Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/134

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DEVONSHIRE CHARACTERS

and hooted at, a dog not more cursed. In my being ledde thus along the streets, a Flemming spying me cryed out alowde, Whither do you leade this English dogge? Kill him, kill him, he's no Christian. And with that, breaking through the crowde, in upon those who held mee, ranne me into the body with a halbert, at the reynes of my back, at least foure inches."

He was taken before the Governor, who had him well treated and attended by surgeons, and when he was better, dispatched him to Xeres, which he calls Sherrys. Meanwhile his captain, Porter, induced Lord Wimbledon to send a messenger on shore and offer to ransom Peeke at any reasonable price; but the Spanish Governor, supposing him to be a man of far greater consequence than he was, refused this, and at Xeres he was had up on 15 November before a council of war, consisting of three dukes, four counts, four marquesses, and other great persons. Two Irish friars attended as interpreters. These men had been in England the year before acting as spies and bringing to Spain reports of the number of guns and troops in Plymouth. "At my first appearing before the Lordes my sword lying before them on a table, the Duke of Medina asked me if I knew that weapon. It was reached to me, I tooke it, and embraced it in mine armes, and with tears in mine eyes kist the pomell of it. He then demanded, how many men I had kild with that weapon. I told him if I had kild one I had not bene there now, before that princely Assembly, for when I had him at my foote begging for mercy, I gave him life, yet he then very poorely did me a mischiefe. Then they asked Don John what wounds I gave him. He sayd, None. Upon this he was rebuked and told that if upon our first encounter he had run me through, it had been a faire and noble