« AnteriorContinuar »
tva? put in order, how pleasantly 1 was concealed, and how safe From danger, it made me very loth to remove. In the mean time, it occurred to me that it would require a vast deal of time for me to do this; and that I must be contented to run the risk where 1 was, till I had formed a convenient camp, and secured it so as to remove to it. With this conclusion I composed myself for a time; and resolved that 1 would go to work with all speed to build me a wall with piles and cables, &,c, in a circle, as before, and set up my tent in it when it was finished; but that I would venture to stay where I was till it was ready and fit to remove to. This was the 21st.
April 22. The next morning, I began to consider of means to put this measure into execution; But I was at a great loss about the tools. I had three large axes, and abundance of hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the Indians); but with much chopping and cutting knotty, hard wood, they were all full of notches, and dull; and though I had a grindstone, I could not turn it and grind my tools too. This caused me as much thought as a statesman would have bestowed upon a grand point of politics, or a judge upon the life and death of a man. At length I contrived a wheel with a string, to turn it with my foot, that I might have both my hands at liberty.
Note. I had never seen any such thing in England, or, at least, not to take notice how it was done; though since, I have observed it is very common there: besides that, my grindstone was very large and heavy. This machine cost me a full week's work to bring it to perfection.
April 28, 29. These two whole days I took up in grinding my tools, my machine for turning my grindstone performing very well.
April 30. Having perceived that my bread had been low * great while, 1 now took a survey of it, and reduced myself tc one biscuit-cake a day, which made my heart very heavy.
May 1. In the morning, looking toward the sea-side, th* tide being low, 1 saw something lie on 'he shore bigger thar ordinary, and it looked like a cask: when I came to it, I found a small barrel, and two or three pieces of the wreck of the shin, which were driven on shore by the late hurricane; and looting towards the wreck itself, I thought it seemed to lie higher out of the water than it used to do. I examined the barrel that was driven on shore, and soon found it was a barrel of gunpowder; but it had taken water, and the powder was caked as hard as a stone; however, I rolled it farther on the shore for the present, and went on upon the sands, as near as I could to the wreck of the ship, to look for more.
When I came down to the ship, I found it strangely removed. The forecastle, which lay before buried in sand, was heaved up at least six feet; and the stern (which was broke to pieces, and parted from the rest, by the force of the sea, soon after I had left rummaging of her) was tossed, as it were, up, and cast on one side; and the sana was thrown so high on that side next her stern, that I could now walk quite up to her when the tide was out; whereas there was a great piece of water before, so that I could not come within a quarter of a mile of the wreck without swimming. 1 was surprised with this at first, but soon concluded it must be done by the earthquake; and as by this violence the ship was more broke open than formerly, so many things came daily on shore, which the sea had loosened, ana which the winds and water rolled by degrees to the land.
This wholly diverted my thoughts from the design of removing my habitation; and I busied myself mightily, that day especially, in searching whether I could make any way into the ship; but I found nothing was to be expected of that kind, for all the inside of the ship was choked up with sand. However, as I had learned not to .despair of any thing, I resolved to pull every thing to pieces that 1 could of the snip, concluding that every thing 1 could get from her would be ot some use or other to me.
May 3. I began with my saw, and cut a piece of a beam through, which 1 thought held some of the upper part or quarter-deck together; and when I had cut it through, 1 cleared away the sand as well as I could from the side which lay highest; but the tide coming in, I was obliged to give over foi that time.
3Iay 4. I went a-fishing, but caught not one fish that ] durst eat of, till I was weary of my sport; when, just going to leave off, I caught a young dolphin. I had made me a long line of some rope-yarn, but I had no hooks: yet I frequently caught fish enough, as much as I cared to eat; all which 1 dried in the sun and ate them dry.
May 5. Worked on the wreck; cut another beam asunder, and brought three great fir-planks off from the decks; which I tied together, and made swim on shore when the tide of flood came on.
May 6. Worked on the wreck; got several iron bolts out of her, and other pieces of iron-work; worked very hard, and came home very much tired, and had thoughts of giving it over.
May 7. Went to the wreck again, but not with an intent to work; but found the weight ot the wreck had broke itself down, the beams being cut; that several pieces of the ship seemed to lie loose; and the inside of the hold lay so open that I could see into it; but almost full of water and sand.
May 8. Went to the wreck, and carried an iron crow to wrench up the deck, which lay now quite clear of the water and sand. I wrenched up two planks, and brought them on shore also with the tide. I left the iron crow in the wreck for next day.
May 9. Went to the wreck, and with the crow made way into the body of the wreck, and felt several casks, and loosened them with the crow, but could not break them up. I felt also a roll of English lead, and could stir it; but it was too heavy to remove.
May 10—14. Went every day to the wreck; and got a great many pieces of timber, and boards, or plank, and two or three hundred weight of iron.
May 15. 1 carried two hatchets, to try if 1 could not cut a piece off the roll of lead, by placing the edge of one hatchet, and driving it with the other; but as it lay about a foot and a half in the water, 1 could not make any blow to drive the hatchet.
May 16. It had blown hard in the night, and the wreck appeared more broken by the force of the water; but I staid so long in the woods, to get pigeons for food, that the tide prevented my going to the wreck that day.
May 17. 1 saw some pieces of the wreck blown on shore, at a great distance, two miles off me, but resolved to see what they were, and found it was a piece of the head, but too heavy for me to bring away.
May 24. Every day, to this day, I worked on the wreck; and with hard labor I loosened. some things so much with the crow, that the first blowing tide, several casks floated out, and two of the seamen's chests; but the wind blowing from the shore, nothing came to land that day but pieces of timber, and a hogshead, which had some Brazil pork in it; but the salt-water and the sand had spoiled it. I continued this work every day to the 15th of June, except the time necessary to get food; which 1 always appointed, during this part of my employment, to be when the tide was up, that I might be ready when it was ebbed out; and by this time I had gotten timber, and plank, and iron-work, enough to have built a good boat, if I had known how; and 1 also got, at several times, and in several pieces, near one hundred weight of the sheet-lead.
June 16. Going down to the sea-side, 1 found a large tortoise, or turtle. This was the first I had seen; which, it seems, was only my misfortune, not any defect of the place or scarcity; for had I happened to be on the other side of the island, I might have had hundreds of them every day, as 1 found afterwards; but perhaps had paid dear enough for them.
June 17 I spent in cooking the turtle. I found in her threescore eggs; and her flesh was to me, at that time, the most savory and pleasant that 1 ever tasted in my life; having