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´╗┐Title: Mark Seaworth
Author: Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Mark Seaworth" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Mark Seaworth, A tale of a young man's search for his sister and his
identity, by W.H.G. Kingston.

________________________________________________________________________

This is an absolutely brilliant book, not least because it is a shining
example throughout, of the use of good English.  The story is exciting,
and the telling of it made interesting, with its wealth of local detail.
It was the first Kingston book we put online, and we shall be bringing
you more books of Kingston's during the coming years.  Definitely!

We have thoroughly enjoyed creating this e-book for you, and we hope
that you will enjoy it as much as we have.  This transcription was made
during March 2003, by Athelstane e-texts.

________________________________________________________________________

"MARK SEAWORTH", A TALE OF A YOUNG MAN'S SEARCH FOR HIS SISTER AND HIS
IDENTITY, BY W.H.G. KINGSTON.



CHAPTER ONE.

MARK SEAWORTH.

Picture a wide expanse of ocean, smooth as a polished mirror, and
shining like molten silver; a sky of intense blue, without a cloud or
speck, forming a vast arch resting on the water; no land or rock in
sight; the boundless sea on every side; the sun travelling slowly and
majestically along the arch, and casting his burning rays upon the
glittering plain below.

Let us pause and contemplate that scene.  What grandeur and sublimity
there is in it!  What a magnificent edifice does it seem!  When compared
with it, how utterly insignificant and contemptible do all the works of
man's hands appear!  Then watch the sun sink with rays of glory in the
west; the bright rich tinge glowing for a time, and gradually fading
away before the obscurity of night; the stars coming forth and shining
with a splendour unknown in northern climes; and then the moon, a mass
of liquid flame, rising out of the dark sea, and casting across it a
broad path of the silvery light.  Watch the tranquil luminary glide also
through her destined course, till once more the sun rushes upward from
his ocean-bed in a sheet of fire, and claims supremacy over the world.
This is one of the many grand and wonderful objects beheld by those who
sail across the ocean, and amply does it repay for a long voyage those
who have taste to appreciate its beauties.

Now let us return to the scene as I first described it, and, by looking
closer into the picture, we shall observe a boat floating in its very
centre.  There are no masts or sails, nor are there any oars moving.
The boat lies motionless like a log on the water.  She is a large boat,
a ship's launch; her gunwale seems battered in as if she had undergone
some hard usage.  Above it nothing is seen moving; and, at the first
glance, it would seem that there are no human beings on board.  On
looking down into the boat, however, we discover several persons, but
whether dead or alive it is difficult to say, they are so quiet and so
silent.  Towards the bow are the forms of two men.  They are on their
backs--one is at the bottom of the boat, the other stretched along the
thwarts, in uneasy postures.  Their eyes are open and glaring unmoved at
the bright sun; their lips are parted, black, and dry; the hand of death
has, alas! at all events, fallen on them; nothing living could present
such an aspect.  By their dress and their complexion they seem to be
British seamen.  There is a small breaker or keg in the boat, but the
hung is out--it is empty.  There is also a bag, containing some hard
ship-biscuit; it is still half full, but there is no other provision.

In the after part of the boat there is a sort of awning, formed of a
shawl stretched across the gunwale, with a mat on the top of it, so as
to form a thick shade.  Near it, with her back leaning against the side
of the boat, sits a dark-skinned woman.  She has a turban on her head,
and massive gold ear-rings in her ears, and bracelets round her arms,
and anklets of gold round her legs, and her loose dress is of
gay-coloured striped cotton of delicate texture.  She is alive, but
faint and weak; and, by her dim eye and short-coming breath, death seems
to be approaching with stealthy strides to claim her as his own.  Still,
the soul is struggling to triumph over the weakness of the flesh.  With
an anxious gaze she looks beneath the awning, for there is something
there which claims her constant solicitude.  She turns her gaze towards
the forms of the two seamen--she does not seem to know that they are
dead.  A faint cry comes from under the awning.  Again she looks towards
the bow of the boat; she sees that her companions in misery are not
watching her.  She now stealthily draws from beneath the folds of her
dress, where she has carefully concealed it, a bottle of water.  Did
she, then, while the seamen slept, steal the water from the cask to
preserve the existence of those committed to her fostering charge, and
far more precious to her, in her sight, than her own life?  There can be
no doubt she did so.  She discovers that she is not observed.  There is
a small tin pannikin near her, and several pieces of biscuit.  She
crumbles the biscuit, as well as she can with her weak fingers, into the
pannikin, and then pours upon them a few drops of the precious fluid.
She looks at the water with longing eyes, but will not expend even one
drop to cool her parched lips.  She mixes the biscuit till it is
completely softened, and then casting another furtive glance towards the
bow, unconscious that the dead only are there, she carefully lifts up
the awning.  A low weak voice utters the word "Aya;" it is that of a
child, some three or four years old perhaps; at the same time there is a
plaintive cry from a younger infant.  A smile irradiates the countenance
of the Indian woman, for she knows that her charges are still alive.
She leans forward, though her strength is barely sufficient to enable
her to move, and puts the food into the mouths of the two children.  The
eldest, a boy, swallows it eagerly; for though somewhat pale, his
strength seems but little impaired.  The infant is a girl: she takes the
mixture, so little suited to her tender years, but without appetite; and
it would appear that in a very short time her career, just begun on
earth, will be brought to a speedy close.

When the food is consumed, the nurse sinks back to her former position.
She tries to swallow a piece of the biscuit, but her parched lips and
throat refuse to receive the dry morsel, and the water she will not
touch.  Again the children cry for food, and once more she goes through
the operation of preparing it for them as before; but her movements are
slower, and she now has scarcely strength to carry the food to the
mouths of the little ones.

The day passes away, the night goes by, the morning comes, and still the
calm continues.  The children awake and cry out for food.  The nurse
turns her languid eyes towards them, but her strength has almost gone;
she even forgets for an instant the meaning of that cry.  There is a
struggle going on within her.  At last her loving, faithful, and
enduring spirit overcomes for a time the weakness of her body; she
prepares the mess, and feeds the children.  She gazes sorrowfully at the
bottle--the last drop of water is consumed.  She leans back, her bosom
heaves faintly; the effort has been more than her failing strength would
bear.  She turns her eyes towards them; they are the last objects of any
earthly thing she is destined to behold.  A dimness comes stealing over
them.  Her thoughts are no longer under control, her arms fall by her
side, her head droops on her chest, she has no strength to raise it.  In
a few hours more the faithful nurse will have ceased to breathe, and
those young children will be left alone with the dead on the wild waste
of waters.

But, reader, do not for one moment suppose that therefore they are
doomed to perish.  There is One above, the eternal, all-powerful God of
goodness and love, who is watching over those helpless infants.  His arm
can stretch to the uttermost parts of the earth, and over the great
waters: even now it is put forth to shield them, though we see it not.
Even without a human hand to administer their food, in that open boat on
the wide sea, over which a storm might presently rage, while billows may
rise, threatening to overwhelm them, far away from land or living beings
but themselves, those children are as secure, if so God wills it, as
those who are sleeping on beds of down within palace walls; because,
remember, reader, that He is all-powerful, and He is everywhere.  Trust
in Him; never despond; pray to Him for help at all times--in times of
peace and prosperity, in times of danger and difficulty; and oh! believe
that most assuredly He will help and protect you in the way He knows is
best for your eternal happiness.

This is the lesson I would teach; for this is the lesson I have learned
by means of all the difficulties and dangers I have undergone during the
scenes of wild and extraordinary adventure which I have encountered in
my course through life.  Often and often, had I not been convinced of
this great truth, I should have yielded to despair; and the longer I
have lived, and the more dangers I have passed through, the more firmly
convinced have I become of it.  Often have I felt my own utter
helplessness--the impossibility that the strength of man could avail
me--when standing, it seemed, on the very brink of destruction; and in a
way beyond all calculation, I have found myself rescued and placed in
safety.  It was for this reason that I have drawn the picture which I
have exhibited to you.  Ungrateful indeed should I be, and negligent of
my bounden duty, did I not do my utmost to teach the lesson I have
learned from the merciful protection so often afforded me; for know that
I was one of those helpless infants! and the picture before us shows the
first scene in my life, of which I have any record; and this is the
moral I would inculcate--"That God is everywhere."



CHAPTER TWO.

A large ship was floating on the ocean.  I use the term floating, for
she could scarcely be said to be doing anything else, as she did not
seem to be moving in the slightest degree through the water.  Some straw
and chips of wood, which had been thrown overboard, continued hour after
hour alongside.  She was, however, moving; but it was round and round,
though very slowly indeed, as a glance at the compass would have shown.
The sea was as smooth as glass, for there was not a breath of air to
ruffle it; there was, in fact, a perfect calm.

The ship was a first-class Indiaman, on her outward voyage to the
far-famed land of the East; and she belonged to that body of merchant
princes, the East India Company.  In appearance she was not altogether
unlike a frigate with her long tier of guns, her lofty masts, her wide
spread of canvas, and her numerous crew; but her decks were far more
encumbered than those of a man-of-war, and her hold was full of rich
merchandise, and the baggage of the numerous passengers who occupied her
cabins.  Her sails, for the present, however, were of no use; so, having
nothing else to do, for the sole purpose, it would seem, of annoying the
most sensitive portion of the human beings on board, they continued,
with most persevering diligence, flapping against the masts, while the
ship rolled lazily from side to side.  The decks presented the
appearance of a little world shut out from the rest of mankind; for all
grades, and all professions and trades, were to be found on board.  On
the high poop deck, under an awning spread over it to shelter them from
the burning rays of the sun, were collected the aristocratical portion
of the community.  There were there to be found ladies and gentlemen,
the sedate matron, and the blooming girl just reaching womanhood, the
young wife and the joyous child; there were lawyers and soldiers,
sailors and merchants, clergymen and doctors, some of them holding high
rank in their respective professions.  The captain, of course, was king,
and his mates were his ministers; but, like the rest, he was bound by
laws which he dared not infringe, even had he desired to have done so.

On the deck below were seen craftsmen of all sorts, occupied in their
respective callings.  Carpenters hard at work with plane and saw;
blacksmiths with bellows and anvil; tailors and cobblers, barbers and
washerwomen, painters and armourers, rope-makers and butchers, and
several others, besides the seamen engaged in the multifarious duties in
which officers know well how to employ them.  Among the crew were seen
representatives of each quarter of the Old World.  There were Malays and
other Asiatics, and the dark-skinned sons of Africa, mingled among the
hardy seamen of Britain, each speaking a different jargon, but all
taught by strict discipline to act in unison.

Besides the human beings, there were cattle and sheep destined for the
butcher's knife--cows to afford milk to the lady passengers, the
invalids, and the children--even horses were on board, valuable racers
or chargers, belonging to some of the military officers; there were
several head of sheep penned up in the long-boat; and there were
pigsties full of grunting occupants, who seemed to be more happy and to
have made themselves far more at home than any of their four-footed
fellow-voyagers.  Ranging at liberty were several dogs of high and low
degree, from the colonel's thorough-bred greyhound to the cook's cur, a
very turnspit in appearance; nor must I forget Quacko, the monkey, the
merriest and most active of two-legged or four-legged beings on board.
It might have puzzled many to determine to which he belonged, as he was
seen dressed in a blue jacket and white trousers, sitting up on the
break of the forecastle, his usual playground in fine weather, cracking
nuts, or peeling an orange like a human being, while his tongue was
chattering away, as if he had a vast amount of information to
communicate.

Then there were poultry of every description: ducks and geese, and
turkeys and cocks and hens, quacking, and cackling, and gobbling, and
crowing in concert: indeed, to shut one's eyes, it was difficult not to
suppose that one was in a well-stocked farm-yard; but on opening them
again, one found one's self surrounded by objects of a very different
character, to what one would there have seen.  Instead of the trees,
there were the tall masts, the rigging, and sails above one's head, the
bulwarks instead of the walls of the barns, the black and white seamen
with thick beards instead of the ploughmen and milk-maids, and the wide
glittering ocean instead of the muddy horse-pond.

This was the scene on the upper deck: below, it was stranger still.
There were two decks, one beneath the other, both with occupants; there
were cooks at the galley fire, whose complexion no soot could make
blacker, and servants in white dresses and embroidered shawls, running
backwards and forwards with their masters' tiffins, as luncheons are
called in India.

There were numerous cabins, many occupied by persons whose sole
employment was to kill time, forgetting how soon time would kill them in
return, and they would have to sum up the account of how they had spent
their days on earth.

In the lower deck there were soldiers with their wives and children, and
seamen, some sleeping out their watch below, and others mending their
clothes, while a few were reading--a very few, I fear, such books as
were calculated to afford them much instruction.  Below, again, in the
dark recesses of the hold, there were seamen with lanterns getting up
stores and provisions of various sorts.  In one place were seen three
men--it was the gunner and his two mates.  They had carefully-closed
lanterns and list shoes on their feet.  They were visiting the magazine,
to see that the powder was dry.  They were from habit careful, but
custom had made them thoughtless of danger; yet one spark from the
lantern would in a moment have sent every one of the many hundred living
beings on board that ship into eternity.  The flannel bags containing
the powder were removed to be carried up on deck to dry, the door was
carefully closed and locked, and the gunner and his mates went about
their other avocations.

From long habit, people are apt to forget the dangers which surround
them, though they are far greater than those in which the passengers of
the good ship _Governor Harcourt_ were placed at the moment the magazine
was opened; and I am very certain that not one of them contemplated the
possibility of being blown up, without an instant warning, into the air.

I have indulged in a somewhat long description of this little world in
miniature, although I was not one of its inhabitants; but it was a scene
not without interest, and I have had many opportunities of judging of
the correctness of the picture which was given me by a friend then on
board the _Governor Harcourt_.  We will now return to the more refined
groups sitting and lying about listlessly on the poop deck.

As among the party were several people who exercised a considerable
influence over my career, a description of them is necessary.  The
person of most consideration, on account of his wealth and position, as
well as his high character, was a gentleman verging upon sixty years of
age.  In stature and figure he was not what would be called dignified;
but there was that in the expression of his countenance which made
persons of discernment who studied his features feel inclined to love
and respect him.  The broad forehead, the full mild eye, and the
well-set mouth, told of intellect, kindness, and firmness.

The careless and indifferent might have called him the stout old
gentleman with yellow cheeks.  I mean people--and there are many such in
the world--who are unable to perceive the noble and good qualities in a
man, and only look at his outward form and figure.  If they hear a
person called a great man, like Lord Nelson or the Duke of Wellington,
they call him great also; but many would not be able to point out the
real heroic qualities of these heroes.  I cannot now stop to describe in
what real heroic qualities consist, further than to assure my young
friends that the great men I have instanced are not properly called
heroes simply because they were commanders-in-chief when great battles
have been gained.  Napoleon gained many victories; but I cannot allow
that he can justly be called a hero.  My object is to show you the
importance of not judging of people by their outward appearance; and
also, when you hear men spoken of as great men, to ask you to consider
well in what their greatness consists.  But to return to my kind and
generous benefactor,--for so he afterwards proved to me,--Sir Charles
Plowden.  In outward form to the common eye he was not a hero, but to
those who knew him he was truly great, good, and noble.  He was high in
the civil service of the Honourable East India Company, all the best
years of his life having been passed in the East.

A book was in his hand, at which his eye every now and then glanced; but
he appeared to look at it rather for the sake of finding matter for
thought, than for the object of getting rapidly through its contents.

At a little distance from him sat a lady, busily employed in working
with her needle.  She was young and if not decidedly pretty, very
interesting in appearance.  Though she was looking at her work, from the
expression of her countenance it might be perceived that she was
listening attentively to a gentleman seated by her side, who was reading
to her in that clear low voice, with that perfect distinctness of
enunciation, which is so pleasant to the ear.  A stranger might have
guessed, from the tone of tenderness, yet of perfect confidence, in
which he occasionally spoke to her, and the glance of affection which
she gave him in return, that they were husband and wife; nor would he
have been mistaken.

They were Captain and Mrs Clayton, who were returning to India after
their first visit to England since their marriage.  His appearance and
manners were very gentlemanly and pleasing, and he was a man much
esteemed by a large circle of acquaintance.  They had now been married
about eight years, and had no children.  Mrs Clayton had gone out to
India at the age of seventeen with her father, a colonel in the army,
and soon after her arrival she was won and wed by Captain Clayton, so
that she was still a very young woman.

Sometimes, when she saw a happy mother nursing her child, she would
secretly sigh that she was not so blessed; but, I am glad to say, she
did not on that account indulge in the custom of bestowing any portion
of her care and attention on puppy dogs and cats, as I have seen some
ladies, both single and married, do in a most disagreeable manner.  I,
of course, desire to see people kind to dumb animals; but I do not like
to see little beasts petted and kissed, and treated in every way like
human beings, with far more care and attention bestowed on them than are
given to thousands of the children in the back streets and alleys of our
crowded towns.  I trust that you, my young friends, will remember this
when you have money or food to bestow; and, instead of throwing it away
in purchasing or feeding useless pets, that you will give it to
instruct, to clothe and feed those who are born into the world to know
God, to perform their duty to Him, and to enjoy eternal life.  Dreadful
is it to contemplate that so many live and die without that knowledge,
who might, had their fellow-men exerted themselves, have enjoyed all the
blessings afforded by the gospel dispensation.

But I must go back to my history.  Captain and Mrs Clayton were
accompanied by a young lady, a distant relative, left without any other
friends to protect and support her.  She was a laughing, blue-eyed girl,
and was now seated with several other young ladies of about the same age
on a circle of cushions on the deck, shouts of merriment rising every
now and then from the happy group.  There were several other people who
had been in India before--military and civil officers of the Company,
merchants, lawyers, and clergymen; but I need not more particularly
describe them.

Ellen Barrow, Mrs Clayton's charge, was not only sweetly pretty, but
good and amiable in every respect.  I do not know that she had what is
called a regular feature in her face; but her sunny smile, and an
expression which gave sure indication of a good disposition, made those
who saw her think her far more beautiful than many ladies whose
countenances were in other respects faultless.  I praise her from having
known her well, and all the excellencies of her character, as they were
in after-years more fully developed.  At present her most intimate
friends would probably have said little more about her than that she was
a nice, pretty-looking, happy girl.

There was another person on board, of whom I must by no means omit to
speak, and that is Captain Willis.  He was a very gentlemanly man, both
in appearance and manners, as indeed he was by birth; nor had the rough
school in which he was educated left a trace behind.

He was the son of a merchant of excellent family connections and his
mother was, I believe, a lady of rank.  When he was about the age of
fourteen, both his parents died, leaving him perfectly penniless, for
his father had just before that event failed and lost all his property.
He had had, fortunately, the opportunity of obtaining an excellent
education, and he had profited by it and this gave him an independence
of feeling--which he could not otherwise justly have enjoyed.  He was
also a lad of honest spirit; his relations had quarrelled with his
parents, and treated them, he considered, unjustly; so that his heart
rebelled at the idea of soliciting charity from them, and he at once
resolved to fight his own way in the world.

He had always had a strong predilection for a sea life, and he was on
the point of going into the Royal Navy when his father's misfortunes
commenced.

His thoughts consequently at once reverted to the sea; and the day after
his father's funeral, he set out with a sad heart, and yet with the
buoyant hope of youth cheering him on in spite of his grief, to take
counsel of an old friend, the master of a merchantman, who had been much
indebted to his father.

Captain Styles was a rough-mannered but a good man, and a thoroughly
practical sailor.  He at once offered every aid in his power; but Edward
Willis, thanking him, assured him that he only came for advice.

"Do you want to become a seaman in whom your owners and passengers will
place perfect confidence, and who will be able, if man can do it, to
navigate your ship through narrow channels and among shoals, and clear
off a lee-shore if you are ever caught on one; or do you wish just to
know how to navigate a ship from London to Calcutta and back, with the
aid of a pilot when you get into shallow waters, and to look after the
ladies in fine weather, and let your first officer take care of the ship
in bad?"

"I wish to become a thorough seaman," replied Edward Willis.

"Then, my lad, you must first go to the school where you will learn the
trade," said Captain Styles.  "I have an old friend, the master of a
Newcastle collier.  He is an honest man, kind-hearted, and a first-rate
seaman.  In six months with him you will learn more than in six years in
a big ship.  If you were younger, it would be different; for it is rough
work, mind you.  He is always at sea, running up and down the coast:
sometimes to the north, and at other times round the South Foreland, and
right down channel.  Indeed, to my mind there is not a finer school to
make a man a seaman in a short time.  It's the royal road to a knowledge
of the sea, though I grant it, as I said before, a very rough one."

Willis replied that he was not afraid of hard work, and would follow his
advice.  Accordingly he went to sea in a collier for three years; then
he shipped on board a vessel trading to the Baltic, and next made a
voyage to Baffin's Bay, in a whaler; after which he joined an Indiaman.
Here, after what he had gone through, the work appeared comparatively
easy.  He now perfected himself in the higher branches of navigation,
and from this time rose rapidly from junior mate to first officer, and
finally, in a few years, to the command of a first-class Indiaman, where
he was in a fair way of realising a handsome independence.  Captain
Willis's ship was always a favourite; and as soon almost as she was
announced to sail, her cabins were engaged.  I should advise those who
go to sea at the age Captain Willis did, to follow his example; though
for a very young boy, the school, I grant, is somewhat too rough a one.



CHAPTER THREE.

Captain Willis was walking the deck, with his spy-glass in his hand,
while every now and then he stopped anxiously to scan the horizon in
every direction, in the hopes of discerning the well-known signs of the
long-wished-for breeze.

"Well, Captain Willis, when is the wind coming?" asked one of the young
ladies of the merry group I have described, as he passed them in his
walk.  "We have agreed that you sailors are very idle people, not to
make your ship move faster.  You do it on purpose, we are sure, to enjoy
our society."

"The temptation would be great, ladies, I own," said the captain,
bowing.  "But, I assure you, it depends as much upon yourselves as upon
me and my officers; and, I think, if you were all to set to work and
whistle with a right good-will, you might soon bring the wind down upon
us."

"Oh then we will all try," exclaimed the merry girls in chorus.  "We see
you want to get rid of us as soon as you can."  Thereon they all began
to try and whistle, and some succeeded very well, though the chorus was
not very harmonious.

I suspect the worthy captain had long before perceived the undoubted
signs of wind on the water, for there was a quizzical look in his eye as
he spoke; and each turn he made he encouraged them to proceed, and to
whistle louder and louder, assuring them it was certain to have a good
effect.

Not many minutes had passed, during which the young ladies had tried to
whistle till their mouths ached, when the voice of Captain Willis was
heard ordering the crew to trim sails.  With alacrity they flew to their
posts at the joyful sound; and those who but a minute before were so
silent and inert, were now all life and animation.

Still the ocean appeared as smooth and shining as before; but in the
distance, away to the north-east, there was a line of dark-blue, which
seemed to be gradually extending itself on either hand, and to be slowly
advancing in the direction where the ship lay.  The glassy surface of
the water was every now and then slightly ruffled by gentle, scarcely
perceptible breaths of wind, such as are called by seamen "cats'-paws,"
from their having, I suppose, no more effect in disturbing the water
than would the paw of a cat.  They came and went continually.  Some of
the more lofty and lighter sails of the ship bulged out for an instant,
and then again flapped against the masts, and all was calm as before.

"If you please, young ladies, I must trouble you to whistle a little
longer," said Captain Willis, with one of his most polite bows, and a
merry smile lurking in his eye.  "You see the good service you have
already done; but the wind seems coy, and requires a longer wooing."

They all laughed very much, and declared that they could not whistle any
more; but still they all essayed again; and sweet Ellen Barrow screwed
her pretty mouth up till her lips looked, indeed, like two ripe
cherries; and Captain Willis aiding them with his clear whistle, the
wind was not long in answering the summons.  The spokes of the wheel
were seen once more to revolve in the hands of the helmsman, the sails
bulged out more regularly, and if they fell back, they quickly again
filled till every one drew steadily, and the huge ship moved slowly
through the ocean on her proper course.  It was pleasant to the
passengers to hear the rippling sound of the water against the sides of
the ship, and to see it bubbling up so briskly under her bows; and still
more pleasant was it to feel the fresh air fanning the cheeks, and to
know that it was wafting them on to their yet far distant bourne.  The
fresh air had a reviving effect on every one, and many who had sat
silent and melancholy began to move about, and to laugh and talk with
the rest of their companions.

About an hour after the breeze had sprung up, the captain was observed
to turn his glass several times to a point on the starboard bow.  He
then handed it to his first officer.

"What do you make out of that, Mr Naylor?" he asked.

The answer was not heard.

"So I think it is," replied the captain.  "Keep her two more points to
the eastward of her course--steady so."

Immediately the head of the ship was turned towards a little spot which
appeared upon the water, a long way off.  The report that there was
something to be seen called every one to the side of the ship, and all
eyes were fixed on that small speck on the waste of waters.  There were
many speculations as to what it was.  Some said that it was a dead
whale, others a smaller fish; a few insisted that it was the hull of a
vessel, and there was one party of opinion that it was the top of a rock
in the ocean, and were congratulating themselves that they had met with
it in daylight and fine weather.

"But what do you think it is, Captain Willis?" asked Ellen Barrow.

"Why, young lady, I think it is a boat; but I am not surprised that so
many people, not accustomed to look at objects on the water, where there
is nothing to compare them with, should be mistaken.  Those who fancy
that it is a whale or the hull of a vessel think it is much farther off
than it really is, while those who suppose it to be a small fish,
believe it to be much nearer than it really is.  It is only by comparing
things together that we can estimate them properly."

The breeze, although sufficient to fill the sails, was still very light,
so that the ship moved but slowly through the water,--at the rate,
perhaps, of a mile and a half or two miles in the hour, or, as sailors
would say, two knots an hour.  She was, therefore, a long time
approaching the object.  At last, Captain Willis, who had constantly
kept his telescope turned towards it, pronounced it, without doubt, to
be a boat.

"There appears to be no one in her, however," he observed; "at least, I
see no one's head above the gunwale."

"How strange that a boat should be out there all alone!" exclaimed Ellen
Barrow.

"Oh no; she has got adrift from a vessel, or has been driven off from
some coast or other," answered Captain Willis.

"There looks to me, sir, as if there were some people in the boat,
though they don't appear to be moving," sung out the third officer from
aloft.

"Mr Simpson, man the starboard quarter-boat, and lower her as we come
up with the boat.  We must have her alongside, and overhaul her, at all
events."

"Ay, ay, sir," replied the mate; and soon afterwards the boat's crew
were seen coming aft to lower her into the water.

Numerous were the conjectures as to who could be in the boat, and where
she could have come from; but of course no one could answer the
question.  The ship glided on slowly, for the wind was still very light.
When she got a short distance only from the boat, the captain ordered
the sails to be clewed up, and the gig to be lowered.  Mr Simpson went
away in her, and was soon alongside.  He was seen to throw up his hands,
as an expression of horror, as he looked into the boat.  She was then
made fast to the stern of the gig, and rapidly towed up to the ship.

"Be quick there on deck, and bring a chair," he exclaimed.  "Here's a
poor creature much in want of the doctor's help, if she's not gone too
far for it already."

The side of the ship on which the boat appeared was crowded with the
passengers, eager to see what it contained.  The sight which met their
eyes was indeed a sad one.  In the fore part were two men lying on their
backs with their faces upwards, and, from their ghastly expression, it
was seen that they were both dead.  There was another person, a
dark-skinned woman, who, it appeared, the mate considered still living.
A chair was speedily slung, and the mate having secured her into it, she
was hoisted on deck.

The doctor was in waiting, and having placed her on a mattress on deck,
he knelt down at her side to discover if any spark of life yet remained
in her emaciated frame.  He felt her pulse, and then calling for a glass
of wine and water, he moistened her lips, and poured a few drops down
her throat.  It had the effect of instantly reviving her; she opened her
eyes, and uttering a few strange words, she attempted to rise as if to
search for something she expected to find near.  For an instant she
looked wildly around; but the effort was more than nature could bear,
and, with a deep sigh, she sank again and expired.  While some of the
passengers had been witnessing this melancholy scene, others were
engaged in watching the proceedings of the mate.  Directly he had placed
the poor black woman in the chair, he turned to examine the after part
of the boat, over which an awning was carefully spread.  Lifting it up,
he uttered an exclamation of surprise and pleasure.  Carefully placed on
a bed formed on the stern-sheets, were two children--a little boy, some
three or four years old, or perhaps five, and an infant which could
scarcely for as many months have seen the light.  The little fellow had
been fast asleep.  The voice of the mate awoke him, and looking up and
seeing strange faces surrounding him, he began to cry.

"That's a good sign, at all events," cried the mate.  "The baby does not
seem much the worse either; send down the chair again, and we'll have
them on deck in a trice."  The chair was lowered, and placing himself in
it, with the two children in his arms, he was hoisted up on deck.
Scarcely had he reached it, than all the ladies hurried forward to catch
a glimpse of the children, many of them almost quarrelling who should
take charge of them.

"Stay, ladies," said Captain Willis, good-naturedly.  "The children by
right belong to me; and I must let the doctor see to them before anybody
else begins nursing them."

In the meantime, however, Mrs Clayton had taken the infant out of the
mate's arms, while the little boy was snatched away by Ellen Barrow and
the rest of the young ladies, who kept fondling him among them, and
showing that they would do their best to spoil him before the voyage was
over.

Mr Hawkins, the surgeon, finding that his services were of no avail to
the rest of those who had been in the boat, now appeared, and examined
the baby as it lay in Mrs Clayton's arms.

"It seems to have been wonderfully sustained," he observed.  "I can
discover nothing the matter with it; and with some of the food our goat
can supply, I have no doubt in a few days it will have perfectly
recovered.  Let me relieve you of the child, madam, and give it to one
of the women-servants to nurse."

But Mrs Clayton showed no inclination to give up her charge.  There
were feelings rising in her bosom whose exquisite delight a fond mother,
as she presses her first-born to her breast, can well appreciate.  The
lady gave an imploring look at her husband, which he well understood.

"Do as you wish, dearest," he whispered.

She returned him a glance full of grateful thanks.

"Captain Willis," she said, in a voice agitated with the fear that her
request might be denied, "I will, if you will allow me, take charge of
the poor deserted one, till its proper guardians can be found; and I
daresay we shall be able to learn from the little boy who they are."

"To no one would I more gladly commit the infant than to you, madam,"
returned the captain.  "And pray, consider her your property till
claimed by others with greater right to her."

So it was settled; and Mrs Clayton did indeed prove an affectionate
mother to the little foundling.  Captain Willis, however, was much
disappointed in not being able to obtain the information he expected
from the elder child.  The little fellow could speak very rapidly, but
it was in a language neither he nor any of the young ladies could
understand, though he seemed to comprehend what was said to him in
English.  They tried him with a variety of names to endeavour to
discover the one belonging to him; but to none of them did he pay any
attention.

On a sudden he began to cry to go to his Aya; but as he was kept out of
sight of the dead body, and petted by the young ladies, who tried every
means to please him, he was soon again pacified.  He was then taken into
the cabin, where two or three of the married ladies, who had children of
their own, set to work to wash him and dress him in clean clothes.  He
kicked about in the tub of water, and seemed highly delighted, as if it
was a luxury to which he was accustomed, while he also appeared fully to
appreciate the advantage of clean clothes.  He was rather thin, as if he
had lived for a length of time on a short allowance of food; but when
some broth, which had been got ready for him, was placed before him, he
did not eat ravenously as if he had been long without food altogether.
Indeed, I may as well here remark, that the mate had discovered a small
piece of biscuit, softened by water, by his side when he took the
children out of the boat, proving that the faithful nurse had given him
the last morsel of food in her possession rather than eat it herself, in
the hope of preserving his life.  When he had swallowed the broth, he
fell fast asleep in the arms of the lady who was holding him.  The
little fellow's perfect confidence in those surrounding him, while it
won their hearts, showed that he had always been accustomed to kind
treatment.

Mrs Clayton had also brought her little charge below, and was nursing
it with the most tender care.  It seemed, indeed, but a fragile little
blossom; and it appeared surprising that it should thus have escaped
from the hardships to which it had been exposed.

Meanwhile, on deck, Captain Willis and his officers, and some of the
gentlemen passengers, were making every possible examination of the boat
and the dead bodies, to endeavour to discover some clue, by which they
might be able to trace to what ship they had belonged, or whence they
had come.  There was, unfortunately, little on their bodies to identify
them.  One of the men had fastened round his neck by a lanyard a knife,
on the handle of which was roughly carved the initials J.S., and on his
arm was discovered, marked by gunpowder, among a variety of other
figures, the name of James Smith,--one, however, borne by so many
people, that it could scarcely be said to serve as a distinguishing
appellation.  Sir Charles Plowden, notwithstanding, who was taking a
great interest in and superintending the investigation, made a note of
it in his pocket-book, and took charge of the knife.

There was no name on the boat, nor were there any oars in her, which
have generally the name of the ship marked on them.  The boat was
pronounced not to be of English build; and the carpenter, after a long
examination, declared it to be his opinion, that it might possibly be
built by some Englishman, in a foreign place, and with foreign
assistants, and with more than one sort of wood, with which he was not
well acquainted.  The canvas, which had served as the awning over the
children, was certainly English, and the seams at the joins were exactly
similar to the work of an English sail-maker.  The nails used in the
boat were English; but then, as the carpenter observed, English nails
were sent into all parts of the world.

The complexion of the other seaman was very dark; a crucifix was found
round his neck, and he had on a light-blue jacket, and his other
garments were not of English make, so that there could be no doubt that
he was a foreigner.  In his pocket was a purse, containing several gold
doubloons and other coins, showing how utterly valueless on some
occasions, is the money for which men risk so much.  How gladly would
the poor wretch have given the whole of it for a crust of bread and a
drop of water!  There was also a little silver box in his pocket,
containing the relic of a saint, equally inefficacious to preserve him,
although an inscription on a piece of paper in it stated, that it would
preserve the fortunate possessor from all dangers, either by sea or
land.

In the Englishman's pocket there was an empty tobacco-box; but there was
no paper or writing of any sort, to assist in identifying them.

The clothes of the nurse were not marked, nor was there found about her
anything to aid the investigation; but on those of the children were
found, nearly washed out, however, letters which were evidently the
initials of their names.  On those of the little boy were M.S., and on
those of the baby E.S., which, with the strong resemblance in features,
left little doubt that they were brother and sister.

Sir Charles, with an exactness which should be imitated under similar
circumstances, noted down every particular--the appearance of the dead
bodies, their height and size.  He directed, also, that the clothes
should be washed and carefully kept.  The measurement of the boat was
also made, and parts of her plankings and all the things she contained
were taken out of her.  She was herself too large to hoist in on deck.

The only thing remarkable about the children was, that round the neck of
each was a gold chain and a locket containing light auburn hair; but
there was no other inscription than the initials E.S.

Sir Charles desired that he might also take charge of these memorials.
"If the children continue to wear them, they may be lost," he observed.
"They may be valuable, as aiding to discover their friends, and should
be carefully preserved."  Indeed he neglected no means by which the
important object could be obtained, of discovering, at a future period,
the family of the little foundlings.

While these matters were being arranged, the wind had dropped again
completely, and the sky had assumed a dull leaden hue, and a thick haze
to the eastward rose up and looked like a line of high land.  The boat
was meantime left hanging astern, while the gig was again hoisted up on
the quarter.

Sailors have a strong aversion to having dead bodies on board; and as
there was no object to be attained by keeping those of the unfortunate
persons who had been discovered in the boat, preparations were made to
bury them that evening in the deep ocean.  I will not now stop to
describe the ceremony.  They were sewn up in a clean canvas, with a shot
fastened in at the feet, and a clergyman who was among the passengers,
performed the funeral service.  They were then launched overboard, and
sunk for ever from the sight of men.

Scarcely had they reached the water than a low moaning sound was heard
in the rigging, and the sails flapped heavily against the mast.  Captain
Willis cast a hurried glance to windward.

"Clew up--haul up--let fly everything--away aloft there--furl topgallant
sails, close reef the topsails--be smart, my lads," he exclaimed in
those sharp tones which showed that there was no time for delay.  The
attentive men flew to their proper posts--some to the tacks and sheets,
the bunt-lines and clew-lines, others swarmed aloft like bees on the
yards, and with vigorous arms hauled out the earings and secured the
sails with the gaskets.  They did their work manfully, for they well
knew there was no time to lose.

Scarcely, indeed, was all along made snug, and they were coming down
again, than the threatening blast struck the ship.

"Hold on for your lives, hold on!" exclaimed the captain.  "Port the
helm, port!"

Away she flew before the gale, upright and unharmed.  In an instant, it
seemed, the sea, before so calm and bright, became covered with a mass
of foam, and then waves rose rapidly, one towering above the other, in
quick succession.  Two men were stationed at the helm, to keep the ship
before the wind, as she ran on under close-reefed fore-topsail.

So engaged had Captain Willis and his officers been in getting the ship
into proper order to encounter the gale, that they entirely forgot the
boat towing astern.  Fortunately no sea had yet risen high enough to
drive her against the ship, or serious damage might have been effected.
At last Sir Charles observed her, and called the attention of the first
officer to her.  In an instant his knife was out, and without waiting to
consult the captain, he was cutting away at the tow rope.  He was not a
moment too soon, for some heavy black seas were seen rolling up like
mountains astern.  The last strands of the rope parted with a sharp
snap, the boat was seen to rise to the top of a wave, and the next
rolled her over and over, and she disappeared beneath the waters.

"Alas!" exclaimed Sir Charles, "sad would have been the fate of the poor
children, had we not providentially come up in time to save them."

Reader, I was one of those poor children, thus providentially rescued
from destruction; the other was my sister.  Truly I have a right to say,
God equally rules the calm or the tempest--equally in the one and the
other does He watch over his creatures.

GOD IS EVERYWHERE.



CHAPTER FOUR.

The events I have described in the preceding chapters were afterwards
told me by my friends, and I have faithfully given them in the words of
the narrators.  Of course the commencement of my narrative is somewhat
conjectural; but there can be no doubt, from the circumstances I have
mentioned, that the main features were perfectly true.  The storm blew
furiously all that night, and the ship ran on before it; but as day
dawned its rage appeared expended, and by noon the waves subsided, and
the wind gently as before filled the broad fields of canvas spread to
receive it.  I slept through it all, for the close air of the cabins,
after having been exposed for so many days in the open boat, made me
drowsy.  I have a faint recollection of opening my eyes in the morning,
and finding the sun shining in through the port, and the sweet face of
Ellen Barrow hanging over me.  When she saw me look up and smile, (for
even then I thought such a face ought to be beloved, and must be kind
and good, and I felt that I did love her), she covered me with kisses,
and, forlorn little foundling though I was, I felt very happy.  I have
no distinct recollection of anything which happened in the boat; but I
remember, as if it were yesterday, that lovely countenance, with the sun
just tingeing her auburn locks as my waking eyes first fell on it; and
though I do not suppose that I had ever heard of an angel, I had some
indefinite sort of notion that she was one; at all events, that she was
a being in whom I might place implicit confidence, and who would watch
over me, and guard me from danger.  I put out my little arms and threw
them round her neck, and returned her kisses with right good-will.

Dear Mrs Clayton had faithfully fulfilled her promise of carefully
nursing my little sister, by holding her half the night in her arms,
during the raging of the storm, fearful that any harm should come to her
new-found treasure; and it was only when the sea subsided, and the ship
was more steady, that she would consent to place her in a little cot
which had been slung by her side.  In the afternoon all the passengers
were again collected together on deck.  We, of course, afforded the
subject of general conversation and curiosity.  Speculations of all
sorts were offered as to who we could be--where we could have come from,
and how it happened that we were in an open boat, in the condition in
which we were found.  I was asked all sorts of questions; but to none of
them could I return a satisfactory answer.  I had some indistinct idea
of having been on board another ship, and of there being a great
disturbance, and of my crying very much through fear; and I suspect that
I must have cried myself to sleep, and remained so when I was put into
the boat.  Ellen Barrow had taken me under her especial protection,
though everybody, more or less, tried to pet me, and I was very happy.
Scarcely four-and-twenty hours had passed, it must be remembered, since,
without food or human aid, we floated on the open ocean, the dying and
the dead our only companions; and now we were on board a well-found
ship, and surrounded by kind friends, all vying with each other to do us
service.  Sir Charles every now and then, as I passed him, patted me on
the head; and as I looked up I liked the expression of his countenance,
so I stopped and smiled, and frequently ran back to him.  In this manner
we shortly became great friends.

"I wonder what their names can be!" exclaimed Mrs Clayton, as those
most interested in us were still sitting together in earnest
consultation.  "The boy's initials are M.S., and the little girl's E.S.,
that is certain.  If we cannot discover their real names, we must give
them some ourselves."

"Oh, let them be pretty ones, by all means!" cried Ellen Barrow.  "I
must not let my pet be called by an ugly name.  Let me consider--it must
not be romantic either, like invented names found in novels."

"I should advise you to choose the surname first for both the children,
and then settle the respective Christian names," remarked the judge.

"Will you help us, Sir Charles?" asked Miss Barrow.

"No, my dear young lady--I propose that our committee abide by your
choice, if I am allowed to have a word to say about the Christian name--
so on your shoulders must rest the responsibility," was Sir Charles's
answer.

"It must begin with S, that is certain," said Ellen Barrow, speaking as
she thought on.  "Something to do with the sea: Seagrave--I don't like
that; Seaton--it might do.  What do you think of Seaworth, Sir Charles?
It is a pretty name and appropriate--Seaworth--I like Seaworth."

"So do I; and I compliment you on the selection," said the judge.  "Let
the surname of the children be Seaworth from henceforth, till the real
name is discovered; and now for a Christian name for the boy.  It must
begin with M.  I do not like long names, and I have a fancy for one in
particular--I must beg that he be called Mark.  I had a friend of that
name, who died early.  Do you object to it, Miss Ellen?"

"I had not thought of it, certainly," said Ellen Barrow.  "I was going
to propose Marmaduke; but let me try how it sounds in combination with
Seaworth--Mark Seaworth--Mark Seaworth.  A very nice name; I like it,
and I am sure I shall like it very much in a short time."  So, thanks to
Sir Charles and Ellen Barrow, I was called Mark Seaworth.

Mrs Clayton now claimed the right of naming her little charge.  It was
a matter, however, of still longer consideration.  Emily, and Eliza, and
Elizabeth, and a number of others beginning with E were thought of, but
none seemed to please.

"Give her the name of her mother, then," said Sir Charles.

"How do you know it?" exclaimed several voices.

"The mother of us all," replied the judge, smiling.

"Oh dear, yes!  Let her be called Eva rather," exclaimed Mrs Clayton,
delighted.  "It is a sweetly pretty name, and not often used."

"I meant simply Eve; but Eva is an improvement on my idea," said Sir
Charles.

"Eva, Eva," was pronounced in chorus by all the party; and by that name
my little sister was afterwards christened.  Thus this important matter
was finally arranged.

Several days passed away without the occurrence of anything worthy of
note, that I have heard of.  My little sister slowly gained strength and
health under the careful nursing of Mrs Clayton.

One fine day, sweet Ellen Barrow was, as usual, romping with me about
the deck--now running after me--now catching hold of me to fondle me,
and then letting me go for the sake of again chasing me; and though I
struggled and screamed when she overtook me, I cannot say that I was
either alarmed, or that I disliked the treatment I received.  Sir
Charles was calmly watching us all the time, with a smile on his
countenance.  At last the young lady, weary with her exertions, threw
herself into a seat, while I came and nestled by her side.  After
looking at us for a few minutes he came nearer to her.

"My dear young lady," he said, "will you answer me a question?"

"A hundred, Sir Charles," she answered, "if you are kind enough to ask
them; for I do not think you will prove a censorious father confessor."

"Well, then, as you give me leave, I may venture to ask you more than
one," said Sir Charles.  "In the first place, tell me what you propose
doing with that little boy when you get ashore."

"Doing with him, Sir Charles?  Why, I daresay Captain and Mrs Clayton
will assist me in taking charge of him," replied Ellen Barrow, with a
puzzled expression.  "But I do not think, I own, that I had thought at
all about the future."

"I thought not, my dear Miss Barrow," said Sir Charles, smiling.  "The
young seldom think of the future; but we old people are taught by many a
severe lesson the importance of preparing for it.  Now, as Captain and
Mrs Clayton can scarcely wish to have the responsibility of taking
charge of both your little pet and his sister, and as he has no claim on
any here on board in particular, I have resolved to constitute myself
his guardian till his natural protectors can be found.  Captain Willis,
who has a sort of legal right over him, consents to my wish; so I intend
to take him with me when we land.  Pray, therefore, make the most of him
now you have him; but do not fix your heart on him entirely, for though
I hope you may often see him, I cannot let you have him altogether."

"What!  Sir Charles, do you really intend to adopt the dear little
fellow?" exclaimed Miss Barrow with animation.  "He will, indeed, be
fortunate; but I should be very, very sorry if I thought that I was not
to see him again," she added, while a tear stood in her bright eye, and,
turning round she gave me a hug and a kiss, which I thought very good of
her.

"Till his rightful guardians are found, I propose to take entire charge
of him," said Sir Charles.  "I will do my best to fulfil the important
duty I have undertaken; it is not a light one, I own.  It is not only to
train up the boy to perform well his allotted task in this world, to
fear God, to act honourably towards his neighbour, to overcome
difficulties, and to secure a good place in the rank of fame and fortune
among his fellow-men, but to prepare an immortal soul for eternity."

Well, indeed, did that good man fulfil his self-imposed duty and utterly
beyond all return are the benefits I received from him.

Alas! that so few who have the charge of youth should think of their
deep responsibilities as he did.  How many private tutors I have met
with, who think they have done their duty when they have taught their
pupils the sufficient knowledge of Latin and Greek, and mathematics to
enable them to enter the universities, without a thought beyond--without
pointing out to them, clearly and unmistakably, whatever may be their
station in life, that they must have responsibilities, and that they
should so act in everything they do here, that they may be ever prepared
for entering the life which is to endure for ever!  I know that, let the
tutor be ever so anxious to perform his duty, let the pupil be ever so
ready to listen, times will come when good intentions and precepts may
be forgotten; but such failings off should not damp the energies of
either, but with sorrow for their derelictions, and earnest prayer for
strength from above, they should rise to new exertions, and each year
will afford to the tutor greater encouragement, as he sees in the lives
of his pupils the fruit of his instruction.

What I wish you to remember is this, that every one of you--the poorest
and humblest as well as the richest--may do a great deal of good to your
fellow-creatures, if you will but try to find out the way; and also that
you cannot devote yourself to amusement, as so many do, without
committing a very grave fault, by neglecting the duties of which I have
spoken; while I am very certain that you would lose an unfailing source
of happiness, for which no other gratification can afford any
recompense.

I beg you to think very deeply of what I have said; and now I will go on
with my narrative.

Sir Charles at once set to work with my education, and Ellen Barrow was,
under his directions, my instructress.  I do not remember that I was
much troubled with the sight of books; but she drew a number of pictures
of various objects, and made me repeat their names, and then she cut out
the alphabet in cardboard, by which means I very soon knew my letters.
If I was sick she never attempted to teach me, so that all the means
offered me of gaining knowledge were pleasurable, and I thus took at
once a strong liking to learning, which has never deserted me.  Before
the termination of the voyage.  I could express myself in English, so as
to be understood as well as are most children of my age; and as Sir
Charles would not allow me to be taught nonsense, I put a right
signification upon the words I used.

One morning, at daybreak, a cry was heard from the mast-head of "Land
ahead!" and so true had been the observations of Captain Willis, that a
few hours afterwards, with a fine breeze, we were entering Table Bay, at
the Cape of Good Hope.

The Cape of Good Hope colony is, as most of my young readers are well
aware, now an English settlement.  It once belonged to the Dutch; but we
took it from them during the last war, when they sided with the
republican French.  It is most celebrated for its sheep pastures; but it
also produces wine, and corn, and oil, and affords ample room for the
establishment of numbers of our countrymen, who cannot find employment
at home.  The climate is very healthy; but there are very strong winds,
and sometimes droughts which destroy the labours of the husbandman.

However, people who settle there become much attached to the country;
and those fond of chasing wild beasts may gratify their tastes to the
full in the interior; but they must remember that they cannot, at the
same time, attend properly to their farming operations, which must, of
necessity, be carried on in more settled districts.  It is on many
accounts a very valuable colony to Great Britain, and, among others,
because it is on the high road to her extensive possessions in
Australasia and that in its harbours the numerous shipping which sail
thither may find shelter in time of war, and at all times may replenish
their water and provisions.  It affords a home to thousands of our
countrymen, and it supplies the raw material, wool, to our
manufacturers; and its inhabitants, by using a large quantity of British
manufactures, afford employment to thousands of persons at home, who
would otherwise of necessity be idle.  By my calculations, every three
or four Englishmen who go to one of our southern colonies, and are
prosperous, afford employment to one person of those remaining at home;
and we thus see how immediately the mother country is benefited by an
extensive colonisation.  Those very emigrants, or those who have taken
their places, had they remained, it must be borne in mind, might have
been idle and paupers; while the money which is now circulating,
usefully affording employment to others, would have been employed in
supporting them in idleness.  However, the subject is irrelevant to my
history: I mention it because I want to draw the attention of my young
friends to the value of our colonial possessions, that when they become
men, they may do their utmost to increase the prosperity of the
colonies, being assured that they cannot turn their attention to a more
patriotic subject.

We remained several days in Table Bay; during which time most of the
passengers lived on shore, and some even ventured a considerable way
into the interior.  Cape Town extends along the shores of the bay at the
foot of the far-famed Table Mountain, towards which the ground gradually
rises from the waters.  The streets are straight, regularly constructed,
and run at right angles to each other.  They are lined with elm and oak
trees, which in summer afford a grateful shade.

There is a clean nice look about the place, which reminds one of an
English town.  I visited it many years after the time of which I am now
speaking, for which reason I am able to describe it.  The squares are
well laid out, and the public edifices are numerous and substantial.
The private houses are built chiefly of red brick or stone, with a
terrace before the door shaded by trees.  Here not only the Dutch, but
the English, as was once the custom in the old country in days long gone
by, delight to sit and work in the shade, when the sun is hot, or in the
evening to enjoy the fresh breeze from the open sea.

There are upwards of 25,000 inhabitants, half of whom are white, the
majority being Dutch or of Dutch descent.

Cape Town is strongly fortified.  The entrance to the bay is commanded
by a battery called the _Mouille_.  There is a castle to the left of the
town, and several other forts and batteries.  The colony is divided into
two provinces--the Western Province, of which Cape Town is the capital;
and the Eastern Province, of which Graham's Town is the capital.  Each
province is divided into districts, many of which retain the old Dutch
names; indeed, nearly all the places in the long settled parts are
called by the appellations given them by the early possessors of the
colony.

There are no navigable rivers; and as the country is wild and
mountainous, the means of communication are not easy.  To the east,
about five hundred miles from the frontier, is the new settlement of
Natal, which, from its beautiful climate, and many excellent qualities,
promises some day to become a very valuable possession.

Having got our stores on board, the Blue Peter was hoisted, our
passengers again collected in their accustomed places, full of all the
things they had seen and heard, and once more we were ploughing the
ocean towards the mouth of the wealth-bearing Hoogly.



CHAPTER FIVE.

Our voyage was most propitious, and, without any event worthy of notice,
we approached the mouth of the Hoogly, on the shore of which stands
Calcutta, the magnificent city whither we were bound.  While still some
way off the land the pilot came on board to take charge of the ship; and
now, from the heavy responsibility which had so long weighed on the
shoulders of Captain Willis, he was in part relieved, as the pilot
became answerable for the safety of the ship.  While we slowly glide up
the placid stream, one of the mouths of the far-famed Ganges, the sacred
river of the Hindoos, I will give a short description of it.

The Ganges is 1,500 miles long, and as far as 500 miles from the sea the
channel is thirty feet deep, when, during the dry season, the river is
at its lowest, while so great even there is its width, that it appears
like an inland sea.  At 200 miles from the ocean the Ganges separates
into two branches; the south-east retaining the name of the Ganges, and
the west assuming the appellation of the Hoogly; the delta, or
triangular space between the two, being called the Sunderbunds.

Among the eternal snows of the lofty mountains of the Himalaya, 20,000
feet above the level of the sea, in latitude 30 degrees north, is found
the source of this superb stream.  It is said to issue out of the
precipitous side of a lofty mountain, from beneath an arch 300 feet
high, composed of deep frozen layers of snow, surrounded by icicles of
gigantic magnitude.  Such was, the mighty stream on which the good ship
the _Governor Harcourt_ was now floating.

On its eastern bank stands Calcutta, the City of Palaces as it is often
called.  My earliest recollections were of the clusters of columns, the
long colonnades, and lofty gateways of its magnificent mansions.  The
residences are, for the most part, either entirely detached from each
other, or connected only by long ranges of terraces, surmounted, like
the flat roofs of the houses, with balustrades.  The greater number of
the mansions have pillared verandahs, extending the whole way up,
sometimes to the height of three stories, besides a large portico in
front, the whole having a very picturesque appearance, especially when
intermingled with forest trees and flowering shrubs.  The houses are
built of brick, covered with cement, which looks like stone and as even
the more ordinary buildings are spread over a considerable extent of
ground, they have a very imposing effect, unlike any inhabited by
persons of the same rank in England.  But close even to the palaces of
the most wealthy are to be seen wretched mud huts; and rows of native
hovels, constructed of mats, thatch, and bamboos, often rest against
their outer walls, while there are avenues opening from the principal
streets, intersected in all directions by native bazaars, filled with
unsightly articles of every description.

Sir Charles Plowden lived in a very large house, and though his own
habits were very simple, the custom of the country required him to have
a large retinue of domestics.  Thus I was brought up in almost barbaric
splendour, with a number of persons whose only business was to attend
upon my wishes.  My kind guardian, whenever his public duties permitted,
had me with him, and himself superintended my education, which prevented
the ill effects of the indulgence I was allowed.  A sitting-room in
India is very unlike one in England.  The sofas, chairs, and tables are
placed at a foot distance from the wall, on account of the reptiles
which would otherwise find their way on to them.  All the walls are
pierced with doors, through which are seen, like ghosts, the servants,
clad in flowing white garments, gliding about with noiseless feet in all
directions.  None of the inferior domestics keep themselves, as in
England, in the background--the water-carrier alone confines his
perambulations to the back staircases; all the others, down to the
scullions, make their appearance in the state apartments whenever they
please; and in Bengal even the lower orders of palanquin-bearers, who
wear but little clothing, will walk into a room without ceremony, and
endeavour to make themselves useful by dusting the furniture, setting it
in order; at the same time, any of the upper servants would deem it
highly disrespectful to their masters to appear without their turbans,
or their other usual clothing.

The punkah, a necessary appendage of every house, is worthy of
description.  It is formed of a wooden framework, a foot and a half or
two feet broad, hung in the centre of the room, and extending nearly its
whole length.  This frame is covered with painted canvas or fluted silk,
finished round the edges with gilt mouldings.  It is suspended from the
ceiling by ropes, covered with scarlet cloth, very tastefully disposed,
and hangs within seven feet of the ground.  A rope is fastened to the
centre, and the whole apparatus waves to and fro, creating, if pulled
vigorously, a strong current of air, and rendering the surrounding
atmosphere endurable, when the heat would, without it, be very
disagreeable.

Captain Clayton was stationed up the country, where Mrs Clayton took my
little sister, and Ellen Barrow accompanied them.  I was very sorry to
part from all my kind friends, as well as my little sister, and often
used to ask when they were coming back again.  I missed my sweet
playmate, Ellen Barrow, very much; for among all my obsequious
attendants, no one could romp with me as she did, or amuse me half so
much.  I loved her dearly, and had I never again seen her, I think I
should never have forgotten her countenance.

I must be very brief with this part of my history, as the adventures I
afterwards met with will, I doubt not, prove more interesting to my
readers.

I must, however, while I am talking of India, recommend my young friends
to make themselves well acquainted with the geographical position of the
most important places in it.  I have often, since coming to England,
been asked if I knew Mr So-and-so of India, as if India was a town or
an English county.  A glance at the map will show the immense extent of
the British possessions in the East.  They are divided into three
Presidencies, or Sub-governments--those of Bengal, Madras and Bombay.
Connected with these are a great number of subsidiary and protected
states.  Some of the nominal rulers of these are tributary to the
Company, others receive stipends from them; while a great many have
British residents or envoys stationed at their courts, who advise them
how to govern, and many have, besides, British troops, to keep them in
order and their enemies in awe.

The vast extent of country between the Ganges and the Indus, with the
Himalaya mountains on the north, may be considered as almost entirely
British; at all events, British troops are stationed in all directions,
and British travellers may move north and south, and east and west,
without let or hindrance.  Thus it may be seen, that it is very possible
for people to reside all their lives in India and not to meet; at the
same time, as the British move about a great deal, especially the
military, who, in time of war, are brought much in contact, they
certainly meet oftener, and hear more of each other than would be
expected.

I feel assured that the rule of the British has proved a blessing to the
people of India.  Had it not done so, we should not, I think, have been
allowed to keep possession of the country.  At the same time, we might
have proved a far greater blessing than we have been; for had we set a
better example in religion and morality, I cannot but suppose that the
divine truths of Christianity would have made greater progress among the
inhabitants than they have.  Very many of my readers may have their
future fortunes cast in that land of wonders, and let me entreat them to
remember the immense responsibility which rests on their shoulders.
According to the example they set, so may the benighted natives be
brought to perceive the beauty and excellence of true religion, or they
may remain in their present darkness.  Let me ask you a question: Who
will be answerable for the ignorance and crimes of the poor natives--
they who have never had the light presented to them, or you who might,
by your example and precept, have offered it to them and would not?

In saying this, I at the same time advise you to respect the prejudices
and customs of the people.  You can never win people over to the truth
by insulting their superstition, however gross.  I only urge you to be,
in your own lives, a bright example.

I now return to my history.

Several years of the time of my childhood passed away very happily.  Sir
Charles was placed as ruler over a large Province in the interior, and
he took me with him.  His residence was situated on some lofty hills,
which were cool even in hot weather, so that I grew up strong and
healthy.  Some British troops were sent to the same place, under the
command of Captain, now Major Clayton, and thus I was once more united
to my kind friends and young sister.  Ellen Barrow was so no longer; she
had become Mrs Northcote; but was the same kind, lively creature as
when I first remembered her.  Major and Mrs Clayton had no children of
their own; and they therefore loved my little sister even as if she had
been their infant.

I must not omit to mention an occurrence which happened about this time,
and is well worthy of note.  My friends were residing in a sort of fort,
situated on the hills, with a high wall surrounding the habitable
portion.  In the hot weather the windows are left entirely open, or are
simply closed with a sort of venetian blind.  The crib in which my
sister slept was placed in a large apartment outside Major and Mrs
Clayton's chamber, while beyond it were the sleeping-places of the
nurses and other household domestics.  It was used in the day-time as a
sitting-room, and against the wall was a large and handsome mirror, and
from the ceiling hung a lamp, which shed a soft and subdued light upon
it.  I am thus particular in describing the scene from the circumstances
which follow.  It was an hour or more past midnight, when Major Clayton
was awakened, and from, to him, some unaccountable reason, he could not
again compose himself to sleep.  While he lay awake, he fancied that he
heard a slight noise in the adjoining room, and throwing on his
dressing-gown, he rose to discover what could have caused it.  Think of
his horror and amazement to see, in the centre of the apartment, as if
about to spring on the cradle where the infant slept, a royal Bengal
tiger of vast size!  In a moment it might have seized the child, and
before any human aid could have availed, it might have carried her away
into the wild jungle.  He stood almost paralysed, not knowing how to
act.  Had he moved to get his pistols from the next room, he might only
have hastened the catastrophe he feared.  He looked again; the fierce
animal was lashing its tail and grinding its teeth with rage.  Before
its eyes, reflected in the mirror, was its own image, which it had
beheld when just about to spring on its prey.  It now stood, every
moment its fury increasing, fancying that another of its species was
there to contest the prize it had come to bear away.  The major watched
it with breathless anxiety; he was about to rush to the crib, at the
risk of his life, to carry off the child, when the tiger sprung forward.
Alas!  It is too late, and the savage beast will destroy it; but no,
the tiger expects to join combat with its rival, and with a loud crash
the mirror is dashed into a thousand fragments.  The animal, frightened
by the unexpected event and the wounds it received, without an attempt
to commit further injury, turned round and leaped out of the open window
by which it had entered.  A few springs carried it to the outer wall,
which, though of great height, it surmounted, and before pursuit could
be made it escaped.  The noise aroused the whole household, who came
rushing into the apartment from all sides, while Mrs Clayton clasped
the still sleeping child in her arms, to assure herself that it was
unharmed.  Surely this was one of those evident inter-positions of
Providence which occur to most of us, but are seldom acknowledged in a
proper spirit of gratitude.  It is another of the many signal proofs I
have had to convince me that God is everywhere.  This escape of their
darling endeared little Eva still more, if possible, to her kind
guardians.  I ought to have said that both they and Sir Charles had
taken every measure in their power to discover our relations and
friends, but that hitherto they had totally failed in the search.  Most
certainly they would have made the discovery with deep regret had it
tended to deprive them of us; but still this sense of right prompted
them to spare no expense or trouble for that object.  Sir Charles drew
up a circular, addressed to the consuls, Lloyd's agents, and others, at
all the ports from which the ship could have sailed, to have carried us
to the neighbourhood of where we were found; but though several were
missing, and were supposed to have been lost about that time, there were
no proofs forthcoming that we had been on board one of them.  Now and
then our friends fancied that they had found the clue to our identity;
but either the children inquired after were subsequently discovered, or
it was proved that we could not possibly be them.  Thus year after year
passed away, and I was entirely dependent on Sir Charles, while my
sister was in every respect the adopted child of Major and Mrs Clayton.
Little Eva, from a sickly infant, had become a very beautiful child;
but at the time of which I am speaking she was remarkably small for her
age, so that she looked even younger than she really was.  I, on the
contrary, was rather taller and stouter than most boys of my age.  My
excellent guardian had taken great pains, not only to cultivate my mind,
but also to give me a variety of manly accomplishments; and I could
ride, shoot, and fence, sufficiently well to elicit a considerable
amount of applause from all who saw me.  At a very early age, mounted on
an elephant, I used to accompany parties of officers on their
expeditions against the tigers and wild boars of the jungle.  One day I
was thus engaged, when the elephant I was on, being some way from the
rest, a tiger flew out and fastened on his trunk.  In vain the mighty
beast tried to shake off his savage assailant.  He then endeavoured to
kneel upon him and so to crush him; and I fully expected to be thrown
over his head.  My gun was, however, ready.  I caught a sight of the
tiger's eye; and, firing, sent a ball directly into it.  In an instant
his claws relaxed, and he fell to the ground dead.  I gained great
applause for the deed, and for the coolness I displayed; but I don't see
how, having a gun in my hand, I could have acted otherwise than I did.



CHAPTER SIX.

I must pass rapidly over the next few years of my life, though they were
not uneventful.  One day Sir Charles called me to him, and, taking my
hand, he said kindly, "I have been considering, Mark, that it will be
necessary to send you home in order to complete your education, which
cannot be done out here to my satisfaction."

"Home!"  I asked.  "Where is that, papa?  This is the only home I know."

"In England, my boy; that is my home, where I hope to return to end my
days; and it should be your home also.  I wish you to be brought up to
think, and feel, and act as an Englishman, and that you can only do by
mixing on equal terms with other English boys of your own age.  In fact,
you are too much of a man already; and I wish you to be rubbed back into
boyhood again."

