Whenever the weather permitted, which was now grown something drier, but exceeding cold, we employed ourselves about the wreck, from which we had, at sundry times, recovered several articles of provision and liquor: these were deposited in the store-tent. Ill humour and discontent, from the difficulties we laboured under in procuring subsistence, and the little prospect there was of any amendment in our condition, was now breaking out apace. In some it shewed itself by a separation of settlement and habitation; in others, by a resolution of leaving the captain entirely, and making a wild journey by themselves, without determining upon any plan whatever. For my own part, seeing it was the fashion, and liking none of their parties, I built a little hut just big enough for myself and a poor Indian dog I found in the woods, who could shift for himself along shore at low water, by getting limpets. This creature grew so fond of me and faithful, that he would suffer nobody to come near the hut without biting them. Besides those seceders I mentioned, some laid a scheme of deserting us entirely; these were in number ten, the greatest part of them a most desperate and abandoned crew, who, to strike a notable stroke before they went off, placed half a barrel of gunpowder close to the captain’s hut, laid a train to it, and were just preparing to perpetrate their wicked design of blowing up their commander, when they were with difficulty dissuaded from it by one who had some bowels and remorse of conscience left in him. These wretches, after rambling some time in the woods, and finding it impracticable to get off, for they were then convinced that we were not upon the main, as they had imagined when they first left us, but upon an island within four or five leagues of it, returned and settled about a league from us; however, they were still determined, as soon as they could procure craft fit for their purpose, to get to the main. But before they could effect this, we found means to prevail upon the armourer and one of the carpenter’s crew, two very useful men to us, who had imprudently joined them, to come over again to their duty. The rest, (one or two excepted) having built a punt, and converted the hull of one of the ship’s masts into a canoe, went away up one of the lagoons, and never were heard of more.
Unfortunate Death of Mr Cozens.—Improper Conduct of Captain Cheap.—The Indians join us in a friendly Manner, but depart presently on account of the Misconduct of our Men.—Our Number dreadfully reduced by Famine.— Description of the various Contrivances used for procuring Food.—Further Transactions.—Departure from the Island.