Citation
Dick Sands, the boy captain

Material Information

Title:
Dick Sands, the boy captain
Creator:
Verne, Jules, 1828-1905
Frewer, Ellen E
Barbant, Charles
Meyer ( Henri-Horace )
Charles Scribner's Sons
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Charles Scribner's Sons
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
ix, 486, 26 p. : ill., maps ; 21 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Sailors -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Whales -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Ship captains -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Cooks -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Slaves -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1879
Genre:
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Summary:
A whale hunt in the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and the Americas ends in tragedy.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by Barbant after H. Meyer.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jules Verne ; translated by Ellen E. Frewer ; illustrated.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027004908 ( ALEPH )
ALH9737 ( NOTIS )
06052215 ( OCLC )

UFDC Membership

Aggregations:
University of Florida
Jules Verne

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This item has the following downloads:


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DICK SANDS

THE BOY CAPTAIN.

BY
JULES VERNE.

TRANSLATED BY

ELLEN E. FREWER.



ILLUSTRATED.

NEW YORK:
CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS,

743 AND 745 Broapway,
1879.
[Ad rights reserved,]



CHAPTER

I.

Il.
Ill.
IV.
V.
Vi.
VI.
VIII.
IX.

X.

XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV.
XVI.
XVII.
XVIUI.

CONTENTS.



PART THE FIRST.

THE ‘‘ PILGRIM”
THE APPRENTICE
A RESCUE

THE SURVIVORS OF THE ‘‘ WALDECK”

DINGO’S SAGACITY

A WHALE IN SIGHT
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK
A CATASTROPHE

DICK’S PROMOTION
THE NEW CREW
ROUGH WEATHER
HOPE REVIVED

LAND AT LAST
ASHORE

A STRANGER

THROUGH THE FOREST
MISGIVINGS

A TERRIBLE DISCOVERY

PART THE SECOND.

. THE DARK CONTINENT
II.
III.

ACCOMPLICES .
ON THE MARCH AGAIN .

PAGE

237
249
261



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

IV.
Vv.
VIL
VIL.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV.
XVI.
XVII.
XVIII.
XIX.

XX

ROUGH TRAVELLING

WHITE ANTS

A DIVING-BELL .

A SLAVE CARAVAN

NOTES BY THE WAY
KAZONDE

MARKET-DAY

A BOWL OF PUNCH

ROYAL OBSEQUIES

In- CAPTIVITY

A Ray oF HOPE

AN EXCITING CHASE

A MAGICIAN . .
DRIFTING DOWN THE STREAM
AN ANxIoUS VOYAGE

AN ATTACK

. A Happy REUNION .

PAGE
276
291
305
320
330
346
358
368
382
396
406
422
436
446
458
470
484



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

. _—_e—
Cousin Benedict . : . . . . ‘ . . :
Captain Hull advanced to meet Mrs. Weldon and her party . .
Negoro . : : . . : .
Dick and Little Jack . . . . . : . .

Negoro had approached without being noticed by any’one
The dog began to swim slowly and with manifest weakness towards the
boat .

Mrs. Weldon assisted by Nan and the ever active Dick Sands, was doing
everything in her power to restore consciousness to the poor sufferers

The good-natured negroes were ever ready to lend a helping hand

‘- There you are, then, Master Jack!”

Jack cried out in the greatest excitement that Dingo knew how to read

Negoro, with a threatening gesture that seemed half involuntary, with-
drew immediately to his accustomed quarters . . . .

‘* This Dingo is nothing out of the way” . : :

Occasionally Dick Sands would take a pistol, and now and then a rifle

‘* What a big fellow !” . . . :

The captain’s voice came from the retreating boat . . .

“T must get you to keep your eye upon that man”, . . .

The whale seemed utterly unconscious of the attack that was threaten-
ing it . : ; : : . : : : :

The boat was well-nigh full of water, and in imminent danger of being

capsized ; . . . ; : : .
There is no hope . . : : . . . : .
**Oh, we shall soon be on shore!”?. : . : . . .

“© Oh yes, Jack; you shall keep the wind in order”
All three of them fell flat upon the deck

Jack evidenced his satisfaction by giving his huge friend a hearty shake
of the hand . : : . : . . :

A light shadow glided stealthily along the deck . : : :
For half an hour Negoro stood motionless .

Under bare poles : . . : 7 . : :

PAGE

”
f

II
15
22
27



viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Quick as lightning, Dick Sands drew a revolver from his pocket . .
‘*There! look there!” . : . : . : . . .
** You have acquitted yourself like a man” . . : -

They both examined the outspread chart

The sea was furious, and dashed vehemently upon the crags on either
hand .

Surveying the shore with the air of a man who was trying to recall some
past experience

Not without emotion could Mrs. Weldon, or indeed any of them,
behold the unfortunate ship .

The entomologist was seen making his way down the face of the cliff at
the imminent risk of breaking his neck

‘*Good morning, my young friend”? . : : :

** He is my little son”

They came to a tree to which a horse was tethered

The way across the forest could scarcely be called a path
Occasionally the soil became marshy

A halt for the night . . . 7 : :

Hercules himself was the first to keep watch

“Don’t fre!” . : . .

A herd of gazelles dashed past him like a glowing cloud

A halt was made for the night beneath a grove of lofty trees
‘*Look here! here are hands, men’s hands”?

The man was gone, and his horse with him ! . . j . .
They were seated at the foot of an enormous banyan-tree, .
Both men, starting to their feet, looked anxiously around them
Dingo disappeared again amongst the bushes

** You must keep this a secret” . : . 7 . 7 .
‘¢ Harris has left us”

The march was continued with as much rapidity as was consistent with
caution : . : : . :

It was a scene only too common in Central Africa .

Another brilliant flash brought the camp once again into relief

One after another, the whole party made their way inside

Cousin Benedict’s curiosity was awakened , 7

The naturalist now fairly mounted on a favourite hobby

‘* My poor boy, I know everything” , . . : 7 . .

They set to work to ascertain what progress the water was making

PAGE
131
137
143

156
161
167

171
176
181
187
194,

197
201

205
212
215
219
227
231
248
253
259
263
267

273
278
283
288
294
298
303
307





LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. ix
PAGE
All fired simultaneously at the nearest boat . . 313
The giant clave their skulls with the butt end of his gun 318
The start was made : : : : ; : 328
If ever the havildar strolled a few yards away, Bat took the opportunity
of murmuring a few words of encouragement to his poor old father 332
The caravan had been attacked on the flank by a dozen or more
crocodiles 335
The creature that had sprung to my feet was Dingo 340
More slaves sick, and abandoned to take their chance . 343
Adjoining the commercial quarter was the royal residence 348
With a yell and a curse, the American fell dead at his feet 356
Accompanied by Coimbra, Alvez himself was one of the first arrivals 360
The potentate beneath whose sway the country trembled for a hundred
miles round 370
Alvez advanced and presented the king with some fresh tobacco 374
The king had taken fire internally 379
‘* Your life is in my hands !” 386
All his energies were restored. _ . . 389
Friendless and hopeless 394
He contented himself with the permission to go where he pleased within
the limits of the palisade 399
‘€T suppose Weldon will not mind coming to fetch you ?” 404
'. Livingstone 409
With none to guide him except a few natives 413
You are Dr, Livingstone, I presume ?”? 418
The insufferable heat had driven all the residents within the depdt indoors 426
Before long the old black speck was again flitting just above his head 429
For that day at least Cousin Benedict had lost his chance of being the
happiest of entomologists . . 434
The entire crowd joined in . : 440
‘* Here they are, captain ! both of them!! ” : 444
Hercules could leave the boat without much fear of detection . 452
It was caused by a troop of a hundred er more elephants 456
He stood face to face with his foe 460
Instantly five or six negroes scrambled down the piles 464.
Upon the smooth wood were two great letters in dingy red 472
The dog was griping the man by the throat . 476
The bullet shattered the rudder-scull into fragments 481



DICK SANDS,

THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER I.
THE “PILGRIM.”

ON the 2nd of February, 1873, the “ Pilgrim,” a tight little
craft of 400 tons burden, lay in lat. 43° 57’, S. and long.
165° 19’, W. She was a schooner, the property of James
W. Weldon, a wealthy Californian ship-owner who had
fitted her out at San Francisco, expressly for the whale-
fisheries in the southern seas.

James Weldon was accustomed every season to send his
whalers both to the Arctic regions beyond Behring
Straits, and to the Antarctic Ocean below Tasmania and
Cape Horn; and the “Pilgrim,” although one of the smallest,
was one of the best-going vessels of its class ; her sailing-
powers were splendid, and her rigging was so adroitly
adapted that with a very small crew she might venture
without risk within sight of the impenetrable ice-fields of
the southern hemisphere: under skilful guidance she could
dauntlessly thread her way amongst the drifting ice-bergs
that, lessened though they were by perpetual shocks and
undermined by warm currents, made their way north-
wards as far as the parallel of New Zealand or the Cape
of Good Hope, to a latitude corresponding to which in the
northern hemisphere they are never seen, having already
melted away in the depths of the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans.

B



2 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.





For several years the command of the “ Pilgrim” had been
entrusted to Captain Hull, an experienced seaman, and one
of the most dexterous harpooners in Weldon’s service.
The crew consisted of five sailors and an apprentice. This
number, of course, was quite insufficient for the process of
whale-fishing, which requires a large contingent both for
manning the wnale-boats and for cutting up the whales
after they are captured; but Weldon, following the
example of other owners, found it more-economical to em-
bark at San Francisco only just enough men to work the
ship to New Zealand, where, from the promiscuous gather-
ing of seamen of well-nigh every nationality, and of
needy emigrants, the captain had no difficulty in
engaging as many whalemen as he wanted for the season.
This method of hiring men who could be at once discharged
when their services were no longer required had proved
altogether to be the most profitable and convenient.

The “Pilgrim” had now just completed her annual
voyage to the Antarctic circle. It was not,-however, with her
proper quota of oil-barrels full to the brim, nor yet with an
ample cargo of cut and uncut whalebone, that she was thus
far on her way back. The time, indeed, for a good haul
was past; the repeated and vigourous attacks upon the
cetaceans had made them very scarce ; the whale known as
“the Right whale,” the “Nord-kapper” of the northern
fisheries, the “ Sulpher-boltone” of the southern, was hardly
ever to be seen; and. latterly the whalers had had no
alternative but to direct their efforts against the Finback or
Jubarte, a gigantic mammal, encounter with which is
always attended with considerable danger.

So scanty this year had been the supply of whales that
Captain Hull had resolved next year to push his way into
far more southern latitudes ; even, if necessary, to advance
to the regions known as Clarie and Adélie Lands, of which
the discovery, though claimed by the American navigator
Wilkes, belongs by right to the illustrious Frenchman
Dumont d’Urville, the commander of the “ Astrolabe” and
the “ Zélée.” ,

The season had been exceptionally unfortunate for the



THE “ PILGRIM.” 3

“Pilgrim.” At the beginning of January, almost in the
height of the southern summer, long before the ordinary
time for the whalers’ return, Captain Hull had been obliged
to abandon his fishing-quarters. His hired contingent, all
men of more than doubtful character, had given signs of
such insubordination as threatened to end in mutiny; and
he had become aware that he must part company with them
on the earliest possible opportunity. Accordingly, without
delay, the bow of the “ Pilgrim” was directed to the north-
west, towards New Zealand, which was sighted on the
15th of January, and on reaching Waitemata, the port of
Auckland, in the Hauraki Gulf, on the east coast of North
Island, the whole of the gang was peremptorily discharged.

The ship’s crew were more than dissatisfied. They were
angry. Never before had they returned with so meagre
a haul. They ought to have had at least two hundred
barrels more. The captain himself experienced all the
mortification of an ardent sportsman who for the first time
in his life brings home a half-empty bag ; and there was a
general spirit of animosity against the rascals whose rebellion
had so entirely marred the success of the expedition.

Captain Hull did everything in his power to repair the
disappointment ; he made every effort to engage a fresh
gang ; but it was too late; every available seaman had
long since been carried off to the fisheries. Finding there-
fore that all hope of making good the deficiency in his
cargo must be resigned, he was on the point of leaving
Auckland, alone with his crew, when he was met by a
request with which he felt himself bound to comply.

It had chanced that James Weldon, on one of those
journeys which were necessitated by the nature of his
business, had brought with him his wife, his son Jack, a
child of five years of age, and a relation of the family who
was generally known by the name of Cousin Benedict.
Weldon had of course intended that his family should
accompany him on his return home to San Francisco ; but
little Jack was taken so seriously ill, that his father, whose
affairs demanded his immediate return, was obliged to leave
him behind at Auckland with his wife and Cousin Benedict.

B 2



4 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



Three months had passed away, little Jack was convales-
cent, and Mrs, Weldon, weary of her long separation from her
husband, was anxious to get home as soon as possible. Her
readiest way of reaching San Francisco was to cross to
Australia, and thence to take a passage in one of the
vessels of the “Golden Age” Company, which run between
Melbourne and the Isthmus of Panama: on arriving in
Panama she would have to wait the departure of the next
American steamer of the line which maintains a regular
communication between the Isthmus and California. This
route, however, involved many stoppages and changes, such
as are always disagreeable and inconvenient for women
and children, and Mrs. Weldon was hesitating whether she
should encounter the journey, when she heard that her
husband’s vessel, the “ Pilgrim,” had arrived at Auckland.
Hastening to Captain Hull, she begged him to take her
with her little boy, Cousin Benedict, and Nan, an old
negress who had been her attendant from her childhood,
on board the “ Pilgrim,” and to convey them to San Fran-
cisco direct.

“Was it not over hazardous,” asked the captain, “to ven-
ture upon a voyage of between 5000 and 6000 miles in so
small a sailing-vessel ?”

But Mrs. Weldon urged her request, and Captain Hull,
confident in the sea-going qualities of his craft, and anti-
cipating at this season nothing but fair weather on either
side of the equator, gave his consent.

In order to provide as far as possible for the comfort of
the lady during a voyage that must occupy from forty to fifty
days, the captain placed his own cabin at her entire disposal.

Everything promised well for a prosperous voyage. The
only hindrance that could be foreseen arose from the cir-
cumstance that the “ Pilgrim” would have to put in at
Valparaiso for the purpose of unlading ; but that business
once accomplished, she would continue her way along
the American coast with the assistance of the land breezes,
which ordinarily make the proximity of those shores such
agreeable quarters for sailing.

Mrs. Weldon herself had accompanied her husband in



THE “ PILGRIM.” 5

so many voyages, that she was quite inured to all the
makeshifts of a seafaring life, and was conscious of no
misgiving in embarking upon a vessel of such small tonnage.
She was a brave, high-spirited woman of about thirty years
of age, in the enjoyment of excellent health, and for her
the sea had no terrors. Aware that Captain Hull was an
experienced man, in whom her husband had the utmost
confidence, and knowing that his ship was a substantial
craft, registered as one of the best of the American whalers,
so far from entertaining any mistrust as to her safety, she
only rejoiced in the opportuneness of the chance which
seemed to offer her a direct and unbroken route to her
destination.

Cousin Benedict, as a matter of course, was to accom-
pany her. He was about fifty ; but in spite of his mature
age it would have been considered the height of imprudence
to allow him to travel anywhere alone. Spare, lanky,
with a bony frame, with an enormous cranium, and a pro-
fusion of hair, he was one of those amiable, inoffensive
savants who, having once taken to gold spectacles, appear
to have arrived at a settled standard of age, and, however
long they live afterwards, seem never to be older than
they have ever been.

Claiming a sort of kindredship with all the world,
he was universally known, far beyond the pale of
his own connexions, by the name of “Cousin Benedict.”
In the ordinary concerns of life nothing would ever have
rendered him capable of shifting for himself; of his meals
he would never think until they were placed before him ;
he had the appearance of being utterly insensible to heat or
cold; he vegetated rather than lived, and might not
inaptly be compared to a tree which, though healthy
enough at its core, produces scant foliage and no fruit.
His long arms and legs were in the way of himself and
everybody else ; yet no one could possibly treat him with
unkindness. As M. Prudhomme would say, “if only he
had been endowed with capability,” he would have rendered
a service to any one in the world; but helplessness was
his dominant characteristic; helplessness was ingrained



6 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



into his very nature; yet this very helplessness made him
an object of kind consideration rather than of contempt, and
Mrs. Weldon looked upon him as a kind of elder brother
to her little Jack.

It must not be supposed, however, that Cousin Benedict
was either idle or unoccupied. On the contrary, his whole
time was devoted to one absorbing passion for natural
history. Not that he had any large claim to be regarded
properly as a natural historian ; he had made no excursions
over the whole four districts of zoology, botany, mineralogy,
and geology, into which the realms of natural history are
commonly divided ; indeed, he had no pretensions at all to
be either a botanist, a mineralogist, or a geologist ; his
studies only sufficed to make him a zoologist, and that in a
very limited sense. No Cuvier was he; he did not aspire
to decompose animal life by analysis, and to recompose it
by synthesis; his enthusiasm had not made him at all
deeply versed in vertebrata, mollusca, or radiata ; in fact,
the vertebrata—animals, birds, reptiles, fishes—had had no
place in his researches ; the mollusca—from the cephalopoda
to the bryozia—had had no attractions for him ; nor had
he consumed the midnight oil in investigating the radiata,
the echinodermata, acalephz, polypi, entozoa, or infusoria.

No ; Cousin Benedict’s interest began and ended with the
articulata ; and it must be owned at once that his studies
were very far from embracing all the range of the six
classes into which “articulata” are subdivided ; viz., the
insecta, the myriapoda, the arachnida, the crustacea, the
cirrhopoda, and the anelides ; and he was utterly unable
in scientific language to distinguish a worm from a leech,
an earwig from a sea-acorn,a spider from a scorpion, a
shrimp from a frog-hopper, or a galley-worm from a centi-
pede.

To confess the plain truth, Cousin Benedict was an
amateur entomologist, and nothing more.

Entomology, it may be asserted, is a wide science; it
embraces the whole division of the articulata;. but our
friend was an entomologist only in the limited sense of the
popular acceptation of the word; that is to say, he was an


















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Cousin Benedict. Page 6,






THE “ PILGRIM.” 9

observer and collector of insects, meaning by “insects”
those articulata which have bodies consisting of a number
of concentric movable rings, forming three distinct segments,
each with a pair of legs, and which are scientifically desig-
nated as hexapods.

To this extent was Cousin Benedict an entomologist ; and
when it is remembered that the class of insecta of which he
had grown up to be the enthusiastic student comprises no
less than ten’ orders, and that of these ten the coleoptera
and diptera alone include 30,000 and 60,000 species re-
spectively, it must be confessed that he had an ample field
for his most persevering exertions.

Every available hour did he spend in the pursuit of his
favourite science : hexapods ruled his thoughts by day and
his dreams by night. The number of pins that he carried
thick on the collar and sleeves of his coat, down the front
of his waistcoat, and on the crown of his hat, defied com-
putation ; they were kept in readiness for the capture of
specimens that might come in his way, and on his return
from aramble in the country he might be seen literally
encased with a covering of insects, transfixed adroitly by
scientific rule.

This ruling passion of his had been the inducement that
had urged him to accompany Mr. and Mrs. Weldon to New
Zealand. It had appeared to him that it was likely to be
a promising district, and now having been successful in
adding some rare specimens to his collection, he was anxious
to get back again to San Francisco, and to assign them
their proper places in his extensive cabinet.

Besides, it never occurred to Mrs. Weldon to start without
him. To leave him to shift for himself would be sheer
cruelty. As a matter of course whenever Mrs. Weldon went
on board the “ Pilgrim,’ Cousin Benedict would go too.

1 These ten orders are (1) the orthoptera, ¢. g. grasshoppers and crickets ;
(2) the neuroptera, ¢. g. dragon-flies ; (3) the hymenoptera, e. g. bees, wasps,
and ants ; (4) the lepidoptera, e.g. butterflies. and moths ; (5) the hemiptera,
é. g. cicadas and fleas ; (6) the coleoptera, ¢. 2. cockchafers and glow-worms ;
(7) the diptera, eg. gnats and flies ; (8) the rhipiptera, e.g. the stylops ; (9)
the parasites, e.g. the acarus; and (10) the thysanura, ¢.g. the lepisma and
podura.



Io DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,

Not that in any emergency assistance of any kind could be
expected from him ; on the contrary, in the case of difficulty
he would be an additional burden; but there was every
reason to expect a fair passage and no cause of misgiving
of any kind, so the propriety of leaving the amiable
entomologist behind was never suggested.

Anxious that she should be no impediment in the way
of the due departure of the “ Pilgrim” from Waitemata,
Mrs. Weldon made her preparations with the utmost haste,
discharged the servants which she had temporarily engaged
at Auckland, and accompanied by little Jack and the old
negress, and followed mechanically by Cousin Benedict,
embarked on the 22nd of January on board the schooner.

The amateur, however, kept his eye very scrupulously
upon his own special box. Amongst his collection of
insects were some very remarkable examples of new
staphylins, a species of carnivorous coleoptera with eyes
placed above their head; it was a kind supposed to be
peculiar to New Caledonia, Another rarity which had been
brought under his notice was a venomous spider, known
among the Maoris as a “ katipo ;” its bite was asserted to
be very often fatal. As a spider, however, belongs to the
order of the arachnida, and is not properly an “ insect,”
Benedict declined to take any interest in it. DEnough for
him that he had secured a novelty in his own section of
research ; the “ Staphylin Neo-Zelandus ” was not only the
gem.of his collection, but its pecuniary value baffled ordinary
estimate ; he insured his box at a fabulous sum, deeming it
to be worth far more than all the cargo of oil and whale-
bone in the “ Pilgrim’s” hold.

Captain Hull advanced to meet Mrs. Weldcu. and her
party as they stepped on deck.

“Tt must be understood, Mrs. Weldon,” he said, courteously
raising his hat, “that you take this passage entirely on
your own responsibility.”

“ Certainly, Captain Hull,” she answered ; “but why do
yo ask ?”

“Simply because I have received no orders from Mr.
Weldon,” replied the captain.



























































































































































































































































































































































































































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Page 10.



Captain Hull advanced to meet Mrs, Weldon and her party.






THE “ PILGRIM.” 13



“ But my wish exonerates you,” said Mrs. Weldon.

“ Besides,” added Captain Hull, “I am unable to provide
you with the accommodation and the comfort that you
would have upon a passenger steamer.”

“You know well enough, captain,” remonstrated the lady
“that my husband would not hesitate for a moment to
trust his wife and child on board the ‘ Pilgrim.’”

“Trust, madam! No! no more than I should myself. I
repeat that the ‘ Pilgrim’ cannot afford you the comfort
to which you are accustomed.”

Mrs. Weldon smiled.

“Oh, I am not one of your grumbling travellers. I shall
have no complaints to make either of small cramped
cabins, or of rough and meagre food.”

She took her son by the hand, and passing on, begged
that they might start forthwith. ,

Orders accordingly were given; sails were trimmed ;
and after taking the shortest course across the gulf, the
“ Pilgrim ” turned her head towards America.

Three days later strong easterly breezes compelled the
schooner to tack to larboard in order to get to windward.
The consequence was that by the 2nd of February the
captain found himself in such a latitude that he might
almost be suspected of intending to round Cape Horn rather
than of having a design to coast the western shores of the
New Continent.

Still, the sea did not become rough. There was a slight
delay, but, on the whole, navigation was perfectly easy.



14 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER II.
THE APPRENTICE.

THERE was no poop upon the “Pilgrim’s” deck, so that
Mrs. Weldon had no alternative than to acquiesce in the
captain’s proposal that she should occupy his own modest
cabin.

Accordingly, here she was installed with Jack and old
Nan; and here she took all her meals, in company with the
captain and Cousin Benedict.

For Cousin Benedict tolerably comfortable sleeping-
accommodation had been contrived close at hand, while
Captain Hull himself retired to the crew’s quarter, occupy-
ing the cabin which properly belonged to the chief mate,
but as already indicated, the services of a second officer
were quite dispensed with.

All the crew were civil and attentive to the wife of their
employer, a master to whom they were faithfully attached.
They were all natives of the coast of California, brave and
experienced seamen, and united by tastes and habits in a
common bond of sympathy. Few as they were in number,
their work was never shirked, not simply from the sense of
duty, but because they were directly interested in the profits
of their undertaking ; the success of their labours always
told to their own advantage. The present expedition was
the fourth that they had taken together ; and, as it turned out
to be the first in which they had failed to meet with success,
it may be imagined that they were full of resentment
against the mutinous whalemen who had been the cause of
so serious a diminution of their ordinary gains.





ol nL

i





Negoro.
Page 17.






THE APPRENTICE. 17

The only one on board who was not an American was a
man who had been temporarily engaged as cook. His
name was Negoro; he was a Portuguese by birth, but
spoke English with perfect fluency. The previous cook
had deserted the ship at Auckland, and when Negoro, who
was out of employment, applied for the place, Captain
Hull, only too glad to avoid detention, engaged him at
once without inquiry into his antecedents. There was not
the slightest fault to be found with the way in which the
cook performed his duties, but there was something in his
manner, or perhaps, rather in the expression of his counte-
nance, which excited the Captain’s misgivings, and. made
him regret that he had not taken more pains to investigate
the character of one with whom he was now brought into
such close contact.

Negoro looked about forty years of age. Although he
had the appearance of being slightly built, he was muscular;
he was of middle height, and seemed to have a robust con-
stitution ; his hair was dark, his complexion somewhat
swarthy. His manner was taciturn, and although, from
occasional remarks that he dropped, it was evident that he
had received some education, he was very reserved on the
subjects both of his family and of his past life. Noone knew
where he had come from, and he admitted no one to his
confidence as to where he was going, except that he made
no secret of his intention to land at Valparaiso. His free-
dom from sea-sickness demonstrated that this could hardly
be his first voyage, but on the other hand his complete
ignorance of seamen’s phraseology made it certain that
he had never been accustomed to his present occupation.
He kept himself aloof as much as possible from the rest of
the crew, during the day rarely leaving the great cast-iron
stove, which was out of proportion to the measurement of
the cramped little kitchen ; and at night, as soon as the fire
was extinguished, took the earliest opportunity of retiring
to his berth and going to sleep.

It has been already stated that the crew of the “Pilgrim”
consisted of five seamen and an apprentice. This appren-
tice was Dick Sands.

Cc



18 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



Dick was fifteen years old; he was a foundling, his
unknown parents having abandoned him at his birth, and
he had been brought up in a public charitable institution.
He had been called Dick, after the benevolent passer-by
who had discovered him when he was but an infant a few
hours old, and he had received the surname of Sands as a
memorial of the spot where he had been exposed, Sandy
Hook, a point at the mouth of the Hudson, where it forms
an entrance to the harbour of New York.

‘\s Dick was so young it was most likely he would yet
grow a little taller, but it did not seem probable that he
would ever exceed middle height, he looked too stoutly and
strongly built to grow much. His complexion was dark,
but his beaming blue eyes attested, with scarcely room for
doubt, his Anglo-Saxon origin, and his countenance
betokened energy and intelligence. The profession that he
had adopted seemed to have equipped him betimes for
fighting the battle of life.

Misquoted often as Virgil’s are the words

“ Audaces fortuna juvat !”
but the true reading is

“ Audentes fortuna juvat !”

and, slight as the difference may seem, it is very significant.
It is upon the confident rather than the rash, the daring
rather than the bold, that Fortune sheds her smiles; the
bold man often acts without thinking, whilst the daring
always thinks before he acts.

And Dick Sands was truly courageous ; he was one of
the daring. At fifteen years old, an age at which few boys
have laid aside the frivolities of childhood, he had acquired
the stability of a man, and the most casual observer could
scarcely fail to be attracted by his bright, yet thoughtful
countenance. At an early period of his life he had realized
all the difficulties of his position, and had made a resolution,
from which nothing tempted him to flinch, that he would
carve out for himself an honourable and independent career.
Lithe and agile in his movements, he was an adept in
every kind of athletic exercise ; and so marvellous was his



THE APPRENTICE. 19



success in everything he undertook, that he might almost
be supposed to be one of those gifted mortals who have two
right hands and two left feet.

Until he was four years old the little orphan had found
a home in one of those institutions in America where for-
saken children are sure of an asylum, and he was subse-
quently sent to an industrial school supported by charitable
aid, where he learnt reading, writing, and arithmetic. From
the days of infancy he had never deviated from the ex-
pression of his wish to be a sailor, and accordingly, as soon
as he was eight, he was placed as cabin-boy on board one
of the ships that navigate the Southern Seas. The officers
all took a peculiar interest in him, and he received, in con-
sequence, a thoroughly good grounding in the duties’ and
discipline of a seaman’s life. There was no room to doubt
that he must ultimately rise ‘to eminence in his profession,
for when a child from the very first has been trained in the
knowledge that he must gain his bread by the sweat of his
brow, it is comparatively rare that he lacks the will to do so.

Whilst he was still acting as cabin-boy on one .of those
trading-vessels, Dick attracted the notice of Captain Hull,
who took a fancy to the lad and introduced him to his
employer. Mr. Weldon at once took a lively interest in
Dick’s welfare, and had his education continued in San
Francisco, taking care that he was instructed in the doctrines
of the Roman Catholic Church, to which his own family
belonged.

Throughout his studies Dick Sands favourite subjects
were always those which had a reference to his future
profession ; he mastered the details of the geography of the
world ; he applied himself diligently to such branches of
mathematics as were necessary for the science of navigation ;
whilst for recreation in his hours of Icisure, he would
greedily devour every book of adventure in travel that came
in his way. Nor did he omit duly to combine the practical
with the theoretical ; and when he was bound apprentice
on board the “ Pilgrim,” a vessel not only belonging to his
benefactor, but under the command of his kind friend
Captain Hull, he congratulated himself most heartily, and

Cc 2



20 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

felt that the experience he should gain in the southern
whale-fisheries could hardly fail to be of service to him in
after-life. A first-rate sailor ought to be a first-rate fisher-
man too.

It was a matter of the greatest pleasure to Dick Sands
when he heard to his surprise that Mrs. Weldon was about
to become a passenger on board the “Pilgrim.” His
devotion to the family of his benefactor was large and
genuine. For several years Mrs. Weldon had acted towards
him little short of a mother’s part, and for Jack, although he
never forgot the difference in their position, he entertained
well-nigh a brother’s affection. His friends had the satisfac-
tion of being assured that they had sown the seeds of
kindness on a generous soil, for there was no room to doubt
that the heart of the orphan boy was overflowing with
sincere gratitude. Should the occasion arise, ought he not,
he asked, to be ready to sacrifice everything in behalf of
those to whom he was indebted not only for his start in
life, but for the knowledge of all that was right and holy?

Confiding in the good principles of her protégé, Mrs.
Weldon had no hesitation in entrusting her little son to his
especial charge. During the frequent periods of leisure,
when the sea was fair, and the sails required no shifting,
the apprentice was never weary of amusing Jack by making
him familiar with the practice of a sailor’s craft; he made
him scramble up the shrouds, perch upon the yards, and
slip down the back-stays ; and the mother had no alarm ;
her assurance of Dick Sands’ ability and watchfulness to
protect her boy was so complete that she could only
rejoice in an occupation for him that seemed more than any-
thing to restore the colour he had lost in his recent illness.

Time passed on without incident ; and had it not been
for the constant prevalence of an adverse wind, neither pas-
sengers nor crew could have found the least cause of com-
plaint. The pertinacity, however, with which the wind kept
to the east could not do otherwise than make Captain Hull
somewhat concerned; it absolutely prevented him from
getting his ship into her proper course, and he could not
altogether suppress his misgiving that the calms near the














































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Page 20,

Dick and little Jack.



THE APPRENTICE, 23



Tropic of Capricorn, and the equatorial current driving him
on westwards, would entail a delay that might be serious.

It was principally on Mrs. Weldon’s account that the Cap-
tain began to feel uneasiness, and he made up his mind that if
he could hail a vessel proceeding to America he should ad-
vise his passengers to embark on her; unfortunately, how-
ever, he felt that they were still in a latitude far too much
to the south to make it likely that they should sight a
steamer going to Panama; and at that date, communication
between Australia and the New World was much less fre-
quent than it has since become.

Still, nothing occurred to interrupt the general monotony
of the voyage until the 2nd of February, the date at which
our narrative commences.

It was about nine o'clock in the morning of that day that
Dick and little Jack had perched themselves together on
the top-mast-yards. The weather was very clear, and they
could see the horizon right round except the section behind
them, hidden by the brigantine-sail on the main-mast.
Below them, the bowsprit seemed to lie along the water with
its stay-sails attached like three unequal wings ; from the lads’
feet to the deck was the smooth surface of the fore-mast ;
and above their heads nothing but the small top-sail and
the top-mast. ‘The schooner was running on the larboard
tack as close to the wind as possible.

Dick Sand was pointing out to Jack how well the ship
was ballasted, and was trying to explain how it was
impossible for her to capsize, however much she heeled to
starboard, when suddenly the little fellow cried out,—

“T can see something in the water!”

“Where? what?” exclaimed Dick, clambering to his
feet upon the yard.

“There!” said the child, directing attention to the
portion of the sea-surface that was visible between the
stay-sails,

Dick fixed his gaze intently for a moment, and then
shouted out lustily,—

“Look out in front, to starboard! There is something
afloat. To windward, look out |”



24 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.
T

CHAPTER III.
A RESCUE.

AT the sound of Dick’s voice all the crew, in a moment,
were upon the alert. The men who were not on watch
rushed to the deck, and Captain Hull hurried from his
cabin to the bows. Mrs. Weldon, Nan, and even Cousin
Benedict leaned over the starboard taffrails, eager to get a
glimpse of what had thus suddenly attracted the attention
of the young apprentice. With his usual indifference,
Negoro did not leave his cabin, and was the only person on
board who did not share the general excitement.

Speculations were soon rife as to what could be the
nature of the floating object which could be discerned
about three miles ahead. Suggestions of various character
were freely made. One of the sailors declared that it
looked to him only like an abandoned raft, but Mrs.
Weldon observed quickly that if it were a raft it might
be carrying some unfortunate shipwrecked men who must
be rescued if possible. Cousin Benedict asserted that it
was nothing more nor less than a huge sea-monster ; but
the captain soon arrived at the conviction that it was the
hull of a vessel that had heeled over on to its side, an opinion
with which Dick thoroughly coincided, and went so far as
to say that he believed he could make out the copper keel
glittering in the sun.

“Luff, Bolton, luff!” shouted Captain Hull to the
helmsman ; “we will at any rate lose no time in getting
alongside.”

“ Ay, ay, sir,” answered the helmsman, and the “ Pil-
grim ” in an instant was stecred according to orders,



A. RESCUE. 25

$e

In spite, however, of the convictions of the captain and
Dick, Cousin Benedict would not be moved from _ his
opinion that the object of their curiosity was some huge
cetacean.

“Tt is certainly dead, then,” remarked Mrs. Weldon ; “ it
is perfectly motionless.”

“Oh, that’s because it is asleep,” said Benedict, who,
although he would have willingly given up all the whales
in the ocean for one rare specimen of an insect, yet could
not surrender his own belief.

“Easy, Bolton, easy!” shouted the captain when they
were getting nearer the floating mass; “don’t let us be
running foul of the thing; no good could come from
knocking a hole in our side; keep out from it a good
cable’s length.”

“ Ay, ay, sir,” replied the helmsman, in his usual cheery
way ; and by an easy turn of the helm the “ Pilgrim’s”
course was slightly modified so as to avoid all fear of
collision.

The excitement of the sailors by this time had become
more intense. Ever since the distance had been less than
a mile all doubt had vanished, and it was certain that what
was attracting their attention was the hull of a capsized
ship. They knew well enough the established rule that a
third of all salvage is the right of the finders, and they were
filled with the hope that the hull they were nearing might
contain an undamaged cargo, and be “a good haul,” to
compensate them for their ill-success in the last season.

A quarter of an hour later and the “ Pilgrim” was within
half a mile of the deserted vessel, facing her starboard side.
Water-logged to her bulwarks, she had heeled over so com-
pletely that it would have been next to impossible to stand
upon her deck. Of her masts nothing was to be seen; a
few ends of cordage were all that remained of her shrouds,
and the try-sail chains were hanging all broken. On the
starboard flank was an enormous hole.

“ Something or other has run foul of her,” said Dick.

“No doubt of that,’ replied the captain; “the only
Wonder is that she did not sink immediately.”



26 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

“Oh, how I hope the poor crew have been saved!” ex-
claimed Mrs. Weldon.

“Most probably,” replied the captain, “they would ali
have taken to the boats. It is as likely as not that the
ship which did the mischief would continue its course quite
unconcerned.”

“Surely, you cannot mean,” cried Mrs. Weldon, “ that
any one could be capable of such inhumanity ?”

“Only too probable,’ answered Captain Hull; “ un-
fortunately, such instances are very far from rare.”

He scanned the drifting ship carefully and continued,—

“No; I cannot see any sign of boats here; I should
guess that the crew have made an atteript to get to land ;
at such a distance as this, however, from America or from
the islands of the Pacific I should be afraid that it must
be hopeless.”

“Ts it not possible,’ asked Mrs. Weldon, “that some
poor creature may still survive on board, who can tell what
has happened ?” ;

“Hardly likely, madam; otherwise there would have
‘been some sort of a signal in sight. But it is a matter
about which we will make sure.”

The captain waved his hand a little in the direction in
which he wished to go, and said quietly,—

“ Luff, Bolton, luff a bit !”

The “Pilgrim” by this time was not much more than
three cables’ lengths from the ship; there was still no
token of her being otherwise than utterly deserted, when
Dick Sands suddenly exclaimed,—

“Hark! if I am not much mistaken, that is a dog
barking!”

Every one listened attentively ; it was no fancy on Dick’s
part; sure enough a stifled barking could be heard, as if
some unfortunate dog had been imprisoned beneath the
hatchways; but as the deck was not yet visible, it was
impossible at present to determine the precise truth,

Mrs. Weldon pleaded,—

“Tf it is only a dog, captain, let it be saved!”

“Oh, yes, yes, mamma, the dog must be saved!” cried





























Negoro had approached without being noticed by any one. Page 29.






A RESCUE. 29

little Jack; “I will go and get a bit of sugar ready
for it.”

“A bit of sugar, my child, will not be much for a starved
dog.”

“Then it shall have my soup, and I will: do without,”
said the boy, and he kept shouting, “Good dog! good
dog!” until he persuaded himself that he heard the animal
responding to his call.

The vessels were now scarcely three hundred feet apart ;
the barking was more and more distinct, and presently a
great dog was seen clinging to the starboard netting. It
barked more desperately than ever.

“ Howick,” said Captain Hull, calling to the boatswain,
“heave to, and lower the small boat.”

The sails were soon trimmed so as to bring the schooner
to a standstill within half a cable’s length of the disabled
craft, the boat was lowered, and the captain and Dick, with
a couple of sailors, went on board. The dog kept up a
continual yelping; it made the most vigourous efforts
to retain its hold upon the netting, but perpetually slipped
backwards and fell off again upon the inclining deck. It
was soon manifest, however, that all the noise the creature
was making was not directed exclusively towards those
who were coming to its rescue, and Mrs. Weldon could not
divest herself of the impression that there must be some
survivors still on board. All at once the animal changed
its gestures. Instead of the crouching attitude and sup-
plicating whine with which it seemed to be imploring the
compassion of those who were nearing it, it suddenly
appeared to become bursting with violence and furious
with rage.

“What ails the brute?” exclaimed Captain Hull.

But already the boat was on the farther side of the
wrecked ship, and the captain was not in a position to
see that Negoro the cook had just come on to the schooner's
deck, or that it was obvious that it was against him that
the dog had broken out in such obstreperous fury. Negoro
had approached without being noticed by any one; he
made his way to the forecastle, whence, without a word



30 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

or look of surprise, he gazed a moment at the dog, knitted
his brow, and, silent and unobserved as he had come, .
retired to his kitchen. :

As the boat had rounded the stern of the drifting hull, it
had been observed that the one word “Waldeck” was
painted on the aft-board, but that there was no intimation
of the port to which the ship belonged. To Captain Hull’s
experienced eye, however, certain details of construction
gave a decided confirmation to the probability suggested
by her name that she was of American build.

Of what had once been a fine brig of 500 tons burden
this hopeless wreck was now all that remained. The large
hole near the bows indicated the place where the disastrous
shock had occurred, but as, in the heeling over, this aperture
had been carried some five or six feet above the water, the
vessel had escaped the immediate foundering which must
otherwise have ensued ; but still it wanted only the rising
of a heavy swell to submerge the ship at any time in a few
minutes. ;

It did not take many more strokes to bring the boat close
to the larboard bulwark, which was half out of the water,
and Captain Hull obtained a view of the whole length of
the deck. It was clear from end to end. Both masts had
been snapped off within two feet of their sockets, and had
been swept away with shrouds, stays, and rigging. Not a
single spar was to be seen floating anywhere within sight
of the wreck, a circumstance from which it was to be
inferred that several days at least had elapsed since the
catastrophe.

Meantime the dog, sliding down from the taffrail, got to
the centre hatchway, which was open. Here it continued
to bark, alternately directing its eyes above deck and
below.

“Look at that dog!” said Dick ; “I begin to think there
must be somebody on board.”

“Tf so,” answered the captain, “he must have died of
hunger ; the water of course has flooded the store-room.”

“No,” said Dick; “that dog wouldn’t look like that if
there were nobody there alive.”



































































































































































































































































































lhe dog began Lo swim slowly and with manifest weakness fee the boat,
age 33.






A RESCUE, : 33

Taking the boat as close as was prudent to the wreck,
the captain and Dick called and whistled repeatedly to the
dog, which after a while let itself slip into the sea, and began
to swim slowly and with manifest weakness towards the
boat. As soon as it was lifted in, the animal, instead of
devouring the piece of bread that was offered him, made its
way to a bucket containing a few drops of fresh water, and

“began eagerly to lap them up.

“The poor wretch is dying of thirst!” said Dick.

It soon appeared that the dog was very far from being
engrossed with its own interests. The boat was being
pushed back a few yards in order to allow the captain to
ascertain the most convenient place to get alongside the
“Waldeck,” when the creature seized Dick by the jacket,
and set up a howl that was almost human in its piteousness.
It was evidently in a state of alarm that the boat was
not going to return to the wreck. The dog’s meaning could
not be misunderstood. The boat was accordingly brought
against the larboard side of the vessel, and while the two
sailors lashed her securely to the “ Waldeck’s” cat-head,
Captain Hull and Dick, with the dog persistently accom-
panying them, clambered, after some difficulty, to the open
hatchway between the stumps of the masts, and made their
way into the hold. It was half full of water, but perfectly
destitute of cargo, its sole contents being the ballast sand
which had slipped to larboard, and now served tc keep the
vessel on her side.

One glance was sufficient to convince the captain that
there was no salvage to be effected.

“There is nothing here ; nobody here,” he said.

“So I see,” said the apprentice, who had made his way
to the extreme fore-part of the hold.

“Then we have only to go up again,” remarked the
captain.

They ascended the ladder, but no sooner did they re-
appear upon the deck than the dog, barking irrepres-
sibly, began trying manifestly to drag them towards the
stern.

Yielding to what might be called the importunities of the



34 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

dog, they followed him to the poop, and there, by the dim
glimmer admitted by the sky-light, Captain Hull made out
the forms of five bodies, motionless and apparently lifeless,
stretched upon the floor.

One after another, Dick hastily examined them all, and
emphatically declared it to be his opinion, that not one of
them had actually ceased to breathe ; whereupon the captain
did not lose a minute in summoning the two sailors to his
aid, and although it was far from an easy task, he succeeded
in getting the five unconscious men, who were all negroes,
conveyed safely to the boat.

The dog followed, apparently satisfied.

With all possible speed the boat made its way back
again to the “Pilgrim,” a girt-line was lowered from the
mainyard, and the unfortunate men were raised to the
deck.

“Poor things!” said Mrs. Weldon, as she looked com-
passionately on the motionless forms.

“But they are not dead,” cried Dick eagerly ; “ they are
not dead ; we shall save them all yet!”

“What's the matter with them ?” asked Cousin Benedict,
looking at them with utter bewilderment.

“We shall hear all about them soon, I dare say,” said
the captain, smiling ; “but first we will give them a few
drops of rum in some water.”

Cousin Benedict smiled in return.

“Negoro!” shouted the captain.

At the sound of the name, the dog, who had hitherto
been quite passive, growled fiercely, showed his teeth, and
exhibited every sign of rage. -

The cook did not answer.

“Negoro!” again the captain shouted, and the dog
became yet more angry.

At this second summons Negoro slowly left his kitchen,
but no sooner had he shown his face upon the deck than
the animal made a rush at him, and would unquestionably
have seized him by the throat if the man had not knocked
him back with a poker which he had brought with him in
his hand, ,



A RESCUE. 35

The infuriated beast was secured by the sailors, and
prevented from inflicting any serious injury.

“Do you know this dog?” asked the captain.

“Know him? Not I! I have never set eyes on the
brute in my life.”

“Strange!” muttered Dick to himself; “there is some
mystery here. We shall sce.”



36 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER IV.
TIIE SURVIVORS OF THE “ WALDECK.”

IN spite of the watchfulness of the French and English
cruisers, there is no doubt that the slave-trade is still
extensively carried on in all parts of equatorial Africa, and
that year after year vessels loaded with slaves leave the
coasts of Angola and Mozambique to transport their living
freight to many quarters even of the civilized world.

Of this Captain Hull was well aware, and although he
was now in a latitude which was comparatively little
traversed by such slavers, he could not help almost involun-
tarily conjecturing that the negroes they had just found
must be part of a slave-cargo which was on its way to some
colony of the Pacific ; if this were so, he would at least
have the satisfaction of announcing to them that they had
regained their freedom from the moment that they came on
board the “ Pilgrim.”

Whilst these thoughts were passing through his mind,
Mrs. Weldon, assisted by Nan and the ever active Dick
Sands, was doing everything in her power to restore con-
sciousness to the poor sufferers. - The judicious administra-
tion of fresh water and a. limited quantity of food soon had
the effect of making them revive; and when they were
restored to their senses it was found that the eldest of them,
a man of about sixty years of age, who immediately regained
his powers of speech, was able to reply in good English to
all the questions that were put to him. In answer to
Captain Hull’s inquiry whether they were not slaves, the
old negro proudly stated that he and his companions were





























an and the ever active Dick Sands, was doing
ifferers.
Page 36.

Mrs, Weldon, assisted by N:

everything in her power to restore conscivusness to the poor st






THE SURVIVORS OF THE “WALDECK.” 39



all free American citizens, belonging to the state of Penn-
sylvania.

“Then, let me assure you, my friend,” said the captain,
“you have by no means compromised your liberty in having
been brought on board the American schooner ‘ Pilgrim.’”

Not merely, as it seemed, on account of his age and
experience, but rather because of a certain superiority and
greater energy of character, this old man was tacitly
recognized as the spokesman of his party ; he freely com-
municated all the information that Captain Hull required
to hear, and by degrees he related all the details of his
adventures.

He said that his name was Tom, and that when he was
only six years of age he had been sold as a slave, and
brought from his home in Africa to the United States ; but
by the act of emancipation he had long since recovered his
freedom. His companions, who were all much younger
than himself, their ages ranging from twenty-five to thirty,
were all free-born, their parents having been emancipated
before their birth, so that no white man had ever exercised
upon them the rights of ownership. One of them was his
own son; his name was Bat (an abbreviation of Bartholo-
mew) ; and there were three others, named Austin, Acteon,
and Hercules. All four of them were specimens of that
stalwart race that commands so high a price in the African
market, and in spite of the emaciation induced by their
recent sufferings, their muscular, well-knit frames betokened
a strong and healthy constitution. Their manner bore the
impress of that solid education which is given in the North
American schools, and their speech had lost all trace of the
“nigger-tongue,” a dialect without articles or inflexions,
which since the anti-slavery war has almost died out in the
United States.

Three years ago, old Tom stated, the five men had been
engaged by an Englishman who had large property in
South Australia, to work upon his estates near Melbourne,
Here they had realized a considerable profit, and upon the
completion of their engagement they determined to return
With their savings to America. Accordingly, on the 5th of



40 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



January, after paying their passage in the ordinary way,
they embarked. at Melbourne on board the “ Waldeck.”
Everything went on well for seventeen days, until, on the
night of the 22nd, which was very dark, they were run into
by a great steamer. They were all asleep in their berths,
but, roused by the shock of the collision, which was ex-
tremely severe, they hurriedly made their way on to the
deck. The scene was terrible ; both masts were gone, and
the brig, although the water had not absolutely flooded her
hold so as to make her sink, had completely heeled over on
her side. Captain and crew had entirely disappeared, some
probably having been dashed into the sea, others perhaps
having saved themselves by clinging to the rigging of the
ship which had fouled them, and which could be dis-
tinguished through the darkness rapidly receding in the
distance. For a while they were paralyzed, but they soon
awoke to the conviction that they were left alone upon a
half-capsized and disabled hull, twelve hundred miles from
the nearest land.

Mrs. Weldon was loud in her expression of indignation
that any captain should have the barbarity to abandon an
unfortunate vessel! with which his own carelessness had
brought him into collision. It would be bad enough, she
said for a driver on a public road, when it might be pre-
sumed that help would be forthcoming, to pass on uncon-
cerned after causing an accident to another vehicle ; but
how much more shameful to desert the injured on the open
sea, where the victims of his incompetence could have no
chance of obtaining succour! Captain Hull could only
repeat what he had said before, that incredibly atrocious as
it might seem, such inhumanity was far from rare.

On resuming his story, Tom said that he and his com-
panions soon found that they had no means left for getting
away from the capsized brig; both the boats had) been
crushed in the collision, so that they: had no alternative
except to await the appearance of a passing vessel, whilst
the. wreck was drifting hopelessly along under the action of
the currents. This accounted for the fact of their being
found so far south of their proper course.



THE SURVIVORS OF THE “ WALDECK.” - Al

For the next ten days the negroes had subsisted upon a
few scraps of food that they found in the stern cabin; but
as the store room was entirely under water, they were quite
unable to obtain a drop of anything to drink, and the fresh-
water tanks that had been lashed to the deck had been
stove in at the time of the catastrophe. Tortured with
thirst, the poor men had suffered agonies, and having on
the previous night entirely lost consciousness, they must
soon have died if the “ Pilgrim’s” timely arrival had not
effected their rescue.

All the outlines of Tom’s narrative were fully confirmed
by the other negroes ; Captain Hull could see no reason to
doubt it ; indeed, the facts seemed to speak for them-
selves.

One other survivor of the wreck, if he had been gifted
with the power of speech, would doubtless have corroborated
the testimony. This was the dog who seemed to have
such an unaccountable dislike to Negoro.

Dingo, as the dog was named, belonged to the fine breed
of mastiffs peculiar to New Holland. It was not, however,
from Australia, -but from the coast of West Africa, near the
mouth of the Congo, that the animal had come. He had
been picked up there, two years previously, by the captain
of the “ Waldeck,” who had found: him wandering about
and more than half starved. The initials S. V. engraved
upon his collar were the only tokens that the dog had
a past history of his own. After he had been taken on
board the “Waldeck,” he remained quite unsociable,
apparently ever pining for some lost master, whom he had
failed to find in the desert land where he had been met
with.

Larger than the dogs of the Pyrenees, Dingo was a mag-
nificent example of his kind. Standing on his hind legs,
with his head thrown back, he was as tall asa man. His
agility and strength would have made him a sure match
for a panther, and he would not have flinched at facing a
bear. His fine shaggy coat was a dark tawny colour,
shading off somewhat lighter round the muzzle, and
his long bushy tail was as strong asa lion’s. If he were



42 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

made angry, no doubt he might become a most formidable
foe, so that it was no wonder that Negoro did not feel
altogether gratified at his reception.

But Dingo, though unsociable, was not savage. Old
Tom said that, on board the “ Waldeck,” he had noticed that
the animal seemed to have a particular dislike to negroes ;
not that he actually attempted to do them any harm, only
he uniformly avoided them, giving an impression that he
must have been systematically ill-treated by the natives of
that part of Africa in which he had been found. During
the ten days that had elapsed since the collision, Dingo
had kept resolutely aloof from Tom and his companions ;
they could not tell what he had been feeding on; they
only knew that, like themselves, he had suffered an excru-
ciating thirst.

Such had been the experience of the survivors of the
“Waldeck.” Their situation had been most critical. Even
if they survived the pangs of want of food, the slightest
gale or the most inconsiderable swell might at any moment
have sunk the water-logged ship, and had it not been that
calms and contrary winds had contributed to the opportune
arrival of the “ Pilgrim,” an inevitable fate was before them ;
their corpses must lie at the bottom of the sea.

Captain Hull’s act of humanity, however, would not be
complete unless he succeeded in restoring the shipwrecked
men to their homes. This he promised to do. After com-
pleting the unlading at Valparaiso, the “Pilgrim” would
make direct for California, where, as Mrs. Weldon assured
them, they would be most hospitably received by her hus-
band, and provided with the necessary means for return-
ing to Pennsylvania.

The five men, who, as the consequence of the shipwreck,
had lost all the savings of their last three years of toil,
were profoundly grateful to their kind-hearted benefactors ;
nor, poor negroes as they were, did they utterly resign the
hope that at some future time they might have it in their
power to repay the debt which they owed their deliverers,


































































































































































Z
TENN

Ih

ATL 4 ry



‘The good-natured negroes were ever ready to lend a helping hand.
Lage 45:



DINGO’S SAGACITY. 45



CHAPTER V.
DINGO’S SAGACITY.

MEANTIME the “ Pilgrim” pursued her course, keeping as
much as possible to the east, and before eveniug closed in
the hull of the “ Waldeck” was out of sight.

Captain Hull still continued to feel uneasy about the
constant prevalence of calms; not that for himself he
cared much about the delay of a week or two in a voyage
from New Zealand to Valparaiso, but he was disappointed
at the prolonged inconvenience it caused to his lady
passenger. Mrs. Weldon, however, submitted to the
detention very philosophically, and did not utter a word of
complaint.

The captain’s next care was to improvise sleeping
accommodation for Tom and his four associates. No room
for them could possibly be found in the crew's quarters, so
that their berths had to be arranged under the forecastle ;
and as long as the weather continued fine, there was no
reason why the negroes, accustomed as they were to a
somewhat rough life, should not find themselves sufficiently
comfortable. ;

After this incident of the discovery of the wreck, life on
board the “Pilgrim” relapsed into its ordinary routine.
With the wind invariably in the same direction, the sails
required very little shifting ; but whenever it happened, as
occasionally it would, that there was any tacking to be
done, the good-natured negroes were ever ready to lend a
helping hand; and the rigging would creak again under
the weight of Hercules, a great strapping fellow, six feet



46 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

high, who seemed almost to require ropes of extra strength
made for his special use.

Hercules became at once a great favourite with little
Jack ; and when the giant lifted him like a doll in his
stalwart arms, the child fairly shrieked with delight.

“Higher! higher! very high!” Jack would say some-
times.

“There you are, then, Master Jack,” Hercules would
reply as he raised him aloft.

“Am I heavy ?” asked the child,

“ As heavy as a feather.”

“ Then lift me higher still,” cried Jack; “as high as ever
you can reach.”

And Hercules, with the child’s two feet supported on
his huge palm, would walk about the deck with him like
an acrobat, Jack all the time endeavouring, with vain
efforts, to make him “feel his weight.” ,

Besides Dick Sands and-Hercules, Jack admitted a
third friend to his companionship. This was Dingo. The
dog, unsociable as he had been on beard the “ Waldeck,”
seemed to have found society more congenial to his tastes,
and being one of those animals that are fond of children, he
allowed jack to do with him almost anything he pleased.
The child, however, never thought of hurting the dog in
any way, and it was doubtful which of the two had the
greater enjoyment of their mutual sport. Jack found a
live dog infinitely more entertaining than his old toy upon
its four wheels, and his: great delight was to mount upon
Dingo’s back, when the animal would gallop off with him
like a race-horse with his jockey. It must be owned ‘that
one result of this intimacy was a serious diminution of the
supply of sugar in the store-room. Dingo was the delight
of all the crew excepting Negoro, who cautiously avoided
coming in contact with an animal who showed such
unmistakable symptoms of hostility.

The new companions that Jack had thus found did not
in the least make him forget. his old friend Dick Sands,
who devoted all his leisure time to him as assiduously as
ever. Mrs. Weldon regarded their intimacy with the
















































DINGO’S SAGACITY. 49



greatest satisfaction, and one day made a remark to that
effect in the presence of Captain Hull.

“You are right, madam,” said the captain cordially ;
“Dick is a capital fellow, and will be sure to be a first-rate
sailor. He has an instinct which is little short of a genius;
it supplies all deficiencies of theory. Considering how
short an experience and how little instruction he has
had, it is quite wonderful how much he knows about a ship.”

“Certainly for his age,” assented Mrs. Weldon, “he is
singularly advanced. I can safely say that I have never
had a fault to find with him. I believe that it is my
husband's intention, after this voyage, to let him have
systematic training in navigation, so that he may be
able ultimately to become a captain.”

“JT have no misgivings, madam,” replied the captain ;
“there is every reason to expect that he will be an honour
to the service.”

“Poor orphan!” said.the lady ; “he has been trained in
a hard school.”

“Its lessons have not been lost upon him,” rejoined
Captain Hull; “they have taught him the prime lesson
that he has his own way to make in the world.”

The eyes of the two speakers turned as it were
unwittingly in the direction where Dick Sands happened
to be standing. He was at the helm. —

“Look at him now!” said the captain; “see how
steadily he keeps his eye upon the fore; nothing distracts
bim from his duty; he is as much to be depended on as
the most experienced helmsman. It was a capital thing
for him that he began his training asa cabin-boy. Nothing
like it. Begin at the beginning. It is the best of training
for the merchant service.”

“But surely,” interposed Mrs. Weldon, “you would not
deny that in the navy there have been many good officers
who have never had the training of which you are
speaking ?”

“True, madam ; but yet even some of the best of them
have begun at the lowest step of the ladder. For instance,
Tord Nelson,”



50 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Just at this instant Cousin Benedict emerged from the
stern-cabin, and compietely absorbed, according to his wont,
in his own pursuit, began to wander up and down the deck,
peering into the interstices of the network, rummaging
under the seats, and drawing his long fingers along the
cracks in the floor where the tar had crumbled away.

“Well, Benedict, how are you getting on?’ asked
Mrs Weldon.

“I? Oh, well enough, thank you,” he replied dreamily ;
“but I wish we were on shore.”

“What were you looking for under that bench?” said
Captain Hull.

“Insects, of course,” answered Benedict ; “I am always
looking for insects.”

“But don’t you know, Benedict,’ said Mrs. Weldon,
“that Captain Hull is far too particular to allow any vermin
on the deck of his vessel?”

Captain Hull smiled and said,—

“Mrs Weldon is very complimentary ; but Iam really
inclined to hope that your investigations in the cabins of
the ‘Pilgrim’ will not be attended with much success.”

Cousin Benedict shrugged his shoulders in a manner
that indicated that he was aware that the cabins could
furnish nothing attractive in the way of insects.

“ However,” continued the captain, “I dare say down ia
the hold you could find some cockroaches ; but cockroaches,
I presume, would be of little or no interest to you.”

“No interest?” cried Benedict, at once warmed into en-
thusiasm ; “why, are they not the very orthoptera that
roused the imprecations of Virgil and Horace? Are they
not closely allied to the Reriplaneta orientalis and the
American Kakerlac, which inhabit—

“T should rather say infest,” interrupted the captain.

“Easy enough to see, sir,” replied Benedict, stopping
short with amazement, “that you are not an entomo-
logist !”

“T fear I must plead guilty to your accusation,” said the
captain good-humouredly.

“You must not expect every one to be suck: au enthu-



DINGO’S SAGACITY. 52

siast in your favourite study as yourself,’ Mrs. Weldon
interposed ; “ but are you not satisfied with the result of
your explorations in New Zealand ?”

“Yes, yes,” answered Benedict, with a sort of hesitating
reluctance; “I must not say I was dissatisfied; I was
really very delighted to secure that new staphylin which
hitherto had never been seen elsewhere than in New
California ; but still, you know, an entomologist is always
craving for fresh additions to his collection.”

While he was speaking, Dingo, leaving little Jack, who
was romping with him, came and jumped on Benedict, and
began to fawn on him.

“Get away, you brute!” he exclaimed, thrusting the dog
aside.

“Poor Dingo! good dog!” cried Jack, running up and
taking the animal’s huge head between his tiny hands.

“Your interest in cockroaches, Mr. Benedict,” observed
the captain, “does not seem to extend to dogs.”

“Tt isn’t that I dislike dogs at all,” answered Benedict ;
“but this creature has disappointed me.”

“How do you mean? You could hardly want to cata-
logue him with the diptera or hymenoptera ?” asked Mrs
Weldon laughingly.

“Oh, not atall,” replied Benedict, with the most unmoved
gravity. “ ButI understood that he had been found on the
West Coast of Africa, and I hoped that perhaps he might
have brought over some African hemiptera in his coat;
but I have searched his coat well, over and over again,
without finding a single specimen. The dog has disap-
pointed me,” he repeated mournfully.

“Tcan only hope,” said the captain, “that if you had
found anything, you were going to kill it instantly.”

Benedict looked with mute astonishment into the
captain’s face. In a moment or two afterwards, he
said,—

“T suppose, sir, you acknowledge that Sir John Franklin
was an eminent member of your profession ?”

“Certainly ; why?”

“ Because Sir John would never take away the life of



52 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

the most insignificant insect ; it is related of him that when
he had once been incessantly tormented all day by a
mosquito, at last he found it on the back of his hand and
blew it off, saying, ‘Fly away, little creature, the world is
large enough for both you and me!’”

“That little anecdote of yours, Mr. Benedict,” said the
captain, smiling, “is a good deal older than Sir John
Franklin. It is told, in nearly the same words, about Uncle
Toby, in Sterne’s ‘Tristram Shandy’; only there it was not
a mosquito, it was a commen fly.”

“And was Uncle Toby an entomologist?” asked
Benedict ; “did he ever really live?”

“No,” said the captain, “he was only a character in a
novel.”

Cousin Benedict gave a look of utter contempt, and
Captain Hull and Mrs Weldon could not resist laughing.

Such is only one instance of the way in which Cousin
Benedict invariably brought it about that all conversation
with him ultimately turned upon his favourite pursuit, and
all along, throughout the monotonous hours of smooth
sailing, while the “ Pilgrim’ was making her little head-
way to the east, he showed his own devotion to his pet
science, by seeking to enlist new disciples. First of all, he
tried his powers of persuasion upon Dick Sands, but soon
finding that the young apprentice had no taste for entomo-
logical mysteries, he gave him up and turned his attention
to the negroes. Nor was he much more successful with
them ; one after another, Tom, Bat, Actzeon, and Austin had
all withdrawn themselves from his instructions, and the class
at last was reduced to the single person of Hercules; but
in him the enthusiastic naturalist thought he had discovered
a latent talent which could distinguish between a parasite
and a thysanura.

Hercules accordingly submitted to pass a considerable
portion of his leisure in the observation of every variety of
coleoptera; he was encouraged to study the extensive
collection of stag-beetles, tiger-beetles and lady-birds; and
although at times the enthusiast trembled to see some of
his most delicate and fragile specimens in the huge grasp



DINGO’S SAGACITY. 53

of his pupil, he soon learned that the man’s gentle docility
was a sufficient guarantee against his clumsiness.

While the science of entomology was thus occupying its
two votaries, Mrs. Weldon was giving her own best
attention to the education of Master Jack. Reading and
writing she undertook to teach herself, while she entrusted
the instruction in arithmetic to the care of Dick Sands.
Under the conviction that a child of five years will make a
much more rapid progress if something like amusement be
combined with his lessons, Mrs. Weldon would not teach
her boy to spell by the use of an ordinary school primer,
but used a set of cubes, on the sides of which the various
letters were painted in red. After first making a word and
showing it to Jack, she set him to put it together without
her help, and it was astonishing how quickly the child
advanced, and how many hours he would spend in this way,
both in the cabin and on deck. There were more than
fifty cubes, which, besides the alphabet, included all the
digits ; so that they were of service for Dick Sands’ lessons
as well as for her own. She was more than satisfied with
her device.

On the morning of the oth an incident occurred which
could not fail to be observed as somewhat remarkable. Jack
was half lying, half sitting on the deck, amusing himself
with his letters, and had just finished putting together a
word with which he intended to puzzle old Tom, who, with
his hand sheltering his eyes, was pretending not to see the
difficulty which was being labouriously prepared to bewilder
him; all at once, Dingo, who had been gambolling round
the child, made a sudden pause, lifted his right paw, and
wageed his tail convulsively. Then darting down upon a
capital S, he seized it in his mouth, and carried it some
paces away.

“Oh, Dingo, Dingo! you mustn’t eat my letters!”
shouted the child.

But the dog had already dropped the block of wood, and
coming back again, picked up another, which he laid
quietly by the side of the first. This time it was a capital
V. Jack uttered an exclamation of astonishment which



54 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

brought to his side not only his mother, but the captain
and Dick, who were both on deck. In answer to their
inquiry as to what had occurred, Jack cried out in the
greatest excitement that Dingo knew how to read. At
any rate he was sure that he knew his letters.

Dick Sands smiled and stooped to take back the ‘letters.
Dingo snarled and showed his teeth, but the apprentice
was not frightened ; he carried his point, and replaced the
two blocks among the rest. Dingo in an instant pounced
upon them again, and having drawn them to his side, laid
a paw upon each of them, as if to signify his intention of
retaining them in his possession. Of the other letters of
the alphabet he took no notice at all.

“Tt is very strange,” said Mrs. Weldon; “he has picked
out S V again.”

“S V!” repeated the captain thoughtfully ; “are not
those the letters that form the initials on his collar?”

And turning to the old negro, he continued,—

“Tom, didn’t you say that this dog did not always
belong to the captain of the ‘Waldeck’ ?”

“To the best of my belief,” replied Tom, “the captain
had only had him about two years. I often heard him tell
how he found him at the mouth of the Congo.”

“Do you suppose that he never knew where the animal
came from, or to whom he had previously belonged?”
asked Captain Hull.

“Never,” answered Tom, shaking his head ; “a lost dog
is 'vorse to identify than a lost child; you see, he can’t
make himself understood any way.” :

The captain made no answer, but stood musing; Mrs.
Weldon interrupted him. i

“ These letters, captain, seem to be recalling something
to your recollection.”

“T can hardly go so far as to say that, Mrs. Weldon,” he
replied; “but I cannot help associating them with the
fate of a brave explorer.”

“Whom do you mean ?” said the lady.

“In 1871, just two years ago,” the captain continued,
“a French traveller, under the auspices of the Geographical










































Jack cried out in the greatest excitement that Dingo knew how to read.
Page 54.



DINGO’S SAGACITY. 57



Society of Paris, set out for the purpose of crossing Africa
from west to east. His starting-point was the mouth of
the Congo, and his exit was designed to be as near as
possible to Cape Deldago, at the mouth of the River
Rovuma, of which he was to ascertain the true course.
The name of this man was Samuel Vernon, and I confess
it strikes me as somewhat a strange coincidence that the
letters engraved on Dingo’s collar should be Vernon's
initials.”

“Ts nothing known about this traveller?” asked Mrs.
Weldon. :

“Nothing was ever heard of him after his first departure.
It appears quite certain that he failed to reach the east
coast, and it can only be conjectured either that he
died upon his way, or that he was made prisoner by the
natives; and if so, and this dog ever belonged to him, the
animal might have made his way back to the sea-coast,
where, just about the time that would be likely, the captain
of the ‘Waldeck’ picked him up.”

“But you have no reason to suppose, Captain Hull, that
Vernon ever owned a dog of this description ?”

“T own I never heard of it,” said the captain ; “but still
the impression fixes itself on my mind that the dog must
have been his; how he came to know one letter from
another, it is not for me to pretend to say. Look at him
now, madam! he seems not only to be reading the letters
for himself, but to be inviting us to come and read them
with him.” *

Whilst Mrs. Weldon was watching the dog with much
amusement, Dick Sands, who had listened to the previous
conversation, took the opportunity of asking the captain
whether the traveller Vernon had started on his expedition
quite alone.

“That is really more than I can tell you, my boy,”
answered Captain Hull; “but I should almost take it for
granted that he would have a considerable retinue of
natives.”

The captain spoke without being aware that Negoro had
meanwhile quietly stolen on deck. At first his presence



58 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



was quite unnoticed, and no one observed the peculiar
glance with which he looked at the two letters over which
Dingo still persisted in keeping guard. The dog, however,
no sooner caught sight of the cook than he began to
bristle with rage, whereupon Negoro, with a threatening
gesture which seemed half involuntary, withdrew imme-
diately to his accustomed quarters.

The incident did not escape the captain’s observation.

“No doubt,” he said, “there is some mystery here ;”
and he was pondering the matter over in his mind when
Dick Sands spoke.

“Don't you think it very singular, sir, that this dog
should have such a knowledge of the alphabet ?”

Jack here put in his word.

“My mamma has told me about a dog whose name was
Munito, who could read as well as a schoolmaster, and
could play dominoes.”

Mrs. Weldon smiled.

“Tain afraid, my child, that that dog was not quite so
learned as you imagine. I don’t suppose he knew one
letter from another; but his master, who was a clever
American, having found out that the animal had a very
keen sense of hearing, taught him some curious tricks.”

“ What sort of tricks ?” asked Dick, who was almost as
much interested as little Jack.

“When he had to perform in public,” continued Mrs.
Weldon, “a lot of letters like yours, Jack, were spread out
upon a table, and Munito would put together any word
that the company should propose, either aloud or in a
whisper, to his master. The creature would walk about
until he stopped at the very letter which was wanted. The
secret of it all was that the dog’s owner gave him a signal
when he was to stop by rattling a little tooth-pick in his
pocket, making a slight noise that only the dog’s ears were
acute enough to perceive.”

Dick was highly amused, and said,—

“But that was a dog who could do nothing wonderful
without his master.”

“Just so,” answered Mrs. Weldon ; “and it surprises me





a









| (





——





























——

SS

—
SSS

=
=

‘HT
(
i

ea Ni ; i : ~~ oe
ry a

a Nae
Negoro, with a threatening gesture that seemed half involuntary itl
lrew immediately to his accustomed quarters. f

in

({l








DINGO’S SAGACITY. 59

very much to see Dingo picking out these letters without
a master to direct him.”

“The more one thinks of it, the more strange it is,” said
Captain Hull; “but, after all, Dingo’s sagacity is not
greater than that of the dog which rang the convent bell in
order to get at the dish that was reserved for passing
beggars; nor than that of the dog who had to turn a
spit every other day, and never could be induced to work
when it was not his proper day. Dingo evidently has no
acquaintance with any other letters except the two S V;
and some circumstance which we can never guess has made
him familiar with them.”

“ What a pity he cannot talk!” exclaimed the apprentice ;
“we should know why it is that he always shows his teeth
at Negoro.”

“And tremendous teeth they are!” observed the
captain, as Dingo at that moment opened his mouth, and
made a display of his formidable fangs.



‘60 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER VI.
A WHALE IN SIGHT.

IT was only what might be expected that the dog’s singular
exhibition of sagacity should repeatedly form a subject of
conversation between Mrs. Weldon, the captain, and Dick.
The young apprentice in particular began to entertain a
lurking feeling of distrust towards Negoro, although it
must be owned that the man’s conduct in general afforded
no tangible grounds for suspicion.

Nor was it only among the stern passengers that Dingo’s
remarkable feat was discussed ; amongst the crew in the bow
the dog not only soon gained the reputation of being able
to read, but was almost credited with being able to write
too, as well as any sailor among them; indeed the chief
wonder was that he did not speak.

“Perhaps he can,” suggested Bolton, the helmsman, “ and
likely enough some fine day we shall have him coming to
ask about our bearings, and to inquire which way the wind
lies,” i

“Ah! why not ?” assented another sailor; “ parrots talk,
and magpies talk ; why shouldn't a dog? For my part, I
should guess it must be easier to speak with a mouth than
with a beak.”

“Of course it is,” said Howick, the boatswain; “only a
quadruped has never yet: been known to do it.”

Perhaps, however, the worthy fellow would have been
amazed to hear that a certain Danish savant once possessed
a dog that could actually pronounce quite distinctly nearly
twenty different words, demonstrating that the construction






























*¢This Dingo is nothing out of the way.” fage 61.



