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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 760 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12.
us with whatever they had.  We saw no beasts except a few hogs, nor any birds, except parrots, parroquets, and green doves; by the river, however, there was plenty of ducks, and every place that was planted and cultivated, appeared to flourish with great luxuriance, though in the midst of what had the appearance of barren ground.  I planted the stones of peaches, cherries, and plumbs, with a great variety of garden:  seeds, where I thought it was most probable they would thrive, and limes, lemons, and oranges, in situations which resembled those in which they are found in the West Indies.  In the afternoon, we arrived at a very pleasant spot, within about three miles of the ship, where we procured two hogs and some fowls, which the natives dressed for us very well, and with great expedition.  Here we continued till the cool of the evening, and then made the best of our way for the ship, having liberally rewarded our guides, and the people who had provided us so good a dinner.  Our men behaved through the whole day with the greatest decency and order, and we parted with our Indian friends in perfect good humour with each other.”

About 10 o’clock the next morning, the queen came on board according to her promise, with a present of hogs and fowls, but went on shore again soon afterwards.  This day, the gunner sent off near thirty hogs, with great plenty of fowls and fruit.  We completed our wood and water, and got all ready for sea.  More inhabitants came down to the beach, from the inland country, than we had seen before, and many of them appeared, by the respect that was paid them, to be of a superior rank.  About three o’clock in the afternoon, the queen came again down to the beach, very well dressed, and followed by a great number of people.  Having crossed the river with her attendants and our old man, she came once more on board the ship.  She brought with her some very fine fruit, and renewed her solicitation, that I would stay ten days longer, with great earnestness, intimating that she would go into the country and bring me plenty of hogs, fowls, and fruit.  I endeavoured to express a proper sense of her kindness and bounty, but assured her that I should certainly sail the next morning.  This, as usual, threw her into tears, and after she recovered, she enquired by signs when I should return:  I endeavoured to express fifty days, and she made signs for thirty:  But the sign for fifty being constantly repeated, she seemed satisfied.  She stayed on board till night, and it was then with the greatest difficulty that she could be prevailed upon to go on shore.  When she was told that the boat was ready, she threw herself down upon the arm-chest, and wept a long time with an excess of passion that could not be pacified; at last, however, though with great reluctance, she went into the boat, and was followed by her attendants and the old man.  The old man had often intimated that his son, a lad about fourteen years of age, should go with us, and the boy seemed to be willing:  He had, however, now disappeared for two days; I enquired after him when I first missed him, and the old man gave me to understand that he was gone into the country to see his friends, and would return time enough to go with us; but I have reason to think that, when the time drew near, the father’s courage failed, and that to keep his child he secreted him till the ship was gone, for we never saw him afterwards.

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