Chapter 8

 

We kept our boat close to the land for the next ten days. We only stopped to fill the jars with clean water. Soon, we noticed that people lived on the land. We saw naked black people a few times. They were watching us from the beach. I wanted to stop and go to them, but the boy didn’t like this idea, so I signalled them to come closer. They started running towards the boat without any weapons.

I showed them that we needed food. They waved at me to come to the shore, as they wanted to give us some. I slowed down the boat. Two of them ran into the forest, and returned with some dry meat. We didn’t want to go to the land, and they didn’t want to swim to us. We didn’t know how to get the food. The people saw this so they left the food on the ground and stepped back. They were soon quite far from the food. We took the food on our boat and thanked them, but we had nothing to give them.

At that moment, we saw two animals which were running from the mountains. The people were very afraid, but the animals didn’t attack them. The animals went into the water. One of them came very close to our boat so I shot at it. The animal started swimming back to the beach, but it died before it got to the land. The other animal got scared and ran away.

The people were surprised when they heard the gun. Some of them were really shocked. I gestured to them to come and help bring the animal to the beach. It was a very strange leopard. The people wanted the meat of the animal. We took the skin. They were happy that I saved them from the leopard, and they brought me even more food and water.

We had a lot of food and water on the boat now. We didn’t have to stop for ten days. We saw some islands on the eleventh day. I thought that those were the Cape Verde Islands. I was thinking about going there when the boy started screaming. He was screaming because he saw a ship.