Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter II >> Page 24

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Page 24

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
as worthy of commendation, and one who knew so well
how to acquit himself of the charge, that all rancour and
dissension ceased among them. Famine, and the lone-
liness of their condition, contributed to dispose them
Hearing nothing from France, hope sickened within
them, and they yearned to return to their homes. They
resolved, by unanimous consent, to leave the wilderness
in which, however hospitable had been the natives, they
had found little besides suffering and privation. Though
without artificers of any kind, they commenced building
a pinnace. Necessity supplied the deficiencies of art ;
and the brigantine rose rapidly under their hands. The
luxuriant pine forests around them yielded resin and moss
for caulking. The Indians brought them cordage for
tackle ; and their own shirts and bed linen furnished the
sails. The brigantine was soon ready for sea, and a
fair wind offering, the adventurers prepared to depart.
The Indians, to whom they left all their unnecessary
merchandize, beheld their departure with a lively sorrow ;
while the poor colonists themselves, "drunken with the
too excessive joy which they had conceived for their
returning into France, without regarding the inconstancy
of the wind, put out to sea, and with so slender a supply
of victuals, that the end of their enterprize became unlucky
and unfortunate."
For a time, however, fortune smiled upon their progress.
They had sailed, without mishap, a full third of their
way, when they were surprised by a calm. For three
weeks they made but twenty-five leagues ; and to add to
their trials, their supplies failed them. Twelve grains