Robinson Releases a Spaniard--Friday Discovers His Father--Accommodation Provided for These New Guests, Who Were Afterward Sent to Liberate the Other Spaniards-- Arrival of an English VesselI had now not a Moment to loose; for nineteen of the dreadful Wretches sat upon the Ground, all close huddled together, and had just sent the other two to butcher the poor Christian, and bring him perhaps Limb by Limb to their Fire, and they were stoop'd down to untie the Bands, at his Feet; I turn'd to Friday, now Friday, said I, do as I bid thee; Friday said he would; then Friday, says I, do exactly as you see me do, 'fail in nothing; so I set down one of the Muskets, and the Fowling-Piece, upon the Ground, and Friday did the like by his; and with the other Musket, I took my aim at the Savages, bidding him do the like; then asking him, If he was ready? He said, yes, then fire at them, said I; and the same Moment I fir'd also.
Friday took his Aim so much better than I, that on the Side that he shot, he kill'd two of them, and wounded three more; and on my Side, I kill'd one, and wounded two: They were, you may be sure, in a dreadful Consternation; and all of them, who were not hurt, jump'd up upon their Feet, but did not immediately know which way to run, or which way to look; for they knew not from whence their Destruction came: Friday kept his Eyes close upon me, that as I had bid him, he might observe what I did; so as soon as the first Shot was made, I threw down the Piece, and took up the Fowling-Piece, and Friday did the like; he see me cock, and present, he did the same again; Are you ready, Friday? said I; yes, says he; let fly then, says I, in the Name of God, and with that I fir'd again among the amaz'd Wretches, and so did Friday; and as our Pieces were now loaden with what I call'd Swan-Shot, or small Pistol Bullets, we found only two drop; but so many were wounded, that they run about yelling, and skreaming, like mad Creatures, all bloody, and miserably wounded, most of them; whereof three more fell quickly after, though not quite dead.
Now Friday, says I, laying down the discharg'd Pieces, and taking up the Musket, which was yet loaden; follow me, says I, which he did, with a great deal of Courage; upon which I rush'd out of the Wood, and shew'd my self, and Friday close at my Foot; as soon as I perceiv'd they saw me, I shouted as loud as I could, and bad Friday do so too; and running as fast as I could, which by the way, was not very fast, being loaden with Arms as I was, I made directly towards the poor Victim, who was, as I said, lying upon the Beach, or Shore, between the Place where they sat, and the Sea; the two Butchers who were just going to work with him, had left him, at the Suprize of our first Fire, and fled in a terrible Fright, to the Sea Side, and had jump'd into a Canoe, and three more of the rest made the same way; I turn'd to Friday, and bid him step forwards, and fire at them; he understood me immediately, and running about forty Yards, to be near them, he shot at them, and I thought he had kill'd them all; for I see them all fall of a Heap into the Boat; though I saw two of them up again quickly: However, he kill'd two of them, and wounded the third; so that he lay down in the Bottom of the Boat, as if he had been dead.
12> While my Man Friday fir'd at them, I pull'd out my Knife, and cut the Flags that bound the poor Victim, and loosing his Hands, and Feet, I lifted him up, and ask'd him in the Portuguese Tongue, What he was? He answer'd in Latin, Christianus; but was so weak, and faint, that he could scarce stand, or speak; I took my Bottle out of my Pocket, and gave it him, making Signs that he should drink, which he did; and I gave him a Piece of Bread, which he eat; then I ask'd him, What Countryman he was? And he said, Espagniole; and being a little recover'd, let me know by all the Signs he could possibly make, how much he was in my Debt for his Deliverance; Seignior, said I, with as much Spanish as I could make up, we will talk afterwards; but we must fight now; if you have any Strength left, take this Pistol, and Sword, and lay about you; he took them very thankfully, and no sooner had he the Arms in his Hands, but as if they had put new Vigour into him, he flew upon his Murtherers, like a Fury, and had cut two of them in Pieces, in an instant; for the Truth is, as the whole was a Surprize to them; so the poor Creatures were so much frighted with the Noise of our Pieces, that they fell down for meer Amazement, and Fear; and had no more Power to attempt their own Escape, than their Flesh had to resist our Shot; and that was the Case of those Five that Friday shot at in the Boat; for as three of them fell with the Hurt they receiv'd, so the other two fell with the Fright.
I kept my Piece in my Hand still, without firing, being willing to keep my Charge ready; because I had given the Spaniard my Pistol, and Sword; so I call'd to Friday, and bad him run up to the Tree, from whence we first fir'd, and fetch the Arms which lay there, that had been discharg'd, which he did with great Swiftness; and then giving him my Musket, I sat down my self to load all the rest again, and bad them come to me when they wanted: While I was loading these Pieces, there happen'd a fierce Engagement between the Spaniard, and one of the Savages, who made at him with one of their great wooden Swords, the same Weapon that was to have kill'd him before, if I had not prevented it: The Spaniard, who was as bold, and as brave as could be imagin'd, though weak, had fought this Indian a good while, and had cut him two great Wounds on his Head; but the Savage being a stout lusty Fellow, closing in with him, had thrown him down (being faint) and was wringing my Sword out of his Hand, when the Spaniard, tho' undermost wisely quitting the Sword, drew the Pistol from his Girdle, shot the Savage through the Body, and kill'd him upon the Spot; before I, who was running to help him, could come near him.
Friday being now left to his Liberty, pursu'd the flying Wretches with no Weapon in his Hand, but his Hatchet; and with that he dispatch'd those three, who, as I said before, were wounded at first and fallen, and all the rest he could come up with, and the Spaniard coming to me for a Gun, I gave him one of the Fowling-Pieces, with which he pursu'd two of the Savages, and wounded them both; but as he was not able to run, they both got from him into the Wood, where Friday pursu'd them, and kill'd one of them; but the other was too nimble for him, and though he was wounded, yet had plunged himself into the Sea, and swam with all his might off to those two who were left in the Canoe, which three in the Canoe, with one wounded, who we know not whether he dy'd or no, were all that escap'd our Hands of one and twenty: The Account of the Rest is as follows:
3 Kill'd at our first Shot from the Tree.
Those that were in the Canoe, work'd hard to get out of Gun-Shot; and though Friday made two or three Shot at them, I did not find that he hit any of them: Friday would fain have had me took one of their Canoes, and pursu'd them; and indeed I was very anxious about their Escape, least carrying the News home to their People, they should come back perhaps with two or three hundred of their Canoes, and devour us by meer Multitude; so I consented to pursue them by Sea, and running to one of their Canoes, I jump'd in, and bad Friday follow me; but when 1 was in the Canoe, I was surpriz'd to find another poor Creature lye there alive, bound Hand and Foot, as the Spaniard was, for the Slaughter, and almost dead with Fear, not knowing what the Matter was; for he had not been able to look up over the Side of the Boat, he was ty'd so hard, Neck and Heels, and had been ty'd so long, that he had really but little Life in him.
I immediately cut the twisted Flags, or Rushes, which they had bound him with, and would have helped him up; but he could not stand, or speak, but groan'd most piteously, believing it seems still that he was only unbound in order to be kill'd.
When Friday came to him, I bad him speak to him, and tell him of his Deliverance, and pulling out my Bottle, made him give the poor Wretch a Dram, which, with the News of his being deliver'd, reviv'd him, and he sat up in the Boat; but when Friday came to hear him speak, and look in his Face, it would have mov'd any one to Tears, to have seen how Friday kiss'd him, embrac'd him, hugg'd him, cry'd, laugh'd, hollow'd, jump'd about, danc'd, sung, then cry'd again, wrung his Hands, beat his own Face, and Head, and then sung, and jump'd about again, like a distracted Creature: It was a good while before I could make him speak to me, or tell me what was the Matter; but when he came a little to himself, he told me, that it was his Father.
It is not easy for me to express how it mov'd me to see what Extasy and filial Affection had work'd in this poor Savage, at the Sight of his Father, and of his being deliver'd from Death; nor indeed can I describe half the Extravagancies of his Affection after this; for he went into the Boat and out of the Boat a great many times: When he went in to him, he would sit down by him, open his Breast, and hold his Father's Head close to his Bosom, half an Hour together, to nourish it; then he took his Arms and Ankles, which were numb'd and stiff with the Binding, and chaffed and rubbed them with his Hands; and I perceiving what the Case was, gave him some Rum out of my Bottle, to rub them with, which did them a great deal of Good.
This Action put an End to our Pursuit of the Canoe, with the other Savages, who were now gotten almost out of Sight; and it was happy for us that we did not; for it blew so hard within two Hours after, and before they could be gotten a Quarter of their Way, and continued blowing so hard all Night, and that from the North-west, which was against them, that I could not suppose their Boat could live, or that they ever reach'd to their own Coast.
