AMONG THE NEW CALEDONIANS.
Cook remained among the New Caledonians until September 13th, when he departed en route for New Zealand, discovering Norfolk Island on the way, which was uninhabited and only about fifteen miles in circuit; but it had plenty of fresh water, and the shores and trees were fairly covered with a great variety of birds. On the 17th the coast of New Zealand was sighted, and on the following day the Resolution came to anchor before Ship Cove in Queen Charlotte's Sound. On going ashore many evidences were observed that the Adventure had put in here after Cook's departure, which dispelled the fears that had been for some time entertained for her safety.
DEPARTURE FOR ENGLAND.
On the 10th of November Cook left New Zealand on his return trip to England, proceeding eastward to Terra del Fuego, the shore of which he sighted on the 17th of December. It was not until the 21st, however, that a safe anchorage was found in a harbor to which Cook gave the name of Christmas Sound. Here he met several of the greasy, naked, loud-smelling natives, who flocked about his ship and made bold to come on board without invitation. But they offered no indignities, nor did they in any manner flagrantly demean themselves. In the waters and on the land hereabout there were found immense numbers of geese, terns, seals, and fish, so that Cook sent a number of his crew to gather a large provision of fresh meat and tern eggs. Nearly a hundred seals were killed by knocking them on the head, and twice as many geese, shags, penguins, and ducks fell to the aim of those who had fowling pieces, and a great banquet was prepared for Christmas day, which proved the most delicious repast that the crew had enjoyed since leaving England.
New Year's day (1775) Cook left Terra del Fuego, and continuing eastward, passed Falkland islands, isle of Georgia, and several others at which he called, so that it was not until March 21st that he arrived
In this letter Capt. Furneaux gave a description of the events that had befallen his ship after his separation from the Resolution.
The gales had nearly caused a wreck of the Adventure, which beat about until November 30th, or more than three weeks, before being able to come to anchor in Queen Charlotte's Sound, which was six days after Cook's ship, the Resolution, had departed. Soon after landing, being much in need of provisions, Capt. Furneaux sent some of his men to treat with the natives, while others were employed in repairing the ship which had been so greatly injured in weathering the terrific gales. On the 17th of December, the repairs having been completed and satisfactory store of provisions, wood and water, placed on board, it was Capt. Furneaux' intention to sail on the following day, but as a supply of wild greens was thought to be necessary and easy to be obtained, he sent a boat crew of nine of his best men in a large cutter in charge of Midshipman Rowe up the sound for that purpose. To the surprise of the Captain, the ten men thus sent out did not return at the time appointed, and their absence being further prolonged, he became so uneasy about them, though entertaining no suspicion that they had been in conflict with the natives, that he sent out another boat-load of ten men under Lieutenant Burney to search for them. The report which Burney made upon his return to the ship some time in the night of the 18th was horrifying in the extreme.
MASSACRE OF CAPT. FURNEAUX'S MEN.
Says he: "I now kept close to the east shore, and came to another settlement, where the Indians invited us ashore. I inquired of them about the boat, but they pretended ignorance. They appeared very friendly here, and sold us some fish. Within an hour after we left this place, in a small beach adjoining to Grass Cove, we saw a very large double canoe just hauled up, with two men and a dog. The men, on seeing us, left their canoe, and ran into the woods.
"This gave me reason to suspect I should here get tidings of the cutter. We went on shore, and searched in the canoe, where we found one of the rullock ports of the cutter, and some shoes, one of which was known to belong to Mr. Woodhouse, one of our midshipmen. One of the people, at the same time, brought me a piece of meat,
"On the beach were two bundles of celery, which had been gathered for loading the cutter. A broken oar was stuck upright in the ground, to which the natives had tied their canoes, a proof that the attack had been made here. I then searched all along at the back of the beach, to see if the cutter was there. We found no boat, but instead of her, such a shocking scene of carnage and barbarity as can never be mentioned or thought of but with horror; for the heads, hearts, and lungs of several of our people were seen lying on the beach, and, at a little distance, the dogs gnawing their entrails. While we remained almost stupefied on the spot, Mr. Fannin called to us that he heard the savages gathering together in the woods; on which I returned to the boat, and hauling alongside the canoes, we demolished three of them. While this was transacting, the fire on the top of the hill disappeared; and we could hear the Indians in the woods at high words: I suppose quarrelling whether or no they should attack us, and try to save their canoes. It now grew dark: I therefore just stepped out, and looked once more behind the beach, to see if the cutter had been hauled up in the bushes; but seeing nothing of her, returned and put off. Our whole force would have been barely sufficient to have gone up the hill, and to have ventured with half (for half must have been left to guard the boat) would have been fool-hardiness."
Cook remained in Table Bay, at Cape of Good Hope, until April 16th, when he continued on his return trip, stopping at St. Helena, and at Ascension Island, from whence he sailed westward to Fernando do Noronho, thence to Island Fayal, so that he did not arrive at Plymouth until July 29th, when he immediately proceeded to London, to give an account of his wanderings and discoveries.