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The difficulties in which her captain had been recently involved, having, notwithstanding his utmost endeavours to have the vessel cleared out, rendered his departure extremely uncertain.
The Hornby continued at Saint Kitt's for nearly three weeks after our arrangement with the captain. During this period, we had many opportunities of procuring authentic intelligence of the recent proceedings of several of the vessels and officers attached to the South American enterprise, which, with accounts .obtained from officers lately arrived in England (consequently of dates subsequent to our departure from the West Indies), may perhaps be more properly embodied with the Narrative, than introduced either as notes, or in the form of an Appendix.
An officer of Colonel Campbell's corps, (Lieut. L-) informed us of the arrival at Gustavia of Admiral Brion, accompanied by the Britannia ; which vessel, whilst on her passage to Saint Domingo, he had accidentally fallen in with at sea, and whose
Supercargo was induced to return to Saint Bartholomew's, in expectation of disposing of her stores to the admiral.
Brion immediately on his arrival entered into treaty for the purchase of the Emerald, which he effected, and converted into his flag-ship, giving her the name of the Victory. This vessel is well calculated for the Independent service, having been originally a French corvette, but since raised upon, she will also admit of a second tier of guns, which we understood Brion contemplated mounting upon her, and had procured for that purpose from the Britannia. From Lieut. L. we likewise learned the narrow escape of Hudson on board the Dowson, where he accidentally met with Brion, who, instantly seizing him, exclaimed, “ Villain, have I caught you at last?" and at the same time drawing a dagger from his breast, attempted to stab him, which he was only prevented doing by the timely interference of (Mr. J-s), the Supercargo. I am not particularly acquainted with the motives which impelled Brion to this act of violence, and as the rea
sons which were assigned for his per sonal hostility to this man, (however correct) were probably rather surmised than founded on actual knowledge, I do not feel that I would be justified in their insertion. Hudson, immediately after this rencontre, disappeared from the island, and we heard no more of him. Previous to taking leave of this gentleman (who excited so much curiosity amongst the British officers, by whom he was almost invariably addressed with the appellation of General) I cannot avoid remarking, that notwithstanding the length of time we had been subjected to his society, and that too within the narrow limits of a ship, where the greatest familiarity and open heartedness almost uniformly and indiscriminately prevail, yet so mysterious and incomprehensible was his conduct, and cautious his conversation, that we never could learn even the country that
him birth. His observations were those of a shrewd determined adventurer, well acquainted with the world, and whose knowledge was manifestly derived from personal experience.
His long service with the Patriots rendered him regardless of privations, and enabled him to feel comfortable whenever he could procure length and breadth for his hammock.
Hudson had in his possession a portman teau, which he particularly valued, in consequence, as he declared, of its having been formerly the property of the royalist commander Morillo, from whom he had himself captured it on an occasion in which that officer narrowly escaped becoming a prize to General Hudson's extraordinary prowess. He likewise frequently exhibited a small silver snuff-box, which he said composed a part of the spoils contained in the portmanteau.
An officer, Captain Cceeded from England in the Emerald, and had been furnished by Brion with authority and the requisite means for enlisting seamen throughout the West India islands, arrived at St. Kitt's some time after Lieutenant L
The great object of his mission was to raise a sufficient number of able British seamen to man the Victory;
and I understood he succeeded in procuring about seventy hands. Captain C-only remained at Saint Kitt's one or two days, when he returned to Saint Bartholomew's, where he had been appointed by Brion to the command of his new flag ship.
While these arrangements were making on the part of Brion, the officers of Colonel Campbell's corps, and some others who had subsequently arrived, probably irritated and soured by a succession of perplexities and disappointments, became apparently regardless of their existence, and were frequently involved in personal disputes. Several duels took place, but fortunately without injury to any of the parties. These unpleasant occurrences, and an alarming threat which reached the Governor's ears, induced his Excellency to issue a peremptory mandate for the instant departure of all the vessels from the island.
Having thus lost the protection of the Swedish government, they proceeded to Five Islands, situated about midway between St. Bartholomew's and St. Martin's. Here they were shortly after joined by other