I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds 
    Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen 
    The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam, 
    To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds: 
    But never till to-night, never till now 
    Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.

Thursday, September 28th, - A fine bright morning, with a strong, fair wind. The order to stop firing was given at noon, and we ceased steaming shortly after. There had evidently been a gale from the southward during the last few days, for the swell was tremendous, and not only made us all feel very uncomfortable after our long stay in harbour, but considerably diminished our speed. Still, we managed to go twenty-seven knots in two hours and a half.

I was lying down, below, after breakfast, feeling very stupid, when Mabelle rushed into the cabin, saying, 'Papa says you are to come up on deck at once, to see the ship on fire.' I rushed up quickly, hardly knowing whether she referred to our own or some other vessel, and on reaching the deck I found everybody looking at a large barque, under full sail, flying the red union-jack upside down, and with signals in her rigging, which our signal-man read as 'Ship on fire.' These were lowered shortly afterwards, and the signals, 'Come on board at once,' hoisted in their place. Still we could see no appearance of smoke or flames, but we nevertheless hauled to the wind, tacked, hove to, and sent off a boat's crew, well armed, thinking it not impossible that a mutiny had taken place on board and that the captain or officers, mistaking the yacht for a gunboat, had appealed to us for assistance. We were now near enough to the barque to make out her name through a glass - the 'Monkshaven,' of Whitby - and we observed a puff of smoke issue from her deck simultaneously with the arrival of our boat alongside. In the course of a few minutes, the boat returned, bringing the mate of the 'Monkshaven,' a fine-looking Norwegian, who spoke English perfectly, and who reported his ship to be sixty-eight days out from Swansea, bound for Valparaiso, with a cargo of smelting coal. The fire had first been discovered on the previous Sunday, and by 6 a.m. on Monday the crew had got up their clothes and provisions on deck, thrown overboard all articles of a combustible character, such as tar, oil, paint, spare spars and sails, planks, and rope, and battened down the hatches. Ever since then they had all been living on deck, with no protection from the wind and sea but a canvas screen. Tom and Captain Brown proceeded on board at once. They found the deck more than a foot deep in water, and all a-wash; when the hatches were opened for a moment dense clouds of hot suffocating yellow smoke immediately poured forth, driving back all who stood near. From the captain's cabin came volumes of poisonous gas, which had found its way in through the crevices, and one man, who tried to enter, was rendered insensible.

It was perfectly evident that it would be impossible to save the ship, and the captain therefore determined, after consultation with Tom and Captain Brown, to abandon her. Some of the crew were accordingly at once brought on board the 'Sunbeam,' in our boat, which was then sent back to assist in removing the remainder, a portion of whom came in their own boat. The poor fellows were almost wild with joy at getting alongside another ship, after all the hardships they had gone through, and in their excitement they threw overboard many things which they might as well have kept, as they had taken the trouble to bring them. Our boat made three trips altogether, and by half-past six we had them all safe on board, with most of their effects, and the ship's chronometers, charts, and papers.

The poor little dingy, belonging to the 'Monkshaven,' had been cast away as soon as the men had disembarked from her, and there was something melancholy in seeing her slowly drift away to leeward, followed by her oars and various small articles, as if to rejoin the noble ship she had so lately quitted. The latter was now hove-to, under full sail, an occasional puff of smoke alone betraying the presence of the demon of destruction within. The sky was dark and lowering, the sunset red and lurid in its grandeur, the clouds numerous and threatening, the sea high and dark, with occasional streaks of white foam. Not a breath of wind was stirring. Everything portended a gale. As we lay slowly rolling from side to side, both ship and boat were sometimes plainly visible, and then again both would disappear, for what seemed an age, in the deep trough of the South Atlantic rollers.

