« PoprzedniaDalej »
soon took notice of me, and when I went to lick his feet he lifted me up and seated me ty himself, asking deaan Trongha at the same time how I came to him? I was desired to tell my own tale, which accordingly I did to his satisfaction. He said, I had taken a great deal of pains for liberty, but it was no more than he would have done himself under the same circumstances; and wished me all the good success imaginable.
Deaan Crindo and his sons came the next day, and deaan Mevarrow and his brother along with them. Though I was sorry to find he was recovered of the yaws, yet I ventured to go to him, when I found his brother was with him. After the usual ceremony of licking their feet, they said they were glad to see me, and asked me why I left them? I pretended, in case he would give me my wife, to return as soon as the army parted. Whereupon both told me, she would not marry any other man, but continued constantly to lament my absence. This drew unfeigned tears from me, and here I must confess, that if a sincere conjugal affection be a weakness in man, I must own, let the world think as it pleases, myself guilty of that weak
These tears, however, as it proved afterwards, were the happy means of deceiving them, and of my escape from danger. And had my shedding them been a piece of artifice only, it might carry its own justification with it; since I had good reason to fear he would have murdered me privately, when he perceived I either contemned or hated him. At night I let deaan Trongha into the secret, lest he should suspect I was carrying on some sinister design in visiting Mevarrow. Here I met with my old trusty friend, who had all this time kept my secrets. He told me likewise, that my wife continued inconsolable, and repented every day of her life that she did not go with me.
In about three days, the army, which now consisted of about four thousand men, marched, and I went before them with the elodge. On the day following we entered the country of Merfaughla, and here the army divided into three parts as in their former expedition,
and marched with much niore circumspection than before, for we were in an enemy's country; I still marched in the front, As we were passing between the two woods, a rolley of shot was all on a sudden discharged at me; but the enemy ran away as soon as they had fired. They were a small party in ambuscade, on purpose to lay hold on such opportunities. The shot whistled aboat my ears, and some small boughs that few off from the trees striking me, I could not immediately tell whether I was wounded or not. However I stopped, and was determined to proceed no farther. Deaan Tradaughe, who was the nearest commander, ordered me to go on; but I peremptorily refused, unless they would send a party to march before. The umossee too came, and talked to me in his old. conjuring dialect; and with the same success as he did at the river. At length deaan Crindo came, and commanded me to go on, declaring he would otherwise compel me. I was terribly nettled at the haughtiness of one, whom I had so much reason to hate, and boldly told him he was a proud prince, and that I thanked God I was not under his jurisdiction. “It is true,” said he,“ or else I would take care you should go no farther." Deaan Trongha was now come forward, and asked what was the matter? To whom deaan Crindo complained of my being both obstinate and saucy. Ho answered, it was unreasonable as well as cruel to desire I should be exposed to danger at that silly rate; and as to the man's pertness, said deaan Trongha, you forget he is a white, and as good as any of us all. In short, deaan Crindo was obliged to let a hundred young men go before me, and in good time truly it was; for there were several such firings at us that afternoon from small ambuscades.
Two days after this we came to the river, not only where we had encamped before, but fought and defeated deaan Woozington, and killed his brave general Ry-Op heck. Here we encamped again, and as no enemy appea red, most of us were for plundering the country; but deaan Trongha persuaded us against it
and advised us to march still on, in order to find the eneiny out, if possible, before they divided their forces into small parties. As for my part, I did not care how soon we came to a battle, for then I should get rid of the elodge.
At length when we had marched four days, a body of the enemy of about a thousand appeared on a plain before us, and deaan Trongha drew out his countrymen to fight them. The umossee came up to me, charging me to march before my master with the elodge, and to throw it towards the enemy as soon as the engagement began. We marched forwards, and they advanced, though but slowly to meet us, for they had a secret design. Deaan Trongha, as they wanted, drew near, and they still kept firing, though at a distance; however, it was fight enough for my purpose, as being a fair excuse for throwing away the elodge. I did it with alacrity, and returned forthwith to the camp; for I had neither gun nor lance to fight, and was glad at my heart to be eased of so troublesome a post. The enemy withdrew into a wood, and our people eagerly followed and fired at them, till the general, who, with eagle's eyes, looked round about him, notwithstanding the heat of the action, and discovered a long train of fire-arms on a rising bank of earth, among the trees and bushes. Upon that he immediately called out to his people to stop, discovering, moreover, a great number of men concealed in a ditch, that was cast up for that purpose, so he marched back without the loss of one man; for there was no fighting in an unknown wood, and with an unknown force.
