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36 Untrodden Jamaica. reader will, no doubt, remember. While snatching a comfortless sleep on that miserable first night, with the rain beating against the awning of my hammock, I was aroused at about 10.30 by Peter's bovine tones :-" llim go to Nanny Town ? No my son ; Inspector can't go deb.'' He then, not knowing that I was listening, pro ceeded to inform the other men that no white man, no brown man, and not even a black man unless he was a Maroon, could go there and return unscathed ; that Barrett, Grant, Logan and the other men might go, but one or two of them would certainly be left be-. hind in the woods ; but that for me to attempt to go would be suicidal. On being as to details he said. that if one were to kill a wild hog and put it to roast, or put any food to cook, a large bird with a red tail would swoop down upo it and carry it off, and we would powerless to lift up a gun tq shoot it. He told many other stories, each one wilder and more ridiculous and improbable than the last ; but each wound up with the same formula :-'' Inspector can't go deb." On my return from the John Crow Mountain expedition I laid myself out to gather as much as possible of the of the couniry respecting the Maroons of Nanny Town'; and the following are among the legends told to me, many of them by men or good position among the peasantry, .and other sensible. intelligent persons. The notorious Nanny was a woman, and the wife of the leac!er Cudjoe,-or, I presume, one. of his wives-and, all unsexed women who have led a freebooter's life, ten times more ferocious and blood-thirsty than any' man am'ong the Maroons. She possessed of supernatural powers, and spirited away the best antl finest of the slaves from the outlying She never went into battle armed like the but the bullets of the enemy that were aimed at her, and returned them with fatal effect, in a manner of which decency forbids a nearer description. She kept at the junction of the Nanny and Stony rivers, at the foot of the precipice on whose brink Nanny Town stood, a huge cauldron boil ing, without any fire underneath ; when soldiers aml militia drew near to inspect this marvellous phenomenon, they fell. headlong into it and were suffocated-of which please take note, as. I shall refer to this later on. To this day the of the siege, old muskets, gun-locks, jars, bottles, the redoubtable swivels themselves-which were abandoned after having served: purposeand the other paraphernalia strewed along the rOQky mountain path leading to Nanny Town, are all enchanted, an4 will vanish from sight on any sacrilegious hand being stretched to them from their resting-places the moss and These are among 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


Bow I Nanny Town. 87 the most widely current and most devoutly believed of the many legends in existence. My mission was now to penetrate to 'he very spot on which Nanny Town stood one hundred and fifty-six 1.ears ago, explore it thoroughly and report on it, and search the stte itself and the path leading to it--called '' Trelawney's Path," after the Governor of that 11&1De by whose command it was constructed-for relics of the expedition of Captain Stoddart ; and above all to find the swivel guns which played so important a part in the aflair, as a trophy for the Exhibition. I tound a willing gnide in the person of Rural Policeman Hibbert, a lean wiry man, a hog-hunt.er from his earliest youth, in trepid of and thoroughly acquainted with the reoosses of the Blue Mountain forests. Born and bred on Islan Head coffee plantation, the nearest cultivated spot, he was quite familiar with the legends relating to the destruction of Nanny Town, the most likely pJace in which to search for the guns, and had when working at clearing land for coffee planting on the lower levels of Trelawney'8 path forty 1ears ago, picked up and handlell old musket-balls and flintlocks, Jars, and He had more than once hunted wild hogs right down to the very site of old town. I then sent for my trusty Barrett, and added Rural Head man Gilling, and Rural Policemen Gardner and Walters escort. I carefully avoided Maroons. With this following I set out on the 10th March 1890 ; but no sooner had I done so than it began to blow 11. strong norther, acoompanied by pouring rain and bitter cold. I reached a height of over 5,000 feet, and then was compelled to beat a retreat, simply -because it was so wet and cold that we found it quite impossible to light a fire in the hut which we had partially built, after vain struugle of an hour and a half. Barrett, Walters and I just ag;J to clear the high woods before dark ; arrived within a\ yards of the deserted and ruined house on Island Headat.8.30 p.m. ; and slept in a in an old provision ground, after dining otf the cane, until the moon rose at midnight, from sheer inability io find the track leading io the house among the tangled thicket by which it is surrounded. Hibbert knocked up i the woods, and Gilling and Ctcirdner lay down with him under tree on the soaking moss until almost daylight. I had walked that day for fourteen hours, and thought that cane-juice dinner, and the subsequent sleep on the cane-leaves with my knapsack under my head for a pillow, the most enjoyable I ever had. Of course after this failure there were whisperings and. nod dings shoulder-shrnggings among the people, and it was unani1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


38 Untrodden Jamaica. mously that Nanny's obeah had been too strong for me. I was now m honour bound to go at any cost. I found my men-to their credit be it said-as keen and anxious as I was myself ; and I resolved to organise the next expedition secretly, not to by way of the village of Trinityville as I had done on the former occasion, hut to make my depOt at Garbrand Hall, a beautiful sequestered 3pot nestling in a well watered and wooded vale at the very foot of the Blue Mountains. The word was accordingly passed round to the men to muster at Island Head house quietly on the afternoon of Saturday 3rd May, as I wished to have full moon for the expedition. Barrett was to meet me at Garbrand Hall at the same time with a mule and hampers for conveyance of the provisions and other necessaries. It was not without misgivings that I drove out of Morant Bay at 3 p.m. bn the day named. It had been drizzling off and on the morning, and the Blue Mountains were blotted out of 8ight by an enormous bank of hot, black thunder clouds. My friends pointed to a falling barometer, and, while wishing me good luck, shook their heads ominously and said it would be a pity if I had to tum back again. The doctor went so far as to wager a libation to Bacchus that the next day but one would see me back. But I put on a cheery face, and drove off with a parting caution to the doctor to save up some of his money against my return, as he would need it to pay his bet. At 4.30 I arrived at Garbrand Hall, and found the trusty Barrett waiting. Some little time was spent in transferring the impedimenta from the buggy to the hampers, and consigning former to the care of Mr. Turner, the overseer, to whose kindness I am much indebted. Then, at about 5.15, after a stirrup-cup with Mr. Turne?'., with my knapsack on my back, a Martini-Henry carbine slung on one shoulder, and my alpenstock in hand, I set out at a swinging pace to cover the distance of six miles and the ascent of 2,600 foet that lay between me and the rendezvous ; Barrett and his son following with the mule, each with a bag on his head. Island. Head was reached at 7 .30; and 1 very nearly put a summary end to ;myself and the expedition by walking, misled by the uncertain light of the moon and 'the tangled growth of bush, serenely over the edge of one barbecue on to another five feet lower down. Fortunately, the thicket that caused the accident also' broke the fall, but I gave a nasty wrench to a. tendon of my left knee; and was heavily handicapped on the next day. By .tlie of the all-healing Canadian Oil, however, I managed to pull through. The only men I found at Island Head were Hibbert and Gard1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


How I eaJplored Nanny Town. 19 ner, with old McLaren, the headman of the property, to keep them company. Gilling and Walters had not yet turned up; but I and, as it afterwards proved rightly, that they were waiting for a man who had come forward a few weeks. before and volunteered to guide me to the very spot where the were lying. To this. man I had offered a reward of one pound, and half-a-crown1 a day for his ti.me, in the event of the search being successful. At 8.30 the other. two men arrived, as I ex. pected, without the last-mentioned individual. However, as I had decided to go at once straight to Nanny Town and leave the search until my return, it did not matter. I didn't want him at Nanny Town, and he wouldn't have come with me if I had wanted him. Hibbert and Gardner had beguiled the time previous to my arrival by roasting breadfruit, and these, with a couple of tins of mortadella" extracted from the bags, constituted our dinner. The .remainder of the evening was passed in selecting such of the pr ... visions as we should want at Nanny Town, apportioning the loads, and arranging the programme. This was as follows :-A start was to be made as soon as pos sible after daylight on Sunday, 4th, and Nanny Town to be reached that night if practicable. The route was to be by Colonel Wilkie's Road,'' a mountain path which was begun early in this century .to lead to Port Antonio, but afterwards abandoned bafore completion. Monday and, possibly, Tuesday, were to be spent at Nanny Town, and on Wednesday at the latiest we were to return to Island Head by Trelawney's Path." Thursday and Friday were to be devoted to a general search back along Trelawney's Path for the guns and other relics, and on Saturday the whole party would return home. Everything being arranged, I my hammock to two rafters of the old half-ruined house and turned in, while the men stretched themselves on the floor and smoked and talked themselves off to sleep one by one. It was an anxious night. Three times I got up and went outside to look at the weather. It was the night full moon, and the sky was full of wild and sweeping ''mares' tails,'' while the moon herself was rimmed with a wide halo. A bank of lieavy cloud rested over the sea away down beyond the pro montories along the coast faintly outlined in .the and alt.ogether it was such a night as would have caused many an anxious look at the barometer had it been August or Septem ber instead of May. There was no rain, however, and the East and West Peaks of the.Blue Mountain were clearly traced againsi. the sky as they towered above us to the At 3.30 a.m. the men turned out and set about making coffee and cooking rice and pease to take along with us for breakfast ; and at 4.80 I got 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


40 Cnfrodden Jamaica. up finallJ. and went out again tO watch the day And then a thing happened. With the first gleam of pearly tint in the East, and the first dimming of the fires of the mommg star, a magic hand seemed to pass across the blue vault above. It swept away the mares' tails and wiped the halo from round the moon, and in throo minutes a million of fiame were flashing and twinkling down from a cloudless azure, and a yellow orb was 8hedding her partinp: oYer the Queeoborough ridge to the West,-all paling slowly and surely_and hiding away before the coming day. Then the colour of the canefields, up from the lovely Blue Mountain Valley stretched at my feet, could be and the white works and the great gaunt gutters took form and 'shape ; and the river-beds separated themselves from the trees, and shewed their silver threads of water, and a light mh-t Memed to rise acro?s the sea. Then an exquisite purplish tint glo rified the rugged sides of the grim old Peak ; a tiny cloud-wreath with a golden frinl(e to it drifted past and kissed his hoary head, and I knew the sun was up ; while a keeri morning breeze wafted down on its breath the coo of the pigeons from the ;woods above. The delicious freshness and peace and beauty of it, were beyond description. After a hearty meal of strong black coffee, biscuits and dried ,beef, loads were adjusted, the provisions left behind given into the keeping of old McLaren ; 1and at 6.15 a.m. we stepped out into the J>right sunshine and Bttuck into Wilkie's Road about half a mile from the house. Island Head is. .2,440 feet .above sea-level; but in order *<>reach 'E<>wn we: had to ascend nearly 3,000 feet higher, cross ,rjdge of:the Mount:ains, and descend aga!n into the Jnsh of. :P ... qrtland. Through the kindness of the Hon. Director of .PJJblic Works I was provided with an aneroid barometer, by means of which I was enabled to register the heights of all the most itnportaet places. '. ; The rough and uneven, wound at first in and out with a J?r&dual ; .now back of a sharp Ind commanding an e:stens1ve VIew of the Blue Mountain Valley mililing still and placid below ; now turning back into the wooded lyimg between the spurs, and plunging into a profusion of : tiful flowering orehids, ferns and begonias, and crossing iri almost every gorge a mountain stream that came leaping down among the. boulders, cold and clear, from its source 3,000 feet above. We crawled with the utmost care along the faces of landslips, one or two of tl)em of great magnitude, where the crumb. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


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How I ezplored Nanny Town. 41 ling shale broke away in a continuous tiny avalanche under our feet, and a false step would have sent one headlong down from three to five hundred feet. Sometimes we were up to the neck in heavy guinea-grass, then tJerambling through that worst of thicket, the after-growth of an abandoned provision ground. But in about two hours we left these traces of civilisation behind, and entered the primeval forest, after rounding the southern shoulder of the great spur that shoots out east of Island Head. The Blue Mountain Valley now from view, and looking eastward naught was visible but a panorama of peak on peak and ridge on ridge, all clothed with sombre silent forest. Three times I noticed gigantic Santa Maria trees lying prostrate with the marks of' the axe on their stems, and a large hole burnt halfway up the trunk. These I was informed had been cut down for the sake of honey, large quantities of bees having hived in them. It was painful to see the .wanton waste of so much valuable timber. None of the trees that I saw thus destroyed were less than a hundred feet high. The soil all along here was rich vegetable mould, the slope was fairly gentle, and, as far as I could judge, finer land for coffee could not he de sired. It was also well sheltered from the north. At 9.15, after three hours' steady walking, we halted a few minutes for a refreshing draught of icy water at "Catherine John son's Spring,,' an affluent of the western arm of the Johnson River. It was a little glimpse of fairyland. Frothing and fretting among dark smooth boulders, and embowered by tall ferns and grasses that lovingly droop their fronds across its Hashing bosom, the stream comes hurrying down from the heights above and disappears over a low wall of rock just below the path, and is sranned by a couple of huge fallen trunks, vestiges of the hurricane s march, but so gaily tricked out with ferns and wild flowers, and moss bejewelled with dewdrops, that you cannot mourn the past glory of the fallen mon archs. Surely they could never have been such things of beauty in their lives as they are now, with tiny ribbons of sunlight striking down between the leaves and calling into life all the colours of the rainbow from the spray and the dew around them. We crossed this beautiful dell at a height of 3,050 feet, and shortly aft.erwards passed the main branch of the Western arm of the Johnson River at a slightly lower elevation-2,840 feet. At 10.30 we came across a second edition of Catherine Johnson's Spring ; and as it was now five hours since we had had coffee, and we had done a good of hard work in the keen mountain air, I suggested break fast, which was at once agreed to. So .we laid down our loads, and seated on moss-decked boulders and tree-trunks ate our frugal of dried beef and rice and pease, with a little luxury in R


42 Cntrodden Jamaica. roasted yam, with a keener relish than the stalled ox'1 contd possibly have evoked. The crystal water of the mountain torrent was now also contaminated by contact with alcohol, a glass of groj( was served out ; and then under the influence of clouds of tobacco, I drank in the beauty of the scene and the sunshine, and mourned that one could not always live 1tmong such surroundings. The only visible aninial life was centred in a dear little greenplumaged, red-throated robin, who, perched on a swaying spray of fern that over-arched the little waterfall below us hardly two yards away, and uttering now and again his tiny '-cheep," 8eemed to take most absorbing, and at the same time slightly resentful interest in our proceedings. This spot was 2,900 feet above sea-level ; and on learning that the stream was unnamed I at once christened it, unpoetically though appropriately, Police Spring." At 11.15 we got under way again. And now began a steep and steady climb, for our course lay towards the hack of the Main Ridjre. The order of march was as follows :-First, Hibbert, the guide, with a light load and machete in hand ; then myself with aneroid. barometer, carbine, hatchet, and alpenstock ; then my trn!'ty Barrett, who followed at my heels like a dog and slept undemtrcith my hammock at nights. He acted as valet and carried my bedding and a few other necessaries. After him came the other men with the rest of the impedimenta, each with his machete slung beside him. As we toiled slowly up a staircase of slippery roots, the sky that been so bright all the morning began to cloud over. The track too, that had been tolerably clear hitherto, became fouler, and once or twice Hibbert, who had not traversed it since two years prior to the hurricane of 1880, paused and appeared to take bearings. At last at about 12.15 a drizzling rain began and became heavier and heavier; now and then a little sunshine intervened, but the drippinl leaves through which we forced our way wet us to the skin all the same. At length we came to a spot which Hibbert said was the .last place at which water would be procurable until we should have crossed the ridge and descended to Nanny Town. As there was no prosyect of reaching our destination, in the present state of the track, in time t.o make ourselves comfortable for the I reluctantly decided to encamp in the neighbourhood of this water, .and complet.e the journey on the following day. a halt was made at 1.15, and we set about building a hut. While thus engaged we were pleasantl_y surprised to find the weather clear up and we finished our hut between three and, four o'clock in bright sunshine. I may as well state here that the weather remained perfect throughout the whole of the expedition af\er this. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


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44 Um1odden Jamaica. search, and just in time to escape, perhaps, a fearful death in the hurricane ; and how two weeks afterwards the dogs returned to McLean's house alone; gaunt, and famished. From that day to this the man had never been seen. But now came the sequel to the story :-Some years afterwards Hibbert emigrated to Port Limon to better his fortunes, and while there met sonie other Jamaicans, natives of different parts of the country. The talk turned on the woods and mountains of their native land on one occasion, and Hibbert related this narrative. On hearing it, one of the men, from the St. George's district of Portland, told how just about that time a strange man had appeared among the residents in his neighbourhood, evidently after a long and toilsome journey, had rented some land, settled, and finally taken unto himself after the manner of the people a female relative of the speaker's. The story itself, and the terse, graphic manner in which it was related in the vernacular, were quite in harmony with the mournful soughing of the cold land breeze among the forest trees, and the gaunt uncanny shapes that they seemed to take in the moon light, dim, and eerie, which surrounded our little camp with ghostly forms. By 8.30 everybody was asleep. At 11.15 I got up and went out side, being still anxious about the weather. My fears wei:e allayed at once. Through every openiJ?g in the trees a sky was visible,_ and almost overhead the silver moon was pounng such a flood ot effulgent light upon the forest as changed each rain-be spangled leaf into a crystal mirror. And the solemn stillness, emphasized, not broken, by the continuous chirrup of crickets and the croak of the tree-frogs, sank deep into the heart. For a good quarter of an hour I gazed and drank in deep thP solemn, exqui s ite beauty of the scene, until the chilly atmosphere and the keen land-breeze drove me back to the hut. On my return therP was a stir the men, and everybody awoke and chatted for two hours. This, I may say, occurred regularly every night about the same time, and I cannot give any explanation of it. Then to s leep again until 4.30, when 'l'eveillez was sounded and coffee made ; and at six all was ready for a start. It was just as lovely a morning as the preceding one had been, but the track was very foul, and exceedingly rough and steep, and the leaves were still dripping from rain. We passe

How I ezplored Nanny Town. hatchet. I climbed a tall soap-wood, lopped off a couple of intervenin u branches, and looked out northwards. Miles and miles awal lay the blue sea shimmering in the morning sun beyond St. Margaret s Bay. Nearer, one or two white houses could he distinguished afong the coast, and a little cultivation. Two long forest-clothed spurs stretched out on the east and west, bounding the view on each side, while from below the roar of falling water indicated the presence of numerous mountain torrents. Pointing to a steep ridge that nm down at a sharp angle on my left, Hibbert informed me that there lay the of our journey, and that the roaring of wat;er the sound of the Nanny River. We now turned westward along the Main Ridge, which we fol lowed for about half-a-mile on a very tolerable track, then, leaving this track, commenced to descend diagonally towards the Nanny River. \Ve had scarcely begun the descent when far below ns a tremendous uproar arose among the dogs, and Hibbert asserted that they had at last put up" a hog, (we had seen fresh tracks across our path on t-0p of the ridge) ; so at his advice I loaded the double-barrelled fowling '(>iece with two No. and putting down my load, ran up again to the top of the ridge to wait for the hog which the dogs were driving up in our direction. But it was in vain. The hog led the dogs over the ridge to the east of us, and we heard their voices gradually .dying away in the direction of our last night's camp. After waiting on the track for nearly half an hour we resumed our march. We never saw Bull or Brandy again ; but learned that they-'re tumed home on the evening of Wednesday, 7th. Antoinette rejoined us at Nanny Town late in the afternoon, but all our hopes of hog-huntiop: were at an end. During our spell of waiting I .was particularly struck by the mournful beauty of the cry of the solitaire. This little feathered denizen of the forest is rarely seen, and never descends below an altitude of 3,500 feet or thereabouts. But he seem.-J to bewail his banishment in a song consisting of three notesfirst a high one, the keynote, then one a sixth lower, and lastly, a third, halfway between the two, longer sustained than the and drawn out in a most perfect and delicious tremolo like the tione of a flute. One of these birds had a perfect little concert to himself not far over my as I stood, gun in hand, waiting in br silence for the blood of the unoffending ; and I cottld not help moralizing mentally on the contrast between tile of the forest life and the sweet notes resounding among the bearded: branches waving softly in the gentle mountain breeze, and the brutal bloodthirsty man, with his lethal weapon in hand, anxiously waiting his opportunity to mar the stillness with the crack of the fowling-piece and stain the moss with blood. It was weak. but I ri 1n I ro PlllBlU lLIB


