A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY

BOOK
II

1797
October 15th.



Their inquiries seemed to tend to a knowledge of what brought us to their country; but I fear our replies gave them very little satisfaction, as we could so little comprehend each other. They were seemingly pleased with their reception, and soon after took leave of us.

We went on shore to ascend the high land near us to the South, and from thence to take some bearings. Our view from the top was very extensive; and we saw distinctly over every part of the harbour. Our angles were however useless, the needle being so strongly affected as to point East instead of North, owing to some magnetic power in the mountain, which would not admit the needle pointing true in any situation. This hill was high and rocky; but the sides produced coarse grass, on which cattle were feeding; and in the lower parts, some paddy fields.

On our return on board in the evening we found the vessel
crowded with visitors, nor could we get rid of them till dark, and even with great difficulty, using almost violence to induce them to go into their boats. At last they went on shore.

Soon after dark we were surprised seeing these boats coming off from the shore, full of men, and very desirous to come on board. I did not chuse to permit them, and they came to an anchor along-side. As we were unacquainted with their intentions, their conduct appeared to us suspicious; and we prepared for the worst, having every body stationed at their quarters. In a short time a boat came to them from the shore with lights, which being distributed amongst the others, after some consultation, they took up their anchors and rowed on shore to the village.

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