A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 659 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 12.

As I foresaw that a private traffic would probably commence between such of our people as were on shore, and the natives, and that if it was left to their own caprice, perpetual quarrels and mischief would ensue, I ordered that all matters of traffic should be transacted by the gunner on behalf of both parties, and I directed him to see that no injury was done to the natives, either by violence or fraud, and by all possible means to attach the old man to his interest.  This service he performed with great diligence and fidelity, nor did he neglect to complain of those who transgressed my orders, which was of infinite advantage to all parties; for as I punished the first offenders with a necessary severity, many irregularities, that would otherwise have produced the most disagreeable consequences, were prevented:  we were also indebted for many advantages to the old man, whose caution kept our people perpetually upon their guard, and soon brought back those who straggled from the party.  The natives would indeed sometimes pilfer, but by the terror of a gun, without using it, he always found means to make them bring back what was stolen.  A fellow had one day the dexterity and address to cross the river unperceived, and steal a hatchet; the gunner, as soon as he missed it, made the old man understand what had happened, and got his party ready, as if he would have gone into the woods after the thief:  the old man, however, made signs that he would save him the trouble, and, immediately setting off, returned in a very short time with the hatchet.  The gunner then insisted that the offender should be delivered up, and with this also the old man, though not without great reluctance, complied.  When the fellow was brought down, the gunner knew him to be an old offender, and therefore sent him prisoner on board.  I had no intention to punish him otherwise, than by the fear of punishment, and therefore, after great entreaty and intercession, I gave him his liberty, and sent him on shore.  When the natives saw him return in safety, it is hard to say whether their astonishment or joy was greatest; they received him with universal acclamations; and immediately carried him off into the woods:  the next day, however, he returned, and as a propitiation to the gunner, he brought him a considerable quantity of bread-fruit, and a large hog, ready roasted.

At this time, the people on board were employed in caulking and painting the weather-work, over-hauling the rigging, stowing the hold, and doing other necessary business; but my disorder, which was a bilious cholic, increased so much, that this day I was obliged to take to my bed; my first lieutenant also still continued very ill, and the purser was incapable of his duty.  The whole command devolved upon Mr Furneaux, the second lieutenant, to whom I gave general directions, and recommended a particular attention to the people on shore.  I also ordered that fruit and fresh provisions should be served to the ship’s company as long

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 12 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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