Page:Yule Logs.djvu/380

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364
THE SLAVER'S REVENGE

yourself, just cast off these lashings of mine, will you; they hurt most abominably!"

"Ha! ha! zhey hurt, do zhey?" he retorted. "Bon! so much ze better-r-r; I am glad! Listen, mon bon capitan! I am not Jules St. Croix at all; I am Jules Lenoir, ze elder brother of ze man you killed vhen you capture ze Don Cristoval, and I am also ze capitan of ze Josefa! Vhen I hear zhat my brother vhas kill, I svear zhat I vill have my revanche; and vhen ve hear zhat you have capture ze St. Iago and ze Mercedes" (the brigantine) "it vhas agree zhat you make yourself too troublesome, and zhat you must be remove out of our way. So I plan vone leetle plan, and go to sea in ze Muette to look for you; and behold! here you are!"

"So!" ejaculated I; "I begin to understand. And, now that you have me, pray what are you going to do with me? Murder me?"

"Non! non!" answered my captor, "I vill not stain my hands vith your dirty blood; I vill make a present of you to my good friend King Plenty. He vill know vhat to do vith you!"

King Plenty! I had heard of him as a most ferocious savage inhabiting a spot on one of the creeks on the southern bank of the river, a potentate who, thanks to his dealings with the slavers, had accumulated a vast store of wealth in the shape of rum, muskets, and ammunition, and who, with the aid of the two latter, had become quite a power among his neighbour kings. Naturally, therefore, the objects of his deepest and most concentrated hatred were those pestilent white men who were making such strenuous efforts to suppress the slave-trade; and it was rumoured that when, at rare intervals, one of these hated beings had the misfortune to fall into his hands, the event was celebrated by a festivity the principal feature of which consisted in putting the captive to death with every refinement of torture that the savage imagina-