Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/273

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own wicked hand, which contained such fascinating entries as this:


Such a day, rum all out;—our company somewhat sober;—a damned confusion amongst us! Rogues a-plotting—great talk of separation—so I look sharp for a prize. Took one with a great deal of liquor on board;—so kept the company drunk, damned drunk, then all things went well again.


Captain Avery was plundering the treasure-laden galleons of the Great Mogul off the coast of Madagascar in 1718, and was reported to have stolen a daughter of that magnificent potentate as his bride, while "his adventures were the subject of general conversation in Europe." The flamboyant career of Captain Bartholomew Roberts began in 1719, that "tall, dark man" whose favorite toast was "Damnation to him who lives to wear a halter," and who always wore in action a rich crimson damask waistcoat and breeches, a red feather in his hat, a gold chain and diamond cross around his neck, a sword in his hand, and two pairs of pistols hanging at the ends of a silk sling flung over his shoulder.

In this same year Captain Ned England was taking his pick of the colonial merchantmen which were earning a respectable livelihood in the slave-trade of the Guinea coast. He displayed his merry and ingenious spirit by ordering his crew to pelt to