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LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS

were able to get away from the wreck in the boats, but they made for the beach with the most gloomy forebodings. The Pelews, a westerly group of the Caroline Islands, in the Pacific, had been sighted by the Spanish admiral, Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, as early as 1543, but no ship had ever touched there, and the only report, which was gleaned by hearsay from other islanders, declared that "the natives were unhuman and savage, that both men and women were entirely naked and fed upon human flesh, that the inhabitants of the Carolines looked on them with horror as the enemies of mankind and with whom they held it dangerous to have any intercourse."

Captain Henry Wilson of the Antelope was an exceptional commander, with a reliable crew which cheerfully obeyed him. While the ship was in the breakers and death seemed imminent, it is recorded that

 

they endeavored to console and cheer one another and each was advised to clothe and prepare himself to quit the ship, and herein the utmost good order and regularity was observed, not a man offering to take anything but what truly belonged to himself, nor did any one of them attempt to take a dram or complain of negligence or misconduct against the watch or any particular person.

 

A raft was built to carry the stores and supplies, and sent off in tow of the pinnace and the jolly-boat.