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LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS

worthy even in that age of high adventure. When dragged aboard the Spanish flag-ship, he and his fellows were, of course, handled like dogs,

 

being treated with much insolence and barbarity by the Spaniards, the meanest officers among whom were accustomed to beat them on the slightest pretences. Orellana and his followers, though apparently patient and submissive, meditated a severe revenge. He endeavored to converse with such of the English as understood the Spanish language and seemed very desirous of learning how many of them were on board and which they were. But not finding them so precipitate and vindictive as he expected, after distantly sounding them, he proceeded no farther in respect to their participation, but resolved to trust his enterprise to himself and his ten faithful followers.

 

In short, these eleven unarmed Indians were planning an uprising in a sixty-gun ship with a crew of nearly five hundred Spaniards. It was an enterprise so utterly insane that the level-headed English seamen refused to consider it. They regarded Orellana and his ten comrades as poor, misguided wretches who knew no better and who had been driven quite mad by abuse. Of all the tales of mutiny on the high seas this must be set down as unparalleled, and it seems to fit in, as a sort of climax, with the varied and almost endless adventures of the people who were wrecked in the Wager.