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The Twelve Hours

[7.34] See how three colonists are already examining the lists with him, in the presence of the governor. Now see, twenty of them are crossed out, including their age, but our lady is not crossed out.

[7.35] See, now they, namely the lists, are signed and confirmed by the governor and the colonists, and the prisoners' guards now descend, free the captives after tying their hands behind their backs, and drive them up to the deck of the ship in such a manner.

[7.36] Now, see, these prison guards also enter the chamber of our beauty, announce her fate, strip her of her clothes, and tie the hands of the woman who has sunk into a despairing swoon behind her back and drag her up to the deck with the others.

[7.37] See how she falls down before her supposed husband and begs him with all the power and strength that is possible for a woman's heart, and presents to him as much as possible of how innocently she was condemned to this place of horror, and how shamefully he had used her misfortune to exploit her, who was as pure as the sun, worse than an English sailor's brothel-whore.

[7.38] Look and take an example from a man who professes the Christian religion! - See how he magnanimously orders the keeper of the prison to shut the mouth of the screaming beast and, if she does not keep quiet like the others, to immediately give her thirty lashes. But all this does not deter her, even if her mouth is blocked, to move the brute by all kinds of gestures and streams of tears from her eyes to at least kill her, if his heart is no longer capable of any other compassion.

[7.39] But look at the effect of her plea! See how two henchmen tie her to the smaller pole with a rope across the chest and feet, and see how shamefully cruelly the poor wretch is without count whipped by the prisoner's henchman.

[7.40] Now look, after her feet are completely cut from top to bottom with the sharp whip, she is released and immediately let overboard on ropes into smaller vassals with the other criminals, and thus brought bleeding to the unfortunate land and immediately assigned by the governor to the disposal of the colonist in question.

[7.41] Do you think that they were taken to some hospital there? You are mistaken! The plaster on such wounds consists of nothing more than allowing them to sit in the sea, where it is very shallow, for half an hour. This is the famous cure there on land. It does help; but think of the burning pain, especially for such an emotional girl!

[7.42] We are now finished here. We just want to take a little look at what will happen to these unfortunates. Look, more inland, about - according to your reckoning - a hundred miles from the coast, there you see how these poor people with their tools, under the direction of several overseers, have to fight with all the evils somewhat known to you from the description of this country; how they stand, as it were, between two fires.

[7.43] There it is truly said according to your proverb: Bird, eat or die! What does such a chief colonist care if twenty or thirty of his subordinates, most of whom are still in fetters, are eaten by snakes, or if they often sink in the fathom-high grass into suddenly breaking swamps, or if one or the other is attacked and mauled by the well-known eagles, or if several more perish due to the poisonous plant known to you that is sprouting somewhere.

[7.44] See, such a colonist cares little or nothing about all this; for he is sufficiently provided for his house, even without such newly added workers.

[7.45] If at best he can regain a significant part of the land through such new attempts at advancement, then it is all right with him; but if this fails through all the cruel attempts, then he does not care either, for he is, as he himself says, provided for anyway.

[7.46] You will think, perhaps, that when these criminals have cultivated a new piece of land, they will be granted to one or the other for interest-bearing property.

[7.47] Oh no, I say; such a colonist uses the land for quite different purposes. He may have worker's huts erected here and there; but whatever the soil bears, belongs to him from A to Z.

[7.48] The laborers have nothing but the most miserable, hardly edible food, and if they sometimes do not want to starve completely, they catch snakes and lizards together, cut their heads off, and roast them over a straw-fire and consume this meat with the greatest appetite; for there it is truly said again according to your proverb: Hunger is the best cook.

[7.49] Yes, this hunger often goes so far with some that they do not even take the time to roast such a snake, but when the head, skin and entrails are removed, it is immediately eaten.

[7.50] A new plague for these poor is that - especially in the northern part - they come across natives who are good archers and drive them back with poisoned arrows, or they capture them and eat them raw.

[7.51] See, these poor people have to suffer such amenities without number and measure here; and the chastisements that they receive on top of that from their commanders and rulers, which are even more inhuman than those of the North Americans, cannot be compared to the plagues of the land.

[7.52] And look, so our poor ones are already here at a grass-cutting work. For you, of course, cutting grass is a pleasant job; but here the workers have to deal with formal grassy jungles, within the impenetrable thickets of which, especially in the summertime, a myriad of violently stinging insects dwell, which then attack these naked workers in such a way that after a few days, nothing but coherent skeletons remain.

[7.53] But if this cultivation is done in winter, namely by fire, it is not uncommon that the fire often becomes so violent, that the flames on the ground often roll through the dry grass for hours; and if the poor burners do not escape quickly enough, they are either burned completely, or often severely burned all over their bodies.

[7.54] The worst thing, however, is that when the fire is smothered, the poor arsonists often have to walk for hours over such ashes, which are often still red-hot, in order to rekindle the fire where it got smothered.

[7.55] They are allowed to tie a certain kind of board to the soles of their feet, but often these boards burn halfway through the run, and then it is all the same, the soles of their feet are still often burned to the leg.

[7.56] Not to mention the countless other ailments and diseases that are indigenous to this country! I need not tell you anything more about the west coast, except that it is ten times more inhuman than in the east, for which reason colonization there is making very poor progress.

[7.57] See, for all this, nothing but the shameful greed of the "moral" and even "Christian" people is to blame.

[7.58] You will easily understand, without much thought, that I cannot stand by and watch such abominations for long; for truly, mankind is already piling up their sins to the third heaven.

[7.59] I do not need to tell you more. And so Amen for today; the eighth hour will announce to you even greater and more peculiar things!

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