• Gasparilla

Published Date

  • published 1940


The next day Gasparilla ordered an expedition, and insisted that Ann
join them. Far out at sea the crew spied a British merchantman. Gasparilla
ordered that the ship be taken but that there was to be no killing if it would
be avoided. Soon he and a group of his men boarded the vessel. Speaking
to the captain, Gasparilla stated he did not stop the ship to rob, nor to take
captives, but merely to ask the captain to take on two passengers, a man and
a maid. He added that he wished them married as soon as he, Gasparilla,
was out of sight of the ship. The captain agreed.

Another story of Gasparilla, garnered from the diary, told of his
capture of a full-rigged and well-armed boat. He demanded that the
passengers, if any, be brought before him. The only passenger was a
handsome, tall man in the uniform of the Spanish Navy, the trusted emissary
of his government on a special mission to Mexico. The man proved to be
Arturo, friend of Jose Gaspar in their academy days. Gasparilla, hungering for
news from home, was delighted. He took Arturo prisoner but quartered him
his own house, giving him every courtesy. Arturo frankly told Gasparilla, that
although he was still fond of him, he would make every effort to escape, and
if he succeeded, would endeavor to have Gasparilla hanged. Despite this, the
two men continued good friends, deeply enjoying each other's company.

One night, Arturo, unable to sleep, saw a mutinous pirate slip into
Gasparilla's quarters, a long knife between his teeth. With a leap, the brave
Spanish officer attacked the man as he was about to plunge the knife into
Gasparilla's breast. In the struggle,