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      As it chanced, a large Spanish carak named 'Las Cinque Llagas,' or 'The Five Wounds,' was about to sail for Hispaniola, and having obtained a licence to trade, I took passage in her under my assumed name of d'Aila, passing myself off as a merchant.

Just then the carak gave a lurch before she sank, and, seeing that everything was over, I called to the priest to follow me, and springing into the sea I swam for the second boat, which, laden with some shrieking women, had drifted loose in the confusion.

For a while we sat silent, for our horror overwhelmed us, but when the whirlpool which she made had ceased to boil, we rowed back to where the carak had been.

THOMAS COMES BACK FROM THE DEAD             N ow on the morrow of my visit to Marina, the Captain Diaz came to see me and told me that a friend of his was in command of a carak which was due to sail from the port of Vera Cruz for Cadiz within ten days, and that this friend was willing to give me a passage if I wished to leave Mexico.

Here I presented my letters of recommendation to the commander of the carak, who gave me passage without question, I laying in a stock of food for the journey.

      First, however, I inquired secretly and diligently as to the truth of the statement that de Garcia had sailed for the Indies, and to be brief, having the clue, I discovered that two days after the date of the duel I had fought with him, a man answering to de Garcia's description, though bearing a different name, had shipped from Seville in a carak bound for the Canary Islands, which carak was there to await the arrival of the fleet sailing for Hispaniola.

I thought it marvellous that I should thus have escaped thrice from great perils within the space of a few days, first from the sinking carak, then from pestilence and starvation in the bold of the slave-ship, and now, if only for a while, from the cruel jaws of the sharks.

Indeed she told me that had it not been for the wide lands and moneys which she must manage as my heiress, she would have betaken herself to a sisterhood, there to wear her life away in peace, since I being lost to her, and indeed dead, as she was assured,--for the news of the wreck of the carak found its way to Ditchingham,--she no longer thought of marriage, though more than one gentleman of condition had sought her hand.