Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/157

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DAVID WOODARD, CHIEF MATE

turned sulky, and the villagers took the cue. They ignored the white visitors as though they were under a ban of excommunication until Woodard delivered a speech in the crowded market-place.

Speaking to them in their own tongue, he eloquently declaimed that the unfortunate strangers had been guilty of no other crime than that of yearning to behold once more the faces of their own dear wives and children. The feelings of Tuan Hadjee were profoundly stirred by the oration. Amid the applause of the fickle populace he clasped the chief mate to his breast, and vowed that while a mouthful of rice remained to him, his friends should share it with him.

Nothing was said, however, about setting the captives free, and these energetic sailors began to plan another voyage on their own account. Tuan Hadjee shrewdly suspected something of the sort, and all the canoes were carried away from the beach and guarded when the sun went down. A pirate proa came winging it into the harbor of Tomboa to fill the water-casks and give the crew shore liberty. Woodard noticed that the men came ashore in a canoe unusually large and seaworthy, and resolved to steal it by hook or crook. He asked the sociable pirates to let him use the canoe to go fishing in and offered to share the catch with them. To this they