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shores of the islands within sight, but nothing presented itself worthy of attention, excepting some large black birds, hovering about the place where the peccaries had been killed. We supposed these birds to be the carrion vulture, drawn to the spot, and perhaps even to the island, by the smell of dead and putrefying animals. We returned by ten o'clock to the tree where our provisions had been left; and, while I opened the basket, Eliza owned being a little disappointed in not having surprised another armadillo, to be a companion to her domesticated prize. We had, however, the pleasure to observe some of the shaddocks, and oranges, and limes, we had then sown, now above ground, and promising well. Our position was in deep shade, and therefore highly agreeable; so that, after our fatiguing expedition up and down the side of the promontory, we enjoyed our collation, to which a cocoa-nut shell of cool wine and water was an excellent appendage.
After breakfast I moved the punt to the northern part of the plantation, to save us the labour of carrying the basket; and there landing again, I occupied myself an hour in cleaning the ground round our various plants, which were all in high vegetation; even the tobacco, and American corn, and Virginian pumpkins, were fairly up, and looking well. At noon we rested under our arbour tent, the dear cotton tree; and, being in a place of safety, gave ourselves up to sleep. We were on foot again about three o'clock; and visiting the little neighbouring spring for some cool fresh water, we there had the satisfaction of seeing both the shad
docks and orange plants (designed for two future groves) in green germ of growing luxuriance. We returned to dinner beneath the perpetual shade of our patriarchal tree: and, after finishing our meal, I cut some sticks from the adjoining thicket, to support the slender stems of the yams, which I thought required it by their seeming weakness; for never having seen the yam grow, and being quite ignorant of its cultivation, I did that which appeared necessary. We returned by the punt, in the cool of the evening, and stepped on shore a little before sunset. I felt that we had not enjoyed this day's excursion as we used to do; the beauties of the place were not so much the subjects of remark as formerly, and nothing was said of its eligibility for our permanent residence. It was evident that the discovery of gold had instilled a subtle poison into my mind at least, that continued its secret operation, in spite of all my excellent conclusions and good resolves. We were, however, much pleased with seeing our two broods of young ducks waddling up to their home, as we landed; and while my dear wife stood by them, I ran up to the plank house, and brought down some bruised corn, which I mixed with water for them in a hollow stone, close by the door of their habitation. We walked thence with the goats and their kids, and were met at our door by the gallant cock, and his numerous progeny. It was our next care to feed them, and to cut up a pumpkin for the goats, not forgetting a melon for the armadillo; and all this gave us real gratification, very different indeed from the fevered hopes which arose from counting
and packing the gold. After regaling ourselves with a damaged pine-apple, we retired to our marine abode, to pray, and to rest.
Tuesday, 5th. On rising in the morning, we talked over a little change in our accommodation. The increasing heat of the weather had made it rather unpleasant in the state-room at night, so I employed myself after breakfast in slinging a cot in the great cabin, it being more airy for a dormitory; and in the end it proved to be not only an agreeable, but a healthy expedient. While I was thus employed, my dear helpmate made us some johnny cakes, a West Indian sort of tea-bread, and a pumpkin pie. I then went down to the crayfish craal, and was bringing one home with me, when, in my walk back, I observed several young pump. kins, about the size of English penny rolls. I cut off half a dozen, and put them in my basket: my wife, on seeing them, expressed a fear that I had gathered them prematurely. "Oh no!" I replied, "they eat them in America in this state; and when boiled, and mashed with a little butter and pepper, they are as good as turnips."* This intelligence pleased her, for she had sometimes wished for some greener vegetables to eat with our fish or meat, than the yam or coccos. The crayfish was put on the fire, and also the young pumpkins; and (reserving the pie for the morrow) we made an excellent and a salubrious dinner; for we did not feel that inconvenience after eating this smaller crayfish which we had experienced on a former
*This appears to be exactly what is now reared, and eaten in England, under the name of vegetable marrow.-ED.
occasion, when we eat of the large one I took on the beach after the storm. In the evening I pursued some of our daily usual occupations; and, when the stars appeared, we retired composed to our place of rest, anticipating a cool and comfortable sleep, in which we were not disappointed.
Wednesday, 6th.-We arose unusually refreshed, feeling as if we had slept in another climate, and quite delighted with our swinging bed. On coming on shore we visited our third hen, having calculated that her brood should be out about that time, and found her surrounded by a numerous progeny, no less than fourteen. By this accession we had altogether thirty-nine chickens; a most welcome store towards our future subsistence. After breakfast I proposed to my dear wife, that, as all my husbandry was completed for the season, I should seize the interval, and begin my operations for constructing us a house on the open glade near the cotton-tree plantation; for though we might hope it would please God, at some period, to afford us an opportunity to remove from the island to our native home, yet meanwhile it would be to our happiness to wait patiently on him for his own time, and think only on such matters as most directly and immediately concerned us. These were her own sentiments, and she was delighted in hearing me speak as I had done. But she entreated, that whatever I did towards building the house, I would go about it leisurely, and not with that indefatigable zeal which hitherto had manifested itself in the speedy accomplishment of every thing I undertook. I gave her my promise to be moderate
in my exertions; assuring her that I would confine myself to four hours' work each morning, in the combined operations of getting materials from the ship, and in carrying them across the isthmus, and conveying them by the punt to the nearest place below the intended site of our dwelling.
After this discussion, while I was absent examining the success of my fish-pot, my dear Eliza recollected a large and small coffee-mill she had seen in the captain's cabin; which, perhaps, he was taking for some friend at Honduras; and she brought them on shore. "Edward," said she, "this large one will make a nice corn-mill for the poultry; and I will roast some coffee, and grind it in this," shewing me the small mill, "it will save our tea, and be an agreeable change." I was much pleased at the sight of these mills, which had escaped my observation on board; but I was still more pleased with the kind and affectionate manner in which she introduced them to my notice. "After we have dined, darling," said I, "we will fix them both up for service, fastened against the side of our palace." To-day we dined sumptuously on a fine fish I found in the fish-pot, and, being fresh from the sea, we relished it greatly. Our dear little dog, too, seemed to make a better dinner than he lately had done on fish; so that I was led to conclude he had discovered something different in the taste, which perhaps in time would have rendered the live store in the cask even unwholesome. In the evening I fixed up the mills in the interior of our palace, and having brought some coffee, which we roasted in the frying-pan, I ground it; and my Eliza soon