• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Perils of the wilderness in the...
 Fire at sea
 The desert
 Shipwreck and starvation
 The little African's adventure...
 In the time of the Circassian...
 The Ischutski
 The fair of Nishni Novogorod
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Pirate life
 Capability among the Japanese
 A see fight on the Cuban Coast
 The shipwreck
 Voyage to the East Indies
 Home-sickness of a Siberian






Group Title: narratives of an old traveller
Title: The Narratives of an old traveller
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002706/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Narratives of an old traveller containing the perils and hair-breadth escapes from shipwreck, famine, wild beasts, savages, etc., of travellers in every part of the world
Alternate Title: Encyclopedia of of perils and adventures of travellers, hunters, sailors, &c
Physical Description: 192, 192 p., 7 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Knelb, Ph. H ( Philip H ) ( Author, Primary )
Lady ( Translator )
Hazard, Willis P ( Willis Pope ), 1825-1913 ( Publisher )
Slote & Mooney ( Stereotyper )
Publisher: Willis P. Hazard
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Publication Date: 1854
 Subjects
Subject: Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sailors -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Rescues -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sailing -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pirates -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival skills -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Deserts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
National characteristics -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1854   ( local )
Bldn -- 1854
Genre: Hand-colored illustrations   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
 Notes
General Note: Second work stereotyped by Slote & Mooney.
General Note: Illustrations are hand-colored.
General Note: Baldwin Library copy lacks front cover.
Statement of Responsibility: from the German of Ph.H. Knelb, by a Lady. Perilous incidents in the lives of sailors and travellers / translated from the German of Ph.H. Knelb, by a lady.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002706
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA3004
notis - ALH2997
oclc - 37428927
alephbibnum - 002232603

Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    Perils of the wilderness in the Island of Ceylon
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 36a
        Page 36b
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Fire at sea
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 64a
        Page 64b
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    The desert
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 112a
        Page 112b
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Shipwreck and starvation
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    The little African's adventures
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
    In the time of the Circassian War
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
    The Ischutski
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
    The fair of Nishni Novogorod
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
    Title Page
        Page A 1
        Page A 2
    Table of Contents
        Page A 3
        Page A 4
    Pirate life
        Page A 5
        Page A 6
        Page A 7
        Page A 8
        Page A 9
        Page A 10
        Page A 11
        Page A 12
        Page A 13
        Page A 14
        Page A 15
        Page A 16
        Page A 17
        Page A 18
        Page A 19
        Page A 20
        Page A 21
        Page A 22
        Page A 23
        Page A 24
        Page A 25
        Page A 26
        Page A 27
        Page A 28
        Page A 29
        Page A 30
        Page A 31
        Page A 32
        Page A 33
        Page A 34
        Page A 35
        Page A 36
    Capability among the Japanese
        Page A 37
        Page A 38
        Page A 39
        Page A 40
        Page A 41
        Page A 42
        Page A 43
        Page A 44
        Page A 45
        Page A 46
        Page A 47
        Page A 48
        Page A 49
        Page A 50
        Page A 51
        Page A 52
        Page A 53
        Page A 54
        Page A 55
        Page A 56
        Page A 57
        Page A 58
        Page A 59
        Page A 60
        Page A 61
        Page A 62
        Page A 63
        Page A 64
        Page A 65
        Page A 66
        Page A 67
        Page A 68
        Page A 69
        Page A 70
        Page A 71
        Page A 72
        Page A 72a
        Page A 72b
        Page A 73
        Page A 74
        Page A 75
        Page A 76
        Page A 77
        Page A 78
        Page A 79
        Page A 80
        Page A 81
        Page A 82
        Page A 83
        Page A 84
        Page A 85
        Page A 86
        Page A 87
        Page A 88
        Page A 89
        Page A 90
    A see fight on the Cuban Coast
        Page A 91
        Page A 92
        Page A 93
        Page A 94
        Page A 95
        Page A 96
        Page A 97
        Page A 98
        Page A 99
        Page A 100
        Page A 101
        Page A 102
        Page A 103
        Page A 104
        Page A 105
        Page A 106
        Page A 107
        Page A 108
        Page A 108a
        Page A 108b
        Page A 109
        Page A 110
        Page A 111
        Page A 112
        Page A 113
        Page A 114
        Page A 115
        Page A 116
        Page A 117
        Page A 118
        Page A 119
        Page A 120
        Page A 121
        Page A 122
        Page A 123
        Page A 124
        Page A 125
        Page A 126
        Page A 127
        Page A 128
        Page A 129
        Page A 130
        Page A 131
        Page A 132
        Page A 133
        Page A 134
        Page A 135
        Page A 136
        Page A 137
        Page A 138
        Page A 139
        Page A 140
        Page A 140a
        Page A 140b
        Page A 141
        Page A 142
        Page A 143
        Page A 144
        Page A 145
        Page A 146
        Page A 147
        Page A 148
        Page A 149
    The shipwreck
        Page A 150
        Page A 151
        Page A 152
        Page A 153
        Page A 154
        Page A 155
        Page A 156
        Page A 157
        Page A 158
        Page A 159
        Page A 160
        Page A 161
        Page A 162
        Page A 163
        Page A 164
    Voyage to the East Indies
        Page A 165
        Page A 166
        Page A 167
        Page A 168
        Page A 169
        Page A 170
        Page A 171
        Page A 172
        Page A 173
        Page A 174
        Page A 175
        Page A 176
        Page A 177
        Page A 178
        Page A 179
        Page A 180
        Page A 181
        Page A 182
        Page A 183
        Page A 184
        Page A 185
        Page A 186
        Page A 187
        Page A 188
    Home-sickness of a Siberian
        Page A 189
        Page A 190
        Page A 191
        Page A 192
Full Text













































The Baldwin Library
Univ&3ty





















ErmEED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853,
BY WILLIS P. HAZARD,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.














e&o4 1e Qtf 5.


THE ISLAND OF CEYLON, -

FIRE AT SEA, -

oTHE DESERT, -

SHIPWRECK AND STARVATION,

THE LITTLE AFRICAN'S ADVENTURES,

AN ADVENTURE IN THE TIME OF THE CIRCASSIAN WAR,

THE TSCHUTSKI,

THE FAIR OF NISHNI NOVOGOROD, -










PERILS OF THE WILDERNESS


J0 iIe JM1q of Cqjloq.


"THE very thing !" exclaimed my old friend Templyn,
as he suddenly burst in upon me,-" read there There's
good news!"
His good news consisted in nothing more nor less than
that the superintendent at Colombo, the capital of the
Dutch possessions in the Island of Ceylon, was about to
return to Europe, and would endeavor to secure the
lucrative post he was going to quit to my honest friend
Templyn.
Like myself, Templyn found himself, on account of the
unhappy war with England, which had brought us both to
the East Indies, in not very brilliant circumstances; we
lived comfortably however upon our small estates which
adjoined each other, on the northern coast of the Island.
Templyn, a man somewhat advanced in years, but still
animated with the fire of youth, in the bosom of a
numerous family, and I, in my best years, with a young
wife whom I had married only a few months before.
Templyn knew the untamable passion for travel, which,
from my childhood, had involved me in all sorts of adven-
tures and had early led me from home to the far east, and
(5)




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


he appeared to have reckoned upon my weak side to
accomplish his plan. But this time I hoped to resist the
temptation, and after congratulating him heartily upon his
smiling prospects, advised him to lose not a moment but
seize the first opportunity and set sail for Colombo.
"As if I were such a fool," he replied with a sly smile,
"and run into the hands of the English who are cruising
all round the Island! No. I am going by land, and in
your company. Upon that I have reckoned."
My ruling passion began to bestir itself, but I endea-
vored to excuse myself, declaring that such a journey
offered no excitement; the way from our residence t6
Colombo-a hundred leagues and more, through a poor,
exhausted country, would not pay the expense of a palan-
quin.
"And besides," I added, "what is to become of my
young wife ? How could I answer it to myself, if I were
to leave her without comfort and protection ?"
"Who wishes you to do so ?" said Templyn eagerly.
" Your sweetheart shall live, eat, drink, and sleep with my
dear old lady until we come back. I have no idea of
dawdling along the old beaten way by the coast. Who
wants to joggle along on other men's shoulders! No, my
dear fellow, on foot!-on foot," he repeated with a loud
voice and a confident slap on my shoulder; please God,
on our own legs, and right across, high up in the country,
through the tremendous forests of Ceylon, just as you have
always wished. We will get two or three of the natives to
join us, take some fellows with us well laden with provis-
ions and travelling tackle, be well armed with guns,




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON. 7


swords, and pistols, and we'll see whether hunger or wild
beasts will attack such fellows as we."
At this picture the ashes were all blown away from my
smouldering passion for travelling. All at once it burst
into full flame, and my assent flew over my lips. The
preparations for the adventurous undertaking Templyn's
impatience would not suffer to be delayed. They ivere
commenced the next day. They did not escape my loving
wife who, however, regarded the whole thing at first as a
somewhat extravagant jest, or as a whim which she would
have little difficulty in laughing us out of. Such was her
impression, until somewhat embarrassed and not without
the confusion of conscious guilt, I very gravely assured
her that my word was given and that it was too late to
draw back. Many ebullitions of love and anger I had to
endure, but when she found that I was not to be changed,
her dissatisfaction was turned into anxiety. She let
nothing be wanting in the way of good counsel, and
contented herself at last with making me promise to
provide myself with a pair of boots, in order that I might
not be exposed to the bite of venomous reptiles. In my
neighbor's house also many a lively scene was enacted.
Frau Templyn, in addition to the reproaches she poured
upon her good man, had yet something else .to lay in the
scale in his age which little comported with such a mad
adventure, the consequence of which might be so disas-
trous to his large family. But the old man was a tough
piece, who said little, and asserted his authority. The
worthy woman saw the uselessness of resistance, swallowed
down her objections, and with my wife, comforted herself




8 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


with the prospect of the quiet time they would have
together in our absence.
Still more difficult than the reconciling of our wives
to our adventure, was the attempt to procure companions
for the journey. But here fortune favored us. Templyn
found an old soldier, originally from Strasburg, who had
wandered to Ceylon as a journeyman baker and cook, an
honest chap of inexhaustible good humor, incomparable in
making faces, at the same time a burly fellow in size and
of unquestionable courage. He had only two faults,
which indeed rendered him of doubtful value as a travel-
ling companion; he was deaf as a post, and such a deter-
mined friend of all kinds of strong drink, that to be more
or less drunk was the order of the day with him. We
had no choice, however, and all things considered, he was
about as valuable to us as our other companion, a French-
man of the name of d'Allemand, a man of excessive
politeness but of no great valor, who, having important
papers to carry to Colombo, did not dare to attempt the
journey alone, and so attached himself to us.
Our arms corresponded to our wants, and were such as
would serve to procure us game for food, and protect us
from the wild beasts upon which we expected to stumble
at every step. For the latter purpose we had to make pe-
culiar preparations against the wild elephants who reigned
supreme in the forests, and who not rarely assaulted remote
settlements in immense troops, trampling down the tilled
fields, and destroying human life. As our hunting arms
would hardly suffice, and we could not hope to overpower
these animals, should they take it into their heads to




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON. 9


attack us, our point was to scare them off; accordingly we
provided ourselves with a hundred rockets, and a copper
alarm kettle. To protect ourselves against the men, who
are oftentimes no less dangerous than the wild beasts, I
procured from the government a passport, in the native
language, written on a palm leaf, directing all whom it
concerned to provide me Jacob Hafner, Clerk of the Dutch
East India Company, and my companions with all needed
assistance. This kind of official protection is indispensably
necessary in a country where the oppressed natives hate
their oppressor, and where every European, who claims
their hospitality, finds himself poorly off without such a
pass.
All our preparations finished, after a moderate mid-day
meal, we took farewell of our wives not without tears.
We men bore ourselves stoutly-father Templyn scolded
a little; a sobbing good-bye sounded after us, and so we
broke away with our company, sixteen in all. Almost the
whole population of the place turned out to witness the
commencement of such an unheard of enterprise. To
speak the truth, we four Europeans looked very much like
so many highway robbers starting upon an expedition for
plunder. Three of us were armed with cutlasses, a brace
of pistols in our belts, cartridge boxes, and rifles over our
shoulders; the deaf baker wore a huge sabre, which clat-
tered behind him as he marched.

II.
In order to cut off a goodpiece of the way to the Dutch
fort, Panoryn, whence we were to start on foot, we crossed




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


an arm of the sea; the voyage was short, but not without
an adventure, for just as the baker was taking a drink of
rum to our health and a good journey, a flying fish shot
by so close to his nose that in pure fright he let the glass
fall to the ground. And his fright was not without reason,
for the creature, pursued by his enemies, darted out of the
water as if he had been shot from a bow, and his pike-
shaped mouth-piece, which was so hard and pointed, like
the bill of a bird, that it entered an inch or two into the
ship's flanks, was not a very pleasant thing to come in
contact with.
On the third day we reached the fort, and found a right
hearty welcome from the commandant of the same; but
all his well meant efforts to turn us from our purpose were
fruitless. As, however, we were approaching the scene
of danger, we lost no time in putting our arms in order.
Immediately after dinner we shook hands with our friendly
host, and turned towards the thick forest which lay spread
out like a carpet within half a mile of us. A majestic,
awe-inspiring sight! especially as imagination suggested
what a host of blood-thirsty, ravenous wild beasts, with
strength far exceeding that of man, were hidden behind
the curtain.
A dim twilight received us as we entered the skirt of
the wood between the huge trees, which wove over our
heads a dome of branches, variegated by flowers, and
blossoms, and accessible to no ray of the sun. At every
step, as we entered farther into the forest, the trees rose
larger and closer, and were so thickly woven together with
underwood and running vines, that sometimes we were




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


unable to proceed a dozen steps without cutting our way,
axe in hand. It grew every moment more difficult, and
we were heartily glad when one of our attendants, an
elephant-hunter, who acted as our guide, at last found a
narrow foot path, which we instantly followed.
I found myself by accident at the head of the march;
the Frenchman, with whom I had fallen into lively chat,
trotted after me, when suddenly a monstrous bear shot out
of a bush right before my feet, and stood apparently in
doubt whether he should attack me or make off. For my
part I did not see him until he was so near to me that I
tumbled over his broad back, and we both rolled on the
ground. The Frenchman was more fortunate, and had
time to retreat a few steps. I instantly tried to rise,
either to fle or to defend myself; but before I could get
upon my feet the monster stood growling over me, with
open mouth and raised claws, prepared to attack me.
The frightful sight struck me motionless with fear, and I
gave myself up for lost, for, at the slightest movement on
my part, the outstretched claw would have descended on
my head; I closed my eyes, and commended my soul to
God. At this critical moment I heard something whizz
over me, and at the same time a shot was heard, at which
the startled animal left me, and with a horrible cry darted
away through the opening whence he had made his appear-
ance. Thus was I, contrary to all hope, rescued from
death, and indeed in a double form, for I was not in more
peril from the uplifted claw of the bear than from the
pistol ball sent by the trembling hand of the excited
d'Allemand, and yet I owed it to this bad shot that I was




