Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

all day. This way happened to be plain and easy. At evening I came to a place where lay several bodies of trees which were dead and dry. Thinking this, therefore, a proper lodging, I made four very large fires, sat me down to supper, and afterwards ventured to go to sleep with all those fires around me. But my heel now grew so very painful, and was swelled to that degree, that I could not go forward the next day; but as there was faungidge enough within twenty or thirty yards of me, I dug up several, and determined to continue here till my. foot grew

better. My beef was soon gone, but faungidge was both meat and drink to me. I saved part of my beef-fat to dress my heel with ; which, as I gave it six days' rest, took down all the swelling. During this time I made such large fires every night, that could they have been seen, were like those of an army. I had not far to go for wood or any thing else that I wanted, or at least that I could any way expect in such a place.

After these six days' rest, it being the fourteenth since I left deaan Afferrer, I went forward, and that day passed over three very high mountains. By this time my honey was all gone, and I could find no more; so that I lived altogether upon faungidge.

The fifteenth day I walked very smartly again, and passed over several hills that were very rough, craggy, and tiresome. I took particular care however to get dry wood enough, for I never ventured to sleep without four fires.

The sixteenth day I had not travelled above three hours, before I perceived the earth to be of another colour; it was chalk then, and now clay. This excited my curiosity, to climb the first high tree I could meet with, from whence I discovered an opening to the northward, with which I was highly delighted, but it was too far for me to reach that night, so I took up my lodging as before. This night I was disturbed by a herd of wild swine.

The seventeenth day I walked very hard, being very desirous to get through this wilderness, which stiil abounded with hills. About noon I reached the open country, where I could look about me with some pleasure and walk upon level ground. I was now like one just delivered from a prison, having been twelve days in this mountainous desert. I was actually travelling near six days, and I imagine I did not walk less than twenty miles a day; it might have been passed indeed in three days, had I been so fortunate as to have found out the path.

I had not been long in the plain before I came to a little wood, where I took up my lodging, because here was firing and faungidge in plenty, which I was very glad to see, having been under some melancholy apprehensions of wanting provision in the plains; but I had soon a still greater hope of being better supplied, for in the night I was waked by the roaring of a bull, by which I was very well assured it was the great northern forest of wild cattle, which Ry-Nanno had informed me of.

The next day, which was the eighteenth, I saw several herds of Hattoy's cattle; and perceived there were more here than in the southern forest. I looked wishfully about to discover some hunters if I could, or to observe if any crows hovered about any particular place, for then I might reasonably expect some beast ihat had been wounded was fallen there. In the afternoon I came to a river, which was both deep and large. As I was searching for a proper place to wade through or swim over, I spied a large alligator; I still walked upon the banks, and in a short time saw three more.

This was a mortifying stroke and almost dispirited me. I went on till I came to a shallower place, where I entered the river about ten yards, with a view to swim over the rest in four or five minutes, but seeing an alligator make towards me, I ran back directly; he pursued me till I got into very shallow water, and then he turned back into the deep, for they will never attack a man near the shore. It nettled me to be stopped by a river that was scarcely a hundred yards over. A length I recollected that at Bengal there are the largest alligators in the world, and so bold that they will take a man out of a shallow boat, insomuch that whenever we came off from the shore in the night we made one small fire at the head, and another at the stern of the boat, which no alligator would ever come near. Distress puts a man's invention upon the rack; something, thought I, like this must be done, for it was to no purpose to stay here, neither could I go back; so making choice of a stick for a firebrand, I cut into long splinters, and waited till it grew dark, then, after I had bound iny two firesticks to the top of one of my lances, I went into the water, and recommending myself to the care of Providence,' I turned upon my back, and swam over with my two lances and hatchet in one hand, and my firebrand burning in the other; my lamber being twisted and tied fast about my lances.

