Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/83

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
71
CAPTAIN JOHN WARD

the coast of Spain, with considerable success. He took a ship of one hundred tons, and a smaller vessel, a coaster, of the kind known as a sattee. In both these vessels he found recruits, besides gold and merchandise; so that, by the spring of 1604, he felt himself strong enough to proceed to Algiers, to league himself, as many English pirates had done before him, to the Algerine pirates, the scourges of the Mediterranean. But it chanced that, only a few weeks before he came to Algiers, one Richard Gifford, a pirate of renown, in the service of the Duke of Tuscany, had burnt some Algerine galleys, and killed many of the pirates on board them. The Algerines were retaliating by barbarous reprisals upon English merchantmen, and when Ward arrived off their city he found them particularly bitter. They refused his proffered alliance, and drove him from their ports. He therefore proceeded to Tunis, where he became a Turk (in order to satisfy the religious scruples of the natives), and made some satisfactory arrangement with the Bey, or Governor, a man named Osmund, or "Crossyman." In consideration of some large percentage of his profits this Bey, or