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We staid the longer in this place, not only because of our good harbor (which is an excellent comfort,) but because every day we did more and more discover the pleasant fruitfulness; insomuch as many of our company wished themselves settled here, not expecting any further hopes, or better discovery to be made.
Here our men found abundance of great muscles among the rocks; and in some of them many small pearls : and in one muscle (which we drew up in our net) was found fourteen pearls, whereof one of pretty bigness and orient; in another above fifty small pearls : and if we had had a drag, no doubt we had found some of great value, seeing these did certainly shew, that here they were bred; the shells all glittering with mother of pearl.
Wednesday, the 29th day, our shallop being now finished, and our captain and men furnished to depart with her from the ship, we set up a cross on the shore-side upon
Thursday, the 30th of May, about ten o'clock before noon, our captain with thirteen men more in the name of God, and with all our prayers for their prosperous discovery, and safe return, departed in the shallop: leaving the ship in a good harbor; which before I mentioned, well moored, and manned with fourteen men.
This day, about five o'clock in the afternoon, we in the ship espied three canoes coming towards us, which went to the island adjoining, where they went ashore, and very quickly had made a fire, about which they stood beholding our ship: to whom we made signs with our hands and hats, weffing unto them to come unto us, because we had not seen any of the people yet. They sent one canoe with three men, one of which, when they came near unto us, spake in his language very loud and very boldly: seeming as though he would know why we were there, and by pointing with his oar towards the sea, we conjectured he meant we should be gone. But when we shewed them knives and their use, by cutting of sticks; and other trifles, as combs and glasses, they came close aboard our ship, as desirous to entertain our friendship. To these we gave such things as we perceived they liked, when we shewed them the use: bracelets, rings, peacock-feathers, which they stuck
in their hair, and tobacco pipes. After their departure to their company on the shore, presently came four others in another canoe: to whom we gave as to the former, using them with as much kindness as we could.
The shape of their body is very proportionable, they are well countenanced, not very tall nor big, but in stature like to us: they paint their bodies with black, their faces, some with red, some with black, and some with blue.
Their clothing is beaver skins, or deer skins, cast over them like a mantle, and hanging down to their knees, made fast together upon the shoulder with leather : some of them had sleeves, most had none: some had buskins of such leather sewed: they have besides a piece of beaver skin between their legs, made fast about their waist, to cover their privities.
They suffer no hair to grow on their faces, but on their head very long and very black, which those that have wives, bind up behind with a leather string, in a long round knot.
They seemed all very civil and merry: shewing tokens of much thankfulness, for those things we gave them. We found them then (as after) a people of exceeding good invention, quick understanding and ready capacity.
Their canoes are made without any iron, of the bark of a birch tree, strengthened within with ribs and hoops of wood, in so good fashion, with such excellent ingenious art, as they are able to bear seven or eight persons, far exceeding any in the Indies.
One of their canoes came not to us, wherein we imagined their women were: of whom they are (as all savages) very jealous.
When I signed unto them they should go sleep, because it was night, they understood presently, and pointed that at the shore, right against our ship, they would stay all night: as they did.
The next morning very early, came one canoe aboard us again with three savages, whom we easily then enticed into our ship, and under the deck; where we gave them pork, fish, bread and pease, all which they did eat: and this I noted, they would eat nothing raw, either fish or flesh. They marvelled much and much looked upon the making of
our can and kettle, so they did at a head-piece and at our guns, of which they are most fearful, and would fall flat down at the report of them. At their departure, I signed unto them, that if they would bring me such skins as they wear, I would give them knives, and such things as I saw they most liked, which the chief of them promised to do, by that time the sun should be beyond the midst of the firmament; this I did to bring them to an understanding of exchange, and that they might conceive the intent of our coming to them to be for no other end.
About ten o'clock this day we descried our shallop returning toward us, which, so soon as we espied, we certainly conjectured our captain had found some unexpected harbor, further up towards the main to bring the ship into, or some river; knowing his determination and resolution, not so suddenly else to make return : which when they came nearer they expressed by shooting volleys of shot; and when they were come within musket shot, they gave us a volley and hailed us, then we in the ship gave them a great piece and hailed them.
Thus we welcomed them, who gladded us exceedingly with their joyful relation of their happy discovery, which shall appear in the sequel. And we likewise gave them cause of mutual joy with us, in discoursing of the kind civility we found in a people, where we little expected any spark of humanity.
