NEW GUINEA.

N Alili ATT VE OF EXPEDITIONS TO NEW GUINEA,

IN A SERIES OE LETTERS BY

HENRY M.* CHESTER,

POLICE MAGISTRATE, THURSDAY ISLAND,

ADDRESSED TO THE HONOURABLE THE COLONIAL SECRETARY OE

QUEENSLAND.

BRISBANE


JAMES C. BEAL, GOVERNMENT PRINTER, WILLIAM STREET.

1S7S.    *

MR. ft. M. CHESTER’S EXPEDITION TO NEW GUINEA.

-:0:-

JST O. 1.

Dubixg a visit paid by Mr. Douglas to Thursday Island, Mr. Chester, the Police Magistrate, at Somerset, was instructed to visit that portion of the New Guinea coast lying to the north of Thursday Island. He was subsequently instructed to visit Murray Island, Darnley Island, and Port Moresby. The following reports were furnished by Mr. Chester to the Government of Queensland, in obedience to these instructions. They are now published for general information.

Instructions to Mr. Chester to visit New Guinea,

Mr. Chester,—As the final removal of the Government establishment at Somerset to Thursday Island will shortly be carried into effect, and as your time will then be more fully occupied than it is at present, I think it would be as well that you should, before the north-west monsoons set in, pay a visit to the coast of New Guinea for the purpose of obtaining some additional information in connection with the entrance to the “ Mai-Cussar ” or Baxter river.

You are authorised, therefore, for this purpose, to take the cutter and such of the men on the station as you may think suitable. You may invite also, as volunteers, any of the pearl -shellers whose services are likely to be useful.

Mr. Peunefather has expressed to me his willingness to cooperate with you, and to supply a lugger and her crew for thè purposes of the expedition. You will thus have a pretty strong party, and be able to provide for the safety of all concerned.

I need scarcely, 1 am sure, impress upon you how desirable it is to encourage friendly relations with the natives of the country in the vicinity of the Mai-Cussar, of which at present so little is known. Endeavour to obtain samples of sago, nutmegs, ebony, and any articles of commerce which might prove of value if the trading instincts of the people can be stimulated, l'or the general purposes of the expedition, and for the purchase of trade, you are authorised to expend an amount not exceeding £50. Any ¡-amples of the commercial commodities I have referred to, or any specimens of natural history, arms, implements, or fabrics which you may obtain, should be forwarded to the Colonial Secretary, Brisbane, together with a report on th6

32l7D/3?vibo:(-

expedition, which should be as full as possible, giving details on all matters which are likely to be interesting to the general public. If you are able to induce one or two young men or women to return with you, I think it would be desirable to do so, as you would have an opportunity of teaching them our language, and of thus more effectually securing friendly relations on some future occasion.

I fear that it is somewhat late in the season for you to attempt a visit to the Outauata River, which appears to be an interesting field for discovery ; but if you should find it possible, after visiting the Mai-Cussar, to proceed to the Outauata, you are authorised to do so. You should not, however, be absent from Thursday Island for more than six weeks, as it is necessary that you should be at head quarters early in January.

(Signed) /I. DOUGLAS.

Thursday Island, 21st November, 1877.

Mr. Chester’s Report.

Thursday Island, January loth, 1878.

Sir,—I have the honour to report that, in accordance with vour instructions, I left Thursday Island in the cutter on 1st ultimo, and proceeded to Jervis Island (Marbiak) to pick up the rest of the party who had volunteered to join me on an expedition to the Mai-Cussar River, in New Guiuea.

At Marbiak I found two of the crew of the “ Neva,” who had just returned from the Fly River, where they had been with Signor D’Albertis. One of them was in a pitiable condition with fever and ague. They stated that they had been told to find their own way to Somerset from the mouth of the Fly, and that, after a narrow escape from death at the hands of the Bampton Islanders, the Katon natives brought them as far as their village, and sent them on to Cornwallis. They found the New Guinea natives very numerous and hostile where the year before they saw no signs of inhabitants. The “ Neva” was frequently attacked, and one of the Chinese crew was -wounded by an arrow'. The original party on board the “ Neva” included Signor D’Albertis, a European engineer, three South Sea Islanders, and five Chinese sailors. One of the latter died during the cruise, and the fate of the other four is uncertain. They are said to have run away with the “ Neva’s” boat, and were probably killed by the natives.

We left Marbiak on the morning of the 3rd December, the party consisting of Messrs. Jardine, Summers, Pennefather, Pilot Wilkie, myself and son, together with five Europeans and sixteen South Sea Islanders, with two large boats belonging to

Messrs. Jardine and Pennefather. Mr. Pearson, manager of BelPs station, kindly gave us the services of one of his men, to pilot us across the Orman reef, and also induced Mamoose, the chief of the Marbiak tribe, to go with us as interpreter for Talbot Island. AVe passed to the eastward of “ Turnagain,” which is merely a mangrove swamp, and anchored for the night about 5 miles from Talbot Island, in 10 feet water. Next morning anchored off the north end of Talbot (Boigu) in 4 fathoms, opposite a village of four miserable gunyahs, inferior even to those of the mainland. A canoe with seven natives came off to us. Each man had a small book in his hand, or stuck in his waist-cloth. These proved to be primers,” printed in English characters, but in the native language, and the owners appeared to regard them with a kind of superstitious reverence as talisman for their protection. One intelligent youug fellow afforded us much amusement by Ins anxiety to display his recently acquired knowledge; but it extended no further than the first page, which he had evidently got by rote. One thing, however, was noticeable, that whereas their notation never previously exceeded two, they now can count as far as ten in English, though I doubt whether their own language is capable of expressing that number otherwise than by repeating two five times. The native evangelists, as they are termed, who are reducing these barbarous tongues to wilting, are not as ■well educated as an average English child of twelve years of age. Under their tuition, the natives are adopting new pronunciations of old words, and introducing new ones ; the result is a mongrel language, that will some day puzzle philologists. The very names of the islands are altered to suit their notions. “ Marbiak ” becomes phonetically “ Mah-bu-whack; ” and Yorkc Island, known to Jukes and McGillivray as “ Masseed,” is tortured to “ Macheeg.” I must also protest against the practice of re-naming rivers and places which have once been placed on the chart. The position of the river which has been re-named the “ Baxter ” was fixed and called by its native name “ Mai-Cussar,” on Lieutenant Connor’s chart, two years before it was visited by Mr. McEarlane in the “ Ellaugowan.”

AV e landed on Boigu during the day, and sent Mamoose to secure the services of an interpreter for the New Guinea coast. The whole island, with the exception of a small mound opposite our anchorage, appears to be a swamp in the wet season. The timber consists principally of mangrove and silk-cotton trees, with a few eocoanuts at the western end of the island. The inhabitants are fine muscular men, and from the quantity of dugong bones, crab, and turtle shells, in the vicinity of their huts, they evidently live well. Scrub liens are also very numerous. Their hut’s are more miserable than those of any island in the Straits, which is the more remarkable as they are in frequent

communication with the well-housed natives of New Guinea. Towards sundown Mamoose returned with a number of men, including the chief, who also answers to the name of Mamoose; in fact, this name is now applied to the chief of any island, and has been adopted by the natives, although previously unknown. It may not be uninteresting to trace the origin of this novel application of a word foreign to their language. In 1870 I visited Darn ley Island, and having studied with much interest “ Jukes’ Voyage of the ‘ Fly,’ ” I surprised the natives by recalling names of people who were then living but who have long since “gone over to the majority,” and by repeating a number of words in their language. The simple natives would have it that I was Jukes himself, and told me that during the “Fly’s” visit I had changed names with a man called “ Mamoose ” (signifying red hair), and from that time they never spoke of me by any other name. In the following year I visited Marbiak, where the chief, whose name was “ Genai,” insisted on my changing names with him; since which time, even among his own people, he has always borne the name of Mamoose. When the pearlshellers arrived in the Straits, Marbiak offered a fine field for recruiting labour, and, finding the chief was called Mamoose, they concluded it was the native word for chief, and from hearing it so often the natives have gradually adopted the word.

On December 5 we took an interpreter on board, and, after a run of two hours and a half, anchored in the mouth of the Mai-Cussar, close to left bank, in 3£ fathoms, the river about one mile wide. Two canoes of Boigu men accompanied us. A short time before our visit they had lost a man in a skirmish with the New Guinea natives, but had since made friends. They told us there was a village a short distance inland, and, in hopes of being able to communicate with the people, we landed a strong party, numbering eleven Europeans, and six or eight Polynesians. We crossed a belt of mangroves, then an extensive flat covered with tea-tree scrub, and came out upon comparatively open country dotted with magnificent tree ferns and clumps of bamboo. Crossed a salt-water creek on a slippery fallen tree, and halted for a spell. We reckoned we had come about 5 miles, and, as the guides, when asked where the village was, still spoke of it as a long way off, we questioned them more closely, and found we were not even half way. A sit would have been impossible to reach the village and return before sundown, and as there was no water to be found, and no native tracks visible, we reluctantly retraced our steps, and after a bathe in the creek, regardless of alligators, we returned to the cutter, somewhat fatigued with our exertions in such a climate. Our progress through the bush was much easier than we had anticipated, as the grass had been recently burnt, and in places the fallen timber was still smouldering. We saw one or two wild

pigs, a kangaroo, and a quantity of pigeons of a kind that are not found in the Straits. We went on about ten miles in the cutter, and anchored for the night in ten fathoms. The Boigu men declined to go any further. Continued the ascent on the 6th without impediment, anchoring at night, and on the 7th passed a plantation of coeoanuts and bananas, but still no signs of natives. The river now narrowed rapidly, and a fringe of broad-leaved palms took the place of the inevitable mangrove on either bank. Anchored at 4 p.m., at a spot about twelve miles beyond the furthest point reached by the “ Ellangowan ” in 1875, the river being sixty yards wide. We landed a watering party, some of whom wandered away in the bush, shooting pigeons and scrub hens, leaving two of the cutter’s crew, a Darnley islander, named Spear, and my Chinese servant, to fill the beakers from a small creek. A little before sundown the two boys came running back, saying that the natives were mustering with bows and arrows. Keinforcements were sent, but were not required, as no attempt was made to molest the men in the creek. The cowardice of Spear, and the shameless way in which he justified himself when upbraided with running away, although armed with a double-barrelled gun, fairly convulsed us with laughter.

