Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

leave to stay with them, and do as they did, il by him, and then put off again ; the person whom which they were very willing to do.

Il they set on shore was, it seems, one who had This was all a made story; but, however, the been with our men the evening before, but having tale told so well, that they believed it thoroughly, some particular office on board one of those and received our men very kindly, led them up | ships, lay on board every night, with about ten to their camp, and gave them some victuals. I or twelve men, just to watch and guard the

Our men observed they had victuals enough, || ship, and so came on shore in the morning, as is and very good, as well beef as mutton ; that || usual in men of war laid up. is to say, of goats' flesh, which was excellent || As soon as he saw our man he knew him, good; also pork and veal, and they were tolera- || and spoke very familiarly to him, and seeing he ble good cooks too, for they found they had | was looking so earnestly at the ship, he asked built several furnaces and boilers, which they had him if he would go on board, our man faintly taken out of their ships, and dressed a vast declined it, as on purpose to be asked again, quantity of meat at a time; but they observed and upon just as much further pressing as was they had no liquor, upon which the mate pulled | sufficient to satisfy him that the gunner, for a large bottle of good cordial waters out of his that was his office, was in earnest he yielded, so pocket, and gave it about as far as it would go, the gunner called back the boat, and they went and so did two others of the men, which their || on board. new landlords took very kindly.

Our man viewed the ship very particularly, They spent good part of the first day in look- || and pretended to like everything he saw; but, ing about them, seeing the manner of the pirates | after some conversation, asks him this home quesliving there,' and their strength; and soon per tion, namely, why they did not go to sea, and ceived that they were indeed but in a sorry con seek purchase, having so many good ships at their dition every way, except that they had cattle command ? He shook his head, and told him and flesh meat sufficient. They had a good very frankly that they were in no condition to platform of guns indeed, and a covered place undertake anything, for that they were a crew pallisadoed round where they lodged their am of unresolved divided rogues ; that they were munition. But as for fortifications to the land never two days of a mind; that they had nobody ward they had none, except a double pallisado to command, and therefore nobody to obey ; that round their camp, and a sort of a bank thrown several things had been offered, but nothing con. up within to fire from, and stand covered from cluded ; that in short, they thought of nothing the enemies lances, which was all they had to || but of shifting every one for themselves, as well fear from the natives. They had no bread but || as they could. what they made of rice, and the store they had || My mate replied, he thought it had been quite of that was very small. They told our men in- | otherwise, and that made him tell them last night deed, that they had two ships abroad, which they || that he had an inclination to stay with them. “I expected back every day with a quantity of rice, heard you say so," said the gunner, " and it made and what else they could get, especially with || me smile; I thought in myself that you would some arrack, which they were to trade for with | be of another mind when you knew us a little the Arabian merchants, or take it by force, which | better; for, in a word," said he, “ if they should should first offer.

agree to lend you a boat to go back to your ship, Our men pretended to like their way of living they would go together by the ears about who mighty well, and talked of staying with them, if should go with you; for not a man of them that they would let them, and thus they passed the went with you would ever come back again first day of conversation.

hither, if your captain would take them on board, Our men had two tents or huts given them to though the terms were, to be hanged when they lodge in, and hammocks hung in the huts very I came to England.” agreably, being such I suppose as belonged to 1 My mate knew that this was my opinion before, some of their company that were dead, or were || but he was really of another mind himself, till he out upon adventures, here they slept very secure, I saw things, and till he talked with this gunner ; and in the morning walked about, as strangers and this put new things in his head. So he enmight be suffered to do to look about them; tertained the gunner with a scheme of his own, but my new manager's eye was chiefly here upon ll and told him, if things were so as he related it, two things, first, to see if they had any shipping for ll and that he had really a mind to come off from our purpose, and, secondly, to see if he could ll that gang, he believed that he could put him in pitch upon one man more particular than the a way how to do it to his advantage, and to take rest, to enter into some confidence with, and it l a set of his people with him, if he could pick was not long hefore he found an opportunity for || out some of them that might be depended both, the manner was thus :

