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directly to his army.
We were so near as to see the ceremony of his sons meeting him, who fell down and embraced his knees, and with all the earnestness imaginable, shedding tears for joy. After they had kissed and licked his knees and legs for about five or six minutes, they arose to give his head officers an opportunity of paying the like homage; and after them, some others of an inferior station; who, in general, expressed a most sincere and passionate affection to his person, and showed all the demonstrations of joy imaginable on account of his return. This ceremonial over, they all hallooed and fired their guns as a public testimony of their general joy and satisfaction.
We could not help halting to observe this scene, but before it was perfectly concluded we marched forwards as well as we could, though with no small difficulty: for notwithstanding it continued cloudy, yet the afternoon was sultry hot, and our thirst increasing, we began to grow sensibly weaker and weaker; our captains, however, walked slowly on, which made our journey something easier. We asked the prince if there was no water near at hand; he informed us that there was none to be got till we came to Manderra river, which we should not be able to reach that night. Though it was not easy for us to miss our way, yet we made him our guide. The natives had told us before, that the plain we were in was long, and of no great breadth in proportion to the length; but extended itself near east and west to the river. As soon as we came to a sandy place, we halted and formed our camp, it being then near sunset. This was somewhat softer for us to lie on than our situation the night before. The natives perceiving that we began to encamp, followed our example. They divided themselves accordingly into six parties, and so ordered their matters that they almost surrounded us; which did not a little surprise us. However we appointed our watch as before; but here to our misfortune we could find neither victuals nor water; and were almost parched with thirst. In short, we were
reduced to so great an extremity, that we crawled on the ground to lick the dew; and this was all the refreshment we could then meet with.
On the third day of our march we rose early, and pyt forward as well as we could. The negroes, who strictly observed our motions, were as ready as we; but we placed our armed men in the front, determining to make à bold push for it, if they attempted to obstruct our passage. They divided, and let us proceed without molestation; and though we travelled all the morning yet we met with nothing remarkable, till we arrived at a little round hill, whereon there stood a prodigiously large tub, about six feet high, which held near a hundred gallons, and was full of toake. Our people were going immediately to drain it dry, but Sam threw it down and spilt all the liquor; asking us with some warmth, if we were so blind as not to see the plot that was laid for our destruction: for it was planted there to tempt us to drink, with no other intention than to poison us all; or at least to intoxicate us to that degree, that they might rescue their prince without opposition, and murder us at their pleasure.
While we were reflecting on this extraordinary action, the general and two or three more came up to us, and asked Sam what reason he could offer for spilling the toake. To which he made no regular reply, but bid him begone about his business. The general desired to speak with the young prince, and after a little discourse with him, directed Sam to acquaint Captain Younge that if he should think fit to release the prince, they would give him three of the head-men of the country in exchange. The captain told him, if he would consent to be one of them, they would agree to it. He excused himself on account of his family, who, as he pretended, would be inconsolable should he leave them; however he would engage that his own brother, who had no children, should be one of the hostages.
Captain Younge, who imagined that they followed us on account of their prince only, and that if we should release him they would return back, complied with the general's proposition. Upon this he posted away to the army, and acquainted the other princes with the agreeinent he had made; for the king went directly home as soon as he left us. We marched on, determining to lose no time, and the general returned in less than an hour with three men; and informed us that he had brought his brother and two more of the chief of their people in exchange for the prince; and as to the arms then in our possession which belonged to their king, we might, when we had no further occasion for them, leave them according to our promise with these three men, who would take care to send them home.
We took the three men, and having tied their hands behind them, delivered up the prince. He shook hands with our captains, and went to the army; as soon as his brethren saw him at a distance they ran to meet him, as did also many others, who seemed to be more transported with joy for his deliverance, than they were before for his father's.
