The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks/May 1769
- 1769 May 1.
This morn in walking round the point I saw a canoe which I suppose to have come from a distance by her having a quantity of fresh water in her in Bamboes; in every other respect she is quite like those we have seen, her people however are absolute strangers to us. Before noon our freinds visit us as usual and the day passed without any events.
- 1769 May 2.
About 10 this morn the astronomical quadrant which had been brought ashore yesterday was miss'd, a circumstance which alarmd us all very much. It had been laid in Captn Cook's birth where no one slept, the telescopes were in my tent safe. Every place was searchd aboard and ashore but no such thing to be found. It appeard very improbable that the Indians could have carried so large a thing out of the tents without being observd by the sentries, our people might have stole [it] as it was packd up in a deal case and might by them be suppos'd to contain nails or some kind of traffick; a large reward was therefore offerd to any one who could find it and all hands sent out to search round the fort, upon a supposition that the Indians would immediately quit a prize that could be of so little use to them. In about an hour all returnd, no news of the Quadrant. I now went into the woods to get intelligence no longer doubting but that it was in the hands of the Indians. Tubourai met me crossing the river and immediately made with 3 straws in his hand the figure of a triangle: the Indians had opend the cases. No time was now to be lost; I made signs to him that he must instantly go with me to the place where it was, he agreed and out we set acompanied by a midshipman and Mr Green, we went to the Eastward. At every house we went past Tubourai enquird after the theif by name, the people readily told him which way he had gone and how long ago it was since he pass'd by, a circumstance which gave great hopes of coming up with him. The weather was excessive hot, the Thermometer before we left the tents up at 91 made our journey very tiresome. Sometimes we walk'd sometimes we ran when we imagind (which we sometimes did) that the chase was just before us till we arrivd at the top of a hill about 4 miles from the tents: from this place Tubourai shew'd us a point about 3 miles off and made us understand that we were not to expect the instrument till we got there. We now considerd our situation, no arms among us but a pair of pocket pistols which I always carried, going at least 7 miles from our fort where the Indians might not be quite so submissive as at home, going also to take from them a prize for which they had venturd their lives. All this considerd we thought it proper that while Mr Green and myself proceeded the midshipman should return and desire captn Cooke to send a party of men after us, telling him at the same time that it was impossible we could return till dark night. This done we proceeded and in the very spot Tubourai had mentiond were met by one of his own people bringing part of the Quadrant in his hand. We now stop'd and many Indians gatherd about us rather rudely, the sight of one of my pistols however instantly checkd them and they behav'd with all the order imaginable, tho we quickly had some hundreds surrounding a ring we had markd out on the grass. The box was now brought to us and some of the small matters such as reading glasses etc. which in their hurry they had put into a pistol case, this I knew belongd to me, it had been stole out of the tents with a horse pistol in it which I immediately demanded and had immediately restord. Mr Green began to overlook the Instrument to see if any part or parts were wanting, several small things were, and people were sent out in search of them some of which returnd and others did not; the stand was not there but that we were informd had been left behind by the theif and we should have it on our return, and answer which coming from Tubourai satisfied us very well; nothing else was wanting but what could easily be repaird so we pack'd all up in grass as well as we could and proceeded homewards. After walking about 2 miles we met Captn Cooke with a party of marines coming after us, all were you may imagine not a little pleasd at the event of our excursion.
The Captn on leaving the Tents left orders both for the ship and shore, which were that no canoes should be suffer'd to go out of the bay but that nobodys person should be seizd or detaind, as we rightly guessd that none of our freinds had any hand in the theft. These orders were obeyd by the 1st Lieutenant who was ashore, but the second aboard seeing some canoes going along shore sent a boat to fetch them back; the boatswain commander did so and with them brought Dootahah, the rest of their crews leap'd overboard, he was sent ashore prisoner. The 1st Lieutenant of course could not do less than confine him which he did to the infinite dissatisfaction of all the Indians, this we heard from them 2 miles before we reachd the tents on our return. Tubourai, Tomaio and every Indian that we let in Joind in lamenting over Dootahah with many tears. I arrivd about a quarter of an Hour before the Captn during which time this scene lasted; as soon as he came he orderd him to be instantly set at liberty which done he walkd off sulky enough tho at his departure he presented us with a pig.
