Sometimes The Arabs Alluringly Question Their Captives To See If They
Understand Any Mechanical Arts, Which Are Greatly Esteemed, Being
useful in these almost tenantless regions; and should they discover that
they do, they carry them away into hopeless
Captivity, through the wilds
of the Desert, refusing to sell them at any price or offer of ransom.
But those who cannot, or will not make themselves useful, are generally
redeemed by the Mogador Consuls, should they escape being massacred in
the quarrels of the Arabs for the booty when they are first captured.
There is, at the present time, a Spanish fisherman near Wadnoun, waiting
to be redeemed. The Arab Sheikh who holds him, demands two hundred
dollars for his redemption. Mr. Wiltshire objects to the price, as being
too much. Besides this, he is afraid to advance any money for a Spanish
captive's release, lest it should never be refunded. The Spanish
Government, representing a people so chivalrous in bygone times, and so
proud of their ancient exploits over the Moors of this very country, are
not now-a-days over zealous in redeeming their countrymen held in
bondage by these people. Mr. Willshire ransomed a Spanish boy, and
waited several years before he could get this imbecile Government to
refund the money. Espartero at last, however, interfered authoritatively
for the repayment to our generous consul.
In the present case of the poor fisherman, the captive Spaniard lingers
between hope and fear, his only protection being the avarice of his
master, who, like all slave-dealers, is willing to take care of him as
he takes care of his horse.
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