In reply, I tried to persuade him that I would endeavour to become in
every respect what he wished, if he would allow me to remain with him;
for I sincerely grieved at the thought of being separated from so kind a
guardian; at the same time, I own that I could not help looking with
very great satisfaction at the prospect of a visit to a land so full of
wonders as I expected to find England.  People are apt to think the
country they have not seen much more wonderful than the one where they
are residing.  Before people travelled, as they do now, the most absurd
stories of distant countries were reported and believed even by sensible
men.  It was supposed that races of men existed, some with their heads
under their arms, others with three eyes, and that others, again, were
of gigantic stature; indeed, the tales of the Arabian Nights appeared
scarcely in any way to be exaggerations.

We were, at the time of which I speak, some way up the country; and as
Sir Charles was about to proceed to Calcutta, I had the advantage of
travelling in his society.  An English gentleman is obliged to perform a
journey in India in a very different way, to what he would in England.
A family of moderate size has a hundred or more attendants, with numbers
of elephants, and bullocks, and horses, and, in some districts, camels.
It is a curious sight to see a party starting on the first morning of a
journey; the palanquins, and hackeries, and carriages, and long strings
of animals, varying in size from the mighty elephant to the little pony,
defile out from among the houses of the town.  As there are no inns or
other buildings to afford shelter, it is necessary to carry tents, and
cooking apparatus, and furniture and provisions; then all the upper
servants have their attendants, and the guards theirs, in addition to
the drivers of the animals; so, as may be supposed, a very few officers
will require a whole army of followers.  The more weighty articles are
packed in hackeries, which are the small carts of the country, drawn by
bullocks.  Females, chiefly of the lower ranks, are conveyed in a
similar rough vehicle, covered over at the top.  Trunks are also slung
across the backs of bullocks.  Tents are carried by camels or elephants;
and lighter articles, liable to fracture, are borne on the heads or over
the shoulders of men.  China and cooking apparatus are carried in large
baskets hung on poles by four men, like a palanquin.  The _meter_ walks
along with his dogs in a leash; the shepherd drives his sheep before
him; and ducks and hens journey in baskets.  There are spare horses led
by grooms, and watermen and water-carriers march alongside their
bullocks.  Among the miscellaneous concourse appears the head-servant,
or _khansamah_, mounted generally on some steed discarded by his master,
while his inferiors either walk on foot, or get a lift in a hackery, or
on the back of a camel; but all trudge along with cheerfulness, and
alacrity.

Palanquins are sometimes like small four-post beds, with richly
ornamented curtains, and supported by a long horizontal pole, borne by
four men.  Children are conveyed in a palanquin carriage, a curtained
vehicle on wheels, not unlike the cage of a wild beast.  The nurse sits
on the floor with the baby on her knees, while the rest of the children
may be seen looking through the bars which keep them in.  It is drawn by
bullocks; and as it moves floundering along over the heavy roads, it
threatens to upset at every jolt.

It is surprising to see the rapid manner in which the multifarious
materials, which compose the temporary city, are reduced to order.  The
spot so lately a silent desert is peopled, as if by magic, by crowds of
human beings, and animals of every description.  The ground on every
side is strewed with packages, chests, and cloth bundles; while the men,
moving about with violent gesticulations and loud exclamations, employ
themselves in their well-known and allotted tasks.  By degrees graceful
forms arise, and richly-tinted pavilions, with gilded summits, glitter
in the sunbeams, while gaudy banners flutter in the air.  Long lines of
canvas sheets appear, and spacious enclosures formed of _kanauts_ secure
the utmost privacy to the dwellers of the populous camp; while the
elephants, who have trodden out the ground, and smoothed it for the
chief's or master's tent, retire to their bivouac.  Not only comfort,
but even elegance is imparted to these temporary abodes, fitted up with
such rapidity in the midst of the wildest jungle.  Gay-coloured shawls
form the roof and sides, rich carpets the floor, and soft couches run
round the walls of the tented apartment.

Palanquins and carriages begin to arrive: the ladies find their
toilet-tables laid out; baths are ready for the gentlemen; the
_khidmutghars_ are preparing breakfast, and the _hookabadhars_ are
getting the _chillums_ in readiness; while the elephants, camels,
bullocks, horses, and the other animals, as well as their drivers, and
the tent-pitchers, coolies, and all those who have been employed in
fatiguing offices, are buried in profound repose.

Day after day the same scene takes place, varied sometimes by a tiger or
a wild boar hunt, when one is passing through a part of the country,
where they are to be found.

The dinner in camp is usually as well supplied with the products of the
larder as the repast served up in a settled establishment.  Several very
excellent dishes have been invented, which are peculiarly adapted to the
cooking apparatus suited to the jungle.

Immediately after the dinner the _khidmutghars_, cooks, and
_mussaulchees_ pack up the utensils belonging to their department, and
set forward with the tent, which is to be to-morrow's dwelling, leaving
the bearers to attend at tea, their objection to doing duty at table
extending only to repasts composed of animal food.

During our long journey, we were compelled to halt several times for a
day or two, to refresh the weary frames of the men and cattle, toiling
under the burthen of the camp equipage.  The camp on those days used to
present even a more busy scene than usual.  The _dobies_ were employed
in washing and ironing their master's clothes, while the other servants
and camp-followers were mending, making, and repairing garments,
saddles, and harness, and tackle of all descriptions.

Part of our journey was performed by water down the Ganges, on hoard a
_budgerow_.  The name of this boat is a native corruption of the word
_barge_.  It is somewhat in appearance like an overgrown gondola--very
picturesque, and not altogether inelegant.  The interior is fitted up
with sleeping apartments and a sitting-room, with an enclosed verandah
in front, which serves to keep off the sun; the cabin is on all sides
surrounded by venetians, which serve to keep off his burning rays by
day, and to let in the air at night.  On a small deck, left free at the
bows, the boatmen stand, urging on the boat with long sweeps; while the
roof of the cabin, or upper deck, as it might be called, is the chief
resort of the servants and the rest of the crew.  The helmsman is posted
on a high platform at the stern, guiding the boat with a huge rudder;
and the _goleer_, stationed at the bow, ascertains with a long pole the
depth of the water.  When the wind is fair, two large square sails are
hoisted; and as the vessel draws but little water, they send her rapidly
along.  A baggage boat is always in attendance on a _budgerow_; she also
carries the provisions and the servants, and the cooking apparatus.
Besides these two boats, a smaller one, called a _dinghee_, is used to
communicate between the two, or to send messages on shore.  When the
wind is contrary, or when there is none, and the banks of the river will
allow it, the boats are towed along by sixteen or more men, dragging at
a rope fastened to the mast-head.

I remember being particularly struck with the number and beauty of the
lotus, floating on the waters of the Ganges, as also with other flowers,
of scarlet, yellow, and white hues; while numberless others, of every
tint, garnished either bank of the stream.

A remarkable feature of the Ganges is the fine Ghauts, or
landing-places, one of which is to be found leading from the water even
to the smallest village.  They consist of five flights of steps, either
of stone or _chunam_ highly polished; and have, besides being most
useful, a very handsome appearance.  On either side are stone
balustrades, and sometimes beautiful temples, mosques, or pagodas,
according to the creed of the founders.  At every time of the day, on
the Ghauts, may be seen groups of bathers; while graceful female forms
are continually passing and re-passing, loaded with water-pots, which
are balanced with the nicest precision on their heads.

As we proceed down the river an infinite variety of scenes meets our
sight--now overhanging cliffs, crowned by some beautiful Oriental
edifice; then green woods and fields, with quiet villages seen among
them; next a herd of buffaloes wallowing in the mud, their horns and the
tips of their noses alone out of the water, or, perhaps, their keepers
are about to drive them across the stream, for though fierce in
appearance, they are as tame as oxen.  The herdsmen mount on the necks
of the strongest, and thus fearlessly stem the current, almost
completely immersed in the water.  We saw wide pastures covered with
innumerable herds; forests, with their eternal shade; and indigo
plantations, in charge of Europeans.  Sometimes a gigantic elephant was
observed under the shade of a tree, fanning off the flies with a branch
of palm; others were pacing along, decked in gaudy trappings, and
hearing their masters in howdahs through the fields or plantations.

The most elegant and picturesque buildings are the temples and
habitations of the Brahmins, in situations remote from the busy haunts
of men.  Here the mistaken devotees of a barbarous faith spend their
time in weaving garlands for their altars, or to deck the rafts which
they commit to the holy stream.

Innumerable varieties of birds are seen, some flying in flocks, and
others stalking along the reedy shore.

After leaving these wild and picturesque scenes behind, one comes
suddenly upon one of the beautiful modern towns, built by the British,
on the banks of the river, filled with superb palaces, well suited for
the habitations of princes, though but the residences of the civil
servants of the East India Company.

During the day the heat in the cabin is often very great; but as the sun
declines, the temperature agreeably decreases.  As the crew will not
work at night, it is necessary, as it grows dark, to moor the budgerow
to the shore.  The moment this is done, a very active and animated scene
commences; the domestics, whose services are not required on board, and
all the crew, immediately disembark; fires are kindled for the various
messes; those who are anxious for quiet and seclusion, light up their
fagots at a considerable distance from the boat.

At length we arrived at Calcutta, where Sir Charles, to his great
satisfaction, found Captain Willis, who was on the point of sailing for
England in his old ship, the _Governor Harcourt_.  I was, accordingly,
forthwith committed to his charge, and consigned to the care of a
brother of my kind guardian, the Reverend Mr Plowden.  I parted from
Sir Charles with much sorrow, which, I believe, was fully shared with
him.

We were detained some days by contrary winds in the Hoogly; so that, by
the time we got clear of the mouth of the river, we were tolerably well
acquainted with each other.  I made myself perfectly at home, and gained
the friendship of all the passengers.  I had none of that false shame or
bashfulness about me which makes so many English boys appear to
disadvantage among strangers, and prevents them from gaining the regard
of their acquaintance, though I had perfect respect for my elders, and
due deference for the opinions of those who, from their age and
experience, I felt ought to know the world better than I could myself.
I must not forget to mention that we came in sight of the far-famed
temple of Juggernaut, on the coast of Orissa, in the district of
Cuttack.  The dark and frowning pagoda, rising abruptly from a ridge of
sand, forms a conspicuous object from the sea, its huge shapeless mass
not unlike some ill-proportioned giant, affording a gloomy type of the
hideous superstitions of the land.  This huge pagoda, half pyramid and
half tower, is built of coarse red granite, brought from the southern
parts of Cuttack, and covered with a rough coating of chunam.

The tower containing the idols, which is two hundred feet high, and
serves as a land-mark to the mariner, stands in the centre of a
quadrangle, enclosed by a high stone wall, extending 650 feet on each
side, and surrounded by minor edifices of nondescript shapes.  The
magnitude of these buildings forms their sole claim to admiration; they
are profusely decorated with sculpture, but of so rude a description as
to afford no satisfaction to the beholder.  The great temple of
Juggernaut was erected in the twelfth century.  The idols are of huge
size and hideous shape.  Krishna, the chief, in intended as a mystic
representation of the supreme power; for the Hindoos assert that they
worship only one God, and that the thousands of other images to which
they pay homage are merely attributes of a deity pervading the whole of
nature.  Every one of the idols particularly venerated by the numerous
tribes and sects of Hindostan, obtains a shrine within the precincts of
the temple; so that all castes may unite in celebrating the great
festival with one accord.  The installation of the mighty idol upon his
car, and his journey to a country residence, about a mile and a half
distant only, though it occupies three days, is performed with
numberless extraordinary ceremonies by his devotees.  The car is a sort
of platform, forty-three feet in height, and thirty-five feet square,
moving upon sixteen wheels, each six feet and a half in diameter.

Though the ponderous wheels of Juggernaut no longer go crushing over the
bodies of prostrate victims, the assembled crowd rush to the car with
almost appalling fury and excitement.  Pilgrims, however, come in vast
numbers from all parts of the country to the temple, and thousands die
from famine and exhaustion on the arid road across the sands which
surround it.  That the vile and dark superstitions I have been
describing may disappear before the pure light of Christianity, should
be the prayer of all believers; but we must remember, also, that the
personal exertions and example of those who are called into that
wonderful land are also required to effect that great object, and that
they can in no way be excused if they neglect that duty.

This was the last glimpse we had of India.  We did not even sight the
Cape of Good Hope; and Saint Helena was the first land we made.  We
remained there two days, and everybody went to see the grave of
Napoleon.  I remember after dinner, on the day we again sailed, that
there was a long discussion as to the right England had to keep him a
prisoner.  It was the opinion of all the older and most sensible men,
that as he had been the greatest curse to Europe, and a constant source
of annoyance and expense to our country, we were only performing our
duty in taking the most effectual means to prevent him from committing
any further mischief.  In less civilised times, he would probably have
been deprived of life by one of the many means once resorted to for that
purpose.

The remainder of our voyage was as prosperous as the commencement, and
we arrived safely in the Thames about four months after leaving
Calcutta.  As there was not a human being I knew in England, I was in no
hurry to leave the ship; and I therefore waited till Captain Willis
could accompany me to call on Mr Plowden.  On first landing, and when
driving through the streets, I was completely bewildered by the noise,
and bustle, and apparent confusion going on around me.  I wondered how
the people could thread their way along the pavement, and more how they
could venture to cross the road while carriages were dashing by at a
rate so furious that I thought they must be constantly running into each
other.  After proceeding some miles to the west-end of London, we
reached Mr Plowden's house.  He received me very kindly; and after some
conversation, he inquired whether I should like to go to school, or to
live with a private tutor by myself.  I replied, "To school, by all
means," as I wished to see life, and to make friends.  To school,
therefore, it was settled I should go.



CHAPTER SEVEN.

Mr Plowden selected for me a large school near London; it was
considered a first-rate one.  There were a good many sons of noblemen
and men of landed property, as also of officers of the East India
Company's service, of West India proprietors, and of merchants.  It was
a little world in itself, influenced, however, by the opinions of the
greater planet within which it revolved.  The boys took rank according
to that of their parents, except that a few, either from their talents,
their independent spirits, or from their sycophantish qualifications,
had become the more intimate associates of those generally considered
their superiors.

The proprietor was considered an excellent school-master.  I do not say
he was a bad one, though he was not capable of teaching much himself.
He, however, paid liberally for good ushers, and thus his pupils were
tolerably well instructed in Greek and Latin; but as the junior master
was appointed to teach geography, history, and other branches of useful
science, of which he had a very superficial knowledge, they gained but
little information on those subjects.  It struck me, also, that they
were not sufficiently instructed in their future duties and
responsibilities in life.  It was not sufficiently impressed on those
destined to become landed proprietors, that they should consider
themselves in the light of stewards over their estates, and guardians
and advisers of their tenantry; and that it was as much, if not more,
their duty to study hard to fit themselves for the station of life, to
which they were called, as it was that of those boys who had to fight
their way through the world.

Though I was not older than many of the boys, I had far greater
experience and knowledge of mankind than they had; and I accordingly
made observations on many things which escaped their notice.  Little
attention was paid to the moral cultivation of the boys, and still less
to their physical development.

Gymnastic exercises were not thought of; and, except cricket, they had
no manly games to strengthen their muscles and improve their forms.
There was a dancing-master; but as he had the art of making a toil of a
pleasure, few of the boys learned.  A drill-sergeant came once a week,
but few seemed to benefit by his lessons.  However, as every care was
taken to fill the heads of the boys with as large an amount of Greek and
Latin as they would hold, the school was considered a very good one;
indeed, as they were tolerably well fed, and not flogged over much, and
as the bedrooms were clean and airy, and as a respectable matron
presided over the establishment, no complaints were made, and parents
and friends were pleased with all they saw.

It must be understood that I think Greek and Latin very important
branches of a gentleman's education but, at the same time, there are
many other things which should on no account be neglected, and which are
so too often.

The knowledge I possessed was of too varied a kind to enable me to take
my place in any class; and I therefore sometimes did duty with one and
sometimes with another, generally getting to the top in a very short
time.  Of mathematics, history, and modern languages I knew more than
the oldest boys, while some of the younger ones surpassed me in making
verses, and in Latin and Greek.  In consequence of my accomplishments
and information, I was a general favourite with most of my companions,
whom I used to teach to fence, to knot, and splice, which I learned on
my voyage home, and to some I imparted a few words of Hindustanee.

I also entered into all their amusements; and as I had a great dislike
to anything like bullying, I would never allow those I could master to
ill-treat the weaker ones, and I, on more than one occasion, stood up
against a boy much stronger than myself, to defend a little fellow he
was going to thrash.  We fought, and though he got the best of it, he
suffered so severely that he never again attempt to interfere with me.
I thus gained all the advantage a victory could have given me.  I was
not unhappy at the school; but I found the life rather irksome after the
freedom I had been accustomed to enjoy, and I studied as hard as I was
able, to emancipate myself from it.

Although I had many friends, I had few intimates--indeed, to no one did
I confide the story of my being discovered at sea in a boat with my
sister; and I was supposed to be the nephew of Sir Charles Plowden.
Among the boys I liked best, was one called Walter Blount.  He was
almost friendless, though his birth was good; and he had fortune
sufficient to enable him to be sent to this school, with the intention
of his proceeding afterwards to Oxford or Cambridge.  He was a
fine-spirited lad.  He was nearly two years younger than I was, and
accordingly looked up to me as his superior.  I first gained his
friendship by saving him from a thrashing which Hardman, the greatest
bully in the school, was about to give him.

"If you touch him you will have to fight us both," I exclaimed; "and I
alone am not afraid of you."

The bully doubled his fists, and looked very fierce, but stalked away
without striking a blow.  I got Blount out of several scrapes; once he
had been letting off fireworks in a part of the garden not seen from the
house, and being disturbed by the report that one of the ushers was
coming, he thrust a handful of touchpaper, part of which was ignited,
into his pocket.  I luckily met him as he was passing the washing-room,
and turning him as he was smoking away, I tore out his burning pockets,
and plunged them into the water.  We afterwards had to cut away the
burnt lining, and to sew up his pockets, so that what had happened might
not be discovered.

Another time, he, with a dozen or more other boys, had planned an
expedition into the master's garden at night to get fruit.  He did not
join it, I am sure, for the object of obtaining the fruit, but merely
for the sake of the excitement.  Another boy, who had been asked to
join, told me of it directly after the party had set out.  I immediately
dressed and followed in their track, determined to bring them back
before they had committed the robbery.  I, however, only fell in with
Blount, who had been separated from the rest; and, with some difficulty,
I induced him to return.  We had got back to our rooms, when one of the
ushers discovered the whole party.  The master was called up, and, with
birch in hand, went round the room, and inflicted summary punishment on
all offenders.  The next morning they were called up by name, their
crime announced, and severe tasks being inflicted, they were all sent to
Coventry for a fortnight.  As the whole punishment was very disagreeable
and irksome, Blount was very much obliged to me for having saved him
from it.

The winter holidays I spent with Mr Plowden in London, and in the
summer he took me on a tour through a considerable portion of England,
Scotland, and Ireland.  I thus became acquainted with what I was taught
to consider my native land, and was able to compare other countries with
it.  I own that, although I have always felt proud of the name of an
Englishman, and of what Englishmen have done, yet there are many things
in which the people of other nations are their superiors.  Some of the
faults of the English, as they appeared to me, were a want of
unostentatious hospitality, a due respect to parents and superiors in
age, and a churlishness of behaviour to those of the same rank, with an
unwarrantable suspicion of their motives, and an inclination to
criticise and find fault with their behaviour and appearance.

My summer holidays I enjoyed very much; but I was not fond of London;
though, I believe, had I made a point of visiting all the spots of
interest contained within it, and of gaining information about their
history, I might have passed my time more profitably than I did.  In
those days there were fewer sights, so called, than at present; and the
great lion was Exeter Change, truly a den of wild beasts.  It was,
indeed, painful to see animals deprived, not only of liberty, but of
fresh air.  I, who had faced the royal Bengal tiger and the fierce lion
in their native wilds, could not help feeling some amount of contempt
for the exhibition.

When I got back to school, I was welcomed by all the boys, especially by
Blount and by John Prior, one of the oldest and most steady of them.  He
was, indeed, more particularly my friend and my constant companion.  He
was the son of a merchant connected with India, and reputed to be of
great wealth.  Of his father he said little, but his constant theme was
his mother, who must have been a very excellent person.  He averred that
he had gained from her all the good in his composition; and certainly,
judging from what I saw of him, she might well be content with the
result of her prayers to Heaven for his improvement in virtue, and her
own watchful and constant exertions.  I do not mean to say that any one
is perfect; but certainly John Prior was, in the true sense of the word,
one of the best fellows I ever met.  He gave me much of that advice and
instruction which I have ever since found so important.  He knew the
great aim of life; he saw things in their true light, and taught me to
see them also; he called things by their proper names; and while he
could make ample allowance for the faults of others, he never attempted
to extenuate his own errors; nor did he mistake vice for virtue, or the
semblance of virtue for the reality.  From the companionship of such a
person I could not fail to reap much benefit.  I did not enjoy it long.
We afterwards met under very different circumstances in a far-off
region, which he at that time did not dream of visiting.  I had many
other friends; I mention Prior and Blount because they will appear again
in my narrative.  I was pursuing my usual course of study, when one day
I was summoned into the study.  Mr Liston held an open letter in his
hand.

"This is from your uncle, I mean Mr Plowden," he began: "Sir Charles is
ill, and wishes to have you with him.  You are to return to India
immediately, unless you desire the contrary."

The first feeling this announcement created was somewhat selfish, I am
afraid, or rather I did not realise the fact of my kind guardian's
illness; and my heart leaped at the thought of returning to India, with
which country all my pleasantest recollections were associated.

"I wish to go, sir, as soon as I can," I replied.

"You do not appear to regret leaving your school-fellows, and your other
friends here," observed Mr Liston, who naturally wished that all his
boys should be fond of his school; and as he was making his fortune by
means of it, had taught himself to believe that they must regard it with
the same eyes of affection that he did.

"Yes, sir, I am though.  I am sorry to leave many of the fellows; but
you know Sir Charles is my oldest friend.  Does he say that he is very
ill, sir?"

"No; he talks of his declining strength, and of his wish to have some
one about him, in whom he can thoroughly confide," said Mr Liston,
fixing his eyes on me, as if he would read every thought passing in my
mind.

"I long to be with him," I answered quickly.  "And, sir, if you knew
what a kind and indulgent friend he has been to me, you would not be
surprised."

"Well, well, I hope that you will find him in better health than he now
is," said Mr Liston, in a kinder tone than usual.  "Mr Plowden has
also written to say that your old friend, Captain Willis, is on the
point of sailing, and that a cabin in his ship will be secured for you.
Now go and wish your friends good-bye, for you have no time to lose, as
you must go up to London this afternoon to get your outfit."

On being thus dismissed, I hurried off into the playground.

"I am very, very sorry that you are going, Seaworth," said Prior,
leaning on my shoulder as we walked up and down apart from the rest.
"Do remember all the things I have often talked to you about.  The more
I think of them the more I feel their importance, and so will you, I am
sure, if you continue to think; but you are going to join in the active
busy world, with men of all shades of religion, and some without
religion and thought--I mean serious thought; and reflection and earnest
prayer may be forgotten."

As I never knew my mother, it seemed as if God had sent me this friend
to afford me the inestimable precepts which he had received through his
parent.  Soon afterwards Blount came up, and wringing my hand, burst
into tears.

"I wish that I was going with you," he exclaimed.  "I would follow you
everywhere.  I can't stay behind you, that is very certain--you'll see."

The other boys now crowded round us, and in a thick mass we continued
walking up and down, talking of the wonders I was to see, and all
expressing regret at my going.  Thus the play-hours flew quickly away.
I did not remark it at the time, but I now distinctly recollect that
there was a subdued tone among all the boys; there was no wrangling or
loud shouting; and a few of the little fellows, whom I had at times
befriended and aided, were in tears.  It was very gratifying to me; and
it showed me what a little exertion of power in a right cause will
effect.  Whether as schoolboys or in manhood, we shall do well to
remember this.  We talk of being repaid for good actions: now I think
that the very feeling which results from doing good, more than amply
repays us for the trouble to which we may have been put.  The remaining
result is a gift Heaven kindly bestows as an incentive to virtue, but in
no way gained by us.

I was allowed to pack up my books during school hours.  The greater
number, however, with some trifles I possessed, I distributed among my
friends, as parting tokens.  When I went round to wish the ushers
good-bye, they shook my hand warmly, and wished me happiness and
prosperity; and as I passed up the schoolroom to the door, there was a
general shout of "Good-bye, Seaworth; good-bye, old fellow.  We'll not
forget you."  The tears rose to my eyes, and I could say nothing in
return.

Prior, Blount, and a few others accompanied me to the coach; and by them
I sent back my last remembrances to all the rest.  In less than an hour
I stepped into a hackney coach at the White Horse Cellar, Piccadilly,
and was rumbling away to Mr Plowden's house.



CHAPTER EIGHT.

Once more I was on the deck of the _Governor Harcourt_, her bows turned
towards the south, ploughing up the waters of the Atlantic.  It was the
last voyage Captain Willis intended to make, as he had now realised a
handsome competency, and hoped to be able to retire and enjoy it with
his family in the country of his birth.  We had very different people
going out to those who were on board on our homeward voyage--or rather,
they were the same sort of people at a different period of their lives.
There were a few civil and military officers, and ladies, who had before
been to India; but the greater number were young men just emancipated
from school or college--griffins, as they are called--who knew nothing
of the world or its ways, though they fancied that they knew a great
deal, the most ignorant generally appearing the most conceited.  There
was also a number of young ladies, going out to their relations and
friends in India.  As Captain Willis was well-known for the excellent
care he took of his lady passengers, they had been committed to his
especial charge.

For some time nothing of importance occurred, nor did we see any land to
distract our attention from the varying line of sky and sea.  At last,
one morning, at an early hour, when Captain Willis said we were near the
island of Madeira, the cry of "Land ahead!" was raised, and in a short
time we were passing between that beautiful place and a group of rocks
called the Desertas.  They are about ten miles from the mainland, and
extend for almost fifteen miles from north-west to south-east.  Some of
the seamen told me that they are called the Desertas, because they have
deserted from the mainland to stick out in the ocean by themselves; but
the true origin of their name is, that they are desert or barren rocks.

The island, when first seen, looked dusky and gloomy; but, as the sun
rose, his rays dispersed the mist, and the mountains, and hills, and
valleys, and orange groves, and picturesque shore, and the plantations,
and neat white villas and small villages, burst forth in all their
beauty.  As we rounded the southern side, the town of Funchal, the
capital, opened to our view, backed by an amphitheatre of hills, covered
with the variegated tints of a luxuriant vegetation, the whole forming a
lovely scene which we longed to visit.

As we did not require fresh provisions, Captain Willis wished to
proceed.  Madeira belongs to Portugal, and is inhabited by Portuguese.
Their costume is different, and they are generally inferior to the
inhabitants of the parent state.

I have heard people say that they cannot find amusement on board ship.
I can reply that I have found abundant matter of interest for many a
long voyage, both under the sea and on the sea.  I remember, on one calm
day, when the ship was scarcely moving through the water, a boat was
lowered to enable us to capture some of the _Physalia_, or Portuguese
men-of-war, which were seen in unusual numbers gliding over the surface
of the deep.  Several of the passengers, among whom were three of the
cadets, formed the party intent on scientific discovery.  One, whose
name was Jellico, but who was more generally called by his companions
Jellybag, was among them.

Some of my readers may wonder what is meant by a "Portuguese
man-of-war," and think that, notwithstanding the daring of British
seamen, we were bound on rather a hazardous expedition, in attempting to
attack one in a jolly-boat.  The truth is, that it is the name given to
a beautiful molluscous animal, which by means of a sort of sail, the
wind blows along as if it were a real boat.  It consists of a bladder,
tinted with various hues, and this keeps it afloat; while long
tentaculae, of a deep purple colour, extend beneath, some of them
several feet in length, with which it captures its prey.  This animal
must not be confounded with the Nautilus, from which it is totally
different, though one is often mistaken for the other.

Our friend Jellybag did not exactly know what he was to see, but he
expected to find something uncommon.  We had not rowed many strokes
before one of the Physalia was observed floating by, its back ornamented
with a fringe tinted with light-blue, delicate sea-green, and crimson.

"I'll have it," exclaimed Jellybag, leaning over the bows and grasping
hold of it, regardless of the injury he was inflicting.

Scarcely had he got it on board, then he flung it down at the bottom of
the boat, with a loud cry, exclaiming, "The horrid beast has stung me,
as if it were a great nettle!"  So it was, for it had thrown round his
fingers its long tentaculae, discharging, at the same time, an acrid
fluid from them, which caused the pain he felt.  We all laughed at him
at first very much; but he suffered so considerably during the day from
the effects of the sting, that the more humane really pitied him, in
spite of the ridiculous complaints he made.

"Catch me taking hold of strange fish again in these outlandish places,"
he observed, as he twisted his arm about with pain.  "If a little thing
like that hurts one so much, I should think a whale or a dolphin would
be enough to poison a whole regiment."  By the next day, however, he had
recovered, and only felt a slight sensation of numbness, which in two
days completely left him.

The next land we saw was the lofty mountain of Saint Antonio, on the
island of Saint Jago.  The summit was covered with clouds, which rolled
away as the sun rose, and we coasted along the somewhat barren shores.
In the afternoon we anchored off Porto Praya, the capital.  It is a
small town, without any buildings worthy of notice.  As we looked over
the side of the ship, we were amused by the way the fishermen caught
their prey.  There were several boats fishing.  They first sprinkled
something which looked like crumbs of bread on the water, and this
seemed to attract the fish in large shoals to the surface.  The
fishermen then swept among them a long stick, to which a number of short
lines and hooks were attached; the fish eagerly seizing the bait,
several were caught at each cast.  The women in each boat were busily
engaged, as they were on board, in cleansing and salting them.

We landed next day, and enjoyed a pretty view from the town, looking
down on the harbour; but my impression of the island is, that, with the
exception of a few cultivated spots, it is a very barren, uninteresting
place.  We visited, however, the plantation of the sugar-cane; and among
a variety of tropical trees, such as the guava, tamarind, plantain, and
custard-apple, there was a species of the monkey-bread tree, which
struck us as very curious.  This tree was about sixty feet high and
forty feet in circumference; the bark was smooth, and of a greyish
colour, and the boughs were entirely destitute of leaves.  This fruit
hung thickly at the end of twisted, spongy stalks, from one to two feet
long.  The fruit is of an oval form, about six inches in length, and
three or four inches in diameter; and the outer shell being broken, it
contains a farinaceous substance, enveloping dark brown seeds of an
agreeable acidulated taste.

On entering the tropics, we used to watch the flights of the
flying-fish, several of which, at different times, were caught leaping
through our ports, or into the boats towing astern in calm weather.  We
saw some bonitoes in chase of a large shoal.  The flying-fish made an
audible rustling noise as they arose before their pursuers, who, in
eager chase, often sprang several yards out of the water.  Besides their
finny enemies, the former had to encounter in their flight armies of
boobies, gannets, and other tropical birds, which hovered over them, and
secured many of them before our eyes.  Notwithstanding this, I do not
suppose that flying-fish are more unhappy or more persecuted than their
less agile brethren; and while they live they probably have a keener
enjoyment of existence.  I believe that, in the minutest details of
creation, the all-beneficent God metes out to all living beings the
advantages and disadvantages of existence for some great end, which it
is not His will to disclose to man.

One of the most beautiful subjects of interest is the phosphorescent
light seen at night on the ocean, as the ship ploughs her way through
the waters.  Some of the passengers tried to persuade Jellybag that it
was caused by the ends of cigars, and the ashes of tobacco-pipes, thrown
overboard from a fleet ahead.  It no doubt arises from the quantity of
dead animal matter, with which the sea water is loaded.  The wake of the
ship appeared one broad sheet of phosphoric matter, so brilliant as to
cast a dull pale light over the stern; the foaming surges, as they
gracefully curled on each side of the bow, look like rolling masses of
liquid phosphorus; whilst in the distance, even to the horizon, it
seemed an ocean of fire, the far-off waves giving out a light of
inconceivable beauty and brilliancy.

Albicores, bonitoes, and dolphins followed the ship for several days in
succession; and one albicore, which had a mark on his back, from which
we knew it, followed us from 3 degrees north latitude to 10 degrees
south latitude, a distance of eight hundred and forty miles.  An immense
whale rose close to us one day, like an island emerging from the deep.
Farther south Cape petrels appeared; and still farther, large numbers of
the powerful albatross came gliding round us on their wide-spreading
wings.

The Cape of Storms was rounded without a storm; and once more the
_Governor Harcourt_ entered the Hoogly.  It appeared to me as if a
lifetime had passed away since I was last at Calcutta, though scarcely
two years had elapsed since I left it.

My first inquiries, on the pilot's coming on board, were for Sir
Charles.  With breathless anxiety I listened for his answer.

"Sir Charles--Oh ay--Sir Charles Plowden, you mean, sir.  I haven't
heard of his death; so I suppose he is still alive, though he is very
sickly, I know.  But perhaps you are his son, sir, and I am speaking
carelessly."

"No, I am not his son, my friend, but I love him as if I were," I
replied.  "And I earnestly wish that you could recollect when you last
heard of him."

The pilot stopped to consider for some minutes.  "Now I come to think of
it, sir, I do remember but last night hearing that Sir Charles was going
on much as usual; but I did not mark at the time what Sir Charles was
spoken of," was the vague answer, with which I was obliged to be
satisfied.

The wind falling to a dead calm, it was necessary to bring the ship to
an anchor.  To save time, therefore, as I was very eager to be on shore,
I, with some of the other passengers, hired a country boat, in which we
proceeded up to Calcutta.  On landing, some in palanquins, others in
carriages, or on horseback, proceeded to their various destinations.
Hotels were not so common in those days as at present; so that people
went at once to the houses of those to whom they had introductions, who
aided them in establishing themselves in their quarters.

I threw myself on a horse, and galloped, in spite of the hot sun, as
fast as he could go, to the house, or rather to the palace, where Sir
Charles resided.  There was more than the usual Oriental stillness about
the building as I entered.  A few servants were flitting about
noiselessly among the pillars of the vast hall, and through the open
doors of the chambers leading from it.  Others were reposing on mats in
the shade.  Although I had grown considerably, I was soon recognised.
The words, "The young sahib has returned! the young sahib has returned!"
were soon echoed among them; and those who had known me, hurried forward
to meet me.  Their kind looks and expressions cheered my heart, which
was heavy with fear as to the information I was about to receive.

From my inquiries I learned that Sir Charles was still alive, though the
medical man entertained but slight hopes of his recovery.  He had
frequently asked for me, and had desired that as soon as I arrived I
should be conducted into his presence.  In another minute I was by the
bedside of my benefactor.  By the pale light which was admitted into the
room, I could perceive the alteration which sickness had wrought on his
countenance; and I, too truly, feared that the hand of death had already
stamped its mark upon it.

My name was mentioned; he recognised me instantly, and stretched out his
hand affectionately to press mine.  Tears started into my eyes, and my
heart swelled with the pain I tried to conceal, lest it should distress
him.

"I am glad you are come in time, my dear boy," he said in a weak voice.
"I have much to speak of, and my hours are numbered.  I would recommend
you to these kind friends, for you will want comfort and aid, though
they would give it unasked."

At these words I looked up, and for the first time perceived that some
other persons were in the room--a gentleman and a lady.  The first I did
not know; but I soon, to my infinite satisfaction, recognised in the
other my old and charming playmate--once Ellen Barrow, now Mrs
Northcote--not less charming, but more matronly than before.  She and
her husband shook hands most kindly with me; but we had no time for
conversation before I was again summoned to the bedside of Sir Charles.
His looks showed that he wished to speak on some matter of importance;
but his voice was so low that it was scarcely audible.  He beckoned me
to lean forward to listen to him.

"My dear Mark," he whispered, "I am the only person in the world you
know of, on whom you have any claim; and let it be a consolation to you,
that I think you have amply repaid me for my care of you.  Remember my
last words: Fear God, and trust to his goodness: never forget Him.  Be
honest, and show charity to your fellow-men; be kind to those below you,
and thoughtful of their welfare, and you will obtain contentment and
competency--a mind at peace, if not wealth.  What would now be to me all
the honours I have gained without peace of mind--a trust in God's mercy
through our Saviour's merits?  Never repine at what He orders; be
prepared for reverses, and pray for fortitude to bear them.  Your
friends will tell you what has happened, and you will have need of all
the fortitude you possess.  I cannot tell you the sad history; but
remember that God, who careth for the young birds, will not neglect you
if you trust in Him.  To Him, in faith, I commit my soul.  He is
merciful, my boy--He is everywhere--"

Sir Charles was silent--his hand, which had held mine, relaxed--his
spirit had fled, and I was alone in the world.  I could scarcely believe
what had happened; but the medical man in attendance assured us of the
reality of the sad event, and Mrs Northcote was led weeping from the
room.

I had lost more than a father, and, as far as I knew, I, who had been
brought up to enjoy all the luxuries wealth can afford, was not only
penniless, but without any friends on whom I had claim beyond what their
charity might induce them to afford me.  I did not think of this at the
time, all my feelings were engrossed with grief at the death of my
benefactor.  Very soon, however, my real position was suggested to me.
Even to the Northcotes Sir Charles had never spoken of any provision he
had made for me.  He had, they thought, intended to tell them, when my
coming interrupted him, and before he could finish what he wished to
say, death overtook him.



CHAPTER NINE.

I was too much absorbed by grief at the death of Sir Charles to ask
Captain and Mrs Northcote any questions during that day as to the
misfortune to which he had alluded; but during the night the matter
several times occurred to me, and next morning I could no longer
restrain the curiosity I naturally felt to learn the truth.  I ought to
say that Sir Charles had some time before begged them to come and stay
with him; and when he became dangerously ill, they had remained to nurse
him.  Captain Northcote had gone out to make arrangements about the
funeral, and I therefore asked Mrs Northcote to give me the information
I required.  Tears came into her eyes as she spoke.

"It must be told, so that it is better now than later," she observed.
"You have heard that Major Clayton was unwell, and that a voyage was
recommended to him.  At that time an uncle of his, a merchant, residing
at Macao, was seized with a severe illness.  His uncle having sent for
him, he resolved to take a voyage to that place, in the hopes of being
of use to his relative, and at the same time of benefiting his own
health.  We saw him as he was on the point of embarking, when he
appeared so much debilitated that I even then feared that he could not
recover.  Poor Mrs Clayton, too, could not bear the thought of parting
from your sweet little sister, who, it was resolved, should accompany
them.  They sailed in an English ship, which was to touch at Singapore,
and from thence to proceed direct to Macao.  The voyage did Major
Clayton some good; and in a letter I received from his wife, at the
former place, she said that she entertained great hopes of his recovery.
However, I regret to say that, by the accounts received by the next
ship which sailed from Macao after their arrival, my worst forebodings
were fulfilled--Major Clayton had gradually sunk, and a few days after
his uncle had breathed his last, he also died, leaving his poor wife and
your little sister to return home without any relative, or any friend on
whom they had claims, to protect them."

"What!"  I exclaimed, bursting into tears I could not restrain, "is
Major Clayton dead?  Then do tell me where are dear Mrs Clayton and my
own darling little Eva.  I will fly to them immediately."

Mrs Northcote shook her head, and looked more grave than before, as she
replied, "You must, indeed, be prepared for a very sad history.  I
cannot tell you where your sister and your friend are.  You shall hear.
On the death of her husband, it was natural to suppose that Mrs Clayton
would wish to return to England; but it was absolutely necessary that
she should first visit India, where her property had been left, with
arrangements made only for a short absence.  No ship was, however,
sailing direct to Calcutta at that time; and as she was anxious to leave
Macao at once, she secured accommodation on board a small fast-sailing
brig, bound to Singapore, whence she hoped to find the means of reaching
India.  A few days only, therefore, after her husband's death, she
sailed, carrying with her a considerable amount of property, which had
been left to him by his uncle, and which was now his.  Thus much we have
heard from the merchants at Macao; but I regret to say, that no accounts
have been received of the arrival of the brig at Singapore, and serious
fears are entertained that some misfortune has happened to her.  Either
she has been wrecked, or has been run away with by her crew, or has been
attacked and carried off or destroyed by pirates.  The latter conjecture
is but too probable, as, from her small size, those marauders of the sea
are likely, if they have fallen in with her, to have been tempted to
capture her."

"I must go and find them," I exclaimed, jumping up as if I would start
off immediately.  "It is too dreadful to think of, to suppose that those
dear ones should be in the power of such ruffians.  But why do you talk
of their being carried off by pirates?  Is it not just as likely that
the brig may have been wrecked?"

"I wish that I could say so; for then we might hope to discover them on
one of the thousand islands of that thickly-studded sea," was her
answer.  "At first we hoped that such might prove the case, and we half
expected to hear of the arrival of our friends on some Chinese junk or
Malay prahu at Singapore; but accounts were afterwards received by two
ships, stating that a brig, exactly answering her description, was seen
steering for the Billiton passage, on the western coast of Borneo; so
that either her crew must have turned pirates, or she must have been in
the hands of the Malays, if the vessel seen was the one supposed.  Of
that, however, we can be in no way certain; indeed, the whole
circumstance remains wrapped in the most painful mystery."

"I must solve it, or perish in the attempt," I exclaimed, jumping up,
and walking about the room in a state of agitation more easily conceived
than described.  "I must find them--I will find them--nothing shall stop
me in the search.  I must consider how I can accomplish the
undertaking."

"You will have many, many difficulties to undergo; I fear they will be
insuperable," observed Mrs Northcote.  She said this not to deter me,
but because she was considering how I could possibly perform the work.
"You will, in the first place, require large funds to carry out the
search efficiently.  The first difficulty will be to provide them; for,
though we would most gladly aid you, I regret to say that Captain
Northcote has not the means to do so to any extent; and we have great
fears that Sir Charles has left no provision for you."

I stopped in my walk, and meditated on what my friend had said.  My
thoughts immediately flew to a subject which I had not before
considered.  How was I to exist in the future?  I had been brought up in
luxury, with a supply of everything that I required, and I had literally
never thought of the future.  I had a vague idea that Sir Charles would
find me a post in the civil or military service of the East India
Company, but I never supposed, as my friends appear to have done, that
he would have left me any fortune.  That he had not done so, under any
other circumstances, would not have caused me any disappointment.  Now
that money was of so great importance to me, I keenly felt the want of
it.

"I will go, then, as a seaman before the mast," I cried energetically.
"I will work my passage from place to place; I will go in every sort of
craft, from the Chinese junk to the Malay prahu and sampan.  I will
wander through every portion of the Indian seas till I discover those
dear ones, or gain tidings of their fate."

"I do not see how you can accomplish the work; but consult with Captain
Northcote.  If there is a way, he will advise you," said the lady.

"There must be a way," I replied vehemently.  "I will consult with him
how I am to begin the work; but not whether it is to be performed--on
that I am determined."

"I pray Heaven that you may succeed," said Mrs Northcote.  "I feel as
anxious as you do for your success; but I dread to see you risk your
life on an almost hopeless undertaking in those strange lands, among
lawless and bloodthirsty people, who would not for a moment hesitate to
destroy you."

"I fear no danger or difficulty," I replied.  "I remember Sir Charles's
last words, `God is everywhere.'  In a just cause He will protect me."

Such was the spirit and such the feeling with which I resolved to set
out on my undertaking; and God did protect me.  When Captain Northcote
returned, I discussed the matter in every point with him.  He pointed
out to me that I should lose the chance of employment in the Company's
service; that, after wandering about, as I must do, I should be unfit
for any steady employment, and that I should be without funds to enable
me to commence any profession should the Company not afford me an
opening.  He soon, however, saw that it would be useless to attempt to
dissuade me, and he then most generously told me that he would place at
my disposal all the means he could possibly spare, and that he would
endeavour to interest other friends who might enable me to prosecute the
search.

After the funeral of my kind benefactor had taken place, search was made
for his will.  It was discovered without difficulty, when it appeared
that the bulk of his property was left to his relatives in England.  But
on looking over his papers a codicil was found, by which the sum of ten
thousand pounds was bequeathed to me, and five thousand to my sister,
should she survive, naming us as the children found in a boat at sea by
the ship _Governor Harcourt_, and named Mark and Eva Seaworth; while a
further sum of two thousand pounds was left to me to be expressly
expended in searching, as he named it, for his dear friend Mrs Clayton,
and her young charge Eva Seaworth.  I was much affected by this
unexpected mark of his regard.  I found also that a writership would,
from his application, be given me on my return; and I ought to say that
any surplus from the two thousand pounds was to be expended in
prosecuting inquiries respecting my birth, whenever I should return to
England, should I continue to feel any anxiety on the subject; though he
advised me not to waste my energies in an inquiry which would probably
prove unavailing.  The first difficulty was thus got over.  My friends
offered no further opposition to my plan, and I immediately set about
making active preparations for my departure.

Singapore was my first destination; from thence I intended to sail north
or south as I found most advisable; and to one of the most reputable
merchants there I transferred a considerable sum of money to meet the
expenses which I expected to incur.  I found a fast-sailing schooner on
the point of starting, and at once engaged a passage on board her.
Wishing the Northcotes good-bye, and many other friends who warmly
sympathised with me, I was the very next morning on board the schooner,
and dropping down the Hoogly.  Having now commenced the more interesting
portion of my adventures, I must be more minute than I have hitherto
been in my descriptions.  While the schooner, the _Nelly_, is gliding
down towards Diamond Harbour, I will describe her and her officers.  She
measured about one hundred and sixty tons, was low, with great breadth
of beam, and very sharp bows, and a clean run aft.  Her master, Captain
Griffin, was a young man, not more than twenty-four or twenty-five,
perhaps; strongly though slightly built, with a profusion of light
crispy curling hair, and a complexion which would have been fair had it
not been thoroughly tanned by the sun.  He had polished manners, great
primness, and was a thorough seaman.  He had once been in the Royal
Navy; but had left the service for some reason, which he did not explain
to me, and was now engaged in the opium trade, or, in other words, he
smuggled opium into China.  At first I was much pleased with him; but
when I came to be more thoroughly acquainted with him, I found that I
could not approve of the principles which guided him, or many of the
acts he committed without compunction.  I have, however, seldom met any
one who, at first sight, was more likely to win confidence and regard.
I have frequently met people like him; and I consider them much more
dangerous companions than men with inferior manners and education.  His
first officer was a dark, large-whiskered, tall man, with an expression
of countenance not in any way prepossessing--he was called Mr Laffan.
He was a bold seaman, and not without education.  The second mate was a
young man of very active and enterprising disposition, and who, I think,
was formed for better things than to serve in an opium smuggler.  There
was an important officer on board who was called the gunner, though his
duties were similar to those of a boatswain; he was of Portuguese
descent, a native of Macao, though as dark as an Indian.  He was
especially placed over the Lascars, of whom we had twelve on board.  The
rest of the crew were Europeans, or of European parentage--mostly
English--all picked men, and of tried courage: such qualities were
necessary, for, in the prosecution of their lawless trade, they often
had to fight their way through the Chinese junks sent to capture them.
We were some time getting down the river, for the wind was too light to
enable us to stem the tide, and we therefore had to anchor during each
flood.  It consequently took us five days before we got down to Diamond
Harbour.  Weighing at daylight the next morning, we got a little below
the Silvertree, where we anchored.  The next day we passed Kedgeree, and
anchored in Saugur Roads; furled sails, and veered to forty fathoms.  On
the following day we passed the Torch, the floating light vessel, which
is moored in the eastern channel of the tail of the Saugur sand, for the
purpose of guiding vessels up the river during both monsoons.  When we
once more got into blue water, I felt that I had really commenced my
undertaking.  I am not going to copy out my log, and I must run quickly
over the incidents of my voyage.  In standing through the straits of
Malacca, we sighted the beautiful island of Paulo Penang, or Prince of
Wales' Island, a British possession, on the coast of Tenasserim, a part
of the Malay Peninsula.  It is hilly and well wooded, and is considered
very healthy.  It is inhabited by a few British, and people from all
parts of India, China, and the neighbouring islands.  Nothing of
importance occurred on our passage to Singapore.  I found cruising in a
clipper schooner very different work to sailing on board a steady-going
old Indiaman; and had a constant source of amusement in the accounts of
the wild adventures, in which the master and his officers had been
engaged, and their numberless narrow escapes from Chinese custom-house
junks, Malay pirates, New Guinea cannibals, storms, rocks, fire and
water.

I was surprised, when anchoring in Singapore Roads, to find myself
before so large and handsome a town, remembering, as I did, how short a
time had passed since its foundation by Sir Stamford Raffles.  It stands
on the banks of a salt-water creek, which has been dignified by the name
of the Singapore River; one side contains the warehouses, offices,
stores, etcetera, of the merchants and shopkeepers, with fine and
extensive wharves; and on the same side are the native streets and
bazaars.  Opposite to it is an extensive plain, adorned by numerous
elegant mansions; and beyond is the Kampong Glam and Malay town, with
the residence of the Sultan of Jahore and his followers.  From this
chief the British Government purchased the island, with an agreement to
pay him an annual stipend.

Beyond them, again, is an undulating country, backed by thickly-timbered
hills, which add much to the beauty of the landscape.  It may truly be
called a town of palaces from the handsome appearance of its colonnaded
buildings, and, still more justly, a city of all nations; for here are
to be found representatives of every people under the sun engaged in
commercial pursuits.  The costumes of Europe, Arabia, Persia, all parts
of India, China, Siam, and all the islands of the Archipelago, may be
seen in the streets together, while their flags wave above the
residences of their consuls, or at the mast-heads of the barks which
crowd the harbour.  Even at the time of which I speak, there were
upwards of twenty thousand inhabitants, while in no place are so many
flourishing merchants to be found.  A few years ago this place was a
mere swamp, with a few huts on it, inhabited by barbarians.  It will be
asked, What has worked this change?  I reply, Commerce.  Its position on
a great highway of trade--a strong government, and protection to all
comers, and perfect freedom to well-doers.  Besides those attracted by
trade, numbers take refuge here from all parts of the Archipelago, from
the tyranny and misrule of their chiefs; and were other ports
established by the English, they would, from similar causes, be peopled
with equal rapidity.

The river near where we lay presented an animated scene, from the
arrival and departure of native boats, with fruit, vegetables, and live
stock, as well as from the numbers of neat sampans plying for hire, or
attending upon the commanders of vessels; while at anchor were numbers
of the Cochin-Chinese, Siamese, and Chinese junks, as well as the Bugis
and other prahus from all the far-surrounding islands.

I went on shore as soon as we dropped our anchor, to endeavour to obtain
information regarding the object of my search.  I saw several merchants
to whom I had letters, and they were all very anxious to aid me; but I
could learn nothing, and therefore resolved to proceed to Macao, and to
commence my inquiries from thence.

Once more at sea, away we flew over the light curling waves, thrown up
by the fresh but favouring breeze.  In ten days we came in sight of the
Ladrone Islands, off Macao, at the entrance of the Tigris river, on
which Canton is situated.  The captain and crew were now on the alert to
guard against surprise from any of their enemies, either from the
pirates who take shelter among the islands I have named, or from the
Chinese revenue cruisers--not that the latter are much feared.  We ran
into the harbour of Cap-sing-moon, and went alongside a large
opium-receiving ship, into which we were to discharge our cargo.  From
this ship it would, I learned, be conveyed up to Canton in Chinese
smuggling boats.  These boats are well manned and armed; and if they
cannot get away from the mandarin boats, the crews will often fight very
desperately.

I, in the meantime, proceeded to Macao.  This ancient colony of the
Portuguese in China has a very picturesque appearance from the sea, and
has received its name from the supposed resemblance of the peninsula, on
which it stands to a mallet, of which _macao_ is the Portuguese name.
The streets are narrow, dirty, and ill-paved, but the houses of the
merchants are large and commodious.  Besides the Portuguese and Chinese,
there are a large number of English and also American residents.  Of
course I had but little time or inclination for visiting the objects
which usually interest strangers.  I managed, however, to take a glance
at the Cave of Camoens, the poet of Portugal, where it is said he
composed his immortal _Lusiad_.  It is rather a pile of granite rocks
than a cave; and the garden in which it is situated is full of shrubs
and magnificent trees--a romantic spot, fit for a poet's meditations.

After many inquiries, I found that the vessel in which my friends left
Macao had been consigned to a Mr Reuben Noakes, an American merchant;
and to him I accordingly went, in the hopes of gaining some information
to guide me.  His counting-house had not an attractive appearance; nor
did I like the expression of countenance of two clerks who were busily
writing in an outer room.  When I asked for Mr Noakes, one of them
pointed with the feather of his pen to a door before me, but did not get
up.  I accordingly knocked at the door, and was told to come in.

"Well, stranger, what's your business?" was the question asked me by the
occupant of the room, a tall lank man, with a cadaverous countenance.
He was lolling back in an easy chair, with a cigar in his mouth, a jug
and tumbler, containing some potent mixture, by his side, and account
books and papers before him.

Wishing to be as concise as he was in his questions, I asked, without
attempting to look for a chair, (he did not offer me one):--

"Were you the consignee of the _Emu_ brig, which sailed from here last
year, and has not since been heard of?"

"Well, if I was, and what then?" said he.

"I wish to know full particulars about her," I replied.

"By what authority do you ask me?" he said, looking suspiciously from
under his eyebrows.

"I had friends on board her, and wish to know what has become of them,"
I answered.

"Oh, you do, do you?  Well, I wish, stranger, I could tell you; good
morning."

I soon saw the sort of man with whom I had to deal.

"Now, to be frank with you, Mr Noakes, I have not come all the way from
Calcutta to Macao to be put off with such an answer as you have given
me," I said, looking him full in the face.  "I have determined to learn
what has become of my friends; and if I find them I shall find the brig,
or learn what has become of her; and at all events I will take care that
you are not the loser."

"I see that you are a young man of sense," he remarked, looking up at me
with one eye.  "What is it you want to know about the _Emu_?  But I
guess, you smoke now?"

"No, I do not touch tobacco," I answered.  "But I wish to know if a Mrs
Clayton, a little girl, and servant embarked on board her."

"I'd have sold you a chest of fine cheroots, if you did," he observed.
"Yes, those people embarked on board her; and what then?"

"I wish to know who was her commander; what sort of a man he was; and
what sort of a crew he had," I replied.

"Oh, well, then, her master was one Stephen Spinks.  He wasn't a bad
seaman, seeing he was raised for the shore; but he had a first-rate hand
for a mate, an old salt, who knew a trick or two, I calculate; and had a
crew of five whites--Yankees, Britishers, and Portuguese--and ten
Lascars; so the brig wasn't badly manned at all events.  She sailed for
a trading voyage, to touch wherever Spinks thought he could pick up a
cargo, or do a bit of barter.  There never was a better hand at that
work than Spinks."

When Mr Noakes had got thus far, it seemed to have occurred to him that
it would be but civil to ask me to sit down; and by degrees he became
more communicative than I at first expected.  From the information I
gained from him, and from other merchants of whom I made inquiries, I
learned that Captain Stephen Spinks was a very respectable man in
appearance and manner; and that Mrs Clayton, having met him, was
induced to take a passage in his brig, just on the point of sailing.
There were, however, some suspicious circumstances connected with the
history of his first mate: stories were told of ships, on board which he
served, being insured to large amounts and cast away; of his captain
being found dead in his cabin; of a ship having caught fire from an
inexplicable cause, and of bags of dollars unaccountably disappearing.

"I would not have allowed the fellow to have put foot on board any ship,
in which I was interested," said Mr Randall, a merchant to whom I had a
letter.  "He was bad enough to corrupt a whole crew.  Who knows what
sort of fellows he had with him?  Captain Spinks might have been very
respectable, though not much of a seaman, and so may be Mr Noakes,
though I know little about him, except that he can drive a hard bargain,
and likes to get things done cheap.  This made him engage that
suspicious fellow, Kidd, who was ready to sail without wages--Richard
Kidd was his name--an ominous one rather; and when I saw poor Mrs
Clayton and your little sister on board, I so disliked the looks of the
crew that I was much inclined to persuade her to wait for another ship."

This account gave a fresh colouring to the matter.  If Kidd was the
character described, he might probably have run away with the _Emu_ for
the sake of the dollars on board, and have carried her into a Dutch or
Spanish settlement, where he could have sold her.

This also gave a wider range to the field of my search.  Had she been
captured by pirates, I should have looked for my friends in their haunts
in the Sooloo Archipelago, and on the coast of Borneo; now I should have
to search from Java, among all the islands to the east, up to Luzon, in
the north.  I was resolved to leave no spot unvisited; and the
circumstance of a brig like the _Emu_ having been seen to the west of
Borneo determined me on visiting the Dutch settlement first.  I have not
attempted to describe my feelings all this time.  I felt that I was
engaged in a sacred duty, and I was rather calm and braced up for the
work than in any way excited.  I held my object, distant though it might
be, clearly in view, and nothing could turn me away from it.  I do not
think I could have persevered as I did, had I been influenced by what is
called enthusiasm or excitement.



CHAPTER TEN.

Having resolved to undertake a work, the first point to be considered is
how it is to be performed.  I therefore immediately made every inquiry
in my power, and found a Dutch brig sailing direct for Batavia.  My
intention, on arriving there, was to prosecute my inquiries for the
_Emu_, and then to continue my voyage to the eastward, on board any
craft I could find.

When I paid my last visit to Mr Noakes, he winked his eye at me with a
most knowing look, observing, "I guess you've got some little trading
spec in hand, or you wouldn't be running your nose into those outlandish
places.  Well, good-bye, young one, you're a 'cute lad; and I hope
you'll turn a cent or so before you get home."

The worldly trader could not believe that my sole object was to look for
my sweet little sister.  Wishing farewell to all my friends, I went on
board the _Cowlitz_, Captain Van Deck.  Both he and his crew spoke
English; indeed, besides the Dutch, there were Englishmen or Americans,
with the usual number of Malays to do the hard work.

The captain had his wife on board--his frow, as he called her; and Mrs
Van Deck appeared to take no inconsiderable part in the government of
the ship.  She had her husband's niece with her, a very pretty girl,
whom she used to make attend on her like a servant; and there were two
lady passengers, a mother and daughter, also Dutch, going to their
family.  So, as may be supposed, we had plenty of ladies to make tea in
the cabin.  Unfortunately none would agree whose duty it was to perform
that office; and though Miss Van Deck, the captain's niece, was ready
enough to do it, her aunt would not let her; and so we ran a great risk
of going without it altogether, till the captain volunteered in order to
keep concord within the bulkhead.  As the disputes were carried on in
Dutch, I could only partly understand what was said; but the gestures of
the speakers made me fully comprehend the whole matter; especially as
the worthy master used to relieve his feelings with a running commentary
in English, and sundry winks of the eye next to me, and shrugs of the
shoulder, expressive of his resignation to his fate.

"My good frow is a very excellent woman," he used to say.  "We all have
our tempers, and she has hers.  It might be better--we none of us are
perfect.  I took her for better and for worse, and so--"

He never finished the sentence, but shrugged his shoulders; and if he
was smoking, which he generally was when he spoke on this delicate
subject, he blew out a double quantity of vapour.  His was true
philosophy: he was very fond of saying, "What we cannot cure, we must
endure, and hope for better times."

Although Captain Van Deck was a philosopher, he was not much of a
seaman, nor was his personal courage of first-rate order.  He was only
perfectly confident when he had a coast he knew well on his weather
beam; and then he was rather apt to boast of his knowledge of seamanship
and navigation.  Fortunately the first mate of the _Cowlitz_ was a
better seaman than the master, or she would not have been able to find
her way from one port to another even as well as she did.

The second mate was an Englishman of a respectable family.  He had run
away to sea because he did not like learning or the discipline of
school; but he acknowledged to me that he had more to learn, and was
kept much more strictly, on board ship than on shore.  His former ship
had been cast away on the coast of Java; when, finding the _Cowlitz_, he
had joined her, and had since remained in her.

I liked Adam Fairburn very much.  He had certainly been wild, careless,
and indifferent to religion; but adversity had sobered him, and allowed
his thoughts to dwell on holy and high objects.  The many misfortunes he
had met with, he assured me, were, he felt, sent by a kind Providence
for his benefit.  Far from repining, he received them gratefully.  I
found his advice and counsel of great assistance; indeed, he was the
only person on board whom I could truly consider as a companion.

I need not describe the rest of the crew; but there was a little
personage on board who must not be forgotten.  He went by the name of
Ungka; and though he did not speak, as one looked at his intelligent
countenance, and watched his expressive gestures, one could scarcely
help believing that he could do so, if he was not afraid of being
compelled to work.  Ungka was in fact a baboon from the wilds of
Sumatra.  He had been caught young by a Malay lad, who sold him to
Captain Van Deck.  He was about two feet and a half high, and the span
of his arms was four feet.  His face was perfectly free from hair,
except at the sides, where it grew like whiskers.  It also rather
projected over his forehead, but he had very little beard.  His coat was
jet black, as was the skin of his face.  His hands and fingers were
long, narrow, and tapering; and both feet and hands had great prehensile
power, as he used to prove by the fearless way in which he swung himself
from rope to rope.  He used to walk about the deck with great
steadiness, let the ship roll ever so much, though with rather a
waddling gait, and with a quick step, sometimes with his arms hung down,
but at others over his head, ready to seize a rope, and to swing himself
up the rigging.  His eyes were very close together, of a hazel colour,
and with eye-lashes only on the upper lid.  He had a nose, but a very
little one; his mouth was large, and his ears small; but what he seemed
most to pride himself in, was having no tail, or even the rudiment of
one.

One of his chief amusements used to be attacking two other monkeys who
had longer tails.  He would watch his opportunity, and, catching hold of
little Jacko's tail, would haul him up the rigging after him at a great
rate.  Ungka would all the time keep the most perfect gravity of
countenance, while poor little Jacko grinned, chattered, and twisted
about in a vain endeavour to escape.  The tormentor, at last, tired of
what was very great fun to him and the spectators, but not at all so to
the little monkey, would suddenly let him go, to the great risk of
cracking his skull on deck.  Ungka, having nothing which his brethren
could seize in return, very well knew that they could not retaliate.  At
last they grew too wary for him, and then he set himself to work in the
rather hopeless task of endeavouring to straighten the crisply curling
tail of a Chinese pig, which was among our live stock.  He always came
to dinner, and sat in a chair with all due propriety, unless he saw
something very tempting before him, when he could not always refrain
from jumping across the table and seizing it.  He was, however, well
aware that he was acting wrongly; and one day, moved by the angry look
of the captain, he went back and put the tempting fruit in the dish,
from which he had taken it.  He had as great an objection to being made
the subject of ridicule as have most human beings; and if any one
laughed at his ludicrous actions at dinner, he would utter a hollow
barking noise, looking up at them with a most serious expression till
they had ceased, when he would quietly resume his dinner.  He and I got
on very well; but he was most attached to little Maria Van Deck, his
constant playmate, as also to a young Malay, who brought him on board.
He seemed to consider the captain a person worthy of confidence, and he
would let no one else take him in their arms.  He certainly had a great
antipathy to the captain's frow and the lady passengers.  His general
sleeping-place was in the main-top; but if the weather looked
threatening, he would come down and take up his berth on a rug in my
cabin.  So much for poor little Ungka.

We had been some days at sea, delayed by light baffling winds.  The
captain began to grow impatient; his wife scolded him more than ever;
and the lady passengers began to inquire when they were likely to see
their homes, while I began to regret that I had not taken some more
rapid means of conveyance.  It now first occurred to me that it would
have been better had I secured a small vessel to myself, so that I might
at once sail in any direction I might deem advisable.

I was one evening walking the deck with the second mate, Adam Fairburn,
when he stopped, and I saw him look earnestly ahead.  He immediately
took a telescope to watch the object which had attracted his attention.

"What is that you see?"  I asked.

"Why it may be the curl of some wave, or a low shore, with some
scattered trees on it, or a fleet of prahus; or it may be only fancy,
for this uncertain light deceives one," he replied.  "However, I'll go
aloft and take a better look before I tell the master, and frighten him
and the ladies out of their wits."

Saying this he sprung into the rigging and ascended to the
fore-topgallant mast-head.  When he came down, I asked him what he had
seen.

