SHIPWRECKED SAILOR ON SMOKING ROCK 259
side by a strong and impenetrable hedge of thorn-palms, aloes, Indian figs, karatas, and other plants of the same sort, all so close together that a mouse could scarcely penetrate it; on the left inaccessible rocks, among which was the grotto of crystal. Before us, as I have said, extended the blue sea, losing itself in the distance. Behind us the mass of rocks, in which our grotto was situated, was so high and steep that I feared nothing from that side.
The only outlet from our little elysium was Family Bridge, for which we had made a drawbridge ; and that it might better be defended, we built a parapet of stones before it, and mounted on that two small six-pounder cannons, which could sweep the whole bay, while two others armed our ship of war, the celebrated pinnace.
A palisade of bamboos surrounded our garden, and added to the number of our defences. All our plantations were irrigated by tunnels of bamboo, which conveyed their supply of water from the river, and distributed it over the ground.
Our European trees had grown with a strength and rapidity of vegetation almost incredible; but their fruits had lost their flavour; and perhaps because the soil or the air was unfavourable, the