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´╗┐Title: Harry Milvaine - The Wanderings of a Wayward Boy
Author: Stables, Gordon, 1840-1910
Language: English
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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.

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Harry Milvaine
The Wanderings of a Wayward Boy
By Gordon Stables
Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 27 Paternoster Row, London.
This edition dated 1887.

Harry Milvaine, by Gordon Stables.






Young Harry Milvaine stood beside the water-tank, and the water-tank
itself stood just outside the back kitchen door.  He was hardly high
enough, however, to look right over it and down into it, though it was
full to the brim--overflowing in fact, and the water still pouring in
from the spout that led from the house-top.  But Harry was of an
inventive turn of mind, young though he was, so he went and fetched a
stable bucket, and very heavy he thought it; but when he turned this
upside down and mounted on the bottom, he was possessed of a coign of
vantage which was all that could be desired.

Harry had mastered the situation.

He now watched with intense interest the bright clear bubbles that were
floating about on the surface.  Bright clear bubbles they were and large
as well, and in them was a miniature reflection of all the surroundings,
the Portuguese laurel trees, the Austrian pines, the vases on the stone
pillars of the gate, with their trailing drapery of blood-red
nasturtiums, the rose-clad gable of the stable, and last but not least
his own wondering face itself.  And a queer little face it was, no
saying what it might turn like in after life.  Neither fat nor lean was
it, certainly not chubby, regular in features, and somewhat pale.  But
it was Harry's eyes that people admired; that is, whenever Harry stood
long enough still to permit of admiration, but he was a restless child.
His eyes then were very dark and almost round, and there was a depth of
expression in them which sometimes made him look positively old.

Yes, those beautiful bubbles were mirrors, and looking into them was
just like peeping through a looking-glass into fairyland.  Harry clapped
his tiny hands and crowed with delight.  They went sailing about, here
and there all over the surface; then a happy thought struck Harry and he
called them his ships.  The vat was the deep blue sea, and the bubbles
were ships.  Ships of war, mind you, and Harry was a king, and there
were enemy's ships there also.  Every now and then two or even three of
these bubble-ships would meet and join; then of course there would be a
desperate fight going on, and presently one would disappear, and that
meant victory for the other.  Sometimes one of the bubble-ships sailing
all by itself would suddenly burst, and that meant a vessel gone down,
perhaps with all hands; for Harry had heard his father speak of such

On the whole it was altogether as good as a play or a pantomime.

It was raining--yes, it was pouring, and Harry was wet to the skin, and
had been so for an hour or more.  But he did not mind that a bit.  In
fact, I am not sure that he was even conscious of it; or if conscious of
it, that he didn't prefer it.  At any time, when a heavy shower came on,
Harry loved to get out in it, and run about in it, and hold up his palms
to catch the drops, and his face to feel them patter on it, only they
fell on his eyes sometimes and made him wink.

Well, but one might get tired even of a pantomime after a while, so by
and by Harry left the vat, and left his ships to shift for themselves.

"I won't be a king any more," he said to himself.  "I'll go and be a
forester.  Good-bye, ships," he cried, "I'm off for a run.  By and by
I'll come back again and see you--if you're good."

Eily, his long-haired Collie dog, who had been sitting wistfully
watching her young master all the time that the naval warfare was going
on, was quite as wet as he; and looked the picture of misery and
forlornness; but when Harry proposed a romp and a run, she forgot her
misery.  First she shook pints of water out of her massive coat, then
she jumped and capered for joy in the most ridiculous manner ever seen,
making leaps right round and round like a teetotum and pretending to
catch her tail.

The rain rained on, but away went the pair of them, running at full
speed as if their very lives depended on it.

Down the lawn and through the shrubbery, and out at the gate, which they
did not stop to shut, and across a road, and through a long field, and
past the Old Monk oak, past the great mill-dam, past the mill itself,
and they never checked their headlong speed till they were right into
the forest.

Not a forest of oak but of pine-trees, with ne'er a bit of undergrowth,
for Harry's home was in Scottish wilds.  No, never a bit of undergrowth
was there, and hardly a green thing under the tall, bare tree-stems,
that looked for all the world like pillars in some vasty cave.  And all
the ground was bedded deep with the withered pine-needles that had
fallen the year before.  Among these grew great unsightly toad-stools,
though some were pretty enough--bright crimson with white spots.

Now Harry had a pet toad that he kept in a little box deep hidden among
the pine-needles at the foot of a tree.  He went straight for him now,
and pulled him out and placed him on one of the very biggest and
flattest of the toad-stools.  And there the toad squatted, and Eily
barked at him and Harry laughed at him, but the great toad never moved a
muscle, but simply sat and stared.  He did not seem half awake.  So
Harry soon grew tired of him; he was not fast enough for Harry, who
therefore put him back again in his box, covered him up with the
withered needles, and told him to go to sleep; then away went he and
Eily shouting and barking till the woods rang again.  Soon they came to
a brawling stream.  It was fuller than usual, and Harry got a great
piece of pine bark, and launched it for a ship, and ran alongside of it,
on and on and on till the streamlet joined the river itself, and Harry's
ship was floated away far beyond his reach.

The river was greatly swollen and turbulent with the rains, and its
waters were quite yellow.  Trees were floating down and even
corn-sheaves--for the season was autumn--and now and then stooks of
golden grain.  Harry paused and looked upon the great river with awe,
not unmingled with admiration.

"Wouldn't I like to be a sailor, just," he said, "that is," he added,
turning round and addressing Eily, "a real sailor you know, Eily; and go
and see all the pretty countries that nursie reads to me about when I'm
naughty and won't sleep."

Eily wagged her tail, as much as to say, "It would be the finest thing
in the world."  For Eily always coincided with everything her little
master proposed or said.

"And you could go with me, Eily, of course."

"Yes," said Eily, talking with her tail.

"And there would be no more nasty copies to write, nor sums to do."

"No," said Eily.

"And, oh! such a lot of fruit and nuts, Eily; but, come on, I want to
make faces at the bull."

"Come on, then," said Eily, speaking with her eyes this time.  "Come on,
I'm ready.  We'll make faces at the bull."

So off they ran once more.

The bull was a splendid Highland specimen, with a rough buff jacket,
hair all over his face and eyes, and horns as long as both your arms
outstretched.  Just such an animal as Rosa Bonheur, that queen of
artists, delights to paint.

He dwelt in a field all by himself because he was so fierce that no
other creature or human being dare go near him except a certain sturdy
cowherd, who had known Jock, as the bull was called, since he was a

Jock was quite away at the other end of the field--which was well
walled--when Harry and his canine companion arrived at the five-barred

"I know how to fetch him down, Eily," said Harry.  Then he called out as
loud as he could: "Towsie Jock!  Towsie Jock!  Towsie!  Towsie!

The great bull lifted his head and sniffed the air.

"Towsie Jock!  Towsie!  Towsie!  Towsie!"

With a roar that would have frightened many a child, he shook his great
head, then came on towards the gate, growling all the while in a most
alarming way.

"Towsie Jock!  Towsie!  Towsie?" cried the boy.

Jock was at the gate now.

His breath blew hot and thick from his nostrils, his red eyes seemed to
flash fire.

"Towsie Jock!  Towsie!  Towsie!"

The bull was mad.  He tore up the earth with his fore-feet, and the
grass with his teeth.

"Towsie!  Tow--"

Before Harry could finish the word, greatly to his horror, the bull
threw off the top bar with one of his horns, and in three seconds more
had leapt clean over.

But Harry was too quick for him, and what followed spoke well for the
presence of mind of our young hero.

To have attempted to run straight away from the bull would have meant a
speedy and terrible death.  He would have been torn limb from limb.  But
no sooner did the bar rattle down, than both Harry and Eily sprang to
the stone fence and jumped over into the field, just as the bull jumped
out of it.

Jock was considerably nonplussed at not finding his tormentor where he
had expected to.

"Towsie!  Towsie!" cried Harry, and the bull leapt back into the field,
and Harry and Eily scrambled out of it.  This game was kept up for some
time, a sort of wild hide-and-seek, much to Harry's delight; but each
time he leapt the wall he edged farther and farther from the gate.

The bull got quieter now and kept inside the field, and pretended to
browse, though I do not think he swallowed much.  He followed along the
stone fence all the same, but Harry knew he could not leap it.  In the
adjoining field, which belonged to Harry's father, great turnips grew,
and Harry went and pulled two of the very biggest, and threw over the
wall to the bull.

"Poor Jock!" said the boy, "I didn't mean to vex you."

Jock eyed him a moment as if he did not know what to make of it all,
then began quietly to munch the turnips.

And Harry stole back and put up the top bar of the gate.

Meanwhile the rain continued unremittingly, but being wet to the skin,
Harry could not well be wetter, and that is how he consoled himself.
The afternoon was already far spent, by and by it would be dark, so he
prepared to hurry home now.

He knew his way through the forest, but there were many attractions--a
wild bee-hive for instance in a bank.  He must stop and beat the ground
above it, then bend his ear down to hear the bees buzz, till at last one
was sent out to see what the matter was and whether or not the end of
the world had come.

A hole where he knew a weasel lived; he would have liked to have seen
it, only it would not come out.  Rabbit's holes, that he crept towards
on hands and knees, and laughed to see the bunnies scurry away.  A deep
water-pit where queer old-fashioned water-rats (voles) lived, some of
whom came out to look at him and squeezed their eyes to clear their
sight.  And so on and so forth.  It was quite gloaming before he got
near the lawn gate; and then, when he did find his way inside among the
shrubbery, he found the sparrows were just going to bed, and bickering
and squabbling at a terrible rate, about who should have the dry boughs
of the pines, and who should not.

Meanwhile he was missed.  He was often missed for the matter of that,
but he had seldom been so long away on such a night.

His father was an easy-minded farmer, who tilled his own acres; he was
reading the newspaper in an easy chair, and his mother, a delicate,
somewhat nervous, lady, was sewing near the window.

When the evening shadows began to fall, the nurse tapped at the room
door and entered.  "Has Harry been here, mum?"

"No, Lizzie; don't you know where he is?"

"Haven't seen him for hours, mum.  I made sure he was here."

"Oh! you silly child, to let him out of your sight like that.  Go and
look for him at once."

"Where _is_ the child, I wonder," she continued, addressing her husband.
"Where _can_ Harold be?"

"Mm? what?" said Harry's father, looking lazily over his newspaper.
"Child Harold?  Gone on a pilgrimage perhaps."

"Oh! don't be foolish," said his wife, petulantly.  "Well, my dear, how
should I know.  Very likely he is up in the dusty attic squatting among
the cobwebs, or rummaging for curiosities in some old drawer or

But Harry was not upstairs among the cobwebs, nor rummaging in any
drawer whatever, nor talking to John in the stable, nor playing with his
toys in the loft, nor anywhere else that any one could think of.

So there was a pretty to do.

But in the midst of it all, lo!  Eily and Harry both presented
themselves at the hall door, and you could not have said which of the
two was in the most miserable plight.  Both were _so_ wet and _so_

"Oh! please, dear mamma," said Harry, "I'm _so_ hungry and so is poor

His mother was too happy to scold him, and his father laughed heartily
at the whole affair.  For Harry had neither sisters nor brothers.

While the boy was being stripped and re-dressed in dry clothes, the dog
threw herself in front of the kitchen fife.

Presently they both had supper.  If Harry was pale while playing at
bubble-ships in the water-vat, he was rosy enough now, and verily his
cheeks shone in the lamplight.

Before he knelt down that night by his mother's knee to say his prayers,
she asked him if he had done much wrong to-day.

"Oh! yes, dear mamma," was the reply, "I _did_ tease Towsie so."



At breakfast next morning young Harry was much surprised and concerned
to be told that he was going to have a governess.

"A guv'niss," he said, pausing in the act of raising a spoonful of
oatmeal porridge to his mouth, "a guv'niss, papa?  What's a guv'niss?
Something to eat?"

"No, child; a governess is a lady, who will do the duties of a teacher
to you, learn you your lessons and--"

"Mamma can do that."

"And give you sums to do."

"Ma does all that, papa."

"And go with you wherever you go."

Harry leant his chin upon his hand thoughtfully for a moment or two;
then he said:

"Mm, will the guv'niss go high up the trees with me, papa, and will she
make faces at Towsie?"

"I don't think so, Harold."

"I don't want the old lady," said Harry.

"Your leave will not be asked, my dear boy."

"Then," said Harry, in as determined a voice as he could command, "I
shall _hate_ her, and _beat_ her, and _bite_ her."

"I'm afraid," said Mr Milvaine, turning to his wife, "that you spoil
that child."

"I'm afraid," returned Mrs Milvaine mildly, "I have received assistance
from you."

Harry's governess came in a week.  It was surely a sad look-out for her,
if she was to be hated and beaten and bitten.

She was not a prim, angular, starchy, "tawsey"-looking old maid by any
means.  At most she had seen but nineteen summers; fresh in face,
blue-eyed, dimpled, and with beautiful hair.

Harry soon took to her.

"I sha'n't beat you," he said, "as long as you're good."

The attic was cleared of cobwebs and rubbish, and turned into a
schoolroom, and studies at regular hours of the day commenced forthwith.

Harry determined to make his own terms with his "guv'niss."  He would be
good, and learn his lessons, and do his sums, and write his copy and all
that, if she would read out of a book to him every day, and describe to
him a scene in some far-off land.

She promised.

Before commencing lessons of a forenoon, Miss Campbell read a portion of
one of the Gospels to him, and then she prayed.  Miss Campbell was one
of those girls who are not ashamed to pray, not ashamed to ask mercy,
help and guidance from Him from whom all blessings flow.  Before leaving
school Miss Campbell took the Book again, but now no other portion would
he allow her to read except the Revelations.  There was a charm about
these that never, never palled upon the child.

But always in the evenings "Guvie" had to devote herself to a different
kind of literature, and the books now were usually tales of adventure by
land and at sea.

Miss Campbell did try her wee pupil with "Sandford and Merton."  I am
sorry to say he would have none of it.  The "Arabian Nights" pleased
better, but he could not quite understand them.

For Sunday reading nothing delighted Harry better than Bunyan's
"Pilgrim's Progress."  I am happy in being able to put this on record,
and boys who have not read the work, have a real treat in store for

So Miss Campbell and her pupil got on very well together indeed; and
many a delightful walk, ay, and run too, they had in the forest.  They
were a trio-now, because Eily always made one of the number.  She went
to school as well as Harry, and if she did not learn anything, at all
events she lay still and listened, and that is more than every dog would
have done.

Harry introduced his "Guvie," as he called her, to his pet toad, which
she pretended to admire, but was secretly somewhat afraid of.

"John told me, Guvie," he said one day, "that toadie would go to sleep
all winter, so I'm going to put a biscuit in his box for his breakfast
when he wakes, then we won't go near him till spring-time comes."

They say the child is the father of the man.  I believe there is much
truth in the statement, so that, in describing Harry's character as a
_young_ boy, I am saving myself the trouble of doing so when he is very
much older, and mingling in wilder life.

He was impulsive then and brave, fond to some extent of mischief of a
mild, kind nature, but he was tender-hearted.  One day in the forest he
came to the foot of a great Scotch fir-tree.

"There is an old nest up there, Guvie.  I'm off up."

She would have held him, but he was far beyond her reach ere she could
do so.  He stopped when about ten feet above her.

"I knew, Guvie," he cried, with a roguish smile on his countenance,
"that you would try to catch me if you could.  Now come, Guvie, catch me
now, if you can."

"Oh! do come down, Harry dear," the poor girl exclaimed.  "You frighten
me nearly to death."

"Don't die, Guvie dear, there's a good Guvie; I'm only going to the top
of the tree, to the very top you know, no farther, to pull down the old
nest, else the nasty lazy magpie will lay in it again next year, and not
build a new one at all."

"Do, Harry, come down," cried Miss Campbell, "and I'll give you

"No, no, Guvie; papa always says, `Do your duty, Harold boy, always do
your duty.'  I'm going to do what papa bids me.  Good-bye, Guvie, I'll
soon be back."

And away he went.  It seemed, several times ere he reached the top, that
he would be back far sooner than even he himself expected, for little
branches often gave way with a crack that sent a thrill of horror
through Miss Campbell's heart.

"Oh! what if he should fall and be killed," she thought.

But presently Harry was high high up on the very point of the tree.  He
proceeded at once to throw down the great nest of sticks and grass and
clay; no very easy task, as he had to work with one hand, while he held
on with the other.

But he finished at last, and the nest lay at Miss Campbell's feet.

The wind blew high to-day, and the tree swayed and swayed about, just
like a ship's mast at sea.

"Oh!  Miss Guvie, do try to come up," cried the boy, looking down.  "It
is so nice; and I can see all over the country.  Wouldn't I like to be a
sailor.  Do come up."

But Miss Campbell only cried, "Do come down."

When he did obey her at last, she could contain herself no longer.  Down
she must sit on a bank of withered pine-needles and give vent to sobs
and tears.

Then the boy's heart melted for her, and he went and threw his arms
around her and kissed her, and said:

"Oh!  Guvie dear, don't cry, and Harry will never, never be _quite_ so
naughty again.  Don't cry, dear, and when Harry grows a big man, he will
fight for you and then marry you."

She was pacified at last, and they started for home.

"I'll keep firm hold of your hand," said Harry, "and then you won't cry
any more, and nothing can hurt you."

"We'll both want brushing, won't we, Harry?" she said, smiling.

It was true.  For Harry's jacket was altogether green, with the mould
from the tree, and he had transferred a goodly portion of it to her
velveteen jacket, while hugging her.

"Ha!" laughed Harry; "we are both foresters now, Guvie.  What fun!  All
green, green, green."

But Harry had given his governess a terrible fright, and she tried to
make him promise that he would not climb trees again.

The boy held his wise, wee head to one side for a few seconds and

"That wouldn't do, Guvie," he said.  "But when I go up a tree you shall
come with me.  There now!"

"But, dear child, _I_ cannot climb trees."

"You could a beech?" quoth Harry.

"Well, I might a beech, a little way."

"If you don't climb a beech, I shall go a mile high up into a fir," said
the young rascal.

So poor Miss Campbell had to consent, and in the depth of the forest
where many lordly beeches grew, "Guvie" took lessons in climbing.

It certainly is no difficult operation for even a girl to get out on to
the arm of a beech tree.  One could almost walk there, and the branches
are as clean as a table.

The governess was further commanded by her lord and pupil to take books
with her up into the trees and read to him.

When summer came, and the beech trees were one mass of tender green
leaves, with the bees all singing their songs, as they flew from flower
to flower, it was far from unpleasant to get up into leafland, and while
away an hour or longer with a delightful book.

Sometimes indeed they went high enough to let a branch shut out the view
of the earth entirely, and then it was like being in fairyland.

One beautiful evening in the latter end of June Miss Campbell and he
went out for a stroll as usual.

Eily did not follow them.  Truth to say, Harry had shut her up in the

There was much to be seen and noticed, and oceans of wild flowers to
cull, and there were birds' nests to be visited, many of which contained
only eggs, while others had in them little half-naked, hairy "gorbals,"
that opened such extraordinary big gaping yellow mouths, that they could
have swallowed a church--that is, if the church were small enough.

There grew not far from the five-barred gate, mentioned in last chapter,
an immensely large and beautiful beech tree; and it had its branches
close to the ground, so that it presented no great difficulty to get up
into it.

Miss Campbell had never been this way before, but to-night her guide led
her hither, under pretence of showing her a tree with a hawk's nest in

The hawk's nest was up there in the pine tree-top right enough, and it
was not an old one either, for when Harry kicked the tree and cried
"Hush-oo-oo!" out and away flew the beautiful and graceful bird.  Then
they came to the beech tree.

"Let us get up here and read," said Harry; "the sun isn't thinking of
going down yet.  I don't think the sun is moving a bit.  I don't suppose
he knows what o'clock it is."

As soon as they were safely and securely seated, and Miss Campbell had
read a short but stirring story to her pupil, Harry pulled aside a

"Do you see that grass field?" he asked.

"Yes, dear."

"Well, do you know who lives there?"

"No, Harry."


"And who is Towsie?"

"Why, silly Guvie, Towsie is Towsie, of course; Towsie is his Christian
name; Jock, I suppose, is his papa's name.  Towsie Jock, there now!"

"What nonsense _are_ you talking, dear?" said Miss Campbell.

"Why, telling you about Towsie Jock, to be sure.  Towsie Jock is _so_
funny, and what faces he makes when I make faces at him!  Mind you,
Guvie, I don't think he quite likes to be called Towsie Jock.  And _I_
wouldn't either, would you, dear Guvie?"

"I haven't the remotest idea, Harry, what it is all about, nor who or
what Towsie Jock, as you call him, or _it_, is."

"Oh, haven't you, Guvie?  Well, you shall see.  Mind you it isn't a
hedgehog.  Something, oh, ever so much bigger."

As he spoke Harry slipped like an eel down from the tree.  He
accomplished this by sliding out to the tip of the branch, out and out
till it bent with his light weight, and dropped him on the ground.

Harry went straight to the gate, the top bar of which he had previously,
in one of his lonely rambles, taken the precaution to tie down.  He
looked now to see that the fastening was all secure, then commenced to

"Towsie Jock!  Towsie Jock!  Towsie!  Towsie!  Towsie!"

Jock was at a distant corner of the field, his favourite corner, on high
ground, where he could see the country for miles around.  He was
standing there chewing his cud and looking at the sky.  Perhaps he was
wondering what kind of a day it was to be to-morrow.

Suddenly he thrust one ear back to listen.

"Towsie!  Towsie!" came the shout in shrill treble.

"It is that monkey again," said Towsie, to himself.  "If I can only pin
one horn through him, I'll carry him all round and round the field, at
the gallop too."

Miss Campbell, from the tree, first heard a dreadful bellowing roar,
which ended in one continuous stream of hoarse explosions, as it were.

"Wow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow," and next moment, to her horror, she saw a
gigantic horrid homed bull coming tearing towards the gate, his nose on
the ground, and his tail like a corkscrew over his back.

"Harry, Harry!" she screamed.  "Oh! fly, Harry, fly!"

"He can't get over, Guvie," cried Harry, coolly.  "Let me introduce you,
as papa says.  That is Towsie Jock.  Towsie!  Towsie!  Towsie Jock!
Towsie Jock!"


On came the bull as mad as ever bull was.

Miss Campbell shouted again, and screamed with terror.

"Harry, come, oh, dear Harry, come up.  For my sake then."

"But he _can't_ get over, I tell you, Guvie."

"But I'm fainting, Harry."

"Oh, in that case I'll come, Guvie.  Papa says, `Always, whatever you
do, Harry, be kind and polite to ladies.'  I'm coming, Guvie.  Don't
fall till I get hold of you."

And none too soon.


Next moment the gate flew in splinters with the awful charge of that
Highland bull.

Miss Campbell's head swam, but she clutched the rash boy to her breast,
and thanked God he was saved.

Meanwhile the bull was at the foot of the tree.  He first commenced an
attack upon it with head and horns; every time, he battered it he shook
it to its uttermost twig and leaf.  But Miss Campbell and Harry had a
safe seat in a strong niche between two great branches, with another
branch to sit on and one behind.

At every blow the bull reeled back again.

The governess was white and trembling.

Harry was as cool as a hero.

He looked down and enjoyed the performance.

"Isn't he naughty and wicked!" he said.

"Won't he have a headache in the morning, Guvie!"

While attacking and battering the tree, Towsie Jock was silent, only the
noise of the "thuds" resounded through the forest.

"If I had a big turnip now," said the boy, "to throw down, Towsie would
eat it and go away, oh! _so_ well pleased, and not naughty at all."

Towsie soon saw that to knock down that sturdy old beech was impossible;
he commenced, therefore, with angry bellowings to root round it with his

But even of this he soon tired.  He stood up, red-eyed and
furious-looking, and sniffed and snorted.

"May I cry `Towsie' again, Guvie?"

"Oh, no, no, no."

"He can't climb the tree, you know.  He'll go away presently, then we
can get down and run, Guvie dear."

But Towsie had evidently no such intentions.  He stood there for quite
half an hour, then he began to chew his cud again.  That was a pacific
sign, and Miss Campbell gave a sigh of relief.

Towsie Jock was a good general.  He had tried and tried in vain to storm
the citadel, that is, the tree; he had tried to batter it down, and he
had tried to undermine it; now the only thing to do was simply to lay
siege to it.

And this he did by quietly lying down.

Meanwhile, far away in the east, they could see, through the greenery of
the branches, red or crimson streaky clouds, and they knew that gloaming
was falling, and that gloaming would soon be followed by night.

The red clouds grew a lurid purple, then grey, then seemed to melt away,
and only a gleam of light remained in the west.  That also faded, and
next a bright, bright star peeped in through the leaves at them, and all
grew gloomy around.

Still the bull lay still.

Miss Campbell took a scarf from her neck and bound one of Harry's arms
tightly to a branch, lest he might sleep and slip from her grasp.  For
Harry had grown very silent.

"Harry, dear," said Miss Campbell, "say your prayers."

"Guvie," replied the boy, "papa tells me I should bless my enemies; must
I pray for Towsie Jock?"

"If you like, dear."

Then Miss Campbell bethought her of a story, the funniest she could
remember, and began it.

Harry laughed for a time.  But he soon grew suddenly silent.

He was fast asleep!

Meanwhile more and more stars came out, cushat's croodle and song of
bird gave place to the deep mournful notes of the brown owl, and the
gloaming deepened into night.



Great was the anxiety at Beaufort Hall, as Harry's home was called, when
the shadows fell and the stars peeped out from the sky's blue vault.
Poor fragile Mrs Milvaine was almost distracted, but her husband took
matters more easily, more philosophically let us call it.

"Don't fidget, my darling," he said, "they'll turn up all right in a
short time.  Just you see now, and it won't do the triflingest morsel of
good to worry yourself.  No, nor it won't bring them a minute sooner."

"They may have fallen into the river," said Mrs Milvaine.

"Well, I don't deny that people have fallen into rivers before now, but
the probability is, they haven't," replied the farmer-laird.  [A farmer
who owns the acres he tills.]

"They may have lost themselves in the forest, and may wander in it till
they die."

"Nonsense, my love."

"Harry may have climbed a tree, fallen down and been killed, and Miss
Campbell may even now--"

"Stop, stop, dear! what an imagination you have, to be sure?"

"They may both be gored to death by that fearful bull, their mangled
bodies may--"

Mr Milvaine put his fingers in his ears.

But when eleven o'clock rang out from the stable tower, and still the
lost ones did not appear, then even the laird himself got fidgety.  He
threw down his newspaper.

But he did not permit his wife to notice his uneasiness.  He quietly lit
his pipe.

"I'll go and look for them," he said, and left the room.  He returned
presently wrapped in a Highland plaid, with a shepherd's crook in his
hand, much taller than himself, and that is saying a good deal, for this
Scottish laird stood six feet two in his boots, and was well made in

He bent down and kissed his wife.

"Don't fret, I'll soon find them," he said.  "They have gone botanising,
I suppose, and have lost themselves, and are doubtless in Widow
McGregor's cottage, or in the cleerach's hut."

Out he went.  Rob Roy McGregor himself never had a more manly stride.

He went to the stable gallery first, or rather to the foot of the stair.

"John!" he cried,--"John!  John!"

"Yes, yes, sir," was the reply, and a stream of light shot out into the
darkness as John threw open the door.

"Miss Campbell and Master Harry are lost somewhere in the forest.  Bring
a bull's-eye lantern, and let us look for them.  Bring the
rhinoceros-hide whip, too; we may come across some poachers."

In five minutes more master and man had started.

John was nearly as tall as his master.  This was partly the reason why
the laird had engaged him.  Coachmen do not often have great brown
beards and moustaches, but John had; coachmen do not often wear the
Highland dress, but John did, and a fine-looking fellow he was when so
arrayed.  But every horse and every cart about this farmer-laird's place
was big.  The dog-cart had been specially built for him, and there was
not another such in the country.

Away they went then.

It was half-past eleven when they started, and twelve by watch when they
found themselves in the forest.

"It is always hereabout they do be," said John.  "Just hereabouts, sir."

Then they shouted, singly.

Then they shouted again--together this time; shouted and listened, but
there was no answering call.

There was a rushing sound among the tall spruces, and a
flap-flap-flapping of wings, as startled wild pigeons fled from their
nests away out into the dreary depths of the forest.

There was the too-whit, to-who-oo-oo of an owl in the distance, but no
other sound responded to their shouting.

"We'll go straight on to the widow's," said the laird.

"Right, laird."

So on they went again, often pausing to wave the bull's-eye, to shout,
and to listen.

All in vain.

When they reached Widow McGregor's cottage all was darkness and silence

They knocked nevertheless, knocked again and again, and at last had the
satisfaction of hearing a match lighted, then a light shone through the
door seams, and a voice--a somewhat timorous and quavering one--

"Wha's there at this untimeous hoor o' nicht?"

"It's me, Mrs McGregor; me, Laird Milvaine.  Don't be alarmed."

The bolt flew back, and master and man entered.

Of course the lost ones were not there, and the widow shook and trembled
with fear when she heard the story.

She had only to say that the cleerach, who was a kind of forest ranger
or keeper, had seen both the lost ones that afternoon gathering wild

"We'll go to his house at once."

It was only two miles farther on.

They bade the widow good-night, and started.  She told them, last thing,
that she would go to her bed and pray for them.

But they had not gone quite one mile and a half, when a brawny figure
sprang from behind a tree, and a stentorian voice shouted:

"You thieving scoundrels, I have you now!  Stop, and hold up your arms,
or by the powers above us I'll blow the legs of you off!"

The flash of John's lantern revealed a stalwart keeper with
double-barrelled gun presented full towards them.

"It's me and my man John," said the farmer, quietly.  [The author is not
to blame for the honest laird's bad grammar.]

"Heaven have a care of me, sir," cried the cleerach.  "If I'd fired I'd
ne'er have been forgiving mysel'.  Sure it was after the poachers I was.
But bless me, laird, what brings you into the forest at such an hour?"

The story was soon told, and together they marched to the cleerach's
cottage.  A one-roomed wooden hut it was, built in a clearing, and
almost like that of a backwoodsman.  The only portion not wood was the
hearth and the chimney.

All the information the cleerach could give them was hardly worth
having, only he had seen Miss Campbell and young Harry, and they were
then taking the path through the forest that led away to the river and
past the field where the bull was.

"Then goodness help us," exclaimed the farmer.  "I fear something has
happened to them."

Nothing could be done till daylight.  So the three sat by the fire, on
which the cleerach heaped more logs; for, summer though it was, the
night was chill, and a dew was falling.  It was quite a keeper's
cottage, no pictures on the walls except a Christmas gift-plate or two
from the London Illustrated Weeklies, and some Christmas cards.  But
stuffed heads and animals stood here and there in the corners, and skins
of wild creatures were nailed up everywhere.  Skins of whitterit or
weasel, of foumart or pole-cat, of the wild cat itself, of great
unsightly rats, of moles and of voles, and hawks and owls galore.

Scotchmen do not easily let down their hearts, so these men--and men
they were in every sense of the word--sat there by the fire telling each
other wild, weird forest tales and stories of folk-lore until at length
the daylight streamed in at the window--cold and comfortless-looking--
and almost put out the fire.  "Will you have breakfast, laird, before
you start?"  The laird said, "Yes."

The fire was replenished, and soon the keeper's great kettle was
boiling.  Then in less than five minutes three huge dishes of oatmeal
brose was made, and--that was the breakfast, with milk and butter.


Towsie Jock never moved from under the tree all the night long.  Poor
Miss Campbell was weary, tired, and cramped, but she dared not sleep.
Once or twice she caught herself half-dreaming, and started up again in
fright, and thanked Heaven she had not gone quite to sleep.

How long, long the stars seemed to shine, she thought!  Would they never
fade?  Would morning never, never come?

But see, through the green leafy veil a glimmer of dawn at last, and she
lifts up her thoughts in prayer to Him who has preserved them.

How soundly Harry sleeps in her arms!  How beautiful the boy looks, too,
in his sleep!  The young image of his stalwart father.

The light in the east spreads up and up, and the stars pale before it,
and disappear.  Then the few clouds there are, begin to light up, and
finally to glow in dazzling crimson and yellow.

She is wondering when assistance will come.  But the sun shoots up, and
help appears as far away as ever.

"Towsie, Towsie," mutters the boy in his sleep, and smiles.

A whole hour passes, and hope itself begins to die in the poor girl's
breast, when oh! joy, from far away in the forest comes a shout.


Then a shrill whistle.  Then silence.  She knows that assistance is not
far off, if she can only make them hear.  She knows that the silence
which succeeds the shouting means that they are listening for a

She tries to answer, but no sound much louder than a whisper can she
emit.  The cold dews have rendered her almost voiceless.

Now she shakes and tries to arouse Harry.

"Harry, Harry, awake, dear!"

"Whe--where am I?" cries the boy, rubbing his eyes.

"In the forest, Harry; in a tree."

"Oh, I remember now," says Harry, smiling, and looking down; "and
there's Towsie.  What a jolly sleep I've had, Guvie!  Have you?"

Again came the shout, this time somewhat nearer.

"Answer, dear; answer, I'm _so_ hoarse.  Cry as loud as you can."

Harry did as told.  It would hardly be heard fifty yards away, however.

But it had one effect.  It roused Towsie Jock.  All his wrath seemed at
once to return, and he prepared once more to attack the tree.

"Towsie Jock, Towsie, Towsie!" sang the boy.

For the life of him he could not help it.

"Wow-ow-ow-wo-ah!" roared the bull.

That was a sound that could be heard for one good mile at least.

The three men advancing to the rescue heard it.

For the first time since he had left home the farmer-laird felt real
dread and fear.  In his imagination he could see the mangled bodies of
his son and the governess, with the bull standing guard over them.

"Come on, men.  Great heavens!  I fear the worst now."

Milvaine had his strong, tall crook, John his terribly--punishing hide
whip, the cleerach had a double-barrelled gun.

The bull--infuriated now beyond measure--came roaring to meet them.

The cleerach fired at his legs.  The shot but made him stumble for a
moment; it had no other effect.  On he came wilder than ever.  He seemed
to single the farmer himself out, and charged him head down.  Mr
Milvaine met the charge manfully enough.  He leapt nimbly to one side,
striking straight home with the iron-shod end of the crook.  It wounded
the bull in the neck, but ill would it have fared with the farmer had he
not got speedily behind a tree.

Whack, whack, whack.  John is behind the bull with his whip of hide.

The bull wheels round upon him ere ever he can escape, and runs him
between his horns against a tree.

John has seized the horns, and thus they stand man and brute locked in a
death grip.

The farmer has stumbled and fallen in running to John's assistance.  The
cleerach is loading again, when help comes from a most unexpected
quarter, and Eily herself rushes on the scene.

She at once seizes the bull by the hock.  The roar he emits is one of
agony and rage, but John is free.

Eily easily eludes the bull's charge.  He follows a little way towards
the gate, then turns, when she fixes him again.  And this game continues
until the bull is fairly into the field.

Whenever the bull turns Eily seizes his hock; whenever he gives her
chase she runs farther into the field, barking defiantly.

"I think, men, we may safely leave the brute to Eily," said Laird
Milvaine; "but where _can_ the dear children be!"

"Safe, safe, safe!" cried a voice from the tree.

Miss Campbell could speak now.

"Thank God!" was the fervent ejaculation breathed by every lip.

An hour afterwards Harry was in his mother's arms, laughing and crowing
with delight as he related to his mamma all the fun of what he called
the jolly match with Towsie.

His mother's eyes were red with weeping, but she was laughing now



Were I to tell one-half of the adventures of the child Harold, as his
father called him, I would fill this whole book with them, and would not
have space to say a word about his career as a youth and young man.  So
I shall not begin.

No more vivacious reader of books of biography, travel, and adventure,
perhaps ever existed than Harry Milvaine was when about the age of ten.
I have often wondered when he slept.

At midsummer in the far north of Scotland there is light enough all
night to read by.  Harry took advantage of this, and would continue at a
book from sunset till sunrise.

The boy had a deal of independence of character and real good feeling.

"I must have light to read by all night in winter," he said to himself,
"but it would be unfair to burn my father's candles.  I'll make some."

There was an odd old volume in Mr Milvaine's library, called "The Arts
and Sciences," which was a very great favourite with Harry because it
told him everything.

It taught him how to make moulded candles.  He possessed a tin
pen-and-pencil case.  This made a first-rate mould.  He collected fat,
he got a wick and fixed it to the bottom of the case and held it in the
position described by the book, then he poured in the melted fat, and
lo! and behold, when it cooled, a candle was the result.  He worked, in
his own little tool-house, away down among the shrubbery at the bottom
of the lawn, and made many candles.  John, the coachman, admired them
very much, and so did the female servants.

"Dear me?" said one old milk-maid, "it's your father, Master Harry, that
should be proud of his bonnie, bonnie boy."

This old milk-maid had a beard and moustache that many a city clerk
would have envied, and she was reputed to be a witch accordingly, but
she dearly loved little Harry, and Harry loved her, and made a regular
confidante of her.

She did not give him bad advice either.  One example in proof of this.
Harry came to her one day in great grief.  He was not crying, but his
mouth was pursed up very much, and he was very red in the face.

"Oh, Yonitch, Yonitch!" he exclaimed, in bitterness, "what _shall_ I do?
I've shot papa's favourite cock."

"Shot him dead?  Have you, dear?" said Yonitch.

"Oh, dead enough, Yonitch.  I fired at him, and my arrow has gone clean
through his breast.  I don't think I really meant it, though."

Yonitch ran down with him to the paddock to view the body, and there
certainly never was a much "deader" cock.  The arrow was still sticking
in his breast.

"What shall I do?  Shall I bury the cock and run away?"

"That would not be brave, dear.  No Highlander runs away.  Go straight
to your father and tell him."

Harry did so.

"What's the matter, lad?" said his father.  "Hold up your head.  What is

"Papa," replied the boy, not daring to look up, but speaking to a plough
that stood near.  "Papa, I took my bow and arrows--"

"Yes, boy."

"And I went down the paddock."


"And I fired at the cock."


"And I'm afraid he--wants to be--buried."

"Well, well, well, never mind, boy; I forgive you because you've come
like a man and like a Highlander and told me.  We'll put the poor cock
in the pot and have him for dinner."

"Oh, no, no, dear papa," cried Harry, looking up now for the first time,
"I could not bear to see him cooked."

"Well, go and bury him yourself, then."

Harry ran off happy, and Yonitch and he dug a grave and buried the poor
cock's corpse, and it took Harry a whole week's work in the tool-house
to fashion him a "wooden tombstone," and write an epitaph.  The epitaph
ran as follows:--

  here lies
  papa's poor cotching chiney cock
  croolly slane by harry
  with his bow and arrie.

  he sleeps in peas.

That tool-house and workshop of Harry's was quite a wonderful place.
And wonderful, indeed, were the things Harry turned out of it.  I'm not
joking.  He really did make good useful articles--boxes, picture frames,
a footstool for his mother, a milking-stool for Yonitch, and an
extraordinary rustic-looking, but comfortable, arm-chair for his father.
It had a high back and a carpet bottom, and seated in it, on the
verandah on a summer's evening, with his pipe and his paper, papa did
look the very quintessence of comfort and jollity.

But Harry might often have been seen at the village carpenter's shop,
taking lessons in the useful art of joinery.

In return for the high-backed chair, his father presented him, when
Christmas came round, with a turning lathe.  Then I think that Harry's
cup of bliss was full to overflowing.

But his workshop soon proved too small to hold all his belongings.  He
secured a piece of ground from his father in a quiet and sheltered
corner of the paddock, and within this he determined to do great things,
as soon as spring brought out the daisies, and the ground was dry.

Now let me tell the reader, before I go a line farther on with my story,
that though I am bound, in justice to my young hero, to say that he
never neglected his lessons, nor his prayers, dear lad, still I do not
wish to make him out a greater saint than perhaps most boys of his age

He is painted from the life, mind you, and I have not hid his failings
from you.  Nor need I hesitate to say that a fight between Harry and
some village lad was of no very rare occurrence, and it was no uncommon
thing to meet him coming homewards after one of these tulzies, with his
jacket all covered with mud and his face all covered with blood.

So there!  I hide nothing, good or bad.

Harry was going to do great things then with his bit of ground.  He felt
himself to be a small landed proprietor, a laird in miniature.  He
thought and planned in his spare moments all the livelong winter.  He
even put his plans on paper.  This he did in the stillness of night, by
the light of his own moulded candles.

Harry was immensely rich--at least he thought himself so.  He had a
money-box in the shape of a dog-kennel that stood on the mantelpiece of
his own room, and goodness only knows how much money it did _not_
contain.  For years back, whenever he had received sixpence or a
shilling from a relation or friend, pop! it had gone into the kennel.
Half-crowns were too big to go in, but he changed them for smaller
coins, and in they went.  There was one whole sovereign in and one half

But Harry had not depended altogether for his riches on the charity of
friends and relations.  No, for he was a wealthy dealer in live stock.
Not cattle and horses, nor sheep and pigs.  Harry's was a London market,
and a world-wide market.  His medium for sale was a paper called _The
Exchange and Mart_, and his stock consisted of canaries, siskins, and
British birds of all kinds.  The latter he found in the woods and wilds,
and reared by hand.  He also sold guinea-pigs, white rats, piebald mice,
hedgehogs, and snakes.

So no wonder he had amassed wealth.

And now spring came.  The robin left the gateway where he had been
singing so sweetly all the winter, and went away to the woods to build
himself a nest.  The primroses came out in the copses, and as soon as
the blackbird and thrush saw them they started singing at once.

The trees all burst into bud and then into leaf.  The young corn grew
green in the fields, seeing which the lark tried how high he could mount
and how loud he could sing.

And the wind blew soft and warm from the west, and the sun shone forth
bright and clear, and dried up the roads and the fields, and chased
every bit of snow away from the glens and straths, only permitting it to
remain here and there in the hollows on the mountain tops.

Then Harry prepared for action.

It may be thought strange that Harry had no companions of his own age.
But I am writing the history of a strange and wayward boy, a boy who
never wanted or sought for companionship, a kind of miniature edition of
Robinson Crusoe he was, only he liked Yonitch to come and look at his
work sometimes.  There was also the joiner's man, who used to come up
now and then and give Harry hints about "this, that, or t'other."  So
the boy did not feel lonely.

Andrew was this joiner's man's name.  He was a kind of

And never went about without his snuff-box.

He was very fond of Harry.  In two evenings he dug and levelled and
raked all Harry's estate for him, and Harry was duly thankful, because
digging is very hard work.

Harry bought snuff for Andrew, and Andrew was happy.

Wire fencing now occupied our hero's attention.  He went all by himself
(accompanied by Eily, of course) to a neighbouring town to buy the
galvanised iron mesh, and found that the money he had taken from his
kennel for this purpose was more than sufficient.

Next he planned his garden, and laid out and gravelled his walks,
bordering them nicely with old bricks.  He gravelled quite a large space
at one end, because here he was to build his house.

The floor of this was laid first and plastered over with a mixture of
Portland cement and sand, and when dry it was as hard and firm as

Then the uprights were put in, one for each corner, and the roof put on.
At this work he received valuable assistance from Andrew, and paid him
in snuff.

The roof Andrew thatched, and when the house was built, it was a very
rustic and very romantic one indeed; partly bungalow, partly

Lovely flowering climbers were planted, quick growing ones, wild
convolvulus and clematis, with a few roses, and before the summer was
half done all the walls were covered with a wealth of floral beauty.

Inside everything was neatness and regulation.  One end was the working
end, tool-bench, and lathe.  All the rest of the house or room was like
a boudoir, a sofa, chairs, a bookcase, brackets, candlesticks, a mirror
or two, flower vases--all perfect and beautiful.

And all devised by Harry's own hands.

Am I not right in saying he was a kind of second edition of Robinson

The garden, too, was well planted, and all along the wire fence,
entirely covering it, were wild convolvuluses.

Miss Campbell was permitted to visit the hermit Harry in his charming
abode.  But _not_ to mention _lessons_.  Harry's was quite a
pleasure-house, and lessons would have been out of keeping altogether in
it.  But she had to read stories to him.

Yonitch was another invited guest.  _She_ did not read stories.  But she
told the most wonderful fairy tales, and even ghost stories, that ever
any one listened to.

One day, when Harry was away fishing, his father happened to look into
his quarters and took the liberty of having a peep through his books.
They were nearly all books of adventure and travel, and mostly sea
stories, with just a sprinkling of poetry.

Harry's father went away--thinking.

How was this to end?  He wished his son, his only son, to remain at home
with him, to grow up with him, and help to farm his little estate.  But
those books?  What could the boy's bent be?

That evening, after supper, he asked Harry straight what he would like
to be.

Harry had an old-fashioned way of speaking, as boys have who are brought
up by themselves, and only hear their elders talk.

