While we were thus preparing our designs, and had first, by main strength, heaved the boat upon the beach, so high that the tide would not float her of_t high-water mark, and besides, had broke a hole in her bottom too big to b_uickly stopped, and were set down musing what we should do, we heard the shi_ire a gun, and make a waft with her ensign as a signal for the boat to com_n board - but no boat stirred; and they fired several times, making othe_ignals for the boat. At last, when all their signals and firing prove_ruitless, and they found the boat did not stir, we saw them, by the help o_y glasses, hoist another boat out and row towards the shore; and we found, a_hey approached, that there were no less than ten men in her, and that the_ad firearms with them.
As the ship lay almost two leagues from the shore, we had a full view of the_s the came, and a plain sight even of their faces; because the tide havin_et them a little to the east of the other boat, they rowed up under shore, t_ome to the same place where the other had landed, and where the boat lay; b_his means, I say, we had a full view of them, and the captain knew th_ersons and characters of all the men in the boat, of whom, he said, ther_ere three very honest fellows, who, he was sure, were led into thi_onspiracy by the rest, being over-powered and frightened; but that as for th_oatswain, who it seems was the chief officer among them, and all the rest, they were as outrageous as any of the ship's crew, and were no doubt mad_esperate in their new enterprise; and terribly apprehensive he was that the_ould be too powerful for us. I smiled at him, and told him that men in ou_ircumstances were past the operation of fear; that seeing almost ever_ondition that could be was better than that which we were supposed to be in, we ought to expect that the consequence, whether death or life, would be sur_o be a deliverance. I asked him what he thought of the circumstances of m_ife, and whether a deliverance were not worth venturing for? “And where, sir,” said I, “is your belief of my being preserved here on purpose to sav_our life, which elevated you a little while ago? For my part,” said I, “ther_eems to be but one thing amiss in all the prospect of it.” “What is that?” say she. “Why,” said I, “it is, that as you say there are three or four hones_ellows among them which should be spared, had they been all of the wicke_art of the crew I should have thought God's providence had singled them ou_o deliver them into your hands; for depend upon it, every man that come_shore is our own, and shall die or live as they behave to us.” As I spok_his with a raised voice and cheerful countenance, I found it greatl_ncouraged him; so we set vigorously to our business.
We had, upon the first appearance of the boat's coming from the ship, considered of separating our prisoners; and we had, indeed, secured the_ffectually. Two of them, of whom the captain was less assured than ordinary, I sent with Friday, and one of the three delivered men, to my cave, where the_ere remote enough, and out of danger of being heard or discovered, or o_inding their way out of the woods if they could have delivered themselves.
Here they left them bound, but gave them provisions; and promised them, i_hey continued there quietly, to give them their liberty in a day or two; bu_hat if they attempted their escape they should be put to death without mercy.
They promised faithfully to bear their confinement with patience, and wer_ery thankful that they had such good usage as to have provisions and ligh_eft them; for Friday gave them candles (such as we made ourselves) for thei_omfort; and they did not know but that he stood sentinel over them at th_ntrance.
The other prisoners had better usage; two of them were kept pinioned, indeed, because the captain was not able to trust them; but the other two were take_nto my service, upon the captain's recommendation, and upon their solemnl_ngaging to live and die with us; so with them and the three honest men w_ere seven men, well armed; and I made no doubt we should be able to deal wel_nough with the ten that were coming, considering that the captain had sai_here were three or four honest men among them also. As soon as they got t_he place where their other boat lay, they ran their boat into the beach an_ame all on shore, hauling 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 som_istance from the shore, with some hands in her to guard her, and so we shoul_ot be able to seize the boat. Being on shore, the first thing they did, the_an all to their other boat; and it was easy to see they were under a grea_urprise to find her stripped, as above, of all that was in her, and a grea_ole in her bottom. After they had mused a while upon this, they set up two o_hree great shouts, hallooing with all their might, to try if they could mak_heir companions hear; but all was to no purpose. Then they came all close i_ ring, and fired a volley of their small arms, which indeed we heard, and th_choes made the woods ring. But it was all one; those in the cave, we wer_ure, could not hear; and those in our keeping, though they heard it wel_nough, yet durst give no answer to them. They were so astonished at th_urprise of this, that, as they told us afterwards, they resolved to go all o_oard again to their ship, and let them know that the men were all murdered, and the long-boat staved; accordingly, they immediately launched their boa_gain, and got all of them on board.
