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On the Spanish Main
Or, Some English forays on the Isthmus of Darien.

written by "Masefield, John, 1878-1967"
...d 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[77] of our Captain's speeding." As soon as he appeared before Ellis Hixom, he handed over Drake's golden toothpick, "which he said our Captain had sent for a token to Ellis Hixom, with charge to meet him at such a river." The sight of the golden toothpick was too much for Ellis Hixom. He knew it to be his Captain's property, but coming as it did, without a sign in writing, it convinced him that "something had befallen our Captain otherwise than well." The Maroon saw him staring "as amazed," and told him that it was dark when Drake had packed him off, so that no letter could be sent, "but yet with the point of his knife, he wrote something upon the toothpick, 'which,' he said, 'should be sufficient to gain credit to the messenger.'" Looking closely at the sliver of gold, Hixom saw a sentence scratched upon it: "By me, Francis Drake," which convinced him that the message was genuine. He at once called away one of the pinnaces, storing her with "what provision he could," and promptly set sail for the mouth of the Tortugos River, a few miles along the coast, to the west of where he lay, for there Drake intended to await him. At about three o'clock that afternoon, Drake marched his men, or all who were fit to march, out of the forest to the sandy beach at the river's mouth. Half-an-hour later the tattered ragamuffins saw the pinnace running in to take them off, "which was unto us all a double rejoicing: first that we saw them, and next, so soon." The whole company stood up together on the beach to sing some of the psalms of thanksgiving—praising God "most heartily, for that we saw our pinnace and fellows again." To Ellis Hixom and his gang of shipkeepers the raiders appeared "as me...

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