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reign of Tiarrabou, the south-east peninsula, was also' with us at this time; and we received intelligence of, the landing of another guest, whose company was neither expected nor desired; this was ho other than the ingenious gentleman 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 very zealously to assist us against him, desiring that, for this purpose, they might be permitted to lie in the fort. This had so good an effect, that the thief relinquished his enterprize in despair.
On the 7th, the carpenters were employed in taking p^d,. . down the gates and pallifadoes of our little fortification, for fire-wood 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 tho' 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 ourSaturd. 8. fort, and our friends still flocked about us; some, I be-Suniil>' »• lieve, sorry at the approach of our departure, and others desirous to make as much as they could of us while we stayed.
We were in hopes that we should now leave the island, without giving or receiving any other offence; but it unfortunately happened otherwile. 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 companions 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 1 very much regretted, and which yet it ua not possible to avoid.
In the middle of the night between the 8th and 9th, 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.
Monday 10. 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
1 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 the corporal of the marines, with the Indian guides, to fetch them 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 secured and sent back as soon as possible. While this was doing at the fort, I sent Mr. Hicks in the pinnace to fetch Tootahah on board the ship, which he did, without alarming either him or his
people. people. If the Indian guides proved faithful and in ear- '7ff9nest, 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 it was not safe to let the people whom I nad 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, expressed 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 Tootahah 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 fend 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 (hip, Tues. u. 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 thole 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 learned 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 his 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 fame kind, they expressed their joy by an undeserved liberality, strongly urging us to accept of four hogs. These we absolutely refused as a present, and they as absolutely refusing to be paid for them, the hogs did not change masters. Upon examining the deserters, we found that the account which the Indians had given of them was true: they had strongly attached themselves to two girls, and it was their intention to conceal themselves till the ship had sailed, and take up their residence upon the island. This night every thing was got off from the shore, and every body slept on board.
Among the natives who were most constantly with us, was Tupia, whose name has been often mentioned in this narrative. He had been, as I have before observed, the first minister of Oberea, when she was in the height of her power: he was also the chief Tahowa or Priest of the island, consequently well acquainted with the religion of the country, as well with respect to its ceremonies as principles. He had also great experience and knowledge in navigation, and was particularly acquainted with the number and situation of the neighbouring islands. This man had often exWed, u. pressed a desire to go with us, and on the 12th in the
morning, having with the other natives left us the day '769before, he came on board, with a boy about thirteen, j y' years of age, his servant, and urged us to let him proceed with us on our voyage. To have such a person on board, was certainly desirable for many reasons; by learning his language, and teaching him ours, we should be able to acquire a much better knowledge of the customs, policy, and religion of the people, than our short stay among them could give us; I therefore gladly agreed to receive them on board. As we were prevented from sailing to-day, by having found it necessary to make new stocks to our small and best bower anchors, the old ones having been totally destroyed by the worms, Tupia said, he would go once more on stiore, and make a signal for the boat to fetch him off in the evening. He went accordingly, and took with him a miniature picture of Mr. Banks's, to shew his friends, and several little things to give them as parting presents.
After dinner, Mr. Banks being desirous to procure a drawing of the Morai belonging to Tootahah at Eparre, 1 attended him thither, accompanied by Dr. Solander, in the pinnace. As soon as we landed, many of our friends came to meet us, though some absented themselves in resentment of what had happened the day before. We immediately proceeded to Tootahah's house, where we were joined by Oberea, with several others who had not come out to meet us,, and a perfect reconciliation was soon brought about; in consequence of which they promised to visit us early the next day, to take a last farewell of us, as we told them we should certainly set sail in the afternoon. At this place also we found Tupia, who returned with us, and slept this night on board the ship for the first time.
On the next morning, Thursday the 13th of July, Thurs. 13. the ship was very early crowded with our friends, and surrounded by a multitude of canoes, which were filled with the natives of an inferior class. Between eleven and twelve we weighed anchor, and as soon as the fliip was under fail, the Indians on board took their leave1, and wept, with a decent and silent sorrow, in which there was something very striking and tender: the people in- the canoes, on the contrary, seemed to vie
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