They now clung with convulsive energy to the quarter-rail, their feet partly supported by the sill of the after-port, and though expecting instant death, they still, with the impulse which the weakest as well as the strongest feel, endeavoured to preserve their lives.
As the unfortunate marine fell into the hold of the proa, the pirate chief seized his musket and fired it at the officer standing at the gangway. Another desperado, lunging his spear through the after-port of the brig, mortally wounded the master. The pirates then cut the hawser, and seizing their paddles, made off for the shore.
While he was on the quarter-deck, a hot shot struck the upper part of the after-port, cut all the boarding-pikes adrift from the main-boom, and wounded a man named Lemuel Bryant, who leaped from his quarters and fell at my feet. His clothes were all on fire when he fell, and, after putting them out, the commodore himself ordered me to pass him below.