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he thought of his father, mother, and friends in England, and wept when he reflected on the hopelessness of his lot. He, however, felt more than he could well express, even by tears.
Twelve years of slavery had changed him in a remarkable manner. He had forgotten his own language, and could no longer converse in English. The words stuck half-expressed on his tongue. From being a handsome English boy, he had grown to be a brown-skinned savage. His feelings had been changed as well as his person; and in some of his habits he was little superior to the lower animals. Yet, as has been said, he sometimes wept, and never forgot his home. The recollection of his mother's tenderness could not be obliterated from his memory. It survived all the horrors of his hapless condition, and stimulated him to attempt his escape from an odious bondage.
He pondered long on the means of absconding ; and at length, by the friendly aid of a fellow-servant, he took to flight. His plan was, in the first place, to reach the territory of a chief called Afferrer, friendly to the whites, before his absence was discovered; and although this required great dexterity and toil, he effected the journey. Still, he was scarcely safe. His enraged master sent messengers to request that he should be delivered up as a runaway slave, and poor Drury trembled for the result. Afferrer appeared to be shocked at the proposal. He said that the idea of making a white man a slave was ridiculous, and that the refugee should remain with him as long as he pleased, or go wherever he thought proper. The men were therefore obliged to return disconcerted, and Drury was in the meantime secure. In this new home he was certainly not compelled to work as a slave, but neither was he altogether a freeman. The chief with whom he had taken refuge was pretty constantly at war, and his object was to make use of him in his expeditions. Constrained to appear satisfied, Drury lived with Afferrer two months, going with him on two excursions against his enemies. As this, however, was an employment not at all to the mind of the refugee, he took an opportunity of once more escaping. We continue the narrative chiefly in his own language.]
With a bundle of dried meat, which I had contrived to conceal, I set off on my journey, walking briskly all night, and keeping in a south-easterly direction, with the hope of reaching Port Dauphin. A great river, called the Oneghaloyhe, issuing in St Augustine's Bay, I was told had to be crossed on the journey. In the morning, I saw certain mountains that had been mentioned to me; by this I perceived I had made considerable progress, and therefore would not conceal myself, as at first I proposed, but proceeded on my journey, looking sharply about me, in case of any lurking enemy. With little to fear, I went merrily on, singing Madagascar songs, for I had forgotten all my English ones. The bellowing of the wild cattle would now and then make me start, imagining they were my pursuers. When I came to a pleasant brook, i baited there, and at
sunset I looked out for a covert in a thicket to lie in; but I could not find one near at hand, so I was contented to repose myself in the open plain, pulling up a sufficient quantity of grass for a bed and a pillow, and making a small fire to warm my beef. I did not think proper to make a great one, lest it should be discerned at a distance, for in the afternoon I observed some fires to the eastward of the mountain. I was disturbed in my sleep by night-walkers, whom I imagined were my pursuers, and accordingly I took up my lances in order to defend myself; but when I was thoroughly waked, I found they were only some cattle that snorted at the smell of my fire, and ran away much more afraid of me than I was of them.
The second day, in the morning, I staid till the sun appeared before I moved forward, that I might not be deceived in my course. Nothing remarkable happened this day.. I looked out early this evening for a lodging, the clouds gathering very black, and soon found a large thick tree, where I kindled a fire, warmed some meat, and hung up the remainder, to keep it as dry as I could, for I had nothing else that could be injured by the rain. At length it poured down, as I expected, in a violent manner, attended with thunder and lightning. It soon penetrated my roof; however, I crowded myself up together, with my head on my knees, my hands between my legs, and my little body-covering over my ears. The rain ran down like a flood, but as it was warm, I did not so much regard it. In three or four hours, it was fair weather again, and I laid me down and took a comfortable nap.