12 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


not torn to pieces, before one of the company, who were
some distance behind, could render me any help.
While these, as much astonished as rejoiced, congratu-
lated me upon having escaped the rough embrace of the
shaggy fellow, our baker was doing his best, with his
drawn sabre, to find the impudent beast that he believed
to be still in the neighborhood; but not succeeding, on
account of the thorns in penetrating the thick and tangled
underwood, he would fain show us what he considered an
infallible means of putting the wildest and fiercest animals
to instant flight. He seized his hat between his teeth,
crawled on all fours, and, with all sorts of shouts and
cries, made such comical leaps that we were ready to burst
with laughing. His nonsense at least helped to restore
our composure. Besides, this adventure sharpened our
wits, and we perceived the necessity of redoubled caution
in pursuing our narrow and crooked path, where we could
see so little distance ahead. For had an elephant or any
other wild animal rushed on us, we should have had no
chance either for defence or escape. We sent on our
kettle drummer, with some of our armed attendants, a few
steps before us, so that we could not easily be taken by
surprise.
We proceeded somewhat more orderly; the day was
beginning to decline, and the thickness of the forest
increased the darkness; the cries of wild beasts began to
be heard, and the spot which our guide proposed for our
night camp was still distant. We lighted the torches
which we had procured at Panoryn, and which, being of a
very resinous wood, rivalled the best wax tapers. The




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


bright flashes of our torches, connected with the far-
sounding noise of our kettle drum, disturbed the feathered
inhabitants of the woods, who, startled by the light, flew
about as if intoxicated, while the monkeys, likewise dis-
turbed in their sleep, signified their displeasure by ear-
piercing cries, and by pelting us with leaves and fruits.
At last, about nine o'clock, we reached, heartily tired, our
first resting-place-a lonely, ruinous straw hut, in the
thickest of the forest; but as we knew that several kinds
of poisonous serpents were wont to take up their abode in
such old moulding straw, we preferred to encamp round a
good fire out of doors, where we prepared our supper, and,
after setting a guard, laid ourselves down to rest.
Our order of the day remained the same during our
whole journey. As soon as daylight appeared we broke
up our camp, in order that, while we were fresh, we might
accomplish a good piece of the way. It was indescribably
agreeable, travelling through those forests in the early
morning-life every where, every where in motion. Apes,
with their young in their arms, leaped with odd antics
from bough to bough; birds of the most brilliant plumage
flew in every direction. From millions of throats gushed
song or cry. Parrots chattered, and beetles and insects
buzzed monotonously in our ears. We exhaled the most
refreshing air, impregnated with fragrant flowers and
plants, which pushed themselves up amidst the bushes.
About noon, as soon as we could find a spot where it
was somewhat lighter, and the ground was dry, and water
near, we made halt and spread out our mats, which served
for chairs, tables, and beds. Our attendants took turn in




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


collecting dry wood to light a fire, while others attended
to the cooking; the idle slept, sang, smoked, or chattered.
As soon as dinner was ready we seated ourselves cross-
legged in groups, and each one placed before him a large
leaf from the tree that yielded us shade, and received
upon it his portion of steak and rice. Gay jests and
laughter seasoned the meal, and the baker acted excel-
lently his part of a jovial fellow. Our hunger appeased,
we threw aside our green dinner plates, and the cooking
utensils were washed and packed up again. An hour we
devoted to a most welcome siesta, but as soon as our
guards shouted their "ready," all were again in motion,
the baggage was strapped up, and we took up our line
of march.
We were much more careful in our selection of a resting
place for the night, and carefully avoided the neighbour-
hood of any water, as we knew that all savage animals,
before commencing their nightly search for prey, betake
themselves to such places, either to quench their thirst or
to bathe. For the sake of quiet sleep we were obliged, as
well as we could, to avoid the proximity of these dwellers
of the forest, and chose a spot free from underbrush, and
commanding a wide view of the surrounding country.
Then our people were obliged to procure a large supply
of wood, as well for the great fire around which we were
to encamp, as for the smaller ones in the circle, which
were a great protection to us. One of us, with a pair of
cocked pistols, or the baker with his huge sabre, accom-
panied them as a guard. Our evening meal was prepared
and partaken of with far less noise and bustle than our




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


dinners had been, either in consequence of our increased
fatigue, or of a kind of timid anxiety, a discomfort of
mind, if I may call it so, always induced by darkness and
loneliness. Each edged himself closer to his neighbor,
and was very careful to go no farther from the fire than
was necessary; even our eyes avoided any long or sharp
investigation of the surrounding darkness, for however
charming these forests may appear illuminated by the
clear light of day, they are unspeakably fearful to the
traveller when veiled under the thick mantle of night.
No longer, as in the morning, do a thousand flute-like
songs awake the slumbering echoes, but a death-like still-
ness broods over a wasted desert, broken only by the
frightful tuwhoo of the night owl, the short bark of the
jackal, the growl of a tiger, or the trumpeting of an
elephant, breaking through the thicket, and then suddenly
every thing relapses into the former stillness, as of the
grave.

III.
One evening the whole party, after a long day's march,
quite wearied out, arrived at our place of encampment, and
as the servants were especially fatigued with carrying our
heavy baggage, d'Allemand and I undertook the first
watch and from time to time replenished the fire that
was burning in our midst. About midnight we perceived
a shaking and quaking of the earth as if a squadron of
cavalry were dashing upon us. We immediately aroused
our whole company except the baker, whom we allowed to
snore on quietly, as he had as usual taken too much drink,




16 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


and might perhaps, in such a confused state of mind, have
committed some folly which would have ruined us all.
Scarcely had friend Templyn, upon whose cool courage
I placed the greatest reliance, rubbed the sleep from his
.eyes, when we heard just behind us, from the crashing
thicket, a, clear piercing cry, and turning our frightened
gaze in that direction, we saw the monster from whose
throat it had proceeded, illuminated by the light,of our
fire-a huge elephant, who was glaring directly at us, and
who whirled his trunk aloft in such a threatening manner,
and so quickly, that we seemed to hear the whirring of a
great spinning-wheel. We were just about to greet our
unwelcome guest with a few bullets, when one of the
servants, who had all hastily climbed the nearest tree,
besought us to desist, as the terrible creature would, if
our balls did not happen to strike it just in the spot where
a wound would be mortal, trample us all under his feet
in his mad fury. If we took this advice we were entirely
without means of defence, for unfortunately our torches
and rockets lay so near the dreadful creature that any one
attempting to seize them would meet with certain death.
In this extremity we thought of our gongs, and instantly
sounded them, with, as it proved, the very best success,
for no sooner did the sound reach his ear than the monster
uttered a yell so loud and so terrible that the boldest heart
quaked for fear. At the same time, in his fierce rage, he
tore up with his trunk a young tree that stood near him
by the roots, bent it up together, and crushed it under his
feet like a cabbage-stalk. After thus moderately giving
vent to his anger, he turned towards us again and appeared




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


to be meditating a like destruction of our baggage. Invol-
untarily we pressed forward to the rescue of our treasures,
and uttered a loud piercing shout which was echoed back
by our people in the tree, who now gave us up for lost.
And as our gongs were all the while going like mad, our
disagreeable guest found it so intolerable that, shaking his
ears in a waggish manner to express his disapprobation of
our concert, he at last fairly turned round and made off.
His retreat soon changed into such a hasty flight that in a
few minutes he was out of the reach of the balls that we
sent after him.
So ended, happily enough, an adventure which had well-
nigh put an end to our expedition; at which we were all
abundantly rejoiced, not merely because we had escaped
with only a good fright, but also because in this first real
danger we had discovered and learnt well how far we
might depend upon our servants in such a time of need;
we immediately divided among them our torches and
rockets that we might have something at hand to serve
for weapons, for we had often heard, and can now testify,
that nothing frightens even the most savage animals, so
certainly as fire.
As I had always been accustomed in any urgent situa-
tion to rely upon myself I kept myself always prepared to
meet the enemy at any moment, and earnestly warned our
servants every evening to be upon their guard, and never
during their watch allow themselves to be overcome by
sleep. But words are always easier than deeds, and on the
following night I was unconsciously nodding when the two
servants who were watching with me, roused me with the
2




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


cry of master, a tiger !" Wide awake in a moment, I
looked around, and they pointed me to two sparkling little
balls that gleamed upon us from the thicket not far from
our outermost watch-fire. There was no doubt that they
were the eyes of a tiger who only awaited a favourable
opportunity to seize and carry off some one of us. Father
Templyn, our ever ready protector, was awakened, and we
agreed to aim at the same time for the spot just between
the two points of light. We shot and immediately heard
a struggling and writhing as of some creature in the death
struggle, which grew less and less distinct, and then
ceased. In the meantime the noise of our rifles had roused
the rest of our party, and as I really could keep awake
no longer, the baker undertook to watch in my stead for
the rest of the night. But at break of day we were again
aroused by a joyful shout from him. He informed us that
we had been fortunate enough to kill a Royal tiger of the
largest size, and our servants were already engaged in skin-
ning him. We found that both balls had taken effect, and
had shattered his skull; as then we had each an equal
claim to the beautifully spotted hide, we drew lots for it,
and fortune favored me. As soon as our people had
finished their task of skinning the tiger, we again started
on our way.
We were now quite near to the mountains which cross
the island, and as the path in the plain swarmed so with
ants that we every moment sunk deep into their nests,
and progress was most difficult, we determined to ascend
the mountains for a little distance in hopes of finding a
better path and satisfying our curiosity as to the surround-




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


ing country. This plan d'Allemand did not relish at all
and he did his best to dissuade us from adopting it; yet,
had it not been for a sad accident which we shortly
met with, and which frustrated our purpose, he would
hardly have succeeded in altering our fixed determi-
nation.
We had already turned our steps in the direction deci-
ded upon, when in passing by a thinly-clothed tree we
observed a mass of honey-a bee hive so immense that it
awakened in us a strong desire to possess it; but the
bough from which it hung was so high as to preclude the
possibility of smoking out the bees according to the usual
custom. We were just turning from it when one of our
servants offered to climb the tree and chop off the bough
with an axe, so that we could easily overcome our little
enemies. We- accepted his offer and promised him a
double share of the sweet booty for his daring. The poor
fellow climbed the tree and reached the heavily-laden
bofgh in safety; it already quivered with the first stroke
of his axe, but he was prevented from giving another by
the bees, who rushed raging in thick swarms from their
cells, and so cruelly attacked his naked body that he
uttered a loud cry, and closing his eyes, turned to come
down; unfortunately, in his descent he made a mis-step,
fell and broke his leg. This misfortune drew a cross
through our reckoning-a continuation of our former plan
was not to be thought of, as we could not possibly leave
the sufferer to the mercy of fate, or rather to certain des-
truction. Nothing was left for us but to place him upon a
litter of boughs, hastily woven together, and seek the




20 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


nearest inhabited place, which our guide assured us we
could reach the same day.
If this untimely event made us sullen and silent, the
Frenchman provoked us still more by his ill-timed and
extravagant merriment. He made no attempt to conceal
his delight at the stupidity of the man, which had brought
us to our senses, and destroyed our nonsensical plan. He
blessed the bees, and vowed he would write a song in praise
of their brave defence of their property. "We could not
listen to him without vexation, but we did not think it
worth while to point out to him his want of courtesy and
good feeling. Fate, however, revenged us upon him. In
the joy of his heart he attempted to spring over the trunk
of an old decayed tree that was lying directly in his path;
with one leap he was on the other side, but sank up to
his shoulders in the soft mud, which only a thin treach-
erous bark, as it were, covered. His sudden disappearance
caused a loud shout of joy, which continued until, not
without trouble, we had drawn him from his prison. As
soon as he had brushed from his clothes all marks of the
accident, we begged him for a song in praise of decayed
trees, which he refused with great politeness and vivacity.
Hle was really fortunate to have escaped so well, for these
old trees often are hiding places for a peculiar kind of
venomous snake, or for poisonous spiders of an enormous
size.
Late in the evening we reached Vedative, quite a large
village, situated in the midst of a wide open plain, where
we saw human faces for the first time since our departure
from Panoryn.




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON. 21


Car first care was to entrust our patient to the biist of
;ie many potters inhabiting the surrounding country, who
jften combine with their trade quite a degree of skill in
t'etting broken bones.
IV
We now followed the low monotonous sea beach for
several days, until we arrived at the river Calnar, whern
we again, to escape the heat of the sun, and the increasing
tedium of the journey, steered our course inland. The
river, that we chose for our night encampment, was quite.
dry, and only here and there were to be seen hollows in its
bed, filled with water and surrounded by thick bushes.
Father Templyn, the insatiate hunter, proposed to me to
conceal ourselves for one night in the vicinity of one of
these basins of water, that we might have a glimpse of the
monsters who came hither to quench their thirst. I had
small desire to do so, as the low brush afforded no protec-
tion against the savage creatures, and there was great
danger of treading upon snakes and other poisonous rep-
tiles.
But I allowed myself to be persuaded, and concealed
myself in a bush, while Templyn and the Frenchman
took up an advantageous position in another, at a little
distance.
We waited long in vain, and were thinking with regret
of our camp, when the roaring of some wild animal w
heard, and we presently saw three buffaloes approach tie
stream. They satisfied their thirst, and then waded far
into the water and laid themselves down. so that only




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


their snouts were visible above the surface. They had
remained thus, in this comfortable position, quite still and
immovable for about fifteen minutes, when a fourth buf-
falo appeared, and, after he had snuffed the air for a few
moments, began to drink. The others, indeed, raised their
heads above the water at his approach, but did not seem
inclined to hinder him from drinking. No sooner, how-
ever, did he prepare to lie down in the water, than one of
the three others raised himself up, and with' the most
fearful snortings rushed'upon. him. The heavens were
perfectly free from clouds, and the moon revealed dis-
tinctly every thing around, so that, if the excitement of
this sight, I did not regret the loss of my sleep in the
camp. It is perfectly impossible to describe the power
and fierceness with which these enraged creatures attacked
one another. Before each onslaught they retired a little
space, pawed the sand, threw it high in the air, and then
with a snort that actually seemed to be accompanied by
sparks of fire, like an arrow from a bow, they rushed upon
one another, each time with so much force as to drive
their opponent staggering back again. Sometimes they
would stand apart for a breathing space, like statues, until,
their heads bent down to the ground, they renewed the
fight. Each time, however, that they retired they lessened
the distance between them-blow followed blow with a
dull crashing sound that echoed far and near, up and
down the thickly wooded banks of the river. Fortune
decided in favor of the defender of the bath, who gave the
disturber of his rest such a decisive butt in the side that
the latter, deeming it imprudent to await a second, left the




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


field of battle, and hastened towards the forest. His
valiant conqueror did not think it worth while to follow
him, but contented himself with a deafening roar of tri-
umph, and returned to his companions in the water.
Spite of my enjoyment of this fearful duello, I had not
beheld it without a secret shudder; judge then of my
terror when a ball, whistling past me, immediately aroused
all three buffaloes. They immediately arose with a loud
roar, and two of them rushed towards the place whence
the flash of the musket had proceeded, while the third
directed his furious course directly towards the bush in
which I lay concealed. In a terror which no words can
describe, I betook myself to flight, but flight deprived me
of my usual presence of mind. I- had only proceeded a
few steps when I lost my hat, and my long hair became
inextricably entangled in the thorny bushes around me.
I heard the bellowing of the dreadful beast not very far
from me, and in despair I made one final effort to extricate
myself, which almost prostrated me upon the ground, and
left nearly one half of my curls behind me. I had now
some hope of reaching our camp, which was about a hun-
dred steps distant, but I felt, as one often does in a dream,
that my legs were paralyzed by fear, and an invisible
power seemed to detain me immovably on the spot. My
destroyer was now so near that I could feel his hot breath,
but sufficient strength remained for me, fortunately, to
throw myself directly in his path, and the fearful creature
plunged, in his headlong career, directly over and past me.
I had given myself up for lost, and well I might do so, for
the hind hoof of the buffalo left its impression in the