He cocked his head consideringly on one side and replied--

"Oh! a sailor, papa.  There can't be any question about that."

"Ah! boy, I'll send you to school, and that'll knock all that nonsense
out of your head."

Harry looked at his father wonderingly.  He could not understand what
his father meant any more than if he had talked Greek.

"Draw your stool near my knee, my lad, and I'll suggest to you what
you'll be, and you shall choose.  Well, then, first and foremost, how
would you like to be a doctor?  Fine thing to be a doctor, drive about
in a beautiful white-lined carriage, have the entree of all the best
houses, have a splendid house yourself, and--"

"Nasty man!" said Harry.

"Who?" said Mr Milvaine.

"Why, the doctor to be sure.  Dear papa, I wouldn't take physic myself
even, and I'm sure I wouldn't ask anybody else to.  No, papa, I'll be a

"Well, how would you like to enter the Church? how would you like to be
a clergyman?  No one in the world so highly respected as a clergyman.
He is fit to sit down side by side with royalty itself, and his holy
mission, Harold--"

"Stop, stop, papa.  I say my prayers every morning and I say my prayers
every night, but somehow I go and do naughty things just the same.  You
know I tree'd poor guvie for a whole night, and I tease poor Towsie, and
I slew the Cochin China cock.  No, no, dear papa; I'm not good enough to
be a clergyman.  I'll be a sailor."

"Well, how would you like to enter business, and rise, perhaps, to be
Lord Mayor of London, and ride in a gilded coach, and live in a house
like a palace--"

"Papa, papa, don't; I would rather live in the beech tree in the forest
than in a palace.  I'll be a sailor."

His father bent down, and took Harry's hand in his.  "Wouldn't you like
to stay at home and help your papa, when he grows old, to farm, and take
your poor old mother to church every Sunday on your arm?"

"If you wished it very much, papa; but you see, papa--"

The boy ceased speaking, and gazed into the fire for fully a minute.

Then up he jumped and clapped his hands.

"Ha?" he laughed, "I have it, dear papa.  I have it.  I'll do both."

"Both what?"

"Why, I'll go to sea first, and visit all kinds of strange places and
strange countries, and kill, oh! such lots of lions and tigers and
savages; and then, papa, come back and help you to farm, and take my
mamma to church.  Isn't it fun?"

His father laughed, and took up his pipe.  Shouldn't wonder, he thought
to himself, but there may be some little truth in that old saying: "The
child is the father of the man."



That garden and that bungalow was a continual source of delight to young
Harry.  All the improvements which he was constantly carrying out inside
the room itself, he planned and executed without assistance, but Andrew
the joiner used to come up of an evening pretty frequently, and give him
advice about the garden.  So it flourished, and was very beautiful.

Andrew was often out and about the country doing odd jobs at the
residences of the gentry, and whenever he could beg a root of some rare
plant or flower he did so, and brought it straight home to the young
laird, as he called Harry.

And Harry would give him snuff.

Not, mind you, that it was for sake of the snuff that Andrew did these
little kindnesses to Harry.  Truth is he dearly loved the boy.

A harum-scarum sort of a young man was Andrew, and there were people in
the parish who said he was only half-witted, but this was all nonsense.
Andrew came out with droll sayings at times--he was an original, and
that is next door to a genius; but the truth is he had more wit and a
deal more brains than many, or most of his detractors.

Andrew was tall and lank, and not an over-graceful walker, but he had a
kind face of his own and black beads of eyes, round which smiles were
nearly always dancing, and it did not take much to make Andrew laugh
right out.  A right merry guffaw it was too.  Sometimes it made the dogs
bark, and the cocks all crow, and the peacock scream like a thousand
cats all knocked into one.  That is the kind of young man Andrew was.
He came from the low country, and spoke a trifle broad.  But that did
not matter, his heart was as good as any Highlander's.

Harry and his friend frequently went to the forest together, but never
again near Towsie's gate, because the boy had promised not to tease the
bull any more.  A promise is a sacred thing, and Harry knew this.  The
boy had a hundred friends in the forest.  Yes, and far more.

For he loved nature.

And there was not a bush or tree he did not know all about: when they
budded, when they broke into leaf, and even when those leaves would fade
and fall and die.

There was not a flower he did not know, nor a bird he could not
recognise by name, by note or song, by its nest or by its eggs.

He was no wanton nest-robber, though; a boy who is so has no manliness
or fairness or gentlemanly feeling about him.  Harry never robbed a
nest, but more than once he pitched into other boys for doing so, and
fought sturdy battles in the forest in defence of his friends the birds.

Did you ever notice, dear reader, what a sweet sweet song that of the
house-martin is?  With its coat of dusky black, the little crimson blush
on its breast, and its graceful form, the martin is a charming bird
altogether.  But its song is to my ears ineffably sweet.

It is not a loud song, and the bird always sits down to sing.  It is not
loud for this reason: away in the wilds of Africa, where this birdie
frequently goes, there are so many enemies about that to sing very
loudly would lead to the discovery of its whereabouts, and it would
probably be killed and devoured.

For this very reason many of the birds in Africa sing not at all.  Gay
and lovely are they even as the flowers, the glorious flowers that adorn
the hillside and forest and plain, but silently they flit from bough to

One evening Harry was seated on his sofa, or rather he was half
reclining thereon, reading a volume of his favourite poet--Campbell, I
think.  It was very still and quiet.  His little window, round which the
roses and the clematis clung, was open, and the sweet breath of flowers
floated in with the gentle breeze.

It was so still and silent that Harry could hear the soft foot-fall of
Eily the collie, as she came along the gravelled path towards the
bungalow door.

"Come, in Eily," he said, "and lie down, I'm reading."

"Oh?" he added, as he looked up, "what have you in your mouth?  A bone?"

Eily advanced, and put her chin ever so gently on, her young master's

No, it was not a bone, but a bird, a lovely martin.

Not a tooth had Eily put in it, not a feather had she ruffled, and
hardly had she wetted its plumage.

Harry took it tenderly in his hand.

"Where did you get it, Eily?  In the loft?"

Eily wagged her tail.

Swift as lightning though they may fly out of doors, no bird is more
easily captured inside than the house-martin.  If found in a loft they
appear to lose presence of mind at once, and after flying about for a
short time usually alight against the glass.  When one is taken its
little heart may be felt beating against the hand, as if it verily would

And no wonder.

Fancy, reader, how you should feel were you captured by some great ogre,
taller than a steeple, and carried away, expecting death every minute.

"Give it to me, Eily.  Give it quick.  I hope you haven't draggled its
plumage very much.  Now shut the door."

Eily went and did as she was told.  [It is very seldom a dog is taught
this trick, but it is a very handy one.--G.S.]

Harry admired it for a little while.  Then he gently kissed its brow.
Its wee beak was half upturned, and its black beads of eyes appeared to
look appealingly at him.

"What are you going to do with me?" it seemed to ask.  "Are you going to
kill me, or swallow me alive as we martins do the flies?"

"_I'm_ not going to harm you a bit," said Harry.

"I'm only going to hold you in my hand for a short time to admire you.
How soft and warm you feel, and what a pretty dusky red patch you have
on your breast!  I've often listened to your song as you sat on the
apple tree.  But why do you sing so soft and low?"

"Because," replied the bird, talking with its eyes--at least Harry
thought he could read the answer there--"because in our country if we
sang too loudly our enemies would hear us and come and kill us."

"And who are your enemies?"

"Big birds with terrible claws and beaks, that want to fly at us and
devour us.  And terrible snakes that glide silently up the branches on
which we are perched, and sometimes strike us dead, as quick as a
lightning's flash."

"And I suppose you _must_ sing?"

"Oh yes, we must sing, because we are so very happy, and we love each
other so."

"And why are your wings and back so dusky and dark?"

"That our enemies may not see us."

"But I've read," said Harry, "that many tropical birds were all bright
and gay with colours of every hue."

"Oh yes, so they are, but then these live all their lives among flowers
as gorgeous in colour as they themselves are, and so their enemies
mistake them for the flowers among which they dwell."

"Do you come from a very far-off land?"

"_Yes_, a very very far-off land."

"And is it very beautiful there?"

"Very _very_ beautiful."

"I _would_ like to go to that far-off beautiful land.  How do you get

"We fly."

"Yes, I know, but I can't, though I once tried I made a pair of wings
out of an old umbrella; they were so awkward, though, and would not

"But I meant," continued Harry, "which way do you go?"

"Southward and southward and southward, and westward and westward and
southward again."

"What a funny road!  I should get dead tired before I was halfway."

"So do we: then we look about for a ship or a rock, if at sea, and
alight to rest."

"And aren't you afraid the sailors may shoot you?"

"Oh no; for sailors do so love to see us on the yards.  [How true!
G.S.]  They dearly love us.  We remind them of England and their cottage
homes and their wives and little ones, and of apple orchards and flowery
meadows and crimson poppies in the fields of green waving corn, and all
kinds of beautiful things."

"No wonder they love you!"

"Yes; they do so love us; I've seen the tears start to the eyes of
little sailor lads as they gazed at us.  And I know the men tread more
lightly on the deck for fear of scaring us away."

"And when rested you just go on again?"

"Yes, on and on and on."

"I should lose my head."

"We don't--something seems to guide us onward."

"I suppose you see some terrible sights?  Have you seen a shipwreck?
_I_ should like to."

"Oh no, no, you would not.  If you once saw a shipwreck, or a ship
foundering at sea, you would never never forget it."

"Tell me."

"I cannot.  No one could.  But somehow it is usually at night we witness
these awful scenes.  I have seen a ship sailing silently over the
moonlit water, the yellow light streaming from her ports, and I have
heard the sounds of music and laughter, and the voices of glad children
at play.  And I have seen the same vessel, but a short hour after,
drifting on in the darkness to the pitiless rocks before a white squall.
Ah! white was the squall, white were the waves, but not more white than
the scared, dazed faces of those poor shrinking, moaning beings who
rushed on deck when she struck."

"What did you do?"

"Flew away.  Just flew away."

"Tell me more."

"What shall I tell you of?"

"About your own bright home in the far-off land."

"Shall I speak to you of the coralline sea that laves the tree-fringed
shores of Africa?"

"Yes, yes, tell me of that."

"Rippling up through the snakey roots of the mangrove trees, bathing the
green branches that stoop down to kiss them--oh! 'tis a lovely sea, when
the great sun shines, and the cyclone and squall are far away, calm and
soft and blue.  Yet not all blue, for on the coral flats it is a tender
green, and grey where the cloud shadows fall on it.  But all placid, all
warm and dreamy as if fairies dwelt in caves beneath.  Then the little
green islands seem to float above the sea as if only just let down from

"Sometimes great sharks float upwards from the dark depths beneath, and
bask on the surface with their fins above the water, and white sea-gulls
come and perch upon them just as starlings do on sheep at home."

"How strange!  Don't the sharks try to kill the birds?"

"No, they like it, and I think the birds sing to them and lull them to
sleep, or that they tell them tales of far-off lands as I am speaking
now to you.

"But on the coral reefs, where the sea, at a distance, looks so sweetly
green, if you were there in a boat and looked away down to the bottom,
oh! what a sight would be spread out before you!  A garden of shrubs and
waving flowers more lovely than anything ever seen on land."

"How I should like to go there!  But the interior of Africa is very
gorgeous too, is it not?"

"Yes, to us who can fly quickly from place to place, through flowery
groves, where birds and blossoms vie with each other in the beauty of
their colours, where the butterflies are like fans, of crimson and green
where the very lizards and every creeping thing, are adorned with
rainbow tints and ever-changing bright metallic sheen."

"There are dark corners, though, in this strange land of yours, are
there not?"

"Yes, dark, dark corners; but I must not tell you of these, of the deep
gloomy forest, where the gorilla howls, and wretched dwarfs have their
abode, or of the great swamp lands in which the dreadful crocodile and a
thousand other slimy creatures dwell, and where, in patches of forest,
the mighty anacondas sleep.  Nor of the wondrous deserts of sand, nor of
the storms that rise sometimes and bury caravans of camels and men
alive.  No, we swallows think only of the beauty of our African home, of
its roaring cataracts, its wooded hills, its peaceful lakes and broad
shining rivers, and of the glorious sunshine that gladdens all.

"But now I must go.  Pray let me free.  I have much to do before the
summer is over, and that kind something beckons me back again--back to
the land of the sun."

"Go, birdie, go, and some day I too will take my flight to the Land of
the Sun."



Harry Milvaine had aunts and uncles in abundance, and about as many
cousins as there are gooseberries on an ordinary-sized bush; for he had
first cousins and second and third cousins, and on and on to, I verily
believe, forty-second cousins.  They count kinship a long way off in the
Scottish Highlands.

And they used all to visit occasionally at Beaufort Hall.  They did not
all come at once, to be sure, else, if they had, there would have been
no beds to hold them.  They would have had to sleep in barns and byres,
under the hayricks and out on the heather.

Oh, it was no uncommon thing now for Harry to sleep on the heather.  On
summer nights he would often steal out through the casement window of
his bedroom, which opened on to the lawn, and go quietly away to a
healthy hill not far off.  Here he would pull a bundle of heather for a
pillow, and lie down rolled in his plaid with Eily in his arms and a
book in his hand.  As long as there was light he would read.  When it
grew semi-dark he would sleep, and awake in the morning as fresh as a

Once only he had what some boys would consider an ugly adventure.  On
awaking one morning he felt something damp and cold touch his knee--he
wore the kilt.  He quickly threw off the plaid, and there, close by him,
was an immense green-yellow snake.  The creature was coiled up somewhat
in the form of the letter W.  It was fully as thick as the neck part of
an ordinary violin, and it glittered all over as if varnished.  A
wholesome, healthy snake, I assure you.  He raised his head and hissed
at Harry.  That snake would have fain got away.  Very likely he had said
to himself the night before:

"I'll creep in here for warmth and get away again in the morning, before
the human being is awake."

But the snake had overslept himself and was caught napping.

Now there are two animals that do not like to turn tail when fairly
faced--a cat and a snake.  Both feel they are at a disadvantage when
running away.

I have often proved this with snakes.  Give them a fair offing, and they
will glide quickly off; but catch them unawares, and get close up to
them, and they will face you and fight.

Harry knew this and lay perfectly still.  Granting that these great
green-yellow Highland snakes are not poisonous, they _bite_, and it is
not nice to be bitten by a snake of any kind.

Just at that moment, however, Eily returned from the woods where she had
been hunting on her own account.  She took in the situation at a glance.
Next moment she had whirled the snake round her head and dashed it
yards away, where it lay writhing with a broken back.  Many dogs are
clever at killing snakes.  Then she came and licked her master's hand.

Every time any of Harry's aunts came they made this remark:

"How the boy does grow, to be sure!"  Every time one of Harry's uncles
came he made some such remark as this:

"He'll be as big a man as his father.  He is a true Highlander and a
true Milvaine."

Harry liked his uncles and aunts very well after a fashion, but he cared
little or nothing for his cousins.  Some of them called him the hermit.
Harry did not mind.  But he would coolly lock his garden gate and sit
down to read or to write, or begin working at his lathe, while his
cousins would be playing cricket in the paddock; then perhaps he would
come out, look for a moment, with an air of indifference, at the game,
then whistle on Eily and go off to the woods or the river.  This was
exceedingly inhospitable of Harry, I must confess, only I must paint my
hero in his true colours.

"Why don't you play with your cousins, dear?" his mother would ask.

"Oh, mamma!"  Harry would reply, "what _are_ they to me?  I have books,
a gun, and a fishing-rod, and I have Eily; what more should I want?"

The name of Hermit followed him to the parish school.  Our tale dates
back to the days before School Boards were thought of.

Harry was eleven now, and therefore somewhat too old for a governess.
So Miss Campbell had gone.  I'm afraid that Harry had already forgotten
his promise to marry her when he "grew a great big man."  At all events
he did not repeat it even when he kissed her good-bye.

What a long, long walk Harry had to that parish school!  How would the
average English boy like to trudge o'er hill and dale, through moor and
moss and forest, four long miles every morning?  But that is precisely
what Harry had to do, carrying with him, too, a pile of books one foot
high, including a large Latin dictionary.

Harry thought it delightful in summer; he used to start very early so as
to be able to study nature by the way, study birds and their nests,
study trees and shrubs and ferns and flowers.

Scottish schoolboy fashion, he took his dinner with him.  A meagre meal
enough, only some bread-and-butter in a little bag, and a tin of sweet
milk which he carried in his hand.

Eily always went along with him, but she waited at a neighbouring farm
until school came out in the forenoon, when she had part of Harry's
dinner; then she was invariably at the gate at four o'clock, and wild
with joy when the homeward journey commenced.

Several other boys went Harry's road for more than two miles, but it was
the custom of the "Hermit" to start off at a race with his dog as soon
as he got out, and never halt until he put a good half-mile betwixt
himself and the lads, who would gladly have borne him company.

No wonder he was called "Harry the Hermit!"

Dominie Roberts, the parish schoolmaster, was a pedagogue of the old
school.  And there exist many such in Scotland still.

He would no more think of teaching a class without the tawse in his
hand, than a huntsman would of entering the kennels without his whip.
As my English readers may not know what a "tawse" is, I herewith give
them a recipe for making one.

Take, then, a piece of leather two feet long, and one inch and a half
wide.  The leather ought to be the thickest a shoemaker can give you, of
the same sort as he makes the uppers of a navvy's boots with.  Now at
one end make a slit or buttonhole to pass two fingers through, and cut
up the other into three tags of equal breadth and about three inches

Then your tawse is complete, or will be so as soon as you have heated
the ends for a short time in the fire to harden them.

It is a fearful instrument of torture, as my experience can testify.  It
is not quite so much used in schools now, however, as it was thirty
years ago, when the writer was a boy.  But it _is_ still used.  Such a
thing as hoisting and flogging, I do not believe, was ever known in a
Scottish school.  It would result in mutiny.

You have to hold out your hand.  The teacher says "_Pande_" (in Latin).
Then he lets you have it again and again, sometimes till he is out of
breath, and your hands and wrists are all blistered.

I remember receiving six-and-thirty "pandeys," because I had smashed a
tyrant boy who had bullied me for months.  It was a cruel injustice; for
the bully got no punishment except that which I had given him.

Dominie Roberts was a pedagogue, then, of this class.

All the boys were afraid of him.  Harry was not.  Though only eleven
years of age, Harry was nearly as tall as the dominie.

There was a consultation one day as to who should steal the tawse.

No boy would venture, but at length--

"I will," said Harry.

"Hurrah! for the Hermit!" was the shout.

The dominie went out of the schoolroom every forenoon for half an hour
to smoke.  A pretty hubbub and din there was then, you may be sure.

The day after the theft of the tawse was determined on, as soon as the
pedagogue had stumped out of the school--he wore a wooden leg from the
knee--Harry went boldly up to the desk and seized the tawse.

"What shall I do with it?" he asked a schoolboy.

"Pitch it out of the window."

"_No_," cried another, "he would get it again.  Put it in the fire."

Harry did so, and covered it up with burning coals.

By and by back stumped the dominie.  He held his nose in the air and
sniffed.  There was a shocking smell of burning leather.

The dominie went straight to the fire, and with the poker discovered the
almost shapeless cinders of his pet tawse!

He grew red and white, time about, with rage.

"Who has done this thing?" he thundered.

No reply, and the dominie thumped on the floor with his wooden leg, and
repeated the question.

Still no answer.

"I shall punish the entire school," cried Dominie Roberts.

He stumped out again, and many of the boys grew pale with fear, and the
smaller ones began to cry.

Presently the dominie returned.  In his hand he bore a long piece of a
bridle rein, and this he fashioned into a tawse in sight of the whole
school.  Then he called the biggest class, and once more demanded the
name of the culprit.

No reply, but every lad in the class began to wet his hands and pull
down his sleeves.

"All hands up," was the terrible command.

The punishment was about to commence when forth stepped Harry the Hermit
into the middle of the circle.

"Stay a moment, if you please, sir," said Harry.

"You know, then, who committed the crime?" asked the dominie, sternly.

"I do; it was myself."

"And why?"

"Because the other boys wanted to, but were afraid."

"Which other boys?  Name them."

"I will not."

"_Pande_, sir, _Pande_."

Five minutes afterwards Harry staggered back to his seat, pale-faced and

He sat down beside his class-mate, and was soon so far recovered as to
be able to whisper--

"How many did I have?"

"Two-and-twenty," was the reply.  "I counted."

"And that new tawse is a tickler, I can tell you," said Harry.

He did not climb any trees that day going home.  He could not have held
on.  Nor was he able to eat much supper, but he did not tell the reason

But, apart from his fondness for corporal or palmar punishment, Dominie
Roberts was a clever teacher, and Harry made excellent progress.

Autumn came round, and stormy wet days, and many a cold drenching our
hero got, both coming to and going from school.  But he did not mind
them.  They only seemed to render him hardier and sturdier, and make his
cheeks the ruddier.

Then winter arrived "on his snow-white car," as poets say, and often
such storms blew that even grown-up people feared to face them.  But
Harry would not give in.  On evenings like these John would be
dispatched to meet Harry, and many an anxious glance from the
dining-room window would his mother cast, until she saw them coming up
the long avenue, Eily always first, feathering through the snow, and
barking for very joy as she neared the house.

Sometimes the roads would be so blocked with snow, that Harry found it
far more convenient to walk along on the top of the stone fences, often
missing his feet, and getting plunged nearly over his head in a

In the early part of January, 186-, I forget the exact day and date, one
of the most fierce and terrible snowstorms that old men ever remembered,
swept over the northern shires of Scotland.

When Harry left for school that morning there seemed little cause for
alarm.  There was no sunshine however, and the whole sky was covered by
an unbroken wall of blue-grey cloud.  Towards the forenoon snow began to
fall--a kind of soft hail like millet seeds.  The ground was hard and
dry to receive it, so it did not melt.

The schoolboys tried to mould it into snowballs, but it would not
"make," it would not stick together--evidence in itself that the frost
was intense.

Gradually this soft, fine hail changed to big, dry flakes.  Then the
wind began to rise, and moan around the chimneys, and go shrieking
through the leafless boughs of the ash trees and elms.  The snowfall
increased in density every minute.  Looking up through the falling
flakes, you could not have seen three yards.

Dominie Roberts at two o'clock began to get uneasy, and gave many an
anxious glance towards the windows, now getting quickly snowed up.  So
great, too, was the frost that, though a roaring fire of wood and peats
burned on the hearth, the panes were flowered and frozen.

At half-past two it began to get rapidly dark, so the dominie dismissed
his class with earnest injunctions to those boys who had far to go, not
to delay on the road, but to hurry home at once.

It might have been thought that on an evening like this, Harry would
have been glad of companionship on the road.  Not he.  He went off like
a young colt, with Eily galloping round him, as soon as ever he got
outside the gate.

The wind blew right in his face, however, and the drift was whirling
like smoke right over every fence.  The roads were also barricaded every
few yards with high wreaths of snow, blown off the fields and hills.

The wind blew wilder, and every minute the cold seemed to grow more and
more intense.

Harry's face and hands were blue and benumbed before he had gone a mile
and a half, Eily's coat was white and frozen hard; but on went the pair
of them, battling with the storm, Harry holding his head well down, and
keeping his plaid up over his nostrils.

Often he had to turn round and walk backwards by way of resting himself.

The snow-wreaths were most difficult to get through, the smoking drift
cutting his breath and nearly suffocating him.

So ere long his strength began to fail.  Hardy though he was, Highlander
though he was, bred and born among the wild, bleak mountains, and reared
in the forests, his powers of endurance gave out.

He crouched down and took the half-frozen dog in his arms.  He talked to
her as if she had been a human being, and the probability is that she
_did_ know what he said.

"Oh, Eily," he said, "I do feel tired."

The kindly collie licked his face.

"But come on," he cried, starting up again; "we must not give in.  We
have only about a mile and a half to go if we cross through the wood.
We'll soon get home.  Come on, Eily, come on."

In a short time he had reached the wood.  It was mostly spruce and fir,
and the branches were borne half to the ground with the weight of snow
at one side, while the other was bare, and the wind tearing through

He leaped the "dyke," [a stone fence] and was glad he had done so.
There was far more shelter here, and the blasts were less fierce and
cutting.  He walked faster now.  The wood was about half a mile wide.
Arrived at the other side, a path by a stone fence led all the way down
to his own home in the glen beneath.

He hurried on.  How strange the wood looked under its mantle of snow!
But he could not see any distance ahead owing to the drift.  Sometimes
the wind would catch a tree and roar through it, and for the moment he
would be almost suffocated with the smother of falling snow.

He had gone on quite a long way, when he suddenly came to a clearing.
He had never seen it before; never been here before.  Then the awful
truth flashed at once across the boy's mind--_he was lost_!

How long he wandered in the wood before he sank exhausted beside a tree
he never could tell.

Night and darkness came on, the storm roared through the wood with
ever-increasing force, but Harry knew nothing of it.  He slept--slept
that sleep that seldom knows a waking in this world.

And the drift banked up--the cruel drift--up around him.  It hid his
legs, his arms, his shoulders, and at last his head itself.

Still the snow fell and the wind blew.  It blew with a moaning,
whistling sound through the tall pine-trees, as it does through rigging
and cordage of a ship in a gale.  It blew with a rushing noise through
the closer-branched spruce trees, and ever in a momentary lull you might
have heard the frozen tips of the branches knocking together as if glass

It was a terrible night.

As usual on stormy evenings, stalwart John had gone to meet young Harry;
but he kept the road.  It never struck him that the boy would have
ventured through the wood in such a night.

Harry's parents were sitting in the parlour anxious beyond all
expression, when suddenly the quick, sharp, impatient bark of the collie
rang out high above the howling wind.

In she rushed whining when the door was opened.  But out she flew again.

"Oh, come quickly," she seemed to say, "and save poor young master!"

Mr Milvaine well knew what it meant.  Five minutes after, with lanterns
and poles, he and two trusty servants were following close at the honest
dog's heels.

Up the hill by the fence side, up and up and into the wood, and never
did the faithful animal halt until she led them to the tree where she
had left the boy.

For a moment or two now she seemed lost.  She went galloping round and
round the tree; while with their lanterns Mr Milvaine and his servants
looked in vain for poor Harry.

But back Eily came, and at once began to scrape in the snow.  Then
something dark appeared, and Eily barked for joy.

Her master was found.

Was he dead?  They thought so at first.  But the covering of snow had
saved him.

They poured a little brandy over his throat, wrapped him tenderly in a
Highland plaid, and bore him home.  Yet it was days before he spoke.

Dear reader, did ever you consider what a blessing our loving Father has
given us in a faithful dog?  How kind we ought to be, and how
considerate for the comfort of such a noble animal!  And ever as they
get older our thoughtfulness for their welfare and care of them ought to
increase.  Mind, too, that most good thinking men believe that dogs have
a hereafter.

"I canna but believe," says the Ettrick shepherd, in his broad Doric,
"that dowgs hae souls."

My friend, the Rev J.G. Wood, in his book called "Man and Beast," has
proved beyond dispute that there is nothing in Scripture against the
theory that the lower animals will have a hereafter.

And note how the goodly poet Tupper writes about his dear dog Sandy:

  "Shall noble fidelity, courage and love,
      Obedience and conscience--all rot in the ground?
  No room be found for them beneath or above,
      Nor anywhere in all the universe round?
  Can Fatherhood cease? or the Judge be unjust?
      Or changefulness mark any counsel of God?
  Shall a butterfly's beauty be lost in the dust?
      Or the skill of a spider be crushed as a clod?

  "I cannot believe it: Creation still lives;
      The Maker of all things made nothing in vain:
  The Spirit His gracious ubiquity gives,
      Though seeming to die, ever lives on again.
  We `rise with our bodies,' and reason may hope
      That truth, highest truth, may sink humbly to this,
  That `Lo, the poor Indian' was wiser than Pope
      When he longed for his dog to be with him in bliss!"



From what I have already told the reader about Harry Milvaine, it will
readily be gathered that he was a lad of decided character and of some
considerable determination.  A boy, too, who was apt to take action at
the first touch of the spur of a thought or an idea.

What I have now to relate will, I think, prove this still further.

He left his uncle--a younger brother of his mother--and his father one
evening talking in the dining-room.  He had bidden them good-night and
glided away upstairs to bed.  He was partially undressed before he
noticed that he had left a favourite book down in the library.

So he stole silently down to fetch it.

He had to pass the dining-room door, and in doing so the mention of his
own name caused him to pause and listen.

Listeners, they say, seldom hear any good about themselves.  Perhaps
not, but the following is what Harry heard:

"Ha!" laughed Uncle Robert, "I tell you, brother, I'd do it.  That would
take the fun out of him.  That would knock all notions of a sailor's
life out of the lad.  It has been done before, and most successfully
too, I can tell you."

"And," replied Harry's father, "you would really advise me to--"

"I would really advise you to do as I say," said uncle, interrupting his
brother-in-law.  "I'd send him to sea for a voyage in a whaler.  They
sail in February, and they return in May--barely three months, you see."

"Indeed, then I do think I'll take your advice.  But his mother loves
the dear, brave boy so, that I'm sure she'll feel the parting very

"Well, well, my sister'll soon get over that."

Harry stayed to hear no more.  He went back to his room without the
book, and, instead of going to bed, lay down upon his sofa with the
intention of what he called "doing a good think."

For fully an hour he lies there with his round eyes fixed on the

Then he starts up.

"Yes," he cries, half aloud, "I'll do it, I'll do it.  My father will
see whether I have any courage or not."

He goes straight to the little money-box kennel that stood on the

The canary and pigeon business had been profitable with Harry for some
time past.

He was very wealthy indeed.  More so even than he imagined, for now when
he counted his horde it ran up to 4 pounds, 15 shillings, 6 pence.

"Splendid!" said Harry to himself; "I couldn't have believed I was so

Then he knelt down and said his prayers, far more fervently than he was
wont to do.  Especially did he pray for blessings to fall on his dear
mother and father.

"I don't think it is quite right," he said to himself, "what I am going
to do, but it will be all right again in a few months."

He lay down in bed and slept soundly for hours.  But the stars were
still shining thickly when he awoke and looked out of the window.

There was snow on the ground, hard, crisp snow.

Harry lit his candle, then he got out his small writing-case, and, after
some time and considerable pains, succeeded in writing a letter, which
he carefully folded and addressed.

Young though he was--with his tiny fowling-piece--a gift from one of his
uncles--the boy could tumble either rabbit or hare, or bring down a bird
on the wing, but he was not particularly clever with the pen.  I wish I
could say that he was.

He now got a small bag out of the cupboard, and into this he put a
change of clothes.  Having washed and dressed, he was ready for the

He opened his door quietly, and walked silently along the passage, boots
in hand.  He had to pass his mother's room door.  His heart beat high,
it thumped against his ribs so that he could almost hear it.  How he
would have liked to have gone in, and kissed his dear mother good-bye!
But he dared not.

Not until he was quite out of doors among the snow did he put on his
boots.  Eily, not knowing him, made a rush, barking and fiercely

"Hush, Eily! hush!" he cried; "it's me, it's Harry, your master."

Eily changed her tune now, and also her attitude.  The hair that had
been standing up all along her back was smoothed down at once, and as
the boy bent to tie his boots she licked his hands and cheek.  The poor
dog seemed really to know that something more than usual was in the

There was a glimmer of light in the east, but the stars everywhere else
were still very bright.

Harry stood up.

Eily sat motionless, looking eagerly up into his face, and her eyes
sparkled in the starlight.

She was waiting for her master's invitation to go along with him.  One
word would have been enough to have sent her wild with joy.

"Where can he be going?" she was asking herself.  "Not surely to the
forest at this time of night!  But wherever he goes, I'll go too."

"Eily," said the boy, seriously, even sadly, "I'm going away, far, far

The dog listened, never moving ear nor tail.

"And, Eily, you _cannot_ come with me, dear, dear doggie."

Eily threw herself at his feet, or rather fell; she looked lost in

He patted her kindly.

This only made matters worse.  She thought he was relenting, that his
words had been only spoken in fun.  She jumped up, sprang on his
shoulder, licked his ear, then went gambolling round and round him, and
so made her way to the gate.

It was very apparent, however, that all these antics were assumed, there
was no joy at the dog's heart.  She was but trying to overcome her
master's scruples to take her along with him.

Harry followed her to the gate.

"It must not be, Eily," he said again; "I'm going where you cannot come.
But I will come back, remember that."

His hand was on her head, and he was gazing earnestly down at her.

"Yes, I'll come back in a few months, and you will meet me, oh! so
joyfully.  Then we'll roam and rove and run in the beautiful forest once
more, and fish by the river, and shoot on the moorland and hill.
Goodbye, Eily.  Be good, and watch.  Good-bye, goodbye."

A great tear fell on Eily's mane as he bent down and kissed her brow.

Eily stood there by the gate in the starlight, watching the dark
retreating figure of her beloved young master, until a distant corner
hid him from view, and she could see him no more.

Then she threw herself down on the snow; and, reader, if you could have
heard the big, sobbing sigh she gave, you would believe with me, that
the mind of a dog is sometimes almost human, and their griefs and
sorrows very real.

Hastily brushing the tears from his eyes, Harry made the best of his way
along the road, not daring to look behind him, lest his feelings should
overcome him.

He kept repeating to himself the words he had heard his uncle make use
of the evening before.  This kept his courage up.  When he had gone
about a mile he left the main road and turned into a field.  A little
winding church-path soon brought him to a wooded hollow, where there was
a very tiny cottage and garden.

He opened the gate and entered.

He went straight to the right-hand window, and, wetting his forefinger,
rubbed it up and down on the pane.

The noise it made was enough to awaken some one inside, for presently
there was a cough, and a voice said--

"Who's there?"

"It is I, Andrew: rise, I want to speak to you."

"Man! is it you, Harry?  I'll be out in a jiffy."

And sure enough a light was struck and a candle lit.  Harry could see
poor faithful Andrew hurrying on his clothes, and in two minutes more he
had opened the door and admitted his young friend.

"Man!  Harry," he said, "you scared me.  You are early on the road.
Have ye traps set in the forest?  D'ye want me to go wi' ye?"

"No such luck, Andrew," replied the boy.  "I've no traps set.  I won't
see the forest for many a long day again."

"Haud your tongue, man!" cried Andrew, looking very serious and
pretending to be angry.  "Haud your tongue.  Are ye takin' leave o' your
reason?  What have ye in that bag?  Why are ye no dressed in the kilt,
but in your Sunday braws?"

Then Harry told him all--told him of the determination he had for many a
day to go to sea, and of the conversation he had overheard on the
previous evening.

Andrew used all the arguments he could think of or muster to dissuade
him from his purpose, and enlarged upon the many dangers to be
encountered on the stormy main, as he called it, but all to no purpose.

"Mind ye," said Andrew, "I've been to sea myself, and know something
about it."

Honest, innocent Andrew, all the experience he had of the stormy main
was what he had gained in a six hours' voyage betwixt Granton and

But when Andrew found that nothing which he could adduce made the
slightest impression on his young friend, he pulled out his snuff-horn,
took two enormously large pinches, and sat down in silence to look at

The boy pulled out a letter from his breast-pocket.

"This is for my dear mother," he said.  "Give it to her to-day.  Tell
her how sorry I was to go away.  Tell her--tell her--."

Here the boy fairly broke down, and sobbed as if his heart would break.

My hero crying?  Yes, I do not feel shame for him either.  The soldier
or sailor, ere journeying far away to foreign lands, is none the less
brave if he does pause on the brow of the hill, and, looking back to his
little cottage in the glen, drop a tear.

Do you remember the words of the beautiful song--

  "Mid pleasures and palaces tho' we may roam,
  Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
  A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
  Which, seek thro' the world, is ne'er met elsewhere.

  "An exile from home, splendour dazzles in vain,
  Oh! give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
  The birds singing gaily that came at my call,
  And give me the peace of mind dearer than all?"

Andrew, when he saw Harry crying, felt very much inclined to join him.
There was a big lump in his throat that he could hardly gulp down.  But
then Andrew was a bit simple.

Harry jumped up presently and took two or three strides up and down the
floor of the little room, and so mastered his grief.

"It won't be for such a very long time, you know, Andrew," he said.

"No," said Andrew, brightening up.  "And I'll look after your garden,

"Thank you, Andrew, and the turning lathe and the tools?"

"I'll see to them.  You'll find them all as bright as new pins on your

"And my pets, Andrew?"


"Well, look after those too.  Sell them all as soon as you can--rats,
mice, guinea-pigs, and pigeons, and all."


"And, Andrew, keep the money you get for them to buy snuff."

"Good-bye, Andrew."

"Good-bye.  Mind you take care of yourself."

"I'll do that for my mother's sake."

Andrew pressed Harry's soft hand between his two horny palms for just a

"God bless you, Harry!" he muttered.

He could not trust himself to say more, his heart was too full.

Then away went Harry, grasping his stick in his hand and trudging on
manfully over the hills, with his face to the east.

By and by the sun rose, and with it rose Harry's spirits.  He thought no
more of the past.  That was gone.  He felt a man now; he felt he had a
future before him, and on this alone he permitted his thoughts to rest.

Now I do not mean to vindicate that which my hero has done--quite the
reverse.  Obedience to the wishes of his parents is a boy's first duty.

Still, I cannot help thinking that my young hero had a bold heart in his

See him now, with the sun glinting down on his ruddy face, on which is a
smile, and on his stalwart figure; he is more like a boy of fifteen than
a child under twelve.  How firm his tread on the crisp and dazzling
snow, how square his shoulders, how springy and lithe his gait and
movement!  No, I'm not ashamed of my hero.  Hear him.  He is singing--

  "There is many a man of the Cameron clan
      That has followed his chief to the field,
  And sworn to support him or die by his side,
      For a Cameron never can yield.

  "The moon has arisen, it shines on that path,
      Now trod by the gallant and true--
  High, high are their hopes, for their chieftain has said,
      That whatever men dare they can do.
          I hear the pibroch, sounding, sounding,
          Deep o'er the mountains and glens,
      While light-springing footsteps are trampling the heath--
          'Tis the march of the Cameron men."

Poor brave, but rather wayward, boy! the gallant ship is even now lying
in Lerwick Bay that soon shall bear him far o'er Arctic seas.




Very picturesque and beautiful does the Greenland fleet of the sealers
and whalers appear from any of the neighbouring hills which enclosed
Lerwick Sound in their midst, giving it the appearance of some great
Highland lake.  The dark blue rippling water is to-day--as Harry gazes
on it--studded with threescore gallant ships, many of them steamers, but
each and all having tall and tapering masts.  Then the bare, treeless,
rugged mountains; the romantic little town with its time-worn fort; the
boats flitting hither and thither like birds on the water, and lofty Ben
Brassa--capped in snow--looking down upon all, form a scene of
impressive beauty and quiet grandeur that once beheld is not easily

The town, however, like many others in this world, looks immensely
better at a distance than it does upon close inspection.  The streets,
or rather lanes, are close and confined.  Indeed, there is but one
principal street, which is transversed by a multitude of lanes, which on
one side lead down to the sea, and on the other scramble up a steep
hill.  And in the rainy season these lanes are converted into brawling
streams which pour their roaring floods down into the tide-way.

The houses in the street are built in the Danish or Scandinavian style,
and are mostly built with their gables to the front, while at every ten
or twelve yards' distance, one of these buildings stands threateningly
forth across the path in a thus-far-shalt-thou-go sort of fashion,
giving to the street a very awkward appearance, and on dark nights
seriously endangering the noses of the pedestrians.

Harry had come by steamboat from Aberdeen, to which fair granite city he
had trudged all the way on foot.  He had to harbour his funds, rich and
all though he thought himself, and I believe that during all that long,
weary walk to the city, he subsisted almost entirely on bread and cheese
washed down with milk.  But he was young and strong and hardy.

He had taken steerage fare to Lerwick, and no sooner had he ensconced
himself on the locker than he fell sound asleep, and never lifted his
head for twelve whole hours.

In most books of travel by sea the author says nothing about
seasickness.  This is something very real and very dreadful
nevertheless.  There is no cure for it, nor ever will be, till the world
is at an end.  Only its effects can be mitigated by fresh air and
exercise on deck.  One must fight the fearful malady, and, as you fight
it, it will flee from you.  Intending sailor-boys would do well to
remember this.

The passage to Lerwick had been a stormy one; unable to remain below,
owing to the heat and the unsavoury nature of the atmosphere, Harry had
gone on deck.  It was night, but there was never a star to be seen, only
the blackness of darkness overhead, pierced by the white light that
streamed from the funnel, only the wild waves on every side, their white
crests flashing and shimmering here and there as if they were living
monsters.  Sometimes one would hit the ship with a dull, dreary thud,
and the spray would dash on board, and anon the steamer would duck her
head and ship a great green sea that came tumbling aft, carrying
everything movable before it, and drenching every one to the skin whom
it met in its passage.

Poor Harry was too sick and ill to care much what became of him.

He had crawled in under a tarpaulin, and there, with his head on a coil
of ropes, fallen soundly asleep once more.

It was a painful first experience of the sea, and to tell you the truth,
even at the expense of my young hero's reputation, more than once he
_almost_ wished he had not left his Highland home.  Almost, but not

And now here he was standing looking down from a hill-top, and wishing
himself safe and sound on board one of these stately Greenland ships.
But how to get there?

That was the difficulty.

There was no great hurry for a week.  He had secured cheap lodgings in a
quiet private house, so he must keep still and think fortune might
favour him.

The object of the captains of these Greenland whalers in lying for a
time at Lerwick is to ship additional hands, for here they can be
obtained at a cheaper rate than in Scotland.

All day the streets were crowded to excess with seamen, and at night the
place was like a bedlam newly let loose.  It was not a pleasant scene to
look upon.

Now Harry Milvaine had read so much, that he knew quite a deal about the
manners and customs of seafarers, and also of the laws that govern
ships, their masters, and their crews.

"If I go straight to the captain of some ship," he said to himself, "and
ask him to take me, then, instead of taking me, he will hand me over to
the authorities, and they will send me home.  That would not do."

For a moment, but only a moment, it crossed his mind to become a

But there was something most abhorrent in the idea.  A mean, sneaking
stowaway!  Never.

"I'll do things in a gentlemanly kind of way, whatever happens," he said
to himself.

Well, anyhow, he would go and buy some addition to his outfit.  He had
read books about Greenland, and he knew what to purchase.  Everything
must be rough and warm.

When he had made his purchases he found he had only thirty shillings
remaining of all his savings.

As he was bargaining for a pair of thick mitts a gentleman entered the
shop and bade the young woman who had been serving Harry a kindly good

"What can I do for you to-day, Captain Hardy?" asked the woman, with a

"Ah! well," returned the captain, "I really didn't want anything, you
know.  Just looked in to have a peep at your pretty face, that's all."

"Oh, Captain Hardy, you're not a bit changed since you were here last

"No, Miss Mitford, no; the seasons may change, but Captain Hardy--never.
Well, I'll have a couple of pairs of worsted gloves; no fingers in
them, only a thumb."

"Anything else?"

"Come, now to think of it, May-day will come before many months, and--"

"Oh, sly Captain Hardy," said Miss Mitford, with a bit of a blush, "you
want some ribbons to hang on the garland [Note 1].  Now I daresay you
have quite a pocketful, the gifts of other young ladies."

"'Pon honour, Miss Mitford, I--"

"No more, Captain Hardy.  There?" she added, handing him a little
packet, "they are of all the new colours, too."

"Well, well, well, I daresay they are delightfully pretty, but I'm sure
I sha'n't remember the names of one-half of them."

"And when do you sail?"

"Oh, I was going to tell you.  The _Inuita_ is going first this year.
Will be first among the seals, Miss Mitford, and first home."

"And I trust with a full ship."

"God bless you for saying that, my birdie.  Well, we're off the day
after to-morrow at four o'clock.  Good-bye; come and see you again
before I sail."

And off dashed Captain Hardy of the good ship _Inuita_.

A great kindly-eyed man he was, with an enormous brown beard, which I
daresay he oiled, for it glittered in the winter sunshine like the back
of a boatman beetle.

"One of the best-hearted men that ever lived," said Miss Mitford to
Harry, as soon as he was gone; "strict in discipline, though; but his
officers and men all love him, and he has the same first mate every
year.  May Providence protect the dear man, for he has a wild and stormy
sea to cross!"

Harry soon after left the shop.

"The _Inuita_," he said to himself--"the _Inuita_, Captain Hardy, sails
the day after to-morrow at four o'clock.  Well, I'll try, and if I fail,
then--I must fail, that's all."

This was on a Thursday, next day was Friday.  On this day it is supposed
to be unlucky to sail.  At all events, Captain Hardy did not mean to.
Not that he was superstitious, but his men might be, and sure enough, if
they afterwards came to grief in any way, they would lose heart and make
such remarks as the following:

"Nothing more than we could have expected."

