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I can only add raptures to the former raptures. I walked with the two Mids a few miles into the interior. The extent to which the trade is carried on; the ferocity with which it is defended; the respectable! I never can forget them. As far as my testimony goes, every individuall. In the Samarang at any time under five minutes they could fire an effective broadside.
Continually one meets men who having been at sea during their whole life yet are uncomfortable in every breeze. Took a farewell stroll with King: The greatest event of the day has been catching a fine young shark with my own hooks: It certainly does not require much skill to catch them, yet this no way diminishes the interest.
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We are now steering for the islands. During these two days the labours of the expedition have commenced. All hands employed in making April fools. Sullivan cried out, "Darwin, did you ever see a Grampus: Bear a hand then". A rainy, squally morning, very unusual at this time of year in these Latitudes; being now about miles East of Rio. A large flock of Mother Carys chicken are hovering about the stern in same manner as swallows do on a calm summer evening over a lake.
This morning Cape Frio was in sight: The winds being very light we did not pass under the Sugar loaf till after dinner: We were hailed that from some trifling disturbances we must anchor in a particular spot. The day has been frittered away in obtaining the passports for my expedition into the interior. At 9 oclock I joined my party at Praia Grande, a village on the opposite side of the Bay.
He brought a friend a M r Gosling, an apprentice to a Druggist. I was at an utter loss how sufficiently to admire this scene. Thus perhaps do these poor people in the midst of their slavery call to their minds the home of their fathers. We left our miserable sleeping place before sunrise. The Venda stands in a court, where the horses are fed. I am quite sure no cottage, no hut in England could be found in a state so utterly destitute of what we considered comforts.
Why did you not take care of it. Leaving Mandetiba, we continued to pass through an intricate wilderness of lakes, in some of which were fresh, in others salt water shells. I never ceased to wonder, from the beginning to the end of the journey, at the amount of labor which these horses are capable of enduring: I presume it is from being in a country more congenial to their original nature. We all started before it was light in high spirits; but 15 miles of heavy sand before we got our breakfast at Addea de St Pedronearly destroyed the whole chivalrous party. Passed through several leagues of a thick wood.
Coffee is the most profitable: Mandeika or Cassada is the other likewise cultivated in great quantity: From this is prepared the Tapioka of commerce. And rice in the swampy parts. Interiorly it was divided into rooms by partitions which did not reach the roof. Separated from this building only by a few inches was another long shed, the adjoining end formed the kitchen: He has likewise fixed a saw-mill, which answers admirably in sawing the rose-wood.
We were obliged to have a black man to clear the way with a sword; the woods in this neighbourhead contain several forms of vegetation which I had not before seen. Again I enjoyed the never failing delight of riding through the forests. These are interspersed with others of a much greater size. The Venda was beyond anything miserable, we were obliged to sleep on the Indian corn.
We arrived in the evening at Praia Grande, where owing to having lost our pass ports, we were plagued to prove that our horses were not stolen. To my joy I at last gained the Beagle. I found a days rest so delightful that I determined idly to remain on board. M r Derbyshire by his own request was discharged the service. Moved all my things from the Beagle to Botofogo. Whilst landing on the beach I suffered on a small scale, sufficient however to paint some of the horrors of shipwreck.
Went on board the Warspite, a 74 line of battle ship, to see her inspected by the Admiral. The Admiral sung out "a Raking shot has cut our fore-shrouds". Perhaps however the most glorious thing was when the Bugle gave the signal for the Boarders; the very ship trembled at so dense a.
In the course of a few hours — 26 rain fell. These four days I have been almost laid up by an inflammation in my arm. My arm is nearly well. I took the opportunity of paying several calls; that most empty yet burdensome form of civility. I do not know whether the clear outline of the view seen by night is most admirable, or when lighted up by the gorgeous colours of a Tropical sun.
Heavy rain; in the course of the day 1. These days have glided away very pleasantly, but with nothing particular to mark their passage: It is very amusing to hear people complaining of the extreme cold. M r Derbyshire, who after leaving the Beagle has remained in the city, paid us a visit. This has been my alternate day of rest, whilst working at the yesterdays collecting.
Walked Collected numerous animals on the sandy plain, which skirts the sea at the back of the Sugar loaf. I saw one to day where I am sure there were lying on the ground sufficient to load several carts, besides that which the boughs were almost cracking with the burthen of the remaining fruit. Walked to the Botanic Garden; this name must be given more out of courtesy than anything else; for it really is solely a place of amusement.
