New Guinea
[margin] Aug 1770 Landed upon New Guinea [/margin]
of our way staying upon this Coast which is so shallow that we can hardly keep within sight of land. at the time we pull off from the ship we saw [not?] the least signs of inhabitants, but we had no sooner landed than we saw the print of mens feet fresh upon the sand & a little way farther we found a small shed or hut about which lay green shells of Cocoa Nutts, by this we were well afoused that the inhabitants were not far off. nay we thought we heard their voices in the woods which were so close & thick that we did not think it [safe?] to venture in for fear of an ambuscade & as we had only a boats crew with us apart of which were left to look after the boat which lay above a 1/4 of a mile from the shore, we therefore took a walk upon the sea beach but had not gone above 200 yards before we were attack'd. by 3 or 4 men who came out of the woods a little before us, but upon our firing upon them they retir'd finding that we could not search the country with any degree of safety we return'd to the boat & was followed by canoes some thought about 100 of the natives who had advanc'd in small parties out of the woods. but they suffer'd us to go to our boats without giving us any trouble. we had now time to view them attentively we thought them to be about the size & colour of the New Hollanders with short cropt hair & quite naked like them. I thought these of a lighter colour but that might be owing to a whitish pigment with which we thought their bodies were painted because some appeared darker than others. their arms were ordinary dark of about 4 feet long made of a kind of reed & pointed at one end with hard wood. but what appear's more extraorin.ry to us was something they had which caused a flash of fire or smock very much like the going off of a pistol or small gun but without any report. the deception was so good that the people in the ship actually thought that they had fire & arms indeed that seem'd to use these things in imitation of such for the moment the first man we saw made his appearance he fir'd off one of the things & while we lay looking at them in the boats 4 or 5 would let them off all at once which had all the appearance in the world of volleys of small arms. but I am confident that nothing came from them but smock, but by what means this was done or what purpose it answer'd we were not able to guess. I thought the combustable matter was contained in a rise or piece of small bamboo. which they gave a swing round in the hand & caused it to go off. This place lies in the of 6°.15' S.o about 65 to the NE.t of Pt. S.'t Augustine or Walsche Caep & is near to what is called in the charts by the long name of C.' de la Colta de S.t Bonoventura the land is very low like every other part of the coast we have seen here it is thick & luxuriously cloathed with woods & Verdure all of which appear green & flourishing ; here 

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