"Arabs, no doubt," muttered Almayer to himself, peering into the solid blackness. "What are they up to now? Some of Abdulla's business; curse him!"
The boat was very close now.
"Oh, ya! Man!" hailed Almayer.
The sound of voices ceased, but the paddles worked as furiously as before. Then the bush in front of Almayer shook, and the sharp sound of the paddles falling into the canoe rang in the quiet night. They were holding on to the bush now; but Almayer could hardly make out an indistinct dark shape of a man's head and shoulders above the bank.
"You Abdulla?" said Almayer, doubtfully.
A grave voice answered--
"Tuan Almayer is speaking to a friend. There is no Arab here."
Almayer's heart gave a great leap.
"Dain!" he exclaimed. "At last! at last! I have been waiting for you every day and every night.