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.
without your knowing.”  “They know better than try it again; they are too much afraid; and they see that what was then done has greatly injured us as well as all the other villages.”  I explained to them the object of our coming here, and that they must not think we are to buy everything they bring, and must not be angry when we refuse to give what they demand.  We do not come to steal their food or curios, and, if we do not want them, they can carry all back; we are not traders.  After praying with them, they said, “Tamate, now let it be friendship; give up your intention of going to Mekeo (inland district), and come to-morrow, and we shall make friends and peace.”  “I shall go; but suppose the mother of the young man who was shot begins wailing, what then?” “She will doubtless wail, but you need not fear; come, and you will see.”  “Then to-morrow I shall go.”

Next morning, the Mayri having arrived the evening before, I carried into effect the intended visit.  The chief of Paitana and two followers, with my friend Lauma, of Lolo, waited to accompany me.  After breakfast we got into the boat, Lavao in charge.  We entered the same creek as for Motu Lavao, and when up it some distance turned up another to the right, too narrow to use oars.  When two miles up we anchored boat, then walked or waded for two miles through swamp and long grass.  When near the village we heard loud wailing, and Lavao, who was leading, thought it better we should wait for the old chief, who was some distance behind.  On coming up they spoke in Lolo, then threw down his club, calling on one of his followers to pick it up.  He went in front, and called on me to follow close to him, the others coming after; and so we marched into the village and up on to his platform.  Then began speechifying, presenting cooked food, betel-nuts, pig, and feathers.  When all was finished I gave my present, and said a few words in the Motu dialect.  The uncle of the man shot by Dr. James came on to the platform, caught me by the arm and shouted, Maino! (peace), saying that they, the chiefs, knew nothing of the attack.  The murderers lived at the other end of the village; and thither, accompanied by a large party, I went.  They gave me a pig, and I gave them a return present.  The real murderer of Mr. Thorngren sat near me, dressed for the occasion, and four others who were in the canoe stood near the platform.  The mother and two widows were in the house opposite, but with good sense refrained from wailing.  I spoke to them of the meanness and treachery of attacking as they attacked Dr. James and Mr. Thorngren.  They say there were ten in the canoe—­one was shot, three have since died, and six remain.  They also say they feel they have done wrong, as they not only made the foreigners their enemies, but also all the tribes around were angry with them.  “What now, then?” “Oh, maino (peace) it must be; we are friends, and so are all foreigners now.” 

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Adventures in New Guinea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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