Chapter 3 + 4
ther very considerable encouragement to undertake this journey. For the Spaniard
who had forced away the king's daughter, as was mentioned above, fearing lest we
should leave him to the mercy of the Indians, who would have but little on him,
having shown themselves so cruel to the rest of his companions, for the safety of
his life had promised ro lead us, not only into the town, but even to the very
bedchamber door of the governor of Panama, and that we should take him by the hand
and seize both him and the whole city, before we should be discovered by the Span-
iards, either before or after our arrival.
The Buccaneers leave the town of Santa Maria, and proceed by sea to take Panama.
Extreme difficulties, with sundry accidents and dangers of that voyage.
Having been in possession of the town of Santa Maria only the space of two days,
we departed thence on Saturday, April 17th, 1680. We all embarked in thirty-five
canoes, and a periagua, which we had taken here lying at anchor before the town.
Thus we sailed or rather rowed down the river in quest of the South Sea, upon
which Panama is seated, towards the Gulf of Belona, whereat we were to disembogue
into that ocean. Our prisoners, the Spaniards, begged very earnestly that they
might be permitted to go with us, and not be left to the mercy of the Indians,
who would show them no favour, and whose cruelty they so much feared. But as we
had much ado to find a sufficient number of boats for ourselves, the Indians that
left us having taken with them, either by consent or stealth, so many canoes. Yet
notwithstanding this they found soon after either bark logs, or old canoes, and
by that means shifted so well for their lifes, as to come along with us. Before
our departure we burnt both the fort, the church and the town, which was done at
the request of the king, he being extremely incensed against it.
Among these canoes it was my misfortune to have one that was very heavy, and con-
sequently sluggish. By this means we were left behind the rest a little way, the-
re being only four men besides myself, that were embarked therein. As the tide
fell, it left several shoals of sand naked, and hence, we not knowing of the true
channel, amongst such a variety of streams, happened to steer within a shoal, for
above two miles, before we perceived our error. Hereupon, we were forced to lay
by until high water came, for to row in such heavy boats against the tide is to-
tally impossible. As soon as the tide began to turn, we rowed away in prosecution
of our voyage, and withal made what haste we could, but all our endeavours were
in vain, for we neither could find nor overtake our companions. Thus at about ten
o'clock at night, the tide being low, we stuck up an oar in the river, and slept
by turns in our canoe, several showers of rain falling all the night long, which
pierced us to the skin.
But the next morning, no sooner had day come than we rowed away down the river as