Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

oriif there sat a creature like a wild cat, upon one of t.ie chests, which, when I came towards it, ran away a little distance, and then stood still. She sat very composed and unconcerned, and looked full in my face, as if she had a mind to be acquainted with me. I presented my gun to her, but, as she did not understand it, she was perfectly unconcerned at it, nor did she offer to stir away; upon which I tossed her a bit of biscuit, though, by the way, I was not very free of it, for my store was not great: however, I spared her a bit, i say, and she went to it, smelled of it, and ate it, and looked (as pleased) for more; but I thanked her, and could spare no more: so she marched off. ^

Having got my second cargo on shore—though 1 was fail to open the barrels of powder, and bring them by parcels, for* they were too heavy, being large casks—1 went to work to make me a little tent, with the sail, and some poles, which 1 cut for that purpose; and into this tent 1 brougnt every thing that I knew would spoil either with rain or sun; and I piled all the empty chests and casks up in a circle round the tent, to fortify it from any sudden attempt either from man or beast.

When I had done this, I blocked up the door of the tent with some boards within, and an empty chest set up on end without; and spreading one of the beds upon the ground, laying my two pistols just at my head, and my gun at length by me, I went to bed for the first time, and slept very quietly all night, for I was very weary and heavy; for the night before I had slept little, and had labored very hard all day, as well to fetch all those things from the ship, as to get them on shore.

I had the biggest magazine of all kinds now that ever was laid up, I believe, for one man; but I was not satisfied still. for wnile the ship sat upright in that posture, I thought I ought to get every thing out of her that I could; so every day, at low water, I went on board, and brought away something or other; but particularly, the third time I went, I brought away as much of the rigging as I could, as also ill the small ropes and rope-twine I could get, with a piece of spare canvass, which was to mend the sails upon occasion, and the !> »rrel of wet gunpowder. In a word, I brought away all the sails first and last; only that I was fain to cut them in pieces, and bring as much at a time as I could; for they were no more useful to he sails, but as mere canvass only.

But that which comforted me still more, was, that, last of ail, after I had made five or six such voyages as these, and thought 1 had nothing more to expect from the ship that was worth my meddling with; I say, after all this, I found a great hogshead of bread, and three large runlets of rum or spirits, and a box of sugar, and a barrel of fine flour: this wras surprising to me, because I had given over expecting any more provisions, except what was spoiled by the water. I soon emptied the hogshead of that bread, and wrapped it up, parcel by parcel, in pieces of the sails, which I cut out; ana, in a word, I got all tins safe on shore also.

The next day I made another voyage; and now, having

Clundered the ship of what was portable and fit to hand out, 1 egan with tne cables, and cutting the great cable into pieces, such as I could move, I got two cables and a hawser on shore, with all the iron-work I could get; and having cut down the spritsail-yard, and the mizzen-yard, and every thing I could to make a large raft, I loaded it with all those heavy goods, and came away; but my good luck began now to leave me; for this raft was so unwieldy, and so overladen, that after I wad entered the little cove, where I had landed the rest of my goods, not being able to guide it so handily as I did the other^ it overset, and threw rae and all my cargo into the water: as for ni)rself, it was no great harm, for I was near the shore; but as to my cargo, it wras a great part of it lost, especially the iron, which I expected would have been of great use to r#e: however, when the tide wras out, I got most of the pieces of cable ashore, and some of the iron, though with infinite labor; for I was * fain to dip for it into the water, a work which fatigued me very much. After this I went every day on board, and brought away what I could get.

and

I had been now thirteen days ashore, and had been eleven times on board the ship; in which time 1 had brought awaj all that one pair of hands could well be supposed capable to bring; though 1 believe verily, had the calm weather held, I should have brought away the whole ship, piece by piece; but preparing the twelfth time to go on board, I found the wind began to rise; however, at low water, I went on board; and though 1 thought I had rummaged the cabin so effectually as that nothing could be found, yet 1 discovered a locker with drawers in it, in one of which I found two or three razors, and one pair of large scissors, with some ten or a dozen of gooj knives and forks; in another I found about thirty-six pou value in money, some European coin, some Brazil, so; pieces of eight, some gold, and some silver.

