Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter III >> Page 33

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
the captains of his vessels, of his true situation. They
came to his relief, and so completely were the pirates en-
snared, that the governor, with all his ships and treasure,
was rescued from their possession. One of the French
vessels escaped under the guidance of the pilot, who had
been forced by the pirates from Fort Caroline, and who,
without their knowledge, carried her back to May river.
Want of food compelled the pirates to return to the com-
mander whom they had deserted, and the opportunity thus
afforded for avenging his own wrong, and punishing the
criminals against his authority, was not suffered to escape.
Four of the chief conspirators were seized, condemned
and executed, as an example to the rest ; and this sum-
mary justice done, the discontents and strifes of the col-
ony were ended for a brief period.
Laudonniere was soon after this relieved from some
of the cares of his government. Ribault arrived from
France in command of a well appointed fleet, and with a
commission to supercede him. Some mutual distrusts
and jealousies between the two commanders, were recon-
ciled after a friendly explanation, but the former, though
offered equal authority with Ribault, resolved on yielding
up his charge. His successor had scarcely commenced
his duties, before he was beset by dangers of a new and
formidable character. His fleet had been closely followed
from Europe by one under the command of Pedro Melen-
dez de Avilez, a Spanish captain of great renown at that
period. In the command of a far superior force to that of
Ribault, he seemed to be advised of all the movements of
the latter ; and it is the conviction of most historians,
that his master, the king of Spain, had been duly informed