Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/99

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and might have been happy if it had not been signalized by a new massacre."

A mob of Spaniards, Italians, and negroes had hatched a plot to throw all the others into the sea and so obtain the raft and what wine was left. The black men argued that the coast was near and that they could traverse it without danger from the natives and so act as guides. The leader of this outbreak was a Spaniard, who placed himself behind the mast, made the sign of the cross with one hand, waved a knife in the other, and invoked the name of God as the signal to rush forward and begin the affray. Two faithful French sailors, who were forewarned of this eruption, lost not a moment in grappling with this devout desperado, and he was thrown into the sea along with an Asiatic of gigantic stature who was suspected of being another ring-leader. A third instigator of the mob, perceiving that the plot was discovered, armed himself with a boarding-ax, hacked his way free, and plunged into the ocean.

The rest of the mutineers were hardier lunatics, and they fought wildly in the attempt to kill one of the officers, under the delusion that he was a Lieutenant Danglass, whom they had hated for his harsh manners while aboard the Medusa. At length they were repulsed, but when the morning