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ARRIVING AT A FAVOURABLE TIME.
to support them for three weeks, and as he was to have David with him to assist him in making the bowls, he intended to return within the time mentioned with a fresh supply of provisions, obtained by the fruit of their united labours in the forest. After appointing a time and a place to meet David he returned to the capital. David in the mean time was anxious to leave his two sick friends in as much comfort as their circumstances admitted, and contrived a better sort of shed for them ; but while arranging the wood for it, the day before he was to set out, he cut his foot with an axe which disabled him from walking. He was now obliged to remain and take a share of the rice allotted only for Joseph and Simeon, and as three persons were eating instead of two, they consumed it some days before the three weeks had expired.
They tried to find roots or wild fruits to eat, but could not; and it became a very serious affair with them what to do.
After much fervent prayer they said to one another, “ Why do we sit here till we die? Let us try to reach our friends in the capital, if we are preserved from being discovered we shall live, if we are caught we can but die.”
They set out the next day, reached the capital, and were concealed by their friends. On leaving the forest it was their intention to return without delay after obtaining food, and therefore buried their bible, testaments, and other books, with their axes, &c., in the earth, and there they remain most likely to this day. On arriving at the capital they heard that Mr. Johns had reached Tamatave, that Rafaravavy and another persecuted friend had also come to Tananarivo, intending
to go down to the coast, hoping to effect their escape across the water, and that Andrianilaina and another friend had gone down to Tamatave to ascertain the probability of their getting off, and were expected back ere long
Thus for the space of eight months were our friends mercifully preserved amidst innumerable dangers. Every day renewed its difficulties; but in every difficulty God provided for their escape, and thereby confirmed their faith in his word, their trust in his providence, and their hope that he would keep them to the end."
THE MESSENGERS AT TAMATAVE.
Journey of the Refugees from Tananarivo to the Coast, where
they embarked for Mauritius ; including various providential Escapes from Discovery and Apprehension on the Road.
It has been already mentioned that Andrianilaina, and a companion, left the capital for Tamatave with the view of meeting Mr. Johns there, and making some final arrangements with him for the escape of some of the persecuted Christians to Mauritius. They reached Tamatave safely while Mr. Johns was yet there, and entered the house he occupied about the middle of the day. As he knew the government was seeking for Andrianilaina, it may be conceived how anxious he felt on seeing him and his companion. He had no place in which to conceal them, and as his house was filled with visitors nearly the whole of the day, and they would be in constant danger there of apprehension, he sent for his confidential friend, Ramiandrahasina, and explained to him the whole affair, persuaded that, though he held a high office under government, he would not betray the Christians, but rather aid them in effecting their escape.
On stating the case to him, he deeply sympathised in the anxiety of Mr. Johns, and advised Andrianilaina to remain on the coast until his companions came down from the capital, and to let the friend now with him return, and urge those who could effect their escape to
attempt it without delay. He immediately went to the village, and, being a man of authority in that part of the country, took possession of a house not occupied; then conducted Andrianilaina to it, with his nephew (James, now in England) and a confidential servant to remain with him, and put up a “kiady” before the door to forbid the entrance of any intruders, as though a sick person was there. It being known that Ramiandrahasina had put up the kiady, no one ventured to approach the house. After remaining there part of two days he sent him to another village thirty or forty miles distant, with his confidential servant, who was to remain with him till the ship arrived. The other friend hastened back to the capital with letters to explain the plan, and to direct them to proceed to the village where Andrianilaina was concealed. All this having been settled, it was thought advisable for Mr. J. to return to Mauritius, and a final arrangement was made with a captain to bring them there from Madagascar. The amount agreed on was 400 dollars, 80l. sterling ; which sum was spontaneously and generously collected on the spot. Letters were then given the captain to the person on the coast who had concealed the refugees, and who was to be prepared to convey them safely on board.
During the absence of Andrianilaina's companion on his journey to the coast and back to the capital, our friends managed to avoid discovery. Rafaravavy was concealed in the house of one friend, Sarah in that of another, and the rest of the party among different friends.
On the return of Andrianilaina's companion with money to our Christian friends to purchase provisions
LEAVING THE CAPITAI.
on their journey to Tamatave, and letters and instructions as already mentioned, they resolved on setting out immediately. Rafaravavy was anxious to see once more her nephew, Andrianantoandro, who had been now in irons for six months, namely, since the death of Rafaralahy. Putting on a cloth resembling that usually worn by slaves, she went to his house, long after dusk, and although soldiers were guarding him they took no notice of her, supposing her to be a servant of one of his friends who was in the habit of visiting him with rice. still in irons, and at the moment she arrived happened to be asleep. She durst not venture to speak to him, lest her voice should lead to her detection. She pressed his hand and left him. He was informed of it in the morning, and was deeply affected. She parted from him without any expectation of seeing him again in this world.
Late at night our five friends, namely, Rafaravavy, Sarah, David, Simeon, and Joseph, set out by agreement from the capital, full of fear and joy. Many tears were shed both by the Christians remaining, and by those leaving; and many fervent prayers were offered up for the divine blessing and protection. Two friends accompanied them as servants to the coast, and it was arranged that one should go before them at a short distance, and the other behind. If the one before saw any person likely to know them he was to call to the one behind, gana ley iry”—“ Make haste;” and should one be coming behind, then the one behind was to call on the one in advance, “ Andraso kely”—“Wait a little.” The orders were of course to be obeyed inversely; the command to