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

Endeavour Voyage Maps
James Cook
Joseph Banks

The Passage from Oteroah to New Zealand


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The Passage from Oteroah to New Zealand (continued)

In the evening I went on shore, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, with the pinnace and yawl, and a party of men. We landed abreast of the ship, on the east side of the river, which was here about forty yards broad; but seeing some natives on the west side whom I wished to speak with, and finding the river not fordable, I ordered the yawl in to carry us over, and left the pinnace at the entrance. When we came near the place where the people were assembled, they all ran away; however, we landed, and leaving four boys to take care of the yawl, we walked up to some huts which were about two or three hundred yards from the water-side. When we had got some distance from the boat, four men, armed with long lances, rushed out of the woods, and running up to attack the boat, would certainly have cut her off, if the people in the pinnace had not discovered them, and called to the boys to drop down the stream: the boys instantly obeyed; but being closely pursued by the Indians, the Cockswain of the pinnace, who had the charge of the boats, fired a musquet over their heads; at this they stopped and looked round them, but in a few minutes renewed the pursuit, brandishing their lances in a threatening manner: the Cockswain then fired a second musquet over their heads, but of this they took no notice; and one of them lifting up his spear to dart it at the boat, another piece was fired, which shot him dead. When he fell, the other three stood motionless for some minutes, as if petrified with astonishment; as soon as they recovered, they went back, dragging after them the dead body, which however they soon left, that it might not incumber their flight. At the report of the first musquet we drew together, having straggled to a little distance from each other, and made the best of our way back to the boat; and crossing the river, we soon saw the Indian lying dead upon the ground. Upon examining the body, we found that he had been shot through the heart: he was a man of the middle size and stature; his complexion was brown, but not very dark; and one side of his face was tattowed in spiral lines of a very regular figure: he was covered with a fine cloth, of a manufacture altogether new to us, and it was tied on exactly according to the representation in Valentyn’s Account of Abel Tasman’s Voyage, vol. iii. part 2. page 50. his hair also was tied in a knot on the top of his head, but had no feather in it. We returned immediately to the ship, where we could hear the people on shore talking with great earnestness, and in a very loud tone, probably about what had happened, and what should be done.

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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 285 - 286, 2004
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