"A fleet of Malay craft, of some sort or other, there is no doubt of
it," he answered.  "They may be honest traders; but they may be Illanon
pirates from Sooloo, on the coast of Borneo, bound on some plundering
expedition.  The rascals often venture into the China seas, and
sometimes right up the strait of Malacca, though they like best to skulk
about their own coasts, and steal out on any craft passing that way.  If
there is a good breeze we need not fear them; but they are fellows not
to be trifled with.  I must tell the master."

Captain Van Deck was seen hurrying from his cabin and ascending to the
mast-head.  His countenance on his return showed what he thought about
the matter; and summoning his mates, he held earnest consultation with
them.  Fairburn was for standing boldly on and running past them in the
night, keeping a look-out, to give them a warm reception should they
come near us; but the Dutchman thought that the safest plan would be to
keep altogether out of their way.  As they were steering about
south-west, our course was altered to south-east.  We soon, however,
perceived that we were seen and watched, for some of their prahus
shortly tacked and stood in a direction to cut us off--so thought
Captain Van Deck.  On this his trepidation became excessive, not a
little increased by the alarm expressed by his better half.  He saw that
the safest plan was to keep well to windward of the enemy; so he ordered
the yards to be braced sharp up, and we stood away on a north-east
course.

The breeze was fresh, and we might hope before morning, even should the
prahus attempt to follow us, to run them out of sight; so Captain Van
Deck lighted his pipe and betook himself to a bottle of his favourite
schiedam.  None of the officers were disposed, nor was I, as may be
surmised, to turn in during the night, for the Sooloo pirates were not
fellows to be trifled with.  In those days they plundered every craft;
and if they did not destroy their prisoners, they sold them into
captivity, whence there was no hope of redemption.  Since then, thanks
to the enlightened plans of Sir James Brooke, aided by the British ships
of war in those seas, their depredations have been somewhat lessened;
but much must be done before their destructive power is completely
destroyed, and the surrounding people can enjoy to the full the
blessings of unrestricted commerce.  The night was sufficiently light to
enable us to see a considerable distance.  Our captain walked the deck
with an uneasy step, his night-glass constantly to his eye, and he
declared that he could distinguish in the far distance the suspicious
prahus, as they were endeavouring to beat up to capture us.  The more he
looked the more alarmed and agitated he became, till at last he appeared
to lose all command over himself.  With a groan he rushed down to
console himself with a glass of his favourite schiedam.  Taking the
telescope which he had left on deck, I looked towards the spot where the
Malay vessels were last seen.  I looked for some time, but could make
nothing out on the dark horizon.  I then handed the glass to Fairburn.

"I begin to doubt whether the prahus are there at all," I observed.  "I
trust they are conjured up by the skipper's fears."

His answer was a low laugh; but he, notwithstanding, swept the telescope
carefully round the southern horizon.

"Whether the skipper's fears conjured them up or not, I don't know; but
there they are, sure enough," he quietly remarked, turning my hand in
the proper direction.  His practical eye had discovered what I had
neglected, and as I now looked I saw what appeared a number of black
spots floating on the water.

"If the wind holds good we may laugh at them," he remarked; "but if it
should chance to fall calm, the rascals would very soon be up with us."

"But could we not fight?"  I asked.  "We have boarding-nettings, and
plenty of hands, and muskets, and two guns; surely we might beat them
off."

"From what I have seen of the captain, he is not a fighting man,"
answered Fairburn.  "I trust the breeze will hold; but if not, we shall
run a very great chance of having our throats cut by those fellows, if
they do not think we shall make good slaves to their friends in Borneo."

"You surely are not serious," I remarked.  "The captain would not yield
without a struggle for life and liberty.  But if he will not fight, we
certainly have a right to make him; and I have no doubt the men will be
ready enough to second us."

Fairburn shook his head.  "I fear not," he said.  "But here he comes
again, with some Dutch courage in him, I suspect."

The captain paced the deck all night in great anxiety; and I certainly
do not think he could have used better means than he did to get away
from the enemy.  We knew that they must have been in force, and that
they felt sure of being able to overcome a vessel of our size, which
they were well able to distinguish to be only a merchantman.  I cannot
say that I felt afraid of the result, though I did not shut my eyes to
it; but my hope of escaping was the strongest feeling.

The breeze rather freshened than fell as the morning came on; and as the
brig had every stitch of canvas she could carry set on her, she went
through the water far more rapidly than was her custom.  The night was
bright and clear, the stars shone forth from the sky with a brilliancy
unknown in the northern latitudes, and ever and anon flashes of light
burst from the ocean, and, as the ship ploughed her onward way, she left
a golden thread in her wake.  I could scarcely persuade myself that we
were in any danger, or that we were no longer pursuing our voyage in the
direction we wished to go.

The ladies remained below, trembling with fear; for the captain, for the
sake of having some one more alarmed than himself, had taken care to
tell them that a whole fleet of pirates were rowing as fast as they
could after us.  Little Maria Van Deck was the only one who behaved
heroically.  When I went below, I found her in the cabin, offering up
prayers to Him who had power to protect us.  I watched her as she knelt,
the lights from the cabin-lamp falling on her upturned childish
countenance.  She was too much absorbed to observe me.  At length she
rose from her knees.  She smiled when I spoke to her, and thanked her
for setting so good an example.

"Oh, I have no fear," she answered; "God is good, and will not allow us
to be injured."

Reminded of my duty by the little girl, I also knelt and prayed
earnestly for our safety.  Returning on deck, I waited till the rising
sun should show us the position of our enemies, or assure us that we
were beyond their reach.  The first mate went aloft with the glass in
his hand directly the first faint streak of day appeared in the sky, to
look-out for the prahus the moment the rays of the sun, striking on
their sails, should enable him to see them.  The captain, meantime,
paced the deck in a state of no little agitation.  We all watched
anxiously for the mate's report, as the coming sun gradually lighted up
the whole sky with a glow of brightness.  Each instant it grew more
intense, till all near objects could be clearly distinguished, but still
the mate gave no announcement from his lofty perch.  Had not the matter
been too serious for laughter, I could have laughed heartily at the poor
master's ludicrous expression of countenance, so full was it of fear,
doubt, and anxiety, as he turned up his eyes to the mast-head, to watch
for any signal which might relieve his mind.  The mate kept his glass
sweeping round the southern horizon, till at last he seemed satisfied.

"Nothing in sight in any quarter," he shouted from aloft.

"What! are you sure--nothing?" exclaimed the master, scarcely believing
his senses.  "Then we shall not this time have to dig yams for the
blackamoors."  And he gave a grunt of satisfaction, so loud that I
thought he had exploded, while he sank down on a gun, overcome by his
feelings.  He now became much braver than he had been all the night, and
talked boldly of how we would have treated the pirates if they had dared
to attack us.  We, however, still continued standing to the northward.
At last Fairburn, to whom he had been addressing himself, lost patience.

"Well, sir," he exclaimed, "if we keep away, and make all sail after
them, there is little doubt we shall fall in with them before long."

This silenced the captain for the time; but he again broke out when he
found himself in the cabin with the ladies, till he made them believe
that he was a very brave man, except his wife, who knew him too well to
be so deceived.  All day we continued standing away from where the
captain thought the pirates might be, and it was not till night that he
was persuaded again to stand on his proper course.

I did not repine at the increased length of the voyage as much as might
be expected; for my time was busily employed in studying the geography
of the Archipelago, the productions of the islands, the habits and
manners of the people, and more particularly the Malay language, which I
knew, in order to obtain my object, it would be important for me to
speak well.  With so powerful a stimulus, aided by a Malay seaman on
board, I acquired a fair knowledge of it with great rapidity.  I also
studied Dutch, which I knew I should also find useful.



CHAPTER ELEVEN.

The _Cowlitz_ was once more on her course, with the wind nearly right
aft.  I guessed, however, from the observations I saw the captain
attempting to take, and his more frequent attention to the chart, that
he was somewhat out of his reckoning.  That part of the China seas is
tolerably free from shoals and reefs; but still there are some about
midway between Cochin China and the islands of Luzon, Palawan, and
Borneo, in the neighbourhood of which, after our flight from the
pirates, we must clearly have been.

The navigation among coral reefs is very dangerous; because, as they
rise like mountains of various heights from the depths of the ocean, and
frequently do not appear above the surface, a ship may be among them,
and having passed over some, may too late discover her danger, without
the power of extricating herself.  In fine weather, with a clear sky,
they may, from the different colour of the water over them, be perceived
at a distance; but at night, or with thick weather, their neighbourhood
is only known by the noise of the sea dashing over them, or by the white
crests of the breakers rising either ahead, upon either beam of the
ship.

We continued running on all that night, without taking more than the
usual precaution of keeping a look-out ahead.  Towards the end of the
morning watch, I came on deck to enjoy the freshness of the air, when,
as I was looking over the side, I observed that the water, broad on the
starboard bow, was of an unusually dark colour.  I watched it
attentively, when, turning round, and looking over the larboard quarter,
I there perceived a similar appearance.  I felt certain that it could
arise but from one cause--either a sand-bank or a coral reef; for there
was not a cloud in the sky to cast a shadow on the water.  I called the
attention of Fairburn to it, as he fortunately just then came on deck to
relieve the first mate.  He instantly sprang aloft; and, after taking a
hurried glance all around, he ordered the cabin boy to call the captain,
directing two men to station themselves at each fore-yard arm.  The
captain's face exhibited no little consternation, when he saw the
position in which we were placed; but we could now do nothing except
stand on, and keep our eyes about us.

"This is the consequence of not keeping a careful reckoning," said
Fairburn, as I stood beside him.  "The poor master, afraid of a fancied
danger, has managed to run us into a real one.  However, if the weather
holds good, I think we may yet do well."

"I trust so," I said.  "I should think there can be little danger while
we can see the reef as clearly as we now do."

"Oh, you know, there is nothing a sailor hates so much as reefs and
shoals," he replied; "and with good reason.  We may see the larger
reefs, but there are some come up almost like the point of a needle, and
if there is a ripple on the water, I defy the sharpest eye to make them
out."  He was all this time looking sharply ahead, and urging the men
stationed aloft to do the same.

We had frequently to alter our course to avoid the reefs which appeared
ahead; and at last we seemed to be almost surrounded by them, as we
threaded our course through a narrow channel, where we certainly had no
business to be.  Everybody was on deck looking out; for even the ladies
were acquainted with our position, though the master took care to tell
them that it was not his fault we had got into it.  However, the sky was
so bright, and the sea so calm and sparkling, that, as we glided slowly
and calmly on, it was difficult to believe the real state of the case.
In time, we even got accustomed to it; and when the steward came to
summon us to breakfast, we went into the cuddy with our usual appetites
not in the slightest degree blunted.

On my return, I went forward to look for Fairburn.  "I think we must be
pretty well clear by this time," he observed.  "The reefs off that
island there, do not extend to any great distance."  He pointed, as he
spoke, to a low little island which I had not before observed.  It had a
few trees on it, which seemed growing out of the water, and were clearly
of recent growth.  "It does not do, however, to be too certain in a
hurry.  Keep a sharp look-out there, my men," he continued, hailing the
people on the fore-yard.  Scarcely had he spoken, when the breeze having
freshened somewhat, and the brig going rapidly through the water, a
tremendous blow was felt forward, which almost threw us from our feet,
and her way was instantly stopped.  The masts groaned and rocked as if
they would have fallen, and the sails bulging out, fixed the vessel only
faster on the pinnacle on which she had struck.  Instantly, loud cries
rose from many of the crew, the master pulled his hair, and puffed out
four times more smoke than usual from the meerschaum he had in his
mouth, while the ladies shrieked and cried with terror.  Captain Van
Deck did not seem to know what to do himself, or to order his crew to
do; but Fairburn rushed here and there, calling the people together, and
soon got the sails clewed up.

"What is to be done?"  I asked.

"We must carry a kedge out astern, and try and haul her off; and if we
succeed we must get a thrummed sail under her bows, and then pump out
the water which will have got into her, for it will not do to stick here
always."

He had scarcely spoken, when the Dutch carpenter came from below with a
face full of consternation.

"The ship will never move from this except to go to the bottom," he
exclaimed, as he heard the order given to get the kedge out.  "We had
better think of lowering the boat and saving our lives, for the water is
rushing in like a cataract, and it will very soon be up to the decks."

This was indeed disastrous information, and I soon found it to be too
true, by going myself below to see the state of affairs.  I quickly beat
a retreat again on deck, where the ladies and all hands were now
assembled.  I must do the master the justice to say, that now the danger
had actually occurred, he behaved far better than I could have expected.
He certainly took things very phlegmatically.  Calling the crew aft, he
slowly made them a speech, telling them, that as there was no chance of
the ship's carrying them on farther, they must now take to the boats,
and that he hoped they would all behave well.  He then ordered the boats
to be lowered, and the gangway ladder to be rigged, to enable the ladies
to descend with ease.  We had three boats--the long-boat, the
jolly-boat, and a skiff.  It was arranged that the captain should go in
the long-boat, the first mate in the jolly-boat, and the second mate,
whom I volunteered to accompany, in the skiff, which, though small, was
a very seaworthy boat; and I preferred trusting myself to his
seamanship.  The captain and mates then chose the crew in the same way
as is customary in forming a watch--namely, one officer selects a man,
and then the next, and so on till the crew are disposed of.  The ladies
were, of course, taken into the long-boat, in which there were in all
fourteen people, and eight in each of the other boats; and it was agreed
that we should keep close together, that we might afford assistance to
each other in case of necessity.  Before embarking, we had to arrange a
very important business, the selection of the articles we should take
with us.  Fairburn hurried on the people, and urged me to do the same,
whispering in my ear, that any moment the vessel might slip off the
reef, and that we might be engulfed before we were ready.  The first
thing we did was to get the ladies into the long-boat; and fortunately
it was so calm that there was no difficulty in so doing, except that
Mrs Van Deck insisted on not being parted from her husband.

"Wait a minute, my dear frow," he shouted to her in return.  "I must not
desert my people till I have seen them in safety."

We all agreed that no private property should be taken; but only the
necessary water and provisions, clothing to shelter us from the weather,
arms to defend ourselves, and charts and instruments to guide our
course.  Some time was required to select the articles, and during it I
observed that several of the seamen were missing.  I mentioned it to
Fairburn.

"The fools!" he exclaimed.  "They cannot resist the seaman's curse--even
at this moment they have gone to put an enemy into their mouths to steal
away their wits.  Come and help me, we must put a stop to it."

Saying this, he rushed below, seizing an axe, in which I imitated him.
Five of the men had broached a cask of rum, and were drinking from it as
rapidly as they could, while two others were about to join them.
Fairburn, on seeing this, instantly stove in the cask with his axe
before they could prevent him, which they attempted to do; and there
being three others near at hand, we destroyed them likewise.

"Madmen!" exclaimed the mate, "you would throw away your own lives, and
risk those of your shipmates for the sake of a moment's beastly
enjoyment.  On deck now, and attend to your duty.  I will brain the
first man who lingers."

This determined conduct had the desired effect.  The men had not drunk
enough to become intoxicated, and his resolute manner at once awed them
into obedience.  Like sulky dogs driven away from a bone, they ascended
on deck.  Among the articles selected for the long-boat were three casks
of water, some biscuits, salt beef, pork, hams, and cheese, tea and
sugar, four jars of Hollands, some cooking utensils, a lantern, candles,
tinder-box, and matches, a keg of gunpowder, some muskets and cutlasses,
a chronometer, sextants, quadrants, a compass and necessary books of
navigation; a topgallant studding-sail, boom, and fore-royal were also
thrown into her for a mast and sail; a little canvas, tarpauling, and
some deal boards were not forgotten; and the carpenter was enjoined to
take such of his tools as might prove useful.  One boat and the
jolly-boat had their barrels likewise filled with water, and each of us
was provided with our proportion of the same articles, except that we
had fewer arms or blankets; and indeed so small was our stowage room,
that we had to depend on the long-boat for some of our provisions.
While all these preparations were going forward, my sensations were far
from pleasant; for I could not help feeling that any moment the ship
might slide off into deep water, and carry us all down with her.  The
captain thought differently, and nothing would hurry him.  At length her
stern perceptibly sunk, and this was the signal for a general rush
towards the boats.

"Stay!" exclaimed the captain; "I tell you she will not go yet; and have
I not a right to know?  There is plenty of time to get quietly into the
boats; you will be tired enough of them before you get out of them
again.  We must see that we have left nothing we may want behind."

Fairburn volunteered for this duty, and one by one the men were told off
into the other boats.  They then examined everything that was in the
boats; a few trifling articles were suggested as likely to prove useful;
we searched for them, and then took our places in the skiff.  As we
pulled round under the bows, we could see, through the clear water, the
immense hole which the coral had made through the stout planking; at the
same time so securely hooked did she appear, that I doubt whether she
could have sunk unless the coral point on which she hung had broken off,
or the sea had knocked her to pieces.

In the hurry of getting into the boats at the last moment everybody had
forgotten poor Ungka, who was seen leaning over the bows looking most
imploringly and mournfully at us.  Little Maria was the first to draw
our attention to him.

"Oh!  Ungka, poor Ungka! we must not go without him," she exclaimed.

Her appeal was not to be resisted.  We in the skiff, pulled back, and
Ungka, seizing a rope which hung from the bowsprit, lowered himself into
the boat, as we pulled under him.  The other three monkeys, seeing where
he had gone, attempted to follow his example.  One was in so great a
hurry that he fell into the water, but we picked him out; the other two
reached us without wetting their jackets.  Ungka looked at them very
seriously, and seemed to think that they ought to have been left behind.
At Maria's solicitation, we sent Ungka into the long-boat, and while we
were alongside the others leaped in after him.  But to more serious
matters.  A short hour ago we were sailing securely on with a good ship
under us--now we were homeless wanderers on the wide ocean, at a time of
the year when storms might be expected, and in the neighbourhood of
coasts inhabited by piratical tribes, who would show us but little mercy
if we fell into their hands.

After pulling some little distance from the ship, we lay on our oars, of
one accord, to give her a last parting glance, and we then all came
close together to consult what course we should steer.  The nearest port
where we should find civilised people was the Spanish settlement of
Manilla, in Luzon; but that was nearly to windward, and if we failed to
make it we might be driven on some shore where we might find no means of
escape.  The next place was Singapore, which, though much farther off
than Manilla, was to leeward, and from thence the Dutch people were
certain of finding an easy means of return to Batavia.

Some of the crew wished to pull to the little island we had passed, in
order to refit the boats, and by raising the gunwales, better to prepare
them for encountering any rough seas; but Captain Van Deck did not think
this necessary, and was, besides, unwilling to lose the advantage of the
favourable breeze which was now blowing, and the smooth water which
would render our voyage easy.  We lost sight of the _Cowlitz_ just as
the sun sunk in the western wave.  We were now gliding calmly over the
starlit sea--the beautiful firmament above us shining with a splendour
peculiar to the torrid zone.  The boats sailed well, and kept company
easily together.

"This is one of the vicissitudes to which a seaman is exposed, Mr
Seaworth," observed Adam Fairburn, as I sat by his side.  "I have been
so knocked about, and have met with so many, that to me it does not seem
strange; but it must so to you."

"Not so much as you may suppose," I answered.  "I have read so
constantly of shipwrecks and disasters at sea, that I am scarcely
surprised to find myself an actor in one of them.  How soon shall we
reach Singapore, do you think?"

"It may take us eight or ten days, or less if the wind holds fair; but
even that seems a long time to sit in an open boat, and yet people have
passed as many weeks, with a scarcity of food, and have been preserved."

"I have no fear of the future, even did not the present calm weather
almost preclude the sensation of fear; for I have been taught that God
is everywhere, and has power to preserve us if He so will it."  I said
this in answer to Fairburn's remark.

"Do you know," he observed, "that when I am at sea especially, as now,
in an open boat, or in a small craft, or during the raging of a storm,
that I always feel more clearly that I am in the hands of the Almighty,
or perhaps, I might say, a sense of man's perfect helplessness.  We are
too apt to forget this when roving on shore, in the full enjoyment of
high health and spirits; yet, if we consider how small an injury is
sufficient to make the strongest man as feeble as an infant, we should
cease to boast of any strength which is in us."

Such was the style of our conversation, as we sat side by side hour by
hour, in the boat.  I gave Fairburn an outline of my history, and he in
return related to me his own adventures, which were romantic in the
extreme; indeed, since he came to sea, not a week had passed away
without affording him matters worthy of note.

We had run on some hours, when, as the skiff was in the wake of the
long-boat, we observed that the people in her were, by their movements,
in a great state of alarm.  Some were hard at work baling, while the
ladies were turning round as if imploring our help.  We instantly got
out our oars, and pulled up to her as fast as we could.  We found that
she was leaking very much, from having been long out of the water, and
that it required the constant labours of the crew to keep her free.  As
the jolly-boat and skiff were already as full as was safe for them, we
could do nothing to assist our consort, though we would have run every
risk rather than see them perish, yet it was utterly impossible to take
them on board with the slightest hope of saving our lives, should any
bad weather come on.  While we were almost in despair what to do, one of
the men, whose duty it was to keep a look-out, declared that he saw land
ahead.  We all turned our eyes in the same direction, and there, sure
enough, was a grove of trees just rising out of the water.  This raised
our spirits, and enabled the crew of the long-boat to renew their
exertions.  We ran on, when by degrees the stems of the trees appeared,
and we saw before us a small but thickly-wooded island.  The breeze had
freshened up, and though the sea was tolerably smooth, a heavy surf was
breaking along the whole northern coast.  To the eastward, a reef
extended a considerable way; so we stood more to the west, and hauled
round the island, in the hopes of finding a spot on which we could land.
After sailing along for a mile, we observed a yellow sand beach in a
little bay, free from rocks, where the boats might be hauled up free
from danger.  We joyfully entered it, and scarcely had our keels touched
the shore, than the crews leapt out, rejoicing at the feeling that they
were at liberty, even although it was on a desert island.  A tent was
first made with our boats' sails, by the aid of boughs, for the ladies,
and we then set to work to repair the long-boat.  The carpenter
pronounced some of the planks so rotten and worm-eaten, as to make it
surprising that she had not at once gone to the bottom, and he was
afraid of doing anything to them lest he should make matters worse.  Our
only means, therefore, of stopping the leaks, was to nail some canvas we
fortunately had with us over the bottom of the boat; having first
carefully inserted some oakum between the planks, and rubbed them over
with tallow.

Everybody was busily employed: some were drying the bread, which had got
wet by being carelessly thrown into the bottom of the boat; others were
gathering oysters, of which a large number were found; and the largest
number were scouring the island in search of water, lest our present
stock should fall short; while little Maria Van Deck was amusing herself
by taking care of poor Ungka, who appeared fully to comprehend the
nature of our disaster.  A chain had been fastened to him to prevent his
escaping when we landed, though he seemed to have no inclination to
leave his human companions; but no sooner did the other little fellows
find themselves on shore, than off they set towards the nearest trees,
and leaped and frolicked about in the full enjoyment of unrestrained
liberty.  Off they went, springing up from bough to bough; and when any
one approached, they redoubled their exertions, showing clearly that
they did not intend again to trust themselves to the dangers of the
deep.

To make the boats more seaworthy, we formed bulwarks of canvas all the
way round them, and converted the fore-royal into a lug and a jib for
the long-boat.  We then again launched them; and as they floated
securely in the little bay, we rejoiced to find that none of them leaked
sufficiently to cause uneasiness.

Our work being over, we assembled to take our last meal on shore; and,
as we sat round the fire we had lighted to dress our provisions, we
looked more like a picnic party than a set of shipwrecked people.  The
ladies had recovered their spirits, and Mrs Van Deck presided at the
feast with becoming dignity.  The captain then made the people a speech.
He told them that they had behaved very well, and that he hoped they
would continue to do so; and drawing the boats to shore, we finished
loading them, and stepping in, once more continued our voyage.



CHAPTER TWELVE.

The breeze held favourable, though lighter than we required it; and the
setting sun gave every indication, as we thought, of a continuance of
the fine weather.  The long-boat led the way, and the other two boats
were stationed on either quarter; and, as the stars shone brightly, we
had no difficulty in steering our course, while we should have been able
to distinguish any coral reefs which might have appeared.  We thus ran
on all night, at the rate of from three to four knots an hour.  Two
people kept watch at a time, while the rest slept--one steered while the
other looked out.  I relieved Fairburn at the helm; for I had now gained
so much practical experience in seamanship, that he had more confidence
in me than in the crew, some of whom were careless about keeping the
proper course.  The boatswain had the first watch, Fairburn had the
middle, and I was to take the morning one.  The first passed away as I
have described.  Soon after Fairburn took the helm, I awoke, and felt
very little inclination to go to sleep again; indeed the very snoring of
the boatswain, who was a Dutchman of the stoutest build, and my near
proximity to him, contributed much to drive sleep from my eyelids.

"I have been thinking, Fairburn," said I, "that I will no longer trust
to the chance means of getting about from place to place but, as soon as
we reach a port, I propose to look-out for some small fast-sailing
craft, which I shall arm well for self-defence, and then I shall be
independent.  What do you think of my plan?"

"I like it much," he replied.  "You must get a good hand as a master,
who knows these seas; or do you propose to go master yourself?"

"I am not so conceited with my seamanship as to trust entirely to
myself," I answered.  "The idea has occurred to me, that you might like
to go as master, and I am sure you would make a good one."

"Nothing I should like better in the world," he exclaimed in a tone of
delight.  "I assure you that I am most grateful to you for thinking of
me.  The life I have often had to lead under inferiors, often
tyrannical, rude, and uneducated, has been very irksome, and has at
times nearly driven me to desperation; but with you I shall have all the
pleasures of a roving life, without any of the drawbacks I so much
hate."

"Well, then, it is settled, Fairburn," I said, equally pleased with him.
"We will not lose an instant, when we get into port, in looking after a
vessel, and picking up a good crew."  So we went on, hour after hour,
talking on the subject till the watch was worn out, and daylight began
to appear.

"We must get into port first, however, on the old principle of catching
a hare before cooking it," he remarked, laughing.

A hail from the long-boat interrupted us.  We were some little way
astern, and we saw her lower her sail, the jolly-boat doing the same.
We stood on till we got up to her.

"Down with your canvas--down!" exclaimed the captain vehemently--"Don't
you see that ahead?"

We had been quietly following the long-boat, and had not looked beyond
her.  We now did so, and by the uncertain light of the coming dawn, we
could see the dark sails of several large prahus standing directly
across our course from the eastward.  Had we been a little farther
advanced, we should have been directly under their stems.  If they were
pirates, our position was perilous in the extreme.  The captain proposed
that we should instantly put about, and pull away from them to the
northward and east; but then it was argued that the moment the sun got
up the flashing of our oar-blades in the water would inevitably betray
us, and that our best mode of proceeding was to be perfectly quiet, so
that they might pass without perceiving us.  The last proposal was
carried, Fairburn, whose opinion was always of weight, voting for it.
The oars were accordingly laid in, and we all crouched down at the
bottom of the boats, no one's head being allowed to appear above the
gunwales.  We hoped thus, if the Malays should see the boats, that they
would fancy they were without occupants, and would not think it worth
their while to go out of their way to examine them.  The canvas of the
bulwark, at the bow, was lifted a little to enable one person to look
through, in order to watch the proceedings of the prahus.  Our
preparations were made before it was quite light; and now came the most
trying time, when the sun, as he rose from the water, should first shed
his rays across its surface.  That is the period when seamen of every
nation are more particularly accustomed to take a steady scrutinising
glance round the horizon, to see what ships or land may be in sight.  We
could observe the sails of the prahus gliding by to the westward like
silent phantoms in the cold pale light of the morning.  We were to the
eastward of the greater part of the fleet, and we began to hope that all
might pass us, when Fairburn and I simultaneously perceived three
others, more to the north than the rest, and directly to the eastward of
us.  Being thus more to windward than the rest, they came down rapidly
towards us.

"What shall we do now?"  I asked of Fairburn.  "If we stay where we are,
they will scarcely miss us.  If we pull on, we shall be directly to
leeward of them, and they will certainly see us, and we cannot escape
them."

"To own the truth, I do not see that we have a chance of escape," he
whispered.  "In attempting to pull away out of their course to the
northward, we shall certainly be observed.  We must make up our minds to
the worst."

"What do you think that will be?"  I asked.

"If they grant us our lives--abject slavery," he answered, with a groan.
"If we could fight first, I should not so much mind; but to be picked
up by those rascals without a struggle, as a worm is picked up by a
bird, is very trying."

"But don't you think we might master one of the prahus, and escape in
her?"  I asked.

"A brave thought; but one, I am afraid, our captain is not a man to
execute," was his reply.  "I am thinking about the poor women.  We may
one of these days find means of escaping out of the hands of these
villains; but they never can."

"Indeed I can feel for them," I said, thinking of the fate of my own
sister.

"Well, we will try if we can stir the captain up to adopt your plan," he
exclaimed, after a minute's silence.  "We have arms enough, and we will
throw ourselves altogether on board the first vessel which comes up.  If
we take her by surprise, we shall have a greater chance of success."

"I will back you up," I said.  "I am sure all hands here will join us."

"Yes, yes," said the men; "we will fight before we yield."

And to show that they were in earnest, they set to work to examine the
arms we had in the boat.  We then hailed Captain Van Deck, and told him
what we proposed doing.

"It would be madness," he answered.  "We should not have a chance of
success, and we should all be knocked on the head and thrown into the
sea together."

"Fight! fight!  Who is talking about fighting?" shrieked Mrs Van Deck.
"We can't fight, and we won't fight.  We will ask the pirates, or
whatever the black gentlemen may be, to be civil; and I am sure that
they are more likely to be so if we are submissive, than if we were to
try and turn them out of their vessels, which we could not do."

I must own, now I come to reflect calmly on the subject, that there was
some wisdom in Mrs Van Deck's observations.  As a rule, it is folly to
threaten unless we can perform, or to fight unless one has a fair chance
of success.  Our chance of success was certainly very small; but still I
could not help thinking we should have some, especially if we could get
on board one of the afterward vessels; and anything was better than the
slavery to which we should be doomed.

On came the prahus.  The southern division had not seen us, and had
already got to the westward of us; but the northern line was
approaching, and would pass most dangerously near where we were--perhaps
a little to the south.  We almost held our breaths with anxiety.  A
slight change of wind might make them alter their course rather more
away from us; but that was scarcely to be expected.  Our glasses now
showed us clearly what sort of vessels were in our neighbourhood, and
made every shadow of doubt as to their character vanish completely.
Their threatening and ominous aspect was increased, from their dark
sails appearing against the glowing mass of light, which covered the
whole eastern part of the sky from the zenith, growing still more
intense towards the horizon, whence we expected the sun every instant to
appear.  The vessels we now saw were of considerable size, capable of
carrying some hundred and fifty men or more.  The lower part was built
of solid wood-planks and timbers, like the vessels of European nations,
but the upper works and decks were chiefly of bamboo, ingeniously
fastened together.  The bows were very sharp, the beam was great, and in
length they exceeded ninety feet.  The after part had a cabin or poop
deck; and a raised deck, or platform, ran right fore and aft, for the
purpose of affording standing room to the fighting men, of whom Fairburn
told me we should find some forty or fifty on board.  The platform was
narrower than the beam, except forward, where it expanded to the full
width, and where there was a strong bulkhead, with a port in it, through
which a long brass gun was run.  A sort of gallery extended all round
the sides, like the nettings of a ship, in which sat the rowers, who
were slaves, and not expected to fight unless in extreme cases.  The
vessel had from forty to fifty oars in two tiers, with two men to each
oar.  They had two triangle or sheer masts; these sheers were composed
of two long poles.  The heels of the two foremost were fitted in a pair
of bits in the deck, through which ran a piece of horizontal timber, on
which they worked; so that they could be raised or depressed at
pleasure.  The after pole was shorter than the others, and served as a
prop to them.  When the pirates intend to board an enemy, they allow
this mast to fall over the bows, and it serves them as a ladder to climb
on to her decks.  They were steered in a curious way, by two
broad-bladed oars running through the counter at either quarter.  A
broad platform extended over the counter, low down abaft the raised
poop.  Besides the long gun I have described, the larger vessels had a
similar one run through the bulkhead of the cabin aft, besides numerous
large swivels, four or more on a side, of various calibre, mounted in
solid uprights, secured about the sides and upper works.  On the
stanchions supporting the platform were hung long matchlocks, fire-arms
of various sorts, with spears and swords.  These swivel guns are called
_lelahs_, and are generally of brass.  The _klewang_ is a sort of
hanger, or short sword.  Their most formidable and favourite weapon is
the kriss--a short dagger of a serpentine form.  Each vessel had a
square red flag at its foremast head, and a long pennant aft.  The
Illanon pirates wear a large sword, with a handle to be grasped by two
hands.  They dress, when going into battle, with chain, and sometimes
plate armour, which gives them a very romantic appearance.  The chain
armour is made of wire, and though it will resist the thrust of a kriss,
it will not turn a musket bail.

I never in my life passed a more anxious time.  "See, they are keeping
away," exclaimed Fairburn, who had been attentively watching the
pirates.  "They will pass nearly a mile from us, and we may escape."

Scarcely had he uttered the words, than the sun rose with full radiance
from the water, shedding a mass of glittering light across the surface,
lighting up the sails and hulls of the southern division, and, as we
felt conscious, making us far more conspicuous than before to the
approaching enemy.  For a few minutes we had hopes that we had escaped
observation; but the uncertainty did not long continue.  The whole line
of prahus were seen to haul their wind, and to stand directly for us.
As they approached, we could see the warriors clustering on the
platforms, brandishing their spears and matchlocks, while the lelahs
were pointed at us.  All hope of successful resistance was now gone.
They evidently mistrusted us, and perhaps expected that we were the
boats of some man-of-war sent to intercept them.  Even Fairburn
acknowledged that the slightest show of resistance would now seal our
fate.

"We must give up our idea of an independent cruise round these seas," I
remarked to him.  "My sweet little sister!--I think of her captivity the
most, if captive she is."

"Never despair," he answered.  "Depend on it, all turns out the best in
the end; and what we most try to avoid is often the very thing to bring
us what we require."

"I will try to adopt your philosophy," I replied.  "But are the pirates
going to fire on us, or give us their stems?"

"We will escape the latter treatment, at all events," he exclaimed.
"Out oars, my men, and pull boldly up to them, as if we were glad to see
them--it is our last chance.  The people in the other boats will follow
our example."

We fortunately had a Malay with us; and we told him to sing out that we
were friends that were shipwrecked, and would pay those well who placed
us in safety.  This arrangement was made as we pulled towards the
headmost prahu.  It had the effect of stopping the pirates from firing,
though the warriors still kept their hostile attitudes.  While we were
advancing, the long-boat and jolly-boat kept back, which further
convinced the Malays that we had no hostile intention.  The breeze being
fortunately light, we easily pulled up under the counter, on to which we
hooked, when Fairburn and I, followed by the Malay interpreter, climbed
up on board.  No one attempted to injure or stop us; but a man, whom we
recognised as the chief or captain by the respect the rest paid him,
beckoned us towards him.  We had instructed the interpreter what to say,
and he told the story well.  He informed the chief, who was keenly
eyeing us all the time, that our vessel had sunk, with all our property
on board; that we had been some days at sea trying to reach a port where
we could find some of our countrymen, and that we would pay him well if
he took us there.  He looked incredulous, and told our Malay that he
doubted our friends paying so much for us as he could pay himself by
selling us, which he intended to do.  At a signal from him, the pirates,
who were closely pressing us round with sharp krisses in their hands,
their bright eyes glittering maliciously, seized us by the arms, which
they securely bound with ropes, so that we were completely at the mercy
of any one who might choose to run his weapon into our breasts.  We
felt, indeed, that they were only prevented from doing so by
recollecting our marketable value.

Meantime the long-boat and jolly-boat were each taken possession of by
different prahus, the former being very nearly run down by two of the
pirate vessels, in their eagerness to get hold of her, she being
considered the most valuable prize, from having the women and the
largest number of people in board.  What the Malays did to our
companions in misfortune I cannot say.  We heard loud shrieks and cries
when they were first captured; but I suspect they arose from Mrs Van
Deck and her female friends, at sight of the ferocious-looking beings
among whom they found themselves.  We saw no more of them; for the
pirates, dropping our boats astern, made sail to join the remainder of
the fleet.



CHAPTER THIRTEEN.

When the chief had done questioning us, we were taken below, and placed
under the platform I have described, with a guard to watch us, though
there was no possibility of our escaping.  The Malay was, however, kept
on deck, for the purpose, we concluded, of being further interrogated.
No further attention was paid to us, and the pirates seemed to consider
that we were totally beneath their notice.  Towards the evening a little
boiled maize was handed us by our guards, as they were aware that
without food we should soon become of no value to them.  For the same
reason, they gave us a little dirty water to drink; and so thirsty were
we, that, foul as it was, we were grateful for it, though we remembered
that it was a piece of unnecessary cruelty, as we had provisions and an
abundance of water in our own boats.

My greatest consolation was in the society of Fairburn, for we were
allowed to sit down on the deck close together, and to converse without
interruption--not that at first we could bring ourselves to talk much,
for our spirits were too depressed at our change of fortune.  The rest
of the crew were in still worse spirits, and sat brooding over their
fate in total silence.

"Well, Fairburn," I at last exclaimed, with a sigh, "our prospects seem
bad enough now, at all events."

"Oh, they might have been worse," he answered, smiling in spite of our
situation.  "You know the gentlemen might have cut our throats, or made
us walk the plank, or stripped us of our clothes, or lashed us to
different parts of the vessel apart from each other, or they might have
amused themselves by beating us, or we might have been sent to work at
the oars.  Then, perhaps, our Malay is persuading the chief that he will
make more of us by ransoming us, and, as we are still alive, we may find
a chance of escaping.  Oh, depend upon it, things might be much worse
than they are; and we should be grateful."

"I like your philosophy; but it is difficult to follow," I observed.

"No, not at all," he replied.  "Only get accustomed to believe that
everything is ordered for the best, and you will find it very easy.  We
cannot tell what misfortunes we may have escaped by the adventure which
has befallen us.  We should always compare our present state with what
it might have been under still more adverse circumstances, not with what
we wish it to have been."

"Then you mean to say, that if we had remained in the boats, some
greater misfortune might have happened to us?" said I.

"Exactly so," he answered.  "The boats might have sprung leaks, and have
gone down, or might have run on some coral bank in the night, and have
been lost; or a storm might have arisen and overwhelmed them, or some
other casualties might have occurred.  My firm belief is that God is
everywhere, he orders everything for the best.  We cannot too often
repeat this for we may even forget the greatest truths at times when
they are most needed.  If we could but always remember this one, we
should be saved the guilt of much impious repining and despondency."

"True; true; I was almost forgetting this," I exclaimed.  "Thanks,
Fairburn, for reminding me."

I can assure my young friends that the perfect confidence I felt in
God's kind providence enabled me to bear up wonderfully against the
misfortunes which had overtaken me; and I am sure that, in similar
cases, if they put their trust in God, He will equally support them.

While we had been speaking I had observed a young Malay lad pass
constantly, and put his head in to look at us.  There appeared to be a
look of peculiar intelligence on his countenance, and as if he wished to
draw our attention to himself.  When he came again, I pointed him out to
Fairburn, whose back had been towards him.  He looked at him
attentively.  The lad, however, did not attempt to speak; and when he
saw that no one was observing him, he put his finger to his lips, the
universal sign all over the world of imposing silence.

"What can he mean?"  I asked of Fairburn, when the lad had again
disappeared.

"I think I recollect his features--I must have met him somewhere," he
said.  "Oh! now I know.  He must be a lad whose life I once saved from a
party of savages on the coast of New Guinea.  He belonged to a small
trading vessel from Ceram, or one of the neighbouring islands, which are
accustomed to visit that coast to barter fire-arms, calico, and
ironwork, for slaves, nutmegs, trepang, tortoise-shell, and edible
birds' nests.  She had been driven out of her course by a gale, and
found herself on a part of the coast with which no one on board was
acquainted.  Before she could make good her retreat, she was perceived
by some of the inhabitants.  The inhabitants of New Guinea are called
Papuans.  They are negroes, with very ugly features, and are composed of
two races--the hill and the coast Papuans; the latter being very fierce
and barbarous, and keeping the former in subjection.  The people of whom
I am now particularly speaking are said to be cannibals.  They possess a
number of small vessels, which they send out on piratical excursions to
a very considerable distance from their homes.  Their mode of warfare is
rude in the extreme, their weapons consisting only of bows, arrows, and
spears.  They are said to devour the prisoners they make during these
excursions.  They may do so sometimes but I think it more probable that
they preserve their lives to sell them as slaves.  Well, as soon as the
strange prahu was seen, a number of these war-boats put out of a
harbour, the entrance of which was concealed by trees, and, before she
could escape, surrounded her.  The Malays fought bravely, but they were
not prepared for war, and after several of their number were killed they
were overpowered.  I, at that time, was serving on board a whaler, which
had put into a bay near where this took place.  I was away in one of the
hosts, when, rounding a point, I saw what was going forward.  The
Papuans, having rifled the vessel, and taken all the people out of her,
set her on fire, and were making the best of their way to the shore.
Having heard of the barbarities they practise, and my boat's crew being
well armed, and having a gun in the bows of the boat, I determined to
rescue some of the victims.  My men gave way with a will, and we dashed
after the pirates.  They had had experience of the effects of our
fire-arms and when they saw us in chase they suspected our intentions,
and did their utmost to reach the shore.  All escaped except two.  We
sent a shot through the bows of the first, and the people on board,
finding her sinking, leaped into the water, and endeavoured to escape by
swimming; the other we ran alongside.  The crew fought very bravely.  We
saw three prisoners among them.  Before we could prevent them, they cut
the throats of two of the unhappy men.  One of their chiefs was going to
treat the third, a young lad, in the same way, when I shot the rascal
dead.  The rest of the people then jumped overboard and swam on shore.

"If there were any prisoners on board the vessel which sunk, they must
have gone down in her, for we could find none, and they would certainly
have swam towards us had their hands been free.  It afterwards struck me
that I had no right to interfere as I did.  I certainly caused of great
loss of life, and the preservation of the lad was the only result.
However, I had no time for consideration, and could not help it; indeed,
I should probably act exactly in the same way if I were placed in a
similar situation again.  The lad was very grateful, and became very
much attached to me.  I took him on board the whaler, and he very soon
got into our ways; but as we were bound to the southward, I was afraid
the cold would kill him, accustomed as he was to a torrid zone, so put
him on board a vessel we fell in with, sailing to Borneo, to which
country I understood he belonged.  I managed to explain to him, with
some difficulty, my reasons for parting with him.  When he comprehended
them, he appeared very grateful, and shed many tears as he went over the
side.  I certainly never expected to see him again."

"If, as I think, you did rightly, by attempting to save the lives of
some fellow-creatures, from the hands of cannibals, you see you are
likely to benefit by the deed; for I have no doubt that this young lad
will do his best to be of service to us.  He tries to show us his good
wishes," I said.

"I am sure he will.  I know that I intended to do right when I saved his
life," remarked Fairburn.

He then continued, after a long silence: "I wonder how it is God allows
cannibals and suchlike savages to exist.  Does he punish them as he
would us if we committed the like acts, do you think?"

"I have been taught to think that we ought not to attempt to account for
many of the divine ordinances, otherwise than by believing that they are
a part of one great and beneficent system.  As God is just, we cannot
suppose that he would consider ignorant savages equally guilty with
educated men, who know and disobey his laws.  I have an idea that
savages exist to employ the energies of Christian men in converting them
to the truth, and civilising them.  We have the poor to feed and clothe,
the ignorant to educate, the turbulent to discipline: why should we not
believe that, situated as Great Britain is, with more extensive
influence than any other nation on the earth, she has the duty committed
to her of civilising the numberless savage tribes, with whom her
commerce brings her in contact?"

Night came on, and we began to suffer from the pangs of hunger, but more
especially from thirst, and our barbarous captors turned a deaf ear to
all our petitions for a little water.  At last, hopeless of relief, we
stretched ourselves on the deck, in the expectation of recruiting our
strength by sleep.  We, at all events, were better off than the slaves
in the hold of a slave-vessel, for they have not room to stretch their
legs, or to rest their weary backs.  I had managed to fall asleep, when
I was awoke by a voice saying, "Eh; glad me see massa.  Want drink?"  I
guessed it was that of Hassan, the young Malay.  I awoke Fairburn, who
sat up.  The lad took his hand, and kissed it over and over again, but
was afraid of speaking.  He then showed us that he had brought us a jug
of water, that we afterwards found he had taken from our own stock in
the boat.  He also brought a pannikin to drink from.  We passed it round
to our companions, and when we had exhausted our supply, he took away
the jar with the same caution and silence as before.  Here, against all
probability, was a friend who might be useful to us now, and ultimately
might serve us greatly.

Somewhere towards the evening of the next day we found, by the noises
around us, that we were in the middle of the fleet, which had formed one
compact mass.  Gongs were struck as signals, arms were clashed, and the
chiefs were continually calling to each other, as if holding
consultation as to some important proceeding.  Some time after dark, we
could feel, from the perfect calmness, and the want of that heaving
motion which is nearly always experienced at sea, that we had entered a
deep bay, or a gulf, or the mouth of some large river.  We glided
noiselessly on for some time, the only sound heard being that of the
oars as they dipped into the water, till the anchors were let go and the
vessels remained stationary.

I asked Fairburn what he thought of the proceedings of our captors.

"I think, from the silent way in which they go on, that they must be on
one of their kidnapping expeditions," he answered.  "At first I thought
they were approaching their homes, and they might be Bornean pirates
from the west coast; but I have now no doubt that they are Illanons from
Sooloo.  They more nearly answer the descriptions I have had of the
latter; but, as you know, my cruising has been more to the south and to
the eastward, so that I have not fallen in with them."

All night long we lay in perfect silence.  I contrived to get my head
out a little way from under the platform, at the risk of a blow from a
kriss; but I wanted fresh air, and to see what sort of a place we had
brought up at.  Of fresh air I got but little, though I discovered that
we were in a small bay, closely surrounded by lofty trees, which
completely concealed us, except from any one passing directly in front
of it.  We were evidently in ambush for some purpose or other, probably
for the object at which Fairburn surmised.

We were visited during the night by young Hassan, he brought us water
and food.  Fairburn tried to learn from him where we were, and what was
going to happen but, putting his finger to his mouth, he intimated that
he was afraid of speaking, and hurried off.  We remained, unable to
sleep, in anxious expectation of daylight.  At early dawn every one was
astir, though cautious as before of making any noise.  The anchors were
got up, and the warps which had secured the vessels to the trees were
cast off, and we glided out of the bay.

The pirates were so engaged in the work they were about, that they did
not watch us as narrowly as before, and we were, therefore, able to
creep out from under the platform, and, by climbing up the stanchions,
to look about us.  We were pulling up a broad stream, bounded on either
side by dark forests, the trees of which grew down to the very edge,
their boughs overhanging the stream, while their shadows were reflected
with peculiar distinctness in it.  Behind arose ranges of lofty
mountains, whose summits were lost in the gloom of that early hour.  The
trees were alive with monkeys and squirrels; and birds of gaudy plumage
flitted about in every direction on the wing, apparently to take a look
at the strangers.  Alligators were enjoying their morning swim, and,
disturbed by our approach, they plunged under the water to escape from
our keels.  Here and there in the forest were open patches, where ruined
huts showed that villages had been once destroyed by some incursion like
the present, or by the attacks of hostile tribes of the Dyaks, eager to
fill their head-houses with the heads of the conquered.

At last, rounding a point, we came suddenly on a large Dyak village.
Treachery had been at work.  The boom, which should have been across the
river to prevent surprise, was not secured, and was easily driven aside
and passed.  Just at that moment the rays of the rising sun first struck
the topmost peaks of the surrounding mountains, casting on them a pink
hue, and making the scene below appear of a yet darker tinge.  The town
consisted of some thirty or more large houses raised on piles, and each
capable of holding several families, perhaps altogether amounting to two
hundred people.  On either side of the town, on slight eminences, were
two forts surrounded by a strong stockade--the upper part surmounted by
a sort of _chevaux de frise_ of split bamboos.  The whole town was also
surrounded by a stockade.  On the walls of the fort were several lelahs,
or brass swivel guns, of native manufacture.  Outside the stockade were
groves of cocoa-nut trees, and patches of open ground for the
cultivation of rice, yams, and sago.  The inhabitants were still
apparently buried in profound repose, unsuspicious of coming evil.  No
one was stirring--not a sound was heard.

We dashed on at a rapid rate; and I had scarce time to observe the scene
I have described.  The Malays ran the sharp bows of their shallow prahus
on to the shore--the triangle masts were instantly lowered, and formed
bridges on to the banks, and, in some places, to the very walls of the
forts.  Before the alarm was given they were swarming with savage
warriors, who, kriss and assegai in hand, rushed into the town, and
clambered into the forts and houses.  Those who resisted were
slaughtered without mercy--the young people and children were bound with
cords, and were given over to a band who followed the warriors on
purpose to take charge of the prisoners.  When they had secured as many
prisoners as their vessels could carry, they no longer gave quarter to
any they met, but wantonly destroyed them.  The remainder of the
inhabitants escaped to the woods, where the Malays could not follow
them.

While the battle was raging at its height, the attention of the Malays
on board was so completely drawn from us, that it struck me we might be
able to make our way along the mast on to the shore, and then concealing
ourselves in the woods, wait till the expedition had sailed.  I thought
that we might then get away to Singapore in a Dyak vessel, or a Chinese
trader, many of which I had heard visited the coast.  Fairburn, however,
was of opinion that the attempt would be worse than futile.  In the
first place, we would be inevitably seen by the Malays, and should be
very likely fired at and killed; or, if brought back alive, treated with
far greater harshness than before.  The Dyaks too, he pointed out, were
worse savages than the Malays; and, irritated by their defeat, they
would not stop to consider whether we were the cause of it, but for the
sake of our heads alone, would murder us without compunction.  All hope,
therefore, of escape was for the present abandoned.

The pirates then set fire to the houses, which being built of bamboo,
and thatched with palm-leaves, burnt like tinder.  Having accomplished
their work of destruction to their entire satisfaction, with little loss
to themselves, they shoved their prahus into the stream, and proceeded
as fast as they could towards the sea.  The captives, on being brought
on board, were placed under the platform close to us, very much to our
additional inconvenience.

In appearance they were far from an attractive race.  They were of a
copper colour, with small eyes, black and piercing, mouths large, thick
lips, and teeth filed into points, and blackened by their custom of
chewing the betel-nut.  The noses of some of the men were almost
aquiline; but generally they were rather inclined to be flat.  Their
heads were well formed, and might be almost called intellectual; their
hair was slightly shaven in front, and all thrown to the back of the
head.  They were of the middle height, very strongly and well built, and
with limbs admirably proportioned.  They were most remarkable for the
number of rings they wore in their ears, those of higher rank having no
less than fifteen, which weighed the lobe down almost to the shoulders.
Their dress consisted of a cloth round the waist, which hung down in
front, and some had on a sort of skin waistcoat, and a cloak over the
shoulders.

The women had petticoats of native cloth fastened above the hips.  Their
hair was fine and black, and fell down in profusion behind their backs.
Some of them, indeed, might be called pretty.  The greater number of
these people had a frank and pleasing expression of countenance and we
since have good reason to know that they can be easily civilised.  Their
arms were brought on board as trophies.  They consisted of the
blow-pipe, (the sumpitan); it is about eight feet long, and from it they
eject small arrows, poisoned with the juice of the upas, chiefly for
killing birds.  They had also long sharp knives called parangs, spears,
and shields, in addition to the fire-arms, which they procure where they
can find them.

Reaching the mouth of the river without interruption, we stood out to
sea.



CHAPTER FOURTEEN.

The prahus were now so deeply laden that the Illanons were anxious to
return as fast as possible to their own country.  They kept a good
offing from the shore to avoid molestation from any of their brethren,
who might be tempted, by guessing the nature of their freight, to sally
out and pick off any stragglers.  The truth is, that the whole of this
magnificent archipelago was given up to anarchy and predatory warfare,
the strong on all points preying on the weak; they in their turn, as
they became enfeebled by their own victories, succumbing to other
tribes, who had in the meantime risen to power, while even their
commerce was combined with a system of slave-dealing and plunder.  The
following morning there was a dead calm.  I never felt the heat so
great.  The sun shone down with intense fury, and seemed to pierce
through the bamboo covering above our heads.  The very atmosphere was
stagnant.  Had it not been for the supply of water with which Hassan had
furnished us during the night, we should have died of thirst; as it was,
we suffered much.  From the feeling of the atmosphere, Fairburn
prognosticated that we were about to be visited by a storm of unusual
severity.  The pirates seemed to think the same, for they lowered their
sails, which were indeed useless; and putting the heads of the vessels
seaward, endeavoured to obtain a good offing from the land.

From this we judged that we were off a part of the coast where they had
been accustomed to commit depredations, and that they were afraid,
should they be shipwrecked, that the inhabitants would retaliate by
destroying them.  There could be no doubt that such was the case,
because otherwise they would have pulled towards the shore, in the hopes
of being in time to take shelter in one of the numerous bays and creeks,
with which it is indented.

"Such is the consequence of evil-doing," said Fairburn, moralising, as
we came to this conclusion.  "Honest men can go where they like, and
have no enemies to fear; rogues have the door shut in their faces in all
directions, and have reason to fear that all men are their enemies."

The poor slaves tugged at the oars till their strength almost gave way.
At last two dropped from fatigue and died.  At all events, they were
without ceremony thrown overboard.  Several of the Malays then advanced
towards us; they looked at Fairburn and me, and seeing by our dress and
appearance that we were officers, and might prove more valuable to them
in some other way, they passed us by, and selected two of the Dutch
seamen to fill the places of the wretches who had died.

The Dutchmen, though they could not help comprehending what they were
expected to do, showed a strong determination not to set about the work,
till the sharp point of the glittering knives held at their breasts
warned them that it would be wiser to obey.  Uttering a groan of pain,
the poor fellows went to their laborious occupation.  Unaccustomed to
such severe toil, with a burning sun overhead, they feared that a few
days would terminate their existence.  An ominous silence pervaded the
ocean; so calm lay the vessels that neither the bulkheads nor masts were
heard to creak.  The heat grew, if possible, still more oppressive.
Then came on a sudden and slow upheaving of the deep, followed quickly
by a loud rushing noise.  A mass of boiling froth flew sweeping over the
hitherto tranquil sea.  The vessels, as it struck their broadsides,
heeled over to it; some righted as they were turned by the oars and flew
before it; several, we had reason to believe, went over to rise no more.
Every moment the sea got up higher, and the wind blew more furiously.
Onward we flew, the oars now perfectly useless, the men at the rudders
scarcely able to move them so as to guide the course of the vessel.
Where we went we could not tell.  Clouds chased each other over the
hitherto serene sky, and a thick driving rain, a complete cataract of
water, descended, shrouding the coast from our sight.  The seas leaped
to a terrific height in our wake, and following us, almost dashed over
our stern; but the tightly built vessel rose over them, and onward again
we went uninjured.  The tempest had raged for three or four hours, and
showed no signs of abating.  We climbed up, as we had done before, to
look-out.  The whole sea was a mass of tossing waves and foam, and far
as the eye could pierce through the gloom, not another prahu was in
sight.  The tempest had scattered far and wide the barks of the fierce
warriors as the summer breeze would the light chaff.  The working of the
vessel, as she was tossed up and down by the waves, caused her to leak
most alarmingly, and all hands were set to work to bale her out.  In
this we of course very willingly joined, for our lives depended on her
being kept afloat; and it besides enabled us to stretch our limbs and
look about us.  Everything capable of holding water was made use of, and
the calabashes, kettles, buckets, and pans were passed along from hand
to hand from the hold to the side of the vessel and back again with the
greatest rapidity.  We kept the water under, but that was all; and it
seemed most questionable whether we should be able in this condition to
get back to Sooloo.  Along the whole coast there was not a place where
we could venture to enter to repair damages, for although the Malays
might not kill their fellow-religionists they would not hesitate to
confiscate their vessel and to sell them as slaves.  While we were
employed as I have described, Fairburn observed to me.

"You were saying, Mr Seaworth, that everything is for the best.
Suppose now we had been caught in our boats by this storm, how do you
fancy the skiff would have weathered it?"

"But badly, I suspect," I replied.

"So I have been thinking.  We could not possibly have reached Singapore;
and though we might have been picked up by some vessel, the chances are
that we should not; and so, what we thought our greatest misfortune,
may, after all, have proved the means of our preservation."

"The very idea which has been passing in my mind," I replied.  "I
wonder, though, what has become of Captain Van Deck and his wife, and
poor little Maria, and the rest of the party in the long-boat."

"He who rules the waves will have preserved them, if He has thought fit
so to do," observed Fairburn.  "Remember, we have only our own selves to
account for.  If we are preserved, it is not because of our own merits,
but by his inscrutable will, for some end we know not of.  If they are
lost, it is not because they are worse than we, but because He knows
that it is better that so it should be."

The pirates seeing us talking, and fancying that we did not work as hard
as we might, gave us a hint to be silent, by showing us the point of a
spear, and we were obliged to bale away harder than ever.  While we were
at work, the clouds opened, the sky in the horizon cleared slightly, and
there were evident signs of the gale breaking.  In a little time more
the gale lessened, and the sea no longer ran so perilously high as
before.  Still we were in much danger, for the leaks rather increased
than lessened, and it required the utmost exertions of all hands to keep
the vessel free of water.  We hoped, however, when it grew calm, that
the leaks would close, and that we might be able to pursue our voyage.

In this condition the night overtook us.  Whether we should keep afloat
till daylight, none of us could say.  It was one of the most weary
nights I ever spent; for we were allowed no cessation from our toil.  We
now felt that we were slaves indeed.  Our masters looked on, and some
slept while we worked.  Daylight found us still labouring.  The pirates
looked out anxiously to discover some of their consorts.  Two were in
sight in the far distance, but they beheld another spectacle, which
filled them with alarm, while it made our hearts bound with hope.  It
was a square-rigged vessel, her topsails just visible above the horizon
and from the squareness of her yards, and the whiteness of her canvas,
we trusted that she was a man-of-war.  The Illanons, who are well
accustomed to discern the various classes of vessels, and to know their
armaments, that they may avoid catching a Tartar, were of our opinion.
The stranger was to windward, so that they would have had but small
chance of escaping, even by attempting to pull up in that direction.  By
keeping before the wind, when their oars would less avail them, their
chance of escape was still smaller.  We watched the proceedings of the
stranger with intense interest.  The other two prahus were nearer to her
than we were, and thus she would certainly make sail after them before
she attempted to follow us; and, in the meantime, it was possible that,
by keeping on a wind, the prahu we were on board might escape.  The brig
might also perceive some others of the fleet more to windward, which we
could see, and might go after them.  If so, the possibility of her
escaping was very much increased, and we might still be doomed to a long
if not an endless slavery.

It was with the greatest difficulty that we could keep to our baling, so
intense became our anxiety to watch the proceedings of the stranger; and
more than once I felt the sharp point of a lance against my ribs,
reminding me of the task imposed on me.  We saw by her movement that the
brig had very soon discovered the other two prahus, for as fast as she
could she was making sail, and standing after them.  They endeavoured to
escape, and to our great joy, ran after us, thus increasing the
probability of our being captured.  The brig however came up very
rapidly with the other prahus; and, as soon as she got near enough, she
opened her fire on them,--a foretaste of what we were to expect, for
pirates deserve no mercy, and they were not likely to receive any at her
hands.  They were brave, or, at all events, desperate men, and returned
her fire with their big stem gun and lelahs, though the latter were not
likely to do much harm.  Her guns were well and rapidly worked.  The
foremost mast of one of the prahus was shot away, and the others fared
still worse.  Several shots seemed to have struck her, still she held
on.  We saw her rise to the top of a wave, then down she glided into the
trough of the sea.  We looked for her in vain.  It was her last plunge;
and with her crew of savage warriors and helpless slaves, she sunk to
rise no more.  The brig did not heave-to in order to save any of the
wretches, but ran close to the vessel she had crippled.  Before she ran
alongside, she opened her entire broadside on the pirate, so as to still
more effectually prevent her escaping.  The chiefs fought fiercely, like
men who know that their fate is sealed, and are determined to sell their
lives dearly.  They discharged their lelahs in quick succession; they
kept up till the last a hot fire from their long gun, and sent showers
of arrows from their bows.  When they got to still closer quarters,
their spears came into play; and as the Europeans leaped down on their
decks to take possession, many were severely wounded by the spears and
krisses thrust through the bamboo planking.  Then, when the Malays saw
that they could do no further injury to their conquerors, they fired
their vessel in several places, in the hopes of destroying them at the
same time with themselves.

The Dutchmen were brave fellows, and in spite of the risk they ran, they
managed to save some of those they found on board, before they cast
loose from the burning prahu.  The brig then made sail after us.  Long
before she came up to us, the Malay vessel, with her crew of savage
desperadoes, had followed her consort to the bottom of the ocean.
Dreadful as was their fate, they had, from their numerous atrocities, so
richly deserved it, that no one could pity them.  We next had to
look-out for ourselves.  The same sanguinary scene that we had witnessed
at a distance was now to be enacted on board our vessel.  As we kept
right ahead of the brig, her bow chasers only could reach us, and with
those she plied us as rapidly as they could be loaded, the shot flying
over and around us, and one striking us on the counter, and killing two
men who were working the lelahs placed there.  The pirates in return
were not idle.  The long gun was worked vigorously, though not with much
effect; but the lelahs and matchlocks kept up a galling fire on the
brig, while the bows and arrows were kept ready to come into play as
soon as she could get near enough to feel their effect.

I will not acknowledge exactly to have felt fear; but I experienced a
very disagreeable sensation as the shot of our friends came flying
around us, and some of the equally unfortunate Dyaks, and one or two
Malays were struck down close to us.  The feeling would have been still
worse, had we not been so eagerly engaged in watching the brig, with the
expectation of being released, and hoping to escape unhurt.  At last a
shot struck the head of our mainmast, and down came the sail, the
foremast very soon followed, the after part being struck, and with the
sail it swung over the bows.  As the musketry of the Dutchmen came
rattling among us, they sent forth the most frightful shrieks and yells
in return, gnashing their teeth and clashing their weapons together, as
they waited to meet their assailants hand to hand.  The Dutch captain,
knowing that there were prisoners on board, instead of firing away till
the prahus sunk, as from the character of the Malays, he would have been
justified in doing, ran alongside, shouting out that he would afford
quarter to those who sought it.  The fierce Malays answered him with
loud cries of derision and shrieks of despair, and continued discharging
their weapons with greater fury than before.  We now discovered, that
what we at first thought a great misfortune, namely, the leaky condition
of the vessel, was in reality the means of preserving our lives.  Had it
not been for that, we should have remained bound and helpless; but in
order to allow us to work at baling out, the pirates had set us free.
Although the slaves are not usually expected to fight, yet in the
present desperate state of affairs, arms were put into their hands, and
they were told that if they did not defend themselves they would all be
slaughtered.  Men often fight blindly, scarcely knowing for what, and
such was the case with these unfortunate wretches.  I speak of the
slaves who had before been on the prahus to work the oars.  Many of the
poor Dyaks still remained bound, though at the last moment their
countrymen endeavoured to relieve them.  No sooner did the sides of the
two vessels touch, than the Malays, with that mad fury which sometimes
possess their race, endeavoured to climb up the sides of the brig,
careless of their own lives, and only seeking to destroy their enemies,
well knowing that they had not a chance of success.  They were repulsed
with musketry, boarding pikes, and pistols; still on they rushed, the
death of some only increasing the madness of others.  Fairburn and I,
with the Dutchmen, hung back, endeavouring to shelter ourselves from the
shot on the opposite side of the platform, till we could find an
opportunity to get on board.  The Dyaks shrunk down appalled at the
unearthly din, unaccustomed as they were to so rapid a discharge of
fire-arms.  But a fresh enemy was now assailing the devoted vessel of
the pirates.  No one attending to baling her out, the water was rapidly
gaining on her; its ingress being expedited by the shot-holes lately
made.  Loaded as she was with booty, with living men and dead bodies, as
the water rose she sunk lower and lower.  Many of the wounded were
drowned where they lay.  Several of the Dyaks, not yet released, shared
the same fate.  We had time to cut the thongs which bound the limbs of a
few, when we saw that not another moment was to be lost.  We had worked
our way forward as the pirates were clustering more thickly at the
stern.  The bow of the prahu swung for a few seconds toward that of the
brig, the mast becoming entangled in the fore chain-plates; we seized
the opportunity, and crying out in Dutch and English that we were
friends, which indeed our dress showed, we ran along it, and leaped into
the fore-chains.

