The pirates (having many passengers and others in their power) stipulated that they should be landed at Kororarika, unmolested by any of the English. This was granted; but no sooner were they left by themselves than a party of natives came forward, seized and bound them, stripped off their clothes, and, after dressing themselves up in them, conducted their prisoners on board the whalers; but notwithstanding the anxiety of the whalers to secure the whole, and the activity of the natives, six of them found means to elude the search, and here they now are.
The day on which our houses were burned, these six landed in the train of one of the chiefs; and I have since entertained a suspicion that it was their desire of revenge that occasioned the destruction of our property at the time the calamity happened. I chanced to be in the house alone, and was amazed by seeing an Englishman enter the hut with his face tattooed all over. Not being aware he was one of the runaways from the Wellington, I spoke to him. He slunk into our cooking-house on pretence of lighting his pipe, and before ten minutes had elapsed, the house was in flames.
The climate and productions.
The summer was now far advanced, and never, during its progress, had we been incommoded by any very hot weather. Our house was generally crowded with visitors: for, as it was the workmanship of King George and his people, they were prodigiously proud of it, and each seemed to think he had an undoubted right to sit in it as much as he liked. This, at times, we felt as a great annoyance; but we were obliged to be very cautious not to say or do anything that should give offence to them, as all were exceedingly irritable, and we felt it to be most essential to our comfort to continue on friendly terms with them.