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| CHAPTER III.
L’Ollonais makes new preparations to take the city of St. James de Leon; as also that of Nicaragua, where he miserably perishes.
L'OLLONAIS had got himself very great esteem and repute at Tortuga by this last voyage, by reason he brought them home such considerable profit. And now he needed take no great care how to gather men to serve under his colours, seeing more came in voluntarily to proffer their service to him than he could employ, every one reposing such great confidence in his conduct for seeking their fortunes, that they judged it a matter of the greatest security imaginable to expose themselves in his company to the hugest dangers that might possibly occur. He resolved therefore for a second voyage, to go with his officers and soldiers towards the parts of Nicaragua, and pillage there as many towns as he could meet.
Having published his new preparations, he had all his men together at the time appointed, being about the number of seven hundred, more or less. Of these he put three hundred on board the ship he took at Maracaibo, and the rest in other vessels of lesser burden, which were five more: so that the whole number were in all six ships. The first port they went to was in the Island of Hispaniola, to a place called Bayaha, where they determined to victual the fleet and take in provisions. This being done, they set sail thence, and steered their course to a port called Matamana, lying on the South side of the Isle of Cuba. Their intent was to take here all the canoes they could meet, these coasts being frequented by an huge number of fishermen of tortoises, who carry them thence to Havana. They took as many of the said canoes, to the great grief of those miserable people, as they thought necessary for their designs. For they had great necessity of these small bottoms, by reason the port whither they designed to go was not of depth sufficient to bear ships of any burden. Hence they took their course towards the cape called Gracias a Dios, situate upon the continent in latitude fifteen degrees North, at the distance of one hundred leagues from the island De los Pinos. But being out at sea they were taken with a sad and tedious calm, and by the agitation of the waves alone were thrown into the Gulf of Honduras. Here they laboured very much to regain what they had lost, but all in vain; both the waters in their course, and the winds, being contrary to their endeavours. Besides that the ship wherein L’Ollonais was embarked could not follow the rest; and what was worse, they wanted already provisions. Hereupon they were forced to put into the first port or bay they could reach, to revictual their fleet. Thus they entered with their canoes into a river called Xagua, inhabited by Indians, whom they totally robbed and destroyed; they finding amongst their goods great quantity of millet, many hogs and hens. Not contented with what they had done, they determined to remain there until the bad weather was over, and to pillage all the towns and villages lying along the coast of the gulf. Thus they passed from one place to another, seeking as yet more provisions, by reason they had not what they wanted for the accomplishment of their designs. Having searched and rifled many villages, where they found no great matter, they came at last to Puerto Cavallo. In this port the Spaniards have two several storehouses, which serve to keep the merchandizes that are brought from the inner parts of the country until the arrival of the ships. There was in the port at that occasion a Spanish ship mounted with four and twenty guns and sixteen pateraras or mortar-pieces. This ship was immediately seized by the Pirates; and then, drawing near the shore, they landed and burnt the two storehouses, with all the rest of the houses belonging to the place. Many inhabitants likewise they took prisoners, and committed upon them the most insolent and inhuman cruelties that ever heathens invented, putting them to the cruellest tortures they could imagine or devise. It was the custom of L’Ollonais that, having tormented any persons and they not confessing, he would instantly cut them in pieces with his hanger, and pull out their tongues; desiring to do the same, if possible, to every Spaniard in the world. Oftentimes it happened that some of these miserable prisoners, being forced thereunto by the rack, would promise to discover the places where the fugitive Spaniards lay hidden; which being not able afterwards to perform, they were put to more enormous and cruel deaths than they who were dead before.
