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the company's whole stock, which they now concluded to be in the knapsack of one of the absentees. It was conjectured, that with this Richmond had been roused by the two persons who had been left with him, and that, having perhaps drank too freely of it themselves, they had all rambled from the place where they had been left, in search of the fire, instead of waiting for those who should have been their assistants and guides. Another fall of snow now came on, and continued incessantly for two hours, so that all hopes of seeing them again, at least alive, were given up; but about twelve o'clock, to the great joy of those at the fire, a shouting was heard at some distance, Mr. Banks, with four men, immediately went out, and found the seaman with just strength enough left to stagger along, and call out for assistance. Mr. Banks sent him immediately to the fire, and, by his direction, proceeded in search of the other two, whom he soon after found. Richmond was upon his legs, but not able to put one before the other; his companion was lying upon the ground, as insensible as a stone.
All hands were now called from the fire, and an attempt was made to carry them to it; but this, notwithstanding the united efforts of the whole company, was found to be impossible. The night was extremely dark, the snow was now very deep, and, under these additional disadvantages, they found it very difficult to make way through the bushes and the bog for themselves, all of them getting many falls in the attempt. The only alternative was to make a fire upon the spot; but the snow which had fallen, and was still falling, besides what was every moment shaken in flakes from the trees, rendered it equally impracticable to kindle one there, and to bring any part of that which had been kindled in the wood thither. They were, therefore, reduced to the sad necessity of leaving the unhappy wretches to their fate; having first made them a bed of boughs from the trees, and spread a covering of the same kind over them to a considerable height
Having now been exposed to the cold and the snow near an hour and a half, some of the rest began to lose their sensibility; and one Briscoe, another of Mr. Banks's servants, was so ill, that it was thought he must die before he could be got to the fire.
At the fire, however, at length they arrived; and passed the night in a situation which, however dreadful in itself, was rendered more afflicting by the remembrance of what was past, and the uncertainty of what was to come. Of twelve, the number that set out together in health and spirits, two were supposed to be already dead; a third was so ill, that it was very doubtful whether he would be able to go forward in the morning; and a fourth, Mr. Buchan, was in danger of a return of his fits, by fresh fatigue, after so uncomfortable a night. They were distant from the ship a long day's journey, through pathless woods, in which it was too probable they might be bewildered till they were overtaken by the next night; and, not having prepared for a journey of more than eight or ten hours, they were wholly destitute of provisions, except a vulture, which they happened to shoot while they were out, and which, if equally divided, would not afford each of them half a meal; and they knew not how much more they might suffer from the cold, as the snow still continued to fall,-a dreadful testimony of the severity of the climate, as it was now the midst of summer in this part of the world, the 21st of December being here the longest day; and everything might justly be dreaded from a phenomenon which, in the corresponding season, is unknown even in Norway and Lapland.
When the morning dawned, they saw nothing round them, as far as the eye could reach, but snow, which seemed to lie as thick upon the trees as upon the ground; and the blasts returned so frequently, and with such violence, that they found it impossible for them to set out. How long this might last they knew not, and they had but too much reason to apprehend that it would confine them in that desolate forest till they perished with hunger and cold.
After having suffered the misery and terror of this situation till six o'clock in the morning, they conceived some hope of deliverance by discovering the place of the sun through the clouds, which were become thinner, and began to break away. Their first care was to see whether the
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 examined more critically the state of their invalids. 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 man cooked his own as he thought fit. After this repast, which furnished each of them with 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 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 almost 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 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.
On the 1st of March, we were in latitude 38° 44' 8. and longitude 110° 33' W. Many birds, as usual, were constantly about the ship, so that Mr. Banks killed no less than sixty-two in one day; and what is more remarkable, he caught two forest flies, both of them of the same species, but different from any that have hitherto been described ; these probably belonged to the birds, and came with them from the land, which we judged to be at a great distance. Mr. Banks, also, about this time, found a large cuttle-fish, which had just been killed by the birds, floating in a mangled condition upon the water; it is very different from the cuttle-fishes that are found in the European seas ; for its arms, instead of suckers, were furnished with a double row of very sharp talons, which resemble those of a cat, and, like them, were retractable into a sheath of skin, from which they might be thrust at pleasure. Of this cuttle-fish we made one of the best soups we had ever tasted.
The albatrosses now began to leave us, and after the 8th there was not one to be seen. We continued our course without any memorable event till the 24th, when some of the people who were upon the watch in the night reported that they saw a log of wood pass by the ship; and that the sea, which was rather rough, became suddenly as smooth as a mill-pond. It was a general opinion that there was land to windward; but I did not think myself at liberty to search for what I was not sure to find ; though I judged we were not far from the islands that were discovered by Quiros in 1606. Our latitude was 22° 11' S. and longitude 127° 55' W.
On the 25th, about noon, one of the marines, a young fellow about twenty, was placed as sentry at the cabin door; while he was upon this duty, one of my servants was at the same place preparing to cut a piece of seal-skin into tobaccopouches. He had promised one to several of the men, but had refused one to this young fellow, though he had asked him several times; upon which he jocularly threatened to steal one, if it should be in his power. It happened that the servant, being called hastily away, gave the skin in charge to the sentinel, without regarding what had passed between them. The sentinel immediately secured a piece of the skin, which the other missing at his return, grew angry; but, after some altercation, contented himself with taking it away, declaring that, for so trifling an affair, he would not complain of him to the officers. But it happened that one of his fellow-soldiers, overhearing the dispute, came to the knowledge of what had happened, and told it to the rest; who, taking it into their heads to stand up for the honour of their corps, reproached the offender with great bitterness, and reviled him in the most opprobrious terms; they exaggerated his offence into a crime of the deepest