For two hours we could see the smoke pouring from various portions of the ill-fated barque. Our men, who had brought off the last of her crew, reported that, as they left her, flames were just beginning to burst from the fore-hatchway; and it was therefore certain that the rescue had not taken place an hour too soon. Whilst we were at dinner, Powell called us up on deck to look at her again, when we found that she was blazing like a tar-barrel. The captain was anxious to stay by and see the last of her, but Tom was unwilling to incur the delay which this would have involved. We accordingly got up steam, and at nine p.m. steamed round the 'Monkshaven,' as close as it was deemed prudent to go. No flames were visible then; only dense volumes of smoke and sparks, issuing from the hatches. The heat, however, was intense, and could be plainly felt, even in the cold night air, as we passed some distance to leeward. All hands were clustered in our rigging, on the deck-house or on the bridge, to see the last of the poor 'Monkshaven,' as she was slowly being burnt down to the water's edge.

She was a large and nearly new (three years old) composite ship, built and found by her owners, Messrs. Smales, of Whitby, of 657 tons burden, and classed A 1 for ten years at Lloyd's. Her cargo, which consisted of coal for smelting purposes, was a very dangerous one; so much so that Messrs. Nicholas, of Sunderland, from whose mines the coal is procured, have great difficulty in chartering vessels to carry it, and are therefore in the habit of building and using their own ships for the purpose. At Buenos Ayres we were told that, of every three ships carrying this cargo round to Valparaiso or Callao, one catches fire, though the danger is frequently discovered in time to prevent much damage to the vessel or loss of life.

The crew of the 'Monkshaven' - Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Scotch, and Welsh - appear to be quiet, respectable men. This is fortunate, as an incursion of fifteen rough lawless spirits on board our little vessel would have been rather a serious matter. In their hurry and fright, however, they left all their provisions behind them, and it is no joke to have to provide food for fifteen extra hungry mouths for a week or ten days, with no shops at hand from which to replenish our stores. The sufficiency of the water supply, too, is a matter for serious consideration. We have all been put on half-allowance, and sea-water only is to be used for washing purposes.

Some account of the disaster, as gathered from the lips of various members of the crew at different times, may perhaps be interesting. It seems that, early on Monday morning, the day following that on which the fire was discovered, another barque, the 'Robert Hinds,' of Liverpool, was spoken. The captain of that vessel offered to stand by them or do anything in his power to help them; but at that time they had a fair wind for Monte Video, only 120 miles distant, and they therefore determined to run for that port, and do their best to save the ship, and possibly some of the cargo. In the course of the night, however, a terrible gale sprang up, the same, no doubt, as the one of which we had felt the effects on first leaving the River Plate. They were driven hither and thither, the sea constantly breaking over them and sweeping the decks, though fortunately without washing any of them overboard. After forty-eight hours of this rough usage the men were all exhausted, while the fire was gradually increasing in strength beneath their feet, and they knew not at what moment it might burst through the decks and envelope the whole ship in flames. They were beginning to abandon all hope of a rescue, when a sail was suddenly discovered; and as soon as the necessary flags could be found, the same signal which attracted us was displayed. The vessel, now quite close to them, proved to be a large American steamer, but she merely hoisted her own ensign and code-pennant, and then coolly steamed away to the southward. 'I think that captain deserved tarring and feathering, anyway,' one of the men said to me. Another observed, 'I wonder what will become of that man; for we had put all our lives in his hand by signalling as we did; and every seaman knows that right well.' Another said, 'When we saw that ship go away, we all gave in and lay down in despair to die. But our captain, who is very good to his crew, and a religious man too, said, "There is One above who looks after us all." That was true enough, for, about ten minutes afterwards, as I was talking to the cook, and telling him it was all over with us, I saw a sail to leeward, and informed the captain. We bore down a little, but did not like to go out of our course too much, fearing you might be a "Portuguese," and play us the same trick as the American.' (They could not understand our white ensign; for, our funnel being stowed, we looked like a sailing vessel, while all gunboats of our size are steamers.) 'When we saw it was an English vessel, and that you answered our signals and sent a boat off, we were indeed thankful; though that was nothing to what we feel now at once more having a really dry ship under our feet. Not that we have really suffered anything very terrible, for we had a bit of shelter, and plenty to eat, and the worst part was seeing our things washed overboard, and thinking perhaps we might go next. We have not had a dry deck since we left Swansea, and the pumps have been kept going most of the time. Why, with this sea, ma'am, our decks would be under water.' (This surprised me; as, though low in the water, the 'Monkshaven' did not appear to be overladen, and the Plimsoll mark was plainly visible.) 'Our boats were all ready for launching, but we had no sails, and only one rudder for the three; so we should have had hard work to fetch anywhere if we had taken to them. We lashed the two boys - apprentices, fourteen and sixteen years old - in one of the boats, for fear they should be washed overboard. The youngest of them is the only son of his mother, a widow; and you could see how she loved him by the way she had made his clothes, and fitted him out all through. He was altogether too well found for a ship like ours, but now most of his things are lost. His chest could not be got up from below, and though I borrowed an old bread-bag from the steward, it was not half big enough, and his sea-boots and things his mother had given him to keep him dry and cover his bed - not oilskins, like ours.' - 'Mackintoshes,' I suggested. - 'Yes, that's the name - they were all lost. It did seem a pity. The boy never thought there was much danger till this morning, when I told him all hope was gone, as the American ship had sailed away from us. He said, "Will the ship go to the bottom?" and I replied, "I fear so; but we have good boats, so keep up your heart, little man." He made no further remark, but laid down gently again, and cried a little.'