« You think me--fool ? ” said he, “ No no, me no want to

dead ; when me been see him bow-an-arrow full cock, my word,

me run like h--.” On the 8th we filled our tanks, but the

water procured was so charged with decayed vegetable matter as to be scarcely drinkable. "While breakfasting on deck we suddenly heard loud shouting, and thinking the watering party were being attacked we snatched up our guns to go to then-assistance, but presently saw a number of natives on the opposite bank shouting and waving green boughs. The words “ Boigu,” “ Missionary,” “ Smoke,” “ AVhitefellow,” were plainly distinguished. Several of us jumped into the boat and went to meet them, taking a quantity of Turkey red, calico, knives, and tobacco. Only eight or ten men showed themselves, but there were many more concealed in the bush. They bartered a few arrows, dilly bags, bone daggers, and necklaces of dog’s teeth, and we had“no difficulty in persuading two of them to go off to the cutter with us. These men had aquiline features and straight hair, and were superior in physique to the Australian aboriginals. It was unfortunate having no interpreter, as they are evidently in constant communication with the Boigu men, who have doubtless told them of the missionaries and that they have little to fear from white people. They understood the use of tobacco aud were eager to get it. In a short time they disappeared, and we did not see them again. That afternoon, Messrs. Jardine, Penne-t'ather, myself and son, writh two South Sea Islanders, started to go farther up the river, in the skiff. A short distance above where the cutter was anchored, we came upon a raft made of

bamboos lashed together, which is evidently their only means of crossing the river, and about 5 miles further on we landed at a small plantation of cocoanuts, yams, and bananas, partially surrounded by a fence in an unfinished state. The ground was cleared of undergrowth, but the large trees were left standing, and killed by burning round the roots. There were also trenches to drain the garden. On a slight rise behind the clearing were four or five neat log huts, with arched roofs made of tea-tree bark, high enough to admit of a man standing upright. The sides were formed of saplings about 4 inches in diameter, laid horizontally between uprights, and the whole firmly lashed with vines, forming a perfect defence against arrows. Each house had a porch in front, formed by extending the arched roof beyond the gable. In one we found an old dismantled native drum, which I took the liberty of appropriating, leaving in its place a large piece of Turkey red and some tobacco. These camps are evidently only occupied at certain seasons, probably by hunting parties, as the plantations are too small to support many people. We continued the ascent for another 5 miles, and found the channel becoming blocked with trees as if by land-slips. The river was here 25 yards broad, the water quite salt, and the influence of the tides plainly discernible. We commenced our return at midnight on December 8th, entered another branch on the 9th, and anchored outside the mouth on the evening of the 11th, having had to tow the cutter the whole distance. From the anchorage Boigu bore east-bv-south, distance about 9 miles.

The Mai-Cussar is certainly a magnificent river. There is not a shoal or a sandbank in it to obstruct the navigation, nor is there a dangerous bar at the mouth. We found 9 fathoms at the entrance, and carried deep water to the very head. Vessels drawing 18 feet can lie alongside the banks. There is probably a deep passage between Talbot Island and New Guinea which, if properly surveyed and marked, would be available for the largest vessels. If so, a man-of-war, by sending her steam launch ahead to sound, could in moderate weather avoid Torres Straits altogether, passing to the eastward of Cornwallis, and thence to the Brothers. In war time, an enemy’s ship might thus elude observation, and before her presence was known intercept every vessel passing through the north-east channel. We saw several reefs and shoals that are not marked on the chart, notably a reef dry at low water about half-way between Talbot and Cornwallis, the latter island bearing south-east from it. There are a! so-shoal patches about seven miles south-east of Cornwallis.

I reached Thursday Island on December 15. It was my intention to have gone further along the coast to the westward, but having to be at Somerset by the 20th idem to relieve Mr. Beddome, there was no time for further exploration. I regret

this very much, as X believe the coast in that direction offers a fine field for discovery. It is highly probable that there are other large rivers affording access to the interior between the Mai-Cussar and Frederick Hendry Island, but it would be useless to attempt their exploration in our cutter.

By the mail steamer I forward a few curiously-barbed bone-pointed arrows, an ornamented gourd containing lime used in betel chewing, and a sample of flax from the South Cape, N ew Guinea.

I have, &c.,

HENRY M. CHESTER, P.M.

The Hon. the Colonial Secretary, Brisbane.

No. 2.

“ Port Moresby, July 20, 1S78.

“Sin,    .

“I have the honour to report that, in accordance with your instructions, I left Thursday Island in the 1 Ellangowan,’ on July 1, for the purpose of visiting Port Moresby and other settlements on the coast of New Guinea.

“We. were detained two days at Somerset by stress ot weather, and proceeded to Murray Island, where we remained until the weather moderated. During our stay we called a meeting of the people They complained bitterly of the oppression they had suffered at the hands of a West Indian Black, who has been living there since 1871, carrying on the beche-de-mer fishery. It appears ho induced a number of their young men to work for him, and took women by force as wives for them, as a means of keeping them in his employ. I enquired how it happened that they did not defend themselves. They replied, that they dreaded reprisals, and retailed the following story -About 1866, a fishing vessel was anchored off their island, and one of their crew, n New Zealander, having seized one of then women, a fight ensued, in which, after shooting a native, the Maori was killed. The next day, two armed boats’ crews landed and laid waste’ their villages, shooting men, women, aud children indiscriminately. Fifteen were killedoutright, and many wounded. A few days after, a canoe coming from another island was attacked, and twelve men killed, the women being taken to work on the reef. They further stated that this \\ est

Indian had severely beaten a chief, whom he accused of bewitching a man in his employ, and burnt his house. They would have killed him long since, but feared a man-of-war would be sent to punish them. I explained that 1 had been appointed by the British Government as their protector from miscreants of this sort, and advised them to elect a chief and submit to his authority, which, if properly exercised, would be supported. Nine men were pointed out as chiefs, and these unanimously agreed to recognise one named Buziri as their head. The West Indian referred to left the island a few weeks before, owing upwards of two years’ wages to a number of people who had been working for him, eight of whom were signed on his boats’ articles. I recommended, if he returned, they should refuse him permission to land until he had paid all arrears of wages, and if he committed any further outrage to secure him until they could communicate with the authorities at Thursday Island. After presenting Buziri with suitable gifts, the people dispersed to talk the matter over.

“A native teacher, employed by the London Missionary Society, has been stationed on Murray Island since 1S72, and appears to have acquired considerable influence over the people. They have built a neat church, which was filled on the Sunday we spent there. The people, however, are too prone to sit round and sing hymns, instead of working and improving their surroundings, which are in much the same state as when I visited them in 1S70. The teacher, Josiah, has a school for the boys, while his wife attends to the girls. They have a primer printed in their language, and some of the young folks read fluently. The women especially seem to take kindly to the new faith, as it improves their social position, and ensures them better treatment. The island, though small, is extremely fertile, and food is so plentiful that it is allowed to rot on the ground, the people being too indolent to bring it in for sale. The natives are comparatively wealthy, from having worked for the pearlshellers, and all wear some kind of garment, if only a waist-cloth.

“ Murray Island is probably destined to play an important part in the evangelization of New Guinea, it being proposed to establish an institution for training natives from all parts, who will subsequently return to their homes, and impart to their Countrymen the knowledge they have acquired. It is to be hoped that an industrial school, conducted by a good English mechanic, will form a prominent feature in such an institution, as hitherto the introduction of the Gospel seems to have been attended with an increased disposition to indolence in a people mot at any time given to exert themselves.

“ Before leaving, we learnt that the chiefs had talked over the advice given to them, and had resolved to build a house to serve the double purpose of a court-house and council-chamber.

The most serious evil the missionaries have had to contend with is the practice of the women to procure abortion, which in a population of less than 400 souls threatens the speedy extinction of the race. There are three kinds of plants growing on the island which are used for this purpose, the end being obtained by chewing and swallowing the leaves. A young married woman was detected in the act, and, after trial by the chiefs, was sentenced to three weeks’ labour on the roads.

“ Left Murray Island on 13th July, the little steamer being crammed in every available space with supplies for the teachers in New Guinea. The weather being squally, with rain, considerable care was necessary in threading our way through the opening in the Barrier Reef. Passed to leeward of the Portlock Reefs, under steam and sail, and made the coast of New Guinea about 11 p.m. of July 14, half-way between Yule Island and Cape Suckling, from whence we beat up to Boera, a village of about 370 people, some twelve miles from Port Moresby.

“Mr. Chalmers and I went on shore and took up our quarters in the house of Peri, a Raratongan teacher stationed here. In the evening we had an interesting interview with the chiefs. We asked, what was their idea of the foreigners who had come to live amongst them P They replied, ‘ At first we were afraid they would take our lands and drive us into the interior, but we are now satisfied they are peaceable. All our experience of the white man has been good. Our fathers knew nothing of them, and of the wonderful things they bring us.’ We gave them some advice as to their dealings with white men, and after the usual presents they took their leave. We gleaned the following information from them. Their annual trading voyage commences in August, and extends about 100 miles to the westward. They call at all the villages to exchange their pottery ware for sago, and return to Boera with the first north-west wind in December. There are twelve villages to pass before arriving in the cannibal districts. Vaimuro is the last place of call, nine villages further on, and to them come people from three villages still further to the westward, Kerepo being the last village with which they have intercourse. The best means of communicating with the tribes to the west would be to accompany the trading canoes. 'They seem eager to obtain European wares, and enquired of the Boera people whence they procured them. ‘ Peri gave them to us.’ ‘ Then bring Peri with you,’ was the reply. We asked, ‘Would they receive us kindly if we went with you?’ The answer, given with emphasis, was, ‘ They would nurse you —literally, ‘seat you on their thighs.’ When we visit them each house claims a portion of us as guests, and they do not let us want for anything while staying with them. _

“ They relate a curious circumstance in connection with the people of Kerepo. The male children have a hole pierced through

the left hand in infancy, which is kept distended like those in the lobes of the ear, until they arrive at manhood, and is then put to this extraordinary use. In fighting, their arrows are balanced through the hole in the left hand, from whence they are propelled with great force by a smart blow from the right hand. The bow is not used by them. We classed this story with the account of the men with tails, but the chiefs were quite amused at our incredulity, and assured us they themselves had seen these things.

“The Boera people are friendly with the Boro tribe on the mainland opposite Yule Island, who murdered Dr. James and Thorn gren in 1S76. They gave us a minute, circumstantial account of the affair, which agrees in every particular with the evidence given me by the survivors on that occasion. We asked what led to the attack ? and they told us the chief -wished to test whether all white men were invulnerable, as a short time before a white man had allowed them to hurl spears at him, which rebounded without doing him any injury. ‘AYas he a spirit? Had he come from the clouds ? ’ they asked. But no, he came from the sea, and their weapons were powerless against him. We set this down as some ancient tradition, but Captain Dud-field afterwards told us he had seen a coat of mail in Signor D’Alberti’s possession, and as that gentleman visited the Boro tribe, there may, after all, be some foundation for their story.

