Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/463

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CAPTAIN JOHN AVERY

themselves of these Destroyers, all in one Night; and as they lived separately, the Thing might easily have been done, had not a Woman, who had been the Wife or Concubine of one of them, run nearly twenty Miles, in three Hours, to discover the Matter to them. Immediately upon the Alarm, they ran together as fast as they could; so that when the Negroes approached them, they found them up in Arms, and retired without making any Attempt. This Escape made them very cautious from that Time."

Thenceforth they fortified their dwellings and converted them into citadels.

"Thus Tyrant-like they lived, fearing and feared by all; and in this situation they were found by Captain Woods Rogers when he went to Madagascar in the Delicia, a ship of forty guns, with a Design of buying Slaves in order to sell them to the Dutch at Batavia or New Holland. He happened to touch upon a part of the Island where no Ship had been seen for seven or eight Years before; here he met with some of the Pyrates, when they had been upon the Island above 25 Years, having a large motly Generation of Children and Grandchildren descended from them, there being, at that Time, eleven of them remaining alive. … Thus he left them as he found them, in a great Deal of dirty State and Royalty, but with fewer Subjects than they had. One of these great Princes had formerly been a Waterman upon the Thames, where having committed a Murder, he fled to the West Indies, and was of the number of those who run away with the Sloops; the rest had been all foremast men, nor was there a Man amongst them, who could either read or write."

Such is Captain Charles Johnson's account. There are several difficulties about accepting his narrative