46 Untrodden Jamaica. felt in my heart of hearts a feeling of relief when the hog came no more. It was all that solitaire. We now set about descending in serious earnest ; and after a steep, rough, dangerous climb down of 1,190 feet, cutting our way yard by yard, often falling, but without serious consequences, we arrived on a comparatively level spot at the foot of the ridge and heard the Nanny River close to us on the right, and the voice of another river on the left. "That, sir," said Hibbert, ''is the Stony River, and this is Nanny Town; I came as far as this two years before the hurricane, and I haven't been a step further.'' Certainly, no one had been over the t.-ack since he last traversed it. After a most grateful dri11k of icy water fetched from the Nanny River I begun to cast about in order to ascertain and identifX the the. locality beyond possibility of doubt ; and presently Hibbert called me from the front. Forcing my way to him I stood on the brink of a and horrid precipice, the bottom of which was invisi ble through the brushwood that the face of it with frail roots ; but far down at a dizzy depth I white cataracts leapinp: and foaming over black rocks, and could plainly the fatal spot at which. the two streams, the Stony and the Nanny Rivers, commingle their waters. There was no longer any doubt. "This," I said, ''is the precipice down which: the affrighted Maroons hurled themselves in their terror at the bombardment, and here is the site of Nanny Town. On this spot and no other shall ,, we encamp. It was now 11.15 a.m. on Monday, 5th May ; and after a light l)reakfast of dried beef and biscuit we set about selecting a suitable spot for our hut, which we had determined to make as large and comfortable as possible. The choice was limited, as the wholf., area that might be called level was exceedingly small, not more than perhaps an acre in extent; and that was only level by C9'Jrtesy and comparison with the surrounding country. It would be thougl1t a. precious poor level anywhere within five miles of Kingston. A spot was found close to a huge mountain bullet-tree on a gentle about thirty yards distant from the bank of the Stony: River, and soon the shades of Nanny and Captain Cudjoe, if they were hover-. ing near, were scared by t.he sound of axe and hatchet and among their ancient forest trees. Stiout saplings, sturdy young and dozens of tree-ferns were soon falling on every hand. Two tall and shapely trunks eighteen feet apart were chosen for main uprights, and a stout ridge-pole lashed between them at a height of about nine feet from the ground. We found abundance of rope hanging from every tree. Rafters were leaned up against this so as to allow of a width at the base of ten feet, and across these laths. rig1nal PUBLIC R


How I ezplored 1Vanny Town. 4:1 were tied. Over all a thick covering of tree-fern f roods was neatly laid, and for the comb of the roof we found one fine young root c,f thatch-palm. While the men were engaged on this I sallied out with the axe; and by the time they had finished I had half a cord or so of splendid hard dry wood ready for the fire. A bed was next con structed for the men by driving three forked sticks into the ground and ramming them tight, and laying a beam along them. On this with their other ends resting on the slope of the bank, a number of small laths were laid and covered thickly with fern-fronds. A seat for me was built on similar principles at the other side of the hut, both ends of which were left open. A large fire was then kindled at one end and dinner put on; and at four o'clock we sat down to enjoy a rest and contemplate our handiwork. On my express ing the opinion that the hut was a very good one, one of the men said :-"You call this a hut, sir ? Thil" is police barracks." And so accordingly it was dubbed. The hammock was slung between the uprights, and a clothes-line triced up just under the ridge-pole. At five o'clock, accompanied hy the trusty Barrett, I went down the steep track which we had cut to the Stony River, and changed my clothes aft;er a most exhilarating wash in the ice-cold water of a rocky basin at the foot of a little waterfall into which the torrent leaped and paused for breath before rushing madly into the misty depths below. After dinner I sat smoking and wat.ched the last rays of the setting sun fade, first from among the tree-tops above the camp, then from the crest of the\ Uarrion Crow Peak that towered a1>ove to the southeast. It had long since ceased to shine on us. Behind, and to the right and left, rose precipitous ridges, that on the left projecting as to limit the view to the north. In that direction we could catch a glimpse of blue sea, one or two white houses, clearings apparently covered with grass, and a few fields, all miles away; then the ridge on the right blotted out the view, and all around was primeval forest. The altitude of the spot is a, 700 feet. Numberless humming-birds flitted among the leaves, and the deep coo of the ringtail resounded from tree to tree and ridge to ridge till it died away in the faintest of echoes. One or two of the birds, amazed at the unwonted intrusion, came and sat per sistently in the trees right over our heads. Night fell, the rising moon showed a golden signal on the towAring ridges, and a strong wind swept down the gorge seawards from the peaks of the Blue Mountain, driving us all to the friendly warmth of the fire. By nine o'clock we were all fast asleep; and with the exception of the two hours or so of wakefulness about mid night which I have already alluded to, a quiet and peaceful,-albeit rather cold-night was passed. No "mysterious noises" or" strange rig1nal PUBLIC R


48 Untrodden Jamaica. low flying creatures" disturbed our rest. The only noise we beard was the rushing of the land wind through the forest, and when that lulled at long intervals, the roar of the Stony River took its place . . On Tuesday morning, after a plunge in the pool at the foot of that waterfall tliat took my breath away and set ner\e in my body I gave the word for a start in light marching order, to reach,: if possible, the spot where the two rivers meet.-the spot from .. which I could never return alive. Taking with us only the carbine and fowling-piece and a few rounds of ammunition, a coil of .: the aneroid and one or two empty bags, we set out at eight o'clock, in the most lovely. weather, Our success now depended entirely on Hibbert's ; and he proved to the occasion. Leading us down to my bathing place,-the only ; spot at which the Stony River was accessible-he. struck out along the slope of the precipitous ridge that bounded it on the other side. It soon became apparent that we were following what had. at some time past been n well-worn track ; although I am sure that I am well within the mark in estimating at twenty years the that had elapsed since it was la.st traversed. The. foothold was loose stones and the roots and trunks of trees, many of rotten for yea.rs. Underneath lay we could not tell what . The roar of falling water .. came up, but the stream was invisible. : nothing but f met the eye. It was not plea ;sant to contemplate what a senous false step would mean, an Un trustworthy roqt underfoot, or a rotten bra-pch oyerhead. It was : wonderful to note with what instinct Hibbert followed the track, which to my unpractised eye appeared often to be obliterated, t.urn.. : ing aside descending or ascending here and there where some huge giant of the forest had blocked its course, but always _. hittjng it again with unerring precision. At last we came on to the of a narrow ridge-a regular in many not thi:e.e feet of fragments of roclt bound together by We had now to wind in and oui; among the and here : traQes of !the path were more distinct than ever, owing ;nature of ground. Far away down on the left we co-ld a streaD.llet to the ridge. After half an 'hour's scramble along this we. arrived at a spot where the ridge widened a a. br.e, adth of. perhaps six feet-and a large fig tree leaned over at a considerable angle. There we came to a dead stop.. Beyond the space-a horrid yoid. of five or foet, and The ridge Qff as : ly as if cut down with a fact the roots of the tree considerably the. foot o f the precipice. . . . My heart fell at thjs; and then Hil;>bert, whose chief R


S T ONY R IVER FALL. "9 by oog e Original from NEW YORK PUBLIC LI BRA RY




HotD I e:zplored Nanny Town. 49 teristic when about his work is silence, after a meditative pause spoke thus :-"You know, sir, my grandfather was a sort of a half Frenchman, a free man; he used to make lots of money by hunting runaway slaves, and though he was not a Maroon himself, he was very friendly with the Maroons, and they told him many of their secrets. He brought me up in the woods, and everything I know I learnt from 1him. We are on the old track that the Maroons used to come to Nanny Town by from Moore Town. .My grandfather told me that you come to a narrow neck of rocky land with a little stream on your left hand ; you follow this until you come to a fig-tree hanging over a precipice, and then you turn back on your right hand. You come on, sir; we will find the track." Having said this he turned back a little to the right, cut away some brushwood, and diBClosed a wall of smooth rock below us, with a few stunted shrubs, principally rodwood saplings, growing on its Down this he clambered hand over hand, holding on to the roots. which were strong ; and we all followed slowly and cautiously one by one, laying down everything that we were carrying and handing it down afterwards. After about 15 feet of this we stood upon a sloping shelf of loose stones, upon which the great. est care had to be exercised Below that was another wall of rock, then another shelf, and so on for upwards of 700 feet. In some places the only available roots for foot and hand-hold were so far upart that Gardner, who was rather less of stature than the rest of the party, could not reach from one to the other, and had to get a hand from the next man. We finally reached the junction of the two rivers, at the foot of the precipice that forms the northern face of the site of Nanny Town, at an elevation of 2, 790 feet--or 910 feet below our camp-at 10 a.m., having taken two hours in the descent. Distance by air-line from one spot to the other not more than 100 yards. No wonder the Maroons thought themselveR secure! I do not suppose that there is to be found throughout too length and breadth of Jamaica any to surpass, or even approach this one in wild and picturesque loveliness. On the right the Stony River descends the 900 feet in three successive leaps, the last of which is over a perfectly perpendicular wall of black rock 150 feet high. The flow of water is small in proportion to the height and breadth of the rock ; but it must be a magnificent sight in Hood t'me. To-day it Bowed over in a silvery cascade that threw broadcast into the air a myriad sparkling gems and formed a tiny rainbow wherever its course was broken by a slight inequ3lity in the face of the rocky wall. At the foot of this it falls into a circular basin that the flow of ages has hollowed out in the adamantine bed, and ont R


Cntrodden Jamaica. of that it foams antl sparkles to join the waters of the Nanny which comes tearing down on the left from its misty cradle in the heights above. Its fall is more frequently brokPn than that of the Stony River, and its final plunge is only ahont twenty feet ; but its volume is greater, and its roar louder than those of the latter. The ferns that cluster round its last fall are kept in perretual agitation bv the 'displacement of the air, and at the foot of it beheld Pot/' Into a ciroular feet in diameter, with a depth of feet and a half, this flood of foaming, icy crystal water, down, keeping the surface of the pool in a constant froth and turmoil that gives it the appearance, from a little'distance, of a seething cauldron. On every side we saw black rocks, their surface polished by the water ; ferns and delicate grasses and velvety golden-green moss es overhung the foamina torrent, swaying to and fro in the rush of the air, or nestled in the hollows and gemmed with drops of spray. .Everywhere dark rocks, purity t,hat put the very orystal. to shame, and green-and-gold mosses, and ferns-ull by tall forest trees between whose lea\'es the sun dap pled shadows on the loveliness beneath-formed a sylYan scene on whose exquisite beauty I could but in speechless admiration. The men themselves looked on it in silence for some minutes. Between the two rivers stern and forbidding, the precipice of 900 teet that gnards ,the site of the old town ; and on the left the stream forined by the commingling of the two rivers was bounded by a totally inaccessible wall of even greater height, down whose glisten ing side no fewer than three tiny rivulets trickled, within the spacP ofa hundred yards, to swell the volume of the torrent below. A Paradise on earth in troth I It was hard to picture in one "s 1this silvery torrent befouled hy these moss-decked boulders by battered brains and .mangled limbs, the hannonfous silence of this whispering, sighing, verdant wilderness, to whose beauty roar of. the ca.scade tuned fitting music, turned discord by oaths and curses and of' rage and fain, the mg of hounds. and.the rattle of musketry. Surely--thought-it is not true ; it is all a myth, a legend. The of the perpendicular cliff down which the Stony River tumbles is overgrown with stunted brushwood, except of course, that of it over which the water has worn its way ; and, wishing to perform some little feat in honour of the occasion, I decided to scale it. Takina one of the men with me, I climbed on his shoulders, and thus the first foothold on a ledge of the rock, and from there went hand over h.and right up to the top, while the men watched anxiously from below. In about fifteen minutes I reached the summit, breathless but triumphant ; and when the men saw ine standing rig1nal PUBLIC R


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How !. e.vplored Nann!J Town. 51 on the very brink of the fall, waving my hat to them, they gave a spontaneous cheer, and their scorn of the Maroon which had gradually baen waxing in intensity, rose to boiling point. It has remained there ever since. After again I mea8Ured the dimensions of'' Nanny's Pot" and took a deliciou8 draught of water from its icy We then set to work to explore the stream downwards-the stream in which the waters of the Nannv and Stony Rivers unite, and which eventually discharges itself into the Rio Grande. In one map I find it called the Stony H.iver ; in another the Black River ; and in a third it has no name at all. the rumours which Hibbert had heard was one to the effect that in the roots of a large fig-tree beside the bed of this river some muskets had been left, of which, the stocks having rotted away, the barrels alone now remained. We found the tree, and it was a monster. The buttress-like roots, thos.e of a cotton-tree, were twelve feet high where they jutted out from.the trunk. The guns, however, had departed-if they ever had been there. The on'y trophy we brought away was the of the head of a wild hog, probably departed this life from senile decay or some other natural cause ; his tasks I still treasure as a We then retraced our steps, and after a last longing look at the waterfalls commenced the ascent of the precipice down which had clambered in the morning. The track being elear we made quicker progress-although I had one nasty fall from a rotten that was nearly fatal to my damaged knee-and arrived at ''Police Barrack," safe and sound at 2 p.m. Here we found the faithful Antoinette waiting for us. She had started with us in morning, but had gone hog-hunting on her own aceount and. deserted us. We spent the rest of the afternoon collecting walking stick8, and at dinner we had, by way of an extra luxury, a couple of tins of roast beef. To us, breakfastless, nectar and ambrosia would have been dregs compared to it. I also finished carving my name the date in large on the trunk of the gigantic bullet-tree that grew outside the hut. We stretched our wearied limbs to earlier than usual, and enjoyed another peaceful and undisturbed oighf s repose. The names of the "men whose personal courage is unqne:-o able" have not been recorded by Gardner ; and it may be that my immunity from supernatural manifestations is due to the fact that I do not belong to that category. I have always, however, cherished a suspicion that the phenomena which they were privileged to witness were due to their having employed Maroons as guides.. .I went, therefore, amply provided against the contingency of the rig1nal PUBLIC R


52 Untrodden Jamaica. Maroons having learnt beforehand of mr intentions, and having specially grepared the "mysterious noises' and '' strange low-ff ying creatures for my edification. All I can say is that the conse quences would have been extremely unpleasant for the of these demonstrations had any of them taken place during the two nights that I slept at Nanny Town ; and that was one reason why I selected the season of full moon for my expedition. The inhabitants of certain districts of our metropohs would give a good deal for a few such peaceful as I passed at this dreaded spot. On Wednesday mormng the 7th, we loaded up again and bade a regretful adieu to this beautiful region and our comfortable bar racks." At 8 a.m. I blew the '' general salute" on the bugle and fired a parting shot from the carbine, the sounds echoing and re echoing away among the precipices for a good quarter of a minute: and then we set our faces skywards and braced our backs for thP climb of 1,600 feet, at an angle of 45, that would lead us to the termination of Trelawney's Path on the Main Ridge above, and the s_pot from which, according to my theory, based on local tradition .. Captain Stoddart must have brought his swivel guns to bear on thH stronghold beneath-for it was our intention to return that wav. The ascent occupied two hours and a half ; and at 10.30 we strm:k the end of Trelawney's Path at an elevation of 5,300 feet, where we made an unsuccessful search for one of the guns, which, I had heard it rumoured, had been left there. After resting for quarter of an hour we followed the path along the nearly level section of the Main Ridge which I have christened Stoddart's Ridge. It was a calm, almost cloudless day, and we had on both an uninterrupted view :on the north wooded ridges bounding tlw channel of a large river, with a of cultivated coast line beyond: to the south the Blue Mountain Valley with its acres of vivid green cane-field and estates' works ; and on north and tne dimpled smiling sea stretching away to the horizon, and laughing up to the sun with its white foam-crests. The great gnarled trees under which we threaded our way still wept from their beards of moss .the tears which the passing clond drifts of the early dawn had shed upon them-though all else dry-and seemed to enjoy the brief interval of rest in their less battle with the wind, as they looked out mournfully over th.. depths below, Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves," over their lonely, loveless lives. To me they seemed eloquent of sorrow, and their long trails of grey moss looked like funeral weepers. At 12 o'clock exactly we climbed the small peak which I have rig1nal PUBLIC R


How I ezplored Nanny Town. named "Stoddart's Peak," and immediately underneath which Trelawney's Path winds its way. I had made a clearing there on my former expedition, and we halted on it for breakfast. Its altitude 5, 710 feet ; and it was the highest point that we reached. At one o'clock we started down Trelawney's Path for the final descent of 3,270 feet to Island Head. The track is now only used by 'wild hogs and the men who hunt them. Hog-traps are set all along, in three of which I got caught. Antoinette was also hung UJJ more than once. These traps consist of a noose of rope, one end of which is made fast to a stout sapling growing by the waysi1le. The is bent ovAr and the noose is held down in a small pit constructed in the track, by a contrivance similar to the springe" used for catChing birds. The unwary hog, walking steps into the pit, sets free the noose by his weight, and is lifted off the ground by one leg and held there, until the hunter comes to search his traps. Very often, I am told, the poor brutes die of starvation and become food for crows ; and sometimes a boar will even gnaw off the imprisoned foot and, thus maimed, regain his freedom. On the way down I picked up an interesting relic of the past history of Trelawney's Path. It is an ancient bottle, of which the neck has been broken off, quaint and antique in shape, squat of figure and roughly moulded. The is thickly coated with green lichen, and a creeping fern is curled up inside with one frond growing out of it ; while age has worn away and smoothed down the edfaes of the broken part. It did not vanish from my sight when stretched out mv hand to take it, and I do not think that there can be any reasonable doubt that it had lain there for a century anJ a h

54: Untrodden Jamaica. We had quite a banquet that evening, a boy having been dis patched to Trinityville for certain creature comforts, in the way of liquor principally. Before daylight o!l Thursday morning Gilling and Gardner started for Monklands with orders from me to fetch-I cared not how-the man who had volunteered to gui.de me to where the guns lay ; and after coffee I tramped down fo Trinityville, followed by Hibbert, to procure a few necessaries of which had run short. Our appearance created quite a buzz of excitement in the little village. After despatching the news of my safe return to an anxious wife, I returned to Island Head, and spent the re of the day in making a collection of rare and' beautiful orchids and other plants along Wilkie's Road. Gilling and Gardner had returned with the guide, and we set out between six and seven o'clock on Friday morning, and climbest reluctant adieu to my trusty, chee1 ful men and the wild, free, wholesome life among the woods. I got all my plants and other trophies safely home, and equally safely to Kingston by the '' Adula" on the following Saturday, when I found that many of the specimens I brought were quite unknown at King's House. . . . In conclusion, I .. may say that if I had succeeded in the reader with an adequate sense of the awe and superstition with which .Nanny Town has hitherto been regarded among all classes-. not alone the negroes-in this par.ish, I am sure he will agree witl1 me that the greatest credit is due to the small band of rural policfl, who, in the face of. the entreaties and warnings of their relatives and neighbours, volunteered to accompany me, and did so with the utmost co1#idence and, without the least trace of blenching. And I am glad to say that their behaviour has been duly recognized in the proper quarter. For myself, the kindly interest in the expedition, and gracious appreciation of the trophies of it displayed by Excellency the Governor and Lady Blake, have been ample reward, if any were needed. rig1nal PUBLIC R


HOW I. DID CROSS THE JORN CROW MOUN'.rAihIS. Before recording this my second-and successful-attempt, I wish to correct a very natural misapprehension which has arisen with respect to my claim to be the first man who ascended the highest point of the John Crow Mountains, and which, as I ex pected it would, has been brought to my notice in a friendly way. Some fifteen or sixteen years ago there appeared in the Leisure Hour a serial story entitled "Jamaica Years Since.'' (I nm writing entirely from memory.) It was an exceedingly well writ ten and narrative, and the author was a military officer who had been stationed in Jamaica. Among other incidents he describes the ascent of the ''John Crow Peak," hitherto unclimbed, by himself, another officer, and the overseer of Golden Grove Estate. On reaching the summit they had a view of Port Antonio, among other places, and the prospect generally is described in the most graphic Anyone nnght be excused for believing that Golden Grove in the story is the well-known sugar estate of that name in the parish of St. Thomas; and that the John Crow Peak-i there described is identical with my John Crow Mountain. This is, however, not the case. The name Golden Grove" is merely a nom .de plum,e, so to speak, for Chestervale Coffee Plantation in the parish of St. Andrew ; and the J.ohn Crow Peak is a mountain situated on that property, lying in the Blue Mountain.range proper between the Peak and Newcastle, and attaining an. altitude of at least 5,000 feet. These facts I have ascertained after the .most careful enquiry ; and I still lay claim to the distinction of being the first man to ascend the highest point of the John Crow Mountains. "John Crow," I may remark in passing, appears to have been a favourite name with the unimaginative settlers in these parts; whenever their resources were taxed for some new appella tion, to bestow on the majestic mountains that adorn the east-end of the island. I know of no fewer than four. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