The captain was terribly amazed, and even confounded, at this, believing the_ould go on board the ship again and set sail, giving their comrades over fo_ost, and so he should still lose the ship, which he was in hopes we shoul_ave recovered; but he was quickly as much frightened the other way.
They had not been long put off with the boat, when we perceived them al_oming on shore again; but with this new measure in their conduct, which i_eems they consulted together upon, viz. to leave three men in the boat, an_he 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, as our seizing those seven men on shore would be no advantage to us if we le_he boat escape; because they would row away to the ship, and then the rest o_hem would be sure to weigh and set sail, and so our recovering the ship woul_e lost. However we had no remedy but to wait and see what the issue of thing_ight present. The seven men came on shore, and the three who remained in th_oat put her off to a good distance from the shore, and came to an anchor t_ait 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 th_ittle hill under which my habitation lay; and we could see them plainly, though they could not perceive us. We should have been very glad if they woul_ave come nearer us, so that we might have fired at them, or that they woul_ave gone farther off, that we might come abroad. But when they were come t_he brow of the hill where they could see a great way into the valleys an_oods, which lay towards the north-east part, and where the island lay lowest, they shouted and hallooed till they were weary; and not caring, it seems, t_enture far from the shore, nor far from one another, they sat down togethe_nder a tree to consider it. Had they thought fit to have gone to sleep there, as the other part of them had done, they had done the job for us; but the_ere too full of apprehensions of danger to venture to go to sleep, thoug_hey could not tell what the danger was they had to fear.
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 mak_heir fellows hear, and that we should all sally upon them just at th_uncture when their pieces were all discharged, and they would certainl_ield, and we should have them without bloodshed. I liked this proposal, provided it was done while we were near enough to come up to them before the_ould load their pieces again. But this event did not happen; and we lay stil_ long time, very irresolute what course to take. At length I told them ther_ould be nothing done, in my opinion, till night; and then, if they did no_eturn to the boat, perhaps we might find a way to get between them and th_hore, and so might use some stratagem with them in the boat to get them o_hore. We waited a great while, though very impatient for their removing; an_ere very uneasy when, after long consultation, we saw them all start up an_arch down towards the sea; it seems they had such dreadful apprehensions o_he danger of the place that they resolved to go on board the ship again, giv_heir companions over for lost, and so go on with their intended voyage wit_he ship.
As soon as I perceived them go towards the shore, I imagined it to be as i_eally was that they had given over their search, and were going back again; and the captain, as soon as I told him my thoughts, was ready to sink at th_pprehensions of it; but I presently thought of a stratagem to fetch them bac_gain, and which answered my end to a tittle. I ordered Friday and th_aptain's mate to go over the little creek westward, towards the place wher_he savages came on shore, when Friday was rescued, and so soon as they cam_o a little rising round, at about half a mile distant, I bid them halloo out, as loud as they could, and wait till they found the seamen heard them; that a_oon as ever they heard the seamen answer them, they should return it again; and then, keeping out of sight, take a round, always answering when the other_allooed, to draw them as far into the island and among the woods as possible, and then wheel about again to me by such ways as I directed them.
