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he was playing and singing Tom Bowling,' the words of which he had learnt from old Praiseworthy. He sang the song through to the end, and Dan repeated the last two lines :
My body has been under hatches to-day, Dan,' said Joshua, although I wasn't in the same condition as poor Tom Bowling. I daresay' (with a furtive look at Dan) that I shall often be under batches.'
"Ah !' said Dan. He knew what was coming.
• The Old Sailor has been telling me such stories, Dan! What do you think? He was taken by a pirate-ship once, and served with them for three months.'
• As a pirate ?'
Yes ; he has been a pirate. Isn't that glorious? It was an awful thing, though; the ship he was in—a merchantman-saw the pirate-ship giving chase. They tried to get away, but the pirates had a ship twice as good as theirs, and soon overhauled them. Then the grappling-irons were thrown, and the pirates swarmed into the merchantman, and there was a terrible fight.
Those who were not killed were taken on board the pirate-ship, the Old Sailor among the rest. There were three women with them, and 0, Dan, would you believe it ?—those devils, the pirates, killed them every one, men and women too, and threw them overboard - killed every one of them but the Old Sailor.'
*How was it that he was saved, Jo ?'
• That is a thing he never could make out, he says. It turned him sick to see the pirates slashing away with their cutlasses, but when they came to the women he was almost mad. He was bound to a mast by a strong rope, and when he saw a woman's face turned to him, and looking at him imploringly, although her eyes were almost blinded by blood
0!' cried Dan with a shudder, as if he could see the dreadful picture.
'It was a woman who had had a kind word for every one on the merchant-ship-a lady she was, and everybody loved her,' continued Joshua, with kindling eyes and clenched fists. When the Old Sailor saw her looking at him, he gave a yell, and actually broke the rope that bound him. But a dozen pirates had him down on the deck the next moment. He fought with them, and called out
to them, “Kill me, you devils !" You should hear the Old Sailor tell the story, Dan! “Kill me, you devils !” he cried out, and he grappled with them, and hurt some of them. You may guess that they were too many for him. They bound him in such a zig-zag of ropes—round his neck and legs and back and arms — that he couldn't move, and they kicked him into a corner. There he lay, with his eyes shut, and heard the shrieks of his poor companions, and the splashes in the water as their bodies were thrown overboard. After that there was a great silence. “Now it is my turn,” he said to himself, and he bit his tongue, so that he should not scream out. But it wasn't his turn; some of the pirates came about him, and talked in a lingo he couldn't understand, and when he thought they were going to slash at him, they went away, and left him lying on the deck alive! He lay there all night, dozing now and then, and waking up in awful fright; for every time he dozed, he fancied that he heard the screams of the poor people who had been killed, and that he saw the bloody face of the poor lady he had tried to save. They didn't give him anything to eat or drink all night; all they gave him was kicks. “Then,” said the old Sailor, “ they're going to starve me!" If he could have moved, he would have thrown himself into the sea, but he was too securely tied. Well, in the morning, the captain, who could speak a little English, came and ordered that the ropes should be loosened. “Now's my time," said the old Sailor, and he felt quite glad, Dan, he says; and he says, too, that he felt as if he could have died happy if they had given him a chew of tobacco.
Open your eyes, pig of an Englishman!” cried the captain, for the Old Sailor kept his eyes shut all the time. “I sha’n’t, pig of the devil !” roared the Old Sailor; but, without meaning it, he did open his eyes. “Look here, pig,” said the captain, “you are a strong man, and you ought to be a good sailor.” “ I'd show you what sort of a sailor I am, if you would cut these infernal
0, Jo!' said Dan, with a warning finger to
That is what the Old Sailor said, Dan,' continued Joshua. ""I'd show you what sort of a sailor I am, if you would cut these—you know what-ropes, and give me a cutlass or a marlinspike!" But the captain only laughed at him ; and said, “Now, pig, listen. You will either do
one of two things. You will either be one of
“Turn pirate !" cried the Old Sailor ; “no; I'll be-you know what, Dan—if I do!"
Very well, pig,” said the captain ; “refuse, and you shall be cut to pieces, finger by finger, and every limb of you. I give you an hour, pig, to think of it.” The Old Sailor says that, if he had had a bit of tobacco, he would have chosen to be killed, even in that dreadful manner, rather than consent to join them. He never in all his life longed so for a thing as he longed then for a quid, as he calls it. It made him mad to see the dark devils chewing their tobacco as they worked. “Anyhow," he thought, “I may as well live as be killed. I shall get a chance of escape one day.” So when the hour was up, and the captain came, the Old Sailor told him that he would oblige them by not being chopped into mincemeat, if they would give him a chew of tobacco. They gave it to him, and unbound him; and that is the way he became a pirate.'
* And how did he get away, Jo ?' asked Dan.
* That is wonderful, too,' continued Joshua. He was with them for three months, and saw strange things and bad things, but never took