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in single blessedness. On seeing the New Zealand girls, they entered the ship without hesitation and embraced them tenderly. Several of them volunteered to join us in the expedition, and seemed much disappointed on learning that there was not room for any more than those on board.
The two Tonga men and the young woman sent by Fuckafinnow, the chief of Mafanga, were disappointed at the scanty appearance of the supplies brought off for sale in the canoes, and on learning that the tribute for which they had come sailed for Tonga about five months ago, by the
way of the Feejees, they said that they had rather die on board of sea-sickness than go ashore to be starved, as they were certain it was a hungry land, from the small samples of provisions brought off for sale. The length of time they would have to remain in this island really terrified them; perhaps four or five years before another fleet should sail for Tonga : so that they resolved to stop in the ship until I could put them on board some whaler in this neighbourhood, which would return to the whaling station off Tonga in May, June, July, or August, those being the months in which they sailed for that quarter each year. Being short of my complement of men I consented to take them with me, considering they
would be eminently useful now that I was near my place of destination.
The natives of Rothuma have as great an itching for theft as the rest of their neighbours in the South Sea Islands. While sitting conversing in the Feejee tongue with one of their chiefs and Parker, a man who was standing in a canoe laying alongside, put his hand into the port, and drew from one of the guns its iron crowbar; but on seeing that I observed him he let it go; on which I drew my sword and struck him a blow on the head with the flat side of it. This caused his friends to push off from the ship, which the chief and Parker observing, intreated me to order the sentries to shoot him and all in the canoe. I however declined avail. ing myself of this permission of the chief, but discharged a musket myself, in such a way that the ball fell a little beyond the canoe, thus shewing the chief that it was not from want of power to reach him that I suffered him to escape.
I was anxious to know, and inquired the cause of the chief's desire to have this man shot, who thus accounted for it. “ We have,” said he, “ several thieves on shore, who when we visit the land and houses of other chiefs accompany our train, and having committed thefts, endeavour to escape. If they succeed, the
offended person and his party fall upon that to which they belong, and sometimes punish them with death. Now if this man had got the piece of iron away you might have killed me, therefore I wished you to kill him who by his escape would have endangered my life, since I am in your power.”
In January 1826, while in the St. Patrick, at anchor in the Thames at New Zealand, I was informed by Captain Bren, the master of a whaler, that a whale-ship called the Rochester of London, commanded by Captain Warth, had touched at Rothuma for refreshments in 1823, where the crew were mutinous and disorderly, and gave the captain and his officers much trouble in preserving order on board. Several of them attempted to desert, but were prevented by the captain's vigilance. While laying-to off Rothuma on the whaling station, the captain's brother-in-law, a young man named Young, who had charge of the watch on deck, with the carpenter's mate, Parker, and four others, lowered down a whale-boat with all her whaling-tackle, robbed the ship of her arms and various other articles, and made off to Rothuma, where the natives received them kindly. Each married two or three wives, according to the custom of the country, and have now large families growing up.
Shortly after Parker (one of the mutineers) had come on board this morning, he was followed by Young, the captain's brother-in-law; and notwithstanding these men's characters were so bad, I had no alternative left but to employ them as pilots and interpreters. I also tolerated them, with the view of gleaning such information from them as, if they had but common sense, they ought to have been possessed of, regarding the winds, tides, customs, manners, and rites, of the inhabitants, after a residence among them of four years.
Three of the men who were associated with Young and Parker in plundering the Rochester have since then left this island in different whalers, and their places on shore have been supplied by three deserters from the ship which was at anchor off the island on the 17th ultimo. Two other Europeans came alongside in a canoe and begged leave to come on board ; which I refused, asking them how they could presume to desire such a favour, having deserted their own ship in this remote part of the globe.
About this time, through the mismanagement of its steersman, a canoe was upset, in which were two females. The men and one of the ladies swam well, and endeavoured to right the canoe; but the other, who could not swim, was
nearly exhausted when taken up by her companions.
Not wishing to lose time, I bore away at half past one o'clock for Tucopia. At a quarter before two the high-peaked island bore S. by E. one or two miles. This island, with a high bluff head on the main, which forms the west point of the bay, running in from the west, are the highest parts of the Rothuma Islands. At 6 P.M. we were distant from the peaked island twenty-five miles : it was then a quarter or more above the level of the horizon, and I doubt not might have been seen thirty-five or forty miles off in clear weather. The east side of the main island is moderately high, and may be seen at the distance of thirty miles.
The ship which first visited, or rather discovered this island, was the Pandora frigate, Captain E. Edwards, in August 1791, when in search of the mutineers belonging to his Britannic Majesty's sloop of war Bounty. The next vessel which visited them was the missionary ship Duff, in September 1797. From this period, I believe, these islands were not visited, either by British or foreign flags, until late in 1814, about which time a Calcutta brig, called the Campbell Macquarie, commanded by Captain R. Siddons, touched there on his way from the Feejee Islands to Port Jackson.