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FIRST RAPIDAN UNFORTUNATE INDIVIDUAL-A STEP BACKWARDS-SEVERAL INDIVIDUALS IN A STATE OF EXCITEMENT-TIN PANS NOT EXACTLY THE THING—A BREAKFAST EXTINGUISHED SPORTING—YONKEY AMUSEMENTS-A“ FLASH IN THE PAN"-TWO FEET IN OUR PROVISION BASKET-POVERTY OF THE INHABITANTS AND THEIR DOGS-ARRIVAL AT GORGONA.
MONDAY morning, having an early breakfast, we were again under way. We shot several alligators, and at 10, A.M., arrived at the first rapid. We uncorked a bottle of brandy and prepared for hard work. As Mr. Hush did not help work the boat, (it was not safe to give him a pole) it was suggested that he should walk. We commenced the ascent, and after an hour of hard labor, gained the summit. We drew up along shore, and Mr. H. attempted to jump on board. His feet, as usual, taking the wrong direction, he stumbled and caught hold of an India rubber bag for support, which not being securely fastened, went overboard. The current being strong it passed rapidly down, and there was no alternative but to follow it with the boat. We soon found ourselves going with the greatest velocity, down the rapid we had just toiled so hard to ascend. We overtook the bag at the foot, and making fast to the shore, we held a very animated colloquy, which was embellished with an occasional oath by way of emphasis. Mr. H. suspected that he was the subject of our animadversions, but there was nothing said.
We again ascended the rapid, and worked on until rain and night overtook us. We were obliged to encamp on an unpleasant rocky shore, and cook supper in the rain. We passed an uncomfortable night; and in the morning it was still raining in torrents. We were furnished with India rubber ponchos and were making preparations to start while Mr. Cooper and Mr. Beaty were preparing breakfast. It was difficult to get
fuel, and still more difficult to make it burn. They however succeeded in Rindling the fire. We usually boiled our coffeewater in the camp-kettle, but this being full of game, we filled a large tin pan with water, and placed it over the fire, supported by three stones. The ham was frying briskly by the fire, our chocolate dissolving, and every thing going on swimmingly, when one of the stones turned, capsizing the tin pan, putting out every particle of fire, and filling the chocolate and ham with ashes. (See plate.) Mr. Cooper was frantic with rage, doffing his hat, throwing the ham into the river, kicking over the chocolate cup, cursing every thing in general, and tin pans in particular, while Mr. Beaty, with a most rueful countenance, clasped his hands, exclaiming, "Oh! my!!!”
Mr. Dodge came to the rescue, and we had a warm breakfast, and were soon under way. At ten, the sun came out, and we had a pleasant run, using our sail. We encamped in a delightful place on the left bank of the river, and had a comfortable night's rest. When we awoke in the morning, the air was filled with parrots, toucans, tropical pheasants, etc. Our guns were immediately brought into requisition, and we soon procured a full supply, including seven pheasants. One of the party and myself finding a path that had been beaten by wild beasts resolved to follow it, and penetrate more deeply into the forest. After going some distance we heard a strange noise, which induced my companion to return. Being well armed I proceeded on, and soon came upon a party of monkeys taking their morning exercise. There were about twenty of them, in the top of a large tree. The larger ones would take the smaller and pretend they were about to throw them off; the little ones, in the mean time, struggling for life. There was one very large one, with a white face, who appeared to be doing the honors of the occasion, viz., laughing when the little ones were frightened. If I had been within speaking distance of his honor, I would have informed him that his uncouth laugh had diminished the audience on the present occasion by at least one half. I did not break in upon their sports, but, following the path, soon found myself at a bend of the river.
A native was passing, who informed me that there were turkeys on the other side. I stepped into his canoe, and in a