56 rntrodden .Jamatca. After my failure in December 1889, a series of I_>revented me from renewing the attempt until September 1890. During that month the weather, when in it=' normal condition, is calm, clear, and apt to be hot ; all of which should be exceedingly favourable to my enterprise. So despite an obvious on the part of the elements, which gave us a dry May and June, and a wet July, the natu r-d.l order of things, I organized my following and laid in my pro visions for a start on Thursday 4th. Bath was to be, as before, the rendezvous ; but the men this time were eleven in number, and the provisions were calculated to lMt twelve with econom7. Of course, on Monday, 1st September it began to ram, and continued to do so everJ day up to Thursday. Some persons said to me that they thought I had '' selected" a bad time. To these 1 replied :--" My good man, I can't up any morning and say' oh it is fine to-day, let us go across the John Crow Mountains ;' eleven men and their proveniler have to be prepared for an absence from civilisation of, possibly a fortnight. Surely I am entitled to base my calculations on what ought to be the normal condition of the weather l Anyhow, rain or no rain, I am going ; if I can only get a few hours of sunshine every day, I shan't turn back." I am afraid my manner was not always devoid of a certain irritation. At all events it produced the desired effect in induc-ing well-meaning advisers to regard the matter from my point of view. On Thursday 4th September then I drove into Bath about 4 p.m. in a tremendous down-pour of rain, and proceeded at to bum my boats by sending away my buggy without giving the horses much time to breathe. On going to the station I found that the provisions had not yet arrived, and that some of the men, de layed by the weather, were not yet on the spot. The weather shewed no signs of improvement, and there was nothing for it but to wait until next morning. I had secret hapes in the change of the moon, which was due on the next day-although I believe, scientifically speaking, it has no connection with the state of the weather-and these hopes were justified by the event ; for about midnight the rain ceased and the stars shone out., looking doubly bright to me for the removal of their misty veil. The sun rose in the morning and scattiered the last remnant of rain-cloud hanging over the eastern sea ; and between six and seven I went over to the station to muster my men. There was of course, first and foremost, the trost_y Barrett ; there were also Rural Policeman Beckett" and Grant and Logan, my of December ; there were also Hibbert the sagacious, and Gardner, my comrades of Nanny Town ; and of new blood rig1nal PUBLIC R


How I did cro&1 the John Crow Mountains. 51 I had Rural Headman Pinnock, Rural Policemen Stewart and Cruikshank, and two private individuals in the persons of Alex ander McLune and Benjamin Savage. The former of these,. was a professional hog-hunter and a. typic'll African. Coal black, bull-necked and clean-faced. with a rolling eye and a most vicious-looking set of sharp, strong, even, teeth, that flashed an accompaniment to his restless eye through the inky integument of his countenance whenever he spoke, he looked quite out of place in the garb of comparative civilisation. I would have given anything to reduce his raiment to a waistcloth, and put into his hands a bow and arrows and a spear or two. Savage, poor fellow, had had his left hand crushed in a small sugar miH in his youth, and t.here remained to him only the second, third and fourth fingers, protruding, cramped and rigid, out of the mutilated remains of what had been the palm. Mild, soft spoken and willing, he proved to he the weight-carrier of the party ; and the way in which he crossed the most dangerous places without a false step, bearing a huge load, and with only one hand praetically available, is, and will always remain, a marvel to me. All the loads having been apportioned the previous evening, we set out from Bath at 7 .30 a. m., on Friday-ominous day-the 5th September. Our route was the same as on the previous occasion,. and we made a halt for breakfast and a re-adjustment of the loads at Barrett's house at Cotton Tree Mountain. In addition to the pro visions, changes of raiment etc.-themselves no small load-we had to carry vessels to contain water, the want of which had to he pro vided against as an extremely probable contingency. These I had furnished in the shape of empty .Kero .;eile tins, an exceedingly awkward encumbrance in pushing through a dense forest, but I could not think of anything lighter, more portable, or better capable of containing a large quantity. We left Barrett's house at J 0.30, and proceeded hy the same track that I described on the former occasion, until we reached at 3 p.m. the level at which we then had obtained water, and had heard horn signalling to us from below. Here I decided to encamp for the.night, it being too late to ascend to the summit in time to m1.ke ourselves comforhblc there-the more so as, the wat,er-holes being dry, a supply of the indispensable fluid had to be fetched from the at whose side we had passed the last on the former exped1tton, at least 1000 feet lower down. For :tlus duty I detailed four men with two cans, among them being Cruik shank, who W88 the oldest .man of the party, and on whQm the extra exertion produced, I am afraid, a dfsastrous effect. Beckett was apPointed. cook, with Gardner for an assistant ; 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


5.8 ltnfrodden .Jama/ca. a site for our hut having been selected, they got u fire under while the other men built our shelter for the night. With exception of a slight drizzle about noon, the day had been all that could be desired ; and I had ample opportunity, while the men were work to contemplate the precipitous ridge towering 300 feet above us to the north, its rocky sides and scrnbhy foliage softened and ttlmost beautified by the flashes which the westering sun shot between the cloud-drifts that sailed slowly past it in the now breeze. What a contrast it presented w the ghastly repellent as}>ect of that December day I I -next tried to gain some point of \Tantage from which a view southwards might he obtained, and was tew.arded by the prospect. over the Plantain Garden Ri ve.r distriet with the sea and Port Morant harbour in the which I have attempted to reproduce in peneil. The dark spurs of the mountain and the foothills at my feet were in the dense shadow of the cloud that bongo above them like a curtain, now blotting out the coast and the low hills bounding it, now rising above the horizon and disclosing a expanse of foam-flecked sea, fringed with white breakers, and just below me the cane fields of the Plantain Garden River plain bathed in golden sunlight. The sudden lifting of the pall of cloud, and descent and complete oblitercltion of the view were striking. One could only get it by instalments, as it were ; and during the intervals of darkness life was made miserable by a plague of mosquitoes, to whom the taste of human blood was evidently quite new and strange; and not unpalatable. At about ftveo'clock the water-carriers returned completely exhausted, as they had a right to be. Anyone who has :tried to carry a four-gallon kerosene can full of water through a dense forest up a thousand feet nt an average angle of 30 will, I think, agree with me. Cruikshank, as soon as he had regained his speech, to me that i( I were to offer him the alternative of going for water again, or returning there and then to his home, three miles beyond Bath, he wouldunhesitatingly chose the latter. Which, as it wanted little more than an hour to sunset, was putting it very forci. provided with an aneroid barometer through the kindness of l\Ir. Richmond of the Public Works Department, I was able to ascertain the different elevationl3. This, our first camp, about. 300 feet below the crest of the ridge, was at an altitude of 3,080 feet above sea-level. Barrett had neglected to select two trees for the main uprights of the hut on which to sling my hammock ; and on this omission he planted posts in the shallow soil and stayed rig1nal PUBLIC R


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!low I did cross tM John OroUJ Mou.ntains. 59 them fore and aft. On my attempting to intO the hammock, though, they collapsed, and I was fain to wrap myself in my blan ket sleep on tree-fern fronds spread on. a platform of sticks.. I know. Qf no more excellent practical lesson on the number of pro tuberances there are in the human anatomy than a night .passed on a bed. It may be, however, that some of the bumps belonged to the and not to me ; but the result was the same.. After that night I always had my hammock slung. Saturday, 6tli--This mor.ning we had to face that dreadful water problem in earnest. I then made the following arrangement :-I told off six of the strongest men to go down again to the stre,am with the four cans, while the remainder removed the loads in instalments, first from the hut to the foot of the precipice, then from there to the summit. As this would have to be ascended and descended three or four times, I chose, to accom{>any me, the men who were already familiar with it. 'Ve found the old track of nine months previous not yet obliterated, and after a and, in some risky climb, I stood at 8.15 a.m. once more on the summit, but much lighter in with much more en couraging than on the first occasion. The height by aneroid is 3,355 feet-a considerable increase .on the 2,000 feet hitherto accepted as the proper elevation. I climbed the. least stunted tree 1 could find at the edae of the cliff and waited for a view; for the white mou.ntain mist gad been round us the Every few minutes it would open out overhead and a brilliant sun would shine down upon us, while everything below and around remained wrapped in a white fleece. At last-ah there it is-that was Potosi, and surely there is-, no I it is gone again-yes, that is the sea an<) Y Hill, and the Blue Mountain Valley, and those works and canefields must be-down comes the mist again, with a few. drops of rain this time ; and so on for an hour. Now opening up for a second and letting in a peep of the distant ocean, wooded hills, bright canefields, flashing streams, and blue blue mountains away away to the West, all in the beams of the morning sun ; then wrapping it all in a white shroud before you had had time to make up your mind what to look at. I was able t.o get my bearings, however, nearly enough for all practical purposes, and to fix my locality by the aid of th& By 10 o'clock all the baggage was up, and the water-carriers had arrived. Grant, Logan, and Beckett had scaled the precipice four times, carrying a heavy load every time, and they went back again to give a hand with the water. Three or four of the new men asked me rather anxiously whether they would have to go down 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


60 that. way ; and they appeared much relieved when 1 told them that they cer.tainly should not if I could help it. 10.30 we started iu a north-eastern direction,. following t11e old track until we arrived at the beginning of Chaos-the sea-bawl hole"-when we edged away to the right a bit. Four men cut the track, leaving their loads behind, and the remaining seven were to bring the baggage and the water by easy stages after us. I had determinedto follow the old track as far as possiblt-, and it impracticable, to hear a little to the east, keeping the general direction as cl.osely as we could; for I felt convinced that something like decent walking would be more likely to found. by following the gradual slor of the undulatfog plateau to wards the east and north-east. would cross it in this manner until a lower elevation should afford a certain amotint of soil for foothold, and then, turning northwest, hug the lower edge of the impi-acticable honeycomb and approximately determine it!' extent. I do not think that I can improve upon the description of this region contained in the account of my first expedition ; and I must the ref ore refer the reader to that. Our rate of progress however, much better, owing to the trackers being unencumberetl with loads, and my former experience having taught me how to avoid the worst ground. I was also able to get 'now and then a prettr extensive view over the plateau, and the recollection of the cold,. barren, repellent prospect of scrubby mangrove and stunted tree-fem, of horrible limestone rock and parasitic growth sodden with the perpetual moisture of all the ages chills my spirit even now. There was an occasional drizzle, as a heavier cloud than usual swe.pt over us ; but we had very frequent intervals of bright sunshine, and I thought it as Paradise to Hades compared with my former experience. The tremendous exertion told on the men who were carryine; th.e baggage, and when we at one for a couple of biscuits, I saw that that day's Journey would not be a long one. Cruikshank in particular looked very feeble. This halt was made at the foot of a good large mangrove, borne up in midair by the most wonderful complication of roots that we had yet beheld. They over-arched a chasm in the rocks of at least twenty feet in diameter, and were so matted and twisted as almos't to form a solid roof. They accommodated the whole party of twelve com fortably. And oh, the filmy ferns t Of every sort and description, their t.iny fronds of pale green and gold, so delicately and marvellously patterned that one fain t,o kiss them for sheer love of their ravishing forms, bejewelled with irridescent raindrops that flashed like diamond-dust in the sunlight, they covered the native ugliness of the rocks and the unlovely network of roots with a ves1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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H""' I did Cf'Oaa tlae John Cf'OUJ Jlountaina. 61 ture that it seemed almost profanity t,o rend with the tread of our feet. The one redeeming feature of the ghastly wilderness that covers the summit of the John Crow Mountains is this wonderful wealth of filmies. It behoved now to ch_oose the first spot that shewed any appearance of being level as a site for the camp, even though we should reach such a spot long before camping-time ; for all before us was terra incoflnita, and who could tell what frightful hole we might find in when camping-time should come? We lit a spot at 2 o'clock about a quarter of a mile further. We finally camped at 3.30 The hut was necessarily small, owing first to the level and second to the absence of any straight trees of greater than ten feet or so ; and these had to be hunted for. For thatch we had the most wretched of stunted trPe-fems ; but we found plenty of dry hard-wood, and were able. to build a splendid fire. We had just settled ourselves inside, and I had got half-way throup;h a change of clothes, when rain set in pitiless and steady. In five minutes each frond of the scanty tree-fem became,a gutter that discharged itself with a ceaseless drip, drip, drip, into the interior of the hut. Cramped and doubled 1:1P round the fire we squatted ; the least movement meant additional discomfort from the cold and the wet, and after one or two despair at a kind of forced and unnatural hilarity everybody lapsed into and sat quietly soaking. Dinner was simmering on the fire all the while ; and it required some attention to keeP. fire alight. For three quarters of an hour we endured tlrls'" misery ; then the rciin ceased, and I ordered out the 18 proof. It worked like a !"pell. Tongues were loosened, wet clothes gave no more and seven men turned out to pile on additional thatch, seeking to make up in quantity for the lack of quality. It rained again frequently and heavily during the night, and I more than once aroused by raindrops falling on my nose a"' I lay in the hammock; hut the worst was over. We now started the fashion of naming our huts, and dubbed this one Saltwater" as it was in the middle of Saltwater Wood." It struck me that "Freshwater1 would have been a more appropriate name. It was 3,300 feet above sea-level. Sunday 7tlt.--l promised the men this morning that we should not again encamp on bare limestone rock, but that I would lead them down int.o better country and higher wood. Leaving Barrett with six men to dry the clothmg, hags and other paraphernalia, and to bring up two cans of water that were still in the rear, I started at 7 .30 with Grant, Logan, Beckett, and Stewart, steering N .N .E. A 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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62 :: .(1.ntroddeh Ja.11u1,z'ca. .. morning toilet had to be dispensed with.; and I may here remark that only twice on this. Expedition was the luxury of a good honest washattainahle. The rain had ceased entirely, though everything was, of course, soaking wet, and the whole mountain was enveloped in white mist through ,,which occasional brief gleams of sunshine made their way. and struggling along foot by foot, we endeavoured to find spot where the plateau sheweCl decided indications of a descent to a lower elevation .; and Qtore than once we followed the of. one of. the many .channel:; among the only to find it lost itself in such a tangle of netted roots, razor-:-edge'd .. rocks and bottomless clefts, we were only too glad to climb out again as fast as possible and try another one-with the same result. Half the roots and branches were so much so that a of in a way .. that made your blood run cold was p. relief, as affording a secure footing at any rate ; but when w_e found that a.s we descended lower the rocks themselves either loose, or undermined such a that they broke away onpressure, our plight looked sorry in truth. It in every fi:v.e. times that a. root, ?r a or a branch, which_ borne the weight of each of the four men before me, gave way as soori as I trod .'1pon it . Once I fell as far as the waist between two rocks, and.in clutching at the nearest support left a goodly piece of the of th.e palm of my hand behind. How those men walked on those rocks with bare feet is one of those things that "no fellow can In the sketch'' Struggling through W 004,'' I have made a feeble attempt to convey an idea of the .of our on this To make things more Eleasant 1t ramed about half an. hour at .10 After that, however, the weather became, _and continued for the remainder of the Clay, :bea'utifully fine. At last at 2. o'clock we hit upon a that had it, and well-defined course--one that as _1f it meant busmess, and foo, in the right direction. for about half a mile we upon a sort of natural gateway in the rocks, with. an opening in the .forest beyond, through which the sun shone bright and warm upon tall trees and luxuriant.growth of wild ginger hi .deep soft vegetable mould around the mouth of an enormous cockpit. It was the very kind of spot that I had in my mind's eye when I made my men the rromise of the morning ; and we at once named it "Canaan.' To no thirst-tormented traveller in African deserts could the sight of the oasis be more welcome than this was to us. Its height above sea-level is 3,150; and its distance from Saturday night's camp about two miles-the result of upwards of seven hours I There was no talk of any further. A site for the hut rig1nal PUBLIC R

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How I d[d crost the John Crow Mountains. 63 was selected, and tree-ferns and saplings were soon falling all around ; while the air was filled with the delieious 'fragrance of the. wild ginger as the keen cutlasses shore through its slender stems. Logan and ever willing, now turned back to help the men behind with.the baggage, and actually went_ all the way back to last night's camp for some of the things4' thus the journey three times over. Cruickshank arrived shivering with ague and fever, and froni that day ceased "to be of any use to Lecoming instead a source of great anxiety. While basking in the sunbeams among the rafters of the yet unfinished making my notes and observations, I had leisure to observe the wrath and astonishment of humming-birds at their first sight of human beings. There were numbers of them flashing about. among the trees, and they would frequently perch on a branch. about two yards off, and after turning their heads curiously from 8ide to side, chirping angrily the while, they would dash past our faces within a foot or two, evidently lacking nothing of the wish to peck out the eyes of these strange intruding animals. By half past five we had erected a commodious and com fortable hut, securely _roofed with wild ginger ; an4. dinner having been already cooked.by the men left behind in morning, and brought down along with the baggage, we flavoured the rice and pease with a couple of tins of roast beef and made merry over our misfortunes of the previous night. Beckett and Grant set a for Indian conies, of which there were abundant traces, in the hope of varying our diet with a little fresh meat ; but
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most of the }>drty, to remark in a low tone :-''Tell youtruth, Inspector, I glad we got yon in here with us to-night.'" This remark prot!uced a hilarious chuckle from Brrett and Hibbert; I relieved mind by phenomenon. So when the final came, and the tumbled bodily the cockpit, he did not mind in the least. M
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.How I did cross tM John Crow Mountain&. &5 friends in Morant Bay had been thinking of and pitying me. The rain was undoubtedly an evil while it but if there had not been any we should have gone dinnerless that night .. Our last drop of water had been consumed at coffee that morning, Barrett had ex ploed. the country for about a mile bdow. Canaan: in vain, and where .we. were to procu.re any more was simply a matter of specu lation. To add' to our unhappiness Pinnock, to whose care the iron pot in which we cooked our food had been entrusted, had a nast7 tall on the back .. The pot broke his fall; but the rock on '!hich it fell broke the pot, and there was an end to it. The kerosene tins that we had for carrying water now became more precious than ever, as they were all that we had left to cook in, and would have to be used with the greatest care. At 11.30 the rain ceased, and as the interstices between the rocks began now to appear better filled with decomposed vegetable matter, and so afforded better .footing, our prospects improved. At one o'clock a triumphant shout from who was leading, at tracted my attention, and on enquiry I found that it had been elicited by the sight of a fine young thatch-palm-the first we had seen since Friday. The men greeted it as a friend from whom they had long been and I knew that it meant better soil, higher tim ber, and the very best thatching material that we could desire. At about 1.30 we came out on an outjutting spur of the moun tain, and had the first view of the outer world that we had enjoyed since the glimpses obtained through the cloud-drifts on Saturday morning. I cleared a sufficiently large space and looked out. Above was a gray sky, bordered with blue down towards the horizon, a sky just drained of its moisture. Under it away for miles and miles spread a gray, rain-beaten sea, and great oily wrinkles with a darker gray in ,the hollows between, creeping silently shorewards to a rockbound coast. At our feet black, gloomy, virgin forest, extending down in unbroken monotone of colour to a valley that shewed patches of cultivation. A stream wound along this valley, and on its farther side there stood a large house. Then behind that more forest, and then We were looking out on the north-east coast at a point a little south of due west of Man chioneal, that place being hidden from our view by the woods on our right. The men persuaded me to fire off a couple of shots, and blow a few calls on the bugle in the hope that people in the valley below might hear. I doubt very much whether the sound reachzd them though; for that house could not have less than three miles distant from us in a straight line. It was a proud moment; for we 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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66 rntrodden .Jamaica. had crossed the John Crow Mountain plateau at its highest point, and were now looking out from its northern slope. We now guided our course downwards in order to find suitable camping ground, and water, if possible. Into and out of cockpits we went again; but nearlv always with rich alluvia.I mould underfoot, and at 3.30 we struck a nice little level on the crest of a small ridge; with fair timber and long thatch and dry wood in abundance all round it. This we named Seaview ;" and the hut we built was perfectly palatial. By dint of careful searching Logan found water in little hollows in the mud to fill two of the cans; a.ud by the time we had got all the wet things hung up to dry, and donned our least damp clothing, and the dinner was simmering on the roaring fire at one end of the hut, everybody was cheerful and contented. Poor Cruikshank alone lay shivering with fever. wrapped in the blanket which I gave him every night. I calculated have made about three miles that day:. The 8pot on which we camped was 2, 795 feet above the sea. Up to this moment we had seen no trace of human presence in the forest; there had not been even the track of a wild hog. The hog-hunters of our party said that that was a sure sign of the absence of water, and the existence of impassable rocks between us and the lower levels. In fact the ground over which we had travelled thus far is quite impassable for any quadruped not possessed of some prehensile power in its extremities. 9th.-At daybreak this morning, after the inevitable shower, a glow of the most exquisite rose-pink lit up the mist among the trees to the east of the camp ; this paled to a bright then to gold, and finally a white white sun burst through and fairly warmed our hearts with his radiance. A visit. to the waterhole of the previous evening revealed the fact that there was no water to make coffee; and I could not have believed it possible that we could have missed anything so much as we did that morning coffee. The programme for the day was usually as follows :-Strong coffee with cocoanut milk-the men brought the cocoanuts and made the milk without consulting me-biscuits, and a tin of meat between six and seven ; start as soon after seven as possible and work right to noon; then at noon a glass-or to speak more accu-: rately a tin cup-of grog all round, three or four biscuits per man, and twenty minutes rest, then at it again till half-past three. The strong coffee kept us going until afternoon. This morning, how ever, the biscuits and the meat had to be washed down with a little nip of grog, dashed with just sufficient water to save it from being rig1nal PUBLIC R

