Imágenes de páginas

ture far from the shore, nor far from one another, they sa« down together under a tree, to consider of it. Had the£ thought ht to have gone to sleep there, as t'ne other part of them had done, they had done the job for us; but they were too full of apprehensions of danger to venture to go to sleep, though they could not tell what the danger was they had to fear, neither.

The captain made a very just proposal to me upon this consultation of theirs, viz. that perhaps they would all fire a volley again, to endeavor to make their fellows hear, and that we should all sally upon them, just at the juncture when their pieces were all discharged, and they would certainly yield, and we should have them without bloodshed. I liked this proposal, provided it was done while we were near enough to come up to them before they could load their pieces again. But this event did not happen; and we lay still a long time, very irresolute what course to take. At length I told them there would be nothing done, in my opinion, till night; and then, if they did not return to the boat, perhaps we might find a way to get between them and the shore, and so might use some stratagem with them in the boat to get them on shore. We waited a great while, though very impatient for their removing, and were very uneasy, when, after long consultations, we saw them all start up, and march down towards the sea: it seems they had such dreadful apprehensions upon them of the danger of the place, that they resolved to go on board the ship again, give their companions over for lost, and so go on with their intended voyage with the ship.

As soon as I perceived them to go towards the shore, I imagined it to be, as it really was, that they had given over their search, and were for going back again; and the captain, as soon as I told him my thoughts, was ready to sink at the apprehensions of it, but 1 presently thought of a stratagem to fetch them back again, ana which answered my end to a tittle. I ordered Friday and the captain's mate to go over the little creek westward, towards the place where the savages came on shore when Friday was rescued; and as soon as they came to a little rising ground, at about half a mile distance, I bade them halloo out, as loud as they could, and wait till they found the seamen heard them; that as soon as ever they heard the seamen answer them, they should return it again; and then, keeping out of sight, take a round, always answering when the others hallooed, to draw them as far into the islarid, and among the woods, as possible, and then wheel about again to me by such ways as I directed them.

They were just going into the boat, when Friday and the mate hallooed; and they presently heard them, and answering, run along the shore westward, towards the voice they heard, when they were presently stopped by the creek, where, the water being up, they could not get over, and called for the boat to come up and set them over; as, indeed, I expected. When they had set themselves over, 1 observed that the boat being gone a <*ood way into the creek, and, as it were, in a harbor within the land, they took one of the three men out of her, to go along with them, and left only two in the boat, having fastened her to the stump of a little tree on the shore. This was what I wished for; and immediately leaving Friday and the captain's mate to their business, I took the rest with me, and crossing; the creek out of their sight, we surprised the two men before they were aware; one of them lying on the shore, and the other being in the boat. The fellow on shore was between sleeping andwaking, and going to start up: the captain, who was foremost, ran in upon him, and knocked him down; and then called out to him in the boat to yield, or he was a dead man. There needed very few arguments to persuade a single man to yield, when he saw five men upon him, and his comrade knocked down; besides, this was, it seems, one of the three who were not so hearty in the mutiny as the rest of the crew, and therefore was easily persuaded not only to yield, but afterwards to join very sincerely with us. In the mean time, Friday and the captain's mate so well managed their business with the rest, that they drew them, by hallooing and answering, from one hill to another, and from one wood to another, till they not only heartily tired them, but left them where they were very sure they could not reacfc back to the boat before it was dark; and, indeed, they were heartily tired themselves also, by the time they came back to us.

We had nothing now to do but to watch for them in the dark, and to fall upon them, so as to make sure work with them. It was several hours after Friday came back to me before they came back to their boat; and we could hear the foremost of them, long before they came quite up, calling to those behind to come along; and could also hear them answer, and complain how lame and tired they were, and not able to come any faster; which was very welcome news to us. At length they came up to the boat; but it is impossible to express their confusion when they found the boat fast aground in the creek, the tide ebbed out, and their two men gone. We could hear them call to one another in a most lamentable manner, telling one another they were got into an enchanted island; that either there were inhabitants in it, and they should all be murdered, or else there were devils and spirits in it, and they should be all carried away and devoured. They hallooed again, and called their two comrades by their names a great many times; but no answer. After some time, we could see them, by the little light there was, run about, wringing their hands like men in despair; and that sometimes they "would go and sit down in the Doat, to rest themselves; then come ashore again, and walk about again, and so the same thing over ajGjain. My men would fain have had me give them leave to tall upon them at once in the dark; but I was willing to take them at some advantage, so to spare them, and kill as few of them as I could; and especially I was unwilling to hazard the killing any of our men, knowing the others were very well armed. I resolved to wait, to see if they did not separate; and, therefore, to make sure of them, J drew my ambuscade nearer, and ordered Friday and the captain to creep upon their hands and feet, as close to the ground as they could, that they might not be discovered, and get aa near them as they could possibly, before they offered to fire.

