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CHAPTER II. Narrative of Captain Cook's first voyage round the world.

While the ship was in Hicks's Bay, the inhabitants of the adjoining coast were found to be very hostile. This gave much uneasiness to our navigators, and was indeed contrary to their expectation; for they had hoped that the report of their power and clemency had spread to a greater extent. At day-break, on the 1st of November, they counted no less than five and forty canoes that were coming from the shore towards the Endeavour; and these were followed by several more from another place. Some of the Indians traded fairly; but others of them took what was handed down to them without making any return, and added derision to fraud. The insolence of one of them was very remarkable. Some linen hanging over the ship's side to dry, this man without any ceremony untied it, and put it up in his bundle. Being immediately called to, and required to return it, instead of doing so, he let his canoe drop astern, and laughed at the English. A musket which was fired over his head, did not put a stop to his mirth. From a second musket, which was loaded with small shot, he shrunk a little, when the shot struck him upon his back; but be regarded it no more than one of our men would have done the stroke of a rattan, and continued with great composure to pack up the linen which he hard stolen. All the canoes now dropped astern, and set up their song of defiance, which lasted till they were at about four hundred yards' distance from the ship. As they did not appear to have a design of attacking our voyagers, Lieutenant Cook was unwilling to do them any hurt; and yet he thought that their going off in a bravado might have a bad effect when it should be reported on shore. To convince them therefore, that they were still in his power, though far beyond the reach of any missile weapon with which they were acquainted, he ordered a four pounder to be fired in such a manner as to pass near them. As the shot happened to strike the water, and to rise several times at a great distance beyond the canoes, the Indians were so much terrified, that without once looking behind them, they paddled away as fast as they were able.

In standing westward from a small island called Mowtohora, the Endeavour suddenly shoaled her water front seventeen to ten fathom. As the lieutenant knew that she was not far off from some small islands and rocks, which lead been seen before it was dark, and which he had intended to have passed that evening, he thought it more prudent to tack, and to spend the night under Mowtohora, where he was certain that there was no danger. It was happy for himself, and for all our voyagers, that he formed this resolution. In the morning they discovered ahead of them several rocks, some of which were level with the surface of the water, and some below it; and the striking against which could not in the hour of darkness, have been avoided. In passing between these rocks and the main, the ship had only from ten to seven fathom water.

While Mr. Cook was near an island which he called the Mayor, the inhabitants of the neighbouring coast displayed many instances of hostility, and, in their traffic with our navigators, committed various acts of fraud and robbery. As the lieutenant intended to continue in the place five or six days, in order to make an observation of the transit of Mercury, it was absolutely necessary for the prevention of future mischief, to convince these people that the English were not to be ill treated with impunity. Accordingly, some small shot were fired at a thief of uncommon insolence, and a musket ball was discharged through the bottom of his boat. Upon this it was paddled to about a hundred yards' distance; and to the surprise of Mr. Cook and his friends, the Indians in the other canoes took not the least notice of their wounded companion, though he bled very much, but returned to the ship, and continued to trade with the most perfect indifference and unconcern. For a considerable time they dealt fairly. At last, however, one of them thought fit to move off with two different pieces of cloth which had been given for the same weapon. When he had gotten to such a distance, that he thought himself secure of his prizes, a musket was fired after him, which fortunately struck the boat just at the water's edge, and made two holes in her side. This excited such an alarm, that not only the people who were shot at, but all the rest of the canoes, made off with the utmost expedition. As the last proof of superiority, our commander ordered a round shot to be fired over them, and not a boat stopped till they got to land.

After an early breakfast on the 9th of November, Lieutenant Cook went on shore, with Mr. Green, and proper instruments, to observe the transit of Mercury. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander were of the party. The weather had for some time been very thick, with much rain; but this day proved so favourable, that not a cloud intervened during the whole transit. The observation of the ingress was made by Mr. Green alone, Mr. Cook being employed in taking the Sun's altitude to ascertain the time.