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 101
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[note left] Two of our People deserted.-
The Fort, /which
at this time was now no hard matter to do / & in the morning w as ere not to be found as it was known to every body that all hands w as ere to go aboard on the Monday morning & that the ship would sail in a day or two there was reason the think that these 2 Men intended to stay behind however I was willing to stay one day to see if they would return before I took any method step to find them.
MONDAY 10.th The 2 marines not returning this morning I began to enquire after them & was inform'd by some of the Natives that they were gone to the Mountains & that they had got each of them a wife & would not return, but at the same time no one would give us any certain intelligence where they were, upon which a resolution was taken to seize upon as many of the Chiefs as we could, this was thought to be the readiest method to induce the other natives to produce the 2 Men, we had in out custody Obasia, Tooboaratomita, & 2 other Chiefs but that I know'd Tootaha would have more weight with the natives than all these chiefs put together I dispatched Lieut.t Hicks away in the Pinnace to the place where Tootaha was to endeavour to decoy him into the boat & bring him onboard, which Mr Hicks perform'd with.t [without] the least disturbance we had not sooner taken the other chiefs into custody in Mr Banks's tent than they became as desirous of having the Men bro.t back as they were before of keeping them, & only desir'd that one of our people might be sent with some of theirs for them, accordingly I sent a petty officer & the corporal of marines with 3 or 4 of their people, not doubting but they would return with the 2 men in the evening but they not coming as soon as I expected I took all the chiefs onboard the ship for greater safety, about 9 o'clock in the evening Webb the marine was brought in by some of the natives, & sent onboard he inform'd me that the petty officer & Corporal, that had been sent in quest of them were disarmed & seiz'd upon by the natives & that Gibson was with them, immediately upon getting this information I dispatch'd Mr. Hicks away in the Longboat with a strong party of men to rescue them but before he went, Tootaha & the other Chiefs was made to understand that they must send some of their people with Mr Hicks to show him the place where our men were, & at the same time to send orders for their immediate releasement for if any harm came to these[note left - recovered the two deserters-] men, they, the chiefs would suffer for it & I believe at this time they wished so much to see the men return in safety as I did for the guides conducted Mr Hicks to the place before day light, & he recover'd the men without the least opposition & return'd with them about 7 o'clock in the morning of
TUESDAY 11.th I then told the chiefs that there remain'd nothing more to be done to regain their liberty but to deliver up the arms the people had taken from the petty officer & Corporal & these were bro.t onboard in less than half an hour & then I sent them all onshore, they made but a short stay with [?] people there before they went away & most of the natives with them, but the first wanted to give us 4 flags
but had we refused to except of them, as they would take nothing in return. Thus we are likely to leave these people in disgust with our behaviour towards them, owing who only to the folly of 2 of our men for it does not appear that the natives had any hand in inticing them away & therefore were not the first Agressors, however it is very certain that had we not taken this step we never should have recover'd them