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indulge the wish, and revisit the “land of my sires,” were it but to die there.

I made the necessary preparations to effect my design-converted my property into specie-secured a passage for myself and faithful follower in a vessel bound for England, which, with several others, were to start under convoy of a sloop of war. We sailed on the appointed day; and, as I then believed, bade an eternal farewell to the shores of South America.

What was my motive for returning to a land where my name was a disgrace, and where he whose feelings towards the offendings of a child are lenient, a father-ay, a father-would repudiate me with contempt? It was to cleanse that name, stained as it was with youthful indiscretions, from the plague-spot that human villany had attached to it; and now with the command of the means by which justice in England can best be secured-money-wipe away the felon charge which had driven me undeservedly into exile and disgrace, and expose the guilty to the world—ay, though the last guinea of a fortune, which years of toil, and danger, and privations, had acquired, should be expended to attain the end.

For a week our little fleet progressed steadily across the ocean. Old merchantmen were then the dullest sailors imaginable ; and with every inch of canvass we could spread, the sloop of war, with topsails on the cap, was frequently obliged to heave to and wait upon our lazy barque. Indeed, the vigilance of the convoy-ship was rendered necessary from the circumstance of a very suspicious vessel having been discovered for several successive mornings at sunrise, following in the wake of the fleet, and hauling off whenever she observed that she had been noticed.

On the sixth evening, the weather, which had hitherto been remarkably fine, threatened a change; and at midnight, the wind had considerably freshened. The security of the ship would have pointed out the prudence of making preparations for a gale, and putting the vessel under easy canvass; while, from the dulness of our sailing, and the certainty that a suspicious stranger was in our immediate vicinity, it was absolutely necessary that we should keep our place in the fleet, and avail ourselves of the man-of-war's protection. In this dilemma it was determined to trust to fortune, and “

We had certainly, two dangerous alternatives to choose between-threatening weather, and an enemy's privateer. The latter fear was predominant; and although every minute skyey appearance

became more alarming, we still kept a press of canvass on the vessel-and consequently, it was our fate to verify an old saw, in avoiding Scylla, to fall into Charybdis.

In the darkness, a squall struck us suddenly; and before every thing could be let fly, our three topmasts were over the side, and our worst apprehensions were about to be realized.

It was but a passing gale which had wrought us all this mischief ; and when morning dawned, the weather had moderated into a light and steady breeze. The fleet was out of sight; and we were unable, from the weakness of the crew, to clear away at once the wreck of fallen spars

carry on.”

and sails that cumbered us. We were lying a log upon the water, while our more fortunate companions were bowling away before a wind directly in their favour. One sail only was in sight, and that was steering in the same direction with the convoy. For a time, from being dismasted, we were not discovered by the stranger. But suddenly he changed his course, hauled closely to the wind, and soon presented to our startled view, the same long, black, suspicious-looking brig, which for days before had occasioned a general uneasiness.

We had no chance of escape, even had our spars been standing ; and in an hour the suspected vessel was within musquet range. No doubt of his country and calling remained. A French ensign was flying at his peak—his long dark hull showed eleven ports a side-his decks were crowded, and he looked a regular rover.

Had we a wish to resist, the means were wanting; and at the first hail, a boat was lowered, and our captain went on board. In return, two boats, filled with armed men, rowed to us from the privateer; the rovers mounted our decks, and the work of plunder commenced busily. I had no hope from the first, that my property could by any possibility escape detection; and a very few minutes put that question at rest. A foreign seaman, whom we had shipped at Rio, gave information to the prize-master; and I had the misery to see the acquisition of an enterprizing life pass into the possession of the sea-robbers who had captured us.

From the disabled condition of the ship, all design of taking her into port was abandoned by our captors; but every thing that was portable, even to the sea-chests of the crew, was removed on board the brig. The whole day was consumed in stripping our luckless vessel ; and when at nightfall the enemy left us lying still a wreck upon

the ocean, I found myself in the same condition as when, seven years before, I had landed on the beach at Rio—without a second shirt, a second dollar, or a second friend. Of the latter, I possessed a faithful one-Dominique remained. He had resisted every inducement held out by the French captain to join the privateer. Poor faithful fellow ! when the fickle goddess smiled, he had shared my fortune; and adversity had no other effect than to confirm his devoted attachment.

