« PoprzedniaDalej »
I lived very well between Eglasse and James, till about three or four days before I was to go home; at which time I was seized with a violent fever which turned to an ague, and brought me down so low that I was unable to stir out of the house. They sent a messenger to acquaint deaan Trongha with my misfortune, and took as much care of me as they possibly could ; and James would now and then boil a fowl to make a little broth for me. lay once for dead, and Eglasse being abroad, Toby, who was left with me, called in the neighbours, and all of them thought that I had taken my last gasp; insomuch that they went home, and James was consulting which way to bury me. But when Eglasse returned about two or three hours after, he perceived me breathe, and James burning something under my nose, I revived, indeed, but was not sensible for two days, nor able to sit up for many more. Deaan Trongha being informed that I was dead, sent a messenger to know the truth, who found me alive, but not able to speak to him. After this I gradually recovered; the ague hung upon me three months, and I was two inore before I had strength sufficient to go home; insomuch that I had a strong inclination to see deaan Trongha : Eglasse, however, was willing to detain me as long as he could : for now I began to talk English tolerably well, and was good company for him as long as he lived; which was but a little while after my recovery.
Five men having a cow to sell to Eglasse, asked me for him; and he being in the plantation, I went and told him. He came away directly with me to the men, and begged the favour of me to treat with them about the purchase. They asked six pieces of eight, but in. sisted on four : I would give them, however, no more than three At last they said, if Eglasse would give them the old lance which he had in his hand, they would take the money. This alarmed me, they whispered, I perceived, two or three times to one another; and having heard that Eglasse threatened the king, deaan Mernaugha, I began to be terribly frighted, and told him in English that they wanted the lance; and that I had good reasons to suspect their behaviour; for the lance was not worth a meal of potatoes. He, however, in a bravado, gave the man the lance: “Here,” said he,“ we won't disagree; take the lance.” No sooner had he delivered it, than a man came behind him, and with both hands pushed the lance in at his back with that force, that it came out of his breast. I turned about at the shriek which Eglasse inade, and seeing the man pulling the lance out of his body, I ran amongst the wild canes, which grew by a river side; and the rustling I made appeared to me like the noise of pursuers. So that it was some time before I could recover my senses; and when I did, I still continued to listen with attention. In a short time I heard some persons call after me, which proved to be James, and his brother John. I was almost afraid to trust them, but seeing no other company, I came out in tears to them. They told me that deaan Mernaugha had contrived Eglasse's death for threatening him so often; but that as I was an Englishman, and belonged to deaan Trongha, I need not fear any thing, for they could have killed you (said they) before you fled, if they had been ordered so to do. This I thought was true. “Then” said I," he may imagine, perhaps, that I shall tell the captains of ships at their arrival, that he kills white men; and under
pretence of danger, may think it expedient to kill me too." But they assured me as I was an Englishman he durst not do it; and that the executioners had told him so.
I went home with them, where lay the wounded corpse all naked. They seized likewise on his goods, catile, and on his two slaves, Robin and Toby; and stayed in the town all night. The next morning they came to me, and requested that I would go to the king along with them. “If I were not afraid” said I “I would, were it on no other account than to beg the body tó bury it.” They answered, the king was so far from doing me any harm, that he would be glad to see me, and they were well assured he would grant my request; and, perhaps, give ine some share too of Eglasse's goods. Upon this, James and I went; and calling on William Purser, took him along with us. When I entered the town my heart misgave me, but I considered there was no receding. Deaan Mernaugha was sitting at his own door, with a great many people round about him. I approached, and falling prostrate on the ground before him, licked his feet according to the custom of the country; which the people were surprised at, having never observed a white man ever to do so before. He permitted me, indeed, at first; but soon after bid me rise, and not be afraid; for he would not hurt a hair of
He then ordered Eglasse's cattle to be brought before hini, and commanded them to take a white cow (not a bullock) and tie her to a tree. After that the owley was brought out, and an altar was erected, as before described, by placing the owley across two forked sticks, about six feet high, upon a beam; when this was done, the cow was killed; then the king rising from his seat, took a green bough, dipped it in the blood, and sprinkled-the owley. In the next place he took a small quantity of the fat, and some of the sweet scented gum, and burnt them under it, making the smoke ascend to the owley. After that he took two cutlasses, and whetting them one against another (as a butcher does a knife and steel, but not so quickly) he began his prayer to God, and the Lords of the four quarters of the world, and to his forefathers by their respective names, ending with his grandfather who made the oath with the English captain ; an account of which deaan Trongha had before given me.
