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liberality to the first canoe that visited me from their island, they demanded an axe for a single cocoa-nut or a fish. These gentlemen entered the ship without shewing the slightest symptoms of fear; quite confident that, as they intended us no harm (which was pretty clear from no arms of any kind being in their canoes), they had none to dread.
On looking over the ship’s quarter, I was surprised with the view which the bottom presented, and on sounding four fathoms were found on a round coral bank, although the anchor had been let go in thirty fathoms. The being so near this danger, and not sufficiently shut in by the point, rendered it necessary that I should shift the vessel to a more secure part of the bay, which I did, and got her moored by 8 P.M. with the following bearings: the point of the reef off Research's head, E. by N N.; Davey Village on Lord Combermere's Island, N.; and the reefs of the latter island, N.E. N.
Nero, the chief of whom Rathea spoke so frequently, visited me to-day in companywith another old chief, to whom, as I expected much information from them, I presented two yards of scarlet, two yards of blue gurrah, a large axe each, and a string of beads. I had not much time to converse with them, being engaged extricating the ship from her perilou ssituation near the coral bank under her quarter. But these
chiefs gave me to understand that myself and crew were the first white people or strangers they had ever seen, except the Tucopians, who visited them occasionally ; and that it was very fortunate I came to their country, the harbour being good and the natives peaceable ; for had I gone to Denimah, Paiow, or Whannow, my ship would have been wrecked, and my men devoured by sharks, as the crews of two ships had been a long time ago
My time would not admit of many inquiries ; however, I asked Nero if he had seen the people who built the ship at Paiow. He replied “no: he did not often go to that side of the island, as they were bad people who lived there, always at war with his friends, and had killed the white people belonging to the ships which were wrecked on their coast.” I shewed him the things procured at Tucopia, that had come from Mannicolo, and wished to know if he had any such. He replied “No; but that he had some iron which he would shew me to morrow.”
One of the men standing by said he had a bell, which he would bring me in the morning; and I got the interpreter to inform all those on board that I would give some valuable articles in exchange for any old things they might have in their possession belonging to the wrecks. Shortly afterward two men returned to the ship
with an iron bolt each, in length 247 inches, and their diameter, before they were corroded with rust, might have been 13 inches. I also bought a piece of flat iron, with a square hole in it, cut for the purpose of holding a spikenail, one piece of plain flat iron, and two tokees · or adzes of native manufacture. A little before dark a young man came alongside with part of a large iron knee of a ship, being the bend or elbow part, with two bolt-holes in it. The other part, being less thick, had been broken off by. the islanders, and converted into tools for building and husbandry utensils.
To preclude the possibility of an imputation similar to that made by Doctor Tytler respecting stamping the sword-guard, I used the following precaution. First, the trading officer purchased the articles in presence of Monsieur Chaigneau, the French agent, and all the other officers and persons on board ; and then I obtained a certificate from those gentlemen, specifying the time and place, and from whom the articles therein enumerated were bought; and in this precaution I resolved to persevere during my search among the islands.
The passage leading into Bayley's Bay from the eastward, through which we came this day, I have named J. B. Birch's Passage, after the gentleman who is one of the police magistrates at Calcutta. Supposing I should have to take
the ship through a narrow passage leading from Lushington's Bay into Bayley's Bay, I gave it the name of Dillon's Passage. The south-west point of Lord Combermere's Island I have called Colonel Bryant's Point, in honour of the judge advocate at Calcutta, who is also a meinber of the Asiatic Society, and was a strenuous supporter of this expedition; and the point on the main opposite Colonel Bryant's Point I have distinguished by the name of Point Chester, after G. Chester, Esq., president of the Marine Board at Calcutta.
At 8 P.M. I divided the crew into five watches, each under the command of an officer, to whom 1 gave
the strictest charge to be constantly on the alert to prevent surprise from the islanders, as no appearances, however trifling, could justify a departure from the most rigid discipline in this respect. I also reminded them of the narrow escape we had at Tonga, owing to a want of caution in the officer of the watchi, and the unfortunate affray that took place there with M. Dumont d'Urville.
14th.—Shortly after daylight this morning I sent the trading officer on shore to the head of the bay, where it was said fresh water could be procured, who soon after returned with information that about two cable-lengths from the beach, back in the woods, there was a fine small river of pure spring water, having a
beaten path leading to it. I have named this Ellis's River, after E. S. Ellis, Esq., marine paymaster at Calcutta. I employed the officer the remainder of the day in filling our empty casks, the largest of which being left on the beach, the water was carried to them in twelvegallon breakers ; in which operation the native young men and boys assisted, and were rewarded with fish-hooks, brass buttons, and glass beads.
The officer in charge of the party reported that on his first landing this morning he was honoured with a visit from two ladies, no less personages than the queen of the district and her daughter. The queen was old and greyheaded; but the princess was about eighteen years of age, with a coarse skin, as black as ink, but of agreeable appearance, and elegantly formed. They advanced to the party without betraying any signs of fear, escorted by his majesty, king Nero. Their dress consisted of a belt round the waist similar to that worn by males, and a mat depending from it, reaching half-way down the thigh. They were ornamented with shells, after the fashion of the men; but, unlike them, their hair was cut short, and they had no head-dress or flowers.
The officer took a walk to the royal mansion, with a view to obtain some assistants to his watering party. When the king perceived him