Page images

formidable fleet, of no less than twenty-eight canoes, full of favages, armed with bows and arrows, great clubs, wooden fwords, and such like engines of war; and they brought fuch numbers with them, that, in short, it put all our people into the utmost confternation.

As they came on shore in the evening, and at the eastermost side of the island, our men had that night to consult and consider what to do; and, in the first place, knowing that their being entirely concealed was their only safety before, and would much more be so now, while the number of their enemies was so great, they therefore resolved, first of all, to take down the huts which were built for the two Englishmen, and drive away their goats to the old cave; because they supposed the favages would go directly thither, as soon as it was day, to play the old game over again, though they did not now land within two leagues of it.

In the next place, they drove away all the flock of goats they had at the old bower, as I called it, which belonged to the Spaniards ; and, in short, left as little appearance of inhabitants


where as possible; and the next morning early they posted themselves with all their force, at the plantation of the two men, waiting for their coming. As they guessed, so it happened; these new invaders, leaving their canoes at the east end of the island, came ranging along the shore, directly towards the place, to the number of two hundred and fifty, as near as our men could judge. Our army was but small indeed; but, that which was worse, they had not arms for all their


number neither : The whole account, it seems, stood thus: First, as to men:

17 Spaniards.
5 Englishmen.
i Old Friday, or Friday's father.
3 Slaves, taken with the women, who proved

very faithful.


Other slaves who lived with the Spaniards.


To arm these they had :
1 Musquets.

3 Fowling pieces.
5 Musquets, or fowling pieces, which were

taken by me from the mutinous fea

men whom I reduced.
2 Swords.
3 Old halberts.


To their slaves they did not give either musquet or fusil, but they had every one an halbert, cr a long staff, like a quarter staff, with a great spike of iron fastened into each end of it, and by his fide a hatchet; also every one of our men had hatchets. Two of the women could not be prevailed upon, but they would come into the fight; and they had bows and arrows, which the Spaniards had taken from the favages, when the first action happened, which I have


spoken of, where the Indians fought with one another, and the women had hatchets too.

The Spaniard governor, whom I have described so often, commanded the whole; and William Atkins, who, though a dreadful fellow for wickedness, was a most daring boid fellow, commanded under him. The savages came forward like lions, and our men, which was the worit of their fate, had no advantage in their situation ; only that Will Atkins, who now proved a most useful fellow, with six men, was planted just behind a small thicket of bushes, as an advanced guard, with orders to let the first of them pass by, and then fire into the middle of them; and, as soon as he had fired, to make his retreat, as nimbly as he could, round a part of the wood, and so come in behind the Spaniards where they stood, having a thicket of trees all before them.

When the favages came on, they ran straggling about every way in heaps, out of all manner of order; and Will Atkins let about fifty of them pass by him ; then, feeing the rest come in a very thick throng, he orders three of his men to fire, having loaded their musquets with fix or seven bullets apiece, about as big as large pistol bullets. How many they killed or wounded, they knew not; but the consternation and surprise was inexpressible among the savages, who were frighted to the last degree, to hear such a dreadful noise, and see their men killed, and others hurt, but fee nobody that did it; when in the middle of their fright, William Atkins, and his other three, let fly again among the thickest of them; and in less than a minute, the first three, being loacked again, gave them a third volley.


Had William Atkins and his men retired immedia ately, as soon as they had fired, as they were ordered to do; or had the rest of the body been at hand, to have poured in their shot continually, the savages had been effectually routed; for the terror that was among them came principally from this; viz. That they were killed by the Gods with thunder and lightning, and could see nobody that hurt them; but William Atkins, staying to load again, discovered the cheat; fome of the favages, who were at a distance, spying them, came upon them behind ; and though Atkins and his men fired at them also, two or three times, and killed above twenty, retira ing as fast as they could, yet they wounded Atkins himself, and killed one of his fellow Englishmen with their arrows, as they did afterwards one Spaniard, and one of the Indian slaves who came with the women ; this slave was a molt gallant fellow, and fought molt desperately, killing five of them with his own hand, having no weapon but one of the armed staves, and an hatchet.

Our men being thus hard laid at, Atkins wounded, and two other men killed, retreated to a rising ground in the wood; and the Spaniards, after firing three vollies upon them, retreated also; for their number was so great, and they were so desperate, that though above fifty of them were killed, and more than so many wounded, yet they came on in the teeth of our men, fearless of danger, and shot their arrows like a cloud; and it was observed, that their wounded men, who were not quite disabled, were made outrageous by their wounds, and fought like madmen.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

When our men retreated, they left the Spaniard and the Englishman, that were killed, behind them; and the favages, when they came up to them, killed them over again in a wretched manner, breaking their arms, legs, and heads, with their clubs, and wooden swords, like true savages : But, finding our men were gone, they did not seem inclined to pursue them, but drew themselves up in a kind of a ring, which is, it seems, their custom ; and shouted twice, in token of their victory ; after which, they had the mortification to see several of their wounded men fall, dying with the mere loss of blood.

The Spaniard governor having drawn his little body up together, upon a rising ground, Atkins, though he was wounded, would have had him marched, and charged them again all together at once; but the Spaniard replied, Seignior Atkins, you see how their wounded men fight; let them alone till morning; all these wounded men will be stiff and fore with their wounds, and faint with the loss of blood; and so we shall have the fewer to engage.

The advice was good; but Will Atkins replied merrily, That's true, Seignior, and so shall I too; and that's the reason I would go on, while I am warm. Well, Scignior Atkins, fays the Spaniard, you have behaved galiantly, and done your part; we will fight for



you cannot come on; but I think it best to stay till morning : so they waited.

But as it was a clear moon-light night, and they found the favages in great disorder about their dead and wounded men, and a great hurry and noise among them where they lay, they afterwards resolved to fall upon them in the night, especially if they


« PreviousContinue »