“ The village of Boera consists of a number of thatched huts, each accommodating a single family. They are built on slender piles, a short distance from high-water mark, without any regard to regularity. They bury their dead in shallow graves in the very street, close to their houses, which must seriously affect their water supply. The women of the tribe were busily engaged in the manufacture of pottery for their approaching voyage. The process is as follows:—Each woman has a shallow trough alongside her filled with black clay in small lumps. After softening this to the proper consistency, she takes a flat piece of wood and beats it out on a round flat stone, adding fresh clay on the outside, and gradually fashioning the pot to the required shape. They are then dried in the sun, afterwards piled in rows between brushwood and small sticks, baked of a dull red colour, and allowed to cool gradually. They make two kinds,—one circular, with a short narrow neck and turned lip, resembling the Indian ‘ lota,’ the other about half the size and bowl-shaped. They hold from one to five gallons of water, and servo also as cooking-pots.

“ The people are of a light-copper colour, below the middle stature, with straight hair, friezed out like a mop, in which a bamboo comb is stuck ; they are well-made, with rounded limbs and respectable calves, and both in appearance and softness reminded me of the Pelew Islanders. Many of the women are pleasing looking, and some of the younger girls are even pretty.

The men are naked, with the exception of a cord round their waists, which is put to much the same use as that worn by the Tannese; yet even this small concession to decency has a certain dignity in their eyes, for they speak of their friends to the westward as naked savages. For ornaments, they wear a piece of shell about four inches long, stuck through the septum of the nose, and the village dandies may be known by the length and whiteness of this ornament. Crescents of pearlshell, necklaces of dog’s teeth, and earrings of tortoiseshell are also worn. The women all wear the grass petticoat, and are tattooed in regular patterns on the face, breasts, backs, and arms. Each has a capacious bag, netted with the finest jute, in which food and other heavy loads are carried. Some are very neatly made, aucl stained in coloured patterns. They appear to set considerable store by these, and refuse to sell them for tobacco, asking an American tomahawk for a very ordinary specimen. They are all incorrigible beggars for tobacco (kuku), and, after answering any question put to them, are sure to add, ‘ You don’t happen to have a bit of tobacco about you ? ’ in a coaxing interrogative way.

“ The cutter 1 Saucy Jack,’ Simpson, master, has formed a beche-de-mer station just across the Bay, but it was blowiug too hard for us to visit them in the boat. The captain was very ill with fever, and sent off to the ‘ Ellangowan’ for medicine. They were advised to go to Port Moresby to recruit. The natives work willingly in collecting beche-de-mer, receiving tobacco in payment.

“ July 16.—Weighed and steamed around to Port Moresby, where we anchored about 4 p.m. Found'the ketch ‘Hibernia’ had arrived a few days previously from Cooktown, with three horses and Captain Kcdlich, who intends starting a store. With this exception there has been no addition to the digging population since Mr. Ingham’s last report. Thei’e has been much sickness, and scarcely a man has escaped a touch of the fever. It is with pleasure I am able to report that the friendly relations with the natives inaugurated by Mr. Ingham, remain unimpaired. Men go and come between the camp at the Laloki and the port, a distance of twelve miles, entirely unarmed, and have no difficulty in getting carriers for their goods. The example set by those who arrived in the ‘ Colonist’ is worthy of all praise, and has given a tone to the rest. There have been two deaths since the ‘ Sappho’s’ visit. There are only five men out prospecting; the rest are divided between the Laloki camp and the port. Captain Webb, of the ‘ Pride of the Logan,’ has kindly taken five of the sick men round to his fishing station at Kerrepuun to recruit. Dissatisfaction is expressed at the apathy of many of the diggers, who, though well equipped with horses and provisions, have not rendered the least assistance to the prospecting party ; in fact, some of them have never gone a mile beyond the Laloki. It is

said that those who came in the * Pride of the Logan,’ who were spoken of by the Queensland Press as the best equipped party that has left for New Guinea, have done literally nothing in the way of cutting scrub or assisting in the arduous work of prospecting this truly formidable country. I have held an enquiry touching the death of a Mr. Neville, a genlleinan of independent means, who only arrived from England in the ‘ Chimborazo.’ The general opinion is that he over-exerted himself, as it was no uncommon thing for him to walk to the Laloki and return the same day. Poor fellow, he was found on June 20, lying dead on the track among the long grass, about three and a-half miles from the port. After proper identification, he was buried near the spot where he died, it having been found impossible to convey his remains to Port Moresby. It may be some consolation to his friends to know that the last sad offices were performed by sympathising hands, for he was a general favourite, and that a religious service was read over his remains by Buatoka, the missionary teacher, of whom I shall have more to say anon. Mr. Neville’s property remains in Kuatoka’s hands until Mr. Ingham’s return, as that gentleman has deceased’s will.

“ On July 18, Captain Bedlich having kindly lent us horses, Mr. Chalmers and I rode out to the Laloki camp. The view from the top of the range immediately behind Port Moresby is magnificent, but calculated to depress the spirits of even the most sanguine digger, and convey an idea of the Herculean task before him. Broken ranges, rising one above the other in apparently interminable succession, bar the approach to Mount Owen Stanley, the dark blue outline of whoso base forms a fitting background to the landscape, whilst the summit is lost in the clouds. To the right is the lesser range crowned by Mount Astrolabe, and on the table-land between five determined men are struggling with the forces of nature in the search for gold. It is a scene to bring reflection to the most thoughtless,—the grandeur of nature contrasted with the puny efforts of men, but men of whom the colonies may justly be proud. Leading our horses down the range, we descended into a wide basin surrounded by hills, and followed the track through grass level with our faces on horseback out on to the plains, which, but for the high ranges in the distance, and dwarf cycads dotting the face of the country, resembles some parts of the Warrego district. It may be described as well-grassed open forest, lightly timbered with Moreton Bay ash. About three and a-half miles brought us to poor Neville’s grave, which is marked by a neat pile of logs. Two of the Port Moresby tribe accompanied us as carriers, and kept up with our horses at a fast walk with a load slung on a stick between them. Halted at a creek a little less than half-way to give the natives a spell, and rode on to the Laloki, passing through a narrow belt of scrub differing in no

reaped from those at the back of the settlement at Somerset. About two miles from the river the country changes to barren stony ridges, from whence the river timber is plainly distinguished. The camp is situated on a slight rise below a bend in the river, which is not more than ten or twelve yards wide, with high banks; it consists of a log hut roofed with bark, and a few tents. We received a hearty welcome from the diggers, and were glad to find there were only two men who could be called seriously ill, although all had suffered more or less from fever. The worst cases are those in which there is a dropsical tendency. Mr. Chalmers gave a short, impressive service, which was reverently listened to, and it was arranged that a party should be sent out to convey the sick men to Port Moresby. Mr. Broadbent, the well-known naturalist, is camped on a hill overlooking the diggers, and we spent a pleasant half-hour in looking over his collection of birds. Out shooting from dawn till noon, and occupied till late in the evening in skinning the spoils of the day, Mr. Broadbent has no time to think of fever, and it would be well if some of the diggers followed his example in the matter of exercise.

“ We were astonished to find men living for weeks in one spot in such a climate, with no other shelter than a calico tent, without even a fly. The labour necessary to house themselves comfortably would be the best preventive of fever. The diggers are here at least two months too early. The river beds are still unworkable from the constant showers on the mountains, although no rain has fallen at the camp for more than a month. Those who have been out prospecting speak of the scrubs as being worse than they have ever before met with, and the labour of cutting through them has told severely on those so employed; yet they sav this could be cheerfully borne but for the want of rest, caused by swarms of mosquitoes, ticks, and a sort of scrub itch that drives men frantic.

“ I am indebted to Mr. Ilanrau for the following account of what has been done:—‘ A party of about thirty men left Port Moresby on 1st May, consisting of those who came in the ‘ Colonist ’ and ‘ Swan.’ After crossing the Laloki they struck the left bank of the Goldie River, which was heading north-east. About seventeen miles from Point Moresby they commenced to cut a track through the scrub, and penetrated seven miles further, where, feed being scarce, the party camped, and sent seven men out to look for more open country. These followed up the left bank of the river through dense scrub for t.velve miles, but rain falling brought on sickness, and compelled them to return. The main camp was then shifted back seven miles to the right bank. Four men then travelled on toot up that bank for fifty miles, when they found the river heading to the southeast in a half-circle. This occupied five days, but on returning

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they made the camp in thirty-five miles, in a day and a-half, by steering a direct course. They found the colour everywhere in the bed of the river, but never in the gullies. The country traversed consisted of broken ranges and thick scrub, impassable for horses. They found the natives friendly wherever they met them, and obtained their assistance in carrying swags and ¡jointing out the track. No sign of auriferous country thus far. Meantime sickness had thinned their numbers, those who were bad with fever returning to the Laloki. Seeing that the Goldie was heading to the south-east, with comparatively open country, all returned to the Laloki camp, when the following party was organised under the leadership of Prank Jones—namely, J. AY. Murphy, Alex. McCall, Dan. Connell, and 11. Ferguson (all ‘ Colonist’ men), and a portion of the original party of ten who had kept together throughout. This party started from the the farthest campon June 28, with two horses and about four months’ provisions, as no game is to be found in the ranges ; and after travelling in a south-east direction four days, came to the table-land, since which no news has been received from them. They were then making for the head of the Goldie, which appears to have its source in the Astrolabe, or one of the coast ranges. It certainly does not take its rise in the Mount Owen Stanley range. A party of six are waiting till Jones returns to follow up what has been done. Before going to the Laloki we had a meeting of the chiefs, who expressed the satisfaction of the people with the treatment they had received from the diggers. AYe advised them to avoid everything that tended to impair the present friendly relations, more especially to impress on their young men to refrain from purloining, which, if not put a stop to, would lead to trouble. Also, if they did sell any portion of their land, to adhere to their part of the compact, and not to try to sell the same land over again. A\re told them that the principal difficulty in their dealings with foreigners was caused by their lack of authority over their own people, and that if they did not punish offences against the whites, the latter, in the absence of any authority, would be likely to take the law into their own hands. In the event of a resident Judicial Commissioner being appointed here, he will inevitably have to assume a sort of benevolent protectorate over these people, in consequence of this want of authority in their chiefs.

