CAPTIVITY AND WANDERING
Our hero never stirs without encountering a romantic adventure. Noble ladies nearly always take pity on good-looking captains, and Smith was far from ill-favored. The charming Charatza delighted to talk with her slave, for she could speak Italian, and would feign herself too sick to go to the bath, or to accompany the other women when they went to weep over the graves, as their custom is once a week, in order to stay at home to hear from Smith how it was that Bogall took him prisoner, as the Bashaw had written her, and whether Smith was a Bohemian lord conquered by the Bashaw’s own hand, whose ransom could adorn her with the glory of her lover’s conquests. Great must have been her disgust with Bogall when she heard that he had not captured this handsome prisoner, but had bought him in the slave-market at Axopolis. Her compassion for her slave increased, and the hero thought he saw in her eyes a tender interest. But she had no use for such a slave, and fearing her mother would sell him, she sent him to her brother, the Tymor Bashaw of Nalbrits in the country of Cambria, a province of Tartaria (wherever that may be). If all had gone on as Smith believed the kind lady intended, he might have been a great Bashaw and a mighty man in the Ottoman Empire, and we might never have heard of Pocahontas. In sending him to her brother, it was her intention, for she told him so, that he should only sojourn in Nalbrits long enough to learn the language, and what it was to be a Turk, till time made her master of herself. Smith himself does not dissent from this plan to metamorphose him into a Turk and the husband of the beautiful Charatza Tragabigzanda. He had no doubt that he was commended to the kindest treatment by her brother; but Tymor “diverted all this to the worst of cruelty.” Within an hour of his arrival, he was stripped naked, his head and face shaved as smooth as his hand, a ring of iron, with a long stake bowed like a sickle, riveted to his neck, and he was scantily clad in goat’s skin. There were many other slaves, but Smith being the last, was treated like a dog, and made the slave of slaves.