A Farther Description of the Ile Sainte Croix
BEFORE we speak of the ships' return into France, it is meet to tell you how hard the Isle of Sainte-Croix is to be found out to them that were never there. For there are so many isles and great bays to go by before one be at it, that I wonder however one might pierce so far for to find it. There are three or four mountains,29 imminent above the others, on the sides; but on the North side, from whence the river runneth down, there is but a sharp pointed one above two leagues distant. The woods of the mainland are fair and admirable high and well grown, as in like manner is the grass. There is right over against the island fresh-water brooks, very pleasant and agreeable, where divers of Monsieur de Monts his men did their business, and builded there certain cabins. As for the nature of the ground, it is most excellent and most abundantly fruitful. For the said Monsieur de Monts, having caused there some piece of ground to be tilled and the same sowed with rye (for I have seen there no wheat), he was not able to tarry for the maturity thereof to reap it; and notwithstanding, the grain, fallen, hath grown and increased so wonderfully that two years after we reaped and did gather of it as fair, big, and weighty as any in France, which the soil ha:d brought forth without any tillage; and yet at this present it doth continue still to multiply every year. The said island containeth some half a league of circuit, and at the end of it on the sea side, there is a mount, or small hill, which is (as it were) a little isle severed from the other, where Monsieur de Monts his cannon was placed. There is also a little chapel built after the
savage fashion. At the foot of which chapel there is such store of mussels as is wonderful, which may be gathered at low water, but they are small: I believe that Monsieur de Monts' people did not forget to choose and take the biggest, and left there but the small ones to grow and increase. As for the exercise and occupation of our Frenchmen during the time of their abode there, we will mention it brieft.y, having first conduCted back our ships into France.