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bad circumstances, if not worse. We returned the same way we came, through the forest of wild cattle, and hunted as we went along till we came to deaan Afferrer's town on Yong-gorvo. I was much dejected all the way, and here I began first to think of making my escape to some seaport town at the peril of my life; though it was a long time before I had opportunity to accomplish it. As soon as I arrived at Rer Mimebolambo's town, where my master and his people still" resided, I found none but melancholy countenances; however, they were glad to see me safely arrived, being richer by that means than the rest of their neighbours, whether friends or enemies; for my cattle were considerably increased. They thanked me, indeed, for my care, which was all the reward I had ; but my master was too proud and surly to do that; my butchering office, however, brought me the usual fee, by which means I lived as well as any of the others.
My employment was still to follow the cow-tail for the town in general, for nobody was willing to trust either their children or servants; and deaan Mevarrow durst not peremptorily command, even his own young slaves, to do any thing which might hazard their being taken by the enemy, lest their parents and friends should resent it, and leave him to live under other lords. As for his white slave, he had neither parents nor relations to mourn his loss if killed or taken ; and for that reason was the only proper person to be exposed to danger.
The war was not carried on with so much vigour as at first, for their courage on all sides was pretty well abated; nor was there so much advantage arising from the plunder of one another, as at the beginning; but it was not long before Chahary and Frukey, who were our original enemies, heard that we had cattle ; and one day, as I was tending them at some considerable distance from the town, they, with two hundred men in a body, surprised and took them, and pursued me in a most violent manner; firing and darting their lances, yelling out, kill him, cut him to pieces, &c.: however, I got the start of them, and fled into a thicket, which was so full of prickles and strong large thorns, that I was most miserably scarified from head to foot; nevertheless I concealed myself in the midst of it. They still followed me with their hideous cries, beginning to cut down a passage in order to come at me; but just as I was on the very brink of despair, I observed them all on a sudden run as fast back again. It was some time before I could comprehend the meaning of it: till at length, I perceived some people had been alarmed, and came upon them; so that now they found it difficult to sae their own lives. They could not drive off the cattle, but resolving to do as much mischief as they could, they killed some, and others they wounded, and then fled. I was obliged to keep my station, and was still apprehensive, that some of them would be driven upon me; till by the noise of the guns, I found, that they went farther from me; I then ventured to creep out, and perceived one of their chief men was fallen, and wounded with two lances in his hand. He looked me full in the face with his eyes swimming, and was going to speak, when I snatched one of the lances out of his hand, and told him, it was my time now; and as he was my enemy in a double capacity, I immediately struck him dead. When our people first saw me they imagined that I was cut with lances, for I was all over bloody. My flesh was torn in several places, my feet were almost cut to pieces, and many large thorns were still visible in them. So that when I recovered from the fright I was in, and came to be cool, I was in excessive torinent. The women and children soon helped to carry the slain cattle into the town, there not being above fifteen alive, and those most barbarously used. Whilst these were busy with the beasts, I told deaan Mevarrow that I had taken two lances from one that seemed to be mortally wounded; though alive when I left him at the side of the thicket. I durst not own that I had laid violent hands on him, for some of our people were his near relations, and I did not know but they might privately seek revenge, for they lamented his loss, and begged his body, in order to bury it; which was readily granted.
When I came home, my mistress was very kind to me, and ordered one of her slaves to wash and dress my wounds, and pick out the thorns. It was some time before I was perfectly well, and it was no small comfort to me, that I had no more cattle to take care of: though I was conscious, at the same time, of the ill consequence that would soon attend the want of them. However, we had beef enough for some few days; and more than we could well dispense with, whilst it was sweet.
I was no sooner recovered, than my master found out another employment for me, which was to dig in the woods for wild yams; all our beef was now spent, and scarcely any thing else was to be found hereabouts to live upon : we now severely felt the miseries of a civil war; and so must all countries wherever they are, feel in proportion to their circumstances, whether christian or heathen. I went a long way sometimes before I could find sufficient for my master and mistress, and myself, being seldom able to bring home more than would serve one of us for a meal the next day: I, indeed, always made sure of one private meal; for I took care to kindle a fire, and roast some of them in the woods.