The prisoners being all dead and annihilated (excepting only two, whom they reserved to show them what they desired), they marched hence to the town of San Pedro, or St. Peter, distant ten or twelve leagues from Puerto Cavallo, having in their company three hundred men, whom L’Ollonais led, and leaving behind him Moses van Vin for his lieutenant to govern the rest in his absence. Being come three leagues upon their way, they met with a troop of Spaniards, who lay in ambuscade for their coming. These they set upon with all the courage imaginable, and at last totally defeated, howbeit they behaved themselves very manfully at the beginning of the fight. But not being able to resist the fury of the Pirates, they were forced to give way and save themselves by flight, leaving many Pirates dead upon the place and wounded, as also some of their own party maimed by the way. These L’Ollonais put to death without mercy, having asked them what questions he thought fit for his purpose.
There were still remaining some few prisoners who were not wounded. These were asked by L’Ollonais if any more Spaniards did lie farther on in ambuscade? To whom they answered, there were. Then he commanded them to be brought before him, one by one, and asked if there was no other way to be found to the town but that? This he did out of a design to excuse, if possible, those ambuscades. But they all constantly answered him, they knew none. Having asked them all, and finding they could show him no other way, L’Ollonais grew outrageously passionate; insomuch that he drew his cutlass, and with it cut open the breast of one of those poor Spaniards, and pulling out his heart with his sacrilegious hands, began to bite and gnaw it with his teeth, like a ravenous wolf, saying to the rest: I will serve you all alike, if you show me not another way.
Hereupon those miserable wretches promised to show him another way; but withal they told him, it was extremely difficult and laborious. Thus, to satisfy that cruel tyrant, they began to lead him and his army. But finding it not for his purpose, even as they told him, he was constrained to return to the former way, swearing with great choler and indignation: Mort Dieu, les Espagnols me le payeront (By God's death the Spaniards shall pay me for this).
next day he fell into another ambuscade; the which he
assaulted with such horrible fury that in less than an
hour's time he routed the Spaniards, and killed the
greatest part of them. The Spaniards were persuaded that
by these ambuscades they should better be able to destroy
the Pirates, assaulting them by degrees; and for this
reason had potted themselves in several places. At last he
met with a third ambuscade, where was placed a party of
Spaniards both stronger and to greater advantage than the
former. Yet, notwithstanding, the Pirates, by throwing
with their hands little fireballs in great number, and
continuing to do so for some time, forced this party, as
well as the preceding, to flee. And this with such great
loss of men as that, before they could reach the town, the
greatest part of the Spaniards were either killed or
wounded. There was but one path which led to the town.
This path was very well barricaded with good defences; and
the rest of the town round about was planted with certain
shrubs or trees named Raqueltes, very full of thorns and
these very sharp-pointed. This sort of fortification
seemed stronger than the triangles which are used in
Europe, when an army is of necessity to pass by the place
of an enemy, it being almost impossible for the Pirates to
traverse those shrubs. The Spaniards that were posted
behind the said defences, seeing the Pirates come, began
to shoot at them with their great guns. But these,
perceiving them ready to fire, used to stoop down, and
when the shot was made, fall upon the defendants with
fireballs in hands and naked swords, killing with these
weapons many of the town. Yet, notwithstanding, not being
able to advance any farther, they were constrained to
retire for the first time. Afterwards they returned to the
attack again, with fewer men than before; and observing
not to shoot till they were very near, they gave the
Spaniards a charge so dexterously, that with every shot
they killed an enemy.
The attack continuing thus eager on both sides till night, the Spaniards were compelled to hang forth a white flag, in token of truce and that they desired to come to a parley. The only conditions they required for delivering the town were: That the Pirates should give the inhabitants quarter for two hours. This short space of time they demanded, with intent to carry away and abscond as much of their goods and riches as they could, as also to flee to some other neighbouring town. Upon the agreement of this article they entered the town, and continued there the two hours above-mentioned, without committing the least act of hostility, or causing any trouble to the inhabitants. But no sooner that time was passed, than L’Ollonais ordered the inhabitants should be followed and robbed of all they had carried away; and not only goods, but their persons likewise to be made all prisoners. Notwithstanding, the greatest part of their merchandize and goods were in such manner absconded as the Pirates could not find them; they meeting only a few leathern sacks that were filled with anil or indigo.