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How I did croaa. the Jolin Crow Mountaim. 67 It was a poor substitute for coffee, though ; and that day's work was about the worst we did on the whole expedition . Everybody seemed loth to start, and we remained, drying the clothes that yesterday's rain had soaked, until 9 o'clock. All the respectable with which I had provided myself to present a decent in Port Antonio were wet, and stained almost beyond recognition. After this, I may say we had the most beau tiful weather every day ; although it always rained during the night or in the early morning. At last, at 9 o'clock we were under way again, and steering N.W. Finding the ground fairly promising, we ascended a little; but before we had gone half a mile we found ourselves in the most frightful conglomeration of we had yet come across. After upwards of an hour vainly 8pent in endeavouring to find a way out of it in the direction we wished to follow, we turned back on our tracks and made for a lower elevation. W-e had a beautiful view of Manchion eal harbour lying to the eastward of us, with the foam of the break ers on the reef flashing white in the sunshine. As a matter of course, there being no water, everybody was unusually thirsty ; and at the mid-day halt, which we made on a windy-looking, bracken covered slope, we were fain to drink the contents of the wild pines on the branches overhead. I had often heard and read of wild-pine water, but I had not yet tasted it ; done so, I must honestly confess that I prefer champagne. However it was better than nothing. Hibbert predicted, from the appearance of the spot on we halted, that water would be found not far off; and, sure enough, at 2.45 he, beinp: in front, roused us all with a tremendous shout of A spontaneous cheer burst from the whole party ; and by three. o'clock we were gathered on the banks of a tiny rivulet that came trickling out of fern .. bowered hollows over a bed of lime stone pebbles and small boulders. I thought I had never seen any thing so precious as this unknown streamlet, which, probabo/. had never yet been beheld by human eyes. We camped beside it at a height of 2,555 feet, and called our camp ''Waterside." It was here that I got the only bath .that was procurable on this expedition. Owin.g to the shallowness of, the stream, I had to bathe in sections but it was very enjoyable, all the same. We were now well on the north slope, and I was struck by the tangled look of the vegetation. The inclemency of the situation, exposed as it is to the furious ''northers," that blow during the winter months, gives everything the same aspect, almost, that the forest on the north side of the Blue Mountain Peak presents at an altitude of over 7 ,000 feet. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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68 : Untroddeti Jamaica. After dinner we had a debauch of coffee to atone for .the depri vation of the morning. Everybody was tired and the hut was unusually quiet that night. 1 was peculiarly impressed with a kind of phosphorescent gleam that shone from the grass and leaves on the ground outside, which I had never noticed. before, and cannot ac count for. In the middle of the bed of the stream, with nothing but white limestone rock for miles around it, I found a block of what looked like petrified wood, almost black in colour, and weighing about eight pounds. Savage volunteered to carry it, and I brought it away. On breaking it open I found it lined with what proved to be crystals of smoky qttartz, of an exquisite lustre, that flashed in the light like diamonds. This stone is now among the collection of tile Jamaica Institute. Wedneaday lOtl&.-We had plenty of coffee this morning, hot and strong, and filled one small can with water to take along with us for breakfast. We started at 7 and shortly afterwards on rounding the shoulder of the spur behind which the camp la7, we caught sight once more of Manchioneal harbour away in the d'Istance to the eastward. This disgusted McLune very much, and I heard him mutt.er :-''But why dis Manchioneal can' lef' we P" Between nine and ten we descended a frightfully deep slope, stiil steering N. W., into a deep water course, of which l made a sketch. It was perfectly dry, but the way in which the rocks, solidified by pressure, and with some pretence of arrangement in regular strata, were piled on top of one another, and hollowed by the water, was most striking. Crossing this we came upon a belt of magnificent soil, the veg?table mould, wi_th a gentle slope northward, and grown ln wild gmger .and tall timber. Bullet-tree, Ooromantee, Wild Cinamon, Coonoo-coonoo, Santa Maria, and numerous ot\ier treest interspersed with the graceful thatch-palm, towered skyward on every side. I measured one Santa Maria that had been recently blown down. From the break at the stem, about four feet above the ground, to where the first branch shot out it was 88 feet. 6 inches., as straight as an arrow, and with a diameter of two feet six at the base. We saw also here for the first time since Friday of the pre vious week traces of wild hog and one or two old marks made by hog-hunters. It seems odd that it should be possible in little Jamaica; but here had we been for nearly five days, travelling all the time, completely cut off from touch with rest of the world. rig1nal PUBLIC R

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H01JJ I did cross the John Crow Mountain.I. We rattled along through this little Paradise at a rare pace, with Hibbert in front. The trees stood far apart, and the only undergrowth was the wild ginger that perfumed our path as the cruel cutlasses laid low the graceful stems. In fact we went such a rate that more than once we had to pull up and give Cruik4 shank a chance t-0 breathe, all unencumbered as he was. We must have done a good four miles when we halted at 3.30 on a beautiful level at. the edge of a steep ravine, Hibbert and Logan went m seareh of water. \Ve waited an anxious half hour; and at the end of that time a distant shout relieved our minds, and we set to with a will to build the hut. It took three men a good hour to bring sufficient water though ; and this in spite of the rain which falls once in every tweety-four hours in this region. Every drQp seems to percolate with the utmost rapidity through the porous limestone. Even the stream that sup plied us .the night before disappeared entirely a few yards below the Camp. I. can hardly give an adequate idea of the wonderful richness of the soil over which we passed all that day. Perhaps, I can best do so by quoting Pinnock, who is peculiarly gifted .in that trite mode of expression characteristic of so many of his class. After; looking at the ground for some time in silence, he raised his head and said :-" Well, if you plant bittle (victuals-meaning -ground provisions) here Monday, it bear TuPsday." I don't think it is possible to improve '>n that for terseness. I thought it quite epigram matic. What a hut we built that night l aml how tired we all were It poured with rain nearly half the night,-at least so the men told me next morning-but not a drop came through the roof, and I never knew anything about it. This Camp--'' W 1,590 feet above sea-level. 1'/iursd,ay llth.-I shot my very first ringtail morning, and had him carefully drawn and slightly salted with a view to dinner. Later in the day I got a '' jabbenng crow," a. bird almost exactly resembling the English raven, which frequents the woods here in large numbers. The men shewed distinct signs of weariness to-dav. They were stiff, their and backs were chafed, and their feet were to feel tender. We traversed a suecession of long valleys, or depressions between the ridges, filled with the same kind of soil as yesterday's, but with the limestone cropping up, sharp and ugly, wherever the ground ascended. We half-a-dozen enormous cedars, hetween any two of whose roots, had they been 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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70 Unt'l'Odden Jamaica. roofed over, our whole party could have sheltered. In one or the '\alleys we disturbed a whole family of wild hogs, and heard them J!alloping off among the rocks, while we stumbled over the bed of forus and wild ginger in .which Mrs. Wildhog had probably just been administering to the appetites of her piglings. I was beginning to feel a little anxious now about the com plete success of my venture. Cruikshank was getting weaker everv day, and all the men were marching along gallantly enough, btit f'ilently and painfully by reason of their tender feet ; so 1 determined to make this if possible our last night in the forest, and to cut out northward to the sea on the morrow. Just as we were getting anxious about water again, Hibbert with his unerring instinct discovered a wild hog-pond with quite sufficient in it for our needs, and, as it was now past three; we made our camp at a height -0f 1,519 feet, only 80 feet lower than the last. This we called "Good Hope." The men cheered up under the influence of dinner and grog, and that night there was the usual flow of 1arns and good natured chaff. The provisions, however, were rnnmng low, and on consulting Barrett I found that there was only one tin of meat left, although there was still a fair quantity of nee, coffee, and biscuits. The also, owing to Barrett's watchful care-he takes nothing himself and doesn't allow the others much--had served well ; and I knew how useful it would be in stimulating the men for a final effort. Fridap 12th.-The eighth day out, and the very worst. Owing to my anxiety to keep as far as possible in the untrodden portion of the forest, I had steered almost due west the whole of and was much further away from the coast than I imagined. I could not calculate my position, for there was no point from which a view of the sea could be obtained.. From the top of the high hill i'n front of the camp the only break in the endless forest that sur rounded us was a peep, far awayto the west, of what looked like a large banana cultivation, which Stewart, who was familiar with that of the country, thought was Seaman's Valley. Now Valle,r lies in the valley of the Rio Grande, below Moore Town, and is well to the south-west of Port Antonio.,. Calculating the. distance as well as I could, I concluded, that a due northerly course now to bring me out about Williamsfield, four miles to the east of Port Antonio-or, in other words, just where I bad intended to come. out. But I had reckoned without my host-or, rather., without my man. Off we went then at 7 .30, climbing a high hill that lay to the north of .the camp. I felt sure that we would have a view of the rig1nal PUBLIC R

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How I did cro11 tAe Jolin Cf'O'UJ Mountain1. 71 sea from the summit of this, but my hopes were vain. Another hill rose in front of it. Down we climbed, and up the next one, throug1t tangled undergrowth, on soft mudand limestone rock alternately. When we reached the summit there lay another hill in front of' that. And so it went on all day. At each hill. Cruikshank be came weaker, and further behind, necessarily delaying also the three men who had him in charge. Most .of the hillsides were frightfully with sharp heads of limestone sticking out through the soil, and terminated at the bottom in pr09ipitous water courses, the crossing of which was always attended with great difficulty. Once we were completely checked for about ten minutes, when I discovered a large tree that had fallen across from bank to bank of the ravine in such away as to form a perfectly level bridge. Trying this with one or two .jumps to make sure that. it was sound, 1 walked across, then felled a sapling growing hard by and rigged up a handrail for the rest of the party. At the midday halt it became very evident that the men had had about enough of this kind of work. Even Logan, the ever willing, remarked to me in a reproachful tone that, instead of com..; ing out of the woods, we were getting deeper and deeper into them. There was no help for it now though ; and nothing to do but go on. But oh the weariness and the wearing anxiety of that day! I hope that such an experience will never again fall to my lot. At last, at a\lout 2 o'clock there appeared to be light towards the east, as if a large valley opened out in that direction and 1 ac .. cordingly altered the course. At 2.30 it struck us that nothlng had been seen of Cruikshank and his escort for a long time. We ther&upon sat down, nothing loth, and waited for them for three quarters of an hour ; and finally I sent two men back after them. They arrived presently, but with .Cruikshank so shaky that further progress was out of the question. Fortunately we had.passed, about half-a-mile away, a.diminutive hog-pond with a couple of gallons of muddy water in .it. So we camped just where we were, and called the camp Disappoint ment. '" We had used the last tin of meat at coffee that morning, and had to eat our rice 11avoured with a little scrap of salt pork, toe only description of meat lefl The hearts of a few young cabbage palms that grew here and there in the forest formed a welcome addition t.o the meal. The tree.s that surrounded us were principally thatch, of the '' long," and ' silver" or pimento," varieties ; and we saw the tracks of recent thatch-cutters,a circumstance which. gave promise of a path somewhere in the neighbourhood. The .men were so tired that they did not even build the customary bed-plat form. They threw leaves of thatch on the ground, flung them-. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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e Untrodtlen Jarnaira. u.pQn'them, and before dinner nearly everyone, including gsistant cook. was fast asleep. They all woke up the evening though ; and some far into the night. A novelty. among the nocturnal was ,, granny's tinderbox," which we heard t-0-night for the first time. It is the name applied to the DQise made by a large cricket, I presume, which exactly resembles the striking of Hint and steel together with a regular cadence. The effect at first is weird and startling. This, our last camp, was 950 feet above sealevel. Saturday 13th-Of course, with Cruikshank in his present condition,. I could only seek the first path leading seawards and fol low it, wherever it might bring me out. We started at 7 o'clock, and at 8 struck a broad well-beatien track leading north-east. I can hardly describe what a relief to the ear-and to the mind-was the sudden cessation of the etiernal swish and crash of the cutlasses, and the falling brushwood, that had been going on for eight days. Even the sick man brightened up, and stepped out with new life, as he trod the path of civilisation once more. After we had followed the windings of this track for an hour, I heard Hibbert's voice from the front :-" Don't run away, old man I" and hurrying forward I saw the first human being, besides ourselves, whom we had beheld since the morning of Friday 5th. He was an old black man of small stature, followed by a boy, both evidently laboring under a repressed terror of this strange band. They were the colour of ashes. Perhaps they might not have minded. seeing the alone so much, but my appearance among them was : beyond their comprehension. However, a few words suffieed ta convince them that they had fallen into good hands, and I to learn my whereabouts. We had been going nearly due east all the morning ; and I gathered that the track we were now upen would bring us down into the Priestman's River, and so by a parochial road out to the main road about Fair :Prospect. After a little palaver the old man, whose name was Parkes, volunteered to turn back and shew us the way. We soon arrived at the river, which was dry, and followed its course for a. couple of. miles It wasn't all dry though ; for in the first mile we came upon one. of the loveliest '' blue holes" I have ever seen. I whether it had any name, and was informed that it was known as" Cudjoe Hole.;" poetic name! Great parapets of laminatied lime stone, as neatly laid as if done with mortar and trowel, and washed smooth by the flow of centuries, walled it in on both sides. Ferns and shrubs overhung its damp mossy and mirrored their fairy forms in water \lf the deepest, loveliest blue, a hlue made you R

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How I did cross tM John Crow Mountains. 73 long to tear off your clothes and jump headlong and lave your limbs in it. lt did not need much reflection though, after feeling the temperature of the water, to convince me what a very unwise proceeding that would have been in my heated state. While quenching our thirst and enjoying the mere sight of so much fresh water once again, we were joined by another man on his way up to the thatch-walk, and he, after satisfying his curiosity, also turned back with us. At about 10 o'Clock we arrived at Parkes's ground, and he hospibibly invited us to his sugarmill. He cut a few canes, and there being no draught beasts on the spot, five or six of the men harnessed themselves to the mill and ground enough '' cold liquor" for the whole party. Two or three other men came in now out of curiosity, and it was presently discovered that oneof the strangers was related to Pinnock's wife, and another was the nephew of one of the rural policemen of the Bath district of St. Thomas. So they all felt like old friends. And when we reached the main road, what things of beauty did the wide breezy commons, with browsing sheep and cattle appear I the dimpled sea laughed to us, with its wavelets curling shorewards before the breeze, their creamy crests flashing back the clear sunlight until it fairly dazzled us And how sweet was the tread of the firm hard road under our feet And what dis gracefully dirt-begrimed, tatterdemalion vagabonds we all looked-; and how the people on their way to market stared at us I looked back at the black world of forest stretchinp; away be hind us, which a dense inky thundercloud was just then drenching, as we knew how it could drench ; and I said to myself :-I have done it ; but I wouldn't do it again for a great deal of money? And so I say still. There were not a few laughable incidents in connection with our return to civilisation. First of all a buxom girl, on her way down to the Priestman's River for water, came suddenly upon us at a sharp turn of the road. For five seconds she stood transfixed, open-mouthed, then with a wild yell dashed her bucket on the ground, and fled lip the rocky' path down which she had come. Arrived at the store at Pnestman's .River, I ordered refresh ments for the men, and then enquired for Mr. Jenoure. I was in formed that he was not there, but that Mr. Hobbs was at the house over tlie way, and the shopkeeper would send a message to him. Mr. Hqbbs seemed t-0 be a long time turning up; so I went in quest of him. I found him; and when he realised that there was no mis take about my identity, he gave me a right hospitable, cordial wel come. With him, to my great delight, was another friend of mine, a gentleman in the educational department, who inrig1nal PUBLIC R

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74 the schools in this neighbourhood. They told me that the shopkeeper's boy ;had brought a not ver1 intelligible message; an
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How I did Dross tlte Jolm Crow Mountains. 7 5 form soil of sufficient depth for 6ood timber to find a footing, although water percolates very rapidly. This evil is by the excessive rainfall ; but even down to the coast the river-courses are never quite full, except in seasons of continuous rain ; they only accumulate water in eertain such Cudjoe Hole." In forwarding my official report, I prayed His Excellency the Governor to grant me the favour, in recognition of my having been the fir8t man to the John Crow Mountains, of directing that their present inappropriate, meaningless and inelegant be dispensed with, and the name Blake Mountains" substituted therefor. This request he has been pleased to grant ; but I almost r gret having made _it, _for many directions I find that the re:mlt ?as been to call forth md1gnation at "the reinoval of old landmarks,' I have heard it phrased. those among is stroncrest are those who, previous to the publication of the notjpe. in the Gazette, knew probably of the existence, and cArtainly nothing of the locality of the ''Blake M_ountains." .. rig1nal PUBLIC R i

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OVER THE PEAKS AND ALONG THE MAIN RIDGE. ANY man who and of malice aforethought selected the month of October for an extensive exploration of the Blue Mountains would be justly regarded as a lunatic. Yet, such have been the vagaries of the weather latterly, that October was the driest and hottest month known at the West Peak of the Blue Mountains for some years past. It has long been my ambition to traverse the whole range from the West Peak to the junction of the John Crow Mountains, east of the Cuna Cuna Gap, and with this end dn view I obtained leave and organised my forces for the attempt in November 1890. Not being a lunatic, I did not select October ; and it was very aggravating, day after day during that month, to see the Peaks and the whole range clearly outlined a cloudless sky. To the invitation which I tendered through the pages of the Victoria Quarterly_ after my trip to NanJ!y Town I had one reply;from Mr. Taylor Domville of Running Gut Estate in the parish of St. James. His enthusiasm induced him t.o go to the trouble and expense of a journey all the way round by coasting steamer and mailcoach to join me ; and very glad I was' of.his company,. On 4th November we mustered at Trinityville; Bar rett, Hibbert, Gardner, and Hibbert's son and heir, David by name.., besides the dogs Bull, Brandy, Antoinette, and Fidele, a da'.lp;hter of Antoinette's ; for unlimited hog-hunting was to be the order of the day. We rode as far as Farm Hill, and a mule carried thepro visions thither. Here we were hospitably entertained by Mr. Gosset, under whose care the instruments at the West Peak are placed, and who supplies the readings that are published every month in the Gazette. On Wednesday the 5th we rose at 3 a.m., and after a very early breakfast started on foot for the West Peak at 4.30. It was beau tifully clear when we set out by the light of a waning moon, and we R