They bad not been long in that posture, when the boatswain, who was the principal ringleader of the mutiny, and had now shown himself the most dejected and dispirited of all the rest, came walking towards them, with two more of the crew: the captain was so eager at having this principal rogue so much in his power, that he could hardly have patience to let him come so near as to be sure of him, for they only heard his tongue before; but when they came nearer, the captain and Friday, starting up on their feet, let fly at them. The boatswain was killed upon the spot; the next man was shot in the body, and fell just by him, though he did not die till an hour or two after; and the third run for it. At the noise of the fire, I immediately advanced with my whole army, which was now eight men, viz. myself, generalissimo; Friday, my lieutenant-general; the captain and his two men, and the three prisoners of war, whom we had trusted with arms. We came upon them, indeed, in the dark, so that they could not see our number; and I made the man they had left in the boat, who was now one of us, to call them by name, to try if 1 could bring them to. a parley, and so might perhaps reduce them to terms; which fell out just as we desired; for indeed it was easy to think, as their condition then was, they would be very willing to capitulate. So he calls out as loud as he could,* to one of them, " Tom Smith! Tom Smith!" Tom Smith answered immediately, "Is that Robinson?" For it seems he knew the voice. The other answered, " Ay, ay; for God's sake, Tom Smith, throw down your arms and yield, or you are all dead men this moment."—" Whom must we yield to? Where are they 'I" says Smith again. "Here they are," says he; "here's our captain, and fifty men with him, have been hunting you these two hours: the boatswain is killed, Will Fry is wounded, and I am a prisoner; and if you do not yield, you are all lost."—" Will they give us quarter, then?" says Tom Smith, <; and we will yield."—"I'll go and ask, if you promise to yield," says Robinson: so he asked the captain; and the captain himself then calls out, " You, Smithy


you know my voice; if you lay clown your arms immediately, and submit, you shall have your lives, all but Will Atkins."

Upon this Will Atkins cried out, " For God's sake, captain, give me quarter; what have I done? They have all been as bad as I;" which, by the way, was not true neither; for, it seems, this Will Atkins was the first man that laid hold of the captain, when they first mutinied, and used him barbarously, in tying his hands, and giving him injurious language. However, the captain told him he must lay down his arms at discretion, and trust to the governor's mercy; by which he meant me, for they all called me governor. In a word, they all laid down their arms, and begged their lives; and I sent the man that had parle}red with them, and two more, who bound them all; and then my great army of fifty men, which, particularly with those three, were in all but eight, came up and seized upon them, and upon their boat; only that I kept myself and one more out of sight for reasons of state.

Our next work was to repair the boat, and think of seizing the ship; and as for the captain, now he had leisure to parley with them, he expostulated with them upon the villany of their practices with him, and at length upon the further wickedness of their design, and how certainly it must bring them to misery and distress in the end, and perhaps to the gallows. They all appeared very penitent, and begged hard for their lives As for that, he told them they were none of his prisoners, but the commander's of the island; that they thought they had set him on shore in a barren, uninhabited island; but it had pleased God-so to direct them, that it was inhabited, and that the governor was an Englishman; that he might hang them all there, if he pleased; but as he had given them all quarter, he supposed he would send them to England, to be dealt with there as justice required, except Atkins, whom- he was commanded by the governor to advise to prepare for death, foi that he would be hanged in the morning.

Though this was all but a fiction of his own, yet it had its desired effect: Atkins fell upon his knees, to bes; the captain to intercede with the governor for his life; and all the rest

« AnteriorContinuar »