of white foam, stretching along the horizon, caught his eye, as he looked up at her exclamation.

The vessel lay broadside to the path of the coming tempest, and so great was the calm, that the helmsman had no control over her. The captain, gave his several orders with professional rapidity, and energy.

" Hard-a-weather—hard-up, hard-up, for your life !" and he sprung to the helm, but the head of the brig remained immoveable in the same direction.

" Good God ! Head her off, or we shall be capsized ! lady—below, below—youngster," he cried, to Theodore, " see to her ! "

Every precaution was taken for the safety of the brig, that experienced seamanship could suggest: the 12*

old man stood grasping the helm with a firm hand, while, with a calm, and unblenching eye, he watched the advancing hurricane. Onward it came—ploughing up the sea, which boiled, roaring and foaming before it—a moving wall of surge.

Constanza, with one hand grasping the companion-way, within which she stood, and the other resting upon the arm of her young attendant, gazed fearfully upon the visible presence of tlie tempest. Her bosom heaved irregularly—her cheek was pale, and her hps shut with expectation—but there was a sublimity in the scene which she loved, and which, chained her to the spot.

The lightnings flashed fast and fierce out from the black clouds, which seemed suspended close above their heads, and run like veins of gold along the heavens. The thunder came peal upon peal, like reports of artillery, rattling along the skies, and reverberating around the horizon, died away in the distance in lovv, indistinct mutterings. The glassy waves between the vessel and the rapidly careering tempest, began to heave, and while every man held in his breath with expectation, the brig rolled heavily, and within a few moments of the time when the distant moan of the tempest was first heard, with a loud roar, the storm of wind and wave burst upon the devoted vessel.

" Now—look to yourselves !" shouted the captain ; and the wild waters leaped over the brig with the noise and body of a cataract—the furious winds twisted the light masts like withes-- and the brig was borne bodily down by the irresistible force of the tempest, and lay prostrate upon her beam-ends.

The weather main-chains were wrenched like threads, with all their rigging, from the sides of the vessel; and the main-mast, bending like whalebone, broke off with a loud crack close to the deck. A wild cry mingled with the roar of the tempest, while

the live thunder leaped, and the lightnings glared about their vessel, as if in mockery of human suffering.

"Cut away the foremast—lively, men, lively!" cried the captain, clinging to the quarter-rail half emerged in tlie sea; and the mate, who was prepared for this emergency, run along the elevated side of the ship, and with an axe severed, one after another, the distended stays, which flew wildly into the air, lashing the sea as they fell. The remaining one parted with a sharp report before the axe descended, and the unsustained mast, which lay level with the water, after a few vigorous blows by the same daring hand, snapped off a few feet from the deck, and a large wave, lifting it up like a straw, bore it, with all its rigging, far away to leeward. Immediately the relieved vessel righted and floated amid the tumultuous ocean, an unmanageable wreck.

The moment the hurricane struck the side of the vessel, Theodore, holding firmly the arm of Con-stanza, drew hastily the slide of tiae companion-way, the doors of which were closed, over the place where she stood, and the waters swept harmlessly over her. But the violence of the shock would have thrown her down, had not the young buccaneer, with great presence of mind, rapidly adapted their position to the sudden inclination of the vessel. Alarmed, she stood with her crucifix clasped to her lips till the vessel righted, when, at her repeated request, Theodore drew back the shde to allow her to look forth upon the tempest.

What a scene of wild sublimity met her gaze ! The heavens were pitchy black, over which the lightnings played in streams of fire—the thunder rolled continually in one prolonged and incessant reverberation—the sea was illuminated with phosphorescent light and raging with a loud roar, while

vast masses of water, rising from its bosom on every side, would swell into gigantic billows, and burst into a head of glittering foam.

The vessel, with her upper deck flooded, plunged heavily into the deep gulfs which yawned on every side, threatening to entomb her. The whole scene that met her eye was one of sublime, but fearful desolation. The old man, with his saturated grey locks streaming in the gale, stood at the helm, which he had seized when the brig righted—for the helmsman had been borne off into the sea, and his far-off wail for help had long before died in the more melancholy howhngs of the storm.

" This is indeed fearful! " she exclaimed. "Poor, old man—he has lost perhaps his all—but his life is safe. Safe ? " she repeated, despairingly ; " Oh, who can say that one life is safe in this appalling scene!"

" Nay, lady, the bite of the storm is over—we only hear his growl," said the boy; "at any rate, it can harm this old hulk no more. We are not far from land, if it were but day we could see it. Cheer up, lady—there is no more to fear."

'' I fear not, sefior, for myself," she replied, calmly; '^ but that venerable man ! he is perhaps a parent— it is for him, and for you, 1 feel---you have, perhaps, a mother and a fair sister, whose lives are wrapped up in you !"

'- No, lady," he replied, sadly; " I am a parent-less boy. There is none to call me brother. I can remember once loving, both a mother and sister, but they now sleep in the sea. Captain Lafitte found me a lonely and dying boy on such a wreck as this—he is all I have to care for me."

" And does he care for you ? "

" Lady, he does. His is a stern nature, and wild deeds are familiar to him. Yet he has deep affections. Lady, he cares much for me ! He imagines I resemble one—his brother, I believe, though he

seldom speaks of it—who met with some mischance in boyhood—for that resemblance also am I dear to him."

" Do you love him, boy ? "

" Do you love your father, lady ? "

" Oh, speak not of my father—alas, he too is dead!"

" Pardon me, Sefiora—but thus I love my benefactor."

The lady mused a moment upon the thoughts which her companion's answer had called up—the expiring gale sporting with her dark locks and mantilla, which floated like a white cloud around her head.

The lightning now became less frequent and intense—the thunder rumbled only along the distant horizon—the dark clouds, from whose bosom burst the storm, broke in huge masses, the thin edges of which grew lighter, w^iile a spot of the deep, blue sky, in which sparkled a solitary star, could be seen at intervals between the driving masses. The waves grew less and less in size— breaking no longer like volcanoes bursting into flame, but regularly in snowy caps, or rolling onward, smooth, unbroken billows.

All at once, beneath an opening in a cloud in the east, the sea shone with a silvery Hght, and Con-stanza, who had watched the various phases of the storm, and the rapid changes of the scene, with a pleased and wondering eye, had scarcely exclaimed,

" Look, senor—how beautiful! what can pour that light down upon the sea ?" when the breaking clouds, saihng before the receding gale, displayed the moon shining in unclouded brilliancy upon the heaving sea—glancing her welcome beams over the waves in a path of tremulous hght, and falling like a smile from heaven upon the lonely wreck.

'' Ha ! what! a sail! God be thanked! " ex-

claimed the captain, as, after lashing the helm, he made one of the group at the companion-way.

" Look, young sir, with your keener eye—just in the moons wake—no—it is the cap of a wave !"

"It is a sail, sir !" exclaimed the youth joyfully™" I saw distinctly the outhne of a main-sail, and then it disappeared as though by the rolling of the vessel There ! the sails look black against the moonlight! "

"I see it, boy—you are right," answered the captain, in a lively tone ; '• she is within half a mile of us."

" The blessed Maria forbid that she should pass us by ! " ejaculated Constanza.

" We will remedy that," said the old commander, cheerfully; and descending into the cabin, he returned with a large blunderbuss.

" This will make more noiae than a trumpet," he said, cocking it; " but we will first wait and see if she does not come toward us."

" I saw her distinctly, sir," said Theodore, " while you were below, and she appears to be a large schooner lying to."

" We will hail her then," said the captain ; and holding the blunderbuss high above his head, he pointed it in the direction of the vessel and fired. The report of the piece, to their ears, yet familiar with the roar of the tempest, sounded very faintly.

" I fear they will not hear it," he said, " it hardly seemed to go twice the length of the brig towards her."

The heart of the maiden sunk, and she involuntarily grasped the arm of the youthful sailor.— There was a moment of anxious suspense, when a light flashed upon their eyes from the stranger, and the heavy report of a large gun came booming across the water.

*< Thank God ! we are safe !" exclaimed the captain.—'' She must be an armed vessel, from the free way she burns powder."

