« PreviousContinue »
fire in three parts of the town; and as the men came out, to seize them, and bind them ; if any resisted,
, they need not be asked what to do then ; and so to search the rest of the houses for plunder ; but resolved to march silently first through the town, and see what dimensions it was of, and consider if they might venture upon it, or no.
They did so, and desperately resolved that they would venture upon them ; but while they were ani. mating one another to the work, three of them, that were a little before the rest, called out aloud, and told them they had found Thomas Jeffrys; they all ran up to the place, and so it was indeed, for there they found the poor fellow, hanged up naked by one arm, and his throat cut: There was an Indian house just by the tree, where they found fixteen or seventeen of the principal Indians, who had been concerned in the fray with us before, and two or three of them wounded with our shot; and our men found they were awake, and talking one to another in that house, but knew not their number.
The sight of their poor mangled comrade so en. raged them, as before, that they swore to one another they would be revenged, and that not an Indian who came into their hands should have quarter ; and to work they went immediately; and yet not fo madly as by the rage and fury they were in might be expected Their first care was to get something that would soon take fire; but after a little search, they found that would be to no purpose, for most of the houses were low, and thatched with flags or rushes, of which the country is full ; so they presently made some wild VOL. II. Q
fire, as we call it, by wetting a little powder in the palms of their hands; and, in a quarter of an hour, they set the town on fire in four or five places; and particularly that house where the Indians were not gone to bed. As soon as the fire began to blaze, the poor frighted creatures began to rush out to save their lives ; but met with their fate in the attempt, and especially at the door, where they drove them back, the boatswain himself killing one or two with his pole-axe; the house being large, and many
in it, he did not care to go in, but called for an hand.grenado, and threw it among them, which, at first, frighted them; but when it burst, made such havock among them, that they cried out in a hideous manner.
In short, most of the Indians who were in the open part of the house, were killed or hurt with the
grenado, except two or three more, who pressed to the door, which the boatswain and two more kept with the bayonets in the muzzles of their pieces, and dispatched all who came that way. But there was another apartment in the house, where the prince, or king, or whatsoever he was, and several others, were; and they kept in, till the house, which was by this time all of a light flame, fell in upon them, and they were smothered, or burnt together.
All this while they fired not a gun, because they would not waken the people faster than they could master them; but the fire began to waken them fast enough, and our fellows were glad to keep a little together in bodies ; for the fire grew so raging, all the houses being made of light combustible stuff, that they could hardly bear the street between them
and their business was to follow the fire for the surer execution: As fast as the fire either forced the people out of those houses which were burning, or frighted them out of others, our people were ready át their doors to knock them on the head, still calling and hallooing to one another to remember Thomas Jeffrys.
While this was doing, I must confess I was very uneasy, and especially, when I saw the flames of the town, which, it being night, seemed to be just by
My nephew, the captain, who was roused by his men too, seeing such a fire, was very uneasy, not knowing what the matter was, or what danger I was in ; especially hearing the gurus too; for by this time they began to use their fire-arms: A thousand thoughts oppressed his mind concerning me and the supercargo, what should become of us : and at last, though he could ill spare any more men, yet, not knowing what exigence we might be in, he takes another boat, and with thirteen men and himself comes on shore to me.
He was surprised to see me and the supercargo in the boat, with no more than two men, for one had been left to keep the boat; and though he was. glad that we were well; yet he was in the same impatience with us to know what was doing; for the noise continued, and the flame increased : I confess it was next to an impoflibility for any men in the world to restrain their curiosity of knowing what had happened, or their concern for the safety of the men. word, the captain told me, he would go and help his Q2
men, let what would come. I argued with him, as I did before with the men, the safety of the ship, and the danger of the voyage, the interest of the owners and merchants, &c. and told him I would go, and the two men, and only see if we could, at a distance, learn what was like to be the event, and come back and tell him.
It was all one to talk to my nephew, as it was to talk to the rest before ; he would go, he said, and he only wished he had left but ten men in the ship; for he could not think of having his men lost for want of help: he had rather, he said, lose the ship, the voyage, and his life, and all : And so away went he.
Nor was I any more able to stay behind now, than I was to persuade them not to go before'; fo, in short, the captain ordered two men to row back the pinnace, and fetch twelve men more from the ship, leaving the long-boat at an anchor ; and that when they came back, fix men should keep the two boats, and fix more come after us ; so that he left only sixteen men in the ship; for the whole ship's company consisted of 65 men, whereof two were lost in the first quarrel which brought this mischief on.
Being now on the march, you may be sure we felt little of the ground we trod on; and being guided by the fire, we kept no path, but went directly to the place of the flame. If the noise of the guns were surprising to us before, the cries of the poor people were now quite of another nature, and fill d us with horror. I must confess I never was at the facking of a city, or at the taking of a town by storm; I have
heard of Oliver Cromwell taking Drogheda, in Ireland, and killing man, woman, and child; and I had read of Count Tilly facking the city of Magdebourg, and cutting the throats of 22000 of both sexes; but I never had an idea of the thing itself before; nor is it possible to describe it, or the horror which was up. on our minds at hearing it.
However we went on, and, at length, came to the town, though ţhere was no entering the streets of it for the fire. The first object we met with was the ruins of a hut or house, or rather the ashes of it, for the house was consumed; and just before it, plain now to be seen by the light of the fire, lay four men and three women killed; and, as we thought, one or two more lay in the heap among the fire. In short, these were such instances of a rage altogether barbarous, and of a fury something beyond what was human, that we thought it impossible our men could be guilty of it; or, if they were the authors of it, we thought that every one of them ought to be put to the worst of deaths : But this was not all; we saw the fire increased forward, and the cry went on just as the fire went on, so that we were in the utmost confusion. We advanced a little way farther; and beheld, to our astonishment, three women naked, crying in a most dreadful manner, and flying as if they had, indeed, had wings, and after them sixteen or seventeen men, natives, in the same terror and consternation, with three of our English butchers (for I can call them no better) in the rear; who, when they could not overtake thein, fired in among them, and one that was killed by their shot, fell down in our sight; when the rest saw us, believing