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Yet was our duty not all play or sight-seeing. The Malays in Quedah had to dispose of their produce at Penang, and procure, in return, arms, powder, and salt, and our duty was to prevent them. Whenever the night tides were high, combined with a misty state of the atmosphere likely to cover their escape through our cordon, prahus would push out, and, by keeping close under the shadow of the jungle, strive to escape our vigilance. Their lofty mat sails caught the faintest breath of land-breeze, the beautifully sharp bow of the prahus made hardly a ripple as it cut through the water, and it required the keenest eye to detect them when stealing thus along in silence and shadow. The quick sight and hearing of our Malays was in this respect invaluable: they had themselves been engaged in similar feats, and knew all the tricks of their compatriots. On more than one occasion did the look-out man call me at night, when, although a clear sky overhead, nothing but the tops of the trees could be seen peering over a white mist which poured like smoke out of the unhealthy mangrove swamps. “ A prahu!" the man would say, pointing into the mist, making a sign at the same time to listen. Holding my head low down and horizontally, I could at last distinguish what had caught the Malay's attention--a low creak occasion



me the ·

ally, which I most decidedly should have thought to be the swaying of some branch in the forest, had he not assured me that it was the action of a prahu's oar in a rattan grummet.* At other times a rippling sound, such as water will make when running past any fixed object, was wafted on the night wind. “It is merely the tide running past the fishing-weirs, Jamboo,” I might perhaps say. “Oh no, sir!” he

, would reply, " the look-out man assures sound is altering its position, and that it's the stem of a prahu cutting through the water.” Silently and stealthily, but quickly, as men who had been all their lives at such work, the crew would be on their legs. “Baughan! semoa-secalar, hancat down!” in a low and distinct whisper, would run along the deck; or, in other words, “ Arouse,! hands up anchor !” The anchor would be run up gently, and Numero Tega would be after her prey like a nighthawk. We had to deal, however, with keen hands and fast boats; and often have I chased to early dawn before being sure of my prize.

Grummet,” the piece of rope used for attaching an oar to the rowing-pin.




A Night Chase after a Prahu. The Chase. The Prahu

manæuvres admirably. - Jadee volunteers to board her. The Capture. - A Piratical Saint. — The Saint at Prayers.

The Saint's Deportment. The Saint's Martyrdom. Defensive Measures. — Escape of Siamese Prisoners. Sufferings of the Siamese Prisoners. A curious Mode of Sketching

THE pluck and zeal of my crew often struck me, but never perhaps more than on the occasion I am about to relate.

We had had a long and unsuccessful chase one day after a fast-pulling prahu, and the crew being much exhausted, I anchored for the night at the mouth of a small river called the Furlong, about two miles north of Quedah fort. Heartily tired with the past day's exertion, all my crew soon dropped asleep, except the usual look-out man, and I donned my blanket frock and trousers, and threw myself on the deck to rest. About ten o'clock I was aroused by a fine old one-eyed fellow called “Souboo,”

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" Touhan!"* whispered he, “a large two-masted prahu has just sailed past us!” " Where?-in what direction ?" I asked. “ To leeward, sir !” said Souboo, as he dropped upon his knees and peered along the water, over which the night mists were moving; "there she is—a real capel prahu,' and sailing very fast.” To up anchor and make sail to

. the land-breeze did not take many minutes; the sweeps were manned, and the guns cleared for action.

Whilst my little craft was flying through the water, I questioned Souboo as to how it was he first got sight of the prahu. 66 The wind was rather along the land than off it,” said he, “and I was watching the mouth of the river, when suddenly happening to turn my head to seaward, I saw a prahu come out of the mist and almost tumble on board of us, as she hauled in for the stream; but in a minute her course was changed, and she bore up for the southward with flowing sheets.”

“All right," exclaimed Jadee, " we will have herthere is a twenty-mile run for her to the Bountings, and before that ground is gone over the fog will have cleared off and the wind fail.” “ How if she

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Touhan, in this sense, was equivalent to “Sir;" it is generally used as Mr. would be in English.



hauls up, and goes to the northward ?” I suggested. “No Malay man tries to sail against the wind with a prahu, when the white man is in chase of him, Touhan!” said Jadee; "and if Souboo's description of this vessel is correct, she is one of the war-prahus of Mahomet Alee's fleet!”

Under this pleasing anticipation, Jadee got quite excited; and I must say I joined in the feeling, as the gun-boat listed to the breeze, and her dashing crew bent with a will to their oars. The zealous Campar handed to Jadee the longest and ugliest creese in his stock, and I observed all the men stick their short knives in their girdles ready for a fray. No prahu yet!” I exclaimed, after running two or three miles through the mist. 66 We will catch her !” responded Jadee; and almost as he said the word, we seemed to be aboard of a large-sized prahu, running the same way as ourselves. There was a yell of delight from the Number Threes, as my crew styled themselves, and one as of astonishment from the prahu ; but in a moment she, what is termed, jibbed her sails, and slipped out of sight again before we could dip our heavy yards and lug-sails. Altering our course so as to intercept her in her evident intention to seek a hiding-place in the Bounting Islands, the bow-gun was cleared away and

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