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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 182 pages of information about Anson's Voyage Round the World.

CHAPTER 27.  LANDING THE SICK.  CENTURION DRIVEN TO SEA.

When we had furled our sails, the remaining part of the night was allowed to our people for their repose, to recover them from the fatigue they had undergone, and in the morning a party was sent on shore well armed, of which I myself was one, to make ourselves masters of the landing-place, as we were not certain what opposition might be made by the Indians on the island.  We landed without difficulty, for the Indians having perceived by our seizure of the bark the night before, that we were enemies, they immediately fled into the woody parts of the island.  We found on shore many huts which they had inhabited, and which saved us both the time and trouble of erecting tents.  One of these huts, which the Indians made use of for a storehouse, was very large, being twenty yards long and fifteen broad; this we immediately cleared of some bales of jerked beef which we found in it, and converted it into an hospital for our sick, who, as soon as the place was ready to receive them, were brought on shore, being in all one hundred and twenty-eight.  Numbers of these were so very helpless that we were obliged to carry them from the boats to the hospital upon our shoulders, in which humane employment (as before at Juan Fernandez) the Commodore himself and every one of his officers were engaged without distinction; and notwithstanding the great debility of the greatest part of our sick, it is almost incredible how soon they began to feel the salutary influence of the land.  For though we buried twenty-one men on this and the preceding day, yet we did not lose above ten men more during our whole two months’ stay here; and in general our diseased received so much benefit from the fruits of the island, particularly the fruits of the acid kind, that in a week’s time there were but few who were not so far recovered as to be able to move about without help; and on the 12th of September all those who were so far relieved as to be capable of doing duty were sent on board the ship.  And then the Commodore, who was himself ill of the scurvy, had a tent erected for him on shore, where he went with the view of staying a few days for the recovery of his health, being convinced, by the general experience of his people, that no other method but living on the land was to be trusted to for the removal of this dreadful malady.  As the crew on board were now reinforced by the recovered hands returned from the island, we began to send our casks on shore to be fitted up, which till now could not be done, for the coopers were not well enough to work.  We likewise weighed our anchors that we might examine our cables, which we suspected had by this time received considerable damage.  And as the new moon was now approaching, when we apprehended violent gales, the Commodore, for our greater security, ordered that part of the cables next to the anchors to be armed with the chains of the fire-grapnels, and they were besides cackled twenty fathoms from the anchors and seven fathoms from the service, with a good rounding of a 4 1/2 inch hawser, and to all these precautions we added that of lowering the main and fore yards close down, that in case of blowing weather the wind might have less power upon the ship to make her ride a-strain.

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