A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 eBook

Augustus Earle
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 169 pages of information about A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827.
but to no purpose.  At daybreak, therefore, the captain ordered the launch to be hoisted out.  She was double manned, and under the command of our second lieutenant, Mr. Burney, accompanied by Mr. Freeman, master, the corporal of marines, with five private men, all well armed, and having plenty of ammunition and three days’ provision.  They were ordered first to look into East Bay, then to proceed to Grass Cove, and if nothing was to be seen or heard of the cutter there, they were to go farther up the cove, and return by the west shore.  Mr. Rowe having left the ship an hour before the time proposed for his departure, we thought his curiosity might have carried him into East Bay, none of our people having ever been there, or that some accident might have happened to the boat, for not the least suspicion was entertained of the natives.  Mr. Burney returned about eleven o’clock the same night, and gave us a pointed description of a most horrible scene, described in the following relation:—­

“’On Saturday, the 18th, we left the ship about nine o’clock in the morning.  We soon got round Long Island and Long Point.  We continued sailing and rowing for East Bay, keeping close in shore, and examining with our glasses every cove on the larboard side, till near two o’clock in the afternoon, at which time we stopped at a beach on our left going up East Bay, to dress our dinner.

“’About five o’clock in the afternoon, and within an hour after we had left this place, we opened a small bay adjoining to Grass Cove, and here we saw a large double canoe just hauled upon the beach, with two men and a dog.  The two men, on seeing us approach, instantly fled, which made us suspect it was here we should have some tidings of the cutter.  On landing and examining the canoe, the first thing we saw therein was one of our cutter’s rowlock ports and some shoes, one of which among the latter was known to belong to Mr. Woodhouse.  A piece of flesh was found by one of our people, which at first was thought to be some of the salt meat belonging to the cutter’s men, but, upon examination, we supposed to be dog’s flesh.  A most horrid and undeniable proof soon cleared up our doubts, and convinced us we were among no other than cannibals; for, advancing further on the beach, we saw about twenty baskets tied up, and a dog eating a piece of broiled flesh, which, upon examination, we suspected to be human.  We cut open the baskets, some of which were full of roasted flesh, and others of fern root, which serves them for bread.  Searching others, we found more shoes and a hand, which was immediately known to have belonged to Thos.  Hill, one of our forecastle men, it having been tattooed with the initials of his name.  We now proceeded a little way in the woods, but saw nothing else.  Our next design was to launch the canoe, intending to destroy her; but seeing a great smoke ascending over the nearest hill, we made all possible haste to be with them before sunset.

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A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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