The Phantom Ship
Captain Frederick Marryat
Part 6 out of 8
meanwhile looked on, and ever and anon gave vent to his chuckling
laugh--his demoniacal "He! he!"
The strife was over, and Philip stood against the mast to recover his
breath. "So far art thou revenged, my Amine," thought he; "but, oh!
what are these paltry lives compared to thine?" And now that his
revenge was satiated, and he could do no more, he covered his face up
in his hands, and wept bitterly, while those who had assisted him were
already collecting the money of the slain for distribution. These men,
when they found that three only of their side had fallen, lamented
that there had not been more, as their own shares of the dollars would
have been increased.
There were now but thirteen men besides Philip, Krantz, and Schriften
left upon the raft. As the day dawned, the breeze again sprung up,
and they shared out the portions of water, which would have been the
allowance of their companions who had fallen. Hunger they felt not;
but the water revived their spirits.
Although Philip had had little to say to Schriften since the
separation from Amine, it was very evident to him and to Krantz, that
all the pilot's former bitter feelings had returned. His chuckle,
his sarcasms, his "He! he!" were incessant; and his eye was now as
maliciously directed to Philip as it was when they first met. It was
evident that Amine alone had for the time conquered his disposition;
and that, with her disappearance, had vanished all the good-will of
Schriften towards her husband. For this Philip cared little; he had a
much more serious weight on his heart--the loss of his dear Amine; and
he felt reckless and indifferent concerning anything else.
The breeze now freshened, and they expected that, in two hours, they
would run on the beach, but they were disappointed: the step of the
mast gave way from the force of the wind, and the sail fell upon the
raft. This occasioned great delay; and before they could repair the
mischief, the wind again subsided, and they were left about a mile
from the beach. Tired and worn out with his feelings, Philip at last
fell asleep by the side of Krantz, leaving Schriften at the helm. He
slept soundly--he dreamt of Amine--he thought she was under a grove
of cocoa-nuts in a sweet sleep; that he stood by and watched her, and
that she smiled in her sleep, and murmured "Philip," when suddenly he
was awakened by some unusual movement. Half-dreaming still, he thought
that Schriften, the pilot, had in his sleep been attempting to gain
his relic, had passed the chain over his head, and was removing
quietly from underneath his neck the portion of the chain which, in
his reclining posture, he lay upon. Startled at the idea, he threw up
his hand to seize the arm of the wretch, and found that he had really
seized hold of Schriften, who was kneeling by him, and in possession
of the chain and relic. The struggle was short, the relic was
recovered, and the pilot lay at the mercy of Philip, who held him down
with his knee on his chest. Philip replaced the relic on his bosom,
and, excited to madness, rose from the body of the now breathless
Schriften, caught it in his arms, and hurled it into the sea.
"Man or devil! I care not which," exclaimed Philip, breathless;
"escape now, if you can!"
The struggle had already roused up Krantz and others, but not in time
to prevent Philip from wreaking his vengeance upon Schriften. In few
words, he told Krantz what had passed; as for the men, they cared not;
they laid their heads down again, and, satisfied that their money was
safe, inquired no further.
Philip watched to see if Schriften would rise up again, and try to
regain the raft; but he did not make his appearance above water, and
Philip felt satisfied.
What pen could portray the feelings of the fond and doting Amine, when
she first discovered that she was separated from her husband? In a
state of bewilderment, she watched the other raft as the distance
between them increased. At last the shades of night hid it from her
aching eyes, and she dropped down in mute despair.
Gradually she recovered herself, and turning round, she exclaimed,
"Who's here?" cried she in a louder voice; "alone--alone--and Philip
gone. Mother, mother, look down upon your unhappy child!" and Amine
frantically threw herself down so near to the edge of the raft, that
her long hair, which had fallen down, floated on the wave.
"Ah me! where am I?" cried Amine, after remaining in a state of torpor
for some hours. The sun glared fiercely upon her, and dazzled her eyes
as she opened them--she cast them on the blue wave close by her, and
beheld a large shark motionless by the side of the raft, waiting for
his prey. Recoiling from the edge, she started up. She turned round,
and beheld the raft vacant, and the truth flashed on her. "Oh! Philip,
Philip!" cried she, "then it is true, and you are gone for ever! I
thought it was only a dream, I recollect all now. Yes--all--all!"
And Amine sank down again upon her cot, which had been placed in the
centre of the raft, and remained motionless for some time.
But the demand for water became imperious; she seized one of the
bottles, and drank. "Yet why should I drink or eat? Why should I wish
to preserve life?" She rose, and looked round the horizon--"Sky and
water, nothing more. Is this the death I am to die--the cruel death
prophesied by Schriften--a lingering death under a burning sun, while
my vitals are parched within? Be it so! Fate I dare thee to thy
worst--we can die but once--and without him, what care I to live! But
yet I may see him again," continued Amine, hurriedly, after a pause.
"Yes! I may--who knows? Then welcome life, I'll nurse thee for that
bare hope--bare indeed with nought to feed on. Let me see, is it here
still?" Amine looked at her zone, and perceived her dagger was still
in it. "Well then, I will live since death is at my command, and be
guardful of life for my dear husband's sake." And Amine threw herself
on her resting-place that she might forget everything. She did: from
that morning till the noon of the next day, she remained in a state of
When she again rose, she was faint; again she looked round her--there
was but sky and water to be seen. "Oh! this solitude--it is horrible!
death would be a release--but no, I must not die--I must live for
Philip." She refreshed herself with water and a few pieces of biscuit,
and folded her arms across her breast. "A few more days without
relief, and all must be over. Was ever woman situated as I am, and yet
I dare to indulge hope? Why, 'tis madness! And why am I thus singled
out: because I have wedded with Philip? It may be so; if so, I welcome
it. Wretches! who thus severed me from my husband; who, to save their
own lives, sacrificed a helpless woman! Nay! they might have saved me,
if they had had the least pity;--but no, they never felt it. And these
are Christians! The creed that the old priests would have had me--yes!
that Philip would have had me embrace. Charity and good-will! They
talk of it, but I have never seen them practise it! Loving one
another!--forgiving one another!--say rather hating and preying upon
one another! A creed never practised: why, if not practised, of what
value is it? Any creed were better--I abjure it, and if I be saved,
will abjure it still for ever. Shade of my mother! is it that I have
listened to these men--that I have, to win my husband's love, tried to
forget that which thou taughtest, even when a child at thy feet--that
faith which our forefathers for thousands of years lived and died
in--that creed proved by works, and obedience to the prophet's
will--is it for this that I am punished? Tell me, mother--oh! tell me
in my dreams."
The night closed in, and with the gloom rose heavy clouds; the
lightning darted through the firmament, ever and anon lighting up
the raft. At last, the flashes were so rapid, not following each
other--but darting down from every quarter at once, that the whole
firmament appeared as if on fire, and the thunder rolled along the
heavens, now near and loud, then rumbling in the distance. The breeze
rose up fresh, and the waves tossed the raft, and washed occasionally
even to Amine's feet, as she stood in the centre of it.
"I like this--this is far better than that calm and withering
heat--this rouses me," said Amine, as she cast her eyes up, and
watched the forked lightning till her vision became obscured. "Yes,
this is as it should be. Lightning, strike me if you please--waves
wash me off and bury me in a briny tomb--pour the wrath of the whole
elements upon this devoted head.--I care not, I laugh at, I defy it
all. Thou canst but kill, this little steel can do as much. Let those
who hoard up wealth--those who live in splendour--those that are
happy--those who have husbands, children, aught to love--let them
tremble, I have nothing. Elements! be ye fire, or water, or earth, or
air, Amine defies you! And yet--no, no, deceive not thyself, Amine,
there is no hope; thus will I mount my funeral bier, and wait the will
of destiny." And Amine regained the secure place which Philip had
fitted up for her in the centre of the raft, threw herself down upon
her bed, and shut her eyes.
The thunder and lightning was followed up by torrents of heavy rain,
which fell till daylight; the wind still continued fresh, but the sky
cleared, and the sun shone out. Amine remained shivering in her wet
garments; the heat of the sun proved too powerful for her exhausted
state, and her brain wandered. She rose up in a sitting posture,
looked around her, saw verdant fields in every direction, the
cocoa-nuts waving to the wind--imagined even that she saw her own
Philip in the distance hastening to her; she held out her arms; strove
to get up, and run to meet him, but her limbs refused their office;
she called to him, she screamed, and sank back exhausted on her
We must for a time return to Philip, and follow his strange destiny. A
few hours after he had thrown the pilot into the sea they gained the
shore, so long looked at with anxiety and suspense. The spars of the
raft, jerked by the running swell, undulated and rubbed against each
other, as they rose and fell to the waves breaking on the beach. The
breeze was fresh, but the surf was trifling, and the landing was
without difficulty. The beach was shelving, of firm white sand,
interspersed and strewed with various brilliant-coloured shells; and
here and there, the bleached fragments and bones of some animal which
had been forced out of its element to die. The island was, like all
the others, covered with a thick wood of cocoa-nut trees, whose tops
waved to the breeze, or bowed to the blast, producing a shade and a
freshness which would have been duly appreciated by any other party
than the present, with the exception only of Krantz; for Philip
thought of nothing but his lost wife, and the seamen thought of
nothing but of their sudden wealth. Krantz supported Philip to the
beach and led him to the shade; but after a minute he rose, and
running down to the nearest point, looked anxiously for the portion
of the raft which held Amine, which was now far, far away. Krantz had
followed, aware that, now the first paroxysms were past, there was no
fear of Philip's throwing away his life.
"Gone, gone for ever!" exclaimed Philip, pressing his hands to the
balls of his eyes.
"Not so, Philip, the same Providence which has preserved us, will
certainly assist her. It is impossible that she can perish among so
many islands, many of which are inhabited; and a woman will be certain
of kind treatment."
"If I could only think so," replied Philip.
"A little reflection may induce you to think that it is rather an
advantage than otherwise, that she is thus separated--not from you,
but from so many lawless companions, whose united force we could
not resist. Do you think that, after any lengthened sojourn on this
island, these people with us would permit you to remain in quiet
possession of your wife? No!--they would respect no laws; and Amine
has, in my opinion, been miraculously preserved from shame and
ill-treatment, if not from death."