We proceeded on our journey as well as men could without provisions, and were too soon convinced of Captain Younge's mistake ; for the negroes instead of retiring approached nearer to us, and some marched before us; so that we expected every minute when they would attack us. We had a young lad in our company who lost his leg at Bengal. Notwithstanding he was well recovered, and supplied with a wooden one well fitted, yet it cannot be imagined that he should be able to keep up with us; for being now surprised by their surrounding us, we doubled our pace; and, in short, were obliged to leave this poor lad behind us. We saw the barbarians come up with him, take off his wooden leg, and first insult him; then they thrust their lances into his body, and left him wallowing in his blood. Being eye-witnesses of this act of inhumanity, and apprehensive of the like treatment, we hurried on as fast as our feeble limbs could carry us till sunset; when we came to a large tamarind tree, the leaves whereof, as they were sour, we chewed to moisten our mouths. The fruit itself was not then in season.
The three negroes whom we had taken as hostages, observing what had passed, and thinking their lives in danger, called to Sam and the captains, and told them they had a scheme to propose which would be for the safety of us all, which was this: that as soon as it was dark we should keep marching on as silently as possible all the night. The captains approved of this proposal, and ordered none of us to sleep, but to be ready as soon as the watchword was given. This was very grievous considering how tired we were the day before ; but we submitted cheerfully to any thing which gave us hopes of escaping from the violent hands of those bloodthirsty barbarians. As soon as it was dark enough to conceal our fight we assembled together, and took a considerable quantity of muslins and calicoes and hung them upon the bushes, that the spies, who we knew watched us, might not any ways mistrust our sudden removal.
We walked off accordingly undiscovered by them. Captain Drummond, however, being taken so ill that he could not walk at all, none of us being strong enough to carry him, we resolved to make the three negroes perform that office by turns. After we had thus travelled most part of the night, we came to a thicket among some cotton trees, where the man who had the charge of Captain Drummond, pretending to ease himself, threw the captain upon the ground, ran away into the wood, and we never saw him more. Upon this we had a more watchful eye over the other two and led him whose turn it was to carry the captain with a rope about his neck.
Weak as we were, we travelled a great many miles that night, and were glad when the day broke in upon us; for the negroes had told us before, that if we walked hard all night we should be at Manderra river betimes in the morning. And their information was just; for as soon as we came to a little hill, the sun then just rising, we had a prospect of the river, though at a considerable distance; however, the hopes we had of coming to it in a short time, and of getting water to quench our thirst, gave us no small pleasure, and our spirits began to revive at the very sight of it. It was some comfort to us likewise to think that the king's dominions extended no farther; notwithstanding there were no inhabitants to protect us within several miles on the other side. Some of our people, who were more tired than the rest, took liberty to sit down to refresh themselves ; as taking it for granted, that the negro army would never come in sight of us again.
But this vain notion of being safe and secure too quickly vanished ; for as soon as they missed us in the morning, they pursued us like so many greyhounds ; and before we got within a mile of Manderra river overtook us. Thereupon they began to butcher our men then resting under the trees, striking their lances into their sides and throats. Though I was one of those who could not travel well, yet there were twenty behind me; the woman, whose life was preserved in our ship, was next to me. I seeing them kill our people in this barbarous manner, threw off my coat and waistcoat, and trusted to my heels, for the foremost of our people having passed the river, and I not being far off took courage ; but hearing the report of a gun, I looked back, and saw the poor woman fall, and the negroes sticking their lances in her sides. My turn was next, for the same negroes pursued me, and before I was got to the brink of the river they fired a gun at me; but I jumped in. Our men who had got safely over, made a stand, in order to defend those who were behind ; and notwithstanding the negroes followed me so close, I could not refrain from drinking two or three times out of my hat, let the consequence prove what it would.
However I got over safely, and whilst we were on the bank and faced them, they never attempted to follow
Our captains asked me, if I thought there were any of our companions still behind us? I answered, I believed that there were none alive. We waited a while, and then marched forwards. We had a wood to pass through, and the negroes as soon as they saw us quit the banks, immediately pursued us. They got