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Lost in the Woods

We were four in all; one intended to go to England with me, the other two to settle in Carolina. About eleven we came into a large swamp, where we wandered about till near two.  We then found another blaze and pursued it till it divided into two; one of these we followed through an almost impassable thicket, a mile beyond which it ended. We made through the thicket again, and traced the other blaze till that ended too. It now grew toward sunset; so we sat down, faint and weary, having had no food all day, except a gingerbread cake, which I had taken in my pocket. A third of this we had divided among us at noon; another third we took now; the rest we reserved for the morning; but we had met with no water all the day. Thrusting a stick into the ground, and finding the end of it moist, two of our company fell a-digging with their hands, and, at about three feet depth, found water. We thanked God, drank, and were refreshed. The night was sharp; however, there was no complaining among us; but after having commended ourselves to God, we lay down close together and (I at least) slept till near six in the morning.

Sunday, 4.—God renewed our strength, we arose neither faint nor weary, and resolved to make one trial more, to find out a path to Port Royal. We steered due east; but finding neither path nor blaze, and the woods growing thicker and thicker, we judged it would be our best course to return, if we could, by the way we came. The day before, in the thickest part of the wood, I had broken many young trees, I knew not why, as we walked along; these we found a great help in several places where no path was to be seen; and between one and two God brought us safe to Benjamin Arieu’s house, the old man we left the day before.

In the evening I read French prayers to a numerous family, a mile from Arieu’s; one of whom undertook to guide us to Port Royal. In the morning we set out. About sunset, we asked our guide if he knew where he was; who frankly answered, “No.”  However, we pushed on till, about seven, we came to a plantation; and the next evening, after many difficulties and delays, we landed on Port Royal island.

Wednesday, 7.—We walked to Beaufort, where Mr. Jones, the minister of Beaufort with whom I lodged during my short stay here, gave me a lively idea of the old English hospitality.  On Thursday Mr. Delamotte came; with whom, on Friday, 9, I took boat for Charleston. After a slow passage, by reason of contrary winds and some conflict (our provisions falling short) with hunger as well as cold, we came thither early in the morning, on Tuesday, 13.

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