"They durst not, surely! Well, but Krantz, we must make a raft and
follow her; we must not remain here--I will seek her through the wide
"Be it so, if you wish, Philip, and I will follow your fortunes,"
replied Krantz, glad to find that there was something, however wild
the idea, for his mind to feed on. "But now let us return to the
raft, seek the refreshment we so much require, and after that we will
consider what may be the best plan to pursue."
To this, Philip, who was much exhausted, tacitly consented, and he
followed Krantz to where the raft had been beached. The men had left
it, and were each of them sitting apart from one another under the
shade of his own chosen cocoa-nut tree. The articles which had been
saved on the raft had not been landed, and Krantz called upon them to
come and carry the things on shore--but no one would answer or obey.
They each sat watching their money, and afraid to leave it, lest they
should be dispossessed of it by the others. Now that their lives were,
comparatively speaking, safe, the demon of avarice had taken full
possession of their souls; there they sat, exhausted, pining for
water, and longing for sleep, and yet they dared not move--they were
fixed as if by the wand of the enchanter.
"It is the cursed dollars which have turned their brains," observed
Krantz to Philip; "let us try if we cannot manage to remove what we
most stand in need of, and then we will search for water."
Philip and Krantz collected the carpenter's tools, the best arms, and
all the ammunition, as the possession of the latter would give them
advantage in case of necessity; they then dragged on shore the sail
and some small spars, all of which they carried up to a clump of
cocoa-nut trees, about a hundred yards from the beach.
In half an hour they had erected an humble tent, and put into it what
they had brought with them, with the exception of the major part of
the ammunition, which, as soon as he was screened by the tent, Krantz
buried in a heap of dry sand behind it; he then, for their immediate
wants, cut down with an axe a small cocoa-nut tree in full bearing. It
must be for those who have suffered the agony of prolonged thirst, to
know the extreme pleasure with which the milk of the nuts were one
after the other poured down the parched throats of Krantz and Philip.
The men witnessed their enjoyment in silence, and with gloating eyes.
Every time that a fresh cocoa-nut was seized and its contents quaffed
by their officers, more sharp and agonising was their own devouring
thirst--still closer did their dry lips glue themselves together--yet
they moved not, although they felt the tortures of the condemned.
Evening closed in; Philip had thrown himself down on the spare sails,
and had fallen asleep, when Krantz set off to explore the island upon
which they had been thrown. It was small, not exceeding three miles in
length, and at no one part more than five hundred yards across. Water
there was none, unless it were to be obtained by digging; fortunately
the young cocoa-nuts prevented the absolute necessity for it. On his
return, Krantz passed the men in their respective stations. Each was
awake, and raised himself on his elbow to ascertain if it were an
assailant; but perceiving Krantz, they again dropped down. Krantz
passed the raft--the water was now quite smooth, for the wind had
shifted off shore, and the spars which composed the raft hardly
jostled each other. He stepped upon it, and, as the moon was bright in
the heavens, he took the precaution of collecting all the arms which
had been left, and throwing them as far as he could into the sea. He
then walked to the tent, where he found Philip still sleeping soundly,
and in a few minutes he was reposing by his side. And Philip's dreams
were of Amine; he thought that he saw the hated Schriften rise again
from the waters, and, climbing up to the raft, seat himself by her
side. He thought that he again heard his unearthly chuckle and his
scornful laugh, as his unwelcome words fell upon her distracted ears.
He thought that she fled into the sea to avoid Schriften, and that the
waters appeared to reject her--she floated on the surface. The storm
rose, and once more he beheld her in the sea-shell skimming over the
waves. Again, she was in a furious surf on the beach, and her shell
sank, and she was buried in the waves; and then he saw her walking on
shore without fear and without harm, for the water which spared
no one, appeared to spare her. Philip tried to join her, but was
prevented by some unknown power, and Amine waved her hand and said,
"We shall meet again, Philip; yes, once more on this earth shall we
The sun was high in the heavens and scorching in his heat, when Krantz
first opened his eyes, and awakened Philip. The axe again procured for
them their morning's meal. Philip, was silent; he was ruminating upon
his dreams, which had afforded him consolation. "We shall meet again!"
thought he. "Yes, once more at least we shall meet again. Providence!
I thank thee."
Krantz then stepped out to ascertain the condition of the men. He
found them faint, and so exhausted, that they could not possibly
survive much longer, yet still watching over their darling treasure.
It was melancholy to witness such perversion of intellect, and Krantz
thought of a plan which might save their lives. He proposed to them
each separately, that they should bury their money so deep, that it
was not to be recovered without time: this would prevent any one from
attacking the treasure of the other, without its being perceived
and the attempt frustrated, and would enable them to obtain their
necessary food and refreshment without danger of being robbed.
To this plan they acceded. Krantz brought out of the tent the only
shovel in their possession, and they, one by one, buried their dollars
many feet deep in the yielding sand. When they had all secured their
wealth, he brought them one of the axes, and the cocoa-nut trees
fell, and they were restored to new life and vigour. Having satiated
themselves, they then lay down upon the several spots under which they
had buried their dollars, and were soon enjoying that repose which
they all so much needed.
Philip and Krantz had now many serious consultations as to the means
which should be taken for quitting the island, and going in search
of Amine; for although Krantz thought the latter part of Philip's
proposal useless, he did not venture to say so. To quit this island
was necessary; and provided they gained one of those which were
inhabited, it was all that they could expect. As for Amine, he
considered that she was dead before this, either having been washed
off the raft, or that her body was lying on it exposed to the
decomposing heat of a torrid sun.
To cheer Philip, he expressed himself otherwise; and whenever they
talked about leaving the island, it was not to save their own lives,
but invariably to search after Philip's lost wife. The plan which they
proposed and acted upon was, to construct a light raft, the centre to
be composed of three water-casks, sawed in half, in a row behind each
other, firmly fixed by cross pieces to two long spars on each side.
This, under sail, would move quickly through the water, and be
manageable so as to enable them to steer a course. The outside spars
had been selected and hauled on shore, and the work was already in
progress; but they were left alone in their work, for the seamen
appeared to have no idea at present of quitting the island. Restored
by food and repose, they were not content with the money which they
had--they were anxious for more. A portion of each party's wealth had
been dug up, and they now gambled all day with pebbles, which they
had collected on the beach, and with which they had invented a game.
Another evil had crept among them: they had cut steps in the largest
cocoa-nut trees, and with the activity of seamen had mounted them,
and by tapping the top of the trees, and fixing empty cocoa-nuts
underneath, had obtained the liquor, which in its first fermentation
is termed toddy, and is afterwards distilled into arrack. But as
toddy, it is quite sufficient to intoxicate; and every day the scenes
of violence and intoxication, accompanied with oaths and execrations,
became more and more dreadful. The losers tore their hair, and rushed
like madmen upon those who had gained their dollars; but Krantz had
fortunately thrown their weapons into the sea, and those he had saved,
as well as the ammunition, he had secreted.
Blows and bloodshed, therefore, were continual, but loss of life there
was none, as the contending parties were separated by the others, who
were anxious that the play should not be interrupted. Such had been
the state of affairs for now nearly a fortnight, while the work of the
raft had slowly proceeded. Some of the men had lost their all, and
had, by the general consent of those who had won their wealth, been
banished to a certain distance that they might not pilfer from them.
These walked gloomily round the island, or on the beach, seeking
some instrument by which they might avenge themselves, and obtain
repossession of their money. Krantz and Philip had proposed to these
men to join them, and leave the island, but they had sullenly refused.
The axe was now never parted with by Krantz. He cut down what
cocoa-nut trees they required for subsistence, and prevented the men
from notching more trees, to procure the means of inebriation. On the
sixteenth day, all the money had passed into the hands of three men
who had been more fortunate than the rest. The losers were now by
far the more numerous party, and the consequence was, that the next
morning these three men were found lying strangled on the beach; the
money had been redivided, and the gambling had recommenced with more
vigour than ever.
"How can this end?" exclaimed Philip to Krantz, as he looked upon the
blackened countenances of the murdered men.
"In the death of all," replied Krantz. "We cannot prevent it. It is a
The raft was now ready; the sand had been dug from beneath it, so as
to allow the water to flow in and float it, and it was now made fast
to a stake, and riding on the peaceful waters. A large store of
cocoa-nuts, old and young, had been procured and put on board of her,
and it was the intention of Philip and Krantz to have quitted the
island the next day.
Unfortunately, one of the men, when bathing, had perceived the arms
lying in the shallow water. He had dived down and procured a cutlass;
others had followed his example, and all had armed themselves. This
induced Philip and Krantz to sleep on board of the raft, and keep
watch; and that night, as the play was going on, a heavy loss on one
side ended in a general fray. The combat was furious, for all were
more or less excited by intoxication. The result was melancholy, for
only three were left alive. Philip, with Krantz, watched the issue;
every man who fell wounded was put to the sword, and the three left,
who had been fighting on the same side, rested panting on their
weapons. After a pause, two of them communicated with each other, and
the result was an attack upon the third man, who fell dead beneath
"Merciful Father! are these Thy creatures?" exclaimed Philip.
"No!" replied Krantz, "they worshipped the devil as Mammon. Do you
imagine that those two, who could now divide more wealth than they
could well spend if they return to their country, will consent to a
division? Never!--they must have all--yes, all."
Krantz had hardly expressed his opinion, when one of the men, taking
advantage of the other turning round a moment from him, passed his
sword through his back. The man fell with a groan, and the sword was
again passed through his body.
"Said I not so? But the treacherous villain shall not reap his
reward," continued Krantz, levelling the musket which he held in his
hand, and shooting him dead.
"You have done wrong, Krantz; you have saved him from the punishment
he deserved. Left alone on the island, without the means of obtaining
his subsistence, he must have perished miserably and by inches, with
all his money round him--that would have been torture indeed!"
"Perhaps I was wrong. If so, may Providence forgive me, I could not
help it. Let us go ashore, for we are now on this island alone. We
must collect the treasure and bury it, so that it may be recovered;
and, at the same time, take a portion with us--for who knows but that
we may have occasion for it. To-morrow we had better remain here, for
we shall have enough to do in burying the bodies of these infatuated
men, and the wealth which has caused their destruction."
Philip agreed to the propriety of the suggestion; the next day they
buried the bodies where they lay; and the treasure was all collected
in a deep trench, under a cocoa-nut tree, which they carefully marked
with their axe. About five hundred pieces of gold were selected and
taken on board of the raft, with the intention of secreting them about
their persons, and resorting to them in case of need.
