Another day's cruise to the eastward and the trim, taut little Exertion suffered the melancholy fate of shipwreck, not bravely in a gale, but mishandled and wantonly gutted by her captors. First she stranded on a bar while making in for a secluded creek, and was floated after throwing overboard the deck-load of shocks for making sugar-barrels. Then her sails were stripped, the rigging cut to pieces, and the masts chopped over the side lest they be sighted from seaward. After that the pirates hewed gaps in the deck and bulwarks in order to loot the rest of the cargo more easily, and the staunch schooner was left to bleach her bones on the Cuban coast.
The amiable Nikola found himself in trouble because of his friendly feeling for Captain Lincoln. The Spanish sailors tied him to a tree and were about to shoot him as a soft-hearted traitor who was guilty of unprofessional conduct, but a courageous