Some People Just Weren’t Cut Out For Life On The Road

We had no sooner come to an Anchor in Royal Bay, as before-mentioned, than a great number of the Natives in their Canoes came off to the Ship and brought with them Cocoa Nuts, etc.; these they seem’d to set a great value upon. Amongst those that came off to the Ship was an elderly man whose Name was Owhaa, him the Gentlemen that had been here before in the Dolphin* (* Lieutenant Gore and Mr. Molineux, the Master.) knew and had often spoke of as one that had been of Service to them. This man (together with some others) I took on board and made much of, thinking that he might on some occasions be of use to us. As our stay at this place was not likely to be very short, I thought it very necessary that some order should be observed in Traficking with the Natives, that such Merchandize as we had on board for that purpose might continue to bear a proper value, and not leave it to everyone’s own particular fancy, which could not fail to bring on Confusion and Quarrels between us and the Natives, and would infallibly lessen the value of such Articles as we had to trafick with. In Order to prevent this, the following rules were ordered to be Observed; viz.

Rules to be observed by every person in or belonging to His Majesty’s Bark the Endeavour for the better Establishing a regular and uniform Trade for Provisions, etc., with the Inhabitants of George’s Island:–

1. To endeavour by every fair means to Cultivate a Friendship with the Natives, and to treat them with all imaginable humanity.

2. A Proper Person or Persons will be appointed to Trade with the Natives for all manner of Provisions, Fruits, and other Productions of the Earth; and no Officer or Seaman or other person belonging to the Ship, excepting such as are so appointed, shall Trade or offer to Trade for any sort of Provisions, Fruit or other Productions of the Earth, unless they have my leave so to do.

3. Every Person employ’d on shore on any duty whatsoever is strictly to attend to the same, and if by neglect he looseth any of His Arms or working Tools, or suffers them to be stole, the full value thereof will be charged against his pay, according to the Custom of the Navy in such Cases, and he shall receive such further punishment as the nature of the Offence may deserve.

4. The same Penalty will be inflicted upon every person who is found to Embezzle, Trade, or Offer to Trade with any of the Ship’s Stores of what Nature so ever.

5. No sort of Iron or anything that is made of Iron, or any sort of Cloth or other useful or necessary Articles, are to be given in Exchange for anything but Provisions.

As soon as the Ship was properly secured I went on shore, accompanied by Mr. Banks and the other Gentlemen,* (* Cook generally uses this term for the civilians on board.) with a Party of Men under Arms; we took along with us Owhaa–who took us to the place where the Dolphin watered, and made signs to us as well as we could understand that we might Occupy that ground, but it hapned not to be fit for our purpose. No one of the Natives made the least opposition at our landing, but came to us with all imaginable Marks of Friendship and Submission. We Afterwards made a Circuit through the Woods, and then came on board. We did not find the inhabitants to be numerous, and we imagin’d that several of them had fled from their habitations upon our Arrival in the Bay.

Friday, 14th. This morning we had a great many Canoes about the Ship; the most of them came from the Westward, and brought nothing with them but a few Cocoa Nuts, etc. Two that appeared to be Chiefs we had on board, together with several others, for it was a hard matter to keep them out of the Ship, as they Climb like Munkeys; but it was still harder to keep them from Stealing but everything that came within their reach; in this they are Prodigious Expert. I made each of these two Chiefs a present of a Hatchet, things that they seemed mostly to value. As soon as we had partly got clear of these People I took 2 Boats and went to the Westward, all the Gentlemen being along with me. My design was to see if there was not a more commodious Harbour, and to try the disposition of the Natives, having along with us the 2 Chiefs above mentioned; the first place we landed at was in great Canoe Harbour (so called by Captain Wallis); here the Natives Flocked about us in great numbers, and in as friendly a manner as we could wish, only that they show’d a great inclination to Pick our Pockets. We were conducted to a Chief, who for distinction sake we called Hurcules. After staying a short time with him, and distributing a few Presents about us, we proceeded farther, and came to a Chief who I shall call Lycurgus; this man entertained us with broil’d fish, Cocoa Nutts, etc., with great Hospitality, and all the time took great care to tell us to take care of our Pockets, as a great number of People had crowded about us. Notwithstanding the care we took, Dr. Solander and Dr. Monkhouse had each of them their Pockets picked: the one of his spy glass and the other of his snuff Box. As soon as Lycurgus was made acquainted with the Theft he dispers’d the people in a moment, and the method he made use of was to lay hold on the first thing that came in his way and throw it at them, and happy was he or she that could get first out of his way. He seem’d very much concern’d for what had hapned, and by way of recompence offered us but everything that was in his House; but we refused to accept of anything, and made signs to him that we only wanted the things again. He had already sent people out after them, and it was not long before they were return’d. We found the Natives very numerous wherever we came, and from what we could judge seemed very peacably inclin’d. About six o’Clock in the evening we return’d on board, very well satisfied with our little Excursion.

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