Having stayed at this town some few days, and according to their usual customs committed there most horrid insolencies, they at last quitted the place, carrying away with them all that they possibly could, and reducing the town totally into ashes. Being come to the seaside, where they left a party of their own comrades, they found these had busied themselves in cruizing upon the fishermen that lived thereabouts or came that way from the river of Guatemala. In this river also was expected a ship that was to come from Spain. Finally they resolved to go towards the islands that lie on the other side of the gulf, there to cleanse and careen their vessels. But in the meanwhile they left two canoes before the coast, or rather the mouth of the river of Guatemala, to the intent they should take the ship which, as I said before, was expected from Spain.
But their chief intention of going to those islands was to seek provisions, as knowing the tortoises of those places are very excellent and pleasant food. As soon as they arrived there, they divided into troops, each party choosing a fit post for that fishery. Every one of them undertook to knit a net with the rinds of certain trees, called in those parts Macoa. Of these rinds they make also ropes and cables for the service of ships: insomuch that no vessel can be in need of such things whensoever they can but find the said trees. There are also in those parts many places where they find pitch,1 which is gathered thereabouts in great abundance. The quantity hereof is so great that, running down the sea-coasts, being melted by the heat of the sun, it congeals in the water into great heaps, and represents the shape of small islands. This pitch is not like that we have in the countries of Europe, but is hugely like, both in colour and shape, that froth of the sea which is called by the naturalists bitumen. But in my judgment this matter is nothing else but wax, which stormy weather has cast into the sea, being part of that huge quantity which in the neighbouring territories is made by the bees. Thus from places far distant from the sea it is also brought to the sea-coast by the winds and rolling waves of great rivers; being likewise mingled with sand, and having the smell of black amber, such as is sent us from the Orient. In those parts are found great quantities of the said bees, who make their honey in trees; whence it happens that the honey-combs being fixed to the bodies of the trees, when tempests arise they are torn away, and by the fury of the winds carried into the sea, as has been said before. Some naturalists are willing to say that between the honey and the wax is made a separation by means of the salt water, whence proceeds also the good amber. This opinion is rendered the more probable because the said amber being found and tasted, it affords the like taste as wax does.
But now, returning to my discourse, I shall let you know that the Pirates made in those islands all the haste to equip their vessels they could possibly, by reason they had news the Spanish ship which they expected was come. They spent some time in cruizing upon the coasts of Yucatan, whereabouts inhabit many Indians, who seek for the amber above-mentioned in those seas. But seeing we are come to this place, I shall here, by the by, make some short remarks on the manner of living of these Indians, and the divine worship which they practise.
The Indians of the coasts of Yucatan have now been above one hundred years under the dominion of the Spaniards. To this nation they performed all manner of service; for, whensoever any of them had need of a slave or servant, they sent to seek one of these Indians to serve them as long as they pleased. By the Spaniards they were initiated at first in the principles of Christian faith and religion. Being thus made a part of Christianity, they used to send them every Sunday and holiday through the whole year a priest to perform divine service among them. Afterwards, for what reasons are not known, but certainly through evil temptations of the Father of Idolatry, the Devil, they suddenly cast off Christian religion again, and abandoned the true divine worship, beating withal and abusing the priest was sent them. This provoked the Spaniards to punish them according to their deserts, which they did by casting many of the chief of these Indians into prison. Every one of those barbarians had, and has still, a god to himself, whom he serves and worships. It is a thing that deserves all admiration, to consider how they use in this particular a child that is newly born into the world. As soon as this is issued from the womb of the mother, they carry it to the temple. Here they make a circle or hole, which they fill with ashes, without mingling anything else with them. Upon this heap of ashes they place the child naked, leaving it there a whole night alone, not without great danger; nobody daring to come near it. In the meanwhile the temple is open on all sides, to the intent all sorts of beasts may freely come in and out. The next day the father and relations of the infant return thither, to see if the track or step of any animal appears to be printed in the ashes. Not finding any, they leave the child there until some beast hath approached the infant, and left behind him the mark of his feet. To this animal, whatsoever it be, they consecrate the creature newly born, as unto its god; which he is bound to worship and serve all his life, esteeming the said beast as his patron and protector in all cases of danger or necessity. They offer to their gods sacrifices of fire, wherein they burn a certain gum called by them copal, whose smoke affords a very delicious smell. When the infant is grown up, the parents thereof tell him and show him whom he ought to worship, serve and honour as his own proper god. This being known, he goes to the temple, where he makes offerings to the said beast. Afterwards, if in the course of his life any one has injured him, or any evil happens to him, he complains thereof to that beast, and sacrifices to it for revenge. Whence many times comes that those who have done the injury of which he complains are found to be bitten, killed, or otherwise hurt by such animals.
