Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/174

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A young man once white pressed through the crowd, burnt with the sun, without hat or shoes, and his nakedness covered only with a few rags. The first words spoken to us by this frightful looking object were, "Who are you? My friends! My friends!"

I would have arisen to greet him but was too feeble. He sat down at my side, the tears streaming from his eyes, while he gave an account of himself. His name was George and he had been the steward of a ship called the Martin Hall of London, cast away upon that coast more than a year before. Part of the crew had been marched in a southeasterly direction to a place they called Elic, another part had been carried to Swearah and there ransomed, and four of them yet remained among the wandering Arabs who had been very cruel to them. He had no doubt that some of the men had been murdered because it was rumored that their owners could not find a ready sale for them, or the prices offered were too small.


A few days after this, the chief of the tribe, Ahamed, came back from a journey with two other lads of this same English crew. One was Jack, a cabin boy of thirteen, and the other was named Lawrence, a year or two older. Curiously enough, the English-born urchin, Jack, seemed contented among these wild Bedouins, and was rapidly forgetting his own people and the memories of childhood. These three youngsters from the Martin Hall had learned to speak Arabic quite readily, and they informed Captain Paddock that all the white