Chapter 9

 

The boy was really scared because he thought the ship belonged to the pirate from whom we had escaped. As soon as I saw the ship, I knew it was Portuguese. It was going in another direction and, although we were sailing toward it as fast as we could, there was small chance the people on the ship would notice us.

Just as we were beginning to despair, the ship changed its direction and turned our way. I fired a gun to get their attention, and they noticed us. Three hours later we were alongside the Portuguese ship. They asked me in Portuguese, Spanish, and French who I was, but I couldn’t understand. There was a Scottish sailor who approached me, and I told him my story. On hearing this, all the sailors began to treat us very kindly. They took me and the boy and all our belongings on board. We were both extremely glad to be rescued, and we offered all our goods to the captain of the ship; but he kindly refused to accept them.

The captain offered to buy our boat and to take the boy as a servant. I didn’t want to sell the boy’s liberty, especially since he had served me so well, but the captain said he would treat him fairly and set him free in ten years’ time if he turned Christian. The boy wanted to go with the captain, so I agreed.

The ship was going to Brazil where we arrived twenty-two days later. The captain was very generous and bought almost all my belongings, including the skins of the leopard and the lion. In this way I had some money that I could use to trade. He even recommended me to a friend of his who had a sugar plantation. I liked Brazil and bought some land for myself.

For the next two years I produced just enough to eat, but in the third year I finally planted some cane for trade. On one of his next travels back to England, the captain brought me some of the money I had left there.

My plantation was growing and developing, and I was soon living very prosperously. After four years of living in Brazil I had learned the language and made friends among the other planters and merchants. I would often talk to them and tell them about the slave trade in Guinea.