One morning just about sun-rising, as my master and some of the chiefs were sitting at the town-gate, condoling with each other on account of the sad state of their affairs, deaan Mevarrow said, he had tasted no beef for some considerable time; and asked, if there were any cattle near them? They told him, none that either belonged to him, or any of Rer Mimebolambo's people; but there was one in deaan Mephontey's jurisdiction, about four or five miles off, who had several good fat beeves. He immediately ordered me and another man to bring away one of the best of those beasts with as much privacy and expedition as we could. I began to make several excuses, and said I was afraid to po upon so dangerous an adventure : besides (said I) as I am the only white man you have amongst all your
people should I be seen at a distance, they will know me immediately to be your slave, and by that means you yourself will be discovered. All I could urge had no influence over him; he was resolutely bent that I should go, and ordered the man to provide a rope that instant. I begged on my knees that he would send another in my stead, but to no purpose; however, whilst he turned away, and was speaking to some other people, I withdrew, in hopes that when he did not see me, he would substitute another in my post; but the old villain turning short and perceiving what I aimea at, took up his gun and fired at me; the shot went through the straw cap I had on, and I was so near him, that the wadding struck my back. Finding he had not killed me, he took up a lance, and before any one could stop his hand, he threw it at me. He raved, and gave me all the opprobrious language he could think of. As to swearing, they are not any ways addicted to it; a custom 100 prevalent amongst us christians, to the shame and reproach both of high and low. However, at last he was pacified, and on my submission, and the solicitations of his friends, he forgave me; but peremptorily insisted on my obedience to his commands. As there was no remedy, I proceeded with the man, though with many bitter reflections on my wayward fortune, and state of bondage.
We soon came near the place to which we were directed, and after we had wandered about some short time, we espied about half a score of cows grazing; our next concern was to see if any cowkeeper was tending them. To confess ingenuously, I was scarcely ever in more fear in my whole life; the noise of the pretty little lizards, who hop about the trees, and create a rustling amongst the leaves, appeared at that time in my ears like the rushing out of so many men from an ambus
but after we had listened very attentively, and taken a short tour with the utmost precaution, we at length ventured to sally out from behind the covert of the trees, and pitch upon one that was for our purpose; iny comrade took the rope, which till then he had
twisted about his middle, and secured her; we had much ado to get her from the rest of the herd; but at last we mastered her, and drove her through the woods, for we thought it safest to avoid all open places, and by noon we reached home. In a few minutes she was cut up by a dozen hands at once, for fear the right owner should have missed her, and should follow our track. The meat was divided into two hundred pieces, and distributed to the same number of men. My partner and I had the udder, and a slice of the buttock, which is the customary fee to such as bring in either a stolen beast, or one taken from an enemy; as almost every one in the town had a small portion, all of it was despatched immediately; and the next day we were in the same plight as we were in before.
It was now winter, and as the stalks of the yams are then withered, they are very difficult to be found ; insomuch that we were reduced to the utmost distress, and almost famished. If we could get a meal once a day it was luxurious living ; when the children, therefore, cried for food, though they had none all day, their mothers could with authority take them up short, and say, would you be gluttons? Did you not eat yesterday? These shocking taunts from their poor and distressed parents, I heard for some months together; and our calamitous circumstances were visible in our ghastly countenances. Here were no wars, no acts of hostility now; our enemies never concerned themselves about us, nor we with them. Thus we lived for eight or nine months after we had lost our cattle. Our enemies, however, were in a worse condition, if possible, than we were ; because deaan Murnanzack and his brother, who lived on the other side, frequently interrupted their repose, and deprived them of the only happiness that attends a state of poverty; and that is, to sleep away one half of their tedious hours, and so lull the acute sense of their misfortunes.
Deaan Crindo, and, indeed, every body else, sincerely wished for a peace, without finding any expedient to accomplish it; and though deaan Murnan