This poor child was dreadfully frightened in the small boat coming alongside, and his look of joy and relief, when once he got safely on board, was a treat to me. Every one on board, including the captain, seems to have been very kind to him. One of the men had his foot broken by the sea, and the captain himself had his leg severely injured; so the Doctor has some cases at last.

It was almost impossible to sleep during the night, owing to the heavy rolling, by far the most violent that we have yet experienced.

Friday, September 29th. - Again a fine morning. A fair breeze sprang up, and, the dreaded storm having apparently passed over, we ceased steaming at 6 a.m.

All on board are now settling down into something like order. The stewards are arranging matters below, and measuring out the stores, to allowance the men for twelve days. The men belonging respectively to the port and starboard watches of the 'Monkshaven' have been placed in the corresponding watches on board the 'Sunbeam.' The cook and steward are assisting ours below, and the two boys are very happy, helping in the kitchen, and making themselves generally useful. The deck does not look quite as neat as usual. Such of the men's sea-chests as have been saved are lashed round the steam-chest, so that they can be got at easily, while their bags and other odd things have been stowed on deck, wherever they can be kept dry; for every inch of available space below is occupied. Captain Runciman is writing, with tears in his eyes, the account of the loss of his fine ship. He tells me that he tried in vain to save sixty pounds' worth of his own private charts from his cabin, but it was impossible, on account of the stifling atmosphere, which nearly overpowered him. Fortunately, all his things are insured. He drowned his favourite dog, a splendid Newfoundland, just before leaving the ship; for, although a capital watch-dog, and very faithful, he was rather large and fierce; and when it was known that the 'Sunbeam' was a yacht, with ladies and children on board, he feared to introduce him. Poor fellow! I wish I had known about it in time to save his life!

The great danger of smelting coal, as a ship's cargo, besides its special liability to spontaneous combustion, appears to be that the fire may smoulder in the very centre of the mass for so long that, when the smoke is at last discovered, it is impossible to know how far the mischief has advanced. It may go on smouldering quietly for days, or at any moment the gas that has been generated may burst up the vessel's decks from end to end, without the slightest warning. Or it may burn downwards, and penetrate some portion of the side of the ship below water; so that, before any suspicion has been aroused, the water rushes in, and the unfortunate ship and her crew go to the bottom. On board the 'Monkshaven' the men dug down into the cargo in many places on Sunday night, only to find that the heat became more intense the deeper they went; and several of them had their hands or fingers burnt in the operation.

This has been about the best day for sailing that we have had since we left the tropics. The sea has been smooth, and a fair breeze has taken us steadily along at the rate of nine knots an hour. The sun shone brightly beneath a blue sky, and the temperature is delightful. The sunset was grand, though the sky looked threatening; but the moon rose brilliantly, and until we went to bed, at ten o'clock, the evening was as perfect as the day had been. At midnight, however, Tom and I were awakened by a knock at our cabin door, and the gruff voice of Powell, saying: 'The barometer's going down very fast, please, sir, and it's lightning awful in the sou'-west. There's a heavy storm coming up.' We were soon on deck, where we found all hands busily engaged in preparing for the tempest. Around us a splendid sight presented itself. On one side a heavy bank of black clouds could be seen rapidly approaching, while the rest of the heavens were brilliantly illuminated by forked and sheet lightning, the thunder meanwhile rolling and rattling without intermission. An ominous calm followed, during which the men had barely time to lower all the sails on deck, without waiting to stow them, the foresail and jib only being left standing, when the squall struck us, not very severely, but with a blast as hot as that from a furnace. We thought worse was coming, and continued our preparations; but the storm passed rapidly away to windward, and was succeeded by torrents of rain, so that it was evident we could only have had quite the tail of it.

