Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/176

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After much dickering with Ahamed, the captain agreed to purchase freedom at the rate of forty dollars per head, in addition to two looking-glasses, two combs, two pairs of scissors, a large bunch of beads, and a knife, as soon as he and his companions should be safely delivered at a friendly port. This price was not to include any official ransom which the crafty Arabs might squeeze out of the representatives of the British or American governments.

Several days of noisy haggling were necessary before Captain Paddock, Irish Pat, and the three English boys were transferred to a new owner, but the chief retained Black Sam and Black Jack, and his caravan moved off to the mountains with them. "The looks of these poor fellows were so dejected, it was painful to behold them," wrote the skipper, and in this forlorn manner vanished forever these two seamen of the Oswego's forecastle who had served with a cheerful fidelity and whose hearts were as white as their skins were black.

The Arabs drifted into a region more fertile, where there was grain to reap with sickles and grazing for the large flocks. The mariners were kept at unremitting toil on the scantiest rations, and they became mere skeletons; but their health bore up astonishingly well; and not one of them died by the wayside. The irrepressible Pat came "nearest to