After this superstitious and idolatrous manner do live those miserable and ignorant Indians, that inhabit all the islands of the Gulf of Honduras, as also many of them that dwell upon the continent of Yucatan. In the territories of which country are found most excellent ports for the safety of ships, where those Indians most commonly love to build their houses. These people are not very faithful one to another, and likewise use strange ceremonies at their marriages. Whensoever any one pretends to marry a young damsel, he first applies himself to her father or nearest relation. He then examines him very exactly concerning the manner of cultivating their plantations and other things at his pleasure. Having satisfied the questions that were put to him by the father-in-law, he gives the young man a bow and arrow. With these things he repairs to the young maid, and presents her with a garland of green leaves, interweaved with sweet-smelling flowers. This she is obliged to put upon her head, and lay aside that which she wore before that time; it being the custom of the country that all virgins go perpetually crowned with flowers. This garland being received and put upon the head, every one of the relations and friends go to advise with others, among themselves, whether that marriage will be useful and of likely happiness, or not. Afterwards the aforesaid relations and friends meet together at the house of the damsel's father, and there they drink of a certain liquor made of maize, or Indian wheat. And here before the whole company the father gives his daughter in marriage to the bridegroom. The next day the newly-married bride comes to her mother, and in her presence pulls off the garland and tears it in pieces, with great cries and bitter lamentations, according to the custom of the country. Many other things I could relate at large of the manner of living and customs of those Indians; but these I shall omit, thereby to follow my discourse.
Our Pirates therefore had many canoes of the Indians in the Isle of Sambale, five leagues distant from the coasts of Yucatan. In the aforesaid island is found great quantity of amber, but more especially when any storm arises from towards the East, whence the waves bring many things and very different. Through this sea no vessels can pass, unless very small, the waters being too shallow. In the lands that are surrounded by this sea is found huge quantity of Campeche wood (i.e. Iogwood), and other things of this kind, that serve for the art of dyeing, which occasions them to be much esteemed in Europe, and doubtless would be much more, in case we had the skill and science of the Indians, who are so industrious as to make a dye or tincture that never changes its colour nor fades away.
After that the Pirates had been in that gulf three entire months, they received advice that the Spanish ship was come. Hereupon they hastened to the port, where the ship lay at anchor unlading the merchandize it brought, with design to assault her as soon as it were possible. But before this attempt they thought it convenient to send away some of their boats from the mouth of the river, to seek for a small vessel which was expected; having notice that she was very richly laden, the greatest part of the cargo being plate, indigo and cochineal. In the meanwhile the people of the ship that was in the port had notice given that the Pirates designed upon them. Hereupon they prepared all things very well for the defence of the said vessel, which was mounted with forty-two guns, had many arms on board and other necessaries, together with one hundred and thirty fighting men. To L’Ollonais all this seemed but little; and thus he assaulted her with great courage, his own ship carrying only twenty-two guns, and having no more than a small saetia, or flyboat, for help. But the Spaniards defended themselves after such manner as they forced the Pirates to retire. Notwithstanding, while the smoke of the powder continued very thick, as amidst a dark fog or mist, they sent four canoes very well manned, and boarded the ship with great agility, whereby they compelled the Spaniards to surrender.
