Occurrences from our Departure from Payta to our Arrival at Quibo.
Setting sail from the road of Payta about midnight of the 16th November, we stood to the westward, and next morning the commodore caused the squadron to spread, on purpose to look out for the Gloucester, as we drew near the station where Captain Mitchell had been directed to cruise, and we hourly expected to get sight of him, yet the whole day passed without seeing him.
At this time a jealousy between those who had gone ashore to the attack of Payta, and those who had continued on board, grew to such a height, that the commodore became acquainted with it, and thought it necessary to interpose his authority for its abatement. This was occasioned by the plunder taken at Payta, which those who acted on shore had appropriated to themselves, considering it as due to the risks they had run, and the resolution they had shewn on that service. But those who had remained on board, deemed this a very partial and unjust procedure; urging, that they also would have preferred acting on shore if it had been left to their choice; that their duty on board was extremely fatiguing while their comrades were on shore; for, besides the labour of the day, they were forced to remain all night under arms to secure the prisoners, who were more numerous than themselves, and of whom it was then necessary to be extremely watchful, to prevent any attempts they might have planned at that critical conjuncture. They insisted, also, that it was undeniably as necessary to the success of the enterprize to have an adequate force on board as on shore in its execution, and, therefore, that those who remained on board could not be deprived of their share in the plunder, without manifest injustice. These contests were carried on with great heat on both sides; and though the plunder in question was a mere trifle, in comparison with the treasure taken, in which there was no doubt that those on board had an equal right, yet, as the obstinacy of sailors is not always regulated by the importance of the matter in dispute, the commodore thought it necessary to put a speedy stop to this commotion.