Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

1767. June.

Wedn. 24.

satisfa&ion of both parties ; and at sun-fet, all the canoes rowed in to the shore.

At six o'clock the next morning, we began to warp the ship up the harbour, and soon after, a great number of canoes came under her ftern.

As I perceived that they had hogs, fowls, and fruit on board, I ordered the gunner, and two midshipmen,' to purchafe them for knives, nails, beads, and other trinkets, at the same time prohibiting the trade to all other persons on board. By eight o'clock, the number of canoes was greatly increafed, and those that came last up were double, of a very large fize, with twelve or fifteen stout men in each. I obferved, with some concern, that they appeared to be furnished rather for war than trade, having very little on board except round pebble stones; I therefore sent for Mr. Furneaux, my first Lieutenant being still very still, and ordered him to keep the fourth watch constantly at their arms, while the rest of the people were warping the ship. In the mean time more canoes were continually coming off from the shore, which were freighted very differently from the rest,for they had on board a number of women who were placed in a row, and who, when they came near the thip, made all the wantoogestures that can be conceived. While these ladies were practising their allurements, the large canoes, which were freighted with stones, drew together very clofe round the ship, some of the men on board finging in a hoarse voice, some blowing corchs, and some playing on a fute. After some time, a man who fat under a car.opy that was fixed on one of the large double canoes, made figns that he wished to conie up to the ship's fide ; I immediately intimated my consent, and when he came along-side, he gave one of the men

bunch of red and yellow feathers, making signs that he should carry it to me. I received it with expressions of amity, and immediately got some trinkets to presenthim in return, but to my great surprise he had put

off 10 a little distance from the ship, and upon his throwing up the branch of a cocoa-nut tree, there was an universal shout from all the canoes, which at once moved towards the ship, and a shower of stones was poured into her on every side. As an attack was now begun, in which our arms only could render us superior

to

o the multitude that affailed us, especially as great part 1767.

June. of the ship's company was in a sick and feeble condition, I ordered the guard to fire; two of the quarter-deck guns, which I had loaded with small shot, were also fired nearly at the same time, and the Indians appeared to be thrown into some confusion : in a few minutes, however, they renewed the attack, and all our people that were able to come upon deck, having by this time got to their quarters, I ordered them to fire the great guns, and to play some of them constantly at a place on shore, where a great number of canoes were still taking in men, and pushing off towards the ship with the utmost expedition. When the great guns began to fire, there were not less than three hundred canoes about the ship, having on board at least two thousand men ; many thousands were also upon the shore, and more canoes coming from every quarter : the firing, however, soon drove

the canoes that were about the ship, and put a stop to the coming off of others. As soon as I saw some of them retreating, and the rest quiet, I ordered the firing to cease, hoping that they were sufficiently convinced of our superiority, not to renew the conteft. In this, however, I was unhappily mistaken : a great number of the canoes that had been dispersed, soon drew together again, and lay some time on their paddles, looking at the ship from the diftance of about a quarter of a mile, and then suddenly hoisting white streamers, pulled towards the ship's stern, and began again to throw stones, with great force and dexterity, by the help of flings, from a considerable distance : each of these stones weighed about two pounds, and many of them wounded the people on board, who would have fuffered much more, if an awning had not been spread over the whole deck to keep out the sun, and the hammocks placed in the nettings. At the same time several canoes, well manned, were making towards the ship's bow, having probably taken notice that no shot had been fired from this part: I therefore ordered some guns forward to be well pointed and fired at these canoes ; at the same time running out two guns a-baft, and pointing them well at the canoes that were making the attack. Among the canoes that were coming toward the bow, there was one which

away

appeared

7767. appeared to have some Chief on board, as it was by June.

signals made from her that the others had been called together : it happened that a shot, fired from the guns forward, hit this canoe so full as to cut it árunder. As foon as this was observed by the rest, they dispersed with such hafte, that in half an hour there was not a single canoe to be seen ; the people also who had crowded the shore, immediately fied over the hills with the utmost precipitation.

