Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/187

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173
NICARAGUA A.ND THE MOSQUITO COAST.

the water, presenting an overhanging bow and stern exactly alike in shape. Although the natives paddle about in all kinds of seas and weather, to the novice the boats are most frail and cranky craft; the slightest demonstration is sufficient to careen them to the very verge of capsizing. When such an accident does happen, the natives, who are excellent swimmers, right the boat and, by dexterously shaking it from side to side, empty it of water, and then, jumping in, they will pursue their journey with the utmost complacency. They propel their canoes with large shovel-shaped paddles, which they work for hours without signs of fatigue.

Pearl Lagoon is the sheet of water immediately north of the lagoon of Bluefields. The two are separated by a neck of land known as "Haulover." Pearl City, the home of the chief, is situated on the banks of Pearl Lagoon, and is about thirty-five miles from Bluefields. Much of the journey is through dark, winding creeks, and nowhere on the trip, until the settlement at Pearl Lagoon

PSM V45 D187 Loading bananas.jpg

Fig. 7. — Loading Bananas.

is reached, can the slightest trace of civilization be seen. Pearl City is a far prettier place than Bluefields, and is built on a prairie or savanna of some six square miles in extent. I was cordially received by Robert Henry Clarence, the Mosquito chief, who placed at my disposal one of his three horses, and I had