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


earth only a hand's breadth from my head, and I was
covered with the sand which -it had tossed up over me.
I now recovered sufficient presence of mind to creep upon
my hands and knees into the nearest thicket, and there,
chattering and trembling with fear, conceal myself. How
long I remained there I do not know; my full conscious-
ness returned for the first time when I heard the voices of
my companions and of our servants, who had come, armed
with torches, to seek for me. I cried out to them and
they released me with some difficulty from my hiding
place, wondering how I had contrived to force myself so
far into the thorny thicket. All this mischief had been
caused by Templyn's eager desire for the chase at all
hazards, and spite of his excusing himself by the assurance
that his piece went off by accident, and of my warm friend-
ship for him, I could not forbear expressing my displeasure
at his folly which had so nearly cost me my life, especially
as I had accompanied him this night only upon the express
condition that no large animals should be attacked.
In consequence of this adventure I suffered the next day
from headache and fever, and could not continue the jour-
ney; accordingly we remained during the following night
at our dangerous encampment by the side of the river, but
were all upon our guard. From time to time we heard
a strange rustling which increased towards morning. A
splashing in the pools and a suppressed grunting led us to
believe that wild boars were wallowing in the swampy bed
of the river. In spite of the darkness which followed the
moon's setting and which prevented us from distinguishing
anything beyond our watch-fires, we directed our rifles




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


towards the spot whence the sound proceeded and fired.
It immediately seemed to us that the creature left the
water and hurried to the thicket. After all was quiet
again we heard a breathing and grunting as of some
creature that might have been wounded by us; we awaited
with impatience the break of day, and with the first dawn
instituted a search. As the animal had long been quiet,
our search was for some time fruitless, and we had already
determined to lose no more time about it, when Templyn's
servant discovered behind a large bush a wild boar stretched
out without any signs of life, and we immediately declared
him to be our property. I, with the baker; was nearest at
hand when the discovery was made, and my companion
instantly prepared to cut off the tail to present to the
Frenchman, whom none could endure since his unfeeling
conduct. He seized hold of the tail, laughing, and was
just about to apply the knife, when the creature, which
had lain, to all appearance dead, rose upon his fore feet
with a horrible grunt. The expression on the face of the
amateur surgeon at this moment was a rich study. Pale
as death, he stood with open mouth, immovable, and
gasped for breath. I, myself, was startled, and seized my
rifle. But as we both soon perceived that the animal tried
in vain to rise, and then sank back again, I was relieved,
while the baker grew so angry that, full of rage, he at last
buried his huge sabre in the creature and quieted it forever.
His ridiculous wrath furnished material for many a joke
against him for sometime afterwards.
After many other insignificant adventures, we at last arri-
ved happily at the end of our journey, where we met many




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


friends and acquaintances whose kindness made our stay
among them, a continued festival.
Every day they drove us about in the country near the
city, and every evening we were invited either to a wed-
ding, ball, or assembly. I was in excellent spirits, for I
had attained the object of my journey, the satisfaction of
my curiosity, but friend Templyn was quite cast down, for
he found that his hopes had deceived him, and the profita-
ble office that he had come to seek, had been given away
before our arrival. It tcred still- worse with, the French-
nan, for instead of receiving a cordial reception from the
government, which he had supposed that the important
papers that he carried with him would ensure him, he was
arrested and imprisoned as an English spy. Tojthe baker
fell the best lot of all, for he married the rich widow at
whose house he lodged, and gave himself up to domestic
life.
During my stay in Colombo I became acquainted with a
Portuguese who had travelled much as a merchant, soldier,
pilgrim, and what-not, and who fascinated me by his
agreeable and instructive conversation. He informed me
one day that he was determined to undertake a journey to
the mountains in the middle of the island, as soon as he
could find a companion upon whom he could rely, and who
could bear the hardships of such an excursion. He thought
me the very man whom he had been looking for," and
told me, after I had promised the strictest secrecy, that
during his last excursion in the above-mentioned moun-
tains, he had lost his way, and had discovered in a deep
valley, a stream almost dry, whose banks were covered




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


with rubies and other precious stones, but that he had not
dared to take any away with him for fear of the natives,
who are commanded by their chiefs, to search every trav-
eller, and to murder without hesitation, all in whose pos-
session precious stones are found. He had, however,
marked the spot and it would be very easy to find it again,
if I would accompany him.
The undertaking appeared to me by no means as easy
as he represented it, as we should be obliged to avoid all
frequented paths and penetrate through pathless wilds and
forests; I reminded him of this and also of the danger of
meeting with the aforesaid unpitying savages.
But he knew well how to answer all my objections and
I at last consented to accoinpany him upon the condition
that father Templyn should be informed of the expedition
and invited to join it, for I imagined that in his straitened
circumstances, he would grasp eagerly this opportunity of
enriching himself. But the old man shook his head, and
laughing scornfully at my proposition, advised me kindly
not to be led astray by the fancies of the brain-struck Por-
tuguese, who had certainly mistaken pebbles for precious
stones. He brought forward other and better arguments
against the expedition, and as the Portuguese was passing
by our room at the time, he called him in, reproached him
bitterly with putting such ideas into my head, and threat-
ened if he did not leave me in peace, to find some way of
forcing him to do so. The wily Portuguese concealed his
displeasure, and soothed Templyn with the assurance that
he had himself, after more mature consideration, given up
the expedition and was determined to visit the Indian




fTLE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


onlinent t He added that it would be a great pleasure to
him if we would receive him into our company on our way
home, ir as Fort Chilaw, where he had business to
Sr'ansact. His request was so modest that without any
hesitation we granted it.


V

Early the next morning we bade farewell to Colombo,
and soon afterwards reached the village of Negombo,
where storm and rain obliged us to seek shelter, and
where I determined to remain for some days and await
better weather. Templyn now, in consequence of his
disappointed expectations, in perpetual ill-humor, insisted
so obstinately the next morning upon departure, that we
separated, and I sent him on his way with the servants
and baggage-carriers. Before he went, however, he drew
me aside, and with a kind of frank honesty which never
deserted him, warned me for God's sake not to give any
heed to the Portuguese who remained with me, and not to
allow myself to be dragged to ruin and death by the
phantoms of his brain. One more pressure of the hand,
and he was gone.
In fact the Portuguese, who bore the name of Manuel
de Cruz, had not ceased, since our departure from Colombo,
to endeavour to excite my imagination until he became
convinced that his wondrous golden mountain had no
longer an effect upon me. But now he believed that the
departure of my friend opened a new field for him, of
which he did not fail to take advantage, and followed up




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


his wondrous assertions with the entreaty that I would
-1, i[o his wishes and follow him.
And whither ?" I interrupted him, with a quiet smile;
o\er mountain and valley, through thicket and thorns,
to fill my pockets with pebbles and dream of diamonds.
My way lies in the direction of my home, where dear
ones are awaiting my return with longing."
Manuel returned my quiet smile, and begged me to
listen to him seriously and attentively. The moment had
arrived when all reserve must be laid aside, and when he
should have revealed to me the true state of the case, he
had not the slightest doubt of what my determination
would be. After he had reminded me of the well known
fact, or rather report, that in the war with the Portuguese,
the native kings had packed their enormous wealth in
great iron chests, and had thrown these into some river,
lie continued that he had learnt from his father that the
Portuguese had obtained possession of one of these chests,
but being obliged to effect a hasty retreat, they had not
been able to take it with them, but had concealed it in
the, mountains. He had, indeed, told me of the discovery
of the wonderful mountain, but that was not so; neither
had he lost his way in the mountains, but had gone
thither with the express purpose of finding the hidden
treasure. After a long search, and incredible pains, he
had at length succeeded in finding it in a little cave in the
rocks, on the bank of a small stream, but he could discover
neither opening, cover, or lock, and his efforts to break it
open with a stone were entirely unavailing; the spot,
however, where the chest lay hid, he had so firmly im-




30 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.

pressed upon his memory that he could find his way
thither in the dark. It would only cost three or four
days of fatigue and labor, such as is gone through with on
every hunting expedition, and certainly that was not
paying too dear for a future of pleasure and plenty. /
Why should I deny that these treacherous words
sounded sweeter than ever in my ears. They had the
more weight with me as I had often heard the sinking of
the treasure sgoken ef as an indubitable fact. And yet
the adventure that the Portuguese proposed, appeared so
strange and romantic, that I was perfectly undecided what
to do. Here the wildness of the undertaking, the hope of
riches allured me, and there thoughts of my young wife
beckoned me in quite another direction. After a long con-
flict, my folly and the charm of such a strange expedition
gained the mastery, and I promised the Portuguese who was
still importuning me, to accompany him, if he would
solemnly assure me upon his honor and conscience that
every thing that he had told me was true and that he had
falsified in nothing.
With flashing eyes and the most solemn oaths he assured
me that all he had said was literally true, and then all
remains of indecision vanished from my mind.
We now hastened to Chilow, quickly made the necessary
preparations for our journey, and after a few days set out
before sunrise without having informed a soul of our pur-
pose.
Our only baggage, besides our guns and swords, consisted
of a bag containing about 20 pounds of rice, a kettle to
cook it in, a bottle holding three quarts of brandy, a bear




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON. 31


skin, a coil of strong rope, some copper basins which were
to answer as gongs, an axe, and lastly some files and forc-
ing tools, with which to possess ourselves of the contents
of the mysterious chest.
At noon we arrived at a little stream that came so
swollen from the mountains, that we were obliged to ford
it. We undressed, and, in order to lure away the croco-
diles, that had plumped into the water at our approach,
my companion begged me to go some hundred steps up the
stream and shout with all my might, while he could then
take over the baggage in two loads. Our stratagem suc-
ceeded, and now it was my turn to cross the stream which
I prepared to do, relying far less, however, upon the shouts
of the Portuguese than upon my good sword, which I held
in my right hand, ready to plunge down the throat of any
monster who should dare to come too near me. As I
reached the middle of the stream I looked up at my com-
panion whose face was turned towards me and who was
shouting most furiously, when I saw, (judge of my hor-
ror !) not many feet from him a tiger with crooked back
and cat-like motions, creeping stealthily nearer. Even if
fear had not deprived me of voice, I should not have dared
to utter a sound while I was in the water, and, unfortu-
nately, he did not understand the repeated signs that I
made him.
I sprang from the stream as the savage animal was
just behind him, and forgetting my own danger, uttered a
shriek so piercing that the beast stopped and turned
towards me. My companion now became aware of his dan-
ger and had the presence of mind to jump into the river.




32 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


As soon as the tiger perceived that he was discovered,
he gave up his chase and returned, to the wood, from
whence our loud cries had attracted him, looking round at
us from time to time, and showing a double row of cruel
white teeth.
We now followed the bank of the river, till we arrived
at an open space about two hundred yards square and quite
free from-trees and underbrush, where we determined to
spend the night. Our first 6are was to provide ourselves
with a quantity of dry wood and brush, which we arranged
in heaps in a half circle in such a way that the two wings
stretched to the bank of the river which formed our de-
fence in the rear. This precaution was the more necessary
as I had discovered the traces of buffaloes, of which I was
more in dread than of any other wild animal whatever;
for the buffalo of the East is a perfectly untamable beast,
and woe to him who approaches too near one of the hor-
rible monsters and happens to displease him either by
wearing red, by discharging a gun at him, or by happening
to meet him after he has been put to rout by a stronger
opponent. Should he ever succeed in avoiding his first
furious onset and climbing a tree-he is still lost unless
his hiding place furnishes him with eatable fruit of some
kind, for his cunning persecutor will not leave the spot
ihtil he has either dislodged his victim or dies himself of
hunger, at the root of the tree.
When we had eaten our supper, as my companion had
determined to watch during the first part of the night, I
stretched myself upon the bearskin, and composed myself
to rest, with as much carelessness and indifference, as if




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON. 33


I had been lying upon my bed at home, in the conscious-
i.ss of safety. I even listened with a kind of satisfaction
to the roaring that was occasionally heard in the woods
around-listened until my eyelids drooped and I fell
asleep.
When it came my turn to watch I spent the time in the
same easy state of indifference, prepared for whatever
might occur, my pistols in my belt, my gun upon my
shoulder, and my cigar in my mouth. Outside of our en-
campment I heard the crashing tread of the elephants,
and the low roar of the buffaloes who passed by us in their
headlong career; sometimes the snorting crocodiles stirred
in the river behind us, but these last gave me no uneasi-
ness, for I knew their dread of fire. At last the dawn
appeared, and fresh arid hopeful we re-commenced our ad-
venturous journey.
We soon discovered on the other side of what seemed
an interminable forest, the peaks of the wished for moun-
tains, and with a joyful shout my companion pointed to
the goal of our exertions which we hoped to reach in two
or three days. "Courage!" he cried to me, let us dare
anything and everything! I do not require thanks, my
friend, but you will bless the hour that brought us together.'

VI.
On the third day we left the river bank and took our
way across an immense sandy plain only relieved by a few
straggling bushes here and there: and in the evening we
reached the borders of the forest which we entered the
next morning.
3




34 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


Our path became more and more intricate; we made
our way with difficulty through the briars and heaps of
dried leaves, but too often the abode of deadly reptiles;
at every rustling we stopped and looked carefully around,
our cocked rifles ready in our hands, in dread lest we
should encounter some savage animal.
At noon we came upon two bears, one of whom was
endeavoring to climb a tree, while the other walked around
him as if keeping watch. The first quickly accomplished
his object and hid himself in the boughs, but the other,
evidently more courageous, looked fixedly at us and showed
his teeth.
Hold !" I cried, he is aiming for us; let's try the
temper of our weapons, or better still, let us take a small
circuit here and save our strength for him."
"Nonsense !" replied Manuel, "an elephant or a buffalo
might make such precaution necessary. But that fellow
there-let us see how he can show his heels."
And he rashly advanced, applying the most abusive
terms to the monster, but quickly slackened sail, for the
beast, instead of running away, turned round and trotted
briskly towards us.
Jesu Maria, here he comes !" he cried, and we threw
off our packs, seized our guns and placed ourselves, ready
fr firing, behind two thick trees. It was high time, for
the beast, growling fearfully, was already only a stone's
throw distant from us; I fired, and had the good fortune
to shatter his right fore paw; he fell, but recovering him-
self immediately upon his hind legs, rushed upon the Por-
tuguese, behind whom I had placed myself, in order to




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


re-load my piece, and who immediately fired, but missed,
and then, instead of presenting his bayonet, ran to conceal
himself behind another tree. The furious bear had almost
reached him when another of my balls pierced his side;
lie tottered, and proped upon his uninjured paw, leaned
against a tree, and with foaming jaws, began to roar most
horribly. We expected to see him fall to the ground, but
with a loud yell, he suddenly raised himself, and ran at
me so quickly that I had but just time to draw my sabre
and plunge it up to the hilt in his body. I then sprang
back, leaving him the weapon, which he tore out of the
wound, and endeavored, in the death-struggle, to tear it
to pieces with his teeth.
I cut off one of his ears as a trophy and we went our
way; but the further we penetrated into the wood, the
more difficult became our progress. We were often forced,
in order to gain five steps forward, to take twenty in a zig-
zag direction; sometimes we came upon old decayed trees,
into which, if we attempted to climb over, instead of going
round them, we sunk up to our waists; sometimes, immense
quantities of ant hills impeded our progress, or we encoun-
tered morasses from which issued swarms of musquitoes
that attacked us with unexampled fury; sometimes the
trees rained red ants, who also assailed us unmercifully in
spite of the most careful covering of our faces and hands,
and whose bite left a most painful inflammation. But
worst of all was a kind of reed which grew everywhere,
and in which our feet were continually entangled as in a
net. To cap the climax of our misery, these reeds were