upon. He was walking by himself, having ordered his The gunner replied that he could pick out a other men to straggle away two and two, this I set of very brave fellows, good seamen, and most way and that, as if they had not minded him, ll of them such as having been forced into the though always to keep him in sight, I say, he I pirates' ships, were dragged into that wicked walked by himself towards that part of the creek, | life they had lived, not only against their con. where, as was said, three of their biggest ships sciences, but by a mere necessity to save their lay by the walls, and when he came to the shore | lives, and that they would be glad at any price to right against them, he stood still looking at them come off. The mate asked him how many such very carnestly; while he was here he observed | he could answer for. He told him above a huna boat put off from one of them, with four oars | dred. Upon this the mate told him the circumand one sitter only, whom they set on shore just "stances we were in, the voyage we were upou, that we were a letter of marquc ship of such force, || same post which he held in the ship, viz., that of but that were over-manned and double stored, gunner, which I promised him, and then he dein hopes of getting a good ship upon our cruise, sired I would permit him to speak with me in to man out of the other, that we had been dis private, and I was not at first very free to it, but appointed, and had only got the sloop or brigan- || he having consented to let the mate and Captain tine which we bought, as before, at the Cape, || Merlotte be present, I yielded. that if he could persuade the men to sell us one When all the rest were withdrawn he told me of their ships, we would pay them for it in ready || that having been five years in the pirates' ser. money, and perhaps entertain a hundred of their vice, as he might call it, and being obliged to do men into the bargain.

as they did, I might be sure he had some small The gunner told him he would propose it to share in the purchase, and, however, he had them, and added, in positive terms, that he knew | come into it against his will, yet as he had been it would be readily accepted, and that be should obliged to go with them, he had made some ad. take which of the three ships I pleased. The vantage, and that being resolved to leave them, mate then desired that he would lend them his he had a good while ago packed up some of the shallop to go on board our ship, to acquaint me best of what he had got, to make his escape, with it, and bring back sufficient orders to treat. and begged I would let him deposit it with me He told them he would not only do that, but as a security for his fidelity. Upon this he before I could be ready to go he would propose ordered a chest to be taken out of the shallop, it to the chief men he had his eye upon, and and brought into my great cabin, and besides would have their consent, and that then he would this gave me out of his pocket a bag scaled up. go along with him on board to make a bargain. || the contents of which I shall speak of hereafter.

This was as well as our mate could expect, | The shallop returned the next day, and I sent and the gunner had either so much authority || back the mate with my long boat and twentyamong them, or the men were so forward to shift | four men to go and take possession of the ship, their station in the world that the gunucr came ind appointed my carpeoter to go and sie to again to our mate in less then two hours, with an the repairs that were necessary to be done to order, signed by about sixteen of their officers, her; and some days after I sent Captain Marempowering him to sell us the ship which the lotte with the supercargo in our sloop, to go gunner was on board of, and to allot so many and secure the possession, and to cover the reguns, and such a proportion of ammunition to treat of any of the men that might have a mind her as was sufficient, and to give the work of all to come away, and might be opposed by the their carpenters for so many days as were neces- rest; and this was done at the request of the sary to repair her, calk and grave her, and put gunner, who foresaw there might be some squabher in condition to go to sea.

ble about it. She was a Spanish-built ship; where they had || They spent six weeks and some odd days in her, the gunner said he did not know; but she fitting out this ship, occasioned by the want of was a very strong tight ship, and a pretty good a convenient place to lay her on shore in, which sailer. We made her carry two-and-thirty guns, they were obliged to make with a great deal of though she had not been used to carry above labour; however, she was completely fitted up. twenty-four.

