Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVIII / The Story of Blackbeard >> Page 466

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 466 SOUTHWARD HO
readiness with equal secrecy and expedition. Blackbeard, as - we have seen, was not left unapprized of his danger. But, in his debauch, he had made light of the intelligence, and moreover, it was not thought by those who bore the tidings that the expedition would have such early despatch. In those days enter-prises were undertaken as pilgrimages, with great deliberation, the adventurer stopping to get himself well shod, to provide himself with a select staff, and, only after protracted meditation and perhaps devotions, to take the field. The enterprise of young Maynard proved an exception to the common practice, and his sloops were ready to go to sea, while he was discussing with Blackbeard the preliminaries and the profit of future voyages which they might take together.
Beginning thus vigorously, Maynard did not relax in his exertions. His sloops left James river on the 17th November, 1718. When fairly at sea, he broke the enterprise to his followers, all of whom were picked men. He read to them the proclamation of Governor Spotswood, offering a reward of 100 for the apprehension of Blackbeard, � 15 for every officer, and � 10 for every common sailor made captive with him. The proclamation was received with three hearty cheers, and all parties braced themselves up for the conflict which, it was very well understood, would be anything but child's play. On the 21st of November, Maynard passed the bar of Ocracocke, and rapidly drew near to the pirate. At this period, his force was small, consisting of twenty-five men ; the rest were at sea, with his other vessel, under the command of Vaughan and other lieutenants.
Blackbeard was taken by surprise. He certainly would never have waited at his anchorage and with so small a force, had he dreamed of his enemy's approach so soon. In truth, he had been waiting for his hunter, Mainyard,� whom he looked to supply the place of his captain of marines, one Hornsby, who was very sick on shore, and not expected to recover. He did recover, as we shall see hereafter, but not in season to take part in the conflict.
Though thus caught napping, Blackbeard was a man of re-sources, and prepared himself for defence. Maynard standing directly for the pirate, received his fire which was delivered with terrible effect. Unfortunately, his own vessel run aground, in