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 Sinbad the sailor 
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Short Stories  
     The Island of Apes   (The Third Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor)

After a very short time the lovely easy life I made myself quite forget the difficulties of my two voyages. Besides, as I was still living in the prime of life, it encouraged me to be up and doing. So I once more fulfilled myself with the useful and the choicest products of Baghdad, I sold it to Balsora, and then sailed with other merchants of my contact for distant lands. We had visited at many ports and made much profit, when one day upon the open sea we were caught by a terrible wind which blew us completely out of our calculations, and living for a few days, it finally took us into harbor on a strange island.

"I would somewhat have come to anchor anywhere than over here," said our captain. "This island and all the one which joins it are inhabited by hairy savages, who are on the spot ready to attack us, and whatever these dwarfs may do we dare not refuse to accept it, since they swarm like locusts, and if one of them is killed the rest will fall upon us with anger, and speedily make an end of us."

These words caused great concern among all the ship's company, and too soon we were to find out that the captain spoke truly. There appeared a numerous  hideous savages, not more than two feet high and covered with reddish fur. Throwing themselves into the waves they surrounded our ship. Chattering for a while in a language we could not understand, and grabbing at ropes and gangways, they darken up the ship's side with such speed and agility that they almost seemed to fly.

You may imagine the temper and the fear that caught us as we watched them, we were neither at the condition at daring to get in the way of them nor we were able to speak a word to stop them from their purpose, whatever it might be. Of this we were not left long in doubt. Hoisting the sails, and cutting the cable of the anchor, they sailed our ship to an island which lay a little further off, where they drove us; then taking the ownership of her, they made off to the place from which they had come, leaving us helpless upon a shore avoided with horror by all mariners for a reason which you will soon come to know.

Turning our way away from the sea we saw dejectedly the inland, as we went we find numerous herbs and fruits which we ate, feeling that we might as well live as long as possible though we had no hope of escaping from this Island. Presently we saw in though far distance what seemed to us to be a marvelous palace, towards which we turned our weary steps, but when we reached it we saw that it was a castle, superior, and strongly built. We pushed back the heavy doors and we entered the courtyard, but upon the entrance of the great hall we stopped beyond it, standing still with fear.

On the one side there was a huge quantity of human bones, and on the other side numberless spits for roasting! After having no chance for hope we sank to the ground, and lay there down without any movement or any words. The sun was about to set when a loud noise awaken us, the door of the hall was nastily burst open and a horrible giant entered in. He was as tall as a palm tree, and perfectly black, and had one eye, which seemed like a burning coal in the middle of his forehead. His teeth were long and sharp, while his lower lip hung down upon his chest, and he had ears like elephant's ears, which covered his shoulders, and nails like the claws of a huge bird.

Looking at this frightful view our senses left us and we lay down like a dead men. When at last we came to our senses back, the giant sat observing us attentively with his scary eye. Presently when he had looked at us enough he came towards us, and stretching out his hand took me by the back of his neck, turning me this way and that way, but feeling that I was having not enough skin and bone he set me down again and went on to the next one which would be more better than me, whom he treated in the same way; at last he came to the captain, and finding him the healthiest of us all, he took him up in one hand and stuck him upon a spit and proceeded to kindle a huge fire at which he presently roasted him.

After the giant had lay down to sleep, and when he was snoring like the loudest thunder, while we lay quivering with terror the whole night through, and when the morning arrived  he woke up and went out, leaving us in the castle.

When we were sure that he had been really gone we started up shouting and crying our horrible fate, until the hall was echoed with our loud cries. Though we were many and our enemy was alone it did not occur to us to kill him, and indeed we should have found it to be a hard task, even if we had thought of it, and no plan could we devise to escape ourselves. So at last, submitting to our sad fate, we spent the day in walking and searching up and down the island eating such fruits as we could find, and when night again arrived we returned to the castle again, having in the want in useless for any other place of shelter.

At sunset the giant returned, and he slept upon one of our unhappy companion, he slept and snored till the daylight appeared to him, and then left us as before. Our condition seemed to us so frightful that several of my companions thought it would be better to jump from the sea and lie and be fade in the waves at once, rather than to wait at so dangerous end; but I had a plan of escape which I now opened to them, and which they at once agreed to accept it.




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