Oh for the time, when I shall see it in its native Pacific isles. Cloudy greyish day; something like an Autumnal one in England; without however its soothing quietness. During the time we were on the summit we were either in a cloud or rain. I repeatedly hear of run-away ones having the boldness of working for wages in the neighbourhead of their masters. If they will thus work when there is danger, surely they likewise would when that was removed. Staid at home; the evenings now soon close in; whilst I am lamenting the departure northern progress of the sun, everybody in England is rejoiced at.
It sounds very good to hear of fruits only ripening at Christmas. Took a long ride, in order to geologize some of the surrounding hills. Collected in the neighbourhead of the house: I trust there is a change in the weather: In one of these days when there is such a profusion of light, the consequent dark shadows are well opposed to the general brightness of the view. Called on a M r Roberts, one of the endless nondescript characters of which the Brazils are full, — broken down agents to speculation companies; officers who have served under more flags than one: Got up at 4 oclock to go out hunting: I also found King, who had arrived late the evening before in the Beagle.
The other five of the party were all slightly attacked; none of them for more than a day or two. It is remarkable that in almost every case, the fever appears to come on several days after returning into the pure atmosphere. The Beagle made a very good passage up; being only 5 days, she passed a few miles inside of the Abrolhos.
Worked at the produce of yesterdays hunt; in the evening went out geologizing. Rode with M r Bolger to the chapel of Nossa Senhora de Penha; this being one of the sights of the country. As we proceeded in this direction nothing could be more uninteresting than the country.
Like a schoolboy in his holidays, I tremble as I perceive another week passed completed. Rode to the place where I was the other day hunting with the Padre; having put up my horse, I started for the woods. In both of which, with a great deal of good-nature they most freely indulged. Dined with M r Cairnes; who is the only merchant whom I have met with in society. I spent an agreeable evening. Dined with M r Aston; a very merry pleasant party; in the evening went with M r Scott the Attache to hear a celebrated pianoforte player. I suppose in the same proportion as the music which he played was too hard for me to enjoy.
Collected some beautiful Corallines on the rocks at Botofogo bay. Started early in the morning for Tijeuka to see the waterfalls. And as I have before said, you must be that or nothing. During these days have been busily employed with various animals; chiefly however corallines: Again I went to the forest, which so often has been proved so fruitful in all kinds of animals.
To day instead of the rude tracks, I followed a brook, which in a narrow ravine flowed amongst the large huge granitic blocks. This is my last day on shore, so I was determined it should not be an idle one. We go to sea on next Tuesday, so that I have a nice short time for finishing the collections I made at Botofogo.
Went to the city to purchase several things. Attended divine service on board the Warspite: When standing on the Quarter deck, in the midst of such a crew, can there be imagined a more lofty situation? After so long a fast, the appetite for Music becomes very keen. Before I returned to the Beagle I saw all the hammocks carried down out of the nettings.
Went to the city. On landing, found the Palace Square crowded with people round the house of two money changers who were murdered yesterday evening in a more atrocious manner than usual. The Brazilians, as far as I am able to judge, possess but a small share of those qualities which give dignity to mankind. The state of the enormous slave population must interest everyone who enters the Brazils. I believe the slaves are happier than what they themselves expected to be or than people in England think they are.
In the evening unmoored ship; now therefore it is certain we leave Rio in the morning. The moon is now shining brightly on the glassy water. But yet what it wants in degree is made up by the indignation which is felt at finding all ones efforts to do anything paralysed. In the afternoon the calm was broken by a stiff breeze, almost a gale: The day has passed in listless discomfort. The wind yet continues foul, but light: We are about 80 miles from the Morro de St Martha. There is a fine breeze but we can hardly keep our course.
The weather to day felt just like an Autumnal day in England. We have had this morning a true specimen of the Plata weather. Blight; Moore; Hughes; Johns B. Davis, boy do; Matthews, missionary; E. M r Chaffers, Master. I hear the cable rattling through the Hawse-hole so we have come to an anchor for the night. A fine breeze has carried us to an anchor within six or seven miles of Monte Video.
