A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 14.
his father.  It would have been to little purpose if I had left any thing in the house, as it certainly would have been taken by others; especially as I could not sufficiently explain to them my meaning.  Strict honesty was seldom observed when the property of our things came to be disputed.  I saw a striking instance of this in the morning, when I was going ashore.  A man in a canoe offered me a small pig for a six-inch spike, and another man being employed to convey it, I gave him the spike, which he kept for himself, and instead of it, gave to the man who owned the pig a sixpenny nail.  Words of course arose, and I waited to see how it would end; but as the man who had possession of the spike seemed resolved to keep it, I left them before it was decided.  In the evening we returned on board with what refreshments we had collected, and thought we had made a good day’s work.

On the 10th, early in the morning, some people from more distant parts came in canoes alongside, and sold us some pigs; so that we had now sufficient to give the crew a fresh meal.  They were, in general, so small, that forty or fifty were hardly sufficient for this purpose.  The trade on shore for fruit was as brisk as ever.  After dinner, I made a little expedition in my boat along the coast to the south-ward, accompanied by some of the gentlemen:  At the different places we touched at, we collected eighteen pigs; and I believe, might have got more.  The people were exceedingly obliging wherever we landed, and readily brought down whatever we desired.[2]

Next morning I went down to the same place where we had been the preceding evening; but instead of getting pigs, as I expected, found the scene quite changed.  The nails and other things they were mad after but the evening before, they now despised, and instead of them wanted they did not know what; so that I was obliged to return, with three or four little pigs, which cost more than a dozen did the day before.  When I got on board, I found the same change had happened there, as also at the trading place on shore.  The reason was, several of the young gentlemen having landed the preceding day, had given away in exchange various articles which the people had not seen before, and which took with them more than nails or more useful iron tools.  But what ruined our market the most, was one of them giving for a pig a very large quantity of red feathers he had got at Amsterdam.  None of us knew at this time, that this article was in such estimation here; and, if I had known it, I could not have supported the trade, in the manner it was begun, one day.  Thus was our fine prospect of getting a plentiful supply of refreshments from these people frustrated; which will ever be the case so long as every one is allowed to make exchanges for what he pleases, and in what manner be pleases.  When I found this island was not likely to supply us, on any conditions, with sufficient refreshments, such as we might expect to find at the Society Isles, nor

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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