The Pacha of Many Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 417 pages of information about The Pacha of Many Tales.

“’Posed of! why, a dish of kangaroos be made of kangaroos to be sure.”

* * * * *

But I’ll be dished if I talked about anything but the animal, which we had some trouble to kill; for it stands on its big tail, and fights with all four feet.  Moreover, it be otherwise a strange beast; for its young ones pop out of its stomach, and then pop in again, having a place there on purpose, just like the great hole in the bow of a timber ship; and as for the other little animal, it swims in the ponds, lays eggs, and has a duck’s bill, yet still it be covered all over with hair like a beast.

* * * * *

The vizier interpreted.  “By the Prophet, but he laughs at our beards!” exclaimed the pacha, angrily.  “These are foolish lies.”

“You must not tell the pacha such foolish lies.  He will be angry,” said Mustapha.  “Tell lies, but they must be good lies.”

“Well, I’ll be——­,” replied the sailor, “if the old beggar don’t doubt the only part which is true out of the whole yarn.  Well, I will try another good un to please him.”

* * * * *

After I had been there about six months I was tired; and as there was only twenty thousand miles between that country and my own, I determined to swim back.

* * * * *

“Mashallah! swim back—­how many thousand miles?” exclaimed Mustapha.

“Only twenty thousand—­a mere nothing.”

* * * * *

So one fine morning I throws a young kangaroo on my shoulder, and off I starts.  I swam for three months, night and day, and then feeling a little tired, I laid to on my back, and then I set off again; but by this time I was so covered with barnacles, that I made but little way.  So I stopped at Ascension, scraped and cleaned myself, and then, after feeding for a week on turtle, just to keep the scurvy out of my bones, I set off again; and as I passed the Gut, I thought I might just as well put in here; and here I arrived, sure enough, yesterday, about three bells in the morning watch, after a voyage of five months and three days.

* * * * *

When Mustapha translated all this to the pacha, the latter was lost in astonishment.  “Allah Wakbar!  God is everywhere!  Did you ever hear of such a swimmer?  Twenty thousand miles—­five months and three days.  It is a wonderful story!  Let his mouth be filled with gold.”

Mustapha intimated to the sailor the unexpected compliment about to be conferred on him, just as he had finished the bottle and rolled it away on one side.  “Well, that be a rum way of paying a man.  I have heard it said that a fellow pursed up his mouth; but I never afore heard of a mouth being a purse.  Howsomever, all’s one for that; only, d’ye see, if you are about to stow it away in bulk, it may be just as well to get rid of the dunnage.” 

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The Pacha of Many Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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