His name after his death was Munguzungarevo. The form and manner of his prayer was this, or to this effect. Bless me, 0 deaan Unghorray, thou Supreme God.
Bless me, O you deaan Meguddummateem. Bless me, O you deaan Antyfertraer. Bless me, O you deaan Aneebeleesby. Bless me,
deaan AntyBless me, 0 ye [here he repeated several other names of his forefathers] but more especially, O you deaan Mụnguzungarevo; bless my family, and
this kingdom; for I have had regarıl to your oath and the man whom I have now slain is not an Englishman, but of another country; neither would I have put him to death were it not for my own preservation; since he often threatened to take away my life, whenever any ships should happen to arrive
Whilst he was praying, his slaves were cutting up the beef; when he had done, he ordered me to take the whole breast; and then he divided the rest among the people. He was pleased to say, that I had none of that barbarous disposition which some white people have; for he looked upon me as a native; since I had long accustomed myself to the manners of their country. I had no great inclination to take his beef, but recollecting that Eglasse's destruction was too much owing to his own ill conduct, I thought it was safest to appear pleased with his offer. Robin, the
slave, was given to the executioner ; but James bought Toby of the king. I begged leave to bury the body, which favour was readily granted me: and we returned back to James's house. The next morning two messengers came from deaan Trongha to inquire into the truth of this story ; for it had been reported that I was killed ; and in case it had proved so, they were ordered to go directly to deaan Mernaugha, and demand satisfaction of him, he being fully determined to revenge my death; but as it was otherwise, and they had no instructions relating to Eglasse's case, I went home with them.
At my arrival I was received with as much joy as if I had been a friend of the last importance to them : I went soon after to the chief lady's house, where the other was then present, though she had not been there in half a year before. Deaan Trongha seemed very well pleased likewise, and made me give' a particular detail of my own severe sickness, and the tragical end of poor Eglasse ; saying, at the same time, that I had so many fortunate escapes, that he did not think I should die in their country; but that it would be my lot once more to see old England. Here he repeated his promise to send me thither. In the interim, however, he ordered my house to be repaired, the cattle having eaten up most of the thatch ; and provisions to be given me not only for the present, but for the time to come; for he had lately a good harvest, so that we lived in more affluence than before.
One day I asked leave to pay a visit to Rer Befaugher; for in times of danger from enemies, none went out of town without permission. As I was passing by a river, and walking down to it, I perceived the track of an alligator, which gave a great check to that inclination, and there being two or three houses at but a small å stance from it, I was going towards them to beg a litlie water ; but a young woman who was going with her calabash to dip for some, desired me to stay, and she would supply me with as much as I would drink; I told her I would accept the favour, but as she went into the water up to her knees to fill her vessel, an alligator with a spring caught fast hold of both her thighs, and dragged her into the stream; but as she kept her head and hands above water, I threw one lance away, and ran to her assistance with the other; which she took hold of, and pulled her to me with all my might, but the alligator still keeping his hold, we called aloud for help. At length I got hold of her hand, and she directing me where the creature lay, I struck him with my lance, and wounded him; but not so deeply as to oblige him to let go, till a second stroke. By this time proper assistance came, and we brought her off safely with two large wounds only, made with his long jaws, and sharp teeth. She was now perfectly naked, for she had lost her lamber in the struggle ; but that was not worth regarding.. We saved her life, and every body was highly pleased with that. Rer Befaugher enter tained me in a very courteous manner, and having gre tified his curiosity, in hearing a short narrative of my late dangerous adventures, I returned home.
The people were ordered to get ready to march in three days at farthest; and the umossee was employed to prophesy of the success of the war. Upon this he