Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/381
privateering." Accordingly he shipped on board the Unity cutter and cruised about Madeira and Teneriffe, looking out for prizes. But this expedition was as unsuccessful as the other, and in August, 1805, he returned home; "and I determined never again to engage in privateering, a resolution which I have ever since kept, and of which I have never repented."
We now enter on the second period of Rattenbury's career.
"On my return home, I engaged ostensibly in the trade of fishing, but in reality was principally employed in that of smuggling. My first voyage was to Christchurch, in an open boat, where we took in a cargo of contraband goods, and, on our return, safely landed the whole.
"Being elated with this success, we immediately proceeded to the same port again, but on our way we fell in with the Roebuck tender: a warm chase ensued; and, in firing at us, a man named Slaughter, on board the tender, had the misfortune to blow his arm off. Eventually, the enemy came up with and captured us; and, on being taken on board, found the captain in a great rage in consequence of the accident, and he swore he would put us all on board a man-of-war. He got his boat out to take the wounded man on shore; and, while this was going forward, I watched an opportunity, and stowed myself away in her, unknown to any person there. I remained without being perceived, amidst the confusion that prevailed; and when they reached the shore, I left the boat, and got clear off. The same night, I went in a boat that I had borrowed, alongside the tender, and rescued all my companions; we likewise brought three kegs of gin away with us, and landed safe at Weymouth, from whence we made the best of our way home.