Trouble on Hog Cay by Alfonso B. Ebanks

TROUBLE ON HOG CAY
Some information gleaned from The Washington Evening Critic

It was Sunday April 20 of 1884 and there was trouble brewing on Hog Cay on the Island of Bonacca. A more than the usual number of Spanish Hondurans were lolling around on the little cay owned by Mrs. KirkConnell, they were drinking freely and soon became boisterous and disrespectful to the point that Mrs. KirkConnell asked them to vacate the premises, they completely ignored her and as she insisted on them leaving her little place of business, some of them set upon her and she was badly beaten.
An alarm was raised and within a few minutes help came from the other British Subjects on the neighboring cay, Shin Cay. Among the neighbors, the Haylocks brothers were well armed and the battle was on.
There had been rumors going around for the last few weeks that the Spanish Hondurans from Savana Bight planned to take over the Cay, their reasons being the constant torment of the insects in their nascent village on the eastern part of the main island and the obvious possibility that Lower Cays would become the business center of the island.
The rumor was started by a Spanish Honduran that worked for the Haylocks…until now nobody had taken the rumor seriously and after the second week it was almost forgotten.
By the turn of events it would look like the settlers in Savana Bight had re-enforced their numbers by better that double with Spanish Hondurans from the mainland.
The British subjects were outnumbered but lucky for them the Spaniards were only armed with knives and machetes.
An incident that occurred during the fight was always retold by two of the Haylocks brothers, it seem like one brother was being chased by a Spaniard wielding a three foot machete and when the other brother, armed with a small bore shotgun, saw his brother’s predicament he yelled to his brother to come towards him and he readied the shot gun.
They raced towards each other with the Spaniard in close pursuit and when they had closed the gap to within a few yards the shotgun bearer yelled to his brother “duck” and as the brother ducked down he fired his arm into the face of the would be killer.
They would later find the Spaniard among the wounded and was surprised that he had survived the shotgun blasts to his face.
What had happened was that he had been so close to the gun when he was shot that the pellets had not scattered at all so the force of the discharge had thrown his head backwards and the ball of pellets had entered his forehead at the hair line and had traveled between his skull and his scalp toward the back of his head, he ended up with an ugly scar and a terrible headache.
During the fight two British subjects were badly cut and two Spaniards were killed and four wounded, fearing what could happen during the night the British subjects took refuge on a merchant vessel that lay at anchor in the harbor.
On the following morning the British had assembled a greater force and went ashore on the Cay and took possession of their dwelling, some of which and been gutted and ruined during their brief absence. Some of the Spaniards were arrested and the ring leaders were sentenced to imprisonment. This incident caused the British Subjects to appeal to the crown for more protection, and nothing like this ever happened again.

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