Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/327

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A French ship, bound from Lima to Spain, finally carried them homeward as passengers, and they saw the shores of England in November, 1745, or more than five years after the Wager had been lost in the Gulf de Panas on the coast of Patagonia. The boyish midshipman who had behaved so well through all vicissitudes was of gentle blood and breeding, and in England he was known as the Honorable John Byron, second son of the fourth Lord Byron. When he landed at Dover with two of his shipmates his troubles were not quite at an end, and to quote his own words:

We directly set off for Canterbury upon post-horses, but Captain Cheap was so tired by the time he got there that he could proceed no farther that night. The next morning he still found himself so much fatigued that he could ride no longer; therefore it was agreed that he and Mr. Hamilton should take a post-chaise and that I should ride. But here an unlucky difficulty was started; for upon sharing the little money we had, it was found to be not sufficient to pay the charges to London, and my proportion fell so short that it was, by calculation, bare enough to pay for horses, without a farthing for eating a morsel upon the road or even for the very turnpikes. Thus I was obliged to defraud by riding as hard as I could through the toll-gates, not paying the least regard to the men who called out to stop me. The want of refreshment I bore as well as I could. When I got to the Borough of London I took a coach and drove to Marlborough Street where my friends lived