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


filled with sharp thorns which penetrated our stockings
and scratched our legs most cruelly.
Half dead with fatigue, our faces and hands covered
with great red blotches, and our legs with blood, we
arrived at last at a large pond, where we determined to
encamp for the night. We had scarcely sufficient strength
left to collect the wood that was necessary for our fires;
a glorious meal of roast woodcocks refreshed us somewhat,
however, and we enjoyed the prospect of a delicious sleep.
This, it soon appeared, was not to be thought of, for
scarcely had the night closed in upon us when, close
around us, we heard the roaring of tigers, the hoarse bark
of the jackal, and the cries of numerous other animals,
whom we could not recognize by their voices. And soon
the savage beasts were discovered by the light of the fire,
here, there, and every where between the trees, and it
seemed as if every beast of the forest had determined to
attack us. Even our fires appeared scarcely to terrify
them, and they crept nearer and nearer until we were
actually surrounded by them. The most horrible roars
resounded through the forest, where they appeared to be
fighting among themselves, then suddenly a dead silence
would ensue until some one raised his voice alone, and was
immediately answered by the whole band. And now it
flashed upon us that we had brought this all upon our-
selves; how could we have been insane enough to have
chosen our place of rest so near to a pool of water, and
thus prevented these wild monsters from quenching their
thirst. Could we wonder that these creatures, exasperated
and driven almost to despair by their desire for water,












































































OL













SL-




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


should angrily surround our fires, which separated them
from the water. Most willingly would we have allowed
them to drink, but no tree stood near enough to serve as a
refuge for us without our being torn in pieces before we
could reach it.
Midnight passed over us in our terror, and we expected
every moment that thirst would overcome the fear of our
fire in some one of our dreadful enemies, and that then an
universal onslaught would be made upon us. Our fears
were not groundless, for two tigers, bolder then the rest,
approached cautiously, with measured steps, and were
instantly joined by several other beasts, among whom we
recognized some bears. The two leaders ventured close to
our fires, then suddenly halted and gazed steadily at us for
some seconds with flashing eyes, while they gnashed their
teeth with suppressed rage. At last, raising their noses in
the air, they commenced such a frightful duet, that in
terror we sank upon the ground, and could scarcely hold
our rifles in our trembling hands, for this roar, which was
echoed from all sides, seemed to us the signal for an uni-
versal attack. Only one of the tigers ventured nearer,
and he came so close that he could easily have reached us
with one spring. The extremity gave me fresh courage, I
hastily seized a huge firebrand, and hurled it in the face
of the bold creature with so sure an aim that he fell back ;
recovering himself he fled hastily, carrying the rest of the
animals with him. From time to time more of our thirsty
foes drew near, and we had trouble enough to keep them
at a safe distance, by means of our guns and fire-brands.
Long after the day began to dawn we heard their angry




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


growling in the distant parts of the forest, and could
hardly believe that we had actually survived the dangers
of this dreadful night.
Perfectly exhausted, and staggering with sleep we con-
tinued our arduous journey until, towards nine o'clock, I
found it utterly impossible to proceed; I threw myself on
the ground under a tree and immediately fell asleep. My
companion waked me in about two hours, as he had been
for some time watching a tiger who had been creeping
cautiously around us, only awaiting a propitious moment
to make us his prey. He had just appeared from a bush
not twenty steps distant, when we, steadying our pieces
against the trunk of a tree, fired upon him. Mortally
wounded, he sprang a few feet into the air and as he fell
we saw him struggling with death, but we were so cast
down by our continued perils that we never even stopped
to look at him, but continued our weary way.
About noon the forest became less dense, but as the
number of trees decreased the underbrush grew so thickly
that it formed one closely woven mass like a thick brush,
spreading out before us to the very foot of the mountain,
which was at least three or four miles distant. At first
sight it appeared utterly impossible to effect a path through
this desert plain; but we were determined to make the
attempt.

VII.
And now we were in the midst of what seemed an inter-
minable labyrinth, and often when with compass in hand,
we had with infinite difficulty advanced, as we thought.




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON..


several steps, to our vexation we found ourselves upon
some spot already traversed by our footsteps, for the bushes
were almost all about a man's height, And any view of the
country round us was impossible. We knew besides that
this part of the island actually swarmed with tigers,
always lurking in such thickets, and no tree stood any-
where near to which we might escape if attacked, nor
could we see a spot where we could obtain a firm foot-hold
to defend ourselves, even if we had had the strength in
our exhausted condition to do so. The foot-prints of enor-
mous tigers, and the trail of serpents were seen every
where around us in the glowing hot sand, which heated by
the sun, in the more open spots of country, added to our
discomfort.
Towards evening a cloud obscured the sun, and the
weather, hitherto mild and clear, was varied by a shower
of rain which was to us at first an unspeakable blessing,
as it cooled the air and the sand, but which shortly de-
scended in such torrents that we were obliged to take
shelter under a lonely tree. But scarcely had we deposited
our baggage here, when we heard a rustling in the boughs
over head, and, looking up, discovered a tiger-cat, which,
disturbed by our approach, was springing from bough to
bough. At any moment this savage animal which, if
driven to extremity is more to be feared than even the
tiger, could have leaped down upon us, so we judged it
expedient to retire a few paces and give him an opportu-
nity for flight, of which he quickly availed himself and
was out of sight in a few seconds.
The day now began to decline, and as the tree was quite




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


high and very thickly leaved, we determined to pass the
night in its branches, a determination to which we were
brought by necessity, for we could neither discover a spot
free from underbrush, large enough to accommodate our
circle of fires, without being burnt to ashes ourselves, nor
could we collect dry wood sufficient to feed our fires when
made-indeed we had scarcely enough to cook our supper
of rice.
After our simple meal we prepared our couches, which
we did by weaving the rope that we had with us, between
two strong boughs in a kind of net, upon which we could
repose without fear of breaking our necks, and covering it
with young under leaves. Although this bed was so nar-
row and inconvenient that we were obliged to sleep in
almost a sitting posture, we scrambled joyfully into it in
order, with a sort of comfort that sprang from a sense of
safety from all unseen danger, to indulge in a cigar. We
listened with indifference to the screams of night-birds
and the roars of savage beasts that resounded from
all sides. From time to time it appeared to rain just
above us, and the thought would intrude sometimes that
we might be harboring most uncomfortable room-mates in
our tree, although we had been prudent enough to clear
the field by several pistol shots. While we were talking
about it, however, our eyelids drooped and we slept pro-
foundly. At day-break we were awakened by the cawing
of the forest raven and the shrill pipe of the wood-cock-
and we left our pleasant couch without delay, loosened our
rope from the tree, loaded our guns anew, refreshed




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


ourselves by a hasty breakfast, and then continued our
journey.
The sun rose in glorious majesty, and gilded so richly
the mountain which lay just before us, and which we
hoped contained such a rich treasure, that we took fresh
courage and inspiration, and hastened on, not doubting
that we should arrive at our journey's end before nightfall.
Our progress was quite as difficult as it had been the day
before, for the sun seemed hotter than ever after the
storm, and we went on cutting our path through the
thicket until fatigue overcame us, and we threw ourselves
down at the foot of a lonely tree to refresh ourselves by
sleeping alternately for several hours. Invigorated by this
rest, and a hasty dinner, we began for the first time, as
we fondly hoped, our weary march towards the desired
mountain, which was now only about two miles distant.
We were still more encouraged by perceiving that the
thicket became less dense at every step, the footing more
firm and strong, and trees in layers and groups were every
where seen around us. We could pursue our path with-
out being continually obliged to make most tiresome
circuits, and towards evening we reached a thick forest
of most beautiful trees, which we recognized at once, by
their thick bark, for ebony. Fruit trees we found none,
and this rejoiced us, for we argued that few beasts of prey
would, without that inducement, venture into a forest so
bare of underbrush which could afford them concealment.
In excellent spirits we approached the mountain, our
hopes and delight increasing at every step. We thought
of nothing but the gratification of our avarice, of the con-




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


tents of the iron chest, and future plans of life, upon
which we were placing the firmest reliance. All distress,
danger, and fatigue, were forgotten, and we were about to
give vent to our feelings in a loud joyful shout.
When suddenly we stood still on the edge of a steep
and profound abyss, about thirty feet wide, which opened
just across our path, and which stretched unbroken to the
right and left as far as the eye could reach. It had appa-
rently been formerly the bed of a river, which had either
run dry or chosen another channel. The ground was dry
and covered from the brink downwards with such a
thickly woven rank growth of underbrush, that the utter
impossibility of working our way down and up again
through such a living wall, was clear at the first glance
The attempt to reach the opposite bank in -this way would
have been certain ruin. If we persisted in doing so some
other path must be found.
For a long time we gazed speechless at one another,
until at last I endeavored to recover myself, and observed
to my companion that no other course remained for us but to
pursue the brink of the precipice until we could find some
path to the other side. He agreed with me, and according
to his advice, we turned to the left; but the further we
went the wider grew the dreadful abyss, and as night
approached we encamped and prepared our evening meal.
At day-break we patiently continued our journey, without,
however, any success, until, after several fatiguing hours,
I stopped and conjured Manuel to turn and pursue a path
to the right. He yielded, and we retraced our steps, but
so sadly that it would be difficult to imagine -a more dreary




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


journey. At the same time we had not the smallest
doubt of arriving at the end of this unlucky abyss, but we
were vexed at the detention which we believed it would
cause us in reaching the place of our destination.
Covered with dust, we arrived about noon, at a large
tree just on the edge of the precipice, in the shade of
which we prepared to take our mid-day meal. But the
Portuguese would taste nothing, and sat still in a deep
reverie, until he suddenly sprang up with a cheerful coun-
tenance and declared that he had at last found a means of
transporting both ourselves and our baggage to the other
side of the abyss. His plan was as follows: A tree cor-
responding to the one under which we were sitting, stood
directly opposite, upon the bank over against us, and the
boughs of each were only about twenty feet apart. Now
Manuel proposed to descend into the abyss and cut his way,
axe in hand, through the thicket. When he had reached
the opposite bank I was to make fast the end of our rope
to my ramrod and then shoot it over with a small charge
of powder. This end he was to fasten to a stout branch
of the opposite tree, while I, on my side, did the same
with my end of the rone, only taking care to select a
bough somewhat higher than his; then nothing would be
easier than to slip our baggage from one bank to the other,
and myself after it, if I was afraid to follow him through
the thicket.
The plan was odd enough, but it did not seem utterly
impracticable, and there was no choice left us. But how
Manuel could hope to penetrate the thickly woven thicket
and escape the savage beasts that might lay concealed




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


therein, I could not conceive, and I told him so, with pres-
sing entreaties to think of it no more; but he insisted that
he must succeed if he covered his face and hands with
cloths, leaving only a little opening for his eyes; as for the
wild beasts-as he brought all this upon us, it was but fair,
lie said, that he should have the largest share of the dan-
ger. I yielded, but only upon the condition that if he
found the undertaking more difficult than he had imagined,
or met with any unexpected danger, he should immedi-
ately return.
After he had taken a heavy draught from the brandy
flask,_ he commenced his perilous descent through the
horrible thicket, upon his hands and knees, while I stood
above and clashed our copper basins together, and from
time to time, threw heavy stones into the abyss to scare
away the poisonous snakes and reptiles that might be con-
cealed there. He refused to allow me to fasten one end
of our rope around his waist, that I might hastily draw
him back in case of urgent need, for he feared that it
might become so entangled as to impede his progress.
It was sometime before he could even penetrate so far
into the thicket as to conceal himself from my view, but
when at last I lost sight of him I sat down on the edge
of the abyss and passed a quarter of an hour in such dis-
tress that I could hear my heart beat against my ribs,
while my eyes remained immovably fixed upon the spot
where he was to appear upon the other side. Suddenly I
observed in the midst of the thicket, a strange commotion,
and instantly a loud piercing shriek of agony from my
poor companion, fell upon my ear. What could I in my




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


weakness do but return shriek for shriek. There was no
doubt of his danger and I could give him no help. I do
not know myself what I attempted in my despair. I dis-
charged my pistols, clashed the copper basins, and ran
hither and thither, like one possessed, then plunged into
the opening where he had disappeared, and listened with
breathless attention. In vain! A deathless silence reigned
in the abyss, and only my loud wailing filled the air.

VIII.
Almost unconscious, with sensations that cannot be
described, I at last seated myself upon the spot where I
had taken leave of my unhappy friend, and gazed down
fixedly into the abyss, where he had paid so terribly for
his and my folly. Every thing that I had hitherto suffered
shrunk into nothing before the woe of this hour. Sunk
in despondency no thoughts of guarding my miserable
existence remained in my mind, and at this moment I
should have been an easy prey to any savage animal that
might have been lurking near.
But the love of life at last gained the mastery; I con-
sidered how useless and dangerous it was to remain any
longer on this unhappy spot, and determined to seek the
shortest path out of this wilderness. But whither should
I turn. I could not dream of returning to Chilaw, through
the perilous thickets which our united exertions had so
hardly penetrated; that would have been offering myself
up to destruction.
Still less was it advisable to follow the abyss to the
north, for I should only arrive among the mountains,




46 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


where certain death awaited me; I had no choice but to
follow the horrible abyss to the south, and trust my deliv-
ery to some happy accident.
Slowly I set out, oppressed with the weight of woe, and
almost loaded down with the various necessary utensils,
whose weight had hitherto been shared by my unfortunate
companion. Beside my weapons, I carried a copper kettle,
about ten pounds of rice, and a brandy flask. I also took
with me my poor companion's sword, which he had laid
aside, and which must in future serve me instead of the
axe, which he had taken with him. The bank, along
which I slowly wandered, was very monotonous, and as
evening approached I determined to take up my abode for
the night in a tree.
But sleep fled my eyelids, and if fatigue sometimes
closed them, the howling of the tiger and jackal immedi-
ately roused me. Horrible fancies oppressed my spirit in
my half-awake state, and I seemed to see my companion
standing at the foot of a tree, gazing upon me with hollow
eyes, and beckoning me to follow him. I started up, my
hair stood on end, and I should certainly have fallen from
the tree had I not bound myself firmly to a bough. At
last, towards day-break, I fell asleep, and the sun was
wandering in the heavens before I again awaked. Its
burning rays scorched me, a violent thirst consumed me,
and I experienced severe pains in my back and side, the
consequences of my forced position on my airy couch.
As soon as I had quenched my thirst by a draught from
the brandy flask, the contents of which I had diluted with
water the day before, I collected my baggage and wan-




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON. 47


dered on, but the violent pain in my head and limbs
increased by the heat of the sun, against which I had no
protection, and the dust raised by my footsteps which in-
flamed my eyes, and covered my parched lips, made my
lonely progress more difficult than ever. After a weary
march of a few hours, I sat down on the bank of a small
pool of water to drink and to fill my flask-my dinner I
resolved not to prepare until I had accomplished several
hours more of my journey. As I was about to rise I saw
with horror close beside me one of those hateful insects,
the mere description of which had so often made me shud-
der, and which I now saw for the first time, it was the
horned spider. Spite of my horror I could not resist the
temptation of examining it more closely. Imagine its
brown hairy body about six inches in circumference, its
legs as thick as a quill pen, with which it had clutched a
lizard and was stripping the flesh from the bones of the
poor creature, and its eyes which seemed to glow with
savage rage. I took a little rice and held it out to it, but it
sprang at it with such lightning rapidity, that I let it fall
and took to flight to escape from its poisonous fangs.
The heat of the day was so intense that it was impossi-
ble to quench the thirst in my dry throat, I continued,
however, to walk on, as, from various signs, I apprehended
a storm. Black clouds, with copper-colored edges col-
lected threateningly around the horizon, and brooded with
a leaden weight upon the dark forest, soon concealing the
sun behind their black veil. I hastened my steps in order
to reach a tree with heavy foliage that I saw before me
in my path. As soon as I arrived beneath its shade I




