Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVIII / The Story of Blackbeard >> Page 467

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Page 467

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE PIRATES HEAD. 467
the shallow water of the river, and this increased the odds against
him. Before he could extricate himself, he had lost twenty of
his men, and the pirate prepared to board him. Seeing this,
Maynard hurried his men below, with orders to keep ready for
the hand-to-hand conflict which was impending. Blackbeard
bore down upon him, threw in his granailes, and, seeing the decks
bare of all but the slain and wounded, he boarded without hesi-
tation. Then Maynard rushed upon deck, followed by his crew,
and they fell together upon the assailants. Maynard's costume,
on this occasion, was that in which he had made the pirate's ac-
quaintance. Blackbeard knew him at a glance.
Ha ! traitor ! Ha ! villain !' he cried as the young lieutenant
confronted him ; and with the words both of them fired. Then
they closed with their dirks. Blackbeard was now reminded of
the wrestle they had had together, and the recollection made him
desperate. It was ominous of the result in the present contest.
He was overmatched, and slashed almost to pieces, but fighting
to the last, he fell at the feet of his conqueror, who immediately
smote off his head with his cutlass, and lifted it, all reeking and
streaming with blood, in the sight of the remaining pirates. As
the black and bloody mass, with its wilderness of beard was
raised on high, the horrid eyes glaring, and glazing even as
they glared, the spectacle overwhelmed the pirate-crew. They
threw down their weapons, such as still survived the combat, and
were ironed on the spot. The capture of the pirate-vessel fol-
lowed, but had nearly proved a fatal conquest ; since a desperate
negro stood over the magazine, stationed there by Blackbeard's
orders, with a blazing match, prepared to apply it at a given
signal. It was only when the gory head of his master was
thrust before his eyes, that he consented to resign his torch and
leave his perilous duty unattempted. The victory of Maynard was
complete, and he sailed up to the town of Bath, and finally re-
turned to James river, with the head of the pirate, in terrorem,
hanging at the bowsprit of his vessel."