Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 94
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 94
 
to sell their living cargoes to the regular slavers, or to attack the latter, as circumstances dictated. The lawlessness was greatest in the Oriental seas. The huge Arab and Indian coasters, freighted with rare and precious stuffs, were sought after with furious eagerness by both pirate and privateer; while the former also swooped down on the Dutch and English East Indiamen. At Madagascar there was a regular fort and station to which some of the New York merchants sent ships for the sole purpose of trading with the pirate vessels who carried their ill-gotten goods thither. Many a daring skipper who obeyed the law fairly well in Atlantic waters, felt free to do as he wished when he neared Madagascar, or cruised through the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The rich cargoes of Oriental goods, the spices, perfumes, silks, shawls, rugs, pearls, and golden coin and jewels, were of such value that men did not care to ask too closely how they were acquired. There were plenty of adventurous young New Yorkers, of good blood, who were themselves privateersmen, Red-Sea men, or slavers; and in the throng of seafaring men of this type, the crews and captains of the pirate ships passed unchallenged. The taverns and low houses along the water-front of the little seaport were filled with wind-roughened sailor-folk, outlandish in speech and dress, wild of look, black of heart, and ripe for any desperate venture. Their

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