SEPARATION OF THE SHIPS, AND A CHIEF PICKPOCKET.
Four days were spent at these islands, at the expiration of which time Cook departed for New Zealand, which he reached on the 21st following. Some of the natives came off to the ship, but a heavy gale coming up they soon put back to shore, and during the ten days that followed the weather was so heavy that a safe anchorage could not be found. At length the Endeavor and Adventure parted company and Cook had to put into Queen Charlotte's Sound for repairs, hoping that as appointment had been made to rendezvous there his companion ship would directly reach that harbor. His hope was not realized, however, and after remaining in the Sound for three weeks his anxiety for the Adventure's safety was such that he set out in search of her, but all to no avail. While lying here Cook began to barter with the natives, of whom he thus writes:
"When we were upon this traffic they showed a great inclination to pick my pockets, and to take away the fish with one hand which they had just given me with the other. This evil one of the chiefs undertook to remove, and with fury in his eyes made a show of keeping the people at a proper distance. I applauded his conduct, but at the same time kept so close a look-out as to detect him in picking my pocket of a handkerchief, which I suffered him to put in his bosom before I seemed to know anything of the matter, and then I told him what I had lost. He affected ignorance, till I took it from him; and then he put it off with a laugh, acting his part with so much address that it was hardly possible for me to be angry with him, so that we remained good friends, and he accompanied me on board to dinner."
CANNIBALISM OF THE NEW ZEALANDERS.
Notwithstanding the thievery of the natives, Cook avoided a rupture with them as forcible means could only have resulted to his very great disadvantage, since he considered it his duty to remain in the sound in order to meet the Adventure which he still hoped would put in there as soon as possible if she had not been lost in the gale that separated them. In the afternoon of November 23d, some of Cook's officers went on shore to amuse themselves, when they were horrified at beholding the head and
"The sight of the head and the relation of the above circumstances struck me with horror and filled my mind with indignation against these cannibals. Curiosity, however, got the better of my indignation, especially when I considered that it would avail but little, and being desirous of becoming an eye-witness of a fact which many doubted I ordered a piece of the flesh to be broiled and brought to the quarter deck, where one of these cannibals ate it with surprising avidity. This had such an effect on some of our people as to make them sick. Oedidee (who came on board with me from Otaheite) was so affected by the sight as to become perfectly motionless and seemed as if metamorphosed into a statue of horror. It is utterly impossible for art to describe that passion with half the force that it appeared in his countenance. When roused from this state by some of us, he burst into tears, continued to weep and scold by turns, told them they were vile men and that he neither was nor would any longer be their friend. He even would not suffer them to touch him; he used the same language to one of the gentlemen who cut off the flesh, and refused to accept or even touch the knife with which it was done. Such was Oedidee's indignation against the vile custom and worthy of imitation by every rational being.
"Among many reasons which I have heard assigned for the prevalence of this horrid custom, the want of animal food has been one; but how far this is deducible either from facts or circumstances, I shall leave those to find out who advanced it. In every part of New Zealand where I have been, fish was in such plenty that the natives generally caught as much as served both themselves and us. They have also plenty of dogs, nor is there any want of wild fowl which they very well know how to kill. So that neither this nor the want of food of any kind can in my opinion be the reason. But whatever it may be, I think it was but too evident that they had a great liking for this kind of food."
After coasting New Zealand for several days Cook took his departure from that island, at last abandoning hope of meeting with the Adventure, as no other rendezvous had been designated, so he set sail again in quest of the supposed southern continent.
For a period of three months Cook beat about in the South Sea encountering many perils from vast fields of ice which more than once threatened his ship with certain destruction; but gaining a southern latitude of seventy-one degrees and ten minutes without once discovering land, in the latter part of February he turned northward with the intention of seeking for Juan Fernandez. After passing the vicinity in which geographers and explorers had placed this island without finding any land, Cook concluded that it was
THE WONDROUS STONE STATUES CARVED BY AN EXTINCT PEOPLE.
