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.
from it.  However, we kept on our course, and about ten in the morning we perceived a proa under sail to the southward, between Tinian and Aguigan.  As we imagined from hence that these islands were inhabited, and knew that the Spaniards had always a force at Guam, we took the necessary precautions for our own security, and for preventing the enemy from taking advantage of our present wretched circumstances, of which they would be sufficiently informed by the manner of our working the ship; we therefore mustered all our hands, who were capable of standing to their arms, and loaded our upper and quarter-deck guns with grape-shot; and, that we might the more readily procure some intelligence of the state of these islands, we showed Spanish colours, and hoisted a red flag at the fore-top-masthead, to give our ship the appearance of the Manilla galleon, hoping thereby to decoy some of the inhabitants on board us.  Thus preparing ourselves, and standing towards the land, we were near enough, at three in the afternoon, to send the cutter in shore, to find out a proper birth for the ship; and we soon perceived that a proa came off the shore to meet the cutter, fully persuaded, as we afterwards found, that we were the Manilla ship.  As we saw the cutter returning back with the proa in tow, we immediately sent the pinnace to receive the proa and the prisoners, and to bring them on board, that the cutter might proceed on her errand.  The pinnace came back with a Spaniard and four Indians, which were the people taken in the proa.  The Spaniard was immediately examined as to the produce and circumstances of this island of Tinian, and his account of it surpassed even our most sanguine hopes; for he informed us that it was uninhabited, which, in our present defenceless condition, was an advantage not to be despised, especially as it wanted but few of the conveniences that could be expected in the most cultivated country; for he assured us, that there was great plenty of very good water, and that there were an incredible number of cattle, hogs, and poultry running wild on the island, all of them excellent in their kind; that the woods produced sweet and sour oranges, limes, lemons, and cocoa-nuts in great plenty, besides a fruit peculiar to these islands (called by Dampier, Bread-fruit); that from the quantity and goodness of the provisions produced here, the Spaniards at Guam made use of it as a store for supplying the garrison; that he himself was a serjeant of that garrison, and was sent here with twenty-two Indians to jerk beef, which he was to load for Guam on board a small bark of about fifteen tun, which lay at anchor near the shore.

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