IN March and April, 1890, Maclaren travelled in North Queensland. He visited his old parish of Mackay, and Townsville and Cooktown, whilst waiting rather anxiously to cross again to New Guinea. "I am feeling lonely and dull, and anxious to get to work in New Guinea," he writes. "How one's patience is tried when one longs for work and can't get it. Here (at Cooktown) I am waiting for the ship to come to take me over. I am tired of waiting, and the delay gives one time to think over the past and long for England again. It is difficult, too, to write letters in this terribly relaxing climate! We need your prayers and sympathy more than you can tell."
At last on Friday, 1st May, after a celebration of the Holy Communion at Christ Church, Cooktown, he started for New Guinea on the SS. Merrie England. He notes in his diary: "We arrived at Port Moresby on Sunday, 3rd May, at 10.30 AM. Soon after, I went ashore and was introduced to Mr. Musgrave, the Go vernment Secretary. We returned to the SS. Merrie England, and after lunch went off to the London Missionary Society's Mission. On our way we met the bearer of a letter from Mr. Lawes, welcoming me to the mission. When we got near the shore as the tide was low we were carried to land on the backs of some natives. Captain Hennessey, in trying to get his carriers to land him before mine could land me, was tumbled off into the water, and had to appear in mis sionary attire at the service. We were welcomed by Mr. Lawes and his assistant Mr. Dauncey, who met us on the shore.
"At 3 P.M. we wended our way to the church, a large substantial building with a cross at each end, but perfectly plain inside. As the bell was ringing, it was in teresting to watch the Papuans assembling for the service. Some wore their native dress, while others wore, in addition, hats of brilliant designs, red and yel low being the prevailing colours. The men had on white singlets and a Turkey-red garment down to the knees, not unlike the dress of an acolyte at S. Peter's, London Docks. Inside the church we found the congregation seated on the floor, which was beautifully clean. The men and women were divided and the Christians were also separated from those who had not professed their faith in Christ. I had a seat given me by the side of Mr. Lawes. The service was of a simple but impressive character. A hymn was given out by Mr. Dauncey, which was heartily sung in Motu by the whole congregation sitting, and without any musical instrument to assist them, and very well it sounded. After this a prayer was offered by one of the native teachers, then another hymn, then a lesson, and the sermon by Mr. Dauncey, then another hymn, and a short baptismal service, when some sixteen adults were solemnly admitted into the Church. Then the communion followed, the whole of the congregation remaining. Instead of wine the milk of the coco-nut was used. Altogether it was a most interesting service, and one could not but feel deeply thankful that such a noble work has been accomplished by the agents of the L.M.S. among the Papuans of New Guinea. The congregation was most reverent and attentive, though they sat on the floor during the whole of the singing, reading and praying--their heads were bent low when prayer was offered to God.
"After the service I had a long conversation with Mr. Lawes about his work in New Guinea and the translation of the New Testament into Motu which he is just finishing. He gave me a copy of his Motu grammar. He thinks that Motu should be made the basis of the whole British New Guinea languages and in this he is supported by Sir William MacGregor.
"The people at the Mission welcomed me most warmly and made me feel quite at home. They have been here twenty years. They say that I am liberal-minded, and that the last English clergyman they had here would not go to the service nor take part in their family prayer. I do all. Am I not right? Surely in a heathen country we don't want to shock the poor natives with our unhappy divisions. God listens to us all. . . . I trust I am none the less a Catholic in its deepest meaning."
Dr. Lawes, referring to this visit of Maclaren after hearing of his death, said: "One afternoon in May, 1890, I had the pleasure of welcoming our brother to Port Moresby. It was the Communion Sabbath and he went with us to the native church and with evident pleasure joined with us in that service. We sat side by side and united with native communicants in that solemn commemorative feast which makes one all the families of men. It was at the table of our Lord that we first met in Christian brotherhood, and all I after wards saw and knew of our brother deepened the impressions then received of him as a large-hearted, liberal-minded Christian, full of simple faith and love to Christ. Before the Sabbath closed he was on the footing of an old friend; and by his unaffected, genuine character had established himself in our home as a beloved brother. During that first visit to New Guinea he was a frequent visitor and an honoured guest in our house. 1-le was very observant and of a receptive mind. Preconceived plans and schemes were readily abandoned when once he saw their inadvisability or weakness. After that visit of inspection he left New Guinea with clearer views and more practical ideas of his work and its requirements than he had before. He discussed plans for the future with all the earnestness and common sense with which he was so largely endowed. In our council, concerning the districts to be occupied by the different missionary societies and arrangements to prevent any future discord or clashing, he was liberal-minded and catholic. He won the esteem and affection of all the missionary brethren he met in New Guinea, while his power of human sympathy secured him the trust and confidence of the natives everywhere."
Returning to Maclaren's diary we read--still under date of 4 May: "A small church is nearly completed at Port Moresby for the use of all denominations, but as the money for its erection was raised by Mr. Lawes I certainly think it would save squabbling in the future if it were vested in the L.M.S. At the present time the Church of England service is read every Sunday morning at Mr. Goldie's residence by Mr. Lawes, but when the little church is finished the service will be held in it. In the evening I dined with Mr. Musgrave and Judge Winter, and later on I paid a second visit to the mission house and met the Rev. A. Pearce and his wife who had just come from their mission station sixty miles east at Kerepuna.
"Monday, 5th May.--I had a long talk with Mr. Lawes concerning native teachers from the South- Sea Islands. He spoke warmly of their assistance, but advised me to do my utmost to train the native Papuan boys for missionary work among their own fellow-countrymen. The natives who rowed us off to the mission station were interested in my coloured glasses, and each had a look through them. Their noses being flat they could not make them stick on as I could.
"I visited the three villages of Port Moresby. The women were busily engaged making pottery for trading purposes farther West. They exchange it for sago, etc. Everywhere we were constantly asked for tobacco. Some of the women were very old and the children had terrible skin diseases. Their houses are clean. Their food consists of fish, sago, bananas and yams. Some of the women had their heads shaved s a sign that their husbands were away. They are all kind to their children and fond of them. Their dress is simple, but they are fond of gay clothes.
"Wednesday, 7th May.--We left Port Moresby at 7.30 A.M. for Yule Island, and after a delay of about forty minutes on the way, owing to a severe storm, we reached the anchorage at 4.10 in the afternoon. The next morning Captain Hennessey took me to call on the Roman Catholic missionaries. We found the bishop absent with Sir William MacGregor up the S. Joseph's River, but two of the fathers received us and introduced us to the rev, mother and five other sisters. They were pleasant and told us about their work. The houses in which they live are primitive native buildings, and yet they were all happy and contented though they had suffered terribly from fever.
"The fathers and brothers were engaged in erecting new houses nearer the landing-place, the new buildings being made of iron and wood--the wood of the island, cut, sawn and prepared by themselves. There is a large house for the Presbytery, a Chapel and Sisters' House. Their work among the natives I did not see, as it was some distance off.
"We left the Merrie England in a boat for a village named Lala or Naale, about twelve miles away. A murder had been committed in this village about a fortnight ago, a poor woman having been set upon by two boys at the instigation of an older man, but though the Governor had been to arrest them, they had eluded him. Our journey was taken for the purpose of capturing them. We left the SS. Merrie England at 3 P.M. on Thursday afternoon and reached a small village on the coast about 5 P.M. and at once started for Lala. We believed it to be not more than four miles away, whereas it turned out to be at least eight. The first mile and a half was along the coast just inside the mangrove. The next four through a thick scrub and the remainder through deep grass. Before we had got more than a mile into the scrub it got so dark that we were in danger of being bushed for the night as there was only a small and scarcely visible foot-track. Had it not been for the native boy it would have been impossible to have continued our journey, as it was, it was most unpleasant. However, we reached Lala about 9.30, after more than four hours' tramp. Unfortunately we had not brought any food and could only get some indifferent bananas. The village is situated in a small valley surrounded with hills. The population consists of about thirty men, forty women and some children. The native teacher's house is very good and his garden well cared for. On our arrival we rested under the teacher's house for ten minutes and then proceeded to the dwelling of the murderer. It was a weird scene. On our nearing the village we heard the natives laughing and talking and the dogs howling, and they had no idea that we were there. As soon as we came within thirty yards of the house a rush was made and the party surrounded it. In a moment there was dead silence while the man inside rushed on to the verandah (of his house) and tried to get away. Captain Hennessey caught him, and, as he tried to escape, he fired a rifle over his head, at the sound of which all the natives rushed out of their houses and made for the Bush. The murderer was handcuffed and led back to the native teacher's house, where we camped for the night. The prisoner was fastened to the door of the room in which I slept.