A few pistols were fired and pikes thrust at us before the seamen
discovered that we were not pirates and a wounded Malay thrust his pike
into the back of one poor fellow as he was about to spring forward.  A
few of the Dyaks followed our example, and we endeavoured to preserve
their lives, but no sooner did the Malays perceive what had happened
than they attempted to reach the brig in the same way.  With terrific
shrieks they rushed on, but they were too late--the sea had already
reached the deck of the prahu.  The Dutchmen cut off the grapnels, and
with a sudden lurch, down she went, carrying with her the still
shrieking and threatening warriors.  I shall never forger the dreadful
expression of countenance of those almost demon-like beings, as,
brandishing their arms with furious gesticulations, their feet still
clinging to the platform on which they so often had fought and conquered
in many an action, the water closed over their heads.  How great was the
contrast which a few short minutes had wrought!  But lately we were
surrounded by them, and had every prospect of sharing their fate, and
now we were among civilised men eager to succour us.  Truly we had to
thank Heaven who had so mercifully preserved us.

As I lay that night in a hammock, slung in the cabin of the kind Dutch
officer who commanded the brig, I heard a voice whisper softly in my
ear,--"God is great--God is everywhere."



CHAPTER FIFTEEN.

As I was climbing into the chains of the brig, I caught sight, through
the smoke of the pistols flashing round us, of a Malay closely following
me.  I thought that he was about to run his kriss into me, and I was
about to strike him on the head with a sword I had seized to defend
myself, when I observed that it was young Hassan, who had all the time
been watching our movements with the intention of aiding us.  The rush
of seamen and the Dyaks threw him off the spar, and he was precipitated
into the sea, between the two vessels.

"Poor! poor fellow!  I could have done much to save his life," I
exclaimed to myself.  "But it is not a moment for regret."

Scarcely a minute after, the prahu sunk, ingulfing all with her.
Fairburn and I, with those who had been preserved, were going aft to the
captain, when I caught sight of a marine levelling his musket at the
head of a man floating in the water.

"There still lies one of those rascally Malays," he said in Dutch.  "I
will put an end to his misery."

Without a moment's thought I sprang towards him, and threw up his
weapon.  I thought I recognised the features.  I was right.  It was the
faithful Hassan.  He was almost exhausted, and looked as if he could not
reach the side of the vessel.  Instantly Fairburn threw off his jacket,
and plunged overboard, while I cast a rope towards him.  He swam out
with powerful strokes towards the poor fellow, and grasped him just as
he was on the point of sinking.  As the brig had only been drifting to
leeward, they were at no great distance.  I again hove the rope towards
them.  Fairburn seized it, and, lifting the light form of the Malay lad
under his left arm, he hauled himself on board.

In a short time Hassan recovered.  He told us, that knowing the prahu
must sink, he had struck out away from her; and, though he was drawn a
short distance down in the vortex she made, he soon again reached the
surface, and then swam towards the brig, trusting that we should see
him, and would endeavour to save him.  He was the only survivor of the
Malays.  Two of the Dutchmen belonging to the skiff and the Malay
interpreter were missing.  Twelve of the Dyaks also escaped, though
several of them were wounded, who were immediately placed in the
surgeon's hands.  The poor fellows looked very grateful, and, although
they certainly never before had heard of the healing art, they seemed
fully to comprehend that what he was doing was for their benefit.

When we got aft, we had an account to hear, which naturally very much
shocked us; however, I will narrate it as things occurred.  We found
that the vessel we were on board was the Dutch colonial brig _Swalen_
commanded by Lieutenant Cloete.  The commander was on the quarter-deck
with several of his officers, and, as we were led up to him by a
midshipman, he received me and Fairburn with the greatest kindness,
shaking us by the hand, and congratulating us on our providential
escape.  He at once saw that we were weak from the want of food, and the
danger and excitement we had undergone.

"I would at once ask you into my cabin to refresh and rest yourselves,
gentlemen," he said; "but it is at present occupied by some of your late
companions in misfortune."

"What! have any escaped?  Indeed we rejoice to hear it," we both
exclaimed.

"Some few have; but many have been lost," answered the commander
gravely.  "It was a hard necessity; but I know the nature of the Malays
well, and had we not fired on them they would not have yielded."  While
he was speaking, a boy came out of the cabin, and went up to him.  "Oh,
they wish to see you; and I fear the poor master's time is short.  We
will go below, gentlemen."  Saying this, the commander led the way into
his own cabin.

It was, indeed, a sad sight which met our view.  On the table in the
centre lay Captain Van Deck, resting in the arms of the surgeon.  The
sheet which was wrapped round him was covered with blood.  A round shot
had torn open his side, and he had a wound from a kriss in his chest,
and another in his neck, either of which, from their ghastly look,
appeared sufficient to be mortal.  His wife stood by his side holding
his hand; and she seemed truly overwhelmed with genuine sorrow.  She,
very likely, was even then recollecting all the trouble and vexation she
had caused him, by giving way to her temper.  On a sofa lay a slight
figure--it was that of little Maria.  I started, with horror, for I
thought I saw a corpse, she looked so pale; her eyes also were closed,
and she did not stir.  I scarcely dared ask for information.  My
attention was drawn to the dying master.

"I have begged to see you, gentlemen, for my moments are numbered," he
said, gasping as he spoke.  "I crave your forgiveness, if, through my
carelessness and neglect of my duties, I have brought you into the
danger and misery you have suffered.  I know you, Fairburn, held my
seamanship light."

We stopped him, and begged him not to think of the subject.

"Well, I will go on to a more important one, then," he continued.  "We
have been shipmates for some time, and that makes us brethren.  I commit
my wife and that dear child, if she recovers, to your charge, to see
them safe with their kindred in Java.  And you, my poor frow, will be
kind to sweet little Maria.  I would not mention it, but to say that the
kindness you show to her will more than compensate for any little want
of it you have at times displayed towards me."

He hesitated as he spoke, as if he did not like to call up old
grievances.

Mrs Van Deck again burst into tears; and we who knew how very
uncomfortable a life she had at times led him, could not help feeling
that he was in a truly Christian and forgiving state of mind.  Had he
and she always been in that state of mind--had, perhaps, even a few
words of mutual explanation taken place--undoubtedly their unhappiness
would have been avoided.  We promised the dying man that we would attend
his wishes.  He heard us, but his strength was exhausted; his wound
welled forth afresh, and, before the surgeon could apply a restorative,
his spirit had flown to its eternal rest.  I will not describe the grief
of the widow.  Grief had worked a most beneficial effect on her, and she
appeared a totally, different person to what she had before been.

The surgeon now turned the whole of his attention to little Maria.  She
had been wounded in the side by a splinter; but, though she was weak
from the loss of blood, he assured me that he did not apprehend any
danger.  She was, though, suffering much from pain, which she bore most
meekly.

When I first entered the cabin, I thought I had observed an object
moving in the corner, but I took no notice of it.  I had sat down by the
little girl's side, and, having taken one of her hands in mine, I was
endeavouring to soothe her for the loss of her uncle, of which she was
aware, when I felt my other hand, which hung by my side, seized hold of
by a cold paw.  I turned round, and what should I see but little Ungka,
looking up towards me with a face as expressive of grief as that of any
human being!  He seemed fully aware of what had occurred.  He then put
his hands to his head, and chattered and rolled about in a way which, in
spite of his gravity, was so highly ludicrous, that at any other time I
should have burst into fits of laughter.  When he had come on board, no
one knew; for when he first made his appearance following the captain,
the seamen thought he was some little Malay imp, and had thrust him back
again, so that he also had a very narrow escape for his life.  I
suspected that he had caught hold of the end of a rope hanging over the
side of the vessel, and had clambered up it when the fight was done.

It was with great sorrow we heard that the two lady passengers, of whom
I have spoken, and nearly all the Dutch crew, were missing, and there
was every probability they had been destroyed in the burning wreck.  The
crew of the jolly-boat had been taken on board one of the other prahus;
but what their fate was, no one knew.  Thus out of the crew and
passengers of the ill-fated _Cowlitz_, only six people had escaped.  We,
who were among the number, had therefore reason to be grateful to Heaven
for the mercy shown us.

The brig cruised about in the neighbourhood for two days, in the hopes
of falling in with others of the piratical squadron.  She, however, did
not succeed in discovering any more.

I will pass over the events of the next few days.  The north-east
monsoon showing signs of beginning to blow in earnest, the commander of
the brig was anxious to return to port, and accordingly with much
reluctance gave up the search.  Little Maria was slowly recovering.  The
widow bore her grief meekly and resignedly, and showed that she was a
thoroughly altered woman.  Wounds in that burning clime are more
dangerous than in colder latitudes; thus three of the wounded had died.
One was a little boy, the child of a Dyak woman.  He had been badly
wounded in the shoulder while resting in her arms.  The child sank
gradually, nor could the surgeon's skill avail to arrest the progress of
death.  The poor mother used to watch him with supplicating looks as he
dressed the wound, as if he alone had the power to save her boy: and
when he died, she reproached him, with unmistakable gestures, for not
preserving him to her.  Savage as she was--accustomed to scenes of
bloodshed and murder from her youth--the feelings of a mother were
strong within her, and she would not be comforted.  Captain Cloete was
very anxious to land the Dyaks in their native country, and he consulted
Fairburn as to the possibility of discovering it.  We had, it must be
remembered, been left below both on entering and leaving the river, so
that we could only give a very rough guess at its position.  Fairburn,
however, of course, expressed his anxiety to be of service; and by
consulting the chart, and considering attentively the courses we had
steered, and calculating the distance we had afterwards been driven by
the gale, we came to the conclusion that the poor wretches must have
been taken from the Balowi river, on the north-west coast of Borneo.
For the mouth of that river we accordingly shaped our course.  It would
have been barbarous to have landed the poor wretches at any other spot
than their own country; for they would either have been made slaves of
by the Malays, or killed by the other Dyaks for the sake of their heads.
It is a curious fancy the Dyaks of Borneo entertain, of collecting as
many dried heads as they can obtain, either to wear as trophies of their
prowess, or to hang up in their head-houses.

We were treated with the greatest kindness by the captain and his
officers, who seemed to vie with each other in doing us service.  They
all spoke some English, and most very well, so that we had no difficulty
in carrying on conversation with them.  When they heard my story
especially, they seemed to sympathise warmly with me, and express
themselves anxious to assist me by every means in their power.  I,
meantime, was not idle, and employed every spare moment in learning the
Malay language, as also in attaining some knowledge of that of Java, as
well as of others of the numerous dialects spoken in the Indian
Archipelago.  I felt that my success might depend on my speaking
fluently the languages of the countries I should visit and consequently
that I must exert myself to the utmost.  To those acquainted only with
their own tongue, it may appear impossible that I could gain knowledge
sufficient to be of any material use; but it must be remembered that I
was already accustomed to the Hindostanee, and other dialects of India,
and that, therefore, with the stimulus I had, the acquisition of others
was comparatively easy, considering the natural aptitude I possessed of
learning foreign languages.  Thus, notwithstanding my anxiety, the time
flew rapidly by.

Four days after we had so providentially escaped from the Sooloo
pirates, we sighted Cape Sink, on the north-west coast of Borneo, some
way to the southward of which was the river whence the Dyaks had been
captured.  As we ran along the coast at a respectful distance, for fear
of some sunken rocks and shoals which we believed to be off it, Fairburn
and I were looking out, with our glasses, for the mouth, which we hoped
to be able to make out.  The rescued natives were on deck; and we fully
expected that they would be able to recognise the approach of their
native stream.  We looked at them as they watched the shore with
surprised and somewhat puzzled looks; but still they gave no signs to
lead us to suppose that they were aware they were approaching their own
country.  We found, however, that their puzzled looks arose from their
supposing that they were already many hundred miles away from their own
country, and from their finding themselves, as they supposed, on a coast
so very similar to it.  As we ran along the coast, the mouth of a broad
river opened before us, and, with the lead going to ascertain the depth
of water we stood in towards it.  On drawing near, it seemed to widen
still more; and our captain being anxious to explore it, the wind also
being fair, we crossed the bar, which had a considerable depth over it.
The river, at the mouth, was nearly four miles wide, but it narrowed
shortly to about a mile.  Still the Dyaks showed no sign of
satisfaction, and both Fairburn and I began to suspect that we had
entered the wrong river; we continued, however, our course.  As yet we
had seen no signs of human beings; but just as we rounded a point, we
came suddenly on a canoe, with three men fishing in her.  They were so
paralysed with the astonishment our appearance caused, that at first
they forgot even to attempt to escape.  Our boats were ready manned to
lower into the water at a moment's notice; so in an instant two of them
were in the water in chase of the strangers.  This somewhat restored the
Dyaks to their senses; and seizing their paddles, they plied them
strenuously in the hope of escaping from the formidable prahu, which the
brig must have appeared to them.  Seeing, however, that the boats
rapidly gained upon them, they ceased rowing, and two of them seizing
their sumpitans, or blow-pipes, shot several poisoned arrows at the
Dutchmen.  Fortunately no one was hit by them; and the officer in care
of them bethinking himself of displaying a white handkerchief, this
universal token of peace was understood, and all hostile demonstration
ceased.  The Dyaks, on this, seemed to banish all their alarm, and were
at once on perfectly good terms with the boats' crews.  They quickly
understood that they were required to pilot the brig up the river, and
willingly came on board.  Captain Cloete, who was well accustomed to
deal with savages, explained to a fine young man, who seemed to be the
chief, and the most intelligent of the party, the depth of water his
vessel drew; that he must avoid all rocks and sand-banks, and that he
wished to sail up about three times as far as we had already gone.  The
other Dyaks had hitherto been kept out of sight.  They were now brought
on deck; but when the fishermen saw them, instead of rushing into each
other's arms, they appeared much more ready to attempt cutting off each
other's heads; and the alarm of both parties was very evident, for they
both fancied that there was some treachery to be practised against them.
The captain, however, who at once understood their feelings, quickly
managed to dispel their fears, first by producing the white
handkerchief, and then by bringing both parties close to each other, and
making them shake hands.  It must be owned that they did not do so with
much good grace, and they reminded me strongly of two dogs who have just
been gnawing away at each other's throats, being brought together to
make friends by their peaceably inclined masters.  At last, being
convinced that our intentions were good, they began to talk to each
other, the fishermen asking the prisoners whence they had come, and the
latter giving them an account of their adventures.  The result of the
conversation raised the Dutch in the estimation of our new acquaintance,
who learned to appreciate their power, and wished to serve those who
trusted them.

We asked the young fisherman his name; and he made us understand that it
was Kalong.  His eyes sparkled with animation whenever any one addressed
him; and with wonderful rapidity he seemed to comprehend our signs, and
was never at a loss to answer us.  To show us the course of the river,
he knelt down on the deck, and, taking the end of a rope, he twisted it
about to show the various reaches in it; then seizing a handful of chips
of wood from the carpenter's bench, he quickly formed one to indicate
the brig, with two strips stuck perpendicularly into it to serve as
masts.  Holding this rough model in his hand, he tossed it about off one
end of the rope, to show that there was the sea where we had been tossed
about in the storm, and then he made it move slowly up the rope, to show
how the brig had glided calmly up the river till she reached the spot
where we then were.  He next stuck several chips together, evidently to
show that they were intended to represent a Dyak habitation, and these
he placed further up the rope; and then touching himself and the other
men, showed that he lived there.  The rest of the rope he twisted about,
and placed other houses alongside it, till he shook his head, showing
that he knew nothing further of the country.  We had now a very good
chart before us of the river we were in, which Captain Cloete had
forthwith copied on paper, to the infinite delight of the designer.

His success seemed to sharpen his wits; and taking another bit of rope
which was given to him, he knelt down some way from the first, and
twisted it about to form a river.  He also placed some houses on it, and
rushing up to the Dyaks, he touched them all severally, to show that
they were to represent their habitations; and then taking several small
chips in his hand, he moved them up rapidly towards the houses, several
of which he knocked over.  We thus understood that our Dyaks had come
from a river to the north of the one we were in.

Captain Cloete, however, did not like to lose so favourable an
opportunity of visiting on amicable terms these singular people, and
therefore resolved to anchor off the village for the night, and to carry
out charges to their native place on the following day.  The wind
continuing fair, though light, we slowly glided up the stream, the
flood-tide aiding us.  The scenery, as we advanced, improved
considerably, the trees being of fine height, and mountains appearing in
the distance.  We had as yet observed no signs of cultivation, nor did
the country appear to be inhabited.  We saw, however, a great variety of
animals.  As I was watching the shore, I observed something move on a
sand-ridge.  I pointed it out to Kalong.  He laughed, and opened his
mouth very wide, as if he would eat me.  The action was significant; and
Fairburn, who had been turning his glass in that direction, exclaimed,
"Why, that is a crocodile; and a big fellow, too, in truth."  The
monster seemed arousing himself from sleep, and slowly crawled out of
the slimy bed in which he had been reposing.  Several shots were fired
at him, but the balls glanced off harmlessly from his scaly sides.  I
afterwards saw some captured by a very simple method.

The breeze freshened, and we ran rapidly on, carefully, of course,
sounding all the time.  Kalong, our pilot, was in great delight, till he
saw one of the officers going to fire at a crocodile, when he rushed up
to him, and entreated him not to do so.  Willing to please him, the
officer desisted, and the monster escaped a slight tickling on the back.
The reason was soon apparent; for, rounding a high and thickly-wooded
point, we found ourselves in a little bay, on the shore of which was a
large village, while close to us, under the shade of the lofty
palm-trees which overhung the water, numerous groups of women and
children were disporting in the refreshing stream.  When we first
intruded into this sylvan retreat, their consternation was so great that
they scarcely knew where to run to screen themselves from our view; then
setting up a loud and simultaneous shriek, they fled, dragging the young
ones with them, some towards the village, and others into the wood.  At
the same moment we heard the tom-tom beat to arms, and observed the
warriors putting on their wooden and woollen armour, and seeking their
spears and sumpitans.  Kalong had now sufficiently enjoyed the fright he
intended to give his countrymen, and making his appearance in the
rigging, he waved a white cloth to assure them that we came as friends.
As soon as he was recognised, loud shouts proclaimed the satisfaction of
those on shore, and a number of canoes were seen putting off towards us.

I must now stop to describe the wild and extraordinary scene before us,
with which I was afterwards doomed to become so familiar.  I have spoken
of a village, but I should rather have said the castle; for the
habitation of the numerous tribe assembled on the shore consisted
chiefly of one large building, several hundred feet long, and standing
on the summit of stout piles, not less than forty feet in height.  At
this great distance from the ground a bamboo platform had been
constructed to serve as the floor of the house, which itself was not
more than six feet high.  The side-walls were also of bamboo, and the
roof was made from the leaves of the nibong and other palms.  It rose to
the height of the surrounding trees, standing as it did on a high mound
of earth thrown up artificially some little way from the banks of the
river.  It was intended to serve as a fortification; and also, I
suspect, that airy style of building must much conduce to preserve the
health of the people.  Several rope ladders led from the ground to this
singular residence.  We received the chief, and a number of the
principal people and their followers, on board.  They had little
clothing besides the waistcloth, made of bark from a tree; and large
rings in their ears, and were very far from being prepossessing in their
appearance.  Captain Cloete, keeping on his guard against treachery,
should such be attempted, allowed them to inspect everything on board
the brig.  They seemed pleased with all they saw, and behaved very well,
but in no way showed surprise.  We found, to our no little satisfaction,
that some of them understood the Malay language, and that Hassan was
able to converse with them.  Soon after we made the discovery, Fairburn
and I were standing with Hassan, surrounded by several, of whom we were
making inquiries.  Among other questions, Fairburn asked if they were
not surprised at seeing so large a vessel off their village.

"They say no," replied Hassan; "for not many moons ago there was another
vessel off here nearly as big, only she had not so many chiefs with fine
dresses, or so many people in her.  But then there were women in her;
and one little girl just like the one here," meaning Maria.

On this I pricked up my ears, and my heart beat quick with anxiety.  I
entreated Hassan to make further enquiries.

"They say that the vessel was rigged like this; she was a brig."  He
continued, after speaking with them for some time: "She came in here for
wood and water.  She was not a war ship, but the people went about
armed.  They were very disorderly; and some of them behaving ill to the
people on shore, were very nearly cut off, and barely escaped with their
lives to their boat.  She then set sail, and going down the river was no
more seen."

This account made me feel that it was more than probable that the brig
was no other than the _Emu_, and that she had been run away with by her
crew.  Another dreadful idea instantly forced itself on my imagination.
If the brig in question was the _Emu_, had she really sailed, or had the
Dyaks, as they might have been tempted to do, cut her off?  I begged
Hassan to make every inquiry, and to cross-question the people to
ascertain the truth of their story.  I was inclined to believe it, as
they had so frankly spoken about the brig; whereas, had they destroyed
her, it would have been a subject they would have avoided.  At all
events, we observed no European arms or clothes in their possession; and
Hassan assured us that he had every reason to think that they did not
deceive us.  In this unexpected way I discovered that the vessel I was
in search of was not wrecked, and that there was every probability of my
friends being alive.  All other interests were now absorbed in this
great one, and I never ceased making inquiries about the brig of all I
met.  I, notwithstanding, went on shore with a party of officers, to
visit the strange residence before us.  It struck me that the idea of
Jack and the Bean Stalk might have originated from it.  Having climbed
up the ladder, we were ushered into the chief's room, which was in the
centre, behind it being arranged that of the women.  There was but
little furniture besides mats and cushions; and the only ornaments, if
they could be so called, were a number of dried human heads hanging from
the ceiling.  I shuddered as I looked at them at first; but I own that I
soon got accustomed to them.  They were the heads of the enemies of the
tribe taken in war, and were prized as much as the North American Indian
does the scalps of his foes.  No objection was made to our visiting the
apartments of the women.  They were clothed in long loose garments, of
native cloth, suspended from the waist, their shoulders being bare.
They were small, but well shaped.  Their hair, which was long and dark,
was twisted up at the back of the head; the front locks being plaited
and drawn off the forehead.  Their skins were of a light brown colour,
smooth and glossy.  They wore ear-rings of some mixed metal, of a size
very disproportionate to their small figures, and very far from
becoming.  Their countenances, if not pretty, were highly good-humoured
and pleasant.  The younger women were diligently employed in pounding
rice in mortars of large dimensions.  There were groups of children
playing in the verandah, who at first were very shy of us; but as we
made them little presents of beads, and other trifles, their confidence
was quickly established, and wherever we went they followed, laughing
heartily, and dancing round us.  At length, our curiosity being
satisfied, we descended from the bird-like nest, and returned on board
the brig.



CHAPTER SIXTEEN.

The information I had received, vague as it may appear, seemed to me of
the greatest importance.  I felt almost certain that this brig which had
visited the river could be no other than the _Emu_; and the account of
the behaviour of the crew tended to confirm my suspicions that she had
been run away with by the mate, Richard Kidd, for the purpose of turning
pirate on the high seas.  I dreamed of it all night or rather lay awake
the greater part of the time, thinking of the subject till I was almost
in a fever.  I pictured to myself my sweet little Eva in the power of
the ruffians, probably employed as their slave, to tend them in their
cabin at their meals, and forced to listen to their horrid conversation,
while I trembled still more for the fate of poor Mrs Clayton, if she
survived the grief, and terror, and anxiety to which she must have been
exposed.  I talked the subject over with Fairburn, who agreed with me
that the brig was probably the _Emu_, while he, at the same time, did
his best to relieve my anxiety respecting the fate of her passengers.

"You know, Seaworth," he observed, "even the most abandoned wretches
have generally some feelings of humanity about them.  No one would be
bad enough to injure your little sister; and, situated as these men are,
they would very probably treat Mrs Clayton with respect, that, should
they be captured, they may have some plea for claiming mercy at the
hands of the law."

"I trust it may be so," I replied.  But I remembered that when once men
begin to break the law, the restraints which prevent them from
committing the worst of crimes are easily broken down.

The Dyaks were swarming out of their hive at early dawn to bid us
farewell, as with the first of the ebb we weighed anchor to drop down
the river.  Our new friend, Kalong, returned on board to act as pilot;
and in spite of his knowing no other than the Dyak tongue, we were able
to trust perfectly to his guidance.  Fortunately the wind had shifted,
and now blew so as to favour us in our descent; and in a short time we
reached the mouth of the river.  Here we thought our pilot would leave
us; but he intimated that he was perfectly ready to accompany us up the
river, where our passengers had their homes, if we would bring him and
his companions back to where we then were.  To this plan Captain Cloete
at once gladly acceded; for he did not suspect that Kalong's chief
object was to spy out the condition of the people whose habitations we
might pass, that, should his tribe wish to get a few heads, he might be
the better able to lead them to the attack.  Such, however, Hassan told
us he had no doubt was his intention.

"Those not good people," he said, looking very grave.  "Too fond of
taking heads; always taking heads.  Kalong not bad; but still he like
heads now and then."

The truth is, that a great number of the Dyaks are as much addicted to
piracy as the Malays, and are in some respects even more cruel.

The satisfaction of our unfortunate passengers was very great, and their
gratitude knew no bounds, when they discovered that they were to be
conveyed back to their native place.  The river had a bar across it; but
as the brig drew but little water, she was able to get over without
difficulty, and, the sea breeze setting in, we ran up the stream.  Our
great risk was that of getting on a shoal; but, thanks to Kalong's
pilotage, we avoided all dangers in our way, and at last dropped anchor
opposite a spot where a village had once stood.  Fairburn and I
recognised it as the one attacked by the Sooloo pirates.  Tears started
to the eyes of the poor people as they witnessed the desolation which
had been wrought among their late habitations.  Where, a few days
before, they and their families had dwelt in peace and contentment, all
was now silent and deserted.  Not a human being was seen; their houses
were charred heaps, and their paddy fields and sago plantations lay
trampled under foot.  We could pity them, but we could do but little
else.  We were compelled to land them, as we could not take them with
us, and time was too precious to enable us to stay to assist them.  Our
kind captain did his utmost to make amends to them for their losses, by
supplying them with food and clothing, and tools, which they use very
dexterously, to rebuild their habitations.  He pointed out to them,
that, for greater security, it would be wiser in them if they erected it
farther inland, out of the reach of the attacks of the sea-pirates.  The
boats were then lowered, and they were carried on shore.  At first their
grief at seeing the state of their homes overpowered every other
feeling; but soon recollecting that they had escaped from slavery, they
did their best to express their gratitude to those who had rescued them,
and forthwith began to make preparations for erecting a shelter for
themselves, till they could build a house like the one destroyed.

A number of the Dutch officers and men, and Fairburn and I, were on the
shore, shaking hands with all round, preparatory to quitting them
finally, when we observed a Dyak stealthily approaching from among the
trees which closely surrounded us.  He looked cautiously on every side--
his sumpitan, with a poisoned arrow ready to discharge, was in one hand,
while a spear and shield, prepared for defence or attack, was in the
other--he then advanced a few steps farther and halted.  Rings were in
his ears and round his legs; a cloth bound his waist; and a sort of
jacket without arms covered his body, serving the purpose of armour
against the darts of his enemies.  He was followed closely by others,
dressed in the same manner.  One by one they came out of the wood, till
upwards of fifty warriors stood before us prepared for battle.  We
scarcely knew at first whether they came as friends or foes, but when
the Dyaks we had landed saw them, they rushed towards them with loud
shouts, throwing themselves into each other's arms.  Never was there
before such shaking of hands, or so much said in so short a time.  It
was also highly favourable to the Dutch; for the warriors, throwing
aside their arms, came forward in a body, and by signs tried to express
their gratitude to the preservers of their friends.

I was inclined to form a very favourable opinion of the amiable
qualities of these people, from what I then saw of them.  We found that
the newcomers were the remnant of the tribe who had escaped from the
attack of the Sooloo pirates; and that the women and children belonging
to them were concealed some distance in the interior.  We again weighed;
and Kalong being equally successful in his pilotage, though we had to
make several tacks, we got clear out from the mouth of the river.

There are a number of fine rivers on the north-west coast of Borneo,
their banks being inhabited by Malays, with tribes of Dyaks held in a
state of vassalage, as well as by independent Dyaks, the greater number
of whom, at this time, were addicted to piracy at sea, as well as to
plunder and rapine on shore; indeed, the whole coast presented one scene
of constant warfare.  Nearly every tribe possessed war prahus, in which
they would sally forth to attack any trader from China, Celebes, or any
of the neighbouring islands, which might unfortunately get becalmed near
their coasts.

We now stood back to land Kalong and his crew, according to the promise
made to him.  As we neared the mouth of the river, he was seen walking
the deck in a state of great agitation; and when the brig was hove-to,
and his canoe was lowered into the water, it considerably increased.  At
last its cause was explained.  Taking his companions by the shoulders,
he shook their hands warmly, speaking with them earnestly at the same
time, while he made them get into the canoe.  He then walked up to the
captain, and by signs, which were not to be mistaken, signified his wish
to remain on board, for the purpose of seeing more of the world.
Captain Cloete was at first unwilling to accede to it; but Fairburn and
I, thinking that he might be useful on board the vessel I proposed to
purchase, interfered in his favour, and requested that he might be
allowed to accompany us.  His was an extraordinary case, for the Dyaks
are, in general, not at all addicted to quitting their country.  He
seemed fully to understand at whose request his wish had been granted;
and in consequence, at once attached himself to me and Fairburn.

We now stood away to the westward, sighting Cape Ape, the north-western
point of Borneo, and then steered south for Java, through the Billiton
passage.  We were bound for Sourabaya, a large Dutch town towards the
east end of Java, opposite the island of Madura.  I should have very
much liked to have touched at Singapore, as it was important for me to
arrange my money matters.  Without ready cash I could not hope to do
anything.  I had, however, fortunately secured a considerable amount of
gold and some bills about my person, when I escaped from the wreck; and
the pirates had not searched me.  Fairburn had in his pockets all his
worldly wealth, which he insisted should be at my service; and Captain
Cloete kindly assured me, that he would be answerable for any sum I
might require till my remittances could arrive, so that I might not be
delayed in fitting out my vessel.  I was never tired of discussing with
Fairburn our plans for the future, as also every possible fate which
could have befallen the _Emu_.

A strong breeze carried us quickly along; and one morning, when I came
on deck, I found that we were standing through the Straits of Madura,
the shore of that island exhibiting a belt of the richest tropical
vegetation, white cliffs and lofty rocks appearing here and there above
it, while the Java coast seemed very low, and bordered by extensive
mangrove swamps.  As we approached the anchorage, we saw rows of
fishing-stakes projecting half way across the straits, and many boats
and prahus, and a considerable number of square-rigged vessels, some of
them being Dutch men-of-war.  Over the mangrove bushes appeared in the
distance a tower or two, a few flag-staffs, and here and there the roofs
of some of the most lofty houses.  The brig had come to the port to
which she belonged, where she had been fitted out; and soon after she
dropped her anchor, she was surrounded by the anxious friends of the
officers and crew, eager to ascertain that all were well.

I have not spoken for some time past of the widow Van Deck and little
Maria.  The latter had, from the attention bestowed on her by the kind
surgeon of the brig, completely recovered from her hurts, though her
nervous system had received a shock which it would, I saw, take long to
get over.  The widow was well, and continued to prove the same reformed
person she had at first given promise of being, showing the use of
adversity in improving the character of some people.  She devoted
herself to her niece, and never seemed tired of watching over her, and
indulging her in all the little whims to which, during her illness, she
gave way.

Just before the brig came to an anchor, she called me to her, and said,
"I hope, Mr Seaworth, you and Mr Fairburn will be able to fulfil my
poor husband's request, and see me and Maria safe with my relations.  I
have no claim on Captain Cloete and his officers, and, as you know, I
have no money; but I am very certain my friends will repay you all you
expend on my account, and will do their best to show their gratitude to
you besides.  They were angry with me for marrying Captain Van Deck; but
my misfortunes will have softened their hearts, and now he is gone they
will forgive me."

I replied, that I would certainly do all she wished; at the same time
showing her the very great importance it was to me to incur no longer
delay than could be helped in getting the vessel I proposed purchasing
ready for sea, and in prosecuting my enquiries about the _Emu_.

"My first object in life is to recover my sister," I observed.  "I can
undertake nothing which in any way interferes with that, but in every
other respect my time and my purse are at your service; nor will I fail
to fulfil my promise to your late husband."  This answer contented her,
for she saw its justice.

A number of flat-bottomed boats came alongside to convey us on shore.
They have a broad seat and an awning for passengers, and are propelled
by two men with paddles in the bows, and steered by another in the
stern.  Fairburn and I engaged one of these to convey the widow and
Maria on shore.  Captain Cloete very kindly pressed me to take up my
residence at the house of a relative of his in the town; but, thanking
him warmly, I answered that I would prefer being at the hotel, which I
understood existed there, with Fairburn, that we might have perfect
freedom of movement; at the same time, I assured him that I should be
most grateful to him for all the introductions he could give me to his
friends.

We pulled to the mouth of a canal, up which we were tracked by two boys,
with a rope made fast to the mast-head, between two piers for a mile and
a quarter; and then landing at a dock where some Chinese junks, and a
number of country boats, laden with rice and other commodities, and
several schooners were lying, we proceeded up a narrow street to the
hotel, which we found kept much after the fashion of the smaller ones I
have since met with in France.  There was a _table d'hote_, at which a
number of people residing in the house and elsewhere, dined.  The widow
said she would wish to avoid the noise and bustle of so public a place;
so we procured lodgings for her near at hand.  My first care was to make
arrangements to get supplied with money.  I inquired who were the
principal English merchants in the place; and resolved at once to go
frankly to the first I could meet with, to state my case, and to ask his
assistance.  While I went about this business, I begged Fairburn to go
and make inquiries as to our chance of finding a vessel to suit our
purpose.

"We must do away with all ceremony, Fairburn," I observed.  "I have from
this day engaged you regularly in my service; and I am sure you will
enter it with zeal.  Therefore, remember all you do is at my expense,
and I expect you to counsel me whenever you think fit.  I do not forget
that I am but a boy, and have seen but little of the world; and I feel
very certain that I shall always follow your advice."

These remarks gratified Fairburn very much.  He saw that I was likely to
act sensibly, and that I confided in him thoroughly.  It is difficult to
speak of myself, and not to appear to my readers boastful and
egotistical.  At the same time, I must remark, that had I not been
guided by great judgment, procuring information from everybody I met,
and weighing it well before acting on it, I should very soon have
brought my career to an end.

I took with me from the hotel a young Javanese lad as guide to the
counting-house of an English gentleman, whom I will call Mr Scott, and
who, I heard, was one of the principal merchants of the place.  He
conducted me to a large wooden bridge thrown across the river, leading
to the Chinese quarter; and just above the bridge, shaded by a row of
fine tamarind trees, were a number of large houses and stores, among
which was the one I was in search of.

With some little hesitation I went into the office, and requested to see
Mr Scott.  A young Englishman, or rather a Scotchman, instantly got
down from his stool, and, giving me a chair, requested me to be seated,
while he went to inform his principal.  I had not a minute to wait
before he returned, and begged me to walk into Mr Scott's private room.
The merchant rose when I entered, and his eye rapidly running over me
as if he would read my character at a glance, he put out his hand and
led me to a seat.

"You landed, I think, this morning, from a brig-of-war commanded by
Captain Cloete," he began.  "I have the pleasure, I conclude, of
welcoming you for the first time to Java."

I could not help, while he was speaking, contrasting his behaviour with
that of Mr Reuben Noakes, the merchant whom I met at Macao.

"Yes, sir," I replied.  "I have never been in this part of the world
before; nor have I any friends to whom I am privileged to apply for the
assistance I require.  The truth is, I am almost without funds: nor can
I get any for some time, and therefore I procured a list of the British
merchants of Sourabaya, and pitched upon you as the first to whom I
should make an application for aid."

He said nothing to this; and I went on and gave him a short account of
my history, of the adventures which had occurred to me, and of the
search in which I was engaged.  When I had finished, he laughed
heartily, but with no little satisfaction at my having selected him to
make my first attack on.

"I hope that I shall not disappoint you, Mr Seaworth, in the good
opinion you have formed of me," he replied.  "I acknowledge, with the
same frankness with which you have spoken to me, that I believe every
word you have said, and I will do all I can to assist you.  I assure you
I already feel much interested in your cause."

This kind answer at once set me at my ease; for I felt that I had a
friend raised up to help me at a time I most required assistance.
Without it, I might have been delayed many months, till I could get a
remittance from Singapore.  He, at the same time, at once put me in the
way of having the money I might require forwarded to me in the shape of
bills of exchange.  Our business being concluded, he invited me to
accompany him to his country house, for which he was on the point of
setting out.  I excused myself for that day, as I was anxious to hear
what success Fairburn had had in his inquiries, and also to arrange how
I could best fulfil my promise with the widow Van Deck.

When I got back to the hotel, I awaited some time for Fairburn.  At last
he came.

"What news?"  I exclaimed.  "Have you found a vessel to suit me?"

"I have seen a small schooner," he replied.  "She looks like a fine sea
boat, and I am told is thoroughly sound; but her rigging and fittings
are on shore, and it will take some time to get her ready for sea."

"I wish we could have got a craft all ready for sea," I observed.  But
if you find this one you speak of likely to answer our purpose, I will
buy her at once; and I will leave you, Fairburn, to hurry on the workmen
about her, so that we may not lose a moment more than is necessary:

The next morning Fairburn again went out to make further inquiries about
the schooner; and his report was so favourable, that I resolved to apply
at once to Mr Scott to enable me to purchase her.  He told me that the
people with whom I should have to deal would treat me honestly; and,
taking my acceptance, he generously advanced me money to pay for her.  I
thus, in an unexpectedly short space of time, became the owner of a
vessel exactly suited to my purpose.

I must not forget Hassan and Kalong, or a personage of no little
importance in his own estimation, our friend Ungka, for the board and
lodging of whom I made arrangements till the schooner was ready to
receive them; as the two first had volunteered to accompany me, and as
the last had said nothing, we took his silence for his consent.  Though
Captain Cloete might have claimed him, he had kindly looked upon him as
belonging still to the widow Van Deck and little Maria, and they had
made him over to me.

I accompanied Fairburn to look at the schooner.  She was lying in a
basin near the dockyard; and, at first sight, from her want of paint,
and her dismantled state, I was much disappointed in her, and could not
help showing that I was so to my friend.

"She is better than she looks," he replied.  "Wait a week or so, and you
will think very differently of her.  Many a gay-looking bark may have
rotten timbers.  Now I have narrowly examined hers, with an honest
ship's carpenter, and I find them all thoroughly sound."

I felt the truth of his remarks, and was satisfied.  She measured about
a hundred and fifty tons, and gave promise of being both a good sea
boat, and a fast sailer.  I shall have to speak by and by of her
armament and interior arrangements.  She was built by the Spanish in
Manilla; but being bought by some Americans, was employed as an opium
smuggler, and captured by the Dutch.  She was sold by the Government to
some merchants who failed, and from whose creditors I bought her, not
two years after she was launched.  She was thus as strong as if new, and
proved not unworthy of the good opinion formed of her by Fairburn.



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN.

Java is one of the oldest possessions of the Dutch in the East.  It was
captured from them by the English during the late war, and held by us
from 1812 to 1816, during which time it was placed under the government
of the justly celebrated Sir Stamford Raffles, a truly philanthropic and
enlightened man.  Java, from what I saw and heard of it, is one of the
most fertile islands in the world; and Sir Stamford, with every argument
he could employ, urged the British Government, both for the sake of the
natives, and for Great Britain herself, not again to abandon it to the
Dutch.  His advice was not attended to; and a country which would have
proved of equal value to any of our possessions, was totally excluded
from commercial intercourse with us.  It runs east and west, being in
length about seven hundred miles, and varying in width from thirty to a
hundred miles.

Batavia is the capital of the west end, and the largest town in the
island; while Sourabaya is next in size, and may be looked upon as the
capital of the east.  A glance at the map will show its shape and
position better than can any description of mine.  A small part of Java
still belongs to some of the native princes; the rest is governed under
a very despotic system by the Dutch.  The natives are said to look back
with affection to the English rule under Sir Stamford Raffles, and often
express a wish that the country again belonged to Great Britain.  In the
centre of the south side of the island is a tract of country nominally
ruled by two native princes, with the high-sounding titles of Emperor or
Sunan of Surakerta, and the Sultan of Yugyakerta.  Madura is also
divided between the Sultan of Bankalang and the Panambehan of Sumanap.
But these princes, potent as from their titles they may be supposed to
be, are completely under the influence of Dutch viceroys, or residents
as they are called; and I doubt if even they can have the satisfaction
of cutting off the heads of any of their subjects without leave.  The
remainder of the island is divided into about twenty districts, each of
which is called a Residency, from being governed by an officer called a
Resident.  His residency is again divided into districts, over each of
which is placed a native chief, called a Regent, and a European officer,
called an Assistant-Resident, who has under him other Europeans, called
Controllers.  Each Resident has under him officers, called Widono or
Demang, whose deputies are called Bukkel; while every village, or
Kampong as it is called, has its little chief, styled Kapella Kampong,
or head of the village.

In this way, like an army, the whole population is arranged under a
series of officers, the inferiors being answerable to those above them
for the conduct of those whom they govern.  The people live in
communities, every man being obliged to belong to and reside in one
particular kampong, which is fenced in, is governed by its kapella or
head man, has its constable or police officer, and is guarded at night
by one or two sentinels, armed with spears, stationed at the gate.  All
the land is the property of the government; no native, whatever his
rank, being allowed to have land of his own.

The Dutch have not, as far as I could learn, attempted to convert the
Javanese to Christianity, nor do they take any interest in educating
them in any way.  Their policy seems simply so to govern them that their
productions may be increased, and, consequently, as large an amount as
possible of revenue raised.  Their rule being paramount, they have left
the natives in their original condition, to enjoy their own manners and
customs, and to be governed by their own chiefs in almost the same
despotic manner as formerly.  The Javanese are Mohammedans, but are not
strict in their religious duties; and their priests can often only just
manage to read the Koran, while their mosques are distinguished only
from their houses by having a roof with a double gable at each end.  The
native population amounts to nearly nine millions.

The Javanese are a very docile, amiable, and intelligent people; they
are faithful and honest servants, and are brave and trustworthy in
danger, when they can trust to their leaders.  Domestic slavery still
exists, though the slave trade is prohibited.  No European or native can
acquire property in land, nor can any foreigner reside in the country
without leave of the governor, or acquire the right of citizenship in it
till after a residence of ten years.  The governor has the power of
banishing any troublesome subject from the island: all political
discussion in society seems carefully avoided, and the freedom of the
press is strictly prohibited.  They do not now tax the people to such an
intolerable degree as formerly, when they created an outbreak of the
whole population, which was not put down till after much fighting in
1830.  To prevent a similar occurrence, they have erected a chain of
strong fortresses about fifty miles apart, from one end of the island to
the other.

As I dare say some of my young readers will one of these days become
governors of provinces, or hold other offices in our possessions abroad,
I wish to impress strongly on their minds that the only just or lawful
way of governing a people--the only sure way, indeed, of maintaining
authority over them--is to improve, to the utmost of our power, their
religious, their moral and physical condition.  Of course there may be
prejudices to be overcome, and bad spirits to be dealt with; but let a
people, however savage their natures, once understand that we are
anxious to do them all the good in our power, they will from that time
submit to our rule, and gladly avail themselves of all the advantages we
offer.

We may point with heartfelt satisfaction to the manner in which Sir
James Brooke has brought peace and prosperity among the savage tribes of
Sarawak, in Borneo, and how, having by a few necessary examples shown
the power of Great Britain, the influence of his name is now sufficient
to repress piracy in those seas where it once reigned predominant, and
to encourage the honest and industrious in perseverance and well-doing.
But I must return to my own adventures.  I will, however, first give a
list of the Dutch possessions in the East, many of which I visited.  My
creed is, that God rules the world; that He bestows his permanent
blessing only on those who do his work; and that his work is to spread
the truths of his religion, by our precept and example, among all those
of our fellow-creatures over whom we have influence, and to improve
their moral and physical condition.  I believe also what is the case
with individuals is the case with nations; and that, to prove this, we
have prominent examples before our eyes.  See what has become of the
mighty empire Spain once possessed round the circle of the globe; remark
how utterly unable France is to colonise, notwithstanding all her
efforts to establish her influence in various parts of the world.  The
Dutch possessions in the East Indies consist of:

1.  Part of the island of Sumatra.

2.  Almost the whole of Java.

3.  The islands of Banca and Billiton.

4.  The islands of Bintang and Linga.

5.  Large parts of the northern portion of the island of Borneo, which
have been recently incorporated into one or two regular residencies, and
assimilated to their Javanese possessions.

6.  The Macassar government, including parts of the islands of Celebes
and Sumbawa.

7.  The Molucca Islands, and some detached outlying posts on several
other islands.

8.  The south-west half of Timor, and the neighbouring small islands.

9.  To these may be added the recent conquests in the island of Bali.

The above rapid sketch will enable my readers to judge of the amount of
influence which the Dutch have the power of exerting in those regions;
how great a blessing they might prove to thousands and thousands of
their fellow-creatures, if they acted in accordance with the divine
precepts of Christianity, and as civilised and enlightened men should
act.  Surely, if they do not, their kingdom will be taken from them and
given to another.

The evening of our arrival, Fairburn and I drove out to see the city and
its environs, in a sort of caleche, drawn by two ponies, and driven by a
Javanese boy, in a round japanned hat, like a china punch-bowl.  The
roads are lined on either side with fine avenues of trees arching
overhead.  We passed numerous villages, or kampongs as they are called,
and many country houses, of good size, lighted up with lamps.  In front
of most of them were parties of ladies and gentlemen drinking coffee or
wine, or smoking, or chatting, or playing at cards.  We met several
carriages with ladies in them in full dress, passed over numerous wooden
bridges, and were much struck with the brilliant fire-flies which were
flitting about among the trees.  On re-entering the town, we passed
large arched gateways leading to particular quarters, and remarked in
that inhabited by the Chinese, the grotesque-looking houses, lit up with
large paper-lanterns, of gaudy colours, and Chinese inscriptions or
monsters on them, and the long rows of Chinese characters up and down
the door-posts, or over the windows.  After the quiet of the sea, our
senses were confused by the strange cries, and the Babel of languages
which resounded in our ears from the crowds of people who swarmed along
the streets in every variety of Eastern dress.  There was the half-naked
coolie; the well-clothed Citinese, in a loose white coat, like a
dressing-gown; the Arab merchant, in his flowing robes; and the Javanese
gentleman, in smart jacket and trousers, sash and sarong, or petticoat,
a curious penthouse-like hat or shade, and a strange-handled kriss stuck
in his girdle.  We could scarcely help laughing, when in our drive we
met our corpulent Chinese gentleman, in a white dressing-gown-looking
affair, smooth head, and a long pigtail, weighing down one side of a
very English-looking little pony gig, driven by a smart Javanese boy,
with the usual china punch-bowl worn by postilions, on his head.  The
Chinese flock here, as they do everywhere in the East, where money is to
be made, in spite of all obstacles; and numbers of coolies, or porters,
are to be found ready to carry anything or to go anywhere.  The lower
class of Chinese frequently act as pedlars; and we met several of them
with two wicker cases slung on a bamboo yoke, selling drapery, or fruit,
and other eatables; sometimes with a portable stove to cook them, or
keep them hot.

On the following day I stopped one of these pedlars, who had, besides
his cutlery, a display of ordinary jewels and female ornaments to sell.
I was induced to do so, as I wished to purchase some trifle to give to
little Maria as a parting gift.  While I was looking over his stores, my
eye fell on a brooch which was evidently of English workmanship.  It
struck me that it would answer my purpose by serving to fasten my young
friend's shawl, so I took it up to examine it more carefully.  As I held
it in my hand, I could not help fancying that I had seen it before.  The
idea grew stronger as I dwelt on it--my memory rushed back in an instant
to the days of my childhood, and scenes long forgotten rose up before my
eyes--my feelings grew intense--my heart beat quick--I gasped for
breath.  Yes, I was certain that very brooch which I held in my hand I
had remembered since my infancy.  Often had I gazed at it with delight.
It was a cameo of exquisite workmanship, representing the three Graces,
and had belonged to my kind friend, Mrs Clayton.  I used to call one of
the figures Mrs Clayton, another Ellen Barrow, and the third I said
must be my mother.  The pedlar's eyes opened wider than any Chinese eyes
were opened before, as he gazed at me with astonishment.  He began to
think that the jewel was some charm which had bewitched me, or that I
was going into a fit.  He, of course, could not guess the cause of my
agitation; and I recovered my presence of mind in sufficient time to
avoid telling him.  I found that he set but slight value on the
ornament, and infinitely preferred to it some glittering stores with gay
tints.  I looked over the remainder of his stores, keeping my eye
constantly on the brooch to see that he did not remove it; but I did not
find anything else which I could recognise.  I then bought a bracelet
for Maria, and a ring of trifling value, and next asked him carelessly
for how much he would sell the brooch in case I wished to buy it.  My
coolness made him lower the price from what, when he first discovered
the curiosity with which I regarded it, he intended to ask.  He demanded
a very moderate sum, which I paid him, and calmly put the jewel in my
pocket.  Had our conversation been carried on in a language I spoke
fluently, I should certainly have betrayed the secret of my agitation by
some hasty exclamation; but having to stop and consider the meaning of
each word before I used it, gave me time to grow calm.  The time had now
come for me to put the inquiries I longed to make.

"By-the-bye, my friend, that jewel looks as if it were made in a country
I have visited.  How did you obtain it?"  I asked with an unconcerned
manner.

He looked at me with his keen eyes, as he replied, "I bought it with
others to stock my cases."

"Were there many others of the same description?"  I inquired.

"Why do you ask?" he said, eyeing me sharply.

"Because it is an unusual ornament to see in this part of the world," I
replied.

"Yes, I bought a few other things, rings and other ornaments, and some
European cutlery and arms, made in the land you come from," he answered.
"Your countrymen are very great in arms, and knives, and bales of
cotton goods; and if we had not these dreadful taxes, we should purchase
a large quantity from them."

"That is very true," I remarked.  "But as you were saying, you have not
had the jewels many months; tell me, how did you procure them?"

"I bought them in the way of trade," he answered briefly.

"I suppose so; but when, and from whom, I am curious to know," I asked.
He was determined not to give me the information I required in a hurry.

"What makes you wish to know?" he said.

My patience was sorely tried; and I began to fear that he had some
reasons for not telling me.  I tried, however to disguise my feelings.

"People take fancies into their heads sometimes," I said.  "Now, I have
taken a fancy to trace where that same brooch, which I have just bought
of you, came from; and as I always repay those who gratify my whims, I
do not think you will be the loser if you tell me."

"My answer is, that I bought it in the fair way of trade, and I can say
no more," he replied, preparing, with an obstinate look, to put his
bamboo yoke over his shoulder, and to walk away.

"Then you will lose a good customer for your folly," I observed, feeling
now that the more anxiety I displayed the less likely he would be to
give me a true answer.

"However, if you think better of it, come to me to-morrow at my hotel,
and perhaps I may be disposed to make some more purchases of you.  But,
my friend, remember a wise merchant takes a good offer when it is made
to him."

"You have not made me an offer," he observed.

"What! do you expect to be paid simply for giving me a bit of
information which cost you nothing, and cannot benefit you to keep?"  I
said, laughing.  "However, as you value it so highly, I will give you
the price of the brooch if you enable me in any way to trace where it
came from."  The fellow, cunning as he was, was for a moment outwitted,
and did not suspect the trembling anxiety with which I waited for his
account.

"Well, then, you must know that two months ago I sailed from hence in a
trading schooner to visit the island of Timor, where I wished to
transact some mercantile business with the Portuguese.  I can sometimes
drive a bargain with them when I fail with the Dutch, who are very
keen--too keen to please me.  Have you ever been to Timor?"

"No," I answered, with some little impatience; "no; but go on with your
story."

"I thought not," he continued, with provoking slowness.  "Timor is a
large island, and a fine island, but not so large or so fine as Java.
The Dutch have possessions in some part of it, as well as the
Portuguese, and a good many of my countrymen are found there.  It
produces, too, a clever race of little horses--very clever little
horses."

"But what has that to do with the brooch?"  I exclaimed, foolishly
losing all my patience.  "Go on with your story without further delay."
The fellow saw by the expression of my countenance that I was really
anxious about the matter; and hoping, probably, to get better paid for
his information another day, he pretended to remember that he had his
goods to sell, and shouldering his bamboo, with his cases hanging at
either end of it, off he marched, uttering aloud his cries to attract
customers.  I called him back; I felt inclined to rush after him--to
seize him--to force the information from him; but he would not listen,
and he was soon lost among the motley crowd I have described.  I felt
almost sure that he would come back the next day but in the meantime I
was left in a state of the most cruel anxiety.  Here was the best clue I
had yet met with almost within my grasp, to guide me in my search for
Eva and Mrs Clayton, and I was not allowed to reach it.  The time had
arrived for me to join Mr Scott, who had invited me to accompany him to
his country house, about three miles from the town.  The road led us
past numerous kampongs and country houses, all the way being under lofty
trees, which were made to arch overhead, and to afford a most grateful
shade.

On our way, I mentioned my meeting with the pedlar.

"Should you know him again?" he asked.

"Among a hundred others," I replied.

"Oh, then, there will be little difficulty in making him tell the
truth," he observed, with a smile.  "If he does not do so of his own
accord, I will get the resident to interfere, and he has wonderful
methods of making a dumb Chinaman open his mouth.  We will see about it
the first thing to-morrow; for I agree with you, that the fellow's
information may be of great value."

So it was arranged, and my mind was somewhat tranquillised.  My new
friend's residence was like most country houses built by the Dutch in
the island--long and low, and consisting only of one storey.  In the
centre was the chief room, of good size, opening both in front and
behind, by two large door-ways, into spacious verandahs, as large as the
room itself, and supported by pillars.  In each of the wings were three
good bedrooms.  It stood in an enclosure of about an acre, with
coach-house, stables, and servants' houses and offices.  The floors were
formed of tiles, and in the principal room a cane matting was used.  As
it grew dusk, several people came in, some in carriages, and some on
foot, and we had a good deal of amusing conversation, while cigars were
smoked, and coffee, wine, and liqueurs were handed round.  The Javanese
were described as an excellent and faithful race of people, patient,
good-tempered, faithful, and very handy and ingenious.  A man who is a
carpenter one day, will turn a blacksmith next, or from a farmer will
speedily become a sailor; and a gentleman told me of a servant who,
after having lived with him many years, begged to be allowed to go to
sea, giving as his only reason, that he was tired of seeing the same
faces every day.  I partook of a curious fruit, of which the natives are
very fond, called the Durinan.  It required some resolution to overcome
my repugnance to the scent, which is most powerful.  The flavour is very
peculiar; and I can best describe it as like rich custard and boiled
onions mixed together.

There are about 60,000 inhabitants in Sourabaya.  The lower orders of
Javanese are a broadly built race of people, seldom above the middle
height.  The men, when actively employed, have on generally no other
garment than a tight cloth round the loins; but at other times they wear
a sarong, which is a long piece of coloured cotton wrapped round the
waist, and hanging down to the knee.  They sometimes add a jacket of
cloth or cotton.  The women seem to delight most in garments of a
dark-blue colour, in shape something like a gown and petticoat; but the
neck and shoulders are frequently left bare, and the sarong or gown is
wrapped tightly under the armpits and across the bosom.

Both men and women wear their hair long, and turned up with a large
comb, so that at a distance it is difficult to distinguish one from the
other.  The latter have no covering for the head, but the men wear
conical hats, made of split bamboo.

A Javanese gentleman usually wears a handkerchief round his head, a
smart green or purple velvet or cloth jacket with gold buttons, a shirt
with gold studs, loose trousers and sometimes boots, and a sarong or
sash, in the latter of which is always carried a kriss ornamented with
gold and diamonds.  The Chinese, as elsewhere, are a plump, clean, and
good-tempered-looking people; they, as well as other people from the
neighbouring countries, are under charge of a captain or headman, who is
answerable for their good conduct.  The Dutch troops, dressed in
light-blue and yellow uniforms, and mustering upwards of two thousand
infantry, besides artillery and cavalry, consist of Javanese, Madurese,
and Bugis, with Negroes and Europeans, frequently Dutch convicts who, to
escape punishment at home, have volunteered to serve in the army in
Java.  What can one think of the character of an army composed of such
men? and how much more calculated must they be to injure and demoralise
than to protect the people, and to maintain order, which is the only
legitimate object of a military body!  I hope that my readers are not
tired with my long account of the Javanese.  The next morning I returned
to the town with Mr Scott, and immediately set out in search of the
pedlar.  I was not long in finding him, for he was hovering about the
hotel in hopes of having another deal with me.  He did not suspect that
I had friends who could apply to the authorities to make him give me the
information I required.  I had my young Javanese guide watching, who
instantly ran off to call Mr Scott, while I held the pedlar in close
conversation.  On Mr Scott's appearance, the impudent look of the man
instantly changed to one of submissive respect.

"I thought you were a wise man, Chin Fi," began my friend, who appeared
to know him.  "Here is a gentleman offers you a handsome reward for a
bit of trifling information, and you refuse to give it him; how is
this?"

"Though the information is trifling, the young gentleman seemed very
eager to get it," answered Chin Fi, recovering himself.  "But I am a
reasonable man, and was about to give it when he interrupted me
yesterday."

"Continue your story, then," said Mr Scott, aware, however, that he was
not speaking the truth.  "You were in the island of Timor when you
procured the brooch in question."

"I observed that I went to the island of Timor; but I did not say that I
got the brooch there," answered Chin Fi.

"Come, come, you are taking up our time uselessly.  Where did you get it
then?" exclaimed Mr Scott.  "I must take other means of learning if you
longer delay."  And he looked in the direction of the Resident's house.

The Chinese guessed his intentions, and observed, "Well, if the
gentleman will give me the price he offered, I will afford him all the
information I possess.  Knowledge is of value; and I am a poor man, and
cannot give it without a return."

On his saying this, I took out the proposed sum and put it into Mr
Scott's hands, who gave it him, saying, "Now remember, Chin Fi, if you
wish to prosper, tell all you know about the matter."

"I will," said the pedlar, finding that he would gain nothing by further
delay.  "You must know that while I was in Timor, I was engaged in
purchasing such merchandise as I thought would suit the taste of the
people of this country.  To obtain a passage back, I went to the Dutch
settlement of Coupang.  One day, having just transacted some affairs
with a merchant, I was walking along the quay by the water's side, when
I observed a young Javanese lad following me.  I happened to have
remarked him while I was speaking to the merchant.  He continued
following me till I got into a narrow lane, where no one else happened
to be; and he then came up to me, and said he had something to sell if I
was inclined to buy.  I asked him to show me his goods, and he pulled
out a handkerchief from his breast, with some rings, a gold chain, and
two brooches, one of which I sold yesterday to this gentleman.  I
purchased them of him, and asked him if he had any more.  He said that
he could not tell me; and I then inquired how he procured them.  He
answered it was a matter about which I had nothing to do, and being of
his opinion I questioned him no further; but as I wished to have more
dealings with him, I resolved to try and find out where he went.  When
he parted from me he took the way to the quay; and as from his dress and
the look of his hands I suspected that he belonged to one of the vessels
in the harbour, I went and hid myself in a spot where I could watch
every part of the landing-place.

"I had waited about a couple of hours, when a boat came on shore from a
European brig, lying outside all the other vessels, and presently two
Englishmen or Americans, with two or three Malays, came down in company
with the young Javanese lad, who was staggering under a heavy load of
yams, shaddocks, bananas, cocoa-nuts, and other fruit and vegetables.
It is odd, I thought, that this boy who has so much money at his
command, should be made to do the work of a slave.  I suspected that
there was something irregular, and that the lad had either stolen the
jewels or was selling them for some one else.  I made inquiries about
the brig, and found that she was an American, and had put in for water
and provisions; but for her name, I can neither remember it, nor
pronounce it, probably, if I did.  I expected next day to find that the
brig had gone, and to hear no more about the matter; but there she still
was, and who should I meet but the Javanese lad walking by himself in a
disconsolate manner near the quay?  I beckoned him to me, and asked him
if he had any more jewels to sell; but he answered, No; and that he
wished he had not sold those, as it had done no good."

"I inquired what he meant; but for some time he would not answer, till I
persuaded him that I was his friend, and that I by chance knew some of
his relatives.  He then told me that the jewels had belonged to an
English lady, who was kept on board the brig against her will, and that
she had employed him to sell them, in the hopes of being able to bribe
some one to help her to escape, or to carry intelligence of her position
to the authorities of any port at which the brig might touch.  The lad,
who seemed in many respects very simple-minded and honest, said that he
wanted to get away, but dared not--that he had not originally belonged
to the brig, but was taken out of another vessel, and made to work on
board her, his chief employment lately being to attend on the lady in
the cabin."

While he was speaking, several seamen came out of an arrack shop some
way off.  He caught sight of them and hurried off to the quay.  They all
jumped into the boat, and pulled away for the brig as fast as their oars
could send her through the water.  Instantly the vessel's sails were
loosed, her anchor was weighed, and she stood out to sea.  Soon
afterwards, a Dutch ship of war came in, and a boat from the shore going
out to meet her, without dropping her anchor she made sail in the
direction the brig had taken.

"Did she overtake the brig?"  I inquired eagerly.

"I do not know," replied the pedlar.  "I came away before the
man-of-war's return, and had not again thought of the circumstances till
your inquiries recalled them to my memory."

Believing that the Chinese had given me a faithful account, I further
rewarded him, and dismissed him, highly satisfied with the transaction.
It must not be supposed that he used the words I have written, for I
have given a very free translation of his story, which was in very
flowery language, and occupied much more time than mine will to read.  I
cross-questioned him also about Eva; but he had heard nothing of a
little girl, nor had he suspected that the brig was a pirate.

Mr Scott, however, agreed with me that there was every probability of
her having been the _Emu_, and that my first point of inquiry should be
at Timor, while I also should endeavour to fall in with the man-of-war
which had chased her.  It was suggested that I might most likely hear of
the man-of-war at Batavia, and that I should endeavour to touch there.
Oh, how I longed to have my schooner ready for the enterprise!



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN.

Mr Scott accompanied me to the house of the Resident, that I might
state my case; and on our way we met Captain Cloete, who volunteered to
join us.  The Resident received me most kindly, and promised to do all
in his power to facilitate my object.  He said that strict enquiries
should be made on board all vessels coming to the port, whether a brig
answering the description of the _Emu_ had been met with; and he also
engaged that the same inquiries should be made in Batavia and throughout
all the ports belonging to the Dutch.

I was much indebted to the influence of my friends, and the warm
interest they took in me, and for the alacrity displayed by the
Resident; but I felt that this was no reason why I should in any way
relax in my own exertions.  The schooner could not be got ready for sea
in less than three weeks, in spite of all Fairburn's exertions; and I
considered how I could best employ the time to forward my object.  It
must not be supposed that I had forgotten the widow Van Deck and little
Maria.  Fairburn and I had still our duty to perform, in seeing them
placed in safety with their friends; but as his presence was essential
in attending to the fitting out of the vessel, I resolved to undertake
the office of their conductor, having already engaged to pay their
expenses.  They were both now sufficiently recovered to undertake the
journey up the country, to a place where an uncle of the widow resided,
as Assistant Resident.

