Tuesday, 11th. I then told the Chiefs that there remain’d nothing more to be done to regain their liberty but to deliver up the Arms the People had taken from the Petty Officer and Corporal, and these were brought on board in less than half an Hour, and then I sent them all on shore. They made but a short stay with our people there before they went away, and most of the natives with them: but they first wanted to give us 4 Hogs. These we refused to except of them, as they would take nothing in return. Thus we are likely to leave these people in disgust with our behaviour towards them, owing wholy to the folly of 2 of our men, for it does not appear that the natives had any hand in inticing them away, and therefore were not the first Agressors. However, it is very certain that had we not taken this step we never should have recovered them. The Petty Officer whom I sent in quest of the deserters told me that the Natives would give him no intelligence where they were, nor those that went along with him, but, on the contrary, grew very troublesome, and, as they were returning in the evening, they were suddenly seized upon by a number of Armed men that had hid themselves in the wood for that purpose. This was after Tootaha had been seized upon by us, so that they did this by way of retaliation in order to recover their Chief; but this method did not meet with the approbation of them all. A great many condemn’d these proceedings, and were for having them set at liberty, while others were for keeping them until Tootaha was releas’d. The dispute went so far that they came from words to blows, and our people were several times very near being set at liberty; but at last the party for keeping them Prevailed, but, as they had still some friends, no insult was offer’d them. A little while after they brought Webb and Gibson, the two deserters, to them as Prisoners likewise; but at last they agreed that Webb should be sent to inform us where the others were. When I came to Examine these 2 Men touching the reasons that induced them to go away, it appeared that an acquaintance they had contracted with 2 Girls, and to whom they had strongly attached themselves, was the Sole reason of their attempting to stay behind. Yesterday we weighed the small Bower Anchor, the Stock of which was so much eaten by the worms as to break in heaving up, and to-day we hove up the best Bower, and found the Stock in the very same Condition. This day we got everything off from the Shore, and to-night everybody lays on board.
July 11, 2012
Tuesday, 11th July, 1769