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Over tlie Peaks and along t/1e Jfain Ridge. 77 stef'ped along briskly in the keen mountain air past 'Vhitfiel
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78 C:nJrocLlen .J amaira. I think the punning allusion to the conquest larly One gentleman. disputes the correctness of the officially st.ated elevation, probably not knowing that it was tained by Mr. Maxwell Hall, confessedly the highest authority Jamaica, after seven days of careful and patient with the most approved instruments known to modern Another, of a philosophical turn of mind evident.ly, "whether it repays one for the waste of tissue." But. the most eloquently pathetic entry is that of a N., who says:"One mule and driver disabled,.one horse lamed, 50.75 inches of rain-going back.' I should. think it was time. Some visitors appear to have thought it necessary to P.lace on record what they drank ; some have thoughtfully the turf abouf the hut with broken bottles for other peopl.e's horses to walk and macadamised the path leading up to the instrument enclosure in a like manner ; and on one occesion entry was effected into the hut by breaking off the locks andsmashing a pane of glass. I cannot help establishing a sort of connection in .my mind betweAn the three performances ; unfortunately the perpe trators of the last outrage forgot to mention it before they left. At one o'clock *e weather cleared like magic, and we started in a brilliant sunshine to visit the Middle and East Peaks, progress to the Sugarloaf until next day. A road has been structed to connect the three Peaks; but work on it is in abeyance owing to want of funds, the amount subscribed-for it is private enterprise-having been expended. It is no half hearted goat-track either, a boulevard, wit_h gentle dients, along which in some parts a buggy could be driven-if you could get the buggy up The mountain-climbing public are fortunate in having, as the nearest resident to the Peak, a gentle man of Mr. Gosset's public spirit. The tracing of this road and the superintendence of its construction are his own gratuitous work; while the keys of the hut are kept at his house at Farm Hill, at the disposal of visitors to the Peak. It is to be hoped that the con;ipletion of this road, right to the Sugarloaf, will soon be an accom-plished fact. To realise the extent and the grandeur of the Blue .Mountain. Range one should see it in perspective as we did on that from highest point. Right in fr.ont,. not more than a mile distant, towered the majestic Sugarloaf, his weather-beaten sides all aglow in the sunlight with their coat of many-tinted. foliage. A narrow ridge, falling away towards us in a precipice of appalling depth, bridged the abyss that us him, while away to the north and north-east ridge frowned UJ>Ol:l ridge and rig1nal PUBLIC R

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Oi,er the Peaks and along tlU! Main Ridge. 7l) peak upon peak; ravine upon ravine thundered to the sound of falling water, and the eye, perplexed and bewildered by the endless panorama of mountain and forest, welcomed the white cloud that drifted slowly up the from the sea, folding the hills to the north in its fleecy clasp. Away, away, north and south, the blue sea sparkled and danced in the sun, and there was a peep of civili sation in the dimly discernible canefields by the coast; at our feet majestic mountains clothed with blue-black forest, and no sound but the eternal sobbing of the mountain breeze bursting in fitful gusts from the gorges, and the ceaseless murmur of the mountain torrent. Turning ha.ck, we retraced our steps, and mounting to the enclosure where the instruments are, looked westward. A dark cloud covering the face of the sun seemed to focus his rays on the ocean that lay hot and white beneath, a sea of molten metal, with even, wrinkled billows creeping .. creeping so silently, so stealthily towards the shore. The Palisades stretched along like a great black blot that some Titan had flung there, and the cloud shadows stood up like islands. It was so vast, so silent, so my.,_ terious! How puny the steamers looked as they crawled along!. The eye sought in vain for a ho.rizon. There was just a little more flash and glitter away southward, a long low cloud or two and then you, .were looking at the sky. On the north sick we saw Galena Point and Port Maria very distinctly; but furthe.west everything was buried behind an enormous bank of cloud. We had dinner early and then turned out again to see the The sun's rays having lost their power, one could now look out without being dazzled over the crumpled ridges of the Port Royal Mountains and the southern part of Kingston, the _Spanish Town Road and the Caymanas, Port Henderson, Apostle's Healthshire Hills and so on, all of which can be seen equallv well from fifty places much lower down. I had not come there to see them, but to watch the western sea turn flame-colour and gold and. purple, and the long low clouds clothe their edges in raiment ; and the grim peaks soften and smile under the touch of the parting sun. I had come to watch the day die down below, the wide expanse of sea and plain and mountain at my feet tur.n and black, while my perch and the cloudlets floating around were still crimson of hue,. and to see the creep up the mountain side until with a plunge the of day was gone, and it was twilight everywhere. And I saw 1t all, in spite of the _icy breeze that drove me shivering back to the fire inside' the hut as 800n as it was over. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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80 l.Tntrodden Jamaica. We had had .ocular demonstration of the fact, during the day, that there is at least one mongoose on the Blue Mountain Peak in the he vacates on the arnval of v1s1tors. Dunng the mght we had proof of the pres ence of a rat, residing upstairs, who came down in the hours and laid larcenous hands. on our but successfully repulsed by the men. It is not every one who undertakes a trip to the Peak who is fortunate enough to see the sun set on one day and rise on the following in a comparatively c1oudless ; hut the few whose good fortune it has been to witness those sights han"' seen something tha.t the most insensate mind will not forget in a hurry. I hung a therometer out of doors on Wednesday night, and when I took it in at daylight on Thursday morning it registered 44 degs.twelve degrees above freezing point. We had the courage, however, to turn oat for the sunrise.. A few cloudlets, to show the blue sky above, drifted gently past, then suddenly writhed in mid-air as if in conflict with some enemy below, a.nd scattered in every direction, while a delicate rose tint, changing rapidly to flame, lit up the eastern sky. Suddenly one flash seemed to touch the tops of the stunted trees behirnl which we cowered for shelter, and a golden glow diffosed itself around us. Looking westward we saw high in air, against the heavy cloud bank hanging on the Mount Diablo Ranp;e, the conical shadow of the Peak clearly and sharply .outlinE'd. Then as the sun, invisible to us, rose higher, a broad. lake seemd to spread out among the foot hills of the Mount Diublo, and I reco1Q1ised the sea of fog that nightly enshrouds St. Thomas. ye Vale. From the north came cra.wling al0ng, gliding silently up the hillsides, creeping over their tops and enfolding the further slopes again like a blanket, a great mass of leaden vapour that brightened at its upper edge into rainbow tints as it felt the awakening touch of the sunbeams. One by one shatp edges of the crumpled ridges below us donned the golden vesture of tlie dawll, and the mistwreaths that hung in the .liollows between seemed to fly shrieking and writ.bing upwards like evil spirits hunted by an angel of light. The white walls of' .Estates' works and houses gleamed out, and one could almost tell the very instant the first ray of the morning touched the great hull of the Urgent lying at her moorings. Further away the Round Hill in Vere, and the Carpenter's Mountains in Manchester loomed up in a gradually brightening purple, and you could just discern the southernmost extremity of the 8anta Cruz Mountains mingling in the far far distance witli sea and sky. We watched the day creep on until it was day everywhere, until the cane-fields of Albion and 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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Over the Peaks and along tlU! Main Ridge. 81 Norris and the Caymanas were basking in the sunlight, and then parted with a sigh. I don't think I shall ever forget it. And now, hey for the majestic Sugarloaf, incomparably the most perfect in shape of any peak of the Blue Mountain, standing in solitary grandeur, cut off from his companions by steep narrow ridges, with no road to lead up to him, and no hut to crown regal head which the cloud-drifts so love to wreathe with a fleecy mantle. I have long nurtured a secret conviction that the Sugarloaf is the highest peak,-as it ought to be, if it is not-and to ascertain this I had arranged with the Hon. Director of Public Works, who supplied me with an aneroid barometer for the purpose, to take readings, simultaneously with an officer of his department in King ston, at fixed hours of the day. To my regret, however, the ba rometer appeared to have got out of order, and ceased to ghe cor rect indications at Portland Gap, 5,550 feet above sea-level ; so it still remains an undecided question-for the present. Setting out at 7 .30, we reached the end of Mr. Gosset's road at 7 .50 and then began to cut our track down the steep em face of the East Peak to the connecting ridge nearly 1,000 feet lower down. It is so steep that hands have to do as much work as feet, and so narrow that I am afraid the contemplated of the road to the Sugarloaf. will prove a work of serious difficulty -that is a riding road. rhe last person who traversed this region was, as far as I can learn, Mr. Thomas Harrison in 1868 ; and he and ourselves are about the only people now living who have done this journey. We passed on the top of the connecting ridge-which I find appropriately named "Cold Ridge" in one map of Jamaica -a large hog-pond, apparently fed by a small spring, from which we procured a supply of water. This ridge is in parts exceedingly narrow, the available level ground in some places being not more than two or three feet in width, while its sides, naturally exceed ingly precipitous, have been rendered still more so by landslips of great magnitude on either hand. At 12 o'clock we halted for breakfast at the foot of a steep hill which Hibbert pronounced to be the Sugarloaf. We then decided to seek a spot suitable for camping and remain there that night. I then ascended this hill wit.h Hibbert and Mr. Domville, and found the summit in what ap peared to me a ridiculously short space of time. The mountam mist had now settled round us and there was no below or above. On the summit I found a tree with some marks on it, and having noticed in Mr. Harrison's Uadastral Map of the Parish of St. Thomas a tree with initials" indicated on the top of the Sugarloaf, I made up my mind, not without a certain sense of.disrig1nal PUBLIC R

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82 Cnfrodden Jamaica. appointment, that we had reached it. Hibbert having volunteered to cut the track as much further on as pos8ible, and Mr. Domville following him, I set to work to make a clearing for the view south wards ; and by the time I had cut d'>wn enough to afford a pros pect by climbing a hoary old soapwood, the fog cleared away, and glancing up to my left I saw the Sugarloaf towering up half a mile a.way, and six or seven hundred feet higher. I then called the men up from below, and directing them to build the hut on the spot I had cleared, started after Hibbert, who had got well ahead by this time. In about ten minutes I arrived at the foot of the Sugarloaf; and a very different business it was from the peak below. In some places it was almost perpendicular, very thickly wooded with dense undergrowth, and ankle deep in soft virgin soil. It took near ly an hour to climb it. At three o'clock I reached the top, having overtaken the others a little way below it. lt was covered with large trees, principally yacca, was fairly level, and carpeted with tufts of long grass. I now began to hunt in earnest for the tree with initials,'' and my attention was soon attracted by a large yacca tree, standing with its arms all gnarled and knotted and bent, on the very apex. About the root of this, and in a natural hollow in the trunk I saw a number of broken bottles, of the game shape and make as the one that I picked up on Trelawney's Path on my way back from Nanny Town in May. From the root of the tree grew a. Jong sturdv limb stretching out southward, almo:!lt at right angles. From this 1 tore twenty _years' growth of moss and fern and be hold I it was covered with letters-letters carved so long ago that the growth of the tree had twisted them out of recognition. I was only able to decipher L, E, H, "r' A, and one or two others. It was a lovely afternoon,. and perfectly clear all around. We could make out the West Peak between the trees ; but it would have taken the labour of many men for hours to clear away enough of the forest for the unparalleled ,iew which this peak must afford of the whole east end of the island. At the sight of the bottles in this mountain solitude the usual reftections occurred. seem trite and hackneyed, but they always do occur to me. Where are the hands that carved those letters when this hoary, weather-beaten old yacca was a sh_!t_pely young sapling ? Who were the dead and gone revellers ? Were they a detachment of Stoddart's troops scouring the mountains after the victory of Nanny Town? How many of their bones lie under the accumulated mould of the ages t Or perhaps, they were not revellers ; perhaps they were invalids, ordered up here for of air, and the bottles had contained medicine. But they didn t look like medicine bottles. They looked more as if they 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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Ot,er the Peaks and along the Main Ridge. had held what Mark Twain in his legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus calls '' Rumpunch, Jinsling, Eggnog." I shall make it my business some day, when I have retired on the fortune realised by the sale of this book, to hunt up all the available that can possibly throw more light on the of the Blue Mountains, and condense the information thus obtained for the benefit of my country. Mr. Domville found two of these bottles on the ridge below the Sugarloaf around which the mould had accumulated so that only their necks peeped above the g-round. These were whole. and uninjured ; and he now has one, while I the other. We descended again to the Uamp and found that, owing to the scarcity of tree-terns about the spot, the hut was Yery poorly thatched. We could only hope and pray for fine weather. We had a beautiful view over the Blue Mountain Valley, Morant Bay, Port Morant and the East End before On Friday morning the 7th we had the first spell of bad luck. After a beautifully clear and very cold night a cloud settled down at 6 a.m. and it rained until 9.30. The thatch of the hut., already scanty, had quailed in the heat of the fire ; and wrapping our blankets and coverings around us we just sat down and took it. We managed to get coff
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84 Unt?odden Jamaica. donbt from a botanical point of view, but not conducive to fast travelling. The sterns, like time, have no beginning and no end ; they are exceedingly tough, and closely matted together, and by no means innocent of small prickles. They catch you across the mouth and throat, and when you think you have cleared yourself they raise off your hat, and when you pick that up you find yourself hitched by the knapsack or the Lntt of your gun, and when you have these you find one hitched over your ankle. This hamboo is varied with a species of fern, which in addition to all the Yirtues which the bamboo possesses, emits, when cut or trodden on, a most offensive odour. Wherever the turricane has made the most dire havoc, there these things of beauty grow thickest ; and I
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01Je1 t/1.e Peaks a1ul along the Main Ridge. 85 their fury just there as they hava done nowhere else that I have yet beheld. The only consolation that we had in going through it was that.it was too bad to last long. At length we came out of it and down a steep incline at the bottom of which a ravine ran down northwards, its sides clothed with an unspeakable wealth of stately tree-ferns. On the other side of this Stoddart's Peuk loomed black through the white clouds, and hope of speedy rest and shelter rose anew. Hibbert missed the track in going up this, and we hhd to perform unheard-of gymnastics among roots and fallen trees to gain the top. And when we did strike the broad hog track once more and had gone along for some distance, he called a halt, and said that he thought he was mistaken, that we were not on Stod dart's Peak, but that he had chanced upon one of the ridges running to the north. I felt confident on consulting my compass that we had done no such thing, hut we all waited shivering in the cold and the wet while he made ineffectual attempts to obtain a view. Here little David, between the cold, the wet, the mist and the con viction that we were lost, broke down and wept piteously. The trusty Barrett in the meantime had gone along the ridge, following the same track, and presently we heard a jubilant whoop. We hurried to him about 200 yards further on, and found him on my clearing on Stoddart's Peak, made in March and improved in May 18UO, and alongside the large tree that I had blazoned with broad arrows. It was all plain sailil!g then, and we fairly raced down Trelawney's Path to Island Head, which we reached at 2.15 p.m. We combined breakfast and dinner in one Gargantuan meal, and at 7 o'clock everybody was fast asleep. I know that I, although sleeping on a hard bench, by reason of the bedding being wet, did not move a limb until 2.30 a.m. on Sunday-seven hours and a half. On Sunday, the 9tli, a messenger was to Hibbert's house at for a portion of the that had been left there; and a relative of his, a professional hog-hunter, was engaged tor the rest of the journey. He higgled a good deal about prompted, as I by fears of Nanny Town ; but being promised a liberal douceur by Mr. Domville in the event of his catching a hog, he agreed to accompany us. Sunday was a doubtful looking day, although we got enough sun to dry everything comfortably ; and during the night frequent flashes of lightning illumined the old house through the many gaps in the roof, while the thunder mut tered all around and a perpetual drizzling rain pattered down. Mo'Tula9 lOth, dawned unpromisingly. The black clouds along the horizon drifted up, sullenly red about their ecJges, and heavy squalls could be seen sweeping across the Blue Mountain Valley. 1n 1 al fro / E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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86 Untrodden Jamaica. But the hills above us were clear, and my practised eye could see blue sky here and there through the threatening clouds ; so I the weather down for the boisterous braggart that it has been ail through 1890, anJ decided to start. McLean, the hog hunter, turned up early, bringing with him two black dogs, "Friend" and "Salomo" which increased our pack of boarhounds to s;_ x, We got away at 8.30 in gradually brightening weather, and for three days it wa:-. silllply perfect. I was determined to reach Nanny Town that evening ; so we made the first halt at one o'clock on the spot where our first camp had been on the former expedition, and where we found our hut still standing. The dogs started three or four hogs on the way, but they all escaped. The top of the Main Ridge wits reached at 2.30, and down we went, down the endless descent to the Enchanted Land. Yv e had had quite enough of it when we unloaded ourselves at the old "Police Barracks" at 5 p.m. The men had barely enough energy left to thatch the building-the old having completely withered away-and to cut firewood. Ringtail fried with little chips of ham is good at any time, but t.ry to imagine what it tasted like to us after that day's work l And doubly sweet was the stretching of tired and chafed limbs in the hammock, and trebly consoling the clouds begotten of the fragrant H Gold Flake" that glowed in the bowl of the pipe" Sweet when the morn is gray Sweet when they've cleared away Lunch; and at close of day Possibly sweetest." And from above the stars gazed down out of a Cloudless sky between the shadows of the tali trees, while the Stony River mm mured a tuneful accompaniment to the sigh of the night-wind in the branches and the chirrup of the crickets. Tuesday lltli.-We cooked our breakfast to take it down to "Nanny's Pot" and eat it there. On the way down-the break-neck track the dogs suddenly gave tongue with a will, away to the left down the Stony River, and McLean with my gun, Gardner and Hibbert went after them, while I piloted the of the party to the meeting of the rivers. We got thoroughly coolecl down here, preparatory to a bath in the ''Pot," by rambling quietly from one fall to another, sketching, and drinking in the exquisitP beauty of the scene; and in about an hour Domville and I stripped and plunged into the rocky basin. Ye gods what a bath that '. It sent the blood rushing through your veins until your skin fairly tingled. The water was like iced champagne. You felt as if you could bite it. It made me fairly shout for sheer joy and lust of life. It was t oo cold to stay in 19ng though. By the time we had dressed again and were just sitting down to breakfast, the three men return eel, tizoo by Goog e Original from NEW YORK PUBLIC LI BRA RY

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Over tlie Peaks and along the Main Ridge. 87 hogless, but with Bull and Friend badly cut by the hog,-the latter that his stomach had to be stitched up-and no sign of Brandy. Poor Brandy he must have died the death of a gallant boarhound, for to this day he has not been seen or heard of. The men told us that the dogs had brought the hog-a lean and muscular old sowto bay about a mile down the river, in a tolerably deep pool, but that she had managed to escape, after wounding several of the dogs, before they could get near enough to give her the coup de grace. We had our revenae later on though, for on our way back to the camp the dogs caught and killed two piggies about four months old, in all probability the offspring of the ancient dame who had wrought such havoc among them in the forenoon. When one considers the nature of the country which these animals inhabit, it becomes very evident that they must be as sure footed and as active as mountain goats. And the dogs that are employed in chasing them answer their purpose perhaps better than would those of a more valuable breed. It was simply marvellous to see how they found their way over precipices which the men had to scale hand over hand, holding on to stems and roots of trees. Poor Brandy, the boldest of the pack, simply hurled himself down the first wall of rock, got hitched with his hind legs between two sap lings, and hung whimpering, suspended in mid-air, until I could reach and extricate him, when he dashed off again as recklessly ever. On the way home Bull and Friend had to be passed up from hand to hand, being incapacitated by their wounds. On arriving at our Barracks at 3.30 the men set to work at once to prepare for 'jerking" the pigs. Outside the hut they con struct.ad a gridiron of green sticks about two feet from the This is called about the Blue Mountain Valley a '' patta,' while among the Maroons, and in the Cuna-Cuna district it is known as a" word that has a distinctly Spanish flavour. Under neath this a fire is kindled, into which the carcase is first thrust in order to singe the hair, which is then easily scraped off with a knife. This done, the animal is disembowelled, split open down the back, the bones extracted, and the carcase laid skin downwards upon the sticks and subjected to a slow grilling during which it is plentifully sprinkled with black pepper and salt. This process lasts from six t;o eight or nine hours, according to the size of the animal. The adding of pimento leaves, or those of the pepper elder to the fire imparts an improved fiavour to the meat, which, when properly done, is as gamey and toothsome a dish as a hungry man can desire. We had wild pig chops, fresh, for dinner that night, and jerked the greater portion of the two animals for next day, the dogs receivmg their reward in the shape of the offal. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R

