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being still thirsty, and dreading the approach of the burning day, I thought * prudent to search for the wells, which I expected to find at no great distance. In this pursuit, I inadvertently approached 0 near to one of the tents, as to be perceived by a woman, who immediately screamed out. Two people came running to her assistance from some of the neighbouring tents, and passed so very near to me, that I thought I was discovered ; and hastened again into the woods.
About a mile from this place, I heard a loud and confused noise somewhere to the right of my course, and in a short time was happy to find it was the eroaking of frogs, which was heavenly music to my ears. I followed the sound, and at day-break arrived at some shallow muddy pools, so full of frogs that it was difficult to discern the water. The noise they made frightened my borse, and I was obliged to keep them quiet by beating the water with a branch until he had drank. Having here quenched my thirst, I ascended a tree, and the morning being calm, I soon perceived the smoke of the watering place which I had passed in the night; and observed another pillar of smoke east-south-east, distant 12 or 14 miles. Towards this I directed my route. and reached the cultivated ground a little before eleven o'clock; where, seeing a number of negroes at work planting corn, I inquired the name of the town, and was informed that it was a Foulah village, belonging to Ali, called Shrilla. I had now some doubts about entering it; but my horse, being very much fatigued, and the day growing hot, not to mention the pangs of hunger which began to assail me, I resolved to venture ; and accordingly rode up to the Dooty's house, where I was unfortunately denied admittance, and could not obtain even a handful of corn, either for myself or horse. Turning from this inhospitable door, I rode slowly out of the town, and perceiving some low scattered huts without the walls, i directed my route towards them; knowing that in Africa, as well as in Europe, hospitality does not always prefer the highest dwellings. At the door of one of these huts, an old motherly-looking woman sat, spinning cotton ; I made signs to her that I was hungry, and inquired if she had any victuals with her in the hut. She immediately laid down her distaff, and desired me, in Arabic, to come in. When I had seated myself upon the floor, she sat before me a dish of kouskous, that had been left the preceding night, of which I made a tolerable meal; and in return for this kindness I gave her one of my pocket handkerchiefs ; begging, at the same time, a little corn for my horse, which she readily brought me.
“Overcome with joy at so unexpected a deliverance, I lifted up my eyes to heaven, and whilst my heart swelled with gratitude, I returned thanks to that gracious and bountiful Being whose power had supported me under so many dangers, and now spread for me a table in the Wilderness.
" While my horse was feeding, the people began to assemble, and one of them whispered something to my hostess, which very much excited her surprise. Though I was not well acquainted with the Foulah language, I soon discovered that some of the men wished to apprehend me and carry me back to Ali, in hopes, I suppose, of receiving a reward. I therefore tied up the corn; and lest any one should suspect I had run away from the Moors, I took a northerly direction, and went cheerfully along, driving my horse before me, followed by all the boys and girls of the town. When I had travelled about two miles, and got quit of all my troublesome attendants, I struck again into the woods, and took shelter under a large tree ; where I found it necessary to rest myself; a bundle of twigs serving me for a bed, and my saddle for a pillow.
“ I was awakened about two o'clock by three Foulahs, who taking me for a Moor, pointed to the sun, and told me it was time to pray. Without entering into conversation with them, I saddled my horse and continued may journey."
THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN WINTERFIELD.
It will be totally irrelevant to the present purpose, to trouble my readers with any of the particulars of the juvenile part of my life : I shall therefore proceed to those points which more immediately laid the foundation of my misfortunes, by the loss of an amiable wife, about six weeks after Provide..ce had blest us with a daughter. This event, which happened in my twenty-fifth year, in toy native country of Scotland, produced a melancholy which nothing could divert or even time efface from my mind; ror could the argumerits of friends, or the still more powerful advocate of a youthful constitution, naturally disposed to share the joys of social and domestic life, prevail on me to renew those vows which death had so fatally dissolved.
My mother had for some years been a widow; and that turn for gaiety, which had accelerated the death of a beloved husband, had at the same time reduced her from a state of competence to hardly a bare subsistence. She therefore now lived with me, and endeavoured, by the kindest offices, and the most unremitting attention, to sooth that affliction with which she was but too well qualified to sympathize. She represented to me the consolation she had berself derived from the possession of a child whose affectionate regards had in time reconciled her to life, and pointed out the most flattering resemblances in our respective situations. My attention was perpetually directed to some newly-discovered attraction in my little Penelope ; but though every communication of this nature apparently gave me a temporary happiness, yet I never failed on such occasions to pay dearly in private for the reflections they as constantly produced on the inestimable value of those charms of which I was for ever deprived.
