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.

On leaving Boera, it was a beautiful clear and moonlight night, and there was a light land breeze.  Pulling brought us to Varivara Islands, in Redscar Bay, about two a.m., where we anchored until six when we tried to make Cape Suckling.  As it was blowing hard from the north-west, we had to put into Manumanu.  The Motu traders did all they could to persuade us to give up Motumotu, and to visit Kabadi.  Both crews would gladly have given up; their friends told them to leave us, and return in the trading canoes.  They came to me to say “the bad weather has set in, the winds and rains are here, we cannot go on.”

I replied, “Think, my children, of the disgrace.  We started to go to Motumotu, and at the first breath of contrary wind we put back.  It must not be.  Let us try it a little longer, and if the wind increases we can put back, and not feel ashamed.”

“You are right,” they rejoined; “we will go on with you.”

At sunset we all got into our boats, and were ready for a start.  A fellow who has just returned from Kabadi thought to get over me by saying, “Tamate, Kabadi are looking daily for you, and they have a large present ready; feathers in abundance and sago; your two boats cannot take half.”

“I am going to Motumotu, and not all the feathers in Kabadi, nor all the sago they can prepare, will turn me now, until I have made a fair trial, and then, if driven back, I will visit Kabadi.”

I believe our crew had had a talk with that man before he came to me.

It was five o’clock on January 12th before we got to Namoa, near Cape Suckling.  Maiva canoes passed with wallaby from Namoa.  When ashore, cooking breakfast, Koloko and her husband, with uncles and aunts, and men and women from the village, came down.  The two former were going to Maiva, and the crowd followed to see them embark in one of the large Maiva canoes.  After the bamboo pipe had been passed all round, the embarkation took place, men and women weeping as if taking a final farewell.

When they had gone, we told the people we wished to sleep, and they left us undisturbed.  In the afternoon we came to Delena, where we had right hearty welcome.  They are truly glad we are going to Motumotu, as they fear an attack, and hope our visit will benefit them.  They feel sure Motumotu will receive us well, and seeing that I specially visit them, they say it will be all right.  The crews feel encouraged, and are at present ashore feasting on dugong, sago, and betel-nuts.  Some have been off for tobacco, and are now laughing at the folly of their friends.  The sorcerer is not in Delena; but even he would do nothing to prevent our going on.  We are all ready to start with a land breeze.  The crews have sent us word, “When you wish to start, call out; you will see us gladly spring into the water.”

On leaving Delena with a light breeze and pulling, we reached the Kaveri beach near Cape Possession, about eight a.m.  When near Maiva, we met a Motumotu canoe.  At first they were afraid to come alongside of us, but after a little talk we got near them, exchanged presents, and were soon friends.  They seem glad we are going to their home; they say peace will be arranged.  The Motumotu have said that if we only were to visit them, they would gladly make peace.

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Adventures in New Guinea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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