Saturday, September 30th. - The morning broke bright and clear, and was followed by a calm, bright, sunny day, of which I availed myself to take some photographs of the captain and crew of the 'Monkshaven.' The wind failed us entirely in the afternoon, and it became necessary to get up steam. In the ordinary course of things, we should probably have had sufficient patience to wait for the return of the breeze; but the recent large addition to our party made it desirable for us to lose as little time as possible in reaching Sandy Point. Another grand but wild-looking sunset seemed like the precursor of a storm; but we experienced nothing worse than a sharp squall of hot wind, accompanied by thunder and lightning.

Sunday, October 1st. - A fine morning, with a fair wind. At eleven we had a short service, at four a longer one, with an excellent sermon from Tom, specially adapted to the rescue of the crew of the burning ship. As usual, the sunset, which was magnificent, was succeeded by a slight storm, which passed over without doing us any harm.

I have said that it was found impossible to save any provisions from the 'Monkshaven.' As far as the men are concerned, I think this is hardly to be regretted, for I am told that the salt beef with which they were supplied had lain in pickle for so many years that the saltpetre had eaten all the nourishment out of it, and had made it so hard that the men, instead of eating it, used to amuse themselves by carving it into snuff-boxes, little models of ships, &c. I should not, however, omit to mention that Captain Runciman managed to bring away with him four excellent York hams, which he presented to us, and one of which we had to-day at dinner.

Wednesday, October 4th. - At 6 a.m., on going on deck I found we were hove-to under steam and closely-reefed sails, a heavy gale blowing from the south-west, right ahead. The screw was racing round in the air every time we encountered an unusually big wave; the spray was dashing over the vessel, and the water was rushing along the deck - altogether an uncomfortable morning. As the sun rose, the gale abated, and in the course of the day the reefs were shaken out of the sails, one by one, until, by sunset, we were once more under whole canvas, beating to windward. There were several cries of 'land ahead' during the day, but in each case a closer examination, through a glass, proved that the fancied coast-line or mountain-top existed only in cloud-land.

Thursday, October 5th. - We made the land early, and most uninteresting it looked, consisting, as it did, of a low sandy shore, with a background of light clay-coloured cliffs. Not a vestige of vegetation was anywhere to be seen, and I am quite at a loss to imagine what the guanacos and ostriches, with which the chart tells us the country hereabouts abounds, find to live upon. About twelve o'clock we made Cape Virgins, looking very like Berry Head to the north of Torbay, and a long spit of low sandy land, stretching out to the southward, appropriately called Dungeness.

Some of the charts brought on board by Captain Runciman were published by Messrs. Imray, of London, and in one of them it is represented that a fine fixed light has been established on Cape Virgins.[2] This we knew to be an impossibility, not only on account of the general character of the country, but because no indication is given of the light in our newest Admiralty charts. Captain Runciman, however, had more confidence in the correctness of his own chart, and could hardly believe his eyes when he saw that the light really had no existence on the bare bleak headland. His faith was terribly shaken, and I hope he will not omit to call Messrs. Imray's attention to the matter on his return home; for the mistake is most serious, and one which might lead to the destruction of many a good ship.

[Footnote 2: I have since received a letter from Messrs. Imray requesting me to state that the light was inserted on erroneous information from the hydrographic office at Washington, and has since been erased from their charts.]