'' She is making sail, sir," said Theodore, after gazing a minute intently at the vessel—she is a schooner—her masts and main-sail are now plainly visible; she has a main-top-mast stay-sail set, and carries top-sails—with jib and flying-jib—She is now standing-. No ! do I see rightly ? She is standing from us, sir ! "

'^ She is, indeed—" hastily exclaimed the captain, in a disappointed tone.—She must have mistaken our situation. We are so low in the water, she could not see us till close aboard of us. Show a, light upon the stump of the mainmast!" he shouted.

Before the seaman he addressed reached the forecastle, Theodore had sprung below, and returned to the deck with the swinging lamp, which hung in the cabin, and, raising it on the end of the blunderbuss, held it above his head.

In silence, and with heart-rending anxiety, they watched the success of their beacon, and, in a few minutes, an answering light from the stranger, filled their bosoms with delight. The vessel now tacked, and stood towards them, often appearing and disappearing from their eyes, as the dismasted brig rose upon some larger billow, or descended into some profounder cavern of the waves.

Their deliverer came towards them, with tall and stately motion—his sails rounded with the lulling breeze, and his prow flinging high the spray, as she bounded forward.

"I should know that vessel," said Theodore, quickly, as she came nearer.—Yes ! it is sir!—" he said, the captain—"that is a buccaneer !"

" Lady, dear lady !" he said, as a slight ex-

clamation escaped Constanza, " be not alarmed! I am surety for your safety. That is one of our squadron—I am known to the commander—he shall convey you in safety to Jamaica."

The maiden spoke not, but with clasped hands and tearful eyes, silently looked up to heaven, as if she looked for that protection there, which seemed denied her on earth.

" Wreck ahoy !—" shouted a stern voice from the schooner, which was now under the stern of the brig, showing four ports to a side, and from the numerous dark heads peering over the hammock-nettings, apparently full of men.

" Captain, your trumpet! allow me to reply. Your safety depends upon it!" said the youth, taking the instrument from his passive hands.

" Ho ! the JuUe! "

"Who the devil are you?" replied the first hailer.

"A prize of Lafitte's, bound into the rendezvous, and dismasted in the squall."

"Is that Theodore?"

" Even as you are Sebastiano ! Send a boat for the prisoners ; and, afterwards, take out the cargo. It is valuable."

"Be not so ready, my good youth, to bestow what belongs not to you—" said the old man, eagerly interposing.

" There is no alternative, sir ; he must^have all. And what avails it to you now, whether it go to the use of good Sebastiano. there, who is making such commendable haste with his boat—or, as must inevitably have been the case, to the bottom of the sea!—You must ask of Sebastiano no more than life. He will argvie the point w ith you, and demonstrate to his, if not to your satisfaction, that he pays well for the cargo, by saving you from the dolphins."


The boat, riding over the huge seas, now balanc* ing upon their summit, now disappearing in their hollow, at length reached the \VTeck, and a heavily-built man, who had passed into his third score of allotted years, stepped on to the deck of the brig.

" Oh, Theodore—Senor Theodore !" scarcely articulated the trembling maiden, clinging, with nervous apprehension, to his arm.

" Do not be alarmed, Senora," he replied, encouragingly, " I can manage this lump of bone and muscle, as I would a chained bear. Ha ! my good Sebastiano! " he added, addressing him with much freedom, '' I greet your jocund phiz with more of welcome than I ever dreamed I should do.'^

'• By the twelve apostles ! always including the worthy Judas," growled the buccaneer, in reply, casting his eyes over the wreck, "but you have made clean work of this. Sathan, himself, seemed to lend his bellows, and a spare hand, to help blow out the gale to night. The Julie once carried a holy father, and the devil could'nt hurt her, so we were safe. Santa Madre !—if it had been in broad noon, it would have bloAvn out the suns eye—Cielos !"-but who have we here ? " he continued, raising his voice, on discovering the figure of the maiden, half-concealed behind the intervening person of the young buccaneer. Instinctively, the terrified Constanza withdrew herself from the rude gaze of the rover, and closel}^ veiled her face.

" It is a lady," he said in his ear, " who goes on large ransom to Kingston :—She must be treated, " he added, firmly, '• with respect.—It is the express command of Lafitte."

" Senor Lafitte's commands are gospel to me—" he replied, with deference in his gruff tones. "Se-aora. Yo espero que su ^ alteza veo en perfecta

VOL I.—13

salud—'' he said, addressing the assured Constanza, and bowing with blunt respect in his manner.

" This vessel being in a sinking condition, Senora," he continued, " it has become necessary to remove you. In all things, captain Lafitte should be obeyed ; but circumstances, as I can readily prove to you. often render obedience impossible, as for instance—"

" Come, Sebastiano, the lady will hear your conclusion on board the Julie. Is your boat ready ? "

"All ready, Seiiorito Theodore."

" Ho !" he cried, " make room for the captain's lady to pass. He is to take to himself a wife, according to the command. Now it is good to marry hombres, first, because if this generation should not be given in marriage, the next—"

" Good Sefior captain Sebastiano !"' exclaimed Theodore, with some impatience.

" Well, well, Senorito Theodore, the boat is read ;—in proof of which—'

"Hold hard, there, men!" cried Theodore— "jump in, sir," said he to the captain of the brig, who reluctantly obeyed. " Now allow me to fold this cloak about your form, Senora,—hold firmly to my arm—Juana, step into the boat, or you will be overboard—Now wait till the boat rises again— There !' step firmly ! Done like a seaman ! Senora ! " said Sebastiano, as he aided Theodore in handing her into the boat. " What a light foot for a ro3^al boy !" he added aside to him.

"Shove off! Now give way ! ' he^said aloud, with a professional brevity unnatural to him ; and, in a few minutes, the party were safely landed on the deck of the schooner.

Constanza assured, from the respect shown her by the buccaneer, and the manifold influence of Theodore over him and his crew, that she had no-

thing, at present, to apprehend, retired to a Uttle state-room, to which he conducted her, and, wearied by the trying scenes through which she had passed, threw herself into one of the berths of the rude, but comfortable, cabin, and was soon buried in profound and peaceful sleep.

Theodore now tool^ the pirate aside, and explained to him those facts which he did not choose to disclose before the crew, ever ready to mutiny on the slightest occasion.

" Now, Sebastiano," he said, after the most valuable freight had been removed to the schooner from the brig, which soon, with a plunge, disappeared beneath the surface, and the seamen, placed under the hatches, with some attention to their comfort, as released prisoners of a former capture by their captain, and sail once more made on the schooner, *' Now. good Sebastiano, we must put into Kingston to-morrow. This lady must be landed, according to the terms of the ransom,—"

" Now, look you, my very worthy youth, wi^om, next to captain Lafitte, I hold in all respect—and for three reasons—"

" I will hear your reasons another time, Sebastiano—'' rephed the youth, quickly—"You must to Kingston to-morrow."

Here a discussion of some length took place, in which Sebastiano convinced his young friend, that, on account of certain recent notorious captures, in that vicinity, he would risk both his own, and the necks of his men, and his vessel, if he approached that port, a^ several armed cutters were already out in search of him. Such was the cogency of his arguments, that Th('*odore acquiesced ; and immediately explained to the ill-fated maiden the necessity of adopting another course than that they originally intended to pursue.

The schooner, therefore, under the orders of captain Sebastiano, steered for one of the rendezvous of Lafitte's squadron, before alluded to, situated at the head of the bay of Gonzares, in the Island of St. Domingo.


*' Prince. Said you the noble duke was taken prisoner ?

Messenger. Yes your hii;hness, and most strangely—Sword in hand, like a brave knight, he entered the breach at the head of his soldiers, and before ten of them could follow him, the wall above fell down and choked up the gap a scoie of feet in height—making a second wall.

Prince. And so he was caught with a mere handful of men within the beleagured city !

Messenger. It is too true your highness. "


The French goelette, or tender, which bore the fanciful name of eulionf, having on board the commander of the French frigate "Le Sultan," after separating from the larger vessel on gaining the offing, sailed, as we have before mentioned, southward, in the direction of Carthagena—while the former steered easterly for St. Domingo.

