« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
from the pure streams of my native land, and for a moment, the tears filled my eyes. But these things do not become a sailor, whose duty calls him to spend a great part of his life far away from his home.
At length we came to a deep, narrow place between two mountains.
We saw a great many birds, but the officers were anxious to shoot some larger animals. So they began to climb the sides of a mountain. Here we saw some wild pigs, and some wild dogs. The latter howled at us, and then ran away. The officers shot at them, but did not kill any.
At length one of the Englishmen shot a pig, and he fell over the rocks. I went to find him, while the rest of the party proceeded. I looked about some time, and by and by, I discovered the pig between two stones, on the edge of a precipice. I took it up, and was about to carry
away, when the whole rock on which I stood, started from its bed, and descended to the valley
below. I clung for a moment to some bushes, but these soon broke, and I fell to the distance of more than forty feet.
I was stunned by the fall, and for a long time, I lay in a state of insensibility. It was early in the forenoon when the accident occurred; when I came to myself, it was night. At first, I fancied myself to be in a dream but, very soon, my aching bones made me recollect where I was.
I endeavoured to rise, but at first I could not. One of my legs was badly sprained, and I was bruised in several places. By and by, I was able to stand up; and then I began to reflect upon my situation. The night was exceedingly dark, and the wind roared through the tall forest, like the voice of a cataract.
The woods seemed to be full of strange noises; these were made, I suppose, by the creeking of the trees, as they rubbed one against another; but I fancied that I could distinguish, amid the tumult, the cries of wild beasts, and the yells of savages. It was so perfectly dark, that I could not see a single object. I felt about me, and found that I was surrounded by rocks, and trees.
I dared not to stir, supposing that I might fall into some danger. I concluded it best to sit down, and wait patiently till morning.
In circumstances like mine, we are apt to overrate the dangers that attend us. I feared that the ship would be driven off the coast, by the hurricane, and that I should be left to the merciless savages. These thoughts filled me with great anxiety. I knew that there were no savage animals in the island, but yet I had a strange apprehension, of an attack from some wild beast.
This fear was not a little increased, when I distinctly heard the howling of a wild dog at no great distance. By and by, I distinctly saw his eyes gleaming in the darkness, like two sparks of fire. For sometime, these eyes remained steadily in one position, and then the animal howled, with a wailing sound
my excited imagination, it was the most doleful cry, that had ever met my ears. 1 fancied that there must be, something of bad omen in all this. I imagined that my death was coming soon, and that this hateful brute had come to warn me of it.
Such were the silly dreams, that occupied my mind. They affected me so much, that at length, I could endure my feelings no longer. With a trembling hand, I felt about for a stone, and having grasped one, I rose and hurled it at the dog, with all my might. I believe I hit him; for the creature ran yelping away.
As soon as I had done this, my idle fears vanished, and I laughed to myself, while thinking of my folly. I then sat quietly down, braced myself against the rocks, and having commended myself to God, I fell asleep.
I suppose I had slept for two or three hours, when I was awoke by a loud noise. I started to my feet, but it was still entirely dark, and as I heard the sound only in my sleep, I could not tell what had caused it.
The wind was yet blowing terribly, and I supposed, that some rock had been hurled down the precipice, or that one of the tall trees had been overturned by the tempest. Thinking of these things, I sat still till morning.
Never have I seen the morning come, with more joy, than then. The grey light soon showed me my situation. I was sitting on a heap of rocks, that had fallen from the precipice. Within a few feet of me, lay the trunk of a tall pine tree, which had been blown down by the gale. It was this, that had waked me from my sleep. It had fallen very near to me, and I felt that He who
governs the storm, had watched over, and saved me.
As soon as it was light, I left the place where I had spent the night. I was very lame, and sore, at first, but, by and by, I could walk pretty well. I made my way, as well as I could, through the thick trees and bushes. I soon