Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/149

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

at a town on the sea-coast. There Woodard almost died of fever, but a woman befriended him and greatly helped to save his life. The episode suggests a romance, and this viking of a sailor who drifted in so strangely from an unknown world was a man to win the love of women. In this respect, however, he was discreetly silent when it came to relating the story of his wanderings in Celebes, and the interest which he inspired is sedately described as follows:

At her first visit she looked at him some time in silence, then went to the bazaar and bought some tobacco and bananas which she presented to him, as also a piece of money. Seeing him scantily clothed, she asked whether he had no more clothing and whether he would have some tea. Then carrying one of the other sick men home with her, she gave him tea and a pot to boil it in. She likewise sent rice and some garments, with a pillow and two mats. This good woman was of royal blood and married to a Malay merchant. These were not her only gifts, for she proved a kind friend to the seamen while they were at that place. Another house being provided for the five men, Woodard, unable to walk, was carried thither accompanied by a great concourse of young females who immediately on his arrival kindled a fire and began to boil rice. His fever still continued very severe and on the morning of the fourth day of his residence an old woman appeared with a handful of boughs, announcing that she was come to cure him and that directly. In the course of a few min-