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Chapter 4 I undertake a new venture
I had grown very tired of being a sailor. I was so tired of it that I made up my mind to do something else.
It happened that I was then in Brazil. I bought some land there and began to open a plantation the ground was rich and it would be easy to raise tobacco and sugar cane, but I needed many things. I need ploughs and hoes and a sugar mill. Above all, I must have men to do the work of the plantation but neither men nor tools could I get in Brazil. I sent to London for the tools and I tried to buy some slaves from the planters near me but they had not enough for themselves.
"We will tell you what to do, "they said.
"We will fit out a trading vessel for Africa, and we will put aboard of it everything that you need.
"For your part, you shall be the manager of the business and you may do the trading for us".
"You need not put in a penny of your own."
"But, how is that going to help me" I asked.
"Listen and we will tell you" I said.
"With the goods that you will sell, you will buy as many black slaves as the ship will hold, then you will bring them her and we will divide themequally. You will share with us just as though you had paid the money.
The plan pleased me very much; each of us would have 30 or 40 slaves.
It was very foolish of me to go to sea again, but the offer was so good that I could not say no.
The ship was soon fitted out for the voyage. Her load was not very heavy but there were plenty of goods with which to trade. There were boxes of red and blue beads, bits of glass and other trinkets. There were also knives and hatchets and little looking glasses. We reckoned that each one of these would buy a slave.
The ship was to carry 14 men besides the captain and myself. She was as fine a little vessel that ever sailed from the coast of Brazil.