On the 14th and 15th, we had another opportunity of observing the general knowledge which these people had of any design that was formed among them. In the night between the 13th and 14th, one of the water-casks was stolen from the outside of the fort: In the morning there was not an Indian to be seen who did not know that it was gone; yet they appeared not to have been trusted, or not to have been worthy of trust; for they seemed all of them disposed to give intelligence where it might be found. Mr Banks traced it to a part of the bay where he was told it had been put into a canoe, but as it was not of great consequence, he did not complete the discovery. When he returned, he was told by Tabourai Tamaide, that another cask would be stolen before the morning: How he came by this knowledge it is not easy to imagine; that he was not a party in the design is certain, for he came with his wife and his family to the place where the water-casks stood, and placing their beds near them, he said he would himself be a pledge for their safety, in despight of the thief: Of this, however, we would not admit; and making them understand that a centry would be placed to watch the casks till the morning, he removed the beds into Mr Banks’s tent, where he and his family spent the night, making signs to the sentry when he retired, that be should keep his eyes open. In the night this intelligence appeared to be true; about twelve o’clock the thief came, but discovering that a watch had been set, he went away without his booty.
Mr Banks’s confidence in Tubourai Tamaide had greatly—increased since the affair of the knife, in consequence of which he was at length exposed to temptations which neither his integrity nor his honour was able to resist. They had withstood many allurements, but were at length ensnared by the fascinating charms of a basket of nails: These nails were much larger than any that had yet been brought into trade, and had, with perhaps some degree of criminal negligence, been left in a corner of Mr Banks’s tent, to which the chief had always free access. One of these nails Mr Banks’s servant happened to see in his possession, upon his having inadvertently thrown back that part of his garment under which it was concealed. Mr Banks being told of this, and knowing that no such thing had been given him, either as a present or in barter, immediately examined the basket, and discovered, that out of seven nails five were missing. He then, though not without great reluctance, charged him with the fact, which he immediately confessed, and however he might suffer, was probably not more hurt than his accuser. A demand was immediately made of restitution; but this he declined, saying that the nails were at Eparre: However, Mr Banks appearing to be much in earnest, and using some threatening signs, he thought fit to produce one of them. He was then taken to the fort, to receive such judgment as should be given against him by the general voice.