Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/335

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For a month they lived in a burrow in the sand, knocking a seal on the head whenever they needed food. As preparation for the journey they made knapsacks of sealskin, filled them with the dried flesh, and used the bladders for water bottles. Muskets on their shoulders, they trudged for sixty miles, when no more fresh water could be found, and they retreated to their camp to await the rainy season. Now they built a sort of hut under the lee of a cliff and varied the diet of seal by catching armadillos and stewing them in seaweed. Their patience was amazing, and Seaman Isaac Morris wrote of this weary inaction:


Nothing remarkable happened to us in the course of these three months. Our provision, such as it was, did not cost us much difficulty to procure, and we were supplied with fire-wood from a small coppice about seven miles distant. We seldom failed of bringing home something every night and generally had a hot supper. The time passed as cheerfully as might be with poor fellows in such circumstances as ours.


Again they set out on foot, in the month of May, after burdening their backs with seal and armadillo meat, and traversed a barren, open country until incessant cold rains chilled them to the bone and no supplies of any kind were obtainable. There was prolonged argument, and the majority was for re-