- 1769 May 3.
Dr Solander and myself who have all along acted in the capacity of market men attended this morn but no kind of provisions were brought, indeed few Indians appeard except the servants of Dootahah who very early took away his Canoe. Soon after Tubia (Obereas right hand man who was with her in the Dolphins time) came and overhauld every part of her canoe which had also been detaind, seemd satisfied with what he saw so much so that he would not take it away. About noon several fishing boats came abreast the tents, they however parted with very few fish. In the course of the whole day a small quantity of bread fruit was got cheifly in a present and 6 Cocoa nuts only were bought, a very disagreable change this from our former situation; we have now no cocoa nuts and not ¼ enough of bread fruit for the people, who have scarce ever before faild to turn away the latter from the market and purchase of the other from 3 to 400 a day.
In the course of the day I went into the woods. The Indians were civil but every where complaind of the ill usage Dootahah had met with, they said that he had been beat and pulld by the hair; I endeavour'd all I could to convince them that no violence had been offerd to them but without success, I fear the Boatswain has been rougher in his usage of him than he chuses to acknowledge. Tupia stayd with us all day and at night slept in Oboreas Canoe not without a bedfellow tho the gentleman cannot be less than 45.
- 1769 May 4.
No trade this morn but a little fish so we are for the first time in distress for nescessaries. I went into the woods to Tubourai and perswauded him to give me 5 long baskets of bread fruit, a very seasonable supply as they contain above 120 fruits. A very few Indians appear today before the fort, fewer than yesterday. After dinner came a messenger from Dootahah requesting a shirt and a hatchet (he had been here yesterday with the same demand) I suppose in return for the hog he gave us on his release; the Captn sent him back telling him that he would tomorrow visit him and bring the things himself. In the Evening I went into the woods, found the Indians as usual civil but complaining much of the treatment Dootahah had met with on the 2nd.
- 1769 May 5.
This morn Obadée (her majesties bedfellow) came pretty early to visit us or rather himself to take a view of her canoe. He carefully overhauld every thing in it and complaind of the Loss of some trifling thing I could not understand what; after this he brought every thing out of it and deliverd them into my charge desiring that they might be taken care of, after which he left us. A very small quantity of Bread fruit brought this morn. At breakfast time came two messengers from Dootahah to put the captn in mind of his promise of Visiting him. Accordingly at 9 the boat set out carrying the Captn Dr Solander and myself. We arrivd in about an hour, Eparre his residence being about 4 miles from the tents. An immence throng of people met us on the shore crowding us very much tho they were severely beat for so doing by a tall well looking [man] who lacd about him with a long stick most unmercifully, striking all who did not get out of his way without intermission till he had cleard us a path sufficient to go to Dootahah, who was seated under a tree attended by a few grave looking old men. With him we sat down and made our presents consisting of an ax and a gown of Broad cloth made after their fashion and trimmd with tape, with these he seemd mightily satisfied. Soon after this Oborea joind us and with her I retird to a house adjacent where I could be free from the suffocating heat occasiond by so large a crowd of people as were gatherd about us. Here was prepard for our diversion an entertainment quite new to us, a wrestling match at which the other gentlemen soon joind us. A large court yard raild round with Bamboo about 3 feet high was the scene of this diversion; at one end of this Dootahah was seated and near him was left seats for us but we rather chose to range at large among the spectators than confine ourselves to any particular spot.
The diversion began by the combatants some of them at least walking round the yard with a slow and grave pace every now and then striking their left arms very hard, by which they causd a deep and very loud noise, which it seems was a challenge to each other or any one of the company who chose to engage in the exercise. Within the house stood the old men ready to give applause to the victor and some few women who seem'd to be here out of compliment to us, as much the larger number absented themselves upon the occasion.
The general challenge was given as I before said, the particular one soon followd it by which any man singled out his antagonist, it was done by joining the finger ends of both hands even with the breast and then moving the Elbows up and down. If this was accepted the challenged immediately returnd the signal and instantly both put themselves in an attitude to engage, which they very soon did striving to seize each other by the hands hair or the cloth they had round their middles, for they had no other dress. This done they attempted to seize each other by the thigh which commonly decided the contest in the fall of him who was thus taken at disadvantage; if this was not soon done they always parted either by consent or their freinds interferd in less than a minute, in which case both began to clap their arms and seek anew for an antagonist either in each other or some one else.
