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Sunday, This morning Mr. Phelps, Mr. Sa,uly2. vigtiiac, and myself, went in a boat to the Lax Elbe, or Salmon River, a small stream that falls into Reikevig Bay, about six miles east of the town, thus called, on account of the quantity of that fish that frequent it. Mr. Phelps' object was to look at a water-mill, which, he understood, had been erected near the mouth of it; but of which we found little more than the skeleton; for the Danes, who had planned it, never finished the execution of it. During the voyage, we were amused with the number of eider-fowl that were swimming about in all directions, with their young, and we also saw several Swans and Mergansers (Mergus serrator), besides many black Guillemots (Colymbus TroileJ, and abundance of seals were continually playing within the reach of gun-shot from our boat. Near the mill, a causeway of stones had been formed across the river, with three openings, in which were boxes for catching the salmon as they return down the river from spawning. Twenty were taken by these means in one night, and so plentiful were they in a pool a little below this spot, that in a few minutes one
of oar boatmen caught six, by striking a. pole, with three barbed points, at them. Three or four others also were caught, by the man leaning over the bank, and suddenly seizing them with his hands. On wet ground, near the mill, Splachnum ampullaceum and Buxbaumia foliosa were not uncommon. As soon as we reached Reikevig in the evening, we were informed that several persons had called on Mr. Savigniac, to say, that a conspiracy was in agitation amongst the Icelanders, who intended to surround the government-house, and, after having secured such persons as were in it, to take possession of the Margaret and Anne by surprise, as they understood the crew consisted only of twenty-seven men. This tale appeared, at first, too improbable to deserve attention; but, on the arrival of the Etatsroed on purpose to inform us that he had received an offer from fifty Icelanders to join him, if he would raise the same number, and seize upon our vessel, it seemed necessary to take active measures and put a stop to this projected insurrection. Accordingly, Mr. Jorgensen, who had previously placed arms in the hands of eight natives, and formed them into a sort of
troop, set off with his soldiers for the house of Assessor Einersen, who was supposed to be one of the chief movers of the conspiracy. A horse was taken for him, upon which he was placed, and, guarded by Jorgensen and his cavalry, was marched, or rather galloped, into the town, and confined for a few days in the government-house.
Monday, Three days of tolerably fine wea** ther were followed by one of almost continued rain, and, indeed, it was hardly possible to stir abroad the whole week, on too, account of the wet. I rode, how** ever, one morning, to the hotspring, where I found a tent pitched, and as many Icelandic women and girls as it could possibly hold, sheltering themselves in it from the weather. They had come with their linen, which was brought on horses from the town, to the hot-spring, where all the clothes of the people, for many miles round, are washed. Some of them had a few little miserable potatoes *, not so large as a
* These potatoes, the growth of Iceland, and the best the island afforded this year, were not only wretchedly small, but very bad; not being mealy within, but full of a yellowish tasteless mucilage.
full-sized walnut, which they were cooking in the spring for their dinner, and which they offered me. I had carried with me some eider-ducks' eggs, for the purpose of trying how long it would take to boil them hard, and I found they required ten minutes, whilst lying in a part of the water where the thermometer rose to 2000.
Saturday, After a stormy night of wind and July 8. rainj the weather cleared up about nine o'clock, and, being furnished with horses, tents, &c, and a guide, by the Stiftsamptman, I set out for the Geysers, which I proposed visiting before I went into Borgafiord. This I was the more anxious to do, as it seemed probable, from the many unlucky events which happened, and were inimical to the trading between the Icelanders and the English, that we should not make any long stay, and Mr. Phelps was very particular in desiring me to come back at the expiration of a fortnight at latest, lest the vessel should be ready for sea; for that there was no prospect of my getting to England this year, if I did not return with the Margaret and Anne; since the Flora, a ship of Mr. Phelps', whose arrival he expected soon after our own, was not yet come, and no other British vessel was expected. Three horses were loaded with tents, provisions, &c, and a fourth was a relay. These were fastened to each other in a line, by a rope of twisted horse-hair, tied at one end to the tail of the first horse, and, at the other, to the under jaw of that which was next to it; and so on with the rest. My guide rode before, holding a line, fastened to the mouth of the first luggagehorse, so that they all followed exactly the same track, and, so accustomed are these horses to this mode of travelling, that, even when they are not tied, they will still keep following each other, to the great annoyance of any person who may happen to be riding them, and may wish to go a little faster than the rest, or to leave the regular line. A man from the ship, of the name of Jacob, who, although a German by birth, understood sufficient of Danish to act as interpreter between me and an Icelander, who spoke that language, rode a sixth horse, and I a seventh; yet, even these, numerous as they may appear for one person, were found not sufficient for our journey. There is,