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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 822 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14.

During these transactions, a friendly old man in a small canoe made several trips between us and the shore, bringing off each time a few cocoa-nuts, or a yam, and taking in exchange whatever we gave him.  Another was on the gangway when the great gun was fired, but I could not prevail on him to stay there long.  Towards the evening, after the ship was moored, I landed at the head of the harbour, in the S.E. corner, with a strong party of men, without any opposition being made by a great number of the natives who were assembled in two parties, the one on our right and the other on the left, armed with clubs, darts, spears, slings, and stones, bows, and arrows, &c.  After distributing to the old people (for we could distinguish no chief), and some others, presents of cloth, medals, &c.  I ordered two casks to be filled with water out of a pond about twenty paces behind the landing-place; giving the natives to understand, that this was one of the articles we wanted.  Besides water, we got from them a few cocoa-nuts, which seemed to be in plenty on the trees; but they could not be prevailed upon to part with any of their weapons.  These they held in constant readiness, and in the proper attitudes of offence and defence; so that little was wanting to make them attack us; at least we thought so, by their pressing so much upon us, and in spite of our endeavours to keep them off.  Our early re-embarking probably disconcerted their scheme; and after that, they all retired.  The friendly old man before mentioned, was in one of these parties; and we judged, from his conduct, that his temper was pacific.

    [1] Dalrymple’s Collection of Voyages, vol.  I. p. 140, 141.

[2] “Our ship now probably resembled an hospital; the poisoned patients were still in a deplorable situation; they continued to have gripes and acute pains in all their bones:  In the day time they were in a manner giddy, and felt a great heaviness in their heads; at night, as soon as they were warm in bed, their pains redoubled, and robbed them actually of sleep.  The secretion of saliva was excessive; the skin peeled off from the whole body, and pimples appeared on their hands.  Those who were less affected with pains, were much weaker in proportion, and crawled about the decks, emaciated to mere shadows We had not one lieutenant able to do duty; and as one of the mates and several of the midshipmen were likewise ill, the watches were commanded by the gunner and the other mates.  The dogs which had unfortunately fed upon the same fish, were in a still worse condition, as we could not give them any relief.  They groaned and panted most piteously, drank great quantities of water, and appeared to be tortured with pain.  Those which had eaten of the entrails were vastly more affected than the rest.—­G.F.”
According to this gentleman, the crew never felt more severely the tediousness of confinement to the ship, or were more tired of salt provisions. 
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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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