I was an eye witness of the purchase of a piece of laud by Captain Iledlich, on which he wished to erect a store. The portion bargained for was about an acre and a-half of stony, unproductive ridge at the rear of the mission premises. Eleven persons, including women and boys, claimed the land, and the price agreed upon, about £4 per acre, was divided between them. ¡Several onlookers immediately offered to sell their land, but there were no buyers. These people have made a sudden leap

of a thousand years, from the stone’ to the steel’ age, and American steel at that! The trade fantail tomahawk, costing about sixpence, passed current in the South Seas for years after Europeans visited the islands, but these people will not look at anything short of an American tomahawk, costing about 4s. 6d. retail. We had to pay our carriers one each, which is expensive labour. While on the subject of land, I may correct a report that has gained publicity, to the effect that the mission has bought up all the available land here. The mission property does not exceed three acres, and the price above quoted seems to have been the average amount paid for it. The native plantations arc situated on the slopes of the hills, overlooking the port, and in no instance has a plantation been sold.

“ On the evening of the day we interviewed the chiefs, I addressed a meeting of the diggers, who spoke in high praise of the kindness shown by the natives to the sick and to 1 hose who had been temporarily lost in the bush. The general desire on their part is to live in harmony with the people. They expressed themselves as most anxious that someone with sufficient power to repress lawlessness should reside among them, and promised to support his authority. The objection to Chinamen arriving in crowds is as strong as ever, but the summary measures proposed in the excitement of a first landing find but little favour with the more sensible members of the community. They trust that means will be found to prevent mere shanty-keepers, whose only stock-in-trade consists of enough iron to build a shed and sufficient liquor to fill it, from starting their nefarious business in their midst, and urge that, inasmuch as an Englishman in a savage land cannot divest himself of the allegiance he owes to his country’s laws, so the State ought not to shirk the responsibility of providing for the due administration of those laws. Although, from a digger’s point of view, some who have come to New Guinea would have been better employed in wheeling a perambulator at home, they are as a whole a most respectable class of men, and their conduct in the difficult circumstances in which they are placed reflects credit on the colonies from whence they came.    ,

“ I cannot close this report without referring to the services rendered to the diggers by Ruatoka, the Raratongan teacher stationed here, and his excellent wife. Although by no means passing rich on fifteen pounds a year, this truly good Christian has fed and nursed the sick at his own expense. Night and day his services have been put in requisition in a thousand little ways, in which without his assistance the diggers would have been unable to deal with the natives, until his own health has suffered. On one occasion, a sick man having fallen exhausted on the track, he went out and carried him for five miles oil his back, and over the range to the Port. All this has been done in

singleness of heart, without expectation or hope of reward, and, I feel sure, only requires to be made known to ensure some recognition from the people of New South Wales and Queensland.

“ In conclusion, I may add that, but for the assistance received from Messrs. McFarianc and Chalmers, of the New Guinea Mission, in interpreting between the natives and myself, my report would have lacked whatever interest it maybe thought to possess.

“We leave to-morrow, July 22, for Kerepunu, a village sixty miles to the eastward, from which place I may have an opportunity of forwarding a supplementary report.

“ I have, &c.,

“ HENRY M. CHESTER,

“ Judicial Commissioner.

“ To the Honourable the Colonial Secretary,

Brisbane.”

No. 3.

Stacey Island, South Cape,

August 27,1878.

Sir,—In continuation of my previous report, I have the honour to inform you that we left Port Moresby on July 23, and steamed along the coast inside the Barrier Reef to Round Head. The reef is here not more than two or three miles from the coast, with numerous openings. The day being fine and clear, the slopes of the Astrolabe Range were very distinct. Patches of grass land bare of timber were probably taken for plantations by the early surveyors, who, judging by their soundings, can scarcely have been inside the Barrier. The average depth is from five to seven fathoms as far as Round Head, with occasional patches of reef. At Kaile, a village about eighteen miles from Port Moresby, several canoes came off with stone axes, yams, Ac., to barter; These people seemed more energetic than those of Port Moresby, not yet having beeu demoralised by the sudden accession of wealth. Between Kaile and Port Moresby, five Niene (Savage Island) teachers are located at the different villages. They are like fish out of water since Mr. Lawes’ departure, as that gentleman was the only person able to converse with them in their own language. In their intercourse with the missionaries and the Raratongan teachers, they use the Port Moresby dialect.    -

Three or four miles west of Round Head are two villages built on piles in the sea about half-a-mile apart, called Kapakapa. Canoes put off from them, but were told to follow us on to Round Head. This headland is shown on the chart as a bluff immediately on the sea, but there is a long low spit stretching out from it for a distance of two miles. Anchored in six fathoms about 200 yards from a fine beach, and procured a good supply of wood. We went about a couple of miles inland across a plain that is a swamp in the rainy season, in which was a fine lagoon of fresh water, and were startled at finding tracks of nailed boots until we remembered that Webb’s boat had probably anchored here on the way to Kerepunu. The range of hills at the back is not more than 300ft. high, and the villages are perched on their summits.

July 24.—Weighed at sunrise. A good look-out from the mast-head is necessary here, as there are many patches of reef off Round Head not shown on the chart. A vessel making this part of the coast may easily recognise the Astrolabe Range by three remarkable notches or steps in the hills. Anchored about 130 p.m. about four miles to leeward of the western extremity of Hood Bay, off which, on piles in the sea, is the village of Hula. Mr. Chalmers and I beat up to Hula in a boat against a strong south-easter, and put up on shore in the house of the native teacher, a Raratongan and his wife, named Taria. Shortly after dusk everyone went on board the village to sleep, not daring to remain on shore for fear of an attack by the hill tribes. I saw here for the first time native drums in process of manufacture. This had hitherto been as great a puzzle to me as the apple in the dumpling was to George III., and the explanation is equally simple. They select a good-sized tree with a pipe in it, which is cut into lengths and hewn to the required shape—resembling an hour glass; the hole at either end is then enlarged by burning.

July 25.—Started at 7 a.m. to walk to the Kemp Welch, a fresh water stream running into Hood Bay. Taria and his wife accompanied us and a few young men from the village, one of whom carried a native shield given me by Taria. With this and a light spear he illustrated their mode of fighting, which consists in a series of panther-like leaps and bounds, now crouching to the ground with the whole body covered by the shield, anon springing erect and hurling the spear with unerring accuracy of aim. The road for about four miles ran through extensive plains, partially cultivated, in which were coeoanut groves amidst thick patches of scrub. We met a troop of women carrying heavy loads of food to Hula, and shortly after came to the cultivated land outside the village of Kamari, which is five miles from Hula. Here we saw two gangs of men, about twelve in each, ploughing the ground. Each man had two long sticks, pointed at the ends. Standing in line, they drove these into the

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earth to the depth of a foot or 18in., and then, suddenly falling hack together, raised a broad sod the length of the line and turned it over. Another mile brought us to the village. The paths leading to it are well kept, and bordered with rows of coeoanuts placed side by side as close as possible. These are allowed to grow where they lie, and when about a year old are planted out. Before entering the village we noticed a large platform of logs with the ground about it beaten hard and clean swept. This is the market place, where all trade is conducted by the women. Prom thence a narrow lane, fenced with cocoa-nut branches, led into the village of Kamari. We went straight to the chief’s house, which has nothing to distinguish it from the rest. The houses are all built on stout piles, about 10ft. from the ground, with a broad platform of logs in front, and are two storied. The ridge-pole, which is about 20ft. or 25ft. from the ground, is supported by forked trees, some of which are elaborately carved. The roofs and sides are covered with thatch made of pandanus leaf. Breadfruit, crotons, and diacense are cultivated in small enclosures within the village, and the practice of burying the dead in the streets prevails. Crowds of women and children flocked to see us as we smoked our pipes on the chief’s platform, and we estimated the population at from 1,200 to 1,500 people. The land all belongs to the chiefs, who are possessed of more authority than those of Port Moresby, and the common people cultivate it, and are paid with the produce. Their cleanliness goes no further than sweeping the streets and houses, for on leaving the village we found all the refuse heaped in a iong mound by the roadside. The young men and children are goodlooking and remarkably intelligent. The unmarried girls, are easily recognised from their custom of letting the hair grow; the matrons have theirs cropped close. A chief from one of the mountain villages was the guest of our ho3t. He had come down on business in connection with the murder of one of his people, and we afterwards heard that the Kerepunu people were responsible for the outrage, which in the fullness of time means compensation or war. This man recognised Mr. Chalmers, who some time before had visited his mountain home. Continued our walk three miles further, to the village of Halo, the road running along the top of a narrow grassy ridge commanding a view of the sea and the McGillivray ranges in the distance. Kalo is a larger village than Kamari, with a population of perhaps a couple of thousand. Similar well-kept paths, bordered with coeoanuts, led up to the village, and we passed through the narrow streets, crowded with people, with infinitely less annoyance than a strangely-attired foreigner would experience in many parts of England. There is a kind of natural politeness about these people, and they are very far removed from savages. The chief to whose house we .directed our steps set food before us,

and received, with much gravity, the presents made to him. A great feast was in course of preparation when we arrived. A row of stout poles, about 30ft. high and a yard apart, were bound together with vines, and secured in position by long guys of cane. These extended fifty yards, and were covered with cocoanuts to a height of 10ft. The houses are not as lofty as those of Kamari, but are similar in other respects. The floors arc made of softwood planks about 2ft. wide, which appeared to have been the sides of canoes, being rounded on top and hollow below. The chiefs’ houses are distinguished by a kind of spire, 12ft. high, built of poles and thatched. We saw two young girls undergoing the painful process of tatooing at the hands of two ancient dames. The pattern was neatly sketched out in some black pigment on the face and breast, and they seemed quite unconcerned, although the blood followed every tap of the instrument. Kalo is situate on the right bank of a river that has been named the Kemp Welch, in honour of the treasurer of the London Missionary Society, but at a short distance from it, as the river is continually changing its bed. There is a bar at the mouth, upon which a heavy sea was breaking. We crossed in a canoe, and sat down on a log to await the arrival of our boat, which was to sail from Hula, but after an hour—seeing no sign of her—set out to walk to Kerepunu, at the other extremity of Hood. Bay, a distance of seven or eight miles along a hard sandy beach. It was a trading day for the Kerepunu people, and we were accompanied by some fifty women returning with loads of food, weighing from 801b. to 1001b. Passed the schooners “Annie ” and “ Pride of the Logan ” at the head of the bay, and found the “ Ellengowan ” anchored opposite Kerepunu, in the mouth of Hood Lagoon.

