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they had walked about six miles farther, following the course of the river, when they frequently passed under vaults, formed by fragments of the rock, in which they were told people who were benighted frequently passed the night. Soon after they found the river banked by steep rocks, from which a cascade, falling with great violence, formed a pool, so steep, that the Indians said they could not pass it. They seemed, indeed, not much to be acquainted with the valley beyond this place, their business lying chiefly upon the declivity of the rocks on each side, and the plains which extended on their summits, where they found plenty of wild plantain, which they called Vae. The way up these rocks from the banks of the river, was in every respect dreadful; the sides were nearly perpendicular, and in some places one hundred feet high; they were also rendered exceeding slippery by the water of innumerable spriøgs which issued from the fissures on the surface: Yet up these precipices a way was to be traced by a succession of long pieces of the bark of the hibiscus tiliaceus, which served as a rope for the climber to take hold of, and assisted him in scrambling froin one ledge to another, though upon these ledges there was footing only for an Indian or a goat. One of these ropes was nearly thirty feet in length, and their guides offered to assist them in mounting this pass, but recommended another at a little distance lower down, as less difficult and dangerous. They took a view of this “ better way," but found it so bad that they did not chuse to attempt it, as there was nothing at the top to reward their toil and haIzard, but a grove of the wild plantain or vae tree, which they had often seen before.
During this excursion, Mr Banks had an excellent opportunity to examine the rocks, which were almost every where naked, for minerals; but he found not the least
apo pearance of any. The stones every where, like those of Madeira, shewed manifest tokens of having been burnt; nor is there a single specimen of any stone, among all those that were collected in the island, upon wbich there are not manifest and indubitable marks of fire; except perhaps some small pieces of the hatchet-stone, and even of that, other fragments were collected, which were burned almost to a pumice. Traces of fire are also manifest in the very clay upon the hills, and it may, therefore, not unreasonably be supposed, that this, and the neighbouring islands, are either shattered remains of a continent, which some have supposed to be necessary in this part of the globe, to preserve an equilibrium of its parts, which were left behind when the rest sunk by the mining of a subterraneous fire, so as to give a passage to the sea over it; or were torn from rocks, which, from the creation of the world, had been the bed of the sea, and thrown up in heaps, to a height which the waters never reach. One or other of these
sup positions will perhaps be thought the more probable, as the water does not gradually grow shallow as the shore is approached, and the islands are almost every where surrounded by reefs, which appear to be rude and broken, as some violent concussion would naturally leave the solid substance of the earth. 5. On the 4th, Mr Banks employed himself in planting a great quantity of the seeds of water-melons, oranges, lemons, limes, and other plants and trees which he had collected at Rio de Janeiro. For these he prepared ground on each side of the fort, with as many varieties of soil as he could chuse; and there is little doubt but that they will succeed. He also gave liberally of these seeds to the Indians, and planted many of them in the woods : Some of the melon seeds having been planted soon after our arrival, the natives shewed him several of the plants, which appeared to be in the most flourishing condition, and were continually asking him for more.
We now began to prepare for our departure by bending the sails, and performing other necessary operations on board the ship, our water being already on board, and the provisions examined. In the mean time we had another visit from Oamo, Oberea, and their son and daughter; the Indians expressing their respect by uncovering the upper parts of their body as they had done before. The daughter, whose name we understand to be Toimata, was very sirous to see the fort, but her father would by no means suffer her to come in. Tearee, the son of Waheatua, the sovereign of Tiarrabou, the south-east peninsula, was also with
us at this time, and we received intelligence of the land. ing of another guest, whose company was neither expected nor desired: This was no other than the ingenious gentle"man who contrived to steal our quadrant. We were told, that he intended to try his fortune again in the night; but the Indians all offered zealously to assist us against him, desiring that, for this purpose, they might be permitted to lie
in the fort. This had so good on effect, that the thief relinquished his enterprise in despair.
On the 7th, the carpenters were employed in taking down the gates and pallisadoes of our little fortification, for firewood on board the ship ; and one of the Indians had dexterity enough to steal the staple and hook upon which the gate turned: He was immediately pursued, and after a chace of six miles, he appeared to have been passed, having concealed himself among some rushes in the brook ; the rushes were searched, and though the thief had escaped, a scraper was found which had been stolen from the ship some time before ; and soon after our old friend Tubourai Tamaide brought us the staple.
On the 8th and 9th, we continued to dismantle our fort, and our friends still flocked about us ; some, I believe, sorry at the approach of our departure, and others desirous to make as much as they could of us while we staid.
