Across the Spanish Main by Harry Collingwood Page 1 of 283
How Roger Trevose and Harry Edgwyth made a certain Compact.
"Now now, Roger, my lad; what are you thinking of?" These words were addressed to a tall, fair young man of about eighteen or nineteen years of age, who was standing on Plymouth Hoe, gazing earnestly at the Sound and the evolutions of certain vessels which had just entered it round Penlee Point.
The speaker was a lad of about the same age, but shorter in height, sturdier in build, and altogether more robust and healthy-looking than his companion, who belonged rather to the class of dreamers than that of workers.
The time was a bright summer morning in the month of June, in the year 1586; and although the great Armada - which Philip of Spain fondly believed was to crush England - was as yet undreamed of, war was even then being carried on in a somewhat desultory manner between England and Spain, very much to the disadvantage of the latter country.
English gentlemen, who called themselves "gentlemen adventurers", were fitting out merchant-vessels as warships, and sailing for the Spanish Main and the Indies in the hope of securing some of the splendid prizes that were at that time to be obtained through pluck and audacity, in the shape of Spanish galleons richly and heavily laden with spices and gold from Manila, plate from Acapulco, or costly silks and fabrics and treasure untold from the new Spanish colony of Mexico.
It was of these stirring deeds and adventures that Roger Trevose of Pentillie Manor, on the river Tamar, in the county of Devon - fairest and sweetest of all English counties, - was thinking when his friend Harry Edgwyth, who had just arrived upon the scene, put his question: "How now, Roger, my lad; what are you thinking of?"
"I was thinking, Harry, what a splendid thing it would be if you and I could join some of these gentlemen adventurers (heroes I call them), and try our luck in the Spanish seas, fighting for our fortunes, and the glory of dear old England.