Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

you're the fellow that wanted that girl - It is impossible ! Am I dreaming ? for a wife. I wish Mr Sexton had Does God Almighty really permit this ? bought her, and then the loss would -A slave! a black! a negro!-Strike have fallen on his shoulders. Well, me-a noble Carolinian! Is there a law you may take her now, and bury her, to punish this ? Law-nonsense--Toror marry her—whichever you like tures, death, eternal curses !

“I was immediately thrown into a « I hurried home, equally afflicted at dark apartment in a large store-house, the death of Sabrina, and enraged by and remained there all night without the inhuman insults I had received from being visited by any one. In the mornher master. When I had come within ing the overseer took me out, and made a little distance of the house, I observed one of the negroes flog me severely, in Mr Sexton and his daughter walking presence of Mr. Sexton and his daughtowards me. How do you do, Manu- ter. My sufferings were dreadful. In el?' cried he, in that style of derision short, I was indicted for striking my which he always assumed when infuri- master, and tried and found guilty. You ated with passion I hope your walk know the punishment which the law has been a pleasant one. Be so good as awards in such cases— It was inflicted suggest what improvements ought to be upon me.—They cut off my right hand ! made on this estate. Do the crops look ---they cut off my right hand !” Here well !_Slave! baboon! imp of the Manuel stretched out the mutilated arm, devil! where have you been ?

and sobbed convulsively. “ But thank “I made no reply, but looked to God I've another," continued hé veMiss Sexton. She coloured, and cried, hemently; “ and may it never be better • What does the wretch mean by look- employed than in resenting the tyranny ing at me ? You surely do not say that of slave-masters. Oh ! that every neI sent you any where.'— Answer me,' gro in the Southern States would risk vociferated her father, raising his cane. the loss of his right hand by doing what

Miss Sexton will inform you,' returned I have done! then would we prove that 1.- This is beyond my patience ! ex- our race was not made to be trampled claimed she. “I'll tell you how it is, upon—but let me proceed. father-he has been paying a visit to " I was confined in jail for 3 months, Sabrina, notwithstanding your orders and then sent back to my master. 1 to the contrary, and wishes to make anticipated a life of wretchedness, and you believe that I sent him somewhere was not mistaken. Scarcely a day pas-Manuel, say instantly if you saw Sa- sed, in the course of which Mr. Sexton brina this morning.'--Yes,' answered did not find an excuse for punishing me. 1,‘I did, but— None of your buts, As the want of my hand rendered me you equivocating villain ! interrupted unable to do the duties of a house-sermy master. Stung with indignation at vant, I was employed in tending the Miss Sexton's ingratitude, I cried, Your cattle, and thus had many opportunities daughter sent me with a letter to Mr of conversing with my fellow-slaves

Lusher.'--What ! you give us the lie who worked out of doors. I confided * then ? replied Mr Sexton, striking me my thoughts to three of them, who seem

over the head. I returned the blow with ed willing to attempt the execution of my fist, and he fell flat upon the ground. any project, however daring. In short,

“ Miss Sexton shrieked loudly, and we determined to burn our master's the overseer, followed by several slaves, house, and spent much time in planning hastened towards me with a drawn cut- how we could best effect this without lass in his hand. I made no resistance, the risk of being discovered. and was immediately seized and bound. " At last we fixed upon a time for our My master received very little injury revenge. It was a holiday among the from the blow, but his lips quivered negroes, who were all amusing themwith rage; and having given orders selves in various ways on different parts that I should be put in confinement, he of the estate. My master was dining walked toward the house crying out, with a planter in the neighbourhood; Struck by a slave ! struck by a slave! and as part of his road Jay through a

retired forest, we resolved to intercept inhabited place. The want of my hand him on his way home, lest his presence rendered my appearance too remarkathere should prove any hindrance to the ble to allow me to hope that I would success of our scheme.