We were in hopes that we should now leave the island without giving or receiving any other offence; but it unfortunately happened otherwise. Two foreign seamen having been out with my permission, one of them was robbed of his knife, and endeavouring to recover it, probably with circumstances of great provocation, the Indians attacked him, and dangerously wounded him with a stone; they wounded his companion also slightly in the head, and then fled into the mountains. As I should have been sorry to take any farther notice of the affair, I was not displeased that the offenders had escaped ; but I was immediately involved in a quarrel which I very much regretted, and which yet it was not possible to avoid.
In the middle of the night between the 8th and gih, Clement Webb and Samuel Gibson, two of the marines, both young men, went privately from the fort, and in the morning were not to be found. As public notice had been given, that all hands were to go on board on the next day, and that the ship would sail on the morrow of that day or the day following, I began to fear that the absentees intended to stay behind. I knew that I could take no effectual steps to recover them, without endangering the harmony and good-will which at present subsisted among us; and therefore determined to wait a day for the chance of their return. On Monday morning the 10th, the marines, to my great concern, not being returned, an enquiry was made after them of the Indians, who frankly told us, that they did not intend to return, and had taken refuge in the mountains, where it was impossible for our people to find them. They were then requested to assist in the search, and after some deliberation, two of them undertook to conduct such persons as I should think proper to send after them to the place of their retreat. As they were known to be without arms, I thought two would be sufficient, and accordingly dispatched a petty officer, and a corporal of the marines, with the Indian guides, to fetch then back. As the recovery of these men was a matter of great importance, as I had no time to lose, and as the Indians spoke doubtfully of their return, telling us, that they had each of them taken a wife, and were become inhabitants of the country, it was intimated to several of the chiefs who were in the fort with their women, among whom were Tubourai Tamaide, Tomio, and Oberea, that they would not be permitted to leave it till our deserters were brought back. This precaution I thought the more necessary, as, by concealing them a few days, they might compel me to go without them; and I had the pleasure to observe, that they received the intimation with very little signs either of fear or discontent; assuring me that my people should be seeured and sent back as soon as possible. While this was doing at the fort, I sent Mr Hicks in the pinnace to fetch Tootabah on board the ship, which he did, without alarming either hiin or his people. If the Indian guides proved faithful and in earnest, I had reason to expect the return of my people with the deserters before evening. Being disappointed, my suspicions increased; and night coming on, I thought I was not safe to let the people whom I had detained as hostages continue at the fort, and I therefore ordered Tubourai Tamaide, Oberea, and some others, to be taken on board the ship. This spread a general alarm, and several of them, especially the women, espressed their apprehensions with great emotion and many tears when they were put into the boat. I went on board with them, and Mr Banks remained on shore, with some others whom I thought it of less consequence to secure.
About nine o'clock, Webb was brought back by some of the natives, who declared that Gibson, and the petty officer and corporal, would be detained till Tootabah should be
set at liberty. The tables were now turned upon me, but I had proceeded too far to retreat. I immediately dispatched Mr Hicks in the long-boat, with a strong party of men, to rescue the prisoners, and told Tootahah that it behoved him to send some of his people with them, with orders to afford them effectual assistance, and to demand the release of my men in his name, for that I should expect him to answer for the contrary. He readily complied; this party recovered my men without the least opposition; and about seven o'clock in the morning, returned with them to the ship, though they had not been able to recover the arms which had been taken from them when they were seized : These, however, were brought on board in less than half an hour, and the chiefs were immediately set at liberty.
When I questioned the petty officer concerning what had happened on shore, he told me, that neither the natives who went with him, nor those whom they met in their way, would give them any intelligence of the deserters; but, on the contrary, became very troublesome : That, as he was returning for further orders to the ship, he and his comrade were suddenly seized by a number of armed men, who having learnt that Tootahah was confined, had concealed themselves in a wood for that purpose, and, who having taken them at a disadvantage, forced their weapons out of their hands, and declared, that they would detain them till their chief should be set at liberty. He said, however, that the Indians were not unanimous in this measure; that some were for setting them at liberty, and others for detaining them: That an eager dispute ensued, and that from words they came to blows, but that the party for detaining them at length prevailed: That soon after Webb and Gibson were brought in by a party of the natives, as prisoners, that they also might be secured as hostages for the chief; but that it was after some debate resolved to send Webb to inform me of their resolution, to assure me that bis companions were safe, and direct me where I might send my answer. Thus it appears that whatever were the disadvantages of seizing the chiefs, I should never have recovered my men by any other method. When the chiefs were set on shore from the ship, those at the fort were also set at liberty, and, after staying with Mr Banks about an hour, they all went away. Upon this occasion, as they had done upon another of the same kind, they expressed their joy by an undeserved