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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 681 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
of cassia, and a few lime-trees.  It appeared singular to us, that, considering the climate and the shelter, we should see no other birds there than parrots, parroquets, and mackaws; of the last there were prodigious flights.  Next to these birds, the animals we found in most plenty were monkeys and guanos, and these we frequently killed for food; for though there were many herds of deer upon the place, yet the difficulty of penetrating the woods prevented our coming near them, so that though we saw them often, we killed only two during our stay.  Our prisoners assured us that this island abounded with tygers; we did once discover the print of a tyger’s paw upon the beach, but the tygers themselves we never saw.  The Spaniards, too, informed us that there was often found in the woods a most mischievous serpent, called the Flying Snake, which they said darted itself from the boughs of trees on either man or beast that came within its reach, and whose sting they believed to be inevitable death.  Besides these mischievous land-animals, the sea hereabouts is infested with great numbers of alligators of an extraordinary size; and we often observed a large kind of flat fish jumping a considerable height out of the water, which we supposed to be the fish that is said frequently to destroy the pearl-divers, by clasping them in its fins as they rise from the bottom; and we were told that the divers, for their security, are now always armed with a sharp knife, which, when they are entangled, they stick into the belly of the fish, and thereby disengage themselves from its embraces.

Whilst the ship continued here at anchor, the commodore, attended by some of his officers, went in a boat to examine a bay which lay to the northward; and afterwards ranged all along the eastern side of the island.  In the places where they put on shore in the course of his expedition, they generally found the soil to be extremely rich, and met with great plenty of excellent water.  In particular, near the N.E. point of the island, they discovered a natural cascade, which surpassed, as they conceived, every thing of this kind, which human art or industry hath hitherto produced.  It was a river of transparent water, about forty yards wide, which ran down a declivity of near a hundred and fifty yards in length.  The channel it ran in was very irregular; for it was entirely formed of rock, both its sides and bottom being made up of large detached blocks; and by these the course of the water was frequently interrupted:  For in some places it ran sloping with a rapid but uniform motion, while in other parts it tumbled over the ledges of rocks with a perpendicular descent.  All the neighbourhood of this stream was a fine wood; and even the huge masses of rock which overhung the water, and which, by their various projections, formed the inequalities of the channel, were covered with lofty forest trees.  Whilst the commodore, and those with him, were attentively viewing this place, and remarking the different blendings

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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