The following morning they hoisted their sail and quitted the island.
Need it be said in what direction they steered? As may be well
imagined, in that quarter where they had last seen the raft with the
The raft was found to answer well; and although her progress through
the water was not very rapid, she obeyed the helm and was under
command. Both Philip and Krantz were very careful in taking such marks
and observations of the island as should enable them, if necessary,
to find it again. With the current to assist them, they now proceeded
rapidly to the southward, in order that they might examine a large
island which lay in that direction. Their object, after seeking for
Amine, was to find out the direction of Ternate; the king of which
they knew to be at variance with the Portuguese, who had a fort and
factory at Tidore, not very far distant from it; and from thence to
obtain a passage in one of the Chinese junks, which, on their way to
Bantam, called at that island.
Towards evening they had neared the large island, and they soon ran
down it close to the beach. Philip's eyes wandered in every direction
to ascertain whether anything on the shore indicated the presence of
Amine's raft, but he could perceive nothing of the kind, nor did he
see any inhabitants.
That they might not pass the object of their search during the night,
they ran their raft on shore, in a small cove, where the waters were
quite smooth, and remained there until the next morning, when they
again made sail and prosecuted their voyage. Krantz was steering with
the long sweep they had fitted for the purpose, when he observed
Philip, who had been for some time silent, take from his breast the
relic which he wore, and gaze attentively upon it.
"Is that your picture, Philip?" observed Krantz.
"Alas! No, it is my destiny," replied Philip, answering without
"Your destiny! What mean you?"
"Did I say my destiny? I hardly know what I said," replied Philip,
replacing the relic in his bosom.
"I rather think you said more than you intended," replied Krantz, "but
at the same time, something near the truth. I have often perceived you
with that trinket in your hand, and I have not forgotten how anxious
Schriften was to obtain it, and the consequences of his attempt upon
it. Is there not some secret--some mystery attached to it? Surely,
if so, you must now sufficiently know me as your friend, to feel me
worthy of your confidence."
"That you are my friend, Krantz, I feel--my sincere and much valued
friend, for we have shared much danger together, and that is
sufficient to make us friends--that I could trust you, I believe, but
I feel as if I dare not trust anyone. There is a mystery attached to
this relic (for a relic it is), which as yet has been confided to my
wife and holy men alone."
"And if trusted to holy men, surely it may be trusted to sincere
friendship, than which nothing is more holy."
"But I have a presentiment that the knowledge of my secret would prove
fatal to you. Why I feel such a presentiment I know not; but I feel
it, Krantz; and I cannot afford to lose you, my valued friend."
"You will not, then, make use of my friendship, it appears," replied
Krantz. "I have risked my life with you before now, and I am not to
be deterred from the duties of friendship by a childish foreboding on
your part, the result of an agitated mind and a weakened body. Can
anything be more absurd than to suppose, that a secret confided to me
can be pregnant with danger, unless it be, indeed, that my zeal
to assist you may lead me into difficulties. I am not of a prying
disposition; but we have been so long connected together, and are now
so isolated from the rest of the world, that it appears to me it would
be a solace to you, were you to confide in one whom you can trust,
what evidently has long preyed upon your mind. The consolation and
advice of a friend, Philip, are not to be despised, and you will feel
relieved if able to talk over with him a subject which evidently
oppresses you. If, therefore, you value my friendship, let me share
with you in your sorrows."
There are few who have passed through life so quietly, as not to
recollect how much grief has been assuaged by confiding its cause to,
and listening to the counsels and consolations of, some dear friend.
It must not therefore appear surprising, that, situated as he was, and
oppressed with the loss of Amine, Philip should regard Krantz as one
to whom he might venture to confide his important secret. He commenced
his narrative with no injunctions, for he felt that if Krantz could
not respect his secret for his secret's sake, or from good-will
towards him, he was not likely to be bound by any promise; and as,
during the day, the raft passed by the various small capes and
headlands of the island, he poured into Krantz's ear the history which
the reader is acquainted with. "Now you know all," said Philip with
a deep sigh, as the narrative was concluded. "What think you? Do you
credit my strange tale, or do you imagine, as some well would, that it
is a mere phantom of a disordered brain?"
"That it is not so, Philip, I believe," replied Krantz; "for I too
have had ocular proof of the correctness of a part of your history.
Remember how often I have seen this Phantom Ship--and if your father
is permitted to range over the seas, why should you not be selected
and permitted to reverse his doom? I fully believe every word that you
have told me, and since you have told me this, I can comprehend much
that in your behaviour at times appeared unaccountable; there are many
who would pity you, Philip, but I envy you."
"Envy me?" cried Philip.
"Yes! envy you: and gladly would I take the burden of your doom on my
own shoulders, were it only possible. Is it not a splendid thought
that you are summoned to so great a purpose,--that instead of roaming
through the world as we all do in pursuit of wealth, which possibly we
may lose after years of cost and hardship, by the venture of a day,
and which, at all events, we must leave behind us,--you are selected
to fulfil a great and glorious work--the work of angels, I may
say--that of redeeming the soul of a father, _suffering_ indeed, for
his human frailties, but not doomed to perish for eternity; you have,
indeed, an object of pursuit worthy of all the hardships and dangers
of a maritime life. If it ends in your death, what then? Where else
end our futile cravings, our continual toil, after nothing? We all
must die--but how few--who indeed besides yourself--was ever permitted
before his death to ransom the soul of the author of his existence!
Yes, Philip, I envy you!"
"You think and speak like Amine. She too is of a wild and ardent
soul, that would mingle with the beings of the other world, and hold
intelligence with disembodied spirits."
"She is right," replied Krantz; "there are events in my life, or
rather connected with my family, which have often fully convinced me
that this is not only possible but permitted. Your story has only
corroborated what I already believed."
"Indeed, yes; but of that hereafter: the night is closing in, we must
again put our little bark in safety for the night, and there is a cove
which I think appears suited for the purpose."
Before morning, a strong breeze right on shore had sprung up, and the
surf became so high as to endanger the raft; to continue their course
was impossible; they could only haul up their raft to prevent its
being dashed to pieces by the force of the waves, as the seas broke
on the shore. Philip's thoughts were, as usual, upon Amine, and as he
watched the tossing waters, as the sunbeams lightened up their crests,
he exclaimed, "Ocean! hast thou my Amine? If so, give up thy dead!
What is that?" continued he, pointing to a speck on the horizon.
"The sail of a small craft of some description or another," replied
Krantz; "and apparently coming down before the wind to shelter herself
in the very nook we have selected."
"You are right; it is the sail of a vessel, of one of those peroquas
which skim over these seas--how she rises on the swell!--she is full
of men, apparently."
The peroqua rapidly approached, and was soon close to the beach; the
sail was lowered, and she was backed in through the surf.
"Resistance is useless should they prove enemies," observed Philip.
"We shall soon know our fate."
The people in the peroqua took no notice of them, until the craft had
been hauled up and secured; three of them then advanced towards Philip
and Krantz, with spears in their hands, but evidently with no hostile
intentions. One addressed them in Portuguese, asking them who they
"We are Hollanders," replied Philip.
"A part of the crew of the vessel which was wrecked?" inquired he.
"You have nothing to fear--you are enemies to the Portuguese, and so
are we. We belong to the island of Ternate--our king is at war with
the Portuguese, who are villains. Where are your companions? on which
"They are all dead," replied Philip; "may I ask you whether you have
fallen in with a woman, who was adrift on a part of the raft by
herself? or have you heard of her?"
"We have heard that a woman was picked up on the beach to the
southward, and carried away by the Tidore people to the Portuguese
settlement, on the supposition that she was a Portuguese."
"Then God be thanked, she is saved," cried Philip. "Merciful Heaven!
accept my thanks.--To Tidore you said?"
"Yes; we are at war with the Portuguese, we cannot take you there."
"No! but we shall meet again."
The person who accosted them was evidently of some consequence. His
dress was, to a certain degree, Mahometan, but mixed up with Malay--he
carried arms in his girdle and a spear in his hand; his turban was of
printed chintz; and his deportment, like most persons of rank in that
country, was courteous and dignified.
"We are now returning to Ternate, and will take you with us. Our king
will be pleased to receive any Hollanders, especially as you are
enemies to the Portuguese dogs. I forgot to tell you that we have one
of your companions with us in the boat; we picked him up at sea, much
exhausted, but he is now doing well."
"Who can it be?" observed Krantz, "it must be some one belonging to
some other vessel."
"No," replied Philip, shuddering, "it must be Schriften."
"Then my eyes must behold him before I believe it," replied Krantz.
"Then believe your eyes," replied Philip, pointing to the form of
Schriften, who was now walking towards them.
"Mynheer Vanderdecken, glad to see you. Mynheer Krantz, I hope you are
well. How lucky that we should all be saved. He! he!"
"The ocean has then, indeed, given up its dead, as I requested,"
In the meantime, Schriften, without making any reference to the way
in which they had so unceremoniously parted company, addressed Krantz
with apparent good-humour, and some slight tinge of sarcasm. It was
some time before Krantz could rid himself of him.
"What think you of him, Krantz?"
"That he is a part of the whole, and has his destiny to fulfil as well
as you. He has his part to play in this wondrous mystery, and will
remain until it is finished. Think not of him. Recollect, your Amine
"True," replied Philip, "the wretch is not worth a thought; we have
now nothing to do but to embark with these people; hereafter we may
rid ourselves of him, and strive then to rejoin my dearest Amine."
When Amine again came to her senses, she found herself lying on the
leaves of the palmetto, in a small hut. A hideous black child sat by
her, brushing off the flies. Where was she?
The raft had been tossed about for two days, during which Amine
remained in a state of alternate delirium and stupor. Driven by the
current and the gale, it had been thrown on shore on the eastern end
of the coast of New Guinea. She had been discovered by some of the
natives, who happened to be on the beach trafficking with some of the
Tidore people. At first, they hastened to rid her of her garments,
although they perceived that she was not dead; but before they had
left her as naked as themselves, a diamond of great value, which had
been given to her by Philip, attracted the attention of one of the
savages; failing in his attempt to pull it off, he pulled out a rusty,
blunt knife, and was busily sawing at the finger, when an old woman of
authority interfered and bade him desist. The Tidore people, also, who
were friends with the Portuguese, pointed out, that to save one of
that nation would ensure a reward; they stated moreover, that they
would, on their return, inform the people of the factory establishment
that one of their country-women had been thrown on shore on a
raft.--To this Amine owed the care and attention that was paid to
her; that part of New Guinea being somewhat civilised by occasional
intercourse with the Tidore people, who came there to exchange
European finery and trash for the more useful productions of the
The Papoos woman carried Amine into her hut, and there she lay for
many days, wavering between life and death, carefully attended, but
requiring little, except the moistening of her parched lips with
water, and the brushing off of the mosquitoes and flies.
