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the first time they had a fair opportunity. In order to this, they resolved to go to the castle, as they called it (that was, my old dwelling), where the three rogues and the Spaniards all lived together at that time, intending to have a fair battle, and the Spaniards should stand by, to see fair play: so they got up in the morning before day, and came to the place, and called the Englishmen by their names, telling a Spaniard that answered that they wanted to speak with them.
It happened that the day before, two of the Spaniards, having been in the woods, had seen one of the two Englishmen, whom, for distinction, I called the honest men, and he had made a sad complaint to the Spaniards of the barbarous usage they had met with from their three countrymen, and how they had ruined their plantation, and destroyed their corn that they had labored so hard to bring forward, and killed the milchgoat and their three kids, which was all they had provided, fpr their sustenance; and that if he and his friends (meaning the Spaniards) did not assist them again, they should be starved. When the Spaniards came home at night, and they were ail at supper, one of them took the freedom to reprove the three Englishmen, though in very gentle and mannerly terms, and asked them how they could be so cruel, they being harmless, inoffensive fellows; that they were putting themselves in a way to subsist by their labor, and that it had cost them a great (leal of pains to bring things to such perfection as they were then in.
One of the Englishmen returned very briskly, " What had they to do there? that they came on shore without leave; and that they should not plant or build upon,the island; it was none of their ground."—"Why," says the Spaniard, very calmly, " Seignior Inglese, they must not starve." The Englishmen replied, like a rough-hewn tarpauling, "They might starve and be d-—d; they should not plant nor build in that place."—"But what must they do then, seignior?" said the Spaniard. Another of the brutes returned, "Do? d——n them, they should be servants, and work for them."—" But how can you expect that of them?" says the Spaniard ; " they are not bought with jTour money: you have no right to make them servants." The Englishman answered, "The island was theirs; the governor had given it to them, and no man had anything to do there bat themselves;" and with that swore by his Maker that they would go and burn ah their new huts; they should build none upon their land. "Why, seignior," says the Spaniard, " by the same rule, we must be your servants too."—" Ay," says the bold dog, " and so you shall too, before we have done with you;" mixing two or three G—d d n rae's in the proper intervals of his speech. The Spaniard only smiled at that, and made hirn no answer. However, this little discourse had heated them; and, starting up, one says to the other—I think it was he they called WiirAtkins— "Come, Jack, let's go, and have t'other brush with 'em; we'll demolish their castle, I'll warrant you; they shall plant no colony in our dominions."
Upon this they went all trooping away, with every man a gun, a pistol, and a sword, and muttered some insolent things among themselves, of what they would do to the Spaniards too, when opportunity offered; but the Spaniards, it seems, did not so perfectly understand them as to know all the particulars, only that, in general, they threatened them hard for taking the two Englishmen's part.
Whither they went, or how they bestowed their time that evening, the Spaniards said they did not know; but it seerrii they wandered about the county part of the night, and then, lying down in the place which I used to call my bower, they were weary, and overslept themselves. The case was this: they had resolved to stay till midnight, and so to take the two poor men when they were asleep, and, as they acknowledged afterwards, intended to set fire to their huts while they were in them, and either burn them there, or murder them as they came out: as malice seldom sleeps very sound, it was very strange they should not have been kept awake.
However, as the two men had also a design upon them, as I have said, though a much fairer one than that of burning and murdering, it happened, and very luckily for them all, thai they were up, and gone abroad, before the bloody-minded rogues came to their nuts.
When they came there, and found the men gone, Atkins, who, it seems, was the forwardest man, called out to his comrade, " Ha, Jack, here's the nest, but, d n them, the birds
are flown." They mused awhile, to think what should be the occasion of their being gone abroad so soon, and suggested presently that the Spaniards had given them notice of it; and with that they shook hands, and swore to one another that they would be revenged of the Spaniards. As soon as they had made this bloody bargain, they fell to work with the poor men's habitation: they did not set fire, indeed, to any thing, but they pulled down both their houses, and pulled them so limb from limb, that they left not the least stick standing, or scarce any sign on the ground where they stood: they tore all their little collected household stuff in pieces, and threw every thing about in such a manner, that the poor men after wards found some of their things a mile off tneir habitation. When they had done this, they pulled up all the young trees which the poor men had planted; pulled up an inclosure they had made to secure their cattle and their corn; and, in a word, sacked and plundered every thing as completely as a horde of Tartars would have done.
