A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.

Captain Cheap, together with Mr Hamilton, lieutenant of marines, the honourable Mr Byron and Mr Campbell, midshipmen, and Mr Elliot, the surgeon, were thus left on shore in the most deplorable situation imaginable.  It might be thought that their distresses, long before this time, were hardly capable of being increased:  Yet they found their present situation much more dismaying than any thing they had hitherto experienced; being left on a desert coast, far from the haunts of men, without provisions, or the means of procuring any, and with no visible prospect of relief; for their arms and ammunition, and every convenience that had hitherto remained to them, except the few tattered garments they had on, were all carried away in the barge.  While revolving the various circumstances of this new and unlooked-for calamity, and sadly persuaded that they had no possible relief to hope for, they perceived a canoe at a distance, which proved to be that belonging to the Indian of Chiloe, who had undertaken to convey them to that island.  He it seems had left Captain Cheap and his people, only a little before, to go a fishing in his canoe, accompanied by his family, leaving the barge in the mean time under the care of the other Indian, whom the sailors had carried with them to sea.  When he came on shore, and found the barge and his companion gone, he was much concerned, and was with difficulty persuaded that his companion had not been murdered; yet, being at last satisfied with the account that was given him by Mr Elliot, he still undertook to carry them to the Spanish settlements, and, being well skilled in fishing and fowling, he undertook also to provide them in provisions by the way.

About the middle of March, Captain Cheap and his four remaining companions set out for Chiloe; their Indian conductor having provided several canoes, and gathered many of his countrymen together for that purpose.  Mr Elliot, the surgeon, soon afterwards died, so that there now only remained four of the whole company.  At last, after a very complicated passage, partly by sea and partly by land, Captain Cheap, Mr Byron, and Mr Campbell, arrived at the island of Chiloe, where they were received by the Spaniards with great humanity; but, on account of some quarrel among the Indians, Mr Hamilton did not get there till two months later.  It was thus above a twelvemonth, from the loss of the Wager, before this fatiguing peregrination terminated.  The four who now remained were brought so extremely low, by their fatigues and privations, that in all probability none of them would have survived, had their distresses continued only a few days longer.  The captain was with difficulty recovered; and the rest were so reduced by labour, the severity of the weather, scantiness of food, and want of all kinds of necessaries, that it was wonderful how they had supported themselves so long.

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