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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 647 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 01.

Eleven days after landing on this rock or uninhabited island, Quirini’s servant, having extended his search for shellfish, their only food, quite to the farthest point of the island, found a small wooden house, both in and around which he observed some cow-dung.  From this circumstance the forlorn people concluded that there were men and cattle at no great distance, which inspired them with, fresh hopes of relief, and revived their drooping spirits.  This house afforded them abundant room and good shelter; and all, except three or four, who were too weak to be able for the fatigue of removing to such a distance, changed their abode to this hut, crawling with great difficulty through the deep snow, the distance being about a mile and a half, and they took with them as much as they were able of the ruins of their boat, to serve them for fire-wood.  Two days after this, while going along the shore in search of the usual supply of shell-fish, one of the company found a very large fish quite recently cast up by the sea, which appeared to weigh about two hundred pounds, and was quite sweet and fresh.  This most providential supply they cut into thin slices and carried to their dwelling, where they immediately set to work to broil and boil it; but so great was their famine, and so tempting its smell, that they had not patience to wait till it was thoroughly dressed, but devoured it eagerly half raw.  They continued to gorge themselves with this fish almost without intermission for four days; but at length the evident and rapid decrease of this stock of food taught them more prudent economy, and by using it sparingly in future it lasted them ten days more.  Those who staid behind in one of the tents near the place of their first landing, sent one of their number to see what had become of the rest; and, when he had been refreshed with some of the fish, he carried a portion to his two companions, and the whole survivors were soon afterwards reassembled in the wooden hut.  During the whole time that they subsisted upon the providentially found fish, the weather was so exceedingly tempestuous that they certainly would not have been able to have looked out for shellfish, and they must inevitably have perished of famine.

Having made an end of the large fish, which seems to have lasted them for fourteen days, they were obliged to have recourse again to the precarious employment of gathering shellfish along the shore for their subsistence.  About eight miles from the rock upon which they now were, which Fioravente informs us was called Santi, or Sand-ey by the natives, there was another isle named Rustene[1], which was inhabited by several families of fishers.  It happened that a man and two of his sons came over from Rost to Sandey to look after some cattle which were amissing.  Observing the smoke from the hut in which Quirini and his wretched companions had taken shelter, curiosity led them to examine the hut.  On their approach, their voices

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