"What luck _could_ happen to us, when we sailed on a Friday?"

Captain Hardy was a man who always kept a promise and an appointment.
He had told his mate that he would sail on Saturday at two in the
afternoon, and his mate got all ready long before that time.

The captain was dining with friends on shore.

About half-past one a boat with two lazy-looking Shetland men pulled off
to the ship.

"Well," cried Mr Menzies, the mate, "bright young men you are!  Why
weren't you here at twelve o'clock, eh?  There, don't answer; for'ard
with you.  Don't dare to speak, or I'll take a belaying-pin to you."

About a quarter before two another boat was seen coming off.

"More Shetlanders, I suppose," said the mate to the spectioneer.

"I don't think so.  There is only the boatman and a lad, and the lad has
an oar.  You never see a Shetlander take an oar, if he can help it."

"By gum! though," cried the mate, enthusiastically, "that youngster does
pull nimbly.  Why he feathers his oar like one of an Oxford eight!"

"He seems a genteel lad," replied the spectioneer; "but it won't do to
tell him he rows well.  Make him too proud, and spoil him."

"Trust _me_," said the mate, with a grim smile.  "I'll talk to him in
quite a different fashion."

He lowered his brows as he spoke, and tried to look old and fierce.

"Boat there!" he shouted, as she was nearly alongside.

"Ay, ay, sir," sang Harry, standing up and saluting.

Harry believed this was the correct thing to do, and he was not _very_
far wrong.

"What do you mean, sir, by coming here at this time of day?  The orders
were, Mr Young Griffin, that every one should be on board by ten
o'clock this forenoon; and look you here, I've a jolly good mind to
bundle you on shore again, bag and baggage."

"Don't, sir," began Harry; "I wish to--"

"Don't answer me.  Up you tumble.  Here, one o' you greenhorns, standing
there with your fingers in your mouths, up with the boy's bag, and send
it below."

"If you please, sir, I want to speak with the captain, I--"

"Oh, you do, do you?" sneered the mate, in a mocking tone.  "He wants to
speak to the captain, does he?  Perhaps he wants to make a complaint,
and say the first mate scolded him.  Never been to sea before, poor boy.
Has he brought his feather-bed and his night-cap, and a bottle of hot
water to put at his feet?  A pretty ticket you'd be to go and speak to
the captain."

"But, sir, I--"

"_Don't_ answer me," cried the mate, talking now in a loud, commanding
voice.  "If you say as much as one word more, or half a word, I'll
rope's-end you within an inch of your life.  Now for'ard you fly.  Down
below till we're clear off.  You are no use on deck.  Only have your
toes tramped."

Harry opened his mouth to speak.

The mate made a rush for a rope.

Harry ran, and dived down the fore-hatch.

There was a little old man poking the huge galley fire and stirring soup
with a ladle at one and the same time.  He had no more hair on his head
than the lid of a copper kettle, and he did not wear a cap either.

"Are you the cook?" said Harry.

"No, I'm the doctor."  [Greenlandmen usually call the cook "doctor."]

"Well, doctor," began Harry, "I want to tell you something.  I'm in a
very queer position--"

"Don't bother _me_!" roared the grim old man, turning so fiercely round
on him, ladle in hand, that Harry started and quaked with fear.  "Don't
bother _me_," he roared, "or I'll pop you into the boiling copper, then
you'll be in a queerer position."

Harry fell back.  He did not know well what to do.  So he went and sat
down on a locker.

Presently past came a young sailor.

"I say, common sailor!" cried Harry.

The youth turned sharply round.

"I'm in a queer position."

The youth pulled him clean off the locker and threw him straight across
the deck, where he lay nearly stunned and doubled up.

"That's a queerer position, ain't it, eh?  Well, don't you come for to
go to call me a common sailor again, drat ye."

A great mastiff dog came along and licked Harry's face, and then lay
down beside him.  Harry put an arm round the noble dog's neck and patted
and caressed him.

By and by there arose on deck an immense noise and shouting, rattling of
chains, and trampling of feet, and high above all this din the merry
notes of a fiddle and a fife, playing lively airs.  [When heaving
windlass or capstan in Greenland ships the fiddler is nearly always
ordered to play.]

Said Harry to himself, "It is evident they are having a dance, and no
doubt they will keep it up quite a long time.  Well, there is little
chance of the ship sailing to-night.  By and by I'll slip quietly up and
go straight to the captain's cabin and tell him all and ask him to take

Then he began to think of home, of his mother and father, of Eily and of
Andrew--and in a few minutes, lo and behold! our hero was fast asleep.

When he awoke it was inky dark where he lay, only at some distance he
could see the glimmer of the galley fire, and see the old, bald cook
moving about at his duties.

The great dog still lay beside him, and some kind hand had thrown a rug
over the pair of them.

But the vessel was no longer still, she was slowly pitching and rolling,
in a way that told Harry, novice though he was, that they were at sea.

There was no noise on deck now, only occasionally the steady tread of
heavy footsteps was audible, or the flop-flap of canvas, or a quick,
sharp word of command, followed by an "Ay, ay, sir," and the rattling of
the rudder-chains.

"Heaven help me!" said Harry to himself.  "I was in a queer position
before, I'm in a queerer now.  Oh! dear me, dear me, I'll be taken for a

This thought so overcame him, that he almost burst into tears.

Some time afterwards there came towards him with a lantern a red-haired
and red-bearded little man.  He had a kind and smiling face.  He bent
down, and Harry sat up on his elbow.

"Don't move, my sonny," he said.  "You'll be a bit sick, I suppose?"


"No?  Well, I've brought you a bit of a sandwich, and I don't know whose
watch you're in, but we always give green hands some days' grace.  I'm
the second mate, and I advise you not to turn out to-night, but just to
eat your supper and lie still till eight bells in the morning watch."

"But oh, sir," cried Harry, "I'm in such a queer position!"

"I'll remedy that," said the second mate.

Away he went, and in a minute back he came again, and in his hand a huge
flock pillow.  This he placed under Harry's head and shoulders.

"There," he said, "that's a better position.  Keep still and you won't
get sick, and Harold there will keep you warm."

"Is the dog's name Harold?"

"Yes, boy."

"And mine is Harry.  How strange!"

"Well, there are two of you.  Good-night, sonny."  And off went the
fiery-whiskered but kindly little second mate.


Note 1.  In Greenland ships, on May-day, there is great rejoicing, and a
garland bedecked with ribbons--every one contributing--is hung from the
stays high aloft.



Harry awoke next morning cold and shivering; his companion, Harold, the
mastiff, had left him.  He started up.  It was broad daylight, and the
men were having breakfast, and chaffing and laughing, and all as happy
as sailors can be.

It was not long before he noticed his friend the second mate coming
below, so he started up and went to meet him.

"What cheer, my sonny!" said Wilson--for that was his name.

"Come along through to the half-deck," he continued, "and have some
coffee.  That'll put you straight."

He led Harry on deck.

The sea seemed mountains high.  Great green waves, with combing, curling
tops, that every moment threatened the good ship with destruction, so it
seemed to Harry.

"What an awful sea?"

"Awful sea, sonny?" laughed Mr Wilson.  "Call that an awful sea?  Ha!
ha!  Wait a bit, my boy."

They went down another ladder into the second officer's quarters.  Here
also lived the spectioneer or third mate, the carpenter, and the cooper,
and an extra gunner.

A rough kind of a cabin, with a table in the middle a stove with a
roaring fire in it, and bunks all round.

"Mates," said Mr Wilson, "this is the youngster I was speaking about;
I'm going to have him in my watch.  He doesn't know much; in fact, I
don't think he knows he's born yet."

"What's your name, sonny?"

"Harold Milvaine."

"Well, Harold Milvaine, have some breakfast; you look as white as a
churchyard deserter."

"Because--because I've such a dreadful story to tell you."

"Well, eat first."

Harry did so, and felt better.

"Now sit down on the locker, put your toes to the fire.  That's right.
Now, heave round with this dreadful yarn of yours.  Listen, mates."

Without a moment's hesitation, though looking very serious, Harry told
them all his story from the commencement.

"Well," said the mate, "it isn't so very dreadful after all, but I think
you ought to see Captain Hardy at once.  What say you, mates?"

"That's right," said the carpenter; "I'd go at once."

The captain was in his cabin, and kindly bade them both sit down.

Then, at the instigation of the second mate, Harry told all his story
over again.

"A plain, unvarnished tale," said Captain Hardy, when he had finished.
"There is truth in the lad's eyes, Mr Wilson.  But tell me, youngster,
why did you not explain to the mate the purpose for which you came on

"He would not let me say one single word, sir."

"True enough," said the mate, coming out of his state-room laughing.
"The boy is right, sir; I took him for some hand you had engaged and
sent him flying for'ard."

"But look here, lad, when you heard us stamping round and heaving in the
anchor, why did you not come up and speak to me?  I would have put you
on shore again at once."

"Oh, thank you, sir, but I didn't know.  I heard music, and I thought
you were all dancing, and wouldn't sail till Monday, and then--I fell

"Ha! ha! ha! there will be little dancing in our heads, boy, till we're
full to the hatches with skins and blubber; then we'll dance, won't we,

"That we will, sir."

"Well, well, boy, it is curious.  I'm half inclined to be angry, but I
daresay you couldn't help it.  And I don't know what to do with you."

"Oh, I don't want wages; only just let me remain in the ship."

"Let you remain in the ship?  Why, what else can I do?  We'll never
touch land again, lad, till we go back to Lerwick.  Do you think I'd
pitch you overboard as they did Jonah?"

"As for wages," he continued, "nobody stops in my ship that isn't paid.
But tell me now, I seem to know your face--have I seen you before?"

"I saw you at Miss Mitford's, sir."

"Whew-w-w," whistled the captain, "that accounts for the milk in the

"She gave you some beautiful rib--"

"That'll do, boy, that'll do," cried Captain Hardy, interrupting him.
"Well I'll rate you as second steward, and as you say you want to learn
to be a sailor you can join the second mate's watch."

"I'll have him, sir," said Wilson, briskly.

Harry's heart was too full to speak, but from that moment he determined
to do his duty and prove his gratitude.

Duty! what a sacred thing it is, and how noble the man or boy who never
shirks it, be that duty what it may!

  Duty--though thy lot be lowly,
      God's broad arrow though art seen,
  Making very triflers holy,
      And exalting what were mean;
  In this thought the poor may revel,
      That, obeying Duty's word,
  Lowliness is on a level
      With my lady or my lord.

Captain Hardy soon found out Harry's worth.  He could trust him
implicitly, for the boy was far too manly to tell a falsehood, even to
hide a fault.

The worthy captain, however, seemed really astonished when the boy told
him he was not twelve years of age.

He had guessed him at nearly sixteen.

"Never mind," he said, with a smile, "you've been growing too fast,
you've been growing to the length.  The cold will alter that, and you'll
grow to the breadth."

Cold?  It was indeed cold, and the farther north the good ship went the
colder it got, the more fiercely blew the wind, and the higher and
wilder were the seas.  Harry slept in a bunk in the half-deck, and used
to amuse his mates by telling them stories, composed on the spot; he had
an excellent imagination, and on these occasions made good use of it.

The fire was kept in all the livelong night, but, notwithstanding, the
bunks and the counterpane used to be thickly snowed over long before
morning with the frozen breath of the sleepers.

The days were terribly short, and the nights dark and gloomy in the

About a week after the good ship sailed she fell in with streams, first
of wet snow, then of small pieces of ice that cannonaded against the
ship's side with a terrific noise.

Now the crow's nest or look-out barrel was hoisted at the main-truck.

Harry astonished the second mate, and every one who saw him, by getting
up to this giddy altitude the very second day.

The captain had been up there for hours and sang down for a cup of

The steward was too much of a landsman to venture, so Harry volunteered.

"_My_ sonny," said Wilson, "you'll break your neck."

"I've climbed trees as tall as that in Benbuie forest," was Harry's

The warm coffee was put in a tin bottle, and up Harry spun with it.
Hand over hand he went with all the agility of a monkey.

He sat in the nest till the captain had finished.  Sat delightedly too,
for the sea-scape, visible all around, was splendid, and he had a
feeling that he was flying in the air with no ship beneath him whatever,
as happy and free as the wild sea-birds that were whirling and screaming
around him in the sky.  The lovely sea-gulls, the malleys, the dusky
skuas, and the snow-white sea-swallows--they charmed Harry beyond


But a fierce gale of wind blew from the north-east, and lying to, the
_Inuita_ was drifted away off from the ice and far, far out of her

This gale continued for ten days off and on.  Boats were smashed, a
top-mast carried away, the bulwarks were splintered, and two poor
fellows were washed overboard.

Their cries for assistance--the assistance that none could render them--
were heart-rending.  They were both strong swimmers, which only made the
bitterness of death ten times more bitter.

But the sky cleared at last, the wind blew fair, and in ten days more
they had sighted the main pack of ice lying to the north and east of the
lonely island of Jan Mayen.  Named after its discoverer--rugged, rocky,
and snowy--it rises boldly from the frozen sea, and after forming a
number of smaller hills, or rather mountains, shoots abruptly into the
clear icy sky to a height of 6,000 feet, shaped like a cone or an
immense loaf of sugar.  Although volcanic fires once have gleamed from
the lofty summit of this mountain, old King Winter now sits here alone,
Vulcan has deserted him, without leaving him a spark to heat his toes.
This is indeed the throne of King Winter, and looking down, his cold eye
scans his icy region, stretching for many and many a mile over the
Greenland sea.  On this isle of desolation few have ever trod, and the
few who have visited it have no desire to return.  Around its crags
flutters the snow-bird, and the ice-bear crouches in his den among its
rocks; the great black seal, the sea-horse, and the lonely walrus float
around it, or find shelter near it from the storm or tempest; but
nothing else of life is ever found on its deserted and inhospitable

Seals were seen on the ice the very next day, and the work of
destruction commenced.  It was a sickening scene.  So thought young

Many years ago the present writer described it in the following

Great is the cruelty practised during young sealing.  Seldom do the men
take time to kill the creatures they catch, but set about flaying them
alive, and a young seal is so much more pretty and innocent-looking than
even a lamb.  This they say they do to save time, but could they not
kill so many seals first, say a thousand, and then commence to flay
those first struck, which would then be quite dead?  As an experiment, I
have seen the flayed body, red and quivering, thrown into the sea, and
seen it swim with its own mother beside it.  This is no exaggeration,
and any sealer will tell you the same.  It is strange why the sight of
blood should stimulate men to acts of cruelty; but it is none the less a
fact, for I have seen men on these occasions behaving with all the
brutality of wild beasts.

One could not easily fancy a scene more impressive and wild than that
which is presented by the crews of a few ships at work on the ice.  The
incessant moaning of the innocent victims, mingled with the laugh and
joke of their murderers; the timid and affrighted, although loving look
of the mothers, so different from the earnest, blood-thirsty stare of
the authors of their grief.  Some are flaying; some are stabbing; some
are dragging the fruits of their labour towards the ships; and some are
drinking at the ship's side; but over all there is blood--blood on the
decks, blood on the bulwarks; the men's hands are steeped in it, and the
blood is dripping from their clothes.  The snow--the beautiful snow,
which but yesterday sparkled and glittered in the sunshine, as only the
snows of Greenland can, to-day is deluged in blood.  Nothing but blood,
blood wherever we look!  The meat which the men are eating and the glass
from which they are drinking are bloody; and the very rudder-wheel has
been touched by bloody hands.  But then there is joy in that bloody
scene--joy to master and joy to man; and the sight of the blood proves a
stimulant for still greater exertions and more cruelty.

Yes, it is years since I wrote in this strain, but the cruelties go on
now as then.  Oh! boys of happy England, raise your voices whenever
opportunity occurs against cruelty and against oppression of every kind,
whether against the tyranny that crushes the poor that the rich may live
luxuriously, or cowardly crime that ties a helpless dog or cat to the
vivisection table.

Harry managed to endear himself to all hands.  He was, indeed, the
favourite of the ship.  But he did not neglect his education; Mr Wilson
was a good teacher of practical navigation and practical ship's work,
and in a month or two he had made a man of Harry, or a sailor at all

Captain Hardy soon found out that the boy could shoot, so he gave him a
short, light double-barrelled rifle, and Harry used to go out regularly
to stalk seals, when the old sealing commenced.  Dangerous work at
times, and our hero had more than one ducking by slipping into the sea
between the icebergs.

The dog Harold always went with the boy Harry, and although mastiffs are
not called water-dogs, still on one occasion, when his young master fell
into the sea, dog Harold sprang after him, and supported him until
assistance came.

Harry's opportunity of proving his gratitude came soon after this.

While out walking one day with the dog, they were suddenly startled by
the awful roar of a huge bear.  The brute appeared immediately after
from behind a hummock of ice, and prepared for instant action.

The great mastiff's hair stood on end with rage, from skull to tail.  He
gave Bruin no time to think, but sprang at once for his throat.

It was indeed an unequal contest, and would speedily have been all over
had not young Harry shown both pluck and presence of mind.  He rushed
forward, and, biding his chance, fired both barrels of his rifle at once
into the bear's neck behind the ear.

He actually clapped the muzzle there before he drew the triggers.

What mattered it that the recoil threw him on his back, Bruin was slain,
and Harold the dog was saved, though sadly wounded and torn.

Before the month of May the _Inuita_ had a good voyage on board.  She
continued, however, to follow the old seals north as far round as
Spitzbergen.  The character of the ice now entirely changed: instead of
fields of flat floe, with hummocks here and there, which put Harry in
mind, as he traversed them, of a Highland moorland in mid-winter, there
were pieces large enough to have crushed a ship as big as Saint Paul's

The mountains, too, on the islands among which the _Inuita_ sailed were
rugged and grand in the extreme, and the colours displayed from the
terraced cliffs of ice and rock, when the sun shone on them, were more
resplendent than any pen or pencil could describe.

Around these islands were walruses in abundance, and many fell to the

Going shoreward one day over the thick bay ice, to enjoy with Mr Wilson
and some others some sport among the bears, Harry, who was foremost, was
startled beyond measure to notice the ice ahead first heave, then crack
and splinter, while a moment afterwards a head, more awful than a
nightmare, was protruded.

Harry's fear--if fear it could be called--was however but momentarily:
next moment his rifle was at the shoulder, and the monster paid his life
as the penalty for his curiosity.

In a month the _Inuita_ was--what her captain wished her to be--full to
the hatches with blubber and skins.

Then all sail was set for merry England.

There was nothing but joy now on board, nothing but jollity and fun.

The men had a ball almost every night, with singing and story-telling to

"I do believe, my dear boy," said Captain Hardy to Harry one evening,
"that _you_ have brought all the luck on board.  Well, now, I'm going to
tell you a secret."

"I don't want you to, you know."

"Oh, but I want to tell somebody," said the captain, "and it may as well
be you.  It is this: As soon as I get my ship cleared and paid off at
Hull, I am going straight back to Lerwick to ask Miss Mitford if she
will be my wife."

"Oh, I'm sure she will be glad to!"  Harry said.

"Tell me, boy, what makes you think so?"

"Well, because she told me you were the best man in the service, and the
tears were in her eyes when she said so."

"God bless you for these words, dear lad.  And you'll come and see us
sometimes, won't you?  I'm going to leave the sea and settle down in a
pretty little farm near Hull."

"That I will, gladly," said Harry.

In course of time the ship arrived safely in harbour.  Her owners were
delighted at Captain Hardy's success, and made him a very handsome

Some weeks after this, when the _Inuita_ was dismantled and lying in
dock, Hardy, with Harry and Harold the mastiff, suddenly appeared at
Beaufort Hall.

I leave the reader to imagine the joy that their presence elicited.  But
it was quite affecting to see how his mother pressed her boy to her
breast, while the tears chased each other over her cheeks.

Eily went wild with joy, and when honest Andrew met his friend Harry
again, and shook him by the hand, he could not speak, so much was he
affected, and he had to take five or six enormous pinches of snuff by
way of accounting for the moisture in his eyes.

Captain Hardy was a welcome guest at Beaufort Hall for many days.

"Your dear boy," he said, "has had a terribly rough first experience of
a life on the ocean wave, but he has braved it well, and that is more
than many boys of his age would have done.  But I tell you what it is,"
he added, "Harry Milvaine _will_ be a sailor."

"I fear so," said his mother, sadly.

"Ah, my dear lady, there is many a worse profession than that of an
honest sailor."

"But the dangers of the deep are so great, Captain Hardy."

"Dangers of the deep?" repeated this kindly-hearted sailor.  "Ay, and
there are dangers on the dry land as well.  Think of your terrible
railway smashes, to say nothing, madam, of the tiles and chimney-pots
that go flying about on a stormy day."

Mrs Milvaine could not keep from smiling.

But our wilful, wayward Harry had it all his own way, and three months
after this he was treading the decks of a Royal Navy training ship, a
bold and brisk-looking naval cadet.

From the training ship, in good time, after having passed a very
creditable examination indeed, he was duly entered into the grand old

His first ship--if ship it could be called--was H.M. gunboat, the

Harry was going to a part of the world where he was bound soon to get
the gilt rubbed off his dirk.



It was a night of inky darkness.  All day it had been squally, with a
more or less steady breeze blowing between each squall, and the sea had
been greatly troubled; but now the wind had nearly fallen, the waves
were crestless, foamless, but still they tossed and tumbled about so
that the motion on board Her Majesty's gunboat the _Bunting_ was
anything but an agreeable one.  There could be but little danger,
however, for she was well off the land, pretty far out, indeed, in the
Indian Ocean.

Every now and then there was the growling of distant thunder; every now
and then a bright flash of lurid lightning.  But between these flashes
was a darkness that could be felt, and never a star was visible.  Nor
could there be, for at sunset the clouds seemed a good mile thick.

The _Bunting_ had been in chase most of the afternoon, but nightfall put
an end to it.

It was in the days--not so long ago--when Said Maja reigned Sultan of
Zanzibar, and all the coast line from near Delagoa Bay in the south to
beyond Bareda in the north was more or less his sea-board.  It was in
the days when the slave trade in this strange wild city of the coast was
flourishing in all its glory, the Sultan having liberty from our
government to take slaves from any one portion of his dominions to
another.  Hundreds of dhows, nay, but thousands, then covered that
portion of the Indian Ocean which laves the forest shores of Eastern
Africa.  They were either laden with slaves, or returning empty to fetch
another cargo.

Our cruisers boarded all they met, but it was but seldom one fell into
our hands as a prize, for these cruel and reckless dealers in human
flesh found no difficulty in obtaining a permit from the Sultan's
ministers to carry on their inhuman traffic.  A bribe was all that was
necessary, and the words, "Household slaves of H.M. the Sultan," in the
certificate, were all that was necessary to set British law and British
cruisers at defiance.

These dhows were and are still manned and officered by Arabs--gentlemen
Arabs they term themselves.  Many of these men are exceedingly handsome.
I have often admired them in the slave market, both the old and the
young.  Let me try to describe them:

Here, then, is a young gentleman Arab, probably about twenty-five years
of age.

He wears a kind of gilded night-dress of snow-white linen, which reaches
some distance below the knee; around the waist of this is a gilded and
jewelled sword-belt, supporting a splendid sword, and probably jewelled
pistols.  Over this linen garment may be a little jacket of crimson with
gold braid, worn loose, and hardly visible, because over all is an
immense flowing toga of camel's hair of some dark colour.  This is also
worn open.

On the head is a gigantic turban, gilded or even jewelled, and the naked
feet are placed in beautiful sandals.

He is very tall, lithe, wiry, and stately, and his face is goodly to
behold, his nose being well chiselled, and mouth not large.

His colour is usually white or brown, though sometimes black, and dark
hair in beautiful ringlets, escaping from under the turban, flows down
nearly to the waist.

In his hand he bears a tall spear, on which he leans or touches the
ground withal when walking, as a Highland mountaineer does with his long

The carriage and walk of this Arab is grace itself, and gives the
individual a noble and majestic appearance, which it is difficult to

Except the Scottish costume, I know of no dress half so picturesque as
that of the gentleman Arab and slave-owner.

But here is an old gentleman.  Is he bent and decrepit?  Nay, but sturdy
and stately as his son, he walks with the same bold grace, is dressed in
the same fashion, keeps quite as firm a hold of his spear, and could
draw his powerful sword and wield it with equal if not greater skill and

But his long beard and moustache are as white as the paper on which I am
writing.  His brow is wrinkled, and the eyes that glint and glare from
beneath the bushy eye-brows are as quick and fierce as those of a golden

Those Arabs hate the English with a deadly hatred.  Even the sight of a
blue-jacket makes them scowl.  I have passed--more than once--a doorway
in Zanzibar, in which one of these men stood, and I have seen him gnash
his teeth at the sight of my uniform, and finger his sword or knife,
nervously, restlessly, as if he hardly could keep from plucking it out
and plunging it into my heart.

It was in pursuit of one of the dhows manned by such gentleman Arabs
that the _Bunting_ had been all the previous afternoon.

Had the wind fallen earlier, this dhow would soon have been a prize; but
as it did not, she had shown them a clean pair of heels, and might now
be anywhere.

That she was a slaver without papers there was not a doubt, and well
laden too, for she was deep in the water.

I am going to make a terrible statement, but it is a true one, and if it
only has the effect of causing even one of my readers to hate slavery
half as much as I do, it will not be made in vain.

Just then, as American traders in crossing the Atlantic, when a
dangerous gale comes on, lighten the ship by throwing the cattle
overboard, so, at times, do these gentleman Arabs lighten their dhows
when chased.

It is a terrible sight to see poor oxen hoisted up in straps with block
and tackle and whirled into the storm-lashed ocean.  O God, how
mournfully they moan, how they seem to plead for mercy!  That moan once
heard can never, never be forgotten.

The loading of a slave-ship is a terrible sight, but ah! the ruthless
cruelty of lightening a dhow of slaves.  They are got up one by one or
two by two.  Children, poor young girls and boys, are pitched screaming
into the sea, probably to be devoured by sharks next moment.  And sharks
speedily come to a feast of blood of this kind.

But whether men or women--if they struggle, and sometimes whether they
struggle or not--they are ruthlessly slain on the deck before being
thrown overboard.  The knife across the neck is used for this terrible
butchery.  I have been told by eye-witnesses, themselves prisoners, and
expecting every minute that their turn would come, that the victims are
handed on deck to those who do the work, and that these latter think
less about it than a farm servant does of killing a fowl, sometimes
laughing and joking with their companions the while; and if telling a
story of any kind, they do not even permit the murder they are
committing from interrupting their discourse for a single moment.

It is far more unpleasant for me to write these lines than it can
possibly be for any one to read them.

"I think," said Mr Dewar, the navigating sub-lieutenant, as he entered
the captain's cabin after a preliminary service tap at the door--"I
think I've done all for the best, and done right, sir."

"Well?" replied Captain Wayland--captain by courtesy, remember, for he
really was but a first lieutenant by rank, though in command of the bold
and saucy _Bunting_.  He was seated now in his beautiful little saloon,
which was situated right aft, right abaft the gun-room or ward-room--the
_Bunting_ had, of course, only one living deck, under that being the
holds, and above it the main or upper deck, with no other covering
except the sky, and now and then a sun awning.  This last was not only a
luxury but a positive necessity in these seas, where the sun blisters
the paint, causes the pitch in the seams to bubble and boil, and takes
the skin as effectually off one's face as if a red-hot iron were passed
over it.

I have called Captain Wayland's quarters a beautiful little saloon.  So
it was, but do not imagine, dear reader, that the Lords Commissioners of
the Admiralty had anything to do with the decorating of it.  No, they
supplied a table, cushioned lockers, and a few chairs, also cushioned,
but so hot and clumsy that sitting on one was like sitting on a large
linseed-meal poultice.

Captain Wayland returned them to the dockyard, and bought himself others
that could boast of elegance and comfort; he re-painted his saloon, too,
and hung a few tasteful pictures in it and no end of curtains, to say
nothing of a great punkah over the table, which was waving back and fore
now, the propelling power being a little curly-headed nigger-boy who
squatted in a far-off corner, string in hand.

"Well, sir," replied Mr Dewar, in answer to the captain's single word
of inquiry, "I've douced every glim."

"In mercy's name," cried the captain, "do speak English, Mr Dewar!"

"Well, sir, pardon me, I quite forgot myself, but really we've got into
a slangy habit in the ward-room; the only one who does speak decent
English is young Milvaine, and he is a Highland Scotchman."

"Sit down," said the captain, "and have a glass of claret.  You'll find
it good."

"Raggy Muffin!" he continued, turning half round in his easy chair.

The nigger-boy let go the punkah string and sprang to his feet.

"Raggy Muffin stand befoh you, sah!" he said, bowing his towsie head.

"Right, Raggy.  Now bring a bottle of claret."

"Right you are, sah.  I fetchee he plenty quick."

"And I'll bring myself to an anchor," said Mr Dewar, "and have a glass
of grog with pleasure."

Respect of person was not the crowning virtue of this warlike youth.

The captain fidgeted uneasily.

"Well, sir, I've douced--I mean I've put out all lights.  I have men in
the chains--not that we're likely to fall in with shoal water here, you

"Oh, bother, you're right to be safe.  The _Wasp_ ran aground in about
this same place.  Well, who's watch is it?"

"Young Milvaine's."

"Right, we're safe."

Mr Dewar looked at Captain Wayland for a few moments.

"You believe in that youngster, sir?" he asked.

"I do.  He's faithful, bold, or rather brave--"

"Yes, sir, he's as plucky as a bantam.  He thrashed big Crawford the
first day he came on board.  Crawford has been good-natured ever since.
He showed fine fighting form when we brushed against those Arabs above
'Mbasa, and he jumped overboard, you know, and saved Raggy's life off
the Quillimane river."

"Raggy die some day for Massa Milvaine," put in the nigger-boy.

"Hush, Raggy, when your betters are talking."

"Raggy die all same, though," the boy persisted.

"The young scamp will have the last word.  Yes, Mr Dewar, young
Milvaine ought to have a medal for that; but, poor fellow, he won't,
though I'm told there were sharks about by the dozen."

"I saw it all," said young Dewar.  "It was my cap that fell off, just
before we crossed the bar.  Raggy made a plunge for it, and over he
went; Milvaine threw off his coat, and over he went.  The coolness of
the beggar, too, amused me."

"Don't say `beggar.'"

"Well, `_fellow_.'  There was a basking shark in the offing, with its
fin above the water, and a bird perching on it like a starling on the
back of a sheep.  The cap--the very one I wear now, sir--was between
this brute and Milvaine, but no sooner had he got Raggy--
cockerty-koosie, as he called it--on his shoulder, than he swam away out
and seized the cap with his teeth, then handed it to Raggy.  And the
young monkey put it on, too.  We picked him up just in time, for the
sharks looked hungry, and angry as well."

Mr Dewar helped himself to another half-tumbler full of claret.

"There is a wine-glass at your elbow," said the captain, with a mild
kind of a smile.

"Bother the wine-glass!" replied the middy.  "Pardon me, sir, but I'd
have to fill it so often.  My dear Captain Wayland, there's no more pith
and fooshion in this stuff than there is in sour buttermilk."

The captain laughed outright.  Mr Dewar was an officer of a very old
and obsolete type.

"Why, my dear sir, that is my very best claret.  Claret Lagrange, Mr
Dewar; I paid seventy-five shillings a dozen for it."

"Raggy," he added; "bring the rum, Raggy."

"Try a drop of that, then."

"Ah! that indeed, captain," exclaimed Mr Dewar, with beaming eyes.
"That's a drop o' real ship's."

He was moderate, though, but he smacked his lips.  "I feel in famous
form now," he said.  "I hope we'll come up with that rascally dhow
before long.  With my good sword now, Captain Wayland, and a brace of
colts, I think--"

At this moment Midshipman Milvaine--our Harry--entered, cap in hand.

He has greatly improved since we last saw him, almost a giant, with a
bright and fearless eye and a most handsome face and agile figure.  His
shoulders are square and broad.  He is very pliant in the waist; indeed,
the body above the hips seems to move independent of hips or legs.
Harry had now been four years in the service, and was but little over
sixteen years of age.

"Anything occurred, Mr Milvaine?"

"Yes, sir, something is occurring, something terrible, murder or mutiny.
The night is now very still, and the stars are out I can't see
anything, but from away over yonder, two or three points off the port
bow, there is fearful screaming, and I can even hear splashing in the

Captain Wayland sprang up, so did young Dewar.

"The scoundrels!" cried the former.  "It is the dhow.  They are
lightening ship to get away from us with the morning breeze."

"Mr Milvaine," he added, hurriedly, "we'll go to quarters.  Do not
sound the bugle.--Let all be done quietly.  Keep her, Mr Milvaine,
straight for the sounds you hear, and tell the engineers to go ahead at
full speed."

"The moon will rise in half an hour," said Harry.

"Thank Heaven for that," was the captain's reply.

For the boats of a small ship like the _Bunting_ to board a heavily
armed fighting dhow like the one they had been giving chase to, is no
mean exploit even by day: by night such an adventure requires both tact
and skill and determination as well.

But the thing has been done before, and it was going to be tried again

The captain himself went on deck.

There was already a faint glimmer of light from the rising moon on the
south-eastern sky.

But the sea was all as silent as the grave; there was the rattling of
the revolving screw and the noise of the rushing, bubbling, lapping
waves as the vessel cleaved her way through them.  Further than this,
for the space of many minutes, sound there was none.

"In what direction did you say you heard the cries?" asked Captain
Wayland of young Harry Milvaine.

"We are steering straight for it now, sir, and--"

Suddenly he was interrupted.  From a point still a little on the port
bow, and apparently a mile distant, came a series of screams, so
mournful, so pleading, so pitiful, as almost to freeze one's blood.

"Ah-h!  Oh-h-h!  Oh!  Oh!  Oo-oo-ok!"

The last cry was wildly despairing, and cut suddenly short, as I have
tried to describe, by the letters "ok."

A moment or two afterwards there came across the water the sound of a
plash, and next minute there was a repetition of the dreadful yells and

The captain took two or three hasty turns up and down the deck.  He was
a very humane and kindly-hearted officer.

"I hardly know what to do for the best," he said.

"Suppose, sir," replied Mr Dewar, whom he seemed to be addressing, "we
fire a gun to let her know we are near?"

"No," replied the captain; "there is still wind enough, and time enough,
for her to escape in the dark.  We'll keep on yet a short time.  Stand
by to lower the boats.  They are already armed?"

"Yes, sir."

"Escape in the dark!" muttered the captain to himself through his set
teeth.  "Dark indeed will be the work as soon as our lads get on board
of this fiend's ship."



Mr Dewar had charge of the first cutter, Mr Mavers, sub-lieutenant, of
the second, and Harry himself commanded the whaler.

These were all the boats told off for the fight, about five-and-thirty
men all told.

Five-and-thirty men?  Yes, but they were five-and-thirty
broad-shouldered British blue-jackets, armed with cutlass and revolver.
And what is it, pray, that blue-jackets will not dare, ay, and _do_ as
well as dare?

Even Dr Scott and the other officers had left their swords behind them,
preferring the ship's cutlass.

Every man had stripped to the waist before starting, for the night was
sultry and hot.

The boats were silently lowered before they came in sight of the dhow,
therefore before the dhow could see the _Bunting_.

With muffled oars, nearer and nearer they sweep to the spot from whence
the sounds proceed.

The whaler, being lighter, well-manned and well-steered by Harry, took
the lead.

The _Bunting_ came slowly on after the boats.

But behold! the latter are seen from the dhow's decks, and lights spring
up at once, and a rattling volley flies harmlessly over the heads of our
advancing heroes.  At the same time it is evident that boarding-nets are
being quickly placed along the bulwarks of the slaver.

In a few minutes the whaler is at the bows of the dhow.  This was
unprotected by netting, and low in the water, for the vessel was deep.
Harry was the first to spring on board, followed instantly by his

He speedily parried an ugly thrust made at his throat by a spear, and
next moment his assailant fell on his face with a gash on his neck and
his life's blood welling away.  For a few seconds this part of the dhow
bristled with spears, and one or two of Harry's men succumbed to the
lunges and fell to the deck.

But the Arabs retreated before the charge, fighting for every inch of
deck, however.

Meanwhile the cutters were boarding.  They were cutters in more ways
than one, for they had not only to defend themselves against
spear-lunging, but to slash through the netting.

A bright white light now gleamed over the dhow's deck.  The _Bunting_
was nearly alongside, and burning lights.

It was well this was so, for on the deck of that slave dhow stood fully
seventy as brave Arabs as ever drew a sword or carried a spear.

They went down before our blue-jackets, nevertheless, in twos and
threes.  The modern colt is a glorious weapon when held in a cool hand
and backed by a steady eye.

Their very numbers told against these Arabs, but they fought well and
desperately, for they were fighting with the pirate-rope around their
necks.  Arab dhows who fire on our British cruisers are treated as
pirates, and, when taken red-handed, have a short shrift and a long

That they fought with determined courage cannot be gainsaid--gentlemen
Arabs always do--but they have not the bull-dog pluck of our fellows.
They cannot hang on, so to speak; they lack what is technically called
"stay."  Nor were they fighting in a good cause, and they knew it.

They knew or felt that they could not, if killed, walk straight from
that blood-slippery battle-deck into the paradise of Mahomed.

Add to this that their weapons were far inferior to ours.  Their spears
were easily shivered, and even their swords; while their pistols could
scarcely be called arms of precision.

So after a brave but ineffectual attempt to stem the wild, stern rush of
our British blue-jackets, they fell back towards the poop, so huddled
together that the fire of our men riddled two at a time.  They finally
sought refuge in the poop saloon, and even down below among the
remainder of those poor trembling slaves who had not been butchered or
forced to walk the plank.

Many were driven overboard, or preferred the deadly plunge into the
ocean to falling into the hands of the British.

The captain surrendered his sword, standing by the mainmast.  He was a
tall and somewhat swarthy Arab, and spoke good English.

"Slay me now, if so minded, you infidel dogs," he shouted, "or keep me
to satiate your revenge?"

Meanwhile, up rose the moon--a vermilion moon--a moon that seemed to
stain all the waves with long quivering ribbons of blood, and the
shadows of the two ships were cast darkling on the water far to the

A wretched half-caste Arab was found skulking under the poop, and
dragged forth by one of the _Bunting's_ men.  He had _not_ been in the
fight, yet he had a most terrible appearance.

He was very black and ferocious-looking, dressed only in one white
cotton garment, with a rope for a girdle, from which dangled an ugly

This fiend in human form was dabbled in blood; his face, hands, bare
arms, and all the front of his garment were wet with gore.  He had been
the butcher of the innocent slaves.

He was dragged forth and dragged forward, but suddenly, with an
unearthly yell, he sprang from the sailor's grasp, and next moment had
leapt into the sea.

He was watched for a few moments swimming quickly away from the ship,
then a strange commotion was seen near him, and the wretch threw up his
arms and disappeared.

He had been dragged under by the sharks.

It is through no love of the sensational I pen these lines, reader, nor
describe the capture of this blood-stained dhow.  The story is almost
from the life, and I deem it not wrong that my young readers should know
something of the horrors of the slave trade.

Two hundred living slaves were found in the hold of the dhow, many dead
were among the living, and many dying.  And it will never be known in
this world how many poor creatures were butchered or thrown overboard to
lighten the ship.

The vessel was condemned at Zanzibar, and taken away out to sea and set
on fire.  Nothing was taken out of her except a few shields and spears
that the men got by way of curios.  She was simply burned, and sank
hissing and flaming beneath the waves.

The slaves were liberated.  Well, even their liberty was something.  But
that would not restore them their far-off happy homes amid the wild and
beautiful scenery in the African interior: no, nor restore them their
friends and kindred.  Henceforward they must languish in a foreign land.

"What became of the captain of the dhow?"  I fancy I hear some of my
readers ask.  Have I not, I reply, given you horrors enough in this
chapter?  But, nevertheless, I will tell you.  He and five others were
hanged.  This end was at all events less revolting than an Arab
execution as sometimes carried out.  Fancy five political offenders tied
hand and foot, and placed on their backs all in a row in the prison
yard, an Arab executioner with a sharp sword leisurely stepping from one
to another and half-beheading them!

It was a very lovely morning.  Harry came on the quarter-deck just as a
great gun was fired from the bows of the _Bunting_; making every window
in the front part of the town rattle, and multiplying its echo among the
distant coral islands.  That gun told the condemned men that their day
had come.

"What a lovely morning!" said Harry to Mavers, who was leaning over the
bows, looking seaward and eastward where the sun was silvering a broad
belt of long rippling wavelets.

"Charming," replied Mavers; "but bother it all, Milvaine, old man, I
fell asleep last night thinking about those poor beggars that have to
die this morning."

"So did I," said Harry, "and I dreamt about them."

"You see," continued Mavers, "it is one thing dying sword in hand on a
battle-deck, and another being coolly hanged.  But notwithstanding,
Milvaine, don't let us fall into the blues over the matter; the villains
richly deserve their fate."

"Yes," he added, after a pause, "it is a lovely morning.  What a
beautiful world it would be if there was neither sin nor sorrow in it!"

The doctor joined them.  He was a young man of a somewhat poetical
temperament, curiously blended with an intense love for anatomy and
post-mortems, and a very good fellow on the whole.

"Talking about the condemned criminals?  Eh?" he said.  Then he laughed
such a happy laugh.

"I'm going to post-mortem them.  Will you come and see the operation?"


"Oh, it is all for the good of science.  Shall I describe it?"

"No, no, no?" cried Harry.

"Then come below to breakfast, boys."

"Why," said Mavers, "you've almost taken away my appetite."

"And mine too," said Harry Milvaine.

"Stay," exclaimed the doctor, "I will restore it.  Listen."

He threw himself into an attitude as he spoke.

  "Sweetly, oh, sweetly the morning breaks
              With roseate streaks,
  Like the first faint blush on a maiden's cheeks.
  Alas! that ever so fair a sun
  As that which its course has now begun
  Should gild with rays, so light and free,
  That dismal dark-frowning gallows-tree."

"I'm not sure," said Mavers, laughing, "that you haven't made matters
worse.  But come along, we'll go below, anyhow."


The _Bunting_, as her name implies, was only a little bit of a gunboat,
but to the slave-dealing dhows she became the scourge of the seas in the
Indian Ocean, all the way south from Delagoa Bay, to Brava and Magadoxa
in the north.

She was always appearing where least expected, sometimes far out at sea,
at other times inland on rivers or wooded creeks.  She could sail as
well as any dhow, and that is saying a good deal, and she could steam
well also.

Many a prize fell to her lot, many a cutting-out expedition the boats
had, and right bravely they did their work.  So the prize money that
would fall to the share of even the ordinary seamen when the commission
was completed, would be rather more than a trifle.

On Saturday nights, when, after dancing for a time to the merry tunes
the doctor played on his fiddle, the sailors would assemble round the
fo'c's'le to smoke their pipes and quaff the modest drop of rum they had
saved to toast their sweethearts and wives in, they might be heard
building castles in the air as to what they would do with their prize

Perhaps the conversation would be somewhat as follows:--

"I'm going to pour all my prize money into my old mother's lap straight
away as soon as I gets it."

"Ah! well, Jack, you _have_ a mother, I hain't, but I'll give mine to my
Soosie.  My eye! maties, but she's a slick fine lass.  Talk about a
figure!  Soosie's is the finest ever you saw.  Blow'd if two arms would
meet round her waist, fact I tells ye, mates.  I've seen a
rye-nosser-oss with not 'arf so fine a figure as Soosie's got."

"But," another would say, "I'm going to keep all my prize money in the
bank till I serves my time out in the service; then I'll take a

"That's my ambition too, Bill."

"Yes, and ain't it a proper ambition too?"

"That it be."

"And if ever any of you old chums drops round to see Jack behind his bar
counter--ahem! my eye! maties, won't I be glad to see you just!  Won't I
get out the longest clay pipe in the shanty, and the best nigger head!
And won't I draw ye a drop o' summut as will make all the 'air on your
'eads stand straight up like a frightful porkeypine's!  And maybe there
won't be much to pay for it either?"

It will be noted from the above conversation that the aims in life of
the British man-o'-war sailor are seldom of a very exalted character.

But even in the little ward-room prize money was not altogether left out
of count in conversation on Saturday nights.

"I believe," said the doctor once, "I shall have over a thousand pounds
when I get home.  I think I'll cut the service, buy a shore practice,
and settle down."

"Bah!" cried Mavers, "you're too old a sailor for that, Mr Sawbones.
Don't talk twaddle.  Take out your old fiddle and give us a tune."

The worthy medico never required two biddings to make him obey a behest
like this.

Out would come the violin, and his messmates would speedily be in
dreamland as they listened; for the doctor played well on that king of

Songs were sure to follow, during which very often the door would open,
and there would be seen standing smiling the captain himself.

You may be sure that room was speedily made for him, and so these happy
evenings would pass away till eight bells (twelve o'clock) rang out
Ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding--that is the way they went,
and this warned every one it was time to turn in.

