round up the riotous bluejackets and bear a hand with the surviving invalids.
A hundred and forty people of the Wager found themselves alive, and nothing more, on the savage and desolate coast of Patagonia. The boatswain, who was a hard case, had stuck by the ship, but there was nothing noble in his motive. He led a crowd of kindred spirits, who vowed they would stay there as long as the liquor held out. When ordered to abandon the hulk, they threatened mutiny and broached another cask. During the following night, however, another gale drove the sea over the wreck, and the rogues had quite enough of it.
They signaled for the boats to take them off, but this was impossible because of the raging surf; wherefore the gay mutineers lost their tempers and let a cannon-ball whizz from a quarter-deck gun at the refugees on shore. While waiting for rescue, they rifled the cabins for tempting plunder, and swaggered in the officers' laced coats and cocked hats. The boatswain, who egged them on, saw to it that they were well armed, for he proclaimed defiance of all authority, and there was to be more of the iron-handed code of sea law. These were pressed men, poor devils, who broke all restraint because they had not been wisely and humanely handled.
When at length they were taken ashore, Captain