Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/403

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bread and beef, the nautical instruments and compasses, and was careful to see that his precious privateering commission was safely in his pocket. It will be inferred from this that he had no intention of letting so small a trifle as a shipwreck interfere with his plans of disturbing the peace of the viceroys of Spain. A little village of tents and huts was promptly built near a stream of fresh water, and when the castaways had sufficiently rested their weary bones, the captain called them together and announced that they would have to build a small vessel if they did not wish to spend the rest of their days on this desolate island. He was not one to be content with devotional exercises and a household of dancing goats and cats. His crew replied that they were anxious to build some sort of craft if he would show them how, and accordingly they pulled the wreck of the Speedwell apart and piled the timbers on the beach.

Keel-blocks were set up, and they began to put together what they called a bark. It was to be only forty feet long, with a depth of seven feet, by no means large enough to hold a hundred men, but material was difficult to obtain and skilled labor scarce. The armorer directed the work, being a man of skill and industry; but after two months of toil the fickle company tired of the job and sought