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.

The nearer they drew towards the coast, the more they were delighted with its appearance, as giving them a nearer prospect of the wished-for refreshments.  The inhabitants came down in multitudes to the coast, but in such guise as did not by any means increase their satisfaction, as they were all armed with bows and arrows and slings, and demonstrated sufficiently by their gestures that the Dutch were by no means welcome visitors, and that they were not to expect being permitted to land peaceably.  As the boat approached the shore, the natives seemed to become frantic with despair, made frightful faces, tore their hair, and howled in a horrible manner; and at length, as borrowing courage from the increase of danger, they hurried into their canoes and put off from the shore, as if to meet that danger the sooner which was evidently unavoidable.  As the Dutch continued their way towards the land, the natives discharged a flight of arrows at the boat, which they followed by throwing their spears or javelins, after which they threw in a shower of stones discharged from slings.  Convinced now that there was nothing to be trusted to but force, the Dutch opened their fire, and kept it up with such effect, that many of the natives were slain, and the rest so terrified, that great numbers of them leapt into the water to swim ashore, and at last all the survivors followed the example, by turning their canoes towards the land.  But such was their confusion and dismay, that they were now unable to distinguish the proper channels by which to get back to the coast, but ran them on the rocks and shoals.  This circumstance almost deprived the Dutch of all hopes of being able to attain the coast.

While thus embarrassed, there arose a violent storm, of that kind which the Dutch call traffat, and which in the east is named a tuffoon, which usually arises suddenly in the midst of a calm, and when the air is perfectly clear and serene, and which, by its extreme violence, often brings the masts by the board, and whirls the sails into the air, if they are not furled in an instant.  By this sudden tempest, the two ships were forced out to sea, and the poor people in the boat were left without relief, and almost devoid of hope.  The boat was forced on a sand-bank, where she was for some time so beaten by the winds and waves, that there seemed no chance of escaping almost instant destruction.  But despair often lends strength and spirits to men beyond their usual powers; and, by dint of great exertions, they dragged their boat clear of the bank, and got to land, where all got safe on shore without hurt, but almost exhausted by fatigue.  The first thing they did was to look out for some place of retreat, where they might be safe from any sudden assault of the natives; but night came on before any such could be found, so that they were forced to rest contented with making a fire on the shore, in order to dry and warm themselves, which in some measure revived their spirits.  The

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