Intelligence from Norfolk Island
Police established at the principal settlement
A successful haul of fish
A soldier tried for a rape
Provisions begin to fail
A launch completed
Ration reduced to two-thirds
Sirius returns to the Cove
One of her mates lost in the woods
Supply sails for Norfolk Island
Utility of the night watch
A female convict executed for house-breaking
Two natives taken
Serious charge against the assistant commissary satisfactorily cleared up
Lieutenant Dawes’s excursion
The Supply returns
August.] Of the four barracks which were begun in March 1788, and at that time intended to be finished as such, two had been for some time occupied by the detachment, two companies residing in each; a third was at the beginning of this month converted into a storehouse; and the wood-work of the fourth was taken down and applied to some other purpose; the labour and time required to finish it being deemed greater than the utility that would be derived from it as a barrack, the two that were already occupied conveniently and comfortably accommodating the detachment.
As every circumstance became of importance that might in its tendency forward or retard the day whereon the colony was to be pronounced independent of the mother-country for provisions, it was soon observed with concern, that hitherto by far a greater proportion of males than females had been produced by the animals we had brought for the purpose of breeding. This, in any other situation, might not have been so nicely remarked; but here, where a country was to be stocked, a litter of twelve pigs whereof three only were females became a subject of conversation and inquiry. Out of seven kids which had been produced in the last month, one only was a female; and many similar instances had before occurred, but no particular notice was attracted until their frequency rendered them remarkable. This circumstance excited an anxious care in every one for the preservation of such females as might be produced; and at the moment now spoken of no person entertained an idea of slaughtering one of that sort; indeed males were so abundant that fortunately there was no occasion.
On the 7th Lieutenant Ball returned from Norfolk Island, and from an unsuccessful cruise of nearly six weeks in search of the island and shoals for which he was directed to look. He sailed over the identical spot on which Mr. Shortland had fixed the latitudes and longitudes of his island and his shoal, without seeing either, and therefore concluded, that they had not been placed far enough to the northward. The error might have lain in copying the account from his log-book into his letter.