When any one fell the whole amusement ceasd for a few moments, in which time the old men in the house gave their aplause in a few words which they repeated together in a kind of tune.
This lasted about 2 hours, all which time the man who we observd at our first Landing continued to beat the people who did not keep at a proper distance most unmercifully. We understood that he was some officer belonging to Dootahah and was calld his Tom'te.
The wrestling over the gentlemen informed me that they understood that 2 hoggs and a large quantity of Bread fruit etc. was cooking for our dinners, news which pleasd me very well as my stomach was by this time sufficiently prepard for the repast. I went out and saw the ovens in which they were now buried, these the Indians readily shewd me telling me at the same time that they would soon be ready and how good a dinner we should have. In about half an hour all was taken up but now Dootahah began to repent of his intended generosity; he thought I suppose that a hog would be lookd upon as no more than a dinner and consequently no present made in return, he therefore changd his mind and ordering one of the pigs into the boat sent for us who soon collected together and getting our Knives prepard to fall too, saying that it was civil of the old gentleman to bring the provisions into the boat where we could with ease keep the people at a proper distance, who in the house would have crouded us almost to death. His intention was however very different from ours for instead of asking us to eat he ask'd to go on board of the ship, a measure we were forcd to comply with and row 4 miles with the pig growing cold under our noses before he would give it to us. Aboard however we dind upon this same pig and his majesty eat very heartily with us. After dinner we went ashore, the sight of Dootahah reconcild to us acted like a charm upon the people and before night bread fruit and cocoa nuts were brought to sell in tolerable plenty.
- 1769 May 6.
Plenty of bread-fruit at market this morn but few cocoa nuts. After dinner Dootahah visited the tents bringing 5 baskets of breadfruit and some cocoa nuts; he went to the eastward and slept tonight at the long house. Trade rather slack this morn, but we have so muc bread-fruit before hand from the trade and presents of yesterday that [it] is immaterial whether we buy any or not today.
- 1769 May 7.
After dinner Dootahah came in a double canoe, after him came another bringing 4 hogs and one of these he orderd out of the boat with some bread fruit. I undertook to coax him out of the rest but had not the success I could have wishd, he would part with only one more and for that both the Captn and myself were obligd to go aboard with him and give him a broad ax.
- 1769 May 8.
Msrs Molineux and Green went to the eastward today in the pinnace intending to purchase hoggs. They went 20 miles, saw many hogs and one turtle but the people would part with neither one nor the other, they belongd they said to Dootahah and without his leave they could not sell them. We now begin to think that Dootahah is indeed a great king much greater than we have been usd to imagine him, indeed his influence upon the late occasion as well as today has prov'd to be so great that we can hardly doubt it. Mr Green measurd today a tree which he saw, it provd to be 60 yards in circumference. He brought home some boughs of it but they were thrown overboard before I could see them so the species of this monstrous tree remains a doubt with us.
This morn I fix'd my little boat before the door of the Fort, it serves very well for a place to trade in. Trade is not now as it has been, formerly we usd to buy enough for all hands between sunrise and 8 O'Clock now attendance must be given all day or little can be done.
- 1769 May 9.
Cocoa nuts have been for some days rather scarce, we are therefore obligd for the first time to bring out our nails. Last night our smallest size about 4 inches long were offerd for 20 Cocoa nutts, accordingly this morn several came with that number so that we had plenty of them. Smaller lots as well as bread fruit sold as usual for beads.
Soon after breakfast Came Oborea, Obadee and Tupia bringing a hog and some breadfruit; they stayd with us till night then took away their canoe and promisd to return in 3 days. We had to day 350 Cocoa nuts and more bread fruit than we would buy so that we aproach our former plenty.
- 1769 May 10.
This morn Captn Cooke planted divers seeds which he had brought with him in a spot of ground turnd up for the purpose. They were all bought of Gordon at Mile End and sent in bottles seald up, whether or no that method will succeed the event of this plantation will shew. Plenty of Bread fruit and cocoanuts again today. Towards evening Tubourai and Tomio returnd from the west and seemd extreemly glad to see all of us.
