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against the Zulus, yet when Hans saw these men thus calmly awaiting their death, he was desirous of saving then).
See those men standing near the mast,' said Hans : 'they are Zulus. I should like to save their lives.'
• How can you do that ?' inquired the lieutenant.
Will you let them come in the boat?' inquired Hans.
“Yes, if they can get in; but I cannot allow the boat to go near the slaver : she would be swamped in a minute, and all our lives would be sacrificed.'
'I will try to make them understand,' said Hans, if you will help them into the boat if they swim to us.' Saying this, Hans called in a shrill voice, “Mena-bo,' at which the Zulus started up, and looked eagerly in the direction of the boats, which they could just perceive by aid of the light given by the burning ship. Having thus called their attention to him, Hans called in the Zulu language, Jump into the water, and swim to me, or the ire will soon kill you.'
The Zulus for a few seconds seemed to hesitate, but looking round at the fire, which was rapidly closing round them, the three men stepped on the side of the vessel, and jumped feet first into the sea. In an instant afterwards their heads appeared above water, as they swam rapidly towards the boats, into which they were dragged by the sailors.
“The men are all mad,' said one of the Zulus to Hans.
The Ship on Fire.
“They put fire to the ship to free themselves, and now they will not put water to the fire.'
*Are the white men dead?' inquired Hans, referring to the sailors who had been attacked in the hold.
'Yes, and they would be cold by now were they not kept warm by the fire. It is all fire where we were.'
The escape of the Zulus had either not been noticed by the negroes, or they supposed it was an act of desperation on the part of these men; for no notice was taken of it, the negroes still continuing their frantic proceedings. The slaver was evidently burning inside more than out.
The flames every now and then shot up, whilst at two places in her hull they had forced a way out. Every now and then there was a hissing sound, as though water had fallen on a red-hot surface, and steam in abundance came up from below; the flames again arose, and after a time the same hissing occurred.
'I believe,' said the lieutenant, the flames have eaten a way through her somewhere, and the water is entering her ; that is what causes the steam.
It is so ; look! she is settling down.'
As he thus called attention to the slaver, all eyes were turned to her. The flames, which had previously risen half-way up her masts, suddenly ceased, whilst a sheet of white steam arose in their stead. The vessel's hull gradually descended; and the boat's crew had but just time to obey the command to pull and together,' and to move the two boats a safer distance from the
ship, when the beautifully-modelled slaver, her yelling cargo of demons, and her mutilated bodies, sank together beneath the smooth surface of the ocean. Though she went down gradually till within a few inches of the water's edge, she yet raised a large wave by her submergence, which lifted the boats, and caused them to dance for some minutes. The darkness was fearful after the late glare of the burning ship; and so awful was the sight of this crowd of human beings, hurried into a next existence whilst their spirits were stirred with feelings of murder and rapine, that a dead silence of near a minute prevailed in the two boats, the sailors even being awe-struck at the catastrophe.
The voice of the lieutenant first broke the silence, and it seemed to all a relief to hear a human being speak.
"I will light a lantern, that we may keep together,' said the lieutenant, and to show any poor struggling wretch, who may not have gone to the bottom, that there is help at hand. Keep near us with your boat, Jones, and we'll pull off in ten minutes.'
* Ay, ay, sir,' was the reply. “There won't be any come up again alive. A sinking ship takes down her crew with her.'
Allowing about fifteen minutes for a chance of saving a life, during which time the lieutenant pulled over the spot beneath which the slaver had sunk, he consulted a compass which he had placed in the boat, and taking the rudder, directed the men to arrange themselves at the Off to Simon's Bay.
oars, and to commence their long pull towards Simon's Bay.
'If no wind comes against us,' said the officer, and the sea remains smooth, we shall reach Simon's Bay by steady pulling before to-morrow night: so give way, men, and let's make the most of smooth water.'
Off in the Boats—The Storm-A fair Wind-A Council—They
Steer for Islands Land.
IT was soon found that a lantern was not neces
sary to enable the second boat to follow that
in which were the lieutenant and Hans. The singular and beautiful phosphorescent light caused by the dipping of the oars and the passage of the boat through the water was so brilliant, that even the faces of the crew were visible every now and then to each other, whilst a long star-spangled wake trailed behind the boats, and showed long after, where they had passed. To the sailors accustomed to traverse these regions there was nothing new in this sight, though they fully appreciated the advantages of it as a means of keeping a straight course, and of being able to follow the leading boat. To Hans and the Zulus it was a subject of wonder and admiration. The latter in some manner connected it with the burning ship, and seemed to consider that the latter been the cause of the apparent fire in the water. The attention of the crews of both boats