"Early the next morning we left for the SS. Merrie England, after having had some sweet potatoes and a drink of hot water. On our journey homeward we passed through a small village in which we found the people making native pottery. They gave us some water-melons and coco-nuts in return for some tobacco, which is the money most valued by the Papuans. We arrived on board the SS. Merrie England at 12 noon, thoroughly tired.
"At 6 P.M. the Governor, Sir William MacGregor, arrived from his trip up the S. Joseph's River with Bishop Verjus. British New Guinea is to be envied in having such a man as Sir William MacGregor as its Administrator. His whole life is spent in studying the natives and endeavouring to understand their peculiarities. Already he has gained a marvellous in fluence over them and they recognise him as the 'Big Chief of New Guinea'. He is also deeply interested in missionary work, and I feel sure that we shall have in him one who will do all in his power to help us. We had a long conversation yesterday relating to our proposed Mission, and he thinks the north-east coast will be a splendid field for our future work. Up to the present little is known about it.
"Sunday, 11th May.--Sir William MacGregor left at 9 A.M. for Maiva and the SS. Merrie England steamed to Motu to visit Mr. and Mrs. Chalmers. On our arrival at 2 P.M. we found Mrs. Chalmers alone. After taking a walk through the native village we returned to the church, where we had service in the native tongue, conducted by the teacher. We left again at 4 P.M. and returned to Yule Island. At i i A.M. we had morning service, at which all the crew and officers attended.
"On Monday at nine I went ashore, and having visited Maiva I accompanied Sir William to a village five miles west, but owing to a severe attack of fever and ague, Sir William was unable to proceed farther than within one and a half miles of the village. Ava, a native, and I went up to Kevori through a swamp, up to our loins in mud and water, and brought the chief and about a hundred natives down to Sir William, who compelled them to make peace with the people of Maiva. The scene was an interesting one. Beneath the palm-trees the Governor was lying, very ill with fever, attended by the native teachers' wives, who did all they could to minister to his needs, while the chief of Kevori and his men stood round and listened to the Governor's speech through the native teacher. Tobacco and betel-nuts were freely distributed, and each man who made a speech received a stick of tobacco.
"Great was the astonishment when about sixteen white men came up from the S.S. Merrie England with guns and flags. This was done to impress the natives with the power and authority of English rule.
"About four we left and returned to Maiva, where we took up our quarters at the native teacher's house for the night. Some of the natives are very interesting--one named Himurra-murra became much attached to me and said he would like to go to sea as a sailor. I gave him some tobacco and promised to send him a shirt by 'Tamate' (Mr. Chalmers) from Port Moresby. I gave Ava a piece of Turkey red cloth, which he gave to his wile and it was worn by her at evening prayers. During the evening sortie six or seven natives went on to the beach with me and I tried to teach them the music of a hymn--I69-- The Mill Wheel,' which they quickly sang after me. I also sang some hymns to them, which they listened to very attentively. My glasses amused them, also my umbrella. I sat down on a tree on the beach to put on my boots and stuck my umbrella into the sand, when a big wave came up suddenly and carried it out to sea. The native teacher gave me a bird of paradise and some very curious charms.
"Tuesday, 13th May.--At eight we returned to the SS. Merrie England and sailed for Port Moresby, which we reached at 6.30 P.M.
"Wednesday, 14th May.--I went ashore and met Messrs. Chalmers, Lawes and Pearce of Kerepuna, and it was resolved that the Anglican Mission should extend from Cape Ducie to Mitre Rock on the north-east coast, while the Wesleyans were to take the islands."
This agreement is described in the following letter to the Australian Board of Missions:--
"At a conference held at Port Moresby on 17th June, 1890, at which were present the Rev. W. G. Lawes, F. W. Walker and H. Dauncey, of the London Missionary Society, the Rev. G. Brown, Secretary of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, and the Rev. A. A. Maclaren of the Anglo-Australian Board of Missions, the following statements and recommendations were adopted as expressing the views and opinions of those present:--"We regret the misunderstanding that has arisen with respect to the fields of labour to be occupied by the respective societies, owing to the fact that the Louisiade and the adjacent islands were suggested to the Anglo-Australian Board of Missions by the late Protectorate Government as a suitable field in which to commence missionary work, and that they had been preparing to occupy them, whilst in ignorance of this, the same field, together with the north-east coast of New Guinea from Mitre Rock to East Cape, had also been suggested in a memorandum of the Government Secretary to the Wesleyan Missionary Society of Australasia and accepted by them as their field of labour, whilst the directors and missionaries of the L.M.S. still desired to retain the north-east coast as part of their existing mission.
"In order to prevent further complications re missionary boundaries, we express the opinion that as the missionaries of the L.M.S. have agreed to make the boundary of their mission at Cape Dude on the north-east coast, the Anglican Mission should occupy the coast from Cape Ducie to Mitre Rock on the north-east coast of New Guinea, and that the Wesleyan Missionary Society should occupy the whole of the outlying islands, with the exception of those islands lying west of Rocky Pass on the south-east coast of New Guinea."
"I am delighted," he writes, "that this matter is so far settled. The L.M.S. are most kind and we shall have every encouragement from their agents here. What we need now is money--you must get that. Our people must help us. Rouse them up. It will take at least £4000 to start with. The Wesleyans have more than this in hand. The north-east coast is a splendid field for us in every way, better even than the islands could have been.
"Saturday, 17th May--Went and called on Sir William in the afternoon, agreed to do Richards' work while he went south. Attended a native prayer-meeting at 7.30.
"Sunday, 18th May.--Native service at nine. Chalmers took it. At 4 P.M. a small Protestant church opened. I read prayers. Mr. Lawes spoke and offered dedicatory prayer and Mr. Chalmers preached. Captain Hennessey played. The native women and teacher carried their white dresses and put them on outside the church. At the end of the service the natives sang some hymns. Port Moresby looked lovely as the sun was setting.
"Monday, 19th May.--Left the Mission house and stayed with the Governor to learn Private Secretary's duties.
"Thursday.--Left at 7 AM. for Hall Sound.
"The Roman Catholic Mission, from what I have seen and heard, does not appear to be worthy of imitation. As they have been at Yule Island for nearly five years one would have expected considerable results, instead of which, as far as I have seen and heard, in spite of a staff of twenty Europeans, they have done little more than make themselves known among a portion of the natives of their district. They half starve themselves so that they soon fall victims to fever, they work, too, at manual labour in the heat of the day and don't take care of their bodies. The system pursued by the L.M.S. is more practical and worthy of imitation. They place native teachers from the South-Sea Islands who give the first simple teaching to the Papuans in Christianity. Their belief, too, is less complicated. They teach the great doctrine of God's revelation to man, and, as far as I have seen, it will take some time to get beyond this in New Guinea. Already the inconsistency of some of the converts is apparent. They pray and speak freely on religion, but they don't realise that a Christian is one who has constantly to fight against sin. However we must not expect too much. After nearly twenty years' work many in England would be disappointed with the visible results of the L.M.S., and yet they have accomplished a noble work. Lawes and Chalmers, two men entirely different, have, each in his own way, done much and are held in high estimation by the natives. Our Mission must learn experience by their ex ample. A little more ritual would help them. It must do so. The natives are much impressed by outward surroundings. I hope to get South-Sea Islanders from Mackay, and to give them six months' training before they go on to New Guinea; a great thing is that they speak English and will be able to act as interpreters.
