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.

What things our cacique had brought with him from the wreck, he here buried under ground, in order to conceal them from the Spaniards, who would not have left him a rusty nail if they had known of it.  Towards evening we set off again; and about nine the same night, to our great joy, we observed something that had the appearance of a house, It belonged to an acquaintance of our cacique; and as he was possessed of my fowling-piece, and we had preserved about one charge of powder, he made us load it for him, and desired we would shew him how to discharge it; upon which, standing up, and holding his head from it as far as possible, he fired, and fell back into the bottom of the canoe.  The Indians belonging to the house, not in the least used to fire-arms, ran out and hid themselves in the woods.  But after some time, one of them bolder than the rest, got upon a hill and hollowed to us, asking who and what we were.  Our cacique now made himself known, and they presently came down to the boat, bringing with them some fish and plenty of potatoes.  This was the most comfortable meal we had made for many long months; and as soon as this was over, we rowed about two miles farther to a little village, where we landed.  Here our cacique presently awaked all the inhabitants by the noise he made, and obliged one of them to open his door to us, and immediately to make a large fire, for the weather was very severe, this being the month of June, the depth of winter in this part of the world.  The Indians now flocked thick about us, and seemed to have great compassion for us, as our cacique related to them what part be knew of our history.  They knew not what countrymen we were, nor could our guide inform them; for he had often asked us if we were French, Dutch, or English, the only nations he had ever heard of besides the Spaniards.  We always answered we were from Grande Bretagne, which he could make nothing of; for we were afraid, if he knew us to be English, as he had heard that nation was at war with the Spaniards, he never would have conducted us to Chiloe.

These good-natured compassionate creatures seemed to vie with each other who should take the most care of us.  They made a bed of sheep-skins close to the fire for Captain Cheap, and laid him upon it; and indeed, had it not been for the kind assistance he now met with, he could not have survived three days longer.  Though it was now about midnight, they went out and killed a sheep, of which they made broth, and baked a large cake of barley-meal.  Any body may imagine what a treat this was to wretches who had not tasted a bit of bread, or any wholesome diet, for such a length of time.  After we could eat no longer, we went to sleep about the fire, which the Indians took care to keep up.  In the morning, the women came from far and near, each bringing with her something.  Almost every one had a pipkin in her hand, containing either fowls or mutton made into broth, potatoes, eggs, or other eatables.  We fell to work as if we had eat nothing in the night, and employed ourselves so for the best part of the day.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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