swung at him with a broadsword and missed his mark, the blade biting- deep into the oaken rail.
There was a grain of spunk left in the crew of the Bird, and they rushed upon the evil boatswain before he could kill the captain. For this behavior they were mercilessly slashed with cutlasses, kicked and cursed, and then trussed in a row. With a touch of ferocious whimsicality the pirate chief declared that he would let Captain Snelgrave be tried by his own crew. If they had any complaints to make of him as a shipmaster, he would be swung to a yard, and they should haul the rope. He must have been a just and humane man, for not a sailor voiced a grudge, and the ruffians appeared to forget all about murder. After firing volleys to let their ships know that a prize had been captured, they turned with tremendous enthusiasm to the business of guzzling and feasting.
The captive sailors were released, and told to dress all the hens, ducks, and geese that were in the coops on deck; but no sooner were the heads chopped off than these childish blackguards refused to have supper delayed. The Bird carried a huge furnace, or oven, contrived for cooking the food of the five hundred slaves which were expected aboard. Into a roaring fire the pirates flung the hens, ducks, and geese, feathers and all, and hauled them out as