« AnteriorContinuar »
he said, that was true; so he brought a large basket of rusk or biscuit of their kind, and three jars with fresh water, into the boat. I knew where my patron's case of bottles stood, which, it was evident by the make, were taken out of some English prize, and I conveyed them into the boat while the Moor was on shore, as if they had been there before for our master: I conveyed also a great lump of bees-wax into the boat, which weighed above half a hundred weight, with a parcel of twine or thread, a hatchet, a saw, and a hammer, all which were of great use to us afterwards, especially the wax to make candles. Another trick I tried upon him, which he innocently came into also: his name was Ismael, whom they call Muley, or Moley; so I called him; “Moley,” said I, “our patron's guns are on board the boat; can you not get a little powder and shot? it may be we may kill some alcamies (a fowl like our curlews) for ourselves, for I know he keeps the gunner's stores in the ship.”—“Yes,” says he, “I’ll bring some; ” and accordingly he brought a great leather pouch, which held about a pound and a half of powder, or rather more; and another with shot, that had five or six pounds, with some bullets, and put all into the boat: at the same time I had found some powder of my master's in the great cabin, with which I ..f one of the large bottles in the case, which was almost empty, pouring what was in it into another; and thus furnished with every thing needful, we sailed out of the port to fish. The castle, which is at the entrance of the port, knew who we were, and took no notice of us: and we were not above a mile out of the port before we hauled in our sail, and set us down to fish. The wind blew from the N.N.E. which was contrary to my desire; for had it blown southerly, I had been sure to have made the coast of Spain, and at least reached to the bay of Cadiz ; but my resolutions were, blow which way it would, I would be gone from that horrid place where I was, and leave the rest to fate. After we had fished some time and catched nothing, for when I had fish on my hook I would not pull them up, that he might not see them, I said to the Moor, “This will not do, our master will not be thus served; we must stand farther off.” He, thinking no harm, agreed, and, being in the head of the boat, set the sails; and as I had the helm, I run the boat out near a league farther, and then brought her to as if I would fish; when, giving the boy the helm, I stepped forward to where the Māor was, and making as if I stooped for something behind him, I took him by surprise with my arm under his waist, and tossed him clear oo:: into the sea. He rose immediately, for he swam like a cork, and called to me, begged to be taken in, told me he would go all over the world with me. He swam so strong after the boat, that he would have reached me very quickly, there being but little wind; upon which I stepped into the cabin, and fetching one of the fowling-pieces, I presented it at him, and told him, I had done him no hurt, and if he would be quiet, I would do him none : “But,” said I, “you swim well enough to reach to the shore, and the sea is . calm; make the best of your way to shore, and I will do you no harm; but if you come near the boat, I’ll shoot you through the head, for I am resolved to have my liberty : ” so he turned himself about, and swam for the shore, and I make no doubt but he reached it with ease, for he was an excellent swimmer. I could have been content to have taken this Moor with me, and have drowned the boy, but there was no venturing to trust him. When he was gone, I turned to the boy, whom they called Xury, and ié to him, “Xury, if you will be faithful to me, I'll make you a great man; but if you will not stroke your face to be true to me,” that is, swear by Mahomet and his father's beard, “I must throw you into the sea too.” The boy smiled in my face, and spoke so innocently, that I could not mistrust him; and swore to be faithful to me, and go all over the world with me. While I was in view of the Moor that was swimming, 1 stood out directly to sea with the boat, rather stretching to windward, that they might think me gone towards, the Straits' mouth (as indeed any one that had been in their wits must
have been supposed to do); for who would have supposed we were sailed on to the southward to the truly Barbarian coast, where whole nations of Negroes were sure to surround us with the canoes, and destroy us; where we could never once go on shore but we should be devoured by savage beasts, or more merciless savages of human kind? But as soon as it grew dusk in the evening, 1 changed my course, and steered directly south and by east, bending my course a little toward the east, that I might keep in with the shore; and having a fair, fresh gale of wind, and a smooth, Quiet sea, I made such sail that fiše by the next day at three o'clock in the afternoon, when I first made the land, I could not be less than 150 miles south of Sallee; quite beyond the Emperor of Morocco's dominions, or indeed of any other king thereabout, for we saw no people. Yet such was the fright I had taken at the Moors, and the dreadful apprehensions I had of falling into their hands, that I would not stop, or go on shore, or come to an anchor; the wind continuing fair till I had sailed in that manner five days; and then the wind shifting to the southward, I concluded also that if any of our vessels were in chase of me, they also would now give over; so I ventured to make to the coast, and come to an anchor in the mouth of a little river, I knew not what, or where; neither what latitude, what country, what nation, or what river: I neither saw, or desired to see any people; the principal thing I wanted was fresh water. We came into this creek in the evening, resolving to Swim on shore as soon as it was dark, and discover the country; but, as soon as it was quite dark, we heard such dreadful noises of the barking, roaring, and howling of wild creatures, of we knew not what kinds, that the poor boy was ready to die with fear, and begged of me not to go on shore till day. “Well, Xury,” said I, “ then I won’t; but it may be we may see men by day, who will be as bad to us as those lions.”—“Then we give them the shoot gun,” says Xury, laughing, “make them run wey.” Such English Xury spoke by conversing among us slaves. However, I was glad to see the boy so cheerful, and I gave him a dram (out of our patron's case of bottles) to cheer him up. After all, Xury’s advice was good, and I took it; we dropped our little anchor, and lay still all night; I say still, for we slept none; for in two or three hours we saw vast great creatures (we knew not what to call them) of many sorts, come down to the sea-shore, and run into the water, wallowing and washing themselves for the pleasure of cooling themselves; and they made such hideous howlings and yellings, that I never indeed heard the like. X'ury was dreadfully frightened, and indeed so was I too; but we were both more frightened when we heard one of these mighty creatures come swimming towards our boat; we could not see him, but we might hear him by his blowing to be a Inonstrous huge and furious beast; Xury said it was a lion, and it might be so for aught I know; but poor Xury cried to me to weigh the anchor and row away : “No,” says I, “Xury; \V (, Colll slip our cable with the buoy to it, and go off to sea; they cannot follow us far.” I had no sooner said so, but I perceived the creature (whatever it *). two oars’ length, which something surprised me; however, I immediately stepped to the cabin door, and taking up my gun, fired at him ; upon which he immediately turned about, and swam towards the shore again. But it is impossible to describe the horrible noises, and hideous gries and howlings, that were raised, as well upon the edge àf the shore as higher within the country, upon the noise or report of the gun, a thing I have some reason to believe those creatures had never heard before: this convinced me that there was no going on shore for us in the night upon that coast, and how to venture on shore in the day was another question too; for to have fallen into the hands of any of the Savages, had been as bad as to have fallen into the hands of lions and tigers; at least we were equally apprehensive of the danger of it. - w Be that as it would, we were obliged to go on shore some.