We have now got the Indian name of the Island, Otahite, so therefore for the future I shall call it. As for our own names the Indians find so much dificulty in pronouncing them that we are forcd to indulge them in calling us what they please, or rather what they say when they attempt to pronounce them. I give here the List: Captn Cooke Toote, Dr Solander Torano, Mr Hicks Hete, Mr Gore Toárro, Mr Molineux Boba from his Christian name Robert, Mr Monkhouse Mato, and myself Tapáne. In this manner they have names for almost every man in the ship.
- 1769 May 11.
Cocoa nuts were brought down so plentifully this morn that by ½ past 6 I had bought 350: this made it nescessary to drop the price of them least so many being brought at once we should exhaust the countrey and want hereafter; notwistanding I had before night bought more than a thousand at the rates of 6 for an amber coulourd bead, 10 for a white one, and 20 for a fortypenny nail.
- 1769 May 12.
Cocoa nuts very plentifull this morning. About breakfast time Dootahah visits us. Immediately after while I sat trading in the boat at the door of the fort a double Canoe came with several women and one man under the awning. The Indians round me made signs that I should go out and meet them, by the time I had got out of the boat they were within ten yards of me. The people made a lane from them to me. They stopd and made signs for me to do the same. The man in company with them had in his hand a large bunch of boughs; he advancd towards me bringing two, one a young plantain the other  . Tupia who stood by me acted as my deputy in receiving them and laying them down in the boat: 6 times he passd backwards and forwards in the same manner and bringing the same present. Another man than came forward having in his arms a large bundle of cloth, this he opend out and spread it peice by peice on the ground between the women and me, it consisted on nine peices. Three were first laid. The foremost of the women, who seemd to be the principal, then stepd upon them and quickly unveiling all her charms gave me a most convenient opportunity of admiring them by turning herself gradualy round: 3 peices more were laid and she repeated her part of the ceremony: the other three were then laid which made a treble covering of the ground between her and me, she then once more displayd her naked beauties and immediately marchd up to me, a man following her and doubling up the cloth as he came forwards which she immediately made me understand was intended as a present for me. I took her by the hand and led her to the tents acompanied by another woman her freind, to both of them I made presents but could not prevail upon them to stay more than an hour. In the evening Oborea and her favourite attendant Othéothéa pay us a visit, much to my satisfaction as the latter (my flame) has for some days been reported either ill or dead.
- 1769 May 13.
Our Freinds with us this morn in very good time as they generaly are, very shortly after sunrise plenty of cocoa nuts etc. at the market. After it was over, about 10 O'Clock, I walkd into the woods with my gun, as I generaly did to spend the heat of the day in the Indian houses where I could be cool from the shade of the trees which every where grow about them. In my return I met Tubourai near his house; I stopd with him, he took my gun out of my hand, cockd it and holding it up in the air drew the trigger, fortunately for him it flashd in the pan. Where he had got so much knowledge of the use of a gun I could not conceive but was sufficiently angry that he should attempt to exersise it upon mine, as I had upon all occasions taught him and the rest of the Indians that they could not offend me so much as even to touch it. I scolded him severely and even threatned to shoot him. He bore all patiently but the moment I had crossd the river he and his family bag and baggage movd of to their other house at Eparre.
This step was no sooner taken than I was informd of it by the Indians about the fort. Not willing to lose the assistance of a man who had upon all occasions been particularly usefull to us I resolv'd to go this evening and bring him back, acordingly as soon as dinner was over I set out acompanied by Mr Molineux. We found him setting in the middle of a large circle of people, himself and many of the rest with most melancholy countenances some in tears; one old woman on our coming into the circle struck a sharks tooth into her head many times till it foamd with blood but her head seemd to have been so often excersisd with this expression of greif that it was become quite callous, for tho the crown of it was coverd with blood enough did not issue from the wounds to run upon her cheeks. After some few assurances of forgiveness Tubourai agreed to return with us, in consequence of which resolution a double canoe was put off in which we all returnd to the tents before supper time, and as a token of a renewal of freindship both him and his wife slept in my tent all night.
About 11 one of the natives atempted to scale our walls intending no doubt to steal whatever he could find, but seeing himself observd he made off much faster than any of our people could follow him.
- 1769 May 14.
