The pirate leader had stood by the bulwarks, a cord round his arms, and two stout archers on either side. At Sir Nigel's words he started violently, and his swarthy features blanched to a livid gray.
"By my hilt, he is gone!" cried Aylward, rushing to the side. "They have sunk together like a stone."
From the narrowness of the gorge, and the steepness of its sides, there was no mode of advancing but by wading through the water; stumbling every moment over the impediments which lay hidden under its surface, or tripping against the huge roots of trees.
On each hand the walls of the ravine presented their overhanging sides both above and below the fall, affording no means whatever of avoiding the cataract by taking a circuit round it.
After that they ran side by side, like good friends who have come to an understanding.
Sometimes they chanced upon other wolves, usually in pairs; but there was no friendliness of intercourse displayed on either side, no gladness at meeting, no desire to return to the pack-formation.
On the other side
of the water they could see the road of yellow brick running through a beautiful country, with green meadows dotted with bright flowers and all the road bordered with trees hanging full of delicious fruits.
There was the canal, by the way, which supplied the country-side with coal, and up and down which continually went the long barges, with the big black men lounging by the side
of the horses along the towing-path, and the women in bright-coloured handkerchiefs standing in the sterns steering.
The dawn had come quite, clear; we could see the stony sides
of the valley, and its bottom, which was bestrewed with rocks, and the river, which went from one side
to another, and made white falls; but nowhere the smoke of a house, nor any living creature but some eagles screaming round a cliff.
Suddenly, with a loud huzza, a little cloud of pirates leaped from the woods on the north side
and ran straight on the stockade.
Directly before me the river thundered down from above in a mighty waterfall that filled the narrow gorge from side
, rising far above me several hundred feet--as magnificent a spectacle as I ever had seen.
But the rough wall of wax has in every case to be finished off, by being largely gnawed away on both sides
. The manner in which the bees build is curious; they always make the first rough wall from ten to twenty times thicker than the excessively thin finished wall of the cell, which will ultimately be left.