July 26.—Spent this day in walking through the seven detached villages that go to form Kerepunu. One of these, built partly on shore and partly in the sea, is occupied by a colony of fishermen from Hula. Large well-made fishing nets, with neat wooden floats and shells for sinkers, hung on the platforms of their houses, but the all-pervading odour of fish caused us to beat a hasty retreat. Almost every house had a tame parrot or cockatoo ; these will be duly plucked when a feast is at hand, to furnish finery for the dance. We found also strong rope nets used in kangaroo-hunting and pig-catching. Breadfruit and the Areca palm flourish in the streets, and many houses had orchids in flower growing on the sides and roofs. Children accompanied us in our walk, and contended for the honour of holding our hands. There is only one village built directly on the beach, and, being inhabited by shipwrights, it presents at all times a scene of bustle and activity that is sought in vain elsewhere. Quite a raft of logs were moored near, and from dawn till dusk the blows of the stone axe never ceased. We saw them

commence a canoe, Four men worked at it in pairs, facing each other on the same side of the log, and chopped alternately, the second blow invariably detaching a good-sized chip. Three or four canoes in various stages of completion were lying near, with men at work on them. One man was specially employed in carving and ornamenting the ends, his tools being a spike nail and a piece of wood for a mallet. Others were charring the canoes inside and out, preparatory to launching, and all but the children were busily employed. They appear still to prefer their own primitive tools to the axe and tomahawk of European manufacture, at least for canoe-making; but use the latter for clearing the land and cutting timber for their houses. An attempt has been made to induce them to cut wood in readiness for the “ Ellengowau,” but so far without much success. The secret of this people’s industry is their geographical position. Their villages being on a narrow peninsula, there is very little land available for cultivation, consequently they must import all the food they consume. Every third day is a trading day. The women set off about 2 a.m., some on foot to Kalo, others in canoes, which they pole round the lagoon to the Dundee River, all with heavy loads of fish and salt water for the hill tribes. They ascend the Dundee for about two miles, leave their canoes made fast to the bank, and trudge through swamp, scrub, and forest to the regular market-place, to which come the hill women with an escort. Having exchanged commodities, they resume their weary tramp, and it is quite 4 p.m. before they reach home.

July 27.—This day was devoted to exploring the saltwater creek that has been dignified with the name Dundee River. We left about 6 a.m., and crossed the lagoon, which is about three miles long and the same in width. On getting to the landing-place we discovered that we had no fresh water in the boat, which involved a walk of several miles for a drink. Our native guide, thinking we were on a shooting excursion, led us by a roundabout way through swamp and pandanus scrub, impassable except by keeping to the paths, until we began to think he had lost himself. Four miles of walking, sometimes through forest teeming with pigeons, hornbills, and parrots, brought us to a clear pool of fresh water at the foot of a small waterfall, where we lunched and washed the mud from our clothes. While resting here, the Kerepunu women returned with their loads, escorted by two young fellows who scorned to carry anything heavier than a spear. Their purchases consisted of taro roots too small for food, and probably intended for planting. By following the women, we reached the boat in two miles, instead of the four we had travelled.

July 29.—Left in a boat for Kalo to install a native teacher, and were nearly swamped on the bar of the “Kemp Welch.” The chief received us at the landing-place, and led us to a house,

which he placed at our disposal, detailing at the Saine time One of his wives to attend to our wants and supply us with food. The scaffold seen on our former visit was now literally covered with food to the very top of the poles, and the people were all in holiday attire—the women in parti-coloured grass petticoats and elaborate head-dresses of shells, the men with long streamers of pandanus leaf on their arms and legs. Good humour and fun prevailed, and we mingled freely with the people, who showed us much kindness. In the afternoon we pulled up the river against a strong current for about three miles, passing several islands covered with eoeoauut groves and plantations. The various channels were blocked with trunks of large trees and débris washed down by the floods. The bed of the river is gravelly and full of quartz pebbles. It affords an easy means of reaching the ranges in the interior, as the natives told us if they left at daylight in their canoes and poled all day they were at the back of the range at sundown. The harbour alone excepted, this part of the coast is far better adapted for settlement than Port Moresby. It offers a splendid field for missionary labour, and it is to be hoped that Mr. Lawes will soon return to take charge of this the most important district in New Guinea, where he is so well known and esteemed by the natives. On returning to the mouth of the river we saw the Sappho in the offing, steering towards Kerepunu. Just before sundown wo were sent for to see a procession of young men and maidens perambulate the village. About sixty took part in the ceremony, the men dressed in all the bravery of paradise feathers and necklets of pearlshell, the women wearing heavy necklaces of dogs’ teeth, with pendants of the same reaching to their waists. The women walked backwards, beating small drums with a slow monotonous chant, while the young men kept time with their feet and long white wands covered with streamers and hollow seeds. The party halted before certain houses and sang, and after reaching the end of the village broke up and dispersed. The greatest gravity characterised the proceedings, and those who in the morning had been romping with us now took not the slightest notice of our presence, lieturning to our quarters, we found supper prepared by the chief’s wife, consisting of yams and taro, cooked in various ways, and small delicious puddings made of sago and scraped cocoanut, baked in banana leaves. We slept in a room in the upper story, about 40ft. long, into which we climbed by a short ladder.

At daylight on July 30 I walked to Kerepunu, and went on board the “ Sappho,” and Captain Digby and his officers being anxious to witness the festivities at Kalo I returned with them in the steam cutter. It being low water, the sea was breaking heavily on the bar, so that it required considerable nerve to cross, especially as we did not know the depth of water, and a monster

shark was cruising at the hack of the first roller, as if on the look out for “ a fresh mess.” Our landing created little excitement, as the people seemed to have given themselves up to enjoyment, which not even this unheard-of influx of foreigners could distui’b. While I was away, ten pigs, each weighing about 3 cwt., were sacrificed with all due ceremony at the foot of the food scaffold, and a number of young women in a state of absolute nudity threw food to the people from a platform. It appears that at each annual feast the girls who have been tattooed since the last festival are required to perform this duty as evidence of the fact, and I am told that several seemed overcome with shame at the exposure. Mr. Chalmers tells me these people have a distinct idea and beautiful conception of a Supreme Being. To them the Great Spirit is a most beneficent being from whom nought but good is received, while the spirits of their ancestors are blamed for all evil that befalls them. A good yam season is the work of the Great Unknown—a drought is caused by malevolent ancestors. The whole proceedings at this festival seemed to have a religious significance, and it may be regarded as a thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. The distribution of food went on all day to the people of three villages, besides Kalo, viz., Papaka (inland from Ilula), Kamari, and Kerepunu. We estimated that there could not have been less than 30,000 cocoanuts and 500 bunches of bananas, besides yams and sugar-cane, on the scaffold poles. Dancing commenced about dusk, but as there were no fires and lights, and women principally took part in it, ’twas a very tame affair ; accordingly we started a dance on our own account, and very soon had by far the largest share of spectators, one of whom, a very pretty lassie, deftly abstracted a red silk pocket-handkerchief from my belt. After supper we sat on the platform of our house singing, and were in the middle of “ Haney Lee” when a peremptory message arrived from the chief to “ shut up” or his people would fall sick. We resented this want of appreciation of our vocal talents, and mildly suggested that it was all the same as their singing in the morning. “ But,” said the chief, who had come in person, our God is accustomed to our singing, while he won’t know what to make of your noise ; so please stop.” We all slept at Kalo that night, and left before daylight for Kerepunu.

About a week before the arrival of the “ Ellengowan,” the schooners “ Pride of the Logan” and “Annie” had been fishing in the bay near Keppel Point, and the latter vessel had a station on shore. A dispute had occurred between her crew and the natives about the purchase of some bêche-de-mer. Several shots were fired, and a native was wounded in the arm. This rankled in the minds of the people, aud three weeks afterwards the young men from several villages combined to attack the foreigners. The attack was made on a shore party at midday,

but after thrusting a couple of spears into the cook and standing a few shots they took to their heels. The whites say several natives were shot and carried off. A night or two afterwards their curing-house was burnt, with a quantity of provisions and trade, but whether by accident or design is not known. Both vessels cleai’ed out, not thinking it safe to remain.

The district in which these villages are situated is known as Aroma. It is densely populated, and therefore important from a missionarv point of view. It was at a village near Keppel Point that Mr. Chalmers nearly lost his life in May last. He had walked through several villages with only the teacher Taria and a Marc native named Jack, in Mr. Goldie’s employ, who carried a double shot-gun. Mr. Chalmers saw that the people wore getting excited, and that mischief was brewing, so they made for the boat. There were several natives from the cannibal districts among the crowd, and the teachers heard them consulting as to when they should kill the Dim-dims (foreigners). Finally, someone suggested that they should wait till they reached the boat, and so capture and kill the whole party. The clothes and trade were to go to the Aroma people, but the bodies were to be given to the Orangerie Bay folks to be eaten ! They were only kept back by fear of the gun, and tried hard to induce Jack to fire it off. On reaching the beach, Mr. Chalmers suddenly threw a quantity of beads amongst the crowd and all made a rush for the boat. A howl of disappointed rage arose, and for a few minutes their position was critical, as the Chinese boat’s crew lost their heads and allowed the boat to get broadside on to the beach. But they were fortunate enough to get off safely. It was during this trip that Mr. Chalmers made the acquaintance of Koapena, the chief at Keppel Point, whose people afterwards attacked the “ Annie.” This man has great influence throughout the Aroma district, and is dreaded by the people of Kerepunu. After considerable difficulty Mr. Chalmers succeeded in getting a message conveyed to him, asking him to come to Kerepunu, and we found him there on our return from Kalo. We took him on board the “ Sappho’ ’ and confronted him with Captain Webb, of the “ Pride of the Logan.” The chief gave much the same account of the affray as we had previously heard. He is a splendid specimen of the “noble savage,” about fifty years of age, 6ft. 2in.' in height, and has a determined look that bodes ill for those who cross his path. He was terribly scared at the man-of-war, but did not betray it further than by a nervous grip of my arm, which I had linked in his lest he should make a sudden leap over the side. After Captain Digby had made him several presents, he took him on deck to see the crew exercised at general quarters. The rushing to and fro of the men, the bugle calls, and rapid words of command fairly deprived him of speech, and when a shell was fired from one of the great guns

his legs gave way under him. He left the vessel with assurances that thenceforth there should be peace between his people and the foreigners. ¥e spent the rest of the day in exploring the Dundee, and, as anticipated, found that after about five miles it became a mere ditch, with scarcely water enough to float a canoe.

