On the fourth morning they saw the fourteen green towers of Meknes rising against the purple of the Zerhoun Mountains. The town was surrounded by a great wall set with beautiful tiled gateways, and Sally thought she had never seen anything so lovely in her life. But she was full of uneasiness as to what was now to happen to them, and as they rode along, her uneasiness deepened to terror . . . She saw crude carts being drawn along the road. Some were pulled by bulls harnessed behind horses, dragging heavy loads of marble columns and carved stones. The men who ran beside the beasts, cracking their whips, or putting their shoulders to the wheels when the carts sank into the ruts, were white men dressed in rags. Their faces, covered with dirt and unshaven, were haggard and desperate, and they called out to the Americans in hoarse voices which had an almost inhuman sound.
As Sally gazed at them pale with horror, Ali rode up and reined in his big brown horse for a moment.
"These are not renegades, Miss Sally," he said . . . "How do you like the looks of these Christians, my dear? . . . Yet if ransom comes before death does, they can go home someday. But I can never go home as long as I live, for renegades can never be ransomed."
After one adventurous, but fairly safe voyage on the Fair American, Aunt Nannie reluctantly allows Sally to sail away again with Captain Patterson and Andrew. This time they sail into the Mediterranean Sea—and right into the clutches of the Barbary Coast pirates.
Taken captive in Morocco, Sally is exposed to a way of life very different from the protected one she has known. Her resiliency as well as her courage and love are sorely tried; however, Sally proves her mettle in an extraordinary opportunity that falls her way . . . And neither she nor those she encounters in the Sultan's palace will ever be quite the same for her stay there.
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