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van Nuflen, William Barents, Purser: and after that the sayd Master and Pylot had shot three times and mist, the Purser stepping somewhat further forward, and seeing the Beare to be within the length of a shot, presently levelled his piece, and discharging it at the Beare, shot her into the head betweene both the eyes, and yet she held the man still fast by the necke, and lifted up her head with the man in her mouth, but she began somwhat to stagger wherewith the Purser and a Scottish-man drew out their Curtelaxes and strooke at her so hard, that their Curtelaxes burst, and yet she would not leave the man, at last William Geysen went to them, and with all his might strooke the Beare upon the snout with his Piece, at which time the Beare fell to the ground, making a great noyse, and William Geysen, leaping upon her cut her throat. The seventh of September, wee buried the dead bodies of our men in the States Iland, and having flayed the Beare, carryed her Skin to Amsterdam.
THE SWORD OF ALAN
[From "Kidnapped," BY ROBERT Louis STEVENSON]
ORE than a week went by, in which the ill-luck that had hitherto pursued the Covenant upon
this voyage grew yet more strongly marked. Some days she made a little way; others, she was driven actually back. At last we were beaten so far to the south that we tossed and tacked to and fro the whole of the ninth day, within sight of Cape Wrath and the wild, rocky coast on either hand of it. There followed on that a council of the officers, and some decision which I did not rightly understand, seeing only the result: that we had made a fair wind of a foul one and were running south.
The tenth afternoon, there was a falling swell and a thick, wet, white fog that hid one end of the brig from the other. All afternoon, when I went on deck, I saw men and officers listening hard over the bulwarks"for breakers," they said; and though I did not so much as understand the word, I felt danger in the air and was excited.
Maybe about ten at night, I was serving Mr. Riach and the captain at their supper, when the ship struck something with a great sound, and we heard voices singing out. My two masters leaped to their feet.
"She's struck," said Mr. Riach.
“No, sir," said the captain. "We've only run a boat down."
And they hurried out.
The captain was in the right of it. We had run down a boat in the fog, and she parted in the midst and gone to the bottom with all her crew, but one. This man (as I heard afterwards) had been sitting in the stern as a passenger, while the rest were on the benches rowing. At the moment of the blow, the stern had been thrown into the air, and the man (having his hands free, and for all he was encumbered with a frieze overcoat that came below his knees) had leaped up and caught hold of the brig's bowsprit. It showed he had luck and much agility and unusual strength, that he should have thus saved himself from such a pass. And yet, when the captain brought him into the round house, and I set eyes on him for the first time, he looked as cool as I did.
He was smallish in stature, but well set and as nimble as a goat; his face was of a good open expression, but sunburnt very dark, and heavily freckled and pitted with the small-pox; his eyes were unusually light and had a kind of dancing madness in them, that was both engaging and alarming; and when he took off his great-coat, he laid a pair of fine, silver-mounted pistols on the table, and I saw that he was belted with a great sword. His manners, besides, were elegant, and he pledged the captain handsomely. Altogether I thought of him, at the first sight, that here was a man I would rather call
friend than my enemy.
The captain, too, was taking his observations, but rather of the man's clothes than his person. And to be sure, as soon as he had taken off the great-coat, he showed forth mighty fine for the round-house of a merchant brig: having a hat with feathers, a red waist-coat, breeches of black plush, and a blue coat with silver buttons and handsome silver lace: costly clothes, though somewhat spoiled with the fog and being slept in.
"I'm vexed, sir, about the boat,” says the captain.
"There are some pretty men gone to the bottom," said the stranger, "that I would rather see on the dry land again than half a score of boats.”
“Friends of yours?" said Hoseason.
“You have none such friends in your country," was the reply. “They would have died for me like dogs."
"Well, sir," said the captain, still watching him, "there are more men in the world than boats to put them in."
“And that's true too," cried the other; "and ye seem to be a gentleman of great penetration."
“I have been in France, sir," says the captain; so that it was plain he meant more by the words than showed upon the face of them.
"Well, sir,” says the other, "and so has many a pretty man, for the matter of that."
"No doubt, sir," says the captain; "and fine coats." "Oho!"
says the stranger, "is that how the wind sets ?” And he laid his hand quickly on his pistols.
“Don't be hasty," said the captain. “Don't do a mischief, before ye see the need for it. Ye've a French soldier's coat upon your back and a Scotch tongue in your head, to be sure; but so has many an honest fellow in these days, and I daresay none the worse of it."
"So?" said the gentleman in the fine coat: "are ye of the honest party?” (meaning, Was he a Jacobite? for each side, in these sort of civil broils, takes the name of honesty for its own).
“Why, sir,” replied the captain, "I am a true-blue
Protestant, and I thank God for it.” (It was the first word of any religion I had ever heard from him, but I learnt afterwards he was a great church-goer while on shore.) “But, for all that," says he, "I can be sorry to see another man with his back to the wall."
"Can yeso, indeed ?" asks the Jacobite. “Well, sir, to be quite plain with ye, I am one of those honest gentlemen that were in trouble about the years fortyfive and six; and (to be still quite plain with ye) if I get into the hands of any of the red-coated gentry, it's like it would go hard with me. Now, sir, I was for France; and there was a French ship cruising here to pick me up; but she gave us the go-by in the fog—as I wish from the heart that ye had done yoursel'! And the best that I can say is this: If ye can set me ashore where I was going, I have that upon me will reward you highly for your trouble."
"In France ?” says the captain. "No, sir; that I cannot do. But where ye come from—we might talk of that."
And then, unhappily, he observed me standing in my corner, and packed me off to the galley to get supper for the gentleman. I lost no time, I promise you; and when I came back into the round-house, I found the gentleman had taken a money-belt from about his waist, and poured out a guinea or two upon the table. The captain was looking at the guineas, and then at the belt, and then at the gentleman's face; and I thought he seemed excited.
“Half of it,” he cried, “and I'm your man!”
The other swept back the guineas into the belt, and put it on again under his waistcoat. "I have told
ye, sir," said he, "that not one doit of it belongs to me. It