The _Bunting_ could not be said to be a very well-found ship, as far as
the officers' mess was concerned.  There is as much difference usually
between the mess in a gunboat and a flagship as between that of a humble
cottage and a lord mayor's mansion.

So the _Buntings_, as the other ships called them, roughed it rather.
They _could_ have bought nice things about big towns like the city of
the Cape, or even at Zanzibar, but they had only the ship's cook, and
the steward was a half-caste Portuguese, whose only strong point was an
excellent curry, into which, however, he often slipped more garlic that
was palatable to English tastes.

For three more years the _Bunting_ carried it with a high hand among the
slavers on the Eastern coast.  Even Harry himself now began to long for
home, and to see his dear mother and father again.

Letters came but about once in three months, and the mail never failed
to bring Harry a bundle that kept him reading for a week, because he
read them all over and over again, put them aside for days, took them
out once more, and again read them.

His old friend Andrew's letters were always comical, and his
good-natured, simple face invariably rose up before our hero's mind's
eye as he perused them.

Even his old dominie did not forget Harry.  By almost every mail now the
_Buntings_ expected a letter from their lordships ordering them home.

It came at last, and, strange to say, it came on.  Captain Wayland's

"Putting both events together, boys," said the doctor to his messmates,
"I really don't think we can do better than invite the skipper to

"Good?" cried Harry.

"Hurrah!" cried another.

"Steward!" cried Dewar.

"Ess, sir; Ise here, sir."

"Well, come here, you dingy son of a Portuguese cook."

The steward threw his apron over his left shoulder and entered from the

"Can you give us a ripping good feed to-night, and have it all on the
table smart at half-past six?"

"Let me see, sir," said the steward, placing a forefinger on the corner
of his mouth and looking profoundly wise.  "What I would propose, sir,
would be diss ting."

"Well?--out with it."

"Der is French Charlie on shore here."

The ship, by the bye, was lying off the Sultan's Palace, in the
roadstead at Zanzibar.

"Yes--French Charlie?"

"Well, sir, he cook one excellent dinner, and wait too; and myself, sir,
vill make de curry."

"Very well, steward, but mind this, if there be one-sixth of a grain of
garlic in the whole boiling of it, you shall swing at the yard's arm."

"Ver goot, sir."

"Now, off with you on shore, and give your orders.  Don't forget to be
off in time.  Take the dingy and bring off quickly a boat-load of
flowers and green stuff."

Mr Dewar was just as quick at work as he was with his tongue and sword,
and both of the latter, it was universally allowed, he could make the
best of.

He was ably supported on this occasion by the whole strength of the
mess, including Simmonds, the clerk--they were but five in all--and the
engineer himself.

The captain cheerfully accepted the invitation, and proposed to the
surgeon that forward in the course of the evening they should splice the

The doctor assented with alacrity, and the ship's stores thus expended
were afterwards put down as sick-bay comforts.

The steward was off in good time, with foliage and flowers.  Then a huge
awning was rigged on deck, and lined with flags and candles stuck amidst
the flowers, and branching bayonets and cutlasses.

The steward did his duty nobly; so did French Charlie.

For once there smoked on the tables of the _Bunting_ a banquet that the
Sultan himself would have enjoyed.

The toast of the evening, after the loyal ones, was of course Captain
Wayland; and that gentleman replied in the neatest little speech that
had ever been heard on the deck of a man-o'-war.

The dessert on the table deserves especial notice.  No place in the
world can vie with Zanzibar for its fruit, and here were samples of
probably a score of different sorts, almost unknown in England.  The
pine-apples were especially delightful, appealing to eye, to scent, and
taste all at once.  But probably the king of fruits was the mango.  If
this is indeed Eve's apple, one can hardly wonder our first parent fell.
The trees these grow on in the forest of this beautiful isle of the sea
are a picture.  Fancy an enormous chestnut with its branches weighted to
the ground with fragrant fruit somewhat like peaches, but each as big as
a cocoanut!

The sides of the deck-tent were decorated with flowers, but on the table
itself stood the choicest of all.  Shall I describe them?  I cannot,

  Here my muse her wings must cower,
  'Twere far indeed beyond her power
  To praise enough e'en one sweet flower.

When dessert had been done moderate justice to, then the end of the
curtain was drawn aside, the steward brought up the "sick-bay comforts,"
and in due form the main-brace was spliced; and every man as he raised
the cup to his lips wished long life and prosperity to their jolly

After this there was a wild hurrah! and in the very midst of it the
doctor started playing.

Well, some of my readers may have seen sham sailors dancing on the
stage.  But never on any stage is such wild footing witnessed as that
which graces the deck of a man-of-war on a night like the present.

But everything has an end.  The men retired at last to the bows and
fo'c's'le to talk of home and spin yarns till long past midnight.

Meanwhile the officers once more surrounded the festive board, and after
a few songs story-telling commenced.

As one at least of the yarns spun was not devoid of humour, I do not
think I need apologise for repeating it.

It was the doctor's yarn.

He helped himself to an orange and a mango and a handful of nuts and
raisins, to pare, to eat, to crack, and to pick, because the truth is
the doctor was a Scotchman, and Scotchmen never talk half so well as
when they are doing something, if it be only whittling a stick.

"Ahem!" began the doctor, clearing his throat.

"Attention, gentlemen," said Mr Dewar, the president.



"You must know, then," said Dr Scott, "that though I do not vouch for
the absolute truth of this story, the reason is that I was not myself
one of the actors therein.  But I have it on what I call indisputable
authority, for old Brackenbury, who is the principal hero, told it to me
one evening in his little place down in sunny Devonshire.  And I do not
believe that Brackenbury ever told an untrue tale in his life.

"A funny old fellow was Brackenbury, and it seemed to me that he must
always have been old--must have been _born_ old.  He wasn't a handsome
man, nor had he a pretty face; his nearest and dearest wouldn't have
said he had.  Yet, gentlemen, it is truly wonderful what a change for
the better the play of a good-natured smile throws over even the
plainest countenance.  And Brackenbury used to smile from his very
heart.  Then he had such honest, truthful eyes that you couldn't have
helped liking the man.

"But to my tale, as Burns says.

"Goodness knows how long ago it is, but Brackenbury was then about in
his prime, and commanded a fine vessel, that, after discharging a mixed
cargo at Sydney, was ordered on a kind of a mixed cruise round to San
Francisco, which was only a small village then, but had the gold fever
rampant.  Here he had to take on board specie, with a gentleman as
supercargo.  They were then to slip southwards along the western shores
of South America, calling at Callao for goods from Lima, and so onwards
round the Horn and home.

"I don't think that Brackenbury and the supercargo, Mr O'Brady, liked
each other over much.  There was a natural jealousy between them.
Brackenbury looked upon O'Brady as a kind of spy on his actions, and
O'Brady didn't like Brackenbury's airs, as he was pleased to call them.

"Never mind, they were shipmates and messmates, and they settled down
together as well as they could.

"Lima was in those days a hot place, socially speaking, but Brackenbury
and his supercargo found themselves most hospitably treated.  There was
one tall, dark, handsome gentleman, called Pedro Dolosa, whom they
frequently met at dinner-parties, who used to smoke much with them and
hob-nob in the cool verandahs after dessert.  He took to them very much
apparently, and they were both flattered by his attention, for was he
not a count, Le Comte Pedro de Dolosa?  That was his tally complete.

"Brackenbury opened his heart to him; O'Brady was jealous, and opened
his heart still more wide to Le Comte Pedro de Dolosa; and these two old
fools did what they had no right to do--they told this strange count
what their cargo was.

"However, the _Adelaide_ left Callao at last, and after encountering a
gale that blew them a long way out of their course, they lost their
reckoning; but one day they found themselves pretty close to the shore
again, and, the weather being now fine, they managed to find out their

"They were south the line, and on a lovely coast.

"`I move,' said Brackenbury, `that we enjoy ourselves a bit; I'm fond of
shooting and botany.'

"`So am I,' replied O'Brady.

"Now more than once they had seen a very pretty little yacht careering
about, as if watching them, but they had no suspicion of anything like
foul play.

"It was seen again and again after this, but when one day it stood away
in through an island-bound creek--

"`I'll bet a penny,' said Brackenbury, `that that is some English lord
out on the sport; what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,
let's follow him.'

"`Agreed,' said O'Brady.

"And so they did.

"They soon found themselves in an unusually romantic spot.  A little bay
it was, with a native village at the head of it, which looked imposing
as seen from the sea.  Then there was a beautiful river meandering down
through a well-wooded, rolling valley, and far inland were hills and

"The yacht lay there at anchor, but she had hoisted Spanish colours.
Next morning at breakfast--

"`I feel unusually young this morning,' said Brackenbury.

"`So do I,' replied O'Brady.  `It's the air, I suppose, but I do feel as
gay as a lark.'

"`Suppose we have a little lark, then, all by ourselves up in this
valley--eh?  What say?  A kind of private picnic?'

"`Is it safe?'

"`Yes, safe as anything.  We'll take a few blue-jackets with us and a
big hamper.'

"`Well, I'm with you,' said O'Brady, briskly.

"The spot looked so sweetly peaceful.  Who could ever have dreamed that
danger lurked in those lovely woods?  The whole scene was more like one
in our own delightful Devonshire than in the wilds of South America.

"Nor had the usual crowd of boats surrounded the vessel, and when the
gig from the _Adelaide_ landed the supercargo and captain, so well clad
were the natives, and so peaceful did they seem, that Brackenbury felt
half inclined to apologise to them for his armed escort.

"Two padres met them and saluted, and when told the errand that had
brought them on shore, at once agreed to escort them to the head of the
valley, where, the padres assured their illustrious visitors, there was
the finest scenery in the world.  This interpreter was a tall Chilian, a
by-no-means prepossessing fellow either.  He was enveloped in a kind of
blanket cloak, carried a pole in his hand, and wore a broad,
peak-crowned sombrero of very greasy straw.  His pointed beard and long
black locks were greasy also.  In fact he was altogether grim and
greasy, and his speech was too oily to be pleasant.

"The coach that the padres had provided was apparently about a hundred
years old, but the four horses attached to it seemed fit for anything.

"They took their seats at last, the padres crowded in beside them, and
the great hamper was put up on top, the Chilian interpreter sat down
beside the driver, and away they rumbled and rattled.

"Rumbled?  Yes, rumbled; that is the exact word.  Brackenbury and
O'Brady had never got such a shaking and jolting before.  But the higher
up the valley the coach went, the grander grew the scenery.  Every now
and then at a turn of the road, away beneath them they caught glimpses
of the green glen basking in the summer sunshine, the river gliding
through it like a silver thread, falling at last into the bright blue
bay, where lay the ship with its little white boats floating peacefully

"But the scene grew wilder still, and oh! what a wealth of woodland
beauty was all around them, covering the tops of the round hills,
climbing halfway up the sides of precipitous mountains, clinging over
cliffs and waterfalls, and fringing lovely lakes, the water of which was
so pellucid that the sandy bottom was seen yards and yards from the

"Anon the coach would plunge into a wood of pines and mimosa, draped in
the most gorgeous of creeping flowers, while down beneath lovely
snow-white heather showed in charming contrast to the mantle of scarlet
and green, that half hid the sun from them.

"It was well into the afternoon before the coach drew up at the ruins of
an ancient monastery, and our pleasure-seekers descended.  Close by was
a splendid waterfall; it came foaming down from a precipice in a gorge,
and descended past them into a gloomy pool that looked dark as midnight,
so far beneath was it.

"But the thunders of the falling cataract shook the ground on which the
two sailors stood gazing almost awestruck.  Far beneath was a forest
glen that bore terrible evidence to the fury of a recent storm.

"And now the lunch was spread on the green grass, and the padres waxed
quite merry over it.  O'Brady had never seen priests drink wine before,
as these fellows did, and he now began to entertain a suspicion that
they were not quite what they pretended to be.  He could not now help
wondering at their own folly in trusting themselves so far inland
without having brought the blue-jackets to protect them.

"`Why,' said Brackenbury, starting up at last, `the sun is almost
setting.  We must be going.  Where are the horses?'

"`The horses,' cried the Chilian, suddenly showing a pistol, `are round
the corner, and our way now lies up the valley.'

"Both Brackenbury and O'Brady attempted to draw revolvers, but were
immediately surrounded and disarmed by a crowd of cut-throat Chilians,
who sprang from a neighbouring thicket.

"`What means this indignity?' shouted Brackenbury, purple with rage.

"`It means, gentlemen,' said the Chilian, `dat you are now de preesoners
of Le Comte Pedro de Dolosa.'

"`Pedro de Dolosa!' cried O'Brady, aghast.  `Curses on our folly! we are
ruined men!  This count is a bandit.'

"`Your master shall live to rue this outrage!' cried Brackenbury, as he
and his companion, with cords around their wrists, were dragged away and
thrust into the carriage.

"Their companions, the two sham padres, had now quite altered in their
bearing towards their prisoners.  They talked and laughed with each
other, and although neither Brackenbury nor O'Brady knew the exact
meaning of the words, their looks and smiles of derision were easily
enough translated.

"At sunset the carriage stopped, and the villainous-looking interpreter
informed the two officers that they were already in bed, and must remain
there all night.

"So they made the best of a bad job and slumbered away in their
respective corners till daylight.  If ever during the night any thought
of escape rose in their minds, one glance out at the carriage windows,
where the vigilant and fierce-looking armed sentries stood statue-like
in the starlight, was enough to banish it.

"The journey was resumed at daybreak, and continued without intermission
until they arrived at this very place.  Here the carriage was stopped,
and they were ordered to descend.

"Standing like an equestrian statue at the edge of the forest was a
tall, dark, armed man on horseback.  As soon as the officers alighted he
rode forward, and, taking off his sombrero, bowed until his face almost
touched his splendid horse's mane.

"The face was Dolosa's.

"`Is it really yourself, then, you robber chief?' cried the bold captain
of the _Adelaide_.

"`It is I,' was the answer--`Le Comte Pedro de Dolosa.  But let me
advise you to study civility while in my power.  We know not the meaning
of the term robber chief.  Beware how you provoke me!'

"All the horses were now taken out of the carriage, except one.  This
was blindfolded and led to the very brink of the terrible precipice.
Then a shout was raised, the whip descended with force across the poor
doomed animals' flanks, they made a plunge forward, and next moment
carriage and all had disappeared.

"Dolosa turned laughingly round to his prisoners.

"`Now, gentlemen,' he said, `you see what has happened; I'm sorry to
inform you, you will have to walk all the rest of the way to my little
cottage among the mountains.  Good-bye, my men will see you safe.'

"And away rode the robber chief.

"`What does the destruction of the carriage mean, I wonder?' said

"`Without doubt,' replied Brackenbury, `it is to put our fellows off the

"Brackenbury was right for once in his lifetime.

"The march inland was soon resumed by the officers and their captors.  A
little distance farther on and the road ended in a series of narrow
footpaths, like the tracks of deer or other wild animals.  These led in
different directions into the forest, and one was chosen by the leader
of the band.  They walked in single file, and care was apparently taken
to destroy all trail.

"All that day the journey was continued, through jungle and forest,
across streams, and up through dreary glens, till, as night fell, they
found themselves at the gate of an ancient wall.  It was opened to admit
them, and immediately re-closed with a ponderous bang.

"In a quarter of an hour afterwards they were issued into a kind of
armoury, and thence into a lofty and well-lighted supper-room.

"Tired and weary from wandering in forest wilds, here had they arrived,
and suddenly found themselves plunged into the very midst of luxury of
_every_ imaginable kind.  A room with gilded cornices and hand-painted
roof, carpets soft as cushions, furniture as chaste and refined as
modern art could produce, servants in livery to wait on them, and a
supper-table laid out with viands the most tempting, and wines from
every part of the world.

"They fell to like wise and hungry men, and did justice to the good
things set before them.

"They supped alone, the count never appeared.

"After a few hours a servant came to conduct them to their bed-chamber,
and they followed him in silence.

"The servant was as silent as they were.

"He showed them the room, pointed to the beds, and left them in the

"This wasn't pleasant, nor was it pleasant to hear the key turned in the

"But there was no help for it."



"The poet Daniel calls sleep `son of the sable night,' and brother to

  "`Care charmer sleep, son of the sable night,
  Brother to Death, in silent darkness born.'

"I might add that sleep is also the brother to sorrow and care, and a
kind and gentle brother he is.

"No sooner had Captain Brackenbury and his supercargo, O'Brady, been
shown to their apartment on that memorable night, and left in the dark,

"`Well, Brackenbury,' said O'Brady, `here's a nice wind-up to a windy
day.  But I vote we make the best of a bad job.  I'm dog-tired and as
sleepy as an old owl.  I'm going to turn in, even if I have to turn out
in the morning to get my head taken off.'

"`So shall I,' replied Brackenbury.  `But what an uncivil brute of a
black servant that is!  Why, he might as well have left the light!'

"`No doubt he's acting according to orders, my friend,' said O'Brady.
`And duty is duty, of course, on board a ship or out of it.'

"`Oh yes,' Brackenbury acquiesced, `duty is duty, as you say.  But can
you find the head of your bed?'

"`Yes, mine is towards the fireplace, and yours is towards the door.'

"`Good-night,' said Brackenbury.

"`Umph!' grunted O'Brady, for he was all but asleep already.

"`Hark!' cried Brackenbury, a few minutes after.  `Are you asleep,

"`No, I'm listening.  Hush!'

"Had anyone come into the apartment with a light just then, they would
have seen both men sitting bolt upright in bed, with not only their
eyes, but even their mouths open.

"`I heard footsteps in the passage,' hissed Brackenbury; `they surely
can't be going to hang us to-night!'

"His voice was somewhat shaky.

"`Hang us! no!  Nonsense, Brackenbury!  Dolosa knows much better than to
hang us.  You're not afraid, are you?'

"`Hark!' was the reply; `but now I heard a whisper.  It seems in the
room.  Sure you locked the door?  You see, O'Brady, that with a sword in
my hand, in daylight, and with my foot on my own quarter-deck, I'm fit
for anything.  But I'm not a rat, jigger me if I am.  I believe Dolosa
would do anything.  Now those monster niggers of his, what would hinder
half a dozen of them from smothering us, time about, with a feather-bed?
Ugh! fancy a feather-bed on top of you, and half a dozen hulking black
murderers on top o' that.  Ugh, I say!'

"The sound of whispering and of footsteps had ceased, but both officers
still sat up, straining their ears.

"O'Brady laughed low.  `Bedad, Brackenbury, it wouldn't take half a
dozen hulking niggers to cook your goose.  I guess two would do it,
bedad, I do; _Honolulu_!'  The last word was almost shrieked.

"`Goodness be near us!' cried Brackenbury, now fairly chattering with
fear.  `What _is_ the matter, my friend?'

"`My hand,' replied O'Brady, `was lying over the edge of the bed, and a
cold nose touched it.  Egad!  Brackenbury, it did give me the shivers!'

"`Hullo!' cried Brackenbury next.  `What's this?  Murder!  Police!
Guard!  Fire!' he roared.

"Then Captain Brackenbury became suddenly quiet.

"`What is it at all, at all?  Speak, friend, speak!  Are the niggers
killing you?  Have they smothered you alive?  Are you dead entirely?
Speak, then!'

"But his friend did not answer immediately; when he did reply, O'Brady
was more puzzled than ever, and would have given a whole month's pay for
a farthing box of matches, or half a second's light from a purser's dip,
just to see what his companion in darkness and misery was about.

"`My pretty darling, then,' Brackenbury was saying, in a fond and
wheedling voice.  `Come into my arms, then, you cosy-mosy little pet.
Now, now then, now then, now!'

"`Brackenbury,' cried O'Brady, `what _are_ you saying?  Is it leave of
your seven senses you're taking?  Have the trials of the day been too
much for you?  Or is it asleep and dreaming you are?'

"`Ha! ha! ha!' laughed the captain.  `'Pon my soul, O'Brady, I'm
astonished at _you_, being afraid of a mongoose.  Ha! ha! ha!'

"`A mongoose! eh?  What?  Who's afraid?' spluttered O'Brady.

"`Yes, a mongoose!  That was the cold nose you felt.  It jumped on top
of my bed, it is now nestling round my neck.  Darling, then, pretty

"`Very well explained,' said the old captain, `very well indeed.  Quite
accounts for the milk in the cocoanut.  Good-night--good-night!'

"Both awoke at the same moment next morning, sat up in their beds--
facing each other--and rubbed their eyes.  They gave one glance up at
the tall window, through which the sunlight was streaming in
many-coloured rays, then rubbed their eyes, then looked at each other

"`I couldn't make out where I was for a moment,' said O'Brady.

"`Nor I,' replied Brackenbury.

"There was a knock at the door.

"`Can I come in, geentlemans?' said a voice with a strong foreign

"`Pull the latch,' said O'Brady, seeing that his companion hesitated.

"Brackenbury did as told, and a servant glided into the room, a dark
little pale-faced Portuguese.

"`I bring you de water for shave,' he said, mildly.  `Also de _navaja_,
what you call it, de knife for rasp.  Shall I rasp you?'

"`Thanks, no,' said both; `we will prefer to rasp ourselves.'

"`Vell den, geentlemans, I have also for you de complimentes of de great
Count de Dolosa, and he will be mooch please to see you at breekwust.
In one leetle half-hour de gong veel soun', den I come again and conduct
you to de breekwust-room.'

"`By the way,' cried Brackenbury, as the polite little man was about to
leave, `what is your name?'

"`Name, senor? si senor, my name ees Marco.'

"`Here's an odd half-sovereign I've got no use for, Marco.'

"`Gracias!' muttered Marco, slipping the coin into his waistcoat pocket.

"`Now, Marco,' continued Brackenbury, `you're a kind-hearted sort of a
chap, I know.'

"`_Si, senor, hombre de chapa_.'  [man of sense.]

"`Yes; well, have you heard anything about us?  No preparations to hang
us, or anything of that sort, is there, Marco?'

"Marco came in again, and quietly closed the door.  Then he listened a

"`See, geentlemans,' he said, `I veel not tell a false-dad.  You veel
_die_--perhaps.  Perhaps you veel not.'

"`Well,' grunted O'Brady, `we could have guessed as much.  Thank you for
nothing.  Give him another yellow boy, Brackenbury, I'll pay you some

"The additional coin made Marco smile.

"`Now,' he said, `I tell you _all_ de trut'.  De trut' is dis: you veel
not die for two tree week.  Suppose your people pay plenty _libertad_
monies for you, den you not die at all.  Suppose dey not veel pay de
plenty mooch _libertad_ monies, and suppose, instead, de coome and fight
here, den you die ver' quick indeed.'

"`Thank you, thank you!' cried O'Brady.  `Give him one more yellow boy,

"`Dash my buttons, sir,' said Brackenbury, `how free you can make with
other people's cash, O'Brady!'

"Marco retired, smiling sweetly on his third yellow boy, and the two
officers began to think of getting up.

"`Ahem!' said Brackenbury.

"`What?' said O'Brady.

"`I'm a little shy,' said Brackenbury, `in dressing in the same
apartment with any one else.  Ahem! did you ever know, O'Brady, that I
wore a wig?'

"`No,' grunted O'Brady.  `'Pon my soul, you're as shy as a girl,
Brackenbury.  I ain't shy.  Now look here, did it ever strike you that I
had a glass eye?'

"`Well, no--ahem!--I've noticed, though, that you squinted a bit.  Fact
is, to put it straight, I've observed you looking very steadily at the
main-truck with one eye, and apparently looking at the compass with the
other.  Ha! ha! ha!'

"`Well, what does it matter?' said O'Brady.  `I'm going on for sixty
years of age, man.'

"`And I,' said Brackenbury, `am precious near fifty--'

"`Just on the other side o' the hedge, eh?  Ha! ha!  You gay young dog.
Look here!' he continued, `perhaps you wouldn't believe it, but I have a
cork leg!'

"`Well,' cried Brackenbury, springing out of bed and preparing to shave,
`I'm glad we've both made a clean breast of it.'

"They both laughed hearty now; fact is, they felt lighter in spirits
since Marco told them there was no immediate cause for apprehension.

"And Brackenbury pulled out his false teeth, and O'Brady pulled out his,
and Brackenbury threw his wig on the top of his bed, and appeared in all
the beauty of his baldness, while O'Brady laid his glass eye on the
table, and brandished his cork leg by way of showing the captain what he
could do with it.

"Silly old fogies, weren't they?  But by the time the gong went roaring
and clanging through the halls they were both dressed and waiting for

"This individual glided silently on in front of them; for the carpets in
the corridors were as soft as moss itself.

"`Splendid mansion it looks in daylight, don't it?' whispered O'Brady.
`What a noble corridor!  Just look at those chandeliers, look at the
stained windows, and those frescoes!  Must have cost a power o' money,

"`Didn't cost _him_ much, I expect,' muttered his friend.  `You forget
you're not in a hotel, but in the house of a robber chief.'

"`Hush, hush, hush! not so loud, please; every whisper is heard in this
strange place.'

"Black servants or slaves, with white garments, squatted here and there
in the hall, pulling punkah strings, and rolling chalk-white eyes at the
two officers as they passed.  They came at length to an immensely tall
door.  At each side of it stood a sentry, dressed in blue and scarlet--
niggers both, savage-looking, armed to the teeth, and over six feet

"They each pulled back a curtain, and our friends found themselves in
the breakfast-room.

"Three great windows looked out upon a noble park, in which were strange
and beautiful trees, marble figures, miniature lakes, gushing fountains,
and many a lovely bird and curious quadruped.

"Dressed in a crimson gown, the folds of which he grasped in one hand
across his chest, the count himself advanced to meet them.  He stopped
halfway and bowed low.

"`I hope my guests slept well?' he said.

"The breakfast was eaten in silence almost.  Afterwards--

"`Gentlemen,' said the count, `let us understand each other.  You are my

"`_Our_ time may come,' interrupted Brackenbury.

"`You are a bold man to talk thus.  I have but to hold up a finger and
you would be dragged hence and strangled.  But you are my guests as well
as prisoners.  If ransomed you will leave this house unharmed.  If

"`You will kill us, eh?'

"Dolosa shrugged his shoulders.

"`'Tis the fortune of war,' he said.

"An hour or two after dinner on the same night Dolosa was lounging on
the broad terrace along with his prisoner guests.  A round moon was
mirrored in a lake some distance beneath them, where antlered deer could
be seen drinking; stars were shining in the sky, and on earth as well,
for fireflies flitted refulgent from bush to bush.

"Hidden somewhere behind the foliage of an upper balcony was a string
band that had been discoursing music of a strange, half-wild, but dreamy
nature that accorded well with scene and time.  The music had just died
away, and there was nothing to be heard but an occasional plash in the
lake, the hum of insects, and the steady hiss of the gushing fountains.

"`'Pon my word,' said Brackenbury, who had dined well, `you have a very
nice little place here.  Pity you're such a rase--'

"`A what--eh?' said Dolosa, quietly, interrupting him.

"`A recluse, I mean.'

"Dolosa smiled, and resumed his cigar.

"`I feel sure,' continued Brackenbury, `that we will be ransomed, but if
not you wouldn't hang us, would you?  Eh, Count?  No, no; I'm sure you
wouldn't.  You're much too good a fellow for that.'

"Dolosa laughed.

"`Oh, no!' he replied, `of course not.  _You_ wouldn't hang _me_ at the
yard-arm if you had me on the _Adelaide_, eh, captain?  No, no; I'm sure
you wouldn't.  You're _much_ too good a fellow for that.'

"`Ah, my friends,' he added, `business is business.  Now if my fellows
return from your ship to-morrow with an unsatisfactory answer, I shall
cut off both your ears, captain, and send them; then your nose.  That's
business.  Have another cigar?'

"But poor Brackenbury was far too sick at heart to smoke any more.

"At bedtime that night two immensely tall negroes entered the room
silently and stood waiting for orders.

"`Why don't you speak, eh?' said Brackenbury.

"Both suddenly knelt in front of Brackenbury and opened great, red,
cavernous mouths.

"`Why,' cried O'Brady, aghast, `never a tongue have they between the
pair of them!  Horrible!  Shut your mouths, ye sturgeons!  Here, put us
to bed.  We come all in pieces, you know.  You'll see.'

"And now Brackenbury pulled out his teeth.  O'Brady did the same.

"The blackamoors looked scared.

"Then Brackenbury took off his wig and threw it on the bed.

"Both negroes glared at him.

"O'Brady quietly removed a glass eye and placed it on the table.

"The negroes edged towards the door.

"But it is the last straw that breaks the camel's back.  The last straw
in this case was O'Brady's cork leg.  When he sat down and whipped that
off, the blackamoors rushed headlong to the door and fled howling along
the corridor.

"Then Marco came in, all smiles and politeness.

"`They will neever, neever come again,' said Marco, laughing, when
Dolosa's guests explained what had happened.

"Two mornings after this the crisis came, for Marco politely informed
them that the first officer of the _Adelaide_ had refused to hand over
the specie to ransom his captain.

"`So,' said Marco, `one of you veel have de ears cut off dis morning.
But neever mind, geentlemans, neever mind,' he added, consolingly.

"Dolosa was as polite as if nothing were about to happen.  It was a
breakfast fit for a king, but, singular to say, neither Brackenbury nor
O'Brady had the least bit of appetite.  They felt sick at heart with the
shadow of some coming evil.

"They retired soon after to their room, but hardly had they entered ere
the urbane Marco glided in and tapped each on the shoulder.

"He pointed smilingly to his own ears with his two thumbs.

"`De time is coome, geentlemans,' he said; `but it is nodings,
geentlemans.  Neever mind, neever mind.'

"`But I do mind,' spluttered Brackenbury.  `Confound it all, even if we
don't bleed to death right away, what will our wives say to us when we
return to them with no more ears than an adder?  I tell you, Marco, your
master is a diabolical scoundrel.'

"`Hush! hush! capitan,' cried Marco.  `Do not speak so.  De walls have

"`Yes, and I want to keep mine.'

"`See, see,' continued Marco, as two stalwart blacks opened the door and
beckoned to the unfortunate prisoners.

"The courtyard into which they were led was a gloomy one indeed,
surrounded by high bare walls on three sides, with a cliff on the other
going sheer down to the river's side black and dismal.

"Le Comte Pedro de Dolosa lifted his hat.

"`So sorry to trouble you, gentlemen,' he said, `but the case is urgent.
Who comes first?'

"He pointed to the executioners as he spoke.  They were the same negroes
who had led them to the yard.

"Brackenbury confessed afterwards that he now felt as pale as death.  It
did not tend to restore his equanimity to observe one hulking negro
heating an iron to redness in a charcoal stove.  This he knew was to
cauterise the awful wound after the ear had been severed.

"`Who comes first?' repeated the count, sharply.

"`Captain Brackenbury, of course,' said O'Brady.  `He has the honour to
be captain of the ship.'

"`No, no, no!' cried Brackenbury; `you first, O'Brady; honour be hanged,
you're ten years older than I.  Age before honour any day.'

"`Gentlemen,' said Dolosa, `as _you_ cannot agree, _I_ will solve the
difficulty.  Captain Brackenbury, stand forw--'

"He never finished the sentence.

"Such a yell suddenly rang through and around his mansion, accompanied
by the clashing of swords and cracking of pistols.  It was--

  "`As if men fought upon the earth,
  And fiends in upper air.'

"`Hurrah!' cried Brackenbury.  `Our ears are saved.'

"`Off with them--quick,' cried Dolosa, `to the dungeon, and garrote them

"He pulled a pistol from his belt as he spoke and rushed away to join
the _melee_.

"Meanwhile the black giants--not the two whom they had so frightened in
their bedroom--hurried Brackenbury and O'Brady along a corridor.

"But little did they know the mettle that O'Brady was made of.

"All at once he stopped short.  He quickly bent down, and, to the utter
astonishment of his would-be executioners, he undid a leg.

"That leg, Brackenbury said, was a good old-fashioned one, and of
considerable weight.

"Before the hulking negroes recovered their fright, one was felled to
the ground.

"`Poor old O'Brady,' said Brackenbury, while telling the story, `tumbled
on top of him, but I got the leg, and with it I quickly smashed the
other.  In less than a minute both were senseless, and we bound them
hand and foot with the very cords they would have strangled us with.'

"Dolosa was shot, his house was fired, for the _Adelaide's_ men had come
in time.

"In two weeks more Brackenbury told me the _Adelaide_ had rounded the
Horn, and was bearing merrily up for home, with a spanking breeze and
stunsails set.  For ships could sail in those days."

Everybody thanked the doctor for his story, and now, as it was wearing
late, as they had passed--

  "The wee short hour ayout the twal."

Good-nights were said, and hands were shaken, and in half an hour all
but those on watch were sound asleep or dreaming of their far-off homes.

The southern stars were very bright; there was not a sound to be heard
save the lapping of the waves at the ship's side, the far-off beating of
the eternal tom-toms, or the occasional shrill shriek of an Arab
sentinel walking his rounds within the palace walls.



The _Bunting_ had orders to take dispatches for the East India station
before bearing up for England by way of the Cape, for the Suez Canal was
not yet open.

To be sure they would much have preferred to turn southwards at once.

But after all a month or so more could make but little difference after
so long a commission--they had been away from England now nearly five
long years.

On the very next day, however, after the dinner-party, steam was got up,
and the _Bunting_ departed from Zanzibar.

How merrily the men worked now!  How cheerfully they sang!  Everybody
seemed in better temper than his neighbour.  For were they not,
virtually speaking, homeward bound.

"If we do happen to come across another prize you know," said Captain
Wayland to Mr Dewar, "we won't say no to her, will we?"

"That we won't, sir," was the laughing reply; "the more the merrier, and
it won't be my fault if a good outlook isn't kept both by night and

Sailors love the sea, and quite delight, as the old song tells us, in--

  "A wet sheet and a flowing sail."

But there are times when even a sailor may feel weary on the ocean.  My
experience leads me to believe that so long as a ship is positively
doing something, and going somewhere in particular, Jack-a-tar is
perfectly contented and happy.  In such a case--a sailing ship on a long
voyage, for example--if the wind blows dead ahead, dead in the good
chip's eye, Jack may feel thrown back a bit in his reckoning, but he
eats and sleeps and doesn't say much, he has got to work to windward,
and this brings out all the craft's good sailing capacity.  If it blows
a gale in a wrong direction--well, she is laid to, and however rough the
weather be, Jack comforts himself and his mates with the assurance that
it can't go on blowing in the same direction for ever.  Neither it does;
and no sooner is the vessel lying her course again, with her stem
cleaving through the blue water, than Jack begins to sing, like a
blackbird just let loose from a pie.

If the ship gets caught in a tornado, then there is so much to do that
there is really no time for grumbling.

But what Jack can _not_ stand, with anything like equanimity, is
inaction.  Being in the doldrums, for instance, on or about the line.

  "As idle as a painted ship
  Upon a painted ocean."

In such a case Jack does growl, and, in my humble opinion, no one has a
better right to do so.

The day after that joyful evening described in last chapter, when, by
this time, the men had not only read their letters o'er and o'er, but
had almost got them by heart, as the long row of white palatial-looking
buildings that forms the frontage of that strange city, Zanzibar, was
left behind, and the greenery of trees was presently lost to view, the
men's spirits grew buoyant indeed.  For fires were now ordered to be
banked, as a breeze sprang up--quickly, too, as breezes are wont to in
these latitudes.

Sail was set, pretty close hauled she had to be, but away went the
_Bunting_ nevertheless, cutting through the bright sparkling water like
a knife.  It was a wind to make the heart of a true sailor jump for joy.
It cut the pyramidal heads of the waves off, and the spray so formed
glittered in the sunshine like showers of molten silver; it sang rather
than roared through the rigging, it kept the vane extended like a
railway signal arm, it kept the pennant in a constant state of flutter,
it kept the sails all full and free from wrinkle, and every sheet as
taut as a fiddle-string.  It was a "ripping" breeze, a happy bracing
breeze, a breeze that gave one strength of nerve and muscle, and light
and joy of mind.

The officers were all on deck, from the captain to the clerk, walking
rapidly up and down as if doing a record or winning a bet.

The breeze continued for days till, indeed, the ship was degrees north
of the line.

But one lovely night, with a clear sky and the moon shimmering on the
wave crests, and dyeing the water with streaks like molten gold, it fell
calm.  The wind went away as suddenly almost as it had sprung up.

There were men in the chains.  Every now and then their voices rang up
from near the bows in that mournful kind of chant that none can forget
who have ever heard it "And a half fi--ive."

"And a quarter less six."  And so on.  They had just come over an ugly
bit of shoal water, and from the mast-head, where Harry himself--it was
his watch--had gone to view the situation, he could notice that there
were patches of the same kind of coral shoals almost everywhere around.

It was an ugly situation.  He could not help wishing that the wind had
continued but a little longer, or that it would again spring up from the
same quarter.  But there were the sails flapping sometimes in one
direction, sometimes in another, and taking desperate pulls and jerks at
the sheets, causing the _Bunting_ to kick about in a manner that was far
from agreeable.

Harry was just about to order sail to be taken in, for he knew not in
what direction the wind would come from.

He had already taken the liberty of rousing the sleeping engineer, and
telling him to get up steam with all possible speed.

"Hands, shorten sail!"

"Ready about."

For the wind seemed now commencing to blow from off the land.

He ran up to the maintop once more to take a view of the situation.

Heavens! what was coming yonder?  Away on the horizon a long bank of
snow-white fog or foam, high as poplar trees it seemed; and as he
listened for a moment spellbound, he could hear a distant roar like that
which breakers make on a sandy beach on a windless, frosty night in
winter, only more continuous.  It was the scourge of the Indian Ocean.
It was the dreaded white squall.

It came on in foam and fury, lightning even playing athwart and behind

"All hands on deck!" roared Harry.  In his excitement he hardly knew
what he was saying.  "Stand by to let go everything!  Hard a port!"

Everything indeed!  Hardly had he spoken ere the squall was on them, the
wind roaring like a den of wild beasts, the sea around them like a
maelstrom, ropes snapped like worsted threads, sails in ribbons, and
rattling like platoon fire, blocks adrift, sheets streaming like
pennants, and the canvas that held out-bellying to the dreadful blast
and carrying the vessel astern at the rate of knots.

Caught aback in a white squall! no situation can be more dangerous or
appalling!  Well for them was it that the _Bunting_ was long and low and
rakish; a brig would have gone down stern first, giving those on board
hardly time to utter a prayer.

For five long minutes astern she sped.  Two men were knocked down
dangerously wounded, and washed into the lee scuppers, where they would
have been drowned, but for the almost superhuman exertions of the
surgeon and steward.

Five long minutes, but see, good seamanship has triumphed!  She is round
at last, all sail off that could be got off.  She is scudding almost
under bare poles--scudding whither?

Scudding straight apparently to destruction.  Through the mist and the
rain that swallows the moonlight, they cannot make out a reef that lies
right ahead of them, till she is on it, till she rasps and bumps, till
every man is thrown flat on deck, and the man pitched over the wheel.

It is all up with the _Bunting_!

Ah! many a half-despairing prayer went heavenward then, many a
half-smothered cry for mercy from Him to whom all things are possible,
and who holds the sea in the hollow of His hand.

Bending over his bleeding patients down below in the steerage, the
doctor never ceases his work, albeit the ship has struck, and the seas
are making a clear breach over, albeit he is up to the ankles in the
water that is pouring down green through the hatchway.

The steward is frantic.

Little Raggy in the captain's cabin, to whom Harry himself had taken
pains to teach the things of a better life and a better world, is on his

"O! big Fader in heaven," he is saying, "don't let de ship sinkee for
true.  Dis chile no want to die to-night.  De waves make plenty much
bobbery, de masts dey break and fall.  Take us out ob de gulp (gulph).
Lor, take us out ob de gulp, and save us for true."

It is all up with the _Bunting_, is it?

No, for even now from away to windward yonder, unseen by those on board,
comes the bore, the hurricane wave.  High as houses is it, fleet almost
as the wind itself, onward it rolls, downward it comes; and now it is on
the reef, it lifts the ship aloft as gently, as easily as a mother lifts
her baby and bears her away to safety.

Almost immediately afterwards the fury of the squall is completely
spent, the waves no longer break on board, nor the foam and the froth,
and the spume.  Men can see each other now, and hear each other talk,
and orders are given by the captain himself to cut away the wreck, for
the foremast has gone five feet above the board.

Half an hour afterwards steam was up, and all was still around the ship,
while in the sky calmly shone the moon and stars.  But a narrow escape
indeed it had been for the good little vessel and the gallant crew that
were in her.  Though not scathless, the ship had escaped destruction on
the reef in that terrible hurricane-squall.

"If ever," said Captain Wayland, solemnly, "we have had cause for
thankfulness to that great Being who rules on earth and sea, it is this

The captain was standing near the wheel with uncovered head and upturned
gaze, the soft light of the moon falling on his face.

There was something very beautiful in this simple, silent, thankful
adoration; both the doctor and Dewar, who were standing not far off,
felt its influence.  Ay, and rough old sailors, who had weathered many a
storm and braved many a danger, bared their heads even as the captain
did, and breathed that little word that means so much--"Amen?"

The loss of her foremast did not improve the appearance of the
_Bunting_, but as they would now complete the voyage under steam, and
repair damages at Calcutta, it did not matter very much.

She was kept more in towards the low sandy coast, for north here never a
tree or shrub may be seen, while away down south of the line the ocean
is edged with a cloudland of green, the leafy mangroves growing on the
beach--yes, and in the water itself.

Low sandy hills, and mountains and rocks beyond.  Sometimes they come in
sight of a squalid Somali-Arab village, but there was no inducement to

But see, what is that stealing out round the point?  A dhow, and a very
large one; a two-masted vessel.

She notices the _Bunting_ as soon as they notice her, and immediately
puts about and stands away northward before the breeze.

This is suspicious, and the _Bunting_ gives chase.  The dhow has a four
miles' start and goes swinging along at a wonderful rate.

"Go ahead at full speed," is the order.

The _Bunting_ is gaining on the dhow, but in another hour it will be

Mr Dewar slips slyly down below.  He goes to the store-room, and a few
minutes afterwards he appears at the engine-room door, bearing in his
arms half a side of fat bacon.

He winks to the engineer.  The latter cuts off a huge junk and sticks it
in the fire.

"If you'd like Raggy to come and sit on the safety valve," says Mr
Dewar, "I'll send him."

The engineer laughs heartily at the idea, and answers--

"The fat'll do the job," Mr Dewar, "without poor Raggy."

So it does, and just as the sun is dropping like a red-hot cannon-ball
into the sea, and turning the waves to blood, the first shot goes
roaring through the rigging of that doomed dhow.

Another and another follow, still she cracks on.  Then a shell or two
are fired and burst right over her.

The Arabs cannot stand that.  They lower sails at once.

But behold! almost at the same moment a boat leaves the dhow, and
impelled by sturdy arms goes bounding away shoreward.

"Ah!" says Captain Wayland, "the Arabs won't stop to reckon with us, and
they will soon be where we can't follow them."

"Never mind," replies Mr Dewar, laughing, "we'll have the prize."

"And, sir," he adds, "it is all owing to a bit of fat."

"All through what, Mr Dewar?"

"A bit of fat, sir.  I'll tell you again, and beg forgiveness in due

The saloon of this huge dhow was furnished with truly oriental

Lamps, mirrors, carpets, curtains, ottomans, and bijouterie, all in
taste, all luxurious in the extreme.

The hold was filled to the hatches with moaning, pining slaves.

Hardly was there enough rice on board her to keep them alive for even a
three weeks' voyage, and scarcely water enough to keep them out of agony
for a week.

But all this was changed now.  The poor creatures were had up in
batches, their irons were knocked off, they were washed and fed.
Finally, everything was made clean and comfortable for them below, and
when all was done that could be done, a prize crew was put on board,
under the command of Harry Milvaine, and the dhow and the _Bunting_
parted company with three ringing cheers three times repeated.

The gunboat steamed away north and by east, while the dhow spread her
great wings to the breeze and went tacking away for Zanzibar.

Just two months after this, the _Bunting_ was nearing Symon's Town, all
having gone as merrily with her, since leaving Calcutta, as marriage
bells.  Dr Scott and Dewar were chaffing each other, as they very
frequently did.

The doctor had a long string floating overboard from the stern, and
every now and then he caught and hauled on board a Cape pigeon, which he
had managed by skilful manoeuvring to entangle with his tackle.

He had them running about the deck to the number of twenty or more.

"What are you going to do with all these birds?" asked Dewar.  "You
silly old Sawbones!"

"I'm merely catching them for sport, you mouldy old logarithm," replied
Scott.  "I'll let them off again presently, that will be more sport."

"Strange, isn't it, my dear Dr Fungus," said Dewar, "that they can't
fly away after they once alight on deck?"

