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Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 











MAGISTRATE BY captain c. 

A. W. MONCKTON, F.R.G.S., F.Z.S., 












IT appears to be' the custom, for writers of books of this 
description, to begin with apologies as to their style, or 
excuses for their production. I pretend to no style ; but 
have simply written at the request of my wife, for her 
information and that of my personal friends, an account of my 
life and work in New Guinea. To the few " men that know " 
who still survive, in one or two places gaps or omissions may 
appear to occur ; these omissions are intentional, as I have no 
wish to cause pain to broken men who are still living, nor to 
distress the relations of those who are dead. Much history is 
better written fifty years after all concerned in the making are 
dead. Governor or ruffian. Bishop or cannibal, I have written 
of all as I found them ; I freely confess that I think when the 
last muster comes, the Great Architect will find — as I trust my 
readers will — some good points in the ruffians and the cannibals, 
as well, possibly, as some vulnerable places in the armour of 
Governors and Bishops. 

I do not pretend that this book possesses any scientific value ; 
such geographical, zoological, and scientific work as I have done 
is dealt with in various journals ; but it does picture correctly the 
life of a colonial officer in the one-time furthest outpost of the 
Empire — men of whose lives and work the average Briton knows 

Conditions in New Guinea have altered ; where one of Sir 
William MacGregor's officers stood alone, there now rest a 
number of Australian officials and clerks. Much credit is now 
annually given to this host ; some little, I think, might be fairly 
allotted to the dead Moreton, Armit, Green, Kowold, DeLange, 
and the rest of the gallant gentlemen who gave their lives to win 
one more country for the flag and to secure the Pax Britannica 
to yet another people. 

I have abstained from putting into the mouths of natives the 
ridiculous jargon or " pidgin English " in which they are popularly 
supposed to converse. The old style of New Guinea officer 
spoke Motuan to his men, and I have, where required, merely 
given a free translation from that language into English. In 


recent books about New Guinea, written by men of whom I 
never heard whilst there, I have noticed sentences in pidgin 
Engh'sh, supposed to have been spoken by natives, which I would 
defy any European or native in New Guinea, in my time, either 
to make sense of or interpret. 

When the history of New Guinea comes to be written, I 
think it will be found that the names of several people stand out 
from the others in brilliant prominence ; amongst its Governors, 
Sir William MacGregor ; its Judges, that of Sir Francis Winter ; 
its Missions, that of the Right Rev. John Montagu Stone-Wigg, 
first Anglican Bishop ; and in the development of its natural 
resources, that of the pioneer commercial firm of Burns, Philp 
and Company. 



The Author Frontispiece 

Cocoanut Grove, near Samarai 6 

The Rt. Hon. Sir William MacGregor, P.C., G.C.M.G., C.B., etc. . . lo 

R. F. L. Burton, Esq., and his Motuan boys 62 

Port Moresby from Government House, showing the Government Offices . 70 

Tamata Creek 78 

Bushimai, chief of the Binandere people 80 

Tamata Station 82 

Village in the Trobriand Islands 86 

A Motuan girl 112 

Dobu house, Mckeo "4 

Masks of the Kaiva Kuku Society, Mekeo 118 

House at Apiana, Mekeo . , .120 

Village near Port Moresby ......... 136 

Sir George Le Hunte, K.CM.G 148 

The Laloki Falls 156 

Tvro Motuan girls 162 

Motuan girl 164 

Sir G. Le Hunte presenting medals to Sergeant Sefa and Corporal Kimai . 166 

Kaili Kaili natives . . . . . . . . . .166 

The Merrie England at Cape Nelson and Giwi's canoes .... 168 

Giwi and his sons 174 

View from the Residency, Cape Nelson . . . . , .178 

Toku, son of Giwi 184 

Kaili Kaili 192 



Sergeant Barigi . 

Grave of Wanigcla, sub-chief of the Maisina tribe 

Kaili Kaili dancing ....... 

Captain F. R. Barton, C.M.G. ..... 

Armed Constabulary, Cape Nelson detachment 

Kaili Kaili carriers with the Doriri Expedition 

The Merrie England at Cape Nelson . 

Group, including Sir G. Le Hunte, K.C.B., Sir Francis Winter, C.J 

Oiogoba Sara, chief of tlie Baruga tribe . 

Agaiambu village ....... 

Agaiambu man ... .... 

Agaiambu woman ....... 

Map . 


. 200 

. 208 

. 20S 

. 212 

. 216 

. 218 

• 234 

, etc. 264 

. 270 







IN the year 1895 I found myself at Cooktown in Queensland, 
aged 23, accompanied by a fellow adventurer, F. H. 
Sylvester, and armed w^ith ;^ioo, an outfit particularly un- 
suited to the tropics, and a letter of introduction from 
the then Governor of New Zealand, the Earl of Glasgow, to 
the Lieutenant-Governor of British New Guinea, Sir William 

After two or three weeks of waiting, we took passage by the 
mail schooner Myrtle^ 150 tons, one of two schooners owned 
by Messrs. Burns, Philp and Co., of Sydney, and subsidized by the 
British New Guinea Government to carry monthly mails to that 
possession ; in fact they were then the only means of communi- 
cation between New Guinea and the rest of the world. These 
two vessels, after a chequered career in the South Seas, as slavers 
— then euphoniously termed in Australia " labour " vessels — 
had, by the lapse of time and purchase by a firm of high repute 
and keen commercial ambition, now been promoted to the dignity 
of carrying H.M. Mails, Government stores for the Administration 
of New Guinea, and supplies to the branches of the firm at Samarai 
and Port Moresby ; and were, under the energetic superintendence 
of their respective masters, Steel and Inman, extending the 
commercial interests of their owners throughout both the British 
and German territories bordering on the Coral Sea. 

Good old ships long since done with, the bones of one lie 
scattered on a reef, the other when last I saw her was a coal hulk 
in a Queensland port. And good old Scotch firm of trade grabbers 
that owned them, sending their ships, in spite of any risk, wherever 
a possible bawbee was to be made, and taking their hundred per 



cent, of profit with the same dour front they took their frequently 
trebled loss. Mopping up the German trade until the day came 
when the heavily subsidized ships of the Nord Deutscher Lloyd 
drove them out ; as well tlicy might, for in one scale hung the 
efforts of a small company of British merchants, unassisted as ever 
by its country or Government, the other, a practically Imperial 
Company backed by the resources of a vast Empire. 

But to return to the Myrtle^ then lying in the bay off the 
mouth of the Endeavour River, to which we were ferried in one 
of her own boats, perched on the top of hen coops filled with 
screeching poultry, several protesting pigs, and two goats ; all 
mixed up with a belated mail bag, parcels sent by local residents 
to friends in New Guinea, and three hot and particularly cross 
seamen. The goats we learnt later were destined to serve as 
mutton for the Government House table ; the pigs and hens were 
a little private venture of the ship's cook, these being intended for 
barter with natives. 

On our arrival at the ship's side, we were promptly boosted 
up a most elusive rope ladder by the seamen who had ferried us 
across, the schooner meanwhile rolling in a nasty cross sea and 
raising the devil's own din with her flapping sails. Tumbled over 
the bulwarks on to the deck, we were seized upon by a violent 
little man in a frantic state of excitement, perspiration, and bad 
language, and ten seconds later found ourselves helping him to 
haul on the tackles of the boat that brought us, which was then 
being hoisted in, pigs, goats, luggage, etc., holus bolus ; this 
operation completed, our violent little man introduced himself 
as Mr. Wisdell, the ship's cook, and volunteered to show us to 
our berths, after which, as soon as the bustle of getting under way 
was over, he stated his intention of formerly introducing us to the 

Just as we were somewhat dismally becoming quite assured 
that our imaginations were not deceiving us as to the number of 
beetles and cockroaches a berth of most attenuated size could 
contain ; also beginning to find that the motions of a schooner of 
150 tons were decidedly upsetting to our stomachs, after those of 
big vessels, Mr. Wisdell returned and, diving into a locker, produced 
a bottle of whisky, some sodawater, and four tumblers. Three 
of the latter he placed with the other materials in the fiddle of 
the cabin's table, the remaining tumbler he held behind his back. 
Then politely bowing to us, Mr. Wisdell signed that we were to 
precede him up the companion way on to the poop, where a 
red-faced, cheery looking little man, clothed in immaculate white 
ducks, gazed fixedly at the sails or at the man at the wheel, a 
regard that the helmsman looked as if he would willingly have 
done without. To him Mr. Wisdell marched, and then " Mr. 


Sylvester — Captain Inman — Captain Inman — Mr. Monckton — 
etc." Never did Clapham dancing master receive the bows of 
his class with greater dignity and grace, than did Captain Inman 
receive those which, modelling our deportment on that of Mr. 
Wisdell, we made him. 

Then Mr. Wisdell, still carrying the tumbler behind his back, 
spake thus: "Perhaps, Captain Inman, you would like to offer 
the gentlemen a little something in the cabin ? " Captain Inman 
unbent : " Billy, the mate has the blasted fever ; send the bo'sun." 
Upon the appearance of that potentate, and his having apparently 
taken over the command, by dint of fixing the man at the wheel 
with a basilisk glare. Captain Inman led the way to the cabin, where 
Mr. Wisdell, kindly placing a glass in each of our hands, drew 
attention to the bottle and, with deprecating little coughs directed 
towards his commander, modestly backed away. Captain Inman, 
however, was well versed in the etiquette the occasion demanded 
and rose to it. " What, Billy, only three glasses ! We want 
another ! " Out shot Mr. Wisdell's glass from behind his back 
and the occasion was complete. 

Two days of violent sea-sickness then intervened, the misery 
of which was broken only by the visits of Mr. Wisdell, or as better 
acquaintance now permitted us to call him, "Billy," bearing 
" mutton " broth prepared from goat. These animals, by the way, 
appear to be indigenous to the streets of Cooktown and to frequent 
them in large herds ; their sustenance seems to be gleaned from 
the rubbish heaps and back yards ; for of grass, at the time I 
was there, there was none, and their camping places were for 
choice the doorsteps and verandahs of the hotels, from which 
vantage points, at frequent intervals, the slumbers of the lodgers 
were cheered by the sound of violent strife, and sweetened by the 
peculiar fragrance diffused by ancient goats. 

Then came one fine and memorable morning when our 
cheerful little skipper called us to look at Samarai, at that time 
called by the hideous name of Dinner Island, towards the anchorage 
of which we were slowly moving, the while, from every direction, 
a swarm of canoes paddled furiously towards us, crowded with 
fuzzy-headed natives, all eager to earn a few sticks of tobacco, by 
assisting in the discharge of the cargo we carried. The canoes 
were warned off" pending the arrival of a health officer to grant 
pratique, and that official soon appeared in the person of Mr. 
R. E. Armit, a well-set-up, soldierly looking man of about fifty years 
of age. Poor Armit, long since killed by the deadly malaria of 
the NorthernT)ivision. 

Mr. Armit was Subcollector of Customs and goodness knows 
what else at Samarai, and was himself an extraordinary personality. 
An accomplished linguist, widely read and travelled, I never found 


a subject about which Armit did not know something and usually 
a very great deal. He, however, did not possess a faculty for 
making or retaining money, and did possess a particularly caustic 
tongue and pen, which, when the mood took him, he would 
exercise even upon his superior officers ; hence he was frequently 
in hot water and never lacked enemies. 

Samarai boasted neither wharf nor jetty ; our cargo was there- 
fore simply shot over the side into the multitude of canoes and 
thence ferried to the beach, with such assistance as the ship's boats 
could afford. 

Dinner Island, or as I shall from now on term it, Samarai, is 
an island of about fifty acres. The hill, which forms the centre 
of the island, rises from what was then a malodorous swamp, 
surrounded by a strip of coral beach. The whole island was a 
gazetted penal district, and the town consisted of the Residency, 
a fine roomy bungalow built by the Imperial Government for the 
then Commissioner, General Sir Peter Scratchley — the first of New 
Guinea officials to be claimed by malaria — and now the head- 
quarters of the Resident Magistrate for the Eastern Division ; a 
small three-roomed building of native grass and round poles dubbed 
the Subcollector's house ; a gaol of native material, the roof of 
which served as a bond store for dutiable goods, and a cemetery : 
the three latter appeared to be well filled. There was also a small 
single-roomed galvanized iron building which served as a Custom's 
house ; in it was employed a clerk, unpaid ; he was an affable 
gentleman of mixed French and Greek parentage, and was at the 
time awaiting his trial for murder. Two small stores, 'the one 
owned by Burns, Philp and Co., of Sydney, and the other by Mr. 
William Whitten, now the Honble. William Whitten, M.L.C., 
completed the main buildings. 

Mr. Whitten was the son of a Queen's Messenger, since dead 
of malaria, and possessed an adventurous disposition which had 
taken him off to sea as a boy. His first appearance in New 
Guinea was as one of the personal guard of Sir Peter Scratchley, a 
body which Sir William MacGregor replaced with his fine native 
constabulary. Whitten had saved money enough to purchase a 
small cutter, with which he had begun trading for beche-de-mer 
in the Trobriand Islands. While dealing with the natives for that 
commodity, he had discovered that pearls of a fair quality existed in 
a small oyster forming one of the staple foods of the natives. 
Whitten purchased large quantities of the pearls from the natives 
for almost nothing, and had he only been able to keep his discovery 
to himself, would have had fortune in his grasp. Unfortunately for 
him, the sale of his prize in Australia brought down upon him a 
host of other competitors, and the natives, having discovered that 
the white man was keenly desirous of obtaining what were to 


them worthless stones, raised their prices higher and higher until 
there was little to be gained in the trade. 

Whitten, however, had made enough to bring a young brother 
from England, purchase a bigger and better vessel, also a large 
quantity of merchandise. At the date of writing, Whitten 
Brothers own numerous plantations, several steamers and sailing 
vessels, conduct a banking business, have branches in the gold-fields, 
and are the largest employers of labour in the country ; in 1895, 
however, this greatness was as yet undreamt of by them. 

Other than the Residency and the glorified sardine box doing 
duty as the Custom House, the only other building in Samarai 
formed of European materials — by which I mean sawn timber and 
fastened with nails — was the bungalow occupied by Burns, Philp's 
manager, and situated on perhaps the best site there. Gangs of 
prisoners — native — were engaged quarrying in the hill of Samarai 
and filling up the swamp, a palpably necessary work. Curiously 
enough in a pleasantly written little book by Colonel Kenneth 
Mackay, C.B., entitled "Across Papua," I noticed a reference to this 
work, which was ultimately the means of stamping malaria out of 
the place. The author attributed it, amongst others, to Doctor 
Jones, a health officer who came to New Guinea in recent years. 
This statement is quite incorrect ; the credit of banishing malaria 
from Samarai belongs to Sir William MacGregor, and to him alone. 

A few sheds, occupied by boat-builders and carpenters, 
scattered along the beach, complete the buildings of Samarai. Of 
hotels and accommodation houses there were none, but then there 
was no travelling public to accommodate ; gold-diggers to and from 
the islands of Sudest and St. Aignan camped in their tents, which 
as a rule consisted of a single sheet of calico stretched over a pole ; 
traders lived in their vessels. Alcoholic refreshment was dispensed 
at the stores ; Burns, Philp's manager, for instance, or one of the 
Whittens, ceasing from their book-keeping labours to serve thirsty 
customers with lager beer or more potent fluids over the store 
counter. Whitten Brothers had a large roofed balcony with no 
sides, situated at the back of the store, and here at night, as to a 
general club-house, foregathered all the Europeans of the island. 
Under a centre table was placed a supply of varied drinks, and as 
men came in and bottles were emptied, they were hurled over the 
edge on to the soft coral sand. In the morning one of the 
Whittens caused the bottles to be collected by a native boy, 
counted them, and avoided the trouble of book-keeping by the 
simple method of dividing the sum total of bottles by the number 
of men he knew, or that his boy told him, had visited the " house " ; 
each man therefore, whether a thirsty person or not, was charged 
exactly the same as his neighbour. 

All Samarai was planted with cocoanut palms, the dodging of 


falling nuts from which, in windy weather, served to keep the 
inhabitants spry. Pyjamas were the almost universal wear, varied 
in the case of some traders by a strip of turkey-red twill, worn 
petticoat fashion, and a cotton vest. 

Among the traders were two picturesque ruffians, alike in 
nothing, save the ability with which they conducted their business 
and dodged hanging. Each had spent his life trading in the South 
Seas and had amassed a fair fortune. Of them and their exploits 
I have heard endless yarns. Of one of these men, who was known 
far and wide through the South Seas as " Nicholas the Greek " — 
Heaven knows why, for his real name sounded English, and his 
reckless courage was certainly not typical of the modern Greek — 
the following stories are told. 

A vessel had been cut out in one of the New Guinea or 
Louisade Islands — which it was I have forgotten — and the crew 
massacred. When this became known, a man-of-war or Govern- 
ment ship was sent to punish the murderers, and in especial to 
secure a native chief, who was primarily responsible. The punitive 
ship came across Nicholas and engaged him as pilot and interpreter, 
he being offered one hundred pounds when the man wanted was 
secured. Nicholas safely piloted his charge to some remote island 
where the inhabitants, doubtless having guilty consciences, promptly 
fled for the hills, where it was impossible for ordinary Europeans to 
follow them. He then offered to go alone to tryiand locate them, 
and, armed with a ship's cutlass and revolver, disappeared on his 
quest. Some days elapsed, then in the night a small canoe appeared 
alongside the ship, from which emerged Nicholas, bearing in his 
hand a bundle. Marching up to the officer commanding, he undid 
it, and rolled at the officer's feet a gory human head, remarking, 
" Here is your man, I couldn't bring the lot of him. I'll thank 
you for that hundred." 

Another story was that Nicholas on one occasion was attacked 
and frightfully slashed about by his native crew and then thrown 
overboard, he shamming dead. Sinking in the water he managed 
to get under the keel, along which he crawled like a crawfish 
until he came to the rudder, upon which he roosted under the 
counter until night fell and his crew slept. Then he climbed on 
board, secured a tomahawk, and either killed or drove overboard 
the whole crew, they thinking he was an avenging ghost. This 
done, badly wounded and unassisted, he worked his vessel to a 
neighbouring island, where, being sickened and disgusted with 
men, he shipped and trained a crew of native women, with whom 
he sailed for many years, in fact, I think, until the day came when 
Sir W. MacGregor appeared upon the scene and passed the Native 
Labour Ordinance, which, amongst other things, prohibited the 
carrying of women on vessels. 



Of Nicholas also is told the story that once, in the bad old 
pre-protectorate days, so many charges were brought against him 
by missionaries and merchantmen that a man-of-war was sent to 
arrest him, wherever found, and bring him to trial. He, through 
a friendly trader, got wind of the fact that he was being sought 
for, and accordingly laid his plans for the bamboozlement of his 
would-be captors. Summoning his crew, he informed them that 
his father was dead, and that as he had his father's name of 
Nicholas, his name must now be "Peter," as the custom of his 
tribe was, even as that of some New Guinea peoples, viz. not to 
mention the name of the dead lest harm befall. Then he sailed 
in search of the pursuing warship and, eventually finding her, went 
on board and volunteered his services as pilot, which were gladly 
accepted. To all of his haunts he then guided that ship, but in 
all the reply of the native was the same, when questioned as to 
his whereabouts, " We know not Nicholas, he is gone. Peter 
your pilot comes in his place. Nicholas is dead, and 'tis wrong to 
mention the name of the dead." It was said of him that on no 
part of his body could a man's hand be placed without touching 
the scar of some old wound — a story I can fully believe. 

The second of this interesting couple was known as " German 
Harry," a man of insignificant appearance and little physical 
strength, but the most venomous little scorpion, when thoroughly 
roused, it has ever been my lot to meet ; at the same time he was 
the most generous-hearted little man towards the hard up and 
unfortunate. He had also spent a considerable portion of his time 
in dodging arrest or explaining certain alleged manslaughters of 
his before various tribunals. I remember one little specimen I 
witnessed of Harry's fighting methods, and from that understood 
why the biggest of bullies and " hard cases " treated him with 

A vessel, owned and commanded by a hulking brute of a Dane, 
had come over from Queensland bringing, amongst other things, 
some recent papers, one of which contained an account of a 
disgraceful wife-beating case, in which the Dane figured and in 
which he had escaped — as such brutes generally do in civilized 
countries — by the payment of a miserable fine. 

As Harry, the Dane and I, were sitting in a gold-field store, 
Harry read the account, and then gazing at the Dane, said some- 
thing in German, of which " Schweinhund " was the only word I 
understood. A glass of rum promptly smashed on Harry's teeth, 
followed by a bellow of rage and the thrower's rush. Harry in a 
single instant became a lunatic, and flying like a wild cat at the 
other's face, kicking, biting, and clawing, bore the big man to the 
ground, from where, in a few seconds, agonized yells of, "He is 
eating me," told us the Dane was in dire trouble. Harry was 


dragged away by main force, and we found half his victim's nose 
bitten off, while a bloodshot and protruding eye showed how 
nearly his thumb had iiot its work in. The wife-beater went off 
a mass of funk and misery, while Harry proceeded calmly to 
attend to the glass cuts on his face. " You are a nice cheerful 
sort of little hvena," I remarked to Harry afterwards. "What 
sort of fighting do you call that ? " " That ? Oh, that's nothing. 
I only wanted to frighten him or I would have had his eye out as 
well. He won't throw a class at German Harry again in a 

Some years later I met German Harry in a Sydney street, and 
though I had long since thought I was beyond being surprised at 
anything he did, he yet gave me a further shock when he told me 
he had purchased a " Matrimonial Agency," 


THE day following our arrival in Samarai, loud yells of 
" Sail Ho ! " from every native in the island announced 
that the Merrie England w^as returning from the 
Mambare River, where the Lieut.-Governor had been 
occupied in punishing the native murderers of a man named 
Clarke, the leader of a prospecting party in search of gold ; and in 
establishing at that point, for the protection of future prospectors, 
a police post under the gallant but ill-fated John Green. Clarke's 
murder was destined, though no one realized it at the time, to be 
the beginning of a long period of bloodshed and anarchy in the 
Northern Division — then still a portion of the Eastern Division. 
These events, however, belong to a later date and chapter. 

On her voyage south from the Mambare, the Merrie England 
had waited at the mouth of the Musa River, while Sir William 
MacGregor traversed and mapped that stream. Whilst so engaged, 
accompanied by but one officer and a single boat''s crew of native 
police, His Excellency discovered a war party of north-east 
coast natives returning from a cannibal feast, with their canoes 
loaded with dismembered human bodies. Descending the river, 
Sir William collected his native police and, attacking the raiders, 
dealt out condign and summary justice, which resulted in the tribes 
of the lower Musa dwelling for many a year in a security to which 
several generations had been strangers. 

Some little time after the ship had cast anchor, my friend and 
myself received a message that Sir William was disengaged ; where- 
upon we went on board to meet, for the first time, the strongest 
man it has ever been my fate to look upon. Short, square, slightly 
bald, speaking with a strong Scotch accent, showing signs of over- 
work and the ravages of malaria, there was nothing in the first 
appearance of the man to stamp him as being out of the ordinary, 
but I had not been three minutes in his cabin before I realized that 
I was in the presence of a master of men — a Cromwell, a Drake, 
a Caesar or Napoleon — his keen grey eyes looking clean through 
me, and knew that I was being summed and weighed. Once, and 
only once in my life, have I felt that a man was my master in 
every way, a person to be blindly obeyed and one who must be 


right and infallible, and that was when 1 met Sir William 

^'ears afterwards, in conversation with a man who had held 
liigh command, who had distinguished himself and been much 
decorated for services in Britain's little wars, I described the 
impression that MacGregor had made upon me, the sort of over- 
whelming sense of inferiority he, unconsciously to himself, made 
one feel, and was told that my friend had experienced a like 
impression when meeting Cecil Rhodes. 

The story of how Sir William MacGregor came to be appointed 
to New Guinea was to me rather an interesting one, as showing 
the result, in the history of a country, of a fortunate accident. It 
was related to me by Bishop Stone- Wigg, to whom it had been 
told by the man responsible for the appointment, either Sir Samuel 
Griffiths, Sir Hugh Nelson, or Sir Thomas Mcllwraith, which of 
the three I have now forgotten. Sir William, at the time Doctor 
MacGregor, was attending, as the representative of Fiji, one of the 
earlier conferences regarding the proposed Federation of Australasia ; 
he had already made his mark by work performed in connection 
with the suppression of the revolt among the hill tribes of that 
Crown Colony. At the conference, amongst other questions. 
New Guinea came up for discussion, whereupon MacGregor 
remarked : " There is the last country remaining, in which the 
Englishman can show what can be done by just native policy." 
The remark struck the attention of one of the delegates, by whom 
the mental note was made, " If Queensland ever has a say in the 
affairs of New Guinea, and I have a say in the affairs of Queensland, 
you shall be the man for New Guinea." When later, New 
Guinea was declared a British Possession, Queensland had a very 
large say in the matter, and the man who had made the mental 
note happening to be Premier, he caused the appointment of 
Administrator to be offered to MacGregor, by whom it was 

Of Sir William, a story told me by himself will illustrate his 
determination of character, even at an early age, though not related 
with that intention. 

MacGregor, when completing his training at a Scotch Univer- 
sity, found his money becoming exhausted ; no time could he spare 
from his studies in which to earn any, even were the opportunity 
there. Something had to be done, so MacGregor called his old 
Scotch landlady into consultation as to ways and means. " Well, 
Mr. MacGregor, how much a week can you find ? " " Half a 
crown." " Well, I can do it for that." And this is how she did 
it. MacGregor had a bowl of porridge for breakfast, nothing else ; 
two fresh herrings or one red one, the cost of the fresh ones being 
identical with the cured one, for dinner ; and a bowl of porridge 

r/t«lo HtntUojt i'r- Groves 


Fraiit t/u: portrait hy Jnims Qiiinn. R.A.. i^.xhilutcd at the Ri'ynl AcattcDiy, IQIS 


again for supper. Thus he completed his course and took the 
gold medal of his year. 

This thoroughness and grim determination MacGregor still 
carried into his work ; for instance, it was necessary for him, unless 
he was prepared to have a trained surveyor always with him on his 
expeditions, to have a knowledge of astronomy and surveying. 
This he took up with his usual vigour, and I once witnessed a little 
incident which showed, not only how perfect Sir William had 
made himself in the subject, but also his unbounded confidence in 
himself. We were lying off a small island about which a doubt 
existed as to whether it was within the waters of Queensland or 
New Guinea. The commander of the Merrie England^ together 
with the navigating officer, took a set of stellar observations ; the 
chief Government surveyor, together with an assistant surveyor, 
took a second set ; and Sir William took a third. The ship's 
party and the surveyors arrived at one result. Sir William at a 
slightly different one ; an ordinary man would have decided that 
four highly competent professional men must be right and he 
wrong ; not so, however, MacGregor. " Ye are both wrong," 
was his remark, when their results were handed to him by the 
commander and surveyor. They demurred, pointing out that 
their observations tallied. " Do it again, ye don't agree with 
mine ; " and sure enough Sir William proved right and they 

My part in this had been to hold a bull's-eye lantern for Sir 
William to the arc of his theodolite, and to endeavour to attain the 
immobility of a bronze statue while being devoured by gnats and 
mosquitoes. Therefore later I sought Stuart Russell, the chief 
surveyor, with the intention of working off a little of the irritation 
of the bites by japing at him. " What sort of surveyors do you 
and Commander Curtis think yourselves ? Got to have a bally 
amateur to help you, eh ? " " Shut up, Monckton," said Stuart 
Russell, "we are surveyors of ordinary ability. Sir William is of 
more than that." 

The same sort of thing occurred with Sir William in languages ; 
he spoke Italian to Giulianetti, poor Giulianetti later murdered at 
Melceo ; German to Kowold, poor Kowold, too, later killed by a 
dynamite explosion on the Musa River ; and French to the 
members of the Sacred Heart Mission. I believe if a Russian or a 
Japanese had turned up. Sir William would have addressed him in 
his own language. Ross-Johnston, at one time private secretary 
to Sir William, once wailed to me about the standard of erudition 
Sir William expected in a man's knowledge of a foreign language. 
Ross-Johnston had been educated in Germany and knew German, 
as he thought, as well as his own mother tongue. Sir William 
while reading some abstruse German book, struck a passage the 


meaning ot which was to him somewhat obscure ; he referred to 
Ross-Johnston, who, far from being able to explain the passage, 
could not make sense of the chapter. WJiereupon Sir WiUiam 
remarked that lie thought Ross-Johnston professed to know 
German. Ross-Johnston, feeling somewhat injured, took the book 
to Kowold, who was a German. Kowold gave one look at it, then 
exclaimed, " Fliew ! I can't understand that, it's written by a 
scientist for scientists ! " 

One little story about MacGrcgor, a story I have always loved, 
was that on one occasion while sitting in Legislative Council 
some member, bolder than usual, asked, " What happens, your 
Excellency, should Council differ with your views ? " " Man," 
replied Sir William, " the result would be the same." But I 
digress, as Bullen remarks, and shall return from stories about 
MacGregor to his cabin and my own affairs. 

Sir William told my friend andtmyself, that for two reasons he 
could not offer either of us employment in his service. Firstly, 
that the amount of money at his disposal, j^i 2,000 per annum, 
did not permit of fresh appointments until vacancies occurred ; 
secondly, that his officers must be conversant with native customs 
and ways of thought, which experience we were entirely lacking. 
His Excellency, however, told us that he had just received word of 
the discovery of gold upon Woodlark Island, to which place the 
ship would at once proceed, and that we might go in her ; an offer 
we gladly accepted. 

Then for the first time I met Mr. F. P. Winter, afterwards 
Sir Francis Winter, Chief Magistrate of the Possession ; the Hon. 
M. H. Moreton, Resident Magistrate of the Eastern Division ; 
Cameron, Chief Government Surveyor ; Mervyn Jones, Com- 
mander of the Merrie England ; and Meredith, head gaoler. 

Winter had been a law officer in the service of Fiji, and upon 
the appointment of Sir William MacGregor to New Guinea, had 
been chosen by him as his Chief Justice and general right-hand 
man ; the wisdom of which choice later years amply showed. 
Widely read, a profound thinker, possessed of a singular charm of 
manner, simple and unaffected to a degree. Winter was a man 
that fascinated every one with whom he came in contact. I don't 
think he ever said an unkind word or did a mean action in his life. 
Every officer in the Service, then and later, took his troubles to him, 
and every unfortunate out of the Service appealed to his purse. 

Moreton, a younger brother of the present Earl of Ducie, had 
begun life in the Seaforth Highlanders ; plucky, hard working, and 
the best of good fellows, he was fated to work on in New Guinea 
till, with his constitution shattered, an Australian Government 
chucked him out to make room for a younger man ; shortly after 
which he died. 


Cameron, the surveyor, was another good man, and wholly 
wrapped up in his work. Of Cameron it was said, that he 
imagined that surveyors were not for the purpose of surveying the 
earth, but that the earth was created solely for them to survey. 
He, good chap, was luckier than Moreton, for his fate was to die 
in harness ; he being found sitting dead in his chair, pen in hand, 
with a half-written dispatch in front of him. 

Mervyn Jones was a particularly smart seaman and navigator ; 
educated at Eton for other things, the sea had, however, exercised an 
irresistible fascination for him ; being too old for the Navy, he had 
worked up into the Naval Reserve through the Merchant Service, 
and thus had come out to command the Merrie England. The 
charts of the Coral Sea owe much to his labour, and to that also of 
his two officers, Rothwell and Taylor. All these officers were 
destined later to share a more or less common fate : Jones died of 
a combination of lungs and malaria, Taylor of malaria at sea, 
whilst Rothwell was invalided out of the service, Meredith was 
taking a gang of native convicts down to Sudest Island ; they had 
been lent by the New Guinea Government to assist in making a 
road to a gold reef discovered there which was now being opened 
by an Australian company. It was here that he and many of his 
charges left their bones. 

Not far from Sudest lies Rossel Island, a wooded hilly land, in- 
habited by a small dark-skinned people differing in language and 
customs from all other Papuans. Personally I do not believe they 
have any affinity with Papuans, either by descent or in other ways, 
whatever views ethnologists may hold. The Rossel Islanders have 
among their songs several 1 Chinese chants, the origin of which is 
explained in this way. In September, 1858, ',the ship St. Pauly 
bound from China to the Australian gold-fields, and carrying some 
three hundred Chinese coolies, was wrecked on an outlying sand- 
bank of Rossel. The European officers and crew took to the 
boats and made their way to Queensland, the Chinamen being 
left to shift for themselves. Thus abandoned to their fate, the 
Chinamen were discovered by the islanders, and were by them 
liberally supplied with food and water ; when well fattened they 
were removed in canoes to the main island, in lots of five and ten, 
and there killed and eaten. The Chinamen, when removed, 
were under the impression that they were merely taken in small 
numbers as the native canoes could only carry a few passengers at 
a time, being ignorant of the distance of the sea journey. As 
they left their awful sand-bank in the canoes, they sang pseans and 
chants of joy, which the quick-eared natives picked up and 
incorporated in their songs. In 1859 ^^^ ^^^ solitary Chinaman 
remained of the three hundred, and he, fortunate man, was taken 
of Rossel by a passing French steamer and landed in Australia, 


where history or scandal says he later pursued the occupation of 
sly grog seller at a Victorian gold rush, and being convicted 
thereof, was later pardoned in consideration of his sufferings and 
being the sole survivor of three hundred. 

From Sudest the Alcrric Eng/a fit/ went on to Woodlark Island, 
from whence the discovery of gold hud been reported by a couple 
of traders, Lobb and Ede. These two men were a very good 
example of the old gold-field's practice of "dividing mates." 
Lobb was professional gold or other mineral prospector, who had 
sought for gold in any land where it was likely to occur ; 
when successful, his gains, however great, soon slipped away ; 
when unsuccessful, he depended on a " mate " to finance and feed 
him, in diggers' language, "grub stake" Jum, until such time as 
his unerring instinct should again locate a fresh find. Ede was a 
New Guinea trader owning a cocoanut plantation on the Laughlan 
Isles, together with a small vessel. Ede landed Lobb on Woodlark 
with a number of reliable natives, and, keeping him going with 
tools, provisions, etc., at last had his reward by word from Lobb of 
the discovery of payable gold. Thereupon they had reported 
their discovery and applied for a reward claim to the Administra- 
tion, together with the request that the island should be proclaimed 
a gold-field ; and at the same time Shad informed their trader 
friends, some twenty in all, of what was to be gained at the 

Lobb and Ede, with their twenty friends, formed the European 
population of the island when the Merrie England arrived there ; 
with the exception of Lobb, there was not an experienced miner 
in the lot. The twenty were a curious collection of men : an 
ex-Captain in Les Chasseurs D'Afrique, whom later on I got to 
know very well, but who, poor chap, was always most unjustly 
suspected by the diggers of being an escapee from the French 
convict establishment at New Caledonia, merely because he was a 
Frenchman ; an unfrocked priest, who by the way was a most 
plausible and finished scoundrel ; and the son of the Premier of 
one of the Australian colonies ; these now, with Ede and myself, 
constitute the sole survivors of the men who heard Sir William 
declare the island a gold-field. Here it was that an ex-British 
resident, and the son of a famous Irish Churchman, jostled 
shoulders with men whose real names were only known to the 
police in the various countries from which they hailed. " Jimmy 
from Heaven," an angelic person, who was once sentenced to 
be hanged for murder and, the rope breaking, gained a reprieve 
and pardon, hence his sobriquet; "Greasy Bill"; "Bill the 
Boozer " ; " French Pete " ; and " The Dove," a most truculent 
scoundrel ; the names they answered to sufficiently explain the 


All nationalities and all shades of character, from good to 
damned bad, they however all held two virtues in common : a 
dauntless courage and a large charity to the unfortunate ; traits 
which will perhaps stand them in better stead in the bourne to 
which they have gone than they did in New Guinea. 


SOME six months I put in at Woodlark Island, acquiring 
during that time a fine strong brand of malaria, a crop of 
boils, which had spread like wildfire among the mining 
camps, catching Europeans and natives alike, a little gold, 
and a large amount of experience ; all of which were most pain- 
fully acquired. 

Sylvester, after having suffered some particularly malignant 
bouts of malaria and having developed some corroding and fast- 
spreading mangrove ulcers, parted company with me and went 
to New Zealand. The mangrove ulcer, commonly called New 
Guinea sore, is, I think, quite the most beastly thing one has to con- 
tend with on those islands j'it is mainly caused, in the first instance, 
by leech or mosquito bites setting up an irritation which causes the 
victim to scratch ; then the poisonous mud of either mangrove or 
pandanus swamps gets into the abrasion, and an indolent ulcer is 
set up, which slowly but perceptibly spreads, as well as eating 
inward to the bone, for which I know no remedy other than a 
change to a temperate climate. Painful when touched during the 
day, it is agony itself when the legs stiffen at night. 

The method of obtaining gold, at the time I was at Woodlark 
Island, was primitive and simple in the extreme, and was per- 
formed in this way. Having located a stream, gully or ravine, in 
which a " prospect " could be found to the " dish," the " prospect " 
consisting of one or more grains of gold, the "dish" holding 
approximately thirty pounds weight of wash dirt, i.e. gold-bearing 
gravel, the miner — or digger, as he is more generally called — 
pegged out a claim of some fifty feet square. When he had done 
this he put in a small dam, to the overflow of which he attached 
a wooden box some six feet long by twelve inches wide, having a 
fall of one inch to the foot, and paved with either flat stones or 
plaited vines. Into the head of this box was then thrown the 
wash dirt, from which the action of the water washed away the 
stones, sand, etc., leaving the gold precipitated at the bottom. The 
larger the flow of water, the more dirt could be put through, and 
the more dirt the more gold. 

The title to a claim consisted of a document called a " Miner's 


Right," which permitted the holder to peg out and keep the above 
area, or as many more of similar dimensions as he chose to occupy 
or man. A miner's right cost ten shillings per annum and ipso facto 
constituted the holder a miner — sex, infancy, or nationality not- 
withstanding, the only ineligibles being Chinese. " Manning 
ground " consisted of placing a person holding a miner's right in 
occupation thereof, the wages that person received being 
immaterial. Thus a man employing ten or a dozen Papuans, 
at wages ranging from five to ten shillings a month, could, by 
merely paying ten shillings per annum per head for miner's rights, 
monopolize ten or a dozen claims. The wages of the European 
miner ranged from twenty shillings a day and upwards, this, 
of course, being the man contemplated by the Queensland Mining 
Act, and adopted by New Guinea, as the person likely to man and 
work ground held by the miner holding ground in excess of that 
to which his own "right" entitled him. 

In theory, it is of course manifestly unfair, that the native of 
a country should be classed as an alien, and debarred from any 
privilege conferred by law upon Europeans ; but in practice, the 
granting of miner's rights to them merely means that the 
European able to employ a number of natives can monopolize 
claims, to the exclusion of other Europeans, The native gets no 
more wages for his privilege of holding ground, and were the 
privilege withdrawn would still obtain exactly the employment 
he gets now, as his labour in working the claims is necessary and 
profitable to his employer, and the supply of native labour for the 
miner is never equal to the demand. 

An interesting feature in connection with gold-mining on 
Woodlark Island was that frequently the gold-bearing gravel ran 
under old coral reefs, thus showing plainly that the whole gold- 
field had once been submerged under the sea. A warm spring 
running into one of the streams was, however, the only indication 
of past volcanic action. In the pearling ground off the island of 
Sudest,there occurs again under the sea, at a depth of fifteen fathoms, 
a big quartz reef running through the live coral and sand bottom 
— whether gold-bearing or not I cannot say — and dipping under- 
ground as it nears the shore. 

Some time after my arrival at Woodlark the schooner Ivanhoe 
came in bringing provisions, tools, etc., for the gold-diggers, 
together with a number of fresh arrivals, among whom was a 
Russian Finn, the meanest and, in his personal habits, the dirtiest 
beast I have ever met. This fellow proved most successful in his 
mining ; but eventually, while prospecting near his claim, lost 
himself in the forest. Upon his being missed, a search party was 
organized by the diggers to look for him, but after some weeks the 
quest was abandoned as hopeless and the man given up for 



lost ; a considerable amount was, however, subscribed and offered 
by the diggers as a reward to any one finding or bringing him in. 
The Finn, in the long run, was discovered in a starving condition 
by some natives who, after feeding him and nursing him back to life, 
brought him to the mining camp, where he learnt of the reward 
offered for his recovery. He then had the ineffable impudence to 
object to its being paid over to the natives, on the ground that it 
was subscribed for his benefit, and that therefore he should receive 
it, magnanimously saying, however, that the natives should be given 
a few pounds of tobacco. Needless to remark, his views were dis- 
regarded, and the natives received the full amount ; the man, 
however, as he was yet in a weak state of health and professed to 
have lost all his gold, was given sufficient to pay his passage to 
Samarai and maintain himself for a month from a fresh " hat " 
collection. At Samarai he resided for some time cadging, loafing, 
and pleading poverty, until one day the repose of the inhabitants 
was disturbed by wails of bitter grief proceeding from the interior 
of a small building, which was built over a bottomless hole 
descending through the coral rock, and was used by the islanders 
as a receptacle for refuse. Inquiry disclosed the fact that, during 
all the time he was lost and later, the Finn had worn a belt next 
his skin containing over two hundred ounces of gold, which he had 
kept carefully concealed. Having cadged a little more gold, he 
had gone to the small building, as being the most secluded place, 
to add it to his store when, being suddenly startled, he had inad- 
vertently knocked the belt into the hole, where it lies to this day. 

This was an instance of a man losing his gold, and well he 
deserved it ; but I knew of another instance in which a large 
amount of gold was lost and recovered in a manner so miraculous, 
that but for the fact that many men are yet living in New Guinea, 
fully acquainted with all the circumstances, I should hesitate to 
tell the story. 

A party of successful miners was returning to Samarai in a small 
cutter chartered for the occasion, the gold belonging to the 
individual men in their separate parcels or " shammys " as they 
are called — the name is derived from a corruption of chamois, the 
skin of which animal is fondly supposed by diggers to furnish the 
only material for bullion bags — being sown up together in a large 
hoop of canvas, and placed on the hatch in open view of all hands. 
The weather was fine and clear, no danger being anticipated, 
when as the vessel entered China Straits she was struck by a 
sudden squall, and heeling over shot the diggers' shammys into 
the scuppers, through one of which they disappeared. So soon 
as the startled skipper could collect his wits and get his vessel in 
hand, he took soundings and bearings, and running hastily into 
Samarai, collected such pearlers as were there working, and offered 


half the gold to any of them recovering it. Several pearlers at once 
sailed for the spot, accompanied by the cutter of the bereaved 
diggers, which dropped her anchor at the scene of the accident 
and proceeded to watch operations. Diver after diver descended 
and toiled, diver after diver ascended and reported a soft mud 
bottom and a hopeless quest ; pearler after pearler lifted his anchor 
and went back to Samarai, until at last the cutter hoisted her 
anchor also, preparatory to taking the diggers back to the gold- 
fields. A disconsolate lot of men watched that anchor coming 
up, but I leave to the imagination the change in their expressions 
when, clinging in the mud to the fluke of the anchor, they saw 
their canvas belt of gold. 

After the departure of Sylvester I went into partnership with 
one Karl Wilsen, a Swede ; he furnishing towards the assets of 
the partnership a poor claim and local mining experience, I, a 
well-filled chest of drugs and some knowledge of medicine. A 
couple of weeks after our partnership had been arranged, Lobb, 
the original prospector of the island, appeared at our claim with 
the news of a new gold find, at which he advised us to peg out a 
claim. At the same time he told me he was sailing for Samarai 
in a lugger owned by his partner Ede, in order to buy fresh stores, 
and asked me for company's sake to go with him, holding out, as 
an inducement, that by doing so I could obtain some natives 
to assist in the heavy manual labour of the claim. Wilsen 
hastily left for the new find to peg out a joint claim for the pair 
of us, and I departed with Lobb for Samarai. 

Lobb's vessel, on which I now found myself, was an old 
P. and O. lifeboat, built up until of about seven tons burthen, lug- 
rigged on two masts, and carrying a crew of six Teste Island 
(" Wari ") boys. Lobb, I soon found to be absolutely ignorant 
of the most elementary knowledge of either seamanship or 
navigation ; the seamanship necessary for our safe journey being 
furnished by the Wari boys, who had for generations been the 
makers and sailors of the large Wari sailing canoes trading between 
the islands. This kind of navigation consisted of sailing from 
island to island, being entirely dependent on the local knowledge 
of individual members of the crew to identify each island when 

Shortly after leaving Woodlark we fell into a dead calm which 
lasted until nightfall — after which Lobb improved the occasion by 
getting drunk — then came on heavy variable rain squalls, during 
which the native crew appealed to me as to how they were to 
steer ; being unable to see, they did not know where they were 
going, and Lobb was not by any means in a state to direct them. 
Fortunately I had noticed the compass bearing when we had left 
the passage from Woodlark and headed for Iwa, this being the 


line laid down by the crew in daylight ; upon my asking them 
whether we should be safe if we followed that, and their replying 
"we should he," I pasted a slip of white paper on the compass 
card and told them to keep it in a line with the jib-boom. When 
dawn broke, we liad Iwa in front of us a few miles ahead, and 
running slowly up to it, hove-to in deep water, there being no 
anchoraiie off its shores. 

Iwa is a somewhat remarkable island, and inhabited by a 
somewhat remarkable people. Rising sheer from the sea with 
precipitous faces, the only means of access to the summit is by the 
inhabitants' ladders, made of vines and poles lashed together. 
The summit consists of shelving tablelands and terraces, all under 
a system of intense cultivation ; yams, taro, the root of a sort of 
Arum, sweet potatoes, paw paws, pumpkins, etc, being grown in 
enormous quantities. The island of Iwa is quite impregnable so 
far as any attack by an enemy unarmed with cannon is concerned, 
and the natives have succeeded well as pirates in years gone by. 
From the top of Iwa, a clear view of many miles of surrounding 
sea could be had, and the husbandman, toiling in his garden, 
usually owned a share in a large paddle canoe, one of many 
hauled up in the crevices and rocks at the foot of the precipices 
of his island home. Sooner or later he would sight a sailing 
canoe, belonging to one of the other islands, becalmed or brought 
by the drift of currents to within sight of Iwa. At once, in 
response to his yell, a dozen paddle canoes, crowded with men, 
would talae the water, and unless a breeze in the meantime 
sprang up, the traders usually fell easy victims. Reprisals there 
could be none, for no war party dispatched by one of the outraged 
tribes had a hope of scaling the cliffs of Iwa. The people there 
possessed an unusual skill in wood carving, their paddles, shaped 
like a water-lily leaf, being frequently marvels of workmanship. 

Lobb remained hove-to for a couple of days at Iwa, purchasing 
copra (dried cocoanut kernel), used for making oilcake for cattle 
and the better quality of soap, together with the before-mentioned 
beautiful carved paddles of the people. Sometimes the lugger lay 
within a couple of hundred yards of the shore, sometimes she 
drifted out a couple of miles, whereupon half a dozen canoes, 
manned by a dozen sturdy natives, would drag us back to within 
the shorter distance. On the second day of our stay I witnessed 
a particularly callous and brutal murder. A woman swam out and 
sold a paddle to Lobb, for which she received payment in tobacco. 
Swimming ashore she met a man, apparently her husband, to 
whom she handed the tobacco. He, seeming not to be at all 
pleased with the price, struck the woman, and she fled into the 
sea, where he pursued and clubbed her, the body of the murdered 
woman drifting out and past our vessel. Lobb, to my amazement, 


took absolutely no notice of this little incident, and upon my 
drawing his attention to it and suggesting we should seize the 
murderer and take him to Samarai for trial, merely remarked, that 
I should do better to mind my own business. 

Upon leaving the island, four days' sail put us into Samarai, 
where, amongst other things in the course of casual conversation, I 
told Moreton of the murder I had seen at Iwa. Moreton 
questioned Lobb, who professed to know nothing about it. Lobb 
then tackled me, asking whether I was desirous of hanging about 
Samarai for three or four months, at my own expense, waiting for 
a sitting of the Central Court — the only court in New Guinea for 
capital offences — and upon my replying, that in that case I should 
starve as I had little money and there was no opportunity in 
Samarai of making any, Lobb said, " Exactly ; well you had 
better forget all about that murder at Iwa, or you will be kept 
here." I then went again to Moreton, who asked me whether I 
could swear to the man who did the murder, and I replied that I 
could not, as he was some hundred yards distant from me at the 
time and one native looked very like another. Moreton remarked, 
" I think Lobb's advice to you is rather good, better follow it." 

Lobb remained about a week in Samarai recruiting a number 
of " boys " for work in his claim, and among them a couple, Sione 
and Gisavia, for me. We then sailed again for Wood lark. Upon 
our arrival back at the gold-field, I heard that the claim pegged out 
by Wilsen for the pair of us was a very rich one, but that he had 
taken Bill the Boozer into partnership instead of me. This story 
I found to be true ; Wilsen had been tempted by a solid bribe 
when he found how good the ground was, and had drawn the 
pegs in my portion, which were at once replaced by Bill the 
Boozer, Wilsen declaring that I had gone for good. Wilsen and 
I then had a fight, in which I succeeded in giving him the father 
of a licking ; this being followed by a law suit which I lost, 
mainly owing to the magnificent powers of lying displayed by 
Wilsen and the Boozer. I only met Wilsen twice after this, 
once, when he was witness in a court in which I was presiding as 
magistrate, and where he was so glib and fluent that I gave 
iudgment for the opposing side, feeling quite convinced that any 
people Wilsen was connected with must be in the wrong ; and 
again, when I held an inquest on his corpse, his death having 
been caused by his getting his life line and air pipe entangled 
while diving for pearl shell, and being paralysed by the long- 
sustained pressure. These events, however, were to occur at 
a later time. 

In the meantime I had no claim, and it behoved me to find 
one ; whereupon, accompanied by Sione and Gisavia, I wandered 
off into the jungle of Woodlark in search of a gold-bearing gully. 


deck after creek and gully after gully wc sunk holes in and tried, 
sometimes getting for our pains a few pennyweights of gold, but 
more often nothing. For food we depended on a small mat of 
rice of about fifty pounds weight carried by one boy, and as many 
sweet potatoes, yams or taro we could pick up from wandering 
natives. The other boy carried a pick and shovel, tin dish, 
crowbar, axe and knife, and three plain deal boards with a few 
nails, comprising our simple mining equipment, together with a 
sheet of calico, used as a " fly " or tent, to keep the rain from us 
at night. My pack consisted of a spare shirt, trousers and boots, 
rifle, revolver, ammunition, two billy cans for making tea and 
boiling rice, compass and matches, and last but not least a small 
roll case of the excellent tabloid drugs of Messrs. Burroughs and 

In our wanderings we struck a valley — now known as Bushai 
— where at intervals of three hundred yards we put down pot 
holes without a " colour " to the dish. (A colour is a speck of gold, 
however minute.) This was an instance of bad luck sometimes 
dogging a prospector, for, some months later, a man named 
Mackenzie found the valley, and in the first hole he sunk found 
rich gold, while the claims pegged out on each side of his holding 
proved very payable " shows." I came there again when it was 
a proved field and, recognizing the valley, asked Mackenzie 
whether on his first arrival he had noticed any pot holes. " Yes," 
he said, " three of them I don't know who made them, but they 
were the only spots in the valley where I could not find a payable 
prospect." There was then no ground left for me, so I went 
away, cursing the fates that had made me select the only barren 
parts of a rich valley in which to sink my holes. 

This incident, however, belongs to a later day, and having 
" duffered " the valley as I thought, my boys and I prowled on 
through the forest over the place where the Kulamadau mine 
now stands, at which point we finished our "tucker" and 
obtained a few ounces of gold, enough to buy supplies for a few 
more weeks, when we should get to some place where such could 
be obtained. Living mainly on roots and a few birds, we fell into 
a mangrove swamp, where the three of us obtained such a crop of 
mangrove ulcers that we were hardly able to walk, and were 
obliged to strike straight for the sea. My boys of course wore no 
boots, and their swollen legs, painful as they might be, were not 
so inconvenient to them as mine were to me ; for in my case I 
did not dare to take off my boots, for fear of not being able to get 
my enlarged feet into them again. 

After a day with nothing to eat, we found the sea and an 
alligator. The alligator I shot, and we were eating him when we 
saw the sails of a schooner coming round a point close in shore. 


By dint of firing my revolver, and my boys howling vigorously, 
we attracted the attention of those on board ; and a boat was 
lowered and sent to us, in which we went off to her, and then I 
discovered it was German Harry's craft, the Galatea. German 
Harry had a cargo of stores for Woodlark, and was accompanied 
by a European wife — not his own, but some one else's with whom 
he had bolted. He received me with sympathy and hospitality, 
and, telling his cook to boil quantities of hot water for the treatment 
of my own and my boys' mangrove ulcers, set to work looking for 
bandages and soothing unguents, leaving me to be entertained by 
the other man's wife. 

A fortnight I put in with German Harry, acting for him as a 
sort of supercargo in tallying the sale of his cargo, listening to his 
tales of experiences in the islands, picking up the rudiments of 
navigation and the whole art of diving for pearls and mother of 
pearl by aid of the apparatus manufactured by either Siebe 
Gorman or Heinke, the only two firms of submarine engineers 
considered by the pearl fishers as at all worthy of patronage. 
Harry had on board the complete plants, from air pumps to 
dresses, of the rival manufacturers ; and after exhaustive trials 
I came to the same conclusion as he, that both were equally 
excellent m still waters, and both beastly dangerous in currents or 
rough seas. 

