After a few minutes, they commenced sawing a hole in the side of my whale boat; and a piece being removed, a head was put in. Fearful of another harpoon, I had raised up my large white bear’s skin as a defence, and the man perceiving it, immediately withdrew his head, swearing that there was a white bear in the belly of the whale. The boat shoved off, and they commenced firing musket balls, which pierced my boat through and through, and I was obliged to lie down at the bottom to save my life. After about twenty shots, the boat again came along side, and a man, putting his head in, and perceiving me at the bottom of the boat, covered over with the bear’s skin, imagined that the animal had been killed, and reported to his companions. With some degree of apprehension they climbed in at the hole which they had cut, when I lifted up my bear’s skin, and made my appearance, dressed in the black skin worn by the inhabitants of Whale’s Island. This frightened them still more; one roared out that it was the devil, and they all ran to make their escape at the hole by which they entered, but in their eagerness they prevented each other.
It was with difficulty that I convinced them that I was harmless, which I did at last; and having explained in a few words how I came there, they permitted me to go with them on board of the ship. The captain was very sulky when he heard the story; he had imagined it to be a dead whale, and had ordered it to be towed alongside, to cut off the blubber. Disappointed in his expectations, he swore that I was a Jonas, who had come out of the whale’s belly, and there would be no luck in the ship, if I remained. The sailors, whose profits in the voyage were regulated by the number of fish taken, thought this an excellent reason for throwing me overboard; and had there not been two sail in sight, standing towards them, I certainly should have had some more adventures to narrate. At last they consented to put me on board of one which had hoisted French colours. She was from Havre, and having twelve fish on board, was returning home. The captain consented to give me a passage, and in two months I was once more in my native country.
Such, your highness, were the adventures of my Third Voyage.
“Well, the story of the Island was rather too long,” observed the pacha, “but altogether, it was amusing. Mustapha, I think it is worth ten pieces of gold.”
The next day the renegade commenced his fourth voyage in the following words.