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thus: From the middle of February to the middle of April, rainy; the sun being then on or near the equinox. From the middle of April till the middle of August, dry; the sun being then north of the line. From the middle of August till the middle of October, rainy; the sun being then come back to the line. From the middle of October till the middle of February, dry; the sun being then to the south of the line.
The rainy seasons held sometimes longer and sometimes shorter, as the winds happened to blow; but this was the general observation I made. After I had found, by experience, the ill consequences of being abroad in the rain, 1 took care to furnish myself with provisions beforehand, that I might not be obliged to go out; and I sat within doors as much as possible during the wet months. In this time 1 found much employment, and very suitable also to the time; for I found great occasion for many things which I had no way to furnish myself with, but by hard labor and constant application: particularly, I tried many ways to make myselt a basket; but all the twigs I could get for the purpose proved so brittle, that they would do nothing. It proved of excellent advantage to me now, that when I was a boy, I used to take great delight in standing at a basket-maker's in the town where my father lived, to see them make their wicker-ware; and being, as boys usually are, very officious to help, and ,*> great observer of the manner how they worked those things, and sometimes lending a hand, 1 had by these means hiK knowledge of the methods of it, so that I wanted nothing but the materials; when it came into my mind, that the twigs of that tree from whence I cut my stakes that grew, might possibly be as tough as the sallows, willows, and osiers, in England; and I resolved to try. Accordingly, the next day, I went to my country-house, as I called it; and, cutting some of the smaller twigs, I found them to my purpose as much as I could desire; whereupon I came the next time prepared with a hatchet, to cut down a quantit)', which I soon found, for there was great plenty of them. These I set up to dry within my circle or hedge; and when they were fit foi use, I carried them to my cave; and here, during the next season, I emplo}red "myself in making, as well as I could, several baskets, both to carry earth, or to carry or lay up any thing, as I had occasion for. Though I did not finish them .very handsomely, yet I made them sufficiently serviceable for my purpose; and thus, afterwards, I took care never to be without them; and as my wicker-ware decayed, I made more; especially strong, deep baskets, to place my corn in, instead of sacks, when I should come to have any quantity, of it.
Having mastered this difficulty, and employed a world of time about it, I bestirred myself to see, if possible, how to supply two other wants. I had no vessel to liold any thing that was liquid, except two runlets, which were almost full of rum, and some glass bottles, some of the common size, and others (which were case-bottles) square, for the holding of waters, spirits, &/C I had not so much as a pot to boil any thing; except a great kettle, which I saved out of the ship; and which was too big for such use as I desired it, viz. to make broth, and stew a bit of meat by itself. The second thing I would fain have had was a Hbacco-pipe; but it was impossible for me to make one: however, I found a contrivance for that too, at last. I employed myself in planting my second row of stakes or piles, and also in this wicker-working, all the summer or dry season; when another business took me up more time than it could be imagined I could spare.
I mentioned before, that I had a great mind to see the whole island; and that I had travelled up the brook, and so on to where I had built my bower, and where I had an opening quite to the sea, on the other side of the island. I now resolved to travel quite across to the sea-shore, on that side; so, taking my gun, a hatchet, and my dog, and a larger quantity of powder and shot than usual, with two biscuit-cakes, and a great bunch of raisins in my pouch, for my store, I began my journey When I had passed the vale where my bower stood, as above, I came within view of the sea, to the west; and it being a very clear day, I fairly descried land, whether an island or conti nent I could not tell; but it lay very high, extending from W. to W'.S.W., at a very great distance; by my guess, it could not be less than fifteen or twenty leagues off.
I could not tell what part of the world this might be; otherwise than that I knew it must be part of America, and, as 1 concluded, by all my observations, must bi^ near the Spanish dominions-, and perhaps was all inhabited by savages, when1,, if I should have landed, I had been in a worse condition than I was now. I therefore acquiesced in the dispositions of Providence, which I began now to own and to believe ordered every thing for the best; I say, I quieted my mind with this., and left off afflicting myself with fruitless wishes of being there.
Besides, after some pause upon this affair, I considered that if this land was the Spanish coast, I should certainly, one time or other, see some vessel pass or repass one way or other; but if not, then it was the savage coast between the Spanish country and the Brazils, whose inhabitants are indeed the worst of savages; for the}r are cannibals, or men-eaters, and fail not to murder and devour all human beings that fall into their hands.