escape notice. I need not describe the “ We had, at different times, placed hardships we encountered during our combustibles in those parts of his house journey. In two days we reached the and offices that were least exposed to coast, where we stole a boat, and put observation. About 8 in the evening out to sea, intending, if possible, to elude we set fire to them, and then hastened any search that might be made for us. to the wood, and stationed ourselves We soon fell in with a pirate, who imamong the trees which bordered the mediately took us on board, and I gradroad. We had scarcely waited half an ually acquired some knowledge of seahour when we saw smoke beginning to manship. We cruized about for a conascend from the house, which was nearly siderable time, and got a great many a mile distant, and heard a tumultuous prizes, but our vessel at last became so noise of voices. I gazed and listened generally known, that the Captain with silent satisfaction, till my master could not continue to sail her without made his appearance. He was in a gig, running much risk of being captured. and a negro rode on horseback behind He therefore went into a port in one of him. Two of my companions seized the West India Islands, and managed the reins of the horses, and, assisted by to get her sold. He paid his crew very a third, I dragged Mr. Sexton out of his generously, and by means of his bounty, carriage. He was almost speechless and a series of fortunate accidents, I with indignation and terror, and doubt. was enabled to purchase this schooner, Jess supposed that I intended murdering and to commence pirate myself. My him. He soon began to entreat for mode of life is far from being an agree mercy in the most abject manner, sol- able one, and I have as yet made but emnly promising that he would grant little of it. However, I have a more me my freedom if I allowed him to go exalted object in view than mere gain. home unmolested. You may well de. You must not judge of my character by sire to be at home,' said Look to that of the persons with whom you see the south.'—'Ha,'cried he, what do you me surrounded. I am well aware that mean ?-Desperate wretch, have you my crew is composed of the lowest and taken your revenge already ?-My most debased part of society, and often house is on fire !--But if I cannot pun- feel ashamed of the concessions I am ish you, others will suffer for this !" obliged to make them. They consider

“We now bound him to a tree, with themselves on an equality with me, and his face towards the conflagration, which will not submit to any kind of discipline, had evidently increased very much. A beyond what mutual security and selfbright glare of light extended far over preservation render necessary. But I the sky, and tinged the tops of the trees value and endure them only in so far as like the setting sun ; 'volumes of smoke they are the means of forwarding my rose from two different spots; we heard views. I would consider it an insult to the negroes shouting confusedly; and be classed with such desperadoes." the crackling, crashing, and thundering Here Manuel ceased speaking. I of timbers falling to the ground, announ- did not venture to make any comments ced that the work of destruction made upon his story, and we sat in silence till furious progress.

the men came to the side of the river “ Having secured the negro-man in with a large quantity of firewood. We the same way as Mr Sexton, and tied immediately took it on board the boat, the horses lest they should go to the and rowed down the stream, and reachhouse, and be the means of inducing ed the schooner a short time before the people there to set out in quest of dawn. At sunrise we weighed anchor, my master, we left them, and plunged and put to sea again. into the recesses of the forest. We Next day, while walking the deck, travelled all night towards the sea-shore, I heard one negro say to another,“Mark, but did not venture to pass through an what was that you was telling me about Cæsar having been hanged at Balti- against us. I'll bet you we'll kill five more?"_" Why, only that he was whites for every negro that is hanged.” hanged," replied Mark. “When I -_- Ay, and more too, if we choose,” was last ashore, I heard so from one said Mark. “Oh, we've a merry time who had read it in a newspaper.” — of it, for most people think that we blacks « What did they make him swing for?" do not deserve to live, unless we are inquired the first, whose name was slaves and beasts of burden. Faith, Mendez. “Did he look sulky at his I'm getting tired of a sea-life. If I master, break a wine-glass, or bring could but scrape together 400 dollars, I him a knife when he wanted a fork ? would give up cruizing, and go to St. _“No, no, he did nothing so bad as Domingo.”_" Why you could have that," replied Mark, laughing. « He made that sum when you was last in was a cruizer, like our Captain, and Charleston,"returned Mendez..—“How meeting with a vessel, he went on so?" inquired his companion_“Wasn't board, and helped himself to some bis- you advertized as an outlaw ?” said cuit and rum, and a little hard cash. Mendez-" Wasn't there a price set Her crew wished to put him on short upon your life ? you should have cut allowance, but he took what he wanted off your head and carried it to the main spite of them all. He was after- gistrates, and demanded the sum that wards caught by a Yankee ship-of-war, they offered for it." - Damn it now, and carried to Baltimore. The folks Mendez, don't begin to run me," cried there found him guilty of piracy, as Mark laughing, “ I would have been a they called it, and hanged him and pretty figure without a head upon my some of his crew besides."

shoulders.”_" Ah," returned the other, “Why, I think,” said Mendez, "he “ if you ever had one upon them, you had a right to taste the rum, if he had would not have let slip such a good ophelped to make as much of it as you portunity of making money." and I have done. We negers have a We had now been cruizing about for pretty time of it. They won't let, us nearly three weeks, without ever seeing live by land or by water. I wonder if a vessel. The mental and bodily inacwe could please our masters by flying tion which had characterised the course in the airWhy, now, wasn't Cæsar of my life during that period, were very hanged for what we've been doing ?" depressing, and I began to wish for the

-“To be sure he was,” returned Mark; appearance of a ship, almost as ardently "we must keep a sharp look-out. I guess as the crew, though from totally differour best plan will be to hinder any one ent motives. Manuel neither seemed from ever becoming witness against us." to feel much weariness nor impatience.

