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myself much more happy in this country, barbarous and savage as it is, than with my former wicked companions. The captain, indeed, sent a canoe for me, but as I sènt word that I was not capable of going to sea any more, he never sent again.
After I had been here about three months, Captain Drummond, a Scotchman, came in a merchant ship, to trade about the island; but in less than three days after his arrival, a pirate took him as he rode at anchor. however, he gave Captain Drummond his own longboat, and a few necessaries. One Captain Steward being with Captain Drummond, the pirate permitted him and three or four more hands to go ashore; and as the sea, at that time, was very calm, they all landed very safe. Here were, at the same time, another Englishman and his wife, who came from Sancta Maria, who were companions for me. When we saw the longboat come on shore, and the ship sail away, we guessed how the case stood, and went to meet them, and gave them a friendly invitation to our cottages, which were a mile from the sea side. My companion and his wife were, I own, better provided to entertain them than myself. However, as we could all speak enough of the country language to deal with the natives for what we wanted, we were very serviceable to our new comers.
Captain Drummond being very much dejected at the loss of his ship, and his melancholy situation, resolved, if possible, to get to St. Augustine's Bay, which is a place where ships frequently come to get water and fresh provisions. He asked us if we were willing to go with him, to which proposition we readily assented. In a week's time we had got provisions enough, such as beef, rice, water, and
fuel; and got our long-boat in good repair. We were ine in all, with my companion's wife and a negro.
For three or four days we sailed along the shore, and got to the southward of Port Dauphine, but at last the wind shifted, and blowed so hard we could sail no longer; so that, in short, we drove on shore within three
or four leagues of the place where we are at present. We saved all our lives, with our money, guns, powder, shot, &c., but the long-boat was staved in pieces.
The natives, who lived near the sea, perceiving our distressed condition, came down to succour us, and carried us up to their town; for they found we had a smattering of their language; and as we had a negro with us, they were no way afraid, though they never saw any white men before; nay, they were so civil, that we wanted for nothing with which they could assist us.
However, they soon sent up into the country, to inform their deaan, or king, of our arrival; who sent his son, and a commanding officer with fifty men, to bring us up before him. Though they were all armed with guns and lances, yet we refused to go with them, and were as resolute as we durst be in opposing them : but they soon made themselves masters of our ammunition.
Captain Drummond was for defending ourselves to the last extremity, and not to deliver up our arms; but being fully persuaded that it was impossible to get off from them by force, on account of their number, I advised him to comply, and see if we could not obtain our desires by softer measures.
We told them we desired to go to Port Dauphine, (St. Augustine's Bay being too far for us to travel by land,) but, in short, we could not prevail; for they obliged us to go with them.
We made it three days' journey to the place of their king's residence : when we came there, and were carried before him, he was drinking toake (which is made of honey and water, like mead); his sons and generals were with him, and all perfectly merry. He asked Captain Drummond to drink, but the captain, pretending to be sick, refused it. I was their interpreter; the king bid me tell him he should want for nothing the country afforded. The captain desired I would return for answer, that as he wanted to be in his own country, he begged he might be permitted to go where we might get shipping
On this the king, with a stern aspect, replied, “ Let the captain be informed, if he does not know when he is well used, Į do; there are several kings on this island, who have white men among them, and why shall not I? Since our gods have been so good as to send you shall never go
with my consent, as long as I govern here.”
Upon this, Captain Drummond's colour rose, and looking sternly at the king, “ Let him know (said he to me), that had I suspected this beforehand, he should never have seen my face alive; I would have sent some of their black souls to hell. It is not their gods, but fortune, that has put me into his power; and the same fortune may again deliver me out of it." Hereupon he got up, without taking his leave, and went to our cottage. I stayed long enough to tell the king what he had said, and without waiting for an answer, got up, and followed the captain.
The king seeing Captain Drummond go away in a passion, in order to appease him, sent one of his generals with an ox for us to kill; and desired the captain to make himself easy, since both he and his friends should be well provided for; if we could eat an ox every day, we should be welcome to it.
The captain sent my companion's wife, whose name was Deude, with a compliment to the king, and to return him thanks for the care he took to provide so plentifully for our support; but withal to tell him, we did not think life worth preserving, without the freedom of enjoying it; and if we were not permitted to go home to our native country, no indulgence whatsoever could make us easy:
In this state we continued about a fortnight, before we made any attempt to escape; but at last, considering we were about five days' journey from Port Dauphine, we agreed to go thither; to steal away by night, and get what provision we thought proper : as to ammunition, or arms, we had none, nor could we get any : except that my companion had two pocket pistols, which the natives had not discovered when they
plundered us; and the country being woody, we thought we should be able to conceal curselves well enough.
According to this resolution, on a moonlight night, we got out of the town undiscovered; and were soon among the thickets. By daylight, however, they missed
and the news being carried to the king, he ordered us to be pursued. They soon tracked us, for our shoes distinguished our footing, and came up with us before night; but as they knew we had nothing to defend ourselves, they did not offer any violence to us; but only told us we must go back with them to their king. Captain Drummond peremptorily declared, that we would not go back. When they saw our resolution, and that fair words were ineffectual, they then took hold of us. My companion, not having his hands secured, took out his pistols, and wounded one of them. They seemed enraged at this action, however, they did nothing more than bind us, till they had made a strict search for more pistols; but finding no more, they marched back with us to their king. As soon as he saw us, he looked upon us with a frowning and menacing aspect, and having but one eye, and thin jaws, his countenance seemed still more terrible. He bid me tell the captain and all of them, that if ever we offered to run away again, he would make us dearly repent it. As to the man who was wounded, though we were apprehensive of being called to account for it, neither he nor any one else said any thing about the matter.
This was about two months ago; since that time nothing remarkable has happened, till yesterday news came of your being cast away; and the king immediately ordered me down with the message I have delivered to you from him. My friends are guarded, for fear they should make their escape, and come to you; as for my own part, I endeavour to soothe him, and tell him I will remain with him as long as I live; and he puts some confidence in me. This, sir, is a short, but true narrative of the miseries and misfortunes we are under; and which, I am afraid, will be more, now our numbers are increased.
Sam having made an end of his story, to which every body listened with the utmost attention, we parted, and went with heavy hearts to our respective quarters, which were under the bushes. It was very late, and we endeavoured to repose ourselves as well as we could; the pieces of muslin served us to spread on the ground for beds; but as for my own part, I could not close my eyes to rest. I now began to reflect on my former obstinacy and perverseness; the thought of my tender mother's begging me on her knees not to go to sea, gave me the most distracting torture. I could now see my error and repent; but who could I blame but myself? Here were many poor men, who had no other way to live; but I was reduced to no such necessity: I ran headlong into misery, and severely felt the effects of it. Tears I shed in plenty; but could not with any justice complain of fate or Providence; for my punishment was but the natural result of my own ill conduct.
We were all up by daylight, and most of my fellowsufferers got as little rest as I; for the man's relation had made us give over all hopes of relief, and nothing but sorrow, distress, and despair, appeared in all its dismal forms in each man's face, according to his different constitution. We could save neither arms nor ammunition, the want of which completed our ruin; for near one hundred and seventy of us would have made our way through that part of the country we wanted to travel, had we but wherewithal to defend ourselves; but fate had ordained it otherwise, which was in all respects as bad as bad could be. So that we had only our lives left us, for no other purpose than to be conscious of pain, misery, and perpetual slavery; which was no more than we could reasonably expect.
About one o'clock in the afternoon, the king came down, with about two hundred negroes. They brought no fire-arms with them, lest we should seize them by force; but they were armed with lances. As soon as