Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/175

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slaves were to be sold at once and that bargaining had already begun.

The captain of the Oswego and his two black seamen were held at very high prices, and apparently there was no immediate market for them. In this year of 1800 thrifty New England skippers and merchants were piling up money in the African slave-trade, and there was logic in the argument of Ahamed, the Bedouin chief:


"I do not wish to sell these two black men at any price. They are used to our climate and can travel the desert without suffering. They are men that you Christian dogs stole from the Guinea coast, and you were going there to get more of them. You are worse than the Arabs who enslave you only when it is God's will to send you on our coast."


Captain Paddock confessed that never did he feel a reproach more sensibly; that a great many wearing the Christian name did force away from their homes and carry into perpetual slavery the poor African negroes, and thereby did make themselves worse than the Arabs. The English lads drove this truth home by secretly admitting to him that their ship, the Martin Hall, had been engaged in the Guinea slave-trade when wrecked on the coast of Barbary.