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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.

Gifts Made at Tolaga Bay

Gifts Made at Tolaga Bay

Te Kani presented Polack with two spike nails which, he said, had been given by Cook to the natives of Poverty Bay, and which had been captured from them by his father during a battle. He also drew attention to a necklace which one of his wives was wearing. It was composed of three light-blue beads—a gift from Cook—threaded on a piece of flax. They underwent an examination all round, and anecdotes concerning Cook were repeated. Polack was told that the beads and the nails were the only remaining relics of Cook's visit.

After leaving Tolaga Bay, the Endeavour had to be turned to windward all day, as the wind was foul. Next morning, she was page 59 leeward of the bay. Heading north again, Cook did not wait for some fishing boats which made towards the ship [apparently from Hautanoa]. About noon, East Cape was rounded. On the following morning (1 November, civil date) five canoes came out off Cape Runaway and threatened the voyagers from a distance. One canoe held “upwards of 40 men, all armed with pikes, etc.” Cook adds:

“… from this and other Circumstances it fully appear'd that they came with no friendly intentions; and I at this Time being very buisey and had no inclinations to stay upon deck and watch their Motions, I order'd a grape shot to be fir'd a little wide of them. This made them pull off a little and then they got together either to consult what to do or to look about them. Upon this, I order'd a round Shott to be fir'd over their heads, which frightened them to that degree that I believe they did not think themselves safe until they got ashore. This occasioned our calling the Point of land off which this hapned Cape Runaway.”

Whilst the natives were within range of the ship (Parkinson says), they kept calling out: “Kaka kee no Tootwais harre yoota patta pattoo,” meaning “that, if we would go on shore, they would beat us with their patta pattoos.” Banks states that the threats occasioned much uneasiness, as it had been hoped that an account of what they had done and could do would have reached a farther distance.

“We had now,” Banks continues, “our work to begin over again and heartily joined in wishing that it might be attended with less bloodshed than our late unfortunate encounters [in Poverty Bay and Hawke's Bay]. After a time, one of the canoes came almost close to the ship and, soon afterwards, we saw an immense canoe coming from the shore crowded full of people, all armed with long lances…. They pulled briskly up towards the ship as if to attack. It was judged right to let them see what we could do, least should they come to extremities, we might be obliged to fire at them, in which case numbers must be killed out of such a crowd. A Gun loaded with Grape was, therefore, fired ahead of them. They stopt padling, but did not retreat. A round shot was then fired over them. They saw it fall and immediately took to their paddles, rowing ashore with more haste than I ever saw men, without so much as stopping to breathe till they got out of sight.”