The object of Count D'Oyley, in taking an opposite course to that of his frigate, was to make surer the chance of intercepting or overtaking the pirate whom he sought and who. he supposed, had sailed far one of his two rendezvous in the West Indian seas—an uninhabited island near Carthagena, or the secluded bay on the west coast of St. Domingo.

With the speed of the wind the little vessel flew

over the water, promising, by her unequalled velocity,

soon to gain the advantage which the buccaneer

had obtained by many hours precedence. The

* 13*

bosom of the young Frenchman swelledj as, glancing over the side, he observed the rapid motion of his vessel flinging the spray to her tops, and leaving a long track of boiling foam astern. And his eye passing over the decks lighted with pride and pleasure, as it met the dark tiers of guns on either side,— the circles of muskets and boarding pikes around the masts—racks of cutlasses and pistols lining the quarter-rail—and upon the gallant band of seamen whom he had picked from his frigate for this expedition, on account of their experience, fearlessness, and fidelity.

Leaving the impatient lover on his pursuit of retributive justice, we will precede him to the shores of the Spanish main, toward which his vessel was rapidly borne.

Noon held her burning sceptre over the southern Carribbean sea, where our scene now opens, veiling the tremulous outline of the distant hills of St. Martha in a gauze-like haze, while the sun, in his high tropical altitude, was reflected with dazzling brilliancy in the glassy bosom of the waters.

There was not breath enough to toss a curl on a maiden's brow. The surface of the ocean was undimpled, and sleepily rolled its polished waves towards a coral reef, dotted here and there with clumps of low mangroves, upon which they broke with a sudden roar— sometimes leaping quite over them, arid mingling with the calm waters of the lagoons, which stretched between them and the beach of the main land.

Beyond this reef, and nearly opposite to the St. Domingo gate, rising and falling upon the swells with a swan-hke motion, a xebec, or three-masted schooner .rode at anchor. Every spar and line of rigging was painted upon the water with the accuracy of reality. Each mast consisted of a single black stick, crossed obhquely by a long pliant yard,

upon which was brailed closely up a lateen sail suspended about half the altitude of the mast from the deck. The hull, which was about ninety feet lono-, was constructed with great breadth of beam, and flush from stem to stern. Like her spars it was painted black, with the exception of a narrow ribbon of red paint drawn around it just below the gunwale. From her unusual breadth amidships, the eye would be deceived in estimating her tonnage too large, but the extreme sharpness of her bows more than quahfied this unusual width, and while it contradicted her apparent burden—promised unusual speed.

Two large boats were lashed in the centre, and a smaller one hung on each quarter. Directly amidships, and just before the mainmast, on a revolving carriage, was mounted a long gun, while in sockets sunk in the frame-work around it were several thirty-eight pound shot—a size proportioned to the vast calibre of the piece. Besides this frowning emblem of war—on either side of the vessel, and half run out of the ports, which were thrown open for free circulation of the air, were three cannon of different calibre and metal—two of them bein^ cast out of brass and originally intended for heavy field artillery, the others of iron, carrying eighteen and twenty-four pound shot. The arms of Spain were impressed on one, while the crown of Great Britian and the eagle of the United States, were stamped in bold relief upon the remainder.

The gun carriages were constructed of heavy live oak, stained red, and rigged with chains and cordage to keep them in their places. Bags and hammocks were stowed away in the nettings in the bulwarks, which were the height of a man's head and impervious to musket balls. A forecastle, main-hatchway and companion-way were the only passages of communication between the main-deck and

lower. Around the first were congregated, under a canvass awning, spread from side to side of the vessel, about a score of men, in whose harsh and varied countenances a physiognomist might recognize individuals of many nations. Although the dark hair, gleaming eye, and full red lip of the Spaniard^ the swarthy cheek and inferior face of the Portuguese show^ed what countries they most numerously represented.

Some of these were enjoying a siesta after their rude meal, which they had just shared together— others were reclining in various easy and indolent postures upon the deck, with segars between their lips, laughing and jesting or playing tricks upon their sleeping fellows. One w^as kneehng near the windlass, mutteringin a low tone, and lazily fingering a string of black glass beads, held in his hands, while one or two, with folded arms, paced moodily and silently the little clean space under the awning not occupied by their shipmates.

These men w^ere dre.ssed nearly alike, in blue^ checked, cotton, or canvass trowsers, bound round their w^aists by a red, blue, or white sash—and without shoes or stockings. Conical caps, of various colours, in which red and blue predominated, were v/orn upon their heads—lying beside them on the deck, or thrust into their bosoms. Some of them' wore woollen shirts of the same colour of their caps,, with the sleeves rolled up, and fastened at the neck with gold and silver buttons, or else thrown back over their shoulders exposing broad shoulders and Herculean chests. Everyman w^as armed wnth a long double-edged knife with a broad blade, stuck without a sheath in his girtlle, upon the haft of which, as they slept, walked or conversed, their hands mechanically rested. For, in a community like theirs, where a hasty w^ord is spoken at the price of the blood of the speaker^ it became neces-

sary that each one should bear upon his {>erson, at all times the means of defence and offence.

Heavier weapons, in the shape of cutlasses and pikes, stood around the masts, and in other convenient places, ready for their grasp in the moment of battle.

Under another awning, spread over the larboard gang-way, and shading the space occupied by two of the guns, was assembled another and larger group, whose dress and mode of passing the sultry hours of mid-day were similar.

On the opposite side of the deck, without the shade, and in the sun, lay a negro upon his back, with a grotesque expression upon his ungainly features, playing with a monkey, which he held struggling in the air, and who had been curtailed of his natural and most ornamental appendage, whilst, undoubtedly for the preseiTation of symmetry, his ears had been shorn after the same fashion.

Half a dozen boys, white, black and yellow, whose heads displayed all the varieties of carroty, woolly, and strait black hair, were gathered about him, their coal black eyes sparkling with glee. Each of these neophytes to the trade of buccaneering, was naked to the waist, from which depended an apron, or a pair of loose trowsers, (abridged,) from dimensions adapted to men of much larger growth. Small, sheathed knives, which were stuck in the belt, or string confining then- lower and only teguments, were oftener in use for malice or mischief, than the broader blades of the men.

One of these youths, whose robes would have required much enlargement to rival the primitive fig leaf—was occupied in pricking, by way of practice in his profession, the hams of the suspended . monkey; and delighting himself, and his particoloured companions, in the contortions and yells of the animaL

Farther aft, was spread an awniug, whose scol-. lope(3 edges, bound with some bright-red material, ifjdicated due consciousness of that superiority which appertains either to the quarter-deck of a ship of the hue, or a pirate-schooner. Beneath this gay awning rechned Various individuals, whose rank on board the schooner entitled them to protection from the sun farther astern, than the other less-favoured occupants of the vessel.

From the stays, which on either side supported the after or mizen-mast, was stretched, about three feet fiom the deck, a hammock of net-work, in which lay a heavily-framed man, whose breadth of shoulders indicated great physical power, while the rotundity of his short person betrayed the bon-vivant. His head was large, and covered with red, bushy hair; his cojuplexion, naturally fair, was now ^ changed to a jocund red ; his eyes, small, deep set, and ijray—his forehead fleshy, and his cheeks full, and hanging; while the lower portion of his face, drooped into that second, and pleasing fulness, which bears the appellation of " double-chin." A pair of white jean trowsers, enveloped his rotund, lower limbs--while a loose gingham coat, was wrapped partially around his body. His height, or rather length, as he lay in the open hammock, appeared less than five feet, and judging from the lines of years which graced his visage, and an occasional tuft of gray hair, interspersed in the burning bush, which covered his phrenological organs, his age might have been a little above forty-five or six.

At the time we introduce him to the reader, he was lying with his face upwards, and one leg hanging out of the hammock, smoking a long fantastic German pipe, and idly watching the little blue clouds, as they circled above his head, rolled along beneath the awning, and floated astern, into the

outward air. A half-naked African waved over him a large fan, made of the variegated feathers of some gorgeous Mexican bird—whom he would occasionally take his pipe from his mouth to curse, for roughly blowing some more beautiful wreath, which had won his eye—breaking into a host of flickering clouds. The slave's skill, seemed to consist in coohng the atmosphere around the head of the smoker, without agitating the spiral wreaths which were satisfactorily, and at regular intervals, emitted from his large, vcrmillion hps.

