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qualify it; but among these unbelievers, such a thing is not to be had, you know'
He swallowed a mouthful, and then asked where we were. I told him, and that I feared we should have to remain where we were until morning, as doubtless his highness was too comfortable in his harem, to attend to Christian dogs at that hour. He complained of much pain, and requested me to look at his neck. I removed his stock, and gently washed the blood from his wound. It was a small, deep orifice, but fortunately in the muscular part, clear of the large vein and artery. For want of something better, I tore a bandage from my shirt, and carefully bound it up; and putting my jacket under his head for a pillow, I persuaded him to compose himself to sleep. The wound in his head was slight; his hand I bandaged with my handkerchief, and then attended to my own wounded arm, which was now much benumbed and swollen.
Notwithstanding my fatigue, and the usual rëaction of great excitement, I did not feel inclined to sleep. I seated myself by the side of Meadows, and silently revolved over the incidents of the night, and speculated upon what the morrow might bring forth. The only person beside myself, not asleep, in the desolate-looking guard-room, was the sentry at the door. He was a dark-skinned Arab, with black, sunken eyes, and a thin, attenuated moustache. His tall, gaunt form was habited in the anomalous uniform of the modern Turkish soldier. A coarse blue jacket, faced with red
; louse knee-breeches and spatlerdashes; red slippers and scull-cap; a yatagan stuck in his girdle, and a clumsy carabine, or musket, on his arm. He looked on with imperturbable composure, while I bound up the wounds, without showing in his dark features the slightest interest or sympathy. After a while, I tried to establish a correspondence with him, by means of diverse signs, and the few words of Turkish and lingua franca I had picked up. But he seemed averse to conversation, and bending his head upon his hand, motioned me to go to sleep.
I tried to follow his advice; but nearly famished from hunger, cold from having parted with my jacket, anxious and restless, and suffering much pain with my wound, the night wore heavily away. The only relief to its cheerless monotony was when, at long intervals, the shrill cry of the sergeant would raise up my quiet fellow lodgers to their turn of guard duty, and after a slight bustle of the others arriving to occupy their places on the platform, all would again be silent.
The gray dawn of morning, to my inexpressible relief, at last stole into the room. Meadows had a feverish and uneasy slumber; often muttering of the scenes we had passed through, and groaning with pain. When he awoke, he complained of thirst, but strove in vain to swallow a mouthful of water. I bathed his head and neck, which had become greatly swollen, and besought him to patience. We both had sufficient need of this virtue, for several tedious hours passed 'on leaden wings,' before we were escorted out of the guardroom, and conducted up a broad flight of steps into the ball of the palace.
The hall into which we were ushered was spacious and lofty, paved with niarble, with a circular fish-pond and its tinkling fountain in the centre. The beams and rasters above were carved and gilded in the Moorish fashion, and the sides were hung with loose crimson drapery: The Pacha was seated upon a raised divan, cushioned and covered with red damask, at the end of the hall. He was surrounded by several gay-looking Turkish officers, and a small guard of soldiers. An old Armenian sat upon a mat near the divan, with some white paper on his knees, and a brass ink-stand thrust in his girile, ready, as I supposed, to take notes of our examination ; and behind him stood an humble looking Jew, who perforined the office of interpreter. The next person I cast my eyes upon, with no little surprise, was our quondam friend, Jack Straw, whom we thought had so treacherously left us to our fate the night before.
The Pacha looked at us keenly, but good humoredly, for a few moments, and the rest of the group followed his example. He then turned and said something to a young officer near him, who replied with a very unoriental burst of laughter;' whereat a smile, grim, sneering, or waggish, according to the modifications of visnomy it passed uver, spread around the circle.
As we saw no indications that our trial was about to commence, we began to think we had been brought before his Turkish highness, like Sampson before the Philistines, to make sport, and we felt proportionally indignant.
Had we been of the softer sex, however, we might have forgiven the Pacha's stare, in consideration of his beauty. Scarce thirty in appearance, with glorious dark eyes, and pencilled brows, finelychiselled mouth and chin, brilliantly white teeth, set off by a black silky moustache, and fair, florid complexion, I thought him decidedly one of the handsomest men I had ever seen. With not a particle of the national gravity, he seemed, on the contrary, full of mirth and waggishness; and, to judge by the effect produced, even upon the grim-looking guard, who would now and then relax their stern muscles into a smile, in spite of the terrors of discipline, the jests of his handsome highness were not altogether without point. His conversation, however, was addressed exclusively to a very youthful officer, who seemed to be a favorite, and applauded the Pacha's jokes with his ready and musical laugh. Nothing could be more at variance with my preconceived notions of a Turkish Pacha and his court, than the singular group before me.