They were just going into the boat when Friday and the mate hallooed; and the_resently heard them, and answering, ran along the shore westward, towards th_oice they heard, when they were stopped by the creek, where the water bein_p, they could not get over, and called for the boat to come up and set the_ver; as, indeed, I expected. When they had set themselves over, I observe_hat the boat being gone a good way into the creek, and, as it were, in _arbour within the land, they took one of the three men out of her, to g_long with them, and left only two in the boat, having fastened her to th_tump of a little tree on the shore. This was what I wished for; an_mmediately leaving Friday and the captain's mate to their business, I too_he rest with me; and, crossing the creek out of their sight, we surprised th_wo men before they were aware - one of them lying on the shore, and the othe_eing in the boat. The fellow on shore was between sleeping and waking, an_oing to start up; the captain, who was foremost, ran in upon him, and knocke_im down; and then called out to him in the boat to yield, or he was a dea_an. They needed very few arguments to persuade a single man to yield, when h_aw five men upon him and his comrade knocked down: besides, this was, i_eems, one of the three who were not so hearty in the mutiny as the rest o_he crew, and therefore was easily persuaded not only to yield, but afterward_o join very sincerely with us. In the meantime, Friday and the captain's mat_o well managed their business with the rest that they drew them, by hallooin_nd answering, from one hill to another, and from one wood to another, til_hey not only heartily tired them, but left them where they were, very sur_hey could not reach back to the boat before it was dark; and, indeed, the_ere heartily tired 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 upo_hem, so as to make sure work with them. It was several hours after Frida_ame back to me before they came back to their boat; and we could hear th_oremost of them, long before they came quite up, calling to those behind t_ome along; and could also hear them answer, and complain how lame and tire_hey were, and not able to come any faster: which was very welcome news to us.
At length they came up to the boat: but it is impossible to express thei_onfusion when they found the boat fast aground in the creek, the tide ebbe_ut, and their two men gone. We could hear them call one to another in a mos_amentable manner, telling one another they were got into an enchanted island; that either there were inhabitants in it, and they should all be murdered, o_lse there were devils and spirits in it, and they should be all carried awa_nd devoured. They hallooed again, and called their two comrades by thei_ames a great many times; but no answer. After some time we could see them, b_he little light there was, run about, wringing their hands like men i_espair, and sometimes they would go and sit down in the boat to res_hemselves: then come ashore again, and walk about again, and so the sam_hing over again. My men would fain have had me give them leave to fall upo_hem at once in the dark; but I was willing to take them at some advantage, s_s to spare them, and kill as few of them as I could; and especially I wa_nwilling to hazard the killing of any of our men, knowing the others wer_ery well armed. I resolved to wait, to see if they did not separate; an_herefore, to make sure of them, I drew my ambuscade nearer, and ordere_riday and the captain to creep upon their hands and feet, as close to th_round as they could, that they might not be discovered, and get as near the_s they could possibly before they offered to fire.
They had not been long in that posture when the boatswain, who was th_rincipal ringleader of the mutiny, and had now shown himself the mos_ejected and dispirited of all the rest, came walking towards them, with tw_ore of the crew; the captain was so eager at having this principal rogue s_uch in his power, that he could hardly have patience to let him come so nea_s to be sure of him, for they only heard his tongue before: but when the_ame nearer, the captain and Friday, starting up on their feet, let fly a_hem. The boatswain was killed upon the spot: the next man was shot in th_ody, and fell just by him, though he did not die till an hour or two after; and the third ran for it. At the noise of the fire I immediately advanced wit_y whole army, which was now eight men, viz. myself, generalissimo; Friday, m_ieutenant-general; the captain and his two men, and the three prisoners o_ar whom we had trusted with arms. We came upon them, indeed, in the dark, s_hat they could not see our number; and I made the man they had left in th_oat, who was now one of us, to call them by name, to try if I could brin_hem to a parley, and so perhaps might reduce them to terms; which fell ou_ust as we desired: for indeed it was easy to think, as their condition the_as, they would be very willing to capitulate. So he calls out as loud as h_ould to one of them, “Tom Smith! Tom Smith!” Tom Smith answered immediately, “Is that Robinson?” for it seems he knew the voice. The other answered, “Ay, ay; for God's sake, Tom Smith, throw down your arms and yield, or you are al_ead men this moment.” “Who must we yield to? Where are they?” says Smit_gain. “Here they are,” says he; “here's our captain and fifty men with him, have been hunting you these two hours; the boatswain is killed; Will Fry i_ounded, and I am a prisoner; and if you do not yield you are all lost.” “Wil_hey give us quarter, then?” says Tom Smith, “and we will yield.” “I'll go an_sk, if you promise to yield,” said Robinson: so he asked the captain, and th_aptain himself then calls out, “You, Smith, you know my voice; if you la_own your arms immediately and submit, you shall have your lives, all but Wil_tkins.”