At the end of the two weeks the Galatea sailed for other 
parts, and I, refusing Harry's invitation to accompany him again, 
plunged once more into the forest of Woodlark in search of gold 
and fortune. On this trip my sole discovery was some aged lime 
trees and old hard wood piles of European houses, which later 
inquiry among the natives showed me were the remains of an old 
French Jesuit Mission long since come and gone ; these trees and 
piles and a few French words current among the natives, such as 
" couteaux," being all that was left of their work. 

Wandering back from the second and even more disastrous 
trip than the first (for in addition to an entire lack of gold and a 
second crop of ulcers, my boys and myself had now added inter- 
mittent and severe malaria to our stock-in-trade), I dropped into a 
gully in which a white miner was working by his lonesome self. 
Jim Brady was his name, and after feeding us and listening to our 
tales of adventure, or rather misadventure, he spake thus : " I 
have a damned poor show here, just about pays tucker, but if you 
like to chip in with your boys we will do a little better, and when 
we have fattened up a bit, one can keep the show going while 
t'other looks for something better." Eagerly I accepted this offer, 
my boys and myself being only too thankful to find somewhere 
to rest out of the rain, with a fair prospect of three square meals 
a day. Brady and I then worked together for some months with 


varying fortune ; the sole dissension arising between us being due 
to my stealing a piece of calico, in which he used to boil duff, 
with which to patch my only remaining pair of trousers. 

Then one at'tcinoon, whilst I and the two boys were digging 
out wash dirt and feeding the " sluice box," he suddenly squealed, 
"What in the devil's name are you sending me now? It's a 
porphery leader and giving a weight to the dish," i.e. a penny- 
weight of gold, worth about three shillings and fourpence. 
Brady then came and looked at the place where I was digging, 
and remarked, " Cover it up with mullock at once, it's a good 
thing and we don't want a crowd here." I remonstrated, saying 
that we wanted all the gold we could get ; but Brady said, " Yes, 
and we want all the ground we can get and enough money to 
clear from this blasted country ; that leader wants capital, for 
which we shall have to arrange." In obedience to Brady's 
instructions I covered up the leader, and had hardly finished 
doing so, when an excited digger dropped into our claim ex- 
claiming, " Have you heard the news ? Mackenzie has struck a 
new gully with an ounce to the dish." Brady and I at once 
bolted for a newly opened store to arrange a credit for tucker, to 
enable him to proceed to the new find. In the meanwhile, I was 
to remain and work our present claim to cover expenses. The 
store-keeper, one Thompson, was obdurate, refusing to give us 
any credit or even to sell us sufficient supplies for gold, to enable 
Brady to go to the new rush, he wishing to assist his own 
friends, or rather those men who could be depended on to spend 
all their earnings in grog at his store. 

Brady and I were sitting most disconsolately outside the store 
when a cutter, the White Squally came in loaded with diggers, but 
no supplies, when I suddenly overheard a remark of Thompson's : 
" By God, I must buy or charter that cutter for Samarai for 
stores." The cutter brought a mail, and amongst my letters I 
found a notice from Burns, Philp and Co., that ;i^ioo had been 
placed to my credit at Samarai ; whereupon Thompson's remark 
recurred to my memory. "Jim," I said to Brady, " how much 
gold have we?" "Ten ounces," he said. "Hand it over," 
said I, " I have a ploy." Brady handed it over, and I sought the 
owner of the cutter, saying I wanted to buy her. He said he 
was asking Thompson ;;^ioo for her, but Thompson was a . . . 
Jev/ and only offered ^do. I replied, " Well, here are ten 
ounces on deposit, and an order on Burns, Philp and Co., of 
Samarai, for the rest, and this letter of theirs will show it is all 
right." In five minutes the deal was completed ; and the White 
Squall papers being handed over to me, I returned to Brady. 
" Jim," I said, " you need a sea trip and so do I ; also we will 
set up as yacht owners and store-keepers. Let's go up to 


Tliompson and tell him the good news." We found him and 
told him we had bought the JVhite Squally and intended to sail 
her to Samarai ourselves. I also pointed out that there was an 
absolute dearth of supplies at Woodlark, and we expected to make 
a good thing by store-keeping. Thompson's language, as Bret 
Harte has it, was for a time " painful and free " ; then he rushed 
off to the former owners of the cutter, to try and persuade them 
to cancel the deal as we were " dead broke," and could not pay 
for the vessel. Unfortunately, however, for him the vendors 
chose to consider us as honest men, this apart from having 
completed the deal, and told Thompson to go to a warmer region. 
He then came again to me with an ad misericordiam appeal. 
" Look here, if I don't get this boat I am a ruined man ; how 
much do you want ? I never thought that you two dead beats 
could buy a vessel, or I would have bid higher." I gently pointed 
out that all Brady and I had wanted was fair treatment from him, 
which we had not got ; also that we had no wish to become 
store-keepers or traders, but as he had forced us into the position, 
he could either buy us out or count on our opposition in his own 
business. I then remarked that I would leave the negotiations 
to Brady. 

Brady's terms were short and sweet : ^Tioo for the vessel, 
j^ioo on top of that for ourselves, together with Thompson's 
original offer of ;^6o. Thompson squealed loudly, but as we 
were ready to go to sea, accepted the offer and took over the 
JVhite Squall. In passing, I might now remark that later know- 
ledge showed me the White Squall was not worth ^^5 ; she was 
thoroughly rotten, the only good things about her being her 
pumps. She had sneaked out of a Queensland port without the 
cognizance of the authorities ; but of these facts at the time I was 
ignorant ; and Brady and I were much surprised to hear later that, 
after three or four highly profitable trips for Thompson, she had 
sunk. Her sinking was caused by an irate master leaping 
suddenly down into the forecastle to deal with a recalcitrant 
member of the crew, and in his energy sending his legs through 
her rotten planking. 

After the completion of the White Squall deal, Brady went 
off" to the new rush, where he pegged out a good claim, I remain- 
ing to shepherd our old one. A few days after his departure I 
received a note from him saying I had better abandon the claim I 
was holding, as our lode was safely buried, and come to the new 
rush. On my way thither I dropped into a gully and began 
prospecting it, just as another white man, accompanied as I was 
by two boys, started the same game. We both struck highly 
payable gold at about the same time, and each claimed the gully 
by right of discovery. For two or three minutes we — each with 


drawn revolvers, and each backed by our boys armed respectively 
with a rifle and fowling piece — argued the question ; and in the 
end, as an alternative to murdering one another, decided to go 
into partnership and work it jointly, each to divide our share with 
our former mates. 

My new partner was named John Graham ; he had previously 
been an assistant Resident Magistrate in the service of the British 
New Guinea Government, and later the owner of some pearl- 
fishinsi vessels. We worked together very amicably for some 
months, when, receiving a good oft'er for our claim, we sold out 
and separated, he to buy the wreck of a vessel with the intention 
of refitting it and resuming trading. After about a week's work 
again with Brady, some severe attacks of malaria gave me a 
distinct hint to go to sea for a short time, and at my suggestion 
we dissolved partnership, Brady remaining in the claim, and I, 
with my two boys, going to Suloga Bay with the intention of 
there finding a vessel bound for Samarai. 


AT Suloga Bay I found Graham still waiting, in charge of 
a small cutter owned by a local resident, which he had 
undertaken to take to Samarai for repairs and a new 
crew, the original boys having deserted to the mines. 
Graham had a couple of natives as crew, but, as the cutter was 
leaking badly, had been afraid to put to sea weak-handed. My 
arrival with my two boys, however, relieved him of this difficulty, 
and away we went for Samarai. 

Never since then have I known such a wholly beastly trip as 
that one was. We were all rotten with malaria, the cutter's 
decks were warped and leaking everywhere from lying in the sun, 
consequently day and night we had to pump the wretched boat 
out, or she half filled. The North-West Monsoon was on ; and 
the weather principally consisted of flat calms, during which we 
grilled under a burning sun, or fierce squalls accompanied by 
torrential rains, in which our rotten sails burst, and beneath decks 
was more like a combination of Turkish and shower baths than 
anything else. Pumping ship, patching sails, drying our clothes, 
and belting our sick boys into performing their necessary duties, 
formed our occupation ; cursing freely, and betting on our 
temperatures taken with a clinical thermometer, our diversion ; 
mouldy rice, stringy, oily, ever-warm tinned beef, pumpkin and 
stodgy taro, our diet. Vile tea and dirty-looking sugar we 
abandoned for a more healthful beverage, consisting of five grains 
of quinine and one drop of carbolic acid to a pannikin of water, 
always of course luke-warm. Dysentery beginning amongst the 
boys added to our woes ; but fortunately for us, we crawled 
through the China Straits into Samarai on the day following their 
being taken ill, and gladly handed over our rotten tub to the boat- 

Here, Graham and I separated ; he, after a week's rest, going 
to see to his wreck, and I remaining to recuperate as the only 
guest in the " Golden Fleece Hotel," which had recently been 
instituted by Tommy Rous upon a capital of ten pounds. The 
hotel consisted of one large room with a verandah all round it, a 
small room used as a cook-house detached from the other, and a 


bar-room next to Toirjiny's bedroom. All the buikliiigs were 
made of palins laced together and thatched with the leaf of the 
sago palm ; with the exception of Tommy's bedroom and the bar- 
room the whole place was innocent of doors and windows, other 
than square Iioles in the walls to admit lip;ht and air. The guests 
were expected to provide tlieirown blankets, plates, knives, forks, 
and pannikins, and to sleep on the palm floor. A long wooden 
table ran down the verandah, at which meals were eaten. Meals 
never varied ; Tommy's cook, a New Guinea boy, had but two 
dishes: "situ," which consisted of tinned meat, yams, sweet 
potatoes and pumpkins all stewed together ; and " kari," the same 
meat mixed with curry powder and served with rice. Anything 
else, fish or fresh game for instance, the guests were supposed to 
provide for themselves. 

Tommy was the son of a New Zealand doctor and had gone 
to sea as a supercargo on one of Burns, Philp and Co.'s vessels. 
Falling down the hold at sea he had crushed in three ribs and 
otherwise hurt himself, and at his own request had been put 
ashore at Samarai, where Armit had patched him up as well as he 
could. Charles Arbouine, the manager for Burns, Philp and Co, 
at Samarai, suggested to Tommy that, as he was now incapacitated 
for any other work, he should start a hotel and relieve the firm of 
the retail liquor trade, he, Arbouine, being tired of traders and 
diggers clamouring to be served with drinks at all times. Tommy 
accordingly expended his capital in the building before mentioned, 
and with a staff of one native boy began business. Graham and I 
were his first regular guests. Nightly to the pub came Armit, 
Arbouine, one of the Whittens, or any wandering trader, to play 
whist or to gossip ; if five or six were present we varied whist by 
loo or poker, in which quinine tabloids were used to represent 
counters of sixpence, and pistol cartridges shillings or half-crowns 
according to their calibre. 

A fortnight or so after my return to Samarai, Moreton came 
back from a cruise in the Siaiy and our monotony was further 
relieved by the arrival of a number of lucky diggers proceeding to 
that island. The result was that the " Golden Fleece " became 
most unpleasantly crowded, and I prepared to flit. 

Tommy Rous, however, developed a nasty attack of malaria 
accompanied by hjemorrhage of the lungs due to his accident, and 
begged me to stay with him until his visitors had departed. He 
said, " It will be no trouble to you ; just look after the pub until I 
am well again or this lot have cleared out. All you have to do, 
is to order the stores and collect the cash." I protested that I 
knew nothing about running pubs and didn't want to learn, also 
that I was certain that Tommy was going to be very ill and I 
should have to look after the show. Privately, Armit, Moreton 


and I were certain he was going to die. He cut short my 
protests by saying, " he knew nothing and I could not know less," 
and followed it by becoming so ill that it would have been sheer 
cruelty to remove him from his room or trouble him with any- 
thing. The result was that I suddenly found myself in the 
position of unpaid hotel-keeper. 

Tommy's boy, the cook, began complications by striking 
cook's duties to go and attend to him, and I had to turn on my 
own two boys as cooks. They were zealous and willing, but I 
feel convinced that their efforts in the culinary art seriously 
increased the flow of profanity in the hotel's digger guests and 
impaired their faint hope of Heaven. I then made it a fixed rule 
that everything supplied was for cash, as I was not going to be 
bothered keeping accounts ; this rule also caused a lot of profanity, 
as the supply of silver in the island was limited, and the diggers 
frequently had to wait for drinks until I had paid the takings into 
Burns, Philp and Co., and they again had bought it out for gold 
dust. At ten o'clock I closed the bar, in order that the row should 
not disturb Rous ; whereupon some of our lodgers would go to 
bed on the floor of the big room, others would take bottles and 
visit various vessels or yarn on the beach, whilst another lot would 
adjourn to Whitten's store. I then paid a visit to Tommy, fixed 
him up for the night, and told him the result of the day's takings. 
After which my boys made me up a bed in the bar, and we turned 
in for the night. 

About midnight, the first contingentof stray guests would return, 
more or less drunk, fall over those already occupying spaces on the 
floor and, after torrents of blasphemy and recriminations, turn in. 
After this, at intervals ranging until daylight, they returned in 
two's and three's, some singing, some arguing, some swearing, 
some quarrelling, but nearly all signalizing their arrival by also 
falling over the sleepers on the floor and again causing fresh floods 
of blasphemy and bad temper, which, in nine cases out of ten, 
ended in a free fight. Among our guests at the " Golden Fleece " 
were two who, when all else was peaceful, were almost certain 
to start a row, being just about as adaptable to one another as oil 
to water. The one was named Farquhar, a man as comfortable 
in the surroundings he was in, as a turtle would be on a tight 
rope ; the other was O'Regan the Rager, a digger. 

Farquhar had been a bank manager in Australia, and was a 
man particularly precise in his speech and neat in his personal 
appearance, however worn or darned his clothes might be, and the 
untidynessand lurid language of one type of digger were abhorrent 
to him. O'Regan was one of this type ; he was never sober 
when he had an opportunity of being drunk, never washed, slept 
in his clothes, and at all times diffused an odour of stale drink and 


fermenting humanity.'s expression during the day 
time when O'Rcgan was in the vicinity would assume that of a 
spinster aunt suspicious of a defect in the drainage, and with 
turned shoulders and averted face he would endeavour not to 
see O'Rcgan. The latter would glare at him and mutter 

things about " broken down, white-livered swells." Night 

would come, Farquhar would go to bed, the rows and riots would 
subside into peaceful snores, when last of all O'Rcgan would 
return with about two bottles of the most potent rum inside him. 
Screams and yells would herald his arrival. " Phwere is that 

Farker ? I'm the blankety blank best man in the blanky 

camp, wid me hands will I thare the blanky crimson guts from 
hisinsoide." Then O'Regan, climbing upon the verandah, would 
make night hideous with his yells, the while he banged the table 
with his stick, and hurled defiance at mankind at large and threats 
at Farquhar's viscera in particular. Sometimes a storm of oaths 
and missiles from the annoyed and sleepy inmates of the room 
would quench O'Regan's thirst for blood, and he would peacefully 
drop down on the verandah to sleep ; at other times he would 
stumble into the crowded room and trample with hob-nailed boots 
on the forms recumbent on the floor, as he searched for Farquhar 
and thrashed wildly with his stick. Then for a few minutes 
pandemonium reigned ; until some one would seize O'Regan by 
the heels and jerk him to the floor, where a sharp tap on the head 
with a pistol butt or a boot heel would either render him 
unconscious or induce a more lamb-like frame of mind. 

Graham now appeared in Samarai again, and I asked about the 
wreck he had intended buying and his trading venture. After 
making sundry highly slanderous and sulphuric remarks con- 
cerning missionaries in general, and one in particular, he unfolded 
his woes — which were that a missionary had forestalled him in the 
purchase of the wreck, which by the way was called the Eboa^ and 
after stripping her of wheel, gear, etc., now wanted double the 
original purchase-money paid by him. I accompanied Graham to 
the Mission Station on the island, where we found that low 
commercial transactions were beneath the notice of the Mission ; 
but that through an Italian naturalist staying with the missionary, 
the Eboa could be purchased at exactly double what she had cost 
the Mission. Graham bought her at the price ; the while I made 
a mental note to the effect that, if the Mission put the same 
ability into their soul saving as they did into their business 
operations, there would soon be precious few heathen left in 
New Guinea. 

It is not my intention or wish that the foregoing paragraph 
should appear to depreciate the value of missionaries, or Mission 
work, in the islands of New Guinea as a whole ; for no one could 


admire the unselfish and self-sacrificing work performed by many 
of the members of the various Mission bodies than myself, and in 
especial the work of the Anglican Mission, the Mission of the 
Sacred Heart, and the Wesleyan Methodist Mission. It was my 
good fate during the period I spent in New Guinea to come into 
intimate personal relations with the Archbishop of Navarre and 
Bishop de Boismenu of the Sacred Heart Mission, the Right Rev. 
Dr. Stone-Wigg, the Anglican Bishop of New Guinea, and the 
Reverend William Bromilow of the Wesleyan Methodist Mission, 
and I never parted from these gentlemen without thinking what a 
particularly wise choice their respective churches had made when 
they were selected to control the work of their denominations in 
New Guinea. 

The other Societies there made the mistake of having no direct 
control vested in the older and more experienced members over 
the younger recruits to their ranks. This system always appeared 
to me to be absolutely rotten. Time after time I have seen junior 
and inexperienced members of the Sacred Heart, the Anglican, and 
the Wesleyan Missions get at loggerheads with the native, the 
trader, or the Government officials in their districts ; and time 
after time have I seen all friction smoothed away by the tactful 
action of the experienced heads of these Missions, in exercising a 
wise restraint over their subordinates. And time after time, as a 
magistrate, have I had to curse the troubles arising from the action 
of some member of the other Missionary Societies — as a rule due 
to the ignorance and conceit of youth — and to regret that there 
was no wise head exercising control to whom I could appeal. 


AT length Tommy Rous' boarders all departed. His health 
seemed to be somewhat better, for a while at any rate, 
and I felt that I could leave him with a clear conscience. 
As I was thoroughly sick both of prospecting for gold 
and hotel-keeping, I purchased the cutter Mizpoh^ and manned 
her with a crew of six Papuans, getting also the Resident 
Magistrate's permission to arm them. At the same time I 
chartered from Messrs. Burns, Philp and Co. the luggers Ada, 
Hornet^ and Curlew^ fully equipped with diving plants and crews 
of Malays and Manilla men ; and also engaged Billy the Cook, 
late of the Myrtle^ to take charge of the three, bound under the 
guidance of the Mizpah^ on a general prospecting voyage for pearl 
or mother-of-pearl anywhere in the Coral Sea, the latter commodity 
then having a value of about ^^150 per ton, with the chance — a 
very remote chance it is true — of valuable pearls being found in 
the shells. The Mizpah was fitted with a deep-sea dredging 
apparatus, having, prior to my purchase, been owned by a scientist, 
a Dr. Wylie, who had come to New Guinea, I was told, in search 
of the deep-sea nautilus. 

Leaving Samarai we rapidly ran down to East Cape, when, 
coming to anchor, Billy came on board my boat to discuss a plan of 
action for my venture. At the very beginning Billy and I differed, 
to my future loss I must own ; for had I taken his advice as then 
tendered, I should have made a fair profit instead of ending in a 
heavy loss. Billy's advice was that we should proceed to an old 
pearling ground well known by him, and worked for many years, 
off the island of Sudest, and commence operations there, where we 
were certain to make a few hundreds in a short time. My idea 
was to search for an entirely new ground, where we might make 
many thousands in a few weeks, off the shores of Goodenough 
Island. Billy, finding that I was fixed in my views as to our 
procedure, persuaded me to wait several days at East Cape, 
fishing, and to send a boat into Samarai for salt to cure the fish. 

We fished in this manner. Firstly, we stationed men at the 
masthead to view the approach of shoals of trevalli passing through 
the narrow channels, and then sent out boats to throw amongst 


them dynamite cartridges with a twenty-second fuse attached. 
The explosion of the cartridges stunned the fish, and enabled them 
to be raked in by the boys forming our crews. Secondly, we sent 
the divers down armed with small spears, and they speared the 
cod which had been attracted by the dead fish or the diver. The 
ordinary rock cod, groper, or more properly gorupa, has no fear of 
a diver in dress, and will swim up and gaze into the face glass of 
the helmet, and hence falls an easy victim to the spear. It is, 
however — with the exception of the octopus — the diver's greatest 
enemy, from the same lack of fear. No real diver is afraid of the 
shark, but all dread the greater codfish. 

The shark at best is a most cowardly scavenger of the sea ; 
much preferring, even when hungry, to gorge on carrion than to 
kill its own prey. And even when made bold by hunger, it is 
readily frightened away by the sudden emission of air bubbles from 
the valve in the diver's helmet. A diver, when approached by a 
large shark, seldom troubles much, so long as the fish does not get 
too near to his air pipe. He fears that, because sharks have an 
unpleasant habit of suddenly rolling over and snapping at a fairly 
quiescent object. Should a shark's attention, however, prove too 
persistent, the diver signals for the fullest possible pressure of air, 
and then either walks towards the fish or, if it is higher up and 
interfering with his air pipe, rises in the water and suddenly turns 
on his valves ; result, immediate flight of Mr. Shark. 

The codfish, however, is afraid of nothing, and will nose up to 
a diver, smell round him until it discovers his naked hands, and 
then bite them off. Owing to this unpleasant trait on the part of 
the codfish, the first and important duty of a diver's tender is to 
wash the former's hands thoroughly with soap, soda, and warm 
water before he descends, in order to remove any trace of per- 
spiration or grease from them. A diver's hands are the sole portion 
of his body outside the diving suit, the dress ending at the wrists, 
where thick india-rubber bands prevent the admission of water and 
expulsion of air. Should a diver meet a large groper, the only 
thing to be done is to either ascend twenty or thirty feet and drift 
out of the short-sighted fish's range of vision or, if there is no 
tide or current, rise to the surface. Then he can lower a dynamite 
cartridge or two, which will either kill, wound, or frighten the 
beast away. A groper, I have been told by divers, and my own 
experience bears this out, will never pursue a diver or leave the 
bottom ; it is sluggish in the extreme. These fish grow to an 
immense size. I have myself seen a fish so large that, when his 
mouth was open, the lower jaw was on the bottom and the upper 
jaw above the level of one's helmet. My own opinion is that, as 
the cachalot preys upon the larger, so the gropers prey upon the 
smaller form of octopi ; otherwise I fail to see how so slow and 



bulky a fish, a fish too that is not a carrion feeder, can possibly 
catch enough food on which to live. 

I have mentioned a diver's tender. This person and the diver 
are usually engaged together, and in most cases have been close 
friends and associates through many engagements. The tender's 
duties are to keep the air pumps, dress, pipes, etc., in apple-pic 
order, to hold the diver's life-line and air tubes while he is below, 
and to receive his signals and communicate them to the master of 
the vessel. On this man's constant watchfulness the life of the 
diver depends. At the time of which I write, all signals from a 
diver at work were conveyed by numbered jerks on the life-line. 
I believe now, however, the diver's helmets are fitted with a 
telephone, through which he speaks direct to his tender. The 
submarine telephone must add immensely to the safety of the 
diver, for by its means he can explain exactly what he wants or 
what difficulty he is in. 

For instance, I have known the case of a diver landing his leg 
in a large clam shell, which of course immediately closed upon it, 
the shell weighing probably three or four hundred pounds and 
being fastened to the bottom. The man signalled " pull up." 
The tender passed on the signal^ and after the life-line had been 
tugged and strained at for some time, ordered it and the pipe to be 
slacked under the impression that it was fast round a coral mush- 
room. The result was, that before another boat could be 
summoned and a second diver sent down to ascertain the trouble, 
the first man had exceeded his time limit and was stricken fatally 
with divers' paralysis. Had the diver then possessed a telephone, 
a second line could have been sent down to him by a heavy iron 
ring slid down his own! life-line, and by him have been attached 
to the shell ; whereupon man and shell together could have been 
hoisted by the ship's winch. 

Having collected and salted our fish, we sailed aWvay for 
Dawson Straits, between Ferguson and Goodenough Islands. 
My intention was 'to prospect the narrow sea lying between the 
latter island and the Trobriand group for pearl shell ; the north- 
eastern coast of Goodenough Island was at this time merely 
marked on the Admiralty charts by a dotted line, with the terse 
remark, " Little known of the northern shores of these islands." 
In Dawson Straits we drilled our crews for some days in their 
routine work, whilst I accustomed myself to the use of a diver's 
dress. Billy the Cook, I regret to say, flatly refused to have any- 
thing to do with work under the water. 

Our method of procedure was this. Firstly, by sounding, we 
found a level sandy bottom of anything under twenty fathoms. 
Pearl shell is peculiar for growing only on a perfectly flat surface. 
Then the vessel was hove-to or allowed to drift with the current, 


while the anchor was lowered some ten feet beneath the vessel's 
keel. The diver then descended by the anchor chain, and seated 
himself astride of the anchor. At his signal it was lowered until 
within about six feet of the bottom, the vessel then being allowed 
to drift while the diver scrutinized the bottom for signs of pearl 
shell. Upon his sighting shell, he gave two sharp tugs at his life- 
line, which meant, " Slack life-line and pipe, let go anchor." 
Immediately upon giving his signal and finding his life-line and 
pipe released, the diver leapt from the anchor, the anchor dropped, 
and he began work. For sign of shell it was sufficient to see 
certain marine plants, which almost invariably occur under the 
same conditions as pearl shell. The diver when below water is in 
supreme command of the vessel through his tender, and there can 
be no possible excuse for disobeying either his first or second 
signals. The first, consisting of one tug on his life-line, meaning 
" More air, I am in great danger, pull me up." The second, of 
two tugs, meaning " Slack all, 1 am on shell." One peculiar thing 
about pearl shell is, that it only occurs in payable quantities where 
tidal currents are very strong. Where the current runs at less than 
three knots, though one may find shell, it is rotten and worm- 
eaten ; where the currents are strong it is clean and thick. My 
own impression is that a strong force of water is necessary to tear 
and distribute the spawn from the parent oyster ; when that force 
is lacking disease and degeneracy set in. 

There are many theories as to the causation of pearls in the 

pearl shell ; the most common is the particularly idiotic one of a 

grain of sand, or other foreign body, inserting itself within the 

shell and setting up an irritation which causes the oyster to build 

round the intruder a smooth coat of pearly matter. This theory 

is senseless on the face of it. From its natural habitat every 

pearl oyster must have thousands of grains of sand or other bodies 

lodged against its lips in each tide. The lips of a pearl oyster 

consist of a curious vascular membrane tapering to a slimy filmy 

substance at the outer edge ; assuming a small speck of sand came 

it would adhere to the slimy edge, if a larger body the lips would 

close. Granted that a foreign article passed the lips, the outer 

skin of the fish is a very tough thing, and it would be almost 

impossible for the grain of sand, or other matter, to penetrate to 

where lie the glands which secrete the substance forming the 

pearly lining of the shell. A fact which shows the fallacy of the 

theory is this : that though one may remove the multitudinous 

skins of the pearl until whittled down to nothing, it is impossible 

ever to discover in the centre of the pearl as a core a grain of sand, 

or anything differing from the pure composition of the pearl. If, 

in one chance out of ten millions, a grain of sand passed the lips 

of the shell and lodged on the skin of the fish, the next tide would 


wash it away again. No ! Plainly, from the small pcrccntapc of 
pcarl-bcaring oysters, the pearl is a disease, and, I hold, not due to 
extraneous causes. Just as uric acid produces stone or gravel in 
humans, so does some similar irritant produce the pearl in the 
oyster. I leave it to other and wiser heads to say what the origin 
of the pearl is ; I only say emphatically what it is not. 

In Dawson Straits we remained some days prospecting the 
bottom without luck, and meanwhile discovered a passage behind 
the island of Wagij^a to a secure anchorage for small vessels. 
Here the M'lzpah lay for some days while the luggers continued 
prospecting, and here I had my first experience of hostile natives. 
The natives of Goodenough Island at this time enjoyed a most 
unenviable reputation, being generally regarded by traders as 
hostile and treacherous in the extreme. Until the day of which 
I now write, we had not come into contact with them, save a few 
canoes manned by vegetable-vending natives. 

On this day, being tired of sticky salt-water baths, I landed 
with three or four of my crew, and followed a small stream inland 
to where a waterfall occurred in a gully. Here the falling water 
had scooped out a hole about three or four feet deep. Sending 
my boys back to the mouth of the gully I stripped and, standing 
in the hole, indulged in a shower bath under the fall. Whilst I 
was so engaged, revolver and rifle lying on my clothes some few 
feet away, a native walked out from the bush, suddenly caught sight 
of me and, giving a loud screech, promptly hurled his spear at me 
and then fled. I jumped from the water hole as the spear flew, 
and instead of catching me in the chest it caught me just above 
the knee, fortunately just as my knee was jerking upwards in my 
jump, the spear therefore turning to one side, and merely tearing 
a slit in my flesh and skin, the scar of which, however, I carry to 
this day. My yells brought up my boys, who running straight 
into the flying native, caught and held him. As soon as my 
bleeding was staunched, we hauled him off on board the Mizpah^ 
where we found that he had a slight knowledge of Dobuan, a 
language with which one of my crew was acquainted. After we 
had soothed down his funk a little (for he fully expected to be 
immediately killed and eaten, as the Goodenough Islanders were 
themselves cannibals), he was asked what he meant by hurling his 
spear at me. His explanation was that he was returning from an 
expedition inland, that he had never seen a white man before, and 
when he saw me disporting in the water he had taken me for a 
devil, and flung his spear with the laudable intention of killing a 
devil before turning to flee from the uncanny thing. 

Satadeai was the name of my new acquaintance, a man whose 
friendship I was to enjoy for many years afterwards ; in fact, when 
later I became Resident Magistrate of the Eastern Division, I 


appointed him village constable for his tribe, a dignity which 
I believe he still enjoys. After we had soothed the feelings of 
Saturday, as I now called him, I presented him with some beads and 
a tomahawk and landed him again ; telling him at the same time 
what our quest in the vicinity was, and offering him safe conduct 
at any time he or his people liked to come with vegetables for our 
little fleet. From this time Saturday became a regular visitor to 
the Mizpahy bringing fresh yams, taro, curios, etc., for sale ; and 
also bringing me men to assist in working the air pumps of the 
diving plant, a manual labour of the heaviest description when 
divers arc in deep water. 

On one occasion he brought me as a present a curious, almost 
circular, tusk, a tusk so old that the outer covering of enamel had 
worn off and antiquity had tinged it a pale yellow. The tusk was 
mounted in native money, small circular disks formed from the 
hinges of a rare shell, and hung on a sling to be worn round the 
neck. I thought the thing was an ordinary boar's tusk of unusual 
shape and size ; Saturday, however, told me the following amazing 
yarn. He said that at the summit of Goodenough Island, or 
Moratau, as the natives called it, there lived an enormous snake 
with curious long and curved teeth, a snake so large and powerful 
that^ it was beyond the power of man to capture or destroy it. 
Goodenough Island, I might remark in passing, is the highest 
island of its size in the world ; Mount York, its highest peak, being 
over 8000 feet. Well, some generations before, there had lived 
on Goodenough a' mighty hunter of Saturday's tribe and family, 
and on one occasion the hunter had ascended the mountain with 
the intention of killing the snake. Finding, however, that it 
was beyond the powers of mortal man to slay, he had surrounded 
its lair with sharp-pointed stakes driven firmly into the ground. 
When the snake emerged again, it had entangled or caught one 
of its curved tusks on a stake, and in its struggles to escape tore 
away the tusk, which Saturday now presented to me. 

Afterwards in New Zealand I showed the tooth to Sir James 
Hector, who pronounced it to be a tusk of the Sus Barbirusa, a 
hog deer ; an inhabitant of the East India Islands and an animal 
not known to exist in New Guinea. This tusk I afterwards 
gave to a friend 'of "mine, Richard Burton of Longner Hall, 
Shrewsbury, in whose possession it now is ; a gift that later 
caused me to be severely dealt with by Professor Haddon of 
anthropological fame, the professor holding that I should have 
presented it either to the Royal Anthropological Institute or the 
British Museum. I am now of opinion that this tusk was 
wrongly assigned by Sir James Hector to the Barbirusa, but right- 
fully belongs to an animal not then known to science, though many 
years later reported by me as existing on the Owen Stanley 

38 SOME experiencp:s of a new guinea 

Range, at a height of about 1 2,000 feet, on the mainland of New 
Guinea. The discovery of this animal and its description, how- 
ever, occurs at a later stage of my life in New Guinea. 

When we sailed from Wagipa, Saturday accompanied me on 
the Mlxpah to the north-cast coast of Goodcnough Island, where 
he acted as interpreter for us. And being by this time fully 
acquainted with the object of our search, he induced the natives 
to guide us to a large patch of "saddle back " shell, which he and 
they assured us contained large quantities of the " stones " we 
valued. He was right in his statement, the shell was there in 
large quantities, and the shells held — a most unusual thing — large 
numbers of perfect-looking pearls. But, alas ! the shell, for some 
unknown reason, was so soft as to be valueless, one could crush 
it between the hands ; and the pearls, though beautiful to look 
upon when first obtained, lost their lustre in a single day and 
could be readily scratched with the finger nail. Saturday was 
the only New Guinea native that I ever knew who was anxious 
to go down in a diving dress, a wish on his part to which I sternly 
refused to accede. 

The Goodenough Islanders are a somewhat remarkable race ; 
of small physique, they speak a language peculiar to themselves ; 
the men are liars, treacherous and subtle, but at the same time 
brave and capable of great attachment to any person for whom 
they have a regard. Some time after I first saw them, the small 
wiry men from Goodenough Island proved to be the best porters 
that New Guinea could furnish for the deadly work of carrying 
for the Northern Division. The common arms of the men were 
half a dozen light throwing spears, made from the black palm and 
having an effective throwing tange of some thirty yards, a short 
triangular-bladed spear for use at close quarters, and a sling and 
stones. As a general rule ordinary pebbles of about the size of a 
billiard ball were hurled from the slings ; but the slingcr usually 
carried a couple of carefully hand-wrought stones resembling a 
pullet's egg in shape but pointed at both ends, which he flung 
from his sling on special occasions ; that is, at times when he 
had a good clear opportunity of hitting his enemy, and wished to 
make no mistake about it. The effective range of these slings was 
up to two hundred yards on the level. They had an extraordinary 
habit of attaching a tail or cracker to the pouch of the sling, 
which, upon the stone leaving the pouch, made a sharp noise not 
unlike the crack of a rifle. 

In their hill villages, usually placed upon commanding points 
or spurs, they build round stone towers covering all approaches. 
The purpose of the towers was this. A man when using a sling 
on the level could only use it at such a length as to reach, 
when whirled, from the bent arm to the ground. If standing on 


a flat-sided tower, however, the h'mit of the length of sh"ng he 
could use was only decided by his strength and the weight of the 
missile he meant to hurl ; and the greater the length of the sling 
and weight of projectile, the greater the effective range. There- 
fore a village possessing stone towers was, to all intents and 
purposes, a fortified position, as its slingmen could outrange, and 
assail with heavier missiles, any attacking force armed with the 
sling. Stones from a pound to a pound and a half in weight were 
hurled from the giant slings plied by the slingcrs on the towers 
Goodenough Islanders, therefore, provided with the towers, were 
really, at the time of which I write, impregnable against any force 
unarmed with rifles. They also had a most extraordinary system 
of yam cultivation. Instead of making their yam gardens on the 
flat in good alluvial soil, they built circular stone walls beneath 
their villages on the slopes ; and then laboriously carried earth in 
baskets and filled up the walls behind, until they formed a 
succession of artificial terraces on which they grew their yams. 
Certainly the yams there grown were larger and better than any 
others I have seen, but the labour in the first instance must have 
been appalling. The gardens also had the advantage of being 
covered by sling fire from the village towers, and therefore, I 
suppose, were held to be safe from raiders. Lunacy, from what 
I could learn, was very common among these islanders ; I believe 
due to in-breeding for many years. Totemism, the great preven- 
tive against in-breeding, apparently did not exist among them. 

South from Wagipa, on the northern shores of Ferguson 
Island, lies Seymour Bay, a short distance inland from which there 
exists a country of great volcanic and thermal action. There, a 
hot stream flows to the sea ; and there also exists a lake containing, 
according to an analysis I had made of its waters, a huge quantity 
of the gouty man's friend, lithium ; whilst, surrounding its waters, 
there are acres and acres, feet deep, of pure yellow sulphur. 

My pearl fishing on the northern shores of Goodenough came 
to an abrupt end. Billy the Cook had foregathered with me one 
night on the Mizpah, when our divers and tenders had asked 
permission to collect on one boat, the Ada^ for a Malay jollifica- 
tion ; the crew of the Ada meanwhile visiting friends on the 
other vessels. When morning came there was no Ada^ and no 
divers or tenders]; and Billy gently suggested to me that they had 
taken a pleasure trip to tlie Trobriands. The first thing to be 
done before we could sail in search of our truants was to return 
Saturday to his home on Wagipa, as the law did not then permit 
any unindentured natives being taken more than twenty miles 
from where they lived, except for the purpose of being indentured, 
or as it is called "signed on." Saturday made it very clear indeed 
that if we landed him at the point at which we were then, the 


chances were greatly in favour of his finding his way into a 
cooking pot instead of his home. It would not do to send the 
Hornet with him, because, firstly, the crew were only armed with 
knives, and secondly, they were quite likely to follow the evil 
example of their mates and sneak off on pleasure bent. I thought 
of sending Billy in tlic Curleiu with a couple of armed boys, he 
having his own rifle and revolver; but my boys objected to 
leaving my own vessel, and Billy said he was a married man and 
had not shipped to be sent alone into a Goodenough harbour. 
Also he pointed out that I might require the full strength of my 
New Guinea boys, the only men I could depend on, to deal with 
our confounded divers and tenders when we found them. The 
result of our deliberations, therefore, was the loss of two valuable 
days in returning Saturday. 

Upon landing that worthy native we struck straight away 
from the Straits to the Trobriands, and had a horrible nightmare 
of a passage, for coral mushrooms and reefs seemed to strew the 
sea like plums in a pudding. Safe enough to navigate amongst 
when the sky was clear, they were, however, a deadly peril during 
the passage of a rain squall. The danger of a coral mushroom 
lies in the fact that it is so small that the sea seldom makes any 
noise upon it, also it springs up so suddenly from the bottom that 
the lead line proves no safeguard against it. No bottom at fifty 
fathoms one minute, a nigirer head or mushroom with its head a 
couple of feet below the surface the next, is the pleasmg habit or 
the sea between Goodenough Island and the Trobriands. 

We did not attempt to sail at night, but either anchored over 
a submerged reef or hung on to the lee side of a shallow one, 
with our anchor on top of the reef and a kedge out astern. It is 
a risky proceeding anchoring in small vessels among coral, where 
the depth of the water is more than six fathoms, if unprovided 
with diving gear, or more than twenty, if fitted with that 
apparatus. For in nine cases out of ten, the chain or anchor 
becomes entangled in the coral mushrooms, and it is necessary for 
a man to go down and clear it before the anchor can be raised. 
Sometimes even a diver is unable to clear the tangle, especially if 
there is much current or wind keeping the vessel straining at her 
anchor ; and in that case the last resource is to heave the chain in 
until it is up and down — that is, descends in a vertical line from 
the ship's bow to the bottom — and fasten big charges of dynamite 
fitted with burning fuses to a heavy iron ring, and slide them down 
the chain in the hope of smashing away the obstruction. Even 
this method sometimes fails, as some coral is of a dense cheesy 
consistency, and capable of resisting for a long time repeated 
explosions of dynamite. When this occurs, then one loses a 
valuable anchor and chain, a loss one cannot afford too often. 


AT the Trobriands we sighted our missing Ada at anchor 
and, upon the yl//z/>a/; running alongside, discovered that 
she was full of native women. At first ugly looks and 
hands upon knives were the reception accorded by the 
deserters, but that was soon altered by my New Guinea boys. 
The divers and tenders expected bribes, argument, and persuasion 
to be used in order to induce them to return to their work, the sort 
of thing they had been accustomed to in the Torres Straits ; instead 
of which, they got a curt order to get into the hold, and the next 
minute found their toes being smashed and their heads bumped by 
the brass-heeled butts of heavy Snider carbines. The New Guinea 
boys had always been rather despised by the Malays, and therefore 
were only too glad to get a little of their own back when oppor- 
tunity offered. Spitting, cursing, and threatening, the Malays were 
all bumped below, and the hatches clapped on. 

The next operation on the part of my crew was to throw all 
the women overboard, and let them swim ashore as best they were 
able. I may remark that all the Trobriand women could swim 
like fishes. A nice state we found the Ada in : stores, coats, spare 
gear, everything portable and of any value had been given to the 
women, not even the cooking utensils were left. If we had not 
arrived when we did, even her sails would have been cut up and 
disposed of. After viewing our damage and loss, Billy and I held 
a parley with our men under hatches, and found the Malay dignity 
was hurt by the treatment our boys had accorded them ; the result 
was, they said they had no intention of resuming duty. I plainly 
saw that if I gave in to the brutes I should be utterly undone, and 
my quest would become quite hopeless ; at the same time, without 
them I could do nothing. Billy now suggested that if I could 
depend on my New Guinea boys, the best thing we could do was 
to lie at anciior where we were, and trade for pearls and beche-de- 
mer ; in the meanwhile keeping our mutineers confined, until in a 
more reasonable frame of mind. This policy I adopted. Putting 
a couple of my boys on the Ada, we hauled her up and made her 
fast to the Mizpahy leaving her recalcitrant inhabitants still under 
hatches with neither food nor water. 


For twenty-four hours I kept the M:\lays below ; and then, 
outside the sand-hank forming the harbour, wc sighted Morcton's 
patrol schooner, the Siaiy signalling to me to come out. Whereupon 
we moved the J^/ri from alongside the Mizpah to alongside the 
Curleiu. The clatter and row made by this operation excited the 
curiosity of our prisoners, who, questioning the boys on deck, were 
told that the Shii was in sight, and that the Mizpah was going off 
to ask that they be taken and tried as pirates or ship-stealers. 
Awful howls and yells then came from the hold begging for an 
interview with me. Upon my going to the hatch and ordering the 
removal of one plank in order that the imprisoned men might talk 
to mc, frenzied petitions for mercy were put up, accompanied by 
all sorts of strange oaths that, if forgiven, they would be good and 
faithful men in the future. Billy said, " Let 'em off, they will be 
all right in the future, and we can't" afford to have them jugged ; 
also we can't keep 'em below with a Government ship in sight or 
we shall get into trouble." I therefore accepted their promises of 
good behaviour ; at the same time I pointed out how magnanimous 
I was, and ordered them to disperse to their several vessels. 

Then I went out in the Mizpah to the Siai^ where I found 
Moreton, R.M., and Judge Winter. The latter had come down 
to try a white man for murder. Moreton explained to me that 
there was a lot of sickness in Samarai gaol, beri beri and dysentery, 
and he wished to fill the Siai with yams. As her draught would 
not permit her to approach closely to the anchorage, he wanted me 
to act as tender with the Mizpah^ and load the Siai. I jumped at 
the offer ; my whole expenses at this time amounted to ^^5 a day, 
and, as Moreton offered me that sum, I was glad for a few days to 
leave my Malays and the conversation of Billy, for the cabin of the 
Siai and the company of Moreton and Winter. While the Mizpah 
was running yams to the Siai^ she was steered by one or other of 
the Malay tenders, and the Judge complimented me upon their 
polite manners and civility. I grinned an internal grin as I told 
him they were really not bad people if treated in the right way. 

The Trobriands are a great yam-growing district, the yams 
grown there running up to 150 lbs. in weight. Throughout New 
Guinea, the group was famous for three things : the cowardice of the 
men, the immorality — or rather I should put it the total unmorality 
— of the women, and the quality of its yams. The islands are all 
perfectly flat and the soil consists of decomposing coral and humus, 
and is wonderfully rich. One of the staple foods of the islanders 
consisted of the oyster contained in a small pearl shell, found in 
great quantities on the mud banks lying in the vicinity of the group, 
the oyster being termed by the natives " Lapi." Out of this pearl 
shell, which, by the way, they opened by, throwing it upon the fire, 
they obtained a large quantity of pearls which they sold to 


wandering traders ; the shell, which would have otherwise have 
had a very considerable market value, being utterly ruined by the 
action of the fire. 

Here I made the acquaintance of the Rev. Fellows of the 

VVesleyan Methodist Mission ; a fine type of man who, with his 
equally devoted wife, was endeavouring to stay, with, as I could see, 
little hope of success, the rapid deterioration of the islanders. Mr. 
Fellows and I gave one another a mutual surprise, I think. I had 
mentally pictured him as a measly, psalm-singing hypocrite, using 
religion as a cloak for money-getting ; he, I think, had^assumed that 
all traders were drunken, debauched, pyjama-clad ruffians, whose 
main object in life was to destroy Mission work. Instead of which 
I found a splendid man, struggling under enormous difficulties, and 
at great personal sacrifice preaching to the natives a gospel of work 
and clean living. And he, for his part, discovered that a trader 
might be a clean-shaved person, who could employ his spare time 
quite happily in gossiping with the missionary and his wife about 
people and things far removed from New Guinea, 

By the way, some time later Mr. Fellows got me into trouble 
with Sir William MacGregor, though quite unintentionally. I 
had relieved Moreton as Resident Magistrate at Samarai, and 
amongst the correspondence to be dealt with, were a host of 
complaints from Fellows about robberies by the natives from the 
Mission House, assaults upon Mission servants and natives, and 
threats of violence against himself. Moreton said, " Get down 
and settle this business as soon as you can, Monckton ; you may 
have to burn some powder, but make Fellows safe, for he is a real 
good chap, as you know." I went to the Trobriands as soon as I 
conveniently could ; and after seeing Mr. Fellows and questioning 
the village constable, I came to the conclusion that a certain old 
chief, living some miles inland, was at the bottom of the trouble. 
Marching inland I collared him with several of his satellites, and 
hauled him to the coast. On being brought before my court the 
old chief fully confessed, informed me of all the men engaged in the 
various outrages, sent for them, and begged for mercy ; promising 
amendment and good behaviour in future if forgiven. He then 
begged Mr. Fellows to intercede with me for them, which Mr. 
Fellows did. At his request, after I had convicted the men, I 
discharged them to their homes. About a month later I met Sir 
William MacGregor and, in the course of conversation about the 
Trobriands, told him what I had done in the matter of the 
offences against Mr. Fellows. His Excellency said, " You are like 
all young magistrates, a fool. Can you not see that, by your 
action in this case, you have given the natives the impression that 
the Mission can summon the Government forces, have people sent 
to gaol, and then have them released ? Never in future allow any 


one to interfere with a sentence once passed ; the Crown alone can 
pardon, you cannot, neither can the Mission." A remark which 
I never forgot, and which stood me in good stead in after 

The greater number of the pearls found at the Trobriand 
Islands arc of a very pale golden or straw colour ; and for this 
reason, though of perfect lustre, arc not considered equal to those 
obtained from the larger mother-of-pearl shell found in the China 
or Torres Straits, or from Ceylon and West Australia. A certain 
proportion of the Trobriand pearls are, however, of the purest white 
colour ; and these, if perfect in shape and lustre, are the equals of 
any pearls in the world. Some few black pearls arc found in these 
islands, but not in any great number. There is a common and 
erroneous impression amongst people, only acquainted with pearls 
in jewellers' shops, that black pearls possess a greater value than 
others. This is not the case. The most valuable pearls are those of a 
pure white, and perfectly round in shape, suitable for stringing as a 
necklace ; the next a pure white pear-shaped pearl, sufficiently large 
to be used as a pendant or ear-drop ; then come the button-shaped 
pearls, that is, pearls perfectly round with the exception of a slight 
flattening on one jside, which can be concealed by setting in a 
bracelet, pin or ring. Black pearls in all these shapes are worth 
less than the corresponding shapes in white. 

Pearls of a freak or fanciful and irregular shape, or fastened 
together in clusters, possess no commercial value ; though in odd 
cases I have known enormous prices paid for them for sentimental 
reasons. For instance, a pearl-fisher in Torres Straits found a 
cluster of small and medium sized pearls in the shape of an almost 
perfect cross. This cluster, after passing through the hands of 
several dealers, was eventually sold, I was told, to some wealthy 
Roman Catholics for presentation to the Pope, the sum paid being 
j^i0,0C0 ; and the actual value of the pearls composing it, 
if separate and perfect, would certainly not have been ;^io. 
Pearls are sometimes found attached to the pearl shell, or bubbles 
of the pearly lining of the shell are blown out in such a way as to 
resemble pearls ; these pearls are known as blisters, and are sawn 
out by the trader and sold for the making of brooches and the 
cheaper forms of jewellery. When mounted they are frequently 
passed ofFto the uninitiated as the real thing. 

Large quantities of what are called seed pearls are found in 
nearly all the different varieties of pearl shell. They are about 
the size of small shot, and of irregular shape but good colour and 
lustre ; these are mainly sold by the ounce or pound at the rate of 
from /2 105. to £2 P^^ ounce. Some of this seed goes to Paris, 
where it is used, I am told, by milliners for ornamenting ladies' 
dresses ; but by far the greater proportion goes to China, for what 


purpose I know not. The largest, most valuable and perfect 
pearls go to either Russia or America, those people valuing pearls 
apparently more than other races, and being prepared to pay more 
for really perfect specimens. Pink pearls occur very rarely, in 
fact I have never seen one. They are so rare as to have no 
fixed commercial value, though pearl-fishers say that, when any 
are found, the Indian Rajahs are always willing to pay enormous 
prices for them. 

The greater portion of black pearls come from the black- 
lipped variety of shell, a much smaller shell than gold-lipped or 
mother-of-pearl. The latter shell averages about the size of a 
large dinner plate, and varies in colour from a pure white at the 
hinges to a golden colour at the lips. Gold-lip is only obtained 
in deep water and by means of diving dress ; black-lip in shallow 
water and by naked natives, skin-divers as they are called. Black- 
lip is of much less value than gold, but, for some reason unknown 
to me, always jumps tremendously in price during periods of 
Court Mourning. Gold-lip is subject to attack by a worm, which 
sometimes bores holes all through the outer covering of the pearly 
part of the shell. 

I believe that the same worm also attacks the spear of the great 
swordfish. For once, when sailing from the island of St. Aignan 
to Sudest in a whaleboat in very calm weather, I noticed a sword- 
fish behaving in a most extraordinary manner. It was travelling 
at great speed on the surface of the water, sometimes straight 
forward, sometimes in circles, whilst at intervals it was leaping 
from the water and whirling rapidly round. I could see no sign 
of an enemy, but I could plainly see that the fish was in great 
agony. At last it leapt half a dozen times from the water to a 
great height, falling each time with a resounding splash, until at 
last its antics became feebler and it turned on its side and slowly 
sank. I caused the whaleboat to follow it for some distance, and 
could see through the clear water the almost dead fish drifting 
with no sign of external injury about its body anywhere. 

My boys then told me that the swordfish frequently behaved 
in this manner, went " Kava Kava " or mad, and then died. 
They gave the cause as being a " small snake," that is, a worm, 
which bored up through its sword into the bone of the skull and 
thence into the brain. This explanation accounted to me for the 
numerous well-authenticated cases of swordfish charging and 
breaking ofF their swords in ships' hulls. I myself have seen the 
broken sword fast in the solid keel of a big sailing canoe ; and 
natives have told me instances of the sword being driven through 
a canoe's planking, and the fish being secured by first lashing the 
sword fast with cords and then spearing the fish. They too 
believed that the fish did not attack from malice prepense, but as 


an accident when driven mad and blind by pain. I have never 
heard of the swordfish, or its big cousin the sawfish, attacking 
naked men or clothed diver ; though I fail to see hov^ they could 
withstand or escape from tlie charge of cither. Natives of 
fishing tribes are not in the least afraid of the swordfish, but they 
are to a certain extent of the sawfish. The latter has a shorter, 
broader, and altogether stronger beak than the former, blunt at the 
point instead of sharp, and studded down each side by villainous 
sharp and bony teeth. Its pleasing custom is to charge amongst a 
shoal of fish and frantically thrash from side to side among them 
with its beak, gathering up the slain and wounded at its leisure 
afterwards. This charming habit on its part sometimes leads it to 
follow a shoal of fish into the fishermen's nets, where, getting its 
beak entangled, it will tear everything to pieces unless soon speared, 
The spearing of it is a work of difficulty and danger, as one blow 
from the violently thrashing beak will disembowel a man, or 
inflict wounds of a most ghastly nature. 

', On the same boat trip when I made the acquaintance of the 
swordfish with worm in his head, I also fell in with a most 
extraordinary fishing rat. We had landed and camped for the 
night upon a small coral island surrounded by submerged coral 
boulders and, but for a few stunted trees, bare of all vegetation. 
Shortly after dark I was disturbed by rats crawling over me, and 
at last in disgust went and slept in the whaleboat. In the morning 
I landed again and, while my boys were preparing breakfast, 
walked to the other side of the island ; then sitting down I began 
my ante-breakfast pipe, whilst I pondered what on earth the rats 
on the island could find to live upon, as food there was apparently 
none. While sitting quietly there, I noticed some rats going 
down to the edge of the reef — lank, hungry-looking brutes they 
were, with pink naked tails. I stopped on the point of throwing 
lumps of coral at them, out of curiosity to see what the vermin 
meant to do at the sea. Rat after rat picked a flattish lump of 
coral, squatted on the edge and dangled his tail in the water ; 
suddenly one rat gave a violent leap of about a yard, and as he 
landed, I saw a crab clinging to his tail. Turning round, the rat 
grabbed the crab and devoured it, and then returned to his stone ; 
the while the other rats were repeating the same performance. 
What on earth those rats did for fresh water, though, I don't know, 
as there was none on the island that I could see. 


