Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/66

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Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

(one of his prisoners), and go up to Charleston and get the medicine. There was no task that suited our Captain Richards better than that. Up to the town he rowed, as bold as brass. “Look ye,” says he to the governor, rolling his quid of tobacco from one cheek to another—“look ye, we’re after this and that, and if we don’t get it, why, I’ll tell you plain, we’ll burn them bloody crafts of yours that we’ve took over yonder, and cut the weasand of every clodpoll aboard of ’em.”

There was no answering an argument of such force as this, and the worshipful governor and the good folk of Charleston knew very well that Blackbeard and his crew were the men to do as they promised. So Blackbeard got his medicine, and though it cost the colony two thousand dollars, it was worth that much to the town to be quit of him.

They say that while Captain Richards was conducting his negotiations with the governor his boat’s crew were stumping around the streets of the town, having a glorious time of it, while the good folk glowered wrathfully at them, but dared venture nothing in speech or act.

Having gained a booty of between seven and eight thousand dollars from the prizes captured, the pirates sailed away from Charleston Harbor to the coast of North Carolina.

And now Blackbeard, following the plan adopted by so many others of his kind, began to cudgel his brains for means to cheat his fellows out of their share of the booty.

At Topsail Inlet he ran his own vessel aground, as though by accident. Hands, the captain of one of the consorts, pretending to come to his assistance, also grounded HIS sloop. Nothing now remained but for those who were able to get away in the other craft, which was all that was now left of the little fleet. This did Blackbeard with some forty of his favorites. The rest of the pirates were left on the sand spit to await the return of their companions—which never happened.