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LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS

a light rope; so before she could drift ashore they stowed themselves aboard, leaving a dozen who preferred to live on Juan Fernandez and several negroes who could shift for themselves. There had been deaths enough to reduce the number of officers and men to fifty as the complement of the forty-foot bark, which ran up the British ensign and wallowed out into the wide Pacific.

 

It was then found that one pump constantly working would keep the vessel free. In distributing the provisions, one of the conger eels was allowed to each man in twenty-four hours, which was cooked on a fire made in a half tub filled with earth; and the water was sucked out of a cask by means of a musket barrel. The people on board were all uncomfortably crowded together and lying on the bundles of eels, and in this manner was the voyage resumed.

 

The plans of Captain George Shelvocke were direct and simple—to steer for the Bay of Concepción as the nearest port, in the hope of capturing some vessel larger and more comfortable than his own. In a moderate sea the bark "tumbled prodigiously," and all hands were very wet because the only deck above them was a grating covered with a tarpaulin; but the captain refused to bear away and ease her. At some distance from the South American coast a large ship was sighted in the moonlight. The desperate circumstances had worn the line be-