Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/215

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Jack Ballister’s Fortunes

cloud of smoke, and when it cleared away Blackbeard had staggered up again. He was a terrible figure his head nodding down upon his breast. Somebody shot again, and then the swaying figure toppled and fell. It lay still for a moment—then rolled over—then lay still again.

There was a loud splash of men jumping overboard, and then, almost instantly, the cry of “Quarter! quarter!” The lieutenant ran to the edge of the vessel. It was as he had thought: the grappling irons of the pirate sloop had parted, and it had drifted away. The few pirates who had been left aboard of the schooner had jumped overboard and were now holding up their hands. “Quarter!” they cried. “Don’t shoot!—quarter!” And the fight was over.

The lieutenant looked down at his hand, and then he saw, for the first time, that there was a great cutlass gash across the back of it, and that his arm and shirt sleeve were wet with blood. He went aft, holding the wrist of his wounded hand. The boatswain was still at the wheel. “By zounds!” said the lieutenant, with a nervous, quavering laugh, “I didn’t know there was such fight in the villains.”

His wounded and shattered sloop was again coming up toward him under sail, but the pirates had surrendered, and the fight was over.