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[182]

“‘Name it.’

“‘I think it is a pirate,’ said I, not moving a muscle.

“‘Ha!’ he exclaimed, looking at me rather curiously. ‘Are you not afraid to find yourself on board a pirate?’

“‘Why should I be?’ I answered. ‘But for you, I should have died on the hen-coop, and I suppose, if you had meant to take away my life, you wouldn’t have taken the trouble to save me, since death was certain.’

“‘A bold fellow!’ said the captain, aside, to the mate. He spoke in the Spanish language, but I had managed to pick up some odd phrases in that lingo, so I knew what he was driving at. The mate seemed to agree, and they talked a little more. I didn’t understand, but guessed it was about me.

“The pirate captain, after a short confab with the mate, turned round, and spoke to me. ‘Well, my man,’ said he, ‘I 佛山桑拿论坛蒲友交流 don’t mind telling you that you’ve hit the mark in guessing that this is the Red Rover, and a pirate. I believe she has made something of a reputation for herself,’ he added, proudly.

[183]

“I bowed.

“‘Now I have a proposal to make to you. We’re rather short-handed. We need two or three brave fellows, and I am inclined to think, from your bearing, that you will suit us. Now, if you would like it, you shall be admitted to equal privileges with the rest of the crew, with an equal share of whatever booty we manage to pick up, and that I may tell you, is not small. Here, Roderigo, step forward, and tell this man how much your share was last year.’

“Roderigo, a villainous-looking fellow, stepped forward, and answered, ‘Nearly two thousand dollars in goods and money.’

“‘You see, then, what are the inducements. Will you join us 佛山桑拿网2019论坛 or not?’

“Now I very well knew what the consequences of my refusal would be, so I replied, without a moment’s hesitation, ‘I will.'”

“What, did you become a pirate?” asked Charlie, horror-struck.

“Pretty much in the same way that you became a sailor, my lad; because I couldn’t help it.”

[184]

“And did you join in robbing vessels, and killing all on board?”

“Hold on, my lad; you’re a little too fast for me. You’ll know in due time. The pirate captain seemed pleased with my promptness, and made me sign the book. I should have given a wrong name, only I had given the right one when I was hailed, though, for that matter, Sturdy isn’t my right name. The captain told me, in a very polite sort of way, that if I should undertake to play them false, or interfere with them in any way, I should be pitched overboard. As this threat 佛山桑拿会所全套流程 did not seem to trouble me much, he seemed to be satisfied that it was all right with me. In the course of a day or two, I got acquainted with the crew. They were mostly Spaniards, but there was a sprinkling of other nations,—French, Danes, Germans, and one Englishman.”

“Were there any Yankees?”

“No, I’m proud to say there wasn’t one except myself, and I wasn’t there of my own free will. Piracy doesn’t chime in with our Yankee notions, and it’s my belief you’ll find[185] precious few full-blooded Yankees that are engaged in the business.”

“How did you get out of their clutches?” asked Charlie.

“That’s what I’m coming to by and by. For a few days we didn’t meet a vessel, or, at least, one that was alone, and so would do to attack. I was glad of that, for I was ready enough to do my duty on board the ship, but I knew that, 最新佛山飞机按摩论坛 just as soon as we met a vessel, I should be expected to do my share of the fighting, and it went against my grain to engage in any such villainous business as that. However, I thought I wouldn’t borrow trouble, but wait till it came, and then I could decide what to do.

“At last I heard the cry I so much dreaded, ‘Sail ho!’ from one of the crew, who had been sent aloft to give notice of an approaching vessel.

“‘Where away?’ shouted the pirate captain.

“‘To the eastward.’

“Orders were at once given to change the course of the vessel, and to make for the[186] stranger. As soon as she saw us she made every effort to get away, but the Red Rover was too swift for her. When we got within a short distance, I made out the vessel to be the Sally Ann, which had left port about the time the Peregrine did. I knew some of those on board 佛山南海桑拿论坛交流 very well, and the captain was an old school-mate of mine.

“‘What would they think,’ I couldn’t help saying to myself, with a groan, ‘if they knew their old messmate was regularly enrolled among the crew of the pirate that is overhauling them?'”
XXII. HOW TO ESCAPE FROM A PIRATE.
Bill Sturdy paused to take a whiff at his pipe, and then resumed his story, in which Charlie manifested no slight interest.

“I was taken all aback,” he continued,

“when I found it was the Sally Ann I was expected to join hands with the pirates against. I couldn’t help thinking of the many pleasant hours I had spent on board that[187] vessel, chatting and spinning yarns with the crew. What to do I didn’t know.

“The pirates were already clearing for action, and all seemed as busy as bees. You ought to have seen the eager look there was on their 佛山桑拿会所全套流程 villainous faces, as they watched the Sally Ann, just, for all the world, like a crafty spider, lying in wait for a fat fly.

“Just then the captain came up to where I was standing, and fixed his sharp glance on me. ‘Now, my man,’ said he, ‘here’s a chance for you to distinguish yourself. That vessel will no doubt prove a rich prize. Do your duty, like a man, in the coming engagement, and you shall have a good share of the spoils. If

you don’t, or if you prove false to us, you know your fate.’

“He pointed up to the yard-arm, as much as to say that I should be strung up, if I refused obedience, and I’ve no doubt he would have kept his word.

“I just answered, ‘Aye, aye, sir,’ without looking particularly concerned.

“‘What will you do to the crew when the ship has fallen into your hands?’ I asked.

[188]

“‘Send them to Davy Jones’s 佛山桑拿0757n locker,’ he said, with no more compunction than if he were speaking of a litter of kittens.

“Well, I felt as if I was in a pretty tight place; some like a man I’ve heard of somewhere, who was being chased by a buffalo across a large field. At last he came to a precipice a hundred feet high. Of course, it would be death for him to jump off, and it would be just as much death for him to stay where he was. So he just waited till the old buffalo was close to him, and then he dodged out of the way, and the buffalo, who was going at full speed, leaped over the precipice, and was dashed to pieces. Well, I thought whether I couldn’t do something of that kind. I knew that, if I shouldn’t fight, the pirates would be as good as their word, and kill me, and if I did, I should be guilty of piracy, and be liable to be hung as a pirate, if ever I got caught.”

“That was a pretty hard choice,” said Charlie.

“So it seemed to me,” said Bill. “The only thing I thought of that would do me[189] any good, was to turn upon the pirates some way. If I could only have jumped into the water, unobserved, and swam to the other ship, I would have fought to the last, in their defence.”

“Why didn’t you do it?”