But to return to Friday, he was so busy about his Father, that I could not find in my Heart to take him off for some time: But after I thought he could leave him a little, I call'd him to me, and he came jumping and laughing, and pleas'd to the highest Extream; then I ask'd him, If he had given his Father any Bread? He shook his Head, and said, None: Ugly Dog eat all up self; so I gave him a Cake of Bread out of a little Pouch I carry'd on Purpose; I also gave him a Dram for himself, but he would not taste it, but carry'd it to his Father: I had in my Pocket also two or three Bunches of my Raisins, so I gave him a Handful of them for his Father. He had no sooner given his Father these Raisins, but I saw him come out of the Boat, and run away, as if he had been bewitch'd, he run at such a Rate; for he was the swiftest Fellow of his Foot that ever I saw; I say, he run at such a Rate, that he was out of Sight, as it were, in an instant; and though I call'd, and hollow'd too, after him, it was all one, away he went, and in a Quarter of an Hour, I saw him come back again, though not so fast as he went; and as he came nearer, I found his Pace was slacker, because he had some thing in his Hand.
When he came up to me, I found he had been quite Home for an Earthen Jugg or Pot to bring his Father some fresh Water, and that he had got two more Cakes, or Loaves of Bread: The Bread he gave me, but the Water he carry'd to his Father: However, as I was very thirsty too, I took a little Sup of it. This Water reviv'd his Father more than all the Rum or Spirits I had given him; for he was just fainting with Thirst.
When his Father had drank, I call'd to him to know if there was any Water left; he said, yes; and I bad him give it to the poor Spaniard, who was in as much Want of it as his Father; and I sent one of the Cakes, that Friday brought, to the Spaniard too, who was indeed very weak, and was reposing himself upon a green Place under the Shade of a free; and whose Limbs were also very stiff, and very much swell'd with the rude Bandage he had been ty'd with. When I saw that upon Friday's coming to him with the Water, he sat up and drank, and took the Bread, and began to eat, I went to him, and gave him a Handful of Raisins; he look'd up in my Face with all the Tokens of Gratitude and Thankfulness, that could appear in any Countenance; but was so weak, notwithstanding he had so exerted himself in the Fight, that he could not stand up upon his Feet; he try'd to do it two or three times, but was really not able, his Ankles were so swell'd and so painful to him; so I bad him sit still, and caused Friday to rub his Ankles, and bathe them with Rum, as he had done his Father's.
I observ'd the poor affectionate Creature every two Minutes, or perhaps less, all the while he was here, turn'd his Head about, to see if his Father was in the same Place, and Posture, as he left him sitting; and at last he found he was not to be seen; at which he started up, and without speaking a Word, flew with that Swiftness to him, that one could scarce perceive his Feet to touch the Ground, as he went: But when he came, he only found he had laid himself down to ease his Limbs; so Friday came back to me presently, and I then spoke to the Spaniard to let Friday help him up if he could, and lead him to the Boat, and then he should carry him to our Dwelling, where I would take Care of him: But Friday, a lusty strong Fellow, took the Spaniard quite up upon his Back, and carry'd him away to the Boat, and set him down softly upon the Side or Gunnel of the Canoe, with his Feet in the inside of it, and then lifted him quite in, and set him close to his Father, and presently stepping out again, launched the Boat off, and paddled it along the Shore faster than I could walk, tho' the Wind blew pretty hard too; so he brought them both safe into our Creek; and leaving them in the Boat, runs away to fetch the other Canoe. As he pass'd me, I spoke to him, and ask'd him, whither he went, he told me, Go fetch more Boat; so away he went like the Wind; for sure never Man or Horse run like him, and he had the other Canoe in the Creek, almost as soon as I got to it by Land; so he wafted me over, and then went to help our new Guests out of the Boat, which he did; but they were neither of them able to walk; so that poor Friday knew not what to do.
To remedy this, I went to Work in my Thought, and calling to Friday to bid them sit down on the Bank while he came to me, I soon made a Kind of Hand-Barrow to lay them on, and Friday and I carry'd them up both together upon it between us: But when we got them to the outside of our Wall or Fortification, we were at a worse Loss than before; for it was impossible to get them over; and I was resolv'd not to break it down: So I set to Work again; and Friday and I, in about 2 Hours time, made a very handsom Tent, cover'd with old Sails, and above that with Boughs of Trees, being in the Space without our outward Fence, and between that and the Grove of young Wood which I had planted: And here we made them two Beds of such things as I had (viz.) of good Rice-Straw, with Blankets laid upon it to lye on, and another to cover them on each Bed. My Island was now peopled, and I thought my self very rich in Subjects; and it was a merry Reflection which I frequently made, How like a King I look'd. First of all, the whole Country was my own meer Property; so that I had an undoubted Right of Dominion. 2dly, My People were perfectly subjected: I was absolute Lord and Law-giver; they all owed their Lives to me, and were ready to lay down their Lives, if there had been Occasion of it, for me. It was remarkable too, we had but three Subjects, and they were of three different Religions. My Man Friday was a Protestant, his Father was a Pagan and a Cannibal, and the Spaniard was a Papist: However, I allow'd Liberty of Conscience throughout my Dominions: But this is by the Way.
As soon as I had secur'd my two weak rescued Prisoners, and given them Shelter, and a Place to rest them upon, I began to think of making some Provision for them: And the first thing I did, I order'd Friday to take a yearling Goat, betwixt a Kid and a Goat, out of my particular Flock, to be kill'd, when I cut off the hinder Quarter, and chopping it into small Pieces, I set Friday to Work to boiling and stewing, and made them a very good Dish, I assure you, of Flesh and Broth, having put some Barley and Rice also into the Broth; and as I cook'd it without Doors, for I made no Fire within my inner Wall, so I carry'd it all into the new Tent; and having set a Table there for them, I sat down and eat my own Dinner also with them, and, as well as I could, chear'd them and encourag'd them; Friday being my Interpreter, especially to his Father, and indeed to the Spaniard too; for the Spaniard spoke the Language of the Savages pretty well.
After we had dined, or rather supped, I order'd Friday to take one of the Canoes, and go and fetch our Muskets and other Fire-Arms, which for Want of time we had left upon the Place of Battle, and the next Day I order'd him to go and bury the dead Bodies of the Savages, which lay open to the Sun, and would presently be offensive; and I also order'd him to bury the horrid Remains of their barbarous Feast, which I knew were pretty much, and which I could not think of doing my self; nay, I could not bear to see them, if I went that Way: All which he punctually performed, and defaced the very Appearance of the Savages being there; so that when I went again, I could scarce know where it was, otherwise than by the Corner of the Wood pointing to the Place.
I then began to enter into a little Conversation with my two new Subjects; and first I set Friday to enquire of his Father, what he thought of the Escape of the Savages in that Canoe, and whether we might expect a Return of them with a Power too great for us to resist: His first Opinion was, that the Savages in the Boat never could live out the Storm which blew that Night they went off, but must of Necessity be drowned or driven South to those other Shores where they were as sure to be devoured as they were to be drowned if they were cast away; but as to what they would do if they came safe on Shore, he said he knew not; but it was his Opinion that they were so dreadfully frighted with the Manner of their being attack'd, the Noise and the Fire, that he believed they would tell their People, they were all kill'd by Thunder and Lightning, not by the Hand of Man, and that the two which appear'd, (viz.) Friday and me, were two Heavenly Spirits or Furies, come down to destroy them, and not Men with Weapons: This he said he knew, because he heard them all cry out so in their Language to one another, for it was impossible to them to conceive that a Man could dart Fire, and speak Thunder, and kill at a Distance without lifting up the Hand, as was done now: And this old Savage was in the right; for, as I understood since by other Hands, the Savages never attempted to go over to the Island afterwards; they were so terrified with the Accounts given by those four Men, (for it seems they did escape the Sea) that they believ'd whoever went to that enchanted Island would be destroy'd with Fire from the Gods.
This however I knew not, and therefore was under continual Apprehensions for a good while, and kept always upon my Guard, me and all my Army; for as we were now four of us, I would have ventur'd upon a hundred of them fairly in the open Field at any Time.
In a little Time, however, no more Canoes appearing, the Fear of their Coming wore off, and I began to take my former Thoughts of a Voyage to the Main into Consideration, being likewise assur'd by Friday's Father, that I might depend upon good Usage from their Nation on his Account, if I would go.