We entered the bay about 9 oclock: Frigate could any night take M: The dispute has terminated by a promise of restitution of the horses; but which I do not think is very clear will be kept. I had no opportunity of taking a long walk. Landed early in the morning on the Mount. Although this is true, yet there is a charm in the unconfined feeling of walking.
Moreover if your view is limited to a small space, many objects possess great beauty. In such scenes of confusion, I am doubtful whether the war of the elements or shouts of the officers be most discordant. I was busily employed with the collections of Saturday. At one oclock we stood out of the Bay with a light fair wind. We certainly are a most unquiet ship; peace flies before our steps. On entering the outer roadstead, we passed a Buenos Ayres guard-ship. Before she could get another gun ready we had passed her range. This has been an eventful day in the history of the Beagle.
Whilst this was going on ashore. During this time the insurgents had planted artillery to command some of the streets, but otherwise remained quiet. FitzRoy would have nothing to do with all this: The boats have returned. Capt FitzRoy being in possession of the central fort, would have.
To my great grief it is not deemed prudent to walk in the country. A merchant ship has drifted some way from her anchorage. In the paltry state of Monte Video, there are actually about 5 contending parties for supremacy. The utter consternation of the civic guard during the other nights skirmish has given general amusement. As the boat was landing me at the Mount, we surprised a large Cabra or Capincha on the rocks.
Under stones were several scorpions about 2 inches long; when pressed with by a stick to the ground, they struck it with their stings with such force as very distinctly to be heard. Spent the day in examining the rich produce of yesterdays labor. There have been several hail-storms, which forms our first introduction to frozen water. It was beautiful to see how the whale-boat hops over the sea.
In the morning there was a fresh breeze from the NW. From this cause, independently of intending to sail in the course of the day, it was advisable to move our anchorage. The instant we had tripped our anchor the wind drifted us within a few yards of the buoy which marks the old wreck. Then is the time to watch sailors working: This has been for me the first specimen of working off a lee-shore with a stiff breeze blowing. In the afternoon we anchored 8 miles off Point Piedras on the Southern shore of the river.
In calm weather this is of little consequence, but when there is any sea, it does not take long to knock a hole in the bottom. All day we have been sailing within two or three miles off the coast. The weather continues most beautiful: We have made a good run; at last. North of Cape of Corrientes the coast in a small degree has altered its appearance: This being divided by broards gaps or vallies, presents so many square masses.
We have seen during the day the smoke from several large fires within the country: We have made an excellent run of 70 miles to day. As it was impossible to take observations, we are this evening again standing out to sea, patiently to wait till the elements are quiet. The morning was thick with rain: This day last year, I arrived home from N. By the middle of the day we got within surveying distance of the coast.
In heaving up the anchor, a sudden pitch in the vessel broke it off just above the flues. This day will always be to me a memorable anniversary; in as much as, it was the first that in which the prospect of my joining the voyage wore a prosperous appearance. The wind blew a gale; but under close reefed topsails we ran along about 70 miles of coast. This last week, although lost for surveying, has produced several animals; the examination of which has much interested me. We have since had reason to believe it was a mistake of the Leadsman.
We have remained all day at our anchorage: During the day I took several curious marine animals. By heeling the boat over, so that the edge was on a level with the water, it did not draw more than a foot of water. The Commandante was inclined to be civil; but the Major, although second in rank, appears to be the most efficient. He is an old Spaniard, with the old feelings of jealousy. The place has been attacked several times by large bodies of Indians.
Amongst these was the head chief, the old Toriano who has governed a great district for many years. The Captain well knowing that so small a party of Spaniards would not venture so far, concluded they were Indians. The Captain upon seeing this sent back the other two boats, wishing not to frighten them but to find out who they were. In the morning divine service was read on the lower deck.
All hands have been busily employed to day; some surveying: When the schooner sailed, M r Rowlett accompanied her, in order at Rio Negro to try to procure fresh provisions for the ship. Having proved to our Spanish friends that we were not Pirates, the Captain with two boats started for the Settlement. Went out shooting with M r Wickham with our rifles: The ships anchorage was removed a few miles up the harbor; in order to be nearer a newly discovered watering place. I am spending September in Patagonia, much in the same manner as I should in England, viz in shooting; in this case however there is the extra satisfaction of knowing that one gives fresh provisions to the ships company.
