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ransom or buy his shipmates held in Barbary. The old records note many such incidents as that in 1700 Benjamin Alford and William Bowditch "related that their friend Robert Carver was taken nine years before a captive into Sallee; that contributions had been made for his redemption; that the money was in the hands of a person here; that if they had the disposal of it they could release Carver."

The expansion of American trade in far-distant waters which swiftly followed the Revolution increased the numbers of disasters of this kind, and among the old narratives of the sea which were written about 1800 no theme is more frequent, and few so tragic, as the sufferings of the survivors of some gallant American ship that laid her bones among the breakers of the African coast. These personal experiences, simply and movingly written by some intelligent master or mate and printed as books or pamphlets, were the "best sellers" of their day, when the world of fact was as wildly romantic as the art of fiction was able to weave for a later generation.

Among these briny epics of the long ago is the story of Captain Judah Paddock and his crew of the ship Oswego. She sailed from Cork in March, 1800, for the Cape Verd Islands to take on a cargo of salt and hides, and then complete the homeward voyage to New York. The ship was a vessel of two hundred and sixty tons, very small to modern eyes, and carried thirteen sailors, including boys. After passing Cape Finisterre, Captain Paddock began to distrust his reckoning because of much thick weather, but felt no serious concern until the ship was fairly in the surf, which lifted and pounded her hull with one tremendous blow after another. Daylight disclosed what the old sea-songs called "the high coast of Barbary" no more than a few hundred yards away. The Oswego was beating her life out among the rocks, and it was time to leave her. The boats were smashed in trying to land, and the only refuge was this cruel and ominous shore, the barren wastes of sand and mountain, the glaring sun, the evil nomads.

With a few bottles of water and such food as they could pack on their backs, these pilgrims set out to trudge along the

coast in the direction of distant Mogador, where they hoped to find the protection of an English consul. It was not a hopeful omen when they discovered a group of roofless huts rudely built of stones, a heap of human bones, and the broken timbers of a frigate washed up by the tide. These relics were enough to indicate the fate of a large company of seamen who had been cast away in this savage region.

There were men of all sorts among these hapless refugees from the Oswego, and most of them endured their hard lot with the patient courage of the deepwater mariner. The cook, however, was an exasperating rascal of an Irishman called Pat, who had smuggled himself aboard as a ragged stowaway in Cork, and he lost no time in starting trouble on the coast of Barbary. In his pack was a bottle of gin which had passed the skipper's inspection as water, and while on sentry duty at night to watch for prowling Arabs he got uproariously drunk and fought a Danish foremast hand who was tippling with him. In the ruction they smashed several precious bottles of water, and were too tipsy next morning to resume the march.

The other sailors held an informal trial. This was their own affair, and Captain Paddock's protests were unheeded. Pat was so drunk that he could not appear in his own defense, and the sentence was that his share of bread and water should be taken from him and that he should be left behind to die. He was accordingly abandoned, blissfully snoring on the sand, the empty gin bottle in his fist; but after a mile or so of painful progress two of the men relented and listened to the captain's appeal. Back they went, and dragged Pat along, cursing him bitterly and swearing to kill him on the spot if he misbehaved again.

After three days the torments of thirst became severe, and the heat fairly blistered their souls. There was water, plenty of it, in barrels in the wreck of their ship, and this was all that most of the sufferers could think of. Captain Paddock urged them to keep on with him to the eastward a few days longer toward the goal of Mogador, but they were ready to turn and struggle back fifty miles to the ship just to get enough

water to drink. It mattered nothing to them that they were throwing away the hope of survival. The skipper was made of sterner stuff, and so they amiably agreed to part company. A black sailor, Jack, stepped forward and said, with simple fidelity, "Master, if you go on, I will go, too." The other negro of the crew grinned at his comrade and exclaimed, "If you go, Jack, I 's obliged to stand by." The scapegrace Pat, regarding the captain as his friend and protector, also elected to stay with him.

And so Captain Judah Paddock was left to toil onward with Black Sam and Black Jack and the impossible Irish cook as his companions, while the first and second mates and the rest of the crew turned westward toward their ship. The parting scene had a certain nobility and pathos as the narrative describes it:

The generosity of my fellow sufferers ought not to pass by unnoticed. To a man they agreed that we should have a larger share of the water remaining than those returning to the ship. Furthermore, they invited us to join them in taking a drink from their own stock and at the conclusion, sailor-like, they proposed a parting glass from their own stock. All things arranged and our packs made up, we took of each other an affectionate leave and thus we separated. The expression of every man on this truly trying occasion can never be erased from my memory as long as my senses remain. Some of us could hardly speak the word farewell. We shook hands with each other and silently moved in opposite directions.