In some respects Easter Island, though only eleven miles long and six miles broad, is the most remarkable island in the Pacific Ocean. Although considered as belonging to the Polynesian group, it is so far isolated that there is no other island in five hundred miles of it, standing as it does midway between South America and Polynesia proper, and yet it has three extinct volcanoes which rear their heads to an altitude of twelve hundred feet, and its shores nearly everywhere are rocky and precipitous. But more remarkable than
Of the theories and traditions set forth to account for these stone images only one has any plausibility, viz.: That Easter Island, like all Polynesia, is a remnant of a submerged continent which was once inhabited by a fairly civilized, but idol-worshipping people, who carved and set up these statues to represent their gods. But how the people were all destroyed, without so much as a fragment being left to perpetuate the race and its history, we can hardly conjecture.
DESCRIPTION OF THE EASTER ISLANDS STATUES.
Cook thus describes the images: "On the east side, near the sea, we observed three platforms of stone-work, or rather the ruins of them. On each had stood four of those large statues; but they were all fallen down but two of them, and also one from the third; all except one were broken by the fall, or in some measure defaced. Mr. Wales measured this one, and found it to be fifteen feet in
"We observed that the west side of the island was also full of those gigantic statues; some placed in groups on platforms of masonry; others single, fixed only in the earth, and that not deep; and these latter are in general much larger than the others. Having measured one which had fallen down, we found it very near twenty-seven feet long, and upwards of eight feet over the breast or shoulders; and yet this appeared considerably short of the size of one we saw standing; its shade, a little past two o'clock, was sufficient to shelter all the party, consisting of nearly thirty persons, from the rays of the sun.
"Some of these platforms of masonry are thirty or forty feet long, twelve or sixteen broad, and from three to twelve in height, which last in some measure depends on the nature of the ground. For they are generally at the brink of the bank facing the sea, so that this face may be ten or twelve feet or more high, and the other may not be above three or four. They are built or rather faced with hewn stone of a very large size, and the workmanship is not inferior to the best plain piece of masonry we have in England. They use no sort of cement; yet the joints are exceedingly close, and the stones mortised and tenoned one into another, in a very artful manner. The side walls are not perpendicular, but inclining a little inwards, in the same manner that breastworks, etc., are built in Europe; yet had not all this care, pain, and sagacity been able to preserve these curious structures from the ravages of all-devouring time. The statues, or at least many of them, are erected on these platforms, which serve as foundations. They are, as near as we could judge, about half length, ending in a sort of stump at the bottom, on which they stand. The workmanship is crude, but not bad; nor are the features of the face ill-formed, the nose and chin in particular; but the ears are long beyond proportion; and, as to the bodies, there is hardly anything like a human figure about them."
WONDERFUL RELICS ON TINIAN ISLAND.
During George Anson's voyage around the world in 1742, in the ship Centurion, he discovered the Island Tinian, one of the Ladrones, on which he found relics scarcely less remarkable than those met with on Easter Island. Of Tinian and its remarkable ruins Anson says: "Tinian is said to have formerly contained 30,000 inhabitants. At the time the Centurion was there, marks were fresh of
There are some six hundred people occupying Easter Island, who raise sweet potatoes, yams, plantains and sugar cane. They live in small huts constructed by setting up long poles in the ground and bending them over to a common centre, where they are tied together, and the roof is then thatched with grass and leaves. Entrance to these huts is by an opening so small that the natives must crawl in on their hands and knees. They have few canoes on account of the absence of large trees, and their weapons are of stone, with only an occasional bow of no considerable strength. The chief difficulty which the people seem to have is in a scarcity of water. This, however, is only a difficulty which seemed apparent to Cook, and may not be one that in fact occasions the natives any concern. In a search for water the crew came upon a well on the eastern side, which, being situated above the sea-level, contained fresh water, but as Cook says, "it was dirty, owing to the filthiness or cleanliness (call it which you will) of
Departure from Easter Island being made, Cook steered north-west, and on April 6th he sighted the Marquesas, a group of five islands, discovered by Mendana in 1595. Here he came to anchor, and directly induced several canoe loads of natives to visit him. But instead of engaging in an exchange of provisions, or such things as Cook had to offer, they crowded the ship and began to steal right and left. Remonstrance being in vain, one of the thieves was shot dead, after which the islanders became disposed to barter with the voyagers. But provisions were scarce and the natives were ungenerous, which caused Cook to make his stay among the Marquesans a short one, though his first intention had been to remain there a considerable while. The people, with the exception of using the tattoo more lavishly, he found to be very like the Otaheitans, and their customs very similar. Their weapons were somewhat more polished, and in addition to spears and clubs, the Marquesans used slings for throwing stones, which they could project to a great distance, but with so little accuracy that they were of small value as weapons.
