Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/74

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38
DEVONSHIRE CHARACTERS

to 6 June her hostess, the whole family, and the domestics treated her with the utmost consideration and regard.

Among the visitors at Knole was a gentleman who had made many voyages in the East Indies, and he took a lively interest in the girl, and conversed with her, partly by word of mouth and partly—when at fault for words—by signs.

It must have been an interesting sight, the travelled gentleman interrogating Caraboo and taking notes of her reply, with an admiring circle around of the family and visitors, wondering at his linguistic acquirements and facility of speech in Oriental tongues. This traveller committed to writing the following particulars obtained from Caraboo.

She was daughter of a person of high rank, of Chinese origin, by a Mandin, or Malay woman, who was killed in war between the Boogoos (cannibals) and the Mandins (Malays). Whilst walking in her garden at Javasu attended by three sammen (women), she was seized by pirates commanded by a man named Cheeming, bound hand and foot, her mouth covered, and carried off. She herself in her struggles wounded two of Chee-ming's men with her creese; one of these died, the other recovered by the assistance of justee (surgeon). After eleven days she was sold to the captain of a brig called the Tappa-Boo. A month later she arrived at a port, presumably Batavia, remained there two days, and then started for England, which was reached in eleven weeks. In consequence of ill-usage by the crew, she made her escape to shore. She had had a dress of silk embroidered and interwoven with gold, but she had been induced to exchange this with a woman in a cottage whose doors were painted green, but the situation of which she could not describe.