Captain Paddock's little party was captured by Arabs on the very next day. He met them calmly, his umbrella under one arm, his spy-glass under the other, expecting instant death; but they were intent on plunder, and the four men were stripped of their packs and most of their clothing in a twinkling. It was soon apparent that shipwrecked sailors were worth more alive than dead, and they were hustled along by their filthy captors, who gave them no more food and water than would keep body and soul together. The Arabs traveled in haste to reach the wreck of the Oswego, as a rare prize to be gutted and stripped. When they reached it, another desert clan, two hundred and fifty strong, had

already swooped down like vultures and was in possession. There were much yelling and fighting and bloodshed before a truce was declared and the spoils divided. Meanwhile Captain Paddock found opportunity to talk with the mates and sailors who had returned to the wreck and who were also miserable captives. Then they were dragged away from one another, and only one of this larger party of American castaways was ever heard of again.

Flogged and starved and daily threatened with death, Captain Paddock, Irish Pat, and the two black seamen were carried into the desert until their captors came to a wandering community of a thousand Bedouins, with their skin tents and camels and sheep and donkeys. Amid the clamor the Americans heard a voice calling loudly in English: "Where are they? Where are they?" And then, as Captain Paddock tells it:

A young man once white pressed through the crowd at last. It was an English youth of about nineteen, his skin deeply burnt with the sun, without hat or shoes, and his nakedness covered only with a few rags. The first words spoken to us by this frightful looking object were "Who are you? My friends. My friends!"

I would have arisen to greet him but was too feeble. He sat down by my side, the tears streaming from his eyes, while he gave an account of himself. His name was George and he had been the steward of a ship called the Martin Hall of London cast away upon that coast more than a year before; part of the crew had been marched in a south-easterly direction to a place they called Elic, another part had been carried to Mogadore and there ransomed, and four of them yet remained among the wandering Arabs who had been very cruel to them. He had no doubt that some of the men had been murdered because it was rumored that their owners could not find a ready sale for them or the prices offered were too small.

A few days after this, the chief of the tribe, Ahamed, came back from a journey with two other lads of this same English crew, Jack, who was a cabin boy of thirteen, and a bright mulatto named Lawrence, a little older. Curiously enough, the young Briton seemed contented among these wild Bedouins and was fast

forgetting his own people and memories of childhood. These three youngsters These three youngsters from the Martin Hall had learned to speak Arabic readily, and they informed the Americans that all the captives were to be offered for sale at once, and bargaining had already begun. Captain Paddock and his two black sailors were held at very high prices, and there was apparently no market for them. In this year of 1800, thrifty New England skippers and merchants were doing a roaring business in the African trade, and there was logic in the argument of Ahamed, the Bedouin chief:

I do not wish to sell these two black men at any price. They are used to our climate and can travel the desert without suffering. They are men that you Christian dogs stole from the Guinea coast and you were going there to get more of them. You are worse than the Arabs who enslave you only when it is God's will to send you to our coast.

Captain Paddock confesses that never did he feel a reproach more sensibly; that a great many wearing the Christian name did force away from their homes and carry into perpetual slavery the poor African negroes, and thereby make themselves worse than the Arabs. The English lads drove the truth home by secretly admitting to him that their ship, the Martin Hall, had been engaged in the Guinea slave trade when wrecked on the coast of Barbary. After much dickering with the chief, the captain agreed to purchase freedom at the rate of forty dollars per head, two looking-glasses, two combs, two pairs of scissors, a large bunch of beads, a knife, and some tobacco, upon delivery at a friendly port. This was to be in addition to any official ransom which the crafty Arabs might squeeze out of British or American representatives.

After days of noisy haggling, the skipper, Pat, and the three English boys were transferred to new owners, but the chief retained Black Sam and Black Jack, and his caravan moved off to the mountains with them. "The looks of the poor fellows were so dejected, it was painful to behold them," and in this forlorn manner vanished forever those two faithful seamen of the Oswego's fore

castle who had served with a cheerful and loyal fidelity.