When Amine opened her eyes, the little Papoos ran out to acquaint
the woman who followed her into the hut. She was of large size, very
corpulent and unwieldy, with little covering on her body; her hair,
which was woolly in its texture, was partly parted, partly frizzled;
a cloth round her waist, and a piece of faded yellow silk on her
shoulders, was all her dress. A few silver rings on her fat fingers,
and a necklace of mother-of-pearl, were her ornaments. Her teeth were
jet black, from the use of the betel-nut, and her whole appearance was
such as to excite disgust in the breast of Amine.
She addressed Amine, but her words were unintelligible: and the
sufferer, exhausted with the slight effort she had made, fell back
into her former position, and closed her eyes. But if the woman was
disgusting, she was kind; and by her attention and care Amine was
able, in the course of three weeks, to crawl out of the hut and enjoy
the evening breeze. The natives of the island would at times surround
her, but they treated her with respect, from fear of the old woman.
Their woolly hair was frizzled or plaited, sometimes powdered white
with chunam. A few palmetto leaves round the waist and descending to
the knee, was their only attire; rings through the nose and ears,
and feathers of birds, particularly the bird of paradise, were their
ornaments: but their language was wholly unintelligble. Amine felt
grateful for life; she sat under the shade of the trees, and watched
the swift peroquas as they skimmed the blue sea which was expanded
before her; but her thoughts were elsewhere--they were on Philip.
One morning Amine came out of the hut, with joy on her countenance,
and took her usual seat under the trees. "Yes, mother, dearest mother,
I thank thee; thou hast appeared to me; thou hast recalled to me thy
arts, which I had forgotten, and had I but the means of conversing
with these people, even now would I know where my Philip might be."
For two months did Amine remain under the care of the Papoos woman.
When the Tidore people returned, they had an order to bring the white
woman, who had been cast on shore, to the Factory, and repay those who
had taken charge of her. They made signs to Amine, who had now quite
recovered her beauty, that she was to go with them. Any change was
preferable to staying where she was, and Amine followed them down to a
peroqua, on which she was securely fixed, and was soon darting through
the water with her new companions; and, as they flew along the smooth
seas, Amine thought of Philip's dream and the mermaid's shell.
By the evening they had arrived at the southern point of Galolo, where
they landed for the night; the next day they gained the place of their
destination, and Amine was led up to the Portuguese factory.
That the curiosity of those who were stationed there was roused is not
to be wondered at, the history given by the natives of Amine's escape
appeared so miraculous. From the Commandant to the lowest servant,
every one was waiting to receive her. The beauty of Amine, her perfect
form, astonished them. The Commandant addressed a long compliment to
her in Portuguese, and was astonished that she did not make a suitable
reply; but as Amine did not understand a word that he said, it would
have been more surprising if she had.
As Amine made signs that she could not understand the language, it was
presumed that she was either English or Dutch, and an interpreter was
sent for. She then explained that she was the wife of a Dutch captain,
whose vessel had been wrecked, and that she did not know whether the
crew had been saved or not. The Portuguese were very glad to hear
that a Dutch vessel had been wrecked, and very glad that so lovely a
creature as Amine had been saved. She was informed by the Commandant
that she was welcome, and that during her stay there everything should
be done to make her comfortable; that in three months they expected
a vessel from the Chinese seas, proceeding to Goa, and that, if
inclined, she should have a passage to Goa in that vessel, and from
that city she would easily find other vessels to take her wherever she
might please to go; she was then conducted to an apartment, and left
with a little negress to attend upon her.
The Portuguese Commandant was a small, meagre, little man, dried up to
a chip, from long sojourning under a tropical sun. He had very large
whiskers, and a very long sword; these were the two most remarkable
features in his person and dress.
His attentions could not be misinterpreted, and Amine would have
laughed at him, had she not been fearful that she might be detained.
In a few weeks, by due attention, she gained the Portuguese language
so far as to ask for what she required, and before she quitted the
island of Tidore she could converse fluently. But her anxiety to
leave, and to ascertain what had become of Philip, became greater
every day; and at the expiration of the three months, her eyes were
continually bent to seaward, to catch the first glimpse of the vessel
which was expected. At last it appeared, and as Amine watched the
approach of the canvas from the west, the Commandant fell on his
knees, and declaring his passion, requested her not to think of
departure, but to unite her fate with his.
Amine was cautious in her reply, for she knew that she was in his
power. "She must first receive intelligence of her husband's death,
which was not yet certain; she would proceed to Goa, and if she
discovered that she was single, she would write to him."
This answer, as it will be discovered, was the cause of great
suffering to Philip: the Commandant, fully assured that he could
compass Philip's death, was satisfied--declared that, as soon as he
had any positive intelligence, he would bring it to Goa himself, and
made a thousand protestations of truth and fidelity.
"Fool!" thought Amine, as she watched the ship, which was now close to
In half-an-hour the vessel had anchored, and the people had landed.
Amine observed a priest with them, as they walked up to the fort. She
shuddered--she knew not why; when they arrived, she found herself in
the presence of Father Mathias.
Both Amine and Father Mathias started, and drew back with surprise at
this unexpected meeting. Amine was the first to extend her hand;
she had almost forgotten at the moment how they had parted, in the
pleasure she experienced in meeting with a well-known face.
Father Mathias coldly took her hand, and laying his own upon her head,
said: "May God bless thee, and forgive thee, my daughter, as I have
long done." Then the recollection of what had passed, rushed into
Amine's mind, and she coloured deeply.
Had Father Mathias forgiven her? The event would show; but this is
certain, he now treated her as an old friend: listened with interest
to her history of the wreck, and agreed with her upon the propriety of
her accompanying him to Goa.
In a few days the vessel sailed, and Amine quitted the Factory and its
enamoured Commandant. They ran through the Archipelago in safety, and
were crossing the mouth of the Bay of Bengal, without having had any
interruption to fine weather. Father Mathias had returned to Lisbon,
when he quitted Ternicore, and, tired of idleness, had again
volunteered to proceed as a missionary to India. He had arrived at
Formosa, and shortly after his arrival, had received directions from
his superior to return on important business to Goa, and thus it was
that he fell in with Amine at Tidore.
It would be difficult to analyse the feelings of Father Mathias
towards Amine--they varied so often. At one moment, he would call to
mind the kindness shown to him by her and Philip--the regard he had
for the husband, and the many good qualities which he acknowledged
that she possessed--and _now_ he would recollect the disgrace, the
unmerited disgrace, he had suffered through her means; and he would
then canvass, whether she really did believe him an intruder in her
chamber for other motives than those which actuated him, or whether
she had taken advantage of his indiscretion. These accounts were
nearly balanced in his mind; he could have forgiven all, if he had
thought that Amine was a sincere convert to the church; but his strong
conviction that she was not only an unbeliever, but that she practised
forbidden arts, turned the scale against her. He watched her narrowly,
and when, in her conversation, she shewed any religious feeling, his
heart warmed towards her; but when, on the contrary, any words escaped
her lips which seemed to show that she thought lightly of his creed,
then the full tide of indignation and vengeance poured into his bosom.
It was in crossing the Bay of Bengal, to pass round the southern cape
of Ceylon, that they first met with bad weather; and when the storm
increased, the superstitious seamen lighted candles before the small
image of the saint which was shrined on deck. Amine observed it,
and smiled with scorn; and as she did so, almost unwittingly, she
perceived that the eye of Father Mathias was earnestly fixed upon her.
"The Papooses I have just left do no worse than worship their idols,
and are termed idolaters," muttered Amine. "What then are these
"Would you not be better below?" said Father Mathias, coming over to
Amine; "this is no time for women to be on deck--they would be better
employed in offering up prayers for safety."
"Nay, Father, I can pray better here; I like this conflict of the
elements; and as I view, I bow down in admiration of the Deity who
rules the storm; who sends the winds forth in their wrath, or soothes
them into peace."
"It is well said, my child," replied Father Mathias; "but the Almighty
is not only to be worshipped in His works, but, in the closet, with
meditation, self-examination, and faith. Hast thou followed up the
precepts which thou hast been taught? hast thou reverenced the sublime
mysteries which have been unfolded to thee?"
"I have done my best, Father," replied Amine, turning away her head,
and watching the rolling wave.
"Hast thou called upon the Holy Virgin, and upon the saints--those
intercessors for mortals erring like thyself?"
Amine made no answer; she did not wish to irritate the priest, neither
would she tell an untruth.
"Answer me, child," continued the priest with severity.
"Father," replied Amine, "I have appealed to God alone--the God of the
Christians--the God of the whole universe!"
"Who believes not everything, believes nothing, young woman. I thought
as much! I saw thee smile with scorn just now; why didst thou smile?"
"At my own thoughts, good Father."
"Say rather, at the true faith shown by others."
Amine made no answer.
"Thou art still an unbeliever, and a heretic. Beware, young woman!
"Beware of what, good Father? why should I beware? Are there not
millions in these climes more unbelieving, and more heretic, perhaps,
than I? How many have you converted to your faith? What trouble, what
toil, what dangers have you not undergone to propagate that creed--and
why do you succeed so ill? Shall I tell you, Father? It is because the
people have already had a creed of their own: a creed taught to them
from their infancy, and acknowledged by all who live about them. Am I
not in the same position? I was brought up in another creed: and can
you expect that that can be dismissed, and the prejudices of early
years at once eradicated? I have thought much of what you have told
me--have felt that much is true--that the tenets of your creed are
god-like--is not that much? and yet you are not content. You would
have blind acknowledgment, blind obedience--I were then an unworthy
convert. We shall soon be in port, then teach me, and convince me, if
you will; I am ready to examine and confess, but on conviction only.
Have patience, good Father, and the time may come when I _may_ feel,
what now I _do not_;--that yon bit of painted wood is a thing to bow
down to and adore."