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


commenced kindling my fire, that I might cook my mear
gre meal before the approach of the storm. While my
rice was boiling, I ascended the tree, wove some of the
branches together and covered them with leaves that I
might have a more comfortable couch than I had enjoyed
on the previous night. I then eat my supper, and as the
clouds still remained far off on the horizon, I hoped to get
off this time with nothing but the anticipation of a storm,
and crept into my nest somewhat comforted to resign my-
self to sleep; sleep came, but scarcely had I closed my
eyes when I was again haunted by the most horrible
dreams. I seemed to stand in the midst of a raging storm
upon the summit of a rock in the boiling ocean which
broke in gigantic waves at my feet, and drenched me
with foaming spray.
Suddenly I awoke, and found with horror that my
dream was at least half reality. The heavens above and
around me seemed one vast sheet of flame, varied each
second by pitchy darkness. My eyes were blinded by the
incessant lightning which darted through the heated air
all around me. Peal upon peal of thunder burst over me,
and was echoed from the distant mountains; all nature
seemed seething and fermenting around me in an universal
insurrection of its mighty forces. In the midst of the din
there rolled directly over my head, as it seemed, such a
peal of thunder that transcended every thing I have ever
heard before or since, and language fails me even now
when I attempt to describe it. It sounded in my ears like
the springing of a mine-the earth trembled, and a sti-
fling smell of sulphur almost suffocated me. This crash




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


appeared to be the signal for the commencement of one of
those tremendous tropical storms, which sometimes pros-
trate whole forests, and in which my tree waved and
bent so that I was obliged to hold on to its branches with
all my strength to avoid being dashed to the ground. I
was enveloped in a perfect cloud of sand and dust; my
fire flew about in every direction, and was utterly extin-
guished when the hitherto imprisoned rain poured down
like a second flood. Three hours its infernal fury con-
tinued, but I retain only a confused recollection of this war
of the elements, for I sat with closed eyes, my head sup-
ported on my knees, in a kind of unconsciousness. If
startled by some frightful peal of thunder, I roused myself
for a moment, but quickly closed my eyes again, for the
sharp blue lightning revealed too distinctly the desolation
around me. I could not endure the sight. As the storm
subsided I thought for the first time of my dangerous
situation in the high tree, surrounded by my metal weap-
ons. To be struck dead by the lightning would not be
such a horrible fate as, crippled and disabled, to fall an
easy prey to the first savage beast who might find me at
the foot of the tree; this thought was anguish to me. But
this time my fears were vain; the storm ceased at last,
and I awaited anxiously the break of day.
At the first streak of dawn I descended, dripping with
rain and shivering with cold, from my tree, and continued
my journey, hoping to warm myself by exercise. After
some time the abyss, which had hitherto extended directly
towards the south, took another direction, and I began to
hope that I should soon reach an inhabited part of the
4




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


country; but my hopes did not last long, for I came sud-
denly upon a huge steep rock, which towered up far to the
right and left, in one unbroken mass, about fifty feet high,
like a great wall. I stood immovable, and gazed around
me for some passage, some cleft or projection, which might
make it possible for me to climb over it. I found myself
cut off from every hope of deliverance. This cruel dis-
appointment extinguished the last spark of hope in my
bosom. In despair I threw myself upon the ground, tore
my hair, and beat my breast, until I fell into a kind of
stupor, and a death-like chill pervaded my limbs. This
lasted about a quarter of an hour, and when I came to
myself I filled the air with lamentations and curses upon
the Portuguese whose folly had caused all this grief and
woe. My state of mind was too unnatural to last long,
and the instinct of self-preservation impelled me to search
around still more narrowly for some mode of egress from
this horrible place. To the left was the frightful abyss
whose sides, before sloping, now descended sheer below me,
and forbade any attempt to descend from above; and before
the huge rock, which hung over the precipice and was lost
in the dense thicket on my right. Only where the rock
overhung the abyss could I observe a few clefts and holes
in its smooth surface, by which an ape, or some other
animal used to climbing, might have reached its summit;
but the thought of hanging over that dreadful abyss, where
the least slip would be fatal, was frightful to me; should I
undertake the ascent, I must leave my gun and bag of pro-
visions behind, and what could I do without them.
There was nothing left for me but to go round the rock




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


through the thicket,'and yet to ascend the rock would be
as easy as to penetrate that mass of roots, boughs, and
briars. I skirted the edge of the wood for a few steps to
find some less tangled spot, and to my great joy discovered
an opening in the thicket, into which I immediately
plunged, only, however, to retreat in the greatest terror;
for a horrible breathing sounded in my ears, and I noticed
a rustling in the boughs above me, which boded no good.
In my despair I determined to retrace my steps to the
spot where I had lost my companion, and then strike into
the path by which we had come from Chilaw. I was
about to seize my gun and baggage, which I had thrown
upon the ground, when I heard again the hissing sound
that had terrified me just before, and turning round, I saw
not many steps from me, a serpent of gigantic size.

IX.

It emerged slowly from the opening which I had per-
ceived so joyfully, a few moments before, in hopes that it
would prove a path through the thicket for me. Ring after
ring unfolded itself, and hemmed in by the abyss, rock, and
thicket, every means of escape was denied me. I was a
dead man. The monster glared at me with his flashing
eyes, his neck swollen with rage. I uttered a shriek of
horror; for a moment I was motionless with fear; every
thing seemed to spin around me, and a sudden faintness
almost overcome me. How long this lasted I do not know,
but I was not quite stupified; I hesitated whether to
plunge head over heels from the precipice or attempt to




52 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


climb the rock where it overhung the abyss. I deter-
mined upon the last; fear lent wings to my feet. I was
obliged to jump about five feet before I could find a cleft
for my hands, and I succeeded in reaching it. For some
seconds I hung over the abyss, vainly trying to find some
foothold, expecting momentarily, to be seized by the mon-
ster behind me. Most fervently did I pray for strength,
and at last I managed to find a little ledge for my feet, I
climbed still higher, until at last my hands grasped the
summit of the rock and I swung myself upon it.
Safe, but trembling in every limb, I sank upon the
ground, for my strength was entirely exhausted by my
superhuman exertions. My breath failed me; my heart
beat violently; a thick mist came before my eyes; I hardly
recollected where I was or what I had been doing. The
past seemed to me like a dream, and I should really
have believed it so, if my eyes had not convinced me that
I was fifty feet higher than I had been a few moments
before, and if my gaze had not fallen upon the gigantic
serpent so far below me, who was busied in swallowing my
rice in its goat-skin bag. As soon as he had accomplished
this, he coiled himself up with a loud hiss, and commenced
beating up the dust and sand with his tail.
Secure on the summit of the rock, I considered the
enormous size of this monster, who was encased in yellow
and black scales. He must certainly have measured seventy
feet in length, and his body was twice as large round as
mine. From time to time he raised his head as if in
search of some new prey, but as none was at hand, he
contracted and lengthened his shining rings, slipped slowly




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


over the sand and disappeared in the wood through the
same opening from which he had emerged.
This horrible, disgusting creature had been the uncon-
scious means of my delivery, for without the excitement
of the terror which he had caused me, I should never have
attempted the perilous ascent of the rock. I looked sor-
rowfully and wistfully at my weapons, which I had left
behind me, for how was I, deprived of them and my pro-
visions, and almost naked, to sustain my wretched exist-
ence. The point which I had now reached was not calcu-
lated to relieve my anxiety. The rock that I had just
ascended was one of the smallest of a circle of steep cliffs
heaped around, which surrounded a fearful abyss, upon
whose brink the path that I had been following, appeared
the only thread of hope left to me.
As it was already past noon, I continued my journey as
well as I could through the steep cliffs which were piled up
all around me. When night set in, I chose my resting
place under an overhanging rock that formed a kind of
grotto, kindled my fire, although there was small fear of
wild beasts among these rocks, and laid my weary head
upon a broad flat stone that served me for a pillow. But
spite of my fatigue, I could not sleep, and my thoughts
busied themselves with painfully analysing my misery.
It might have been about midnight when I heard a distant
sound as of the barking of dogs, mingled with faint, hollow
voices ; they grew louder and louder, and I thought I could
distinguish the voices of several men talking and laughing
loudly. I sprang up and felt my heart beat quicker, and
a cold chill ran up and down my back. I listened; every




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


thing was still around me, when suddenly mocking voices
again sounded through the air and were answered by the
echoes from the mountain.
I listened more attentively, and just behind the cliff
under which I was, there burst forth a yelling scream that
almost froze my blood in my veins; I seized a stone in my
hand and rushed forward to contend with the Kobolds who
were teazing me. Then it seemed as if a hundred dis-
cordant, strange voices were calling all around me, that
deprived me of the last particle of composure; I thrust
my fingers into my ears, shut my eyes, and sprang back
again into the grotto. In my hasty retreat I struck my
forehead severely against a sharp-pointed rock, and the
blood which flowed from the wound and mortification at
my rashness brought me to my senses, of which I never
stood so much in need as at this moment. These strange
noises are still inexplicable to me; they might well have
shaken the courage of a bolder man than I, and reminded
me afterwards of the European legends of the Wild Hunts-
man. Men of weight and understanding in India, to whom
I have related this adventure, have assured me that such
wonderful voices are frequently heard in the mountains
and forests of Ceylon, and are ascribed by the natives to
evil spirits.
After this fatiguing night, in which I did not enjoy one
moment of refreshing sleep, the day at last broke forth
from the east, and with it I commenced again my hopeless
journey. I was obliged still to work my way over steep
rocks and sharp stones, and was besides, tormented with
the most violent thirst. After a long search, I discovered




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


a little water in the hollow of a rock, and this dirty water
tasted more deliciously to me than any drink that I had
ever before enjoyed.
My thirst once quenched, hunger tormented me, and I
looked in vain for something wherewith to satisfy it, until
I observed a snake about three feet long and as thick as
my fist, giving chase to a poor little lizard. I seized a
stone and killed the snake, cut off its head, which I knew
contained all its venom, stripped off its skin, and roasted
my prey at a little fire which I had managed, with great
difficulty, to kindle.
Whilst I was enjoying this delicious meal, thick clouds
collected above and around me, enveloping me in such a
mist that I could distinguish nothing around me. I knew
that these mists sometimes surrounded the mountain-peaks
for days at a time, and were not unfrequently the precur-
sors of dreadful storms; fear of being detained by them
upon this bare rock, where I should surely perish with
hunger, determined me to descend, or rather to slip down
the mountain in the midst of the mist. After being several
times almost precipitated from the precipice, I arrived
safely at the bottom, and found myself again on the bank
of the old abyss and between two rows of cliffs, where
I threw myself down utterly exhausted, and did not
awake from the deep slumber into which I fell, until
the sun was tolerably high in the heavens on the follow-
ing day.
My limbs felt as if they had been broken on the wheel,
I shivered with pain and cold, as in the beginning of a
fever, and my tormenting thirst and increasing weakness




56 THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.


warned me only too plainly that, unless I was speedily
delivered, I should be beyond all sensation of pain and
terror in a few days. With these sad forebodings I arose
from my hard bed, took a few drops of water, and con-
tinued my way along the edge of the abyss. Evening
again approached, and filled with despair,,I was about to
throw myself under a tree, to await my death calmly,
when I perceived at a little distance, a spot where the
brink of the abyss seemed much less fearful, and a path
across it almost possible. Strengthened anew by the sight,
I looked around me for some nourishment, and succeeded
in catching by the tail a little alligator that was just slip-
ping into a hole. I killed it, and prepared a delicious
meal; then, protected by a large fire, I lay down to rest.
On the following morning P began my dangerous journey
through the thicket, and reached in safety the other bank
of the abyss, which had been the cause of all my suffering
and misfortunes. A few steps further, and there-a loud
shout of joy burst from me, my senses forsook me, and I
sank fainting on the ground.
When I came to myself, and stood up, I found myself
in a broad frequented path, where I discovered quite
recent footprints. I followed it as quickly as my fatigue
would allow me to, and soon encountered a troop of trav-
elling natives, who were proceeding slowly with their
mules. They were not a little terrified to behold in this
wilderness a man wandering towards them, travel-stained
and hollow-eyed, but received me most kindly when I had
told them my story, strengthened me with a most refresh-
ing soup, and brought me safely to the coast in three




THE ISLAND OF CEYLON. 57

days. In a short time I found an opportunity to embark,
and returned safely to my friends and dear ones, who
were mourning most bitterly my disappearance and proba-
ble death, and who regarded me almost like one risen
from the dead.








AFTER a short delay on the eastern coast of Madagascar,
where we had laid in fresh water and provisions, we
weighed anchor, and with a favourable wind, steered for
Java, the place of our destination. It was a beautiful
November day. I stood on deck enjoying the prospect of
the quiet sea, congratulating myself that the most tedious
as well as the most dangerous part of our voyage from
Holland was accomplished, for the Cape of Good Hope lay
far behind us, and counting over the profits that our rich
cargo must ensure us, when all at once the terrible cry of
fire! fire! was heard. I hastened down into the hold,
whence the cry proceeded, but saw nothing; to my inquiry
as to what was burning, one of the sailors replied, "in
that cask there." I thrust my hand into it, but as I per-
ceived no fire, I ascended again to the deck to ascertain
the cause of the noise.
The steward had gone down into the hold in the after-
noon, as usual, to fill a bucket with the spirits which were
to be distributed to the crew the following day, when after
accomplishing his task, he took up the candlestick which
held the tallow candle, and which he had set down upon a
cask near that from which he had filled his bucket, a spark
fell into the open bung-hole and the flames burst forth from
the cask; immediately the top and bottom fell out, and
(58)




FIRE AT SEA.


the burning spirit flowed down into the coal hole beneath.
The careless fellow had, as he told me, poured upon the
flames several buckets of water that stood near, and entirely
extinguished them. To make all sure, I gave orders to
have all the coals damped, and then went my way, think-
ing no more of the matter.
Half an hour afterwards some sailors again shouted fire,
which terrified me greatly; when I went below the flames
were already blazing up from the lowest part of the hold;
the half extinguished fire had spread fearfully among the
coals, and unfortunately several rows of brandy casks were
piled up just above this spot. We hoped now to check
the rapidly increasing flames, and the greater part of the
crew brought water in leather buckets and poured it down
into the hold in torrents. But this led to new and dan-
gerous consequences; the water falling upon the glowing
coals caused such a thick sulphurous smoke that we were
in danger of stifling, and it was almost impossible to remain
any longer in the hold. I, however, continued to do so,
that I might give the necessary orders, desiring my crew
to work by turns, that they might have every now and
then a whiff of fresh air, for I feared that several who
could not reach the port holes, were already suffocated;
indeed, I was myself several times so confused that I
scarcely knew what I was doing, and was obliged to lean
my head upon a cask and turn my face towards a port-hole
to get fresh air.
When, at last, I was forced to go on deck, I went to the
supercargo, Hein Rol, and told him that I thought it advi-
sable to throw the powder overboard, but he could not




FIRE AT SEA.


