By H. G. W. Kingston
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Extra resources for The African Trader Or The Adventures of Harry Bayford
We were soon completely enveloped in it. This seemed to give the slaver's crew great satisfaction, and they again began to talk and laugh in their usual tone, while all the time they continued their exertions to get the vessel off. Lazy as the Spaniards are they can work as hard as any one when they have a sufficient motive to arouse them. I observed the captain frequently wetting his finger and holding it up, and soon I felt a light breeze blowing from the land. The sails were let fall, and the crew making another desperate effort, the schooner glided away up to her anchors.
Said the officer, for Paul had forgotten the discipline of a man−of−war in speaking. At that moment I thought I recognised the lieutenant's countenance; yes, I was nearly certain it was my cousin Jack Haultaught, whose yarns, when he was a midshipman, first made me wish to go to sea. He and his crew soon sprang on to the low deck of the schooner, while the boat, with a couple of hands in her, was veered astern. I first greeted Paul warmly. His joy at seeing me was excessive, for he had been afraid that the slavers would have thrown me overboard as they had him, and as I had not been picked up thought my life had been sacrificed.
As soon as the sea was calm enough hands were sent on board her to rig jury−masts, and a course was steered for Sierra Leone. The slaver, as may be supposed, was condemned, the slaves liberated, and the whole of them settled in the colony. Paul entered on board the “Triton,” and I was placed as a midshipman on her quarter−deck. We cruised for a short time longer on the coast, and captured another slaver, and then, as the corvette had been her due time on the station, she was ordered home. Jack, from having been at sea, had not heard of the misfortunes of my family.