The Tigers of Mompracem

The Tigers of Mompracem es una novela de aventuras escrita por el italiano Emilio Salgari, y publicada en 1900. The Tigers of Mompracem  presenta a su célebre personaje, Sandokán.

… “Yanez!” the man with the turban exclaimed, spreading his arms in welcome.
“Sandokan!” replied the newcomer, the hint of an accent discernible in his voice. “brr! What a night from hell, little brother!”
They walked quickly to the hut and closed the door behind them. The newcomer removed the carbine from his shoulder and took of his cape. Sandokan filled two glasses with whisky and offered one to his friend.
“Drink, my good Yanez.”
“To your health, Sandokan.”
“To yours.”
They quickly drained their glasses and sat down at the table. The newcomer was European, a man in his early thirties, a little older than his friend. He was tall and well-built with pale skin and fine aristocratic features. He had thin lips, a black moustache, sharp blue eyes, and was renowned for having a strong will and quick wit.
“Well, Yanez,” Sandokan asked excitedly, “Did you see the young woman with the hair of gold?”
“No, but I haven´t come back empty handed. I´ve learned all you wanted to know and more.”
“You didn´t go to Labuan?”

 “I did, but, as you know, it´s never wise for people like us to stay on an island defended by British cruisers.”
“Tell me about the young woman. What did you learn?”
“They say she´s incredibly beautiful, so beautiful that she can bewitch even the most daring pirates.”
“Ah!” Sandokan exclaimed.
“Her hair is like gold, her eyes are bluer than the ocean, and her skin is as white as alabaster. Alamba himself told me that he saw her walking in the forests of Labuan one evening, and was so taken by her beauty that he stopped his ship to get a better look at her. Imagine that! One of our fiercest men! He put himself and his entire crew at risk! Had he met with a British cruiser…”
“Who is she?”
“Some say the daughter of a colonel or a lord, others that she´s related to the Governor of Labuan.”
“A woman cloaked in mystery,” murmured Sandokan, rubbing his forehead.
“Yes…so?”asked Yanez.
The pirate remained silent for a moment, then, without warning, sprang to his feet, walked excitedly to the harmonium and ran his fingers over the keys. Yanez smiled, reached for an old mandolin hanging on the wall, and began to pull at a few chords.
Group of Thugs
“All right then! Let´s make some music!”
Yanez had just begun to play an old Portuguese tune, when Sandokan rushed back to the table and brought his fist down with a crash. He was no longer the welcoming friend of moments ago: a scowl lined his brow, his eyes flashed darkly, and his teeth were clenched in anger. Standing there now was the legendary captain of the pirates of Mompracem, a man who had bloodied the shores of Malaysia for the last ten years, a fearless warrior whose extraordinary daring and courage had earned him the name “Tiger of Malaysia.”… (Excerpts from The Tigers of Mompracem, by Emilio Salgari, in easier English)

Replaced vocabulary
unslung  linger  strolling  pluck  frown
alabaster: a very light white    
El autor
Emilio Salgari (1862 – 1911) fue un escritor italiano especializado en aventuras con espadas y personajes que perseguían altos ideales. Escribió principalmente sobre piratas y corsarios, pero también sobre el viejo oeste.

Uno de los clásicos de las novelas de piratas: Treasure Island, de Robert L. Stevenson.