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Morgan perceived their minds to relent, hearing many of them say they would return on board the ships. Amongst these fatigued both of mind and body, he thought it convenient to use some sudden and almost unexpected remedy; to this effect he commanded a canoe to be rigged in all haste, and the colours of truce to be hanged out of it. This canoe he sent to the Spanish governor of the island with this message: That if within a few hours he delivered not himself and all his men into his hands, he did by that messenger swear to him, and all those that were in his company; he would most certainly put them all to the sword, without granting quarter to any.
After noon the canoe returned with his answer: That the Governor desired two hours time to deliberate with his officers in a full council about that affair; which being past, he would give his positive answer to the message.
The time now being elapsed, the said Governor sent two canoes with white colors, and two persons, to treat with Capt. Morgan, but before they landed, they demanded of the Pirates two persons as hostages of their security. These were readily granted by Capt. Morgan, who delivered to them two of his captains, for a mutual pledge of the security required. With this the Spaniards propounded to Capt. Morgan that their Governor in a full assembly had resolved to deliver up the island, not being provided with sufficient men to defend it against such an armada of fleet. But withal he desired that Captain Morgan would be pleased to use a certain stratagem of war, for the better saving of his own credit, and the reputation of his officers both abroad and at home, which should be as follows: That Capt. Morgan would come with his troops by night, near the bridge that joined the lesser island to the great one, and there attack the fort of St. Jerome, that at the same time all the ships of his fleet would draw near the castle of Santa Teresa, and attack it by sea, landing in the meanwhile some more troops, near the battery called St. Matthew; that these troops which were newly landed should by this means intercept the Governor by the way, as he endeavoured to pass to St. Jerome's fort, and then take him prisoner, using the formality, as if they forced him to deliver the said castle; and that he would deliver the English into it, under the fraud of being his own troops; that on one side, and the other there should be continual firing to one another, but without bullets, or at least into the air, so that no side might receive any harm by this device; that thus having obtained two such forts, the chief of the isle, he need not care for the rest, which of necessity must fall by course into his hands.
These propositions, every one, were granted by Capt. Morgan, upon conditions they should see them faithfully observed, for otherwise they should be used with all rigour imaginable; this they promised to do, and hereupon took their leave, and returned to give account of their negotiations to the Governor. Presently after, Capt. Morgan commanded the whole fleet to enter the port, and his men to be in readiness to assault that night the Castle of St. Jerome. Thus the false alarm of battle began with incessant firing of great guns from both the castles against the ships, but without bullets, as was said before. Then the Pirates landed, and assaulted by night the lesser island, which they took, as also possession of both the fortresses, forcing all the Spainiards, in appearance, to fly to the church. Before the assault, Capt. Morgan had sent word to the Governor he should keep all his men together in a body, otherwise if the Pirates met any straggling Spaniards in the street, they should certainly shoot them.
The island being taken by this unusual stratagem, and all things put in order, the Pirates began to make a new war against the poultry and all sort of victuals they could find. This was their whole employ for some days, scarce thinking of anything else than to kill those animals, roast and eat them, and make good cheer, as much as they could possibly attain unto. If wood was wanting, they presently fell upon the houses, and pulling them down, made fires with the timber, as had been done before in the field. The next day they numbered all the prisoners they had taken upon the whole island, which were found to be in all four hundred and fifty persons, between men women and children, viz one hundred and ninety soldiers belonging to the garrison, forty inhabitants who were married, forty-three children, thirty-four slaves belonging to the King, with eight children; eight banditti; thirty-nine negroes belonging to private persons, with twenty-seven female blacks, and thirty-four children. The Pirates disarmed all the Span iards, and sent them out immediately to the plantations, to seek for provisions, leaving the women in the church, there to exercise their devotions.
Soon after they took a review of the whole island, and all the fortresses belonging thereunto, which they found to be nine in all, as follows: the fort of St. Jerome, nearest to the bridge, had eight great guns of 12, 6 and 8 pound carriage, together with six pipes of muskets, every pipe containing ten muskets. Here they found still sixty muskets, with sufficient quantity of powder and all other sorts of ammunition. The second fortress, called St. Matthew, had three guns, of 8 pound carriage each. The third and chief among all the rest, named Santa Teresa, had twenty great guns, of 18, 12, 8 and 6 pound carriage, with ten pipes of muskets, like those we said before, and ninety muskets remaining, besides all other warlike ammunition. This castle was built with stone and mortar, with very thick walls on all sides, and a large ditch around about it of twenty foot depth, which although it was dry was very hard to get over. Here was no entry but through one door, which corresponded to the middle of the castle. Within it was a mount, or hill inaccessible, with four pieces of cannon at the top, whence they could shoot directly