General education had, however, fallen to a low ebb among the population, and the wisdom of the ancients was chiefly concentrated among the higher class of Marabouts, whose headquarters were at Bugia, and their present chief, Hadji Eseb Ben Hassan, had the reputation of a saint, which the Consuls believed to be well founded.
As soon as the meal was over, the French Consul, instead of taking his siesta as usual, began to take measures for chartering a French tartane to go to Bugia immediately. He found there was great interest excited, not only among the Christian merchants, but among Turks, Moors, and Jews, so horrible was the idea of captivity among the Cabeleyzes.
But it was known that if these wild beings paid deference to any one, it was to the Grand Marabout at Bugia; and the Secretary promised to send a letter in the Dey's name, which, with a considerable present, might induce him to undertake the negotiation. Therewith the audience terminated, after M. Dessault had laid a splendid diamond snuff-box at the feet of the Secretary.
A remnant of trade still adheres to the commodious harbor of Bugia which, in a more prosperous age, is said to have contained about twenty thousand houses; and the plenty of iron which is dug from the adjacent mountains might have supplied a braver people with the instruments of defence.
Peter, near the rock of the Recluse, a tempest arose, and the wind blew so violently that two of them went down with all on board. The five others, however, weathered the storm, and reached Bugia and Alexandria. And now the young Crusaders discovered to their consternation how they had been deceived and betrayed.
For the Lull who had, in a fit of temper, smitten his Saracen slave now smiled on the men who stoned him; and the Lull who had showed the white feather of fear at Genoa, now defied death in the market-place of Bugia.
At last, however, seeing that he could do little in hiding, Lull took ship to Naples. After many adventures during a number of years, in a score of cities and on the seas, the now white-haired Lull sailed into the curved bay of Bugia farther westward along the African coast. In the bay behind the frowning walls the city with its glittering mosques climbed the hill.
There for a year Lull taught in secret till he felt that the time had come for him to go out boldly and dare death itself. One day the people in the market-place of Bugia heard a voice ring out that seemed to some of them strangely familiar. They hurried toward the sound.
The consul left immediately, and next morning Sidi Hassan set out for Bugia with the necessary ransom. In regard to this we need say nothing more than that he accomplished his purpose, paid the ransom, and received the seven British seamen, accompanied by whom he commenced the return journey, he and his men riding, and driving the sailors on foot before them as though they had been criminals.
A briefe description of Afrike gathered by Richard Eden. In Africa the lesse are these kingdoms: the kingdom of Tunis and Constantina, which is at this day under Tunis, and also the region of Bugia, Tripoli, and Ezzah. This part of Afrike is very barren by reason of the great deserts, as the deserts of Numidia and Barca.