Notwithstanding this taunt at the close of this speech, there was so
much truth in the observations of Amine, that Father Mathias felt
their power. As the wife of a Catholic, he had been accustomed to view
Amine as one who had backslided from the church of Rome--not as one
who had been brought up in another creed. He now recalled to mind,
that she had never yet been received into the church, for Father
Seysen had not considered her as in a proper state to be admitted, and
had deferred her baptism until he was satisfied of her full belief.
"You speak boldly; but you speak as you feel, my child," replied
Father Mathias after a pause. "We will, when we arrive at Goa, talk
over these things, and with the blessing of God, the new faith shall
be made manifest to you."
"So be it," replied Amine.
Little did the priest imagine that Amine's thoughts were at that
moment upon a dream she had had at New Guinea, in which her mother
appeared, and revealed to her her magic arts--and that Amine was
longing to arrive at Goa that she might practise them.
Every hour the gale increased, and the vessel laboured and leaked; the
Portuguese sailors were frightened, and invoked their saints. Father
Mathias, and the other passengers, gave themselves up for lost, for
the pumps could not keep the vessel free; and their cheeks blanched as
the waves washed furiously over the vessel: they prayed and trembled.
Father Mathias gave them absolution; some cried like children, some
tore their hair, some cursed, and cursed the saints they had but the
day before invoked. But Amine stood unmoved; and as she heard them
curse, she smiled in scorn.
"My child," said Father Mathias, checking his tremulous voice that he
might not appear agitated before one whom he saw so calm and unmoved
amidst the roaring of the elements--"My child, let not this hour of
peril pass away. Before thou art summoned, let me receive thee into
the bosom of our church--give thee pardon for thy sins, and certainty
of bliss hereafter."
"Good Father, Amine is not to be frightened into belief, even if she
feared the storm," replied she; "nor will she credit your power to
forgive her sins, merely because she says, in fear, that which in her
calm reason she might reject. If ever fear could have subjected me,
it was when I was alone upon the raft--that was indeed a trial of my
strength of mind, the bare recollection of which is, at this moment,
more dreadful than the storm now raging, and the death which may await
us. There is a God on high in whose mercy I trust--in whose love I
confide--to whose will I bow. Let Him do His will."
"Die not, my child, in unbelief!"
"Father," replied Amine, pointing to the passengers and seamen who
were on the deck crying and wailing: "these are Christians--these men
have been promised by you, but now, the inheritance of perfect bliss.
What is their faith, that it does not give them strength to die like
men? Why is it that a woman quails not, while they lie grovelling on
"Life is sweet, my child--they leave their wives, their children, and
they dread hereafter. Who is prepared to die?"
"I am," replied Amine. "I have no husband--at least I fear I have no
husband. For me life has no sweets; yet, one little hope remains--a
straw to the sinking wretch. I fear not death, for I have nought to
live for. Were Philip here, why, then indeed--but he is gone before
me, and now to follow him is all I ask."
"He died in the faith, my child--if you would meet him, do the same."
"He never died like these," replied Amine, looking with scorn at the
"Perhaps he lived not as they have lived," replied Father Mathias. "A
good man dies in peace, and hath no fear."
"So die the good men of all creeds, Father," replied Amine; "and in
all creeds death is equally terrible to the wicked."
"I will pray for thee, my child," said Father Mathias, sinking on his
"Many thanks--thy prayers will be heard, even though offered for one
like me," replied Amine, who, clinging to the man-ropes, made her way
up to the ladder, and gained the deck.
"Lost! signora, lost!" exclaimed the captain, wringing his hands as he
crouched under the bulwark.
"No!" replied Amine, who had gained the weather side, and held on by a
rope; "not lost this time."
"How say you, signora?" replied the captain, looking with admiration
at Amine's calm and composed countenance. "How say you, signora?"
"Something tells me, good captain, that you will not be lost, if you
exert yourselves--something tells it to me here," and Amine laid her
hand to her heart. Amine had a conviction that the vessel would not be
lost, for it had not escaped her observation that the storm was less
violent, although, in their terror, this had been unnoticed by the
The coolness of Amine, her beauty, perhaps, the unusual sight of a
woman so young, calm and confiding, when all others were in despair,
had its due effect upon the captain and seamen. Supposing her to be
a Catholic they imagined that she had had some warrant for her
assertion, for credulity and superstition are close friends. They
looked upon Amine with admiration and respect, recovered their
energies, and applied to their duties. The pumps were again worked;
the storm abated during the night, and the vessel was, as Amine had
The crew and passengers looked upon her almost as a saint, and talked
of her to Father Mathias, who was sadly perplexed. The courage which
she had displayed was extraordinary; even when he trembled, she showed
no sign of fear. He made no reply, but communed with his own mind,
and the result was unfavourable to Amine. What had given her such
coolness? what had given her the spirit of prophecy? Not the God of
the Christians, for she was no believer. Who then? and Father Mathias
thought of her chamber at Terneuse, and shook his head.
We must now again return to Philip and Krantz, who had a long
conversation upon the strange reappearance of Schriften. All that they
could agree upon was, that he should be carefully watched, and that
they should dispense with his company as soon as possible. Krantz had
interrogated him as to his escape, and Schriften had informed him, in
his usual sneering manner, that one of the sweeps of the raft had been
allowed to get adrift during the scuffle, and that he had floated on
it, until he had gained a small island; that on seeing the peroqua, he
had once more launched it and supported himself by it, until he was
perceived and picked up. As there was nothing impossible although much
of the improbable in this account, Krantz asked no more questions. The
next morning, the wind having abated, they launched the peroqua, and
made sail for the island of Ternate.
It was four days before they arrived: as every night they landed and
hauled up their craft on the sandy beach. Philip's heart was relieved
at the knowledge of Amine's safety, and he could have been happy at
the prospect of again meeting her, had he not been so constantly
fretted by the company of Schriften.
There was something so strange, so contrary to human nature that the
little man, though diabolical as he appeared to be in his disposition,
should never hint at, or complain of, Philip's attempts upon his life.
Had he complained--had he accused Philip of murder--had he vowed
vengeance and demanded justice on his return to the authorities, it
had been different; but no--there he was, making his uncalled-for and
impertinent observations, with his eternal chuckle and sarcasm, as if
he had not the least cause of anger or ill-will.
As soon as they arrived at the principal port and town of Ternate,
they were conducted to a large cabin, built of palmetto leaves and
bamboo, and requested not to leave it until their arrival had been
announced to the king. The peculiar courtesy and good breeding of
these islanders was the constant theme of remark of Philip and Krantz;
their religion, as well as their dress, appeared to be a compound of
the Mahometan and Malayan.
After a few hours, they were summoned to attend the audience of the
king, held in the open air. The king was seated under a portico,
attended by a numerous concourse of priests and soldiers. There was
much company, but little splendour. All who were about the king
were robed in white, with white turbans, but he himself was without
ornament. The first thing that struck Philip and Krantz, when they
were ushered into the presence of the king, was the beautiful
cleanliness which everywhere prevailed; every dress was spotless and
white, as the sun could bleach it.
Having followed the example of those who introduced them, and saluted
the king after the Mahommedan custom, they were requested to be
seated; and through the Portuguese interpreters--for the former
communication of the islanders with the Portuguese, who had been
driven from the place, made the Portuguese language well known by
many--a few questions were put by the king, who bade them welcome, and
then requested to know how they had been wrecked.
Philip entered into a short detail, in which he stated that his wife
had been separated from him, and was, he understood, in the hands of
the Portuguese factory at Tidore. He requested to know if his majesty
could assist him in obtaining her release, or in going to join her.
"It is well said," replied the king. "Let refreshments be brought in
for the strangers, and the audience be broken up."
In a few minutes there remained of all the Court but two or three
of the king's confidential friends and advisers; and a collation of
curries, fish, and a variety of other dishes was served up. After it
was over, the king then said, "The Portuguese are dogs, they are our
enemies--will you assist us to fight them? We have large guns, but do
not understand the use of them as well as you do. I will send a
fleet against the Portuguese at Tidore, if you will assist me. Say,
Hollanders, will you fight? You," addressing Philip, "will then
recover your wife."
"I will give an answer to you to-morrow," replied Philip; "I must
consult with my friend. As I told you before, I was the captain of the
ship, and this was my second in command--we will consult together."
Schriften, whom Philip had represented as a common seaman, had not
been brought up into the presence of the king.
"It is good," replied the king; "to-morrow we will expect your reply."
Philip and Krantz took their leave, and, on their return to the
cabin, found that the king had sent them, as a present, two complete
Mahommedan dresses, with turbans. These were welcome, for their own
garments were sadly tattered, and very unfit for exposure to the
burning sun of those climes. Their peaked hats too, collected the rays
of heat, which were intolerable; and they gladly exchanged them for
the white turban. Secreting their money in the Malayan sash, which
formed a part of the attire, they soon robed themselves in the native
garments, the comfort of which was immediately acknowledged. After a
long consultation, it was decided that they should accept the terms
offered by the king, as this was the only feasible way by which
Philip could hope to re-obtain possession of Amine. Their consent was
communicated to the king on the following day, and every preparation
was made for the expedition.
And now was to be beheld a scene of bustle and activity. Hundreds and
hundreds of peroquas, of every dimension, floating close to the beach,
side by side, formed a raft extending nearly half a mile on the smooth
water of the bay, teeming with men, who were equipping them for the
service: some were fitting the sails; others were carpentering
where required; the major portion were sharpening their swords, and
preparing the deadly poison of the pineapple for their creezes.
The beach was a scene of confusion: water in jars, bags of rice,
vegetables, salt-fish, fowls in coops, were everywhere strewed about
among the armed natives, who were obeying the orders of the chiefs,
who themselves walked up and down, dressed in their gayest apparel,
and glittering in their arms and ornaments. The king had six long
brass four-pounders, a present from an Indian captain; these, with
a proportionate quantity of shot and cartridges, were (under the
direction of Philip and Krantz) fitted on some of the largest
peroquas, and some of the natives were instructed how to use them. At
first the king, who fully expected the reduction of the Portuguese
fort, stated his determination to go in person; but in this he was
overruled by his confidential advisers and by the request of Philip,
who could not allow him to expose his valuable life. In ten days all
was ready, and the fleet, manned by seven thousand men, made sail for
the island of Tidore.