I was, however, very unwilling to leave Sourabaya in the chance of
obtaining any further news of the _Emu_, and had hopes of being able to
send to their relations to induce some one to come down and receive
them, when the point was decided for me.  The heat and excitement of the
town was already telling on me, and Mr Scott made me consult a medical
man, who urged me at once to go up to the highlands of the interior, to
regain my strength before I went to sea.

The widow Van Deck expressed herself much satisfied with the
arrangement, and very grateful for the care taken of her, while little
Maria seemed highly delighted at finding that I was to accompany them on
the journey.  Captain Cloete's first lieutenant, Mr Jeekel, also
arranged to join the party, of which I was very glad, as he was a very
well informed man, and a most amusing companion.  We engaged a carriage,
with two inside seats for the widow and Maria, and two outside for Mr
Jeekel and me.  Mr Scott kindly urged me to take care of myself and get
well.  Fairburn promised to get on with the schooner's outfitting; and
just as we were starting, Captain Cloete came and put a sum of money
into the hands of the widow.

"There," he said, "sailors should always help each other; so I and a few
other friends have collected that little sum to defray the expenses of
your journey; so that you need not feel yourself a burden to your young
friend here, while you will have something in your purse when you
present yourself to your relatives."

The tears came into the widow's eyes as she received this unexpected
kindness, and her feelings almost checked her expressions of thanks.

The evening before our departure, as I was sitting with the widow and
little Maria, the former observed--"You may be surprised, Mr Seaworth,
at my thinking it necessary to give you so much trouble about my return
to my relations; but I must confess to you that I offended them very
much by marrying Captain Van Deck, whom they looked upon as my inferior
in rank, and I am full of doubts as to my reception.  Had he been alive,
I should not have ventured to return; but now that he is in his grave, I
trust that their anger may be softened.  I have no one else to depend
on.  I cannot obtain my own livelihood; but they would not, I trust,
allow a relation to beg in the streets.  If they will once receive me, I
hope, by my conduct, to gain their affection, which before I married I
did not, through my own fault, possess; and I therefore do not in any
way complain of their treatment of me.  I have had, I assure you, a
great struggle with the rebellious spirit within me; but I have
conquered, and am happier even than I ever expected to be."  In reply, I
assured her that I thought her relations would, after she had spent a
little time with them, rejoice at her return; for in the frame of mind
to which she had brought herself, I felt sure she would very soon gain
their regard; and I thought that little Maria could not fail of
attaching to herself every one who knew her.

I have not space to afford a full account of our journey.  Indeed, I
cannot do more than give the general result of my observations.  We had
passports, without which we could not have proceeded; and we were
obliged to obtain leave from each Resident to pass through his district.
We had four good little horses; and for many miles proceeded along the
plain, on a fine broad hard road, raised two or three feet above the
level of the country.  The post houses are about six miles apart, and at
each of them there is a large wooden shed, stretching completely across
the road, to shelter the horses and travellers from the sun while the
horses are changed.  The country, as we proceeded, became very rich and
highly cultivated; and between the groves of cocoa-nuts and areca palms,
and other trees, which bordered the road, we got glimpses of a fine
range of mountains, which increased its interest.  The crops were
sugar-cane, and maize and rice.  The rice-fields are divided into many
small plats or pans, about ten yards square, with ridges of earth
eighteen inches high, for the purpose of retaining the water, which is
kept two or three inches deep over the roots of the grain, till it is
just ready to ripen.  A number of little sheds stood in the fields, with
a boy or girl stationed in each, who kept moving a collection of
strings, radiating in every direction, with feathers attached to them,
for the purpose of keeping off the flights of those beautiful little
birds, called Java sparrows, hovering above.  From these plots the rice,
or paddy, as it is called, is transplanted into the fields, each plant
being set separately.  How our English farmers would stare at the idea
of transplanting some hundred acres of wheat!  Yet these savages, as
they would call them, set them this worthy example of industry.  We
passed a market crowded with people.  There were long sheds, in some of
which were exposed European articles, such as cutlery and drapery; in
others, drugs or salt-fish, or fruit and confectionery; while at some
open stalls the visitors were regaling themselves with coffee, boiled
rice, hot meat, potatoes, fruit, and sweetmeats.  We stopped at a large
town on the coast, called Probolingo, where there was an excellent
hotel.  There was also a square in it, with a mosque on one side, the
house of the Resident on another, a range of barracks on the third, and
a good market-place, where I saw piles of magnificent melons, for which
the neighbourhood is celebrated.  It is a place of some trade; and we
were told that there were in the storehouses coffee and sugar sufficient
to load twenty large ships.  Broad roads, bordered by fine trees, with
native villages, and large European houses, surround the town.

As we continued our journey on the following day, we began to meet with
coffee plantations, which are neatly fenced in, and consist of some
twenty acres each.  They are pleasant-looking spots, as the shrubs are
planted in rows, with tall trees between each row to shelter them from
the sun.  Sometimes, too, we came upon a species of Banian tree, a
noble, wide-spreading tree, with drooping branches, under which might be
seen a waggon laden with paddy, and a group of people with their oxen
resting by its side.  I remarked that coffee was carried in large
hampers on the backs of ponies.  We used to lunch sometimes at the
bamboo provision stalls, under the shade of tall trees near the
kampongs, where we found hot tea and coffee, sweet potatoes, rice cakes,
and a kind of cold rice pudding.

The Javanese delight in a sort of summer-house, which is called a
pondap; it is built to the height of sixteen feet or so on stout
pillars, with a raised floor, and covered with a thatch made of the
leaves of the palm.  It is open at the sides, except a railing of
netting three feet high, and sometimes blinds of split cane are rolled
up under the eaves, and can be let down to exclude the sun or rain.

I must describe a "passangerang," or guest-house, at several of which we
stopped for the night.  It was a large bamboo-house, standing on a
raised terrace of brick, and with a broad verandah running all round it.
There was a centre hall to serve as the grand saloon, and several
well-furnished bedrooms on either side.  The view was very beautiful.
The ground on every side undulated agreeably: on one side it sloped down
to a shining lake, bordered by a thick belt of wood, with a silvery
brook escaping from a narrow ravine, foaming and leaping into it; while
beyond arose the stately cone of the burning mountain of the Lamongan,
some four thousand feet in height, a wreath of white smoke curling from
its summit, from its base a green slope stretched off to the right,
whence, some twenty miles distant, shot up still more majestically the
lofty cone of the Semiru, a peak higher than that of Teneriffe; then,
again, another irregular ridge ran away to the north, among which is the
volcano of the Bromo.  On another side could be seen the sea gleaming in
the far distant horizon, while over all the country near was a lovely
variety of cultivated fields, and patches of wood, and slopes of the
_alang-alang_, a long green grass with a very broad leaf, and here and
there a native kampong half concealed by its groves of fruit-trees.
Everything, both in form and colour, looked beautiful as it glittered in
the hot sunshine, while a fresh breeze from the south tempered the heat,
and reminded me of a summer day in England.  A table was spread in the
verandah with a snow white tablecloth, and all the conveniences of
glass, plate, and cutlery, and covered with dishes of poultry, and
meats, and rice, and curries, pilaus, and soups, all well cooked, with
attendants doing their best to please us.

Little Maria was enchanted--she had seen nothing in her life before like
it; and all the sickness and perils she had gone through were forgotten.
Lieutenant Jeekel and I were much pleased also; and had I not had my
important enterprise in view, I should have liked to have spent many
days there.  As we strolled out in the evening at dusk, we found two men
following us with spears; and when we inquired the reason of their
attendance, they said that they came to defend us from tigers.  We
laughed at this, but they assured us that tigers were very abundant, and
that they often carried off men to eat them, and sometimes even came
into the houses when hard pressed by hunger.  No one will venture out at
night without torches to keep them at a distance.  We afterwards found
that their fears were not exaggerated, for a man from a village close to
us going out to work before daybreak was carried off by a tiger from
between two companions, who in vain endeavoured to save him.  After this
we took care not to expose ourselves to the chance of forming a supper
for a tiger.  The next evening I was nearly stepping on a snake, the
bite of which is said to be certain death.  I mention these
circumstances merely to show that, fertile as is the country and
magnificent the scenery, it has its drawbacks.  While we were in the
high country, it rained generally from two till four o'clock, and then
the weather became as fine as ever.  It always rained in earnest, and
never have I seen more downright heavy pours.  The inhabitants of the
mountains are far superior in stature and independence of manners to
those of the plains.  Their houses are, however, inferior in many
respects; they are built of planks roughly split from trees with a
wedge, while their posts are formed of the camarina equally roughly
squared.  The roof is composed of reeds or shingles.  The interior
consists of but one room, with a square fireplace of brick at one end,
and seats round it; the bed-places of the family are on either side; and
overhead are racks to hold spears and agricultural instruments, the
whole blackened with the constant smoke, which has no other outlet
besides the door and window.  The houses of the peasantry on the plains
are composed almost entirely of bamboo; the posts and beams of the
stoutest pieces of that plant, and the walls of split bamboo woven into
mats, the roof being covered with leaves of the _hissah_ palm.

We were now approaching the end of our journey, and the widow began to
be very nervous as to the reception she was likely to meet with from her
relations.  The lieutenant, especially, tried to keep up her spirits;
and it appeared to me, whatever the arguments he used, that he succeeded
very well.

I am afraid that, in my descriptions, I have not done full justice to
the beauty of the scenery, the high state of cultivation of the country,
the excessive politeness of the people--I might almost call it slavish,
were not the natural impulses of the Javanese so kind--the luxurious
provisions, the comfort of the passangerangs or guest-houses, the purity
of the air, and the deliciousness of the climate of the hills.  We did
not encounter a beggar of any description, and we saw no people in a
state of what could be called poverty; so, although the Dutch rule most
despotically, this system apparently tends to secure the creature
comforts of the lower orders.  But, as I have already observed, it does
no more--it regards these frail bodies, but totally neglects their
immortal souls.

One day we turned off from the high road, and took a path apparently but
little used, as it was a complete carpet of short green turf, which led
us across a gently undulating champaign country; passing now through
patches of beautiful forest, now through open rice-fields or small
plains of alang-alang.  Here and there was a rocky isolated hill crowned
with clumps of noble trees, while sparkling brooks and rills seemed to
cool the air, while they refreshed our sight, their murmuring sound
reaching constantly our ears.  Many of the rills were artificial,
leading from one rice field to another.  The industrious inhabitants
were guiding their ploughs or otherwise in their fields, while here and
there a grove of fruit-trees, with cocoa-nuts, areca palms, and clusters
of bamboos rising among them, showed the situation of the villages.
Nearly surrounding this beautiful country swept a semicircle of
magnificent mountains of the most picturesque description, one
out-topping the other, while in the far distance the stately Semiru
raised his lofty cone into the blue sky.

As we had now arrived close to the residence of the widow's relations,
we thought it advisable to forward a letter, which the lieutenant
undertook to write, giving an outline of what had occurred, and
announcing our arrival.  The letter was composed, but we were not quite
satisfied with it; and at last our worthy friend volunteered to ride
forward himself to prepare the way, suggesting that his rank, and his
acquaintance with a large number of people, might have some little
influence in softening matters.  We in the meantime remained at the
passangerang awaiting his return.  Two hours passed away and he did not
appear, and the widow began to be anxious; a third had elapsed, and no
Lieutenant Jeekel was to be seen.

"My uncle and his family are away, or he may be dead, or he will not
listen to our friend," sighed the widow.

We were sitting in a sort of raised summer-house, in the shape of a
tower, built of bamboo.  From our elevated perch we commanded a view of
the road.

"No, I feel that I am discarded for ever, and must be content to live on
the charity of strangers," continued the widow, soliloquising.  "For
myself I care not; but for you, my sweet child, it is a hard lot."

"Do not vex yourself about me, my dear aunt," answered little Maria.
"But ah! see, who is that coming along the road?"

We all looked out of the balcony, and observed two horsemen, with long
spears glittering in the sun, advancing slowly towards us.  A little
beyond them was a larger party, one of whom was evidently a chief with
his officers, from the turbans on their heads, their blue cloth jackets,
and rich shawls round their waists, with highly ornamented krisses stuck
in them; the blue and red cloth over their saddles, and the silver
trappings to their horses.  Two Europeans were with them: one we soon
recognised as the lieutenant; the other, a middle-aged,
gentlemanly-looking man, was a stranger to me; but the widow, as she
watched him, exclaimed--

"It is--yes, it must be my uncle!"

The Javanese seemed to pay him great respect.  He threw himself from his
horse, which one of them held, and with the lieutenant ascended the
stairs.  On entering the room he hurried up to the widow, and to her no
little surprise gave her a warm embrace.

"Well, my dear niece, I am glad to hear from your friend here, that you
placed reliance on the affection of your relatives," he began, as he
handed her to a chair in an affectionate manner.  "Let the past be
forgotten; and now let me ask you to make me known to the young
gentleman who has acted so generously to you.  Mr Seaworth, I
understand."

Whereupon I shook hands, and made a suitable answer; and then little
Maria was introduced, and we were all in a few minutes on the best terms
possible.  I thought Mr Jeekel's eye twinkled, but he said nothing; and
I was somewhat surprised, after all the difficulties we expected to
experience, at the facility with which the reconciliation had been
accomplished.  But the cause was soon explained.

"I conclude, my dear niece," said her uncle to her on a sudden, "you
have received due notice of the good fortune which has befallen you."

"No!" answered the widow, surprised, as well she might.  "I have been
prepared only for misfortunes.  What do you mean?"

"Allow me then to congratulate you sincerely," he replied.  "I have
great satisfaction in being the first to announce to you that your
great-uncle, M. Deikman, who died a year ago, has left you heiress to
all his property, amounting to twenty thousand rupees a year; and you
may at once take possession of it."

I will not stop to describe the contentment of the widow at her change
of fortune, the joy of little Maria, and the satisfaction of the
lieutenant.  I spent four days at the house of her uncle, who was very
attentive to me; and I need scarcely say that, when the time for my
departure arrived, I was very sorry to leave her with the prospect of
never again seeing her; and still more so my young friend Maria.  I am
happy to say that prosperity did not appear to have made the widow
forget the good resolutions she had formed in adversity.  She insisted
on repaying me the money I had spent on her account; and I had reason
afterwards to know that she was not ungrateful.  It was arranged that
Lieutenant Jeekel was to accompany me, and that we were to travel on
horseback, by which mode we should be able to diverge oftener from the
high road, and to see more of the country than we had been able to do
coming.  Little Maria cried very much as I wished her good-bye.

"You are going away, and I shall never--never--see you again, my dear,
dear Mr Seaworth!" she exclaimed, as she held my hands, and looked up
affectionately into my face.  "Now, promise me, if you succeed in
finding your dear little Eva--and I am sure you will find her--that you
will come back and show her to me.  I so long to see her, and to love
her, and to tell her how kind you have been to me.  I will pray every
night and morning that she may be restored to you, and that she may live
to reward you for all your trouble in looking after her.  You will
promise then, my dear Mr Seaworth; I know you will."

"Indeed, I should be very sorry if I thought I was not to see you
again," I replied, completely won by her artless manner.  "If I possibly
can--if I am so blessed as to find my sister--I will come and introduce
her to you."

With this answer the little girl was satisfied.  At length we started.
I had a very pleasant journey, and collected a great deal of information
as to the manners and customs of the Javanese.  We saw several tigers,
and deer, and wild hogs, and monkeys innumerable, and snakes and other
reptiles; but had no adventure worth recording, and reached Sourabaya in
safety.



CHAPTER NINETEEN.

We entered Sourabaya in the evening, when the streets were still crowded
with the mixed population of the town, in their varied and picturesque
dresses, each speaking their own language, or uttering the various cries
of their respective trades.  I directly rode to the hotel in the hopes
of finding Fairburn there, as I was eager to learn how he was
progressing with the schooner.  He had not returned; and I was setting
off to the docks when I met him coming in.

"How do you get on?"  I exclaimed, as soon as I saw him.  "Are we likely
soon to be able to start?"

"We have gone ahead more rapidly than I expected," he answered.  "What
by good wages and encouragement, and constant supervision, the
carpenters and riggers have got on so well, that I expect she will be
ready for sea in a few days.  The more I see of the little craft, the
more I like her; for she is a beauty, I can assure you, and will sail
well too."

"I am delighted to hear it, and thank you for all your exertions in my
cause," I answered.  "I long to be fairly under weigh.  But have you
gained any more information about the _Emu_?"

"Nothing of importance," he answered.  "A Dutch merchantman came in here
a few days ago, and she reports that some months since, on her outward
voyage, she was chased by a strange brig, which showed no colours; but,
by carrying all sail, she got away from her.  If that was the _Emu_, it
shows that she has taken regularly to piracy, and that we must be
prepared to encounter her."

To this I agreed; but the thought that my sister and Mrs Clayton were
among wretches who were pursuing such a course made me feel very
wretched.  The next morning I accompanied Fairburn down to the vessel.
I was indeed surprised with the appearance she presented.  Indeed, she
required little more than to get her sails bent and her stores on board
to be ready for sea.  She mounted four carronades, and one long brass
gun amidships, besides numerous swivels on her bulwarks, to enable her
to contend in every way with any piratical prahus we might encounter.
Besides these, her arm-chests contained a good supply of muskets,
pistols, and cutlasses.

"I have engaged also the best part of our crew," said Fairburn.  "They
are all staunch fellows, or I am much mistaken.  It is important that we
should be well manned.  There are eight Englishmen, four Dutchmen, two
Americans, and six Javanese.  The last are fine fellows, and, well
treated, will labour hard; and if well led, and they can see that they
may trust to their officers, they will prove as brave as any men in the
world.  See how they all go about their work.  If I was a stranger to
them, I should say they were the men to trust to.  They have found out
already that I chose all good men, and that there are no skulkers among
them."

We were standing on the quay at the time, and as he spoke he pointed to
the schooner where all hands were actively employed in various
avocations, setting up the rigging, bending sails, and hoisting in
stores.

"And what sort or officers have you engaged?"  I asked.

"Two; and both good.  One is a Dutchman, and the other is English.  I
had some difficulty in arranging the papers, and in getting permission
to carry arms but, thanks to the assistance of Mr Scott and the
kindness of the Resident, the affair has been settled.  I cannot
however, go as master of the schooner."

"You not master!"  I exclaimed.  "Who, then, is to be?"

"The Dutchman, M. Van Graoul.  He is a very good fellow in spite of his
name," he answered, laughing.  "The fact is, he is nominally captain,
and is answerable for our good behaviour--that we will not turn pirates,
or commit any other little irregularities.  I am to have charge of the
vessel, and he is to obey me in all things lawful; indeed, he is to act
as my mate except on certain occasions, when we are to change places.
The arrangement is perfectly understood between us, and is not at all
unusual."

I replied that I was satisfied if he was, and thought that the
arrangement would not inconvenience him.

"You are aware, also, that you must sail under the Dutch flag," he
continued.  "It is better known than the English in these seas, and so
far that is an advantage; but I daresay you would rather, as I should
when it comes to fighting, have our own glorious standard waving over
our heads."

I agreed with him there also; but I found that I was much indebted to
the Dutch authorities, as so very strict is the government in all
matters of the sort, that it was only in consequence of the peculiar
circumstances of the case that I was allowed to fit out the vessel at
all, many regulations being relaxed in my favour.  I forgot to say that
the schooner was called the _Fraulein_, which is the Dutch, or rather
German, of _young lady_; and I thought the name pretty and appropriate.
Behold me, then, the owner of the schooner _Fraulein_, Captain Van
Graoul, just ready for sea, and as complete a little man-of-war as ever
floated.  I was going to call her a yacht; but she was fitted more for
fighting than pleasure, except that there was one cabin which, with a
confidence I scarcely had a right to, I had had prepared for Eva and
Mrs Clayton.

Our papers were all in order, and we had cleared out regularly.  I had
taken leave of the Resident and other authorities, and thanked Mr Scott
to the utmost of my power for his liberality and confidence in me; and I
had wished all the other friends I had formed good-bye, except
Lieutenant Jeekel, who told me he intended to come and see the last of
me on board.  I felt that I had at length commenced my enterprise; my
hopes rose with the occasion.  There was an elasticity in my spirits, a
buoyancy in my step, which I had never before experienced, as I walked
the deck of the _Fraulein_, as she lay in the roads just before getting
under weigh.

"There is a loaded boat coming off, and I think I see Lieutenant Jeekel
in her," said Captain Van Graoul, who had been looking through his glass
towards the shore.

He was right; in a short time my friends came alongside in a boat laden
with provisions and fruits, and luxuries of every kind and description
which the country could produce.  While I was welcoming him on board,
the things were being handed up on deck.

"Oh, you must not thank me for anything there," he exclaimed, with a
smile, as he saw me looking at what was going forward.  "I have but
performed a commission for a friend of ours, who charged me to see it
executed, or not to venture into her presence again."

"Oh, I understand," I replied, laughing significantly.  "Pray, whenever
you are tempted back to her neighbourhood, express my gratitude, and
assure her and Maria that I will not forget them, or the last mark of
their kindness."

I suspected that it would not be long before my message was delivered,
if the lieutenant could get leave from his ship, which was then
refitting.  He gave me also a satisfactory piece of intelligence, to the
effect, that as soon as his brig was ready for sea, she was to be sent
to cruise in search of the _Emu_, should her piratical career not yet
have terminated.

I was very unwilling to have to go so far out of my way as Batavia; for
I felt certain that my search should be carried on among the wilder and
less frequented islands lying to the east of Java, where the pirates
would have little fear of being surprised.  At the same time, I might
obtain important information at Batavia; and I knew the necessity of
beginning my search systematically.

Everybody on board was in high spirits, and they all having had the
object of the cruise explained to them, seemed to enter into it with a
zeal and alacrity which was highly gratifying to me.  We had a complete
little Babel, as far as a variety of tongues are concerned, in the
_Fraulein_; but, thanks to Fairburn's admirable arrangements, aided by
Van Graoul, perfect harmony instead of discord was produced.

I have not yet described Van Graoul.  He was a stout man with a placid,
good-humoured expression of countenance, and was content, provided he
could enjoy his well-loved pipe, and an occasional glass of schiedam, to
let the world take its way without complaining.  He wore light-blue
trousers, with enormous side-pockets, into which his hands were always
thrust; a nankeen jacket, and a wide-brimmed straw hat, with a bright
yellow handkerchief round his neck.  He was a very good seaman in most
respects; and was so perfectly cool in danger, that it was difficult to
believe he was aware of the state of affairs.  He did not, however, make
a good master, as he was subject to fits of absence, when he was apt to
forget the object of his voyage.  The junior mate was a young
Englishman, of the name of Barlow, a very steady, trustworthy person.
Then, there was a boatswain, a gunner, a carpenter, and other petty
officers; and I must not forget to mention Hassan, the young Malay, and
Kalong the Dyak, who considered themselves our immediate attendants,
while Ungka was a favourite with all.

As it was impossible to say where the _Emu_ might be, we were constantly
on the look-out for any vessel answering her description.  It was agreed
that if we did fall in with her, we must endeavour to take her by
surprise, or to capture her by boarding, as, were we to fire at her, our
round shot might injure those we were in search of.  We had a very short
passage to Batavia, and anchored in the roadstead.  The town being built
on a swamp, and planted with trees, was entirely concealed from our
view.  I immediately went on shore, my boat being tracked up the river
against a strong current.

I was struck by the immense number of alligators which infest the river.
They are held sacred by the Javanese, who will not destroy them; and it
is said that they treat their brown skins with equal respect, but have
no compunction about eating a white man.  They live upon the number of
dead animals and offal which come floating down the river.  They are
useful as acting the part of scavengers to the stream they inhabit.  The
streets of Batavia run for the most part in a north or south direction,
are kept in neat order, regularly watered, and planted with rows of
trees in the Dutch style.  Formerly canals intersected the streets in
all directions, rendering the city the most pestilential place within
the tropics; but by the orders of Sir Stamford Raffles, while the
English had possession of the island, they were all filled up, except
the Grand Canal and its tributaries.  The city is still far from
healthy, and no one who can help it remains there; the government
officers and merchants all going out to their country houses in the
afternoon.  My stay in Batavia was so short, that I had not time to make
many remarks about the place.  In consequence of the recommendations I
had received from Sourabaya, the Resident forwarded my views in every
way, giving me passes to facilitate my search throughout all the Dutch
settlements I might visit.

Fairburn and Van Graoul were in the meantime making inquiries among the
masters of all the trading vessels in the harbour, whether they had seen
or heard of a vessel which might prove to be the _Emu_.  They, however,
could only obtain rumours of her, and no one was met who had actually
been attacked by her.  For some time past it appeared that she had not
even been heard of; and the opinion was, either that her career had by
some means or other been brought to a close, or that she had altogether
quitted those seas and gone to commit her depredations in another
quarter of the globe.  This last idea was the most distressing, because,
if such was the case, I could not tell for what length of time my search
might be prolonged.  As, however, Timor was the last place she had been
known to touch at, I determined to proceed there, and thence to steer a
course as circumstances might direct.

We were once more at sea.  It is very delightful to sail over the ocean
when the breeze is fresh, and sufficiently strong to send the vessel
skimming along over the water, and yet not sufficiently so to throw up
waves on the surface.  Many such days I remember, and many nights, when
the moon, in tranquil majesty was traversing the pure dark-blue sky, her
light shed in a broad stream of silver across the purple expanse, on
which the vessel floated, a mere dot it seemed in the infinity of space.
Had I been free from anxiety, the life I spent on board the _Fraulein_
would have been most delightful; but my mind was always dwelling on Eva,
and thinking how she was situated; and my anxiety to rescue her
prevented me from enjoying the present.

We had been two weeks at sea, having experienced chiefly calms and light
winds, when one morning at daybreak, while on the right of the island of
Lombok, the lofty cone of its volcano rising blue and distinct against
the sky, a square-rigged vessel was descried in the north-east quarter.
She was apparently standing on a bowline to the southward, so that, by
continuing our course, we should just contrive to get near enough to
speak her.  There was considerable excitement on board, for we had not
spoken any vessel since we were out.  She might give us some information
respecting the _Emu_; or it was just possible that she might be the
_Emu_ herself.  We stood on till we made her to be a low black brig,
with a somewhat rakish appearance.  This answered the description of the
_Emu_.  We had now to consider how to approach the stranger without
exciting her suspicions.  We first hoisted the Dutch ensign, and out
flew, in return from her peak, the stars and stripes of the United
States.

"He is not afraid of showing his colours," said Van Graoul, looking at
the brig through his glass.  "But ah! see there!  He does not like our
look.  He has put his helm up, and away he goes before the wind."

So it was.  The stranger altered her course, and away she stood to the
eastward, pretty briskly setting her studding-sails and royals; by which
we calculated that she had a good many hands on board.  This behaviour
of the stranger increased our suspicions of her character; and we
accordingly made all sail in chase.  We were now to try the speed of the
little _Fraulein_.  The breeze freshened, and away she flew over the
water; but the brig was much larger, and soon showed us that she had a
fast pair of heels.  Do all we could, indeed, we could only continue to
hold our own with her.  Sometimes we even fancied that she was
distancing us, and then after an hour had passed, we did not appear to
have sunk her hull in the water.

"Oh that we could but come up with her!"  I exclaimed.  "My sweet little
Eva, we would soon liberate you from the power of these ruffians."

Van Graoul had his eyes upon the brig, as he said quite calmly, as if he
had been thinking over the matter, "Has it not struck you, Mr Seaworth,
that yonder stranger may have as bad an opinion of us as we have of her;
and that seeing a piccarooning little craft, no offence to the
_Fraulein_, standing towards her, she thought the safest thing she could
do would be to keep out of our way?"

This was one mode of accounting for the flight of the stranger; still I
did not like the idea of giving up the chase.  Van Graoul's notion might
be correct; but yet it was possible that she was, after all, the _Emu_.
At last the sun went down; but the night was so clear that we could
still see the chase, and most perseveringly we followed her.  The
morning dawned, and there she was just ahead of us; and so well defined
did every spar and sail appear in the clear atmosphere, that I could
scarce persuade myself that she was far beyond the range of our guns.
She had, indeed, rather increased than diminished her distance from us.
At the same rate, unless the breeze failed her, and favoured us, she
must finally escape from us.  Approaching the evening, some low wooded
land appeared ahead, towards which she was steering.

"What can she intend to do now?"  I asked of Fairburn.

"She intends to run between a number of low coral islands, which form
the land you see ahead, and so expects to escape us," he answered.  "The
navigation is very difficult, and very dangerous for a stranger; but Van
Graoul knows them well, and if she goes in we can follow."

"By all means, let us follow them," I exclaimed.  "Everything makes me
think that must be the _Emu_."

"I wish that I could be certain," said Fairburn.  "We have a longer
cruise before us."

I asked Van Graoul the name of the islets scattered about in a long line
before us.

"They are called the Pater Nosters, because strangers are apt to say
their Pater Nosters when they happen to find themselves among them in
bad weather," he answered.

The day was clear and the sea smooth; but I could suppose that in thick
weather they must be very dangerous.  The brig stood boldly on, with all
sail set; and as we saw her, she seemed about to run directly on shore.
Our glasses were continually fixed on her.  One moment she was before
us--the next she had disappeared.  An exclamation of surprise escaped
from many of the crew.

"Hello! where's the stranger?" cried one.

"Why, if she don't beat the _Flying Dutchman_!" exclaimed another.

"I thought no good of her when I saw her up-helm and run away from us as
she did," said a third, a Yankee, who was one of the oracles of the
crew.

Van Graoul laughed.  "We shall soon get a sight of her again," he said;
"she will get becalmed among the trees, or will find the wind baffling,
when we, with our fore and aft sails shall have the advantage."

The breeze still held, and my heart beat quick at the thoughts of what
was going to occur.  At last we approached the land, or rather the
islands.  They stretched away for miles before us on either side, for we
appeared to be near the centre of the group.  The highest were not more
than five or six feet out of the water; but the greater number were only
two or three feet, and some were scarcely as many inches above it, and
it seemed extraordinary that the waves should not wash completely over
them.  That they did not do so, even in rough weather, was evident from
the thick groves of cocoa-nut, palm, and other tropical trees, which
grew on them, while a bright sand, on which were strewed numberless
beautiful shells, fringed their borders.

Van Graoul now showed some of his good qualities.  Hands were stationed
at the bowsprit end, each fore-yard arm, and the mast-head, to keep a
bright look-out for the coral ridges, which had not yet shown themselves
above water, while he stood forward where he could be seen by the
helmsman, ready to direct him in the devious course we were about to
pursue.  I had had too recent a lesson of the dangers of coral reefs not
to feel anxious as I found myself again among them.  Coral islands have
always struck me as one of the most interesting curiosities of nature.
A minute marine insect builds up from the bottom of the sea the solid
foundation.  The waves break the summit into sand.  The birds of the air
come and rest there, and bring seeds, which in time spring up and decay,
till a soil is formed to give nourishment to more lofty trees, such as
we now saw before us.  We shot in between a narrow opening with the
water of the deepest blue on either side.  All hands were at their
stations.  Fairburn acted as quarter-master, ready to repeat our pilot's
signals.  It was a nervous time: now we seemed rushing on against a bank
of trees, and directly we turned to the right hand or to the left,
through another opening, the termination of which was completely hidden
from our sight; and had I not felt confidence in Van Graoul, I should
have fancied that we were running into a blind passage, without another
outlet.  On looking out astern, I found that we had completely lost
sight of the sea, and thus were on every side surrounded by trees and
reefs.  A stranger would, indeed, have found no little difficulty in
getting out of the place, had he ever by any wonderful chance managed to
get into it.  Still on we flew.

"Now," exclaimed Van Graoul triumphantly, "we shall see directly; and if
I mistake not, we shall not be far astern of her."

Soon after he spoke we shot past a thickly-wooded point, and emerged
into open, lake-like expanse.  I saw his countenance fall.  The stranger
was nowhere to be seen.



CHAPTER TWENTY.

Everybody on board experienced a feeling of blank disappointment, as in
vain we looked in the hopes of seeing the royals of the brig appearing
above the trees.  Either Van Graoul had miscalculated her distance from
us, or she had taken some other passage; or, as Dick Harper the Yankee
seaman observed, she was in truth the _Flying Dutchman_.  At all events
it appeared that we had run into a most dangerous position, to very
little purpose.  Should the brig be the pirate, and still be concealed
somewhere in the neighbourhood--if we brought up, she might at night
attack us with her boats; and though we might beat them off, we might
not escape loss, and at the same time be as far from our object as ever.
We had no time for deliberation--our course must now be ahead, so we
stood across the lake-like expanse I have spoken of, where as much
caution as before was necessary; for it was full of reefs, and in
another quarter of an hour we were again threading the labyrinth-like
canals, from which we had before emerged.  Every instant I hoped to come
upon the chase, but still as we sailed on she eluded us.

His attention was too much occupied to allow me to keep him in
conversation and I saw he was as much vexed as I was at the escape of
the stranger.  Little Ungka seemed the most surprised of any one at
finding himself among trees; but he showed no disposition to quit his
friends on board the schooner, even for the sake of being lord of all he
surveyed.  For two hours we stood on; sometimes the channels between the
islands widened, and here we crossed broad sounds, but did not attempt
to go down any of them, as their entrances, Van Graoul said, were full
of dangerous shoals.  We glided on; and I began to think that we were
never to be clear of this wooded labyrinth; for, curious and beautiful
as it might be under other circumstances, I wanted once more to have a
clear sight around me.

"Starboard!" cried Fairburn, as our pilot waved his hand on one side,
and the head of the schooner deviated to the left.

"Port!"

"Port it is," repeated the helmsman, and her head turned towards a
channel to the right.  The wind now came on her quarter, now on her
beam, according to the turnings of the channels; and I was afraid,
sometimes, that it would come ahead.  It, however, never baffled us; and
at length, at the end of a broader passage than usual, the unbroken line
of the horizon appeared before us.  The seamen welcomed it almost with a
shout, for few like this sort of navigation.  I proposed to Van Graoul
that we should anchor before we emerged altogether from among the
islands, so as to explore them more carefully in the boats, in case the
brig should be still hid among them.  Fairburn approved of my idea; and
shortening sail immediately, we brought up in a little bay among the
trees, by which the vessel was completely hid.  Fairburn and the second
mate, Barlow, volunteered for this service; and urged me so strongly to
remain on board with Van Graoul that I consented.

Fairburn first pulled out to sea, so that he might take a look all
round; but coming back, he reported that there was no appearance
anywhere of a sail to the southward; so that, if the stranger had gone
through the group, she must have passed out somewhere to the northward.
While the boats were away we sent a hand to watch from the highest tree
at the farthest point of land to the south, if any vessel made her
appearance from among the islands.  Hour after hour passed away, and the
boats did not return.  The sun went down, and darkness came on; and at
last I began to grow anxious about them.  Van Graoul lighted his pipe,
and sat on the deck, puffing away with more energy than usual.

"There is no fear," he remarked.  "I did not expect them before morning;
and if the brig is where I advised Fairburn to look for her, there is
better chance of finding her in the dark than in the daylight without
their being discovered."

Of course I could not turn in.  Van Graoul and I held each other in
conversation, while we kept a bright look-out on every side.  It was the
morning watch, when I heard a hail--it seemed like the voice of a
stranger; it came nearer; there was another hail, and to my great
satisfaction Fairburn and Barlow pulled alongside.  They had seen
nothing of the brig; and we were all very much puzzled to know what had
become of her.  The next morning we weighed, and stood out to sea.
Never was a brighter look-out kept for a prize than we kept for the
reappearance of the stranger; but to little purpose, beyond convincing
ourselves that there was no probability of her appearing.  For two days
we cruised in the neighbourhood of the islands, clear of the reefs, and
at length once more stood on our course.

There was much discussion on board as to what the stranger was--where
she had come from--where she was going--and why, if she was honest, she
ran away from us.  The general notion among the crew was that she was
something strange and supernatural.

"If not the _Flying Dutchman_, which could scarcely be the case seeing
the latitude we are in," said Dick Harper with oracular authority,
"she's near akin to the chap, that you may depend on, for no other would
have been for to go for to play us such a trick as he has been doing;
and for that matter, messmates, look ye here--he may be the Dutchman
himself; for if he can cruise about as they say he does, I don't see no
reason why he shouldn't take it into his head just to come down into
these parts to have a look at some of his kindred, instead of knocking
eternally off and about the Cape, which no longer belongs to them, d'ye
see.  To my mind, it's just as well we had nothing to do with the
fellow; he'd have played us some scurvy trick, depend on't."

This most philosophical explanation seemed to satisfy the ship's
company; and as the officers had no better one to offer, except that the
stranger had got into the open sea again by some passage unknown to
them, they said nothing on the subject.

It served as a matter of discussion for a long time afterwards.  We made
but little progress, for the wind was light, and often it fell almost
calm, while the weather became very hot and sultry.

One morning, when I came on deck, I found that we were lying becalmed.
The sea was as smooth as glass, but it could not be called level; for
ever and anon there came a slow rising swell, which made the little
craft rock from side to side, and the sails flap with a loud irregular
sound against the masts, as if they were angry at having nothing to do,
and wished to remind the wind to fulfil its duty.  The sun shone out of
the sky, without a cloud to temper its heat, and its rays made one side
of the ocean shine like molten gold.  Every one was suffering more or
less from the lassitude produced by excessive heat; the pitch was
bubbling up from the seams of the deck; a strong, hot, burning smell
pervaded the vessel; the chickens in the hencoops hung their heads and
forgot to cackle; the ducks refused to quack, and sat with their bills
open, gasping for breath; the pig lay down, as if about to yield up the
ghost; and even Ungka, who generally revelled in a fine hot sun, and
selected the warmest place on board, now looked out for a shady spot,
and sat with his paws over his head to keep it cool.  The bulkheads
groaned, the booms creaked against the masts, every particle of grease
being speedily absorbed; while, if the hand touched a piece of metal, it
felt as if heated by the fire.  Two of the youngsters of the crew were
actually amusing themselves by frying a slice of meat on a bit of tin
exposed to the sun.  As one looked along the deck, one could see the
heat-mist playing over every object, on which the eye rested.  If it is
hot thus early in the day, what will it become by noon, we thought,
unless a breeze spring up to cool us?  However, no breeze did spring up,
and hotter and hotter it grew, if possible, till Dick Harper declared we
should all be roasted, and become a fat morsel for one of the big
sea-serpents which were known to frequent those seas.  We got an awning
spread, and breakfasted on deck, for below it was insupportable; and
though we none of us starved ourselves, we were unable to do the ample
justice we generally did to the viands.  Van Graoul lighted his pipe,
and leaning back in his chair, watched the smoke, with calm composure,
ascending in a perpendicular column above his nose.  Fairburn kept his
eye carefully ranging round the horizon, to look out for any signs of
coming wind; for we could not but suspect that this calm was the
forerunner of a hurricane, or a gale of wind of some sort.  I tried to
read; but I found that reading was impossible.  It was even difficult to
carry on a conversation with any degree of briskness.  Hour after hour
slowly passed away, and there was no change in the weather, when a sound
struck our ears which suddenly aroused us all from our apathy.

"A gun!" exclaimed Fairburn; "and a heavy one too--"

"There's another--and another," we repeated in chorus.

"De pirates of Sooloo or Borneo attacking some merchant vessel,"
observed Van Graoul.

"Can it be the _Emu_ engaged with a man-of-war, by any possibility?"  I
asked, my thoughts always naturally recurring to her.

"There are too many guns, and the firing is too brisk for that,"
remarked Fairburn.  "More likely some Dutch men-of-war, or perhaps some
of the Company's cruisers engaged with a fleet of prahus."

"Where do you make out the firing to come from?"  I asked, rather
puzzled myself to say from what direction the sounds proceeded.

"From the southward," he answered.  "Some of the sounds seem so loud,
that if it were night, I should say we ought to see the flashes; but
that arises, I expect, from the peculiar state of the atmosphere."

"I wish we had a breeze, to be able to get up to see what it is all
about," I exclaimed.

"It is one great puzzle," observed Van Graoul sagaciously, as he re-lit
his pipe, and puffed away as before.

Again all was quiet for the space of an hour; and we, of course, fancied
that the engagement had been concluded, and that we should have no
chance of helping our friends.  The general opinion was, that a large
force of Malay pirates had been attacked by some European ships of war.
While we were discussing the matter, we were again startled by a louder
report than ever, followed by several others in rapid succession.

"Did you not fancy that you felt the vessel shake under our feet?"  I
asked; for, soon after the loudest report, I thought the schooner was
lifted up and let down suddenly, in a very unusual way.

"Yes; if I did not know that we were in deep water, I should have
thought she had struck on a shoal," replied Van Graoul.

"Are you certain that we are in deep water?" asked Fairburn with
emphasis.  "We'll see what the lead says."

Van Graoul smiled.  "I am not offended, Fairburn, though some might be;
but you'll find I'm right."

"I hope so," replied Fairburn; "but a current might be drifting us
faster than we expected."  The lead was hove, deep water was found all
round.  "I cannot make it out," exclaimed Fairburn.

"Nor I," said Van Graoul, as he puffed away with his pipe.  "Some ship
blown up; or perhaps a score of prahus."

Again the sound of firing was heard rolling away in the distance.

"It must be off Sourabaya, or Lombok, or perhaps as far away as Bali,"
remarked Fairburn, listening attentively.  "Sometimes I fancy it comes
from the eastward, and may be away at Combobo, or Floris.  Over a calm
sea sounds travel a great distance."

"I cannot help thinking that there must be some engagement on shore
between the Dutch troops and the natives of some of those islands.  They
now and then are fond of making a disturbance," said Barlow, the second
mate.

"No, no; there was no chance of anything of the sort," answered Van
Graoul.  "That firing, if firing it is, comes from the sea, I tell you."

The evening was now approaching, and still the mystery was not solved.
At distant intervals, we continued to hear the sound of firing; but when
darkness came on, we could nowhere see the flashes of the guns, as we
expected.  A light breeze at length sprung up from the eastward; but it
was still hot and oppressive, and it in no way refreshed us.  Anxious to
discover, if possible, the cause of the firing, we trimmed sails and
stood to the southward; but with the light air there was blowing we made
but little way.  The night appeared very long.  I turned in for a couple
of hours, but the heat soon again drove me on deck.  When daylight
appeared, we were on the look-out, almost expecting to see some of the
vessels which had been engaged the previous day; but as the sun arose
there was nothing in sight but the deep blue silent sea on three sides,
and to the south the lofty hills of a large island, and at one end the
peaks of a mountain towering over the rest.  There was, instead of the
bright, pure, clear atmosphere which generally exists at that hour, a
very peculiar lurid glare, which, as the sun rolled upwards in his
course, increased in intensity, till the sky became of almost a copper
hue.  Fairburn had gone aloft with his glass, to satisfy himself more
fully as to there being anything in sight from the point where the
firing had proceeded.  He now returned on deck.

"I cannot make it out," he remarked.  "After all, I am not so certain
that it was firing we heard.  Away to the southward, there is a dense
black cloud which seems rising rapidly, as if it would cover all the
sky."

We looked in the direction he indicated; and there, even while he was
speaking, we observed the approach of a cloud, or rather I should call
it a dense mist, so completely without break of any sort did it occupy
the whole horizon.  It looked like an opaque mass of some substance,
borne onward by some invisible power towards us.  Van Graoul, whose
equanimity nothing extraordinary could disturb, likened it to the wall
of China painted black, and taking a cruise to the southward.

"Is there any wind in it, do you think?" asked Fairburn.  "It does not
seem to ruffle the surface."

"No wind, I think," said Van Graoul; "but better shorten sail; the
canvas does no good."

Such also was Fairburn's opinion, and accordingly the schooner was made
snug to meet the hurricane should it arrive.

The crew were clustering in groups on deck watching the strange
appearance, and in suppressed voices asking each other what it could
mean.  The more nervous already began to give way to fear; and the
bravest were not altogether free from apprehension that some awful
catastrophe was about to occur.  The Javanese declared that it portended
great convulsions in their country, and perhaps the overthrow of the
ruling powers.  Some of the more credulous of the seamen began to
connect it, in some way or other, with the sudden disappearance of the
strange brig.

"I knowed it would be so," muttered Dick Harper.  "I never yet heard of
any one coming across those fly-away, never-find-me sort of chaps we met
t'other day, but what was sure to get into mischief afore long."

These, and similar observations, according to the temper and the natural
prejudices of the speakers, by degrees spread an undefined apprehension
of evil among all the crew; and fellows who, I believe, would have faced
any known danger, and struggled manfully with death to the last, were
now full of fear, and ready to be startled at the sound of a gun, or
even the flap of a sail.  On came the dark mass, as it approached
assuming a dusky red appearance, which much increased its terrors.  In a
short time it covered the whole sky, and a darkness deeper than night
came on.  There was only one clear space, just like a gleam of light,
seen at the end of a cavern, and that was away to the eastward, whence
the light wind then blowing came; and even that was growing narrower and
narrower.  The darkness increased; the hearts of all of us, I believe,
sunk; the light in the east, our last ray of hope, which till now had
tended somewhat to cheer our spirits, totally disappeared, and we all
began to feel that death, in some horrible, undefined shape, might
speedily be our lot.  It was dark before, as dark as night, but still we
might have made out a vessel at the distance of a quarter of a mile; now
we could scarcely see the length of the schooner.  We were, when the
darkness began, to the best of our knowledge, some distance from any
land, or reefs, or shoals, and we trusted that no current might be
carrying us towards any dangers, for we were utterly unable to protect
ourselves against them.

The vessel's head was now put about, that we might stand off, the sail
being reduced so as to leave sufficient only to give her steerage way,
that, should any heavy wind overtake us, we might be prepared to receive
it.  Our light was utterly unavailing, for darker and darker still grew
the atmosphere, till, without exaggeration, we were unable to see our
hands held up before our faces; and it was through our voices alone that
we were able to recognise each other.

"Is there a chance of any wind?"  I asked of Fairburn, near whom I was
standing.  I thought how awful a storm would be in such darkness.

"It is possible, I think," he replied.  "At the same time, I fear no
storm with this little craft."

We were still in doubt as to the cause of the awful phenomenon which was
taking place, when, as I happened to touch the companion hatch, I found
that it was gritty, as if covered with dust, while our lips and eyes
informed us that a shower of light subtle ashes was falling--the deck
being soon covered with a thick coating of them.

"What do you now think causes the darkness?" demanded Fairburn of Van
Graoul; for we were all three standing together round the companion
hatch.

"One burning mountain.  It is Tomboro, in Sumbawa; the land we saw in
the morning away to the south," he replied in his usual calm tone.  "I
thought so some time ago; but I said nothing, because I was not
certain."

"A burning mountain!"  I exclaimed.  "Could ashes have caused the
intense darkness which hangs over us?"

"Oh yes; but we shall have something worse before long," he observed
coolly.  "Ah, I thought so, here it comes."

Even while he was speaking, a loud rushing noise was heard--the sea
seemed to be bubbling and foaming up around us, and in an instant the
schooner heeled over to her bulwarks, and appeared to be driving
furiously onward over the water, as if she was about to go over never to
rise again.  Fairburn seized his speaking-trumpet, and shouted forth his
orders to the crew.  The helm was put up; the after-sail was taken off
the vessel, and the jib shown for an instant.

"She pays off! she pays off!" was shouted by the crew, as her head was
felt to turn away from the wind, and she once more rose on an even keel.
Then on she flew, like a sea-bird before the furious blast, through the
darkness.

"Where are we driving to?" we asked ourselves.  "While we had abundance
of sea-room we were safe.  Now, who can say what will be our fate?"

Fairburn ordered a lamp for the binnacle; a sickly light was thrown on
the compass.  He rushed below.  A glance at the chart showed that we
were then driving towards the western end of Sumbawa.  Van Graoul and I
followed him.

"Can we weather it and get into Allass Straits?"  I asked, as I pointed
to the chart.

The Dutchman shook his head.  "There are rocks and islands off there
which we cannot see; we may slip through them by chance, but we must not
reckon on it," he answered.

We returned on deck.  The wind blew more furiously than ever, the
darkness also seemed increased.  We stood prepared for our fate.  We had
done all that men could do.  Then I remembered the last words of my kind
guardian, "Never despair, for God is everywhere."  I repeated it to my
companions.  It gave us courage and confidence, for we felt that we were
in His hands.  From mouth to mouth it was passed with reverence along
the decks; and even the rough seamen, unaccustomed to pray, felt its
force and truth.  On, on we drove, the water dashed and foamed around
us, the wind howled through the rigging.  For an instant there was a
lull, then down again came the blast upon us.  The compass told that it
had again shifted, and was now blowing from the north.  If it held so,
it would shorten the time before the catastrophe must occur.  Every
moment the sea became more agitated, and the broken waves leaped up and
washed over our decks, as if we were running through a troubled race.

"How far-off are we from the shore, think you?"  I asked of Fairburn, in
as calm a voice as I could command.

"Still some distance," he replied vaguely.  "The wind may shift before
we reach it."

I cannot hope to convey a distinct idea of the inky blackness of the
atmosphere, the howling of the whirlwinds, and the roaring of the waves,
as, utterly unable to help ourselves, we drove furiously onward.  In a
few hours, or in a few minutes even, where should we be?  Again, before
we could answer the question, the wind changed, with redoubled force it
seemed.  It came off the land, whirling us round before it.  Its force
seemed to drive back the waves to their proper level.  On a sudden,
without a moment's warning, the topsail gave a flap against the mast,
the schooner rocked to and fro in the yet troubled sea, and then all was
still, and the schooner floated calmly, as in a sheltered harbour, on
the water.

"This is wonderful.  What is going to occur next?"  I exclaimed.

"Perhaps the wind is just taking a rest," observed Van Graoul.

We waited in expectation of again feeling the fury of the blast, and
anxiously looked at the compass to see from what quarter it came.  While
our eyes were trying to pierce the darkness, as if we could discover the
coming danger, a bright light burst on them from the south.  Never was a
spectacle of a like nature, more awful yet more magnificent, beheld.
The darkness for an instant cleared away, and we saw, but a few miles
distant it seemed, a lofty mountain.  From its broad summit there burst
forth three distinct columns of flame.  They thus rose to an enormous
height, and then, their summits uniting in one, they seemed to contend
with each other, twisting and intertwining together, till their crests
broke into a mass of fiery foam, and expanded over the heavens.  Now and
then a still larger quantity of flame would burst forth, and darting
upwards for many thousand feet, would fall in burning streams to the
earth.  Other streams also burst forth and flowed down the sides of the
mountain, till the whole side towards us seemed one mass of liquid fire.

Although we were some miles distant, the light from the burning mountain
cast a lurid glare on the hull and rigging of the schooner; and as we
looked at each other, our faces shone as if formed of some red-hot metal
rather than of flesh, while the whole expanse of sea between us and the
land seemed a mass of molten copper.  An artist would have delighted to
paint the wondering countenances of the seamen, some still full of
doubts and fears; the various attitudes in which they stood transfixed;
the many tints of their skins, from the dark hues of the Javanese and
Malays, in their picturesque costume, to the fair colour of the
Europeans, in the ordinary dress in which English and American seamen
delight, now blended into one line.

All this time the loud reports continued to be heard; but knowing their
cause, they no longer appeared to us like those of cannon.  Almost as
suddenly as the awful spectacle had been exhibited to our eyes, it was
once more obscured by the dense masses of cinders, and even of stone,
which filled the sky and fell around us.

The wind returned, as before, from the east; and, to avoid the fiery
shower, we stood away to the northward.  It was in vain to hope to
escape it altogether.  The stones which fell decreased in size, but the
ashes came as thick as before, and the explosions continued at
intervals.  To what had at first appeared so terrific, we had now got
accustomed, and the fears even of the most superstitious of the seamen
subsided; but still the Javanese were not to be dissuaded from the
belief that some wonderful change was to take place in the affairs of
their country.  We put an awning over the deck to shelter ourselves
somewhat from the ashes; but the finer portion drove under it, and
filled every crevice, while we kept the people constantly employed in
shovelling them overboard.  Thus hours passed on, till we began to think
that we should never again see the bright light of the sun.



CHAPTER TWENTY ONE.

For a whole night longer we lay exposed to the shower of ashes; and
though we were standing away from their source, they in no perceptible
way diminished in density.  At length, at the hour the sun should appear
once more in the east, a light gleamed forth, the ashes grew less dense,
and daylight once more gladdened our eyes.  On examining the ashes, they
had the appearance of calcined pumice-stone, nearly of the colour of
wood ashes.  In many places on the deck they lay a foot thick.  They
were perfectly tasteless, and had no smell of sulphur, though there was
a slight burnt odour from them.  We now stood back towards Sumbawa, as,
with the wind from the eastward, it was the only course we could steer.
As we approached it, we saw right ahead a shoal several miles in length,
with several black rocks on it.

Van Graoul was puzzled in the extreme.  "I never heard of that shoal
before," he observed; and, on examining the chart, none was marked down.

The lead gave us no bottom where we then were.  The shoal, we agreed,
must have been thrown up by the earthquake.  We stood on till we were
within half a mile of it, and then Fairburn lowered a boat and went to
examine it.  He pulled on till the boat, instead of grounding as we
expected, went into the midst of it.  It proved to be a complete mass of
pumice-stone floating on the sea, some inches in depth, with great
numbers of trees and logs, which had the appearance of having been burnt
and shivered by lightning.  We passed several similar floating islands;
and on one occasion got so completely surrounded by a mass of ashes,
that we had no little difficulty in forcing our way through it, fearful
every instant of encountering some log which might injure the vessel.
At last the Tomboro mountain hove in sight.  We passed it about six
miles off.  The summit was not visible, being enveloped in clouds of
smoke and ashes.  The sides were, in several places, still smoking,
evidently from the lava which had flowed down them not yet having
cooled; and one large stream was discernible from the smoke arising from
it, and which had reached all the way from the summit to the sea.
Beating along the coast, we entered a bay where there was good
anchorage, and on going on shore we heard sad accounts of the ruin the
irruption had caused.  The whirlwind had destroyed whole villages,
rooted up trees, and thrown the vessels and prahus at anchor in the
harbour on the shore, aided by the sea, which rose at the same time;
while the ashes had ruined the crops, and the stones, and rocks, and
streams of lava had killed many thousands of the inhabitants.
Afterwards I learned that the explosions had been heard at Sumatra, 970
miles from Tomboro, and that the ashes had fallen thickly near Macasa,
217 miles from the mountain.  The unfortunate inhabitants of the island
suffered afterwards greatly from famine, their yearly supply of food
being totally lost.

The wind coming more from the northward, we shaped our course for Dilli,
in Timor, on the chance of there hearing of the _Emu_.  We kept a
constant look-out night and day for her, but not a sail hove in sight.
In five days we reached Dilli, which is a Portuguese settlement on the
north-west coast of Timor.  A Portuguese naval officer boarded us in the
outer roads, and piloted us through a narrow channel to the inner roads.
It is a wretched-looking place; and the houses, small, dirty, and
ruinous, were scattered without any order or symmetry in all directions.
Van Graoul, who could speak Portuguese, landed with me, as I wished to
pay my respects to the Governor.  On each side of the town were two
half-ruinous forts, on which were mounted some old iron guns of small
calibre.  The sentinels were but a quarter clothed, and certainly not in
uniform, for not two were alike.  The only point in which most agreed,
was in being destitute of shoes.  Some had one shoe and a boot, others
had sandals, and others wore wisps of straw wrapped round their feet,
but the greater number stood on their bare soles.  Many were without
jackets, some had no trousers, a sort of kilt serving the purpose, made
of every variety of material.  Military hats or caps were a rarity.
Some left their bare heads exposed to the sun; others covered them with
handkerchiefs, straw hats, or mere turbans of straw; while the greatest
number of their muskets had no locks, the only serviceable arms which
all possessed being a long knife or dagger, stuck in a belt by their
sides.

The Governor was taking his siesta when we arrived, and we had to walk
up and down in the sun, in front of his dwelling, a miserable
tumble-down cottage, for two hours, before any one ventured to arouse
him.  At length we were admitted into his presence.  We found him
sitting in a room without a matting; a few chairs and benches forming
its only furniture.  He was rubbing his eyes as we entered, as if not
yet awake, and in a sleepy tone he inquired our business.  What Van
Graoul told him I do not know; but his manner instantly became very
polite, and bowing towards me, he motioned me to be seated.  Van Graoul,
who acted as interpreter, said he would be happy to do anything I
wished; that if the _Emu_ came into the harbour, he should have the
satisfaction of blowing her to pieces; that he had heard of her
depredations, but that no Portuguese cruisers had met with her, or her
fate would have been sealed; that he would supply me with cattle and
provisions, or anything from his stores; and that if I happened to have
a fancy to purchase any slaves, he should be happy to do a little
business in that way also.  I found afterwards that the Governor and all
the government officers trafficked in slaves, and that some fitted out
vessels to run to the Australian coasts, or to those of New Guinea, to
pick up a supply for their market.

In addition to the slave trade, a commerce is carried on in wax and
sandal-wood, which the natives are forced to deliver up at a small and
almost nominal price.  The Governor and his officials allow no one else
but themselves to embark in trade, greatly to the disgust of the natives
and Chinese, who expressed a strong wish to be freed from the yoke of
such a people.  This information was received from Van Graoul, who was a
Dutchman, it must be remembered, and certainly prejudiced against the
Portuguese.  We parted, however, on excellent terms.  I sent the
Governor a box of cigars; and he in return sent us off some sheep and
shaddocks.

We now steered for the Dutch settlement of Coupang, to the south of
Timor.  As we sailed along the coast, we observed a number of ridges of
lofty mountains, some of which appeared to be a great distance in the
interior.  The country behind Coupang rises to the height of five
hundred feet, the higher hills being covered with woods, the lower with
cocoa-nut trees.  On a cliff above the town is the fort of Concordia,
and near it a brook, just deep enough to float small prahus for a few
yards.  East of it is the town, which consists of two principal streets,
running parallel with the beach for about a quarter of a mile, with two
small irregular streets crossing them.  The houses near the sea are
simply small shops, belonging to Chinese.  Behind the town is an open
space of grass, shaded by fine tamarind trees, with the Governor's house
on one side; and some roads run up thence to some good houses belonging
to Europeans, and to some clusters of huts inhabited by Malays.  While
we were there, the stream was always occupied by people either bathing
or washing their clothes.  I remember also a valley full of cocoa-nut
trees, bamboos, bananas, and tamarinds; but beyond, the country had
somewhat of an arid appearance.  The current coin of the country was of
copper, called a _doit_, the value of one sixth of a penny.  By my
notes, I see that I entered a schoolhouse, where a very intelligent man
was instructing a large number of Malay children in the Christian
religion, and in useful knowledge, with, I understood, most satisfactory
success.  The native Timorese are a frizzle-haired race, who live in
rude huts, roofed with palm-leaves, attend but little to agriculture,
and are addicted to cutting off the heads of their enemies in battle,
and carrying them away as trophies like the Dyaks of Borneo.

The Governor received me very politely; and, from the inquiries he
enabled me to make, I felt very certain that the _Emu_ had visited the
place at the time described by the Chinese pedlar Chin Fi.  What had
afterwards become of her no one knew.  There were rumours, however, that
a suspicious sail had been seen in the neighbourhood of the Serwatty and
Tenimber Islands, while others spoke of the Arru Islands, and the
western coast of New Guinea.  For want of better information to guide
us, we resolved accordingly to cruise among them, and to prosecute our
inquiries of the inhabitants.  A large part of the population of the
Serwatty and Tenimber Islands have, through the instrumentality of the
Dutch missionaries, become Christians.

The first place we touched at was the island of Kessa, at an anchorage
not far from the chief village, called Mama.  As the people are much
addicted to trade with all the neighbouring islands, I was in hopes that
we might here possibly gain the information I required.  We were much
amused with the costume in which the people assembled to attend church
the day we were there.  Some wore old-fashioned coats with wide sleeves
and broad skirts; others garments of the same description, but of a more
modern cut; while the remainder were clad in long black kaligas, or
loose coats, the usual dress of native Christians.  The costume of those
who were clad in the old-fashioned coats, was completed by short
breeches, shoes with enormous buckles, and three-cornered hats.  Many of
the women wore old Dutch chintz gowns, or jackets, the costume of the
remainder being the native sarong and kabya.  The heads of the women
were adorned with ornaments of gold and precious stones; but the men
wore their long hair simply confined with a tortoise-shell comb.  They
appeared a very simple-minded, amiable people.  I was much struck by the
course of instruction adopted at the schools, where all the children
under ten years of age assembled to learn the rudiments of Christianity,
and reading and writing.  Yet these people, we in England should call
savages.  Can we boast that the children of our poor are so well cared
for?

We could here gain no intelligence of the _Emu_, so we again sailed.  At
another island we touched at, called Lette, we found one portion of the
aborigines converted to Christianity; and the remainder, who were still
heathens, serving them willingly as persons of a superior order.  The
people are tall and well formed, with light brown complexions, pointed
noses, high foreheads, hair black, though rendered yellow by rubbing in
a composition of lime.  It is confined by a bamboo comb.  The men wear
no other clothing than a piece of cloth made from the bark of a tree
wrapped round the waist.  The women, in addition, wear a sort of kabya,
or short gown, open in front.  They worship a wooden idol in human
shape, placed on a square heap of stones, under a large tree in the
centre of the village.  We were visited by a number of chiefs, who came
in lightly constructed prahus, with high stems and sterns, and awnings
of palm-leaves raised over them.  One of their chiefs was clad after the
fashion of the seventeenth century.  He wore a large wig, a
three-cornered hat, short breeches, with large knee-buckles, and a coat
with wide sleeves, ruffles, and spacious skirts, while on his feet he
had high shoes with heavy silver buckles.  He was evidently perfectly
satisfied that he was in the fashion.  During a stroll I took into the
interior, I observed a number of bees' nests hanging from the branches
of the high trees, some of which were more than two feet in
circumference.  The wax and honey are collected with very little
difficulty; and the bees, when driven from their nests, generally build
another on the same tree.

It will be impossible for me to mention a tenth part of the curious
sights we saw, or the number of places we visited.  For several weeks we
were engaged in running from island to island, among the numerous groups
which are to be found between Java and the coast of New Guinea.  At
length we reached the Arru Islands, and entered the port of Dobbo, which
is a place of considerable trade with the neighbouring countries, and
much frequented by the Bugis and Macassars of Celebes.

These islands export a considerable quantity of _trepang_,
tortoise-shell, edible birds' nests, and pearls.  The trepang is a sort
of sea-slug, which is dried and used by the Chinese to make soup.  The
edible birds' nests are of a glutinous nature, and with but little
taste, and are used for thickening soup.  They are considered a great
delicacy.  The chief food of the people is the pith of the sago tree.
The chief man among them is called Orang Kaya.  Their prahus are seventy
feet long; their greatest beam not being more than ten feet, and they
sit very low on the water.  The mass of the people are heathens; but
some have been converted to Mahommedanism, and many to Christianity, the
good effects of which are visible in their conduct.

I invited a number of the chiefs to come on board, and had a feast
prepared for them, as Van Graoul considered that it would be the very
best way to gain their friendship, and to obtain the information I
required.  We had a table spread on deck, and an awning stretched over
it.  Fairburn sat at one end, and I at the other; and Van Graoul was
placed at the centre, to act as interpreter for us both.  They ate
prodigiously, and each man drank enough arrack to intoxicate any three
Europeans, without appearing to feel the slightest ill effects from the
spirit.  All of us made speeches, which were, without doubt, very
complimentary; and when words failed us we supplied their places with
signs and gesticulations, which did infinitely better, as they were far
more generally understood.  At the conclusion of a toast I ordered the
guns to be fired to give it due effect, when so surprised were our
guests with the unexpected sound, that up they jumped as if electrified:
some went overboard, not knowing what was to follow; others hid
themselves under the table, and the rest tried to find their way below.
They were, however, in no way offended, when they discovered that no one
was hurt.  The clothes of those who had been in the water were speedily
dried, and perfect harmony was restored.

