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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.

WASHINGTON IRVING.

[Note:  Cacique.  The chief of an Indian tribe.  The word was adopted by the Spaniards from the language of the natives of San Domingo.

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ROBBED IN THE DESERT.

I departed from Kooma, accompanied by two shepherds, who were going towards Sibidooloo.  The road was very steep and rocky, and as my horse had hurt his feet much, he travelled slowly and with great difficulty; for in many places the ascent was so sharp, and the declivities so great, that if he had made one false step, he must inevitably have been dashed to pieces.  The herds being anxious to proceed, gave themselves little trouble about me or my horse, and kept walking on at a considerable distance.  It was about eleven o’clock, as I stopped to drink a little water at a rivulet (my companions being near a quarter of a mile before me), that I heard some people calling to each other, and presently a loud screaming, as from a person in great distress.  I immediately conjectured that a lion had taken one of the shepherds, and mounted my horse to have a better view of what had happened.  The noise, however, ceased; and I rode slowly towards the place from whence I thought it proceeded, calling out, but without receiving any answer.  In a little time, however, I perceived one of the shepherds lying among the long grass near the road; and, though I could see no blood upon him, concluded he was dead.  But when I came close to him, he whispered to me to stop, telling me that a party of armed men had seized upon his companion, and shot two arrows at himself as he was making his escape.  I stopped to consider what course to take, and looking round, saw at a little distance a man sitting upon the stump of a tree; I distinguished also the heads of six or seven more; sitting among the grass, with muskets in their hands.  I had now no hopes of escaping, and therefore determined to ride forward towards them.  As I approached them, I was in hopes they were elephant hunters, and by way of opening the conversation, inquired if they had shot anything; but, without returning an answer, one of them ordered me to dismount; and then, as if recollecting himself, waved with his hand for me to proceed.  I accordingly rode past, and had with some difficulty crossed a deep rivulet, when I heard somebody holloa; and looking back, saw those I took for elephant hunters now running after me, and calling out to me to turn back.  I stopped until they were all come up, when they informed me that the King of the Foulahs had sent them on purpose to bring me, my horse, and everything that belonged to me, to Fooladoo, and that therefore I must turn back, and go along with them.  Without hesitating a moment, I turned round and followed them, and we travelled together near a quarter of a mile without exchanging a word.  When coming to a dark place of the wood, one of them said, in the Mandingo language, “This place

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