Table of Contents / Preface (1 references)
My next concern was to get a stone mortar to stamp or beat some corn in; for as to the mill, there was no thought of arriving to that perfection of art with one pair of hands. To supply this want I was at a great loss; for, of all trades in the world, I was as perfectly unqualified for a stonecutter, as for any whatever; neither had I any tools to go about it with. I spent many a day to find out a great stone big enough to cut hollow, and make fit for a mortar; but could find none at all, except what was in the solid rock, and which I had no way to dig or cut out: nor, indeed, were the rocks in the island of sufficient hardness, as they were all of a sandy crumbling stone, which would neither bear the weight of a heavy pestle, nor would break the corn without filling it with sand: so, after a great deal of time lost in searching for a stone, I gave it over, and resolved to look out a great block of hard wood, which I found indeed much easier; and getting one as big as I had strength to stir, I rounded it, and formed it on the outside with my axe and hatchet; and then, with the help of fire, and infinite labour, made a hollow place in it, as the Indians in Brazil make their canoes. After this, I made a great heavy pestle, or beater, of the wood called iron-wood; and this I prepared and laid by against I had my next crop of corn, when I proposed to myself to grind, or rather pound, my corn into meal, to make my bread.