When the spoilers had taken their departure, nothing but lamentations were heard. The humblest mariner had lost his all, the wages he had already earned, or the little venture he was bringing home to England, in the honest hopes of realizing enough to render a wife or parent comfortable. There was but one of that ship's company preserved a sullen indifference; I, who had been stripped of more than all together, kept a moody silence, and uttered no complaint. All was gone at one fell swoop”—the prospect of revisiting my native land—the hope of clearing my calumniated character from the unmerited obloquy which designing villains had heaped upon it—the means by which I expected to have effected it-of all, one luckless day had robbed me! The stupid calmness of despair tied my tongue, and gave to my countenance an unearthly composure, which many might have mistaken for philosophic resignation. But the bosom within was tortured-my sorrow was too great for language to convey; and,

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thunderstruck with the sudden visitation I had undergone, I was debating whether it were not at once better to end an existence not to be endured, and—“unannealed and unforgiven," in defiance of his canon against self-murder,-venture desperately into the presence of an angry God.

"These impious thoughts were mercifully terminated. I looked up, an eye was bent on mine. It was Dominique's; and the mute expression of that faithful negro spoke its deep sympathy for my misfortune, and intimated an eternal attachment. A sudden revulsion of intent succeeded the promptings of despair. I had lost wealthbut had I not a friend ? A stern determination came over me to live and dare Fortune's worst; and when my dark follower placed silently a goblet in my hand, I drank the wine to the bottom, and swore no matter how darkly fate might frown, she should not crush my spirit.

“ All's gone, Dominique. We have no errand now to England.” The negro answered with a groan.

“ Shall we commence life anew, and again seek fortune in each other's company ?"

The hand I stretched out the negro pressed to his lips respectfully; and with a meaning look, told me that we should sink or rise together.

The plunder of the ship was followed by a scene of drunken insubordination—for the bad example which the captain set, the crew had followed; and on the second evening we were still a wreck upon the water, our top-gear over the sides, and none in temper or condition to repair the damage we had sustained, and replace our lost spars with jurymasts. On the third morning the ship's company had become sufficiently sober to commence a work, that should have been long before effected—and I was sleeping in my cabin, worn out with the mental suffering I had undergone, when my slumbers were gently broken by my sable attendant, to acquaint me that another, and an equally dishonest looking vessel, was bearing down upon us fast, and barely a league to windward.

I hurried upon deck, and a glance confirmed Dominique's announcement. The stranger was a large topsail-schooner, with raking masts, a long black hull, and Spanish ensign floating from her gaff-end. Her sailing properties were admirable ; and her whole appearance told that she was neither adapted for, nor employed in peaceful commerce. When she rounded to under our stern, I counted nine ports aside-a huge pivot gun was on a traverse between her masts, and her decks seemed full of men. She could not be mistaken for a moment; she was a rover, a slaver, or a privateer, and, probably, all by turns.

An old adage* says, that a traveller already disencumbered of his property, feels little uneasiness in presence of a highwayman ; and certainly, to me the appearance of this rakish schooner was a matter of perfect indifference. I saw her back her topsail, and take a position that placed us “end-on,” under the fire of her starboard guns. Immediately a boat was lowered, and twenty men pulled from her side and boarded us. This second visitation, and within eight-and-forty

*

* Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator.

hours, caused but little sensation in the ship. All that was valuable was already gone; and the new comers must be men of uncommon industry and research, if they could discover much that was worth removal. Indeed, the style in which the Frenchman had cleared every thing away worth notice, could never be surpassed, and proved that in sea robbery his crew had attained perfection.

Sad was their disappointment, when our new captors found that they had fallen in with a mere bone from which the marrow had been carefully extracted. Still, however, there were some necessaries that might prove useful ; and sails, cordage, water and provisions, were unceremoniously conveyed on board the schooner.

Presently, a second boat pushed off from the rover's side; and it was notified that the captain, in person, was coming on board to ascertain how a prize so promising should prove so very unproductive.

“ What a cursed misfortune,” said he, in reply to the account his first officer gave him of our having been thoroughly plundered, and that only twenty hours before. “By Heaven, I am half inclined to make sail after the privateer, and make him divide or disgorge the booty.”

