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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis

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A VARIETY OF WILD GAME

OUR gentlemen who had the heart to make prisoner of so honest, upright a man as my master, did not cease their sport because of what had befallen Master Brookes, but continued at the hunting until they had brought down two wild boars and also an animal fashioned like unto nothing I had ever seen before. It was something after the manner of a serpent, but speckled on the stomach as is a toad, and Captain Smith believed the true name of it to be Iguana, the like of which he says that he has often seen in other countries and that its flesh makes very good eating.


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If any one save Captain Smith had said this, I should have found it hard to believe him, and as it was I was glad my belief was not put to the test.


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Two days afterward we were come to an island which Master Hunt says is known to seamen as Monica, and there it was that Nathaniel went on shore in one of the boats, coming back at night to tell me a most wondrous story.

He declared that the birds and their eggs were so plentiful that the whole island was covered with them; that one could not set down his foot, save upon eggs, or birds sitting on their nests, some of which could hardly be driven away even with blows, and when they rose in the air, the noise [38] made by their wings was so great as to deafen a person.


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Our seamen loaded two boats full of the eggs in three hours, and all in the fleet feasted for several days on such as had not yet been spoiled by the warmth of the birds' bodies.

It was on the next day that we left behind us those islands which Captain Smith told me were the West Indies, and the seaman who stood at the helm when I came on deck to get water for my master, said we were steering a northerly course, which would soon bring us to the land of Virginia.


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