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given the rind of our orange, seemed disposed to follow us as well as Fidele ; but we drove them back, and caused the dog to pursue them for a few minutes, towards the spring. We now resumed our excursion, and made considerable progress up a wild ravine beset with the Indian fig, till it brought us to a very steep and rocky ascent, on which we observed shrubs bearing leaves like those of the palm tree, but much shorter and more erect. I could have managed to have clambered up this formidable pass, but it was not possible for my wife. Full of courage, however, she made the attempt; and not until she had severely hurt herself, by falling several times, could she be persuaded to give it up. We at length agreed to again measure back our steps, which we did leisurely; and, as we rested here and there in descending, I put in the pips of our orange into various spots on the side of the ravine. Having been out above four hours, and quite fatigued, we returned slowly to the plank house, and lay down on the wooden settee to rest our wearied limbs. After a while, my dear Eliza, and her little dog beside her, fell fast asleep; and I, feeling myself sufficiently renovated, stole away to prepare her some substantial aliment. When all was laid out, and the table placed upon the platform, I awoke her with a gentle kiss upon her forehead, and led her forth to my little banquet. "How kind this is, dear Edward," said she, smiling sweetly on me; "it was my duty, not yours." "You were too much fatigued, beloved," I replied; "I was only afraid of disturbing you before I had accomplished it." Fidele was not waked by a caress; but, perhaps dreaming what was going for
ward, quickly joined his mistress, wagging his tail for a piece of beef, which he greedily devoured: it was not necessary to offer him drink, for he knew his way to the spring, and always scampered thither when thirsty. We were too tired to talk much, yet I could not but express my regret at our discomfiture. Never mind, Edward; you made a resolute beginning," was her ready reply; "and by some other route we may succeed better." She always had a word of hope for me; and such to man is the great cheerer of life. Although extremely weary, we read a chapter from St. John, a divine companion in our transatlantic Patmos; and, after closing our little land-house door, retired at an earlier hour than usual to our marine lodgings for the night.
Monday, 21st. In the morning, finding our limbs very stiff, I proposed a good sousing with seawater to remove it: it was instantly adopted, and it acted like a charm, perfectly refreshing us. After dressing ourselves, we walked the deck, enjoying the cool air of that early time of the day, and watching the sun rise above the eastern rock in glorious
On retiring below, we talked over our disappointment in not being able to ascend the promontory; not only that we might look around for our companions, but that we might acquire some knowledge, by the view, of our exact situation; for, as yet, we could not be certain whether we were on an island or the main. I therefore urged my affectionate wife to allow me to climb the height alone, but to this her fears for me would not consent. On this decision,. I felt I had no resource but to make a path, little by
little, so as to admit us to ascend together at some future time. A bill-hook being necessary to the undertaking, I opened the main hatchway, and soon found the case in which they were kept. I drew from it a couple ; and as it occurred to me a plurality of spades and hoes would save me the trouble of carrying my instruments of husbandry from one plantation to another, I took out pairs of them also; and as the Indian corn which had been deposited in the steerage, was now expended, I at this time got up a large bag of that article, by means of the winch; whose power enabled me to hoist it easily out of the hold. My next object was a bag of biscuit, which I also got on deck. We were glad to have this supply our biscuit had been done for some days; and our poultry having begun to lay, we were desirous to feed them well; also to have some whole corn to put into the ground; — that which we had been using having been all bruised, on purpose for feeding. We sat down in the cabin after my toil, and most thankfully breakfasted on some biscuit and Irish butter; in which Fidele heartily joined, for the poor animal had eat nothing but salt beef and pork for many days; and we finished this our morning repast with some wine and water, which we found a very agreeable change.
As I had been sufficiently industrious to plant and sow as many roots and seeds as would produce as much provision as we could require of this kind for the season, and as there was no great hurry about putting in the Indian corn, (there being so great a supply of it on board,) I felt I might direct my attention and labour to some other matters that
waited my exertions. We had felt the want of fresh provisions, and been tantalized almost every evening by seeing the mullet leaping almost within our reach about the point below the spring. This set me on my inventions how to contrive a small punt, (a sort of flat-bottomed boat,) and which, with the planks I had at hand, I thought might be easily constructed. My Eliza, however, evinced some scruples about its safety:-it might prove my coffin! I smiled, and soon succeeded in calming her fears; after which she amused, and employed herself, during that day, and in the two following likewise, by collecting and conveying on shore several things applicable to our comfort and conveniency. Meanwhile I got out some suitable plank, and other boards from the hold, and carried them, together with nails and other requisites from the carpenter's chest, to land also; and then set heartily to work to construct my punt, my dock-yard being the slope of the beach, to the northward of the rocky point, and close to the water's edge. My little bark was thus made: five of the planks, each being twelve feet in length and one foot in breadth, were laid side by side; and pieces of plank, four feet ten inches in length, were nailed across them, allowing one inch clear on each side; and in nailing them across, care was taken to leave an interval of two inches between each third and fourth cross-piece. Into each of these intervals, of which there were three, a cross-piece of the same dimensions was insinuated edgeways; which necessarily fitted in tight, the planks being two inches in thickness. To the ends of these upright cross-pieces, the side-boarding was nailed, which was of elm;
and, being one inch in thickness, its edge just filled up the space beyond the extreme ends of the crosspieces, and rested on the flooring of the punt: these boards were two feet in breadth, which I considered a sufficient height for the sides of my vessel: the stern part was formed by a five-feet cut of the elm board, placed nearly perpendicular to the floor of the punt; and the bow was made by cutting the sideboards with a greater projecting slope, from below, upwards; beneath which another five-feet cut of an elm-board was firmly nailed across, and secured both here and abaft by inside cross-pieces and uprights. On the evening of the 21st my punt was put together; but it required to be caulked, before it could be launched.
Thursday, 24th. I made a fruitless rummage in the ship for its deposit of oakum, to caulk the punt with; and, as a last resource, was about to set to, with my dear helpmate, to pick some large rope to pieces, and so make oakum of it, when I bethought myself of a place in the brig I had not yet explored, and in which it might probably be. This was the fore-cuddy, a sort of store-room for sails and other things, under the forecastle, and secured by a small hatch. I instantly repaired thither, and getting off the hatch, went down. A welcome sight greeted me, for I found not only oakum in a large bag, but a pitch-kettle, and half a barrel of pitch! I saw a bale of canvass, some spare sails, and a good deal of cordage: all this was a most useful discovery. I hauled up the bag with the oakum, and took it on shore; and then returning for a large and small caulking-iron, the mallet,