The next morning, I dried my beef at a fire, which I made for that purpose, for it was the third day after it was killed; but I was very careful of it, not knowing how to kill more at that time; so I put it up in clean grass, and marched forward. The mountains over which I was to pass seemed very high, craggy, and thick with wood, and no path nor opening could I find. It looked dismal enough, but I was determined to run all hazards. Those mountains seemed to me to traverse the island, and appeared, as we call it at sea, like double land-one hill behind another. Í saw nothing all this day but a few wild cattle, and now and then a wild dog. The weather was fair, and I slept sound all this night.
The fourth day I walked till noon, at which time I baited. My beef was now but very indifferent. In the afternoon, as I was walking, I saw about a dozen men before me; upon this, I skulked in a bush, peeping to observe whether they had discovered me; but I was soon out of my pain, for they were surrounding some cattle a good way to the westward on a hill. I was likewise on another hill, so that I could see the throw their lances, and kill three beeves, which I was well assured were more than they could carry away with them at once. I staid where I was, proposing, when they were gone, to have some beef. To work they fell immediately,
cutting up the beasts, and each man making up his burden, hanging the remainder up in a tree, that the wild dogs might not get it, and went home to the eastward. As soon as they were gone, and I had looked well about me, I threw away my bad meat, made up to the tree, and took as much as I could well carry. Away I marched with my booty towards the mountains, not daring to rest, lest they should return and discover me. In less than an hour, I reached the foot of the hills in the thick woods, and finding no path, nor track of men, nor any hopes of any, not knowing what to do, I determined to go through all ; but as I happened on a run of water, I took up my quarters near it, made a fire, cut some wooden spits, and roasted my beef. I kept my fire burning all night, lest the foxes should come and attack me.
The next morning, I made up my package with grass, binding it with the bark of trees, and moved forward up the hill
. My burden was now much lighter. In an hour, though I could find no path but what some swine had made, I got to the top of it. I climbed a high tree to take a survey, but could discover no entrance, nothing but hills and vales, one beyond another; a cragged, dismal desert was all that presented itself to my view. I would have descended, had I not been in danger of being seen by the hunters ; besides, I · could not tell which way to look, whether east or west, for the proper pass ; so setting a lance up on end, I turned the way it fell, though I imagined it was due north, or rather somewhat to the eastward. However, superstition prevailed where reason was nowise concerned, for I was as likely to be right one way as another; and in case I went to the northward, so long as I knew it, I must go as often as I could to the westward, as sailors are forced to do, run their latitude first, and their longitude afterwards. I went down this hill, and up another, which was about an hour's walk; but when I came to descend this, it was right up and down. Without due thought, I threw down my lances, hatchet, and burden, thinking to descend by a very tall tree, whose top branches reached close to the brow; but I could not do it. However, I made ropes of the bark of a tree; and fixing them to the strongest branches, I slid down, I daresay, no less than thirty feet, rather than I would lose my lances and other materials. I passed over a fine spring and run of water in the vale. Though the hill on the other side was a craggy steep rock, I found a way to ascend it; and on the top, climbed another to take my view; but had the same dismal prospect. Here I dug faungidge, it being sunset, and seeing a hole in a large rock, I had thoughts of taking up my lodging there ; but peeping in, on a sudden I heard such an outcry, which, with the echo in the rock, made so confused a noise, that I knew not what it could be. My fears prevailed, and I imagined it might be pursuers, for it drew nearer and nearer ; so, setting my back to a tree, with a lance in each hand, I waited for the murderers, when instantly came squeaking towards me a herd
of wild swine, which ran away more terrified than myself. After I was well recovered from my fright, I made two fires, for fear of the foxes, and then laid me down on my stony bed, for here was no grass.
The next morning, which was the sixth day, I made a hearty meal on roots and beef, and, the hill extending north and south, I went straight on till it declined gradually into a valley, in which was a
mall river that ran westward. By the time I arrived at the top of the next hill it drew towards evening, for I was not much less than two hours in ascending it ; and yet, considering my burden, though it was not very heavy now, I went at a good pace. As I was looking out for a commodious lodging—that is to say, a place with the fewest stones in it—I discovered a swarm of bees. This was a joyful sight, for it was food that would not spoil with keeping. I soon cut down a tree, and smoked them out.