On the deck, nearly under the hammock, reposed two other figures, whose dress, and arms, which they constantly wore, in connection with their presence on the quarter-deck, indicated them to be officers. A fourth figure, with dark and handsomer features, rendered unplen.sing by an habitual, sinis-^ ter expression, with a form slender and athletic, calling to mind one of the athlefae of ancient Greece- -with flow^ing white trowsers and loose gingham frock, confined to his waist by a yellow silk sash— which also secured pistols and a cutlass—leaned in an easy attitude against the binnacle, his muscular arms bared to the shoulder, and folded over his breast, while the smoke of a segar curled unheeded over his head. His eyes were habitually fixed upon the* northern horizon, visible between the avyning and the quarter rail, but without that consciousness which indicated attention to any particular object. All at once, they lighted up, and dilated, while his brow was loweped overvthem, as though to shade, and strengthen his vision—and with hisliead and body advanced, he looked long and steadihr, towards one point of the horizon.

"Vat datyou shee, maat," slowly interrogated tlfe corpulent personage in the hammock, as his eye, by chance, detected the change in the attitude, and manner of his oflacer. "No saail, mine Got— heh!"

" A sail, I believe it is, captain—my glass here, you black imps—jump!" he cried, and the troop of urchins, leaving the monkey in the midst of his martyrdom, sprung for the campanion-way, but were distanced by the sans-culotte^ who the next moment placed the spy-glass in the hands of the officer.

" A schooner, with a gaft top-sail, and top-gallant mast—I can just see the peak of her main-sail!" he said, after looking a moment through the instru* ment.

" Heh ! dat shall pe Mynheer, captain Lafitte— to pe shure ! shee if dere pe royals ? "

" She has none set—I can't well make out her spars at this distance—but she brings a breeze with her, whoever she be! her upper sails belly out like ." and looked round at the corporeal curvature of his captain for an illustration, with a sly smile of Castillian humour.

" None of dat, Mynheer Martinez, you are put a strait spar—vereas I'sh am always under full top-shails,—to pe shure. Tam dish hot climate—if haal don't lay under dish tam Carribbean shee—den Fsh neber ecshpect to shee it—it melts a maan down, like trying out fat in de cook's kettlesh. Hugh, hugh, hugh! it takes mine breat from out de body when I'sh open mine mout, dis so tamn hot'—Puff, puff!— " Dere! dat wash a purty curl, wid de ring in de middle like de shmoke from de mout of de cannonsh," he exclaimed. Turning growlingly to the slave, " Curse you, plack nigger, vat sail mak' you plow in dis deble sortish style—I'll toss you ofer-poard to mak' de breesh be coming—to pe shure."

" I make her out now, distinctly," said the first officer—" she is a schooner of about seventy tons, with fore-top-sail, and top-gallant-sail set. Caramba ! she is walking down this way with a bone in her teeth."

" Ho! there forward—stand by to get under weigh, the breeze we have so long been wishing for is coming upon us now, with a light heel—and moreover, we are likly to have a breeze of long shot^ by the saucy looks of this stranger," he added, as before one of those sudden and strong winds, peculiar to that climate, after a lengthened calm, the vessel rapidly approached, shewing a tier of ports on her starboard side, which was next to them, out of which the heads of five or six guns bristled, with a very warlike air.

"Hah! vat ish dat you shays, maat," exclaimed the captain, with seme quickness ; "hoP dish hammock tort, you Congee nigger, vilst 1 gets out— Dere! vas dere ever such tamn hot vedersh—dish teck is hke de oven vat baked Shadrach, and his brod'ren. Hugh !" and the portly commander of the schooner standing upon his legs, after many ponderous sighs, and irrelevant ejaculations, took the glass from his mate, and looked steadily at the advancing vessel.

" Mine Got, it ish true—he vill be carry ten kuns in hish teck—to pe shure, and full of mansb,"—he said, with energy, as the schooner now within two miles of them, hauled her wind and stood towards Carthagena, seen indistinctly in the distance through the heated atmosphere, which danced with a tremulous, wavy motion over every object. With its silvery beach—battlements groaning with cannon, its heavy towers, convents, and monasteries, and surrounding eminences, strongly fortified, with their sides dotted with picturesque villas, the city with its surburbs, slept beneath the glowing noon, in the silence of michiight.

The breeze now ruffled the surface of the water around their vessel, breaking it into myriads of httle waves, which emulously leaped into the air, as though to welcome its approach.

VOL I.—14

"Man the capstan; heave up the anchor f^' shoiUed the mate, sternly-and every sleeper sprung to his feet, and every idler and jester became at once active and serious.

The capstan soon flew merrily round, and at tne brails and halyards of the lateen sails, ready to obey the orders of their officer, stood various parties of the crew.

'' Show the trading lugger,"—he added, and the guns were hastily drawn m, and the ports closed, so as to present a plain broad side to the stranger.

The anchor was soon hanging from the bows— the triangular sails of each mast spread to the breeze- the jib, which extended along the short bowsprit, was hoisted, and the vessel bending low before the wind, moved through the water with increasing velocity.

"ShaU we try him captain?" said the mate, coolly, retiring to the quarter deck, after getting sail on the schooner.

u Diy vivty tyfils! Tamn ! noting else sail be got

peside. from dish chap, put iron piscuit in te pread pasket—to be shure," said he sympathizingly,layuig a hand upon that important portion of his body— '«tyfil a pit sail ve dry him, Martinez."

"Then, now we are under weigh, shall we steer for Gonares?" he inquired.

"Yes, Mynheer Martinez—de hatches are as full as an English-mansh"—

"Or a Dutchman's Captain!" interrupted Martinez, with a wink to his junior in command.

"Letsh me shpeak Martinez," grumbled the captain good-humouredly. "or a Tutchmansh after Chrishmash tinner—dere is no more room for de more cargoesh—if we take more prishes—Put de helm up for Gonaresh!"—

Obedient to the braces the sails swung round until they lay nearly parallel with the length of the ves.

sel and close-hauled on the wind, lying down to leeward, so that her gunwales dipped deep in the water, the vessel left the shores of Carthagena behind her, and stood for St. Domingo.

She had sailed on this course but a short time, when the stranger, who was standing in the opposite direction, also changed his course hauling close on the wind and running so as to intercept the buccaneer.

" Martinez, dish looksh shqually—one, two, drie, vive guns on hish shide.^' said the captain as he observed this measure, <'he ish a cruiser—ve musht fight or show him our heelsh, and vy sail ve fight, ven dere ish no purpose—ve can take no more coods—put he vill, may pe, take ush—to pe shure! It petter not pe fightings—Heh! Martinez"—

" As you say sir—I suspect he is in chase of our vessel—we can hardly cope with him. Set the gaft topsails, and hoist away tire spencer," he shouted ;— and this last sail, with three small triangular sails stretched from the topmasts, which were of one piece with the lower masts, now spread to the wind, gave additional speed to the vessel. Groaning and straining through every joint, she parted the green waves before her. flinging them around her bows, and promising to distance the other vessel, which having the wind on the pirate, now rapidly neared him.

It now became the object of the pirate to escape from the armed vessel, which was evidently trj-lng to cut him off—to this end all his energies were now directed. The vessels were rapidly approaching the same point, which, once passed, the pirate felt there was a chance of his escape.

As he was giving various orders to increase the speed of the vessel by securing the guns, or changing their position ; and tightening the braces, the fitranger suddenly run up the French flag, and a

puff of smoke from the side of his vessel was immediately followd by the report of a cannon, and the skipping of a round shot across their wake, within a few fathoms of the stern—

" Heh ! vivty tyfils ! he shpeaks mit de iron trumpet—Martinez," continued the captain with an energy unlooked for in a man of his corporature—" ve musht lame him—or dis nicht de tolphins vill eat a goot supper, from the potty of Mynheer Jacob Get-zendauner—to pe shure !"

