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I UNDERTAKE A NEW VENTURE
 I HAD grown very tired of being a sailor. I was so tired of it
that I made up my mind to try something else.
It happened that I was then in Brazil. I bought some land
there and began to open a plantation. The ground was rich,
and it would be easy to raise tobacco and sugar cane.
But I needed many things. I must have plows and hoes and a
sugar mill. Above all I must have men to do the work on the
But neither men nor tools could I get in Brazil.
I sent to London for the tools. I tried to buy some slaves
of the planters near me, but they had not enough for
"We will tell you what to do," they said. "We will fit out a
trading vessel for Africa. We will
 put aboard of it everything that you need. As for your part,
you shall be the manager of the business; and you shall do
the trading for us. You need not put in a penny of your
"But how is that going to help me?" I asked.
"Listen, and we will tell you," they said. "With the goods
which we send, you will buy as man black slaves as the ship
will hold. You will bring them here, and we will divide them
equally. You shall share with us, just as though you had
paid the money."
The plan pleased me very much. I figured that each one of us
would have thirty or forty slaves.
It was very foolish of me to go to sea again; but the offer
was so good that I could not say No.
The ship was soon fitted out for the voyage. Her load was
not very heavy. But there were plenty of goods such as were
most fit for trade.
There were boxes of red and blue beads, of bits of glass,
and of other trinkets. There were also knives and hatchets
and little looking-glasses. We reckoned that each one of
these would buy a slave.
The ship was to carry fourteen men besides the captain and
myself. She was as fine a little vessel as ever sailed from
the coast of Brazil.