Upon this Will Atkins cried out, “For God's sake, captain, give me quarter; what have I done? They have all been as bad as I:” which, by the way, was no_rue; for it seems this Will Atkins was the first man that laid hold of th_aptain when they first mutinied, and used him barbarously in tying his hand_nd giving him injurious language. However, the captain told him he must la_own his arms at discretion, and trust to the governor's mercy: by which h_eant me, for they all called me governor. In a word, they all laid down thei_rms and begged their lives; and I sent the man that had parleyed with them, and two more, who bound them all; and then my great army of fifty men, which, with those three, were in all but eight, came up and seized upon them, an_pon their boat; only that I kept myself and one more out of sight for reason_f state.
Our next work was to repair the boat, and think of seizing the ship: and a_or the captain, now he had leisure to parley with them, he expostulated wit_hem upon the villainy of their practices with him, and upon the furthe_ickedness of their design, and how certainly it must bring them to misery an_istress in the end, and perhaps to the gallows. They all appeared ver_enitent, and begged hard for their lives. As for that, he told them they wer_ot his prisoners, but the commander's of the island; that they thought the_ad set him on shore in a barren, uninhabited island; but it had pleased Go_o to direct them that it was inhabited, and that the governor was a_nglishman; that he might hang them all there, if he pleased; but as he ha_iven them all quarter, he supposed he would send them to England, to be deal_ith there as justice required, except Atkins, whom he was commanded by th_overnor to advise to prepare for death, for that he would be hanged in th_orning.
Though this was all but a fiction of his own, yet it had its desired effect; Atkins fell upon his knees to beg the captain to intercede with the governo_or his life; and all the rest begged of him, for God's sake, that they migh_ot be sent to England.
It now occurred to me that the time of our deliverance was come, and that i_ould be a most easy thing to bring these fellows in to be hearty in gettin_ossession of the ship; so I retired in the dark from them, that they migh_ot see what kind of a governor they had, and called the captain to me; when _alled, at a good distance, one of the men was ordered to speak again, and sa_o the captain, “Captain, the commander calls for you;” and presently th_aptain replied, “Tell his excellency I am just coming.” This more perfectl_mazed them, and they all believed that the commander was just by, with hi_ifty men. Upon the captain coming to me, I told him my project for seizin_he ship, which he liked wonderfully well, and resolved to put it in executio_he next morning. But, in order to execute it with more art, and to be secur_f success, I told him we must divide the prisoners, and that he should go an_ake Atkins, and two more of the worst of them, and send them pinioned to th_ave where the others lay. This was committed to Friday and the two men wh_ame on shore with the captain. They conveyed them to the cave as to a prison: and it was, indeed, a dismal place, especially to men in their condition. Th_thers I ordered to my bower, as I called it, of which I have given a ful_escription: and as it was fenced in, and they pinioned, the place was secur_nough, considering they were upon their behaviour.
To these in the morning I sent the captain, who was to enter into a parle_ith them; in a word, to try them, and tell me whether he thought they migh_e trusted or not to go on board and surprise the ship. He talked to them o_he injury done him, of the condition they were brought to, and that thoug_he governor had given them quarter for their lives as to the present action, yet that if they were sent to England they would all be hanged in chains; bu_hat if they would join in so just an attempt as to recover the ship, he woul_ave the governor's engagement for their pardon.
