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were discovered, which they had a fair opportunity to do; for one of the Englishmen, in whose quarter it was where the fight began, led them round between the woods and the sea-side westward, and then turning short south, they came so near where the thickest of them lay, that, before they were seen or heard, eight of them fired in among them, and did dreadful execution upon them; in half a minute more, eight others fired after them, pouring in their small shot in such a quantity, that abundance were killed and wounded; and all this while they were not able to see who hurt them, or which way to fly.
The Spaniards charged again with the utmost expedition, and then divided themselves in three bodies, and resolved to fall in among them all together. They had in each body eight persons, that is to say, twenty-two men, and the two women, who, by the way, fought desperately. They divided the firearms equally in each party, and so the halberds and staves. They would have had the women kept back, but they said they were resolved to die with their husbands. Having thus formed their little army, they marched out from among the trees, and came up to the teeth of the enemy, shouting and hallooing as loud as they could; the savages stood all together, but were in the utmost confusion, hearing the noise of our men shouting from three quarters together: they would have fought if they had seen us; for as soon as we came near enough to be seen, some arrows were shot, and poor old Friday was wounded, though not dangerously; but our men gave them no time, but, running up to them, fired among them three ways, and then fell in with the butt-ends of their muskets, their swords, armed staves, and hatchets, and laid about them so well, that, in a word, they set up a dismal screaming and howling, flying to save their lives which way soever they could.
Our men were tired with the execution, and killed or mortally wounded, in the two rights, about one hundred and eighty of them; the rest, being frightened out of their wits, scoured through the woods and over the hills, with all the speed fear and nimble feet could help them to; and as we did not trouble ourselves much to pursue them, they got all together to the sea-side where they landed, and where their canoes lay. But their disaster was not at an end yet; for it blew a tenibJe storrn of wind that evening from the sea, so that it was impossible for them to go off; nay, the storm continuing all night, when the tide came up, their canoes were most of them driven by the surge of the sea so high upon the shore, that it required infinite toil to get them off; and some of them were even dashed to pieces against the beach, or against one another.
Our men, though glad of their victory, yet got little rest that night; but having refreshed themselves as well as they could, they resolved to march to that part of the island where the savages were lied, and see what posture they were in. This necessarily led them over the place where the fight had been, and where they found several of the poor creatures not quite dead,and yet past recovering life; a sight disagreeable enough to generous minds; for a truly great man, though obliged by the law of battle to destroy his enemy, takes no delight in his misery. However, there was no need to give any orders in this case; for their own savages, who were their servants, despatched these poor creatures with their hatchets.
At length, they came in view of the place where the more miserable remains of the savages' army lay, where there appeared about a hundred still; their posture was generally sitting upon the ground, with their knees up towards their mouth, and the head put between the two hands, leaning down upon the knees.
When our men came within two musket-shotsof them, the Spaniard governor ordered two muskets to be fired, withoutball, to alarm them: this he did, that by their countenance he might know what to expect, viz. whether they were still in heart to figl t, or were so heartily beaten as to be dispirited and discouraged, and so he might manage accordingly. This stratagem took; for as soon as the savages heard the first gun and saw the Hash of the second, they started up upon their feet in the greatest consternation imaginable; and as our men advanced swiftly towards them, they all ran screaming and yelling away, with a kind of howling noise, which our men did not understand, aud had never heard before ; and thus they ran up the hills into the country.
At first our men had much rather the weather had been calm, and they had all gone away to sea; but they did not then consider that this might probably have been the occasion of their coming again in such multitudes as not to be resisted, or, at least, to come so many, and so often, as would quite desolate the island, and starve them. Will Atkins, therefore, who, notwithstanding his wound, kept always with them, proved the best counsellor in this case: his advice was, to take the advantage that offered, and clap in between them and their boats, and so deprive them of the capacity of ever returning any more to plague the island.
They consulted long about this; and some were against it, for fear of making the wretches fly to the woods and live there desperate, and so they should have them to hunt like wild beasts, be afraid to stir out about their business, and have their plantation continually rifled, all their tame goats destroyed, and, in short, be reduced to a life of continual distress.
