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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 687 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 13.
gone down to the beach ourselves, we might have purchased what we pleased, but that the natives were afraid to take money of our people, lest it should be counterfeit.  We could not but feel some indignation against a man who had concealed this, being true; or alleged it, being false.  I started up, however, and went immediately to the beach, but no cattle or sheep were to be seen, nor were any at hand to be produced.  While I was gone, Lange, who knew well enough that I should succeed no better than my people, told Mr Banks that the natives were displeased at our not having offered them gold for their stock; and that if gold was not offered, nothing would be bought.  Mr Banks did not think it worth his while to reply, but soon after rose up, and we all returned on board, very much dissatisfied with the issue of our negociations.  During the course of the day, the king had promised that some cattle and sheep should be brought down in the morning, and had given a reason for our disappointment somewhat more plausible; he said that the buffaloes were far up the country, and that there had not been time to bring them down to the beach.

The next morning we went ashore again:  Dr Solander went up to the town to speak to Lange, and I remained upon the beach, to see what could be done in the purchase of provisions.  I found here an old Indian, who, as he appeared to have some authority, we had among ourselves called the prime minister; to engage this man in our interest, I presented him with a spying-glass, but I saw nothing at market except one small buffalo.  I enquired the price of it, and was told five guineas:  This was twice as much as it was worth; however, I offered three, which I could perceive the man who treated with me thought a good price; but he said he must acquaint the king with what I had offered before he could take it.  A messenger was immediately dispatched to his majesty, who soon returned, and said that the buffaloe would not be sold for any thing less than five guineas.  This price I absolutely refused to give; and another messenger was sent away with an account of my refusal:  This messenger was longer absent than the other, and while I was waiting for his return, I saw, to my great astonishment, Dr Solander coming from the town, followed by above a hundred men, some armed with muskets and some with lances.  When I enquired the meaning of this hostile appearance, the Doctor told me that Mr Lange had interpreted to him a message from the king, purporting that the people would not trade with us, because we had refused to give them more than half the value of what they had to sell; and that we should not be permitted to trade upon any terms longer than this day.  Besides the officers who commanded the party, there came with it a man who was born at Timor; of Portuguese parents, and who, as we afterwards discovered, was a kind of colleague to the Dutch factor; by this man, what they pretended to be the king’s order was delivered

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