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1769, they conceived some hope of deliverance by January
discovering the place of the sun through the Tuesday 17. clouds, which were become thinner, and began
to break away. Their first care was to see whether the poor wretches whom they had been obliged to leave among the bushes were yet alive; three of the company were dispatched for that purpose, and very soon afterwards returned with the melancholy news, that they were dead.
Notwithstanding the flattering appearance of the sky, the snow still continued to fall so thick that they could not venture out on their journey to the ship; but about eight o'clock a small regular breeze sprung up, which, with the prevailing influence of the sun, at length cleared the air; and they soon after, with great joy, saw the snow fall in large flakes from the trees, a certain sign of an approaching thaw: they now exa. mined more critically the state of their invalid's ; Briscoe was still very ill, but said, that he thought himself able to walk; and Mr. Buchan was: much better than either he or his friends had any reason to expect. They were now, however, pressed by the calls of hunger, to which, after long fasting, every consideration of future good or evil immediately gives way. Before they set forward, therefore, it was unanimously agreed, that they should eat their vulture; the bird was accordingly skinned, and, it being thought best to divide it before it was fit to be
eaten, it was cut into ten portions, and every 1769. man cooked his own as he thought fit. After → this repast, which furnished each of them with Tuesday 07. about three mouthfuls, they prepared to set out; but it was ten o'clock before the snow was sufficiently gone off, to render a march practicable. After a walk of about three hours, they were very agreeably surprised to find themselves upon the beach, and much nearer to the ship than they had any reason to expect. Upon reviewing their track from the vessel, they perceived, that, instead of ascending the hill in a line, so as to penetrate into the country, they had made almoft a circle round it. When they came on board, they congratulated each other upon their safety, with a joy that no man can feel who has not been exposed to equal danger; and as I had fuffered great anxiety, at their not returning in the evening of the day on which they set out, I. was not wholly without my share.
CH A P. v.
The Passage through the Streight of Le
· Maire, and a further Description of the · Inhabitants of Terra del Fuego, and its
n N the 18th and 19th, we were delayed in January.
u getting on board our wood and water by Thursd. 19.
ef. 18. a swell: but on the 20th, the weather being Friday 22 more moderate, we again sent the boat on shore,
and Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander went in it. They landed in the bottom of the bay, and while my people were employed in cutting brooms, they pursued their great object, the improve. ment of natural knowledge, with success, col. lecting many fhells and plants which hitherto have been altogether unknown: they came on board to dinner, and afterwards went again on shore to visit an Indian town, which some of the people had reported to lie about two miles up the country. They found the distance not more than by the account, and they approached it by what appeared to be the common road, yet they were above an hour in getting thither, for they were frequently up to their knees in mud; when they got within a small distance,
two of the people came out to meet them, with 1769.
January, such state as they could affume; when they join- und ed them, they began to hollow as they had done on board the ship, without addressing themselves either to the strangers or their companions; and having continued this strange vociferation fome time, they conducted them to the town. It was situated on a dry knoll, or small hill, covered with wood, none of which seemed to have been cleared away, and consisted of about twelve or fourteen hovels, of the most rude and inartificial structure that can be imagined. They were nothing more than a few poles set up so as to inclinę towards each other, and meet at the top, forming a kind of a cone, like some of our beehives : on the weather side they were covered with a few boughs, and a little grass; and on the lee side about one-eighth of the circle was left open, both for a door and a fire-place; and of this kind were the huts that had been seen in St. Vincent's bay, in one of which the embers of a fire were still remaining. Furniture they had none; a little grass, which lay round the inside of the hovel, served both for chairs and beds; and of all the utensils which necessity and ingenuity have concurred to produce among other savage nations, they saw only a basket to carry in the hand, a satchel to hang at the back, and the bladder of some beast to hold water, which the natives drink through a hole that is made near the top for that purpose. Vol, II.
1769. The inhabitants of this town were a small
tribe, not more than fifty in number, of both