THE FEMALE DANCERS OF BOLABOLA.
FIRST CONFLICT WITH NEW ZEALANDERS.
From Bolabola the Endeavor sailed south-westwardly until October 7th the shore of New Zealand was sighted, when on the following day anchor was cast in Poverty Bay, or Turunga, and Cook despatched a small boat to the shore at a point where a river empties into the sea. A landing was made without opposition from the natives who had watched with amazement the approach of the ship and the launching of the pinnace; but, when leaving the small boat the crew advanced a few hundred yards toward the interior, they were suddenly confronted by four warriors armed with long lances who were resolved on attacking their white
ANOTHER TRAGIC INCIDENT.
After the first tragic incident connected with the landing of Cook's men on New Zealand, it was only after many signs of amity and persistent inducement that any of the natives could be persuaded to visit the ship; but at length a canoe laden with twenty islanders ventured to visit the vessel, and, meeting with no disasters, others were emboldened and soon the ship was overrun by hundreds who, unwilling to barter with the crew, began to indiscriminately seize every portable thing. Protests being of no avail, it became necessary to resort to harsher means, and Cook reluctantly ordered his men to fire on the impudent thieves, one of whom was killed and a number wounded. The others became so frightened that they jumped into the sea and swam to shore, nor did Cook give them an opportunity to renew their molestations, for he sailed away at once.
Cook coasted New Zealand, stopping from time to time and using every means to establish friendly intercourse with the natives, but though he induced several to visit his ship, yet with all the gifts he bestowed upon them and kindnesses exhibited they did not abate their savagery. On one occasion while several of the New Zealanders were on board begging for everything they saw, a party of them seized the ten-year-old son of Tupia, and before they could be arrested had escaped to their boat with the boy, intending to eat him when they got to the shore. Threats failing to make the natives return, a volley was discharged directly at the kidnappers, three of whom were killed. The boy being released in the excitement which followed he jumped overboard and swam back to the ship in safety.
A BLOODY SPECTACLE.
Some days afterwards, on another part of the coast, the natives appeared so friendly that Cook and several of his party were induced to go on shore, where they were hospitably received and a considerable trade, in the way of exchanging cloths, beads, nails, etc., for such provisions as fish, yams, torros, celery and for native arms, was carried on with mutual satisfaction. The day was thus profitably and agreeably spent, at the close of which the white visitors accepted an invitation to enter one of the largest huts, and what was there observed Cook thus describes: "A little before sunset the Indians retired to eat their supper and we went with them to be spectators. It consisted of fish of different kinds, among which were lobsters, and birds of a species unknown to
A subsequent visit on shore did not prove so safe or pleasant, for while Cook, Banks and Solander, with a well-armed body-guard, were making some investigations on the banks of a little cove at which was moored their yawl, the party found themselves suddenly beset by fully three hundred islanders, who brandished their lances and clubs in a most threatening manner. Their numbers were presently augmented by a hundred more, and now being emboldened to make an attack they advanced, though cautiously, all the while singing their war songs. When the army of savages had passed a line which Cook had made to indicate the proximity he would allow, the body-guard was commanded to fire their guns, which were only loaded with small shot, at the hostile natives and a few were rather severely, though not seriously wounded; at this they drew back, but seeing that no great harm had been done, the islanders quickly rallied under the encouragement of their chief, and came charging back with savage demonstrations until one of the seamen discharged his gun at him with such effect that the warrior ran off howling desperately, followed fast by his panic-stricken army, who had no disposition now to renew the attack.
At another landing where Cook, Banks, Solander, and Tupia the interpreter, went on shore, they found a family making preparations for a feast, Some coals of fire were noticed in a hole in the ground on which the dressed body of a dog was roasting and almost ready for eating; but what was more curious (for, indeed, dog flesh is commonly eaten by all the Pacific islanders), was the sight of two baskets, made of rushes, in which were discovered human bones that had been freshly picked. Inquiry being made, the islanders freely admitted the practice of eating all the bodies of their enemies killed in war. They also explained that in a conflict which had occurred near the place of their present feasting seven of their enemies had been killed, who had since been eaten, and of which the bones now before them were a part of the remains. The following day four heads of the seven thus slain were presented to Mr. Banks by the natives, and afterwards many human bones were brought out to the ship and offered in exchange by the islanders for such articles as delighted their fancy.
Having completed the coasting of a large part of New Zealand, and explored the strait which separates the two islands, and to which he gave his own name, on March 31st, Cook took his departure and continued his voyage westwardly. New Zealand was first discovered by Tasman, in December, 1642, but it had not been visited by any other white person to the time of Cook's coming, as just described. Tasman, too, went little on shore, though he coasted the island on the east for a distance of five hundred and fifty miles and entered the strait; but he obtained so little knowledge of the country that he believed it a great southern continent.
Proceeding over the same course pursued by Tasman, more than one hundred years before, Cook sighted the Australian banks on April the 19th, but instead of landing at once coasted the shore for a distance of one hundred miles and at length, finding a suitable harbor, put into Botany Bay, where the great commercial port of Sydney is now situated. The ship came to anchor before a small
AUSTRALIAN BOOMERANG THROWERS.