But my Thoughts were a little suspended, when I had a serious Discourse with the Spaniard, and when I understood that there were sixteen more of his Countrymen and Portuguese, who having been cast away, and made their Escape to that Side, liv'd there at Peace indeed with the Savages, but were very sore put to it for Necessaries, and indeed for Life: I ask'd him all the Particulars of their Voyage, and found they were a Spanish Ship bound from the Rio de la Plata to the Havana, being directed to leave their Loading there, which was chiefly Hides and Silver, and to bring back what European Goods they could meet with there; that they had five Portuguese Seamen on Board, who they took out of another Wreck; that five of their own Men were drowned when the first Ship was lost, and that these escaped thro' infinite Dangers and Hazards, and arriv'd almost starv'd on the Cannibal Coast, where they expected to have been devour'd every Moment.
He told me, they had some Arms with them, but they were perfectly useless, for that they had neither Powder or Ball, the Washing of the Sea having spoil'd all their Powder but a little, which they used at their first Landing to provide themselves some Food.
I ask'd him what he thought would become of them there, and if they had form'd no Design of making any Escape? He said, They had many Consultations about it, but that having neither Vessel, or Tools to build one, or Provisions of any kind, their Councils always ended in Tears and Despair.
I ask'd him how he thought they would receive a Proposal from me, which might tend towards an Escape? And whether, if they were all here, it might not be done? I told him with Freedom, I fear'd mostly their Treachery and ill Usage of me, if I put my Life in their Hands; for that Gratitude was no inherent Virtue in the Nature of Man; nor did Men always square their Dealings by the Obligations they had receiv'd, So much as they did by the Advantages they expected. I told him it would be very hard, that I should be the Instrument of their Deliverance, and that they should afterwards make me their Prisoner in New Spain, where an English Man was certain to be made a Sacrifice, what Necessity, or what Accident soever, brought him thither: And that I had rather be deliver'd up to the Savages, and be devour'd alive, than fall into the merciless Claws of the Priests, and be carry'd into the Inquisition. I added, That otherwise I was perswaded, if they were all here, we might, with so many Hands, build a Bark large enough to carry us all away, either to the Brasils South-ward, or to the Islands or Spanish Coast North-ward: But that if in Requital they should, when I had put Weapons into their Hands, catty me by Force among their own People, I might be ill used for my Kindness to them, and make my Case worse than it was before.
He answer'd with a great deal of Candor and Ingenuity, That their Condition was so miserable, and they were so sensible of it, that he believed they would abhor the Thought of using any Man unkindly that should contribute to their Deliverance; and that, if I pleased, he would go to them with the old Man, and discourse with them about it, and return again, and bring me their Answer: That he would make Conditions with them upon their solemn Oath, That they should be absolutely under my Leading, as their Commander and Captain; and that they should swear upon the Holy Sacraments and the Gospel, to be true to me, and to go to such Christian Country, as that I should agree to, and no other; and to be directed wholly and absolutely by my Orders, 'till they were landed safely in such Country, as I intended; and that he would bring a Contract from them under their Hands for that Purpose.
Then he told me, he would first swear to me himself, That he would never stir from me as long as he liv'd, 'till I gave him Orders; and that he would take my Side to the last Drop of his Blood, if there should happen the least Breach of Faith among his Country-men.
He told me, they were all of them very civil honest Men, and they were under the greatest Distress imaginable, having neither Weapons or Cloaths, nor any Food, but at the Mercy and Discretion of the Savages; out of all Hopes of ever returning to their own Country; and that he was sure, if I would undertake their Relief, they would live and die by me.
Upon these Assurances, I resolv'd to venture to relieve them, if possible, and to send the old Savage and this Spaniard over to them to treat: But when we had gotten all things in a Readiness to go, the Spaniard himself started an Objection, which had so much Prudence in it on one hand, and so much Sincerity on the other hand, that I could not but be very well satisfy'd in it; and by his Advice, put off the Deliverance of his Comerades, for at least half a Year. The Case was thus:
He had been with us now about a Month; during which time, I had let him see in what Manner I had provided, with the Assistance of Providence, for my Support; and he saw evidently what Stock of Corn and Rice I had laid up; which as it was more than sufficient for my self, so it was not sufficient, at least without good Husbandry, for my Family; now it was encreas'd to Number four: But much less would it be sufficient, if his Country-men, who were, as he said, fourteen' still alive, should Come over. And least of all should it be sufficient to victual our Vessel, if we should build one, for a Voyage to any of the Christian Colonies of America. So he told me, he thought it would be more advisable, to let him and the two other, dig and cultivate some more Land, as much as I could spare Seed to sow; and that we should wait another Harvest, that we might have a Supply of Corn for his Country-men when they should come; for Want might be a Temptation to them to disagree, or not to think themselves delivered, otherwise than out of one Difficulty into another. You know, says he, the Children of Israel, though they rejoyc'd at first for their being deliver'd out of Egypt, yet rebell'd even against God himself that deliver'd them, when they came to want Bread in the Wilderness.
His Caution was so seasonable, and his Advice so good, that I could not but be very well pleased with his Proposal, as well as I was satisfy'd with his Fidelity. So we fell to digging all four of us, as well as the Wooden Tools we were furnish'd with permitted; and in about a Month's time, by the End of which it was Seed time, we had gotten as much Land cur'd and trim'd up, as we sowed 22 Bushels of Barley on, and 16 Jarrs of Rice, which was in short all the Seed we had to spare; nor indeed did we leave our selves Barley sufficient for our own Food, for the six Months that we had to expect our Crop, that is to say, reckoning from the time we set our Seed aside for sowing; for it is not to be supposed it is six Months in the Ground in the Country.
Having now Society enough, and our Number being sufficient to put us out of Fear of the Savages, if they had come, unless their Number had been very great, we went freely all over the Island, where-ever we found Occasion; and as here we had our Escape or Deliverance upon our Thoughts, it was impossible, at least for me, to have the Means of it out of mine; to this Purpose, I mark'd out several Trees which I thought fit for our Work, and I set Friday and his Father to cutting them down; and then I caused the Spaniard, to whom I imparted my Thought on that Affair, to oversee and direct their Work. I shewed them with what indefatigable Pains I had hewed a large Tree into single Planks, and I caused them to do the like, till they had made about a Dozen large Planks of good Oak, near 2 Foot road, 35 Foot long, and from 2 Inches to 4 Inches thick: hat prodigious Labour it took up, any one may imagine. At the same time I contriv'd to encrease my little Flock of tame Goats as much as I could; and to this Purpose, I made Friday and the Spaniard go out one Day, and my self with Friday the next Day; for we took our Turns: And by is Means we got above 20 young Kids to breed up with the rest; for when-ever we shot the Dam, we saved the Kids, and added them to our Flock: But above all, the Season for curing the Grapes coming on, I caused such a prodigious Quantity to be hung up in the Sun, that I believe, had we been at Alicant where the Raisins of the Sun are cur'd, we could have fill'd 60 or 80 Barrels; and these with our Bread was a great Part of our Food, and very good living too, I assure you; for it is an exceeding nourishing Food.
It was now Harvest, and our Crop in good Order; it was not the most plentiful Encrease I had seen in the Island, but however it was enough to answer our End; for from our 22 Bushels of Barley, we brought in and thrashed out above 220 Bushels; and the like in Proportion of the Rice, which was Store enough for our Food to the next Harvest, tho' all the 16 Spaniards had been on Shore with me; or if we had been ready for a Voyage, it would very plentifully have victualled our Ship, to have carry'd us to any Part of the World, that is to say, of America.
When we had thus hous'd and secur'd our Magazine of Corn, we fell to Work to make more Wicker Work, (viz.) great Baskets in which we kept it; and the Spaniard was very handy and dexterous at this Part, and often blam'd me that I did not make some things, for Defence, of this Kind of Work; but I saw no Need of it.
And now having a full Supply of Food for all the Guests I expected, I gave the Spaniard Leave to go over to the Main, to see what he could do with those he had left behind him there. I gave him a strict Charge in Writing, Not to bring any Man with him, who would not first swear in the Presence of himself and of the old Savage, That he would no way injure, fight with, or attack the Person he should find in the Island, who was so kind to send for them in order to their Deliverance; but that they would stand by and defend him against all such Attempts, and wherever they went, would be entirely under and subjected to his Commands; and that this should be put in Writing, and signed with their Hands: How we were to have this done, when I knew they had neither Pen or Ink; that indeed was a Question which we never asked.
Under these Instructions, the Spaniard, and the old Savage the Father of Friday, went away in one of the Canoes, which they might be said to come in, or rather were brought in, when they came as Prisoners to be devour'd by the Savages.
I gave each of them a Musket with a Firelock on it, and about eight Charges of Powder and Ball, charging them to be very good Husbands of both, and not to use either of them but upon urgent Occasion.
