Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/237

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FRIGATES THAT VANISHED

sensibly concluded that it was a man's own business if he yearned to hop from the frying-pan into the fire, and so they let the ship go toward the first land sighted after leaving Fiji.

This happened to be the island of Tucopia, and if you care to prick it off on the chart, Chief Officer Dillon gives the position as latitude 12° 15' S. and longitude 169° E. The Lascar sailor who also had been saved from the irate Fijians and their uplift movement elected to seek this new place of exile along with Martin Bushart as a sort of Man Friday to a Prussian Robinson Crusoe, and so the singular pair were left on the beach of Tucopia, where they waved an unperturbed farewell, while the Hunter hoisted colors and fired a gun to express her regards and best wishes. What kind of welcome the natives extended them is left to conjecture.

Mr. Dillon, when it came to writing about the episodes, unconsciously employed the trick of the playwright who permits so many years to elapse between the acts of the drama. Nothing could be more concise than his method of joining the facts together. He tells us:

 
We landed Martin Bushart and the Lascar on this island the 20th September, 1813. On the 13th of May, 1826, in command of my own ship, the St. Patrick, bound from Valparaiso to Pondicherry, I came in sight of the is-