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Sindbad The Sailor The Third Voyage

from Favorite Fairy Tales.





I soon resolved upon a third voyage, and once more took ship at Balsora.
After we had been at sea a few weeks, we were overtaken by a dreadful
storm, and were obliged to cast anchor near an island which the captain
had endeavored to avoid; for he assured us that it was inhabited by
pigmy savages, covered with hair, who would speedily attack us in great
numbers. Soon an innumerable multitude of frightful savages, about two
feet high, boarded the ship. Resistance was useless. They took down our
sails, cut our cable, towed the ship to land, and made us all go on
shore. We went towards the interior of the island and discovered a large
building. It was a lofty palace, having a gate of ebony, which we pushed
open, and soon discovered a room in which were human bones and roasting
spits. Presently there appeared a hideous black man, who was as tall as
a palm tree. He had but one eye, his teeth were long and sharp, and his
nails like the talons of a bird. He took me up as I would a kitten, but
finding I was little better than skin and bone, put me down with
contempt. The captain, being the fattest of the party, was sacrificed
to his appetite. When the monster had finished his meal he stretched
himself upon a great stone bench in the portico, and fell asleep,
snoring louder than thunder. In this manner he slept till morning. In
the morning he went out. I said to my companions:

"Do not waste time in useless sorrow; let us hurry to look for timber
to make rafts."



We found some timber on the seashore, and labored hard; but having no
tools, it was evening before we had finished; and while we were on the
point of pushing the raft off the beach, our hideous tyrant returned
and drove us to his palace, as if we had been a flock of sheep. We saw
another of our companions sacrificed, and the giant lay down to sleep as
before. Our desperate condition gave us courage; nine of us got up very
softly, and held the points of the roasting spits in the fire until we
made them red-hot; we then thrust them at once into the monster's eye.
He uttered a frightful scream, and having tried in vain to find us,
opened the ebony gate and left the palace. We did not stay long behind
him, but ran to the seashore, got our rafts ready, and waited for
daylight to embark. But at dawn we beheld our monstrous enemy, led by
two giants of equal size, and followed by many others. We jumped upon
our rafts, and pushed them from the shore, the tide helping us. The
giants seeing us likely to escape, tore great pieces of rock, and wading
in the water up to their waists, hurled them at us with all their might.
They sank every one of the rafts but that on which I was; thus all my
companions, except two, were drowned. We rowed as fast as we could, and
got out of the reach of these monsters. We were at sea two days, but at
last found a pleasant island. After eating some fruit, we lay down to
sleep, but were soon awakened by the hissing of an enormous serpent. One
of my comrades was instantly devoured by this terrific creature. I
climbed up a tree as fast as I could, and reached the topmost branches;
my remaining companion was following me, but the dreadful reptile
entwined itself round the tree and caught him. The serpent then went
down and glided away. I waited until late the next day before I ventured
to descend. Evening again approached, and I gathered together a great
quantity of small wood, brambles, and thorns. Having made them into
fagots, I formed a circle round the tree, and fastened the uppermost to
the branches of the tree. I then climbed up to the highest branches. At
night the serpent came again, but could not reach the tree; and crawling
vainly round and round my little fortification until daylight, he went
away. The next day I spied a ship in full sail a long way off. With the
linen of my turban I made a signal, which was perceived. I was taken on
board the ship and there told my adventures. The captain was very kind
to me. He said that he had some bales of goods which had belonged to a
merchant who had unintentionally left him some time ago on an
uninhabited island. As this man was undoubtedly dead, he intended to
sell the goods for the benefit of his relatives, and I should have the
profit of selling them. I now recollected this was the captain with whom
I sailed on my second voyage. I soon convinced him that I was really
Sindbad, whom he supposed to have been lost. He was delighted at the
discovery, and eagerly acknowledged that the property was mine. I
continued my voyage, sold my goods to great advantage, and returned
to Bagdad.





Next: Sindbad The Sailor My Fourth Voyage

Previous: Sindbad The Sailor The Second Voyage



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