Adventures in New Guinea eBook

James Chalmers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about Adventures in New Guinea.

When I reached the house, I found Mrs. Chalmers the only calm person there.  Natives were all around armed.  When at the chief’s house with medicine I was told there was still another, and he was on board.  They kept shouting “Bocasi, Bocasi,” the name of the man who was on board in the morning.  I found a small canoe all over blood, and two natives paddled me off.  On getting alongside, I saw the captain sitting on deck, looking very white, and blood all about him.  I asked, “Is there still a man on board?” Answer:  “Yes.”  “Is he shot?” “Yes.”  “Dead?” “Yes.”  He was dead, and lying below.  I was afraid to remain long on board, and would not risk landing with the body; nor would it do for the body to be landed before me, as then I might be prevented from landing at all; so I got into the canoe, in which one native was sitting.  The other was getting the body to place in the canoe; but I said, “Not in this one, but a larger one.”  So ashore I went, and hastened to the house.  I understood the captain to say that they attempted to take his life, and this big man, armed with a large sugar-cane knife, was coming close up, and he shot him dead.  The captain’s foot was frightfully cut.  He had a spear-head in his side, and several other wounds.

The principal people seemed friendly, and kept assuring us that all was right, we should not be harmed.  Great was the wailing when the body was landed, and arms were up and down pretty frequently.  Canoes began to crowd in from the regions around.  A man who has all along been very friendly and kept close by us advised us strongly to leave during the night, as, assuredly, when the war canoes from the different parts came in, we should be murdered.  Mrs. Chalmers decidedly opposed our leaving.  God would protect us.  The vessel was too small, and not provisioned, and to leave would be losing our position as well as endangering Teste and East Cape.  We came here for Christ’s work, and He would protect us.

In the dusk, one of the crew came ashore, saying that the captain was very ill, and wanted to go off to Murray Island.  I could not go on board, and leave them here.  We consented to the vessel’s leaving, and I gave the lad some medicine for the captain, and asked him to send on shore all he could spare in the way of beads, etc.  I took all that was necessary, and about half-past seven the vessel left.  We were told we should have to pay something to smooth over the trouble, which we were quite willing to do.  Late at night we had things ready.  We had our evening prayers in Rarotongan, reading Psalm xlvi., and feeling that God was truly our refuge.

People were early about on the 30th.  We gave the things which were prepared, and they were accepted.  The people from the settlement to which the man belonged who was shot came to attack us, but the people here ordered them back.  Many people came in from islands and mainland.  A number of so-called chiefs tell us no one will injure us, and that we can go on with our work.  We thought it not well to have services out of doors to-day, so held prayer-meetings in the house.

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Adventures in New Guinea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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