When she was fitted they laid in a good store The gunner being thus empowered to treat || of provisions, though not so well cured as to last with my mate, came away in their shallop, and a great while. One of the best things we got a brought the said gunner and two more of their recruit of here, was casks; which, as before we officers with him, and eight seamen. The gun greatly wanted, and which their coopers assisted ner and I soon made a bargain for the ship, which us to trim, season, and fit up. I bought for five thousand pieces of eight, most As to bread, we had no help from them, for of it in English goods, such as they wanted; for|| they not only had none but what they made of they were many of them almost paked of clothes, \ rice, but they had no sufficent store of that, as I and as for other things they had scarce a pair of have hinted before. shoes or stockings among them. When our But we had more to do yet; for when the bargain was made, and the mate had related all ship was fitted up and our men had the posthe particulars of the conference he had had with session of her, they were surprised one morning the gunner, we came to talk of the people who were || on a sudden with a most horrible tumult among to go with us. The gunner told us that we might the pirates, and had not our brigantine been att indeed have good reason to suspect a gang of|| hand, (as above,) to secure the possession, I bemen who had made themselves infamous all over || lieve they had taken the ship from our men the world by so many piracies and wicked ac-again, and, perhaps, have come down with her tions; but if I would put so much confidence in and their two sloops, and have attacked us. The him, he would assure me that as he should have case was this :-The gunner, who was a punctuai the power in his hands to pick and choose his fellow to his word, resolved that none of the men men, so he would answer body for body the should go in the ship but such as he had singled fidelity of all the men he should choose; and|| out, and they were such as were generally men that most, if not all of them, would be such as taken out of of merchant ships by force, as bo. had been taken by force out of other ships, or || fore; but when he came to talk to the men of whecdled away when they were drunk ; and in a who and who should go and stay, truly they word, he told me there never was a ship-load of would all go to a man, there was not a man of such penitents went to sea together as he would them would stay behind; and, in a word, they bring us. When he had said so, he began to fell out about it to that degree, that they came move me that I would please to give him thell to blows, and the gunner was forced to fly for it,

with about twenty-two men that stood to him, || their pace, though they had a great compass to and six or seven were wounded in the fray, || fetch, through woods and untrod paths, and some whereof two died.

luggage to carry too, were come to the shore, and The gunner thus being driven to his shifts, made the signal, which our men in the ship obmade down to the shore to his boat, but the | serving, gave notice to the officer of the briganrogues were too nimble for him, and had got to | tine to fetch them on board, which he did very his boat before him, and prepared to man her and safely; by the way, as the officer afterwards told two more, to go on board and secure the ship. | us, most of their luggage consisted of money. In this distress, the gunner, who had taken with which it seems every man of them was very sanctuary in the woods at about a mile distance, well furnished, having shared their wealth at their but unhappily above the camp, so that the plat-| first coming on shore. As for clothes, they had form of guns was between him and the ship, had very few, and those all in rags; and as for linen, no remedy, but to send one of his men, who they had scarce a shirt among them all, or linen swam very well, to take a compass round be. enough to have made a white flag for a truce, if hind the pirate's camp, and come to the water they had had occasion for it. In short, a crew side below the camp and platform, so to take so rich and so ragged were hardly ever seen the water and swim on board the ship, which lay before. nearly a league below their said camp, and give 1. The ship was now pretty well manned, for the our men notice of what had happened, to warn | brigantine carried the gunner and his twenty-one them to suffer none of their men to come on || men on board her; and the tide by this time board, unless the gunner was with them; and, if being spent, she immediately unmoored and possible, to send a boat on shore to fetch off the loosened her topsails, which, as it happened, had gunner and his men, who were following by the been bent to the yards two days before, so, with same way, and would be at the same place, and the first of the ebb, she weighed and fell down make a signal to them to come for him.

about a league further, by which she was quite Our men had scarce received this notice when out of reach of the platform, and rode in the they saw a boat full of men put off from the open sea; and the brigantine did the same. platform, and row down under shore towards But by this means they missed the occasion of them; but as they resolved not to suffer them to the rest of the gunner's men, who, having got come on board, they called to them by a speak together to the number of between seventy and ing trumpet, and told them they might go back eighty, had followed him and come down to the again, for they should not come on board, nor shore and made the signals, but were not un. any other boat, unless the gunner was on board. derstood by our ship, which put the poor men