"Not at all," returned the surgeon, "not at all strange, Mr
Five-knots-an-hour; the explanation is simple.  They are attacked by
_mal de mer_--seasickness, you know--"

"Yes, yes, I know that much French, Mr Sawbones."

"Well, old Binnacle-lamp, I'm glad you do know something.  The birds get
seasick and can't fly, and don't care much what becomes of themselves."

"Humph!" said Mr Dewar, walking away laughing.  "Very little is fun to
fools--beg pardon, doctor, I mean to foolosophers."

In another twenty-four hours the saucy little _Bunting_ was lying safely
at anchor in Symon's Bay.  And what a lovely place is this same bay with
its surrounding scenery!  Oh! the beauty, the summer beauty, the spring
and autumn beauty of those grand old hills that mirror their purple
heath-clad heads in the placid waters of that enchanting bay!  How
gorgeous the flowers that blaze on its trees, how golden the sands on
which the waves break in streaks of snowy foam!  Its very rocks are
tinted, and bronzed with the sunshine of ages, even its most barren
spots, where, high up among the mountains, the soil peeps through, are
rich in brooms and lichen-grey, for Time himself has been the artist

Captain Wayland had half, or nearly wholly expected to find Midshipman
Milvaine here waiting for him.  He was quite uneasy when a steamer
straight from Zanzibar and Seychelles came in, and reported that no
slave dhow with a prize crew had been seen at the former town.

The _Bunting_ lay at Symon's Bay a fortnight, and during that time,
first a French man-o'-war, and next an English trading steamer arrived
from Zanzibar straight away.  But still no tidings of the missing dhow.

The _Bunting_ then bore up for home, arriving in good time in Plymouth
Sound, duly reported herself, and in less than a week was paid off.

Captain Wayland took the pains to go all the way to the Highlands of
Scotland to report correctly the story of the dhow.

He was most hospitably received, and did not get away for nearly three

Both Harry's parents were plunged into grief at the captain's tidings,
but his reason for coming north was to make the best of matters that he
could, and he left them at last resigned and hopeful, Harry's mother
especially assuring him that she felt certain her son would turn up
again safely and soon.

But alas! and alas! weeks flew by, and months passed into a year, and a
year into long years, but no tidings ever were received of that lost
dhow and her unhappy crew.

Then hope died out of even the mother's heart, and she even began to
look old, and grow grey under the pressure of her woeful grief.




"Call it not revenge, my brother; say it is but an act of justice, stern
justice, and I am with you."

"Allah is great, Allah is good," replied the Arab whom his companion had
addressed as brother.

They were both talking in their own language, a language at once so
forcible and flowery, that all attempts to render it into English ends
but in a poverty-stricken paraphrase.

"Yes, Allah is good."

The difference between the two speakers was very remarkable.  They were
brothers only by courtesy.

One sat on the edge of a kind of wooden sofa or dais; in front of him
was a small table of Hindoo manufacture, on which there stood a brown
earthenware water chatty, some glasses, and a bottle of sherbet [Note
1].  He was fair in skin, delicate in complexion, with a mild and almost
benevolent aspect.  He was unarmed, and though he wore the usual dress
of an Arab gentleman, over all he wore a cloak of green camel's hair,
probably denoting him to be a scion of the great prophet.

The other Arab was tall, stately, swarthy, nay, but almost black.  He
was armed _cap-a-pie_, and ever as he spoke he strode rapidly up and
down the floor of the room.  A large apartment it was, in an upper room
of a great square flat-roofed house in Brava, a village or town close by
the sea, and some distance north of the line.

The room had no signs of luxury or even comfort about it, and no more
furniture than a gaol.  The walls were of clay, and unadorned except by
creeping lizards; the one little window looked out towards the ocean,
and a long reef of rocks that lay like a gigantic breakwater--from north
to south--about a mile out.

There were a few clouds in the sky that looked like gigantic ostrich
feathers; now and then these would flit across the sun, casting patches
of green shade on the otherwise blue sea.

That a breeze was blowing, or had been blowing far away out, and far
away eastwards, was evident enough, even on the beach at Brava, for here
the breakers were as tall as trees, they came curling onwards with the
fleetness of desert horses, with the strength of a thousand cataracts,
then broke on the sands with a noise like thunder, retreating again in a
chaos of brown froth, with a hurtling, sucking sound, as if they would
fain draw the very town itself into their grasp.

On the beach itself "the boys" were at play.

What was their play?  What was their game?  Was it football, tip-cat, or
modest marbles?  Not quite.

Just behold them in imagination, as I have done in reality.  There
cannot be fewer than a hundred of those boys scattered in groups all
along the shore.  Tall, lank, sharp-featured lads of all ages, from
twelve to twenty.  Naked they are except for the smallest of
cummerbunds, and the sun is glittering on their well-greased skins.

Black?  No, not quite black, rather of the colour of tarnished copper,
their mouths are small and cruel-like, their features sharp and
well-defined, their eyes twinkling with ill-concealed cunning and
malice, and their heads surmounted by great hassocks of hair, in which
clay has been mixed to make it stand well out.  They use clay for the
same purpose as ladies of civilisation used the perfumed bandoline.

They are Somali Indians, of the lowest caste, if, indeed, there be any
caste among them.

Here are two engaged in what seems a mortal combat, a deadly duel.  They
are standing confronting each other at a distance of some twenty or
thirty paces.  Each is armed with a little round shield, made from the
hardened skin of a water buffalo's hump, and studded with big brass
nails.  Each holds in his hand a long and deadly-looking spear--not a
broad-bladed one, this latter being only used for hand-to-hand fighting.
The game is that each may hurl his spear at the other when and how he
pleases.  The other has either to dodge it or receive its point on the
small strong shield.  The quick, rapid, snake-like movements of the
body, and the strange but graceful attitudes assumed, are truly
wonderful to behold.  The agility of these Indians, their skill in
parrying and strength in hurling these deadly spears if once witnessed
can never be forgotten.

But wounds are not unfrequent, and on rare occasions a spear may pierce
the body of a friendly antagonist.  Blood is staunched by styptics,
which Arab merchants vend them, and if a lad is slain, he does not
obtain the comfort of a coroner's inquest, he is simply buried in the
sand, or even exposed on the beach itself.  Then at night wild dogs come
and quarrel and fight over his remains, crabs creep up out of the sea to
the awful feast, and what the dogs and crabs leave is speedily disposed
of by colonies of ants.  So the bones are picked clean enough; for a
time they lie bleaching in the sun, till the tide comes up and gradually
buries them in the soft sand.

Look again.  Here are some half a dozen younger boys--guiltless of
clothing of any sort; they have been playing in the sea, dashing in
under the breakers with the speed of eels, and coming up far beyond in
smooth but rolling water, disappearing under the surface, and remaining
under for long minutes, bobbing up again, riding in upon the very
curling sharp crests of the breakers themselves, and being floated and
rolled up upon the beach in the smother of surf and spume, laughing,
yelling, and turning head over heels with delight.  And now they are
fighting with bones, or pelting each other with them, laughing and
yelling as loudly as ever.

Just one other _tableau_.  Two tall youths engaged in a frenzied combat
with Somali swords, terrible-looking long knives, as broad almost as a
spade.  The swiftness of stroke and parry or shield is truly marvellous;
but at last, as if by a single accord, the awful knives and eke the
shields are cast aside, and they clutch each other with deadly grip and
fierce: they fight for the throats.  See, they are both rolling on the
sand, but one at last is victorious, his talonlike, long bony fingers
have closed upon his adversary's neck.  He beats his head against the
sand, till eyeballs and tongue protrude, then he slowly rises, and
retreats a pace or two, still with his eyes on his supposed foe.  He
feels backwards with his hand till he touches a sword, he seizes it, and
with a yell springs forward again and stands triumphant over his fallen
fellow, the deadly knife just grazing his neck.  Will he strike?  No,
for here the combat ends.  By and by the vanquished Indian lad will gasp
and sigh, and presently rise, slowly and feebly, and creeping seawards,
refresh himself with a dip beneath the waves.

But to return to the room where the Arabs are.

"They do tell me at Zanzibar," said the dark and soldier Arab, "that in
Europe they place machines beneath the waves, which, if a ship do but
strike, she is blown to death and destruction.  Could we not import
these?  Money would not be wanting, and you, Mahmoud, have the key to
good foreign society.  Oh I fancy the glory of blowing up a British

"Talk not thus," was the reply, "nor let us even dream of forsaking the
form in which our fathers fought.  With sword and spear, and Allah's
help, they conquered the North, they overran the West, and laid even the
might of Spain in the dust.  Let us bide our time.  Long has it been
dark, but the dawn will come.  A prophet will arise.  He will conquer
the world in Allah's name, and every man, woman, or child who adopts not
the true faith will be put to the knife."

"Oh! these will be glorious times, Mahmoud."

"Gloat not over them, Suliemon.  It is still with the spirit of revenge
you speak.  Think of future wars and executions as but necessities, the
darkness of the inevitable clouds, that will be dispelled by the
glorious rising sun of peace and joy."

"Revenge," muttered Suliemon, through his set teeth.  "Curb not my
feelings, Mahmoud.  They are just.  Think what I have suffered from
British cruisers.  Thrice have they run me on shore, twice have they
burned my dhows.  To-day I would be wealthy but for them.  Curses on
them, I say!" he thundered, half drawing his sword, and sending it
ringing back into the sheath again.

"Stay, brother, stay; I will not sit and hear such exclamations.  Allah
is good, but tempt him not, or he may leave you to a fate worse than
that which befel your own brother in Zanzibar."

"Yes, my brother was hanged, hanged at the hands of those infidel dogs.
Oh!  Mahmoud, Mahmoud, can you wonder if I sometimes forget myself,
forget your teaching, and loose grip of our religion?  My wife, too,
Mahmoud, chased on shore--death by jungle fever.  Would you have me
forget that also, Mahmoud?"

"Yes," said Mahmoud, solemnly; "I'd have you forget even that."

Suliemon was standing by the little window, gazing seawards, and as
Mahmoud spoke the last word--

"Look, look!" he shouted, or almost yelled.  "It is she--it is my dhow--
deep, deep, in the water--scudding northwards before the breeze; they
are going to beach her ere she sinks--Allah!  Allah be praised!  I'll
have my wish!"

He girded his sword-belt more tightly as he spoke, and, without even a
word of farewell to Mahmoud, rushed out, and down the Stone stairs.
They ended in a little narrow lane which conducted him to the sands.

At once, on his appearance, all games were stopped.  The boys dropped
their bones, the young men sheathed their swords and shouldered their
spears, and next minute he was surrounded.  They knew by the face of
their warlike chief he had something of much importance to communicate.

His words were brief and to the point.  "Fifty of you I want," he said.
"You, Saleedin," he continued, "will be captain.  Be well-armed, bring
irons and surf-boats, and carry with you water, boiled rice, and dates.
Bid your friends farewell, the journey may be a long one.

"Saleedin, keep along on the brow of the hill, but keep the boys out of
sight behind, keep abreast of yonder dhow, and when she is beached come
quickly to me: I shall be on the shore."


Right well had the captain of the double-masted slave dhow--captured by
the _Bunting_--played his game.  Right well and right cleverly.

As speedily as possible the dhow had been put in charge of Harry
Milvaine; probably three hours had scarcely elapsed ere she and the
gunboat parted company.

Knowing well that he could rely on his men, Harry retired about eleven
o'clock to the beautiful saloon, and having caused Doomah, the Arab
interpreter and spy who was acting steward, to light the lamps, he threw
himself on a couch and gave way to thought.  He did not feel at all
inclined to sleep, and somehow or other, he, to-night, felt under the
shadow of a cloud of melancholy.  He could not account for it, he was
seldom otherwise than light and bright and happy.

Being a Highlander, he was naturally somewhat superstitious.

"I would give worlds," he said to himself, "to know what is doing at
home to-night, and to be sure that my dear mother and father are well.
Dear old father, sitting even now, perhaps, smoking his everlasting
meerschaum behind his _Scotsman_.  And mother--reading.  Oh! would I
could sit beside her for a moment, and tell her how often her boy thinks
of her!"

Then all the events of his young days rose up before his mind--his
governess and Towsie Jock; he laughed, melancholy though he was, when he
thought of that night in the tree--his garden, his summer-house, and
pets, and his dear friend Andrew.

He touched a gong and Doomah appeared.

"Are you sleepy?"

"No, sir, I not sleepy."

"Then come and tell me a story--the story of your life."

"Ah! dat is not mooch, sir.  Plenty time I be in action.  I have many
wounds from Arab guns."

"Because you're a spy, you know."

"A spy, sir!  Not I, sir.  No, I am interpreter; I fight in de interests
of de Breetish Queen of England."

"Well, well, have it so."

"Pah!  I no care dat mooch for de Arabs.  Pah!  When dey catch me den
dey kill me.  What matter?  Some day all die.  I am happy, I have one,
two, tree wife, and dey all love Doomah, ebery one mooch more dan de
oder.  And when I go home I shall marry Number 4.  Ha! ha!"

Doomah kept talking to Harry till all his melancholy had almost if not
quite gone.

It was now about four bells in the middle watch, and Harry was thinking
of sleep, when the curtain was drawn aside and Nicholls the bo's'n
entered.  He was Harry's lieutenant.

"Sorry to say, sir, the ship is leaking like a sieve, sir."

"That is bad news, Nicholls," said Harry, starting up.

"It be, sir; but what makes matters worse is that I believe she is

"But there were no signs of leakage before we parted with the

"No, indeed, sir, these rascally slaver Arabs know what they are about.
The scuttling was filled up with paper, sure to come out after she had a
few hours of way on her."

"This is serious indeed.  Think you--can we keep her afloat till we
reach Zanzibar?"

"If we could pump, yes."

"Well, rig the pump."

"_It is gone, sir.  Doubtless_ thrown overboard."

"That is indeed serious, Mr Nicholls."

By daybreak the breeze had freshened considerably, but veered a bit, and
was now dead ahead.  The water had gained so much that the slaves had
all to be taken on deck.  Bailing was kept up, but seemed to do
comparatively little good.

Harry walked up and down the deck for some time in deep thought.  At
last he called Mr Nicholls.

"Put her about," he said, "she'll make less water, then we will try to
run for Magadoxa.  We know the Parsee merchant there.  And the Somalis
are civil."

"As civil," said Nicholls, "as Somalis can be, when you are not standing
under the lee of British bayonets.  Trust a Somali and make friends with
a fiend."

The dhow went round with terrible flapping of her enormous sails, and
much creaking of blocks, her great wings almost dragging the vessel on
her beam ends.

But she went fast enough now.  Dhows do fly before the wind, and,
water-logged though this vessel was, her speed was marvellous.

She was far out at sea, however, and soon had to be hauled closer to the
wind in order to gain the shore.

By midday they were about fifteen miles south of Brava, but the wind was
falling, and the dhow now fast filling.  They staggered past the ancient
little town, but all hopes of reaching Magadoxa soon fled, and it became
evident to every one that they must soon beach her or sink.

The coast here is most dangerous, owing to the number of sunken rocks,
and to the long stretches of shallow water--water on which the breakers
sometimes run mountains high, as the saying is, but where between the
waves the bottom was everywhere close to the surface.  Only the native
surf-boats could get over shoals like these.

Looking for a place on a lee-shore on which to beach a vessel is sad
work, and trying to the nerves; you may pass a fairly good spot,
thinking to come to a better; you may go farther and fare worse.

Harry's, however, was a decided character, and when he came, some ten
miles to the north of Brava, to a spot where the breakers did not seem
to run extremely high--

"Here it must be, Nicholls.  Stand by to lower both our boats."

"Starboard, as hard as she'll go."

Up went the tiller, round came her head, and a minute afterwards she
struck with such fearful violence on a coral rock, that her masts, none
of the strongest, went thundering over the side.

"We must try to save the slaves first, Nicholls."

"That will we, sir.  Never a white man should cease to work until these
poor abject creatures are safely on shore."

"Bravo!  Nicholls.  Well spoken, my brave man!  I will not forget you
when opportunity offers."

Harry cast his eyes shorewards, the breakers were thundering on the
beach, but no one was visible except a solitary armed Arab.

"Lower away the boats.  Gently."

The dhow was already bumping fearfully on the reef and rapidly going to

To stand on deck without clinging to bulwarks or rigging was impossible.
The condition of the slaves was now pitiable in the extreme.  They were
huddled together, buried together, one might say, in one long cluster,
dying, smothering each other, and drowning in the lee scuppers, for the
sea was breaking clean over the wrecked and dismasted dhow.

Our fellows--bold blue-jackets--took them one by one as they came; they
had almost to lift them down into the boats, so utterly prostrated with
fear were they.

At last a boat got clear away.

Hardly had they left the dhow's side, when high over the moaning and
cries of the poor negroes, high over the sound of roaring tumbling waves
and broken hissing water, arose a shout of triumph, and looking in the
direction from which it proceeded, Harry could see the previously all
but deserted beach swarming with armed and naked Indians.

The boat rode in on the top of a breaker, and was speedily seized and
hauled up high and dry.  The men were roped and thrown on their backs,
and the slaves placed in a corner among rocks and guarded by spear-armed

Then surf-boats were launched, and speedily got alongside the dhow.

Thinking nothing about his own safety, Harry was nevertheless glad to
see that the slaves were being taken off, and saved from a watery grave,
whatever their ultimate fate might be.

His men and himself were rowed on shore in the last boat that left that
doomed slave dhow.

In this boat sat that grim dark Arab I have introduced to the reader at
the commencement of this chapter.

For some time he sat sternly regarding Harry.  The young Highlander
returned the gaze with interest.

"Would you not like," he said at last, "to know your fate?"

"No.  And if it be death, I know how to face it."

"It _is_ death.  It _is_ justice, not revenge.  I am Suliemon.  I was
captain of that dhow.  Now you know all and can prepare."

Like his poor men, Harry was bound hands and feet and placed by their
side, fully exposed to the fierce glare of the tropical sun.

How very long the day seemed!  But the evening came at last.  Then great
fires were lighted on the beach, the flare falling far athwart the
waves, and giving the breaking waters the appearance of newly drawn

The scene was wild in the extreme; only the pen of a Dickens and the
pencil of a Rembrandt could have done justice to it.  The trembling
group of slaves--the waves had sadly thinned their ranks--lying,
squatting, or standing on the sands, the poor white men, with pained,
sad faces, the rude cords cutting into ankles and wrists, the wild
gesticulating armed Indians, and the tall figure in white gliding,
ghostlike, here, there, and everywhere.

One of the boats belonging to the _Bunting_ was now carried to the rear,
and on his back across the thwarts, still bound, Harry was placed.  Dry
wood was piled beneath him.  Dry wood was piled all round the boat.

He shut his eyes and commended himself to Heaven.  Even then he thought
of his poor father and mother far away in their bonnie Highland home,
and he prayed that they might never know the fate that had befallen him.

The Indians formed themselves into a fiendish circle, and danced,
yelling, around him, brandishing sword and spear.

But the dark Arab commanded silence.

"Your hour has come," he said, solemnly.

"This," he added, "_is_ justice, not revenge."


Note 1.  What is called sherbet on the Eastern shore of Africa is a
fruit syrup of most delicious flavour and odour.  It is mixed with water
and drunk as a beverage.  Certainly a great improvement on the _eau
sucre_ of our ancestors.



As he spoke these dread words the dark-skinned Arab seized a lighted
torch from an Indian, and was about to apply it to the pyre, when his
arm was struck upwards, and the torch alighted harmlessly on the soft

It was Mahmoud who had struck the blow.

For a moment the two men stood confronting each other.  Even Mahmoud now
had a drawn sword in his hand.

"For his worthless life," cried the latter, "I care not, but for your
eternal welfare, brother, I do.  I have saved you from a deadly sin.
Take not thus rashly away the life you cannot give."

"Back!" he shouted to the Somali Indians, and they shrank cowering and
silent before the wrath of this strange being whom they called a

With a sharp knife he now severed Harry's cords, and bade him stand up.

"You are my prisoner," said Mahmoud in good English; "you are _my
slave_.  If you make no attempt to escape, you shall be comparatively
free; attempt to fly, and--"

He tapped the hilt of his sword as he spoke, and Harry knew only too
well what was meant.

He passed a sleepless night until within an hour or two of morning, when
he dozed off into a pained and dreamful slumber, from which he was
roused at daybreak by Mahmoud himself.  To his great surprise and grief,
the beach was almost deserted.  Some armed Indians still lay near the
white ashes of the dead fires, but his men, the other Arab, and all the
rest of the Somalis were gone.

"Eat," said Mahmoud, "you have far to go."  He placed a dish of fragrant
curry before him as he spoke, and Harry partook of it mechanically.

"Where am I to be taken to?" he inquired of this warlike priest.

"Ask nothing," was the reply.  "I have saved your life, be thankful to
Allah.  Prepare to march."

Surrounded by armed, grinning Somalis, many bearing parcels on their
heads, with Mahmoud trudging on in front, the journey was commenced,
straight away across the sandy hills, where only here and there some
little tuft of grass or some pale green weed was growing.

At the top of the ridge Harry, in spite of his guard, paused for a
moment to look back.  Never, he thought, had the sea looked more lovely.
Save where in whitish yellow patches the coral shoals were showing, the
whole surface, unrippled by a wavelet, was of a deep cerulean blue.
Here and there a shark's fin made the water tremble, and here and there
a white bird floated.

"Oh," he thought, "could he only be as free as one of those happy
sea-birds!  But never again," he sighed; "no, never again!"

Even in the morning the sun was fiercely hot, but towards noon it became
almost insupportable, and Harry was glad indeed when green things
appeared at last, and the halt was made in the shade of a little forest
land--a kind of oasis in a barren desert.  Here was a cool spring and a
few cocoanut trees.

Some of the Somalis climbed these as one climbs a ladder, holding on
like monkeys to little stirrup-like steps that ran all up one side of
the trees.  They then cut and threw down some of the greenest, and
Harry, in grief though he was, was glad enough to regale himself on the
proffered fruit.  They were filled principally with "milk," for the nut
itself was hardly yet formed, otherwise than as a transparent jelly.

It may interest some of my young readers to know how the water or milk
of the cocoanut is got at, after the great nut has been thrown to the
ground by the monkey-like boy in the tree.

Cocoanut trees grow all over the tropical world, and their appearance
must be familiar to every one--immensely tall stems with feathery-like
tops formed of great palmate leaves.  The stems are hardly as thick as
an ordinary larch, and they are seldom altogether straight.  Close to
the tree-top, and in under the leaves, as if to hide from the blazing
sun, grow the nuts.  When large enough for use one or two are culled.
The nut itself is covered by the thick, green husk--that which Sally
scrubs the kitchen floor with at home here in England; it is young now,
however, but tough enough.  The "nigger" at the tree-foot, who has been
very careful to look after his own nut while the fruit came tumbling
down, now thrusts a stake pointed at both ends into the ground; against
the protruding point he strikes the top of the cocoanut with all his
force again and again till he has forced open a portion of husk.  Then
his knife comes into play, and presently he has quite cut away the top
of the husk and nut as well, for the shell is still soft.  Then he hands
you the cool green cup, and before drinking you look inside and see only
water with just a little clear jelly adhering to the inside of the
shell.  You drink and drink and drink again--there is probably about a
pint and a quarter of it.  Oh, how sweet, how cold--yes, _cold_--how
delicious it is!  Probably after you have drunk all the water, you may
care to eat some of the jelly, which you scoop out with your knife the
best way you can.  Well, you will confess when you try it that you never
really tasted cocoanut before.  Neither Christmas pudding, nor custard,
nor anything ever you ate in life is anything to be compared to it.

Yes, the cocoanut tree is well suited to the climate in which it grows;
it is a God-gift to the native and to travellers from foreign lands.  I
may add that it is chiefly near the sea you find the cocoanut tree, for
it is a thirsty soul.  And no wonder.  Look at those broad, green leaves
expanded to the sun, from which the sap must be constantly evaporating.

When cruising on the shores of Africa in open boats, towards evening we
used to look out for a part of the coast, where we saw cocoanut trees
rearing their nodding heads high in air.  There we used to land, certain
that we would find native huts and human beings at the foot of them,
from whom we could buy fowls to make our cock-a-leekie soup and stew,
previously to pulling off from the shore and lying at anchor to wait the
coming morn.

All this is a digression, still I have no doubt it will be found
interesting to some, and the others are welcome to skip it.

After a few hours of grateful rest, on went the caravan, Mahmoud himself
at its head, trudging steadily, sturdily along, his eyes for the most
part cast on the ground, and leaning on his spear.  He never deigned to
address a word to Harry--not that Harry cared much for that, for his
back was turned to the sea, he was leaving all he cared for in the
world, and going into exile, going he knew not whither.  His prospects
were as dreary as the scenery around him, and what is more heartless to
behold than a barren plain stretching away apparently to the
illimitable, without hill and with hardly rising ground, stunted bushes
here and there, and beneath one's feet the everlasting scrubby, "benty,"
half-scorched grass?  He thought this day would never end, that the sun
would never decline towards the hazy horizon.  But it did at last.  It
went round and stared them in the face; then it seemed to sink more
rapidly, and finally--all a blaze of purple red--it went down.

The short twilight was occupied by Mahmoud and his yellow-skinned
minions in preparing for the night's bivouac.

Wood was collected, a clearing was found on which to build a fire, and
by and by supper was cooked.

Then Mahmoud retired to prayers!

He took a little carpet, and, going to a distance away, knelt down, then
threw himself on his face in a devotion which I doubt not was sincere
enough.  We ought not to despise the Mahometan religion, nor any
religion, for _any_ religion is better than none.  Oh! woe is me for the
boy or girl who retires to bed without having first felt grateful for
the past, and commended his or her soul to Him for the night!

Harry Milvaine did not forget to pray.

No, he did not; and, like a Scotch boy, he always concluded his
devotions with our Lord's Prayer; but ah! how hard he thought it
to-night to breathe those words, "Thy will be done"!  It seemed that
Heaven itself had deserted him.

For Harry was very low in spirits.

Whither did his thoughts revert?  Home, of course.  It was a pleasure to
think of the dear ones far away, even although something seemed to
whisper to him that he would never see them more.

Presently he fell into a kind of stupor.  He had collected the withered
grass in his immediate neighbourhood and formed it into a sort of
pillow, and on this his head lay.

When he awoke--if he really had been asleep--the moon was shining very
bright and clearly, the camp-fire had died to red shining embers, around
it in various positions lay the Somali Indians, not far off was Mahmoud
himself, while beside Harry's grass pillow, leaning on his rifle, stood
the sentinel.  This rifle had belonged to one of Harry's own men, so had
the belt and well-filled pouch.

Harry raised himself on his elbow.

The sentinel never moved.  There was a deep, death-like stillness over
all the place, broken only now and then by the eldritch laugh of some
prowling hyaena.

For a moment thoughts of escape came into Harry's mind.  He was
unfettered; he was, indeed, on a kind of parole.  In so far only as
this: the Arab Mahmoud had told him he should be free from fetters
unless he attempted to escape; if he did so, he would either be shot
down at once, or, if captured alive, manacled as a slave.  Harry's
answer had been bold enough.

"I accept parole," he had said, "on those conditions, and if I attempt
to escape you may shoot me."

He sat up now and looked about him.  The sentinel moved a few paces off
and stood ready.  But hearing his prisoner cough, and observing his
perfect nonchalance, he stood at ease once more.  Harry threw himself
back.  He shuddered a little, for dew was falling, and the night air was
chill.  Instead of sleeping it was his purpose now to think, but his
thoughts soon resolved themselves into confused and ugly dreams, in
which scenes on board ship were strangely mixed up and jumbled with
those of his life at home and at school.

When he awoke again it was broad daylight, and all the camp was astir.

He ate his breakfast of boiled rice and dates in silence, and shortly
after this a start was made.

Another long weary day.

Another weary night.

What the caravan suffered most from was the want of water.  It was small
in quantity and of such wretched quality, being thick, dark, and
smelling, that Harry turned from his short allowance in loathing and

The route was ever inland, day after day.  Knowing what he did of the
country, Harry thought it strange they were following no direct road or
caravan path.  Sometimes they bore a little south, at other times almost
directly north.

It was evident enough, however, that Mahmoud, their bold and stern
leader, knew what he was about, and knew the country he was traversing,
for he never failed to find water, without which a journey in this
strange land is an impossibility.

The thought of escaping--the wish to escape--grew and grew in Harry's
mind till it formed itself into a fixed resolve.

He would have carried it out at the earliest moment had he deemed it
prudent, but there was the want of water to be considered.  What good
escaping, only to perish miserably in the wilderness?  He would wait
till the country became less barren.

The caravan in its route inland forded more than one broad stream.  By
the banks of these they sometimes journeyed for many miles, rested by
day or camped at night.

Where, Harry often wondered, were his poor men?  What fate was theirs,
and what would his own fate be?

That he was to be sold into slavery, he had little, if any, doubt; and
the truth was rendered more patent to him one evening by overhearing a
conversation in Swahili between two of the Somalis.  It referred to him,
and mention was repeatedly made of the name of a great chief called
'Ngaloo, a name he had never heard before.

"Perhaps," thought Harry, "my men, too, are being driven to this king's
country, though by a different route."

But this was improbable.  Had he believed it at all likely he would have
gone on patiently with his captors, and have shared the fortune of the
poor fellows, whether that might be death or slavery.

No, he determined to escape.

His chance came sooner than he had anticipated.

The caravan was encamped one night by the banks of a stream--a deep and
ugly stream it was, its banks bordered by gigantic euphorbia trees or
shrubs, so shapeless and ugly, that betwixt Harry and the moonlight they
looked living uncanny things, and it needed but little imagination on
his part to make them wave their arms and make motions that were both
fantastic and fiend-like.

Harry was lying with his eyes half-shut looking at them when suddenly
the sentinel bent down and gazed for a moment earnestly into his face.
Suspecting something, but not knowing what, he pretended to sleep,
breathing heavily, with an occasional sob or sigh, but ready to spring
in a moment if foul play were meant.

The sentinel now left his side and strode away on tiptoe--though with
many a stealthy backward glance--around the sleeping caravan.  He went
so far as to touch several of the Somali Indians with his foot.  But
when a Somali does sleep it takes a deal to rouse him.  Seemingly
satisfied, he came back and had one other look at Harry, then walked
straight away to the river's brink.

He was only going to quench his thirst after all, but well he knew that
to have been found but five yards from his post would have cost him his
life.  No wonder he was careful.  Harry's mind was made up in a moment,
and more quickly than lightning's flash.  How fast one must think on
occasions like the present!  He sprang lightly but silently to his feet
the very moment he saw the Somali deposit his rifle and shot-belt on the
bank and bend down towards a pool.

Next minute Harry, exerting all his young strength, had seized and flung
him far into the stream.

A plash by night in an African river is but little likely to awake any
one encamped by its banks.  So far Harry was safe, but would the Indian
give the alarm?

He did not wait to think, he only snatched up the weapons and the
shot-belt and darted away like a red deer swiftly along the riverside.
He wondered to hear no shout.

The truth is, the Somali sentinel feared to give it; to him it would
have meant death, whatever it might be to Harry.

But looking round shortly, he was hardly surprised to find he was hotly
pursued by the sentinel.  He ran on for about two hundred yards farther,
and, on looking round again, he noticed that the Somali was fast gaining
on him.  So Harry stopped.

His Highland blood was up.

"I won't run from one man," he said, "neither will I kill him; I'll give
him a throw, though, if he likes, after the manner of Donald Dinnie."

So he stood and waited.

He had not long to wait.  The Indian had divested himself of the linen
jacket he wore, and next moment confronted him, panting, but with
gleaming eyes and on murder intent.  That is, murder if he could manage
it quietly.

"Halt!" cried Harry, in Swahili, as he came to the charge.  "No farther,
or you die!"

The rest of his speech to the Somali he continued, partly in Swahili,
partly in English, the former language being rather meagre in
phraseology.  But this is the gist of what he did say:

"I could kill you if I liked.  It would be mean, however.  Now take your
time and get your breath, then if you like I'll give it to you English

He paused, and the Somali stood there glaring and foaming with fury.

After a minute--

"Time's up," said Harry, and, taking two or three paces to the rear, he
threw rifle and shot-belt on the ground; then, pointing to them--

"Touch these, my friend, if you dare," he said.

No two biddings did the Somali require.  He sprang towards the rifle as
springs the jungle cat on its prey.  Harry's blow was finely planted,
and I am sure that Indian must have imagined, for the time being, that
there were considerably more stars in the sky than ever he had seen

He rose and flew at Harry.  He flew but to fall, and he rose and rose
again, only to fall and fall again!

Harry could not help admiring his pluck.

He was conquered at last, though.

Then, getting up, half stunned, from the grass, he extended his arms
towards Harry.

"Kill me," he said, "kill me, but not thus.  Kill me with the English
sword, for if I go back to my people without my prisoner, they will kill
me with fire."

"Come to think of it, my good fellow," said Harry, "there need be no
killing in the matter.  You can't go back.  Come with me.  The tables
are turned: _you_ shall now be the slave, _I_ the master.  I will be
good and kind to you if you are faithful; if not, I will let the
daylight into you."

The reply of the savage was affecting enough.  He bowed himself to the
earth first; then, still on his knees, took Harry's right hand and bent
his head until his brow touched it.

"That will do, my good fellow.  I don't care for palaver, you know.  But
let us have action.  Now you shall prove how far you are willing to
serve me.  Go back to your fellows, a rascally crew they are, and fetch
another rifle and more ammunition, and just a little provisions if you

The Somali knew what he meant, even if he did not understand precisely
all that was said.

He was up and away in a moment.

Harry Milvaine waited and listened.  He thought the time would never
pass.  Would the Somali be true or be treacherous?  He might rouse his
sleeping companions, and, while he was still standing here in the broad
staring light of the moon, stealthily surround and re-capture him.

The very thought made him change his ground.  He drew himself away under
the shade of some mimosa trees and waited there.

At last a single figure, armed with a rifle and carrying a bag, drew up
in the clearing that Harry had left, and looked about him in some
surprise.  It was Harry's ex-foe.

Harry soon joined him.

"You have stayed long," he said.

"I have plenty of ammunition, something to eat, and the rifle, and--"

"Well, and what else?"

"Nothing else," said the Indian, showing a row of teeth like alabaster;
"I have floated all the rest of the ammunition down stream."

"You are clever, but hark! did you not hear some sound?  I believe they
are stirring."

"No, no, that was a lion miles away."

"Come, then, lead on."

"Which way?"

"West.  They are sure to think I have gone in the direction of the

"Come, then."

And away went Nanungamanoo.  And by daybreak they were many, many miles
from the camp of Mahmoud.



Danger sharpens one's wits.  It makes the old young again, and the young
old--in judgment.

Harry was no fool from the commencement, and he now reasoned rightly
enough, that Mahmoud with his savage caravan, as soon as he missed the
runaways, would naturally conclude that they had gone back towards the

This, however, was precisely the thing that Harry had no present
intention of doing.  And why? it may be asked.  Ought he not to be glad
of the freedom he had once more obtained, and make the best of his way
to some friendly village or town by the sea-shore?  Perhaps; but then
Harry was a wayward youth.  He was wayward and headstrong, but on this
occasion I think he had right on his side.

"I cannot and will not return," he said to himself, "without making some
effort to find my poor fellows--if, indeed, they be still alive.
Besides, this is a strange and a lovely land, and there are strange
adventures to be met with.  I must see a little of it while I am here."

You will notice, reader, that hope was already throwing its glamour over
the poor lad's mind.  He dearly loved nature, but while being dragged
away as a prisoner, although some parts of the country through which he
passed had been charming enough, he could not bear to gaze on their
beauty while _he_ was a slave.

Flowers grew in abundance on many parts of the plains; they grew in
patches, in beds of gorgeous colour, here, there, and everywhere--pale
blue, dark blue, yellow, crimson, and modest brown; they carpetted the
ground, and even trailed up over and beautified the stunted scrub
bushes.  As Burns hath it, these flowers--

  "Sprang wanton to be pressed."

At another time their sunlit glory would have dazzled him, now they had
seemed to mock him in his misery, and he had crushed them under foot.

Great birds sailed majestically and slowly overhead, or flew with that
lazy indifference peculiar to some of the African species, ascending
some distance, then letting themselves fall again, putting no more
exertion into the action of flight than was absolutely necessary, but
sauntering along through the air, as it were.  Never mind, they were
happy, and Harry had hated them because they were so happy--and free.
Long after the caravan had left the coast, sea-birds even came floating
round them.

"Come away, Harry!" they seemed to scream.  "Come away--away--away!"

They were happy too.  Oh, he had thought, if he could only be as free,
and had their lithesome, lissom wings!

Monster butterflies like painted fans, browns, vermilions, and
ultramarines hovered indolently over the flowers.  How _they_ appeared
to enjoy the sunshine!

Even the bronzy green or black beetles that moved about among the grass
or over the bare patches of ground had something to do, something to
engross their minds, thoroughly to the exclusion of every other
consideration in life.

As for the lovely sea-green lizards with broad arrows of crimson on
their shoulders, they simply squatted, panting, on stones, or lay along
reed-stalks, making the very most of life and sunshine; while as for the
giant cicadas, their happiness considerably interfered with the business
of their little lives, because they were so very, very, _very_ happy
that they had to stop about every two minutes to sing.

But now, why Harry was free and as happy as any of them--at present, at
all events.

As he trudged along in the moonlight he could not help making a little
joke to himself.

"Go back!" he said, half aloud.  "No, Scotchmen never go back."

Well, then, Mahmoud, after retreating for some distance towards the
coast, would no doubt resume his journey.  Of this Harry felt sure
enough, because Nanungamanoo told his new master, before they had gone
very far that night, that the Arab priest was on his way to a far
distant country, quite unknown to any other trader, there to purchase a
gang of slaves from a king, who would sell his people for fire-water.

"The scoundrels!" said Harry.

"Yes, sahib."

"Both I mean; both king and priest.  I'd tie them neck to neck and drown
them as one drowns kittens."

"Yes, sahib."

"And no one else knows of this territory?"

"No white man, sahib."

"The villain!  A little nest of his own that he robs periodically.  A
happy hunting-ground all to himself.  So you think Mahmoud will shortly
come on this way?"

"Sure to, sahib."

Harry considered a short time, then--

"Well, Nanungamanoo, my good fellow, it won't do to get in front of him.
He would soon find our trail."

"Yes, sahib, and kill us with fire."

"Would he now?  That would not be pleasant, Nanungamanoo.  By the way,
Nanungamanoo, what an awful name you have!  Excuse me, Nanungamanoo, but
we must really try to find you a shorter.  Do you understand, Mr
Nanungamanoo?  We'll boil that name of yours down, or extract the
essence of it and let you have that.  But touching this pretty priest,
this amiable individual, who hesitates not to buy poor slaves for rum,
although he is far too good to fight for them.  He'll be along this way
in a day or two.  Now I greatly object to be hurried, especially when I
am out upon a little pleasure trip like the present--ha! ha!  I don't
think for a moment that either an Arab or any of you Somali fellows are
half so clever at picking up a trail as your genuine North American
backwoods Indian; but then, you know, even an Arab or a Somali couldn't
go past the mark of an old camp-fire without smelling a rat.  Do you
understand, Mr Nanungamanoo?--bother your name, it's a regular
twice-round the clock business!"

"I understand," replied Nanungamanoo, "much that you say even in

"Well, Mr Nanungamanoo, if you behave yourself and are long with me,
I'll put you to school and teach you myself--good English.  But,"
continued Harry, "we must have this angelic Mahmoud on ahead of us.  So
if you can find a place to hide, we will let him pass and give him a
fair start.  For, as you say that you know this route well, and no
other, we must be content to keep it for some time to come at all

"Yes, sahib; and I know the place to hide.  Come."

"I'll follow as fast as you like, Mr Nanungamanoo.  But, first and
foremost, just let us see what you have in that bundle of yours--to eat,
I mean.  I haven't really felt so genuinely hungry since I was taken
prisoner.  My eyes!  Nanungamanoo, what a size your bundle is!  You seem
to have looted the whole camp."

The Somali laid down the burden and prepared to open it.  It was wrapped
in a kind of coarse blue-striped cloth, much admired by certain tribes
of savages.

They had reached a patch of high clearing in the jungle, the moon was
shining very brightly, so, although there were lions about, there was
very little fear of an attack, these gentry much preferring to catch
their foes unawares and by daylight.

The Somali undid his bundle precisely like a packman of olden times,
showing off the wares he had for sale.

"This is the food," he said.

"What! dry rice?  Why, my good fellow, I'm not a fowl."

"Fowl--yes, yes," cried Nanungamanoo, the first words he had spoken in
English.  "Here is fowl and rice curry."

"Ha! glorious!" cried Harry.  "Capitally cooked too, done to a turn,
tastes delicious.  Have a bit yourself, old man.  No doubt Mahmoud had
intended this for his own little breakfast.  I feel double the
individual now, Nanungamanoo," said Harry, after he had done ample
justice to the viands of his late lord and master, "double the
individual.  Now suppose we proceed to investigate still further the
contents of your mysterious pack?  That's the ammunition, is it?  A
goodly lot too!  But what is in that other pack?  There are wheels
within wheels, and packs within packs, my clever Nanungamanoo.  You are
afraid to touch it--to open it.  Give it to me, I will."

So saying he quickly undid the lashing.

"Why," he continued in astonishment, as he lifted the things up one by
one, "my own best uniform jacket--two pairs of white duck pants--my
Sunday-go-meeting pairs--one--two--three--four flannel shirts, my best
ones too--a pair of canvas shoes--a packet of new uniform buttons, and a
yard of gold lace--three cakes of eating chocolate, and a box of cough
drops that old Yonitch gave me as a parting gift.  Why, Nanungamanoo, as
sure as we're squatting here, and the moon shining down over us both,
that old thief has been and gone and robbed my sea-chest!  I see his
little game, Nanungamanoo: he was taking these things of mine away into
the interior to that happy hunting-ground of his, to swop them away
along with myself to the drunken old king for slaves.  Yes, and they
would have stripped me of the uniform I now wear, and given me an old
cow's hide instead with the horns stuck over my brow and the tail
hanging down behind.  Oh!  Mr Mahmoud, but I have spoiled your fun.
But there they are, goodness be praised, and I must not be too hard on
old Mahmie after all, for he did save my life."

Nanungamanoo laughed a sneering laugh.

"You were too valuable to burn," he said.

"Do you really suppose then, my worthy Nanungamanoo, that Mahmoud looked
upon the matter as a commercial transaction?"

"Now you speak Hindustanee.  I do not know."

"Never mind, make up the bundle again, and let us trudge.  From the
position of the moon it must be getting on towards morning."

Nanungamanoo held up three fingers and proceeded with his work.

"Three o'clock, is it?  Well, heave round, let us up anchor and be off."

After re-establishing his valuable pack, Nanungamanoo carefully
collected the bones of the feast and threw them under a bush, and was
proceeding to obliterate the marks they had made on the withered grass
by raising it again with his foot, when a twig cracked in a neighbouring
thicket.  Both Harry and Nanungamanoo speedily clutched their rifles.

Almost immediately after a black and nearly naked figure emerged slowly
into the moonlight, and stood at some little distance, holding up one
arm across his face as if to protect it from the blow of the bullet
Nanungamanoo would have fired, but Harry thrust his arm up.

Then Raggy Muffin advanced.

"Golla-mussy, massa!  What for you want to shoot poor Raggy?"

"But, Raggy," cried Harry, "in the name of mystery how came you here?"

"I came, massa, to cut your cords ob bondage, all same as de little
mouse cut de cords ob de great big lion."

"But where did you come from, Raggy?  Sit down, poor boy, your cheeks
are thin, sit down and pick a bone."

"No, no, massa, not here, not here.  Dey am all alive in Mahmoud's camp,
I can 'ssure you ob dat."

"You came through there?"

"I came to cut your cords ob bondage, massa."


"Well, den I see dat de bird hab flown."

"Yes, Raggy."

"Den I pick up ebery ting I see lying about handy, massa.  Den I follow
your trail."

"Ha! ha! ha!  So you've been looting too, have you?  Well, Raggy, get
your parcel and let us be off.  Lead on, Nanungamanoo."

"La! massa," said Raggy, grinning all over, "suppose I hab one long name
like dat nigger, I cut it all up into leetle pieces, and hab one for
ebery day in de week."

The march was now recommenced.

The Somali trode gingerly on ahead, picking his way through the flowery
sward, as if afraid to leave the slightest trail.

Harry and Raggy came up behind.

It was evident the Somali was now making a _detour_; at all events they
shortly found themselves at the river, which was here broad and shallow.
This they forded, taking care to keep their packs and rifles dry.

Into a weird-looking bit of forest they now plunged.

A weird-looking forest indeed.  Every tree seemed an ogre in the
moonlight.  Yet the air was heavily odorous with the sweet breath of
some species of mimosa bloom, and the ground was for the most part free
from undergrowth.