This was a chearful Work, being the first Measures used by me in View of my Deliverance for now 27 Years and some Days. I gave them Provisions of Bread, and of dry'd Grapes, sufficient for themselves for many Days, and sufficient for all their Country-men for about eight Days time; and wishing them a good Voyage, I see them go, agreeing with them about a Signal they should hang out at their Return, by which I should know them again, when they came back, at a Distance, before they came on Shore.
They went away with a fair Gale on the Day that the Moon was at Full by my Account, in the Month of October: But as for an exact Reckoning of Days, after I had once lost it I could never recover it again; nor had I kept even the Number of Years so punctually, as to be sure that I was right, tho' as it prov'd, when I afterwards examin'd my Account, I found I had kept a true Reckoning of Years.
It was no less than eight Days I had waited for them, when a Strange and unforeseen Accident interveen'd, of which the like has not perhaps been heard of in History: I was fast asleep in my Hutch one Morning, when my Man Friday came running in to me, and call'd aloud, Master, Master, they are come, they are come.
I jump'd up, and regardless of Danger, I went out, as soon as I could get my Cloaths on, thro' my little Grove, which by the Way was by this time grown to be a very thick Wood; I say, regardless of Danger, I went without my Arms, which was not my Custom to do: But I was surpriz'd, when turning my Eyes to the Sea, I presently saw a Boat at about a League and half's Distance, standing in for the Shore, with a Shoulder of Mutton Sail, as they call it; and the Wind blowing pretty fair to bring them in; also I observ'd presently, that they did not come from that Side which the Shore lay on, but from the Southermost End of the Island: Upon this I call'd Friday in, and bid him lie close, for these were not the People we look'd for, and that we might not know yet whether they were Friends or Enemies.
Precautions Against Surprise--Robinson Discovers that His Island Has Been Visited by CannibalsI immediately went to Work with this Piece of Ground, and in less than a Month's Time, I had so fenc'd it round, that my Flock or Herd, call it which you please, who were not so wild now as at first they might be supposed to be, were well enough secur'd in it. So, without any farther Delay, I removed ten young She-Goats and two He-Goats to this Piece; and when they were there, I continued to perfect the Fence till I had made it as secure as the other, which, however, I did at more Leisure, and it took me up more Time by a great deal.
All this Labour I was at the Expence of, purely from my Apprehensions on the Account of the Print of a Man's Foot which I had seen; for as yet I never saw any human Creature come near the Island, and I had now liv'd two Years under these Uneasinesses, which indeed made my Life much less comfortable than it was before; as may well be imagin'd by any who know what it is to live in the constant Snare of the Fear of Man; and this I must observe with Grief too, that the Discomposure of my Mind had too great Impressions also upon the religious Part of my Thoughts, for the Dread and Terror of falling into the Hands of Savages and Canibals, lay so upon my Spirits, that I seldom found my self in a due Temper for Application to my Maker, at least not with the sedate Calmness and Resignation of Soul which I was wont to do; I rather pray'd to God as under great Affliction and Pressure of Mind, surrounded with Danger, and in Expectation every Night of being murther'd and devour'd before Morning; and I must testify from my Experience, that a Temper of Peace, Thankfulness, Love and Affection, is much more the proper Frame for Prayer than that of Terror and Discomposure; and that under the Dread of Mischief impending, a Man is no more fit for a comforting Performance of the Duty of praying to God, than he is for Repentance on a sick Bed: For these Discomposures affect the Mind as the others do the Body; and the Discomposure of the Mind must necessarily be as great a Disability as that of the Body, and much greater, Praying to God being properly an Act Of the Mind, not of the Body.
But to go on; After I had thus secur'd one Part of my little living Stock, I went about the whole Island, searching for another private Place, to make such another Deposit; when wandring more to the West Point of the Island, than I had ever done yet, and looking out to Sea, I thought I saw a Boat upon the Sea, at a great Distance; I had found a Prospective Glass, or two, in one of the Seamen's Chests, which I sav'd out of our Ship; but I had it not about me, and this was so remote, that I could not tell what to make of it; though I look'd at it till my Eyes were not able to hold to look any longer; whether it was a Boat, or not, I do not know; but as I descended from the Hill, I could see no more of it, so I gave it over; only I resolv'd to go no more out without a Prospective Glass in my Pocket.
When I was come down the Hill, to the End of the Island, where indeed I had never been before, I was presently convinc'd, that the seeing the Print of a Man's Foot, was not such a strange Thing in the Island as I imagin'd; and but that it was a special Providence that I was cast upon the Side of the Island, where the Savages never came: I should easily have known, that nothing was more frequent than for the Canoes from the Main, when they happen'd to be a little too far out at Sea, to shoot over to that Side of the Island for Harbour; likewise as they often met, and fought in their Canoes, the Victors having taken any Prisoners, would bring them over to this Shore, where according to their dreadful Customs, being all Canibals, they would kill and eat them; of which hereafter.
When I was come down the Hill, to the Shore, as I said above, being the S.W. Point of the Island, I was perfectly confounded and amaz'd; nor is it possible for me to express the Horror of my Mind, at seeing the Shore spread with Skulls, Hands, Feet, and other Bones of humane Bodies; and particularly I observ'd a Place where there had been a Fire made, and a Circle dug in the Earth, like a Cockpit, where it is suppos'd the Savage Wretches had sat down to their inhumane Feastings upon the Bodies of their Fellow-Creatures. I was so astonish'd with the Sight of these Things, that I entertain'd no Notions of any Danger to my self from it for a long while; All my Apprehensions were bury'd in the Thoughts of such a Pitch of inhuman, hellish Brutality, and the Horror of the Degeneracy of Humane Nature; which though I had heard of often, yet I never had so near a View of before; in short, I turn'd away my Face from the horrid Spectacle; my Stomach grew sick, and I was just at the Point of Fainting, when Nature discharg'd the Disorder from my Stomach; and having vomited with an uncommon violence, I was a little reliev'd; but cou'd not bear to stay in the Place a Moment; so I gat me up the Hill again, with the Speed I cou'd, and walk'd on towards my own Habitation.
When I came a little out of that Part of the Island, I stood a while as amaz'd; and then recovering my self, I look'd with the utmost Affection of my Soul, and with a Flood Tears in my Eyes, gave God Thanks that had cast my Lot in a Part of the World, where I was distinguish'd from such dreadful Creatures as these; and that though I had esteem'd my present Condition very miserable, had yet given me so many Comforts in it, that I had still more to give Thanks for than to complain of; and this above all, that had even in this miserable Condition been comforted with the Knowledge of himself, and the Hope of his Blessing, which was a Felicity more than sufficiently equivalent to all the Misery which I had suffer'd, or could suffer.
In this Frame of Thankfulness, I went Home to my Castle, and began to be much easier now, as to the Safety my Circumstances, than ever I was before; for I observ'd, that these Wretches never came to this Island in search of what they could get; perhaps not seeking, not wanting, or not expecting any Thing here; and having often, no doubt, been up in the cover'd woody Part of it, without finding any Thing to their Purpose. I knew I had been here now almost eighteen Years, and never saw the least Foot-steps of Humane Creature there before; and I might be here eighteen more, as entirely conceal'd as I was now, if I did not discover my self to them, which I had no manner of Occasion to do, it being my only Business to keep my self entirely conceal'd where I was, unless I found a better sort of Creatures than Canibals to make my self known to.
Yet I entertain'd such an Abhorrence of the Savage Wretches, that I have been speaking of, and of the wretched inhuman Custom of their devouring and eating one another up, that I continu'd pensive, and sad, and kept close within my own Circle for almost two Years after this: When I say my own Circle, I mean by it, my three Plantations, viz. my Castle, my Country Seat, which I call'd my Bower, and my Enclosure in the Woods; nor did I look after this for any other Use than as an Enclosure for my Goats; for the Aversion which Nature gave me to these hellish Wretches, was such, that I was fearful of seeing them, as of seeing the Devil himself; nor did I so much as go to look after my Boat, in all this Time; but began rather to think of making me another; for I cou'd not think of ever making any more Attempts, to bring the other Boat round the Island to me, least I should meet with some of these Creatures at Sea, in which, if I had happen'd to have fallen into their Hands, I knew what would have been my Lot.