Our freinds Dootahah, Oborea, Otheothea etc. at the tents this morn as usual. It being Sunday Captn Cooke proposd that divine service should be celebrated but before the proper time of doing it most of our Indian freinds were gone home to eat. I was resolvd however that some should be present that they might see our behaviour and we might if possible explain to them (in some degree at least) the reasons of it. I went therefore over the river and brought back Tubourai and Tomio and having seated them in the tent plac'd myself between them. During the whole service they imitated my motions, standing setting or kneeling as they saw me do, and so much understood that we were about something very serious that they calld to the Indians without the fort to be silent; notwisthstanding this they did not when the service was over ask any questions nor would they attend at all to any explanation we attempted to give them. We have not yet seen the least traces of religion among these people, maybe they are intirely without it.
- 1769 May 15.
In the course of last night one of the Indians was clever enough to steal an Iron bound cask; it was indeed without the fort but so immediately under the eye of the Sentry that we could hardly beleive the possibility of such a thing having [happened] when we lookd at the place. The Indians however acknowledg'd it and seemd inclind to give intelligence, in consequence of which I set off in pursuit of it and tracd it to a part of the bay where they told me it had been put into a canoe. The thing was not of consequence enough to pursue with any great spirit so I returnd home where I found Oborea, Otheothea, Obadee etc. At night Tubourai made many signs that another cask would be stole before morning, and thinking I suppose that we did not sufficiently regard them himself his wife and family came to the place where the cask[s] lay and making their beds said that they would themselves take care that no one should steal them. On being told this I went to them and explaining to them that a Sentry was this night put over those particular casks they agreed to come and sleep in my tent, but insisted upon leaving a servant to assist the sentry in case the theif came, which he did about 12 and was seen by the Sentry who fird at him on which he retreated most expeditiously.
- 1769 May 16.
The morning wet and disagreable. We hauld the Seine in several parts of the bay without the least success; the Indians are so fond of fish and so expert in catching it, using almost every method we do in Europe, that our want of success is not at all to be wonderd at. Tonight Tubourai, Tamio, Oborea, Obadee and Otheothea slept in my tent. At midnight the water casks were again atempted and two shot fird at the theif which alarmd my bedfellows not a little, they were however soon quieted by my going out and bringing back word of the reason of the firing.
- 1769 May 17.
Fine weather. Oborea and her freinds went early to Eparre as the rest of our cheifs did yesterday in 18 double canoes, so that we are quite dull for want of company in the tents. Tubourai and Tamio slept with me as usual.
- 1769 May 18.
Fine weather and good market, the apples begin now to be ripe and are brought in in large quantities very cheap so that apple pies are a standing dish with us.
- 1769 May 19.
This morning Tubourai who had slept [with] me as usual was observd by my servant to have an uncommonly large nail under his Cloaths, this I was informd of and knowing that no such had been either given or dispos'd of in trade was obligd to suspect my freind of theft. I therefore went instantly to his house and chargd him with it, he immediately confessd but atempted to keep his booty by telling me that the nail was gone to Eparre. I became much in earnest and a few threats soon produc'd the stolen goods. I was more hurt at the discovery than he was, I firmly beleive he was the only Indian I trusted and in him I had placd a most unbounded confidence, this event shews more than he could bear: 7 of these nails lay in a basket in one of the tents and on examining it 5 were missing. I thought it nesscessary after this discovery to bring the offender to the tents to receive judgement which I did. Every body there was of opinion that his fault was pardonable. I confess that upon thinking over the circumstances I blam'd myself more for leaving the nails in his way than him for stealing them. It was therefore resolvd that if he brought back the other 4 he should be forgiven and his fault forgot: this I told him and he agreed readily, but instead of performing his part he and his family movd off before night taking with them all their furniture.
- 1769 May 20.
Rain and very disagreeable weather so that we had but little trade. About 10 Oborea came to the fort and brough[t] a large present of bread fruit, she had with her Otheothea and her other maids of honour as we call them but Obadee her gentleman attendant was absent. We enquird the reason, she told us that she had dismiss'd him; about 8 however he came by torch light and going to the house in the woods where she slept slept with her.
- 1769 May 21.