A WHALE IN SIGHT. 61

of the glottis, the aperture at the top of the windpipe, was
adapted for the emission of regular sounds: of course the
animal attached no meaning to the words it uttered any
more than.a parrot or a jay can comprehend their own
chatterings.

Thus, unconsciously, Dingo had become the hero of the
hour. On several separate occasions Captain Hull repeated
the experiment of spreading out the blocks before him, but
invariably with the same result; the dog never failed,
without the slightest hesitation, to pick out the two letters,
leaving all the rest of the alphabet quite unnoticed.

Cousin Benedict alone, somewhat ostentatiously, pro-
fessed to take no interest in the circumstance.

“You cannot suppose,” he said to Captain Hull, after
various repetitions of the trick, “that dogs are to be
reckoned the only animals encowed with. intelligence
Rats, you know, will always leave a sinking ship, and
beavers invariably raise their dams before the approach of
a flood. Did not the horses of Nicomedes, Scanderberg
and Oppian die of grief for the loss of the:r masters ? Have
there not been instances of donkeys with wonderful memo-
ries? Birds, too, have been trained to do the most
remarkable things ; they have been taught to write word
after word at their master’s dictation ; there are cockatoos
who can count the people in a room as accurately as:a
mathematician ; and haven't you heard of the old Cardinal’s
parrot that he would not part with for a hundred gold
crowns because it could repeat the Apostles’ creed from
beginning to end without a blunder? And insects,’ he
continued, warming into enthusiasm, “how marvellously
they vindicate the axiom—

*In minimis maximus Deus !?

Are not the structures of ants the very models for the
architects of a city? Has the diving-bell of the aquatic
argyroneta ever been surpassed by the invention of the
most skilful student of mechanical art? And cannot fleas
go through a drill and fire a gun as well as the most
accomplished artilleryman? This Dingo is nothing out.



62 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



of the way. I suppose he belongs to some unclassed species
of mastiff. Perhaps one day or other he may come to be
identified as the ‘ canis alphabeticus’ of New Zealand.”

The worthy entomologist delivered this and various
similar harangues; but Dingo, nevertheless, retained his
high place in the general estimation, and by the occupants
of the forecastle was regarded as little short of a phenome-
non. The feeling, otherwise universal, was not in any
degree shared by Negoro, and it is not improbable that the
man would have been tempted to. some foul play with the
dog if the open sympathies of the crew had not kept him
in check. More than ever he studiously avoided coming
in contact in any way with the animal, and Dick Sands in
his own mind was quite convinced that since the incident
of the letters, the cook’s hatred of the dog had become still
more intense.

After continual alternations with long and wearisome
calms thenorth-east wind perceptibly moderated, and on the
1oth, Captain Hull really began to hope that such a change
would ensue as to allow the schooner to run straight before
the wind. Nineteen days had elapsed since the “ Pilgrim”
had left Auckland, a period not so long but that with a
favourable breeze it might be made up at last. Some days
however were yet to elapse before the wind veered round
to the anticipated quarter.

It has been already stated that this portion of the
Pacific is almost always deserted. It is out of the line of
the American and Australian steam-packets, and except a
whaler had been brought into it by some such exceptional
circumstances as the “ Pilgrim,” it was quite unusual to see
one in this latitude. ;

But, however void of traffic was the surface of the sea, to
none but an unintelligent mind could it appear monotonous
or barren of interest. The poetry of the ocean breathes
forth in its minute and almost imperceptible changes. A
marine plant, a tuft of seaweed lightly furrowing the water,
a drifting spar with its unknown history, may afford
unlimited scope for the imagination; every little drop
passing, in its process of evaporation, backwards and






\\
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Occasionally Dick Sands would take a pistol, and now and then a rifle.
Page 6%



A WHALE IN SIGHT. 63



forwards from sea to sky, might perchance reveal its own
special secret; and happy are those minds which are
capable of a due appreciation of the mysteries of air and
ocean.
Above the surface as well as below, the restless flood is
ever teaming with animal life; and the passengers on
board the “ Pilgrim” derived no little amusement from
watching great flocks of birds migrating northwards to
escape the rigour of the polar winter, and ever and again
descending in rapid flight to secure some tiny fish.
Occasionally Dick Sands would take a pistol, and now and
then a rifle, and, thanks to Mr. Weldon’s former instructions,
would bring down various specimens of the feathered
tribe.

Sometimes white petrels would congregate in consi-
derable numbers near the schooner; and sometimes petrels
of another species, with brown borders on their wings,
would come in sight ; now there would be flocks of damiers
skimming the water; and now groups of penguins, whose
clumsy gait appears so ludicrous on shore; but, as Captain
Hull pointed out, when their stumpy wings were employed
as fins, they were a match for the most rapid of fish,
so that sailors have often mistaken them for bonitos.

High over head, huge albatrosses, their outspread wings
measuring ten feet from tip to tip, would soar aloft, thence
to swoop down towards the deep, into which they plunged
their beaks in search of food. Such incidents and scenes
as these were infinite in their variety, and it was accordingly
only for minds that were obtuse to the charms of nature
that the voyage could be monotonous.

On the day the wind shifted, Mrs. Weldon was walking
up and down on the “ Pilgrim’s” stern, when her attention
was attracted by what seemed to her a strange phenomenon.
All of a sudden, far as the eye could reach, the sea had
assumed a reddish hue, as if it were tinged with blood.

Both Dick and Jack were standing close behind her, and
she cried,—

“Look, Dick, look! the sea is all red: Is it a sea-weed
that is making the water so strange a colour?



64 ' DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

“No,” answered Dick, “it is not a weed; it is what the
sailors call whales’ food; it is formed, I believe, of
innumerable myriads of minute crustacea.”

“Crustacea they may be,” replied Mrs. Weldon, “ but
they must be so small that they are mere insects. Cousin
Benedict no doubt will like to see them.”

She called aloud,—

“Benedict ! Benedict! come hcre! we have a sight here
to interest you.”

The amateur naturalist slowly emerged from his cabin
followed by Captain Hull. :

“Ah! yes, I see!” said the captain; “ whales’ food ; just
the opportunity for you, Mr. Benedict; a chance not to be
thrown away for studying one of the most curious of the
crustacea.”

“Nonsense!” ejaculated Benedict contemptuously ;
“utter nonsense !”

“Why ? what do you mean, Mr. Benedict?” retorted
the captain ; “surely you, as an entomologist, must know
that I am right in. my~conviction that these crustacea
belong to one of the six classes of the articulata.”

The disdain of Cousin Benedict was expressed by a
repeated sneer.

“Are you not aware, sir, that my researches as an
entomologist are confined entirely to the hexapoda ?”

Captain Hull, unable to repress a smile, only answered
good-humouredly,—

“T see, sir, your tastes do not lie in the same direction
as those of the whale.”

And turning to Mrs. Weldon, he continued,—

“To whalemen, madam, this is a sight that speaks for
itself. It is a token that we ought to lose no time in
getting out our lines and looking to the state of our
harpoons. There is game not far away.”

_ Jack gave vent to his astonishment.

“Do you mean that great creatures like whales feed on
such tiny things as these ?” =

“Yes, my boy,” said the captain; “and I daresay they
are as nice to. them as semolina-and ground rice are to you.



A WHALE IN SIGHT, 65



When a whale gets into the middle of them he has.nothing
to do but to open his jaws,-and, in a minute, hundreds of
thousands of these minute creatures are inside the fringe or
whalebone around his palate, and he is sure of a good
mouthful.”

“So you see, Jack,” said Dick, “the whale gets his
shrimps without the trouble of shelling them.”

“ And when he has just closed his snappers is the very
time to give him a good taste of the harpoon,” added
Captain Hull.

The words had hardly escaped the captain’s lips when a
shout from one o: the sailors announced,—

“ A whale to larboard !”

“There's the whale!” repeated the captain. All his
professional instincts were aroused in an instant, and he
hurried to the bow, followed in eager curiosity by all the
stern passengers.

Even Cousin Benedict loitered up in the rear, constrained,
in spite of himself, to take a share in the general interest.

There was no doubt about the.matter. Four miles or so
to windward an unusual commotion in the water betokened
to experienced eyes the presence of a whale; but the
distance was too great to permit a reasonable conjecture to
be formed as to which species of those mammifers the
creature belonged.

Three distinct species are familiarly known. First there
is the Right whale, which is ordinarily sought for in the
northern fisheries. The average length of this cetacean is
sixty feet, though it has been known to attain the length of
eighty feet. It has no dorsal fin, and beneath its skin is a
thick layer of blubber. One of these monsters alone will
yield as much as a hundred barrels of oil.

Then there is the Hump-back, a typical representative
of the species “balznoptera,” a definition which may at
first sight appear to possess an interest for an entomologist,
but which really refers to two white dorsal fins, each half
as wide as the body, resembling a pair of wings, and in
their formation similar to those of the flying-fish. It must
be owned, however, that a flying whale would decidedly be,
a vara avis.



65 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,

Lastly, there is the Jubarte, commonly known as the
Finback. It is provided with a dorsal fin, and in length
not unfrequently is a match for the gigantic Right whale.

While it was impossible to decide to which of the three
species the whale in the distance really belonged, the
general impression inclined to the belief that it was a
jubarte.

With longing eyes Captain Hull and his crew gazed at
the object of general attraction. Just as irresistibly as it is
said a clockmaker is drawn on to examine the mechanism
of every clock which chance may throw in his way, so
is a whaleman ever anxious to plunge his harpoon into
any whale that he can get within his reach. The larger
the game the more keen the excitement ; and no elephant-
hunter’s eagerness ever surpasses the zest of the whale-
fisher when once started in pursuit of the prey.

To the crew the sight of the whale was the opening of an
unexpected opportunity, and no wonder they were fired
with the burning hope that even now they might do
something to supply the deficiency of their meagre haul
throughout the season.

Far away as the creature still was, the captain’s practised
eye soon enabled him to detect various indications that
satisfied him as to its true species. Amongst other things
that arrested his attention, he observed a column of water
and vapour ejected from the nostrils. “It isn’t a right
whale,” he said ; “if so, its spout would be smaller and it
would rise higher in the air. And I do not think it isa
hump-back. I cannot hear the hump-back’s roar. Dick,
tell me, what do you think about it ?”

With a critical eye Dick Sands looked long and steadily
at the spout.

“Tt blows out water, sir,’ said the apprentice, “ water, as
well as vapour. I should think it isa finback, But it must
be a rare large one.”

“ Seventy feet, at least!” rejoined the captain, flushing
with his enthusiasm.

“What a big fellow!” said Jack, catching the excitement
of his elders.











































































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Wy

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*¢ What a big fellow !” Page 66.






A WHALE IN SIGHT. 67

“ Ah, Jack, my boy,” chuckled the captain, “the whale
little thinks who are watching him enjoy his breakfast ! ”

“Yes,” said the boatswain ; “a dozen such gentlemen as
that would freight a craft twice the size of ours; but this
one, if only-we can get him, will go a good way towards
filling our empty barrels.”

“Rather rough work, you know,” said Dick, “to attack a
finback !”

“You are right, Dick,” answered the captain ; “the boat
has yet to be built which is strong enough to resist the flap
of a jubarte’s tail.”

“But the profit is worth the risk, captain, isn’t it ?”

“You are right again, Dick,” replied Captain Hull, and
as he spoke, he clambered on to the bowsprit in order that
he might get a better view of the whale.

The crew were as eager as their captain. Mounted on
the fore-shrouds, they scanned the movements of their
coveted prey in the distance, freely descanting upon the
profit to be made out of a good finback and declaring that
it would be a thousand pities if this chance of filling the
casks below should be permitted to be lost.

Captain Hull was perplexed. He bit his nails and
knitted his brow.

~“Mamma!” cried little Jack, “ I should so much like to
see a whale close,—quite close, you know.”

“And so you shall, my boy,” replied the captain, who
was standing by, and had come to the resolve that if his
men would back him, he would make an attempt to capture
the prize.

He turned to his crew,—

“My men! what do you think? shall we make the ven-
ture? Remember, we are all alone; we have no whale-
men to help us; we must rely upom ourselves; I have
thrown a harpoon before now; I can throw a harpoon
again ; what do you say ?”

The crew responded with a ringing cheer,—

“Ay, ay, sir! Ay, ay!”



68 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER VII.
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK.

GREAT was the excitement that now prevailed, and the
question of an attempt to capture the sea-monster became
the ruling theme of conversation. Mrs. Weldon expressed
considerable doubt as to the prudence of venturing upon so
great a risk with such a limited number of hands, but when
Captain Hull assured her that he had more than once
successfully attacked a whale with a single boat, and that
for his part he had no fear of failure, she made no further
remonstrance, and appeared quite satisfied.

Having formed his resolve, the captain lost no time in
setting about his preliminary arrangements. He could not
really conceal from’ his own mind that the pursuit of'a
finback was always a matter of some peril, and he was
anxious, accordingly, to make every possible provision
which forethought could devise against all emergencies.

_ Besides her long-boat, which was kept between the two
masts, the “Pilgrim” had three whale-boats, two of them
slung to the starboard and larboard davits, and the third
at the stern, outside the taffrail. During the fishing season,
when the crew was reinforced by a hired complement of
New Zealand whalemen, all three of these boats would be
brought at once into requisition, but at present the whole
crew of the “ Pilgrim” was barely sufficient to man one of
the three boats. Tom and his friends were ready to
volunteer their assistance, but any offers of service from
them were necessarily declined; the manipulation of a
whale-boat can only be entrusted to those who are experi-



PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK, 65

enced in the work, as a false turn of the tiller or a
premature stroke of the oar may in a moment compromise
the safety of the whole party. Thus compelled to take all
his trained sailors with him on his venturous expedition,
the captain had no alternative than to leave his appren-
tice in charge of the schooner during his absence. Dick’s
choice would have been very much in favour of taking a
share in the whale-hunt, but he had the good sense to know
that the developed strength of a man would be of far
greater service in the boat, and accordingly without a
murmur he resigned himself to remain behind.

Of the five sailors who were to man the boat, there were
four to take the oars, whilst Howick the boatswain was to
manage the oar at the stern, which on these occasions gene-
rally replaces an ordinary rudder as being quicker in action
in the event of any of the side oars being disabled... The post
of ‘harpooner was of course assigned to Captain Hull, to
whose lot it would consequently fall first to hurl his weapon
at the whale, then to manage the unwinding of the line to
which the harpoon was attached, and finally to kill the
creature by lance-wounds when it should emerge again
from below the sea, .

A smethod sometimes employed for commencing an
attack is to place a sort of small cannon on the bows or
deck of the boat and to discharge from it either a harpoon
or some explosive bullets, which make frightful lacerations
on the body of the victim; but the “ Pilgrim” was not
provided with apparatus of this description ; not only are
all the contrivances of this kind very costly and difficult
to manage, but the fishermen generally are averse to
innovations, and prefer the old-fashioned harpoons. It
was with these alone that Captain Hull was now about to
encounter the finback that was lying some four miles
distant from his ship.

The weather promised as favourably as could be for the
enterprise. The sea was calm, and the wind moreover was
still moderating, so that there was no likelihood of the
schooner drifting away during the captain’s absence.

When the starboard whale-boat had been lowered, and



70 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,

the four sailors had entered it, Howick passed a couple of
harpoons down to them, and some lances which had been
carefully sharpened ; to these were added five coils of stout
and supple rope, each 600 feet long, for a whale when
struck often dives so deeply that even these lengths of line
knotted together are found to be insufficient. After these
implements of attack had been properly stowed in the bows,
the crew had only to await the pleasure of their captain.

The “ Pilgrim,” before the sailors left her, had been made
to heave to, and the yards were braced so as to secure her
remaining as stationary as possible. As the time drew
near for the captain to quit her, he gave a searching look
all round to satisfy himself that everything was in order ;
he saw that the halyards were properly tightened, and the
sails trimmed as they should be, and then calling the
young apprentice to his side, he said,—

“Now, Dick, Iam going to leave you for a few hours:
while I am away, I hope that it will not be necessary for
you to make any movement whatever. However, you must
be on the watch. It is not very likely, but it is possible
that this finback may carry us out to some distance. Ifso,
you will have to follow; and in that case, I am sure you
may rely upon Tom and his friends for assistance.”

One and all, the.negroes assured the captain of their
willingness to obey Dick’s instructions, the sturdy Hercules
rolling up his capacious shirt-sleeves as if to show that he
was ready for immediate action.

The captain went on,—

“The weather is beautifully fine, Dick, and I see no
prospect of the wind freshening ; but come what may, I
have one direction to give you which I strictly enforce.
You must not leave the ship. If I want you to follow us,
I will hoist a flag on the boat-hook.”

“You may trust me, sir,” answered Dick; “and I will
keep a good look-out.”

“ All right, my lad ; keep a cool head and a good heart.
You are second captain now, you know. I never heard of
any one of your age being placed in such a post; bea
credit to your position |”



PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK. 71



Dick blushed, and the bright flush that rose to his cheeks
spoke more than words.

“The lad may be trusted,” murmured the captain to
himself ; “he is as modest as he is courageous. Yes; he
may be trusted.”

It cannot be denied that the captain was not wholly
without compunction at the step he was taking ; he was
aware of the danger to which he was exposing himself, but
he beguiled himself with the persuasion that it was only for
a few hours ; and his fisherman’s instinct was very keen. It
was not only for himself; the desire upon the part of the
crew was almost irresistibly strong that every opportunity
ought to be employed for making the cargo of the schooner
equal to her owner’s expectations. And so he finally
prepared to start.

“T wish you all success!” said Mrs. Weldon.

“ Many thanks!” he replied.

Little Jack put in his word,—

“ And you will try and catch the whale without hurting
him much ?”

“ All right, young gentleman,” answered the captain ; “he
shall hardly feel the tip of our fingers!”

“ Sometimes,” said Cousin Benedict, as if he had been
pondering the expedition in relation to his pet science,
“sometimes there are strange insects clinging to the backs
of these great mammifers; do you think you are likely to
procure me any specimens ?”

“You shall soon have the opportunity of investigating
for yourself,” was the captain’s reply.

“ And you, Tom ; we shall be looking to you for help in
cutting up our prize, when we get it alongside,” continued he.

“We shall be quite ready, sir,” said the negro.

“ One thing more, Dick,” added the captain ; “ you may as
well be getting up the empty barrels out of the hold ; they
will be all ready.”

“Tt shall be done, sir,” answered Dick promptly.

If everything went well it was the intention that the
whale after it had been killed should be towed to the side
of the schooner, where it would be firmly lashed. Then



72 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

the sailors with their feet in spiked shoes would get upon
its back and proceed to cut the blubber, from head to tail,
in long strips, which would first be divided into lumps
about a foot and a half square, the lumps being subsequently
chopped into smaller portions capable of being stored away
in casks. The ordinary rule would be fora ship, as soon
as the flaying was complete, to make its way to land where
the blubber could be at once boiled down, an operation
by which it is reduced by about a third of its weight, and
by which it yields all its oil, the only portion of it which is
of any value. Under present circumstances, however,
Captain Hull would not think of melting down the blubber
until his arrival at Valparaiso, and as he was sanguine that
the wind would soon set in a favourable direction, he
calculated that he should reach that port in less than three
weeks, a period during which his cargo would not be
deteriorated.

The latest movement with regard to the “ Pilgrim” had
been to bring: her somewhat nearer the spot where the
spouts of vapour indicated the presence of the coveted
prize. The creature continued to swim about in the
reddened waters, opening and shutting its huge jaws like
an automaton, and absorbing at every mouthful whole
myriads of animalcula. No one entertained a fear that it
would try to make an escape; it was the unanimous
verdict that it was “a fighting whale,” and one that would
resist all attacks to the very end.

As Captain Hull descended the rope-ladder and took his
place in the front of the boat, Mrs. Weldon and all on board
renewed their good wishes.

Dingo stood with his fore paws upon the taffrail, and
appeared as much as any to be bidding the adventurous
party farewell.

When the boat pushed off, those who were left on board
the “Pilgrim” made their way slowly to the bows, from
which the most extensive view was to be gained.

The captain’s voice came from the retreating boat,—

“A sharp look-out, Dick ; a sharp look- out ; one eye on
us, one on the ship |”













































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The captain’s voice came from the retreating boat.

Page 72.





































































































































73°

Page

an,”

‘*T must get you to keep your eye upon that m



PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK. 73



“ Ay, ay, sir,” replied the apprentice.

By his gestures the captain showed that he was under
some emotion ; he called out again, but the boat had made
such headway that it was too far off for any words to be
heard. ,

Dingo broke out into a piteous. howl.

The dog was still standing erect, his eye upon the boat
in the distance. To the sailors, ever superstitious, the
howling was not reassuring. Even Mrs. Weldon was
startled. :

“Why, Dingo, Dingo,” she exclaimed, “ this isn’t the way
to encourage your friends. Come here, sir; you must
behave better than that !”

Sinking down on all fours the animal walked slowly up
to Mrs. Weldon, and began to lick her hand.

“Ah!” muttered old Tom, shaking his head solemnly,
“he doesn’t wag his tail at all. A bad omen.”

All at once the dog gave a savage growl.

As she turned her head, Mrs. Weldon caught sight o.
Negoro making his way to the forecastle, probably actuated
by the general spirit of curiosity to follow the manceuvres
of the whale-boat. He stopped and seized a handspike as
soon as he saw the ferocious attitude of the dog.

The lady was quite unable to pacify the animal, which
seemed about to fly upon the throat of the cook, but
Dick Sands called out loudly,—

“ Down, Dingo, down!”

The dog obeyed; but it seemed to be with extreme
reluctance that he returned to Dick’s side; he continued to
growl, as if still remembering his rage. Negoro had turned
very pale, and having put down the handspike, made his
way cautiously back to his own quarters.

“ Hercules,” said Dick, “I must get you to keep your
eye upon that man.”

“Yes, I will,” he answered, significantly clenching his fists.

Dick took his station at the helm, whence he kept an
earnest watch upon the whale-boat, which under the vigour-
ous plying of the seamen’s oars had become little ,more

an a speck upon the water.



74 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER VIII.
A CATASTROPHE.

EXPERI&NCED whaleman as he was, Captain Hull knew
the difficulty of the task he had undertaken ; he was alive
to the importance of making his approach to the whale
from the leeward, so that there should be no sound to
apprize the creature of the proximity of the boat. He had
perfect confidence in his boatswain, and felt sure that he
would take the proper course to insure a favourable result
to the enterprise.

“We mustn’t show ourselves too soon, Howick,” he
said.

“ Certainly not,” replied Howick; “I am going to skirt
the edge of the discoloured water, and I shall take good
care to get well to leeward.”

“All right,” the captain answered; and turning to the
crew said, “now, my lads, as quietly as you can.”

Muffling the sound of their oars by placing straw in the
rowlocks, and avoiding the least unnecessary noise, the men
skilfully propelled the boat along the outline of the water
tinged by the crustacea, so that while the starboard oars
still dipped in the green and limpid sea, the larboard were
in the deep-dyed waves, and seemed as though they were
dripping with blood.

“Wine on this side, water on that,’ said one of the
sailors jocosely.

“But neither of them fit to drink,” rejoined the captain
sharply ; “so just hold your tongue !”

Under Howick’s guidance the boat now glided stcalthily









































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The whale seemed utterly unconscious of the attack that was threatening it.
Page 77.






A CATASTROPHE. 77



on to the greasy surface of the reddened waters, where she
appeared to float as on a pool of oil. The whale seemed
utterly unconscious of the attack that was threatening it,
and allowed the boat to come nearer without exhibiting any
sign of alarm.

The wide circuit which the captain had thought it
advisable to take had the effect of considerably increasing
the distance between his boat and the “ Pilgrim,” whilst the
strange rapidity with which objects at sea become diminished
in apparent magnitude, as if viewed through the wrong end
of a telescope, made the ship look farther away than she
actually was, ‘

Another half-hour elapsed, and at the end of it the
captain found himself so exactly to leeward that the huge
body of the whale was precisely intermediate between his
boat and the “ Pilgrim.” A closer approach must now be
made ; every precaution must be used; but the time had
come to get sufficiently near for the harpoon to be
discharged.

“Slowly, my men,” said the captain, in a low voice;
“slowly and softly !”

Howick muttered something that implied that the whale
had ceased blowing so hard, and that it was aware of their
approach ; the captain, upon this, enjoined the most perfect
silence, but urged his crew onwards, until, in five or six
minutes, they were within a cable’s length of the finback.
Erect at the stern the boatswain stood, and manceuvred to get
the boat as close as possible to the whale’s left flank, while
he made it an object of special care to keep beyond the
reach of its formidable tail, one stroke of which could
involve them all in instantaneous disaster.

The manipulation of the boat thus left to the boatswain,
the captain made ready for the arduous effort that was before
him. At the extreme bow, harpoon in hand, with his legs
somewhat astride so as to insure his equilibrium, he stood
prepared to plunge his weapon into the mass that rose
above the surface of the sea. By his side, coiled in a pail,
and with one end firmly attached to the harpoon, was the
first of the five lines which, if the whale should dive to a



78: DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



considerable depth, would have to be joined end to end, one
after another.

“Are you ready, my lads?” said he, hardly above a
whisper.

“Ay, ay, sir,” replied Howick, speaking as gently as
his master, and giving a firmer grip to the rudder-oar that
he held in his hands.

“Then, alongside at once,” was the captain’s order, which
was promptly obeyed, so that in a few minutes the boat
was only about ten feet from the body of the whale. The
animal did not move. Was it asleep? In that case there
was hope that the very first stroke might be fatal. But it
was hardly likely. Captain Hull felt only too sure that
there was some different cause to be assigned for its
remaining so still and stationary; and the rapid glances
of the boatswain showed that he entertained the same
suspicion. But it was no time for speculation ; the moment
for action had ‘arrived, and no attempt was made on either
hand to exchange ideas upon the subject.

Captain Hull seized his weapon tightly by the shaft, and
having poised it several times in the air, in order to make
more sure of his aim, he gathered all his strength and
hurled it against the side of the finback.

“Backwater!” he shouted.

The sailors pushed back with all their might, and the
boat in an instant was beyond the range of the creature’s
tail.

And now the immoveableness of the animal was at once
accounted for.

“See; there’s a youngster!” exclaimed Howick.

And he was not mistaken. Startled by the blow of the
harpoon the monster had heeled over on to its side, and the
movement revealed a young whale which the mother had
been disturbed in the act of suckling. It was a discovery
which made Captain Hull aware that the capture of the
whale would be attended with double difficulty; he knew
that she would defend “her little one” (if such a term can
be applied to a creature that was at least twenty feet long)
with the most determined fury ; yet having made what he



A CATASTROPHE. 79



considered a successful commencement of the attack, he
would not be daunted, nor deterred from his endeavour to
secure so fine a prize.

The whale did not, as sometimes happens, make a pre-
cipitate dash upon the boat, a proceeding which necessi-
tates the instant cutting of the harpoon-line, and an
immediate retreat, but it took the far more usual course of
diving downwards almost perpendicularly. It was followed
by its calf ; very soon, however, after rising once again to
the surface with a sudden bound, it began swimming along
under water with great rapidity.

Before its first plunge Captain Hull and Howick had
sufficient opportunity to observe that it was an unusually
large balznoptera, measuring at least eighty feet from
head to tail, its colour being of a yellowish-brown, dappled
with numerous spots of a darker shade.

The pursuit, or what may be more aptly termed “the
towing,” of the whale had now fairly commenced. The
sailors had shipped their oars, and the whale-boat darted like
an arrow along the surface of the waves. In spite of the
oscillation, which was very violent, Howick succeeded in
maintaining equilibrium, and did not need the repeated in-
junctions with which the agitated captain urged his boat-
swain to be upon his guard.

But fast as the boat flew along, she could not keep pace
with the whale, and so rapidly did the line run out that
except proper care had been taken to keep the bucket in
which it was coiled filled with water, the friction against
the edge of the boat would inevitably have caused it to
take fire. The whale gave no indication of moderating its
speed, so that the first line was soon exhausted, and the
second had to be attached to its end, only to be run out with
like rapidity. Ina few minutes more it was necessary to
join on the third line; it was evident that the whale had
not been hit in a vital part, and so far from rising to the
surface, the oblique direction of the rope indicated that the
creature was seeking yet greater depths.

“ Confound it!” exclaimed the captain ; “it seems as if
the brute is going to run out all our line.”



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DICK SANDS

THE BOY CAPTAIN.

BY
JULES VERNE.

TRANSLATED BY

ELLEN E. FREWER.



ILLUSTRATED.

NEW YORK:
CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS,

743 AND 745 Broapway,
1879.
[Ad rights reserved,]
CHAPTER

I.

Il.
Ill.
IV.
V.
Vi.
VI.
VIII.
IX.

X.

XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV.
XVI.
XVII.
XVIUI.

CONTENTS.



PART THE FIRST.

THE ‘‘ PILGRIM”
THE APPRENTICE
A RESCUE

THE SURVIVORS OF THE ‘‘ WALDECK”

DINGO’S SAGACITY

A WHALE IN SIGHT
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK
A CATASTROPHE

DICK’S PROMOTION
THE NEW CREW
ROUGH WEATHER
HOPE REVIVED

LAND AT LAST
ASHORE

A STRANGER

THROUGH THE FOREST
MISGIVINGS

A TERRIBLE DISCOVERY

PART THE SECOND.

. THE DARK CONTINENT
II.
III.

ACCOMPLICES .
ON THE MARCH AGAIN .

PAGE

237
249
261
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

IV.
Vv.
VIL
VIL.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV.
XVI.
XVII.
XVIII.
XIX.

XX

ROUGH TRAVELLING

WHITE ANTS

A DIVING-BELL .

A SLAVE CARAVAN

NOTES BY THE WAY
KAZONDE

MARKET-DAY

A BOWL OF PUNCH

ROYAL OBSEQUIES

In- CAPTIVITY

A Ray oF HOPE

AN EXCITING CHASE

A MAGICIAN . .
DRIFTING DOWN THE STREAM
AN ANxIoUS VOYAGE

AN ATTACK

. A Happy REUNION .

PAGE
276
291
305
320
330
346
358
368
382
396
406
422
436
446
458
470
484
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

. _—_e—
Cousin Benedict . : . . . . ‘ . . :
Captain Hull advanced to meet Mrs. Weldon and her party . .
Negoro . : : . . : .
Dick and Little Jack . . . . . : . .

Negoro had approached without being noticed by any’one
The dog began to swim slowly and with manifest weakness towards the
boat .

Mrs. Weldon assisted by Nan and the ever active Dick Sands, was doing
everything in her power to restore consciousness to the poor sufferers

The good-natured negroes were ever ready to lend a helping hand

‘- There you are, then, Master Jack!”

Jack cried out in the greatest excitement that Dingo knew how to read

Negoro, with a threatening gesture that seemed half involuntary, with-
drew immediately to his accustomed quarters . . . .

‘* This Dingo is nothing out of the way” . : :

Occasionally Dick Sands would take a pistol, and now and then a rifle

‘* What a big fellow !” . . . :

The captain’s voice came from the retreating boat . . .

“T must get you to keep your eye upon that man”, . . .

The whale seemed utterly unconscious of the attack that was threaten-
ing it . : ; : : . : : : :

The boat was well-nigh full of water, and in imminent danger of being

capsized ; . . . ; : : .
There is no hope . . : : . . . : .
**Oh, we shall soon be on shore!”?. : . : . . .

“© Oh yes, Jack; you shall keep the wind in order”
All three of them fell flat upon the deck

Jack evidenced his satisfaction by giving his huge friend a hearty shake
of the hand . : : . : . . :

A light shadow glided stealthily along the deck . : : :
For half an hour Negoro stood motionless .

Under bare poles : . . : 7 . : :

PAGE

”
f

II
15
22
27
viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Quick as lightning, Dick Sands drew a revolver from his pocket . .
‘*There! look there!” . : . : . : . . .
** You have acquitted yourself like a man” . . : -

They both examined the outspread chart

The sea was furious, and dashed vehemently upon the crags on either
hand .

Surveying the shore with the air of a man who was trying to recall some
past experience

Not without emotion could Mrs. Weldon, or indeed any of them,
behold the unfortunate ship .

The entomologist was seen making his way down the face of the cliff at
the imminent risk of breaking his neck

‘*Good morning, my young friend”? . : : :

** He is my little son”

They came to a tree to which a horse was tethered

The way across the forest could scarcely be called a path
Occasionally the soil became marshy

A halt for the night . . . 7 : :

Hercules himself was the first to keep watch

“Don’t fre!” . : . .

A herd of gazelles dashed past him like a glowing cloud

A halt was made for the night beneath a grove of lofty trees
‘*Look here! here are hands, men’s hands”?

The man was gone, and his horse with him ! . . j . .
They were seated at the foot of an enormous banyan-tree, .
Both men, starting to their feet, looked anxiously around them
Dingo disappeared again amongst the bushes

** You must keep this a secret” . : . 7 . 7 .
‘¢ Harris has left us”

The march was continued with as much rapidity as was consistent with
caution : . : : . :

It was a scene only too common in Central Africa .

Another brilliant flash brought the camp once again into relief

One after another, the whole party made their way inside

Cousin Benedict’s curiosity was awakened , 7

The naturalist now fairly mounted on a favourite hobby

‘* My poor boy, I know everything” , . . : 7 . .

They set to work to ascertain what progress the water was making

PAGE
131
137
143

156
161
167

171
176
181
187
194,

197
201

205
212
215
219
227
231
248
253
259
263
267

273
278
283
288
294
298
303
307


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. ix
PAGE
All fired simultaneously at the nearest boat . . 313
The giant clave their skulls with the butt end of his gun 318
The start was made : : : : ; : 328
If ever the havildar strolled a few yards away, Bat took the opportunity
of murmuring a few words of encouragement to his poor old father 332
The caravan had been attacked on the flank by a dozen or more
crocodiles 335
The creature that had sprung to my feet was Dingo 340
More slaves sick, and abandoned to take their chance . 343
Adjoining the commercial quarter was the royal residence 348
With a yell and a curse, the American fell dead at his feet 356
Accompanied by Coimbra, Alvez himself was one of the first arrivals 360
The potentate beneath whose sway the country trembled for a hundred
miles round 370
Alvez advanced and presented the king with some fresh tobacco 374
The king had taken fire internally 379
‘* Your life is in my hands !” 386
All his energies were restored. _ . . 389
Friendless and hopeless 394
He contented himself with the permission to go where he pleased within
the limits of the palisade 399
‘€T suppose Weldon will not mind coming to fetch you ?” 404
'. Livingstone 409
With none to guide him except a few natives 413
You are Dr, Livingstone, I presume ?”? 418
The insufferable heat had driven all the residents within the depdt indoors 426
Before long the old black speck was again flitting just above his head 429
For that day at least Cousin Benedict had lost his chance of being the
happiest of entomologists . . 434
The entire crowd joined in . : 440
‘* Here they are, captain ! both of them!! ” : 444
Hercules could leave the boat without much fear of detection . 452
It was caused by a troop of a hundred er more elephants 456
He stood face to face with his foe 460
Instantly five or six negroes scrambled down the piles 464.
Upon the smooth wood were two great letters in dingy red 472
The dog was griping the man by the throat . 476
The bullet shattered the rudder-scull into fragments 481
DICK SANDS,

THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER I.
THE “PILGRIM.”

ON the 2nd of February, 1873, the “ Pilgrim,” a tight little
craft of 400 tons burden, lay in lat. 43° 57’, S. and long.
165° 19’, W. She was a schooner, the property of James
W. Weldon, a wealthy Californian ship-owner who had
fitted her out at San Francisco, expressly for the whale-
fisheries in the southern seas.

James Weldon was accustomed every season to send his
whalers both to the Arctic regions beyond Behring
Straits, and to the Antarctic Ocean below Tasmania and
Cape Horn; and the “Pilgrim,” although one of the smallest,
was one of the best-going vessels of its class ; her sailing-
powers were splendid, and her rigging was so adroitly
adapted that with a very small crew she might venture
without risk within sight of the impenetrable ice-fields of
the southern hemisphere: under skilful guidance she could
dauntlessly thread her way amongst the drifting ice-bergs
that, lessened though they were by perpetual shocks and
undermined by warm currents, made their way north-
wards as far as the parallel of New Zealand or the Cape
of Good Hope, to a latitude corresponding to which in the
northern hemisphere they are never seen, having already
melted away in the depths of the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans.

B
2 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.





For several years the command of the “ Pilgrim” had been
entrusted to Captain Hull, an experienced seaman, and one
of the most dexterous harpooners in Weldon’s service.
The crew consisted of five sailors and an apprentice. This
number, of course, was quite insufficient for the process of
whale-fishing, which requires a large contingent both for
manning the wnale-boats and for cutting up the whales
after they are captured; but Weldon, following the
example of other owners, found it more-economical to em-
bark at San Francisco only just enough men to work the
ship to New Zealand, where, from the promiscuous gather-
ing of seamen of well-nigh every nationality, and of
needy emigrants, the captain had no difficulty in
engaging as many whalemen as he wanted for the season.
This method of hiring men who could be at once discharged
when their services were no longer required had proved
altogether to be the most profitable and convenient.

The “Pilgrim” had now just completed her annual
voyage to the Antarctic circle. It was not,-however, with her
proper quota of oil-barrels full to the brim, nor yet with an
ample cargo of cut and uncut whalebone, that she was thus
far on her way back. The time, indeed, for a good haul
was past; the repeated and vigourous attacks upon the
cetaceans had made them very scarce ; the whale known as
“the Right whale,” the “Nord-kapper” of the northern
fisheries, the “ Sulpher-boltone” of the southern, was hardly
ever to be seen; and. latterly the whalers had had no
alternative but to direct their efforts against the Finback or
Jubarte, a gigantic mammal, encounter with which is
always attended with considerable danger.

So scanty this year had been the supply of whales that
Captain Hull had resolved next year to push his way into
far more southern latitudes ; even, if necessary, to advance
to the regions known as Clarie and Adélie Lands, of which
the discovery, though claimed by the American navigator
Wilkes, belongs by right to the illustrious Frenchman
Dumont d’Urville, the commander of the “ Astrolabe” and
the “ Zélée.” ,

The season had been exceptionally unfortunate for the
THE “ PILGRIM.” 3

“Pilgrim.” At the beginning of January, almost in the
height of the southern summer, long before the ordinary
time for the whalers’ return, Captain Hull had been obliged
to abandon his fishing-quarters. His hired contingent, all
men of more than doubtful character, had given signs of
such insubordination as threatened to end in mutiny; and
he had become aware that he must part company with them
on the earliest possible opportunity. Accordingly, without
delay, the bow of the “ Pilgrim” was directed to the north-
west, towards New Zealand, which was sighted on the
15th of January, and on reaching Waitemata, the port of
Auckland, in the Hauraki Gulf, on the east coast of North
Island, the whole of the gang was peremptorily discharged.

The ship’s crew were more than dissatisfied. They were
angry. Never before had they returned with so meagre
a haul. They ought to have had at least two hundred
barrels more. The captain himself experienced all the
mortification of an ardent sportsman who for the first time
in his life brings home a half-empty bag ; and there was a
general spirit of animosity against the rascals whose rebellion
had so entirely marred the success of the expedition.

Captain Hull did everything in his power to repair the
disappointment ; he made every effort to engage a fresh
gang ; but it was too late; every available seaman had
long since been carried off to the fisheries. Finding there-
fore that all hope of making good the deficiency in his
cargo must be resigned, he was on the point of leaving
Auckland, alone with his crew, when he was met by a
request with which he felt himself bound to comply.

It had chanced that James Weldon, on one of those
journeys which were necessitated by the nature of his
business, had brought with him his wife, his son Jack, a
child of five years of age, and a relation of the family who
was generally known by the name of Cousin Benedict.
Weldon had of course intended that his family should
accompany him on his return home to San Francisco ; but
little Jack was taken so seriously ill, that his father, whose
affairs demanded his immediate return, was obliged to leave
him behind at Auckland with his wife and Cousin Benedict.

B 2
4 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



Three months had passed away, little Jack was convales-
cent, and Mrs, Weldon, weary of her long separation from her
husband, was anxious to get home as soon as possible. Her
readiest way of reaching San Francisco was to cross to
Australia, and thence to take a passage in one of the
vessels of the “Golden Age” Company, which run between
Melbourne and the Isthmus of Panama: on arriving in
Panama she would have to wait the departure of the next
American steamer of the line which maintains a regular
communication between the Isthmus and California. This
route, however, involved many stoppages and changes, such
as are always disagreeable and inconvenient for women
and children, and Mrs. Weldon was hesitating whether she
should encounter the journey, when she heard that her
husband’s vessel, the “ Pilgrim,” had arrived at Auckland.
Hastening to Captain Hull, she begged him to take her
with her little boy, Cousin Benedict, and Nan, an old
negress who had been her attendant from her childhood,
on board the “ Pilgrim,” and to convey them to San Fran-
cisco direct.

“Was it not over hazardous,” asked the captain, “to ven-
ture upon a voyage of between 5000 and 6000 miles in so
small a sailing-vessel ?”

But Mrs. Weldon urged her request, and Captain Hull,
confident in the sea-going qualities of his craft, and anti-
cipating at this season nothing but fair weather on either
side of the equator, gave his consent.

In order to provide as far as possible for the comfort of
the lady during a voyage that must occupy from forty to fifty
days, the captain placed his own cabin at her entire disposal.

Everything promised well for a prosperous voyage. The
only hindrance that could be foreseen arose from the cir-
cumstance that the “ Pilgrim” would have to put in at
Valparaiso for the purpose of unlading ; but that business
once accomplished, she would continue her way along
the American coast with the assistance of the land breezes,
which ordinarily make the proximity of those shores such
agreeable quarters for sailing.

Mrs. Weldon herself had accompanied her husband in
THE “ PILGRIM.” 5

so many voyages, that she was quite inured to all the
makeshifts of a seafaring life, and was conscious of no
misgiving in embarking upon a vessel of such small tonnage.
She was a brave, high-spirited woman of about thirty years
of age, in the enjoyment of excellent health, and for her
the sea had no terrors. Aware that Captain Hull was an
experienced man, in whom her husband had the utmost
confidence, and knowing that his ship was a substantial
craft, registered as one of the best of the American whalers,
so far from entertaining any mistrust as to her safety, she
only rejoiced in the opportuneness of the chance which
seemed to offer her a direct and unbroken route to her
destination.

Cousin Benedict, as a matter of course, was to accom-
pany her. He was about fifty ; but in spite of his mature
age it would have been considered the height of imprudence
to allow him to travel anywhere alone. Spare, lanky,
with a bony frame, with an enormous cranium, and a pro-
fusion of hair, he was one of those amiable, inoffensive
savants who, having once taken to gold spectacles, appear
to have arrived at a settled standard of age, and, however
long they live afterwards, seem never to be older than
they have ever been.

Claiming a sort of kindredship with all the world,
he was universally known, far beyond the pale of
his own connexions, by the name of “Cousin Benedict.”
In the ordinary concerns of life nothing would ever have
rendered him capable of shifting for himself; of his meals
he would never think until they were placed before him ;
he had the appearance of being utterly insensible to heat or
cold; he vegetated rather than lived, and might not
inaptly be compared to a tree which, though healthy
enough at its core, produces scant foliage and no fruit.
His long arms and legs were in the way of himself and
everybody else ; yet no one could possibly treat him with
unkindness. As M. Prudhomme would say, “if only he
had been endowed with capability,” he would have rendered
a service to any one in the world; but helplessness was
his dominant characteristic; helplessness was ingrained
6 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



into his very nature; yet this very helplessness made him
an object of kind consideration rather than of contempt, and
Mrs. Weldon looked upon him as a kind of elder brother
to her little Jack.

It must not be supposed, however, that Cousin Benedict
was either idle or unoccupied. On the contrary, his whole
time was devoted to one absorbing passion for natural
history. Not that he had any large claim to be regarded
properly as a natural historian ; he had made no excursions
over the whole four districts of zoology, botany, mineralogy,
and geology, into which the realms of natural history are
commonly divided ; indeed, he had no pretensions at all to
be either a botanist, a mineralogist, or a geologist ; his
studies only sufficed to make him a zoologist, and that in a
very limited sense. No Cuvier was he; he did not aspire
to decompose animal life by analysis, and to recompose it
by synthesis; his enthusiasm had not made him at all
deeply versed in vertebrata, mollusca, or radiata ; in fact,
the vertebrata—animals, birds, reptiles, fishes—had had no
place in his researches ; the mollusca—from the cephalopoda
to the bryozia—had had no attractions for him ; nor had
he consumed the midnight oil in investigating the radiata,
the echinodermata, acalephz, polypi, entozoa, or infusoria.

No ; Cousin Benedict’s interest began and ended with the
articulata ; and it must be owned at once that his studies
were very far from embracing all the range of the six
classes into which “articulata” are subdivided ; viz., the
insecta, the myriapoda, the arachnida, the crustacea, the
cirrhopoda, and the anelides ; and he was utterly unable
in scientific language to distinguish a worm from a leech,
an earwig from a sea-acorn,a spider from a scorpion, a
shrimp from a frog-hopper, or a galley-worm from a centi-
pede.

To confess the plain truth, Cousin Benedict was an
amateur entomologist, and nothing more.

Entomology, it may be asserted, is a wide science; it
embraces the whole division of the articulata;. but our
friend was an entomologist only in the limited sense of the
popular acceptation of the word; that is to say, he was an















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Cousin Benedict. Page 6,
THE “ PILGRIM.” 9

observer and collector of insects, meaning by “insects”
those articulata which have bodies consisting of a number
of concentric movable rings, forming three distinct segments,
each with a pair of legs, and which are scientifically desig-
nated as hexapods.

To this extent was Cousin Benedict an entomologist ; and
when it is remembered that the class of insecta of which he
had grown up to be the enthusiastic student comprises no
less than ten’ orders, and that of these ten the coleoptera
and diptera alone include 30,000 and 60,000 species re-
spectively, it must be confessed that he had an ample field
for his most persevering exertions.

Every available hour did he spend in the pursuit of his
favourite science : hexapods ruled his thoughts by day and
his dreams by night. The number of pins that he carried
thick on the collar and sleeves of his coat, down the front
of his waistcoat, and on the crown of his hat, defied com-
putation ; they were kept in readiness for the capture of
specimens that might come in his way, and on his return
from aramble in the country he might be seen literally
encased with a covering of insects, transfixed adroitly by
scientific rule.

This ruling passion of his had been the inducement that
had urged him to accompany Mr. and Mrs. Weldon to New
Zealand. It had appeared to him that it was likely to be
a promising district, and now having been successful in
adding some rare specimens to his collection, he was anxious
to get back again to San Francisco, and to assign them
their proper places in his extensive cabinet.

Besides, it never occurred to Mrs. Weldon to start without
him. To leave him to shift for himself would be sheer
cruelty. As a matter of course whenever Mrs. Weldon went
on board the “ Pilgrim,’ Cousin Benedict would go too.

1 These ten orders are (1) the orthoptera, ¢. g. grasshoppers and crickets ;
(2) the neuroptera, ¢. g. dragon-flies ; (3) the hymenoptera, e. g. bees, wasps,
and ants ; (4) the lepidoptera, e.g. butterflies. and moths ; (5) the hemiptera,
é. g. cicadas and fleas ; (6) the coleoptera, ¢. 2. cockchafers and glow-worms ;
(7) the diptera, eg. gnats and flies ; (8) the rhipiptera, e.g. the stylops ; (9)
the parasites, e.g. the acarus; and (10) the thysanura, ¢.g. the lepisma and
podura.
Io DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,

Not that in any emergency assistance of any kind could be
expected from him ; on the contrary, in the case of difficulty
he would be an additional burden; but there was every
reason to expect a fair passage and no cause of misgiving
of any kind, so the propriety of leaving the amiable
entomologist behind was never suggested.

Anxious that she should be no impediment in the way
of the due departure of the “ Pilgrim” from Waitemata,
Mrs. Weldon made her preparations with the utmost haste,
discharged the servants which she had temporarily engaged
at Auckland, and accompanied by little Jack and the old
negress, and followed mechanically by Cousin Benedict,
embarked on the 22nd of January on board the schooner.

The amateur, however, kept his eye very scrupulously
upon his own special box. Amongst his collection of
insects were some very remarkable examples of new
staphylins, a species of carnivorous coleoptera with eyes
placed above their head; it was a kind supposed to be
peculiar to New Caledonia, Another rarity which had been
brought under his notice was a venomous spider, known
among the Maoris as a “ katipo ;” its bite was asserted to
be very often fatal. As a spider, however, belongs to the
order of the arachnida, and is not properly an “ insect,”
Benedict declined to take any interest in it. DEnough for
him that he had secured a novelty in his own section of
research ; the “ Staphylin Neo-Zelandus ” was not only the
gem.of his collection, but its pecuniary value baffled ordinary
estimate ; he insured his box at a fabulous sum, deeming it
to be worth far more than all the cargo of oil and whale-
bone in the “ Pilgrim’s” hold.

Captain Hull advanced to meet Mrs. Weldcu. and her
party as they stepped on deck.

“Tt must be understood, Mrs. Weldon,” he said, courteously
raising his hat, “that you take this passage entirely on
your own responsibility.”

“ Certainly, Captain Hull,” she answered ; “but why do
yo ask ?”

“Simply because I have received no orders from Mr.
Weldon,” replied the captain.
























































































































































































































































































































































































































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Page 10.



Captain Hull advanced to meet Mrs, Weldon and her party.
THE “ PILGRIM.” 13



“ But my wish exonerates you,” said Mrs. Weldon.

“ Besides,” added Captain Hull, “I am unable to provide
you with the accommodation and the comfort that you
would have upon a passenger steamer.”

“You know well enough, captain,” remonstrated the lady
“that my husband would not hesitate for a moment to
trust his wife and child on board the ‘ Pilgrim.’”

“Trust, madam! No! no more than I should myself. I
repeat that the ‘ Pilgrim’ cannot afford you the comfort
to which you are accustomed.”

Mrs. Weldon smiled.

“Oh, I am not one of your grumbling travellers. I shall
have no complaints to make either of small cramped
cabins, or of rough and meagre food.”

She took her son by the hand, and passing on, begged
that they might start forthwith. ,

Orders accordingly were given; sails were trimmed ;
and after taking the shortest course across the gulf, the
“ Pilgrim ” turned her head towards America.

Three days later strong easterly breezes compelled the
schooner to tack to larboard in order to get to windward.
The consequence was that by the 2nd of February the
captain found himself in such a latitude that he might
almost be suspected of intending to round Cape Horn rather
than of having a design to coast the western shores of the
New Continent.

Still, the sea did not become rough. There was a slight
delay, but, on the whole, navigation was perfectly easy.
14 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER II.
THE APPRENTICE.

THERE was no poop upon the “Pilgrim’s” deck, so that
Mrs. Weldon had no alternative than to acquiesce in the
captain’s proposal that she should occupy his own modest
cabin.

Accordingly, here she was installed with Jack and old
Nan; and here she took all her meals, in company with the
captain and Cousin Benedict.

For Cousin Benedict tolerably comfortable sleeping-
accommodation had been contrived close at hand, while
Captain Hull himself retired to the crew’s quarter, occupy-
ing the cabin which properly belonged to the chief mate,
but as already indicated, the services of a second officer
were quite dispensed with.

All the crew were civil and attentive to the wife of their
employer, a master to whom they were faithfully attached.
They were all natives of the coast of California, brave and
experienced seamen, and united by tastes and habits in a
common bond of sympathy. Few as they were in number,
their work was never shirked, not simply from the sense of
duty, but because they were directly interested in the profits
of their undertaking ; the success of their labours always
told to their own advantage. The present expedition was
the fourth that they had taken together ; and, as it turned out
to be the first in which they had failed to meet with success,
it may be imagined that they were full of resentment
against the mutinous whalemen who had been the cause of
so serious a diminution of their ordinary gains.


ol nL

i





Negoro.
Page 17.
THE APPRENTICE. 17

The only one on board who was not an American was a
man who had been temporarily engaged as cook. His
name was Negoro; he was a Portuguese by birth, but
spoke English with perfect fluency. The previous cook
had deserted the ship at Auckland, and when Negoro, who
was out of employment, applied for the place, Captain
Hull, only too glad to avoid detention, engaged him at
once without inquiry into his antecedents. There was not
the slightest fault to be found with the way in which the
cook performed his duties, but there was something in his
manner, or perhaps, rather in the expression of his counte-
nance, which excited the Captain’s misgivings, and. made
him regret that he had not taken more pains to investigate
the character of one with whom he was now brought into
such close contact.

Negoro looked about forty years of age. Although he
had the appearance of being slightly built, he was muscular;
he was of middle height, and seemed to have a robust con-
stitution ; his hair was dark, his complexion somewhat
swarthy. His manner was taciturn, and although, from
occasional remarks that he dropped, it was evident that he
had received some education, he was very reserved on the
subjects both of his family and of his past life. Noone knew
where he had come from, and he admitted no one to his
confidence as to where he was going, except that he made
no secret of his intention to land at Valparaiso. His free-
dom from sea-sickness demonstrated that this could hardly
be his first voyage, but on the other hand his complete
ignorance of seamen’s phraseology made it certain that
he had never been accustomed to his present occupation.
He kept himself aloof as much as possible from the rest of
the crew, during the day rarely leaving the great cast-iron
stove, which was out of proportion to the measurement of
the cramped little kitchen ; and at night, as soon as the fire
was extinguished, took the earliest opportunity of retiring
to his berth and going to sleep.

It has been already stated that the crew of the “Pilgrim”
consisted of five seamen and an apprentice. This appren-
tice was Dick Sands.

Cc
18 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



Dick was fifteen years old; he was a foundling, his
unknown parents having abandoned him at his birth, and
he had been brought up in a public charitable institution.
He had been called Dick, after the benevolent passer-by
who had discovered him when he was but an infant a few
hours old, and he had received the surname of Sands as a
memorial of the spot where he had been exposed, Sandy
Hook, a point at the mouth of the Hudson, where it forms
an entrance to the harbour of New York.

‘\s Dick was so young it was most likely he would yet
grow a little taller, but it did not seem probable that he
would ever exceed middle height, he looked too stoutly and
strongly built to grow much. His complexion was dark,
but his beaming blue eyes attested, with scarcely room for
doubt, his Anglo-Saxon origin, and his countenance
betokened energy and intelligence. The profession that he
had adopted seemed to have equipped him betimes for
fighting the battle of life.

Misquoted often as Virgil’s are the words

“ Audaces fortuna juvat !”
but the true reading is

“ Audentes fortuna juvat !”

and, slight as the difference may seem, it is very significant.
It is upon the confident rather than the rash, the daring
rather than the bold, that Fortune sheds her smiles; the
bold man often acts without thinking, whilst the daring
always thinks before he acts.

And Dick Sands was truly courageous ; he was one of
the daring. At fifteen years old, an age at which few boys
have laid aside the frivolities of childhood, he had acquired
the stability of a man, and the most casual observer could
scarcely fail to be attracted by his bright, yet thoughtful
countenance. At an early period of his life he had realized
all the difficulties of his position, and had made a resolution,
from which nothing tempted him to flinch, that he would
carve out for himself an honourable and independent career.
Lithe and agile in his movements, he was an adept in
every kind of athletic exercise ; and so marvellous was his
THE APPRENTICE. 19



success in everything he undertook, that he might almost
be supposed to be one of those gifted mortals who have two
right hands and two left feet.

Until he was four years old the little orphan had found
a home in one of those institutions in America where for-
saken children are sure of an asylum, and he was subse-
quently sent to an industrial school supported by charitable
aid, where he learnt reading, writing, and arithmetic. From
the days of infancy he had never deviated from the ex-
pression of his wish to be a sailor, and accordingly, as soon
as he was eight, he was placed as cabin-boy on board one
of the ships that navigate the Southern Seas. The officers
all took a peculiar interest in him, and he received, in con-
sequence, a thoroughly good grounding in the duties’ and
discipline of a seaman’s life. There was no room to doubt
that he must ultimately rise ‘to eminence in his profession,
for when a child from the very first has been trained in the
knowledge that he must gain his bread by the sweat of his
brow, it is comparatively rare that he lacks the will to do so.

Whilst he was still acting as cabin-boy on one .of those
trading-vessels, Dick attracted the notice of Captain Hull,
who took a fancy to the lad and introduced him to his
employer. Mr. Weldon at once took a lively interest in
Dick’s welfare, and had his education continued in San
Francisco, taking care that he was instructed in the doctrines
of the Roman Catholic Church, to which his own family
belonged.

Throughout his studies Dick Sands favourite subjects
were always those which had a reference to his future
profession ; he mastered the details of the geography of the
world ; he applied himself diligently to such branches of
mathematics as were necessary for the science of navigation ;
whilst for recreation in his hours of Icisure, he would
greedily devour every book of adventure in travel that came
in his way. Nor did he omit duly to combine the practical
with the theoretical ; and when he was bound apprentice
on board the “ Pilgrim,” a vessel not only belonging to his
benefactor, but under the command of his kind friend
Captain Hull, he congratulated himself most heartily, and

Cc 2
20 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

felt that the experience he should gain in the southern
whale-fisheries could hardly fail to be of service to him in
after-life. A first-rate sailor ought to be a first-rate fisher-
man too.

It was a matter of the greatest pleasure to Dick Sands
when he heard to his surprise that Mrs. Weldon was about
to become a passenger on board the “Pilgrim.” His
devotion to the family of his benefactor was large and
genuine. For several years Mrs. Weldon had acted towards
him little short of a mother’s part, and for Jack, although he
never forgot the difference in their position, he entertained
well-nigh a brother’s affection. His friends had the satisfac-
tion of being assured that they had sown the seeds of
kindness on a generous soil, for there was no room to doubt
that the heart of the orphan boy was overflowing with
sincere gratitude. Should the occasion arise, ought he not,
he asked, to be ready to sacrifice everything in behalf of
those to whom he was indebted not only for his start in
life, but for the knowledge of all that was right and holy?

Confiding in the good principles of her protégé, Mrs.
Weldon had no hesitation in entrusting her little son to his
especial charge. During the frequent periods of leisure,
when the sea was fair, and the sails required no shifting,
the apprentice was never weary of amusing Jack by making
him familiar with the practice of a sailor’s craft; he made
him scramble up the shrouds, perch upon the yards, and
slip down the back-stays ; and the mother had no alarm ;
her assurance of Dick Sands’ ability and watchfulness to
protect her boy was so complete that she could only
rejoice in an occupation for him that seemed more than any-
thing to restore the colour he had lost in his recent illness.

Time passed on without incident ; and had it not been
for the constant prevalence of an adverse wind, neither pas-
sengers nor crew could have found the least cause of com-
plaint. The pertinacity, however, with which the wind kept
to the east could not do otherwise than make Captain Hull
somewhat concerned; it absolutely prevented him from
getting his ship into her proper course, and he could not
altogether suppress his misgiving that the calms near the








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Page 20,

Dick and little Jack.
THE APPRENTICE, 23



Tropic of Capricorn, and the equatorial current driving him
on westwards, would entail a delay that might be serious.

It was principally on Mrs. Weldon’s account that the Cap-
tain began to feel uneasiness, and he made up his mind that if
he could hail a vessel proceeding to America he should ad-
vise his passengers to embark on her; unfortunately, how-
ever, he felt that they were still in a latitude far too much
to the south to make it likely that they should sight a
steamer going to Panama; and at that date, communication
between Australia and the New World was much less fre-
quent than it has since become.

Still, nothing occurred to interrupt the general monotony
of the voyage until the 2nd of February, the date at which
our narrative commences.

It was about nine o'clock in the morning of that day that
Dick and little Jack had perched themselves together on
the top-mast-yards. The weather was very clear, and they
could see the horizon right round except the section behind
them, hidden by the brigantine-sail on the main-mast.
Below them, the bowsprit seemed to lie along the water with
its stay-sails attached like three unequal wings ; from the lads’
feet to the deck was the smooth surface of the fore-mast ;
and above their heads nothing but the small top-sail and
the top-mast. ‘The schooner was running on the larboard
tack as close to the wind as possible.

Dick Sand was pointing out to Jack how well the ship
was ballasted, and was trying to explain how it was
impossible for her to capsize, however much she heeled to
starboard, when suddenly the little fellow cried out,—

“T can see something in the water!”

“Where? what?” exclaimed Dick, clambering to his
feet upon the yard.

“There!” said the child, directing attention to the
portion of the sea-surface that was visible between the
stay-sails,

Dick fixed his gaze intently for a moment, and then
shouted out lustily,—

“Look out in front, to starboard! There is something
afloat. To windward, look out |”
24 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.
T

CHAPTER III.
A RESCUE.

AT the sound of Dick’s voice all the crew, in a moment,
were upon the alert. The men who were not on watch
rushed to the deck, and Captain Hull hurried from his
cabin to the bows. Mrs. Weldon, Nan, and even Cousin
Benedict leaned over the starboard taffrails, eager to get a
glimpse of what had thus suddenly attracted the attention
of the young apprentice. With his usual indifference,
Negoro did not leave his cabin, and was the only person on
board who did not share the general excitement.

Speculations were soon rife as to what could be the
nature of the floating object which could be discerned
about three miles ahead. Suggestions of various character
were freely made. One of the sailors declared that it
looked to him only like an abandoned raft, but Mrs.
Weldon observed quickly that if it were a raft it might
be carrying some unfortunate shipwrecked men who must
be rescued if possible. Cousin Benedict asserted that it
was nothing more nor less than a huge sea-monster ; but
the captain soon arrived at the conviction that it was the
hull of a vessel that had heeled over on to its side, an opinion
with which Dick thoroughly coincided, and went so far as
to say that he believed he could make out the copper keel
glittering in the sun.

“Luff, Bolton, luff!” shouted Captain Hull to the
helmsman ; “we will at any rate lose no time in getting
alongside.”

“ Ay, ay, sir,” answered the helmsman, and the “ Pil-
grim ” in an instant was stecred according to orders,
A. RESCUE. 25

$e

In spite, however, of the convictions of the captain and
Dick, Cousin Benedict would not be moved from _ his
opinion that the object of their curiosity was some huge
cetacean.

“Tt is certainly dead, then,” remarked Mrs. Weldon ; “ it
is perfectly motionless.”

“Oh, that’s because it is asleep,” said Benedict, who,
although he would have willingly given up all the whales
in the ocean for one rare specimen of an insect, yet could
not surrender his own belief.

“Easy, Bolton, easy!” shouted the captain when they
were getting nearer the floating mass; “don’t let us be
running foul of the thing; no good could come from
knocking a hole in our side; keep out from it a good
cable’s length.”

“ Ay, ay, sir,” replied the helmsman, in his usual cheery
way ; and by an easy turn of the helm the “ Pilgrim’s”
course was slightly modified so as to avoid all fear of
collision.

The excitement of the sailors by this time had become
more intense. Ever since the distance had been less than
a mile all doubt had vanished, and it was certain that what
was attracting their attention was the hull of a capsized
ship. They knew well enough the established rule that a
third of all salvage is the right of the finders, and they were
filled with the hope that the hull they were nearing might
contain an undamaged cargo, and be “a good haul,” to
compensate them for their ill-success in the last season.

A quarter of an hour later and the “ Pilgrim” was within
half a mile of the deserted vessel, facing her starboard side.
Water-logged to her bulwarks, she had heeled over so com-
pletely that it would have been next to impossible to stand
upon her deck. Of her masts nothing was to be seen; a
few ends of cordage were all that remained of her shrouds,
and the try-sail chains were hanging all broken. On the
starboard flank was an enormous hole.

“ Something or other has run foul of her,” said Dick.

“No doubt of that,’ replied the captain; “the only
Wonder is that she did not sink immediately.”
26 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

“Oh, how I hope the poor crew have been saved!” ex-
claimed Mrs. Weldon.

“Most probably,” replied the captain, “they would ali
have taken to the boats. It is as likely as not that the
ship which did the mischief would continue its course quite
unconcerned.”

“Surely, you cannot mean,” cried Mrs. Weldon, “ that
any one could be capable of such inhumanity ?”

“Only too probable,’ answered Captain Hull; “ un-
fortunately, such instances are very far from rare.”

He scanned the drifting ship carefully and continued,—

“No; I cannot see any sign of boats here; I should
guess that the crew have made an atteript to get to land ;
at such a distance as this, however, from America or from
the islands of the Pacific I should be afraid that it must
be hopeless.”

“Ts it not possible,’ asked Mrs. Weldon, “that some
poor creature may still survive on board, who can tell what
has happened ?” ;

“Hardly likely, madam; otherwise there would have
‘been some sort of a signal in sight. But it is a matter
about which we will make sure.”

The captain waved his hand a little in the direction in
which he wished to go, and said quietly,—

“ Luff, Bolton, luff a bit !”

The “Pilgrim” by this time was not much more than
three cables’ lengths from the ship; there was still no
token of her being otherwise than utterly deserted, when
Dick Sands suddenly exclaimed,—

“Hark! if I am not much mistaken, that is a dog
barking!”

Every one listened attentively ; it was no fancy on Dick’s
part; sure enough a stifled barking could be heard, as if
some unfortunate dog had been imprisoned beneath the
hatchways; but as the deck was not yet visible, it was
impossible at present to determine the precise truth,

Mrs. Weldon pleaded,—

“Tf it is only a dog, captain, let it be saved!”

“Oh, yes, yes, mamma, the dog must be saved!” cried


























Negoro had approached without being noticed by any one. Page 29.
A RESCUE. 29

little Jack; “I will go and get a bit of sugar ready
for it.”

“A bit of sugar, my child, will not be much for a starved
dog.”

“Then it shall have my soup, and I will: do without,”
said the boy, and he kept shouting, “Good dog! good
dog!” until he persuaded himself that he heard the animal
responding to his call.

The vessels were now scarcely three hundred feet apart ;
the barking was more and more distinct, and presently a
great dog was seen clinging to the starboard netting. It
barked more desperately than ever.

“ Howick,” said Captain Hull, calling to the boatswain,
“heave to, and lower the small boat.”

The sails were soon trimmed so as to bring the schooner
to a standstill within half a cable’s length of the disabled
craft, the boat was lowered, and the captain and Dick, with
a couple of sailors, went on board. The dog kept up a
continual yelping; it made the most vigourous efforts
to retain its hold upon the netting, but perpetually slipped
backwards and fell off again upon the inclining deck. It
was soon manifest, however, that all the noise the creature
was making was not directed exclusively towards those
who were coming to its rescue, and Mrs. Weldon could not
divest herself of the impression that there must be some
survivors still on board. All at once the animal changed
its gestures. Instead of the crouching attitude and sup-
plicating whine with which it seemed to be imploring the
compassion of those who were nearing it, it suddenly
appeared to become bursting with violence and furious
with rage.

“What ails the brute?” exclaimed Captain Hull.

But already the boat was on the farther side of the
wrecked ship, and the captain was not in a position to
see that Negoro the cook had just come on to the schooner's
deck, or that it was obvious that it was against him that
the dog had broken out in such obstreperous fury. Negoro
had approached without being noticed by any one; he
made his way to the forecastle, whence, without a word
30 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

or look of surprise, he gazed a moment at the dog, knitted
his brow, and, silent and unobserved as he had come, .
retired to his kitchen. :

As the boat had rounded the stern of the drifting hull, it
had been observed that the one word “Waldeck” was
painted on the aft-board, but that there was no intimation
of the port to which the ship belonged. To Captain Hull’s
experienced eye, however, certain details of construction
gave a decided confirmation to the probability suggested
by her name that she was of American build.

Of what had once been a fine brig of 500 tons burden
this hopeless wreck was now all that remained. The large
hole near the bows indicated the place where the disastrous
shock had occurred, but as, in the heeling over, this aperture
had been carried some five or six feet above the water, the
vessel had escaped the immediate foundering which must
otherwise have ensued ; but still it wanted only the rising
of a heavy swell to submerge the ship at any time in a few
minutes. ;

It did not take many more strokes to bring the boat close
to the larboard bulwark, which was half out of the water,
and Captain Hull obtained a view of the whole length of
the deck. It was clear from end to end. Both masts had
been snapped off within two feet of their sockets, and had
been swept away with shrouds, stays, and rigging. Not a
single spar was to be seen floating anywhere within sight
of the wreck, a circumstance from which it was to be
inferred that several days at least had elapsed since the
catastrophe.

Meantime the dog, sliding down from the taffrail, got to
the centre hatchway, which was open. Here it continued
to bark, alternately directing its eyes above deck and
below.

“Look at that dog!” said Dick ; “I begin to think there
must be somebody on board.”

“Tf so,” answered the captain, “he must have died of
hunger ; the water of course has flooded the store-room.”

“No,” said Dick; “that dog wouldn’t look like that if
there were nobody there alive.”
































































































































































































































































































lhe dog began Lo swim slowly and with manifest weakness fee the boat,
age 33.
A RESCUE, : 33

Taking the boat as close as was prudent to the wreck,
the captain and Dick called and whistled repeatedly to the
dog, which after a while let itself slip into the sea, and began
to swim slowly and with manifest weakness towards the
boat. As soon as it was lifted in, the animal, instead of
devouring the piece of bread that was offered him, made its
way to a bucket containing a few drops of fresh water, and

“began eagerly to lap them up.

“The poor wretch is dying of thirst!” said Dick.

It soon appeared that the dog was very far from being
engrossed with its own interests. The boat was being
pushed back a few yards in order to allow the captain to
ascertain the most convenient place to get alongside the
“Waldeck,” when the creature seized Dick by the jacket,
and set up a howl that was almost human in its piteousness.
It was evidently in a state of alarm that the boat was
not going to return to the wreck. The dog’s meaning could
not be misunderstood. The boat was accordingly brought
against the larboard side of the vessel, and while the two
sailors lashed her securely to the “ Waldeck’s” cat-head,
Captain Hull and Dick, with the dog persistently accom-
panying them, clambered, after some difficulty, to the open
hatchway between the stumps of the masts, and made their
way into the hold. It was half full of water, but perfectly
destitute of cargo, its sole contents being the ballast sand
which had slipped to larboard, and now served tc keep the
vessel on her side.

One glance was sufficient to convince the captain that
there was no salvage to be effected.

“There is nothing here ; nobody here,” he said.

“So I see,” said the apprentice, who had made his way
to the extreme fore-part of the hold.

“Then we have only to go up again,” remarked the
captain.

They ascended the ladder, but no sooner did they re-
appear upon the deck than the dog, barking irrepres-
sibly, began trying manifestly to drag them towards the
stern.

Yielding to what might be called the importunities of the
34 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

dog, they followed him to the poop, and there, by the dim
glimmer admitted by the sky-light, Captain Hull made out
the forms of five bodies, motionless and apparently lifeless,
stretched upon the floor.

One after another, Dick hastily examined them all, and
emphatically declared it to be his opinion, that not one of
them had actually ceased to breathe ; whereupon the captain
did not lose a minute in summoning the two sailors to his
aid, and although it was far from an easy task, he succeeded
in getting the five unconscious men, who were all negroes,
conveyed safely to the boat.

The dog followed, apparently satisfied.

With all possible speed the boat made its way back
again to the “Pilgrim,” a girt-line was lowered from the
mainyard, and the unfortunate men were raised to the
deck.

“Poor things!” said Mrs. Weldon, as she looked com-
passionately on the motionless forms.

“But they are not dead,” cried Dick eagerly ; “ they are
not dead ; we shall save them all yet!”

“What's the matter with them ?” asked Cousin Benedict,
looking at them with utter bewilderment.

“We shall hear all about them soon, I dare say,” said
the captain, smiling ; “but first we will give them a few
drops of rum in some water.”

Cousin Benedict smiled in return.

“Negoro!” shouted the captain.

At the sound of the name, the dog, who had hitherto
been quite passive, growled fiercely, showed his teeth, and
exhibited every sign of rage. -

The cook did not answer.

“Negoro!” again the captain shouted, and the dog
became yet more angry.

At this second summons Negoro slowly left his kitchen,
but no sooner had he shown his face upon the deck than
the animal made a rush at him, and would unquestionably
have seized him by the throat if the man had not knocked
him back with a poker which he had brought with him in
his hand, ,
A RESCUE. 35

The infuriated beast was secured by the sailors, and
prevented from inflicting any serious injury.

“Do you know this dog?” asked the captain.

“Know him? Not I! I have never set eyes on the
brute in my life.”

“Strange!” muttered Dick to himself; “there is some
mystery here. We shall sce.”
36 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER IV.
TIIE SURVIVORS OF THE “ WALDECK.”

IN spite of the watchfulness of the French and English
cruisers, there is no doubt that the slave-trade is still
extensively carried on in all parts of equatorial Africa, and
that year after year vessels loaded with slaves leave the
coasts of Angola and Mozambique to transport their living
freight to many quarters even of the civilized world.

