Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/153

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could hastily lay hands on. They were delayed in a search for paddles, and a sentry gave the alarm.

Twenty soldiers surrounded them and dragged them back to the rajah, who locked them up, while he chewed betel-nut and meditated on the case of these madmen who refused to be tamed. Just then the priest Tuan Hadjee was sailing for another port, and he vainly petitioned the royal assent to taking the American sailors along with him. The rajah's wrathful refusal so annoyed the impetuous chief mate that he organized another dash for freedom. Captivity, privation, and disappointment seemed to daunt him not at all.

This time the five mariners surprised the sentries at the gates, deftly tied them up, and lugged them to the beach. There a large canoe was discovered, and the fugitives piled aboard and hoisted the sail of cocoanut matting. Unmolested, they moved out of the starlit bay and flitted along the coast until sunrise. Then they hauled in to hide at an island until night. While making sail again, one of the men carelessly stepped upon the gunwale of the cranky craft, and it instantly capsized almost a mile from shore.

They climbed upon the bottom, managed to save the paddles, and navigated the canoe back to the island by swimming with it. There they rekindled