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lances are barbed, and they handle them with 1769.
November, such strength and agility, that we can match them with no weapon but a loaded musquet. Sunday 12.
After taking a flight view of the courtry, and loading both the boats with celery, which we found in great plenty near the beach, we re. .
turned from our excursion, and about five o'clock · in the evening got on board the ship.
On the 15th, I sailed out of the bay, and at Wednes.15. the same time had several canoes on board, in one of which was our friend Toiava, who said, that as soon as we were gone he must repair to his Heppah or fort, because the friends of the man who had been shot by Mr. Gore on the 9th, had threatened to revenge his death upon him, whom they had reproached as being our friend. Off the north point of the bay, I saw a great number of islands, of various extent, which lay scattered to the north west, in a direction parallel with the main as far as I could see. I steered north east for the north eastermost of these islands; but the wind coming to the north west, I was obliged to stand out to sea.
To the bay which we had now left I gave the name of Mercury Bay, on account of the observation which we had made there of the tranfit of that planet over the sun. It lies in latitude 36° 47 S.; and in the longitude of 1840 4 W.: there are several islands lying both to the southward and northward of it, and a small island or
1769. rock in the middle of the entrance: within this November.
island the depth of water no where exceeds nine Wednes, 15: fathom; the best anchoring is in a sandy bay,
which lies just within the south head, in five and four fathon, bringing a high tower or rock, which lies without the head, in one with the head, or just shut in behind it. This place is very convenient both for wooding and watering, and in the river there is an immense quantity of oysters and other shell-fish : I have for this reafon given it the name of OYSTER River. Bug for a ship that wants to stay here any time, the best and safest place is in the river at the head of the bay; which, from the number of mangrove trees about it, I have called MANGROVE River. To fail into this river, the south shore must be kept all the way on board. The country on the east side of the river and bay is very barren, its only produce being fern, and a few other planış that will grow in a poor foil. The land on the north west side is covered with wood, and the soil being much more fertile, would doubtless produce all the necessaries of life with proper cultivạtion: it is not however so fertile as the lands that we have seen to the southward, nor do the inhabitants, though numerous, make so good an appearance: they have no plantations ; their canoes are mean, and without ornament; they sleep in the open air; and say, that Teratu, whose sovereignty they do not acknowledge, if
he was to come among them, would kill them. 1769.
November, This favoured our opinion of their being out- i laws; yet they told us, that they had Heppahs Wednes.a50 or strong holds, to which they retired in time of imminent danger.
We found, thrown upon the shore, in several parts of this bay, great quantities of iron-fand, which is brought down by every little rivulet of fresh water that finds its way from the country; which is a demonstration that there is ore of that metal not far inland : yet neither the inhabitants
of this place, or any other part of the coast that - we have seen, know the use of iron, or set the least
value upon it; all of them preferring the most worthless and useless trifle, not only to a nail, but to any tool of that metal.
Before we left the bay, we cut upon one of the trees near the watering-place the ship's name, and that of the Conimander, with the date of the year and month when we were there, and after dirplaying the English colours, I took a formal polsession of it in the name of his Britannic Majesty King George the Third.
CHA P. IV.
The Range from Mercury Bay to the Bay of
Tands : An Expedition up the River Thames : Some Account of the Indians who inhabit its Banks, and the fine Time ber that grows there : Several Interviews with the Natives on different Parts of the Coast, and a Skirmish with them upon an Island.
1969. " T Continued plying to windward two days to November.
to get under the land, and on the 18th, about • seven in the morning, we were abreast of a very conspicuous promontory, being then in latitude 36° 26', and in the direction of N. 48 W. from the north head of Mercury Bay, or Point Mercury, which was distant nine leagues : upon this point stood many people, who seemed to take little notice of us, but talked together with great earnestnefs. In about half an hour, several canoes put off from different places, and came towards the Chip; upon which the people on the point also launched a canoe, and about twenty of them came in her up with the others. When two of these canoes, in which there might
be about sixty men, came near enough to make, 1769,
November, themselves heard, they sung their war-fong; but seeing that we took little notice of it, they threw Saturd. 38. a few stones at us, and then rowed off towards
the shore. We hoped that we had now done E with them, but in a short time they returned, as
if with a fixed resolution to provoke us into
to fight, we shall not accept your challenge to - come on shore ; and here there is no pretence for quarrel, the sea being no more your property than the ship. This eloquence of Tupia, though it greatly surprised us, having given him no hints for the arguments he used, had no effect upon our enemies, who very soon renewed their battery: a mufquet was then fired through one of their boats, and this was an ar. gument of fufficient weight, for they immediate, ly fell aftern and left us.