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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 661 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17.

This was not the annual vessel, but one of those that I mentioned before which come unexpectedly.  The captain of her was an old man, well known upon the island, who had traded here once in two or three years for more than thirty years past.  He had a remarkably large head, and therefore was commonly known by a nick-name they had given him of Cabuco de Toro, or Bull’s-head.  He had not been here a week, before he came to the governor, and told him, with a most melancholy countenance, that he had not slept a wink since he came into the harbour, as the governor was pleased to allow three English prisoners liberty to walk about instead of confining them, and that he expected every moment they would board his vessel and carry her away:  This he said when he had above thirty hands aboard.  The governor assured him he would be answerable for us, and that he might sleep in quiet; though at the same time he could not help laughing at the man, as all the people in the town did.  These assurances did not satisfy the captain; he used the utmost dispatch in disposing of his cargo, and put to sea again, not thinking himself safe till he had lost sight of the island.  It was about three months after this that Mr Hamilton was brought in by a party that the governor had sent to the southward on purpose to fetch him.  He was in a wretched condition upon his first arrival, but soon recovered with the good living he found here.

It is usual for the governor to make a tour every year through the several districts belonging to his government:  On this occasion he took us with him.  The first place he visited was Carelmapo, on the main, and from thence to Castro.  At these places he holds a kind of court, all the chief caciques meeting him, and informing him of what has passed since his last visit, and receiving fresh orders for the year to come.  At Castro we had the same liberty we enjoyed at Chaco, and visited every body.  It seemed they had forgot all the ceremony used upon our first landing here, which was with an intent to make us believe it was strongly fortified; for now they let us see plainly that they had neither fort nor gun.  At Chaco they had a little earthen fort, with a small ditch palisadoed round it, and a few old honeycombed guns without carriages, and which do not defend the harbour in the least.  Whilst we were at Castro, the old lady (at whose house we lay the first night upon leaving the Jesuits college) sent to the governor, and begged I might be allowed to come to her for a few weeks; this was granted, and accordingly I went and passed about three weeks with her very happily, as she seemed to be as fond of me as if I had been her own son.  She was very unwilling to part with me again, but as the governor was soon to return to Chaca, he sent for me, and I left my benefactress with regret.

CHAPTER VIII.

Adventure with the Niece of an old Priest at Castro.—­Superstition of the People.—­The Lima Ship arrives, in which we depart for Valparaiso, January 1743.—­Arrival at and Treatment there.—­Journey to Chili.—­Arrival at St Jago.—­Generous Conduct of a Scotch Physician.—­Description of the City and of the People.

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