Will Atkins told them they had better have to do with a hundred men than with a hundred nations; that as they must destroy their boats, so they must destroy the men, or be all of them destroyed themselves. In a word, he showed them the necessity of it so plainly, that they all came into it; so they went to work immediately with the boats, and getting some dry wood toget'ier from a dead tree, they tried to set some of them on fire, but they were so .wet that they would not burn; however, t ne fire so burned the upper part, that it soon made them v nlit for swimming in the sea as boats. When the Indians s? iv what they were about, some of them came running out oft! e woods, and coming as near as they could to our men, knee ed down and cried^"Oa, Oa, Waramokoa," and some other words of their language, which none of the others understoor any thing of; but as they made pitiful gestures and strange noises, it was easy to understand they begged to have their boats spared, and that they would be gone, and never come there again. But our men were now satislied that they had no way to preserve themselves, or to save their colony, but effectually to prevent any of these people from ever going home again; depending upon this, that if even so much as one of them got back into their country to tell the story, the colony was undone; so that, letting them know that they should not have any mercy, they fell to work with their canoes, and destroyed them every one that the storm had not destroyed before; at the sight of which the savages raised a hideous cry in the woods, which our people heard plain enough, afler which they ran about the island like distracted men; so that, in a word, our men did not really know at first what to do with them. Nor did the Spaniards, with all their prudence, consider, that while they made those people thus desperate, they ought to have kept a good guard at the same time upon their plantations; for though, it is true, they had driven away their cattle, and the Indians did not find out their main retreat—1 mean my old castle at the hill—nor the cave in the valley, yet they found out my plantation at the bower, and pulled it all to pieces, and all the fences and planting about it; trod all the corn under foot, tore up the vines and grapes, being just then almost ripe, and did our men an inestimable damage, though to themselves not one farthing's worth of service.
Though our men were able to fight them upon all occasions, yet they were in no condition to pursue them, or hunt them up and down; for as they were too nimble of foot for our men, when they found them single, so our men durst not go abroad single, for fear of being surrounded with their numbers. The best was, they had no weapons; for though they had bows, they had no arrows left, nor any materials to make any; nor had they any edged tool or weapon among them.
The extremity and distress they were reduced to was great, and indeed deplorable; but, at the same time, our men were also brought to very bad circumstances by them; for though their retreats were preserved, yet their provision was destroyed, and their harvest spoiled; and what to do, or which way to turn themselves, they knew not* The only refuge they had now was, the stock of cattle they had in the valley by the cave, and some little corn which grew there, and the plantation of the three Englishmen, Will Atkins and Ms comrades, who were now reduced to two; one of them being killed by an arrow, which struck him on the side of his head, just under the temples, so that he never spoke more: and it was very remarkable, that this was the same barbarous fellow that cut the poor savage slave with his hatchet, and who afterwards intended to have murdered the Spaniards.
I looked upon their case to have been worse at this time than mine was at any time, after I first discovered the grains of barley and rice, and got into the manner of planting and raising my corn, and my tame cattle; for novv they had, as I may say, a hundred wolves upon the island, which would devour every thing they could come at, yet could be hardly come at themselves.
When they saw what their circumstances* were, the first thing they concluded was, that they would, if possible, drive them up to the farther part of the island, south-west, that if any more savages came on shore they might not find one another ; then that they would daily hunt and harass them, and kill as many of them as they could come at, till they had reduced their number ; and if they could at last tame them, and bring them to any thing, they would give them corn, and teach them how to plant, and live upon their daily labor.
In order to this, they so followed them, and so terrified them with their guns, that in a few days, if any of them fired a gun at an Indian, if he did not hit him, yet he would fall down for fear; and so dreadfully frightened they were, that they kept out of sight farther and farther; till, at last, our men following them, and almost every day killing or wounding some of them, they kept up in the woods or hollow places so much, that it reduced them to the utmost misery for want of food; and nnny were afterwards found dead in the woods, without any hurt) absolutely starved to death.