“I desire to express my gratitude anew to you, and to the gentlemen who have made us capable of coming into your presence in proper condition,” said his lordship, as the commander took his offered hand, which was wrung with the utmost cordiality.
“So far as I am concerned, my Lord, I have done nothing but my duty; for I am a sailor, and the true son of the ocean is always ready to sacrifice even his life to save a shipwrecked brother of the sea,” replied the captain.
“Then you are a true son of the ocean, Captain Ringgold, and I shall remember you as long as I live in my prayers!”
“So shall we all!” exclaimed Sir Modava, taking the hand of the commander.
“I indorse the sentiment,” added Dr. Ferrolan.
“In regard to the clothing,” said the commander, as he threw back his head, elevated his shoulders, and spread out his arms, so as to exhibit to its full extent the height and breadth of his stalwart form, “I was, unfortunately, unable to contribute to the supply of garments for your party; for mine on any one of you would have been like a shirt on a handspike.”
“But a London tailor could hardly have fitted us any better,” replied the spokesman of the trio.
“I am happy to see you in such excellent condition so soon after the disaster. With your permission, gentlemen, I desire to introduce you to each of my passengers, promising to indicate those whose garments you wear,” continued the commander.
“With the greatest pleasure,” replied Lord Tremlyn; and the other two bowed their acquiescence.
“This, gentlemen, is Mr. Belgrave, the owner of the Guardian-Mother, the steam-yacht in which he is making a voyage round the world.”
“I am extremely pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Belgrave,” added Lord Tremlyn, as he took the hand of the young millionaire. “We owe our lives to the fortunate presence of your magnificent steam-yacht in this part of the Arabian Sea. Permit me to present to you Prince Modava, who has been knighted for his distinguished services to the British Crown, and who prefers to be known by his English title.”
“That’s your colored man!” whispered Felix to Mrs. Blossom.
“Good gracious!” exclaimed the motherly lady. “A live prince!”
“It affords me very great pleasure to become acquainted with you, Mr. Belgrave,” with a smile so sweet and expressive that it ravished the hearts of the ladies. “I am under a burden of obligation to you which I shall never be able to repay; and I hope I shall be able to render you some slight service in assisting you to see India, for I learn that you are bound to Bombay.”
“I thank you, Sir Modava; and we shall gratefully accept any favors you may extend to us.”
“Let me add, my Lord, that Mr. Belgrave pulled the stroke oar in the boat which picked you up after you had sent our first cutter to the relief of Sir Modava,” interposed the commander.