Time however, and the Satisfaction I had, that I was in no Danger of being discover'd by these People, began to wear off my Uneasiness about them; and I began to live just in the same compos'd Manner as before; only with this Difference, that I used more Caution, and kept my Eyes more about me than I did before, least I should happen to be seen by any of them; and particularly, I was more cautious of firing my Gun, least any of them being on the Island, should happen to hear of it; and it was therefore a very good Providence to me, that I had furnish'd my self with a tame Breed of Goats, that I needed not hunt any more about the Woods, or shoot at them; and if I did catch any of them after this, it was by Traps, and Snares, as I had done before; so that for two Years after this, I believe I never fir'd my Gun once off, though I never went out without it; and which was more, as I had sav'd three Pistols out of the Ship, I always carry'd them out with me, or at least two of them, sticking them in my Goat-skin Belt; also I furbish'd up one of the great Cutlashes, that I had out of the Ship, and made me a Belt to put it on also; so that I was now a most formidable Fellow to look at, when I went abroad, if you add to the former Description of my self, the Particular of two Pistols, and a great broad Sword, hanging at my Side in a Belt, but without a Scabbard.
Things going on thus, as I have said, for some Time; I seem'd, excepting these Cautions, to be reduc'd to my former calm, sedate Way of Living, all these Things tended to shewing me more and more how far my Condition was from being miserable, compar'd to some others; nay, to many other Particulars of Life, which it might have pleased God to have made my Lot. It put me upon reflecting, How little repining there would be among Mankind, at any Condition of Life, if People would rather compare their Condition with those that are worse, in order to be thankful, than be always Comparing them with those which are better, to assist their Murmurings and Complainings.
As in my present Condition there were not really many Things which I wanted; so indeed I thought that the Frights I had been in about these Savage Wretches, and the Concern I had been in for my own Preservation, had taken off the Edge of my Invention for my own Conveniences; and I had dropp'd a good Design, which I had once bent my Thoughts too much upon; and that was, to try if I could not make some of my Barley into Malt, and then try to brew my self some Beer: This was really a whimsical Thought, and I reprov'd my self often for the Simplicity of it; for I presently saw there would be the want of several Things necessary to the making my Beer, that it would be impossible for me to supply; as First, Casks to preserve it in, which was a Thing, that as I have observ'd already, I cou'd never compass; no, though I spent not many Days, but Weeks, nay, Months in attempting it, but to no purpose. In the next Place, I had no Hops to make it keep, no Yeast to make it work, no Copper or Kettle to make it boil; and yet all these Things, notwithstanding, I verily believe, had not these Things interven'd, I mean the Frights and Terrors I was in about the Savages, I had undertaken it, and perhaps brought it to pass too; for I seldom gave any Thing over without accomplishing it, when I once had it in my Head enough to begin it.
But my Invention now run quite another Way; for Night and Day, I could think of nothing but how I might destroy some of these Monsters in their cruel bloody Entertainment, and if possible, save the Victim they should bring hither to destroy. It would take up a larger Volume than this whole Work is intended to be, to set down all the Contrivances I hatch'd, or rather brooded upon in my Thought, for the destroying these Creatures, or at least frighting them, so as to prevent their coming hither any more; but all was abortive, nothing could be possible to take effect, unless I was to be there to do it my self; and what could one Man do among them, when perhaps there might be twenty or thirty of them together, with their Darts, or their Bows and Arrows, with which they could shoot as true to a Mark, I could with my Gun?
Sometime I contriv'd to dig a Hole under the Place where they made their Fire, and put in five or six Pound of Gun-powder, which when they kindled their Fire, would consequently take Fire, and blow up all that was near it; but as in the first Place I should be very loth to wast so much Powder upon them, my Store being now within the Quantity of one Barrel; so neither could I be sure of its going off' at any certain Time, when it might surprise them, and at best, that it would do little more than just blow the Fire about their Ears and fright them, but not sufficient to make them forsake the Place; so I laid it aside, and then propos'd, that I would place my self in Ambush, in some convenient Place, with my three Guns, all double loaded; and in the middle of their bloody Ceremony, let fly at them, when I should be sure to kill or wound perhaps two or three at every shoot; and then falling in upon them with my three Pistols, and my Sword, I made no doubt, but that if there was twenty I should kill them all: This Fancy pleas'd my Thoughts for some Weeks, and I was so full of it, that I often dream'd of it; and sometimes that I was just going to let fly at them in my Sleep.
I went so far with it in my Imagination, that I employ'd my self several Days to find out proper Places to put my self in Ambuscade, as I said, to watch for them; and I went frequently to the Place it self, which was now grown more familiar to me; and especially while my Mind was thus fill'd with Thoughts of Revenge, and of a bloody putting twenty or thirty of them to the Sword, as I may call it, the Horror I had at the Place, and at the Signals of the barbarous Wretches devouring one another, abated my Malice.
Well, at length I found a Place in the Side of the Hill, where I was satisfy'd I might securely wait, till I saw any of their Boats coming, and might then, even before they would be ready to come on Shore, convey my self unseen into Thickets of Trees, in one of which there was a Hollow large enough to conceal me entirely; and where I might sit, and observe all their bloody Doings, and take my full aim at their Heads, when they were so close together, as that it would be next to impossible that I should miss my Shoot, or that I could fail wounding three or four of them at the first Shoot.
In this Place then I resolv'd to fix my Design, and accordingly I prepar'd two Muskets, and my ordinary Fowling Piece. The two Muskets I loaded with a Brace of Slugs each, and four or five smaller Bullets, about the Size of Pistol Bullets; and the Fowling Piece I loaded with near a Handful of Swan-shot, of the largest Size; I also loaded my Pistols with about four Bullets each, and in this Posture, well provided with Ammunition for a second and third Charge, I prepar'd my self for my Expedition.
After I had thus laid the Scheme of my Design, and in my Imagination put it in Practice, I continually made my Tour every Morning up to the Top of the Hill, which was from my Castle, as I call'd it, about three Miles, or more, to see if I cou'd observe any Boats upon the Sea, coming near the Island, or standing over towards it; but I began to tire of this hard Duty, after I had for two or three Months constantly kept my Watch; but came always back without any Discovery, there having not in all that Time been the least Appearance, not only on, or near the Shore; but not on the whole Ocean, so far as my Eyes or Glasses could reach every Way.
As long as I kept up my daily Tour to the Hill, to look out; so long also I kept up the Vigour of my Design, and my Spirits seem'd to be all the while in a suitable Form, for so outragious an Execution as the killing twenty or thirty naked Savages, for an Offence which I had not at all entred into a Discussion of in my Thoughts, any farther than my Passions were at first fir'd by the Horror I conceiv'd at the natural Custom of that People of the Country, who it had been suffer'd by Providence in his wise Disposition of the World, to have no other Guide than that of their own abominable and vitiated Passions; and constantly were left, and perhaps had been so for some Ages, to act: horrid Things, and receive such dreadful Customs, as nothing but Nature entirely abandon'd of Heaven, and acted by hellish Degeneracy, could have run them into: But now, as I have said, I began to be weary of the fruitless Excursion, which I had made so long, and so far, every Morning in vain, so my Opinion of the Action it self began to alter, and I began with cooler and calmer Thoughts to consider what it was I was going to engage in. What Authority, or Call I had, to pretend to be Judge and Executioner upon these Men as Criminals, whom Heaven had thought fit for so many Ages to suffer unpunish'd, to go on, and to be as it were, the Executioners of his Judgments one upon another. How far these People were Offenders against me, and what Right I had to engage in the Quarrel of that Blood, which they shed promiscuously one upon another. I debated this very often with my self thus; How do I know what God himself judges in this particular Case? is certain these People either do not commit this as a Crime; it is not against their own Consciences reproving, or their Light reproaching them. They do not know it be Offence, and then commit it in Defiance of Divine Justice, we do in almost all the Sins we commit. They think it no ore a Crime to kill a Captive taken in War, than we do kill an Ox; nor to eat humane Flesh, than we do to eat Mutton.
When I had consider'd this a little, it follow'd necessarily, that I was certainly in the Wrong in it, that these People were not Murtherers in the Sense that I had before condemn'd them, in my Thoughts; any more than those Christians were Murtherers, who often put to Death the Prisoners taken in Battle; or more frequently, upon many Occasions, put whole Troops of Men to the Sword, without giving Quarter, though they threw down their Arms and submitted.
In the next Place it occurr'd to me, that albeit the Usage they thus gave one another, was thus brutish and inhuman; yet it was really nothing to me: These People had done me Injury. That if they attempted me, or I saw it necessary my immediate Preservation to fall upon them, something might be said for it; but that as I was yet out of their Power, and they had really no Knowledge of me, and consequently sign upon me; and therefore it could not be just for to fall upon them. That this would justify the Conduct the Spaniards in all their Barbarities practis'd in America, and where they destroy'd Millions of these People, who however they were Idolaters and Barbarians, and had several bloody and barbarous Rites in their Customs, such as sacrificing human Bodies to their Idols, were yet, as to the Spaniards, very innocent People; and that the rooting them out of the Country, is spoken of with the utmost Abhorrence and Detestation, by even the Spaniards themselves, at this Time; and by all other Christian Nations of Europe, as a meer Butchery, a bloody and unnatural Piece of Cruelty, unjustifiable either to God or Man; and such, as for which the very Name of a Spaniard is reckon'd to be frightful and terrible to all People of Humanity, or of Christian Compassion: As if the Kingdom of Spain were particularly Eminent for the Product of a Race of Men, who were without Principles of Tenderness, or the common Bowels of Pity to the Miserable, which is reckon'd to be a Mark of generous Temper in the Mind.
