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1769 November 12.

Two canoes came early this morn who appeard to be strangers who had heard of us by the caution and fear they shewd in approaching the ship; two of them were however persuaded to come on board and the rest traded for what they had very fairly. A small canoe also came from the other side of the bay and sold some large fish which had been taken the day before yesterday, as yesterday it blew too [hard] for any Canoes to go to Sea. After breakfast we all went ashore to see an Indian Fort or Eppah in the neighbourhood, uncertain however what kind of reception we should meet with as they might be Jealous of letting us into it, where probably all their valuable effects were lodgd. We went to a bay where were two, we landed first near a small one the most beautifuly romantick thing I ever saw. It was built on a small rock detachd from the main and surroundd at high water, the top of this was fencd round with rails after their manner but was not large enough to contain above 5 or 6 houses; the whole appeard totaly inaccessible to any animal who was not furnishd with wings, indeed it was only aproachable by one very narrow and steep path, but what made it most truly romantick was that much the largest part of it was hollowd out into an arch which penetrated quite through it and was in hight not less than 20 yards perpendicular above the water which ran through it. The inhabitants on our aproach came down and invited us to go in but we refusd intending to visit a much larger and more perfect one about a mile off, we spent however some little time in making presents to their women. In the mean time we saw the inhabitants of the other come down from it, men women and children about 100 in number, and march towards us; as soon as they came near enough they wav'd and calld horomai and set down in the bushes near the beach (a sure mark of their good intentions). We went to them and made a few presents and askd leave to go to their heppah which they with joy invited us to do and immediately accompanied us to it. It was calld Wharretoowa and was situate on the end of a hill where it Jutted out into the sea which washd two sides of it, these were sufficiently steep but not absolutely inaccessible; up one of the land sides which was also steep went the road, the other was flat and open to the side of the hill. The whole was inclosd by a pallisade about 10 feet high made of strong pales bound together with withs; the weak side next the hill had also a ditch the face of which next the pallisade we measurd to be 20 1/2 feet in depth. Besides this over the pallisade was built a fighting stage which the[y] call Porava, which is a flat stage coverd with boughs of trees upon which they stand to throw darts or stones at their assailants out of danger of their weapons. The dimensions of it were thus: the hight from the ground 20 1/2 feet, breadth 6ft 6, the lengh 43 feet. Upon it were laid bundles of darts and heaps of stones ready in case of an attack. One of the Young men at our desire went up to shew their method of fighting and another went to the outside of the ditch to act assailant; they both sung their war song and dancd with the same frigh[t]full gesticulations as we have often seen them, threatning each other with their weapons; this I suppose they do in their attacks to work themselves to a sufficient fury of courage, for what we call calm resolution is I beleive found in few uncivilizd people. The side next the road was also defended by a stage like this but much lower, the other two were by their steepness and the pallisade thought sufficiently secure. The inside was divided into I beleive 20 larger and smaller divisions, some of which containd not more than 1 or 2 houses others 12 or 14; every one of these were enclosd by its own pallisade tho not so high and strong as the general one. In these were vast heaps of Dryd fish and fern roots pild up in heaps, so much that had they had water I should have though[t] them well prepard for a siege but that must be fetchd from a brook below, so probably they do not use to beseige a town as we do in Europe. Without the fence were many houses and large netts which I suppose were brought in upon any alarm; there was also about 1/2 an acre of Gourds and sweet potatoes planted, the only Cultivation we have seen in the bay.

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