Deaan Woozington was, doubtless, one of the most subtile artful men on the island, for though he had not force enough to face an army of four thousand men, and his country was ruined, yet he found out ways and means to be revenged in the severest manner; nor did my valiant master deaan Trongha, notwithstanding his great conduct and bravery, escape his resentment. Our beef being all spent and no enemy to be found that would fight, parties were sent out in quest of cattle and slaves, and returned with good success ; though the principal generals, that is to say, deaan Crindo, deaan Mirnanzack, and deaan Trongha continued in the camp. Some scouts, however, who had discovered where a large herd of cattle were, coming in, Trongha would go out himself to fetch them; deaan Crindo, indeed, advised him against it, but he would not hearken to his counsel. So about a hundred of the Anterndroeans, with a like number of his own people went with us, for I determined to go, but, Providence designed otherwise, I was taken with a violent pain in my thigh. I went out with them, however, for I was very loth to stay behind him; but my pain increasing, the deaan would not permit me to proceed, and I was forced to hop as it were back, for I could scarcely walk, and never saw this great good prince more; for in three days' after, three men brought the melancholy news of deaan Trongha's death, as follows.
About sunrising, a man informed the general, that a party of about fifty of the enemy appeared upon the plain; whereupon he marched his little army out of the wood towards them, and soon saw their number increase ; he was resolved, however, to attack them Here he was guilty of a piece of ill conduct, forgetting that the Anterndroeans were good for little else but bush-fighting. When they came nearer, they saw another party, and though soon after a third appeared, yet there was no retreating. Some of the Anterndroeans, it is true, ran away, and others concealed themselves in the high grass; so that there were but threescore of his own Feraignher people, stood with him to oppose some hundreds. They maintained the fight, however, half the morning; the general received two wounds without falling, but at length, a third killed him. By this time there were not above twenty of his party left, and they resolutely forced their way through the enemy, of which number were those, who gave us this account. The Anterndroea men who skulked in the grass, were most of them killed; for the grass there being very long, and very dry at this time of the year, the enemy set fire to it, and it ran iike wildfire, scorching the men who lay concealed under it; so that they were obliged to rise, and most of them were overtaken and cut to pieces.
The death of this great man was an inexpressible loss to the whole army, and by all was sincerely lamented. It was, indeed, a mortifying stroke to me; and I was inconsolable, not knowing what calamities might befall me in this country. Rer Befaugher did not return till ten days after, at which time, though he brought a good prize of cattle and slaves, yet his joy was all damped at once with the news of his brother's decease, which was so shocking to him, that he was not composed enough to talk of any affairs of the army till the next day. This unfortunate accident obliged me to carry on the deceit with Mevarrow, by assuring him that I would come privately to him, as soon as the army broke up; but was very uneasy till I had a favourable opportunity of communicating my whole project to Rer Befaugher, and of begging his protection, which he readily granted. Whereupon it was agreed that I should absent myself two or three days before their separation, in ord to blind deaan Mevarrow, and make him think that I ran away from the Feraignher people and Aed to his town before him ; when, in reality, I and my man only went by night to a place appointed, and stayed till Rer Befaugher and the rest came to us.
The several parties who went out for plunder returned ; and after the cattle were divided, which were some thousands, besides slaves, the army decamped. The Feraignher people did not see the Anterndroeans home, as they did before; but took their leave here, and went directly to their own country a much nearer way. I and my servant, as was privately agreed on with Rer Befaugher, went away, and met them accord. ing to appointment, to the great surprise of all the people; for there had been a diligent inquiry made after me, every one imagining that I was lost.
Rer Be. faugher made such a clamour with deaan Mevarrow, and some others, that deaan Crindo gave him two