They rowed on for all that, when our men || to great difficulties; for they had broken away called to them again, and told them if they offered from the rest by force, and had been pursued to put off, in order to come on board, or, in short, | half a mile by the whole body, and particularly to row down shore any further than a little point at the entrance into a very thick, woody place, which our man named, and which was just a-head were so hard put to it that they were obliged to of them, they would fire at them. Well, they | make a desperate stand and fire at their old rowed on for all this, and that though they were friends, which had exasperated them to the last past the point, which our men seeing, they imme. degree. But, as the case of these men was desdiately let fly a shot, but fired a little a-head of them, Iperate, they took an effectual method for their so as not to hit the boat, and this brought them to own security, of which I shall give a further aca stop; so they lay upon their oars a while, as if count presently. they were considering what to do; when our The general body of the pirates were now up mer perceived two boats more come off from the || in arms, and the new ship was, as it were, in platform likewise, full of men, and rowing after open war with them, or at least they had dethe first. Upon this they called again the first clared war against it; but as they had been disboat, with their speaking-trumpet, and told them appointed in their attempt to force it, and found if they did not go immediately on shore they would || they were not strong enough at sea to attack it, sink the boat. They had no remedy, seeing our they sent a flag of truce on board. Our men admen resolved, and that they lay open to the shot mitted them to come to the ship side, but as my of the ship, so they went on shore accordingly, mate, who now had the command, knew them and then our men fired at the empty boat, till to be a gang of desperate rogues that would atthey split her in pieces, and made her useless to | tempt anything, though never so rash, he ordered them.

that none of them should come on board the Upon this firing, our brigantine, which lay || ship, except the officer and two more, who gave about two leagues off in the mouth of a little an account that they were sent to treat with us. creek, on the south of that river, weighed imme. | So we called them the ambassadors. diately, and stood away to the opening of the || When they came on board they expostulated road where the ship lay, and the tide of flood || very warmly with my new agent the second mate, being still running in, they drove up towards the that our men came in the posture of friends, and ship for her assistance, and came to an anchor of friends too in distress, and had received favours about a cable's length a-head of her, but within from them, but had abused the kindness which pistol-shot of the shore, at the same time sending I had been shown them; that they had bought a two-and-thirty of her men on board the great ship of them, and had had leave and assistance ship, to reinforce the men on board, who were | to lit her up and furnish her, but had not paid but sixteen in number.

for her, or paid for what assistance and what Just at this time the gunner and his twenty- provisions had been given to them; and that one men, who heard the firing, and had quickened Il now, to complete all, their men had been partially and unfairly treated ; and when a number of a dram of the bottle, but would not suffer them men had been granted us, an inferior fellow, a to come on board; however, one or two of them gunner, was set to call such and such men out, I got leave to get in at one of the ports, and got just whom he pleased, to go with us, whereas the between decks among our men; here they made whole body ought to have had the appointing | terrible complaints of their condition, and begged whom they would or would not give leave to go | hard to be entertained in our service; they were in the ship; that when they came in a peace- || full of money, and gave twenty or thirty pieces able manner to have demanded justice, and to l of eight among our men, and by this present prehave treated amicably of these things, our men | vailed for two men to speak to my mate, who aphad denied them admittance, had committed peared as captain, to take the boat's crew on hostilities against them, had fired at their men board; the mate very gravely told the two amand staved their boat, and had afterwards received bassadors of it, and told them that, seeing they on board their deserters, all contrary to the rules were come with a flag of truce, he would not of friendship; and in all these cases they de stop their men without their consent, but the manded satisfaction.