"On Friday we steamed to Maiva. In the evening a peculiar ghostlike figure walked through the village and inspected the coco-nut trees. It was interesting to watch the faces of the children. He is supposed to be a spirit, and it is not supposed to be known who he is. It appears that some time before the village feast and dance all the coco-nuts are 'tabooed' (forbidden to be eaten). He goes round and is supposed to know all the nuts, and if any are missing he scolds them. He came up and stood in front of the Governor and then went on his way. He certainly walked very gracefully. The mosquitoes are awful. During the night my room was alive with rats and lizards. Still I slept fairly well.
"Early on Saturday, 2 May, we started for Aipiana, a village twelve miles from Maiva. Some thirty-six natives were engaged as carriers. Our party consisted of eighteen, all told. We had three creeks or swamps to cross. The Governor and I were carried over, it was anything but pleasant. I found out afterwards that one of the men who carried me over had leprosy. The amount of skin disease here is very sad--the children are fearfully bad. I was glad to reach Aipiana, which we did about 3 o'clock. On the road we had some coco-nut milk and sugar cane. Great was the surprise when we reached Aipiana. We went at once to the Strangers' House, a large building of bamboo and palm leaves, about sixty feet long and twenty broad. There is an upper platform eight feet from the ground, on which we all camped. As soon as we arrived the place was swarming with natives, talking and shouting. The chief greeted Sir William as he was well known to him, and I was introduced. His name is Maino, and you could see at once that he is head and shoulders above his fellows. Tall and slight, refined in features and dignified in carriage, he impressed us all with his superiority. Other chiefs appeared on the scene and all had presents of 'kuku' (tobacco) given to them. Many brought coco-nuts or taro, and received 'kuku' in return. After dinner, for which we were all ready, I took a stroll through the village. It is a long straggling street of some hundred houses, divided in the middle by a fence. Most of the children ran away when they saw us, as did the women. The men were indifferent. Later on we returned and had a service with the native carriers. Ava led it. They sang a hymn and he made a short speech and prayed. About 150 natives of Aipiana came and listened attentively. It was probably the first time the Gospel had been preached here, for it is in the Roman Catholic district and they have not made a start yet. After prayers we had some singing, while the natives stood round in crowds and listened. The mosquitoes were very bad. Later on we went to bed, but not to sleep, as the natives kept up an incessant talking until about twelve, when the Governor told them to go away. Our beds were hammocks hung up, mine was under Sir William MacGregor's and was very comfortable. Both food and bed are relished here, though both are somewhat rough. At present I don't like the native food, but I am trying to do so. Some of our Governors are missionaries in the truest sense--at any rate Sir William MacGregor is.
"25th May.--On Sunday we got up at six and were getting ready to start, when the Governor suddenly changed his mind, remembering that it was Sunday, and remained at Aipiana. The natives had service at which we were present. About ten o'clock the chief arrived with two pigs as a present for Sir William. In return he gave him two large knives, a looking-glass and two lots of tobacco. Though it was Sunday the pigs were killed, as our provisions had been left behind at Maiva. A leg was given to a chief who had come from Maiva district to share with the others. He departed with the leg and did not turn up again till 4 P.M., not having given any to the other chiefs. But when he was questioned he said it was against native custom to take any part of what they had once given, and that he had shared it with some other Kivori men who had arrived during the day. During the night a death had taken place, and the burial-place was just in front of the house. Inside some twenty women sat round making lamentations; we stayed and watched them and gave them tobacco. Soon after we left we heard them all in fits of laughter. It appeared strange that they should change so soon, but I suppose the women were engaged to sing death lamentations.
"During the day great quantities of coco-nuts and native vegetables were brought in exchange for 'kuku'.
"Aipiana is a very pretty village, surrounded by a thick band of coco-nut trees. The houses are built of bamboo and thatched. The roofs are like the ordinary thatched roofs in England. They are made of the leaves of the coco-nut and beautifully finished inside. Soon after sunset we had our evening service, said in English first, and then the native Christians had theirs. The natives of Aipiana stood round and listened. It was a weird scene--the Governor of New Guinea sitting on a bag of rice, on the floor of the Strangers' House with a candle stuck in a coco-nut shell, a few Europeans and a crowd of New Guinea people gathered round him, listening to a very simple service, heard for the first time perhaps in Aipiana--such was our Whitsunday service, so different from my last in England. As far as one can see New Guinea is not at all anxious to receive the Gospel. The people are happy and free from care here because they have plenty of food. It is not so elsewhere, where food is not so plentiful. The country through which we travelled from Maiva is rich beyond description. Most of it is under cultivation. What one has to fear is an influx of Europeans, who will teach European failings without European morals. Hence the need of practical missionaries. As far as I am able to judge, Christianity must bring temporal benefits with it, if ever it is to be lasting in its effects in New Guinea. Late in the evening I went through the village with Sir William and visited the house of mourning. The mourners were sitting round the grave, having lighted fires at each end. Some time after two officers of the Merrie England and I sang some hymns to them in the village, and a crowd gathered round and said 'Namo' ('Good, good'). We turned in about nine and but for the continual chattering I should have slept well.
"I am afraid the Papuans will not be celebrated for their kindness to animals for some time to come. One of their decorations is a butterfly of the most brilliant colour, fastened round the waist by a bit of coco-nut fibre and attached to the hair. It flies round and round to a distance of eight or ten inches till it dies. Pigs are carried on a bit of bamboo, their legs tied across, they hang back downward and are carried for miles.
"26th May.--The Governor had intended to have started for his next stage, but as the chief he expected had not turned up he delayed his journey till Tuesday. The chief Baula turned up about ten and then the noise began. Baula is tall, thin and a very ugly man. He was clothed in a flannel shirt given to him on a previous occasion, and as soon as he arrived he began to declaim in a most unpleasant manner. In the meantime the Strangers' House was crowded with natives. They were ordered off, but they soon came back. In ordering them off again I unfortunately ordered one of the chiefs off. He became angry and would not be appeased till I had given him some 'kuku'. Then he came and shook hands with me and we were friends again. In the evening the sailors of our party sang some songs with choruses, which were much appreciated by the large native audience.
"Tuesday, 27th May--We started for Amoamo, a village about twelve miles farther inland. Soon after we left Aipiana we passed through Vapa, of which Baula is chief. It was amusing to see the different chiefs meet and rub noses. About half-way in crossing one of the rivers, I unfortunately slipped and fell into the water, the result being that I got a thorough wetting. Then we passed into a fearful swamp of about three miles in length, with mud and water above our knees. It was not pleasant, but we got through it and soon after reached Amoamo. The inhabitants of this village had recently killed two other people, and as the chief was frightened to meet the Governor, he cleared out as soon as it was known that we were coming. The result was the Governor had to wait till Friday before he could see him. The village is small and poor, but the people were very friendly. In the evening we had some games with the children, and taught them 'Blind-man's Buff' and 'Tug the Rope'. In the latter the 'Maiva' (our carrying boys) tugged against 'Amoamo' and caused much fun. Their own games are very interesting.
"Early on Thursday, 29th, we started for Aipiana. In the evening we had some games with the children which they thoroughly enjoyed.
"Next day we started for Ngauauni, sixteen miles distant, and passed through Roan, Baula's village.
"Baula was at home and came on with us. He is a wonderful old man, with a natural dignity, though he is a savage. He and I became very good friends. Of course I have to give him a little 'kuku' from time to time. We arrived at Ngauauni about five and I was fairly tired. The people were timid and did not come near at first, but gradually they came round us, and as usual began to talk at the top of their voices. Baula soon after arrived on the scene and began to declaim. These people were at enmity with the surrounding villages, and both this and Baula's village were barricaded with bamboo, and all the spears were kept in readiness. Here all the women and children leave the village at night on account of the warlike attitude of the neighbouring tribes. We slept in the Strangers' House, a very good one. About 7.30 the Governor arrived. The view from S. Joseph's River, which runs just under the village of Yule, is lovely.
