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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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Port Desire to Patagonia


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Port Desire to Patagonia (continued)

anomalous; our sensations therefore, upon seeing five hundred people, the shortest of whom were at least four inches taller, and bulky in proportion, may be easily imagined. After I had presented the tobacco, four or five of the chief men came up to me, and, as I understood by the signs they made, wanted me to mount one of the horses, and go with them to their habitations, but as it would upon every account have been imprudent to comply, I made signs in return that I must go back to the ship; at this they expressed great concern, and sat down in their stations again. During our pantomimical conference, an old man often laid his head down upon the stones, and shutting his eyes for about half a minute, afterwards pointed first to his mouth, and then to the hills, meaning, as I imagined, that if I would stay with them till the morning, they would furnish me with some provisions, but this offer I was obliged to decline. When I left them, not one of them offered to follow us, but as long as I could see them, continued to sit quietly in their places. I observed that they had with them a great number of dogs, with which I suppose they chase the wild animals which serve them for food. The horses were not large, nor in good case, yet they appeared to be nimble, and well broken. The bridle was a leathern thong, with a small piece of wood that served for a bit, and the saddles resembled the pads that are in use among the country people in England. The women rode astride, and both men and women without stirrups; yet they gallopped fearlessly over the spit upon which we landed, the stones of which were large, loose, and slippery.


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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, page 32, 2004
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