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88 introdden .lamaiea. I mam there I proposed to reach the main source of the right branch of the Morant River, and thence to return home. On reaching the summit of the Main Ridge once more, two hours and a half from the time of starting, we struck out eastward; but it soon became evident that the chances of reaching Candlefly Peak that night were extremely doubtful. The narrow track was more befouled than ever by fallen trees, and the creeping bamboo and malodorous fern above described. We accordingly decided to camp at the foot of the peak. I cut my way to the top with McLean, however, leaving the other men to build the hut, and on reaching it found large trees with open spaces between, similar to what I had observed on the Sugarloaf. It is singular that the worst damage done by the storm seems to be on the lower ridges, while the high peaks, apparently the most exposed, are, compara tively speaking, intact. Candlefly Peak I estimate to be 6,000 feet high ; and on its very summit I found the pond-the com monest of hog-wallows, with no more pretensions to minejral pro perties than the Hope River. I got a lovely view though, and a sketch from the topmost fork of a tall yacca, down the Stony River rig1nal PUBLIC R

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Over the Peaks and along the Main Ridge,, 89 Valley with St. Mare;aret's Bay in the distance, and a. calm sea beyond, with the honzon away above the clouds that hung almost motionless between me and it, mottling the oily surface of the ocean with their shadows. Away to the east I saw the steep western face of the John Crow Range almost beautiful in the warm rays ot the afternoon sun. We filled the water-cans that we had brought with us at the hog-pond and rejoined the rest down below. We had a good dinner of jerked pig that night, but a comfortless bed, owing to the cramped space that the narrow back of the ridge afforded for a hut. Thursday 13th.-This morning we cut our way straight tlowu the steep southern face of the Main Ridge to the source of the right arm of the Morant River. And then the weather made up mind to give us a parting benediction. It began to rain heavily at eleven o'clock, and continued with brief intervals until we reache
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90 Untrodden Jamaica. where we were hospitably welcomed and comfortably housed by the lf you want to realise what desirable things a well room and a good bed are, go into the woods for ten or twelve days and sleep in a hammock, or on the ground, or on a platform of knobby sticks. -Saturday 16th November saw us once more safely at home, anJ our Walking-sticks galore, all cut from the most ble phwes; half-a-dozen new orchids, plenty of filmy terns for lady mosses of various kinds, two Nanny" bottles, and aquarter of jerked pig, which Domville has taken with him away to his home along with a bottle of water from'' Nanny"sPot," with the aid of which he will no doubt figure as a mighty "medicine man" for many a year. There end my wanderings for the present ; but there are hot springs and other marvels to be explored in the tracts that I have not yet reached, things that may prove of real benefit to the country,, apart from the interest or amusement that my travels may create among tho5e who are good enough to read my recital of them. And these wonders, now absolutely unknown, save to a few I trust to make known to my countrymen at some future day, if they ai:e kind enough to afford me that encouragement which I have endeavoured to deserve. R

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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY REFERENCE DEPARTMENT Thia book is under no circumstances to be taken from the Building


Material Information

Untrodden Jamaica
Physical Description:
1 online resource (90 p., illus., map.)
Thomas, Herbert T.
A. W. Gardner
Place of Publication:
Kingston, Jamaica
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Geology -- Jamaica.
Geography -- Jamaica.
Jamaica -- Description and travel.
Herbert Theodore Thomas


General Note:
Ingested from copy on HathiTrust http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008585237
Herbert Theodore Thomas was born 6 June 1856 in Jamaica, and died in 1930. Author of Untrodden Jamaica (1890; http://www.dloc.com/AA00020116/ ) & The story of a West Indian Policeman-47 years in the Jamaica Constabulary (1927; http://www.dloc.com/AA00010421/ ).

Record Information

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
See http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008585237
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 671599573
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" . WITH HEB PBRJCISSION; THIS LITTLE BOOK IS RESPBCTFULLY DEDICATBD TO LA oy BLAKE, ht 9 rate.ful recopnition of t/11! warm, interest displayed lier in everytlt-irig tltat concern Jamaica, her cordial appreciatlon of the "lovely scenery of i.'1land, and tlU! aid and en

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"'' I E NTS.l -18.'S-l. TIOXS. P A.GB. 6 12 19 32 50 76 0 HARBOL"R.. PP.O'.'>TI PIECE. Hn. t OllA:i-TCllBLE.. UG A HCT. L"'iD HE%D IE PEAK;; PRO>I THE PAGE.. 5 6:? 7 "o : o lC r. Colin Lidc:ieU of the Land,. the e xcelJem little lCap "WhicL Original from NEW YORK PUBLIC LI BRA RY


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PREFACE. ---:o:--IF any member of the reading public of Jamaica, after having invested in this book, should lay it down with a sigh of dis appointment, and regret for his bargain, I pray him not to add an anathema for the writer. For he is partly responsible for il'4 existence, which due to the very reception that the reading public has been good enough to accord to sundry articles of mine which have appeared from time to time in the Colonial Standard, the now defunct West Indian Fkld, and notably, of more recent daiie, in the Victoria Quarterly. Lured no doubt to my doom by such generou3 appreciation, the thought struck me : "Why not participate in the 'Awakening of Jamaica,' of which the Exhibition is to be the most convincing outward and visible sign, by out a book about little known parts of Jamaica, written and illustrated bv a Jamaican ?" With this end in view I have reproduced articles from the Journal!' above mentioneJ as I thought most likely to be of permanent revisiting the localities for the purpose of taking and added tothem hitherto unpublished accounts of my exploration of the ten-a itugnita of the Crow. and a ten days' expedition over the Peaks and the Main Ridge of the BluP Mountains. H the result of this publication be the di!'pelling of the ignorance, and the demolition of the apathy, which I well know to exist my countrymen, by birth and adoption, rel'pecting a region of their country that ranks scarcely to any on earth in point of in teresting history, physical beauty, and salubriou!i' climate; and if my humble should attract the atiiention of our cousins from across the water, who are gradualll an absorbing interest in our island, to such an extent as t.o direct their well-known energy and enterprise towards making this region ea."ill accessible, l shall have had my reward for many a hard day s work and many a night's rest. I only trust that one day I may see some of the ridges crowned with sanitary establishments, and numbers of visitors seeking health, rest and recreation among the solemn woods and the fern-shadowed streams. I launch my little venture forth, therefore, in the hope that it will meet the same fortune that hitherto befallen my less ambitious efforts, commending it above all to the '' charity that thinketh no evil." HERBERT T. THOMAS. '. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


FIH8T IMPRESSIONS OF THE PEAK-1885. I HAD long determined to go. From the very first morning when I looked up the sweep of the beautiful Blue Mountain Valley with its expanse of vivid green canefields, its setting of grassy slopes and wooded hill-tops, and gazed at the two peaks standing sentinel over it, stern, silent, and majestic, with their rugged outlines softened by the rosy kiss of da\.Vll, I said to myself, said I :'' I am not the man to live within thirty miles and in daily view of the Peak without seeing the sun rise from it at least once.'' But somehow the right never came until one day I was on a visit to one of the hill-stations, and staving a night. in redemption o_f a long-standing promise, with my f nend, the man, at Whitfield Hall. I liappened to say : '' I have long wishing to chmb the Peak," when he replied in the most casual way, as if it were only a morning walk for him: Oh! I'll take come along next week and we'll go." "Done," said I. "I'll come on such and such a day and we'll go up the following morning." ., And so it came about that a week afterwards I found myself seated in the cozy little shanty at Whitfield Hall with the Guardsman and the Field-Marshall, discussing a good dinner and arrang ing our Outside,. the moon was. shining in a sky, and shedding a golden hght on the wtlderness of mountain and valley, peak and gorge, and clearing, spread out beneath, above and around, and the wild north breeze was howling about our little dwelling as if it would bear it bodily away and hurl us to destruction a thousand feet below. Dinner over, and the Pl1l gramme not t,et a:rranged, the gentle dissipati?n .of halfpenny ''Nap moistened with hot .. toddy was to aid m solY ing the knotty point of the best hour for starting. Suddenly the Field-Marshal, in an unguarded moment I think, suggested that we had better not go to bed at all, but sit up until two, then start away and reach the peak long before dawn, taking surprise the Direc1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


Firat Imprt11ion1 a/ the 7 tor of Public Gardens and Plantations, whom we knew to haYe been for some days engaged with a party of henchmen in establishing a weather-station on the Peak, and who was not expected to come down until late the day. The Guardsman and I both jumped at the suggestion, and when the Field-Marshal repented himself and wanted to tum in and take a couple of hours' snooze, held him to his word. At two o'clock then breakfast of hot coffee and poached eggs WM partaken of, the animals brought round, and away we went in th6 keen north wind and the golden moonlight. The Guardsman led the way on a mule that was handier with its hind legs than the majority even of that uncertain race. I came next on the perfection of a mountain J>OEJ, and the F. M., similarly mounted, brought up the rear. The road being good, and for the first couple of miles tolerably level for those parts-where the side of a house is considered only moderately steep-we went along at a rattling pace until we reached the back of Abbey Green, where the climh really began. Up we went, winding along the zigzag path cut in the face of the mountain, higher and higher until the Abbey Green works seemed like a white speck in the moonlight and then vanish ed altogether. But what a scene that was on which we lookoo down Perched on a narrow path With a precipice on one side, of which the boUom was invisible in the shadow of the hill, we M>uthwards over a succession of ridges, intersectied by ravines which looked black and awful in contrast with the flood of light that tbe moon poured on the slopes and summits of the hill8. Here and there a white dot on some mountain side marked the site of a human habitation, and once the distant bark of a dog was home faint ly to the ear. Otherwise one might have thought it was some enchanted land that lay at our feet. And as the Yalley beneath opened out wider and wider, and the hills receded further and further, so hill and valley, light and shadow grew less and less distinct, and peak and gorge melted into a mysterious shimmering silvery haze shewed the distant sea, bathed in floods of light, and the long low line of coast, through a glorious misty halo like a fairy And the awful silence broken only by the raging night wind rushing down from the mountain tops It was magnificflnt, sublime ; and my poor words, I feel, cannot convey an adequate of the weird beauty of it. On we went, still up, up, up, as if there were no top to it ; and presently we plunged into the forest, where a stray tiny moonbeam struggling here and there through the branches served rather to intensify the surrounding gloom, and I had to guide my course bv the help of my pony and the ghostly colour of the Guardsman;s 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


8 Untrodden Jamaica. mule in front. Every now and then I heard a warn ing shout from our pilot, and had to clasp my pony's neck, or re cline on his tail, or throw a leg over the saddle to avoid scalping, ifopaling, or the amputation t>f a limb by the succession of "snags" which projected from the mountain side over the newl7 made path. On p8ssing the foot of the celebrated "Jacob's ladder' I expressed a de8ire to dismount and climb up it, but my suggestion was received with such a storm of indignant remonstrance and ribald abuse by my companions, that, not knowing the way by myself, I was fain f-9 proceed on hor8eback. The road was open and passable for h-0rses for some distance beyond Jacob's ladder., in fact nearly to the top of it; and now the romance-destroying march of civilization rendered the ascent of the Pea.k such an easy matter as to rob it of half its charm. Before long, however, the Guardsman discov that the road grew '' small by degrees and beautifully less that it was time t.o and do the remaining thousand feet on foot. And here let me counsel the thickest of gaiters and t_he heaviest and roughest of boots to intending climbers of the Peak. It would Le utterly absurd to. attempt the ascent in evening

Fir1t lmpre11ion1 of flu! Pea'/c-1885. 9 ... in sleep, far away from and high above "the haunts of our fellowcreatures, With no sip:ht save a fitful gleam of moonlit ridge caught for an instant through the trees far away to the left, and no sound but the howling of the wind and the tones of our own voices. The moss-grown trees, as we grasped them to drag ourselves up, were like ice to touch ; the grass underfoot was wet and fltlippery ; but still we struggled on and on until I was very glad when a halt was called for five minutes t.o take breath. After what seemed to me int.erminable climhinp;, and when I was just beginning to wonder whether the Peak existed at all, I heard the F.M. say : "we must be very near the top .now," and his words brought fresh hope to my heart. The ascent was more gradual, the trees further apart, and the track better and more dis tinctl y defined, and after a few more steps we came on a trace of human presence in the shape of a grass hut, beyond which at little distance was a tent. I had been pre1,aring myself for the sur prise whieh my unexpected appearance would the Director of Public Gardens .and Plantations, and had a little to myself, in which I was to walk into his presence in the matter-of:..fact manner, and with the same nonchalant greeting,with which Stanley encountered Livingstone at Ujiji. Judge of my ditr. appointment then, when the uttering loud whoop," and flourishing his legs for a moment gracefully in the air, plunged headforemost mto the tent and emerll:ed again with the forcible .remark :-"not a blanked soul." We were all pointed, and consoled ourselves by reforring to our. and calculating the time occupied in the ascent.. lt was now just five o'clock, or two hours and a quarter since we had started from 'Vhitfield Hall, and one hour and a half from the time we left our horses, which my companions said was a good record ; tn consequence whereof I was not a little proud of my perform.ance. we now began W long for the appearance of the of provisions, the more so when the intense heat engendered hy our climb had sulr sided, and we began t,o realize the fact that the temperature was deg. Fahrenheit, or only 10 deg. above freezing point, with a wind blowing outside that was enough to set your teeth on edge. We had passed this interesting individual on the road some time befor" leaving the horses, and could not guess when he would arrive, .so we setile'l our8elves on the turf bed inside the tent, and I wai just falling asleep, when a loud holloa from outside brought us all U> our feet, and Ganymede was lugged in by his h

10 l ./ amafra. .outside to have a look at the weathet, while the ''fleshly'' guardsman slumbered peacefully on his bed of turf. Alas for my hopes of seeing the We were enveloped in a white mantle of cloud which came raeing up from below .if hunted by all the of the air, anJ opened up for an instant every now and then. with an effect like nothing in the world so much as the turning np of a lamp in a dimly lighted room, just sufficient to give ns one fleeting glimpse of blue sky and the deep orange tint in the. Past, harbinger of the coming sun. Hoping again!'t hope, we as to the very highest spot of ground, a few feet above the tent., to inspect t.he of the of the Director of Public There we found an enclosure of about ten feet re, fmiced round t.hiclily with barbed wire, and fastened by a gate, composed of set. pales of yacca sharpered at the top, and by a Bramah lock. on a low wooden stand, was an enormous rain gauge of about the capacity of a !'mall beer cask. Along:of this was an edifice about feet uron above the ground, and dosed m on all s1des hy tiny e couldn't see what contained, hut were afterwa.rds credibly in f9rmed by the Director himself that it protection to ther mometers and other '' ometers" of various kinds. Behind this struc ture was a pole about ten feet high, bearing a sign-board with this strange device :"_ BLUE MOUNTAIN ,. WESTERN PEAK STATION, 7,335 FEBT. Visitor1 are reque1tffll not to trespass within this enclosure. D. MORRIS. The last line I a fine piece of sarcasm on the part of l\Ir. Morris, whether intentional or not. No reasonable man woulJ an irrepressible desire to in that enclosure, if it were on flattest piece of land in Jamaica. If he tried to climb o\er the fence he would leave 80 much of himself on thebarbed wire that. very little would get over ; anq if he attempted the gate, nothinjl would save him from impaled, under any cir



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Fir1t lmprts.,ions of Peak-1886. 11 pipe close under my now dewy nose, and hands thrust deep into ran round in a circle for the purpose of keeping wam1, on the highest bit of land in Jamaica. I was cold, I was wet; my clothes were dirty und torn ; my hands were scarified by doing duty a.feet; I was surrounded by thick clouds, and a driving taorth wind was cutting me in two; but,-1 was happy, for I was on the Peak at last. There absolutely nothing in the vegetation there to remind you of the tropics. The turf English turf, the moss and bracken. are .. of the Highlaml ... the trees and brushwood are stunted and and gnarled an1l bent from their eternal battle with the wind, and it. is hard to that you are in Jamaica. As the clouds grew perceptibly thicker, and the cold was get. ting past a joke, I roused my slumbering companions and we started on the return joume)r. One ean form no idea how much easier it is to come down than to go up. It t.en minutes before we arrh .. ed where the were. And now the beauties of the forest WtAre revealed to us. path, the the trees, all were carpeted with the loveliest and fem!'. clinging and enfolding the with loving da.'lp, and mosses droop ing in feathery, silken of l(reen. Tiny little creeping with diminutive leaves, broatl-leuve'1 bendinJ( down their heads t'rom the branches, and in the ravine on the left a verdant world of monster Everywhere fern!i;, orchids and parasites of description in profusion. An h?ur there is worth a year of tfreryday }tfe, and I parled with a sigh when we remounted our and their heads There had been no clouds on the lower part of the footpath, and I partly rewarded for all my .. a good view of the north side of i8land, including Port Antomo harbour. We called at Portland Gap and found thP. Direck>r of Public Ganlens just about to take breakfast before out for home, and he gave us some hot tea, whieh was aceptable. \\" e were quite readv for a bath and the which followed ; a.i fought our battles over again after dinner, sitting out in the mooniight and drinking in the bracing mountain ether in front of the Great-house at Whitfield Hall. We had fair listeners too ; for evening, in contrast to the bacchanalian bachelor party of the pn'lious night, we spent in refined and cultivated female societv, and were soothed after t.hetoils of the day by the charms of music and song. The morning, on my way down to the plains again, there stood, as if in spite, the Peak clear, unclouded, sharply defined against the sky. I shook my fist at it and vowed to see the sun from it yet. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


THE GLORIES OF THE CUNA-CUNA PASS-1884 . ': HAVE you ever been over the pass P If you have not, go as soon us you conveniently can: provided yon or can prooure, a steed to whom it is a mutter of indifference whether he carries you at an angle of 20 deg. up a staircase of boulder!'4 which roll away f'ro111 his foet ias he treads on them, or whether he carries you at the sume dmon a staircase ooiisistil)g of promiscuous roogn-hewn, and coated with. 'the mud of ages glazed by the rain of yesterday. If you have thislinvaluable quadruped, an

The Glories o/ tlte Cu1UJ-Ouna PaSl-1884. 18 many tracks which the rushing water had worn in the red dirt under foot, and which presented the nearest approaoh t;o a secure foot bold. Soon, however, even this privilege was denied, and the path nar-. rowed down to a matter of '' Hobson's choice," while a _transient glimpse caught now and again through the trees by the roadside J>repared me in part for the view that burst on my delighted gaze as I suddenlv rounded the shoulder of a hill. I halted in mute ad-miration. Below me, so down that could have dropped a. stone int.o it, a three hundred feet lower, from among whose dense the sound of a brawling mountain torrent was Lorne to the ear. Before me stretched from east to west the magnificent alluvial plain known as the Plantain den River District, with its of wooded hills, its bright green canefields, its busy and the white dots which marked estates' works and houses through it wound, like a thread cf silver, now flashing where touched by the morning sun, now gliding along with shadowed by feathery bamboos, the river from which it away to the east the early sun_ beams, struggling through robed the distant sea in a blaze of golden glory streaked with one long black trail of smoke from a steamer. On we went, up, up, up, now through a hole in whioh the domestic hog was waitin:.r to to his wallowing, now try-. ing to circumvent a of rocks, but failing for of wings, but always up. until I involuntarily began to wonder whet.her the road might have been designe l by sonv ingenious engineer with a. propensity for jokin;.{. The above descrilw.d now shut out ; and below and above nothing to be seen hut ridge und hollow in endless suc cession, with clearings on the hill-sides planted with the usual staple products of provision and the configuration of the country brought forcibly to mind the crumpled sheet of paper to which Jamaica heen likened. At last we arrived namely, at the Maroon settlement of Hayfield, which, with its immediate neighbourhood, did not present any more striking feature than the extreme frequency of the traces of the rece!lt hog in the mud which formed the road, and the powerful odour of decaying mangoes dropped from the treet; which covered it. Many of the natives here came out to at the spectacle of a denizen of the haunts of civilization, and aud boots in particular were objects of wonder for many a widelyopened eye and gaping mouth. Somd of the owners of these were 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