The forest grew darker and darker as they proceeded, and they could hear
a lion growl in the distance.  He was far away, yet Harry clutched his
rifle and drew little Raggy close up to his side.

He was not sorry when the moonlight shone down on them once more through
the branches of a baobab tree.  Here they stopped to breathe.

On again, and now the way began to ascend, still in the forest, and
still comparatively in the gloom.

Up and up and up they went.  It was quite a mountain for this district.
At last the trees and then the bushes deserted them; then they were on
the bluff, and Harry turned round to look.

Why, away down yonder--close under them it appeared--they could see the
blazing camp-fire of Mahmoud's caravan.

"Are we not too near, Nanungamanoo?"

"No.  They will not stir till daylight Arabs are not brave at night.
When they do start they will go towards the sun.  We will wait and watch
and see."

And so it fell out, for no sooner had the clouds begun to turn bright
yellow and crimson than the stir commenced in the camp.

Somalis ran hither and thither, it is true.

The babel of voices was terrible.

Mahmoud himself was here, there, and everywhere, and the whacks he
freely dealt his soldiers with a bamboo cane were audible even to our
friends on the hill-top.  But when all was said and done, the caravan
started back towards the coast, and in a few minutes there was silence
all over the beautiful landscape.



A little way down the hill, and looking towards the north, was a cave in
the rocks, and a cool delightful corner our friends found it, soon as
the sun "got some weigh" on him, and his beams no longer slanted over
the plain.

While Raggy was eating his modest breakfast Harry went some distance
apart, and, taking out a little Book--it was a gift from his mother--he
read a portion where a leaf was turned down.

Seems funny that a boy should carry a Bible with him, does it not?
Well, reader, I can tell you this much: I have known many and many a
sailor boy do so, and I never found that they were a bit the worse for

Mind you this, I have no patience with superstition, and I do hate cant;
nor do I for a moment mean to say that our Book acts as a kind of
amulet: but putting the matter in a plain, practical, common sense kind
of a way, you and I have both immortal souls, you know, and we want to
be guided how to save them.  Well, the Book tells us the way.  But that
is not all.  In times of danger--and a sailor comes across these pretty
often--a blink into the Bible often gives a fellow heartening.  You open
it probably at the very passage that does so, and, even if you do not,
you know where to find such passage.

And this _does_ do good.  Oh!  I have proved it over and over again.  I
have a little old Book there that I have carried about the world for
years and years.  It has many a dog's-ear, but they are intentional, for
each one marks a passage, and to every dog's-ear a story is attached.
All point to little crumbs of comfort I have had in scenes of danger or
even pestilence--here and there in many lands.  Some day, if spared, I
mean to write the story of this particular old Book of mine, and I do
not think it will be devoid of interest to those who may care to peruse

But there!  I am digressing, and I humbly beg my readers pardon; it was
all owing to Harry's getting away, in behind that bit of tangled scrub,
in order to perform his morning devotions.  Well, the truth is he did
feel very, very grateful to be free.

But stay, will he be able to retain that freedom?  And this brings me
back to my tale.

He went back to the place where he had left Raggy enjoying the leg of a

The boy was sitting near the mouth of the cave.

"Enjoyed it, Raggy?"

"Ah!" and Raggy smacked his lips and rolled his eyes, "he am plenty much
sweet, massa."

"There's a wing there too, Raggy.  There you are, have that."

"Tank you, massa.  You am bery good, massa."

I dare say Raggy would have eaten a whole fowl had it been offered to
him.  After all African fowls are not very big, nor very fat; but very
matter-of-fact and self-possessed--that is their moral character.

I have gone into an African village in the evening, just as the fowls
were all going to roost in the trees, my object being to buy half a
dozen for the pot.  As soon as the natives were convinced that the white
man had not come to eat a baby, but that he really wanted to buy
"tuck-tuck-chow-chow," and had copper money in his hand to pay for the
dainty, then all hands would turn out, and such a hunt you never saw,
and such fluttering of wings and skraiching.  I have felt sorry for the

When I got what I wanted, the rest of the "tuck-tucks" would go quietly
to roost again as if nothing had happened.  I envy such equanimity.

I remember that two fowls got loose in the boat once.  It was blowing
stiff, and the white spray was dashing over us.  Well, any other birds
would have jumped overboard.  Not so these African fowls.  They simply
got on the gun'ale, and, as soon as the squall was over, coolly
commenced to arrange their feathers.  This regard for personal
appearance in a scene of such danger--for they must have known they were
going to pot--is something that one does not know whether most to admire
or wonder at.

Having fully satisfied the needs of nature, Raggy was prepared to give
some little account of his adventures.  Briefly they were as follows,
and in Raggy's own language.

"You see, massa, befoh de sun rise on dat drefful night on de shore, de
Somali Indians, all plenty well-armed, plenty big knife, plenty spear
and gun, dey come and wake all our poor blue-jackets.  `Come quiet,' dey
say; `suppose you make bobbery, den we kill you quick.'  Dey tak us all
away behind de sandhills, and I tink first and fohmost dey am goin' to
obfuscate us."

"Suffocate us you mean, Raggy."

"All de same meaning, massa.  But dey tie our arms till de blood tingle
all down de fingers, and dey tie us roun' de neck till we all feel
chickey-chokey, and our eyes want to bust and relieve demselves.  Den
away we all go.  I look back, and see dat poor massa not follow, and my
heart am bery sad.  Ober de hills and de plains we walk.  Poor white
man's feet soon get tire and blister all, and in two tree day dey walk
all de same's one chicken on de stove-top.  Dey Somalis and de big
Arab--he one bad, _bad_ man--dey talk.  Dey not tink I understand what
dey say.  Dey speak ob where dey am going to de country ob King
Kara-Kara, to sell all de men for slabes and get a tousand niggers foh
'em.  Den dey speak ob you.  You, dey say, am wo'th de lot Raggy heah
all, and listen, and tink, and I want to set you free.  One day one man
he fall sick--one ohdinary seaman, massa, name is Davis--he fall bery,
bery sick.  Den de Arab soldier look at him and look at him.  You nebah
get well, he say.  Den he take him by de two leg and pull him along de
grass to a bush; and oh! it was drefful, massa, to heah poor Davis
crying for mussy 'cause he hab a wife and piccaninnies at home, he tole
'em.  No mussy in dat Arab's eye.  No mussy in his heart, he take de
ugly spear and stab--stab--stab--Poor Davis jes say `Oh!' once or twice,
den he die.  Plenty oder men sick after dis, but dey not lie down.  Dey
jes walk on weary, weary.  Byemby we come to wells.  Den de men get
better.  But Raggy hab eno' ob dis.  He steal away at night.  How de
lion roah in de jungle, and how de tiger [the leopard is frequently so
called in Africa] jump about, and de wild hyaenas come out in de
moonlight and laugh at poor Raggy.  Raggy's heart bery full ob feah.
But he no say much.  Suppose dey only laugh, dat not hurt much.  Suppose
dey bite, den Raggy die.  I walk and walk foh days.  I not hab much
food.  But I catch de mole and de mouse, I eatee he plenty quick.  Den
byemby I come to Mahmoud's trail, and I follow on and up till one day I
see de caravan on de hill, den I lie and sleep till night Massa knows
all de rest."

"Yes, Raggy, I know all the rest, and very grateful I am for your pluck,
and all that, and if ever we get back again, I'll report your good and
brave conduct, and you'll be well rewarded.  Perhaps they'll make you a
captain, Raggy."

"Massa is joking."

"You go home now at once?" the boy asked, after a pause.

"Oh! no, Raggy.  That would not be doing my duty.  I'm going inland, and
I'm going to try to find and redeem, or rescue our poor fellows.  It
would not be plucky nor brave to go back without them--at all events
without trying to find them.  Now, Raggy, as we are sure, if spared, to
be some considerable time together, I wish you to do me the favour to
teach Nanungamanoo to speak English."

"De yeller nigger wi' de long name, massa?"

"That is he, Raggy--Nanungamanoo."

"Oh! lah! massa, I teachee he plenty propah, and suppose he no speak
good, I give him five, six, ten stick all same as de schoolmastah ob de
_Bunting_ switchee me."

"You better not try," said Harry, laughing, "or you may find yourself in
the wrong box.  But here," he cried aloud, "Nanungamanoo, where are

Next moment Nanungamanoo stood silently before him awaiting his

"You've got too long a name, Nanungamanoo."

"Yes, sahib."

"Well, we'll shorten it.  We'll call you Jack.  It's free and easy."

Jack expressed his pleasure to have an English name, so Jack he became.

"On all `occasions of ceremony or state,' as the Navy List says, Jack,
we will resort to your original designation, and you will be
Nanungamanoo again."

For three days and nights Harry and his merry men occupied the cave on
the hillside.

At the end of this time they had the satisfaction one evening of seeing
a red light gleaming on the western horizon.  It was the reflection of
the camp-fire of the returning caravan.

Early next morning, almost as soon as sunrise, Mahmoud and his followers
passed through the forest at the foot of the hill.  Harry could even
hear them talking, so close were they.

He had the rifles loaded and everything ready to give them a warm
reception should they dare to ascend.  But they did not.  They went
through the forest and on their way across a broad sandy plain.

When they had quite disappeared beyond the horizon, Harry gave a sigh of
relief.  The danger was, comparatively speaking, over for a time.  He
would now give them a few days' start, then go on behind, for Jack
assured him this caravan route was the only practical way into the

Every night the lions could be heard growling and roaring with that
awe-inspiring cough, which they emit, in the woods around the hill.  It
was well they had a cave to sleep in, for to have lit fires on the
hill-top would have ensured the return of Mahmoud and his savage
Somalis, and they would have been captured.  But a sentinel was set--and
Harry took the post time about with Raggy and Somali Jack.

Was Jack really to be trusted?  The answer to this is, that the
faithfulness of a Somali Indian will be sold to the highest bidder, just
like a picture at an auction mart, but it may in time be cemented to the
purchaser if he is worthy of it.  I have always found that there is a
great deal of similarity betwixt the human nature as displayed by
Indians and white men, which only proves that the world is much the same
all over.

I must add, however, that white men as a rule treat savages with less
ceremony and far less justice than they would mete out to one of their
own dogs at home.  Take an example.  Some scoundrelly white trader has
been murdered (it is called "murdered," but I should say "killed") by
some islanders of the Pacific.  This trading fellow had been on shore--
probably not sober--abusing the hospitality held out to him, bullying
and swaggering, and doing deeds that, if committed in this country,
would secure for him a lengthened period of penal servitude.  The worm
turns at last and resents.  The trader calls his men and a fight ensues;
the savages are victorious, the white men slain.  By and by in comes a
British man-o'-war and demands the surrender of the murderers by the
chief or king.  Perhaps he does not even know them, refuses to give them
up, and therein ensues a wholesale butchery of men, women, and children,
and the burning of towns and villages.

I have known this happen over and over again, and I have asked myself,
Who is to blame?  Certainly not the so-called savages.

Well, boy-readers, if ever any of you happen to be away abroad, in
Africa or the Pacific, and have a native as a servant, take my advice:
treat him as a human being and a fellow-creature, and you will have no
cause to complain, but quite the reverse.

Harry had a good long talk with Jack; he told him he should let him go
away any time he wished, but that if he did stay he would have no cause
to repent it.

Once more Jack took Harry's hand in both his and bent himself down until
his brow touched it, and our hero was satisfied.

On leaving the hill--which, by the way, Harry took possession of in the
Queen's name, and called it Mount Andrew, to show he had not forgotten
his old friend in the Highlands--they journeyed on through the forest
and followed in the very footsteps of Mahmoud's caravan, across plains,
through woods, through rivers and mountain glens, camping every night
where Mahmoud had camped, and lighting a fire in the very same spot.
The fire was very necessary now, and it had to be kept up all night, for
they were in a country inhabited by and given up to, one might say, wild

Here were lions in scores, hyaenas and jungle-cats.

So all night long these animals made the bush resound with their cries.

Sometimes Harry found it almost impossible to sleep, so terrible was the
quarrelling and din.  He fell upon a plan at last that in some measure
remedied the infliction--that of leaving the bullock or two, or the deer
or hartebeest slain for food, a good two or three miles behind.  Where
the carrion is, there cometh the kite; and so it was in this case--to
some extent at all events.

The store of rice that Jack had looted from Mahmoud's camp very soon was
done, but they did not want for provisions for all that.

There were fruits of so many kinds, and roots that they dug up, or
rather that Jack dug up and roasted in the camp-fire.  Then there were
plantains, which are excellent cooked in the same primitive style.  Some
of the forest trees were laden with fruit; the danger lay in eating too
much of it.  Many of these fruits were quite unknown to Harry, but he
was guided by his best man, Jack.  With so much fruit, salt was hardly
missed, though at first Harry thought it strange to eat meat without it.

Slices from the most tender portions of the animals killed were cut and
carried along with them, and towards evening, when the bivouac ground
was chosen, and the fire of wood gathered and kindled by Jack and Raggy,
the former set to work to prepare the supper.

The roots, yams principally, were simply buried among the fiery ashes,
but a far more artistic method was adopted in grilling the steak: a
triangle of green wood was built over the fire as soon as it had died
down to red embers, across the triangle bars were fastened, and on this
were hung the pieces of juicy flesh.  When the bars were nearly burned
through, and the wooden triangle itself falling to pieces, then the
steak was cooked.

They had fresh air and exercise, and consequently the appetite of mighty
hunters.  It is hardly necessary, therefore, to add that they really
enjoyed their dinners.  Fruit followed, then water, which was not always

The country they traversed now, though a hilly and fertile one, was,
strange to say, deserted.

Still, this is not so strange when we remember that in all probability
it has been depopulated by the Arab slaver.  Indeed, many parts of the
forest gave evidence of having been ravished by fire.

Bravery, I take it, is not a very uncommon quality in the human breast
of any inhabitant of our British islands, yet he is the bravest man who
_knows_ his danger and still does not fear to face it.  In the matter of
danger, where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise.  Your
first-voyage sailor will retain his presence of mind and coolness, at
times when old seafarers are pale with the coldness of a coming evil.
Why?  Because he does not know the worst.  This is not bravery.  It is--

If, however, one is so positioned as to know there is danger, but
remains in ignorance as to its amount or extent, then he has a bold
heart who can quietly meet or court it.  I have hinted before in this
tale of mine that I claim for my wayward boy, Harry, no _extraordinary_
qualities of mind, and that he had his faults just as you have, reader;
so now I need not apologise for him when I confess to you that in the
wild African jungle there were many times that his heart beat high with
fear.  Especially was this so at first.  All bold, brave natures are
finely strung and sensitive.  Harry's was.  He did not like the dangers
of the darkness, and he dreaded snakes.  At the commencement, then, of
his wanderings on the dark continent he expected to see one whenever a
bunch of grass quivered or moved, though only a mole might have been at
the bottom of it.  And I believe at night he heard sounds and saw sights
in the bush and on the plains, that had no existence except in his own
fervid imagination.

However, a month or two of nomad life hardened him.  He noticed that
even serpents do not go out of their way to bite people, and that you
have only to observe a certain amount of caution, then you may put your
hands in your pockets and whistle.

As far as that goes, I believe you might put your hands in your pockets
and go whistling up to a lion "on the roam."  My illustrious countryman,
the great General Gordon, did this or something very like it once.  _I_
would not, nor would I advise you to do so, reader; but I have to say,
as regards my hero, Harry, that familiarity bred in him a contempt for
danger that led him to grief.

I will tell you the story after making just one remark.  It is this--and
happy I would be this minute if I thought you would lay it to heart and
remember it.  We are apt to pray to our Father to keep us from evil, and
then, when something occurs to us, some accident, perhaps, turn round
and murmur and say--

"Oh! my prayers have not been heard.  God loves me not."

How know you, I ask, that He in His mercy has not allowed this _little_
misfortune to befall us in order to save us from a _greater_?

Harry was carelessly walking one evening--he was waiting for dinner--in
a grove of rugged euphorbias.  The evening was very beautiful, the sun
declining in the west towards a range of high hills which they had that
day passed.  There was a great bank of purple-grey clouds loftier than
the hills; these were fringed with pale gold, else you could not have
told which was mountain and which was cloud.  There was also a breeze
blowing, just enough to make a rustling sound among the cactuses and
scrub.  This it was probably that prevented Harry from hearing the
stealthy footsteps of an enormous lion, until startled by a roar that
made the blood tingle in his very shoes.

There he was--the African king of beasts--not twenty yards away--
crouched, swishing his tail on the grass, and preparing for a spring.

Harry stood spellbound.

Then he tried to raise his rifle.

"No, you don't," the lion must have thought.  For at that very moment he
sprang, and next Harry was down under him.

He remembered a confused shout, and the sharp ring of a rifle.  Then all
was a mist of oblivion till he found himself lying near the camp-fire,
with Jack kneeling by his side holding his arm.

"I'm not hurt, am I?" said Harry.

"Oh, massa, you am dun killed completely," sobbed little Raggy.  "All de
blood in you body hab run out.  You quite killed.  You not lib.  What
den will poor Raggy do?"

It was not so bad as Raggy made out, however.  But Harry's wounds were
dreadful enough, back and shoulder lacerated and arm bitten through.

Harry had made it a point all the journey since leaving the hill he
called Mount Andrew to camp each night on the same place Mahmoud had
left days before, and to build the fire in the self-same spot, and on
departing in the morning to leave nothing behind that could tell the
Arab's sharp-eyed Somalis the ground had been used.

It was well he had taken this precaution, for now he was wounded and
ill, and must remain near this place for weeks at least.

Jack, the Somali, was equal to the occasion.

He went away to the forest, and was not long in finding a site for the
invalid's camp.

Like that upon Mount Andrew, it was on a hill or eminence, from which
the country eastwards could be seen for many, many miles.  And here also
was a shelter under a rock from the direct rays of the sun.

Next day, and for several days, poor Harry tossed about on his couch in
a raging fever.

But Jack proved an excellent surgeon, and Raggy the best of nurses.  The
former applied cooling and healing antiseptic leaves to Harry's wounds,
and bound them tenderly up with bundles of grass, while the latter
hardly ever left his master's couch, except to seek for and bring him
the most luscious fruit the forest could afford.

Long, long weary weeks passed away, but still Harry lay there in his
cave on the hillside too weak to stand, too ill to move.

Between them his two faithful servants had built him a hut of branches
and grass, which not only defended him against the sun, but against the
rain as well--for the wet season had now set in.  Thunders rolled over
the plains and reverberated from the mountain sides, and at times the
rain came down in terrible "spatters" that in volume far exceeded
anything Harry could ever have dreamt of.

But the rain cooled and purified the atmosphere, and seemed to so revive
Harry, that his wounds took on what surgeons call the healing intention.

Raggy was a joyful boy then, and honest Jack, the Somali--for he had
proved himself honest by this time--was doubly assiduous in his
endeavours to perfect a cure.

One afternoon, while Jack was talking to his master, Raggy, who had been
in the forest, ran in breathless and scared.

"Golly-mussy!" he cried, "dey come, dey come.  Where shall we hide poor
massa?  Dey come, dey come."



Mahmoud had not found the slave-dealing king in quite so good a temper
on this journey.  The reason was not far to seek.  A brother potentate,
who dwelt just beyond a range of mountains to the east of him, had by
some means or other possessed himself of two white slaves--Greeks they
were, and had been brought from very far north.  This king was his
greatest enemy--near neighbours though they were--and many and deadly
were the combats that used to rage among the hills.  In fact, their two
imperial highnesses lived in a state of continual warfare.  Sentinels of
both parties were placed day and night on the highest mountains, to spy
out the actions of the opposite kingdoms.  It was no unusual thing for
these sentinels to get to lighting on their own account, and when they
did they never failed to chew each other up, though not quite so much so
as the Kilkenny cats, of which, as you know, nothing was left but two
little morsels of fluff, one tooth and one toe-nail--but very nearly as
bad as that.  The rival kings did not care a bit; they looked upon the
affair as a natural _denouement_, and set more sentinels, while the
vultures gobbled up whatsoever remained of the last.

But this rival king beyond the hills owned those white slaves, and the
king, who loved rum, was very jealous and greatly incensed in
consequence.  Thrice he had made war upon him with a view of possessing
himself of the coveted Greeks, and thrice had he been hurled back with
infinite slaughter.

Then Mahmoud had come to him, and the king stated his case while he
drank some rum, and Mahmoud promised that next time he returned he would
bring him one or more white slaves, that would far outshine those
possessed by the king beyond the hills, whose name, by the way, was King

But behold Mahmoud had returned, and no white slave with him!  Harry, as
we know, having escaped.

No wonder, then, that King 'Ngaloo had raged and stormed.  This he did
despite the fact that the Somalis were called to witness that it was no
fault of Mahmoud's, and that their prisoner had really and truly
escaped.  King 'Ngaloo had serious thoughts of ordering the priest
Mahmoud to instant execution, but was so mollified at the sight of the
other gifts brought him that he forgave him.

These gifts were many and varied.  Rum came first, then beads, blue,
crimson, white and black, and of various sizes, then jack-knives and
daggers, white-iron whistles, a drum of large dimensions, a concertina,
and a pair of brass lacquered tongs.  These last two gifts were the best
fun of all, for King 'Ngaloo, squatting in the middle of his tent floor
with his wives all round him or near him, would sip rum and play the
concertina time about.  His playing was peculiar.  After he had finished
about half a bottle of the fire-water he began to feel his heart warm
enough to have some fun, on which he would jump up and with his brass
tongs seize one of his wives by the nose, drawing her round and round
the tent, she screaming with pain, he with laughter, till one would have
thought all bedlam was let loose.

Yes, the king was pacified, and Mahmoud was allowed to depart, with an
addition to his caravan of one hundred poor victims who were to be
dragged away into slavery.

He went away much sooner than he had intended had he been successful in
getting more slaves.  And besides, the truth is, Mahmoud was a little
afraid that the king might take it into his head to pull him round the
tent with the tongs, and Mahmoud had a profound respect for his nose.

I really think it was a pity the king did not do so.

Only it was evident the king had other thoughts in his head, for one day
he jumped up, and after practising the tongs exercise on his prime
minister for five minutes, he held the instrument of torture aloft and
snapped it wildly in the air.

"Teiah roota Kara-Kara yalla golla," he shouted, or some such words,
"I'll never be content till I seize Kara-Kara by the nose, and the tongs
shall be made red-hot for the purpose."

"I'd send and tell him so," that is what Mahmoud had suggested.

"Dee a beeseeta--I'll do so," said the king.

And away the messenger was sent to King Kara-Kara.

The messenger obeyed his instructions, and King Kara-Kara took much
pleasure in cutting off his head, but as this was no more than the
messenger had expected there was not much harm done.

But, and it is a big "but," had King 'Ngaloo only known that at the very
time Mahmoud was in _his_ camp or village, his "brother" Suliemon was in
that of the rival potentate, and that he had sold him the unfortunate
men of the _Bunting_, Mahmoud would not have been allowed to depart,
unless he could have done so without his head.  For both Mahmoud and his
"brother" were excellent business men, and were not at all averse to
playing into each other's hands.

Before Mahmoud had left the town of this African potentate he was
allowed to choose his slaves.  He chose, to begin with, a day on which
King Kara-Kara had imbibed even more rum than usual.  Indeed, he was so
absurdly tipsy that he could not hold the tongs.

He was determined to see that he was not cheated for all that, and so,
supported on one side by his prime minister, and on the other by one of
his priests, the chief executioner, sword in hand, coming up behind, he
waddled out to the great square in which the poor unhappy souls, men and
women, from whom Mahmoud was to make his choice were drawn up.

The first thing the king did after getting outside was to give vent to
an uncontrollable fit of laughing.  Nobody knew what he was laughing at,
nor, I dare say, did he himself.  But he suddenly grew serious, hit his
prime minister on the face with his open palm, and asked why he dared
laugh in his august presence.

Though his nose bled a little, the minister said nothing; he was used to
all the king's little eccentricities, and this was one of them.

After he had got into the square, the king desired to be informed what
the meeting was all about.

"Execution, isn't it?"  That is what he said in his own language.

"That fellow Mahmoud's white head is coming off, isn't it?  Turban and
all?  Turban and all, ha! ha! ha!  I told him I would do it.  And I

No wonder Mahmoud had trembled in his sandals.

But King 'Ngaloo was soon put right.

Then Mahmoud made his choice.

He hesitated not to tear asunder mother and child, husband and wife,
sister and brother.  It was merely a case of youth and strength with

When he had finished, the slaves were at once chained together, and soon
after, having bidden farewell to this pretty king, the march was

There was weeping and wailing among the new-made slaves, and there was
weeping and wailing among those left behind.

But what cared Mahmoud?

As they marched away, while 'Ngaloo's warlike tom-toms were beating, and
his chanters sounding, a music that was almost demoniacal, the poor
captives as with one accord cast a glance around them at the village--
which, savage though it was, had been their home--but which they would
never, never see again.  Just one wild despairing glance, nothing more.
Then heavily fell the lash on the naked shoulders of the last pairs, and
on they went.


"Dey come, dey come!" cried Raggy, in despair.

Yes, they were coming--Mahmoud's caravan and his wretched slaves.  They
were soon in sight, looking just the same as when last seen, only with
that dark and mournful chained line between the swarthy spear-armed

Harry prayed inwardly that they might pass on.  They did not, but
stopped to bivouac on the old camping ground.

And yet our hero could not help admitting to himself that his adventure
with the lion that had delayed his journey had really been meant for his
good.  It had saved his life to all appearance, for Mahmoud had returned
far sooner than even Jack--who knew the road and the work before his old
master--could have dreamed of.

This only proves, I think, reader, that we are shortsighted mortals, and
that our prayers may truly be answered, although things may not turn out
just as we would have desired them.

In the morning Mahmoud seemed in no hurry to leave, and the day wore on
without very much stir in his camp.  It was an anxious day for Harry and
his companions, just as it had been a long and anxious night.  They
never knew the moment the sharp-sighted Somalis might find their trail
and track them to their cave on the hill.

The recent rains alone probably prevented so great a catastrophe, else
beside that camp-fire a scene of blood would have been enacted that
makes one shudder even to think about.

In the afternoon there rushed into Mahmoud's camp, wildly waving his
spear aloft, one of the Somali spies.  Then the commotion in the camp
grew intense.  Mahmoud shortly after left the place all alone, and in
less than twenty minutes returned with his so-called brother Suliemon.

This very spot there was the rendezvous for these slave-dealers on their
return from their expedition.  Behind Suliemon came a vast crowd of
chained slaves.  There could not have been less than a thousand.  How
tired they appeared!  No sooner was the order to halt given, than they
threw themselves on the grass, just as weary sheep would have done
returning from a fair.

There was no movement that night, so Harry and his merry men had to lie
close like foxes in their lair.

Next morning, however, as early as daybreak, the whole camp was astir,
and for nearly two hours the shouting and howling, the firing of guns
and cracking of whips were hideous to hear.  The scene near the
camp-fire was like some awful pandemonium.

But by ten o'clock, as nearly as Harry could judge, every one had gone,
and silence once more reigned over forest and plain.

Our hero breathed more freely now, yet it would have been madness for
any of them to have ventured forth even yet.  Some loitering Somali
might have seen him and given instant alarm.

Strange to say, the excitement appeared to have almost restored Harry to
health.  He no longer felt weak, and he longed to be away on the road

He knew enough of the climate, however, not to venture for a week or two
longer, for a man needs all the nerve and strength that the human frame
can possess to battle against the odds presented to him on such a
journey as that which he was now making.

The day wore away, the sun set in a cloudscape of indescribable glory,
the short twilight succeeded, then the stars peeped out through the blue
rifts in the sky.

After a supper of fruit and roasted yams, Harry lay down on his couch of
grass and fell into a dreamless sleep.

When he awoke, the stars were still shining and the sky was far more
clear.  A brightly burning scimitar of a moon was declining towards the
horizon, and not far from it, to the west and north, the well-known
constellation of Orion.  Yonder also, blinking red and green, was the
great Mars himself.

But it was not to study the stars that Harry had crept out of the tent,
but to breathe fresher air, for there was no wind to-night.  Not a
branch stirred in the forest, not a leaf moved.  The wild beasts had
been scared far away, only now and then a lion roared, and the screams
of the wild birds filled up the intervals.  Dreadfully eerie they are to
listen to on a night like this, and in such a lonely scene.

"Eeah--eee--ah--eeah--eeah--ah!" screamed one bird.

"Tak--tak--tak--tak!"--cried another.

"Willikin, willikin, willikin, willikin?" shrieked a third.

Then there are mournful unearthly yells and groans that would make the
heart of a novice stand still with dread.  He would feel convinced foul
murder was being done in the gloomy depths of the forest.  [It is
possible the monkeys take their part in producing the cries one hears by
night in forests of the tropics.]

But Harry could sleep no more.

The sentries were being relieved.  Raggy had just turned up, and Somali
Jack was about to turn in.

"Let us take a stroll down by the camp-fire," said Harry.  "I feel I
must stretch my legs, night though it be."

Together they went as far as the old camping ground, and were about to
leave when a pained and weary groan fell on Harry's ear.

He soon discovered whence it issued.  From the lips of a poor half-naked
dark figure, lying stabbed and dying on the grass.

All this he could see by the light of moon and stars.  He sat down
beside the poor creature and took his head on his lap.  The white eyes
rolled up towards him, the lips were parted in a grateful smile.

One word was all he said or could say.

"What is it, Jack?" asked Harry.  "Interpret, please."

"It only says thanks, sahib."

"Run for water, Raggy."

The dying slave boy drinks just one gulp of the water.  Again the white
eyes are turned towards Harry, again the lips are parted in a smile--and
then he is still.

For ever still.

Perhaps it is because Harry was nervous and ill; but he cannot prevent a
gush of tears to his eyes as he bends over this murdered boy.

"What a demon's heart the man must have to commit a sin like this!"



Three months have elapsed since the night Harry found the dying slave
lad on the grass, near the old camp-fire Harry is as strong now as ever.
Nay, he is even stronger.  He has had a birthday since then, and now in
his own mind calls himself a man.

He is a man in heart at all events, a man in pluck and a man in

The trio--Somali Jack, Raggy, and Harry--are very friendly now.

Only once did Jack allude to that night when they fled from Mahmoud's
camp.  It is in terms of admiration and in broken English.

"You give me proper trashing that night.  I think I feel your shut hand
on my nose now.  Wah-ee! he do make him smart, and my eyes all fill with
water hat hat ha!"

Yes, Jack could afford to laugh now, for Harry was not a bad master to

Somali Jack is happier, and, to use his own words--

"I have one stake in de world now.  I all same as one Arab, I have a
soul.  You, master, have said so.  I believe what my master says.  Of
course I believe what he tell me.  I not all same as one koodoo--die on
de hill and rot.  No, I float away, away, away, past de clouds, and past
de stars to de bright land of love, where Jesu reigns.  Oh yes, Somali
Jack is happy and proud."

The trio are now in an unknown land.

It might be called the Land of Depopulation, for long ago the few
natives that slavery left have died or fled away.  There is hardly a
vestige of the remains of their villages, only here and there a kind of
clearing with what appears to be a hedge around it.  But if you pulled
away the creepers on top of this you would find old rotten palisades--
indication enough that those poor creatures had made some vain attempts
at defending themselves against the inroads of the Arab invader.

Harry had not long continued in the caravan route that led to the land
of the drunken king.  The sights he came upon every now and then while
following it were sickening.  It was quite evident that of the hundred
slaves whom Mahmoud had chosen, at least twenty had fallen by the way,
in rather less than three weeks, and been left to perish in the bush or
on the grass beneath a blazing sun.

He would have followed the more southern route, and endeavour to find
out the whereabouts of his fellows, but such a proceeding would have
been absurdly impracticable.  A white slave is thought worth a thousand
black at some of the courts of African kings.  He could not have
redeemed his men, and to have attempted to rescue them in any other way
would have only ended in failure, and in slavery to himself and
companions.  No, there was at present no hope.  But he had more than one
plan which he meant to try when a chance should occur.

For the three months past they had had plenty of sport, and a world of
adventures far too numerous to mention.  Harry, however, had only a very
scant supply of ammunition, and but little likelihood of obtaining any
further supply.  Every cartridge was therefore carefully hoarded, and
only used either for the purpose of protection against wild beasts or to
secure themselves food.

As to this latter they managed in a great measure without firing a shot.
For, first and foremost, Somali Jack had a most nimble way of catching
fish.  He did it by getting into shallow streams, sometimes diving in
under the water and dragging a fish out from under bank or rock where it
had sought shelter.

Then he could twine grass ropes; these were stretched along in certain
likely places, near which Jack concealed himself, spear in hand, all
alert and ready.  The other part of this peculiar hunt was performed by
Harry and the boy Raggy.  They managed, and that very successfully, as a
rule, to chase wild deer, of which there were so many different sorts
and sizes, down towards the clever Somali.  In their headlong hurry one
at least was almost sure to trip over the rope and fall.  In a moment
Jack was up and on him, and next minute--there was something good for

I wish I could describe to you one-thousandth part of all the curious
things Harry noticed in natural history, not only among the larger
animals, but among the smaller, namely, the birds, and among the
smallest--the creeping creatures of the earth.

I wish I could describe to you a few of the lovely scenes he witnessed
in this beast-haunted wilderness: the landscapes, the cloudscapes, the
lovely sunsets, the wilderies of fruit and flower, and the scenes among
the mountains, some of which, high, high up in the air, were even
snow-capped, and ever at sunrise assumed that pearl-pink hue with purple
shadow which once witnessed can never be forgotten in life.  The scenes
by river and lake were also most enchanting at times.

But do not think these wanderers had it all their own way.  No, they
went with their lives in their hands, and these lives were very often in

Poor little Raggy was once tossed by a herd of buffaloes.  I say a herd
of buffaloes advisedly, for really they seemed nearly all to have a
fling at him.  The last one pitched him up into a tree, where, for a
time, he was an object of the most profound interest to a band of
chattering apes.  They could not conceive who or what the new arrival
was, nor where he had come from.

Well, then, Somali Jack had to climb up and shake the branch to dislodge
Raggy's apparently dead body, while Harry stood under to catch it and
break the fall.

But Raggy was not dead.  Not a bit of him; and presently he got up and
scratched his poll and gazed about him like a somnambulist.

"Am de buffaloes all gone, massa?" he inquired.

"The buffaloes, Rag?  Yes, and it seems to me you are made of
indiarubber; why, they played lawn tennis with you."

"Well, massa," said Raggy, "it was some fun to de buffaloes anyhow, and
it not hurt Raggy much."

Another day Harry had narrowly escaped being killed by a rhinoceros.
Quiet enough these animals are at times, but whatever other travellers
may say, I advise you to keep out of their track when they lose temper.

Somali Jack was one day posted behind his rope when down thundered a
small herd of giraffes.  Over went number three.  Out came Jack and
attacked him, but, like the witch in Tam o' Shanter--

  "Little wist he that beast's mettle."

One kick sent Jack flying yards and yards away; the blow alighted on his
chest, and, strange to say, the blood sprang from his nose and mouth.

Jack said nobody could hit so hard as a giraffe unless his master, and
he never tried again to spear a--

  "Roebuck run to seed."

They had now many rivers to cross and miles on miles to walk sometimes
before they could find a ford.  But the current seldom ran very strong.
The worst of it was that often, even after they found the ford and got
over, there was a marsh to cross, worse than any bog in old Ireland.

Many of these marshes were infested with crocodiles.  Oh, how innocent
these brutes can appear, basking in the sunshine on the banks, or lying
in shallow streams with nothing out and up except their hideous heads!

Yonder, for example, is one immense skull, not far from the bank.  He is
asleep, is he not?  Go a little closer.  He never moves.  You feel sure
he is good-natured, and that the crocodile is a much-libelled reptile.
Go closer still and look at him.  Ugly enough he is, but so
innocent-looking!  You would like to smoothe him, wouldn't you, little

Snap!  Where are you now?  It is sincerely to be hoped that your mamma
has another good little boy like you to supply your place, for _you_
will never be seen again.

And your great "good-natured" crocodile is very playful now, and goes
away swishing through the water to tell all the other crocodiles how
very happy he feels, because he has a little boy in his stomach.

They came, at length, to a range of rugged hills which it took them a
whole day to get across.  They encamped at night in a dreary glen, and
had to keep a great fire burning until the sun rose over the mountains,
for this glen seemed to be the home _par excellence_ of the lions.
These monsters, many of which they saw, were the largest they had yet
fallen in with.

They were evidently filled with resentment at the daring invasion of
their territory, and made not only night hideous with their threatening
and growling, but sleep quite impossible.

Harry was glad enough to continue the journey next day as early as
possible, but they had not got far before a terrible thunderstorm made
all pedal progression quite impossible for the time being.  It was well
they were pretty high up among the hills, for with the thunder and
lightning came a wind of hurricane force; they could hear the great
trees smashing in the forest beneath them, and noticed scores of wild
beasts seeking sheltered corners in which to hide till the violence of
the storm should abate.

Another night in this mountain forest; another night among the wild

Next day was bright and fine, but not for hours after did the sun
appear, owing to the mists that were rising all over the land.

On the evening of that same day they came to the margin of what appeared
at first to be a broad rolling river.  There were a few native canoes on

One immensely large dug-out was soon observed coming towards them, so it
was evident they were already seen.  In the stern sheets, when it came
near enough, Harry could descry a single figure sitting under the broad
canopy of an umbrella.

No one else in the boat, and the figure astern not moving a muscle!

"How is it done?" said Harry to himself.  "It is a mystery.  Can these
savages have invented electricity as a motor power?"

Nearer and nearer came the boat, but the mystery was as far from being
explained as ever.

The individual who sat in the boat was a portly negro, very black, very
comely and jolly-looking.  He was dressed from the shoulders to the
knees in a loose blue robe of cotton cloth.  This appeared to be simply
rolled round the loins and then carried over the shoulder.  On his head
he wore a skin hat with the hairy side out and a long tail hanging down
behind it.  Round his neck was a string of lions' tusks, in his ears
immense copper rings, in one hand a broad-bladed spear, and in the other
a long shield of hide studded with copper nails.

The umbrella was a fixture behind him.

While Harry and his companions were still gazing at this singular being
with a good deal of curiosity, not unmixed with apprehension, the prow
of the boat touched land, and immediately the motor power was explained.
This was, after all, only a big hulking negro who had been wading
behind and pushing with his head.  He had not come here unguarded,
however.  For dozens of armed canoes now made an appearance, and took up
a position in two rows, one at each side of what was undoubtedly the
royal barge.

The king stepped boldly on shore, and nodded and smiled to Harry in the
most friendly way.

"Good morning," said Harry, nodding and smiling in turn; "fine day,
isn't it?"

Of course the king could not reply, but leaning on his spear he walked
three times round Harry and his companions, then three times round Harry
alone.  It was pretty evident he had never seen a white man before.

Then he touched Harry's clothes, and felt all along them as one smoothes
a dog.  Then he said:

"Lobo!  Lobo!"  [Strange, or wonderful.]

He next proceeded to an examination of Harry's face.  He wetted the end
of his blue robe in the lake and tried to rub the bloom off Harry's

"I don't paint," Harry said, quietly.

"Lobo!" said the king again.

Harry's buttons now fixed the king's attention.

He pulled the jacket towards him and tried to cut one off with the end
of his spear.

Then Harry smacked his fingers for him, and the king started back with a
fierce look in his eye.

"Lobo!  Lobo!" he cried, excitedly.

"Keep your fingers to yourself, then," said Harry.

But thinking he had gone too far, he immediately cut two buttons off and
presented them to this queer king.

His majesty was all smiles again in a moment.  He intimated his pleasure
and gratitude in a neat little speech that Harry could make neither head
nor tail of, but was glad to find that little Raggy could translate it
even more freely than Somali Jack.

For from somewhere near these regions Raggy had originally come.  So he
told Harry; he also said, "I 'spect I has a mudder livin' hereabouts

"Would you know her, Raggy, if you saw her?"

"I not know her from any oder black lady," replied Raggy, grandly;
"'sides," he added, "dis chile Raggy hab no wish to renew de

The warriors in the king's canoes sat as motionless as if they had been
made out of wood, and then tarred over and glued to their seats.  They
looked friendly, but it was quite evident they would take their cue from
his majesty, and were just as ready to drown Harry in the lake as to
give him a welcome.

"Peace at any price is the best policy in this case," said Harry.  "Eh,
Raggy, what say you?"

"Suppose massa want to fight, den Raggy fight; suppose we fight, dey
gobble us all up plenty quick; suppose we not fight, den dey make much
of us and give us curry and chicken."

"All right, Raggy, we'll go in for the curried chicken.  Tell this sable
king that we have come a long long way to see him, and to give him some
presents, and that we then want to pass through his country and go on
our way in peace."

All this Raggy duly translated, and Harry strongly suspected that he
added a little bit of his own to it.  But this is a liberty that
interpreters very often take.

The king was laughing.  The king was pleased.  He pointed to the boat
and led the way towards it and without a moment's hesitation Harry
stepped on board, and in another minute they were all away out in the
open lake.



When the king's barge left the shore, shoved slowly along by the head of
the big hulking negro, Harry, of course, had not the faintest notion
whence he was being taken.

Perhaps he was just a trifle reckless.  He was so at most times, but in
this case I imagine he was in the right.  For the worst thing one can do
on meeting strange savages is to show mistrust or fear of them.  If you
mistrust them, they at once suspect you, and the consequences may
sometimes be anything but pleasant.

It was not long before our hero found out that it was indeed a lake, and
not a broad river, on which he was embarked, and that it was studded
with about a hundred islands, over all of which this black host of
theirs was evidently the potentate.

He landed on one of the largest of them, and on a kind of rude pier
where nearly a hundred armed amazons were drawn up to receive their lord
and his guests.

Harry afterwards found out that he kept ten amazons for every island,
but they all lived near the royal residence, and were his especial
body-guard.  Fierce-looking, stalwart hussies they were, with knives in
their girdles, spears in their hands, and leather-covered shields, that
were nearly as big and wide as barn doors.

Over these shields they grinned and glared in a way that was really
hideous.  They rolled their eyes round and round incessantly, as if they
had been moved like clock-work.  Perhaps, thought Harry, they go in for
eye-drill in this queer country.  The reason of this optical movement,
he was afterwards told, was to prove to the king that danger could come
to him from no direction without their seeing it.

These amazons were dressed in sacks of cocoa-cloth, and wore tippets of
skins not unlike those of your dandy coachmen in Hyde Park.  From their
legs and arms, behind and below, feathers stuck out, and as head-dresses
their own hair was done up into an immense dome, which stood straight up
and was adorned with the feathers of the red ibis.

All this Harry took in at a glance as he walked on behind the king,
through an avenue of most splendid trees, towards his palace.

I must dismiss the palace with a single sentence.  It was not unlike a
haycock of immense size, with a door in the side, or like the half of a
cocoanut turned upside down.  It was in an enclosure, in the very middle
of the island, and near it were the huts of the king's amazons, the
whole being defended by a strong palisade of roughly hewn wood.

The huts of his other warriors--and every one appeared to be a warrior
in this island--were outside the fort and different in shape and
appearance.  They were, if anything, more elaborately built, and had
verandahs supporting their roofs, which only proved that his majesty was
a man of simple tastes, and preferred looking after the well-being of
his subjects rather than his own.

One of the largest tents in the enclosure was set aside for Harry and
his companions.  It contained a dais-bed, covered with grass matting, an
immense grass-stuffed pillow, and mats on the floor besides.

He had not been long in this tent ere an unarmed amazon entered, bearing
a huge leafen basket, laden with the most delicious fruit, the perfume
of which filled the whole room.  She also brought and placed near it a
huge pitcher of water.

This was all very gratifying, and Harry began to wonder where this
strange king learned all his civility and hospitality, and he really
felt a little sorry now that he had taken the liberty of smacking his
majesty on the fingers when he was attempting to cut off a button.

"How, on the other hand," he asked himself, "have this curious people
escaped the raids and ravages of the plundering slaver Arabs?"

Perhaps the Arabs had not yet found them out, or, having found them out,
deemed it impossible to attack them, so well protected were they by

Nothing was done to-day by Harry except to wander about all over this
lovely island.

Indeed, the adjective "lovely" but poorly expresses the wealth and
beauty of flower and foliage that met his gaze at every turn.

It seemed a veritable garden of Eden.  It must have been miles in
extent, yet the king assured him he might wander everywhere, and he
would find neither wild beast nor loathsome dangerous reptile.

His majesty went to his tent and did not appear again that day, nor was
he visible until late into the next.

Harry was walking about making friends with the cocks and hens, the
goats and the pigs, and with several charmingly plumaged birds of the
guinea-hen species, when he was summoned into the king's presence.

