Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

It happened one night, that the Spaniard governor, as I call him, that is to say, the Spaniard whose life I had saved, who was now the captain, or leader, or governor of the rest, found himself very uneafy in the night, and could by no means get any sleep: he was perfectly well in body, as he told me the story, only found his thoughts tumultuous; his mind ran upon men fighting, and killing one another, but was broad awake, and could not by any means get any sleep; in short, he lay a great while; but growing more and more uneasy, he resolved to rise: as they lay, being so many of them, upon goat-skins, laid thick upon such couches and pads as they made for themselves, and not in hammocks and ship-beds, as I did, who was but one, so they had little to do, when they were willing to rise, but to get up upon their feet, and perhaps put on a coat, such as it was, and their pumps, and they were ready for going any way that their thoughts guided them.

Being thus gotten up, he looked out; but, being dark, he could see little or nothing; and besides, the trees which I had planted, as in my former account is described, and which were now grown tall, intercepted his fight, so that he could only look up, and fee that it was a clear star-light night; and, hearing no noise, he returned and laid him down again ; but it was all one, he could not sleep, nor could he compose himself to any thing like rest, but his thoughts were to the last degree uneasy, and yet he knew not for what.

Having made some noise with rising and walking about, going out and coming in, another of them


waked, and, calling, asked who it was that was up? The governor told him, how it had been with him. Say you fo? says the other Spaniard; such things are not to be slighted, I assure you; there is certainly some mischief working, fays he, near us; and presently he asked him, Where are the Englishmen? They are all in their huts, says he, safe enough. It seems, the Spaniards had kept possession of the main apartment, and had made a place, where the three Englishmen, fince their last mutiny, always quartered by themselves, and could not come at the rest. Well, says the Spaniard, there is something in it, I am perfuaded from my own experience; I am fatisfied our spirits embodied have converse with, and receive intelligence from, the spirits unembodied, and inhabiting the invisible world; and this friendly notice is given for our advantage, if we know how to make use of it. Come, says he, let us go out and look abroad; and if we find nothing at all in it to justify our trouble, I'll tell you a story to the purpose, that shall convince you of the justice of my proposing it.

In a word, they went out to go to the top of the hill, where I used to go; but they, being strong, and in good company, nor alone, as I was, used

my cautions to go up by the ladder, and then pulling it up after them, to go up a second stage to the top, but were going round through the grove unconcerned and unwary, when they were surprised with seeing a light as of fire, a very little way off from them, and hearing the voices of men, not of one, or two, but of a great number.

none of

In all the discoveries I had made of the savages landing on the island, it was my constant care to prevent them making the least discovery of there being any inhabitant upon the place; and when by any necessity they came to know it, they felt it so effectually, that they that got away, were scarce able to give any account of it, for we disappeared as soon as possible, nor did ever any that had seen me, escape to tell any one else, except it were the three savages in our last encounter, who jumped into the boat, of whom I mentioned that I was afraid they should go home, and bring more help.

Whether it was the consequence of the escape of those men, that fo great a number came now together; or whether they came ignoranily, and by accident, on their usual bloody errand, the Spaniards could not it seems understand: but whatever it

was, it had been their business, either to have concealed themselves, and not have seen them at all; much less to have let the favages have seen, that there were any inhabitants in the place; but to have fallen upon them fo effectually, as that not a man of them should have escaped, which could only have been by getting in between them and their boats; but this presence of mind was wanting to them, which was the ruin of their tranquillity, for a great while.

We need not doubt but that the governor, and the man with him, surprised with this fight, ran back immediately, and raised their fellows, giving them an account of the imminent danger they were all in; and they again as readily took the alarm, but it was impoflible to persuade them to stay close within where


[ocr errors]

they were, but that they must all run out to see how things stood.

While it was dark indeed, they were well enough, and they had opportunity enough, for some hours, to view them by the light of three fires they had made at fome distance from one another ; what they were doing they knew not, and what to do themselves they knew not; for, first, the enemy were too many; and, secondly, they did not keep together, but were divided into several parties, and were on shore in several places.

The Spaniards were in no small consternation at this fight; and as they found that the fellows ran ftraggling all over the shore, they made no doubt, but, first or last, some of them would chop in upon their habitation, or upon some other place, where they would see the tokens of inhabitants; and they were in great perplexity also for fear of their flock of goats, which would have been little less than starving them, if they should have been destroyed; so the first thing they resolved upon, was to dispatch three men away before it was light, viz. two Spaniards and one Englishman, to drive all the goats away to the great valley where the cave was, and, if need were, to drive them into the very cave itself.

Could they have seen the favages altogether in one body, and at a distance from their canoes, they resolved, if there had been an hundred of them, to have attacked them; but that could not be obtained, for there were some of them two miles off from the other, and, as it appeared afterwards, were of two different nations.


[ocr errors]

After having mused a great while on the course they should take, and beaten their brains in confidering their present circumstances, they resolved at last, while it was dark, to send the old savage (Iriday's father) out, as a fpy, to learn, if possible, fomething concerning them, as what they came for, and what they intended to do, and the like; the old man readily undertook it, and, stripping himself quite naked, as most of the favages were, away he went: after he had been gone an hour or two, he brings word, that he had been among them undiscovered, that he found they were two parties, and of two several nations, who had war with one another and had had a great battle in their own country, and that both sides having had several prisoners taken in the fight, they were by mere chance landed in the same island, for the devouring their prisoners, and making merry; but their coming so by chance to the same place, had spoiled all their mirth; that they were in a great rage at one another, and were so near, that he believed they would fight again as soon as day-light began to appear; but he did not perceive that they had any notion of any body's being on the island but themselves. He had hardly made an end of telling the story, when they could perceive, by the unusual noise they made, that the two little armies were engaged in a bloody fight.

Friday's father used all the arguments he could to persuade our people to lie clofe, and not be seen; he told them, their safety consisted in it, and that they had nothing to do but to lie still, and the savages would kill one another to their hands, and the rest


« PreviousContinue »