. The “Sappho” left on August l,andMr. Chalmers andlweut in a boat with Koapena to visit his village, Màôpa, at Keppel Point. We pulled into the middle of the bay, and up a saltwater creek that offered an easier means of reaching the village than the long pull round the point. This involved passing near the villages that took part in the recent attack, so we asked Koapena if the people would be likely to cause trouble ? He was chewing betel at the time, but stopped, and looking fixedly at us for some moments, said, “ What land will give you trouble P Am not I with you ?” and brought his chunam spoon down with tremendous energy on the gourd, as who should say, “ I should like to see anyone attempt it !” “ But will not these people bear malice against the foreigners, and attack them if they return here to fish?” He replied, with a smile of peculiar meaning, “ If they do, where will they go to live ? Will they go up to the skies ?” After ascending the creek about three miles, we landed in a mangrove swamp and walked to Maopa. We saw here some crabs that reminded us of a story told by a certain gallant admiral, more remarkable for ingenuity than for his veracity, when teased by some ladies for a good sea story. “ Well, ladies,” he began, “I was sailing one day in the Mediterranean in a fine frigate, and bowling along about nine knots, when suddenly, while writing in my cabin, I felt the ship’s way stopped dead! ‘On deck there!’ I called out; ‘What is the matter ?’ The lieutenant of the watch put his head down the hatch, and said, ‘ A most extraordinary occurrence, sir ; please come on deck.’ I went on deck, and—would you believe it, ladies ?—the sea was literally alive with lobsters ! So thick were they that they actually stopped the ship’s way ! I walked forward and looked over the bows, and, sure enough, there they

were swimming about in their little red jackets”---“ Why,

admiral !” exclaimed a lady, “ lobsters are not red till they are boiled!” “Oh! damn it (beg pardon, ladies),” said the admiral, “ I forgot that !” hiow the crabs that we saw had certainly not been boiled, but for all that their shells were a bright scarlet. After crossing a thin belt of scrub we came out on a plantation belonging to Koapena, who made us sit down while his people got cocoanuts and sugar-cane for us. The road lay through a fertile plain for about five miles to the village, a little outside of which was Koapena’s country house ; here we rested for a short time on a bed of leaves spread for us, and orders were given to have food cooked against our return. Nothing could exceed the kindness and attention of the old chief. He and another—a

sort of henchman—carried us over every little pool of water or swamp on the road, and he was constantly assuring us that there was no cause for fear. I flatter myself we felt less than he did on board the “ Sappho.” The village of Maopa is built between two sandhills, a short distance from the beach, and is larger than any we have yet seen. The houses are altogether different from those in the Kerepunu district, having the gables extending several feet above the ridge-pole, giving a canoe-like appearance to the roof. They are built on piles and are two-storied but the upper room extends the whole length of each house, with a shoit ladder giving access to it through a kind of trap-door. ie ceiling of the lower room in the chief’s house was carved in geometrical patterns, and from it hung a number or wooden hooks—like double harpoons—to suspend things by. Over the doorway, in an inclined position, as if ready to fall on the head of intruders, was the chief’s war club, a stone disc, the size or a cheese-plate, with a long handle, and at the opposite end was a pile of firewood neatly stacked. The winter’s supply of yams was stowed away in the upper story, into which we followed the chief, away from the prying eyes of his followers, who crowded the platform below, and there produced our presents. He took down a bundle from the roof, and undid one wrapper after another until he come to his stock of feather ornaments, which are only worn on great occasions, and, after long and solemn deliberation, selected some, which he handed to us as the most precious gifts he had to bestow. “ Put them on,” said he, that all the people may know you are my friends. ” Thus decorated, we marched through the village, and found it, like Kalo, kept very clean around the houses. After resting some time, we returned to Koapena’s country house, where a dinner of taro and yams was served. These people, although so near Kerepunu, have not yet learned to use tobacco ; but the old chief took an occasional whiff from our pipes, by way of impressing his followers. ICoapena and a number of Ins people accompanied us back to the boat, and we regretted being unable to spend more time with him. I believe we have secured a valuable and powerful friend in this chief, and trust no new unpleasantness between the beche-de-mer fishers and the natives will occur to mar the present relations. VV ith Koapena’s assistance, it ought not to be a very difficult matter to cross New Guinea to Huon Gulf and with Mr. Chalmers for a companion, I am ready at any time to make the attempt. It was sundown when we reached the boat, and 11 p.m. before we arrived at Kerepunu.

During our absence a Itarotongan teacher, who had long been ill of consumption, died. A new canoe was bought from the natives to serve as a coffin, and the ends being sawn off and a lid fitted,, it formed a tolerable substitute. The poor fellow was buried the following morning at the foot of a shady tree, on

a hill overlooking the sea, and this being the first funeral of a foreigner the whole population turned out to see the ceremony. The children swarmed up the tree, and perched upon every overhanging branch, until we feared some accident would happen. The natives kept remarkably quiet throughout the service, and sharply rebuked the youngsters for chattering.

It is melancholy to think of the number of good men who ha,ve been sacrificed since the commencement of the New Guinea mission. These poor fellows were brought from their pleasant island homes in a delightful climate, dropped here and there along an unhealthy coast, and left to their fate until it was convenient for the “ Ellengowan” to visit them. If the place proved healthy, well and good; if otherwise, their places were supplied by fresh arrivals. Their pay is £15 a-year, out of which they have to clothe and feed themselves, build houses, and buy land to cultivate. In an unhealthy climate like this men require something more than eocoanuts and yams to support life, and these teachers ought to be supplied with meat, flour, tea, and sugar. They are the true heroes of the mission, but at the May meetings at Exeter Hall who hears their names ?—I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant,

HENRY M. CHESTER.

To the Honourable the Colonial Secretary, Brisbane.

Stacey Island, South Cape,

August 30,1878.

Sir,—Continuing my report of 27th instant, I have the honour to inform you that I left Kerepunu on the 3rd idem. The cruise along the coast offered little worthy of remark. We anchored at Grange Island, Amazon Bay, Dufaure Island, Port .Dudfield, and Meikle Bay, and had intercourse with the natives. Those at Amazon Bay were the most miserable specimens we had seen. They build their villages on the tops of almost inaccessible crags for fear of their enemies from Toulon Island, who come across to the mainland to plant, leaving their women in charge of two or three men only. This gave rise to the report that there was a district in New Guinea inhabited solely by women, hence the name Amazon Bay. We procured specimens of Masooi bark there, and the natives say there is plenty of it. Mr. Chalmers and I went on shore everywhere and made presents to the chiefs. The canoes crowded round the vessel, and hoop iron was in great demand, but the specimens of arms and ornaments offered for sale were scarcely worth picking up. Between Orangerie Bay and South Cape are several snug coves, almost landlocked, which offer good shelter for small crafts trading on the coast. These appear to have escaped notice when

i,lie “ Basilisk” surveyed the coast. There are no mission stations between Kerepunu and South Cape, but the hiatus will be supplied on the arrival of the “ John Williams” in October A rrived at South Cape on August 10, and put up m Mr. Chalmers house, which is situated on the north side of the island iaciug the main land. It is built close to the beach and in the centre of the village, which is but a small one, at the foot of a hill 900«. hio-h Although the station has only been formed eight months,

(here is more laud under cultivation than in any station I have

visited, and everything seems flourishing. The pumpkin and pawpaw are well known in the South-east Peninsula, and Mr. Channel’s has introduced a number of vegetables and. fruit, tho seeds of which are eagerly sought after by the natives. Pen, the teacher from Boera, will live in the memory of the JSew Guinea natives when most of the European missionaries are tor-«■otten. He is known from Boera to South Cape and along the shores of the Papuan Gulf as the introducer of the sweet potato, which bears his name. Peri-mota Siiow (Stacey Island) was selected as a mission station with a view to health, otherwise the people of the mainland are far preferab e to live amongst. The natives are very jealous of others holding intercourse with the mission, and, although an insignificant tribe, appear to have considerable influence, through alliances with their more powerful neighbours. The women are particularly ill-favoured, and might well have suggested the idea of ghouls in a graveyard” to the Arabian novelist. A night or two alter our arrival we heard an unusual talking in the village, and on going down to learn the cause found the son of the chief addressing an audience of two small boys and a woman with great volubility on the fearful enormity of cannibalism; but, as Jack Bunsby puts it, “The bearing of the case lies m the application of it.” He had no sentimental horror of cannibalism m the abstract—lie merely objected to becoming the subject. t appears that a day or two previous a respectable father ot a family departed this life, and the widow being inconsolable tor his loss, and determined that even in death they should not be divided, dug up the remains on the day of the funeral and ate them! His speech was something to this effect:-“Oh ye people of Siiow, what kind of women are these who eat even their own relations ? If we permit this kind of thing we shall have them eating us after death. Let us kill them first—or stay, let us banish them to the country of the Dim-duns. Begone! tlis wife was also very energetic in protesting, but as she had ,not been invited to the feast I mistrust the sincerity of her convictions. The Show women were particularly venomous after the attack on the “ Mayri.” They tried their very utmost to goad the men into attacking the station on shore, and when they found it impossible to screw their men’s courage to the sticking point,

they brought their shields out from their houses and smashed them with every mark of opprobrium and contempt. Long after the men made friends the women avoided the station, and some are only now beginning to frequent the house. The eagerness of these people for hoop-iron causes them to work willingly in planting, house building, and cutting wood for the steamer. A piece of iron Gin. or Sin. long is considered a fair equivalent for a good day s work, while red cloth and beads will purchase food m any quantity. I am at a loss to discover whether a pig, a canoe, or a human life is the most valuable. The same article will purchase the two first, and atone for the other, namely, a pair of shell armlets ! The balance of evidence, however, is in favour of the latter, as the deceased will probably have relatives who must all receive compensation. Stacey Island is favourably situated for holding intercourse with strangers from other islands. I he fame of “Tamate” (Mr. Chalmers’ native name) has been noised abroad, so that people from China Strait, and even from the Louisiade Archipelago, visit him.