Sunday, Divine service performd, at which was present Oborea, Otheothea, Obadee, etc. all behav'd very decently. After dinner Obadee who had been for some time absent returnd to the fort. Oborea desird he might not be let in, his countenance was however so melancholy that we could not but admit him. He lookd most piteously at Oborea, she most disdainfully at him; she seems to us to act in the character of a Ninon d'Enclos who satiated with her lover resolves to change him at all Events, the more so as I am offerd if I please to supply his place, but I am at present otherwise engag'd; indeed was I free as air her majesties person is not the most desireable.
- 1769 May 22.
This morning showery and cool, seemingly a good opportunity of going upon the hills. I went accompanied only by Indians, indeed all of them but one soon left me, he however accompanied me during my whole walk. The paths were very open and clear till I came to the woods but afterwards very bad, so much so that I could not reach the top of the lowest of the two high hills seen from the fort, which was all I intended. I was in some measure however recompens'd by finding several plants which I had not before seen, with which I returnd before sunset, and had Oborea, Obadee and Otheothea to sleep with me in my tent.
- 1769 May 23.
Trade very slack today, so much so that we have only Cocoa nuts for the sick, and the people are obligd to have bread servd them at dinner.
- 1769 May 24.
We had receivd repeated messages from Dootahah signifying that if we would go and visit him we should have 4 hogs for our pains; in consequence of this our first Lieutenant was sent today with orders to go to him and try if by any civilities he could shew him he could procure them. He found him removd from his old residence at Eparre to a place calld Tettaháh about 5 miles farther. He was reciv'd with great cordiality, one hog was immediately producd and he was told that the others should be brough[t] somewhere from a distance if he would stay till next morning. This he did not at all scruple, the morning came however without the hogs so he was obligd to return with the one he had got over night not a little dissatisfied with Dootahahs nonperformance of his promises.
Msrs Monkhouse and Green atempted this day to climb the same hill that I attempted on the 22nd, with much the same success; they got however higher than I did but could not reach the summit.
- 1769 May 25.
Tubourai and Tamio made their appearance at the fort for the first time since the breach of the 19th, he in particular seemd much frightned nor did my behavior to him give him much comfort. I had resolvd not to restore him either to my freindship or confidence unless he restord the nails which he seemd to have no intention of dooing; after staying a little time he went home sulky as he came.
- 1769 May 26.
Mr Monkhouse who I think is rather too partial to Tubourai went this morn to his house intending to persuade him to come to the tents. He made many excuses, he was hungry, he must sleep, his head achd, in short he would not nor did not come. Tamio however did but took alarm at my being absent who was aboard of the ship and soon departed.
- 1769 May 27.
This day Mr Monkhouse went to Eparre with Tubourai and Tamio. Market tolerable. Mr Hicks in his return from Dootahah brought word that if the Captn would go over the 4 piggs would be given to him: this producd a resolution of going tomorrow, tho we none of us much credited his promise, yet we would leave no stone unturnd to keep him in good humour. I omitted to mention on the 25th that the longboat being very leaky was hauld dry and her bottom found to be eat intirely through by the worm, which surprizes us much as the Dolphins boats met with no such inconvenience: her bottom was payd with brimstone and tallow. The pinnace which has been in the water as long as her is totaly untouchd which we atribute to hers being painted with white lead and oil.
- 1769 May 28.
