ing-point, but the effect on their bodies, ill protected by clothing, must have been in proportion to the rapidity of the current of cold air. The gale lasted for more than a day; the men began to lose their strength, and the mules would not move onwards. My guide's brother tried to return, but he perished, and his body was found two years afterwards, lying by the side of his mule near the road, with the bridle still in his hand. Two other men in the party lost their fingers and toes; and out of two hundred mules and thirty cows, only fourteen mules escaped alive. Many years ago the whole of a large party are supposed to have perished from a similar cause, but their bodies to this day have never been discovered. The union of a cloudless sky, low temperature, and a furious gale of wind, must be, I should think, in all parts of the world, an unusual occurrence.
June 29th.—We gladly travelled down the valley to our former night's lodging, and thence to near the Agua aniarga. On July 1st we reached the valley of Copiapó. The smell of the fresh clover was quite delightful, after the scentless air of the dry sterile Despoblado. Whilst staying in the town I heard an account from several of the inhabitants, of a hill in the neighbourhood which they called "El Bramador,"—the roarer or bellower. I did not at the time pay sufficient attention to the account; but, as far as I understood, the hill was covered by sand, and the noise was produced only when people, by ascending it, put the sand in motion. The same circumstances are described in detail on the authority of Seetzen and Ehrenberg, as the cause of the sounds which have been heard by many travellers on Mount Sinai near the Red Sea. One person with whom I conversed, had himself heard the noise; he described it as very surprising; and he distinctly stated that, although he could not understand how it was caused, yet it was necessary to set the sand rolling down the acclivity. A horse walking over dry and coarse sand, causes a peculiar chirping noise from the friction of the particles; a circumstance which I several times noticed on the coast of Brazil.
Three days afterwards I heard of the Beagle's arrival at the
- Edinburgh Phil. Journ., Jan. 1830, p. 74; and April, 1830, p. 258.—Also Daubeuy on Volcanoes, p. 438; and Bengal Journ., vol. vii. p. 324.