I had forgot to mention, that Tupia was much enquired after at Huaheine; but, at this place, every one asked about him, and the occasion of his death; and, like true philosophers, were perfectly satisfied with the answers we gave them. Indeed, as we had nothing but the truth to tell, the story was the same, by whomsoever told.
Next morning we paid a formal visit to Oreo, the chief of this part of the isle, carrying with us the necessary presents. We went through no sort of ceremony at landing, but were at once conducted to him. He was seated in his own house, which stood near the water side, where he and his friends received us with great cordiality. He expressed much satisfaction at seeing me again, and desired that we might exchange names, which I accordingly agreed to. I believe this is the strongest mark of friendship they can show to a stranger. He enquired after Tupia, and all the gentlemen, by name, who were with me when I first visited the island. After we had made the chief and his friends the necessary presents, we went on board with a hog, and some fruit, received from him in return; and in the afternoon he gave me another hog, still larger, without asking for the least acknowledgment. Exchanges for fruit, &c. were mostly carried on alongside the ships. I attempted to trade for these articles on shore, but did not succeed, as the most of them were brought in canoes from distant parts, and carried directly to the ships.
After breakfast, on the 10th, Captain Furneaux and I paid the chief a visit; and we were entertained by him with such a comedy, or dramatic heava, as is generally acted in these isles. The music consisted of three drums, the actors were seven men, and one woman, the chief’s daughter. The only entertaining part in the drama, was a theft committed by a man and his accomplice, in such a masterly manner, as sufficiently displayed the genius of the people in this vice. The theft is discovered before the thief has time to carry off his prize; then a scuffle ensues with those set to guard it, who, though four to two, are beat off the stage, and the thief and his accomplices bear away their plunder in triumph. I was very attentive to the whole of this part, being in full expectation that it would have ended very differently. For I had before been informed that Teto (that is, the Thief) was to be acted, and had understood that the theft was to be punished with death, or a good tiparahying (or beating), a punishment, we are told, they inflict on such as are guilty of this crime. Be this as it may, strangers are certainly excluded from the protection of this law; them they rob with impunity, on every occasion that offers. After the play was over, we returned on board to dinner; and in the cool of the evening took a walk on shore, where we learnt from one of the natives, that nine small islands, two of which were uninhabited, lay to the westward, at no great distance from hence.