On the evening of August 18, having completed our arrangements for a walk across the peninsula to Milne Bay which Mr. Chalmers had long contemplated, we went over in a' boat to Yarauru, a village in Catamaran Bay, from whence we were to obtain carriers. We were met on the beach bv the "■C population, and escorted to the chief’s house, who was sitting in state to receive us, with his son-in-law. “ Keep silence, everybody,” he cried out; “ the great chiefs are with us let their voices alone be heard.” He then busied himself in looking after our gear, and seeing it carefully stowed away in Ins house. After the usual inspection by the women and children, we withdrew and arranged our camp for the night. The houses in this village, and indeed those of all this part of the country, resemble those described at Maopa, but are much smaller and have only one story. The portion devoted to the women was at the end farthest from the door, or entrance, and partitioned off by a sort of screen about 2ft. high. Close to this was a fireplace, round which was a neat framework resembling a miniature lift. Prom it depended a couple of loops of cord, in which our host was wont to sling his heels in order to toast his nether extremities. Before retiring to rest everything was arranged for an early start, and the old man Quiani seemed anxious to set off; but about midnight he awoke us, and in a most lugubrious voice told us he had dreamt a dream1 He droned away for about kalf-an-liour, the burthen of his son<* being the terrors of the road we were to travel. He dreamt that rain fell in torrents ; thunder and lightning worse than had ever been experienced was incessant; and to crown all, Mamoose (myself) and the China boy knocked up on the mountains, and could neither proceed nor return. I thought this portion of the

dream not unlikely of fulfilment, for I had been leading a sedentary life for three years past aud was in no condition for climbing mountains, but kept my thoughts to myself. “Now that I have told you my dream, will you still venture?” “Certainly, old boy ; go to sleep, and let us do likewise.” With a long-drawn sigh he fell back on his wooden pillow, and we fondly hoped we had done with him, but at 2 a.m. he was as brisk as ever, calling out to us to get up as a new day had begun. It was impossible to be angry with the old fellow, so we made the best of it, and sat talking by the fire till daylight. This affords an opportunity for a sketch of the old chief. He is about 60 years of age and about 5ft. 7in. in height, but as wiry and active as a young man. His bald bullet head, seamed with scars, and little twinkling eyes, give a most comical expression to his face, in which, even when excited, there is nothing of that ferocity one has been accustomed to associate with cannibals. He is not only a great chief, but a renowned sorcerer, with a reputation extending far beyond the limits of his tribe. After the attack on Mayri, when the sorcerers of Suow were compassing the destruction of the mission by all the spells known to them, Quiani upset their machinations, and turned the tide of popular favour in the other direction, since which he has proved a firm and useful friend.

As soon as it was light enough to see, the loads were apportioned to the carriers, not without the shirking and shifting usual on such occasions. Finally, everything was shouldered by 6 o’clock, except our stock of hoop-iron, weighing about 361b. No one would undertake this, and in an evil hour, thinking to shame them into picking it up, Mr. Chalmers and I slung it on a pole and carried it between us. A shout of laughter greeted this performance, aud the procession started. I began to think we had let ourselves in for a good thing, when the chief called a halt, and two able young fellows coming forward relieved us of this awful nightmare. Our party .now consisted of Mr. Chalmers, three teachers, my Chinese servant, myself, and twenty carriers, five of whom were women. We started at a brisk pace through a fig-tree scrub, up one ridge and down another, past waterfalls with deep pools at the bottom of gorges into which the sun seldom penetrates, until about 11 a.m., when we came out on a river rushing over a bed of shingle which falls into Catamaran Bay. We spelled here ten minutes, but Quiani would not let us boil the kettle, saying we had still a long way to travel. Now began the hardest travelling I ever experienced. We crossed and recrossed the river some twenty times, the depth and current increasing with each occasion. At times the bed of the river afforded the only practicable road. With cramps in the legs from walking all day in water, I trudged painfully along, sitting down occasionally to empty the gravel from my shoes, and devoutly wishing for the sight of a cocoanut tree to indicate a

village at hand. At length I was fairly exhausted, and sat down by the side of a brook at the foot of a steep range. One good fellow, named Berigi, son-in-law to Quiani, stuck by me, and encouraged me to proceed. An artist of the tribe has perpetuated this man’s features in ebony in the form of a chunam spoon, which I shall ever retain as a memorial of a genial old cannibal, who, though bearing a striking resemblance to the popular idea of “ Auld Clootie,” I found a good-natured fellow and capital company. By 3 p.m. I gained the top of the range, and found the whole party camped there. It was a spur of the Cloudy Mountain range, 2,700ft. above sea level, and not more than seven or eight miles from the sea in a direct line, although it had taken us nine hours to reach it. Quiani insisted on our going on, but I considered I had done enough for a first day, and determined to camp where I was. At length it was arranged that Mr. Chalmers and the main body should press on to the village, leaving Berigi and two more to camp with the teachers and myself. The top of the ridge was only a few yards wide, and afforded barely sufficient ground for a camp. While waiting for the moon to rise, Berigi suddenly declared he saw an old woman of the tribe who had died some time before, and commenced throwing fire-sticks on each side of the range to drive her away; but this not having the desired effect he asked us to fire off our guns, after which we had peace. A light rain fell at intervals all night, but we were too tired to mind that. At daylight we found that, although we had the cooking utensils, the food had gone on. We made tea with the milk of a eocoanut in the absence of water, and then began the descent of the range, passing through plantations of taro, surrounded by stout log fences, until we came to a river which the natives say falls into a large lagoon at the head of Orangerie Bay. Crossed an affluent of this, and rested a short time at a village of three or four houses on the bank. The proper camp was at a larger village three miles further on, and all the people had gone there, taking two pigs with them. After about three hours’ travelling we reached the village of Diodio, where we spent the remainder of the day, and dried our things. Quiani came out strong here. He put on all his war paint and ornaments, and regularly took charge of the village. Flourishing a big knife, he marched up and down before the chief’s house where we were camped, and gave the people to understand that the Dimdims were his friends, and he would like to see anyone disturb them. His excitement and energy were something wonderful for an old man, and now and then he would whisper to us with a comical wink, “ These people will look upon me as a great chief.” Everything was paid for through Quiani with hoop-iron, beads, and red cloth ; in fact, he got everything he asked for, and lavished presents on his friends. All day the women were busy cooking, and in the

evening twelve large pots filled with taro were placed before us, any one of which was a meal for ten people; but eventually it all disappeared, in addition to the two pigs. These people showed better taste than those of Kalo,for they were continually pressing us to sing. TJana, uana (sing, sing) was perpetually in their mouths. Altogether we spent a very pleasant time, and gave them cause to remember our visit for years to come.

August 16.—Started about 6 a.m., and travelled through a large plain covered with dense fig-tree scrub for about eight miles, crossed two rivers, both falling into the lagoon, and passed through three villages, breakfasting at the last. The road, then lay through the bed of the second river for several miles. ¥e had to clamber over boulders slippery with moss, and pick our way carefully through a rapid stream, where a false step meant a dislocated ankle, or perhaps a broken bone, until we began to think we had done a fair day’s work; but here, as on the first day, a lofty range faced us which must be surmounted before we could enjoy rest. The aneroid showed a height of about 360ft. at the foot of the mountain, and after a toilsome steep ascent we gained the summit,3,360ft. above sea level. Paudanus trees, with roots 20ft. long, and large fig-trees with the fruit growing in clusters on the trunk as well as on the branches, clothed the slopes and crest of the range, which, like the first, was only a few yards wide. It was now 4 p.m., and wo had been travelling ten hours, so we arranged to camp here. But the day’s work was not yet over for Mr. Chalmers; word was brought that one of the teachers had been taken ill half-way up the mountain, and he hurried down with brandy and medicine to his assistance. Finally, the teacher was carried up to the camp by the natives, with frequent halts and relays of bearers. Quiani was very much concerned, and said, “ Did not I tell you the mountains were very dificult to cross, and that you would never do it; and now I shall get into trouble for bringing sickness to the people.” Saying this, he seated himself beside the sick man, and commenced a series of incantations, occasionally whispering and blowing into his chunam gourd, and corking it up, until at length he arose and expressed himself satisfied that no danger was to be feared.

August 17.—It was most unfortunate that a thick mist obscured the view from the top of the range at sunrise, as we hoped to have been able to see the level country and the lagoon at the head of Orangerie Bay. Two hours of easy descent brought us to a village on the brow of a hill 2,300ft. above, and overlooking Milne Bay, where we halted for breakfast. A pig was purchased for four pieces of hoop-iron and a fantail tomahawk, and the chief, seizing a spear, began walking up and down in an excited manner as if about to attack us, but turning suddenly as the pig was borne past on a pole, he plunged the spear

into its heart and went on talking as if nothing had happened. The women at this village were better looking than those we had hitherto seen, and are not disfigured by tatooing. Instead of blacking themselves from head to foot as a sign of mourning, they cover the breasts with a fringe of long grass hanging from the neck. We noticed a pretty monument over a recent grave, consisting of a miniature house constructed to scale and neatly finished, with carved wood sides ornamented with colours. Heavy clouds rested on the Stirling Eange, and it was becoming evident that if our journey had been delayed a couple of days it would never have been made. A Scotch mist made the hill-sides slippery, and settled into a steady downpour as we started. The talking and feasting at this village, added to the fatigue he had previously undergone, began to tell upon the old sorcerer, and I was rather pleased to see it, as the pace was not quite so hot as it had been. He assured us there were no more hills to climb, and, after a difficult descent, we rested on a small island in a river, expecting to reach Discovery Bay that evening. A long consultation took place, when, with a grave face, Quiani informed us that there was a village a little off the road with which he was at feud, and what better time could there be for making peace than when the Dim-dims were with him ? In vain we stormed and refused to hear of such a thing ; he had an answer for every objection. At last Mr. Chalmers thought he had clenched the matter by saying, “ If we go to this village we shall have to part with the hoop-iron, &c., reserved for Vako-Vako (our last halting place).” “ Oh,” said Quiani, “is that all that troubles you? Fear not. I will bear all the expenses ! ” Then began a number of incantations to ensure a favourable reception. He scraped a quantity of cocoanut into a shell, and thé whole party anointed their heads and faces with it, and plunged into the stream to wash it off. They next mixed some black pigment in a shell and painted their faces in various devices, while the old sorcerer mounted his favourite necklace of shell, with a large boar’s tusk attached, and put on his shell armlets and feathers. We preserved a sulky silence all this time, and when the word to march was given sternly bade him take the road to Vako-Yako. After about an hour’s travelling we were disgusted to find another small range to climb, and forced the old rascal to confess that he was off the right track. There was nothing for it but to submit, as evening was approaching, and right glad we were to make a village at last. We marched in with due solemnity, having previously been assigned our places in the procession. The people of the village had notice of our approach, and were seated round a circle of stones under a cocoanut tree. A shout of welcome greeted our party, but no one rose. We made the circuit of the stones, and then by Quiani’s direction seated ourselves within the circle. He threw down his tomahawk with

