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their lives to the law, would be hardened enough now by desperation. They would know that if they were subdued they would be brought to the gallows as soon as they came to England, or to any of the English colonies. It was, therefore, useless attacking them with so small a number as we



I mused for some time upon what he had said, and found it was a very rational conclusion, and that therefore something must be resolved on, and that speedily. · The difficulty was how to draw the men, on board ship, into some snare, in order to prevent their landing and destroying us.

When we had carried away all the contents of the boat, we knocked a great hole in her, so that, if they came in strong enough force to master us, they might not carry off the boat. Indeed, I was very far from entertaining the hope that we should manage to recover the ship; but my view was, that if they went away without the boat, I did not much doubt my ability to make her fit to carry us to the Leeward Islands, and so homewards.

Having heaved the boat upon the beach, so high that the tide would not float her off at high-water mark, we heard the ship's gun fire, and make a waft with her ensign as a signal for the boat to come on board. But as no boat stirred, they fired several times, making other signals for the boat. At last, when all their signals and firing proved fruitless, we saw them, by the help of my glass, hoist another boat out, and row towards the shore; and we found, as they approached, that there were no less than ten men in her, and that they had fire-arms with them.

We had, upon the first appearance of the boat coming from the ship, decided to separate our prisoners; and we had, indeed, secured them effectually. Two of them, in whom the captain had but little confidence, I sent with Friday, along with one of the three delivered men, to my


cave. Here we left them bound, but gave them provisions; and promised, if they continued there quietly, to grant them liberty in a day or two. We declared, however, that, if they attempted to escape, they should be put to death without mercy.

The other prisoners had better treatment; two of them were kept pinioned, indeed, because the captain was not able to trust them; but the other two were taken into my service, upon the captain's recommendation, and upon their solemnly engaging to live and die with us. Accordingly with these and the three honest ones we amounted to seven men, well armed. I had no doubt we should be able to deal well enough with the ten that were coming, considering what the captain said, namely, that there were three or four honest men among them also.

As soon as they got to the place where the other boat lay, they ran their boat into the beach and all came on shore. Presently they all made for their other boat; and it was easy to see they were very greatly surprised to find her stripped of all her contents, and a great hole in her bottom. After they had mused awhile upon this, they set up two or three great shouts, hallooing with all their might, to try if they could make their companions hear; but all was to no purpose. Then they all came close in a ring, and fired a volley of their small arms. The echoes of the reports made the woods ring: but without any

effect. Those in the cave, we were sure, could not hear it; and those in our keeping dared give no answer to them. The men were so astonished at this, that they resolved to leave three in the boat, while the rest went up into the country to look for their fellows. This was a great disappointment to us, for now we were at a loss what to do. Our seizing those seven men on shore would be of no adyantage to us, if we let the boat slip; because they would row away to the ship, and then the remainder would be sure to weigh anchor and set sail, and so our recovery of the ship would be impossible. However, we had no remedy but to wait and see what events would bring forth.

The seven men set off in their search and the three, who remained in the boat, put her off to a good distance from the shore, and came to anchor to wait for them ; so that it was impossible for us to get at those in the boat. The seven men kept close together, marching towards the top of the little hill under which my habitation lay; and we could see them plainly, though they could not notice us. We should have been very glad had they come nearer to us, for then we might have fired at them; or had they gone farther off to allow of our coming forth. But when they had reached the brow of the hill, where they could see a great way into the valleys and woods, which lay towards the north-east part, and where the island lay lowest, they shouted and hallooed till they were weary.

Not caring, it seems, to venture far from the shore, nor far from one another, they sat down together under a tree to consult. Had they thought fit to have gone to sleep there, as the other part of them had done, it would all have been plain sailing for us; but they were too full of fears to venture to go to sleep, though they could not tell what the danger was they had to fear.

We waited a great while, though very impatient for their stirring;' and were very uneasy, when, after long consultation, we saw them all start up, and march down towards the sea. It seems they had such dreadful apprehensions of the danger of the place, that they resolved to go on board the ship again; give their companions over for lost, and so go on with their intended voyage with the ship.

I now ordered Friday and the captain's mate to go over the little creek westward, and so soon as they came to a little rising ground, about half a mile distant, they


were to halloo out as loud as they could, and wait till they found the seamen heard them; also, as soon as the seamen gave an answer, they were to return it again. I ordered them then, while keeping out of sight, to take a round, always answering when the others hallooed to draw them as far into the island, and among the woods, as possible; and then to wheel about again towards me.

The men were just going into the boat when Friday and the mate hallooed. They presently heard them, and, answering, ran along the shore westward, towards the voice they heard. There they were stopped by the creek; and, the water being up, they could not get over: so they called for the boat to come up and set them over. This, indeed, I expected. When they had crossed over, after having taken the boat a good way into the creek, and being, as it were, in a harbor within the land, I observed that they took one of the three men out of her. He went along with them, so that only two were left in the boat, which was now fastened to the stump of a little tree on the shore.

This was what I wished for; so immediately leaving Friday and the captain's mate to their business, I took the others with me, and, crossing the creek out of their sight, we came suddenly on the two men. One of them, who was lying on the shore, between sleeping and waking, on hearing our approach started up. The captain, who was foremost, ran in upon him, and knocked him down; and then called out to the man in the boat to yield, or he was a dead man. He at once gave in. In the meantime, Friday and the captain's mate so well managed their business with the others, that they drew them by hallooing and answering, from one hill to another, and from one wood to another, till they not only heartily tired them, but left them at a spot from which they were very sure they could not return before it was dark.


We had nothing now to do but to watch for the returning sailors and to fall upon them, so as to make sure work with them. It was several hours after Friday had returned, that they came back to their boat; and we could hear the foremost of them, long before they came quite up, calling to those behind to come along. We could also hear the latter answer, and complain how lame and tired they were, and unable to come any faster: this was very welcome news to us.

At length they came up to the boat: but it is impossible to express their confusion when they found it fast aground in the creek, the tide ebbed out, and their two comrades


We could hear them call to one another in a most lamentable manner, telling one another they had got into an enchanted island; that either there were inhabitants in it, and they should all be murdered, or else there were devils and spirits in it, and they should all be carried away and devoured. They hallooed again, and called their two comrades by their names a great many times

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After some time, we could see them, by the little light there was, running about, wringing their hands like men in despair : sometimes they would go and sit down in the boat to rest themselves; then come ashore again, and walk about again, and do the same thing over again. My men would fain have had me give them leave to fall upon them at once in the dark; but I was willing to take them at some advantage, so as to spare them, and kill as few of them as I could. I was unwilling, too, to hazard the killing of any of our own men, knowing the others were very well armed. I resolved to wait to see if they did not separate; and therefore, to make sure of them, I drew my ambuscade nearer, and ordered Friday and the captain to creep upon their hands

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