Of this Captain Hull was well aware, and although he
was now in a latitude which was comparatively little
traversed by such slavers, he could not help almost involun-
tarily conjecturing that the negroes they had just found
must be part of a slave-cargo which was on its way to some
colony of the Pacific ; if this were so, he would at least
have the satisfaction of announcing to them that they had
regained their freedom from the moment that they came on
board the “ Pilgrim.”

Whilst these thoughts were passing through his mind,
Mrs. Weldon, assisted by Nan and the ever active Dick
Sands, was doing everything in her power to restore con-
sciousness to the poor sufferers. - The judicious administra-
tion of fresh water and a. limited quantity of food soon had
the effect of making them revive; and when they were
restored to their senses it was found that the eldest of them,
a man of about sixty years of age, who immediately regained
his powers of speech, was able to reply in good English to
all the questions that were put to him. In answer to
Captain Hull’s inquiry whether they were not slaves, the
old negro proudly stated that he and his companions were


























an and the ever active Dick Sands, was doing
ifferers.
Page 36.

Mrs, Weldon, assisted by N:

everything in her power to restore conscivusness to the poor st
THE SURVIVORS OF THE “WALDECK.” 39



all free American citizens, belonging to the state of Penn-
sylvania.

“Then, let me assure you, my friend,” said the captain,
“you have by no means compromised your liberty in having
been brought on board the American schooner ‘ Pilgrim.’”

Not merely, as it seemed, on account of his age and
experience, but rather because of a certain superiority and
greater energy of character, this old man was tacitly
recognized as the spokesman of his party ; he freely com-
municated all the information that Captain Hull required
to hear, and by degrees he related all the details of his
adventures.

He said that his name was Tom, and that when he was
only six years of age he had been sold as a slave, and
brought from his home in Africa to the United States ; but
by the act of emancipation he had long since recovered his
freedom. His companions, who were all much younger
than himself, their ages ranging from twenty-five to thirty,
were all free-born, their parents having been emancipated
before their birth, so that no white man had ever exercised
upon them the rights of ownership. One of them was his
own son; his name was Bat (an abbreviation of Bartholo-
mew) ; and there were three others, named Austin, Acteon,
and Hercules. All four of them were specimens of that
stalwart race that commands so high a price in the African
market, and in spite of the emaciation induced by their
recent sufferings, their muscular, well-knit frames betokened
a strong and healthy constitution. Their manner bore the
impress of that solid education which is given in the North
American schools, and their speech had lost all trace of the
“nigger-tongue,” a dialect without articles or inflexions,
which since the anti-slavery war has almost died out in the
United States.

Three years ago, old Tom stated, the five men had been
engaged by an Englishman who had large property in
South Australia, to work upon his estates near Melbourne,
Here they had realized a considerable profit, and upon the
completion of their engagement they determined to return
With their savings to America. Accordingly, on the 5th of
40 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



January, after paying their passage in the ordinary way,
they embarked. at Melbourne on board the “ Waldeck.”
Everything went on well for seventeen days, until, on the
night of the 22nd, which was very dark, they were run into
by a great steamer. They were all asleep in their berths,
but, roused by the shock of the collision, which was ex-
tremely severe, they hurriedly made their way on to the
deck. The scene was terrible ; both masts were gone, and
the brig, although the water had not absolutely flooded her
hold so as to make her sink, had completely heeled over on
her side. Captain and crew had entirely disappeared, some
probably having been dashed into the sea, others perhaps
having saved themselves by clinging to the rigging of the
ship which had fouled them, and which could be dis-
tinguished through the darkness rapidly receding in the
distance. For a while they were paralyzed, but they soon
awoke to the conviction that they were left alone upon a
half-capsized and disabled hull, twelve hundred miles from
the nearest land.

Mrs. Weldon was loud in her expression of indignation
that any captain should have the barbarity to abandon an
unfortunate vessel! with which his own carelessness had
brought him into collision. It would be bad enough, she
said for a driver on a public road, when it might be pre-
sumed that help would be forthcoming, to pass on uncon-
cerned after causing an accident to another vehicle ; but
how much more shameful to desert the injured on the open
sea, where the victims of his incompetence could have no
chance of obtaining succour! Captain Hull could only
repeat what he had said before, that incredibly atrocious as
it might seem, such inhumanity was far from rare.

On resuming his story, Tom said that he and his com-
panions soon found that they had no means left for getting
away from the capsized brig; both the boats had) been
crushed in the collision, so that they: had no alternative
except to await the appearance of a passing vessel, whilst
the. wreck was drifting hopelessly along under the action of
the currents. This accounted for the fact of their being
found so far south of their proper course.
THE SURVIVORS OF THE “ WALDECK.” - Al

For the next ten days the negroes had subsisted upon a
few scraps of food that they found in the stern cabin; but
as the store room was entirely under water, they were quite
unable to obtain a drop of anything to drink, and the fresh-
water tanks that had been lashed to the deck had been
stove in at the time of the catastrophe. Tortured with
thirst, the poor men had suffered agonies, and having on
the previous night entirely lost consciousness, they must
soon have died if the “ Pilgrim’s” timely arrival had not
effected their rescue.

All the outlines of Tom’s narrative were fully confirmed
by the other negroes ; Captain Hull could see no reason to
doubt it ; indeed, the facts seemed to speak for them-
selves.

One other survivor of the wreck, if he had been gifted
with the power of speech, would doubtless have corroborated
the testimony. This was the dog who seemed to have
such an unaccountable dislike to Negoro.

Dingo, as the dog was named, belonged to the fine breed
of mastiffs peculiar to New Holland. It was not, however,
from Australia, -but from the coast of West Africa, near the
mouth of the Congo, that the animal had come. He had
been picked up there, two years previously, by the captain
of the “ Waldeck,” who had found: him wandering about
and more than half starved. The initials S. V. engraved
upon his collar were the only tokens that the dog had
a past history of his own. After he had been taken on
board the “Waldeck,” he remained quite unsociable,
apparently ever pining for some lost master, whom he had
failed to find in the desert land where he had been met
with.

Larger than the dogs of the Pyrenees, Dingo was a mag-
nificent example of his kind. Standing on his hind legs,
with his head thrown back, he was as tall asa man. His
agility and strength would have made him a sure match
for a panther, and he would not have flinched at facing a
bear. His fine shaggy coat was a dark tawny colour,
shading off somewhat lighter round the muzzle, and
his long bushy tail was as strong asa lion’s. If he were
42 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

made angry, no doubt he might become a most formidable
foe, so that it was no wonder that Negoro did not feel
altogether gratified at his reception.

But Dingo, though unsociable, was not savage. Old
Tom said that, on board the “ Waldeck,” he had noticed that
the animal seemed to have a particular dislike to negroes ;
not that he actually attempted to do them any harm, only
he uniformly avoided them, giving an impression that he
must have been systematically ill-treated by the natives of
that part of Africa in which he had been found. During
the ten days that had elapsed since the collision, Dingo
had kept resolutely aloof from Tom and his companions ;
they could not tell what he had been feeding on; they
only knew that, like themselves, he had suffered an excru-
ciating thirst.

Such had been the experience of the survivors of the
“Waldeck.” Their situation had been most critical. Even
if they survived the pangs of want of food, the slightest
gale or the most inconsiderable swell might at any moment
have sunk the water-logged ship, and had it not been that
calms and contrary winds had contributed to the opportune
arrival of the “ Pilgrim,” an inevitable fate was before them ;
their corpses must lie at the bottom of the sea.

Captain Hull’s act of humanity, however, would not be
complete unless he succeeded in restoring the shipwrecked
men to their homes. This he promised to do. After com-
pleting the unlading at Valparaiso, the “Pilgrim” would
make direct for California, where, as Mrs. Weldon assured
them, they would be most hospitably received by her hus-
band, and provided with the necessary means for return-
ing to Pennsylvania.

The five men, who, as the consequence of the shipwreck,
had lost all the savings of their last three years of toil,
were profoundly grateful to their kind-hearted benefactors ;
nor, poor negroes as they were, did they utterly resign the
hope that at some future time they might have it in their
power to repay the debt which they owed their deliverers,




























































































































































Z
TENN

Ih

ATL 4 ry



‘The good-natured negroes were ever ready to lend a helping hand.
Lage 45:
DINGO’S SAGACITY. 45



CHAPTER V.
DINGO’S SAGACITY.

MEANTIME the “ Pilgrim” pursued her course, keeping as
much as possible to the east, and before eveniug closed in
the hull of the “ Waldeck” was out of sight.

Captain Hull still continued to feel uneasy about the
constant prevalence of calms; not that for himself he
cared much about the delay of a week or two in a voyage
from New Zealand to Valparaiso, but he was disappointed
at the prolonged inconvenience it caused to his lady
passenger. Mrs. Weldon, however, submitted to the
detention very philosophically, and did not utter a word of
complaint.

The captain’s next care was to improvise sleeping
accommodation for Tom and his four associates. No room
for them could possibly be found in the crew's quarters, so
that their berths had to be arranged under the forecastle ;
and as long as the weather continued fine, there was no
reason why the negroes, accustomed as they were to a
somewhat rough life, should not find themselves sufficiently
comfortable. ;

After this incident of the discovery of the wreck, life on
board the “Pilgrim” relapsed into its ordinary routine.
With the wind invariably in the same direction, the sails
required very little shifting ; but whenever it happened, as
occasionally it would, that there was any tacking to be
done, the good-natured negroes were ever ready to lend a
helping hand; and the rigging would creak again under
the weight of Hercules, a great strapping fellow, six feet
46 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

high, who seemed almost to require ropes of extra strength
made for his special use.

Hercules became at once a great favourite with little
Jack ; and when the giant lifted him like a doll in his
stalwart arms, the child fairly shrieked with delight.

“Higher! higher! very high!” Jack would say some-
times.

“There you are, then, Master Jack,” Hercules would
reply as he raised him aloft.

“Am I heavy ?” asked the child,

“ As heavy as a feather.”

“ Then lift me higher still,” cried Jack; “as high as ever
you can reach.”

And Hercules, with the child’s two feet supported on
his huge palm, would walk about the deck with him like
an acrobat, Jack all the time endeavouring, with vain
efforts, to make him “feel his weight.” ,

Besides Dick Sands and-Hercules, Jack admitted a
third friend to his companionship. This was Dingo. The
dog, unsociable as he had been on beard the “ Waldeck,”
seemed to have found society more congenial to his tastes,
and being one of those animals that are fond of children, he
allowed jack to do with him almost anything he pleased.
The child, however, never thought of hurting the dog in
any way, and it was doubtful which of the two had the
greater enjoyment of their mutual sport. Jack found a
live dog infinitely more entertaining than his old toy upon
its four wheels, and his: great delight was to mount upon
Dingo’s back, when the animal would gallop off with him
like a race-horse with his jockey. It must be owned ‘that
one result of this intimacy was a serious diminution of the
supply of sugar in the store-room. Dingo was the delight
of all the crew excepting Negoro, who cautiously avoided
coming in contact with an animal who showed such
unmistakable symptoms of hostility.

The new companions that Jack had thus found did not
in the least make him forget. his old friend Dick Sands,
who devoted all his leisure time to him as assiduously as
ever. Mrs. Weldon regarded their intimacy with the







































DINGO’S SAGACITY. 49



greatest satisfaction, and one day made a remark to that
effect in the presence of Captain Hull.

“You are right, madam,” said the captain cordially ;
“Dick is a capital fellow, and will be sure to be a first-rate
sailor. He has an instinct which is little short of a genius;
it supplies all deficiencies of theory. Considering how
short an experience and how little instruction he has
had, it is quite wonderful how much he knows about a ship.”

“Certainly for his age,” assented Mrs. Weldon, “he is
singularly advanced. I can safely say that I have never
had a fault to find with him. I believe that it is my
husband's intention, after this voyage, to let him have
systematic training in navigation, so that he may be
able ultimately to become a captain.”

“JT have no misgivings, madam,” replied the captain ;
“there is every reason to expect that he will be an honour
to the service.”

“Poor orphan!” said.the lady ; “he has been trained in
a hard school.”

“Its lessons have not been lost upon him,” rejoined
Captain Hull; “they have taught him the prime lesson
that he has his own way to make in the world.”

The eyes of the two speakers turned as it were
unwittingly in the direction where Dick Sands happened
to be standing. He was at the helm. —

“Look at him now!” said the captain; “see how
steadily he keeps his eye upon the fore; nothing distracts
bim from his duty; he is as much to be depended on as
the most experienced helmsman. It was a capital thing
for him that he began his training asa cabin-boy. Nothing
like it. Begin at the beginning. It is the best of training
for the merchant service.”

“But surely,” interposed Mrs. Weldon, “you would not
deny that in the navy there have been many good officers
who have never had the training of which you are
speaking ?”

“True, madam ; but yet even some of the best of them
have begun at the lowest step of the ladder. For instance,
Tord Nelson,”
50 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Just at this instant Cousin Benedict emerged from the
stern-cabin, and compietely absorbed, according to his wont,
in his own pursuit, began to wander up and down the deck,
peering into the interstices of the network, rummaging
under the seats, and drawing his long fingers along the
cracks in the floor where the tar had crumbled away.

“Well, Benedict, how are you getting on?’ asked
Mrs Weldon.

“I? Oh, well enough, thank you,” he replied dreamily ;
“but I wish we were on shore.”

“What were you looking for under that bench?” said
Captain Hull.

“Insects, of course,” answered Benedict ; “I am always
looking for insects.”

“But don’t you know, Benedict,’ said Mrs. Weldon,
“that Captain Hull is far too particular to allow any vermin
on the deck of his vessel?”

Captain Hull smiled and said,—

“Mrs Weldon is very complimentary ; but Iam really
inclined to hope that your investigations in the cabins of
the ‘Pilgrim’ will not be attended with much success.”

Cousin Benedict shrugged his shoulders in a manner
that indicated that he was aware that the cabins could
furnish nothing attractive in the way of insects.

“ However,” continued the captain, “I dare say down ia
the hold you could find some cockroaches ; but cockroaches,
I presume, would be of little or no interest to you.”

“No interest?” cried Benedict, at once warmed into en-
thusiasm ; “why, are they not the very orthoptera that
roused the imprecations of Virgil and Horace? Are they
not closely allied to the Reriplaneta orientalis and the
American Kakerlac, which inhabit—

“T should rather say infest,” interrupted the captain.

“Easy enough to see, sir,” replied Benedict, stopping
short with amazement, “that you are not an entomo-
logist !”

“T fear I must plead guilty to your accusation,” said the
captain good-humouredly.

“You must not expect every one to be suck: au enthu-
DINGO’S SAGACITY. 52

siast in your favourite study as yourself,’ Mrs. Weldon
interposed ; “ but are you not satisfied with the result of
your explorations in New Zealand ?”

“Yes, yes,” answered Benedict, with a sort of hesitating
reluctance; “I must not say I was dissatisfied; I was
really very delighted to secure that new staphylin which
hitherto had never been seen elsewhere than in New
California ; but still, you know, an entomologist is always
craving for fresh additions to his collection.”

While he was speaking, Dingo, leaving little Jack, who
was romping with him, came and jumped on Benedict, and
began to fawn on him.

“Get away, you brute!” he exclaimed, thrusting the dog
aside.

“Poor Dingo! good dog!” cried Jack, running up and
taking the animal’s huge head between his tiny hands.

“Your interest in cockroaches, Mr. Benedict,” observed
the captain, “does not seem to extend to dogs.”

“Tt isn’t that I dislike dogs at all,” answered Benedict ;
“but this creature has disappointed me.”

“How do you mean? You could hardly want to cata-
logue him with the diptera or hymenoptera ?” asked Mrs
Weldon laughingly.

“Oh, not atall,” replied Benedict, with the most unmoved
gravity. “ ButI understood that he had been found on the
West Coast of Africa, and I hoped that perhaps he might
have brought over some African hemiptera in his coat;
but I have searched his coat well, over and over again,
without finding a single specimen. The dog has disap-
pointed me,” he repeated mournfully.

“Tcan only hope,” said the captain, “that if you had
found anything, you were going to kill it instantly.”

Benedict looked with mute astonishment into the
captain’s face. In a moment or two afterwards, he
said,—

“T suppose, sir, you acknowledge that Sir John Franklin
was an eminent member of your profession ?”

“Certainly ; why?”

“ Because Sir John would never take away the life of
52 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

the most insignificant insect ; it is related of him that when
he had once been incessantly tormented all day by a
mosquito, at last he found it on the back of his hand and
blew it off, saying, ‘Fly away, little creature, the world is
large enough for both you and me!’”

“That little anecdote of yours, Mr. Benedict,” said the
captain, smiling, “is a good deal older than Sir John
Franklin. It is told, in nearly the same words, about Uncle
Toby, in Sterne’s ‘Tristram Shandy’; only there it was not
a mosquito, it was a commen fly.”

“And was Uncle Toby an entomologist?” asked
Benedict ; “did he ever really live?”

“No,” said the captain, “he was only a character in a
novel.”

Cousin Benedict gave a look of utter contempt, and
Captain Hull and Mrs Weldon could not resist laughing.

Such is only one instance of the way in which Cousin
Benedict invariably brought it about that all conversation
with him ultimately turned upon his favourite pursuit, and
all along, throughout the monotonous hours of smooth
sailing, while the “ Pilgrim’ was making her little head-
way to the east, he showed his own devotion to his pet
science, by seeking to enlist new disciples. First of all, he
tried his powers of persuasion upon Dick Sands, but soon
finding that the young apprentice had no taste for entomo-
logical mysteries, he gave him up and turned his attention
to the negroes. Nor was he much more successful with
them ; one after another, Tom, Bat, Actzeon, and Austin had
all withdrawn themselves from his instructions, and the class
at last was reduced to the single person of Hercules; but
in him the enthusiastic naturalist thought he had discovered
a latent talent which could distinguish between a parasite
and a thysanura.

Hercules accordingly submitted to pass a considerable
portion of his leisure in the observation of every variety of
coleoptera; he was encouraged to study the extensive
collection of stag-beetles, tiger-beetles and lady-birds; and
although at times the enthusiast trembled to see some of
his most delicate and fragile specimens in the huge grasp
DINGO’S SAGACITY. 53

of his pupil, he soon learned that the man’s gentle docility
was a sufficient guarantee against his clumsiness.

While the science of entomology was thus occupying its
two votaries, Mrs. Weldon was giving her own best
attention to the education of Master Jack. Reading and
writing she undertook to teach herself, while she entrusted
the instruction in arithmetic to the care of Dick Sands.
Under the conviction that a child of five years will make a
much more rapid progress if something like amusement be
combined with his lessons, Mrs. Weldon would not teach
her boy to spell by the use of an ordinary school primer,
but used a set of cubes, on the sides of which the various
letters were painted in red. After first making a word and
showing it to Jack, she set him to put it together without
her help, and it was astonishing how quickly the child
advanced, and how many hours he would spend in this way,
both in the cabin and on deck. There were more than
fifty cubes, which, besides the alphabet, included all the
digits ; so that they were of service for Dick Sands’ lessons
as well as for her own. She was more than satisfied with
her device.

On the morning of the oth an incident occurred which
could not fail to be observed as somewhat remarkable. Jack
was half lying, half sitting on the deck, amusing himself
with his letters, and had just finished putting together a
word with which he intended to puzzle old Tom, who, with
his hand sheltering his eyes, was pretending not to see the
difficulty which was being labouriously prepared to bewilder
him; all at once, Dingo, who had been gambolling round
the child, made a sudden pause, lifted his right paw, and
wageed his tail convulsively. Then darting down upon a
capital S, he seized it in his mouth, and carried it some
paces away.

“Oh, Dingo, Dingo! you mustn’t eat my letters!”
shouted the child.

But the dog had already dropped the block of wood, and
coming back again, picked up another, which he laid
quietly by the side of the first. This time it was a capital
V. Jack uttered an exclamation of astonishment which
54 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

brought to his side not only his mother, but the captain
and Dick, who were both on deck. In answer to their
inquiry as to what had occurred, Jack cried out in the
greatest excitement that Dingo knew how to read. At
any rate he was sure that he knew his letters.

Dick Sands smiled and stooped to take back the ‘letters.
Dingo snarled and showed his teeth, but the apprentice
was not frightened ; he carried his point, and replaced the
two blocks among the rest. Dingo in an instant pounced
upon them again, and having drawn them to his side, laid
a paw upon each of them, as if to signify his intention of
retaining them in his possession. Of the other letters of
the alphabet he took no notice at all.

“Tt is very strange,” said Mrs. Weldon; “he has picked
out S V again.”

“S V!” repeated the captain thoughtfully ; “are not
those the letters that form the initials on his collar?”

And turning to the old negro, he continued,—

“Tom, didn’t you say that this dog did not always
belong to the captain of the ‘Waldeck’ ?”

“To the best of my belief,” replied Tom, “the captain
had only had him about two years. I often heard him tell
how he found him at the mouth of the Congo.”

“Do you suppose that he never knew where the animal
came from, or to whom he had previously belonged?”
asked Captain Hull.

“Never,” answered Tom, shaking his head ; “a lost dog
is 'vorse to identify than a lost child; you see, he can’t
make himself understood any way.” :

The captain made no answer, but stood musing; Mrs.
Weldon interrupted him. i

“ These letters, captain, seem to be recalling something
to your recollection.”

“T can hardly go so far as to say that, Mrs. Weldon,” he
replied; “but I cannot help associating them with the
fate of a brave explorer.”

“Whom do you mean ?” said the lady.

“In 1871, just two years ago,” the captain continued,
“a French traveller, under the auspices of the Geographical




































Jack cried out in the greatest excitement that Dingo knew how to read.
Page 54.
DINGO’S SAGACITY. 57



Society of Paris, set out for the purpose of crossing Africa
from west to east. His starting-point was the mouth of
the Congo, and his exit was designed to be as near as
possible to Cape Deldago, at the mouth of the River
Rovuma, of which he was to ascertain the true course.
The name of this man was Samuel Vernon, and I confess
it strikes me as somewhat a strange coincidence that the
letters engraved on Dingo’s collar should be Vernon's
initials.”

“Ts nothing known about this traveller?” asked Mrs.
Weldon. :

“Nothing was ever heard of him after his first departure.
It appears quite certain that he failed to reach the east
coast, and it can only be conjectured either that he
died upon his way, or that he was made prisoner by the
natives; and if so, and this dog ever belonged to him, the
animal might have made his way back to the sea-coast,
where, just about the time that would be likely, the captain
of the ‘Waldeck’ picked him up.”

“But you have no reason to suppose, Captain Hull, that
Vernon ever owned a dog of this description ?”

“T own I never heard of it,” said the captain ; “but still
the impression fixes itself on my mind that the dog must
have been his; how he came to know one letter from
another, it is not for me to pretend to say. Look at him
now, madam! he seems not only to be reading the letters
for himself, but to be inviting us to come and read them
with him.” *

Whilst Mrs. Weldon was watching the dog with much
amusement, Dick Sands, who had listened to the previous
conversation, took the opportunity of asking the captain
whether the traveller Vernon had started on his expedition
quite alone.

“That is really more than I can tell you, my boy,”
answered Captain Hull; “but I should almost take it for
granted that he would have a considerable retinue of
natives.”

The captain spoke without being aware that Negoro had
meanwhile quietly stolen on deck. At first his presence
58 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



was quite unnoticed, and no one observed the peculiar
glance with which he looked at the two letters over which
Dingo still persisted in keeping guard. The dog, however,
no sooner caught sight of the cook than he began to
bristle with rage, whereupon Negoro, with a threatening
gesture which seemed half involuntary, withdrew imme-
diately to his accustomed quarters.

The incident did not escape the captain’s observation.

“No doubt,” he said, “there is some mystery here ;”
and he was pondering the matter over in his mind when
Dick Sands spoke.

“Don't you think it very singular, sir, that this dog
should have such a knowledge of the alphabet ?”

Jack here put in his word.

“My mamma has told me about a dog whose name was
Munito, who could read as well as a schoolmaster, and
could play dominoes.”

Mrs. Weldon smiled.

“Tain afraid, my child, that that dog was not quite so
learned as you imagine. I don’t suppose he knew one
letter from another; but his master, who was a clever
American, having found out that the animal had a very
keen sense of hearing, taught him some curious tricks.”

“ What sort of tricks ?” asked Dick, who was almost as
much interested as little Jack.

“When he had to perform in public,” continued Mrs.
Weldon, “a lot of letters like yours, Jack, were spread out
upon a table, and Munito would put together any word
that the company should propose, either aloud or in a
whisper, to his master. The creature would walk about
until he stopped at the very letter which was wanted. The
secret of it all was that the dog’s owner gave him a signal
when he was to stop by rattling a little tooth-pick in his
pocket, making a slight noise that only the dog’s ears were
acute enough to perceive.”

Dick was highly amused, and said,—

“But that was a dog who could do nothing wonderful
without his master.”

“Just so,” answered Mrs. Weldon ; “and it surprises me


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——





























——

SS

—
SSS

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=

‘HT
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i

ea Ni ; i : ~~ oe
ry a

a Nae
Negoro, with a threatening gesture that seemed half involuntary itl
lrew immediately to his accustomed quarters. f

in

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DINGO’S SAGACITY. 59

very much to see Dingo picking out these letters without
a master to direct him.”

“The more one thinks of it, the more strange it is,” said
Captain Hull; “but, after all, Dingo’s sagacity is not
greater than that of the dog which rang the convent bell in
order to get at the dish that was reserved for passing
beggars; nor than that of the dog who had to turn a
spit every other day, and never could be induced to work
when it was not his proper day. Dingo evidently has no
acquaintance with any other letters except the two S V;
and some circumstance which we can never guess has made
him familiar with them.”

“ What a pity he cannot talk!” exclaimed the apprentice ;
“we should know why it is that he always shows his teeth
at Negoro.”

“And tremendous teeth they are!” observed the
captain, as Dingo at that moment opened his mouth, and
made a display of his formidable fangs.
‘60 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER VI.
A WHALE IN SIGHT.

IT was only what might be expected that the dog’s singular
exhibition of sagacity should repeatedly form a subject of
conversation between Mrs. Weldon, the captain, and Dick.
The young apprentice in particular began to entertain a
lurking feeling of distrust towards Negoro, although it
must be owned that the man’s conduct in general afforded
no tangible grounds for suspicion.

Nor was it only among the stern passengers that Dingo’s
remarkable feat was discussed ; amongst the crew in the bow
the dog not only soon gained the reputation of being able
to read, but was almost credited with being able to write
too, as well as any sailor among them; indeed the chief
wonder was that he did not speak.

“Perhaps he can,” suggested Bolton, the helmsman, “ and
likely enough some fine day we shall have him coming to
ask about our bearings, and to inquire which way the wind
lies,” i

“Ah! why not ?” assented another sailor; “ parrots talk,
and magpies talk ; why shouldn't a dog? For my part, I
should guess it must be easier to speak with a mouth than
with a beak.”

“Of course it is,” said Howick, the boatswain; “only a
quadruped has never yet: been known to do it.”

Perhaps, however, the worthy fellow would have been
amazed to hear that a certain Danish savant once possessed
a dog that could actually pronounce quite distinctly nearly
twenty different words, demonstrating that the construction
























*¢This Dingo is nothing out of the way.” fage 61.
A WHALE IN SIGHT. 61

of the glottis, the aperture at the top of the windpipe, was
adapted for the emission of regular sounds: of course the
animal attached no meaning to the words it uttered any
more than.a parrot or a jay can comprehend their own
chatterings.

Thus, unconsciously, Dingo had become the hero of the
hour. On several separate occasions Captain Hull repeated
the experiment of spreading out the blocks before him, but
invariably with the same result; the dog never failed,
without the slightest hesitation, to pick out the two letters,
leaving all the rest of the alphabet quite unnoticed.

Cousin Benedict alone, somewhat ostentatiously, pro-
fessed to take no interest in the circumstance.

“You cannot suppose,” he said to Captain Hull, after
various repetitions of the trick, “that dogs are to be
reckoned the only animals encowed with. intelligence
Rats, you know, will always leave a sinking ship, and
beavers invariably raise their dams before the approach of
a flood. Did not the horses of Nicomedes, Scanderberg
and Oppian die of grief for the loss of the:r masters ? Have
there not been instances of donkeys with wonderful memo-
ries? Birds, too, have been trained to do the most
remarkable things ; they have been taught to write word
after word at their master’s dictation ; there are cockatoos
who can count the people in a room as accurately as:a
mathematician ; and haven't you heard of the old Cardinal’s
parrot that he would not part with for a hundred gold
crowns because it could repeat the Apostles’ creed from
beginning to end without a blunder? And insects,’ he
continued, warming into enthusiasm, “how marvellously
they vindicate the axiom—

*In minimis maximus Deus !?

Are not the structures of ants the very models for the
architects of a city? Has the diving-bell of the aquatic
argyroneta ever been surpassed by the invention of the
most skilful student of mechanical art? And cannot fleas
go through a drill and fire a gun as well as the most
accomplished artilleryman? This Dingo is nothing out.
62 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



of the way. I suppose he belongs to some unclassed species
of mastiff. Perhaps one day or other he may come to be
identified as the ‘ canis alphabeticus’ of New Zealand.”

The worthy entomologist delivered this and various
similar harangues; but Dingo, nevertheless, retained his
high place in the general estimation, and by the occupants
of the forecastle was regarded as little short of a phenome-
non. The feeling, otherwise universal, was not in any
degree shared by Negoro, and it is not improbable that the
man would have been tempted to. some foul play with the
dog if the open sympathies of the crew had not kept him
in check. More than ever he studiously avoided coming
in contact in any way with the animal, and Dick Sands in
his own mind was quite convinced that since the incident
of the letters, the cook’s hatred of the dog had become still
more intense.

After continual alternations with long and wearisome
calms thenorth-east wind perceptibly moderated, and on the
1oth, Captain Hull really began to hope that such a change
would ensue as to allow the schooner to run straight before
the wind. Nineteen days had elapsed since the “ Pilgrim”
had left Auckland, a period not so long but that with a
favourable breeze it might be made up at last. Some days
however were yet to elapse before the wind veered round
to the anticipated quarter.

It has been already stated that this portion of the
Pacific is almost always deserted. It is out of the line of
the American and Australian steam-packets, and except a
whaler had been brought into it by some such exceptional
circumstances as the “ Pilgrim,” it was quite unusual to see
one in this latitude. ;

But, however void of traffic was the surface of the sea, to
none but an unintelligent mind could it appear monotonous
or barren of interest. The poetry of the ocean breathes
forth in its minute and almost imperceptible changes. A
marine plant, a tuft of seaweed lightly furrowing the water,
a drifting spar with its unknown history, may afford
unlimited scope for the imagination; every little drop
passing, in its process of evaporation, backwards and
\\
\

AK

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Ze

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Occasionally Dick Sands would take a pistol, and now and then a rifle.
Page 6%
A WHALE IN SIGHT. 63



forwards from sea to sky, might perchance reveal its own
special secret; and happy are those minds which are
capable of a due appreciation of the mysteries of air and
ocean.
Above the surface as well as below, the restless flood is
ever teaming with animal life; and the passengers on
board the “ Pilgrim” derived no little amusement from
watching great flocks of birds migrating northwards to
escape the rigour of the polar winter, and ever and again
descending in rapid flight to secure some tiny fish.
Occasionally Dick Sands would take a pistol, and now and
then a rifle, and, thanks to Mr. Weldon’s former instructions,
would bring down various specimens of the feathered
tribe.

Sometimes white petrels would congregate in consi-
derable numbers near the schooner; and sometimes petrels
of another species, with brown borders on their wings,
would come in sight ; now there would be flocks of damiers
skimming the water; and now groups of penguins, whose
clumsy gait appears so ludicrous on shore; but, as Captain
Hull pointed out, when their stumpy wings were employed
as fins, they were a match for the most rapid of fish,
so that sailors have often mistaken them for bonitos.

High over head, huge albatrosses, their outspread wings
measuring ten feet from tip to tip, would soar aloft, thence
to swoop down towards the deep, into which they plunged
their beaks in search of food. Such incidents and scenes
as these were infinite in their variety, and it was accordingly
only for minds that were obtuse to the charms of nature
that the voyage could be monotonous.

On the day the wind shifted, Mrs. Weldon was walking
up and down on the “ Pilgrim’s” stern, when her attention
was attracted by what seemed to her a strange phenomenon.
All of a sudden, far as the eye could reach, the sea had
assumed a reddish hue, as if it were tinged with blood.

Both Dick and Jack were standing close behind her, and
she cried,—

“Look, Dick, look! the sea is all red: Is it a sea-weed
that is making the water so strange a colour?
64 ' DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

“No,” answered Dick, “it is not a weed; it is what the
sailors call whales’ food; it is formed, I believe, of
innumerable myriads of minute crustacea.”

“Crustacea they may be,” replied Mrs. Weldon, “ but
they must be so small that they are mere insects. Cousin
Benedict no doubt will like to see them.”

She called aloud,—

“Benedict ! Benedict! come hcre! we have a sight here
to interest you.”

The amateur naturalist slowly emerged from his cabin
followed by Captain Hull. :

“Ah! yes, I see!” said the captain; “ whales’ food ; just
the opportunity for you, Mr. Benedict; a chance not to be
thrown away for studying one of the most curious of the
crustacea.”

“Nonsense!” ejaculated Benedict contemptuously ;
“utter nonsense !”

“Why ? what do you mean, Mr. Benedict?” retorted
the captain ; “surely you, as an entomologist, must know
that I am right in. my~conviction that these crustacea
belong to one of the six classes of the articulata.”

The disdain of Cousin Benedict was expressed by a
repeated sneer.

“Are you not aware, sir, that my researches as an
entomologist are confined entirely to the hexapoda ?”

Captain Hull, unable to repress a smile, only answered
good-humouredly,—

“T see, sir, your tastes do not lie in the same direction
as those of the whale.”

And turning to Mrs. Weldon, he continued,—

“To whalemen, madam, this is a sight that speaks for
itself. It is a token that we ought to lose no time in
getting out our lines and looking to the state of our
harpoons. There is game not far away.”

_ Jack gave vent to his astonishment.

“Do you mean that great creatures like whales feed on
such tiny things as these ?” =

“Yes, my boy,” said the captain; “and I daresay they
are as nice to. them as semolina-and ground rice are to you.
A WHALE IN SIGHT, 65



When a whale gets into the middle of them he has.nothing
to do but to open his jaws,-and, in a minute, hundreds of
thousands of these minute creatures are inside the fringe or
whalebone around his palate, and he is sure of a good
mouthful.”

“So you see, Jack,” said Dick, “the whale gets his
shrimps without the trouble of shelling them.”

“ And when he has just closed his snappers is the very
time to give him a good taste of the harpoon,” added
Captain Hull.

The words had hardly escaped the captain’s lips when a
shout from one o: the sailors announced,—

“ A whale to larboard !”

“There's the whale!” repeated the captain. All his
professional instincts were aroused in an instant, and he
hurried to the bow, followed in eager curiosity by all the
stern passengers.

Even Cousin Benedict loitered up in the rear, constrained,
in spite of himself, to take a share in the general interest.

There was no doubt about the.matter. Four miles or so
to windward an unusual commotion in the water betokened
to experienced eyes the presence of a whale; but the
distance was too great to permit a reasonable conjecture to
be formed as to which species of those mammifers the
creature belonged.

Three distinct species are familiarly known. First there
is the Right whale, which is ordinarily sought for in the
northern fisheries. The average length of this cetacean is
sixty feet, though it has been known to attain the length of
eighty feet. It has no dorsal fin, and beneath its skin is a
thick layer of blubber. One of these monsters alone will
yield as much as a hundred barrels of oil.

Then there is the Hump-back, a typical representative
of the species “balznoptera,” a definition which may at
first sight appear to possess an interest for an entomologist,
but which really refers to two white dorsal fins, each half
as wide as the body, resembling a pair of wings, and in
their formation similar to those of the flying-fish. It must
be owned, however, that a flying whale would decidedly be,
a vara avis.
65 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,

Lastly, there is the Jubarte, commonly known as the
Finback. It is provided with a dorsal fin, and in length
not unfrequently is a match for the gigantic Right whale.

While it was impossible to decide to which of the three
species the whale in the distance really belonged, the
general impression inclined to the belief that it was a
jubarte.

With longing eyes Captain Hull and his crew gazed at
the object of general attraction. Just as irresistibly as it is
said a clockmaker is drawn on to examine the mechanism
of every clock which chance may throw in his way, so
is a whaleman ever anxious to plunge his harpoon into
any whale that he can get within his reach. The larger
the game the more keen the excitement ; and no elephant-
hunter’s eagerness ever surpasses the zest of the whale-
fisher when once started in pursuit of the prey.

To the crew the sight of the whale was the opening of an
unexpected opportunity, and no wonder they were fired
with the burning hope that even now they might do
something to supply the deficiency of their meagre haul
throughout the season.

Far away as the creature still was, the captain’s practised
eye soon enabled him to detect various indications that
satisfied him as to its true species. Amongst other things
that arrested his attention, he observed a column of water
and vapour ejected from the nostrils. “It isn’t a right
whale,” he said ; “if so, its spout would be smaller and it
would rise higher in the air. And I do not think it isa
hump-back. I cannot hear the hump-back’s roar. Dick,
tell me, what do you think about it ?”

With a critical eye Dick Sands looked long and steadily
at the spout.

“Tt blows out water, sir,’ said the apprentice, “ water, as
well as vapour. I should think it isa finback, But it must
be a rare large one.”

“ Seventy feet, at least!” rejoined the captain, flushing
with his enthusiasm.

“What a big fellow!” said Jack, catching the excitement
of his elders.








































































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Wy

LON
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*¢ What a big fellow !” Page 66.
A WHALE IN SIGHT. 67

“ Ah, Jack, my boy,” chuckled the captain, “the whale
little thinks who are watching him enjoy his breakfast ! ”

“Yes,” said the boatswain ; “a dozen such gentlemen as
that would freight a craft twice the size of ours; but this
one, if only-we can get him, will go a good way towards
filling our empty barrels.”

“Rather rough work, you know,” said Dick, “to attack a
finback !”

“You are right, Dick,” answered the captain ; “the boat
has yet to be built which is strong enough to resist the flap
of a jubarte’s tail.”

“But the profit is worth the risk, captain, isn’t it ?”

“You are right again, Dick,” replied Captain Hull, and
as he spoke, he clambered on to the bowsprit in order that
he might get a better view of the whale.

The crew were as eager as their captain. Mounted on
the fore-shrouds, they scanned the movements of their
coveted prey in the distance, freely descanting upon the
profit to be made out of a good finback and declaring that
it would be a thousand pities if this chance of filling the
casks below should be permitted to be lost.

Captain Hull was perplexed. He bit his nails and
knitted his brow.

~“Mamma!” cried little Jack, “ I should so much like to
see a whale close,—quite close, you know.”

“And so you shall, my boy,” replied the captain, who
was standing by, and had come to the resolve that if his
men would back him, he would make an attempt to capture
the prize.

He turned to his crew,—

“My men! what do you think? shall we make the ven-
ture? Remember, we are all alone; we have no whale-
men to help us; we must rely upom ourselves; I have
thrown a harpoon before now; I can throw a harpoon
again ; what do you say ?”

The crew responded with a ringing cheer,—

“Ay, ay, sir! Ay, ay!”
68 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER VII.
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK.

GREAT was the excitement that now prevailed, and the
question of an attempt to capture the sea-monster became
the ruling theme of conversation. Mrs. Weldon expressed
considerable doubt as to the prudence of venturing upon so
great a risk with such a limited number of hands, but when
Captain Hull assured her that he had more than once
successfully attacked a whale with a single boat, and that
for his part he had no fear of failure, she made no further
remonstrance, and appeared quite satisfied.

Having formed his resolve, the captain lost no time in
setting about his preliminary arrangements. He could not
really conceal from’ his own mind that the pursuit of'a
finback was always a matter of some peril, and he was
anxious, accordingly, to make every possible provision
which forethought could devise against all emergencies.

_ Besides her long-boat, which was kept between the two
masts, the “Pilgrim” had three whale-boats, two of them
slung to the starboard and larboard davits, and the third
at the stern, outside the taffrail. During the fishing season,
when the crew was reinforced by a hired complement of
New Zealand whalemen, all three of these boats would be
brought at once into requisition, but at present the whole
crew of the “ Pilgrim” was barely sufficient to man one of
the three boats. Tom and his friends were ready to
volunteer their assistance, but any offers of service from
them were necessarily declined; the manipulation of a
whale-boat can only be entrusted to those who are experi-
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK, 65

enced in the work, as a false turn of the tiller or a
premature stroke of the oar may in a moment compromise
the safety of the whole party. Thus compelled to take all
his trained sailors with him on his venturous expedition,
the captain had no alternative than to leave his appren-
tice in charge of the schooner during his absence. Dick’s
choice would have been very much in favour of taking a
share in the whale-hunt, but he had the good sense to know
that the developed strength of a man would be of far
greater service in the boat, and accordingly without a
murmur he resigned himself to remain behind.

Of the five sailors who were to man the boat, there were
four to take the oars, whilst Howick the boatswain was to
manage the oar at the stern, which on these occasions gene-
rally replaces an ordinary rudder as being quicker in action
in the event of any of the side oars being disabled... The post
of ‘harpooner was of course assigned to Captain Hull, to
whose lot it would consequently fall first to hurl his weapon
at the whale, then to manage the unwinding of the line to
which the harpoon was attached, and finally to kill the
creature by lance-wounds when it should emerge again
from below the sea, .

A smethod sometimes employed for commencing an
attack is to place a sort of small cannon on the bows or
deck of the boat and to discharge from it either a harpoon
or some explosive bullets, which make frightful lacerations
on the body of the victim; but the “ Pilgrim” was not
provided with apparatus of this description ; not only are
all the contrivances of this kind very costly and difficult
to manage, but the fishermen generally are averse to
innovations, and prefer the old-fashioned harpoons. It
was with these alone that Captain Hull was now about to
encounter the finback that was lying some four miles
distant from his ship.

The weather promised as favourably as could be for the
enterprise. The sea was calm, and the wind moreover was
still moderating, so that there was no likelihood of the
schooner drifting away during the captain’s absence.

When the starboard whale-boat had been lowered, and
70 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,

the four sailors had entered it, Howick passed a couple of
harpoons down to them, and some lances which had been
carefully sharpened ; to these were added five coils of stout
and supple rope, each 600 feet long, for a whale when
struck often dives so deeply that even these lengths of line
knotted together are found to be insufficient. After these
implements of attack had been properly stowed in the bows,
the crew had only to await the pleasure of their captain.

The “ Pilgrim,” before the sailors left her, had been made
to heave to, and the yards were braced so as to secure her
remaining as stationary as possible. As the time drew
near for the captain to quit her, he gave a searching look
all round to satisfy himself that everything was in order ;
he saw that the halyards were properly tightened, and the
sails trimmed as they should be, and then calling the
young apprentice to his side, he said,—

“Now, Dick, Iam going to leave you for a few hours:
while I am away, I hope that it will not be necessary for
you to make any movement whatever. However, you must
be on the watch. It is not very likely, but it is possible
that this finback may carry us out to some distance. Ifso,
you will have to follow; and in that case, I am sure you
may rely upon Tom and his friends for assistance.”

One and all, the.negroes assured the captain of their
willingness to obey Dick’s instructions, the sturdy Hercules
rolling up his capacious shirt-sleeves as if to show that he
was ready for immediate action.

The captain went on,—

“The weather is beautifully fine, Dick, and I see no
prospect of the wind freshening ; but come what may, I
have one direction to give you which I strictly enforce.
You must not leave the ship. If I want you to follow us,
I will hoist a flag on the boat-hook.”

“You may trust me, sir,” answered Dick; “and I will
keep a good look-out.”

“ All right, my lad ; keep a cool head and a good heart.
You are second captain now, you know. I never heard of
any one of your age being placed in such a post; bea
credit to your position |”
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK. 71



Dick blushed, and the bright flush that rose to his cheeks
spoke more than words.

“The lad may be trusted,” murmured the captain to
himself ; “he is as modest as he is courageous. Yes; he
may be trusted.”

It cannot be denied that the captain was not wholly
without compunction at the step he was taking ; he was
aware of the danger to which he was exposing himself, but
he beguiled himself with the persuasion that it was only for
a few hours ; and his fisherman’s instinct was very keen. It
was not only for himself; the desire upon the part of the
crew was almost irresistibly strong that every opportunity
ought to be employed for making the cargo of the schooner
equal to her owner’s expectations. And so he finally
prepared to start.

“T wish you all success!” said Mrs. Weldon.

“ Many thanks!” he replied.

Little Jack put in his word,—

“ And you will try and catch the whale without hurting
him much ?”

“ All right, young gentleman,” answered the captain ; “he
shall hardly feel the tip of our fingers!”

“ Sometimes,” said Cousin Benedict, as if he had been
pondering the expedition in relation to his pet science,
“sometimes there are strange insects clinging to the backs
of these great mammifers; do you think you are likely to
procure me any specimens ?”

“You shall soon have the opportunity of investigating
for yourself,” was the captain’s reply.

“ And you, Tom ; we shall be looking to you for help in
cutting up our prize, when we get it alongside,” continued he.

“We shall be quite ready, sir,” said the negro.

“ One thing more, Dick,” added the captain ; “ you may as
well be getting up the empty barrels out of the hold ; they
will be all ready.”

“Tt shall be done, sir,” answered Dick promptly.

If everything went well it was the intention that the
whale after it had been killed should be towed to the side
of the schooner, where it would be firmly lashed. Then
72 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

the sailors with their feet in spiked shoes would get upon
its back and proceed to cut the blubber, from head to tail,
in long strips, which would first be divided into lumps
about a foot and a half square, the lumps being subsequently
chopped into smaller portions capable of being stored away
in casks. The ordinary rule would be fora ship, as soon
as the flaying was complete, to make its way to land where
the blubber could be at once boiled down, an operation
by which it is reduced by about a third of its weight, and
by which it yields all its oil, the only portion of it which is
of any value. Under present circumstances, however,
Captain Hull would not think of melting down the blubber
until his arrival at Valparaiso, and as he was sanguine that
the wind would soon set in a favourable direction, he
calculated that he should reach that port in less than three
weeks, a period during which his cargo would not be
deteriorated.

The latest movement with regard to the “ Pilgrim” had
been to bring: her somewhat nearer the spot where the
spouts of vapour indicated the presence of the coveted
prize. The creature continued to swim about in the
reddened waters, opening and shutting its huge jaws like
an automaton, and absorbing at every mouthful whole
myriads of animalcula. No one entertained a fear that it
would try to make an escape; it was the unanimous
verdict that it was “a fighting whale,” and one that would
resist all attacks to the very end.

As Captain Hull descended the rope-ladder and took his
place in the front of the boat, Mrs. Weldon and all on board
renewed their good wishes.

Dingo stood with his fore paws upon the taffrail, and
appeared as much as any to be bidding the adventurous
party farewell.

When the boat pushed off, those who were left on board
the “Pilgrim” made their way slowly to the bows, from
which the most extensive view was to be gained.

The captain’s voice came from the retreating boat,—

“A sharp look-out, Dick ; a sharp look- out ; one eye on
us, one on the ship |”










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The captain’s voice came from the retreating boat.

Page 72.


































































































































73°

Page

an,”

‘*T must get you to keep your eye upon that m
PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTACK. 73



“ Ay, ay, sir,” replied the apprentice.

By his gestures the captain showed that he was under
some emotion ; he called out again, but the boat had made
such headway that it was too far off for any words to be
heard. ,

Dingo broke out into a piteous. howl.

The dog was still standing erect, his eye upon the boat
in the distance. To the sailors, ever superstitious, the
howling was not reassuring. Even Mrs. Weldon was
startled. :

“Why, Dingo, Dingo,” she exclaimed, “ this isn’t the way
to encourage your friends. Come here, sir; you must
behave better than that !”

Sinking down on all fours the animal walked slowly up
to Mrs. Weldon, and began to lick her hand.

“Ah!” muttered old Tom, shaking his head solemnly,
“he doesn’t wag his tail at all. A bad omen.”

All at once the dog gave a savage growl.

As she turned her head, Mrs. Weldon caught sight o.
Negoro making his way to the forecastle, probably actuated
by the general spirit of curiosity to follow the manceuvres
of the whale-boat. He stopped and seized a handspike as
soon as he saw the ferocious attitude of the dog.

The lady was quite unable to pacify the animal, which
seemed about to fly upon the throat of the cook, but
Dick Sands called out loudly,—

“ Down, Dingo, down!”

The dog obeyed; but it seemed to be with extreme
reluctance that he returned to Dick’s side; he continued to
growl, as if still remembering his rage. Negoro had turned
very pale, and having put down the handspike, made his
way cautiously back to his own quarters.

“ Hercules,” said Dick, “I must get you to keep your
eye upon that man.”

“Yes, I will,” he answered, significantly clenching his fists.

Dick took his station at the helm, whence he kept an
earnest watch upon the whale-boat, which under the vigour-
ous plying of the seamen’s oars had become little ,more

an a speck upon the water.
74 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER VIII.
A CATASTROPHE.

EXPERI&NCED whaleman as he was, Captain Hull knew
the difficulty of the task he had undertaken ; he was alive
to the importance of making his approach to the whale
from the leeward, so that there should be no sound to
apprize the creature of the proximity of the boat. He had
perfect confidence in his boatswain, and felt sure that he
would take the proper course to insure a favourable result
to the enterprise.

“We mustn’t show ourselves too soon, Howick,” he
said.

“ Certainly not,” replied Howick; “I am going to skirt
the edge of the discoloured water, and I shall take good
care to get well to leeward.”

“All right,” the captain answered; and turning to the
crew said, “now, my lads, as quietly as you can.”

Muffling the sound of their oars by placing straw in the
rowlocks, and avoiding the least unnecessary noise, the men
skilfully propelled the boat along the outline of the water
tinged by the crustacea, so that while the starboard oars
still dipped in the green and limpid sea, the larboard were
in the deep-dyed waves, and seemed as though they were
dripping with blood.

“Wine on this side, water on that,’ said one of the
sailors jocosely.

“But neither of them fit to drink,” rejoined the captain
sharply ; “so just hold your tongue !”

Under Howick’s guidance the boat now glided stcalthily






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The whale seemed utterly unconscious of the attack that was threatening it.
Page 77.
A CATASTROPHE. 77



on to the greasy surface of the reddened waters, where she
appeared to float as on a pool of oil. The whale seemed
utterly unconscious of the attack that was threatening it,
and allowed the boat to come nearer without exhibiting any
sign of alarm.

The wide circuit which the captain had thought it
advisable to take had the effect of considerably increasing
the distance between his boat and the “ Pilgrim,” whilst the
strange rapidity with which objects at sea become diminished
in apparent magnitude, as if viewed through the wrong end
of a telescope, made the ship look farther away than she
actually was, ‘

Another half-hour elapsed, and at the end of it the
captain found himself so exactly to leeward that the huge
body of the whale was precisely intermediate between his
boat and the “ Pilgrim.” A closer approach must now be
made ; every precaution must be used; but the time had
come to get sufficiently near for the harpoon to be
discharged.

“Slowly, my men,” said the captain, in a low voice;
“slowly and softly !”

Howick muttered something that implied that the whale
had ceased blowing so hard, and that it was aware of their
approach ; the captain, upon this, enjoined the most perfect
silence, but urged his crew onwards, until, in five or six
minutes, they were within a cable’s length of the finback.
Erect at the stern the boatswain stood, and manceuvred to get
the boat as close as possible to the whale’s left flank, while
he made it an object of special care to keep beyond the
reach of its formidable tail, one stroke of which could
involve them all in instantaneous disaster.

The manipulation of the boat thus left to the boatswain,
the captain made ready for the arduous effort that was before
him. At the extreme bow, harpoon in hand, with his legs
somewhat astride so as to insure his equilibrium, he stood
prepared to plunge his weapon into the mass that rose
above the surface of the sea. By his side, coiled in a pail,
and with one end firmly attached to the harpoon, was the
first of the five lines which, if the whale should dive to a
78: DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



considerable depth, would have to be joined end to end, one
after another.

“Are you ready, my lads?” said he, hardly above a
whisper.

“Ay, ay, sir,” replied Howick, speaking as gently as
his master, and giving a firmer grip to the rudder-oar that
he held in his hands.

“Then, alongside at once,” was the captain’s order, which
was promptly obeyed, so that in a few minutes the boat
was only about ten feet from the body of the whale. The
animal did not move. Was it asleep? In that case there
was hope that the very first stroke might be fatal. But it
was hardly likely. Captain Hull felt only too sure that
there was some different cause to be assigned for its
remaining so still and stationary; and the rapid glances
of the boatswain showed that he entertained the same
suspicion. But it was no time for speculation ; the moment
for action had ‘arrived, and no attempt was made on either
hand to exchange ideas upon the subject.

Captain Hull seized his weapon tightly by the shaft, and
having poised it several times in the air, in order to make
more sure of his aim, he gathered all his strength and
hurled it against the side of the finback.

“Backwater!” he shouted.

The sailors pushed back with all their might, and the
boat in an instant was beyond the range of the creature’s
tail.

And now the immoveableness of the animal was at once
accounted for.

“See; there’s a youngster!” exclaimed Howick.

And he was not mistaken. Startled by the blow of the
harpoon the monster had heeled over on to its side, and the
movement revealed a young whale which the mother had
been disturbed in the act of suckling. It was a discovery
which made Captain Hull aware that the capture of the
whale would be attended with double difficulty; he knew
that she would defend “her little one” (if such a term can
be applied to a creature that was at least twenty feet long)
with the most determined fury ; yet having made what he
A CATASTROPHE. 79



considered a successful commencement of the attack, he
would not be daunted, nor deterred from his endeavour to
secure so fine a prize.

The whale did not, as sometimes happens, make a pre-
cipitate dash upon the boat, a proceeding which necessi-
tates the instant cutting of the harpoon-line, and an
immediate retreat, but it took the far more usual course of
diving downwards almost perpendicularly. It was followed
by its calf ; very soon, however, after rising once again to
the surface with a sudden bound, it began swimming along
under water with great rapidity.

Before its first plunge Captain Hull and Howick had
sufficient opportunity to observe that it was an unusually
large balznoptera, measuring at least eighty feet from
head to tail, its colour being of a yellowish-brown, dappled
with numerous spots of a darker shade.

The pursuit, or what may be more aptly termed “the
towing,” of the whale had now fairly commenced. The
sailors had shipped their oars, and the whale-boat darted like
an arrow along the surface of the waves. In spite of the
oscillation, which was very violent, Howick succeeded in
maintaining equilibrium, and did not need the repeated in-
junctions with which the agitated captain urged his boat-
swain to be upon his guard.

But fast as the boat flew along, she could not keep pace
with the whale, and so rapidly did the line run out that
except proper care had been taken to keep the bucket in
which it was coiled filled with water, the friction against
the edge of the boat would inevitably have caused it to
take fire. The whale gave no indication of moderating its
speed, so that the first line was soon exhausted, and the
second had to be attached to its end, only to be run out with
like rapidity. Ina few minutes more it was necessary to
join on the third line; it was evident that the whale had
not been hit in a vital part, and so far from rising to the
surface, the oblique direction of the rope indicated that the
creature was seeking yet greater depths.

“ Confound it!” exclaimed the captain ; “it seems as if
the brute is going to run out all our line.”
80 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



“Yes; and see what a distance the animal is dragging us
away from the ‘ Pilgrim,” answered Howick. ~

“Sooner or later, however,” said Captain Hull, “the
thing must come to the surface; she is not a fish, you
know.”

“She is saving her breath for the sake of her speed,”
said one of the sailors with a grin.

But grin as he might, both he and his companions began
to look serious when the fourth line had to be added to the
third, and more serious still when the fifth was added to
the fourth. The captain even began to mutter impreca-
tions upon the refractory brute that was putting their
patience to so severe a test.

The last line was nearly all uncoiled, and the general
consternation was growing very great, when there was
observed to be a slight slackening in the tension.

“Thank Heaven!” cried the captain; “the beast has
tired herself out at last.”

Casting his eye towards the “Pilgrim,” he saw at
a glance that she could not be less than five miles to
leeward. It was a long distance, but when, according to
his arrangement, he had hoisted the flag on the boat-hook
which was to be the signal for the ship to approach, he had
the satisfaction of seeing that Dick Sands and the negroes
at once began bracing the yards to get as near as possible
to the wind. The breeze, however, blew only in short,
unsteady puffs, and it was only too evident that the
“Pilgrim ” would have considerable difficulty in working
her way to the whale-boat, even if she succeeded at
last.

Meantime, just as had been expected, the whale had.
risen to the surface of the water, the harpoon still fixed
firmly in her side. She remained motionless, apparently
waiting for her calf, which she had far out-distanced in her
mad career. Captain Hull ordered his men to pull
towards her as rapidly as they could, and on getting close
up, two of the sailors, following the ,captain’s example,
shipped their oars and took up the long lances with which
the whale was now to be attacked. Howick held himself
A CATASTROPHE. 81



in readiness to sheer off quickly in the event of the finback
making a turn towards the boat.

“Now, my lads!” shouted the captain. “Look out!
take a good aim! no false shots! Are you ready,
Howick ?”

“Quite ready, captain,” answered the boatswain, adding,
“but it perplexes me altogether to see the brute so quiet all
of a sudden.”

“Tt looks suspicious,” said the captain ; “ but never mind ;
go on! straight ahead !”

Captain Hull was becoming more excited every moment.

During the time the boat was approaching, the whale
had only turned round a little in the water without chang-
ing its position. It was evidently still looking for its calf,
which was not to be seen by its side. All of a sudden it
gave a jerk with its tail which carried it some few yards
away.

The men were all excited. Was the beast going to
escape again? Was the fatiguing pursuit all to come over
a second time? Must not the chase be abandoned ? Would
not the prize have to be given up?

But no: the whale was not starting on another flight ;
it had merely turned soas to face the boat, and now rapidly
beating the water with its enormous fins, it commenced a
frantic dash forwards.

“Look out, Howick, she’s coming!” shouted Captain
Hull.

The skilful boatswain was all on the alert; the boat
swerved, as if by instinct, so as to avoid the blow, and as
the whale passed furiously by, she received three tremen-
dous thrusts from the lances of the captain and the two men,
who all endeavoured to strike at some vital part. There was a
sudden pause. The whale spouted up two gigantic columns
of blood and water, lashed its tail, and, with bounds and
plunges that were terrible to behold, renewed its angry
attack ugon the boat.

None but the most determined of whalemen could fail to
lose their head under such an assault. Calm and collected,
however, the crew remained. Once again did Howick
82 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

adroitly sheer aside, and once again did the three lances de
their deadly work upon the huge carcase as it rolled
impetuously past; but this time, so great was the wave
that was caused by the infuriated animal, that the boat was
well-nigh full of water, and in imminent danger of being
capsized.

“Bale away, men!” cried the captain.

Putting down their oars, the other sailors set to work
baling with all their might. Captain Hull cut the harpoon-
line, now no longer required, because the whale, maddened
with pain and grief for the loss of its offspring, would
certainly make no further attempt to escape, but would
fight desperately to the very end.

The finback was obviously bent on a third onslaught
upon the boat, which, being in spite of all the men’s
exertions still more than half full of water, no longer
answered readily to the rudder-oar.

No one thought of flight. The swiftest boat could be
overtaken in a very few bounds. There was no alternative
but to face the encounter. It was not long in coming.
Their previous good fortune failed them. The whale in
passing caught the boat with such a violent blow from its
dorsal fin, that the men lost their footing and the lances
missed their mark.

“Where’s Howick?” screamed the captain in alarm.

“Here I am, captain; all right!” replied the boatswain,
who had scrambled to his feet only to find that the oar
with which he had been steering was snapped in half.

“ The rudder’s smashed,” he said.

“Take another, Howick ; quick!” cried the captain.

But scarcely had he time to replace the broken oar,
when a bubbling was heard a few yards away from the
boat, and the young whale made its appearance on the
surface of the sea. Catching sight of it instantly, the
mother made a fresh dash in its direction; the maternal
instincts were aroused, and the contest must become more
deadly than ever.

Captain Hull looked towards the “ Pilgrim,” and waved
his signal frantically above his head. It was, however, with






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The boat was well-n‘gh full of water, and in imminent danger of being
capsized, Page 82.
A CATASTROPHE. 85



no hope of succour; he was only too well aware that no
human efforts could effectually hasten the arrival of the
ship. Dick Sands indeed had at once obeyed the first
summons; already the wind was filling the sails, but in
default of steam power her prosress at best could not be
otherwise than slow. Not only did Dick feel convinced
that it would be a useless waste of time to lower a boat and
come off with the negroes to the rescue, but he remembered
the strict orders he had received on no account to quit the
ship. Captain Hull, however, could perceive that the
apprentice had had the aft-boat lowered, and was towing
it along, so that it should be in readiness for a refuge as
soon as they should get within reach.

But the whale, close at hand, demanded attention that
could ill be spared for the yet distant ship. Covering her
young one with her body, she was manifestly designing
another charge full upon the boat.

“On your guard, Howick! sheer off!” bellowed the
captain.

But the order was useless. The fresh oar that the
boatswain had taken to replace the broken one was con-
siderably shorter, and consequently it failed in lever-power.
There was, in fact, no helm for the boat to answer. The
sailors saw the failure, and convinced that all was lost
uttered one long, despairing cry that might have been heard
on board the “ Pilgrim.” “Another moment, and from
beneath there came a tremendous blow fron: the monster’s
tail that sent the boat flying in the air. In fragments it
fell back again into a sea that was lashed into fury by the
angry flapping of the finback’s fins.

Was it not possible for the unfortunate men, bleeding
and wounded as they were, still to save themselves bv
clinging to some floating spar? Captain Hull is indeed
seen endeavouring to hoist the boatswain on to a drifting
plank. But all in vain. There is no hope. The whale,
writhing in the convulsions of death, returns yet once again
to the attack; the waters around the struggling sailors
seethe and foam. A brief turmoil follows as if there were
the bursting of some vast waterspout.
85 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

In a quarter of an hour afterwards, Dick Sands, with the
negroes, reaches the scene of the catastrophe. All is still
and desolate. Every living object has vanished. Nothing
is visible except a few fragments of the whale-boat floating
on the blood-stained water.
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































There is no hope. Page 85.
DICK’S PROMOTION. 89

CHAPTER IX.
DICK’S PROMOTION,

THE first feeling experienced by those on board the
“Pilgrim,” after witnessing the terrible disaster was one
of grief and horror at the fearful death that had befallen
the victims. Captain Hull and his'men had been swept
away before their very eyes, and they had been powerless
to assist. Not one was saved; the schooner had reached
the spot too late to offer the least resistance to the attacks
of the formidable sea-monster.

When Dick and the negroes returned to the ship after
their hopeless search, with only the corroboration of their
sad foreboding that captain and crew had disappeared for
ever, Mrs. Weldon sank upon her knees; little Jack knelt
beside her crying bitterly ; and Dick, old Nan, and all
the negroes stood reverently around her whilst with great
devoutness the lady offered up the prayer of commendation
for the souls of the departing. All sympathized heartily
with her supplications, nor was there any diminution of
their fervour when she proceeded to implore that the sur-
vivors might have strength and courage for their own hour
of need.

The situation was indeed very grave. Here was the
“Pilgrim” in the middle of the Pacific, hundreds of miles
away from the nearest land, without captain, without crew,
at. the mercy of the wind and waves. It was a strange
fatality that had brought the whale across their path; it
was a fatality stranger still that had induced her captain,
a man oi no ordinary prudence, to risk even his life for the
go DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



sake of making good a deficient cargo. It was an event
almost unknown in the annals of whale-fishing that not a
single man in the whale-boat should escape alive ; never-
theless, it was all too true; and now, of all those left on
board, Dick Sands, the apprentice-boy of fifteen years of
age, was the sole individual who had the slightest know-
ledge of the management of a ship; the negroes, brave
and willing as they were, were perfectly ignorant of sea-
men’s duties; and, to crown all, kere was a lady with her
child on board, for whose safety the commander of the
vessel would be held responsible.

Such were the facts which presented themselves to the
mind of Dick as, with folded arms, he stood gazing
gloomily at the spot where Captain Hull, his esteemed
benefactor, had sunk to rise no more. The lad raised his
eyes sadly; he scanned the horizon with the vain hope
that he might perchance descry some passing vessel to
which he could confide Mrs. Weldon and her son; for
himself, his mind was made up; he had already resolved
that nothing should induce him to quit the “Pilgrim”
until he had exhausted every energy in trying to carry
her into port.

The ocean was all deserted. Since the disappearance
of the whale nothing had broken the monotonous surface
either of sea or sky. The apprentice, short as his experi-
ence was, knew enough to be aware that he was far out of
the common track alike of merchantmen or whalers ; he
would not buoy himself up with false expectations; he
would look his situation full and fairly in the face; he
would do his best, and trust hopefully in guidance from the
Power above.

Thus absorbed in his meditations he did not observe
that he was not alone. Negoro, who had gone below
immediately after the catastrophe, had again come back
upon deck. What this mysterious character had felt
upon witnessing the awful calamity it would be impossible
to say. Although with his eye he had keenly taken in
every detail of the melancholy spectacle, every muscle of
his face had remained unmoved ; not a gesture, not a word
DICK’S PROMOTION. Ol



betrayed the least emotion. Even if he had heard, he
had taken no part, nor evinced the faintest interest in
Mrs. Weldon’s outpouring of prayer.

He had made his way to the stern, where Dick Sands
was pondering over the responsibilities of his own position,
and stood looking towards the apprentice without inter-
rupting his reverie.

Catching sight of him, Dick roused himself in an instant,
and said,—

“You want to speak to me ?”

“TI must speak either to the captain or the boatswain,”
answered the man.

“Negoro,” said Dick sharply, “you know as well as I
do, that they are both drowned.”

“Then where am I to get my orders from?” asked the
fellow insolently.

“From me,” promptly rejoined the apprentice.

“From you! from a boy of fifteen ?”

_ “Ves, from me,” repeated Dick, in a firm and resolute
voice, looking at the man until he recoiled under his gaze.
“From me.”

Mrs. Weldon had heard what passed.

“TJ wish every one on board to understand,” she inter-
posed, “that Dick Sands is captain now. Orders must be
taken from him, and they must be obeyed.”

Negoro frowned, bit his lip, sneered, and having muttered
something that was unintelligible, made his way back to
his cabin.

Meantime, the schooner under the freshening breeze had
been carried beyond the shoal of the crustaceans. Dick
cast his eye first at the sails, then along the deck, and
seemed to become more and more alive to the weight of
the obligation that had fallen upon him ; but his heart did
not fail him; he was conscious that the hopes of the pas-
sengers centred in himself, and he was determined to let
them see that he would do his best not to disappoint them.

Although he was satisfied of his capability, with the help
of the negroes, to manipulate the sails, he was conscious of
a defect of the scientific knowledge which was requisite for
92 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

properly controlling the ship’s course. He felt the want of
a few more years’ experience. If only he had had longer
practice he would, he thought, have been as able as Captain
Hull himself, to use the sextant, to take the altitude of the
stars, to read the time from his chronometer; sun, moon,
and planets, should have been his guides; from the firma-
ment, as from a dial-plate, he would have gathered the
teachings of his true position ; but all this was beyond him
as yet; his knowledge went no further than the use of the
log and compass, and by these alone he must be content
to make his reckonings. But he kept up his courage, and
did not permit himself for one moment to despair of
ultimate success.

Mrs. Weldon needed little penetration to recognize the
thoughts which were passing in the mind of the resolute
youth.

“T see you have come to your decision, Dick,” she said.
“The command of the ship is in your hands; no fear but
that you will do your duty ; and Tom, and the rest of
them, no doubt, will render you every assistance in their
power.”

“Yes, Mrs. Weldon,”, rejoined Dick brightly; “and
before long I shall hope to make them good seamen. If
only the weather lasts fair, everything will go on well
enough ; and if the weather turns out bad, we must not
despond ; we will get safe ashore.”

He paused a moment and added reverently,—

“God helping us.”

Mrs. Weldon proceeded to inquire whether he had any
means of ascertaining the “ Pilgrim’s” present position. He
replied that the ship’s chart would at once settle that.
Captain Hull had kept the reckoning accurately right up
to the preceding day.

“And what do you propose to do next?” she asked.
“Of course you understand that in our present circum-
stances we are not in the least bound to go to Valparaiso
if there is a nearer port which we could reach.”

“Certainly not,” replied Dick; “and therefore it is my
intention to sail due east, as by following that course we














































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































es a



“©Oh, we shall soon be on shore!”? Page 95.
DICK’S PROMOTION. , 95



are sure to come upon some part of the American
coast.”

“Do your best, Dick, to let us get ashore somewhere.”

“Never fear, madam,” he answered ; “as we get nearer
land we shall be almost sure to fall in with a cruiser which
will put us into the right track. If the wind does but
remain in the north-west, and allow us to carry plenty of
sail, we shall get on famously.”

He spoke with the cheery confidence of a good sailor
who knows the good ship beneath his feet. He had moved
off a few steps to go and take the helm, when Mrs. Weldon,
calling him back, reminded him that he had not yet
ascertained the true position of the schooner. Dick con-
fessed that it ought to be done at once, and going to the
captain’s cabin brought out the chart upon which the ill-
fated commander had marked the bearings the evening before.
According to this dead-reckoning they were in lat. 43° 35/,
S., and long. 164° 13’, W.; and as the schooner had made
next to no progress during the last twenty-four eventful
hours, the entry might fairly be accepted as representing
approxiraately their present position.

To the lady’s inexperienced eye, as she bent over the
outspread chart, it seemed that the land, as represented by
the brown patch which depicted the continent of South
America extending like a barrier between two oceans from
Cape Horn to Columbia, was, after all, not so very far dis-
tant ; the wide space of the Pacific was not so broad but
that it would be quickly traversed.

“Oh, we shall soon be on shore!” she said.

But Dick knew better. He had acquaintance enough
with the scale upon which the chart was constructed to
be aware that the “Pilgrim” herself would have been a
speck like a microscopic infusoria on the vast surface of
that sea, and that hundreds and hundreds of weary miles
separated her from the coast.

No time was to be lost. Contrary winds had ceased to
blow; a fresh north-westerly breeze had sprung up, and
the czvrz, or curl-cloudg overhead indicated that for some
time at least the direction of the wind would be unchanged.
96 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Dick appealed to the negroes, and tried to make them
appreciate the difficulty of the task that had fallen to his
lot. Tom answered, in behalf of himself and all the rest,
that they were not only willing, but anxious, to do all they
could to assist him, saying that if their knowledge was
small, yet their arms were strong, and added that they
should certainly be obedient to every order he gave.

“My friends,” said Dick, addressing them in reply; “I
shall make it a point of myself taking the helm as much as
possible. But you know I must have my proper rest
sometimes. No one can live without sleep. Now, Tom, I
intend you:to stand by me for the remainder of the day.
I will try and make you understand how to steer by the
aid of the compass. It is not difficult. You will soon
learn. I shall have to leave you when I go to my hammock
for an hour or two.”

“Ts there nothing,” said little Jack, “that I can learn to
do?”

“Oh yes, Jack; you shall keep the wind in order,”
answered Dick, smiling.

“That I will!” cried the child, clapping his hands, while
the mother drew him to her side.

“And now, my men,” was Dick’s first order to his crev,
we must brace in the yards to sail fair. I will show you
how.”

“ All right, Captain Sands; we are at your service,” said
old Tom gravely.


































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Page 96.

keep the wind in order.”

3; you shall

k

*¢Oh yes, Jac
THE NEW CREW. 99



CHAPTER X.
. THE NEW CREW.

Dick Sands, captain of the “ Pilgrim,” would not lose a
moment in getting his ship under sail. His prime object
was to land his passengers safely at Valparaiso or some
other American port, and to accomplish his purpose it was
in the first place necessary that he should ascertain the
schooner’s rate of speed and the direction that she was
taking. This information was to be obtained readily
enough by means of the log and compass, and the result
of each day’s observations would be entered regularly on
the chart.

The log on board was a patent log, with a dial-plate and
screw, by means of which the distance that is travelled
can be measured accurately for any definite time; it was
an instrument so simple that the negroes were very soon
taught its use. The slight error in the reckoning caused
by the action of the currents could only be rectified by
astronomical observations, which, as already has been
stated, were beyond Dick’s attainments to make.

