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233 ' THE ADVENTURES OP REUBEN DAVIDGER.
for me, for which my heart has been so long pining that it feels jnst withered up. It can carry me away from this accursed place ; it can take me back to my own country, and give me such riches that I shall be everywhere welcome. Let it but do this for me, and ask of me anythingamy right hand evenaand I will freely give it you. You say your antu is all-powerful, and it needs only to look on the jewels and golden ornaments with which it had provided you, when yon were taken captive, to be made sure that it is so. Ask it to grant me these two favours !"
And Katam looked truly imploring as he knelt before me, clasping his hands ; but I shook my head.
" One wish at a time, good Katam," said I. " Shall I pray my antu first of all for riches for you, or that it may assist you to get away from this place ?"
Katam was evidently much perplexed with the two stools between which I had placed him ; he blinked his eyes and scratched his ugly head, and at last muttereda
" Of what use would riches be to me here ?"
"True, indeed," said I earnestly; "if riches could make one happy on this island, there would be few happier than myself."
On hearing me make this remark, a light seemed to dawn on Katam, and, regarding me suspiciously, said hea
" If you don't like the island, why don't you leave it ?"
"If you don't like the island, why don't you leave it ?" I retorted.
" Because," replied he, " I have no powerful antu at my command ; if I had ! oh ! if I had !"
And Katam looked at that part of the wall which was seaward with a longing gaze, and as though the partition of mud and reeds was no obstacle to his looking far away in the direction of that country he was so anxious to regain.
" It is there you are mistaken, Katam," said I. " My antu is indeed powerful, but it is not at my command, neither can I compel its good services. Otherwise, as you may depend, good Katam, my first hour on this wretched island would have been the last."
Katam was silent for a little while, but that he was busy revolving in hi3 mind what I had said was evident from the twitching of his lips, and the restless twinkling of his eyes. At last he asked, looking at me keenly the whileaKatam was silent for a little while, but that he was busy revolving in hi3 mind what I had said was evident from the twitching of his lips, and the restless twinkling of his eyes. At last he asked, looking at me keenly the whilea