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.
one word of all that he had said, endeavoured to convince him, by all the signs he could devise, that we wished to live in friendship with them, and were disposed to shew them every mark of kindness in our power.  He then shook hands with him, and embraced him, giving him at the same time several such trinkets as he thought would be most acceptable.  He contrived also to make the old man understand that we wished to traffic for provisions, that the Indians should not come down in great numbers, and that they should keep on one side of the river and we on the other.  After this the old man went away with great appearance of satisfaction, and before noon a trade was established, which furnished us with hogs, fowls, and fruit in great abundance, so that all the ship’s company, whether sick or well, had as much as they could use.

SECTION VI.

The Sick sent on Shore, and a regular Trade established with the Natives; some Account of their Character and Manners, of their Visits on board the Ship, and a Variety of Incidents that happened during this Intercourse.

Matters being thus happily settled, I sent the surgeon, with the second lieutenant, to examine the country, and fix upon some place where the sick might take up their residence on shore.  When they returned, they said, that with respect to health and convenience, all the places they had seen upon the island seemed to be equally proper; but that with respect to safety, they could recommend none but the watering-place, as they would be there under the protection of the ship and the guard, and would easily be prevented from straggling into the country, and brought off to their meals.  To the watering-place therefore I sent them, with those that were employed in filling the casks, and appointed the gunner to command the party that was to be their guard.  A tent was erected for them as a shelter both from the sun and the rain, and the surgeon was sent to superintend their conduct, and give his advice if it should be wanted.  It happened that walking out with his gun, after he had seen the sick properly disposed of in the tent, a wild duck flew over his head, which he shot, and it fell dead among some of the natives who were on the other side of the river.  This threw them into a panic, and they all ran away; when they got to some distance they stopped, and he made signs to them to bring the duck over:  This one of them at last ventured to do, and, pale and trembling, laid it down at his feet.  Several other ducks happening at the instant to fly over the spot where they were standing, he fired again, and fortunately brought down three more.  This incident gave the natives such a dread of a gun, that if a musket was pointed at a thousand of them, they would all run away like a flock of sheep; and probably the ease with which they were afterwards kept at a distance, and their orderly behaviour in their traffic, was in a great measure owing to their having upon this occasion seen the instrument, of which before they had only felt the effects.

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