A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
intention was to prevent our being disturbed by any sudden attack of the enemy’s horse, yet it answered another purpose, which was not in itself less important; this was to hinder our own people from straggling singly into the country, where we had reason to believe they would be surprised by the Spaniards, who would doubtless be extremely solicitous to pick up some of them, in hopes of getting intelligence of our future designs.  To avoid this inconvenience, the strictest orders were given to the centinels, to let no person whatever pass beyond their post:  But, notwithstanding this precaution, we missed one Lewis Leger, who was the commodore’s cook; and as he was a Frenchman, and suspected to be a papist, it was by some imagined that he had deserted with a view of betraying all that he knew to the enemy; but this appeared by the event to be an ill-grounded surmise, for it was afterwards known that he had been taken by some Indians, who carried him prisoner to Acapulco, from whence he was transferred, to Mexico, and then to Vera Cruz, where he was shipped on board a vessel bound to Old Spain:  And the vessel being obliged by some accident to put into Lisbon, Leger escaped on shore, and was by the British consul sent from thence to England; where he brought the first authentic account of the safety of the commodore, and of what he had done in the South Seas.  The relation he gave of his own seizure was, that he had rambled into the woods at some distance from the barricade, where he had first attempted to pass, but had been stopped and threatened to be punished; that his principal view was to get a quantity of limes for his master’s store; and that in this occupation he was surprised by four Indians, who stripped him naked, and carried him in that condition to Acapulco, exposed to the scorching heat of the sun, which at that time of the year shone with its greatest violence:  And afterwards at Mexico his treatment in prison was sufficiently severe, and the whole course of his captivity was a continued instance of the hatred which the Spaniards bear to all those who endeavour to disturb them in the peaceable possession of the coasts of the South Seas.  Indeed, Leger’s fortune was upon the whole extremely singular; for after the hazards he had run in the commodore’s squadron, and the severities he had suffered in his long confinement amongst the enemy, a more fatal disaster attended him on his return to England:  For though, when he arrived in London, some of Mr Anson’s friends interested themselves in relieving him from the poverty to which his captivity had reduced him, yet he did not long enjoy the benefit of their humanity, for he was killed in an insignificant night brawl, the cause of which could scarcely be discovered.

And here I must observe, that though the enemy never appeared in sight during our stay in this harbour; yet we perceived that there were large parties encamped in the woods about us; for we could see their smokes, and could thence determine that they were posted in a circular line surrounding us at a distance; and just before our coming away they seemed, by the increase of their fires, to have received a considerable reinforcement.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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