Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/404

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



entertainment in mutiny. Captain Shelvocke was a harsh, masterful person, so a conspiracy deposed him from the command, and a new set of articles was drawn up which organized a company of free adventurers who purposed to do things in their own way. They took possession of the muskets and pistols and wandered off inland to waste the ammunition in shooting goats.

The sight of a large Spanish ship in the offing put a check on this nonsense. If captured, they would certainly be hanged; so they flocked in to urge Captain Shelvocke to resume the command and prepare a scheme of defense. As soon as the hostile ship disappeared, however, they were brewing trouble afresh, one party voting to elect the first lieutenant as captain, another standing by Captain Shelvocke, and a third, perhaps a dozen in number, deciding to quit the crew and remain on the island. This group of deserters drifted away and built a camp of their own and were a good riddance. The captain got the upper hand of the rest, and the labor of finishing the tiny bark was taken up again.

When it came to planking the bottom, the only material was what could be ripped off the deck of the wrecked Speedwell. The stuff was so old and brittle that it split into small pieces, and great pains were required to fit it to the frames of the bark.