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animal, it was almost upon us, just occurred to me; but it could not drive away sleep from my eyes, for I was at peace with God, and had hope in Him. The disaster which had befallen us was singularly presented to my mind as ordered by Providence for our good. Strangely did I feel impressed that this was the case, and felt a satisfaction in seeing the stranded boat, that, but for my conviction that it was God's doing, would have been most unreasonable. But seeing it in this light, how great was the mercy that spared us, and brought it about with so little suffering to ourselves, neither permitting irretrievable damage to our clothes and property, nor suffering us to be exposed to the inclemency of the weather without an asylum and the means of providing comfort!
“ On the Saturday evening, before retiring to the cavern, the Captain still entertained hopes that the boat would be repairable, and that her damages were not very serious. Next morning, however, she was found to be stove in, and that by an unexpected cause. Upon the beach, but considerably above the tide of the previous evening, and not in a direct line with the boat, was a large tree lying lengthwise with its stump to the sea; and against this the boat had by the morning's tide been driven, the sea rising higher, and the swell turning her bow right opposite the stem of the tree, so that her timbers were sadly stove in. And now
also we found her bilge so much injured that all hope of saving her was at once given up.
Sunday evening's tide, and more particularly that on Monday morning, completed the work of destruction. On these days the weather continued most stormy, the wind blowing a furious gale, the sea foaming, and the lee-shore opposite presenting one continued line of breaking sea. Hail, rain, and snow, succeeded each other, or were all combined by fits and starts. We were entirely confined to our cave, which proved to be very damp, and the smoke of our fire drifting into it made it altogether no very desirable residence; although, in our emergency, we felt it to be indeed a mercifully provided shelter.
“On Monday evening, for the first time, we were able to hold communication with the Speedwell, the weather subsiding sufficiently for the crew to come ashore on the raft; and then we learned how great had been their apprehension concerning us, and their own alarm, lest they themselves should undergo severe disasters by being loosed from their moorings. They were obliged to take their stove and attach it to a hawser ready to throw out as an anchor, in case her chain cable parted; consequently they could cook nothing, nor provide themselves tea all the time.
We were happy again to comfort one another.
“ We continued our residence in the cavern by night as well as by day, until Thursday night,
February 5, when we again made use of the after section of our boat as a sleeping-place, and on the Friday following we divided her into her original two sections, and hauled up the sound section further on the beach. Here we have at present, Saturday, February 8, a comfortable sleeping-place, covered with our oiled canvas, quite protected from the wet, though not quite beyond the reach of the sea should a very high tide roll in.
“My night in the cavern has been somewhat restless, feeling the damp and the gloom of it, and smothered by the smoke which is condensed within its walls. Again for four days in succession I have had all my linen, and nearly all my clothes, lying out on the beach to dry; being obliged to rinse nearly the whole of them, in order to clear them from salt water. But it required constant activity to improve every glance of sunshine, and to snatch them under covert at the approach of a storm. Owing to the constant rains the ground is now like a sponge, and the beach is crossed by streams flowing from the high lands through the woods, and washing away the sand in all directions. The mountain stream, where the flow of water is always abundant, has now become a perfect cascade, dashing its roaring torrent down from one level to another, with a very striking effect. How remarkable is our present situation! How striking is the providence of God! Here we have shelter and security; and here we propose to remain until the
commencement of April, and only to leave here when the prospect of a vessel's arrival draws nigh. How mercifully had God ordered that we, so weak a party, and so defenceless and helpless, should not be exposed to the irruption of the natives upon us! Had this asylum been rendered unavailing by the presence of the natives, none of whom we have seen since our arrival, what should we have done! I know that God could even then have provided for us; but, humanly speaking, our position would have been most dangerous. To have put to sea again would have been to expose ourselves to the tremendous gales which incessantly have prevailed for so long a time, and which we could not possibly have weathered in our frail boat of seven tons burden only. And could we have got back to Picton Island, no prospect would have remained to us but to be hunted about from place to place, like a hare chased by the hounds.
“ How evident that we were not in a position to commence, with such slight means, so arduous an undertaking! But all this is well; the Mission has been thereby begun, which, had we awaited for more efficient means, it never probably would have been. We are all agreed that nothing short of a brigantine or schooner of 80 or 100 tons burden can answer our ends, and to procure this ultimately the Captain has fully .determined to use every effort. Our plan of action now is to “rough it” through all the circumstances which it shall please
God to permit to happen to us, until the arrival of a vessel, and then to take with us some Fuegians, and go to the Falkland Islands, there to learn their language, and when we have acquired it, and got the necessary vessel, to come out again, and go amongst them. It is utterly impracticable ever to acquire the language by any other method, so far as human foresight can judge of such matters; and to sojourn amongst them before the language is known, would be to run in the face of certain destruction, and to tempt Providence, as much as to run under a falling wall or to leap over a precipice, and expect safety.
“ When first I cast my eyes upon the work before me, and viewed the natives of Banner Cove,
the people to whom, by God's mercy, I and my companions were sent to shew them an open door to eternal life,-it was with a profound ignorance of the means whereby so great a work was to be accomplished. I had no clue whatever in any plan that had been submitted to my understanding, and as to the steps to be taken I was in darkness; for in this the Captain consulted not with me, neither did he propound his plans more than the momentary intimation which preceded some new step, which the exigency of the moment had given birth to. Therefore, as far as my judgment went, I saw nothing practicable or feasible ; but I committed the direction of our affairs to Him who, I was sure, would wisely and beneficently order all things by