It was a beautiful sight, to behold the blue rippling sea, covered
with nearly six hundred of these picturesque craft, all under sail,
and darting through the water like dolphins in pursuit of prey; all
crowded with natives, whose white dresses formed a lively contrast
with the deep blue of the water. The large peroquas, in which were
Philip and Krantz with the native commanders, were gaily decorated
with streamers and pennons of all colours, that flowed out and snapped
with the fresh breeze. It appeared rather to be an expedition of
mirth and merriment, than one which was proceeding to bloodshed and
On the evening of the second day they had made the island of Tidore,
and run down to within a few miles of the Portuguese factory and
fort. The natives of the country, who disliked, though they feared
to disobey the Portuguese, had quitted their huts near the beach and
retired into the woods. The fleet, therefore, anchored and lay near
the beach, without molestation, during the night. The next morning
Philip and Krantz proceeded to reconnoitre.
The fort and factory of Tidore were built upon the same principle
as almost all the Portuguese defences in those seas. An outer
fortification, consisting of a ditch, with strong palisades embedded
in masonry, surrounded the factory and all the houses of the
establishment. The gates of the outer wall were open all day for
ingress and egress, and closed only at night. On the seaward side
of this enclosure was what may be termed the citadel or real
fortification; it was built of solid masonry with parapets, was
surrounded by a deep ditch, and was only accessible by a drawbridge,
mounted with cannon on every side. Its real strength however, could
not well be perceived, as it was hidden by the high palisading which
surrounded the whole establishment. After a careful survey, Philip
recommended that the large peroquas with the cannon should attack by
sea, while the men of the small vessels should land and surround the
fort--taking advantage of every shelter which was afforded them, to
cover themselves while they harassed the enemy with their matchlocks,
arrows, and spears. This plan having been approved of, one hundred and
fifty peroquas made sail; the others were hauled on the beach, and the
men belonging to them proceeded by land.
But the Portuguese had been warned of their approach, and were fully
prepared to receive them; the guns mounted to the seaward were of
heavy calibre and well served. The guns of the peroquas, though
rendered as effectual as they could be, under the direction of Philip,
were small, and did little damage to the thick stone front of the
fort. After an engagement of four hours, during which the Ternate
people lost a great number of men, the peroquas, by the advice of
Philip and Krantz, hauled off, and returned to where the remainder of
the fleet were stationed; and another council of war was held. The
force, which had surrounded the fort on the land side, was, however,
not withdrawn, as it cut off any supplies or assistance; and, at the
same time, occasionally brought down any of the Portuguese who might
expose themselves--a point of no small importance, as Philip well
knew, with a garrison so small as that in the fort.
That they could not take the fort by means of their cannon was
evident; on the sea-side it was for them impregnable; their efforts
must now be directed to the land. Krantz, after the native chiefs had
done speaking, advised that they should wait until dark, and then
proceed to the attack in the following way. When the breeze set along
shore, which it would do in the evening, he proposed that the men
should prepare large bundles of dry palmetto and cocoa-nut leaves;
that they should carry their bundles and stack them against the
palisades to windward, and then set fire to them. They would thus burn
down the palisades, and gain an entrance into the outer fortification:
after which they could ascertain in what manner they should next
proceed. This advice was too judicious not to be followed. All the men
who had not matchlocks were set to collect fagots; a large quantity of
dry wood was soon got together, and before night they were ready for
the second attack.
The white dresses of the Ternates were laid aside: with nothing
on them but their belts, and scimitars, and creezes, and blue
under-drawers, they silently crept up to the palisades, there
deposited their fagots, and then again returned, again to perform the
same journey. As the breastwork of fagots increased, so did they more
boldly walk up, until the pile was completed; they then, with a loud
shout, fired it in several places. The flames mounted, the cannon
of the fort roared, and many fell under the discharges of grape and
hand-grenade. But, stifled by the smoke, which poured in volumes upon
them, the people in the fort were soon compelled to quit the ramparts
to avoid suffocation. The palisades were on fire, and the flames
mounting in the air, swept over, and began to attack the factory and
houses. No resistance was now offered, and the Ternates tore down the
burning palisades, and forced their way into the entrenchment, and
with their scimitars and creezes, put to death all who had been so
unfortunate as not to take refuge in the citadel. These were chiefly
native servants, whom the attack had surprised, and for whose lives
the Portuguese seemed to care but little, for they paid no attention
to their cries to lower the drawbridge, and admit them into the fort.
The factory, built of stone, and all the other houses, were on fire,
and the island was lighted up for miles. The smoke had cleared away,
and the defences of the fort were now plainly visible in the broad
glare of the flames. "If we had scaling-ladders," cried Philip, "the
fort would be ours; there is not a soul on the ramparts." "True,
true," replied Krantz, "but even as it is, the factory walls will
prove an advantageous post for us after the fire is extinguished; if
we occupy it we can prevent them showing themselves while the ladders
are constructing. To-morrow night we may have them ready, and having
first smoked the fort with a few more fagots, we may afterwards mount
the walls, and carry the place."
"That will do," replied Philip as he walked away. He then joined
the native chiefs, who were collected together outside of the
entrenchment, and communicated to them his plans. When he had made
known his views, and the chiefs had assented to them, Schriften, who
had come with the expedition unknown to Philip, made his appearance.
"That won't do; you'll never take that fort, Philip Vanderdecken. He!
he!" cried Schriften.
Hardly had he said the words, when a tremendous explosion took place,
and the air was filled with large stones, which flew and fell in every
direction, killing and maiming hundreds. It was the factory which had
blown up, for in its vaults there was a large quantity of gunpowder,
to which the fire had communicated.
"So ends that scheme, Mynheer Vanderdecken. He! he!" screamed
Schriften; "you'll never take that fort."
The loss of life and the confusion caused by this unexpected result,
occasioned a panic, and all the Ternate people fled down to the beach
where their peroquas were lying.
It was in vain that Philip and their chiefs attempted to rally them.
Unaccustomed to the terrible effects of gunpowder in any large
quantities, they believed that something supernatural had occurred,
and many of them jumped into the peroquas and made sail, while the
remainder were confused, trembling, and panting, all huddled together,
on the beach.
"You'll never take that fort, Mynheer Vanderdecken," screamed the
Philip raised his sword to cleave the little man in two, but he let it
fall again. "I fear he tells an unwelcome truth," thought Philip; "but
why should I take his life for that?"
Some few of the Ternate chiefs still kept up their courage, but
the major part were as much alarmed as their people. After some
consultation, it was agreed that the army should remain where it was
till the next morning, when they should finally decide what to do.
When the day dawned, now that the Portuguese fort was no longer
surrounded by the other buildings, they perceived that it was more
formidable than they had at first supposed. The ramparts were filled
with men, and they were bringing cannon to bear on the Ternate forces.
Philip had a consultation with Krantz, and both acknowledged, that
with the present panic nothing more could be done. The chiefs were
of the same opinion, and orders were given for the return of the
expedition: indeed, the Ternate chiefs were fully satisfied with their
success; they had destroyed the large fort, the factory, and all the
Portuguese buildings; a small fortification only was uninjured: that
was built of stone, and inaccessible, and they knew that the report of
what had been done, would be taken and acknowledged by the king as a
great victory. The order was therefore given for embarkation, and in
two hours the whole fleet, after a loss of about seven hundred men,
was again on its way to Ternate. Krantz and Philip this time embarked
in the same peroqua, that they might have the pleasure of each other's
conversation. They had not, however, sailed above three hours, when it
fell calm, and, towards the evening, there was every prospect of bad
weather. When the breeze again sprung up, it was from an adverse
quarter, but these vessels steer so close to the wind, that this was
disregarded: by midnight, however, the wind had increased to a gale,
and before they were clear of the N.E. headland of Tidore, it blew a
hurricane, and many were washed off into the sea from the different
craft, and those who could not swim, sank, and were drowned. The sails
were lowered, and the vessels lay at the mercy of the wind and waves,
every sea washing over them. The fleet was drifting fast on the shore,
and before morning dawned, the vessel in which were Philip and Krantz
was among the rollers on the beach off the northern end of the island.
In a short time she was dashed to pieces, and every one had to look
out for himself. Philip and Krantz laid hold of one fragment, and were
supported by it till they gained the shore; here they found about
thirty more companions who had suffered the same fate as themselves.
When the day dawned, they perceived that the major part of the fleet
had weathered the point, and that those who had not, would in all
probability escape, as the wind had moderated.
The Ternate people proposed, that as they were well armed, they
should, as soon as the weather moderated, launch some of the craft
belonging to the islanders, and join the fleet; but Philip, who had
been consulting with Krantz, considered this a good opportunity for
ascertaining the fate of Amine. As the Portuguese could prove nothing
against them, they could either deny that they had been among the
assailants, or might plead that they had been forced to join them. At
all risks, Philip was determined to remain, and Krantz agreed to share
his fate: and seeming to agree with them, they allowed the Ternate
people to walk to the Tidore peroquas, and while they were launching
them Philip and Krantz fell back into the jungle and disappeared. The
Portuguese had perceived the wreck of their enemies, and, irritated by
the loss they had sustained, they had ordered the people of the island
to go out and capture all who were driven on shore. Now that they were
no longer assailed, the Tidore people obeyed them, and very soon fell
in with Philip and Krantz, who had quietly sat down under the shade of
a large tree, waiting the issue. They were led away to the fort, where
they arrived by nightfall. They were ushered into the presence of the
Commandant, the same little man who had made love to Amine, and as
they were dressed in Mussulman's attire, he was about to order them to
be hung, when Philip told him that they were Dutchmen, who had been
wrecked, and forced by the King of Ternate to join his expedition;
that they had taken the earliest opportunity of escaping, as was very
evident since those who had been thrown on shore with them had got off
in the island boats, while they chose to remain. Whereupon the little
Portuguese Commandant struck his sword firm down on the pavement of
the ramparts, _looked_ very big, and then ordered them to prison for
As every one descants upon the want of comfort in a prison, it is to
be presumed that there are no very comfortable ones. Certainly that to
which Philip and Krantz were ushered, had anything rather than the air
of an agreeable residence. It was under the fort, with a very small
aperture looking towards the sea, for light and air. It was very hot,
and moreover destitute of all those little conveniences which add
so much to one's happiness in modern houses and hotels. In fact, it
consisted of four bare walls, and a stone floor, and that was all.
