A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 659 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 12.
I had carried them through the ship, I ordered the marines to be drawn up, and go through part of their exercise.  When the first volley was fired, they were struck with astonishment and terror; the old man, in particular, threw himself down upon the deck, pointed to the muskets, and then striking his breast with his hand, lay some time motionless, with his eyes shut:  By this we supposed he intended to shew us that he was not unacquainted with fire-arms, and their fatal effect.  The rest, seeing our people merry, and finding themselves unhurt, soon resumed their cheerfulness and good humour, and heard the second and third volley fired without much emotion; but the old man continued prostrate upon the deck some time, and never recovered his spirits till the firing was over.  About noon, the tide being out, I acquainted them by signs that the ship was proceeding farther, and that they must go on shore:  This I soon perceived they were very unwilling to do; all, however, except the old man and one more, were got into the boat without much difficulty; but these stopped at the gang-way, where the old man turned about, and went aft to the companion ladder, where he stood some time without speaking a word; he then uttered what we supposed to be a prayer; for he many times lifted up his hands and his eyes to the heavens, and spoke in a manner and tone very different from what we had observed in their conversation:  His orison seemed to be rather sung than said, so that we found it impossible to distinguish one word from another.  When I again intimated that it was proper for him to go into the boat, he pointed to the sun, and then moving his hand round to the west, he paused, looked in my face, laughed, and pointed to the shore:  By this it was easy to understand that he wished to stay on board till sunset, and I took no little pains to convince him that we could not stay so long upon that part of the coast, before he could be prevailed upon to go into the boat; at length, however, he went over the ship’s side with his companion, and when the boat put off they all began to sing, and continued their merriment till they got on shore.  When they landed, great numbers of those on shore pressed eagerly to get into the boat; but the officer on board, having positive orders to bring none of them off, prevented them, though not without great difficulty, and apparently to their extreme mortification and disappointment.

When the boat returned on board, I sent her off again with the master, to sound the shoal that runs off from the point:  He found it about three miles broad from north to south, and that to avoid it, it was necessary to keep four miles off the cape, in twelve or thirteen fathom water.

SECTION II.

The Passage through the Streight of Magellan, with some further Account of the Patagonians, and a Description of the Coast on each side, and its Inhabitants.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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