HIS HEART'S DESIRE' 183
as the White Man had scrambled up the side, the dugout, which had brought him, sheered off and left him.
He had come to this place by appointment, but he did not know precisely whom he was to meet, as the assignation had been made in the secret native fashion, which is as different from the invitation card of Europe as most things in the East are different from white men's gear. Twice that day his attention had been very pointedly called to this deserted sailing boat ; once by an old crone who was selling sweetstuff from door to door, and once by a young chief who had stopped to speak to him, while passing up the street of the native town. By both of these some reference had been made to the moon-rise and to c a precious thing ' ; and this was enough to show the White Man that something was to be learned, seen, or experienced by going to the deserted sailing boat at the rising of the moon.
The Malays who were with him feared a trap, and implored him not to go alone ; but the White Man did not fancy that treachery was likely just then, and, in any case, he was anxious for the adventure, and could not afford to let his people think that he was afraid. The man who, dwelling alone among Malays in an unsettled country, shows the slightest trace of fear, signs his own death-warrant. No people are more susceptible to c bluff,' and, given a truculent bearing, and a sufficiency of bravado, a coward may pass for a brave man in many a Malay State.
The decks of the boat were wet with dew and drizzle, and she Smelt abominably of ancient fish cargoes which she had carried before she was beached.The decks of the boat were wet with dew and drizzle, and she Smelt abominably of ancient fish cargoes which she had carried before she was beached.