About two o'clock we saw in the far distance what looked at first like an island, and then like smoke, but gradually shaped itself into the masts, funnel, and hull of a large steamer. From her rig we at once guessed her to be the Pacific Company's mail boat, homeward bound. When near enough, we accordingly hoisted our number, and signalled 'We wish to communicate,' whereupon she bore down upon us and ceased steaming. We then rounded up under her lee and lowered a boat, and Tom, Mabelle, and I, with Captain Runciman and four or five of the shipwrecked crew, went on board. Our advent caused great excitement, and seamen and passengers all crowded into the bows to watch us. As we approached the ladder the passengers ran aft, and directly we reached the deck the captain took possession of Tom, the first and second officers of Mabelle and myself, while Captain Runciman and each of his crew were surrounded by a little audience eager to know what had happened, and all about it. At first it was thought that we all wanted a passage, but when we explained matters Captain Thomas, the commander of the 'Illimani,' very kindly undertook to receive all our refugees and convey them to England. We therefore sent the gig back for the rest of the men and the chests of the whole party, and then availed ourselves of the opportunity afforded by the delay to walk round the ship. It was most amusing to see the interest with which we were regarded by all on board. Passengers who had never been seen out of their berths since leaving Valparaiso, and others who were indulging, at the time of our visit, in the luxury of a 'day sleep,' between the twelve o'clock luncheon and four o'clock dinner, suddenly made their appearance, in dressing-gowns and wraps, with dishevelled hair and wide-opened eyes, gazing in mute astonishment at us, quite unable to account for our mysterious arrival on board in this out-of-the-way spot. A mail steamer does not stop for a light cause, and it was therefore evident to them that the present was no ordinary occurrence. The captain told us that the last time he passed through the Straits he picked up two boats' crews, who had escaped from a burning ship, and who had suffered indescribable hardships before they were rescued.

Captain Runciman is convinced, after comparing notes with the chief officer of the 'Illimani,' that the vessel which refused to notice his signal of distress was the 'Wilmington,' sent down from New York, with a party of forty wreckers, to try and get the steamer 'Georgia' off the rocks near Port Famine, in the Straits of Magellan. If this be so, it is the more surprising that no attempt was made to render assistance to the 'Monkshaven,' provided her signals were understood, as the 'Wilmington' had plenty of spare hands, and could not have been in a particular hurry. Moreover, one would think that, with her powerful engines, she might have made an attempt to tow the distressed vessel into Monte Video, and so secure three or four thousand pounds of salvage money.

The captain of the 'Illimani' kindly gave us half a bullock, killed this morning, a dozen live ducks and chickens, and the latest newspapers. Thus supplied with food for body and mind, we said farewell, and returned to the 'Sunbeam;' our ensigns were duly dipped, we steamed away on our respective courses, and in less than an hour we were out of sight of each other. It is a sudden change for the 'Monkshaven' men, who were all very reluctant to leave the yacht. Many of them broke down at the last moment, particularly when it came to saying good-bye to Tom and me, at the gangway of the steamer. They had seemed thoroughly to appreciate any kindnesses they received while with us, and were anxious to show their gratitude in every possible way. The two boys, especially, were in great grief at their departure, and were very loth to part with their boatswain, who remains with us to make up our complement.[3]

[Footnote 3: After our return to England the following letter reached us from Messrs. Smales: -

                     'Whitby, June 30th, 1877. 'THOMAS BRASSEY, Esq.

'DEAR SIR, - Observing by the newspapers that you have returned home after your cruise, we take this opportunity of thanking you most heartily for the valuable assistance you rendered to the crew of our late barque "Monkshaven," in lat. 43 28 S., lon. 62 21 W., after she proved to be on fire and beyond saving. Your kind favour of October 1 last duly reached us, and it was very satisfactory to know from an authority like your own, that all was done under the trying circumstances that was possible, to save the ship and cargo. The inconvenience of having so many extra hands for the time on board your vessel, must have tried your resources; but you will be probably aware that the Board of Trade willingly compensate for loss sustained in rescuing a crew, when a claim is made. You will be glad to learn that the master and crew arrived all well, in due course, at Liverpool, by the "Illimani," and were very grateful for your kindness to them. Our ill-fated vessel must have sunk very soon after you took off the crew, as nothing more has been heard of her, and it was a most fortunate circumstance that you were so near at hand, more especially as the captain reported to us, that a vessel carrying the American colours took no notice of his signal of distress. As shipowners, we generally find that our own countrymen are more heroic, and always ready to lend a helping hand to brother mariners in distress, so that, as you say, we do not doubt you experienced some satisfaction in rendering this service. - Trusting that you have enjoyed your trip, we beg to remain yours, truly obliged,

                     'SMALES Brothers.']

