Things continued in this state till the 24th, when we were a good deal surprised to find that no canoes were suffered to put off from the shore, and that the natives kept close to their houses. After several hours suspense, we learned that the bay was tabooed, and all intercourse with us interdicted, on account of the arrival of Terreeoboo. As we had not foreseen an accident of this sort, the crews of both ships were obliged to pass the day without their usual supply of vegetables. The next morning, therefore, they endeavoured, both by threats and promises, to induce the natives to come along-side; and as some of them were at last venturing to put off, a chief was observed attempting to drive them away. A musket was immediately fired over his head, to make him desist, which had the desired effect, and refreshments were soon after purchased, as usual. In the afternoon, Terreeoboo arrived, and visited the ships in a private manner, attended only by one canoe, in which were his wife and children. He staid on board till near ten o’clock, when he returned to the village of Kowrowa.
The next day, about noon, the king, in a large canoe, attended by two others, set out from the village, and paddled toward the ships in great state. Their appearance was grand and magnificent. In the first canoe was Terreeoboo and his chiefs, dressed in their rich feathered cloaks and helmets, and armed with long spears and daggers; in the second, came the venerable Kaoo, the chief of the priests, and his brethren, with their idols displayed on red cloth. These idols were busts of a gigantic size, made of wicker-work, and curiously covered with small feathers of various colours, wrought in the same manner with their cloaks. Their eyes were made of large pearl oysters, with a black nut fixed in the centre; their mouths were set with a double row of the fangs of dogs, and, together with the rest of their features, were strangely distorted. The third canoe was filled with hogs and various sorts of vegetables. As they went along, the priests in the centre-canoe sung their hymns with great solemnity; and, after paddling round the ships, instead of going on board, as was expected, they made toward the shore at the beach where we were stationed.
[Footnote 7: The presents were made to Captain Cook after he went on shore.]
As soon as I saw them approaching, I ordered out our little guard to receive the king; and Captain Cook, perceiving that he was going on shore, followed him, and arrived nearly at the same time. We conducted them into the tent, where they had scarcely been seated, when the king rose up, and in a very graceful manner threw over the captain’s shoulders the cloak he himself wore, put a feathered helmet upon his head, and a curious fan into his hand. He also spread at his feet five or six other cloaks, all exceedingly beautiful, and of the greatest value. His attendants then brought four very large hogs, with sugar-canes,