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On Roncador Island

On Roncador Island image
Parent Issue
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OCR Text

Iu 181)2 thu gunboat Partridge was sent by the commodore to ascertain the truth or otberwise of a statement that soine ineu were inarooned on Roncador, a small coral island (300 by 200 feet) or cay in the Caribbean sea. Ou arriving at Roncador it was found occupied by sea birds, especially boobies, in enormous number. Some huts were also observed. Ou landing and entering the largest lint the following picture met the gaze of the explorers: Half sitting, half reclining, on a high trestle bed, and partially supported by a makesBift crutch, was somethingrigid and angular within a inoldy cottou shirt and canvas trousers. Two rusty pannikina were close at hand and fragments of skeleton ou the floor. These consisted of a skul], vertebras aud some long bones. Ou the bed were the bones oí' a hand, and a number of land crabs scuttled about. The floor was covered with t;ea birds' eggs, and niany more were found packed and salted in wooden boxes. Some empty oruct bottles were found uear the eggs aud a box coutaining papers which sbowed hini to bu a Dutchman. Ho had served iu the militia. The medical officer was able to determine trom au examinatioii of tho skelefon that it belonged to a lad under 20 years of uge. In auother hut was iound tho body of ail oíd negro. The story is clear cnough. The well built hut sbowed that the men had come prepared to stay awhilo. The empty boxes showed that food had been at oue time ábundant. Then provisions ran short. The men subsisted for a time on sea birds' eggs, and water was apparently pluutiir.1. Men cannot livolongon eggs and bïackish water. Scurvy must occur. This is tho socret of the crutch in tho cabili. Disoaso had crippled before it killed this yonug man. This explanatiou rests outircly on circumstantial evidenco, but evidence so complete and convinciug, the reasoning so sound, yet apparcntly so simple, as to make one exclaim ou readiug it, Surely this is the w:iy of


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News