The idea more than once crossed Dick’s mind whether
he would not take the “Pilgrim” back again to New
Zealand ; the distance was considerably less than it was to
America, and had the wind remained in the quarter whence
it had been blowing so long, it is more than likely he
would have determined to retrace his course. But as
the wind had now veered to the north-west, and there was
every probability that it was settled for a time, he came to
the conclusion that he had better take advantage of it and
100 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



persevere in making his way towards the east. Accord-
ngly he lost no time in putting his ship before the
wind.

Ona schooner the fore-mast usually carries four square
sails ; on the lower mast a fore-sail; on the top-mast a
top-sail; on the top-gallant a top-gallant-sail and a royal.
The main-mast carries only a main-sail and a top-sail.
Between the masts upon the fore-stays can be hoisted a
triple tier of triangular sails ; while the bowsprit with its
jib-boom will carry the three jibs.

The jibs, the main-sail, the main-top-sail and the stay-
sails are all managed with comparative ease, because they
can be hoisted from the deck without the necessity of
ascending the mast to let fly the robbins, by which they
are fastened to the yards. With the sails on the fore-mast
it is altogether a more difficult business. In order either
to unfurl them, to take them in, or to reef them, it is
necessary for a man to clamber up by the shrouds, either
to the fore-top, or to the top-gallant cross-trees, and thence
mounting by loose ropes, extended below the yards, to
hold on by one hand whilst he does his work with the
other. The operation requires alike the head and arm of
an experienced mariner ; and when a fresh breeze has been
blowing, it is a casualty far from uncommon that a sailor,
confused by the flapping of the canvas and the pitching of
the vessel, should be blown overboard in the act. For the
unpractised negroes the danger would necessarily be very
great. However, the wind at present was very moderate,
and the ship ploughed her way over the waves without any
violent oscillations.

At the time when Dick Sands, in obedience to the
signal he received from Captain Hull, proceeded to make
his way to the scene of the disaster, the “ Pilgrim,” as she
lay to, was carrying only her jibs, main-sail, fore-sail, and
fore-top-sail, In order, therefore, to put her as near as
possible to the wind, it had been merely necessary to
counter-brace the fore-sail yard, a manceuvre in which the
negroes had rendered all the assistance that was necessary.
It was requisite now to do something more. To enable
THE NEW CREW. Iol

him to get straight before the wind Dick wanted to increase
his sail, and was desirous of hoisting the top- gallant, the
royal, the main-top-sail, and the stay-sails.

He was himself standing at the wheel.

“Now, my men,” he shouted to the negroes; “I want
your help. Do exactly as I tell you. Bear away,
Tom!”

Tom looked puzzled,

“Bear away! unfasten that rope, I mean. And, Bat,
come along; do the same as Tom.”

The men did what they were bidden.

“That’s right !” continued Dick, and calling to Hercules,
said,—

“Now, Hercules ; a good strong pull!”

To give such a direction to Hercules was somewhat
imprudent ; the rigging creaked again under his giant
strength.

“Gently, gently, my good fellow!” said Dick, laughing ;
“you will have the mast down.”

“T declare I hardly touched the rope,” answered
Hercules.

“Well, next time, you must only pretend to touch it,”
said Dick; and, continuing his orders, shouted, “Now
slacken ! let fly! make fast! now brace in the yards! all
right! that’s capital !”

The yards were loosened, the foresails turned slowly
round, and, catching the breeze, gave a slight impetus to the
ship. Dick’s next orders were for the jib-sheets to be set
free, and then he called the men to the stern.

“ Now,” said he; “we must look to the main-mast; but
take care, Hercules, not to have it down.”

“T will be as careful as possible, Mr. Dick,” submissively
replied Hercules, as though he were afraid to commit
himself to any rash promise.

The manceuvre was simple enough. The main-sheet was
gradually slackened, the great sail took the wind and
added its powerful action to that of the fore-sails. The
main-top-sail was next brought to bear; it was only
clewed up, so that there was nothing to do except to pull
102 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



the halyards, haul it aboard the tack, and unfurl it. But
in pulling at the halyards the muscular energy of Hercules,
which was supplemented by that of Actzeon, not to forget
little Jack, who had volunteered his assistance, proved to
be overpowering, and the rope snapped in two. All three
of them, of course, fell flat upon the deck; but fortunately
neither of them was hurt, and Jack laughed heartily at his
tumble as an excellent joke.

“Up with you!” cried Captain Dick ; “there’s no harm
done ; splice the rope, and haul away more gently next
time.”

It took but a few minutes to execute the order, and the
“ Pilgrim ” was soon sailing away rapidly with her head to
the east.

“Well done, my friends!” said Dick, who had not left
his post at the helm; “you will be first-rate sailors before
the end of the voyage.”

“We shall do our best, I promise you, Captain Sands,”
replied Tom, making it a point to give the young com-
mander his proper title.

Mrs. Weldon also congratulated the new crew upon the
success of their first attempt.

“T believe it was Master Jack who broke that rope,” said
Hercules, with a sly twinkle in his eye; “he is very strong,
I can tell you.”

Jack looked as though he thoroughly appreciated the
compliment, and evidenced his satisfaction by giving his
huge friend a hearty shake of the hand.

There were still several sails that were not yet set.
Running well before the wind as the “ Pilgrim ” was, Dick
nevertheless felt that the gallant, royal, and stay-sails, if
brought into service, would materially assist her progress,
and he determined not to dispense with their help. The
stay-sails could be hoisted from below, but to bring the
gallant and royal into play demanded more experience
than any of his crew had had. Knowing that he could not
entrust the task to them, and yet resolved not to be
baulked of his wish to set them, he undertook the task
himself. He first put Tom to the helm, showing him how




Si
IA

\ “i

Nik

Nee





All three of them fell flat upon the deck.

Page 102.


THE NEW CREW. 105

to keep the schooner’s head in the right direction, and
having placed the other four at the royal and top-gallant
halyards, proceeded to mount the foremast.

To clamber up the foreshrouds and the top-shrouds on
to the cross-trees was mere child’s play to the active
apprentice. In a few minutes he had unfurled the top-
gallant-sail, mounted to the royal-yard, unfurled the royal,
again reached the cross-trees, and having caught hold of
one of the starboard backstays, had descended to the deck ;
there he gave the necessary directions, and the two sails
were made fast, and both yards braced.

Nor did this content him. The stay-sails were set
between the masts, and thus the “ Pilgrim” was running
along, crowded to the full, with all her canvas. The only
additional sails which Dick could possibly have employed
would have been some studding-sails to larboard, but as
the. setting of these was a matter of some difficulty, and
they were not always readily struck in the case of a sudden
squall, he contented himself without them.

Again he took his place at the helm. The breeze was
manifestly freshening, and the “ Pilgrim,” almost imper-
ceptibly heeling to starboard, glided rapidly along the
surface of the water, leaving behind her a wake, smooth and
clean, that bore plain witness to the true adjustment of her
water-line.

“This is good progress, Mrs. Weldon,” he said; “may
Heaven grant the wind and weather may continue thus
favourable !”

The lady, in silence, shook the boy’s hand; and then,
worn-out with the excitement of the past hours, went to
her cabin, where she lay down and fell into a troubled
doze.

The new crew remained on watch. They were stationed
on the forecastle, in readiness to make any alteration which
the sails might require, but the wind was so steady and
unshifting that no need arose for their services.

And Cousin Benedict? all this time, where was he? and
what had he been doing?

He was sitting in his cabin; he had a magnifying-glass
106 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



in his hand and was studying an articulata of the order
orthoptera, an insect of the Blattide family ; its charac-
teristics are a roundish body, rather long wings, flat elytra,
and a head hidden by the prothorax. He had been on
deck at the time of the calamity ; the ill-fated captain with
the crew had been drowned before his very eyes ; but he
said nothing; not that he was unmoved; to think that he
was not struck with horror would be to libel his kind and
pitying nature. His sympathy was aroused, especially for
his cousin; he pressed her hand warmly as if he would
assure her of his truest commiseration ; but he said nothing ;
he hurried off towards his cabin; and who shall deny that
it was to devise some wonderfully energetic measures that
he would take in consequence of this melancholy event ?

Passing the kitchen, however, he caught sight of Negoro
in the act of crushing a blatta, an American species of cock-
roach. He broke out into a storm of invective, and. in
tones of indignation demanded the surrender of the insect,
which Negoro made with cool contempt. In a moment
Captain Hull and his partners in death were all forgotten ;
the enthusiast had secured a prize with which he hastened
to his own little compartment, where he was soon absorbed
in proving to his own satisfaction, in opposition tothe opinion
of other entomologists, that the blattz of the phoraspous
species, which are remarkable for their colours, differ in
their habits from blattze of the ordinary sort.

For the remainder of the day perfect order reigned
on board the “Pilgrim.” Though they were unable to
shake off the sickening feeling of horror roused by the
frightful disaster, and felt that they had sustained a start-
ling shock, all the passengers seemed mechanically to fall
into their usual routine. Dick Sands, though avowedly at
the wheel, seemed to be everywhere, with an eye for every
thing, and his amateur crew obeyed him readily, and with
the promptness of a willing activity.

Negoro made no further overt attempt to question the
young captain’s authority, but remained shut up in his
kitchen. Dick made no secret of his determination to
place the cook in close confinement if he exhibited any








































































































































































Jack evidenced his satisfaction by giving his huge friend a hearty shake of
the hand. Page 102.
THE NEW CREW. 109



future sign of insubordination. Hercules was ready to
carry him off bodily to the hold, and old Nan was equally
ready to take his place in the cooking department. Pro-
bably Negoro was aware of all this; at any rate he did
not seem disposed to give any further cause of offence at
present,

As the day advanced the wind continued to freshen ; but
no shifting of the sails seemed necessary. The “ Pilgrim”
was running well. There was no need to diminish her
spread of canvas. Masts as solid and rigging as strong as
hers could stand a far heavier breeze.

As a general rule, it is deemed prudent in case. of a
squall to shorten sail at night, and especially to take in
gallants and royal; but the weather prospects now were all
so promising and satisfactory that Dick persuaded himself
he was under no necessity to take this precaution; he
rather felt himself bound to take the strongest measures he
could to expedite his reaching less unfrequented waters.
He made up his mind, however, not to leave the deck at all
that night.

Theyoung captain made every effort to get an approximate
reckoning of the schooner’s progress. He heaved the log
every half-hour and duly registered the result of each
successive examination. There were two compasses on
board ; one in the binnacle, close under the eye of the
helmsman, the other, an inverted compass, being attached
to the rafters of the captain’s cabin, so that without leaving
his berth he could see whether the man in charge of the
wheel was holding a proper course.

Every vessel that is duly furnished for a lengthened
voyage has always not only two compasses but two
chronometers, one to correct the other. The “ Pilgrim” was
not deficient in this respect, and Dick Sands made a strong
point of admonishing his crew that they should take especial
care of the compasses, which under their present circum-
stances were of such supreme importance.

A misfortune, however, was in store for them. On the
night of the 12th, while Dick was on watch, the compass in
the cabin became detached from its fastening and fell on the
IIo DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



floor. The accident was not discovered until the following
morning. Whether the metal ferule that had attached the
instrument to the rafters had become rusty, or whether it
had been worn away by additional friction it seemed
impossible to settle. All that could be said was that the
compass was broken beyond repair. Dick was extremely
grieved at the loss; but he did not consider that any
one was to be blamed for the mishap, and could only
resolve for the future to take extra care of the compass in
the binnacle.

With the exception of this contretemps, everything
appeared to go on satisfactorily on board. Mrs. Weldon,
reassured by Dick’s confidence, had regained much of her
wonted calmness, and was besides ever supported by a
sincere religious spirit. She and Dick had many a long
conversation together. The ingenuous lad was always
ready to take the kind and intelligent lady into his counsel,
and day by day would point out to her on the chart the
registers he made as the result of his dead reckoning; he
would then try and satisfy her that under the prevailing
wind there could be no doubt they must arrive at the coast
of South America: moreover, he said that, unless he was
much mistaken, they should sight the land at no great
distance from Valparaiso.

Mrs. Weldon had, in truth, no reason to question the
correctness of Dick’s representations ; she owned that pro-
vided the wind remained in the same favourable quarter,
there was every prospect of their reaching land in safety ;
nevertheless at times she could not resist the misgiving
that would arise when she contemplated what might be the
result of a change of wind or a breaking of the weather.

With the light-heartedness that belonged to his age, Jack
soon fell back into his accustomed pursuits, and was to be
seen merrily running over the deck or romping with Dingo.
At times, it is true, he missed the companionship of Dick ;
but his mother made him comprehend that now that Dick
was captain, his time was too much occupied to allow him
any leisure for play, and the child quite understood that he
must not interrupt his old friend in his new duties.






A light shadow glided stealthily along the deck. Page 113.
THE NEW CREW. 113



The negroes performed their work with intelligence, and
seemed to make rapid progress in the art of seamanship.
Tom had been unanimously appointed boatswain, and took
one watch with Bat and Austin, the alternate watch being
discharged by Dick himself with Hercules and Actzon.
One of them steered so that the other two were free to watch
at the bows. Asa general rule Dick Sands managed to
remain at the wheel all night ; five or six hours’ sleep in the
daytime sufficed for him, and during the time when he was
lying down he entrusted the wheel to Tom or Bat, who
under his instructions had become very fair helmsmen.
Although in these unfrequented waters there was little
chance of running foul of any other vessel, Dick invariably
took the precaution of lighting his signals, carrying a green
light to starboard and a red light to port. His exertions,
however, were a great strain upon him, and sometimes
during the night his fatigue would induce a heavy drowsi-
ness, and he steered, as it were, by instinct more than by
attention.

On the night of the 13th, he was so utterly worn-out
that he was obliged to ask Tom to relieve him at the helm
whilst he went down for a few hours’ rest. Actzeon and
Hercules remained on watch on the forecastle.

The night was very dark; the sky was covered with
heavy clouds that had formed in the chill-evening air, and
the sails on the top-masts were lost in the obscurity. At
the stern, the lamps on either side of the binnacle cast a
faint reflection on the metal mountings of the wheel, leaving
the deck generally in complete darkness.

Towards three o’clock in the morning Tom was getting
so heavy with sleepiness that he was almost unconscious.
His eye, long fixed steadily on the compass, lost its power
of vision, and he fell into a doze from which it would require
more than a slight disturbance to arouse him.

Meantime a light shadow glided stealthily along the deck.
Creeping gradually up to the binnacle, Negoro put down
something heavy that he had brought in his hand. He
stole a keen and rapid glance at the dial of the compass, and
made his way back, unseen and unheard as he had come.
It4 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Almost immediately afterwards, Tom awakened from his
slumber. His eye fell instinctively on the compass, and he
saw in a moment that the ship was out of her proper
course. By a turn of the helm he brought her head to
what he supposed to be the east. But he was mistaken.
During his brief interval of unconsciousness a piece of iron
had been deposited beneath the magnetic needle, which by
this means had been diverted thirty degrees to the right,
and, instead of pointing due north, inclined far towards
north-east.

Consequently it came to pass that the “ Pilgrim,” supposed
by her young commander to be making good headway due
east, was in reality, under the brisk north-west breeze,
speeding along towards the south-east.
ROUGH WEATHER. 115



CHAPTER Xi.
ROUGH WEATHER.

DuRING the ensuing week nothing particular occurred on
board. The breeze still freshened, and the “ Pilgrim” made
on the average 160 miles every twenty-four hours. The
speed was as great as could be expected from a craft of
her size.

Dick grew more and more sanguine in his anticipations
that it could not be long before the schooner would cross
the track of the mail-packets plying between the eastern
and western hemispheres. He had made up his mind to
hail the first passing vessel, and either to transfer his
passengers, or what perhaps would be better still, to borrow
a few sailors, and, it might be, an officer to work the
“Pilgrim” to shore. He could not help, however, a
growing sense of astonishment, when day after day passed,
and yet there was no ship to be signalled. He kept the
most vigourous look-out, but all to no purpose. Three
voyages before had he made to the whale-fisheries, and his
experience made him sure that he ought now to be
sighting some English or American vessel on its way
between the Equator and Cape Horn.

Very different, however, was the true position of the
“Pilgrim” from what Dick supposed; not only had the
ship been carried far out of her direct course by currents,
the force of which there were no means of estimating, but
from the moment when the compass had been tampered
with by Negoro, the steering itself had put the vessel all
astray.
116 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Unconscious of both these elements of disturbance,
Dick Sands was convinced that they were proceeding
steadily eastwards, and was perpetually encouraging Mrs.
Weldon and himself by the assurance that they must very
soon arrive within view of the American coast ; again and
again asserting that his sole concern was for his passengers,
and that for his own saféty he had no anxiety.

“But think, Dick,” said the lady, “ what a position you
would have been in, if you had not had your passengers.
You would have been alone with that terrible Negoro ; you
would have been rather alarmed then.”

“T should have taken good care to put it out of Negoro’s
power to do me any mischief, and then I should have
worked the ship by myself,” answered the lad stoutly.

His very pluck gave Mrs. Weldon renewed confidence.
She was a woman with wonderful powers of endurance,
and it was only when she thought of her little son that she
had any feeling of despair; yet even this she endeavoured
to conceal, and Dick’s undaunted courage helped her.

Although the youth of the apprentice did not allow him
to pretend to any advanced scientific knowledge, he had
the proverbial “weather-eye” of the sailor. He was not
only very keen in noticing any change in the aspect of the
sky, but he had learnt from Captain Hull, who was a
clever meteorologist, to draw correct conclusions from the
indications of the barometer; the captain, indeed, having
taken the trouble to make him learn by heart the general
rules which are laid down in Vorepierre’s Dictionnaire
Lllustré.

There are seven of these rules :—

1. If after a long period of fine weather the barometer
falls suddenly and continuously, although the mercury may
be descending for two or three days before there is an
apparent change in the atmosphere, there will ultimately
be rain; and the longer has been the time between the first
depression and the commencement of the rain, the longer
the rain may be expected to last.

2. Vice versd, if after a long period of wet weather the
barometer begins to rise slowly and steadily, fine weather
ROUGH WEATHER. 117



will ensue; and the longer the time between the first
rising of the mercury and the commencement of the fine
weather, the longer the fine weather may be expected to
last.

3. If immediately after the fall or rise of the mercury a
change of weather ensues, the change will be of no long
continuance.

4. A gradual rise for two or three days during rain
forecasts fine weather ; but if there be a fall immediately
on the arrival of the fine weather, it will not be for long.
This rule holds also conversely.

5. In spring and autumn a sudden fall indicates rain ; in
the summer, if very hot, it foretells a storm, In the winter,
after a period of steady frost, a fall prognosticates a change
of wind with rain and hail; whilst a rise announces the
approach of snow.

6. Rapid oscillations of the mercury either way are not
to be interpreted as indicating either wet or dry weather
of any duration ; continuance of either fair or foul weather
is forecast only by a prolonged and steady rise or fall
beforehand.

7. At the end of autumn, after a period of wind and rain,
a rise may be expected to be followed by north wind and
frost.

Not merely had Dick got these rules by rote, but he had
tested them by his own observations, and had become
singularly trustworthy in his forecasts of the weather. He
made a point of consulting the barometer several times
every day, and although to all appearances the sky
indicated that the fine weather was settled, it did not
escape his observation that on the 20th the mercury showed
a tendency to fall. Dick knew that rain, if it came, would
be accompanied by wind; an opinion in which he was very
soon confirmed by the breeze freshening, till the air was
displaced at the rate of nearly sixty feet a second, or more

1 This and several of the other rules are concisely concentrated in the

couplet—
Long foretold, long last s

Short notice, soon past.
118 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



than forty miles an hour ; and he recognized the necessity
of at once shortening sail. He had already used the
precaution to take in the royal, the main-top-sail, and the
flying jib, but he now at once resolved likewise to take in
the top-gallant, and to have a couple of reefs in the fore-
top-sail.

To an inexperienced crew, the last operation was far
from easy ; but there was no symptom of shrinking from it.
Followed by Bat and Austin, Dick mounted the rigging of
the foremast, and with little trouble got to the top-gallant.
Had the weather been less unpromising he would have been
inclined to leave the two yards as they were, but anticipating
the ultimate necessity of being obliged to lower the mast,
he unrigged them, and let them down to the deck ; he
knew well enough that in the event of the gale rising as he
expected, the lowering of the mast as well as the shortening
of sail would contribute to diminish the strain and stress
upon the vessel.

It was the work of two hours to get this preliminary
operation over. There still remained the task of taking in
the reefs in the top-sail.

The “ Pilgrim ” in one respect differed from most modern
vessels, She did not carry a double foretop, which would
very much have diminished the difficulty attending the
reefing. It was consequently necessary to proceed as
before; to mount the rigging, by main force to haul in the
flapping canvas, and to make the fastening secure. But
critical and dangerous as the task was, it was successfully
accomplished, and the three young men, having descended
safely to the deck, had the satisfaction of seeing the
schooner run easily before the wind, which had further
increased till it was blowing a stiff gale.

For three days the gale continued brisk and hard, yet
without any variation in its direction. But all along the
barometer was falling ; the mercury sank to 28° without
symptom of recovery. The sky was becoming overcast ;
clouds, thick and lowering, obscured the sun, and it was
difficult to make out where it rose or where it set. Dick
did his best to keep up his courage, but he could not dis-
iy

We



Te

Me)





hal an hour Negoro stood motionless Page 12
F fan g a
or
ROUGH WEATHER. I21

guise from himself that there was cause for uneasiness. He
took no more rest than was absolutely necessary, and what
repose he allowed himself he always took on deck; he
maintained a calm exterior, but he was really tortured with
anxiety.

Although the violence of the wind seemed to lull awhile,
Dick did not suffer himself to be betrayed into any false
security; he knew only too well what to expect, and after
a brief interval of comparative quiet, the gale returned and
the waves began to run very high.

About four o’clock one afternoon, Negoro (a most unusual
thing for him) emerged from his kitchen, and skulked. to
the fore. Dingo was fast asleep, and did not make his
ordinary growl by way of greeting to his enemy. For half
an hour Negoro stood motionless, apparently surveying the
horizon. The heavy waves rolled past; they were higher
than the condition of the wind warranted ; their magnitude
witnessed to a storm passing in the west, and there was
every reason to suspect that the “ Pilgrim” might be caught
by its violence.

Negoro looked long at the water ; he then raised his eyes
and scanned the sky. Above and below he might have
read threatening signs... The upper stratum of cloud was
travelling far more rapidly than that beneath, an indication
that ere long the masses of vapour would descend, and,
coming in contact with the inferior current, would change
the gale into a tempest, which probably would increase to
a hurricane.

It might be from ignorance or it might be from indif-
ference, but there was no indication of alarm on the face of
Negoro ; on the other hand there might be seen a sort of
smile curling on his lip. After thus gazing above him and
around him, he clambered on to the bowsprit, and made his
way by degrees to the very gammonings; again he rested
and looked about him as if to explore the horizon ; after
a while he clambered back on deck, and soon stealthily
retreated to his own quarters.

No doubt there was much to cause concern in the general
aspect of the weather; but there was one point on which
122 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

they never failed to congratulate each other ;—that the
direction of the wind had never changed, and consequently
must be carrying them in the desired course. Unless a
storm should overtake them, they could continue their
present navigation without peril, and with every prospect
of finding a port upon the shore where they might put in.
Such were their mutual and acknowledged hopes ; but
Dick secretly felt the misgiving lest, without a pilot, he
might in his ignorance fail to find a harbour of refuge.
Nevertheless, he would not suffer himself to meet trouble
half-way, and kept up his spirits under the conviction that
if difficulties came he should be strengthened to grapple
with them or make his escape.

Time passed on, and the oth of March arrived without
material change in the condition of the atmosphere. The
sky remained heavily burdened, and the wind, which
occasionally had abated for a few hours, had always
returned with at least its former violence. The occasional
rising of the mercury never encouraged Dick to anticipate
a permanent improvement in the weather, and he discerned
only too plainly that brighter times at present were not to
be looked for.

A startling alarm had more than once been caused by
the sudden breaking of storms in which thunderbolts had
seemed to fall within a few cables’ lengths of the schooner.
On these occasions the torrents of rain had been so heavy
that the ship had appeared to be in the very midst of a
whirlpool of vapour, and it was impossible to see a yard
ahead.

The “ Pilgrim” pitched and rolled frightfully. Fortunately
Mrs. Weldon could bear the motion without much personal
inconvenience, and consequently was able to devote heratten-
tion to her little boy, who was a miserable sufferer. Cousin
Benedict was as undisturbed as the cockroaches he was
investigating ; he hardly noticed the increasing madness of
either wind or wave, but went on with his studies as calmly
as if he were in his own comfortable museum at San
Francisco. Moreover, it was fortunate that the negroes did.
not suffer to any great degree from sea-sickness, and conse
ROUGH WEATHER. 123



quently were able to assist their captain in his arduous task.
Dick was far too experienced a sailor himself to be incon-
venienced by any oscillations of the vessel, however violent.

The “Pilgrim” still made good headway, and Dick,
although he was aware that ultimately it would probably be
necessary again to shorten sail, was anxious to postpone
making any alteration before he was absolutely obliged.
Surely, he reasoned with himself, the land could not now
be far away ; he had calculated his speed; he had kept a
diligent reckoning on the chart; surely, the shore must be
almost in sight. He would not trust his crew to keep
watch; he was aware how easily their inexperienced eyes
would be misled, and how they might mistake a distant
cloud-bank for the land they coveted to see; he kept
watch for himself; his own gaze was ever fixed upon the
horizon ; and in the eagerness of his expectation he would
repeatedly mount to the cross-trees to get a wider range of
vision.

But land was not to be seen.

Next day as Dick was standing at the bow, alternately
considering the canvas which his ship carried and the
aspect presented by the sky, Mrs. Weldon approached him
without his noticing her. She caught some muttered
expressions of bewilderment that fell from. his lips, and
asked him whether he could see anything.

He lowered the telescope which he had been holding in
his hand, and answered,—

“No, Mrs. Weldon, I cannot see anything; and it is this
that perplexes me so sorely. I cannot understand why we
have not already come in sight of land. It isnearly a month
since we lost our poor dear captain. There has been no
delay in our progress; no stoppage in our rate of speed.
T cannot make it out.”

“ How far were we from land when we lost the captain ?”

“T am sure Iam not far out in saying that we were
scarcely more than 4500 miles from the shores of
America.”

“ And at what rate have we been sailing ?”

“ Not much less than nine score knots a day.”
124 ‘DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



“How long, then, do you reckon, Dick, we ought to be
in arriving at the coast ?”

“Under six-and-twenty days,” replied Dick.

He paused before he spoke again, then added,—

“But what mystifies me even more than our failing to
sight the land is this: we have not come across a single
vessel; and yet vessels without number are always
traversing these seas.”

“But do you not think,” inquired Mrs. Weldon, “ that
you have made some error in your reckoning? Is your
speed really what you have supposed ?”

“ Impossible, madam,” replied Dick, with an air of dignity,
“impossible that I should have fallen into error. The
log has been consulted, without fail, every half-hour. I am
about to have it lowered now, and I will undertake to
show you that we are at this present moment making
ten miles an hour, which would give considerably over 200
miles a day.”

He then called out to Tom,—

“Tom, lower the log!”

The old man was quite accustomed to the duty. The
log was fastened to the line and thrown overboard. It ran
out regularly for about five-and-twenty fathoms, when all
at once the line slackened in Tom’s hand.

“Tt is broken!” cried Tom; “the cord is broken!”

- “Broken ?” exclaimed Dick: “good heavens! we have
lost the log!”

It was too true. The log was gone.

Tom drew in the rope. Dick took it up and examined
it. It had not broken at its point of union with the log;
it had given way in the middle, at a place where the strands
in some unaccountable way had worn strangely thin.

Dick’s agony of mind, in spite of his effort to be calm,
was intensely great. A suspicion of foul play involun-
tarily occurred to him. He knew that the rope had been
of first-rate make ; he knew that it had been quite sound
when used before; but he could prove nothing ; he could
only mourn over the loss which committed him to the sole
remaining compass as his only guide.
ROUGH WEATHER. 125



That compass, too, although he knew it not, was mis-
leading him entirely !

Mrs. Weldon sighed as she witnessed the grief which the
loss manifestly caused poor Dick, but in purest sympathy
she said nothing, and retired thoughtfully to her cabin.

It was no longer possible to reckon the rate of progress,
‘but there was no doubt that the “ Pilgrim” continued to
maintain at least her previous speed.

Before another four-and-twenty hours had passed the
barometer had fallen still lower, and the wind was threaten-
ing to rise to a velocity of sixty miles. Resolved to be on
the safe side, Dick determined not only to strike the top-
gallant and the main-top-mast, but to take in all the lower
sails. Indeed, he began to be aware that no time was to
be lost. The operation would not be done in a moment,
and the storm was approaching. Dick made Tom take the
helm; he ascended the shrouds with Bat, Austin, and
Acteon, making Hercules stay on deck to slacken the
halyards as required.

By dint of arduous exertion, and at no little risk of being
thrown overboard by the rolling of the ship, they succeeded
in lowering the two masts; the f6re-top-sail was then
reefed, and the fore-sail entirely struck, so that the only
canvas that the schooner carried was the reefed fore-top
and the one stay. These, however, made her run with a
terrific speed.

Early on the morning of the 12th, Dick noted with alarm
that the barometer had not ceased to fall, and now registered
only 27.9°. The tempest had continued to increase, till
it was unsafe for the ship to carry any canvas at all. The
order was given for the top-sail to be taken in, but it was
too late; a violent gust carried the sail completely away,
and Austin, who had made his way to the fore-top-yard,
was struck by the flying sheet; and although he was
not seriously hurt, he was obliged at once to return to
deck.

Dick Sands became more uneasy than ever; he was
tortured by apprehensions of reefs outlying the shore, to
which he imagined he must now be close ;, but he could
126 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

discern no rocks to justify his fears, and returned to take
his place at the helm.

The next moment Negoro appeared on deck ; he pointed
mysteriously to the far-off horizon, as though he discerned
some object, as a mountain, there; and looking round
with a malevolent smile, immediately left the deck, and
went back to his cabin.


29.

Page t

are poles,

nder b

Â¥

U
HOPE REVIVED. 129
a

CHAPTER XII.
HOPE REVIVED.

THE wind had now increased to ahurricane ; it had veered
to the south-west, and had attained a velocity little short of
ninety miles an hour. On land, the most substantial of
erections could with difficulty have withstood its violence,
and a vessel anchored in a roadstead must have been torn
from its moorings and cast ashore. The memorable storm
that had devastated the Island of Guadaloupe on the 25th
of July, 1825, when heavy cannon were lifted from their
carriages, could scarcely have been more furious, and it was
only her mobility before the blast and the solidity of her
structure that gave the * Pilgrim” a hope of surviving the
tempest.

A few minutes after the topsail had been lost, the small
jib was carried away. Dick Sands contemplated the pos-
sibility of throwing out a storm-jib, made of extra strong
canvas, as a means of bringing the ship a little more under
his control, but abandoned the idea as useless. It was,
therefore, under bare poles that the “ Pilgrim ” was driven
along ; but in spite of the lack of canvas, the hull, masts,
and rigging, gave sufficient purchase to the wind, and
the progress of the schooner was prodigiously rapid ; some-
times, indeed, she seemed to be literally lifted from the
water, and scudded on, scarcely skimming its surface. The
rolling was fearful. Enormous waves followed in quick
succession, and as they travelled faster than the ship, there
was the perpetual risk of one of them catching her astern,
Without sail, there were no means of escaping that peril by

!
130 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.





increase of speed ; the adroit management of the helm was
the only chance of avoiding the hazardous shocks, and even
this repeatedly failed.

To prevent his being washed overboard Dick lashed
himself to his place at the wheel by a rope round his waist,
and made Tom and Bat keep close at hand, ready to give
him assistance, in case of emergency. Hercules and Actzon,
clinging to the bitt, kept watch at the bow. Mrs. Weldon
and her party, at Dick’s special request, remained inside the
stern cabin, although the lady, for her own part, would much
rather have stayed on deck ; she had, however, yielded to
the representation that she would thus be exposing herself
to unnecessary danger.

The hatchways were hermetically closed, and it was to
be hoped that they would withstand the heavy sea that
was dashing over them ; only let one of them give way to
the pressure, and the vessel must inevitably fill and founder.
It wasa matter of congratulation that the stowage had been
done very carefully, so that notwithstanding all the lurch-
ings of the ship, the cargo did not shift in the least.

The heroic young commander had still further curtailed
his periods of rest, and it was only at the urgent entreaty
of Mrs. Weldon, who feared that he would exhaust himself
by his vigilance, that he was induced to lie down for a few
hours’ sleep on the night of the 13th.

After Tom and Bat had been left alone at the wheel
they were, somewhat to their surprise, joined by Negoro,
who very rarely came aft. He seemed inclined to enter
into conversation, but found little encouragement to talk on
the part either of Tom or his son. All at once a violent
roll of the ship threw him off his feet, and he would have
gone overboard if he had not been saved by falling against
the binnacle.

Old Tom was in a frantic state of alarm lest the compass
should be broken. He uttered a cry of consternation so
loud that it roused Dick from the light slumber into which
he had fallen in the cabin, and he rushed to the deck. By
the time he had reached the stern, Negoro had not only
regained his feet, but had managed successfully to conceal


Dick Sands drew a revolver from his pocket.

Quick as lightning,

i
3:

Page 13
HOPE REVIVED. 133

the bit of iron which he had again extracted from beneath
the binnacle where he had himself laid it. Now that the
wind had shifted to the south-west, it suited his machinations
that the magnetic needle should indicate its true direction.

“ How now?” asked Dick eagerly ; “ what is the mean-
ing of all this noise?”

Tom explained how the cook had fallen against the bin-
nacle, and how he had been terrified lest the compass should
be injured. Dick’s heart sank at the thought of losing his
sole remaining compass, and his anxiety betrayed itself in
his countenance as he knelt down to examine its condition ;
but he breathed freely as he ascertained that the instrument
had sustained no damage; by the dim light he saw the
needle resting on its two concentric circles, and felt his
fears at once relieved ; of course, he was quite unconscious
of the fact that the removal of the bit of iron had made the
magnet change its pointing. The incident, however, ex-
cited his misgiving ; although he felt that Negoro could not
be held responsible for an accidental fall, the very presence
of the man in such a place at such a time perplexed
him.

“ And what brings you here, this hour of the night ?” he
asked.

“That’s not your business,” retorted Negoro insolently.

“It is my business,” replied Dick resolutely ; “and I
mean to have an answer; what*brought you here ?”

Negoro answered sullenly that he knew of no rule to
prevent his going where he liked and when he liked.

“No rule!” cried Dick; “then I make the rule now.
From this time forward, I make the rule that you shall
never come astern. Do you understand ?”

Roused from his accustomed doggedness, the man
seemed to make a threatening movement. Quick as
lightning, Dick Sands drew a revolver from his pocket.

“Negoro, one act, one word of insubordination, and I
blow out your brains!”

Negoro had no time to reply ; before he could speak he
was bowed down towards the deck by an irresistible weight.
Hercules had grasped him by the shoulder.
134 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



“Shall I put him overboard, captain? he will make a
meal for the fishes ; they are not very particular what they
eat,” said the negro, with a grin of contempt.

“Not yet,” quietly answered Dick.

The giant removed his hand, and Negoro stood upright
again, and began to retreat to his own quarters, muttering,
however, as he passed Hercules,—

“You cursed nigger! You shall pay for this!”

The discovery was now made that the wind apparently
had taken a sudden shift of no less than forty-five degrees ;
but what occasioned Dick the greatest perplexity was that
there was nothing in the condition of the sea to correspond
with the alteration in the current of the air; instead of
being directly astern, wind and waves were now beating on
the larboard. Progress in this way must necessarily be
full of danger, and Dick was obliged to bring his ship up
at least four points before he got her straight before the
tempest.

The young captain felt that he must be more than ever
on the alert; he could not shake off the suspicion that
Negoro had been concerned in the loss of the first compass,
and had some further designs upon the second. Still he
was utterly at a loss to imagine what possible motive the
man could have for so criminal an act of malevolence, as there
was no plausible reason to be assigned why he should not
be as anxious as all the rest to reach the coast of America.
The suspicion continued, however, to haunt him, and when
he mentioned it to Mrs. Weldon he found that a similar
feeling of distrust had agitated her, although she, like
himself, was altogether unable to allege a likely motive
why the cook should contemplate so strange an act of
mischief. It was determined that a strict surveillance
should be kept upon all the fellow’s movements.

Negoro, however, manifested no inclination to disobey
the captain’s peremptory order; he kept strictly to his own
part of the ship ; but as Dingo was now regularly quartered
on the stern, there was a tolerably sure guarantee that
the cook would not be found wandering much in that
direction.
HOPE REVIVED. 135



A week passed, and still the tempest showed no signs of
abating ; the barometer continued to fall, and not once did
a period of calmer weather afford an opportunity of
carrying sail. The “Pilgrim” still made her way north-
east. Her speed could not be less than two hundred miles
in twenty-four hours. But no land appeared. Vast as
was the range of the American continent, extending for
120 degrees between the Atlantic and the Pacific, it was
nowhere to be discerned. Was he dreaming? was he
mad? Dick would perpetually ask himself: had he been
sailing in a wrong direction? had he failed to steer
aright P

But no: he was convinced there was no error in his
steering. Although he could not actually see it for the
mist, he knew that day after day the sun rose before him,
and that it set behind him. Yet he was constrained in
bewilderment to ask, what had become of those shores of
America upon which, when they came in sight, there was
only too great a fear the ship should be dashed ? what had
become of them? where were they? whither had this
incessant hurricane driven them? why did not the expected
coast appear P

To all these bewildering inquiries Dick could find no
answer except to imagine that his compass had misled
him. Yet he was powerless to put his own misgivings to
the test; he deplored more than ever the destruction of the
duplicate instrument which would have checked his registers.
He studied his chart; but all in vain; the position in
which he found himself as the result of Negoro’s treachery,
seemed to baffle him the more, the more he tried to solve
the mystery.

The days were passing on in this chronic state of anxiety,
when one morning about eight o’clock, Hercules, who was
on watch at the fore, suddenly shouted,—

“Land!”

Dick Sands had little reliance upon the negro’s inex-
perienced eye, but hurried forward to the bow.

“Where’s the land?” he cried ; his voice being scarcely
audible above the howling of the tempest.
136 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.









“There! look there!” said Hercules, nodding his
head and pointing over the larboard side, to the north-east.

Dick could see nothing.

Mrs. Weldon had heard the shout. Unable to restrain
her interest, she had left her cabin and was at Dick’s side.
He uttered an expression of surprise at seeing her, but
could not hear anything she said, as her voice was unable
to rise above the roaring of the elements; she stood, her
whole being as it were concentrated in the power of vision,
and scanned the horizon in the direction indicated by
Hercules. But all to no purpose.

Suddenly, however, after a while, Dick raised his hand.

“Yes!” he said; “yes; sure enough, yonder.is land.”

He clung with excitement to the netting; and Mrs.
Weldon, supported by Hercules, strained her eyes yet more
vehemently to get a glimpse of a shore which she had
begun to despair of ever reaching.

Beyond a doubt an elevated peak was there. It must be
about ten miles to leeward. A break in the clouds soon
left it more distinct. Some promontory it must be upon
the American coast. Without sails, of course, the
“ Pilgrim” had no chance of bearing down direct upon it ;
but at least there was every reason to believe that she
would soon reach some other portion of the shore; perhaps
before noon, certainly in a few hours, they must be close to
land.

The pitching of the ship made it impossible for Mrs.
Weldon to keep safe footing on the deck ; accordingly, at
a sign from Dick, Hercules led her back again to her
cabin.

Dick did not remain long at the bow, but went thought-
fully back to the wheel.

He had, indeed, a tremendous responsibility before him.
Here was the land, the land for which they had longed so
eagerly ; and now that their anticipations were on the
point of being realized, what was there, with a hurricane
driving them on towards it, to prevent that land being their
destruction? What measures could he take to prevent the
schooner being dashed to pieces against it ?
































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































“There! look there!” Page 136
HOPE REVIVED. 139

At the very moment when the promontory was just abreast
of them, Negoro appeared on deck ; he nodded to the peak
familiarly, as he might have saluted a familiar friend, and
retired as stealthily as he had come.

Two hours later, and the promontory was lying to the
larboard wake. Dick Sands had never relaxed his watch-
fulness, but he had failed to discover any further indica-
tions of a coast-line. His perplexity could only increase ;
the horizon was clear; the Andes ought to be distinct;
they would be conspicuous twenty miles or more away.
Dick took up his telescope again and again ; he scrutinized
the eastern horizon with minutest care; but there was
nothing to be seen; and as the afternoon waned away the
last glimpse had been taken of the promontory that had
awakened. their expectation ; it had vanished utterly from
their gaze ; no indication of shore could be seen from the
“Pilgrim’s ” deck.

Dick Sands uttered a sigh of mingled amazement and
relief. He went into Mrs. Weldon’s cabin, where she was
standing with her party.

“Tt was only an island!” he said; “only an island !”

“How? why? what island? what do you mean?” cried
Mrs. Weldon incredulously ; “what island can it be ?”

“The chart perhaps will tell us,” replied Dick; and
hurrying off to his own cabin, he immediately returned
with the chart in his hands.

After studying it attentively for a few minutes, he
said,—

“There, Mrs. Weldon; the land we have just passed,
I should suppose must be that little speck in the midst
of the Pacific. It must be Easter Island. At least,
there seems to be no other land which possibly it could
be.”

“And do you say,” inquired Mrs. Weldon, “ that we
have left it quite behind us ?”

“Yes, entirely ; almost to windward.”

Mrs. Weldon commenced a searching scrutiny of the
map that was outspread before her. ;

“ How far is this,” she said, after bending a considerable
I40 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN. ;



time over the chart ; “how far is this from the coast of
America ?”

“ Thirty-five degrees,” answered Dick ; “somewhere about
2500 miles.”

“ What ever do you mean?” rejoined the lady astonished ;
“if the ‘Pilgrim’ is still. 2500 miles from shore, she has
positively made no progress at all. Impossible !”

In thoughtful perplexity, Dick passed his hand across
his brow. He did not know what to say. After an inter-
val of silence, he said,—

“T have no account to give for the strange delay. It
is inexplicable to myself, except upon that one hypothesis,
which I cannot resist, that the readings of the compass,
somehow or other, have been wrong.”

He relapsed into silence. Then, brightening up, he
added,—

“ But, thank God! at least we have naw the satisfaction
of knowing where we reaily are; we are no longer lost
upon the wide Pacific; if only this hurricane will cease,
long as the distance seems, we are on our proper course to
the shores of America.”

The tone of confidence with which the youthful captain
spoke had the effect of inspiring new hope into all who
heard him ; their spirits rose, and to their sanguine mood
it seemed as if they were approaching to the end of all
their troubles, and had hardly more to do than to await
the turning of a tide to bring them into a glad proximity
to port.

Easter Island, of which the true name is Vai-Hoo, was
discovered by David in 1686 and visited by Cook and
Lapérouse. It lies in lat. 27° S., and long. 112 E.; conse-
quently, it was evident that during the raging of the hur-
ricane the schooner had been driven northwards no less
than fifteen degrees. Far away, however, as she was from
shore, the wind could hardly fail within ten days to carry
her within sight of land; and then, if the storm had
worn itself out, (as probably it.would,) the “ Pilgrim”
would again hoist sail, and make her way into some port
with safety. Anyhow, the discovery of his true position
HOPE REVIVED. I41

restored a spirit of confidence to Dick Sands, and he anti-
cipated the time when he should no longer be drifting help-
lessly before the storm.

To say the truth, the “ Pilgrim” had suffered very little
from the prolonged fury of the weather. The damage she
had sustained was limited to the loss of the topsail and the
small jib, which could be easily replaced. The caulking of
the seams remained thoroughly sound, and no drop of
water had found its way into the hold. The pumps, too,
were perfectly free. Dick Sands did not fear for the
stability of his ship ; his only anxiety was lest the weather
should not moderate in time. Only let the wind subside,
and the schooner once more would be under his control ;
but he never forgot that the ordering of the winds and
waves were in the hands of the Great Disposer of all.
142 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER XIII.
LAND AT LAST.

IT was not long before Dick’s sanguine expectations were
partially realized, for on the very next day, which was the
27th, the barometer began to rise, not rapidly, but steadily,
indicating that its elevation would probably continue.
The sea remained exceedingly rough, but the violence of
the wind, which had veered slightly towards the west, hac
perceptibly diminished. The tempest had passed its
greatest fury, and was beginning to wear itself out.

Not a sail, however, could yet be hoisted; the smallest
show of canvas would have been carried away in an
instant; nevertheless Dick hoped that before another
twenty-four hours were over, the “ Pilgrim ” might be able
to carry a storm-jib.

In the course of the night the wind moderated still more
and the pitching of the ship had so far diminished that
the passengers began to reappear on deck. Mrs. Weldon
was the first to leave her enforced imprisonment. She
was anxious to speak to Dick, whom she might have ex-
pected to find looking pale and wan after his almost super-
human exertions and loss of sleep. But she was rhistaken;
however much the lad might suffer from the strain in after-
years, at present he exhibited no symptoms of failing energy.

“Well, Captain Dick, how are you?” she said, as she
advanced towards him holding out her hand.

Dick smiled.

“Vou call me captain, Mrs. Weldon,” he answered,
“but you do not seem disposed to submit implicitly to














“You have acquitted yourself like a man.” Page 145.
LAND AT LAST. 145



captain’s orders. Did I not direct you to keep to your
cabin?”

“You did,” replied the lady; “but observing how
much the storm had abated, I could not resist the tempta-
tion to disobey you.”

“Yes, madam, the weather is far more promising; the
barometer has not fallen since yesterday morning, and I
really trust the worst is over now.”

“Thank Heaven!" she replied, and after a few moments’
silence, she added,—

“But now, Dick, you must really take some rest; you
may perhaps not know how much you require it ; but it is
absolutely necessary.”

“Rest!” the boy repeated ; “rest! I want no rest. I
have only done my duty, and it will be time enough for
me to concern myself about my own rest, when I have
seen my passengers in a place of safety.”

“You have acquitted yourself like a man,” said Mrs.
Weldon ; “and you may be assured that my husband, like
myself, will never forget the services you have rendered
me. I shall urge upon him the request which Iam sure
he will not refuse, that you shall have your studies com-
pleted, so that you may be made a captain for the firm.”

Tears of gratitude rose to Dick’s eyes. He deprecated
the praise that was lavished upon him, but rejoiced in the
prospect that seemed opening upon his future. Mrs.
Weldon assured him that he was dear as a son to her, and
pressed a gentle kiss upon his forehead. The Jad felt that
he was animated, if need be, to yet greater hardships in
behalf of his benefactors, and resolved to prove himself
even more worthy of their confidence.

By the 29th, the wind had so far moderated that Dick
thought he might increase the “Pilgrim’s” speed by
hoisting the foresail and topsail.

“Now, my men, I have some work for you to-day,” he
said to the negroes when he came on deck at daybreak.

“All right, captain,’ answered Hercules, “we are grow-
ing rusty for want of something to do.”

“Why didn’t you blow with your big mouth?” said
146 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

little Jack ; “you could have beaten the wind all to no-
thing.”

Dick laughed, and said, “Not a bad idea, Jack; if ever we
get becalmed, we must get Hercules to blow into the sails.”

“T shall be most happy,” retorted the giant, and he
inflated his huge cheeks till he was the very impersonation
of Boreas himself.

“ But now to work!” cried Dick; “we have lost our
topsail, and we must contrive to hoist another. Not an
easy matter, I can tell you.”

“T dare say we shall manage it,” replied Actzon.

“We must do our best,” said Tom.

“Can’t I help?” inquired Jack. j

“Of course you can,” answered Dick; “run along to
the wheel, and assist Bat.”

Jack strutted off, proud enough of his commission.

Under Dick’s directions, the negroes commenced their
somewhat difficult task. The new topsail, rolled up, had
first of all to be hoisted, and then to be made fast to the
yard; but so adroitly did the crew carry out their orders,
that in less than an hour the sail was properly set and
flying with a couple of reefs. The foresail and second jib,
which had been taken down before the tempest, were
hoisted again, and before ten o’clock the “ Pilgrim” was
running along under the three sails which Dick considered
were as much as it was prudent to carry. . Even at her
present speed, the schooner, he reckoned, would be within
sight of the American shore in about ten days. It was an
immense relief to him to find that she was no longer at the
mercy of the waves, and when he saw the sails properly
set he returned in good spirits to his post at the helm, not
forgetting to thank the temporary helmsman for his services,
nor omitting his acknowledgment to Master Jack, who
received the compliment with becoming gravity.

Although the clouds continued to travel all the next
day with great rapidity they were very much broken, and
alternately the “Pilgrim” was bathed in sunlight and
enveloped in vapours, which rolled on towards the east.
As the weather cleared, the hatchways were opened in




























































































































































































i



They both examined the outspread chart. Page 149.
LAND AT LAST. 149

order to ventilate the ship, and the outer air was allowed
again to penetrate not only the hold, but the cabin and
crew's quarters. The wet sails were hung out to dry, the
deck was washed down, for Dick Sands was anxious not
to bring his ship into port without having “ finished her
toilet,’ and he found that his crew could very well spare a
few hours daily to get her into proper trim.

Notwithstanding the loss of the log, Dick had sufficient
experience to be able to make an approximate estimate of
the schooner’s progress, and after having pointed out to
Mrs. Weldon what he imagined was the “ Pilgrim’s” true
position, he told her that it was his firm impression that
land would be sighted in little more than a week.

“And upon what part of South America do you reckon
we are likely to find ourselves ?” she asked.

“That is more than I dare venture to promise,” replied
Dick ; “but I should think somewhere hereabouts.”

He was pointing on the chart to the long shore-line of
Chili and Peru.

They both examined the outspread chart with still
closer attention.

“ Here, you see,” resumed Dick, “here is the island we
have just left; we left it in the west; the wind has not
shifted ; we must expect to come in sight of land, pretty
nearly due east of it. The coast has plenty of harbours.
From any one of them you will be able easily to get to
San Francisco. You know, I dare say, that the Pacific
Navigation Company’s steamers touch at all the principal
ports. From any of them you will be sure to get direct
passage to California.”

“But do you tnean,” asked Mrs. Weldon, “that you
are not going yourself to take the schooner to San
Francisco ?”

“Not direct,” replied the young captain ; “I want to see
you safe on shore and satisfactorily on your homeward
way. When that is done, I shall hope to get competent
officers to take the ship to Valparaiso, where she will
discharge her cargo, as Captain Hull intended ; and after-
wards I shall work our way back to San Francisco.”
150 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



“ Ah, well; we will see all about that in due time,” Mrs.
Weldon said, smiling; and, after a short pause, added,
“ At one time, Dick, you seemed to have rather a dread of
the shore.”

“Quite true,” answered Dick ; “but now I am in hopes
we may fall in with some passing vessel ; we want to havea
confirmation as to our true position. Icannot tell you how
surprised I am that we have not come across a single vessel.
But when we near the land we shall be able to get a pilot.”

“But what will happen if we fail to get a pilot?” was
Mrs. Weldon’s inquiry. She was anxious to learn how far
the lad was prepared to meet any emergency.

With unhesitating promptness Dick replied,—

“Why, then, unless the weather takes the control of the
ship out of my hands, I must patiently follow the coast
until I come to a harbour of refuge. But if the wind should
freshen, I should have to adopt other measures.”

“What then, Dick, what then?” persisted Mrs.
Weldon. :

The boy’s brow knitted itself together in resolution, and
he said deliberately,—

“T should run the ship aground.”

Mrs. Weldon started.

“ However,” Dick continued, “there is no reason to
‘apprehend this. The weather has mended and is likely to
mend. And why should we fear about finding a pilot?
Let us hope all will be well.”

Mrs. Weldon at least had satisfied herself on one point.
She had ascertained that although Dick did not anticipate
disaster, yet he was prepared in the case of emergency to
resort to measures from which any but the most experienced
seaman would shrink

But although Dick’s equanimity had been successful -in
allaying any misgivings on Mrs. Weldon’s part, it must be
owned that the condition of the atmosphere caused him
very serious uneasiness,

The wind remained uncomfortably high, and_ the,
barometer gave very ominous indications that it would ere
long freshen still more. Dick dreaded that the time was
LAND AT LAST. 151



about to return in which once again he must reduce his’
vessel to a state of bare poles; but so intense was his
aversion to having his ship so wrested as it were from his
own management, that he determined to carry the topsail
till it was all but carried away by the force of the blast.
Concerned, moreover, for the safety of his masts, the loss of
which he acknowledged must be fatal, he had the shrouds
well overhauled and the backstays considerably tightened.

More than once another contingency occurred to his
mind, and gave him some anxiety. He could not overlook
the possibility of the wind changing all round. What
should he do in such a case? He would of course
endeavour by all means to get the schooner on by
incessant tacking; but was there not the certainty of a
most hazardous delay? and worse than this, was there not
a likelihood of the “ Pilgrim” being once again driven far
out to sea?

Happily these forebodings were not realized. The wind,
after chopping about for several days, at one time blowing
from the north, and at another from the south, finally
settled down into a stiffish gale from the west, which did
nothing worse than severely strain the masts.

In this weary but hopeful endurance time passed on.
The sth of April had arrived. It was more than’ two
months since the “ Pilgrim” had quitted New Zealand ; it
was true that during the first three weeks of her voyage
she had been impeded by protracted calms and contrary
winds ; but since that time her speed had been rapid, the
very tempests had driven her forwards with unwonted
velocity ; she had never failed to have her bow towards the
land, and yet land seemed as remote as ever; the coast
line was retreating as they approached it. What could be
the solution of the mystery ?

From the cross-trees one or other of the negroes was kept
incessantly on the watch. Dick Sands himself, telescope
in hand, would repeatedly ascend in the hope of beholding
some lofty peak of the Andes emerging from the mists that
hung over the horizon. But all in vain.

False alarms were given more than once. Sometimes
152 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Tom, sometimes Hercules, or one of the others would be
sure that a distant speck they had descried was assuredly a
mountain ridge; but the vapours were continually gather-
ing in such fantastic forms that their unexperienced eyes
were soon deceived, and they seldom had to wait long
before their fond delusion was all dispelled.

At last, the expected longing was fulfilled. At eight
o'clock one morning the mists seemed broken up with
unusual rapidity, and the horizon was singularly clear.
Dick had hardly gone aloft when his voice rung out,—

“Land! Land ahead!”

As if summoned by a spell, every one was on deck in an
instant: Mrs. Weldon, sanguine of a speedy end to the
general anxiety; little Jack, gratified at a new object of
curiosity ; Cousin Benedict, already scenting a new field
for entomological investigation ; old Nan; and the negroes,
eager to set foot upon American soil; all, with the excep-
tion of Negoro, all were on deck; but the cook did not
stir from his solitude, or betray any sympathy with the
general excitement.

Whatever hesitation there might be at first soon passed
away; one after another soon distinguished the shore
they were approaching, and in half an hour there was no
room for the most sceptical to doubt that Dick was right.
There was land not far ahead.

A few miles to the east there was a long low-lying coast ;
the chain of the Andes ought to be visible; but it was ob-
scured, of course, by the intervening clouds.

The “ Pilgrim” bore down rapidly towards the land, and in
a short time its configuration could be plainly made out.
Towards the north-east the coast terminated in a head-
land of moderate height sheltering a kind of roadstead ; on
the south-east it stretched out in a long and narrow
tongue. The Andes were still wanting to the scene; they
must be somewhere in the background; but at present,
strange to say, there was only a succession of low cliffs
with some trees standing out against the sky. No human
habitation, no harbour, not even an indication of a river-
mouth, could anywhere be seen.
LAND AT LAST. 153



The wind remained brisk, and the scheoner was driving
directly towards the land, with sails shortened as seemed
desirable ; but Dick realized to himself the fact that he was
utterly incapable of altering her course. With eager eyes
he scrutinized his situation. Straight ahead was a reef
over which the waves were curling, and around which the
surf must be tremendous. It could hardly be more than a
mile away. The wind seemed brisker than before.

After gazing awhile, Dick seemed to have come to a
sudden resolution. He went quickly aft and took the
helm. He had seen a little cove, and had made up his
mind that he would try and make his way into it. He
did not speak a word; he knew the difficulty of the task
he had undertaken; he was aware from the white foam,
that there was shallow water on either hand ; but he kept
the secret of the peril to himself, and sought no counsel in
coming to his fixed resolve.

Dingé had been trotting up and down the deck. All
at once he bounded to the fore, and broke out into a
piteous howl. It roused Dick from his anxious cogita-
tions. Was it possible that the animal recognized the
coast? It almost seemed as if it brought back some pain-
ful associations,

The howling of the dog had manifestly attracted Ne-
goro’s attention ; the man emerged from his ap and,
regardless of the dog, stood close to the netting; but

although he gazed at ‘the surf, it did not scem to aan
him any alarm. Mrs. Weldon, who was “watching him,
fancied she saw a flush rise to ig face, which involuntarily
Suggested the thought to her.mind that Negoro had seen
the place before.

Either she had no time or no wish to express what had
struck her, for she did not mention it to Dick, who, at
that moment, left the helm, and came and stood beside her.

Dick looked as if he were taking a lingering farewell of
the cove past which they were being carried beyond his
power to help.

In a few moments he turned round to Mrs. Weldon, and
said quietly,—
54 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

“Mrs. Weldon, I am disappointed. . I hoped to get the
schooner into yonder cove; but there is no chance now;
if nothing is done, in, half an hour she will be upon that
reef. I have but one alternative left. I must run her
aground. It will be utter destruction to the ship, but there
is no choice. Your safety is the first and paramount con-
sideration.”

“Do you mean that there is no other course to be taken,
Dick ?”

“ None whatever,” said Dick decidedly.

“Tt must be as you will,” she said.

Forthwith ensued the agitating preparations for strand-
ing. Mrs. Weldon, Jack, Cousin Benedict, and Nan were
provided with life-belts, while Dick and the negroes made
themselves ready for being dashed into the waves. Every
precaution that the emergency admitted was duly taken.
Mrs. Weldon was entrusted to the special charge of
Hercules ; Dick made himself responsible for doing all he
could for little Jack ; Cousin Benedict, who was tolerably
calm, was handed over to Bat and Austin; while Acton
promised to look after Nan. Negoro’s nonchalance implied
that he was quite capable of shifting for himself.

Dick had the forethought also to order about a dozen
barrels of their cargo to be brought in front, so that when
the “Pilgrim” struck, the oil escaping and floating on
the waves would temporarily lull their fury, and make
smoother water for the passage of the ship.

After satisfying himself that there was no other measure
to be taken to ameliorate the peril, Dick Sands returned
to the helm. The schooner was all but upon the reef, and
only a few cables’ length from the shore; her starboard
quarter indeed was already bathed in the seething foam,
and any instant the keel might be expected to grate upon
the under-lying rock. Presently a change of colour in the
water was observed ; it revealed a passage between the
rocks. Dick gave the wheel a turn; he saw the chance
of getting aground nearer to the shore than he had
dared to hope, and he made the most of it. He steered
the schooner right into the narrow channel; the sea was


















































































































The sea was furious, and dashed vehemently upon the crags on either hand.
Page 157.
LAND AT LAST. 157



furious, and dashed vehemently upon the crags on either
hand.

“Now, my lads!” he cried to his crew, “now’s your
time ; out with your oil! let it run!”

Ready for the order, the negroes poured out the oil, and
the raging waters were stilled as if by magic. A few
moments more and perchance they would rage more vehe-
mently than ever. But for the instant they were lulled.

The “Pilgrim,” meanwhile, had glided onwards, and
made dead for the adjacent shore. There was a sudden
shock. Caught by an enormous wave the schooner had
been hurled aground; her masts had fallen, fortunately
without injury to any one on board. But the vessel had
parted amidships, and was foundering ; the water was
tushing irresistibly into the hold.

The shore, however, was not half a cable’s length away ;
there was a low, dark ridge of rocks that was united to the
beach ; it afforded ample means of rescue, and in less than
ten minutes the “ Pilgrim’s” captain, crew, and passengers
were all landed, with their lives, at the foot of the overhang-
ing cliff,
158 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER XIV.
ASIIORE,

TuUS, after a voyage of seventy-four days, the “ Pilgrim”
had stranded. Mrs. Weldon and her fellow-voyagers joined
in thanksgiving to the kind Providence that had brought
them ashore, not upon one of the solitary islands of Poly-
nesia, but upon a solid continent, from almost any part of
which there would be no difficulty in getting home.

The ship was totally lost. She was lying in the surf a
hopeless wreck, and few must be the hours that would
elapse before she would be broken up in scattered fragments ;
it was impossible to save her. Notwithstanding that Dick
Sands bewailed the loss of a valuable ship and her cargo to
the owner, he had the satisfaction of knowing that he had
been instrumental in saving what was far more precious,
the lives of the owner’s wife and son.

It was impossible to do more than hazard a conjecture
as to the part of the South American coast on which the
“Pilgrim” had been cast. Dick imagined that it must be
somewhere on the coast of Peru; after sighting Easter
Island, he knew that the united action of the equatorial
current and the brisk wind must have had the effect of
driving the schooner far northward, and he formed his con-
clusion accordingly. Be the true position, however, what it
might, it was all important that it should be accurately
ascertained as soon as possible, If it were really in Peru,
he would not be long in finding his way to one of the
numerous ports and villages that lie along the coast,
ASHORE, 159



But the shore here was quite a desert. A narrow strip
of beach, strewn with boulders, was enclosed by a cliff of no
great height, in which, at irregular intervals, deep funnels
appeared as chasms in the rock. Here and there a gentle
slope led to the top.

About a quarter of a mile to the north was the mouth of
a little river which had not been visible from the sea. Its
banks were overhung by a number of “rhizophora,” a
species of mangrove entirely distinct from that indigenous
to-India. It was soon ascertained that the summit of the
cliff was clothed by a dense forest, extending far away in
undulations of verdure to the mountains in the background.
Had Cousin Benedict been a botanist, he could not have
failed to find a new and interesting field for his researches ;
there were lofty baobabs (to which an extraordinary lon-
gevity has often been erroneously ascribed), with bark
resembling Egyptian syenite; there were white pines,
tamarinds, pepper-plants of peculiar species, and numerous
other plants unfamiliar to the eye of a native of the North;
but, strange to say, there was not a single specimen of the
extensive family of palms, of which more than a thousand
varieties are scattered in profusion in so many quarters of
the globe.

Above the shore hovered a large number of screeching
birds, mostly of the swallow tribe, their black plumage shot
with -steelly blue, and shading off to a light brown at the
top of the head. Now and then a few partridges of a
greyish colour rose on wing, their necks entirely bare of
feathers : the fearless manner in which the various birds all
allowed themselves to be approached made Mrs. Weldon
and Dick both wonder if the shores upon which they had
been thrown were not so deserted that the sound of fire-arms
was not known.

On the edge of the reefs some pelicans (of the species
known as felicanus minor) were busily filling their pouches
with tiny fish, and some gulls coming in from the open sea
began to circle round the wreck: with these exceptions
not a living creatureappeared in sight. Benedict, no doubt,
could have discovered many entomological noveltiesamongst
160 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



the foliage, but these could give no more information than
the birds as to the name of their habitat. Neither north,
nor south, nor towards the forest, was there trace of rising
‘smoke, or any footprint or other sign to indicate the presence
of a human being.

Dick’s surprise was very great. He knew that the
proximity of a native would have made Dingo bark aloud ;
but the dog gave no warning; he was running backwards
and forwards, his tail lowered and his nose close to the
ground ; now and again he uttered a deep growl.

“Look at Dingo!” said Mrs. Weldon ; “how strange he
is! he seems to be trying to discover a lost scent.”

After watching the dog for a time, she spoke again :—

“Look, too, at Negoro! he and the dog seem to be on
the same purpose !”

“ As to Negoro,” said Dick, “I cannot concern myself with
him now; he must do as he pleases ; I have no further con-
trol over him ; his service expires with the loss of the ship.”

Negoro was in fact walking to and fro, surveying the shore
with the air of aman who was trying to recall some past
experience to his recollection. His dogged taciturnity was
too well known for any one to think of questioning him ;
every one was accustomed to let him go his own way, and
when Dick noticed that he had gone towards the little river,
and had disappeared behind the cliff, he thought no more
about him. Dingo likewise had quite forgotten his enemy,
and desisted from his growling.

The first necessity for the shipwrecked party was to find
a temporary shelter where they might take some refresh-
ment. There was no lack of provisions; independently of
the resources of the land, the ebbing tide had left upon the
rocks the great bulk of the “Pilgrim’s” stores, and the
negroes had already collected several kegs of biscuit, and
a number of cases of preserved meat, besides a variety of
other supplies. All that they rescued they carefully piled
up above high-water mark. As nothing appeared to be
injured by the sea-water, the victualling of the party all
seemed to be satisfactorily secure for the interval which
must elapse (and they all believed it would not be long,)


























































































































































































































































































Surveying the shore with the air of a man who was trying to recall some
past experience. Lage 160.
ASHORE. 18,



before they reached one of the villages which they presumed
were close at hand. Dick, moreover, took the precaution of
sending Hercules to get a small supply of fresh water from
the river hard by, and the good-natured fellow returned
carrying a whole barrel-full on his shoulder.

Plenty of fuel was lying about, and whenever they wanted
to light-a fire they were sure of having an abundance of
dead wood and the roots of the old mangroves. Old Tom,an
inveterate smoker, always carried a tinder box in his pocket ;
this had been too tightly fastened ty be affected by the
moisture, and could always produce a spark upon occasion

Still they must have a shelter. Without some rest it
was impossible to start upon a tour of exploration ; accord-
ingly, all interests were directed towards ascertaining
where the necessary repose could be obtained.

The honour of discovering where the desired retreat could
be found fell to thé lot of little Jack. Trotting about at the
foot of the cliff, he came upon one of those grottoes which
are constantly being found hollowed out in the rock by the
vehement action of the waves in times of tempest.

“Here, look here!” cried the child ; “here’s a place!”

“Well done, Jack!” answered his mother ; “your lucky
discovery is just what we wanted. Ifwe were going to stay
here any time we should have to do the same as the Swiss
Family Robinson, and name the spot after you!”

It was hardly more than twelve or fourteen feet square,
and yet the grotto seemed to Jack to be a gigantic cavern.
But narrow as its limits were, it was capacious enough to
receive the entire party. It was a great satisfaction to Mrs.
Weldon to observe that it was perfectly dry, and as the
moon was just about her first quarter there was no likeli-
hood of a tide rising to the foot of the cliff. At any rate, it
was resolved that they might take up their quarters there
for a few hours,

Shortly after one o’clock the whole party were seated
upon a carpet of seaweed round a repast consisting of
preserved meat, biscuit, and water flavoured with a few
drops of rum, of which Bat had saved a quart bottle from
the wreck. Even Negoro had returned and joined the
164 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

group; probably he had not cared to venture alone along
the bank of the stream into the forest. He sat listening, as
it seemed indifferently, to the various plans for the future
that were being discussed, and did not open his mouth either
by way of remonstrance or suggestion.

Dingo was not forgotten, and had his share of food duly
given him outside the grotto, where he was keeping guard.

When the meal was ended, Mrs. Weldon, passing her
arms round Jack, who was lounging half asleep with excite-
ment and fatigue at her side, was the first to speak.

“My dear Dick,’ she said, “in the name of us all,
let me thank you for the services you have rendered us in
our tedious time of difficulty. As you have been our
captain at sea, let me beg you to be our guide upon land.
We shall have perfect confidence in your judgment, and
await your instructions as to what. our next proceedings
shall be.”

All eyes were turned upon Dick. Even Negoro
appeared to be roused to curiosity, as if eager to know
what he had to say.

Dick did not speak for some moments. He was mani-
festly pondering what step he should advise. After a while
he said,—

“My own impression, Mrs. Weldon, is that we have been
cast ashore upon one of the least-frequented parts of the
coast of Peru, and that we are near the borders of the
Pampas. In that case I should conclude that we are at a
considerable distance from any village. Now, I should
recommend that we stay here altogether for the coming
night. To-morrow morning, two of us can start offon an
exploring expedition. I entertain but little doubt that
natives will be met with within ten or a dozen miles.”

Mrs. Weldon looked doubtful. Plainly she thought
unfavourably of the project of separating the party. She
reflected for a considerable time, and then asked,—

“ And who is to undertake the task of exploring?”

Prompt was Dick’s answer :—

“Tom and I.” “

“And leave us here?” suggested the lady.
ASHORE, 165



“Yes ; to take care of you, there will be Hercules, Bat,
Acteon and Austin. Negoro, too, I presume, means to
remain here,” said Dick, glancing towards the cook.

“Perhaps,” replied Negoro, sparing as ever of his
words.

“We shall take Dingo,” added Dick ; “likely enough he
may be useful.”

At the sound of his name the dog had entered the
grotto. A short bark seemed to testify his approval of
Dick’s proposal. .

Mrs. Weldon was silent. She looked sad and thoughtful.
It was hard to reconcile herself to the division of the party.
She was aware that the separation would not be for long,
but she could not suppress a certain feeling of nervousness.
Was it not possible that some natives, attracted by the
wreck, would assault them in hopes of plunder ?

Every argument he could think of, Dick brought forward
to reassure the lady. He told her that the Indians were
perfectly harmless, and entirely different to the savage
tribes of Africa and Polynesia; there was no reason to
apprehend any mischief, even if they should chance to
encounter them, which was itself extremely unlikely. No
doubt the separation would have its inconveniences, but
they would be insignificant compared with the difficulty of
traversing the country ez masse. Tom and he would have
far greater freedom if they went alone, and could make
their investigations much more thoroughly. Finally he pro-
mised that if within two days they failed to discover human
habitation, they would return to the grotto forthwith.

“T confess, however,” he added, “ that I have little expec-
tation of being able to ascertain our true position, until I
have penetrated some distance into the country.”

There was nothing in Dick’s representations but what com-
manded Mrs. Weldon’s assent as reasonable. It was simply
her own nervousness, she acknowledged, that made her
hesitate ; but it was only with extreme reluctance that she
finally yielded to the proposition.

“And what, Mr. Benedict, is your opinion of my pro-
posal?” said Dick, turning to the entomologist.
166 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



“1?” answered Cousin Benedict, looking somewhat
bewildered, “Oh, I am agreeable to anything. I dare say
I shall find some specimens. I think I will go and look at
once.”

“Take my advice, and don’t go far away,” replied Dick.
~ “ All right ; I shall take care of myself.”

“ And don’t be bringing back a lot of mosquitoes,” said old
Tom mischievously.

With his box under his arm, the naturalist left the
grotto.

Negoro followed almost immediately. He did not take
the same direction as Benedict up the cliff, but for the
second time bent his steps towards the river, and proceeded
along its bank till he was out of sight.

It was not long before Jack’s exertions told upon him,
and he fell into a sound sleep. Mrs. Weldon having gently
laid him on Nan’s lap, wandered out and made her way
to the water’s edge. She was soon joined by Dick and the
negroes, who wanted to see whether it was possible to get
to the “ Pilgrim,” and secure any articles that might be
serviceable for future use. The reef on which the schooner
had stranded was now quite dry, and the carcase of the
vessel which had been partially covered at high water was
lying in the midst of débris of the most promiscuous
character. The wide difference between high and low-
water mark caused Dick Sands no little surprise. He
knew that the tides on the shores of the Pacific were very
inconsiderable ; in his own mind, however,;‘he came to the
conclusion that the phenomenon was to be explained by
the unusually high wind that had been blowing on the
coast.