great force at the feet of the chief, and. Berigi did the same with two pieces of hoop-iron. These were evidently a peace-offering, or compensation for some old cause of complaint. A greyheaded woman of the tribe then came forward and embraced Quiani, and the chief of the village started up and began a promenade, brandishing a large club. Peace having been thus happily concluded, our wants were attended to ; a pig was killed, taro baked, and very soon silence reigned in the camp. The house given up for our use was probably that occupied by the young unmarried men. There was no women’s compartment in it, and at each end, in a kind of rack, about fifty spears were arranged ready for instant use. In all these houses the ends extend an inch or two below the floor to prevent the inmates being speared in their sleep, and it is necessary to crawl in on the hands and knees. It was situated at the edge of a steep cliff overlooking Discover)' Bay and the village of Vako-Yako. The chief’s wife wept bitterly for the death of her pig, which was sacrificed to entertain us, but did not object to partake of it. It is a common thing in this part of New Guinea to see women nursing the young pigs. Our carriers were in clover here, and wished us to remain ; but we started on the morning of August IS, and after an hour’s travelling arrived at Vako-Yako, a large village in Discovery Bay. It had been arranged that the “ Ellen-gowan” was to call here on the 19tli, in case we were unable to continue our original programme, which was to walk to Orangerie Bay, and thence to Farm Bay. The Vako-Yako people were at war with the villages on the road, and this of itself was sufficient to upset our plans; but two days’ consecutive rain had so flooded the country as to make travelling impossible. The chief, Buniara, gave us a house to live in, and did his best to make us comfortable; but the rain and swarms of blowflies destroyed the pleasure we should otherwise have had. Crowds of natives flocked to see us, and were never tired of examining our skins and feeling our limbs, speculating the while how we should eat, until I began to feel like one of the plates in Mrs. Acton’s cookery-book—marked out in joints. They baked a dog for us as a great treat, and were quite disappointed that we did not partake of it. They began to weary of us when the steamer did not come in as expeded, on the 19th, and hinted that she was not coming at all, upon which Quiani said, “Never mind, there are twenty-three war canoes in my district, and if the steamer does not come I will send for them to fetch you away.” Thus we had crossed the peninsula (in about sixty miles), from South Cape to Milne Bay, through a population of cannibals, and have seen more of their domestic life than falls to the lot of most people. Our progress throughout was a royal march, and we felt as safe as if in our own houses. We were virtually unarmed, for the natives carried my fire-arms, and throughout C

the journey not a single article was stolen. Our trip may not have heen rich in scientific results, hut at least we have demonstrated that it is possible to travel among savages and cannibals in New Guinea without resorting to coats of mail, explosive bullets, or dynamite. As for the road, 1 do not think there is a square yard of ground in the country, even in the plains, upon which to set the foot without treading on the buttress of a fig-tree, a root, or a boulder. 1 have crossed a range in Oman, on the coast of Arabia, 10,000ft. high, the Lebanon, and the sources of the Euphrates and Tigris, but never did I encounter such difficult country. I am indebted to Mr. Chalmers for the opportunity, for without his assistance, aud the confidence with which he has inspired the natives, the journey could never have heen accomplished.

The “Ellengowan” ai’rived on August 20, and remained till the following morning. A pig weighing 2cwt. was purchased for ten pieces of hoop-iron, a tomahawk, aud knife, and more presents were distributed. Some of our carriers, in attempting to recross the mountains, were nearly swept away by the swollen torrents, so they concluded to return in the steamer. On August 2 L we crossed Milne Bay to East Cape. There are two Loyalty Island teachers here, but I question whether the place is sufficiently healthy for them to remain. Next day we steamed through China Strait to .Dinner Island, on which there are a few coeoanut trees, but no inhabitants. Mr. McFarlane has purchased it from the natives of Heath Island, and employed a number of them to clear it, with a view to forming a healthy central mission station. There are two teachers on Heath, aud two on Teslé Islaud, all from the Loyalty Group. It is to be hoped, for the sake of the inhabitants of Moresby Island (Basi-laki), that a teacher will soon be sent there. I have christened this island the Victualling Yard, as it serves as a sort of dépôt for fresh provisions for the people of China Strait and the mainland. If a human victim is required for a feast, they make a raid on Basilaki, and generally succeed in capturing one or more. Should any of them be caught at sea in their canoes, they are invariably killed and eaten ; but, being a weak tribe, they are powerless to reciprocate these little amenities. We left Mr. McFarlane at Dinner Island, and reached Show the same day. It has rained almost without intermission since August 20, and in consequence we have been unable to visit the villages in Farm and Catamaran Bays. These people have always borne an evil reputation, and the specimens we have seen at Show have not impressed us with any great liking for them ; but these are only stronger reasons for going amongst them, and we regretted being deprived of the opportunity.

Our recent cruise will have dispelled the prevailing idea that New Guinea is a country solely inhabited by savage races with

whom it is impossible to hold intercourse, and that annexation is an easy matter. These people cannot be dispossessed of their country as easily as the aborigines of Australia. They have Tested interests and rights that cannot be disregarded; but I am sanguine that the day is not far distant when this land will be opened up to the markets of Manchester and ¡Sheffield. Copra in large quantities may be procured in the districts of Hula and Ai’oma, and masooi bark, cedar, and ebony in the south-east peninsula.

It is remarkable that an agricultural people who do not eat human flesh should be “ sandwiched in,” as it were, between the cannibal inhabitants of the western shores of the Papuan Gulf and Orangerie Bay, in the south-east peninsula. Thanks to Mr. Lawes, we are better acquainted with the legends of the Port Moresby district than those of any other portion of ¡New Guinea east of the 141st meridian. According to these they are the conquering race, who are gradually displacing the cannibals on the coast. The Kerepunites, again, ai’e a different race, and are said to resemble the people of Eastern Polynesia. , Mr. Chalmers kindly translated for me the following legend as told in Earotongau, by Peri’s wife, who had heard it from the people of Boera. Ages ago Port M oresby produced food in abundance, but a quarrel arose, which resulted in a secession of one-half of the tribe, and from that time the sago, palm, and cocoanut tree gradually died out. About this time fire, which was previously unknown, was brought to them by a dog. The people had noticed a brilliant light at night aud thick smoke by day, in a large canoe becalmed off their coast, and knew not what it was. In those days they lived on intimate terms with the birds and animals, and could converse with them. The turtle first volunteered to fetch news concerning this strange light, but failed in the attempt. The pigeon next tried, but fell exhausted into the sea while returning with a flaming brand. The dog then offered his services. He boarded the canoe, and saw water boiled and food cooked by this mysterious light. Watching his opportunity, he jumped overboard with a brand in his mouth, and swam ashore in safety with his prize. He taught the people how to use the fire, and to cook their food, but they forgot in time the benefits conferred by the dog, and treated him with ingratitude, so he revenged himself by biting the people, and fomented the quarrel which led to the dispersion of the tribe. Those who remained at Port Moresby were reduced to the verge of starvation, but eventually their brethren, taking compassion upon them, taught them the art of making pottery, and sold sago to them in exchange for earthenware pots.

Should small trading vessels visit the coast, the following simple direction for their guidance may be found useful:—

Keep the bulk of your trade out of sight, and if in a small vessel do not allow the natives on board. Pay scrupulously for

everything you receive, and if the owner is not satisfied return the article offered for sale. In all our traffic with them we never met with a single instance of dishonesty in trsding. Should anything be stolen, do not resort to firearms, but stop the trading, and in most cases the missing article will be restored. As Mr. Lawes remarks, “ Confidence begets confidence,” and our experience has abundantly proved this truth. Respect their women and avoid all excitement. Having ascertained who are chiefs, give them small presents; but chiefs will multiply in an extraordinary manner if discretion is not used. It is a good plan to give presents of beads to women with children in arms. Do not be over-confident, even though the natives appear unarmed; it is astonishing how soon they are supplied with weapons in the event of a row. If a disturbance takes place on board while any of your party are on shore, on no account fire a gun, but hoist a flag previously agreed upon.

American tomahawks, tobacco, and knives are required to trade with the people from Yule Island to Keppel Point. Stout hoop-iron about 8in. long, red cloth, beads, and looking-glasses will pass current on the rest of the coast, although fantail tomahawks and knives are in great request. In an appendix I give a list, kindly furnished by Mr. Chalmers, of most articles of food or commerce in the dialects of Port Moresby and Dauni, a knowledge of -which will facilitate operations. Traders who deal honestly and kindly by the natives may be sure of meeting with every assistance fi’om the missionaries and teachers, notwithstanding the prevailing impression that they are interested in keeping strangers out of the country.

Since leaving Murray. Island we have visited twenty-six villages, and slept at ten. We have invested twenty chiefs with the “ Order of the Red Nightcap but Quiani is Knight Grand Cross, and Berigi K.C. of the order. Perl laps the person best known by repute on the New Guinea coast, from Port Moresby to South Cape, after Peri, is the late proprietor and editor of the Cooktoivii Herald, through a clever mechanical toy rejoicing in the euphonious name of the “ Double Jubilee Gymnasts!” which he gave to Captain Redlich. and which we secured. Wherever we went crowds flocked to see the extraordinary contortions of “ Missi Bayli,” as it was called. We also constructed a telephone with two jam tins and a couple of iguana skins, which afforded great amusement to the people of Suow.

Finally, I have to express my thanks to the committee of the New Guinea Mission for the readiness with which they granted me a passage in the “Ellengowan,” and for the many kindnesses I have received from them during the cruise.—I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant,

HENRY M. CHESTER. The Honourable the Colonial Secretary, Brisbane.

'    APPENDIX.

In the following list of words, as in all proper names in my report, tlie Italian vowel sounds are used, being the plan adopted by the New Guinea Mission :—


English.

Port Moresby.

Dauni.

Water

Lanu

Goird

Cocoanuts

Niu

Niu

Banana

Piku

Asae

Sago

Bapia

Bapia

Taro

'1'aro

Udo

Yams

Milo

A poi

Pigs

Poro ma

Poro

Tomahawk

Ila

Bevareva

Knife

Kaid

Nigo

Hoop-iron

Dalia

Gourigouri

Fish-hook

K unai

Aure

Needle

Turituri

Din

Looking-glass

Varivari

Hu

Beads

Aleeva

Bordimdim

Bed cloth

Tapua-kaka

Upu

Spear

lo

Arabia

Shield

Kesi

Opea

Club

Tvahi

Putuputu

Sword

Kareva

Erepa

Paddle

Otc

Nose

Canoe

Vauaki

Vaka

Bowl

Tihu

Gaeba

Armlets

Toea

Kavivile

Basket

Il ai ala

Net Bag

Kiapa

Marra

Pottery

Uro

Gureva

House

Lùma

NSma

Massoi bark

Goobu

Ebony

GShi

Native mahogany

...

Pauri

Cedar

Nara

I vini

N.B.—The district of Dauni extends from Orangerie Bay to South Cape. The Port Moresby dialect will be understood in the Kerepunu district.


By Authority ! Jamks 0. Beal, Government Printer, Brisbane.