THE OTAHEITAN FLEET.
Leaving the Marquesas group April 10th, Cook continued a westerly and north-westerly course, passing near several small islands, Until the 22d following, when he came to anchor in Matavia Bay, Otaheite, where he met with a joyous welcome from his old friends. Four days later he was entertained with a truly astonishing sight, which was no less than a display of the entire naval force of the two principal districts of the Society group, consisting of 160 immense double canoes fully equipped for war and manned by more than six thousand warriors. These fighting men were dressed in the most surprising uniforms, which comprised a lavish amount of cloth in the form of long flowing robes, and turbans, while all wore breast-plates, and helmets that were fully three feet or even more in height, and their arms were clubs, spears, and stones. Besides the war vessels, there were 170 smaller double canoes, rigged with mast and sails, each being provided with a small house, which the war canoes did not have, and were propelled by rowers. These latter vessels served as transports, and their complements were eight men each; but the entire force numbered nearly eight thousand men. This immense fleet soon departed to suppress a rebellion in the island of Eimeo, one of the group where a new kingdom was sought to be set up.
On the 5th of June (1774), Cook left the Society group, and turned again towards New Zealand. On his way, he discovered Savage Island, so named because of the degradation and implacable hostility of the natives, and thence proceeding landed at the Friendly Islands on the 27th, where he held a profitable intercourse with the natives for several days, This group was first discovered by Tasman, but Cook gave to them the name by which they are still known, on account of the generous conduct towards him of the natives. Leaving the Friendly Islands, he called next at New Hebrides, discovering Turtle, Mallicollo, Sandwich, Shepherds, Apee, and many other small islands on the way.
A FIGHT WITH THE NATIVES.
At the island of Erromango Cook landed and treated with the natives, large numbers of whom he saw gathering on the shore. They received him with great courtesy, and though they formed in a semi-circle about the bow of his boat and all were armed with spears, darts, clubs, and bows, Cook had no suspicion of any hostile intention. After requests made of them for water and provision had been treated with indifference, the chief ordered the boat to be drawn up on the beach, which action, as well as a reluctance to receive presents which he offered aroused some alarm, and Cook stepped into the boat and ordered it to be shoved from the shore. At this the natives rushed down and seized it, while others grabbed the oars out of the rower's hands. Signs and threats being without effect, Cook was resolved to punish the treacherous chief, at whom he aimed his musket, but it missed fire. At this, thinking the white men were defenceless, the islanders made a vicious attack, which was met by a fire from Cook's men that killed two and wounded many, at which the natives retreated. In the fight, however, the islanders exhibited bravery and the power to do great harm with their weapons, for one of Cook's men was struck in the cheek by a dart that penetrated quite two inches and produced a dreadful wound, which did not heal for a month and left a permanent disfigurement of the face. Mr. Gilbert, another of the crew, was struck in the breast by an arrow fired at thirty paces, and only the thick clothing which he wore prevented a probably fatal injury. The arrow was only a reed tipped with hardwood, yet it went through several thicknesses of clothing and penetrated the flesh, but not sufficiently to cause a serious wound. On account of this adventure Cook named the place of the encounter Traitor's Head.
From Erromango the Resolution sailed to Tanna near by, which is distinguished for the active volcanoes that light up and cast showers of ashes over the entire island. Here the natives were not entirely hospitable, but made a boastful exhibition of their weapons, which finally led to the killing of one of them by a sentry. After this tragic incident the islanders became thoroughly humbled, and supplied the expedition with hogs, fowls, cocoa-nuts, and plantains. These several islands, first discovered by Quiros in 1606, and supposed by him to be a part of a southern continent, were thoroughly explored by Cook, who gave to them the name of New Hebrides, by which they have ever since been known.