Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/408

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the Spanish sailors could be heard calling them English dogs and defying them to come on board. Along with the curses flew a volley of great and small shot, which killed the Recovery's gunner and almost carried away her foremast.

So warm a reception staggered many of Captain Shelvocke's men and those who before seemed the most forward now lay upon their oars, insomuch that he had difficulty to make them keep their way. But recovering themselves, they rowed up and engaged the enemy until all their small shot was expended, which done they fell astern to whittle more leaden slugs. In this manner they made three attempts, all equally unsuccessful; and they found it impossible to board the ship, she was so lofty, especially from the want of pistols and cutlasses which are the only weapons for close fighting. It was calm the whole night during which the people of the Recovery were busy making slugs, and having provided a great quantity against morning, they came to the desperate resolution of either carrying the ship or of submitting to her. At daybreak Captain Shelvocke ordered twenty men into the yawl to lay athwart the ship's hawse whilst he boarded in the dark. The people in the boat put off, giving him repeated assurances of their determination; but just at this very juncture of coming to action, a breeze sprung up and the ship gained on them. As the gale freshened, the captain expected the ship would have run him down, which she could have easily done; however, she bore away, probably for some port on the coast, Valparaiso or Coquimbo. The Recovery chased her all that day and the following night, and at daylight