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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.

Having thus commenced friendship with the natives, I sent an officer ashore to view the watering-place; and, to make him the more welcome, I sent with him some coarse blue baize and some sugar, to distribute among the women.  On seeing our boat ready to put off, the king was for accompanying her in his bark-log, but I persuaded him to go in the boat, with which he seemed to be much gratified.  The remainder of the day was spent with our wild visitors, who behaved in general very quietly.  The officer returned with an account of having been very civilly received, and we prepared our casks for being sent ashore next morning.  Although, at first view, the country and inhabitants might dissuade us from venturing freely among them, I had formerly read such accounts of these people, that I was under no apprehension of being molested in wooding and watering.  The Californians, however, appeared very terrible to our negroes, insomuch, that one of them, who accompanied the officer on shore, was afraid to stir from the boat, and held an axe constantly in his hand, to defend himself in case of being attacked.  On the approach of night, all the Indians swam ashore, leaving us a clear ship, after the fatigues of the day.

Next morning, at day-break, our boat went ashore with the people appointed to cut wood and fill our water-casks; and before the sun was up, our ship was again filled with our former guests, who seemed never satisfied with gazing at us and every thing about the ship.  That nothing might be wanting to keep up our amity, I sent a large boiler on shore, with a good store of flour and sugar, and a negro cook, who continually boiled hasty-pudding, to serve the numerous guests on the beach.  At first the natives remained idle spectators of our labours; but at length, taking compassion to see our few men labouring hard in rolling great casks of water over the heavy sand in the sultry heat of the day, they put forth their hands to help them, encouraged by the particular readiness of their chief to serve us; for, after seeing Mr Randal take up a log of wood to carry to the boat, he took up another, and was immediately followed by two or three hundred of the natives, so that they eased our men mightily.  They also rolled our casks down to the beach, but always expected a white man to assist them, though quite satisfied if he only touched the cask with his finger.  This eased our men of a great deal of fatigue, and shortened the time of our stay at this place.  We even found means to make those who used to stay all day on board, of some use to us; for, when we came to heel the ship, we crowded them, all over on one side, which, with other shifts, gave her a deep heel, while we cleaned and paid her bottom with pitch and tallow.

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