I made such a hearty meal this night of honey and beef, that I slept too sound, insomuch that I was waked with a severe mortification for my thoughtless security. A fox caught hold of my heel, and would have dragged me along ; whereupon I started, and catching up a firebrand, gave him such a blow as staggered him ; but as soon as he recovered, he flew at my face. By this time I was upon my feet, and recovered one of my lances, with which I prevented him from ever assaulting me more ; but his hideous howling brought more about him. I saw three, whose eyes sparkled like diamonds : however, they kept at a distance; for, with some light dry wood that lay near me, I made a blaze directly, in order to keep a flame all night; but did not wake to renew it, as I ought to have done ; so that both my fires being almost reduced to ashes, one of them boldly ventured between them; and it was very happy for me that he did not seize upon my throat, for when men have negligently slept where they haunt, I have known them meet with such a mischance. After I had made up my fires, and put my enemies to flight, I examined my heel, and found two large holes on each side where his teeth had entered. I bound it up in the best manner I could, and making a great fire, threw the fox upon it, by way of resentment. I had not so much pleasure in eating my breakfast this morning as I had in my last night's supper; besides, my beef was now a little too tender; however, as I had honey enough for a week, and here were good roots in plenty, I did not concern myself much about it.
I walked on the seventh day, and though I favoured my lame foot as much as I could, yet I rested but once all day. This way happened to be plain and easy. At evening I came to a place where lay several bodies of trees which were dead and dry. Thinking this, therefore, a proper lodging, I made four very large fires, sat me down to supper, and afterwards ventured to go to sleep with all those fires round me. But my heel now became so painful, and was swelled to that degree, that I could not go forward the next day ; but as there was faungidge enough within twenty or thirty yards of me, I dug up several, and determined to continue here till my foot grew better. My beef was soon gone, but faungidge was both meat and drink to me. I saved part of my beef-fat to dress my heel with, which, as I gave it six days' rest, took down all the swelling. During this time I made such large fires every night, that, could they have been seen, were like those of an army. I had not far to go for wood or anything else that I wanted, or at least that I could anywise expect in such a place.
Proceeding on my journey, and exposed day after day to accidents, fatigue, and often hunger, I at length, on the morning of the twentythird day, had the joyful sight of the Oneghaloyhe, a river as broad as the Thames at London. All day I spent in contriving how I should cross so broad a stream without a canoe, and lay down at night still uncertain what I should do. In the morning I thought of looking out for some old trees, or branches that were fallen ; and in a short time I met with several that were fit for my purpose—not only great arms, but trunks of trees broken off by tempests : these I dragged to the river-side. In the next place, I made it my business to find out a creeper, which is as large as a withy, but, twining round trees, is very pliant. I lopped off the superfluous branches from six long and thick arms of the trees, and placing three at bottom and three at top, I bound them together, making what we call in the East Indies a catamaran. I built it afloat in the water, for otherwise I could not have launched it, and moored it to a lance, which I stuck in the shore for that purpose. I then fixed my package, in order to preserve it as dry as I possibly could, as also my hatchet and my other lance; after that I made a paddle to row with. Then I pulled up my lance, and kept it in my hand to defend myself against the alligators, in case any of them should assault me ; for I was informed they were very numerous and very fierce here. It blew a fresh gale at west against the stream, which in the middle made a sea, and gave me no small concern; for I was in great danger of being overset, and becoming a prey to the alligators. It pleased God, however, to protect me, and I landed safely on the other shore. This being a pretty good day's work, I determined not to go much further that evening before I took up my lodging.
RETURN TO ENGLAND. [Travelling in the manner he describes, Drury had at length the good-fortune to fall in with different tribes friendly to the English, amongst whom he lived for some time, but still watched by his jealous entertainers. The great man with whom he latterly lived was named Rer Moume, and by him he was kept two years and a half, during which an incident occurred that led to his removal from the island. The court of Rer Moume being visited by a person