Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/288

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lookout aloft sighted a sail and, in the words of the record, "it may be proper to inform our readers that, according to the laws of pirates, the man who first discovers a sail is entitled to the best pair of pistols in the ship and such is the honor attached to these that a pair of them has been known to sell for thirty pounds."

Captain Davis chased this tempting ship until she drove ashore and the terrified crew took to the jungle. She proved to be a gorgeous prize, a heavily armed packet, "having on board the Governor of Acra, with all his substance, going to Holland. There was in her money to the amount of fifteen thousand pounds, besides a large quantity of merchant goods and other valuable articles." This ship had the men and guns to have stood up to it and given Captain Davis a battle royal, but the sight of his evil flag, and perhaps his own bloody repute, made cowards of them. It was quite otherwise with another Dutchman overhauled soon after this. These stolid seamen had the proverbial tenacity of their race, and they scorned the notion of hauling down colors at the sight of a scurvy pirate. To the insolent summons they replied with a broadside and killed nine surprised pirates, who were smelling brimstone in another world before they realized how it happened.