By the time our patience was well nigh exhausted, and our amour propre not a little hurt, a heavy, deliberate step was heard slowly ascending the stairs, and in a moment in came Hadji Bey.
This Turkish dignitary was a very different man from his master. Hadji never joked, save in quite a practical way, and which, indeed, often proved a very sorry jest to the subject. His jokes were generally cracked upon the crowns of the turbulent wretches of Franktown, where he often left conclusive evidence of the striking force of his wit. No one ever heard Hadji laugh, for he was much too grave a Musselman to do so unoriental a thing; and if he ever deigned to smile, it was at the yet unbroken strength of his heavy arm, or the excellent temper of his good Damascus blade. To slice off a superfluous ear or head, would perhaps melt his obdurate lip; and he never smiled more facetiously than in the scene of the preceding night. I really think he felt grateful to us — unworthy Christians that we were - for affording him such excellent sport. Hadji was corpulent, for as officer of police, often at the same time judge and executioner, his profession was congenial; and though he was ever riding about, setting right the times,' that in this multo-headed city are always out of joint,' the agreeable sport he often found, tempered the exercise, keeping him in the best possible spirits, and, with a mind at ease and a good digestion, always in good case.
With elephantine steps, he now moved toward the divan, and performing a grotesque evolution before his highness, in endeavoring to make a lower salaam than his form- constructed more for feats of strength than those of grace-would altogether tolerate, a brief conversation ensued between them. Suddenly turning about, he began, in a short, quick tone, to question us, the Jew interpreting:
Meadows' throat had become so inflamed, that he could not articulare, and I had to be the respondent. In reply to his brief queries, I told him who we were, and the duty we were upon, when we became engaged in the scuffle with the Greeks. He then asked what had become of the traitor, as he was pleased to call him, who deserted from the ship. When I explained that it was the man he had found in the alley outside the house, he sent one of the soldiers to bring bim up. The old Bey then turned to the Pacha, and conversed with him in a low tone.
Our slippery friend, Jack Straw, sidled up to us, and with a favorcourting smile, said we had nothing to fear, for the Pacha called the Americans good friends, but was very angry with the Greeks, who would not get off so easily. As I turned my back upon our perfidious man of straw, Cudgel entered, between two soldiers. He was ghastly pale, covered with blood and dirt, and trembled so, either from fright or exhaustion, that the soldiers had to support him, to keep him from falling.
After I had replied affirmatively to the prisoner's identity, we were again left standing unnoticed; and their conversation having evidently taken another turn, in my anxiety to get on board ship, for the sake of poor Meadows, who I observed was suffering intensely, I ventured to say to his highness that we were both severely wounded, and would be very grateful to be suffered to retire.
The court circle stared at the audacity, I suppose, of the request ; but the Pacha good humoredly smiled, and said we should be free presently. Just then our American consul, the excellent Mr. 0who had been sent for without our knowledge, entered. After bowing respectfully to the Pacha, he came to us, and shaking us warmly by the hand, said, • My God! what is all this? I briefly related the whole story, which he repeated to the Pacha, who listened very attentively until he had finished. Then turning to some of his guard, he ordered them to seize Cudgel, and bear him off safely to the ship The poor wretch could not have made greater outcry, had the
Pacha ordered him to be beheaded. “Oh !' he cried, ‘do n't take me on board ; they will hang me like a dog! I tried to kill an officer! Oh save me!' said he, sinking down upon his knees before the Pacha; 'I will serve you faithfuly; I will turn Turk! Den the Christians! I am a Christian no longer. See here !' he shrieked, baring his arm, upon which was the figure of a cross, in blue ink, as is common among sailors, and frantically spitting upon this symbol of Christianity, 'I forswear it; I am a Turk, and will live and die a Turk. I will be your sailor, soldier - any thing! You are bound to save me from being hanged by those infernal Christians.'