'' Clear the starboard guns and double shot them —stand ready to give him a broadside—Here Jacobo, Andrea, Manuel! where are your ears ? level that long gun and let him have it from stetn to stern as we cross his bows, make a clean sweep through him !—now stand ready all ["—shouted the young Spaniard to whom his captain seemed to have resigned, the more active duties of command ; and springing upon the hammock nettings, he watched with a deliberate eye the motions of the approaching vessel.

The pirate was standing nearly due north, close hauled upon the wind, which was from the northwest, and running at the rate of about eight knots, while the French schooner was standing nearly in a south-western course, also close-hauled with every thing drawing endeavouring to keep to the windward of the pirate, who was using every effort to prevent the success of this nautical manoeuvre. They were within less than half a mile of each other when the mate sprung upon the quarter-rail to watch the favourable moment to disable his opponent.—The faces of the men and officers in uniform upon the decks of the strange schooner were easily discernable by him—and he observed that on board of her every preparation was made for action. <'Can we cross her forcrfoot,—sir 7 said he, turning

to his captain, who stood by with a face expressive of some anxiety but more resolution—

" No—no Martinez—tish an impossible—if ve letsh him go acrosh our cutvater he vill sink ush, to pe shure—"

" Shall we give it to him? " inquired the Spaniard, "it is our only chance !"

" Aye—hoisht avay de crosh and het, and tunder mit de kuns."

At his command a black flag, upon which was painted a red cross, surmounted by a Death's head, fluttered at the mast-head.

" Now fling open the ports—well aim each gun, let go sheets and braces all! " he shouted, as the Frenchman began to show his weather ports— now she rights, give it to him—fire!" One after another, in rapid succession, the guns of the starboard broadside were fired at the schooner, and the pirate had the satisfaction of witnessing her fore-topmast fall over the side, cut in two by a shot. The wounded vessel yawned and fell off from the wind, whilst the pirate crew shouted like demons at their success.

" Well done my men !—braces all-hard-a-weath-er!" cried the mate, cheerfully.

Once more under steerage-way, the buccaneer shot ahead and to windward of the chase, who, wearing round, gave her a broadside which tore up her forecastle deck, killing two men, breaking an arm of one of the young apprentices before introduced to the reader—and slightly injuring the bowsprit.

The pirate now moved over the water with rapidity, leaving his wounded pursuer far astern, though still slowly in chase. With his glass he could detect the men aloft repairing the liggingy and setting the topmast while every other sp^r and 14*

sail that could be made available was brought into use.

Night found the vessels more than a league apart, their repairs, completed, steering the same course, and still the pursuing and pursued. The wind, after the sun went down, gradually increased, and at midnight a storm lashed the waters into foam. The vessels were separated from each other in the darkness, and their crews were engaged until daybreak in a battle with elements, instead of each other. As the morning broke the gale abated, and by the increased light the pirate saw his oppo-^ nent lying to within a third of a mile of him to windward.

" All hands to make sail," he shouted, but the stranger had already discovered him, and v/as spreading his canvass, and bearing down upon him.

" Now we must fight captain !" he said to his superior officer, who had just come to the deck-'-we have no chance of using our guns in this sea.— Dios y St. Jago," he hastily exclaimed, " they are '• prepa,ring to board us—Ho ! there boarders, all !— repel boarders !"—he shouted.

Cutlasses and boarding pikes were rapidly passed from hand to hand along the decks—the men stripped to their trowsers, placed their pistols in their belts—and in three divisions at the bows, stern and midships, headed by the captain ; Martinez* and an inferior officer, they stood sullenly and resolutely to receive their foe.—The sea was rolling in large waves, over Avliich the armed stranger tode lightly, as he advanced to engage with the pirate. The vessels were now within hail of each other.

"ITo, the schooner, ahoy !" was borne across the water upon the wind, and distinctly heard above the

surging of the sea—" Strike your flag or no quarter!"

" A Carthagenian cruiser !" replied Martinez, as the flag of that state was displayed at the peak.

" What is that he says," inquired Count D'Oyley, who had hailed, to his young companion Montville, who stood by his side—'• a cruiser ! a pirate, as his well-shotted guns told us but last night.—Boarders be ready—I may find here what I wish, " he added to him^ielf," or a guide to the present rendezvous of their chief—Lay her alongside !" he cried, as the vessel came close to the pirate—'-now grapple!"— he shouted, in a loud energetic voice—and the vessels came together with a dangerous shock.

Drawing his sword he waved it over his head, shoutiog " Allons mes braves !" and bounding over the bulwarks, he leaped with one bound upon the deck of the pirate, followed by Montville—Before his men could equal bis rapid movements, the pirate's crew had discharged their guns on the side next to the schooner, the recoil from which, and the simultaneous shock of a huge wave, breaking upon her stern, parted the two vessels with violence, and a succeeding wave swelling to a vast heiglit bore them at a great distance apart.—The count was engaged immediately hand to hand with the Spaniard—while young Montville, was saved from being run through the body in a dozen places, by the interference of the captain, who disarmed him by a blow of his cutlass, and grasping him, thrust him down the companion-way into the cabin.

" Vasht dere, mine mensh ! " he cried to the crew, who were rushing upon the French officer ; " vasht dere—let Martinez here have dis pretty pit o' fight to himself A good poy is Martinez—let him fight —to pe shure !" and while he spoke, the sword and cutlass of the combatants rung as they interchanged fierce and rapid blows.

" Hold !—are you Lafitte ? " cried Count D' Oyley, parrying the weapon of his antagonist.

" Yes, senor, I am Lafitte—if it please you !" replied Martinez, eagerly, after an instant's hesitancy.

" Have at you, then—to the death !" cried the count, raining the blows upon him with a skill and energy which it required all his activity and presence of mind to parry. The fight was long and desperate- the eyes of the Spaniard flashed with a snake-like brightness, while the countenance of the Frenchman glowed with fierce and determined energy. Three times had his sword passed through the arm of the Spaniard, who, with a chivalry worthy of a nobler cause, was willing to lose his life as the personater of Lafitte, rather than confess himself a less notable antagonist. Once had his weapon gashed the breast of the Frenchman, when the captain, who had with difficulty restrained the buccaneers from rushing aft and cutting down the stranger, knocked up their weapons.

" Dis vill pe petter stopped, Martinez—dish ish mine prishoner—he vill mak de ranshom monish. I vill tak your sword. Mynheer."

The count, wounded, and weak from loss of blood, surrendered it, and at the command of the captain, was conducted by two of the crew into the cabin.

The mate, liastily staunching the blood from his shght wounds, looked over the side and saw the enemy at a distance, with her rudder shot away, tossed about at the mercy of the waves, and wholly incapable of renewing the contest. He then gave orders to make all sail for the rendezvous—and in a few minutes the schooner stood on her former course, under pressure of all her canvass.


" Our plans are often thwarted by the means we make use of to insure success. This is frequently independent of all nur mai ceuvering, and befriends us waen circumstances seem most adverse."



The scenery of the north-eastern portion of the Gulf is varied by immense gorges, flanked by precipitous chffs, indented with caverns, many of which are of great extent, sometimes penetrating into the bosom of the rocky ridges several hundred feet. The Cibao mountains, an elevated range, commencing near Cape Espada, terminate at Cape St. Nicolas, on the extremity of the most northern of the two western tongues of the island. At this point the main spine of the mountain separates into several precipitous promontories, one or two of which end abruptly at the sea-shore, over Vv^hich they form precipices many hundred feet in height.

These cliffs share the peculiar features of the wild scenery of this region, and caverns, and rocky ravines, nearly enclosed above, are excavated by the hand of nature, or some convulsion of her empire, in great numbers along their bases. The loftiest of these Alpine branches, afte;- running out an isolated mural precipice into the sea, fSv more than half a league,

ends in a bluff about three hundred feet in height, the edge of which, covered with rich woods, juts several yards out over the perpendicular face, like a stupendous roof Beneath, the water was very deep and clear, displaying, to one looking down from the cave, thousands of many-coloured sea shells.