In this state of mind I remained on half-pay till the commencement of the American contest, when my regiment was put into commission, and ordered on that service. At this period my daughter had attained her tenth year; and presented every day a stronger resemblance of her departed mother, as well in personal as in mental accomplishments. A fortnight only was allowed me to prepare for my embarkation; and frequently in this painful interval, though not without firmness, my cheek glowed with the consciousness of those tears, which the powerful operations of nature forced from their latent spring, as Í pressed to my bosom my only child, with all the heartfelt forebodings of painful apprehension, and often did her little watchful eye mark the progress of the full tear, and printing with her quivering lip the track which it had pursued, inquire the unconscious cause in accents of evident anguish, and with looks of yet stronger expression. From the moment in which the unwelcome summons had arrived, my mother ceased not to entreat me that I would avail myself of the plea of indisposition, to which I was so fully entitled, as the only means of remaining at home, where my health was alone likely to be reestablished; but I disdained to listen to motives which might leave my reputation liable to the smallest suspicion, and prepared with alacrity to obey thie call of honour.
Having made the necessary arrangements, I took leave of my affectionate
mother and my child, with that mournful kind of adieu which seems to relin quish the hope of ever again beholding the objects from which the suffused eye unwillingly turns away. For a few minutes I folded them in my arms, and recommending them to the mercy of Heaven, with a sigh, which I vainly endeavoured to suppress, I hastened from all I held dear without once daring to look back.
It was not till after my departure that Mrs. Winterfield experienced the full force of grief. In her kind efforts to console my affliction, she had, as it were, experienced a cessation of her own anguish: but now, far from endeavouring to repress the conflict in her bosom, she abandoned herself to sorow, and wept almost incessantly, till the fatal account arrived of the battle of Bunker’s Hill, where so many British officers seemed cruelly selected for slaughter; when, not at all doubting that my name was included in the list, her agony increased to such a beight that she became instantly distracted, and continued in that most melancholy of all situations upwards of six months, before she could possibly be satisfied that I still lived ; nor would she at last have been convinced,
had she not received an incontrovertible evidence of my safety under my own • hand.
In the mean time I contracted the strictest intimacy with my superior officer, Colonel Bellinger, who never failed to consult me on every affair of moment, whether of a private or a professional nature. The colonel was about eight years younger than myself; he was likewise a native of North Britain, but married a lady of immense fortune in England, by whom he had two sons and a daughter. His chief residence, when at home, was in the county of Norfolk. The lady of Colonel Bellinger doated on him to distraction, and continually implored him to quit a profession so unfavourable to their loves, and the necessity of pursuing which had been happily prevented by the kindness of fortune; but the nice and delicate feelings of a soldier's honour prevented his acquiescence in a request of this nature, though his denials cost him many a pang. He often communicated to me the source of his regrets; but he was strengthened in his resolution by the approbation of a heart which, though tender as an infant, was equally a stranger to fear or deceit.
For upwards of four years we constantly fought together, and neither of us had received the least hurt. About this time, however, I was slightly wounded in the leg, as we went out together to reconnoitre; but in less than three months the wound was entirely healed. My fears had been awakened by this accident for the situation of my Penelope and her grandmother, to such a degree as to produce a violent fever; and the colonel, who never ceased to visit me at least once a day during my confinement, having discovered the cause of my anxiety, which a becoming delicacy had prompted him as much as possible to conceal, charged himself, on the honour of a soldier, with the care of Mrs. Winterfield and my daughter, should that event take place at any future period, which he doubted not I should happily escape on the present occasion. The kindness and generosity of this assurance contributed more to my recovery than all the efforts of the surgeon.
Shortly after my recovery, an expedition up the country was projected, and it was executed by us with success. In our return, however, an accident occurred which had nearly proved fatal to the colonel. Having dispersed every appearance of an enemy, while we one day halted to relieve the soldiers from the fatigue of a long march, the colonel, who was remarkably fond of fowling, proposed an excursion for that purpose in a neighbouring wood. Myself and iwo other officers were of the party, and we agreed to divide two and two, and
not to penetrate more than half a mile, or a mile at farthest, without forming a junction at that distance, as nearly central as possible from the spot whence we set out.
The colonel and I were together, and we had not proceeded more than five or six hundred yards when we were alarmed by a general discharge of musquetry. On advancing towards the spot from whence the sound proceeded, we discovered six armed savages engaged with the officers froni whom we had just separated. A couple of savages likewise lay wounded on the ground; and the colonel and me, levelling our pieces, brought two more to the earth : the other four, terrified at this unexpected stroke, Aed with precipitation towards a thicket where the colonel was stationed ; and before he or I could reload, had beat him down with their musquets, and would in a few minutes have dispatched him with their tomahawks, had not I and the other two officers, with desperate resolution, immediately rushed to his assistance, and each of us transfixed an assailant with our bayonets. There was now only one left, and he would have proved sufficiently formidable for the destruction of the colonel, against whom his arm was already raised, had not I, with great presence of mind, relinquished my musquet, and, springing on the savage among the bushes, brought him instantly to the ground, while one of the officers, who had by this time disengaged his bayonet, plunged it into his body. The colonel had received two violent contusions on his head, and was otherwise much bruised and wounded in struggling with the savages. I bound up his wounds, and, with the assistance of some officers carried him to his tent, where the skull being examined by the chief surgeon, it was found to be terribly fractured in two places.
