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without repeating it to the Mannicolan chief, took upon
himself to return the answer. This was highly provoking, particularly as I could not acquaint him with the height of my displeasure in sufficiently expressive terms (for, as Swift justly observes, every thing suffers by translation except a bishop). I gave the Tucopian, however, to understand, through Bushart, that I was already in possession of every thing he knew on the subject; that at the time the event which formed the subject of my inquiry happened he was only a child, and lived at Tucopia; that I wished to know what the Mannicolan chief had to say on the subject, who was better capable of answering me than he; and that if he again presumed to return answers without first questioning the chief, I should be extremely angry
After this, I desired Martin to inform him that I wished to know from the Matanicolan chief how many European skulls were now in the spirit-house at Wannow. The stupid interpreter replied from himself that they had all rotted away. I repeated my orders to him to inquire of the chief, which with much reluctance he did; who answered, “ There are two; and the teeth in the jaws are as long as my middle finger, and are like those of a pig."
Q. “ Are the natives of Indenney in the habit of visiting this island ?”—Here my Tucopian
interpreter again imposed his own answer upon me, by saying “No” I told him that I would not believe a word he said, and desired him to inquire of the Mannicolan chief. His reply was, “ Formerly several canoes visited us, when the iron from the wrecked ships was plentiful ; but their visits have since been less frequent. However, some occasionally come yet, and lately a canoe from Indenney with five men arrived at this island.”
This was the second proof I received of Rathea's incorrect statements to me; and I therefore gave him to understand that if he attempted to deceive me any more, I would stop no longer here, but return to my own country. Not to weary them too much at first, I ordered the drummer and fifer to entertain my visitors with some music, which very much surprised and diverted them. This being over, I resumed my inquiries as follows. Q. “ Have
you ever seen any white men before?" A. "No."
Q. “ Did not you see the people who built the ship at Paiow?"-A. “No. I live at this side of the island, and we are constantly at war with the people residing at Paiow and Wannow. The chief who built the ship at Paiow wore clothes like you.”—The Research, be it recollected, was at this time on the east side of Mannicolo : Wannow is on the west side.
Q. “How were the ships lost ?"-—A. “The island is surrounded by reefs at a distance off shore. They got on the rocks at night, and one ship grounded near Wannow, and immediately went to the bottom.”
Q. “Were none of the people from this ship saved ?”—A. “ Those that escaped from the wreck landed at Wannow, where they were killed by the natives. Several also were devoured by the sharks, while swimming from the ship."
Q. “How many people were killed at Wannow?”-A. “ Two at Wannow, two at Amma, and two more near to Paiow. These were all the white men who were killed."
Q. “If there were only six white men killed on shore, how, or from whence, came the sixty sculls that were in the spirit-house at Wannow, as described by Ta Fow, the hump-backed Tucopian, and others ?”—A. “ These were the heads of people killed by the sharks.”
Q. “But would not the sharks eat the heads as well as the bodies of the white men ?"-No
Q. “How was the ship lost near Paiow?”A. “She got on the reef at night, and after. wards drifted over it into a good place. She did not immediately break up, for the people had time to remove things from her, with which they built a two-masted ship.”
Q. “How many moons were they in building it.”—A. “ Plenty of moons.”
Q. “How did they procure any thing to eat?" -A. “ They used to go into the tara fields, . and pull up the roots, and then plant the tops for a new crop. After they sailed away, the people put their fields in order again.”
Q. “ Had these people no friends among the natives.” – A. “No. They were ship spirits; their noses were two hands long before their faces. Their chief used always to be looking at the sun and stars, and beckoning to them. There was one of them who stood as a watch at their fence, with a bar of iron in his hand, which he used to turn round his head. This man stood only upon one leg."
This last answer must import that the cockedhats worn by the officers were mistaken by the natives for natural appendages to their heads; the chief beckoning to the sun and stars, the officer taking astronomical observations; and the man on one leg at the fence with the bar of iron in his hand, a centinel with his musket. In order to ascertain if the cocked-hats caused the enormous addition ascribed by the natives to the Frenchmen's noses, I sent for my
* Just as the primitive Mexicans, it is said, supposed their Spanish invaders, with the horses on which they were mounted, to form one body; and a sinilar notion may have given rise to the fables of the Centaurs.
hat, put it on, and inquired if my nose was similar to the white men's noses at Paiow, but could obtain no answer to my query.
The Mannicolan chief's examination having terminated, I presented each of my four visitors with two pieces of Tongataboo cloth, an adze, a knife, beads, &c.; whereupon one of them became my friend, by exchanging names and kissing me, a form used throughout these islands when two persons bind themselves in a link of mutual amity. I presented my new relation with a live pig: on receiving which he hugged the little grunter in his arms, and then handed it into his canoe, promising, as he departed, to return next day and bring with him a quantity of the poison gum for me; a present for which I could not help being extremely grateful.
I directed Martin to ask my newly-acquired friend if he knew what had become of the two Frenchmen left by the people of the wreck at this island, as related to me by the lascar at Tucopia, when on my voyage in the St. Patrick. After some hesitation, he answered by relating the same story as that which was told to Rathea and Bushart on shore yesterday, when making a similar inquiry, namely, that one of them died, and the other ran away with the party among whom he lived, who, being perpetually at war with and harassed by another tribe, took to their canoes and quitted the island. I deter