Chapter 49

 

I was still worried that the cannibals could return, but nothing of that kind ever happened. After a while, I began considering the voyage by sea again. I asked the Spaniard about his arrival on these islands, and he said that he was on a ship which was going to Havana. There were sixteen more Europeans, Spaniards and Portuguese, on Friday’s home island.

He told me that five Portuguese sailors were saved from another shipwreck. The storm broke the ship near my island and some of the men drowned. The rest saved themselves in a boat and were now living with the savages.

I asked the Spaniard if they tried to undertake another sea voyage, but he said that they had no tools to build a boat with. They didn’t even have gunpowder because it all got spoilt in the water.

As an Englishman, I was a Protestant. Spain was Catholic and many Catholics in Spain would tell the Inquisition if there was a Protestant in Spain. The Spanish Inquisition was an institution which was founded to maintain Catholicism. It was also well-known for its cruelty. A Protestant caught by the Inquisition would probably be put in prison or even worse.

I thought that going to Spain with the Spaniards would be dangerous for me. I asked the Spanish man about this. I wanted to know his opinion. He told me that they would never give me to the Inquisition. They lived very badly on their island. They had no clothes, food or weapons, and they would love to be home again. They would do anything to go home and treat me very well for my help.

I decided that it would be better for the Spaniard and Friday’s father to return to their island. They could inform other Europeans of our plan, and they would bring them all here. With their help and my tools and knowledge, we could build a ship and return to Europe.

However, the Spaniard suggested something else. He told me that it is better to wait for at least half a year because there wasn’t enough food for fifteen more men on my island. We wouldn’t have enough food to eat while we would be building the ship, and much less to take with us for the long voyage. I agreed with him.