Obrazy na stronie

bellies were full; so about midnight I took up my bur. den, and away I marched, directing my course to the northward, not without recommending myself to the good providence of God to be my conductor.

The instructions I received from Ry-Nanno, and which on inquiry I found from others, was to go to the southward, till I came to Vohitch Futey; and to leave it on my right hand, directing my course between the north and west, till I got to the great river Oneghaloyhe, which goes to St. Augustine's bay; then to keep along the river till I saw highland running along the westernmost parts of the forest : and then when I had passed over the river, to go away to the westward.

I walked very briskly all night, and at break of day I saw the white mountains very near. By this I perceived I had made a great progress, and therefore would not conceal myself as at first I proposed ; but proceeded on my journey, looking sharply about me, thinking it morally impossible for them to overtake and find me, should they have attempted it. I went, therefore, merrily on, singing Madagascar songs; for I had forgotten all my English ones. The bellowing of the wild cattle would now and then make me start; imagining they were my pursuers.

When I came to a pleasant brook, I baited there; and at sunset I looked out for a covert in a thicket to lie in; but I could not find one near at hand. So I was contented to repose myself in the open plain, pulling up a sufficient quantity of grass for a bed and a pillow, and making a small fire to warm my beef. I did not think proper to make a great one, for fear of its being discerned at a distance; for in the afternoon I observed some fires to the eastward of the mountain. I was disturbed in my sleep by night-walkers, whom I imagined were my pursuers ; and accordingly I took up my lances in order to defend myself; but when I was thoroughly awake, I found they were only some of Hattry's cattle, that snorted at the smell of my fire, and ran away, much more afraid of me than I was of them.

The second day in the morning, I stayed till the sun

appeared before I moved forward, that I loight not be deceived in my course; for being abreast of Vohitch Futey, I walked more easily; and though I was under no apprehensions of being overtaken by deaan Affer. rer's people, yet as there might be others in the forest a hunting of beeves, I was very circumspect. Nothing remarkable happened this day. I looked out early this evening for a lodging, the clouds gathering very black, and soon found a large thick tree, where I made me a fire, warmed me some meat, and hung up the remainder, to keep it as dry as I could; for I had nothing else that could be prejudiced by the rain. At length, it poured down as I expected, in a violent manner, attended with thunder and lightning; it soon penetrated my roof : however, I crowded myself up together, with my head on my knees, my hands betwixt my legs, and my little lamber over my ears.

The rain ran down like a flood, but as it was warm I did not so much regard it; in three or four hours it was fair weather again, and I laid me down and took a comfortable nap.

The next morning I dried my beef at a fire, which I made for that purpose, for it was the third day after it was killed; but I was very careful of it, not knowing how to kill more at that time: so I put it up in clean grass and marched forward. The mountains over which I was to pass seemed very high, craggy, and thick with wood, and no path or opening could I find. It looked dismal enough, but I was determined to run all hazards. Those mountains seemed to me to traverse the island, and appeared, as we call it at sea, like double land; one hill behind another. I saw nothing all this day but a few wild cattle, and now and then a wild dog ; the weather was fair, and I slept soundly all

The fourth day I walked till noon, at which time I baited; my beef was now but very indifferent. In the afternoon as I was walking I saw about a dozen men before me; upon this I sculked in a bush, peeping to observe whether they had discovered me; but I was soon out of my pain, for they were surrounding some

this night.


cattle a good way to the westward on a hill. I was likewise on another hill, so that I could see them throw their lances and kill three beeves, which I was well assured were more than they could carry away with them at once. I stayed where I was, proposing when they were gone to have some beef. To work they fell immediately, cutting up the beasts, and each man making up his burden, hanging the remainder up in a tree that the wild dogs might not get it, and went home to the eastward. As soon as they were gone, and I had looked well about me, I threw away my bad meat, made up to the tree, and took as much as I could well carry. Away I marched with my booty towards the mountains, not daring to rest lest they should return and discover me. In less than an hour I reached the foot of the hills in the thick woods, and finding no path or track of men, or any hopes of any, not knowing what to do, I determined to go through all; but as I happened on a run of water, I took up my quarters near it, made me a fire, cut me some wooden spits, and roasted my beef; I kept my fire burning all night lest the foxes should come and attack me.