About 8 p.m. we anchored for the night in Possession Bay. It was thick at sunset, but afterwards clear and cold, with a splendid moon.

Friday, October 6th. - We got under way at 5.30 a.m., and steamed past the low sandy coast of Patagonia and the rugged mountains of Tierra del Fuego, and through the First and Second Narrows, to Cape Negro, where the character of the scenery began to improve a little, the vegetation gradually changing from low scrubby brushwood to respectable-sized trees. When passing between Elizabeth Island, so named by Sir Francis Drake, and the island of Santa Madalena, we looked in vain for the myriads of seals, otters, and sea-lions with which this portion of the Straits is said to abound; but we saw only seven or eight little black spots on the shore, in the distance, which disappeared into the sea as we approached.

At 3 p.m. we reached Sandy Point, the only civilised place in the Straits. It is a Chilian settlement, and a large convict establishment has been formed here by the Government. Almost before we had dropped our anchor, the harbour-master came on board, closely followed by the officers of the two Chilian men-of-war lying in the harbour. The rain, which had been threatening all day, now descended in torrents, and we landed in a perfect downpour. We thought the pier at Buenos Ayres unsafe and rickety, but here matters were still worse, for the head of the structure had been completely washed away by a gale, and no little care was necessary in order to step across the broken timbers in safety. The town, which contains between 1,200 and 1,300 inhabitants, is composed entirely of one-storied log huts, with slate or tile roofs, and with or without verandahs. They are all arranged in squares, separated from each other by wide roads; and the whole settlement is surrounded by stockades. At the further end of the town stands the convict prison, distinguished by its tower, and the Governor's house, which, though built of wood, is the most pretentious-looking edifice in the place. There is a nice little church close by, and some tidy-looking barracks.

We went straight to the house of the British Vice-Consul, who received us very kindly, and promised to do what he could to assist us in obtaining supplies; but the resources of the place are limited, and eggs, ship's beef and biscuits, and water, will, I expect, be the sum total of what we shall be able to procure. In fact, it is rather doubtful whether we shall even be able to renew our stock of coal. In the meantime we started off to potter about the town, finding, however, very little to amuse us. There were some new-laid ostrich eggs to be bought, and some queer-looking worked Patagonian saddle-bags.

I fear we shall not see any of the Patagonians themselves, for they come to the colony only three or four times a year, to purchase supplies, and to sell skins and ostrich eggs. They are a mounted tribe of Indians, living on the northern plains, and are now on their way down here, to pay one of their periodical visits; but, being encumbered with their families, they move very slowly, and are not expected to arrive for another ten days. They will no doubt bring a splendid supply of skins, just too late for us, which is rather disappointing, particularly as we are not likely to have another opportunity of meeting with them at any of the places we touch at. They live so far in the interior of the country that they very seldom visit the coast.

We went to see three Fuegian females, who are living in a house belonging to the medical officer of the colony. They were picked up a short time since by a passing steamer from a canoe, in which they had evidently sought refuge from some kind of cruelty or oppression. The biggest of them, a stout fine-looking woman, had a terrible gash in her leg, quite recently inflicted, and the youngest was not more than eight years old. They appeared cheerful and happy, but we were told that they are not likely to live long. After the free life and the exposure to which they have been accustomed, civilisation - in the shape of clothing and hot houses - almost always kills them. Their lungs become diseased, and they die miserably. Their skin is slightly copper-coloured, their complexions high-coloured, their hair thick and black; and, though certainly not handsome, they are by no means so repulsive as I had expected from the descriptions of Cook, Dampier, Darwin, and other more recent travellers.