What we had for dinner to day would sound very odd in England. A large party was sent to fish in a creek about 8 miles distant; great numbers of fish were caught. As far as I am able to judge, it is allied to the Rhinoceros. Employed with in carefully packing up the prizes of yesterday. They have had a very bad passage of 6 days. The Schooner has been taken to the Creek. The weather is most beautiful. We have been for these three days cruizing about the mouth of the harbor. The morning threatened us with heavy weather; but it blew over in a hail storm.
We have anchored near to a cliff, upon which the Captain intends to erect some land mark as a guide on entering the harbor. Early in the morning the Captain with a large party landed in the four whale-boats. At day-break things wore a very bad appearance. I was unable to sleep even for a minute from my body shivering so much. The men also who swam for the provisions suffered extremely, from not being able to get warm again. Some of the men felt rather unwell, but none of us are any the made at all ill by it.
The sand-hillock here is christened "Anchor-stock hill". Wickham has established quite a comfortable little town: Even a Gypsies hut in England makes me rather envious; but here, in the wide plain, the little establishment made quite a picture. After breakfast I walked to Punta Alta, the same place where I have before found fossils. This is particularly interesting as the only specimens in Europe are in the Kings collection at Madrid, where for all purposes of science they are nearly as much hidden as if in their primaeval rock. Took a long walk in a straight line into the interior; uninteresting as the country is, we certainly see it in by far the best time.
To day I walked much further within the country; but all to no use; every feature in the landscape remains the same. Their immediate business will be to survey South of B. Again I walked to Punta alta to look for fossil bones: We continued to sound. The Captain landed for half an hour at Monte Hermoso, or Starvation point as we call it to take observations.
During these two days it has been a thick fog, with light breezes: We are all getting anxious for the moment of receiving letters to arrive. The detainement from the Schooners is the cause of the miscalculation in the stores. The night was pitch dark, with a fresh breeze. A fair breeze, right aft; we have not for the last 24 hours gone less than 6 knots an hour. The day has been very cloudy: Rode with M r Hammond to dine with a friend of his who has an Estancia in the country.
Numerous Olive trees were in flower, these. Paget of the Samarang. We got under weigh early in the morning for Buenos Ayres, but a fresh breeze right in our teeth lasted the whole day; so that when we anchored at night, we had not made much progress. How inexplicable is the cause which induces these small insects, as it now appears in both hemispheres, to undertake their aerial excursions. A calm delightful day. Passing the Guard-ship who this time treated us with greater respect we anchored at noon in the outer roads.
I visited the Museum, which is attached to the only remaining convent; although esteemed as second to none by the inhabitants it is very poor. Rode about 6 leagues into the camp to an English Estancia. Even the very roads were burrowed by the Viscache. We had a very pleasant evening: And as he says, one walk amidst the glories of Brazil well repays the trouble of crossing the Atlantic. The price for the boxes is about 14 pence or two paper dollars; for the rest of the house it is only one, or seven pence: This morning we entered the harbor at noon; after having fairly conquered as foul a wind as ever blew.
The dilatory method of doing business in this place again detained me all morning; in the evening enjoyed with Hamond a delightful gallop over the grassy plains. Boisterous weather; glad should I be if the day for taking an everlasting farewell of the Rio Plata was near at hand. After divine service on board I took a quiet ride over the open plains which border the river. Went out collecting on the Mount. At night there was a grand ball given in order to celebrate the reestablishment of the President. How different are the habits of Englishmen, on such Jubilee nights! Rode with M r Parry to Las Pietras; a pretty village so called from some rocks of a singular shape.
The ship got under weigh at noon, but we anchored at night without leaving M: I fully felt the truth of what M r Daniell. Hence it happens that the thermometer would actually rise higher when exposed to the sun in London than under the Equator; also it proves how completely all the effects of climate depend on mean temperature. A beautiful day; but fair wind of yesterday is now foul. Blas, where we appointed to meet the Schooners by the 20th of this month. We anchored at night not far from the entrance of St Blas. Negro, runs up B. During these two delightful days we have been gliding onwards; but at a very slow pace.
From the high irregular swell, there must have been bad weather to the South, so that we are lucky in escaping it. The Barometer had given good warning of a change of weather: This evening the low land South of the St s of Magellan was just visible from the deck. The Ship rolled so much during the night from the exposed anchorage, that there was no comfort to be obtained. At Port St Policarpo, the features of the country are changed.