We lay here for some days, in order to refresh the crew, and to supply
ourselves with wood, water, and fresh provisions.  I will not say that I
began to despair of falling in with the _Emu_; but I was much
disappointed in not finding her.  I had now been many months engaged in
the search, and was still as far as ever, I supposed, from the success I
wished for.  We expected the last of our stores on board during the day,
and should immediately have sailed, when one morning a vessel was
observed in the offing, standing towards the island.  We were curious to
know what she could be, and were watching her approach.  Van Graoul made
her out to be a brig; and as she drew near, we saw that she was a small,
low black vessel, with the American ensign flying at her peak.  My heart
beat with an extraordinary sensation of doubt and fear, as I saw her.

"Fairburn," I exclaimed, touching his shoulder, "what do you think of
that craft?  Does she not answer the description of the _Emu_?"

"Indeed she does," he answered; "but she may not be the _Emu_; and if
she is, your friends may not be on board her."

"We will speedily learn," I exclaimed.  "Let us get under weigh, and go
out and meet her."

"Wait a bit," observed Van Graoul.  "Her people do not know who we are.
Let her come in and drop her anchor; and when her people go on shore to
amuse themselves, then we will go on board and see who they have got
below."

I at once saw the wisdom of this advice, and acceded to it.

There was a fine breeze, and the stranger came boldly on with all sails
set.  We, being close under the shore, and our hull being hidden by a
spit of land, could see her without being ourselves discovered.  There
were two harbours where we lay, an outer and an inner one; and we were
in hopes that she would come into the inner one and be entrapped.  To
our great satisfaction, an Arrapara pilot went out to meet her; and we
knew he would conduct her into the inner harbour.  It was a beautiful
sight watching her as she skimmed along the surface, looking larger and
larger as she approached.

"What do you think of her now?  She must be the _Emu_!"  I exclaimed.

"She may be," said Van Graoul; "but stop till we get her within range of
our guns."

She came quite close.  With our glasses we could even distinguish the
people on board.  Some of our crew declared that she was the very brig
which had so strangely escaped from us among the Pater Nosters.  On she
came under full sail.  We were in hopes that she would come directly
into the harbour, when just as she approached it her helm was put down,
her yards braced up, her foresail backed to the mast; and while she lay
to, a boat, which was lowered and manned, was seen to pull towards the
shore.

"Ah, she does not like to come where she may meet honest people,"
observed Van Graoul.  "That looks suspicious."

The boat was a large gig, pulled by six oars.  She came in, we thought,
to reconnoitre.

"Now, what do you think of seizing the boat, and holding the people as
hostages till they deliver up the ladies?" exclaimed Fairburn.  "If she
is honest, we shall run the risk of being accused of committing an act
of piracy; but if she is the _Emu_, our object may thus easily be
obtained."

"By all means; let us seize her.  I would run every risk," I answered.

"Yes; we will catch her, if we can," answered Van Graoul.

Our boats were accordingly lowered and commanded.  Fairburn commanded
one, and Barlow another, and I took a third, with the intention of
endeavouring to cut her off, and capture her without bloodshed.  We lay
in wait, eager for the word to shove off and go in chase.  If we found
that we were mistaken, there would be no harm done.  The people in the
boat would be a little astonished, and angry perhaps at being taken for
pirates; but the importance of the object was worth the risk, and must
serve as our excuse.  We got a spring also on our cable, and every
preparation was made to get under weigh in an instant, and to make sail
in chase, should the brig appear to have taken the alarm.  Van Graoul
remained on board in command; and a hand was stationed aloft to watch
the progress of the boat.  Our intention was, not to seize her till the
last moment before her people landed, or while half were in the boat and
the others actually stepping on shore.  On she came--those in her
evidently either confident in their innocence, or unconscious of an
enemy being near them.  The hull of the schooner lay concealed from any
one in the outer part of the harbour.  Even were she seen, appearing to
be quietly at anchor, with no one on her decks, she might, we hoped,
fail to excite suspicion.  As the boat advanced, we slipped round on the
opposite side of the schooner to conceal ourselves from her sight.  Her
crew bent manfully to their oars.  In a short time longer we hoped she
would be in our power.  The plan arranged was, that Fairburn and Barlow
were to pull directly for her, while I was to proceed down towards the
mouth of the harbour to intercept her, should she attempt to pull back
before they reached her.  At first, we hoped that her people would not
suspect that we had any intention of interfering with them.  She now had
got so far up, that Van Graoul could see her from the deck; and he, with
his glass in his hand, was the only person that appeared.

"She comes on bravely," he exclaimed.  "Pull away, my lads.  Ah, you
pull well!  We shall soon know what you are made of."  He was silent for
a moment.  "Ah! she has ceased pulling!" he cried.  "They are suspicious
of something.  Ah, they are pulling round!  It is the _Emu's_ boat.  Off
they go again to the vessel.  After her; and you may give way, my lads,
in earnest."

There was no necessity for another order; we shoved off in a moment, and
the men bending to their oars, away we all three went in chase.  At
first, the stranger's boat was pulling leisurely enough; but when we
were discovered, her crew gave way with all their strength, as if their
lives depended on it.  This alone would have convinced us that the brig
was the _Emu_; they probably suspecting the schooner to belong to the
Dutch navy.  As we dashed out, we now saw to our chagrin, that the
pirate's boat, for so I will call her, was ahead of us; that is, she was
nearer towards the mouth of the harbour by the time we got into the
fairway, while the brig, which had tacked, had now stood over to the
opposite side to which we were.  This gave her a great advantage.  We
cheered on our men, and they indeed gave way with a will.  I never had
felt so excited.  My great object seemed near of attainment, should Eva
and Mrs Clayton be on board the brig, and should we succeed in
capturing the boat.  Every nerve was strained to the utmost.  I was
influenced by the most powerful of feelings, and my crew zealously
entered into them.  The pirates were working for their liberties and
their lives.  The water flew hissing from the bows of the boat, and
leaped in spray from the blades of our oars as they clove the surface.

"Give way, my lads! give way!" was the cry we all uttered.  "Give way;
we are gaining on them.  Huzza! huzza!"

It was, however, a question whether we were really gaining on them.  Our
excitement made us fancy we were.  We were armed all this time, it must
be remembered; but we could not venture to fire on the boat, for
although we had no doubt that the brig in the offing was the _Emu_, and
that she belonged to her, we had not the proof the law requires.  The
moment Van Graoul saw the pirate's boat turn tail, he slipped his cable,
and, making sail, stood after us.  We had thus two chances.  If the boat
got on board the brig before we could overtake her, we might still
follow in the schooner with a prospect of success.  The boat held her
own.  It became a matter of great doubt whether we should overtake her.
An oar might break, or one of her crew might give in.  If we could have
fired, we should probably have stopped her, by wounding one or more
people.  As it was, we had our speed alone to depend on.  "Give way!
give way, my lads!"  I heard Fairburn and Barlow shouting.  "Huzza! we
are gaining on them! huzza! huzza!"



CHAPTER TWENTY TWO.

The stranger brig seeing her boat pursued, tacked again and stood
towards the shore.  As she drew near the mouth of the harbour, she must
also have observed the _Fraulein_ running out after us; and this must
have given her an idea of how matters were going on.  The people in the
boat, in the meantime, either from seeing help so near at hand, or from
growing weary, relaxed their efforts, and we were now evidently coming
up with her.  There seemed, indeed, a good chance of our reaching her
before she got alongside the brig.  Had we before had any doubt of the
character of the stranger, he soon left us none; for, seeing his boat
hard pressed, by keeping away for an instant he brought his broadside to
bear, and let fly four guns at us.

"Is that your game!" exclaimed Fairburn.  "We know you then, my fine
fellow."  Standing up for an instant, he levelled a musket at the boat,
and fired.  The shot struck her, but we could not see if any one was
wounded; and the shot had the effect of exciting the people to fresh
exertions.

They found that we were in earnest, and were not likely to be stopped in
our object by fear of consequences.  They once more drew ahead of us,
and in three or four minutes we had the mortification of seeing them run
alongside the brig, and leap on her deck, her way being scarcely
stopped.  The falls were hooked on, and the boat was hoisted up.

We darted on.  "A few more strokes and we shall be on board!"  I shouted
to my men.  Fairburn and Barlow in like planner urged on their people.
The brig had not yet again quite fetched away.  An ominous silence was
kept on her decks.  The heads only of those who had hoisted in the boat
were seen, and they and her crew disappeared as soon as the work was
done, and the yards were braced up.  A solitary figure stood at the
helm.  He was almost motionless, except that his bands moved the spokes
of the wheel, and his eyes were turned aloft looking at the sails as
they filled with the breeze.

Fairburn had again loaded his musket.  He had observed the helmsman.  He
lifted up his piece and fired.  I expected to see the brig fly up into
the wind; but when the smoke cleared away, there stood the silent
helmsman at his post, in the same attitude as before, and apparently
uninjured.

"Give way, my lads, and we shall be on board her!" we shouted.  A few
strokes more, and our wish would have been accomplished; but just as I
on the starboard side, and Fairburn on the port, were hooking on to the
main-chains, a strong puff of wind filled the sail, the boat-hooks
dropped in the water, and the black brig shot away from between us,
while I fancied that I heard a shout of derisive laughter issuing from
her decks.  I fully expected that she would have revenged herself by
firing at us, but not another shot was discharged.  Silently and calmly
she glided on, like a spirit of evil on the water.  The helmsman stood
at his post; but as yet no one else had appeared.  Every instant the
breeze freshened, and she rapidly flew away from us.

We now turned our attention to the schooner, which Van Graoul was
endeavouring to bring up to us; but although there was a strong wind
outside the harbour, she as yet felt but little of it.  This, of course,
gave the _Emu_, if _Emu_ she was, a great start.  It was, indeed, trying
to me to see the mysterious vessel once more elude my grasp, at the very
moment when I hoped to learn the fate of those so dear to me.

"We will pull back into the harbour, so as to get on board where there
is no wind, and not to stop her way when once she feels it," cried
Fairburn; and we acted on his judicious advice.

Shortly after we had hoisted in our boats, the _Fraulein_ got clear of
the harbour, and bending over to the breeze, which now with full force
filled her sails, she flew like an arrow after the chase.  The stranger
had by this time got about two miles ahead; a distance, however, which,
with the fast-sailing qualities of the _Fraulein_, might easily be
passed over.  It were vain to attempt a description of my feelings as I
walked the deck, while in pursuit of the pirate.

"We must overtake her," I exclaimed.  "She cannot again escape us."

"Don't be too sure," observed Van Graoul.  "She has slipped away from us
before, and may do so again."

She was then standing on a bowline to the northward, away from the land.
We did not fire, for our shot would not have reached her; and thus
silently, but with eager haste, we pursued our course.  All hands were
on deck, watching her anxiously; the crew standing together in knots,
and discussing the strangeness of her appearance.  The greater number
were assembled and Dick Harper, their favourite oracle.  He shook his
head very wisely when asked his opinion.

"Do you see, shipmates," he observed, "she got away once from us when we
thought we had hold of her; so there's no reason why she shouldn't slip
out of our sight again.  To my mind, there's no depending on those sort
of chaps."

The answer was a careful one; and it was by making such that he had
gained so much credit among his shipmates, for he was never proved to be
wrong; and when he predicted what afterwards occurred, he always took
care that the fact should be well-known on all sides.

My feelings, as I watched the stranger, were, of course, far more
intense than those of my officers or crew; and so eagerly did I watch,
that I fancied I could note every inch we gained or lost in the chase,
as the wind alternately favoured one or the other of us.  Of one thing I
felt very certain, that since we had had a fair start we had materially
gained upon her.  Fairburn was of the same opinion.

Van Graoul only shook his head, and said, "Wait a bit; better never to
be sure."

Still on we flew--the water bubbling and hissing under the bows of the
schooner as she clove her way through.  Though the wind was strong,
there was, at the same time, little sea.  The two miles had now been
decreased to one and a half, by Fairburn's and my computation; and we
hoped soon to be able to get a shot at the chase to bring down some of
her spars.

"Yes," said Van Graoul, when he heard us expressing that hope; "if we
can bring down some of her spars, remember she can bring down some of
ours, so that we are not the nearer on that account."

The Dutchman took care that we should never become over sanguine in our
expectations.

The steward brought me my dinner on deck.  I ate it standing; for I was
far too anxious to go below, or to remove my eyes from the chase.

The afternoon was drawing on; but we had still two hours or more of
daylight, and we had reason to expect before that to come up with her at
the rate we were then going.

"We are coming up with her hand over hand," I heard Barlow observe to
Fairburn.

"I think so too; but what do you make of that dark line away there to
windward?" was the response.  "I see that we must be quick about it."

The remark drew my attention to the point indicated, and there I saw
what looked like a long thin black cloud, hanging just above the water
on the verge of the horizon.

Just at that moment Van Graoul went up to Fairburn.  "I think we may
have a chance of winging her, if we fire steadily," he said.

"We'll try it, at all events.  But I hope that it will not calm the
breeze," said Fairburn, issuing orders to get the long gun ready.

The gun was pointed so as to clear the rigging.  Fairburn himself looked
along the sight, and the vessel being kept away, as it bore on the
schooner, he fired.

The shot was well aimed.  It certainly reached the brig, and must have
gone beyond her; but whether she was struck or not we could not tell,
for on she sailed as before.  Again the gun was loaded.  We expected
that she would have returned the fire; but she appeared perfectly
unconscious of our presence.

"Aim high, Fairburn; aim high," I exclaimed with an agitated voice,
thinking of those who might be on board.  The gun was elevated
accordingly, and the shot flew between the rigging of the brig, going
through her fore-topsail, but doing apparently no further damage.  As we
had to keep away when we fired, we somewhat lost ground: so Van Graoul
proposed that we should get somewhat nearer before we tried another
shot; and to this Fairburn agreed.

Fairburn, it must be remembered, was the fighting captain.  On we went,
every instant gaining on the chase.  We felt sure now of overtaking her,
and prepared ourselves for the fierce contest which we knew must ensue
before the pirates would yield.  The arm-chests were opened, pistols
were loaded and primed, muskets got ready, and cutlasses buckled on.
Each man armed himself for the combat, and got ready in his own fashion.

So eager were we in our preparations, and in watching the chase, that we
had paid but little attention to the dark low cloud I before spoke of.
It now appeared much increased in depth, and rapidly advanced towards
us.

"There is wind in that," exclaimed Fairburn.  "Stand by to clew up and
haul down everything, my lads; but we must hold on as long as we can,
and try and get another shot at the enemy before the squall catches us."

Each man flew to his station at the halyards and clew-lines, while the
crew of the long gun got ready to fire.  There was now no time to spare.
As fast as it could be loaded it was discharged.  A loud huzza arose
from the people.  The main-topsail yard of the brig was shot away.

"Another such shot, and she will be ours," I exclaimed.

Onward came the dark cloud.  The pirates seemed to think it time to stop
us; and, luffing up, they let fly their broadside at us.  We returned it
with a will.  Just then down came the squall; the dark cloud appeared
ahead; and the brig, seeming to rush into it, was speedily lost to
sight, to the last moment firing and receiving our fire in return.

What became of her we could not tell; and with dread I contemplated what
might be her fate.  The squall struck us with terrific force.  The
gallant crew were staunch: while some let fly the halyards and tacks and
sheets, others brailed up and hauled down the canvas; but the blast
triumphed over all our strength and skill.  Over went the schooner, till
she lay helplessly on her beam-ends.  It was a scene of confusion and
horror difficult to describe; the stoutest trembled, and thought their
last hour was come.  I saw Fairburn rush to the mainmast--a glittering
axe was in his hand.

"What! must we cut away our masts?"  I exclaimed, feeling how helpless
we should be left.

"There is no remedy for it, I fear," he answered; and the axe hung
gleaming in his hands.

"Hold! hold!" shouted Van Graoul.  "There is a lull; up with the helm."

The order was obeyed.

"She rights! she rights!" was the joyful exclamation from all hands.

Once again the schooner was on an even keel, and flying before the
blast, through the thick obscurity which surrounded her.  But where was
the chase?  No one could tell.  The squall soon subsided; when it did
so, we hauled our wind, but the thick mist continued, and although we
might have been close to the stranger, we could not have seen her.

Dick Harper shook his head most sagaciously, and with no little inward
satisfaction.  "I knowed it would be so," he said.  "For how, do ye see,
messmates, could it be otherwise?"

At length next morning, as the sun rose high in the sky, the mist
cleared off; and with eagerness I hurried aloft to learn if the chase
was anywhere to be seen.  But as I looked round the horizon, the line
where the sea and sky met was unbroken; not a sail was in sight, and,
disappointed and dispirited, I returned on deck.



CHAPTER TWENTY THREE.

I find that I am getting on so slowly with my narrative, and have so
many adventures to tell, that omitting a number of events of less
interest to my readers, I must sketch rapidly the history of several
months which passed after the last escape of the _Emu_.

In vain we searched for her for several days, but not a trace of her
could we find; not a spar nor a plank to show that she had gone down
when she disappeared from our sight in the squall.  We were then, it
must be remembered, in the neighbourhood of the Arru Islands.  We
cruised along the coast of New Guinea, off which we thought the _Emu_
might be prowling.  It was curious, that though we were out of sight of
land, on several occasions a number of birds, towards the evening, came
on board to roost.  They appeared to be land birds.  The colours of some
were very beautiful, and in many we could trace a resemblance to our
small ducks, magpies, and larks.  We also encountered daily a vast
number of a species of whale, which collected round the schooner, and
watching her as if they thought her some strange fish.  One day they had
collected in more than usual numbers, and while I watched them swimming
round and round the vessel, their huge backs now and then appearing
above the water, I could not help thinking that they were holding a
consultation together in contemplation of an attack on us.  Sometimes
they would swim directly at the vessel, and then diving under her,
appear at the other side.  I got my rifle, intending to have a shot at
one of them; though I must own that I think it very wrong to kill
animals without an object, when they can be of no use to any one, merely
for the sake of trying one's dexterity as a marksman on them.

"You had better not," observed Van Graoul, when he saw what I was about
to do.  "They may take it ill, and revenge themselves."  I thought he
was joking, as he was, in part, and so, loading my rifle, I fired at a
huge fellow, whose back appeared at a little distance off.  Whether the
ball entered his skin or glanced off, I could not tell; for he sunk
immediately, and I was preparing for another shot, when he, or one of
his fellows, rose on the opposite side.  There he remained, spouting for
a minute or so, and then down he dived, and directly afterwards we felt
a blow on the keel, which almost shook the masts out of the vessel, and
sent some of the people sprawling on deck.  The crew jumped about with
dismay, thinking the schooner was sinking, and Ungka rushed to Hassan
and hugged him round the neck, as if he was resolved to be drowned with
him.

"I told you so," said Van Graoul.  "They are not fellows to be played
with."

No real damage was done; nor did the whales renew the attack.  I suspect
the fellow hurt his back too much to try the same trick again.

No tidings of the _Emu_ were to be gained; and weary of looking for her
in that direction, we stood to the westward, towards the island of
Celebes, to the south of Ceram.  We had had a fine breeze all the day;
but as the evening drew on, it fell considerably; and when the sun sunk
beneath the water, it became perfectly calm.  The night was hot, and I
remained long on deck in earnest conversation with Fairburn.  He was
endeavouring to console and encourage me; for I own that at times I
almost began to despair of the success of my undertaking.  There was a
moon in the heavens in the early part of the night; but that also set,
and I was thinking of turning in, when I observed a bright light in the
sky to the westward, and on watching it attentively, it appeared as if
it arose from some large fire close down to the water.  Fairburn
remarked it also.

"Can it be a burning mountain?"  I asked; "or do you think the natives
of any island thereabouts have been creating a blaze for their
amusement?"

"There is no burning mountain or any island in that direction," he
answered.  "See, it rises higher and higher, till the ruddy glare
extends over the whole sky!  It can be but from one cause."

"What is that?"  I asked.

"A ship on fire," he replied.  "I have witnessed such a sight before,
and have no doubt about it."

"Unhappy people!"  I exclaimed; "we must try and help them."

"I fear that with this calm we shall be unable to get near them in time
to be of any use," said Fairburn.  "If a breeze were to spring up, we
may save those who may take to their boats or secure themselves on
rafts."

For a long time we watched the burning vessel, for such we were
persuaded was before us; and earnestly we prayed for a breeze to carry
us to the rescue of our fellow-beings, whoever they might be.  We
calculated that the ship was about nine or ten miles off, so that, with
a good wind, we might hope to get up to her in rather more than an hour.
At length a breeze fanned our cheeks, our sails filled, and we began to
move rapidly through the dark and silent sea.  As we drew near the fire,
we saw that we were not mistaken in our conjectures; for before us
appeared a large brig, with her masts still standing, but flames were
blazing up around them, running along the yards and burning the canvas
and rigging, while the whole hull seemed a mass of fire, fore and aft.
As we were looking, first one mast tottered, and was followed directly
by the other, and, amid an outburst of sparks, they fell hissing into
the sea.  The flames then seemed to triumph still more furiously than
before.  We looked in vain for any boats, or planks, or rafts, on which
any of the crew might be floating.  The whole sea around was lighted up;
but the flames shone alone on the dancing waves.  We were yet some way
off; we therefore sailed on with the intention of getting as close as we
could without danger to ourselves, to render any aid in our power.  We
passed the time in discussing what the vessel could be, and by what
means she could have caught fire.

"With the extraordinary carelessness seamen too often are guilty of, it
is surprising that ships do not oftener catch fire than is the case,"
said Fairburn.  "Such is the fate of many of those which are never again
heard of.  Probably the destruction of this vessel arises from the same
cause."

"Is it not often the custom of pirates, after they have robbed a vessel,
to set her on fire to avoid discovery?"  I asked casually.  I scarcely
know why I put the question, except that my thoughts were naturally
running on the _Emu_.

"Oh yes, it may be so," said Van Graoul, who heard the observation; "but
still I don't think it."

"What do you say?  Suppose it is the _Emu_ herself," remarked Barlow
thoughtlessly.

"Heaven forbid!"  I ejaculated.  "Remember who I fancy is on board."

"Oh sir, I do not mean to say that I have any reason to suppose that
yonder vessel is the _Emu_," he replied, seeing the pain the idea gave
me.  "She looks a much larger craft, and higher out of the water."

When we got close to the burning wreck, we hove-to to windward, and had
our boats ready to lower in case we should perceive any living beings
either on board or in the water.  We soon saw, however, that on the deck
of the brig there was not a spot, on which a person could stand free
from the raging flames.  I also attentively examined her, as did
Fairburn; and to my infinite relief we were persuaded that she was
altogether a totally different vessel from the _Emu_, for she was much
longer and higher out of the water,--indeed, a large merchantman; and
from her build we judged her to be Spanish.  As I was examining the
vessel, I observed, through the flames which were surrounding them, that
the boats were still hanging to the davits.  The circumstance was
extraordinary, and we could only account for it, by supposing that the
fire had burst forth so suddenly that the crew had not time to lower
them, or that some other means of escape had been afforded them.  We had
not long to consider the point, and to arrive at the conclusion, before
the flames had completely consumed the deck and sides, rendered
peculiarly combustible by the heat of the climate; and, after raging for
a few minutes with renewed fury, the hull sunk gradually from our sight,
and the fiery furnace was quenched by the waves as they leaped
triumphantly over it.  Though we had seen no living beings, we still
could not but suppose that some of the passengers or crew must have
escaped, and were at no great distance.  I was very unwilling,
therefore, to leave the spot till we had ascertained the fact; and I
resolved accordingly to remain hove-to till the morning.  We fired a gun
at intervals to attract the attention of any of the people; but hour
after hour passed away, and no answer was made.  The sun at last arose.
A few charred planks and spars were floating near us, showing that we
had kept one position during the night; but we could see no boat or
raft.  Look-outs were sent aloft to scan the ocean around.

They had not been long at their posts, during which time the daylight
had been increasing, before one hailed the deck to report a sail right
away to windward.

"What is she, do you think?" asked Fairburn.

"A square-rigged craft; her topgallant sails just show above the water,"
was the answer.

Directly after, the other look-out hailed, to say that he saw a speck,
or some similar object, floating to leeward.  Our glasses were turned
towards it; and Fairburn, mounting to the crosstrees, reported that he
saw a human figure hanging to it.  Nothing else appearing, we instantly
bore down to the spot.  As we approached it, we observed that there
indeed was a man attached to a hen-coop; but whether he was dead or
alive it was difficult to say, as he did not move or make any sign.  A
boat was instantly lowered, and Fairburn jumping into it, the man was
soon brought on board.

"He has still life in him, I think," said Fairburn, as he placed him on
deck; "but I suspect he has met with some foul usage.  See what a gash
he has got across the temple; and here is a bullet-hole through his arm,
or I am much mistaken."

I had not yet looked at the countenance of the wounded man.  We got a
mattress, and carefully carried him down into the cabin, where he was
placed under the skylight on a sofa, so as to obtain sufficient air.  I
saw at once, by his appearance and dress, which was what any landsman
might wear on board ship, that he was not a seaman; and I suspected,
moreover, that he was a gentleman; not of course that, whatever his
rank, we should have made any difference in our treatment of him.  We
had him stripped and wrapped in blankets, and then well rubbed; and we
soon had the satisfaction of seeing the livid appearance of his skin
wear off, and after several deep respirations, his features lost their
sharp contraction, and his lips began to move, and he opened his eyes.
He then looked steadfastly at me, and a smile of satisfaction played
round his mouth, while he made a strong effort to speak.  As he did so,
I felt almost certain that I recognised the well-known countenance of my
old school-fellow, John Prior.  The idea had before flashed across my
mind; but I had failed to see any likeness between my friend and the
half-drowned stranger who was brought on board.  I now, however, had
little doubt on the subject.

"Prior, old fellow," I exclaimed, "I know it is you.  But don't speak or
agitate yourself; you shall tell me everything by and by when you get
well, which you soon will, I know."

I took his hand as I spoke, and by the warm pressure he gave me in
return, I felt very certain that I was not mistaken.  The discovery, as
may be supposed, did not lessen my zeal in the recovery of the wounded
man.

Van Graoul, who had a very fair knowledge of surgery, and a sufficient
modesty not to attempt more than his skill would warrant, after a
careful examination of the wounds, pronounced them not dangerous; and
making up a dose from the medicine chest, Prior swallowed it, and soon
afterwards had gained sufficient strength to speak and sit up.  Van
Graoul had charged me to let him say only a few words, to give me any
information which may be on his mind, and then to urge him to go to
rest.  The first word he uttered was my name.

"It is all very strange, indeed," he said.  "But it is indeed a
satisfaction to be with you, Seaworth, though I cannot tell how it has
all occurred."

I told him how we had been attracted to the spot by the burning vessel,
and picked him out of the water, urging him not to say more than was
necessary at the moment.

"Ah, now I remember," he answered.  "We were attacked by a pirate--a
treacherous, cowardly pirate.  They took us by surprise.  We fought,
however; but most of the crew were killed; some were carried off, I
believe.  I was knocked down below after being wounded, and supposed to
be dead or dying.  I was left to be burnt by the miscreants.  I was only
stunned, and soon recovering, I gained the deck just as they left it.
The idea of being burned to death was too horrid to be endured.  The
boats were all destroyed, there was no time to make a raft; so, casting
loose a hen-coop, I lowered it into the water, and lashed myself to it,
trusting that Providence would find some means of preserving me; or, at
all events, that I might thus enjoy a longer time to offer up my prayers
to Heaven, and to prepare for death.  It was an awful time, Seaworth;
but I did not feel unhappy.  I never possessed greater reliance in God's
mercy.  I trusted that, if He did not think fit to preserve my life, He
would, through the merits of our Saviour, lead me to a glorious
immortality in the next.  I had no fear, strange as it may seem, I
assure you."

"I should have said that of you, Prior, believe me," I replied.  "But I
must not let you talk more now.  I have one question first to ask before
I impose silence.  What sort of a craft was the vessel which attacked
you?"

"A low black brig; and her crew seemed of all nations," he replied.

"I thought so," I exclaimed.  "It was the _Emu_, and she it is which is
still in sight."

I instantly sent for Fairburn,--for he had left me with my friend
alone,--and told him my suspicions.  He had entertained the same
opinion; and I found that, with all sail set, we were once wore again in
chase of the mysterious craft which had so often escaped us.

Arranging Prior in a comfortable posture, I watched him till he fell
asleep, his placid countenance, notwithstanding the dangers he had been
in, showing a mind at rest and nerves unshaken.  I found, on going on
deck, that we had already risen the sails of the stranger above the
horizon from the deck; and as we had the whole day before us, with a
fair breeze, there was every probability of coming up with her.  Should
we overtake her, we had now, with Prior as a witness, stronger proofs
than ever of her misdeeds.  She had, however, so often escaped us, that
I must own even I was not very sanguine of the result, and the crew,
guided by the opinion of Dick Harper, were still less so.  All the
forenoon the chase continued.  We were gaining on her certainly, but at
the same time we were a long way from her; and early in the afternoon,
the land appeared to the north-west, towards which she had altered her
course.

When Van Graoul saw this, he shook his head.  "So I did think," he
remarked.  "That craft is not to be caught so easily.  If what is said
of her is true, there is a worse fate for her in store than we have
prepared for her."

Though the remark was made without reflection, I believe, I could not
help thinking that there was much truth in it.  Vengeance, far greater
and more sure than the hand of man could inflict, would assuredly
overtake the evil-doers.

The land we were approaching was of moderate height, thickly covered
with trees, broken into headlands and promontories, and with numerous
clusters of islands, and reefs, and rocks off it.  Van Graoul knew it
well, so that we boldly approached it.  It became a question with us
whether the pirates, seeing themselves so hard pressed, contemplated
running the brig on shore, or whether they purposed taking up a position
in one of the inlets of the coast, where they could defend themselves
without risk of loss, should we attack them.

We, as before, outsailed them, proving that the _Fraulein_ was the
fastest vessel of the two; and yet no one on board but believed that the
_Emu_ would again escape us.  She stood boldly in towards the shore,
evidently well acquainted with it.  We followed, with the lead going;
there was, however, a good depth of water.  When she had got within a
quarter of a mile of the coast, she ran along it, and we kept after her.
A headland, running a long way into the sea, appeared before us; she
rounded it, and was concealed from our sight by the trees which covered
it to the very edge of the water.  We stood on, expecting again to see
her, when we also had got round it.  We had almost reached it, when, by
standing too close in, we got becalmed, and for half an hour made but
little progress.  This we knew would, of course, give the _Emu_ a great
advantage.  At last, however, the breeze again filled our sails, and we
were able to get round the point.  As we did so, we saw the brig a long
way ahead, now standing somewhat off the land.  We continued the chase,
and quickly made up for the distance we had lost.  This day was,
however, far spent, and it was already growing dusk before we approached
her.  My heart beat quick with the expectation of what was to occur.
When we got her within range of our long gun, we began to fire at her
rigging, more effectually to prevent her escaping.  To our surprise,
instead of returning the fire, or standing away from us, she rounded to
and backed her main-top-sail till we ran alongside.

"There is something odd here," remarked Van Graoul; "I cannot make it
out."

"Nor I," said Fairburn.  "There is some treachery, I fear."

"What brig is that?"  I asked, through the speaking-trumpet.

"The _Neversink_, John Jenkins, master, from Boston, with a cargo of
notions," was the answer.

"Lower a boat, and come on board, then," I hailed.

There was apparently some little demur; but soon a boat was lowered, and
with four hands in her, and a man in the stern-sheets, she came
alongside.  The man, without hesitation, stepped on board, followed by
three others.  By the light of a lantern, held to show him the way, he
seemed a decent, respectable sort of a person, dressed in the usual
costume of a merchant skipper, with a swallow-tailed coat, and a straw
hat.

"Well, I calculate I have made a mistake," he exclaimed, squirting out a
stream of tobacco juice, when he found himself confronted by Fairburn,
Van Graoul, and me.  "I thought I was on board a Dutch man-of-war
schooner; but you won't be hard upon a poor fellow, now, will you,
gentleman?  The cargo is all mine, and it's worth but little to you; and
if you take it, or anything happens to me, I shall leave my disconsolate
wife and small family destitute--I shall indeed."  And Captain Jenkins
began to cry and wring his hands.

"Why, pardon me if you don't like the term, but I took you for pirates,
gentlemen--pirates and robbers."

"Dat is a good joke," said Van Graoul; "why, we thought you were de
same.  And I am not quite certain that he is not," he whispered in my
ear.

He had, in the meantime, got a boat ready; and Barlow, with four hands,
pulled on board the brig.  While he was away, we kept Captain Jenkins in
conversation, nor did he seem in any degree disconcerted at the
departure of the boat, which he must have observed.  When Barlow
returned, he reported that the brig, though about the size and build of
what we supposed the _Emu_ to be, was, to all appearance, an honest
merchantman, without anything suspicious about her.  The captain said
that he had come to trade with the natives in those parts; that he had
just got out of harbour, and he had seen no vessel during the day till
he had observed us rounding the point.  His story was so plausible that
we were compelled to believe him: and after he had taken a good supper
with us, washed down by a bottle of wine, he returned on board,
declaring that we were first-rate fellows, whether we were pirates or
not.  The next morning we commenced a strict scrutiny of the coast in
search of the _Emu_; and for several days we followed it up, but in
vain, and once more I was obliged to confess that I was as far from
success as ever.



CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR.

Resolved never to abandon the pursuit in which I was engaged, although
so often disappointed at the very moment that I thought success secure,
I continued cruising in every direction, among the numberless rich and
beautiful islands of the Eastern Archipelago.  My friend Prior was for a
considerable time confined to the cabin.  His wounds, and long immersion
in the water, had caused him to suffer much, and during many days he
appeared to be hovering between life and death.  When he was
sufficiently recovered to speak without risk, he told me that his father
having lost the greater part of his fortune, he had resolved to enter on
a mercantile career, in the hopes of redeeming it; with that object he
had come out to the East, and having been sent, by the house in which he
was engaged, to Manilla, he took his passage in a Spanish merchantman.
One day they observed a dark low brig hovering near them; but her
appearance did not cause much alarm, as she was small and seemed
unarmed.  The first watch was nearly over, and it had become almost
calm, when they were startled by seeing a vessel with long sweeps
gliding up towards them.  Those on deck instantly flew to their arms to
defend themselves; but before the watch below and the passengers in the
cabin could be aroused from their sleep, or made aware of their danger,
the brig was alongside.  Her character was soon made known to them.  A
band of fierce pirates rushed on board, and with their cutlasses and
pistols cut down and shot every one they met, whether armed or not.
Prior, and some of the other passengers, and a few of the crew, fought
till they were overpowered by numbers, and were all cut down and
disabled.  How he had escaped I already knew.  He supposed that the
pirates, after rifling the ship and murdering the crew, had set her on
fire to escape detection, or, perhaps, from a mere wantonness in
cruelty.  He said that he was very certain that he should be able to
recognise the leader and several of his followers.  Prior was unchanged
from what he had been as a boy,--wise beyond his years, yet full of life
and spirits, and possessing a vast fund of information; he was a most
delightful companion.

It now having become absolutely necessary to refit the schooner, as well
as to refresh the crew, and to get fresh stores of provisions, we
entered the harbour of Amboyna, the residence of the Dutch Governor of
the Moluccas.  Amboyna is an island to the south of Ceram, over the
whole of which the Dutch maintain their sway.  The island produces
cloves and other spices in abundance; the climate is tolerably healthy,
and there are a good many Dutch residents.  The Governor treated me and
my companions with the greatest attention, appearing most anxious to
forward my views by every means in his power.  The sago tree grows here
to a large size, eighteen inches in diameter.  The pith forms the chief
food of the inhabitants; and it is calculated that one tree will subsist
a family for a month or six weeks.  The tree being felled is secured in
a horizontal position, when an opening being cut in the upper surface,
the pith is scooped out as required.

I never lost an opportunity of questioning people of all sorts, to learn
the movements of the _Emu_; and from a Bugis trader belonging to
Celebes, I heard that some time before, a vessel answering her
description had been seen to the north of that island; and also, as some
piracies had been committed in the neighbourhood of the Philippine
Islands, I suspected that she had gone to cruise among the Spanish
settlements in the northern part of the Archipelago.

On leaving Amboyna, we accordingly shaped our course in that direction.
Some months had now passed away since Prior had been my companion.  His
presence supported me much; and whenever I began to despond, he raised
my spirits and encouraged me to persevere.  He reminded me that often
when, from want of trust in Providence, we fancy ourselves furthest from
the consummation of our just hopes, God has arranged, by some
inscrutable means, to bring about their fulfilment.

"He has given you health, and strength, and courage, and means, to
follow up the pursuit thus far," Prior used to observe.  "Why, then,
fancy that success is never to occur."

Although now recovered sufficiently to find his way to Manilla, he
refused to quit me till I had succeeded in my enterprise.  The last
shore we had seen was that of Jilolo, after passing through the Molucca
passage, when one forenoon, we not expecting to fall in with any land,
the look-out hailed that an island was in sight on the starboard bow.
As we drew near, we found that though small, it was of considerable
elevation, and apparently surrounded with coral reefs.  We were about to
pass it at some distance, when Fairburn, who had been examining it with
his glass, said that he saw something which looked like a flag flying at
the highest point.  It instantly occurred to us that it must be a signal
of distress, made by some shipwrecked seamen, probably; and we therefore
steered nearer to the island, to examine it more minutely.

We were now convinced that we were right in our conjectures, when, on
getting close in, we saw that it was a piece of striped linen--a shirt,
apparently--fastened to two spars lashed together, and stuck in a heap
of stones.  The rock, which seemed about a couple of miles in
circumference, was surrounded by coral reefs, outside of which we hove
the schooner to.  A boat was then lowered, in which Prior, Fairburn and
I, with a crew of four hands, pulled towards the shore.

We had some little difficulty in finding our way through the reefs; but
a passage at last being discovered, we landed on a soft sandy beach.  We
met with a spring of fresh water, and there were cocoa-nut trees, and
several other tropical fruits growing in the lower part of the island;
but the summit of the hill was totally bare of vegetation.  As yet we
had seen no signs of inhabitants; but we were curious to discover what
other traces they had left behind them besides the flag-staff, or to
view their remains should death have overtaken them here.

We wandered round the base of the rock, which seemed the cone of some
extinct volcano, before we could find the means of ascent, so steep and
rugged were its sides.  At last we found a winding pathway, evidently
trodden by the foot of man, by which we could easily get to the top.  We
followed each other in single file, Fairburn leading, having our arms in
our hands; for, though there was little chance of our requiring them on
this occasion, we made a point of always being prepared in case of a
surprise, so many having lost their lives among the treacherous natives
of those regions from neglecting this precaution.  The summit of the
rock was broken into a number of separate peaks, there being very little
even ground.  The largest space was that on which the flag-staff was
erected.  To this spot the pathway led up, showing that it had been the
most frequently visited by the occupants of the island.  There were
other less defined pathways leading in different directions about the
hill.  Prior called our attention to the fact that they were all very
narrow; from which he argued that one person alone had formed them; and
from the principal one being so much trod, that he had for a long time
resided on the island.

A heap of stones had been raised up to a considerable height, into which
the flag-staff had been fixed; they were all small, such as one man
could lift, and were mostly broken off from the surrounding cliffs.  The
flag-staff was formed of a boat's spreet and an oar lashed together.
From the splintered butt-end of a spar, we judged that the flag-staff
had been blown down, and broken off.  By the way the piece of coloured
cotton had been fastened together, it showed that great care had been
taken to make it form as large a surface as possible.  There was,
however, nothing to prove how long a time had passed since the person
who erected the flag-staff had gone away; and supposing that it might
have been many weeks before, somewhat disappointed, we proposed to
return on board the schooner.  We were on the point of descending the
rock, when Fairburn, who had been hunting about, picked up the fragment
of a cocoa-nut.

"See!" he exclaimed, holding it up; "the fruit is perfectly fresh, and
the shell cannot have been broken many hours; so, probably, there is
some one still on the island."

"Perhaps, sir, it is some savage; and he is hiding from us," remarked
one of the men.

"No, no," said Fairburn; "a savage would not have planted that
flag-staff."

While we were still standing discussing the point, Fairburn had followed
up one of the slightly-marked tracks across the rocks, of which I have
spoken.  He had got some way off, when for a minute he disappeared
behind a point of rock.  He then again came in sight, and beckoned us to
follow him.  We scrambled along over the broken rocks, till we reached
the spot where we had last seen him; but he was gone.  For an instant a
feeling of dread came over me, for I fancied that he had fallen over a
precipice, which appeared on one side.  Just then I heard his voice, as
if addressing another person.  The amazement was great, when, turning
the angle of the rock, I found myself in front of a shallow cavern, and
saw him bending over the body of a man reclining on a bed of leaves in
the further part of it.  He beckoned me to enter.  I did so, and
approached the spot.

"Here is a poor fellow in the last stage of a violent fever," he said.
"He is very weak; but perhaps food and care may bring him round.  He
spoke to me just now rationally enough; but, see, he off again."

The sick man looked like an Englishman or an American; and Fairburn said
that he had spoken English perfectly.  He was dressed in a jacket made
of dark-blue silk, his shirt was of the finest linen, and he had a rich
sash round his waist; but the cut of his shoes was that of an ordinary
seaman.  A fine plaited straw hat lay by his side; and his hair, which
was thick and curling, was already considerably grizzled.

"He has been shipwrecked, and is probably the only survivor of the
crew," I remarked.  "We must try and get him on board without delay."

While I was making these remarks, it occurred to me that a draught of
cold water might revive him; and remembering the spring we had passed, I
set off to procure some in a bamboo drinking-cup we had in the boat.
Meeting Prior, he turned back with me, and having observed some limes,
he gathered some to squeeze into the water.  We quickly returned, one of
the men carrying a small breaker of water.  On entering the cavern with
the draught, I was glad to find that the sick man had again returned to
consciousness.  I put the cup to his lips, and as soon as he had tasted
its contents, he drank them eagerly off, and then showed by signs that
he wished for more.  Prior had been engaged in squeezing more limes.  He
now approached nearer with them.  I saw him start when he saw the
stranger, and look earnestly at him; but he did not say a word, and
kneeling down by his side, Prior gave him the refreshing draught he had
prepared.  It instantly had the effect of reviving the sick man, who
looked up, and their eyes met.  The latter, after staring with an amazed
and inquiring look, let his head again drop, and appeared to be
endeavouring to conceal his countenance with his hands, while Prior,
taking me by the shoulder, led me out of the cavern.  When we had got
beyond hearing he stopped.

"Seaworth," he said, "who do you think is the man who lies there, on the
point of death it would appear?  Prepare yourself to hear, for you
cannot guess.  He is no other than the leader of the pirates who
attacked my ship--the person who wounded me--the man of whom you are in
search--the captain of the _Emu_.  I recognised him at once; for we
fought hand to hand, and there are some countenances which are impressed
in a few moments on the memory.  He, I suspect, for the same reason
remembered me; for I believe I pressed him hard, and had not one of his
companions come to his assistance, I should have taken his life.  I tell
you this at once, that you may be prepared how to act.  He may have it
in his power to communicate important information; but if we are not
cautious in our proceedings, he may refuse to say anything."

I was so astonished at what I had heard, that I could scarcely collect
my thoughts sufficiently to answer.

"What would you advise me to do?"  I asked.  "He may tell me of Eva but,
alas! where can she be?"

"Trust that Providence has protected her," he answered solemnly.  "But
go and speak to him calmly and soothingly.  There is, I fear, but little
time to lose ere he will be called to his account."

Following Prior's advice, I entered the cavern, and knelt down by the
side of the sick man.  He seemed resolved not to utter a word, and had
returned no answers to the questions as to how he felt himself, which
Fairburn, who was still ignorant as to who he was, was putting to him.
It struck me that he might be more inclined to speak to one person
alone; I therefore requested Fairburn to quit the cabin, and to prepare
some more lime-juice and water.  I then turned to the pirate.

"I have to beg you to listen to me," I began, speaking in a calm, low
voice.  "In an extraordinary manner I have learned who you are; but
though I believe you have inflicted the greatest injury on me, my
religion has taught me to forgive my enemies.  I therefore, from my
heart, most sincerely, as far as I have the power, forgive you; nor will
I in any way seek to revenge myself on you.  I will now tell you who I
am.  My name is Mark Seaworth, and I am the brother of a little girl
whom you have long had in your power.  I therefore entreat you, as the
best amends you can make me, to tell me where she is, and to afford me
the means of recovering her and the lady who was with her."

"I did not know such a feeling existed in this dark world," he muttered,
rather to himself than as if answering me.  "He forgives me without
exacting any promise.  Alas! he knows not what he has to forgive."

"I forgive you from my heart, as I hope for forgiveness for my
transgressions, when I stand in the presence of God; and I will pray
that He too will forgive you for yours, even though you had inflicted a
thousand injuries on me."

"This is very wonderful--very wonderful indeed," muttered the sick man.
"I never heard of such a thing."

"It is the religion Christ came into the world to teach mankind," I
answered.  "He sets us the example, by promising forgiveness to the
greatest of sinners who believe in Him, and who put their faith in Him,
even at the tenth hour, like the thief on the cross.  He tells us also
to pray for our enemies; then, surely, I am but following his commands
when I forgive you.  I would say more of these things to you--I would
entreat you to believe in that merciful Saviour, and to pray to Him for
forgiveness; but I am a brother; I earnestly long to discover my lost
sister, and I must first beg you to tell me all you know of her."

"Sir, you have strangely moved me," said the pirate, in a hoarse voice,
turning his countenance towards me.  "I own that I am the man you
suppose, the pirate, Richard Kidd, as great a wretch as one who, years
ago, bore that name.  You tell me that you forgive me; but if you knew
the injury I have inflicted on you for years back, I doubt that you
could do so."

"For years back!"  I answered, in astonishment.  "I do not understand
you; yet I say, whatever the injury, I am bound to forgive you, and with
God's assistance I do so.  But my sister?  Tell me of my sister."

"Then, sir, you are such a Christian as I remember, when a boy, I was
told men should be; but you are the first I ever met.  You would learn
what has become of the little girl, Eva Seaworth, as she was called.
Alas!  I cannot tell you.  The only good action I ever in my life
attempted has been frustrated.  I had preserved your little sister from
all injury, and intended to have restored her to her friends in safety,
when I lost her."

"Explain, explain," I cried in a tone of agony.  "Do not you know where
she is?"

"Indeed I do not," was the answer.  It struck a chill into my heart; and
a stranger coming in would have found it difficult to say which of the
two was the dying man.

"Can you give me no clue--can you not conjecture where she is?"  I at
length asked.

"Indeed I cannot, sir," he answered.  "I have no reason to suppose her
dead; but I am utterly unable to tell you where she now is."

"What! my sweet little sister! you deserted her!--wretch!"  I cried,
scarcely knowing what I said, and wringing my hands with the bitterness
of heart.  The next moment I regretted the exclamation.

"You wrong me there," said the pirate.  "I deeply mourn for her loss, as
you will understand shortly.  But my time is short.  I have resolved to
give you some important information I possess respecting you; and as
your companions may be useful, as witnesses of what I say, call them
back.  I will endeavour to make what little recompense I can, for some
of what I may look on as the smallest of my many crimes; and then I will
get you to talk to me about that religion I have so long neglected.  I
must give you something of my history; for, strange as you may deem it,
it is much mixed up with yours."

"What!"  I exclaimed, interrupting him, with astonishment, "your history
mixed up with mine!  Can you give an account of who I am?"

"Indeed I can, sir; and may put you in the way of regaining rights, of
which you have long been deprived.  But hasten, summon your friends; you
have no time, I feel, to lose."

I rushed out, with my heart throbbing, and full of amazement, to call
Prior and Fairburn.  Before I returned, and before he could impart the
information so important to me, the pirate might have breathed his last;
yet my sad disappointment regarding the uncertainty of my sister's fate
prevented me feeling the satisfaction I should otherwise have
experienced at thus being on the point of gaining the information I had
all my life so eagerly desired.  My friends speedily followed me, as
much astonished as I was; and kneeling round the dying man, while Prior
took out his tablet to make notes if required, we listened to the
following strange story, which, with many interruptions, he narrated to
us.



CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE.

"I was born and bred in the State of New York.  My father I never knew.
My mother was kind and good; but she yielded to the dictates of her
heart rather than to those of her judgment.  She over-indulged me; she
neglected to root out the bad seeds Satan is always striving to sow in
the heart of man; and they grew up and flourished, till they brought me
to what I now am.  I was of a roving, unsettled disposition.  I required
excitement.  I believe that I might, with care, have been led into the
right way, but that care was wanting.  I was fond of excitement; when I
could not obtain it in reality, I sought it in fiction, and therefore
eagerly devoured all books which could satisfy my craving; but never did
I look into one which would confer any real benefit upon me.

"The adventures of robbers and pirates delighted me most, and the
history of a man, whose name I by chance bore, had a fatal influence on
my destiny.  I thought him a hero, and fancied it would be a grand thing
to become like him.

"It did not occur to me, that the stories about him were mostly false;
that the book was a fiction, dressed up to please the vicious palate of
the uneducated public, and that the man himself was a miserable wretch,
little better than a brute, who dared not think of the past or
contemplate the future.  What he was I am too well able to tell, from
knowing what I myself now am.  I was well educated; but my knowledge was
ignorance.  I soon grew weary of the trammels of home, and fancying that
I should have greater licence afloat, with a vague notion that I would
imitate some of the heroes of my imagination, I, without even wishing my
mother farewell, ran away to sea.  I had no difficulty in finding a
ship; and if Satan himself had wished to choose one for me, he would not
have fixed on a craft where I could more certainly have learned to
follow his ways.  The master set an example of wickedness, in which the
crew willingly followed; and thus I grew up among the scenes of the
grossest vice.  It was not long before I engaged in transactions
considered criminal by the laws.  My companions and I succeeded so well
without detection, that the rascally merchants, who had employed us,
engaged us on several occasions for a similar object.  At last our
practices were suspected; and I was warned not to return to my native
place.  I accordingly took a berth on board a ship bound for India.
Arrived there, I deserted, and joined an opium clipper.  I soon got
tired of that life, for there was some little danger at times, the
excitement was but trifling, and the discipline was stricter than I
liked.  I got back, at length, to India, where there was much fighting
going forward with the native princes; and European recruits being
wanted, I enlisted, pretending I was an Englishman.

"I gained some credit for bravery, though, being discovered on a
pillaging expedition, I narrowly escaped a severe punishment.  I went by
the name of `the sailor', in the regiment to which I belonged; and
having, while in liquor, described some of my adventures, my character
was pretty well-known, not only to my comrades, but to some of my
officers, as it appeared.  It was not long before my conduct brought me
into trouble.  I escaped narrowly with my life, and was turned out of my
regiment without a farthing in my pocket.  I was wandering about the
streets of Calcutta, considering what I should next do, when one
evening, as it was growing dark, I observed a person watching me.  He
followed me to a secluded place, and when no one was in sight, he came
up, and, addressing me by name, told me if I wanted a job which would
put money in my pocket, to come to a certain house in two hours' time,
binding me by an oath not to mention the circumstance to any one.  I
went at the time agreed on, and was shown by a servant into a room,
where, soon afterwards, I was joined by a young officer, whom I knew to
be a gambler and a man of ruined fortune.  I therefore guessed that he
wanted me to perform some desperate piece of work or other for him.
`Well, what is it you want of me?'  I asked, in rather a sulky mood, for
somehow or other I did not like the gentleman; and, bad as I was, I felt
rather degraded in being employed by him; but yet my fortunes were too
low, to allow me to be nice in what I undertook.  He looked rather
astonished at my manner; but recovering himself, he said, `I want you to
manage a very delicate affair for me, Kidd; and if you do so, I intend
to pay you well.'  `What do you call well?'  I asked calmly.  `Why, I
propose giving you two hundred pounds down, and fifty pounds a year for
your life, if you remain faithful,' he answered.  `You must swear to me
that you will not betray me, and that no threats or bribes shall move
you.'  I took the oath he prescribed.  He then said, `You must know that
there are two children, now in the East, who are about to be sent home
to their friends in England.  Both their parents are dead, and they
stand between my father and a large property.  If they come of age, it
will be theirs, and while they live he cannot enjoy it.  Now,
understand, I do not want you to murder the children; we must have
nothing of that sort on our consciences; but you must manage to get hold
of them, and bear them away where they shall be no more heard of.  I
leave you to form the plan, and to carry it out, only let me know the
result.  Will you undertake the work?'  I told him that I would.  `Well,
then,' he continued, `the children are now in the Mauritius; their names
are Marmaduke and Ellen Seaton.  You will have time to reach them before
they sail; and you must contrive to get a berth on board the ship they
go by.  It is whispered that you have contrived to cast away a ship or
so, when you were well paid for it.  Perhaps the same turn may serve you
now.'

"The plan was soon arranged.  The directions for finding out the
children were given me, and, putting fifty pounds into my hands for my
expenses, he told me to start off at once, and to come back to him when
the matter was settled.  I reached the Mauritius without difficulty, and
found that the children, under charge of an Indian nurse, were to
proceed by the _Penguin_, a small free-trader, touching there on her
homeward voyage.  In aid of my plan, the second mate had died, so I
applied for and obtained the berth; besides which I fell in with two
seamen who had been with me before, when a ship I sailed in was lost by
my means.  I opened my project to them, and they promised to assist me.
The nurse was devotedly attached to the children and by nursing them,
and being attentive to her, I soon won her confidence.  I found,
however, much more difficulty than I expected in my attempt to wreck the
vessel.  The captain was a good navigator, and very attentive to his
duty, as was the first mate; so that when, during my watch on deck at
night, I got the ship steered a wrong course, in the hopes of edging her
in on the African coast, I was very soon detected.  I laid the blame on
the helmsman, one of my accomplices, who stoutly asserted that he had
been steering a proper course.  I again tried to effect my object; but
the captain had, it appeared, a compass above his head, in his own
cabin, and being awake, discovered the attempt.

"I made every plausible excuse I could think of, but I felt that I was
suspected, and dared not venture to play the same trick again.  I had,
however, another resource, which, dangerous as it was, I determined to
risk.  You may well start with horror.  It was nothing less than to set
the ship on fire.  I then intended with my comrades to carry off the
nurse and children to the coast of Africa, and to dispose of them to
some of the African chiefs a little way in the interior, where no white
man was ever likely to fall in with them.  One night, the wind being
from the westward, I managed to set fire to a quantity of combustible
matter among the cargo.  I waited till the alarm was given, and then,
hurrying to the Indian nurse and the children, told her that, if she
would trust to me, I would save her.  My men had been prepared, and
instantly lowered a boat, in which she and her charges were placed with
two of my accomplices.  I had a chart, with a few nautical instruments,
my money, and some provisions, all ready; having thrown a keg of water
and a few biscuits into the boat, I hurried forward to my cabin to get
them.  The flames had burned much faster than I expected, and while I
was in my cabin, just about to return aft to the boat, they had reached,
it appeared, the magazine.  Suddenly a dreadful noise was heard; I felt
myself lifted off my feet, and then I lost all consciousness of what was
occurring.  At length I found myself clinging to a mass of floating
wreck, and in almost total darkness.  I could discover no boat near me.
I hailed; but no one answered.  Oh, the horrors of that night!  It is
impossible to picture them.  A laughing fiend kept whispering in my ear
that I had caused all this havoc, that I had destroyed the lives of so
many of my fellow-creatures, and that I should not miss my reward.
Daylight came, and I was alone on the wild waters.  A shattered portion
of the mainmast and main-top buoyed me up, and a bag of biscuits I had
had on my arm still hung there.  I ate mechanically.  The sun came out
with fiery heat and scorched my unprotected head, and I had no water to
quench my burning thirst.  Thus for three days I lay drifting, I knew
not where, expecting every moment to be my last, and a prey to my own
bitter recollections.  Then conscience for a time usurped its sway; and
I believe, had I fallen into good hands I might have repented; but it
was not to be so.  A vessel at length hove in sight.  I had just
strength left to wave my hand to show that I was alive.  I was taken on
board; not that feelings of compassion dwelt in the bosoms of her crew,
but they saw my white skin, and thought that I might be useful in
navigating their evil-employed craft, for fever had thinned their
numbers.  She was a slaver, and had some four hundred human beings
groaning in chains beneath her confined decks.

"I speedily recovered, and assuming a bold, independent manner, I soon
gained considerable influence over the crew, who were composed of
Spaniards, Portuguese, Mulattoes, and desperadoes from every country in
Europe.  My companions found me so useful that they would not part with
me, so I sailed in the vessel for the next voyage.  She was a large
brig, well armed.  Slaving alone was too tame for us.  If we fell in
with a merchantman, we plundered her; and instead of going on the coast
for slaves, we lay in wait for the smaller vessels returning home, when
we used to take the slaves out of them, sometimes paying them in goods,
and sometimes, if we were not afraid of detection, refusing them any
recompense, and threatening to sink them if they dared to complain.  For
two years I remained in the slave brig without being able to leave her.
I had no dislike to the work, and our gains were very large; but I was
anxious to get back to India to secure the reward which had been
promised me.  It may seem strange that I should be eager after a sum
which was paltry, compared to what I was now making; but I did not like
to lose what I considered my right, gained, too, with so much risk and
crime.

"Fortune did not always favour us.  We were captured by an English ship
of war; and clear evidence of our guilt being brought forward, I, with
several of the officers and crew, was sentenced to be hung at Sierra
Leone.  The sum of my iniquities was not yet full.  Two of my
companions, confined with me, formed a plan for escaping; and, as my
knowledge of English would be useful, they invited me to join them.

"We succeeded; and after going through incredible hardships and dangers,
in travelling down the coast, under which one of our number sunk, the
survivor and I got on board a slaver, and reached the Brazils.  I was
here very nearly recognised by the master of a Brazilian craft we had
plundered; so, with my Spanish comrade, I worked my way to India.  When
I arrived, I made inquiries for the officer who had employed me, and was
to pay me my reward.  He was dead; and I found that I had lost the
fruits of my crime.

"The children, I felt convinced, had been lost in the burning ship; and
with the proof of her destruction, I contemplated going to England, and
claiming the price agreed on for this work from the officer's father,
who, I doubted not, was enjoying the fortune which should have been
theirs.  Each time, however, that I attempted to go, I was prevented;
once I had actually got part of the way, when I was wrecked at the Cape
of Good Hope; and all the time I had my misgivings about going.  First,
that I might be recognised by those who knew me as a pirate; and then,
after all, that the old gentleman would refuse to acknowledge my claims.
A poor rogue, I knew, would have but little chance with a rich one.  He
had not tempted me to commit the crime, and might probably defy
scrutiny.  I speak of myself as poor; for, not withstanding all the sums
I had possessed, not a dollar remained.  Ill-gotten wealth speedily
disappears, and leaves only a curse behind.  Years passed away, when, at
the port of Macao, in China, I took a berth as first mate on board the
American brig _Emu_, trading in the Indian Seas.

"A lady, who was reputed to have great wealth with her, and a little
girl, whom I supposed to be her child, came on board as passengers to
Singapore.  Two of the crew were my former comrades.  I sounded the
rest, and found that they had no scruples about joining me in any
project I might propose.  The prospect of possessing the lady's dollars
was too tempting to be resisted.  The master, we feared, would not join
us.  To make sure, he was shot, and thrown overboard; and I took the
command.  I have perpetrated so many crimes, that I can speak of murder
as of a common occurrence."

"But what became of my sister and Mrs Clayton?"  I exclaimed as the
pirate had got thus far in his narrative.

"I took them from the first under my charge," he answered.  "I treated
the lady with care; because I hoped that if I were captured, she might
intercede for me, and assist in preserving my life.  It was not for some
time that I discovered who the little girl was.  I had won her
confidence; for in her presence I always felt myself a better man, and
more than once I had resolved to repent, and obeying my mother's earnest
prayers, to return home to lead a virtuous life; but my evil passions
had got too strong a hold of me, and my good resolutions were speedily
broken.

"One day little Eva told me that she had been picked up in a boat at
sea; and she afterwards showed me a gold chain and locket which had been
found round her neck.  I remembered it perfectly; and when she told me
that she had a brother, and I considered that the initials of the names
were the same, I had not the slightest doubt that I had discovered the
children who were supposed to have been lost at sea.  It at once
occurred to me that I might turn the circumstance to my own advantage;
and I resolved to return to England, and to put her in the way of
regaining her rights.  I knew that there was a great risk, but the
romance and adventure pleased me; and when I told her that I had the
means of serving you and her, she vowed that she would never consent to
see me punished for anything that had occurred, and that she was certain
that you also, and Sir Charles Plowden, would protect me.

"When I proposed to go to England, my crew would not hear of it.  They
had been disappointed in their share of Mrs Clayton's property; and
they declared that they must have the ship full of booty before they
would go into harbour, and that if I would not consent I should share
the fate of the master.

"We were tolerably successful, and for a long time no ship of war
appeared inclined to molest us; at length your schooner appeared, and on
two or three occasions nearly came up with us.  I should have fought
you, and might have beaten you off; but when, after some time, I learned
who you were, which information I gained by going in disguise to some of
the Dutch settlements where you had touched, I was anxious to avoid you.
I had a notion that if I attempted further to injure you, the attempt
would recoil on my own head.  During this time your young sister was
tolerably contented on board.  I did my best to amuse her, for I truly
was fond of the child, and she little knew how bad we were.

"Mrs Clayton, however, suffered much, and her health and strength soon
gave way.  She prayed me to set her and Eva on shore; but I dared not do
so, lest they might betray me; and I had my own reasons, which I have
told you, for keeping the little girl with me.  At last the poor lady
sunk beneath her sorrows.  Even my fierce crew pitied her; and, when too
late, they would have set her on shore.  She died, and we buried her at
sea.  I thought I should have lost the poor little girl also, her grief
was so great.  I did my best to comfort her, and she somewhat recovered
her spirits.

"There is an uninhabited island in these seas, not far from this, where
we used to go to take in wood and water, and to refit the vessel when
necessary.  Some months ago we went there, and having safely moored the
schooner in a snug harbour, carried some of her guns on shore, with the
intention, on the following day, of conveying all her stores, for the
purpose of heaving her down to give her a thorough overhaul.  We erected
tents and huts, and all the crew went to live on shore.  Eva remained on
board, to be more out of harm's way; for on such occasions they were apt
to get drunk, and quarrel, and sometimes to discharge their fire-arms at
each other.  Our movements, it appeared, had been watched by the scouts
of a pirate fleet of Malays.  While the greater part of the people were
sleeping on shore, not suspecting danger, a number of armed prahus
pulled into the harbour, and, undiscovered, they got alongside the brig.
Before any alarm was given, most of the fellows who remained on board
were krissed, and the lighter and most valuable portion of our cargo was
carried off.  Two or three of our men managed to jump overboard and to
swim on shore, unperceived by the Malays.  Fortunately, we had our boats
with us, and instantly manning them, we pulled off to the brig.  We had
everything to fight for; for if we lost her, we were undone.  We
succeeded in surprising our enemies before they had time to cut the
cables, or to set her on fire.  Some we cut down, others we drove back
to their vessels, and others into the water.  So fierce was our attack,
that they must have fancied that we mustered many more men than we
actually did; and casting off their prahus, they swept them out of the
harbour.  Not a living being was found on board; the bodies of the men
were still there, but your little sister, my good angel, was gone.  I
almost went mad when I made the discovery.  I hoped, at first, that she
might have concealed herself in the vessel, but I searched for her in
vain.  Nothing that could have occurred could have so moved me.  I vowed
that I would search for her in every direction, and would kill every
Malay I met till I found her.  After this I grew worse than ever, and
more fierce and cruel.  Even my own people were afraid of me.

