Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/63

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Buccaneers and Marooners of the Spanish Main

At first Avary had a great part of a mind to settle at Boston, in Massachusetts, and had that little town been one whit less bleak and forbidding, it might have had the honor of being the home of this famous man. As it was, he did not like the looks of it, so he sailed away to the eastward, to Ireland, where he settled himself at Biddeford, in hopes of an easy life of it for the rest of his days.

Here he found himself the possessor of a plentiful stock of jewels, such as pearls, diamonds, rubies, etc., but with hardly a score of honest farthings to jingle in his breeches pocket. He consulted with a certain merchant of Bristol concerning the disposal of the stones—a fellow not much more cleanly in his habits of honesty than Avary himself. This worthy undertook to act as Avary’s broker. Off he marched with the jewels, and that was the last that the pirate saw of his Indian treasure.

Perhaps the most famous of all the piratical names to American ears are those of Capt. Robert Kidd and Capt. Edward Teach, or “Blackbeard.”

Nothing will be ventured in regard to Kidd at this time, nor in regard to the pros and cons as to whether he really was or was not a pirate, after all. For many years he was the very hero of heroes of piratical fame, there was hardly a creek or stream or point of land along our coast, hardly a convenient bit of good sandy beach, or hump of rock, or water-washed cave, where fabulous treasures were not said to have been hidden by this worthy marooner. Now we are assured that he never was a pirate, and never did bury any treasure, excepting a certain chest, which he was compelled to hide upon Gardiner’s Island—and perhaps even it was mythical.

So poor Kidd must be relegated to the dull ranks of simply respectable people, or semirespectable people at best.

But with “Blackbeard” it is different, for in him we have a real, ranting, raging, roaring pirate per se—one who really did bury treasure, who made more than one captain walk the plank, and who committed more private murders than he could number