Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/420

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was why the story told by Henry Hamel, the purser of the Sparrow-hawk, aroused such a vast amount of interest when he reappeared with seven shipmates after escaping to Japan.

The vessel flew the flag of the Dutch East India Company, and sailed from Batavia with a crew of sixty-four men, under orders to drop a new Dutch governor at the island of Formosa. This castellated ark of a seventeenth-century merchantman safely completed this leg of her voyage and was then sent to Japan to pick up a cargo of copper, silk, camphor, porcelain, and bronze. The winds drove the Sparrow-hawk to and fro, and for a fortnight she still hobbled and rolled within sight of Formosa. Then came a tempest which made a wreck of her, and she piled upon the rocks of the Korean island of Quelpert.

The governor promptly sent soldiers to make prisoners of the thirty-four Dutchmen, who were treated with unexpected kindness. The purser, the pilot, and the surgeon's mate were given an audience by this island ruder, and the scene included a romantic surprise.

Seated beside the Korean governor of this strange, unknown island was a man of a florid complexion who wore a great red beard. The castaways stared at him and declared that he was a