Not without emotion could Mrs. Weldon, or indeed any
of them, behold the unfortunate ship upon which they had
spent so many eventful days, lying dismasted. on her side.
‘But there was little time for sentiment. If they wished to
visit the hull before it finally went to pieces there must be
no delay. ‘

Hoisting themselves by some loose rigging that was
hanging from the deck, Dick and several of the negroes


















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Not without emotion could Mrs, Weldon, or indeed any of them, behold
the unfortunate ship, Page 166,
ASHORE. 169



contrived to make their way into the interior of the hull.
Dick left his men to gather together all they could in the
way of food and drink from the store-room, and himself
went straight to the stern cabin, into which the water had
not penetrated. Here he found four excellent Purday’s
Remington rifles and a hundred cartridges; with these
he determined to arm his party, in case they should be
attacked by Indians. He also chose six of the strongest of
the cutlasses that are used for slicing up dead whales ; and
did not forget the little toy gun which was Jack’s spccial
property. Unexpectedly he found a pocket-compass,
which he was only too glad to appropriate. What a boon
it would have been had he discovered it earlier! The ship’s
charts in the fore-cabin were too much injured by water to
be of any further service. Nearly everything was cither
lost or spoiled, but the misfortune was not felt very acutely
because there was ample provision for a few days, and it
seemed useless to burden themselves with more than
was necessary. Dick hardly needed Mrs. Weldon’s advice
to secure all the money that might be on board, but after
the most diligent search he failed to discover more than
five hundred dollars. This was a subject of perplexity.
Mrs. Weldon herself had had a considerably larger sum
than this, and Captain Hull was known always to keep a
good reserve in hand. There was but one way to solve
the mystery. Some one had been beforehand to the
‘wreck. It could not be any of the negroes, as not one of
them had fora moment left the grotto. Suspicion naturally
fell upon Negoro, who had been out alone upon the shore.
Morose and cold-blooded as the man was, Dick hardly
knew why he should suspect him of the crime of theft;
nevertheless, he determined to cross-examine him, and, if
need be, to have him searched, as soon as he came back.

The day wore onwards to its close. The sun was ap-
proaching the vernal equinox, and sank almost perpen-
dicularly on to the horizon. Twilight was very short, and
the rapidity with which darkness came on confirmed Dick
in his belief that they had got ashore at some spot lying
between the tropic of Capricorn and the equator.
ce DICK SANDS, THE BOY CéPTAIN.



They all assembled in the grotto again for the purpose

of getting some sleep.

“ Another rough night coming on!” said Tom, pointing
to the heavy clouds that hung over the horizon.

“No doubt, Tom!” answered Dick; “and I think we
may congratulate ourselves on being safe out of our poor
ship.”

As the night could not be otherwise than very dade: it
was arranged that the negroes should take their turns in
keeping guard at the entrance of the grotto. Dingo also
would be upon the alert. :

Benedict had not yet returned. Hercules shouted his
name with the full strength of his capacious lungs, and
shortly afterwards the entomologist was seen making his
way down the face of the cliff at the imminent risk of
breaking his neck. He was in a great rage. He had not
found a single insect worth having ; scorpions, scolopendra,
and other myriapoda were in the forest in abundance ; but
not one of these of course could be allowed a place in his
collection.

“Have I come six thousand miles for this?’ he cricd:
“have I endured storm and shipwreck only to be cast
where not a hexapod is to be seen? The country is detest-
able! I shall not stay in it another hour!”

Ever gentle to his eccentricities, Mrs. Weldon soothed
him as she would a child ; she told him that he had better
take some rest now, and most likely he would have better
luck to-morrow.

Cousin Benedict had hardly been pacified when Tom
remarked that Negoro too had not returned.

7 Never mind !” said Bat ; “his room is as good as his
company.”

“TI cannot say that I altogether think so. The man is
no favourite of mine, but I like him better under my own
eye,” said Mrs. Weldon.

“Perhaps he has his own reasons for keeping away,”
said Dick ; and taking Mrs. Weldon aside, he communicated
to her his suspicions of the fellow’s dishonesty.

He found that she coincided with him in her view of


























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The entomologist was seen making his way down the face of the cliff at
the imminent risk of breaking his neck. Page 170.
ASHORE. 173

Negoro’s conduct ; but she did not agree with him in his
proposal to have him searched at once. If he returned, she
should be convinced that he had deposited the money in
some secret spot; and as there would be no proof of his
guilt, it would be better to leave him, at least for a time,
uninterrogated.

Dick was convinced by her representations, and promised
to act upon her advice.

Before they resigned themselves to sleep, they had re-
peatedly summoned Negoro back, but he either could not
or would not hear. Mrs. Weldon and Dick scarcely knew
what to think; unless he had lost his way; it was unac~
countable why he should be wandering about alone on a
dark night in a strange country.

Presently Dingo was heard barking furiously. He had
left the opening of the grotto, and was evidently down at
the water’s edge. Imagining that Negoro must be coming,
Dick sent three of the negroes in the direction of the river
to meet him; but when they reached the bank not a soul
could be seen, and as Dingo was quict again, they made
their way back to the grotto.

Excepting the man left on watch, they now all lay down,
hoping to get some repose. Mrs, Weldon, however, could
not sleep. The land for which she had sighed so ardently
had been reached, but it had failed to give either the
security or the comfort which she had anticipated!
174 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER XV.
A STRANGER.

AT daybreak, next morning, Austin, who happened to be
on guard, heard Dingo bark, and noticed that he started up
and ran towards the river. Arousing the inmates of the
grotto, he announced to them that some one was coming.

“Tt isn’t Negoro,” said Tom; “ Dingo would bark louder
than that if Negoro were to be seen.”

“Who, then, can it be?” asked Mrs, Weldon, with an
inquiring glance towards Dick.

“We must wait and see, madam,” replied Dick quietly.

Bidding Bat, Austin, and Hercules follow his example,
Dick Sands took up a cutlass and a rifle, into the breach of
which he slipped a cartridge. Thus armed, the four young
men made their way towards the river bank. Tom and
Actzon were left with Mrs. Weldon at the entrance of the
grotto.

The sun was just rising. Its rays, intercepted by the
lofty range of mountains in the east, did not fall directly on
the cliff ; but the sea to its western horizon was sparkling
in the sunbeams as the party marched along the shore.
Dingo was motionless as a setter, but did not cease barking.
It soon proved not to be his old enemy who was disturbing
him. A man, who was not Negoro, appeared round the
angle of the cliff, and advancing cautiously along the bank
of the stream, seemed by his gestures to be endeavouring to
pacify the dog, with which an encounter would certainly
have been by no means desirable.

“That’s not Negoro!” said Hercules,



















































































































































































A STRANGER. 17)

“No loss for any of us,’ muttered Bat.

“You are right,” replied Dick ; “perhaps he is a native ;
let us hope he may be able to tell us our whereabouts, and
save.us the trouble of exploring.”

With their rifles on their shoulders, they advanced steadily
towards the new arrival. The stranger,on becoming aware
of their approach, manifested great surprise; he was
apparently puzzled as to how they had reached the shore,
for the “ Pilgrim” had been entirely broken up during the
night, and the spars that were floating about had probably
been too few and too scattered to attract his attention. His
first attitude seemed to betray something of fear; and
raising to his shoulder a gun that had been slung to his
belt, he began to retrace his steps ; but conciliatory gestures
on the part of Dick quickly reassured him, and after a
moment's hesitation, he continued to advance.

He was a man of about forty years of age, strongly built,
with a keen, bright eye, grizzly hair and beard, and a com-
plexion tanned as with constant exposure to the forest air.
He wore a broad-brimmed hat, a kind of leather jerkin, or
tunic, and long boots reaching nearly to his knees. To his
high heels was fastened a pair of wide-rowelled spurs, which
clanked as he moved.

Dick Sands in an instant saw that he was not looking upon
one of the roving Indians of the pampas, but upon one of
those adventurers, often of very doubtful character, who are
not unfrequently to be met with in the remotest quarters
of the earth. Clearly this was neither an Indian nor a
Spaniard. His erect, not to say rigid deportment, and the
reddish hue with which his hair and beard were streaked,
betokened him to be of Anglo-Saxon origin, a conjecture
which was at once confirmed when upon Dick’s wishing
him “good morning,” he replied in unmistakable English,
with hardly a trace of foreign accent,—

“Good morning, my young friend.”

He stepped forward, and having shaken hands with Dick,
nodded to all his companions.

“ Are you English?” he asked.

“No; we are Americans,” replied Dick.
178 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



“North or South?” inquired the man.

“ North,” Dick answered.

The information seemed to afford the stranger no little
satisfaction, and he again wrung Dick’s hand with all
the enthusiasm of a fellow-countryman.

“ And may I ask what brings you here?” he continued.

Before, however, Dick had time to reply, the stranger
had courteously raised his hat, and, looking round, Dick
saw that his bow was intended for Mrs. Weldon, who had
just reached the river-bank. She proceeded to tell him the
particulars of how they had been shipwrecked, and how the
vessel had gone to pieces on the reefs.

A look of pity crossed the man’s face as he listened, and
he cast his eye, as it might be involuntarily, upon the sea,
in order to discern some vestige of the:stranded ship.

“Ah! there is nothing to be seen of our poor
schooner!” said Dick mournfully ; “the last of her was
broken up in the storm last night.”

“ And now,” interposed Mrs. Weldon, “can you tell us
where we are?”

“Where?” exclaimed the man, with every indication of
surprise at her question; “why, on the coast of South
America, of course !”

“But on what part ? are we near Peru?” Dick inquired
eagerly.

“No, my lad,no; you are more to the south ; you are on
the coast of Bolivia ; close to the borders of Chili.”

“A good distance, I suppose, from Lima?” asked Dick.

“From Lima? yes, a long way; Lima is far to the
north.”

“And what is the name of that promontory?” Dick
said, pointing to the adjacent headland.

“That, I confess, is more than I am able to tell you.”
replied the stranger; “for although I have travelled a
great deal in the interior of the country, I have never
before visited this part of the coast.”

Dick pondered in thoughtful silence over the information
he had thus received. He had no reason to doubt its
accuracy ; according to his own reckoning he would have
A STRANGER. 179



expected to come ashore somewhere between the latitudes of
27° and 30°; and by this stranger’s showing he had made
the latitude 25°; the discrepancy was not very great ; it
was not more than might be accounted for by the action
of the currents, which he knew he had been unable to
estimate; moreover, the deserted character of the whole
shore inclined him to believe more easily that he was in
Lower Bolivia.

Whilst this conversation was going on, Mrs. Weldon,
whose suspicions had been excited by Negoro’s disap-
pearance, had been scrutinizing the stranger with the
utmost attention ; but she could detect nothing either in
his manner or in his words to give her any cause to
doubt his good faith.

“Pardon me,” she said presently ; “but you do not seem
to me to be a native of Peru?”

“No; like yourself, 1am an American, Mrs. ——;” he
paused, as if waiting to be told her name.

The lady smiled, and gave her name; he thanked her,
and continued,—

“My name is Harris. I was born in South Carolina ;
but it is now twenty years since I left my home for the
pampas of Bolivia ; imagine, therefore, how much pleasure
it gives me to come across some countrymen of my own.”

“Do you live in this part of the province, Mr. Harris?”
Mrs. Weldon asked.

“No, indeed ; far away ; I live down to the south, close
to the borders of Chili. At present I am taking a journey
north-eastwards to Atacama.”

“ Atacama!” exclaimed Dick ; “are we anywhere near
the desert of Atacama?” ,

“Yes, my young friend,” rejoined Harris, “you are just
on the edge of it. It extends far beyond those mountains
which you see on the horizon, and is one of the most
curious and least explored parts of the continent.”

“And are you travelling through it alone 2?” Mrs.
Weldon inquired.

“Yes, quite alone; and it is not the first time I have
performed the journey. One of my brothers owns a large
180 DICK SANDS, TIITE BOY CAPTAIN.

farm, the hacienda of San Felice, about 200 miles from
here, and I have occasion now and then to pay him business
visits.”

After a moment’s hesitation, as if he were weighing a
sudden thought, he continued,—

“JT am on my way there now, and if you will accompany
me I can promise you a hearty welcome, and my brother
will be most happy to do his best to provide you with
means of conveyance to San Francisco.”

Mrs. Weldon had hardly begun to express her thanks
for the proposal when he said abruptly,—

“ Are these negroes your slaves?”

“Slaves! sir,’ replied Mrs. Weldon, drawing herself up
proudly ; “we have no slaves in the United States. The
south has now long followed the example of the north.
Slavery is abolished.”

“T beg your pardon, madam. I had forgotten that the
war of 1862 had solved that question. But seeing these
fellows with you, I thought perhaps they might be in your
service,” he added, with a slight tone of irony.

“We are very proud to be of any service to Mrs.
Weldon,” Tom interposed with dignity, “but we are no
man’s property. It is true I was sold for a slave when I
was six years old; but I have long since had my freedom ;
and sohas my son. Bat here, and all his friends, were
born of free parents.”

“Ah! well then, I have to congratulate you,” replied
Harris, in a manner that jarred very sensibly upon Mrs.
Weldon’s feelings ; but she said nothing.

Harris added,—

“T can assure you that you are as safe here in Bolivia as
you would be in New England.”

He had not finished speaking, when Jack, followed by
Nan, came out of the grotto. The child was rubbing his
eyes, having only just awakened from his night’s sleep.
Catching sight of his mother, he darted towards her.

“What a charming little boy!” exclaimed Harris.

“He is my little son,” said Mrs. Weldon, kissing the
child by way of morning greeting.


































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































“Te is my little son.” Page 180.
A STRANGER. 183

“Ah, madam, I am sure you must have suffered doubly
on his account. Will the little man let me kiss him too?”

But there was something in the stranger's appearance
that did not take Jack’s fancy, and he shrank back timidly
to his mother’s side.

“ You must excuse him, sir; he is very shy.”

“Never mind,” said Harris; “we shall be better
acquainted by-and-by. When we get to my brother's, he
shall have a nice little pony to ride.”

But not even this tempting offer seemed to have any
effect in coaxing Jack into a more genial mood. He kept
fast hold of his mother’s hand, and she, somewhat vexed at
his behaviour, and anxious that no offence should be given
to a man who appeared so friendly in his intentions,
hastened to turn the conversation to another topic.

Meantime Dick Sands had been considering Harris’s
proposal. Upon the whole, the plan of making their way
to the hacienda of San Felice seemed to commend itself to
his judgment ; but he could not conceal from himself that
a journey of 200 miles across plains and forests, without
any means of transport, would be extremely fatiguing.
On expressing his doubts on this point, he was met with
the reply,—

“Oh, that can be managed well enough, young man ;
just round the corner of the cliff there I have a herse,
which is quite at the disposal of the lady and her son;
and by easy stages of ten miles or so a day, it will do
the rest of us no harm to travel on foot. Besides,’ he
added, “when I spoke of the journey being 209 miles, I was
thinking of following, as I usually do, the course of the
river ; but by taking a short cut across the forest, we may
reduce the distance by nearly eighty miles.”

Mrs. Weldon was about to say how grateful she was, but
Harris anticipated her.

“Not a word, madam, I beg you. Youcannot thank me
better than by accepting my offer. I confess I have never
crossed this forest, but I am so much accustomed to the
pampas that I have little fear of losing my way. The only
difficulty is in the matter of provisions, as I have only
184 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



supplied myself with enough to carry me on to San
Felice.”

“As to provisions,” replied Mrs. Weldon, “we have
enough and to spare ; and we shall be more than willing to
share everything with you.”

“That is well,” answered Harris; “then there can be
no reason why we should not start at once.”

He was turning away with the intention of fetching
his horse, when Dick Sands detained him. True to his
seaman’s instincts, the young sailor felt that he should be
much more at his ease on the sea-shore than traversing the
heart of an unknown forest.

“Pardon me, Mr. Harris,” he began, “but instead of
taking so long a journey across the desert of Atacama,
would it not be far better for us to follow the cvoast either
northwards or southwards, until we reach the nearest
seaport ?”

A frown passed over Harris’s countenance.

“T know very little about the coast,” he answered; “ but
I know enough to assure you that there is no town to the
north within 300 or 400 miles.”

“Then why should we not go south ?” persisted Dick.

“You would then have to travel to Chili, which is almost
as far ; and, under your circumstances, I should not advise
you to skirt the pampas of the Argentine Republic. For
my own part, I could not accompany you.”

“But do not the vessels which ply between Chili and
Peru come within sight of this coast?” interposed Mrs.
Weldon.

“No, madam; they keep out so far to sea that there
would not be the faintest chance of your hailing one.”

“You seem to have another question to ask Mr. Harris,”
Mrs. Weldon continued, addressing Dick, who still looked
rather doubtful.

Dick replied that he was about to inquire at what port
he would be likely to find a ship to convey their party to
San Francisco.

“That I really cannot tell you, my young friend,” re-
joined Harris; “I can only repeat my promise that we
A STRANGER. 185



will furnish you with the means of conveyance from San
Felice to Atacama, where no doubt you will obtain all the
information you require.”

“T hope you will not think that Dick is insensible to
your kindness, Mr. Harris,” said Mrs. Weldon, apolo-
getically.

“On the contrary,’ promptly observed Dick; “I fully
appreciate it ; I only wish we had been cast ashore upon a
spot where we should have had no need to intrude upon
his generosity.”

“JT assure you, madam, it gives me unbounded pleasure
to serve you in any way,” said Harris; “it is, as I have
told you, not often that I come in contact with any of my
own countrymen.”

“Then we accept your offer as frankly as it is made,”
replied the lady, adding ; “ but I cannot consent to deprive
you of your horse. I am a very good walker.”

“So am JI,” said Harris, with a bow, “and consequently
I intend you and your little son to ride. JI am uscd to long
tramps through the pampas. Besides, it is not at all un-
likely that we shall come across some of the workpcople
belonging to the hacienda ; if so, they will be able to give
us a mount.”

Convinced that it would only be thwarting Mrs. Weldon's
wishes to throw any further impediment in the way, Dick
Sands suppressed his desire to raise fresh obstacles, and
simply asked how soon ny ought to start.

“This very day, at once,” said Harris quickly.

“So soon?” asked Dick.

“Ves. The raimy season begins in April, and the
sooner we are at San Felice the better. The way through
the forest is the safest as well as the shortest, for we shall
be less likely to meet any of the nomad Indians, who are
notorious robbers.”

Without making any direct reply, Dick proceeded to
instruct the negroes to choose such of the provisions as
were most easy of transport, and to make them up into
packages, that every one might carry adueshare. Hercules
with his usual good nature professed himself willing to
186 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



carry the entire load ; a proposal, however, to which Dick
would not listen for a moment.

“Vou are a fine fellow, Hercules,” said Harris, scruti-
nizing the giant with the eye of a connoisseur ; “ you would
be worth something in the African market.”

“Those who want me now must catch me first,” retorted
Hercules, with a grin.

The services of all hands were enlisted, and in a com-
paratively short time sufficient food was packed up to
supply the party for about ten days’ march.

“You must allow us to show you what hospitality is in
our power,” said Mrs. Weldon, addressing her new acquaint-
ance ; “our breakfast will be ready in a quarter of an hour,
and we shall be happy if you will join us.”

“Tt will give me much pleasure,’ answered Harris,
gaily ; “I will employ the interval in fetching my horse,
who has breakfasted already.”

“T will accompany you,” said Dick.

“By all means, my young friend ; come with me, and I
will show you the lower part of the river.”

While they were gone, Hercules was sent in search of
Cousin Benedict, who was wandering on the top of the cliff
in quest of some wonderful insect, which, of course, was not
to be found. Without. asking his permission, Hercules
unceremoniously brought him back to Mrs. Weldon, who
explained how they were about to start upon a ten days’
march into the interior of the country. The entomologist
was quite satisfied with the arrangement, and declared him-
self ready for a march across the entire continent, as long
as he was free to be adding to his collection on the way.

Thus assured of her cousin's acquiescence in her plans,
Mrs. Weldon proceeded to prepare such a substantial meal
as she hoped would invigorate them all for the approaching
journey.

Harris.and Dick Sands, meantime, had turned the corner
of the cliff, and walked about 300 paces along the shore
until they came to a tree to which a horse was tethered.
The creature neighed as it recognized its master. It was
a strong-built animal, of a kind that Dick had not seen








They came to a tree to which a horse was tethered.
Page 186,
A STRANGER. 189

before, although its long neck and crupper, short loins, flat
shoulders and arched forehead indicated that it was of
Arabian breed.

“Plenty of strength here,” Harris said, as after unfasten-
ing the horse, he took it by the bridle and began to lead it
along the shore.

Dick made no reply ; he was casting a hasty glance at
the forest which enclosed them on either hand; it was an
unattractive sight, but he observed nothing to give him any
particular ground for uneasiness,

Turning round, he said abruptly,—

“ Did you meet a Portuguese last night, named Negoro ?”

“Negoro? who is Negoro?” asked Harris, in a tone of
surprise.

“He was our ship's cook ; but he has disappeared.”

“ Drowned, probably,” said Harris indifferently.

“No, he was not drowned; he was with us during the
evening, but left afterwards ; I thought perhaps you might
have met him along the river-side, as you came that
way.”

“No,” said Harris, “I saw no one; if your cook ventured
alone into the forest, most likely he has lost his way ; it is
possible we may pick him up upon our road.”

When they arrived at the grotto, they found breakfast
duly prepared. Like the supper of the previous evening it
consisted mainly of corned beef and biscuit. Harris did
ample justice to the repast.

“ There is no fear of our starving as we go,” he observed
to Mrs. Weldon; “but I can hardly say so much for the
unfortunate Portuguese, your cook, of whom my young
friend here has been speaking.”

“Ah! has Dick been telling you about Negoro?” Mrs.
Weldon said.

Dick explained that he had been inquiring whether Mr.
Harris had happened to meet him in the direction he had
come,

“TI saw nothing of him,” Harris repeated; “and as he
has deserted you, you need not give yourselves any concern
about him.” And apparently glad to turn the subject, he
190 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



said, “ Now, madam, I am at your service ; shall we start at
once ?”

It was agreed that there was no cause for delay. Each
one took up the package that had beenassignedhim. Mrs.
Weldon, with Hercules’ help, mounted the horse, and Jack,
with his miniature gun slung across his shoulder, was placed
astride in front of her. Without a thought of acknow-
ledging the kindness of the good-natured stranger in
providing him so enjoyable a ride, the heedless little fellow
declared himself quite capable of guiding the “ gentleman’s
horse,” and when to indulge him the bridle was put into
his hand, he looked as proud as though he had been ap-
pointed leader of the whole caravan.
THROUGH TIE FOREST. Igt



CHAPTER XVI.
THROUGH THE FOREST.

ALTHOUGH there was no obvious cause for apprehension,
it cannot be denied that it was with a certain degree of
foreboding that Dick Sands first entered that dense forest,
through which for the next ten days they were all to wend
their toilsome way.

Mrs. Weldon, on the contrary, was full of confidence and
hope. A woman and a mother, she might have been
expected to be conscious of anxiety at the peril to which
she might be exposing herself and her child ; and doubtless
she would have been sensible of alarm if her mind had not
been fully satisfied upon two points ; first, that the portion
of the pampas they were about to traverse was little infested
either by natives or by dangerous beasts; and secondly,
that she was under the protection of a guide so trustworthy
as she believed Harris to be.

The entrance to the forest was hardly more than three
hundred paces up the river. An order of march had been
arranged which was to be observed as closely as possible
throughout the journey. At the head of the troop were
Harris and Dick Sands, one armed with his long gun, the
other with his Remington; next came Bat and Austin,
each carrying a gun and a cutlass, then Mrs. Weldon and
Jack, on horseback, closely followed by Tom and old Nan,
while Actzzon with the fourth Remington, and Hercules
with a huge hatchet in his waist-belt, brought up the rear.
Dingo had no especial place in the procession, but wan-
dered to and fro at his pleasure. Ever since he had been
192 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

cast ashore Dick had noticed a remarkable change in the
dog’s behaviour ; the animal was in a constant state of
agitation, always apparently on the search for some lost
scent, and repeatedly giving vent to a low growl, which
seemed to proceed from grief rather than from rage.

As for Cousin Benedict, his movements were permitted
to be nearly as erratic as Dingo’s ; nothing but a leading-
string could possibly have kept him in the ranks. With
his tin box under his arm, and his butterfly net in his hand,
and his huge magnifying-glass suspended from his neck, he
would be sometimes far ahead, sometimes a long way
behind, and at the risk of being attacked by some venomous
snake, would make frantic dashes into the tall grass when-
ever he espied some attractive orthoptera or other insect
which he thought might be honoured by a place in his
collection.

In one hour after starting Mrs. Weldon had called to
him a dozen times without the slightest effect. At last
she told him seriously that if he would not give up chasing
the insects at a distance, she should be obliged to take
possession of his tin box.

“Take away my box!” he cried, with as much herror as
if she had threatened to tear out his vitals,

“Yes, your box and your net too!”

“My box and my net! but surely not my spectacles !”
almost shrieked the excited entomologist.

“Yes, and your spectacles as well!” added Mrs. Weldon
mercilessly ; “I am glad you have reminded me of another
means of reducing you to obedience!”

The triple penalty of which he was thus warned had the
effect of keeping him from wandering away for the best part
of the next heur, but he was soon once more missing from
the ranks ; he was manifestly incorrigible ; the deprivation
of box, net, and spectacles would, it was acknowledged,
be utterly without avail to prevent him from rambling.
Accordingly it was thought better to let him have his own
way, especially as Hercules volunteered to keep his eye
upon him, and to endeavour to guard the worthy naturalist
as carefully as he would himself protect some precious








arcely be called a path.
Lage 195.

rest could sc

The way across the fo
THROUGIL THE FOREST. 195



specimen ofa lepidoptera. Further anxiety on his account
was thus put to rest.

In spite of Harris’s confident assertion that they were
little likely to be molested by any of the nomad Indians,
the whole company rejoiced in feeling that they were well
armed, and they resolved to keep in acompact body. The
way across the forest could scarcely be called a path; it
was, in fact, little more than the track of animals, and
progress along it was necessarily very slow; indeed it
seemed impossible, at the rate they started, to accomplish
more than five or six miles in the course of twelve hours.

The weather was beautifully fine; the sun ascended
nearly to the zenith, and its rays, descending almost
perpendicularly, caused a degree of heat which, as Harris
pointed out, would have been unendurable upon the open
plain, but was here pleasantly tempered by the shelter of
the foliage.

Most of the trees were quite strange to them. To an
experienced eye they were such as were remarkable more
for their character then for their size. Here, on one side,
was the bauhinia, or mountain ebony ; there, on the other,
the molompi or pterocarpus, its trunk exudirg large
quantities of resin, and of which the strong light wood
makes excellent oars or paddles; further on were fustics,
heavily charged with colouring matter, and guaiacums,
twelve feet in diameter, surpassing the ordinary kind in
magnitude, yet far inferior in quality.

Dick Sands kept perpetually asking Harris to tell him
the names of all these trees and plants.

“ Have you never been on the coast of South America
before?” replied Harris, without giving the explicit in-
formation that was sought.

“ Never,” said Dick; “never before. Nor do I recollect
ever having seen any one who has.”

“ But surely you have explored the coasts of Coluinbia
or Patagonia,” Harris continued.

Dick avowed that he had never had the chance.

“But has Mrs. Weldon never visited these parts? Our
countrymen, I know, are great travellers.”
196 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

“No,” answered Mrs. Weldon ; “my husband’s business
called him occasionally to New Zealand, but I have accom-
panied him nowhere else. With this part of Lower Bolivia
we are totally unacquainted.”

“Then, madam, I can only assure you that you will see
a most remarkable country, in every way a very striking
contrast to the regions of Peru, Brazil, and the Argentine
republic. -Its animal and vegetable products would fill a
naturalist with unbounded wonder. May I not declare it
a lucky chance that has brought you here ?”

“Do not say chance, Mr. Harris, if you please.”

“Well, then, madam ; providence, if you prefer it,” said
Harris, with the air of a man incapable of recognizing the
distinction.

After finding that there was no one amongst them who

was acquainted in any way with the country through which
they were travelling, Harris seemed to exhibit an evident
pleasure in pointing out and describing by name the various
wonders of the forest. Had Cousin Benedict's attainments
included a knowledge of botany he would have found him-
self in a fine field for researches, and might perchance have
discovered novelties to which his own name could be
appended in the catalogues of science. But he was no
botanist ; in fact, as a rule, he held all blossoms in aversion,
on the ground that they entrapped insects into their corolla,
and poisoned them sometimes with venomous juices. New
and rare insects, however, seemed hereabouts to be want-
ing.
. Occasionally the soil became marshy, and they all had
to wend their way over a perfect network of tiny rivulets
that were affluents of the river from which they had started.
Sometimes these rivulets were so wide that they could not
be passed without a long search for some spot where they
could be forded ; their banks were all very damp, and in
many places abounded with a kind of reed, which Harris
called by its proper name of papyrus.

As soon as the marshy district had been passed, the forest
resumed its original aspect, the footway becoming narrow
as ever. Harris pointed out some very fine ebony-trees,










Occasionally the soil became marshy. Lage 196.
THROUGH THE FOREST. 199

larger than the common sort, and yielding 2 wood darker
and more durable than what is ordinarily seen in the mar-
ket. There were also more mango-trees than might have
been expected at this distance from the sea; a beautiful
white lichen enveloped their trunks like a fur ; but in spite
of their luxuriant foliage and delicious fruit, Harris said
that there was not a native who would venture to propagate
the species, as the superstition of the country is that “ wae
ever plants a mango, dies!”

At noon a halt was made for the purpose of rest and re-
freshment. During the afternoon they arrived at some gently
rising ground, not the first slopes of hills, but an insulated
plateau which appeared to unite mountains and plains
Notwithstanding that the trees were far less crowded and
more inclined to grow in detached groups, the numbers oj
herbaceous plants with which the soil was covered rendered
progress no less difficult than it was before. The general
aspect of the scene was not unlike an East Indian jungle,
Less luxuriant indeed than in the lower valley of the river,
the vegetation was far more abundant than that of the tem.
perate zones either of the Old or New continents. Indigo
grew in great profusion, and, according to Harris’s repre-
sentation, was the most encroaching plant in the whole
country ; no sooner, he said, was a field left untilled, than
it was overrun by this parasite, which sprang up with the
rank growth of thistles or nettles.

One tree which might have been expected to be common
in this part of the continent seemed entirely wanting. This
was the caoutchouc. Of the various trees from which India-
rubber is procured, such as the Ficus prinoides, the Cas-
tilloa elastica, the Cecropia peltata, the Callophora utilis,
the Cameraria latifolia, and especially the Siphonia elastica,
all of which abound in the provinces of South America, not
a single specimen was to be seen. Dick had promised to
show Jack an India-rubber-tree, and the child, who had
conjured up visions of squeaking dolls, balls, and other toys
growing upon its branches, was loud and constant in his
expressions of disappointment.

“Never mind, my little man,” said Harris; “have
200 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

patience, and you shall see hundreds of India-rubber-trees
when you get to the hacienda.”

“ And will they be nice and elastic ?” asked Jack, whose
ideas upon the subject were of the vaguest order.

“Oh, yes, they will stretch as long as you like,” Harris
answered, laughing. “But here is something to amuse
you,” he added, and as he spoke, he gathered a fruit that
looked as tempting as a peach,

“You are quite sure that it is safe to give it him ?” said
Mrs. Weldon anxiously.

“To satisfy you, madam, I will eat one first myself.”

The example he set was soon followed by all the rest. The
fruit was a mango; that which had been so opportunely
discovered was.of the sort that ripens in March or April ;
there is a later kind which ripens in September. With his
mouth full of juice, Jack pronounced that it was very nice,
but did not seem to be altogether diverted from his sense
of disappointment at not coming to an India-rubber-tree.
Evidently the little man thought himself rather injured.

“And Dick promised me some humming-birds too!” he
murmured.

“Plenty of humming-birds for you, when you get to the
farm ; lots of them where my brother lives,” said Harris.

And to say the truth, there was nothing extravagant in
the way the child’s anticipations had been raised, for in
Bolivia humming-birds are found in great abundance.
The Indians, who weave their plumage into all kinds oi
artistic designs, have bestowed the most poetical epithets
upon these gems of the feathered race. They call them
“rays of the sun,” and “tresses of the day-star ;” at one
time they will describe them as “king of flowers,” at
another as “ blossoms of heaven kissing blossoms of earth,”
or as “the jewel that reflects the sunbeam.” In fact their
imagination seems to have shaped a suitable distinction for
almost every one of the 150 known species of this dazzling
little beauty.

But however numerous humming-birds might be expected
to be in the Bolivian forest, they proved scarce énough at.
present, and Jack had to content himself with Harris’s re-
THROUGH THE FOREST. 201

presentations that they did not like solitude, but would be
found plentifully at San Felice, where they would be heard
all day long humming like a spinning-wheel. Already
Jack said he longed to be there, a wish that was so una-
nimously echoed by all the rest, that they resolved that no
stoppage should be allowed beyond what was absolutely
indispensable,

After a time the forest began to alter its aspect. The
trees were even less crowded, opening now and then into
wide glades. The soil, cropping up above its carpet of
verdure, exhibited veins of rose granite and syenite, like
plates of lapis lazuli; on some of the higher ground, the
fleshy tubers of the sarsaparilla plant, growing in a hope-
less entanglement, made progress a matter of still greater
difficulty than in the narrow tracks of the dense forest.

At sunset the travellers found that they had accomplished
about eight miles from their starting-point. They could
not prognosticate what hardships might be in store for
them on future days, but it was certain that the experiences
of the first day had been ncither eventful nor very fatiguing.
It was now unanimously agreed that they should make a
halt for the night, and as little was to be apprchended from
the attacks either of man or beast, it was considered un-
necessary to form anything like a regular encampment.
Qne man on guard, to be relieved every few hours, was
presumed to be sufficient. Admirable shelter was offered
by an enormous mango, the spreading foliage of which
formed a kind of natural verandah, sweeping the ground so
thoroughly that any one who chose could find sleeping-
quarters in its very branches.

Simultaneously with the halting of the party there was
heard a deafening tumult in the upper boughs. The mango
was the roosting place of a colony of grey parrots, a noisy,
quarrelsome, and rapacious race, of whose true characteris-
tics the specimens seen in confinement in Europe give no
true conception. Their screeching and chattering were
such a nuisance that Dick Sands wanted to fire a shot into
the middle of them, but Harris seriously dissuaded him,
urging that the report of firearms would only serve to reveal


202 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

their own presence, whilst their greatest safety lay in per-
fect silence.

Supper was prepared. There was little need of cooking.
The meal, as before, consisted of preserved meat and
biscuit. Fresh water, which they flavoured with a few
drops of rum, was obtained from an adjacent stream which
trickled through the grass. By way of dessert they had an
abundance of ripe mangoes, and the only drawback to their
general enjoyment’ was the discordant outcry which the
parrots kept up, as it were in protest against the invasion
of what they held to be their own rightful domain.

It was nearly dark when supper was ended. The even-
ing shade crept slowly upwards to the tops of the trees,
which soon stood out ig sharp relief against the lighter
background of the sky, while the stars, one by one, began
to peep. The wind dropped, and ceased to murmur through
the foliage ; to the general relief, the parrots desisted from
their clatter; and as Nature hushed herself to rest, she
seemed to be inviting all her children to follow her
example.

“Had we not better light a good large fire?” asked
Dick.

“By no means,” said Harris ; “the nights are not cold,
and under this wide-spreading mango the ground is not
likely to be damp. Besides, as I have told you before, our
best security consists in our taking care to attract no
attention whatever from without.”

Mrs, Weldon interposed,—

“It may be true enough that we have nothing to dread
from the Indians, but is it certain that there are no
dangerous quadrupeds against which we are bound to be
upon our guard ?”

Harris answered,—

“T can positively assure you, madam, that there are no
animals here but such as would be infinitely more afraid of
you than you would be of them.”

“Are there any woods without wild beasts?” asked
Jack.

“All woods are not alike, my boy,” replied Harris ;
THROUGH THE FOREST. 203

“this wood is a great park. As the Indians say, ‘ Es como
el Pariso ;’ it is like Paradise.”

Jack persisted,—

“ There must be snakes, and lions, and tigers.”

“Ask your mamma, my boy,” said Harris, “ whether she
ever heard of lions and tigers in America ?”

Mrs. Weldon was endeavouring to put her little boy at

“his ease on this point, when Cousin Benedict interposed,
saying that although there were no lions or tigers, there
were plenty of jaguars and panthers in the New World.

“And won't they kill us?” demanded Jack eagerly, his
apprehensions once more aroused.

“Kill you?” laughed Harris; “why, your friend Her.
cules here could strangle them, two at a time, one in each
hand !”

“But, please, don’t let the panthers come near me!”
pleaded Jack, evidently alarmed.

“No, no, Master Jack, they shall not come near you. 1
will give them a good grip first,” and the giant displayed
his two rows of huge white teeth.

Dick Sands proposed that it should be the four younger
negroes who should be assigned the task of keeping watch
during the night, in attendance upon himself; but Actzon
insisted so strongly upon the necessity of Dick’s having
his full share of rest, that the others were soon brought tc
the same conviction, and Dick was obliged to yield.

Jack valiantly announced his intention of taking one
watch, but his sleepy eyelids made it only too plain that
he did not know the extent of his own fatigue.

“TJ am sure there are wolves here,” he said.

“Only such wolves as Dingo would swallow at a mouth-
ful,” said Harris.

“But I am sure there are wolves,” he insisted, repeating
the word “wolves” again and again, until he tumbled off
to sleep against the side of old Nan. Mrs. Weldon gave
her little son a silent kiss ; it was her loving “good night.”

Cousin Benedict was missing. Some little time before,
he had slipped away in search of “cocuyos,” or fire-flies,
which he had heard were common in South America.
204. DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



Those singular insects emit a bright bluish light from two
spots on the side of the thorax, and their colours are so
brilliant that they are used as ornaments for ladies’ head-
dresses. Hoping to secure some specimens for his box,
Benedict would have wandered to an unlimited distance ;
but Hercules, faithful to his undertaking, soon discovered
him, and heedless of the naturalist’s protestations and
vociferations, promptly escorted him back to the general
rendezvous.

Hercules himself was the first to keep watch, but with
this exception, the whole party, in another hour, were
wrapped in peaceful slumber.


Hercules himself was the first to keep watch. Page 204.
MISGIVINGS. 207

CHAPTER XVII
MISGIVINGS.

Most travellers who have passed a night in a South
American forest have been roused from their slumbers by @
matinée musicale more fantastic than melodious, performed
by monkeys, as their ordinary greeting of the dawn. The
yelling, chattering, screeching, howling, all unite to form a
chorus almost unearthly in its hideousness.

Amongst the various specimens of the numerous family
of the quadrumana ought to be recognized the little mari-
kina; the sagouin, with its parti-coloured face ; the grey
mora, the skin of which is used by the Indians for covering
their gun-locks ; the sapajou, with ‘its singular tuft over the
forehead, and, most remarkable of all, the guariba (Sima
Beelzebul) with its prehensile tail and diabolical counte-
nance.

At the first streak of daylight the senior member, as
choragus, will start the key-note in a sonorous barytone,
the younger monkeys join in tenor and alto, and the
concert begins. But this morning there was no concert at
all. There was nothing of the wonted serenade to break
the silence of the forest. The shrill notes resulting from
the rapid vibration of the hyoid bones of the throat were
not to be heard. Indians would have been disappointed
and perplexed ; they are very fond of the flesh of the
guariba when smoked and dried, and they would certainly
have missed the chant of the monkey “ paternosters ;” but
Dick Sands and his companions were unfamiliar with any
208 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



of these things, and accordingly the singular quietude was
to them a matter of no surprise.

They all awoke much refreshed by their night's rest,
which there had been nothing to disturb. Jack was by no
means the latest in opening his eyes, and his first words
were addressed to Hercules, asking him whether he had
caught a wolf with his teeth. Hercules had to acknowledge
that he had tasted nothing all night, and declared himself
quite ready for breakfast. The whole party were unani-
mous in this respect, and after a brief morning prayer,
breakfast was expeditiously served by old Nan. The meal
was but a repetition of the last evening’s supper, but with
their appetites sharpened by the fresh forest air, and anxious
to fortify themselves for a good day’s march, they did not
fail to do ample justice to their simple fare. Even Cousin
Benedict, for once in his life at least, partook of his food as
if it were not utterly a matter of indifference to him; but
he grumbled very much at the restraint to which he con-
sidered himself subjected ; he could not see the good of
coming to such a country as this, if he were to be obliged
to walk about with his hands in his pockets ; and he pro-
tested that if Hercules did not leave him alone and permit
him to catch fire-flies, there would be a bone to pick be-
tween them. Hercules did not look very much alarmed at
the threat. Mrs. Weldon, however, took him aside, and
telling him that she did not wish to deprive the enthusiast
entirely of his favourite occupation, instructed him to. allow
her cousin as much liberty as possible, provided he did not
lose sight of him.

The morning meal was over, and it was only seven
o’clock when the travellers were once more ‘on their way
towards the east, preserv ng the same marching-order as.on
the day before.

The path was still through luxuriant forest. The vege-
table kingdom reigned supreme. As the plateau was
immediately adjacent to tropical latitudes, the sun’s rays
during the summer months descended perpendicularly upon
the virgin soil, and the vast amount of heat thus obtained
combined with the abundant moisture retained in the sub.
MISGIVINGS. 209

soil, caused vegetation to assume a character which was
truly magnificent.

Dick Sands could not overcome a certain sense of
mystification. Here they were, as Harris told them, in the
region of the pampas, a word which he knew in the Quichna
dialect signifies “a plain ;’ but he had always read that
these plains were characterized by a deficiency alike of
water, of trees, and rocks ; he had always understood that.
during the rainy season, thistles spring up in great abun-
dance and grow until they form thickets that are well-nigh
impenetrable ; he had imagined that the few dwarf trees
and prickly shrubs that exist during the summer only
stamp the general scene with an aspect of yet more thorough
bareness and desolation. But how different was everything
to all this! The forest never ceased to stretch away
interminably to the horizon. There were no tokens of the
rough nakedness that he had expected. Dick seemed to.
be driven to the conclusion that Harris was right in
describing this plateau of Atacama, which he had for his
part most firmly believed to be a vast desert between the
Andes and the Pacific, as a region that was quite excep-:
tional in its natural features.

It was not in Dick’s character to keep his reflections to
himself. In the course of the morning he expressed his
extreme surprise at finding the pampas answer so little to
his preconceived ideas.

“ Have I not understood correctly,” he said, “that the
pampas is similar to the North American savannahs, only
less marshy ?”

Harris replied that such was indeed acorrect description
of the pampas of Rio Colorado, and the llanos of Venezuela
and the Orinoco.

“But,” he continued, “I own I am as much astonished
as yourself at the character of this region; I have never
crossed the plateau before, and I must confess it is altogether
different to what you find beyond the Andes towards the
Atlantic.”

* “You don’t mean that we are going to cross the Andes?”
said Dick, in sudden alarm. :
P
210 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Harris smiled.

“No, no, indeed. With our limited means of transport
such an undertaking would have been rash in the extreme.
We had better have kept to the coast for ever rather than
incur such a risk. Our destination, San Felice, is on this
side of the range, and in order to reach it, we shall not have to
leave the plateau, of which the greatest elevation is but
little over 1500 feet.”

“And you say,” Dick persisted, “that you have really
no fear of losing your way in a forest such as this, a forest
into which you have never set foot before ?”

“No fear whatever,’ Harris answered ; “so accustomed
am I to travelling of this kind, that I can steer my way
by a thousand signs revealing themselves in the growth
of the trees, and in the composition of the soil, which
would never present themselves to your notice. I assure
you that I anticipate no difficulties.”

This conversation was not heard by any of the rest of the
party. Harris seemed to speak as frankly as he did fear-
lessly, and Dick felt that there might be, after all, no just
grounds for any of his own misgivings.

Five days passed by, and the 12th of April arrived with-
out any special incident. Nine miles had been the average
distance accomplished in a day ; regular periods of rest had
been taken, and, except that Jack’s spirits had somewhat
flagged, the fatigue did not seem to have interfered with
the general good health of the travellers.

First disappointed of his India-rubber-tree, and then of
his humming birds, Jack had inquired about the beautiful
parrots which he had been led to expect he should see in
this wonderful forest. Where were the bright green
macaws ? where were the gaudy aras with their bare white
cheeks and pointed tails, which seem never to light upon
the ground ? and where, too, were all the brilliant parro-
quets, with their feathered faces, and indeed the whole
variety of those forest chatterers of which the Indians affirm
that they speak the language of nations long extinct?

It is true that there was no lack of the common grey
parrots with crimson tails, but these were no novelty ; Jack


/
AY
LEA





“Don’t Fire!” Page 213.
MISGIVINGS. : 213

had seen plenty of them before, for owing to their reputation
of being the most clever in mimickry of the Psittacide, they
have been domesticated everywhere in both the Old and
New worlds.

But Jack’s dissatisfaction was nothing compared to
Cousin Benedict’s. In spite of being allowed to wander
away from the rank, he had failed to discover a single insect
which was worth the pursuit; not even a fire-fly danced at
night ; nature seemed to be mocking him, and his ill-humour
increased accordingly.

In this way the journey was continued for four days
longer, and on the 16th it was estimated that they must
have travelled between eighty and ninety miles north-east-
wards from the coast. Harris positively asserted that they
could not be much more than twenty miles from San Felice,
and that by pushing forwards they might expect in eight-
and-forty hours to find themselves lodged in comfortable
quarters,

But although they had thus succeeded in traversing this
vast table-land, they had not seen one human inhabitant.
Dick was more than ever perplexed, and it was a subject
of bitter regret.to him that they had not stranded upon
some more frequented part of the shore, near some village
or plantation where Mrs. Weldon might long since have
found a suitable refuge.

Deserted, however, as the country apparently was by
man, it had latterly shown itself much more abundantly
tenanted by animals. Many a time a long, plaintive cry
was heard, which Harris attributed to the tardigrades_ or
sloths often found in wooded districts, and known by the
name of “ais ;” and in the middle of the dinner-halt on
this day, a loud hissing suddenly broke upon the air which
made Mrs. Weldon start to her feet in alarm.

“A serpent!” cried Dick, catching up his loaded gun.

The negroes, following Dick’s example, were ina moment
on the alert.

“Don't fire!” cried Harris.

There was indeed nothing improbable in the supposition
that a “sucuru,” a species of boa, sometimes measuring forty
214 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

feet in length, had just moved itself in the long grass at
their side, but Harris affirmed that the “sucuru” never
hisses, and declared that the noise had really come from
animals of an entirely inoffensive character.

“What animals?” asked Dick, always eager for infor-
mation, which it must be granted Harris seemed always
equally anxious to give.

“ Antelopes,” replied Harris ; “but, hush! not a sound,
or you will frighten them away.” .

“ Antelopes!” cried Dick; “I must see them; I must
get close to them.”

“More easily said than done,” answered Harris, shaking
his head ; but Dick was not to be diverted from his purpose,
and, gun in hand, crept into the grass- He had not
advanced many yards before a herd of about a dozen
gazelles, graceful in body, with short, pointed horns, dashed
past him like a glowing cloud, and disappeared in the
underwood without giving him time to take a shot.

“T told you beforehand what you would have to expect,”
said Harris, as Dick, with a considerable sense of disap-
pointment, returned to the party.

Impossible, however, as it had been fairly to scrutinize
the antelopes, such was hardly the case with another herd
of animals, the identification of which led to a somewhat
singular discussion between Harris and the rest.

About four o’clock on the afternoon of the same day, the
travellers were halting for a few moments near an opening
in the forest, when three or four large animals emerged
from a thicket about a hundred paces ahead, and scam-
pered off at full speed. In spite of what Harris had urged,
Dick put his gun to his shoulder, and was on the very
point of firing, when Harris knocked the rifle quickly
aside.

“ They were giraffes!” shouted Dick.

The announcement awakened the curiosity of Jack, who
quickly scrambled to his feet upon the saddle on which he
was lounging.

“My dear Dick,” said Mrs. Weldon, “there are no
giraffes in America!”


A herd of gazelles dashed past him like a glowing cloud.
Page 214.
MISGIVINGS. 217

“Certainly not,” cried Harris ; “they were not giraffes,
they were ostriches which you saw !”

“ Ostriches with four legs! that will never do! what do
you say, Mrs..Weldon?”

Mrs. Weldon replied that she had certainly taken the
animals for quadrupeds, and all the negroes were under the
same impression.

Laughing heartily, Harris said it was far from an un-
common thing for an inexperienced eye to mistake a large
ostrich fora small giraffe ; the shape of both was so similar,
that it often quite escaped observation as to whether the
long necks terminated in a beak or a muzzle ; besides,
what need of discussion could there be when the fact was
established that giraffes are unknown in the New World?
The reasoning was plausible enough, and Mrs. Weldon and
the negroes were soon convinced. But Dick was far from
satisfied.

“T did not know that there was an American ostrich!”
he again objected.

“Oh, yes,” replied Harris promptly, “there is a species
called the nandu, which is very well known here; we shall
probably see some more of them.”

The statement was correct ; the nandu is common in the
plains of South America, and is distinguished from the
African ostrich by having three toes, all furnished with
claws. It isa fine bird, sometimes exceeding six feet_in
height ; it has a short beak, and its wings are furnished
with blue-grey plumes. Harris appeared well acquainted
with the bird, and proceeded to give a very precise account
of its habits. In concluding his remarks, he again pressed
upon Dick his most urgent request that he should abstain
from firing upon any animal whatever. It was of the ut-
most consequence,

Dick made no reply. He was silent and thoughtful.
Grave doubts had arisen in his mind, and he could neither
explain nor dispel them.

When the inarch was resumed on the following day,
Harris asserted his conviction that another four-and-twenty
hours would bring them to the hacienda.


218 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



“ And there, madam,” he said, addressing Mrs. Weldon,
“we can offer you every essential comfort, though you
may not find the luxuries of your own home in San
Francisco.”

Mrs. Weldon repeated her expression of gratitude for
the proffered hospitality, owning that she should now be
exceedingly glad to reach the farm, as she was anxious
about her little son, who appeared to be threatened with
the symptoms of incipient fever.

Harris could not deny that although the climate was
usually very healthy, it nevertheless did occasionally
produce a kind of intermittent fever during March and
April.

“But nature has provided the proper remedy,” said
Dick ; and perceiving that Harris did not comprehend his
meaning, he continued, “Are we not in the region of the
quinquinas, the bark of which is notoriously the medicine
with which attacks of fever are usually treated? for my
part, I am amazcd that we have not seen numbers of them
already.”

“Ah! yes, yes; I know what you mean,” answered
Harris, after a moment’s hesitation ; “they are trees, how-
ever, not always easy to find; they rarely grow in groups,
and in spite of their large leaves and fragrant red blossom,
the Indians themselves often have a difficulty in recogniz-
ing them ; the feature that distinguishes them most is their
evergreen foliage.”

AtMrs. Weldon’s request, Harris promised to point out the
tree if he should see one, but added that when she reached
the hacienda, she would. be able to obtain some sulphate
of quinine, which was much more efficacious than the un-
prepared bark.’

The day passed without further incident. No rain had
fallen at present, though the warm mist that rose from
the soil betokened an approaching change of weather ; the
rainy season was certainly not far distant, but to travellers

1 This bark was formerly, reduced to powder, known as ** Pulvis Jesuiticus,”
because in the year 1649 the Jesuits in Rome imported a large quantity of it
from their missionaries in South America,








A halt was made for the night beneath a grove of lofty trees,
‘ Page 221.
MISGIVINGS. 221



who indulged the expectation of being in a few hours
in a place of shelter, this was not a matter of great con-
cern.

Evening came, and a halt was made for the night be.
neath a grove of lofty trees. If Harris had not miscalcu-
lated, they could hardly be more than about six miles from
their destination ; so confirmed, however, was Dick Sands
in his strange suspicions, that nothing could induce him to
relax any of the usual precautions, and he particularly in-
sisted upon the negroes, turn by turn, keeping up the
accustomed watch.

Worn out by fatigue, the little party were glad to lie
down, but they had scarcely dropped off to sleep when they
were aroused by a sharp cry.

“Who's that? who’s there? what’s the matter?” ex-
claimed Dick, the first to rise to his feet.

“It is J,” answered Benedict’s voice; “I am bitten.
Something has bitten me.”

“A snake!” exclaimed Mrs. Weldon in alarm.

“No, no, cousin, better than that! it was not a snake ;
I believe it was an orthoptera; I have it all right,” -he
shouted triumphantly.

“Then kill it quickly, sir; and let us go to sleep again
in peace,” said Harris.

“Kill it! not for the world! I must have a light, and
look at it!”

Dick Sands indulged him, for reasons of his own, in
getting a light. The entomologist carefully opened his
hand and displayed an insect somewhat smaller than a
bee, of a dull colour, streaked with yellow on the under
portion of the body. He looked radiant with delight.

“A diptera!” he exclaimed, half beside himself with
joy, “a most famous diptera !”

“Ts it venomous?” asked Mrs. Weldon.

“Not at all to men; it only hurts elephants and buffa-
logs.”

“But tell us its name! what is it?” cried Dick im-
petuously.

The naturalist began to speak in a slow, oracular tone.
222 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN

“This insect is here a prodigy; it is an insect totally
unknown in this country,—in America.”

“Tell us its name!” roared Dick.

“Itis a tzetzy, sir, a true tzetzy.”

Dick’s heart sank like a stone. Hewas speechless. He
did not, dared not, ask more. Oniy too well he knew
where the tzetzy could alone be found. He did not close
his eyes again that night,


A TERRIBLE DISCOVERY. 223

CHAPTER XVIII.
A TERRIBLE DISCOVERY.

THE morning of the 18th dawned, the day on which,
according to Harris’s prediction, the travellers were to be
safely housed at San Felice. Mrs. Weldon was really
much relieved at the prospect, for she was aware that her
strength must prove inadequate to the strain of a more
protracted journey. The condition of her little boy, who
was alternately flushed with fever, and pale with exhaustion,
had begun to cause her great anxiety, and unwilling to
resign the care of the child even to Nan his faithful nurse,
she insisted upon carrying him in her own arms. Twelve
days and nights, passed in the open air, had done much to
try her powers of endurance, and the charge of a sick child
in addition would soon break down her strength entirely.

Dick Sands, Nan, and the negroes had all borne the
march very fairly. Their stock of provisions, though of
course considerably diminished, was still far from small.
As for Harris, he had shown himself pre-eminently adapted
for forest-life, and capable of bearing any amount of fatigue.
Yet, strange to say, as he approached the end of the
journey, his manner underwent a remarkable change ; in-
stead of conversing in his ordinary frank and easy way,
he became silent and preoccupied, as if engrossed in his
own thoughts. Perhaps he had an instinctive consciousness
that “his young friend,” as he was in the habit of addressing
Dick, was entertaining hard suspicions about him.

The march was resumed. The trees once again ceased
to be crowded in impenetrable masses, but stood in
224 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



clusters at considerable distances apart. Now, Dick tried
to argue with himself, they must be coming to the true
pampas, or the man must be designedly misleading them ;
and yet what motive could he have ?

Although during the earlier part of the day there
occurred nothing that could be said absolutely to justify
Dick’s increasing uneasiness, two circumstances transpired
which did not escape his observation, and which, he felt,
might be significant. The first of these was a sudden
change .in Dingo’s behaviour. The dog, throughout the
march, had uniformly run along with his nose upon the
ground, smelling the grass and shrubs, and occasionally
uttering a sad low whine; but to-day he seemed all
agitation ; he scampered about with bristling coat, with his
head erect, and ever and again burst into one of those
furious fits of barking, with which he had formerly been
accustomed to greet Negoro’s appearance upon the deck of
the “ Pilgrim.”

The idea that flitted across Dick’s mind was shared by
Tom.

“Look, Mr. Dick, look at Dingo; he is at his old ways
again,” said he; “it is just as if Negoro... .”

“Hush!” said Dick to the old man, who continued in a
lower voice,—

“Tt is just as if Negoro had followed us ; do you think
it is likely ?”

“Tt might perhaps be to his advantage to follow us, if
he doesn’t know the country; but if he does know the
country, why then... .”

Dick did not finish his sentence, but whistled to Dingo,
The dog reluctantly obeyed the call.

As soon as the dog was at his side, Dick patted him,
repeating,—

“Good dog! good Dingo! where’s Negoro ?”

The sound of Negoro’s name had its usual effect ; it
seemed to irritate the animal exceedingly, and he barked
furiously, and apparently wanted to dash into the thicket.

Harris had been an interested spectator of the scene,
and now approached with a peculiar expression on his
A TERRIBLE DISCOVERY. 225

countenance, and inquired what they were saying to
Dingo.

“Oh, nothing much,” replied Tom; “we were only
asking him for news of a lost acquaintance.”

“Ah, I suppose you mean that Portuguese cook of
yours.”

“Yes,” answered Tom; “we fancied from Dingo’s
behaviour, that Negoro must be somewhere close at hand.”

“Why don’t you send and search the underwood?
perhaps the poor wretch is in distress.”

“No need of that, Mr. Harris; Negoro, I have no doubt,
is quite capable of taking care of himself.”

“Well, just as you please, my young friend,” said Harris,
with an air of indifference.

Dick turned away; he continued his endeavours to
pacify Dingo, and the conversation dropped.

The other thing that had arrested Dick’s attention was
the behaviour of the horse. If they had been as near the
hacienda as Harris described, would not the animal have
pricked up its ears, sniffed the air, and with dilated nostril,
exhibited some sign of satisfaction, as being upon familiar
ground ?

But nothing of the kind was to be observed ; the horse
plodded along as unconcernedly as if a stable were as far
away as ever.

Even Mrs. Weldon was not so engrossed with her child,
but what she was fain to express her wonder at the deserted
aspect of the country. No trace of a farm-labourer, was
anywhere to be seen! She cast hereye at Harris, who was
in his usual place in front, and observing how he was look-
ing first to the left, and then to the right, with the air of a
man who was uncertain of his path, she asked herself
whether it was possible their guide might have lost his
way. She dared not entertain the idea, and averted her
eyes, that she might not be harassed by his movements.

After crossing an open plain about a mile in width, the
travellers once again entered the forest, which resumed
something of the same denseness that had characterized it
farther to the west. In the course of the afternoon, they

Q


NS

26 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

|



came to a spot which was marked very distinctly by the
vestiges of ‘some enormous animals, which. must have
passed quite recently. As Dick looked carefully about
him, he observed that the branches were all torn off or
broken to a considerable height, and that the foot-tracks
in the trampled grass were much too large to be those
either of jaguars or panthers.. Even if it were possible
that the prints on the ground had been made by ais or
other tardigrades, this would fail to account in the least
for the trees being broken to such a height. Elephants
alone were capable of working such destruction in the
underwood, but elephants were unknown in America.
Dick was puzzled, but controlled himself so that he
would not apply to Harris for any enlightenment; his
intuition made him aware that a man who had once tried
to make him believe that giraffes were ostriches, would not
hesitate a second time to impose upon his credulity.

More than ever was Dick becoming convinced that
Harris was a traitor, and he was secretly prompted to tax
him with his treachery. Still he was obliged to own that he
could not assign any motive for the man acting in such a
manner with the survivors of the “ Pilgrim,” and conse-
quently hesitated before he actually condemned him for
conduct so base and heartless. What could be done? he
repeatedly asked himself. On board ship the boy captain
might perchance have been able to devise some plan for the
safety of those so strangely committed to his charge, but
here on an unknown shore, he could only suffer from the
burden of this responsibility the more, because he was so
utterly powerless to act.

He made up his mind on one point. He determined not
to alarm the poor anxious mother a moment before he was
actually compelled. It was his carrying out this deter-
mination that explained why on subsequently arriving at a
considerable stream, where he sa'v some huge heads, swollen
muzzles, long tusks and unwieldy bodies rising from amidst
the rank wet grass, he uttered no word and gave no gesture
of surprise; but only too well he knew, at a glance, that he
must be looking at a herd of hippopotamuses.
\\
\

‘

\\



‘Look here! here are hands, men’s hands.”



Page 230.


A TERRIBLE DISCOVERY. 229

It was a weary march that day; a general feeling of
depression spread involuntarily from one to another;
hardly conscious to herself of her weariness, Mrs. Weldon
was exhibiting manifest symptoms of lassitude ; and it was
only Dick’s moral energy and sense of duty that kept him
from succumbing to the prevailing dejection.

About four o'clock, Tom noticed something lying in the
grass, and stooping down he picked up a kind of knife; it
was of peculiar shape, being very wide and flat in the
blade, while its handle, which was of ivory, was ornamented
with a good deal of clumsy carving. He carried it at once
to Dick, who, when he had scrutinized it, held it up to
Harris, with the remark,—

“There must be natives not far off”

“Quite right, my young friend; the hacienda must be a
very few miles away,—but yet, but yet... .”

He hesitated.

“You don’t mean that you are not sure of your way,”
said Dick sharply.”

“Not exactly that,” replied Harris; “yet in taking this
short cut across the forest, I am inclined to think Iam a
mile or so out of the way. Perhaps I had better walk on
a little way, and look about me.”

“No; you do not leave us here,” cried Dick firmly.

“Not against your will ; but remember, I do not under-
take to guide you in the dark.”

“We must spare you the necessity for that. I can answer
for it that Mrs. Weldon will raise no objection to spending
another night in the open air. We can start off to-morrow
morning as early as we like, and if the distance be only
what you represent, a few hours will easily accomplish it.”

“ As you please,” answered Harris with cold civility.

Just then, Dingo again burst out into a vehement fit of
barking, and it required no small amount of coaxing on
Dick’s part to make him cease from his noise.

Tt was decided that the halt should be made at once.
Mrs. Weldon, as it had been anticipated, urged nothing
against it, being preoccupied by her immediate attentions
to Jack, who was lying in her arms, suffering from a decided

Q2
230 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



attack of fever. The shelter of a large thicket had just
been selected by Dick as a suitable resting-place for the
night, when Tom, who was assisting in the necessary
preparations, suddenly gave a cry of horror.

“What is it, Tom?” asked Dick very calmly.

“Look! look at these trees! they are spattered with
blood! and look here! here are hands, men’s hands, cut off
and lying on the ground !”

“What?” cried Dick, and in an instant was at his side.

His presence of mind did not fail him ; he whispered,—

“Hush! Tom! hush! not a word!”

But it was with a shudder that ran through his veins
that he witnessed for himself the mutilated fragments of
several human bodies, and saw, lying beside them, some
broken forks, and some bits of iron chain.

The sight of the gory remains made Dingo bark
ferociously, and Dick, who was most anxious that Mrs.
Weldon’s attention should not be called to the discovery,
had the greatest difficulty in driving him back; but
fortunately the lady’s mind was so engrossed with her
patient, that she did not observe the commotion. Harris
stood aloof; there was no one to notice the change that
passed over his countenance, but the expression was almost
diabolical in its malignity.

Poor old Tom himself seemed perfectly spell- pound
With his hands clenched, his eyes dilated, and his breast
heaving with emotion, he kept repeating without anything
like coherence, the words,—

“Forks! chains! forks! ... long ago... remember

. . too well. . . chains!”

“For Mrs. Weldon’s sake, Tom, hold your tongue!”
Dick implored him.

Tom, however, was full with some remembrance of the
past ; he continued to repeat, —

“Long ago... forks... chains!” until Dick led him
out of hearing.

A fresh halting-place was chosen a short distance further
on, and supper was prepared. But the meal was left almost
untasted ; not so much that hunger had been overcome by




The man was gone, and his horse with him.

Page 233.
A TERRIBLE DISCOVERY. ~ 233



fatigue, but because the indefinable feeling of uneasiness,
that had taken possession of them all, had entirely
destroyed all appetite. ;

Gradually the night became very dark. The sky was

covered with heavy storm-clouds, and on the western
horizon flashes of summer lightning now and then glim-
mered through the trees. The air was perfectly still; not
a leaf stirred, and the atmosphere seemed so charged with
electricity as to be incapable of transmitting sound of any
kind. .
Dick, himself, with Austin and Bat in attendance,
remained on guard, all of them eagerly straining both eye
and ear to catch any light or sound that might disturb the
silence and obscurity. Old Tom, with his head sunk
upon his breast, sat motionless, as in a trance; he was
gloomily revolving the awakened memories of the past.
Mrs. Weldon was engaged with her sick child. Scarcely
one of the party was really asleep, except indeed it might
be Cousin Benedict, whose reasoning faculties were not of
an order to carry him forwards into any future contin-
gencies.

Midnight was still an hour in advance, when the dull air
seemed filled with a deep and prolonged roar, mingled with
a peculiar kind of vibration.

Tom started to his feet. A fresh recollection of his
early days had struck him.

“A lion! a lion!” he shouted.

In vain Dick tried to repress him ; but he repeated,—

“A lion! a lion!”

Dick Sands seized his cutlass, and, unable any longer to
control his wrath, he rushed to the spot where he had left
Harris lying.

The man was gone, and his horse with him!

All the suspicions that had been so long pent up within
Dick’s mind now shaped themselves into actual reality.
A flood of light had broken in upon him. Now he was con-
vinced, only too certainly, that it was not the coast cf
America at all upon which the schooner had been cast
ashore! it was not Easter Island that had been sighted far
234 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

away in the west! the compass had completely deceived
him ; he was satisfied now that the strong currents had
carried them quite round Cape Horn, and that they had
really entered the Atlantic. No wonder that quinquinas,
caoutchouc, and other South American products, had failed
to be seen. This was neither the Bolivian pampas nor the
plateau of Atacama. They were giraffes, not ostriches,
that had vanished down the glade; they were elephants
that had trodden down the underwood ; they were hippo-
potamuses that were lurking by the river ; it was indeed the
dreaded tzetsy that Cousin Benedict had so triumphantly
discovered ; and, last of all, it was a lion’s roar that had
disturbed the silence of the forest. That chain, that knife,
those forks, were unquestionably the instruments of slave-
dealers ; and what could those mutilated hands be, except
the relics of their ill-fated victims?

Harris and Negoro must be in a conspiracy !

It was with terrible anguish that Dick gnashed his teeth
and muttered,—

“Yes, it is too true; we are in Africa! in equatorial
Africa! in the land of slavery! in the very haunt of slave-
drivers |”

END OF FIRST PART.
PART THE SECOND.
WEST COAST

OF

CENTRAL AFRICA.

English Miles.

5 dy x00 lo 2b0 2ho Soo ako deo
GUINEA


THE DARK CONTINENT. 237

‘CHAPTER I.
THE DARK CONTINENT.

THE “slave-trade” is an expression that ought never
to have found its way into any human language. After
being long practised at a large profit by such European
nations as had possessions beyond the seas, this abominable
traffic has now for many years been ostensibly forbidden ;
yet even in the enlightenment of this nineteen}. century,
it is still largely carried on, especially in Central Africa,
inasmuch as there are several states, professedly Christian,
whose signatures have never been affixed to the deed of
abolition.

Incredible as it should seem, this barter of human
beings still exists, and for the due comprehension of the
second part of Dick Sands’ story it must be borne in mind,
that for the purpose of supplying certain colonies with
slaves, there continue to be prosecuted such barbarous
“man-hunts” as threaten almost to lay waste an entire
continent with blood, fire, and pillage.

The nefarious traffic as far as regards negroes does not
appear to have arisen until the fifteenth century. The
following are said to be the circumstances under which it
had its origin. After being banished from Spain, the
Mussulmans crossed the straits of Gibraltar and took refuge
upon the shores of Africa, but the Portuguese who then
occupied that portion of the coast persecuted the fugitives
with the utmost severity, and having captured them in large
numbers, sent them as prisoners into Portugal. They were
238 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

thus the first nucleus of any African slaves that entered
Western Europe since the commencement of the Christian
era. The majority, however, of these Mussulmans were
members of wealthy families, who were prepared to pay
almost any amount of money for their release; but no
ransom was exorbitant enough to tempt the Portuguese to
surrender them ; more precious than gold were the strong
arms that should work the resources of their young and
rising colonies. Thus baulked in their purpose of effecting
a direct ransom of their captured relatives, the Mussulman
families next submitted a proposition for exchanging them
for a larger number of African negroes, whom it would be
quite easy to procure. The Portuguese, to whom the pro-
posal was in every way advantageous, eagerly accepted the
offer; and in this way the slave-trade was originated in
Europe.

By the end of the sixteenth century this odious traffic had
become permanently established ; in principle it contained
nothing repugnant to the semi-barbarous thought and cus-
toms then existing; all the great states recognized it as
the most effectual means of colonizing the islands of the
New World, especially as slaves of negro blood, well
acclimatized to tropical heat, were able to survive where
white men must have perished by thousands, ‘The trans-
port of slaves to the American colonies was consequently
regularly effected by vessels specially built for that purpose,
‘and large depéts for this branch of commerce were esta-
blished at various points of the African coast. The “goods”
cost comparatively little in production, and the profits were

~enormous.

Yet, after all, however indispensable it might be to com-
plete the foundationof the trans-atlantic colonies, there was
nothing to justify this shameful barter of human flesh and
blood, and the voice of philanthropy began to be heard in
protestation, calling uponall European governments, in the
name of mercy and common humanity, to decree the aboli-
tion of the trade at once.

In 1751, the Quakers put themselves at the head of the
abolitionist movement in North America, that very land
THE DARK CONTINENT. 239



where, a hundred years later, the war of secession burst
forth, in which the question of slavery bore the most con-
spicuous part. Several of the Northern States, Virginia,
‘Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania prohibited
the trade, liberating the slaves, in spite of the cost, who had
been imported into their territories.

The campaign, thus commenced, was not limited to a
few provinces of the New World; on this side of the
Atlantic, too, the partisans of slavery were subject to a
vigourous attack. England and France led the van, and
energetically beat up recruits to serve the righteous cause.
“Let us lose our colonies rather than sacrifice our prin-
ciples,’ was the magnanimous watchword that resounded
throughout Europe, and notwithstanding the vast political
and commercial interests involved in the question, it did
not go forth in vain. A living impulse had been com-
municated to the liberation-movement. In 1807, England
formally prohibited the slave-trade in her colonies ; France
following her example in 1814. The two great nations
then entered upon a treaty on the subject, which was con-
firmed by Napoleon during the Hundred Days.

Hitherto, however, the declaration was purely theoretical.
Slave-ships continued to ply their illicit trade, discharging
their living cargo at many a colonial port. It was evident
that more resolute and practical measures must be taken
to repress the enormity. Accordingly the United States
in 1820, and Great Britain in 1824, declared the slave-trade
to be an act of piracy and its perpetrators to be punishable
with death. France soon gave in heradherence to the new
treaty, but the Southern States of America, and the
Spanish and Portuguese, not having signed the act of aboli-
tion, continued the importation of slaves at a great profit,
and this in defiance of the recognized reciprocal right of
visitation to verify the flags of suspected ships.

But although the slave-trade by these measures was in a
considerable measure reduced, it continued to exist; new
slaves were not allowed, but the old ones did not recover
their liberty. England was now the first to set a noble
example. Onthe 14th of May, 1833, an Act of Parliament,
240 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



by a munificent vote of millions of pounds, emancipated all
the negroes in the British Colonies, and in August, 1838,
670,000 slaves were declared free men. Ten years later, in
1848, the French Republic liberated the slaves in her
colonies to the number of 260,000, and in 1859 the war
which broke out between the Federals and Confederates
in the United States finished the work of emancipation by
extending it to the whole of North America.

Thus, three great powers have accomplished their task
of humanity, and at the present time the slave-trade is
carried on only for the advantage ‘of the Spanish and
Portuguese colonies, or to supply the requirements of the
Turkish or Arab populations of the East. Brazil, although
she has not emancipated her former slaves, does not re-
ceive any new, and all negro children are pronounced free-
born.

In contrast, however, to all this, it is not to be concealed
that, in the interior cf Africa, as the result of wars between
chieftains waged for the sole object of making captives,
entire tribes are often reduced to slavery, and are carried off
in caravans in two opposite directions, some westwards to
the Portuguese colony of Angola, others eastwards to
Mozambique. Of these miserable creatures, of whom avery
small proportion ever reach their destination, some are des-
patched to Cuba or Madagascar, others to the Arab or
Turkish provinces of Asia, to Mecca or Muscat. The
French and English cruisers have practically very little
power to control the iniquitous proceedings, because the
extent of coast to be watched is so large that a strict and
adequate surveillance cannot be maintained. The extent
of the odious export is very considerable; no less than
24,000 slaves annually reach the coast, a number that
hardly represents a tenth part of those who are massacred
or otherwise perish by a deplorable end. After the fright-
ful butcheries, the fields lie devastated, the smouldering
villages are void of inhabitants, the rivers reek with bleeding
corpses, and wild beasts take undisputed possession of the
soil. Livingstone, upon returning to a district, immediately
after one of these ruthless raids, said that he could never
THE DARK CONTINENT. 241

have recognized it for the same that he had visited only
a few months previously ; and all other travellers, Grant,
Speke, Burton, Cameron, Stanley, describe the wooded
plateau of Central Africa as the principal theatre of the
barbarous warfare between chief and chief. In the region
of the great lakes, throughout the vast district which feeds
the market of Zanzibar, in Bornu and Fezzan, further south
on the banks of the Nyassa and .Zambesi, further west in
the districts of the Upper Zaire, just traversed by the
intrepid Stanley, everywhere there is the recurrence of the
same scenes of ruin, slaughter, and devastation. Ever and
again the question seems to be forced upon the mind
whether slavery is not to end in the entire annihilation of
the negro race, so that, like the Australian tribes of South
Holland, it will become extinct. Who can doubt that the
day must dawn which will herald the closing of the mar-
kets in the Spanish and Portuzuese colonies, a day when
civilized nations shall no longer tolerate the perpetration of
this barbarous wrong?