Saturday, October 7th. - My birthday. Tom gave me a beautiful guanaco-skin robe, and the children presented me with two ostrich rugs. The guanaco is a kind of large deer, and it is said that the robes made from its skin are the warmest in the world. People here assure me that, with the hair turned inside, these robes have afforded them sufficient protection to enable them to sleep in comfort in the open air, exposed to snow, frost, and rain. They are made from the skin of the young fawns, killed before they are thirteen days old, or, better still, from the skins of those which have never had an independent existence. In colour, the animals are a yellowish brown on the back, and white underneath, and they are so small that when each skin is split up it produces only two triangular patches, about the size of one's hand. A number of these are then, with infinite trouble, sewed neatly together by the Indian women, who use the fine leg-sinews of the ostrich as thread. Those worn by the caciques, or chiefs, have generally a pattern in the centre, a brown edging, and spots of red and blue paint on the part which is worn outwards. Such robes are particularly difficult to obtain, on account of the labour and time necessary to produce them. Each cacique keeps several wives constantly employed in making them, of the best as well as of the ordinary description. The ostrich rugs, which are made here, are more ornamental, though not so warm and light as the guanaco robes. They are made of the entire skin of the ostrich, from which the long wing-feathers have been pulled out. Mabelle has been given a beautiful little rug composed of the skins of thirty little ostriches, all from one nest, killed when they were a fortnight old, each skin resembling a prettily marked ball of fluff.

At eleven o'clock we went ashore. The Governor had kindly provided horses for all the party, and while they were being saddled I took some photographs. There are plenty of horses here, but the only saddles and bridles to be had are those used by the natives. The saddles are very cumbrous and clumsy to look at, though rather picturesque. They are formed of two bits of wood, covered with about a dozen sheepskins and ponchos; not at all uncomfortable to ride in, and very suitable for a night's bivouac in the open. 'Plenty of nice soft rugs to lie upon and cover yourself with, instead of a hard English saddle for your bed and stirrups for blankets,' as a native once said, when asked which he preferred. About one o'clock we started, accompanied by the officers commanding the garrison and two attendant cavaliers, equipped in Chilian style, with enormous carved modern stirrups, heavy bits and spurs much bigger than those whose size struck us so much in the Argentine Republic. We had a pleasant ride, first across a sandy plain and through one or two small rivers, to a saw-mill, situated on the edge of an extensive forest, through which we proceeded for some miles. The road was a difficult one, and our progress was but slow, being often impeded by a morass or by the trunk of a tree which had fallen right across the path, and was now rapidly rotting into touchwood under the influence of the damp atmosphere and incessant rain. Lichens of every colour and shape abounded, and clothed the trunks gracefully, contrasting with the tender spring tints of the leaves, while the long hairy tillandsia, like an old man's beard, three or four feet long, hung down from the topmost branches. The ground was carpeted with moss, interspersed with a few early spring flowers, and the whole scene, though utterly unlike that presented by any English forest, had a strange weird beauty of its own. Not a sound could be heard; not a bird, beast, or insect was to be seen. The larger trees were principally a peculiar sort of beech and red cedar, but all kinds of evergreens, known to us at home as shrubs, such as laurestine, and various firs, here attain the proportions of forest-trees. There is also a tree called Winter's Bark (Drimys Winteri), the leaves and bark of which are hot and bitter, and form an excellent substitute for quinine. But the most striking objects were the evergreen berberis and mahonia, and the Darwinia, the larger sort of which was covered with brilliant orange, almost scarlet, flowers, which hung down in bunches, of the shape and size of small outdoor grapes.

On our way back we took a sharp turn leading to the sea-shore, to which the forest extends in places, and rode along the beach towards the town. It was low water, or this would not have been possible, and as it was, we often had considerable difficulty in making our way between wood and water. The day was bright and clear, with a bitterly cold wind and occasional heavy showers of rain; a fair average day for Sandy Point. It is further west, they say, that the weather is so hopeless. Lieutenant Byron, in his terribly interesting account of the wreck of the 'Wager,' says that one fine day in three months is the most that can be expected. I wonder, not without misgivings, if we really shall encounter all the bad weather we not only read of but hear of from every one we meet. Though very anxious to see the celebrated Straits, I shall not be sorry when we are safely through, and I trust that the passage may not occupy the whole of the three weeks which Tom has been advised to allow for it.