The Arabs drifted into a region more fertile, where there was grain to reap with sickles and grazing for the large flocks. The mariners were kept at unremitting toil on the scantiest rations, and they became mere skeletons; but their health bore up astonishingly well, and not one of them died by the wayside. The irrepressible Pat came nearest to death when he sang Irish songs and danced jigs for the Arab women and so delighted them they fed him porridge, or stirabout as he called it, until he swelled like a balloon. That astute chieftain, Ahamed, reappeared on some important errand of tribal conference, and again held discourse with Captain Paddock concerning the ethics of the slave trade. In his stately fashion he declaimed:

You say that if I were in your country, your people would treat me better than I treat you. There is no truth in you, nothing but lies. If I were there I should be doomed to a life-time of slavery and be put to the hardest labor in tilling your soil. You are too lazy yourselves to work in your fields and therefore you send your ships to the negro coast and in exchange for the worthless trinkets with which you cheat those poor blacks, you take away ship-loads of them to your country, from which never one returns. We pray earnestly to the Almighty God to send Christians ashore here in order that we may gain a little profit of the same kind, and God hears our prayers and often sends us some good ships.

It was this same masterful Bedouin, a lord of the desert wastes, who enlightened Captain Paddock as to what had befallen the frigate which drove ashore where the Oswego's crew had discovered the sea-washed timbers and the roofless huts of stone and the heap of human bones. It was a very large war-ship, French or British, and the crew of several hundred men were able to land much property and to make shelters for themselves before the Arabs found them. A small tribe went down to take all their belongings, as was proper, but the armed and disciplined band of sailors fired upon the visitors, and the latter were enraged at the resistance of these dogs and fell

upon them furiously. Men were killed on both sides, and the Arabs, finding the enemy so strong, sent for help, and another tribe went down to the sea. It was a hard fight, for the Christians shot very straight and often, and the Arabs were not able to close in with their long knives; so a third tribe was summoned, and the command was turned over to Ahamed. He told Captain Paddock:

At daylight I made signs to them to lay down their arms, upon which their camp seemed all in confusion. At the moment we were preparing to attack them they formed themselves in a close body and began to march off eastward. We formed ourselves in three divisions, according to the tribes, and the chief of each tribe led on his own men. We attacked them in front and in rear and after fighting a long time we killed half those dogs and then the remnant left alive laid down their arms. We now all dropped our guns and fell upon them with our knives and every one of them was killed, and their whole number we found to be five hundred.

After several months of heartbreaking toil, privation, and hopes deferred, Ahamed concluded to take the business in hand and to see what could be done about getting rid of the captain and Pat and the English boys at a satisfactory profit. The harvests had been garnered and the demand for labor was not so urgent. The chief had been greatly pestered by a hag of a sister who was anxious to get her hands on the looking glass, comb, and scissors that had been mentioned as part of the bargain. Accordingly they set out for the coast with a small escort, all mounted on good Arab horses, the Americans, tortured by uncertainty, for "avarice was the ruling passion of our owners," explains the skipper, "and if they could have obtained as much money by putting us to death as by selling us, I verily believe they would not have hesitated to kill us on the spot, for of humane feelings towards Christians they were completely devoid."

Near the coast they met two horsemen, who halted to discuss conditions in the slave marts, much like modern salesmen met in the lobby of a hotel. One of these pilgrims advised Ahamed to stay away from Swearah (Mogador), telling him:

"It is not best to carry them there.

At Elic the Jews will give more for them than the consul at Swearah will pay as ransom. Besides, the plague has been killing so many people that you ought to keep these Christian slaves until the next harvest when there will be a great scarcity of labor."

This advice seemed plausible until Ahamed encountered two acquaintances afoot, one of them a very bald old man who held an opinion quite the contrary, explaining:

"In Elic the plague still rages and if you carry your Christian slaves there, they may all die before you get rid of them. And just now they would not fetch enough to reward you for the trouble of taking them there."

Obviously perplexed, Ahamed changed the course of his journey, to the dismay of Captain Paddock, who feared that they were to be conveyed into the interior of Barbary, beyond all chance of salvation. In a walled town Ahamed met his own brother, who was also a tribal chief, and for once the wretched captives were given enough to eat.

"Dear brother of mine," was Ahamed's greeting, "I am bound off to find a market for these vile Christians who have been complaining of hunger and I promised that they should have an abundance of victuals upon their arrival here."