make up his mind to it. If we throw our powder into
the sea," said he, we may, it is true, hope to extinguish
the fire, but how, without powder, shall we defend our-
selves against the enemies who infest these seas, and how
shall we justify ourselves if our ship should be taken ?"
In the meantime the fire was rapidly gaining ground, and
as no one could any longer endure the suffocating smoke
that filled the hold, we seized axes and cut holes in the
lower deck, through which we poured floods of water
upon the flames, but with no success in extinguishing
them.
Three weeks before our long boat had been fitted for
sea, and fastened to the stern of the ship; now we let
down the boat from the upper deck, as it was in the way
of the sailors who were bringing water. The confusion
became greater every moment, we saw ourselves exposed
to the double danger of fire and water, and the sure prey
of one or the other. We could not hope for help, for there
was neither land nor ship in sight. The sailors now began
one by one to slip away; they let themselves down into
the water and swam to the long boat, where they concealed
themselves under the benches, to wait until their number
should be sufficient to enable them to cut loose from the
burning vessel. Hein Rol, who was standing on the quar-
ter deck, was not a little surprised to see the boats so full
of men; they cried out to him that they were about to put
to sea, and that if he wanted to go with them he must
come quickly. He was easily persuaded, as he was greatly
terrified, but as he was getting into the long boat, Wait
friends," he exclaimed, till the captain comes." Of course




FIRE AT SEA.


they listened neither to request nor command, but quickly
cut the rope and pushed off from the ship.
Whilst I was still issuing orders, and hoping to subdue
the flames, some of the sailors rushed up to me, exclaim-
ing in the greatest terror, Oh, captain, what shall we do;
the boats have both cut loose, and are making off as rap-
idly as possible."
If that is the case," I answered, things look badly
enough; they have determined to leave us to our fate."
I hastened upon deck, and was soon satisfied of the
shameful purpose of the cowardly sailors. Let us bear
down upon them," I cried; "if they refuse to take us with
them, they must be taught their duty; we will run them
down."
And we had already approached them within three
ship's lengths, when they took the wind of us, and were
soon out of our reach. Friends," I said to the remnant
of my crew, there is now no help for us save in the mercy
of and our own exertions, which we must redouble,
and once more attempt to stifle the flames. Run to the
magazine, and throw the powder overboard before the fire
reaches it." I took the carpenters with me, and ordered
them to bore holes in the ship's side, so as to let a couple
of fathoms of water into the hold; but their tools made
no impression, as the vessel was lined with iron.
The failure of this last attempt occasioned an indes-
cribable panic, and a piercing shriek of terror filled the
air. At my command they began again to pour water
upon the flames, which really began to subside, when sud-
denly the oil casks caught, and blazed up fearfully. We




FIRE AT SEA.


now gave ourselves up for lost, for the flames appeared to
gain strength from every bucket of water poured upon
them, and the burning oil ran every where, kindling every
thing that it touched. In this extremity the crew, who
had now lost all courage, raised such a horrible scream of
agony and despair, that my hair stood on end, and the cold
sweat started from every pore.
In their despair, however, they still worked on, pouring
water into the hold and throwing the powder into the sea.
Already, of more than three hundred, only sixty casks
were overboard, when suddenly what remained caught on
fire, and the ship, in which there were one. hundred and
nineteen souls, was shivered into a thousand fragments. I
was standing just behind the mainmast, with about thirty
men near me busy with the water buckets; in one mo-
ment of time they had vanished none could say whither;
the rest shared a like fate.
As for myself, Captain Wilhem Isbrand Bontekoe, I
awaited my destruction with the others, stretching my
arms towards heaven, and exclaiming, 0 Lord have
mercy on me!"

II.
Although I distinctly felt myself lifted into the air, and
thought that all was most certainly over with me, I
retained my perfect consciousness, and a spark of hope still
glimmered within me. I fell into the sea in the midst of
the ruins of my shattered vessel. When I found myself in
the water, my courage revived wonderfully. I seemed quite
a different man. I looked around me and perceived the




FIRE AT SEA.


mainmast upon one side of me; clinging to this, I began
to consider the sad destruction around me. "0 heaven,"
I sighed, "has then my beautiful ship sunk forever !"
Wherever I turned I saw no living soul; but after a few
moments, a young man emerged from the water not very
far from me, and swam hastily. He soon reached the bro-
ken bowsprit, which was floating near him, placed him-
self upon it, and said to himself, "I am at least alive!"
When I heard his voice I looked around and exclaimed,
" 0 2, does any one beside myself survive !" At the
same time I recognized in him, Harman Van Kniphausen,
a young man from Eyden. I saw near him, a stout spar,
and as I retained my hold, only with the greatest difficulty,
upon the main-mast, which was continually rolling over, I
cried out to Harman: "Push that spar towards me; I will
swim to you upon it, and we will then both seat ourselves
upon the bowsprit." The attempt succeeded, most fortu-
tunately, for I should not have been able to reach him
without the spar, as I felt myself much bruised in the
back, and had received two wounds upon the head.
All these injuries, which I had not felt at first, now be-
gan to be so painful that I could scarcely hear or see, and
the words broke from me, 0 heaven if this suffering
increases I shall die." We swam together, both clinging
to the bowsprit; from time to time we gazed around in
hopes of seeing one of the boats; at last we discovered
them, but at such a distance that we could not tell whether
they were approaching us or sailing in a different direction.
The sun was already near its sitting, and I said to my com-
panion: "Friend, there is no hope for us; we cannot pos-




FIRE AT SEA.


sibly keep our hold all night; we must raise our souls to
God and pray for a speedy rescue, or for perfect submis-
sion to his will." We began to pray and our prayers were
answered, for when we again looked around, we perceived
the boats quite near to us, to our great joy, for we had cer-
tainly given ourselves up for lost.
Save the captain !" I cried now as loudly as possible,
and I heard shouted back from the boat, The captain is
still living!" They now sailed towards us as fast as pos-
sible, but were afraid to come close to us, lest the' heavy
bowsprit should injure their boats. Harman, who had been
very little injured by being blown up, felt strong enough
to swim, and so was saved.
"If you would save me," I cried, "you must come for
me, for I am so badly wounded that I cannot swim. The
boatswain, a stout youth, sprang immediately into the
water and handed me the end of a rope, which I wound
around my body, and by the mercy of God, at last reached
the long boat, where all wondered not a little to see me
again.
I lay down in the stern to recover myself a little, for I
felt so miserably that I thought my end must be fast ap-
proaching; my back was very painful, as were also, the
wounds in my head. Yet, I recovered myself somewhat,
and said to Hein Rol and the others: We shall do well
to remain near the wreck all night long, for when the day
breaks we can certainly recover something to eat, and per-
haps we can find a compass, which we must have, if we
ever hope to reach land."
Among many almost indispensable things, we wanted




FIRE AT SEA.


a compass, charts, and quadrant; our provisions, too, were
very scanty, so great had been the haste to get away from
the vessel. Hein Rol did not heed my advice, and con-
tinued to sail on through the night in hopes of seeing land
in the morning; but when he saw this hope disappointed,
and found the next morning that we were still far from
the land, he remembered my advice, and the men, finding
me yet alive, cried out to me: Captain, what will become
of us ? we are far from the wreck, and can discover no
land; we have nothing to eat or drink, and no compass or
charts, what shall we do ?"
My friends," I replied, "you should have followed my
advice, and remained all night near the wreck, for whilst I
was clinging to the mast I saw such quantities of things
floating about me, that they hindered me from swimming,
and were quite dangerous."
With their assistance I crawled upon deck; and when I
saw that they were still rowing on, I asked them, My
friends, how much food have you ?" They pointed to a
cask which might hold at most seven or eight pounds of
biscuit."
Stop rowing," I continued, for you will exhaust
yourselves, and then have nothing to eat wherewith to
recruit your strength."
But what shall we do ?" they asked.
I advised them to take off their shirts and make sails
of them. As we had no -thread, I bade them untwist
some ends of rope that were lying about, and with these
they sewed together, as well as they could, some small
sails. We found that we numbered forty-six in the long-




FIRE AT SEA.


boat, and twenty-six in the other. A sailor's blue jacket,
and a cushion, which we found in the boat, were, by com-
mon consent, accorded to me, in consideration of my
suffering condition. The ship's surgeon was among us,
but he had no medicines; chewed biscuit was the only
thing that he could apply to my wounds, and in the mercy
of God it healed them. I wished to give my shirt, like
the others, for the sails, but they would not consent, and I
most gratefully acknowledged the consideration with which
I was treated.
We rested all day long, that we might not weary our-
selves with rowing; but we finished the sails, which were
up before night. All this happened on the day after the
shipwreck.
We directed our course by the stars, whose rising and
setting we observed carefully; and I drew, as well as I
could, upon one of the planks of the deck, a chart repre-
senting the islands of Sumatra and Java, with the straits
between them, through which we hoped to steer. On the
day when the ship was blown up, we were, by the most
exact calculation, five and a half degrees south of the line
and twenty miles from land. The nights were now so cold
that in the mornings we were perfectly stiff, while in the
day time we suffered from the most intense heat, for the
sun was directly above our heads.
The few pounds of biscuit, which was all our store, I
divided into rations and distributed daily among the men;
but we were very near the end of them, although the
piece that each one had for the whole day, was scarcely
half a finger in size. Our supply of fresh water had failed




FIRE AT SEA.


entirely, so the first time that it rained we spread out the
sail and caught the water, with which we filled two small
casks, to serve us on days when we had no rain. But we
were soon obliged to break into this last supply, and I
dipped up the water in the end of a shoe; each man came
to me, drank his portion, and then went quickly back to
his place. But in the midst of their thirst, the men all
said to me, "Drink yourself, captain, as much as you
want, for we all depend upon you." Although their kind-
ness touched me, I could not bring myself to take more
than my share.
Up to this time the two boats had always kept in sight
of each other, but as the long boat sailed much faster than
the other, the men in the latter exerted themselves to get
nearer to us; and, as they knew almost nothing of the
management of a boat, entreated us to take them up into
ours, lest they should be separated from us during the
night. But our crew refused their request, and cried out
to me, Captain, if we take them in, we shall all go to
the bottom, for the boat will not be able to sail." I could
not prevail with them, and we were obliged to leave them
to their fate.
We were now miserable in the extreme. Our biscuit
was all consumed, and we could see no land. I used all
my powers of eloquence to convince the men that we could
not be far from the coast of Java, and prayed them to
have patience, but their patience did not last long; they
soon ceased to listen to me, and began to murmur and
whisper among themselves, Let the captain say what he




FIRE AT SEA.


will, we are just as likely to be sailing about on the open
sea as approaching the coast of Java."
After we had fasted for a long time, and starvation
seemed inevitable, a few sea-mews chanced to fly so near
to us that we caught them in our hands. stripped off the
feathers, and cut them up into little pieces, which we divi-
ded most conscientiously; each man devoured the share
that fell to him with the greatest avidity. As for myself,
I thought it better than any delicacy I had ever tasted;
honey had never been half so sweet to me, and we lamen-
ted that there was no chance of our again enjoying such a
treat. There was still no sign of land, and the men lost
all courage, and silently awaited their fate, when the other
boat again approached us, and the men in it renewed their
entreaties to be taken in. As death seemed inevitable, we
consented at least to die all together, and they left their
boat to the mercy of the waves, bringing with them their
thirty oars, which I arranged upon the benches, so as to
form a kind of deck under which our seventy-two men,
divided into two parties, alternately rested.
In spite of all this, we were, as can easily be imagined,
huddled very closely together, and gazed upon each other
with the despairing expression of men who had nothing to
eat, no water to drink, and who could not see a bird upon
the sea, nor a cloud in the air which might bring them
relief. When we had given up all hope and had begun to
prepare ourselves for death,. it pleased God to reanimate our
sinking courage once more, for a great number of flying
fish sprung out of the waves and fell into the boat; we
seized them eagerly, and devoured them raw, with as much




FIRE AT SEA.


enjoyment as formerly in the case of the sea-mews. But
now our thirst increased fearfully, and in their despair,
some of the men began to drink the water from the sea,
although I cried out, "friends, forbear to drink the salt
water, it will not quench your thirst and will kill you."
Others sought refuge in the little pieces of lead and rusty
nails that they could find in the vessel, which they chewed
for a temporary relief.
Our misery increased every day, and despair took pos-
session of us, for the men cast upon each other angry,
greedy looks, as though they longed to fall upon and
devour one another; indeed, they soon began to speak
openly of it, declaring that they would begin with the
cabin-boy. Such horror seized me at this dreadful idea
that I almost lost my courage and presence of mind. In
this extremity I turned to God, and begged him as fer-
vently as I could, not to permit such a horrible crime; I
then addressed my men, who were actually preparing to
kill the cabin-boy, with all the earnestness, and with the
most touching words at my command:
"Friends, what are you about to do ? Do you not recoil
from such a crime ? Turn your thoughts to God; he
will look in mercy upon you, and deliver you from this
dreadful temptation, for we cannot be far from land."
Then I showed them on the chart which I had cut on
the deck, the spot where I believed we were, but they
replied that I had said the same thing for many days, and
deceived them with hopes that were never realized; they
could not tell whether I was deceived myself, or was only
bent upon deceiving them. Spite of these threatening




FIRE AT SEA.


speeches, they consented, at my entreaty, to wait for three
days, but swore to carry 'out their cruel determination if
help did not appear at the end of that time. This decis-
ion almost broke my heart. I redoubled my prayers, and
implored God to have pity upon us and prevent the com-
mission of such a crime. In the meanwhile the time flew
by, and our hunger and thirst were so intense that they
could scarcely be endured.
Ah," cried some, if we were only on land, we could
at least eat grass like the cattle."
From this, one can form some idea of our fierce hunger;
I tried to cheer up the men with the most encouraging
words that I could think of. Hope, which was decreasing
rapidly in my breast, still sustained me, and although my
wounds had weakened me much, and still pained me, I
was among the strongest, and could still walk from one
end to the other of the boat, while many could not stir
from the spot where they were lying.
Thirteen days had passed since the shipwreck, and our
hope of reaching the coast of Sumatra, which I had not
thought far distant, grew every hour more indistinct. All
declared that our thirst was no longer to be borne, when
the weather grew cloudy and rain began to fall; we imme-
diately spread out the sail and laid down upon the deck
to catch every drop that we could in our mouths, while we
filled our casks as before.
I was steering the vessel at this time, and according to
my calculations, we were very near land; I hoped that the
weather would clear up, but it continued to rain so vio-
lently, and I was so cold and wet that I could hold out no




FIRE AT SEA.


longer. I called to one of the sailors to relieve me, and
crept under the deck to warm me.

