Page:Life with the Esquimaux - 1864 - Volume 1.djvu/115
LIFE WITH THE ESQUIMAUX.
it carried away the mast. We then ran in under a jib, and made a lee. About half an hour after we landed my shipmate died of starvation. The evening he died, Samuel Fisher proposed to eat him; he took his knife, and cut a piece off the thigh, and held it over the fire until it was cooked. Then, next morning, each one followed his example; after that the meat was taken off the bones, and each man took a share. We stopped here three days. We then made a start; but the wind being ahead, we were obliged to put back. Here we stopped two more days. During that.time the bones were broken up small, and boiled in a pot or kettle we had; also the skull was broken open, the brains taken out, and cooked. We then got a fair wind, but as we got around a point, we had the wind very fresh off shore; we could hardly manage the boat; at last we drove on to an island some ways out to sea; we got the boat under the lee of it; but the same night we had a large hole stove into her. Being unable to haul her up, we were obliged to remain here eight days: it was on this island they tried to murder me.
"The third day we stopped here, I was out as usual picking berries, or any thing I could find to eat. Coming in, I chanced to pick up a mushroom. I brought it in with me; also an armful of wood to keep. While kneeling down to cook the mushroom, I received a heavy blow of a club from Joseph Fisher, and before I could get to my feet I got three more blows. I then managed to get to my feet, when Samuel Fisher got hold of my right arm; then Joseph Fisher struck me three more blows on the arm. I somehow got away from them, and, being half crazy, I did not know what to do. They made for me again; I kept begging of them, for God's sake, to spare my life, but they would not listen to my cries. They said they wanted some meat, and were bound to kill me. I had nothing I could defend myself with but a small knife; this I held in my hand until they approached me. Samuel Fisher was the first to come toward me; he had a large dirk-knife in his hand; his cousin was coming from another direction with a club and a stone. Samuel came on and grasped me by the shoulder, and had his knife raised to stab me. I then raised my knife, and stabbed him in the throat; he immediately fell, and I then made a step for Joe; he dropped his club, and went up to where the rest was. I then stooped down to see if Samuel was dead; he was still alive. I did not know what to do. At this time I began to cry; after a little while the rest told me to come up ; they would see there was nothing more done to me. I received four deep cuts on the head; one of the fellows dressed them for me, and washed the blood off my face. Next day Samuel Fisher died; his cousin was the first one to cut him up; his body was used up the same as my unfortunate shipmate's.
"After a while we managed to repair the boat, and left this island. We ran in where we thought was main land, but it proved to be an island; here we left the boat, and proceeded on foot, walking about one mile a day. At last we reached the other side of the island in four days; then put back again to the boat. It took us four days to get back again. When we got there, we found the boat was stove very bad since we left her. We tried to get around the island in her, but she sunk when we got into her; we then left her, and went back again to the other side of the island, to remain there until we would die or be picked up. We ate our boots, belts, and sheaths, and a number of bear-skin and seal-skin articles we had with us. To add to our misery, it com-