It is hardly too much to say that another year ought to
witness the emancipation of every slave in the possession
of Christian states. It seems only too likely that for years
to come the Mussulman nations will continue to depopulate
the continent of Africa; to them is due the chief emigra-
tion of the natives, who, torn from their provinces, are sent
to the eastern coast in numbers that exceed 40,000 annually.
Long before the Egyptian expedition the natives of
Sennaar were sold to the natives of Darfur and wice versé ;
and even Napoleon Buonaparte purchased a considerable
number of negroes, whom he organized into regiments after
the fashion of the mamelukes. Altogether it may be
affirmed, that although four-fifths of the present century
have passed away, slave-traffic in Africa has been increased
rather than diminished.

The truth is that Islamism really nurtures the slave-
trade. In Mussulman provinces, the black slave has taken
the place of the white slave of former times ; dealers of the
most questionable character bear their part in the execrable
business, bringing a supplementary population to races
242 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



which, unregenerated by their own labour, would otherwise
diminish and ultimately disappear.

As in the time of Buonaparte, these slaves often become
Soldiers; on the Upper Niger, for instance, they still form
half the army of certain chieftains, under circumstances in
which their lot is hardly, if at all, inferior to that of free
men. Elsewhere, where the slave is not a soldier, he
counts merely as current coin; and in Bornu and: even
in Egypt, we are told by William Lejean, an eye-witness,
that officers and other functionaries have received their pay
in this form.

Such, then, appears to be the present actual condition of
the slave-trade; and it is stern justice that compels the
additional statement that there are representatives of cer-
tain great European powers who still favour the unholy
traffic with an indulgent connivance, and whilst cruisers
are watching the coasts of the Atlantic and of the Indian
Ocean, kidnapping goes on regularly in the interior,
caravans pass along under the very eyes of certain officials,
and massacres are perpetrated in which frequently ten
negroes are sacrificed in the capture of a single slave.

It was the knowledge, more or less complete, of all this,
that wrung from Dick Sands his bitter and heart-rending
cry :—

“We are in Africa! in the very haunt of slave-drivers!”

Too true it was that he found himself and his com-
panions in a land fraught with such frightful peril. He
could only tremble when he wondered on what part of the
fatal continent the “Pilgrim” had stranded. Evidently it
was at some point of the wcst coast, and he had every
reason to fear that it was on the shores of Angola, the
rendezvous for all the caravans that journey in that portion
of Africa.

His conjecture was correct; he really was in the very
country that a few years later and with gigantic effort was
to be traversed by Cameron in the south and Stanley in
the north. Of the vast territory, with its three provinces,
Congo, Angola, and Benguela, little was then known
except the coast. It extends from the Zaire on the north
THE DARK CONTINENT. ° 243



to the Nourse on the south, and its chief towns are the
ports of Benguela and of St. Paul de Loanda, the capital
of the colony, which is a dependency of the kingdom of
Portugal. The interior of the country had been almost
entirely unexplored. Very few were the travellers who
had cared to venture far inland, for an unhealthy climate,
a hot, damp soil conducive to fever, a permanent warfare
between the native tribes, some of which are cannibals, and
the ill-feeling of the slave-dealers against any stranger who
might endeavour to discover the secrets of their infamous
craft, all combine to render the region one of the most
hazardous in the whole of Equatorial Africa.

It was in 1816 that Tuckey ascénded the Congo as far
as the Yellaba Falls, a distance not exceeding 200. miles ;
but the journey was too short to give an accurate idea of
the interior of the country, and moreover cost the lives of
nearly all the officers and scientific men connected with
the expedition.

Thirty-seven years afterwards, Dr. Livingstone had
advanced from the Cape of Good Hop2 to the Upper
Zambesi ; thence, with a fearlessness hitherto unrivalled, he
crossed the Coango, an affluent of the Congo, and after
having traversed the continent from the extreme south to
the east he reached St. Paul de Loanda on the 31st of
May, 1854, the first explorer of the unknown portions of
the great Portuguese colony.

Eighteen years elapsed, and two other bold travellers
crossed the entire continent from east to west, and after
encountering unparalleled difficulties, emerged, the one to
the south, the other to the north of Angola.

The first of these was Verney Lovett Cameron, a lieutenant
in the British navy. In 1872, when serious doubts were
entertained as to the safety of the expedition sent out under
Stanley to the relief of Livingstone in the great lake district,
Lieutenant Cameron volunteered to go out in search of the
noble missionary explorer. His offer was accepted, and
accompanied by Dr. Dillon, Lieutenant Cecil Murphy, and
Robert Moffat, a nephew of Livingstone, he started from
Zanzibar. Having passed through Ugogo, he met Living-
244 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



stone’s corpse, which was being borne to the eastern coast
by his faithful followers. Unshaken in his resolve to
make his way right across the continent, Cameron still
pushed onwards to the west. He passed through Unyan-
yembe and Uganda, and reached Kawele, where he secured
all Livingstone’s papers. After exploring Lake Tangan-
yika he crossed the mountains of Bambarre, and finding
himself unable to descend the course of the Lualaba, he
traversed the provinces devastated and depopulated by war
and the slave-trade, Kilemba, Urua, the sources of the
Lomami, Ulanda, and Lovalé, and having crossed the
Coanza, he sighted the Atlantic and reached the port of St.
Philip de Benguela, after a journey that had occupied three
years and five months, Cameron’s two companions, Dr.
Dillon and Robert Moffat, both succumbed to the hardships
of the expedition.

The intrepid Englishman was soon to be followed into
the field by an American, Mr. Henry Moreland Stanley.
It is universally known how the undaunted correspondent
of the Wew York Herald, having been despatched in search
of Livingstone, found the veteran missionary at Ujiji, on
the borders of Lake Tanganyika, on the 31st of October,
1871. But what he had undertaken in the course of
humanity Stanley longed to continue in the interests of
science, his prime object being to make a thorough investi-
gation of the Lualaba, of which, in his first expedition, he
had only been able to get a partial and imperfect survey.
Accordingly, whilst Cameron was still deep in the provinces
of Central Africa, Stanley started from Bagamoyo in
November, 1874. Twenty-one months later he quitted
Ujiji, which had been decimated by small-pox, and in
seventy-four days accomplished the passage of the lake and
reached Nyangwe, a great slave-market previously visited
both by Livingstone and Cameron. He was also present
at some of the horrible razzias, perpetrated by the officers
of the Sultan of Zanzibar in the districts of the Marunzu
and Manyuema.

In order to be in a position to descend the Lualaba to its
very mouth, Stanley engaged at Nyangwe 140 porters and
THE DARK CONTINENT. 245



nineteen boats. Difficulties arose from the very outset,
and not only had he to contend with the cannibals of
Ugusu, but, in order to avoid many unnavigable cataracts,
he had to convey his boats many miles by land. Near the
equator, just at the point where the Lualaba turns north-
north-west, Stanley’s little convoy was attacked by a fleet
of boats, manned by several hundred natives, whom, how-
ever, he succeeded in putting to flight. Nothing daunted,
the resolute-American pushed on to lat. 20° N. and ascer-
tained, beyond room for doubt, that the Lualaba was really
the Upper Zaire or Congo, and that, by following its course,
he should come directly to the sea.

Beset with many perils was the way. Stanley was in
almost daily collision with the various tribes upon the
river-banks ; on the 3rd of June, 1877, he lost one of his
companions, Frank Pocock, at the passage of the cataracts
of Massassa, and on the 18thof July he was himself carried
in his boat into the Mbelo Falls, and escaped by little short
of a miracle.

On the 6th of August the daring adventurer arrived at
the village of Ni Sanda, only four days from the sea ; two
days later he received a supply of provisions that had been
sent by two Emboma merchants to Banza M’buko, the
little coast-town where, after a journey. of two years and
nine months, fraught with every kind of hardship and pri-
vation, he completed his transit of the mighty continent.
His toil told, at least temporarily, upon his years, but he
had the grand satisfaction of knowing that he had traced
the whole course of the Lualaba, and had ascertained,
beyond reach of question, that as the Nile is the great
artery of the north, and the Zambesi of the east, so Africa
possesses in the west a third great river, which in a course
of no less than 2900 miles, under the names of the Lualaba,
Zaire, and Congo, unites the lake district with the Atlantic
Ocean.

In 1873, however, the date at which the “ Pilgrim”
foundered upon the coast, very little was known of the
province of Angola, except that it was the scene of the
western slave-trade, of which the markets of Bihe, Cassanga,
246 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

and Kazunde were thechief centres. This was the country
in which Dick Sands now found himself, a hundred miles
from shore, in charge of a lady exhausted with fatigue and
anxiety, a half-dying child, and a band of negroes who
would be a most tempting bait to the slave-driver.

His last illusion was complete:y dispelled. He had no
longer the faintest hope that he was in America, that land
where little was to be dreaded from either native, wild
beast, or climate; he could no more cherish the fond
impression that he might be in the pleasant region between
the Cordilleras and the coast, where villages are numerous
and missions afford hospitable shelter to every traveller.
Far, far away were those provinces of Bolivia and Peru, to
which (unless a criminal hand had interposed) the
“Pilorim” would certainly have sped her way. No: too
truly this was the terrible province of Angola; and worse
than all, not the district near the coast, under the
surveillance of the Portuguese authorities, but the interior
of the country, traversed only by slave caravans, driven
under the lash of the havildars.

Limited, in one sense, was the knowledge that Dick
Sands possessed of this land of horrors; but he had read
the accounts that had been given by the missionaries of
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, by the Portuguese
traders who frequented the route from St. Paul de Loanda,
by San Salvador to the Zaire, as well as by Dr. Livingstone
in his travels in 1853, and consequently he knew enough to
awaken immediate and complete despair in any spirit less
indomitable than his own.

Anyhow, his position was truly appalling.




They were seated at the foot of an enormous banyan-tree,
Page 249.
ACCOMPLICES. 249



CHAPTER II.
ACCOMPLICES.

ON the day following that on which Dick Sands and his
party had made their last halt in the forest, two men met
by appointment at a spot about three miles distant.

The two men were Harris and Negoro, the one lately
landed from New Zealand, the other pursuing his wonted
occupation of slave-dealer in the province of Angola.
They were seated at the foot of an enormous banyan-tree,
on the banks of a rushing torrent that streamed between
tall borders of papyrus.

After the conversation had turned awhile upon the events
of the last few hours, Negoro said abruptly,—

“Couldn’t you manage to get that young fifteen-year-old
any farther into the interior ?”

“No, indeed ; it was a hard matter enough to bring him
thus far; for the last few days his suspicions have been
wide awake.”

“But just another hundred miles, you know,” continued
Negoro, “would have finished the business off well, and
those black fellows would have been ours to a dead cer-
tainty.”

“Don’t I tell you, my dear fellow, that it was more than
time for me to give them the slip?” replied Harris,
shrugging his shoulders. “ Only too well I knew that our
young friend was longing to put a shot into my body, and
that was a sugar-plum I might not be able to digest.”

The Portuguese gave a grunt of assent, and Harris went
on,—
250 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

“ For several days I succeeded well enough. I managed
to palm off the country as the forest of Atacama, which
you may recollect I once visited ; but when the youngster
began to ask for gutta-percha and humming-birds, and his
mother wanted quinquina-trees, and when that old fool of a
cousin was bent on finding cocuyos, I was rather nonplussed.
One day I had to swear that giraffes were ostriches, but
the young captain did not seem to swallow the dose at all
easily. Then we saw traces of elephants and hippopota-
muses, which of course are as often seen in America as an
honest man in a Benguela penitentiary; then that old
nigger Tom discovered a lot of forks and chains left by
some runaway slaves at the foot of a tree; but when, last
of all, a lion roared,—and the noise, you know, is rather
louder than the mewing of a cat,—I thought it was time to
take my horse and decamp.” ,

Negoro repeated his expression of regret that the whole
party had not been carried another hundred miles into the
province.

“Tt really cannot be helped,” rejoined the American ;
“T have done the best I could; and I think, mate,’ he
added confidentially, “that you have done wisely in follow-
ing the caravan at a good distance ; that dog of theirs
evidently owes you a grudge, and might prove an ugly
customer.”

“T shall put a bullet into that beast’s head before long,”
growled Negoro.

“Take care you don’t get one through your own first,”
laughed Harris ; “that young Sands, I warn you, is a first-
rate shot, and between ourselves, is rather a fine fellow of
his kind.”

“Fine fellow, indeed!” sneered Negoro ; “whatever he
is, he is a young upstart, and I have a long score to wipe
off against him ;” and, as he spoke, an expression of the

utmost malignity passed over his countenance.

Harris smiled.

“Well, mate,” he said; “your travels have not improved
your temper, I see. But come now, tell me what you have
been doing all this time. When I found you just after the
ACCOMPLICES. ; 251



wreck, at the mouth of the Longa, you had only time to
ask me to get this party, somehow or other, up into the
country. But it is just upon two years since you left
Cassange with that caravan of slaves for our old master
Alvez. What have you been doing since? The last I
heard of you was that you had run foul of an English
cruiser, and that you were condemned to be hanged.”

“ So I was very nearly,” muttered Negoro.

“ Ah, well, that will come sooner or later,” rejoined the
American with philosophic indifference; “men of our trade
can’t expect to die quietly in our beds, you know. But
were you caught by the English?”

“No, by the Portuguese.”

“Before you had got rid of your cargo?”

Negoro hesitated a moment before replying.

“No,” he said, presently, and added, “The Portuguese
have changed their game: for a long time they carried on
the trade themselves, but now they have got wonderfully
particular; so I was caught, and condemned to end my
days in the penitentiary at ‘St. Paul de Loanda.”

“Confound it!” exclaimed Harris, ‘a hundred times
better be hanged !”

“J’m not so sure of that,” the Portuguese replied, “ fee
when I had been at the galleys about a fortnight I man-
aged to escape, and got into the hold of an English
steamer bound for New Zealand. I wedged myself in
between a cask of water and a case of preserved meat,
and so managed to exist for a month. It was close
quarters, I can tell you, but I preferred to travel in-
cognito rather than run the risk of being handed over
again to the authorities at Loanda.”

“Well done!” exclaimed the American, “and so you
had a free passage to the land of the Maoris. But you
didn’t come back in the same fashion ?”

“No; I always had a hankering to be here again at my
old trade ; but for a year and a half... .” :
He stopped abruptly, and grasped Harris by the arm.

“Hush,” he whispered, “didn’t you hear a rustling in
that clump of papyrus ?”
252 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



In a moment Harris had caught up his loaded gun; and
both men, starting to their feet, looked anxiously around
them.

“Tt was nothing,” said Harris presently ; “the stream is
swollen by the storm, that is all; your two years’ travelling
has made you forget the sounds of the forest, mate. Sit
down again, and go on with your story. When I know the
past, I shall be better able to talk about the future.”

They reseated themselves, and Negoro went on,—
~ “For a whole year and a half I vegetated at Auckland.
I left the hold of the steamer without a dollar in my pocket,
and had to turn my hand to every trade imaginable in order
to get a living.”

“Poor fellow! I daresay you even tried the trade of
being an honest man,” put in the American.

“Just so,” said Negoro, “and in course of time the
‘Pilgrim, the vessel by which I came here, put in at
Auckland. While she was waiting to take Mrs. Weldon
and her party on board, I applied to the captain for a post,
for I was once mate on board a slaver, and know some-
thing of seamanship. The ‘ Pilgrim’s’ crew was complete,
but fortunately the ship’s cook had just deserted ; I offered
to supply his place; in default of better my services
were accepted, and in a few days we were out of sight of
New Zealand.”

“T have heard something about the voyage from young
Sands,” said Harris, “ but even now I can’t understand how
you reached here.”

“Neither does he,” said Negoro, with a malicious grin.
“T will tell you now, and you may repeat the story to your
young friend if you like.”

“Well, go on,” said Harris.

“When we started,” continued Negoro, “it was my in-
tention to sail only as far as Chili: that would have
brought me nearly half way to Angola; but three weeks
after leaving Auckland, Captain Hull and all his crew were
lost in chasing a whale, and I and the apprentice were the
only seamen left on board.”

“ Then why in the name of peace didn’t you take com-
mand of the ship?” exclaimed Harris.




looked anxiously around them.

starting to their feet,

Both men,

Page 252.
ACCOMPLICES. 255

“ Because there were five strong niggers who didn’t trust
me; so, on second thoughts, I determined to keep my old
post as cook.”

“Then do you mean to say that it was mere accident

that brought you to the coast of Africa?”
- “Not a bit of it; the only accident,—and a very lucky
one it was—was meeting you on the very spot where we
stranded. But it was my doing that we got so far.
Young Sands understood nothing more of navigation than
the use of the log and compass. Well, one fine day, you
understand, the log remained at the bottom of the sea, and
one night the compass was tampered with, so that the
‘Pilgrim, scudding along before a tempest, was carried
altogether out of her course. You may imagine the young
captain was puzzled at the length of the voyage ; it would
have bewildered a more experienced head thanhis. Before
he was aware of it, we had rounded Cape Horn; I
recognized it through the mist. Then at onceI put the
compass to rights again, and the ‘Pilgrim’ was carried
north-eastwards by a tremendous hurricane to the very
place I wanted. The island Dick Sands took for Easter
Island was really Tristan d’Acunha.”

“Good!” said Harris; “I think I understand now how
our friends have been persuaded to take Angola for
Bolivia. But they are undeceived now, you know,” he
added.

“T know all about that,” replied the Portuguese.

“Then what do you intend to do?” said Harris.

“You will see,’ answered Negoro significantly; “ but
first of all tell me something about our employer, old
Alvez ; how is he?”

“ Oh, the old rascal is well enough, and will be delighted
to see you again,” replied Harris.

“Ts he at the market at Bihe ?”

“No, he has been at his place at Kazoundé for a year or
more.”

“ And how does business go on?”

“ Badly enough, on this coast,” said Harris; “ plenty o
slaves are waiting to be shipped to the Spanish colonies,
256 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



but the difficulty is how to get them embarked. The
Pottuguese authorities on the one hand, and the English
cruisers on the other, almost put a stop to exportation
altogether; down to the south, near Mossamedes, is the
only part where it can be attempted with any chance of
success. To pass a caravan through Benguela or Loande
is an utter impossibility ; neither the governors nor the
chefés' will listen to a word of reason. Old Alvez is there-
fore thinking of going in the other direction towards
Nyangwe and Lake Tanganyika; he can there exchange
his goods for slaves and ivory, and is sure to doa good
business with Upper Egypt and the coast of Mozambique,
which supplies Madagascar. But I tell you, Negoro,” he
added gravely, “I believe the time is coming when the
slave-trade will come to an end altogether. The English
missionaries are advancing into the interior. That fellow
Livingstone, confound him! has finished his tour of the
lakes, and is now working his way towards Angola; then
there is another man named Cameron who is talking about
crossing the cont'nent from east to west, and it is feared
that Stanley the American will do the same. All this ex-
ploration, you know, is ruinous to our business, and it is to
orr interest that not one of these travellers should be
allowed to return to tell tales of us in Europe.”

Iarris spoke like a merchant embarrassed by a temporary
commercial crisis. The atrocious scenes to which the
slave-dealers are accustomed seems to render them im-
pervious to all sense of justice or humanity, and they learn
to regard their living merchandize with as small concern
as though they were dealing with chests of tea or hogs-
heads of sugar.

But Harris was right when he asserted that civilization
must follow the wake of the intrepid pioneers of African
discovery. Livingstone first, and after him, Grant, Speke,
Burton, Cameron, Stanley, are the heroes whose names
will ever be linked with the first dawnings of a brighter
age upon the dark wilds of Equatorial Africa.

Having ascertained that his accomplice had returned

1 Subordinate Portuguese governors at secondary stations.
ACCOMPLICES. 257



unscrupulous and daring as ever, and fully prepared to pursue
his former calling as an agent of old Alvez the slave dealer,
Harris inquired what he proposed doing with the survivors
of the “ Pilgrim” now that they were in his hands.

“Divide them into two lots,’ answered Negoro, without
a moment’s hesitation, “one for the market, the other... .”

He did not finish his sentence, but the expression of
his countenance was an index to the malignity of his
purpose.

“Which shall you sell?” asked the American.

“The niggers, of course. The old one is not worth
much, but the other four ought to fetch a good price at
Kazoundé.” :

“Yes, you are right,” said Harris; “American-born
slaves, with plenty of work in them, are rare articles, and
very different to the miserable wretches we get up the
country. But you never told me,” he added, suddenly
changing the subject, “whether you found any money on
board the ‘ Pilgrim’!”

“Qh, I rescued a few hundred dollars from the wreck,
that was all,” said the Portuguese carelessly ; “but I am
expecting . . . .” he stopped short.

“What are you expecting ?” inquired Harris eagerly.

“ Oh, nothing, nothing,” said Negoro, apparently annoyed
that he had said so much, and immediately began talking
of the means of securing the living prey which he had been
taking so many pains to entrap. Harris informed him that
on the Coanza, about ten miles distant, there was at the
present time encamped a slave caravan, under the control
of an Arab named Ibn Hamish ; plenty of native soldiers
were there on guard, and if Dick Sands and his people
could only be induced to travel in that direction, their cap-
ture would be a matter of very little difficulty. He said
that of course Dick Sands’ first thought would naturally be
how to get back to the coast ; it was not likely that he
would venture a second time through the forest, but would
in all probability try to make his way to the nearest river,
and descend its course on a raft to the sea. The nearest
river was undoubtedly the Coanza, so that he and Negoro
258 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

‘might feel quite sure of meeting “their friends” upon its
banks.

“Tf you really think so,’ said Negoro, “there is not
much time to be lost; whatever young Sands determines to
do, he will do at once: he never lets the grass grow under
his feet.”

“Tet us start, then, this very moment, mate,’ was
Harris’s reply.

Both rose to their feet, when they were startled by the
same rustling in the papyrus which had previously aroused
Negoro’s fears. Presently a low growl was heard, and a
large dog, showing his teeth, emerged from the bushes,
evidently prepared for an attack.

“It's Dingo!” exclaimed Harris.

“Confound the brute! he shall not escape me this time,”
said Negoro.

He caught up Harris’s gun, and raising it to his shoulder,
he fired just as the dog was in the act of springing at his
throat. A long whine of pain followed the report, and
Dingo disappeared again amongst the bushes that fringed
the stream. Negoro was instantly upon his track, but
could discover nothing beyond a few blood-stains upon the
stalks of the papyrus, and a long crimson trail upon the
pebbles on the bank.

“T think I have done for the beast now,” was Negoro’s
remark as he returned from his fruitless search.

Harris, who had been a silent spectator of the whole
scene, now asked coolly,—

“What makes that animal have such an inveterate dis-
like to you?”

“Oh, there is an old score to settle between us,” replied
the Portuguese.

“What about ?” inquired the American.

Negoro made no reply, and finding him evidently dis-
inclined to be communicative on the subject, Harris did
not press the matter any further.

A few moments later the two men were descending the
stream, and making their way through the forest towards
the Coanza.


Dingo disappeared again amongst the bushes, Page 258.
ON THE MARCH AGAIN, 261

CHAPTER III.
ON THE MARCH AGAIN.

“ AFRICA! Africa!” was the terrible word that echoed and
re-echoed in the mind of Dick Sands. As he pondered
over the events of the preceding weeks he could now
understand why, notwithstanding the rapid progress of the
ship, the land seemed ever to be receding, and why the
voyage had been prolonged to twice its anticipated length.
It remained, however, a mystery inexplicable as before,
how and when they had rounded Cape Horn and passed
into another ocean. Suddenly the idea flashed upon him
that the compass must have been tampered with ; and he
remembered the fall of the first compass; he recalled the
night when he had been roused by Tom’s cry of alarm that
Negoro had fallen against the binnacle. As he recollected
these circumstances he became more and more convinced
that it was Negoro who was the mainspring of all the mis-
chief ; that it was he who had contrived the loss of the
“ Pilgrim,” and compromised the safety of all on board.

What had been the career, what could be the motives
of a man who was capable of such vile machinations ?

But shrouded in mystery as were the events of the past,
the present offered a prospect equally obscure.

Beyond the fact that he was in Africa and a hundred
miles from the coast, Dick knew absolutely nothing. He
could only conjecture that he was in the fatal province of
Angola, and assured as he was that Harris had acted the
traitor, he was led to the conclusion that he and Negoro
had been playing into each other’s hands. The result of
262 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



the collision, he feared, might be very disastrous to the
survivors of the “ Pilgrim.” Yet, in what manner would the
odious stratagem be accomplished? Dick could well
understand that the negroes would be sold for slaves; he
could only too easily. imagine that upon himself Negoro
would wreak the vengeance he had so obviously been con-
templating ; but for Mrs. Weldon and the other helpless
members of the party what fate could be in store?

The situation was terrible, but yet Dick did not flinch ;
he had been appointed captain, and captain he would re-
main; Mrs. Weldon and her little son had been committed
to his charge, and he was resolved to carry out his trust
faithfully to the end. .

For several hours he remained wrapped in thought,
pondering over the present and the future, weighing the
evil chances against the good, only to be convinced that
the evil much preponderated. At length he rose, firm, re-
solute, calm. The first glimmer of dawn was breaking
upon the forest. All the rest of the party, except Tom,
were fast asleep. Dick Sands crept softly up to the old
negro, and whispered :—

“Tom, you know now where we are! ”

“Yes, yes, Mr. Dick, only too well I know it. We are
in Africa!”

The old man sighed mournfully.

“Tom,” said Dick, in the same low voice, “you must
keep this a secret; you must not say a word to let Mrs.
Weldon or any of the others know.”

The old man murmured his assent, and Dick con-
tinued :— /

“It will be quite enough for them to learn that we have
been betrayed by Harris, and that we must consequently
practise extra care and watchfulness; they will merely
think we are taking precautions against being surprised
by nomad Indians, I trust to your good sense, Tom, to
assist me in this.”

“You may depend upon me, Mr. Dick ; and I can _ pro-
mise you that we will all do our best to prove our courage,
and to show our devotion to your service.”


‘You must keep this a secret.” Page 262.
ON TITE MARCIL AGAIN. 265

Thus assured of Tom's co-operation, Dick proceeded to
deliberate upon his future line of action. He had every
reason to believe that the treacherous American, startled
by the traces of the slaves and the unexpected roaring of
the lion, had taken flight before he had conducted his
victims to the spot where they were to be attacked, and
that consequently some hours might elapse before he would
be joined by Negoro, who (to judge from Dingo’s strange
behaviour) had undoubtedly for the last few days been
somewhere on their track.

Here was a delay that might be turned to good account,
and no time was to be lost in taking advantage of it to
commence their return journey to the coast. If, as Dick
had every reason to suppose, he was in Angola, he hoped
to find, either north or south, some Portuguese settlement
whence he could obtain the means of transporting his party
to their several homes. ,

But how was this return journey to be accomplished ?
It would be difficult, not to say imprudent, to retrace their
footsteps through the forest ; it would merely bring them
to their starting-point, and would, moreover, afford an easy
track for Negoro or his accomplices to follow. The safest
and most secret means of reaching the coast would as-
suredly be by descending the course of some river. This
would have to be effected by constructing a strong raft,
from which the little party, well armed, might defend them-
selves alike from attacks either of the natives or of wild
beasts, and which would likewise afford a comfortable
means of transport for Mrs. Weldon and her little boy, who
were now deprived of the use of Harris’s horse. The
negroes, it is true, would be only too pleased to carry the
lady on a litter of branches, but this would be to occupy
the services of two out of five, and under the circumstances
it was manifestly advisable that all hands should be free
to act on the defensive. Another great inducement to-
wards the plan was that Dick Sands felt himself much more
at home in travelling by water than by land, and was long-
ing to be once again upon what to him was, as it were, his
native element, He little dreamt that he was devising for
266 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



himself the very plan that Harris, in his speculations, had
laid down for him!

The most urgent matter was now to find such a stream
as would suit their purpose. Dick had several reasons for
feeling sure that one existed in the neighbourhood. He
knew that the little river, which fell into the Atlantic near
the spot where the “ Pilgrim” stranded, could not extend
very far either to the north or east, because the horizon was
bounded in both directions by the chain of mountains which
he had taken for the Cordilleras. If the stream did not
rise in those hills it must incline to the south, so that in
either ease Dick was convinced he could not be long in dis-
covering it or one of its affluents. Another sign, which he
recognized as hopeful, was that during the last few miles of
the march the soil had become moist and level, whilst here
and there the appearance of tiny rivulets indicated that an
aqueous network existed in the subsoil. On the previous day,
too, the caravan had skirted a rushing torrent, of which the
waters were tinged with oxide of iron from its sloping
banks.

Dick’s scheme was to make his way back as far as
this stream, which though not navigable itself would in all
probability empty itself into some affluent of greater im-
portance. The idea, which he imparted to Tom, met with
the old negro’s entire approval.

As the day dawned the sleepers, one by one, awoke.
Mrs, Weldon laid little Jack in Nan’s arms. . The child was
still dozing ; the fever had abated, but he looked painfully
white and exhausted after the attack.

“Dick,” said Mrs. Weldon, after looking round her,
“where is Mr. Harris? I cannot see him.”

“ Harris has left us,” answered Dick very quietly.

“Do you mean that he has gone on ahead ?”

“No, madam, I mean that he has left us, and gone away
entirely: he is in league with Negoro.”

“Tn league with Negoro!” cried Mrs. Weldon. “Ah, I
have had a fancy lately that there has been something
wrong: but why? what can be their motive ?”

“Tndeed I am unable to tell you,” replied Dick ; “I only






*¢ Harris has left us.” Page 266.
ON THE MARCH AGAIN. 269



know that we have no alternative but to return to the coast
immediately if we would escape the two rascals.”

“T only wish I could catch them,” said Hercules, who
had overheard the conversation; “I would soon knock
their heads together ;” and he shook his two fists in giving
emphasis to his words.

“But what will become of my boy?” cried Mrs. Weldon,
in tones of despondency ; “I have been so sanguine in
procuring him the comforts of San Felice.”

“Master Jack will be all right enough, madam, when we
get into a more healthy situation near the coast,” saic
Tom.

“But is there no farm anywhere near? no village? na
shelter?” she pleaded.

“None whatever, madam; I can only repeat that it is
absolutely necessary that we make the best of our way back
to the sea-shore.” .

“ Are you quite sure, Dick, that Mr. Harris has deceived
us?”

Dick felt that he should be glad to avoid any discus-
sion on the subject, but with a warning glance at Tom,
he proceeded to say that on the previous night he and Tom
had discovered the American's treachery, and that if he had
not instantly taken to his horse and fled he would have
answered for his guilt with his life. Without, however,
dwelling for a moment more than he could avoid upon the
past, he hurried on to detail the means by which he now
proposed to reach the sea, concluding by the assertion that
he hoped a very few miles’ march would bring them to a
stream on which they might be able to embark.

Mrs. Weldon, thoroughly ignoring her own weakness,
professed her readiness not only to walk, but to carry Jack
too. Bat and Austin at once volunteered to carry her ina
litter ; of this the lady would not hear, and bravely repeated
her intention of travelling on foot, announcing her will-
ingness to start without further delay. Dick Sands. was
only too glad to assent to her wish.

“Let me take Master Jack,” said Hercules ;. “I shall be
out of my element if I have nothing to carry.”
270 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



The giant, without waiting for a reply, took the child
from Nan’s arms so gently that he did not even rouse him
from his slumber. .

The weapons were next carefully examined, and the
provisions, having been repacked into one parcel, were con-
signed to the charge of Acteon, who undertook to carry
them on his back.

Cousin Benedict, whose wiry limbs seemed capable of
bearing any amount of fatigue, was quite ready to start.
It was doubtful whether he had noticed Harris’s disappear-
ance ; he was suffering from a loss which to him was of far
greater importance. He had mislaid his spectacles and
magnifying-glass. It had happened that Bat had picked
them up in the long grass, close to the spot where the
amateur naturalist had been lying, but acting ona hint from
Dick Sands, he said nothing about them ; in this way the
entomologist, who, without his glasses could scarcely see a
yard beyond his face, might be expected to be kept without
trouble in the limits of the ranks, and having been placed
between Actzon and Austin with strict injunctions not to
leave their side, he followed them as submissively as a blind
man in leading-strings.

The start was made. But scarcely had the little troop
advanced fifty yards upon their way, when Tom suddenly
cried out,—

“Where’s Dingo?”

With all the force of his tremendous lungs, Hercules gave
a series of reverberating shouts :—

“Dingo! Dingo! Dingo!”

Not a bark could be distinguished in reply.

“Dingo! Dingo! Dingo!” again echoed in the air.

But all was silence.

Dick was intensely annoyed at the non-appearancc ot
the dog ; his presence would have been an additional safe-
guard in the event of any sudden surprise.

“ Perhaps he has followed Harris,” suggested Tom.

“Far more likely he is on the track of Negoro,” re-
joined Dick.

“Then Negoro, to a dead certainty,” said Hercules, “ will
put a bullet into his head.”
ON THE MARCH AGAIN. 271



“It is to be hoped,” replied Bat, “that Dingo will
strangle him first.”

Dick Sands, disguising his vexation, said,

“At any rate, we have no time to wait for the animal
now: if he is alive, he will not fail to find us out. Move
on, my lads! move on!”

The weather was very hot; ever since daybreak heavy
clouds had been gathering upon the horizon, and it seemed
hardly likely that the day would pass without a storm.
Fortunately the woods were suffic’ently light to ensure a
certain amount of freshness to the surface of the soil.
Here and there were large patches of tall, rank grass en-
closed by clumps of forest trees. In some places, fossilized
trunks, lying on the ground, betokened the existence of
one of the coal districts that are common upon the con-
tinent of Africa. Along the glades the carpet of verdure
was relieved by crimson stems and a variety of flowers ;
ginger-blossoms, blue and yellow, pale lobelias, and red
orchids fertilized by the numerous insects that incessantly
hovered about them. The trees did not grow in impene-
trable masses of one species, but exhibited themselves in
infinite variety. There was also a species of palm pro-
ducing an oil locally much valued; there were cotton-
plants growing in bushes eight or ten feet high, the cotton
attached in long shreds to the ligneous stalks; and there
were copals from which, pierced by the proboscis of certain
insects, exudes an odorous resin that flows on to the ground
and is collected by the natives. Then there were citrons
and wild pomegranates and a score of other arborescent
plants, all testifying to the fertility of this plateau of
Central Africa. In many places, too, the air was fragrant
with the odour of vanilla, though it was not possible to
discover the shrub from which the perfume emanated.

In spite of it being the dry season, so that the soil had
only been moistened by occasional storms, all trees and
plants were flourishing in great luxuriance. It was the
time of year for fever, but, according to Dr. Livingstone’s
observation, the disorder may generally be cured by quit-
ting the locality where it has been contracted. Dick ex-
272 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



pressed his hope that, in little Jack’s case, the words of the
great traveller would be verified, and in encouragement
of this sanguine view, pointed out.to Mrs. Weldon that
although it was past the time for the periodical return of
the fever, the child was still slumbering quietly in Hercules’
arms.

The march was continued with as much rapidity as was
consistent with caution. Occasionally, where the bushes
and brushwood had been broken down by the recent pas-
sage of men or beasts, progress was comparatively easy ;
but much more frequently, greatly to Dick’s annoyance,
obstacles of various sorts impeded their advance. Climb-
ing plants grew in such inextricable confusion that they
could only be compared to a ship’s rigging involved in
hopeless entanglement; there were creepers resembling
curved scimitars, thickly covered with sharp thorns; there
were likewise strange growths, like vegetable serpents, fifty
or sixty feet long, which seemed to have a cruel faculty for
torturing every passenger with their prickly spines. Axe
in hand, the negroes had repeatedly to cut their road
through these bewildering obstructions that clothed the
trees from their summit to their base.

Animal life was no less remarkable in its way than the
vegetation. Birds in great variety flitted about in the
ample foliage, secure from any stray shot from the little
band, whose chief object it was to preserve its incognito.
Guinea-fowls were seen in considerable numbers, francolins
in several varieties, and a few specimens of the bird to
which the Americans, in imitation of their note, have given
the name of “ whip-poor-will.” If Dick had not had too
much evidence in other ways to the contrary, he might
almost have imagined himself in a province of the New
World. :

Hitherto they had been unmolested by any dangerous
wild beasts. During the present stage of their marcha herd
of giraffes, startled by their unexpected approach, rushed
fleetly past ; this time, however, without being represented
as ostriches. Occasionally a dense cloud of dust on the
edge of the prairie, accompanied by a sound like the roll






The march was continued with as much rapidity as was consistent with
caution. Page 272.
ON THE MARCH AGAIN. 275

of heavily-laden chariots, betokened the flight of a herd of
buffaloes; but with these exceptions no animal of any
magnitude appeared in view.

For about two miles Dick followed the course of the
rivulet, in the hope that it would emerge into a more im-
portant stream, which would convey them without much
difficulty or danger direct to the sea.

Towards noon about three miles had been accomplished,
and a halt was made‘for rest. Neither Negoro nor Harris
had been seen, nor had Dingo reappeared. The encamp-
ment for the midday refreshment was made under the
shelter of a clump of bamboos, which effectually concealed
them all. Few words were spoken during the meal. . Mrs.
Weldon could eat nothing ; she had again taken her little
boy into her arms, and seemed wholly absorbed in watch-
ing him. Again and again Dick begged her to take some
nourishment, urging upon her the necessity of keeping up
her strength.

“We shall not be long in finding a good current to carry
us to the coast,” said the lad brightly.

Mrs. Weldon raised her eyes to his animated features.
With so sanguine and resolute a leader, with such devoted
servants as the five negroes in attendance, she felt that she
ought not utterly to despair. Was she not, after all, on
friendly soil? what great harm could Harris perpetrate
against her or her belongings? She would hope still, hope
for the best.

Rejoiced as he was to see something of its former bright-
ness return to her countenance, Dick nevertheless had
scarcely courage steadily to return her searching gaze.
Vad she known the whole truth, he knew that her hear¢
must fail her utterly.
276 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER IV.
ROUGIL TRAVELLING.

JusT at this moment Jack woke up and put his arms
round his mother’s neck. His eyes were brighter, and
there was manifestly no return of fever.

“You are better, darling!” said Mrs. Weldon, pressing
him tenderly to her. ,

“Yes, mamma, I am better; but I am very thirsty.”

Some cold water was soon procured, which the child
drank eagerly, and then began to look about him. His
first inquiry was tor his old friends, Dick and Hercules,
both of whom approached at his summons and greeted him
affectionately.

“Where i. the horse ?” was the next pusstion.

“Gone away, Master Jack; I am your horse now,” said
Hercules.

“But you have no bridle for me to hold,” said Jack,
looking rather disappointed.

“You may put a bit in my faoutli if you like, master
Jack,” replied Hercules, extending his jaws, “and. then
vou may pull as hard.as you please.”

“©, I shall not pull very hard,” said Jack; “put
haven't we nearly come to Mr. Harris’s farm ?”

Mrs. Weldon assured the child that they should soon be
where they wanted to be, and Dick, finding that the con-
versation was approaching dangerous ground, proposed
that the journey should be now resumed. Mrs. Weldon
assented ; the encampment was forthwith broken up, and
the march continued as before.






































































It was a scene only too common in Central Africa.
Page 279.
ROUGH TRAVELLING. 279

In order not to lose sight of the watercourse, it was
necessary to cut a way right through the underwood: pro-
gress was consequently very slow ; and a little over a mile
was all that was accomplished in about three hours. Foot-
paths had evidently once existed, but they had all become
what the natives term “dead,” that is, they had become
entirely overgrown with brushwood and brambles. The
negroes worked away with a will ; Hercules, in particular,
who temporarily resigned his charge to Nan, wielded his
axe with marvellous effect, all the time giving vent to
stentorian groans and grunts, and succeeded in opening
the woods before him as if they were being consumed by a
devouring fire.

Fortunately this heavy labour was not of very long
duration.

After about a mile, an opening of moderate width, con-
verging towards the stream and following its bank, was
discovered in the underwood. It wasa passage formed by
elcphants, which apparently by hundreds must be in the
habit of traversing this part of the forest. The spongy
soil, soaked by the downpour of the rainy season, was
everywhere indented with the enormous impressions. of
their feet.

But it soon became evident that elephants were not the
only living creatures that had used this track. Human
bones gnawed by beasts of prey, whole human skeletons,
still wearing the iron fetters of slavery, everywhere strewed
the ground. It was a scene only too common in Central
Africa, where like cattle driven to the slaughter, poor
miserable men are dragged in caravans for hundreds of
weary miles, to perish on the road in countless numbers
beneath the trader’s lash, to succumb to the mingled
horrors of fatigue, privation, and disease, or, if provisions
fail, to be butchered, without pity or remorse, by sword and
gun.

That slave-caravans had passed that way was too obvious
to permit a doubt. For at least a mile, at almost every
step Dick came in contact with the scattered bones ; while
ever and again huge goat suckers, disturbed by the approach
280 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN. r

of the travellers, rose with flapping wings, and circled
round their heads.

The youth’s heart sank with secret dismay lest Mrs.
Weldon should divine the meaning of this ghastly scene,
and appeal to him for explanation. but fortunately she had
again insisted on carrying her little patient, and although
the child was fast asleep, he absorbed her whole attention.
Nan was by her side, almost equally engrossed. Old Tom
alone was fully alive to the significance of his surroundings,
and with downcast eyes he mournfully pursued his march.
Full of amazement, the other negroes looked right and left
upon what might appear to them as the upheaval of some
vast cemetery, but they uttered no word of inquiry orsurprise.

Meantime the bed of the stream had increased both in
breadth and depth, and the rivulet had in a degree lost its
character of a rushing torrent. This was a change which
Dick Sands observed hopefully, interpreting it as an in-
dication that it might itself become navigable, or would
empty itself into some more important tributary of the
Atlantic. His resolve was fixed: he would follow its
course at all hazards. As soon, therefore, as he found that
the elephant’s track was quitting the water’s edge, he made
up his mind to abandon it, and had no hesitation in again
resorting to the use of the axe. Once more, then, com-
menced the labour of cutting a way through the entangle-
ment of bushes and creepers that were thick upon the soil.
It was no longer forest through which they were wending
their arduous path; trees were comparatively rare ; only
tall clumps of bamboos rose above the grass, so high, how-
ever, that even Hercules could not see above them, and the
passage of the little troop could only have been discovered
by the rustling in the stalks.

In the course of the afternoon, the soil became soft and
marshy. It was evident that the travellers were crossing
plains that in a long rainy season must be inundated. The
ground was carpeted with luxuriant mosses and graceful
ferns, and the continual appearance of brown hematite
wherever there was a rise in the soil, betokened the exis-
tence of a rich vein of metal beneath.
ROUGH: TRAVELLING. : 281



Remembering what he had read in Dr. Livingstone’s
account of these treacherous swamps, Dick bade his com-
panions take their footing warily. He himself led the way.
Tom expressed his surprise that the ground should be so
soaked when there had been no rain for some time

“J think we shall have a storm soon,” said Bat.

“All the more reason, then,” replied Dick, “why we
should get away from these marshes as quickly as possible.
Carry Jack again, Hercules; and you, Bat and Austin,
keep close to Mrs. Weldon, so as to be able to assist her if
she wants your help. But take care, take care, Mr. Bene-
dict!” he cried out in sudden alarm; “what are you
doing, sir?”

“T'm slipping in,” was poor Benedict’s helpless reply.
He had trodden upon a kind of quagmire and, as though
a trap had been opened beneath his feet, was fast dis-
appearing into the slough. Assistance was immediately
rendered, and the unfortunate naturalist was dragged out,
covered with mud almost to his waist, but thoroughly
satisfied because his precious box of specimens had suffered
no injury. Acteon undertook for the future to keep close
to his side, and endeavour to avoid a repetition of the
mishap.

The accident could not be said to be altogether free from
unpleasant consequences. Air-bubbles in great numbers
had risen to the surface of the mire from which Benedict
had been extricated, and as they burst they disseminated
an odious stench that was well-nigh intolerable. The pas-
sage of these pestilential districts is not unfrequently very
dangerous, and Livingstone, who on several occasions
waded through them in mud that reached to his breas’,
compares them to great sponges composed of black porous
earth, in which every footstep causes streams of moisture to
ooze out.

For well nigh half a mile they had now to wend their
cautious way across this spongy soil. Mrs. Weldon, ankle-
deep in the soft mud, was at last compelled to come toa
stand-still; and Hercules, Bat, and Austin, all resolved

’

that she should be spared further discomfort, and insisted
282 DICIZ SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



upon weaving some bamboos into a litter, upon which,
after much reluctance to become such a burden, she was
induced, with Jack beside her, to take her place.

After the delay thus. caused, the procession again started
on its perilous route. Dick Sands continued to walk at the
head, in order to test the stability of the footing ; Actzon
followed, holding Cousin Benedict firmly by the arm ; Tom
took charge of old Nan, who without his support would
certainly have fallen-into the quagmire; and the three
other negroes carried the litter in the rear. It was a mat-
ter of the greatest difficulty to find a path that was
sufficiently firm; the method they adopted was to pick
their way as much as possible on the long rank grass that
on the margin of the swamps was tolerably tough ;_ but in
spite of the greatest precaution, there was not one of them
who escaped occasionally sinking up to his knees in
slush.

At about five o’clock they were relieved by finding them-
selves on ground of a more clayey character ; it was still
soft and porous below, but its surface was hard enough to
give a secure foothold. There were watery pores that per-
colated the subsoil, and these gave cvident witness to the
proximity of a river-district.

The heat would have been intolerably oppressive if it
had not been tempered by some heavy storm-clouds which
obstructed the direct influence of the sun’s rays. Light-
ning was observed to be playing faintly about the sky, and
there was now and again the low growl of distant thunder.
The indications of a gathering storm were too manifest to
be disregarded, and Dick could not help being very uneasy.
He had heard of the extreme violence of African storms,
and knew that torrents of rain, hurricanes that no tree
could resist, and thunderbolt after thunderbolt were the
usual accompaniment of these tempests. And here in this
lowland desert, which too surely would be completely inun-
dated, there would not be a tree to which they could resort
for shelter, while it would likewise be utterly vain to hope
to obtain a refuge by excavation, as watcr would be found
cnly two feet below the surface.








Another brilliant flash brought the camp once again into relief,
Page 286.
ROUGH TRAVELLING. 285



After scrutinizing the landscape, however, he noticed
some low elevations on the north that seemed to form the
boundary of the marshy plain. A few trees were scattered
along their summits ; if his party could get no other shelter
here, he hoped they weuld be able to find themselves free
from any danger caused by the rising flood.

“Push on, friends, push on!” he cried; “three miles
more, and we shall be out of this treacherous lowland.”

His words served to inspire a fresh confidence, and in spite
of all the previous fatigue, every energy was brought into
play with renewed vigour. Hercules, in particular, seemed
ready to carry the whole party, if it had been in his power.

The storm was not long in beginning. The rising ground
was still two miles away. Although the sun was above
the horizon, the darkness was almost complete ; the over-
hanging volumes of vapour sank lower and lower towards
the earth, but happily the full force of the deluge which
must ultimately come did not descend as yet. Lightning,
red and blue, flashed on every side and appeared to cover
the ground with a network of flame.

Ever and again the little knot of travellers were in peril
of being struck by the thunderbolts which, on that treeless
plain, had no other object of attraction. Poor little Jack,
who had been awakened by the perpetual crashes, buried
his face in terror in Hercules’ breast, anxious, however, not
to distress his mother by any outward exhibition of alarm.
The good-natured negro endeavoured to pacify him by
promises that the lightning should not touch him, and the
child, ever confident in the protection of his huge friend,
lost something of his nervousness.

But it could not be long before the clouds would burst
and discharge the threatened down- pour.

“What are we to do, Tom?” asked Dick, drawing up
close to the negro’s side.

“We must make a rush for it; push on with all the
speed we can.”

“But Whe cried ‘Dick.

“Straight on,” was the prompt reply ; “ if the rain catches

us here on the plain we shall all be drowned.”
285 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

“ But where are we to go?” repeated Dick, in despair ;
“if only there were a hut! But look, look there!”

A vivid flash of lightning had lit up the country, and
Dick declared that he could see a camp which could hardly
be more than a quarter of a mile ahead.

The negro looked doubtful.

“T saw it too,” he assented: “but if it be a camp at all
it would be a camp of natives; and to fall into that would
involve us in a worse fate than the rain.”

Another brilliant flash brought the camp once again
into relief ; it appeared to be made up of about a hundred
conical tents, arranged very symmetrically, each of them
being from twelve to fifteen fect in height. It had the
appearance, -from a distance, of being deserted ; if it were
really so, it would afford just the shelter that was needed ;
otherwise, at all hazards, it must be most carefully avoided.

“T will go in advance,” gaid Dick, after a moment's
reflection, “and reconnoitre it.”

“Let one of us, at least, go with you,” replied Tom.

“No, stay whe-e you are ; I shall be much less likely to
be discovered if I go alone.”

Without another word, he darted off, and was soon lost
in the sombre darkness that was only broken by the frequent
lightning.

Large drops of rain were now beginning to fall.

Tom and Dick had been walking some little distance in
advance of the rest of the party, who consequently had not
overheard their conversation. A halt being made, Mrs.
Weldon inquired what was the matter. Tom explained
that a camp or village had been noticed a little way in
front, and that the captain had gone forward to investigate
it. Mrs. Weldon asked no further questions, but quietly
waited the result. It was only a few minutes before Dick
returned.

“You may come on,” he cried.

“Ts the camp deserted?” asked Tom.

“Tt is not a camp at all; it is a lot of ant-hills!”

“ Ant-hills!” echoed Benedict, suddenly aroused into a
state of excitement.










































































































One after another, the whole party made their way inside.
i Page 289.
ROUGH TRAVELLING. 289

“No doubt of it, Mr. Benedict.” replied Dick; “ they are
ant-hills twelve feet high at least : and I hope we shall be
able to get into them.”

“Twelve feet!” the naturalist repeated ; “they must be
those of the termites, the white ants; there is no other
insect that could make them. Wonderful architects are
the termites.”

“Termites, or whatever they are, they will have to turn
out for us,” said Dick.

“But they will eat us up!” objected Benedict.

“T can't help that,” retorted Dick ; “go we must, and go
at once.”

“But stop a moment,” continued the provoking natu-
ralist ; “stop, and tell me: I can’t be wrong: I always
thought that white ants could never be found elsewhere
than in Africa.”

“Come along, sir, I say; come along, quick!” shouted
Dick, terrified lest Mrs. Weldon should have overheard
him.

They hurried on. A wind had risen; large spattering
drops were now beginning to fall more heavily on the ground
and in a few minutes it would be impossible to stand
against the advancing tempest. The nearest of the accumu-
lation of ant-hills was reached in time, and however
dangerous their occupants might be, it was decided either
to expel them, or to share their quarters. Each cone was
formed of a kind of reddish clay, and had a single opening
at its base. Hercules took his hatchet, and quickly
enlarged the aperture till it would admit his own huge
body. Not an ant made its appearance. Cousin Benedict
expressed his extreme surprise. But the structure unques-
tionably was empty, and one after another the whole party
made their way inside.

The rain by this time was descending in terrific torrents,
strong enough to extinguish, one would think, the most
violent explosions of the electric fluid. But the travellers
were secure in their shelter, and had nothing to fear for the
present ; their tenement was of greater stability than a tent
or a native hut. It was one of those marvellous structures
290 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



erected by little insects, whish to Cameron appeared even
more wonderful than the upraising of the Egyptian pyramids
by human hands. To use his own comparison, it might
be likened to the construction of a Mount Everest, the
loftiest of the Himalayan peaks, by the uni‘ed labour of a
nation.
WHITE ANTS. 291



CHAPTER V.
WHITE ANTS.

THE storm had now burst in full fury, and fortunate it was
that a refuge had been found. The rain did not fall in
separate drops as in temperate zones, but descended like
the waters of a cataract, in one solid and compact mass, in
a way that could only suggest the outpour of some vast
aerial basin containing the waters of an entire ocean.
Contrary, too, to the storms of higher latitudes, of which
the duration seems ordinarily to be in inverse ratio to their
violence, these African tempests, whatever their magnitude,
often last for whole days, furrowing the soil into deep
ravines, changing plains to lakes and brooks to torrents,
and causing rivers to overflow and cover vast districts
with their inundations, It is hard to understand whence
such volumes of vapour. and electric fluid can accumu-
late. The earth, upon these occasions, might almost seem
to be carried back to the remote period which has been
called “the diluvian age.”

Happily, the walls of the ant-hill were very thick ; no
beaver-hut formed of pounded earth could be more per-
fectly water-tight, and a torrent might have passed over it
without a particle of moisture making its way through its
substance,

As soon as the party had taken possession of the tene-
ment, a lantern was lighted, and they proceeded to examine
the interior. The cone, which was about twelve feet high
inside, was eleven feet wide at the base, gradually narrow-
ing to a sugar-loaf top. The walls and partitions between
292 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

the tiers of cells were nowhere less than a foot thick
throughout.

These wonderful erections, the result of the combined
labour of innumerable insects, are by no means uncommon
in the heart of Africa. Smeathman, a Dutch traveller of
the last century, has recorded how he and four companions
all at one time occupied the summit of one of them in
Loundé. Livingstone noticed some made of red clay, of
which the height varied from fifteen to twenty feet ; and
in Nyangwé, Cameron several times mistook one of these
colonies for a native camp pitched upon the plain. He
described some of these strange edifices as being flanked
with small spires, giving them the appearance of a cathedral-
dome.

The reddish clay of which the ant-hill was composed
could leave no doubt upon the mind of a naturalist that it
had been formed by the species known as “termes belli-
cosus ;” had it been made of grey or black alluvial soil,
it might have been attributed to the “termes mordax”
or “termes atrox,” formidable names that must awaken
anything but pleasure in the minds of all but enthusiast
entomologists.

In the centre was an open space, surrounded by roomy
compartments, ranged one upon another, like the berths of
a ship’s cabin, and lined with the millions of cells that had
been occupied by the ants. This central space was in-
adequate to hold the whole party that had now made their
hurried resort to it, but as each of the compartments was
sufficiently capacious to admit one person to occupy it in
a sitting posture, Mrs. Weldon, Jack, Nan, and Cousin
Benedict were exalted to the upper tier, Austin, Bat, and
Actzeon occupied the next story, whilst Tom and Her-
cules, and Dick Sands himself remained below.

Dick soon found that the soil bencath his feet was begin-
ning to get damp, and insisted upon having some of the
dry clay spread over it from the base of the cone.

“Tt is a long time,” he said, “ since we have slept with a
roof over our heads; and I am anxious to make our refuge
as secure as possible. It may be that we shall have tc


Cousin Benedict’s curiosity was awakened. Page 295,
WHITE ANTS. 295



stay here for a whole day or more ; on the first opportunity
I shall go and explore ; it may turn out that we are near
the stream we are seeking; and perhaps we shall have to
build a raft before we start again.”

Under his direction, therefore, Hercules took his hatchet,
and proceeded to break down the lowest range of cells and
to spread the dry, brittle clay of which they were composed
a good foot thick over the damp floor, taking care not in
any way to block up the aperture by which the fresh air
penetrated into the interior.

It was indeed fortunate that the termites had abandoned
their home ; had it swarmed with its multitudes of vora-
cious Neuroptera, the ant-hill would have been utterly un-
tenable for human beings. Cousin Benedict’s curiosity was
awakened, and he was intensely interested in the question
of the evacuation, so that he proceeded at once to investi-
gate, if he could, whether the emigration had been recent
or otherwise. He took the lantern, and as the result of his
scrutiny he soon discovered in a recess what he described
as the termites’ “storehouse,” or the place where the inde-
fatigable insects keep their provisions. It was.a large
cavity, not far from the royal cell, which, together with the
cells for the reception of the young larva, had been de-
stroyed by Hercules in the course of his flooring operations.
Out of this receptacle Benedict drew a considerable quan-
tity of gum and vegetable juices, all in a state so liquid as
to demonstrate that they had been deposited there quite
recently.

“ They have only just gone,” he exclaimed, with an air
of authority, as if he imagined that some one was about to
challenge his assertion.

“We are not going to dispute your word, Mr. Benedict,”
said Dick; “here we are; we have taken their place, and
shall be quite content for them to keep out of the way,
without caring when they went, or where they have gone.”

“But we must care,” retorted Benedict testily ; “why
they have gone concerns usa good deal ; these juices make
it evident, from the liquid state in which we find them,
that the ants were here this morning; they have not only
2096 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



gone, but they have carried off their young larve with
them ; they have been sagacious enough to take warning
of some impending danger.”

“Perhaps they heard that we were coming,” said Her-
cules, laughing.

A look of withering scorn was the only answer that the
entomologist deigned to give.

“Yes, I say,” repeated Hercules, “ perhaps they heard
that we were coming.”

“Pshaw!” said Benedict contemptuously; “do you
imagine they would be afraid of you? they would reduce
your carcase to a skeleton in no time, if they found it
across their path.”

“No doubt, if I were dead,” replied Hercules, “they
could pick my bones pretty clean ; but while I had the use
of my limbs I think I could crush them by thousands.”

“Thousands!” ejaculated Benedict, with increasing
warmth; “you think you could demolish thousands ; but
what if they were hundreds of thousands, millions, hun-
dreds of millions? Alive as much as dead, I tell you, they
wouldn’t be long in consuming every morsel of you.”

During this brisk little discussion Dick Sands had been
pondering over what Benedict had said. There was no
doubt that the amateur naturalist was well acquainted with
the habits of white ants, and if, as he affirmed, the insects
had instinctively quitted their abode on account of some
approaching danger, Dick asked himself whether it was
safe or prudent for his party to remain. But the fury of
the storm was still so great that all possibility of removing
from the shelter seemed precluded for the present, and,
without inquiring farther into the mystery, he merely
said,

“ Although the ants, Mr. Bencdict, have left us their pro-
visions, we must not forget that we have brought our own.
We will have our supper now, and to-morrow, when the
storm is over, we will see what is to be done.” ,

Fatigue had not taken away the appetite of the energetic
travellers, and they gladly set about the preparation of

‘their meal. The provisions, of which they had enough for


The naturalist now fairly mounted on a favourite hobby,
Page 299.
WHITE ANTS. 299





another two days, had not been injured by the rain. For
some minutes the crunching of hard biscuit was the only
sound to be heard; Hercules, in particular, seemed to
pound away with his huge jaws as with a pair of mill-
stones.

Mrs. Weldon was the only one of the party who ate
little ; and that little was only taken at Dick’s earnest
solicitation ; he could not help noticing, with much concern,
that although Jack seemed to be satisfactorily recovering,
and, without sign of fever, was sleeping calmly enough on
a bed made up of clothes spread out in one of the cells, yet
his mother had lost much of her courage, and seemed pre-
occupied and depressed.

Cousin Benedict did due honour to the simple evening
repast ; not on account of its quantity or quality, but be-
cause it gave him an opportunity of holding forth upon the
subject of termites. He was much vexed that he had been
unable to discover a single specimen ‘in the deserted ant-
hill with which he might illustrate his lecture, but notwith-
standing this deficiency he continued-to talk, heedless
whether any one was listening.

“They are wonderful insects,” he said ; “ they belong to
the order of the Neuroptera, which have the antenne
longer than the head ; their mandibles are well-developed,
and the inferior pair of wings is generally as large as the
superior. There are five families of them; the Panorpide,
the Myrmellonidx, the Hemerobiide, the Termitinz, and
the Perlida. I need hardly say that what we are now
occupying is a dwelling of the Termitine.”

At this point Dick became all attention ; he was anxious
to ascertain whether this discovery of white ants had aroused
any suspicion in Benedict's mind that they must be on
African soil. The naturalist, now fairly mounted on a
favourite hobby, went on with his discourse.

“I am sorry not to have a specimen to show you, but
these Termitina have four joints in the tarsi, and strong
horny mandibles. The family includes, as genera, the
Mantispa, the Raphidia, and the Termes, the last commonly
known as white ants, amongst which are ‘ Termes fatalis,
300 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Termes lucifugans, Termes mordax,’ and several others
more or less rare.”

“And which of them built this ant-hill?” inquired
Dick.

“The bellicosi!” replied Benedict, pronouncing the
name with as much pride as if he were eulogizing the
Macedonians or some warlike nation of antiquity. “ Bel-
licosi,” he continued, “are to be found of every size. There
is as much difference between the largest and the smallest
of them as there is between Hercules and a dwarf; the
workers are about one-fifth of an inch long ; the soldiers, or
fighting-ants, are half an inch ; whilst the males and females
measure four-fifths of an inch. There is another curious
species, called ‘sirafoos, which are about half an inch long,
and have pincers instead of mandibles, and heads larger
than their bodies, like sharks. In fact, if sharks and sirafoos
were placed in competition, I should be inclined to back the
sharks.”

“And where are these sirafoos most generally to be
found ?” said Dick cautiously.

“In Africa, in the southern and central provinces.
Africa may truly be termed the land of ants. Livingstone,
in the notes brought home by Stanley, describes a battle
which he was fortunate enough to witness between an army
of black ants and an army of red. The black ants, or
drivers, which are what the natives call sirafoos, got the
best of it; and the red ants, or ‘tchoongoos, after a very
resolute defence, were obliged to retire defeated, carrying
their eggs and young ones with them. Livingstone avows
that he never saw the warlike instinct so strongly developed
as in these sirafoos ; the stoutest man, the largest animal, a
lion or an elephant, quails before the grip of their mandibles :
no obstacle impedes their progress ; no tree is too lofty for
them to scale, and they contrive to cross wide streams by
forming their own bodies into a kind of suspension bridge.
Equally amazing are their numbers; Du Chaillu, another
African traveller, relates how it took more than twelve
hours for a column of ants to file pass him, without a
moment’s pause in their march. These numbers, however
WHITE ANTS, 301

cease to be so surprising when it is explained that their
fecundity is such that a single female of the termites
bellicosi has been estimated to produce as many as sixty
thousand eggs a day. These Neuroptera furnish the natives
with a favourite food, grilled ants being considered a great
delicacy.”

“ Have you ever tasted them?” asked Hercules, with a
grin.

“ Never,” answered the naturalist ; “ but I am in hopes I
shall have a chance of doing so very soon.”

“Surely you don’t imagine yourself in Africa!” said
Tom suddenly.

“ Africa! no; why should I?” replied Benedict; “but,
as I have already seen a tzetsy in America, I do not despair
of having the satisfaction of discovering white ants there
too. You do not know the sensation I shall make in
Europe when I publish my folio volume and its illustra-
tions.”

It was evident that. no inkling of the truth had yet entered
poor Benedict’s brain, and it seemed likely that it would
require demonstration far more striking than any natural
phenomena to undeceive the minds of such of the party as
were not already in possession of the fatal secret.

Although it was nine o’clock, Cousin Benedict went on
talking incessantly, regardless of the fact that one by one
his audience were falling to sleep in their separate cells.
Dick Sands did not sleep, but neither did he interrupt the
entomologist by farther questions ; Hercules kept up his
attention longer than the rest, but at length he too suc-
cumbed to weariness, and his eyes and ears were closed to
all external sights and sounds.

But endurance has limits, and at last Cousin Benedict,
having worn himself out, clambered up to the topmost cell
of the cone, which he had chosen for his dormitory, and
fell into a peaceful slumber.

The lantern had ~been already extinguished. All was
darkness and silence within, whilst the storm without still
raged with a violence that gave no sign of abatement.

Dick Sands himself was the only one of the party whe
302 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

was not partaking in the repose that was so indispensable
to them all; but he could not sleep ; his every thought
was absorbed in the responsibility that rested on him to
rescue those under his charge from the dangers that
threatened. them. Again and again he recalled every
incident that had occurred since the loss of Captain Hull
and his crew.; he remembered the occasion when he had
stood with his pistol pointed at Negoro’s head; why, oh
why, had his hand faltered then? why had he not at that
moment hurled the miserable wretch overboard, and thus
relieved himself and his partners in trouble from the
catastrophe that had since befallen them? . Peril was still
staring them in the face, and his sole drop of consolation in
the bitter cup of despondency was that Mrs. Weldon was
‘still ignorant of their real situation.

At that moment, just in the fever of his agony, he felt a
light breath upon his forehead ; a hand was laid upon his
shoulder, and a gentle voice murmured in his ear,—

_ “My poor boy, I know everything. God will help us!
His will be done !”
_SBARBANT:



‘* My poor boy, I know everything.” Page 302.
A DIVING-BELL. 305



CHAPTER VI.
A DIVING-BELL.

Tuts sudden revelation that Mrs. Weldon was acquainted
with the true state of things left Dick speechless. Even
had he been capable of replying, she gave him no oppor-
tunity, but immediately retired to the side of herson. The
various incidents of the march had all gradually enlightened
her, and perhaps the exclamation of Cousin Benedict on
the preceding evening had crowned them all; anyhow the
brave lady now knew the worst. Dick felt, however, that
she did not despair ; neither would he.

He lay and longed for the dawn, when he hoped to
explore the situation better, and perchance to find the
watercourse which he was convinced could not be far distant.
Moreover, he was extremely anxious to be out of the reach
of the natives whom, -it was only too likely, Negoro and
Harris might be putting on their track.

But as yet no glimmer of daylight penetrated the aperture
of the cone, whilst the heavy rumblings, deadened as they
were by the thickness of the walls, made it certain that the
storm was still raging with undiminished fury. Attentively
Dick listened, and he could distinctly hear the rain beating
around the base of the ant-hill; the heavy drops splashed
again as they fell, in a way altogether different to what they
would upon solid ground, so that he felt sure that the
adjacent land was by this time completely flooded. He
was getting very drowsy when it suddenly occurred to him
that it was not unlikely the aperture was getting blocked
up with damp clay ; in that case he knew that the breath
306 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



of the inmates would quickly vitiate the internal atmosphere.
He crept along the ground and had the satisfaction of find-
ing that the clay embankment was still perfectly dry; the
orifice was quite unobstructed, allowing not only a free
passage to the air, but admitting the glare of the occasional
flashes of lightning, which the descending volumes of water
did not seem to stay.

Having thus far satisfied himself that all was well, and
that there was no immediate danger, Dick thought that he
might now resign himself to sleep as well as the rest: he
took the precaution, however, of stretching himself upon
the embankment within easy reach of the opening, and with
his head supported against the wall, after a while dozed
off.

How long his light slumber had lasted he could not say,
when he was aroused by a sensation of cold. He started
up, and to his horror discovered that the water had entered
the ant-hill and was rising rapidly ; it could not be long, he
saw, before it reached the cells which were occupied by
Hercules and Tom. He woke them at once, and told them
what he had observed. The lantern was soon lighted,
and they set to work to ascertain what progress the
water was making. It rose for about five feet, when it was
found to remain stationary.

“What is the matter, Dick?” inquired Mrs. Weldon,
disturbed by the movements of the men.

“Nothing very alarming,’ answered Dick promptly ;
“only some water has found its way into the lower part of
the place ; it will not reach your upper cells ; probably some
river has overflowed its boundaries.”

“The very river, perhaps,” suggested Hercules assuringly,
“that is to carry us to the coast.” ©

Mrs. Weldon made no reply.

Cousin Benedict was still sleeping as soundly as if he
were himself a white ant ; the negroes were peering down
on to the sheet of water which reflected back the rays of the
lantern, ready to carry out any orders given by Dick, who
was quietly gauging the inundation, and removing the pro-
visions and fire-arms out of its reach. °




They set to work to ascertain what progress the water was making.
: Page 306.
A DIVING-BELL. 309



“ Did the water get in at the opening, Mr. Dick ?” asked
Tom.

“Yes, Tom, and consequently we are coming to the end
of our stock of fresh air,’ was Dick’s reply.

“But why should we not make another opening above the
water level ?” Tom inquired.

“A thing to be thought about,” said Dick; “but we
have to remember that if we have five feet of water here
inside, there is probably a depth of six or seven outside.
In rising here the flood has compressed the air, and made
it an obstacle to further progress, but if we allow the air to
escape, we may perhaps only be letting the water rise too
high for our safety. We are just as if we were in a diving-
bell.”

“Then what is to be done ?” asked the old negro.

“No doubt,” replied Dick, “we must proceed very
cautiously. An inconsiderate step will jeopardize our
lives.” Dick Sands was quite correct in comparing the
cone to an immersed diving-bell. In that mechanical con-
trivance, however, the air can always be renewed by means
of pumps, so that it can be occupied without inconvenience
beyond what is entailed by a somewhat confined atmos-
phere ; but here the interior space had already been reduced
by a third part through the encroachment of the water, and
there was no method of communicating with the outer air
except by opening a new aperture, an operation in which
there was manifest danger.

Dick did not entertain the slightest apprehension that the
ant-hill would be carried away bodily by the inundation ;
he knew that it would adhere to its base as firmly as a
beaver-hut ; what he really dreaded was that the storm
would last so long that the flood would rise high above the
plain, perhaps submerging the ant-hill entirely, so that
ultimately all air would be expelled by the persistent
pressure.

The more he pondered the more he felt himself driven
to the conviction that the inundation would be wide and
deep. It could notbe, he felt sure, entirely owing to the down-
pour from the clouds that the rapid flood was rising ; there
310 DICK SANDS, TITE BOY CAPTAIN.

must have been the sudden overflowing of some stream to
cause such a deluge over the low-lying plain. It could not
be proved that the ant-hill was not already under water, so
that escape might be no longer possible, even from its
highest point.

With all Dick’s courage, it was yet evident that he was
very uneasy; he did not know what to do, and asked
himself again and again whether patient waiting or
decisive action would be his more prudent course.

It was now about three o'clock in the morning. All
within the ant-hill were silent and motionless, listening to
the incessant turmoil which told that the strife of the
elements had not yet ceased.

Presently, old Tom pointed out that the height of the
water was gradually increasing, but only by very slow
ascent. Dick could only say that if the flood continued
to rise, however slowly, it must inevitably drive out the air.

As if struck by a sudden thought, Bat called out,—

“Let me try and get outside. Perhaps I might dive and
get through the opening.”

“T think I had better make that experiment myself,”
answered Dick.

“That you never shall,” interposed Tom peremptorily ;
“you must let Bat go. It may not be possible to get back,
and your presence is indispensable here. Think, sir, think
of Mrs. Weldon, and Master Jack,” he added in a lower
tone.

“Well, well,” Dick assented, “if it must be so, Bat shall
go.”

And turning to Bat, he continued,

“Do not try to come back again ; we will try, if we can,
to follow you the same way ; but if the top of the cone is
still above water, knock hard on it with your hatchet, and
we shall take it as a signal that we may break our way out.
Do you understand ?”

“ All right!” he said, “all right, sir.”

And after wringing his father’s hand, he drew a long
breath, and plunged into the water that filled the lower
section of the ant-hill.
A DIVING-BELTI.. : 311



It was an exploit that required considerable agility ; the
diver would have to find the orifice, make his way through
it, and, without loss of a moment, let himself rise to the
surface outside. Full half a minute elapsed, and Dick
was making sure that the negro had been successful in his
effort, when his black head emerged from the water. There
was a general exclamation of surprise.

“Tt is blocked up,” gasped Bat, as soon as he had re-
covered breath enough to speak.

“Blocked up?” cried Tom.

“Ves,” Bat affirmed; “I have felt all round the wall
very carefully with my hand, and I am sure there is no
hole left ; I suppose the water has dissolved the clay.”

“If you cannot find a hole,” exclaimed Hercules, “I can
very soon make one ;” and he was just about to plunge his
hatchet into the side of the ant-hill, when Dick prevented
him.

“Stop, stop! you must not be in such a hurry!”

He reflected for a few moments, and went on,—

“We must be cautious; an impetuous step maybe
destruction ; perhaps the water is over the top; if it is
allowed to enter, then at once is an end of all.” ,

“But whatever we do,” urged Tom, “must be done at
once; there is no time to lose.”

He was right ; the water had risen till it was quite six
feet deep; none but Mrs. Weldon, Jack, Nan, and Cousin
Benedict, who were lodged in the upper cells, were fairly
above its surface.