The dusky monarch was seated in the middle of his tent on a mat.  So
black was he, and so dark was the hut, that, coming right in from the
glare of the noonday sun, it was some time before Harry could see him or
anything else.  He heard the king's hearty laugh, however, and went
towards it.

He was beckoned to a mat on the floor, and fruit was handed to him.

Then the royal host began to show all the inquisitiveness of a child,
and evinced so much curiosity that Harry could not answer his questions
fast enough.  But he delighted him greatly by saying that at home he too
lived on an island.

The king was exceedingly tickled, though, when told through Raggy that
we were subjects to a queen.

He laughed so immoderately that he was obliged to lie back and roll on
his mat, and for quite three minutes could say nothing but "Lobo!  Lobo!

In the midst of all this pleasant discourse two amazons entered, and
helped the king to rise.

He said something which Raggy translated, "Come on for true."

They went on "for true," and soon found themselves in a grove and under
a canopy of grass-cloth.  On the green-sward they all squatted down to a
banquet, the like of which Harry had not seen for many days.

It was not served on china, you may be sure, and there were no forks,
only knives.  The plates were of yellow-brown clay, and as soft as a
brick.  In the centre was a huge dish of curried rice; before each of
his guests was placed a curried fowl.  Then there were floury and
well-cooked yams, sweet potatoes and plantains, and a large chattee of

Raggy ate up his fowl every bit, so did Somali Jack.  Harry failed on
his last drumstick, and the king laughed again, and cried, "Lobo!

Then there was more wandering about the island, and another banquet or
fried fish and fruit on their return.

All the time Harry and Jack stuck to their rifles.  One never knows what
savages may turn out to be, and had anything occurred they were
determined to sell their lives as dearly as possible.

Next day, and next, and next, were simply repetitions of the first, with
this difference--that the king took his guests round his islands in his
barge, rowed now by five dark-skinned boatmen on each side, and this
will give you some idea of the size of it.

Every evening after supper, sitting out under the stars, the king being
only dimly visible as a kind of shape, Harry had to tell stories of all
the kings and potentates and countries in the world.

He got a little tired at last, and found it better and easier to invent
tales of imagination, based upon the stories he had read, such as the
novels of Cooper and Walter Scott, than to stick to plain geography and
pure history.  This pleased this strange king even better, and he was
constantly saying, "Lobo!" during Harry's recitals.

I dare say, however, that Raggy, through whom, as a medium, the stories
had to pass, embellished them somewhat on his own account.

Among the gifts from Somali Jack's packet that Harry presented to his
majesty was a shirt and a pair of pyjamas.  These he wore until they
were black, albeit Harry had several times suggested that they should be

A whole month flew by.  Very quickly indeed the days went too, for the
air made Harry lazy, and he felt as if he had eaten the lotus leaf.  He
roused himself at last, and, fearful that he might be outstaying his
welcome, he told the king he must go.

"Go! did you not come here to stay and talk to me for ever and ever?
Go!  No, no!  Lobo!  Lobo!"

It began gradually to dawn upon Harry that he really and virtually was a
prisoner in these friendly islands.  He certainly could not leave them
without his majesty's permission.  To steal a boat and try to escape was
out of the question, the amazons with the rolling eyes would effectually
prevent this.

So he stayed on quietly another month.  Then, firm in the belief that a
constant drop will wear away a stone, he began persistently to tease the
king into letting him go on his journey.

The king would promise one day, and retract the next.

Three months passed away, then four.  Harry was getting desperate.  At
the risk of giving mortal offence he refused to tell any more stories.
And his majesty got so sad and morose that he felt grieved to see him.

"I will let you go," he said at length, "if you will promise to return
and bring me more gifts."

Harry gladly promised that he would do everything in his power to come
back that way.

The king had most minutely examined the rifles, but hitherto not a shot
had been fired.  Ammunition was far too valuable.

But one day Harry determined to give the king a treat.  He took his
rifle, and pointing to a great vulture that was slowly floating around
the village, fired, and to his own surprise brought it down.

But the consternation among the natives was intense.  It was a strange,
superstitious dread, and if they could have turned pale with fear I feel
sure they would have done so.  Harry had made thunder and lightning,
smoke and flame, and killed an evil bird.  No wonder the king capsized
on his back on the mat, and said "Lobo!" more than a dozen times!

But Harry explained everything to him, and his majesty was satisfied.

The day before Harry's departure from the Lake of the Hundred Isles was
devoted to feasting and dancing.  The king even proposed killing one or
two of his subjects in honour of the occasion.

Harry would not hear of this.

"Well," the king said, "he would put them up at a distance, and his
guest should bring them down, with his rifle."

"No, no, no," laughed Harry; "kill hens and we can eat them, but not
human beings."

It was such a drowsy island this that Harry never thought of turning out
of bed till about eight o'clock.

When he got up next day, and went forth to breathe the balmy morning
air, the sight that was presented to him made him open his eyes wide
with astonishment.  It was like a scene of enchantment.

The king's hut, and every other hut, and even the palisade around this
camp, was completely covered with flowers of the most gorgeous hues and
sweetest perfume, while all the ground was deeply bedded with green
leaves and boughs.  Even the shields and spears of the amazons were
decorated with flowers, and they wore garlands around their necks and
heads.  Near the king's tent sat a few musicians, beating low on
tom-toms, and singing a dreamy kind of a chant.

It was late before the king put in an appearance; he did so at last,
however, and very pleased he seemed when he gazed about him.  Then his
eye sought Harry's; he was anxious to know if he was also pleased with--



Harry hastened to assure him that he was more than pleased, he was

Would the queen of his country be pleased if she were here?  That was
his next question, and he laughed as he put it till his sides shook
again.  The answer was, "Undoubtedly."

I do not intend to give a complete description of all the performances
of the day--they were far too numerous.  Suffice it to say that there
was a grand procession of warriors, headed by the flower-bedecked
amazons; after the soldiers came the king's butchers or executioners;
and next a crew of naked natives, bearing a pig, a goat, and several
cocks and hens for the slaughter.  The goat looked rather astonished and
kicked a little at times; the cocks looked boldly unconcerned; but the
pig was a lusty one, he was not content with kicking and biting, but he
screamed so loudly that the sound, or bleating one might call it, of the
chanters was hardly heard.  All this, accompanied by the beating of
tom-toms and the occasional unearthly yells of the amazons, made up a
concert that it is far beyond my powers of description to give the
reader any correct notion of.

The animals were slain.  The amazons danced around the hole into which
the creatures' blood had been poured, frequently dipping their fingers
therein and besmearing their faces, which certainly did not improve
their grim beauty.

Then the procession returned to the king's enclosure, and more wild
dancing was carried on, much to the delectation of his majesty.

Suddenly he wheeled round to the mat where Harry and Raggy were

"Can you dance?" said the king.  "Yes, you must dance."

When Raggy translated his majesty's words Harry could not keep from
laughing aloud.

The idea, he thought, of his leading one of those bloody-faced amazons
through a mazy dance, or of his dancing in her majesty's uniform to
please a savage king!

"No," he said, "he could not dance; but Raggy would."

Raggy whispered something to his master, and the reply was--

"So you have, Raggy; I had quite forgotten.  Go and fetch it."

Raggy was back in less than a minute with a German concertina, which he
had looted from Mahmoud, and which had been intended for King 'Ngaloo.

The effect of Harry's playing on this instrument was magical.  There was
a half-frightened silence at first, succeeded by murmurs of delight.

"Lobo!  Lobo!!  Lobo!!!" cried the king, emphatically, and when Harry
finished he smoothed the back of his hand with one finger, as if he had
been a pet rat, and Harry could have sworn he saw tears in the poor
man's eyes.

"Now, Raggy," cried Harry, striking into a hornpipe, "now for your

Raggy required no second bidding, and I am sure no stage nigger ever
could have gone through one half the capers Raggy did, in that wonderful
breakdown of his.

During the dance the king's face was something to behold and wonder at,
his excitement was intense, and when Raggy finished he had simply to
begin again.  So it was "encore" and "encore" till the poor boy fairly
sank on the ground panting from exertion, and the king shouted "Lobo!
Lobo!  Lobo!  Lobo!"

To change the programme, Harry commenced to sing "Rule Britannia," and
somewhat to his surprise, while the king beat time with his hand on his
knee, several of the amazons joined the chorus and actually followed the

The amazons after this took chains of flowers and threw over Harry's
head till he was nearly choked.

The concert ended at last and feasting began, and after this the king
was led away and deposited on a couch of leaves and flowers, and at once
went off to sleep.

"And no wonder," said Harry to himself, "for he has picked the bones of
a couple of fowls, and eaten nearly half a goat."

Next morning his majesty was up betimes, and as bright as a lark.

He was full of business.  There was Harry's boat to get ready, and also
his own, for he meant to send his guest away in state.

"Ask or me anything," he said to Harry, "and I will give it if you
promise to return."

"I will assuredly return," replied Harry, "if the Great Father spares

"And now, when I think of it, I shall be for ever grateful to you for
your hospitality.  Will you add to it by lending me two of your people
to help me as carriers on my march?"

The answer was made in the following way.  The king ran rapidly along
the ranks of his amazons, and dragged out two of the sturdiest, whom he
almost flung into Harry's arms.

Harry stepped back laughing.

"Oh, no, your majesty," he said, "not the ladies, please."

"Lobo!  Lobo!" said his majesty.

The boat in which Harry and his companions embarked for the distant
eastern shore, was bedded with beautiful flowers, and when he bade the
king goodbye on the shore he took away with him three sturdy islanders
to act as guides, and to help to carry his guns and packages.

These last contained a supply of rice sufficient to last the little
expedition for many months.

When he reached the hill-top and looked back, lo! there on the beach
still stood the honest king.  Once more adieus were waved; then Harry
and his people went down over the mountain side, and bore away to the

It was when in bivouac that night, halfway up a hill, with the moon and
stars shining in a clear blue sky and brilliantly reflected in a little
lake down beneath, that Harry remembered that all the time he had been a
guest of the island king, he had never spoken to either him or his
people of the good tidings of the Gospel.

He felt his face burn red as he thought of his neglect.  But he vowed to
himself that if spared to return he would try to make amends for such

"You should sow good seed when you can," something seemed to whisper to
Harry; "the ground may be rough, the soil may be hard, but _good seed
often makes good soil for itself_."




Not only as guides and carriers, but in a variety of other ways did
Harry find his new men useful.  They were undoubtedly honest, they were
just as undoubtedly brave, and last, but not least, they were willing.

Well, they were servants and subjects of the island king, and depend
upon it a good master always makes a good servant.

It was but two men that Harry desired to have lent to him, but his
majesty insisted on sending three, wisely observing that while the two
could carry the packages, the other could act as guide and scout.

At the time, then, that the last "act" in this tale of ours opens, Harry
had already been three months on the road.

Three months only?  Why it seemed like three years, so filled had the
days been with toil and adventure.  No wonder that Harry felt a man when
he looked back to all he had come through.  He had seen many strange
sights, and been among many strange tribes and peoples, and yet he could
have told you truthfully that he had not as yet made an enemy.  To do so
needs that wonderful skill and judgment, tact and calmness of mind,
which only men like Stanley and Cameron possess.

My own impression is that one is more safe among the really
unsophisticated tribes of the far interior, than among those that lie
more near the coast, and who have been leavened with a modicum of
civilisation--and mayhap a modicum of rum.  I would rather trust myself
among savages who had never seen a white man before, than among the
Somali Indians to the north of the line--whose tricks and manners, by
the way, I have good cause to remember.

Harry inquired the names of his islanders, but found they were so
difficult to pronounce, unless he tried to swallow his tongue, and
screwed his mouth out of all shape, that he determined to give them
English ones, so he called them Walter--the scout--and Bob and Bill--the
carriers.  But in the mouths of these Indians Walter became "Walda," Bob
became "Popa," and Bill became "Peela;" so let them stand: Walda, Popa,
and Peela.

They were so much alike that it was quite a long time before Harry could
tell the one from the other--tell Popa from Peela, I mean.

As for Walda, though he was quite as tall, quite as straight, and every
bit as jetty black as his companions, his teeth had been filed into
triangles, and stained crimson by some mysterious means or other, and as
he was always on the grin there was no mistaking him.

Walda had a wondrous way of his own of making his peace with native
tribes.  He seemed to know the whole country well, and used to run on
miles in front of the company, and by the time Harry got up it was no
uncommon thing to find everything prepared and ready, and even a rude
tent made for the white man's reception.

So that life became now a deal easier for our hero.

Poor Walda, though, had one day a narrow escape from a most terrible

It was well for him that Harry and the rest of his people were near to
save him.

I cannot tell you whether or not the python or marsh boa of Central
Africa is a spiteful reptile, for I have never seen but one, and he made
no attempt to attack me, although I stood not twenty yards away.  I
cannot believe all the fearful tales I have read and been told about the
creature, of its enormous length--sometimes sixty feet--of its power to
swallow a small bullock, and of its chasing travellers till they heard
its panting behind them, and felt its fulsome breath beating warm
between their shoulders.  This would surely be more fearsome than any
nightmare.  It puts one in mind of the words of the immortal Coleridge--

  "Like one that on a lonesome road
  Doth walk in fear and dread,
  And having once turned round, walks on,
  And turns no more his head;
  Because he knows a frightful fiend
  Doth close behind him tread."

Walda was only a little way ahead of the rest on the day he was attacked
by the python.  Nor was it of very large size, else would I not have
Walda's adventures to write.

The guide was near a tree when suddenly, with a loud hiss, the monster
sprang upon him.  It seized the unfortunate man by the naked shoulder
with its fangs, and, twisting its tail round a tree, commenced to roll
Walda up in its coils.

His companions dropped their burdens and rushed to his rescue.

None too soon.  Yet the attack and relief both together could hardly
have occupied more than twenty seconds.  It was evident from the
quickness with which Peela and Popa commenced untwisting the coils from
the tree, that they had been actors in a scene like this before.  They
at the same time hacked at the tail with their knives.

Meanwhile Harry had run his sword-bayonet, which luckily was fixed to
the end of the rifle, through the boa constrictor's body.  Its folds
were instantly released, and Walda fell forward insensible, only to be
speedily dragged away by Somali Jack.

It was time for all to run now, to escape the lashings and writhings of
the monster.  It coiled round the tree, and uncoiled again.  It lay for
moments dormant, then sprang high in air.

Harry now took steady aim with his rifle and shot it through the neck,
close to the head, and soon after it expired.

In journeying on and on, ever towards the west, Harry and his people had
met with many a wild beast; sometimes, indeed, they were far too close
to lions to feel quite at home with their position.  Very few, however,
fell to the guns, for the simplest of all reasons, they only fired when
really obliged to.

They found themselves one day on a hill-top, overlooking a vast stretch
of level country that extended towards the then setting sun as far as
the eye could reach.

In some places it seemed bare and sandy, while in others there were
clumps of forest trees, but for the most part it was treeless.  Here and
there little lakes of water glittered in the sun's parting rays, and
looked like pools of blood.

It was an eerisome and ugly-looking district to cross, and Harry looked
north and south in the hope of seeing hills which he might reach, and
thus make a detour and avoid it.  He consulted Walda on the subject.

But Walda shook his head.

"No, no," he said; "no way round.  Must cross."

They entered on this dismal swamp early next morning.

It appeared like going down into a black and dreary ocean, and Harry
could not help a feeling of hopelessness and melancholy stealing over
him before he had walked for an hour, and the farther on he went the
more gloomy and depressed in spirits did he become.

Perhaps this was the effects of breathing the tainted and unwholesome

"Why am I toiling and moiling here," he asked himself peevishly, again
and again, "when I might be far away and happy?  This is no pleasure,"
he said, half aloud; "better by far I were dead."

Then he remembered he had a duty to perform--that of endeavouring to
find out and rescue his poor men.

But was he doing it?  No, he was only bent on his own pleasure and
enjoyment.  Enjoyment indeed!  He was a fool for his pains, and a great
sinner besides.  What were his parents doing all this weary time?  The
_Bunting_ must be home long ago.  And he would have been given up for
lost.  They must have thought the dhow foundered at sea, or been lost
among the breakers and every one drowned.  Well, then, if he was given
up for lost, the bitterness of his mother's grief must already be nearly
assuaged.  What mattered a year or two more of wandering?  He _would_
wander.  He _would_ find his men or perish in the attempt.  So ran his

And thus moodily, and half angrily, did Harry muse as he marched over
the dismal waste at the heels of his faithful guide Walda.

It was not easy walking here either; there were darksome murky pools to
go round, and brown unwholesome streams to wade through.

Nothing could have been more depressing than the view around him, look
where he would.

As far as wild beasts were concerned, the dismal swamp was untenanted.
Here were no lordly elephants, no sturdy rhinoceroses, no giraffes
towering in their strength, nor deer, nor gnu, nor hartbeeste, nor the
herds of swift-footed ambling zebras they had been so used to behold.

But in the great pools, and in the sluggish mud-stained streams,
wallowed crocodiles more large and loathsome than Harry could have
imagined even in his dreams, while often several of these at one time
could be seen on the banks huddled together asleep or basking in the

They walked onwards as fast as they could, hardly pausing to eat, but
there seemed no end to the horrible fen.  It seemed to Harry as if he
was bound to go on, and still go on, but never come to anything.

The sun began to set at last, glaring purple through a watery-looking

There was nothing for it but sleep in the swamp till another day dawned.
Harry and his men now sought the shelter of a clump of stunted trees
which they reached after some difficulty.

While daylight lasted they were careful to beat the bush well before
they thought of lighting the camp-fire, for close under the trees in
places like this the giant anaconda or python often lies coiled up till
roused to fury by the presence of man or other animals.

The sun went down, and gloaming and gloom settled down over the marsh.
The very stars seemed to give a feebler light than was their wont, for
their rays were shorn by a rising haze.

It took quite a long time to-night to light the camp-fire, for the
materials had got damp.

The process of making fire is very simple to appearance, but requires no
little skill; it is, however, common among nearly all savage nations,
and my readers may, if they please, try their hands at it.  Suppose
yourself a savage and have another savage to assist you.  Well, you are
possessed of a round piece of hard dry wood about the length but not
nearly so thick as an ebony ruler, it is tapered to a point at one end.
Your companion savage sits in front of you holding firmly a bit of
softer wood, flat at the bottom for steadiness' sake, and with a little
hole in the top.  Into this hole you insert the point of your hard wood
drill, then you have only to roll it rapidly back and fore between your
two palms, till sparks are emitted and smoke, then fanning or blowing
with your breath, and partially surrounding the hole with dried meadow
grass, or anything that will catch easily, will do the rest.  If you try
it, I hope you will be successful; I myself lack two important
essentials to success--patience and dexterity.

But Jack and the guide "made fire" at last, and supper was cooked and

During the time it was being got ready Harry had taken a little walk in
the dim starlight.  He did not go far, for he soon got into a miry
place.  Here he almost trampled upon a gigantic eel creature--it could
hardly have been a snake--it was slowly dragging its body through the

While he was looking at it there was the sound of wings in the sky right
above him.  It was a great vulture of some kind: birds of this kind are
scarcely ever a mile distant from a party of African travellers, and
have the lion's share of all that is killed.  The flapping of wings was
very loud and accompanied by a rustling noise; so close overhead was it
that he could hear it breathe hoarsely--so at least he thought.  But
hardly had he turned away ere the great bird swooped down, and next
moment it had re-ascended carrying the great eel with it.  Seeing the
latter, though but for a moment, wriggling in the talons of the unclean
bird was quite enough for Harry.  He walked no farther that way, but
speedily returned to the camp.

The fire and his supper rendered him a shade more comfortable; his
people went into the wood to collect dry material to make their master a
bed.  They beat the grass first with their spears before they ventured
to put their hands down, for several deadly-looking, triangular-headed
snakes had been seen before sunset, rustling through the undergrowth or
hanging to the branches of the trees.

Harry lay down at last, but he slept but little.  How could he in such a
place, with the horrid bellowing of crocodiles ever and anon rising on
the night air, the intervals being filled up with the continuous hoarse
snoring of some creatures in the marsh, probably gigantic frogs!

Next morning there was no chance of proceeding so early as they had
wished, for all the swamp was enveloped in a dark grey fog or mist, and
it was nearly noon before the sun had succeeded in dispelling it.

On they journeyed now, happy to be able to start at last, for Harry
shuddered to think what the consequences would be if the mist did not
lift for days.

They had not gone above five miles ere a village came into view.

Harry made Raggy ask the guide why he had not mentioned the existence of
this town.

The guide only shook his head and said--

"No good--no good."

The place was built among trees, palms there were of many strange kinds,
and an undergrowth of broad-leaved plantains and gigantic feathery
ferns, but some of the trees were so weirdly fantastic in shape that in
his present depressed state of mind they pained Harry to look at.

The ground here was somewhat higher, but it certainly was no oasis in a

If Harry expected his spirits to rise on entering this village he was
soon undeceived.  It was the abode _par excellence_ of gloom and misery.

The leaf-built huts were mere kennels, the people themselves were black,
naked, decrepit, and puny, and the very children were paunchy and

Not a sign of welcome did they make, not the slightest show of
resistance; they but gazed on the expedition as it passed along with the
lack-lustre eyes of chronic apathy.

It was evident that here was a tribe or people slowly but surely dying
off the face of the earth.  Harry soon found that they were cannibals,
and that they actually ate their dead.  They had no king, no law, no
order; they were socialists, nihilists, and soon, doubtless, to be

Harry sought out an open space under the shelter of a splendid spreading

This tree was really a thing of beauty.  It was larger than any oak, and
its branches were literally bathed in the beauty of trailing flowers,
while colonies of bees and birds made sweet soft music in its foliage.
Harry thought if he was a bird, it would not be anywhere near this
village he would build his nest and make his home.

Presently a native or two came round and stood up to stare, and after a
time one with more alacrity than the rest brought some squash-apples and
a chattee of beautiful honey.

There was something human after all even in this degraded race.  Harry
did not care to eat honey from the hands of a cannibal, so he gave it to
his people.

The intelligent native soon squatted down beside Raggy, and from his
rolling eyes and woebegone face it was evident he was telling the boy a
dismal story.

"What is it, Raggy?" said Harry.

"Ebery night, sah, it is de same," replied Raggy.  "He come now foh
more'n tree week, and ebery night he take somebody."

"What are you driving at, boy?"

"De lion, sa!  De lion what come here ebery night, gobble up some poor
soul, den smack his lips and go away back to de jungle."

Now though much against his inclination, Harry had not the heart to go
away and leave this wretched tribe to the mercy of a relentless

This lion was evidently some very old and wily king of the forest, too
old to stalk bigger game.  In this village he had "struck oil," as the
Yankees say, and was making the very best of it.

Harry determined to "spoil his game."

All day he wandered about this swamp-island, wondering at the beauty of
the flowers and the richness of their perfume, and admiring the many
strange birds and their nests.

When night began to fall he prepared to watch for the foe.

The lion invariably walked on to the stage at the same spot.  When shown
this, to his horror he found a poor boy there tied to a stake, agony
depicted in his staring eyes, and the sweat standing in beads on his
brow and draggling his curly hair.

The poor lad was a sop for Cerberus, and every night it seemed to be the
custom thus to sacrifice one poor victim to save others in the village.
Whether they drew lots for it, or how it was arranged, Harry could not
find out.

There was little fog here to-night, but it lay low down all over the
marsh, which thus looked like one vast sheet of water glimmering in the
starlight.  Harry lay in concealment behind a tree, the two rifles
loaded and ready, with Jack, Raggy, and the guide spear-armed and not
far off.

He had released the boy, who looked quite bewildered on first gaining
his freedom, but soon regained his presence of mind, and went off
scampering and shouting into the village.

Hours and hours passed by.

Harry was often startled by noises above him, and looking up saw
gigantic bats flitting from tree to tree.

Would the lion never come?

Hark! a footstep deep down in the marsh; soft though it was, it could be
heard distinctly enough creeping nearer and nearer, pausing often as if
to listen, then coming on and on again through the rustling grass.

At last he is in sight.

A monster white-muzzled he-lion.

For a moment he stands 'twixt Harry and the starlight.

Our hero's hand is shaking.  All his nerves are a-quiver, for truth is
he is far from well, and the night air is damp and chilly.

Will he miss?  The starlight is confusing.

He takes steady aim and fires.

The lion stands erect roaring, maddened with pain.

Quick as a thought Harry seizes the other rifle, and while the lion is
still half erect fires again, and the man-eater staggers forward,
falling first on his knees, then on his nose, and there remaining--dead.

Harry was a god now in the eyes of these poor people.

In the midst of a large clearing in this swamp-island stood a strange
forked, withered tree.  Up in this tree a fire was built and lit.  Into
the open space the dead lion was dragged, and with many an eldritch
shout and scream, for hours and hours these savages danced round the
dead lion, and the fire that burned in the tree-top.

But Harry was glad when morning came, and happy indeed when next evening
he found himself once more among the tree-clad mountains with the marsh
far in the rear.

When he lay down to sleep that night he tried to think of the lake with
its hundred isles, and of the feast of flowers, but even in his dreams
he was haunted by the scenes he had recently passed through, and--





Nearly a whole year has passed away since the events described in last
chapter, and the wayward, wandering Harry has seen many strange sights,
had many a wild adventure, and been among many strange tribes and

He would hardly have travelled so far, he would have returned much
sooner towards the east had he not been following up a will-o'-the-wisp.
For again and again he was told by natives with whom he came in contact
of white men who were held captive by kings of tribes, sometimes it
would be to the north, at other times to the south or to the west.

He hoped against hope, and never failed to hunt up these tribes, but
disappointment had always been his lot.

So, tired and disheartened at last, he had determined to return, and to
strike once more for the lake of the hundred isles.

This returning, however, was not such an easy matter as he had
anticipated.  For in journeying westwards he found the chiefs with whom
he came in contact not unwilling to let him go onwards because he
assured them he was coming back.  This, and gifts of buttons, etc,
procured him liberty to advance, though several times he had to fall
back on his rifle, and usually succeeded in scaring warlike chieftains
out of their wits.

But on his way back every effort was made to detain him as a slave till
he should die, or, as the kings phrased it, "for ever and for ever."

All this resulted in very slow progress indeed in his backward journey,
and constituted a far greater danger than even that from wild beasts.

As an instance of how quickly an African chief can change his tactics, I
may tell you of a really warlike tribe whom Harry encountered, who dwelt
among the hills in the middle of a vast forest land.

At first the chief of this clan hardly knew how kind to be to Harry and
his people.  He feted them and feasted them, brought presents of roasted
goat-flesh, of honey, fruit, and of cocoanut beer.  Harry much preferred
the feasts to the fetes, for these hardly ever passed without a human
sacrifice.  He could not tell whether the victims were political
offenders or not.

However that may be, had the doomed wretches been simply beheaded it
would not have been so awful, but they were first tortured.

In one instance a living chain was made by tying seven unhappy beings
head to heels.  The tallest branch of a kind of lithe poplar tree was
then by great force bent to the ground.  To this the living, writhing
chain was attached; the branch was then let suddenly free, and up the
victims swung.

It is to be hoped they did not suffer long, but they appeared to.

I would not horrify my young readers by describing the orgies that took
place at some of those dreadful fetes.  The little I have said will
surely suffice to make them thank God they are born in a favoured land,
and to pray the Father to hasten the time when the dark continent shall
be opened up to commerce, and all such dreadful scenes become things of
the gloomy past.

But this chief, when he found that Harry was determined to go, turned
his back upon him, and went and shut himself up for a whole day in his

The wanderer well knew what this meant.  He knew the chief would send
for him next day and give him an ultimatum, and on his refusing
compliance therewith would at once slay his followers and put Harry in

But Harry determined to take time by the forelock, and to escape that
very evening.

He communicated his intentions to his people, and all were ready.  No
one slept, though all pretended to.

The night was very dark; a storm was brewing; the sky was covered with a
deep, solid canopy of slowly moving clouds, but never a star was

About midnight, when all was still in the camp, Harry arose and touched
his men.  They knew the signal.  He then crawled to the back of the tent
and with his knife cut a hole in it and crept out.  On their hands and
their knees they glided along till they came to the palisade, which they
proceeded to mount one by one.

Here lay the greatest danger, and this was soon apparent enough, for the
last man stumbled, and slight though the sound he made was, it was quite
sufficient to awake the whole camp.

As the fugitives bounded away to the forest Harry thanked Heaven for the
darkness of that dismal night.

They could soon hear the yells of the foe as they pressed onwards in

They would reach the shelter of the trees in another minute, but one
dark form was before all the rest, and was nearing on the guide when
Harry fired.

It was a random shot, but the savage fell: the first man that Harry had
killed in Africa, and he felt grieved, but still it was in self-defence.

They found themselves in a ravine, and crossed the stream at a place
where, from the noise it made among the stones, they could tell it was
not deep.

Now the road lay along this glen--such road as it was--but the fugitives
went straight on up the mountain side.  The hills here were fully three
thousand feet high, but they reached the top at last, and felt safe, for
far down beneath them, but well up the glen, they heard the shouts of
the chief's people and knew they were off the scent.  Then the storm
came on, and such a storm!  From hill to hill and from rock to rock the
thunder rattled and reverberated, while as for the lightning the whole
world seemed to be on fire.

Down below them in the forest the scene was singularly grand, for by the
light of the flashes they could see each moment the giant tree-tops
stand out as clear and distinctly as at midday.  Anon they would find
themselves blinded or dazzled for a moment, everything about them being
either a dark bright blue, dotted with sparks, or a blood-red or

The very hills on which they stood appeared to shake beneath their feet.

Then came the rain; it descended in streams, and made every one shiver,
so ice-cold was it.

But in less than an hour this strange but fearful storm had passed away
on the wings of a moaning wind, and the stars shone forth.

They found a cave in which to rest that night, and next day continued
the journey through the forest.

To his change of raiment, despite the modest demands of many a savage
chief or king, Harry had resolutely stuck, so he did not suffer from the

Yes, he had a change of raiment, but not one single button or inch of
gold lace on his uniform jackets.

Both buttons and lace had long since been gifted away.

About this stage of his wanderings Harry was as tough in muscle as if he
had been made of guttapercha, while his hands and face were of a colour
somewhat between brick-dust and bronze.

Another month found the little band back once more in the village of the
dismal swamp.

The poor creatures there seemed, if anything, glad to see them.  On
making inquiry, it was found that no more lions had sought to molest
them since the man-eater had been shot.

Harry rested here a night, resolving to push on next day, and by a
forced march get quite clear of the marsh.

But lo! next day not only the swamp but the village itself was enveloped
in a dark, wet mist, and the day wore away without the sun once

"No good, no good," was the answer of the guide to Harry's repeated
queries whether it was not possible to make straight headway in spite of
the fog.

"No good, no good."

And the next day showed no improvement nor the next week even.

The outlook was now very dreary indeed.

To make matters worse, the hopelessness of his situation brought a
prostration of mind and body, and the hardships and privations he had
undergone in his wanderings began to tell upon Harry.

Besides, there was the dread marsh miasma to be breathed day after day,
while the very appearance and dejectedness of the people he found
himself among was not calculated to mend matters.  He found himself
growing ill, he struggled against it with all the force of his mind.
But alas! a struggle of this kind is like that of floundering in a miry
bog--the more you struggle the deeper you sink.

One morning, after a restless night of pained and dreamful slumber,
Harry found himself unable to rise from his couch of grass under the
flower-clad, creeper-hung baobab tree.

He was sick at heart, racked with pain in every limb, and oh, _so_ cold.

The cold was worse to bear than anything, yet his pulse was bounding
along, his skin was hot, and his brow was burning.

Before night he was delirious--dreaming of home, raving in his waking
moments about his father, his mother, about Andrew, and Eily, the forest
of Balbuie, and the far-off Highland hills.

No nurse could have been kinder to Harry than Somali Jack, no one more
attentive than he and Raggy.

Even in this strange swamp-island Jack managed to find herbs, and
exercised all his native skill to bring his patient round.

But nights went by, and days that were like nights to Harry, and he grew
worse and worse.

At last even Somali Jack gave up all hope.

"Master will never speak again.  Master will never shoot and never fight
again," he said, mournfully, "till he shoots and fights in the land
beyond the clouds."

Jack sat down and gazed long and intently at Harry, whose jaw had
dropped, and whose breath came in long-drawn sighs or sobs.

He lay on his back, his knees half drawn up, and his hands extended on
the grass.

For a long, long time Somali Jack sat looking mournfully at his master;
then he seemed to lose all control of himself: he threw out his arms,
fell down on his face on the ground, and sobbed as though his heart were




But the worst was past, and the fever had spent itself before the dawn
of another day; even the terrible marsh miasmata had been repelled by
the strength and resiliency of Harry's constitution.

He was weak now, very.  But he was sensible and able to swallow a little
honey and milk, that Jack had culled and drawn with his own hands.

And that day, lo! the sun again shone out, the birds that had been mute
for weeks once more remembered their low but beautiful songs, and surely
in this swamp-island never did the wealth of flowers that grew
everywhere put forth a more dazzling show.  Twisted and pinched they had
been while the dank fog hung over them, but now they opened in all their
wild wanton glory, and vied with each other in the brightness of their
colours, their vivid blues, whites, pinks, and crimsons, and velvety
sulphurs, and chocolate browns.

They grew up over the trees, borne aloft on climbing stems, they
canopied the bushes, they carpeted the ground, and hung their charming
festoons round the fruit itself.

But yet in spite of all this wealth of beauty Harry longed to be off,
and almost the first words he spoke, though in a voice but little louder
than a whisper, were--

"Take me away.  Take me away out of here."

Those words made Somali Jack and Raggy very happy, and even the other
boys were rejoiced, for truth to tell, they all dearly loved their brave
young master.

All that day Jack and his comrades were very busy indeed.  They were
making an ambulance hammock.  When complete it was simplicity itself.

Only a couple of strong bamboos of great length, and between them a
sheet of grass-cloth, add to this a rude pillow stuffed with withered
moss, and the whole is complete.

It was a long and a slow journey which they started on next morning,
before even the stars had paled before the advancing beams of the sun.
But ere ever he had set behind the western hills it had been safely

And so by degrees, as Harry's strength could bear it, stage after stage
of the return march was got over and at length, to the invalid's
inexpressible joy, they arrived once more at the banks of the lake of
the hundred isles.  Walda quickly gathered together an immense heap of
withered grass, and quickly had it on flame; then he put on top of it
green branches, so that a dense volume of white-blue smoke rose up on
the evening air.

They saw it from the king's island.

King Googagoo--they have strange names, these chiefs of the interior,
the repetition of syllables and even words in names is very common--King
Googagoo himself came to meet Harry in his barge, but he brought no
retinue.  He was a very simple king.

As soon as he landed Walda, Peela, and Popa went and threw themselves on
their faces in front of his majesty, burying their knives in the earth
as they did so.  Nor did they rise until he had thrice touched each one
with the flat of his spear.

He now went speedily towards Harry, and scanned him very anxiously.

Harry smiled feebly, and held out a hand which the king took and

"My son has been ill," he said, "my son has been at the door of the cave
of death.  No matter, he lives; my son will soon be well.  The king will
make him well; he shall eat honey and milk, and drink of the blood of
she-goats until he is once more strong."

When landed at the island, the king led the way to his own tent, and
Harry was brought here and laid on a bed or dais covered with lions'

As he shivered with cold, a fire was lit in the middle of the floor.
The smoke found its way up almost spirally, and out through a hole in
the roof, over which was placed a triple fan kept in constant motion by
slaves without.

Another warm lion's skin was spread over Harry, Somali Jack prepared him
a decoction of boiled milk mixed with honey and some pleasant bitter
herb.  After swallowing this Harry remembered seeing the king squatting
on a mat by the fire, and his own boys in a corner; he noticed that
whenever any one entered the tent his majesty lifted a beckoning finger,
warning them to keep silence.  He remembered little more that day, for
he fell into a soothing perspiration, and soon after into a deep and
dreamless sleep.

It was broad daylight when he wakened, and he felt so much better that
he even attempted to rise.  It was then he noticed how feeble and weak
he was.

Whether or not the bitter medicine mingled with the warm and honeyed
milk partook of the nature of an opiate or not, Harry had no means of
ascertaining, but for nearly three days he did little else but sleep--
and perspire during the intervals of taking nourishment.

He was aware, however, that the great kind-hearted king was almost
constantly in the tent, and that he moved about on tiptoe, and talked in
whispers, never failing to lift his finger and shake it at any one who

Sometimes an amazon came in and looked at Harry, then smiled a grim
smile and retired, and once a terrible-looking old man with triangular
teeth like Walda's put in an appearance.  He had a fowl in his arm,
which after many strange antics--that showed he was working a fetish--he
slew.  He then dipped his finger in the blood and smeared Harry's

After this another fowl was brought to him, and he then made motions
with his hand and arm over the patient, of a semi-mesmeric kind, or as
if he were drawing something invisible towards the fowl in his arms.
The latter was immediately after chased out of the tent, and from the
noise out of doors it was evidently being hunted out of the enclosure

Next morning a cocoanut shell full of pure warm blood was handed to him;
this was not unpleasant to drink, and was repeated three times a day,
and day after day for a week.  [The blood-cure is not unknown in Europe,
but I believe some of the African tribes used it ages and ages ago.--

Every hour now, almost, Harry felt himself getting stronger.  He was
soon able to sit up for hours, then the king exhibited all the exuberant
joy of a child of six.  With his own hands he brought his patient a
small dish of delightfully curried chicken and rice, and as Harry ate it
King Googagoo laughed till his black, fat sides shook again.

With returning health came returning hope and happiness, and when,
leaning on the king's arm, Harry made his first venture out of doors it
seemed for all the world like going into a new world.  Everything was so
inexpressibly bright and lovely, the drooping palm trees, the banana
groves the greenest of the green, the splendid flowers that grew
everywhere, the bright-plumaged birds, the cloudless sky, the blue and
placid lake, and the purple hills on the far horizon.  It was all like a
beautiful dream, it was all a scene of enchantment, and to breathe the
balmy air was verily life itself.

How grateful he felt to this simple-minded king; ah! yes, and how
grateful to the Great Father above, who had spared his life, and brought
him safely through countless dangers.

Harry soon found the air was almost too strong for him, it flushed his
cheeks and quickened his breathing, so he retired again, and was almost
immediately after asleep on his lion-skin couch.

Next evening a hammock was slung for him near the fire, and lying there
he found himself strong enough to entertain the king with a little music
on the concertina, which "through thick and thin" Raggy had kept
possession of.

Only some sweet old-fashioned Scottish lilts he played, but they pleased
his majesty immensely, and after each he rubbed his hands and said,
"Lobo!  Lobo!  Lobo!"

Could Harry now tell him more of the story of the world?

Yes, Harry could and would.  He laid the concertina gently down by his
side, and, turning half round to where the king was squatting, began to
tell him through Raggy the simple Bible story of the creation.

Raggy had heard it all before, and was quite capable of translating it.

Next night Harry was even stronger; King Googagoo brought into the tent
quite a crowd of his favourite amazons, and the young historian had to
begin at the beginning again.

To have seen the boy preacher leaning half up in his hammock as he told
in earnest language his wondrous tale, and the innocent looks of the
simple king with the firelight playing over his face, and the background
of terrible-looking but listening amazons, would have suggested a
picture to many an artist which might have made him famous.

The story of Joseph seemed, next to that of Eden's garden, particularly
to interest his hearers, and many an interjection, many a marvelling
"Lobo?" did the king utter while Harry spoke through Raggy.

His remarks, too, were innocent, not to say childish, but very much to
the point.

Almost every night for weeks Harry had to tell the Bible and New
Testament tale.  And one day, when now nearly strong again, he was
gratified to find the king himself repeating the story to his people.

And they seemed spellbound.


Harry determined to make the islands his home for many months to come.

Meanwhile scouts were employed to scour the country in many different
directions, and endeavour if possible to find out the whereabouts or
news at least of the white men.

For a very long time they were unsuccessful.  At last, however, much to
Harry's joy, one man returned, bringing with him a vague rumour that he
had heard of five men belonging to a foreign country, who lived at the
court of a chief not very far from the lakes, but in the fastnesses of a
mountain-studded wilderness.  So fierce and terrible was this chief
reported to be that no one would dare to enter his territory.  If any
one did--so it was said--he would assuredly be crucified, or hoisted by
the heels into a sapling tree, there to hang in the sun until the great
grey kites ate the flesh from off his bones.

News of an equally important nature was soon after brought by another
and probably braver scout.  He _had_ entered the chief's wild country,
he had even seen and conversed with one of the white men, and found out
that there were six more in captivity, and that until now they had given
up all hopes of ever being able to regain their freedom.

King Googagoo was as much delighted with the news as was Harry.

And the king, moreover, now showed all the fierce impetuosity of his

He smote the ground with the staff of his spear.

"I will go," he cried, "with all the strength of my amazons and fight
this king, and deliver your friends from bondage."

But Harry saw that whatever was to be done must be done with care and
caution.  For failure would mean the death--probably by torture--of the
unfortunate white captives.

To please King Googagoo he at once accepted his assistance, but said
they must prepare.

"All the men of war and all the amazons," replied the king, "are at your
disposal.  You have brought everlasting joy to my heart, do with us what
you will."

Harry at once set about operations.  He held a great review in one of
the largest islands.  Every man, he found, was a soldier, but they were
sadly deficient in armour of an effective kind.  Spears there were,
though, in abundance--nothing else save these and knives.

Then it occurred to Harry to regularly drill them as sailors are drilled
on shore, in companies, in squares of various kinds, and in battalions

He guessed, rightly too, that the fine old Highland triangle-formation
would do well with these people.  [Note 1.]  So he taught them that.

But his teaching did not end here.  He must furnish his little army with
some weapon far more effective than either dagger or spear; so he set
himself to think.

How he wished he had but a hundred rifles and ammunition!  But wishes in
this case were vain enough.

Why not bows and arrows?

Why not, indeed.  The idea struck him as he lay in bed one night, and so
excited him that he did not steep a wink till nearly sunrise.

He was up betimes all the same, and made haste to communicate his notion
to the king.

His majesty was delighted, as, indeed, he was with all Harry's
proposals.  So that very day a branch was cut from a species of
yew-tree, and with the aid of a string composed of hide the first rude
bow was made.

This was improved upon day after day.  The king's forgemen and
artificers were summoned, and after many trials of different kinds of
wood for the bows and for the arrows, a very useful and very deadly kind
of Cross-bow was eventually fashioned and duly approved of by the king.

The arrow-heads presented the greatest difficulty, but this was finally
got over, and they fell upon a plan of not only forging good
serviceable, ones, but of fastening them on so that the arrow itself
would break before the head could come off.

King Googagoo's, people now went in for the study of war in downright
earnest, and gradually the army was supplied with finely-made

Many months went on in these preparations.  Meanwhile the arts of peace
were not forgotten.  Googagoo's men were very far ahead of any other
tribe that ever Harry in his wanderings had met, in the pursuits of
agriculture.  There grew on many of the islands immense fields of paddy,
or rice, and fields of sugarcane, all of which were duly hoed with hard
wood instruments, and duly watered by hand in season.

They were so close to the water, and there were so many field hands,
that any complicated system of irrigation was not required.

Harry taught this simple, innocent and frugal people many useful hints.

His youthful education, and the lessons honest Andrew had taught him
when quite a boy, now came in very handy indeed, which only shows that
no lad, whatever his position in life, should hesitate to learn a trade.

Harry, assisted by Raggy and Jack, made chairs for the king's tent, and
an extra couch.  He also made rude but useful candlesticks, and with the
fat of goats and pigs rude and useful candles to place in them; so that
when the rainy season returned, it was quite a treat to sit in the
palace tent with lights burning, and read, tell stories, and sing songs
till it was time to go to bed.

The king was so easily pleased, so good-tempered, and so generally
jolly, that Harry really could not help liking him.

He also proved a very apt pupil, and before his guest had been fully
four months in his island, could speak fairly good English.

So all went well, but the trouble was on ahead.  Harry often thought of
that, and it gave him many and many an anxious moment.

One day a scout returned from the mainland with news of so startling a
nature that--that I cannot do better than defer it for another chapter.


Note 1.  The Scottish Highlanders of old used almost invariably to
charge in this fashion; as the triangular phalanx neared the foe,
pistols were fired, then dashed among them, claymores were then drawn,
and while wild slogans rent the air, the charge was delivered, with a
vigour and aim that made success all but certain.



Briefly stated, the news which the scout had brought from the mainland
was to the effect that King Kara-Kara, who held the white men at his
court as slaves, having heard of the prosperity and wealth of the king
of the hundred isles, and that he also owned a white slave, had
determined to invade the island territory.

From the hill-top, at a safe distance, this scout had beheld Kara-Kara's
camp with his own eyes, and he assured King Googagoo that the army was a
well-armed and a vast one, and that they were already busily engaged in
cutting down trees and making dug-outs.  [Note 1.]