The ship being taken, they found not in her what they thought, as being already almost wholly unladed. All the treasure they here got consisted only in fifty bars of iron, a small parcel of paper, some earthen jars full of wine, and other things of this kind; all of small importance.
Presently after, L’Ollonais called a council of the whole fleet, wherein he told them he intended to go to Guatemala. Upon this point they divided into several sentiments; some of them liking the proposal very well, and others disliking it as much — especially a certain party of them, who were but new in those exercises of piracy, and who had imagined at their setting forth from Tortuga that pieces of eight were gathered as easily as pears from a tree. But having found at last most things contrary to their expectation, they quitted the fleet, and returned whence they set out. Others, on the contrary, affirmed they had rather die of hunger, than return home without a great deal of money.
But the major part of the company, judging the propounded voyage little fit for their purpose, separated from L’Ollonais and the rest. Among these was ringleader one Moses Vanclein, who was captain of the ship taken at Puerto Cavallo. This fellow took his course towards Tortuga, designing to cruize to and fro in those seas. With him also joined another comrade of his own, by name Pierre le Picard, who, seeing the rest to leave L’Ollonais, thought fit to do the same. These runaways having thus parted company, steered their course homewards, coasting along the continent, till they came at last to Costa Rica. Here they, landed a strong party of men-near the river of Veraguas, and marched in good order to the town of the same name. This place they took and totally pillaged, notwithstanding that the Spaniards made a strong and warlike resistance. They brought away some of the inhabitants as prisoners, with all that they had robbed, which was of no great importance, the reason hereof being the poverty of the place, which exercises no manner of trade than only working in the mines, where some of the inhabitants constantly attend. Yet no other persons seek for the gold than only slaves. These they compel to dig, whether they live or die, and wash the earth that is taken out in the neighbouring rivers; where oftentimes they find pieces of gold as big as peas. Finally, the Pirates found in this robbery no greater value than seven or eight pounds weight of gold. Hereupon they returned back, giving over the design they had to go farther on to the town of Nata, situated upon the coasts of the South sea. Hitherto they designed to march, knowing the inhabitants to be rich merchants, who had their slaves at work in the mines of Veraguas. But from this enterprize they were deterred by the multitude of Spaniards whom they saw gather on all sides to fall upon them; whereof they had timely advice beforehand.
L’Ollonais, thus abandoned by his companions, remained alone in the Gulf of Honduras, by reason his ship was too great to get out at the time of the reflux of those seas, which the smaller vessels could more easily do. There he sustained great want of all sorts of provisions; insomuch as they were constrained to go ashore every day, to seek wherewithal to maintain themselves. And not finding anything else, they were forced to kill monkeys and other animals such as they could find, for their sustenance.
At last having found, in the latitude of the Cape of Gracias a Dios, certain little islands called De las Pertas, here, near these isles, his ship fell upon a bank of sand, where it stuck so fast that no art could be found to get her off into deep water again, notwithstanding they unladed all the guns, iron and other weighty things as much as possibly they could: but all they could do was to little or no effect. Hereupon they were necessitated to break the ship in pieces, and with some of the planks and nails build themselves a boat, wherewith to get away from those islands. Thus they began their work; and while they are employed about it, I shall pass to describe succinctly the isles aforementioned and their inhabitants.
