A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 787 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17.
theft, ran away to avoid the punishment his crime deserved, and hid himself in the woods, since which he was never heard of.  We now put off, accompanied with the two Indian canoes, in one of which was a savage with his two wives, who had an air of dignity superior to the rest, and was handsome in his person.  He had his hut, during his stay with us, separate from the other Indians, who seemed to pay him extraordinary respect; but in two or three nights, these Indians, being independent of the Spaniards, and living somewhere to the southward of our Chonos guide, left us to proceed on our journey by ourselves.

The first night we lay at an island destitute of all refreshment, where having found some shelter for our boat and made ourselves a fire, we slept by it.  The next night we were more unfortunate, though our wants were increasing, for, having run to the westward of Montrose Island, we found no shelter for the barge, but were under the necessity of lying upon our oars, suffering the most extreme pangs of hunger.  The next day brought us to the bottom of a great bay, where the Indian guide had left his family, a wife and two children, in a hut.  Here we staid two or three days, during which we were constantly employed in ranging along shore in quest of shell-fish.

[117] Chiloe is an island on the western coast of America, situated in 42 deg.
    40 of S. latitude, and the southernmost settlement under the Spanish
    jurisdiction on that coast.


Navigation of the River.—­One of our Men dies from Fatigue.—­Inhumanity of the Captain.—­Description of our Passage through a horrible and desolate Country.—­Our Conductor leaves us, and a Party of our Men desert with the Boat.—­Dreadful Situation of the Remainder.—­The Cacique returns.—­Account of our Journey Overland.—­Kindness of two Indian Women.—­Description of the Indian Mode of Fishing.—­Cruel Treatment of my Indian Benefactress by her Husband.

We now again proceeded on our voyage, having received on board the family of our guide, who conducted us to a river, the stream of which was so rapid, that, after our almost efforts from morning to evening, we gained little upon the current, and at last were obliged to desist from our attempt, and return.  I had hitherto steered the boat, but one of our men sinking under the fatigue, expired soon after, which obliged me to take the oar in his room, and row against this heart-breaking stream.  Whilst I was thus employed, one of our men, whose name was John Bosman, though hitherto the stoutest man among us, fell from his seat under the thwarts, complaining that his strength was quite exhausted for want of food, and that he should die very shortly.  As he lay in this condition, he would every now and then break out in the most pathetic wishes for some little sustenance, that two or three monthfuls might be the means of saving his life.  The captain at this time had a large piece

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