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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 eBook

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.
his hand, he approached the dead body which the youth had covered with part of his clothes, walking sideways, with many ceremonies, and then throwing it towards him.  When this was done, he returned to his companions, who had sat down upon the sand to observe the issue of his negociation:  They immediately gathered round him, and continued in a body above an hour, without seeming to take any farther notice of us.  We were more curious than they, and observing them with our glasses from on board the ship, we saw some of them cross the river upon a kind of raft, or catamarine, and four of them carry off the dead body which had been covered by the boy, and over which his uncle had performed the ceremony of the branch, upon a kind of bier, between four men:  The other body was still suffered to remain where it had been first left.

After dinner, I directed Tupia to ask the boys, if they had now any objection to going ashore, where we had left their uncle, the body having been carried off, which we understood was a ratification of peace:  They said, they had not; and the boat being ordered, they went into it with great alacrity:  When the boat, in which I had sent two midshipmen, came to land, they went willingly ashore; but soon after she put off, they returned to the rocks, and wading into the, water, earnestly entreated to be taken on board again; but the people in the boat, having positive orders to leave them, could not comply.  We were very attentive to what happened on shore, and keeping a constant watch with our glasses, we saw a man pass the river upon another raft, and fetch them to a place where forty or fifty of the natives were assembled, who closed round them, and continued in the same place till sun-set:  Upon looking again, when we saw them in motion, we could plainly distinguish our three prisoners, who separated themselves from the rest, came down to the beach, and having waved their hands three times towards the ship, ran nimbly back and joined their companions, who walked leisurely away towards that part which the boys had pointed to as their dwelling-place; we had therefore the greatest reason to believe that no mischief would happen to them, especially as we perceived that they went off in the clothes we had given them.

After it was dark, loud voices were heard on shore in the bottom of the bay as usual, of which we could never learn the meaning.[50]

[Footnote 50:  It is remarked in the account of Tasman’s voyage, that the people of this island had very hoarse, rough, strong voices.—­E.]

SECTION XXII.

A Description of Poverty Bay, and the Face of the adjacent Country.  The Range from thence to Cape Turnagain, and back to Tolaga, with some Account of the People and the Country, and several Incidents that happened on that Part of the Coast.

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