About twenty feet above the surface of the waterj the face of the rock receded, leaving a terrace, against which a vessel might lie so closely, that one could step from it on to her yards. This terrace was about thirty feet broad, and upon it frowned a heavy gun placed on a carriage. Beyond it opened the mouth of a vast cavern, which, with many sinuosities, penetrated far into the base of the cliff. The entrance was irregularly formed, in shape somewhat res'embling a gotliic gateway, though of gigantic dimensions. In front of this entrance spread the broad gulf of Gonares, which flowed unbroken to within about half a mile of the cavern, where it met, with a loud roar, two nearly parallel ridges of high rocks, extending from the base of the cliff, leaving a narrow, deep passage from the sea for small vessels, quite to the foot of the rock, or vestibule of the grotto beneath, in front of which, widening into a small basin, it formed a safe and convenient shelter.

This cavern had long been used by the buccaneers as a general rendezvous—a repository for their treasures, and a prison for those captives whom they detained for the purpose of drawing ransom for their liberation. Here also they resorted to repair their vessels, and to receive the instructions of Lafitte, who made this rendezvous of his fleet only second to that of Barritaria. To this scene we now transport our readers—about a week after the expedition against the villa of Sefior Velasquez.

The principal apartment of this grotto consisted of an interior chamber, illuminated by a solitary

lampj burning in a projecting shelf of the cave. It was about forty feet in diameter, and nearly circular, rising into a lofty dome, from the nave of which hung a stalactic mass of open work, resembling a huge chandelier—as it reflected in numerous brilliant points the rays of the little lamp beneath.

Crystahzed icicles, and innumerable fanciful stalactic creations, hung around the chamber—pilasters of the same beautiful material, terminating in half-formed arches, stood out in fine relief from the dark sides, united by delicate lattice-tracer}^ The dome itself was carved, with the accuracy of architecture into the richest fret-work. Shaded niches were half concealed by exquisitely arranged folds of thin plates of stalactite. I'he roof was open to the blue sky, through which one or tw^o trembhng stars could be seen glancing among the waving foliage. . Vast rocks lay upon the floor of the room, fallen, apparently, from deep niches in the sides and ceihng, while regular forms, like statues, pedestals, and columns, eitlier stood, or were strew^ed about the chamber. At the extremity of the cave, a small, ghttering cascade of water gushed from a crevice in the side, and with a monotonous sound, rung upon the rocky pavement beneath, and after flowing over it, hke running glass, for a few feet, disappeared in a deep pit opened in a recess of the cave, and could be heard, after long intervals, reverberating in the vast depths, as it leaped from shelf to shelf, till the sound was lost in the bowels of the earth.

One side of the cave was covered by fantastic stalactic drapery, which fell in a broad sheet to the floor.

The only entrance to the cavern, before which paced a sailor-sentinel, was narrow, and lighted near the outside by a lamp, which had once hung in a. ship's cabin, suspended from the low" ceiling. From this passage branched others, for a short distance,

terminating sometimes in small rooms, at others in deep pits and mere crevices in the rock. Many of these branches, or lesser caverns, contained chests, tables jchairs, arms, and garments, strewn about— hammocks, cooking utensils, and other indications of being occasionally occupied. Naval and military weapons, w itli a few articles of ship furniture, were scattered about the room, and bales of goods w^ere piled in recesses around the cavern.

In one of these recesses, terminated by a stalactic sheet, almost transparent, dropped frcm the low roof to the rocky pavement, and forming one side of the niche, w^as spread a strip of rich carpet, strew^n w4th bamboo leaves, upon which reclined a figure, half obscured in the gloom of the deeply-shaded vault, buried in sound, but feverish sleep. His head was uncovered, displaying a profusion of chesnut hair; his brow w^as pale, and his eyelids and temples were transparent frcm illness. His form was partly wTapped in a dark blue cloak, upon the folds of w^hich rested his left arm, bandaged as though to protect a wound. The rays of the lamp in the larger chamber, half interrupted by the projecting sides of the niche, fell obliquely across the upper part of his face, leaving the lower portion in deep shadows A broken sabre and a shattered pistol lay near him, the relics of a recent fierce conflict be-tw^een the prisoner, for such he was, and the young Spaniard MartineZ; his captor, in attempting to escape from the cave.

There w^as a deep silence in the cave, uninterrupted save by the breathing of the sleeper, W'hich Avas irregular, and occasionally the low^ rumbling of the distant surf, reverberating along the passages, and nearly lost before it came moaningly into the inner chamber of the grotto.

Suddenly the silence w^as broken by a low voice, apparently from some concealed recess, singing a

plaintive air. The words were Castillian, and flowed from the hps of the invisible singer with melancholy cadence.


The virgin moon, with timid hand,

Unmoors her si'ver boat ; And inexpenenc'd to command,

Loves near the earth to float.


Each night, she tries the gentle gale,

And plies her silvery oar ;— Each night she spreads a broader sail,

And further leaves the shore.

How boldly through the azure sea

Her little bark she guides i Before the gentle breeze, hew free

And gallantly she rides J


Now half her heavenly journey through^

Each sail is flung amain ! The prize she seeks through heaven blue,

Is found—to lose again.


And steering gently for the shore,

Where first she sought ihe gale, With hand as timid asbefore,

She furls her snowy saiU


Thus Hope unmoors her fragile boat,

And boldly tempts the mam ; Winning the daring height she sought,

To fall to earth again.


So Love, yet bolder, 'eaves the shore,

And tearless sails 'he sea ; With'flowing she-1 and plyi:.g oar.

He courses gallantly.


Bravely he bears him for the prize.

Nor sooner is it won, Than, as the moon wanes m the skies,

Love, love, alas, is gon j !

The voice was soft and silvery in its tones, yet ^e sleeper, like one on whom a finger is lightly

VOL. I.—15

laid, started and opened his eyes as the first notes fell upon his ear, and gazed wonderingly around him, as if spell-bound, until the last tremulous notes ceased, and silence reigned again throughout the solemn vault.

" Do I dream—that voice!—it is hushed !—I must be dreaming !" he exclaimed, starting with energy and strength from his couch, and gazing wildly around him " Ah! it was but a sweet dream—this cave ! this w^ounded arm-alas ! lam a prisoner ! Kind heaven^ I thank thee for this happy dream !" he exclaimed, fervently. " And is it indeed a dream?—may not her released spirit have been hovering over me in my sleep, and soothing my burning slumbers w ith that air I loved to hear her sing on earth. Oh, blessed spirit!" he fervently cried, under the influence of his fevered imagination, dropping upon his knee, " if thou art indeed near me, bless me with that angelic melody. Sweet Constanza! if I may not see thee, let me hear thy voice once more !"

" Who calls upon the name of Constanza ? " fell upon his ear, in the liquid and melancholy accents of the song.

" Mon Dieu ! it is—it is she !" he exclaimed ; identity of circumstances, and places, and recollection of the causes which brought him there, suddenly returning. " It is—it is she—Constanza ! Constanza! speak! are you there ? " he cried, turning to the side of the niche from which the voice proceeded, .and placing his lips to the thin stalactic wall. " It is D'Oyley that addresses you !"

" Alphonse!—my own Alphonse !" she exclaimed, her voice trembling between hope and fear; " can it be you ?—no ! no 1 Alphonse is far, far away, and knows not the fate of his poor Constanza !"

" God of heaven ! it is indeed Constanza !" ex-

claimed the count, assured. " Dear Constanza, I have come to release you—it is your own Alphonse ! and no other ! Is there no way of getting to you ? " he cried, suddenly endowed with almost supernatural strength, at the same time eagerly seeking some mode of ingress to that part of the cavern where she was evidently imprisoned. There was no reply from within to his anxious inquiry.

" Tell me, Constanza," he continued, raising his voice ; " Do you know the passage that leads from without to )'Our apartment ? Direct me, and I will pass out—master my guard—enter, and rescue you! Speak—dear Constanza i" he earnestly added ; but the echoes of his ow^n voice through the hollow cavern, only replied to his eager words.

