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women and children also took this opportunity of going to Hapai to see their friends. One morning the canoe set sail for one of the Vavaoo islands, called 'Taoonga, with the intention of remaining there during the night, and of departing again very early the following morning, to prosecute the voyage. Whilst here, however, the wind unfortunately changed, and they were under the necessity of remaining at Taoonga several days. For the first two or three days they kept a good look out, lest they should be surprised by the enemy, and at night slept on board the canoe ; but not finding themselves disturbed by any one, they at length relaxed their vigilance, and slept on shore by large fires ; in consequence of which they met with a sad disaster. On the fifth night they had lighted their fires as usual, and the greater part had fallen asleep, when forty or fifty of the enemy's choicest warriors, commanded by Máccapápa, rushed suddenly upon them. The enemy had heard from some stragglers, that this expedition to Hapai had been obliged to remain at Taoonga; they accordingly put to sea in their small canoes, and arrived at the opposite side of the island after dark : great part of them landed, and being guided by the
fires, fell upon those who were reposing in imaginary security, and with their clubs made an end of about eight and twenty: the remainder escaped to the canoe, but not without much difficulty ; for some of their companions who had remained to take care of it, being alarmed by the uproar of this sudden attack on shore, had pushed off into deep water; so that those who made their escape from the beach were obliged to swim, and several of them were much wounded by spears thrown at them. Under cover of the 'darkness they got off to a neighbouring island ; and early in the morning, the wind becoming more favourable, they proceeded on their voyage.
In the mean while a man ran away from the enemy's garrison, and brought information of the departure of Maccapápa to attack the Hapai expedition. Finow ordered several large canoes to put to sea immediately, in pursuit of them. This was speedily accomplished, and in the course of a few hours they came up with Máccapápa’s canoes, and took ten of them. Many attempted to make their escape to the shore; but being prevented by the large canoes from proceeding to the regular landing places, they were under the necessity of ven
turing their necks by climbing up steep rocks that rose almost perpendicularly from the water. In this attempt some fell and were killed.
A fortnight now elapsed without any material circumstance occurring: almost every day, however, there was some little skirmish with the enemy; but which led to no particular result. At the end of this time, the canoes from Hapai not being yet returned, Finow began to turn his thoughts more seriously than ever towards the large field of yams before spoken of. He made preparations therefore for an attack upon it: hoping that if he did not succeed in
procuring some yams, he should at least be able to bring the enemy to a general engagement. With this view he picked out some of the choicest of his men, about eighty in number, and gave them orders to conceal themselves, during the night, in a thicket close to the enemy's fortress, and on one side of the road. Finow in the mean while proceeded with a party of six hundred towards Felletoa. When he arrived within a quarter of a mile of the fort, it being yet dark, he took up his station in a field of high grass, situated in a valley, which could not be seen by the enemy. He then dispatched a hundred men to dig up the yams, and fifty more, under the command of Hala Api Api,
216 ATTACK ON A FIELD OF YAMS.
(an adopted son of the late Toobo Neuha,) to the fortress, with a view of enticing the enemy out, and leading them beyond the ambuscade, The enemy, however, kept close within his 'entrenchments. The fact was, there were not many men in the place, at least not great warriors, the rest having gone to another part of the island to launch a large canoe, for the purpose of bringing it round to the garrison to break up and make small ones of. But as soon as the enemy discovered Hala Api Api, they sent down to their companions at the further side of the island, to inform them of what was going forward. They came as soon as they possibly could, but too late to save the yams. As soon as they arrived at the fort and saw the field of yams completely despoiled, they became dreadfully enraged, and rushed out in a body upon Hala Api Api, who immediately retreated, with a design of drawing them on beyond the two ambuscades. In this, for the most part, he succeeded to his wishes ; for the enemy were so blinded by their rage, and pushed on by desire of revenge, that they did not reflect on the probability that there was some stratagem. They continued to follow, and he to retreat, till they passed the first ambush, where Finow lay concealed, and were fast advancing towards the
second, when Finow's men, too eager for conquest, rose up and attacked them in the rear : the second ambush, hearing the noise of this attack, immediately started up, and joining Hala Api Api, a hard and close fight was kept up for about a quarter of an hour ; when the enemy finding themselves too strongly opposed, retreated towards the fortress, in which they took shelter, being pursued close up to their doors by the Hapai warriors. Having recovered themselves a little from their consternation, they prepared to renew the combat, and again sallied forth, and commenced a general engagement with spears and arrows, whieli lasted about three quarters of an hour; when they again took shelter within their walls. In the first engagement the enemy had forty men killed, and Finow only two : in the last attack they had only one man killed, and Finow none, though several died afterwards of their wounds; but this was only an engagement with arrows and spears, which they are very dexterous in avoiding: clubs were not used; for the enemy were upon'a higher ground, and it would not have been prudent to have attacked them with the club, and risk the loss of their former advantages; and the enemy were too much discouraged to venture into the plain for this pur