Thursday 1 November 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

Decr 1st We have long been anxiously expecting a visit from the natives & have been somewhat uneasy at their lengthened absence, more particularly as 2 natives had been sent by land from Rapid Bay to inform the other tribes of our pacific intentions. To-day however two were brought into our settlement. Mr Williams (Mr Ward’s partner) while out shooting saw a man & boy making a fire; their backs being towards him, he got near to them, without their discovering him. When about 20 yds off he made a noise to attract their notice – not however without having previously taken the precaution of putting a bullet into each barrel of his gun. They immediately seized their spears, but as Mr Williams held up a piece of biscuit to them to show his good humour to them, & burst out laughing they put down their weapons & approached him. Patting on the back & other cordialities now commenced, & he at length persuaded them to follow him. On reaching his tent he gave them sugar, biscuit, and tobacco. Being now quite at their ease he brought them on to us, & having had intimation of their approach I went to met them. The man appeared to be about 30 years of age & the boy (who was his son) about 8, both were intelligent looking, and as far as my knowledge of physionomy would carry me – anything but ferocious. As soon as they saw me they laughed, and patted me on the back, which ceremony I of course returned; but wishing to make them comprehend as completely as possible that we were friendly with all the tribe I took a stick & holding it above my head broke it saying “Wambara” “Wambara” “No good” “No good” upon which the man seemed perfectly delighted, & with the greatest earnestness embraced me. The “Wombara” is a weapon used in native warfare. We then went to the Stores & supplied them with a second-hand military coat, hat, & trousers, which wonderfully delighted them, & on a looking-glass being placed before them, they were almost convulsed with laughter. We then introduced a new wonder, a pipe, which was lighted by a burning glass. They looked above & below but seeing nothing but a piece of transparent substance in a wooden frame they seemed rather alarmed. On this I pointed to the Sun, then to the glass & tobacco, but the explanation was hardly complete before the savage patted his chest, in token of comprehension, & looked at each of the party as if impressed with awe at our superior knowledge. We now took them to the tent & introduced them to the ladies of the party. On approaching my tent they were at first struck with the goats, but being anxious they should form a correct idea of the laws of “Meum” & “Tuam” I called the goats & fed them with biscuit, & by signs showed that they belonged to Me & Me alone & ended by giving the natives some biscuit to feed the goats, fowls etc xxxxx If these natives be a fair specimen, there was nothing to fear from a residence amongst them, but having heard much of their ferocity I must be cautious in giving a contrary opinion, as care may be required in dealing with them. At all events great praise is due to Mr Williams in his first treatment of them.

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