Having now no reason to fear any further interruption, we warped the ship up the harbour, and by noon we were not more than half a mile from the upper part of the bay, within less than two cables length of a fine river, and about two and a half of the reef. We had here nine fathom water, and close to the shore there were five. We moored the thip, and carried out the stream-anchor, with the two shroud haufers, for a spring, to keep the ship's broad-side a-breast of the river ; we also got up and mounted the eight guns, which had been put into the hold. As soon as this was done, the boats were employed in founding all round the bay, and in examining the shore where any of the inhabitants appeared, in order to discover, whether it was probable that they would give us any further

disturbance. All the afternoon, and part of the next Thurs.25.

morning, was spent in this service, and about noon, the Master returned, with a tolerable survey of the piace, and reported, that there were no canoes in sight; that there was good landing on every part of the beach ; that there was nothing in the bay from which danger could be apprehended, except the reef, and some rocks at the upper end, which appeared above water ; and that the river, though it emptied itself on the other side of the point, was fresh water.

Soon after the Mafter had brought me this account, I sent Mr. Furneaux again, with all the boats manned and armed, the marines being also put on board, with orders to land opposite to our station, and secure himfelf, under cover of the boats and the ship, in the clearest ground he could find. About two o'clock the boats landed without any opposition, and Mr. Furneaux stuck

up a Itaff, upon which he hoisted a pennant, turned a turf, and took poffeflion of the island in his Majesty's name, in honour of whom he called 1767.

June. it King GEORGE THE THIRD'S ISLAND: he then went to the river, and tasted the water, which he found excellent, and mixing some of it with rum, every man drank his Majesty's health. While he was at the river, which was about twelve yards wide, and fordable, he saw two old men on the opposite side of it, who perceiving that they were discovered, put themselves in a supplicatory posture, and seemed to be. in great terror and confufion. Mr. Furneaux made signs that they should come over the river, and one of them complied. When he landed, he came forward, creeping upon his hands and knees, but Mr. Furneaux raised him up, and while he stood trembling, shewed him some of the stones that were thrown at the ship, and endeavoured to make him apprehend that if the natives attempted no mischief against us, we should do no harm to them. He ordered two of the water casks to be filled, to shew the Indian that he wanted water, and produced some hatchets, and other things, tointimate that he wished to trade for provisions. The old man, during this pantomimical conversation, in fome degree recovered his spirits; and Mr. Furneaux, to confirm his professions of friendship, gave him a hatchet, fome nails, beads, and other trifles; after which he re-embarked on board the boats, and left the pennant flying. As soon as the boats were put off, the old man went up to the pennant, and danced round it a considerable time : he then retired, but soon after returned with some green boughs, which he threw down, and retired a second time : it was not long however before he appeared again, with about a dozen of the inhabitants, and putting themselves in a supplicating posture, they all approached the pennant in a low pace, but the wind happening to move it, when they were got close to it, they fuddenly retreated * with the greatest precipitation. After standing some time at a distance, and gazing at it, they went away, but in a short time came back, with two large hogs alive, which they laid down at the foot of the staff, and at length taking courage, they began to dance. When they had performed this ceremony, they brought the hogs down to the water fide, launched a canoe,

ans

1767. and put them on board. The old man, who had a large june.

white beard, then embarked with them alone, and brought them to the ship : when he came along-side, he made a set speech, and afterwards handed in several green plantain leaves, one by one, uttering a sentence, in a solemn flow tone, with each of them as he delivered it; after this he sent on board the two hogs, and then turning round, pointed to the land, I ordered some presents to be given him, but he would accept of nothing; and soon after put off his canoe, and

went on shore. Friday 26.

At night, soon after it was dark, we heard the noise of many drums, with conchs, and other wind inftruments, and saw a multitude of lights all along the coast. At fix in the morning, seeing none of the natives on shore, and observing that the pennant was taken away,which probably they had learned to despise, as the frogs in the fable did King Log, I ordered the Lieutenant to take a guard on shore, and if all was well, to send off, that we might begin watering : in a short time I had the satisfaction to find that he had sent off for water casks, and by eight o'clock, we had four tons of water on board. While our people were employed in filling the casks, several of the natives appeared on the opposite side of the river, with the old man whom the officer had seen the day before ; and soon after he came over, and brought with him a little fruit, and a few fowls, which were also sent off to the Thip. At this time, having been very ill for near ą fortnight, I was so weak that I could scarcely crawl about; however, I employed my glasses to see what was doing on shore. At near half an hour after eight o'clock, I perceived a multitude of the natives coming over a hill at about the distance of a mile, and at the same time a great number of canoes making round the western point, and keeping close along the shore. I then looked at the watering-place, and saw at the back of it, where it was clear, a very numerous party of the natives creeping along behind the bushes ; I saw also many thousands in the woods, pushing along towards the watering-place, and canoes coming very fast round the other

point of the bay to the eastward. Being alarmed at these appearances, I dispatched a

boat,

« ZurückWeiter »