PIRATE SLAVE by Parker Rossman


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Said to be based on actual incidents of white slavery in Arabia, this is the history of Sandy, who sails as a midshipman from Salem, Mass, witnesses the slaughter of his fellow crew members by pirates, and is spared to become the pirate captain's favorite slave--so favored that the captain turns down fortunes offered for his ""goldenhaired"" prize and adopts him as a son instead. Although Sandy misses no opportunity to lecture the captain on the evils of slavery--even when he's helping his master negotiate sales--his own captivity is more adventure than ordeal, and he soon becomes attached to the captain, to the pirates' free and easy life, and to the young black slave he purchases and marries at age fourteen. We can believe that an enterprising boy like Sandy might have done all this and survived to become a successful trader and the legendary ""white sheik"" of Arabia. But, as portrayed here, there's a disturbing if implicit and undefinable streak of masochism in Sandy's character, topped off with the notion that Sandy is too superior--and too white--to really suffer from slavery. ""You were never really a slave. . . . No man can really be enslaved against his will. He could die instead. . . ,"" the Captain tells Sandy, comparing him with his cowardly (and dark) fellow captive Uri. And we groan.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Nelson