The Pacha seemed anxious to know what all this outcry, so different from Mussulman sang froid, was about; and when the Jew explained that the man wished to turn Mahommetan, to avoid being hanged, he laughed heartily. Hadji, too, grinned a sardonic smile, that seemed to say, 'We want no such proselytes;' while a scornful sneer curled the lips of the others. Finding even apostacy would not save him, as he was hurried away by the unsympathizing guard, he tried the effect of an appeal to us.
• Oh! do n't speak against me, gentlemen ! I was drunk, and did not know what I was about;' (an excuse, by the way, that sailors always think unanswerable.) Mr. Meadows, you know I might have killed you, but I did not attempt it. I only wished to escape, and not hurt any one, Save me, gentlemen, and I will live and die for you! The miserable deserter doubted not he would be hanged, and though I felt some compunctious visitings for the dangerous wound I had given bim, and pity for his unmanly terrors, as be just before had sworn he would live and die a Turk, I turned my back upon his distracted supplications.
Jack Straw accompanied us, and edging toward me, said, “You will remember, if you please, that it was I who saved your lives.'
• Well,' I replied, 'this is the height of assurance ! I remember you betrayed us, you villain ! — and if I catch you on board the ship, , I will have you flogged for your perfidy.'
Jack looked hurt. "No, Sir, I saved you; if I had not alarmed the guard, you would have had your
.' Here he drew bis hand across his gullet, with a significance that made me shudder, when I recollected how near my own throat had been to the un. pleasant operation.
“I saw how 't would be,' said Jack; 'I could not assist you, and so, to prevent murder, I called in the Turkish guard. I warned you, for I knew those men; but you Americans are not afraid of the devil.'
Jack's compliment could not be lost on a young middie; it made us friends at once ; and probably increased, by at least a piastre, the reward I put in his in no wise reluctant hand. Jack told us that two of the ruffians were already dead, and several others badly wounded; adding: 'It would be well for them to die, too, for they will be bastinadoed until their feet are of but little farther use to them.' The house had also been razed to the ground, but the keeper of it had escaped ; 'though he must soon be found, for Hadji was after him,' and as Jack said, it was not so easy to elude old Hadji Bey'
We found the whole ship in excitement, anxious to know what had occurred. The consul accompanied us into the cabin, and the officers, rather forgetful of etiquette, crowded in after us, to hear the news. A word, however, from our scandalized little captain, sent them to the right about, tolerably crest-fallen with their merited rebuke.
After the usual compliments between the consul and the captain, the latter turned to his unfortunate middies, and exclaimed, in his usual cutting tones: This is a pretty business! What does all this mean?' I told him the story, and concluded by saying, that Mr. Meadows was very severely wounded by the Greeks, and that I also had been stabbed in the arm by Cudgel.
'It served you right,' was the consoling reply. 'Lose my men ! go ashore and kill people ! - kept in a Turkish guard-house all night!— tried before the Pacha the next morning ! — American officers ! A pretty disgrace to my ship — to the service, Sir— to the service! The commodore shall know of it! You shall be tried and broken! The Pacha would have been justified in hanging
I saw poor
flash with indignation, and he made a fruitless attempt to reply to this cruel speech. I touched him, and whispered him not to mind what the barbarian said.
He now turned fiercely toward the trembling deserter:
• You, wretch ! — miscreant! Raise a knife against an officer ! He was a fool, not to have killed you on the spot. Mutiny!- desertion !- mutiny! — attempt at murder! Hanging will be too good for you! You shall be whipped to death at the gang-way!'
The miserable man, at last worn out, either from loss of blood, the climax of terrors that his dreaded tyrant held up to his bewildered fancy, sunk down in a swoon, and was carried below to the surgeon. Our worthy consul witnessed the whole scene with disgust and amazement; and when the captain turned round, apparently to give us another •blast of that dread horn,' took his hat, and coolly bidding him good morning, left the cabin.
After another series of violent denunciations from the captain, we were also suffered to depart, but with repeated assurances that he should take measures to have us brought before a court martial.
Little farther need be said. Meadows was a long time an invalid, but finally recovered. My wound soon healed, and my boyish temperament triunıphed over the chimeras dire that our spiteful little commander had raised.
As we sailed soon after from Smyrna, I never learned the fate of our dangerous shore acquaintances. But as Turkish law inclines more to justice than mercy, I presume they got their deserts. Cudgel languished a long time in a doubtful state. We fell in with the commodore at Malta, and a representation of the affair being made to him, the poor wretch was turned ashore, to linger a short time, and then to die peaceably in his native land. And we escaped a court martial.