Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/78

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Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

fall, and thought he was wounded. At the lifting of the arm the body rolled over upon the deck, and the man saw that the captain was dead. “Whereupon,” says the old history, “he” [Stevenson] “gushed into tears, and wished that the next shot might be his portion.” After their captain’s death the pirate crew had no stomach for more fighting; the “Black Roger” was struck, and one and all surrendered to justice and the gallows.

Such is a brief and bald account of the most famous of these pirates. But they are only a few of a long list of notables, such as Captain Martel, Capt. Charles Vane (who led the gallant Colonel Rhett, of South Carolina, such a wild-goose chase in and out among the sluggish creeks and inlets along the coast), Capt. John Rackam, and Captain Anstis, Captain Worley, and Evans, and Philips, and others—a score or more of wild fellows whose very names made ship captains tremble in their shoes in those good old times.

And such is that black chapter of history of the past—an evil chapter, lurid with cruelty and suffering, stained with blood and smoke. Yet it is a written chapter, and it must be read. He who chooses may read betwixt the lines of history this great truth: Evil itself is an instrument toward the shaping of good. Therefore the history of evil as well as the history of good should be read, considered, and digested.