Dick now came to his determination. At about a foot
above the water-level, that is, about seven feet from the
ground, he resolved to bore a hole through the clay. Ifhe
should find himself in communication with the open air, he
would have the proof he desired that the top of the cone
was still uncovered ; if, on the other hand, he should ascer-
tain that he had pierced the wall below the surface of the
external water, he would be prepared to plug up the hole
instantaneously, and repeat the experiment higher up. It
was true that the inundation might have risen even fifteen
feet above the plain; in that case the worst had come, and
312 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

there was no alternative but that they must all die of
asphyxia.

Carefully considering the chances of his undertaking,
Dick calmly and steadily set about his task. The best
instrument that suggested itself for his purpose was the ram-
rod of a. gun, which, having a sort of corkscrew at the end for
extracting the wadding, would serve as an auger. The
hole would be very small, but yet large enough for the
requisite test. Hercules showed him all the light he could
by holding up the lantern. There were several candles left,
so that they were not in fear of being altogether in darkness.

The operation hardly took a minute; the ramrod
passed through the clay without difficulty ; a muffled sound
was distinguished as of air-bubbles rushing through a
column of water. As the air escaped, the water in the
cone rose perceptibly. The hole had been pierced too low.
A handful of clay was immediately forced into the orifice,
which was thus effectually plugged; and Dick turned
round quietly, and said,—

“We must try again.”

‘The water had again become stationary, but its last rise
had diminished the amount of breathing space by more
than eight inches. The supply of oxygen was beginning to
fail, respiration was becoming difficult, and the flame of the
candle burned red and dim.

About a foot higher than the first hole, Dick now set about
boring a second. The experiment might again prove a
failure, and the water rise yet higher in the cone; but the
risk must be run.

Just as the auger was being inserted, a loud exclamation
of delight was heard proceeding from Cousin Benedict's
cell. Dick paused, and Hercules turned the lantern
towards the excited naturalist, who seemed beaming with
satisfaction.

“Yes, yes; I see it all well enough,” he cried ; “I know
now why the termites left their home ; they were wide-
awake ; they were more clever than we are; they knew
that the storm was coming!”

Finding that this was all the worthy entomologist had














































































All fired simultaneously at the nearest boat, Page 316,
A DIVING-RELL. 316



to communicate, Dick, without comment, turned back again
to his operation. Again the gurgling noise! again the
water’s upward rush! For the second time he had failed
to effect an aperture to the outer air !

The situation was to the last degree alarming. The
water had all but reached Mrs. Weldon, and she was obliged
to take her boy into her arms. Every one felt nearly stifled.
A loud singing was heard in the ears, and the lantern
showed barely any light at all. A few minutes more and
the air would be incapable of supporting life. One chance
alone remained. They must bore another hole at the very
summit of the cone. Not that they were unaware of the
imminent danger of this measure, for if the ant-hill were
really submerged the water from below would immediately
expel the remaining air and death must be instantaneous.
A few brief words from Dick explained the emergency of
the crisis. Mrs. Weldon recognized the necessity,—

“Yes, Dick, do it; there is nothing else to be done.”

While she was speaking the light flickered out, and
they were in total darkness.

Mounted on the shoulders of Hercules, who was crouch-
ing in one of the side-cells, his head only just above water,
Dick proceeded to force the ramrod into the clay, which at
the vertex of the ant-hill was considerably harder and
thicker than elsewhere.

A strange mingling of hope and fear thrilled through
Dick Sands as he applied his hand to make the opening
which was to admit life and air, or the flood of death!

The silence of the general expectation was broken by the
noise of a sharp hissing ; the water rose for eight inches,
but all at once it ceased to rise ; it had found its level.. No
need this time to close the orifice ; the top of the ant-hill
was higher than the top of the flood ; and for the present,
at least, they could all rejoice that their lives were spared !

A general cheer, led by the stentorian voice of Hercules,
involuntarily broke from the party ; cutlasses were brought
into action, and the clay crumbled away beneath the vigor-
ous assault that was made upon it. The welcome air was
admitted through the new-made aperture, bringing with it
‘316 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



the first rays of the rising sun. The summit of the ant-hill
once removed, it would be quite easy to clamber to the tcp,
whence it was hoped they would soon get away to some
high ground out of reach of the flood.

Dick was the first to mouat the summit ; but a cry of
dismay burst from his lips!

A sound only too well known to travellers in Africa
broke upon his ear; that sound was the whizzing of
arrows.

Hardly a hundred yards away was a large encampment ;
whilst, in the water, quite close to the ant-hill where he
stood, he saw some long boats full of natives. From one
of these had come the volley of arrows which had greeted
his appearance above the opening of the cone.

To tell his people what had happened was the work of a
moment. He seized his gun, and made Hercules, Bat, and
Actezon take theirs, and all fired simultaneously at the
nearest boat. Several of the natives were seen to fall; but
shouts of defiance were raised, and shots were fired in
return. ‘

Resistance was manifestly useless. What could they do
against a hundred natives? they were assailed on every
hand. In accordance with what seemed a preconcerted
plan, they were carried off from the ant-hill with brutal
violence, in two parties, without the chance of a farewell
word or sign.

Dick Sands saw that Mrs. Weldon, Jack, and Cousin
Benedict were placed on board one boat, and were conveyed
towards the camp, whilst he himself, with the five negroes
and old Nan, was forced into another, and taken in a different
direction. Twenty natives formed a body-guard around
them, and five boats followed in their rear.

Useless though it were, Dick and the negroes made one
desperate attempt to maintain their freedom ; they wounded
several of their antagonists, and would doubtless have paid
their lives as a penalty for their daring, if there had not
been special orders given that they should be taken alive.

The passage of the flood was soon accomplished. The
boat had barely touched the shore, when Hercules with a










The giant clave their skulls with the butt end of his gun,
Page 319.
A DIVING-BELL. 319

tremendous bound sprang on to the land. Instantly two
natives rushed upon him. The giant clave their skulls
with the butt end of his gun, and made off. Followed
though he was by a storm of bullets, he escaped in safety,
and disappeared beneath the cover of the woods.

Dick Sands and the others were guarded to the shore,
and fettered like slaves.
320 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER VII.

A SLAVE CARAVAN, 7

THE storm of the previous night, by swelling the tributaries
of the Coanza, had caused the main river to overflow its
banks. The inundation had entirely changed the aspect of
the country, transforming the plain. into a lake, where the
peaks of a number of ant-hills were the sole objects that
emerged above the watery expanse.

The Coanza, which is one of the principal rivers of Angola,
falls into the Atlantic about a hundred miles from the spot
at which the “ Pilgrim” was stranded. The stream, which
a few years later was crossed by Cameron on his way to
Benguela, seems destined to become the chief highway
of traffic between Angola and the interior; steamers
already ply upon its lower waters, and probably ten years
will not elapse before they perform regular service along its
entire course.

Dick Sands had been quite right in searching northwards
for the navigable stream he had been so anxious to find ;
the rivulet he had been following fell into the Coanza
scarce a mile away, and had it not been for this unexpected
attack he and his friends might reasonably have hoped to
descend the river upon a raft, until they reached one of the
Portuguese forts where steam vessels put in. But their fate
was ordered otherwise.

The camp which Dick had descried from the ant-hill
was pitched upon an eminence crowned by an enormous
sycamore-fig, one of those giant trees occasionally found in
Central Africa, of which the spreading foliage will shelter
A SLAVE CARAVAN. 321



some five hundred men. Some of the non-fruit-bearing
kind of banyan-trees formed the background of the land-
scape.

Beneath the shelter of the sycamore, the caravan which
had been referred to in the conversation between Negoro
and Harris had just made a halt. Torn from their villages
by the agents of the siave-dealer Alvez, the large troop of
natives was on its way to the market of Kazonndé, thence
to be sent as occasion required either to the west coast, or
to Nyangwé, in the great lake district, to be dispersed into
Upper Egypt or Zanzibar.

Immediately on reaching the camp, the four negroes and
old Nan were placed under precisely the same treatment as
the rest of the captives. In spite of a desperate resistance,
they were deprived of their weapons, and fastened two and
two, one behind another, by means of a pole about six feet
long, forked at each end, and attached to their necks by an
iron bolt. Their arms were left free, that they might carry
any burdens, and in order to prevent an attempt to escape
a heavy chain was passed round their waists. It was thus
in single file, unable to turn either right or left, they would
have to march hundreds of miles, goaded along their toil-
some road by the havildar’s whip. The lot of Hercules
seemed preferable, exposed though undoubtedly he would
be in his flight to hunger, and to the attacks of wild beasts,
and to all the perils of that dreary country. But solitude,
with its worst privations, was a thing to be envied in com-
parison to being in the hands of those pitiless drivers, who
did not speak a word of the language of their victims, but
communicated with them only by threatening gestures or
by actual violence.

As a white man, Dick was not attached to any other
captive. The drivers were probably afraid to subject him
to the same treatment as the negroes, and he was left
unfettered, but placed under the strict surveillance of a
havildar. At first he felt considerable surprise at not
seeing Harris or Negoro in the camp, as he could not enter-
tain a doubt that it was at their instigation the attack had
been made upon their retreat ; but when he came to reflect
322 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



that Mrs. Weldon, Jack, and Cousin Benedict had not been
allowed to come with them, but had been carried offin some
other direction, he began to think it probable that the two
rascals had some scheme to carry out with regard to them
elsewhere.

The caravan consisted of nearly eight hundred, including
about five hundred slaves of both sexes, two hundred
soldiers and freebooters, and a considerable number of
havildars and drivers, over whom the agents acted as
superior officers.

These agents are usually of Portuguese or Arab extrac-
tion; and the cruelties they inflict upon the miserable
captives are almost beyond conception; they beat them
tontinually, and if any unfortunate slave sinks from exhaus-
tion, or in any way becomes unfit for the market, he is
forthwith either stabbed or shot. As the result of this
brutality it rarely happens that fifty per cent. of the slaves
reach their destination ; some few may contrive to escape,
and many are left as skeletons along the line of route.

Such of the agents as are Portuguese are (as it may well
be imagined) of the very lowest dregs of society, outlaws,
escaped criminals, and men of the most desperate character ;
of this stamp were the associates of Negoro and Harris, now
in the employ of José Antonio Alvez, one of the most
notorious of all the slave-dealers of Central Africa, and of
whom Commander Cameron has given some curious in-
formation.

Most frequently the soldiers who escort the captives are
natives hired by the dealers, but they do not possess the
entire monopoly of the forays made for the purpose of se-
curing slaves; the native negro kings make war upon each
other with this express design, and sell their vanquished
antagonists, men, women, and children, to the traders for
calico, guns, gunpowder and red beads; or in times of famine,
according to Livingstone, even for a few grains of maize.

The escort of old Alvez’ caravan was an average specimen
of these African soldiers. It was simply a horde of half-
naked bkanditti, carrying old flint-locked muskets, the barrels
of which were decorated with copper rings. The agents
A SLAVE CARAVAN. 323



are very often put to their wits’ end to know how to manage
them ; their orders are called in question, halts are continu-
ally demanded, and in order to avert desertion they are
frequently obliged to yield to the obstreperous will of their
undisciplined force.

Although the slaves, both male and female, are compelled
to carry burdens whilst on their march, a certain number
of porters, called pagazis, is specially engaged to carry
the more valuable merchandize, and principally the ivory.
Tusks occasionally weigh as much as 160 lbs., and require
two men to carry them to the depdts, whence they are sent
to the markets of Khartoom, Natal, and Zanzibar. On
their arrival the gagazis are. paid by the dealers according
to contract, which is generally either by about twenty yards
of the cotton stuff known as merikani, or by a little
powder, by a handful or two of cowries, by some beads, or
if all these be scarce, they are paid by being allotted some
of the slaves who are otherwise unsalable.

Among the five hundred slaves in the caravan, very few
were at all advanced in years. The explanation of this
circumstance was that whenever a raid is made, and a vil-
lage is set on fire, every inhabitant above the age of forty is
mercilessly massacred or hung upon the neighbouring trees ;
only the children and young adults of both sexes are reserved
for the market, and as these constitute only a small propor-
tion of the vanquished, some idea may be formed of the
frightful depopulation which these vast districts of Equi-
noctial Africa are undergoing.

Nothing could be more pitiable than the condition of this
miserable herd. All alike were destitute of clothing, having
nothing on them but a few strips of the stuff known ‘as
mbuza, made from the bark of trees; many of the women
were covered with bleeding wounds from the drivers’ lashes,
and had their feet lacerated by the constant friction of the
road, but in addition to other burdens were compelled to
carry their own emaciated children ; young men, too, there
were who had lost their voices from exhaustion, and who, to
use Livingstone’s expression, had been reduced to “ ebony
skeletons” by toiling under the yoke of the fork, which is
324. DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



far more galling than the galley-chain. It was a sight that
might have moved the most stony-hearted, but yet there
was no symptom of compassion on the part of those Arab
and Portuguese drivers whom Cameron pronounces “ worse
than brutes.”

The guard over the prisoners was so strict that Dick
Sands felt it would be utterly useless for him to make any
attempt to seek for Mrs. Weldon. She and her son had
doubtless been carried off by Negoro, and his heart sank
when he thought of the dangers to which too probably she
would be exposed. Again and again he repeated his re-
proaches on himself that he had ever allowed either Negoro
or Harris to escape his hands. Neither Mrs. Weldon nor
Jack could expect the least assistance from Cousin Benedict ;
the good man was barely able to consult for himself. All
three of them would, he conjectured, be conveyed to some
remote district of Angola ; the poor mother, like some miser-
able slave, would insist upon carrying her own sick son until
her strength failed her, and, exhausted by her endurances,
she sank down helpless ‘on the way.

A prisoner, and powerless to help! the very thought was
itselfa torture to poor Dick. Even Dingo was gone! It
would have been a satisfaction to have had the dog to send
off upon the track of the lost ones. One only hope remained.
Hercules still was free. All that human strength could
attempt in Mrs. Weldon’s behalf, Hercu!es would not fail to
try. Perhaps, too, under cover of the night, it was not al-
together improbable that the stalwart negro would mingle
with the crowd of negroés (amongst whom his dark skin

1 Cameron says, ‘In order to obtain the fifty women of whom Alvez is
the owner, ten villages, containing altogether a population of not less than
1500, were totally destroyed. A few of the inhabitants contrived to escape,
but the majority either perished in the flames, were slain in defending their
families, or were killed by hunger or wild beasts in the jungle... .. The
crimes which are perpetrated in Africa, by men who call themselves Christians,
seem incredible to the inhabitants of civilized countries. It is impossible that
the government at Lisbon can be aware of the atrocities committed by those
who boast of being subject to her flag.”— Zour du Monde.

N.B.—Against these assertions of Cameron, loud protestations have been
made in Portugal.
A SLAVE CARAVAN, 325



would enable him to pass unnoticed), and make his way to
Dick himself; then might not the two together elude the
vigilance of the watch? might they not follow after and
overtake Mrs. Weldon in the forest? would they not per-
chance be able either by stealth or by force to liberate her,
and once free they would effect an escape to the river, and
finally accomplish the undertaking in which they had been
so lamentably frustrated. Such were the sanguine visions
in which Dick permitted himself to indulge; his tempera-
ment overcame all tendency to despair, and kept him alive
to the faintest chance of deliverance.

The next thing of importance was to ascertain the
destination of the caravan. It was a matter of the most
serious moment whether the convoy of slaves were going
to be carried to one of the depéts of Angola, or whether
they were to be sent hundreds of miles into the interior
to Nyangwe, in the heart of the great lake district
that Livingstone was then exploring. To reach the latter
spot would occupy some months, and to return thence
to the coast, even if they should be fortunate enough to
regain their liberty, would be a work of insuperable difficulty.

He was not long left in suspense. Although he could
not understand the half-African, half-Arab dialect that was
used by the leaders of the caravan, he noticed that the word
Kazonndé occurred very frequently, and knowing it as the
name of an important market in the province, he naturally
concluded that it was there the slaves were to be disposed
of ; whether for the advantage of the king of the district, or
of one of the rich traders, he had no means of telling. Unless
his geographical knowledge was at fault, he was aware that
Kazonndé must be about 400 miles from S. Paul de Loan-
da, and consequently that it could hardly be more than 250
miles from the part of the Coanza where they were now
encamped. Under favourable circumstances it was a journey
that could not be accomplished in less than twelve or four-
teen days, but allowing for the retarded progress of a caravan
already exhausted by a lengthened march, Dick was e¢on-
vinced that they could not reach the place for at least three
weeks,
326 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



He was most anxious to communicate to his companions
in adversity his impression that they were not to be carried
into the heart of the country, and began to cogitate whether
some plan could not be devised for exchanging afew words
with them.

Forked together, as it has been said, two and two, the
four negroes were at the right-hand extremity of the camp ;
Bat attached to his father, Austin to Acteon. A havildar,
with twelve soldiers, formed their guard. Dick, at first, was
about fifty yards away from the group, but being left free to
move about, contrived. gradually to diminish the distance
between himself and them. Tom seemed to apprehend his
intention, and whispered a word to his companions that they
should be on the look-out. Without moving they were all
on their guard in a moment. Dick, careful to conceal his
design, strolled backward with a feigned indifference, and
succeeded in getting so near that he might have called out
and informed Tom that they were going to Kazonndé. But
he was: desirous of accomplishing more than this; he
wanted to get an opportunity of having some conversation
as to their future plans, and he ventured to approach still
nearer.. His heart beat high as he believed he was on the
point of attaining his object, when all at once the havildar,
becoming aware of his design, rushed upon him like a mad-
man, summoned some soldiers, and with considerable vio-
lence sent him back to the front. Tom and the others were
quickly removed to another part of the encampment.

Exasperated by the rough attack that-was made upon
him, Dick had seized the havildar’s gun and broken it,
almost wrenching it from his hands, when several soldiers
simultaneously assailed him, and would have struck him
down and -killed him upon the spot, had not one of the chiefs,
an Arab of huge stature and ferocious countenance, inter-
fered to stop them.

This Arab was the Ibn Hamish of whom Harris had
spoken to Negoro. He said a few words which Dick could
not understand, and the soldiers, with manifest reluctance,
relaxed their hold and retired. It was evident that although
Dick was not to be permitted to hold any communication












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The start was made. Page 329.
A SLAVE CARAVAN. 329



with the rest of his party, orders had been given that his
life was to be protected.

It was now nine o’clock, and the beating of drums and
the blowing of coodoo? horns gave the signal that the
morning march was to be continued. Instantly chiefs, sol-
diers, porters, and slaves were upon their feet, and arranged
themselves in their various groups with a havildar bearing a
bright-coloured banner at their head.

The order was given; the start was made. A strange
song was heard rising inthe air. It was a song, not of the
victors, but of the vanquished. The slaves were chanting
an imprecation on their oppressors ; and the burden of the
chorus was that captured, tortured, slain—after death they
would return and avenge their wrongs upon their murderers |

3 Coodoo, a ruminant common in Africa.
330 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



CHAPTER VIIL
NOTES BY THE WAY.

THE storm of the preceding evening had now passed away,
but the sky was still cloudy and the weather far from
settled. It was the 19th of April, the time of the maszka,
or second period. of the rainy season, so that for the next
two or three weeks the nights might be expected to be
wet.

On leaving the banks of the Coanza the caravan pro-
ceeded due east. Soldiers marched at the head and in the
rear, as well as upon the flanks of the troop; any escape of
the prisoners, therefore, even if they had not been loaded
with their fetters, would have been utterly impossible.
They were all driven along without any attempt at order,
the havildars using their whips unsparingly upon them
whenever they showed signs of flagging. Some poor
mothers could be seen carrying two infants, one on each
arm, whilst others led by the hand naked children, whose
feet were sorely cut by the rough ground over which they
had trod.

Ibn Hamish, the Arab who had interfered between Dick
and the havildar, acted as commander to the caravan, and
was here, there, and everywhere; not moved in the least hy
the sufferings of the captives, but obliged to be attentive
to the importunities of the soldiers and porters, who were
perpetually clamouring for extra rations, or demanding an
immediate halt. Loud were the discussions that arose,
and the uproar became positively deafening when the
quarrelsome voices rose above the shrieks of the slaves,




































































































SSSSa55 >

Tf ever the havildar strolled a few yards away, Bat took the opportunity
of murmuring a few words of encouragement to his poor old father.

Page 333
NOTES BY THE WAY. 333



many of whom found themselves treading upon soil already
stained by the blood of the ranks in front.

No chance again opened for Dick to get any communi-
cation with his friends, who had been sent to the van of the
procession. Urged on by the whip they continued to march
in single file, their heads in the heavy forks. If ever the
havildar strolled a few yards away, Bat took the opportunity
of murmuring a few words of encouragement to his poor
old father, while he tried to pick out the easiest path for
him, and to relax the pace to suit his enfeebled limbs.
Large tears rolled down old Tom’s cheeks -when he found
that his son’s efforts only resulted in bringing down upon
his back some sharp cuts of the havildar’s whip. Actzon
and Austin, subject to hardly less brutality, followed a few
steps behind, but all four could not help feeling envious at
the luck of Hercules, who might have dangers to encounter,
but at least had his liberty.

Immediately upon their capture, Tom had revealed to
his companions the fact that they were in Africa, and
informing them how they had been betrayed by Harris,
made them understand that they had no mercy to expect.

Old Nan had been placed amongst a group of women
in the central ranks. She was chained to a young mother
with two children, the one at the ‘breast, the other only
three years old, and scarcely able to walk. Moved by
compassion, Nan took the little one into her own arms, thus
not only saving it from fatigue, but from the blows it would
very likely have received for lagging behind. The mother
shed tears of gratitude, but the weight was almost too
much for Nan’s strength, and she felt as if she must break
down under her self-imposed burden. She thought, fondly
of little Jack, and imagining him borne along in the arms
of his weary mother, could not help asking herself whether
she should ever see him or her kind mistress again.

Far in the rear, Dick could not see. the head of the
caravan except occasionally, when the ground was rather
on the rise. The yoices of the agents and drivers, harsh
and excited as they were, scarcely roused him from his
melancholy reflections. His thoughts were not of himself
334 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



nor of his own sufferings ; his whole attention was absorbed
in looking for some traces of Mrs. Weldon’s progress; if
she, too, was being taken to Kazonndé, her route must also
lie this way. But he could discover no trace of her having
been conducted by this line of march, and could only hope
that she was being. spared the cruelties which he was him-
self witnessing.

The forest extended for about twenty miles to the east
of the Coanza, but whether it was that the trees had been
destroyed by the ravages of insects, or broken down before
they had made their growth by being trampled on by
elephants, they were growing much less thickly than in the
immediate. vicinity of the river. There were numbers of
cotton-trees, seven or eight feet high, from which are manu-
factured the black-and-white striped stuffs that are worn
in the interior of the province; but, upon the whole, progress
was not much impeded either. by shrubs or underwood.
Occasionally the caravan plunged into jungles of reeds
like bamboos, their stalks an inch in diameter, so tall that
only an elephant or giraffe could have reared above them,
and through which none excepting such as had a very.
intimate knowledge of the country could possibly have made
their way.

- Starting every morning at daybreak they marched till
noon, when an hour’s halt was made. Packets of manioc
were then unfastened, and doled out in sparing quantities
among the slaves; sometimes, when the soldiers had
plundered some village, a little goat’s flesh or some sweet
potatoes were added to the meal; but generally the fatigue,
aggravated by inadequate rest, took away the appetite, and
when meal-time arrived many of the slaves could hardly eat
at all. During the first eight days’ march from the Coanza
no less than twenty unfortunate wretches had fallen upon
the road, and had been left behind, a prey to the lions,
panthers, and leopards that prowled in the wake. As Dick
heard their roars in the stillness of the night, he trembled
as he thought of Hercules. Nevertheless, had the oppor-
tunity offered itself, he would not for a moment have
hesitated in making his own escape to the wilderness.






The caravan had been attacked on the flank by a dozen or more
: crocodiles, Page 338.
NOTES BY THE WAY. 327



The two hundred and fifty miles between the river and
Kazonndé were accomplished in what the traders call
marches of ten miles each, including the halts at night
and midday. The journey cannot be better described
than by a few rough notes that Dick Sands made upon his
way. ,

April 25th—Saw a village surrounded with bamboo
palisading, éight or nine feet high. Fields round planted
with maize, beans, and sorghum. Two negroes captured,
fifteen killed, rest took to flight.

26¢h.—Crossed a torrent 150 yards wide. Bridge formed
of trunks of trees and creepers. Piles nearly gave way ;
two women fastened to a fork; one of them, carrying a
baby, fell into the water. Water quickly tinged with blood;
crocodiles seen under bridge ; risk of stepping into their
very jaws.

287%.-—Crossed a forest of bauhinias; great trees, the
iron-wood of the Portuguese. Heavy rain ; ground sodden;
marching difficult. Caught sight of Nan in the middle of
caravan; she was toiling along with a black child in her
arms ; the woman with her limping, and blood trickling
from her shoulder.

29th.—Camp at night under a huge baobab, with white
flowers and light green leaves. Lions and leopards roaring
all night. A soldier fired at a panther. What has become
of Hercules ?

30/2.—Rainy season said to. be over till November.
First touch of African winter. Dew very heavy. Plains
all flooded. Easterly winds: difficulty of respiration ;
susceptibility to fever. No trace of Mrs. Weldon ; cannot
tell whether she is ahead. Fear Jack may have a return
of fever.

May 5th.—Forced to march several stages across flooded
plains, water up to the waist; many leeches sticking to
the skin. Lotus and papyrus upon higher ground. Great
heavy leaves, like cabbages, beneath the water, make many
stumble as they walk. Saw large numbers of little fish,
silurus-species; these are caught by the natives, and sold
to the caravans,
338 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



7th.—Plain still inundated. Last night, no halting-place
to be found. Marched on through the darkness. Great
misery. Except for Mrs. Weldon, life not worth having ;
for her sake must hold out. Loud cries heard. Saw, by
the lightning, soldiers breaking large boughs from the
resinous trees that emerged from the water. The caravan
had been attacked on the flank by a dozen or more
crocodiles; women and children seized and carried off to
what Livingstone calls their “pasture-lands,” the holes
where they deposit their. prey until it is decomposed.
Myself grazed by the scales of one of them. A slave close
beside me torn out of the fork, which was snapped in half.
How the poor fellow’s cry of agony rings in my ear! This
morning, twenty missing. Tom and the others, thank
God! are still alive. They are on in front. Once Bat
made a sharp turn, and Tom caught sight of me. . Nothing
to be seen of Nan; was she, poor creature, one of those
that the crocodiles had got?

8¢h.—After twenty-four hours in the water we have
crossed the plain. We have halted on a hill. The sun
helps to.dry us. . Nothing to eat except a little manioc and
a few handfuls of maize. Only muddy water to drink.
Impossible for Mrs. Weldon to survive these hardships ; I
hope from my heart that she has been taken some other
way. Small-pox has broken out in the caravan; those
that have it are to be left behind.
- oth.—Started at dawn. No stragglers allowed; sick
and weary must be kept together by havildars’ whip ; the
losses were considerable. -Living skeletons .all round.
Rejoiced once more to catch sight of Nan. She was not
carrying the child any longer; she was alone; the chain
was round her waist, but she had the loose end thrown
over her shoulder. I got close to her; suppose I am
altered, as she did not know me. After I had called her by
name several times she stared at me, and at last said, “ Ah,
Mr. Dick, is it you? you will not see me here much longer.”
Her cadaverous look pained my very soul, but I tried to
speak hopefully. Poor Nan shook her head. “I shall
never see my dear mistress again ; no, nor master Jack; I
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































The creature that had sprung to my feet was Dingo

Page 341.
NOTES BY THE WAY. 341



shall soon die.” | Anxious to help her, I would gladly have
carried the end of the chain which she had been obliged to
bear because her fellow-prisoner was dead. A rough hand
was soon upon my shoulder ; a cruel. lash had made Nan
retreat to the general crowd, whilst, at the bidding of an
Arab chief, I was hustled back to the very hindmost rank
of ‘the procession. I overheard the word Negoro, in a
way that convinced me that it is under the direction of the
Portuguese that I am subject to this hard indignity.

11z2,—Last night encamped under’some large trees on
the skirts of a forest. Several escaped prisoners recaptured ;
their punishment barbarously cruel. Loud roaring of lions
and hyenas heard at nightfall, also snorting of hippopota-
muses ; probably some lake or water-course not far off.
Tired, but could ‘not sleep ; heard a rustling in the grass ;
felt sure that something was going to attack me; what
could I do? I had no gun. For Mrs. Weldon’s sake,
must, if possible, preserve my life. The night was dark;
no moon; two eyes gleamed upon me; I was about to
utter a cry of alarm; fortunately, I suppressed it; the
creature that had sprung to my feet was Dingo! The dog
licked my hands all over, persisting in rubbing his neck
against them, evidently to make me feel there; found a
reed fastened to the well-known collar upon which the
initials S.V..had so often awakened our curiosity ; breaking
open the reed, I took a note from inside; it was too dark
for me to see to read it. I tried, by caressing Dingo, to
detain him ; but the dog appeared to know that his mission
with me was at an end; he licked my hands affectionately,
made a sudden bound, and disappeared in the long grass
as mysteriously as he had come. The howling of the wild
beasts increased. How I dreaded that the faithful creature
would become their prey! No more sleep this night for
me. It seemed that daylight would never dawn; at length
it broke with the suddenness that marks a tropical morn.
I was able cautiously to read my note; the handwriting, I
knew at a glance, was that of Hercules; there were but a
few lines in pencil :—

“Mrs. Weldon and Jack carried away in a kitanda.
342 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



Harris and Negoro both with them. Mr. Benedict too.
Only a few marches ahead, but cannot be communicated
with at present. Found Dingo wounded by a gun-shct.
Dear Mr. Dick, do not despair; keep up your courage. I
may help you yet.
“Your ever true and faithful
“ FIERCULES.”

As far as it went, this intelligence was satisfactory. A
kitanda, I know, is a kind of litter made of dry grass,
protected by a curtain, and carried on the shoulders of two
men by along bamboo. What a relief to know that Mrs,
Weldon and Jack have been spared the miseries of this
dreadful march! May I not indulge the hope of seeing
them at Kazonndé?

12th.—The prisoners getting more and more weary and
worn out. Blood-stains on the way still more conspicuous.
Many poor wretches are a mass of wounds. One poor
woman for two days has carried her dead child, from which
she refuses to be parted.

16¢2,—Small-pox raging ; the road strewn with corpses.
Still ten days before we reach Kazonndé. Just passed a
tree from which slaves who had died from hunger were
hanging by the neck.

18¢,—Must not give in, but I am almost exhausted.
Rains have ceased. We are to make what the dealers
call ¢rikesa, extra marches in the after-part of the day.
Road very steep; runs through zyassi, tall grass of
which the stalks scratch my face, and the seeds get under
my tattered clothes and make my skin smart painfully.
My boots fortunately are thick, and have not worn out.
More slaves sick and abandoned to take their chance.
Provisions running very short; soldiers and pagazis must
be satisfied, otherwise they desert ; consequently the slaves
are all but starved. “They can eat each other,” say the
agents. A young slave, apparently in good health,
dropped down dead. It made me think of Livingstone’s
description of how free-born men, reduced to slavery, will
suddenly press their hand on their side, and die of a broken
heart.






More slaves sick, and abandoned to take their chance.
7 Page 342.
NOTES BY THE WAY. 345

24t#.—Twenty captives, incapable any longer of keeping
pace with the rest, put to death by the havildars, the Arab
chief offering no opposition. Poor old Nan one of the
victims of this horrible butchery. My foot struck her
corpse as I passed, but I was not permitted to give her a
decent burial. Poor old Nan! the first of the survivors
of the “Pilgrim” to go to her long rest! Poor old
Nan!

Every night I watch for Dingo; but he never comes.
Has Hercules nothing more to communicate? or has any
mishap befallen him? If he is alive he will do what
mortal strength can do to aid us,
346 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER IX,
KAZONNDE,

By the 26th of May, when the caravan reached Kazonndé,
the number of the slaves had diminished by more than half,
so numerous had been the casualties along the road. But the
dealers were quite prepared to make a market of their loss ;
the demand for slaves was very great, and the price must
be raised accordingly.

Angola at that time was the scene of a large negro-traffic,
and as the caravans principally wended their way towards
the interior, the Portuguese authorities at Loanda and
Benguela had practically no power to prevent it. The
barracks on the shore were crowded to overflowing with
prisoners, the few slave-ships that managed to elude the
cruisers being quite inadequate to embark the whole
number for the Spanish colonies to America.

Kazonndé, the point whence the caravans diverge to the
various parts of the lake district, is situated three miles from
the mouth of the Coanza, and is one of the most important
lakonis, or markets of the province. The open market-
place where the slaves are exposed for sale is called the
chitoka.

All the larger towns of Central Africa are divided into
two distinct parts; one occupied by the Arab, Portuguese,
or native merchants, and containing their slave-barracks ;
the other being the residence of the negro king, often a
fierce drunken potentate, whose rule is a reign of terror, and
who lives by subsidies allowed him by the traders.

The commercial quarter of Kazonndé now belonged to










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Page 349.

al quarter was the royal residence.

a

ci

g the comme

joinin:

Ad
‘KAZONNDE. 349

José Antonio Alvez. It was his largest depdt, although
he had another at Bihé, and a third at Cassangé, where
Cameron subsequently met him. It consisted of one long
street, on each side of which were groups of flat-roofed
houses called ¢embés, built of rough earth, and provided
with square yards for cattle. Theend of it opened into the
chitoka, which was surrounded by the barracks. Above
the houses some fine banyan-trees waved their branches,
surmounted here and there by the crests of graceful palms.
There was at least a score of birds of prey that hovered
about the*streets, and came down to perform the office of
public scavengers. At no great distance flowed the Loohi,
a river not yet explored, but which is supposed to be an
affluent or sub-affluent of the Congo.

Adjoining the commercial quarter was the royal residence,
nothing more nor less than a collection of dirty huts, extend-
ing over an area of nearly a square mile.

_ Some of these huts were unenclosed ; others were sur-
rounded by a palisade of reeds, or by a hedge of bushy figs.

In an enclosure within a papyrus fence were about thirty
huts appropriated to the king’s slaves, another group for his
wives, and in the middle, almost hidden by a plantation of
manioc, a ¢emdé larger and loftier than the rest, the abode
of the monarch himself.

He had sorely declined from the dignity and importance
of his predecessors, and his army, which by the early
Portuguese traders had been estimated at 20,000, now
numbered less than 4000 men; no longer could he afford,
as in the.good old time, to order a sacrifice of twenty-five
or thirty slaves at one offering.

His name was Moené Loonga. Little over fifty, he was
prematurely aged by drink and debauchery, and scarcely
better than a maniac. His subjects, officers, and ministers,
were all liable to be mutilated at his pleasure, and noses
and ears, feet and hands, were cut off unsparingly whenever
his caprice so willed it. His death would have been a
cause of regret to no one, with the exception, perhaps, of
Alvez, who was on very good terms with him. Alvez,
moreover, feared ihat in the event of the present king’s
350 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.





death, the succession of his chief wife, Queen Moena, might
be disputed, and that his dominions would be invaded by
a younger and more active neighbour, one of the kings
of Ukusu,-who had already seized upon some villages
dependent on the government of Kazonndé, and who was
in alliance with a rival trader named Tipo-Tipo, a man of
pure Arab extraction, from whom Cameron afterwards
received a visit at Nyangwé.

To all intents and purposes Alvez was the real sovereign
of the district, having fostered the vices of the brutalized
king till he had him completely in his power. He was a
man considerably advanced in years ; he was not (as his
name might imply) a white man, but had merely assumed
his Portuguese title for purposes of business ; his true name
was Kendélé, and he was a pure negro by birth, being a
native of Dondo on the Coanza. He had commenced life
as a slave-dealer’s agent, and was now on his way towards
becoming a first-class trader ; that is to say, he was a con-
summate rascal under the guise of an honest man. He it
was whom Cameron met at the end of 1874 at Kilemba,
the capital of Urua, of which Kasongo is chief, and with
whose caravan he travelled to Bihé, a distance of seven
hundred miles.

It was midday when the caravan entered . Kazonndé.
The journey from the Coanza had lasted thirty-eight
days, more than five weeks of misery as great as was within
human power to endure. Amidst the noise of drums and
coodoo-horns the slaves were condicted to the market-
place. The soldiers of the caravan discharged their guns
into the air, and old Alvez’ resident retinue responded with
a similar salute. The bandits, than which the soldiers were
nothing better, were delighted to meet again, and would
celebrate their return by a season of riot and excess.

The slaves, reduced to a total of about two hundred
and fifty, were many of them almost dead from exhaustion ;
the forks were removed from their necks, though the chains
were still retained, and the whole of them were driven
into barracks that were unfit even for cattle, to await
(in company with 1200 to 1500 other captives already
KAZONNDE, 351



there) the great market which would be held two days
hence.

The pagazis, after delivering their loads of ivory, would
only stay to receive their payment of a few yards of calico
or other stuff, and would then depart at once to join some
other caravan.

On being relieved from the forks which they had carried
for so many weary days, Tom and his companions heartily
wrung each other’s hands, but they could not venture to
utter one word of mutual encouragement. The three
younger men, more full of life and vigour, had resisted the
effects of the fatigue, but poor old Tom was nearly
exhausted, and had the march been protracted for a few
more days he must have shared Nan’s fate and been
left behind, a prey to the wild beasts.

Upon their arrival all four were packed into a narrow
cell, where some food was provided, and the door was
immediately locked upon them.

The chitoka was now almost deserted, and Dick Sands
was left there under the special charge of a havildar: he.
lost no opportunity of peering into every hut in the hope
of catching a glimpse of Mrs. Weldon, who, if Hercules had
not misinformed him, had come on hither just in front.

But he was very much perplexed. He could well under-
stand that Mrs. Weldon, if still a prisoner, would be kept
out of sight, but why Negoro and Harris did not appear to
triumph over him in his humiliation was quite a mystery
to him. It was likely enough that the presence of either
one or the other of them would be the signal for himself to
be exposed to fresh indignity, or even to torture, but Dick
would have welcomed the sight of them at Kazonndé, were
it only as an indication that Mrs. Weldon and Jack were
there also. ,

It disappointed him, too, that Dingo did not come back.
Ever since the dog had brought him the first note, he had
kept an answer written ready to send to Hercules, im-
ploring him to look after Mrs. Weldon, and to keep him
informed of everything. He began to fear that the faithful
creature must be dead, perhaps perished in some attempt
352 DICK SANDS, TIIE BOY CAPTAIN.

to reach himself; it was, however, quite possible that
Hercules had taken the dog in some other direction, hoping
to gain some depét in the interior.

But so thoroughly had Dick persuaded himself that
Mrs. Weldon had preceded him to Kazonndé that his
disappointment became more and more keen when he failed
to discover her. For a while he seemed to yield to despair,
and sat down sorrowful and sick at heart.

Suddenly a chorus of voices and trumpets broke upon
his ear ; he was startled into taking a new interest in what
was going on.

“Alvez! Alvez!” was the cry again and again repeated
by the crowd.

Here, then, was the great man himself about to appear.
Was it not likely that Harris or Negoro might be with
him ?

Dick stood erect and resolute, his eye vivid with expect-
ation ; he felt all eagerness to stand face to face with his
betrayers:; boy as he was, he was equal to cope with them
both.

The itanda, which came in sight at the end of the
street, was nothing more than a kind of hammock covered
by a faded and ragged curtain. An old negro stepped out
of it. His attendants greeted him with noisy acclamations.

This, then, was the great trader, José Antonio Alvez.

Immediately following him was his friend Coimbra, son
of the chief Coimbra of Bihé, and, according to Cameron,
the greatest blackguard in the province. This sworn ally
of Alvez, this organizer of his slave-raids, this commander,
worthy of his own horde of bandits, was utterly loathsome
in his appearance, his flesh was filthily dirty, his eyes were
bloodshot, his skin yellow, and his long hair all dishevelled.
He had no other attire than a tattered shirt, a tunic
made of grass, and a battered straw hat, under which his
countenance appeared like that of some old hag.

Alvez himself, whose clothes were like those of an old
Turk the day after a carnival, was one degree more respect-
able in appearance than his satellite, not that his looks
spoke much for the very highest class of African slave-
KAZONNDE, 353

dealers. To Dick’s great disappointment, neither Harris
nor Negoro was among his retinue.

Both Alvez and Coimbra shook hands with Ibn Hamish,
the leader of the caravan, and congratulated him on the
success of the expedition. Alvez madea grimace on being
told that half the slaves had died on the way, but on the
whole he seemed satisfied ; he could meet the demand that
at present existed, and would lose no time in bartering the
new arrival for ivory or Aauzas, copper in the shape of a
St. Andrew’s cross, the form in which the metal is exported
in Central Africa.

After complimenting the havildars upon the way in which
they had done their work, the trader gave orders that the
porters should be paid and dismissed. The conversations
were carried on in a mixture of Portuguese and native
idioms, in which the African element abounded so largely
that a native of Lisbon would have been at a loss to under-
stand them. Dick, of course, could not comprehend what
was said, and it was only when he saw a havildar’ go
towards the cell in which Tom and the others were con-
fined, that he realized that the talk was about himself and
his party.

When the negroes were brought out, Dick came close up,
being anxious to learn as much as he could of what was in
contemplation. The old trader’s eyes seemed to brighten
as he glanced upon the three strapping young men who, he
knew, would soon be restored to their full strength by rest
and proper food. They at least would get a good price ; as
for poor old Tom, he was manifestly so broken down by
infirmity and age, that he would have no value in the
market.

In a few words of broken English, which Alvez had
picked up from some of his agents, he ironically gave them
all a welcome.

“Glad to see you!” he said, with a diabolical grin.

Tom knew what he meant, and drew himself up
proudly.

“Weare free men!” he protested, “ free citizens of the
United States!”
354 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,

“Yes, yes !” replied Alvez, grinning, “ you are Americans;
very glad to see you!”

“Very glad to see you!” echoed Coimbra, and walking
up to Austin he felt his chest and shoulders, and then
proceeded to open his mouth in order to examine his
teeth.

‘A blow from Austin’s powerful fist sent the satellite
staggering backwards.

Some soldiers made a dash and seized the young negro,
evidently ready to make him. pay dearly for his temerity ;
but Alvez was by no means willing to have any injury done
to his newly-acquired property, and called them off. He
hardly attempted to conceal his amusement at Coimbra’s
discomfiture, although the blow had cost him one of his
front teeth.

After he had recovered somewhat from the shock,
Coimbra stood scowling at Austin, as if mentally vowing
vengeance on some future occasion.

Dick Sands was now himself brought forward in the
custody of a havildar. It was clear that Alvez had been
told all about him, for after scanning him for a moment,
he stammered out in his broken English,—

“Ah! ah! the little Yankee!”

“Yes,” replied Dick; “I see you know whoIam. What
are you going to do with me and my friends ?”

“Yankee! little Yankee!” repeated the trader, who
either did not or would not comprehend the meaning of
Dick’s question.

Dick turned to Coimbra and made the same inquiry of
him ; in spite of his degraded features, now still farther
disfigured by being swollen from the blow, it was easy to
recognize that he was not of native origin. He refused to
answer a word, and only stared again with the vicious glare
of malevolence.

Meanwhile, Alvez had begun to talk to Ibn Hamish.
Dick felt sure that they intended to separate him from the
negroes, and accordingly took the opportunity of whispering
a few words to them.

“My friends, I have heard from Hercules. Dingo






















































With a yell and a curse, the American fell dead at his feet.
Page 357
KAZONNDE. 357



brought me a note from him, tied round his neck. He says
Harris and Negoro have carried off Mrs. Weldon, Jack,
and Mr. Benedict. He did not know where. Have
patience, and we will find them yet.”

“ And where’s Nan?” muttered Tom, in a low voice.

“ Dead,” replied Dick, and was about to add more, when
a hand was laid upon his shoulder, and a voice that he knew
too well exclaimed,—

“Well, my young friend, how are you? Jam glad to see
you again.”

He turned round quickly. Harris stood before him.

“Where is Mrs. Weldon?” asked Dick impetuously.

“Ah, poor thing!” answered Harris, with an air of deep
commiseration.

“What! is she dead?” Dick almost shrieked ; “where
is her child ?”

“Poor little fellow!” said Harris, in the same mournful
tone.

These insinuations, that those in whose welfare he was so
deeply interested had succumbed to the hardships of the
journey, awoke in Dick’s mind a sudden and irresistible
desire for vengeance. Darting forwards he seized the
cutlass that Harris wore in his belt, and plunged it into his
heart. |

With a yell and a curse, the American fell dead at his
feet,
358 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



CHAPTER X.

MARKET-DAY.

So sudden was Dick’s action that it had been impossible
to parry his blow. Several of the natives rushed on him,
and in all likelihood would have struck him down upon
the spot had not Negoro arrived at that very moment. At
a sign from him the natives drew back, and proceeded to
raise and carry away Harris’s corpse.

Alvez and Coimbra were urgent in their demand that
Dick should forthwith be punished by death, but Negoro
whispered to them that they would assuredly be the
gainers by delay, and they accordingly contented them-
selves with ordering the youth to be placed under strict
supervision.

This was the first time that Dick had set eyes upon
Negoro since he had left the coast ; nevertheless, so heart-
broken was he at the intelligence he had just received, that
he did not deign to address a word to the man whom he
knew to be the real author of all his misery. He cared
not now what became of him.

Loaded with chains, he was placed in the dungeon where
Alvez was accustomed to confine slaves who had been
condemned to death for mutiny or violence. That he had
no communication with the outer world gave him no
concern; he had avenged the death of those for whose
safety he had felt himself responsible, and could now
calmly await the fate which he could not doubt was in
store for him; he did not dare to suppose that he had
been temporarily spared otherwise than that he might










































































































































Accompanied by Coimbra, Alvez himself was one of the first arrivals.
Page 361.
MARKET-DAY. 361



suffer the cruellest tortures that native ingenuity could de-
vise. That the “ Pilgrim’s” cook now held in his power the
boy captain he so thoroughly hated was warrant enough
that the sternest possible measure of vengeance would be
exacted.

Two days later, the great market, the /akoni, com-
menced. Although many of the principal traders were
there from the interior, it was by no means exclusively a
slave-mart ; a considerable proportion of the natives from
the neighbouring provinces assembled to dispose of the
various products of the country.

Quite early the great chitoka of Kazonndé was all alive
with a bustling concourse of little under five thousand
people, including the slaves of old. Alvez, amongst whom
were Tom and his three partners in adversity—an item by
no means inconsiderable in the dealer's stock.

Accompanied by Coimbra, Alvez himself was one of the
first arrivals. He was going to sell his slaves in lots to be
conveyed in caravans into the interior. The dealers for
the most part consisted of half-breeds from Ujjiji, the
principal market on Lake Tanganyika, whilst some of a
superior class were manifestly Arabs.

The natives that were assembled were of both sexes,
and of every variety of age, the women in particular
displaying an aptitude in making bargains that is shared
by their sisters elsewhere of a lighter hue; and it may be
said that no market of the most civilized region could be
characterized by greater excitement or animation, for
amongst the savages of Africa the customer makes his offer
in equally noisy terms as the vendor.

The /akoni was always considered a kind of féte-day ;
consequently the natives of both sexes, though their clothing
was scanty in extent, made a point of appearing in a most
lavish display of ornaments. Their head-gear was most
remarkable. The men had their hair arranged in every
variety of eccentric device ; some had it divided into four
parts, rolled over cushions and fastened into a chignon, or
mounted in front into a bunch of tails adorned with red
feathers ; others plastered it thickly with a mixture of red
362 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

mud and oil similar to that used for greasing machinery,
and formed it into cones or lumps, into which they inserted
a medley of iron pins and ivory skewers; whilst the
greatest dandies had a glass bead threaded upon every
single hair, the whole being fastened together by a tattooing-
knife driven through the glittering mass.

As a general rule, the women preferred dressing their
hair in little tufts about the size of a cherry, arranging it
into the shape of a cap, with corkscrew ringlets on each
side of the face. Some wore it simply hanging down their
backs, others in French fashion, with a fringe across the
forehead ;- but every codffure, without exception, was
daubed and caked either with the mixture of mud and
grease, or with a bright red extract of sandal-wood called
nkola. .

But it was not only on their heads that they made this
extraordinary display of ornaments; the lobes of their ears
were loaded till they reached their shoulders with a
protusion of wooden pegs, open-work copper rings, grains
of maize, or little gourds, which served the purpose of
snuff-boxes ; their necks, arms, wrists, legs, and ankles
were a perfect mass of brass and copper rings, or sometimes
were covered with a lot of bright buttons. Rows of red
beads, called sames-sames, or talakas, seemed also very
popular. As they had no pockets, they attached their
knives, pipes and other articles to various parts of their
body ; so that altogether, in their holiday attire, the rich
men of the district might not inappropriately be compared
to walking shrines.

With their teeth they had all played the strangest of
vagaries; the upper and lower incisors had generally been
extracted, and the others had been filed to points or carved
into hooks, like the fangs of a rattle-snake. Their finger-
nails were allowed to grow to such an immoderate length
as to render the hands well-nigh useless, and their swarthy
skins were tattooed with figures of trees, birds, crescents
and discs, or, not unfrequently, with those zigzag lines
which Livingstone thinks he recognizes as resembling those
observed in ancient Egyptian drawings. The tattooing is
MARKET-DAY. 363

effected by means of a blue substance inserted into incisions
previously made in the skin. Every child is tattooed in
precisely the same pattern as his father before him, and
thus it may always be ascertained to what family he
belongs. Instead of carrying his armorial bearings upon
his plate or upon the panels of his carriage, the African
magnate wears them emblazoned on his own bosom !

The garments that were usually worn were simply
aprons of antelope-skins descending to the knees, but
occasionally. a short petticoat might be seen made of
woven grass and dyed with bright colours. The ladies not
unfrequently wore girdles of beads attached to green skirts
embroidered with silk and ornamented with bits of glass or
cowries, or sometimes the skirts were made of the grass
cloth called damébda, which, in blue, yellow, or black, is so
much valued by the people of Zanzibar.

Garments of these pretensions, however, always indicated
that the wearers belonged to the upper classes; the lower
orders, such as the smaller dealers, as well as the slaves, had
hardly any clothes at all.

The women commonly acted as porters, and. arrived at
the market with huge baskets on their backs, which they
secured by means of straps passed across the forehead.
Having deposited their loads upon the chitoka, they turned
out their goods, and then seated themselves inside the
empty baskets.

As the result of the extreme fertility of the country all
the articles offered for sale were of a first-rate quality.
There were large stores of rice, which had been grown at a
profit a hundred times as great as the cost, and maize
which, producing three crops in eight months, yielded a
profit as large again as the rice. There were also sesame,
Urua pepper stronger than Cayenne, manioc, nutmegs,
salt, and palm-oil. In the market, too, were hundreds of
goats, pigs and sheep, evidently of a Tartar breed, with
hair instead of wool ; and there was a good supply of fish
and poultry. _ Besides all these there was an attractive
display of bright-coloured pottery, the designs of which
were very symmetrical.
364. DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



In shrill, squeaky voices, children were crying several
varieties of native drinks; banana-wine, fomdé, which,
whatever it was, seemed to be in great demand ; malofoo,
a kind of beer compounded of bananas, and mead, a
mixture of honey and water, fermented with malt.

But the most prominent feature in the whole market was
the traffic in stuffs and ivory. The pieces could be counted
by thousands of the unbleached merikani from Salem in
Massachusetts, of the blue cotton, kanzkz, thirty-four
inches wide, and of the checked soharz, blue and_ black
with its scarlet border. More expensive than these were
lots of silk dzaulis, with red, green, or yellow grounds,
which are sold in lengths of three yards, at prices varying
from seven dollars to eighty, when they are interwoven
with gold.

The ivory had come from well-nigh every part of Central
Africa, and was destined for Khartoom, Zanzibar, and
Natal, many of the merchants dealing in this commodity
exclusively.

How vast a number of elephants must be slaughtered to
supply this ivory may be imagined when it is remembered
that over 200 tons, that is, 1,125,000 lbs., are exported
annually to Europe. Of this, much the larger share goes
to England, where the Sheffield cutlery consumes about
382,500 lbs. From the West Coast of Africa alone the
produce is nearly 140 tons.

The average weight of a pair of tusks is 28 lbs.,, and the
ordinary value of these in 1874 would be about 60/.; but
here in Kazonndé were some weighing no less than 165 lbs.,
of that soft, translucent quality which retains its whiteness
far better than the ivory from other sources,

As already mentioned, slaves are not unfrequently used
as current money amongst the African traders, but the
natives themselves usually pay for their goods with
Venetian glass beads, of which the chalk-white are called
catchokolos, the black dubulus, and the red sikun-
deretches. Strung in ten rows, or khetds, these beads are
twisted twice round the neck, forming what is called a
foondo, which is always reckoned. of considerable value.
MARKET-DAY, 365



The usual measure by which they are sold is the frasi/ah,
containing a weight of about 70 lbs. Livingstone, Cameron
and Stanley always took care to be well provided with this
kind of currency. In default of beads, the picé, a Zanzibar
coin worth something more than a farthing, and vioon-
gooas, shells peculiar to the East Coast, aré recognized as
a medium of exchange in the market. Amongst the
cannibal tribes a certain value is attached to human teeth,
and at the lakoni some natives might be seen wearing
strings of teeth, the owners of which they had probably, at
some previous time, devoured. This species of currency,
however, was falling rapidly into disuse.

Towards the middle of the day the excitement of the
market reached its highest pitch, and the uproar became
perfectly deafening. The voices of the eager sellers
mingled with those of indignant and overcharged customers ;
fights were numerous, and as there was an utter absence of
any kind of police, no effort was made to restore peace or
order amongst the unruly crowd.

It was just noon when Alvez gave orders that the slaves
he wished to dispose of should be placed on view. . There-
upon nearly two thousand unfortunates were brought
forward, many of whom had been confined in the dealer’s
barracks for several months. Most of the stock, however,
had been so carefully attended to that they were in good
condition, and it was only the last batch that looked as if
they would be improved by another month’s rest; but as
the demand upon the East Coast was now very large,
Alvez hoped to get a good price for all, and determined to
part with even the last arrivals for whatever sum he could
obtain.

Amongst these latter, whom the havildars drove like a
herd of cattle into the middle of the chitoka, were Tom
and his three friends, They were closely chained, and rage
and shame were depicted in their countenances.

Bat passed a quick and scrutinizing gaze around him,
and said to the others,—

“T do not see Mr. Dick.”

Tom answered mournfully,—
366 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



“Mr. Dick will be killed, if he is not dead already.
Our only hope is that we may now all be bought in one
lot; it will be a consolation to us if we can be all
together.”

Tears rose to Bat’s eyes as he thought of how his poor
old father was likely to be sold, and carried away to wear
out his days as a common slave.

The sale now commenced. The agents of Alvez pro-
ceeded to divide the slaves, men, women and children, into
lots, treating them in no respect better than beasts in a
cattle-market. .Tom and the others were paraded about
from customer to customer, an agent accompanying them
to proclaim the price demanded. Strong, intelligent-
looking Americans, quite different.to the miserable creatures
brought from the banks of the Zambesi and Lualaba, they
at once attracted the observation of the Arab and half-
breed dealers. Just as though they were examining a horse,
the buyers felt their limbs, turned them round and round,
looked at their teeth, and finally tested their paces by
throwing a stick to a. distance and making them run to
fetch it.

All the slaves were subjected to similar humiliations ;
and ail alike, except the very young children, seemed deeply
sensible of their degradation, The cruelty exhibited to-
wards them was very vile. Coimbra, who was half drunk,
treated them with the utmost brutality ; not that they had
any reason to expect any gentler dealings at.the hands of
the new masters who might purchase them for ivory or any
other commodity. Children were torn away from their
parents, husbands from their wives, brothers from sisters,
and without even the indulgence of a parting word, were
separated never to meet again.

The scenes that occur at such markets as this at Kazonndé
are too heartrending to be described in detail.

It is one of the peculiar requirements of the slave-trade
that the two sexes should have an entirely different desti-
nation. In fact, the dealers who purchase men never
purchase women. The women, who are required to supply
the Mussulman harems,-are sent principally to Arab
MARKET-DAY. 357

districts to be exchanged for ivory ; whilst the men, who are
to be put to hard labour, are despatched to the coast, East
and West, whence they are exported to the Spanish
colonies, or to the markets of Muscat or Madagascar.

To Tom and his friends the prospect of being transported
to a slave colony was far better than that of being retained
in some Central African province, where they could have
no chance of regaining their liberty ; and the moment, to
them, was accordingly one of great suspense.

Altogether, things turned out for them better than they
dared anticipate. .They had at least the satisfaction of
finding that as yet they were not to be separated. Alvez,
of course, had taken good care to conceal the origin of
this exceptional lot, and their own ignorance of the
language thoroughly prevented them from communicating
it ; but the anxiety to secure so valuable a property rendered
the competition for it very keen; the bidding rose higher
and higher, until at length the four men were knocked
down to a rich Arab dealer, who purposed in the course of
a few days to take them to Lake Tanganyika, and thence
to one of the depdts of Zanzibar.

This journey, it is true, would be for 1500 miles across
the most unhealthy parts of Central Africa, through
districts harassed by internal wars; and it seemed im-
probable that Tom could survive the hardships he must
meet ; like poor old Nan, he would succumb to fatigue ;
but the brave fellows did not suffer themselves to fear the
future, they were only too happy to be still together ; and the
chain that bound them one to another was felt to = easier
and lighter to bear.

Their new master knew that it was for his own interest
that his purchase should be well taken care of; he
looked to make a substantial profit at Zanzibar, and
sent them off at once to his own private barracks ;
consequently they saw no more of what transpired at
Kazonndé,
368 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER XI.
A BOWL OF PUNCH.

THE afternoon was passing away, and it was now past
four o’clock, when the sound of drums, cymbals, and a
variety of native instruments was heard at the end of the
main thoroughfare. The market was still going on with
the same animation as before ; half a day’s screeching and
fighting seemed neither to have wearied the voices nor
broken the limbs of the demoniacal traffickers ; there was
a considerable number of slaves still to be disposed of, and
the dealers were haggling over the remaining lots with an
excitement of which a sudden panic on the London Stock
Exchange could give a very inadequate conception.

But the discordant concert which suddenly broke upon
the ear was the signal for business to be at once suspended.
The crowd might cease its uproar, and recover its breath.
The King of Kazonndé, Moené Loonga, was about to
honour the /akonz with a visit.

Attended by a large retinue of wives, officers, soldiers,
and slaves, the monarch was conveyed to the middle of
the market-place in an old palanquin, from which he was
obliged to have five or six people to help him to descend.
Alvez and the other traders advanced to meet him with
the most exaggerated gestures of reverence, all of which
he received as his rightful homage.

He was a man of fifty years of age, but might easily
have passed for eighty. He looked like an old, decrepit
monkey. On his head was a kind of tiara, adorned with
leopards’ claws dyed red, and tufts of greyish-white hair ;






















































































The potentate beneath whose sway the country trembled for a hundred
. miles round. Page 371.
A BOWL OF PUNCH. 371



this was the usual crown of the sovereigns of Kazonndé.
From his waist hung two skirts of coodoo-hide, stiff as
blacksmiths’ aprons, and embroidered with pearls. The
tattooings on his breast were so numerous that his pedigree,
which they declared, might seem to reach back to time
immemorial. His wrists and arms were encased in copper
bracelets, thickly encrusted with beads; he wore a pair of
top-boots, a present from Alvez some twenty years ago;
in his left hand he carried a great stick surmounted by
a silver knob; in his right a fly-flapper with a handle
studded with pearls; over his head was carried an old
umbrella with as many patches as a Harlequin’s coat,
whilst from his neck hung Cousin Benedict’s magnifying-
glass, and on his nose were the spectacles which had been
stolen from Bat’s pocket.

Such was the appearance of the potentate beneath
whose sway the country trembled for a hundred miles
round.

By virtue of his sovereignty Moené Loonga claimed to
be of celestial origin ; and any subject who should have
the audacity to raise a question on this point would have
been despatched forthwith to another world. All his
actions, his eating and drinking, were supposed to be per-
formed by divine impulse. He certainly drank like no
other mortal ; his officers and ministers, confirmed tipplers
as they were, appeared sober men in comparison with him-
self, and he seemed never to be doing anything but im-
bibing strong pombé, and over-proof spirit with which
Alvez kept him liberally supplied.

In his harem Moené Loonga had wives of all ages from
forty to fourteen, most oi whom accompanied him on his
visit to the Zekonz. Moena, the chief wife, who was called
the queen, was the eldest of them all, and, like the rest,
was of royal blood. She was a vixenish-looking woman,
very gaily attired ; she wore a kind of bright tartan over
a skirt of woven grass, embroidered with pearls ; round
her throat was a profusion of necklaces, and her hair was
mounted up in tiers that toppled high above her head,
making her resemble some hideous monster. The younger
372 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



wives, all of them sisters or cousins of the king, were less
elaborately dressed. They walked behind her, ready at the
slightest sign to perform the most menial services. Did
his Majesty wish to sit down, two of them would imme-
diately stoop to the ground and form a seat with their
bodies, whilst others would have to lie down and support
his feet upon their backs: a throne and footstool of living
ebony.

Amidst the staggering, half-tipsy crowd of ministers,
officers, and magicians that composed Moené Loonga’s
suite, there was hardly a man to be seen who had not lost
either an eye, an ear, or hand, or nose. Death and mutila-
tion were the only two punishments practised in Kazonndé,
and the slightest offence involved the instant amputation
of some member of the body. The loss of the ear was
considered the severest penalty, as it prevented the possi-
bility of wearing earrings!

The governors of districts, or £2z/o/os, whether hereditary
or appointed for four years, were distinguished by red
waistcoats and zebra-skin. caps; in their hands they
brandished long rattans, coated at one extremity with a
varnish of magic drugs.

The weapons garried by the soldiers consisted of wooden
bows adorned with fringes and provided with a spare bow-
string, knives filed into the shape of serpents’ tongues, long,
broad lances, and shields of palm wood, ornamented with
arabesques. In the matter of uniform, the royal army had
no demands to make upon the royal treasury.

Amongst the attendants of the king there was a con-
siderable number of sorcerers and musicians. Thesorcerers,
or mganga, were practically the physicians of the court,
the savages having the most implicit faith in divinations
and incantations of every kind, and employing fetishes,
clay or wooden figures, representing sometimes ordinary
human beings and sometimes fantastic animals. Like the
rest of the retinue, these magicians were, for the most part,
more or less mutilated, an indication that some of their
‘prescriptions on behalf of the king had failed of success.

' The musicians were of both sexes, some performing on














S53
>) SSS



































TT ae a
- ee ieee
AT NTE ARB MA



Alvez advanced and presented the king with some fresh tobacco.
Page 375,
A BOWL OF PUNCH. 375



shrill rattles, some on huge drums, whilst others played on
instruments called marimbas, a kind of dulcimer made
of two rows of different-sized gourds fastened in a frame,
and struck by sticks with india-rubber balls at the end,
To any but native ears the music was perfectly deafening.

Several flags and banners were carried in the procession,
and amongst these was mixed up a number of long pikes,
upon which were stuck the skulls of the various chiefs that
Moené Loonga had conquered in battle.

As the king was helped out of his palanquin, the acclama-
tions rose higher and higher from every quarter of the
market-place. The soldiers attached to the caravans fired
off their old guns, though the reports were almost too
feeble to be heard above ‘the noisy vociferations of the
crowd ; and the havildars rubbed their black noses with
cinnabar powder, which they carried in bags, and prostrated
themselves.. Alvez advanced and presented the king with
some fresh tobacco, “the appeasing herb,” as it is called
in the native dialect ; and certainly Moené Loonga seemed
to require some appeasing, as, for some unknown reason,
he was in a thoroughly bad temper.

Coimbra, Ibn Hamish,and the dealers all came forward
to pay their court to the monarch, the Arabs greeting him
with the cry of marhaba, or welcome; others clapped
their hands and bowed to the very ground ; while some
even smeared themselves with mud, in token of their most
servile subjection.

But Moené Loonga scarcely took notice of any of them ;
he went staggering along, rolling like a ship upon a stormy
sea, and made his way past the ctowds of slaves, each of
whom, no less than their masters, trembled lest he should
think fit to claim them for his own.

Negoro, who kept close at Alvez’ side, did not fail to
render his homage along with the rest. Alvez and the
king were carrying on a conversation in the native language,
if that could be called a conversation in which Moené
Loonga merely jerked out a few monosyllables from his
inflamed and swollen lips. He was asking Alvez to re-
plenish his stock of brandy.
376 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

“We are proud to welcome your majesty at the market
of Kazonndé,” Alvez was saying.

“Get me brandy,” was all the drunken king’s reply.

“Will it please your majesty to take part in the business
of the /akoni ?” Alvez tried to ask.

“Drink!” blurted out the king impatiently.

Alvez continued,—

“ My friend Negoro here is anxious to greet your majesty
after his long absence.”

€ Drink! ” roared the monarch again.

“Will the king take pombé or mead?” asked Alvez, at
last obliged to take notice of the demand.

“ Brandy ! give me fire-water!” yelled the king, in
fury. “For every drop you shall have .....

“A drop of a white man’s blood!” suggested Negoro,
glancing at Alvez.

“Yes, yes ; kill a white man,” assented Moené Loonga,
his ferocious instincts all aroused by the proposition.

“There is.a white man here,” said Alvez, “who has killed
my agent. He must be punished for his act.”

“Send him to King Masongo!” cried the king; ‘“ Ma-
songo and the Assuas will cut him up and eat him alive.”

Only too true it is that cannibalism is still. openly
practised in certain provinces of Central Africa. Living-
stone records that the Manyuemas not only eat men killed
in war, but even buy slaves for that purpose ; it is said to be
the avowal of these Manyuemas that “human flesh is
slightly salt, and requires no seasoning.” Cameron relates
how in the dominions of Moené Booga dead bodies were
soaked for a few days in running water as a preparation for
their being devoured ; and Stanley found traces of a widely-
spread cannibalism amongst the inhabitants of Ukusu.

But however horrible might be the manner of death
proposed by Moené Loonga, it did not at all suit Negoro’s
purpose to let Dick Sands out of his clutches.

“The white man is here,” he said to the king; “it is
here he has committed his offence, and here he should
be punished.”

“If you will,” replied Moené Loonga; “only I must
A BOWL OF PUNCIL 377

have fire-water ; a drop of fire-water for every drop of the
white man’s blood.”

“Yes, you shall have the fire-water,” assented Alvez,
“and what is more, you shall have it all alight. We will
give your majesty a bowl of blazing punch.”

The thought had struck Alvez, and he was himself
delighted with the idea, that he would set the spirit in
flames. Moené Loonga had complained that the “ fire-
water” did not justify its name as it ought, and Alvez
hoped that perhaps, administered in this new form, it might
revivify the deadened membranes of the palate of the king.

Moené Loonga did not conceal his satisfaction. Wives
and courtiers alike were full of anticipation. They had all
drunk brandy, but they had not drunk brandy alight. And
not only was their thirst for alcohol to be satisfied ; their
thirst for blood was likewise to be indulged ; and when it is
remembered how, even amongst the civilized, drunkenness
reduces a man below the level of a brute, it may be imagined
to what barbarous cruelties Dick Sands was likely to be
exposed. The idea of torturing a white man was not
altogether repugnant to the coloured blood of either Alvez
or Coimbra, while with Negoro the spirit of vengeance had
completely overpowered all feeling of compunction.

Night, without any intervening twilight, was soon draw-
ing on, and the contemplated display could hardly fail to be
effective. The programme for the evening consisted of two
parts; first, the blazing punch-bowl ; then the torture,
culminating in an execution.

The destined. victim was still closely confined in his dark
and dreary dungeon ; ali the slaves, whether sold or not,
had been driven back to the barracks, and the chitoka was
cleared of every one except the slave-dealers, the havildars,
and the soldiers, who hoped, by favour of the king, to have
a share of the flaming punch.

Alvez did not long delay the proceedings. He ordered
a huge caldron, capable of containing more than twenty
‘gallons, to be placed in the centre of the market-place.
Into this were emptied several casks of highly-rectified
spirit, of a very inferior quality, to which was added a
378 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

supply of cinnamon and other spices, no ingredient being
omitted which was likely to give a pungency to suit the
‘savage palate.

The whole royal retinue formed a circle round the king,
Fascinated by the sight of the spirit, Moené Loonga came
reeling up to the edge of the punch-bowl, and seemed ready
to plunge himself head foremost into it. Alvez held him
back, at the same time placing a lucifer in his hand.

“Set it alight!” cried the slave-dealer, grinning slily as
he spoke.

The king applied the match to the surface of the spirit.

. The effect was instantaneous. High above the edge of the
‘bowl the blue flame rose and curled. To give intensity to
the process Alvez had added a sprinkling of salt to the
mixture, and this caused the fire to cast upon the faces of
all around that lurid glare which is generally associated with
apparitions of ghosts and phantoms. Half intoxicated
already, the negroes yelled and gesticulated ; and joining
hands, they performed a fiendish dance around their
monarch. Alvez stood and stirred the spirit with an enor-
mous metal ladle, attached to a pole, and as the flames
rose yet higher and higher they seemed to throw a more and
more unearthly glamour over the ape-like forms that circled
in their wild career.

Moené Loonga, in his eagerness, soon seized the ladle
from the slave-dealer’s hands, plunged it deep into the bowl,
and bringing it up again full of the blazing punch, raised it
to his lips.

A horrible shriek brought the dancers toa sudden stand-
still, By akind of spontaneous combustion, the king had
taken fire internally ; though it was a fire that emitted
little heat, it was none the less intense and consuming. In
an instant one of the ministers in attendance ran to the
king’s assistance, but he, almost as much alcoholized as his
master, caught fire as well, and soon both monarch and
minister lay writhing on the ground in unutterable agony.
Not a soul was able to lend a helping hand. Alvez and
-Negoro were at a loss what to do; the courtiers dared not

“expose themselves to so terrible a fate; the women had all


















































The king had taken fire internally, Page 378.
A BOWL OF PUNCH. . : 381

fled in alarm, and Coimbra, awakened to the conviction of
the inflammability of his own condition, had rapidly
decamped.

To say the truth, it was impossible to do anything ; water
would have proved unavailing to quench the pale blue flame
that hovered over the prostrate forms, every tissue of which
was so thoroughly impregnated with spirit, that combustion,
though outwardly extinguished, would continue its work
internally. ;

In a few minutes life was extinct, but the bodies
continued long afterwards to burn; until, upon the spot
where they had fallen, a few light ashes, some fragments of
the spinal column, some fingers and some toes, covered with
a thin layer of stinking soot, were all that remained of the
King of Kazonndé and his ill fated minister.
382 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER XII.
ROYAL OBSEQUIES.

ON the following morning the town of Kazonndé presented
an aspect of unwonted desolation. Awe-struck at the
event of the previous evening, the natives had all shut
themselves up in their huts. That a monarch who was to
be assumed as of divine origin should perish with one of
his ministers by so horrible a death was a thing wholly
unparalleled in their experience. Some of the elder part
of the community remembered having taken part in certain
cannibal preparations, and were aware that the cremation
of a-human body is no easy matter, yet here was a case in
which two men had been all but utterly consumed without
any extraneous application. Here was a mystery that
baffled all their comprehension.

Old Alvez had also retired to the seclusion of his own
residence ; having been warned by Negoro that he would
probably be held responsible for the occurrence, he deemed
it prudent to keep in retirement. Meanwhile Negoro
industriously circulated the report that the king’s death
had been brought about by supernatural means reserved
by the great Manitoo solely for his elect, and that it was
sacred fire that had proceeded from his body. The
superstitious natives readily received this version of the
affair, and at once proceeded to honour Moené Loonga
with funeral rites worthy of one thus conspicuously elevated
to the rank of the gods. The ceremony (which entailed
an expenditure of human blood incredible except that it
is authenticated by Cameron and other African travellers)
ROYAL OBSEQUIES. 383



was just the opportunity that Negoro required for carrying
out his designs against Dick, whom he intended to take
a prominent part in it. ,

The natural successor to the king was the queen Moena.
By inaugurating the funeral without delay and thus assum-
ing the semblance of authority, she forestalled the king of
Ukusu or any other rival who might venture to dispute
her sovereignty; and moreover, by taking the reins of
government into her hands she avoided the fate reserved
for the other wives who, had they been allowed to live,
might prove somewhat troublesome to the shrew. Ac-
cordingly, with the sound of coodoo horns and marimbas,
she caused a proclamation to be made in the various
quarters of thé town, that the obsequies of the deceased
‘monarch would be celebrated on the next evening with ali
due solemnity.

