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captain rose to meet him,—but was instantly seized by two young men who were by his side. His new friends immedi. ately assumed their wonted malignity of expression; gnashed their teeth at him; and stuck their daggers within an inch of every part of his body; while the old man seized him by the hair, snatched up a sharp scimitar, and drew it lightly across the collar of his shirt. The captain understood him; and accordingly made signs to his crew, that they should put into a bucket
all the money there was on board, and have it brought on shore by means of the hawser; adding, at the same time,what none of them comprehended,--that it should not be put in possession of the natives till he was effectually set free.
The old man counted out the money into three heaps; one for himself, one for the two old women, and the other for the two young men.
When the distribution was completed, the whole family rose; and guarding their prisoner with suspended daggers, began to take their way very leisurely for the interior. In order to have one more opportunity of escape, the captain made them understand, that there was still some money on board of the brig. They wheeled immediately; and, coming within a hundred yards of the beach, made him sit down, and bid him to have the said money brought on shore. He had got an idea, that his escape depended upon the disembarkation of Antonio Michel; and, after a little negotiation, the poor old fellow' was persuaded to go on shore. The natives immediately surrounded him; stripped off his clothes, pricked him with their knives, and beat him with their fists. The captain told him to make his tormentors understand, that there was money buried near the tent;—and indeed about $400 had actually been embowelled there. They immediately hastened to the spot; and had not been digging long before their hopes were realized in the sight of the wished-for treasure. The noise occasioned by the discovery, drew off, for a moment, the attention of the two who had remained to guard the captain:--he seized this opportunity; got a little the start; and before they could overtake him---plunged into the sea. The old man rushed in after him; but the captain swam under water till he was nearly out of reach; and after almost superhuman exertion,' (as he says), was fortunate enough to gain the lee of the brig. He was taken in completely exhausted; and recovered just in time to see the natives dragging across the sandhills the lifeless trunk of poor Antonio.
He was now resolved to try the sea, in the long boat---as leaky and crazy as she was. The jib and mainsail of the small boat were transferred to her. By diving into the hold, the captain found water enough to fill a four-gallon cask. A few
pounds of salted pork, and about four pounds of figs were secured; and with the rest of the cargo there was
a live pig, weighing about twenty pounds, which had escaped to the shore when the vessel struck, and which swam back again when they were driven from the shore.' The captain put up a prayer to his Creator; and tells us, that, when the boat was shoved off,
the dreadful surges that were nearly bursting upon them, suddenly subsided, making a path for her about twenty yards wide, and a mile long, through which they rowed her as smoothly as if she had been on a river in a calm, whilst on each side of them, and not more than ten yards distant, the surf continued to break twenty feet high, and with unabated fury. The dangers and sufferings which they encountered in this desperate undertaking, we cannot find room to particularize. They started on the 29th of August:--on the 31st, they were obliged to kill their famished pig, for the sake of something fresh; on the 1st of September, they were reduced to the necessity of only wetting their mouths twice a day with water, and as many times with urine; they concluded to put about on the 2d; descried the coast again on the 7th; and, though the shore was composed of high, overhanging cliffs, which the sea dashed against with perpetual violence, they were determined to hazard a landing. They accordingly approached a small spot, which appeared like a shelf of sand; and were carried (says the author) on the top of a tremendous wave, so as to be high and dry, when the surf retired, on a little piece of sand beach, just large enough for the boat to lie on. They carried up the rocks, what little water and pork there was left; and after helping to finish the last bottle of wine, the captain and Mr. Savage endeavoured to ascend the cliffs in order to discover where they were.
Finding no access to the summit, however, they returned to their companions; and, along with them, ate a little pork, tasted of a little water, laid' down to rest, and, ‘notwithstanding their dreadful situation, slept soundly till day-light.' The shore, which was five hundred feet high, ran from ĚN. E. to W. S. W., and the place where our sufferers landed, was afterwards ascertained to be at no great distance from Cape Blanco.
On the morning of the 8th, they divided their water into seperate bottles; each took a portion of the pork; and, with an agreement to keep together and to assist each other, they all set out eastwardly, in order to discover some place where the top of the rocks might be accessible. A dreadful journey lay before them. They were sometimes obliged to ascend craggy rocks, between two and three hundred feet high, and let themselves down again from precipice to precipice: now and then they could enly get by a projecting cliff, by taking advantage of the retiring serge; and at one place particularly, they were necessitated to climb along a narrow ledge, between forty and fifty feet high, and not more than eight inches broad.' The sun beat most intolerably upon their backs; and, as their shoes were soon worn off, they drew blood upon themselves at almost every step. To increase the calamities of the captain, in particular, he broke his bottle in climbing over a rock; and his tongue, cleaving to the roof of his mouth, was as useless as a dry stick, until he loosened it by'---what we think it is enough to have mentioned once. In this way they got over four miles, in about four times as many hours; slept soundly all night; and on the morning of the 9th, awoke again to a renewal of their sufferings. They had not journied far before they discovered, at no great distance, a sand beach, which, by its slope, appeared to open a way into the interior. Hope spurred them forward; and their eyes were so intently fixed upon the beach, that they did not discover, till they were almost against it, a bold promontorial rock, which completely intercepted their passage to the happy land. In looking around for some place to surmount it, the captain discovered, about half way across the point, a rock which had been washed full of holes, and which was alternately overwhelmed and left bare by each successive wave. He took advantage of the retiring sea; swam to the rock; and, grappling in the chinks for his life, suffered the water to break over him; and then, as it receded again, was quick enough to reach the other side. One after another, they all followed his example;--and now thought themselves in a land which they would excuse for not flowing with milk and honey, provided they could only find a stream of fresh water. While the crew were digging along the beach, the captain contrived to make his way up the rocks, in hopes of finding some green thing to allay their thirst, or some tree to shelter them from the sun. He gained the summit; and lo! a barren plain, extending every way as far as the eye could reach, and unrelieved by a tree, or a shrub, or even a blade of grass. Despair is a great deal too weak a word to use here:the captain sunk to the earth; where he lay almost senseless for some time; and was only roused again by the hope of being able to terminate his miseries by throwing himself into the sea. Before he gained the beach, however, he had time to consider that, in destroying himself, he destroyed eight others; and with a humble reliance upon the mercy of Providence, he resolved to spare what little life he had remaining. His crew gathered about him as he reached the shore, in order to learn the result of his adventure;—but all he had to communicate was, that * they could go along the beach two miles before meeting again
with the perpendicular cliffs, and that they would find great relief by bathing their bodies in salt water.