Philip, who wished to make some inquiries relative to Amine,
addressed, in Portuguese, the soldier who brought them down.
"My good friend, I beg your pardon--"
"I beg yours," replied the soldier going out of the door, and locking
Philip leant gloomily against the wall; Krantz, more mercurial, walked
up and down three steps each way and turn.
"Do you know what I am thinking of?" observed Krantz, after a pause in
his walk. "It is very fortunate that (lowering his voice) we have all
our doubloons about us; if they don't search us, we may yet get away
"And I was thinking," rejoined Philip, "that I would sooner be here
than in company with that wretch Schriften, whose sight is poison to
"I did not much admire the appearance of the Commandant, but I suppose
we shall know more to-morrow."
Here they were interrupted by the turning of the key, and the entrance
of a soldier with a chatty of water, and a large dish of boiled rice.
He was not the man who had brought them to the dungeon, and Philip
"You have had hard work within these last two days?"
"Yes, indeed! signor."
"The natives forced us to join the expedition, and we escaped."
"So I heard you say, signor."
"They lost nearly a thousand men," said Krantz.
"Holy St Francis! I am glad of it."
"They will be careful how they attack Portuguese in a hurry, I
expect," rejoined Krantz.
"I think so," replied the soldier.
"Did you lose many men?" ventured Philip, perceiving that the man was
"Not ten of our own people. In the factory there were about a hundred
of the natives, with some women and children; but that is of no
"You had a young European woman here, I understand," said Philip with
anxiety; "one who was wrecked in a vessel--was she among those who
"Young woman!--Holy St Francis. Yes, now I recollect. Why the fact
"Pedro!" called a voice from above; the man stopped, put his fingers
to his lips, went out, and locked the door.
"God of Heaven! give me patience," cried Philip; "but this is too
"He will be down here again to-morrow morning," observed Krantz.
"Yes! to-morrow morning; but what an endless time will suspense make
of the intervening hours."
"I feel for you," replied Krantz; "but what can be done? The hours
must pass, though suspense draws them out into interminable years; but
I hear footsteps."
Again the door was unlocked, and the first soldier made his
appearance. "Follow me--the Commandant would speak with you."
This unexpected summons was cheerfully complied with by Philip and his
companion. They walked up the narrow stone steps, and at last found
themselves in a small room, in presence of the Commandant, with whom
our readers have been already made acquainted. He was lolling on a
small sofa, his long sword lay on the table before him, and two young
native women were fanning him, one at his head, and the other at his
"Where did you get those dresses?" was the first interrogatory.
"The natives, when they brought us prisoners from the island on which
we had saved ourselves, took away our clothes, and gave us these as a
present from their king."
"And engaged you to serve in their fleet, in the attack on this fort?"
"They forced us," replied Krantz; "for as there was no war between our
nations, we objected to this service: notwithstanding which, they put
us on board, to make the common people believe that they were assisted
"How am I to know the truth of this?"
"You have our word in the first place, and our escape from them in the
"You belonged to a Dutch East-Indiaman. Are you officers or common
Krantz, who considered that they were less likely to be detained if
they concealed their rank on board, gave Philip a slight touch with
his finger as he replied, "We are inferior officers. I was third mate,
and this man was pilot."
"And your captain, where is he?"
"I--I cannot say, whether he is alive or dead."
"Had you no woman on board?"
"Yes! the captain had his wife."
"What has become of her?"
"She is supposed to have perished on a portion of the raft which broke
"Ha!" replied the Commandant, who remained silent for some time.
Philip looked at Krantz, as much as to say, "Why all this subterfuge;"
but Krantz gave him a sign to leave him to speak.
"You say you don't know whether your captain is alive or dead?"
"Now, suppose I was to give you your liberty, would you have any
objection to sign a paper, stating his death, and swearing to the
truth of it?"
Philip stared at the Commandant, and then at Krantz.
"I see no objection, exactly; except that if it were sent home to
Holland we might get into trouble. May I ask, signor Commandant, why
you wish for such a paper?"
"No!" roared the little man, in a voice like thunder. "I will give
no reason, but that I wish it; that is enough; take your choice--the
dungeon, or liberty and a passage by the first vessel which calls."
"I don't doubt--in fact--I'm sure, he must be dead by this time,"
replied Krantz, drawing out the words in a musing manner. "Commandant,
will you give us till to-morrow morning to make our calculations?"
"Yes! you may go."
"But not to the dungeon, Commandant," replied Krantz; "we are not
prisoners, certainly; and, if you wish us to do you a favour, surely
you will not ill-treat us?"
"By your own acknowledgment you have taken up arms against the
most Christian King; however, you may remain at liberty for the
night--to-morrow morning will decide whether or no you are prisoners."
Philip and Krantz thanked the little Commandant for his kindness, and
then hastened away to the ramparts. It was now dark, and the moon had
not yet made her appearance. They sat there on the parapet, enjoying
the breeze, and feeling the delight of liberty, even after their short
incarceration; but, near to them, soldiers were either standing or
lying, and they spoke but in whispers.
"What could he mean by requiring us to give a certificate of the
captain's death; and why did you answer as you did?"
"Philip Vanderdecken, that I have often thought of the fate of your
beautiful wife, you may imagine; and, when I heard that she was
brought here, I then trembled for her. What must she appear, lovely as
she is, when placed in comparison with the women of this country? And
that little Commandant--is he not the very person who would be taken
with her charms? I denied our condition, because I thought he would
be more likely to allow us our liberty as humble individuals, than as
captain and first mate; particularly as he suspects that we led on the
Ternate people to the attack; and when he asked for a certificate
of your death, I immediately imagined that he wanted it in order to
induce Amine to marry him. But where is she? is the question. If we
could only find out that soldier, we might gain some information."
"Depend upon it, she is here," replied Philip, clenching his hands.
"I am inclined to think so," said Krantz; "that she is alive, I feel
The conversation was continued until the moon rose, and threw her
beams over the tumbling waters. Philip and Krantz turned their faces
towards the sea, and leant over the battlements in silence; after some
time their reveries were disturbed by a person coming up to them with
a "_Buenos noctes, signor_."
Krantz immediately recognised the Portuguese soldier, whose
conversation with him had been interrupted.
"Good-night, my friend! We thank Heaven that you have no longer to
turn the key upon us."
"Yes, I'm surprised!" replied the soldier, in a low tone. "Our
Commandant is fond of exercising his power; he rules here without
appeal, that I can tell you."
"He is not within hearing of us now," replied Krantz. "It is a lovely
spot this to live in! How long have you been in this country?"
"Now, thirteen years, signor, and I'm tired of it. I have a wife and
children in Oporto--that is, I _had_--but whether they are alive or
not, who can tell?"
"Do you not expect to return and see them?"
"Return--signor! no Portuguese soldier like me ever returns. We are
enlisted for five years, and we lay our bones here."
"That is hard indeed."
"Hard, signor," replied the soldier in a low whisper; "it is cruel
and treacherous. I have often thought of putting the muzzle of my
arquebuse to my head; but while there's life there's hope."
"I pity you, my good fellow," rejoined Krantz; "look you, I have two
gold pieces left--take one; you may be able to send it home to your
"And here is one of mine, too, my good fellow," added Philip, putting
another in his hand.
"Now may all the saints preserve you, signors," replied the soldier,
"for it is the first act of kindness shown to me for many years--not
that my wife and children have much chance of ever receiving it."
"You were speaking about a young European woman when we were in the
dungeon," observed Krantz, after a pause.
"Yes, signor, she was a very beautiful creature. Our Commandant was
very much in love with her."
"Where is she now?"
"She went away to Goa, in company with a priest who knew, her, Father
Mathias, a good old man; he gave me absolution when he was here."
"Father Mathias!" exclaimed Philip; but a touch from Krantz checked
"You say the Commandant loved her?"
"O yes; the little man was quite mad about her; and had it not been
for the arrival of Father Mathias, he would never have let her go,
that I'm sure of, although she was another man's wife."
"Sailed for Goa, you said?"
"Yes, in a ship which called here. She must have been very glad to
have got away, for our little Commandant persecuted her all day long,
and she evidently was grieving for her husband. Do you know, signors,
if her husband is alive?"
"No, we do not; we have heard nothing of him."
"Well, if he is, I hope he will not come here; for should the
Commandant have him in his power, it would go hard with him. He is a
man who sticks at nothing. He is a brave little fellow, _that_ cannot
be denied; but to get possession of that lady, he would remove all
obstacles at any risk--and a husband is a very serious one, signors.
Well, signors," continued the soldier, after a pause, "I had better
not be seen here too long; you may command me if you want anything;
recollect, my name is Pedro--good-night to you, and a thousand
thanks," and the soldier walked away.
"We have made one friend, at all events," said Krantz, "and we have
gained information of no little importance."
"Most important," replied Philip. "Amine then has sailed for Goa with
Father Mathias! I feel that she is safe, and in good hands. He is an
excellent man, that Father Mathias--my mind is much relieved."
"Yes; but recollect you are in the power of your enemy. We must leave
this place as quick as we can--to-morrow we must sign the paper. It
is of little consequence, as we shall probably be at Goa before it
arrives, and even if we are not, the news of your death would not
occasion Amine to marry this little withered piece of mortality."
"That I feel assured of; but it may cause her great suffering."
"Not worse than her present suspense, believe me, Philip; but it
is useless canvassing the past--it must be done. I shall sign as
Cornelius Richter, our third mate; you, as Jacob Vantreat--recollect
"Agreed," replied Philip, who then turned away, as if willing to be
left to his own thoughts. Krantz perceived it, and laid down under the
embrasure, and was soon fast asleep.
Tired out with the fatigue of the day before, Philip had laid himself
down by Krantz and fallen asleep; early the next morning he was
awakened by the sound of the Commandant's voice, and his long sword
rattling as usual upon the pavement. He rose, and found the little man
rating the soldiers--threatening some with the dungeon, others with
extra duty. Krantz was also on his feet before the Commandant had
finished his morning's lecture. At last, perceiving them, in a stern
voice he ordered them to follow him into his apartment. They did so,
and the Commandant throwing himself upon his sofa, inquired whether
they were ready to sign the required paper, or go back to the
dungeon.--Krantz replied that they had been calculating chances, and
that they were in consequence so perfectly convinced of the death of
the captain, that they were willing to sign any paper to that effect;
at which reply, the Commandant immediately became very gracious, and
having called for materials, he wrote out the document, which was duly
subscribed to by Krantz and Philip. As soon as they had signed it, and
he had it in his possession, the little man was so pleased, that he
requested them to partake of his breakfast.