With these considerations, walking very Msurely forward, I •found this side of the island, where I now was, much pleasanter than mine; the open or savannah fields sweetly adorned with flowers and grass, and full of very fine woods. I saw abundance of parrots, and fain would have caught one, if possible, to have kept it to be tame, and taught it to speak to me. I did, after taking some pains, catch a young parrot; for I knocked it down with a stick, and, having recovered it, 1 brought it home; but it was some years before I could make him speak: however, at last, I taught him to call me hy my name very familiarly. But the accident that followed, though it be a trifle, will be very diverting in its place.
1 was exceedingly amused with this journey. I found, in the low grounds, hares, as I thought them to be, and foxes; but they differed greatly from all tlie other kinds I had met with; nor could I satisfy myself to eat them, though I killed several But I had no need to be venturous; for I had no want of food, and of that which was very good too; especially these three sorts, viz. goats, pigeons, and turtle, or tortoise. With these, added to my grapes, Leaden-hall-Market could not have furnished a table better than I, in proportion to the company; and though my case was deplorable enough, yet I had great cause for thankfulness; as I was not driven to any extremities for food, but had rather plenty, even to dainties.
I never travelled on this journey above two miles outright in a day, or thereabouts; but I took so many turns and returns, to see what discoveries I could make, that 1 came weary enough to the place where I resolved to sit down for the night; and then I either reposed myself in a tree, or surrounded myself with a row of staKes, set upright in the ground, either from one tree to another, or so as no wild creature could come at me without waking me.
As soon as I came to the sea-shore, I was surprised to see that T had taken up my lot on the worst side of the island; for here indeed the shore was covered with innumerable turtles; whereas, on the other side, I had found but three in a year and a half. Here was also an infinite number of fowls of many kinds; some of which I had seen, and some of which I had not seen before, and many of them very good meat; but such as 1 knew not the names of, except those called penguins.
I could have shot as many as 1 pleased, but was very sparing of my powder and shot; and therefore had more mind to kill a she-goat, if I could, which I could better feed on. But though there were many goats here, more than on my side the island, yet it was with much more difficulty that 1 could come near them; the country being flat and even, and they saw me much sooner than when I was upon a hill.
I confess this side of the country was much pleasanter than mine; yet I had not the least inclination to remove; for as 1 was fixed in my habitation, it became natural to me, and I seemed all the while I was here to be as it were upon a journey, and from home. However, I travelled along the sea-shore towards the east, I suppose, about twelve miles; and their,"setting up a great pole upon the shore for a mark, I concluded I would go home again; and that the next journey I took should be on the other side of the island, east from my dwelling, and so round till I came to my post again; of which in its place.
I took another way to come back than that I went, tbinking I could easily keep so much of the island in my view; hat 1 could not miss my first dwelling by viewing the country; but I found myself mistaken; for, being come about two or three miles, I found myself descended into a very large valley, but so surrounded with hills, and those hills covered with wood, that I could not see which was my way, by any direction but that of the sun, nor even then, unless I knew very well the position of the sun at that time of the day. And it happened to my further misfortune, that the weather proved hazy for three or four days while I was in this valley; and not bem<* able to see the sun, I wandered about very uncomfortable, and at last was obliged to find out the sea-side, look for my post, and come back the same way I went; and then by easy journeys I turned homeward, the weather being exceeding hot, and my gun, ammunition, hatchet, and other thingsf very heavy.
In this journey, my dog surprised a young kid, and seized upon it; and running to take hold of it, I caught it, and saved it alive from the dog. I had a great mind'to bring it home if I could; for I had often been musing whether it might not be possible to get a kid or two, and so raise a breed of tame goats, which might supply me when my powder and shot should be all spent. I made a collar for this little creature, and with a string which I had made of some rope-yarn, which I always carried about me, I led him along, though with some difficulty, till I came to my bower, and there I inclosed him and left him; for I was very impatient to be at home, from whence 1 had been absent above a month.
I cannot express what a satisfaction it was to me to come into my old hutch, and lie down in my hammock-bed. This little wandering journey, without a settled place of abode, had