In half an hour he set sail, and with a favourable wind was soon out of sight. Towards eight o'clock, a boat appeared from the shore, and brought two calves and two sheep, just killed, and a quantity of fowls, vegetables, and fruit, as a present for the captain, from Don Toribios and the other officials.
Don Toribios, too, was very friendly, and called out as soon as he saw me, "Going on excellently! all healed over!" I examined his wounds and found it actually so. The old gentleman then applied himself industriously to the wine, and appeared determined to make up for the abstinence of two weeks. My warning, to be prudent, was not regarded in the least.
While all were thus busied, the captain drew me aside, and said to me in an unusually confidential tone, "I must accompany this coaster some distance; we shall be gone four or five days. Therefore, go on shore once more, and carry to Don Toribios as much physic as he will want during this time, but be sure to be back before sunset."
The captain asked me particularly concerning Don Toribios, and as I was able to give him favorable replies, he was greatly rejoiced, and loaded me with praises. "You must go on shore to him every morning or afternoon," said he, "for this man is my best friend. But now go and rest, you seem very weary; you shall be called when the breakfast is ready." I was indeed rejoiced to be able to rest.
When the captain, after dinner, had taken his siesta, he made known to the crew the death of Don Toribios, and ordered preparations to be made for paying the last honors to his deceased friend. A hundred bottles of wine, torches, crape, and whatever else is necessary upon such occasions, were put into the long-boat, into which the captain entered, with ten sailors, six musicians, and myself.
After dinner I was sent on shore again, to dress Don Toribios' wounds. As they were healing rapidly, and the fever had quite left him, I soon returned, his daughter having presented me with a box of Havana cigars.
We journeyed for about an hour through a high mahogany forest, until we arrived comfortably at a small town, and before the door of the mansion of Don Toribios, as the conscientious official was called. I immediately examined the old man's wounds, which proved to be not at all dangerous, extracted the balls without difficulty, and left him to the care of his wife and daughter.
This indicated a death, and I was very anxious to know which of yesterday's company had so quickly had their joy turned to mourning; in the meanwhile the boat arrived, and the chief negro came on board. "Master dead!" he said, in his broken Spanish. "Don Toribios dead! last night! Here a letter and presents for Senor captain and Senor helmsman."