Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

1767. the inhabitants, at a place about fourteen or Auguft.

fifteen miles to the westward of the ship's ftaThursd. 13. tion, where he had founded some bays, he came

to a grappling, and veered the boat to the beach, where he landed with four men, armed with musquets and pistols: that the Indians at first were afraid of him, and retired, but that foon after they came down to him, and he gave them some beads and other trifles, with which they seemed to be much pleased : that he then made signs to them for some cocoa-nuts, which they brought him, and with great appearance of friendship and hospitality, gave him a broiled 'fish and some boiled yams: that he then proceeded with his party to the houses, which, he faid, were not more than fifteen or twenty yards from the water fide, and soon after saw a great number of canoes coming round the western point of the bay, and many Indians among the trees : that being alarmed at these appearances, he hastily left the house where they had been received, and with the men made the best of his way towards the boat ; but that, before he could get on board, the Indians attacked as well those that were with him as those that were in the boat, both from the canoes and the shore. Their number, he said, was between three and four hundred: their weapons were bows and arrows, the bows were six feet five inches long, and the arrows four feet four, which they dir

charged

charged in platoons, as regularly as the best 1767: disciplined troops in Europe: that it being ne w ceffary to defend himself and his people when they were thus attacked, they fired among the Indians to favour their getting into their boat; and did great execution, killing many and wounding inore: that they were not however discouraged, but continued to press forward, ftill discharging their arrows by platoons in almost one continued flight: that the grappling being foul, occafioned a delay in hauling off the boat, during which time he, and half of the boat's crew, were desperately wounded : that at last they cut the rope, and ran off under their foresail, still keeping up their fire with blunderbusses; each loaded with eight or ten pistol balls, which the Indians returned with their arrows, those on shore wading after them breaft-high into the sea: when they had goc clear of these, the canoes pursued them with great fortitude and vigour, till one of them was sunk, and the numbers on board the rest greatly reduced by the fire, and then they returned to the shore.

Such was the story of the master, who, with three of my beft seamen, died some time afterwards of the wounds they had received; but culpable as he appears to have been by his own account, he appears to have been ftill more so by the testimony of those who survived him. F2

They

WS

[blocks in formation]

They said, that the Indians behaved with the greatest confidence and friendship till he gave them just cause of offence, by ordering the people that were with him, who had been regaled in one of their houses, to cut down a cocoa-nut tree, and insisting upon the execution of his order, notwithstanding the displeasure which the Indians strongly expressed upon the occasion : as soon as the tree fell, all of them except one, who seemed to be a person of authority, went away, and in a short time a great number of them were observed to draw together into a body among the trees, by a midshipman who was one of the party that were on shore, and who immediately acquainted the master with what he had seen, and told him, that from the behaviour of the people he ima. gined an attack was intended : that the master made light of the intelligence, and instead of repairing immediately to the boat, as he was urged to do, fired one of his pistols at a mark : that the Indian who had till that time continued with them then left them abruptly, and joined the body in the wood: that the master, even after this, by an infatuation that is altogether unaccountable, continued to trifle away his time on shore, and did not attempt to recover the boat till the attack was begun.

As the expedition to find a better place for the ship had issued thus unhappily, I determined to try what could be done, where we 1.767

Augusto lay; the next day therefore, the ship was i brought down by the stern, as far as we could Friday 14.. effect it, and the carpenter, the only one of the crew who was in tolerable health, caulked the bows, as far down as he could come at the bottom; and though he did not quite stop the leak, he very much reduced it. In the afternoon a fresh galé set right into the bay, which made the ship ride with her stern very near the shore, and we observed a great number of the natives sculking among the trees upon the beach, who probably expected that the wind would haye forced the ship on lhore. ..

- The next morning, the weather being fine, Saturd. 75. we veered the ship close in shore, with a spring upon our cable, so that we brought our broadside to bear upon the watering-place, for the pro. tection of the boats that were to be employed there. As there was reason to suppose that the natives whom we had seen among the trees the night before, were not row far diftant, I fired a couple of shot into the wood, before I sent the waterers alhore; I also sent the lieutenant in the cutter, well manned and armed, with the boat that carried them, and ordered him and his people to keep on board, and lie close to the beach to cover the watering.boạt while she was loading, and to keep discharging musquets into the wood on each side of the party that were

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

filling the water. These orders were well exe. cuted, the beach was steep, fo that the boats could lie clofe to the people that were at work, and the lieutenant from the cutter fired three or four vollies of small arms into the woods before any of the men went on fhore, and none of the natives appearing, the waterers landed and wene 10 work. But notwithstanding all these precau. tions, before they had been on shore a quarter of an hour, a flight of arrows was discharged among them, one of which dangerously wounded a man that was filling water in the breast, and another stuck into a bareca on which Mr. Pitcairn was sitting, The people on board the cutter immediately fired feveral vollies of small arnis into that part of the wood from which the arrows came, and I recalled the boats that I might more effectually drive the Indians from their ambuscades with grape-shot from the ship's guns. When the boats and people were on board, we began to fire, and soon after saw about two hundred men rush out of the woods, and run along the beach with the utmost precio pitation. We judged the coast to be now effectually cleared, but in a little time we perceived that a great number had got together on the westermost point of the bay, where they pro. bably thought themselves beyond our reach : to convince them therefore of the contrary, I ordered a gun to be fired at them with round

ņot;

« ZurückWeiter »