_“ How can we manage that ?" de- He spent most of his time upon deck, manded Mendez." Why, by pinking and when the navigation of the schoona hole in the bottom of our prizes, and er did not require his attention, he lay making those on board of them drink along the companion, basking in the oor healths in salt-water," said Mark. sun, and smoking a segar. He some“ Dead men tell no tales, you know.” times entered into familiar conversation _“ Well, I conclude it our only way," with the seamen, though, on doing so, replied Mendez, " though I should feel his object evidently was to keep them a little strange about sending a crew of in good humour, rather than to amuse white men to hell in a moment.” — or gratify himself. “Why, they must all go there at last, One morning, Manuel, after having you fool,” returned Mark; “ think of looked through his glass at intervals, the floggings you've got."-" Ha, your during two hours, announced that he words sound in my ear like the crack of saw a vessel off our lee-bow, and gave a whip,” cried Mendez. “ But I wonder orders that the deck should be cleared, the Yankees don't know better than to and the guns got ready for action. Ina hang us for being pirates. They can't moment every thing was bustle and consuppose that we'll be soft now as to let fusion. On the word of command beaway the people who fall into our hands, ing given, the negroes threw off a large and so give them a chance of informing part of their clothes, and dispersed over

TITITUITIES DI

different parts of the schooner, shouting the lower part of her mainsail ; but this to each other, and hurrying through not being what he wanted, he aimed their respective duties with a violence again, and disabled her rudder. and eagerness which shewed how con- She was now completely in our popgenial the prospect of bloodshed, op- er, and we came within 30 yards of her. pression, and plunder, was to their feel. The boat being lowered down, Manuel, ings. They soon began to converse and 15 of his crew, under arms, embarkgaily and unconcernedly. One talked ed alongside of the brig, and ascended of the resistance we should probably her gangway without meeting any remeet with from the vessel we were in sistance. TheCaptain immediately adchase of; another jestingly said, “he vanced towards them, and said, " What wished to write his will," and mention- right have you to stop me on the high ed what articles he intended bequeathing seas ?"_“Right ! right !" returned to his companions, should he perish in Manuel ; * none that I know of-only the conflict; a third complained of the I'm stonger than you—but shew me defective state of his wardrobe, and enu- your manifest."-" That I cannot do," merated the additions he hoped to make cried the Captain, "unless you promise" to it, when the anticipated prize fell into - "I'll promise nothing,"interrupted our hands. Manuel walked anxiously Manuel ; < yes, yes, one thing ; none about the deck, sometimes looking of you shall be maltreated, unless you through his glass, and sometimes giving offer to oppose my orders.”_" Fine directions to the helmsman.

conditions, indeed!exclaimed the CapI alone remained unoccupied and tain ; “ Be pleased to tell me what you unattended to amidst the general activi- want here?"_6 Bring me your manity. The quiescent and monotonous fest," replied Manuel, “ and then I'll life I had led since I came on board the inform you. I mean to take whatever schooner, had lulled me into a forget, part of your cargo I choose, and likewise fulness of my real situation, all the hor- all the specie on board. Come down rors of which now burst upon my mind to the cabin, I must not be detained." with appalling force. I had outlawed They now both went below, and the myself from society. I was surrounded negroes having received a signal from with wretches, with whom I could Manuel, ranged themselves on each side

have no community of feeling. I was of the companion. They had scarcely • soon to become, as it were, an accom- done this, when a voice requested them

plice in the work of rapine and blood- to make way, and a gentleman, with a shed. We might, perhaps, be over- young lady leaning on his arm, and folpowered by those whom we proposed lowed by a mulatto woman, came upon to attack, and I should be seized and deck. They looked around them with classed with pirates. There was no one an expression of terror and astonishto testify my innocence, to prove that I ment. The young lady, on seeing the had no connection with the guilty, or to blacks, turned pale, and clung tremsave me from an ignominious death. blingly to her protector's arm, and said

