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.

The chief, with a mixture of confusion and concern, took Mr Banks by the hand, and led him to a large quantity of cloth, which lay at the other end of the house:  this he offered to him piece by piece, intimating by signs, that if that would atone for the wrong which had been done, he might take any part of it, or, if he pleased, the whole.  Mr Banks put it by, and gave him to understand that he wanted nothing but what had been dishonestly taken away.  Toubourai Tamaide then went hastily out, leaving Mr Banks with his wife Tomio, who during the whole scene of terror and confusion had kept constantly at his side, and intimating his desire that he should wait there till his return.  Mr Banks accordingly sat down, and conversed with her, as well as he could by signs, about half an hour.  The chief then came back with the snuff-box and the case of the opera glass in his hand, and, with a joy in his countenance that was painted with a strength of expression which distinguishes these people from all others, delivered them to the owners.  The case of the opera glass, however, upon being opened, was found to be empty; upon this discovery, his countenance changed in a moment; and catching Mr Banks again by the hand, he rushed out of the house, without uttering any sound, and led him along the shore, walking with great rapidity:  when they had got about a mile from the house, a woman met him and gave him a piece of cloth, which he hastily took from her, and continued to press forward with it in his hand.  Dr Solander and Mr Monkhouse had followed them, and they came at length to a house where they were received by a woman, to whom he gave the cloth, and intimated to the gentlemen that they should give her some beads.  They immediately complied; and the beads and cloth being deposited upon the floor, the woman went out, and in about half an hour returned with the opera-glass, expressing the same joy upon the occasion that had before been expressed by the chief.  The beads were now returned, with an inflexible resolution not to accept them; and the cloth was, with the same pertinacity, forced upon Dr Solander, as a recompence for the injury that had been done him.  He could not avoid accepting the cloth, but insisted in his turn upon giving a new present of beads to the woman.  It will not perhaps be easy to account for all the steps that were taken in the recovery of this glass and snuff-box; but this cannot be thought strange, considering that the scene of action was among a people whose language, policy, and connections are even now but imperfectly known; upon the whole, however, they show an intelligence and influence which would do honour to any system of government, however regular and improved.  In the evening, about six o’clock, we returned to the ship.

SECTION IX.

A place fixed upon for an Observatory and Fort:  an Excursion into the Woods, and its Consequences.  The Fort erected:  a Visit from several Chiefs on board and at the Fort, with some Account of the Music of the Natives, and the Manner in which they dispose of their Dead.

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