A few days after landing many natives were seen, but they could not be induced to approach near enough for Cook to give them assurance of his peaceful intentions. He observed, however, that they were armed with formidable lances some ten feet in length and cruelly barbed with fish bones. Besides these weapons, they carried, a much more dangerous one known as a boomerang, which the natives used chiefly in hunting, but it was equally effective when turned against their enemies. This weapon is a short covered piece of heavy wood, and, singular to relate, is thrown in the opposite direction from the object aimed at. It does not descend at once to the ground, but after proceeding a short distance forward it rises in rapid whirls and then darts backwards over the head of the thrower, and strikes at great distances behind him; but so remarkable is the Australian's skill that the weapon goes as surely to the mark as does the bullet of an expert rifleman. But while better armed, the Australians had boats very inferior to those used by the New Zealanders, which proved them to be less aquatic in their habits; indeed, the New Zealanders were as essentially fishermen as the Australians were hunters
Unable to come in contact with the natives, on account of their distrust and shyness, Cook did not remain long in Botany Bay, but weighing anchor he set to coasting the country on the east side. At several inviting harbors he put in, however, and was able to obtain the greatest abundance of provisions by the exertions of his company. At one place they found quail in extraordinary numbers, and so tame that it was easy to kill them with stones. Fish also abounded in great numbers, so that a single haul of the net would frequently result in the catch of three hundred pounds' weight. Bustards, a species of gallinaceous birds about the size of a turkey, and peculiar to Australia, were shot, and afforded members of the expedition the most palatable food that they had eaten since leaving England. In all the shallows, and especially the inlets, oysters and crabs were extremely plentiful, many of the former being pearl bearing, and at one landing the crew found great numbers of sting rays, some of which they killed that weighed above four hundred pounds.
AN ACCIDENT TO THE SHIP.
On the 14th of June, while standing off shore a distance of twenty-five miles, the Endeavor suddenly struck a rock with such great force that she was carried over and left resting in a basin between the rock which she had cleared and another that, lifting its head higher, held her fast. Examination revealed the alarming fact that the vessel was making water rapidly, and being unable at once to release her, it seemed that certain destruction awaited every one on board. Twenty hours of incessant labor at the pumps, and working at the steam anchor, failed to release the ship, which continued to beat upon the rock until it appeared that the floating of her off from her present support must be followed by her sinking. But when the crew had fairly exhausted themselves she was finally
In this vicinity Captain Cook remained for a considerable time, finding thereabout abundant supplies in the form of wild cabbages, fish, turtles and game. It was in this place that Mr. Banks discovered the kangaroo and Australian dog, or dingo, which were previously unknown to the naturalists of the civilized world. A few of the former were killed and considered a great delicacy.
It was not until after weeks of patient effort that our voyagers were able to have any communications with the Australians, who could not be induced to approach nearer than one hundred yards, until by accident Cook threw a fish toward a party of eight natives. This act seemed to secure their confidence in the peaceful intentions of their white visitors, and soon after another party was induced to come on board the ship. All the natives of both sexes were entirely nude, and the only body decoration noticed was a few streaks of paint on the breast and a piece of bone run through the septum of the nose. They placed no value on the many gaudy presents which were given them, but so greatly desired some of the turtles which Cook's men had caught that, their requests being refused, they attempted to take two of the turtles by force. The effort being in vain they exhibited great anger, and on gaining the shore set fire to the grass, which speedily threatened destruction to the tents' and stores not yet moved back to the ship. So intent were the natives on doing serious injury to the expedition, that at last it became necessary to fire a charge of small shot among them which wounded one and brought the others to a full appreciation of the white men's power. A reconciliation was effected afterwards however, and Cook and his men were entertained on the following day by a party of lance throwers, who were so skilful that they could discharge their weapons with extraordinary accuracy a distance of fifty yards, though the lance never flew more than a distance of four feet above the ground.
A SURPRISING THING SEEN ON THE NEW GUINEA COAST.
On August 23d, 1870, Cook left Booby Island, off the coast of Australia, and sailing in a north-west direction, on September 3d a landing was made on the southern coast of New Guinea. Upon going on shore Cook and his companions were attacked by three of
SICKNESS AND DEATH AT BATAVIA.
Continuing the voyage Cook put into Batavia on October 3d, to repair his ship which was in a sorry condition, and making water rapidly. A great delay was encountered in getting the necessary permission from the Dutch Governor-General, so that it was the beginning of November before the ships were beached. In the meantime, the ships' officers and crews took up their quarters on shore, where, owing to bad sewerage and malaria, nearly all of them fell violently ill. Mr. Monkhouse, the surgeon, died, and little Taytete, son of Tupia, the Otaheite chief, quickly followed. Banks and Solander were at death's door, and as a last effort to save their lives, they were moved into the country under the care of some slave women. By good nursing they recovered, but Tupia, who had been long unwell, fell a victim to the same illness that had carried away his son and others of the expedition.
The necessarily protracted stay in Batavia afforded Banks and Solander, after their recovery, opportunity to acquaint themselves with the customs, superstitions and character of the native Javanese, of which Cook gives very full report. Among the many singular
On the 27th Captain Cook set sail from Batavia for England, but while the crew had greatly improved during their stay in the country, their departure was quickly followed by a return of the maladies which first afflicted them on landing on the shore of Java. Day after day those stricken grew rapidly worse, until before reaching Good Hope no less than nine seamen and thirteen officers and scientists of the expedition were buried at sea, besides several who had died before and were buried at Batavia.
On June 12th, 1771, Captain Cook and his men had the unspeakable joy of seeing the shores of their beloved England, after an absence of nearly three years.