AFTER about a week the Mizpah had filled the Siai with 
yams, plantains, and fresh vegetables for the disease- 
stricken prisoners at Samarai ; and Moreton and Judge 
Winter, having completed their court work, sailed away 
for that port. The Judge's parting words to me were : " Keep 
within touch of the mail schooner, Monckton ; the Mambare is 
going to claim a pound of corpse for every ounce of gold, and 
there will be vacancies enough for you before long." " Very 
good, sir," I said ; " pay me enough and feed me fairly, and I'll 
willingly furnish 150 lbs. of prospective corpse, when you need 
it" Then came Winter's slow smile : "You will be neither 
adequately paid nor decently fed in the Service, but, like the rest, 
you will come when called. Good-bye." Very sadly I watched 
the disappearing sails of the Siai ; and then turned rather 
disgustedly to my work and the society of my New Guinea boys 
and Billy, for another long period. 

We then tried sending the divers down in the deep channels 
surrounding the mud banks from which the natives collected their 
small pearl shell, in the hope of finding larger shell containing 
pearls. But we found the water was too muddy and disturbed 
for the ordinary diver to see the oysters ; the native skin-divers in 
the shallower water were able to feel them with their feet, and 
then scoop them into baskets. The heavy leaden-cased boots 
of the divers in dress, however, prevented this being done, and 
the few shells they obtained, by groping on the bottom with their 
hands, would not pay expenses. I then tried a new plan. Sending 
the three luggers to trade for native curios at Kavitari, with the 
idea that I might again sell them in Samarai, I commenced opera- 
tions with the dredging apparatus with which I have mentioned 
the Mizpah was fitted. This scheme would have worked well 
but for two reasons : the first, that the Mizpah was old and 
rotten ; the second, that the mud or sandy bottom, on which 
the pearl oysters lay, was studded with coral mushrooms and 

Our modui operandi was this. Working up to windward of 
the oyster-bearing bank, we used to cast the dredge overboard, 


and then, clapping on all sail, scud before the wind, dragging 
the dredge in the mud bclu'nd us. At intervals we would heave-to, 
haul up the dredge with its load of oysters, and repeat the process. 
Unfortunately, we would haul up about two or three dredge loads, 
and then, suddenly the dredge would land against a coral lump 
and bring the vessel to all standing. If the Mixpah had been 
new and strong she might have stood it, but as it was the straining 
opened her seams and made her leak like a sieve. The result of 
which was to convince me that unless I abandoned my dredging, 
I should have no Mizpah left under me. Some years afterwards 
my plan was attempted by a trader with several stoutly-built 
vessels ; but an Ordinance was passed by the New Guinea Legis- 
lative Council forbidding the fishing for the Trobriand species of 
pearl shell by means of dredging, for fear of clearing out the 
breeding ground of the oyster and thus destroying one of the 
staple foods of the natives. 

Upon this last failure, I summoned Billy and the luggers and 
we stood away for the Straits between Ferguson and Normanby 
Islands. Here, however, though we obtained a small quantity of 
shell of first-class quality, unusually large and clean, the water was 
so deep — twenty-three to twenty-five fathoms — that I did not 
care to continue working there. Here I made the acquaintance 
of a great friend of Moreton's, the Rev. William Bromilow of the 
Wesleyan Methodist Mission ; a splendid type of man and mission- 
ary, whose friendship I was to enjoy for many years. The 
Mission Station is built on the island of Dobu, an extinct 
volcano ; the only evidence of volcanic action at this time being a 
hot spring bubbling up in the sea, over which small vessels used to 
anchor, to allow the hot water to boil the barnacles and weeds off 
their bottoms. The native yam gardens run right up and into the 
old crater of the volcano. Here the natives have a curious way of 
fishing, using kites which they fly from their canoes. The kites 
have long strings descending from them, ending in a bunch of 
tough cobweb. The cobweb dancing over the surface of the 
water attracts the fish, which, snapping at it, get their teeth 
entangled in its tough texture and are thereupon secured by a man 
or small boy swimming from the canoe. 

I found at Dobu my old Chasseurs d'Afrique friend, Louis, 
settled down on a small island as a copra maker and trader. He 
told me that he was utterly tired of knocking about and had settled 
there to end his days ; he was making about ^5 per week at his 
business, and had got together a fine collection of pigs and poultry. 
Louis' days vi'ere to end, poor devil, sooner than he expected ; but 
that is later. He had a small fleet of canoes, which he sent out 
daily to buy cocoanuts, paying for them with trade tobacco ; he 
then manufactured the kernels into copra. When the natives' 


fishing failed, he dynamited fish and traded them instead of 
tobacco for cocoanuts ; when their fishing was good, and he had 
no demand for the catch, he salted and dried it and then disposed 
of it at native feast times. Louis begged me to join him, and 
settle down to a lotus-eating and untroubled life with enough for 
our wants, and no danger and worry. He said, " We will order 
a good cutter for our trading, have plenty of papers, books, tobacco, 
and wine of the best, and when I die, you can take the business." 
" That's all very fine, Louis," I said ; " but how old are you ? " 
" Fifty-seven," replied Louis. " Well and good," I remarked, 
" but you are over thirty years ahead of me ; your life has been 
lived, while mine has just begun ! What would you have said 
thirty odd years ago, when you were a young soldier, if a similar 
proposition had been made to you ? " " I should have said, God 
damn ! not I 1 " said Louis. "Well, Louis," I replied, "I am 
afraid that must be my answer to you now." The time came 
when I weighed anchor and left Dobu, taking, as a parting present 
from Louis, a large native pot full of eggs, a dozen clucking fowls, 
a squealing porker for my crew, and a most ornate French tie-pin, 
which some one in Samarai afterwards stole. Poor Louis ! the 
next time I met him was in the hospital at Thursday Island, he 
having blown off his fore-arm in dynamiting fish. He had been 
taken to Samarai in the Mission vessel, and from there sent on to 
Thursday Island in the Merr'ie Englafid. 

From Dobu we sailed south and rounded Normanby Island 
finding everywhere, in likely pearl-shell localities, shell of a size 
and quality better than any other in the world, but water too 
deep for us to work it successfully. The shell alv/ays lay at a 
depth varying from twenty-eight to thirty fathoms ; a depth that, 
however tempting the outlook, simply spelt suicide on the part or 
the diver volunteering to work it, and manslaughter on the part 
of the owner sending him below. From the south end of 
Normanby Island we stood north to Cape Vogel on the mainland, 
sounding and prospecting the bottom all the way, but with no 
payable results. At Cape Vogel, or lasa lasi as the natives call it, 
an epidemic of influenza attacked the Malays and Billy, leaving 
my New Guinea boys and myself the only effective members or 
our little fleet. Finding, therefore, that for a short time my work- 
ing vessels — the three luggers — were useless, I left them at anchor 
at lasa lasi and stood north again with the Mizpahy intending to 
explore the little-known regions of the north-east coast for signs 
of pearl shell. This coast of New Guinea was then regarded by 
traders — and in fact by all Europeans — as a wild region inhabited 
by savage cannibals and unsafe to touch upon, much less trade with. 
The navigation of its waters was also regarded, and rightly so, as 
highly dangerous. Odd ships, heavily armed, such as men-of-war 



and the Alerr'w Englandy had touched at certain points but had really 
made no permanent impression ; and the natives of the coast were 
therefore practically in the same state as they had been prior to 
the advent of the fZuropcan. 

Some twelve miles north of Cape Vogel wc discovered a large 
island-studded harbour with a deep water entrance, called by the 
natives Pusa Pusa ; this harbour is about twelve square miles in 
extent, it is marked on no chart, but is probably the best natural 
harbour on this coast of New Guinea. The Mizpah was the 
first European vessel to enter it, and in fact its existence had not 
been suspected before. Some years later, when I was Resident 
Magistrate of the North-Eastern Division, I piloted the Merrie 
England into it through the deep-water chaimel. The Commander 
and the ship's officers spoke in high praise of it as an anchorage 
and harbour, but the then Governor, Sir George Le Hunte, 
summed it up in these words : " An admirable place for explora- 
tion by steam launch, slowly, however, filling up by deposit of mud 
from rivers." With all due respect for vice-regal sapience, I beg 
now to remark that — Firstly, there are no rivers flowing into Pusa 
Pusa Harbour ; secondly, the bottom consists of coral sand and is 
subject to great scour ; and thirdly, the value of a harbour lies in its 
safety for shipping and not in its suitability for a scenic or picnic 
resort. Pusa Pusa is the only harbour existing between China 
Straits and Cape Nelson where ships of large tonnage can lie in 
safety. Its entrance is masked by islands, hence ships by the 
dozen may sail past without having any idea of what lies behind 
them ; only a prowling pearl-hunting vessel such as mine was 
likely to nose her way into the entrance. i* ' 

As we sailed in we came suddenly upon a few natives camped 
upon the beach of a small island, with whom — after a little difficulty 
— we established trading relations, and from whom I purchased 
several fine specimens of gold-lip shell, which they told me they 
had found washed up on the beach. In this place every indication 
pointed to shell : namely, strong tidal scours in narrow passages, 
sandy coral-studded bottom and quantities of the submarine plant, 
which divers maintain grows only where pearl shell is to be 

From Pusa Pusa we fled back as fast as sail could drive us to 
lasa lasi to fetch the luggers, only to find that they were still 
incapable of moving — much less working. During the absence of 
the Mixpahy a wandering pearl-fishing lugger, owned by a man 
called Silva, had joined them, he having come to discover what we 
were doing. Finding my own boats hors de combat^ I told Silva 
of my discovery of Pusa Pusa and asked him to come and prospect 
the harbour, suggesting that, if we found anything worth having, 
we should work it together and keep its discovery secret. Silva 


protested for some time, saying that he did not like the north- 
east coast at all, and had only come to the point at which we 
were tJicn lying in the hope of discovering what my boats were 
doing ; he finally, however, consented to venture into Pusa Pusa 
providing the Mizpah went with him. Accordingly the Alizpah 
and Silva's lugger sailed for that harbour, while the Ada^ Hornet^ 
and Cur/eiu remained at lasa lasi awaiting the convalescence of 
their crews or further orders from me. 

On arrival at Pusa Pusa, Silva donned the diving dress and 
descended, only to ascend in about ten minutes, holding a large 
shell in his hand and gesticulating to have his helmet removed. 
He said that it was a good shell bottom, promising very well 
indeed, but that immediately on descending he had met a groper 
larger than any he had ever seen, and he would prefer to remain on 
deck until the fish had had time to remove itself. Half an hour 
elapsed, Silva descended again, and almost immediately signalled, 
" Pull me up." Pulled up accordingly he was ; he then complained 
that he had met a shark, and that — though as a general rule he did 
not mind sharks — this particular one was longer than the Mizpahy 
and he thought he preferred to be on deck ! Again we waited 
perhaps an hour, and again Silva descended, and again came the 
urgent signal, " Pull me up." Upon his helmet being removed, 
he at once demanded, with many oaths, that his whole dress 
should be taken off; and then, seizing a tomahawk, he de- 
claimed : " The first time I went down in this blank place I 
met a groper, the next time I met a shark as big as a ship, the last 

time there was a alligator, and if any man likes to say there is 

shell here I'll knock his brains out with this tomahawk ! " A 

hero of romance would now have donned the dress and descended, 
but I freely confess that I — as an amateur — was not game to take 
on a work that a professional diver threw up as too dangerous. 

Doubtless Silva's rage was increased by the extraordinary effect 
air pressure has upon a man's temper when diving. A diver may 
be in a perfectly amiable mood with all the world while the dress 
is being fitted on, but the moment the face glass is screwed home 
— the signal for starting the air pump — he begins to feel a little 
grievance or irritation ; as he descends, this feeling increases until 
he is in a perfect fury of rage against every one in general and 
usually one individual in particular. After that, he spends his 
time in wondering how soon the dress can be taken off in order 
that he may half-kill that particular person, usually the tender, for 
some wholly imaginary offence. Another peculiar fact is, that the 
moment the face glass is removed and he breathes the ordinary air 
— even though he may have come up boiling with rage against 
some special individual — the bad temper evaporates like magic and 
he wonders what on earth caused his anger. This has invariably 


been my experience, and other divers have told me they have felt 
the same sensations. Tliere is usually a perpetual feud betvi'een 
tlie diver on the bottom and the men on deck working the air 
pump. The diver always w;ints sufficient air to keep his dress 
distended and also to keep himself bobbing about on the bottom ; 
if lie gets too mucli he can let it pass away, by releasing the valve 
of his helmet ; if he gets too little, he can signal for more, but there 
is no tug signal on the life-line for less air. 

A diver's helmet is really not a helmet in the ordinary accepta- 
tion of the term, but is a small air chamber firmly bolted to the 
corselet and incapable of movement from any volition on his part. 
He simply turns his head inside it and looks through either side or 
front glasses, exactly as a man looks through a window. A 
diver's most real danger is probably tlie risk he rvuis of being 
drowned when on his way to the surface, and it occurs in this 
way. After a time the best of diving dresses becomes leaky to a 
more or less extent, and the water that finds its way through, 
settles about the feet and legs. Divers become quite accustomed 
to having their dresses filled with water up to the knees and even 
to the thigh ; the water is no inconvenience to them whilst 
upright on the bottom, and they are very rarely conscious of it. 
Well, suppose a diver has his dress full of water to the knees or 
thighs; as he ascends, he may involuntarily or by accident allow 
his body to assume a horizontal position, in which case the water 
at once rushes into the helmet, overbalances him, /'./'. really stands 
him on his head, and drowns him inside his dress. 

In a diving dress every beat of the air pump is perfectly 
audible to the diver, and any irregularity or alteration of the pace, 
at which the air-pump wheels are turned, is to him irritating in 
the extreme — an irritation he invariably works off by signalling 
for more air and thus increasing the manual labour at the pumps. 
It takes four men, straining hard, to keep a diver properly 
supplied with air at any depth over twenty fathoms. One of the 
greatest discomforts a diver has in the tropics is the smell of warm 
oil, more or less rancid, with which the pumps charge his air ; I 
have had to struggle hard to prevent being sick, and I leave to the 
imagination the beastly situation of a man, with his head confined 
in a small helmet, overcome by nausea ! Another exasperating 
thing is the scroop made by a grain of sand or grit getting into the 
plunger of the air pump, which is only comparable to the feeling 
caused by a drop of water falling upon one's head at regular 

Apart from the noise of the pump beats, communicated 
through the air pipe — which, by the way, is rather comforting, as 
it shows one is not completely cut off from the upper world — the 
under seas seem absorbed in extreme silence and gloom, and 


unless one is in a current or tide, in a sort of unholy calm. One 
of the things which appear as most remarkable is the lessening 
of the weight of objects in the water ; for instance, a fully 
accoutred diver can hardly waddle on the deck of his ship, but as 
he descends, his weight seems to become less and less until he can 
bob about in a fairy-like manner on the bottom. The same lessen- 
ing of weight applies equally to inanimate objects ; and it is a 
common trick, when competing vessels are working upon a small 
patch of shell, for the diver of one of them to pull his rival's anchor 
out of the ground and tangle its anchor round the fluke, with the 
result, that the vessel drifts off with the tide or the wind, towing 
her diver after her. A lot of time is thus wasted in pulling him 
up and working back against tide or wind to her old station. 

I have spoken of pulling up a diver ; this is not literally true, 
as a diver really ascends of his own volition, by closing his 
helmet's air valve and thus blowing out his dress with air. The 
" pulling in," when the water is calm, merely consists of taking 
up the slack of the air pipe and line and, when there is a tide or 
current, of hauling him along the surface to his vessel. Great 
care has to be exercised by him in coming to the surface, as, should 
his ascent be too fast, he may smash his helmet on the bottom of 
his boat or lugger. The usual way is in a half-lying position on 
the back and with one hand on the air valve, watching carefully 
for the light near the surface, and for the shadow of the vessel's 
hull. Occasionally, though it very rarely happens, a diver's air 
valve sticks ; in which case, he at first rises slowly from the 
bottom, but as the pressure of the water decreases, the pace of his 
ascent increases, until at last he is rising at such a pace that he 
shoots violently above the surface. The first thing that shows 
those on board the lugger what is happening is a splash, and the 
sight of the diver floundering about on the surface nearly suffocated 
by pressure of air. 

From Pusa Pusa, the Mizpah and Silva's boat returned to 
lasa lasi ; and when I had rejoined my luggers, Silva sailed away 
for Sudest, being by this time quite convinced that nothing was 
to be gained by shadowing my boats. 1 found that my crews were 
at last recovering, and departed with them for the islands of Tubi 
Tubi and Basilaki. On the way we called in at Awaiama Bay on 
the coast of the mainland, in order to replenish our fresh-water 
supply, the water obtainable at Cape Vogel being brackish and 
disagreeable to the taste. Here I found Moreton with the Stai ; 
he was engaged in buying land from the natives for a man named 
Oates. New Guinea lav/ did not permit the sale of land by 
natives to any other than the Crown ; the Crown could then 
transfer to the European applicant. Oates had come up from 
Sydney in a cutter of some twenty tons burthen, accompanied by his 


wife and family, which consisted of a son and daughter, aged re- 
spectively about fourteen and seventeen, their intention being to 
start a cocoanut plantation. He had formerly been the master 
of the Albert McLaren^ the Anglican Mission vessel ; but this 
latest speculation of his was not fated to turn out well. The first 
thing tliat happened was that his daughter became disgusted with 
the prospect, and, on the family visiting Samarai, she took the first 
opportunity of departing for Sydney, where I believe she married a 
draper and, I trust, found life happier than she had in New Guinea. 
Tiicn his wife died and was buried by the son, as Oates himself 
was delirious at the time with malarial fever and all the native 
servants had fled. Finally Oates died also, and the unhappy boy 
had to bury him as well. This boy, Ernest Oates, afterwards 
entered the service of Whitten Brothers and eventually became 
manager of their branch at Buna Bay, and he was still in that 
position when I finally left New Guinea. After a most strenuous 
ten years, he was endeavouring to scrape together enough money 
to start a small business of his own in Sydney — something quiet 
and contemplative, like growing mushrooms. 

I remember, some years after the death of his parents, an ex- 
traordinary performance on the part of this lad. He was then 
stationed by Whitten Brothers at the mouth of the Kumusi River 
as their agent, and had charge of a receiving store for goods landed 
at that port, which had to be sent up the river to Bogi, a mining 
camp. With the exception of a few Samarai boys, Ernest Oates 
was absolutely alone, living surrounded by some thousands of par- 
ticularly dangerous natives. He possessed two fire-arms, one, a 
Winchester repeating rifle, for which he had a large store of 
cartridges ; the other, an old Snider with only some half-dozen 
charges. By some means or other, he broke the lock of his Win- 
chester, and therefore was left with the weapon for which he had 
practically no ammunition. At this time a large alligator collared 
several pigs from near the store and narrowly missed securing odd 
boys of his. Whilst Oates was sitting on his verandah one even- 
ing, he noticed the alligator crawl out on a mud bank and, with 
its mouth wide open, proceed to go to sleep. As he did not wish 
to use one of his sparse supply of cartridges, the idea occurred to 
him of creeping over the mud and throwing a dynamite cartridge 
down the reptile's throat. No sooner did the thought come than 
it was acted upon ; crawling over the mud he got, unperceived, to 
within a few feet of the saurian and, standing up, hurled his cart- 
ridge. Unfortunately, as he threw the explosive, his feet burst 
through the hard, sun-baked crust of mud, and he sank to the 
waist with a plop and a yell ; his boys, who were keenly interested 
spectators, dashed to his assistance, but with little hope of reaching 
him before the alligator. Luckily, however, he had attached a 


very short fuse to his charge, and the dynamite exploded, wound- 
ing the reptile's tail and causing it to turn round and snap at an 
imaginary new enemy. This allowed Oates' boys to come up, 
drag him from his hole, and drive off the alligator with their 

Oates' father, " Captain " Oates as he was usually called, once 
gave me the peculiar pleasure — as a magistrate — of receiving a 
complaint about myself. I was relieving Moreton at the time as 
Resident Magistrate at Samarai, and had been engaged, to the 
common knowledge of all traders and labour recruiters, in a 
punitive expedition to Goodenough Island. Having finished my 
work there, I took the Siai across to Cape Vogel with the 
intention of searching for unsigned or kidnapped boys, by running 
unseen down the coast in the night and boarding any labour 
vessels I might find bound for the Mambare gold-fields, either 
rounding or anchored off East Cape. Labour vessels had a trick 
of starting their little games when the cat in the shape of the Siai 
— or B/ack Maria as their owners called her — was safely cut 
of the way. 

It was a rough boisterous night, dark as the inside of a black 
cow, and blowing nearly a full gale ; the Siai was showing no 
lights as I did not want her seen, nor did I want her movements 
reported by the natives ; and as she was crowded with men, I could 
afford to carry on sail until the last minute, which I accordingly 
did. Passing Awaiama we sighted the lights of a vessel hove-to 
outside the harbour, and, as we ran close down to her, there came 
a brilliant flash of lightning from behind us, which for a moment 
illuminated her like day, and allowed us to identify her as Oates' 
cutter, the Rock Lily ; whereupon we sheered off and passed her at 
about sixty feet distance. At East Cape I found no vessels, and 
accordingly went on into Samarai. 

Two days later Oates arrived and, coming into the Court 
House, told me he had a complaint to make about a strange ship. 
" Two nights ago," said he, " I_was hove-to off Awaiama : the 
night was dark and the weather so rough that I did not care to 
move either towards Samarai or back into the harbour. My lights 
were burning well, when suddenly there came a flash of lightning, 
and by it I saw a black schooner ; I could see thirty feet of her 
keel out of water, your worship, and she was then setting a top- 
sail ! It's the mercy of God I was not run down ; she had no 
lights, and I want her found and her captain fined." I sympathized 
greatly with Oates, and sent to the Subcollector of Customs for 
a list of vessels which had entered the harbour during the past two 
days ; naturally the officer never dreamt of including the Govern- 
ment vessel in the list, for, in the first instance, her movements did 
not concern him, and, in the second, he knew that as she carried 


me, I must know as much or more about her than he did. Oates 
scanned the list of luggers, cutters, and Mission boats, but there 
was no black schooner of the description he gave. "Captain 
Oates," I said, "are you certain it was not a nightmare you 
had?" Oates choked with indignation. "She was four times 
the size of any vessel on this coast; my whole crew saw her and 
got the fright of their lives. Devil, even a binnacle light she 
carried." " Very good. Captain Oates," I said ; "you see we can 
get no information about her from the Customs, but I will under- 
take that we will bring your mysterious craft to book the first time 
the Siai finds her ; it is a very serious offence for a merchant ship 
to sail without lights." 

From Awaiama we sailed for the Conflict Group, a circle of 
small islands surroundins; a lagoon of a few miles in circumference. 
These islands were afterwards purchased from the Crown by a 
man named Wickham, who intended to use the lagoon for the 
propagation of sponges, and the island for cocoanut growing. I 
don't know what sort of success he made of the cocoanut growing, 
but I doubt if the sponges could have proved profitable, as Arbouine 
told me that the sponge trade was entirely in the hands of a small 
corporation of Jews, by whom they were bought at their own 
price and sold again wholesale at whatever amount they liked to 
fix. The high prices paid by the users of large sponges of fine 
quality are not due to the cost of fishing for them, nor to the 
expense entailed in their preparation, but are created simply by the 
ring. I believe, however, that the curing of the finer quality of 
sponges is a trade secret possessed only by the corporation, but I 
can see no reason why an expert chemist should not discover a 
process equally good, as it really only consists of bleaching the 
fibrous tissue of the half-animal, half-vegetable sponge. 

My boats did not linger long at the Conflict Group, as there 
was nothing in our line there, so accordingly we went on to Tubi 
Tubi, where again we found that, though the reefs abounded 
in an infinite variety of wondrously beautiful shells and beche- 
de-mer, shells of the sort we were seeking were conspicuous 
by their absence, with the exception of a few of the black-lip 

Beche-de-mer is a sort of sea slug, ranging in size from six 
inches to two feet in length, and from one to six inches in diameter. 
It is highly prized by the Chinese, who use it for soup making : 
considerable quantities, however, are now used in London, Paris, 
and Queensland for the same purpose. The fish lies like a Bologna 
sausage on the bottom, and is easily brought to the surface by 
naked divers ; it varies in value from ^^200 per ton downwards 
according to the size, variety, and skill displayed in curing. The 
curing is really a very simple matter : should the operation be done 


on board, the fish or slugs are simply thrown into a four-hundred- 
gallon tank set in brickwork upon the deck and boiled vigorously 
in their own juice for a couple of hours ; they are then smoked 
like a ham in a smoke-house for a night. They come on board 
flabby gelatinous objects, unsightly to the eye and loathly to the 
touch ; they go away packed in sacks, hard little objects like lumps 
of perished india-rubber. The liquor exuded by boiling bcche-de- 
mer has peculiar properties : it will burnish copper until it becomes 
like gold, and should clothes be dipped in it before being washed, 
it will remove every particle of grease or dirt, leaving them, after 
washing, like the finished work of a good French laundress. The 
most valuable variety of beche-de-mer, at the time I write of, was 
the " teat " fish, so called from having two peculiar rows of teat- 
like excrescences along the belly ; it should not have been the 
most valuable, as the red fish had at one time been more 
appreciated by the Chinamen ; but they were now regarded with 
suspicion, as several of their people had been poisoned from par- 
taking of that particular delicacy. Slander said, that Nicholas the 
Greek had caused the deaths and spoilt the market for red fish by 
boiling a quantity of them in a copper boiler. 

From Tubi Tubi we ran close by the islands of Basilaki and 
Sariba to Samarai, having little luck on the way. The Basilaki 
natives had a somewhat unpleasant experience prior to the Pro- 
clamation of a Protectorate by the British Government over the 
southern portion of New Guinea. They had cut out a trading 
vessel and murdered the crew, with the result that a man-of-war, 
the name of which I have now forgotten, was sent to punish them. 
Upon the appearance of the warship they fled into the bush, where 
the sailors were unable to follow them. In order to inflict some 
punishment, the ship shelled the principal village, doing, however, 
no real harm to the thatched huts ; several of the shells also failed 
to explode as they pitched upon the soft coral sand. As time went 
on, a great feast was held in that village, and the old shells, picked 
up by the natives, were used instead of stones to support the 
extra cooking pots. Gaily the natives danced, well were the fires 
stoked, until suddenly the explosion of three or four twelve- 
pounder (or heavier) shells spread devastation amongst the packed 
natives. The manes of the murdered crew may have waited long 
for revenge, but when it did come, it certainly arrived in a whole- 
sale way. 

On arrival in Samarai I paid off my luggers and Billy, which 
left me with a bare fiver to pay off the Mizpah^s crew, each 
individual member of which was entitled to that amount ; and the 
Mizpah, after my unsuccessful cruise, was so mortgaged that I 
could not hope to obtain any money on her. I called my New 
Guinea boys together and explained the difficulty. " All right," 


said my coxswain, " you pay me oft' before the Government 
officer and Fll give vou the money back, then you can pay off^ the 
next man and he will do tlie same, and so on until we are clear 
of the Government and can sail in search of money somewhere." 
This I did, and, at the end, still possessed the odd five pounds I had 
paid them off with ; then they all signed on again with me for 
another voyage. There was at that time no fee to be paid for 
either signing a crew on or off". 

About this time an awful hurricane struck the islands, wrecking 
and sinking many ships, amongst others the Nabua^ a new vessel 
chartered by Burns, Philp and Co., laden with copra and bound for 
Samarai. This vessel was somewhere north of East Cape when 
struck by the hurricane ; the crew, terrified by the fury of the 
storm, let go the anchors when ofiF the coast, and finally abandoned 
her. They then came into Samarai, reporting that she had been 
swamped and had sunk at anchor — a story which was accepted by 
all. I, however, had my doubts about this ; and when Burns, 
Philp and Co., as agents for Lloyds' underwriters, put her up for 
sale at auction, I made the one and only bid of five pounds — my 
last five pounds — for the hull and cargo, and she was knocked 
down to me for that amount. 

After buying the Nahua^ I left in the Mizpah for the locality 
where she was supposed to have foundered, and then got into 
communication with the coastal natives. " You remember the 
big wind of a few days ago ? " I asked. " Yes," was the reply. 
" You saw a vessel at anchor off the shore, a vessel that sank 
during the gale ? " " Yes," again was the answer. " Is there 
any rock near where she anchored ? " " Certainly," came the 
reply ; " we will show it you for payment." For a pound of 
tobacco they piloted the M'lxpah until we were over a rock 
shaped like a pinnacle or sugar loaf, which was submerged about 
two fathoms, but which would in rough weather and a heavy sea 
have only about two feet upon it. " I thought so," I said to 
myself; "a strong new vessel such as the Nabua^ with her hatches 
battened down and laden with a light bulky cargo like copra, 
never would have been swamped at anchor ; she must have cracked 
a plank and have been sunk by a leak." My boys dived near the 
rock and reported that there was an anchor with a chain attached, 
leading into water too deep for them to descend into. 

Hastily I sailed back into Samarai, stirred up a drunken ship's 
carpenter named Niccols — who was also a good diver — and 
induced two friends of his, who owned trading luggers, to 
accompany me back to raise the Nabua. As I had no money, I 
made the bargain that they should get fifty pounds apiece if we 
raised the vessel, and nothing if we failed. Back accordingly we 
went. Harry Niccols descended, and coming up announced he 


had found the Nabua lying on a shelf on the bottom leading into 
deep water, and held there by her anchor. The tide apparently, 
after the gale had subsided, had drifted her away from the rock, 
upon which she had struck, in a seaward direction. With the 
exception of one plank smashed under her counter, Harry reported 
she was uninjured, and he also said that she was palpably light 
from the nature of her cargo and consequently easy to lift. After 
getting the luggers over her, Harry descended again and made fast 
our anchor chains to her chain plates, and then with small 
difficulty we lifted her with our winches, until she was awash 
between the two luggers. Just then the Merric England hove in 
sight round the point, and seeing us, she dropped her launch, which 
came puffing alongside with a letter from Judge Winter asking me 
to go on board at once. I guessed that the Judge wanted to take 
me off somewhere, and I accordingly impressed upon Harry 
Niccols and the lugger owners the immediate necessity of beaching 
our recovered vessel and mending her plank before taking her to 
Samarai ; this they promised to do. 

The work for which the Judge wanted me kept me away for 
six weeks ; I was, however, congratulating myself mean while upon 
the fact that, when I went again to Samarai, I should have the 
proceeds of the sale of a valuable vessel and cargo to collect from 
Burns, Philp and Co. My hopes were doomed to be dashed to 
the ground, for, when I eventually reached Samarai, Mr, Arbouine 
knew nothing about my salvaged ship. On finding Harry 
Niccols, that worthy told me that they had got the Nabua up 
safely, and had nailed some canvas over the hole in her stern and 
pumped her out ; then, as they were on the point of beaching 
her to repair her plank, a trading cutter came in sight, from 
which — in the joy of their hearts at having so easily made fifty 
pounds a man — they had bought a keg of rum, upon which all 
hands had got drunk. Whilst still under the influence of liquor 
they had decided to sail for Samarai with the unmended Nabua 
fastened between the two luggers. In China Straits they had got 
into a tide rip and had been compelled to release the Nabua in 
order to save the luggers from foundering, whereupon she had of 
course filled and sunk in deep water. I accordingly lost my ship, 
and they, their fifty pounds ; the damned fools had never even 
landed her cargo, which was worth twelve pounds per ton, and 
would have paid us handsomely for our work and trouble. 

At Samarai I found some money remitted to me from New 
Zealand, sufficient to pay off my New Guinea boys and allow me 
a holiday to that country ; so to New Zealand I accordingly went 
via Port Moresby, Yule and Thursday Islands. 


I MADE a portion of my return voyage to New Zealand in 
the Myrtle ; and her first place of call was at Yule Island, 
where she stopped to load a cargo of sandalwood. Large 
quantities of this timber were at that time exported to 
China by a man named Hunter, who was then commonly known 
as " The Sandalwood King " ; he was making thousands of 
pounds a year, counted his employees by hundreds, owned several 
small vessels and many mule and horse teams. The miles of 
roads he made through the forest — in order to bring out his 
timber — would have been regarded as a credit to any ordinary 
civil engineer ; as a matter of fact, they were then the only roads 
worth calling such in New Guinea. 

Hunter had as a rival in his timber business — if a man could 
be called a rival who got in a year about as much sandalwood 
as Hunter got in a day — a Frenchman known as " Brother John," 
a jovial fat person looking like the typical old friar. Brother 
John had been a lay brother attached to the Sacred Heart Mission 
at Mekeo, and he had, I regret to say, been smiled upon by the 
Papuan girl who did his washing, and, sadder still, he returned the 
smile. Time went on, until one day the girl's parents appeared 
at the Mission, hauling along their erring daughter ; they pre- 
sented her to a scandalized monastery, drew particular attention 
to her figure, and asked what the Mission was going to do about it. 
Brother John was immediately expelled from the lay brotherhood 
of the order and commanded to marry the girl, which he did at 
once. Over this little incident some little time afterwards he 
scored rather badly off the Governor or Chief Justice, one of whom 
met him and, shaking his head, said reprovingly, " I am sorry to 
hear of your fall. Brother John." " Fall, Monseigneur," said 
Brother John, " fall ! Why, before I was only ze bruzzer, now 
I am ze fazzer ! " 

From Yule Island the Myrtie sailed with every available foot 
of space "rrammed full of the pleasant-smelling wood, as it seemed 
to me at first ; even her deck had a great pile stacked on it. For 
a day or so one continued to like the scent, then it got into one's 
hair, into the ship's water, into one's clothes and food, in fact into 
everywhere and in everything j until one fairly loathed it, and 


rushed to poke one's head to windward for a few minutes' sniff of 
the clean salt sea. A guano vessel stinks, a ship loaded with 
copra smells of rancid oil, but a boat laden with sandalwood 
cloys and sickens the senses more than either. I was told that 
the greater part of the sandalwood imported into China is used 
in the manufacture of joss sticks and incense, and for making 
sandalwood oil ; whether this is true or not I do not know. 

At Thursday Island I bade farewell to the schooner Myrtle ; 
for she, having transhipped her cargo to a China steamer, returned 
to New Guinea, and I took up my quarters in one of the hotels, 
to wait with what patience I possessed for a south-bound steamer. 
Thursday Island is — or rather was — the centre of the pearling 
industry, and is one of the most God-forsaken holes I know of; 
there is absolutely nothing to do in the place to kill time. With 
the exception of a few soldiers, Government officials, professional 
and business men, and pearl vessel owners, the population consists 
of a miscellaneous collection of Japanese, Chinese, Malays, 
Kanakas, Queensland aborigines, and general crossbreds and 
mongrels from the Lord knows where. 

There has been for some years past considerable discussion in 

the Australian Parliament and the Press as to whether Northern 

Australia can, or ever will, be fully occupied by Australian or 

European people. One has only to give a glance at the white 

women, or purely white children, dwelling in Thursday Island, 

Cairns, or northward from there, to see the question answered ; 

women and children alike — pale, listless, and anaemic — show plainly 

the need for constant change to a cool and bracing climate. It is 

sheer inhumanity to expect a child-bearing woman in the tropics 

to perform any but the lightest of domestic duties, and if these 

duties cannot be done by the women, then they must be performed 

by native domestic servants. Australia, however, does not possess 

an indigenous native population sufficient for the supply of this 

want — or suitable, if sufficient — and as the Government has closed 

its doors to the admission of Papuans or Melanesians — both highly 

suitable races for the purpose — it naturally follows that a fitting 

class of white men will never settle or take their families there. 

No country has, as yet, been populated by men married to women 

of native races or half-breeds. I have frequently heard the 

argument used in Australia, that the white man is as good a 

worker as the native anywhere, and under any conditions. I do 

not agree with this ; but even accepting it as true, the fact 

remains that, in the tropics, the white woman is not capable of 

hard work and should not be asked to do it. Shortly, therefore, 

my contention is this : if Northern Australia is to be populated 

by a white race, the men must take their white wives with them ; 

and they can only do that if allowed to make especially favourable 


conditions for them by the aid of native servants. No law — not 
even one made by an Australian Labour Government — can alter 
the natural laws governing tlie distribution of the climates of the 
earth, or the disabilities of sex. 

The Australasian Parliament suffers from a chronic state of 
nervous dread of the East ; and it is likely to continue to do so, 
as long as it pursues the dog-in-the-manger policy of keeping a 
vast country unoccupied. The best thing Australia can do with 
the Northern Territory is to combine its administration with that 
of New Guinea, under the Crown Colony system of Government, 
and permit the introduction of native labour from New Guinea — 
at any rate for domestic service or work on the plantations. 

Upon the arrival of the China steamer Changsha^ I gladly 
shook the dust of Thursday Island from my boots, sailing in her 
for the South. 

When I reached New Zealand I employed my spare time for 
some months in studying navigation and surgery, whilst I built up 
my health in preparation for a fresh venture to New Guinea. 
Here I met again my old friend, Richard Burton. Burton was 
some years older than myself and, up to that time, had lived a 
mixed sort of life : educated at Eton, he had then harried his 
parents into sending him to sea, and had made one voyage to 
Australia and back in a sailing ship ; disgusted with that, he had 
passed into Sandhurst ; not rinding that to his liking, he was 
removed by his parents and sent to the College of Agriculture at 
Cheltenham, after which he had come to New Zealand and 
started sheep farming. A crack shot, a fine boxer and fencer, 
afraid of nothing that either walked, flew or swam, and crammed 
with a vast lore of out-of-the-way knowledge, I was more than 
pleased when he volunteered to accompany me back to New 
Guinea. Burton gave me news of Sylvester who had gone with 
me on my first trip, and of whom I had heard nothing since he 
left me at Woodlarlc Island. After leaving there he had suffered 
severely from protracted bouts of malaria, and had gone home ot 
England, where, whilst paying a visit to Longner Hall, Burton's 
home in Shropshire, he had become engaged to marry the latter's 
sister, and meditated, after the marriage, returning to New 
Zealand to take up sheep farming. 

The scheme Burton and I agreed upon was to go to Sydney 
and there purchase a small sailing vessel, ship as a crew a few 
Kanakas — if we could get them — load the vessel with mining 
gear, and go and work the reef, or rather porphery leader, which 
had been buried by Brady and myself in Wood lark Island. If 
that project failed — well, we should have a vessel under us, and 
British, Dutch or German New Guinea, the Solomon, Aru or 
Admiralty Islands, or, for that matter, the whole of the Malay 

K. !■■. 1.. nrKlON, E^n., ANH 1II> MollAN IK IVS 


Archipelago, to seek our fortunes in ; neither of us cared very 
much what we did or whither we went, provided there was 
something worth having at the end. We expected to find Brady 
somewhere in the islands and take him on with us. 

When we were on the eve of leaving New Zealand for 
Sydney, a man we both knew, named Alfred Cox, asked to he 
allowed to join us ; he had been a middy in the Royal Navy, but 
had been obliged to leave owing to a steadily increasing dcahicss, 
and since then had been farming in New Zealand. We were not 
at all keen on having him, as he was not a strong man, and he 
somehow or other contrived to smash one of his bones or other- 
wise damage himself at unpleasantly frequent intervals. He, how- 
ever, begged hard, and at last we consented to his throwing in his 
lot with us. 

Arriving in Sydney from New Zealand we inserted the 
following advertisement in the morning papers — not knowing the 
deluge it would bring down upon us : " Wanted to buy a schooner, 
cutter or ketch, between fifteen and thirty tons burden. Apply 
'B. M.,' Mctropole Hotel." On the afternoon of the day of 
publication of the papers. Burton and I were returning from 
a shopping expedition, during which we had been purchasing arms, 
ammunition, charts, instruments, chemicals, tools, etc., when we 
found the hall porter at the hotel endeavouring to stall ofF a 
mixed crowd of people all clamouring to see " B. M." Hastily we 
interfered ; and, taking them one by one, we arranged interviews 
with them at our gunsmith's shop. Broken-down tugs, worn-out 
coastal steamers, fishing boats, timber scows, vessels building, 
vessels to be built, all sorts and conditions were offered to us at 
exorbitant prices ; some of the owners and agents we sent off at 
once, the vessels of others we put on a list for private inspection, 
and in nine cases out of ten found the description widely 
different from the reality. 

Cox got bored with it all, for he thought we should never 
get a vessel at the rate we were going on ; and he suggested that 
he should go off and call upon Captain Anson of H.M.S. Orlando^ 
a friend of his, and borrow a carpenter or bo'sun's mate to assist 
us in our choice. To this course of action wc agreed and, having 
carried it out, Cox returned to tell us that Captain Anson's 
opinion was, that a man-of-war's man would be of no use to 
us, but that a man who owned a sail-making and ship-rigging 
business would be the very man for our purpose. The same man 
was once employed to bring a yacht from England to Australia ; 
by some misadventure or other he and his crew had run short of 
provisions, and had then eaten the cabin boy. How the master 
and crew escaped at their trial I don't know, probably upon some 
plea of self-preservation, but the fact was established that the 


cannibalism had taken place. Many years after we had met him, 
he fell the first victim in Australia to bubonic plague. Upon our 
presenting Captain Anson's card, he at once said he only knew of 
three vessels likely to suit us, and all were yachts ; we found one 
was too large and expensive, another was too small, whilst the 
third was a racing cutter of sixteen tons, named the Guinevere^ 
built in England of oak, copper fastened, and yawl rigged for 
cruising purposes. This vessel was now outclassed for racing, and 
had fallen into the hands of a money-lender named London, by 
whom she was used for card parties and pleasant little trips in 
the harbour. We were assured that the Guinevere was as sound 
and staunch as on the day she was built, and we accordingly 
bought her. 

We hauled the Guinevere upon to a slip for a general overhaul 
and refitting, and I took the opportunity of having her fitted with 
a powerful rotary pump, in addition to her own, my New 
Guinea experience having taught me the advantage of plenty of 
pumps. To this pump we owed our lives a great deal sooner 
than I expected. We left the slip, with every foot of our little 
vessel chock full of stores, tools, etc., and ran down to Watson's 
Bay at the mouth of Sydney harbour. There we joined a small 
fleet of sailing vessels all waiting for the lowering of a storm signal, 
then flying at the flagstaff. Among these vessels was a yawl 
named the Spray, owned and manned by a " Captain " Slocum — 
a Yankee — by whom she had been entirely built in America, and 
who was now engaged in the endeavour to sail her single-handed 
round the world. We had foregathered with Slocum, who told 
us he had just been visited by the master of the London Missionary 
Society's steamer, the John IVilliams, who, after having inspected 
his navigating instruments, amongst which was his chronometer, 
consisting of what he called a " one dollar watch," had remarked 
that he appeared to put a lot of trust in Providence. He then 
invited Slocum to lunch on board the John Williami, when with 
pride he exhibited that ship's numerous and splendid instruments 
and expensive chronometers ; Slocum gazed in admiration, and 
then drawled, '* Waal, Captain, I calculate you sky pilots don't put 
much faith in Providence I " 

We had failed to find any Kanakas for a crew \n Sydney, and 
we dared not attempt to ship white men, as the authorities asked 
many embarrassing questions as to certificates, objects of voyage, 
etc. ; fortunately the liberty of a yacht still clung to the 
Guinevere, and they did not apparently bother very much about 
the three owners. While we were lying in Watson's Bay, 
Burton received a cable telling him that his elder brother had 
broken his neck in the hunting field, and asking him to return 
home at once. He decided, however, not to leave me in the lurch. 


but to come on as far as Cooktown in North Queensland, where 
I could ship a black crew. We were still anchored there, when 
we were boarded by an official from a launch belonging to the 
Marine Board, by whom we were harried exceedingly, but whom 
we placated to a certain extent by means of mixed drinks ; he, 
however, refused to allow us to quit our anchorage without life- 
buoys, which we did not possess. Our money by this time was 
getting extremely short, so, accordingly. Burton and I interviewed 
our shipwright, who sold us some dummies good enough to pass 
the Marine Inspector. Then, storm signals or no storm signals, 
for fear of further interference, we decided to go to sea, where 
Marine Boards and shipping authorities worried not and we could 
go our way in peace. Apparently some of the other sailing 
vessels, ships of large tonnage, had become sick of waiting for the 
promised storm that never came, for about half a dozen of us left 
the harbour in rotation. 

Off Newcastle that night, however, a true " Southerly Buster '* 
hit us and, not knowing the harbour or the coast, we stood out to 
sea close-hauled. We had the devil of a time : first we lost our 
dingey, then when, as I calculated, we were about sixty miles off 
the coast, our jib and staysail went in rapid succession ; I was 
steering, lashed by my legs to cleats to prevent being washed 
overboard, and every time the cabin scuttle was opened a huge 
sea went below. It was impossible for either Burton or Cox to 
venture on deck,ifor, before they could possibly secure themselves, 
they were bound inevitably to go overboard, the Guinevere — like 
all racing vessels — having only a few inches of rail and no 
bulwarks ; in any case, they could do no good on deck. Upon 
the staysail going, Burton managed, at the imminent risk of his 
life, to crawl on deck for a few seconds to slack the main sheet, 
and so let me get the vessel before the wind ; hardly had he done 
so than a huge sea swept right over us, and fortunately, instead of 
taking him overboard, washed him down the scuttle. Half an 
hour later he poked up his head and yelled, " The cabin is half 
full of water which is rising fast ; if we don't pump we shall sink." 
Luckily the handle of the new pump was within reach of the 
scuttle, and Burton, wedging himself firmly in the opening, seized 
the brake, and for some hours just kept pace with the inflowing 
water ; then the pump choked, and the water steadily rose in the 
cabin. We did not bother very much about this, for the mainsail 
was tearing from its ropes, and we knew that when that went, it 
was only a matter of a few minutes before we broached-to and 
were smashed into fragments by the seas. 

At last with a tearing bang the mainsail went, and I thought 
we were gone too ; it was too dark to see, one could only hear. 
The vessel gave a horrid deadly sort of sideways lurch, and then 



instinctively I met it with the hehn and found, to my amazement, 
that she still kept steerage way, and was running on as though 
under sail ; and so she ran for an hour, when dawn hroke, and I 
saw that our blown-out mainsail was jambed across her mast and 
rigging, and was acting as a square-sail. Cox then steered, while 
Burton and I securely lashed the sail in the position it then was; 
that done, we turned our attention to the pumps, for the Guinevere 
was half full of water. The first pump, her original one, we 
abandoned as hopeless after the first half-hour ; the other, the 
rotary one, we carefully took to pieces, as the whole water-raising 
part of the mechanism of the pump was on deck. We found in 
it some small chips of wood jambing the valves — chips left below 
decks by the carpenters working at her on the slip ; cleaning 
these we soon had the pump working, and two hours' toil gave us 
a dry ship again. Then, in spite of an enormous sea and a 
howling gale still blowing, we felt fairly hopeful, and settled 
down to a three days' fight, to bring our vessel again to a port to 
refit. At last we made Port Macquarie, telling a steamer that 
approached and wanted to tow us, to go to the devil, for we had 
awful visions before our eyes of claims for salvage. 

At Port Macquarie we signalled for a tug, and were soon 
safely at anchor in the river ; we here heard that a number of 
vessels had been wrecked at Newcastle during the gale, and found 
that we also had been reported as lost. The pilot and his boat's 
crew very kindly gave us a lot of help in refitting our rigging and 
sails, for which service they would take no payment. Here 
Cox — after getting into a row with the police for shooting at a 
flock of pelicans with a rifle, these birds being strictly protected — 
decided to return to New Zealand ; we soothed the police by 
explaining that anything Cox shot at was perfectly safe, the only 
thing likely to be hurt was something at which he was not 
shooting. Having completed our refitting, and Cox having 
departed in a sailing vessel for Sydney, Burton and I again went 
to sea. 

For a day or two we worked the Guinevere north in bad 
weather, and then, as Burton and myself were utterly worn out 
from want of sleep, we decided to run in and anchor near the 
Solitary Isles ; this we accordingly did, but unfortunately amongst 
a lot of rocks and shoals and in a very exposed position. The 
sailing directions described these waters as highly dangerous. 
About an hour before daylight the sea and wind got up, with the 
result that our anchor parted, whereupon we let go another, our 
only remaining one, and prayed that it wovdd hold until dawn. 
Daylight and our remaining anchor broke together, and we did a 
sort of steeplechase out to sea amongst cruel-looking rocks ; how 
we got the Guinevere through safely I don't know, for it was a 


job I should not like to tackle again with a full crew and steam 
under me ; certainly no vessel less nimble than a racing yacht 
could have managed it. We were now, however, without an 
anchor, and therefore it was necessary for us to make a port in 
order to get one. We did not like ports either, for fear of being 
prevented from going to sea again. An anchor, however, we must 
have, and accordingly we stood away for the Clarence River, 

We fell in on the way with the Spray and Captain Slocum, 
who hung on to us one night while he slept. The Spray was 
nearly as broad as she was long, immensely strong and almost 
unsinkable. Slocum/s usual method of navigation was to sail his 
boat all day, run off shore, heave-to, and sleep all night while his 
vessel bobbed about like a cork. A very strong southerly current 
on this coast had prevented him from doing this, as his ship lost 
nearly as much in the night as he had gained in the day. He 
had left Sydney some time after us and missed the storm, but he 
had not been delayed by calling at ports on the way. In the 
morning we parted from the Spray and Slocum, he to continue 
his voyage round the world — which, in passing, I may mention he 
successfully accomplished — and we to make the Clarence River. 
Heaving-to off" that river we signalled for an anchor, but the 
signalman chose to believe we had made a mistake and sent a tug 
out instead ; so accordingly we went into port, where we decided 
to remain for a day or two. 

Here we received a telegram from William Whitten, telling 
us a cutter he was taking to New Guinea had been wrecked on 
the coast, and asking us to wait for his arrival in a coastal steamer, 
after which he would come on with us.g We therefore waited, 
being only too glad to have additional hands. Whitten had seen 
the report of our arrival at the Clarence River in a telegram in 
the daily papers ; we did not at all approve of the', interest our 
movements now seemed to be exciting, and decided that, once we 
were clear of this port, we should touch nowhere again until we 
made Cooktown. Whitten appeared, accompanied by a seaman 
named Otto, whose surname I never knew ; we then unostenta- 
tiously slipped out to sea again, making rapid progress north, with 
Whitten and his man taking one watch and Burton and I the 

We made Cooktown without any further misadventure, but 
for one little incident, breaking the monotony of the trip ; that 
was a narrow escape we had of being piled up by Whitten on the 
coast one dark night, in consequence of his crediting the Guinevere 
with only doing eight knots an hour instead of nearly twelve. I 
happened to go on deck before dawn, and found Otto trying to 
persuade Whitten that a dark mass right ahead of us was land, 
while the latter maintained that it was impossible and must be 


cloud. I thought it was land, too, antl insisted upon standing out 
to sea again until dawn ; when dayliglit came tlicre, sure enough, 
was a high cape not more than a couple of miles off. Whitten 
had already piled up four vessels in the course of his career, 
through a mixture of recklessness and cocksurencss, he never 
believing in danger until too late. 

At Cooktowu we found the whole community preparing for 
wild junketings in celebration of the Queen's Jubilee, and the 
Warden invited IJurton and myself to participate ; the festivities 
were to culminate in a banquet at night. Cooktown is like all 
isolated hot towns in one respect, and that is, the inhabitants 
take very little interest in anything outside their own little 
parochial affairs, and, as most of them possess " livers," they 
accord inglv quarrel furiously : even when a man is of a peaceful 
jiaturc, his wife is not, and the rows of the woman involve tjie 
man. One had hardly been introduced to a man for half an hour 
before he was explaining what awful people so-and-so, and so-and- 
so were — his pet l>ctes noirs ; and, later on, one had a repetition of 
the same thing from so-and-so. The Warden told me, though, 
that at the great banquet all personal differences were to be buried 
for good : SubcoUector of Customs, Inspector of Police, bankers, 
merchants, parsons, doctors, lawyers, post and telegraph officials, 
schoolmasters and ship captains, in fact, all the rank and fashion 
of Cooktown were to foregather and coo like doves. 

The Warden was a very fine old fellow ; he had at one time 
been British Consul in Persia, and he was also the first man to 
hoist the British flag in New Guinea prior to the Proclamation 
of the Protectorate ; he was now over sixty, but his back was as 
straight and his step as firm as a man of half his years ; he was 
also full of quaint stories of the experiences of his youth in Persia 
and Arabia ; he possessed, however, a peppery temper and had a 
long-standing quarrel with one of the local celebrities. The 
hour of the banquet arrived and the guests assembled ; speeches 
were made, and toasts were drunk — many toasts and many speeches 
—and as the champagne mounted to excited brains a few quarrels 
began, but were always promptly suppressed by the Warden in 
his capacity of President, and each time we sang " God save the 
Queen." Burton leant over to me and whispered, "There is 
going to be a damned fine fight before this chivoo is over, there 
is too much bad blood among them for a tea-party," and I 
acquiesced. After the feasting was over and we had dispersed 
about the room, something seemed to occur which caused all the 
old feeling in the room to burst out ; the parsons fled through the 
door, the Warden seized his ancient foe by the neck and, throwing 
him on the floor, sat across his chest and bumped the man's head 
up and down, whilst every other man sought out his owq 


particular enemy and thumped him. Burton and I got quietly to 
one side and looked on ; the police arrived and peeped in, but, 
upon seeing their Chief and the Police Magistrate involved in the 
turmoil, discreetly withdrew. At last peace was restored, and 
the guests at Cooktown's historical banquet departed to their 
several homes, while Burton and I went off to the Guinevere^ 
wondering what stories the ilite of Cooktown would manage to 
invent by way of explanation to their wives. A sorry looking lot 
of men we met next day, and they all showed a marked disposition 
to avoid the subject of Jubilee banquets. 

