General Noury had sent word to Captain Sharp that he should continue with the party to Colombo, and that he could proceed at once to that port. In fact, he liked the company of the party on board of the Guardian-Mother so well that he was not inclined to part with them at present.
The passengers took possession of their staterooms, and there was still one left for the general, and the band was quartered in the library. The hour for sailing had been fixed at three o’clock; and just before that time the Cherub, Captain O’Flaherty, appeared, having on board a regimental band and the friends of Lord Tremlyn, Sir Modava, and Dr. Ferrolan, who extended to them the compliment of an escort, and, incidentally, to the commander and his passengers.
About half an hour before the time for sailing a shore boat came up to the gangway, and a well-dressed gentleman with a swarthy face ascended the steps. He asked to see Captain Ringgold, and he was called down from the upper deck. It was Mazagan.
“I have called, Captain, to remind you that our account has not yet been settled,” said the villanous Moor. “I have another to add to it, for the destruction of the Fatime, his Highness the Pacha Ali-Noury’s steam-yacht, which he authorizes me to collect.”
“Does he, indeed?” replied the captain, laughing; for, having the “weather gauge” of the rascal, he was disposed to treat the matter very lightly.
“I have the account in the handwriting of his Highness,” added Mazagan, as he presented a paper written in good English.
“Very well; but I prefer to settle the account with his Highness himself,” added the commander, as he touched an electric bell, which brought Sparks to the boudoir into which they had gone. “Ask the general to come here,” he said in a low tone to the steward.
“But I do not choose to wait a year or two for a settlement,” protested the visitor.
“You need not wait five minutes,” added Captain Ringgold.
The Moor began to go over his story again, but it was interrupted by the entrance of General Noury. Mazagan looked at him, and seemed to be unable to believe the evidence of his own eyes. The commander stated the case to him.
“Is this account in your handwriting, General?” he asked.
“Certainly not,” replied the Pacha. “We have discussed this matter fully, and I have no claim whatever against you; neither has this man. I settled all my accounts with him; and I have his receipt in full, signed by him, and witnessed by Captain Sharp and his wife. He is a swindler and a villain; and if I ever catch him in Morocco he shall have the bowstring!”
The general denounced him in the severest manner, and then asked the commander to send him out of the ship. Knott was at the gangway, the pirate was turned over to him, and hustled down the steps into his boat. The general expressed his regret that the captain had been annoyed by the villain again, and was confident he would never see or hear from him again; and he never did.