« IndietroContinua »
further inland, the country became more open and trees larger, and I perceived at a distance a few wigwams, which I thought it not prudent to approach any nearer, as I was already some miles away from the boats. I therefore crossed the river here, and after a long journey, now in the forest and presently again in the plain, with some difficulty in finding my way at all, I got back, having been absent five or six hours, both fatigued and hungry
“ We continued at Cook's River until Tuesday, Jan. 28, when finding it to be very inconvenient for us to get ashore, as well as imprudent to be so long aground, we removed to a well sheltered inlet, which we called Earnest Cove. The weather every day for nearly a fortnight had been fine, the sun quite strong, and much light wind, with but occasional showers of rain. At Lennox Harbour we had it very fine, and in our various journeys, as well as since our arrival in Spaniard's Harbour, the weather had been very fine, some of the days for a short time equalling in warmth and brightness a summer's day in England. At nightfall, however, it generally becomes cold, though there were three exceptions in a fortnight to that, the temperature remaining high, and even close. We were much cheered by the prevalence of fine weather, and how greatly it had favored us we could not sufficiently estimate.
Friday, the last day of January, after a
beautiful day, the weather began to look squally and to rain heavily, and continued to do so all night. A heavy gale was blowing out in the offing, but we rode very snugly, protected from the wind which blew off shore, yet feeling the swell of the sea ; and as the two boats were moored, one ahead of the other, with an anchor to seaward and a hawser to the shore, we felt the strain on them caused by the sea, and most of us were kept awake throughout the night. I had remarkable impressions made on my mind. There were many vivid suggestions of danger, but never did I feel so unaffected by the thought. A very heaven of repose and love was around
heart rested so assuredly and trusted so implicitly in God, that it was blissful to feel as I did. Awakened repeatedly by the jerk of the hawser and the strain of the boats, and hearing the roar and dash of the water around, and the pelting of the hail and rain, and the howl of the sweeping blasts, something would point at danger as present; but I quietly resigned myself to slumber, after communion with the Keeper of Israel, whose eye I knew was over
Some time betwixt ten and twelve o'clock next morning, whilst calm and sheltered from the rough weather, I heard the Captain give orders for the Speedwell to cast off from our stern, apprehensive, it seemed, of the hawser giving way, as both boats were riding by it. Scarce a minute elapsed after this was done, before the concussion of the boat against the beach was felt, and almost as instantly a swell broke over her stern, and rushed into our dormitory. I could scarcely credit my senses.
Another, and another thump, and another sea breaking in over us, confirmed me in the fact that something fearful had happened. On looking out, the Captain and Pearce were busily occupied with poles, endeavouring to keep her broadside from the surf; but this seemed next to impossible, as the water was pouring into the after part of the boat, tumbling right over the sternsheets, and threatening to float everything. The poor Pioneer was not only thumping against the beach, which, being of sand, might not so materially have damaged her; but it was evident from the grating sound that her bilge was upon rocks. Owing to the force of the swell, no effort could keep her from swinging upon them, and she rolled backwards and forwards upon the surge, threatening to knock herself to pieces. It was useless to bail any longer, and we soon gave up all hope of doing anything for her, but proceeded as rapidly as we could to get our things out of her. Our Captain, always first in everything, now got into our so-called cabin, to hand out the things, and by this time our boxes were already floating, and the most of our goods were wet. Mr Maidment and I waded through the surf and the swell backwards and forwards, carrying ashore the bedding and tools as the Captain and Pearce handed them out. By the time we had cleared out most of the cargo, the water had risen as high as the thwart, and the Captain's two boxes floated themselves out into the stern-sheets, with their contents. My chest was too large to admit of being removed, and had to remain in.
During all this time it was raining and hailing in heavy showers; and we looked most miserable. But I felt neither cast down nor much discomforted. A strong consolation sustained me; it was my God who gave it me. I have often, under ordinary circumstances, as being wetted by a shower of rain in England, experienced more depression and discomfort than all that I felt on this occasion. Indeed, the strong arm of God was so around me, that I felt more happiness in His presence and support, than pain in contemplating this disaster, or distress from exposure to the weather and the water. Besides, something seemed to whisper and tell me that all was right, that this was a movement of God's providence in our favor. And I did not doubt but that it was.
“We had done all that could be done, closing up the fore hatchway, as not much water was in this section of the boat, and we had no alternative but to let her drive with the advancing tide and take the strand. It was impossible to carry an anchor out to sea, as, although we had the day before succeeded in making another raft, yet it was too light to bear the anchor and chain with a
man on it; besides, the heavy swell of itself rendered this impracticable. “ Towards nightfall, it came on a storm of snow,
were heartily glad to take shelter in a large cavern in the rocks, which opened to the sea, and indeed at high water it was cut off by the sea rising some way into it. It was very spacious, and after running some thirty yards back, branched off at either side like the letter T; but these flanks did not extend very far. Under extraordinary tides, with gales of wind concurring, from the shells cast up at the further end of the cavern, it was evident that the water reached even so far, - no very agreeable information to us, in prospect of taking up our night's quarters there. However, we saw no cause for present apprehension, as the wind was not blowing into the harbour, and having lighted a fire near the entrance of the cave, after refreshment and prayer, we committed ourselves to God, as unto a faithful Creator.
• In spite of wet things, and in spite of all apprehensions, we managed to get a sound night's rest. The roar of the water, as it washed through the archway of a huge rock forming a prolongation of one of the sides of the cavern, and met with another army of waves from the opposite side, and then, in a mighty struggle against each other, heaving and foaming, came bellowing into our cave _this roar of the water disturbed me now and then, and the thought that, like some voracious