Yet one of the men, probably one of Oxenham's men, of the name of Robert Pike, now disobeyed those orders. "Having drunken too much aqua-vitæ without water," he forgot himself. He rose from his place in the grass, "enticing a Cimaroon with him," and crept up close to the road, "with intent to have shown his forwardness on the foremost mules."
And when a cavalier from Venta Cruz, well mounted, with his page running at his stirrup, passed by, unadvisedly he rose up to see what he was: but the Cimaroon of better discretion pulled him down, and lay upon him, that he might not discover them any more.
But our Cimaroons now thoroughly encouraged, when they saw our resolution, brake in through the thickets, on both sides of them, forcing them to fly, Friars and all! although divers of our men were wounded, and one Cimaroon especially was run through with one of their pikes, whose courage and mind served him so well notwithstanding, that he revenged his own death ere he died, by killing him that had given him that deadly wound.
The Cimaroon perceiving this, told him, that it was night when he was sent away, so that our Captain could not send any letter, but yet with the point of his knife, he wrote something upon the toothpike, "which," he said, "should be sufficient to gain credit to the messenger."
On one occasion "the Cimaroons found an otter, and prepared it to be drest: our Captain marvelling at it. Pedro, our chief Cimaroon, asked him, "Are you a man of war, and in want; and yet doubt whether this be meat, that hath blood? After three days' wandering in the woods the Maroons brought them to a trim little Maroon town, which was built on the side of a hill by a pretty river.
One day as we travelled, the Cimaroons found an otter, and prepared it to be drest: our Captain marvelling at it, PEDRO, our chief Cimaroon, asked him, "Are you a man of war, and in want; and yet doubt whether this be meat, that hath blood?" Herewithal our Captain rebuked himself secretly, that he had so slightly considered of it before.
The tired men lay down to rest, while Drake "despatched a Cimaroon with a token and certain order to the Master." The day had dawned before this messenger arrived upon the sands near which the ship was moored. He hailed her, crying out that he came with news, and immediately a boat pushed off, manned by men "which longed to hear of our Captain's speeding."
These three Recuas were guarded with forty-five soldiers or thereabouts, fifteen to each Recua, which caused some exchange of bullets and arrows for a time; in which conflict the French Captain was sore wounded with hail-shot in the belly, and one Cimaroon was slain: but in the end, these soldiers thought it the best way to leave their mules with us, and to seek for more help abroad.
"Us do know the Indians, don't us Humphrey? Inca, Aztec, Mosquito and Cimaroon, we know 'em and their devil's ways, don't us, Humphrey?" "Aye aye!" groaned the wounded man. "They tortured me once and they've done for me at last, by God! My shoulder's afire " "And the shaft as took ye, Humphrey, were a Indian shaft a Indian shaft, weren't it, lad? And all trimmed wi' gold, aren't it?
Now though there were as great charge given as might be, that none of our men should shew or stir themselves, but let all that came from Venta Cruz to pass quietly; yea, their Recuas also, because we knew that they brought nothing but merchandise from thence: yet one of our men, called ROBERT PIKE, haven drunken too much aqua vitae without water, forgot himself, and enticing a Cimaroon forth with him was gone hard to the way, with intent to have shown his forwardness on the foremost mules.