The islands called De las Pertas are inhabited by Indians, who are properly savages, not having at any time known or conversed with any civil people. They are tall in stature and very nimble in running, which they perform almost as fast as horses. At diving also in the sea they are very dexterous and hardy. From the bottom of the sea I saw them take up an anchor that weighed six hundred pound, by tying a cable to it with great dexterity, and pulling it from a rock. They use no other arms than such as are made of wood, without any iron, unless that some instead thereof fix a crocodile tooth, which serves for a point. They have neither bows nor arrows among them, as other Indians have; but their common weapon is a sort of lances, that are long a fathom and a half. In these islands there are many plantations surrounded with woods, whence they gather great abundance of fruits. Such are potatoes, bananas, racoven, ananas and many others, which the constitution of the soil affords. Near these plantations they have no houses to dwell in, as in other places of the Indies. Some are of opinion that these Indians eat human flesh, which seems to be confirmed by what happened when L’Ollonais was there. Two of his companions, the one being a Frenchman and the other a Spaniard, went into the woods, where having straggled up and down some while, they met with a troop of Indians that began to pursue them. They defended themselves as well as they could with their swords; but at last were forced to flee. This the Frenchman performed with great agility; but the Spaniard, being not so swift as his companion, was taken by those barbarians, and heard of no more. Some days after, they attempted to go into the woods to see what was become of their companion. To this effect twelve Pirates set forth very well armed, amongst whom was the Frenchman, who conducted them, and shewed them the place where he left his companion. Here they found, near the place, that the Indians had kindled a fire; and, at a small distance thence, they found the bones of the said Spaniard very well roasted. Hence they inferred that they had roasted the miserable Spaniard, of whom they found more, some pieces of flesh ill scraped off from the bones, and one hand, which had only two fingers remaining.
They marched farther on, seeking for Indians. Of these they found a great number together, who endeavoured to escape, seeing the Pirates so strong and well armed. But they overtook some of them, and brought on board their ships five men and four women. With these they used all the means they could invent to make themselves he understood and gain their affections; giving them certain small trifles, as knives, beads and the like things. They gave them also victuals and drink; but nothing of either would they taste. It was also observable that all the while they were prisoners on board the ships, they spoke not one word to each other among themselves. Thus the Pirates, seeing these poor Indians were much afraid of them, presented them again with some small things, and let them go. When they departed, they made signs, giving them to understand they would come again. But they soon forgot their benefactors, and were never heard nor seen more. Neither could any notice afterwards be had of these Indians or any others in the whole island after that time. Which occasioned the Pirates to suspect that both those that were taken, and all the rest of the island, did all swim away by night to some other little neighbouring islands, especially considering they could never set eyes on any Indian more; neither was there ever seen any boat or other vessel in the whole circumference of the island.
In the meanwhile the Pirates were very desirous to see their long-boat finished, which they were building with the timber of the ship that struck upon the sands. Yet, considering their work would be but long, they began to cultivate some pieces of ground. Here they sowed French beans, which came to maturity in six weeks' time, and many other fruits. They had good provision of Spanish wheat, bananas, racoven and other things. With the wheat they made bread, and baked it in portable ovens, which they had brought with them to this effect. Thus they feared not hunger in those desert places. After this manner they employed themselves for the space of five or six months. Which time being passed, and the long-boat finished, they determined to go to the river of Nicaragua, to see if they could take some few canoes, and herewith return to the said islands and fetch away their companions that remained behind, by reason the boat they had built was not capable of transporting so many men together. Hereupon, to avoid any disputes that might arise, they cast lots among themselves, determining thereby who should go, or stay, in the island.
The lot fell only upon one half of the people of the lost vessel; who embarked upon the long-boat they had built, and also the skiff which they had before; the other half remaining on shore. L’Ollonais having set sail, arrived in a few days at the mouth of the river of Nicaragua. Here suddenly his ill-fortune assailed him, which of long time had been reserved for him, as a punishment due to the multitude of horrible crimes, which in his licentious and wicked life he had committed. Here he met with both Spaniards awl Indians, who jointly together set upon him and his companions, and used them so roughly that the greatest part of the Pirates were killed upon the place. L’Ollonais, with those that remained alive, had much ado to escape on board their boats aforementioned. Yet notwithstanding this great loss of men, he resolved not to return to seek those he had left at the Isle of Pertas, without taking some boats, such as he looked for. To this effect he determined to go farther on to the coasts of Cartagena, with design to seek for canoes. But God Almighty, the time of His Divine justice being now already come, had appointed the Indians of Darien to be the instruments and executioners thereof. The Indians of Darien are esteemed as bravos, or wild savage Indians, by the neighbouring Spaniards, who never could reduce them to civility. Hither L’Ollonais came (being rather brought by his evil conscience that cried for punishment of his crimes), thinking to act in that country his former cruelties. But the Indians within a few days after his arrival took him prisoner and tore him in pieces alive, throwing his body limb by limb into the fire. and his ashes into the air: to the intent no trace nor memory might remain of such an infamous, inhuman creature. One of his companions gave me an exact account of the aforesaid tragedy; affirming withal that he himself had escaped the same punishment, not without the greatest of difficulties. He believed also that many of his comrades who were taken prisoners in that encounter by the Indians of Darien were after the same manner as their cruel captain torn in pieces and burned alive. Thus ends the history of the life and miserable death of that internal wretch L’Ollonais, who, full of horrid, execrable and enormous deeds, and also debtor to so much innocent blood, died by cruel and butcherly hands, such as his own were in the course of his life.