The last time Cap. The Captain sent a boat with a large party of officers to communicate with the Fuegians. Cook says it is like a man clearing his throat; to which may be added another. I determined to attempt to penetrate some way into the country. This is tree is an evergreen, but the tint of the foliage is brownish yellow: Hence the whole lanscape has a monotomous sombre appearance; neither is it often enlivened by the rays of the sun.
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At length I reached what I imagined to be green turf; but was again disappointed by finding a compact mass of little beech trees about 4 or 5 feet high. FitzR a party of 6 from the ship reached it, but by a more difficult path; but in descending they found an easier. The Beagle got under weigh at 4 AM. The same evening we were with them they departed in a body, but yesterday they returned with a reinforcement of natives. In the morning watch it freshened into a fine Easterly wind. In the morning of the 24 th Cape Horn was on our weather bow. As it was certain men had been seen crawling over the rock on this hill, they must have been Fuegians.
They must have thought us the powers of darkness; or whatever else, fear has kept them concealed. The Chanticleer, with Capt. Forster remained here some months; the remains of the tent where he swung the Pendulum exist yet. Even on the fine days, there is a continual succession of rain or hail storms; so that on shore there is not a dry spot.
In most of the coves there were wigwams; some of them had been recently inhabited. As shell fish, the chief source of subsistence, are soon exhausted in any one place. It is however evident that the same spot at intervals, is frequented for a succession of years. The sea is here tenanted by many curious birds, amongst which the Steamer is remarkable; this [is] a large sort of goose, which is quite unable to fly but uses its wings to flapper along the water; from thus beating the water it takes its name.
Can there be imagined a more disagreeable way of passing time? To day 9 th the weather has been a little better, but now at night the wind is again drawing to the old quarter. A very strong breeze, with heavy squalls; by carrying a press of sail, we fetched within a mile of Christmas Sound. A gale with much rain, at night it freshened into a regular storm. The gale does not abate: The worst part of the business is our not exactly knowing our position: FitzRoy considers it the worst gale he was ever in. The winds certainly are most remarkable; after such a storm as yesterdays, it blew a heavy gale from the SW.
The object of our disastrous attempt to get to the Westward was to go to the Fuegian York Minsters, country. The Captain took two boats to search for a good place for the settlement. Spent in preparing for a long excursion in the boats. Buttons country in Ponsonby Sound. The means absolutely wasted on such things would have purchased an immense stock of really useful articles.
In our little fleet we glided along, till we found in the evening a corner snugly concealed by small islands. We began to enter to day the parts of the country which is thickly inhabited. FitzRoy during the last voyage, so that it is probable the greater part of the Fuegians had never seen Europaeans. Many of the men ran for some miles along the shore.
Their appearance was so strange, that it was scarcely like that of earthly inhabitants. We landed at dinner time; the Fuegians were not at first inclined to be friendly, for till one boat pulled in before the others, they kept their slings in readiness: At night we arrived at the junction with Ponsonby Sound; we took up our quarters with a family belonging to Jemmys or the Tekenika people. We were sorry to find that Jemmy had quite forgotten his language, that is as far as talking, he could however understand a little of what was said.
When we arrived at Woolliah Jemmys cove we found it far better suited for our purposes, than any place we had hitherto seen. We remained in this place till the 27 th , during which the labors of our little colony commenced. To be sure, their voices are wonderfully powerful. I really believe they could make themselves heard at treble the distance of an Englishmen. Everything went on very peacibly for some days. We were quite at a loss to account for it. To every ones surprise the day was overpowringly hot, so much so that our skin was burnt; this is quite a novelty in Tierra del F.
The scenery was very grand, we were sailing parallel, as it were to the backbone of Tierra del; the central granitic ridge which has determined the form of all the lesser ones: It was a great comfort finding all the natives absent; the outer coast during the summer is on account of the seals, their chief resort. Nothing happened till the evening before reentering Ponsonby Sound. Arrived at the Settlement. One day, having requested an old man to leave the place, he returned with a large stone in his hand: It was quite melancholy leaving our Fuegians amongst their barbarous countrymen: We slept at night in the S.
So that on reaching in the evening the Beagle, there was the pleasure of smooth water joined to that of returning after 20 days absence. The distance was not great; but from the. To night it is blowing furiously: Last nights gale was an unusually heavy one. We received all this intelligence from a French boat, belonging [to] a Whaler, which was in is now lying a wreck on the beach.
