Rode down to the creek: but there was too much wind for a boat to leave the ship. — In the evening Commandante Miranda arrived with 300 men; with orders to accompany Bernantios tribe & examine the "rastro" or track of the murderers. — If the latter was guilty, the whole tribe was to be massacred, if not to follow the rastro even if it led them to Chili. — Many of Mirandas troops were Indians; nothing could be more wild or savage than the scene of their bivouaccing. — Some of them drank the warm, steaming blood of the beasts which were slaughtered for supper.
We subsequently heard that the rastro proved Bernantio to be guiltless. The Indians had escaped directly into the great plains or Pampas, & for some reason could not be pursued. — One glance at the Rastro tells to one of these people a whole history. — Supposing they examine the track of about a thousand horses, they will at once know, by the canter, how many men were with them, — by the depth of the impression, how many loaded horses; by the regularity of the footstep how far tired; by the manner in which the food is cooked whether the Indians were travelling very fast; by the general appearance of the rastro how old it is. — They consider one of 10 days or a fortnight old quite recent enough to be hunted out. — We also heard that Miranda started from the West end of the Sierra Ventana in a direct line to the Island of Churichoel; situated 70 leagues up the Rio Negro. — This is a distance of 2 or 300 miles & through a country entirely unknown. What other troops in the world are so independent? With the sun for their guide, mares-flesh for food, & the Recado's for beds, as long as there is water, these men would penetrate to the worlds end.
Lieutenant Sulivan went with a party to explore the furthest extreme of the inlet, while others were occupied, as usual, in the various duties always necessary on board a ship, in addition to those of a survey.
Mr. Darwin was at Argentina, and hearing of our arrival, rode to the Wells. He had met General Rosas on the Colorado, who treated him very kindly; and he was enjoying his shore-roving without any annoyance, the old major being no longer afraid of a 'naturalista.'