"So," said Harry, "the tables are turned.  Instead of our making war on
Kara-Kara, Kara-Kara is going to make war upon us."

"Let them come," replied Googagoo, "I care not; you have taught me to
put my trust in Heaven.  I do so, and feel sure that the Great Eye which
looks upon us from beyond the clouds, will keep us safe and give us the

Although there were now thunderstorms and rain almost every day, Harry
made himself busier with his little army than ever.

He picked out the best, quickest, and boldest men for officers--and I
need hardly say that both Walda and Somali Jack had high appointments--
and he kept drilling the men and amazons from morning till night.

Nor did he forget the commissariat This was to be very simple--little
else, in fact, save dates and rice and water.

Often now of a night great fires could be seen gleaming among the wooded
hills on the distant horizon, showing plainly enough that King
Kara-Kara's men were far from idle.

So the time wore on, and the wet season passed; the lake was no longer
lashed into foam by driving squalls, but slept as peacefully under the
blue sky as if waves had never yet been invented.

Harry was now wholly ready for action, and he had almost made up his
mind to carry the war into the enemy's country before he had time to
attack the islands.

The king and he had a long palaver over the particulars of this plan.
His majesty had very great faith in his navy.

"My boys," he said, "can fight as well on the water as they and my brave
amazons can do on shore.  Let them come.  We will cripple them, sink
them, then the work of utterly destroying them on their own shore will
be easy indeed."

Harry, on second thoughts, would have preferred surprising Kara-Kara by
night, but he acquiesced in the king's wishes.

They would be ready, therefore, and wait.  How or when would the enemy
come?  By night or by day? and in what formation?

Tall signal-posts were built on every island, to give warning of the
approach of the foe, and round every isle sentinels were stationed day
and night, with great fires built and ready to light.

For there was no saying from what direction the attack might be made.
In all probability they would steal round the lake under the shadow of
the land, and under the cover of the darkness, and attack Googagoo at
the place where he was most vulnerable.

More than once, in the starlight, small canoes had been detected gliding
about at night, but were speedily chased and put to flight.  They were
spies without a doubt.

The island fleet had been by no means a first-class one, consisting for
the most part of large dug-outs with outriggers, like great gates at
each side This last certainly gave them extra stability and prevented
their turning over, but it greatly lessened their speed.

Even the flagship, which the king's barge might well be called, was
rather an unwieldy craft.  She was the only one that had sailing power,
and that was merely a clumsy square sail, on one centre mast.

But Harry had gone in for naval reform--as far as practicable, and with
all the enthusiasm of a British sailor.

He had the men--for every one of these islanders was amphibious in a
manner of speaking--what he wanted was the ships.

Some new boats were accordingly made of a light wood that had been cut
down years ago.  He made these broader in the beam, so that he managed
to dispense with the abominable way-stopping outriggers.  Seven in all
of these were constructed, the bottoms being made shapely and smooth,
the sides light and thin, and the whole arrangement capable of double
the speed.

These new boats were to contain a crew of picked archers, the very best
shots in his little army, which consisted of eight thousand men all
told.  There were also one thousand amazons.

Harry, in the forthcoming expedition to the mainland, wanted to leave
these women folks--"leave the ladies"--that is how he politely worded
it--at home.  But the king, who was to command in person, would not hear
of such a thing.  They were his body-guard, and so go they must.

Attention was now turned to the royal barge, and she lay bottom upwards
for a week to be strengthened by skin and pieces of thin iron, so that
when she was again launched, she looked a sturdy, useful craft indeed.

Extra oars or paddles were placed in every war-boat, and spears and
daggers innumerable.

Between a few of the islands, and quite out of view of the enemy, a
great naval review was held, and everything passed off in a most
satisfactory way.

Still, by taking away the outriggers Harry had considerably increased
the risk of capsizing in his boats.  So he took the matter into still
more serious consideration, the result of which was that he constructed
a small fleet of special war-boats, each one consisting of two of the
ordinary dug-outs lashed together side by side, and he found to his
great joy that even these had as much speed in them as the clumsy
outrigger canoes.

The islanders were now ready for battle either by land or water.

Scouts were sent to the hills to spy out the doings of the enemy.

They returned with tidings to the effect that they had over two hundred
large dug-outs afloat, and that each of these had outriggers.  That
their army consisted of nearly 20,000 warriors, armed with spears, and
clubs, and broad knives.

It was only a question now of time, so Harry waited.  He himself was to
command in the naval engagement, the king would be otherwise engaged as
we shall presently see.

Whether it was that King Kara-Kara did not possess much ingenuity, or
was a staunch Conservative of the old school, or trusted entirely to his
great numbers and power, I know not; certain it is, however, that he
chose to make the attack upon the islanders in the simplest fashion

He put to sea one morning early with all his fleet of over one hundred
and fifty large boats, each containing about twenty oarsmen and
warriors, and in three extended lines began slowly pulling towards
Googagoo's private island.

Harry saw through his tactics at once, for after all war is very much
like a game of draughts, and skill goes a long way, while the more you
can guess your opponent's thoughts the surer you are of victory: so
Harry rightly guessed that Kara-Kara's plan of action was first to
capture the island king's palace and stronghold, king and all, then take
the other islands one by one.

"It is a very pretty arrangement," said Harry to his host, "if it can be
successfully carried out."

"Let them try," cried the king, who was dressed in his war clothes, with
spear, and sword, and short stout battle-axe, and really looked

"Let them come on; I am now burning for the fight."

"So am I," cried Harry, laughing and spitting in his hand--the hand that
held a drawn ship's cutlass.

"I go away into my tent now to pray," continued the king.  "Then I make
my army kneel and pray.  Oh, I do not fear.  See, the clouds are rolling
up and hiding the sun.  The sun fears to look on the battle: but the
Eye, the Eye that will guide us to victory, is far beyond the sun.  Your
Book tells me so."

"It is," said Harry, solemnly.  "Good-bye."

Then he shook hands with the king and hurried away to action.

He had had a skiff of great speed built expressly for this great day.
His oarsmen were two, with a child to steer, and Somali Jack with the
rifles in the stern sheets.

There were only fifty cartridges left!

On came Kara's great fleet.

They had three miles and over to row, and they were allowed to do more
than two-thirds of the distance before ever Harry ordered his boats to
shove off to meet them.

Greatly to his surprise and joy he noticed that the enemy's boats were
far too much crowded to permit anything like freedom of action among the

"That scores one for us," he said to himself.

The swift boats were now ordered off.  These--as already stated--were
manned with archers, and were now told to meet and harass the foe with
clouds of arrows, but on no condition to close with them.

They were to hang on both flanks of the approaching fleet, and fire low,
well, and steadily.  These were in command of Walda.

The king's barge was next ordered out.  She was manned by thirty of the
bravest and biggest of the islanders, and each had, in addition to a
spear, a ponderous battle-axe.

Her duty was to capsize the enemy's boats by seizing the outriggers, or
at least to try to do so.

Away sped the archery boats with just one wild hurrah! and to see the
swiftness with which they bounded along to meet Kara-Kara's fleet
considerably astonished its sailors.  They were still more astonished
however, when, while still about two hundred yards distant, the archery
boats divided into two lines, one skimming along each flank and pouring
in a murderous fire of arrows.

It was evident the foe was taken aback.  Men were being pierced through
body and head, and falling dead in all quarters.

A side movement was made by the enemy with the view of crushing the
venomous little archery boats.  But Walda's voice was now heard
shouting, "Boro!  Boro!"  (back! back!) high over the din of the battle.

The enemy now saw the inutility of any flank movement, and once more
advanced in lines, redoubling their efforts to reach the island.

King Googagoo's barge got round and advanced in the rear, and then out
came Harry with his fleet.

He took his time.

There was no need for hurry, it was to be a hand-to-hand engagement, and
the longer that cloud of arrows fell on the foe the better.  The more
fatigued the enemy the more chance would Googagoo's fleet have of coming
off triumphant.

At last the hostile canoes met with a terrible rush.

By Harry's orders the outriggers were to be cut away from Kara-Kara's
boats as soon as possible, and every effort made to capsize them.  But
above all were they to beware of getting their own double boats boarded
and carried by storm.

The battle now raged with terrible fury.  Boat after boat of the enemy
had her outriggers hacked away and got capsized.

Harry was here, there, and everywhere, shouting orders, guiding and
encouraging his fleet.

He was a fleet in himself--the very genius of the battle.

The commander of the hostile canoes was a huge savage, who stood in the
bows of a large canoe and shouted his orders in a voice so sonorous that
it was heard everywhere.  He seemed to bear a charmed life, for again
and again Somali Jack fired at him, but no bullet found a billet in that
fierce giant's body.

But canoe after canoe--by this captain's orders--was detached to attack
Harry's boat, for well the fellow knew that could he but silence our
hero the battle would soon be won.

Each and all of the boats sent on this detached duty came to grief.  In
vain spears were hurled towards the skiff, for Jack's rifle instantly
came into deadly play, and at close quarters he liberally drilled them
by twos.

On the other hand, the archers were not idle, and any boat that got out
of line was their particular prey.

The fiercest fighting of all raged around the king's bark with its giant
seamen.  Its captain was a man of herculean strength and all a savage's
wild ferocity.  Wielding aloft a mighty battle-axe he dealt death and
destruction around him wherever he went.  Many a canoe the barge
capsized.  Many were the attempts made to board her, not only from the
warlike canoes, but by the drowning wretches in the lake; the latter
were ruthlessly hacked down, the former hurled back bleeding into the
water or into their dug-outs.

At last the barge found itself inside the enemy's line, and alongside
the stalwart commander's big canoe.

In a moment the outriggers at one side were broken into splinters, then
the giants found themselves face to face, Kara-Kara's naval commander
having leaped, panther-fashion, on board the barge and closed with its

It was a fearful tussle while it lasted, but soon the giant rose
bleeding but triumphant, and Kara-Kara's chief lay dead with his head
hanging over the gunnel of the boat.

Then the barge fought its way back into the open water, and the battle
was continued boat to boat and breast to breast.

But it was soon evident to Harry that, deprived of their captain, the
enemy were getting the worst of it and giving way.

Presently oars were seized by the foe, their dead and even their wounded
were pitched into the lake, and the retreat began.

Harry at once called off his men.  He meant to cripple, if not destroy,
the foe in a way that would save the lives of his own fellows.  The
double boats fell back at once, and the enemy, or what remained of
them--for at least five hundred must have fallen in this terrible
_melee_--commenced pulling away with might and main towards their own
camp on the distant shore.

"Follow and harass them halfway to their own shore."

This was the order given to the archers.

I draw a veil over the terrible scene that followed.

The blood of the archers was up.  All their savage nature was on flame.

They saw red, so to speak, and red enough they made it for those unhappy

Not only halfway towards their own shore, but nearly all the way did
they chase them, until their arrows were completely expended.

Then back came the archer-fleet, having hardly lost a single man.

Back they came, bending merrily to their paddles and singing some wild
chant that mingled strangely with the scream of the carrion birds that
now nearly darkened the air, or, perching upon the floating bodies, had
already begun their fearful feast.


Note 1.  Dug-out--a kind of large canoe made from a single tree hollowed
by hatchet and fire.



From an elevated plateau on his private island, King Googagoo had
witnessed all the battle.  His whole army stood around him, ready, if
need should be, to repel the enemy.

But the enemy were beaten, routed, and almost annihilated.

Harry had always been a hero with this kindly-hearted king, now he was
almost a god.

"You are a great man!" the king shouted, rushing to meet and shake him
by the hand.  "Oh, brother, what should I have done but for you!  Our
warriors would have been tortured, burned, slain, and our wives and
little ones dragged away into a captivity worse than death."

Harry pointed skywards.

"Yes, yes, I know," cried the king.  "It was the Eye; I knew He would
give us the victory."

"Stay," said Harry, seriously, "I fear the worst fighting is still
before us.  On shore I mean, for hardly will the enemy care to or dare
to attack you by water again.  We must land this very evening.  The foe
is now beaten and demoralised, let us follow up our success without a
moment's delay."

And so it was arranged.

The wounded were seen to, and as soon as the sun went down, which he did
in a flood of calm beauty that night, just as if no bloodshed, grief,
and murder was on the earth, the expedition started.

It started not in boats altogether, but along the strange sunken natural
roadway, where from the shore Harry had first seen the king's barge
moving apparently of its own accord.  Had the enemy known of this
expedition from the hundred islands, things might have turned out
differently from what they had done.

Enough men and amazons were left to defend the island in case of a
repulse, the boats took the arms of all sorts and the provisions, the
men themselves walked through the water or swam.

By midnight the whole army to the number of nearly seven thousand, all
included, stood on the shore, and the boats were hauled up and hidden
among the trees.

Raggy had been left at home in charge of the island, and a very proud
Raggy he was in consequence.

"I nebber was a king befoh," he said to himself, as he strutted about
and gave orders to the Amazons, any one of which might have laid him
cross-knees and flogged him.  "I nebber was a king befoh, and now I
means to be one king all over."

If being a king all over meant occupying Googagoo's tent, being led out
to dinner precisely as his majesty had been, and eating as much curry as
he could get down, then undoubtedly Raggy was a king all over.

Long before the dawn appeared in the east, Googagoo's army had commenced
the march towards the enemy's camp, guided by Walda.

At the king's right hand was Harry, who was generalissimo in all but
name.  His majesty might fight well, but he could hardly be expected to
direct the manoeuvres of a great battle so well as a British officer.

By daybreak Harry had drawn up his men in battle array on the brow of a
hill, almost within stone's throw of the enemy's big camp beneath.

In numbers Kara-Kara's men were as three to one of Harry's army, but,
having vantage ground, the latter hoped to provoke the foe to attack.

In this they were disappointed, for although there was skirmishing, as
the day went on, between the outposts, nothing serious occurred; King
Kara-Kara made no attempt to storm and capture the hill.  His motto
seemed to be "Wait."

By twelve o'clock Googagoo's patience was exhausted.

"I love to fight," he said to Harry, "but to lie idle with the spear in
my hand is not good for Googagoo.  Let it be now."

Then Harry, after visiting all his lines, speaking words of
encouragement and issuing commands, gave the order to advance, he
himself leading in person, sword in hand.

Kara's army lay at arms, in vast squares or impis, along a wide and
sparsely wooded valley, Harry's hill being on the east of him, the lake
to the north, and a dense forest land behind and to the west.  It was a
difficult position to attack, but they had come here to fight and must
face every odds.

It must also be to a great extent a hand-to-hand engagement.

Now unlike a battle with guns and rifles, a fight of the nature Googagoo
was now to engage in could not be of long duration.  Harry knew that,
and resolved to make his onset as telling as possible.  He had two
advantages over Kara: his men were well drilled, and they possessed a
most deadly weapon in the cross-bow.

At the very moment the signal of advance was given by Harry, wild
shouting arose from the ranks of the enemy, accompanied by the rattle of
tom-toms and the blaring of innumerable chanters.  But the foe showed no
intention of coming on, so the Googagoo men and amazons marched steadily
to meet them.

There was no racing or shouting.  To have run would have meant to lose
wind, and Harry knew well the value of breath in a hand-to-hand fight.
A movement was first made towards the south with the view of
out-flanking the enemy.  This had the desired effect, and Kara's swarms
now came on in that direction.

Harry threw his archery-men out in skirmishing order now, in two lines,
and the orders were to advance steadily to within a hundred yards of the
enemy, then commence firing, one line supporting the other, but the
whole army falling back towards the hills as the foe advanced.

This was to prevent the latter closing, when of course the cross-bows
would be of no more use.

The battle began, and for a time raged on two sides, the amazons having
partially out-flanked the foe.  The army as at present might be
represented by the capital letter L, the short limb being the side
facing southwards and fronting the terrible amazons, the long limb the
main body of Kara's army driving back--as they thought--Googagoo's
archers towards the hills.

But while this driving back process was taking place, Harry's side was
not losing a man, while the field was soon strewn with the dead and
wounded of the enemy.

The latter began to stop short and waver, the arrows poured in upon them
in clouds, and for a time victory appeared to be inclining towards the
side of the island king.

Soon, however, Kara-Kara himself was seen running along behind his lines
and shouting wild words of command to his men.

Their charge was now redoubled in fury as well as in speed, and it
became at once evident to Harry that the cross-bows would in a few
minutes more become useless in line, and his ranks be broken by the
enemy through force of numbers.

He quickly, therefore, formed up into two English squares with the
Scottish triangle in the centre, both he and the king being inside the

Hardly had he done so, ere the impis of the savage foe closed on them,
those on the outsides of each phalanx receiving the shock at spear's
point, while archers from the interior poured in a steady fire from
their murderous cross-bows.

The Karaites fell back after a time, defeated and foiled, and Harry's
triangle then charged into their very midst, delivering by far and away
the most furious and successful charge of the day.

For a time now it seemed to be a drawn battle.

It might have been well, now for Harry had he retreated farther, and
probably gained the eastern hills, for, excited by fighting, Kara's army
would undoubtedly have followed them.

He did not, however, and in less than an hour he lost all opportunity of
fever being able to do so.

On came the enemy once again, and this time they managed completely to
surround Googagoo's army.

Not his amazons, though; these fought with spear and axe in the rear of
the enemy, and it is quite impossible to describe the terrible fury of
each of their onsets.

For three long hours the battle raged.

The sun was now beginning to decline.  The enemy seemed as determined as
ferocious, and as numerous as before, while Googagoo's ranks were sadly

They still kept their stand, however, against all the odds that Kara
could fling in front of them.

Fight they must.

It was victory or death with them.

For defeat meant annihilation, it meant that not one man or amazon would
ever return to the islands to tell the terrible tale, and that the
islands themselves would soon have to capitulate, and come under the
sway of the cruel King Kara-Kara.

The sun began to decline towards the western woods, but still the battle
raged on.  The words of Scott came into Harry's head even now as he saw
his brave fellows falling on all sides.

  "What 'vails the vain knight-errand's brand?
  Oh!  Douglas, for thy leading wand!
      Fierce Randolph for thy speed!
  Oh! for one hour of Wallace wight,
  Or well-skilled Bruce to rule the fight,
  And cry Saint Andrew and our right."

The battle raged on.

One of Harry's squares had already been broken, and it being impossible
to re-form again, the men had fought their way through the cloud of
savages around them and joined the ranks of the amazons.

Hope was beginning to fade even from Harry's heart.

He could not bear to hear the plaint of poor King Googagoo.

"Where is He who fights for the right?" he was saying.

"Where is the Eye who beholds all things?"

Where is the Eye?  Look.  Whither shall we look?  Look far away towards
the western horizon yonder.  Are those the crimson clouds that herald
the sunset?  No, they are too low down on the plain, and a rolling
canopy of blue is rising up and meeting the sun.

The southern woods are all on fire.  The battlefield itself is soon--

  "Wreathed in sable smoke."

And out from the fire, it would seem, there now rushes an enemy that
King Kara-Kara has but little reckoned on meeting.

No wonder he withdraws his men from the sadly weakened phalanxes of the
island king, and tries to make his way southwards.

Here he is opposed by the stern fierce amazons, and their ranks are soon
strengthened by a cloud of savages, spear-armed, who rush up behind them
and fall upon the enemy in their front.

  "Scarcely can they see their foes,
  Until at weapon's point they close,
  They close in clouds of dust and smoke,
  With sword-sway and with lance's thrust;
      And such a yell is there
  Of sudden and portentous birth,
  As if men fought upon the earth,
      And fiends in upper air;
  Oh! life and death are in the shout,
  Recoil and rally, charge and rout,
      And triumph and despair."

Neither King Googagoo nor Harry could tell what the meaning of this
sudden attack on the ranks of Kara-Kara meant.  It seemed like an
interposition of Providence.  So, indeed, they both considered it, and
doubtless they were right.

Meanwhile Kara's army, now sadly thinned, fought like veritable fiends.

Escape there seemed none.

The hills to the east were guarded by the island men, there was the lake
behind them, the new foe in front, and the woods in the west were all

The route was soon complete and the carnage dreadful to contemplate.

So terrible are these fights between African kings that it is no
exaggeration to say, that out of all the thousands that Kara-Kara had
brought into the field hardly one thousand escaped alive, and they had
to force their way through the burning forest, many falling by fire who
had come scathless from the field.

King Kara-Kara was among the killed.

He was found, next day, in the midst of a heap of the bodies of those
who had rallied round him to the last--

  "His back to the field, and his feet to the foe."

In his hand he still clasped the spear he would never use again.

  "Reckless of life, he'd desperate fought,
      And fallen on the plain;
  And well in death his trusty brand,
  Firm clenched within his manly hand,
      Beseemed the monarch slain."



Before we can understand the seeming mystery that clings to the end of
the last chapter of this tale, we must go a little way back, both as
regards time and space.

All the men Harry had with him in the unfortunate scuttled dhow at the
time she was beached were taken, along with little Raggy, by the
so-called brother of Mahmoud into the far interior of Africa, and there
sold or bartered away as slaves, and, as we already know, Suliemon made
what dealers term "a pretty penny" out of the nefarious transaction.

Escape for the poor fellows so banished seemed impossible, for, although
they had had an idea, from the appearance of the sun and stars, that
they had been all the time journeying steadily west, with either a
little angle of south or of north in it, so cruelly long had the route
been, so terrible had been their hardships, and so great their dangers,
that the idea of returning was considered by them as entirely out of the
question.  Hope did not quite forsake them, however, but they had no
means of communicating with the outer world--that is, the world beyond
this dark continent.  Occasionally they cut letters in the hides of the
wild beasts that had been slain, as these skins often found their way to
the markets of Zanzibar and Lamoo.

Who knows, they told each other, but some one may see these letters, and
come to our assistance!

But alas! though the letters were seen, and marvelled at and talked
about, no government, either English or French, deemed it worth while to
send a search and relief expedition.

Yet those ten poor fellows had wives and little ones, had sisters and
brothers, and fathers and mothers at home, who were, like Harry's
parents, mourning for them as dead.

The lives of cruelty and indignity which they had led, during all these
long dark dreary months and years, it is not my intention to describe.
Suffice it to say that these men were the abject slaves of a brutal
king, compelled to eat of the most loathsome garbage and to live in a
state of almost nudity.  No wonder that already four of their number had
passed away.  Their bodies, shocking to relate, were not even buried,
but thrown into the jungle for the wild dogs to gnaw and the ants to

The others lived, including Nicholls the bo's'n.

Ah! often and often had they wished to die.

The only pleasure of their lives, if pleasure it could be called, was
that at night they were not separated, but kept in one common prison,
strictly guarded by armed sentinels.

Then in the dark they used to talk of the dear old days at sea, and of
their homes far away in peaceful England.

More than once during the time of their captivity King Kara-Kara had
been on the war-path against the drunken old 'Ngaloo, and the former had
been the victor, although he had not followed up his triumph, as he used
to threaten he would do, and annihilate 'Ngaloo and his people.

The two kings hated each other with a true and everlasting hatred, and
the same may be said of their followers or people.

A day of rejoicing came at last, though, to the poor white slaves, and
that was when the island scout had bravely forced his way into camp, and
given them news of their officer Harry.

Then the king their master got word, somehow or other, of all the
prosperity of honest Googagoo, and determined at once that he would make
war upon him and utterly spoil and harry him.

So he called his men of war together, and made all preparations for the
campaign which we have seen to end so disastrously for this ambitious
monarch.  He reckoned without his host in a manner of speaking--at all
events he did not take King 'Ngaloo into account.  He kept the sentinels
on the hills and slipped away northwards at the dead of night.

Now 'Ngaloo had recently had a visit from a band of Somalis under the
guidance of an Arab, who had brought him gifts of rum and beads.
'Ngaloo gave the beads to his wives to hang around their fat necks,
their wrists, arms, and ankles, and his wives were happy in consequence,
and even submitted with patience and smiles to be pulled around the
palace tent by the king's horrid tongs.  But 'Ngaloo stuck to the rum.

He never knew quite clearly what he was about as long as his him lasted,
but he was not a fool for all that; and when one day a sentinel reported
that the towns and camp of Kara-Kara were very still and almost

"Oh!" said the king, "old Kara's away after something.  Ha! ha! ha! now
is the chance for me!  But I wonder where he has gone to."

These rival kings had one thing in common, a certain superstition not
unusual among some African potentates; they thought it unlucky to make
war the one upon the other without some cause.  These causes, however,
were easily found; if they could not be found, then they could be
manufactured for the occasion.

'Ngaloo determined to manufacture one now.  So he went to bed, not to
sleep, for he ordered his prime minister to squat on the floor close to
his dais and hand him rum as he wanted it.

'Ngaloo preferred drinking like this, it saved him the trouble of
tumbling about.

He lay awake nearly all night thinking and laughing and giggling to
himself.  Once he caught his prime minister napping, and gave him a
back-hander with his tongs, which effectually kept him awake for some
time to come.

In the morning 'Ngaloo called three of his people to him, and sent them
away across the hills with a message for King Kara-Kara.  It was to the
following effect, though I cannot give the exact words:

"Will King Kara-Kara be good enough to cross the mountains with his
army, and visit his dear brother King 'Ngaloo, the mighty monarch of the
whole universal earth, who will have the greatest pleasure in pulling
King Kara-Kara's nose with his gilded tongs, and the nose of every man
in his army."

Off went the three men, and delivered their message, and off went their
heads just three minutes afterwards.  For though King Kara-Kara was far
away, he had left a lord-lieutenant behind him.

It did not matter about the messengers having their heads off, they were
first on the list, at all events, for the next human sacrifice, and a
day or two back or fore could not hurt.  But as they did not return, the
fact formed a _casus belli_, and gave 'Ngaloo just the opportunity he
wished for.

So he put on his war clothes, hung his tongs in his girdle beside his
dagger, took his spear in his hand, summoned all his army, and marched
over the borders, five thousand strong, with tom-toms beating and
chanters braying, and in two days' time had entered the Kara-Kara

He captured every one he could, only those that were not worth capturing
he made short work of.  Then he burned all his enemy's towns and
villages, and having left a thousand men to lay siege to an inaccessible
mountain, on the top of which, with the white prisoners, the
lord-lieutenant had made his camp, 'Ngaloo with the rest of his savage
army followed his foe up to the lake side, and it was fortunate he had
arrived in time, as we have seen in the last chapter.

The remnant of Kara-Kara's beaten army hied them back to their own
country, only to find it laid waste by fire and sword; so they fled away
into the wilderness, and joined other tribes with whom they had been
friendly before this.

Having both fought on one side, and both assisted each other in
annihilating the unfortunate Kara-Kara, 'Ngaloo and Googagoo naturally
became very friendly.

Both armies bivouacked that night on the battlefield, and the wounded
were attended to.  These, however, owing to the brutal customs of
African warfare, were very few, for 'Ngaloo's men in the moonlight ran
a-muck all across the blood-stained field, and ruthlessly slew all those
who showed the slightest signs of life.

Next morning was a sad one for Harry, for his faithful Somali Jack, who
had served him so long and so faithfully, who had nursed him in
sickness, and more than once saved his life, breathed his last in his
arms shortly after sunrise.

He had been terribly wounded in the battle, and nothing could save the
poor fellow.

Quite conscious he was to the last, and conscious, too, that his end was
drawing near, though neither he nor Harry knew it was so _very_ nigh.

Some duty or other demanded Harry's presence in another part of the
field, but Jack said--

"Do not go and leave me now, dear master; stay with me a little time."

"I will stay; I will not go--poor Jack," replied Harry.  And he sat down
beside the dying Indian, and took his head in his lap.

Harry often thought of this last interview with his Somali servant
afterwards, and how thankful he always felt, when he did so, that he had
not gone away and left Jack.  Had he done that he would not have seen
the last of him, or heard his dying words.

These, however, were few, for Jack was weak and his voice feeble, and
his breath coming in gasps.  He lay some time quiet, then--

"I have so much to say," he almost whispered; "but I forget, and I am
cold--_so_ cold."

"I have a brother in Brava."

Harry thought he said mother.

"You have a mother, Jack?"

"No; no mother--a brother.  See him; tell him how I died, how I lived.
Tell him about heaven and all things good, as you have told me."

"Raggy--he will miss poor Jack."

There was a long interval of silence.  Jack's eyes were closed now, and
Harry thought he slept.  But he opened them presently.

Then he put his cold damp hand in Harry's.  "Master," he said, "you have
given me life."

"Oh, Jack!" said Harry, "I fear it is far beyond my skill to give you

"But you have given me life--light and life.  I was but a savage.  You
have told me of Him who can love even a savage."

"Yes, yes, Jack; He loves you.  He will receive you."

"Say `The Vale,'" Jack murmured.

Harry knew what he meant, and repeated a verse or two, in metre, of that
beautiful psalm that has given comfort to many a soul in sorrow.

The last verse that Jack could have heard was the fourth:

  "Yea, though I walk thro' death's dark vale,
  Yet will I fear none ill,
  For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
  And staff me comfort still."

There were just a few long-drawn sobs at intervals, then Harry sat
watching to see if he would sigh again.

But a minute passed, and Jack sighed no more.  Harry gently closed the

Then he sat for a time, biting his lip till it almost bled; but all to
no purpose, his sorrow _would_ find vent.

And knowing all we do, can we wonder at Harry's grief?

Can we wonder that he bent over that faithful Jack, and that the
scalding tears fell from his eyes upon the poor dead face?



This is a busy, work-a-day world, events will not tarry, nor will duty
wait even upon grief, and no sooner had Harry and his party dug a grave
and laid poor Somali Jack to his long rest in a cotton-tree grove, than
he had to hurry off to camp again.

It was the morning of another day, a bright and beautiful day, birds
sang in the bush, or went flitting from branch to branch, displaying
their rainbow colours, as happy and careless as if there were no sorrow
in the world.

But other birds there were--kites and fierce-looking _corvidae_, with
horrid-looking vultures, that went sailing lazily round in the sky,
alighting every moment on some dead body--to gorge.  And gorge they
would, until unable either to walk, or fly.

And what they leave of the corpses on the battlefield the ants, whose
great hills and homes can be counted by the score, will speedily devour.

At night, too, when the vultures have gone to roost on the scorched and
blackened branches of the burned forest, wild dogs and hyaenas will come
in crowds to the awful feast.

Then rains and dews will fall and wash the bones, and the sun's bright
beams will bleach them, till in time nought will be left in the field of
that fearful fight except blanched skulls and snow-white skeletons.

Ah, boys! where is the glory of war when the fight is fought, when the
battle is over, and the victory won?  Look upon that silent, bone-strewn
plain and tell me where.


As naturally as if he had been voted into it, did Harry now quietly and
coolly assume command of the whole army, both Googagoo's and 'Ngaloo's.
The latter king he could not respect, albeit it was through his
instrumentality that they had all escaped utter annihilation.  He tried
to feel grateful to 'Ngaloo, but it was impossible, he really could not
help observing that the great chief had a selfish, grasping, and
grovelling mind.  There were times, indeed, that he could scarcely feel
civil to the savage.

And no wonder.  'Ngaloo, after looking for a long time at Harry's
actions, and admiring his bustling but well-trained activity, came, and
with cool audacity made a proposition to him.  It was couched in the
following terms:

"We soon go back now to my beautiful land among the mountains.  I am a
great king now.  I have been a great king all my life.  I am now twice a
great king, because I shall reign over all the rich land and woods of my
dear brother King Kara-Kara, whose confounded dead nose I pulled on the
battlefield.  So there is no king in the world so great now as 'Ngaloo.
Come, then, and live with me.  I will make of you a big chief.  I will
cut the head of my prime minister off, and you shall reign in his stead,
and have all his wives as slaves--"

It was precisely at this point that Harry interrupted the king's
poetical harangue.

Harry simply said--


Very emphatically he said it, too.  Then he wheeled right round and
proceeded with his duty.

'Ngaloo went away then, somewhat crestfallen; but he had a private
commissariat of his own, and he found some rum there, so he consoled
himself with that.

A few hours afterwards, 'Ngaloo might have been seen marching about
among Harry's troops, with a sottish kind of a smile on his face.

'Ngaloo was taking lessons in modern warfare.  He told Harry, when he
met him, that he meant to remodel his own army upon the principles of

The cross-bows greatly took his fancy.  So did the amazons.

He could not tire looking at them, and as soon as he got home, he said,
he would arm and drill every one of his wives, and make amazons of them.

"And if they do not be good soldiers," he added, "why, there is the

He snapped that weapon as he spoke, and cackled and laughed as if he had
said something very clever and witty.

The next stupid thing that 'Ngaloo did was to take Harry by the arm, and
tell him with a burst of confidence, which was no doubt meant to be very
friendly, that when they returned to King Kara-Kara's, and captured the
white slaves, Harry should have no less than two of them, and that he,
'Ngaloo, would only keep four to himself.

Harry burst out laughing in the great king's face; but instead of being
offended, 'Ngaloo was delighted, for he thought that Generalissimo Harry
Milvaine was pleasedly acquiescing in his pretty little arrangement.

'Ngaloo was so delighted that he must needs go and help himself to
another dose of his brain-devouring rum or fire-water.

Then he turned his attentions towards Googagoo.  He made this honest
king a very long speech indeed, laudatory of his own exceeding
greatness, and of the comparative insignificance of every other king and
chief in creation.

To all of this Googagoo listened with the politeness and urbanity
inseparable from his nature.

But the king of the hundred islands, in a return speech, reminded
'Ngaloo that however great and glorious we were in this world, we must
all die one day and go to another, where the Great Spirit would judge us
according to the deeds done in the flesh, or forgive us if we trusted
the Son that He had long, long ago sent to save us.

Alas!  'Ngaloo was not much impressed by the earnest words of Googagoo.
He was silent for a short time, as if in deep thought; then he spoke to
the following effect:

"Very likely all you say is true; but I suppose in the next world I will
be just as big a chief, and have more territory than I have in this.
For," he added, "there is no getting over the greatness of 'Ngaloo."

It took the united armies a whole week to reach King Kara-Kara's

Harry had taken the precaution to keep his people quite separate and
well in advance of 'Ngaloo's, and gave strict orders to Walda and his
other officers to watch for the slightest signs of, treachery on the
part of 'Ngaloo.

Our hero mistrusted him, and perhaps he had reason; but, on the other
hand, he need not have done so either, for "the greatest king in all the
world" was so frequently overcome by frequent applications to his
fire-water commissariat, that he had to be carried in a grass-cloth
hammock nearly all the way.

It was forest land mostly which they traversed, woods filled with
chattering monkeys and bright-winged silent birds, woods in which lions
roared and hyaenas laughed all night long, woods often dripping with
dank dews, and at times so dark by day that it was difficult to find a
way through them.

But anon they would come to open glades and glens among the hills and
mountains, with clear streams rippling through them, in which many a
lusty trout gambolled and fed, with sweet bird-voices and the murmur of
insect life, making music in the air, every creature happy and busy,
because of the sunshine that gladdened all.

They came at last to the foot of the mountain or conical hill, where
Harry's unhappy shipmates were imprisoned.

Some slight show of resistance was made by those beneath, while those at
the top and on guard rolled down great stones and rocks upon them.

But Harry's brave fellows, he himself at the head of them--he well knew
how to climb a hill--took the place with one wild determined rush.

Many of the assaulters were wounded and some were killed with the
descending stones, so that their savage instincts got the better of
their judgment, and in spite of all that Harry could do, an ugly scene
of carnage took place as soon as the fort was captured.  Harry had found
his men at last.  And not a whit too soon, for at the very moment when,
waving his victorious sword on high, he scaled the last parapet, they
were being ordered out for instant execution.

Ordered out?  From what?  Out, dear reader, from one of the most
loathsome dungeons it is possible to imagine, dark, slimy, dismal, and
filled with noisome vapours, a dungeon that for months they had shared
with centipedes and slimy, slow-creeping lizards.

And all this time their food had been only raw cassava root and a
modicum of half-putrid water.

And now Harry Milvaine, their beloved officer, stood in their midst.

They had not forgotten their discipline, for each and all touched their
brows by way of salute.

"My poor fellows?" said Harry, his voice half-choked with emotion.

It was the first kind words they had heard for years.  No wonder they
broke down, and that those once sturdy British sailors--babies now in
their very weakness--sobbed over Harry's hands or hugged him in their
feeble arms.


Harry had been telling Walda that, in all probability, there would be a
quarrel with 'Ngaloo about his shipmates, the survivors of the
_Bunting's_ men, and that there would possibly be some fighting.

"But," said Walda, "I know the people of King 'Ngaloo well; they do not
love fighting, they would rather cross the hills to their own homes."

"Yes, true, Walda; but the king--the king.  Remember that he rules over
them, and if he bids them fight, then fight they must, and will."

"Ah! the king!" replied the wily Walda.  "Yes, to be sure, only they
will not fight if he does not order them to do so."

"No, Walda.  But why do you smile?  Now you are laughing outright.  What
amuses you, Walda?"

"Not anything much," said Walda, "but--leave the king to me."

Harry with his men and Googagoo's army were to start the very next
morning, against all odds, however fearful these might be; so, to be
ready for any emergency, he drew his people well to the north, at some
distance from those of 'Ngaloo's.  And then they camped all night ready

But Walda had managed matters very prettily.  He had sat up with King
'Ngaloo nearly all night, telling him wonderful stories of his own
invention, and every now and again helping his majesty to another dose
of his beloved fire-water.

The consequence of all this was, that when Googagoo and Harry went to
bid him goodbye next morning in the hammock where he still lay, they
found him rather forgetful of all recent events, but otherwise in a most
amiable mood indeed.

The king said farewell at least a dozen times.

He shook hands with each of his visitors _more_ than a dozen times.

And his last words were these:

"'Ngaloo is the greatest king in all the world.  Don't forget 'Ngaloo.
Come again and see the greatest king in all the world.  Don't forget

"I'm not likely to," said Harry, shaking hands again.

Then away he went, laughing.

And the march northwards was commenced at once.

Two of the men of the _Bunting_ had to be carried a great part of the
way, but they got stronger and stronger as the time went on, and could
soon both stand and walk.

They found the boats precisely where they had left them, and in a few
hours all were back once more--though sadly thinned in ranks--at their
homes in the hundred islands.

Raggy, rejoiced beyond measure, met them at the beach.  He was not
content with shaking hands with his old messmates; shaking hands was
slow work.

Raggy must dance.  And dance he did, a regular sailor's hornpipe.

"As sure as I'm alive, by Heaven's mercy," said Nicholls, the bo's'n, "I
think I could dance a bit myself."

"And so do I," cried another sailor.

And they both joined Raggy.

It was as merry a hornpipe as ever was seen.

No wonder the king cried "Lobo!  Lobo!" and laughed till the tears
gushed out of his eyes, or that the welkin rang with the admiring shouts
of the sturdy amazons.

Then Raggy, who had reigned here so long and so well, resigned his
regency, and in a day or two more all the old, quiet life had settled
down upon the islands.

For a whole month longer Harry and his men lived with this innocent
king; then, the strength of his men being now thoroughly recruited, they
all said farewell to the good King Googagoo, with many regrets, and
commenced the long and tedious march to the eastern coast, which they
reached at last safe and sound, having met only the usual exciting
adventures, and come through all the hardships incidental to African


Dear young readers, I have little more to do now, except to say
"Goodbye."  I sincerely trust that, while I do my best in my tales to
interest and instruct you, no one can accuse me of painting the life of
the sailor wanderer in too rosy colours.  I speak and write from my own
experience of sea-life and of other lands.  And--yes, I will confess it,
I love the sea, and ever did.

Here are some lines I wrote in a journal of mine many years ago:--

"While I write all is peace within and around our barque.  I am sitting
in my little cabin.  It is a summer's evening.  Yonder is my bed; the
port-hole close by my snowy pillow is open, and playfully through it
steals the soft cool breeze of evening, and wantonly lifts and flutters
the blue silken curtains.  Not far off I can catch glimpses of the
wooded hills and flowery vales of a sunny land.  It is the rosy shores
of Persia, and every night the light wind that blows over it is laden
with the sweet breath of its flowers; while between there lies the
ocean, asleep, and quiet, and still, and beautiful with the tints of
reflected clouds.  Often in the cool night that succeeds a day of heat
have I lain awake for hours, fanned by the breath of the sea, gazing on
the watery world beneath and beyond me, and the silvery moon and
glittering stars that waft my thoughts homewards, till sleep stole
gently down on a moonbeam and wafted me away to dreamland."

Thus I wrote when a young man.  Thus I still do feel.

The first glimpse that one catches of the chalky shores of old England
after a long cruise thrills every nerve in his heart with hope and joy.
To experience even this it is worth while going to sea.

Probably some such thoughts as these stole through the mind of Harry
Milvaine as his homeward bound vessel came in sight of land.

His passage had been a good one all the way from Zanzibar to the Cape,
and from the Cape to Southampton.

If the thought of presenting himself at Beaufort Hall without first
writing ever came into his head at all, it was speedily banished.
Pleasant surprises are very well under certain circumstances, but they
may be so painfully pleasant as to be positively dangerous, for joy can
kill as well as cure.

So Harry telegraphed and wrote, and waited anxiously for the return

It came in good time.

With a beating heart he tore it open.

All were well.  Even his old dog Eily was mentioned by his mother--for
of course the letter was from her--in terms of affection.

"She knows you are coming," she wrote, "and whenever I mention your name
rushes to the gate to look, and barks in a kind of half-joyful,
half-hysterical way that is most peculiar."

Harry is back in the Highlands at last.  He has come a good two hours
earlier than he expected.  But he does not mind that He likes to walk
slowly on towards the home of his boyhood.  Every little cottage, every
hill--the hills are all heather-clad, for the summer's bloom bedecks
them--every wood, ay, every tree recalls some sweet memory of the

He is still within half a mile of Beaufort when he sees a dog.

It is his own.

It is Eily.

She has been out hunting for stoats at the hedge-foot.

He calls her by name.  She stops and stares, bewildered for a moment,
then with a few joyful bounds she is at him.  She is _at_ him, and _on_
him, and _round_ him, and _round_ him all at once apparently.

Her dear old master risen from the dead!!  She can hardly believe her
eyes, and is fain to stand a little way off and bark at him for very
joy.  Then off she flies homewards, to tell that she has found her

So that Harry's father, bareheaded and with his newspaper in his hand,
but hale and hearty as of yore, and Harry's mother, more fragile and
older-looking, are both at the gate to welcome him.

And behind them comes old Yonitch to shake her dear boy by the hand.

Harry has a companion, whom he now introduces, and he is no less a
personage than Raggy himself.

I think everybody is half afraid of Raggy at first, but Raggy smiles so
pleasantly, and laughs with such ringing joy, that he is soon at home,
and even Yonitch and Eily forgive him for being so dreadfully black.


That last line is meant to be left to the reader's own translation.  It
represents exclamations of wonder and joy at Harry's long story, and
questions asked and answered, and a deal more I have no space to

Eily and Harry went that same evening for a ramble in the forest.  They
found it just the same.  The birds were there, and the bees were there,
and the rabbits and weasels and squirrels were there--but poor Towsie
the bull was gone.

They walked home round by Andrew's cottage.

Andrew came rushing to his little gate and held Harry's hand as if in a
vice, while he pulled him in and seated him in a chair.

Then Harry had all his story to tell over again.

And honest Andrew listened and listened; frequently his eyes would
become moist with tears, when he immediately took a large pinch of
snuff, for shy, sly Andrew wanted to make believe that it was the snuff
that made his eyes swim, and not downright emotion.

"Man! man!" was Andrew's frequent exclamation, "only to think o' seein'
you back again among us!"

"Look!" he said, when Harry finished speaking for the time being.

Harry looked.  Andrew had a tall hat in his hand.  It was gloomily
bedecked with weepers of crape, as big almost as those worn by

"That's my Sunday's hat," said Andrew; "and I've worn it, as you see it,
every sabbath since the terrible day when Captain Wayland came here and
told us we would never see you more."

"But I'll take them off now," he added, joyfully.

Honest Andrew did so, folded them up, and put them carefully away in a
drawer.  Then he heaved a big sigh and took another pinch of snuff.

It was very gratifying to Harry's feelings to find that his little
garden and boy's bungalow, where the swallow that Eily brought him told
the story of Africa, had been carefully tended and kept up inside and

This was Andrew's doings.

Harry has had many wanderings since then, both by sea and land, but
adventures such as those he came through on the dark continent come but
once in a lifetime.

He has been a gallant and good officer.

He has done his duty.

Ah! there is a halo around the head of every one who does his duty, be
that duty high or be it humble.

Harry Milvaine now holds a good appointment in a dockyard, and his leave
is always spent in the Highlands, and honest Andrew and he are as good
friends as ever.

Though no longer a boy, Raggy is still his faithful servant.

But Harry has promised his mother that ere long he will take leave of
the service and settle down at home.  He will have a flagstaff, however,
he says, towering high and mast-like up from the green garden lawn, and
proudly on that staff will flutter--

  "The flag that braved a thousand years
  The battle and the breeze."


The End.

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