Within the course of a day or two Burton left in a steamer 
bound for Sydney en route for England, and upon his departure I 
sailed for Samarai, still accompanied by Whitten and Otto. No 
sooner had we left behind us Cook's Passage in the Great Barrier 
Reef than we fell into a howling south-easter, a wind almost 
dead in our teeth ; Whitten, after one night's experience of it and 
the Guinevere^s behaviour in a big head sea, refused to go on, 
and consequently I had to put back to Cooktown to land him and 
Otto. The Guinevere had, to a man not acquainted with her 
peculiarities, an alarming habit of going through, instead of over, a 
head sea ; as a matter of fact, she was just as safe with her decks 
a foot under water as she was with the sea like a duck pond ; but 
Whitten would not believe it. 

At Cooktown I shipped three Queensland natives as crew and 
sailed again ; when well out to sea, however, I discovered that only 
one was a sailor and therefore able to steer, the other two had 
been stockmen on a cattle run, I accordingly abandoned my 
intention of making Samarai direct, ^and, instead, made for Port 
Moresby, where I hoped to pick up a crew of New Guinea boys, 
and beat down the coast to Samarai. After a few days we sighted 
Port Moresby just as the sun was setting, and I obtained capital 
cross bearings on an island to the east of the entrance of the 
harbour and upon Fisherman Island ; the night was dark, but I 
accepted the chart as accurate, and, being confident of the correct- 
ness of my compass bearings, I decided to risk running through 
the passage in the outlying reef by compass. Suddenly crash we 
went upon the reef j we launched the dingey, a new one pur- 
chased in Cooktown, and I told the boys to place a kedge anchor 
in her and drop it away in deep water, in order that we might 
kedge the cutter ofi^; they promptly dropped it into the dingey 
and stove in her planks, rendering her useless. The wind then 
began to get up, bumping us further and further over the reef, 
until, to my surprise, I found that the vessel was bumping less and 
rising upon an even keel again. After two or three hours of this, 
we suddenly slipped off" into deep water upon the Port Moresby 
side ; and again making sail, stood into the harbour, though 


the Guinevere was leaking badly from the bumping she had 

When I got into Port Moresby, I found that the tide, which 
had enabled me to get clean over the reef, was the highest ever 
registered there, the decking of the wharf having been on a level 
with the water. Here I found Inman with a new schooner ot 
Messrs. Burns, Philp and Co., and to him I took my chart and 
cross bearings and asked how on earth, in the position in which 
they had placed me, I had managed to get upon the reef. 
Iimian's explanation was very brief : namely, that the eastern 
island, upon which I had taken one of my cross bearings, was 
half a mile out of position on the Admiralty chart. 

I also came across Farquhar, who told me he was acting as an 
accountant in the Treasury, but that he had been offered a good 
position with Burns, Philp and Co., at Samarai, and was only 
waiting for an opportunity of getting there. Accordingly I 
offered him a passage in the Guinevere^ with all its excitements 
thrown in. He told me Ross-Johnston wanted to go to Samarai 
too, as Sir William MacGregor had come to the conclusion that 
an extensive knowledge of modern languages by a private secretary 
was not sufficient to outweigh the fact of his being ignorant or 
all the practical duties of his office. Farquhar therefore went 
off in search of Ross-Johnston to tell him that they could both 
sail with me. 

The morning following my arrival in Port Moresby, I was 
standing on the wharf watching a carpenter doing some work on 
the deck of the Guinevere^ when I heard a Scotch voice behind me. 
" What do you call that pipe, Mr. Monckton.?" I turned round, 
and saw Sir William MacGregor standing there and pointing to 
the stove pipe issuing from the deck of the Guinevere. "That, 
sir," I said, " that is a stove pipe." " Stove pipe, do you call it ? 
It looks more like a cigar holder ! " I felt rather hurt at this 
reflection upon the Guinevere^ and replied, *' Well, sir, stove pipe or 
cigar holder, it answers the purpose for which it was placed there, 
and that's all I want." " Very true, man," said Sir William ; " ir 
men and things do their duties, it is all that is required of them. 
Come to Government House this afternoon, I have work for 

I went to Government House, where Sir William told me 
that Moreton was very seedy and wanted leave of absence, but 
that he had not been able to let him go until the Government had 
found some one to take his place, and that he intended to send me 
to relieve him. I told Sir William that I had grave doubts about 
being able to perform the duties satisfactorily, whereupon he told 
me that he had the same doubts himself, but that I seemed to be 
the best that offered. " Get awa*, man, get awa' ; the sooner ye 







are in Samarai, the better pleased I'll be with ye." Consequently- 
left Port Moresby on the following morning, accompanied by Ross- 
Johnston and Farquhar. Some years afterwards I read, in the 
Illustrated Lotulon News, an account written by Ross- Johnston of 
the voyage of the Guinevere from Port Moresby to Samarai ; it was 
eventful in its way, but I have not space for it here. In 1897, I 
took up my new duties at Samarai, which were the beginning of 
my official life in New Guinea. 



T Samarai I found Moreton looking very ill, and keenly 
anxious to get away ; Symons, late purser of the Alerrie 
Enghindj was now his assistant and Subcollector of 
Customs instead of Armit. The latter had turned his 
knowledge of botany to account by setting up as a collector and 
trader of rubber ; he was the first man in New Guinea to com- 
mence that business, and it was he who taught the natives the 
method of collecting and preparing it for market. 

I asked Moreton to give me a sketch of my duties as a 
Resident Magistrate, and he said everything was a Resident 
Magistrate's duty : in the absence of a surveyor, he had to survey 
any land purchased ; in the absence of a doctor, he had to set and 
amputate limbs ; he had also to drill his own police, act as gaoler 
and undertaker, sail the Siai^ marry people, in fact do any job ot 
any description, from a blacksmith's upwards, not expressly allotted 
to some one else. If a job were allotted to some one else, and that 
some one else failed to do it, the Resident Magistrate must do it ; 
Sir William MacGregor, in fact, expected his Resident Magistrates 
to know everything and to do everything. It was no excuse, 
Moreton stated, to say that one did not know how to do it : that was 
all very well for a doctor, a surveyor, a ship's officer, or Custom's 
official, but not for the Resident Magistrate. Another of his 
duties was to make every shilling of Government money allotted 
to him go as far as half a crown ; if he spent money in what the 
Governor or Treasurer considered an unnecessary manner, he had 
the pleasure and privilege of making it up out of his own pocket. 
His powers, however, were extensive : he could sentence summarily 
up to two years' imprisonment with hard labour, or fine up to two 
hundred pounds ; and, in the absence of the Governor, he could 
take administrative action in any matter of urgency or importance ; 
finally, he occupied the enviable position of scapegoat, when such 
was needed. 

"All this is very fine for you, Moreton," I said, when he had 
concluded. " You have been years in the Service and know things, 
whilst I am very young for such an appointment, and have no 
experience." " Go to Armit if you get into a fix," said Moreton, 
" he will pilot you through all right, he is a walking encyclopaedia ; 


but don't you get Jock's back up or you will never forget it. 
You can practically exercise any power you please if you do right 
and succeed, but if you make a mistake or fail, Jock will make 
you feel small enough to crawl through a keyhole. Now then, 
here is a list of things that need attending to at once. There is a 
murder at Awaiama, a man cut his mother-in-law's throat, catch 
him ; there is to be a new Mission Station at Cape Vogcl, survey 
and buy the land from the natives ; Fellows is in trouble at the 
Trobriands, go and put him right ; Bromilow has collected a lot 
of orphans at Dobu, go and mandate them to the Mission ; a man 
named Ryan has shot a native at Ferguson Island, arrest him and 
inquire into the case ; Carruth has been supplying grog to the 
natives on Burns, Philp's diving boats, catch Carruth and deal with 
him ; the Siai^s decks need caulking and she needs new wire 
rigging ; I've got the wire, but there is no money with which to 
pay any one to do the job. Patten has got into some sort of 
trouble at the south end of Goodenough, find out what it's all 
about ; Thompson has started a cocoanut plantation on the north- 
east coast of the island, look him up and see that he is all right ; 
when you get some spare time, go and buy a cargo of yams for 
the gaol, and don't pay more than 10^. per ton for them j see that 
Billy the Cook shuts his pub at twelve o'clock, there are only 
fights and rows if he is open later. Don't use the police for 
arresting white men if you can possibly avoid it ; arrest them your- 
self. Some one stole an anchor and chain from the Siai^ I think it 
was Graham ; search his vessel the first time you come across him ; 
he was last heard of in the Trobriands ; there are a handful of 
summonses for debt against him too, serve them. Find German 
Harry and hold an inquest into the death of one of his crew ; look 
at the licences of all pearl shell and beche-de-mer vessels you come 
across, they dodge paying whenever they can ; if they pretend 
they have no cash, make them give you an order on Burns, Philp 
and Co. There are a lot of letters about missing friends, find out 
about the people for whom inquiries are made and answer them, 
also send duplicates of your letters to the Government Secretary. 
The Chief Judicial Officer is raising Cain about a lot of Mambare 
murderers in the gaol on warrants of remand, he wants to know if 
I intend to keep them without trial for the term of their natural 
lives ; just work through them in your spare time : they are the 
men that killed Green and his detachment. There are a few 
other things that want attention, but Symons will give you a list. 
Give Symons hell, if he gets behind at all with the Headquarters' 
returns, and keep your eye on the SiaPs paint and stores, for I'll 
take my oath Symons doesn't keep his whaleboat so smart on his 
paint allowance. If you give the bo'sun of the Merr'ie England a 
bottle of whisky, he will steal enough brass-cleaning stuff, sewing 


twine, and needles from her stores to keep you going for a year. 
By the way, Jock won't allow holystone for the decks, he s.iys it 
is extravagant, and that we must scrub them with sand and 
cocoanut husk. They have small-pox in German New Guinea ; 
send any vessel comins; from there into quarantine at once, ' Clean 
Bill of Health ' or not." 

Symons was a married man with a young family : Moreton 
therefore had allowed him to take possession of the Residency, 
whilst he occupied a little three-roomed house, built of native 
material, in the gaol compound and alongside the Government 
jetty. As Moreton pointed out, it was much more convenient 
for a bachelor wishing to keep only two servants — a cook and an 
orderly — than the big Residency ; and the labour of shifting one*s 
things backwards and forwards from the Siai was much reduced. 
There was a detached two-roomed building used as a cook-house 
and servants' room ; Moreton only used two rooms, one as a bed- 
room and the other as a sitting-room ; we dined on the verandah. 
I investigated the third room, the one to be occupied by me until 
his departure, and found a couple of trestles supporting a platform 
of boards. " What on earth is this, Moreton i " I asked ; " it strikes 
me as a devilish ^hard bunk!" "The fact is," said Moreton, 
" there have been a few accidents lately, dynamite and diving and 
that sort of thing, and as there was nowhere else to put the bodies, 
I kept them here till the inquests were over, and they could be 
safely planted in the cemetery ; I believe one of the ungrateful 
beggars walks." " I think I'll have a hammock slung," I re- 
marked ; " I don't so much mind sleeping in a morgue, but I draw 
the line at a corpse's bed ; his spook might take a fancy to occupy 
his old berth." 

" You might hunt up a suitable place on Logia Island for a 
new cemetery," Moreton said. " The one here, next the gaol, is 
getting overcrowded for one thing, and for another, it is none too 
wholesome, for all the coffins are made of thin cedar — some of the 
inhabitants have not got coffins at all — and the damned crabs wih 
bore holes down to them. I had an awful job to get enough sawn 
timber for a coffin for Tommy Rous, but he's tight enough, I 
think ; I thought I owed him something for all the pleasant nights 
we had spent together. By the way, don't let Symons read the 
Burial Service over any one if you can help it ; he reads it in a 
voice like a cock with a quinsy." Moreton complained that the 
Woodlark and Mambare miners were getting Samarai a bad name. 
" They come here," he said, " at the last gasp with dysentery or 
malaria, wait a week or two for a vessel to take them to Australia, 
and then, if the schooner is late, peg out, and give me all the work 
of administering their affairs and replying to the letters of their 
relations. I had a little luck with one lot, though ; about a dozen 


came in from the Woodlark, looking very bad, and just managed 
to catch the Clara Ethel bound for Cooktown. The skipper told 
me afterwards, that he dumped seven corpses overboard before 
he reached there, and they had to carry the rest up to the 

A few days after I arrived at Samarai, the Ivanhoe came in 
from New Britain bound for Cooktown, and Moreton made ready 
to depart. "Some little time ago," he told me, " my brother sent 
me some^ champagne and some pate de foie gras, and a cheque 
which I am going to blow on my leave. I think we will invite 
Armit and Arbouine to dinner the night before we sail, and polish 
off the fizz and pat6 ; but how the devil am I to get the pate cold ? 
It is in china pots inside a soldered tin." " Tie it on to the Siai^s 
anchor and drop it in fifty fathoms," I suggested ; " it is cool 
enough down there." The dinner came, the time for the pat6 
also, and Moreton's cook proudly produced, and placed in front of 
him, a steaming, loathly-looking dish of an evil-smelling mess. 
Moreton prodded at it. " What is this ? I sent for the pate, you 
scoundrel : what poisonous mess have you got here ? " " That's 
all right, sir, that's the pate ; I've curried it ! " I draw a veil 
over the language that followed, and also over the fate of that boy. 

Earlier in the day a cutter came in, manned by escaped French 
convicts from New Caledonia ; Moreton promptly placed them in 
gaol, telling me to keep them there until the Chief Judicial Officer 
came, and I could get his advice as to what was to be done with 
them. " What sort of warrant am I to hold them on ?" I asked ; 
" it is all very fine for you, you are skipping out, but what will 
happen to me when his Ex. finds out I have half a dozen French- 
men jugged without a warrant?" "You are a bright R.M.," 
said Moreton ; " men are not sent to New Caledonia for stealing 
apples ; only the worst of their criminals go there, and I don't 
want half a dozen of the worst sort of convicts loose in this 
division ; law or no law, you hang on to them ; charge them 
with having no lawful visible means of support, or with a breach 
of the quarantine laws, or entering from a foreign port without a 
* Bill of Health,' or hold them on suspicion of having stolen their 
cutter ; anyhow, it is better that you should get the sack, than 
that they should be let loose ; Winter will find a way of dealing 
with them." 

After dinner, on Moreton's last night, we adjourned to 
Arbouine's house, where we remained until about eleven ; as we 
returned home, a wild riot at Billy the Cook's pub attracted our 
attention, and running there we found O'Regan the Rager being 
thrown down the steps. O'Regan was fighting drunk, and making 
the night hideous with yells and blasphemy. " Go home and to 
bed, O'Regan," said Moreton. He would not, and Moreton 


grabbed liim ; he promptly hit Moreton in the ribs, and just as 
promptly I hit O'Regan under the ear and also seized him. 
" Will you come quietly ? " said Moreton ; but O'Regan wanted 
blood and gore, whereupon Moreton blew his whistle and a dozen 
police, running up, collared him and took him off to gaol, 
Moreton and I continuing our way home. We had hardly 
reached the house before a warder rushed up, exclaiming, "That 
lunatic, the police have run in, is killing the Wee-wees." I 
bolted down to the gaol, and found all the cells were full of 
natives except the one containing the Frenchmen, and accordingly 
the gaoler had put O'Regan in with them ; O'Regan had 
immediately proceeded to dance with his heavy mining boots 
over their recumbent forms, and to challenge them to fight. 

I had the cell door opened, and told O'Regan that he would 
be put in irons unless he kept quiet ; the Frenchmen all clamoured 
to be taken away from him. "I'm a plain drunk and disorderly, 
I am," said O'Regan, " and I'm not going to be shut up with a 

lot of • foreign criminals," " That's all very fine," I 

told him, " but all the other cells are full of natives and you are 

not going to dance over them ; gaoler, bring the irons, and we 

will make a * spread eagle ' of this man on the floor." Here the 

Frenchmen chipped in, saying they didn't want to remain in the 

cell with him even when ironed, and begged to be put in with 

the natives, to which I accordingly agreed. O'Regan was left 

with a bucket of water and a pannikin, and told that if he gave 

as much as one more howl, he would be ironed to the floor. 

The following morning, Moreton paid a visit to the gaol to say 

good-bye to the gaoler and warders, and some estimable native 

friends of his, whom he had been obliged to gaol for various trifles 

— such as assault, or burying their deceased relatives in the 

villages. While he was there O'Regan, who by this time was 

feeling rather piano, begged his pardon for hitting him in the ribs, 

and apologized for giving him the trouble of using the police for 

running him in. "Let him off with ten shillings and costs as a 

plain drunk, Monckton," said Moreton ; " he seems very contrite, 

and he's got a lump as big as a hen's egg where you hit him." 

The Ivanhoe sailed, and with her, Moreton ; my first duty 
was to hear the cases set down at the Court House, amongst them 
of course being O'Regan's drunk. When his case came up, I 
fined him ten shillings ; upon which he gazed at me and remarked, 
"I've seen that blank man up to his backside in mud at the 
Woodlark, hunting for pennyweights of gold, and now he sits 
there like a blanky lord and fines me ten bob." " Yes, O'Regan," 
I remarked, " very true ; and now that blank man is going to add 
five pounds to your fine for contempt of court 1 " 

The night after Moreton's departure I was peacefully sleeping, 


being dog tired after a hard day, when I was awakened by some 
one shaking my hammock. Jumping up I saw Robert Whitten, 
and demanded what he meant by coming and disturbing a tired 
man at that hour. " So-and-so's wife has died suddenly," he said, 
naming a European carpenter, who was married to a native 
woman, " and we want you to come and look at the corpse, to 
find out why she died." Reluctantly I dressed, called a couple of 
police, and went off corpse gazing. I found the widower looking 
very distressed and frightened ; he told me his wife had complained 
of a sharp pain in her chest at different times, and that night it 
had been very bad. "I sent to every store," he said, "and I 
bought chlorodyne and pain killer, fever mixture and pink pills, 
cough mixtures and Mother Seigel's syrup ; I bought every sort 
of medicine they had got, and I gave her some of each, hoping 
that one would fix her up. There are the bottles, you can see 
I've done my best ; I then sent for Bob Whitten to ask him if 
he knew of anything else, and while Bob was here, she died. Is 
there going to be an inquest, and shall I bring the body up to 
your house ? " " No, you won't," I said ; " you will keep it here 
until it is buried, and you need not worry about an inquest. I 
think your wife died of heart disease, before all those drugs you 
poured down her throat had time to poison her ; but no one will 
ever know now." 

The following morning I crawled out to breakfast at about 
ten o'clock, feeling a horrible worm, and found an immaculately 
dressed Symons sitting on the verandah waiting for me. "Come 
to breakfast, Mr. Symons?" "No, thank you," said Symons in 
a pious voice, " I had my breakfast two hours ago ; I adhere strictly 
to office hours." " You are a lucky dog," I remarked ; " it seems 
to me that my hours are ail day and all night as well. What's 
the trouble now ? " " The gaol returns," he replied ; " the gaol 
is half full of people under Warrants of Remand ; the R.M. has 
been too busy, and latterly too ill, to attend to them ; we arc 
over-crowded, and unless something is done, there will be a lot 
of sickness. The Mambare men, too, are giving no end of trouble, 
and should be transferred elsewhere ; I'm getting anxious about 
what will happen when you leave with the bulk of the police." 
I satisfied Symons by promising to inquire at once into the cases 
of all the men on remand ; and, after breakfast, began upon the 
men charged with the murders of John Green, Assistant Resident 
Magistrate at Tamata, his police, and five European miners. 

The inquiry resulted in the committal for trial for murder of 
practically the whole of the Mambare prisoners then in gaol in 
Samarai, and it also involves an explanation on my part or 
the events leading up to it. In 1894 — I think it was — Sir 
William MacGregor, accompanied by Moreton, R.M. for the 


Division, ascended the Mambare River from its outfall in Duvira 
Bay to its highest navigable point, a few miles above Tamata 
creek. What are now known as the Mambare and Duvira Bay, 
were originally named by Admiral Moresby the Clyde and 
Traitor's Bay respectively. The banks of the river were found to 
be fairly densely populated by a strong and warlike race of people, 
with whom, however, they avoided coming into hostility. Sir 
William discovered the existence of gold in the sand and shores of 
the river ; and, upon his reporting that fact in the course of his 
official dispatch, a prospecting party of miners from Queensland 
was fitted out, headed by a man named Clark, to be shortly 
followed by another party led by Elliott, for the exploitation of 
the discovery. 

Clark's party arrived at Samarai, and, in spite of Moreton's 
protests, went to the Mambare, where they apparently had got 
into friendly relations with the natives, and had employed them 
to assist in hauling their boat up the rapids. A short distance 
above Tamata the whole of the white men composing the party — 
with the exception of their leader Clark — left their boat with 
their rifles in it and walked along the bank, whilst the Mambare 
natives hauled her up a rapid by means of a long rope, Clark 
meanwhile steering the boat. Suddenly in the middle of the rapid 
the natives cut the rope, thereby allowing the boat to drift rapidly 
down stream and into the midst of a swarm of following canoes 
manned by armed natives, who at once launched showers of spears 
against Clark. The latter used his revolver for a few minutes, 
and then fell, pierced by a dozen spears ; the remainder of his 
party rushed down the bank, drove off the natives by revolver fire, 
and, having recovered their boat, fled down stream, where they 
met Elliott's party coming up. The two parties, then uniting 
forces, took a quite illegal and unnecessary vengeance by burning 
villages, cutting down cocoanut trees, and generally involving 
every tribe and village on the river in the murder and disturbance ; 
having succeeded in doing this, they fled to the beach and thence 
south to Samarai. 

Sir William MacGregor hastily proceeded to the Mambare, 
some fighting took place, and several arrests of natives were made, 
including, amongst others, one Dumai. Sir William then decided 
to place a police post and magistrate on the Mambare to control 
the miners and natives ; for this work, out of the small number of 
officers available, not numbering twenty all told, he selected John 
Green. This officer was, for native affairs, absolutely the best 
man the service of New Guinea ever possessed ; he spoke Motuan 
as well as a Motuan ; he could speak practically every language 
then known in New Guinea, and he had the faculty of gaining a 
native people's confidence and learning their language in quicker 



time than any other man I have ever met ; above all, he was 
absolutely fearless. John Green was therefore, at this time, the 
most valuable man for a difficult post in the New Guinea service. 

When Green was appointed to take charge of the Mambare, 
he asked that Dumai — the Mambare prisoner — should be released 
and recruited into the Armed Constabulary, to form a unit of his 
detachment for that post j this was done, and Dumai, late 
prisoner, became a full private of the Armed Constabulary in 
the Mambare detachment. From this appointment came later 
the tragedy of Tamata Station, for which many have been blamed, 
including and principally Green. It is not my wish to blame or 
excuse anybody, but in this matter no one other than Green was 
in error. As I said before, he was the best man for native affairs 
New Guinea possessed ; he was given a difficult job, and it was 
therefore necessary he should have a free hand in the selection of 
his men ; he picked his men and made a mistake ; and for that 
error of judgment he paid with his life and the lives of many 
others. But Green died — as did in later years Christopher Robin- 
son — a brave and gallant gentleman ; expiating with all he had to 
give, his mistake and not his fault. 

Green and his men were encamped at the mouth of Tamata 
creek on the Mambare, all the tribes along the river being in 
a turmoil and at heart hostile ; he — as he thought — got on friendly 
terms with several of the villages, and employed the men about 
his new Station. He found that the site selected for his new post 
was subject to inundation, and so decided to shift it some miles 
inland from the river on to higher ground ; accordingly, he 
proceeded daily with his detachment to clear the land and erect 
new buildings, the men accompanying him always including Dumai 
and marching under arms. Green forbade the villagers who 
worked and assisted at the Station to carry spears, clubs, or arms 
of any description. About a week after he had begun his new 
Station, Dumai came to him and said that the local natives com- 
plained that though Green expected them to show trust in him 
by working without arms, he did not reciprocate, as the police 
were always fully armed ; and that, therefore, the natives were 
distrustful of him. Green replied that it was the order of the 
Government that the police should carry arms at all times, even in 
the Government villages; whereupon Dumai said that the con- 
fidence and trust of the Mambare people would never be gained 
unless they too were trusted. Green refused to allow them to 
carry^arms on his station, but told Dumai that, as a proof of good 
faith, he and the detail of police accompanying him would work 
unarmed among the village people at the new Station site. 

On the morning following this conversation Green fell-in his 
detachment, under his principal non-commissioned officer, Corporal 


Scdu, and told them that they were to accompany him to work at 
the new Station unarmed, and then ordered them to pile arms. 
Corporal Scdu protested, stating that the orders were that they — as 
police — were always to carry arms. Green then repeated his 
order, "pile arms"; about two-thirds of the men obeyed; 
Corporal Scdu and a few older constabulary, however, retained their 
rifles. Green then gave the order to march, after which he said 
to the men, " I see I have some brave men and some cowards ; the 
cowards carry their arms." Corporal Sedu halted and said, " Ir 
you say that, sir, look at this," and flung his rifle into a bush, an 
example followed by the rest of the armed men. " Ah, Sedu," 
said Green, " I thought I could trust you." The whole party 
then proceeded to the new Station site, where some dispersed with 
Sedu to seek timber trees in the forest, wliilst others remained to 
work upon the houses with Green. Suddenly upon Green and his 
unarmed men there fell a body of spear- and club-men, who made 
short work of them. Sedu, hearing what was taking place, 
summoned his men and marched them up to share the fate of their 
officer, even though he and the unarmed privates with him could 
easily have escaped. So fell one of New Guinea's best officers, 
and a fine detachment of police. 

Dumai deserted to his own people, and instructed them how 
— under the leadership of their chief, Bushimai — to fall upon 
the white miners, who had already settled on the river. These 
miners, however (in spite of the boasted courage of the white man, 
a courage I have had drummed into my ears during many weary 
years), upon news reaching them of the death of Green and 
his men, broke and fled without waiting for attack ; five of them 
were accounted for as being butchered on the way to the coast, 
but probably others were killed, and Heaven alone knows how 
many of their native employes also. The few armed native police 
at Tamata who had been left in charge of the old Station, finding 
themselves apparently isolated and abandoned by all men, without 
even a non-com. in charge, marched for the coast, picking up 
and saving on the way several native carriers. The evidence of 
these fine men was the only coherent evidence I got at the 
inquiry. Had but one of that panic-stricken lot of miners had the 
pluck to rally his mates, go to the Station, and take charge or 
the remainder of the police, all of them might have been saved ; 
as it was, they fled like curs, and afterwards howled for a bloody 
vengeance against the Mambare people. 

Green's head was cut off and carried away as a trophy, and his 
body buried ; not one of the bodies of the white men were 
eaten, though some of those of the police and carriers were. One 
miner climbed a tree near Duvira village and, being discovered 
there, was stoned from the tree and clubbed to death by children. 



A party of five miners and some of their boys drifted out to sea on 
a raft, with neither food nor water, except a tin of treacle ; after 
seven days they were picked up by a German man-of-war, and 
taken to Sydney. Eight years later, I found Green's cook living 
amongst a tribe upon the north-east coast, by whom he had been 
adopted, and one of whose women he had married. Many of the 
facts of the massacre I heard, a number of years afterwards, from 
some of the natives concerned in it, who were — as quite reformed 
characters — serving under me in the Armed Constabulary. 

News of the affair at last drifted through to Moreton at 
Samarai ; he first sent a vessel with the report to Port Moresby, 
and left for the Mambare in the Siai^ accompanied by a miner 
named Alexander Elliott. The tidings were longer in reaching 
the Governor than they should have been, as the vessel carrying 
them encountered head winds all the way ; and a duplicate 
dispatch, sent by Moreton overland, was delayed for some days at 
a village en route by a presumptuous and thick-headed Samoan 
teacher or the London Missionary Society. When Moreton 
arrived at the Mambare, he ascended the river in a whaleboat to 
the point where Green had been killed, the natives using against 
him on several occasions the rifles they had taken at the Station ; 
for these, however, they had already expended most of the 
ammunition, and were at the best extremely bad shots. Finding 
that nothing was to be done at the Station, and that some miners, 
seven days' journey further inland, were safe, Moreton returned to 
the iS/V// to await the arrival of the Governor. During Moreton's 
absence some of the crew had taken the dingey ashore for firewood, 
and being suddenly surprised by the natives, had rushed into the 
sea and swam off to the ^iai. Sione and Warapas, the coxswain 
and mate, had then placed their rifles in a cask and swum ashore, 
pushing it in front of them ; when able to get a footing on 
the bottom, they had used their rifles against the men on the 
beach, and recovered the dingey. This action on the part 
of the two boys strikes one as an extremely plucky one, when one 
remembers that both sharks and alligators haunt the waters of 
Duvira Bay. 

Sir William MacGregor now appeared upon the scene ; his 
patrols of constabulary swept the country from the Opi River to 
the north, as far as the Gira to the south of the Mambare ; and 
the Ruby launch patrolled the river. Clark's murderers and 
Dumai, together with Bushimai, his sons and a number of 
principal offenders, were captured : it became a question with the 
natives whether they were to surrender, fight, or flee from the 
river beyond the reach of the patrols, and after a time most 
of them decided to take refuge in flight. Shanahan and a fresh 
detachment of constabulary were stationed at Tamata, the miners 



returned to their work, and a fresh start was made ; but a breach 
had been opened between Europeans and natives that it was to 
take many years to heal, and was also to lead to a great deal more 
bloodshed. The only man in New Guinea who would iiave been 
able to deal with the situation now existing — other than tlie 
Governor himself — was John Green ; and he had gone where 
miners and natives alike worry not. The Northern Division was 
destined for many years to prove the death of a long succession of 
officers or, at the best, the grave of their reputations. Shanahan, 
Armit, Lynch, Park, Close, and Walker were to die ; whilst 
several others were cither dismissed or called upon to resign. 
Many officers in later years preferred to resign rather than be sent 




THE night before I sailed from Samara!, Sionc came to me 
and told me that he had recently been married, and that 
Moreton had promised to allow him to take his wife on 
the next round trip of the Siai ; he also asked a like 
permission for Warapas. I remarked, that if Moreton had given 
leave I had no objection, and that if one woman came, 1 saw no 
reason why two should not. " Very good, sir," said Sione ; " if you 
have no objection, Warapas will get up anchor and take the Siai 
out when you are ready, and a new boy, who signed on to-day, 
will act as mate ; I will go off in a canoe and pick up my wife and 
Mrs. Warapas, and come on board as you go through the passage, 
since the tide will not allow me to come back." To this I 
consented, telling Sione to order Warapas to send a boat off for me 
at midnight, when the tide served. 

Night and eleven o'clock came, my books, papers, and private 
stores were sent off to the Siai, when Poruma— Moreton's private 
attendant who had been handed over to me during his absence — 
said, " You have no whisky on board, sir." Accordingly I went 
up to Billy's pub to buy some ; emerging from there, with a bottle 
of whisky clasped in each hand, I encountered a boat's crew from 
the Siai, and the newly signed-on acting mate. That potentate 
gazed at my bottles and me, and then commanded his boat's crew 
to seize me and take me on board ; protests, curses, and threats 
were unavailing ; seized I was, held firmly, dragged on board, and 
shoved down into my cabin, to be joined the next moment by a 
frightfully angry and protesting Poruma. "What the devil is the 
meaning of this, Poruma ?" I demanded. "I don't know, sir, I 
think the new mate is mad." The cabin door was locked, and I 
cursed through the ports, while Poruma abused the crew in Suau 
and threatened the vengeance to come. Slowly the Siai dropped 
down the harbour, until a canoe scraped alongside and Coxswain 
Sionc came on board, and in a moment the cabin scuttle was 
unfastened and Poruma and I released. Foaming with rage, I 
paraded the crew on deck and demanded an explanation of the 
outrage, which was explained in this way : the acting mate had 
served in a trading vessel at Thursday Island, where his master was 


ill the habit of getting beastly drunk on the eve of sailing, and 
refusing then to come on board ; and he always instructed a boat's 
crew to land, dodge about outside the pub, and carry him on board 
whether he liked it or not. Going ashore with a crew to fetch mc, 
he had been told by Poruma that I had gone to the pub ; he had 
followed me there and, seeing me emerge with two bottles of 
whisky in my hands, had concluded that his old Thursday Island 
custom was to be carried out. My violence, threats, and curses he 
had taken as quite in the natural order of events. I listened to the 
explanation, and then gently suggested that the acting mate should 
spend the next two days at the mast-head ; Poruma said he ought 
to be ironed and put in the hold, as his violent action had 
prevented him from telling me that there was no soap on board. 
"Where is the ship's soap, Sione ?" I asked. " That has nothing 
to do with my private stores." " Mr. Moreton," said Sione, " met 
plenty ships and plenty dirty men ; when a dirty man came on 
board the Siai, Mr. Moreton would say as he left, ' take this with 
my compliments,' and give him a bar of soap. I suppose Mr. 
Moreton or Poruma forgot to tell you that it was all done." 

At Dobu I landed and called on the Rev. William Bromilow ; 
as both he and Mrs, Bromilow had spent many years engaged in 
missionary work among the islands and were great friends of 
Moreton's, he acted as a sort of bureau of information in regard to 
the native affairs of Normanby and Ferguson Islands. He nearly 
always had a long list of native crimes for one to investigate, 
principally murder, sorcery and adultery ; the two latter, unless 
promptly attended to, invariably ended in the former. Bromilow 
gave me word of the man Ryan, and some particulars as to where 
I could find the native witnesses to the murder, which he had been 
reported as having committed ; ofFaccordingly I went, and arrested 

The affair shortly was this. Ryan and his mate had been 
prospecting Normanby Island for gold : having no luck, they had 
gone to a native village and endeavoured to hire a canoe and some 
natives to take them to Dobu, where they hoped to find a vessel 
bound for Samarai. The natives undertook to take them there, 
" to-morrow " ; several days passed and it was still always, 
*' to-morrow," The two white men became angry, thinking that 
the natives were merely fooling them and keeping them hanging 
on for what they could get in the shape of tobacco and " trade." 
Accordingly Ryan had gone to a canoe that was lying on the beach 
and threatened that, unless the natives launched it at once and took 
them to Dobu, he would break it up ; it was explained to him 
that the owners of that canoe were away and therefore it could not 
be used. Ryan refused to believe the natives and began to smash 
it with a tomahawk ; at once a native, armed also with a tomahawk, 


rushed at him to protect the canoe. Ryan then drew his revolver 
and shot the man. I committed him to the Central Court for trial ; 
and, not wishing to carry him and his mate about with me on the 
Siai, decided to run back to Samarai and lodge him in the gaol, 
pending the arrival of the Chief Justice. 

Hardly had the Siai dropped anchor in Samarai harbour, than 
Symons came running down the beach yelling, " The Mambare 
men in the gaol have broken loose ; they have cleared out the 
warders and are now armed with crowbars and picks. For God's 
sake hurry up ! " Hastily I ran up to the gaol, followed by my 
armed boat's crew, and in a few minutes we had the Mambare 
men in irons. Then I sent for Armit, to ask his advice as to 
what I should do with them. " Flog the ringleader and keep the 
lot in irons," said Armit ; " there is nothing else to be done." The 
following morning, as visiting Justice to the gaol, I held an inquiry 
into the whole affair, the result of which was that I ordered Goria, 
the murderer of Clark, and Bushimai, who were responsible for the 
outbreak, each to receive six lashes with a " cat of nine tales.'* 
This being done, and Ryan having been safely lodged in gaol, I 
sailed again for Dobu and the Trobriands. 

At Dobu I learnt from Bromilow that Fellows needed me 
badly, and so went straight on to the Trobriands. One morning 
at daybreak, when the Siai was about twenty miles away from the 
group, Sione came to my cabin and said, " The Eboa is in sight, 
sir." I went on deck and sighted Graham's old tub about five 
miles distant, and palpably endeavouring to dodge away from us. 
" Chase, Sione," I said. " Give the Siai all she can carry." It 
was a dirty morning, with a rough sea and nasty fierce rain squalls 
at intervals. Until the Ehoa was sighted we had been dodging 
along under mizzen, staysail and jib only ; Sione — who was at all 
times only too pleased to carry on — at once set mainsail and top- 
sails, and the Siaiy with her lee rail under water, tore after the Ehoa 
as if she liked it. We began rapidly to overhaul her, while the 
wretched Ehoa tried every point of sailing in an effort to escape. 
" Look, sir," said Sione, "a guha to windward." A guha is a fierce 
blinding rain squall, very narrow in width — sometimes only half a 
mile and seldom more than three miles — tearing its own track 
across the sea, and rarely lasting more than half an hour to an hour 
in duration. I looked at the guha^ then I looked at the wriggling jE'/'or/, 
still carrying every possible stitch of her ragged canvas. " Carry 
on, coxswain," I said ; " it would be a disgrace for the Government 
ship to shorten sail while that old tub carries it." Whish ! came 
the guha ; on her beam ends went the Siai ; bang ! bang ! bang ! 
went topsail, staysail and mainsail ; and, amidst the devil's own din, 
we brought the crippled Siai up into the wind, hove-to, and began 
to clear away our wreckage. Nothing was to be seen more than 


fifty yards away in the hliiuling rain and spray torn from the tops 
of the waves by the squall. " God help the Eboa^'' I said to myself, 
" for she must have gone to Kingdom come." 

As we worked at our wreckage, the guha passed as swiftly as it 
had come, and when the sky cleared we sighted the Ehoo uninjured, 
still carrying all sail, the squall having missed her altogether. 
While we watched her, she apparently became aware of the 
crippled state of the Siai^ for she suddenly went about and stood 
down to us ; when within hailing distance Graham jumped on her 
rail and hailed : " Black Mar'ia^ are you in any danger ? " " No," 
I yelled back, " but there is a fine big bill for sails, thanks to you." 
" All right, good-bye, this is no place for me ; " and away went 
Graham, while the ^iai proceeded to crawl into the Trobriands. 
I did not again fall in with Graham for many months, by which 
time he had paid his debts and the summonses had been withdrawn. 
When I did fall in with him, however, there still remained the 
matter of the anchor and chain. " Touching the matter of that 
anchor and chain," I remarked. " There will be nothing further 
said about it by either Moreton or myself; that matter is settled 
once for all, after the way you stood down to my assistance in the 
guba^ knowing well that, even if you helped me, I should have been 
obliged to serve the summonses on you and haul you into Samarai 
to answer to them, and that if I discovered the Government anchor 
and chain in your ship, I should also have had to jug you. I have 
reported the gear as lost, and if there is any further fuss, either 
Moreton or I will pay for them ; but I want to know whether you 
really did collar them ? " " If nothing further is to be said," 
replied Graham, "I don't mind telling you that I did take them. 
By the time I had refitted the Eboa^ I was up to my eyes in debt 
to the stores ; and they — knowing that they had the security of my 
boat whilst in Samarai — would not sell me an anchor and chain, 
for fear of my clearing out to German New Guinea and leaving 
them in the lurch. I always meant to pay my debts to them, but 
I couldn't do it while the Eboa was tied up in Samarai ; I would 
not steal the gear from a trader who could ill spare it, but I 
thought the Government could well afford an anchor and chain for 
an enterprising pioneer. Accordingly, one night I quietly sailed 
alongside the Slai^ when only a few of her crew were on board, 
and sending a couple of my boys to her with a concertina and a 
supply of betel nut, they wiled her anchor watch into going into 
the forecastle. I then unshackled x\\^\S'iais chain at her windlass, 
fastened it on to my own, and — as the S'lai drifted away — got my 
own boys back on board, lifted the anchor and went out to sea. 
The rest of the story you know ; but, as a matter of fact, when 
you chased me, the ^'10?$ anchor and chain were the only ones I 
possessed. Now they are at the bottom of the sea, for as soon as I 


had money enough to pay my debts and buy some gear, I let her 
anchor and chain go in deep water." I only met Graham again 
once or twice, but he afterwards took an appointment under some 
German prospecting company, and was killed in German New 

At last the biiai came to anchor ofFKavitari, and I called upon 

the Rev. Fellows, and asked him what all the trouble was about. 

The first thing was, that there had been an epidemic of some sort 
among the natives, scores had died, and been buried a few inches 
below the surface in the houses of the village ; truly the stench 
was appalling. The village was situated only a few score yards 
from the Mission house. I sent for the village constable, and 
demanded what he meant by allowing burials in the village. " I 
cannot do anything with the people," replied the village constable; 
** they will not listen to the wise orders of the Government or the 
good advice of the missionary." "He is a liar," said Poruma; 
" make him dig up the corpses and put them in the cemetery. 
That man has got ten wives, and is always gammoning Mr. 
Moreton ; some of his relations are buried in his own house." 
" Is this village constable to be altogether trusted ? " I asked Mr. 
Fellows. " No," was the reply ; " I regret to say that he gives 
me more trouble'than any one else, and shelters himself under the 
protection of the Government and his office." "Then, Mr. 
Fellows," I said, "I should be greatly obliged if you would send 
off your Mission boat to the Siai^ to carry a messenger from me, 
who will instruct Sione to land all available men, whilst I pay 
a visit to the v.c.'s house." Poruma told the v.c. that we were 
going to his house, and he at |Once tried to make excuses to 
leave, upon the ground that he wished the village and his house 
cleaned up to a fitting state to receive me. " Don't let him go," 
said Poruma ; " the last time we were here, he got ten pounds of 
tobacco from Mr. Moreton to buy yams with, and then got 
called away to see a sick mother." Poruma then kindly leading 
the v.c. by the hand, we proceeded to his house ; there — as 
Poruma had said — we found several bodies just beneath the floor, 
which the v.c. swore must have been placed there without his 

Going along through the village, Poruma still kindly leading 
the v.c. by the hand, we found everywhere freshly buried bodies. 
Mr. Fellows, who had at first accompanied me, then, at my 
request, went back to the Mission house, for the village was now 
swarming like a hive of angry bees. Sione, Warapas and a dozen 
armed men having by this time made their appearance, I ordered 
the v.c. to tell the villagers at once to disinter their dead and bury 
them in the cemetery. For a few minutes we were defied, but the 
police — mercilessly using the butts of their rifles on the heels and 


bare toes of the men — made them sec reason, and drove them to 
the graves, where ihev were compelled to gather up the rotting 
remains of the corpses in baskets, and carry them to the cemetery. 
C^nce, and once onlv, they turned nasty ; but VVarapas immediately 
withdrew a boat's crew and, before lialf a dozen levelled riHcs, the 
Kavitari men funked. I'hat exhuming of bodies was altogether a 
sickening and disgusting business, for matter and beastliness 
dripped the whole time from the baskets, and carriers, police and 
myself were seized by periodical fits of vomiting. 

Having cleaned up the village, I again visited Mr. Fellows 
and asked him what his further troubles were. I foimd they were 
mainly due to the influence of the old paramount chief of the 
islands, Enamakala, who lived some ten miles inland, and who 
instigated thefts from the Mission and attacks upon the teachers. 
Plainly it was necessary for me to deal with the old chief, but I 
knew that, if I marched inland with an armed force, there would 
be a lot of bloodshed and the chief would escape ; if I left, how- 
ever, without doing anything, he would become bolder, and the 
position of tiie Mission after my departure would be an impossible 

Accordingly, accompanied by Poruma and Warapas, 1 went off 
to his village, first sending one of the local natives ahead to tell 
him I was coming. Poruma wore Moreton's revolver under his 
jumper, and I, a couple of revolvers under a loose shirt : Warapas 
carried my gun, for the ostensible purpose of shooting pigeons, 
but had a supply of ball cartridges in his pouch. F"or lighting in 
scrub, a double-barrelled fowling piece with ball is just as effective 
as a rifle — shot, of course, is not much use against men carrying 
thick shields. Passing through the numerous villages on the way 
to the centre one, where the old chief lived, I noticed everywhere 
fresh graves under the houses, and found there were large numbers 
of the villagers sick and dying from dysentery. Arriving at my 
destination, I found the chief seated on a sort of raised platform, 
surrounded by at least two hundred men, who all set up a 
tremendous clamour as I walked up to him. " Tell him, Poruma, 
that I have come to have a little friendly conversation with him," 
I said, as I climbed up on to the platform alongside old Enamakala, 
who was an enormously fat man with a shaved and shining head. 
Poruma told him what I said, and he replied that it was good and 
he was pleased to see me. Then he wanted to know why 
Warapas and Poruma did not stoop half-double before him as did 
his own people. "Because they serve the great white Queen 
whom the Governor told you about," I replied, "and stoop before 
no man." Old Enamakala gave me some fruit, and I presented 
him with some cigarettes ; then we settled down to business. 
First of all I asked him to make his people stop yelling, as it was 


not fitting that our conversation should be carried on in such a 
babel ; a sort of grand vizier person, with a face like a fowl, 
screeched at the crowd and the noise fell to a murmur. The 
chief suddenly bent over to me and ran his hands over my waist ; 
as they came in contact with the pistol butts he smiled knowingly 
at me and said : " That is good. Poruma, tell your master I 
wanted to know whether he was fool enough to walk the bush 
paths unarmed." Poruma told him, that as an act of politeness to 
him I had covered up my arms (great always was the cheek of 
Poruma), as I did not wish to make him nervous, but that now, 
as we were on such friendly terms, I should wear them openly. 
Accordingly I slipped my hand inside my shirt, unhooked my 
belt and fastened it on again outside, Poruma doing the same. 

Then, through Poruma, I told him the Government was 
exceedingly displeased with him for allowing his people to steal 
from the Mission, and for threatening the teachers with spears ; 
also for permitting the burial of the dead in the villages, and for 
refusing to send the children to school. Then I demanded that 
some six men, whose names the missionary had given me as 
having behaved in a particularly outrageous manner, should be 
given up ; also that he should come out with me to the coast and 
attend at the Court, at which I should punish the wrongdoers, as a 
sign that he supported the authority of the Government. The 
chief said he did not want to go to the coast, and that he did not 
know where the men were. "If I don't get the men I want," I 
said, " I shall keep you in gaol until I do get them ; as for coming 
to the coast, you must do that, whether you like ^ it or not ; I 
promise you safety and release when I get them." The devil's 
own clatter was set up by the natives at this, but Poruma yelled 
at them to shut up. " Tell the chief, Poruma, that I have twelve 
lives at my belt, and if there is any hostility, I'll blow a hole 
through him as a start." Old Enamakala said, that he would not 
have seen me, if he had known I was going to treat him in 
such a fashion. "Tell the old reprobate, Poruma, that I know he 
thought he was safe, when he heard there were only three of us 
coming ; and that I also knew, that if I had come with a strong 
force, he would have slipped into the bush, and set his people 
chucking spears." The chief argued and protested for some time ; 
then he said that he would come in his own palanquin, as he was 
fat, and also that it was not dignified for him to walk so far. 
" You tell him that the Governor is the biggest chief in New 
Guinea, and he walked right across the island, so that he can walk 
to the coast. I walk first, then he comes, then follow you and 
Warapas, and Enamakala can have as many men as he likes 
bringing up the rear." The chief grumbled and complained, but 
at last we set off in the order named, with Heaven only knows how 


many luiiKlrcd men following us, and the women all howling 
behind. Half an hour after we started on our journey to the 
coast, a messenger caught us up and told me that the six men I 
wanted were coming after us to surrender themselves. 

Half-way to the coast, we got one bad fright, for a terrific 
yelling broke out ahead of us and was taken up by the men 
behind. The chief gabbled excitedly to his followers, whilst I 
held him aft'ectionately by the arm with one hand, and ostentati- 
ously displayed a heavy revolver in the otiier. "Ask him what 
the devil all the racket is about, Poruma." Then we found 
that a large body of natives was preceding us, warning the 
villagers, that they were not to interfere in what was taking 
place ; this party had come into contact with a couple of boats' 
crews from the Siai^ whom Sione, getting nervous, had dispatched 
after me. I sent Warapas off with one of the chief's followers to 
bring the Siai's men to me, and told Enamakala that there was 
nothing to get excited about, as it was only an escort coming up 
to accompany me home in fitting state. When we arrived at the 
Mission Station, I found the six offenders whom I wanted, sitting 
outside, they having made a detour in the bush and passed us on 
the way. " Good Heavens 1 " called out Mrs. Fellows to her 
husband as I entered the Mission grounds, " here comes the great 
Enamakala, following Mr. Monckton like a little dog ! " " Mrs. 
Fellows," I remarked, " if you want to make a lifelong friend of 
the old fellow, you will give him some sugary tea at once, for he 
has walked further and faster than ever in his life before. He is 
not a bad old chap when you know the way to treat him." The 
chief spent the night on board the Slai : I reassured him by 
permitting about twenty of his people to sleep on board also. 

On the following morning I held a session of the district 
court at the Mission house, and sentenced the six offenders to 
varying terms of imprisonment. The chief at once became very 
friendly with the missionary, and begged him to intercede with 
me for the men, saying that if Mr. Fellows could get them let 
off, he would help the Mission in every possible way. Mr. Fellows 
accordingly begged me to let them go again, and I like a fool 
consented, thinking that I should encourage friendly relations, 
and at the same time save the Government the expense of six 
prisoners ; but later, when the Governor heard what I had done, 
he gave me — as I have previously mentioned — a severe lecture for 
permitting the Mission to interfere with the course of justice. 
The old chief then made me a present of his own carved lime 
spoon ; I told him that I should like to make him a return 
present, but that I did not know what to give him — the trade in 
pearls had filled his villages with tomahawks, print, trade goods, 
etc., and really I had nothing to give that he did not possess 


already. " I have not got a knife to cut off my hair with, such 
as that you used this morning," he said ; therefore I conferred 
upon him my razor, strop, and brush, with a couple of bars of 
yellow soap, which I got from the Mission. Old Enamakala was 
much pleased with the gift, and, when we parted, he swore there 
should be no further burials in the villages, or harrying of the 

At the Trobriands more outward and visible signs of respect 
were paid to the chiefs than I have met with in any other part of 
New Guinea. The old paramount chief never walked, but was 
always carried in a palanquin borne on the backs of men, and was 
invariably accompanied by his sorcerer and a sort of grand vizier. 
Before the old chief, women crawled on their bellies, and men 
bent almost to the ground. 

I have lately received from Dr. Seligman, F.R.S., a book 
written by him entitled, "The Melanesians of British New 
Guinea," in which he flatly contradicts a statement made by 
Sir William MacGregor that Enamakala was the paramount 
chief of this group of islands. Dr. Seligman is a personal friend 
of my own, and a man of world-wide celebrity as an authority 
upon anthropology, and he is a man to whose views, in most 
cases, I should immediately defer ; but, in this instance, I have 
no hesitation in saying that he is not right. 

Sir William MacGregor's statement was quite correct ; he is 
not a man in the habit of making rash assertions upon hearsay 
evidence. Moreton knew the Trobriand Islands better than any 
man either before or since, and he always held that undoubtedly 
Enamakala was paramount chief. I, when acting for Moreton, 
never had occasion to doubt this fact, and never met a chief who 
disputed his position as such ; in fact, I myself have seen the chiefs 
stooping before him and paying homage. Certainly after his 
death, " Christianized " chiefs, under the influence of the Mission, 
declared that his successor had no authority over them, as did also 
other chiefs holding Government authority as village constables ; 
but before the domination of Government and the influence of 
the Mission were established, there is no doubt Enamakala was 

Elaborately carved and painted shields and spears of heavy 
ebony were the arms of offence and defence of the Trobriand 
Islanders ; both plainly showing, by their exaggeration of design 
and size, that long since, this people had finished with fighting or 
war as a serious thing. Broad-bladed wooden clubs, shaped like 
a Roman sword or a Turkish scimitar, were also carried ; but all 
alike showed, from their fantastic carving and shape, that beauty 
of pattern and design had been far more considered by the makers 
than effectiveness as weapons. The Trobriand people, or rather 


their sorcerers, had brought poisoning to a fine art, using as 
their most deadly poison the gall of a certain species of fish. 

The Trobriand people acquired so many steel tools from their 
trade in pearls, that afterwards, the astute German Harry made a 
good haul in money by purchasing back from the natives — for 
tobacco — hundreds of axes, adzes, and tomahawks, which he then 
sold to miners bound for the Mambare, or traders working at 
other islands where the steel tools still possessed a very high value, 
lycaving the Trobriands I fell in with his vessel, the Galatea^ and 
held an inquiry into the death of one of his crew ; he, however, 
came out of it with a clean sheet, and was rather aggrieved at the 
Government considering it necessary to watch him so closely. 
Harry's vessel was loaded with native sago, cocoanuts, tobacco, 
and a deck cargo of pigs, which he was going to exchange for 
pearls. Parting with him, the Siai sighted and chased a cutter, 
but the people on board her apparently had bad consciences, for 
she fled over a reef where the water was too shallow for the Siai 
to follow, and disappeared into the night. 

At Wagipa we caught Patten, and I committed him to the 
Central Court for trial for shooting a native during a quarrel ; 
we also took with us his native wife, Satadeai, and half a dozen 
native witnesses of the shooting affray. The Siai left Wagipa 
towing Patten's boat — a thing little bigger than a whaleboat, and 
hitherto manned solely by Patten and his wife. As we stood 
across the Straits between Ferguson and Goodenough Islands, the 
look-out at our mast-head reported a large canoe, crowded with 
men, and apparently trying to dodge out of our way. The Siai 
ran down to the canoe before a strong breeze ; she came from 
the northern coast of Goodenough Island, but we found nothing 
suspicious in her ; so, after exchanging a few sticks of tobacco for 
fish, we went on our way. 

