Plate VII. The French Left in Fort Charles Suffer the Scarcity of Provisions
Not long after the departure of Ribault from Florida, the men whom he left in Charlesfort (the work erected by him on an island in a stream entering the greater channel of Port Royal from the north) began to find their provisions fail them. After consulting the best way of meeting the difficulty, they concluded that the wisest plan was to apply to the chief Ouadé and his brother Couëxis. Those who were sent on this business went in Indian canoes by the inland waters, and at a distance of some ten miles discovered a large and beautiful river of fresh water, in which they saw numerous crocodiles, much larger than those of the Nile. The banks of this stream were wooded with lofty cypresses. After a short delay here, they went on to the chief Ouadé; and, being received by him in the most friendly manner, they laid before him the object of their journey, and prayed him not to desert them in such a strait. Upon hearing this, the chief sent messengers to his brother Couëxis after maize and beans. The latter responded promptly; for the next morning very early the messengers came back with the provisions, which the chief ordered on board the canoe. The French, very happy at this liberality of the chief, would have taken leave of him; but this he would not permit, keeping them with him, and entertaining them hospitably for that day. Next morning he showed them his fields of millet, or maize, and intimated that they should not want for food as long as that millet existed. Being now dismissed by the king, they returned by the way they had come.