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The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 186 pages of information about The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765.
beach, where we saw a number of fresh human foot-prints; on going a short distance into the wood, we also saw twenty or more small huts made of dry grass, the said huts being so small and cramped that a man could hardly get into them on all fours, from which we could sufficiently conclude that the natives here must be of small stature, poor and wretched; we afterwards tried to penetrate somewhat {Page 30} farther into the wood, in order to ascertain the nature and situation of the country, when on our coming upon a piece of brushwood, a number of blacks sprang out of it, and began to let fly their arrows at us with great fury and loud shouts, by which a carpenter was wounded in the belly and an assistant in the leg:  we were all of us hard pressed, upon which we fired three or four muskets at them killing one of the blacks stone-dead, which utterly took away their courage; they dragged the dead man into the wood, and we, being so far from the pinnaces and having a very difficult path to go in order to get back to them, resolved to return and row back to the yachts.

(The Valsch Caep is 8 degrees 15 minutes south of the equator and 70 miles S.E. of Aru.)

The The same day at low tide we saw a large sandbank, S.E., S., and S.W. of us, where we had been with the yacht on the 11th last, the said sandbank extending fully 4 miles W., S.W. and W. by S. of the land or foreland; on which account we have in the new chart given to the same the name of de Valsch Caep [*]; it is in Lat. 8 deg. 15’ South, and about 70 miles east of Aru.

[* The South-west point of Prince Frederik Hendrik island.]

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NOTE

That the land which we have touched at as above mentioned, is low-lying and half-submerged to northward, so that a large part of it is under water at high tide; to the south it is somewhat higher and inhabited by certain natives who have built huts there; so far as we could ascertain the land is barren, covered with tall wild trees; the natives quite black and naked without any covering to hide their privy parts; their hair curly in the manner of the Papues:  they wear certain fish-bones through the nose, and through their ears pieces of tree-bark, a span in length, so that they look more like monsters than like human beings:  their weapons are arrows and bows which they use with great skill.

* * *

On the 13th the wind was N., the weather fair, and the current stronger to west than to northward; we set sail in the forenoon, holding our course W.N.W. in order to get into deeper water; when we had run some distance, we got into eight feet of water; upon which we turned back and towards evening came to anchor in 2 fathom.

On the 14th the weather was fair, the wind N. by W., the current running strongly to S.W., as before; at noon we sent out the two pinnaces to take soundings; they rowed as far as 2 miles W.N.W. of the yachts, and nowhere found more than 11/2 and 2 fathom of water; the same day, seeing that the weather is now getting more constant every day, it was resolved to put up again the main-topmast in the yacht Aernem, which had been taken down before on account of bad weather.

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