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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 15.

SECTION VIII.

Some of the Officers plundered by the Natives.—­A fishing Party.—­A Visit to Poulaho.—­A Fiatooka described.—­Observations on the Country Entertainments at Poulaho’s House.—­His Mourning Ceremony.—­Of the Kava Plant, and the Manner of preparing the Liquor.—­Account of Onevy, a little Island.—­One of the Natives wounded by a Sentinel.—­Messrs King and Anderson visit the Kings Brother.—­Their Entertainment.—­Another Mourning Ceremony.—­Manner of passing the Night.—­Remarks on the Country they passed through.—­Preparations made for Sailing.—­An Eclipse of the Sun, imperfectly observed.—­Mr Anderson’s Account of the Island, and its Productions.

As no more entertainments were to be expected on either side, and the curiosity of the populace was, by this time, pretty well satisfied, on the day after Poulaho’s haiva, most of them left us.  We still, however, had thieves about us; and, encouraged by the negligence of our own people, we had continual instances of their depredations.

Some of the officers, belonging to both ships, who had made an excursion into the interior parts of the island, without my leave, and, indeed, without my knowledge, returned this evening, after an absence of two days.  They had taken with them their musquets, with the necessary ammunition, and several small articles of the favourite commodities; all which the natives had the dexterity to steal from them in the course of their expedition.  This affair was likely to be attended with inconvenient consequences.  For our plundered travellers, upon their return, without consulting me, employed Omai to complain to the king of the treatment they had met with.  He, not knowing what step I should take, and, from what had already happened, fearing lest I might lay him again under restraint, went off early the next morning.  His example was followed by Feenou; so that we had not a chief of any authority remaining in our neighbourhood.  I was very much displeased at this, and reprimanded Omai for having presumed to meddle.  This reprimand put him upon his mettle to bring his friend Feenou hack; and he succeeded in the negociation, having this powerful argument to urge, that he might depend upon my using no violent measures to oblige the natives to restore what had been taken from the gentlemen.  Feenou, trusting to this declaration, returned toward the evening; and, encouraged by the reception, Poulaho favoured us with his company the day after.  Both these chiefs, upon this occasion, very justly observed to me, that, if any of my people, at any time, wanted to go into the country, they ought to be acquainted with it; in which case they would send proper people along with them; and then they would be answerable for their safety.  And I am convinced, from experience, that, by taking this very reasonable precaution, a man and his property may be as safe among these islanders, as in other parts of the more civilized world.  Though I gave myself no trouble about the recovery of the things stolen upon this occasion, most of them, through Feenou’s interposition, were recovered, except one musquet, and a few other articles of inferior value.  By this time, also, we had recovered the turkey-cock, and most of the tools, and other matters, that had been stolen from our workmen.

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