Any one may guess how readily such a proposal would be accepted by men i_heir condition; they fell down on their knees to the captain, and promised, with the deepest imprecations, that they would be faithful to him to the las_rop, and that they should owe their lives to him, and would go with him al_ver the world; that they would own him as a father to them as long as the_ived. “Well,” says the captain, “I must go and tell the governor what yo_ay, and see what I can do to bring him to consent to it.” So he brought me a_ccount of the temper he found them in, and that he verily believed they woul_e faithful. However, that we might be very secure, I told him he should g_ack again and choose out those five, and tell them, that they might see h_id not want men, that he would take out those five to be his assistants, an_hat the governor would keep the other two, and the three that were sen_risoners to the castle (my cave), as hostages for the fidelity of those five; and that if they proved unfaithful in the execution, the five hostages shoul_e hanged in chains alive on the shore. This looked severe, and convinced the_hat the governor was in earnest; however, they had no way left them but t_ccept it; and it was now the business of the prisoners, as much as of th_aptain, to persuade the other five to do their duty.
Our strength was now thus ordered for the expedition: first, the captain, hi_ate, and passenger; second, the two prisoners of the first gang, to whom, having their character from the captain, I had given their liberty, an_rusted them with arms; third, the other two that I had kept till now in m_ower, pinioned, but on the captain's motion had now released; fourth, thes_ive released at last; so that there were twelve in all, besides five we kep_risoners in the cave for hostages.
I asked the captain if he was willing to venture with these hands on board th_hip; but as for me and my man Friday, I did not think it was proper for us t_tir, having seven men left behind; and it was employment enough for us t_eep them asunder, and supply them with victuals. As to the five in the cave, I resolved to keep them fast, but Friday went in twice a day to them, t_upply them with necessaries; and I made the other two carry provisions to _ertain distance, where Friday was to take them.
When I showed myself to the two hostages, it was with the captain, who tol_hem I was the person the governor had ordered to look after them; and that i_as the governor's pleasure they should not stir anywhere but by my direction; that if they did, they would be fetched into the castle, and be laid in irons: so that as we never suffered them to see me as governor, I now appeared a_nother person, and spoke of the governor, the garrison, the castle, and th_ike, upon all occasions.
The captain now had no difficulty before him, but to furnish his two boats, stop the breach of one, and man them. He made his passenger captain of one, with four of the men; and himself, his mate, and five more, went in the other; and they contrived their business very well, for they came up to the shi_bout midnight. As soon as they came within call of the ship, he made Robinso_ail them, and tell them they had brought off the men and the boat, but tha_t was a long time before they had found them, and the like, holding them in _hat till they came to the ship's side; when the captain and the mate enterin_irst with their arms, immediately knocked down the second mate and carpente_ith the butt-end of their muskets, being very faithfully seconded by thei_en; they secured all the rest that were upon the main and quarter decks, an_egan to fasten the hatches, to keep them down that were below; when the othe_oat and their men, entering at the forechains, secured the forecastle of th_hip, and the scuttle which went down into the cook-room, making three me_hey found there prisoners. When this was done, and all safe upon deck, th_aptain ordered the mate, with three men, to break into the round-house, wher_he new rebel captain lay, who, having taken the alarm, had got up, and wit_wo men and a boy had got firearms in their hands; and when the mate, with _row, split open the door, the new captain and his men fired boldly amon_hem, and wounded the mate with a musket ball, which broke his arm, an_ounded two more of the men, but killed nobody. The mate, calling for help, rushed, however, into the round-house, wounded as he was, and, with hi_istol, shot the new captain through the head, the bullet entering at hi_outh, and came out again behind one of his ears, so that he never spoke _ord more: upon which the rest yielded, and the ship was taken effectually, without any more lives lost.
As soon as the ship was thus secured, the captain ordered seven guns to b_ired, which was the signal agreed upon with me to give me notice of hi_uccess, which, you may be sure, I was very glad to hear, having sat watchin_pon the shore for it till near two o'clock in the morning. Having thus hear_he signal plainly, I laid me down; and it having been a day of great fatigu_o me, I slept very sound, till I was surprised with the noise of a gun; an_resently starting up, I heard a man call me by the name of “Governor!
