The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African.
I determined never more to revisit it.  My new captain conducted his vessel safer than my former one; and, after an agreeable voyage, we got safe to our intended port.  While I was on this island I went about a good deal, and found it very pleasant:  in particular I admired the town of St. Pierre, which is the principal one in the island, and built more like an European town than any I had seen in the West Indies.  In general also, slaves were better treated, had more holidays, and looked better than those in the English islands.  After we had done our business here, I wanted my discharge, which was necessary; for it was then the month of May, and I wished much to be at Montserrat to bid farewell to Mr. King, and all my other friends there, in time to sail for Old England in the July fleet.  But, alas!  I had put a great stumbling block in my own way, by which I was near losing my passage that season to England.  I had lent my captain some money, which I now wanted to enable me to prosecute my intentions.  This I told him; but when I applied for it, though I urged the necessity of my occasion, I met with so much shuffling from him, that I began at last to be afraid of losing my money, as I could not recover it by law:  for I have already mentioned, that throughout the West Indies no black man’s testimony is admitted, on any occasion, against any white person whatever, and therefore my own oath would have been of no use.  I was obliged, therefore, to remain with him till he might be disposed to return it to me.  Thus we sailed from Martinico for the Grenades.  I frequently pressing the captain for my money to no purpose; and, to render my condition worse, when we got there, the captain and his owners quarrelled; so that my situation became daily more irksome:  for besides that we on board had little or no victuals allowed us, and I could not get my money nor wages, I could then have gotten my passage free to Montserrat had I been able to accept it.  The worst of all was, that it was growing late in July, and the ships in the islands must sail by the 26th of that month.  At last, however, with a great many entreaties, I got my money from the captain, and took the first vessel I could meet with for St. Eustatia.  From thence I went in another to Basseterre in St. Kitts, where I arrived on the 19th of July.  On the 22d, having met with a vessel bound to Montserrat, I wanted to go in her; but the captain and others would not take me on board until I should advertise myself, and give notice of my going off the island.  I told them of my haste to be in Montserrat, and that the time then would not admit of advertising, it being late in the evening, and the captain about to sail; but he insisted it was necessary, and otherwise he said he would not take me.  This reduced me to great perplexity; for if I should be compelled to submit to this degrading necessity, which every black freeman is under, of advertising himself like a slave, when he leaves an island, and which I thought a gross
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The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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