Page:Picturesque New Guinea.djvu/270

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PICTURESQUE NEW GUINEA

of long, coarse grass. It was a good hunting country, swarming with wallaby and pig. We encamped for the night before commencing the rough ascents of the Astrolabe range, and by the evening of the third day we reached Port Moresby. The whole journey had been accomplished without danger, and without any serious fatigue. Our native attendants were rewarded with presents of red cloth, fish-hooks, and tobacco, and went off with shouts and rejoicing to the fishing village of Hula, to which they belonged.

The General stayed at his quarters at Port Moresby till the return of the "Governor Blackall" on the 15th, when he resumed command, and on the 19th proceeded to Milne Bay, passing on the 20th into hitherto unsurveyed waters at the head of the bay to a place called Maivara. From here to Bentley Bay, the most southerly portion of the N.E. coast, calling on the way at Killerton Islands, and as reports were rife of the Bentley Bay natives and their antagonism to white men, and feeling sure it was a mistake, we arranged a party to test it. By six the following morning (21st), we left the ship and the General, and on landing got a number of natives as carriers. We followed the creek for some miles until we reached the Stirling Range, ascended Mount Killerton, where we had breakfast. It was indeed cold on the top, and I was glad when the descent on the other side was begun. It was very steep, and in many places merely side paths like goat paths along the side of precipices. On our arrival at the first village, the women at once got us water to drink, and set to cooking yams, taro, and bread-fruit for us and party, several of them bringing us fine ripe bananas. All were exceedingly friendly, and showed no appearance of timidity. The "Raven" passing to the anchorage, we went along the beach with a crowd of men, women, and children increasing at every village, until we came opposite the anchorage, when there were several hundreds all anxious to show us some kindness, supplying us with an abundance of mangoes and cocoa-nuts. We were kindly entertained on board the "Raven" by Commander Ross and his officers until the arrival of the "Blackall" about 4.30 p.m. On going on board we found the General in his cot on deck, and complaining of feeling out of