Early on Saturday morning six of the party started off to a bamboo clump to make a raft, while most of the others went out shooting or collecting. About mid-day the Governor started for the bamboo clump, where the rest of us were to overtake him on Sunday. On Saturday afternoon I did some washing in the river, as most of my things were dirty. Food being scarce we had but little to eat.
"1st June.--Early on Sunday morning, after I had said prayers, we started for the raft, about eight miles on the way to Aipiana, which we reached about ten, and found all hard at work completing the raft. After a meal of biscuits and tea, we made a start on the raft down the river for Aipiana, which we reached about four. After us came some twenty Papuans on rafts of their own, and as they chanted some of their native songs it was very pleasing. I cannot but express my regret that such work has to be done on a Sunday, as it quite undoes the good missionaries are trying to do, though on this particular Sunday some excuse can be made for it, on the ground of short provisions.
The raft was made of six or seven layers of bamboo, fifty or sixty feet long, and it was large enough to take our party of twenty-four, as well as one or two chiefs. Then there was all our baggage. On reaching Aipiana we went at once to the Strangers' House, and stayed there the night, In the evening some of us sang a lot of hymns to the natives to which they said 'namo' ('Good').
"2nd June.--Early on Monday we started again on our raft for a village six miles farther down the river. Before starting we parted with three Maiva boys who had been with us the whole time and were loyal and helpful--Jora, Oa and Tom. I was quite sorry to part with them, and I gave Oa a shirt for his personal attendance on myself. At Ngauauni we found a cat, a great pet of Baula's. He called her 'Putty' and was delighted when I told him we also called her 'Pussy'. They can't pronounce the 'S' very distinctly. The raft came into contact more than once with snags and logs floating down or stuck in the river. The views of Mount Yule, towering 10,000 feet above us, about fifteen miles away were lovely. We reached our next stopping-place about twelve o'clock, and went at once to the village about two miles inland. Here we experienced great difficulty in getting carriers to bring our luggage up from the raft to the village, and it was only by good management, 'kuku,' and by going back with them myself that they consented to move.
"These people are more savage and warlike than any I have seen before. On our arrival in the village the war drum was sounded and they went at once for their spears and stood ready to attack. As there was no Strangers' House we had to camp in the open air under canvas. In the evening they had a native war-dance when the men wore their head-dress and beat their drums. It was interesting and very clever. They first walked sideways in two long lines about six feet apart facing each other, and then they fell in six deep and marched very slowly, backward and forward, up and down the village. Of course they wanted 'kuku'. The scene was striking, the clear moonlight night, the beautiful palm-trees all round the village, and bending over it, the natives practising their war-dance, made a sight I shall not soon forget.
"Here, as usual, the women do most of the work while the men talk, smoke and sleep. The mosquitoes seem to trouble them a good deal. Just as I was going off to sleep, a native peered in at me through my net, and gave me a great shock as he had a spear in his hand, but a worse fright was in store for me. About twelve I felt something under my hammock touching me, which awoke me and I called out. When I heard a grunt, and found it to be a very large pig, I was greatly relieved, though it took me some time to go to sleep again. Pigs are plentiful, but as the young ones are fed from the breasts of the women, I was not anxious to taste them, though the rest of our party seemed to enjoy the fresh meat and preferred it to tinned meat.
"3rd June.--We made a very early start the next morning, Tuesday, or rather tried to do so. Our party was divided, half going overland to the sea, viâ another inland village, which the Governor wished to visit, and the other half going down the river on the raft.
"The Governor's party left soon after six, while we did not get away till nearly nine, as the people refused to carry our goods. Neither 'kuku' nor persuasion would make them, so we had to go to the next village, three-quarters of a mile off, to try and get some carriers, but these, though they were ready to carry our stuff, were soon influenced by the others. At last we got one or two to start, then others came, though one old fellow did all he could to stop the rest. He shouted to them at the top of his voice, sitting down about twenty yards from where our stuff was. If it had not been so important to us to get an early start, it would have been amusing. At last I could stand it no longer, so I shouted louder than he did and silenced him. Strength of voice is a power in New Guinea. As soon as we had been successful in getting a goodly number to start, I went over to him and gave him a bit of 'kuku,' and patted him on the back and gained his powerful aid. Then plenty of carriers came, and last of all he came himself, and we gave him the heaviest load! Unfortunately there is no chief in this village, or there would not have been so much difficulty in getting carriers. When everything was on the raft, we cut the ropes and made a start, but before we had got very far we were in the midst of snags, and constant delays were experienced. Travelling on a raft down the S. Joseph River was very interesting. The scenery is lovely and Mount Yule in the distance adds to its grandeur. The current runs at the rate of about three miles an hour. On our way down we passed a good many natives in canoes, from whom we purchased poles for the raft, and fruit. Fortunately we had a bag of sand on the raft, so we were able to make a fire and have tea for dinner. The sailors sang some choruses, and to add to the interest of the journey one or two of them managed to tumble overboard. The river swarms with alligators, some of which are very large. As the sun was setting we saw six. Just as it was getting dark, the tide coming into the river stopped the current, so that we were unable to proceed on our journey down to the sea. Here we should have had to make fast for the night, with no hope of sleep, as the mosquitoes would have prevented it. But after a stoppage of some two hours we heard the steaming of the small launch of the Merrie England, and soon after a rocket went off and we knew that all was well. In less than an hour and a half we were safely on board the SS. Merrie England after an eventful journey of nearly a fortnight. How pleasant it was to sit down to a clean meal!
"4th June.--On Wednesday I paid a visit to Bishop Verjus on Yule Island, and found him ill in bed with fever. I went into the little chapel and said my prayers, and felt refreshed by the sight of a place of worship. How small all our divisions appear in the presence of savage heathenism! No doubt some Protestant would tell me that I could have said my prayers in the open air far better. I am so constituted that I found it a pleasure to be alone with God in that humble chapel, though it was not one of our own, and therefore I used it and was glad of the chance. On my return to the bishop he gave me his photo, and asked me to remember him in my prayers, and wished me success in my work at the other end of New Guinea. He is a kind and good man and thoroughly earnest in his work.
"5th June.--We remained at Redscar Bay all day. The Governor had gone to arrest some murderers but was unsuccessful, so he arrested the chief as a hostage. The parting between the chief and his wife was touching. She cried bitterly and followed him a distance of seven miles to the seashore. Another chief took her back and was kind to her. The chief was happy on board the S.S. Merrie England, and said to me on Saturday morning "Namo, namo," pointing to his stomach, meaning that the food was good. On Friday morning Captain Hennessey and I went off to get some oysters, and while we were on the rocks with his boy and the dog, we suddenly saw an alligator making straight for us. We moved off as quickly as possible and left him in the water. The dog was the attraction, as alligators are supposed to be fond of dogs.
"We reached Port Moresby about 10 A.M. on 7th June. Next day, Sunday, the Governor and I went to the little church recently opened. We had the Litany, three hymns, a lesson and a short sermon. There were fourteen Europeans present. In the evening I went up to the Mission house and was present at the native evening prayer.
"A young Papuan was discovered by Nauo stealing potatoes at the Government House store-room. He was marched into my office, and I fastened him with a strap round his ankle to the leg of the table. He looked very sad and no doubt regretted having been caught. Later in the day he was released and went at once to his village. Passing through it myself about an hour after I found a large crowd round him, talking in loud voices, and scolding him for being taken in the act. They don't care about the crime. The sin is in being found out.
"11th June.--The Governor spent the whole day inspecting the school of the L.M.S. at Port Moresby and was fairly well pleased with the result. He tells me that the school was packed with some 250 children, though the average attendance is not more than 40 or 50. The reason why so many were present was that last year the Governor gave them a feast and they came expecting another this year. They were not disappointed, though certain conditions were laid down, viz., that all children under seven should say the alphabet, and all over seven should say the ten commandments. These children don't like school any more than Europeans, and when the bell rings they may be seen running away into the Bush, and when the teacher goes after them, they run into the sea, as they know that he cannot catch them there without getting wet.
