James Cook - A Journal of the proceedings of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour on a voyage round the world, by Lieutenant James Cook, Commander, commencing the 25th of May 1768 - 23 Oct. 1770 - Page 88

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page number 88

                       GEORGES ISLAND.   

May 1769
Adzes or Axes. the moment he lays his hands upon it he of his own accord put away everything he had got before & ask'd me if I would give him that which I very readily did & he went away without asking for any one thing more which I by experience knew was a sure sign that he was well pleased with what he had got-

This day one of the Natives who appeared to be a Chief dined with us as he had done some days before, but then there were always some Women present & one or another of them put the Victuals into his Mouth but this day there hapned to be none to Perform that Office when he was help'd to victuals & desir'd to Eat he sat in the Chair like a Statute, without once attempting to put a Morsel to his mouth & would certainly have gone without his dinner if one of the Servants had not fed him, we have often found the women very officious in Feeding of us. From which it should seem that it is a Custom upon some occasions for them to feed the Chiefs, however this is the only instance of that kind we have seen, or that they could not help themselves as well as any of us. 

This afternoon we set up the Observatory & took the Astronomatical Quadrant ashore for the first time together with some other Instruments. The fort being now finished & made as Tenantable as the time, Nature & situation of the Ground & Materials we had to work Upon would admit of The North & South parts consisted of a Bank of Earth 4½ feet high on the inside & a ditch without 10 Feet broad & 6 feet Deep on the Westside facing the Bay a Bank of Earth 4 feet high & Palisades upon that but no ditch the works being at high water mark; on the East side upon the Bank of the River was placed a double row of Casks & as this was the weakest side the 2 four Pounders w are ere planted there & the whole was defended besides these 2 Guns with 6 Swivels & generally about 45 Men with small Arms including the Officers & Gentlemen who resided ashore. I know thought myself perfectly secure from any thing these People could attempt.- 

TUESDAY 2d This morning about 9 o'Clock when Mr Green & I went to set up the Quadrant it was not to be found it had never been taken out of the  Packing Case/ which was about 18 Inches square /since it came from Mr Bird the Maker, & the whole was pretty heavy so that it was a matter of Astonishment to us all how it could be taken away as a Centinal stood the whole night within 5 Yards of the door of the tent where it was put together -left side note - The Astronomical Quadrant Stolen- end left side note - with several other Instruments but none of them was missing but this. However it was not long before we got information that one of the Natives had taken it away & carried it to the Eastward immediately a resolution was taken to detain all the large Canoes that w as  ere in the Bay & to seize upon Tootaha & some others of the Principal People & keep them in Custody until the Quadrant was produced but this last we did not think proper .... to put in Execution as we had only Oberiea in our power & the detaining her by force would have alarm'd all the ..... In the mean time Mr Banks/ who is always very alert upon all accasions wherein the Natives are concern'd / & Mr Green went into the Woods to enquire of Tooboora Tornite which way & where the Quadrant was gone. I very soon was inform'd that these 3 was gone to the Eastward in quest of it & sometime after I followed myself with a small Party of Men but before I went away I gave orders that if Tootaha came either to the Ship or the Fort he he was not to be detaind for I found he had no hand in taking away the Quadrant & that there was almost a Certainty of geting it again, I met Mr Banks & Mr Green


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