"We had lost so many men, that it was necessary to be careful till we
had recruited ourselves.  We at last attacked a large Spanish brig.
Some of her crew volunteered to join us; the rest shared the fate of
many of our victims.  We set her on fire and left her.  We found an
immense booty on board her; and it was necessary to repair to our island
to share it.  The people quarrelled with me about the division.  I was
also anxious to cruise among the Sooloo Islands, and to visit other
places to which I thought little Eva might have been carried.  To this
they were opposed, instigated by the new hands.  I grew furious, and
blew out the brains of one of the ringleaders.  It silenced them for the
moment; but that night I found myself bound hand and foot, and that the
brig was under weigh.  After being at sea about a week, I was landed on
this rock.  I had no means of judging whereabouts it was.  I was put on
shore at night, and the brig made sail again at night.  They left me
neither arms, ammunition, nor food.  At first I thought I should die;
but I found ample means of existence, and I resolved to live to be
revenged on those who had thus ill-used me.  I felt all the time like a
caged hyena, and used to walk about the island, thinking how I could
escape.  With some spars washed on shore I made the flag-staff you saw;
but I could take no other measures, for I had no tools to construct a
boat or even a raft.  At last fever overtook me, and reduced me to the
condition in which I now am.

"Such is a short outline of my history; but I have more to say to you.
Some papers, to prove the claims of the children, kept in a tin case,
were entrusted to the faithful nurse, who had charge of them.  I got
these papers from her, and they were in my pocket when I set the ship on
fire, and I have ever since preserved them, thinking they might be of
some use to me.  I now return them, as they are of great importance to
you."

The dying pirate ceased his strange narrative.  Prior and Fairburn at
once got him to give the names and addresses of people, and several
dates, and other particulars, which were afterwards of the greatest
importance to me.  I was so overcome and astonished at what I had heard,
that I should have neglected to have done so.  I eagerly received the
case, for I longed to learn who I was, which I supposed the papers in it
would inform me; but my desire to attend to the dying man would not then
allow me to look at them.

He might have done me much injury, but he had been kind to Eva; and on
that account I almost forgot that he was a pirate, and looked upon him
as a friend.  Had he been even my enemy, at that moment I would not have
deserted him.  The tin case I entrusted to Prior, and begged him to give
it me when we returned on board; and I then sat myself down by the side
of the pirate.  He intimated that he could talk, and listen to me better
alone.

"I shall not keep you long, sir," he observed.  "As the sun sets, my
spirit too will take its flight.  Alas, to what region must it be bound!
Oh, who would commit sin, if they remembered what anguish they were
preparing for themselves at their last moments!"

Thinking that some medicine might be of use to him, I proposed carrying
him on board but he entreated to be left where he was.

"I am not afraid that you would betray me," he said, with a ghastly
smile; "I wish that the gibbet could make atonement for my sins, or that
the gold I have robbed could buy masses for my soul, as the cunning
priests of Rome tell their dupes it would do, but it is of no use.  I
shall not live to see another day; and if I can be saved, it must be
through the unspeakable mercy of the great Saviour, of whom you are
telling me."

Still believing that he might live longer than he supposed, I begged my
friends to return on board, as it wanted still two hours to sunset, and
to bring some food and medicine, while I remained with the unhappy man.
As there could be no risk in my being left alone, from the island being
uninhabited, they yielded to my request, and immediately set off down
the hill to rejoin the boat.

It was a lovely evening.  The cavern wherein I sat, by the side of the
dying pirate, looked towards the west.  Above our head and round us were
the dark rocks; below, a mass of the rich and varied foliage of the
tropics, between which was seen a strip of yellow sand and a line of
coral reefs; and beyond, the calm blue sea, on which the sun was shining
in full radiance from the unclouded sky.  At a little distance off was
my little schooner, with her sails idly flapping against the masts, now
lying perfectly becalmed.  There I sat, and humbly strove to show the
dying pirate the way to seek forgiveness of his God.



CHAPTER TWENTY SIX.

As I sat in the cavern by the side of the dying pirate, his voice grew
fainter and fainter, and his strength was evidently ebbing fast away.  I
observed that while he was speaking, his hand grasped a letter, well
worn and crumpled.

"Ah that I had followed her advice, that I had listened to her
entreaties, I should not have been brought to this pass!" he muttered to
himself.

The letter was from his mother.  For many years he had preserved it, and
at his last moments it was not forgotten.  I promised to write to her,
and to tell her that he had died repentant.  It is not, I hope,
presumptuous in me to suppose, that it might have been owing to his
kindness to Eva, to his one redeeming virtue, that he was allowed thus
to die with one who could speak to him on matters of religion; or,
perchance, a mother's earnest prayers might have been heard at the
throne of grace.  So earnestly was I talking, that I did not observe the
change which had come over the heavens.  Suddenly, to my surprise and
horror, the pirate sat bolt upright--his hair stood on end--his eyeballs
rolled terrifically--his hand pointed towards the ocean.

"I knew it!  I knew it!  They come! they come!" he exclaimed, in a
hollow voice, trembling with fear.  "Such as I could not die like other
men.  Oh! mercy! mercy!"

Dark rolling clouds in fantastic forms came rushing over the sky.  His
voice was drowned in the loud roar of the tempest as it swept over the
rocks.  One shriek of agony alone was heard joining with the wailing of
the fierce blast, and the wretched being by my side fell back upon his
rude couch a livid corpse.

It was long ere I could erase from my memory the agonised expression of
his countenance, as I beheld it when I attempted to draw the lids over
his starting eyeballs.  The storm was as furious as it was sudden.
Thunder in rattling peals rolled through the sky; vivid lightning darted
from the clouds; and rain in deluges came down, and drove me for shelter
to the farthermost corner of the cavern.  I could just distinguish my
schooner through the sheet of water which was falling before me.  The
squall struck her; she heeled over to it, and for an instant I feared
she would never have risen again but answering her helm she paid off,
and away she flew before the gale.  When I looked again, she had run far
out of sight, under bare poles.  My position was very disagreeable; but
as there were food and water in the island, it might have been much
worse.  My chief concern was for Prior, Fairburn, and the boat's crew.
There had been plenty of time for them to get on board; but I questioned
whether they had remained there, or endeavoured to return on shore
before the gale came on.  It suddenly occurred to me that they might
have made the attempt, and that the boat might have been wrecked.  No
sooner did I think this, than, in spite of the rain, I started up and
rushed down the rock towards the place where we had landed.  I looked
around on every side.  There was no sign of the boat; but the wild waves
were lashing the rocks with relentless fury, throwing up masses of foam
to the topmost branches of the loftiest trees.  To satisfy myself more
thoroughly, I walked completely round the island; no boat, nor even a
fragment, was to be seen; and at length I endeavoured to find the path
to the cavern.  I had some difficulty in discovering it, as it was now
growing rapidly dark, the obscurity being increased by the dark masses
of cloud floating in the sky.  I fortunately found some plantains, which
I plucked, as also a cocoa-nut; and with these in my hand I retraced my
way back to the cavern.  I would have selected any place to rest in
rather than the one where the dead pirate lay; but I knew of no other
where I could obtain shelter, and I did not like to turn the body out to
be exposed to the tempest.  He had collected a store of wood, and as I
had my rifle with me, I easily kindled a fire.  I was anxious to have a
fire to dry my clothes, which were thoroughly drenched by the rain and
exposure to the spray.  This operation being performed, I began to feel
the pangs of hunger; but as I had had but little practical experience of
cookery, I was rather puzzled to know how to dress my plantains.  I
tried one under the ashes, but I burnt it to a cinder, and was obliged
to stay my appetite by munching a piece of cocoa-nut, while I was making
a fresh attempt.

I had a knife in my pocket, and by means of it I formed a toasting-fork
out of a thin branch of a shrub, with which I more carefully roasted
another plantain, very much to my satisfaction.  It would doubtless have
been better dressed in a more scientific way; but I was too hungry to be
particular.  The cocoa-nut served me as dessert; and the spring and some
limes afforded me a most delicious and cooling draught.  When my hunger
was appeased, the strangeness of the scene, and the recollection of my
own somewhat critical position, presented themselves to me with greater
force than before.  Unless, however, some accident had happened to the
schooner, I felt very sure that she would return as soon as possible to
my rescue.

The present, therefore, most oppressed me.  I had no superstition; but
yet I was not altogether free from a natural repugnance to being left
with the dead pirate during the darkness of the night, while the storm
was raging so furiously around.  To sleep, I found, was impossible; so I
sat up by the side of my fire, husbanding the wood with the greatest
care, lest it should not last me till morning.  Now and then a blast
more furious than ordinary would come and almost sweep the fire out of
the cavern.

In the intervals of the rain, while the lightning illuminated the dark
abyss below my feet, I looked out to see if a glimpse could be caught of
the schooner, as I pictured her trying to beat up to my rescue; but had
I considered, I should have known that it would have been impossible for
her so to do.

I had thrown a cloak I found over the body of the pirate, which I had
drawn to the side of the cavern farthest from me; and as the flames cast
their fitful light on it, I fancied that I saw the limbs moving.  I
watched--I was certain that they moved again.

"Can it be possible that he is not dead?"  I thought.  "Perhaps he is in
a swoon, brought on by agitation and excessive weakness."  Taking a
brand from the fire, I approached the body, and lifted the cloak from
his face.  The features remained fixed and rigid as before.  The stamp
of death was there.  My fancy had deceived me.  Replacing the cloak, I
returned to my seat by the fire.  Never has a night appeared so long.
At last my fuel was almost exhausted, and my watch told me that it
wanted some time to sunrise.  The storm had in no degree abated.  I had
scraped the leaves together, which had formed the pirate's bed, and I
kept adding a few at a time to the fire.  Whether the smoke they caused
had any effect on me, I know not; but by degrees forgetfulness stole
over me, and I sunk into a sound slumber.  When I awoke, the storm had
passed away, and the sun was shining brightly on the blue waters beneath
me.  Arousing myself completely, I offered up my morning prayers to
Heaven, and then hurried out to take a survey around the island, in the
hopes of discovering the _Fraulein_ in the distance.  I first looked to
the south.  She was not to be seen.  I then climbed to the highest
point, where the flag-staff was placed, when what was my surprise and no
little dismay to see below me a fleet of prahus, which, from their size
and the appearance of those on board them, I knew must belong to one of
the neighbouring piratical communities!  The cause of their presence was
explained, when I observed that several of them had been driven on shore
on the weather side of the island, the remainder having taken shelter to
leeward of it.  The wind which had blown the _Fraulein_ off the coast,
had, to my misfortune, blown them on it.  I consoled myself with the
hope that they might soon take their departure, and that I should have
simply to undergo the inconvenience of lying hid in the cavern, and was
about to hurry away from my conspicuous situation, when, to my dismay, I
saw, from the gestures of some of those on the shore below, that I was
perceived.  Still I thought that I might reach the cavern before any of
them could get up the hill, and that, should they possibly not take much
trouble in searching for me, I might still escape discovery.  I
therefore hurriedly descended to it, and sat myself down in the most
retired part to wait events.  My rifle was by my side.  I loaded it, and
considered whether I should try and defend the post, should they appear
to be hostile.  I seldom missed my aim; and I felt that I could keep a
number at bay, if I posted myself at the angle of the rock, where I
could command a pathway, up which not more than one person at a time
could proceed.

There was, however, unfortunately no spot whence I could watch them to
judge of their disposition without being perceived.  I therefore must be
the aggressor against people who might not desire to injure me.  At all
events, I must sacrifice a good many lives, and should probably be
overpowered in the end.  Of course I could have no scruple about
defending my life or my liberty; but I could not tell that the strangers
wished to deprive me of either one or the other.  While I was still
undecided, I heard the voices of the Malays, shouting to each other as
they climbed the hill in search of me.

As I had so easily discovered the cavern, so probably would they.
"Come," I thought, "I will not be taken like a rat in a hole, crouching
up here in the corner.  They will think that I am afraid and despise me.
That must not be."  So, starting with my rifle carefully loaded, I went
to the angle, whence I could observe them.  As I stood listening, I
judged by the sound of their voices that they were drawing near, and had
probably already discovered the pathway to my place of concealment.
Stepping out, therefore, with my rifle grasped in my left hand, ready to
fire if necessary, I presented myself full in front of them.  There were
some twenty or thirty fellows; and savage-looking warriors they
appeared, with head-dresses of feathers, and skins of wild animals on
their shoulders, while they held their krisses in their hands ready to
strike.  I saw, from their active movements as they sprang up the rocks,
that I should not have the slightest chance with them if we came to
blows, and yet they did not seem like people with whom there was much
chance of keeping on peaceable terms, if one happened to be the weakest
party.  I fortunately had a white handkerchief in my pocket; and on the
instant I thought I would try what effect exhibiting a flag of truce
would have.  As soon as they saw the rifle, they stopped and held a
consultation, evidently well knowing its powers of mischief.  Probably
they supposed that there might be several others behind it ready to pick
them off as they advanced.  When, however, they saw me holding out the
handkerchief in my right hand, they suspected that I was not inclined
for war, and their confidence immediately returning, they once more
advanced towards me.  I again presented my rifle and they halted.  Their
leader suspected that he should have a bullet sent through him, so he
kept back the rest, who, not anticipating such a reception for
themselves, were more induced to push on.

My readers will believe that I had good reason for my apprehensions,
when I describe the fierce group winding up the pathway and scattered
about the more distant rocks before me, where they had climbed when the
front ranks came to a halt.  Some I judged by their dress and features
to be Malays; others were evidently Dyaks, or some of the native tribes
of Borneo.  The leader was a Malay apparently.  He had on his head a
turban of gay-coloured cloth, richly embroidered, twisted round a helmet
of ancient form; his breast was guarded by a coat of plate armour, and
the scabbard of his sword hung to a gold band across his shoulders.  On
his back he wore a scarlet coat, while a shawl, also embroidered, was
fastened loosely round his waist, below which again appeared a sort of
kilt, and loose trousers.  His sword was ready in one hand and a spear
in the other, so that he promised to be a formidable opponent at close
quarters.  But behind him came another, whose appearance was far more
terrific, and whom I guessed was of the Dyak race, probably a chief
among them.

Strange as it may seem, I was well able to observe him.  On his head he
wore a sort of crown or cap, of large size, made of monkey's skins,
trimmed with feathers, and surmounted by two very long feathers of the
Argus pheasant, hanging out on either side.  From each of his ears were
pendant two large rings of tin or lead, which weighed the lobes almost
down to his shoulders, while the upper part of the ear had a tiger's
tooth passed through it.  He had on a long jacket of scarlet cloth,
trimmed with yellow, and thickly padded to serve as armour; and a cloak
of tiger's skin thrown over his shoulders, with the head of the animal
hanging behind.  A thick cloth girded his loins, and hung down before
and behind like the tail of a coat, while into it was stuck his parang
or broad-pointed sword.  A spear was grasped in his left arm, which bore
a long shield made of hard wood, and curved round, barely of width to
cover the body at once; and in his right was his sumpitan or tube to
blow out poisoned arrows, one of which he had ready to discharge at me,
his followers imitating his very disagreeable example.  His legs and
feet were entirely bare.  The handle of his sword, as also his quiver,
were profusely ornamented with tufts of hair, which added to the
wildness of his general appearance; indeed, altogether my assailants
were as savage a band of warriors as a single man would wish to
encounter.

As yet they were too far-off to send their arrows at me: at the same
time, there was little chance of my rifle missing one of them; but then,
had I fired, before I could again have loaded, the rest would have
rushed on, and cut me down.  I therefore, as my only resource, resolved
to try what would be the effect of showing confidence in them.
Accordingly I placed my rifle against the rock, and waving my
handkerchief, advanced towards them.  I own that my heart was beating
tolerably quickly all the time, but I tried to look as brave as a lion.
When they saw that I had laid aside my weapon, for which I had reason to
suspect they thought me a great simpleton, their own courage returned,
and then rushing forward, I was soon surrounded by their motley band,
each man amusing himself, very much to his satisfaction though very
little to mine, by thrusting the point of his sword or spear-head at me,
to try whether I could bear the prick without flinching.  As it would
not now have done to have shown any signs of fear, I took no notice of
their insults, and looked around with an air as unconcerned as I could
assume.

I fear that I did not act my part sufficiently well to command their
respect, for the chief seized my handkerchief, and putting it into his
belt, proved that he had no respect for flags of truce; another got hold
of my rifle, and, on examining the lock, pulled the trigger, and very
nearly shot one of his companions.  One then took off my jacket, and one
appropriated my hat, not withstanding my significant entreaties to be
allowed to retain it; indeed, I soon found that I had little chance of
being treated with any ceremony.

Some had gone into the cavern, where they discovered the dead body of
the pirate.  Immediately they stripped it of its clothes, and hurled it
over the precipice, to become a prey to the fowls of the air; so that I
was unable, as I wished, to have bestowed burial on one who, miscreant
as he might have been called, had, at all events, been the protector of
my little sister.

When, on further examination, they found nothing else to carry off, they
dragged me down to the shore, off which several of their prahus were
lying at anchor.  The rest of the people were busily engaged in
collecting everything that was valuable from the wrecks of those which
had been driven on shore; and I very soon found that, though they might
spare my life, I was to be treated, not only as a prisoner, but as a
slave; for a fellow having collected a load, without ceremony placed it
on my back, and, giving me a poke with his spear, made a sign to me to
carry it to a canoe floating close to the beach.  The rest laughed, and
seemed to think it a good joke.  I tried hard to keep up my temper and
courage; so, as soon as I had deposited the load in the canoe, I came
back, and assiduously began to collect another, which in like manner I
carried to the canoe.  When, however, I had collected a third, rather
heavier than the rest, seeing a fellow passing me without one, I very
quietly placed it on his back, and giving him a shove, pointed to the
canoe, as his countryman had done when he put the load on me.  This
seemed to tickle the fancies of the rest, and they all laughed
immoderately, except the one on whom I had played the trick, and he
immediately threw the burden down.  On this I pretended to fancy that he
was too weak to carry it, and making signs as if I commiserated him, I
took it up and bore it off to the boat.  By this sort of behaviour I
believe that I gained considerably the good opinion of my captors, if I
did not by it save my life.  Had I been weak or obstinate, they might
have killed me, as of no use to them; but from my willingness to work,
they judged that I should make a useful slave, and valued me
accordingly.  Having collected all they wanted from the wrecks, and laid
in a store of fruit and water, they began to go on board the prahus.  I
resolved to make an attempt to preserve my liberty, and putting out my
hand, tried to shake hands with them and to bid them farewell, as if I
expected to remain on the island.  Alas!  I speedily discovered that
they had no intention to let me off.  I endeavoured to explain that I
had friends who would return and look for me, and would be grievously
disappointed at not finding me.  They probably did not understand my
explanations; at all events they totally disregarded them, and the
spears which were pointed at me convinced me that I had no resource but
to step into the canoe towards which I was thus unpleasantly conducted.

We were soon on board one of the prahus, which, I learned, belonged to
the chief who had captured me, and I was given to understand that I was
his especial property.  My rifle was given to the leader of the
expedition, as a more valuable perquisite.  I am not quite certain
whether my jacket or I ranked next in consideration.  I suspect that we
were considered of about equal value.  The prahu on which I was on board
differed but little from those which composed the fleet by which it had
been my chance before to be captured.  The chief cabin extended farther
forward, and was less substantially built; and the whole vessel was
longer, and much more decorated with paint and carving.  I was placed
under the fighting deck among a quantity of booty, of which I found they
had been pillaging some of the neighbouring islands.  Fortunately there
were plenty of slaves to work the oars, so that I was saved from a task
which would have knocked me up completely.  The wind being contrary, the
oars were got out, and we pulled away to the northward.  At first we
proceeded at a moderate speed, but I then observed some little commotion
on board, and the officers went round with thongs in their hands to urge
the slaves to fresh exertions.  As we cleared the island, and I managed
to creep up so as to get a look astern, I discovered the cause.  In the
far distance was my own little craft, the _Fraulein_, beating up under
all sail towards the island.  I was certain it was she, and it was a
satisfaction to know that she had escaped shipwreck in the gale; but it
was indeed doubly tantalising to me to see my friends so near and unable
to help me.  What a change had a few short hours wrought in my
circumstances!  Yesterday I was on board my own vessel, with every one
anxious to serve me; now I was a slave, surrounded by savages, who,
without provocation, might any moment put an end to my existence.  I
remembered, however, the advice I have so often repeated.  I resolved to
keep up my spirits, and to make every exertion to escape, trusting that
He who had hitherto been my Guardian would think fit still to preserve
me.  I watched the _Fraulein_ anxiously; she had not yet reached the
island to discover that I was no longer on it.

We had almost sunk the island when I saw her topgallant-sails come
abreast of it.  For some time they remained stationary, and then I saw
her evidently standing after us.  She pursued us under all sail, but we
were pulling into the wind's eye, and had the advantage of her.  At
length the shades of evening shut her out from my view.



CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN.

Overcome with fatigue, wretched as I was, I fell fast asleep, surrounded
by my savage companions, and was allowed to remain undisturbed all the
night.  When the morning dawned, we were running under sail, with the
northern coast of Celebes on our larboard hand.  I looked out for my
dear little _Fraulein_, in the anxious hope that she might be following;
but, alas! she was nowhere in sight; and with a sinking heart I felt
that I was about to be carried into hopeless slavery.  I did not doubt
that my friends would search for me everywhere; but if I was transported
into the interior of the country, I knew too well how almost impossible
it would be for them to discover me.

The high land of the northern coast of Celebes remained in sight for
some days, as we pursued our course to the westward; but the pirate
fleet did not attempt to make any descent on it; indeed, their prahus
had already as much cargo on board as they could well carry.  One day we
stood close in, and I observed ranges of lofty blue mountains, with
rocks and precipices, and waterfalls, and groves of trees, and green
fields, forming altogether a most enchanting and tempting prospect.  We,
however, stood off again; and whatever was the intention of the pirates,
either to rob or to obtain water, it was frustrated.  The inhabitants of
Celebes are called Bugis.  They are very enterprising and industrious,
and are the chief traders in the Archipelago.  They are said not to be
altogether averse to a little piracy, when they can commit it without
fear of opposition or detection.  They are, at all events, far more
civilised than any of the surrounding people, and they are in proportion
deceitful and treacherous.  As Celebes belongs to the Dutch, and they
have a settlement on the north-eastern point, that of Mindanao, I was in
hopes that some Dutch ship of war might encounter the fleet and rescue
me from the hands of my captors; but day after day passed away, and no
such good fortune, as I should then have called it, befell me.  I had
reason, afterwards, to be thankful for all that occurred to me.  But I
must not anticipate.  Losing sight of the coast of Celebes, we crossed
the Straits of Malacca, and sighted the lower shores of Borneo.  The
land was low and thickly fringed with mangrove trees of large growth but
behind their dark foliage I observed blue mountain ranges rising in the
distance, which gave the scenery a more inviting appearance.  We soon
entered the mouth of a broad river, up which we sailed in martial
array--tom-toms beating, pipes sounding, men shouting and brandishing
their weapons, and flags waving.  I was at first doubtful whether they
were preparing for war, or celebrating their victories on their return
home.  I found, at last, that all this noise and fuss was their mode of
rejoicing and congratulating themselves on their success.  At first I
was inclined to think their custom very barbarous and ridiculous, till I
remembered that we in England do precisely the same thing in our own
way, only, as we are a more powerful people, we make more noise at a
victory.  We fire off much bigger guns, and more of them; we wave a
greater number of larger flags; we light up our houses, which are much
higher, with lamps; and our mob, who are more numerous, shout with
hoarser voices.  Indeed, when I came minutely to compare the habits and
customs of barbarous people with ours, I found that there was a much
greater similarity than I was at first inclined to suspect.

As we sailed on, the scenery much improved.  Fine green fields, or
meadow land, formed the banks, varied with gently sloping hills and
knolls, or more rugged elevations, covered to their summits with the
richest and most varied foliage.  We passed two or three places where I
observed the ruins of huts and stockades, and also that the fruit-trees
were cut down.  On these occasions the warriors flourished their swords
more vehemently than ever, and seemed to threaten some invisible enemy,
when I thought it advisable to keep out of their way, lest they should
take me for a real one, and hew me to pieces.  Higher up, considerable
patches of cultivated ground appeared, and, scattered thickly along the
banks, were to be seen the picturesque cottages, or rather huts, of the
inhabitants.  I afterwards learned that they were of the Sagai race--a
tribe of the Dyaks--some of whom manned the prahu on which I was.  As we
proceeded, canoes assembled from each village to greet us, and others
were seen coming down the river in large numbers for the same
complimentary object.  I was now placed on the most conspicuous part of
the fighting deck, either as a trophy of war, or an object of curiosity
to the assembled multitude, I could not tell which; but I was not
flattered by the distinction, which was at all events excessively
disagreeable.

At length we reached a town of some size, surrounded by a stockade, with
a fort, mounting a number of old guns on one side.  The town, I found,
was inhabited chiefly by Malays, who live on friendly terms with the
Sagais.  The houses, unlike those of the Dyaks of the north coast, were
built of one storey on the ground, chiefly of bamboo, neatly thatched
and floored.  The fleet having anchored before the town, and fired a
salute, the admiral and his chief officers landed with me in their
train, and marched towards the palace of the sultan, as the ruler of
each petty state is called.  We had not advanced far, when the
victorious leader was met by a procession, with the prime minister in
state, coming to do him honour.  First marched a Malay, with a staff and
a large flag waving above his head; then came two spearmen with their
shields; and next the minister, another man holding above his head a
canopy of state, a huge flat-topped umbrella, of scarlet silk, fringed
with gold.  Next followed a band of musicians, two with drums, and two
with pipes; and last, a large body of spearmen, all habited in scarlet
cloth.

The minister wore a silk handkerchief wound round his head, the end
sticking out at the top, a silk vest, a richly embroidered coat, broad
trousers with a deep fringe, and a handsome shawl round his waist, into
which was stuck his sword and kriss, the end of which made his coat
stick out very much behind.  Such, indeed is the general dress of the
Malays in those regions.  After saluting the admiral, he turned round,
and heading our line of march, we proceeded to the palace.

We found the sultan seated on his throne in a large room of bamboo, open
on three sides, that behind him having a scarlet cloth curtain hanging
before it.  We all drew up in front of the throne, and a great many
speeches were made by those present, very complimentary, I doubt not, to
each other, and very much the contrary to their enemies; and then I was
brought forward and examined, and turned round and round, till they were
tired of looking at me.  As they were aware that I did not understand a
word of their language, or they of mine, they did not ask me any
questions, which saved me a great deal of trouble.  I was at last sent
back to my original captor, whose property I evidently was.  He kept me
for three days in the town, where I was visited by an immense number of
the inhabitants, who evidently considered me a curiosity, just as we in
England would look on a Dyak if we had him to exhibit.  He did not
understand the art of a showman, so he did not attempt to make anything
by me; but now, considering that it was time for me to commence gaining
my own livelihood, and bringing him some profit into the bargain, he
intimated to me that I was to accompany him into the interior on the
following day.  My master's name was Kaka, and he was, I believe,
considered a great warrior and a first-rate navigator; at least, I know
the Malay admiral put great confidence in him.

Early in the morning we set out, Kaka and some friends being on
horseback, while I was compelled to trudge forward on foot, with a
bundle, moreover, on my back.  The scenery as we advanced was very
beautiful, and the luxuriance and variety of the vegetation most
magnificent.  I was surprised at the immense number of cultivated trees,
shrubs, and plants which surrounded the native villages.  There were
large groves of broad-leaved plantains and graceful cocoa-nut trees, the
slender tapering betel-nut palm and elegant palmyras; while the
showy-looking papaw, and here and there a rhambutan tree, or a
dark-leaved guava, contrasted with the golden fruit of the shaddock, and
the delicious mangustan and the curious-tasted durian were to be found
in numbers among them.

I observed extensive groves of bamboo at the back of some of the houses,
and pine-apple plantations luxuriating in the dark damp shady nooks.
Then there are large fields of the most vivid hues; the bird's-eye
pepper and tumeric are found growing like common weeds; while the piper
betel, the leaf of which is chewed with ripe or green pieces of the
areca-nut, is a most graceful plant, especially when loaded with its
long spikes of fruit.  Sometimes it runs like a creeper along the
ground, and at others it climbs the stems of the palmyra and areca palms
in little patches, which are carefully guarded by rough paling.  Great
attention is paid to the irritation of these spots, to insure a good
flavour in the leaves.

The cultivation of these various productions of the earth was certainly
very rude; but wherever I went I observed a greater approach to the arts
of civilisation than I expected, but more especially I was struck with
the immense resources of the country, the extreme fertility which
Providence has so bountifully bestowed on it, and the great reciprocal
advantages which the inhabitants would reap by a free commercial
intercourse with civilised countries.

When I became better acquainted with the people, I felt convinced that,
notwithstanding their many barbarous and cruel customs, they possessed
dispositions which, if properly cultivated by the introduction of the
true spirit and tenets of Christianity, and a firm and judicious
government, would form them into prosperous and happy communities.  They
appeared to me, when I saw them unexcited by war, to be of a very mild
character, and most anxious to act rightly and honestly, according to
their notions, towards each other.  Of course, I judged them by their
own standard of right and wrong, as I conceive the only fair way to form
a just estimate of the character of a people is to calculate the
advantages they possess.  Alas!  I fear that, were the behaviour of
Englishmen thus to be judged, their characters would often sink very
very much below the standard at which, in our conceit, we are too proud
of rating them.

We travelled on for several days into the interior.  I tried to keep up
my spirits and an appearance of indifference, as I knew that thus I
should have a much better chance of being well treated by the natives,
than if I had appeared sick or out of humour.  I trudged on, singing
when I could manage to screw my voice up to the proper pitch, sometimes
chewing a piece of cocoa-nut, and at others whittling away, as the
Americans call it, at a stick, which I had cut from the forest.  I tried
hard to make some of the inferior Sagais carry my load, by placing it on
their shoulders; but, though they took the trick in good part, the man
to whom I had given it passed it on to another, and very soon it was
returned to me.  Most of them, indeed, had loads of their own to carry.
At last we arrived at the chief's residence.  It was a neatly built
cottage of bamboo, thatched with palm-leaves, and surrounded by a number
of smaller cottages, the habitations of his relations and followers, the
whole encircled by a palisade and trenches to serve as a fortification.
I was at once introduced to the chief's wife, and made to understand
that I was to obey her orders.  She wore a large loose garment of native
cloth, called a sarong, wrapped round her waist and descending some way
down her legs, but not sufficiently long to impede her walking.  She was
really very good-looking, though rather stout; but her beauty was not
increased by the enormous rings of tin which she carried in her ears.
She seemed good-natured, and I determined to do my best to please her.
She first set me to light the fire.  To produce ignition, in the first
place, she gave me a stick with a pointed end, which she showed me how
to insert into a hole in a board, which led to a groove in the lower
side, and by turning the stick round rapidly between the palms, the
flame burst forth.  She next gave me a quantity of rice or _padi_ to
pound for family consumption; and then putting a basket into my hand,
made of straw so closely woven that it held water, she intimated that it
was to get her from a rivulet a supply of that necessary article.

I was next employed in collecting the fruit of a species of bassia, or
what I should call a butter tree.  This she boiled down, and then poured
the liquid into bamboo cases.  When it had cooled it was taken out, and
was of the colour and consistence of cheese.  The larger quantity was
intended for exportation; but she also, taking some strips of cotton,
dipped them into the mass, and produced some apologies for candles.  The
flame was not bright; but the vegetable tallow has the advantage of
remaining concrete, or hard, under the greatest tropical heat, white
that produced from animal fat becomes too soft for the purpose.  When
she had no household work to give me, I was sent out with a number of
other slaves, both black and brown, to cut wood for firing or building
purposes, and to collect aromatic barks, such as the clove bark and the
cinnamon.  I never refused to perform any work she gave me, and went
about it with so cheerful a countenance that I gained her approbation
and confidence.  I own that all the time my heart was very heavy, and
that I was endeavouring to discover some means by which I might have a
chance of escaping.  At the great distance I was from the coast, I knew
that to escape would be very difficult; but I notwithstanding resolved
never to despair.  Others had been rescued from equally hopeless
situations; why should not I? though I could not see the means by which
it was to be accomplished.  My place of captivity was in the
neighbourhood of a fine river, abounding with fish; and after a little
time I was sent out to assist my master and his companions in catching
them.  Sometimes we used the root of a shrub found in the forests,
which, being steeped in water, the juice was poured into the pools where
the fish lay.  This completely stupefied them, and made them float to
the surface, where the natives dexterously transfixed them with their
spears.  They have, however, another and a very amusing way of catching
them in the stream, which I think might be imitated to advantage in
England.  A number of model ducks are made of light wood, to imitate the
real bird, and to their feet hangs a line with a hook and some tempting
baits.  These were set floating in the current, and watched at a little
distance by a man in a canoe.  Sometimes the ducks would swim tail
first, contrary to the practice of all live ducks; but the fish, I
supposed, did not observe the eccentricity, for they bit just as readily
at the bait below.  As soon as the fisherman perceived that a duck began
to bob and dive, he paddled forward and secured the living prize
beneath.  I soon grew expert at this sort of fishing, which was very
amusing; and as I set to work to manufacture the ducks, I sometimes had
five or six dozen floating around me, and it was very exciting pulling
here and there, when, by their movements, I saw they had made a capture.

Near the village, on the banks of the stream, were several podado trees,
which are of a light-green foliage, and extremely elegant.  They are the
abode of fire-flies; and at night it was most beautiful to watch the
thousands of those brilliant insects flitting about among their
branches.  Sometimes I have seen both banks of the river completely lit
up as if by a display of fireworks.

I was rapidly gaining a knowledge of the language of my captors, which I
diligently studied for the purpose of aiding my escape, and I thus was
able to gain a great deal more about the people than I could otherwise
have done.  I have already slightly described their dress.  It varied
very much, each man seeming to follow his own taste.  Some wore
enormously large helmets of skins stretched out on canes, and ornamented
with a variety of feathers; and when they wore skin cloaks, the head of
the animal usually hung down behind, and had a very grotesque
appearance.  They wear corselets of leather, stuffed, and some large
pearl-oyster shells, to serve as armour.  Their sumpitans are most
exactly bored, and look like Turkish tobacco-pipes.  The inner end of
the sumpit, or arrow, is run through a piece of pith fitting exactly to
the tube, so that there is little friction as they are blown out of the
tube by the mouth.  The barb is dipped in a mixture, of which the chief
ingredient is the sap of the upas tree; and, to increase its virulence,
lime-juice is sometimes added.  The poison, by its exposure to the air,
loses its noxious qualities.

By-the-bye, I discovered that the deadly qualities of the upas tree are
very much exaggerated.  I climbed into the branches of one, and drank
water from a stream passing near its roots, without suffering the
slightest inconvenience; at the same time, perhaps, under some
circumstances, it may be more hurtful.

The chief articles exported by my captors were bees' wax and camphor,
honey, vegetable tallow, areca-nuts, _trepang dawma_, sharks' fins,
tortoise-shell, edible birds' nests, and pearls.  These are only a very
small portion of the articles they might export under other
circumstances.

The edible bird's nests are formed by a species of swallow, which builds
them in the caves on the coast.  They adhere in numbers to the rocks,
very like watch-pockets to the head of a bed.  They are either white, or
red, or black, and are formed chiefly of _agal-agal_ a marine cellular
plant.  The Chinese lanterns are made of netted thread, smeared over
with the gum produced by boiling down this same plant, which, when dry,
forms a firm pellucid and elastic substitute for horn.

The collecting of these nests, from the positions they occupy, is as
dangerous as the samphire-gathering described by Shakespeare.  I must
return to my description of the people.  The members of each tribe are
usually divided into their fighting men, those who manufacture arms, and
those who cultivate the ground and make ornaments for the women.
Although addicted to warfare, they still cultivate the ground; they
treat their women better than do most savages, always the mark of a
superior grade in civilisation; they do not torture prisoners as do the
North American Indians, although they cut off the heads of those they
kill.

They believe in one God, and fancy that heaven is situated at the top of
Kina Balow, their highest mountain, and that the pass is defended by a
savage dog.  It is curious that the North American Indians and the
Greeks of old had a similar notion.

In their warfare they are as fierce and remorseless as the Red Indian,
and, without the fair warning which he gives to his enemies, they attack
them in the dead of night, and slay all they meet.  I heard of a race of
people who inhabited the woods in the interior, who go about entirely
without clothing; they sleep under the overhanging branches of trees,
make a fire to keep off the wild beasts and snakes, and, cover
themselves with a piece of bark.  When the children can take care of
themselves, they quit their parents to pursue the same course.  The
Dyaks hunt them, and shoot their children in the trees with sumpits as
they would monkeys.  I had heard of these wild people; and one day in
the woods, with another slave, we observed what I was convinced was one
of them, standing before me with a huge stick in his hands; but instead
of being without clothing, he had a well-made coat of skin on his
shoulders.  We were both unarmed; and as my companion instantly ran
away, I was afraid that he might retaliate on me the injuries he had so
often received.  He looked at me fiercely for a minute, and then
brandishing his stick, advanced towards me.  I saw that I was not likely
to escape by running, and fully expected to have my brains knocked out.
Luckily a branch of a tree lay near me; I seized it, and rushed towards
my antagonist.  To my surprise he instantly threw down his stick, and
began to climb a tree near him.  I was now the assailant; and as my
courage increased, his oozed out, and he climbed from branch to branch
in an endeavour to make his escape.  On nearer examination, what I took
to be a coat was his natural skin; and I discovered that instead of a
wild man, an enormous ourang-outang was before me.  As I had no wish to
molest him, I began to retreat; but as I did so, he came down from his
tree and followed me.  On this I turned again, when he instantly
stopped, and as I advanced he began to climb.

I suspected, from this manoeuvre, that he intended me some treachery,
and, coming to an open space, I set off and ran as hard as I could.  He
followed for some distance, when, growing tired of walking, he gave up
the chase, and returned to his wood.  I suspect that the wild people
spoken of are no other than baboons.  I advanced further in the good
graces of my mistress by taking notice of her children, and by making
them swings, and a variety of toys suited to their tastes, so that she
was induced to indulge me more than the other slaves.  I, however, still
had to toil hard, and my master was as severe as at first.  One day I
had gone with a number of other slaves to collect cinnamon in a
direction I had not before visited, when, as I was passing a cottage on
my return homeward, I heard the sounds of a female voice singing a low
and soft melody.  The notes thrilled through my heart.  They were not
the sounds of a native woman's voice.  I let my load drop at the risk of
feeling my master's lash on my back, that I might stop and listen.  How
eagerly did I drink in these notes!  I heard the words, too; yes--I
could not be mistaken--they were English.  Oh, what sensations did they
create!  I had an indistinct notion that I had heard them before in the
days of my infancy.  It was a gentle, plaintive air.  Now I should never
forget it.  I longed to see who was the singer; but she was concealed
inside the cottage, and I feared to enter; I dared not even delay longer
to listen, for the lash of my master was about to descend on my
shoulders.  What wild fancies rushed into my brain!  "Can it be Eva?
Can she be so near me?  I dare not think it," I kept repeating to
myself, as I was urged on with my load.  All night long I lay awake,
that sweet voice sounding in my ear, while I meditated how I could
discover the mystery.



CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT.

Several days passed away, and my constant and numerous occupations
prevented me from returning to the neighbourhood of the cottage from
whence the strains of music I had heard proceeded.  Every effort I made
was prevented.  Alas!  I felt too truly that I was a slave.  Those who
have once tasted the bitterness of slavery will know how to
compassionate their fellow-creatures, whatever the hue of their skin,
reduced to a like condition.  Surely the heart of the white and black
man is the same: yet such is the fate of thousands and thousands of
human beings, not only of the sons of Africa, but of the inhabitants of
these magnificent islands I am describing.  To what nobler purpose could
the power and influence of Great Britain be turned, than by putting a
stop to such atrocities, and by bringing the blessings of Christianity
and civilisation among a people so capable of benefiting by them?

But to return to my history.  The natives of Borneo have a very just
conception of the rights of property; they look upon certain lands and
fruit-trees, or on other trees and shrubs useful to them, as also on
their lakes and rivers for fishing purposes, as belonging to certain
tribes or individuals; and any aggression thereon is the cause of
quarrels and warfare.  I had heard the people talking of an expedition
some of them had made into the territory of a distant tribe, when they
had cut down some cocoa-nut and palm-trees, and committed other
mischief; but they spoke of their enemies as a weak and pusillanimous
race, who were unable or unwilling to retaliate, and I thought no more
of the matter.  When sent into the woods to gather bark or gums, or the
heads of the cabbage-palm, or to catch fish on the river or neighbouring
lake, I used to be interested by the vast number of birds and insects--
the beauty of the plumage of the one, and the brilliancy of the tints of
the other.

I must not omit to mention the cabbage-palm.  This tree is surrounded,
at each girdle of growth, by a cincture of sharp thorns, which are more
numerous and needle-shaped as we approach the leaves.  The head
contains, like all other palms, a soft spike, about the hardness of the
core of the cabbage.  This, when boiled, resembles the asparagus, or
kale, and, uncooked, it makes an excellent salad.  The interior of the
tree is full of useless pithy matter.  It is therefore split into four
or more parts, the softer portion being cut away, and leaving only the
outer rind of older wood, which is necessarily hard.  These narrow,
slightly-curved slabs form the principal flooring of the houses in
Borneo, as well as the posts and rafters.  In England it is constantly
used for umbrella-sticks.  The most interesting birds were the pigeons,
with feathers of the richest metallic hues.  The plaintive cooings of
their notes as they issued from the solitude of the sombre woods, were
mournful but soothing to my ear.  Their air is full of softness, and
their eyes of gentleness; the very turn of the neck and the carriage of
the head are full of grace; every motion is elegant, and their forms of
the most beautiful proportions.  A kingfisher of considerable size, and
splendid colouring, frequents the banks of the streams.  A grey heron
perches on the lower boughs of the trees, and fishes in the ponds.  A
small-winged woodpecker, and a large red-headed species, climb up and
down the trees in sequestered places, and a thrush with a yellow beak
and black head utters a sweet note among the bamboo groves and thickets;
while owls, falcons, eagles and other birds of prey abound.

I was one day sent to fish in a lake in the direction of the cottage
whence the music had proceeded which had so agitated me.  Into the lake
ran a clear rivulet, which passed, I thought likely, near the cottage.
I was in a small canoe by myself, and, fortunately finding the fish
abounding near the mouth of the rivulet, I separated myself from my
companions, and, observing that I was not watched, I pulled a little way
up it.  My progress was soon stopped; but trees concealing me from view,
I hauled up the canoe on the bank, and jumped on shore.

I listened to discover if any one was near; but no sound reaching my
ear, I crept cautiously along the banks of the stream, looking between
the trees for any sign of a habitation.  After going some way, I came to
a field of maize, and soon after, at the end of a forest glade, I beheld
a cottage.  I could not tell if it was the one for which I was in
search, but I hoped it might be; and concealing myself among the bushes
and behind the trunks of trees, I advanced towards it.  I had got a very
little way, however, before a female figure appeared from behind the
cottage, with a basket on her head.  She stopped an instant, as if to
discover if any one was near, and then she came quickly along towards
the very spot where I lay concealed.  Oh, how my heart beat with
emotion!  Her quick and elastic step told me she was young,--as would
her slight and small figure.  Her dress, I saw, was not that of a native
woman; for though her head was bare, a loose vest covered her neck and
shoulders, and a gown came down to her feet.  Soon, too, I saw that her
skin was fair; that her hair, which hung in rich luxuriance over her
shoulders, was light, and that her eyes were blue; and as she drew still
nearer, I knew her features.  I could not be mistaken in them; for
although grown from infancy almost to womanhood, still they were those
of my own sweet dear little sister Eva.

I was afraid of frightening her if I appeared suddenly, and still more
so should any one be observing her; so I waited, my heart throbbing all
the time, till she had reached the stream and filled her bucket with
water.  She then sat down on the bank, and seemed to be meditating over
her sad fate.  Then she began to sing the same plaintive air I had
before heard.  I echoed it, and repeated the words, increasing them in
distinctness.  At first she seemed to think that her imagination had
been deceiving her; then she started up and advanced rapidly, with
outstretched arms and eager look, towards where I lay concealed.  I
could no longer contain myself, but sprang up and rushed towards her.
She instantly stopped, and uttering a faint cry, was about to fly from
me--

"Eva, my own Eva! it is your brother Mark."

She instantly recognised my voice, and flying forward she threw herself
into my arms, and sobbed as if her heart would break.  I held her thus
without being able to utter a word.

"Mark, my brother Mark!  I can scarcely believe this; and yet my heart
told me all along that you would come and search for me; that you would
not believe that I was dead; that you would never rest till you found
me;--and I have not been deceived."

"Indeed I would not, Eva, for we are all in all to each other," I
replied.

There was a sheltered nook, where no one at a distance off could see us.
I led her there, and we sat down; and, our hands clasped together, I
told her all that I had done to discover her.

"And you see, Eva," I added, "what I at first thought the greatest
misfortune that could have happened to me, has proved the blessing I
could most have desired, as it has enabled me at last to discover you."

"But we are slaves," said Eva, sighing deeply.

"Yes, dear Eva; but we are together," I answered in a cheerful voice.
"Together, too, we will escape.  I am certain of it.  I know not how it
will be accomplished; but I have no doubt about the matter.  I was
certain I should discover you; and you see I have done so in a way I
little expected."

"You are in spirits, Mark, at having discovered me, and so I ought to be
also," she replied; "but do you know that I cannot shake off the feeling
that some heavy calamity is about to happen, even greater than has yet
befallen?"

"Do not let such an idea oppress you," I answered.  "God never lets us
foresee the future, though we may predict what is likely to happen, by
close observation of past and present events.  You have been exposed to
so many dangers and horrors, that it is not surprising that your spirits
should be low."

"Indeed I have," said Eva.  "Not long ago a large war party came back,
bringing with them thirty human heads, which they carried round the
village with the most terrific shouts, and then, after baking them, hung
them up in their head-house; when, for a whole month afterwards, they
attended nightly singing and shouting at them.  I have been every day
expecting their enemies to retaliate; but they have not done so, and I
hope have forgiven the outrage."

"Such scenes were sufficient, indeed, to make you low-spirited," I said;
"but I want to know all about yourself--all your adventures, and how you
came here."

On this, she rapidly ran over all that had occurred to her from the time
she went on board the _Emu_.  She told me, that when off the coast of
Borneo, the master had been shot by some of the crew and thrown
overboard, and that Kidd was then elected captain; that the brig entered
a river in Borneo, where the people were very nearly cut off by the
natives; but that they escaped and proceeded southward, when they
commenced attacking vessels of all sorts indiscriminately.

At first they only plundered them of the lighter and more valuable
portion of their cargoes, but at length the crews were frequently
murdered, and the vessels sunk or burned.  Mrs Clayton had, from the
first, discovered the sort of persons into whose hands she had fallen;
and it so preyed on her spirits that she sank rapidly under it.  The
crew had been disappointed at the amount of the dollars she had brought
on board; and had it not been for Kidd, who told them that they could
realise much more by her ransom some time or other, they would have
treated her with but little ceremony.  Sometimes they received
volunteers out of the vessels they destroyed.  Among those whose lives
were spared was a young lad from Java, and he was kept to serve them in
the cabin.  He was very honest and faithful; and Mrs Clayton had
employed him to try and sell a few jewels she had secreted, to bribe
some of the crew to assist in her escape.  They took the bribe, but she
remained a prisoner.  Kidd had shown some interest in Eva from the
first, and this much increased on his observing a locket which she wore
round her neck.  She had never been deprived of it.  He did not tell her
the reason of this, but promised her that he would do so some day.  He
was ever afterwards very kind in his manner.  When he looked fierce or
unhappy, she used to sing to him and calm his spirits, till she not only
lost all dread of him, but began to like and to compassionate him.  He
was always very wretched, and sometimes she used to hear him shriek out
at night in his cabin, as if someone were murdering him; and she never
saw him smile or laugh.  Poor Mrs Clayton grew worse and worse; and
when she died, she thought her heart would break, and she almost wished
to die also.  Her misery decreased, though she was very melancholy.
Kidd did his utmost to arouse her, and promised her that she should some
day have her rights, and go on shore, and live in a fine house, with
plenty of people to attend on her, and a carriage to to move about in.
Soon after this the schooner appeared, and was taken for a Dutch
man-of-war, and the pirates thus found it necessary to be more cautious
in their proceedings.  When chased for the first time, they had run for
the Pater Nosters, because they were a group with which Kidd was well
acquainted; and immediately on entering, they had hauled in through a
very intricate channel to the north, where, by warping rapidly on, they
had got sufficiently onward to be concealed by the trees from our view.
On the second occasion, chance, aided by skill, had helped them.  They
had been just outside the strongest part of the squall, and by
shortening sail in time, they were able to make it again, and to get
away before we had recovered from it.  On the third time, they had run
into a deep but narrow inlet, surrounded by high rocks and overhanging
trees, where they lay concealed while we passed, or, had we attempted to
enter, they might have thrown down fragments of the cliff from above,
and crushed us.  At last they were compelled to go into harbour, both to
refit and to divide their booty.  Here, while off their guard and
carousing on shore, the brig was attacked, and she was seized.  The
assailants were Illanons from Sooloo, the boldest pirates of the
Archipelago.  She thought she should have died through fear when they
rushed into the cabin.  They carried her off with other booty; but as
she was so small, and did not look able to do much work, they sold her
to her present master for three cakes of vegetable tallow.  She had got
so accustomed to the life on board the brig, and had been so kindly
treated by Kidd, that, though anxious to return to her friends and
civilised life, she had learned to regard him with confidence, and
almost with affection, and would gladly have returned.  She was always
kept below during all their attacks on vessels, so that she was not
witness to the atrocities they committed.  Her present master was an old
chief, who had given up fighting, and she was employed to attend on his
wife, who was much younger.  The work she had to perform was not very
hard, nor did it appear to injure her health; but still she was a slave,
and as such she was treated; and till she saw me she was very miserable,
unable even to form a conjecture of her future fate, and hopeless of
escape.  Such was her narrative.  Much of it I had before heard from the
pirate.  She was much grieved when I told her of his death; but I
assured her that his punishment had been great, and that I believed his
repentance had been sincere.  At length we remembered that it was time
to separate.

We agreed to meet, if possible, at the same spot on the following day;
and as it was the fishing season, I should have a good excuse for
pulling across the lake.  At last I was obliged to urge her to return;
and after watching her till she reached the cottage, I hurried down the
stream to the spot where I had left my canoe.  I launched it, and
paddled back to the part of the lake where I had quitted my companions.
They had disappeared, and, by the lowness of the sun, I guessed that
they must have returned home.  It was a lovely evening, and the scene
was one of the most perfect quiet and repose.  The water of the lake was
as smooth as glass, and over it sported thousands of the most
brilliant-tinted dragon-flies, while birds of the brightest hues flitted
in and out among the trees.  In some spots were to be seen _padi_
fields, looking beautifully green, and extensive bamboo groves, above
which appeared the towering palm and plantain.  There were also the
cocoa-nut, the betel, the sago, and the _gno_ or _gomati_: these are the
four most useful palms to the natives.  The pith of the sago furnishes
food; and when that is extracted, the outer part serves for the floors
of cottages.  The leaf of the sago palm is also the best for roofing.
From the _gno_ is extracted fibre for manufacturing rope, and the toddy
which forms their common beverage.

Scarcely had I left the canoe than it became dark.  I took the
precaution to mark the way I advanced, that I might at all events
retrace my steps to sleep in the canoe.  I was obliged to advance
cautiously, and to consider every step I took, so as not to lose the
pathway.  I had marked the direction by the stars, as I left the canoe,
and they assisted to guide me.  I at length sat down to rest, believing
myself some way from the village.  I believe that I must have fallen
asleep,--but how long I slept I know not,--when I was aroused by the
most unearthly shrieks and yells imaginable.  I was on a rising ground.
I looked around to discover whence it could come, when I saw bright
flames bursting forth close below me from some buildings which I
recognised as the village or kampong to which I belonged.  Among the
burning cottages were some hundreds of warriors in their wildest war
costume, their skin dresses, the bright-coloured feathers waving in
their head dress, adding to the ferocity of their savage features, as
with their short swords in their hands, shining with the light of the
flames, they were cutting and hewing to pieces every person whom the
fire drove from the shelter of their walls.  A complete panic seemed to
have seized the inhabitants--little or no resistance was offered--
scarcely a warrior drew his sword in defence of his family.  The fierce
assailants seized their victims by the hair, and, with a stroke of their
sharp parangs, added a fresh head to the horrid trophies of their
prowess.  Men, women, and children were indiscriminately slaughtered.
My master and his whole family were destroyed.  The bitterest revenge,
not plunder, was the object of the assailants.  Those who had lately
been boasting of their own unprovoked attack on these very enemies, were
now justly the sufferers.  When the warriors had finished their work of
blood, they hurried on to other villages, which bodies of their tribe
had already attacked.

Prompted by a wish to save some who might have escaped death, I ran down
into the village, but not a human being did I find alive.  As I passed
among the burning huts, their light fell on the blade of a sword.  I
seized it, feeling it might be useful, and stuck it in my girdle.
Anxious to discover in which direction the warriors had gone, I returned
to the hill.  Flames rising up in every direction marked their progress.
A horror came over me; for I observed that the fires were advancing in
the direction where Eva lived.  I marked the point on the lake where I
had left the canoe, and then dashed down the hill towards it.  I
appeared to know the way by instinct.  I had no fear of losing it.  I
rushed on, and finding the canoe, leaped into it.  Just then shrieks and
cries reached my ears coming across the tranquil water of the lake.  I
seized the paddles, and urged on the canoe faster than I had ever before
made her go.  A supernatural strength seemed to be given me.  A village
near the lake was already attacked.  The flames cast their ruddy hue on
the water.  The dismayed population were offering but little or no
opposition; and what could be expected of the aged inhabitants of the
cottage where Eva lived?

I reached the mouth of the stream, and leaped on shore.  As hurrying on,
careless of concealment, I looked up a glade of the forest, my heart
sunk with horror; for at that instant a bright flame burst from the roof
of the cottage.  The savages had already discovered it; nor was it to be
exempt from their vengeance.

"Alas!"  I exclaimed.  "Why, when once I found you did I ever leave you,
my sweet sister?"

I rushed on.  Again I heard the savage warriors' dreadful whoops and
yells, as they went about their work of destruction.  The flames now
burnt fiercely forth from the cottage, and by their light I saw a party
of savages in front of the building, flourishing their swords over a
kneeling group; while, at a little distance, an old man with grey
hairs--he seemed also a warrior by his dress--was struggling desperately
with an overwhelming body of assailants.  He had already wounded
several; but had evidently himself received many deep gashes in return,
for I could see the blood dropping round him on the ground.  Just then a
cut disabled his sword arm, and with savage yells they threw themselves
on him, and in an instant his head was fastened to their leader's
girdle.

I could not help seeing this scene as I hurried on; but it was the group
close to the cottage which attracted all my attention.  The figure
nearest to me was my sister Eva.  A savage held her by her long hair,
and with his sword lifted above her head, seemed but to wait the issue
of the combat with the old chief to sever it from the body.  I flew
forward.  My agonising fear was, that when he saw me coming he would
complete his barbarous intention before he attempted to defend himself.
I dared not shriek out; indeed my voice refused my feelings utterance.
He was still gazing on the old warrior's gallant resistance, and did not
observe my approach.  Eva had prepared herself for death.  She opened
her eyes and beheld me.  At that moment a blow from my weapon sent the
sword of the Dyak into the air, while a wound on his left arm made him
release his grasp, and springing up she threw herself into my arms.

"Eva, dearest, I am come to die with you," I whispered, holding her
light form in my left arm, while with my sword I kept them at bay, as I
saw the infuriated savages with brandished weapons close around us.



CHAPTER TWENTY NINE.

I fully believed that our last moments had arrived, and it was, I felt,
a satisfaction to die with Eva; yet I endeavoured to retreat to prolong
our lives, if I could not preserve them.  My strength was fast failing
me; the weapons of the savages were flashing in my eyes; every instant I
expected to be disabled by a wound.  I am convinced my dauntless bravery
somewhat awed these wild natives, for, with that young girl to protect,
no sensation of fear entered my bosom.  At last they seemed ashamed at
allowing one man, a mere stripling too, so to daunt them, and with loud
yells and shrieks they threw themselves on me.

At that instant, when every hope of life had fallen, another warrior, he
seemed, uttering still more unearthly cries than his companions, and
dressed in a still more fantastic manner, rushed into the circle.  At
his appearance the rest drew back, and, as he stepped into the ring, I
thought he was about to perform the part of executioner.  Instead,
however, of cutting off my head, after addressing a few words in the
Dyak language to his savage followers, to my intense astonishment he
exclaimed, in unmistakable English:

"It's all right, my fine fellow; neither you nor that little girl shall
have a hair of your heads hurt while I have got a finger to wag in your
defence."

On hearing these words, Eva lifted up her head, and crying out, "He is
an Englishman! he is an Englishman!  Oh!  Mark, you are saved!" burst
into tears.

"Don't be crying so, my dear young lady," said the pretended chief.  "I
promise you that both he and you are safe enough for the present; my
pretty boys here won't hurt any of those whom I say are my friends."

"Indeed, sir, whoever you are, I am most grateful for your succour," I
observed.  "You have saved this dear young girl's life as well as my
own."

"Oh, but Mark came just in time to save mine," interrupted Eva.

"Mark!  Is that your name?  I had a friend once of that name, but you
are not a bit like him," exclaimed the stranger.

"The name I have always borne is that of Mark Seaworth," I answered,
remembering that I had good reason to suppose that it was not my real
one.

"Mark Seaworth!  The very same; I ought to have known you at once; and I
am delighted to find you, old fellow.  I am, by Jerico, Seaworth!"
exclaimed the stranger, grasping me by the arm, and wringing it till he
almost dislocated my shoulder in the warmth of his feelings.

"I also am indeed delighted to meet an old friend," I returned; "but,
for the life of me, in your present costume I cannot recall your
features."

"Ah!  I quite forgot; this rather uncommon rig for an English gentleman
must somewhat have puzzled you," he answered, laughing.  "Well, then,
you remember Blount, at old Liston's.  I am the same, I can assure you,
Seaworth; rather transmogrified as to my outward man, I own."  The voice
and turn of expression instantly recalled my old friend Walter Blount to
my recollection, and I returned his grasp with as hearty a shake as he
had given me.

We had, however, as he observed, very little time for explanations, as
it was necessary to beat a retreat before the allies of the tribe his
friends had attacked were aroused and able to follow them.  The warriors
were now collecting from all parts, their work of vengeance being
accomplished; and under the escort of Blount, who assisted me in
supporting Eva, we proceeded towards the north in company with the
advanced body.  As we skirted the borders of the lake we found a canoe
sufficiently large to contain three persons.  As it would save Eva much
fatigue, I proposed to Blount to take it and to pull to the end of the
lake, where we might again place ourselves under the escort of the
warriors.  As we were paddling swiftly along, he gave me a brief outline
of his history, after I had told him how I came to be in the position,
in which I was.

"You know, Seaworth, I was always a very wild fellow, and you used to
get me out of numbers of scrapes," he begun.  "Well, at last I became
tired of school, and I did nothing but bother my friends to send me to
sea.  I used to write round to every friend and relation I possessed,
once a fortnight at least--to the more influential ones oftener; till,
either to save their pockets the expense of postage, or because they saw
that my heart was set on the life, they all met and consulted together,
and agreed that I should be sent on board an Indiaman, where I should be
more likely to make a fortune than in the Royal Navy, and should have no
occasion to repeat the trick I had played them when I wanted my
promotion.  So I was fitted out with the proper number of shirts and
socks, and sent on board the _Hooghly_.

"I made two voyages, but did not find life in an Indiaman anything like
what I expected; so I left her, and hearing of a brig which had a roving
commission to go wherever there was any trade to be done, I offered to
join her.  I especially liked the notion of the excitement and variety,
and, as she was short of hands, my services were accepted on condition
that I shipped as junior mate.  I found that I had more work and less
pay than any one on board; but I learned seamanship and practised
navigation, which was considered an equivalent for my services.

"We touched at a great many places in these seas, disposing of some of
our cargo, and collecting the produce of the country in return, when we
managed to run the brig on a shoal off this coast, which was not
correctly laid down on our chart.  There was a very heavy sea, and the
vessel struck violently, so that it was the opinion of most onboard that
she would go to pieces.  The master, who was of this opinion, and
others, took to the boats, but were swamped, as I was afraid they would
be.  I stuck to the wreck, as, knowing her to be thoroughly built, I had
an idea that she would stick together.

"I was in the after part of the vessel, but the rest of the people who
remained were forward, and the sea, making a clean breach over the
wreck, swept them all away.  I with difficulty held on; and when the sea
went down, and the morning returned, I discovered that I was the only
person left alive.  I found some cold meat and biscuits and plenty of
spirits in the cabin, and a keg of water jammed into the companion
hatch, so there was little fear of my starving for some time to come.
When the sun rose, I saw the land a few miles off, and in the afternoon
of the same day perceived a number of canoes coming off to the wreck.  I
knew that the people hereabouts do not make much ceremony about cutting
off a fellow's head; so, determining that they should not have mine
without plenty of trouble, I bound all the handkerchiefs I could find
round my throat, till I appeared to have no more neck than a whale.  As
I was hunting about the cabin, I came upon the captain's medicine chest.
I knew the properties and effects of some of the drugs, and besides
them was a little book in the drawers to help me.

"`Come,' said I to myself, `savages are apt to treat medical men with
rather more respect than often do civilised people.  I will pretend to
be a doctor, and they will probably not attempt to hurt me.'

"As a precaution, I put on all the coats I could find, and buttoned them
over to serve as armour, and stuck a brace of pistols in my pockets, to
shoot a couple of them if they came to close quarters.  However, when
the canoes first came up, the savages, seeing me on board walking the
deck with as much dignity as the officer of the watch, began blowing
their sumpits at me till I was stuck all over like a porcupine.  Luckily
none hit my face, and seeing me take the matter so unconcernedly, they
ceased blowing, to discover what I was made of.  I thereon pulled out
the arrows, and going to the side of the vessel, with a polite bow
presented them to my assailants, at the same time, by significant
gestures, inviting them on board.  My conduct seemed to tickle their
fancy amazingly; and when they climbed up the sides, instead of showing
any fear, or attempting to resist them, I appeared delighted to see
them, and in a minute we were perfectly good friends.  I now led some of
them into the cabin, and gave them everything which first came to hand,
knowing very well that they would take it if I did not; besides, as I
could scarcely consider the things my own, I could afford to be
generous.  With my aid, they soon loaded the canoes so full that they
could carry no more; and then jumping into the principal one, which
seemed to belong to a chief, I sat myself down beside him, and began
talking away as if I was an old friend, and delighted to see him.  By
the by, he could not understand a word I said: but I made up for the
want of meaning in the sounds by a profusion of signs.  I found that
they belonged to a tribe inhabiting a spot at the head of a long river,
and that they were just about to return thither.  I now tried to make
them comprehend that if any of them were ill, I could cure them by means
of a box which I carried under my arm.  They, of course, thought that it
was filled with charms, but had not the less respect for me on that
account.  I was delighted with the beauty of the scenery we passed going
up the river, and the well-selected site of their village.  When we
arrived there, they gave me a house to myself, and would have allowed me
to choose a wife had I been so disposed; but I declined the honour.  I
at once set to work to gain the good opinion of the ladies, and for this
object divided my somewhat cumbrous neckcloth among them, while I
doctored them and their children on every opportunity.  My coats I
divided among the men, except one suit which I kept for myself.  I
thought that I should still more ingratiate myself with them, if I
dressed as they did; and as I was always somewhat of a dandy, I went to
the extreme of Dyak fashion, except in the matter of putting those big
rings in my ears, and chewing betel-nut; in fact I now take the lead in
dress, and am looked upon as the very pink of perfection.  I have
learned their language, and adapted myself to their ways; but I have
begun to get rather tired of this sort of life, and have been lately
considering how I can best take my departure, and in what direction I
shall steer my course."

