Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/119

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“I have not been among the savage tribes in lower Borneo,” he said, addressing The Architect; “neither do I know the red Indian as the Americans or their grandfathers may have known him. But I do know the cannibal”—here he looked straight at Le Blanc—“and he is not as black as he is painted. In fact, the white man is often ten times blacker in the same surroundings.”

“Not when they roasted your Belgian friend?” cried Louis, with some anger.

“Not even then. There were two sides to that question.”

“The brown and the underdone, I suppose,” remarked Louis sotto voce.

“No, the human.”

“But you don’t excuse the devils, do you?” broke in Le Blanc. “Their cruelties are incredible. A friend of mine once met a man in Zanzibar who told him he had seen a group of slaves, mostly young girls, who, after being fattened up, were tied together and marched from one of the villages to the other that the buyers might select and mark upon their bodies the particular cuts they wanted.”

“I haven’t a doubt of it. It’s all true,” replied Herbert. “I once saw the same thing