"12th June.--To-day the Governor gave a tea to the head teacher and his wife, a student and his wife, and a daughter of the late chief of Port Moresby. The Governor brought back with him a young orphan from Kevori who had followed us on our journey last time. He is installed at Government House and is already beginning to get a little flesh on his bones. Ruatoka's wife had known him when his father and mother were alive, and it was touching to see the meeting of the orphan and the Christianised South-Sea Islander. Tears trickled down their cheeks as they spoke of olden times when his parents lived. These people's affections are very real. The Governor and I had tea with them and at the same time waited on them. As they left each man and woman had an orange and a stick of tobacco. All the women as well as the men smoke here.
"20th June.--A picnic was given by the Governor to all children over seven who could say the ten commandments, and under seven who could say the alphabet. One hundred and fifty came; the picnic was held on the beach about a mile away. They had three pigs, and lots of rice and water, races for knives, looking- glasses, straps, Turkey red and tobacco. The children sat in sevens, and each had a native pot of rice and a piece of pig, which they divided among themselves. They said grace. They had a lot of native and other games--'Pull the Rope' between boys and girls, men and women, black and white--a very pretty game 'The Storm'. Some boys stood close together, a number 50 or 100 yards off carrying branches of green saturated with water, gradually came nearer, and when they got quite close rushed at those closely packed and sprinkled them, singing and humming like a storm. Then they all danced round in a thick mass. A good time was spent in the water. It was a very pleasant feast, no quarrelling, no drink, no swearing.
"Sunday, 22nd June.--Very poorly. Couldn't go to church.
"Maone (the orphan boy) departed, as it had been arranged that he should go on the Hygeia for two months. He went off in great spirits with his little parcel of clothes, consisting of one pair of t a shirt, a singlet, and a sulu, in a little cardboard box. I gave him some tobacco and an apple. He was much pleased, I said 'Oi namo,' and he said 'Lasi' ('No, missionary, you are good, I am bad'). Poor boy, God bless him!
"We left at 6 A.M. for Kerepuna and arrived at 3.30. Very rough and very sick! Schools examined by the Governor, they sang beautifully. It is only two years since Mr. Pearce arrived. He has done wonders in so short a time. They said the commandments and the Lord's Prayer, all intoned and very well. Some of them were painted black being in mourning. The houses, which are built on very high piles, are very picturesque. We slept on shore. We left at 6.45 A.M., but shortly after the ship steamed on to a bank, and we were delayed. At nine the Governor and I came off to Hula, where he examined the school. They all sat on the floor and sang and recited together the commandments, etc."
After other similar accounts of visits paid to different places on the coast, the diary goes on:--
"On 30th June at 7 A.M. we left Samarai for Mita, Milne Bay, and arrived about 10.30. . . . On our way we called at Killerton Island and saw the teacher. Samarai is an old L.M.S. station and the teacher's house is now used as a bonded store, under which is the prison. There is an old disused cemetery not far off through which the Government road has been made. Over one grave is a simple wooden cross with the name written in native language. The native prison is not all that could be wished. I visited the prison on my return on Tuesday, and found four prisoners inside and four working outside. Those in side were sitting on the floor. One was chained as he was dangerous and sometimes attacked the others. The native portion is a large room some thirty feet by twenty. On the floor in the middle is a chain to which the prisoners are fastened at night. Two of those inside were natives, but the other two were a Manila man and a Fijian. The former had been sentenced to ten years for the supposed murder of a New Guinea native. The other was serving six months for setting fire to some native houses.
"2nd June.--Wednesday we left Samarai about twelve o'clock for Mita, Milne Bay, and arrived about three. Soon after we went ashore to a feast. An immense quantity of vegetables and fruit, as well as pigs, was collected, and all through the village, small heaps of vegetables and fruit were piled up. Soon after our arrival a sort of town-crier went round with the chief and named the different heaps. One was for 'Missionare'. The Governor had two pigs and a quantity of vegetables and fruit as his share. Then they began to eat. The people came from all quarters, by sea, and over the hills from Bentley and Mime Bays.
"On getting under way the following morning we went on to a coral reef and were stuck till next morning, 4 July. The view of coral was exquisite, and there were fish of every conceivable tint, striped, spotted and irregular. About 3 A.M. we started in a steam-launch for a tour round the Bay, and called at two villages, one on the same side as Mita about ten miles away, and Waga Waga on the opposite side.
"We left on Saturday, 5th July, for S. Aignan's, which we reached at 2.30 and went ashore. Some savage-looking natives came off at about five alongside the Merrie England in a canoe with a skull on a pole. Being ordered to take it off, the natives made for the shore, and tried to prevent our boarding the canoe from the SS. Merrie England. When we did so two natives jumped into the water and swam away to shore, and threw the skull into the water. When we left there was great threatening and talking.
"14th July.--Went ashore at Woodlarks, where we got some betel-nut sticks. The natives were friendly; they spit over us to keep our devil off. There was a murder here of two white men in October, 1889, and the murderers are in the Bush. They seem to have eaten the body of one of their victims. The Roman Catholics have tried missionary work three times and have been driven away or eaten.
"15th July--The Governor and party went off to try and catch prisoners, and returned about 3 P.M. with three. They had some difficulty in catching them and they were at once put in irons. Two are very vicious-looking and older than the other. Tobacco is forbidden, which is a great hardship to them. It appears that white men had engaged the younger, and, having finished with him, threw him overboard out at sea. He swam for the shore and on his way was bitten by a shark. He then told his tale to his friends and urged them to murder the two white men, so that there seems to have been provocation.
"16th July.--The Governor was off again. No more prisoners were caught, though there were still two at large. I stayed on board not wishing to be mixed up with the taking of prisoners.
"On 17th July we visited Lachlan's. Here the people shave with a shark's tooth. . . Later in the evening we went off to see a native dance, a very tame affair, and not nearly so good as in the S. Joseph's district. Women went round and round the ring in single file, while men and boys beat the drums. Then men put on women's dress and went round in like manner.
"23rd July.--We arrived at Chad's Bay about 4.15. The Governor went ashore alone; nineteen months before two men were hanged here and that has made the people shy. I went later on, and saw for the first time some of my future people. They are friendly and interesting. When the Governor told them who I was, they all sat down, expecting that I should begin to preach. After dinner the Southern Cross shone brightly over the site of our new Mission, a good omen. On my landing I at once said prayers to God for His blessing on it--and to be kept from sin.
"On Thursday the 24th I landed at Awaiama at about seven o'clock with the Governor, Winter and party. Tents were erected and soon a number of natives came round us. We found Commoda from Bentley Bay awaiting us. He embraced me. He is a short man clothed in dirty canvas trousers, cotton shirt and helmet hat covered with a mosquito net. We also met Tirrerewei, the chief of Awaiama. He is about thirty and good-looking, tall and well made. Soon after our arrival native food was cooked, consisting of taro, yams, bananas and sweet potatoes. It was brought by the women in earthenware pots, and for each pot one stick of tobacco was given, and was laid by the side of the food. About ten we started inland to visit the villages. A number of natives went with us. We saw few houses and not many natives. Those with us did not seem desirous of showing us the place in which the people lived. The Governor thinks that there are a number of small villages, but I think that the people are scattered over the whole country. We walked till about 1.30. We were then about one and a half miles from the village in Annie inlet. We came back by a different round, mostly along the beach. There are a number of small villages along the coast and about 2,000 natives. Cape Ducie is seven miles from Awaiama. Between Cape Ducie and Excellent Point there is a deep bay, and here there are a good many villages. The natives were all friendly though the women fled to the houses. We saw the place where the two men mentioned before had been hanged nineteen months ago. The house close by had been razed to the ground. The ends of the cutter of Captain Ansell (the man murdered) are still to be seen just above the water. We got back about 6.30. It was very dark and we had a rough walk back. The natives appear to be kindly disposed, and some of them are quick and attentive to one's needs. Ata carried my waterproof and walked in it, much to the satisfaction of himself and the admiration of his friends.