This morn the pinnace set out for the Eastward with the Captn Dr Solander and myself. Dootahah was removd from Tettahah where Mr Hicks saw him on the 24th to Atahourou, about 6 miles farther, a place to which the boat could not go. We were resolv'd not to be disapointed so walkd afoot. It was evening before we arrivd, we found him setting under a tree with a vast croud about him as usual; we made our presents in due form consisting of a yellow stuff peticoat etc. which were graciously receivd, and a hog immediately [brought] with many promises of more in the morning. Night came on apace, it was nescessary to look out for lodgings; as Dootahah made no offer of any I repaird to my old Freind Oborea who readily gave me a bed in her canoe much to my satisfaction. I acquainted my fellow travelers with my good fortune and wishing them as good took my leave. We went to bed early as is the custom here: I strippd myself for the greater convenience of sleeping as the night was hot. Oborea insisted that my cloths should be put into her custody, otherwise she said they would certainly be stolen. I readily submitted and laid down to sleep with all imaginable tranquility. About 11 I awakd and wanting to get up felt for my clothes in the place in which I had seen them laid at night but they were missing. I awakd Oborea, she started up and on my complaining of the Loss candles were immediately lit. Dootahah who slept in the next canoe came to us and both went in search of the theif, for such it seems it was who had stolen my coat and waistcoat with my pistols powder horn etc., they returnd however in about ½ an hour without any news of the stolen goods. I began to be a little alarmd, my musquet was left me, but that by my neglect the night before was not loaded; I did not know where Captn Cooke or Dr Solander had disposd of themselves, consequently could not call upon them for assistance; Tupia stood near me awakd by the Hubbub that had been raisd on account of my Loss; to him I gave my Musquet charging him to take care that the theif did not get it from him, and betook myself again to rest, telling my companions in the boat that I was well satisfied with the pains that Oborea and Dootahah had taken for the recovery of my things. Soon after I heard their musick and saw lights near me; I got up and went towards them, it was a heiva or assembly according to their custom. Here I saw Captn Cooke and told my melancholy story, he was my fellow sufferer, he had lost his stockins and two young gentlemen who were with him had lost each a Jacket. Dr Solander was away we neither of us knew where: we talkd over our losses and agreed that nothing could be done toward recovering them till the morning, after which we parted and went to our respective sleeping places.
- 1769 May 29.
At day break we rose according to the custom of our companions. Tupia was the first man I saw, atending with my Musquet and the remainder of my cloaths, his faith had often been tried, on this occasion it shone very much. Oborea took care to provide me with cloth to supply the place of my lost Jacket so that I made a motley apearance, my dress being half English and half Indian. Dootahah soon after made his apearance; I pressd him to recover my Jacket but neither he nor Oborea would take the least step towards it so that I am almost inclind to beleive that they acted principals in the theft. Indeed if they did it may be said in their excuse that they knew I had in my pockets a pair of pistols, weopons to them more dreadfull than a cannon to a man marching up to its mouth: could they get possession of them they thought no doubt that they would be as usefull to them as to us; self defence and preservation therefore in this case came in opposition to the laws of hospitality, duties to which mankind usualy give the preference in all cases.
About 8 Dr Solander returnd from a house about a mile off where he had slept: he had met with more honest companions than we had for nothing of his was missing. We spent the most of the morning in trying to persuade our freinds either to restore our cloaths or give us some hogs acording to promise, but neiether could we do, so we were forcd to set out for the boat with only the pig got yesterday, dissatisfied enough with our expedition.
In our return to the boat we saw the Indians amuse or excersise themselves in a manner truly surprizing. It was in a place where the shore was not guarded by a reef as is usualy the case, consequently a high surf fell upon the shore, a more deadfull one I have not often seen: no European boat could have landed in it and I think no Europaean who had by any means got into [it] could possibly have saved his life, as the shore was coverd with pebbles and large stones. In the midst of these breakers 10 or 12 Indians were swimming who whenever a surf broke near them divd under it with infinite ease, rising up on the other side; but their cheif amusement was carried on by the stern of an old canoe, with this before them they swam out as far as the outermost breach, then one or two would get into it and opposing the blunt end to the breaking wave were hurried in with incredible swiftness. Sometimes they were carried almost ashore but generaly the wave broke over them before they were half way, in which case the[y] divd and quickly rose on the other side with the canoe in their hands, which was towd out again and the same method repeated. We stood admiring this very wonderfull scene for full half an hour, in which time no one of the actors atempted to come ashore but all seemd most highly entertaind with their strange diversion.
- 1769 May 30.
Carpenters employd today in repairing the long boat which is eat in a most wonderfull manner, every part of her bottom is like a honeycomb and some of the holes 1/8th of an inch in diameter, such a progress has this destructive insect made in six weeks.
- 1769 May 31.
The day of Observation now aproaches. The weather has been for some days fine, tho in general since we have been upon the Island we have had as much cloudy as clear weather, which makes us all not a little anxious for success. In consequence of hints from Lord Morton the Captn resolves to send a party to the eastward, and another to Imáo, an Island in sight of us, thinking that in case of thick weather one or the other might be more successfull than the observatory. The Carpenters work very hard to finish the long boat. I resolve to go on the Imáo expedition.