These Considerations really put me to a Pause, and to a kind of a Full-stop; and I began by little and little to be off of my Design, and to conclude, I had taken wrong Measures in my Resolutions to attack the Savages; that it was not my Business to meddle with them, unless they first attack'd me, and this it was my Business if possible to prevent; but that if I were discover'd, and attack'd, then I knew my Duty.
On the other hand, I argu'd with my self, That this really was the way not to deliver my self, but entirely to ruin and destroy my self; for unless I was sure to kill every one that not only should be on Shore at that Time, but that should ever come on Shore afterwards, if but one of them escap'd, to tell their Country People what had happen'd, they would come over again by Thousands to revenge the Death of their Fellows, and 1 should only bring upon my self a certain Destruction, which at present I had no manner of occasion for.
Upon the whole I concluded, That neither in Principle or in Policy, I ought one way or other to concern my self in this Affair. That my Business was by all possible Means to conceal my self from them, and not to leave the least Signal to them to guess by, that there were any living Creatures upon the Island; I mean of humane Shape.
Religion joyn'd in with this Prudential, and I was convinc'd now many Ways, that I was perfectly out of my Duty, when I was laying all my bloody Schemes for the Destruction of innocent Creatures, I mean innocent as to me: As to the Crimes they were guilty of towards one another, I had nothing to do with them; they were National, and I ought to leave them to the Justice of God, who is the Governour of Nations, and knows how by National Punishments to make a just Retribution for National Offences; and to bring publick Judgments upon those who offend in a publick Manner, by such Ways as best pleases him.
This appear'd so clear to me now, that nothing was a greater Satisfaction to me, than that I had not been suffer'd to do a Thing which I now saw so much Reason to believe would have been no less a Sin, than that of wilful Murther, if I had committed it; and I gave most humble Thanks on my Knees to God, that had thus deliver'd me from Blood-Guiltiness; beseeching him to grant me the Protection of his Providence, that I might not fall into the Hands of the Barbarians; or that I might not lay my Hands upon them, unless I had a more clear Call from Heaven to do it, in Defence of my own Life.
Robinson Discovers Himself to the English Captain--Assists Him in Reducing His Mutinous Crew, Who Submit to HimIt was just at the Top of High-Water when these People came on Shore, and while partly they stood parlying with the Prisoners they brought, and partly while they rambled about to see what kind of a Place they were in; they had carelessly staid till the Tide was spent, and the Water was ebb'd considerably away, leaving their Boat a-ground.
They had left two Men in the Boat, who as I found afterwards, having drank a little too much Brandy, fell a-sleep; however, one of them waking Sooner than the other, and finding the Boat too fast a-ground for him to stir it, hollow'd for the rest who were straggling about, upon which they all Soon came to the Boat; but it was past all their Strength to launch her, the Boat being very heavy, and the Shore on that Side being a soft ousy Sand, almost like a Quick-Sand.
In this Condition, like true Seamen who are perhaps the and least of all Mankind given to lore-thought, they gave it over, and away they stroll'd about the Country again; and I heard one of them say aloud to another, calling them off from the Boat, Why let her alone, Jack, can't ye, she will float next Tide; by which I was fully confirm'd in the main Enquiry, of what Countrymen they were.
All this while I kept my self very close, not once daring to stir out of my Castle, any farther than to my Place of Observation, near the Top of the Hill; and very glad I was, to think how well it was fortify'd: I knew it was no less than ten Hours before the Boat could be on float again, and by that Time it would be dark, and I might be at more Liberty to see their Motions, and to hear their Discourse, if they had any.
In the mean Time, I fitted my self up for a Battle, as before; though with more Caution, knowing I had to do with another kind of Enemy than I had at first: I order'd Friday also, who I had made an excellent Marks-Man with his Gun, to load himself with Arms: I took my self two Fowling-Pieces, and I gave him three Muskets; my Figure indeed was very fierce; I had my formidable Goat-Skin Coat on, with the great Cap I have mention'd, a naked Sword by my Side, two Pistols in my Belt, and a Gun upon each Shoulder.
It was my Design, as I said above, not to have made any Attempt till it was Dark: But about Two a Clock, being the Heat of the Day, I found that in short they were all gone straggling into the Woods, and as I thought were laid down to Sleep. The three poor distressed Men, too Anxious for their Condition to get any Sleep, were however set down under the Shelter of a great Tree, at about a quarter of a Mile from me, and as I thought out of sight of any of the rest.
Upon this I resolv'd to discover my self to them, and learn something of their Condition: Immediately I march'd in the Figure as above, my Man Friday at a good Distance behind me, as formidable for his Arms as I, but not making quite so staring a Spectre-like Figure as I did.
I came as near them undiscover'd as I could, and then before any of them saw me, I call'd aloud to them in Spanish, What are ye Gentlemen?
They started up at the Noise, but were ten times more confounded when they saw me, and the uncouth Figure that I made. They made no Answer at all, but I thought I perceiv'd them just going to fly from me, when I spoke to them in English, Gentlemen, said I, do not be surpriz'd at me; perhaps you may have a Friend near you when you did not expect it. He must be sent directly from Heaven then, said one of them very gravely to me, and pulling off his Hat at the same time to me, for our Condition is past the Help of Man. All Help is from Heaven, Sir, said I. But can you put a Stranger in the way how to help you, for you seem to me to be in some great Distress? I saw you when you landed, and when you Seem'd to make Applications to the Brutes that came with you, I saw one of them lift up his Sword to kill you.
The poor Man with Tears running down his Face, and trembling, looking like one astonish'd, return'd, Am I talking to God, or Man! Is it a real Man, or an Angel! Be in no fear about that, Sir, said I, if God had sent an Angel to relieve you, he would have come better Cloath'd, and Arm'd after another manner than you see me in; pray lay aside your Fears, I am a Man, an English-man, and dispos'd to assist you, you see; I have one Servant only; we have Arms and Ammunition; tell us freely, Can we serve you ? - What is your Case?
Our Case, said he, Sir, is too long to tell you, while our Murtherers are so near; but in Short, Sir, I was Commander of that Ship, my Men have Mutinied against me; they have been hardly prevail'd on not to Murther me, and at last have set me on Shore in this desolate Place, with these two Men with me; one my Mate, the other a Passenger, where we expected to Perish, believing the Place to be uninhabited, and know not yet what to think of it.
Where are those Brutes, your Enemies, said I, do you know where they are gone? There they lye, Sir, Said he, pointing to a Thicket of Trees; my Heart trembles, for fear they have seen us, and heard you speak, if they have, they will certainly Murther us all.
Have they any Fire-Arms, said I, He answered they had only two Pieces, and one which they left in the Boat. Well then, Said I, leave the rest to me; I see they are all asleep, it is an easie thing to kill them all; but shall we rather take them Prisoners? He told me there were two desperate Villains among them, that it was scarce safe to shew any Mercy to; but if they were secur'd, he believ'd all the rest would return to their Duty. I ask'd him, which they were? He told me he could not at that distance describe them; but he would obey my Orders in any thing I would direct. Well, says I, let us retreat out of their View or Hearing, least they awake, and we will resolve further; so they willingly went back with me, till the Woods cover'd us from them.
Look you, Sir, said I, if I venture upon your Deliverance, are you willing to make two Conditions with me? he anticipated my Proposals, by telling me, that both he and the Ship, if recover'd, should be wholly Directed and Commanded by me in every thing; and if the Ship was not recover'd, he would live and dye with me in what Part of the World soever I would send him; and the two other Men said the same.
Well, says I, my Conditions are but two. 1. That while you stay on this Island with me, you will not pretend to any Authority here; and if I put Arms into your Hands, you will upon all Occasions give them up to me, and do no Prejudice to me or mine, upon this Island, and in the mean time be govern'd by my Orders.
2. That if the Ship is, or may be recover'd, you will carry me and my Man to England Passage free.
He gave me all the Assurances that the Invention and Faith of Man could devise, that he would comply with these most reasonable Demands, and besides would owe his Life to me, and acknowledge it upon all Occasions as long as he liv'd.