We saw a few sea-birds, specially some 'steamer-ducks,' so called from their peculiar mode of progression through the water. They neither swim nor fly, but use their wings like the paddles of a steamer, with a great noise and splutter, and go along very fast. On reaching the plains we had an opportunity of testing the speed of our horses, which warmed us up a little after our slow progress by the water's edge in the bitter wind. We rode all round the stockades, outside the town, before dismounting; but I saw nothing of special interest. Before the party broke up, arrangements were made for us to go to morrow to one of the Government corrals, to see the cattle lassoed and branded - an operation which is always performed twice a year.

We reached the yacht again at half-past five. Dr. Fenton came on board to dinner, and from him we heard a great deal about the colony, the Patagonians or Horse Indians, and the Fuegians or Canoe Indians. The former inhabit, or rather roam over, a vast tract of country. They are almost constantly on horseback, and their only shelter consists of toldos, or tents, made of the skins of the old guanacos, stretched across a few poles. They are tall and strong, averaging six feet in height, and are bulky in proportion; but their size is nothing like so great as old travellers have represented. Both men and women wear a long flowing mantle of skins, reaching from the waist to the ankle, with a large loose piece hanging down on one side, ready to be thrown over their heads whenever necessary, which is fastened by a large flat pin hammered out either from the rough silver or from a dollar. This, their sole garment, has the effect of adding greatly in appearance to their height. They never wash, but daub their bodies with paint and grease, especially the women. Their only weapons are knives and bolas, the latter of which they throw with unerring precision. During their visits to the Sandy Point settlement their arms are always taken from them, for they are extremely quarrelsome, particularly when drunk. Nobody has been able to ascertain that they possess any form of sacred belief, or that they perform any religious ceremonies. Their food consists principally of the flesh of mares, troops of which animals always accompany them on their excursions. They also eat ostrich-flesh, which is considered a great delicacy, as well as the fish the women catch, and the birds' eggs they find. Vegetable food is almost unknown to them, and bread is never used, though they do sometimes purchase a little flour, rice, and a few biscuits, on the occasion of their visits to the colony.

The Fuegians, or Canoe Indians, as they are generally called, from their living so much on the water, and having no settled habitations on shore, are a much smaller race of savages, inhabiting Tierra del Fuego - literally Land of Fire - so called from the custom the inhabitants have of lighting fires on prominent points as signals of assembly. The English residents here invariably call it Fireland - a name I had never heard before, and which rather puzzled me at first. Whenever it is observed that a ship is in distress, or that shipwrecked mariners have been cast ashore, the signal-fires appear as if by magic, and the natives flock together like vultures round a carcase. On the other hand, if all goes well, vessels often pass through the Straits without seeing a single human being, the savages and their canoes lying concealed beneath the overhanging branches of trees on the shore. They are cannibals, and are placed by Darwin in the lowest scale of humanity. An old author describes them as 'magpies in chatter, baboons in countenance, and imps in treachery.' Those frequenting the eastern end of the Straits wear - if they wear anything at all - a deerskin mantle, descending to the waist: those at the western end wear cloaks made from the skin of the sea-otter. But most of them are quite naked. Their food is of the most meagre description, and consists mainly of shell-fish, sea-eggs, for which the women dive with much dexterity, and fish, which they train their dogs to assist them in catching. These dogs are sent into the water at the entrance to a narrow creek or small bay, and they then bark and flounder about and drive the fish before them into shallow water, where they are caught.

Bishop Stirling, of the Falkland Islands, has been cruising about these parts in a small schooner, and visiting the natives, for the last twelve years, and the Governor here tells us that he has done much good in promoting their civilisation; while the hardships he has endured, and the difficulties and dangers he has surmounted, have required almost superhuman energy and fortitude on his part. The Fuegians, as far as is known, have no religion of their own.

The 'Wilmington' came in this morning. Her captain declares that as the 'Monkshaven' was not hove-to, he never thought that there could be anything seriously amiss with her. His glass was not good enough to enable him to make out the union-jack reversed, or the signal of distress, which he therefore supposed to be merely the ship's number. It was satisfactory to hear this explanation; and as not only the interests of humanity, but his own, were involved, there is every reason to believe that his account of the transaction is perfectly true.