The rest must be sacrificed. M r Dixon, the English resident, came on board. Took a long walk; this side of the Island is very dreary: A grievous accident happened this afternoon in the death of M r Hellyer. Several ships have arrived; we are now five sail in the harbor: One of these was the L'Uranie a French discovery ship who had been round the world.
In the evening it blew a tremendous gale of wind. This is one of the quietest places we have ever been to. The boats are employed in surveying. In a long ride I found the country no ways different from what it is in the neighbourhead. The place bespeaks what it has been, viz a bone of contention between different nations.
On Friday a sealing vessel arrived commanded by Capt. Capt Lowe brought with him the people belonging to a vessel which was wrecked on the SW coast of Tierra del by the great gale of the 13 th of Jan. A short time after our arrival here, a small American Sealing vessel came in; — Capt. FitzRoy entered into terms for buying it, on condition of its return by the 25 th. During this time I have been very busy with the Zoology of the Sea; the treasures of the deep to a naturalist are indeed inexhaustible.
After cruizing about the mouth of the Sound to complete the survey, we stood out to sea on our way to the Rio Negro. The weather to day is beautiful; it is the first time for three months that studding sails have been set. We expect to arrive at our destination tomorrow morning. In the morning we were off the mouth of the Rio Negro. Nothing was to be seen of the Schooner. In the middle of the day, a Sail was seen a long way off in the SW. Whilst we were beating up to our station at the mouth of the Rio Negro; a small Schooner was seen beating down to us.
We have been standing, during the day, across the great Bay of S t Matthias; as the place is unsurveyed we heave to at night: What we saw of the coast consisted entirely in horizontal cliffs; in these, the divisions of the strata run for miles together exactly parallel to the surface of the sea. We reached St Josephs Bay, this is a grand circular expanse of water, opening by a narrow mouth into St Matthias, the crook of land which forms it is a remarkable feature in a chart of the coast of Patagonia.
Video, the little Schooners were not to be seen. This gave me a most delightful opportunity of taking a glimpse at the cliffs. My visit was so short that there was only time to see how much was missed. All our plans have undergone a complete revolution. We are off the mouth of the Plata. At night there was a great deal of lightning; if a hurricane had been coming, the sky could not have looked much more angry. Video a tremendous Pampero. Video, but rather more hilly.
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After pacing for some weeks the planck decks, one ought to be grateful for the pleasure of treading on the green elastic turf, although the surrounding vievi in both cases is equally uninteresting. The day has been miserably spent in attempts to transact business by the aid of vilely bad Spanish. The city of Maldonado is in reality only a very small village; as is universally the case in Spanish, town, all the streets run in parallel lines cutting each other at right angles. I rode about four leagues into the Camp to the head of a large fresh water lake called Laguna del Potrero.
The object of my ride was to see a white marble, from which lime is manufactured. It anyhow has afforded me some good lessons. We drove before us a troop of fresh horses; a very luxurious way of travelling as there is then no danger of having a tired or lame one.
Video had been found, with his throat cut, lying dead on the road. America are separate countries close together; but that England is a large town in London. Banda Oriental would not be flattered by the comparison, but such was my feeling when amongst them. During this days ride, there was not much interest, excepting from the novelty of this manner of travelling. In the morning we pursued rather a rambling course; as I was examining several beds of marble. In the evening arrived at a Pulperia North of the Rio Polanco. I wear a large clasp-knife, in the manner of sailors fastened by a string round my neck; I had often noticed that the Gauchos seemed to think this practice of confining the knife very strange.
Bad weather; all the other days have been fine so that I have no cause to complain: I got up early to ascend the Sierra de las Animas. On the summit there were several small heaps of stones; which evidently had been there for many years, — my companion, an inhabitant of the place, declared it was work of the Indians in the old times. How universal is the desire of Man to show he has ascended the highest points in every country.
We arrived there in the afternoon. The Beagle returned from M. Took a long walk to the Laguna del Potrero; my principal object at present is birds, of which there are a great number of very beautiful ones. The weather generally has been boisterous, so that very little work has been done with the Schooner as it is impossible to heave down to get to her bottom without quite calm weather.
The delay is to me agreeable, although not serviceable, as there is not much more to be collected: My time passes precisely in the same manner as the last 3 weeks. All hands of the Beagle continue to be employed in working at the Schooner for the future the Unicorn. A fine breeze carried us into the harbor of M: Video by seven oclock. My heart has revelled with delight to hear the orders for getting 12 months provisions ready for our next visit.