14 UntrOdden .remarka hle for the scantiness of their toilets, one gentle. youth: havingconfined his to .the rim of a hat and a.smile. Shortly after leaving this primitive village the scenery began to: a wilder and more mountainous character; one or two tree ferns showed their heads, and ever and anon we plunged into a deep glade carpeted with myriad8 of decayed leaves, and shadowed hy clumps of bamboos swaying their 1traceful heads to and fro, anu and creukmg gently in. the mountain. breeze; where-the of day was subdued to the of twilight; where one stray 8Unbeam who had lo=-t his way among the und could not struggle out again mjute tiny ribbons of light between, the leaves; where the footfall of had a dull, mufHed and sound. While pa -through one of my guide me that we should at the "Lookout/' the Cuna Cuna Gap is called. here; and enough at the next tum of the road I found myself on the summit of the Main Ridge of the Blue Mountains, at an elev.ttion of 2698 and contemplating one of the most charmin; views which I ever beheld. On the left a confused mass of hill and vale, wooded crests, and hillsides sprinkled with houses and clearings; at my feet the village of Hayfield, a thousand feet below; fartlier away a glimpse of the Pluntain Garden River and a bright green dash of sugar then more hills, and finally the blue sea flashing and sparkling. in the sun, and the deep harbour of Port Morant, with half-a-dozen craft lying at anchor-everywhere signs of. cultivation human habitation. On the a vast solitude Qf mountain and forest; from the valley three feet sheer up to the ridge of the .John Crow Mountains towering above, their wreathed in flee<.y clouds, from behind which an ominous roll of thunder ever anti heard, ODO large tract of virgin forest, probably untrodden by foot:-silence, deep silence, intensified rather than broken by the soughing of the wind in the tree tops, the occasional chatter of a woodpecker and the squeal of a flock of green parrots; .. while now then is faintly heanl the sweet soft coo of the ringtail pigeon calling to its mate. I felt inclined to gaze forever, but restrained myself and: hurried on, for those same clouds that looked so picturesque on the John Crow hills were coming over my way to teach me that he who expecteth to cross the Cuna Cuna dry, deceiveth himself with vain hopes. And now began the descent of a mountain pase which for beauty of scenery, luxuriance of vegetation and varietyand abundance


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Tiu! Glorie1 of tlll! Cuna-Cuna Pasi-1884. 15 of gorgeous wild flowers and exquisite fems, is possibly equalled, but cerl.ainly not by any other of nature's showplaces. I have enjoyed the pn vilege of wandering among the j!orges of the Riaer& over the forests of Bohemia, and following the course of the Elbe to the fir-shadowed pool which ves it birth, places to which Sook numbers of tourists every summer from all parts of Gennanv. My recollections of that wild and beautiful region of rushing streams and sighing pine-forests are still clear and vivid; but in my opinion the north slope of the Cuna Cuna throws it into the shade, principally, perhaps, by reSOD of its intensely tropical character. On ihe left hand towers a wall of sombre rock, every foot of which is covered with some kind of vegetable growth. Mosses, now clinging close like a velvet carpet, splashed with gray and crimson lichen, now drooping in long silky trails gemmed with pe&rly dew drops. Delicate grasses with slender and tiny flowers, thf'ir stalks tipped with glossy black seeds ; and above them again new kinds of palm ihrowinjl their graceful fronds into the air, and arching the pathway with a canopy of living green. On all and overhead and underfoot ferns cluster, of every form and shade. of colour, from the delicate rosepink of the young leaves of the commoner kinds to the pale verdure of the stately tree-fom, which rears its head in one continuous avenue on both sides of .this wonderful path, now just bursting from the earth in he.by form. now standing in the majesty of maturity, twenty-five teet high with its crown of palm-like fronds far above the road. With these are interspersed convolvuli with flowers of wondrous blue and pink and purple and white; shrubs with blossoms of strange shape and and black or scarlet berries, sorely tempting to the eye. And above them all the trees, each straigat as an arrow from eternal struggle towards the. light, WaYe and sigh and whisper, a forest of the most ,aluable timber in the none less than fifty feet in height, draped. with festoons of lianas as thick as a man's arm and clothed tA> their verv tops with orchids, mosses and lichens; and ever and anon at M>me.sudden turn. in the road the tinkle of a streamlet is heard, and a. rm of crystaldear, ice-oold wat.er comes tumbling down the crag ripple! across the path to lose itself in the wilderness of rorest-!Jirouded valley that stretches.along a hundred feet below. One could only look and wonddr and feast the eye, until a sigh, to speak, of repletion burst forth. Speech, telt., was power/ less to do justice to the enjoyment of a surfeit of the and majesty However man is in his supremest moments but a degenerate 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


16 Unt1rodden ./arna/ra. J>eing. l\lountain air and hard riding sharpen his .a.ppetite, and his sordid inner man fails not to remind him that he mnst not depend on Scenery alone for. sub8istence.. And I WQuld here 'advise all intending. visitors to the Cuna Cuna to pro\ride with lunch, and stop at one of those streamlets, which has received at the hands of some unromantic individual the prosaic name of the '' Breakfast Spring." Nature has there proVJded in the shape of a flat boulder, a convenient table, underneath which ftows .water,: which looks so fresh and clear and sparkling, that it almost. desecration i;o mingle it with vulgar alcohol. I did violence to my however, and so mixed it,-not. wit.hout sacrificing something to sentiment first by drinking it.in its state-but not much of it. Then onward like a giant winding along, dm,tn, tlown, down, with so many turns in the path that one a] most felt gid

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TM GlMie1 of tlU! Cuna-Cuna Pa11-1884. 1 l Deep in a forest glade canopied by mighty trees, fringed and carpeted with the verdure of the em, the varying shades of the mosses and the mosaic of the lichen, against a background of sombre boulders and silvery tree-trunks-two rivers, meet, the Rio Grande and Matty's River. Crystal streams of icl. water, their beds strewn with giant boulders, each of which has its crest of grasses and fems, they come and tumbling and frothing down the mountains slopes, while the fish glide merrily to and fro in perfect security in the depths of shady pools framed in delicate mosses and wild 1lowers. But I will not attempt a description of this spot, even with the aid of the deities above invoked ; I Will leave you to imagine it and resolve to go and see it for yourself, while I push on to Fishbrook, for I am both wet and hungry. This is an old coffee property, which after having been aban doned beyond the memory of the oldest inhabitant of the district, had recently been purchased from the Government and cleared for cultivation by two enterprising young Englishmen. Here I was hospitably received by one of them-the other being in Englandand after a refreshing toilet was soon seated before a repast con .. sisting of-think of it !-mountain mullet, jerked. wild pig, ringtail pigeon and fresh mountain cabbage heart, all moistened with Bass. You will be able to form some idea of the nature. of the road when I tell you that it had taken upwards of four hours to ride fourteen miles. After a smoke and a yam of an hour horses were brought round, and, accompanied by my host, I started for Moore Town, five miles further on. Oh the richness of the valley along which we rode 1 The path widens out to a good broad road, paved in parts-the work of a century past-and wide enough, though --here and there too steep, for driving. . : The vegetation seems literally bursting from every pore of the earth. The woods cease to line the road, and groups of CQttages,. tenanted by a happy and peasantry replace them. . Provisions of all kinds grown in profusion. Tlie rivers teem with splendid fish, and the pig, the ringtail, baldpate, white-wing and other birds furnish delicious meat. You cannot ride two hundred yards without crossing a stream which bursts from the rocks above and runs across the road to join the Rio Grande winding along fifty feet below, now rushing in riotous confusion over a bed of boulders, now widening out and creeping lazily and silently along in deep deep pools, whose surface is by the drooping branches of the bamboo and the roseapple, while now and it is ruftled, as a flash of silvery scales is seen in the sunlight. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


18 Untrodden Jamaica. Verily, ,this is the land of plenty. After a ride of an hour and a half we arrived at Moore Town, the settlement of the Portland Maroons. It is a picturesque place. The valley here opens out into a basin surrounded by low hills, on which are perched the cottages of the Maroons, while on a conspicuous eminence to the south the rectory, and on the level at the bottom of the basin stands the little gray stone Church with its tower and its church-yard dotted with white tombstones. We were warmly greeted by the white-haired rector who, alas, has since joined the great majority, and after a pleasantly spent hour started on our return to Fishbrook, which we reached while there was yet time for a plunge into the water of the Lime-bush river. Dinner was a repetition of the Sybaritic feast of the morning ; and no opiates were necessary when bed time came. Should you ask me what the Maroons are like, I should reply:-" Just like other negroes." I saw no stately savages of stalwart frame and martial appearance armed with gun and cutlass, but simply a peaceable and contented peasantry following their customary occupations or recuban1 sub tegmi'M fagi, and children going home from who stopped and stared, and stopped and stared again until your humble servant was out of sight, thus show ing that a stranger is a rarity in those parts. I have now endeavoured to give you some faint idAa of the beauties of one portion of our native country, and trust that it will have the effect of inducing you to visit the Cuna-Cuna at least once ; for I am free to confess that, after you have been there and back, and so seen it all twice, and find yourself in the very excel lent and comfortable lodgings at Bath with a change of clothes, a post-coenal cigar, and a tumbler of your favourite beverage at your side,_your first reflection will be:-how grand it all is, and how gladI am that 1 have seen it ; and your second, donbtless,-and what .a long time it will be before I go there again !" That is, of course, unless you be as energetic of disposition as a certain person who shall be nameless 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


ON THE CUNA CUNA Dig 1zed by G og e Original from NEW YORK PUBLIC LI BRA RY


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HOW I DIDN'T CROSS THE JOHN CROW MOUNTAINS. I WAS looking over Hooper's "Report upon the Fore8ts of Jamaica" when the following passage caught my eye :-"and I understand that the tract marked (on the map accompanying the report) 'The John Crow Mountains, a great plateau of honey-comb rock' could also be forfeited, as it is nominally patented, but has never been as yet by living man." No reason beingas for the fact of this portion of the island being hitherto unexplored, I thought I would see what the .Tamaica Handbook-that admirable encyclopmdia-had to say about it. Here I found : u The John Crow Range which runs in a north-westerly and south easterly direction in the parishes of Portland and St. Thomas divides the Rio Grande Valley from the eastern coast of the island. This is more a plateau of about 2000 feet elevation than a mountain range. In its higher parts it i.;; a barren, waterless tract of limestone formation ; much of1t covered by the sharp rocks known as honey combed rocks, over which it is almost impossible to walk." Almo1t impossible"-thought 1 to myself.-" but not quite impossible. Surely boots can be procured with soles of strength sufficient to withstand the ravages even of honey-comb rock. And if so, why should not mine be the honour and glory of being the first man to cross the John Crow Mountains ?" I next made enquiries among the dwellers in the hills to the north of Bath, and among the Maroons of Hayfield, just below the Cuna Cuna Pass, all of whom are wont to chase the wild hog among the forests that clothe the Southern spurs of the John Crow Range. The M:lroons seemed rather unwilling to discuss the mountains freely ; but I gathered that there would be very little undergrowth on tnp of the plateau, the forest consisting principally of large from mr knowledge of the Cuna Cuna dis trict, whose elevation is given m the HanJ,book as greater than that of the John Crow Mountains, seemed probable enough. One parti1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


20 Untrodden Jam,aica. cular Maroon inf onnant wound up by describing the top of the range as '' an ocean" and by saying that no man ever go there yet;" He appeared, however, willing to accompany me, should I obtain sanction to proceed on the expedition. I was now quite determined to make the .attempt, and submitted the suggestion to my chief, who cordially approved of it. It remained only to make the necessary preparations and select the most favourable time. The John Crow Mountains are of strikingly peculiar From Port Antonio on the north side, the higher portions of which town are actually built on their outlyinu spurs, they run south east to within .a few miles of Bath, then a sharp turn due east,_ forming the northern boundary of the alluvial plain known as the Plantain Garden River District, and terminating m the sea at Quaw Hill. On its western side the range falls away in sheer pre cipice into the valley of the Rio Grande, and that P.recipice continued round a sharp corner, which is a conspicuou8 object on a clear day from almost any part of the P. G. R. district and the highest point of the range, for two or three miles on southeri;i where it gradually beropOsed to start .from Bath, ascend the highest point of at the comer aforesaid, and cut my way through the very centre of the plateau to a settlement called on the north. slope within a few miles of Port The t.ota_I distance to be. tra,versed thus, according to Hooper's map, would be about iien miles and a half from the top of the mile and a half north-east, and nine miles north-west. Calculating the min: imum. rate of progress, on such data as I could procure, at miles per diem, I arranged, by setting out on a Monday, to arrive at Port Antonio in time to catch the coasting steamer leaving place for Port Morant an4 Morant Bay at midnight on Friday. Having commissioned the Maroon above referred to to engage another good man for the expedition, I selected a rural headman named Barrett, an experienced mountaineer, to accompany me 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R




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HotD I didn't cross the John Crow Mountains. .21 and then set about providing the necessary equipment. I first of all a strong hammock made of canvas, and an awning of stout duck to stretch over the hammock at nights. Rice, pease, coffee, sugar; biscuits, salt beef, Eureka smoked beef, and a few other ,-ariet1es .of tinned meats were laid in store; and presently my Maroon friend, Robert White, turned up with his son-in-law, Peter Nelson, a strapping fellow about thirty years of built like a young ox, and anxious to enjoy the of forming one of party. They suggested to me that it would be impossible for them to walk on the honey-comb rocks barefoot, and to encou1age them I provided each with a pair of stout, cheap boots -No. 1.1 .. Two strong canvas coffee bags were procured for conveyance of the provisions, and enough cartridges filled to destroy all the ringtail pigeon8 aud. wild pigs that we were likAly to come across. After a little anxious watching of the egregiously eccentric weather by which the year 1889 was distinguislied, I decided on Monday, 9th December, as the day for fixing the rendezvous ut the station at Bath on Sunday, 8th. On the day appointed I drove to Bath, arriving there about three p.m., but, to my chagrin, on enquiring at the station I was informed by the sergeant that the only man who had turned was rural headman Barrett, and that the Maroons had not put in an appearance at all. The sergeant went on to say that he reason to believe that the Maroons had never intended to me ; that they were superstitiQus about these woods ; and that he had heard of their having taken solemn pledges never to take '' buckra" into that there was a river in there of whose water no man might drink, and that if five people went into them only three would return alive ; and so forth, and so .forth. The sergeant wound up by saying that it was a pity I had not decided to employ none but rural police, or at any rate people who were not Maroons. 'V rath having taken the place of chagrin by this time, I turned, haYing vented my feelings for some moments, to rural headman Barrett for consolation. He was ready to go if party consisted ot' no one but himself and me, but he thought that when we reached his home, at Cotton Tree Mountain about three mile5 from Bath, he would he able to procure two or three men for me. A rural policeman named Beckett now turned up, and be after a little persuasion consented to go. One, or two of Barrett's children having been pressed into the service for conveyance of the bags, I started accordingly about 4.30 on foot for Barrett's where that night was to be passed, declining, to hi5 evident astonishment, the offer of a ride on his mule. (I had previously given in1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


22 Untrodden Jamaica. atructions to the relative to the recovery of those boots from the Maroons which I had no doubt would produce the desired effect) Some function at the chapel having just come to a close, l was escorted on my way up the hill bya gaping troop of boys, girls and hobbledehoys, who formed quite an imposing procession in rear of me, and who, being. well aware of my project, gazed at m1 rough old clothes; knickerbockers, shooting boots and knapsack with a wonder that was not unmixed with pity. Barrett's house was reached about quarter past five, situated on the back of a sharp ridge running down from the John Crow Mountains, at an elevation of about 1,500 feet. It was just before sunset, and the whole western sky was lit up with a rich red-gold glow that always appears more intense in the moist atmosphere of St. Thomas than anywhere else . The under edges of' the cloud-drifts wreathing the distant peaks of the Blue Mountain range were flame-colour, fading upwards to a pale orange tint, while the sky .itself was that mixture of blue and olive_-green and pink, streaked with broad radiating bars of a mysterious. pale effulgence, that words cannot describe nor painter depict. Above us to the north towered the John Crow Peak, and over it lo'Yered a heavy white cloud that ill, glorified though it was by the dying sunbeams, for our comfort on the morrow ; while ever and anon .a furious gust of north wind came rushing down the ridge, ratt1ing the framework of the house and tearing away and scattering_ broad-cast into the gorges great shreds of fleecy vapour. Some half-an-hour or so after my arrival Barrett turned up from an unsuccessful hunt for recruits, but he was followed by a group of seven or eight lusty young fellows led to the spot by curiosity. These I harangued for some time, pointing out the honour and glory .to be gained by being the first to traverse this hitherto unex plored tract of our native isle, producing my map and shewing the route, explaining my calculations, &c., &c. But all in vain. At last I gave it up in disgust and retired into the house with a remark, the scathing irony of which, I fear, was lost on them, and proceeded to eat the dinner provided for me by Mrs. Barrett. :That done, I consoled myself with tobacco, and listened to the arguments that Barrett and Beckett were using to overcome the prejudices of my late audience. Presently one Joseph Grant came forward and offered his services at four shillings a day. As the two Maroons had been engaged at. two shillings a day each I aecepted offer, but Mr. Grant also wanted a pair of boots, so the negotiation fell through, temporarily. At last about half-past seven Grant came forward again, dragging by the ann a young man named Victor Logan, and said :-"Well, sir, I have got this young man to g() 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


How I didn't cro11 tlie John CrOtD Mountain&. with me, for three of us is not enough company for that wood ; and we will take three shillings a. day each." That bargain I closed immediately. It nppe 1.red Barrett, whose plucky and spirited conduct throughout tha whole business is beyond all praise, being a man of substance, had overcome their last objection by offering to provide them, boots, of which he had several spare1pairs iti stock. I may as well state here that I was joined late.on the fol lowing day by the repentant Nelson, and that a more staunch, gallant, cheerful, and willing following than those five men I never wish to have. Grant and Logan having proceeded to their :respec tive homes to make the necessary preparations,_ we retired to rest for the night. 1 On Monday morning the 9th, we were up at daylight, and after being joined by Grant and Logan, and the loads been as nearly as possibly equally divided, we set out at about 7 o clock. 1' was a cold bright morning, but the north wind seemed stronger, and the white cloud hung over the Peak heavier than on the pre vious day, and my heart sank as I looked at it. I led the way in flannel shirt, deerstalker cap, knickerbockers, gaiters and shooting boots, while on my back rested a knapsack containing a of clothes and toilet necessaries, and from my shoulders hung a bag of cartridges, a pair of field glasses, and a pris?1atic .. in its case. A gun on one shoulder and a hatchet m my belt completed the equipment. The men carried their bags slung in Maroon fashion on their shoulders and held up by a line passing over the fore part of the head. Each carried his cutlass and had his safely stowed away. Half an hour's walking along a path brought us to the end of the parochial road, and then we struck into a track leading to outlying provision fields. Showers now began to fall with.ever-increasing violence, and about ni.ne o'clock it settled down to a steady rain. But it did need .that to wet us to the skin; the six-foot high bracken through which we trudged for.a mile.or so did that most At ah

24 cended higher-are covered with a luxuriant growth of Mosses, lichens, and ferns twine lovingly round stem and branch, and droop and trail from one to the other, now clasping them in a close embrace, now forming the most graceful wreaths and festoons. I was particularly struck by one parasite fern that had fronds exactly resembling those of the tree-fern. It ran away up about twenty feet of the stem of a Santa Maria, and looked exactly as if it were made of a large withe gamished with leaves cut from young tree-ferns. Under foot the soil was the vege table mould with hardly a stone in it-the richest one could desire -in which, it being soaked with recent and present rain, one sank over the instep. All around was virgin forest, and deep silence, in which the sound of our voices seemed to startle the ear, and to be out of with the of the branches in the fierce gusts of wind. At 11.30, a halt was called-we had passed the end of the la-st hog-hunters' track half an hour previously.and been cutting our way since-and s9uatting down on fallen trees we refreshed the inner man with a tin of Eureka beef and some biscuits, as comfortably as the unceasing rain would let us, concluding the repast with a much needed and most acceptable glass of grog all round. Resting for any time was out of the question, .as our only chance of keeping was to move on as quickly as possible. In a very few minutes we were under way again, now getting down on our knees to pass under a fallen tree, now clambering over one ; now up to the ankle in decomposed vegetation. now stepping gingerly on a boulder of limestone that it might qot roll down on the head of the man below ;-all the while climbing up, up, through the white cloud that had now settled round us, and cutting our way yard by yard through the underwood. The character of the vegetation had now changed considerably. The trees were more stuntet! in appearance, variety of parasitic growth was not so marked, and the liine stone cropped up continually through the soil. Indeed, 'it seemed as if the s01l and the supurincumbent had collected in. process of time upon delwii of rock precipitated from the limestone cliff overhead. The small stretches ot"level ground which occasionally relieved the monotony of the ascent became narrower and and more and more rocky. At about one o'clock we came upon a decided depression in "a short level which we were crossing, where a quantity of water had accumulated, and while filling ou.r water-can5 here so as to be provided for the night, the distant sound of a Maroon or abeng" was borne to our ears, and Barrett at once concluded that it proceeded from, White and Nelson, who, having. re1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


