Origin of Francis L'Ollonais, and beginning of his robberies.
Francis L'Ollonais was a native of that territory in France whish is called Les
Sables d'Ollone, or the Sands of Ollone. In his youth he was transported to the
Caribbee Islands, in quality of a servant or slave, according to the custom of
France and other countries; of which we have already spoken in the first part of
this book. Being out of his time, when he had obtained his freedom, he came to the
Isle of Hispaniola. Here he placed himself for some while among the hunters, befo-
re he began his robberies against the Spaniards; whereof I shall make mention at
present, until his unfortunate death.
At first he made two or three voyages in quality of a common mariner, wherein he
behaved himself so courageously as to deserve the favour and esteem of the Gover-
nor of Tortuga, who was then Monsieur de la Place. Insomuch that this gentleman
gave him a ship, and made him captain thereof, to the intent he might seek his for-
tune. This Dame shewed herself very favourable to him at the beginning, for in a
short while he pillaged great riches. But, withal, his cruelties against the Span-
iards were such that the very fame of them made him known through the whole In-
dies. For which reason the Spaniards, in his time, whensoever they were attacked
by sea, would choose rather to die or sink fighting than surrender, knowing they
should have no mercy nor quarter at his hands. But as Fortune is seldome constant,
so after some time she turned her back upon him. The beginning of whose disasters
was, that in a huge storm he lost his ship upon the coast of Campeche. The men we-
re all saved; but coming upon dry land, the Spaniards pursued them, and killed the
greatest part of them, wounding also L'Ollonais, their captain. Not knowing how to
escape, he thought to save his life by a stratagem. Hereupon he took several hand-
fuls of sand and mingled them with the blood of his own wounds, with which he be-
smeared his face and other parts of his body. Then hiding himself dextrously among
the dead, he continued there till the Spaniards had quitted the field.
After they were gone, he retired into the woods, and bound up his wounds as well
as he could. These being by the help of Nature pretty well healed, he took his way
to the city of Campeche, having perfectly disguised himself in Spanish habit.