Well then, said I, here are three Muskets for you, with Powder and Ball; tell me next what you think is proper to be done. He shew'd all the Testimony of his Gratitude that he was able; but offer'd to be wholly guided by me. I told him I thought it was hard venturing any thing; but the best Method I could think of was to fire upon them at once, as they lay; and if any was not kill'd at the first Volley, and offered to submit, we might save them, and so put it wholly upon God's Providence to direct the Shot.
He said very modestly, that he was loath to kill them, if he could help it, but that those two were incorrigible Villains, and had been the Authors of all the Mutiny in the Ship, and if they escaped, we should be undone still; for they would go on Board, and bring the whole Ship's Company, and destroy us all. Well then, says I, Necessity legitimates my Advice; for it is the only Way to save our Lives. However, seeing him still cautious of shedding Blood, I told him they should go themselves, and manage as they found convenient.
In the Middle of this Discourse, we heard some of them awake, and soon after, we saw two of them on their Feet, I ask'd him, if either of them were of the Men who he had said were the Heads of the Mutiny? He said, No: Well then, said I, you may let them escape, and Providence seems to have wakned them on Purpose to save themselves. Now, says I, if the rest escape you, it is your Fault.
Animated with this, he took the Musket, I had given him, in his Hand, and a Pistol in his Belt, and his two Comerades with him, with each Man a Piece in his Hand. The two Men who were with him, going first, made some Noise, at which one of the Seamen who was awake, turn'd about, and seeing them coming, cry'd out to the rest; but it was too late then; for the Moment he cry'd out, they fir'd; I mean the two Men, the Captain wisely reserving his own Piece: They had so well aim'd their Shot at the Men they knew, that one of them was kill'd on the Spot, and the other very much wounded; but not being dead, he started up upon his Feet, and call'd eagerly for help to the other; but the Captain stepping to him, told him, 'twas too late to cry for help, he should call upon God to forgive his Villany, and with that Word knock'd him down with the Stock of his Musket, so that he never spoke more: There were three more in the Company, and one of them was also slightly wounded: By this Time I was come, and when they saw their Danger, and that it was in vain to resist, they begg'd for Mercy: The Captain told them, he would spare their Lives, if they would give him any Assurance of their Abhorrence of the Treachery they had been guilty of, and would swear to be faithful to him in recovering the Ship, and afterwards in carrying her back to Jamaica, from whence they came: They gave him all the Protestations of their Sincerity that could be desir'd, and he was willing to believe them, and spare their Lives, which I was not against, only that I oblig'd him to keep them bound Hand and Foot while they were upon the Island.
While this was doing, I sent Friday with the Captain's Mate to the Boat, with Orders to secure her, and bring away the Oars, and Sail, which they did; and by and by, three straggling Men that were (happily for them) parted from the rest, came back upon hearing the Guns fir'd, and seeing their Captain, who before was their Prisoner, now their Conqueror, they submitted to be bound also; and so our Victory was compleat.
It now remain'd, that the Captain and I should enquire into one another's Circumstances: I began first, and told him my whole History, which he heard with an Attention even to Amazement; and particularly, at the wonderful Manner of my being furnish'd with Provisions and Ammunition; and indeed, as my Story is a whole Collection of Wonders, it affected him deeply; but when he reflected from thence upon himself, and how I seem'd to have been preserv'd there, on purpose to save his Life, the Tears ran down his Face, and he could not speak a Word more.
After this Communication was at an End, I carry'd him and his two Men into my Apartment, leading them in, just where I came out, viz. At the Top of the House, where I refresh'd them with such Provisions as I had, and shew'd them all the Contrivances I had made, during my long, long, inhabiting that Place.
All I shew'd them, all I Said to them, was perfectly amazing; but above all, the Captain admir'd my Fortification, and how perfectly I had conceal'd my Retreat with a Grove of Trees, which having been now planted near twenty Years, and the Trees growing much faster than in England, was become a little Wood, and so thick, that it was unpassable in any Part of it, but at that one Side, where I had reserv'd my little winding Passage into it: I told him, this was my Castle, and my Residence; but that I had a Seat in the Country, as most Princes have, whither I could retreat upon Occasion, and I would shew him that too another Time; but at present, our Business was to consider how to recover the Ship: He agreed with me as to that; but told me, he was perfectly at a Loss what Measures to take; for that there were still six and twenty Hands on board, who having entred into a cursed Conspiracy, by which they had all forfeited their Lives to the Law, would be harden'd in it now by Desperation; and would carry it on, knowing that if they were reduc'd, they should be brought to the Gallows, as soon as they came to England, or to any of the English Colonies; and that therefore there would be no attacking them, with so small a Number as we were.
I mus'd for some Time upon what he had said; and found it was a very rational Conclusion; and that therefore something was to be resolv'd on very speedily, as well to draw the Men on board into some Snare for their Surprize, as to prevent their Landing upon us, and destroying us; upon this it presently occurr'd to me, that in a little while the Ship's Crew wondring what was become of their Comrades, and of the Boat, would certainly come on Shore in their other Boat, to see for them, and that then perhaps they might come arm'd, and be too strong for us; this he allow'd was rational.
Upon this, I told him the first Thing we had to do, was to stave the Boat, which lay upon the Beach, so that they might not carry her off; and taking every Thing out of her, leave her so far useless as not to be fit to swim; accordingly we went on board, took the Arms which were left on board, out of her, and whatever else we found there, which was a Bottle of Brandy, and another of Rum, a few Bisket Cakes, a Horn of Powder, and a great Lump of Sugar, in a Piece of Canvas; the Sugar was five or six Pounds; all which was very welcome to me, especially the Brandy, and Sugar, of which I had had none left for many Years.
When we had carry'd all these Things on Shore (the Oars, Mast, Sail, and Rudder of the Boat, were carry'd away before, as above) we knock'd a great Hole in her Bottom, that if they had come strong enough to master us, yet they could not carry off the Boat.
Indeed, it was not much in my Thoughts, that we could be able to recover the Ship; but my View was that if they went away without the Boat, I did not much question to make her fit again, to carry us away to the Leeward Islands, and call upon our Friends, the Spaniards, in my Way, for I had them still in my Thoughts.
While we were thus preparing our Designs, and had first, by main Strength heav'd the Boat up upon the Beach, so high that the Tide would not fleet her off at High-Water-Mark; and besides, had broke a Hole in her Bottom, too big to be quickly stopp'd, and were sat down musing what we should do; we heard the Ship fire a Gun, and saw her make a Waft with her Antient, as a Signal for the Boat to come on board; but no Boat stirr'd; and they fir'd several Times, making other Signals for the Boat.
At last, when all their Signals and Firings prov'd fruitless, and they found the Boat did not stir, we saw them by the Help of my Glasses, hoist another Boat out, and row towards the Shore; and we found as they approach'd, that there was no less than ten Men in her, and that they had Fire-Arms with them.
As the Ship lay almost two Leagues from the Shore, we had a full View of them as they came, and a plain Sight of the Men even of their Faces, because the Tide having set them a little to the East of the other Boat, they row'd up under Shore, to come to the same Place, where the other had landed, and where the Boat lay.
By this Means, I say, we had a full View of them, and the Captain knew the Persons and Characters of all the Men in the Boat, of whom he said, that there were three very honest Fellows, who he was sure were led into this Conspiracy by the rest, being over-power'd and frighted.
But that as for the Boatswain, who it seems was the chief Officer among them, and all the rest, they were as outragious as any of the Ship's Crew, and were no doubt made desperate in their new Enterprize, and terribly apprehensive he was, that they would be too powerful for us.
I smil'd at him, and told him, that Men in our Circumstances were past the Operation of Fear: That seeing almost every Condition that could be, was better than that which we were suppos'd to be in, we ought to expect that the Consequence, whether Death or Life, would be sure to be a Deliverance: I ask'd him, What he thought of the Circumstances of my Life? And, Whether a Deliverance were not worth venturing for? And where, Sir, said I, is your Belief of my being preserv'd here on purpose to save your Life, which elevated you a little while ago? For my Part, said I, there seems to be but one Thing amiss in all the Prospect of it; What's that? Says he; why, said I, 'Tis, that as you say, there are three or four honest Fellows among them, which should be spar'd; had they been all of the wicked Part of the Crew, I should have thought God's Providence had singled them out to deliver them into your Hands; for depend upon it, every Man of them that comes a-shore are our own, and shall die, or live, as they behave to us.
As I spoke this with a rais'd Voice and chearful Countenance, I found it greatly encourag'd him; so we set vigorously to our Business: We had upon the first Appearance of the Boat's coming from the Ship, consider'd of separating our Prisoners, and had indeed secur'd them effectually.
