I MAKE A BOLD RESCUE
 I KNEW that the tide would not be at its highest again before
night. So I thought that I would arm myself, and, as soon as
it was dark, would venture out and learn more about my
strange visitors if I could.
 I looked at my guns and got everything ready, and then sat
down to wait.
The day, as I have said, was very hot. The three men who had
been prisoners still sat under a tree by the shore. But all
the rest were in the woods. No doubt they would rest in some
shady place until the sun went down.
At about two o'clock I became so uneasy that I could wait no
"Friday," I said, "let us go out and see what we can do."
You should have seen us as we marched out of the castle.
I had two guns on my shoulders and Friday had three. I had
on my goatskin coat and my great hat that I have told you
about. At my side was a naked sword, and in my belt were two
I must have looked very fierce.
We went quietly down the hill, keeping ourselves hidden
among the trees. At last, when we were quite near the three
men, I jumped suddenly out before them and cried, "What are
Never were men more surprised.
They sprang to their feet, but they could not
 speak a word. In fact, they were on the point of running
away from me when I cried: "Hold, gentlemen! Do not be
afraid. I am a friend. I bring help."
"Then, indeed," said one of them, "you must have been sent
from heaven; for our case is hopeless."
"All help is from heaven, sir," I said; and then I briefly
told them how I had seen them brought to the shore.
"I am an Englishman," I said, "and I stand ready to help you.
I have one servant, and we are well armed. Tell us what is
your case, and how we may serve you."
"Our case," said the foremost of the three men, "is too long
to tell you now; for our enemies are very near. I was the
captain of the ship that lies at anchor offshore. Three days
ago the sailors all rose against me. They made me their
prisoner. They seized upon the ship, for they wanted to
"They were about to kill me; but this morning they decided
to leave me on this island to die. The men who are with me,
they are doomed to the same fate. One is my mate, the other
 "Being brought ashore here, we had no hope but to perish.
For it did not seem to us that any one could live in such a
"But where are those cruel enemies of yours?" I asked. "Do
you know where they are gone?"
"They are there, sir," he said, pointing to a grove not far
away. "They are sleeping in the shade. If they should wake
and see you with us, they would kill us all."
"Have they any firearms?" I asked.
"Only two muskets," he answered, "and one of these they have
left in the boat."
"Then trust everything to me," I said. "If they are asleep
it will be easy to kill them all. But I think it will be
better to make them our prisoners."
The captain then told me that there were two very wicked
fellows among them who were the ringleaders.
"It is they who have made all this trouble," he said. "If
they and two others could be overcome the rest would come
back and do their duty. Indeed, I am sure that many of them
have gone into this business against their will."