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.
up in the boat, and spears flew so thickly and fast, as to render resistance futile and escape impossible.  Taria resisted for a time, but a fourth spear put an end to his resistance.  The others were dispatched with little trouble.  A single spear slew both mother and babe in the case of both women.  The only bodies recovered were those of the Kerepunu teacher’s wife and her babe; the natives of Hula and Kerepunu severally interred the two bodies.  The rest of the bodies became a prey to the alligators.  For the two Hula boys who were slain speedy compensation was made by the Kalo people.  The whale-boat, too, was recovered by the Hula natives.

[A Hula girl:  167.jpg]

The above sad intelligence reached Port Moresby at early morn of the 11th, just as the Harriet was about to leave for Thursday Island, and the Mayri about to take me to Hula, whilst a party of foreigners were leaving for the East End.  The news, of course, upset all arrangements, and, after the first moments of excitement were over, our next concern was about the safety of the two Aroma teachers.  With as little delay as possible, but with groundless forebodings of coming evil, a large party of us left for Aroma.  About ten a.m. of the 14th, we reached there, and whilst our three boats lay off a little, so as not to arouse suspicion, a teacher and myself went ashore.  With devout gratitude I heard that both teachers and natives were ignorant of the massacre.  In less than an hour the two teachers and their families were safely ensconced in their whale-boat, taking along with them but a minimum of their property, according to the orders given.  By these means the chiefs and natives of Aroma were left in utter ignorance as to the cause of our erratic movements, nor did they seem to suspect anything.

At Kerepunu we experienced considerable noise and worry.  Here, too, we judged it prudent to remove very little belonging to the deceased teacher.  At Hula, my house had been entered, but the few things stolen were mostly returned.  Here, too, we have left goods, until some definite course be decided upon.  Strange to say, at Hula, where we expected the least trouble and danger, there we had the greatest; indeed, on one or two occasions, affairs assumed a rather serious aspect.  The main idea present in the native mind was to take advantage of us in our weakness and sorrow.  After a very brief stay at Hula, we left there on the 15th, reaching Port Moresby the following day; and on the 17th I left for Thursday Island.

The natives of Hood Bay attribute this massacre to the influence of Koapina, the Aroma chief, he having assured the Kalo people that foreigners might be massacred with impunity, citing as an illustration the massacre at Aroma last July, and pointing out at the same time the great fame that had thereby accrued to his own people.  The Kalo people have not been slow in acting upon his advice.  I visited Hula and Kerepunu within six weeks of the massacre, and was so impressed with the peaceful bearing of the people in both places that I should have been glad to have re-occupied both stations immediately.

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Adventures in New Guinea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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