Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/351

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THE WAGER'S LONG-BOAT

through the head. When his followers saw him fall and discovered that he was dead, to a man these ten heroes leaped over the bulwark and perished in the sea. They knew how to finish in style, and the admiral was deprived of the pleasure of swinging them to a yard-arm to the flourish of trumpet and drum.

Midshipman Isaac Morris and his two shipmates of the Wager witnessed this splendid undertaking, or bits of it, as they paced to and fro under guard in the middle of the ship. It seemed as though they might be granted a quieter life by way of a change, but when the flag-ship reached Spain they were hustled ashore and put into a prison for a fortnight, where they were chained together like common criminals and fed on bread and water. After that they were marched off to an island by a file of musketeers, and held for fourteen weeks in a sort of penal colony among thieves and felons. The longest lane has a turning, and there came at length a royal order providing that the three Englishmen should be sent to Portugal. At Oporto the English consul gave them quarters and a little money, and the end of the story is thus described by Isaac Morris:

 
We embarked in the Charlotte, scow, on the 18th of April, 1746, and under convoy of the York and Folkstone