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understood a little of their language, assured them we intended to return in the morning, on which they promised to bring us some pigs.
Although this island is not far from Mannicolo the dialect is totally different, but the dress and ornaments of the natives are similar. They dye their woolly hair white, yellow, or purple, according to fancy, and some of them wear caps of the paper-cloth, cocoa-nut leaves, or fan-palm, shaped like a sugar-loaf. I did not see any diseased among them, which unhappily was not the case with the Mannicolans.
The Spaniards, it is said, had a colony upon this island for a short period in the year 1595, under Admiral Mendana, but were obliged to abandon it, having quarrelled with the natives, and I am of opinion that the Research is the first European vessel that has since entered the bay.
One of the Tucopians on board resided for some time at the low island to the N.E., called Mamme: he spoke to a young man of a light copper colour in one of the canoes this evening, with whose father he lived. This person promised to come off to-morrow with some provisions, if the ship returned ; and, as I observed him to be very familiar with the Tucopian, I hoped to find him useful to us.
11th.--Moderate trades with fine weather. At 3 A.M. tacked ship to the southward, and stood in for the land. At 6 A.m. passed Point Carteret
and stood up la Graciosa's Bay. On bringing the north part of Trevanion's Island to bear W. by N. and W.N.W. we had soundings of sixteen fathoms at a cable's length to the west or leeward of the reef which fronts the shore on the east side of the bay at this part.
Canoes were launched from all sides, loaded with pigs, barn-door fowls, large pigeons, a kind of cucumber, the mangosteen, and a fruit well known at Otaheita called by the islanders ehea, which they offered for sale. At 8 A.M. we counted one hundred and thirty-five canoes about the ship.
The wind falling light, with flying showers of rain, they kept close to the ship on all sides. I was apprehensive that they might attempt to board us, and therefore got the guard of Marines on the poop. We kept the lead going, but could not get ground with seventy fathoms line. The islanders were so clamorous that we could with difficulty hear each other speak, and being numerous I dared not send the boats out to sound, as it was likely they would attack them.
At this time I thought of standing out to sea, and directed the interpreters to inquire if there were, or ever had been, any white men on the island from the ship lost at Mannicolo, but could obtain no satisfactory answer. I now had to tack to the eastward, at the place where I stood out from last night, and saw several
canoes coming off from the east side of the bay to the ship. We had not been many minutes round before I perceived that the islanders meditated mischief; the first notice of their intentions was by shooting two arrows at the persons sitting on the poop, and at the same moment I observed several of them begin to string their bows. The wind being light, such an unequivocal display of their intentions gave me sufficient reason to expect a general attack, to prevent which I ordered the guard on the poop to fire. After the first volley I stopped the firing, several of the islanders having plunged into the water out of their canoes, and dived away from the ship, while those who had sufficient courage to remain in them retreated toward shore with the utmost precipitation, bending their course for the west shore to a large village, off which we tacked; while the others recovering from their trepidation regained their canoes and made off with all possible speed toward the village. In the course of five minutes not a single canoe remained about the ship. One of the arrows passed close to my clerk's head, and through the driver, falling on the deck: the other struck one of the quarter-boats and fell into the water. In the firing I did not perceive that any of the natives were killed or wounded.
A breeze springing up I took advantage of it to get among the canoes on the east side of
the bay, before they could learn from their neighbours on the opposite shore any thing of the misunderstanding between them and us. This was the more necessary in order to anticipate the ill-impressions that the western villagers would no doubt attempt to make on their minds, with the view of forming a powerful coalition against us, and effecting our destruction.
The bay being very wide, I observed that although the eastern canoes were in sight, they were out of hearing of the muskets; as was evident from their persisting in their course for the ship while confusion reigned among the islanders alongside : a circumstance that whilst it proved their ignorance of the affair, pointed out to me the policy of making the first communication of it to them, with assurances of a peaceful disposition toward them so long as they shewed an inclination to maintain a friendly intercourse. I therefore stood towards and soon came among them. As I had conjectured, they knew nothing of what had just taken place; to ingratiate myself, therefore, in their good opinion without delay, I made presents to those who came alongside, and gave whatever price they demanded for such trifles as they offered for sale. Thus, as it were, forestalling their good opinion, I ordered the Tucopian to shew them the broken arrow their countrymen on the other side of the bay had shot on board the
ship, with the hole it inade in the driver, and to ask what caused them to shoot at us who came as friends to visit and make them presents of such things as they wanted. They replied without hesitation, that those who shot the ar. rows at us were bad people, that they belonged to another tribe, and we served them right by shooting at them.
I do not however think those people would have ventured to attack us, had they been aware that we possessed such effectual means of retaliation. And when I ordered the firing to cease, it was truly amusing to observe the evident marks of disappointment which the Marquess of Wyemattee and Robert Tytler, the New Zealand M.D., exhibited at my forbearance; the former exclaiming with some surprise,
“ What, no more fire! I want a man to eat :” and the latter very coolly observing, “ That his hand would be out of practice in dissecting by the time he got back to New Zealand, and that he wanted to take one of their heads home with him to shew the sort of people we had visited.” It will be recollected that the New Zealanders have a method of preserving human heads : several of which are to be seen in the British Museum, and at the Asiatic Society's rooms at Calcutta.
After making several tacks we at length succeeded in getting soundings in thirty-seven fa