I smiled to myself at the sight of this money: "O drug!" said I aloud, "what art thou good for? Thou art not worth to me, no, not the taking off the ground: one of tnose knives is worth all this heap: I have no manner of use tor thee; e'en remain where thou art, and go to the bottom, as a creature whose life is not worth saving." However, upon second thoughts, I took it away; and wrapping all this in a p.ece of canvass, I began to think of making another raft; but while I was preparing this, I found the sky overcast, and the wind began to rise, and in a quarter of an hour it blew a fresh gale from the shore. It presently occurred to me, that it was in vain to pretend to make a raft with the wind off shore; and that it was my business to be gone before the tide of flood began, or otherwise 1 might not be able to reach the shore at all Accordingly I let myself down into the water, and swam across the channel which lay between the ship and the sands, and even that with difficulty enough, partly with the weight of the things I had about me, and partly the roughness of the water; for the wind rose very hastily, and before it was quite high water it blew a storm.

But I was got home to my little tent, where I lay, with alt iny wealth about me very secure. It blew very hard all that

[ocr errors]

night, and in the morning, when I looked out, behold no more ship was to be seen! I was a little surprised, but recovered myself with this satisfactory reflection, viz. that I had lost no time, nor abated no diligence, to get every thing out of her that could be useful to me, and that, indeed, there was little left in her that I was able to bring away, if I had had more time.

I now gave over any more thoughts of the ship, or of any thing out of her, except what might drive on shore, from her wreck; as, indeed, divers pieces of her afterwards did; but hose things were of small use to me.

L;My thoughts were now wholly employed about securing jyself against either savages, if any should appear, or wild 'easts, if any were in the island; and 1 had many thoughts of the method how to do this, and what kind of dwelling to make, whether I should make me a cave in the earth, or a tent upon the earth: and, in short, I resolved upon both; the manner and description of which it may not be improper to give an account of.

I soon found the place 1 was in was not for my settlement, particularly because it was upon a low, moorish ground, near the sea, and I believed it would not be wholesome; and more particularly because there was no fresh water near it: so I resolved to find a more healthy and more convenient spot of ground.

I consulted several things in my situation, which I found would be proper for me: 1st, Health and fresh water, I just now mentioned: 2dly, Shelter from the heat of the sun: 3dly, Security from ravenous creatures, whether men or beasts: 4thly, A view to the sea, that if God sent an> ship in sight, J might not lose any advantage for my deliveranc e, of which 1 was not willing to banish all my expectation yet.

In search for a place proper for this, I found a little plain on the side of a rising hill, whose front towards this little plain was steep as a house side, so that nothing could come down

rum

upon me from the top. On the side of this rock, there was a hollow place, worn a little way in,;like the entrance or door of a cave; but there was not realty any cave, or way into the rock, at all.

On the flat of the green, just before this hollow place, I resolved to pitch my tent. This plain was not above a hundred yards broad, and about twice as long, and lay like a green before my door; and, at the end of it, descended irregularly every way down into the low ground by the sea-side. It was on the N.N.W. side of the hill; so that it was sheltered from the heat every day, till it came to a W. and by S. sun, or ther< abouts, which, in those countries, is near the setting.

Before I set up my tent, I drew a half-circle before the low place, which took in about ten ;~ards in its semi-diamel from the rock, and twenty yards in its diameter, from its be^ ginning and ending.

In this half-circle 1 pitched two rows of strong stakes, driving them into the ground till they stood very firm like piles, the biggest end being out of the ground about five feet and a half, and sharpened on the top. The two rows did not 6tand above six inches from one another.

Then I took the pieces of cable which I cut in the ship, and laid them in rows, one upon another, within the circle, between these two rows of stakes, up to the top, placing other stakes in the inside, leaning against them, abou{two feet and a half hkjh, like a spur to a post; and this fence was so strong, that neither man nor beast could get into it, or over it. This cost me a great deal of time and labor, especially to cut the piles in the woods, bring them to the place, and <Hve them into the earth.

The entrance into this place I made to be not by foor, but by a short ladder to go over the top; which ladder, when 1 was in, I lifted over after me; and so 1 was completely fenced in and fortified, as I thought, from all the world, and consequently slept secure in ih*'"*:ight, which otherwise I could not

« AnteriorContinuar »