Night, a strong south-easter and rough seas came together ; 
by morning we were still battling against the head wind, in much 
the same place as we had been on the previous evening. Again 
the look-out reported a canoe ; this time a small out-rigger, 
struggling in the big seas, with but a single man in it. To the 
canoe went the Siai^ only to find the man half paralysed by fright 
and exhaustion ; time and again we got within a few yards, yelled 
at him and threw ropes, but all he would do was to look straight 
ahead and mechanically keep, with his paddles, his tiny craft's 
head to the waves. The sea was too rough for us to drop a boat, 
but at last, sailing close to the canoe, Poruma and Warapas — 
secured by ropes round their waists — leapt into the sea and 
fastened a rope round the stranger and his canoe, whereupon we 
hauled the lot on board together. We found the native to be a 
Ferguson Islander, who had been taken by surprise and blown 


out to sea by the squalls of the previous night. The man at first 
was greatly relieved and overjoyed at finding himself safe on the 
Siai ; then, when warmed and fed, he got in a funk that we 
should carry him away with us, as others of his people had been 
carried oflF by strange vessels. " Take me to my home," he said, 
" and I will give you pigs or women, yams and sweet potatoes." 
Satadeai told him we did not want his gifts, but would safely land 
him at his village when the weather permitted ; also that I should 
be pleased if he would induce his friends to sell us all the yams 
and sweet potatoes they did not require. The Siai then put in 
three uncomfortable days, waiting for the weather to moderate 
sufficiently to permit us to land the man ; then land him we did, 
and that was the last we saw of either him or his yams. 

We learnt one thing, however, from his village friends and 
relations, namely, that the large canoe we had spoken the day 
before we picked him up, had been to Ferguson on a cannibal 
raid, v/here they had captured and eaten several people. I groaned 
as I thought how I had had that canoe full of malefactors in my 
hands, and had let them go ; I also thought of the delightful 
story they would be able to tell in the villages. Poruma said, 
" Mr. Moreton would have known ; he would not have let that 

canoe go. Mr. Moreton, he " What Moreton would have 

done, I don't know, as Poruma was asked to go to the mast-head 
and wait there until I needed him, Poruma at times was trying 
to the nerves ! From here we sailed for Samarai. 


WHILE we were at Samarai, I put Patten to work re- 
rigging the Siai. When Sir William MacGregor 
arrived, he gently hinted that he rather thought I 
must have caught Patten for the express purpose ot 
refitting the Siai^ a remark that I thought was better passed over 
in dignified silence ! 

Hardly had the Siai dropped her anchor, when in came a 
cutter owned by Thompson — the man owning the plantation on 
Goodenough Island — who reported that his Station had been 
surprised, and many of his native employees murdered by the 
islanders. Thompson himself only escaped by the accident of 
being engaged with some of his boys in night fishing on a reef 
when the attack occurred. Hastily, therefore, the Siai prepared 
for her departure to Goodenough Island once more ; Thompson 
refused to accompany us, upon the ground that he had escaped 
once, and never wished to see the island or its inhabitants again. 

Before leaving Samarai, I had to hear several cases set down 
for trial at the R.M.'s Court ; among which were charges against 
Billy the Cook and Carruth of supplying natives with grog. The 
Ordinance, under which the cases were heard, was the first act 
passed by Sir William MacGregor, upon his Excellency assuming 
control of New Guinea, and was probably the most severe act of 
its kind in the world. It provided a minimum fine of j^20 or 
two months' imprisonment, and a maximum one of ;^200 and two 
years' imprisonment, for any person convicted of supplying fire- 
arms, liquor or opium to a native. It defined a native, as any 
person other than of European parentage. The Emperors or 
China or Japan, or the Rajahs of India would be natives under 
the act ; Sir William MacGregor was nothing if not thorough, 
and when he said that the natives should not have liquor, he left 
no loop-hole of escape for the person found guilty of supplying it. 
Up to the time I left New Guinea, this act was always very 
strictly enforced ; so much so, in fact, that hotel-keepers would 
not even supply ginger ale to a coloured man, for fear of having 
to defend themselves against a charge of liquor selling ; and this 
is exactly what I found had occurred. Billy the Cook had 
imported a wife and a sister-in-law to help in the hotel 5 his 


sister-in-law, being ignorant of the local law, had sold a glass of 
something to a Malay over the bar, and a native boy passing, saw 
him drinking it and told Symons, who promptly charged Billy 
with a breach of the act. A nice time I had with this case ; 
Billy, of course, swore he knew nothing about the matter, the girl 
and his wife wept and contradicted themselves half a dozen times 
over, and the Malay said he had bought ginger ale. My difficulty 
chiefly lay in the fact, that should I convict, the minimum penalty 
was too great for an innocent mistake ; so at last I threw the case 
out of Court. Carruth's case came on next. The evidence here 
was clear, but he tried to wriggle out of it, by saying that he had 
merely supplied the stuff for medicinal purposes ; that was a little 
too thin, as the Malays all looked as tough as wire rope. I forget 
what I fined Carruth, but it was something heavy. " I am going 
to appeal," he remarked ; " I believe you think you are here to 
raise revenue for the Government." " There is no appeal under 
this act," I;replied, "and if you are not careful you will get a 
little more ; if, however, you are dissatisfied, you can petition his 
Excellency for a reduction or remission of the fine." Carruth 
did petition the Governor, and I heard afterwards that the reply 
he got from the Government Secretary was, "I am directed to 
express his Excellency's surprise at your petition and the leniency 
of the Magistrate." 

Under this act, a Resident Magistrate was empowered to issue 
an annual permit, to a " native," to keep and use fire-arms ; and 
in the case of a " native " possessing a greater proportion of white 
than coloured blood — in order to avoid individual hardship — a 
permit could be granted to purchase intoxicating liquors. 

The Siai now sailed again for Goodenough Island, calling on 
the way for Satadeai, who was needed as an interpreter. Care- 
fully picking our way among the shoals of the north-east coast of 
Goodenough, we at last dropped anchor abreast of Thompson's 
Station and plantation. Here we found that the bodies of the 
murdered men had been buried by the natives, not eaten as I 
expected ; and the house, though looted, had not been burnt. 
On this trip I had with me the Queensland boys — Billy, Harry, 
and Palmer — who had latterly formed the crew of the Guineverey 
as I intended to use them as trackers. From the plundered house 
we found tracks of natives leading in a northerly direction ; these 
we followed until we came to a village, the tracks leading into 
which were thickly sojvn with small sharpened foot spears, 
pointing in the direction from which we came ; picking these out 
as we passed, we at last came to within a hundred yards of the 
village — apparently unpcrceived by the natives — and, rushing it, 
secured two men. The remainder bolted, and set up a clamour 
in the bush some distance av/ay ; dragging our two unwilling 


prisoners with us, we hastily returned to the Siaiy reaching that 
vessel unattackcd. Safely on board I examined the men, and 
found that the village from which we had captured them was 
innocent of complicity in the murders ; they, however, were able 
to give me the names of the actual murderers and the inland 
villages from which they came. 

Taking, therefore, ten men and Poruma, I left in the afternoon 
for the nearest village, swimming on the way a river in which 
alligators seemed to be disagreeably plentiful. Getting some 
miles inland, we ascended a ridge in a grassy pocket situated in 
the dense bush, and sighted the cocoanuts and gardens of a large 
village ; at the same time, like quail, rose two scouts from the 
grass ; these fled for the village, giving loud yells of warning, 
and were promptly pursued by four of my men. Shouts of 
defiance, mingled with the beating of drums and blowing of 
horns, answered the warning cries. " See, sir ! " said Poruma, 
" the grass moves with spears." Following his pointing hand, I 
looked and saw the tips of a long sinuous line of spears ; hurriedly 
I whistled my men back, and ordered them to lie down in the 
long grass on the ridge. The line of spears came nearer, then 
the bearers broke into a trot and started up the hill ; just behind 
them came a number of slingsmen, who were beginning to pelt 
the hill with sling-stones, which, however — concealed in the grass 
as we were — failed to do any damage. " Hold your fire, you 
blackguards," I said to my men, as they began to flop home the 
breech blocks of their Sniders, and to whimper like a pack of 
eager hounds. 

The sling-stones were now flying harmlessly over us ; at 
about sixty yards I ordered the men to stand up and fire, the 
result being that several natives were knocked over, and for a 
minute their line reeled down the hill, allowing us to get in 
another telling volley. Reforming, they charged up the hill, only 
to be driven back again by a steady fire, I myself using a sixteen- 
shot Winchester repeater. Yelling with excitement, my men 
broke line in their impatience to charge after the Goodenough 
natives. " Don't let them go," said Poruma, " those bushmen 

are not beaten yet ; Mr. Moreton, he " " Shut up, Poruma," 

I said, and then yelled at the men to He down in the grass and 
crawl twenty yards downhill. It was well we did ; for in a few 
minutes, the spot we had occupied was having chips knocked off 
it by sling-stones. "Oh, master, you know too much," said my 
men as, in security, we watched the peppering of our late position. 
Then — sudden as a hail shower — the stones ceased, and again the 
islanders charged ; only three, however, reached our line, the rest 
either dropping in the grass or turning and running away before 
our fire. By the time the three men reached us, the Snider rifles 


of the police were empty. I shot one man at about twelve yards, 
and hastily jerking at the lever of my Winchester threw it again 
to my shoulder, and pulled the trigger at a second man who was 
coming straight for me. The lock clicked, but no report followed, 
and dropping my rifle — as the man raised his spear to strike — I 
tried simultaneously to draw my revolver and squirm out of the 
way of the stab. Just in the nick of time, there came an ap- 
palling explosion close by my ear, nearly stunning me, and my 
enemy's face seemed to go out at the back of his head ; Poruma 
had fired both barrels of my shot gun into the man's face. The 
order to charge was hailed by the police with a yell, and, using the 
butts of their rifles freely, they captured several prisoners from 
among the now flying islanders. 

Then we returned to the Siaiy dragging our prisoners with us, 
leaving the natives to bury their dead and succour their wounded : 
a small body of freshly arrived natives followed us, but a shot 
or two kept them at a distance. My men had only sustained a 
few bruises. I learnt that night from our prisoners, that we had 
rather taken the village by surprise, as a much larger body of men 
than we had yet encountered was available from some further 
back villages. I thanked my stars that we had not met their full 
strength, for it had been touch and go with us as it was. 

The following morning — after letting go the SiaPs second 
anchor to render her doubly secure, and having chained all the 
prisoners in the hold — I landed every man on board, viz. fifteen 
fighting men, the three armed Queensland boys and Satadeai, for 
an attempt on the inland hill villages. Mesdames Sione and 
Warapas were left sitting on the hatch, with tomahawks in their 
hands, and instructions to crack any man on the head who 
attempted to break loose. We hid the SiaPs boats in the man- 
groves and struck inland, avoiding tracks in order to dodge 
ambushes, and marching silently in very extended order. Suddenly 
we came upon a point where half a dozen tracks from the 
mountains converged upon the main path to the coast ; here I 
broke up my party into small bodies to explore the tracks, and all 
had orders to move at once towards any sound of rifle fire. I 
remained at the junction of the tracks with a lame boy, Giorgi, 
an ex-private of Constabulary, who, having injured his tendon 
Achilles in a fight, had been transferred to the Siai's crew, as no 
longer fit for severe marches, 

Giorgi knew a little of the Goodenough language, and as he 
and I sat and smoked our pipes — whilst I awaited a report from 
one or other of the scouting parties — we heard voices, and, secret- 
ing ourselves in the scrub, saw emerge from it half a dozen armed 
men only a few paces away. "Tell them to throw down their 
arms, or they die this instant," I whispered. Giorgi yelled at 



them, and they stopped petrified by surprise ; then — in response 
to a still more imperative roar from him — dropped the spears, 
clubs and slings, and stood still. Handing my Winchester to 
Giorgi, and taking his two handcuffs and my own pair, I walked 
up to the men, and, moving them together, handcuffed them one 
to another, Giorgi meanwhile uttering blood-curdling threats of 
what would happen to them if they moved. When I had secured 
them, Giorgi emerged ; and great was the disgust of that six when 
they discovered that they had been taken by two men. Everyone 
of these men, we afterwards found, had been concerned in the 
massacre of Thompson's boys. 

Shortly after this my scouting parties returned, and reported 
that the islanders were apparently in strong force in a village 
approached by a razor-backed spur, to which I at once proceeded. 
As we came to its foot, loud horn blowing and beating of drums 
showed plainly that our whereabouts was known ; as I gazed at 
the spur, wondering how on earth I could storm the village with- 
out losing all my men, a party of natives suddenly emerged from 
the bush and, to our mutual surprise, walked right into us. A few 
hastily aimed shots on our part, and a few hurriedly thrown spears 
on theirs, ended the affair, the natives flying into the bush. They 
were evidently a party moving up to the assistance of the threatened 
village, quite unaware of our position. 

This last encounter alarmed me exceedingly : for, when all 
was said and done, we only numbered fifteen rifles ; and had that 
last party of islanders discovered us before we did them, or had 
they been more numerous, we should have been overwhelmed in 
the first rush. At close quarters an empty Snider is a no more 
efficient weapon than a club or spear, and numbers would tell : 
my revolver, at the most, would only last for a couple of minutes. 
Accordingly I summoned Sione, Warapas, and Poruma and put 
the case to them. " You have seen what happened just now," I 
said ; " shall we stop and fight the people ourselves, or shall we ask 
the Governor for help ? I want your advice before we run away." 
*'The man who hunts the wild boar with a fish spear is not 
strong, only mad," said Sione, "and we are but a fish spear." 
" It has been a good fight," said Warapas ; " it will be a bad one 
for us if we stay." " If Mr. Moreton were here," said Poruma, 
" he would have had more men to begin with, and would not have 
run away." Solemnly then I clouted Poruma's head. "What 
do you mean by that, you young devil ? " I asked. " We are far 
too few, and should bolt as fast as we can," replied that injured 

Our course of action decided, I lost no time in putting it into 
effect ; we therefore began our backward march. Yells of 
triumph from the natives told us clearly that our retreat was 


noted — though little cause for rejoicing had we given our opponents 
up to the present time. Shouts behind us and horns on cither side, 
soon showed me that we were not out of ;the wood yet. For 
greater security, I marched my party along in the open grass 
patches, and kept them doubling like a hare from side to side, 
whilst occasionally a harmless volley shifted a too venturesome lot 
of natives out of our way ; once or twice we faced about, and 
drove back the following body. The day wore on ; and then I 
saw that unless I made the coast very quickly, dusk would be 
upon us, when, under its cover, the surrounding natives could 
come, unpcrceived, sufficiently near to shatter us with their sling- 
stones, while the flashing of our rifles would serve to keep them 
informed of our exact location. Hastily we made for the coast in 
a direct line by compass, plunging into and swimming a horrible 
alligator-infested stream on the way, and whacking along our 
reluctant prisoners. We struck the sea just at dusk, and marching 
out into it up to our middles — in order to prevent our figures 
showing prominently against the sky-line — waded along the coast, 
until opposite the point where we had hidden our boats, when 
once again we put off safely to the Siai. Mrs. Warapas and Mrs. 
Sione hailed their husbands with joy, and gladly handed over their 

At daybreak we sailed again for Samarai, on the way warn- 
ing off a small trader bound for the disturbed district. On our 
arrival, I found the Merrie England at anchor with Sir William 
MacGregor on board, to whom I at once proceeded with my 
report. His Excellency listened to me and then asked, "Have 
you secured all the guilty men ? " " No, sir, I have only nine of 
them." " Why have you not arrested them all ? " " Because, 
sir, they have taken refuge in a hill village, which is too strong for 
the Slat's force to capture." "I will give you Captain Butter- 
worth and a detachment of Constabulary," said his Excellency, 
*' and you will go to Goodenough Island at once, returning here 
in two weeks with all the men wanted, in time for the return of 
the Merrie England from the Mambare ; but see that there are no 
houses burnt and no trees cut down by your men. When will 
you be ready to sail ? " " In half an hour, sir," was my answer ; 
" I only want time to water and provision the Siaiy " To-morrow 
will do very well," the Governor told me ; " now sit down and 
tell me about the rest of the district affairs." 

Sitting down, I unfolded my tale, getting approval here, re- 
marks as to how I could have done better there, and so on, until I 
came to the gaol mutiny, and the flogging of Bushimai and Goria. 
Thunder of Heaven, as the Germans say, then did I catch the 
storm ! "Mr. Monckton, I entirely disapprove of flogging under 
any circumstances; you have exceeded your powers and gone 


outside my known native policy." In five minutes I was reduced 
to a very dismal state, though I don't beheve that any man other 
than Sir William MacGregor could have done it. At last I 
quacked out, " But, sir, I flogged under the authority of the 
Prisons Ordinance, and by the advice of such an experienced 
magistrate as Mr. Armit." "It does not matter to me whose 
advice you acted upon, I expect my officers to act upon their own 
good judgment. Ask Mr. Winter to come to me, and come back 
yourself," said Sir William. Glad to escape, I fled for the Chief 
Judicial Officer. "His Excellency wants you, sir; I'm in an 
awful mess, what shall I do ? " " Don't worry about it," said 
that always sympathetic Judge ; "go to my cabin, and bring up the 
volume of the Gazettes containing the Prisons Ordinance." 
Finding that Ordinance, in desperate haste I tore after the C.J.O., 
arriving on the fore-deck close on his heels. 

"Judge," said Sir William, "under the Prisons Ordinance, 
has the R.M. power to flog prisoners without reference to me ? " 
*' Yes, your Excellency, I believe he has ; though it has never 
been exercised by a magistrate in New Guinea before. Mr. 
Monckton, give me the Ordinance. Yes, sir, see, here is the 
section, the R.M. was within his powers." "I still consider your 
action ill-considered and ill-advised," remarked the Governor. I 
waited a few minutes, and finding Sir William continued to talk 
to Judge Winter, I said : " If, sir, you do not require me further, 
I will wish you good-night." " Good-night," was the gruff reply ; 
and walking to the gangway, I whistled for my boat, which was 
waiting at the wharf. As I waited for her to come alongside — 
meditating the while on my iniquities — I heard a step behind me, 
and turning round saw the Governor. "Mr. Monckton," said 
Sir William, " it is not late : I should like to present you to Lady 
MacGregor, and offer you a glass of wine in my cabin." 

After meeting Lady MacGregor and drinking my wine, I 
went ashore to my house and found there the Commandant, Private 
Secretary, the Commander of the Mcrrie England and several 
other officers, all sitting in solemn state discussing my fate. 
" They have drunk up all your whisky, sir," said Poruma ; "I told 
them you had only one bottle, and hid the glasses, but they took 
tea cups." " Go to Billy's pub and get me some more," I said, to 
get rid of Poruma ; I then unfolded to sympathetic ears my tale 
of woe. Poruma, the whisky and Armit arrived at the same time. 
*' What is this mothers' meeting about?" said Armit; "you all 
look as if you had dined on bad oysters!" "A bucket full of 
bad oysters would not have put me in the state I feel in now," I 
said, " thanks partly to you : it's that flogging business. I'm 
sending in my papers in the morning." " Don't be a damned 
fool," said Armit J " I've just come from the Merrie England^ and 


Jock never once used the word ' reprimand,' when he blew you up. 
You swallow your pride, and take the pricks as well as the plums ; 
you ought to feel jolly proud of the position in which Jock has put 
a young man like you." 

The following morning I was up bright and early, and went 
off to the Merrie England^ where I found that the Governor had 
risen still earlier and intended inspecting the gaol ; accordingly, I 
departed to make all ready. At that time the whole Government 
reserve — included in which was my house, police quarters, the 
gaol compound and the cemetery — was surrounded by a high 
wooden fence, with a gate across the only street of Samarai, 
leading into it ; at this gate there was a guard house, occupied by 
a married gate-keeper and a few police. As the gate-keeper 
admitted me, I called for the police, but found they were at a 
parade ordered by the Commandant ; I then told the gate-keeper 
to close the gate, and ran to the gaol to tell the gaoler to keep in 
all his prisoners for inspection, instead of sending them to work as 
usual. Hardly had I reached my house, than, looking back, I 
saw Sir William arrive at the gate ; the gate-keeper's wife gazed 
at him, horror-stricken at the thought of the Governor waiting 
and her husband away, then — rising to the occasion — she rushed 
at the gate and, throwing it wide open, stiffened herself and flung 
her hand up to the salute. I met the Governor who, drily smiling, 
remarked, "I see, Mr. Monckton, ye drill the women as well 
as the men." Crimson with shame, I dropped to the regulation 
half-pace behind his Excellency, and softly cursed to myself the 
misplaced zeal of the woman. 

The Governor's inspection over, the Siai was prepared for 
sea. In the evening she dropped down the harbour Vv^ith the 
tide, and stood away to Taupota on the north-east coast, carrying, 
as well as her own complement, Butterworth and fifteen men 
of the constabulary. There she picked up some twenty natives, 
to act as carriers for the heavy luggage of the police, in order to 
allow the force freedom of action and mobility when camped 
away from the Siai. 

With these men on board, we were badly crowded, and it 
accordingly behoved us to make a rapid passage to our anchorage 
at Goodenough ; in our haste, Sione ran the Siai upon a shoal off 
the north-east of that island, where we apparently stuck hard and 
fast. Sending out a kedge anchor astern and lightening the 
vessel in every possible way had no effect ; whereupon I recalled 
a story told me by my father, of an experience of his in the 
Baltic during the Crimean War, when Captain Fanshawe got the 
Hastings battleship off a shoal, by commanding her crew to stand 
at the stern and jump as one man to the sound of the bo'sun's 
pipe. Accordingly I stationed six of the Siai's crew at the 


windlass, to haul on the kedge at my whistle, and ordered the 
remainder of the crew, police and carriers, at the same souiul to 
rush aft and jump violently. This was done, and worked like a 
charm ; as the men jumped, the Siai's bow flew into the air, the 
strain on the kedge caught her, and away she went into deep 
water again. A few hours after this we dropped anchor off 
Thompson's plantation, and prepared for another attempt at the 
hill villages. 

Our plan of campaign was this. First marched the Siai's men, 
flung out as a screen of scouts, with myself as the centre pivot of 
the line ; then came Butterworth and his men in support, about a 
hundred yards behind, followed by the carriers bearing camp 
equipment. Some miles inland we came upon a grass patch, not 
previously found by me, at the end of which was a stony hill 
topped by a village, which apparently was deserted. My line of 
scouts slowly converged upon the village, when suddenly — whilst 
still about fifty yards distant — a shower of sling-stones fell amongst 
us ; to wait for the main body was practically impossible, therefore 
I gave the word to charge, and the Siai's men rushed and carried 
the village, killing some of the defenders and taking several 
prisoners. Safely in occupation, I looked back for Butterworth 
and his men, thinking that they were close on my heels, and saw, to 
my amazement, that they were halted at the bottom of the hill. 
I called to them to come up and, upon their arrival, asked Butter- 
worth why he had not followed in support. He explained that 
our arrangement was, that when we encountered hostile 
natives, I was to signal to him to close up ; as I had not signalled, 
but gone on, he had halted his men to await developments. I 
thought myself that a sudden blaze of rifle fire, and the sight of 
my men at the charge, should have been a sufficient signal to 
any one that we were in action — and with very little warning. 

Hardly had Butterworth brought his men into the village, 
than the dislodged inhabitants started pelting us with sling-stones 
from a high and commanding ridge ; so much so, in fact, that we 
were obliged to take refuge in the houses, from which safe shelter, 
half a dozen of our best shots soon inflicted such loss upon them 
as to compel them to retire and, for the time being, leave us in 
peace. We stayed in the village to rest our men and eat our 
midday meal, and whilst so engaged, we were surprised to hear 
the voice of a man gaily singing and approaching us. On looking 
over the hill, we saw, to our amazement, a fully armed native 
walking up the track towards us. " Fire a couple of shots over 
that man's head," I said to the police ; upon the shots being fired, 
the man looked up, gave a howl of surprise, and then fled. " What 
did you do that for ? " asked Butterworth ; " we might have caught 
him." "It is an obvious thing," I remarked, "that that man is 


ignorant of everything going on here, and therefore innocent of 
complicity in the murders ; he is either a local native returning 
from a protracted visit to a distant tribe, or a stranger paying a 
visit here, otherwise he w^ould not be walking about alone and 
announcing his whereabouts by song." During the afternoon 
Butterworth's men took possession of a higher ridge overlooking 
the razor-backed spurs, on which was situated the village I had 
previously failed to occupy, and, under cover of their fire, the Siai^s 
men entered and seized it without fighting. Here we camped 
for the night, and remained unmolested. 

Then, for several days, the constabulary and my men searched 
the country and took several prisoners ; we found that the fight 
had been taken out of the natives, and they were no longer 
massing to oppose us but scattering, taking refuge in every possible 
way. I now decided to return to Samarai, having captured most 
of the principal men concerned in the attack on Thompson's 
plantation ; the Goodenough Islanders, too, had learnt that the 
Government was something more than a name, and also more than 
their match at fighting. 

Having an afternoon to spare on the day before we left Good- 
enough Island — while the police and the Siai's men were 
engaged in chopping wood and carrying water to that vessel — ■ 
I took the dingey, Poruma, Warapas, and Giorgi, and went shoot- 
ing duck and pigeons up a small river. I got the most mixed bag 
I ever made in my life : pulling into the river, a hawksbill turtle 
suddenly rose about twenty feet in front of the boat ; this I 
succeeded in shooting through the head, and Poruma retrieved 
it by diving ; the turtle must have weighed about two hundred 
pounds when out of water. Then I got about a dozen duck and 
a score of pigeons, Warapas shot a wild pig, and Poruma killed a 
python fully fourteen feet in length with a half-axe (that is, a 
tomahawk with a long handle like an axe). After this, Giorgi 
discovered an alligator asleep on a bank some thirty yards away 
from the river ; creeping up, I fired my gun into one of its eyes, 
and Giorgi gave a yell of joy and rushed at it ; but the alligator, 
which was only blinded on one side and not disabled, pursued 
him, whilst I pursued the alligator, firing my revolver into its 
body, as opportunity offered, Poruma, however, gave it the coup- 
r/t'-grace, by getting up on its blind side and belting it just behind 
the head with his half-axe. We returned to the Siai with 
the dingey's gunwales nearly awash under the weight of game of 

Whilst on the subject of alligators, I may remark an extra- 
ordinary peculiarity of these reptiles, and that is, that in some 
ports and rivers of New Guinea, they appear to be absolutely 
harmless, for instance, in the Eastern Division, Port Moresby, and 


the fiords of Cape Nelson : whereas in the mouths of the San 
Joseph, Opi, Barigi, and Kumusi Rivers, they are a malignant lot of 
man-eating brutes, neither hesitating to attack men in canoes, nor 
to sneak at night into the villages and seize people. The same 
thing, in a lesser degree, applies to sharks haunting Papuan seas ; 
I have never known a man taken at Port Moresby or in the 
Mekeo district by a shark, nor do the natives there — who are at 
the best a cowardly lot — show fear of them ; but on the bars of 
the Opi, Musa, and Kumusi Rivers, I have known the brutes 
swim alongside a whaleboat and seize the blades of the oars in 
their teeth. On one occasion, at the Kumusi River, my men 
caught a shark, the belly of which contained several human bones, 
a human head, the complete plates forming the shell of a large 
turtle, and the freshly torn-ofF flipper and shoulder of a large 
dugong or sea cow. 

In relation to sharks and alligators, L. G. D. Acland — who 
afterwards got his arm chewed off by a tiger in India — Wilfred 
Walker, author of " Wanderings among South Sea Savages," and 
myself, once got a bad shock at Cape Vogel. Both men were my 
guests, and at the time we were camped on the edge of a tidal 
creek, all of us occupying the same tent, at the door of which sat a 
sentry. The sentry had thrown out a strong cotton line, with an 
enormous hook at the end baited with a sucking pig, with the idea 
of catching a shark, and had tied his line to the upright pole of 
our tent ; without warning, the whole tent vibrated violently, and 
the sentry, seizing the line, began to haul it in. Cursing him for 
• disturbing our rest, we lay down and prepared for sleep again, 
when suddenly the sentry fell backwards into the tent, closely 
followed by the head of an alligator. Hastily we scurried under 
the canvas at the back of the tent, swearing hard ; the alarm 
awoke the police who, running up, fired at the alligator, which 
promptly shuffled into the water, and went off carrying our line 
and tent pole with it. 

The Rev. W. J. Holmes, of the London Mission, once told 
me an alligator story about one of his Mission boys; a story 
which the local natives confirmed as true. Holmes sent off one of 
his Mission boys to borrow some dozen six-inch wire nails from a 
trader, who lived some miles away ; the boy was shortly to 
be married to a village girl, and she accompanied him on his 
message. On their homeward way it was necessary for them to 
ford a shallow river ; the boy walked first, when suddenly, hearing 
a shriek, he turned round to find that an alligator had seized 
his sweetheart by the leg. Hastily running back, the boy grabbed 
his lady-love by one arm and, inserting his hand behind her 
leg, jambed his packet of nails down the reptile's throat, thus 
forcing it to open its mouth and release the girl, whom he then 


dragged to the shore. The only remark the boy made about the 
incident, when he returned to Holmes, was to regret that the 
alligator had " stolen the missionary's nails." 

From Goodenough, the Siai ran rapidly to Samarai, on the 
way landing our carriers at Taupota. Here I took the opportunity 
of visiting the Mission and its school for native children ; to my 
amazement, I was received by the children all rising and singing 
the National Anthem. Standing with my escort at the salute, 

I waited until the end, and then explained to the Rev. Clark 

of the Anglican Mission, who was in charge, that ordinary people 
like myself should not be received in that manner, that they 
should only pay such compliments to the Queen's representative, 
the Governor. " That's all right," said Mr. Clark ; " but I have 
been rehearsing my children for months to receive the Governor, 
and he has never come, so, in order to avoid disappointing the 
children, I thought I would try it on you." The main portion of 
the school consisted of girls under the care of two ladies of the 
Anglican Mission, and my embarrassment was great when the 
good ladies displayed for my judgment the articles made by their 
pupils ; the garments were all of them white, and I did not know 
what the devil to say or do. At last I threw myself utterly upon 
the mercy of the ladies, and begged them to select the articles and 
girls I was to commend ; having done this I departed, vowing to 
myself, that in the future, the inspection of missionary schools was 
a duty I should delegate to the Assistant R.M. 

Leaving Taupota, I called at Wedau to inquire into the 
murder of a mother-in-law, that Moreton had told me about ; 
I found the culprit safe in the custody of the village constable, and 
also that the calling of evidence was hardly necessary, as he made 
confession in this way. "Two years ago I married my wife, 
then my father-in-law died and my wife's mother came to live 
with us. At early morning she got up and talked, when I came 
home at night, she talked ; she talked, and talked, and talked, and 
at last I got my knife and cut her throat. What have I got to 
pay ? " "Six months' hard labour," I replied, " when the Judge 
comes along ; and many a white man would be glad to get rid of 
a talking mother-in-law at the price ! " 

On our arrival at Samarai I landed my prisoners, also Butter- 
worth and his men, held a Court, and got everything in order for 
the Judge ; two days latter the Merrie England came in, and the 
Governor was pleased to approve of what I had done. Then his 
Excellency pointed out that there was still a murder in Good- 
enough Bay undealt with by me — Goodenough Bay is in the 
mainland of New Guinea, and entirely distinct from Goodenough 
Island — and that it behoved me to get to work and clean that up. 
Sir William's method of praise was always to pile on more work. 


Upon going into the matter I found that it was not one murder, 
hut two, I had to deal with ; one at Radava, and the other at 

There was no anchorage opposite either village, accordingly 
the Slai sailed up the coast and hove-to at night opposite Radava. 
Landing two boats' crews just before dawn, we entered the first 
house and, seizing the inhabitants, asked the names of the 
murderers, which were at once given. I then detailed two men to 
go to each of the guilty men's houses, the police being guided by 
the men and women we had picked out of the first house ; 
Poruma and I then went on to the house of the chiet, whom I 
also intended to arrest ; my whistle was to be the signal to burst 
into the houses and secure the men. Just as Poruma and I 
walked, or rather sneaked, up to the chief's house, we saw a 
man emerge and enter another house ; whereupon I told Poruma 
to follow and catch him when I whistled. Then, looking in at 
a deep window in the chief's house, I saw a man sleeping by the 
fire and — first blowing my whistle — leapt through the window 
and seized him ; he fought like a wild cat, and together we 
rolled through the fire, my cotton clothes catching alight and 
burning me badly ; I was still struggling with the man when 
Poruma and Warapas arrived and pulled us apart. Then I found 
that — with the exception of the chief — we had got all the men 
we wanted, and that the man I had been struggling with was the 
village lunatic. 

It had been necessary for me to take the village by night 
surprise, otherwise the people would have taken one of two 
courses : either bolted into the bush of the rough mountains or 
resisted arrest. At Boianai they did bolt, having got tidings of 
the coming of the Siai ; but here I was able to bring a peaceful 
method to bear, that resulted in the surrender of the guilty men. 
The Boianai natives have a very well-designed scheme of irrigation, 
and go in for a most intensive system of cultivation of their some- 
what limited area of rich flat land. A portion of the irrigation 
scheme consisted of a wooden aqueduct, carrying water at a high 
level over a small river. Their main crops were of taro, a 
vegetable requiring a large amount of moisture in the soil. 

Finding my birds at Boianai had flown, I seized the aqueduct 
and diverted the water from their gardens ; then I told the 
people, that when they surrendered the men I wanted, their 
gardens should again have water, but until then, none. I there- 
upon sat down in the Siai and awaited developments, leaving 
most of my men camped at the aqueduct under Warapas. Upon 
the evening of the second day, I took my gun and went off on 
shore to shoot pigeons ; Poruma, Sione, and Giorgi being at the 
time asleep in the forecastle. As the dingey returned alongside 


the Slai, pulled by the cook and a village constable, they clumsily 
contrived to bump her violently ; the row woke up Sione, who, 
finding out that I had gone off alone, promptly sent Giorgi and 
Poruma after me — a very fortunate thing for me as it proved. 
I, meanwhile, had wandered down a path to seek for pigeons ; 
Poruma and Giorgi, after some little time, discovered the track I 
was on and followed. As I peered into a tree, I suddenly heard 
a yell and a crashing blow behind me ; turning round I saw 
Poruma and Giorgi astride of a fallen man. Whilst I had been 
stalking pigeons, they had discovered him stalking me, armed 
with a horrible-looking spear ; whereupon they had stalked him, 
and cracked him on the skull, just as he poised his spear to launch 
it into my back. After Poruma and Giorgi had handcuffed the 
man, and I had examined his broken head and reproached Giorgi 
for cracking the stock of a good rifle, Poruma remarked, "It was 
a little hard that he could not have a few minutes' sleep without 
some foolishness being done." I got one home on to Poruma by 
telling him that it was the monotony of his cooking and the 
vileness of his curries that had sent mc off in search of game. 

Poruma then asked the prisoner why he had tried to spear me, 
to which he replied, that he had just been examining his garden 
and was annoyed at finding that the leaves of his taro were 
beginning to wilt, from lack of water : while so engaged, he had 
been seen by the watching police, who had chased him over the 
rough river-bed for a long distance ; then, while lurking in the 
scrub, he had caught sight of me and thought that the opportunity 
was too good to lose. After a little more conversation, our new 
acquaintance resigned himself to his fate, and volunteered — as a 
sort of propitiatory measure — to take us to where pigeons were 
plentiful ; he proved better than his word, for as well as pigeons, 
he showed me the haunts of wild duck, and I got a good 

Later, Judge Winter gave this gentleman six months for his 
attempt at bagging an R.M. ; after serving which he enlisted 
upon the Siaiy and then returned to his village as village constable 
— and a very good village constable he made. 

The following day I again looked at the gardens, and made 
up my mind that if the people did not soon surrender the men I 
wanted, I should be obliged to turn on the water, for the simple 
reason that I really did not feel justified in destroying their whole 
food supply. Fortunately, the people did not know I was 
weakening, as that very night they sent a message to me that all 
the offenders — except one — were coming in, and that they would 
catch him as soon as they could ; of course, the missing man was 
one of the most important of the lot. Sure enough the men were 
brought that night and a request made that they should be allowed 


to turn on the water, " Certainly," I replied, " so soon as I have 
the missing man." An hour later he was brought, and they got 
their water. 

From Goodenough Bay I returned once more to Samarai, 
there to await the return of Moreton. 


ONE night, in Moreton's house, I had a curious and 
uncanny experience, I was sitting at the table, 
writing a long dispatch which engaged all my 
attention ; my table was in the middle of the room, 
and on my right and left hand respectively there were two doors, 
one opening on to the front and the other on to the back verandah 
of the house ; both doors were closed and fastened with ordinary 
wooden latches, which could not possibly open of their own 
accord as a spring lock might do ; the floor of the room in which 
I was, was made of heavy teak-wood boards, nailed down ; the 
floor of the verandah being constructed of lathes of palm, laced 
together with native string. As I wrote, I became conscious that 
both doors were wide open and — hardly thinking what I was 
doing — got up, closed them both and went on writing ; a few 
minutes later, I heard footsteps upon the coral path leading up to 
the house, they came across the squeaky palm verandah, my door 
opened and the footsteps went across the room, and — as I raised 
my eyes from my dispatch — the other door opened, and they 
passed across the verandah and down again on to the coral. I paid 
very little attention to this at first, having my mind full of the 
subject about which I was writing, but half thought that either 
Poruma or Giorgi, both of whom were in the kitchen, had passed 
through the room ; however, I again rose and absent-mindedly 
shut both doors for the second time. 

Some time later, once more the footsteps came, crash crash on 
the coral, squeak squeak on the verandah, again my door opened 
and the squeak changed to the tramp of booted feet on the boarded 
floor ; as I looked to see who it was, the tramp passed close behind 
my chair and across the room to the door, which opened, then 
again the tramp changed to the squeak and the squeak to the 
crash on the coral. I was by this time getting very puzzled, but, 
after a little thought, decided my imagination was playing me 
tricks, and that I had not really closed the doors when I thought 
I had. I made certain, however, that I did close them this time, 
and went on with my work again. Once more the whole thing 
was repeated, only this time I rose from the table, took my lamp 


in my hand, and gazed hard at the places on the floor from which 
the sound came, but could see nothing. 

Then I went on to the verandah and yelled for Giorgi and 
Poruma. "Who is playing tricks here?" I asked in a rage. 
Before Poruma could answer, again came the sound of footsteps 
through my room. " I did not know that you had any one with 
you," said Poruma in surprise, as he heard the steps. " I have no 
one with me, but somebody keeps opening my door and walking 
about," I replied, "and I want him caught." "No one would 
dare come into the Government compound and play tricks on 
the R.M.," said Poruma, "unless he were mad." I was .by 
this time thoroughly angry. " Giorgi, go to the guard-house, 
send up the gate-keeper and all the men there, then go to the 
gaol and send Manigugu (the gaoler) and all his warders ; then 
send to the Siai for her men ; I mean to get to the bottom of all 
this fooling." The gate-keeper arrived, and swore he had locked 
the gate at ten o'clock, that no other than Government people 
had passed through before that hour ; that since then, until Giorgi 
went for him, he had been sitting on his verandah with some 
friends, and nobody could have passed without his knowledge. 
Then came the men from the gaol and the Siai, and I told them 
some scoundrel had been playing tricks upon me and I wanted 
him caught. 

First they searched the house, not a big job, as there were 
only three rooms furnished with spartan simplicity ; that being 
completed, I placed four men with lanterns under the house, 
which was raised on piles about four feet from the ground : at 
the back and front and sides I stationed others, until it was 
impossible for a mouse to have entered or left that house imseen. 
Then again I searched the house mj'^self ; after which Poruma, 
Giorgi and I shut the doors of my room and sat inside. Exactly 
the same thing occurred once more ; through that line of men 
came the footsteps, through my room in precisely the same 
manner came the tread of a heavily-booted man, then on to the 
palm verandah, where — in the now brilliant illumination— we 
could see the depression at the spots from which the sound came, 
as though a man were stepping there. " Well, what do you 
make of it ? " I asked my men. " No man living could have 
passed unseen," was the answer ; " it's either the spirit of a dead 
man or a devil." "Spirit of dead man or devil, it's all one to 
me," I remarked ; " if it's taken a fancy to prance through my 
room, it can do so alone ; shift my things oflf to the Siai for 
the night." 

The following day I sought out Armit. " Do you know 
anything about spooks ? " I asked ; " because something of that 
nature has taken a fancy to Moreton's house."" " Moreton once 


or twice hinted at something of the sort," said Armit, " but he 
would never speak out ; I will come and spend to-night with you, 
and we will investigate." Armit came, but nothing out of the 
ordinary occurred ; nor did I ever hear of it afterwards, and 
before a year had elapsed the house had been pulled down. When 
Morcton returned, I related my experience to him, and he then 
told me that one night, when he was sleeping in his hammock, 
he was awakened by footsteps, such as I have described, and upon 
his calling out angrily to demand who was making the racket, his 
hammock was violently banged against the wall. " I didn't care 
to say anything about it," he said, " as I was alone at the time, 
and didn't want to be laughed at." 

I have told this story for what it is worth : I leave my readers, 
who are interested in the occult or psychical research, to form 
what opinion they choose ; all I say is, that the story, as I have 
related it, is absolutely true. 

Some few days after Moreton had resumed his duties, the 
Merrie England came in with Sir William on board, and his 
Excellency told me that asBallantine, the Treasurer and Collector 
of Customs, had broken down in health, it was necessary for him 
to be relieved at once, and that I was to take up his duties. I 
protested that I knew nothing about accountants' work or book- 
keeping, and respectfully declined the appointment. " You can 
do simple addition and subtraction, that's all I want ; find your 
way to Port Moresby as soon as you can," was all the Governor 
replied. Then the Aferrie Eng/and left ; and I consulted Moreton. 
The Lord help you, laddie," said he ; " you will make a devil of 
a mess of it, but you must do what Jock says." Then Armit. 
" You must take it, or you will never get another job ; but you 
will be all right if you sit tight, and refuse to sign anything with- 
out the authority of the Governor or Government Secretary." 
Then I went to Arbouine and unfolded my tale of woe. " Oh, 
that's all right," said he ; " I will write a line to Gors, our manager 
at Port Moresby, and if you get stuck, he will lend you a good 
clerk for a day or two, who will keep you all right," 

Then I resigned myself to the inevitable ; Treasurer and 
Collector of Customs I had to be. The next thing was to find 
my way to Port Moresby, and break the news to Ballantine. A 
steamer came in, the Mount Kejnhla^ an Australian-owned boat 
recently chartered to carry coal to German New Guinea ; Burns, 
Philp and Co. were the agents, and upon my going to book a 
passage to Port Moresby, Arbouine said, "This vessel is bound by 
her insurances to carry a pilot in New Guinea waters ; I can't let 
her leave here without one, and you are the only man I can get 
hold of capable of acting as a local pilot." " Damn it all," I said, 
"I only want a passage, and you can hardly expect the Acting 



Treasurer and Collector of Customs of New Guinea to act as your 
blanky pilot." " Oh, all right," said Arbouinc, " if you don't sign 
on as pilot, the ship won't leave." 

Eventually I did take on the job as pilot of the Mount Kemhla^ 
and left for Port Moresby. She was an iron collier with iron 
decks, and utterly unsuited for tropical work ; hardly had we got 
out of Samarai Harbour, before the skipper, a nice, genial little 
man, came to me, and said, " I'm feeling very ill, for Heaven's 
sake look after the ship." I looked at him and, taking his tempera- 
ture with a clinical thermometer, found he was in a high state ot 
fever, " Get away to bed, man," I said, " and I will dose you." 
Then I told the mate to fill him up with brandy and quinine. 
" I can't do it, pilot," said the mate ; " everything is in the lazerette 
and under Government seals, and I dare not break them." I soon 
settled that by smashing the seals myself, meanwhile explaining to 
the mate that the ship's pilot happened to be the Collector of 
Customs for the Possession. " My God I " said the mate, " I've 
been in the coal trade all my life, and been in many parts of the 
world, but I have never been in a country like this before." I 
took the Mount Kembla safely into Port Moresby, from whence she 
departed two days later ; and, to my regret, I afterwards heard that 
hardly had she cleared the harbour before her nice little skipper 

Leaving the Mount Kembla^ I went to the office of the 
Government Secretary, the Hon. Anthony Musgrave, and told 
him I had been sent by the Governor to relieve Ballantine. "I 
suppose, Mr. Monckton, you have had previous experience of 
accountancy and audit [work ? " said Mr. Musgrave. " On the 
contrary," was my reply, " if you searched New Guinea from end 
to end, you could not find a man more blankly ignorant of the 
subject." Muzzy — as he was generally termed in the service — 
gasped. " Did you tell the Governor that ? " he asked. " Of 
course I did ; but he seemed to think that a man who knew 
navigation and could do simple addition and subtraction was all 
he required,"" was my reply. Muzzy sighed, and then sent for 
Ballantine and introduced me to him, after which, he gladly 
washed his hands of the matter. Ballantine was very nice and 
kind about it all. " You had better work with me for a few days," 
he said, " it's not all quite as simple as his Excellency appears 
to imagine." Three days satisfied me that the job was quite 
beyond me ; Ballantine was doing sums all day long, and could do 
work, in five minutes, that would take me a full day. At the 
end of the three days, I got him to accompany me to the 
Government Secretary, to whom I pointed out, that if I were to 
carry out the Treasurer's duties for one month, at the end of that 
time it would require at least ten clerks and one expert accountant 




to unravel the tangle. " What am I to do ? " said Mr. Musgrave. 
"Sir William must be obeyed." Ballantine also intimated that 
he was Registrar for Births, Deaths, and Marriages, and that, as 
the Death Register had not been written up for some years, I 
might delve into piles of letters and papers reporting deaths, and 
write it up ; to which cheerful occupation I betook myself. 

Meanwhile, Muzzy caught Dr. Blayney, R.M., for the 
Central Division, and told him that he was to act as Treasurer, 
etc. ; Blayney undertook it with a light heart, but three days of 
it reduced him to a mass of perspiring and swearing humanity. 
Again came a council of war. " Bramell, Government Agent at 
Mekeo, is an expert accountant," said Ballantine; "fetch him 
here to act as clerk to Blayney, and send Monckton to Mekeo as 
Assistant R,M." " The very thing," said the Government 
Secretary. I accordingly was sworn in as Assistant R.M. for the 
Central Division ; and, a few days later, Blayney took me to my 
new district in his patrol vessel, the Lokohu^ a sister ship to the 

Mekeo Station, at this time, was situated some twenty miles 
inland, amongst a fairly thick and troublesome'population. It had 
originally been opened by the late John Green ; he was followed 
by Kowald, who was killed on the Musa \ then Bramell was 
appointed. The Station consisted of an officer's house — the usual 
three-roomed affair — constabulary barracks, gaol, storerooms, 
drill ground, and about twenty acres of gardens ; the buildings and 
drill ground were surrounded by a high and strong stockade. 
The Station was originally established to protect the missionaries 
of the Sacred Heart Order, who were penetrating into the country. 
The Mekeo natives were a cowardly, treacherous, and cruel lot, 
much under the influence of sorcerers, and averse to control by the 
Government. Blayney, some four weeks previously, had swooped 
through the villages and arrested every sorcerer he could find ; he 
told me that the villagers would not give evidence against them 
unless he undertook to kill them, so that they could not return to 
exact vengeance. Blayney accordingly simply convicted them 
upon discovering any implements of their trade in their houses, 
such as charms, skulls, snakes, etc. 

Upon our arrival at the Government Station, Bramell received 
us with very mixed feelings. " I am glad to get out of this hole," 
he said, " but it seems I have got an Irishman's rise." Blayney, 
after staying a day, went off again, but Bramell stayed a little 
while to put me in the way of things, and a cheery way of things 
they appeared to me. He showed me his bedroom closely shut 
up, and his bed surrounded by a circle of tables, upon each one 
of which he had deposited loaded firearms. " What on earth is 
all that for ? " I asked. " Sorcerers," he replied ; " they are the 



most poisonous brutes, and keep me perpetually on the jump ; 
how they get in I don't know, but get in they do, and put snakes 
and other beastliness in my bed. Arrows, too, come over the 
stockade in the night and light anywhere, though we can never 
catch the men shooting them ; on dark nights we have frequently 
discovered strangers prowling about the houses, but up to now, 
they have always managed to get over the stockade before we 
could catch them. The beggars are always trying to poison me 
too ; don't you ever buy cocoanuts with the husks ofF, or anything 
else into which they can possibly have inserted poison ; they have 
contrived to kill three boys in succession carrying my mails to the 
coast ; the boys are all supposed to have died from accidental 
snake bite, but I know better." 

After having given me all the information in his power about 
the working of the district, and having'completcd the formality of 
handing it over, Bramell left for the coast to take ship for Port 
Moresby, being escorted by half a dozen constabulary. I spent a 
week overhauling the last year's reports from the Station, and 
getting a grip, as best I could, of the trend of affairs in the past. 
I soon saw that the district was out of hand, and would require 
fairly strong measures in dealing with it ; I saw also that it was 
not Bramell's fault, for he had not sufficient authority as a 
Government Agent and Native Magistrate to keep the people in 
order : my appointment, however, carried the full powers of a 
Resident Magistrate. 

A few days after his departure, one of the nocturnal visitors 
was discovered in the compound, but as usual he streaked over the 
stockade and disappeared, leaving several poisonous snakes behind 
him. The Mekeo constabulary could not hit an elephant in the 
dark with their rifles, much less a running man. I began to feel 
nearly as annoyed with the sorcerers as Bramell, and determined 
to cure them of coming inside the stockade : accordingly I drew the 
shot from several gun cartridges, and replaced it with coarse blue- 
stone, and then I gave the sentry my gun with the doctored 
cartridges instead of his rifle ; next I pulled the bullet out of a 
rifle cartridge belonging to each private, and replaced it with 
mixed bluestone and dust shot. "Now," I explained to the men, 
who hated the sorcerers as thoroughly as did Bramell, " I'm going 
to play sorcery against sorcery ; I have charmed these cartridges, 
so that if you hold your rifle firmly, take plenty of time in aiming 
at a sorcerer at night, and he is a true sorcerer, you can't miss 

In the gaol I had found Poruta, a son of Bushimai, one of the 
Mambare prisoners who had given me the trouble at Samarai, 
they having been scattered among the different gaols. I took 

uta, who was very lonely amongst a strange people, as my 



prfvatc attendant ; I had plenty of work for the constabulary, 
without taking one as an orderly, and I did not feel keen on 
having a local boy as servant, for fear that he might insert some- 
thing in my grub or a snake in my bed. Poruta — like all the 
Binandere people — had no fear of the dark, and was a born fighter ; 
he took a keen interest in my plans for the discomfiture of the 
sorcerers, though he thought that all of them should be sought 
out and dealt with, with a club. He pointed out that the sentry 
always stood in one place — a place that must be perfectly well 
known to our night visitors — and also that the police, with the 
exception of two on my verandah, were always grouped about the 
barracks. " I would undertake," said Poruta, " under the present 
system, to come inside the stockade every night and escape unseen. 
Make four men lie flat on their stomachs in the middle of the drill 
ground, each man ^watching the sky-line on one side of the 
stockade, and they are bound to see any man climbing over." I 
did this ; but I also tied a string on to the toe of the corporal in 
the barracks, and led it into the midst of the four watchers, so that 
they could alarm the barracks without noise, and aho without 
giving any warning to our night visitors. 

The very first night that the plan was tried, it worked ex- 
cellently. Watching the sky-line carefully, one of the sentries 
noticed a head appear, followed by a second one ; gently touching 
his three companions, he directed their attention to the intruders ; 
immediately one fowling piece and three rifles, loaded with small 
shot and bluestone, converged on the figures of two men, as, flat 
on their stomachs, they slid sideways over the fence, and then 
gently began to lower themselves on the inner side. In their 
excitement, each of the four sentries forgot to pull the string 
attached to the corporal's toe. Bang went all the guns together, 
an awful series of shrieks went up from the smitten intruders, as 
they hastily hauled themselves back over the stockade, and fled 
howling into the night. At the same time the air was rent by 
tearful yells and curses from the barracks ; the police, at the 
sound of the shots, had hastily jumped to their feet and rushed 
out ; man after man tumbled over and tangled himself up with 
the line attached to the corporal's toe, thereby nearly dragging off 
that much enduring member. 

For weeks after this, we were untroubled by nocturnal 
visitors ; and by every one on the Station — bar the corporal — the 
plan was regarded as a gigantic success. My fame as a charmer 
of rifles, for use against sorcerers, spread through the land. I 
never found out who our two visitors were, but I will wager they 
never forgot their experience that night. 

The next thing to which I had to turn my attention, was the 
straightening up of the detachment of constabulary ; they showed 


a slackness and^ lack of smartness'^ that I did not like. On the 
drill ground they appeared willing enough, but they could neither 
march, shoot, nor drill decently. I slanged the non-com. in 
charge, who was a Western man, but came from a different tribe 
and village to the rest of the men. " I can't do anything with 
them, sir," he said ; " whenever Mr. Bramell was away they 
would not drill, and now, if you are not on parade, they only 
play the fool and cheek me." I drilled and cursed the men my- 
self, but they merely said that their non-com. was a liar, and that 
their behaviour was immaculate. P'or a long time I could never 
get hold of any specific instance of disrespect or disobedience to 
the non-com. ; at last, however, I caught them, and this is the 
way I did it. 