IV
"Land! land! Friends, we are close to the coast,"
suddenly cried the steersman, before he had been more
than an hour at the helm, quite beside himself with joy.
The land which we should have discovered much sooner
in clear weather, lay really just before us, and it was a
pleasure to see how all immediately aroused themselves,
and came eagerly forward to see how far distant it was
and how soon. we could reach it. We spread all sail that
we might arrive before nightfall. As we approached we
perceived that the breakers were too strong to admit of
our weathering them, and we discovered a little island
where was a small bay, in which we cast anchor. The
starved crew, gathering together all their remaining
strength, sprang on shore, and distributed themselves
every where, in search of something to eat; I threw
myself upon the ground, kissed- it, and gave thanks to
God for his timely aid, and for having shielded us from the
commission of so foul a crime as the men would have p6r-
petrated on the following day, for this was the last of the
days that they had promised to wait, and the cabin boy
would have been killed on the morrow.
We found an abundance of cocoanuts on the island, but
no sweet water; we were, however, quite satisfied with the
refreshing juice of the youngest and tenderest nuts, while
the harder ones served us for meat. We indulged too freely
in this delicious food after our long fast, and were extremely




FIRE AT SEA.


ill the next day; we rolled on the ground and shrieked
with agony; but it did not last long, and on the following
morning we were well again.
We explored the island but found no food but cocoanuts,
and encountered quite a large serpent; we saw no human
beings, but found traces of vessels having touched there.
As it could not be far from Sumatra, according to our cal-
culations, we loaded our vessel with cocoanuts and set sail
again towards evening. The next morning, Sumatra lay
in sight, and with a favourable breeze we bore down upon
the coast and sailed along, looking for a harbor where we
might land, until our provision of nuts was exhausted.
Then, as the breakers seemed every where too strong to
trust ourselves to them, it was decided that four or five of
the best swimmers should attempt to reach the shore, and
search more narrowly for a good landing place. This plan
succeeded, and they soon arrived upon the shore of a river
where they gave us the signal agreed upon; we steered in
that direction, but just at the mouth of the river there
was a sand-bank, upon which the waves broke with great
fury.
Friends," I cried, I cannot undertake to land here
without your unanimous consent and co-operation, for if
the boat strikes, which is quite possible, I cannot bear the
blame alone."
I then asked them for their advice; they had but one
opinion-it was best to attempt the landing.
Well, then," I replied, if you are all willing, I am
ready to share the danger with you."
I then placed myself at the helm, and prepared to cut




FIRE AT SEA.


directly through the breakers, but the first wave filled our
boat half full with water.
Friends," I cried, bale her out as quickly as possible."
This they did as well as they could with hats, shoes, and
the two casks that we had on board, and with such success
that our boat was almost empty again, when a second wave
filled it anew, so that for a while it could make no further
progress, and was near sinking.
"Keep her as steady as possible," I cried, and redouble
your exertions, or we are all lost."
The men worked, indeed, with superhuman energy; the
third wave was small and did not bring us much water,
and, as immediately afterward the sea ebbed, we passed
safely through the raging breakers. When we had sailed
a little further, we tried the water and found it fresh ; this
occasioned us no little joy. We landed on the river, which
was covered with low bushes, upon which we found a kind
of small sweet beans, which tasted excellently. Some of
our people, ascending a little hill just before us, found the
glimmering coals of a recent fire, and some tobacco, with
which they joyfully returned. Some natives had probably
encamped there, and had forgotten the tobacco, or left it
there purposely. We now fell to with the axes that we
had with us, and cut down several small trees, of which we
made fires in five or six different places, and the crew,
lying at their ease around them, smoked the tobacco with
the most intense enjoyment.
In the evening we replenished the fires, and three of us
kept watch to guard against an attack from the natives,
whom we stood in great dread of, particularly as the moon




FIRE AT SEA.


was on the wane, and the night was very dark. Scarcely
had we lain down, when the beans, which we had eaten in
such quantities, caused us such fearful agony that we
scarcely hoped to survive it. Just when the pain was
most violent, our watch startled us with the cry, The
savages are coming !" We started up, and spite of our
illness, and although we had no weapons beside the two
axes and an old rusty sword, the instinct of self-preserva-
tion gave us new courage and strength. We all with one
accord seized the fire-brands, and ran towards the enemy;
the sparks, being scattered on all sides, must have pre-
sented an imposing appearance, for the natives took to
flight, and concealed themselves in a neighboring forest.
Our people now assembled again around the fires, but
the rest of the night was spent in great suffering. Hein
Rol and I did not like the idea of remaining upon the
land, and we betook ourselves to our craft.
On the following morning, at sunrise, three natives ap-
proached us from the forest, and we sent three of our peo-
ple to meet them, who had learnt the Malay language,
which is spoken in Sumatra. A conference was immedi-
ately held, and the natives inquired first of all to what
nation the strange men belonged.
"We are Dutchmen," our men replied, and have lost
our vessel by fire, and have landed here to buy provisions
of you, if you have them."
We have chickens and rice," they replied, to our great
satisfaction, for it was just this kind of food that we stood
most in need of.
During the conversation the savages drew nearer to the




FIRE AT SEA.


vessel, and asked inquisitively if we had any weapons with
us; we answered as prudence dictated, that we were well
provided with them, as well as with powder and shot. As
I had spread out the sails upon our boat, they could not
look in to convince themselves of the truth of our asser-
tion. They now brought us some boiled rice and a few
chickens, for which we paid with a few Spanish coins that
we had in our pockets.
Well, my friends," I said, "let us betray no fear, but
sit directly down, and eat what we have procured, and
then consider what we shall next do."
When we had finished our meal, we consulted how we
should supply our necessities. As we were not perfectly
sure of our whereabouts, we asked the natives to tell us
the name of their country, and though we could neither
understand, nor make ourselves understood perfectly, we
gathered from them that we were really upon Sumatra, for
when we mentioned Java, they pointed towards the south-
east, and uttered distinctly the name of Jan Coen, who was
the Dutch commander upon that island. We were now
convinced that we were upon the right road, and were not
a little rejoiced.
V
Being still in need of provisions, it was determined that,
in order to procure them, I, with four of our men, should
go in a light pirogue, belonging to the natives, to one of the
nearest villages. I reached it safely, bought a good supply
of rice and chickens, and sent them to Hein Rol to dis-
tribute among the men. Then I and my four men cooked




FIRE AT SEA.


several fowls and some rice, and eat a good hearty meal;
we drank besides a quantity of a kind of wine made from
the sap of a tree, so strong as to be intoxicating. While
eating, the inhabitants of the village sat round us, and
devoured with their eyes every mouthful that we took.
After dinner I bought a buffalo, which, however, was too
wild to be led away. As we had already wasted some
time, I proposed to return to our friends, and leave the
buffalo till the next day. My four sailors begged me so
earnestly to allow then to spend the night in the village,
assuring me that they could easily take the buffalo when
he should lay down for the night, that although I hesitated
at first, I at last consented, took .leave of them, and bade
them good night.
When I came to the bank of the river, where the
pirogue lay, I encountered a multitude of savages, who
were arguing with one another very earnestly, the point
being, as I gathered from their gestures, whether they
should detain me or let me go. Without a moment's
delay I seized two of them by the arms, and pushed them
forwards, whilst I gave them to understand by signs that
they must row me down the river, as my servants or
slaves. They eyed me maliciously, but were so overawed
by my boldness that they obeyed, and entered the canoe.
I seated myself in the middle of the boat, and the two
savages, who both wore daggers in their girdles, took their
places before and behind me. They had only made one
or two strokes with the oars, when the one sitting behind
me, gave me to understand, by signs, that he wanted
money; I quietly put my hand in my pocket and gave




FIRE AT SEA.


him a small coin, which he looked at for some time, evi-
dently undecided what to do, and finally tied it up in the
corner of the girdle that he wore around his waist, and
then resumed his oars. When the other savage perceived
how his companion's request had been answered, he also
made the same signs; with the same coolness I drew a
small piece of money from my pocket and handed it to
him. He turned it over in his hand and seemed still more
undecided than his companion, whether he should take it
quietly or fall upon me. He might have overcome me
very easily, for I was unarmed, and I felt like a lamb
between two wolves. Heaven knows how my heart was
beating at that moment.
In the meantime, as the tide was ebbing we glided
quickly down the river, and were, about mid-day, on our
return, when the two natives commenced a conversation
which grew more and more earnest, and from which I
could only too clearly understand their murderous inten-
tions. This threw me into such a panic that I actually
trembled, and I inwardly prayed most fervently that God
would instruct me what to do in this trying emergency.
Scarcely was my prayer ended when a voice within me
suggested that I should begin to sing. Although a cold
shudder was running over me, I began to sing immediately
with all my might, so that the forests which lined the
shore echoed again, and I discovered for the first time that
fear will drive a man to singing.
When my two guides heard me singing they broke out
into peals of laughter, and I read plainly in their faces
that they considered my conduct as a proof that I enter-




FIRE AT SEA.


trained neither fear nor suspicion. They were, however,
quite mistaken; my state of mind was very different from
what they imagined it. I sung on without interruption,
and very soon the canoe came in sight of our vessel. I
arose and made a sign to some of my men stationed as a
guard along the shore; they observed it and hastened
towards me. My courage rose, and when they were near
enough to lend me any assistance that I might need, I
commanded my two oarsman to land before me, for I
thought this the surest way of guarding against a stab
from behind; they obeyed me without the slightest hesi-
tation, and thus I rejoined my companions in safety. The
savages, without betraying the least vexation at the des-
truction of their plan, asked various questions as to where
we stayed and slept, and after I had satisfied them by
pointing out to them the vessel and some huts made
of the boughs of trees, they got into their pirogue and
rowed off.
The night passed without any disturbance, and we all
slept so soundly that we did not wake until long after sun
rise. When I heard that the men whom I had left behind
in the village, had not yet returned, I became uneasy and
began to fear that they might have met with some acci-
dent. A few minutes afterwards, two natives appeared in
the distance, driving a buffalo before them; as they came
nearer I observed that it was not the same that I had
bought the day before, and asked them, through a sailor,
who understood their language, why they had made an
exchange, and where our four. men were. They replied
that they had found it impossible to bring the unruly ani-




FIRE AT SEA.


mal that I had bought, and that our men would soon
appear with another buffalo.
This answer somewhat allayed my apprehensions, and
as I saw that the creature that they were driving was very
fierce and unmanagable, I told one of my men standing
near, to take the axe and lame the beast, as we could not
afford to lose him.
The man obeyed, and the buffalo fell to the ground. At
the same moment the savages uttered a fearful yell, and at
this sign two or three hundred more rushed out of the
forest where they had been canceled, and ran towards our
vessel, evidently with the intention of cutting off our
retreat to it. At first this gave me no uneasiness, and I
said coolly to my men, "Stand still and show no fear; we
are quite strong enough to make our way through that
cowardly mob."
But scarcely were the words out of my mouth, when the
savages burst forth from all parts of the forest in such
overpowering numbers that it seemed as if the whole pop-
ulation of the island were resolved upon our destruction.
They were armed with spears and shields, and made the
most frantic gestures.
My friends," I cried, when I comprehended our danger,
" make for the vessel as quickly as possible. If they suc-
ceed in cutting us offfrom it we are lost."
We began to run with all our might, and most of us
reached our destination in safety ; others sprang into the
stream and swam down the river. The savages were so
close behind us that, before we pushed off, several of our
people had perished by the spears of their blood-thirsty




FIRE AT SEA.


assailants. The sails were stretched out like a roof over
the deck, and it seemed almost impossible to draw up the
anchor. While working at it we fought bravely with our
two axes, and killed several of the savages, who boldly
attempted to get on board. Our ship-baker, a tall, strong
man, particularly distinguished himself by his courage in
using an old rusty sword.
Now cut the rope," I cried to him, but his weapon was
not sharp enough. I sprang to his side, and drawing the
rope upon the deck, we quickly severed it, and pushed off
from the shore. The savages rushed into the water after
us, but they lost their footing on the steep bank, and were
obliged to give up the chase.
We now picked up our people, who were swimming
down the river, and, as a favorable wind was blowing from
the land, set sail. The breakers, which had nearly over-
whelmed us in first approaching the shore, were passed
through now without much difficulty, and we thus defeated
the expectations of the savages, who were all collected
upon a projecting point of land, awaiting our destruction.
Our joy at our fortunate delivery from so imminent a
danger, was embittered by the suffering of our poor baker,
whose countenance now began to be much discoloured.
He had received a slight wound from a spear in his side, of
which at first he took no notice, but as the spear was
poisoned, it began to grow black, and inflamed in a few
moments. I cut out all the flesh that seemed to be affec-
ted, but I gave him needless pain, for he died shortly after-
ward in the greatest agony, and we threw the body into
the sea.




FIRE AT SEA.


When we numbered over our men we found that sixteen
were missing; eleven had perished in our flight, the baker
and the four who had remained in the village, and who had
probably fallen victims to their imprudence during the
night. I had to thank them, however, for my safety, as
if all five had attempted to return, we should undoubtedly
have fallen a prey to the savages, from whom I had been
so wonderfully preserved.

VI.
We now sailed rapidly along the coast, before the wind;
the provisions which we had with us comprised only eight
fowls and some rice-rather a moderate supply for fifty
men. It was soon exhausted, and as the sea afforded us
no food, we were obliged to land in the first bay that we
discovered. Not far from the shore a crowd of natives
was assembled, but as they instantly took to flight, we
could not ask them for provisions. Meanwhile we found
excellent water to drink, which we were very glad of, and
on the shore of the bay quantities of small oysters, with
which, when our hunger was satisfied, we filled our pock-
ets. A hatfull of pepper, which I had bought at our first
landing-place, stood us in good stead in helping us to digest
this food.
We soon pushed off again and held out more to sea, but
we had not proceeded far when the wind rose and soon
increased to a storm; we drew in the sails, spread them
over the deck, crept under them, and resigned ourselves to
the waves. Towards morning, the storm abated, and we
set sail again. At day-break we discovered before us three
6




FIRE AT SEA.


small islands, upon which we determined to land, although
they appeared to be uninhabited. We reached the nearest
the same day and found fresh water, of which we stood in
great need. We saw here also, great bamboo reeds as
thick as a man's wrist. We cut these down, cutting
through one of the solid knobs at the bottom, filled them
with water and stopped them up with a cork at the top.
Thus we obtained quite a supply of fresh water; but
although we explored the whole island, we found no fruits
or living creatures, and we were obliged to contend our-
selves with the cabbage-like leaves of the palm tree.
One day I left my companions, who were lying on the
ground at the foot of the mountain, and mounted to its
summit, to endeavor to discover some spot which might
be inhabited or have been visited before, for all the hopes
of the crew rested upon me alone. But as I had never
been in these seas before, and had no compass or any other
instruments so necessary to the mariner, I could not decide
what course we should take to arrive at Java. When I
had reached the summit, I saw around me nothing but sky
and sea, not a trace of land. As I always had in my
sorest need, turned to God, I did it now, fell upon my
knees and prayed him earnestly to open the eyes of my
spirit, that I might discover the true path of safety for
myself and my companions. I then arose to descend
again, and cast my eyes around me once more. Then it
seemed to me that some clouds on my right hand were
dispersing, and in a little while the atmosphere became so
clear that I could discern in the far distance, two high blue
mountains. I now suddenly remembered that at home I




FIRE AT SEA.


had heard a traveller from the East Indies, say that in
approaching Java from Europe, the island could be recog-
nized by two mountains on its western extremity, which
looked blue in the distance. But we had come along the
left coast of Sumatra to the island where we now were,
and these mountains were upon the right. I saw distinctly
between them an empty space and could discover no land
in the back ground; as I knew that the straits of Sunda sep-
arated Java from Sumatra, I felt confident that I had dis-
covered the right way, and descended the mountain, to
impart my discovery to Hein Rol.
"Your supposition," said he joyfully, "appears to me
perfectly correct; let us immediately collect the crew and
prepare to take the direction you propose."
We all hastened our preparations, and as the wind was
favorable, we set sail the same day, and steered directly
for the strait that I had discovered. At midnight we saw
in the distance a glimmering -light, and thought at first
that it must be the signal light of some vessel, but as a
second soon appeared in almost the same place, we could
not but think that we were near the land. At day-break
the wind left us entirely, for we were already upon the
inner coast of Java. A sailor, whom I sent to the mast-
head to look round, cried out, I see a quantity of ships,"
and immediately counted thirty-three of them. We were
filled with inexpressible joy, and most of our men began
to spring and dance like children. As the calm continued,
they seized the oars and rowed to the place where the fleet
lay at anchor.
We soon recognized the Dutch flag, and thanked God




FIRE AT SEA.


that we were surrounded by countrymen. The commander
of the squadron, Frederick Houtman, of Alkmaar, was
standing in the prow of his vessel, and, attracted by our
curious sails, examined us through his spy-glass; not being
able to understand the strange appearance, he sent a boat
out to us to know who we were, and whence we came.
The men in this boat had sailed with us from Holland in
another ship; they instantly recognized us, and took Hein
Rol and myself to the admiral's vessel. He received us
most cordially, carried us into the cabin, and without delay
had the table covered with a hearty meal for us. When
I saw the bread and the other food, I was so much
affected that the tears rolled down my cheeks, and I could
scarcely eat. In the meantime my men had arrived, and
had been divided among the other vessels, where they met
with the greatest kindness.
After the admiral had listened with astonishment to our
adventures, he sent us in a yacht to Batavia, the capital
of the Dutch possessions in the East Indies. We arrived
on the following morning, presented ourselves before the
Governor-general, Jan Pieters Coen, and related the story
of our sufferings to him.
Who can be blamed-it was a great misfortune," he
said drily, after he had heard us to the end without once
interrupting us. Then he asked us concerning several
incidents of our voyage.
Who can be blamed-it was a great misfortune," he
repeated again, just as drily, after we had answered his
questions.




