“Where are they?” asks John.
“Come with me!”
In a few seconds the doctor sees the ladies, who have a state-room together. They are fully dressed, and look woe-begone. At each lunge of the vessel they gasp, and, when a particularly big one occurs, fall into each other’s arms.
Both are brave enough, and yet the situation is such that a strange feeling creeps over the stoutest heart.
When John appears, and tells them what the captain has said, it reassures them considerably, and they feel better.
Presently he leaves them, and seeks his berth, where he actually goes to sleep. Tired nature will assert her power, even under the most discouraging conditions.
During the night the storm abates.
John Craig is awake early, and can tell that all is well from the easy motion of the steamer, for her plunges are few and of small moment. A silence broods over the scene; the tired passengers have gone to sleep; all John can hear as he lies there is the dull throb of the engines and the swish of water against the side of the vessel.
TO THE HOUSE OF BEN TALEB.
The sunset gun is just booming over the African hills as the steamer drops anchor off the wonderful city where the French have gained a foothold and seem determined to stay.
John Craig is in a fever to go ashore. He has had news that from Malta his mother went to Algiers on a mission, and his one object in life is to follow her until the time comes when he can see face to face the woman to whom he owes his being, toward whom his heart goes out, and whom he believes to have been dreadfully wronged.
Most of the passengers are going farther, but as the steamer will remain in the harbor until morning, there is no need of any going ashore.
John, however, cannot wait.
He engages a boatman—there are many who at once come out to the steamer for various purposes—tells his friends where they may find him, and with his luggage is away, just before darkness sets in, for it comes very soon after sunset in this country.
Upon landing, John secures a guide, and makes for the central square known as the Place du Gouvernement, where he knows of a good hotel, recommended by the captain.
The air is fragrant with the odor of flowers.
In his walk he meets strange people, Arabs, Moors, Kabyles from the desert, long-bearded Jews, Greeks, negroes, Italians, and, of course, French soldiers.
Al Jezira, as the natives call their capital, is undoubtedly the most interesting city for a traveler’s eyes, exceeding even Constantinople and Cairo.
Part of the city is modern, the rest just as it might have been a century ago, when the Algerian pirates made a reign of terror sweep over the Mediterranean.
Omnibuses are seen, and even street-cars run to Birkadeen, a suburb. The houses on the terraces of Mustapha Superieur are peopled with the nicest of French and English families, who spend the winter in this charming place.