Our captain had in this small time discovered up a great river, trending alongst into the main about forty miles. The pleasantness whereof, with the safety of harbor for shipping, together with the fertility of ground and other fruits, which were generally by his whole company related, I omit till I report of the whole discovery thereinafter performed. For by the breadth, depth, and strong flood, imagining it to run far up into the land, he with speed returned, intending to flank his light-horsemen for arrows, least it might happen that the further part of the river should be narrow, and by that means subject to the volley of savages on either side out of the woods.
Until his return, our captain left on shore where he landed in a path (which seemed to be frequented) a pipe, a brooch and a knife, thereby to know if the savages had recourse
that way, because they could at that time see none of them, but they were taken away before our return thither.
I return now to our savages, who according to their appointment about one o'clock, came with four canoes to the shore of the island right over against us, where they had lodged the last night, and sent one canoe to us with two of those savages, who had been aboard, and another who then seemed to have command of them; for though we perceived their willingness, yet he would not permit them to come aboard: but he having viewed us and our ship, signed that he would go to the rest of the company and return again. Presently after their departure it began to rain, and continued all that afternoon, so as they could not come to us with their skins and furs, nor we go to them. But after an hour or thereabout, the three which had been with us before came again, whom we had to our fire and covered them with our gowns. Our captain bestowed a shirt upon him, whom we thought to be their chief, who seemed never to have seen any before; we gave him a brooch to hang about his neck, a great knife, and lesser knives to the two other, and to every one of them a comb and glass, the use whereof we shewed them: whereat they laughed and took gladly; we victualled them, and gave them aqua vitæ, which they tasted but would by no means drink; our beverage they liked well, we gave them sugar candy, which after they had tasted they liked and desired more, and raisins which were given them; and some of everything they would reserve to carry to their company. Wherefore we pitying their being in the rain, and therefore not able to get themselves victual (as we thought) we gave them bread and fish.
Thus because we found the land a place answerable to the intent of our discovery, namely, fit for any nation to inhabit, we used the people with as great kindness as we could devise, or found them capable of.
The next day being Saturday and the first of June, I traded with the savages all the forenoon upon the shore, where were eight-and-twenty of them; and because our ship rode nigh, we were but five or six ; where for knives, glasses, combs, and other tries to the value of four or five shillings, we had forty good beavers' skins, otters' skins, sables, and other small skins, which we knew not how to
call. Our trade being ended, many of them came aboard us, and did eat by our fire, and would be very merry and bold, in regard of our kind usage of them. Towards night our captain went on shore, to have a draught with the seine or net. And we carried two of them with us, who marvelled to see us catch fish with a net. Most of that we caught we gave them and their company. Then on the shore I learned the names of divers things of them; and when they perceived me to note them down, they would of themselves fetch fishes, and fruit bushes, and stand by me to see me write their names.
Our captain shewed them a strange thing, which they wondered at. His sword and mine having been touched with the loadstone, took up a knife, and held it fast, when they plucked it away, made the knife turn, being laid on a block, and touching it with his sword, made that take up a needle, whereat they much marvelled. This we did to cause them to imagine some great power in us; and for that to love and fear us.
When we went on shore to trade with them, in one of their canoes I saw their bows and arrows, which I took
up and drew an arrow in one of them, which I found to be of strength able to carry an arrow five or six score strongly; and one of them took it and drew as we draw our bows, not like the Indians. Their bow is made of witch-hazle, and some of beach in fashion much like our bows, but they want nocks, only a string of leather put through a hole at one end, and made fast with wood, some of ash, big and long, with three feathers' tied on, and nocked very artificially ; headed with the long shank bone of a deer, made very sharp with two fangs in the manner of a harping iron. They had likewise darts headed with like bone, one of which I darted among the rocks, and it brake not. These they use very cunningly, to kill fish, fowl and beasts.
Our captain had two of them at supper with us in his cabin to see their demeanor, and had them in presence at service: who behaved themselves very civilly, neither laughing nor talking all the time, and at supper fed not like men of rude education, neither would they eat or drink more than seemed to content nature ; they desired pease to carry ashore to their women, which we gave them, with fish and bread, and lent them pewter dishes, which they carefully brought again.