The brother gravely assented, and his hospitality was so sincere that when one of his wives failed to cook sufficient stew for the evening meal he felled her with a club and proceeded to beat her to death by way of reproof. "I will see if my orders cannot be obeyed," he observed to Ahamed, who viewed it as no affair of his. An exchange of news induced the owner of the Christian mariners to seek the little Moorish seaport of St. Cruz, and four months after the wreck of the Oswego they beheld a harbor, with ships riding at anchor. The governor of the place, a portly, courteous Moor, commanded Ahamed to take his captives to Mogador without delay and deliver them up to the consul. To Captain Paddock he remarked:

"These Arabs are a set of thieves, robbers, and murderers and from time immemorial they have been at war with the Moors and with all others within their reach. If there is any more trouble,

I will keep you here a few days, when I shall be going myself to Mogador."

The warlike Ahamed was somewhat abashed by this reception, and he made great haste to obey the governor's decree. Mounted on camels, the party crossed the mountain trails, but halted to consider breaking back to the desert with the captives and seeking a more auspicious market for them. Ahamed regretted that he had not sold them before he foolishly strayed into the clutches of that accursed Moorish governor of St. Cruz. More than likely there would be no ransom forthcoming at Mogador. In the nick of time another Moorish gentleman strolled into the little walled mountain town where they tarried for the night and demanded to know what was going on. To him Ahamed sourly vouchsafed:

"These be Christians whom God in his goodness cast upon our coast. We bought them on the edge of the Great Desert from a tribe which had taken them from the wreck. We had intended to carry them to Mogador but to-day we have heard that the consul has no money to buy Christians with."

The Moor suggested that Captain Paddock dictate a letter to the British consul at Mogador, naming a ransom price of four hundred dollars each, which message could be sent on ahead of Ahamed, who could await a reply before venturing into the city. The messenger galloped away on a spirited steed, but, alas! he soon came galloping back, having met a friend on the road who read the letter and said that it would not do at all. Captain Paddock was in the depths of despair, when the friendly Moor came to the rescue with another plan. The American captain should be his own messenger into Mogador, with Ahamed and an escort to guard against escape, while the other sailors were held in the mountains as hostages.

This was favorably received, and after a wearisome journey Captain Judah Paddock rode into Mogador to find the British consul. When he entered the flat-roofed stone building, above which flew the red Cross of St. George, six or eight hearty-looking English sailors rushed forward to welcome him as a shipwrecked seaman. They were surviv

ors of the Martin Hall and "when I told them," says the Yankee skipper, "that three of their crew were with my party their joy was loud and boisterous. One lusty son of Neptune ran to the consul's door shouting, 'Mr. Gwyn, Mr. Gwyn, an English captain is here from the Arab coast, and the Arabs with him.'"

The consul, a venerable gentleman, hastened out in his shirt and breeches, for the hour was early in the morning, and to him Captain Paddock explained that he was in truth an American shipmaster whose only chance of rescue had been to call himself an Englishman. Mr. Gwyn invited him to sit down to breakfast, and tactfully explained that there was supposed to be an American consular agent in Mogador, but the incumbent just then was a Genoese who spoke no English and had been bundled aboard an outward-bound ship by order of the Emperor of Morocco, who had conceived a dislike for him. Mr. Gwyn went on to break the news that he had no funds with which to ransom captive sailors and that the nearest official resource would be the American consulgeneral at Tangier.

At this Ahamed was for dragging his slaves back to the desert, but the kindly Mr. Gwyn had no intention of permitting it, and he introduced Captain Paddock to a firm of British merchants, brothers, William and Alexander Court, who promptly offered to pay the amount stipulated and trust to the American and British governments for repayment. It then transpired that even after payment to the Arab tribes for the recovery of such shipwrecked waifs as these, it depended upon the whim and the pleasure of the Emperor of Morocco whether they should be allowed to go home from Barbary. He had been known to hold Christian wanderers as prisoners until it suited him to issue an edict or special passport of departure.

While dining at the house of a British resident in Mogador, Captain Paddock met a Jewish merchant recently returned from the coast of the Sahara, and he told a yarn which brought a gleam of humor into the bitter experience. He had got wind of a shipwreck and posted off on the chance of a speculation. At the Oswego he found two or three hundred

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