21st January 1833

Beagle Channel
In the morning however, a fresh party having arrived, they became troublesome, some of the men picked up stones & the women & children retreated; I was very much afraid we should have had a skirmish; it would have been shocking to have fired on such naked miserable creatures. Yet their stones & slings are so destructive that it would have been absolutely necessary. In treating with savages, Europeans labour under a great disadvantage, until the cruel lesson is taught how deadly firearms are. Several times when the men have been tired & it was growing dark, all the things have been packed up to remove our quarters; & this solely from our entire inability to frighten the natives. One night the Captain fired double barrelled pistols close to their faces, but they only rubbed their heads & when he flourished his cutlass they were amused & laughed. They are such thieves & so bold Cannibals that one naturally prefers separate quarters.

The country on each side of the channel continues much the same, slate hills, thickly clothed by the beech woods run nearly parallel to the water; the low point of view from a boat & the looking along one valley & thus loosing the beautiful succession of ridges, is nearly destructive to picturesque effect.

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