[Footnote 37: “They were in much greater number than at the other island, and followed us in the same manner, several hundreds of them running along the coast in great disorder.”—“They had many canoes, which, on our approaching the shore, they dragged into the woods, and at the same time, the women came with great stones in their hands to assist the men in preventing our landing.”—“We had now 50 sick on board, to whom the land air, the fruit and vegetables, that appeared so beautiful and attractive, would doubtless have afforded immediate relief.” It seems very probable, from the conduct of these islanders, and of the others mentioned in the next section, that some former visitants had used them so ill, as to unite them in determined opposition to the entrance of all strangers. Would it be unfair to imagine, from a circumstance afterwards narrated, that these visitants were Dutch? All the seafaring nations of Europe, alas! are too deeply implicated in the animosities and miseries of the South Sea inhabitants.—E.]
About noon, finding there was no anchorage here, I bore away and steered along the shore to the westermost point of the island: The boats immediately followed us, and kept sounding close to the beach, but could get no ground.
When we came to the westermost point of this island, we saw another, bearing S.W. by W. about four leagues distant. We were at this time about a league beyond the inlet where we had left the natives, but they were not satisfied with having got rid of us quietly; for I now perceived two large double canoes sailing after the ship, with about thirty men in each, all armed after the manner of their country. The boats were a good way to leeward of us, and the canoes passing between the ship and the shore, seemed very eagerly to give them chace. Upon this I made the signal for the boats to speak with the canoes,