Governor!” and presently I knew the captain's voice; when, climbing up to th_op of the hill, there he stood, and, pointing to the ship, he embraced me i_is arms, “My dear friend and deliverer,” says he, “there's your ship; for sh_s all yours, and so are we, and all that belong to her.” I cast my eyes t_he ship, and there she rode, within little more than half a mile of th_hore; for they had weighed her anchor as soon as they were masters of her, and, the weather being fair, had brought her to an anchor just against th_outh of the little creek; and the tide being up, the captain had brought th_innace in near the place where I had first landed my rafts, and so lande_ust at my door. I was at first ready to sink down with the surprise; for _aw my deliverance, indeed, visibly put into my hands, all things easy, and _arge ship just ready to carry me away whither I pleased to go. At first, fo_ome time, I was not able to answer him one word; but as he had taken me i_is arms I held fast by him, or I should have fallen to the ground. H_erceived the surprise, and immediately pulled a bottle out of his pocket an_ave me a dram of cordial, which he had brought on purpose for me. After I ha_runk it, I sat down upon the ground; and though it brought me to myself, ye_t was a good while before I could speak a word to him. All this time the poo_an was in as great an ecstasy as I, only not under any surprise as I was; an_e said a thousand kind and tender things to me, to compose and bring me t_yself; but such was the flood of joy in my breast, that it put all my spirit_nto confusion: at last it broke out into tears, and in a little while after _ecovered my speech; I then took my turn, and embraced him as my deliverer, and we rejoiced together. I told him I looked upon him as a man sent by Heave_o deliver me, and that the whole transaction seemed to be a chain of wonders; that such things as these were the testimonies we had of a secret hand o_rovidence governing the world, and an evidence that the eye of an infinit_ower could search into the remotest corner of the world, and send help to th_iserable whenever He pleased. I forgot not to lift up my heart i_hankfulness to Heaven; and what heart could forbear to bless Him, who had no_nly in a miraculous manner provided for me in such a wilderness, and in suc_ desolate condition, but from whom every deliverance must always b_cknowledged to proceed.
When we had talked a while, the captain told me he had brought me some littl_efreshment, such as the ship afforded, and such as the wretches that had bee_o long his masters had not plundered him of. Upon this, he called aloud t_he boat, and bade his men bring the things ashore that were for the governor; and, indeed, it was a present as if I had been one that was not to be carrie_way with them, but as if I had been to dwell upon the island still. First, h_ad brought me a case of bottles full of excellent cordial waters, six larg_ottles of Madeira wine (the bottles held two quarts each), two pounds o_xcellent good tobacco, twelve good pieces of the ship's beef, and six piece_f pork, with a bag of peas, and about a hundred-weight of biscuit; he als_rought me a box of sugar, a box of flour, a bag full of lemons, and tw_ottles of lime-juice, and abundance of other things. But besides these, an_hat was a thousand times more useful to me, he brought me six new clea_hirts, six very good neckcloths, two pair of gloves, one pair of shoes, _at, and one pair of stockings, with a very good suit of clothes of his own, which had been worn but very little: in a word, he clothed me from head t_oot. It was a very kind and agreeable present, as any one may imagine, to on_n my circumstances, but never was anything in the world of that kind s_npleasant, awkward, and uneasy as it was to me to wear such clothes at first.
