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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.
him, supported them under their fatigue, and they pressed forward, sometimes walking, sometimes running, though the weather was intolerably hot; when they had climbed a hill at the distance of about four miles, their conductor shewed them a point full three miles farther, and gave them to understand that they were not to expect the instrument till they had got thither.  Here they paused; they had no arms, except a pair of pistols, which Mr Banks always carried in his pocket; they were going to a place that was at least seven miles distant from the fort, where the Indians might be less submissive than at home, and to take from them what they had ventured their lives to get; and what, notwithstanding our conjectures, they appeared desirous to keep:  These were discouraging circumstances, and their situation would become more critical at every step.  They determined, however, not to relinquish their enterprise, nor to pursue it without taking the best measures for their security that were in their power.  It was therefore determined, that Mr Banks and Mr Green should go on, and that the midshipman should return to me, and desire that I would send a party of men after them, acquainting me at the same time, that it was impossible they should return till it was dark.  Upon receiving this message I set out, with such a party as I thought sufficient for the occasion; leaving orders, both at the ship and at the fort, that no canoe should be suffered to go out of the bay, but that none of the natives should be seized or detained.

In the mean time, Mr Banks and Mr Green pursued their journey, under the auspices of Tubourai Tamaide, and in the very spot which he had specified, they met one of his own people, with part of the quadrant in his hand.  At this most welcome sight they stopped; and a great number of Indians immediately came up, some of whom pressing rather rudely upon them, Mr Banks thought it necessary to shew one of his pistols, the sight of which reduced them instantly to order:  As the crowd that gathered round them was every moment increasing, he marked out a circle in the grass, and they ranged themselves on the outside of it, to the number of several hundreds, with great quietness and decorum.  Into the middle of this circle, the box, which was now arrived, was ordered to be brought, with several reading glasses, and other small matters, which in their hurry they had put into a pistol-case, that Mr Banks knew to be his property, it having been some time before stolen from the tents, with a horse-pistol in it, which he immediately demanded, and which was all restored.

Mr Green was impatient to see whether all that had been taken away was returned, and upon examining the box found the stand, and a few small things of less consequence wanting; several persons were sent in search of these, and most of the small things were returned:  But it was signified that the thief had not brought the stand so far, and that it would be delivered to our friends as they went back; this being confirmed by Tubourai Tamaide they prepared to return, as nothing would then be wanting but what might easily be supplied; and after they had advanced about two miles, I met them with my party, to our mutual satisfaction, congratulating each other upon the recovery of the quadrant, with a pleasure proportioned to the importance of the event.

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