Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/418

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it must be made by some shipwrecked persons escaped to those sands, hoisted out their boat to take them in. Serrano and his companion readily ran to the place where they saw the boat coming, but as soon as the mariners approached so near as to distinguish the strange figures and looks of these two men, they were so affrighted that they began to row back.

But the poor men cried out and that they might believe them not to be devils of evil spirits, they rehearsed the creed and called aloud the name of Jesus, with which words the mariners returned, took them into the boat and carried them to the ship, to the great wonder of all present, who with admiration beheld their hairy shapes, not like men but beasts, and with singular pleasure heard them relate the story of their past misfortunes.

The companion died in his voyage to Spain, but Serrano lived to come thither, from whence he travelled into Germany where the Emperor, Charles V, then resided: all which time he nourished his hair and beard to serve as an evidence and proof of his past life. Wheresoever he came the people pressed, as to a sight, to see him for money. Persons of quality, having the same curiosity, gave him sufficient to defray his charges, and his Imperial Majesty, having seen him and heard his discourses, bestowed a rent upon him of four thousand pieces of eight a year, which make forty-eight hundred ducats in Peru. Alas, while going to take possession of this income, Peter Serrano died at Panama and had no farther enjoyment of it.

This Spanish sailor of long ago deserved to enjoy those golden ducats, and it was a most unkindly twist of fate that snuffed his candle out. He was more fortunate, however, than most shipwrecked