Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/42

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Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

and five hundred head of cattle, and tortured Maracaibo was quit of them.

In the Ile de la Vache the buccaneers shared among themselves two hundred and sixty thousand pieces of eight, besides jewels and bales of silk and linen and miscellaneous plunder to a vast amount.

Such was the one great deed of l'Olonoise; from that time his star steadily declined—for even nature seemed fighting against such a monster—until at last he died a miserable, nameless death at the hands of an unknown tribe of Indians upon the Isthmus of Darien.

And now we come to the greatest of all the buccaneers, he who stands pre-eminent among them, and whose name even to this day is a charm to call up his deeds of daring, his dauntless courage, his truculent cruelty, and his insatiate and unappeasable lust for gold—Capt. Henry Morgan, the bold Welshman, who brought buccaneering to the height and flower of its glory.

Having sold himself, after the manner of the times, for his passage across the seas, he worked out his time of servitude at the Barbados. As soon as he had regained his liberty he entered upon the trade of piracy, wherein he soon reached a position of considerable prominence. He was associated with Mansvelt at the time of the latter's descent upon Saint Catharine's Isle, the importance of which spot, as a center of operations against the neighboring coasts, Morgan never lost sight of.

The first attempt that Capt. Henry Morgan ever made against any town in the Spanish Indies was the bold descent upon the city of Puerto del Principe in the island of Cuba, with a mere handful of men. It was a deed the boldness of which has never been outdone by any of a like nature—not even the famous attack upon Panama itself. Thence they returned to their boats in the very face of the whole island of Cuba, aroused and determined upon their extermination. Not only did they make good their