Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter IV >> Page 39

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Page 39

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
render to the Spaniards, and appeal to their mercy ?" be-came the question among them."No !" said Challus,
Let us trust in the mercy of God we can not in these men."
Unfortunately, there were some who refused to adopt this resolution. They had hopes that the tiger rage of their conquerors was already sufficiently glutted by the blood which they had drunk. They gave them-selves up, and shared the fate of their comrades. Those who followed the counsel of Challus, found their way to the sea side, and were received on board of two French vessels under the command of the son of Ribault, which had lingered in the harbor, and had dropped down the river beyond the reach of cannon, as soon as they discovered the fate of the fort. Mass was said when the carnage was over ; and while the earth was yet smeared and soaking with the blood of men made in God's likeness, the site was chosen for a church to be dedicated to God.
The work thoroughly finished, the butcher led his soldiers back to St. Augustine in all haste, as he feared the possible retaliation of Ribault upon that post. Of the fate of this unfortunate commander he knew nothing. Cast upon the shore with a small supply of provisions, and only in part provided with the weapons of defence, the Frenchmen were almost abandoned to despair. A long stretch of swamp and forest, filled with enemies, heathen and christian, equally hostile and equally savage, lay between them and their place of hope and supposed refuge. It remained for them only to reach Fort Caroline, or sur-
render themselves to the doubtful mercies of the Spaniards. They resolved to go forward, and were divided