now convinced we were enemies, began to fire on us.
All the shore pirates of the district at once embarked to pillage us, and a scene of terrible disorder ensued. These sea wolves, nearly all negroes or mulattos, and numbering, as near as I could guess, about sixty, came on board under the pretext of saving the vessel, but they cared more for pillage than salvage, for they staved in casks of wine and brandy, and the greater part of them were soon very drunk. I noticed that their boats were secured to the ship by thin cords, so I quickly engaged a boy and one of our sailors to help me to bring up from the cabin my trunk which contained my goods,—alas! all my fortune,—and my other effects. We threw these into a boat belonging to one of the Lestrigons, whilst the owner was engaged in drinking and stealing, then we jumped in ourselves, cut the rope, and in a very few minutes were on shore.
The bullets whistled over our heads, but we were safe, and I had, moreover (as I thought), preserved all my property.