men being so earnest he thought it would do Our new commander was a ready man enough, better not to oppose them; the ambassadors, as and he answered all their complaints with a great I call them, opposed it, however, vehemently, deal of gravity and calmness : he told them that and at last desired to go and talk with the men, it was true we came to them as friends, and had which was granted them readily. When they received friendly usage from them, which we had came into their boat, their men told them plainly not in the least dishonoured; but that, as friends that one and all they would enter themselves with in distress, we had never pretended to be, and their countrymen; that they had been forced really were not ; for that we were neither in already to turn pirates, and they thought they danger of anything or in want of anything ; that, might very justly turn honest men again by as to provisions, we were strong enough, if need force, if they could not get leave to do it peacewere, to procure ourselves provisions in any part ably; and that, in short, they would go on shore of the island, and had been several times sup no more; that if the ambassadors desired it they plied from the shore by the natives, for which we would set them on shore with the boat, but, as had always fully satisfied the people who fur for themselves, they would go along with the new nished us, and that we scorned to be ungrateful captain. for any favour we should have received, much When the ambassadors saw this they had no less to abuse it, or them for it.

more to do but to be satisfied, and so were set on That we had paid the full price of all the pro shore where they desired, and their men stayed og visions we had received, and for the work that board. had been done to the ship, that what we had | During this transaction my mate had sent a bargained for, as the price of the ship, had been full account to me of all that passed, and had de. paid, as far as the agreement made it due, and sired me to come on board and give further dithat what remained was ready to be paid as rections in all that was to come ; so I took our soon as the ship was finished, which was our supercargo and Captain Merlotte along with me, bargain.

and some more of our officers, and went to them; That as to the people who were willing to || it was my lot to come on board just when those take service with us and enter themselves on famous ambassadors were talking with my mate, board, it is true that the gunner and some other so I heard most of what they had to say, and men offered themselves to us, and we had ac- I heard the answer my mate gave them, as above, cepted of them, and we thought it was our part | which was extremely to my satisfaction: nor did to accept or not to accept of such men as we || I interrupt him or take upon me any authority, thought fit. As for what was among themselves, I though he would very submissively have had me that we had nothing to do with ; that if we had shown myself as captain, but I bid him go on, and been publicly warned by them not to have en- | sat down as not concerned in the affair at all. tertained any of their men, but with consent of After the ambassadors were gone the first the whole body, then indeed we should have had | thing I did was in the presence of all the com. 1 reason to be cautious; otherwise we were not in pany, and having before had the opinion of those the least concerned about it. That it is true we l I brought with me to tell my second mate how refused to let their boats come on board us, be- || well we were all satisfied with his conduct, and ing assured that they came in a hostile manner, ls to declare him captain of the ship that he was either to take away the men by force, which had in, only demanding his solemn oath to be under! been entered in our service, or perhaps even to orders of the great ship as admiral, and to carry seize the ship itself; and why else was the first on no separate interest from us, which he thank. boat followed by two more full of men, armed fully accepted, and, to give him his due, as faith. and prepared to attack us? That we not only | fully performed all the rest of our very long came in a friendly manner to them, but resolved | voyage, and through all our adventures. to continue in friendship with them, if they | It was upon my seeming intercession, that he thought fit to use us as friends; but that consi gave consent to the boat's crew who brought tone dering what part of the world we were in, and ambassadors to remain in our service, and what their circumstances were, they must allow their statesmen on shore ; and, in fine, I told him us to be on our guard, and not put ourselves in that as far as about one hundred and fifty, or a condition to be used ill.

hundred men, he should entertain whom he though ! While he was talking thus with them in the fit; thus having settled all things in the ship to I cabin he had ordered a can of flip to be made our satisfaction, we went back to our great shig and given their men in the boat, and every one Il the next day.

I had not been many hours on board our ship, ll their pursuit, to face abont and fire among them, but I was surprised with the firing of three mus. || by which they had killed six or seven of them, kets from the shore ; we wondered what should and wounded others, and that they had sworn be the meaning of it, knowing that it was an

they would give them no quarter if they could unusual thing in that place, where we knew the come fairly up with them. natives of the country had no firearms, so we U Our men told them they must be con tented to knew not what to make of it, and therefore took remain on shore where they were for some time, no notice of it other than, as I say, to wonder at |for that they could do nothing till they had been it; about half an hour after that we heard three ll on board and acquainted their captain with all muskets more, and still not knowing anything of the particulars; so they came back immediately the matter, we made them no return to the I to me for orders. signal; some time after three muskets were fired. As to me, I was a little uneasy at the thoughts again, but all was one, we took no notice, for well of taking them on board. I knew they were a knew nothing of what return was to be made

gang of pirates at best, and what they might do to it.

