Page:Tupper family records - 1835.djvu/58
38 MEMOIR OF LIEUT. TUPPER.
act of cutting the cable of the mistico boarded from the barge, was thrown on the rocks and stunned by the violence of the shock. On coming to his senses he found himself alone in a cave, and immediately ran down towards the ship, from whence he was recognised by his scarlet jacket, although intermingled with the Greeks, who, when the firing ceased, brought him to a projecting rock, and offered to restore him unhurt if the attack were discontinued. There was no alternative without the sacrifice of this man's life, and the Sybille, having received him on board, weighed anchor from this ill-fated spot, and immediately re- turned to Malta to land her wounded. Great anxiety was at first entertained for Lieutenant Gordon, two balls having passed through, and a third lodged in, his body, and being an excellent officer, he was highly beloved by the whole ship's company. He was then, unknown to himself, a commander, having been promoted by the admiralty fifteen days before this sanguinary affair, for his previous zeal and gallantry. Although the pirates, behind their breastworks, de- fended themselves in comparative security, yet, in justice to them it should be added, that their chief headed a party which was bold enough to come down to the water's edge and to fire upon the Sybille, so as to prevent her men putting a spring on the cable, the effect of which they well understood. Here the daring chief fell, and his followers were distinctly seen from the frigate to divest the corse of its ill-gotten spoils. Their total loss was not clearly ascertained, but nearly eighty are reported to have been slain, and the remainder, being able to equip only one of their vessels, subsequently set forth to commit other depre- dations. They were pursued by a Turkish brig of