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[Page 238]

the reef was safely negotiated and ship anchored in 15 fathoms at 5-50 p.m. Wind and rain storm encountered off Numa Numa at 3-30 p.m. Three returned labor boys put ashore here at their own request and left to find their own way back to Numa Numa.

23rd Dec.: Weighed anchor 5-45 a.m. and got under way for Kieta, going outside the reefs and islands in this locality. 8-50 a.m. at the Captain's request had another interview with him when he again pleaded with me not to report him. He said he had two whiskeys and a rum coming through the Straits and the mixture of spirits made him drunk. I told him that I would not be doing my duty if I did not report him. I told him that I would explain that he navigated the ship through the Buka Straits in an excellent fashion. Arrived at Kieta at 9-15 a.m.; went ashore and gave Lieut. Maughan his instructions. Capt. Ogilvie and Lieut. Maughan spent the day in talking things over. At 2-0 p.m. Lieut Cooper, A.B. Jackson and self went over to Kobuan Bay to have a look at the place where the Buka was sunk, which was located by Lieut. Maughan's men. We found she was sunk in 96 feet of water close to the shore in a small Bight in Kobuan Bay. Returned to Meklong at 4-0 p.m. and noticed that Sparling was walking about the main deck and under the influence of liquor, notwithstanding that he gave me his word of honour that he would not take another drop of liquor on the voyage. Went on board the Meklong again at 7-0 p.m. and found Sparling hopelessly drunk lying in his cabin. Col. Sergt. Mostyn (of relieving force) was with me, and I instructed him to search the cabin for any liquor. He did not find any whatsoever. I then asked Sparling where he kept his beer and whisky, and he replied in a very dunken voice that it was all gone. I then instructed Col. Sergt. to remove the Ship's chronometer and the Sextant, which is Sparling's private property, and put them in a safe place for the night. I informed Sparling that I would commandeer his Sextant till the Ship got back to Rabaul. To-morrow morning when Sparling is sober I will clear him out of the Captain's cabin into a cabin on the main deck, and put the Mate in the Captain's cabin. At my request Capt. Ogilvie placed a guard on ship for the night to prevent any soldiers going on board and also to guard certain provisions which are on the ship to feed Lt. Maughan's men on the return journey. Gave Hernsheim & Coy's representative permission to put on Meklong about 10 tons copra and 30 bags rice consigned to Hernsheim & Coy. Rabaul.

24th Dec: I slept in Commissioners' residence last night and proceeded on board Meklong at 9-15 a.m. Interviewed Sparling and told him to shift all his gear on to the main deck and take up his quarters there. Ordered the Mate (Jackson) to take up his quarters in the Capt's cabin. The ship was all ready to sail at 10-30 a.m. but owing to Lt. Maughan's Police Master being on an exped. down the coast, had to delay the time of sailing indefinitely till he returned. Lt. Maughan sent out an exped. to bring him back at 6-0 a.m. 12 Noon sent word to Jackson to have steam up and be prepared to sail at 3-30 p.m. Everything on board and ready to sail at 3-30. 3-30 p.m. Meklong drew out from wharf and got under weigh, having on board 54 soldiers, 3 Officers (Lts. Maughan, Cooper and Self), two German Prisoners, one who took the oath of neutrality and has been giving trouble (Pleiffer) and the other a German Missionary who refuses to take the oath. Sparling is also located aft with the prisoners but is not under arrest. 4-40 p.m. cleared Noto Reef outside Kieta and set course N.W. Heavy sea running and ship rolling a lot. I am going to keep watch and watch with 2nd Mate on return voyage. Left with Capt. Ogilvie M2000 to carry on administration. This money was in Kroning's box, which was left behind when he was removed.

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