"I hope that you will accompany us my dear fellow, and return again to
civilised life," I observed.  "But how could you encourage those people,
in the savage work in which they were engaged?"

"I am not surprised at the question, Seaworth," he replied, gravely;
"but you must not think so ill of me as to suppose that I encouraged
them in murdering their countrymen.  In the first place, you must
understand that they had been previously attacked by this tribe, who
carried off a number of heads, burnt their cottages, and cut down their
fruit-trees.  They believe retaliation to be justifiable,--so do
civilised nations; and I knew that it would be hopeless to preach
forbearance to them: so I accompanied them to doctor up any who were
hurt, and to try and save the lives of their prisoners."

"I am sure that we ought not to find fault with Mr Blount, for he saved
our lives, at all events," interposed Eva.

I agreed with her, and assured Blount, that under the circumstances he
had described, he might, I thought, even have assisted his friends in
punishing their enemies, not in a revengeful spirit, but as the only
means of preventing a similar attack, and for preserving peace.  We had
now arrived at the end of the lake; and landing, we left the canoe to
its fate.  The war party had not arrived, and with some anxiety we
waited for them, fearing that they might have gone by some other route;
for Blount asserted that they had not yet passed that way.  The moon had
just risen in the sky, and was shedding a silvery light across the lake,
by which we were enabled to see to the other extremity.  We watched,
fearing that some of the warriors of the enemy might have collected and
set out in pursuit, and Blount began to regret having parted from his
friends.  My young sister was sadly worn and fatigued by the terror she
had undergone, and was unable to proceed on foot; so Blount and I
employed our time in manufacturing a sort of litter, on which she might
be carried on the journey.  She seemed much grieved at the death of the
old chief and his wife, who had treated her kindly, and won her
easily-gained affections.  Blount and I were just completing our work
when Eva called to us.  She was seated on a rock close to the lake.

"I have been listening, and I am certain I hear the splash of paddles on
the water," she said; "and see, are not these some black spots just
under the moonbeams at the other end of the lake?"

We, too, were soon certainly convinced that she was right.  "I see how
matters stand," said Blount; "a war party have collected and embarked,
to cross the lake and lie in ambush for my friends on their retreat.
They have been so quick about it that there can only be a few of them,
but they would do some mischief.  It is fortunate that we came across
the water.  We must now try to find our friends to give them warning."

I agreed with him; and placing Eva on the litter to carry her between
us, in spite of her assurance that she could walk very well, we were
about to set forward, when Blount recollected that the canoe would
betray us.  It had fortunately not drifted away from the shore; so
hauling it up, we hid it among the bushes, and trusted that our pursuers
would not land at that very spot.  We proceeded in a direction so as to
intersect the line of march of the Dyaks, Blount carefully listening for
their approach.

"We must not go farther," he observed, "or they may pass us;" so we put
down our light burden, and sat down by her side.  The moonbeams here and
there struggled through the thick foliage of the trees, but in most
places it was very dark; and we could only depend on our sense of
hearing, though the moon enabled us to steer our course.  Near us was an
open glade, and, for a minute perhaps, neither had been looking towards
it, when by chance turning our heads, it appeared as if by magic filled
with human beings.  The moon lighted up the spot, and her beams fell on
their savage features, their fantastic dresses of skins and feathers, or
gaily-coloured clothes, and the bloody trophies which so many bore at
their waists, as they crept onward with the stealthy step habitual to
them on such expeditions.  Eva trembled, for she could not tell whether
they were friends or foes; but Blount recognised them, and jumping up,
presented himself before them.  They seemed delighted to meet him.  They
told him that they had fallen in with another village of their enemies,
and that they had stopped to destroy it.  Short work as they had made of
it, the delay would have cost them dear, had we not observed the enemy
crossing the lake, and been able to give them notice of the
circumstance.  The party were led, it appeared, by a young chief over
whom Blount had some influence, and, to prevent further bloodshed, he
strongly advised him not to molest the ambush, but to turn off on one
side to avoid them.  This advice was not palatable to the young warrior,
and he insisted on his right to kill those who had come to kill him.  We
proceeded, therefore, in the original direction.  Several of the Dyaks
at once volunteered to carry Eva on her litter, and Blount and I walked
by her side as her bodyguard.  I observed that considerable precautions
were taken in the advance.  The main body kept in close order, while an
advanced guard was sent forward to feel the way, and skirmishers were
thrown out on either side to guard the flanks from attack.  Scouts also
were sent ahead, stealthily picking their way amongst the most sheltered
paths, in order to discover the ambush.  We had not proceeded far, when
two of the scouts came in, and reported that a body of the enemy lay in
ambush among some rocks at the entrance of a ravine leading up from the
lake.  On hearing this, the young chief divided his force into three
bodies.  He was to lead one to the hill above the ambush; a second was
to proceed over the hills on the opposite side of the ravine, to get
ahead of the enemy; while a third was to block up the entrance, so as to
prevent their escape in that direction.  Eva accompanied the second
body, which I thought was less likely to be engaged.  The dispositions
were quickly made, and we had scarcely descended again into the ravine
after evading the ambush, than the loud war-shrieks, disturbing the calm
serenity of the night, told us that the work of death was going on.  A
few unfortunate wretches fled up the ravine, and were immediately killed
by our party, while the main body and those at the entrance of the
ravine destroyed the rest; so that of the whole ambush, who, intending
to surprise us, were themselves surprised, not one escaped.  Indeed, the
tribe itself was very nearly annihilated by that night foray.  There was
no time to cut down the fruit-trees, or to destroy the fields of maize
and rice, as is usually done on like occasions.  We marched on all night
and some part of the morning before a halt was called, so unwilling were
the Dyaks to stop till they were out of the reach of the allies of those
they had attacked.  At last they lay down to sleep in the shade of some
wide-spreading trees.  I observed that each man remained with his sword
in one hand and his sumpitan, with a dart in it, ready to discharge, in
the other; and every now and then one of them would lift up his head and
look about him, so accustomed are they to be on the watch, and so
uncertain when they may be attacked.

In the afternoon we again resumed our march.  At sunset we again halted
for repose; but as soon as the moon arose, we were once more on foot.
Each man was provided with a number of short spears, which Blount
informed me, were for the purpose of sticking into the ground behind
them when hotly pursued, so that their enemies get checked, and often
severely wounded.  The only food provided for the army was a sticky sort
of rice, boiled in bamboos, each person carrying sufficient for himself
in a small basket at his back.  No fires were lighted, lest their light
might betray our position to any lurking enemies.  So rapidly did we
march, and so little sleep or rest did any of us enjoy, that I was
almost knocked up; and Eva would have been unable to proceed, had she
not been borne on a litter.  I ought to have said that each warrior who
had killed one or more of the enemy, carried their heads hung by a line
round his neck, keeping it there even at night while he slept, and
caressing it in the most affectionate manner.  Poor little Eva!  It was
a sad sight for her; and I kept her as much out of the way of the heroes
of the party as I could.  Some of them had three or four heads dangling
round their necks, as they walked onward with proud steps, exulting in
their prowess.  They felt certain, too, of gaining the smiles of the
most lovely damsels of their tribe; for the Dyak women are great
admirers of bravery.

At length we arrived at the village of the conquerors, when, as they had
no muskets to fire or cannons to discharge, they set up the most
terrific yells I ever heard, to announce their arrival and victory.  The
shouts were answered by the people of the village, who rushed out to
meet them and welcome them with every demonstration of joy.  Blount
instantly set to work to have a cottage prepared for Eva and me.  A very
neat one was provided, situated on a sloping bank above a running
stream, and backed by a grove of palm-trees.  It was built partly of the
wood of the Nibong palm, and partly of bamboo, and was thatched with
palm-leaves.  It was indeed a very light and pretty structure, and
perfectly clean.  The furniture consisted simply of a quantity of
beautifully-made mats, to answer the purpose of tables and chairs,
carpets, beds, and bedding, while gourds of many sizes, and pieces of
bamboo, supplied us with our cooking and mess utensils.  Eva surveyed
our abode with unfeigned delight.

"We might be perfectly happy here, I am sure, all the days of our
lives," she exclaimed.  "Don't you think so, my dear Mark?"

"Indeed, Eva, I do not," I answered.  "We are glad at length to be at
rest; but we should very soon get tired of the companionship of savages,
and I have a notion that man is not born to vegetate; he should be up
and doing.  It is a question every man should ask himself constantly:
What have I done lately to benefit my fellow-creatures?  Have I played
my part as an educated intellectual man in advancing the moral and
social condition of my less-favoured fellow-men? or have I merely
considered how I can best amuse myself, without a thought for their
welfare?  O Eva, I used, even as a boy, to be so disgusted when in
England, and also in India, I saw men so capable of better things,
employing their time in shooting, fishing, and hunting, or in the most
frivolous pursuits, worthy only of uneducated savages, who must so
occupy themselves to live, and all the time not in the slightest degree
aware that they were actually sinning--that they were hiding their
talents--that they were useless beings--that they might better not have
been born."

"Oh, but then, my dear Mark, we may do a great deal of good here, I am
sure," exclaimed Eva, interrupting me.  "We may civilise these fierce
savages--we may teach them Christianity--we may show them how much
happier they may be by living peaceably, than by going to war, and
cutting off each other's heads."

"Ah, Eva, that indeed would be a noble occupation," I answered,
enthusiastically.  "And worthy of all honour would be the man who would
devote himself to so great and glorious a cause."



CHAPTER THIRTY.

When we arrived at the village, I observed that the warriors did not
bring in the heads with them, but deposited them at some little distance
outside the stockade.  The truth was, I found, that the entrance of such
trophies was considered far too important to take place without the
observance of due ceremony.  A temporary shed had been erected for them,
under which they were hung up and carefully watched by a party of young
men, habited in their finest costume.

The next morning there was a loud beating of gongs in the kampong, or
village, and shouting and shrieking from the whole population, as the
warriors were seen approaching, each carrying his bloody trophy before
him, and dancing and singing at the same time.  As they entered the
kampong, they were met by the women, who crowded round the heads, and
put ciri and betel-nut in the gaping mouths.  In this way they were
carried round from house to house, and then hung up in a large open shed
to dry for several days.  Here the heads were watched by young boys of
from six to ten years old, who, for the whole time the process of drying
occupied--from seven to ten days--were never allowed to step out of the
hall, or neglect their sacred trust.  This was the commencement of their
initiation in the endurance of hardships, that they also might become
warriors.  Night after night the men used to meet in front of the hall,
dancing and singing, and beating their gongs.  They used to address
their heads, taunting them, telling them that they were their slaves,
and that they must send the rest of their tribe to be treated in the
same manner.  These very men, however, savage as they were, treated us
with great kindness, and seemed anxious to do all they could to please
us.  Blount spent the greater part of every day with us, and gave me
much information about the country.  I told him that I was very anxious
to obtain tidings of my schooner, and the friends on board her, and
equally so to get away.

"So, my dear fellow, am I," he answered, making a long face; "but the
truth is, my friends here are so fond of us they will not let us go.  I
have tried on several occasions to escape; but they always gave me a
strong hint to stop."

"How was that?"  I asked.

"Why, they shut me up, and would not let me out till I promised to be
good."

"Then you really think we are prisoners here!"  I exclaimed.

"Indeed I do," he answered.  "I did not mention it before, because there
is a good deal in the fancy of the thing.  When you thought that you
were waiting for a vessel to carry you off, you were content; now that
you discover that you are likely to be detained by force, you grow
indignant."

"It will never do to remain here," I said.  "We must forthwith find some
means of escaping."

"I have been considering the same subject very seriously, I can assure
you," said Blount in a cheerful voice.  "In the meantime let us make
ourselves as comfortable as we can--I always do; I never heard of any
man gaining anything by fretting."

My friend's reasoning was so sound that I could not but agree with him.
We found the chiefs and the people very civil, and the women seemed very
much inclined to be kind to Eva.

"Come," said Blount, one evening as we sat talking in the cottage;
"there is to be a dance at the house of the chief in honour of the
victory.  It is worth seeing, and will amuse you and your sister, if she
is prepared for a little shrieking and brandishing of swords."

We both agreed, and following him, walked to the house of the chief, at
the farther end of the kampong.  We entered a large room, with seats
arranged round it, and lighted up with dama torches.  We had places
reserved near the chief; and the room soon began to fill, till it was
crowded with eager spectators.  There were musicians ready, who played
on the _tom-tom_, or drum, and the gong, which they beat either slow or
fast, according to the measure of the dance.

The people were dressed, it must be remembered, in their gayest
costume--in scarlet jackets, in coats of shell armour, with cloaks of
skin, and caps of feathers, or turbans of gay-coloured native cloth,
their spears being in their hands, and their swords, with ornamented
handles, by their sides.  The dancers, however, outshone them all in the
gayness of their costume.

The first dance performed was called the _Mancha_, or sword dance.  Two
swords were placed on a mat in the centre of the room.  The music began
to play very slowly, and two men advanced from opposite sides in time,
now bending the body, now turning round to watch and listen, now lifting
one leg, now the other, then the arms, in grotesque but not ungraceful
attitudes.  One then moved to the right, the other to the left, and thus
they moved round and round the room, till at last they approached, and
each seized a sword.  As they did so, the music began to play a brisker
measure; the warriors passed and repassed each other, now cutting, now
crossing swords, retiring and advancing, one kneeling as though to
defend himself from the assaults of his adversary, at times stealthily
waiting for an advantage, and quickly availing himself of it.

The measure throughout was admirably kept, and the frequent turns were
simultaneously made by both dancers, accompanied by the same eccentric
gestures.  At each successful pass, the screams of delight uttered by
the spectators, and their shouts of applause, rang through the room,
exciting the performers to fresh exertions; the noise increased by the
loud clang of the musical instruments, as the musicians, excited by the
scene, beat time with great vehemence.

At length, wearied out, the first two dancers retired, and were
succeeded by a single man, with a spear poised high above his head.  He,
as had the others, stepped forward slowly, turning round and round, now
advancing, now retiring, now brandishing it furiously, now pretending to
hurl his weapon at his enemies.  This dance is called the _Talambong_.

The next set of dancers used shields in addition to their swords, and
went through very similar movements.  These dances, I understood, are
very similar to those performed by the South Sea Islanders, and I
suspect that they differ but little from those practised in the present
day in the Shetland Islands and Norway, at the other side of the globe.

Although we were obliged to consider ourselves as prisoners, we were not
treated as slaves; indeed the chief sent a little black girl from the
coast of New Guinea, to attend on Eva.  The child proved not only
useful, but a source of great interest to her.  She had been captured at
a very early age, with her mother, and a brother and sister, by the
piratical prahus of a neighbouring tribe; and those to whose share she
fell, sold her to her present owner for some bees' wax and a few bundles
of rattans.  Her figure was short, and her features very flat; but she
was so intelligent and lively that she was a general favourite.  We
called her "Little Nutmeg," the name she bore sounding exactly like that
word; and she answered at once to it.  Eva used to try and teach her
English; and the child was so anxious to learn the language, that she
rapidly gained a knowledge of it.

The people among whom we found ourselves, although they spent much of
their time in amusing themselves, when necessary were very industrious.
They cultivated a considerable quantity of rice, which not only formed
their chief support, but which they were enabled to export.  The rice is
very white, and of excellent flavour.  They first clear a spot of the
jungle, and irrigate it well; and as soon as they consider its primitive
richness is exhausted, they commence on fresh ground.  Their mode of
grinding the rice clear of the husk is simple.  The trunk of a tree is
sawn through, and two circular pieces of wood are selected, fitting to
each other; the upper portion is hollow, the lower solid; small notches
are cut where those two pieces fit, and handles are attached to the
upper part, which being filled with _padi_, and kept turning round, the
husk is detached, and escapes by the notches.  The Dyaks understand
thoroughly the manufacture of iron.  The forge is composed of the hollow
trunks of two trees, placed side by side; the fire is of charcoal; the
pipes of the bellows are of bamboo, led through a clay bank; and the
bellows are two pistons, with suckers made of cock's feathers, and which
a man pumps from the top of a tree.  We found no want of provisions in
the country; and wild hogs especially abounded.  There were a few
cattle, and plenty of fowls.  I could not understand why the natives
were so anxious to detain us, till Blount explained, that they valued
us, because they fancied that we should be able to counsel them in time
of peace how to become rich, and to assist them in time of war.

"The fact is," he added, laughing, "when I interposed, and saved your
life and your sister's, I was obliged to say all I could in your favour;
so I told my friends that you were a very wonderful personage, and that
you knew more than a whole army of wise men: if they kept you, they
would be certain to conquer all their enemies; but if they killed you,
that your friends would be certain to come and revenge your death."

"An honour truly I am glad to have avoided," I answered.  "As I,
however, have entered into no engagement to devote to them my services,
I shall feel myself at liberty to escape as soon as I can."

"So, indeed, shall I," he said.  "We are, however, a long way from the
coast; and unless we can persuade our hosts to aid our departure, our
escape will be almost impossible."

"Such wonderful things have happened to us, that I shall never despair,"
observed Eva, whose spirits were returning rapidly, as she recovered
from the effects of her terror and fatigue.

I need scarcely say that this was the subject on which we most
frequently conversed, but still we could strike out no plan which
promised any prospect of success.  I proposed appealing to the chief,
and promising to make him handsome presents, if he would get us all
conveyed to Singapore, or put on board the _Fraulein_; but when Blount
spoke to him on the subject, he replied most politely, that our society
was far more valuable than any present we could make him.  Partly to
amuse myself, and partly to throw my captors off their guard, I used to
practise the various accomplishments I had learned when I was a slave.
The pleasantest was that of fishing from a canoe, by both spearing the
fish, and catching them with the wooden ducks.  If I could make an
excuse to take Eva and Blount with me, we might be able to pull down the
river, and get a long start, before we were suspected and pursued.  Two
months thus passed away; and had our stay been voluntary, I should have
been far from unhappy, as I had a sister and an old friend as
companions.  The climate was delightful, and the natural productions
most interesting, and the scenery beautiful, while I had a comfortable
house as a residence, and a sufficiency of wholesome food.

The tribe were not satisfied with their late victory, and soon again
prepared for another war excursion, insisting that Blount and I should
accompany them.  Hoping to find some means of escaping, we did not
refuse; and nearly five hundred men were collected from the neighbouring
kampongs, to form the invading army.  All were clothed in their most
terror-inspiring attire, with as great a proportion of feathers and
skins as could be mustered.  Their arms consisted of sumpitans, spears
and swords, daggers, with shields and padded jackets for their defensive
armour, while each man carried his provisions in a basket on his back.
This time they proposed attacking a tribe some way to the north, with
whom they had a long-standing quarrel.

Eva was very unhappy at the thought of our departure; but there appeared
to be no help for it, though never did two more reluctant heroes set out
on a warlike expedition than did Blount and I.  We had proceeded two
days' journey, when, on the afternoon, as we were marching alongside the
chief, at the head of his forces, through a wood, our ears were saluted
with the sound of a bird singing on our left.  The chief instantly
called a halt, and I observed a little red-breasted bird hopping merrily
from branch to branch.

"Ah, that is the papow!" exclaimed Blount.  "They think it a sacred
bird, and that its appearing on the left hand is a signal for them not
to proceed to-day.  Had it appeared on the right, they would have
thought the omen good, and have proceeded; and when it sings in front,
they fancy the enemy is near, and that it summons them to certain
victory."

While we were encamped at night, I remember hearing the short note of an
insect like a cricket, coming, apparently, from the south.  The next
morning, at daybreak, every man was on foot; and, with dejected
countenances, they commenced their homeward march.  I found from Blount
that the insect which gave forth the note was called the Kunding, and
the omen was considered of such ill augury, that the expedition was
given up entirely, not a little to our satisfaction.

Eva was much surprised at seeing our return, and very much delighted,
for she had expected to have been left alone for many days, dreading the
dangers to which we might be exposed, and with only Little Nutmeg as her
companion, and an occasional visit from the women of the kampong, I
judged, from the circumstance I have mentioned, that the people were
very superstitious; indeed I have invariably found that the smaller the
knowledge of religion possessed by a people, the greater and more absurd
is their superstition.  These people, after they have sown a field with
grain, should any dead animal be found on it, will not use the crop.  If
anything has been stolen, in order to discover the thief, they make up a
little _ciri_, and turning to the quarter they suspect, they throw it
forward, and call out for an insect they believe will inform them.  If
the insect respond from that direction, the theft is charged to the
tribe so pointed out; but if it does not answer, they try another
quarter.  I did not hear that marriages are ever forced as they are in
civilised countries; but, on the contrary, the young people are left to
choose those they like best.  Generally the lady will not accept a lover
till he has brought her the head of a man as a proof of his bravery.  If
the young would-be husband cannot get the head of an enemy, he is
sometimes tempted, if he is very much in love, to kill the first person
of any tribe not his own whom he meets, which is, of course, considered
so high a compliment to the lady, that she rarely after that refuses
him.  The man then makes presents to the parents of the bride, and gives
a feast to his tribe, which lasts several days.  A curious ceremony is
observed on these occasions.  A mixture is made of saffron, a little
gold dust, and fowl's blood, which is smeared over the chest, forehead,
and hands.  The gentleman and lady each must take a fowl, and passing it
seven times across the chest, kill it.  A small string of beads being
attached to the right wrist of either party, the ceremony is complete.
They believe that there is a good spirit called Tupa, who resides in the
clouds; but they do not pray or sacrifice to him.  They bury their dead
with various articles he possesses, such as his spear, clothes, rice
_ciri betel_, and the first head he gained in his youth.  Some tribes
burn their dead with their valuables.  I must observe that the customs
of the various tribes differ considerably.  They believe that the
spirits of the dead go to Labyan, a region under the earth, but not a
place of punishment.  From the accounts I have given, it will be seen
that the aboriginal inhabitants of Borneo are a very singular people;
and I hope that my readers will make themselves further acquainted with
their habits and customs.

I now continue my history.  As Eva had nothing to do, and no books to
amuse her, she found the time, when I was absent, hang very heavily on
her hands.  The village was situated at the source of a river, which was
navigable, for canoes, a very short distance from it.  Near the river
was a forest where I used to spend much of my time with Blount in search
of game.  He had an old fowling-piece which he had saved from the wreck,
and he was able to purchase gunpowder from the Bugi traders who came to
the mouth of the river.  I was one day in the forest, Blount being at
some distance from me, when I was startled by hearing a rustling in the
leaves near me.  I turned, holding a spear I always carried ready for
defence, besides a thick club, expecting to see some wild animal.  The
leaves parted, and sure enough there appeared the face of a monkey
grinning among them.

"What are you prying here for, old gentleman?"  I exclaimed, expecting
to see him run away; but instead of that, what was my surprise to find
that he sat observing me with the greatest gravity and attention, his
body still hidden by the leaves!

As soon as I spoke, he began to chatter in return, and springing out of
his cover, he ran and jumped towards me.  He was a little dark fellow,
without a tail, just like Ungka.  I could scarcely believe that I was
awake, when the monkey, springing forward, jumped up into my arms, and
threw his round my neck.  I could not be mistaken, wonderful as it
seemed,--it was no other than Ungka himself.  How he had come there was
a question I could not get answered; for though he chattered a great
deal with delight, I could gain no information from him.  I was in
hopes, however, that his presence betokened that other more
communicative friends were not far-off.  I hunted about in every
direction with Ungka by my side, but no traces of any one could I find;
and Blount coming up soon afterwards, and several natives appearing,
prevented me from pursuing the search.

Ungka, intelligent as he looked, did nothing to assist me, and at last I
was obliged to return home, carrying him, as he insisted on it, in my
arms.  The people were very much astonished to see a monkey so speedily
tamed; but Blount accounted for the circumstance, by telling them that I
knew the language of monkeys in all its dialects; and if they wished it,
that I would teach them.  Eva was highly pleased at seeing Ungka, and he
seemed to fancy she was little Maria Van Deck, for he instantly ran up
to her, and they very soon became great friends.  We were all in high
spirits, for we could not account for the appearance of Ungka in any
other way than by supposing that the _Fraulein_ was on the coast, and
that he had by some means escaped from her.  How he had got so far into
the country was a mystery, for I could scarcely suppose that the
animal's instinct would have enabled him to find me out.

At our evening meal, he sat himself down by my side with the greatest
gravity, as he used to do on board the schooner, and appeared to be
perfectly at home, eating whatever was given him.  His manners had
become so refined from associating with gentlemen, that he never
attempted to seize anything till it was offered him, though he cast a
wistful eye at some nuts and fruit, and seemed much pleased when they
were placed before him.  His appearance, of course, gave us ample
subject for conversation, and he every now and then would look up with a
glance of the most extraordinary intelligence, and would chatter away
for some minutes without cessation, till Eva declared that she could not
help fancying he was giving us a full explanation of all we wanted to
know.  Little Nutmeg stood by, her large white eyes rolling round with
astonishment, and of course entirely believing that the story Blount had
told of my understanding the monkey's language was perfectly true.  She
accordingly reported through the village that the monkey and I had been
carrying on a most animated conversation for the whole evening; and I do
not know which gained most credit,--he for being able to speak, or I for
understanding him.  Some of the natives came in to hear him; and as he
happened at the time to have perched himself on the top of a roll of
matting, as we were all lying down, I was the most elevated of the
party, and Eva declared that it looked as if he was some pigmy chief,
holding a divan, and that we were his attendants and counsellors.  He
most certainly seemed fully to feel his importance.  When our guests had
retired, he jumped down from his throne, and coiled himself away to
sleep in a basket, which stood in the corner of the room.  Eva and her
little attendant retired into an inner chamber devoted to her use, and
Blount and I continued talking over the subject which most occupied her
thoughts.  We should have talked on, without arriving at any just
conclusion, till the return of daylight, had we not been startled by
hearing the bamboo window-shutter forced open, and by seeing a head
protruding itself into the room, followed by a pair of shoulders and a
body.



CHAPTER THIRTY ONE.

Blount and I were, as may be supposed, not a little astonished at the
apparition which appeared at the window, and we both instinctively
seized the implements nearest at hand, to defend ourselves, should he
have come with any hostile intent.  Just then the torch, which burned in
the centre of the room, flared up, and, as much to my satisfaction as to
my surprise, I recognised the features of Kalong the Dyak.  He had on
but scanty clothing, and he looked travel-worn and weary.  Before
speaking, he carefully closed the shutters, and then, rushing forward,
he took my hand and covered it with kisses.  Though Blount was a
stranger to him, seeing that he was a white man, he was not alarmed.

"Kalong, is it you, indeed!"  I exclaimed.  "How, my friend, have you
been able to discover me?"

"It is a long story, Massa; and to tell the truth, I cannot say much
till I have eaten something; for we have had a weary journey, and have
for many days past been looking about for you.  It was necessary to be
cautious; for, had we been discovered, we should certainly have lost our
heads."

"When you speak of we, Kalong, do you mean yourself and Ungka?"  I
asked.

"Oh no, Massa; I mean Hassan also.  He is near, but watching the canoe;
and when I have eaten, I must take some food to him.  You and the other
massa must then follow for, we have no time to lose."

"What do you mean by no time to lose?"  I again asked.

"Oh Massa, give me some food, and then I will tell you all!" cried the
poor fellow.

I saw that he was famishing, so I restrained my curiosity till I had
placed some rice and pork and Indian corn bread before him.  When he had
eaten a good meal, and stowed away a quantity more in a basket he
carried at his back he signified that he was prepared to give me the
information I required.  I nodded my head, and he spoke to the following
effect:--

"You know, Massa, when squall come on, schooner almost capsize, then
drive a long way to leeward; next morning come back to the rock, and
when not find Massa there, sail after the prahus.  At night lose sight
of them; look everywhere; no find them; then come back to the rock.
There I and Hassan look at the wrecks on the shore; and Ungka, too,
Massa; and we know, from build and many things scattered about, where
they come from; so we go and tell Massa Fairburn that we go and look for
you.  He say we get killed, lose him head.  We say we no mind that, we
find you, or we no come back.  He then say he go with ship's company and
big guns, and fight, and make people give you up.  We say, No good.
People cut off your head if they see the big guns, and then what good
look for you?  We say, No, no; let schooner not come near the coast; but
we go in some other vessel, and no say what we come for.  We at last go
on shore in Celebes--that is, Hassan, Ungka, and I; wait some time, then
find a Bugis trader going to Borneo; so we no tell what we want, but go
on board.  We sometimes say that Ungka very wise monkey; the son of
sultan of the monkeys; and that we go about with him to show him the
world.  This make many people think we great men, so they no cut off our
heads to hang round him necks.  We go from kampong to kampong to find
Massa, but no see him.  At last we hear that one tribe, long way off,
come to a kampong near Gunnung Taboor, and carry away many people, and
that one white man among them.  Then we learn when him come, and what
him like, and we say, That is Massa.  Then we know where to find Massa
if him head still on shoulders; so we walk long way, and we take canoe
at one river, and we pull up river every night, and in day we go to
sleep, till we come here.  Then we see Massa in wood, and Ungka run away
and jump in him arms.  So we say, All right now; Massa alive and well;
we get back to schooner some day, and be very jolly.  But, Massa, me
have one more thing to say.  When we at Gunnung Taboor, we hear that the
people there very angry at the people here do so much harm, and they
say, We go there some night, and cut off all him heads; so we make all
haste, lest they cut off Massa's head too.  Now, Massa, we go back to
poor Hassan; him very hungry; and Massa, be ready to start to-morrow
night."

I fear that I have ill succeeded in giving an idea of Kalong's mode of
expressing himself.  In an artless way he exhibited his affection for
me, and described the dangers and hardships he and Hassan had endured to
discover me.  Having described where the canoe was to be found, and
arranged that as soon as the inhabitants of the kampong had gone to
sleep on the following evening, we should start, he took his departure.
Once more I was full of hope, for I felt that though many difficulties
were to be encountered, our deliverance was at hand.  Eva had been
awakened by the sound of the stranger's voice, and we communicated the
joyful intelligence to her; and, as may be supposed, she was but little
inclined again to go to sleep, so she came in and joined our
council-board.  Blount was anxious to warn the people of the intended
attack, and so was I; for although they had kept us prisoners, they had
treated us with humanity and kindness in other respects.  Our difficulty
was to do so without betraying our friends, till at last Blount
suggested that the people might be made to suppose that our knowledge
was derived from Ungka, who would, of course, in consequence, gain
immense credit among them.  It was settled, therefore, that on the
following morning the people should be called together, and informed of
the danger threatening them.

"Now come, it is time to try and take some sleep, for we shall get but
little rest to-morrow night," I exclaimed as I arose, and opening the
window-shutters, looked out on the calm night-scene before me.  The air
was hushed; the only sounds were the rippling of the stream over its
rocky bed below the cottage, and the chirrup of some insects in the
neighbouring wood.  The stars shone brightly forth from the intense blue
sky, their light just glancing on the mimic waves of the rivulet, while
the tall trees and wild rocks on either side were thrown into the
darkest shade.

Scarcely had I spoken, when the silence was interrupted by wild shrieks
and cries.  We all full well knew the meaning of those sounds.  The
ruthless enemy had surprised the village, and burning to avenge their
late defeat, would spare no one they encountered.

"We must fly!"  I exclaimed.

"I am prepared," said Eva calmly, though her cheek grew pale at the
recollection of the dreadful scenes she had before witnessed.

To collect some provisions in baskets was the work of a minute.  We
aroused Ungka, who seemed perfectly to comprehend the state of the case,
and perched himself on my left shoulder, while, supporting Eva on my
right arm, I sallied forth, followed by Blount, who took charge of
Little Nutmeg.  Our great fear was lest the enemy should have surrounded
the village, in which case our retreat would have been cut off.  The
stream I have spoken of ran down to the river, and we now followed a
path which led along its banks.  Not a moment was to be lost.  The wild
shouts of the enemy seemed to come nearer every instant; but as yet we
did not hear them in front of us.  Eva behaved with great courage; she
did not tremble, or even utter an exclamation of fear, but exerted all
her strength to proceed.  For an instant I looked back.  Part of the
village was already on fire, but the enemy had not yet reached our
cottage.  My fear was, that when they did so, we should be pursued.  At
length, by the turnings of the stream, we lost sight of it, and the
noise of the dreadful tumult sounded fainter in our ears.  Still we
pushed on without stopping; we had to force our way through a thick
wood, and then to cross a broad open space, where I was much afraid,
should the enemy be watching for us, of being seen; but there was no
help for it, so we dashed on.  Fortunately both Blount and I had so
frequently wandered in that direction, that we had a tolerably correct
idea of the way we were to go; but still we found a great difference
between passing through a wood in broad daylight, and traversing it in
darkness.  Our chief guide was a star which we could see through the
tops of the trees, and which Blount had fixed on as we were setting out.
We found it of much service when we lost the sound of the stream, by
which we otherwise directed our course.  The cries of the enemy were in
our rear; we rushed across the open space.  I looked anxiously over my
shoulder.  I saw no one, and we in safety reached the shelter of the
wood.  At length the broader channel of the river appeared below us.
Our next difficulty was to find the canoe; but we judged that Hassan and
Kalong, hearing the tumult in the village, and well knowing its cause,
would be on the watch for us.  We had got thus far, when the sound of
voices, as if from people in pursuit, met our ears.  My hope was that
they could not tell the exact way we had taken.  We all drew close
together, in the shade of some thick trees, where we were perfectly
concealed, while Blount offered to go out by himself to search for the
canoe.

He was on the point of leaving our cover, when we heard the sound of
footsteps approaching, and directly afterwards we saw the figure of a
man cautiously making his way among the trees.  He might be an enemy,
the precursor of others; but our fears on that score were soon set at
rest by finding Ungka leap off my shoulder, and, running towards him,
jump into his arms.

"Ah!  Massa not far-off," said a voice, which I recognised as that of
Hassan the Malay.  We soon made ourselves known to him, to his great
delight.  He told us that the canoe was close at hand, but that Kalong
had become alarmed at hearing the signal of the attack, and, at the risk
of his life, had gone back to look for us.  Grateful as I was to the
faithful creature, the delay was very vexatious.  Of course, however, we
had no remedy but to wait for him.  In the meantime we launched the
canoe, and placed Eva and Nutmeg in the centre, with our provisions.
Ungka jumped in after them.  Blount and I were to use the two middle
paddles, Hassan was to steer, and Kalong was to use the bow paddle.  The
rest got in, and I held on the painter, to be in readiness to shove off
the moment he returned.

Several minutes thus passed, during which time our ears were assailed by
the dreadful sounds of the conflict.  They grew louder and louder, as if
the pursued and the pursuing were approaching us.  I began at length to
fear that Kalong, in his anxiety to serve me, had ventured too far, and
had been cut off by the enemy.  Every moment was increasing our risk of
discovery.  The time might have been so advantageously employed in
paddling down the river, and, for Eva's sake, I was doubly anxious to be
off.  I was almost despairing of his return, when the long feathery
leaves of the shrubs near me were pushed aside, and, breathing with
haste, Kalong appeared.  In an instant he perceived how matters stood,
and, making a sign to me to take my seat in the canoe, he stepped in
after me, and, seizing a paddle, shoved her head off from the bank.  He
then began to ply it most energetically, and Blount and I followed his
example, while Hassan steered her down the stream.

There had been no time to lose, for the scouts of a number of people on
the bank showed that he had been hotly pursued.  He did not stop to
explain what had happened; and for half an hour or more we paddled on in
perfect silence, keeping always in the centre of the stream.  By degrees
the shrieks and cries of the combatants grew fainter on our ears, till
they ceased altogether.

Kalong then for a moment ceased paddling, and drew a deep breath, which
seemed much to relieve his heart.  He then explained briefly, that he
had gone up to our cottage, and that, finding it already sacked, and
seeing nothing of us, he was about to return, when he was seen, and
pursued by the attacking party.  He dashed on, and was just in time to
reach the canoe and escape them.

"And now, Massa, pull away again, or some of them black fellows follow
and kill us," he exclaimed, suiting the action to the word.  All night
long we paddled on, and to such good purpose, that we entirely distanced
any enemies who might have been following us.  Whenever a village
appeared; we crossed over to the other side of the stream, and as the
night was dark, and we kept perfect silence, we were unobserved.
Sometimes, for miles together, there were no signs of human habitations,
the dark forest clothing either bank of the stream, so that we were able
to converse without fear of betraying ourselves.

Hassan then told us that he hoped we might reach the sea in two days, by
paddling on during all the hours of darkness, and remaining concealed
while it was light.

"And what do you propose doing when we get to the sea?"  I asked.

"Then, Massa," said Kalong, "we will pull away from the land, and trust
to Providence, you sometime tell me about--we fall in with the schooner,
or some other craft--or we go over to coast of Celebes.  No good to
trust to people about here.  As Massa say, if we do all we can,
Providence do all the rest."

Kalong, I found, had not forgotten the instruction I had attempted to
bestow on him while on board the _Fraulein_.

Blount and I agreed, that although the canoe was small, we had seen
many, less fit for the work, living in a very heavy sea, when properly
handled, and that it would be better to risk the passage to Celebes than
to trust to the tender mercies of the Malays or Dyaks of the coast.

Dawn beginning to appear, we ran the canoe into a small bay, completely
shut in by trees, where, by a little management, we might remain
concealed without fear of discovery.

Having secured the canoe, we cut down a quantity of boughs, which we
fastened round her, so that a person passing quite close would not have
suspected that several human beings lay hid behind them, though we,
looking through the branches, enjoyed a view across and down the stream
for some distance.  We had, as I said, brought a supply of provisions.
These we husbanded carefully; and Kalong said that he hoped to be able
to get some cocoa-nuts and other fruit from some of the gardens we might
pass at night.  I did not like the idea of robbing the poor people, but
we had no means of paying for the fruit; and, under the circumstances,
we were justified in taking it.  Having made our arrangements, we lay
down to sleep, one at a time remaining on foot to keep watch, with the
rifle loaded ready for use.  The after part of the canoe was
appropriated to Eva and her attendant.  Blount and I stretched ourselves
in the bow; while Hassan, Kalong, and Ungka climbed up into a
neighbouring tree, by the leaves of which they were perfectly concealed,
at the same time that they obtained a wider look-out than we could
below.  I had slept, I suppose, about four hours, when I was awakened by
the howling of a dog, and, looking through the boughs, I observed a
small canoe on the opposite side of the river, with four men in her,
busily employed about something or other.  While I was watching their
proceedings, Kalong slid down the tree and came near me.

"See, Massa," he said, "have some fun soon."

I now observed that the people had erected a sort of stage, and on the
top of it they had secured an unhappy dog, whose voice had first
awakened me.  Near the stage was a long stick, hanging over the water,
and loosely attached to it was a thick rope, with a dead monkey at one
end and a rattan at the other.  Kalong explained that a strong piece of
stick was placed alongside the monkey, with the end of the rope secured
to the middle of it.  The canoe shortly paddled away down the stream,
greatly to our satisfaction; for we were afraid she might have come near
us, when the consequences might have been disagreeable.  The poor dog
howled for some time, and the dead monkey floated on the surface of the
water, till our attention was attracted by an object coming down the
stream towards us.  As it approached, we perceived the long snout and
black scaly back of a huge crocodile.  The monster eyed us, as we
thought, with a malicious look, as if he contemplated attacking us, and,
from his appearance, we judged that he would have made one hearty meal
of us all, and perhaps swallowed up the canoe into the bargain.  To
prepare for him, I grasped Blount's rifle, with the intention of
shooting him through the eye, should he begin to molest us; but, of
course, I would only have fired in a case of extreme necessity.  Either
he had not noticed us, or he thought he would first swallow the monkey,
which was all ready for him, and then come back and have a nibble at us;
so, to our satisfaction, away he swam across the river.  He first rubbed
his nose against the monkey to smell it, and then began sucking away
very leisurely, thus to enjoy the morsel to the utmost.  When he had got
it down, he swam on a little, and that gave a jerk to the rope, which
pulled the stick across his inside, so that by no possibility could it
come out again.  This seemed to inconvenience him excessively, for he
plunged under the water, and then swam across from one side of the river
to the other, the rattan at the end of the rope always showing his
whereabouts.  As he swam about, he approached disagreeably near to us,
and we were not a little afraid that a whisk of his tail might stave in
our canoe.  Fortunately, he again turned, and he did not seem to wish to
eat, the stick in his inside having probably spoiled his appetite.  At
last, when he found it was impossible to get free from this inconvenient
ornament in the water, he scrambled on shore, where he lay hid among the
reeds, not far from the spot where he had swallowed the bait, the
rattan, which remained in the water, pointing out his position.  In
about an hour the canoe returned, accompanied by three others, with an
equal number of men in each.  They first got hold of the rattan, and
then, landing, they gently drew him forth from his hiding-place.  He
offered no resistance, merely wagging his tail backwards and forwards,
and I could scarcely persuade myself that he was a monster capable of
eating a man at a meal.  The Dyaks first made a strong lashing fast
round his mouth, to prevent him from biting, and then secured his legs
over his back, so that he was perfectly helpless.  After haranguing him
for some time, though what they said I could not tell, they dragged him
again into the water, and towed him off at the stern of their canoes in
triumph.

Kalong declared that they were carrying him away to worship him.  This I
could scarcely believe; but I have heard that they look upon the
crocodile as the sultan, or rajah, of animals.

Fortunately, the people in the canoes were so much occupied that they
did not observe us.  No other adventure occurred; and as soon as it was
dark, we issued forth from our leafy hiding-place, and paddled away down
the stream.  We passed a village where a number of torches were burning,
and people were singing and beating their tom-toms, Kalong asserted, in
honour of the captured crocodile.  We were yet some way from the sea,
when towards the morning we again sought a place of concealment.  All
day we rested, preparing for the work of the morrow.  We endeavoured to
fit our frail canoe, better to encounter the waves, by fastening strips
of bark round her sides, and by decking over the bow and after part with
the same material.  We also filled a number of gourds we had collected
with water; and Kalong foraged with considerable success in every
direction for provisions, so that we had little fear of suffering from
hunger, unless we should be kept out longer than we expected.  At night
we again proceeded, and I shall never forget the refreshing smell of the
sea air as we first inhaled it on approaching the mouth of the river.
It renewed our strength and courage; and when the morning broke, we were
dancing on the ocean waves--the land was astern--no sail was in sight,
and we felt at length that once more we were free.



CHAPTER THIRTY TWO.

For two days we had been at sea, steering to the southward of east, for
the purpose of making the coast of Celebes should we not fall in with
the _Fraulein_, or some Bugis trader, which might carry us to Singapore.
The water providentially continued smooth, and the wind was light and
favourable; but as we had no sail, that was of little service to us, and
we made, therefore, but slow progress.  We had all begun to suffer much
from fatigue, so we agreed that two should row while the other two
stretched themselves at the bottom of the canoe to rest.  Kalong and I
took one watch, while Hassan and Blount took the other, Eva and Nutmeg
acting as look-outs.  Eva was very anxious to take a paddle to assist;
but her strength was not great, and I feared it would only uselessly
exhaust her; but Little Nutmeg did not wait for permission, and as soon
as Blount laid down his paddle she seized it, and showed that she could
make use of it to very good effect.  Kalong and I were paddling, and Eva
was scanning the horizon in every direction, in the hopes of seeing the
_Fraulein_, when she cried out:--

"Look there--look there, brother Mark!  I see either an island or a huge
whale, or the hull of a ship; but I cannot make out exactly what it is."

I looked in the direction, she pointed at to leeward, and a little on
our larboard bow, and though I kept my eyes fixed on the spot
attentively, I was unable to determine what the object was.  We could
not tell why we had not before seen it; but we supposed this was owing
to the different direction, in which the rays of the sun struck it.  It
was stationary, for as we paddled on we neared it.

"Me know what it is," said Kalong.  "Chinese junk without masts."

We found he was right; and as we drew near, a very curious appearance
she presented.  Her masts were gone, though she seemed in every other
respect to be uninjured; but not a living person could we discover on
board.  She was a merchant vessel, and might have measured some two
hundred tons.  Her head and stern rose considerably above the waist.  At
the after part were a succession of poop decks, one above another,
narrowing towards the top, so that the highest was very small.  It
sloped very much from the stern, and on it was a windlass used to lift
the huge rudder.  On either side of the next deck were two cabins, with
a roof in front of them made of bits of mother-of-pearl instead of
glass.  What is called the nettings ran from aft round the greater part
of the vessel.  The beams of the deck projected beyond the sides, and
each butt-end was ornamented with an ugly face carved and painted.
Every face was different, and ugly as the others.  Some were of beasts,
and some like human beings, and others of monsters which have no
existence.  The bow was perfectly flat, the stem scarcely coming out of
the water.  There was a topgallant forecastle, and on it rested two
enormous anchors made of wood of a heavy nature, which sinks like metal.
Above the forecastle was a narrow gallery, with a flight of steps
leading to it.  On the top of the bulwarks were arranged a row of
jingalls, or swivel guns of very rough manufacture, and a number of
shields made of straw, which, though they might ward off a spear, would
be treated with little ceremony by a bullet.  In the racks against the
forecastle were a number of spears, and an instrument with a spear in
the centre, and a sort of half-moon, the points turning out, which
serves to thrust as well as to ward off a blow.  In the centre of the
poop, right aft, was a little shrine, in which sat ensconced a very
ugly-looking deity, surpassing the other on deck in size and ugliness.
The rudder was one of the things most remarkable about the vessel.  It
was in shape like that of a common barge; it was hung so that it could
be raised or let down by means of the windlass, as required; and it was
secured below by two ropes, which led along the keel forward, and being
brought on to the forecastle, were hove tight by means of another
windlass placed there.  The crew slept in cabins under the forecastle;
their caboose, or cooking-house, was on one side of the deck.  There was
a stove of brick, and some large pots for boiling.  On one side was a
tank for water, and above it lockers for stowing provisions and mess
utensils.

We ran alongside and got on board.  Blount suggested that the people
might all have died of plague; and for a moment he persuaded me from
moving from the spot where I stood; but as we saw no dead person, we
soon got over our fears on that score.

A flight of steps led into the main cabin, which was completely open at
one end, so that a sea coming on board would have swamped her.  On going
below, and examining the lockers, we discovered a store of provisions,
and, what was of the greatest consequence, an abundance of good water in
the tank.  We had little doubt how she came to have no crew on board,
for the hold had been completely ransacked, the work, evidently, of
pirates, who had doubtlessly carried them off as slaves.  She had, we
concluded, come thus far south to collect a cargo of edible birds'
nests, _trepang_, and other articles, for the Chinese market.

It is extraordinary how far away from land these unwieldy craft will
venture, and how they contrive to live in a heavy sea, which one would
suppose would inevitably swamp them.  The Malays had cut away her masts,
probably to employ in some of their own craft.

"Now we are here, let us try and make ourselves comfortable," exclaimed
Blount, walking about the deck.  "Let us have a good dinner, a sound
sleep, and let us stretch our legs, and then we will consider what is
next to be done."

His suggestion was so good, that it was adopted.  Hassan was a fair
cook, and he made a very nutritious basin of soup with some of the
birds' nests we found on board.  We had all gone through so many
adventures that it scarcely appeared strange to find ourselves floating
about on the Indian Ocean in a Chinese junk.  It was so much more
pleasant, indeed, than being cramped up in a canoe, that we felt no
inclination to leave her; and no one seemed more delighted than Ungka,
who scrambled about and poked his nose into every hole and corner.
However, at a cabinet council which I called, consisting of the whole of
our party, including Ungka, who, though he said nothing, looked very
wise, it was resolved, that although it might be very pleasant living on
board the junk, yet as she had no sails, and did not move, we might
never get to the end of our voyage, we should, after a night's rest,
again take to our canoe, and endeavour to reach the coast of Celebes.
Before night we hauled up the canoe on deck, and endeavoured rather
better to fit her for sea, by heightening and strengthening her sides,
and by nailing matting over the bow and stern.

The main cabin was devoted to Eva and Nutmeg.  Blount and I took up our
berths in the two little cabins on the highest part of the poop, and
Hassan and Kalong went forward.  We divided ourselves into four watches.
It was prudent to have one person awake, in case anything should
happen; at the same time, that one was sufficient.  The night came on,
and we retired to our respective sleeping-places.  Each of us was to
watch for about four hours.  Blount took the first watch, Kalong took
the next, and I was called about midnight.

The reader will recollect how, in the early part of my history, Eva and
I, when infants, were rescued from the shattered boat, just before the
storm which overwhelmed it came on.  As I walked the deck, I was
thinking of the account I had heard of that circumstance, and of the
many extraordinary events of my life, when I had been so providentially
preserved from the dangers which threatened me.  "Yes, indeed," I
uttered aloud, "God has been merciful to me.  He truly is everywhere."
A deep whispering voice seemed to come across the dark ocean--"And will
protect to the end those who trust in Him," were the words I fancied I
heard.  While I kept my watch, the wind began to rise in fitful gusts,
and the uneasy rolling of the unwieldy junk showed that the sea was
getting up.  Thick gathering clouds obscured the sky; and the waves,
like huge monsters from the deep, began to leap up on every side.  I
watched for some time, not liking to disturb the rest of the party
unnecessarily.  At last the junk gave a roll more violent than before,
and nearly threw me off my legs.  "Hillo! what's the matter now,
shipmates?"  I heard Blount exclaiming, as he merged from his lofty
berth, roused up by the jerk.

"Why, Seaworth, we must get her before the wind, or we shall have the
seas tumbling on board us without leave."

Accordingly we turned up the hands, except Eva and her attendant, whom I
begged to remain quietly below.  The stump of the foremast remained, and
to it we lashed some spars we found on deck, and with a quantity of
matting we discovered below, we manufactured a sail, which we managed to
set.  The helm was then put up, and to our great satisfaction the junk
paid off before the wind.  It was now daylight; a heavy gale was
blowing, and the sea was running very high.  As the sun rose, a break in
the sky, through which he appeared, showed us the direction in which we
were going; for we had no compass, and we found that our course was
somewhat to the northward of east, which we calculated would carry us
free of the coast of Celebes.  The question then was, where should we be
blown to?  I believe none of us had any fears about the matter.  How
could we, when we had been so signally preserved? for we felt, had we
remained in the canoe, in all probability we should have been engulfed
by the waves.  Every moment they rose higher and higher, and as the junk
was rolled and pitched by them in her onward course, they seemed to
follow after, as if eager to overwhelm her.  We had to hold on to keep
the deck, though, notwithstanding the way she tumbled about, no seas
actually came on board the vessel.  Eva took her post in front of one of
the cabins on the raised deck, and there she sat like a true heroine,
watching the raging ocean without a feeling approaching to fear.

"It may appear extraordinary, my dear Mark," she said, smiling, when I
went up to her; "but having you with me, and being once more at liberty,
I feel far happier than I have ever done in my life."

We sighted the land on the starboard hand, which we judged was that of
Celebes; but we could not have hauled in for it, had not even the risk
of shipwreck been too great to allow us to do so.

The whole day we ran on; the night at length came without any change in
the weather, except that the wind shifted rather to the west, which
compelled us to steer a more easterly course; for it must be understood
that, with any regard for our safety, we could only keep directly before
the wind.  The tempest increased; and it was truly awful, as we felt
that without chart or compass we were steering in almost total darkness
through an unknown sea.  We kept a look-out ahead, but to little
purpose; while the tempest raged, we could do nothing but fly on before
it.  As I strained my eyes to try and pierce the obscurity, I fancied
that I could see objects on either side of us, and sometimes land ahead;
but still on we went, and I suspected that my imagination had deceived
me.  Eva had retired at dark to the cabin.  Blount was at the helm,
assisted by Hassan.  We were almost worn out by steering, for the
exertion was very great.  I went aft to relieve him.

"Don't you feel rather a different motion in the craft?" he said.  "It
may be fancy; but I cannot help thinking that she does not go along as
lively as before.  Take the helm, and I will go and see if my suspicions
are correct."

Saying this, he left me, and I took his place.  In about five minutes he
returned.

"Seaworth," he said, "you must be prepared for bad news; it is as I
suspected.  The junk, with all this straining, has sprung a leak, and
her hold is already half full of water.  She may swim for some time
longer; but I doubt if we shall ever again see the daylight."

This was indeed sad news.

"We will do our best," I answered.  "We have the canoe, and we must make
a raft."

"Neither would be of any use in this sea," he observed.

As he gave me the information, I instantly thought of Eva; and before
forming any plan, I rushed below to bring her on deck, so that, should
the junk sink, she might have a chance of escaping.  I found her
sleeping on a sofa in the cabin, in spite of the rolling of the vessel,
while the little black girl lay on a mat below her.  My sweet sister
looked so calm and happy, as the light from the lantern, which hung from
above, fell on her countenance, that I could scarcely bring myself to
awake her to a consciousness of the danger which threatened her.  At
last I knelt down by her side and kissed her cheek to arouse her.  She
smiled, and looking up, asked me if I was come to take her on shore.

"I was dreaming, dear Mark, that we had arrived at a green and beautiful
country, and that you told me it was England, and that all our dangers
were over."

I by degrees informed her of the true state of the case.

"You are with me, dear Mark, and all will be well," she answered, as,
supporting her in my arms, and followed by Nutmeg, I carried her to the
upper cabin.  Having deposited her there, I rushed back to learn what
progress the water had made.  It had already reached the floor of the
cabin, and I fancied that I could even see it rising during the few
minutes I stood there.  At first I thought we might keep the vessel
afloat by bailing.  As two of us only could be spared for the work, I
soon saw how futile such an attempt must prove.  With a sad heart I
returned on deck.  I told Blount the state of affairs, and we agreed
that our only chance of being preserved was to form a raft, and to lash
ourselves to it, so that, when the junk went down, we might have
something to keep us afloat.  Not a moment was to be lost; so he and
Hassan, as the most expert, set to work, while Kalong and I went to the
helm.  Neither of us could be spared, for, as it was, we had the
greatest difficulty in steering.  A couple of hatchets had been
discovered, and with these they cut away all the planking most easily
got at, and lashed it to a few spars remaining on deck.  I could now
feel the difference perceptibly in the motion of the junk; and as she
sank lower in the water, I feared that the waves would leap over the
decks, and thus more speedily bring on the catastrophe we expected.  The
time appeared very long, though Blount and Hassan worked as hard as they
could.

I was hoping that the raft was finished, when Blount sprang up the
ladder to me.  "We have not a moment to lose," he exclaimed; "the water
is almost awash with the deck, and the junk cannot swim a minute
longer."

"Take the helm, then, while I bring out my sister," I answered.  Eva was
prepared, and I was about to descend with her to the deck, where we
expected to find the yet unfinished raft, when a huge wave, rising
alongside, swept over the vessel, and I saw a large object carried away
on its crest.

"There goes the raft!" cried Blount, with almost a shriek of despair.
Another huge wave followed, and the whole centre of the junk seemed to
be under water.

"She is sinking!--she is sinking!" burst from the lips of all; "Heaven
have mercy on us!"

I clasped Eva in my arms, and fully expected that our last moment had
arrived.



CHAPTER THIRTY THREE.

At the very moment that I had given up all hope of preservation, as if
to confirm our worst anticipations, a huge wave came rolling up
alongside.  The junk rushed onward--a tremendous blow was felt--again
she lifted, and was dashed forward--the rudder was knocked away, and the
jury-mast fell overboard.  Instantly the junk broached to.  On a sudden,
almost as rapidly as I take to tell it, the violent motion ceased, and a
grating sound was heard, as if she had run upon a sandy beach.  The seas
struck her, but their force was evidently broken by some reef outside,
though it continued too dark to enable us to discover where we were.
The junk held together; and as the cabin on the poop for the present
seemed a place of safety, we agreed to remain there till the return of
day.  The light at length came; and as I looked out from the cabin door,
I found that we were in a small bay, with a sandy shore, and rich
tropical vegetation beyond it, while what was my surprise to see
directly outside of us, fast stuck on a reef of rocks, another vessel
severely shattered by the waves!

My exclamation of surprise called the rest of the party from the cabins.
No sooner did Eva see the vessel, than, pressing my arm, she observed,
with a voice full of agitation:

"That vessel, Mark, is the _Emu_!  I am certain of it; and if the
dreadful men who form the crew are here, it were better that the sea had
engulfed us."

I could say nothing, for I could not help entering into her fears.  It
was high water when we were driven on shore; and as the tide had now
fallen, we found that we could without difficulty lower ourselves on to
the sand.  In case the pirates should be wandering about the island,
(for we concluded we had been driven on one), Blount offered to go and
explore, and to try to enter into terms with them, while Hassan and
Kalong remained with me to guard Eva.  In about an hour he returned, and
reported that he had seen no human beings.

"The pirates can no longer do us or any one else harm," he remarked.
"As I wandered along the shore, I found the remains of several men
washed up on the beach, and who, by their clothes, I have no doubt were
the crew of the _Emu_."

The information that there were probably no savage inhabitants, or any
pirates alive, to injure us, were satisfactory, though we could not help
feeling a horror at the fate of those cut off in the midst of their
career of crime.  We had now to consider what was to be done.  The junk,
after having been forced over the reef, had, what seamen call, fetched
headway again, and had been driven stem first up a gulf or narrow bay,
one side of which completely protected her from the sea, so that she lay
as secure as in a dock.  As the sun rose, the gale also abated; and I
considered that there would be no danger in leaving Eva and the little
black girl on board, while the rest of us went farther to explore the
country.  We had found an abundance of provisions in the junk, so that
we had no fear of starving, even should fruits not be discovered in the
island, to support us till we could get away.  How to get away was the
question.  The obvious means was by building a boat; but we could find
no tools, and we were obliged to confess that our skill was inadequate
to the work.  Hassan and Kalong, however, asserted that they would be
able, in time, to construct a large canoe.  Our first excursion was to
the wreck, which we found we could reach by wading at low tide along the
top of the reef.  On further examination, not a doubt remained on our
minds that she was the _Emu_; and Eva, when she saw her, confirmed our
opinion by recognising some of the cabin furniture, which had been
washed out of her.  We now set out to explore the woods.  We had not got
far when I came upon the body of a man, or rather a skeleton, covered
with clothes.  A few paces on was another; and not far-off we found a
rude hut, with a blackened spot, where a fire had been lit before it.
In the hut were two more bodies, and we afterwards found several more,
but there was neither food nor water near them.  There could be no doubt
that they were the remnant of the pirate crew, whom at length
retributive justice had overtaken.  The rest were probably drowned and
washed out to sea.  How the catastrophe had occurred, the shattered
wreck and those ghastly remains could alone tell us.  At midnight,
perhaps, during the raging of a storm, amid thunder and lightning,
without hope of succour, the blood-stained pirates had met their just
doom.  We dragged them to a hole we found near at hand, and covered them
up with stones and bushes, so that Eva should not be shocked by seeing
them.

The island was a very large one; and after marching some miles into the
interior, we came upon some cocoa-nut trees and plantains, among which
were some sago trees, from which we collected an abundant supply of
food.  On our return along the coast, we found a high hill, on the top
of which we proposed to erect a flag-staff; and discovering a spring of
water near it, as also the means of building a hut, we resolved to take
up our quarters there, in the hopes of being seen by any passing ship.
Close to it, also, Kalong found a tree, which he and Hassan pronounced
well adapted to serve as the foundation of a canoe.  It must be
remembered that we had no tools of any sort, except some clasp-knives,
and some boarding-spikes found in the junk; but they proposed forming
their hatchets and all their instruments out of flint stones and shells.
"Give us time," they answered, "and we will do it," when Blount and I
expressed a doubt of their success.

Having made the arrangements, we hastened back to the junk.  We found
Eva standing on the highest part of the poop, and waving a handkerchief,
while she pointed eagerly seaward.  I soon climbed up and joined her;
and there I beheld what was indeed sufficient to make my heart beat
quick with hope.  About a mile off, having just rounded a headland,
appeared my own schooner, the _Fraulein_.  The rocks before had
concealed her from our sight.  Kalong and Hassan immediately recognised
her, and so, they declared, did Ungka, who seemed to share our agitation
and excitement.  Such occurrences are difficult to describe.  Our chief
aim was to attract her attention.  To do this, our first thought was to
make a fire; so cutting away some dry wood from the junk, we formed a
pile of it on the rocks.  We trusted that the smoke or the junk herself
would be observed.  At first we thought she was standing away; then, to
our delight, we saw her shorten sail, and running closer inshore, she
dropped her anchor, and a boat was lowered.  It pulled towards us;
Fairburn and Prior were in it.  We rushed down to the rocks to meet
them.  I need scarcely describe the rest.  In another half hour I was on
board my own vessel, with my sweet sister in safety, and all the work
which at one time appeared so hopeless accomplished.  There lay the
pirate vessel a wreck on the rocks, and near her the tombs of those who
had worked us so much mischief.  Fairburn told me that they had run
under the lee of the island during the gale, and were about to return to
the coast of Borneo to watch for me.  We bade an affectionate farewell
to the junk, which had proved to us an ark of safety, and we carried
away a number of relics of her.  My crew received us with loud cheers,
and not the least welcome, after all his adventures, was, I suspect,
Ungka the ape, who quickly made himself at home.

"Where shall we steer for?" asked Fairburn.

"For Java," I replied.  "I must not forget my promise to the widow Van
Deck and little Maria."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

I must now bring my adventures to a close.  We reached Sourabaya in
safety, and were heartily welcomed, not by the widow Van Deck, but by
the wife of Lieutenant Jeekel, for she had made the honest officer happy
by marrying him.  As they were anxious to go to Europe, I offered them a
passage as far as Calcutta in the _Fraulein_, and little Maria
accompanied them.  I need not say that she and Eva became very great
friends.

I can scarcely describe the pleasure my return with Eva afforded our
kind friends the Northcotes, or the sensation our romantic history
created wherever it was known.  Every assistance was given me to prove
my identity, and with a variety of documents I sailed for England.  I
was very sorry to part with some of my friends, who could not accompany
me.  I presented the _Fraulein_ to Fairburn, and Blount sailed with him,
carrying Prior to Manilla.  They all ultimately, by energy and
perseverance, made themselves independent.  When I reached England, I
put my affair into the hands of a clever lawyer, and I found that I had
few difficulties to contend with.  All those who had been instrumental
in the abduction of my sister and me were dead.  A few days only before
our arrival, the papers had announced the death of a Sir Reginald
Seaton, without any claimant to his title or estates.  He had once been
blessed with a large family, but one after the other they had been laid
in their graves, and he alone had been left a solitary and decrepit old
man.  Thus Heaven had proved the avenger of crime, and prevented the
guilty ones from enjoying the profits of their guilt.  The papers I
possessed clearly proved that I was the rightful heir; and as there was
no one to oppose my claim, I was, without much difficulty, allowed to
take possession of the property.  I did so with gratitude, but without
any undue exuberance of spirits; for I felt all the heavy
responsibilities which I at the same time took upon myself, and I humbly
prayed Heaven to enable me to fulfil them faithfully.

I had the very great satisfaction of assembling at my house, within two
years of the time I speak of, not only my Dutch friends, including that
honest fellow Van Graoul, who had the command of a fine ship; but
Fairburn, Prior, and Blount, as also Hassan and Kalong, who were
undergoing a course of instruction to aid them in civilising their
countrymen on their return home, were also of the party; while Ungka,
now the most refined of travelled apes, had his usual seat by my side.

I must now wish my readers farewell.  I hope that they will ever firmly
believe, as I have been taught to do by the occurrences of my life, that
in whatever peril we may be placed, God is at hand to protect us, and
that whatever apparent misfortunes may occur to us, He orders them for
our ultimate and permanent benefit.  If I have succeeded in inculcating
these important truths, I shall be satisfied that the adventures of Mark
Seaworth have not been written in vain.

THE END.





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