A party of ten were now sent to search the wood, and to bring an account of the savages; and I gave particular directions that if either of them yet survived, he might be brought into the camp, and, if possible, cured of his wounds, as the means of discovering whether this ambuscade had been treacherously formed ; instances having often occurred, in the course of this unhappy war, where the affectation of loyalty had occasioned a confidence in the unsuspecting soldier, who was frequently drawn into such situations by these diabolical machinations as admitted no possibility of escape.
During this time, Colonel Bellinger grew rather worse than better; and the surgeon,
despairing of reducing the principal fracture, recommended the application of the trepan, which the colonel vehemently opposed. Perceiving that the cure would probably be as much defeated by the adoption of an operation, to which he could by no means submit without the most alarming apprehensions, as from the total neglect of this measure, however professionally adviseable, I seconded the colonel's resolution with much apparent confidence ; asserting, that I had known worse fractures totally healed by a more patient process, under a far less skilful surgeon. This declaration had its full effect both with the surgeon and his patient; the former politely, though faintly, acquiesced in foregoing his intention, under a bare possibility, as a return for my compliment to his ability; and the latter, tranquillized by assurances so consonant to his wishes, subdued by degrees that impatience and perturbation of mind which had greatly contributed to retard his cure.
Colonel Bellinger, in his first intervals of recollection, after expressing his gratitude to me for an attachment which he could never reward, had pressed upon me the acceptance of an instrument, in which he bequeathed me the sum of three thousand pounds, as a testimonial of his friendship. Indeed, I was perpetually with him; and the knot of amity was, if possible, still closer
drawn, as well by the dangers and sufferings we had both experienced, as from the kind consolation we had in our turns mutually received and administered.
The colonel had been confined to his tent about ten weeks, when word was one morning brought by the officer who commanded a foraging party the preceding evening, consisting of twenty men, that a band of at least a hundred savages had chased them to within half a league of the camp, and appeared to be on the look out for small parties. I expressed my indignation at being harassed by these petty assailants; and immediately ordered out a hundred men to follow unperceived at a small distance, I advanced myself with only ten towards the spot where they were first discovered. This was near five miles distant from the camp; and we had not proceeded far beyond the place which had been described, when upwards of a hundred savages suddenly appeared, and came on to the attack with great fury. My little party made a show of retreating, but still kept up a running fire, till I perceived my corps de réserve, when they immediately turned on their pursuers, and after leaving thirty dead on the field, put the rest totally to flight. We now continued the pursuit, and had just come up within reach of the fugitives, when a new ambuscade, consisting of at least fifteen hundred, suddenly issued forth from an adjoining wood, and in an instant cut off the foremost of our party. I escaped, but not without difficulty, and brought to my companions the disagreeable news of a defeat, though opposed by a gallant resistance, and the loss of almost the whole of my company:
I received several wounds during this engagement; and the next day was seized with a fever, which continued with una bated violence for three weeks, at the end of which time my wounds were in a most hopeful way, and promised fair for a speedy recovery; but my exertions to serve the colonel on a particular occasion having made me catch cold, I fell into a relapse, which ihrew me into a more dangerous way than ever, and the surgeon despaired of a recovery. But youth and a good constitution, however, in about six months so far prevailed, that my wounds were nearly healed; and I was advised by my surgeon to go to Europe. To this request General Cornwallis did not in the least object : he had a long while beheld with concern, my afflictions, and resolved, the first opportunity that should present itself, to gratify my desire of visiting my friends in Europe. An occasion soon offered for these services to my native country: some dispatches of a private nature being to be brought to England, I was the man pitched upon to bring the packet to the Court of London. After having taken a solemn farewell of the colonel, my good friend, I set off on my journey, and arrived soon after at New York, from whence I embarked for Old England. Nothing remarkable occurred at the beginning of the voyage. I was in high spirits at the idea of once more beholding my dear Penelope and her grandmother, and rejoiced to think I should surprise them agreeably, not having previously informed them of my coming to England. It was in the depth of Winter, a season when the Atlantic Oeean is particularly dangerous ; and the vessel having only a single deck was very uncomfortable; and, very far from being a quick sailer, made very little way amidst those heavy seas, often shipping so much, that her hands could scarce keep her above water, and sometimes losing our canvas by the heavy squalls which succeeded a few hours of moderate weather.
Having nearly run out our reckoning, we began to look out for land, which we expected to be the northern part of Ireland. However, matters assumed quite a different aspect; and the weather proved still worse, our standing jib,