I went one night to the Mission house, taking with me Poruta 
and half a dozen constabulary ; arriving there, I sent off the police, 
telling them I meant to stay the night with the missionary. I 
had previously told the non-com. to station a gaol warder — a 
countryman of his own — at the gate instead of a private, and to 
tell him to hold his tongue as to the hour I came home. Return- 
ing at about five o'clock in the morning, I was admitted by the 
warder, went straight to my house, which overlooked the parade 
ground, and got into bed without striking a light. Poruta slept 
in my room. Daylight and six o'clock came, and I was awakened 
by the yells of the non-com. parading his men ; peeping out, I 
saw them come slowly strolling on to the drill ground and 
languidly fall in, some wearing fatigue kit of cotton, some full 
dress of serge, some without belts, and some without jumpers ; 
one shining light fell in attired in the white "sulu " he slept in, 
some smoked in the ranks, others chattered, and they drilled like 
a newly enlisted volunteer company. For half an hour I watched 
the beauties, and listened to them answering back their non-com., 
who cursed and beseeched alternately. 

Then I buckled on my belts, and walked slowly down my 
steps and up to the squad, watching them stiffen and their eyes 
start, as they saw the unexpected apparition of their officer. " I 
think I will finish the drill. Corporal," I remarked ; then to the 
squad, " Pile arms ! " and they piled arms. Then I inspected 
man after man, ordering each one that I found incompletely 
dressed to strip to the buff and fall in for physical drill. Only 
one man. Private Keke, passed inspection ; and I made him 
lance-corporal on the spot. After this, I drilled that unhappy 
squad until sweat ran down their brown bodies in streams ; wind- 
ing up by sending them at the double straight up against the 
stockade, at which they instinctively stopped. "I did not tell you 
to halt, you slack-backed pig-stealers ; your meat rations and 
tobacco are stopped .for a week j forward ! " Over the stockade 



that sweating detachment went. " About turn ! " Back they 
came ; and I kept them at it until they were falling from the top, 
instead of jumping, from sheer exhaustion. Then I halted them 
on the parade ground again, and made a little speech ; telling 
them that I was weak from shame at having to do with such a 
lot of feeble wasters, and that I felt certain the Commandant had 
made a mistake, and sent to Mekco a sanitary gang — or some- 
thing of that sort — instead of a detachment of constabulary. 
Their disgraceful exhibition had made me feel so faint, that I 
must go and breakfast, but meanwhile they would stand at 

I went to breakfast and lingered over it ; then I returned to 
my depressed squad. "You have already lost your meat and 
tobacco for halting without orders ; do it again, and I will clap 
the whole lot of you into gaol and feed you on pumpkins, until 
the Commandant can send me some real constabulary from head- 
quarters." Then I marched them into the garden, where, after 
doubling them about in extended order for some time, I suddenly 
wheeled them up to about an acre of pine-apples — horribly prickly 
things — and then, " Double ! Charge 1 " Into the awful things 
went those naked men, whilst I yelled curses at them for breaking 
line. When they were fairly in the middle, I shouted, " Halt ! " 
and then remarked, " I think you have had your lesson, pick your 
way out of the prickles and go to your breakfast ; I don't think 
you will want me to do your non-com.'s duty again in a hurry." 
Leaving the men to crawl out as best they could, I went back to 
my house, where, shortly after. Corporal Sara came to get braid 
for Keke's stripe. " They will give no further trouble," he re- 
marked ; "they are blood from their thighs to the soles of their 
feet, and most of them are crying from pain and shame ; but they 
won't be fit to march for another week." 

On looking into things at Mekeo Station, I found that a vast 
number of economic plants had been planted by Kowald, who 
was an expert botanist, for experimental purposes ; and that there 
was a strict order from Sir William MacGregor that they should 
receive every care and attention. I knew nothing about them ; 
cinchona was the same to me as cocoa, a rubber plant as a coffee 
plant ; vanilla, hemp, and the rest were as Hebrew, and not a 
man in the detachment — as was naturally to be expected — knew 
any more. Also I found that I had not a man that could read or 
write, or who was really fit to be in charge of the Station during 
my absence ; accordingly I sent a loud wail to Blayncy that I 
must have a Station-keeper, with a knowledge of plantation work 
and capable of keeping books, otherwise I should chuck the work 
at once. Blayney promptly sent me Basilio, a Manilla man, an 
excellent fellow, who immediately flung himself into his new 


duties with great zeal. By the time he arrived, I had got my 
police as sharp as terriers, and ready for anything in the way of 

Basilio brought me a mail from Hall Sound, the port! of the 
Melceo district ; among the letters I found one from a German 
trader and copra buyer in the Gulf of Papua, stating that lie was 
constantly being robbed and threatened by the natives, and went 
in constant fear for his life ; he also referred to several previous 
letters, and said that if his present complaint was not attended to, 
he would shortly be a murdered man. I looked through the 
Station correspondence, and found several letters from the man, 
making complaints against the natives, the letters being marked 
n Bramell's writing with "rot," "more rot," " bunkum," "sheer 
funk." I read them all, and thought to myself, " This chap may 
be merely crying wolf when there is no wolf; but if he does 
happen to get killed, his Excellency will want some one upon 
whom to vent his wrath, and it strikes me I shall be the victim." 
Therefore I prepared to go into the Gulf in the whaleboat : when 
I remark that it was the South-East season, and meant a trip 
against a heavy sea, current, and head wind, with a big surf to 
land through every night, it will be seen that the prospect was 
not cheerful. 

For some days the police nearly pulled their insides out, 
forcing the whaleboat in the teeth of the south-easter ; for 
several nights regularly, whaler, police, and myself were capsized 
in the surf, when we were landing to camp, and rolled up upon 
the beach in a heap, all our belongings, which were lashed to 
the boat, being soaked with salt water. Blistered by the sun, 
hands raw from tugging at the oars, and bruised all over from 
the bumps as we rolled upon coral beaches, at last we made the 
complaining German trader's Station, and I asked him what all 
the trouble was about, as his Station appeared quite happy and 
peaceful, and the natives very friendly. " A few months ago I 
had a few cocoanuts stolen," he said. " Well," I asked, " what 
about all your stories of imminent battle, murder, and sudden 
death ? " " I thought that it was time the Government looked 
me up, and I had better pitch things a bit strong, or they would 
not bother," he had the ineffable impudence) to remark. " You 
German swine," I said, "you have made me risk my life, and 
the lives of a dozen men, coming here, merely to pander to your 
sense of importance ; it I can get the slightest excuse, I'll gaol 
you." Unfortunately I could get no excuse for doing so ; 
accordingly, [ had to content myself with blackguarding him up 
hill and dowi dale before leaving, and telling him that the 
natives could eat him, before I would move a man to his 
assistance again. If he had been a native, I could have given 

# life' 



him a fortnight's gaol for sending a lying report, but unfortunately 
that law did not apply to white men. 

Whilst in the Gulf, I received constant complaints about the 
doings — or rather misdoings — of a strange nomadic inland tribe, 
called by the coastal natives Kuku Kuku ; people who apparently 
appeared unexpectedly, and hovered about the coastal villages, 
snapping up stray men, women, and children, and cutting off 
their heads ; then vanishing into the unknown. I promised the 
villagers that, in the near future, the Government would deal 
with the Kuku Kuku people, but that I had too much other 
work at present ; in any case, my whaler's complement was not 
sufficient for an inland expedition. 

I also heard of the existence of a secret society called the 
Kaiva Kuku, the members of which assembled fully disguised in 
strange masks and cloaks, and went through secret ceremonies 
and ritual ; branches and agents of it also existed in every coastal 
village. I did not like this at all, thinking that probably many 
of the murders and crimes alle2;ed arainst the Kuku Kuku were 
offences committed by this secret society. I did not stay long 
enough in the Mekeo district to have any dealings with the 
Kaiva Kuku, but, from what I heard of the society whilst I was 
there, I believe that they were a set of blood-thirsty, terrorizing, 
and blackmailing scoundrels, badly needing stamping out. In 
later years, when Captain Barton was R.M. of the Division, I 
gave him my views about native secret societies, and the Kaiva 
Kuku in particular ; but he held they might be a benevolent 
organization, created for the suppression of immorality and vice. 
My own opinion was, that they were bad, and existed merely 
for the purpose of carrying out unnameable rites and beastliness, 
this being borne out by the history of all native races among 
which secret societies were established ; also I held that the 
morality and conduct of a village or tribe were better maintained 
by a Government Chief, or village constable, acting openly, than 
by secret tribunals. 

Secret societies — to the extent of my experience — only exist 
in British New Guinea west of Yule Island ; and bestiality, 
human sacrifice, incest, and other abominable crimes, have never 
been heard of out of the regions in which such societies hold 
their sway ; the natural inference, therefore, is that there is some 
connection between them. I can see no reason to justify any 
Government official in permitting the existence of such societies 
in any district over which he holds control, unless he means to 
shirk his responsibilities and abuse the powers entrusted to him 
by Governm-ent in favour of an organization of which he can 
know nothing. I do not wish to dogmatie ; but I hold — after 
many years' experience and intimate connection with natives — 


that a magistrate is fully justified, once he finds any man or body 
of men pretending to esoteric, occult or supermundane powers, 
in smashing that man or society, even if he has to use force to 
do it. Secret societies can do no possible good amongst any race 
of people, and they possess tremendous potentialities for harm 
and injustice. Every Englishman would rise in horror at the 
thought of having the old Spanish Inquisition established again ; 
therefore let every Englishman see to it that, among the native 
races he governs, no similar thing can possibly exist. 

Returning from the Gulf, a storm compelled me to beach 
the whaleboat at Maiva, a collection of villages just east of Cape 
Possession, where I found a violent epidemic raging among the 
people, and was told that it was spreading like wildfire amongst 
all the villages of the Mekeo district. Here I hauled up the 
whaleboat and had a house built over her, as I saw I must quickly 
get to my Station in order to procure fresh police and be able to 
devote my whole attention to dealing with the sickness, which 
I could see was going to be no light undertaking. Leaving my 
whaleboat safely housed to protect her from the sun, I marched 
my police as rapidly as possible overland to the Station ; we arrived 
there a couple of hours after nightfall on the second day, the 
whole squad of men accompanying me being — like myself — 
utterly tired and worn out. 

Basilio came to my house whilst I sat waiting for Poruta to 
prepare some food for me, and, after watching the tired Poruta for 
a few minutes, he volunteered to make me a Malay curry and 
let him go to the barracks to sleep. Poruta accordingly was sent 
off to bed ; whilst I — after listening for a short time to an 
unusual and angry hum from the native village of Veipa, situated 
a short distance beyond our gate — also dropped off to sleep. 
Basilio woke me up a little later, and directed myfattention to a 
table spread in Malay fashion with food, consisting of an excellent 
curry and the choicest of the Station's garden fruit ; he then sat 
down and waited until I had finished. 

" What the devil is the meaning of the row in the village, 
Basilio ? " I asked, by way of beginning the conversation. " It 
is humming like a swarm of angry bees." "I don't know, sir ; 
but twice the fathers have sent here to-day asking for you, and I 
have answered that you were away, and I did not know when 
you would return." Basilio was a devout R.C., and invariably 
referred to the Sacred Heart missionaries as " the fathers." " I 
have warned Corporal Sara to keep ten men under arms," he 
went on, " as I am certain there is trouble of some sort brewing, 
over the sickness of the people ; ten have died in Veipa since you 
left, and the sorcerers say it is either the fault of the Government 
or of the Mission." " Send a couple of men to the Mission 

j^RCi'-'^lliiiCd-^. ^.- -^ j'-'--" 



house at once," I said, "and ask Fathers 'Bouellard or Vitali to 
let me know what the trouble is." Basilio sent the men ofF; 
meanwhile the angry hum from the village rose to a yapping, 
snarling note, that I did not like. 

The Mekeo detachment, at this time, was the only one in 
New Guinea armed with bayonets. The strain on my nerves 
became rather greater than I could stand ; therefore I bolted to 
the barracks and told Sara to turn out every available man to be 
ready for action in the village. Hardly had the men paraded 
with bayonets fixed, than back came my two men. " The 
Veipa villagers are fighting," they said, " arrows are flying thick, 
and the fathers are trying to pacify them ; unless you are quick, 
the missionaries will be killed." Hastily I doubled my men 
down the path to the village, which I found lit up by enormous 
bonfires, while two opposite factions of villagers were wildly 
shooting arrows and fighting savagely; Fathers Vitali and 
Bouellard, with several brothers of the Mission, were dancing 
about among them and endeavouring to maintain peace. Veipa 
village had a nice wide straight street, in which the riot was 
going on ; swinging my men into line at the end of it, I bid 
them charge. No one was killed, though a few bayonets bit 
deep, and a few skulls were damaged by the butt ends ; in five 
minutes the natives were flying howling to their houses. Then 
I gathered up the fathers and took them off" to supper with me, 
leaving a patrol to keep the village in order. "The good God 
sent you in time," said Father Vitali ; " we thought you were 
away, and that it was the revolution." " After I have had a 
little sleep, I think the villagers of Veipa will think it is the 
revolution," I remarked. "I will warrant them tribulation." 
Later I had the two priests escorted home, and at the same time 
sent a message to the patrol, that they were to bully and bang 
the inhabitants about as much as possible, and also that they were 
to tell the natives that, if so much as a piece of soft mud touched 
the good fathers or sisters, I would make them believe that 
millions of devils were loose among them. " Remind them," I 
said to the patrol, "of what happened to the two sorcerers 
climbing my fence, and tell them that I am devising a worse 
punishment still for them, if they offend further." 

The following afternoon, I sent for the village constable ot 
Veipa and withdrew the patrol, as I heard from the priests that all 
was now quiet, and the people waiting in a chastened frame or 
mind for the punishment to come. The explanation of the riot, 
given to me by the village constable, was that several deaths 
had occurred, and, in compliance with Government Regulations, 
the bodies had been buried in the allotted cemetery ; then several 
more people died and the village was filled with fear and wailing. 


Now came the sorcerers' opportunity ; and they promptly improved 
it by preaching to the people, that the plague had come upon them 
for abandoning the old practices of the tribe, in favour of Govern- 
ment and Mission ways. "Did we have deaths like this, when 
we buried our dead under the floors of the houses ? " they asked, 
answering themselves, " No I " Then — instigated by the sorcerers 
— the natives began again to bury their newly dead in the houses, 
whilst others dug up those already in the cemetery, for removal 
to the village. The constable and Government chief had asked 
the fathers to come and help them to persuade the villagers to 
obey the law ; but by the time the fathers could come, feeling 
between the factions — respectively obeying the constable and the 
sorcerers — was running high : arguments, threats, and persuasion 
having failed, the constable started removing the bodies by force, 
and the riot began. " Where is the chief sorcerer ? " I asked. 
"He ran away when the row began," was the reply. "Why 
did you not arrest him ? " " I did suggest fit," said 'the v.c, 
" but he threatened to smite me with a wasting sickness, if 
I touched him." 

The village constable then reeled off a list of offenders and 
law-defying men in his village, which I wrote down, and then 
sent him off to tell them to come to mei at once ; they came — 
about forty of them — some looking sulky or sullen, some angry, 
and some frightened. "Tell them, Basilio, to sit down in a line 
in front of me." They sat down ; the v.c, glad to get a little 
revenge, hastening the laggards by sharp blows with his 

" Now," I remarked, " I have heard a lot about sorcery since 
I cime here, I am going to treat you to a little. Basilio, tell 
them to look at my eyes as I pass down the line, and tell 
me what they notice ! " " Well ? " I asked, when they had 
all looked, " what do they see ? " *' They say your eyes are not 
as the eyes of other men, alike in colour, but differ one from the 
other." " Very true," I said, as I stepped back a dozen feet 
where all could see me plainly. " Now tell them to look at my 
mouth," and I grinned, showing an excellent set of false teeth. 
They looked. " Well ? " " They see strong white teeth," 
Basilio interpreted, smothering a grin as he guessed what was 
coming. Turning my back for a second, I dropped my false 
teeth into my handkerchief and, swinging round again, exposed a 
row of toothless gums. A yell of horror and amazement went up, 
and fearful glances were cast behind for somewhere whither to 
bolt, I swept my handkerchief before my mouth, and again 
grinned a glistening toothful grin. There were no sulky or 
defiant glances now, nothing but looks of abject fear and 
horror. " Ask them, Basilio, whether in all their villages, there 


is a sorcerer that can do such a thing as that ? " " No," was tlie 
answer, " the white chief is greater than them all." 

" Now explain to them," I said, " that the white men know 
more witchcraft than their own sorcerers, but they do not practise 
it, as it is an evil thing. I am going to make things uncommonly- 
hot for the sorcerers in this district : the first one I catch, I will 
show to you what a feeble thing he is ; for I will smell at a glass 
of clear water and then make him smell it, and he will jump into 
the air and fall as a dead man." A wonderful effect can be 
obtained with half a wineglass of strong ammonia, I may remark 
in passing. " Basilio, tell them I am going to punish them but 
lightly this time ; but if I have to deal with this particular 
lot again, they will get something to remember. First of all, they 
will return to the village and remove the corpses to the cemetery ; 
then they will clean up the village thoroughly ; after that, tliey 
will return here and work in the gardens for a week without pay, 
and will cool their hot blood by living exclusively upon 

The v.c. then asked permission to make a speech to his 
people ; he had been as much surprised as any one at my 
performance, but also regarded it as throwing reflected glory 
upon himself. He pointed out to them, that all this trouble had 
fallen upon them through neglecting his good advice and defying 
his authority ; perhaps now they would see what a pattern he 
was ror them to follow ! He then began to take them individually 
to task, and to rake up past misdoings on their part that had 
escaped retribution ; but here I cut the worthy constable short, 
and told him to conclude his remarks while they cleaned the 
village. I heard afterwards that he stood on a platform in Veipa, 
and inflicted a two hours' oration on his unfortunate people. 
The next day the village constables from a dozen villages came in, 
to tell me that the people — with the exception of the Veipa 
villagers — were burying their dead in their houses, but that all the 
sorcerers had skipped for the bush. 


MY first business now, was to try and find out the nature 
of the rapid and deadly disease from which the people 
were suffering, and with this object in view I con- 
sulted the priests of the Sacred Heart. The only 
London Missionary Society man in the district had just left for 
England. The priests were looking after his Samoan and Fijian 
teachers, who were all blue with funk, and were also supplying 
them with medicines. I believe four of the teachers died during 
the epidemic, as well as a number of the European members of the 
Sacred Heart. I soon came to the conclusion that the source of 
the infection was in the water supply of the villages, and ordered 
that all water for the domestic use of the villagers should be drawn 
from the San Joseph river, or other big streams, where pollution 
was practically impossible, instead of from pools near the river. 
Threats, punishment, persuasion, nothing was of any avail ; still 
the people would persist in drawing and drinking the water from 
the pools to which they had been in the habit of going. 

I rushed through the district with a flying patrol, and made the 
lives of the village constables and chiefs a burden to them ; but 
still the natives died pike flies, and still they drank from the pools. 
In each village I made the village constable give me a list of houses 
in which bodies had been buried, and then set the police to prod 
with their bayonets through the earthen floor until the corpses 
were discovered ; whereupon, we made the householder disinter 
them and plant them in the cemetery ; if there were no cemetery, 
I laid one out for them. I sent every householder off to gaol in 
whose house I found a corpse, until Basilio sent to say there would 
soon be a famine in the Station ; then, to prevent this, I levied 
toll of food upon the villagers, and plundered their gardens if they 
did not pay. But still the people drank from the pools, and 
sickened and died. 

I called a meeting of chiefs and village constables, and 
threatened and prayed them to stop the burial in the houses and 
the drinking of polluted water. " We can't stop it," they said ; 
" you are strong and wise, tell us what to do." I racked my brains, 
and at last I thought I saw a way out. " Take this message to 


your people," I said : " I am going myself to poison every hole 
from which they draw water, except running streams, and they 
can come and see me do it ; after that, I shall burn down every 
house in which a man is buried, and if I find five corpses in one 
village, I shall burn the whole village. In the meantime they are 
all to leave the villages, and camp in shelters half a mile away." 
Then I wondered how I could make the people believe that their 
wells and pools were really poisoned ; hunting amongst my supply 
of drugs, I found about half a pound of Permanganate of Potash, 
a few grains of which, placed in a bucketful of water, is sufficient 
to produce a red colour. " Ah," I thought to myself, " now for 
a little sorcery." I carefully filled up two wine glasses, one with 
Ipecacuanha wine, an emetic ; the other with water, coloured by 
Permanganate to a passable imitation of it. Then I returned to 
my meeting of chiefs and village constables, carrying the glasses in 
my hands. 

I addressed the meeting in this way. " You see these glasses ? 
They contain a virulent poison, the poison I am going to put in 
the wells and pools. I am going to drink one glassful and Maina, 
v.c, the other ; but the strength of my magic will save us from 
dying, though you will be able to see what a bad poison it is." 
Maina was not at all keen on drinking his brew, but as his brother 
v.c.'s all told him to rely upon me, and I told him he would get 
the sack as a v.c, and gaol for disobedience of orders, if he did not, 
he plucked up courage and swallowed the nauseous draught with 
many grimaces. I then swallowed mine, passed round cigarettes, 
and awaited developments. In twenty minutes Maina asked 
whether I was certain of the efficacy of my protection against the 
poison I had given him, as he was feeling very ill. I explained 
that I was, and that he would be quite safe, unless at any time he 
had neglected his duties as a v.c. : should he have done that, he 
would be extremely ill for a few minutes, and then get quite well 
again. Somehow or other I think Maina must have been remiss 
in his duties, for in a few minutes he was most uncommonly sick, 
after which he rapidly recovered. The meeting then dispersed, 
fully convinced that my threat of poisoning the water was no idle 
one, and prepared to explain to the people the colour and nature 
of the poison I intended using. 

Village after village I then visited, drawing from each well or 
pool a bucketful of water, which I coloured red with Permanganate 
and exhibited to the natives : after which, I made some hocus 
pocus passes with my hands over the pool or well, whilst I poured 
in the mixture, dismally chanting all the time, " Boney was a 
warrior, Boney was a thief, Boney came to my house and stole a 
leg of beef." My voice, I may remark, is not a melodious one. 
At very big pools I constructed a little boat of leaves — like the paper 


boats made by children — and placing a little gunpowder in it, I 
focusscd the rays of the sun through one of the lenses removed from 
my field-glasses, until it exploded in a puff of fire and smoke. Then, 
gazing severely at the village constable and assembled villagers, I 
would groan loudly, and explain that the poison devils I had placed 
in that particular pool were of the most malignant description, and 
I hoped that they would not be fools enough to allow them to enter 
their systems through the medium of the water. " Not much ! " 
was the equivalent of their reply ; " we are not going to risk magic 
of this sort. No ! Not even if we have to walk miles for our 

I sent a report to Blayney describing the symptoms of the sick, 
and asking for advice, Blayney was a doctor, as well as R.M., the 
only one besides Sir William MacGregor in New Guinea. He 
replied, ^' I can't come to help you, I am tied up by this infernal 
Treasury work ; there is no doubt, I think, that the illness is 
enteric fever. Look to your water supply and drive the people 
out of the infected houses." I had already done all this, so I 
merely continued patrols to make sure that the natives were 
carrying out my orders ; the immediate effect being, that the sick- 
ness slackened and the deaths dwindled down to almost nothing. 
" Thank Heaven," I thought, " I have got it under." Suddenly 
a fresh outburst occurred, sweeping like a wave with awful 
virulence through the people, who were now mostly camped away 
from the villages. 

At my wits' end, I again assembled the chiefs and village 
constables. " What foolery are you up to now ? " I asked. " Are 
you drinking the water from the poisoned wells, or burying the 
dead in the villages or houses ? " " Oh no," they said, " we have 
obeyed you most strictly ; also we have carried out a precaution 
suggested by the sorcerers." "What was that? " I demanded. 
*' They have told us that when a death takes place, the body of the 
dead person is to be licked by all the relations." Frantic with rage, 
I jumped to my feet and howled for the Station guard. "Strip the 
uniform and Government clothes off these men, and throw them 
into gaol, until I can devise some means of bringing them to their 
senses," I yelled, as the police came running up. Pallid with funk, 
and loudly protesting that they were good and loyal servants of the 
Government, my village constables and chiefs were hauled away. 
Soon, from the villages, came streaming in the wives, friends, and 
relations of the imprisoned men, weeping bitterly and praying me 
to release their husbands, fathers, brothers, etc. Then I took 
counsel with Basilio. " The men are not to blame," he said, " it 
is the sorcerers ; you will do no good by punishing the v.c.'s and 
chiefs, who are trying to help you, merely because they are fools." 
" Very true ; but how can I catch the elusive sorcerer r " I 


remarked. " The v.c.'s are badly frightened now," said Basilio ; 
" scare them a little more, and they will drop a hint as to the 
whereabouts of some of them." I had my v.c.'s brought back, 
and threatened and abused them alternately ; they all — with one 
exception — squirmed, lied, and tried to excuse themselves, and all 
denied knowledge as to the whereabouts of the sorcerers. " How 
then did you receive the message from them, as to the licking of 
the bodies of the dead ? " I demanded. Dead silence and more 

Then I turned to the one man who had not lied and excused 
himself. "What have you to say for yourself?" "Nothing: 
if you choose to put me in gaol, put me there ; but since you came, 
I have most strictly carried out the orders of the Government, and 
I have had no communication with sorcerers ; neither have I had 
any deaths in my village since you closed the wells ; also the people 
of my village have not licked the bodies of the dead." Three 
minutes' inquiry confirmed the truth of this village constable's 
statement : whereupon, I returned his uniform, gave him a brass 
bird of paradise badge (the badge worn on the caps of the 
constabulary), and told him., that for the future he was senior 
village constable for the district with double pay, and when he 
visited the Station he should have the right to sleep in the 
constabulary barracks, instead of in the visitors' house. The name 
of this man was Aia Kapimana, and on his leaving to return to his 
village, he called up a youth of about fourteen : "My son," he 
proudly said ; "I give him to you as a servant." I didn't want a 
servant, but not wishing to offend the man, whose feelings I had 
already most unjustly hurt, I said I would keep him for a while. 
The boy had the same name as his father, "Aia," and was a nice 
smart-looking lad ; I sent him to join Poruta. 

This youth remained in my private service for many months, 
accompanying me afterwards when I left the Mekco district to 
go to the South-Eastern Division 5 I found him to be always 
loyal and obedient. After he left my service and returned to 
Mekeo, he was engaged as a private servant by my successor, 
Amedco Giulianetti, who was a man, like myself, very severe upon 
the sorcerers : unfortunately for him, however, he was never very 
popular with the constabulary. One night Giulianetti was 
sleeping in the house of the local London missionary on the coast, 
about twenty miles from Mekeo Station, while his police and Aia 
were sleeping in native houses some distance away. To Aia, 
came a sorcerer and said, " You are to shoot your master dead ; if 
I could shoot, I would do it ; but as I cannot, you must ; and 
if you refuse I shall strike you dead." Aia took a police rifle 
and, accompanied by the sorcerer, walked up to the Mission 
house ; Giulianetti was sleeping with a lighted lamp on a chair 


beside his bed; Aia blew out Giulianctti's brains, then, firing 
another shot at him, fled — as did the sorcerer. The sorcerer, in 
fording a stream during his flight, was seized by an alligator and 
severely mangled before he could escape from its jaws ; believing 
then that the alligator was on the side of the Government and 
that escape was hopeless, he made no further effort to get away, 
and was secured by the police. Aia either gave himself up to 
them or was secured by the fathers of the Sacred Heart Mission. 
These, shortly, were the facts elicited at the trial of Aia and 
the sorcerer, both of whom were sentenced to long terms of 

At the time the murder took place, I was stationed at Cape 
Nelson on the north-cast coast, and amongst my constabulary 
were some of the men of the Mekeo detachment, who had been 
transferred to me there. I have no hesitation now in saying, that 
I am^ convinced that all the facts as to how Giulianetti was 
murdered were not elicited at the trial, and that I believe some of 
Giulianetti's police were concerned in it. Firstly, it was not 
clear how Aia got the rifle and cartridges without the consent and 
knowledge of the owner ; secondly, Aia swore that Giulianetti 
was sleeping with his mosquito net raised and a lamp burning, 
thereby allowing Aia a clear view of him. Now, it is utterly 
impossible for a European, in the Mekeo district, to sleep without 
a mosquito net ; and to say that a man could sleep unprotected, 
in a room with a light attracting mosquitoes in myriads, is rank 
absurdity. If the mosquito net was down — as I am convinced 
it must have been — Giulianetti's body would not have been visible 
to the man shootingat him, and some one must have raised it to 
allow Aia to aim. The shot, according to Aia's statement, was 
fired from the doorway ; this must have been true, for otherwise, 
the flash would have scorched the mosquito net or bed-clothes. 
Two shots were- fired : now, Aia was a first-class shot, and had — 
according to his own statement — killed Giulianetti with the first ; 
why, therefore, did he remain to reload his rifle and fire again, 
after the first shot had alarmed the house ? That second shot 
came from a rifle other than Aia's I am convinced. Another 
point to be considered is, that when the sorcerer first commanded 
Aia to shoot Giulianetti and threatened him with death if he 
disobeyed, why did he not appeal for help to the police, who were 
his friends, and some of whom came from his own village ? 

My own opinion is that Aia did tell the police, and that some 
of them were concerned in the murder. This view of mine was 
shared by my own police at Cape Nelson, and by nearly every 
member of the constabulary with whom I talked. Another reason 
I had for thinking that the Mekeo detachment — at that time — 
would not have been above making away with an unpopular 


officer was, that on one occasion, while they were under Bramell's 
command, the whole lot had arranged to fire at him on the parade 
ground during inspection. When the time came, however, only 
one man carried out the plot by raising his rifle, firing, and 
missing him at about ten paces ; Bramell had then deliberately 
walked up to the man, taken his smoking rifle from him and led 
him up to the police cell, into which he had shoved the offender, 
after which, he had resumed his inspection of the squad. Bramell 
punished the man afterwards, but, as he was in hot water at the 
time at Headquarters, did not report the incident for fear of 
— somehow or other — being blamed himself. The punishment 
he allotted to the culprit was a peculiar one, and one that I 
cannot say commended itself to mc, richly though the mutineer 
deserved it. At that time there were in the Station two dark 
cells, one of which was never used, for the reason that on a 
previous occasion a man had hanged himself in it, and the police 
thought it was haunted by his ghost ; Bramell gave his would-be 
murderer twenty-four hours in it, telling him that if he lacked 
company, he could call the ghost. 

The police of Mekco Station had a most extraordinary yarn 
of a strange happening there, on the night of Giulianetti's murder 
(Amadeo, they called him). A group of them were sitting talking 
together, when one man jumped to his feet, pointed to Giulianetti's 
house and exclaimed in surprise, " When did Amadeo return ? " 
They all looked, and saw that the house, which had been in 
darkness, was lit up, and that Giulianetti, clothed in his usual 
white clothing, was seated in his chair in the open place between 
the rooms, looking across the parade ground. They all ran up 
to the house, to ask him how and when he had returned, and 
where his police were. As the men went up the steps of the 
house, it became plunged in darkness : puzzled, they called to 
Giulianetti and struck matches, and to their surprise could not 
find him ; the lamp, which a few seconds before had apparently 
been burning brightly, was dead and cold. This story was told 
me by Sergeant Kimai, who was not an imaginative person. 

The attempted murder of Bramell by his police was after- 
wards the cause of a serious quarrel between him and me, and for 
a time we were not on speaking terms, though we lived in the 
same house and dined at the same table. I did not know that 
Bramell had not reported the matter, and one day, in the course of 
casual conversation with the Government Secretary, referred to it. 
Mr. Musgrave pricked up his ears, asked me several questions, 
and then ordered me to put in a written report ; I demurred, 
pointing out that the alleged shooting at Bramell by the police 
was all hearsay and Station gossip. Muzzy insisted ; whereupon 
I made out a garbled version of the affair, to which Bramell had 



no tlifficulty in giving a flat denial. He, howe\'er, then took it 
into his head that 1 had been trying to get him into trouble, and 
"words" ensued, which resulted, as I have said, in a total split 
between us. 

The quarrel ended in a funny way. I had a temporary Port 
Moresby boy engaged as a servant, who of course knew of the 
split between BramcU and myself; coming home one day un- 
expectedly, I found the young reprobate smoking one of my pipes 
and brushing his hair with my brushes, whereupon I cuffed him 
soundly. The boy whimpered, and I told him to shut up or he 
would get a little more ; this had the desired effect, and I left. 
Mr. Musgrave at this time made pets of the Hanuabada boys, as 
they were called, and always came down like a sledge hammer on 
any officer who struck one, for whatever cause. After I had 
gone, the boy sat down outside, waited until he saw Mr. Musgrave 
in the distance, and then set up a terrific bellowing, as though 
he had been half murdered. Bramell heard the howls and asked 
the boy what the row was about ; the boy said I had hit 
him, and he was howling to attract Mr. Musgrave's attention : 
Bramell promptly cuffed the howler into silence, and kept him 
with him until the Government Secretary was safely out of sight. 
I heard of the incident from the boy, and when Bramell came 
home that night and went to his side of the verandah, I called 
after him, " Bramell, have a drink ? " He came, had a drink, 
remarked that, " We were two fools," and buried the hatchet. 

After these digressions I must return to my epidemic and the 
Mekeo district. I released my chiefs and v.c.'s, after uttering the 
most blood-curdling threats as to what would happen if they 
indulged in any more corpse-licking. Again I raced through the 
district with a patrol, burying the dead and harrying the natives, 
as well as snapping up a sorcerer here and there. On an average, 
the patrol covered twenty miles a day, until the men and 
myself were as thin as catgut, and as tired as a sweated seamstress, 
from work and worry. We had our prisoners, sorcerers principally, 
handcuffed on to a chain ; one evening, so tired out were we, that 
I commanded a halt in the middle of a grass patch and told the 
men to sleep where we stopped. Looking through my men for 
some one to take charge of the prisoners, I found they were all so 
utterly done up as not to be relied on to keep awake for half an 
hour. Aia was the only fresh person, he having sat in charge of 
our effects, while the constabulary and I worked. Calling Aia, I 
told him that, seeing the state the patrol was in, I meant to hand- 
cuff him on to the chained prisoners, in order that, if during the 
night they tried to bolt, he might alarm us. Aia protested, but 
handcuffed he was : in a few minutes I noticed that his hands 
were so small that he could slip them out of the handcuffs. 


accordingly I had one clasp of the handcuffs fastened to the 
prisoners' chain and the other locked round his ankle, and I also 
lent him my heavy hunting knife — a most formidable weapon. 
Then we all slept, the dead heavy sleep that only a tired lot of 
men know. 

Shortly before dawn, one of my men awoke and noticed that 
Aia and the prisoners had disappeared. He at once awakened 
the camp, and spreading out in every direction like spokes from 
the hub of a wheel, one of the men ran into the chain gang, who 
were soon secured again. They had watched us go to sleep, and 
had waited until Aia slept also, when they had suddenly seized 
him and gagged him with their belts — disgusting things those 
belts were too — then, muffling the clink of the chain with the 
remainder of their belts, they had slunk away, carrying Aia upside 
down with them. He had the extreme pleasure of hearing them 
discuss how they would cut off his ankle with my knife to release 
themselves, when sufficiently remote from the camp. This 
incident showed me clearly that it was high time we returned to 
the Station ; for when a patrol is so worn out that it cannot find 
a man to mount guard, it is evident that its usefulness has ended. 

At Mekeo it was my custom to spend a couple of hours on 
Saturday afternoons attending to any simple surgical cases, or 
broken bones, brought to me by the village constable. Sometimes 
I got one that was anything but simple. For instance, on one 
occasion a native came in with his shoulder all plastered up with 
mud and leaves ; he told me that he had fallen from a cocoanut 
palm the week before and hurt his shoulder, and that it was so 
painful that he could not sleep at night and that he meditated 
suicide. In passing, I might remark that a favourite New Guinea 
method of suicide is to climb a cocoanut tree, and then drop head 
first to the ground. I examined the shoulder and found it badly 
dislocated, but apparently nothing broken. I struggled with that 
shoulder for a good hour, the man's howls meanwhile alarming 
the country for a couple of miles around ; then I gave it up in 
despair. " Are you not going to mend me ? " he asked in an 
injured tone. " Mend you, yes," I replied. " But I shall have 
to hurt you a bit, and you make my head ache with your howls." 
" I won't say another word," he said. Then I sent to the whale- 
boat for blocks and tackle, which I attached to his arm, after 
lashing him firmly to pegs driven into the ground ; in five 
minutes, by the aid of that tackle and some lusty police, the 
shoulder was back in position, and during the whole process the 
man did not give so much as a whimper. 

Another native came in, and exhibited a lot of nasty long 

gashes about his arms, body and head, "How did you collect 

hese ? " I asked. "I got clawed by a bush alligator," he replied. 


" Don't tell me silly lies, there are no alligators in the bush ; 
alligators live in the water," I retorted. " There are water 
alligators and bush alligators," he said; " bush alligators have sharp 
claws and climb trees." " Do you mean iguanas ? " I asked ; " the 
reptile whose skin you use for your drums ? " " No, I don't," 
he said ; " the skin of the bush alligator is no good for drums," I 
dressed the man's wounds ; and when next I met the Sacred Heart 
missionaries, I asked them whether they had ever heard a native 
yarn about a bush alligator. They had frequently heard of it, but 
had never seen the beast. Old Bushimai, chief of the Binandere, 
once showed me a lot of scars about his body, which he had got 
as a young man in an encounter with — as he put it — a devil. 
Bushimai and his wife were walking through the bush, he being 
unarmed (I may say he was an enormously powerful man) ; 
suddenly the wife, who was following, gave a yell, and, turning 
round, he saw her in the grasp of a beast strange to him ; he got 
her away, but in so doing sustained the scars he showed me. 
Bushimai's description of the beast was like nothing either on the 
earth, in the sea or sky ; he was, however, perfectly satisfied with 
his own opinion — that it was a devil. 

One day, whilst I was engaged attending to my patients, an 
old woman appeared, followed by a man hobbling along with the 
aid of a stick ; the woman staggered under an enormous bunch of 
bananas, which she dropped at my feet. " There," she said, " you 
cut my husband with your knives and cure him, and I will pay 
you these bananas." I looked at the man, and found he had 
elephantiasis in one limb, which was swollen to an enormous 
size ; I shook my head, and told the woman that I could do no 
good. " Yes you can," she said ; " I have heard of wonderful 
things that you have done. I suppose the payment is not enough, 
but we have nothing else with which to pay you." Basilio at 
last made the woman understand that there were things beyond 
my power, and this was one ; and, to make clear to her that it 
was not for lack of adequate payment, we made her presents of 
turkey-red twill, tobacco and beads, and also gave her husband an 
adze, the tool most prized by the Mekeo natives ; but in spite of 
all, it was a very sad couple that went away. A leper once came 
to me, and he also had to depart disconsolately. 

One of my difficulties at Mekeo was to make the natives keep 
the roads and tracks clean ; each village was compelled by law to 
keep the roads throughout its own lands clean and open, and each 
village did its best to dodge doing so. One village in particular 
gave me a lot of trouble ; say what I would, and do what I could, 
they would not clean their roads. Mohu was the name of this 
village. At last, in exasperation, I threatened, that if at my next 
visit the tracks were not cleaned, I should shoot the village pigs. 



Time went on, I visited Mohu again and found the roads worse 
than ever. I caught several of the prominent men, and cursed 
them ; then I said, "You know what I told you last time, that I 
should shoot your pigs if you did not obey me ; now I am going 
to shoot your largest and best pig, as a warning that I am in 
earnest. At the end of a week I shall return and kill the rest, 
unless you clean the roads." The police drove out an un- 
commonly fine pig ; I pointed it out to the chief and said, "I am 
going to kill that pig." " Kill it, if you want to," he said con- 
temptuously. Shot the pig was, and I left the village, the chief 
and natives not appearing to worry much about the killing. 
Hardly had I gone a mile, before a fat Belgian brother of the 
Sacred Heart Mission came running after me. " For why ? " he 
asked, " tor why, Monseigneur, have you slain the pig of my lord 
the Bishop ? " I sent humble apologies to the Mission, and offers 
of payment for the pig ; the apologies were accepted, the payment 
they declined, telling me that they hoped I should succeed in 
making the lazy Mohu villagers clean their roads. Jumping 
with temper, I returned to Mohu, arrested the chief and all his 
most prominent followers, and sentenced them to a month's gaol 
with hard labour. " We can only get three days' simple imprison- 
ment for neglecting to clean roads," he complained. " Yes, you 
villain," I replied, "but you are now getting a month's hard 
labour, as accessory before the fact, to the stealing of a pig ; and 
unless your roads are cleaned within a week, I'll forget my 
judgment and make it six months." Cleaned those roads were, 
within the week. 

Mohu was a village that had always given a great deal of 
trouble ; once it even went to the length of fighting Sir William 
MacGrcgor. A Station of the Sacred Heart was established near 
it, and the people, not caring about sending their children to 
school, tried to drive the missionaries away by depositing filth 
close to the Mission house. I cured them of that trick, by making 
the prominent men clean up, and carry away the mess, with their 
bare hands ; they were all very angry, but one man especially so. 
Father Victor told me that one day afterwards, when he was 
walking towards the village, this particular individual slipped out 
in front of him from behind a bush, with bow bent, and arrow 
pointed straight at the father ; he yelled at the man, who then 
apologized and explained that he thought the father was I. I 
sent for the man, and gave him three days' solitary confinement on 
a pumpkin diet. " How do you like that ? " I asked him at the 
end. He candidly said that words could not express his opinion 
of it, that he had never felt so lonely nor so empty in his life 
before. " Very good, then," I told him, " don't you play the fool 
any more with your bow and arrows, or you will get ten years of 


it." Some time afterwards I made this individual a village 
constable, which position he filled in a very satisfactory manner. 

Mekeo Station was absolutely the worst place for snakes I 
have ever known ; they were there in all sizes, from pythons, 
that came after my fowls, to deadly little reptiles, that coiled up in 
bunches of bananas. If one sent a boy up a cocoanut tree, he had 
to beat at the bunches of nuts with a stick, before putting his hand 
in, to make certain that there were no snakes concealed. It is a 
ract, not generally known, that snakes climb trees in exactly the 
same manner that they go along the ground : they don't coil 
round them, as picture books show, but I think they must grip 
the bark by elevating their scales ; when they want to come down, 
they merely release themselves and fall like a wet piece of rope. 
I've only known two men in my life who really liked snakes : one 
was Armit, and the other was a camp-keeper he had, called Rohu. 
Once at Cape Nelson, I got my knee-cap knocked to one side, 
and went up by boat to get Armit, who was then stationed at 
Tamata, to fix it up for me. Rohu and Armit had half a dozen 
tame snakes, which used to crawl over their beds and chairs, in 
fact they were everywhere ; if either of their owners wished to 
sit in a canvas chair, very frequently he had to pick a snake out of it 
first. To the contempt of the pair, I declined a bed in the house 
in favour of a bunk in the police barracks. " They are quite 
harmless," said Armit. " That may be," I remarked, " but if I 
must have bed fellows, I prefer constabulary to snakes." 

It was quite a common thing for the store-keeper on the gold- 
fields to have a small python — one eight or ten feet long — in his 
rice store, to keep down the rats ; these pythons usually became 
very tame. I remember one big fellow, that my police caught in 
the Mambare and sold to Hancock, a store-keeper at Tamata. 
Hancock got this particular snake very tame ; it would come to 
his whistle for a bowl of tinned milk, and it used to climb about 
the beams in the roof of the store. At that time, there was 
working in the Mambare district, a miner named Finn, whose 
habit it was to come in once a year, pay his debts, have a week's 
wild drunk, buy a case of brandy and some hams, and return to 
his claim again ; he then usually camped a few miles from the 
store, and lived on raw ham and brandy until it was done, by 
which time he was seeing horrors. One day, I was sitting writ- 
ing at a table in Hancock's store — he and I being the only men 
in it at the time — when Finn came in on his annual visit ; he 
handed over his gold to Hancock, asked for his bill and a drink, 
then, seeing me at the table, came and sat down opposite, and 
said, " Give me a new Miner's Right, Warden." As I began to 
fill up the form, Hancock's snake swung down from the rafters, 
and waved its head about over the table, looking for somewhere 


to alight. Finn's jaw dropped, his eyes bulged in his head ; then 
he got up, and, without a word, left the room, leaving his drink 
untasted behind him. I finished his "Right," and Hancock, 
turning from his desk with Finn's account in his hand, asked, 
" Where has Paddy gone ? " " I don't think he liked your 
snake," I replied, " he seemed to think it wanted to kiss him," 
Hancock waited for about half an hour, then sent up to the rival 
store to find out whether he was there, only to learn that Finn 
had called his native boys and gone straight back to his claim. 

The Binandere or Mambare people are the only natives in 
British New Guinea who have no fear of snakes ; I have seen 
them snatch up a poisonous snake by the tail, and crack its head 
against a tree. 

Most of the Port Moresby snakes are harmless, but I remember 
one of Captain Barton's men being bitten by a snake, and as a 
precaution he filled the man up with whisky, and ordered the re- 
mainder of the police to keep him walking about, and not on any 
account to allow him to go to sleep. Unfortunately he forgot to 
fix a time limit ; the result was, that on the following morning, 
the feeble voice of a man bewailing a cruel fate was heard, and it 
was discovered that the constabulary had kept their unlucky 
companion walking up and down the whole night long. Upon 
the man recovering from the comatose slumber into which he 
promptly fell when released, he vowed that in the future — if he 
were bitten by fifty snakes — he would keep it quiet, as no snake 
bite could be half as bad as that cure. 

At Mekeo I got my first taste of black- water fever, that strange 
form of malaria of which the cause is not known ; and in which 
quinine — the sovereign remedy for ordinary malaria — is poison. 
I have never known black-water outside the Mekeo and Mambare 
districts in New Guinea ; the name describes one symptom, 
another is a constant retching and vomiting of blood. Basilio and 
the police did all they possibly could for me, which of course, 
except for the constant attention, did not amount to much ; hour 
after hour the constabulary relieved one another, holding my head 
and supporting me during the violent paroxysms of vomiting. One 
funny little interlude occurred, though. The sorcerers in the gaol 
inquired the reason of the silence and gloom over the Station, 
and were told by the warders that I was dying ; whereupon they 
set up a loud chant of joy. The constabulary, sitting in a circle 
round my bed, heard the chant ; several of them got up, went to 
their rifles, took out the cleaning rods, and paid a visit to the gaol, 
from whence soon came the wails of suffering sorcerers. 

" What can we do ? " said Basilio at last ; " you die fast." 
" Dig my grave under the flagstaff^, where I can hear the feet of 
the men at drill," I replied. Then appeared Fathers Bouellard 

136 SOME p:xperiences of a new guinea 

and Vitali, whom Aia in despair had gone to fetch ; they brought 
me white wine and bismuth. " You are in time for the funeral, 
Father," I gasped out, " but that is about all." " Oh, my friend," 
said Father Bouellard, " I want but one little second at the end, 
and your soul is safe; but we are not going to let you die if we 
can help it ; Sister Antoinette is very skilful with medicines, but 
as she cannot come here, we will take you to the Mission." The 
police picked up my camp bed and carried me to the Mission 
house, where they nursed me back to life. When stronger, the 
police carried me to the Monastery at Yule Island, where Dr. 
Seligman, who was then visiting New Guinea with Professor 
Haddon's party, came along and completed the cure, and also told 
me the name of the cheerful complaint from which I had been 
suffering, I had enteric some months later, but I call that an 
infantile thing alongside black-water. 

After my convalescence, I was had rather badly one night by 
the Father Superior, who, by the way, was a most charming man, 
and was afterwards sent as Parish Priest to Thursday Island. 
The fever had left me very weak and with a terrific appetite, 
which the good fathers did their best to appease with all they had 
to offer. Having slept some time, I woke with a horrible sinking 
feeling in my tum-tum. " Faith," I thought, " I should like a 
good stiff whisky and soda." I made my way to the Father 
Superior's room and, rousing him up, explained that I had a 
dreadful feeling of coldness in my tummy, and inquired if he 
could give me something to allay it. |" Ah," he said, " I know 
the very thing for you." No sooner said than done, and he handed 
me a tumbler half full of a horrid tonic draught of iron and other 
beastliness, which I had to drink ; then I slunk back to bed. 
Long afterwards I told Ballantine how I had aroused the worthy 
priest to get a drink, and received a bolus instead. He meanly 
told the Mission, for he said that the story was too good for them 
to miss. " Why, Mr. Monckton," asked the Father Superior, 
" why, if you wanted cognac, did you not say cognac r" 

When sufficiently recovered, I took passage in one of Burns, 
Philp's vessels, the Clara Ethel^ which Inman now commanded. 
At Port Moresby I reported myself to the Government Secretary, 
told him the tale of my adventures, and praised the priests of the 
Sacred Heart as a fine lot of men — my predecessor at Mekeo had 
always quarrelled with them. "I did not know that you were a 
Roman Catholic," said Mr. Musgrave, when I had finished. " I 
am not," I replied ; " I am a Churchman, and a Churchman I'll 
die ; but if all Roman Catholics were like the members of the 
Sacred Heart Mission, there soon wouldn't be any other Church 
in the world." Muzzy was a dissenter of some sort, and regarded 
the Church of Rome with aversion. " Get away and report 


yourself to his Excellency," he growled. I went over to Govern- 
ment House, and reported myself. Sir William told me to send 
for my things, and take up my quarters at Government House ; 
then he said, " I had a cough like you once, a liver cough ; I got 
rid of it. Captain Jones got one ; he died. You should go away 
for a change, but I can't spare you at present ; you had better 
take a trip to Thursday Island in the Merrie England : she is 
taking the Judge west, and then going on there for coal. 

When the Merrie England sailed, I accordingly went with her, 
and the trip proved to be a truly dreadful one. We had on board 
one mid-wife and two domestic servants, who had been in the 
service of the wives of some of the Government officers in Port 
Moresby ; as each of these women took up a cabin, and we were 
— with the exception of the Governor — carrying our full comple- 
ment of people, the accommodation was limited. I occupied a 
settee in the cabin of Commander Curtis ; a settee that, when we 
struck really bad weather in the Gulf of Papua, I abandoned for 
the security of the floor. No ship that I have ever known could 
roll like the Merrie England : one night, whilst we were at 
dinner, she rolled so prodigiously as to tear the saloon tables from 
their fastenings, and rolled tables, men, table gear, and food back- 
wards and forwards across the cabin, nearly crushing the lives 
out of Judge Winter and myself, who happened to be on the lee 
side when the first roll came. The sea-sick white women heard 
the din, and thought the ship was sinking ; accordingly, they rose 
from their bunks, attired merely in their night things, and rushed 
into the saloon, where of course they were promptly swept off 
their legs into the chaos of swearing men and smashing crockery. 
That night was the sole occasion upon which Judge Winter was 
known to use bad language ; but I think even a judge is justified 
in making remarks, when he finds the edge of a heavy table, 
crowned by a dozen men, resting on his liver. At last we dis- 
entangled ourselves, dragged out the shrieking women, and shoved 
them back into their cabins. " Why the blank blank don't you 
go and attend to those women ? " yelled the skipper at one of the 
stewards, who was grovelling about amongst the mixture on the 
floor. " I'm looking for my teeth, sir," he said. The unfortunate 
man had lost his false teeth in the excitement. 

At Daru we found De Lange, Assistant R.M., carrying on 
Bingham Hely's duties ; Hely, R.M., at the time being on leave, 
and occupied in dying in a Thursday Island hospital. De Lange 
was afterwards drowned in the mouth of the Fly River, his 
whaleboat having capsized in a bad tide rip some four or five 
miles from land : his police started to swim for the shore, carrying 
him with them ; but finding that— hampered by him — the police 
could not make headway against the tide and current, and that 


probably all would be drowned, he ordered them to release hiin, 
and, bidding them "Good-bye," put his hands above his head and 
went down like a gallant man. Cruel, certainly, was the toll 
New Guinea took of her first officers. 

Returning from Thursday Island, the Mcrrie England landed 
me again at Hall Sound, where, after having sent in to the 
Station for my police, I returned to my duties. On the first 
parade after I got back to the Station, I addressed my men as 
follows : " That you are a lot of rogues and villains, I am 
convinced, and also that you have got fat from idleness during 
my absence ; but what steel instruments do you want 
most ? " " Razors," said some ; " scissors," said others. " Ah, 
you scoundrels, I can read your hearts even in Thursday Island." 
Then solemnly I presented each man with a razor and a pair of 
scissors. "If ever you are sick again and the prisoners sing," 
said Keke, " we will pull their tongues out." 


Jk T this first parade, after my return to Mekeo, when I was 

/\ inspecting the men I found one of them all gashed 

/ \ about the face and body. " What have you been up 

to ? " I asked ; " more pine-apples ? " He grinned 

sheepishly,and explained that whilst I was away his grandfather had 

died, and so he had cut himself all over with broken glass as a sign 

of mourning. " The Queen is your grandfather and grandmother 

and all the rest of your relations," I told him, "and you belong to 

her. The next man I catch cutting himself about as a sign of 

mourning will get something to mourn for." Exasperating people 

they were, one never knevi- what they would do next ; Kipling's 

definition of a native as, " half devil and half child," is a very 

true one. 

The signs of mourning were almost as varied as the tribes 
themselves, and it may be of interest if I mention one or two of 
the other methods in vogue. The Goodenough Islanders had a 
horrid habit of cutting off their finger joints with bits of obsidian, 
i.e. volcanic glass : until, after a sickly season, the hands of some 
of the men were merely bleeding stumps. The Suaus cut down 
the cocoanut trees belonging to the deceased, until Sir William 
MacGregor passed a Regulation forbidding it ; and the Kaili 
Kaili used to hurl themselves face forward into the sea, and inhale 
salt water until they nearly burst their lungs. 

