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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.

Early in the morning of the 29th, Otoo, Towha, and several other grandees, came on board, and brought with them as presents, not only provisions, but some of the most valuable curiosities of the island.  I made them returns, with which they were well pleased.  I likewise took this opportunity to repay the civilities I had received from Towha.

The night before, one of the natives attempting to steal a water-cask from the watering-place, was caught in the act, sent on board, and put in irons; in which situation Otoo and the other chiefs saw him.  Having made known his crime to them, Otoo begged he might be set at liberty.  This I refused, telling him, that since I punished my people, when they committed the least offence against his, it was but just this man should be punished also; and as I knew he would not do it, I was resolved to do it myself.  Accordingly, I ordered the man to be carried on shore to the tents, and having followed myself, with Otoo, Towha, and others, I ordered the guard out, under arms, and the man to be tied up to a post.  Otoo, his sister, and some others, begged hard for him; Towha said not one word, but was very attentive to every thing going forward.  I expostulated with Otoo on the conduct of this man, and of his people in general; telling him, that neither I, nor any of my people, took any thing from them, without first paying for it; enumerating the articles we gave in exchange for such and such things; and urging that it was wrong in them to steal from us, who were their friends.  I moreover told him, that the punishing this man would be the means of saving the lives of others of his people, by deterring them from committing crimes of this nature, in which some would certainly be shot dead, one time or another.  With these and other arguments, which I believe he pretty well understood, he seemed satisfied, and only desired the man might not be Matterou (or killed).  I then ordered the crowd, which was very great, to be kept at a proper distance, and, in the presence of them all, ordered the fellow two dozen lashes with a cat-o’-nine-tails, which he bore with great firmness, and was then set at liberty.  After this the natives were going away; but Towha stepped forth, called them back, and harangued them for near half an hour.  His speech consisted of short sentences, very little of which I understood; but, from what we could gather, he recapitulated part of what I had said to Otoo; named several advantages they had received from us; condemned their present conduct, and recommended a different one for the future.  The gracefulness of his action, and the attention with which he was heard, bespoke him a great orator.

Otoo said not one word.  As soon as Towha had ended his speech, I ordered the marines to go through their exercise, and to load and fire in vollies with ball; and as they were very quick in their manoeuvres, it is easier to conceive than to describe the amazement the natives were under the whole time, especially those who had not seen any thing of the kind before.

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