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[78] the five canoes I had taken from the Indians, we some. what improved the boats, making waist-boards, and securing them so that the sides rose two palms above the waters. With this we turned to travel along the coast in the direction of the River Palmas, every day increasing our hunger and thirst; for the provisions were very scant, and getting near their end, and the water was gone, because the bottles we made from the legs of the horses soon rotted, and were useless. Sometimes we entered coves and creeks that lay far in, and found them all shallow and dangerous. Thus we travelled thirty days among them, where we sometimes found Indian fishermen, a poor and miserable people.

At the end of this time, while the want of water was extreme, going near the coast at night, we heard the approach of a canoe; and as we saw it we waited its arrival: but it would not meet us, and, although we called, it would not return, nor wait for us. As the night was dark, we did not follow it, but kept on our way. When the sun rose, we saw a small island, and went to it, to see if we could find water: but our labor was vain; for it had none. Being there at anchor, a heavy storm overtook us, that detained us six days, without our daring to go to sea: and, as it was now five days in which we had not drunk, our thirst was so excessive, that it put us to the extremity of drinking salt water; and some of the men so greatly crazed themselves by it, that directly we had four of them to die. I state this thus briefly, because I do not believe there is any necessity for particularly relating the sufferings and toils in which we found ourselves; for considering the place we were in, and the little hope we had of relief.

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