Stripping for washing & our white skins seemed most to excite their attention. They asked for every thing they saw & stole what they could. Dancing & singing absolutely delighted them. Things thus remained so quiet, that others & myself took long walks in the surrounding hills & woods.
Captain Fitzroy’s Journal:
While some of my party were washing in a stream, stripped to the waist, several natives collected round, and were much amused at the white skins, as well as at the act of washing, so new probably to them. One of them ran to the nearest wigwams, and a troop of curious gazers collected, whose hands, however, were soon so actively employed in abstracting the handkerchiefs, shoes, &c., which had been laid on the bank, that a stop was put to the ablutions.
We discovered that Jemmy's eldest brother was a 'doctor,' and though young for his occupation of conjuring and pretending to cure illness, he was held in high estimation among his own tribe. I never could distinctly ascertain whether the eldest man, or the doctor of a tribe had the most influence; but from what little I could learn, it appeared to me that the elder of a family or tribe had a sort of executive authority, while the doctor gave advice, not only in domestic affairs, but with respect to most transactions. In all savage nations, I believe there is a person of this description—a pretended prophet—conjuror—and, to a certain degree,—doctor.
This evening our party were employed for a short time in firing at a mark, with the three-fold object of keeping our arms in order — exercising the men — and aweing, without frightening, the natives. While this was going on, the Fuegians sat about on their hams, watching our proceedings, and often eagerly talking to each other, as successful shots were made at the target, which was intentionally placed so that they could see the effect of the balls. At sunset they went away as usual, but looking very grave, and talking earnestly. About an hour after dark, the sentry saw something moving along the ground near our tents, within the boundary line, which he thought was a wild animal, and had just levelled his musket to fire at it, when he discovered it was a man, who instantly darted off, and was lost in the darkness. Some native had doubtless stolen to the tents, to see what we were doing; perhaps with a view to surprise us, if asleep, perhaps only to steal.