Those that remained in the island De las Pertas, waiting for the return of them who got away, only to their great misfortune, hearing no news of their captain nor companions, at last embarked themselves upon the ship of a certain Pirate who happened to pass that way. This fellow was come from Jamaica with intent to land at the Cape of Gracias à Dios, and hence to mount the river with his canoes, and take the city of Cartagena. These two parcels of Pirates being now joined together were infinitely gladdened at the presence and society of one another. Those because they found themselves delivered from their miseries, poverty and necessities, wherein now they had lived the space of ten entire months — these, because they were now considerably strengthened, whereby to effect with greater satisfaction their intended designs. Hereupon, as soon as they were arrived at the aforesaid Cape of Gracias à Dios, they all put themselves into canoes, and with these vessels mounted the river, being in number five hundred men; leaving only five or six persons in every ship to keep them. They took no provisions with them, as being persuaded they should find everywhere sufficient. But these their own hopes were found totally vain, as not being grounded in God Almighty. For He ordained it so that the Indians having perceived their coming, were all fled before them, not leaving in their houses nor plantations, which for the most part border upon the sides of rivers, anything of necessary provisions or victuals. Hereby, in few days after they had quitted their ships, they were reduced to such necessity and hunger as nothing could be more extreme. Notwithstanding, the hopes they had conceived of making their fortunes very soon animated them for the present, being contented in this affliction with a few green herbs, such as they could gather as they went upon the banks of the river.
Yet all this courage and vigour of mind could not last above a fortnight. After which, their hearts, as well as their bodies, began to fail for hunger; insomuch as they found themselves constrained to quit the river and betake themselves to the woods, seeking out some small villages where they might find relief for their necessity. But all was in vain: for, having ranged up and down the woods for some days without finding the least comfort to their hungry desires, they were forced to return again to the river. Where being come, they thought it convenient to descend to the sea-coasts where they had left their ships, not being able to find in the present enterprize what they sought for. In this laborious journey they were reduced to such extremity that many of them devoured their own shoes, the sheaths of their swords, knives and other things of this kind, being almost ravenous, and fully desirous to meet some Indians, intending to sacrifice them unto their teeth. At last they arrived at the coast of the sea, where they found some comfort and relief to their former miseries, and also means to seek more. Yet notwithstanding, the greatest part of them perished through faintness and other diseases contracted by hunger; which occasioned also the remaining part to disperse. Till at last by degrees many or most of them fell into the same pit that L’Ollonais did. Of him, and of his companions I have hitherto given my reader a compendious narrative; which now I shall continue with the actions and exploits of Captain Henry Morgan, who may not undeservedly be called the second L’Ollonais, as not being unlike or inferior to him either in achievements against the Spaniards or in robberies of many innocent people.
1 One of the largest pitch or asphalt lakes is to be seen in the British island of Trinidad, a very good description of which is to be found in C. Kingsley's "At Last." Similar deposits on a small scale are not uncommon in the West Indian Islands, which are mostly of volcanic origin.