After these ceremonies were past, and after all his good things were brough_nto my little apartment, we began to consult what was to be done with th_risoners we had; for it was worth considering whether we might venture t_ake them with us or no, especially two of them, whom he knew to b_ncorrigible and refractory to the last degree; and the captain said he kne_hey were such rogues that there was no obliging them, and if he did carr_hem away, it must be in irons, as malefactors, to be delivered over t_ustice at the first English colony he could come to; and I found that th_aptain himself was very anxious about it. Upon this, I told him that, if h_esired it, I would undertake to bring the two men he spoke of to make i_heir own request that he should leave them upon the island. “I should be ver_lad of that,” says the captain, “with all my heart.” “Well,” says I, “I wil_end for them up and talk with them for you.” So I caused Friday and the tw_ostages, for they were now discharged, their comrades having performed thei_romise; I say, I caused them to go to the cave, and bring up the five men, pinioned as they were, to the bower, and keep them there till I came. Afte_ome time, I came thither dressed in my new habit; and now I was calle_overnor again. Being all met, and the captain with me, I caused the men to b_rought before me, and I told them I had got a full account of thei_illainous behaviour to the captain, and how they had run away with the ship, and were preparing to commit further robberies, but that Providence ha_nsnared them in their own ways, and that they were fallen into the pit whic_hey had dug for others. I let them know that by my direction the ship ha_een seized; that she lay now in the road; and they might see by-and-by tha_heir new captain had received the reward of his villainy, and that they woul_ee him hanging at the yard-arm; that, as to them, I wanted to know what the_ad to say why I should not execute them as pirates taken in the fact, as b_y commission they could not doubt but I had authority so to do.
One of them answered in the name of the rest, that they had nothing to say bu_his, that when they were taken the captain promised them their lives, an_hey humbly implored my mercy. But I told them I knew not what mercy to sho_hem; for as for myself, I had resolved to quit the island with all my men, and had taken passage with the captain to go to England; and as for th_aptain, he could not carry them to England other than as prisoners in irons, to be tried for mutiny and running away with the ship; the consequence o_hich, they must needs know, would be the gallows; so that I could not tel_hat was best for them, unless they had a mind to take their fate in th_sland. If they desired that, as I had liberty to leave the island, I had som_nclination to give them their lives, if they thought they could shift o_hore. They seemed very thankful for it, and said they would much rathe_enture to stay there than be carried to England to be hanged. So I left it o_hat issue.
However, the captain seemed to make some difficulty of it, as if he durst no_eave them there. Upon this I seemed a little angry with the captain, and tol_im that they were my prisoners, not his; and that seeing I had offered the_o much favour, I would be as good as my word; and that if he did not thin_it to consent to it I would set them at liberty, as I found them: and if h_id not like it he might take them again if he could catch them. Upon thi_hey appeared very thankful, and I accordingly set them at liberty, and bad_hem retire into the woods, to the place whence they came, and I would leav_hem some firearms, some ammunition, and some directions how they should liv_ery well if they thought fit. Upon this I prepared to go on board the ship; but told the captain I would stay that night to prepare my things, and desire_im to go on board in the meantime, and keep all right in the ship, and sen_he boat on shore next day for me; ordering him, at all events, to cause th_ew captain, who was killed, to be hanged at the yard- arm, that these me_ight see him.
When the captain was gone I sent for the men up to me to my apartment, an_ntered seriously into discourse with them on their circumstances. I told the_ thought they had made a right choice; that if the captain had carried the_way they would certainly be hanged. I showed them the new captain hanging a_he yard-arm of the ship, and told them they had nothing less to expect.
When they had all declared their willingness to stay, I then told them I woul_et them into the story of my living there, and put them into the way o_aking it easy to them. Accordingly, I gave them the whole history of th_lace, and of my coming to it; showed them my fortifications, the way I mad_y bread, planted my corn, cured my grapes; and, in a word, all that wa_ecessary to make them easy. I told them the story also of the seventee_paniards that were to be expected, for whom I left a letter, and made the_romise to treat them in common with themselves. Here it may be noted that th_aptain, who had ink on board, was greatly surprised that I never hit upon _ay of making ink of charcoal and water, or of something else, as I had don_hings much more difficult.
I left them my firearms - viz. five muskets, three fowling-pieces, and thre_words. I had above a barrel and a half of powder left; for after the firs_ear or two I used but little, and wasted none. I gave them a description o_he way I managed the goats, and directions to milk and fatten them, and t_ake both butter and cheese. In a word, I gave them every part of my ow_tory; and told them I should prevail with the captain to leave them tw_arrels of gunpowder more, and some garden-seeds, which I told them I woul_ave been very glad of. Also, I gave them the bag of peas which the captai_ad brought me to eat, and bade them be sure to sow and increase them.