Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter II >> Page 25

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Page 25

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
of corn daily, were made to answer the cravings of their
hunger ; and even this resource, so carefully computed,
lasted but a little while. Their shoes and leathern jerkins
became their only remaining food, and death appeared
among them, and relieved their misery by thinning their
numbers. The picture of their distress is not yet com-
plete. "Besides this extreme famine, which did so
grievously oppress them, they were constrained to cast
the water continually out, which on all sides entered into
their barque." Each day added to their sufferings, so
that, in the simple but strong language of the old chronicler,
"being now more out of hope than ever, to escape this
extreme peril, they cared not to cast out the water which
now was almost ready to drown them, and as men resolved
to die, every one fell downbackwards and gave themselves
over altogether, to the will of the waves." From this
condition of despair, one among their number, the man
La Chere, who had been exiled by captain Albert, and
who seems to have been of a character to justify the
interest which his people took in his fate, was the first
to recover. He encouraged them to take heart, saying
they could now have but a little way to sail, and assured
them that if the wind held, they should make land within
three days. This encouragement prompted them to
renew their efforts. They recommenced the task of
throwing out the water from their sinking vessel, and
endured for three days longer without drink or food. At
the end of this time, seeing no land, they once more gave
themselves up to despair. The want of food was their
greatest' evil, and the same person, La Chore, whose
words had encouraged them so long, again came to