Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/61

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35
THE SCHOONER EXERTION
 

This day, which particularly reminds Christians of the high duties of compassion and benevolence, is never observed by these pirates. This, of course, we might expect, as they do not often know when Sunday comes and if they do, it is spent in gambling. Early this morning, the merchant, as they call him, came with a large boat for more cargo. I was ordered into a boat with my crew, without any breakfast, and carried about three miles to a small island out of sight of the Exertion and left there by the side of a pond of thick, muddy water with nothing to eat but a few biscuits. One of the boat's crew told us that the merchant was afraid of being recognized, and when he had gone the boat would return for us, but we passed the day in the greatest anxiety. At night, however, the boat came and took us again on board the Exertion where to our surprise and grief we found they had broken open the trunks and chests and taken all our wearing apparel, not leaving me even a shirt or a pair of pantaloons, nor sparing a small miniature of my wife which was in the trunk.

 

The pirate schooner was employed a few days later to fill her hold with cargo from the Exertion and hoist sail for Principe. They lifted the stuff out with a "Yo, ho, ho!" which made Captain Lincoln so unhappy that he pensively wrote:

 

How different was this sound from what it would have been had I been permitted to pass unmolested by these lawless plunderers and been favored with a safe arrival at the port of my destination where my cargo would have found an excellent sale. Then would the "yo, ho, ho!" on its discharging have been a delightful sound to me.