A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 762 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10.
and we had only two round shot, a few chain-bolts, the clapper of the Speedwell’s bell, and some bags of stones.  We came up with her in four hours; but I now saw that she had guns and pattereroes, with a considerable number of men, whose arms glittered in the sun.  The enemy defied us to board them, and at the same time gave us a volley of great and small shot, which killed our gunner, and almost brought our foremast by the board.  This unexpected reception staggered many of my people, who before seemed most forward, so that they lay on their oars for some time, though I urged them to keep their way.  Recovering again, we rowed quite up to them, and continued to engage till all our small shot was expended, which obliged us to fall astern to make some slugs, and in this manner we made three attacks without success.  All night we were busied in making slugs, and provided a large quantity before morning, when we came to the determined resolution either to carry her by boarding, or to submit to her.  At day-break, I accordingly ordered twenty men in our yawl to lay her athwart hawse, while I proposed to board her from the bark; but, just as we were on the point of making the attempt, a gale sprung up, and she went away from us.  We learnt afterwards that she was the Margaretta, having formerly been a privateer from St Malo, mounting forty guns.  In the several skirmishes, we had none killed, except Gilbert Henderson our gunner.  Three were wounded, Mr Brooks being shot through the thigh, Mr Coldsea in the groin, and one of the crew in the small of the back.  Mr Coldsea lingered in a miserable condition for nine or ten months, but at length recovered.

We were now in a worse condition than ever, and the sea being too rough for our uncomfortable vessel, I proposed to stand to the north to get into fairer weather, but to take Coquimbo in our way, to try what might be done there.  This was agreed to; but the very morning in which we expected to have got into Coquimbo, a hard gale of wind sprung up, which lasted four days, during which we every hour expected to founder, being obliged to scud under bare poles, with our yawl in tow, and having only a very short rope for her.  This storm so frightened many of our people, that they resolved to go ashore at the first place they could find.  At length, calling to mind the account given by Frezier of the island of Iquique, I mentioned the surprisal of that place, being but a small lieutenancy, where we might probably get some wholesome provisions, and a better vessel.  This was approved, and the sun again shining, so that we lay dry, we acquired fresh vigour, and directed our course for that island.  Next evening we saw the island, which seemed merely a high white rock, at the foot of the high land of Carapucho.  Our boat set off for the island about sun-set, and had like to have been lost among the breakers.  At length they heard the barking of dogs, and saw the light of some candles; but, aware of the danger of

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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