Well, they all went away, and though the attempt was desperate, and such as none but madmen would have gone about, yet, to give them their due, they went about it as warily as boldly; they were gallantly armed, for they had every man a fusee or musket, a bayonet, and a pistol; some of them had broad cutlasses, some of them had hangers, and the boatswain and two more had poleaxes; besides all which they had among them thirteen hand grenadoes.
As soon as the fire begun to blaze, the poor frightened creatures began to rush out to save their lives, but met with their fate in the attempt; and especially at the door, where they drove them back, the boatswain himself killing one or two with his poleaxe.
And I was going to sea myself, to sea in a schooner, with a piping boatswain
and pig-tailed singing seamen, to sea, bound for an unknown island, and to seek for buried treasure!
The Eleanor continued to fire signals from time to time for two days, and then sailed; concluding, no doubt, that the boatswain had deserted.
By degrees he rose to the rank of a chief, espoused one of the beauties of the island, and became habituated and reconciled to his new way of life; thinking it better, perhaps, to rule among savages than serve among white men; to be a feathered chief than a tarpaulin boatswain.
However, the storm was so violent that I saw, what is not often seen, the master, the boatswain
, and some others more sensible than the rest, at their prayers, and expecting every moment when the ship would go to the bottom.
Accordingly, when the boat went off, the boatswain came to me and told me the boat was going off, and that he went in it himself, and asked me if my letter was ready he would take care of it.
When I gave the boatswain the letter, I gave him a shilling with it, which I told him was for the charge of a messenger or porter, which I entreated him to send with the letter as soon as he came on shore, that if possible I might have an answer brought back by the same hand, that I might know what was become of my things; 'for sir,' says I, 'if the ship should go away before I have them on board, I am undone.
All then proceeded to the poop, which was very handsomely decorated, and seated themselves on the bulwark benches; the boatswain
passed along the gangway and piped all hands to strip, which they did in an instant.
advanced a tentative step, while murmurs of protest arose from the passengers.