« 前へ次へ »
handsome style, with the blue ensign at her gaff end, and the union jack flying at her mast head. The smag. gler kept a black flag flying at her main mast, and now the cutter lufting up within hail, poured her starboard broadside into the smuggler. The cutter had sixteen guns, and the smuggler only eight, which were also much beneath the others in weight of metal. · The smugglers flinched not from their guns, and when the cutter appeared to be going to lay the lugger on board, with the intention of carrying her by the irresistible fury of boarding-pikes and cutlasses, Whiggans ran her into a small mole on the western shore, the passage of which was defended by a very dangerous ridge of rocks, and, the water breaking nearly across its mouth, had very little appearance of any entrance. But this he did, as there were some people
on the margin of the creek prepared to render him every facility of escape, provided he could not defend the vessel.
The cutter pursued close in the smuggler's wake, who made another gallant but unsuccessful attempt to get off by hauling his wind to get out by the northern entrance; but this maneuyre brought the vessels considerably nearer to each other, and the cutter's only chance was to luff up and risk another broadside, which carried away the lugger's foremast and bowsprit. The lugger being now unmanageable, drifted on the rock; her hardy crew still keeping up a terrible fire on the cutter, until she ran alongside. The lugger now fell under the bows of the cutter, whose crew rushed in upon the smugglers. But though every one of these men was armed with a brace of pistols, à tomahawk, and a cutlass,
their desperate but disorderly resistance did not prevent them from being driven sword in hand into the sea. The whole time taken up in this tremendous exertion of physical strength, was less than ten minutes; and in that short time seven of the cutter's people and five of the smuggler's were killed or severely wounded. One of the smugglers, whose hand had been chopped off, and who was otherwise wounded in the body, had still strength enough left to hurl himself into the sea, but was instantly shot by one of his own people; who on the shore and from a rock kept up a close fire of small arms on the crew of the cutter; but when the cutter's guns were brought to bear on that spot, the smugglers betook themselves to the mountains.
St. Clyde was locked up in the cabin, and his surprise at seeing the
hatchway broken open by the tars of old England was only equal to theirs to find a man unemployed on board such a vessel.
It was the chief mate of the cutter who entered the cabin first, and hav: ing demanded, “Who are you, sir? one of the Terra Firma midges, I suppose; come, come, sir, you are my prisoner:” for St. Clyde had attempted to speak, but the mate went on;“ bring the irons, lock him up, and take him on board his majesty's ship."
St. Clyde now protested he was not a smuggler, and had no suspicions when he came on board that the vessel he had been found in was of that de. scription, “else he would never have entered on her deck; he was an officer in the army.”
Here the sailors laughed heartily, and quizzed “ the general,” as they humorously called him, amidst man
gled bodies and dying groans.
St. Clyde had no letters or memoranda about him to convince the master and mate of the cutter, that he was really an officer of the army ; and all he could say or do to the contrary, did not keep him from being ironed, and put down into the hold of the cutter.
His portmanteau had a brass, plate, with “Captain Colin St. Clyde, 42nd Regt." on it, but any one might have that as well as he ; and, therefore, our hero suffered all the mock ceremony of an enemy's general who paid others for fighting for him. It was to no purpose he told them he was St. Clyde : that was impossible-St. Clyde, they all knew, was dead he had fallen in America—for the cutter's people had not heard of his return.
When it was high water, the lugger was got off the rock on which she had been run, and towed by the cutter