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Sparks, NV, USA
Another and a very different vessel chanced to be floating in those seas at the time the Sicilian traderset sail. At a distance she might have been mistaken for a fishing-boat, for she carried only twolateen sails, of that high triangular form which may still be seen in the Mediterranean and on thelakes of Switzerland. In reality, however, the vessel was of greater dimensions than even the largestboat, and her main-mast with its sail was of gigantic proportions. She was also full-decked, andseveral pieces of heavy ordnance pointed their black muzzles from port-holes in her bulwarks.No one could have mistaken her character as a vessel of war, for, besides the guns referred to, shehad an unusually large crew of bronzed and stalwart men. Their costume, as well as their arms, toldthat these were of Eastern origin. Although there was much variety in detail, they all wore the samegold-laced jackets, the same loose Turkish drawers gathered in below the knees, and broad silkenscarfs round their waists, with richly chased silver-mounted pistols and yataghans or curved swords.Some wore the turban, others the blue-tasselled red fez or tarbouch of Tunis, while a few contentedthemselves with a kerchief tied loosely round their heads.One, who appeared to be the captain of the vessel, stood near the steersman, leaning on thebulwarks, and scanning the horizon with a telescope. His costume was similar to that of his men, butof richer material."It is certainly a sail," said he whom we have styled the captain to one who stood by his side, andmight have been his lieutenant or mate."She bears sou'-west, I think," replied the latter."So much the better," returned the captain; "let her fall off a little-so, steady. If this wind holds forhalf an hour we shall get well abreast of her, and then-"The captain shut up the telescope with an emphatic bang, by way of termination to his remark, and, turning on his heel, paced the deck rapidly by the side of his mate