We soon discovered that the object something to him, but in such a low tone of our pursuit was a brig of about 200 of voice, that nothing but the word tons burden. She seemed to suspect father was distinguishable. The genwhat we were, for she made all sail and tleman once or twice seemed to be on began to go large, altho’ she had kept the point of addressing the negroes, but very close hauled before perceiving us ; he suddenly stopped, as if aware that but our schooner, being very fast and to interference was useless. the windward of her, gained upon her dead silence prevailed upon deck every moment. About mid-day, we for some time, but the countenances of came within shot of the brig,and Manu- the different parties who occupied it, el ordered a gun to be fired, as a signal expressed more than words could have for her to heave to. She paid no atten- done. The females discovered marks of tion to it, and her crew seemed to be deadening fear; the crew of the brig preparing for defence. He then pointed evidently struggled to resist the impula cannon himself, and sent a ball thro' ses of indignation, and the negroes seemed full of hope and impatience. coolly among them, and selected such -The young lady wore a beautiful In- as he conceived to be the most useful dian shawl, and one of the blacks, smi- and valuable. His men would evidentling to his companions, stepped forward ly have begun to plunder privately, had and pulled it off her shoulders. Her they not been restrained by fear ; but father, furious at this insult, seized a the instance of their leader's severity block that lay near him, and struck the which they had just witnessed, seemed darizg wretch upon the face with so to dwell upon their minds, for while much violence, that he staggered back, occupied in getting out the cargo, they and nearly fell into the hole. However, muttered threats, and viewed him with he quickly recovered himself, and rush- scowling and wrathful looks. ing forwards, plunged his cutlass into Manuel having collected together all the side of his antagonist, who dropped, the articles he wanted, ordered them to apparently lifeless, upon deck. The be handed into the boat, which he sent seamen belonging to the brig, could no off with part of his men to the schooner. longer restrain themselves ; a loud cry He retained in his hand a bag of specie, burst from them, and they hastily seized and several other things. The boat the murderer, and threw him overboard; being unloaded, they returned to take but being an expert swimmer, he soon him on board his own vessel, and as he gained the surface of the water, and was descending the gangway of the made furiously towards the vessel's side, brig, he bowed to her Captain, and said, with flashing eyes and loud curses. “I wish you a good voyage, sir.” The noise of the affray brought the On reaching the schooner, Manuel Captain and Manuel from the cabin, and ordered the crew to hoist up the boat the first object that struck the eyes of and to bear away; however, the wind the latter was the wounded man welter was light and baflling, and we made ing in blood, and supported in the arms but little progress. I fixed my eyes of his daughter. * Who did this?" upon the brig as we gradually receded cried Manuel, with a voice half suffoca. from her, and reflected upon the unhapted with emotion. The assassin was py situation of Mr. R- and his standing upon the chains, and endeav- daughter, in both of whom I felt powouring to climb over the bulwarks, when erfully interested. I had several times some one pointed him out. Manuel been on the point of entreating Manuel drew a pistol from his bosom, and fired to allow me to assist the wounded man; at the negro's head; the ball took effect. but he had always turned away, as if Its victim lost hold of the rigging, sprung aware of what I intended, and unwilling convulsively upwards, and fell headlong to render himself chargeable with inhuamong the waves. A murmur of ap- manity, by refusing to grant my request. plause proceeded from the crew; but I now ventured to address him on the the blacks shrunk away with baleful subject. “ We cannot part with you," frowns from Manuel, who, turning to the said he ; “if we did, it might ruin us Captain, said haughtily, “ This is my all. He who becomes a pirate, must discipline !" and then took a paper die a pirate.. There is no middle out of his pocket and began to read. course. I fervently hope Mr. R

The young lady's father, whose name may recover. I have at least executed was Mr. R- , was now conveyed to justice upon his murderer. Perhaps the cabin, and accompanied by his you may think me a murderer myself, daughter and her attendant, the Mulatto but I did no more than was necessary. woman. Manuel then ordered his men My crew are not to be restrained except to lift the hatches, and descended by very terrible means. And yet," conthrough one of them into the hold. Af- tinued he, starting, “ in my anxiety to ter a little while he returned, and point- save others, I have perhaps brought deed out what articles he wished to have struction upon myself. I am guilty of brought upon deck. The negroes set murder ; there are plenty of witnesses to work, and presently every part of to prove it.-Oh that both my hands the vessel was covered with bales, casks, had been cut off, then I could not have and packages, while Manuel walked committed this rash act, which at once

« AnteriorContinuar »