The two men were, at this juncture, gone to find them out, #hd had resolved to fight them wherever they had been, though they were but two to three; so that had they met, there certainly would have been bloodshed among them; for they were all very stout, resolute fellows, to give them their due.
But Providence took more care to keep them asunder than they themselves could do to meet; for, as if they had dogged one another, when the three were gone thither, the two were here; and afterwards, when the two went back to find them, the three were come to the old habitation again: we shall see their different conduct presently. When the three came back like furious creatures, flushed with the rage which the work they had been about had put them into, they came up to the Spanards, and told them what they had done, by way of scoff auo bravado; and, one of them stepping up to one of the Spaniards, as if they hud been a couple ot boys at play, takes hold of his hat as it was upon his head, and giving it a twirl about, fleering in his face, says to him, "And you, Seignior Jack Spaniard, shall have the same sauce, if you do not mend your manners." The Spaniard, who, though a quiet, civil man, was as brave a man as could be, and withal a strong, well-made man, looked at him for a good while, and then, having no weapon in his hand, stepped gravely up to him, and with one blow of his fist knocked him down, as an ox is felled with a pole-axe; at which one of the rogues, as insolent as the first, fired his pistoi at the Spaniard immediately: he missed his body, indeed, for the bullets went through his hair, but one of them touched the tip of his ear, and he bled pretty much. The blood made the Spaniard believe he was more hurt than he really was, and that put him into some heat, for before he acted all in a perfect calm; but now resolving to go through with his work, he stooped, and took the fellow's musket whom he had knocked down, and was just going to shoot the man who had fired at him, when the rest of the Spaniards, being in the cave, came out, and calling to him not to shoot, they stepped in, secured the other two, and took their arms from them.
When they were thus disarmed, and found they had made alt the Spaniards their enemies, as well as their own countrymen, they began to cool, and, giving the Spaniards better words, would have their arms again; but the Spaniards, considering the feud that was between them and the other two Englishmen, and that it would be the best method they could take to keep them from killing one another, told them they would do them no harm, and if they would live peaceably, they would be very willing to assist and associate with them as they did before; but that they could not think of giving them their arms again, while they appeared so resolved to do mischief with v.hem to their own countrymen, and had even threatened them ull to make them their servants.
The rogues were now no more capable to hear reason than Jo act with reason; but being refused their arms, they went raving away, and raging like madmen, threatening what they would do, though they had no fire-arms. But the Spaniards, despising their threatening, told them they should take care how they offered any injury to their plantation or cattle, for if they did, they would shoot them as they would ravenous beasts, wherever they found them; and if they fell into their hands alive, they should certainly be hanged. However, this was far from cooling them; but away they went, raging and swearing like furies of hell. As soon as they were gone, the two men came back, in passion and rage enough also, though of another kind; for having been at their plantation, and finding it all demolished and destroyed, as above, it will easily be supposed they had provocation enough. They could scarce have room to tell their tale, the Spaniards were so eager to tell them theirs; and it was strange enough to find that three men should thus bully nineteen, and receive no punishment at all.
The Spaniards, indeed, despised them, and especially, having thus disarmed them, made light of their threatenings; but the two Englishmen resolved to have their remedy against them, what pains soever it cost to find them out. But the Spaniards interposed here too, and told them, that as they had disarmed them, they could not consent that they (die two) should pursue them with fire-arms, and perhaps kill them. "But," said the grave Spaniard, who was their governor, "we will endeavor to make them do you justice, if you will leave it to us; for there is no doubt but they will come to us again, when their passion is over, being not able to subsist without our assistance: we promise you to make no peace with them, without having a full satisfaction for you; and upon this condition we hope you will promise to use no violence with them, other than in your own defence." The two Englishmen yielded to this very awkwardly, and with great reluctance; but the Spaniards protested, that they did it only to keep them from bloodshed, and to make all easy at last. "For," said they u we are not so many of us; here is room enough for us all, and it is a great pity we should not be all good friends." At length they did consent, and waited for the issue of tho thing,