Enjoyed the rarity of clear, cloudless sky; the weather is cold; in the morning on shore there was some hoar frost. At night the Packet fired guns to tell us she was on her way to Rio: Gained the harbor of Maldonado. This was entirely owing to a strong current. The whole sky was brilliant with lightning; it was a wild looking night to go to sea, but time is too precious to lose even a bad portion of it. Our regular fortune followed us in the form of a sharp gale of wind.
Light contrary winds, interrupted by a few breezes: Arrived off the mouth of the Rio Negro, after firing several signal guns, the little Schooner La Lievre came out. The Beagle stood out to sea to survey some of outer banks which employment will occupy her a week. Every one in them may thank providence that he has returned in safety. It is in this geological formation that the Salinas or natural salt-pans occur; excepting immediately after heavy rain no fresh water can be found.
The sandstone so abounds with salt, that all springs are inevitably very brackish. Rode with M r Stokes to the town of Patagones situated about 18 miles up the river; it was a pleasant ride, the road generally lying at the foot of the sloping cliff which forms Northern bank of the great valley of the R. They withstood several attacks; a man present at one gave me a very lively description. My informer seemed to remember with the greatest horror, the quivering of these Chusas as they approached near.
When close, the Cacique Pinchera, hailed the besieged to give up their arms or he would cut all their throats. This saved the lives of the Christians: He thus laid thirty nine of them on the ground. Of course such a blow immediately routed the whole party. The town is built on the cliff which faces the river; many of the houses are actually excavated in the Sandstone. What their character may have gained by lessening their. Video they use English salt to make salted On account of the salt petre. So little do the inhabitants profit by the natural advantages of their country.
In a like manner wheat in the province of B: Ayres produces an immense percentage yet a great deal of flour is imported from North America. On account of the Pobrillo or red blight. Some months ago the government of B: Ayres sent out an army, under the command of General Rosas to exterminate the Indians.
The weather was bad, so would not start: Shortly after passing the first spring we came in sight of the famous tree, which the Indians reverence as a God itself, or as the altar of Walleechu.
Being winter the tree had no leaves, but in their place were countless threads by which various offerings had been suspended. The Gauchos think that the Indians consider the tree itself as a God; but it seems far more probable that it is an altar. Upon being asked the reason of this the Indian said. There is high enjoyment in the independence of the Gaucho life, a to be able at any moment to pull up your horse and say here we will pass the night.
The death-like stillness of the plain, the dogs keeping watch, the gipsy- like group of Gauchos making their beds around the fire, has left in my mind a strongly marked picture in my mind of this my first night, which I shall will not soon be forgotten. The country continued the same. Our distance was not more than 3 leagues from the R. We passed a muddy swamp of considerable extent, which is occasionally overflowed by the Colorado. We then arrived at the Colorado. The pass is about 9 leagues in a direct line from the mouth, but by water it is said to be not much less than Mares flesh is the only food of the soldiers.
I believe such villainous Banditti-like army was never before collected together: I know not the reason, but men of such origin seldom have good expressions. Ayres to the Commandante of Patagones. I am bound to express in the strongest terms my obligation to the government of Buenos Ayres for the most obliging manner in which passports to all parts of the country was given me as Naturalist of the Beagle.
Nothing could be more interesting than some of the family groups. When on, they ride like a man, but with their knees much tucked up much higher. One of their chief in doors occupation is the continual knocking of two stones together, till they are both round. Their chief pride is having all their things made of silver. From presents of General Rosas, their clothing was generally cloth, with some little fur.
General Rosas sent a message, that he should be glad to see me, before I started, by this means I lost a day, but subsequently his acquaintance was of the greatest utility. I heard one of his mad buffoons for he keeps two like the Barons of old relate the following anecdote. I wanted very much to hear a. I begged by all the Saints in Heaven he would let me off; but it would not do. He is worth seeing, as being decidedly the most prominent character in S. Started early in the morning. We passed the Toldos of the Indians, which are without the regular encampment.
From the 2 nd to 3 rd Posta began the grand geological formation, which I believe continues the same to St Fe, a distance of at least miles. Ayres in half nearly such neat order. He had dug a ditch round the house, as a defence in case of being attacked; it would however be poor one if the Indians were to come. Some short time ago, a body of Indians had travelled past his house in the night. The Beagle had not arrived. I was anxious to see if the Beagle was in the mouth of the Bay.