"The people have splendid gardens and plenty of food, and are inveterate smokers and chew the betel-nut. There is much skin disease among them; not many very old people are to be seen, and no pigs or fowls. They catch fish with spears and nets. They use the sling in fighting as well as spears. Their head dress of feathers is very picturesque and they paint their faces. Human hair rope is abundant. They eat lice. They appear to have large feeding sites where they all eat together. They wear pandanus leaf.
"25th July.--Early on Friday, S. James's Day, we started off in the boat along the north-east coast to visit a tribe about six miles off named Taupota. They live along the coast, and as far as could be seen number five or six hundred. Their houses are scattered. They are friendly, and brought us food and coco-nuts in abundance. There are plenty of gardens. They live on friendly terms with the Awaiama tribe, and Tirrerewei came with us. On our way we passed Galilulu, a beautiful rise, about midway between Awaiama and Taupota. Here we intend to build. The natives will soon learn to sing. I tried to teach them one or two tunes, and they soon joined in. I beat a native drum to the tune. Their houses are built on piles and they have a native ladder to get up by, which is a trunk of a tree notched. On our return journey we called at Galilulu and had a splendid view from the top of it. It is 150 or 200 feet above the sea, and the highest part is formed of coral and is very rough. The second point Sir William suggested as the best site, but another a little lower down is equally good and is covered with rich soil of a dark colour. Only grass grows on the top now. Between the two hillocks there is a splendid little valley where a garden could be made.
"It is a suitable place for the headquarters of the Mission, not too close to the natives, but within reach of two or three thousand. Just above and overhanging are hills three or four thousand feet high, with waterfalls. It is close to the sea, a walk uphill of about a quarter of a mile or more, and a road could soon be made. Sir William thinks it the best site he has seen in New Guinea for the headquarters of our Mission station. We want a good house, large tanks, a small church, and later on natives will build houses round us and live near, but at first it is better that they should be a little distance away. We shall also want a good tent while the house is being built. Sand-flies are very bad at our camp. Galilulu is free both from sand-flies and mosquitoes; it ought to be cool and to get the wind from every quarter. We shall want a large bell to sound at least three miles. There is a splendid place for bathing, under the rocks, free from sharks. There are plenty of fish, pigeons, birds of Paradise, good shooting, also kangaroos, etc. We got back about 5.30 and found twenty bowls of food awaiting us. This seems to be the wet season, there is heavy rain every night.
"Saturday, 26th July.--I left with Tirrerewei and eight boys to visit inland behind Galilulu, and on our way we passed a small village on the coast. The people offered us food which we bought. A nice boy, named Warramuia, came some distance with us, and then went back. About three miles away we came upon some 300 people carrying tomahawks, knives, etc. Tirrerewei spoke to them and they were friendly. The chief's name is Namanamara; he is an old man. I gave him tobacco, and wanted him to come back to the Governor and get a shirt, but he wouldn't.
"I went on to a small rise behind the village and saw Galilulu about one and a half miles away, a little to the left looking towards the sea, so that we shall be in the midst of three different tribes who appear to speak the same language. The country from the rise is very pretty, and a brook twenty feet wide ran just under us. We passed through large and well-kept gardens. An old woman was most friendly and put her arms round my neck when she saw my white arms. They all admire size and white skins. We returned about 1 P.M., and in the afternoon I went in the boat in the opposite direction towards Cape Ducie, and called at two or three villages. In Ahego there is a well-kept ground in the centre of the village where they bury their dead. It is twenty-seven feet long by eighteen wide, shingled, and has a low wall round it. There is one peculiar headstone with ugly things carved on it, about three feet high and four feet long.
"We saw very few natives, but those we met were friendly and brought us food. We returned about 4.30. The Merrie England was sighted about 5 P.M.
"We slept on shore, and early on Sunday, 27th July, started for Cape Vogel, which we reached about twelve o'clock. Off the coast is a small island, called on the map Ipotete. The chief's name is Ipotete. Soon after our arrival we went ashore and visited five of the ten villages in the bay. They are small and the houses are poor--having no curios or pigs. The natives are fierce- looking and were shy at first, but soon became more friendly, and a shirt was given to Noe, the chief. He is an elderly man and pleasant. My name is 'Alaberta,' as they cannot pronounce Maclaren either here or in Chad's Bay. Their houses are built on piles about three feet or more from the ground and on the beach. The beach is of sharp coral formation. On my landing from the boat, the native boy Pita tried to carry me on his back to the shore, with the result that I was 'landed' into the water, much to the amusement of some, and to the disgust of other, natives. The scenery is lovely. Goodenough Island towering up about 8,000 feet some ten miles away, and the mainland ranges fifteen or twenty miles inland. There are plenty of coco-nuts and large gardens. Some of the people are good-looking, and their hair is worn in matted ringlets behind. There seems to be a thousand or fifteen hundred people on the cape. The women kept in their houses. The best site for a Mission station would be on a hill further north. It should be in the centre of population.
"On Monday at 6.30 we left for Ipotete Island in a small boat. The island is very small, not more than 400 yards long and less across. It has no land fit for cultivation. The thirty houses on it are built on rocks fifteen feet above the sandy ground. We climbed up native ladders to get to them. They appear to be used as places of defence when the Maisini people come down the north-east coast to attack them. Their occupants pull up the ladders and throw spears down on their enemies.
"28th July.--About 10.30 we saw from the Merrie England a burning mountain ten miles inland. White smoke went up from it to a great height. The scenery is very pretty; there are low woody hills a short distance from the coast, and high hills twenty miles or more inland.
"2 July--We went to visit in Collingwood Bay. We saw natives on canoes in a small harbour, but they fled at our appearance. We left a bit of Turkey red and came away, and went round the bay to a large village five miles farther on. On our arrival the chief came and smashed a dog to death on the ground as a token of friendship. We made friends with him. The people also had coco-nuts ready for us to drink. We saw eighty or a hundred men but no women. They were very timid at first, but they ad mired my arms and white skin, looking-glass and spectacles. After staying twenty minutes and purchasing curios with Turkey red and beads, we came away, promising by signs to return the following morning. They pinch the nose and belly as a sign of goodwill.
"Next morning we left at 7 A.M. in a boat drawn by the steam-launch and made visits to six villages. All received us well, especially the fifth. At the first we got some good curios. At the second they were very friendly, as some people from the first village ran along the beach to tell them about us. Here they play the flute with the nose. The next village was also friendly. The fourth was our old one of the night before, where we were warmly greeted, though they did not care for us to go far into the village. At the fifth we were well received; its people are very poor but kind. At the sixth all ran away, and as we were caught in a storm we made for the first house. Three or four people bundled out of it very quickly, one carrying a baby. We managed to give them two pieces of Turkey red as they went, but they wouldn't remain. When they had gone we looked into the room built on piles, and saw six or seven dogs and a dead pig. We cleared the dogs out and boiled some water on the fire, which was made on the floor. To our surprise a little child was hidden under some palm leaves in the corner of the room. As it thought that we could not see it, we did not disturb it. At last we coaxed a few natives back and made friends. One ran two miles along the beach to the next village to announce our coming, hence we were warmly welcomed by an immense crowd. It is a very large village, with graves in the centre planted with crotons. There must be at least 500 people. It is not more than ten or fifteen miles from the people on Hardy Point. As it is built on a swamp the houses are on high piles, and the village has a fence for protection; we went through a hole to get into it. Here, as we left, a dog was brought to be killed, but the Governor refused it. All along I tried to explain, by putting head to head, and sitting down and pointing out to sea, that I was coming to live with them, and they all seemed pleased. In one village they kissed my hand, and at another I had my nose pulled some twenty times. This is an important bay, and the people are big and strong though poor. They have plenty of stone axes and clubs. The latter they refused to part with. At night we camped on the beach near a mangrove swamp; the mosquitoes and sand-flies were very bad. The views from this bay are lovely, Mount Suckling 11,000 feet high is a magnificent range, but it is seldom free from clouds. Between Mount Suckling and Mount Victory an immense tract of pure white woolly cloud floated over the land so that it could not be seen, and gave it the appearance of being snow-clad. Mount Victory is lofty and seems to have been disturbed recently. It is volcanic, and smoke and steam were clearly seen rising out of it some distance from the top. It is covered with fir-trees in parts, and in other places is bare and of a dark brown tint. A large plain covered with grass slopes down from the bottom of the mountain to the sea. It looks as if it had been made by water rushing down from the mountain on to it. Mount Trafalgar is separated from Mount Victory by a slight valley. It is about the same height as Mount Victory, but longer, and not so abrupt in its rise. Between us and the mountain there must be a considerable population, as we saw people issuing from several places, and we distinctly heard the beat of the drums, whether for war, or not, we know not.
