A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 756 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03.
admiral ordered him to be regaled with bread and honey and some wine; and when he arrived at the island, caused him to be set on shore with some toys.  The good report which this man gave, brought the people of the island aboard the ships to barter, as in the other islands.  When the boats went ashore for water, the Indians readily shewed where it was to be had, and even helped to fill the casks; yet they seemed to have more understanding than the other islanders, as they bargained harder in exchanging their commodities, and had cotton blankets in their houses.  Some of the women also wore short cotton wrappers, like petticoats, from the waist half way down their thighs, while others had a swathe or bandage of cotton cloth, and such as had nothing better, wore leaves of trees; but the young girls were entirely naked.  This island appeared to have abundance of water, many meadows and groves, and some pleasant little hills, which the others had not, and an infinite variety of birds flew about in flocks, and sung sweetly; most of these being quite different from the birds of Spain.  There were many lakes, near one of which our men saw a creature seven feet long, which he supposed to be an alligator, and admired its size and strange shape.  Having thrown stones at this creature, it ran into the water, where they killed it with their spears.  Experience taught them afterwards that this animal is excellent meat, and is much esteemed by the Indians of Hispaniola, who call them Yvanes.  In this island there were trees which seemed to have been grafted, as they bore leaves of four or five kinds; yet they were quite natural.  They saw also fishes of fine colours, but no land animals except large tame snakes, the before-mentioned alligators, and small rabbits, almost like rats, called Unias; they had also some small dogs which did not bark.  Continuing the survey of this island to the north-west, they anchored at the mouth of a spacious harbour, having a small island at its mouth; but did not enter, as it was too shallow.  In this place was a town of some size, all the rest they had seen in these islands having not above ten or twelve huts like tents, some of them round, and others with penthouse roofs, sloping both ways, and an open porch in front in the Flemish fashion.  These were covered with leaves of trees, very neatly laid on, to keep out wind and rain, with vents for the smoke, and the ridges handsomely ornamented.  Their only furniture were beds of net tied to two posts, like hammocks.  One Indian had a little piece of gold hanging from his nose, with some marks on it resembling characters, which the admiral was anxious to procure, supposing it to have been some species of coin; but it afterwards appeared there was no such thing in all the West Indies.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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