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he muttered to the mate, glaring
over at Ben, who with his usual ver
bosity, was amusing the disconsolate
sailors with one of his funny stories.
"No use crying -over spilt milk, al
though we must tramp it to the near
est town, if there is any such, and
start life all over again."
No "next town" was located. They
followed the shore for two days, sub
sisting on shellfish, were forced to
leave the sea behind them in round
ing a series of fairly inaccesible cliffs,
. and two mornings after that found
themselves in the midst of an al
most impenetrable inland jungle.
"Lost!" announced Capt Poore,
There was the compensation
against their forlorn condition' of be
ing in the midst of an abundance of
game and fruit, and for a week the
marooners wandered as in a circle,
all at sea as to distance and location.
Ben. was eyed, with suspicion, ask
ance. The impression that he was
their Jonah had been transmitted
from captain to crew and the super
stitious seamen studiously avoided
"Reckon the varmint knows he's a
hoodoo and has slipped the traces to
go it on his own hook," observed one
of the sailors one morning.
For Ben had disappeared. Stolen
off or strayed away, he did not put in
a later appearance. The captain hu
manely waited and searched for the
"He's a Jonah, all right," he said
convincedly, "but we can't abandon
him. We'll lay to here for 48 hours
hoping he'll come back."
The crew growled at this, but not
within the captain's hearing. Their
imagination depicted Ben destroyed
by wild beasts or fallen into some
gully or captured by natives, traces
of the proximity of the latter having
been recently observed. Their eyes
would have opened to their widest,
their sense would have been thrilkl
to marveling wonder, could they have
been translated to the settlement of , ,
!fUcari, a native chief tian five leagues
For there, in the palace of King
Akari, was Ben, an honored guest.
He had been brought thither a pris-
oner captured by a party of savages
who were intent on sacrificing him as
an invader upon their domain.
Now Ben was shrewd. He had beeri
a haphazard wanderer; he knew a
good many circus tricks and was
considerably familiar with the char
acter of the ignorant interior African
Ben watched his captors, as, with
the king, they sat in conclave. He
studied their gestures and faces. He
know that they were tiiscussing his
doom. Suddenly he sprang up and
let out an Indian yeh". Theli, remov
ing tioth the upper and lower set of
false teeth, he began juggling them
in the air from hand to hand with a
rapidity and dexterity that fixed the
attention of the natives with marvel
"Whoop!" again burst forth Ben.
His rticial ear came off; he em
ployed it in a triple cascade. He re
placed the articles. Then, stooping,
he unhitched his artificial leg. By
this time the startled natives were in
a veritable stampede. The sight of
a man taking himself t6 pieces ap-"
palled them. Ben reached out with
his hook of a hand, caught one of
the natives by his clothes and swung
him dizzyingly about his head.
The group was awed; the king ap
proached this wonder man cringing
ly. Here was a phenomenon, a great
medicine man, indeed.
Two days later Capt Poore and
his shipmates were dejectedly pursu
ing a lonely course through the for
est when Ben appeared, borne in a
palanquin; by half a dozen sturdy na
tives. He was arrayed in glaring
garments. The savages were his
obedient servitors. They guided the
group to a trail leading to a seashore
settlement Then, his escort dis
missed, Ben Rugglea told his story.
"You see, my biggest act was when
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