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LOST SHIPS AND LONELY SEAS

something to carry. Mr. Byron had a piece of wet heavy canvas to carry for the captain, in which was wrapped a piece of seal which had that morning been given to him by some of the Indians. The way was through a thick wood and quagmire, often taking them up to the knees, and stumps of trees in the water obstructing their progress. Their feet were wounded, besides, with the ruggedness of the ground. Mr. Byron, whose load was equal to what a strong healthy man might have carried, was left behind by two Indians who accompanied him. Alarmed lest the whole should be too far advanced for him to overtake them, he strove to get up; and in his exertions fell off a tree crossing the road in a deep swamp, where he narrowly escaped drowning.

Quite exhausted with the labor of extricating himself, he sat down under a tree and there gave way to melancholy reflections. Sensible that if he indulged them in inactivity, his companions could not be overtaken, he marked a great tree and, depositing his burden, hastened after them. In some hours he came up, and Captain Cheap began asking for his canvas; and on being told the disaster that had befallen Mr. Byron, nothing was heard but grumbling for the loss. Mr. Byron made no answer but, resting himself a little, rose and returned at least five miles to the burden, with which he returned just as the others were embarking to cross a great lake which seemed to wash the foot of the Cordilleras. He was left behind to wait the arrival of some more Indians, without a morsel of food, or even a part of the seal meat that had cost him so much anxiety.
 

When they were led at last to a small Spanish garrison called Castro, only four of the party had