The place where I pitched upon to swim over had a gap through the thicket on each side one against another, which made it look like a common passage either for men or cattle. No sooner was I landed, than I heard some wild cattle gra g; whereupon I extinguished my fire immediately, and washed myself as silently as possible, that they should not smell me. I stood some time close under the cover of a thick bush in the passage expecting that they would come to drink. The wind, as it luckily fell out, was with them, so that they could not scent me, though they often snorted for that purpose. I stood prepared with my lance, and did not wait long before a numerous herd came running through the passage to the river, and as they passed by, I pushed my lance with all the force I was able into above forty of them, and used my utmost endeavours to wound them in the belly. They ran roaring away, fighting, and goring one another, to revenge as it were the blows they felt, for they expected no other enemies than what were amongst themselves. I thought I had struck a sufficient number, and hoped some of their wounds would prove mortal ; however, I would not run any hazard by night, and

therefore sat down contented without roast meat, and secured myself from their attacks in a thick wood. The next morning I went to see what success I had met with, and I found one bull and three cows dead upon the sand; I soon cut up the youngest and fattest and carried it to my quarters, near which I made an oven to bake it. This is a common practice, though I never described it before; however it is made after the following manner: a hole is dug about five feet in length, two over, and about three in depth; this is filled with wood, which is then kindled; on the top of the fire I put about a dozen large stones, each weighing about a pound. Whilst the fire was burning I cut off the bark from a tree, called the succore, and took the outer part away, and the inner being pliant and lying flat it served for the cover of my oven. When the fire was burnt to ashes, I laid three or four green sticks across, that my beef might rest upon them; the stones being red-hot, I placed them about the bottom and sides ; I laid likewise more sticks over the top, and then the bark covered all close with the earth. This is our method of baking meat in the forests. I broiled some for my breakfast, and then went out to see what farther execution I had done, and found six more beeves lying, dead upon the plain : however I had enough here. When I returned, my beef was as well baked as it would have been at any baker's in London. When it was cold, I made it up into an enter, but went no farther this day.

The next morning I went forward well pleased with my load: though I discovered some smoke to the eastward, yet I saw no people, but many herds of wild cattle; as there were several little woods in this plain, I never wanted either a covert for a lodging, or grass to make me a tolerably soft bed to lie on. The country was pleasant enough, and travelling was so easy, that I determined if it should be my misfortune to meet with as bad a master as Mevarrow, and there were no hopes of getting to England, that I would run away and live by myself in this forest.

I had no

The twenty-first day in the morning I saw several wild dogs engaged with, and pulling down a bull that had been wounded as I imagined some time before, for I never knew the dogs attack them unless they were. It was no business of mine to interrupt them, and if it were, it would have been a very dan. gerous thing to make the attempt, for though they do not seek to assault a man, yet upon provocation they have been known to destroy several. This night was the first time I ever felt mosquitoes in the island ; for, lying in the evening in a covert near a run of water, they stung me to that degree, that I was forced to shift my quarters, and as it was moonlight I got up and walked three or four miles farther to the top of a hill, where I slept without molestation. occasion to light more than one fire, for there was no great danger of wild beasts here.

On the twenty-second day I discovered a fog in one long canal that ran from east to west, which as it continued all the day long, and at a vast distance, I conceived it to hang over the great river Onehagloyhe, that runs into Augustine-bay. This put new life into me, to think I drew near to a seaport ; I saw two men that day laden with beef, and would have spoken to them, but they dropped their enters and ran from me, though I called and laid down mine, and went towards them. As soon as they imagined I was gone, I saw them return and take their beef up again.

On the twenty-third day in the morning the fog appeared again, but much nearer. I walked as hard as I well could, being desirous to get to the river: it was afternoon, however, before I reached within a mile of it, and then the bushes and thorny small wood were so thick that it was with great difficulty, and many severe scratches, that I got to the river side. When I saw the river so very broad I was surprised, for at least it was twice as broad as the Thames at London. I had been informed that a man might wade over it near the head, but that they always made use of canoes to transport themselves over other parts, which way they

« PoprzedniaDalej »