FIRE AT SEA. 85

Then he had a golden goblet brought to him, and said
somewhat more cordially:
Captain, I wish better luck to you for the future, and
drink your health. You should remember, all your life-
time, the mercy that has been shown to you, for the Al-
mighty has repeatedly spared your life when you had given
yourself up for lost." Then drinking to the health of Hein
Rol, he added, Remain as guests in my house uxtil I can
provide further for you."
In the course of a fortnight he made me captain, and
Hein Rol the supercargo, of a vessel of thirty-two guns.
We thanked him most heartily, and were not a little
rejoiced that we two, who had stood by each other in mis-
fortune, were again serving in the same vessel.







ON an uncomfortable evening, when the fog was so
thick that we could scarcely see the end of the bowsprit,
I was walking backwards and forwards on the deck of my
vessel, which was steering for the island of the Green
Mountains, to take in a cargo of salt, oppressed by an
inexplicable terror which quite overcame my better judg-
ment. No one on board was thinking of danger, and the
man at the helm was just calling "ten o'clock," when
retired to my cabin. Soon after I heard ominous sounds
among the men on watch, and as I hastened upon deck I
was greeted by a piercing cry. At first I thought of
nothing but a sudden gale of wind, and was about to issue
the necessary orders, when I perceived breakers foaming
and raging on our left. As none, however, were to be seen
ahead, I hoped to escape even this danger, and ordered the
anchor to be in readiness; but this hope vanished utterly
when the vessel was driven by the current and a mighty
wave directly towards the breakers, and I saw she must be
wrecked. We dropped our largest anchor, and drew in all
sail, but wave upon wave urged us forward and we were
driven upon the sand with such a shock that the crew
were prostrated upon the deck.
I knew now that there was no hope for the ship, which
must soon fill with water, and instantly I gave orders to
(86)


Ae boaf.




THE DESERT.


have all the provisions, that could be got at, brought upon
deck, and we then emptied several wine casks, that they
might hold the water drawn from the hogsheads on board.
The waves broke over our bows, and swept the forward
deck, but we succeeded in launching both the long and
small boat, and had loaded the former with five casks of
water, as many of wine, three casks of biscuits, and four
others with salt meat, besides books, charts, nautical instru-
ments, and clothes, before the day dawned and allowed us
to discover our proximity to the land; as I found it quite
near, I secured one end of a stout cable to the mast of the
ship, and the other to our small boat, into which I, with
one of the crew, descended on the side of the vessel where
the fury of the waves was broken. In pushing off we were
perfectly overwhelmed in the boiling, angry flood, and im-
mediately driven forwards more than a hundred yards;
the foaming breakers only now and then allowed us a short
breathing space, but at last we were with our boat hurled
upon a low sandy shore.
My first care, after recovering from the shock, was to
bale out the boat and drag it high up upon the shore. For-
tunately, the cable was still secured to it, and we fastened
it securely by means of a part of the vessel which had been
already thrown upon the shore. Our ship lay at high
tide, about a hundred yards from the shore, and in order
to rescue the crew, a strong rope was tied to the cable,
which stretched from them to us; we drew it over to us
and secured it firmly. This accomplished, two men got
into the long boat which was loaded with our provisions, &c.,
and on the back of a huge wave, reached the land, but the




THE DESERT.


boat was dashed upon the shore with so much violence
that it broke. With the greatest difficulty we succeeded
in saving three casks of buiscuit and two of pork. For
the rest of the crew on board of the vessel, no means of
safety now remained but the tightly stretched rope, and I
immediately urged them, by signs, to avail themselves of
it. The boldest of the sailors threw off his jacket, seized
the rope, and began his perilous journey; as soon as he got
beyond the protection of the wreck, the waves rose, each,
some yards above his head, and seemed to bury him in
their depths; he, however, held on with the gripe of one
working for his life, and gained a little distance between
each wave, until one more powerful than the rest, tore the
rope from him and hurled him upon the shore, where we
rolled him over and over, until he came to himself. I
stood up to my chin in the water, although the waves
broke over my head, and gave all the assistance in my
power, to the men coming over on the rope, and I was so
fortunate as to receive the whole crew safe upon the land.
As we saw that we were upon a desert, barren coast, our
first care was to secure the casks of water and provision
that we had fished out of the breakers; we then erected
with our oars and two sails a kind of tent, foolishly suppo-
sing that no one would discover us in this inhospitable
country, and purposing to mend our boats with the wood
and planks that would be thrown on shore from the wreck,
so that we might put to sea in a calm, and with the help
of our compass, reach some European settlement or friendly
vessel.




THE DESERT.


II.
While were diligently occupied in the erection of our
tent, we perceived a human form emerging from behind a
sand-hill, and proceed to the shore to plunder our effects,
which were strewn about there. I approached the stran-
ger with every sign of peace and amity that I could think
of; but he seemed very shy, and gave me to understand,
by signs, that I must keep myself at a distance, while he
continued to possess himself of our property. I then grew
angry, and as he was unarmed, approached until I was
within twenty paces of him.
Apparently, he was quite old, but still powerful and
agile; the color of his skin was darker than that of a
North American Indian, and lighter than that of a negro;
his clothing consisted of a piece of coarse woollen cloth
that reached from his breast to his knees. His hair was
long, matted, and stood out far around his head like a stiff
brush; his face resembled more an ourang-outang than a
human being; red, fiery eyes, a mouth stretching from ear
to ear, but filled with sound teeth, and a beard hanging
down upon his breast from his upper lip and chin, gave him
a frightful appearance and suggested forcibly to my mind,
the idea that those teeth had been sharpened in feasts of
human flesh. Two old women, of a like exterior, appar
rently his wives, soon joined him. Although they were
not quite as repulsive as the old man, and wore their long
hair in braids, yet they were anything but attractive, for
their brown skin hung in flabby folds from their bodies,
and their eye-teeth projected like the tusks of the wild




THE DESERT.


boar. A girl from eighteen to twenty years old, who was
just not hideous, and six children of various size and sex,
entirely naked, completed the group; they took what they
wanted, and carried the articles of clothing in-shore, where
they spread them out to dry. They emptied the beds of
their contents as they perceived the utility of the outside
only, and amused themselves with the blowing about of
the feathers by the wind.
All appeared perfectly satisfied with their booty, and
even the forbidding features of the old man brightened a
little when he encountered no opposition on our part. We
were, indeed, provided with no fire-arms or other effective
weapons, but it would not have been difficult to have
driven this mob away with some of the poles and planks
of the wreck. Some of the sailors were preparing to do
so, but I dissuaded them from it, as I saw clearly that in
our present wretched condition, the friendship of these
people was a matter of great importance to us. We qui-
etly let them take what they wanted and determined to
defend our provisions only, to the last.
After spending the day in the erection of our tent, and
in mending our injured boat, upon which rested all our
hope of safety, we kindled a great fire and prepared an
excellent meal of salt meat, not suspecting that this would
be the last of our provisions that we should enjoy. When
we had thus refreshed ourselves, we set two of our men as
a watch, and stretched out our weary limbs upon the soft
sand. Night had already enveloped every thing in her
dark mantle, the savages were at a distance, and all was
still except the restless waves which broke upon the for-




THE DESERT.


saken wreck and dashed upon some rocks at no great dis-
tance from us. Up to this moment, the exertion which
our situation rendered necessary, had so occupied my mind
as to banish all reflection, but now it broke like a flood
over my soul and the necessary sleep forsook my weary
frame. The crew relied for safety upon the miserably
mended boat, but I doubted if we could ever escape from
the coast through the raging breakers in such a frail skiff.
On land, danger menaced us from the wild, greedy savages,
who might be even now preparing to rob us, if not of life,
yet of freedom, dragging us away to a slavery worse than
death. I was distressed and despairing; a thousand anx-
ieties filled my mind. I was a husband and the father of
five little children, whom I dearly loved and whom I must
soon leave orphans. I shuddered, but at last was able to
say within myself, Thy ways, 0 great Father of the uni-
verse, are wisdom and goodness, and who am I ? A grain
of dust; shall I complain of thy decrees ?"
I soon found consolation in the thought that my com-
panions, who lay around me buried in the deepest slumber,
were still alive and with me, and I felt it my solemn duty
to exert all my power for their preservation and safety.
Occupied with such thoughts, the night passed slowly for
me; at last day dawned in the east, not upon a cheering
prospect of rescue for us, but upon new scenes of misery.
It was scarcely light when the old man, with his wives
and children, and two young men whom I had not seen
the day before, came down to us. He brandished a long
spear above his head, as if he were about to throw it at us,
and signified by threatening gestures that we must retreat




THE DESERT.


to the wreck if we would not fall into the hands of some
of his people, whom I already perceived in the distance,
approaching us with a herd of camels. The women, at the
same time, raised a fearful shriek, and threw sand into the
air. When I ran towards the shore, to seize a plank lying
there, the old man ran like a maniac to our tent, chased
out of it, with a few pricks of his spear, the men who were
yet sleeping there, and so terrified them, by his gestures
and pointing to the drove of camels, that they all rushed
towards the little boat, whilst I kept the old man at a little
distance with my plank. They prepared to embark in such
confusion and disorder that the boat filled and sank. Then
we attempted to escape along the shore, leaving behind us
all our provisions, but the terrible spear was turned against
us, and we were surrounded by the women, screaming and
gesticulating like fiends. We now saw that no way of
escape was left for us; they were forcing us to embark that
they might be rid of us without danger to themselves. I
therefore shoved the long boat into the water, and insisted
that the crew should get in at the stern one by one; thus
we at last succeeded in escaping to the ship, which was by
this time half full of water.

III.
The natives, as soon as we were no longer in the way,
collected around our tent, and, brandishing their weapons,
made their camels kneel down-loaded them with our pro-
visions and other articles, and then bade their children
drive them off. The malicious old man cut open our wine
and water casks, and let the contents escape; the other




THE DESERT.


articles, for which they could find no use, books, nautical
instruments, and charts, were heaped up together and
burned. Now that we had neither food nor water, no
choice was left us but to put to sea in our leaky boat, to
remain in the vessel all night and be drowned, or to die in
the hands of these cruel savages. These, we gathered
from their gestures, would shortly return with fire-arms;
besides they could easily reach the wreck, for a sand bar
extending some distance into the sea, was even now visible,
and would be quite dry at low tide. We therefore deter-
mined to make preparations for our departure as quickly as
possible; we fished up some pickled beef and bottles of
wine from the hold at the risk of our lives. We had no
water, and our biscuit was all ruined.
We rigged the long boat as well as we could, and were
about to set sail, when the natives, touched with pity, as
it seemed, for our wretched condition, approached the
shore, bowed to the ground, and beckoned to us, with every
sign of amity, to come again to the land. As we showed
no inclination to do so, the old man advanced alone into
the water up to his waist, with a leather bottle of water,
and invited us repeatedly to come and drink. As we were
not a little thirsty, I advanced towards him by means of
the rope which still stretched from the wreck to the land,
took the bottle and brought it to my companions. The
old man then signified to me that he wished to go on board
of the wreck, if I would stay on shore until his return.
Convinced that it was best to maintain a friendly under-
standing with the natives, I accepted his proposition, and
returned to the beach again.




THE DESERT.


The young.men, women and children, all nearly naked,
sat down on the edge of the beach, and repeated the
friendly signs, looking upwards, as if they called heaven
to witness that their intentions were honest. I placed my-
self in the midst of them and they behaved in a very
friendly manner, putting their hands into mine, trying on
my hat, and feeling my clothes, and searching my pockets
most thoroughly.
When the old man had been taken on board by my peo-
ple, I tried to make them understand that they must keep
him until I had been set free, but the roaring of the waves
prevented me from being understood, and after he had
examined every thing carefully, from the provisions swim-
ming about in the hold, to the money, fire-arms, and what-
ever else valuable was to be found, he was allowed to
return. I now attempted to rise; but two of the strong-
est of the young men who were sitting beside me, threw
themselves upon me like lions, and held me down, while
the women and children drew their daggers and knives,
which they had hitherto concealed, and pointed them at
my breast. Resistance would have availed me nothing,
I therefore, remained perfectly quiet and determined to
betray no fear. They now laid aside the hypocritical ex-
pression of kindness from their faces, and their former
malignity appeared; they gnashed their teeth and pricked
my skin with the points of their knives, while the old man
took up a sabre, seized me by my hair, and made as if he
would cut off my head. I was satisfied that my last hour
had come, and that my body was destined to appease the
hunger of these monsters, whom I firmly believed to be




THE DESERT.


cannibals. 0 God, thy will be done," I mentally ejacu-
lated, and resigned myself to my inevitable fate.
But all these threatening gestures were only meant to
terrify me; as I showed no signs of fear, the old man
released my head from his grasp, after he had touched my
neck gently with his sabre. Then he made me to under-
stand that if I valued my life I must immediately have
all the money that we had on board brought to land. My
people were about to come to my relief when the old man
released me, and I shouted to them to bring all the gold
from the vessel; they were again prevented by the dis-
tance and the noise of the waves, from hearing what I
added, that they must not give it up until I was perfectly
at liberty. In the hope of effecting my rescue, they col-
lected all the money that they possessed, amounting to
about a thousand piastres, and putting it into a bucket,
slipped it along the rope to the shore. The old man emp-
tied the bucket into his woollen apron, and commanded me
to follow him. The two young men led me along by
my arms, and held their long knives to my breast, while
the woman and children followed close behind me with
their spears and daggers. In this way we proceeded about
seven hundred paces; then they sat down upon the ground
and the old man divided the money into three parts, one
he gave to the young men, and one to his wives, reserving
the third for himself. While they were thus busied, they
released my arms, and I thought to myself, If I do not
now escape my fate is sealed." I felt sure that an unsuc-
cessful attempt at flight would be followed by certain death,
but I, nevertheless, determined to attempt it, and seized a




THE DESERT.


moment for it when I thought the attention of all directed
from me. But one of the young men, observing my in-
tention, struck a blow at me with his sabre, and although
I avoided it by falling back upon the ground, it cut through
my waistcoat; he was about to repeat the blow, when the
old man commanded him to desist.
My tormenters now arose, and still holding me by the
arms, and threatening me with their knives, continued their
inland progress. I was in despair, when suddenly the
thought struck me of appealing to the avarice of these,,
savages. I signified to them that the crew possessed much
more money; they received this communication with great
delight, and, sending one of the young men on with their
booty, they instantly returned with me to the shore, where
they seated me as before, and commanded me to have the
promised money brought on shore. Although I knew that
there was no more money in the vessel, I hoped that my
men would attempt my rescue, but they now saw clearly
the danger that threatened them, and were not inclined to
hazard the venture. I therefore waited an hour on the
beach, threatened every moment with instant death, and
finally became so hoarse with hallooing that I could not
make myself audible to those around me. At last one of
the sailors, whose humanity conquered his fears for his
life, came over upon the rope. The natives immediately
flocked around him, thinking that he had brought more
money with him; when they discovered their mistake
they struck him with their fists and the handles of their
daggers; the children pricked him with the points of their
knives, and all appeared determined upon giving him up




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