Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The next morning, after the men had refreshed themselves, armed parties were sent out to cut reeds, for the purpose of building a fortress at Neafoo : Finow and his principal chiefs remained to lay out the plan, whilst others were employed in digging a ditch about fourteen feet wide and ten feet deep. The spot on which this fortress was planned out was so situated, that one side was close

upon the sea-shore, on a steep rocky bank, and therefore requiring no further defence, for the enemy had no large canoes, having broken up all they had to make small ones, and with these it would be imprudent to venture as far as Neafoo, lest their retreat should be cut off by Finow's larger and swifter canoes. In the course of the day the fencing and ditch were tolerably well completed, so that the following night the greater part of the army slept on shore; but they were not without alarm, for about midnight, a small party of the enemy having come down to reconnoitre, looked through the openings of some part of the fencing that was not quite finished, and seeing several of the men sitting round a fire conversing together, they threw several spears at them, which wounded many, and struck all with a panic: the whole garrison was instantly

in a state of confusion; and a great number so far lost their presence of mind as to endeavour to make their escape on board the ca. noes; in this attempt, forgetting that it was low water, they leapt from off the banks, and fell upon the shelf of rocks below, in consequence of which several of them had broken árms and legs, and sundry contusions, which, together with the fright, producing universal spasm (tetanus *) in some of them, caused their death a day or two afterwards. In about a quarter of an hour the alarm perfectly sube sided, and they passed the rest of the night quietly.

During the following day the fencing was completed, and a second ditch was planned round the former; this, however, was to be without any fencing, that the guns might be brought to bear more readily upon

the

enemy, in case they should make a descent upon Nea. foo. This ditch was to be eighteen feet wide, and about ten deep. In three days the ditch was dug and the fortress completed. In the mean time the canoes were hauled up within the fencing, and no active operations effected on either side. Four or five women, however,

* Their mode of treating this disease, and their success in sometimes curing it, will be related under its proper head.

revolted from the enemy, and brought informa, tion that the chiefs of Vavaoo, having now revenged themselves on most of Toobo Neuha's murderers, had come to the resolution of waiting a little time without having recourse to any offensive measures, with a view of ascertaining what Finow's real intentions were.

The fortress being now quite completed, and the guins stationed one at each of the four entrances, of which there were two in front (on the inland side) and one on each of the other two sides ; Finow gave orders that a strong party should go forth early in the morning, towards the enemy's fortress, and destroy all the plantations they could come at, but in case of an attack, they should make their retreat as speedily as possible. In the afternoon they returned laden with yams, plantains, &c. but having met with a sudden attack from the enemy, had lost several of their men. They brought intelligence that they had discovered a large field of fine yams nearly full grown, but it was so well defended that they could not with prudence make an attack upon it. Finow however resolved to remain quiet the following night, lest the enemy should be lying in wait for him, and the night after that to proceed with a large and strong party to plunder and

destroy this plantation. In the mean time a young chief revolted to the enemy, and, communicated Finow's intentions with certain additional details, which, however false, served to raise him in the opinion of the enemy, and establish his credit with them. He informed them, over and above the actual truth, that his own father Lioofau was to remain behind in the colo (fortress) with a small party to defend it, but that being secretly an enemy to Finow; he would without doubt readily yield up the place to them. Upon the strength of this information they laid their plan accordingly: a large party of warriors, well armed, were to conceal themselves in a thick wood at no great distance from the field of yams, through which wood passed a road leading from Finow's colo: they were to lie down on the ground and cover themselves with branches, &c. that as soon as Finow's army had passed, they might be able to cut off their retreat: at the same time another strong party was to advance upon Neafoo, and take advantage of the supposed treacherous disposition of Lioofau.

Finow having arranged his plan, set off very early in the morning with the far larger part of his men, leaving the remainder under the command of Lioofau to take care of the colo.

Very fortunately for Finow, before he had advanced far, he met a man who had deserted from the enemy, and who informed him of their knowledge of his expedition, their plan of frustrating his object, as well as the alleged treachery of Lioofau. The king upon hearing this, before he advanced a step farther, ordered Lioofau into immediate confinement, with a strong guard over him. This being done, he proceeded towards the fortress of Felletoa, and taking advantage of the information given him by the deserter, actually hemmed in the very party that would otherwise have done the same to him. These, finding themselves, contrary to their expectations, surrounded by Finow's army, and seeing no other resource than to endeavour to force their way through, made the attempt, and succeeded, after a hard struggle, attended by great slaughter: sixty of the enemy were killed, and fourteen or fifteen of the Hapai people also fell. . The enemy now retreated towards the field of yams, to join those who were stationed there for its defence; and Finow, thinking it hazardous to make a fartber attack, retired back upon Neafoo, taking with him the sixty dead bodies. The other party of the enemy that had, in the mean while, advanced #o Neafoo, finding the place not under the

« ForrigeFortsæt »