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tion of going up to the top; but was informed that this was impossible, nor could he find either white man, caribbeey or 'negro, who would undertake to show him the way. Having examined the basis as well as he could, in order to discover the most proper place for attempting an ascent, he found several dry ravines that seemingly ran a great way, up, though he could not be certain that they were not intersected by rocks or precipices lying across. Having examined the mountain with a good, glass, he thought he perceived two ridges, by which there was a possibility of getting ups and though they appeared to be covered for a great way with wood, he hoped by a little cutting to open a way through that impediment. 971527 tr 1 On the 26th of February 1784, our author be. gan his journey, having been furnished by a friend with two stout negroes, and having another boy who waited on himself. They arrived at the foot of the mountain a little before seven in the morning, having each a good cutlass, to cut through the woods, or to defend themselves in case of an attack from the caribbees or runaway negroes. Before they could get at either of the ridges, however, they had a rock to climb upwards of forty feet high. Having scrambled up this with great difficulty, they found themselves in the bottom of a deep and narrow ravine, which having aspended a little way, they arrived at the habitation of M. Gasco, a Frenchman. Our author expresses his surprise, that a young and healiby man, and a good mechanic, should sequestrate himself from the world among woods and precipices, where he was in continual danger of being swept away with his whole habita tion, by the torrents occasioned by the rain, He found him, however, to be an intelligent man, and was hospitably entertained by him.
“ The difficulty,” says Mr. Anderson," in gor ing through woods in the West Indies, where there are no roads, nor paths, is far beyond any, thing an European can conceive. Besides tall trees and thick underwood, there are hundreds of different climbing plants, twisted together like ropes, and running in all directions to a great extent, and even to the tops of the highest trees. These cannot be broken by pushing on; and many of them are not to be cut without difficulty, Besides these, a species of grass with serrated leaves, cuts and tears the hands and face terr ribly.”
By reason of these obstructions, it was upwards of two hours before Mr. Anderson and his attendants got upon the ridge, and there they found their passage more difficult than before They were now surrounded by a thick forest, rendered more impracticable by the large piles of trees blown down by the hurricanes, which obliged them in many places to creep on their hands and knees to get below them, while in others it was necessary to climb to a considerable height to get over them ; at the same time that, by the trunks being rotten, they often tumbled headlong from a great height, and could not extricate themselves without great difficulty..
The fatigue of cutting their way through the woods soon became intolerable to the negroes; so that about four in the afternoon, it was impossible to persuade them to go any farther. Mr. Anderson, therefore, returned to M. Gasco's, where he spent the night, determining to try another route the next morning. The hospitable Frenchman entertained him in the best manner he could; but though he parted with his own hammock to him, and slept on a board himself, our author found it impossible to close his eyes the whole night, by 'reason of the cold. “The hut,” says he, was built oflarge reeds, between each two of which a dog might creep through, and the top was covered with dry grass. It is situated in the bottom of a deep gully, where the sun does not shine till nine in the morning, nor after four in the afternoon. It is also surrounded by thick wood, and during the night the whole of the mountain is covered with thick clouds, from which it frequently rains, and which renders' the night air exceedingly cold."
Early next morning, Mr. Anderson set out in company with the
negro boy, who continued very faithful to him during the whole of the journey. He now resolved to take his course up the ravine, and proceeded for about a mile and an half without
considerable obstruction. However, it now began to narrow fast; and there were numbers of rocks and precipices to climb over, with many bushes and vines, which could scarcely be got through. At length the ravine terminated at the bottom of a very high precipice. It was impossible to know the extent of this, as the top was covered with thick wood; but from the bottom upward as far'as our author could see, was loose sand with ferns and tufts of
which as soon as he took hold of them, came up by the Toots. Though the ascent was evidently at the tisk of his life, Mr. Anderson resolved to attempt it; and therefore, telling the boy to keep at some distance behind, lest he should tumble
and drive him down, he began to ascend, digging holes with his cutlass to put his feet in, and taking hold of the tufts of grass as lightly as possible. Notwithstanding all his care, however, he frequently slipped down a considerable ways but as it was only loose sand, he could easily push his cutlass into it up to the handle, and thus, by taking hold of it, recover himself again. At last he got up to some wild plantains, which contitinued all the way to the place where the trees began to grow. Here he rested himself for some time, waiting for the boy, who got up with much less difficulty than he had done. On getting up to the top of the precipice, he found himself on a very narrow ridge, covered with wood, and bounded by two ravins, the bottoms of which he could not see, the descent to them appearing to be nearly perpendicular, though all the way covered with thick wood. Proceeding onwards, they found the ridge exceedingly narTow, with a tremendous gulf on each side, into which they were every moment in danger of falling ; so that Mr. Anderson was obliged to lie down on his belly with great caution, in order to see through the bushes how the ridge tended.
Here a sulphureous smell, or rather one likegunpowder, began to be perceived; which our author knew must proceed from the top of the mountain, as the wind then blew that way; and as it grew stronger as he advanced, he was in hopes that the summit could not be very far distant. Perceiving a rising before him, he imagined that, by getting upon it, he mighthave a view of the top of the mountain; but when this was done, he could only see a peak on the north-west side of the mountain, to which,
by appearance, he judged himself very little nearer than when at the bottom.
The woods now became extremely difficult, great quantities of fallen trees lying buried among the grass, and these being rotten, our author was frequently buried deep among them when he thought himself walking upon firm ground. About noon he was alarmed with a rustling among the bushes, and something like a human voice behind him; but as he was preparing to defend himself against Caribbees or run-away negroes, he was agreeably surprised with the sight of those who had formerly left him, with three others, sent by Mr. Maloune, with plenty of provisions. After refreshing themselves, they renewed their labours with fresh vigour, and Mr. Anderson thought himself sure of reaching the top before night. In a little time 1 he had a fair view of the ravin on the left, which was of prodigious depth, andran from near the top of the mountain to the sea. Its bottom seemed to be a rock nearly resembling lava in colour, and it seemed as if there had been vast torrents of sul. phureous matter running upon it for some time. He now 'regretted that he knew not of this rävin 'before he commenced his excursion, as by passing a headland in a canoe, and getting into it he might have gained the summit without all those difficulties he had encountered.
About four o'clock in the afternoon, he had no prospect of the top of the mountain, but imagined that if he could get into the ravin before night, he might easily reach it next morning. After cutting through wild plantains for a great way, however, he found himself at sun set, on the brink of a precipice, were he fortunately escaped falling, by catching hold of some shrubs. They were