Page:Early voyages to Terra Australis.djvu/325

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such-like over their middle. The whole number of these islanders did not exceed fourteen or fifteen men ; seeing that our people could not be induced by their grimaces, violent gestures, yelling and flourishing of assegais, and all kinds of weapons, to retreat from the shore, they were imprudent enough to throw some of their assegais, or rather sharpened sticks, at our men, with the intention of wounding and intim- idating them ; but their chief, or one who at least appeared to be so, being hit by a ball from the single musket which was fired at them in return, the rest began to run quickly away, being very agile and well made.

The women are tall and slim, with very large mouth and small eyes ; the head of both sexes is curly, like that of the Papuan islanders, and a yellow or red ointment, prepared with turtle fat, seems to be used as an ornament. The nature of these tribes is foul and treacherous, as was apparent at the last moment, when our people were on the point of departing. Eight islanders attacked and wounded two sailors, with the hope of seizing upon their clothes, and that after having con- versed with these men for weeks, eaten and drunk with them, visited them on board, and being allowed to examine every- thing to their great admiration, after having received presents, and also on their part regaled our people with fish and crabs. Besides this, their bad disposition came to light in the case of the man who had been previously wounded by our party as before mentioned ; when he afterwards was assisted and bandaged, and had every possible attention shown him by our men, he tore the linen to pieces and threw it away into a corner ; notwithstanding that at other times these natives appeared particularly greedy after linen, knives, beads, and such toys.

They however possess nothing which is of value themselves, and have neither iron nor anything like mineral ore or metal, but only a stone which is ground and made to serve as a hatchet. They have no habitations, either houses or huts ;