How I didn't cro88 the John CrO'UJ Mountains. 25 eeived a call from the sergeant at Bath, had decided that it'might be -more to their advantage to join the party after all. Having filled the water-cans, we now proceeded, and as the level appeared to open out wider, some discussion arose as to whether we had not already reached the summit of the ridge. As we were still in the clouds, although the rain had now ceased, it was not possible to see any distance ahead; but presently the 'Yhite shroud opened a little, and looking up we saw towering sheer and above our heads a black wall of mountain, fringed at the top with gaunt, weird, gnarled arms stretched out against the mist by stunted trees, that seemed to wave at us, wildly and madly in the furious north wind, from which we were now completely sheltered, an angry warning not to venture further. It was a most impressive sight. My heart fell for a and I ceased tO wonder at the dread of the Maroons. I never realised how precious a thing sunshine is until then. For any sign of life there was, we six might have been the only living creatures in the world. It was bitterly cold, we were wet to the skin and uncertain how or where we were to get shelter, and expecting the rain to commence again every moment. Virgin forest and thick white cloud surrounded us on every side, and before us loomed this apparently inaccessible cliff with its blaclc fringe of mocking trees. After a short pause and a consultation with Grant, who twenty years ago had been nearly up to the point on which we stood, we attempted the ascent of the precipice, but a climb of forty feetor so over the stunted brushwood bringing us to a sheer wall of' lime st"lne rock, over which there was no way without wings, we retraced our steps to the level below. When on the point of turning back a strange voice fell on my ear, arid behold t Peter Nelson, humble and repentant, and boiling over with indignation at his father-ln law's conduct, hadjoined me. It was his horn that we had heard from the level below. With many an interruption to give vent to his indignation, he related to me how on the previous day he had sent repeated messages to his father-in-law to get ready and come to Bath to meet me, and to each had received the reply, coming." At last, late in the afternoon, he had gone himself; only to find that White had been literally frightened out of the business by his neigh bours, and had no intention of coming. It being then too late to start, Nelson had waited till this-Monday-morning, having pledged his word to me ; had walked the nine miles from Hayfield to Barrett's house; and learning there that we had already gone, had started after and overtaken us. After hearing his explanation I bid him welcome, and he proved a most valuable addition to the 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


26 Vntrodtlen Jamaica. We now found ourselves on a narrow ledge of comparatively level land at the foot of the precipice, and as the days were short and .it was three o'clock, we decided to camp there for the and attempt the ascent again next morning. Trees were cut down to furnish poles and rafters for the hut, and a multitude of destroyed to supply thatch for the roof. One man was told off to start a fire, and l split up all the dry wood that could be found about the spot. By the time night had set in the hut was finished, and my hammock slung between two trees just outside it, with the awning rope stretched above ; while a mixture of rice, pease, and junks of salt beef was simmering on the fire. We then got off our drenched clothes and exchanged them for comparative!!_ dry ones, hanging the others up to smoke-dry in the hut. When dinner was announced a most delicious dish was that mess of rice, and pease and salt beef. A cup of hot, strong coffee followed, and at about nine o'clock I turned into my hammock. What a night that was 1 The elevation which we had reached was certainly not less than 3,000 feet, there had been no sunshine for days, and a cold north wimJ was blowing, a tremendous gust of which ever and again found its way round to our haven with deadly effect, bringwith it, as often as not, a smart shower. After lying awake shiver ering with cold for half an hour, fatigue closed my eyes at last, aud I slept, with brief intervals of wakefulness, until daylight. The men squatted round the fire all night, smoking and spinning yarns and discussing the prospects of the expedition. Instead of stretch ing my awning taut at the sides, I thought it would be a better pro tection against the cold to lash them down underneath the hammock .. as I lay in it, and I did so, with the result that all the moisture brought by the frequent showers, instead of draining off at the sides, soaked into the hammock. I felt myself getting damper and damper; .and when I turned out in the morning there was a little pool of water about three inches deep in the centre of the hammock. 'Tuesday morning broke cold and gray, but the rain had ceased entirely, and after some hot coffee, tinned meat and biscuit our spirit rose. By the time the loads were packed and everything ready for a start it was eight o'clock, and we could see more clearIy than ever the three hundred feet of perpen.dicular precipice that separated us from the crest of the ndge. Placmg Peter Nelson the Maroon before me to cut the track, and followed by the other men,-I struck out towards the left, in the opposite direction to the one in which we had been hafiled on the previous day, and worked my way slowly and cautiously along what appeared to be the top most edge of a gigantic landslip, which rose with a gradual ascent diagonally across the face of the precipice. The end of this was 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


How l didn't cro86 tlu! John CrOUJ Mountaina. 21 soon reached, and a way had to be found u_p the all but perpendicular wall of loose clothed with stunted bracken and dwarfed shrubs, that forms the southern fOOe of the crest. The loads were now laid down, and preceded by Nelson, wlio worked right or left according to my directions removing obstaclAs with his cutlass, and followed by Grant, I struggled on hand over hand, now tearing up a handful of fern or shrub by the roots from the loose, treacherous soil now dislodging a stone, in spite of all (1re cautions, to the manifest danger of the man below me, but still making pro7aress upwards, until Nelson suddenly called out :-" Stop, boss You hear that ?" (He was in evident trepida ... tion.) What?') I H You hear de ridge da rowl, sir ?" Then I became aware of a mighty roar, deep and strong like that of the Atlantic surf on an iron-bound coast, and looking up I could_ see the branches of trees and the crests of tree-ferns wavinlf amJ tossing wildly in the north wind not twenty feet above my head. This turmoil was all the more striking by contrast with the sheltered nature of our po8ition, which was entirely protected from the wind. The remaining distance was soon covered, and at about minutes past nine I stepped upon the highest point of the J.ohn Crow Mountain Range, where, as far as I can gather, no human foot had ever yet trodden, into a wilderness of primeval forest, whose gloomy and fantastic appearclnce produces a bewildering eil9ect on the beholder. Unfortunately, owing to the density of the grey cloud i'n which the whole mountain was enfolded, no view could be obtained, although it was possible to see down the precipice just ascended, to the tree-tops of the forest below, quite distinctly enough to produce an uncomfortable sensation in the pit of one's stomach. Entering the forest some few yards, I came across a small natural opening, where after a few moments rest I directed Grant and Nelson to descend again and bring their loads and help the other men up. On hearing this they both looked at me for an instant, and simultaneously the came from their lips ;-" You one gwine stay up yah, sir ? Certainly ; why not?" All right, sir ;" and off they went, with a shrug of the shoulders. Being left alone I set to work with hatchet and cutlass to widen the natural opening above described by cutting down some of the smaller trees and all superfluous branches and project ing roots ; and I then cleared a wide trd.Ck to the spot at which we had ascended. This done, I blazoned a huge broad arrow on the largest tree I could find ; and presently the men came up, one by one, each carrying from sixty to eighty pounds slung over his head, R


28 Jamaica. but perfectly enthusiastic over our success. At ten minutes past ten the whole party stood safely on the summit. A glass of grog was served out all round, we gave three cheers, and Nelson produced the abeng, and with his eyes closed., and his body sway-!ng to antl fro, blew a tremendous triumphal blast which the north wind must have carried miles away among the woods and gorges below. The abeng is made of about nine inches of the small end of a cow's horn, with enough of the tip cut off to leave a hole the size of a pea. On the concave side of the horn an oblong opening is made close to the small end, about an inch long by a quart.er of an inch width, to the lips are applied, while the sound is manipulated by placing the thumb over the small hole in the tip, the opening or closing of which produces a variation of about a tone. The Maroons have a regular code of signals for the abeng, which they guard with the utmost jealousy. Taking the direction by compass, we now started to cross the plateau, measuring the distance as we went with a twenty-two-yard long piece of sash cord. Two men cut the track my while two chained it ; and for the first five chains everything wtmt merrily. There was no rain, albeit no sun, we trod mainly upon a thick carpet of moss and decayed vegetation with sharp limestone cropping up now and then, leaving a broad open vista behind us, and ground in a but very gradual, slofe from the ridge. Trees lay m every direction, traces of the fearfu havoc wrought by the hurricanes of all the centuries since creation. Some of them crumbled to dust at a touch from the foot ; while others on being struck with a cutlass rang out like bars of Thick covered everything around, above, and underneath, and the tree ferras in the hollows were stunted and dwarfed, as was all the vegetation, by their exposure to the bitter blasts of north and north-east gales, the brunt of all which they have to bear. Still we made fair progress, as I have said, until we came at chain No. 5, to the mouth of a bottomless pit, or, as the natives here call it a "sea-bawl hole." A cockpit I suppose, but with sides of laminated limestone, instead of the honey-comb rock which sur rounds all those which I had hitherto seen. Then Chaos be_gan. Can you imagine a mangrove swamp on top of a mountain, with the swamp taken away and for it substituted the most awful confusion of limestone rock that the mjnd can pic,ure,-a confusion which makea you fancy that ten thousand fiends had been turned loose out of the infernal regions to play and work their wicked will with all the rocks in creation, and had brought them and crashed them all down together in one spot ? Can you fancy this all cov with a profuse growth of kind of red with arching


A COUPLE OF ROOTS (now in m y possessi on.) A SAMPLE MANGROVE. Dig ized by Goog Original from NEW YORK PUBLIC LI BRA RY


11tizoo by Google I . : I L --. I I "\ .., .\ Original from NEW YORK PUBLIC LI BRA RY


HOUJ I didn't cro11 tlie John Crow Mountain1. 29 roots, pendant rootlets seeking for a foothold in the rock-the only straight and shapely objects in the whole region-and stems, branches. and roots knotted and doubled and twisted as if writhing in the mortal agony of an everlasting battle with the elements ? If you can picture all this, then you know what the top of the John Urow Mountains is like. We very soon had to roll up the chain and clamber for dear life ; chaining was a farce where it was impossible to advance three vards in a line. Now we were treading gingerly, trying OOch carefully before it, over a net-work of moss-cov ered roots that spanned an abyss between the rocks of which could not make out the bottom, and hanging on .to the branches overhead. Again we were winding along the bottom of a cleft with sharp blades of rock set up aloup; its sides that the clothing and even t:he bags like a knife if we touched them. Now a root that bore one man would give way with another, and s clutch at the nearest supportif the stem of a tree-fern-left the hand stuck full of black prickles. I would take bearings on a tree that was nodding at me through the mist and looked like a giant of the forest, and on reaching it would find a wre.tched stunted mangroYe shrub four feet high perched on a huge limest.one boulder. My heart again sank ; and I once more forgave the Maroons. If onlv the blessed sun had shone out so that we <,-onld have .had a But no; the further we went on the. more bewildering became the chaos and the more hopeless the At last at one o'clock w e came fairly t.o a standstill. Ii seemed impossible t;o a step further. I took out the compas8, and on taking a fresh sight it that we were going at right angles to the true direction. While sure that we could not have made such a mistake, and not knowinp:, on the other hand, enough about compasses to suspect them of fallibility, the sun came out for the first and only time the whole expedition for just one minut,e, and calculatinp: my pos;tion by it, I found that: the compass had gone wrong. That decided me. Prospect of shelter or warmth for the night there was none in this ghastly wilderness, and I reluctantly gave the order for a return march. It had taken upwards of three hours to advance a distance of lialf a milse or thereabouts, and it took us, to return along the track we had already come to the top of the ridge, an hour and three quarlers. Perhaps that statement will convey a clearer impression of the na ture of the country than anything else that I can say. Judging by the appearance of the ground to be traversed, and the progress we R ,--


Untrodden Jamaica. had already made, it would have taken a month to get across to Port .Antonio. We had in fact got well into the place that the Maroons hold in such dread, and know by the name of "Saltwater W ood"-so called from its fancied resemblance to an ocean ; and they have a tradition that somewhere on the top of that mountain there is a large pond or lake. I am told further that this water is accessible from Moore Town, but the Maroons are reluctant to go there in consequence of many of their number in generations past having been lost up there and never again heard of, while hunting Indian conies. The men told me that there were abundant traces of these animals among the rocks ; but I saw not one living thing, not even an insect of the humblest description. On descending again to the hut of the previous night with intention of sleeping there, we found that the adjacent water had completely dried up, so we had to load up again and climh wearily down at least 2,000 feet lower to a substantial sawyer's hut that Barrett knew of in the high woods below, oorched on a hillside on the banks of a beautifully clear, ice-cold rivulet. This we reached at half-past five, having heen walking-or rather clambering-for nine hours and a halfwithQut a meal and with only about ten minutes' halt. ., Salt beef, rice, and pease were more acceptabld than ever that evening, and no opiates were needed at Next morning-W ednesday-after waiting for a pouring rain to cease, we started once more for civilisation ; and how delightful u thing did the first gleam of the sun appear to us f We positively basked in it. On reaching the end of a ridge that looked down on Cotton Tree Mountain and the adjacent settlements, I stopped and told Nelson to get out his horn and astonish the villagers below with a short blast. He seemed reluctant to do so, for he laid down his bag very slowly, and before complying with my request went through a curious ceremony. Holding tlie horn with the larger end upwards he asked Barrett, who carried the can with the rum, to ponr a little of it into the horn. This he allowed to drain through the hole in the small end until the last drop had fallen, before putting the horn to his lips. One of the other men asked him what the meaning of that might be, to which he replied: "Allow me, no? Nebber you mind dat." The conclusion I formed in my own mind was that the performance of this ceremony was intended to avert any probable evil consequences attendant on his blowing the abeng a.t the request of a stranger. Be that as it may, the blast he blew created consternation down below, the village appeared suddenly 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


How I didn't cro88 tM John Crow Mou.ntains. 31 to swarm with life, and we could hear voices in tones of mingled fear and astonishment where all before had been silent. Crowds turned out to welcome us and stare at me in amaze ment ; for most people had made up their minds that we were lost in the woods-the more so as Monday's rain had been universal and that I, at any rate, could not possibly have survived. Nearly all the way down to Ilath we received a small ovation. It was a very black, weather-stained and dirt-begrimed figure that tramped into of Miss Duffy's lodgings at five o'clock on the afternoon of Wedn.esday, 11th December, 1889, and aston ished the German Consul, who with his wife, had arrived shortly after my departure on Sunday. I didn't get thoroughly clean for at least a week after, and my hands bore the scars for great deal longer; but I had had the satisfaction of being, as far as I know, the first man to ascend that peak of the J oho Crow Mountains .. 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R /


HOW I EXPLORED NANNY TOWN. IF Jamaica can be said t.o possess any folk lore, it is, I think, to be found in close, inseparable connection with the history of the Maroons. That history, as handed down the lower orders of the population, and among the Maroons of the present day themselves, consists of as much myth as fact ; and even to the minds of educated people it is enshrouded with a glamour that blAnds to gether the real and the imaginary, the hard historical truth and the impossible legend, just as the afternoon haze on a sultry day, and the angry, black-browed cloutl-banks that presage the coming storm blot out peak and ridge and gorge in the forest-clad fast nesses of their stronghold, the grand Blue Mountain range. For me this weird history has always had a singular fascination; a fascination which waxed stronger and when it became my lot to dwell at the foot of these mountains. What a world of romance could one weave out of their story l How many a tear would the novelist draw, could he wrest from their bosom, hoar and dumb, one-tenth of their buried record of battle and blood shed ; of the foot-weary fugitive gasping out the last sighs of tr toilworn and loveless life in slow starvation ; of the bay of the bloodhound on his track, the blood-curdling blast of the abeng, and the sharp crack of the musket echoing through the gorges and scorching up his very life-springs with their sound. Of what a world of tragedy have those grand and silent heights been witness, as the bush-decked figures of the Maroons wound stealthily among the trunks, under the arching f roods of the tree-fem, along the rocky ledges of the precipices, and behind the boulders in the crystal mountain streams, flitting along swifltly and silently as the wild-cat to the that commanded the pass below .. Here, all unconscious of their approaching doom, marching merrily along in the fresh morning air, comes the heavily armed and ac coutred troop of regulars and militia ; rosy cheeked English lads, 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


How I e:eplored Nanny Town. 33 grizzled veterans, and sun-burned planters. Contempt for the enemy and sure anticipations of an easy victory and a speedy return home are their only thoughts. Nd sound, no sight gives of the impending danger. Suddenly the abeng cleaves the air with its horrid sound, and from oyerhead rings out the crash of musketry-fire, and every rock belches forth wounds and but no human form is seen. A straggling return fire is poured in among the trees ; but the bullets whistle harmlessly into the forest depths ; they wound but trunks and branches, and the sap is the on}y blood they shed. A crimson stain the while has darkened and dimmed the crystal beauty of the mountain torrent ; mangled corpses lie among the boulders ; the goldengreen carpetof velvet moss soaks up clots of gore, and the gorge echoes to shrieks and groans of anguish; whila yells of rage. and fear and wild despair, and oaths and blasphemy scare the affrighted and blue .dove whose cooing alone was wont to mingle with tlie plash of the stream. Ah me blood, blood everywhere-blood mingled with tears. In and about the year 1734 such scenes as the above must have been offrequent occurrence. That period of the last century witnessed a long and struggle between the Maroons and the Government of the island ; a struggle. in which military science and arms of precision availednothing, except in one or two instances, against savage cunning, consummate wood-craft, and the advantages afforded by natural fortifications. One such instance, and the indomitable courage, determination and skill of one man, are imperishably recorded in the history of Nanny And here I would utter a word of lament and reproach to my countrymen regarding the lack of knowledge and want of interest displayed by them in all that concerns the fascinating and interest ing history of this beautiful island of ours. I speak from experience when I say that strangers who come among us are better acquaint,... ed with it than we ourselves. I have grown tired of answering the questions : ''Where is Nanny Town, and what is it ? Who lives there ?" and so forth. I have found that most people-particularly dwellers in the metropolis-are quite incapable of realizing the fact that within a few miles of them there is a mountain range, rising at its highest elevation to 7 ,000 feet above sea-level, covered thousands of acres. of untrodden virgin forest, and abounding in water-a wilderness through which the path has to be cut foot by foot amid a solemn hush broken only by the voices of nature. To this feeling I will mention two instances :_;.I was relating some of my experiences on a former expedition in the presence of one or two of the jeunesse doree, dwelling eloquently, as 1n 1 al fro E Y R PUBLIC LIB R


Untrodden ,/amail'a .I thought, on the difficulties I had encountered-the hand o\er the creeping under fallen tree8, the fell abyss on either side-and on my ceasing one of them looked up and asked in the most naive manner :-" And were you all on r Of oourse there was no answering that. On another occasion I ex pressed my intention of exploring a hitherto totally unknown portion of the island, a pathless waste that no human foot had y:t disturbed, and anticipated that I should be at least a week over the work. Said one of my siall audience then : --" But you will haYe to take provisions with you, won't you P" I thought 1 had him when I replied, with a fine irony :-' Oh :o, we will breakfast and dine at the restaurants along the road ;" but I found that he had me when he retorted with an incredulous smile :-" Nonsense, there are no restaurants along the road." It shews

HO'W I ezplored Nanny 7own. 35 prisoners and in short so completely destroyed, or routed the whole body, that they were unable afterwards to effect any enterprise of moment in thi$ quarter of the isfand." Gardner describes the event in the following terms :,,Many reverses or very partial successes were recorded m succeeding years; but no until 1734, when Captain Stoddart and a body of determined men penetrated the deep recesses of the Blue Mountains; neath the Carrion Crow Peak. Here the Maroons had a village Nanny Town. Silently and unnoticed the party reached a commanding height, and though only able to go one, or at most two they dragged up a few swivel guns. These they soon brought to be
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