The announcement met with no opposition either from
the officials about the court or from the public at large.
Alvez and the traders generafly were quite satisfied with
Moena’s assumption of the supremacy, knowing that by
a few presents and a little flattery they could make her
sufficiently considerate for their own interests.

Preparations began at once. At the end of the chief
thoroughfare flowed a deep and rapid brook, an affluent
of the Coango, in the dry bed of which the royal grave
was to be formed. Natives were immediately set to work
to construct a dam by means of which the water should be
diverted, until the burial was over, into a temporary channel
across the plain; the last act in the ceremonial being to
undam the stream and allow it to resume its proper course.

Negoro had formed the resolution that Dick Sands
should be one of the victims to be sacrificed upon the king’s
tomb. Thoroughly aware as he was that the indignation
which had caused the death of Harris extended in at least
an equal degree to himself, the cowardly rascal would not
have ventured to approach Dick under similar circumstances
at the risk of meeting a similar fate ; but knowing him to
be a prisoner bound hand and foot, from whom there could
be nothing to fear, he resolved to go to him in his dungeon.
384 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Not only did he delight in torturing his victims, but he
derived an especial gratification from witnessing the
torture,

About the middle of the day, accordingly, he made his
way to the cell where Dick was detained under the strict
watch of a havildar. There, bound with fetters that
penetrated his very flesh, lay the poor boy; for the last
four and twenty hours he had not been allowed a morsel
of food, and would gladiy have faced the most painful
death as a welcome relief to his miseries.

But at the sight of Negoro all his energy revived ; in-
stinctively he made an effort to burst his bonds, and to get
a hold upon his persecutor; but the strength of a giant
would have. been utterly unavailing for such a design.
Dick felt that the struggle he had to make was of another
kind, and forcing himself to an apparent composure, he
determined to look Negoro straight in the face, but to
vouchsafe no reply to anything he might say.

“T felt bound,” Negoro began, “to come and pay my
respects to my young captain, and to tell him how sorry
‘Iam that he has not the same authority here that he had
on board the ‘Pilgrim.’” _

Finding that Dick returned no answer, he continued,—

“You remember your. old cook, captain: I have come
to know what you would like to order for your breakfast.”

Here he paused to give a brutal kick at Dick’s foot, and
went on;—

“JT have also another question to ask you, captain ; can
you tell me how it was that you landed here in Angola
instead of upon the coast of America ?”

The way in which the question was put more than ever
confirmed Dick’s impression that the “Pilgrim’s” course had
been altered by Negoro, but he persevered in maintaining
a contemptuous silence.

“Tt was a lucky thing for you, captain,” resumed the
vindictive Portuguese, “that you had a good seaman on
board, otherwise the ship would have run aground on some
reef in the tempest, instead of coming ashore here in a
friendly port.”














































































































































































































































































“© Your life is in my hands !” Page 387.
ROYAL OBSEQUIES. 387



Whilst he was speaking, Negoro had gradually drawn
nearer to the prisoner, until their faces were almost in
contact. Exasperated by Dick’s calmness, his countenance
assumed an expression of the utmost ferocity, and at last
he burst forth in a paroxysm of rage.

“It is my turn now! Iam master now! I am captain
here! You are in my power now! Your life is in my
hands!”

“Take it, then,” said Dick quietly; “death has no
terrors for me, and your wickedness will soon be avenged.”

“Avenged!” roared Negoro ; ‘do you suppose there is
a single soul to care about you? Avenged! who will
concern himself with what befalls you? except Alvez and
me, there is no one with a shadow of authority here; if
you think you are going to get any help from old Tom or
any of those niggers, let me tell you that they are every
one of them sold and have been sent off to Zanzibar.”

“ Hercules is free,” said Dick.

“Hercules!” sneered Negoro; “he has been food for
lions and panthers long ago, I am only sorry that I did
not get the chance of disposing of him myself.”

“And there is Dingo,” calmly persisted Dick; “sure as
fate, he will find you out some day.”

“Dingo is dead!” retorted Negoro with malicious glee:
“TI shot the brute myself, and I should be glad if oe
survivor of the ‘ Pilgrim’ had shared his fate.”

©“ But femember!” said Dick, “ you have to follow them all
yourself ;” and he fixed a sharp gaze upon his persecutor’s
eye,

The Portuguese villain was stung to the quick ; he made
a dash towards the youth, and would have strangled him
upon the spot, but remembering that any such sudden
action would be to liberate him from the torture he was
determined he should undergo, he controlled his rage, and
after giving strict orders to the havildar, who had been a
passive spectator of the scene, to keep a careful watch
upon his charge, he left the dungeon.

So far from depressing Dick’s spirits, the interview had
aitogether a contrary effect ; his feelings had undergone a
388 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

reaction, so that all his energies were restored. Possibly
Negoro in his sudden assault had unintentionally loosened
his fetters, for he certainly seemed to have greater play for
his limbs, and fancied that by a slight effort he might
succeed in disengaging his arms. Even that amount of
freedom, however, he knew could be of no real avail to him ;
he was a closely-guarded prisoner, without hope of succour
from without ; and now he had no other wish than cheer-
fully to meet the death that should unite him to the friends
who had gone before.

The hours passed on. The gleams of daylight that
penetrated the thatched roof of the prison gradually faded
into darkness; the few sounds on the chitoka, a great
contrast to the hubbub of the day, became hushed into
silence, and night fell upon the town of Kazonndé.

Dick Sands slept soundly for about a couple of hours,
and woke up considerably refreshed. One of his arms,
which was somewhat less swollen than the other, he was
able to withdraw from its bonds; it was at any rate a
relief to stretch it at his pleasure.

The havildar, grasping the neck of a brandy-bottle which
he had just drained, had sunk into a heavy slumber, and
Dick Sands was contemplating the possibility of getting
posssession of his gaoler’s weapons when his attention was
arrested by a scratching at the bottom ofthe door. By the
help of his liberated arm he contrived to. craw! noiselessly
to the threshold, where the scratching increased in violence.
For a moment he was in doubt whether the noise proceeded
from the movements of a manor an animal. He gave a
glance at the havildar, who was sound asleep, and. placing
his lips against the door murmured “ Hercules!”

A low whining was the sole reply.

“Tt must be Dingo,” muttered Dick to himself ; “ Negoro
may have told me a lie; perhaps, after all, the dog is not
dead.”

As though in answer to his thoughts, a dog’s paw was
pushed below the door. Dick seized it eagerly ; he had no
doubt it was Dingo’s ; but if the dog brought a message, it
was sure to be tied to his neck, and there seemed to be no








1¢é 388,

Pi

were restored.

gies

All his ener
_ ROYAL OBSEQUIES. 3901

_—__—.

means of getting at it, except the hole underneath could be
made large enough to admit the animal’s head. Dick
determined to try and scrape away the soil at the threshold,
and commenced digging with his nails. But he had scarcely
set himself to his task when loud barkings, other than
Dingo’s, were heard in the distance. The faithful creature
had been scented out by the native dogs, and instinct
dictated an immediate flight. Alarm had evidently been
taken, as several gun-shots were fired ; the havildar half
roused himself from his slumber, and Dick was fain to roll
himself once more into his corner, there to await the dawn
of the day which was intended to be his last.

Throughout that day, the grave-digging was carried on
with unremitted activity. A large number of the natives,
under the superintendence of the queen’s prime minister,
were set to work, and according to the decree of Moena,
who seemed resolved to continue the rigorous sway of her
departed husband, were bound, under penalty of mutilation,
to accomplish their task within the proscribed time.

As soon as the stream had been diverted into its tempo-
rary channel, there was hollowed out in the dry river bed a
pit, fifty feet long, ten feet wide, and ten feet deep. This,
towards the close of the day, was lined throughout with living
women, selected from Moené Loonga’s slaves ; in ordinary
cases it would have been their fate to be buried alive beside
their master; but in recognition of his miraculous death it
was ordained that they should bedrowned beside his remains."

Generally, the royal corpse is arrayed in its richest vest-
ments before being consigned to the tomb, but in this case,
when the remains consisted only of a few charred bones,
another plan was adopted. An image of the king, perhaps
rather flattering to the original, was made of wicker-work ;
inside this were placed the fragments of bones and skin, and
the effigy itself was then arrayed in the robes of state, which,
as already mentioned, were not of a very costly description.



1 The horrible hecatombs that commemorate the death of any powerful chieg
in Central Africa defy all description. Cameron relates that more than a

hundred victims were sacrificed at the obsequies of the father of the King of
Kassongo,
392 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,

Cousin Benedict’s spectacles were not forgotten, but were
firmly affixed to the countenance of the image. The
masquerade had its ludicrous as well as its terrible side.

When the evening arrived, a long procession was seen
wending its way to the place of interment ; the uproar was
perfectly deafening ; shouts, yells, the boisterous incanta-
tions of the musicians, the clang of musical instruments, and
the reports of many old muskets, mingled in wild confusion.

The ceremony was to take place by torch-light, and the
whole population of Kazonndé, native and otherwise, was
bound to be present. Alvez, Coimbra, Negoro, the Arab
dealers and their havildars all helped to swell the numbers,
the queen having given express orders that no one who had
been at the lakoni should leave the town, and it was not
deemed prudent to disobey her commands.

The remains of the king were carried in a palanquin in
the rear of the cortége, surrounded by the wives of the second
class, some of whom were doomed to follow their master
beyond the tomb. Queen Moena, in state array, marched
behind the catafalque.

Night was well advanced when the entire procession
reached the banks of the brook, but the resin-torches, waved
‘on high by their bearers, shed a ruddy glare upon the
teeming crowd. The grave, with its lining of living women,
‘bound to its side by chains, was plainly visible ; fifty slaves,
some resigned and mute, others uttering loud and piteous
cries, were there awaiting the moment when the rushing
torrent should be opened upon them.

The wives who were destined to perish had beet selected
by the queen herself and were all in holiday-attire. One
of the victims, who bore the title of second wife, was forced
‘down upon her hands and knees in the grave, in order to
form a resting-place for the effigy, as she had been accus-
tomed to do for the living sovereign ; the third wife had to
‘sustain the image in an upright position, and the fourth lay
down at its feet to make a footstool.

In front of the effigy, at the end of the grave, a huge stake,
painted red, was planted firmly in the earth. Bound to
this stake, his body half naked, exhibiting marks of the












































































































































3 13



Friendless and hopeless. Page 395.
ROYAL OBSEQUIES. 395



tortures which by Negoro’s orders he had already under-
gone, friendless and hopeless, was Dick Sands!

The time, however, for opening the flood-gate had not yet
arrived. First of all, at a sign from the queen, the fourth
wife, forming the royal footstool had her throat cut by an
executioner, her blood streaming into the grave. This
barbarous deed was the commencement of a most frightful
butchery. One after another, fifty slaves fell beneath the
slaughterous knife, until the river-bed was a very cataract
of blood. For half an hour the shrieks of the victims
mingled with the imprecations of their murderers, without
evoking one single expression of horror or sympathy from
the gazing crowd around.

Ata second signal from the queen, the barrier, which
retained the water above, was opened. By a refinement of
cruelty the torrent was not admitted suddenly to the grave,
but allowed to trickle gradually in.

The first to be drowned were the slaves that carpeted
the bottom of the trench, their frightful struggles bearing
witness to the slow death that was overpowering them.
Dick was immersed to his knees, but he could be seen
making what might seem one last frantic effort to burst his
bonds,

Steadily rose the water; the stream resumed its proper
course ; the last head disappeared beneath its surface, and
soon there remained nothing to indicate that in the depth
below there was a tomb where a hundred victims had been
sacrificed to the memory oi the King of Kazonndé.

Painful as they are to describe, it is impossible to ignore
the reality of such scenes.
396 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



CHAPTER XIII.
IN CAPTIVITY.

So far from Mrs. Weldon and Jack having succumbed to
the hardships to which they had been exposed, they were
both alive, and together with Cousin Benedict were now in
Kazonndé. After the assault upon the ant-hill they had
all three been conveyed beyond the encampment to a spot
where a rude palanquin was in readiness for Mrs.- Weldon
and her son. The journey hence to Kazonndé was conse-
quently accomplished without much difficulty; Cousin
Benedict, who performed it on foot, was allowed to entomo-
logize as much as he pleased upon the road, so that to him
the distance was a matter of no concern. The party
reached their destination a week sooner than Ibn Hamish’s
caravan, and the prisoners were lodged in Alvez’ quarters.

Jack was much better. After leaving the marshy dis-
tricts he had no return of fever, and as a certain amount
of indulgence had been allowed them on their journey, both
he and his mother, as. far as their health was concerned,
might be said to be in a satisfactory condition.

Of the rest of her former companions Mrs. Weldon could
hear nothing. She had herself been a witness of the escape
of Hercules, but of course knew nothing further of his fate ;
as for Dick Sands, she entertained a sanguine hope that
his white skin would protect him from any severe treat-
ment; but for Nan and the other poor negroes, here upon
African soil, she feared the very worst.

Being entirely shut off from communication with the
outer world, she was quite unaware of the arrival of the
IN CAPTIVITY. 397





caravan; even if she had heard the noisy commotion of
the market she would not have known what it meant, and
she was in ignorance alike of the death of Harris, of the
sale of Tom and his companions, of the dreadful end of the
king, and of the royal obsequies in which poor Dick had
been assigned so melancholy a share. During the journey
from the Coanza to Kazonnd3, Harris and Negoro had
held no conversation with her, and sincé her arrival she
had not been allowed to pass the inclosure of the establish-
ment, so that, as far as she knew, she was quite alone, and
being in Negoro’s power, was ina pos tion from which it
seemed only too likely nothing but death could release
her.

From Cousin Benedict, it is needless to repeat, she could
expect no assistance ; his own personal pursuits engrossed
him, and he had no care nor leisure to bestow upon ex-
ternal circumstances. His first feeling, on being made
to understand that he was not in America, was one of deep
disappointment that the wonderful things he had seen
were no discoveries at all; they were simply African insects
common on African soil. This vexation, however, soon
passed away, and he began to believe that “ the land of the
Pharaohs” might possess as much entomological wealth as
“the land of the Incas.”

“Ah,” he would exclaim to Mrs. Weldon, heedless that
she gave him little or no attention, “this is the country of
the manticoree, and wonderful coleoptera they are, with
their long hairy legs, their sharp elytra and their big man-
dibles ; the most remarkable of them all is the tuberous
manticora. And isn’t this, too, the land of the golden-
tipped calosomi? and of the prickly-legged goliaths of
Guinea and Gabon? Here, too, we ought to find the
spotted anthidia, which lay their eggs in empty snail-shells ;
and the sacred atenchus, which the old Egyptians used to
venerate as divine.”

“Yes, yes ;” he would say at another time, “this is the
proper habitat of those death’s-head sphinxes which are
now so common everywhere ; and this is the place for those
‘Idias Bizoti, so formidable to the natives of Senegal.
398 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

There must be wonderful discoveries to be made here if
only those good people will let me.”

The “good people” referred to were Negoro and Harris,
who had restored him much of the liberty of which Dick
Sands had found it necessary to deprive him. With free-
dom to roam and in possession of his tin box, Benedict
would have been amongst the most, contented of men, had
it not been for the loss of his spectacles and magnifying-
glass, now buried with the King of Kazonndé. Reduced
to the necessity of poking every insect almost into his eyes
before he could discover its characteristics, he would have
sacrificed much to recover or replace his glasses, but as
such articles were not to be procured at any price, he
contented himself with the permission to go where he
pleased within the limits of the palisade. His keepers
knew him well enough to be satisfied that he would make
no attempt to escape, and as the enclosure was nearly a
mile in circumference, containing many shrubs and trees
and huts with thatched roofs, besides being intersected by
a running stream, it afforded him a very fair scope for his
researches, and who should say that he would not discover
some novel specimen to which, in the records of entomolo-
gical science, his own name might be assigned ?

If thus the domain of Antonio Alvez was sufficient to
satisfy Benedict, to little Jack it might well seem immense.
But though allowed to ramble over the whole place as he
liked, the child rarely cared to leave his mother ; he would
be continually inquiring about his father, whom he had now
so long been expecting to see: he would ask why Nan
and Hercules and Dingo had gone away and left him ; and
perpetually he would be expressing his: wonder where Dick
could be, and wishing he would come back again. Mrs.
Weldon could only hide her tears and answer him by
caresses.

Nothing, however, transpired to give the least intimation
that any of the prisoners were to be treated otherwise than
they had been upon the journey from the Coanza. FE xcept-
ing such as were retained for old Alvez’ personal service,
all the slaves had-been sold, and the storehouses were now










































































































ased within

here he ple:

He contented himself with the permission to go w

Page 398.

the limits of the palisade.
IN CAPTIVITY. 401

full of stuffs and ivory, the stuffs destined to be sent into
the central provinces and the ivory to be exported. The
establishment was thus no longer crowded as it had been,
and Mrs. Weldon and Jack were lodged in a different hut
to Cousin Benedict. All three, however, took their meals
together and were allowed a sufficient diet of mutton or
goats’-flesh, vegetables, manioc, sorghum and native fruits.
With the traders’ servants they held no communication, but
Halima, a young slave who had been told off to attend to
Mrs. Weldon, evinced for her new mistress an attachment
which, though rough, was evidently sincere.

Old Alvez, who occupied the principal house in the depét,
was rarely seen ; whilst the non-appearance of either Harris
or Negoro caused Mrs. Weldon much surprise and _ per-
plexity. In the midst of all her troubles, too, she was
haunted by the thought of the anxiety her husband must
be suffering on her account. Unaware of her having em-
barked on board the “ Pilgrim,” at first he would have
wondered at steamer after steamer arriving at San Francisco
without her. After a while the “ Pilgrim ” would have been
registered amongst the number of missing ships; and it
was certain the intelligence would be forwarded to him by
his correspondents, that the vessel had sailed from Auckland
with his wife and child on board. What was he to imagine?
he might refuse to believe that they had perished at sea,
but he would never dream of their having been carried to
Africa, and would certainly institute a search in no other
direction than on the coast of America, or amongst the
isles of the Pacific. She had not the faintest hope of her
whereabouts being discovered, and involuntarily her
thoughts turned to the possibility of making an escape.
She might well feel her heart sink within her at the bare
idea; even if she should succeed in eluding the vigilance of
the watch, there were two hundred miles of dense forest to
be traversed before the coast could be reached ; never-
theless, it revealed itself to her as her last chance, and
failing all else, she resolved to hazard it.

But, first of all, she determined, if it were possible, to
discover the ultimate design of Negoro. She was not kept


402 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

long in suspense. On the 6th of June, just a week after the
royal funeral, the Portuguese entered the depdt, in which he
had not set foot since his return, and made his way straight
to the hut in which he knew he should find the prisoner.
Benedict was out insect-hunting ; Jack, under Halima’s
charge, was being taken for a walk. Mrs. Weldon was alone.

Negoro pushed open the door, and said abruptly,—

“Mrs. Weldon, I have come to tell you, that Tom and
his lot have been sold for the Ujiji market; Nan died on
her way here; and Dick Sands is dead too.”

Mrs. Weldon uttered a cry of horror.

“Yes, Mrs. Weldon,” he continued ; “he has got what
he deserved; he shot Harris, and has been executed
for the murder. And here you are alone! mark this! alone
and in my power !”

What Negoro said was true; Tom, Bat, Actzon, and
Austin had all been sent off that morning on their way to
Ujiji.

Mrs. Weldon groaned bitterly.

Negoro went on.

“If I chose, I could still further avenge upon you the
ill-treatment I got on Loard that ship ; but it does not suit
my purpose to kill you. You and that boy of yours, and
that idiot of a fly-catcher, all have a certain value in the
market. I mean to sell you.”

“You dare not!” said Mrs. Weldon firmly ; “you know
you are making an idle threat; who do you suppose would
purchase people of white blood ?”

“I know a customer who will give me the price I mean
to ask,” replied Negoro with a brutal grin,

She bent down her head; only too well she knew that
such things weré possible in this horrid land.

“Tell me who he is!” she said; “tell the name of the
man who . A

“ James Weldon,” he answered slowly.

“My husband!” she cried; “what do you mean?”

“T mean what I say. I mean to make your husband buy
you back at my price; and if he likes to pay for them, he
shall have his son and his cousin too.”








‘*T suppose Weldon will not mind coming to fetch you ?”
Page 405.
IN CAPTIVITY. 405



“And when, and how, may I ask, do you propose to
manage this?” replied Mrs. Weldon, forcing herself to be
calm.

“Here, and soon too. I suppose Weldon will not mind
coming to fetch you.”

“He would not hesitate to come; but how could he
know we are here?”

“JT will goto him. Ihave money that will take me to
San Francisco.”

“What you stole from the ‘ Pilgrim ’?” said Mrs, Weldon.

“ Just so,” replied Negoro; “and Ihave plenty more. I
suppose when Weldon hears that you are a prisoner in
Central Africa, he will not think much of a hundred thou-
sand dollars.”

“ But how is he to know the truth of your statement ?”

“JT shall take him a letterfrom you. You shall represent
me as your faithful servant, just escaped from the hands of
savages.” ;

“ A letter such as that I. will never write ; never,” said
Mrs. Weldon decisively.

“What ? what? you refuse?”

“T refuse.”

She had all the natural cravings of a woman and a wife,
but so thoroughly was she aware of the treachery of the
man she had to deal with, that she dreaded lest, as soon as
he had touched the ransom, he would dispose of her husband
altogether,

There was a short silence.

“You will write that letter,” said Negoro.

“ Never!” repeated Mrs. Weldon.

“ Remember your child!”

Mrs. Weldon’s heart beat violently, but she did not
answer a word,

“T will give you a week to think over this,” hissed out
Negoro.

Mrs, Weldon was still silent.

“A week! I will come again in a week ; you will do as
I wish, or it will be the worse for you.”

He gnashed his teeth, turned on his heel, and left the’hut.
406 DICK SANDS, THE. BOY CAPTAIN,



CHAPTER XIV.
A RAY OF HOPE.

Mrs. WELDOoN’s first feeling on being left alone was a
sense of relief at having a week’s respite. She had notrust
in Negoro’s honesty, but she knew well enough that their
“marketable value” would secure them from any personal
danger, and she_had time to consider whether some com-
promise might be effected by which her husband might be
spared the necessity of coming to Kazonndé. Upon the
receipt of a letter from herself, he would not hesitate for a
moment in undertaking the journey, but she entertained no
little fear that after all perhaps her own departure might
not be permitted; the slightest caprice on the part of
Queen Moena would detain her as a captive, whilst as to
Negoro, if once he should get the ransom he wanted, he
would take no further pains in the matter.

Accordingly, she resolved to make the proposition that
she should be conveyed to some point upon the coast,
where the bargain could be concluded without Mr. Weldon’s
coming up the country.

She had to weigh all the consequences that would follow
any refusal on her part to fall in with Negoro’s demands.
Of course, he would spend the interval in preparing for his
start to America, and when he should come back and find
her still hesitating, was it not likely that he would find
scope for his revenge in suggesting that she must be sepa-
rated from her child.

The very thought sent a pang through her heart, and
she clasped her little boy tenderly to her side.
A RAY OF HOPE. 407



“What makes you so sad, mamma?” asked Jack.

“J was thinking of your father, my child,” she answered ;
“would you not like to see him?”

_ “Yes, yes; is he coming here ?”

“No, my boy, he must not come here.”

“Then let us take Dick, and Tom, and Hercules, and go
to him.”

Mrs. Weldon tried to conceal her tears.

“Have you heard from papa?”

SONG,”

“Then why do you not write to him ?”

“Write to him?” repeated his mother, “that is the very
thing I was thinking about.”

The child little knew the agitation that was troubling ies
mind. ;

Meanwhile Mrs. Weldon had another inducement which
she hardly ventured to own to herself for postponing her
final decision. Was it absolutely impossible that her
liberation should be effected by some different means
altogether ?

A few days previously she had overheard a conversation
outside her hut, and over this she had found herself con-
tinually pondering. :

Alvez and one of the Ujiji dealers, discussing the future
prospects of their business, mutually agreed in denouncing
the efforts that were being made for the suppression of the
slave-traffic, not only by the cruisers on the coast, but by
the intrusion of travellers and missionaries into the in-
terior.

Alvez averred that all these troublesome visitors ought
to be exterminated forthwith.

“But kill one, and another crops up,” replied the
dealer.

“Yes, their exaggerated reports bring up a swarm of
them,” said Alvez.

It seemed a subject of bitter complaint that the markets
of Nyangwé, Zanzibar, and the lake-district had been
invaded by Speke and Grant and others, and although
they congratulated each other that the western provinces
408 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



had not yet been much persecuted, they confessed that
now that the travelling epidemic had begun to rage, there
was no telling how soon a lot of European and American
busy-bodies might be among them. . The depédts at
Cassanze and Bihe had both been visited,.and although
Kazonndé had hitherto been left.quiet, there were rumours
enough that the continent was to be tramped over from
east to west.'

“ And it may be,” continued Alvez, “ that that missionary
fellow, Livingstone, is already on his way to us; if he
comes there can be but one result; there must be freedom
for all the slaves in Kazonndé.”

“Freedom for the slaves in Kazonndé!” These were
the words which in connexion with Dr. Livingstone’s name
had arrested Mrs. Weldon’s attention, and who can wonder
that she pondered them over and over again, and ventured
to associate them with her own pr ospects ¢

Here was a ray of hope!

The mere mention of Livingstone’s: name in association
with this story seems to demand a brief survey of his career.

Born on the 19th of March, 1813, David Livingstone was
the second of-six children of a tradesman in the village of
Blantyre, in Lanarkshire. After two years’ training in
medicine and theology, he was sent out by the London
Missionary Society, and landed at the Cape of Good Hope
in 1840, with the intention of joining Moffat in South Africa.
After exploring the country of the Bechuanas, he returned
to: Kuruman, and, having married -Moffat’s daughter,
proceeded in 1843 to found a mission in the Mabotsa
valley. :

After four years he removed-to Kolobeng in the Bechuana
district, 225 miles north of Kuruman, whence, in 1849,
starting off with his wife, three children, and two friends,
Mr. Oswell and Mr. Murray, he discovered Lake Ngami,
and returned by descending the course of the Zouga.

The opposition of the natives had prevented his pro-
ceeding beyond Lake Ngami at his first visit, and he made

1 This extraordinary feat was, it is Euversaly known, subsequently accom-
plished by Cameron.


Dr. Livingstone, Page 408.
A RAY OF HOPE. AII



a second with no better success. Ina third attempt, how-
ever, he wended his way northwards with his family and
Mr. Oswell along the Chobé, an affluent of the Zambesi,
and after a difficult journey at length reached the district
of the Makalolos, of whom the chief, named Sebituané,
joined him at Linyanté. The Zambesi itself was dis-
‘covered at the end of June, 1851, and the doctor returned
to the Cape for the purpose of sending his family to
England.

His next project was to cross the continent obliquely
from south to west, but in this expedition he had resolved
that he would risk no life but his own. Accompanied,
therefore, by only a few natives, he started in the following
June, and skirting the Kalahari desert entered Litoubarouba
on the last day of the year; here he found the Bechuana
district much ravaged by the Boers, the original Dutch
colonists, who had formed the population of the Cape before
it came into the possession’ of the English. After a fort-
night’s stay, he proceeded into the heart of the district of
the Bamangonatos, and travelled continuously until the
23rd of May, when he arrived at Linyanté, and was received
with much honour by Sekeletoo, who had recently become
sovereign of the Makalolos. A severe attack of fever
detained the traveller here for a period, but he made good
use of the enforced rest by studying the manners of the
country, and became for the first time sensible of its terrible
sufferings in consequence of the slave-trade.

Descending the course of the Chobé to the Zambesi, he
next entered Naniele, and after visiting Katonga and
Libonta, advanced to the point of confluence of the Leeba
with the Zambesi, where he determined upon ascending the
former as far as the Portuguese possessions in the west ; it
was an undertaking, however, that required considerable
preparation, so that it was necessary for him to return to
Linyanté.

On the 11th of November he again started. He was
accompanied by twenty-seven Makalolos, and ascended the
Leeba till, in the territory of the Balonda, he reached a spot
where it received the waters of its tributary the Makondo.
A412 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



It was the first time a white man had ever penctrated so
far.

Proceeding on their way, they arrived at the residence of
Shinté, the most powerful of the chieftains of the Balonda,
by whom they were well received, and having met with
equal kindness from Kateema, a ruler on the other side of
the Leeba, they encamped, on the 20th of February, 1853,
on the banks of Lake Dilolo.

Here it was that the real difficulty commenced ; the
arduous travelling, the attacks of the natives, and their
exorbitant demands, the conspiracies of his own attendants
and their desertions, would soon have caused any one of less
energy to abandon his enterprise; but David Livingstone
was not a man to be daunted ; resolutely he persevered, and
on the 4th of April reached the banks of the Coango, the
stream that forms the frontier of the Portuguese possessions,
and joins the Zaire on the north.

Six days later he passed through Cassangé. Here it was
that Alvez had seen him. On the 31st of May he arrived
at St. Paul de Loanda, having traversed the continent in
about two years.

It was not long, however, before he was off again.
Following the banks of the Coanza, the river which was to
bring such trying experiences to Dick Sands and his party,
he reached the Lombé, and having met numbers of slave-
caravans on his way, again passed through Cassangé, crossed
the Coango, and reached the Zambesi at Kewawa. By the
8th of the following June he was again at Lake Dilolo, and
descending the river, he re-entered Linyanté. Here he
stayed till the 3rd of November, when he commenced his
second great journey, which was to carry him completely
across Africa from west to east.

After visiting the famed Victoria Falls, the intrepid
explorer quitted the Zambesi, and took a north-easterly
route. The transit of the territory of the Batokas, a people
brutalized by the inhalation of hemp; a visit to Semalem-
boni the powerful chief of the district ; the passage of the
Kafoni; a visit to king Mbourouma; an inspection of the
ruins of Zumbo, an old Portugucse town; a mecting with








With none to guide him except a few natives, Page 416.
A RAY OF HOPE. 415



the chief Mpendé, at that time at war with the Portuguese ,
these were the principal events of this journey, and on the
22nd of April, Livingstone left Teté, and having descended
the river as far as its delta, reached Quilimané, just four
years after his last departure from the Cape. On the 12th
of July he embarked for the Mauritius, and on the 22nd of
December, 1856, he landed in England after an absence of
sixteen years.

Loaded with honours by the Geographical Societies of
London and Paris, brilliantly entertained by all ranks, it
would have been no matter of surprise ifhe had surrendered
himself to a well-earned repose; but no thought of per-
manent rest occurred to him, and on the tst of March, 1858,
accompanied by his brother Charles, Captain Bedingfield,
Dr. Kirk, Dr. Miller, Mr. Thornton, and Mr. Baines, he
started again, with the intention of exploring the basin of
the Zambesi, and arrived in due time at the coast of
Mozambique.

The party ascended the great river by the Kongone
mouth ; they were on board a small steamer named the
“ Ma-Robert,” and reached Teté on the 8th of September.

During the following year they investigated the lower
course of the Zambesi, and its left affluent the Shiré, and
having visited Lake Shirwa, they explored the territory of
the Manganjas, and discovered Lake Nyassa. In August,
1860, they returned to the Victoria Falls.

' Early in the following year, Bishop Mackenzie and his
missionary staff arrived at the mouth of the Zambesi.

In March an exploration of the Rovouma was made
on board the “Pioneer,” the exploring party. returning
afterwards to Lake Nyassa, where they remained a con-
siderable time. The 30th of January, 1862, was signalized
by the arrival of Mrs. Livingstone, and by the addition of
another steamer, the “Lady Nyassa ;” but the happiness
of reunion was very transient ; it was but a short time
before the enthusiastic Bishop Mackenzie succumbed to
the unhealthiness of the climate, and on the 27th of April
Mrs. Livingstone expired in her husband’s arms.

A second investigation of the Rovouma soon followed
416 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



and at the end of November the doctor returned to the
Zambesi, and reascended the Shiré. In the spring. of.
1853 he lost his companion Mr. Thornton, and as his
brother and Dr. Kirk were both much debilitated, he
insisted upon their return to Europe, while he himself
returned for the third time to Lake Nyassa, and.completed
the hydrographical: survey which already he had -begun.

A few months later found him once more at the mouth
of the Zambesi; thence he crossed over to Zanzibar, and
after five years’ absence arrived in London, where he
published his work, “ The exploration of the Zambesi and
its affluents.”

Still unwearied and insatiable in his longings, he was
back again in Zanzibar at the commencement of 1866,
ready to begin his fourth journey, this time attended only
by a few sepoys and negroes. Witnessing on his way some
horrible scenes which were perpetrated as the result of the
prosecution of the slave-trade, he proceeded to Mokalaosé
on the shores of Lake Nyassa, where nearly all his
attendants deserted him, and returned to Zanzibar with the
report that he was dead.

_ Dr. Livingstone meanwhile was not only alive, but
undaunted in his determination to visit the country between
the two lakes Nyassa and Tanganyika. With none to guide
him except a few natives, he crossed the Loangona, and in
the following April discovered Lake Liemmba. Here he
lay for a whole month hovering between life and death,
but rallying a little he pushed on to the north shore of Lake
Moero. Taking up his quarters at Cazembé for six weeks,
he made two separate explorations of the lake, and then
started farther northwards, intending to reach Ujiji, an
important town upon Lake Tanganyika ; overtaken, how-
ever, by floods, and again abandoned by his servants, he was
obliged to retrace his steps. Six weeks afterwards he had
made his way southwards to the great lake Bangweolo,
whence once more he started towards Tanganyika.

This last effort was most trying, and the doctor had
grown so weak that he was obliged to be carried, but he
reached Ujiji, where he was. gratified by finding some










































































































































Z

Afi ean
eam

ss AS















‘You are Dr. Livingstone, I presume ?”’ Page 419.
A RAY OF HOPE, 419



supplies that had been thoughtfully forwarded to him by
the Oriental Society at Calcutta.

His great aim now was to ascend the lake, and reach the
sources of the Nile. On the 21st of September he was at
Bambarré, in the country of the cannibal Manyuema, upon
the Lualaba, the river afterwards ascertained by Stanley to
be the Upper Zaire or Congo. At Mamobela the doctor
was ill for twenty-four days, tended only by three followers
who continued faithful ; but in July he made a vigorous
effort, and although he was reduced to a skeleton, made
his way back to Ujiji.

During this long time no tidings of Livingstone reached
Europe, and many were the misgivings lest the rumours of
his death were only too true. He was himself, too, almost
despairing as to receiving any help. But help was closer
at hand than he thought. On the 3rd of November, only
eleven days after his return to Ujiji, some gun shots were
heard within half a mile of the lake. The doctor went out
to ascertain whence they proceeded, and had not gone far
before a white man stood before him.

“You are Dr. Livingstone, I presume,” said the stranger,
raising his cap.

“Yes, sir, 1 am Dr. Livingstone, and am happy to see
you,” answered the doctor, smiling kindly.

The two shook each other warmly by the hand.

The new arrival was Henry Stanley, the correspondent
of the New York Herald, who had been sent out by Mr.
Bennett, the editor, in search of the great African explorer.
On receiving his orders in October, 1870, without ‘a day’s
unnecessary delay he had embarked at Bombay for Zanzibar,
and, after a journey involving considerable peril, had arrived
safely at Ujiji.

Very soon the two travellers found themsclves on the
best of terms, and set out together on an excursion to the
north of Tanganyika. They proceeded as far as Cape
Magala, and decided that the chief outlet of the lake must
be an affluent of the Lualaba, a conclusion that was subse-
quently confirmed by Cameron.

. Towards the end of the year Stanley began to prepare
420 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.





toreturn. Livingstone accompanied him as far as Kwihara,
and on the 3rd of the following March they parted.

- “You have done for me what few men would venture to
do; Iam truly grateful,” said Livingstone. :

Stanley could scarcely repress his tears as he expressed
his hope that the doctor might be spared. to return to his
friends safe and well.

“ Good-bye!” said Stanley, choked with emotion.

“Good-bye!” answered the veteran feebly.

Thus they parted, and in July, 1872, Stanley landed at
Marseilles.

Again David Livingstone resumed his researches in the
interior.

After remaining five months at Kwihara he gathered
together a retinue consisting of his faithful followers Suzi,
Chumah, Amoda, and Jacob Wainwright, and fifty-six men
sent to him by Stanley, and lost no time in proceeding
towards the south of Tanganyika. In the coursé of the
ensuing month the caravan encountered some frightful
storms, but succeeded in reaching Moura. There had
previously been an extreme drought, which was now
followed by the rainy season, which entailed the loss of
many of the beasts of burden, in consequence of the bites
of the tzetsy,

On the 24th of January they were at Chitounkwé, and
in April, after rounding the east of Lake Bangweolo, they
made their way towards the village of Chitambo. At this
point it was that Livingstone had parted company with
certain slave-dealers, who had carried the information to
old Alvez that the missionary traveller would vey likely
proceed by way of Loanda to Kazonndé.

But on the 13th of June, the very day before Negoro
reckoned on obtaining from Mrs. Weldon the letter which
should be the means of securing him a hundred thousand
dollars, tidings were circulated in the district that on the:
ist of May Dr. Livingstone had breathed his last.

The report proved perfectly true. On the 29th of April
the caravan had reached the village of Chitambo, the
doctor so unwell that: he was carried on a litter. .The
A RAY OF HOPE. 421



following night he was in great pain, and after repeatedly
murmuring in a low voice, “Oh dear, oh dear!” he fell
into a kind of stupor. A short time afterwards he called
up Suzi, and having asked for some medicine, told his
attendant that he should not require anything more.

“You can go now.”

About four o’clock next morning, when an anxious visit
was made to his room, the doctor was found kneeling by
the bed-side, his head in his hands, in the attitude of
prayer. Suzi touched him, but his forehead was icy with
the coldness of death. He had died in the night.

His body was carried by those who loved him, and in
spite of many obstacles was brought to Zanzibar, whencc,
nine months after his death, it was conveyed to England.
On the 12th of April, 1874, it was interred in Westminster
Abbey, counted worthy to be deposited amongst those
whom the country most delights to honour.
422 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



CHAPTER XV.
AN EXCITING CHASE.

To say the truth, it was the very vaguest of hopes to which
Mrs. Weldon had been clinging, yet it was not without
some thrill of disappointment that she heard from the lips
of old Alvez himself that Dr. Livingstone had died ata
little village on Lake Bangweolo. There had appeared to
be a sort of a link binding her to the civilized world, but it
was now abruptly snapped, and nothing remained for her
but to make what terms she could with the base and heart-
less Negoro.

On the 14th, the day appointed for the interview, he
made his appearance at the hut, firmly resolved to make
no abatement in the terms that he had proposed, Mrs.
Weldon, on her part, being equally determined not to yield
to the demand.

“ There is only one condition,” she avowed, “upon which
I will acquiesce. My husband shall not be required to
come up the country here.”

Negoro hesitated ; at length he said that he would agree
to her husband being taken by ship to Mossamedes, a
small port in the south of Angola, much frequented by
slavers, whither also, ata date hereafter to be fixed, Alvez
should send herself with Jack and Benedict ; the stipula-
tion was confirmed that the ransom should be 100,000
dollars, and it was further made part of the contract that
Negoro should be allowed to depart as an honest man.

Mrs. Weldon felt she had gained an important point in
thus sparing her husband the necessity of a journey to
AN EXCITING CHASE. . 423



Kazonndé, and had no apprehensions about herself on her
way to Mossamedes, knowing that it was to the interest
of Alvez and Negoro alike to attend carefully to her
wants.

Upon the terms of the covenant being thus arranged,
Mrs. Weldon wrote such a letter to her husband as she
knew would bring him with all speed to Mossamedes, but
she left it entirely to Negoro to represent himself in what-
ever light he chose. Once in possession of the document,
Negoro lost no time in starting on his errand. The very
next morning, taking with him about twenty negroes, he
set off towards the north, alleging to Alvez as his metive
for taking that direction, that he was not only going to
embark somewhere at the mouth of the Congo, but that he
was anxious to keep as far as possible from the prison-
houses of the Portuguese, with which already he had been
involuntarily only too familiar.

After his departure, Mrs. Weldon resolved to make the
best of her period of imprisonment, aware that it could
hardly be less than four months before he would return.
She had no desire to go beyond the precincts assigned her,
even had the privilege been allowed her; but warned by
Negorc that Hercules was still free, and might at any time
attempt a rescue, Alvez had no thought of permitting her
any unnecessary liberty. Her life therefore soon resumed
its previous monotony.

The daily routine went on within the enclosure pretty
much as in other parts of the town, the women all being
employed in various labours for the benefit of their husbands
and masters. ©The rice was pounded with wooden pestles ;
the maize was peeled and winnowed, previously to extract-
ing the granulous substance for the drink which they call
mtyellé; the sorghum had to be gathered in, the season of
its ripening being marked by festive observances ; there
was a fragrant oil to be expressed from a kind of olive
named the mfafoo; the cotton had to be spun on
spindles, which were hardly less than a foot and a half in
length; there was the bark of trees to be woven into
textures for wearing ; the manioc had to be dug up, and
424 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



the cassava procured from its roots; and besides all this,
there was the preparation of the soil for its future plantings,
the usual productions of the country being the moritsané
beans, growing in pods fifteen inches long upon stems
twenty feet high, the avachides, from which they procure a
serviceable oil, the chzlobé pea, the blossoms of which are
used to give a flavour to the insipid sorghum, cucumbers, of
which the seeds are roasted as chestnuts, as well as the
common crops of coffee, sugar, onions, guavas, and sesame.

To the women’s lot, too, falls the manipulation of all the
fermented drinks, the malafoo, made from bananas, the
pombé, and various other liquors. Nor should the care of
all the domestic animals be forgotten ; the cows that will
not allow themselves to be milked unless they can see their
calf, or a stuffed representative of it; the short-horned
heifers that not unfrequently have a hump; the goats that,
like slaves, form part of the currency of the country; the
pigs, the sheep, and the poultry.

The men, meanwhile, smoke their hemp or tobacco, hunt
buffaloes or elephants, or are hired by the dealers to join in
the slave-raids ; the harvest of slaves, in fact, being a thing
of as regular and periodic recurrence as the ingathering of
the maize.

In her daily ‘strolls; Mrs. Weldon would occasionally
pause to watch the women, but they only responded to her
notice by a long stare or by a hideous grimace; a kind
of natural instinct made them hate a white skin, and they
had no spark of commiseration for the stranger who had
been brought among them ; Halima, however, was a marked
exception, she grew more and more devoted to her mistress,
and by degrees, the two became able to exchange many
sentences in the native dialect.

Jack generally accompanied his mother. Naturally
enough he longed to get outside the enclosure, but still he
found considerable amusement in watching the birds. that
built in a huge baobab that grew within; there were
maraboos making their nests with twigs ; there were scarlet-
throated souimangas with nests like weaver-birds ; widow
birds that helped themselves liberally to the thatch of tne




The insutferable heat had driven all the residents within the depét indoors.
Page 427.
AN EXCITING CHASE, 427



huts; ca/aos with their tuneful song; grey parrots, with
bright red tails, called rowfs by the Manyema, who apply
the same name to their reigning chiefs; and insect-eating
drongos, like grey linnets with large red beaks. Hundreds
of butterflies flitted about, especially in the neighbourhood
ofthe brooks ; but these were more to the taste of Cousin
Benedict than of little Jack ; over and over again the child
expressed his regret that he could not see over the walls,
and more than ever he seemed to miss his friend Dick, who
had taught him to climb a mast, and who he was sure
would have fine fun with him in the branches of the trees,
which were growing sometimes to the height of a hundred
feet.

So long as the supply of insects did not fail, Benedict
would have been contented to stay on without a murmur
in his present quarters. ‘True, without his glasses he
worked at a disadvantage; but he had had the good
fortune to discover a minute bee that forms its cells in the
holes of worm-eaten wood, and a “sphex” that practises
the craft of the cuckoo, and deposits its eggs in an abode
not prepared by itself. Mosquitos abounded in swarms,
and the worthy naturalist was so covered by their stings as
to be hardly recognizable ; but when Mrs. Weldon remon-
strated with him for exposing himself so unnecessarily, he
merely scratched the irritated places on his skin, and
said—

“Tt is their instinct, you know; it is their instinct.”

On the 17th of June an adventure happened to him
which was attended with unexpected consequences. It
was about eleven o’clock in the morning. The insufferable
heat had driven all the residents within the dépdt indoors,
and not a native was to be seen in the streets of Kazonndé.
Mrs. Weldon was dozing; Jack was fast asleep. Benedict
himself, sorely against his will, for he heard the hum of
Many an insect in the sunshine, had been driven to the
seclusion of his cabin, and was falling into an involuntary
siesta, .

Suddenly a buzz was heard, an insect’s wing vibrating
some fifteen thousand beats a second !
428 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,

“ A hexapod!” cried Benedict, sitting up.

Short-sighted though he was, his hearing was acute, and
his perception made him thoroughly convinced that he was
in proximity to some giant specimen of its kind. Without
moving from his seat he did his utmost to ascertain what it
was ; he was determined not to flinch from the sharpest of
stings if only he could get the chance of capturing it.
Presently he made out a large black speck flitting about
in the few rays of daylight that were allowed to penetrate
the hut. With bated breath he waited in eager expectation.
The insect, after long hovering above him, finally settled
on his head. A smile of satisfaction played about his lips
as he felt it crawling lightly through his hair. Equally
fearful of missing or injuring it, he restrained his first
impulse to grasp it in his hand.

“J will wait a minute,” he thought; “perhaps it may
creep down my nose; by squinting a little perhaps I shall
be able to see it.”

For some moments hope alternated with fear. There
sat Benedict with what he persuaded himself was some new
African hexapod perched upon his head, and agitated by
doubts as to the direction in which it would move. Instead
of travelling in the way he reckoned along his nose, might
it not crawl behind his ears or down his neck, or, worse
than all, resume its flight in the air?

Fortune seemed inclined to favour him. After threading
the entanglement of the naturalist’s hair the insect was felt
to be descending his forehead. With a fortitude not un-
worthy of the Spartan who suffered his breast to be gnawed
by a fox, nor of the Roman hero who plunged his hand
into the red-hot coals, Benedict endured the tickling of the
six small feet, and made not a motion that might frighten
the creature intotaking wing. Aftermaking repeated circuits
of his forehead, it passed just between his eyebrows ; there
was a moment of deep suspense lest it should once more
go upwards ; but it soon began to move again; neither to
the right nor to the left did it turn, but kept straight on
over the furrows made by the constant rubbing of the
spectacies, right along the arch of the cartilage. till it














Before long the old black speck was again flitting just above his head.
. Page 432+
AN EXCITING CHASE. 431



reached the extreme tip of the nose. Like a couple of
movable lenses, Benedict’s two eyes steadily turned them-
selves inwards till they were directed to the proper point.

“Good!” he whispered to himself.

He was exulting at the discovery that what he had been
waiting for so patiently was a rare specimen of the tribe of
the Cicindelidz, peculiar to the districts of Southern
Africa.

“ A tuberous manticora!” he exclaimed.

The insect began to move again, and as it crawled down
to the entrance of the nostrils the tickling sensation became
too much for endurance, and Benedict sneezed. He
made a sudden clutch, but of course he only caught his
own nose. His vexation was very great, but he did not
lose his composure; he knew that the .manticora rarely
flies very high, and that more frequently than not it simply
crawls. Accordingly he groped about a long time on his
hands and knees, and at last he found it basking in a ray
of sunshine within a foot of him. His resolution was soon
taken. He would not run the risk of crushing it- by trying.
to catch it, but would make his observations on it as it
crawled ; and so with his nose close to the ground, like a
dog upon the scent, he followed it on all fours, admiring it
and examining it as it moved. Regardless of the heat he
not only left the doorway of his hut, but continued creeping
along till he reached the enclosing palisade.

At the foot of the fence the manticora, according to the
habits of its kind, began to seek a subterranean retreat, and
coming to the opening of a mole-track entered it at once.
Benedict quite thought he had now lost sight of his prize
altogether, but his surprise was very great when he found
that the aperture was at least two feet wide, and that it led
into a gallery which would admit his whole body. His
momentary feeling of astonishment, however, gave way to
his eagerness to follow up the hexapod, and he continued
burrowing like a ferret.

Without knowing it, he actually passed under the
palisading, and was now beyond it ;—the mole-track, in’
fact, was a communication that had been made between.
432 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN,



the interior and exterior of the enclosure. Benedict had
obtained his freedom, but so far from caring in the least
for his liberty he continued totally absorbed in the pursuit
upon which he had started. He watched with unflagging
vigilance, and it was only when the hexapod expanded
its wings as if for flight that he prepared to imprison it in
the hollow of his hand.

All at once, however, he was taken by surprise ; a whizz
and a whirr and the prize was gone!

Disappointed rather than despairing, Benedict raised
himself up, and looked about him. Before long the o!d
black speck was again flitting just above his head. There
was every reason to hope that it would ultimately settle
once more upon the ground, but on this side of the palisade
there was a large forest a little way to the north, and if
the manticora were to get into its mass of foliage all hope
of keeping it in view would be lost, and there would be an
end of the proud expectation of storing it in the tin box,
to be preserved among the rest of the entomological
wonders.

After a while the insect descended to the earth ; it did
not rest at all, nor crawl as it had done previously, but
made its advance bya series of rapid hops. This made
the chase for the near-sighted naturalist a matter of great
difficulty ; he put his face as close to the ground as possible,
and kept starting off and stopping and starting off again
with his arms extended like a swimming frog, continually
making frantic clutches to find as continually that his grasp
had been eluded.

After running till he was out of breath, and scratching
his hands against the brushwood and the foliage till they
bled, he had the mortification of feeling the insect dash
past his ear with what might be a defiant buzz, and finding
that it was out of sight for ever.

“Ungrateful hexapod!”. he cried in dismay, “ I intended
to honour you with the best place in my collection.”

He knew not what to do, and could not reconcile himself
to the loss ; he reproached himself for not hiving secured
the manticora at the first; he gazed at the forest till he


Le



A

Le

Mee
ge

Ray



ast Cousin Benedict had lost his chance of being the

at day at le

or th

KF

Page 435+

appiest of entomologists.

h
AN EXCITING CHASE. ~ 435



persuaded himself he could see the coveted insect in the
distance, and, seized with a frantic impulse, exclaimed,—

“TJ will have you yet!”

He did not even yet realize the fact that he had gained
his liberty, but heedless of everything except his own
burning disappointiaent, and at the risk of being attacked
by natives or beset by wild beasts, he was just on the very
point of dashing into the heart of the wood when suddenly
a giant form confronted him, as suddenly a giant hand
seized him by the nape of his neck, and, lifting him up,
carried him off with apparently as little exertion as he could
himself have carried off his hexapod !

For that day at least Cousin Benedict had lost his chance
of being the happiest of entomologists,
436 DICK.SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER XVI.

A MAGICIAN,

ON finding that Cousin. Benedict did not return to his
quarters at the proper hour, Mrs. Weldon began to feel
uneasy. She could not imagine what had become of him ;
his tin box with its contents were safe in his hut, and even
if a chance of escape had been offered him, she knew that
nothing would have induced him voluntarfly to abandon
his treasures. She enlisted the services of Halima, and
spent the remainder of the day in searching for him, until
at last she felt herself driven to the conviction that he must
have been confined by the orders of Alvez himself; for
what reason she could not divine, as Benedict had un-
doubtedly been included in the number of prisoners to be
delivered to Mr. Weldon for the stipulated ransom.

But the rage of the trader when he heard of the escape
of the captive was an ample proof that he had had no hand
in his disappearance. A rigorous search was instituted in
every direction, which resulted in the discovery of the mcle-
track. Here beyond a question was the passage throvgh
which the fly-catcher had found his way.

“Tdiot! fool! rascal!” muttered Alvez, full of rage at
the prospect of losing a portion of the redemption-money ;
“if ever I get hold of him, he shall pay dearly for this
freak.” :

The opening was at once blocked up, the woods were
scoured all round for a considerable distance, but no trace
of Benedict was to be found. Mrs. Weldon was bitterly
grieved and much overcome, but she had no alternative
A MAGICIAN, 437



except to resign herself as best she could to the loss of
her unfortunate relation ; there was a tinge of bitterness in
her anxiety, for she could not help being irritated at the
recklessness with which he had withdrawn himself from the
reach of her protection.

Meanwhile the weather for the time of year underwent a
very unusual change. Although the rainy season is
ordinarily reckoned to terminate about the end of April,
the sky had suddenly become overcast in the middle of
June, rain had recommenced falling, and the downpour had
been so heavy and continuous that all the ground was
thoroughly sodden. To Mrs. Weldon personally this in-
cessant rainfall brought no other inconvenience beyond
depriving her of her daily exercise, but to the natives in
general it was a very serious calamity.

The ripening crops in the low-lying districts were com-
pletely flooded, and the inhabitants feared that they would
be reduced to the greatest extremities ; all agricultural
pursuits had come to a standstill, and neither the queen
nor her ministers could devise any expedient to avert or
mitigate the misfortune. They resolved at last to have
recourse to the magicians, not those who are called in
request to heal diseases or to procure good luck, but to the
mganga, sorcerers of a superior order, who are credited
with the faculty of invoking or dispelling rain.

But it was all to no purpose. It was in vain that the
mganga monotoned their incantations, flourished their
rattles, jingled their bells, and exhibited their amulets ; it
was equally without avail that they rolled up their balls of
dirt and spat in the faces of all the courtiers: the pitiless
tain continued to descend, and the malign influences that
were ruling the clouds refused to be propitiated.

The prospect seemed to become more and more hopeless,
when the report was brought to Moena that there was a
most wonderful mganga resident in the north of Angola.
He had never been seen in this part of the country, but
fame declared him to be a magician of the very highest
order. Application, without delay, should be made to him ;
he surely would be able to stay the rain.
438 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

Early in the morning of the 25th a great tinkling of bells
announced the magician’s arrival at Kazonndé. The
natives poured out to meet him on his way to the chitoka,
their minds being already predisposed in his favour by a
moderation of the downpour, and by sundry indications
of a coming change of wind.

The ordinary practice of the professors of the magical
art is to perambulate the villages in parties of three or four,
accompanied by a considerable number of acolytes and
assistants. In this case the mganga came entirely alone.
He was a pure negro of most imposing stature, more than
six feet high, and broad in proportion. All over his chest
was a fantastic pattern traced in pipe-clay, the lower por-
tion of his body being covered with a flowing skirt of woven
grass, so long that it made a train. Round his neck hung
a string of birds’ skulls, upon his head he wore a leathern
helmet ornamented with pearls and plumes, and about his
waist was a copper girdle, to which was attached bells that
tinkled like the harness of a Spanish mule. The only
instrument indicating his art was a basket he carried made
of a calabash containing shells, amulets, little wooden idols
and other fetishes, together with what was more important
than all, a large number of those balls of dung, without
which no African ceremony of divination could ever be
complete.

One peculiarity was soon discovered by the crowd; the
mganga was dumb, and could utter only one low, guttural
sound, which was quite unintelligible; this was a circum-
stance, however, that seemed only to augment their faith
in his powers.

With a stately strut that brought all his tinkling para-
phernalia into full play, the magician proceeded to make
the circuit of the market-place. The natives followed in a
troop behind, endeavouring, like monkeys, to imitate his
every movement. He turned into the main thoroughfare,
and began to make his way direct to the royal residence,
whence, as soon as the queen heard of his approach, she
advanced to meet him. On seeing her, the mganga bowed
to the very dust ; then, rearing himself to his full height, he












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The entire crowd joined in Page 441,
A MAGICIAN. 441



pointed aloft, and by the significance of his animated
gestures indicated that, although the fleeting clouds were
now going to the west, they would soon return eastwards
with a rotatory motion irresistibly strong.

All at once, to the surprise of the beholders, he stooped
and took the hand of the mighty sovereign of Kazonndé.

The courtiers hurried forward to check the unprecedented
breach of etiquette, but the foremost was driven back
with so staggering a blow that the others deemed it prudent
to retire.

The queen herself appeared not to take the least offence
at the familiarity ; she bestowed a hideous grimace, which
was meant for a smile, upon her illustrious visitor, who,
still keeping his hold upon her hand, started off walking at
a rapid pace, the crowd following in the rear. He directed
his steps towards the residence of Alvez, and finding the
door closed, applied his strong shoulder to it with such
effect, that it fell bodily to the ground, and the passive
sovereign stood within the limits of the enclosure.. The
trader was about to summon his slaves and soldiers to repel
the unceremonious invasion of his premises, but on behold-
ing the queen all stepped back with respectful reverence.

Before Alvez had time to ask the sovereign to what cause
he was indebted for the honour of her visit, the magician
had cleared a wide space around him, and _ had once again
commenced his performances. Brandishing his arms wildly
he pointed to the clouds as though he were arresting them
in their course; he inflated his huge cheeks and blew with
all his strength, as if resolved to disperse the heavy masses,
and then stretching himself to his full height, he appeared
to clutch them in his giant grasp.

Deeply impressed, the superstitious Moena was half
beside herself with excitement ; she uttered loud cries and
involuntarily began herself to imitate every one of the
mganga’s gestures. The entire crowd joined in, and very
soon the low guttural note of the sorcerer was lost, totally
drowned in theturmoil of howls, shrieks,and discordant songs.

To the chagrin, however, both of the queen and her
subjects, there was not the slightest intimation that the
442 DICK SANDS, TIE BOY CAPTAIN.



clouds above were going to permit a rift by which the rays
of the tropicai sun could find a passage. On the contrary,
the tokens of improvement in the weather, which had been
observed in the early morning, had all disappeared, the
atmosphere was darker than ever, and heavy storm-drops
began to patter down.

A reaction was beginning to take place in the enthu-
siasm of the crowd. After all, then, it would seem that
this. famous mganga from whom so much had_ been
expected, had no power above the rest. Disappointment
every moment grew more keen, and soon there was a
positive display of irritation. The natives pressed around
him with closed fists and theatening gestures. A frown
gathered on Moena’s face, and her lips opened with
muttered words clear enough to make the magician under-
stand that his ears were in jeopardy. His position was
evidently becoming critical.

An unexpected incident suddenly altered the aspect of
affairs.

The mganga was quite tall enough to see over the
heads of the crowd, and all at once pausing in the midst
of his incantations, he pointed to a distant corner of the
enclosure. All eyes were instantly turned in that direction.
Mrs. Weldon and Jack had just come out of their hut,
and catching sight of them, the mganga stood with his left
hand pointing towards them and his right upstretched
towards the heavens.

Intuitively the multitude comprehended his meaning.
Here was the explanation of the mystery: It was this
white woman with her child that had been the cause of all
their misery, it was owing to them that the clouds had
poured down this desolating rain. With yells of execration
the whole mob made a dash towards the unfortunate
lady who, pale with fright and rigid as a statue, stood
clasping her boy to her side. The mganga, however, anti-
cipated them. Having pushed his way through the
infuriated throng, he seized the child and held him high in
the air, as though about to hurl him to the ground, a
peace-offering to the offended gods.








“« Tere they are, captain ! both of them! !”” Page 445+
A MAGICIAN. 445

Mrs. Weldon gave a piercing shriek, and fell senseless to
the earth.

Lifting her up, and making a sign to the queen that all
would now be right, the mganga retreated carrying both
mother and child through the crowd, who retreated before
him and made an open passage.

Alvez now felt that it was time to interfere. Already
one of his prisoners had eluded his vigilance, and was he
now to see two more carried off before his eyes? was he
to lose the whole of the expected ransom ? no, rather would
he see Kazonndé destroyed by a deluge, than resign his
chance of securing so good a prize. Darting forwards he
attempted to obstruct the magician’s progress ; but public
opinion was against him; at a sign from the queen, he
was seized by the guards, and he was aware well enough
of what would be the immediate consequence of resist-
ance. He deemed it prudent to desist from his obstruc-
tion, but in his heart he bitterly cursed the stupid credu-
lity of the natives for supposing that the blood of the white
woman or the child could avail to put an end to the
disasters they were suffering.

Making the natives understand that they were not to
follow him, the magician carried off his burden as easily as
a lion would carry a couple of kids. The lady was still
unconscious, and Jack was all but paralyzed with fright.
Once free of the enclosure the mganga crossed the town,
entered ‘the forest, and after a march of three miles, during
which he did not slacken his pace for a moment, reached
the bank of a river which was flowing towards the
north.

Here in the cavity of a rock, concealed by drooping
foliage, a canoe was moored, covered with a kind of
thatched roof; on this the magician deposited his burden,
and sending the light craft into mid-stream with a vigorous
kick, exclaimed in a cheery voice,—

“Here they are, captain! both of them! Mrs. Weldon
and Master Jack, both! We will be off now! I hope
those idiots of Kazonndé will have plenty more rain yet!
Off we go !”
440 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.

CHAPTER XVII.
DRIFTING DOWN THE STREAM.

“OFF we go!” It was the voice of Hercules addressing
Dick Sands, who, frightfully debilitated by recent sufferings,
was leaning against Cousin Benedict for support. Dingo
was lying at his feet.

Mrs. Weldon gradually recovered her consciousness.
Looking around her in amazement she caught sight of
Dick.

“ Dick, is it you?” she muttered feebly.

The lad with some difficulty arose, and took her hand in
his, while Jack overwhelmed him with kisses,

“And who would have thought it was you, Hercules,
that carried us away?” said the child; “I did not know
you a bit; you were so dreadfully ugly.”

“JT was a sort of a devil, you know, Master Jack,”
Hercules answered; “and the devil is not particularly
handsome ;” and he began rubbing his chest vigorously to
get rid of the white pattern with which he had adorned it.

Mrs. Weldon held out her hand to him with a grateful
smile.

“Yes, Mrs. Weldon, he has saved you, and although he
does not own it, he has saved me too,” said Dick.

“Saved!” repeated Hercules, “you must not talk about
safety, for you are not saved yet.”

And pointing to Benedict, he continued,—

“ That’s where your thanks are due; unless he had come
and informed me all about you and where you were, I
DRIFTING DOWN THE STREAM. 447

should have known nothing, and should have been powerless
to aid you.”

It was now five days since he had fallen in with the
entomologist as he was chasing the manticora, and uncere-
moniously had carried him off.

As the canoe drifted rapidly along the stream, Hercules
briefly related his adventures since his escape from the
encampment on the Coanza. He described how he had
followed the kitanda which was conveying Mrs. Weldon ;
how in the course of his march he had found Dingo badly
wounded ; how he and the dog together had reached the
neighbourhood of Kazonndé, and how he had contrived to
send a note to Dick, intending to inform him of Mrs.
Weldon’s destination. Then he went on to say that since
his unexpected vencontre with Cousin Benedict he had
watched very closely for a chance to get into the guarded
depét, but until now had entirely failed. A celebrated
mganga had been passing on his way through the forest,
and he had resolved upon impersonating him as a means
of gaining the admittance he wanted. His strength made
the undertaking sufficiently easy; and having stripped
the magician of his paraphernalia, and bound him securely
toa tree, he painted his own body with a pattern like that
which he observed on his victim’s chest, and having attired
himself with the magical garments was quite equipped
to impose upon the credulous natives. The result of
his stratagem they had all that day witnessed.

He had hardly finished his account of himself when Mrs.
Weldon, smiling at his success, turned to Dick.

“ And how, all this time, my dear boy, has it fared with
you ?” she asked.

Dick said,—

“T remember very little to tell you. I recollect being
fastened to a stake in the river-bed and the water rising
and rising till it was above my head. My last thoughts
were about yourself and Jack. Then everything became
a blank, and I knew nothing more until I found myself
amongst the papyrus on the river-bank, with Hercules
tending me like a nurse.”
448 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN. %

“You see I am the right sort of mganga,” interposed
Hercules ; “ I am a doctor as well as a conjurer.” .

“ But tell me, Hercules, how did you save him ? ”

“Oh, it was not a difficult matter by any means,”
answered Hercules modestly ; “it was dark, you know, so
that at the proper moment it was quite possible to wade in
amongst the poor wretches at the bottom of the trench,
and to wrench the stake from its socket. Anybody could
have done it. Cousin Benedict could have done it. Dingo,
too, might have done it. Perhaps, after all, it was Dingo
that did it.”

“No, no, Hercules, that won’t do,” cried Jack; “ besides,
look, Dingo is shaking his head ; he is telling you he didn’t
do it.”

“Dingo must not tell tales, Master Jack,” said Hercules,
laughing.

But, nevertheless, although the brave fellow’s modesty
prompted him to conceal it, it was clear that he had
accomplished a daring feat, of which few would have
ventured to incur the risk.

Inquiry was next made after Tom, Bat, Actzeon, and
Austin. His countenance fell, and large tears gathered in
his eyes as Hercules told how he had seen them pass
through the forest in a slave-caravan. They were gone ;
he feared they were gone for ever.

Mrs. Weldon tried to console him with the hope that
they might still be spared to meet again some day; but he
shook his head mournfully. She then communicated to
Dick the terms of the compact that had been entered into
for her own release, and observed that under the circum-
stances it might really have been more prudent for her to
remain in Kazonndé.

“ Then I have made a mistake; I have been an idiot, in
bringing you away,” said Hercules, ever ready to depreciate
his own actions.

“No,” said Dick; “you have made no mistake; you
could not have done better ; those rascals, ten chances to
one, will only get Mr. Weldon into some trap. We must
get to Mossamedes before Negoro arrives; once there, we
DRIFTING DOWN THE STREAM. 449

shall find that the Portuguese authorities will lend us their
protection, and when old Alvez arrives to claim his 100,000
dollars—”

“ He shall receive a good thrashing for his pains,” said
Hercules, finishing Dick’s sentence, and chuckling heartily
at the prospect.

It was agreed on all hands that it was most iaponket
that Negoro’s arrival at Mossamedes should be forestalled.
The plan which Dick had so long contemplated of reaching
the coast by descending some river seemed now in a fair
way of being accomplished, and from the northerly direc-
tion in which they were proceeding it was quite probable
that they would ultimately reach the Zaire, and in that
case not actually arrive at S. Paul de Loanda; but that
would be immaterial, as they would be sure of finding help
anywhere in the colonies of Lower Guinea.

On finding himself on the river-bank, Dick’s first thought
had been to embark upon one of the floating islands that are
continually to be seen upon the surface of the African
streams, but it happened that Hercules during one of his
rambles found a native boat that had run adrift. It was
just the discovery that suited their need. It was one of
the long, narrow canoes, thirty feet in length by three or
four in breadth, that with a large number of paddles can
be driven with immense velocity, but by the aid of a
single scull can be safely guided down the current of a
stream.

Dick was somewhat afraid that, to elude observation, it
would be necessary to proceed only by night, but as the
loss. of twelve hours out of the twenty-four would double
the length of the voyage, he devised the plan of covering
the canoe with a roof of long grass, supported by a
horizontal pole from stém to stern, and this not only
afforded a shelter from the sun, but so effectually concealed
the craft, radder-scull and all, that the very birds mistook
it for one of the natural islets, and red-beaked gulls, black
arringhas and grey and white kingfishers would frequently
alight upon it in search of food.

Though comparatively free from fatigue, the voyage
450 DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



must necessarily be long, and by no means free from
danger, and the daily supply of provisions was not easy to
procure. If fishing failed, Dick had the one gun which
Hercules had carried away with him from the ant-hill, and
as he was by no means.a bad shot, he hoped to find plenty
of game, either along the banks or by firing through a loop-
hole in the thatch.

The rate of the current, as far as he could tell, was about
two miles an hour, enough to carry them about fifty miles
a day; it was a speed, however, that made it necessary
for them to keep a sharp look-out for any rocks or
submerged trunks of trees, as well as to be on their guard
against rapids and cataracts.

Dick’s strength and spirits all revived at the delight of
having Mrs.. Weldon and Jack restored to him, and he
assumed his post at the bow of the canoe, directing Hercules
how to use the scull at the stern. A litter of soft grass was
made for Mrs. Weldon, who spent most of her time lying
thoughtfully in the shade. Cousin Benedict was very taci-
turn ; he had not recovered the loss of the manticora, and
frowned ever and again at Hercules, as if he had not yet
forgiven him for-stopping him in the chase. Jack, who had
been told that he must not be noisy, amused himself by
playing with Dingo.

The first two days passed without any special incident.
The stock of provisions was quite enough for that time, so
that there was no need to disembark, and Dick merely lay
to for a few hours in the night to take a little necessary
repose.

' The stream nowhere exceeded 150 feet in breadth. The
floating islands moved at the same pace as the canoe, and
except from some unforeseen circumstance, there could be
no apprehension ofa collision. The banks were destitute
of human inhabitants, but were richly clothed with wild
plants, of which the blossoms were of the most gorgeous
colours; the asclepiz, the gladiolus, the clematis, lilies,
aloes, umbelliferze, arborescent ferns and fragrant shrubs,
combining on either hand to make a border of surpassing
beauty. Here and there the forest extended to the very






Hercules could leave the boat without much fear of detection,

a

Page 453-
DRIFTING DOWN THE STREAM. 453

shore, and copal-trees, acacias with their stiff foliage, bau-
hinias clothed with lichen, fig-trees with their masses of
pendant roots, and other trees of splendid growth rose to
the height of a hundred feet, forming a shade which the
rays of the sun utterly failed to penetrate.

Occasionally a wreath of creepers would form an arch
from shore to shore, and on the 27th, to Jack’s great delight,
a group of monkeys was seen crossing one of these natural
bridges, holding on most carefully by their tails, lest the
aérial pathway should snap beneath their weight. These
monkeys, belonging to a smaller kind of chimpanzee,
which are known in Central Africa by the name of sokos,
were hideous creatures with low foreheads, bright yellow
faces, and long, upright ears; they herd in troops of about
ten, bark like dogs, and are much dreaded by the natives
on account of their alleged propensity to carry off young
children ; there is no telling what predatory designs they
might have formed against Master Jack if they had spied
him out, but Dick’s artifice effectually screened him from
their observation.

Twenty miles further on the canoe came to a sudden
standstill.

“What's the matter now, captain ?” cried Hercules from
the stern. ;

“We have drifted on to a grass barrier, and there is no
hope for it, we shall have to cut our way through,” answered
Dick.

“ All right, I dare say we shall manage it,” promptly re-
plied Hercules, leaving his rudder to come in front.

The obstruction was formed by the interlacing of masses
of the tough, glossy grass known by the name of ¢ikatika,
which, when compressed, affords a surface so compact and
resisting that travellers have been known by means of it to
cross rivers dry-footed. Splendid specimens of lotus plants
had taken root amongst the vegetation.

As it was nearly dark, Hercules could leave the boat
without much fear of detection, and so effectually did he
wield his hatchet that, in two hours after the stoppage, the


454. DICK SANDS, THE BOY CAPTAIN.



barrier was hewn asunder, and the light craft resumed the
channel.

It must be owned that it was with a sense of reluctance
that Benedict felt the boat was again beginning to move
forward ; the whole voyage appeared to him to be perfectly
uninteresting and unnecessary ; not a single insect had he
observed since he left Kazonndé, and his most ardent wish
was that he could return there and regain possession of his
invaluable tin box. But an unlooked-for gratification was
in store for him.

Hercules, who had been his pupil long enough to have an
eye for the kind of creature Benedict was ever trying to
secure, on coming back from his exertions on the grass-
barrier, brought a horrible-looking animal, and submitted it
to the sullen entomologist.

“Is this of any use to you ?”

The amateur lifted it up carefully, and having almost
poked it into his near-sighted eyes, uttered a cry of
delight,—

“ Bravo, Hercules! you are making amends for your past
mischief ; it is splendid! it is unique !”

“Ts it really very curious?” said Mrs. Weldon.

“Yes, indeed,” answered the enraptured naturalist; “ it
is really unique ; it belongs to neither of the ten orders ; it
can be classed neither with the coleoptera, neuroptera, nor
to the hymenoptera: if it had eight legs I should know how
to classify it ; I should place it amongst the second section
of the arachnida ; but it is a hexapod, a genuine hexapod ;
a spider with six legs ; a grand discovery ; it must be entered
on the catalogue as ‘ Hexapodes Benedictus.’” Once again
mounted on his hobby, the worthy enthusiast continued to
discourse with an unwonted vivacity to his induigent if not
over attentive audience.

Meanwhile the canoe was steadily threading its way
over the dark waters, the silence of the night broken only
by the rattle of the scales of some crocodiles, or by the
snorting of hippopotamuses in the neighbourhood. Once
the travellers were startled by a loud noise, such as might