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.
and believe there were many more.  We kept on for two of them, which were right a-head when land was first discovered, and seemed to lie close together; in the evening we anchored on the north-east side of one of them, which was the largest and the highest of the two, in about thirty fathom, with a good bottom, and at the distance of about three cables’ length from the shore.  We soon after saw two of the natives, who were black, with woolly heads, and stark naked; I immediately sent the master out with the boat to fix upon a watering-place, and speak to them, but they disappeared before she could reach the shore.  The boat soon after returned with an account that there was a fine run of fresh water a-breast of the ship and close to the beach, but that the whole country in that part being an almost impenetrable forest quite to the water’s edge, the watering would be very difficult, and even dangerous, if the natives should come down to prevent it:  That there were no esculent vegetables, for the refreshment of the sick, nor any habitations as far as the country had been examined, which was wild, forlorn, and mountainous.

Having considered this account, and finding that a swell, which came round the eastern part of the bay, would render watering troublesome and inconvenient, exclusive of the danger that might be apprehended from the natives, if they should attack us from ambushes in the wood, I determined to try whether a better situation could not be found.

The next morning, therefore, as soon as it was light, I dispatched the master, with fifteen men in the cutter, well armed and provided, to examine the coast to the westward, our present situation being on the lee of the island, for a place where we might more conveniently be supplied with wood and water, and at the same time procure some refreshments for the sick, and lay the ship by the stern to examine and stop the leak.  I gave him some beads, ribbons, and other trifles, which by chance I happened to have on board, to conciliate the good-will of the natives, if he should happen to meet with any of them; but at the same time enjoined him to run no risk, and gave him particular orders immediately to return to the ship, if any number of canoes should approach him which might bring on hostilities; and if he should meet the Indians in small parties, either at sea or upon shore, to treat them with all possible kindness, so as to establish a friendly intercourse with them; charging him on no account to leave the boat himself, nor to suffer more than two men to go on shore at a time, while the rest stood ready for their defence; recommending to him, in the strongest terms; an application to his duty, without regarding any other object, as the finding a proper place for the ship was of the utmost importance to us all; and conjuring him to return as soon as this service should be performed, with all possible speed.

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