« ForrigeFortsæt »
which there was great need, I took the gaskets, and, to his evident wonder and amusement, climbed one of the trees, and knocked down about a score of the nuts presently with my hatchet. I quickly followed the shower, and cutting a nice young one through husk and all, presented it to my Eliza to drink its milk. I then pointed to Diego and Mira to help themselves, which they did, not unsparingly; the good old negro never failing to offer the opened nut to my wife, or myself, before he would partake of it himself. After this refreshment, while Mira was carrying the gathered melons and pumpkins, and the remaining cocoa-nuts, to the punt, my dear wife and myself visited the capsicums, which, to our great delight, we found in flower: we here sat down to rest a while on the accustomed ledge, where we had once slept with our dear little dog beside us, when he and we constituted the whole of our colony.
Our party returned to the plank house about noon, and a similar dinner to that of yesterday was quickly prepared; but Diego added some of his oysters to our repast, which he opened for us with the clasp-knife I had given him; and we found them excellent. In the afternoon we visited the cottontree plantation, whither Diego had gone before us, and where we now found both men and women hard at work, trying to complete the hut that day. We looked on with great satisfaction; and having made Mira serve them out some water-melons, and a few cocoa-nuts, to add to their supper of salt meat, we said, "good evening," and retired.
Wednesday, 24th. This morning I found the
hut perfectly enclosed; and set Diego and the women briskly at work, excavating for the uprights of the second hut, while Xavier was fitting up the inside of the one they had finished, on the plan of the interior of the plank house, placing boards for a mattrass bed, and a few more for shelves. And all this being done before breakfast, immediately after it, he sawed out the uprights, and began to proceed with the other hut. During this and the three following days, the men worked closely at their second habitation; the women cooking the provisions, and doing such other things as my wife directed.
Sunday 28th. We arrayed ourselves on the morning of the Sabbath in a clean skin and clean clothes, and prayed to God to give us a clean heart. Soon after our landing at the plank house, the two men and their wives came in their fresh attire, and saluted us to honour the day, I shook hands with them; and they made their obeisance to my dear wife; the women kissing her hand. A coffee breakfast was prepared for them, with some flour cakes and butter; and after their meal, and our own, as on the former Sabbath, we went to prayer, lengthening the service a little; my beloved Eliza, as before, singing a hymn at the beginning and end of the service. They behaved with great decorum, and showed neither impatience nor restlessness.
After prayers we again gave them a basket of provisions, with the canteen and the pikes; and I made Diego understand I wished him to row round the promontory. As they could not as yet profit either by our reading or conversation, I did not know how they could better employ their time; for we wished
to avoid disgusting them with the rest of the Sabbath, by dictating observances, the meaning of which they could not at present be taught to comprehend. Their wives now stepped into the canoe, as a matter of course, and the men put off from the shore in great spirits. In about an hour they had rounded the promontory, and appeared close under the brig's stern; from the quarter-deck of which we saw them, having taken our station there again; and we saluted them as they passed. They then rowed to the northward, between the beach and the reef; and with the glass we discerned them landing under the very rocky point which had threatened us with a second shipwreck, after we had escaped from the reef. They continued there so long out of sight, that we desisted looking for them: they had left the canoe, and were most likely pursuing the course of the stream into the interior. We went on shore to dinner, and employed Mira to watch the explorers with the glass. She at last discovered them push out from the land: I then took the glass, and observed them until they got among the rocks where the brig had struck; but, losing sight of them again, I returned the glass to our maid, while my dear wife and myself employed ourselves in reading the bible.
Not finding them come back by five o'clock, we all became very anxious; and our uneasiness increased till near sunset, when we gladly, and to me most unexpectedly, saw them rowing up the lake. They, of course, had doubled the island; and, on relanding, must have rowed round it; by which circumstance I now got an idea of its extent. Coffee
was prepared for the adventurers; and we received them as something lost, which had been found. The men were tired; but our kind reception, and a plentiful meal, renovated their spirits. The canoe was again, though on the Sabbath, not without a cargo: they had taken a turtle, and several live shells, large and small, of the conch kind, and others; besides having collected some vegetable productions. I could, however, say nothing about this now; so, after they had taken their repast, I contented myself with making Diego understand he must carry all round to the cotton-tree plantation beach in the canoe; which he did without delay or demur. One of my reasons for this measure was, that my Eliza should not see the turtle, until brought before her as meat to be dressed. After the people's departure to their rest, of which they had much need, we regaled ourselves with tea, and then retired to our ship.
Monday, 29th.-I visited the plantation early in the morning, and found the men at work on the second hut; but taking hold of Diego, I made him understand that he must kill the turtle, and Rota prepare it for dinner. It was but a chicken compared with the former one, not weighing more than sixty pounds, shell and all. He had taken the vegetable matters out of the canoe, to dispose of in the way he best understood; but I signified that I should like the shell-fish to be put in the crayfish craal, which might be done by rowing the canoe over, when he came to dinner. and returned to breakfast. In Rota arrived, with the turtle cut up, carrying it
I then left them, about an hour,
on her head in the calapach or back-shell: she laid it down on the platform, before my dear wife, who did not instantly know what it was; but when she recognized it, I was glad to perceive she did not show any disgust or aversion on the occasion. Such is the nice distinction made by minds of sensibility, that had she seen it alive, perhaps she would not have consented to its being killed; at any rate, I doubt whether she would then have consented to eat of it. I picked out the callipee, or under part, for ourselves, and made Rota take the rest to dress for the people's dinner; and, that she might make it savoury, my kind Eliza gave her some capsicums and allspice to season it and we all enjoyed the treat.
During the remainder of the week, every effort was made to complete the second hut. Indeed by Saturday night it was finished, and both families comfortably lodged; one in each hut. We had got
mattresses from the brig, and as many other conveniences as we thought they would need. They were now each made possessor of a commodious habitation-a home, with ourselves, in this Heavengiven haven; and we were made happy in seeing them thus lodged, and surrounded by many other blessings.
Sunday, 5th May.-The sanctity of the day was duly observed. After divine service, we walked with the whole company to the top of the promontory; and passed the evening in looking at the people's huts, and visiting every thing most interesting around.
Monday, 6th.-The season was now come, to