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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
13 May 1769

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

Uncommon Ceremonies and an Extraordinary Spectacle


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Uncommon Ceremonies and an Extraordinary Spectacle (continued)

On the 13th, the market being over about ten o’clock, Mr. Banks walked into the woods with his gun, as he generally did, for the benefit of the shade in the heat of the day: as he was returning back, he met Tubourai Tamaide, near his occasional dwelling, and stopping to spend a little time with him, he suddenly took the gun out of Mr. Banks’s hand, cocked it, and, holding it up in the air, drew the trigger: fortunately for him, it flashed in the pan: Mr. Banks immediately took it from him, not a little surprised how he had acquired sufficient knowlege of a gun to discharge it, and reproved him with great severity for what he had done. As it was of infinite importance to keep the Indians totally ignorant of the management of fire-arms, he had taken every opportunity of intimating that they could never offend him so highly as by even touching his piece; it was now proper to enforce this prohibition, and he therefore added threats to his reproof: the Indian bore all patiently; but the moment Mr. Banks crossed the river, he set off with all his family and furniture for his house at Eparre. This being quickly known from the Indians at the fort, and great inconvenience being apprehended from the displeasure of this man, who upon all occasions had been particularly useful, Mr. Banks determined to follow him without delay, and solicit his return: he set out the same evening, accompanied by Mr. Mollineux, and found him sitting in the middle of a large circle of people, to whom he had probably related what had happened, and his fears of the consequences; he was himself the very picture of grief and dejection, and the same passions were strongly marked in the countenances of all the people that surrounded him. When Mr. Banks and Mr. Mollineux went into the circle, one of the women expressed her trouble, as Terapo had done upon another occasion, and struck a shark’s tooth into her head several times, till it was covered with blood. Mr. Banks lost no time in putting an end to this universal distress; he assured the Chief, that every thing which had passed should be forgotten, that there was not the least animosity remaining on one side, nor any thing to be feared on the other. The Chief was soon soothed into confidence and complacency, a double canoe was ordered to be got ready, they all returned together to the fort before supper, and as a pledge of perfect reconciliation, both he and his wife slept all night in Mr. Banks’s tent: their presence, however, was no palladium; for, between eleven and twelve o’clock, one of the natives attempted to get into the fort by scaling the walls, with a design, no doubt, to steal whatever he should happen to find; he was discovered by the centinel, who happily did not fire, and he ran away much faster than any of our people could follow him. The iron, and iron-tools, which were in continual use at the armourer’s forge, that was set up within the works, were temptations to theft which none of these people could withstand.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 125 - 127, 2004
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