Obrazy na stronie

this contemptible food, and what a beggar in England would not have touched, the most delicious entertainment I ever inet with. We rested here about an hour, when he to whose care I was entrusted, made signs to know if I could walk; and as I was a little refreshed, I got up, and travelled the remainder of the day with more ease than I expected, since they walked but slowly, as I perceived on purpose to indulge me.

At night we came to a wood, the place appointed for our lodging; and there we met with three or four men, whom my master had sent out a foraging, and they brought in with them two bullocks; one of which my master sent to his brother, for the use of him and his people, and the other was killed for us; for the army was now disbanded, and each party was marching home with their respective chiefs to their own habitations. Here my master came to me, and gave me a lance, intimating that I might cut out as much as 1. thought proper. I cut about a pound without any part of the hide, which he perceiving, imputed it to my ignorance, and so cut a slice with the hide, and dressed it for me; which I ate with seeming thankfulness, not daring to refuse it. As soon as supper was over, each man pulled up as much grass as was sufficient for himself to lie on; my guardian, however, provided enough for himself and me. I then reposed myself accordingly, and he lay by me; but his back skin smelled so rank, that I was forced to turn my back on him all night long. I had very little rest, for the ghastly spectacle of my massacred friends was ever before me, and made me start from sleep as soon as I closed my eyes.

At break of day we arose, and, after a short repast, Inarched on till noon, when we baited among some shady trees near a pond of water; which very pond we had passed by three days before, or at least within two hundred yards of it, when we were dying with thirst, and the negroes told us there was no water

near us.

Whilst some employed themselves in kindling a fire

others were busy in digging up and down amongst the zrass. I could not conceive what they were doing at örst; but I soon observed one of them pulling out of the ground a long white root, which I found was a yam, having seen many of them at Bengal ; they soon furnished themselves with a sufficient quantity. I perceived they grew wild without any cultivation : some of them were a yard long at least, and about six or seven inches in circumference; they obliged me with some of them, which I roasted, and eat with a great deal of pleasure, instead of bread, with my beef: they are very agreeable to the taste, as well as wholesome food.

We arrived that evening at a small town, which we no sooner entered than the women and children flocked round about me, pinched me, struck me on the back with their fists, and showed several other tokens of their derision and contempt ; at which I could not forbear weeping, as it was not in my power to express my resentment any other way; but when my guardian observed it, he came to my assistance and freed me from my persecutors. All the houses that were empty were taken up by my master, his brother, and other head-men; so that my guardian and I lay exposed to the open air. The ill treatment I met with from the women and children, put a thousand distracting thoughts into my head. Sometimes I imagined that I might be preserved alive for no other purpose, than to be carried to the king and his son, who would, in all probability, be fired with resentment at our late seizing of them, and making them prisoners; then, again, I thought that to gratify their pleasure and revenge, they would order me to be put to death before their faces by slow degrees, and the most exquisite torments. Such melancholy reflections as these so disordered me that when once, through weariness, I fell into a slumber I had a dream which so terrified me that I started upright, and trembled every joint of me; in short, I could not get one wink of sleep all the night long.

When it was broad daylight we marched homeward

(for now I must call it so), and in three or four hours time we arrived at a considerable town, with three or four tamarind trees before it. One of the negroes carried a large shell, which, when he blew, sounded like a post-boy's horn. This brought the women to a spacious house in the middle of the town, about twelve feet high, which I soon perceived was my Inaster's. No sooner had he seated himself at the door, than his wife came out crawling on her hands and knees till she came to him, and then licked his feet; and when she had thus testified her duty and respects, his mother paid him the like compliment, and all the women in the town saluted their husbands in the same manner : then each man went to his respective habitation, my master's brother only excepted; who though he had a house, had no wife to receive him, and so he stayed behind.

My mistress intimated by her motions that she would have me go in and sit down. A great deal of serious discourse passed between my master and her, and though I knew nothing of what they said, yet by her looking so earnestly at me whilst he was talking, I conjectured he was relating to her our tragical tale, and I perceived that the tears frequently stood in her eyes. This conference over, she ordered some carravances to be boiled for our dinner: a kind of pulse, much like our grey peas : she gave me some, but as they had been boiled in dirty water, I could not eat them. She perceiving I did not like them, strained them off the water and put some milk to them, and after that I made a tolerable meal of them. She gave me not only a mat to lie down upon, but a piece of calico likewise about two yards in length to cover me. She intimated that she wanted to know

name, which I told her was Robin. Having received so much civility from my mistress, I began to be much better satisfied than I was at first; and then laid me down and slept without any fear or concern about four hours, as near as I could guess by the sun. When I waked my mistress called me by my name, and gave me some milk to drink. She talked for some considerable time to me, but I could not understand one word she said. My master was all this time with his brother at the door regaling themselves with toake.

When night came on I perceived that I was to lie with them, for there was no other room. My master and mistress lay in the middle, and the whole house was not above fourteen feet in length, and twelve in breadth, so that I lay crosswise close to his feet : in this odd inanner we lay three or four nights successively. At last he called me by my name several times to know, I presume, whether I was awake or not ; but as I answered him whenever he called, I imagined he would have been better pleased if I had slept soundly, and had not heard him at all ; for the next evening he carried me to his aunt's house, where he told me I must lie for the future. There I remained both day and night, and did little but walk out with her and her daughter to visit the plantations which had been lately sown with Guinea corn and potatoes. In the evening I used to visit my master and mistress, and for supper I generally had milk, which was sometimes fresh and sometimes sour. They were not over fond of putting me to work, as I could do them but little service being altogether a stranger to what was said to me, and more especially as he had above two hun dred slaves always ready to answer his occasions.

My master, whose name was deaan Mevarrow, was grandson to deaan Crindo, who was absolute lord of this country, and his wife was the daughter of a uorthern king whom they had conquered in battle, and she was one of my master's captives. For this reason I presume it was that she took so much compassion upon me; considering herself a slave in a strange country, and only preferred to my master's bed by courtesy

In a short time I began to recconcile myself to their manner of eating, since no better provision I found was to be had, only I would strip off some of the hair from the hide of the beef, whenever I could do it without being observed. I used often to reflect on my brother and sister's more agreeable manner of living at my father's table ; being conscious that even some beggars in England fared much better than I did here. However as I found nobody lived better, I made myself as easy as I could ; I was now under no apprehensions of being killed till an accident happened soon after, which put me into a violent panic for about an hour. My master, attended by several of his slaves, took me with him one evening into the woods ; I observed great preparations made for killing and dressing a bullock or some such thing, but there being none to kill, and it being then dark, I perceived that they walked about with great circumspection, talking softly, and testified all the symptoms of some secret design ; upon this the tears stood in my eyes, imagining that they intended to cut me up and make a meal of ine, but my fright was soon over when I saw two slaves hauling along a bullock by a rope fastened to his horns, and my master sticking his lance into his throat in order to despatch him. They immediately cut up his carcass and dressed the entrails after their own manner. The booty was equally divided, and I observed that each man took care to hide his portion in some private place, from whence he might convey it away by night. As soon as our business was over we parted, some one way and some another, for fear of being taken notice of. I now plainly perceived that we were all this time plundering of our neighbours. I often wondered indeed that the aunt with whom I lived, dressed meat so often in the night time, but this unravelled the mystery ; this was not the only time I was forced to assist in this clandestine practice.

In about four months' time I began to have some tolerable notion of their language ; I knew the names of most common things, and could express myself so as to be understood. My master and mistress took me one day into the plantations, where the slaves were hoeing the weeds from the caravances, that were just shooting up. They gave me a hoe, but I had no inclination to

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