“'Twere idle,” said the lieutenant ; “ Heaven knows what course he's steering. And even if we overtook him, what certainty have we that he would not be able to hold his own with us? They say he carried twenty guns, and was chokeful of men. He'll dodge the convoy while he dare, and trust to accident for a second God-send. No, no, it was a cursed chance, no doubt—the luck was all John Crapo's—and no use crying over spilt milk, you know.”

The reasoning of his lieutenant appeared to satisfy his superior, that the misfortune he had sustained in coming upon us after the Frenchman's visit was irretrievable, and, accordingly, he submitted to it like a christian man ; but still he could not avoid making an occasional lament over what he termed “ the blackest of bad luck."

Thirty thousand dollars—hard silver-all one property—besides other most valuable plunder. Was ever ship so unfortunate! But who was the unlucky devil who lost the money? Did he drown himself at once, or is he still on board ?"

The lieutenant pointed quietly to me; and the captain crossed the deck to the place where I was standing, with my arm leaning on the bulwark, as if nothing particular had occurred.

“ So, Sir, I hear you have been cleaned out; and, as they tell me, to a tolerable tune ?”

“I have,” I answered; can you put me in the way of recovering the loss ?

“ I.!” said the stranger in surprise; “how the devil should I ?”

Then, as I am already plucked to the last feather, your honest companions have nothing to deprive me of, and you can neither serve nor injure me. Is not that a comfort, captain ?”

“Come, my good sir," replied the rover, “you need not be so snappish ; though, ’pon my soul, the loss of thirty thousand dollars is nothing to joke about. But stop; have I ever seen that face before ?”

“ That question you can best resolve yourself,” I answered ; “yours

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has been seen by me, I fancy, for the first time; and, let me add, worthy captain, I sincerely hope for the last one too.”

“ Indeed! would it be too much trouble to ask you to look at it a second time ?”

I complied carelessly with the captain's wish, and examined the features and figure of this new intruder. The face was swarthy, sunburnt, and had, what the Irish happily term, “a devil-may-care” expression. The person of the stranger was square and well-compacted; his dress was composed of cotton and nanquin-textures best suited to the climate. In the silken sash which bound his waist, he had secured a watch, a dagger, and a brace of pistols; all apparently very valuable. He wore a jewel on his finger; diamond rings in either ear, and a gold-laced hat, fit for a vice-admiral, completed his showy and singular costume. He was a very young man, apparently not more than five-and-twenty. « And

pray, Mr. Jones, or Mr. Thompson, or by whatever name besides you called yourself in the Fancy, six years ago upon the coast, now that you have finished your survey, may I inquire if you can yet recollect an old companion ?"

I started. He had mentioned the slaver's name correctly, and also the false appellation by which I was known on board that accursed vessel. “I have heard of that slave-ship," I replied ;

66 she foundered at sea, and none escaped but—"

“You and myself,” responded the stranger carelessly.

“You labour under a mistake ; she perished by fire, and none escaped“But you; and how you managed it I don't know. As for me,

. I

gave leg-bail in the Gambia. Come, Jones, Thompson, Robinson, or any thing you please to call yourself, fear nothing from me. I owe you a debt of gratitude. I shipped myself in that villanous slaver, a runaway-apprentice; and, when struck down by fever, and dying of thirst upon my passage out, the only hand in all that rascally ship’s company, to whom I was indebted for a drink of water to slake my burning thirst, was your's; and now, seven years after, I survive to prove to you that kindness to a destitute boy has not been, and shall not be forgotten.”

“ It seems you know me,” I replied; “ and concealment would be idle. It is, indeed, too true that all on board the slaver perished, save that negro who attends me, and myself.”

Ay,” said the rover; “ but you may recollect that a boy was missing the night before you sailed. I was that lost one; and, from weariness of a miserable life, and disgust at the horrible duty imposed upon me, of attending to the slave-hold, every feeling had revolted. I bolted from the vessel ; escaped a fate that none survived but you ; passed through a thousand hair-breadth adventures ; and now command the Flambeau—the sweetest schooner that ever spread canvass to a breeze. Come, I hear you have lost every thing again but life ; try your luck once more with Captain Raleigh; and rest assured, that he who succoured the fevered boy, shall secure the friendship of the com

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