I knew not; but I sent them this message, that When night came on we observed two great though all their tale might be very good for ought fires upon two several hills on that part of the I knew, yet that I must take so much time as to shore opposite to us, and after that three rockets send an express to the captain of the other ship, were fired, such as they were, but they went off to be informed of the faith of it, and that if he ill; I suppose their gunner was ill provided for brought a satisfactory answer, I would send for such things; but all signified nothing. We them all on board. would have made any return to them that would have been understood, but we knew nothing of

This was very uncomfortable news to them, any agreed signal; however, I resolved that in

for they expected to be surrounded every hour the morning I would send a boat on shore well

by their comrades, from whom they were to look manned, to learn if possible what the meaning of

for no mercy; however seeing no remedy, they all this was, and accordingly in the morning I

| resolved to march about twenty mileş farther sent our long boat and shallop on shore, with

south, and lie by in a place near the sea, where thirty-two men in them both, to get intelligence,

we agreed to send to them ; concluding that ordering them, if possible, to speak with some.

their comrades not finding them near the place body before they went on shore, and know how

where we lay, would not imagine they could be things stood; that then, if it was a party of the

gone farther that way. As they guessed, so it

proved, for the pirates came to the shore, where pirates, they should by no means come near them bey saw tokens enough of their having been but parley at a distance, till they knew what the meaning of it all was,

there, but concluded that, seeing they could not As soon as my men came near the shore they lch

be found there, they were all gone on board our saw plainly that it was a body of near a hundred

| The wind proving contrary, it was no less of the pirates, but seeing them so strong they than four days before our boat came back, so stood off, and would not come nearer, nor near that the poor men were held in great suspense; enough to parley with them ; upon this the men on shore got one of the islanders' canvas boats,

but when they returned, they brought the gun.

ner with them, who had selected those men from or rather boats made of skins, which are but sorry ones at best, and put off, with two men to

all the rest for our new ship; and who, when he manage the sails, and one sitter, and two paddles leare he had taken to pick them out for our ser

came, gave me a long account of them, and what for oars, and away they came towards us, car.

vice, delivering me also a letter from my new rying a flag of truce, that is to say an old white

captain to the same purpose. Upon all which rag; how they came to save so much linen among them all was very hard to say.

concurring circumstances we concluded to take

them on board; so we sent our boats for them, Our men could do no less than receive their ambassador, and a flag of truce gave no appre

who at twice brought them all on board, and very

| stout, honest fellows they were. hension, especially considering the figure they|| made, and that the men on shore had no other

When they had been on board some days, and boats to supprise or attack us with, so they lay / refreshed themselves, I concluded to send them by upon their oars till they came up, when they all on board the new ship; but upon advice I soon understood who they were : viz., that they resolved to send sixty of my own men joined to were the gunner's selected men, that they came ||

forty of these, and keep thirty-four of thein on too late to have their signal perceived from the

| board my ship, for their number was just seventyother ship, which was gone out of sight of the

four, which, with the gunner and his twenty-one ace they were directed to: that they had with // men, and the sixteen men who came with the great difficulty, and five days' and nights' march-worthy ambassadors, and would not go on shore ing, got through a woody and almost impassable ll again, made one hundred and twelve men ; and country, to come at us; that they had fetched a

as we all thought were enough for us, though we circuit of near an hundred miles to avoid being

took in between forty and fifty more afterwards. attacked by their comrades, and that they were | We were now ready to go to sca, and I caused pursued by them, with their whole body, and the new ship and the brigantine to come away therefore they begged to be taken on board; | from the place where they lay and join us; which they said if they should be overtaken by their | they did, and then we unloaded part of our procomrades they should be all cut in pieces, for || visions and ammunition; of which, as I observed that they had broke away from them by force, l at first, we had taken in double quantity; and and moreover, had been obliged, at the first of having furnished the new ship with a proportior

« VorigeDoorgaan »