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Parkinson's JournalVoyaging Accounts
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On this day ...
5 - 10 July 1769

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James Cook
Joseph Banks



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Otaheite (continued)

In their voyage they also saw a large monument, of a pyramidal form, of polished stone, which they were told was the morai of Oboreah and Oamo, and the people there said they were brother and sister.

On the 6th of July, in the evening, a young woman came to the entrance of the fort, whom we found to be a daughter of Oamo. The natives complimented her on her arrival, by uncovering their shoulders. We invited her to the tent, but she did not accept of it.

On the 9th, two of our marines being enamoured with a girl, one of the natives deserted from the fort, and fled to the west part of the island, and intended to have staid there. On the same day one of the natives stole a knife from one of our sailors, and wounded him with it in the forehead, almost through his skull: — a fray ensued, and the Indians ran away.

On this day, Mr. Banks and Dr. Monkhouse went many miles to a valley toward Orowhaina: at length they came to a waterfall, and could proceed no far-ther. At this spot the mountains were almost perpendicular; and from several parts of them hung some ropes, designed, as was apprehended, to assist those who should attempt to ascend them in times of scarcity, to get fayhee, or wild plantain. The stones and soil, on some of the highest mountains, appeared as if they had been burnt, or calcined: and, on the lower ones, where I have been, the earth is a sort of red-ochre covered with various plants, but chiefly with fern.

Most of the materials which composed the fort having been taken down, and put on board the ship, we prepared to set sail.

On the 10th, hearing no tidings of the two men who deserted us, we resolved to seize several of the principal people, and detain them till we could recover them: we also sent a party in the pinnace who apprehended Tootahau, and brought him to the ship; upon which Oboreah, and several other of the chiefs, sent out their servants, who returned in the evening with one of them, and reported that the Indians had detained one of our officers who commanded the party sent out after him; also one of the men who accompanied him, and, having seized their arms, used them very roughly; upon which the marines were dispatched in the long-boat after them, taking with them some of the natives. In the mean time, the natives, whom we had made prisoners, not knowing what would be their fate, were much alarmed; but the next morning the marines returned with the men that had been detained, with the others that had deserted; and the natives, whom we had imprisoned, were released. After making strong professions of friendship, they left us; and, as soon as they reached the shore, bent their course, as fast as possible, to Opare, shewing tokens of displeasure as they went along.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages 35 - 36, 2004
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