Captain Dillon mentions the dates in a very casual fashion, but some years had elapsed with a vengeance—thirteen of them, in fact—during twelve of which Martin Bushart had dwelt contentedly without seeing the face of another white man. The ties that bound him to his island had been strong enough to hold him there when the chance was offered to sail away in the English whaler.
While the pair of them were visiting Captain Dillon on board of the St. Patrick, the Lascar showed the sailors a tarnished old silver sword-guard, and one of them bought it of him for a few fish-hooks. Captain Dillon happened to see it, and asked Martin Bushart where it had come from. In this strangely accidental way was revealed the clouded mystery of La Perouse and his lost frigates. Bushart explained that when he had first landed on the island the natives possessed as their chief treas-