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79. Sindbad.

150

One of Sindbad’s adventures has been invented by that liar Master Antonie Knivet.

He and twelve Portugals were, as they supposed, near Potosi. “We came into a fair country, and we saw a great glistering mountain before us, ten days before we could come to it; for when we came into the plain country, and were out of the mountains, and the sun began to come to his height, we were not able to travel against it, by the reason of the glistering that dazzled our eyes. At the last by little and little we came to the foot of this mountain, where we found great store of Tamandros. (Tamanduas. Ant-eaters.)

“We went along by this mountain at least twenty days before we could find any way to pass over it: at last we came to a river that passed under it; here we determined to make some shift to get through. Some of our company said that they thought it best to go still along by the foot of the mountain, rather than to 151venture to go through, for they said, if this water go not through, we are all cast away, for it is impossible to return again against the current. Then I answered, friends, we may as well adventure our lives now as we have done heretofore in many places; if not, we must make accompt to live here like wild beasts, where we shall have life as long as pleaseth God, without credit, name, or religion; wherefore I think that our best way is to go through if we can; for no doubt but that God that hath hitherto delivered us from dangers infinite, at this time will not forsake us; and questionless, if it be our fortunes to pass on the other side, we shall find either Spaniards or Indians, for I am sure that each of you hath heard, that on a fair day it is to be discerned from the top of Potasin to this mountain. After I had thus spoken, the Portugals determined to venture to go through: we made a great raft of great canes, three yards and a half broad and 152six yards long, that we might lie down and sleep upon it: we killed good store of Tamandros, and roasted them very dry for our provision, for we knew not how long we should be in the vault.

“After we had made all ready, taking good store of wood with us, commending ourselves to God, we put ourselves into the vault, which made such a noise with the running of the water, that we thought it had been some inchantment. We went in on Monday morning, and we came out on a morning: whether we were two days or one in the vault I know not. As soon as we perceived light we were very glad; but when we came out we saw on every side houses.”