Page:Picturesque New Guinea.djvu/169
A COASTING EXPEDITION.
that village and the coast to be fertile. Some of the Koiari chiefs accompanied them to Tupuselei and received the usual presents.
The Doctor, who previously to leaving Port Moresby had been down with fever, was much better, and invigorated by his walk. Several of the men, however, showed indications of sickness, one of the petty officers in particular, having a bad attack, the symptoms being feverishness and a foul tongue. For my own part I never felt better in my life, and certainly shall not worry myself with apprehensions, but meet the evil when it comes.
Remaining at our anchorage all night, on the morning of the 23rd we steamed down the coast to visit Kaele, a village some ten miles beyond Tupuselei, and, like it, a marine settlement. Our diplomacy will here be called into requisition to settle a feud existing for some time between the people of this village and the Garians, a numerous inland tribe. The merits of the case, so far as we can ascertain them, are that the Garians were the aggressors, killing three of the Kaele people, who retaliated in kind, and so the vendetta went on, amongst other victims being a Kaele woman. Matters, it is stated, have come to such a pass that the Garians have formed alliances with their neighbours, and threaten to come down and exterminate the unfortunate Kaeleans. At the intercession of Mr. Hunter the General gladly consented to come down and use his influence in the cause of peace, and messages were despatched to all the principal chiefs to meet him at Kapa Kapa, the village next in importance to Kaele, and situated about ten miles to the eastward, the "Blackall" calling at Kaele on her way to investigate matters. We reached the village about noon, and found both teachers and the people generally in a great state of agitation, being cut off from their supplies on the mainland, and reduced to cook their food in sea water. Some women who had ventured to the creek for water that morning reported that the Garian warriors had been seen on the slopes, and that an attack was imminent. The General, without attaching too much importance to this scare, ordered the whale boat to be manned, and an armed party, with whom were Dr. Chalmers and Mr. Fort, landed about 5 p.m., and proceeded to search the mangrove scrub of the salt-flats for