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over, they began to be a little more reconciled, but expressed their expectations, that although they were prisoners of war, their 4000 dollars would be returned: they were told in answer, that the Port au Prince being a private ship of war, and the men consequently having no wages but what consisted in the booty they might obtain, the money must undoubtedly be retained. Don Felix, who was one of them, and who well deserved his name, did not make himself at all unhappy on the occasion, but ate, drank, and cheered up the rest as well as he could. On finding, at dinner, that his companions had lost their stomachs, he very jocosely desired them to stand upon no compliments, but to fall to and eat heartily, the whole being well paid for, and that consequently they were under no obligations to the captain for his entertainment.
The following day, Aug. 2, a letter was sent to the governor of the town, to inform him that the Port au Prince was an enemy; and that, if he did not capitulate, the place would be taken by force. In the mean time, two more Spaniards came on board with 400 dollars, expecting to purchase smuggled goods, but of course met the fate of their six countrymen. In the evening four boats, well manned and armed,
were sent on shore to break open and plunder certain warehouses opposite the vessel, and about a mile and a half distant from the town, which was situated on the other side of the bay. They succeeded in bringing off 52 packed hides of tallow, 800 gallons of wine in jars, four pigs of copper, and a number of dried hides. The first six prisoners were now liberated and sent on shore, though contrary to the inclination of a majority of the ship’s company, who wished them to be detained, with a view of getting a ransom : Captain Duck, however, thought they had already paid dearly enough, and sent them away accordingly. About the same time it bullock and several goats were procured from the Indians, for which they, not being considered as enemies, were punctually paid.
The next day, the two remaining prisoners were ransomed for 300 dollars; and an answer was brought from the governor, stating his determination of defending the town to the last man. As the place was protected by twentytwo guns, and apparently by a considerable number of troops, it was not deemed advisable to attempt taking it. Three armed boats were, however, sent on shore to forage for fresh
stock: they returned in four hours with thirty
On Monday, the 5th of August, the Port au Prince weighed anchor, worked out of the bay, and made all sail to the northward; and, on the Friday following, arrived in Caldera Bay. Here a fisherman was employed to go to Copiapo, (a town fifteen leagues up the country,) to employ himself diligently in informing the inhabitants that the vessel was an American smuggler with contraband goods. The next night eleven of the ship's company deserted and went on shore, the gunner, who was one of them, having procured them pistols, cutlasses, and ammunition. In the morning Captain Duck was informed by some Indians that they had met the deserters on their road to Copiapo. He immediately wrote to the governor to inform him that they were mutineers, and to request him to send them back. The following day five Spanish gentlemen arrived from Copiapo, who stated that they had met the deserters four or five leagues from that town, and had been informed by them that the ship was an English privateer, in consequence of which they had sent back the greater part of the money with which they had intended to
purchase goods. They were detained on board till the next day, and then confined; 457 dollars, a large bar of silver, and a number of trinkets, being taken from their bags. The captain then wrote another letter to the governor, stating that he had five Spanish prisoners, and wished to make an exchange for the deserters. On Thursday an answer was received from the governor, promising to deliver up the deserters if they came within his jurisdiction ; on which the captain sent him a letter of thanks, and a present of a cheese. The Saturday following a present of gold and silver ore was sent by the governor to the captain, with a letter, stating that he had obtained no news of the deserters; in consequence of which intelligence, the prisoners were dismissed in the afternoon without exchange or
The following day (Sunday, the 18th of August) the ship weighed anchor, and made sail to the northward. Between this and the Thursday following three Spanish brigs and a boat were taken: one of them was cut out of Pisagua Bay, after having just discharged her cargo of wheat; another was a small open vessel, laden with manure; and the two others were on their passage, one to Inquiqui, the
other to Pavillon, to take in a cargo of ma
The men were much dissatisfied at taking a parcel of dung barges, as they termed them, instead of rich Spanish galleons. This discontent of the men operated to a certain degree, with other causes, in bringing about the ultimate destruction of the ship, as will hereafter be seen. She now proceeded on her course, after having put all the prisoners on board the open vessel, with orders to proceed towards Pisagua; and on Monday, the 2d of September, being off Arica, saw a vessel at anchor, and immediately made sail towards the bay. At five P. M. she got into the roads; and finding the town not well defended by cannon, opened a fire upon it. At five she came to an anchor, and kept up an intermitting fire during the night, expecting, in the mean while, the arrival of the prizes, till which time an assault could not be made
upon the town for want of hands. Early the next morning a letter was sent to the governor, requesting him to capitulate; but this he refused, having, during the night, raised a fortification of sand with fourteen embrasures.
At eight o'clock the following morning the Port au Prince warped within range of grape shot of the town, and again commenced a can