The next morning I made up my enter with grass, binding it with the bark of trees, and moved forward up the hill. My burden was now much lighter. In an hour, though I could find no path but what some swine had made, I got to the top of it. I perceived here were faungidge and verlaway enough, with which I was very well pleased, though I did not at present much want them. I climbed a high tree to take a survey, but could discover no entrance : nothing but hills and vales one beyond another; a cragged dismal desert was all that presented itself to my view. I would have descended had I not been in danger of being seen by the hunters; besides I could not tell which way to look, whether east or west, for the passage; so setting a lance up on end, I turned the way it fell, though I imagined it was due north, or rather somewhat to the eastward. However, superstition prevailed where reason was no way concerned, for I was as likely to be right one way as another; and in case I went to the northward, so long as I knew it, I must go as often as I could to the westward; as sailors are forced to do, run their latitude first and their longitude afterwards. I went down this hill and up another, which was about an hour's walk; but when I came to descend this, it was right up and down. Without due thought I threw down my lances, hatchet, and burden, thinking to descend by a very tall tree, whose top branches reached close to the brow, but I could not do it. However, I made ropes of the bark of a tree, and fixing them to the strongest branches, I slid down, I'dare say, no less than thirty feet rather than I would lose my lances and other materials. I passed over a fine spring and run of water in the vale. Though the hill on the other side was a craggy steep rock, I found a way to ascend it; and on the top climbed another tree to take my view, but had the same dismal prospect. Here I dug faungidge, it being sunset, and seeing a hole in a large rock I had thought to take up my lodging there ; but peeping in, on a sudden I heard such an outcry, which, with the echo in the rock, made so confused a noise, that I knew not what it could be. My fears prevailed, and I imagined it might be pursuers, for it drew nearer and nearer; so setting my back to a tree, with a lance in each hand, I waited for the murderers; when instantly came squeaking toward me a herd of wild swine, who ran away more terrified than myself. After I was well recovered from my fright, I made two fires for fear of the foxes, and then laid me down on my stony bed, for here was no grass.

The next morning, which was the sixth day, I made a hearty meal on faungidge and beef, and the hill extending north and south, I went straight on till it declined gradually into a valley, in which was a small river that ran westward ; I am apt to think it was the head of Manner-ronder, where we fought deaan Woozington. By the time I arrived at the top of the next hill, it drew towards evening, for I was not much 'ess than two hours ascending it, and yet, considering

my burden, though it was not very heavy now, I went a very good pace. As I was looking out for a commodious lodging, that is to say, a place with the fairest stones in it, I uncovered a swarm of bees; this was a joyful sight, for it was food that would not spoil with keeping. I soon cut down a vounturk to secure the honey in, and smoked them out.

I made such a hearty meal this night of honey, faungidge, and beef, that I slept too soundly; insomuch that I was waked with a severe mortification for my thoughtless security. A fox caught hold of my heel, and would have dragged me along; whereupon I startled, and catching up a firebrand gave him such a blow as staggered him; but as soon as he recovered he flew at my face. By this time I was upon my feet and recovered one of my lances, with which I prevented him from ever assaulting me more, but his hideous howling brought more about him. I saw three whose eyes sparkled like diamonds, however they kept at a distance; for with some dry light wood that lay near nie I made a blaze directly, in order to keep a flame all night, but did not wake to renew it as I ought to have done : so that both my fires being almost reduced to ashes, one of them boldly ventured between them, and it was very happy for me that he did not seize upon my throat; for when men have negligently slept where they haunt, I have known them meet with such a inischance. After I had made up my fires, and put my enemies to flight, I examined my heel and found two great holes on each side, where his teeth had entered ; I bound it up with a piece of my lamber in the best manner I could ; and making a great fire, threw the fox

upon it by way of resentment. I had not that pleasure in eating my breakfast this morning as I had in my last night's supper; besides, my beef was now little too tender; however, as I had honey enough for a week and here was faungidge in plenty, I did not concern myself much about it.

I walked on this seventh day; and though I favoured my lame foot as much as I could, yet I rested but once

« PoprzedniaDalej »