Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/59

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North Coast.]
xxxvii
INTRODUCTION.

Bampton and
Alt
1793.

in the following manner. Six stakes were driven into the ground; about three feet from each other, and six feet high. A platform of twigs was worked upon them, at the height of five feet; and upon this, the body was laid, without covering; but the putrid state of the corpse, did not allow of a close inspection.

Upon the reefs which surround the island, square places, of about fifty feet every way, were formed, by piling up stones of two or three feet high. The tide flows over these; and, on the ebb, the Indians go down and take out the fish. On all parts of the reefs, there were bamboos set up, with pendants of dried leaves; but whether they were intended as beacons for the canoes, or to point out the boundaries of each fishery, could not be ascertained. The description of the canoes is nearly the same as that given in the voyage of Bligh and Portlock; but Mr. Bampton says, "some of them were ingeniously carved and painted, and had curious figures at each end." The weapons of these people are bows; arrows, clubs of about four feet long, and spears and lances of various kinds, made of black, hard, wood. Some of the lances were jagged, from the sharp point to a foot upward; and most of them were neatly carved.

The sole quadrupeds seen, were rats, mice, and lizards; which, when the huts were set on fire, ran from them in great numbers. Land birds were numerous in all parts of the island; and upon the reefs were many curlews, large yellow-spotted plover, king's fishers, sand pipers, red bills, and gulls.

Captain Bampton lays down Darnley's Island, which the natives call Wamvax, in latitude 9° 39' 30" south, and longitude 142° 59' 15" east; but in his chart, the centre is placed in 9° 34' south, and 143° 1' east. He much regretted that he could not land again, to examine the interior parts of this fine island; but his long boat having drifted out of sight, without water, provisions, or compass, it was judged necessary for the ships to weigh, and look after her.

July 11. The Hormuzeer stood to the northward, with sound-