Early Voyages to Terra Australis/Voyage of Gerrit Thomasz Pool to the South Land

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Early Voyages to Terra Australis by Richard Henry Major
Voyage of Gerrit Thomasz Pool to the South Land

VOYAGE OF GERRIT THOMASZ POOL TO THE
SOUTH LAND.

translated fron valentyn's "beschryvinge
van banda,"
p. 47.




On the 26th of March, 1636, there arrived two shallops, the Amsterdam and the Weasel, sent from Amboina, with orders to Governor Acoley at Banda, to give to the commander of these ships, Gerard Thomasz Pool, such information concerning the South Land as might be necessary for him to perform a voyage thither, under the orders of the honourable Company.

After he had received the desired instructions, and had been furnished with sufficient provisions and other necessaries, he sailed with those vessels on the 17th of April.

On the 30th of June following both these vessels returned, and informed the governor that, having reached the Flat Point in about 4½ degrees of south latitude on the 18th of April, they had determined to send some of their people on shore to take a view of the country. The Commander Pool, desirous to see everything himself, resolved to be of the party, and took with him his steward, Andries Schiller, a native of Nuremberg. They were scarcely landed, when a large body of wild Southlanders, who at first appeared friendly, but acted afterwards in a hostile manner, surrounded them, in so much that it was not in their power to escape. The Commander Pool perceiving the danger greater than he at first expected, was still in hopes to escape; but he found himself attacked one of the first, and received a blow with a hazegay, which immediately brought him to the ground. When he recovered his senses and saw that his steward was still defending himself, he called out to him that he would do better to try to make his escape, as otherwise he would not be able to do it, for the savages were coming on in yet greater numbers. He did so, but was likewise soon knocked down.

The wild Southlanders, perceiving the hanger which the Commander Pool had in his hand, forced it from him and cut these two men to pieces, and carried them into the wood; but it never could be discovered what they did with them, nor what became of the two sailors who were likewise missing.

The crew could only tell, that these Southlanders have a very black skin, much like the Caffers of Angola, but with long black hair on their head, and were much stouter and taller in stature than any Europeans, and quite naked, with the exception of their middle. They also reported that one of them, appearing to be a chief, had a rough skin of some wild beast wrapped round his neck; and that they were armed partly with hazegays, and a kind of javelins with sharp iron points; and partly with bows and arrows.