A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 754 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08.

They now pressed so fiercely upon us, while we received them on our levelled pikes, that they attempted to gather them with one hand that they might reach us with their swords, so that it was near half an hour before we could force them back into the cabin, after having killed three or four of their leaders.  When we had driven them into the cabin, they continued to fight us for at least four hours, before we could finally suppress them, in which time they several times set the cabin on fire, and burnt the bedding and other furniture; and if we had not beaten down the bulkhead and poop, by means of two demi-culverines from under the half-deck, we had never been able to prevent them from burning the ship.  Having loaded these pieces of ordnance with bar-shot, case-shot, and musket-bullets, and discharged them close to the bulk-head, they were so annoyed and torn with shot and splinters, that at last only one was left out of two and twenty.  Their legs, arms, and bodies were so lacerated as was quite wonderful to behold.  Such was the desperate valour of these Japanese, that they never once asked quarter during the whole of this sanguinary contest, though quite hopeless of escape.  One only leapt overboard, who afterwards swam back to our ship and asked for quarter.  On coming on board, we asked him what was their purpose?  To which he answered, that they meant to take our ship and put us all to death.  He would say no more, and desired to be cut in pieces.

Next day, being the 28th December, we went to a small island to leeward; and when about five miles from the land, the general ordered the Japanese who had swum back to our ship to be hanged; but the rope broke, and he fell into the sea, but whether he perished or swam to the island I know not.  Continuing our course to that island, we came to anchor there on the 30th December, and remained three days to repair our boat and to take in wood and water.  At this island we found a ship belonging to Patane, out of which we took the captain, whom we asked whether the China ships were yet come to Patane?  He said they were not yet come, but were expected in two or three days.  As he knew well the course of the China ships, we detained him to pilot us, as we determined to wait for them.  The 12th January, 1606, one of our mates from the top of the mast descried two ships coming towards us, but which, on account of the wind, fell to leeward of the island.  As soon as we had sight of them, we weighed anchor and made sail towards them, and came up with the larger that night.  After a short engagement, we boarded and took her, and brought her to anchor.

Next morning we unladed some of her cargo, being raw silk and silk goods.  They had fifty tons of their country silver, but we took little or none of it, being in good hope of meeting with the other China ships.  So we allowed them to depart on the 15th January, and gave them to the value of twice as much as we had taken from them.  Leaving this ship, we endeavoured to go back to China Bata, but could not fetch it on account of contrary wind, so that we had to go to leeward to two small islands, called Palo Sumatra by the people of Java, where we anchored on the 22d January.  On the 24th there arose a heavy storm, during which we parted our cable, so that we were under the necessity of taking shelter in the nearest creek.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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