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CHAPTER III.

OCCURRENCES AT MANNICOLO.

Ellisifiwer

(fresk materything

inlaring Eresh Waler)

13th Sept. 1827.—Moderate trades through. out the day, thermometer in the shade standing at 82°. Shortly after daylight found the ship to be well to the eastward of Bayley's Bay : at 7 a.m. I stood for it under easy sail. In consequence of keeping to the southward of the course steered out by the boats, we met with a number of coral banks and patches with three, four, five and six fathoins water on them. Close to the edges of these truly dangerous banks, bottom could not be found with a line of twenty fathoms. We were sailing over one of them for ten minutes, but by keeping to the northward we soon got into deep water.

Having rounded the point which forms the south head of the entrance to the bay, the anchor was let go in thirty-fathoms water with fifty fathoms cable, distance from the point of a reef off Research's head one mile, which bore from the ship E. by S. We were immediately surrounded by canoes to about the number of fifteen or sixteen, carrying from three to five men each. They brought a few articles for barter, but seemed totally ignorant of their relative value; being probably guided by my

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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

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advancing, he went to meet him with a few attendants, and on understanding the nature of of his business, aid was immediately granted. The village consisted of about four large houses, containing forty inhabitants, of all ages and both sexes.

The females and children did not appear in the least alarmed, but with a familiar cordiality advanced to meet the officer, and kindly took him by the hand. There were neither enclosures nor plantations, no hogs or poultry to be seen, and the only cultivated spot near the anchorage was a bed of tara close to the watering-place; nor was this spot cultivated with that care remarkable among the South-Sea islanders generally, being overrun with weeds. There were very few trees of the bread-fruit or cocoa-nut species in the neighbourhood : perhaps six or seven of the former, and about a dozen of the latter.

I expected the canoes to come off soon after daylight; but only one arrived before breakfast, occasioned as I supposed by my visitors of yesterday living at a distance. About 9 o'clock a canoe came alongside, having a large carpenter's maul in it and a silver gravy-spoon of French manufacture, with four stamps upon the shank: the upper part of the handle seemed to have had from two to three inches broken off, and the spoon itself was somewhat battered. I could clearly discover the stamp next to the head to

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