One of the troubles of the Mekeo Government Officer was a 
periodic friction between the members of the Sacred Heart and 
London Missions, concerning the limitations of their respective 
districts. Sir William MacGregor had, with his usual perspicacity, 
foreseen the likelihood of difficulties and sectarian disturbances, 
should rival denominations come into contact in the same village 
or district, and had made a Regulation allotting each Mission a 
special sphere of influence. The London Mission being first on 
the field, and scattering its men over a very wide stretch of coast 
line, received the lion's share ; its territory extended from East 
Cape in the extreme east, to the Dutch boundary in the extreme 
west. The Sacred Heart Mission had merely Yule Island, 
containing a very small population of natives, at most a couple of 
hundred ; one tiny village on the coast, and the actual district 


of Mekco ; it did not, however, include Maiva, which was in the 
London area. The Sacred Heart, having occupied all its avail- 
able territory, wished to extend its borders, and cast envious eyes 
upon the large unoccupied portions belonging to the London 
Mission : then, having sent in its priests, it began work in those 
parts. Bramell, acting under orders from Port Moresby, promptly 
pulled down their houses and ordered them back. 

I was appointed to the district just while matters were at this 
stage. " What are we to do ? " the priests asked me. " Our 
orders from home arc to extend our work, but the Government 
will not let us." " I am very sorry for you," I told them, " but 
I cannot help you, unless you can persuade the London Mission 
to resign their right to some of the coast line." " They won't do 
that," said the priests. "Then I am afraid I must pull your 
houses down, if you trespass on their country." Those brave 
Frenchmen then set to work to bore a road right into the heart 
of New Guinea, amongst the wildest of the tribes, and seek 
converts there. When I left New Guinea, they had penetrated 
with their road, which was fit for horses, for over sixty miles into 
the interior, and had found in the mountains a large field for 
their labours. I have known many brave men in my time, but 
none more brave than those priests and their ascetic chief, the 
Archbishop of Navarre. The Archbishop, and the fathers that I 
knew, are now all dead ; may their souls enjoy a peace and rest 
that their bodies never knew. "Let the Sacred Heart of Jesus be 
everywhere known," was the motto of their order ; rather should 
it have been, " Courage, mon ami, it is the will of the Good 
God," the words for ever in their mouths in times of trouble and 
tribulation. I am not a Roman Catholic, but one of my most 
pleasant memories of the Mekeo district is of one occasion, when 
I had halted my men on a track, and the Archbishop and Father 
Bouellard passed by. " Stand to your arms ! " I yelled at the 
men, as I saw the good old man coming. " Shoulder I " " Present 
arms I " As the rifles clashed up into the salute, the Archbishop 
stopped. Looking at us, he said, " My blessing will not hurt the 
Protestant soldiers." So he blessed us and passed on. 

While I was at Mekeo, Sir William MacGregor departed 
from New Guinea. The Government Secretary sent a notice 
to all officers within call, inviting them to come and bid him 
farewell. On account of some district trouble I was prevented 
from going, but fortunately had an opportunity of bidding him 
good-bye on board the Merrie England^ which touched at Hall 
Sound on the way to Thursday Island. I was not sorry after- 
wards that I had missed the official ceremony at Port Moresby, 
as I heard that most of the men present had broken down 
lamentably, and wept as the vessel steamed away. Many an 


Administrator has since come and gone in New Guinea, but 
none have ever left such an awful void behind them as Sir 
William MacGregor's departure created ; and I doubt whether 
any other will ever do so again. 

About my only relaxation from duty at Mekeo was an 
occasional afternoon's shooting with the fathers ; never shall I 
forget those shooting parties, or the way my sides ached from 
laughing, the first time I took part in one. Pigeons of all 
descriptions — from the enormous plumed Goura, down to a little 
dove — were very plentiful ; and there was also a lake, a few 
miles from Mekeo Station, which simply swarmed with wild 
geese, duck, and all kinds of water-fowl. Game formed a pleasant 
change from the everlasting luke-warm tinned meat, of which 
my usual fare consisted. We assembled at one of the Mission 
Stations, when I naturally thought we should at once get to 
business ; not so, however. First, we must drink success to the 
chase ; then each good father possessed a dog of sorts, which he 
had taught to do all kinds of tricks, and which the proud owner 
of the mongrel then exhibited ; after that, I had to inspect and 
admire each man's gun. " My God ! " I exclaimed softly to 
myself, as in turn I examined the rubbish in which the owners 
took such pride. The good fathers were all deadly poor ; twenty 
pounds a year was all they had, with which to find everything — 
food, clothing, and all else ; and their guns were the cheapest 
and vilest of Belgian make, things I expected to see burst 
every time they were fired. My gun, a plain old seven-guinea 
Bland's keeper, which had seen many years of hard service, rose 
tremendously in my estimation, after looking at those Belgian 
affairs ; for it, at all events, could be trusted not to blow my head 
off; its very plainness, however, did not appeal to my brother 
sportsmen, for though they politely praised it, I could see that the 
tassels and brass of their gimcracks were more to their liking. 

At last, all preliminaries completed, we started, under the 
command of Father Bouellard ; one good father merrily chanting 
a gay little French song in praise of La Chasse, and another one 
tootling on a round horn. One member of our party wore an 
enormous old-fashioned hunting knife, gaily caparisoned with cords 
and tassels, the sort of thing that might prove use >' for cutting 
collops off a wild boar ; we, however, were in sea.^h of feathered 
game. When we had left the village a few hundred yards behind 
us, Father Bouellard sternly ordered silence, and we all began to 
walk with the stealth of wild Indians ; the fathers marched with 
unloaded guns, I was pleased to observe, as I frequently found 
myself looking down the muzzle of the gun of the man in front 
of me, or being poked in the ribs by that of the man behind. 
Suddenly Father Bouellard stopped and held up his hand ; we all 


halted, and I peered to find out what he had discovered, but could 
see nothing except a little dove — hardly bigger than a torn-tit — 
sitting on a bough across the track. "A pigeon," he whispered, 
in a voice of suppressed excitement. He pulled a cartridge from 
his bag, inserted it into his gun and, cocking the hammer, raised 
the gun to take aim ; bang went the gun into the air and away 
flew the tiny dove. " My gun was too quick," remarked Father 
Bouellard. " Well, I'm d — d ! " I quietly exclaimed to myself, as 
the other sportsmen accepted the statement in perfect faith. At 
the sound of the shot, the assorted mongrels tore yapping into the 
scrub, while the horn tootled, and their masters shrieked shrilly for 
them to return. The excitement having subsided, we resumed 
our stealthy march. 

Again our leader held up his hand, and loaded his gun ; the 
squalling of a parrot pointing out the quarry this time. The 
father fired, the parrot fell squalling from the tree, the mongrels 
dashed at the bird, one of them securing it ; the sportsmen hurled 
themselves upon the curs, each man grabbing his own : while the 
one with the bird fled into the bush, hotly pursued by its master 
and Father Bouellard. I could not help ; I could only roll 
against the nearest tree and nearly suffocate with laughter. At 
last the dog with the bird was caught, the mangled remains of the 
parrot dragged from its mouth, and once more we resumed our 
march. Father Bouellard having blooded his gun, took his place 
in the rear, and another sportsman took the father's place, I 
declining the honour. By the time we reached the lake, the 
fathers had collected a large assortment of birds ; most of them 
either nearly blown to bits by being shot sitting at the closest 
possible range, or torn to pieces by the curs. There was not a 
game bird in the lot, for the mongrels and the horn saw to it that 
they were kept a good mile away. 

Upon our arrival at the lake, while the Mission boys and my 
police prepared some canoes for us. Father Bouellard and another 
priest went off to stalk some wood-duck sitting in a tree. 
Presently there came a shot, followed instantly by the screams of 
an excited Frenchman ; the men with me listened, and then 
exclaimed in horror, " He says the good father is shot ! " We 
tore off to the spot, only to find Father Bouellard sitting on the 
ground, ruefully contemplating the tip of a blackened and bleed- 
ing finger ; while his companion wept, screamed, and embraced 
the father alternately. I examined the finger, and found the 
damage was but slight. It seems that the two sportsmen had 
exchanged guns for a shot ; sneaking under the wood-duck, his 
companion was taking aim, when Father Bouellard noticed some 
dirt on the muzzle of his cherished gun ; he was in the act of 
brushing the dirt off with his fingers, just as that infamous piece 


chose to go off " too quick " again. Separating into canoes, we 
soon got a heavy bag of duck and pygmy geese, the latter quite 
the best game bird in New Guinea. The method of the fathers 
was simple in the extreme : they merely sneaked their canoes up 
to within thirty or forty yards of a flock of feeding duck, and 
blazed both barrels into the brown of them ; after which they 
would put in an excited, gesticulating, and noisy half-hour, chasing 
and shooting the cripples. I concealed my canoe in a patch of 
reeds, and had lively sport with the birds which the fathers kept 
putting up and driving over my gun. Excited, tired, and laden 
with duck, we wended our homeward way ; and once more 
songs in praise of La Chasse and the tootling of the horn enlivened 
our weary footsteps. 

At the end of some four or five months, the Mekeo district 
was in a condition of satisfactory order ; the roads were clean and 
in good repair, the sickness had apparently disappeared from 
among the villagers, the bodies of those that did die, or were 
killed by snakes or in other ways, were buried in the cemetery, 
and the sorcerers were hiding their diminished heads. Then I 
got enteric myself, and narrowly missed pegging out, after which 
I sent in my resignation. One bout of black-water, another of 
enteric, with a few odd doses of malaria thrown in, were bad 
enough ; but when they were coupled with work amongst a tribe 
I disliked, I thought it was too much of a good thing altogether. 

Leaving Mekeo in due course, I went again to the Eastern 
Division, where I recruited my health, cruising with Moreton in 
the Siai. Whilst I was thus occupying my time, Shanahan, one 
of Green's successors in the Northern Division, died of combined 
malaria and dysentery. Already since Green's death, Stuart- 
Russell, Chief Government Surveyor, and Butterworth, Com- 
mandant of Constabulary, had put in a term there and been 
invalided. During one of my periods of absence from Samarai 
with Moreton, Judge Winter came there looking for me to 
succeed Shanahan, the Judge being then Acting Administrator. 
Fortunately for me, I was away : therefore, as the position had to 
be filled at once, he appointed Armit ; I very much doubt whether, 
had I been sent to the Mambare in my then state of health, I 
should have lasted six months. 

Returning from the Mambare in the Merrie England^ Judge 
Winter sent me off in her to relieve Campbell, R.M. and Warden 
for the South-Eastern Division, the easiest and healthiest division 
in the Possession. With the exception of the mining work at 
Woodlark Island, my duties consisted of sailing from one small 
island to another and hearing petty cases ; there was not an island 
in the division that one could not walk across in a day, and, if one 
wished, the boat could be anchored every night. 


A. M. Campbell, the man I relieved, possessed a perfect 
mania for office work, tidiness, and writing reports ; if a constable 
cut his toe or a prisoner sneezed, Campbell could manage to make 
a two-page report of the incident. When the Mcrrie England 
reached Nivani, the Government Station for the Division, we 
found the patrol vessel, the Murua^ had been wrecked. Campbell 
was no sailor, and his crew were fair-weather men ; so accordingly, 
on a strong gale coming up, they had anchored in the harbour and 
made for the safe security of the shore. The Muruas anchor 
chains were nasty galvanized things, which in her peaceful summer 
cruising had never met a strain ; consequently, when she had to 
ride out a moderate gale, they snapped, and she — being without a 
crew — was blown up on the nearest reef. A white prisoner at 
Nivani, named Clancy, upon the return of calm weather, had 
dived and tacked canvas over the vessel's holes ; then it was found 
that, by fitting her with some extra pumps, manned by relays of 
constabulary, she could be towed to Samarai by the Merrie England^ 
where she could be repaired upon the slip. 

I was not pleased, as I saw the unpleasant prospect looming 
before me of having to do the district work, in the absence of the 
Murua^ in a whaleboat ; the whaler would be safe enough, but 
when under sail one could have no awning, and would therefore 
be alternately grilled by the sun and wet through by every passing 
shower. The Merrie England sailed, leaving me to my work. 
The first thing to which I turned my attention was, as usual, the 
detachment of police : the Commandant, while there, had fallen 
them in with the travelling patrol, but in three minutes had 
dismissed them to their barracks in despair ; they were all, with 
the exception of a corporal, locally recruited by Campbell and 
trained by him. They were an uncommonly clean and tidy 
looking lot, very polite and attentive, excellent body or house 
servants, and taught to salute on every possible occasion ; a man 
could not even hand one a cake of bath soap without saluting as 
he gave it, and again when he left. " Corporal," I asked (a 
corporal being in charge of the ten men forming the detachment), 
" what are the hours of parade here, and how often do you have 
musketry instruction ? " " I fall the men in once a week," he 
replied, " and we never have musketry instruction," " My 
stars ! " I said ; " what do you teach them ? " " I teach them 
right-hand salute, left-hand salute, officers' and general salute," 
was the answer ; " that's all Mr. Campbell wants." I groaned. 
" You will fall them in at half-past six every morning, and at five 
o'clock every evening whilst I am here," I ordered, " beginning 
this evening." 

I went to the first parade, and found that — beyond saluting 
— the men knew absolutely nothing of drill : their rifles were 


spotlessly clean, but several were out of order, and the men 
ignorant of the component parts of their arms ; most of them had 
never fired a shot. When I snapped out an order, as I had been 
accustomed to do with my hard-bitten devils of the Mekeo 
detachment, instead of a brisk movement following it, they would 
shiver and wilt like a lot of scared valets. "My Faith, what 
would you be like in a fight r" I asked them. "There are no 
fights in the south-east," they said, " but we should like to be 
made the same as the other police ; we are ashamed now when 
we meet them, and the corporal cries." " Well he might," I 
remarked, " for such a lot of sleek pussy cats I have never yet 
met." Then I put them through a sweating hour of recruit 
drill ; the corporal, who had once known his work, soon 
remembered the drill, and began to take hold again. Clancey, 
the white prisoner undergoing sentence for manslaughter, was a 
handy man, and, after I had once shown him how to take to 
pieces and assemble a rifle, I made him take a class and instruct 
each of the police how it was done. When I left the south-east, 
I had those men cocking their caps at a rakish angle, and walking 
with a very passable imitation of the swagger of the fighting 
constabulary of the mainland. 

Campbell had been in the Customs at Tonga ; he was, while 
there, a Corporal, a Colonel, or a Field-Marshal in the King of 
Tonga's " Guards," I never quite knew which. He had a 
wondrous uniformwhich he had brought from there, and which 
he donned on state occasions : Moreton and Armit swore that 
from it, they never could decide whether he was horse or foot, 
sapper or gunner ; and the confusion was made worse by the 
addition of epaulets and spurs. Anyhow, it was a harmless conceit, 
amused Campbell, and hurt no one else : perhaps it is rather 
unkind of me, while peacefully farming in New Zealand, to 
laugh at a man still writing interminably in a New Guinea 
office ; my only excuse is, that I am trying to picture New 
Guinea as I knew it. 

Among my office papers were numerous applications, from 
miners on Woodlark Island, for leases and reefing claims, also 
notices of pending litigation ; they were all nicely docketed and 
filed, with copies of acknowledging letters, but apparently 
nothing had been done, and the men were getting frantic, I 
put in a month visiting islands, and then, not caring to carry my 
Court Registers and books in the whaler, I went to Samarai, to 
find out what had become of the Murua. I discovered that 
she had been handed over to Symons, who in his turn had 
handed her over to carpenters for repairs : the carpenters — being 
busy — had merely planted her on a mud bank, where she lay, 
with her decks warped and ruined by the sun, and her hull full of 



borers ; clearly she was now going to be a three months' job. 
After cursing S^'mons \cry thorouglily, and the carpenters as well, 
I sought out Moreton and reproached him. "I can't help it," he 
said, " I have nothing to do with the vessel, and Symons is now 
so spoilt by Headquarters that I can do nothing with him." 

I learnt from Moreton that he had some awkward work on 
hand in the Trobriands and at Ferguson Island, for which he had 
not a sufficient force : I accordingly suggested that, if he would take 
me to Woodlark Island first to hold my Warden's Court, I would 
then join him with my police, who by now were fairly efficient 
in their work ; a plan to which he readily agreed. 

Moreton and I therefore sailed in the Siai for Woodlark, 
where we put in a strenuous time. He took all the police court, 
civil and native cases for me ; whilst I held the Warden's Court, 
dealing with multitudinous applications and technical work. 
Moreton's time was limited, as native affairs in his own district 
were pressing ; accordingly, I sat night and day, to get through 
the work in the Warden's Court. I had no clerk or assistant, 
and as there were many forms to be filled up and signed, all of 
which carried a fee for which receipts had to be given, I stationed 
my corporal at the door of the Court room, with his cartridge 
pouch open. As I granted each application and wrote out a 
receipt, I told the applicant the amount, and that he was to pay 
the corporal at the door, for I had no time to count money or 
weigh gold-dust ; and it says a lot for the honesty of those men, 
that afterwards when I weighed the gold-dust and counted the 
cash in the corporal's pouch, I found the amount to be in excess 
of what was due. A sweet time that excess of money gave me 
later on with the Treasurer ; having sent it all through with the 
duplicate receipts and returns, he demanded why they did not 
tally. When he received my explanation that it was due to over- 
payment by miners, he wanted to know why I had not returned 
the surplus to the owners ; and when I explained that I did not 
know who the owners were, he censured me for the " grave 
laxity in supervising payments of money due to Government." 

While we were at Woodlark, I had one very unpleasant case. 
The miners presented me with a petition, praying for the re- 
moval of a man named Brown, who was a drunken dissolute ex- 
pugilist, and who spent his time in jumping the claims of weak or 
elderly men, and then demanding a payment to quit ; if they did 
not pay, he would post a notice stating the title to the claim was 
in dispute, which thereby caused all work to cease until the 
next sitting of the Warden's Court, sometimes months later. I 
told the petitioners that I could not deport a man, but would call 
on Brown to find sureties to keep the peace, and that, if he failed 
to find them, I would send him to gaol. Sending for Brown, I 


read the charge to him, and told him I wanted two men to go 
bail for him to the extent of fifty pounds each, otherwise I should 
be obliged to gaol him. He produced a hundred pounds and 
said, " Hold that." " That's no good," I said ; " I want two men 
to guarantee you, and I will give you till to-morrow to find 
them." Brown went off, but could find no one to stand bail 
for him ; so, in a rage, he went to a tent owned by a man with a 
considerable knowledge of medicine, and in which was stored the 
entire stock of drugs in the island, and smashed the lot. I saved 
him from being killed by the irate miners, and then clapped him 
into irons. 

On the morning I left the mining camp. Brown's irons were 
taken off j whereupon he flung himself flat on his face and refused 
to walk to the vessel, saying, that if I wanted him, I could carry 
him. I appealed to the miners. " Drag this blighter to the 
Siai for me, I'm not going to struggle with him myself and I 
don't like having him taken by the native police." "Set the 

niggers on the ," was their answer, "we won't touch him." 

In obedience to my order, the police dragged Brown — kicking, 
fighting, and swearing — some hundred yards from the camp ; then 
I had him set down. "Brown, will you come quietly?" I 

asked. "No, you ," he answered. "Corporal, load your 

rifle," I said. The corporal loaded it. " Sit here and guard that 
man, and blow his head ofF if he moves," came next. Brown 
looked rather disturbed ; then I took the remainder of my men 
away, and instructed them in the manner in which the frogs' 
march is performed. Returning to Brown, I nodded my head 
at the men, and said, " Frogs' march ! " In ten minutes he was 
praying for mercy and release ; I gave him fifteen minutes of it, 
and then he walked with us like a pet lamb. 

When we reached the Siai^ he was put in the hold where 
there were a couple of native prisoners ; afterwards he had the 
ineffable impudence to send in a report to Port Moresby, com- 
plaining about Moreton and myself having put him in with 
natives, and quoting in support of his complaint, the treatment 
he had received in English and Colonial gaols, where he had 
never been put with niggers ! Brown only spent a week in 
Samarai gaol, for a vessel then left for the Mambare, and he 
begged Moreton to procure his release and let him go thither. 
"Better let him go," said Moreton, "he is only a nuisance here, 
and he can't have a worse time than sweating for gold on the 
Mambare. We can let Armit know what he is like and there 
are enough hard cases among the Mambare diggers to make 
things hot for him, if he plays any tricks there." " All right," I 
said, "let him go ; I don't care where he is so long as he is out 
of my Division ; but you and I will have to go bail for him." 


We released Brown, signed bail, and escorted him upon the 
vessel bound for the Mambare, where he was afterwards murdered 
by a boy he had brutally misused. His reputation was so bad on 
that gold-field, that white men, conversant with all the facts of 
the murder, declined to give evidence against the boy. 

At the Woodlarlc Island gold-field, at that time, a very peculiar 
position existed. The Mining Act, under which I worked, was an 
Act adopted from Queensland, where all lands not alienated were 
vested in the Crown ; certificates of titles, rights or leases in 
Queensland being granted upon that assumption. In New 
Guinea, however, under our constitution, all lands not purchased 
by Government, not gazetted as waste and vacant, were held to 
belong to the natives ; no land in Woodlark had been purchased 
by the Crown, nor had any been taken over as waste or vacant. 
The position therefore was, that on behalf of the Crown, I was 
granting titles to land to which the Crown itself held no title. 
As a matter of fact, I believe that if the natives had had sufficient 
knowledge, they could have capsized the title held by every 
miner and mining company in Woodlark, and could have entered 
into possession of all tlie claims or mines ; moreover, they could 
do so still, unless those lands have subsequently been acquired by 
the Crown. 

There was at that time no Government Officer stationed on 
Woodlark Island, and, before we left, I received a petition 
from the miners, praying that the headquarters of the Division 
should be moved to that island. This petition had my entire 
sympathy. It was utterly absurd that an island carrying two 
hundred European inhabitants, and some hundreds of natives, 
should be passed over in favour of a tiny islet, the population of 
which consisted solely of Government servants. I put in a 
recommendation to this effect, which was referred to Campbell on 
his return, and pooh-poohed. Later, however, the Government 
was compelled to adopt my recommendation, and transfer the 
Station from Nivani to Woodlark. 

From Woodlark, Morcton and I sailed for Ferguson, Trobriand, 
and Goodenough Islands ; then — having completed certain police 
work — we returned to Samarai. From thence I took the Murua 
(her bottom now having been repaired) to Nivani, there to com- 
plete refitting. Hardly had I got her fit for sea again, when the 
Merr'ie England appeared, bringing the new Lieutenant-Governor, 
Sir George Le Hunte, also the R.M., Campbell, back from 

-IR i;F,ORf.K LE HUNTE. K.C.M.r,. 


THE new Governor was a man as different from Sir 
William MacGregoraschalk from cheese. Mr. Le Hunte 
(as he was then) was a pleasant, genial Irishman ; 
greeting each one of his officers, as if he were the very 
man he most wanted to see ; ever being painfully anxious to avoid 
hurting any one's feelings, or being obliged to censure them. He 
certainly was a man who inspired great liking and affection in 
his subordinates ; but he would sooner cajole a slack man into 
doing his work, by increasing his pay or easing his duties, than 
spur him on with a caustic reprimand or a little additional work. 

The Governor brought with him Captain Barton, late West 
India Regiment, and the Honble. C. G. Murray, as private 
secretary and assistant private secretary respectively — the latter 
without pay. One of these men, at the present time of writing, is 
First Minister to the Sultan of Zanzibar, and the other. Adminis- 
trator of St. Vincent ; whilst in New Guinea they each received 
appointments in the Service. 

At Nivani, after I had handed over the Station to Campbell, 
the Governor desired me to accompany his party in the Merr'ie 
England^ on her round voyage of inspection among the islands, 
and back to Port Moresby, where another appointment would be 
found for me. Devoutly hoping that the new billet would not 
have anything to do with Customs or Treasury, or be in the Gulf 
of Papua, I thankfully accepted the offer, and promptly attached 
myself to Judge Winter as unpaid associate. The Merrie England 
visited Sudest, St. Aignan, Rossel, and Woodlark Islands, where 
nothing of interest or moment took place ; from thence she went 
to the Trobriands. 

Here the Governor decided that he would walk across the 
island, through old Enamakala's village ; as the track was good 
and the country flat all the way, the journey could very easily be 
accomplished in two days. Sir George and his staff, being new 
to the country and utterly ignorant of local conditions, consulted 
me as to the method of procedure. A little friction occurred at 
the beginning of this journey : for I found that, from something 
that Moreton had told him, his Excellency thought it inadvisable to 
carry arms or to take more than a few police. The Commandant 


and the travelling patrol were accordingly to be sent round the 
island in the Alirrie England^ to await us on the other side ; the 
shore party was to consist of the Governor, the Judge, Barton, 
Murray, and myself, with the Governor's boat's crew and a score 
of local carriers. I, of course, had now no police of my own. 
Finding what the arrangements were to be, I went to my cabin, 
buckled on my revolver, and borrowed a Winchester rifle from 
the Chief Officer of the Mcrr'ie England. Then I went to Captain 
Barton, and unbosomed myself in this way. " We have already 
earnt in New Guinea the folly of proceedings such as this : you 
might walk unarmed across the island a score of times, and nothing 
happen ; or you might be attacked the very first time, and 
wiped out." 

Captain Barton and I then went together to the Governor, 
who was talking to Judge Winter, and Barton told him about my 
protest. " I have been assured by Mr. Moreton, that he walked 
across the island with nothing but his walking stick," said his 
Excellency. I groaned. " Moreton has been guilty of that folly, 
sir ; but Moreton is known to the people, and what he can do 
another cannot ; also he only risked his own life, and not the 
lives of the Governor and the Chief Justice." " You really think 
it unsafe to cross unarmed, Monckton ? " asked Judge Winter. 
*' If we do it, sir, I consider that we shall incur an unnecessary 
and very grave risk," I replied. The Judge turned round, walked 
to his cabin, and returned wearing a heavy revolver at his belt. 
The Governor turned his shoulder to me pettishly ; but when we 
got into the boats, I noticed that both Barton and Murray were 
wearing their revolvers. As soon as we got on shore. Barton told 
me to take command of the police. " Then first detail two men 
to keep the Governor in sight all the time," I said. Mr. Le 
Hunte carried a butterfly net, was a very slow walker, and kept 
perpetually crashing off into the scrub in pursuit of butterflies. 

We halted for lunch in a village : the chiefs were presented 
to the Governor, a large crowd of natives assembled, and the 
personal servants of the Governor, the Judge and Murray, began 
trading with them for curios and betel-nut. Suddenly, there 
arose an angry clamour among the local natives, and we heard 
the voice of the Governor raised in anger. I yelled to the 
police to stand to their arms, and — with Barton — rushed off to 
Mr. Le Hunte, whose orderly we found holding a native by the 
arm, whilst a large number of others chattered angrily. It 
appeared that the Governor's boy had paid a native for a large 
bunch of betel-nut, the native had then tried to bolt with both 
betel-nut and payment ; the boy complained to Mr. Le Hunte, 
who promptly commanded his orderly to seize the man and demand 
return of either the betel-mjt or the payment — hence the row. 


Tlie affair was soon arranged. " Well, sir," I whispered to Judge 
Winter, "you see how easily friction can arise, out of nothing; 
what sort of fools should we have looked, ten minutes ago, 
without our revolvers ? " " His Excellency seems to be very 
impulsive," remarked the Judge. Sir George Le Hunte (as he 
afterwards became) certainly was very impulsive, and it was made 
worse by an entire lack of fear of consequences. I remember 
once, at a later period, visiting a village on the Fly River with 
him, and getting a bad fright, through that same trait in his 

I was returning from leave, and joined the Merr'ie England at 
Thursday Island. Barton was then Commandant, and there had 
been a fuss on the Fly River, brought about in this way. A 
native Mission teacher had gone up the river to an enormous 
Dobu, i.e. a huge tribal house, divided by partitions into family 
quarters, meeting halls, etc., in which there was a sacred 
place, where the natives kept some sort of god. The fool of a 
Mission teacher had torn down their god, and had just managed 
to escape, but it was in the midst of a storm of arrows. He then 
complained to another fool — a Government officer — who proceeded 
to the spot and burned down the Dobu : destroying not only 
the building that sheltered about five hundred people, but also 
the whole of their personal belongings and property with it. The 
homeless natives, suffering under a sense of injustice, became as 
venomous as a lot of scorched snakes. Sir Geor2;e dismissed the 
officer responsible, and was proceeding there to restore friendly 
relations, and to compensate the natives for their loss. 

The site of the Dobu was in a narrow mangrove-fringed 
creek, running into the Fly River, and afforded excellent cover 
for archers. Barton and myself were in the constabulary boat, 
which was filled with keen-eyed men, who were prepared to fight 
at a moment's notice. Sir George was in his own gig, manned 
only by her crew, who of course all had their backs towards the 
direction in which they were going, and who would have had to 
drop their oars in order to seize their rifles. The proper course, 
and the course adopted by us — with the Governor's consent — was, 
that the fighting boat should be in advance. Imagine, therefore, 
our disgust and dismay when, just as we were well within 
comfortable arrow range of the mangroves ahead, Sir George 
suddenly stood up, and commanded us to fall to the rear. " What 
shall I do ? " said Barton. " Don't hear him," I said ; " if he is 
killed, we shall be blamed." A very angry and imperative bellow 
now came from behind us, to which Barton was forced to pay 
attention, and very reluctantly we dropped to the rear. By a 
lucky chance the natives did not see us coming, so we were able 
to land before being discovered by them and then to make peaceful 



overtures ; but a more unreasonable, impulsive, and dangerous 
action than that of Sir Georijc I have never known ; for he not 
only exposed his own bulky form to the risk of arrows, but the 
backs also of his defenceless crew, and our crowded boat as well ; 
since we should not have been able to come into action, for fear of 
killing him. 

Sir George Le Hunte was a most kindly man and, as a rule, 
very considerate to his officers ; but these impulsive actions of his 
were absolutely damnable. If he had been killed (as well he 
might have been), how could his officers have explained why the 
Governor, with a helpless crew, came to be in the position of 
danger ? He would not have been there to exculpate us, and the 
result would have been that we — for the remainder of our lives 
— would have suffered under the stigma of leaving him in the 

We completed our journey across the island without any further 
incident worthy of note, old Enamakala being very friendly. 
Then we sailed for Goodenough Island ; there, Satadeai collected 
some natives, and gave an eye-opening exhibition of sling-stone 
throwing. " I never before realized, what a poor chance Goliath 
had against David," remarked Judge Winter, after he had watched 
the slingmen for a few minutes. At Wedau, on the north-east 
coast, the Governor and Judge went up to the Mission Station, 
while Barton, Murray and I went shooting : as I noticed the 
state of the tide in the streams the idea occurred to me that my 
friends might like to witness a peculiar method of catching fish. 
" Would you like to see a fishing even stranger than the Dobu 
kite fishers ? " I asked. They would most certainly : so I took 
them to the mouth of a small stream, where a row of four or five 
women stood in it, holding shallow scoop nets in their hands and 
attentively watching the water. Presently, first one and then 
another in succession leant forward and milked her breasts into 
the water ; then very carefully and quietly she inserted her net 
under the surface, and brought it up full of tiny little fish ; after 
which she emptied her basket, and resumed her watch. 

" Ugh ! disgusting ! " said Murray. " No doubt," I replied ; 
" but you will see more disgusting things than that; before you 
leave. Why, one of those very women and her daughter dug 
up a corpse and ate it, because they wanted to be with child ; 
some sorcerer or witch having told them that it was the best way 
to ensure it." " What happened then ? " asked the shuddering 
Murray. "Judge Winter gave them six months for desecrating a 
sepulchre ; there is no law against cannibalism," I told him. Native 
tradition on the north-east coast tells how a fearful epidemic 
swept through the island many years ago ; it must undoubtedly 
have been smallpox, as several old men still showed pitted faces 


caused by the disease. It was followed by a year of famine, 
during which the women exchanged their children with each 
other for culinary purposes, and every one went in fear of being 
knocked on the head and eaten by his neighbour. The people 
from East Cape to Bartle Bay are a miserable, decadent lot. 

A great portion of the coast is hilly grass land, carrying 
excellent pasture for cattle, but containing also a nasty spear- 
grass, the seed of which will work its barbed way through one's 
clothes, and in the case of sheep right into the carcase. The 
Bishop of New Guinea once bought a flock of sheep, intending 
to breed from them, and turned them out on the hills. I came 
along some months later, and noticed the sheep wanted shearing 
very badly. Bishop Stone-Wigg then told me that he had got 
shears, but no one in the Mission knew how to shear ; so accord- 
ingly I volunteered to do it. The police rounded up and caught 
the sheep, and I set to work. I made two discoveries : one was 
that the breeding flock consisted mainly of wethers, the other, 
that their skins and flesh were literally stuck full of spear-grass 
seed, the skins feeling like a very worn-out horse-hair sofa. 
When I had concluded my shearing operations, I went to the 
Mission house, where I found that the natives, who had been 
lost in amazement at the performance, had sent to ask the Bishop, 
" What the poor sheep had done, to cause the magistrate and 
police to cut off all their hair ? " 

From Wedau, the Merrie England went on to Samarai, and 
thence to Port Moresby. 

Upon our arrival at Port Moresby, I accompanied the 
Governor to Government House, there to await an appointment ; 
in the meantime I assisted Barton in engaging native servants, 
and also in other things which were strange to a new-comer. 
There was at that time a European market gardener, named 
Weaver, living alone some miles out of Port Moresby (he was, 
by the way, afterwards murdered). He was remarkable for two 
things : the moroseness of his temper, and the size of his feet. 
He got his boots by special order through Burns, Philp and Co. ; 
and on one occasion, the bootmaker to whom the size was sent, 
forwarded children's boots, thinking that it could not possibly 
mean size thirteen in men's boots. Weaver came in with a 
horse-load of vegetables, and went to Burns Philp for his boots, 
where he was given the parcel containing the children's boots. 
When he had opened it and had seen what it contained, he 
nearly went mad — thinking a joke had been played upon him. 
At last, after he had half wrecked the store and frightened the 
unfortunate clerks into fits, he was made to understand that there 
were no other boots for him ; he then seized his horse and brought 
it over to Government House, where I began to buy his vegetables. 


While so engaged, Murray came out and said " good-morning *' 
to Weaver, a salutation that was received with a glare and a 
grunt. Then Murray — who still possessed the finicking airs and 
graces of the exquisite of the Bachelors' Club — took out a dainty 
little cigarette case, and proffered a cigarette to the clay pipe and 
strongest of tobacco smoking Weaver. Weaver thought it was 
another insult of the small boot variety, and before his stream of 
lurid blasphemy, Murray fled indoors. I soothed him, and went 
on buying cabbages. Out then came the Governor, asked me 
who Weaver was, and in his genial way shook his hand and 
asked after his health. "Another blanker!" groaned Weaver. 
" None the blanky better for your asking," said that courteous 
person ; and his Excellency fled. " There appear to be some 
very peculiar people in this country, Monckton," remarked the 
Governor at breakfast. " Very true," I said, " and when you, 
sir, have completed your term of service here, you will think, as 
I do, that the whole country is a weird compound of comic opera 
and tragedy, with a very narrow margin between them. I have 
been buying cabbages for you this morning ; Heaven only knows 
where you will send me, or what I shall be doing next week." 

When we first arrived at Port Moresby, we found that 
Ballantine was away in the hills with a relief expedition for 
H. Stuart-Russell, who had been sent to survey a road over the 
Owen Stanley Range to the Yodda valley gold-field in the north- 
east ; a gold-field that, at the time, could only be reached by 
ascending the Kumusi River to Bogi, and then doing a ten days' 
march inland. Stuart-Russell had sent out word that he was in 
hostile country, and had run out of supplies. 

One morning, the Governor called me to his room and said, 
" Ballantine has returned, having failed to connect with Russell : 
I am getting very anxious about him, and intend to dispatch 
another relief expedition with you in command. The Govern- 
ment Secretary has been instructed to make all arrangements, 
and you should be able to leave to-morrow morning : here are 
your minutes of instructions." I glanced at my orders, and my 
heart sank : first of all. Muzzy to organize the expedition : as 
well have a well-meaning hen-wife ; then, when I did find 
Russell, I was to place myself under his orders ; Russell, whom 
I knew to be a surveyor, and ignorant of anything else. Wending 
my way to the Commandant, I worried him about the personnel 
of the constabulary I was to take, and at last got him to include 
Keke and Ade in the lot ; he had been detailing for me all the 
rotters and recruits in barracks. My next interview was with 
Mr. Musgrave, who I found had provided a most elaborate 
equipment of stores, etc. — a collection that would take about six 
hundred men to carry — and had engaged the Hanuabada natives 


and a mule team to carry it to the Laloki River, which was about 
seven miles distant. 

The Hanuabada (Port Moresby) carriers were the most 
pampered lot of lying, lazy loafers in New Guinea ; they were 
to receive in pay one shilling per day, the ordinary Government 
pay was twopence, and a heavy ration of rice, meat, biscuit, tea, 
sugar, etc. ; as well as to be equipped with blankets, tents, 
cooking utensils, and all the rest of it, for this one night's camp 
at the Laloki ; and this, too, on a warm tropical night. When 
I looked into the arrangements made by Muzzy, I felt inclined 
to sit down and cry. First, I had the awful Hanuabadas as far 
as the Laloki ; then in some mysterious way I was supposed to 
transport my stores to the Brown River — Heaven only knows 
how. Muzzy, however, suggested I should bribe the Hanuabadas, 
by double pay, to go on there ; then, I was to pick up Russell's 
time-expired and worn-out carriers, and " induce " them to 
return with me to the Main Range. Muzzy had had a flat- 
bottomed, square-ended, bull-nosed brute of a punt built, and 
placed upon the Brown River : a thing calculated by him to 
carry about five tons, which I was instructed to take to the head 
of the Brown ; this was by him fondly supposed to solve the 
transport difficulties. 

" Look here, sir," I said to Mr. Musgrave, once I had grasped 
the full beauty of his arrangements. " I understand speed is the 
very essence of this expedition. Let me chuck all arrangements 
at present made ; give me twenty constabulary, forty fresh and 
strong carriers, allow me to spend twenty pounds in meat extract, 
pea flour and cocoa, and follow my own road ; then I will 
guarantee to fetch Russell out in a fortnight." " Mr. 
Monckton," said the Government Secretary, " Mr. Chester, 
Mr, Giulianetti and I, have given a great deal of thought to 
this expedition, and our arrangements are perfect ; you are to 
carry them out." I did not dare tell Muzzy what I thought 
about it all. " Supposing, Mr. Musgrave," I said, " Russell's 
carriers refuse to return with me, or that they are sick and 
exhausted, what am I to do ? " " I have made the most 
elaborate arrangements," said Muzzy, " it is for you to carry 
them out " 

Accordingly I sought out the driver of the mule team, and 
led him to the pub ; after I had loaded him up with whisky, I 
asked, " Could you get that team of yours on as far as the Brown 
River ? " " Yes," was the reply. " Could you and the team 
work for twenty-four hours at a stretch, if necessary ? " " Yes, 
if it's made worth my while, and the mules are fed," he said. 
I then saw my way out of the difficulty of getting from the 
Laloki River to the Brown ; accordingly I told the driver I 


would give him halt my month's pay, and steal the Hanuabadas* 
rice for his mules. "Put it there," he said, spitting on his hand 
and holding it out for me to shake. "I won't take your pay, it's 
poor enough ; take a bottle or two of rum with you, and I will 
work my blanky mules until their eye-balls start from their heads 
and play marbles along their back-bones." 

In the early morning, accordingly, I made my start ; and half 
a mile from Port Moresby abandoned the biscuits, blankets and 
sugar of the Hanuabadas. From the Laloki, the carriers returned 
to Port, and I went on to the Brown River accompanied by my 
police and the mule team : there I at once stationed a picket 
to catch Russell's returning carriers, who were drifting down in 
threes, fives, and tens. The police and I then loaded the punt 
with stores, ready for the ascent of the river, which is a rapid 
mountain stream, full of whirlpools, rocks, snags, and rapids. 
From here, I sent back the mules to bring up another load of 
stores, and sat down to await their return. One day passed, two 
days passed, still no sign of the mules ; I sent some police off in 
search of them, and then — with such carriers as had by now come 
down from Russell's party — I began to haul that infernal punt up 
the river. The punt at once started to go to pieces : it was built 
of the heaviest timber, fastened together with trumpery flimsy 
wire nails ; the planking of the bottom, instead of running length- 
ways, ran across, and therefore, whenever we began to haul her 
over a rapid, the edges caught on the sharp rocks of the bottom 
and opened up — making the thing leak like a basket. A ring had 
been fixed on one end, with a rope tied on it for hauling on ; this 
ring was attached to a plate fastened by two one-inch screws, 
which were fondly supposed, by its architect, to withstand the 
strain of large numbers of men hauling a dead weight of five tons 
up a rapid. After one hour's experience of this ark, we dragged 
it ashore, plaited vines all round it to keep it together, caulked it 
with strips of blanket, and made a rope cradle all round to haul 
on. Then we went on again. 

The carriers, I was now using, were men recruited from 
Mekeo ; their time had expired, and they were keenly anxious to 
return to their homes. It was only by a vigorous use of cleaning 
rod that we could " induce " them to work, and we had to keep 
them under perpetual guard, lest they should desert ; also they 
could not swim, so that when we came to a deep crossing we had 
to haul them through on a rope, and, in addition, forcibly tie them 
to the rope, as the procedure was not one they relished. Mile by 
mile we fought our way up that awful river ; the constabulary and 
I stripped naked, hauling, sweating, swimming, and swearing, 
until at last we came to a whirlpool under a rapid. The police 
were swimming alongside the punt, the carriers hauling on the 



rope, I was steering the ark by a rough paddle, when suddenly a 
swirl of the current carried her into the whirlpool. I yelled at the 
carriers to slack the rope, but they lost their heads and pulled 
harder : punt, stores and I, accordingly disappeared into the swirl, 
and then those mutton-headed carriers let go the rope altogether. 
I am a bad swimmer at the best, and was about done in the swirl : 
the police were doing their best to stem the current and get to 
me. At last Keke managed to crawl out on a bank and, running 
along, dived from a rock, caught me round the waist as he swept 
past, and carried me to a sharp-edged rock, upon which he tore 
his feet badly in climbing out. I lay on a rock, and coughed up 
about half the Brown River. Rifles, stores, clothes, all were 
gone ; mother- naked stood the constabulary and I, with the 
exception of one flannel police shirt which had washed ashore, 
and which I promptly annexed. Nothing now remained for us 
but to return to our first camp, get fresh stores, and start again. 

A melancholy procession returned to that camp, even my shirt 
failing to add dignity to our march. I then heard that the mule 
driver had contrived to let his mules stray on the night of his 
departure, and was still engaged in hunting for them. I sent a 
letter to Captain Barton, conveying a blistering curse concerning 
all punts, and asses who drove mules ; and asking him to forward 
me some fresh rifles and clothing for the police, as well as some 
clothes and boots for myself. Whilst awaiting their arrival, I met 
with a fresh misfortune ; for in moving about the camp, I jumped 
with my bare foot upon a rusty nail, fixed in a piece of board 
belonging to an old meat case left by Russell, and ran it clean 
through my foot. I feared tetanus ; but hunting in a medicine 
chest at the camp, I found sticks of lunar caustic, and decided to 
cauterize the wound with it. Calling Keke, I showed him how 
to poke a probe through the puncture ; and when he apparently 
understood, I took a small piece of caustic and shoved it into the 
hole. " Now then, Keke, shove it through," I said, as I lay on 
my stomach and elevated the sole of my foot in the air. Keke 
gave a gentle push, and then — as I gave a howl — stopped, the 
stuff burning like hell fire. " Shove it through, you blank blank 
idiot!" I yelled. "Oh, master, I hurt you too much, I am 
frightened," said Keke. My howls, however, attracted Ade, who, 
grasping the situation and my foot at the same time, rammed the 
caustic through with the probe. " Keke," I remarked, as I 
cooled my injured foot in a bucket of water, " if you had not 
hauled me out of the river, I'd break your thick head." "I am 
a lance-corporal, not a doctor," said tliat injured individual; "if 
there is any more of this, Ade can be doctor." 

A few days later my rifles and clothes arrived, also the missing 
mules : again we took that awful punt up the river, this time 


successfully, though the amount of labour we expended upon it 
would have transported the stores three times over. 

The day after we quitted the river to strike over the 
mountains, Lario, a Malay, who had been in charge of a log fort 
for Russell higher up, came in with a large number of time- 
expired and more or less worn-out carriers. Howls of dismay 
went up from these unfortunate natives when they learnt that 
they were to turn round and go back with me. Much " moral " 
suasion had to be used by the police before they would 
" volunteer " ; some did succeed in sneaking away and making a 
bolt for the coast, but our watch was so strict that few of the 
volunteers escaped. Lario was a splendid chap, loyal, brave, and 
full of resource ; and I was more than pleased when he, though 
time-expired, consented to turn round and accompany me as 
second in command. I went carefully through all the carriers 
with Lario, in order to cast out — for return to the coast — all those 
who were unfit for service : very, very sorry I felt for the poor 
wretches (though I did not dare show it), as man by man they 
were examined ; some happy ones being cast for return, to the 
open envy of their companions. They were all Mission boys 
from the Mekeo district, flat country men, non-swimming, and 
singularly ill-adapted for the work in which they were engaged. 
That night — through Lario — they asked my permission to hold a 
prayer meeting ; afterwards Lario told me that they prayed that 
the hearts of myself, Lario and the police, would be softened 
towards them. 

Day after day of climbing over awful country passed, we 
following a line cut or blazed through the bush by Russell ; at 
intervals we came to log huts or forts, containing a couple of 
police and a few carriers : these I added to the expedition, both 
for purposes of speed and also in order to bring the biggest 
possible force to Russell. On one occasion, while following the 
blazed line along the top of a razor-backed spur, we came to 
where it narrowed to a crumbling knife-edged track, with a sheer 
drop on one side, looking down upon clouds, and on the other, 
the dull murmur of a river could be heard a thousand feet below. 
I am a fearful man, and I hate heights ; my head always whirls 
on them, and my muscles become as flaccid as those of a pampered 
lap-dog. I gazed at that spot, and then said to Lario, " Surely 
Mr. Russell is not a tight-rope walker, or fool enough to go over 
there." " I don't know," said Lario ; " the blazes lead to it, but 
I've not been here before." The carriers swore that Russell had 
not been that way, but I did not believe them, as they were always 
full of reasons why we should turn back. As for the police, so 
long as I went over, they would follow — even into the nether- 
most pit. Fine men, were the old New Guinea constabulary. 


" It is no good looking at it, Lario," I said at last, " I am 
half-paralysed with funk, but here goes." Then, afraid to look 
down, I walked as far as I could, with the cold sweat of fear 
streaming from me ; then I sat, straddled that fearsome spur with 
my legs, and slowly — leap-frog fashion — began to work my way 
across the thirty feet of the worst part, the stones and dirt I 
dislodged falling so far that their impact sent up no sound. Half- 
way across, my thin cotton khaki breeches began to tear badly 
with the stones ; as I went, I suddenly felt as if ten thousand red- 
hot pincers were tearing at the portion of my anatomy exposed by 
the torn garments ; I stood the agony for a second, then — unable 
to bear it any longer — leapt to my feet, and ran like a tight-rope 
walker across that narrow crumbling ridge. Reaching safety and 
a wider part of the spur, I sat down and tore a score of bull-dog 
ants from my skin ; I had worked my way clean over a nest of 
the malignant little beasts. Then I turned and looked at Lario ; 
his teeth were chattering and his knees knocking together. " Oh, 
my God, sir," he wailed, " you did frighten me." " Come on, 
Lario," I replied ; " if I spend the remainder of my life in the 
mountains, nothing will take me over that place again." Lario 
set his teeth, walked as far as I had done, then sat down and 
started my leap-frog method of progression : suddenly he stopped, 
his eyes bulged, and he jumped to his feet and ran to where I was 
standing, when he also began to tear those infernal little pests 
from his person. Curiously enough, though the carriers were flat 
country men, they did not mind heights nor did they suffer from 
vertigo ; and after one of the police had walked out, and swept 
the ants into eternity with a leafy branch, they marched steadily 

When I met Russell afterwards, I asked him what on earth 
took him over such a place, and how he expected it ever to become 
a road across the island. Then I found that he had not crossed 
it ; he had cut his line up to the bad spot, then, retracing his steps 
some miles, had found a good road down a side spur, which we 
had missed, and had ascended again further on. There are many 
sorts of funk : some men fear sickness, some fighting, some spooks, 
some drowning, and some cats ; every man has his own particular 
abhorrence ; but the worst kind of helpless fear is the sort I suffer 
from — fear of a height. 

At last our journey ended. One afternoon we marched into a 
large clearing, in which stood a log hut, surrounded by a ring of 
natives camped at a safe distance from Russell's men in the hut, 
but closely investing it ; it was the last post Russell had placed, 
before disappearing across to the Yodda. We soon swept away 
the surrounding natives, who had been patiently waiting until the 
men in the hut were starved into the open. As the rattle of our 


rifle fire died away, in marched Russell from the other side, co\ercd 
on his rear by a wiile-flung patrol of mine. Russell had been 
having a very rough time : he had by degrees broken up his force, 
leaving them in log huts to guard his line of communication, in 
order to ensure the safety of his sick and returning carriers ; 
eventually he and Macdonald (head gaoler) had penetrated into the 
Yodda, so weak in force that they were easily driven out by 
hostile natives. When I came up, he was falling back upon a weak 
camp surrounded by hordes of savages ; his stores were exhausted, 
and most of his ammunition spent. Replenished with fresh police, 
stores and ammunition, I left him, taking with me all the sick 
and exhausted carriers and worn-out police back to Port Moresby. 
Russell remained for a week, to complete some survey work. I 
took my sick by easy stages, and at the Laloki camped for three 
days ; spending the time in shooting game of all sorts, and 
gorging my charges on meat, until they were a happy and contented 
lot of men. 

A lagoon at the Laloki, which simply teemed with duck, was 
also inhabited by an enormous alligator, which had recently seized 
a Government horse by the nose, while drinking, and dragged it 
off. The Government offered a reward of five pounds for the 
destruction of the reptile. Whilst I was camped there, the lagoon 
happened to be very low : Lario was engaged stalking a flock of 
ducks, when he came suddenly upon the alligator ; it opened its 
mouth, and he promptly emptied both barrels of his gun down its 
throat, whereupon it rushed into the lagoon. Lario yelled his 
discovery to the camp, and police, carriers and I rushed down ; we 
could locate the beast on the bottom in three or four feet of water 
and about thirty feet distant from the bank, by the bubbles and 
discoloration caused by the reptile's uneasy movements. " Oh, 
for some dynamite ! " I sighed ; but dynamite there was none. 
The police, however, and a large number of carriers, rose to the 
occasion : cutting poles about nine feet long, they sharpened them 
at the end, waded out and formed a semicircle on the far side of 
the alligator. Then cautiously walking up to the bubbles, half a 
dozen men struck suddenly and savagely at the spot ; the immediate 
response was the appearance of a head and pair of snapping jaws. 
I promptly sent a Snider bullet through the head, and it disappeared 
again, while the men crowded together watching keenly the track 
of the bubbles. Once more they stirred up the beast, whilst I 
shot him again ; half a dozen Snider bullets I must have put into 
various parts of its anatomy before it apparently gave up the ghost 
and remained quiescent under the stabs of the police. Then a 
man stood on the carcase, whilst others went to cut vines with 
which to haul it ashore. There still, however, was a remaining 
flicker of life in the beast ; for the standing man gave a yell of 


fright and vanished under water, as the alligator rolled over on its 
side, dead at last. 

The beast having been hauled ashore, I was surprised to find 
embedded in its skull, six inches of the point of a heavy spear, 
which had rotted, and round which the bone had grown. The 
carriers ate the brute : by New Guinea hunting custom, however, 
the carcase — or in this case the reward — belonged to the man who 
had inflicted the first wound, or "first spear" as it is called, no 
matter how many men might have taken part in the actual killing. 
Lario did not get the reward, though I told him to apply to the 
Treasury, and afterwards had a fuss with Ballantine about it, as 
Ballantine held that he was a Government servant and killed the 
alligator in the course of his duty. Stories about the toughness of 
an alligator's hide are all bosh. A bullet from a common fowling 
piece will penetrate them anywhere ; but they are wonderfully 
tenacious of life, and, however badly hit, usually manage to wriggle 
into deep water. I have never seen one killed instantly by a single 
shot, though doubtless the reptile would afterwards die from the 
effects of it. 

I left that abominable punt at the head of the Brown River, 
never wanting to see the beast again. Russell and Macdonald, on 
their return journey, tried to descend the river in it, and lost all 
their personal effects as well as being half drowned, whereupon 
they abandoned the thing. Later Mr. Musgrave, who had an 
affection for the child of his brain, wanted it recovered for future 
use ; but Sir George Le Hunte said, that as it had already nearly 
cost the lives of two of his officers and the head gaoler, he thought 
it was better left where it was. 

