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After having suffered the misery and terror of this '709situation till sue o'clock in the morning, they conceived, . "!!^,j some hopes of deliverance by discovering the face of the sun through the 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, arid very soon afterwards returned with the melancholy news, that they were dead.
Notwithstanding the slattering appearance of the iky, the snow continued to fall so thick that they could not venture out upon their journey to the ship; but about 8 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, faw the snow fall in. large slakes from the trees, a certain sign of an approaching thaw: they now examined more critically the state of their invalids; Brifcoe.was stilt very ill, but faid, that he thought himself able to walk; and Mr. Buchan was much better than either he or his friends had ^ny reason to expect. They were now, however, pressed by the calls of hunger, to which, after long fasting, every consideration of suture good or evil immediately gives way. Before they set forward, therefore, it was unanimously agreed, that they mould eat their vulture ; the bird v/as 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 man cooked his own as he thought fit. After this repast, which surnished each of them with about three mouthsuls, they prepared to set out; but it was ten o'clock before the snow was sufficiently gone off so render a march practicable. After a walk of about three hours, they were very agreeably surprised to find themselves upon the beachj and much nearer to the strip than they had any reason to expect. Upon reviewing their track from the vessel, they perceived, that, instead of ascending the hill ia a line, so as to penetrate into the country, they had made almost a circle round it. When they came on board, they congratulated each other upon their sasety, with a joy that no man can seel who has not been exposed to
equal danger; and as I had suffered great anxiety at, their not returning in the evening of the day on which they set out, I was not wholly without my share.
The Passage through the Streight of Le Maire, and a further Description of the Inhabitants of Terra del Fuego, and its Productions.
Wednes. 18. f\^ t'le T8tn anc* !9f^ we were delayed in getting Thurs. 14. v_y on board our wood and water by a swell: but on Iriday xo. tne ^oth, the weather being more moderate, we again sent the boat on shore, and Mr. Banks and Dr. Solandcr 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 improvement of natural knowlege, with success, collecting many shells 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, tor 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 such state as they could assume ; when they joined 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 vociseration some 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 sew poles set up, so as to incline towards each other, and meet at the top, forming a kind of a cone, like some1 of our bee-hives: on the weather side they were covered with a sew boughs, and a little grafs; and on the lee side about one eighth of the circle
was was left open, both for a door and a fire place ; and of 1769. this kind were the huts that had been seen in St. »' r' 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 tor that purpose.
The inhabitants of this town were a small tribe, not more than fifty in number, of both sexes and of every age. Their colour resembles that of the rust of iron mixed with oil, and they have long black hair : the men are large, but clumsily built; their stature is from five feet eight to five feet ten; the women are much less, few of them being more than five feet high. Their whole apparel consists of the skin of a guanicoe, or seal, which is thrown over their shoulders, exactly in the state in which it came from the animal's back; a piece of the fame skin, which is drawn over their feet, and gathered about the ankles like a purse, and a small slap, which is worn by the women as a succedaneum for a fig-leas. The men wear their cloak open, the women tie it about their waist with a thong. But although they are content to be naked, they are very ambitious to be fine. Their faces were painted in various forms : the region of the eye was in general white, and the rest of the face adorned with horizontal streaks of red and black; yet scarcely any two were exactly alike. This decoration seems to be more profuse and elaborate upon particular occasions'; for the two Gentlemen who introduced Mr. Banks and the Doctor into the town, Were almost covered with streaksof black in all directions, so as to make a very striking appearance. Both men and women wore bracelets of such beads as they could make themselves of small shells or bones; the women both upon their wrists and ancles, the men upon their wrists only ; but to compensate for the want of bracelets on their legs, they wore a kind of fillet of brown worsted round
their heads. They seemed to set a particular value upon any thing that was red, and preserred beads even to a knise or a hatchet.
Their language in general is guttural, and they express some of their words by a found exactly like that which we make to clear the throat when any thing happens to obstruct it; yet they have words which would be deemed soft in the better languages of Europe. Mr. Banks learnt what he supposes to be their names for beads and water. When they wanted beads, instead of ribbons or other trifles, they faid helleca; and when they were taken on shore from the ship, and by signs asked where water might be found, they made the sign of drinking, and pointing as well to the casks as the watering-place, cried oodd.
We faw no appearance of their having any food but shell-fish; for though seals were frequently seen near the shore, they seemed to have no implements for taking them. The shell-fish is collected by the* women, whose business it seems to be to attend at low water, with a basket in one hand, a stick, pointed and barbed, in the other, and a fatchel at their backs: they loosen the limpets and other fish that adhere to the rocks, with the stick, and put them into the basket; which, when sull, they empty into the fatchel.
The only things that we found among them in which there was the least appearance of neatness or ingenuity were their weapons, which consisted of a bow and arrows. The bow was not inelegantly made, and the arrows were the neatest that we had ever seen: they were, of wood, polished to the highest degree; and the point, which was of glass or flint, and barbed, was formed and fitted with wondersul dexterity. We faw also some pieces of glass and flint among them unwrought, besides rings, buttons, cloth, and canvass.with other European commodities; they must therefore sometimes travel to the northward, for it is many years since any ship has been so far south as this part of Terra del Fuego. We observed also, that they shewed no surprise, at our fire-arms, with the use of which they appeared to be well acquainted; for they made signs to Mr. Banks to shoot a seal which followed the boat Js they were going on more from the (hip.
M. de Bpugainville, whq, in January 1768, just ?769 one year before us, had been on shore upon this coast ^H*^, in latitude 530 43'41", had, among other things, given glass so the people whom he found here ; for he fays, that a boy about twelve years old took it into his head to eat some of it: by this unhappy accident he died in great mifery; but the endeavours of the good father, the French Jifmonier, were more successful th;an those of the Surgeon; for though the Surgeon could not save his life, the charitable Priest found means to steal a Christian baptism upon him so secretly, th,at none of his Pagan telations knew any thing of the matter- These people might probably have some os the very glass which Bougainville left behind him, ejther from other natives, or perhaps from himself; for they appeared rather to be a travelling horde, than to have any fixed habitation. Their houses are built to stand but fpr a short time; they have no utensil or furniture but the basket and satchel, which have been mentioned before^ arid which have handles adapted to the carrying them aboiIt, in the hand and upon the back; the only cloathing they had here was scarcely sufficient to prevent their perishing with eold in the snmmer of this country, much less in the extreme severity of winter; the shell-fish which seems to be their only food must soon be exhausted at any one place; and we had feen houses upon what appeared to be a deserted station in St. Vincent's bay.
It is also probable that the place where we found them was only a temporary residence,from their having here nothing like a boat or canoe, of which it can scarcely be supposed that they were wholly destitute, especially as they were not fea-sick, er particularly as* fected, either in our boat or on board the ship. We conjectured that there might be a streight pr inlet, running from the fea through great part of this island, from the Streight of Magellan, whence thefe people might come, leaving their canoes where such inlet terminated
They did not appear to hav« among them any government or subordination: none was more respected , than another; yet they seemed to live together in the ptmost harmony and good fellowship. Neither