"31st July.--Our camp was fairly comfortable, but our clothes were damp. We landed at nine on a small sand bank to await the SS. Merrie England. When a match was struck here the sudden clearance of all the natives was very funny, not one remained. Then we got them back and they were gradually convinced that matches were useful, and wanted some. Others, who had never seen a white man before, pointed to the skies and thought we must have come down therefrom.
"We got on board the SS. Merrie England at 12.15 and steamed for Hardy Point. We reached a small bay near Nelson Point about four. The coast from Hardy Point up to Nelson Point is a succession of lovely harbours, about the middle of which a splendid mission station was selected. It is to be called after me. Soon after we anchored we set off in the boat to make friends with the natives, but in vain. We saw some canoes with natives on board, but they fled for their lives into the bush. We hauled alongside a canoe and put some Turkey red, beads and a bit of hoop iron on board. Then we went round into the adjoining bay, and I saw one native running through his garden. We landed and put the same as above in his hut. Later in the evening we saw some natives on the hill above us and hailed them, but they refused to come. Next morning (Friday, 1st August) we started about 7 A. M. and steamed along the coast from Cape Nelson towards Hardy Point. Soon after we saw a canoe and steered for it, but the natives made for the scrub and cleared. We went after the canoe and put presents in it as before. On our way towards Hardy Point we saw several canoes, but could not get them to stop. At last in the bay in which the Mission site is chosen we managed to get one or two to wait for us and gave them some Turkey red. Then I jumped out of the boat and waded in water up to my waist over coral, and was soon surrounded by forty or fifty who admired my white hands and neck, and motioned me to show my legs and arms which I did. They stroked them, and were pleased and shouted. We made purchases, and just before leaving the old chief came up. I gave him a plane iron, and in return he took off his necklace and gave it to me. He was an old man. Most of the natives wore nothing. Their hair was arranged differently from what I had seen before, like a bonnet overhanging in front made of feathers. They are fine-looking and not wanting in self-confidence. I liked them. There were a few young boys who were very shy. After we had gone we saw some more canoes, but they wouldn't come near. We stopped for lunch on a sandy beach. Soon after ten or more came up and made friends. We gave them braid, beads and two jam and meat tins; our food they would not touch for a long time. At last one helped himself out of my plate to a little of what I was eating, and smacked his lips and said something I couldn't make out. They brought us ten sugar canes and water. We left soon after for the Merrie England and arrived at 4.30. The day was fearfully hot and I was badly burnt. It is a fine place for a Mission station. There must be 2,000 natives here, but they live on the hills a short distance inland. With a good American whaleboat Collingwood Bay could easily be worked from here and could be joined to the mission at Cape Vogel. It is necessary to take up prominent points at once. I must go to England and get men to work here.
"Note.--I had heard so much of the wild savage state of the people here that I was surprised to find quite the reverse to be the case. Possibly the Merrie England impressed them. Still we went off in a small boat and I was unarmed. A steam yacht is a necessity, as there is often no wind and dead calms.
"Saturday, 2nd August.--Left Hennessey Harbour at 7.30. Passing along the coast near Nelson Point and Spear Island we saw immense clumps of coco-nuts. There must be a large native population. There are splendid grassy slopes stretching five or six miles in land. The view of Mount Trafalgar and Mount Victory is magnificent; the latter is covered with steam which oozes out from it.
"We steamed along the coast of Dyke Acland Bay, but saw no village till we came to Lena Bay. Here we arrived about 4.15 and rowed to the village in the bay. Some months ago a Señor Loria, an Italian traveller, came and entered the village, his small ship being anchored in the bay. The natives cleared out, and he proceeded to take all the curios, fishing-nets, clubs and spears from their houses, and left in exchange beads and Turkey red. He also attempted to dig up a corpse, but did not succeed. When Sir William heard of it he claimed the curios, and to-day we landed them and took them to a house, tied Turkey red and a plane iron to the posts and came away. Not a soul was visible. All had cleared into the scrub; we saw them running away as we approached in the boat, supposing, we pre sume, that our advent was of the same character as that of Loria. How pleased they will be to get their old goods again! As we rowed away we saw them returning, and in the adjoining village we heard shouting later in the evening. I kept calling out 'Habino, Habino, Oi,' but got no response. Another boy called out 'Wailu' from the other boat. Charles landed at the other village and purchased some curios. The houses are very poor. There is a splendid plantation of coco-nuts and palms, and immense groves of the latter along the beach. The bay is perfect and the scenery lovely. We can see Mount Suckling, Mount Victory and Mount Trafalgar as well as the Hydrographers' Range. There are some lovely crotons in the village and a well-trained hibiscus tree. The graves are well cared for. It is about fifty miles from Mitre Rock, and Cape Nelson is easily seen from it. There must be a population of three or four thousand people here.
Sunday, 3rd August.--Left SS. Merrie England for the village on the coast at 6 AM. I found it difficult to get near. At last some one came when I held out a piece of Turkey red. A poor woman came up crying bitterly and beckoning me away to the ship, and pointing to the village from which the curios were taken. That affair has done endless harm. The Governor was surrounded in a village farther on with people who had spears and clubs ready to attack him. I had to break the Sabbath, and purchase, in order to make friends with them, as they could not understand giving for nothing in return. Two little boys came up and were more friendly than the men. They were pleased when they saw us depart. The language is not easy to make out. I told them that my name was 'Alaberta' and made signs that I was coming to live among them, which they received more kindly than I anticipated. They are very poor, and most of their coco-nut trees are tabooed. Their heads are in some cases painted white, and their houses are poor and built on piles. There is a large population here and a good site for a mission station. A sort of 'satisfaction station ought to be established at once. One man brought me a coco-nut to drink. To the poor woman I gave some beads and Turkey red; she was pacified and came close and examined my arms. She wore a native cloth round her loins. We left again at 7.40 for Mitre Rock. Along the whole coast till within eight miles of the rock there are large clumps of coco-nut trees, and there were seen a considerable number of villages and an immense population both on the coast and inland.
"4th August.--Left for Mitre Rock in a boat at six. The rock is in form of a mitre some quarter or half-mile off. About half-way up it is covered with scrub trees and creepers; the lower part is rocky. The rocks round are covered with splendid oysters and there is a hole big enough to get through. It is thirty feet through and forty feet high, and a quarter to half a mile from the mainland. After an interval of three-quarters of an hour spent by the Governor in taking angles and by us in getting oysters, shells and some splendid fish of all shades and shapes, we went to the mainland opposite, to Craig's Pillar. It is fifteen or twenty feet high and only separated from the main land by ten or fifteen feet. The coast from Mitre Rock for sixteen miles lower down is thickly wooded, and there are perfect little bays along the coast. The one nearest and quite close to Mitre Rock is called after Mr. Douglas, the second engineer.
"After steaming an hour or more we saw a clump of coco-nuts on the beach and landed, but there was no sign of house or native. Soon after we saw natives farther down waving to us and we landed. We found fifty to seventy waiting for us. They are a very wild set and not at all to be trusted. One of them persisted in following me to get a bit of Turkey red though he had nothing to sell. At last he got quite irritated and got hold of my chin and gave me a fearful tug. I put my coats on the ground and my spectacles on top, but soon after the spectacles disappeared and the coats were only just saved. They are fearful thieves. The things we bought were taken and resold to us. They all had spears in the background.