They arrived at the cliff about mid-day; so much exhausted that they could not think of trying to surmount it; and they concluded, therefore, to lie down and rest, in the shade of an overhanging rock. Two hours of negative happiness thus passed away: and the refreshment afforded by sleep and by a light sea breeze, added to the ardent hope of finding, in the higher ground, some substitute for food and drink, enabled them, with the greatest exertion, to attain the summit of the cliff. The captain had endeavoured to prepare them for no very delightful prospect: but the sight of an almost illimitable extent of reddish ground, baked almost to flint, and variegated with nothing but gravel and ragged stones, was really more than they had formed any conception of. To say they wept, is saying nothing;--and what indeed can express the suffering of human beings, who are fain to moisten their parched tongues by the very tears which those sufferings called forth! (p.59.) The captain exhorted them to go forward by every means in his power: and their hopes were somewhat revived by observing the dry stalk of a small plant, resembling the parsnip, and the remains of some locusts, which lay scattered over the earth. Near evening, too, they discovered some small holes, which, as they found no tracks on the surrounding dust, they concluded must have been dug by some human being; and about sun-set they saw, on a small spot of sand, the imperfect track of a camel. These were omens of better times. They all started on again with a new impulse of hope; nor had they travelled long before that hope was partially realized in the discovery of a distant light. The crew would have approached it without delay; but the captain had read enough of the Arabs to know that a visit in the dark would only provoke their butchery; and he prevailed on his men to lie down and be contented till day-light. On the morning of the 10th, accordingly, they set forward; and, on mounting the little eminences to the eastward, they descried a large company of Arabs'watering their camels, in a valley, formed by sand hills on the north, and by the abrupt cliffs on the south. One man and two women immediately approached them; the former brandishing his scimitar, and the latter throwing sand into the air. The others soon followed the example; and our crew soon found themselves surrounded by a set of robbers--who pulled them this way and that, --cut each other to the bone over the heads of their captives,--and fought for nearly an hour, with an increasing earnestness, which grew almost into hostility. The property fell at last into the
strongest hands; and no one paid any more attention to his wounds than merely to rub off the blood by means of sand. The captain had been particular in cautioning his men against
drinking too much at a time, in case they ever came to water;' and, by way of enforcing that premonition, he drank himself a half a gallon the moment he got at it. All had a diarrhea through the same excess. In the course of an hour or two, one party of the captors took Mr. Williams, Robbins, Porter, Hogan, Barrett, and Burns; set them naked on the bare backs of the camels; and started again on their journey into the interior. The captain, Mr. Savage, Clark, Horace, and Dick, the cook, who remained behind, were obliged to assist in drawing water for the camels, and in replenishing the goat skins for future use. These skins are stripped off the animal as whole as ever, except at the neck; and, when filled with water, are hung on each side of the camel, by means of a small rope tied to the fore legs. The women and children of a company are carried under the camel's belly, in baskets constructed of the skins of the same animal, stretched over a wooden rim:the men ride before the hump, on a rude kind of saddle, made of the same sort of skin, drawn tight over a small wooden frame. The remainder of the company were now ready;--the way was steep and sandy: our sufferers were obliged to assist in driving the camels; and, before they reached the level country, they were reduced to the necessity of being driven themselves. Here they stopped; and the camels were made to lie down and rest.
A journey across the Zahahrah, is such a monotonous business,—and we have already taken up so much room with the detail of what our captives suffered up to this point,--that we must complete the remainder of the narrative in more compressive terms.--It is a pretty general impression, that the African Desert is nothing more than a vast mediterranean sea of sand. The truth is, however, that the ground work is a soft, reddish brown rock; extending from about the 18th to the 26th degree of north latitude, and from thę Atlantic ocean on the west, to we know not what precise limit on the east. It is in general about five hundred feet above the level of the sea, and between two and three hundred above that of the territory on its borders. In short, we can compare it to nothing else but a huge brick, laid longitudinally across the continent. About four fifths of its surface are composed of reddish earth, mixed with gravel, sand, and stones, --all baked down as hard as marble, and forming, with the remaining fifth of bare rock, a surface as smooth and invariable as that of the sea in a calm. At intervals, of from ten to twenty and thirty miles, however, there are vallies of from one to four and five acres, scooped out in the form of