' She must have fainted, or—Heaven be blessed ! here is a passage ! " he added, with delight, as his eye glanced from the stalactic drapery separating the vaults, to a heavy iron pike which lay upon the pavement; " this shall do my purpose!" and seizing the weapon, he struck with violence upon the transparent and brittle surface of the wall, and repeating the blow, with additional force, the stalactic sheet gave way, broken and shattered like ice. In a few moments, under his heavy strokes, a breech was made through the partition, and a stream of light passed through the aperture into his part of the cave. Inspired to greater exertions by this success, he redoubled his efforts. But finding his strength failing before he could effect an opening sufficient to admit his body, he cast his eyes round for some more powerful agent and they rested upon a broken spar leaning against the side of the outer cavern. This he grasped, and with all his remaining strength, bore it heavily against the breech, when, after repeating his efforts, a large mass fell inward and left a broad opening. With an exclamation of joy-

ful surprise, he sprung through the passage into the apartment.

It Avas an immense chamber, dimly hghted by a lamp, suspended, in chains, from tlie low ceiling. The walls, where they were not stuccoed with grey stalactic incrustations, were black. He paused a moment at the entrance, to give his vision power to perceive, through the mysterious half-illumined darkness, the dimensions and details of the vault.

Through a large crevice above, he saw, faintly shining into the aperture, the moon, w^iich, probably associated w^ith the thoughts of her lover, suggested the song he heard. There appeared one inlet to the apartment, on the opposite side, which was now closed by a heavily barred door. In the centre of the chamber, under a kind of canopy made of canvass, was spread a rug, dyed of many brilliant colours. An old negress sat upon her heels, at the side of it, fast asleep, yet waving over the unoccupied carpet, a tuft of feathers. A basket of fruits, and a silver basin of spring water, stood near her, and various costly articles for the toilet, and a clasped missal and a guitar, lay upon a velvet cushion, placed at the head of the mat.

There was no other furniture in the vast cavern, which was silent and desolate—its distant extremities scarcely perceptible in the perpetual darkness which reigned there.

" Where has she disappeared ? " exclaimed the lover, as his eye surveyed these details, without meeting the object he sought. Springing into the chamber, he started ! as, lying by the side of a fallen stalactic pillar, he saw the lifeless form of the Castillian maiden.

He kneeled by her side, and placed his lips upon her own. They were scarcely warm with life, and the throbbing of her breast was faint,^ and her pulse,

as he pressed his finger upon her wrist, was Uke the dying vibration of a harp-string. Raising her^ lie bore her to the canopy, and placed her upon the humble couch, which; by the kindness of Theodore, had been placed in the chamber, awakened the old negress. and, with her aid, after a long time, restored her to consciousness,

" Blessed Maria ! where am I ? " faintly inquired the maiden, as she gazed around her.—" And did I hear his voice—can it be real!—oh ! it was too much !—too much joy ! "—and she looked eagerly up into the face of the negress.

" Juana, is it only you ? " she added, in a disappointed tone. '' Of what was I thinking ? " And again she closed her eyes, as if endeavouring to recal some pleasing vision. '• Did you not hear a voice, Juana ? It was his,—yes ! it must have been his ! I thought it Lafitte's—he can speak like him, when he will, but it was his. D'Oyley's ! my own Alphonses ! "

" Alphonse is near you. dear Constanza! look up," said the count, and she felt her hand pressed ardently, while a warm kiss was imprinted upon her lips.

Opening her eyes, and fixing them full upon her lover, who had retired a little, when animation first returned, lest his sudden presence, like the sound of his voice, should again throw her into insensibility.

" Is it, indeed, Alphonse ? " she joyfully exclaimed, and, for a few moments, the lovers remained locked in each other's arms.

" What." she at length said, '• have I not suffered ! "

" I know it. I know all, Constanza ! but, let us-think of escape," he added—" Can you sit up ? "— and raising her from the mat, sat beside her upon the cushion.


'• Oh, wlicit have I not suffered! " she repeated, leaning her head upon his shoulder, and bursting into tears. •' I know not how, amidst all the dreary scenes I have passed through, I have retained my reason. And yet I live! and bless thee ! dear Maria ! all I love on earth, is b}^ my side-^-my ow^n Alphonse i'' And she pressed him to her bosom. as if she feared he would again be separated from her.

" And still, my Constanza ! in all these wild and fearful scenes—surrounded by such beings—in the pov»^er of such men—still, my Constanza ? Forgive m;^, sw^eet one! but if you have suffered wrong, dearly shall j^ou be revenged ! "

" Constanza is still the Constanza youjeft her ! " she cried, with emotion, while the rich blood mounted to her cheek, as she hid her face in his bosom ; •' although a prisoner, I have been treated with honour," and, as she spoke, truth and innocence were written upon her pure brow^, too plainly to be misconstrued—and, clasping her in his arms, he exclaimed, " Too much happiness ! Protector of the innocent!" he added, looking upward, '-'• I thank thee! "

We will briefly pass over the story Constanza related to her lover, in Avhich she detailed the incidents connected with her first capture from her father's roof—her liberation by the pirate—her second capture by one of his vessels, and her landing, the day before, at the cave. She also informed him ofthedepartme of the vessel, which captured her, on another expedition—spoke of her lonely and desolate situation in the cavern, whither she was conveyed on leaving the vessel, and, in grateful terms, mentioned the kindness of young Theodore, who visited her occasionall)^, and had shown those attentions to her comfort, with which she was sur-

roiinded, and also secured to her, notwithstanding th*^ objections of the pirate, Sebastiano, the attendance of old black Juana ; who, with a fidehty, peculiar to the negroj had never left her from the time of her capture.


" Some of the severest naval battles in which we have recently been engaged, in the West Indian seas, were between our cruisers and the pira;es who infest them

" These daring men, had fortified themselves in the natural caverns, abounding in those regions, in some cases rendering them almost impregnable, from which, in large armed vessels, they issued and spread devastation among our commerce."

Residence in the West Indies.



The night had far advanced before the CastilUan" maiden completed her relation.

" Dearest Constanza, how much you have passed through! and this Lafitte—he has magnanimity of soul, which, in a man of his lawless character, surprises me. But men, however lost to virtue, are never wholly depraved. The heavenly spark will yet linger in the heart, though hid from the eyes of men, and now and then will break suddenly out into flame,

I must meiet this man—there is a nobleness about him that captivates me, and the more so, that it was unlooked for. Now that you are safe, dearest Constanza, my revenge is gone—I would know and redeem this extraordinary man. But," he added quickly, " let us escape from this fearful spot. He is not here to control tbewild beings that surround us. There are several boats lying in the basin. Once outside—we can seize one of them.

and a few hours sail, will take us to the Mole, near Cape St. Nicholas, where we shall be safe from pursuit. This 'rh''odore, of whom you speak so w^arml}^, will he not favour our escape ?"

"Ask him not, Alphonse— he would not refuse. Ask him not—although his benefactor be an outlaw^, let us not tempt him to betray him. I would rather w^ait the return of Lafitte, than implicate this youth in our escape.''

" You are right, noble girl! There is," he continued in a low, eager tone " but a single sentinel, at the mouth of the grotto, and here are weapons ;■" he exclaimed, with joyful surprise, as his eye rested upon a pair of pistols left by Tht'odore, " and loaded too! with these, and this pike, I can overcome all opposition. Come Constanza, my brave one! this shall be the last trial of your fortitude. Lean upon my arm—heavier! the occasion has given me back my full strength. Juana, will you go with us—or stay with the pirates / "

" 01' Juana go vAd young buckra lad}^ If she be nigger she lub de hly 'ooman. OP Juana neber leab her if massa say."

" Take up that basket of fruit, and this carpet and cushion, to place in the boat and follow then, good Juana," he said to her, placing the pistols in his belt.

Then conducting Constanza, through the breach he had made in the wall, he led her into the chamber lie had occupied.

" And here was your pi ison !" She said with feeling--" how lonely you must have been here, and wounded too! But blessed be the kind Maria for this meeting! If we escape not—I can die cheerfully in your arms. Happy thought! If we. fail in our purpose, we can die together. Oh let us hasten, Alphonse !"