My guide two months ago had a wonderful escape, he was out hunting with two companions, only a few leagues from the fort. The road was full of little puddles from some recent rain, yet every drop quite undrinkable. When not very far from our destination, the Gaucho spied 3 people on horse-back hunting. I was startled when he answered: As soon however as the absurd mistake was found out, he gave me a hundred reasons why they could not have been Indians; but all these were forgotten at the time.
In the morning the rain did not cease, so we started on our return. In these plains a very curious animal, the Zorilla or Skunk, is sufficiently common. On my return found my fellow traveller Harris arrived from the R. A few days previously news had come that the Indians had murdered every soul in one of the Postas.
The Ship was seen; its figure curiously altered by the refraction over the widely extended mud banks. Rode down to the creek: We subsequently heard that the rastro proved Bernantio to be guiltless. What other troops in the world are so independent? A boat with M r Chaffers arrived from the ship, we waited till the evening for a cow to be killed, to take fresh meat on board. Actively employed in arranging things, in order to start to Buenos Ayres by land. After dinner the Yawl started on a surveying cruize. I went in her. My guide or Vacciano not having come, I rode to Punta Alta, in order to superintend the excavation of the bones.
Returned in the evening: These four days were lost in miserable ennui. Some Indians, taken previously, gave information of a tribe North of the Colorado. Two hundred soldiers were sent. Only one Christian was wounded. The Indians are now so terrified that they offer no resistance in body; but each escapes as well as he. He answered me, "Why what can be done, they breed so. Who would believe in this age in a Christian, civilized country that such atrocities were committed? The communication therefore reaches extends from the Andes Cordillera to the East coast.
Negro river, — but if they fail in doing this, they themselves shall be exterminated. The general however, like Lord Chesterfield, thinking that his friends may in a future day become his enemies, always places them in the front ranks, so that their numbers may be thinned. Negro, Colorado, Sauce will be most productive in corn. The former being a little superior in civilization, as they are inferior in every moral virtue. From their account, they must have come from Salta, a distance in a straight line of nearly one thousand miles. This gives one a grand idea of the immense territory over which the Indians can roam.
Great as it is, in another half century I do not think there will not be a wild Indian in the Pampas North of the Rio Negro. I also heard some account of an engagement which took place, a few weeks previously to the one mentioned, at Churichoel. On one of these, an old white horse, the Cacique sprung taking with him his little son; the horse.
I saw one day a soldier striking fire with a piece of flint; which I immediately recognized as having been a part of the head of an arrow. America bones of horses have been found in close proximity to those of the Mastodon; and I at St Fe Bajada found a horses tooth in the same bank with parts of a Megatherium; if it had not been a horses tooth, I never should have for an instant doubted its being coeval with the Megatherium.
Where the road crosses it, about a league further up, the water does not reach to the horses belly. The Jesuit Falkner, whose information, drawn from the Indians, is generally so very correct.
At last when I reached the summit of the ridge, my. Proceeded on to the 3 d Posta, in company with the Leutenant who commands it. The Indians eat much salt, the children sucking it like sugar; it is a curious contrast with the Gauchos, who living the same life, eat scarcely any. As the Lieutenant of this Posta was a very hospitable person I determined to wait a couple of days for the soldiers. The Indians are supposed to have made their attack in the middle of the night; for very early in the morning, after the murder, they were luckily seen approaching this Posta.
We all sallied forth to hunt; we had no success. The plain here abounds with three sorts of partridges; two, very large, like hen-pheasants. Rose very early in the morning; passed in the road the 4 th Posta, where the men were murdered. There was some difficulty about horses so I determined to sleep here. To the 7 th Posta, country improving, like Cottenham fen in Cambridgeshire, — a great abundance of beautiful wild fowl. Tapalguen after it was dark. At supper I was suddenly struck with horror that I was eating one of the very favourite dishes of the country, viz a half formed calf long before its time of birth.
To the 9th Posta, followed the course of the R. Tapalguen, very fertile country. Set up a giveaway. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us. Would you like to report poor quality or formatting in this book? Click here Would you like to report this content as inappropriate? Click here Do you believe that this item violates a copyright?
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