Two of them, of whom the Captain was less assur'd than ordinary, I sent with Friday, and one of the three (deliver'd Men) to my Cave, where they were remote enough, and out of Danger of being heard or discover'd, or of finding their way out of the Woods, if they could have deliver'd themselves: Here they left them bound, but gave them Provisions, They promis'd them if they continu'd there quietly, to give them their Liberty in a Day or two; but that if they attempted their Escape, they should be put to Death without Mercy: They promis'd faithfully to bear their Confinement with Patience, and were very thankful that they had such good Usage, as to have Provisions, and a Light left them; for Friday gave them Candles (such as we made our selves) for their Comfort; and they did not know but that he stood Sentinel over them at the Entrance.
The other Prisoners had better Usage; two of them were kept pinion'd indeed, because the Captain was not free to trust them; but the other two were taken into my Service upon their Captain's Recommendation, and upon their solemnly engaging to live and die with us; so with them and the three honest Men, we were seven Men, well arm'd; and I made no doubt we shou'd be able to deal well enough with the Ten that were a coming, considering that the Captain had said, there were three or four honest Men among them also.
As soon as they got to the Place where their other Boat lay, they run their Boat in to the Beach, and came all on Shore, haling the Boat up after them, which I was glad to see; for I was afraid they would rather have left the Boat at an Anchor, some Distance from the Shore, with some Hands in her, to guard her; and so we should not be able to seize the Boat.
Being on Shore, the first Thing they did, they ran all to their other Boat, and it was easy to see that they were under a great Surprize, to find her stripp'd as above, of all that was in her, and a great hole in her Bottom.
After they had mus'd a while upon this, they set up two or three great Shouts, hollowing with all their might, to try if they could make their Companions hear; but all was to no purpose: Then they came all close in a Ring, and fir'd a Volley of their small Arms, which indeed we heard, and the Ecchos made the Woods ring; but it was all One, those in the Cave we were sure could not hear, and those in our keeping, though they heard it well enough, yet durst give no Answer to them.
They were so astonish'd at the Surprize of this, that as they told us afterwards, they resolv'd to go all on board again to their Ship, and let them know, that the Men were all murther'd, and the Long-Boat stav'd; accordingly they immediately launch'd their Boat again, and gat all of them on board.
The Captain was terribly amaz'd, and even confounded at this, believing they would go on board the Ship again, and set Sail, giving their Comrades for lost, and so he should still lose the Ship, which he was in Hopes we should have recover'd; but he was quickly as much frighted the other way.
They had not been long put off with the Boat, but we perceiv'd them all coming on Shore again; but with this new Measure in their Conduct, which it seems they consulted together upon, viz. To leave three Men in the Boat, and the rest to go on Shore, and go 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; for our Seizing those Seven Men on Shore would be no Advantage to us, if we let the Boat escape; because they would then row away to the Ship, and then the rest of them would be sure to weigh and set Sail, and so our recovering the Ship would be lost.
However, we had no Remedy, but to wait and see what the Issue of Things might present; the seven Men came on Shore, and the three who remain'd in the Boat, put her off to a good Distance from the Shore, and came to an Anchor to wait for them; so that it was impossible for us to come at them in the Boat.
Those that came on Shore, 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 perceive us: We could have been very glad they would have come nearer to us, so that we might have fir'd at them, or that they would have gone farther off, that we might have come abroad.
But when they were come to 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 hollow'd, till they were weary; and not caring it seems to venture far from the Shore, nor far from one another, they sat down together under a Tree, to consider of it: Had they thought fit to have gone to sleep there, as the other Party of them had done, they had done the Jobb for us; but they were too full of Apprehensions of Danger, to venture to go to sleep, though they could not tell what the Danger was they had to fear neither.
The Captain made a very just Proposal to me, upon this Consultation of theirs, viz. That perhaps they would all fire a Volley again, to endeavour to make their Fellows hear, and that we should all Sally upon them, just at the Juncture when their Pieces were all discharg'd, and they would certainly yield, and we should have them without Bloodshed: I lik'd the Proposal, provided it was done while we heard, when they were presently stopp'd by the Creek, where the Water being up, they could not get over, and call'd for the Boat to come up, and Set them over, as indeed I expected.
When they had Set themselves over, I observ'd, that the Boat being gone up a good way into the Creek, and as it were, in a Harbour within the Land, they took one of the three Men out of her to go along with them, and left only two in the Boat, having fastned her to the Stump of a little Tree on the Shore.
This was what I wish'd for, and immediately leaving Friday and the Captain's Mate to their Business, I took the rest with me, and crossing the Creek out of their Sight, we surpriz'd the two Men before they were aware; one of them lying on Shore, and the other being in the Boat; the Fellow on Shore, was between sleeping and waking, and going to start up, the Captain who was foremost, ran in upon him, and knock'd him down, and then call'd out to him in the Boat, to yield, or he was a dead Man.
There needed very few Arguments to perswade a single Man to yield, when he Saw five Men upon him, and his Comrade knock'd down; besides, this was it seems one of the three who were not so hearty in the Mutiny as the rest of the Crew, and therefore was easily perswaded, not only to yield, but afterwards to joyn very sincere with us.
In the mean time, Friday and the Captain's Mate so well manag'd their Business with the rest, that they drew them by hollowing and answering, from one Hill to another, and from one Wood to another, till they not only heartily tyr'd them but left them, where they were very Sure they could not reach back to the Boat, before it was dark; and indeed they were heartily tyr'd themselves also by the Time they came back to us.
We had nothing now to do, but to watch for them, in the Dark, and to fall upon them, so as to make sure work with them.
It was several Hours after Friday came back to me, before 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, and could also hear them answer and complain, how lame and tyr'd they were, and not able to -come any faster, which was very welcome News to us.
At length they came up to the Boat; but 'tis impossible to express their Confusion, when they found the Boat fast a-Ground in the Creek, the Tide ebb'd out, and their two Men gone We could hear them call to one another in a most lamentable Manner, telling one another, they were gotten into an inchanted Island; that either there were Inhabitants in it, and they should all be murther'd, or else there were Devils and Spirits in it, and they should be all carry'd away, and devour'd.
They hallow'd again, and call'd their two Comerades by their Names, a great many times, but no Answer. After some time, we could see them, by the little Light there was, run about wringing their Hands like Men in Despair; and that sometimes they would go and sit down in the Boat to rest themselves, then come ashore again, and walk about again, and so over the same thing again.
My Men would fain have me given them Leave to fall upon them at once in the Dark; but I was willing to take them at some Advantage, so to spare them, and kill as few of them as I could; and especially I was unwilling to hazard the killing any of our own Men, knowing the other 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 order'd Friday and the Captain, to creep upon their Hands and Feet as close to the Ground as they could, that they might not be discover'd, and get as near them as they could possibly, before they offered to fire.
They had not been long in that Posture, but that the Boatswain, who was the principal Ringleader of the Mutiny, and had now shewn himself the most dejected and dispirited of all the rest, came walking towards them with two more of their Crew; the Captain was so eager, as having this principal Rogue so much in his Power, that he could hardly have Patience to let him come so near, as to be sure of him; for they only heard his Tongue before: But when they came nearer, the Captain and Friday starting up on their Feet, let fly at them.
The Boatswain was kill'd upon the Spot, the next Man was Shot into the Body, and fell just by him, tho' he did not die 'till an Hour or two after; and the third run for it.
At the Noise of the Fire, I immediately advanc'd with my whole Army, which was now 8 Men, viz. my self Generalissimo, Friday my Lieutenant-General, the Captain and his two Men, and the three Prisoners of War, who we had trusted with Arms.
We came upon them indeed in the Dark, so that they could not see our Number; and I made the Man we had left in the Boat, who was now one of us, call to them by Name, to try if I could bring them to a Parley, and so might perhaps reduce them to Terms, which fell out just as we desir'd: for deed it was easy to think, as their Condition then was, they would be very willing to capitulate; so he calls out as loud as he could, to one of them, Tom Smith, Tom Smith; Tom Smith answered immediately, Who's that, Robinson? for it seems he knew his Voice: T'other answered, Ay, ay; for God's Sake, Tom Smith, throw down your Arms, and yield, or, you are all dead Men this Moment.
Who must me yield to? where are they? (says Smith again;) Here they are: says he, here's our Captain, and fifty Men with him, have been hunting you this two Hours; the Boatswain is kill'd, Will Frye is wounded, and I am a Prisoner; and if you do not yield, you are all lost.
Will they give us. Quarter then, (says Tom Smith) and we will yield? I'll go and ask, if you promise to yield, says Robinson; So he ass:'d the Captain, and the Captain then calls himself out, You Smith, you know my Voice, if you lay down your Arms immediately, and submit, you shall have your Lives all but Will. Atkins.