Chapter 44

 

He was terrified because he thought the cannibals had returned to look for him. He was shaking with fear, so I comforted him as best as I could and gave him some rum. Then I loaded several pistols and guns and gave him a hatchet, while I took my sword.

We went on top of a hill and through my telescope I could see 21 savages, 3 victims and 3 canoes on the beach. They had landed closer to my cave where the forest was reaching the beach. This made it easier to attack them and prevent the cruel victory ritual.

We approached them quietly through the forest. While walking, I was considering my right to kill them. Perhaps I had no reason to shoot so many people who had not done any harm to me? This thought made me change my intentions and now I thought I would only observe them until I had a reason to interfere.

When we were very close to the beach, I asked Friday to go behind a very large tree and see what he could from there. He returned to tell me the cannibals were all around the fire, eating one of their prisoners, while another one lay tied up. The second prisoner was not one of Friday’s people, but one of the bearded Europeans. This filled me with horror and I was resolved to save him if I could.

We moved closer to the place where the savages were gathered. Nineteen of them were still round the fire, but two had gone to fetch the poor white man. Seeing this, I loaded the guns and asked Friday to do exactly what I did. We fired at the same time and killed 3 and wounded 5 of the savages. The rest jumped up to their feet, but did not know which way to run because they did not know from which direction the danger was coming.

Meanwhile we had loaded the guns again and shot two more, again wounding a few. After that we loaded the guns again and ran to the beach, shouting as loud as we can. I ran to the tied prisoner and asked Friday to shoot the savages who had left him and were now in the nearest canoe. While he was fighting with them, I cut the ropes which the European was bound with. I asked him who he was and he said in Latin that he was Spanish.