During the repast, he promised that they should leave the island by
the first opportunity. Although Philip was taciturn, yet as Krantz
made himself very agreeable, the Commandant invited them to dinner.
Krantz, as they became more familiar, informed him that they had each
a few pieces of gold, and wished to be allowed a room where they could
keep their table. Whether it was the want of society or the desire of
obtaining the gold, probably both, the Commandant offered that they
should join his table and pay their proportion of the expenses; a
proposal which was gladly acceded to. The terms were arranged, and
Krantz insisted upon putting down the first week's payment in advance.
From that moment the Commandant was the best of friends with them,
and did nothing but caress them whom he had so politely shoved into a
dungeon below water. It was on the evening of the third day, as they
were smoking their Manilla cheroots, that Krantz, perceiving the
Commandant in a peculiarly good humour, ventured to ask him why he was
so anxious for a certificate of the captain's death; and in reply was
informed, much to the astonishment of Philip, that Amine had agreed to
marry him upon his producing such a document.
"Impossible," cried Philip, starting from his seat.
"Impossible, signor, and why impossible?" replied the Commandant
curling his mustachios with his fingers, with a surprised and angry
"I should have said impossible too," interrupted Krantz, who perceived
the consequences of Philip's indiscretion, "for had you seen,
Commandant, how that woman doted upon her husband, how she fondled
him, you would with us have said, it was impossible that she could
have transferred her affections so soon; but women are women, and
soldiers have a great advantage over other people; perhaps she has
some excuse, Commandant.--Here's your health, and success to you."
"It is exactly what I would have said," added Philip, acting upon
Krantz's plan: "but she has a great excuse, Commandant, when I
recollect her husband, and have you in my presence."
Soothed with the flattery, the Commandant replied, "Why, yes, they say
military men are very successful with the fair sex.--I presume it
is because they look up to us for protection, and where can they
be better assured of it, than with a man who wears a sword at his
thigh.--Come, signors, we will drink her health. Here's to the
beautiful Amine Vanderdecken."
"To the beautiful Amine Vanderdecken," cried Krantz, tossing off his
"To the beautiful Amine Vanderdecken," followed Philip. "But,
Commandant, are you not afraid to trust her at Goa, where there are
so many enticements for a woman, so many allurements held out for her
"No, not in the least--I am convinced that she loves me--nay, between
ourselves, that she doats upon me."
"Liar!" exclaimed Philip.
"How, signor! is that addressed to me?" cried the Commandant, seizing
his sword which lay on the table.
"No, no," replied Philip, recovering himself; "it was addressed to
her; I have heard her swear to her husband, that she would exist for
no other but him."
"Ha! ha! Is that all?" replied the Commandant, "my friend, you do not
"No, nor is he very partial to them either," replied Krantz, who then
leant over to the Commandant and whispered, "He is always so when you
talk of women. He was cruelly jilted once, and hates the whole sex."
"Then we must be merciful to him," replied the little officer:
"suppose we change the subject."
When they repaired to their own room, Krantz pointed out to Philip the
necessity for his commanding his feelings, as otherwise they would
again be immured in the dungeon. Philip acknowledged his rashness, but
pointed out to Krantz, that the circumstance of Amine having promised
to marry the Commandant, if he procured certain intelligence of his
death, was the cause of his irritation. "Can it be so? Is it possible
that she can have been so false," exclaimed Philip; "yet his anxiety
to procure that document seems to warrant the truth of his assertion."
"I think, Philip, that in all probability it is true," replied Krantz,
carelessly; "but of this you may be assured that she has been placed
in a situation of great peril, and has only done so to save herself
for your sake. When you meet, depend upon it she will fully prove to
you that necessity had compelled her to deceive him in that way, and
that if she had not done so, she would, by this time, have fallen a
prey to his violence."
"It may be so," replied Philip, gravely.
"It is so, Philip, my life upon it. Do not for a moment harbour a
thought so injurious to one who lives but in your love. Suspect that
fond and devoted creature! I blush for you, Philip Vanderdecken."
"You are right, and I beg her pardon for allowing such feelings or
thoughts to have for one moment overpowered me," responded Philip;
"but it is a hard case for a husband, who loves as I do, to hear
his wife's name bandied about, and her character assailed by a
contemptible wretch like this Commandant."
"It is, I grant; but still I prefer even that to a dungeon," replied
Krantz, "and so, good-night."
For three weeks they remained in the fort, every day becoming more
intimate with the Commandant, who often communicated with Krantz, when
Philip was not present, turning the conversation upon his love for
Amine, and entering into a minute detail of all that had passed.
Krantz perceived that he was right in his opinion, and that Amine had
only been cajoling the Commandant, that she might escape. But the time
passed heavily away with Philip and Krantz, for no vessel made its
"When shall I see her again?" soliloquised Philip one morning as he
lolled over the parapet, in company with Krantz.
"See! who?" said the Commandant, who happened to be at his elbow.
Philip turned round, and stammered something unintelligible.
"We were talking of his sister, Commandant," said Krantz, taking his
arm, and leading him away.--"Do not mention the subject to my friend,
for it is a very painful one, and forms one reason why he is so
inimical to the sex. She was married to his intimate friend, and ran
away from her husband: it was his only sister; and the disgrace broke
his mother's heart, and has made him miserable. Take no notice of it,
"No, no, certainly not; I don't wonder at it: the honour of one's
family is a serious affair," replied the Commandant.--"Poor young man,
what with his sister's conduct, and the falsehood of his own intended,
I don't wonder at his being so grave and silent. Is he of good family,
"One of the noblest in all Holland," replied Krantz;--"he is heir to
a large property, and independent by the fortune of his mother; but
these two unfortunate events induced him to quit the States secretly,
and he embarked for these countries that he might forget his grief."
"One of the noblest families?" replied the Commandant;--"then he
is under an assumed name--Jacob Vantreat is not his true name, of
"Oh no," replied Krantz;--"that it is not, I assure you; but my lips
are sealed on that point."
"Of course, except to a friend, who can keep a secret. I will not ask
it now. So he is really noble?"
"One of the highest families in the country, possessing great wealth
and influence--allied to the Spanish nobility by marriage."
"Indeed!" rejoined the Commandant, musing--"I dare say he knows many
of the Portuguese as well."
"No doubt of it, they are all more or less connected."
"He must prove to you a most valuable friend, Signor Richter."
"I consider myself provided for for life as soon as we return home. He
is of a very grateful, generous disposition, as he would prove to you,
should you ever fall in with him again."
"I have no doubt of it; and I can assure you that I am heartily tired
of staying in this country. Here I shall remain probably for two years
more before I am relieved, and then shall have to join my regiment at
Goa, and not be able to obtain leave to return home without resigning
my commission. But he is coming this way."
After this conversation with Krantz, the alteration in the manner of
the Portuguese Commandant, who had the highest respect for nobility,
was most marked. He treated Philip with a respect, which was
observable to all in the fort; and which was, until Krantz had
explained the cause, a source of astonishment to Philip himself. The
Commandant often introduced the subject to Krantz, and sounded him as
to whether his conduct towards Philip had been such, as to have made
a favourable impression; for the little man now hoped, that, through
such an influential channel, he might reap some benefit.
Some days after this conversation, as they were all three seated at
table, a corporal entered, and saluting the Commandant, informed
him that a Dutch sailor had arrived at the fort, and wished to know
whether he should be admitted. Both Philip and Krantz turned pale at
this communication--they had a presentiment of evil, but they said
nothing. The sailor was ordered in, and in a few minutes, who should
make his appearance but their tormentor, the one-eyed Schriften.
On perceiving Philip and Krantz seated at the table he immediately
exclaimed, "Oh! Captain Philip Vanderdecken, and my good friend
Mynheer Krantz, first mate of the good ship _Utrecht_, I am glad to
meet you again."
"Captain Philip Vanderdecken!" roared the Commandant, as he sprung
from his chair.
"Yes, that is my Captain, Mynheer Philip Vanderdecken; and that is my
first mate, Mynheer Krantz; both of the good ship _Utrecht_: we were
wrecked together, were we not, Mynheer? He! he!"
"Sangue de--Vanderdecken! the husband? Corpo del Diavolo--is it
possible?" cried the Commandant, panting for breath, as he seized his
long sword with both hands, and clenched it with fury--"What then, I
have been deceived, cajoled, laughed at!" Then, after a pause--the
veins of his forehead distending so as almost to burst--he continued,
with a suppressed voice, "Most noble sir, I thank you; but now it is
my turn.--What, ho! there! Corporal--men, here instantly--quick!"
Philip and Krantz felt convinced that all denial was useless. Philip
folded his arms and made no reply. Krantz merely observed, "A little
reflection will prove to you, sir, that this indignation is not
"Not warranted!" rejoined the Commandant with a sneer; "you have
deceived me; but you are caught in your own trap. I have the paper
signed, which I shall not fail to make use of. _You_ are dead, you
know, captain; I have your own hand to it, and your wife will be glad
to believe it."
"She has deceived you, Commandant, to get out of your power, nothing
more," said Vanderdecken. "She would spurn a contemptible withered
wretch like yourself, were she as free as the wind."
"Go on, go on; it will be my turn soon. Corporal, throw these two men
into the dungeon: a sentry at the door till further orders. Away with
them. Most noble sir, perhaps your influential friends in Holland and
Spain will enable you to get out again."
Philip and Krantz were led away by the soldiers, who were very much
surprised at this change of treatment. Schriften followed them; and
as they walked across the rampart to the stairs which led to their
prison, Krantz, in his fury, burst from the soldiers, and bestowed a
kick upon Schriften which sent him several feet forward on his face.
"That was a good one--he! he!" cried Schriften, smiling and looking at
Krantz as he regained his legs.
There was an eye, however, which met theirs with an intelligent
glance, as they descended the stairs to the dungeon. It was that of
the soldier Pedro. It told them that there was one friend upon whom
they could rely, and who would spare no endeavour to assist them in
their new difficulty. It was a consolation to them both; a ray of hope
which cheered them as they once more descended the narrow steps, and
heard the heavy key turned which again secured them in their dungeon.
"Thus are all our hopes wrecked," said Philip, mournfully; "what
Back to Full Books