The day following this visit, we were alarmed by the appearance of two war canoes crossing the bay: we waited their approach with considerable anxiety: what few valuables we had with us we concealed about our persons; but, as they neared our beach, our fears subsided, on finding there were only a few men in each. Three chiefs (unarmed) landed, whom we found to be Rivers and two of his near kinsmen, the most dreaded persons of our expected invaders; but they immediately informed us they came on a mission of peace, and, for that reason, had come to us unattended and unarmed.
We were most happy to hear this, and to find hostilities were again likely to be deferred. Though we well knew the character of these men, and that they were capable of the most treacherous acts, and the deepest dissimulation, yet, their thus throwing themselves into our power, with the olive branch in their hands, was irresistible; and we received them with all the pomp we were capable of. We ordered a pig to be killed for the feast, and requested them to remain for that night. In order to do honour to our noble guests, and credit to our friend and ally King George, we produced all the luxuries we had; and, in addition to the pork, piles of pancakes and molasses were devoured: after this we gave them tea, of which they are very fond; and, over our pipes, in the evening, we informed them of the preparations the coalesced chiefs had made for their reception, had their intentions been hostile.
The next morning they embarked for the camp at Kawakawa, where, I understood, they had considerable difficulty in arranging the “treaty of peace”: George having been so often alarmed, now that such great preparations had been effected (as he well know the treacherous character of his foe), he was unwilling to give up the hopes of conquest; however, by the advice of the chiefs, it was finally settled amicably. George and his friends accordingly returned to Kororarika, leaving a strong party at the pa to finish the fortifications; and, though peace was made, our party still kept themselves in a posture of defence.
RETURN OF THE BRIG.—AN EXCITING INCIDENT.
We had been expecting with great anxiety the return of our brig; and, soon after the termination of this affair, we had the pleasure of seeing her enter the bay, after her cruise from Tongataboo and Tucopea. We found that, on leaving the Bay of Islands, she had touched at the Thames, or (as the natives call it) Hauraki, in order to land two chiefs, whom Captain Dillon had taken thence two years before, and, in the confusion occasioned by the disembarking, the visiting and congratulations of friends (the vessel being under weigh), one chief was left on board, who had not been discovered till all the canoes were out of sight, and there remained no other alternative for him than to proceed on the whole voyage.