Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

with a load of Chinese passengers. After being out some time, he was informed by a ship which he spoke that he would have to pay fifty dollars per head on the Chinamen before he could land them. He kept on the even tenor of his way, however, until he arrived off Melbourne, when he choked both his pumps, started all his fresh water in the hold, and set his colours half-mast, union down, as if in sore distress. Two steamers soon came to his assistance and offered to tow him into port; but the captain's humanity overcame all selfish feelings, and he replied, "Save these people, and let the ship sink. If she is afloat when you return we will try and get her in.' The Chinamen were landed, the steamers paying the headmoney according to the laws of Victoria ; but when they returned for Hayes, he was not to be found. His next cargo of Chinese were landed without trouble, as he had them all made British subjects previous to starting

'Bully' Hayes was then lost sight of again, no one being able to learn anything of his doings or whereabouts, except that he occasionally dawned upon Tahiti like a comet, and disappeared as mysteriously as he came. Presently he commenced his career as a trader among the South Sea Islands, and after raiding and robbing stations for a couple of years, he was found under arrest at Upolu, in charge of the British Consul. Just then the renowned Captain Ben. Pease arrived in the brig Leonora. Captain Hayes's chronometers required rating, and he obtained permission to take them on board the Leonora for that purpose. Next morning the brig was gone, with Hayes as a passenger, and turned up at Shanghai. Before she had been ten days in port Pease was in prison, and Hayes was owner of the brig. He fitted her for sea, as usual only paying one bill, which, in this case, was for a spare mainyard, and set off down the China coast, levying black-mail on its villages for means to carry out his speculations in the Pacific.

In Saigon, Hayes was chartered to take a cargo of rice to Hong Kong and way ports. At one of these by-ports the owner went ashore to make a sale of rice, while Hayes kept the vessel outside to save expense. The owner turned one corner of a street and the first officer the other, the latter immediately going back on board the ship, which left, leaving the owner to wonder what it all meant. Bankok was soon reached, and the cargo of rice sold at a good figure. The Leonora was newly coppered, and a complete outfit taken on board for the Pacific trade. The mail steamer entered the port with the owner of the rice on board, as Hayes was leaving. This gentleman had never met Hayes but once when he chartered the vessel.

We next hear of the U.S.S. Naragansett, Captain Meade, as being engaged in searching for Hayes, who was found at Upolu, arrested, and taken on board the man-of-war, where he had no difficulty in winning the hearts of both men and officers, and after three days' detention he was liberated, there being no evidence against him, and all being firmly convinced that he was a much-injured and most worthy man.

Insinuating to Captain Meade that he was in want of some sails, he was supplied with all he required, and the gentlemanly pirate departed with the best wishes of captain and officers.

How he stole the schooner Giovanni Apiani is worth recording. She belonged to a Frenchman whom Hayes met at one of the islands in the South Pacific, and with whom he made a bargain for an interest in the schooner, in consideration of a certain sum of money and a share in some of the stations belonging to Hayes. One fine day, as they were sailing smoothly past an island, whose beauties the Frenchman was admiring, he was gently touched behind the ear, and as he turned his head a blow between the eyes 'put him to sleep,' as he subsequently expressed it, to wake on shore, with the schooner out of sight. In a moment of inconsistent faith in human nature Hayes entrusted Captain Pinkham with the schooner, and he never saw her again.

After the loss of his brig at Strong's Island, Hayes changed his tactics, and actually succeeded in persuading the missionaries that he was converted from the error of his ways. How he got possession of the schooner which took him thence to Guam I do not know ; but after his arrival there he was captured while bathing, and it was generally believed that his romantic career had come to an end, but he resumed the religious rôle, this time as a Catholic, and bamboozled the clergy of Manilla as effectually as he had the American missionaries.

The Spanish authorities had sufficient evidence to garotte twenty men, but Bully Hayes was equal to the occasion ; and whether aided or not by a mistaken interest of the clergy in their new and most promising convert, he managed to escape, and turned up at San Francisco, where he succeeded in stealing a schooner called the Lotus (I know he paid twelve and a half dollars for water, but for nothing else), and in this vessel he was cruising when I was in the Pacific.

Captain Hayes was a handsome man of above the middle height, with a long brown beard always in perfect order. He had a charming manner, dressed always in perfection of taste, and could cut a confiding friend's throat or scuttle his ship with a grace which, at any rate in the Pacific, was unequalled.

Hayes honoured Fiji with an occasional visit, but got somewhat shy of Levuka after the group became annexed to Great Britain. A friend of mine, who resides at Fiji's capital, told me the following characteristic anecdote of him : The Captain was in harbour with his schooner, and wanting a good supply of stores for a long cruise, gave a heavy order to my friend. . This was immediately executed, and goods and account were sent aboard. Next morning, when payment was looked for, his schooner was doing her utmost, under a depressing want of wind, to put as much distance as possible between her keel and Ovalau.

A round sum being at stake, my friend determined on a stern chase, the native 'boys' pulled pluckily, and the schooner was overhauled. Captain Hayes, bland as ever, was most courteous.

'In what way could he serve the Levuka party? Any parcels or letters to take ? Delighted, to be sure ; but it was fortunate for them that the wind was so light, as by this time he ought to have been well out of the group'

6

Somewhat dumbfounded at this reception, and hardly caring to drink the proffered ó nip,' my friend delicately hinted at his firm's transaction with the gallant skipper. The captain grew indignant.

Whose account ? . He was told.
* Paid yesterday,' was the response.

The merchant implied in return that he regretted such was not the case. • Send for So-and-so. He appeared.

Well, sir ?' said the gentleman thief. What's this I hear ? D. L. and Sons account not paid. You had my money and instructions; and you knew we left at daybreak.' Then the captain gave his purser a lecture in the choicest Billingsgate of the Southern Seas. Apologising to the merchant and his clerk for thus losing his temper, he explained that his drunken scoundrel of a subordinate had had the exact money wrapped up in the bill, and he would have to find it. In a few minutes the purser returned with the amount, as Hayes had stated, and the Levukans left the schooner, reflecting perhaps on the sin of harbouring unfounded suspicion against the innocent victim of a servant's negligence.

This worthy died what may be called a natural death, as he was, very deservedly, perhaps, knocked on the head by an officer he had brutally ill-treated. The gossip of the Pacific credits him with many murders, especially of women.

VOL. II.

5

« ForrigeFortsæt »