The count, lingered a moment to remove the

lamp from the wall. '• Here Juana," he said, giving it to the slave, "go before with this light, we will follow some distance behind you in the darkness. The sentinel will perhaps let you pass to the outside, or if he stops you, to ask any questions, draw him aside and so glare the hght upon his eyes, that we may pass him unseen. Have you tact enough for it."

"Hi! yes inassa, Juana un'stand eberyting—she know how mak fool ob Gaspar."

The faithful slave, her singleness of heart singularly preserved in the rude life she had passed— whom the gentleness of Constanza had devoted to her interest—moved silently in advance, through the narrow passage, whicli after many windings, opened upon the terrace. The count, followed at a short distance, so as to be invisible in the shadow cast by the intervening person of the slave—the trem-bhng Constanza leaning upon his arm, which passed around her waist, supported her drooping form. Solitude reigned in silence around them. Solitary cells branched out on either side, whose gloom, the rays of the lamp could not penetrate.

The walls were encrusted with gray stalactite or black, and covered with deep mould. As they advanced, the passage became narrower, and the roof descended within reach of their hands. All at ^ce they entered a large dome, open to the sky—a hundred feet above them, waved heavily in the night winds, the branches of trees, overhanging the verge—thin white clouds drifted along the sky, and burning afar off, here and theie appeared a star.

" Oh that we were as free as those clouds ! " exclaimed Constanza, gazing upward'at the lovely scene. " How happy I shall be to behold the blue heavens once more, and feel that I am free. Oh ! that dismal cavern 1 To-night I awoke and the

moon was shining down upon me, through a small crevice in the ceiling. It fell full upon my face, and I felt it was the augury of happiness. The song you taught me, and say you love to hear me sing, came involuntary to my lips—and I had hardly ceased when I heard your voice, and sprung at the sound—and when I reflected a moment, I feared it was not yours; but, when assured of it, the tide of joy was too great! Oh the joy with which my heart bounded when I saw you bending over me !"

"Dearest Constanza!" he exclaimed, pressing her to his heart.

During this brief conversation, they had traversed the pavement of the dome and entered a dark narrow passage, which, after a few steps, grew broarder and higher, and the cool wind came circling past them, from without.

" Hold Juana ! " he called in a suppressed voice, we are now near the mouth—do you reccollect my mstructions?" he inquired, as the negress obeyed hun. "Hark! what is that-a gun-another-a cannonadmg ! Heaven avert danger ! Constanza my dearest one ! be not alarmed ! " he said, feeling the form of tiie maiden shrink and tremble, as the loud reports fell upon her ear--" exert all your firmness for now we need it," he added, cheerfully and encouragingly, as he warmly pressed her hand, and, partmg the rich hair, he imprinted a kiss upon her brow.

" I will—I will—Alphonse—it was but a momentary weakness—I will nerve myself for this hour of trial, I will be worthy of you.'' " Thank you, dearest—now remain here in this niche, with your faithful Juana, while 1 go and reconnoitre. Nay, do not be alarmed, I shall not expose myself to daiifrer I cannot forget that your hfe and happiness depend upon my caution. I wiU be with you in a mo-

ment," and rapidly as the darkness would permit^ feeling his way with his pike, he advanced towards the entrance of the cave.

The firing still continued, and every succeeding report appeared nearer. Suddenly a ray of light, pencilled along the wall, caught his eye and turning an abrupt angle, a lamp suspended above him, glared brighlly upon his face. Starting back into the shadow of the projecting rock, he looked cautiously forward and saw, although at some distance, the mouth of the cave, beyond which, was a gUmpse of the moonlit bay—and the figure of a man, relieved against the silvery sheen of the sea, standing upon a projecting rock, far from the entrance of the grotto. This he concluded must be the guard, who had left his post attracted by the cannonading, with which, was now mingled the firing of musketry, and the shouts of combatants.

The officer passed hastily under the lamp, and approached the entrance with a noiseless footstep. Within a few feet of the exterior, was a shelf elevated the height of a man above the floor. This he lightly ascended, fearing to emerge into the tnoonhght, where the sentinel might observe him. From this point, thrown into shade by the overhanging arch of the cave, he obtained a view of the strait which led from the base of the cliff, between lines of rocks to the open sea.

About a mile from the shore, clouds of v/hite smoke rested upon the water, from which could be seen the sails and spars of a large vessel, apparently a brig, above which rolled dense volumes of smoke, accompanied by the roar and flash of cannon. Nearer the shore, and just entering the narrow avenue which led from the sea into the basin, at the footof the cave, was a large schooner under Dress of sail, occasionally discharging a gun at the other vessel, which appeared in chase of her.

As the count climbed to the shelf, the cannonading ceased, the smoke rolled away over the water to the leeward shore, and circling up the cliff settled upon their summits, and the clear moonli^^ht shone quietly upon the scene, whitening the canvass of the approaching vessel, which was now passing up the strait. The large vessel was discovered lying to, and three boats apparently filled with armed men—for the light glanced from many musket barrels and cutlasses, as the boats pulled silently and rapidly into the shore.

" A buccaneer chased by a cruiser !" he exclaimed. " Heaven grant she may be captured. There is a better chance of our escape thaii I looked for—if victory side with the right."

The schooner now approached so near the termination of the long rocky passage, that the voices on board reached his ears, with the sound of hasty feet upon her deck, the creaking of rigging, and the rushing of the water, as she ploughed it up before her. He watched her until she almost came under the cliffs, so that the tops of her masts were level with his eye, when she bore up into the basin at the base of the rock, and was laid with great skill alongside its perpendicular face. Loud voices of men mingled w ith fierce oaths and execrations, and groans of wounded men rose tumultuously from below.—

" Ho, tliere ! Gaspar ! The rock, ho ! " shouted a stern voice.—" Are you asleep ?—bring the gun to bear upon the hindermost boat, and discharge it. "

Gaspar who had deserted his post for a moment, to witness the chase, sprung to the platform and swinging the piece round, levelled it,—then rushing into the cave, and passing directly under the count, he seized a match—lighted it at the distant lamp, and returning, applied the flaming rope to the

VOL. I.—16

loaded piece.—A deafening report followed, and the nearest boat became at once a scene of confusion, while shrieks and loud voices filled the air.

"Bravely done, my good Caspar!" said a man whO) ascending the rigging of the schooner, and stepping along the fore-top-sail-yard, sprung upon the terrace.

The count, as the figure of the stranger was relieved against the sky, thought he had never seen so commanding a person, so much muscular power united with such grace and activity.

"This must be Lafitte !" he exclaimed, menlall}^ The individual who attracted his attention turning at the moment, the moon shone full upon his face, displaying his fine aquihne features—his dark eye, and brown cheek.

" It is indeed he ! That face and form can belong to no other," said he mentally, drawing himself farther within the shadow of the rock, that he might observe, unseen, the movements of the buccaneers.

The pirate had hardly ascended to the platform before he was followed by a dozen of his crew, who, with astonishing rapidity, mounted the rigging after him, each man heavily armed, and many of them wild and fierce-looking men—nearly as brown and as naked as savages.

" Ho, there below!" shouted their leader. " Bring the guns to bear on those boats, and rake them as they come up the passage."

The boats, one of Avhich had evidently been struck by the shot from the gun fired by Caspar, rapidly advanced, although the one injured by the ball and which had taken the lead, was now laboriously pulling on last of all.

They had yet some distance to row directly in range of the gun on the platform, and exposed to the fire of the pirate's schooner, which was drawn up

before it, presenting with her broadside facing the enemy, a formidable battery.

" Let them come within pistol shot!" exclaimed the leader, " then wait the word—Aim every piece at the stern of each boat—Powder and balls here, for this gun,—charge her briskly, men! and with double shot—Ho, the Gertrude ! " he shouted, looking down upon tlie deck of his vessel—•' thijik you have men enough on board, Ricardo, to hold her—if too hard pressed retreat and join us—they are sending another boat from the brig—we shall have enough to do—be cool and firm,—remember all of you, we fight at an advantage, and no man will forget he fights for his head."