"We soon left and went on our way, and three or four miles farther down and not far from Caution Point were hailed by other natives. These, strange to say, wore false whiskers made of dyed grass, knotted on to twine. They also had jackets made of Job's Tears, a small grey seed which grows on a low shrub. The people were pleasant and I told them my name, and explained to them that I was coming later on to live with them. I pointed to the sea and waved my hand to show that I was leaving them and coming back, then put hand on head, then ate, then sat down, They seemed surprised, and, I thought, pleased. They helped us to get fresh water. The women and children were quite friendly. I showed them my arms and legs. I had to jump out of the boat and get to shore as it was too rough to land the boat, and we got three or four big waves into the boat, drenching us all and spoiling com pass, glasses, etc., besides soaking all our camp gear.
"These people had scarcely anything on, though all along the coast they wear a peculiar headgear made of hair, grass or leaves of twenty or thirty layers, completely covering the hair and making them look fierce and weird. Many of them are naked, though all the women wear native cloth round their waist. They are poor and had little to sell. Their houses are poor and rickety. Their dead are cared for and buried in the village, and fenced in with a sort of bamboo lattice-work and crotons round it. I went up to one grave about seven feet square and made signs as to what it was, and they signed back what I wanted to know. Some of the people have had ulcerous sores, one of which I was asked to look at. It was on the foot of a youth of sixteen. His foot was fastened to the front of the leg, pressed inward and covered with an immense cancerous-looking wound. I stroked his leg and gave him a bit of Turkey red. As a result, six more who had sores were brought to me. They, too, wanted Turkey red, but I hadn't enough to give to all, so I gave a bit to a little child and left them. I sup pose we are the first white men they have ever seen or talked to. No women appeared, they were too timid and astonished. They paint themselves with light mud here and plaster their heads over with it. A looking glass pleased them immensely--iron they did not care for, but the Governor left them some and explained the use of it to them. As soon as we got to the water we left them and they waved to us from the beach. Here the sea was very rough. A station must be established here later on.
"Our next place of call was sixteen or eighteen miles from Robinson Bay, or twenty-four from Mitre Rock, on a long sandy beach three or four miles long lined with fir-trees. We had difficulty in landing, owing to the surf, and had to back the boat in. The sea was rough and choppy. We landed at 6.15, just as it was getting dark, and had to find a suitable camp by the aid of a lamp. I gathered sticks for the fire, and the Governor held the lamp for the men while they chopped down and cleared away trees for the camp. The boat was dragged a short distance up the beach and left there. One native passed us and ran for his life, though we thought there could not possibly be any one near, as there were no signs of life as far as we could judge. As soon as we had something to eat we turned in. One man was told off to watch and the firearms were kept ready. About i 1.30 the cry was raised that the natives were coming towards us, and in a moment we were all on the alert. It appears that Tom got up to see that the boat was all right, and on his way from the camp to the beach he saw five natives, two sitting and three standing, looking towards our camp; it was bright moonlight. He came back to get his rifle and told Belford, and he foolishly raised the cry. I called out 'Welu Welu,' but they cleared. It startled us not a little. What I thought of was that the Ono people might be friendly with these people, who lived forty miles apart, and having told them what the white man had done in taking away their things, they might make a night attack on us, but fortunately they did not mistrust us. About 1.30 A.M. everybody cleared out of the camp on to the beach, except the Governor and myself; and as I heard talking I concluded that the natives had gathered there near the boat. I called the Governor, but he was asleep, so I kept watch for half an hour, expecting some one to turn up from the beach, but as no one came I thought it imprudent to leave the camp without some one in charge. I woke the Governor and told him that I was going to the beach as the others had left us alone, and he only had a revolver and I nothing. I soon got to the beach, and found the boat forty or fifty yards from the beach filled with water, while all hands were trying to bale her out. The seats and bottoms were brought back to the shore, having floated out of the boat I went back and told the Governor, and he kept watch while I returned to the beach to give any little help I could. About 2.45 AM. we turned in again, having anchored the boat a short distance out. It appears that the boat had not been dragged high enough up, and the big rolling surf waves had taken her out to sea and nearly swamped her. It was a miracle that she was saved. Nothing further disturbed our night's rest but very heavy rain, and as only the Governor's fly had been erected, our tent was crowded by seven or nine people.
"Early next morning, 5th August, we got up, and on going to the beach we saw three or four hundred natives coming towards us. They came up in a friendly way and began to barter with us. They had nothing special to sell. Some women and children shortly after appeared, which was a good sign. I caught one in the act of stealing a necklace we had bought and ordered him off, and pointed out to the others what he had done, and they scolded him. Some of them brought us native food cooked. I told them my name and made them repeat it, 'Alaberta,' and explained that I was coming back. As we sat at breakfast a chief came up and gave the Governor a present of a stone axe and a number of dogs' tails ornamented with red feathers. These people are very fine-looking. We made them sit down a little way off while we had our breakfast, and gave one or two a little bread and meat and some tea in a cup. They pretended to drink it, but didn't touch it. I saw one man do it and mimicked him, much to the amusement of the others. One of our men lit his pipe with a match, and the match and the smoke coming out of his mouth terrified them, so that they nearly all ran away, though they soon returned and he explained it to them. Then they wanted matches and we gave them a tin-boxful. Their villages are not far away, just beyond the fir-trees, and there must be at least 1,000 people or more living there.
"On 5th August we reached Oro Bay. I went ashore with two others, Mr. Winter and Charles, to the villages we had visited on Sunday morning. Here we found a few men on the beach, but most of them were 150 yards away in the bush fully armed. We gradually got a crowd round us and began to barter with them, beads being the favourite article. Already some had been made up into earrings since Sunday and were worn by the natives. As I wanted to see as much of my future people as possible, I made my way towards some who were armed a short distance away. I beckoned to them to lay down their spears, clubs and shields, and I showed that I was quite unarmed. They gradually did so and I got closer to them, and as soon as I could get hold of one man's hand and pat his back it was all right. I then made signs as well as I could that the Governor's ship was their friend, that it had brought back the spears, clubs and shields of the neighbouring villages, and that they could with perfect safety leave their arms about and they would on no account be touched. All this I did, by taking up the small stone axes, etc., I had bought and scattering them about and taking them up quickly and leaving a bit of Turkey red in place, pointing to Lena village and then making to wards our ship. Then I came back and put them down, and fought with my hands an invisible foe and made them see what I desired. At once one of them saw it and the change was wonderful. They became most friendly, and when, shortly after, we left, 200 came on to the beach, and the people of the village farther down were so pressing that we should visit them, that, late as it was, we had to give way, lest we should make them jealous. Such men as Loria should be compelled to leave New Guinea. In this village we saw the grave yards. I tried to explain by pointing to Heaven where the dead had gone. The natives know my name and they know, too, that I am coming back. When is this to be? The sooner the better. The Governor has throughout been most helpful and interested in the welfare of our mission. There must be at least 1,200 people in this district and it is a good place for a station.
"They paint with whitish-grey mud, and the heads of some of them are one-eighth of an inch thick with it.
"On 7th August we arrived at Cape Vogel. We went to the village where Paisa is chief, and we rubbed noses and I was embraced. His wife and children were brought to me. The Governor remained on board. Very soon a large number of people congregated, and I made presents of beads, Turkey red, etc. I made them understand that I was coming back and they all seemed pleased. Last time we landed we had not a very hearty welcome. To-day all is different. They wanted to see my arms, legs and breast, which I showed them. They then brought us coco-nuts and followed us back to the boat, and the chief, two men and a dear little boy came off with us to the SS. Merrie England and had some 'kai kai' (food) on board. I gave the little boy one of my white singlets and the men some thing else. The chief is a dear, kind-looking old man. As he was leaving the ship he made signs that he was coming off in the morning with coco-nuts, and as we were steaming away we saw his canoe but hadn't time to wait, as we had to get to Samnarai, a distance of 100 miles or more.
"11th August--Arrived at Port Moresby at 10.20. All well. Away just seven weeks."