Upon my return to Port Moresby and having reported myself 
to the Acting Administrator, Sir Francis Winter, I was told that 
the Government Secretary had a minute from the Governor for 
me ; Sir George was away in Brisbane at the time. I went to 
Mr. Musgrave, and was handed a minute to this effect. " Certain 
deserting carriers from the Russell relief expedition have complained 
about being beaten with sticks by Mr. Monckton and his police. 
Mr. Monckton to report." "Well, I'm damned !" I thought, 
" the whole of this expedition has been a mess and a muddle from 
the beginning ; a scapegoat is wanted, and Fm to fill that role I " 
Then in a fury of rage I went for Muzzy. "I told you from the 
beginning, sir, that the relief expedition was badly arranged; I 
begged you to give me twenty constabulary, forty good carriers, 
and to let me go my own way. Instead of which, I was compelled 
to carry out the most asinine arrangements, and to ' induce ' a lot 
of disgusted and worn-out carriers to do work for which they were 
utterly unfitted. Hold your inquiry. I myself never hit a 
carrier; and the police certainly did not hit the beggars with 



sticks when they tried to bolt, they used steel cleaning rods." 
Muzzy held up his hand. " Mr. Monckton, will you be quiet ? 
You say you did not hit any man with a stick ? " " Yes, sir," was 
my answer. "And also that your police did not hit them with 
sticks ? " " They did not," I said, " they had no time to cut 
sticks ; they hit the carriers, when they gave trouble, with their 
cleaning rods." " I don't want to know anything about that," 
said Muzzy. " You deny absolutely that any carrier was beaten, 
either by yourself or your police, with sticks ? " " Yes, sir, I do," 
was my reply. " Call up the carriers I have brought back, and ask 
them whether they are not contented men." Muzzy called up 
my meat-gorged men, who were then pleasantly anticipating their 
pay ; of course they swore that I and my police were the best of 
good people. I then thanked my stars that on the way back I had 
stopped and hunted to fill the bellies of those carriers, otherwise a 
different tale would have been told. 

Later, when I knew the complete details of Russell's expedition 
and of Ballantine's failure to relieve him, 1 learnt that the whole 
muddle was really due to Russell, having disobeyed orders, thereby 
throwing out all arrangements. Sir George Le Hunte had 
directed him to proceed to the summit of the Owen Stanley 
Range, but no further. Russell, however, being a keen hydro- 
grapher, had, at the imminent risk of his own and his men's lives, 
descended upon the opposite side, and got into difficulties ; the 
magnificent work he did saved him from censure or blame ; but, 
as a matter of fact, he richly deserved the sack for attempting it. 
Russell afterwards showed me a letter from Sir George Le Hunte 
which began, " You dear disobedient person, I should be very 
angry with you, but instead, I can only feel pleased." I made but 
one remark to Russell, and that was, " You thank your stars you 
are dealing with Sir George instead of Sir William MacGregor : 
for if you had disobeyed him, you would have had something to 
remember ! " 

I then received a note from Captain Barton asking me to take 
up my quarters at Government House, until the return of the 
Governor from Australia; he also told me that it had been decided 
by Council that the untouched part of the north-east coast of 
New Guinea was to be taken in hand, and that I was to be sent 
there as the first Resident Magistrate. " You will be glad," 
naively remarked Captain Barton, " to have settled and permanent 

• ■■-^■^.^^'^: 



SIR FRANCIS WINTER made me Assistant to Russell 
in the Survey Office, whilst awaiting the Governor's 
return : I spent my time drawing maps and copying 
plans, and I also began a feud with the Government 
Store that lasted during the whole period of my service in New 
Guinea. Russell wanted about half a dozen tin-tacks for some- 
thing or other, so I sent an orderly down to the Government 
Store with a note, asking Chester to give them to him ; the boy 
came back saying that he could not get them. I went myself to 
the Store, and found Chester suffering from a bad attack of liver. 
" What's the matter, Chester, why won't you give me the tacks ? " 
" Go to blazes," said Chester, "and send me a proper requisition." 
" Surely you are not going to put me to all that trouble for the 
sixteenth part of a penny ? " I asked. " I am," he said. I went 
back to the office and drew out a requisition for half a dozen tin- 
tacks, value one-sixteenth of a penny, and took it back again. 
" No good," said Chester, " requisition for supplies for the Survey 
Department must be countersigned by the Government Secretary." 
I said nothing, but wasted an hour in getting hold of the Govern- 
ment Secretary, who was engaged when I wanted him. " What 
tomfoolery is this, Mr. Monckton ? " said Muzzy, as he glared at 
my requisition. " What do you mean by wasting my time like 
this ? " " Chester has a liver and is full of red tape this morning ; 
he won't give me the tacks without a formal requisition," I 
replied. Muzzy dashed his signature at the foot, and off I went 
again and handed the requisition to Chester without a word, 
though inwardly I was seething. " No good," said Chester, 
" this requisition should have been signed by the head of the 
department requisitioning, not by you ; Russell must sign it." 
I took it back without a word, and went to Russell. " You are 
a damned fine assistant," remarked that impatient individual ; "do 
you want the whole day to get me half a dozen tin-tacks ? " In 
lurid language I explained to him what had taken place, and 
Ballantinc, hearing the fuss, came in and laughed at me. Russell 
signed the requisition, which I took, and went off again. Ballan- 
tinc, who was chuckling to himself at some obscure joke, then 


said he would walk down to the Government Store with me to 
see the end of it. 

Arrived there, I chucked the requisition at Chester with, 
" Now you attend to that at once, you blighter." Chester took 
it, and Ballantine led him on one side and whispered to him. "I 
can't accept this requisition," said Chester. " Wliy ? " I asked, 
hardly trusting myself to speak. " Because there is a Treasury 
Regulation that once the Government Secretary's signature has 
been attached to a requisition, no addition or alteration shall be 
made without his previous approval. Russell's signature is an 
addition." Ballantine rolled over screaming with laughter. 
Again I took the requisition to Muzzy, and in a cold hard voice 
explained the position to him. He looked at my face, said not a 
word, and confirmed the alteration. Back I went to the Govern- 
ment Store, and again handed Chester the requisition, Ballantine 
still being there. "I can't fulfil this," said Chester. Boiling 
with indignation, I blurted out, " Why, you blank blank scrim- 
shanker ? If you fool me any more, I'm going to the 
Administrator," " Oh, go to him," said Chester, " but if you use 
that language here, I'll send for the police." OfF I bolted to Sir 
Francis ; he listened to my heated complaint with his usual quiet 
smile, looked at the requisition and smiled again, [then wrote 
across the form, "Government Storekeeper, fulfil this requisition 
at once. F. P. W., Administrator." Back again I went to 
Chester. " Now, my beauty, you trot out my tin-tacks, unless 
you want to face an inquiry for disobeying orders." Chester took 
the form and wrote across it, " Tin-tacks not in stock of Govern- 
ment Store." Fortunately I was struck speechless, and before I 
recovered, Ballantine seized me by the arm and said, " Come 
along to lunch with me, Monckton ; His Honour is coming, and 
I'm certain he will be pleased to hear the end of this." As we 
went ofF to lunch, we met Russell also going to his. " Perhaps, 
Monckton," said Russell, "when yovi have finished gallivanting 
about and amusing yourself, you won't mind returning to your 
duties." « Blank ! Blank ! Blank ! " « Hush 1 Hush ! 
Monckton," said Ballantine ; " Russell for the time being is your 
superior officer." 

In due course Sir George Le Hunte returned ; and I was 
promptly appointed to the new North-Eastern Division, being, 
however, given three months' leave of absence before I took up 
my new duties. Naturally, I decided to spend my three months 
away from New Guinea ; I therefore arranged with Ballantine 
that he should send me out in his Custom's boat to a steamer, 
that was to call off the Port with a mail, in the course of a few 

Captain Fielden, who had been on Lord Hampden's staflF in 



Australia, and had been persuaded by Murray to come back with 
Sir George for a holiday, took it into his head to come and see 
me off. The day and the ship arrived : I started off in the 
Custom's boat, in the face of a strong south-easter ; the boat 
shipped a lot of water, and Fielden complained about it. "Bail 
out the water," I said to the coxswain, who was a smooth-water 
sailor. That worthy promptly pulled the plug out of the bottom 
of the boat, in order to let the water run out. I did not notice 
what he was doing, until the boat was half full, and then the plug 
was lost. Accordingly, we completed our journey with a man 
sitting in the bottom holding his thumb in the hole, Fielden 
protesting all the time that we ought to turn back. I knew 
better, however; for I felt convinced that if I missed that steamer 
and returned, something would turn up to find a new job for me, 
and therefore cost me my leave. I have not seen Fielden again 
from that day to this ; but when I returned from leave, Ballantine 
told me he had growled that I had done my best to drown him 
and a boat's crew. 

The day before I left Port Moresby, a full parade of the 
constabulary was ordered by the Governor, for the presentation 
of medals to Sergeant Sefa and Corporal Kimai, these two men 
having beeni|rccommended by Sir William MacGregor to the 
Home Authorities as deserving of it. Sir George Le Hunte 
presented the medals : then, to the amazement of the assembled 
officers, he also presented one to the officer at that time in 
command; the medal having a bar with "Tugere" stamped 
upon it. Sir William MacGregor's fight with the Dutch natives 
in the west. Sir George (who of course had not been present 
at the fight) had himself recommended the Commandant for it. 
The medals had originally been authorized by the Home 
Authorities, and were only to be granted for " good conduct " on 
the part of a private, or some act of conspicuous gallantry on the 
part of an officer ; and it was the sole reward that any officer or 
private could expect to receive, and was intended by Sir William 
MacGregor to be a very high one. Sir George Le Hunte, by 
his hasty though kindly-meant action in granting it unearned, 
brought it into contempt : no officer afterwards ever recommended 
a man for the medal ; and upon this officer's wearing it in South 
Africa, the War Office compelled the Colonial Office to order its 
recall as unauthorized. In this way was lost the only decoration 
to which the New Guinea Constabulary could aspire. 

On my return to Port Moresby, I busied myself with pre- 
parations for the new Division ; Sir George, with his usual 
kindness, putting me up at Government House. He told me 
that during my absence the Merrie England had visited Cape 
Nelson, and that he had selected a site for the new Station. 


" You will have your work cut out for you at first," he remarked j 
"the people are as wild as hawks, and carry spears twelve feet 
long." Another time he said, "I have made up my mind that 
before I leave this country, the north-east coast shall be as orderly 
and safe as any other portion of the Possession. I trust you to 
make it so." 

I went to Barton, who was now Commandant, about my 
police, I had asked for, and been allotted, ten men ; but after 
looking through them and finding that they were mainly recruits 
— and poor ones at that — I pointed out that I had a tall order on 
hand and wanted the best of trained men. " His Excellency 
thinks that it is better for you to recruit your own men on the 
north-east coast," said Barton ; " anyhow, these are the best I can 
do for you." " It is insanity for Monckton to recruit his own 
men on the north-east coast," said Judge Winter when he heard 
of the plan ; " it will be the Tamata business over again." 
Barton then said that, as he could not spare the best of the police, 
he would give me fifteen men instead of ten, mainly recruits, but 
including Keke, Poruta, and one other of my old Mekeo men. 
I got my men detailed, and set Keke and Sara (the corporal) to 
work, to lick them into shape as quickly as possible. I then 
found, that recently the constabulary had been increased in 
strength ; but, as for a considerable time no new rifles had been 
bought, they were very badly armed with old and worn-out 
Sniders. Barton said an experimental lot of Martinis had been 
ordered from England, but would not arrive for some time. I 
examined each man's rifle separately, and groaned over them all. 
" I may have fifteen privates," I then said to Barton, " but after 
they have been in action for ten minutes, I guarantee I won't 
have more than half of them able to fire their rifles." Eventually 
Barton gave me an order to the Headquarters' Officer for a dozen 
condemned rifles, from which I could take parts as I wanted 
them, with which to mend my rubbish. The ammunition 
supplied to me was apparently sufficient in quantity, and I 
thought of even quality. Government Store had, however, run 
out of rifle oil ; but I managed to cadge a little cylinder oil from 
the engineers of the Merrie England ; we afterwards made oil 
from pig's fat, and stinking stuff it was ; but it answered the 
purpose in the tropics. 

At last I was ready ; and on the ist June, 1900, the Merrie 
England pushed her way through a mass of canoes, full of howling 
men, women, and children, wailing for their relations in the 
constabulary, whom they thought they were never to see again. 
Arriving at Cape Nelson, my three months' stores, men, etc., 
were landed ; a flagstaff was then erected, the Station ensign 
hoisted, the men of the detachment presented arms to the 



'..•l-'»-. . -•"*■ "%■ 

:-i^» . ^ : -Y .-■ .^ 





Governor, and, dipping her flag, away sailed the Merrie England^ 
leaving us in the midst of a howling mob of excited natives. 

A hut had been constructed by the natives out of sago palms, 
tor which the Governor had left payment on his last visit, and in 
it the police and I now took up our quarters. It was situated in 
a grass patch of about an acre, on a bluff overlooking the harbour : 
bush extendcd'from the grass patch along the top of a shelving 
plateau of about thirty acres in extent. After the Merrie England 
had departed, I turned my attention to the defence of our post : 
we had three months' stores, but a safe water supply was essential, 
and the Governor in selecting the site had quite overlooked this. 
At last we discovered a spring some few hundred yards away in 
the bush ; so I accordingly had a four-hundred-gallon tank 
containing rice emptied, and then re-filled with water from the 
spring, in order that, should we be forced to fight, we should not 
be entirely without this necessary. Our first night at Cape 
Nelson was a very uncomfortable one : natives howled, blew 
horns and beat drums in the bush all round us the whole night 
long ; whilst a large fleet of canoes assembled and hovered under 
the bluff on the seaward side, until we shifted them by dropping 
a few rifle shots into the water near them, and also shooting 
over them one of half a dozen rockets I had begged from the 
Commander of the Merrie England. 

The following morning I decided to build a stockade round 
our hut, inside which no native was to be permitted to enter. 
Upon some hundreds of men appearing, we arranged with them — 
through Poruta, who spoke a language which a few of them 
understood — to bring us posts and timber for the stockade, telling 
them we wished to erect a fence to keep pigs in. We paid them 
for each piece of timber brought, in beads, or broken glass bottles, 
which they used for shaving : some men we kept and paid for 
digging a series of holes all round the camp. When all the 
timber was in, we got the natives to plant the posts of the 
stockade ; and before they quite realized what was occurring, 
they had built for us a solid wall of about four feet high, which 
an hour's toil on the part of the constabulary converted into 
a twelve-foot stockade. Then and only then, the police and I 
breathed freely and felt fairly secure : we now had a little fort, 
three months' provisions, enough water to last a month, and we 
felt fairly confident that we could hold our new home against 
anything that might come against us. 

The next day I thanked my stars for that stockade. The 
constabulary had purchased from the natives a supply of betel- 
nut and prepared lime, which they chewed ; then, to my horror, 
I suddenly discovered that, with the exception of three men, the 
whole squad was stupid and drugged from the effects of some 


narcotic contained in the lime. The three men had been on 
guard, and had not used either the betel-nut or the lime. I 
thrashed the slumberers, but without effect ; then I administered 
huge doses of castor oil and calomel, which in a few hours got in 
its work and restored them to their senses. A very frightened 
lot of men they were when they recovered, and discovered the 
helpless position they had placed us in. 

Corporal Sara now came to me with a fresh alarm. " How 
many cartridges have we got, sir ? " he asked. " About three 
thousand rounds," I replied. " Have you looked at the boxes ? " 
he queried next. "No," was my answer, "they are ordinary 
service cartridges, I suppose." " They are nothing of the sort," 
said Sara; "with the exception of the rounds in the men's 
pouches and one box of 320, they are all cartridges condemned 
by Captain Butterworth years ago. They burst the rifles when 
you attempt to fire them." I examined the boxes, and found 
they were filled with a patent cartridge made by Eley Brothers, 
which was supposed to consume its own case when fired. I made 
certain experiments with these cartridges, by firmly securing rifles 
to trees and firing them with a string attached to the trigger, and 
found that they did one of three things on every occasion : either 
the explosive consumed the case entirely and generated gases 
which blew the breech block clean out of the rifle ; or it did not 
completely consume the case and effectually blocked up the 
cartridge chamber with the remains ; or it left the brass case of 
the cartridge and cap stuck firmly to the fire pin of the rifle. If 
I could have got hold of the Government Storekeeper then, I 
would have shot him, and cheerfully have hanged for doing it. 
Fifteen men left among some thousands of the supposed wildest 
savages in the world, and the larger portion of our ammunition 
more dangerous to the user than to an enemy ! 

" The" fever medicine," said Sara, " is as bad as the cartridges ; 
the tablets go right through the men like stones." I examined 
some of the quinine tablets, which were supposed to be made by 
some people called Heron, Squire and Francis. I took two, 
soaked them for a night in whisky, and they were as solid as 
shot after it ; then I put another couple into dilute hydrochloric 
acid, and they resisted that, I believe the things were made of 
plaster-of-Paris or cement. Fortunately I had a couple of ounces 
of Howards' Sulphate of Quinine, and half a dozen bottles of 
Burroughs and Wellcome's Bisulphate of Quinine in tabloids, in 
my private stock, and could carry on with that. The iodoform 
supplied for wounds was just as bad : if you put it on a wound, 
the thing promptly festered, suppurated, and got angry-looking. 
Afterwards I took a bottle of the filth to Sydney, had it 
examined, and was told that it was composed of chalk and boracic 





I' M\ y 


acid, scented with iodoform and coloured with saffron. I don't 
say Heron, Squire and Francis supplied it — there is a law of 
libel — but it was in bottles bearing their name. 

A few days after I had been established at Cape Nelson, wc 
sighted a schooner, and I went oft* to her in my whaler to get 
the latest news and exercise my tongue gossiping in English. 
The schooner proved to be the Albert McLaren, bound for the 
Mambare, and carrying Bishop Stone-Wigg ; he was frightfully 
ill with a most malignant attack of malarial fever, and was 
sweltering in a tiny cabin. "I cannot go on to the Mambare, 
R.M.," said Bishop Stone-Wigg ; "the schooner can go on with 
stores. Will you give me a tiny corner in your camp until she 
returns?" '* My Lord," I said, "I have got a tiny tent 10 by 
12 feet, and that is joined to a house 20 by 12 holding fifteen 
police, all contained inside a fence enclosing an area of about 
half a tennis lawn ; we live hard and at any time we may die 
hard ; but if you like to share it, come by all means." "Any- 
where to lay my aching head," said the Bishop. Accordingly I 
took him ashore. He stayed with me a fortnight, and we only 
had one slight breeze, when I made him drink a glass of spirits 
every night before he went to bed, on the top of a strong dose 
of quinine ; he was as weak as a kitten and badly needed a 

At the end of the fortnight, the steamer President came, and 
the Bishop left in her for his head Station at Wedau : I accom- 
panied him, as he very kindly offered me the services of his 
Mission carpenter to repair some damage done to my whaleboat, 
which had come about in this way. The site chosen for my 
present house was situated over a rocky little bay, open to the 
stormy south-easters, and really unsafe for a boat to lie in : the 
only secure place in which the boat could be left was half a mile 
away, where she was likely to be either stolen or destroyed by 
natives. To haul the boat up on the rocky beach was a task 
beyond the strength of jthe men on the Station ; we therefore 
usually employed some of the local natives, who were engaged 
clearing the Station site for us, to help haul her up : these natives, 
however, were always ordered away from the Station to their 
villages at five o'clock in the afternoon. Some of the police had 
been sent in the whaler during the day to collect shells and coral 
for lime-making purposes, and returned after five ; the result of 
which was that we had not men enough to haul up the boat, and 
accordingly I told them to anchor her out at the full length of the 
chains. Shortly after this was done, I noticed that when the tide 
went out the boat's stern would be dangerously near the rocks, 
and sent a couple of police to shift her further out — which they 
apparently did. The following morning I discovered the whaler 


on the rocks with her stern smashed in ; and then found that the 
two fools I had sent had shifted her further out by hauling in 
and shortening the chains, thereby allowing her to drag her 
anchors in the strong night wind and smash on the rocks. The 
damage done was about equal to twenty pounds : a benevolent 
Government held that when accidents of this sort occurred, they 
were due to carelessness, and the men or officer responsible should 
meet the expense out of their or his private money. " Here's a 
pretty pickle," I said ; " if I stop the two men's pay, they will get 
nothing for twelve months." My own pay was already mortgaged 
for four months ahead, to pay debts incurred on my last leave : 
the Bishop's oflFer, however, of his carpenter, helped me out of the 
difficulty, and all I had to pay was five pounds towage to the 
President. We plastered up the stern of the whaler to get her as 
far as that. 

I was a full week at Wedau getting the boat mended, for I 
managed to strike Holy Week ; the carpenter, being an aged and 
particularly holy man, would drop his tools four or five times a 
day and scoot off to some sort of service, whilst I would endeavour 
to carry on his work : the day of silence and prayer was especially 
trying to me, as I was in a fever of anxiety about my men left at 
Cape Nelson. At last, however, I got away and started back, the 
Bishop coming with me as far as Cape Vogel, where we had 
established a Mission Station. By the way, I nearly drowned him 
on that trip, for there was no wind when we left late in the day, 
and the police had fairly well exhausted themselves at the oars 
long before we were across the bay ; then night and a big wind 
came, and we got into a tide rip off the Cape, which nearly 
swamped us. Curiously enough, I never afterwards travelled at 
sea with Bishop Stone-Wigg without having the most marvellous 
escapes from drowning. 

I remember on one occasion sighting his vessel just before 
dark off Cape Nelson, and — after directing that a light be hoisted 
at the flagstaff — I went out in the whaleboat to pilot him into the 
harbour : it was pitch dark by the time we got alongside, with 
nasty rain squalls coming up at intervals. The Albert McLaren 
started to stand in for the narrow rock- bound entrance of the 
harbour, when suddenly the light at the Station flagstaff was 
obscured by a rain squall, and when the squall had passed — during 
which we had hove-to — the light had vanished. After waiting 
for half an hour for it to reappear, I came to the conclusion (the 
right one as it afterwards proved) that the police had not noticed 
that the light was out, and therefore it was not likely to be relit 
at all. We groped our way out to sea for some distance, and 
anchored over a sunken reef, whilst I sent the whaler to try and 
nose her way into the harbour and have the lamp relit : that was 


the last wc saw of the whaler that night, tor she lost her way in 
the rain squalls, and could find neither harbour nor Albert 
McLaren again. Meanwhile, the night got worse, the schooner's 
anchor carried away, and we blew up the coast in the dark, 
missing. Heaven only knows how, the many reefs with which 
the coast is sown. 

I spent my time on deck with the skipper, vainly trying to fix 
our position on the coast from the village fires, and trying to 
imagine a fit punishment for the police on shore, by whom the 
light had been allowed to go out. Inman, who was now captain 
of the Albert McLaren^ was full of groans and despair. " If I had 
not seen your light go up and your whaler coming out, I should 
have crept behind a reef and anchored," he complained ; "now we 
are bound for Kingdom come." " It is no part of my work to be 
drowned in a missionary boat ; it is just an obliging disposition 
that has got me into this fix," I told him. Then I went down to 
the cabin, where Bishop Stone-Wigg was peacefully writing, in 
spite of the racket on deck. "Well, R.M., what news?" he 
asked. " The news is thai we are driving through the night 
amongst a lot of reefs, and the first thing that we shall know 
will be the crash of the schooner's forefoot on one ; we can't 
heave-to, or we'll inevitably smash up on the coastal rocks." 
"There is a Guiding Hand," said the Bishop calmly. "There 
is no guiding hand," I said ; " neither Inman nor I have the 
slightest idea where we are, and the prospect of all of us being 
drowned before morning is particularly bright." " Oh, I meant 
we are in the power of a Higher Hand," remarked the Bishop, 
and calmly went on writing and making references from books. 
" Well, of all cool customers," I thought, as I returned to the 
deck, " the Bishop about takes the cake." Some few hours before 
daybreak the wind abated, the rain squalls cleared away, and 
Inman was able to drop a kedge at the end of about one hundred 
and fifty fathoms of rope, and anchor until morning showed us 
our position. Daylight came, and a few hours afterwards my 
whaler appeared searching for us, and I went back in her to my 
Station, while the Bishop went on in his schooner to the 
Mam bare. 

At the Mambare the Bishop heard of the Opi villages, a thick 
cluster of people at the mouth of that river, who at this time 
were by no means too safe to deal with, or to be trusted. On his 
return voyage, he calmly ordered the schooner to be hove-to off 
the mouth of the river, and, accompanied by only a few Mission 
boys, went ashore in a tiny dingey to pay the villages a visit, with 
the object of ascertaining the suitability of the site for a Mission 
Station. The mouth of the Opi is one of the most shark-infested 
spots in New Guinea, and of course the Mission boys contrived to 


capsize the dingey in the surf; fortunately the Bishop was a very 
good swimmer, as were also his boys, so he managed to swim 
ashore ; but an enormous shark swam alongside him to the beach 
and, marvellous to relate, did not attack him. I heard the tale 
from the Bishop, his boys, and the Opi natives who witnessed it. 
I was not at all pleased when I heard of the Bishop having 
gone into the Opi villages, for though they were not in my 
Division, I knew from the officers of the Northern Division how 
unsafe they were ; and I begged the Bishop to come to me for an 
interpreter the next time he wished to go there. It was a long 
time before he did want to go, and by that time I had two police 
recruits from the Opi, and I gave them to him as interpreters. 
" You will interpret truly for the Bishop," I told my two men, 
" but you must first tell the people that he is my friend, and if 
anything happens to him I shall take such vengeance that the 
women and children of the furthest Binandere people will cry at 
the mention of it." Privates Kove and Arita, the two men I 
sent, swore that the Bishop should be safe, and that they would 
fittingly picture the horrors that would befall the people if they 
threatened or injured him. When the Bishop returned from the 
Opi and gave me back Kove and Arita, he told me that he was 
very taken with the kindness and friendliness of the natives, and 
had decided to put a Mission Station there. Some time after- 
wards, I heard from Armit, then R.M. for the Northern Division 
and in whose district the Opi was, asking why I had been putting 
the fear of God or of the Government into the Opi people, and 
saying that he was the only person officially entitled to do that. I 
soothed Armit, by pointing out that if the Bishop had got killed, 
he was the man who would have had to face the music with the 
Governor, and that I had only been trying to do him — Armit — a 
good turn. 

Writing about Bishop Stone-Wigg reminds me of an occasion 
when he accompanied me to the Yodda Gold-field ; the Yodda 
miners at this time being about as hard-bitten, hard swearing, and 
as utterly reckless a lot of " hard cases " as could be found under 
the British Flag. They had got a cemetery — which, I might 
remark in passing, was afterwards washed out, with the bones of 
its inhabitants, because a payable streak of gold was found in it — 
and it was well filled with dead diggers. The Bishop, after 
looking at it, suggested that he should read the Burial Service over 
the graves. I agreed that it might be a good thing ; making a 
mental note that afterwards, when anxious relations wrote to me 
about their dead relatives, I could say that the Bishop of New 
Guinea had given them Christian burial. I sent a summons to 
the miners, telling them what was to take place, and they rolled 
up in strength to attend. The Bishop read the impressive service 


of the Church in a voice and manner that struck home to those 
miners, and produced an unexpected result. Mat Crow, a 
prominent man among them, was deeply affected ; and, at tlie 
end, he strode up to the Bishop, struck him heartily on the back, 
and broke forth : " Boys, this is kind of the Bish. There's 
Alligator Jack and Red Bill, there's blank, and blank, and blank 
planted here, and Gawd, 'E knows whether they have rested 
easy ; we know what they were like, and we know what the 
Warden is like who read prayers over them ; he was better than 
nothing ; but he is no good alongside a parson, and a Bishop is 
fifty parson-power in one. Boys, I move a vote of thanks to the 
Bish, with three times three, and may we all have a Bish to plant 
us. Alligator Jack would be a proud man to-day if he knew 
what was being done for him." Bishop Stone-Wigg fled, as the 
vote of thanks was carried with enthusiasm, and the cheers for 
the fifty parson-power parson echoed over the graveyard. 

Returning to Cape Nelson from Wedau, I found my men 
bottled up inside the stockade ; and was told that the Okein, a 
pugnacious tribe to the north, had paid them a visit, swaggered 
about the Station, interfered with the working Kaili Kaili, and 
generally made themselves a nuisance. 

The following is a brief description of the different tribes 
inhabiting the North-Eastern Division, and also a general review 
of the feeling existing between them at this time. The Cape 
Nelson (Kaili Kaili) people, under the leadership of their chief, 
Giwi, were a confederation of shattered tribes, regarding every one 
to the north or south — or, in fact, any stranger — as enemies, by 
whom they might be attacked or slaughtered at a moment's 
notice. To the north there lay the Okein, a branch of the 
Binandere ; a strong, warlike, and colonizing people steadily 
pushing their way south, but halted in their southern march by 
the necessity of defending the land occupied_by them, against the 
attacks of inland raiding tribes. To the south lay the Maisina 
tribe of CoUingwood Bay, a race of pirates, who terrorized the 
coast as far as Cape Vogel, but were in their turn harried by 
incursions from the Doriri, a mountain tribe behind them. The 
Kaili Kaili, who inhabited the mountains and hills at Cape 
Nelson, were therefore really remnants of tribes shattered by 
attack from either the Doriri, Maisina, or Binandere people ; and 
also the remnants of a tribe frightfully weakened by an eruption 
of Mount Victory. 

For some time after they had occupied the inhospitable rugged 
lands of Cape Nelson, they had been subjected to periodical 
incursions and slaughterings by the Okein fleet of canoes ; but 
were eventually saved by the good sense of their elected chief, old 
Giwi, who had an uncommonly fine head and exceptional 


reasoning power. The Kaili Kaili were not an aquatic people, 
but Giwi noticed four things : firstly, that all attacks against his 
people must come by sea ; secondly, that the canoes of the in- 
vaders were made of a heavy hard wood j thirdly, that the missiles 
of the invaders were heavy spears having a limited range ; and 
fourthly, that once the northern men landed, his lighter people 
stood no chance against their charges. Giwi, in his way, was a 
Napoleon. He saw that to fight the invader successfully, he 
must fight on the sea ; he saw that he must not fight at close 
quarters, but must have faster canoes, and also missiles outranging 
those of the Okein ; and he laid his plans accordingly. First of 
all, Giwi made his people learn to swim in the pools of the 
streams running into the fiords of Cape Nelson ; then he ordered 
canoes to be cut from a particularly light wood, of shallow draft, 
and capable of great speed, though they would not last many 
months ; then he had made a great stock of a particularly light 
and long spear, capable of being thrown a great distance. Having 
completed his preparations, Giwi built an ostentatious and sham 
village at the head of a fiord, round the shores of which he 
concealed his new fleet, and then awaited developments. The 
developments soon came : a strong Okein fleet of canoes swept 
down the coast, sighted the village, and at once attacked it ; it 
fell an easy prey, being undefended and of no value, and the 
disappointed Okein fleet attempted to put to sea again, only to 
find hovering on their flank a swarm of light canoes, with whom 
they could not possibly close, and by the crews of which they 
were, man by man, slaughtered at long range. Out-generalled, 
out-paced and out-ranged, they had no hope. Very few of the 
Okein canoes escaped, and, for many years afterwards, they gave 
Cape Nelson a wide berth as they passed on their southern raids. 
Giwi and his canoes, however, at the time I went there, were the 
sole obstacles to their occupying the coast south of Cape Nelson, 
though they could still raid it. 

The account of this fight, I had from Giwi himself, and also 
from some of the Okein who took part in it, years after it had 
taken place ; but all their accounts tallied. In fact, the way in 
which I first heard of it was rather peculiar. I was staying for 
the night in old Giwi's house as an honoured guest, and rolling 
over on the floor to sleep, I was disturbed by the old boy's 
chuckles. " What are you laughing at, you old reprobate ? " I 
demanded. " You are lying on the exact spot where I kept the 
body of the Okein chief, before I ate him," he said, and then he 
unfolded the tale I have just told. 

Old Wanigela, a chief of the sub-branch of the Maisina, 
whose people had been subject to constant attack by two foes, the 
Okein by sea and the Doriri from the mountains, took heart of 



grace from Giwi's defeat of the Okein, and laid plans for the dis- 
comfiture of the next raiders. His plan was, however, with the 
exception of the long light spears, much simpler than that of 
Giwi ; for all he did, was to abandon his village at the approach 
of the hostile canoes, and permit them, unopposed, to enter a 
narrow river which ran alongside the village. After the Okein 
had plundered and burnt to their hearts' content, and had lumbered 
up*' their canoes with loot, they essayed to return, and were 
jostling and crowding together in the current of the narrow 
entrance to the river, when Wanigela suddenly appeared on the 
bank with his men and fairly hailed spears upon the now packed 
Okein, who were taken entirely by surprise by the unexpected 
attack from people whose fighting qualities they despised ; thrown 
into confusion by the immediate loss of many men, and unable to 
charge home with the favourite weapon of the Binandere people — 
the stone-headed club — they were all slaughtered, with the ex- 
ception of one canoe-load of warriors, which managed ,to put to 
sea and escape. 

The two defeats had for a time cooled the ardour of the 
Okein for raiding on the coast ; but later, having been strengthened 
by fresh families from the virile Binandere, they turned their 
attention to a new field, and raided and slaughtered the Baruga 
people of the Musa River. The Baruga were now in an evil 
case : they could not go back, for then the Doriri from the hills 
raided them, that people's war parties sweeping the whole or 
the flat country. The Baruga's sole method of escape from the 
Doriri had originally been by canoes and river ; but now the 
canoes of the Okein were driving them up and from the river, 
into the very clutches of the Doriri. Fortunately, however. Sir 
William MacGregor fell in with a fleet of Okein canoes return- 
ing from a raid up the Musa, laden with human flesh, and he 
inflicted yet another crushing defeat upon them ; a defeat from 
which they were only just recovering when I came to Cape 
Nelson. They were to get yet another reverse, and at my hands 
next time ; but that was to come much later.?.-v^. .3 

Wanigela's victory 'over the Okein was, however, to prove 
his undoing ; for he and his people, cock-a-hoop over their defeat 
of the redoubtable Okein, decided to try conclusions.with the first 
war party of Doriri entering their country. It was not long 
before a war party, a small one of about fifty Doriri, appeared in 
tlie district : Wanigela located them and their line of march ; 
then, assembling his own men and many hundreds from the parent 
Maisina tribe, he laid an ambush for the Doriri. This stratagem 
proved entirely successful, the enemy marching into the middle 
of the hidden men; Wanigela then yelled, " Now we have you 
w here we wanted you ! " which was his signal for the attack ; his 


men leapt to their feet ; the Doriri merely replied with a curt 
" Have you ?" and charged. Wanigcla and thirteen of his most 
redoubtable fighters were killed, many were wounded, and the 
rest broke and fled in every direction. Nothing arter this would 
induce the people of CoUingwood Ray to stand up to resist the 
Doriri, who now began a policy of sending very small parties, 
which ceaselessly snapped up and killed men, women, and children. 
Sir Francis Winter, Moreton, and Buttcrworth, made an attempt 
to seek out and deal with the Doriri, but failed, in consequence 
of taking CoUingwood Bay carriers with them, by whom they 
were deserted on the very first night. 


AT Cape Nelson, I was now busy in the erection of my 
new Station. A New Guinea Government Station 
consisted of the R.M.'s house, police barracks, store- 
rooms, magazine, married quarters, native visitors' 
house, police cells and gaol. I had applied for a grant of forty 
pounds for building my own house, intending to have one made 
of native material, i.e. hard hewn timber and a thatched roof ; 
Sir George Le Hunte, however, said he was not going to have his 
R.M.'s house like that, and accordingly instructed the Survey 
Department to expend three hundred pounds in getting timber 
and iron from Australia for a European house of four rooms. 
Russell directed me to have cut a number of piles of hard wood, 
ten feet in length, upon which the house was to be built. He, 
being a surveyor, was also supposed to be an architect ; as a 
matter of fact, his knowledge of building was about equal to a 
Berkshire pig's grasp of navigation. This is the house that he, 
after great travail, designed. 

' ^J 













He altogether forgot windows, railings, and steps ; and this, too, 
for a house the flooring of which would be ten feet from the 

At this time I had, under the supervision of a private of 
constabulary, gangs of several hundred Kaili Kaili at work, clear- 
ing gardens and carrying timber for the gaol and barracks ; whilst 
another lot were searching for tcakwood with me, and cutting it 
into piles for my house. Amongst my contingent was a short, 
squat, very powerful man of about forty years of age, who had at 
one time been badly wounded in the head, and at intervals 
broke into a frenzy of rage with no apparent reason ; this in- 
dividual was named Komburua. He had engaged to work two 
months with me for an axe, upon which he had set his heart, and 
which tool he was permitted to use al his work until it became 
his own. Komburua's particular job was to cut the hewn piles 
to an exact length, as I measured and marked them. On one 
occasion, as I moved from one pile to another to measure it, 
Komburua seated himself upon the one I was stretching my tape 
along ; I shifted him with a hard spank with my open hand, and 
again leant over my tape. Suddenly I caught sight, on the ground, 
of the shadow of an axe flying up above the shadow of my helmet ; 
like lightning, I jumped to one side, just as that axe came crashing 
down on the very spot over which my head had been. Before 
Komburua had time to raise his axe again I had him pinned by 
the throat, whilst two police, who were but a few feet away, 
rushing up, first knocked him senseless with the butts of their 
rifles, and then, loading them, stood at my back, as I blew my 
whistle for the detachment to fall in — not knowing how much 
further the trouble was going. From all directions the men came 
tearing up, loading their rifles as they ran, and savagely striking 
out of their way any native in their path ; while the excited 
natives gathered in clusters and jabbered, and spears appeared 
from nowhere. Poruta soon found out that Komburua's attempt 
to split my skull was due to one of his sudden frenzies of rage, 
induced by my spank on his stern, and in no way concerned fhe 
other natives. He was given seven days in leg-irons, as a gentle 
hint to restrain his temper in the future, and we resumed our 

Komburua afterwards tried to get square with me by poison- 
ing our well at night, and, but for the accident of heavy rain 
falling at the time, thus washing away the greater portion of the 
poison, the whole lot of us would undoubtedly have been killed. 
As it was, we were all extremely ill ; in ract, two men very 
nearly died, and I, for the life of me, could not make out what 
was the cause. The police said sorcery ; I did not know what 
to think ; I had no suspicion of the water, though I thought of 

:■' ■ ?^ 









poison ; at the same time, I could not understand how it could 
have been administered to all of us. One alarming sign was that 
not a single native came near us. I took counsel with the police. 
" There is something very wrong," I said, " but we have to find 
out what it is, before we can cure it." " It is sorcery," said the 
police. "Well, we must find out the sorcerer and deal with 
him ; what sorcery can do, sorcery can undo," I said. " The 
proper thing to do with a sorcerer is to hit him on the head with 
a club," said Poruta, " for they are no good." " All very fine," 
I remarked, " but first catch the sorcerer." " You have said it," 
said Keke (Keke and the other Kiwais had stronger stomachs, 
and were not so bad as the rest of us) ; " these people know what 
they have done to us and are awaiting results ; we can't see them, 
but they are certain to have some one watching us. To-night, 
the strongest of us will sneak out and catch the watchers in the 
early dawn, and then we shall find out what is the trouble." 
Keke's plan seemed the best ; that night, the five strongest men 
crept out, and, in the morning, they snapped up a solitary man, 
whom they discovered in a tree watching the camp, and brought 
him in. It was a man named Seradi, who later served for many 
years with me in the constabulary ; in fact, he was still serving 
when I left New Guinea. 

I showed Seradi our sick ; as a matter of fact, with the 
exception of the five men by whom he had been caught, there 
was not one of us able to stand. I asked, " What is the matter 
with these men ? " " I don't know," was the reply. " Why are 
all you people staying away from the Station ? " " I don't 
know," he repeated, which was a palpable lie. " Reeve a rope, 
and hang him up," I said. "What will the Governor say?" 
asked Keke ; to which I replied, " It does not much matter 
what he says, for if we don't find out what this trouble is, he'll 
only have dead men to talk to." The police rove a rope over a 
beam in the ceiling : I may say that, during our sickness, we 
were all living together in one big barrack room. " What are 
you going to do with me ? " asked Seradi, as a noose was passed 
round his neck. " Hang you up by your neck until you are 
dead, then cut you open and look at your inside to find out why 
we are sick ; you know, but won't tell us while you are alive, 
and the rope round your throat will prevent the knowledge 
escaping when you are dead." The rope tightened, Seradi 
choked and held up his hand. " Slack 1 " I said. " You want 
to talk ? " I asked him. " Yes," was his reply, " I don't want 
to put you to all this trouble. Komburua poisoned your well ; 
the people are staying away until you are all dead, when they 
will come and take all your wealth." " Do the people want to 
fight us ? " I asked. " Oh no," he said, " but if you all die, they 


would like your things." " Do you know where Komburua is ? " 
I next asked. " Yes, alone in a bush house about half a mile 
away," said Seradi. " Very good ; if you take my police to him, 
and help them catch him, I will pay you two tomahawks and 
make you village constable of your tribe." Seradi apparently 
thought that this was much better than being hanged, so went 
off with my five fairly sound men, and shortly afterwards returned 
with Komburua. In due time Seradi got his uniform as village 
constable, which position he filled with ability. 

Komburua got six months' hard labour, a sentence he received 
with extreme disfavour. His first job was to clean out the 
spring, and dig a channel in the rock, in which to lead the water 
to the gaol. " Komburua is to drink a pint of water from the 
well before breakfast every morning," I told the police, " then, 
if there is any more foolery with our water, he will be the first 
man poisoned." He afterwards became a very good worker 
indeed, and accompanied me as a carrier on many an inland 
expedition. He also became very friendly with me, in con- 
sequence of my curing a periodic headache he suffered from. 
One day, as he toiled with a crowbar at the rock of a precipice, 
up which we were cutting a new road, I noticed that his fore- 
head was all scratched and cut, and asked him what was the 
matter. " There is a devil trying to break out of my head," said 
Komburua. I sent him to sit in the shade of the gaol kitchen, 
and gave him some phenacitin tabloids, that eased his head a 
great deal quicker than his cutting and scratching had done. 
After he had served half his time, I made him prisoners' cook to 
the gaol, a position of which he was very proud (though the 
prisoners at first regarded his appointment with eyes askance), 
and, at his earnest request, I let him off the pint of cold water 
before breakfast. 

I remember Komburua, on one occasion, frightening fits out 
of the Chief Engineer of the Merrie England. I was going up 
the coast in that vessel, to cut a road from Buna Bay to the 
Yodda Gold-field. I had with me about a score of police and 
some couple of hundred Kaili Kaili : each Kaili Kaili had an 
axe, both as a weapon of defence and as a tool for work. My 
men — in addition to her own complement — crowded the vessel 
uncomfortably ; but as my men slept about the decks and it was 
only for one night, it really did not matter. The night came, 
and with it heavy rain ; my unfortunate Kaili Kaili crawled into 
alley ways, galley, cabins, in fact anywhere they could get, to be 
out of the wet. Officers and crew were perpetually falling over 
naked bodies in most unlikely places, and cursing Kaili Kaili and 
me alike — not that the Kaili Kaili cared. The Cape Nelson 
police and myself were the only persons they would listen to or 



obey ; every one else was merely an objectionable foreigner. 
Komburua, in search of a dry spot, discovered the Chief 
Engineer's cabin, that worthy being on watch ; he then stretched 
his dirty greasy form upon the Engineer's bunk and went to 
sleep. Presently the owner of the bunk came off watch, went to 
his cabin, and there discovered a huddled mass of wet cannibal 
on the floor and Komburua in his bunk ; with curses and blows 
he shifted the men from the floor, hauled^Komburua from his 
bunk, and hoofed him out of the cabin. 

A few minutes later a steward, falling over the tangled heap 
of police and Kaili Kaili sleeping on the floor of my cabin, woke 
me up, wailing, "For God's sake, sir, go to the Chief Engineer's 
cabin ; those blank savages of yours are killing him." " Non- 
sense ! " I said ; but that wretched steward would not let me 
have any peace ; so accordingly, cursing deeply all people who 
disturbed the sleep of the godly with vain alarms, I paddled along 
the wet deck to the Engineer's cabin. There I found the Chief 
lying in his bunk, gazing absolutely horror-stricken at the blood- 
shot eyes of Komburua peering through the tangled mat of hair 
surmounting his hideous visage, while he thoughtfully felt the 
razor-like edge of his axe. At intervals the Chief yelped for 
help. " What the devil are you up to, Komburua ? " I asked, 
as my naked foot took him fairly on the stern ; " get out ! " " He 
would not let me sleep in the dry, so I just gave him a fright," 
said that worthy, as he retired, carefully sheltering his stern with 
his axe. " I thought the murderous brute was going to split my 
skull every second, and dared not move," said the Chief Engineer ; 
" it's disgraceful that the Government should allow you to bring 
such savages on board. There's some whisky in my locker ; 
give me a drink." " They are all right, and quite nice people 
if you are gentle with them ; but if you use coarse sailor language 
and blows, you offend them," I told him reproachfully ; then I 
gave him a drink from his own bottle, and absent-mindedly 
carried the bottle away and shared it with the second engineer 
nd the oflRcer on watch. 

About a week after I was first established at Cape Nelson, 
old Giwi came in, followed by a strange native who gambolled 
like a kitten when he caught sight of the police and myself, and 
exhibited extravagant joy in divers ways. He proved to be the 
sole survivor of ten Dobu carriers, who had bolted from the 
Mambare at the time of the massacre of Green and his men : 
the other nine had been caught and eaten at intervals along the 
coast by the Notu and Okein people. This man, weary and 
frightened, had reached Giwi's village ; there Giwi had protected 
him, and employed him as an unpaid labourer in his garden — 
practically a slave. He told me that he had had a dreadful time 


chasing the Mcrrie England from fiord to fiord, when last she 
came, but could never quite catch her ; then one morning he 
had caught sight of the flag flying over my camp, and had 
persuaded Giwi to bring him to me for a reward. I bought him 
from Giwi for a tomahawk, and as he swore that he never meant 
to leave the shelter of the police camp again, I made him cook to 
the constabulary. About eight months later, however, as the 
Alcrric England was going to his home, I seized the opportunity 
of sending him there. 

I then found out that numbers of runaway carriers from the 
diggers of the Mambare were continually being caught and eaten 
by the tribes along the coast. The local natives had their own 
grievance against the runaways, for the latter used to steal their 
canoes and also sneak into their gardens and help themselves to 
food. North and south I then sent notices, offering a reward of 
a tomahawk each for all live runaway carriers brought to me, and 
threatening dire vengeance against any people killing them. 

In a month, we recovered some thirty odd runaway carriers in 
lots of two, three, and up to a dozen, Seradi then told me of a 
little village inhabited entirely by sorcerers, male and female, 
some seven miles away, where they had another runaway tied up 
for some diabolical purpose. I sent Seradi and half a dozen 
police to bring me the captive and arrest the sorcerers ; these 
gentry were not at all popular with the Kaili Kaili, though, like 
most natives, they stood in awe of them. The police returned, 
carrying in a net a man so emaciated that his bones were literally 
sticking through his skin, and his whole body showing the marks 
of dreadful ill-usage ; he was so weak as to be beyond speech, 
and though we dosed him with tincture of opium and brandy, and 
filled him up with broth, he died within a few hours. The 
sorcerers had seen the police coming and escaped. My men told 
me that their village was unspeakably filthy, so I sent them back, 
in the middle of the night, to surprise and catch the sorcerers and 
burn down the village. They only caught two, whom I sent to 
gaol for six months, their first job being to bury the body of their 
victim. Where their filthy village had stood, the police left a 
clean, smoking heap of ashes : the prestige of sorcerers among the 
Kaili Kaili slumped from that day, and though sorcerers in other 
parts of the Division continued to give trouble, those amongst the 
Kaili Kaili people spent most of their time either hiding in the 
bush, in gaol, or in explaining to a village constable and his posse 
that they were living virtuous and meritorious lives. 

The burning of houses was, as a general rule, strictly forbidden 
by the Lieutenant-Governor as a punishment, and very rightly so ; 
but I felt sure that he would approve of my smoking out a lot of 
miscreants, such as those I have mentioned, as indeed he did. 


Sorcery among New Guinea natives may be divided into tviro 
kinds : the sorcerer practising the first kind belongs to a class of 
wicked, malevolent assassins, doing evil for the sake of evil ; he is 
prepared to perform his devilry, administer poison, or commit any 
crime for any person paying him to do so. This class of sorcerer 
does not pretend to perform anything but black magic, or to work 
anything but harm ; and the shadow of the fear of the brute is over 
the whole tribal life. Sorcerers practising the second kind are men 
who make use of a benevolent and kindly magic for good only. 
These pretend to possess powers of rain-making, wind- or fish- 
bringing, bone-setting, the charming away of sickness, or charming 
the spot upon which a garden is to be made to render it productive. 
They understand massage to a certain extent, and are usually 
highly respected and estimable members of the community to 
which they belong ; and to interfere with this second class in the 
practise of their arts, would be not only cruelly unjust but 
decidedly unwise. 

Once I had a frantic row with a Missionary Society over a 
member of the class of rain-makers. This old fellow I knew to 
be an eminently respectable old gentleman, and famed for many 
miles as a rain-maker ; in fact, I had more than a suspicion that 
upon occasions my own police had paid for his services in connec- 
tion with the Station garden. Well, to my amazement, I one 
day received a complaint from a European missionary, that the 
old fellow was practising sorcery and levying blackmail. I knew 
the charge to be all nonsense, and my village constables laughed 
at it ; in fact, they regarded the story in much the same light as a 
London bobby would a tale to the effect that the Archbishop of 
Canterbury was running a sly grog shop in Wapping ; but 
missionaries always made such a noise that I had to investigate. 
I found that there had been a drought in a Mission village, miles 
away from where the old boy lived, and the natives' gardens were 
perishing : the local rain-makers tried their hands, but with no 
result ; the missionary turned on prayers for rain, no result ; then 
the people got desperate, and decided that the services of my 
estimable friend must be engaged. Accordingly, to the wrath of 
the missionary, they collected pigs and a varied assortment of New 
Guinea valuables, and sent them with a deputation to beg him to 
save their gardens. He accepted the gifts, and oracularly replied 
to his petitioners, " When the south-east wind stops, the rain 
will come." They went off home satisfied ; as a matter of fact, 
the wind had dropped before they got back and the welcome rain 
set in. Having ascertained the facts, I of course refused to 
interfere with the rain-maker ; whereupon the missionary com- 
plained to Headquarters that the R.M. was undermining the work 
of the Mission by encouraging sorcery, and I was called upon for 


the usual report. I reported that my time was already so fully 
occupied that I had none to spare in "attending to harmless 
disputes due to the professional jealousy of rival rain-makers." 
The missionary choked with outraged and offended pride at being 
put on the same plane as a native rain-maker, and Muzzy squeaked 
about " contemptuous levity " in official correspondence. 

One day, I met an old chap laboriously carrying a heavy 
round stone up a hill to a yam garden. " What are you doing 
with that ? " I asked. " I have got a job making the yams grow 
in the garden up here," he said, " and I'm planting this as an 
example to the yams, of the size to which they are to grow." 
"It's lucky for you that they are not to be any larger," I remarked. 
" If this man had got his yams in a month sooner," said the yam 
expert, " I'd have taken a stone much larger than this ; but he 
always was a fool." 

The professions of rain-maker, taro-grower, fish-bringer, etc., 
in fact all the callings followed by the benevolent sorcerers, are, I 
believe, hereditary, passing from father to son : the men really 
have some sound practical knowledge, though smothered in a 
mass of charms and incantations ; for instance, the taro-grower 
knows exactly what type of vegetable should be grown in different 
soils, he knows the proper time of year for planting, he can tell 
the husbandman when to cut away the sprouts, and when he 
should get fresh seed ; he can say where corn will be a success, 
and where bananas, sweet potatoes, taro or yams. The fish- 
bringer knows when to expect the different fish, and where to 
look for them ; his reward depends upon results, for if his charms 
and incantations didn't give adequate satisfaction, the professor 
would soon be regarded as " no good," and deserted in favour of a 
more successful practitioner. 

So far as the healing powers of the benevolent sorcerers are 
concerned, I can vouch for those of one man myself. I was 
suffering from a severe attack of lumbago, brought about by 
marching in wet khaki all day and sleeping in wet blankets at 
night ; it had begun with a very bad attack of malaria, which I 
had squashed by means of twenty-grain doses of quinine, but the 
lumbago remained. A son of Giwi's named Toku, who was 
thirteen years of age, was my personal servant at the time : the 
young devil disappeared, and I thought that the crankiness and 
bad temper of a sick man had been too much for him and that he 
had bolted, I maligned Toku, however, for on the following day 
he came back, accompanied by his father and the latter's medical 
adviser. " My father says this man can cure your pains," remarked 
Toku. "Then for goodness' sake let him start work, for I can't 
be made worse," was my answer. The " doctor " then produced 
two large flat stones, hung all over with charms, and, after chant- 

■'■■ v<w /;.-■ .-Sfe- . -^t.. V. 



ing an incantation or two over them and removing their em- 
broideries, demanded that they be made red-hot in the kitchen fire ; 
then he directed the police to make a large fire, and heat many 
other stones. His directions having been carried cut, he com- 
manded that a large iron tub that stood in my room, and which 
was used by me as a bath, should be filled with hot water, and 
that I was to get into it. With the assistance of several men, I 
doubled my groaning carcase into it ; whereupon the " doctor " 
sang an incantation or two over me, called for the pile of hot 
stones the police had been heating, and dropped them one by one, 
fizzling and sizzling into my bath, thus raising the temperature of 
the water until I was in a cloud of steam. " Ask him, Toku, 
whether he wants to boil the something liver out of mc," I 
demanded. The " doctor " paused in listening to a long harangue 
from Private Bia, in which that worthy orderly was pointing out, 
in blood-curdling language, the precise spot in his jribs where he 
meant to send his bayonet home, in the event of his ministrations 
killing me. " Tell your master to have patience, he will soon be 
better," he said to Toku ; " I am hunting the evil spirit out of 

The boiling operations completed, the " doctor " made me lie 
flat on my face, and then plastered my back with hot wet clay, 
upon which he plentifully spat; then he had brought from the 
kitchen his red-hot flat stones, and, wrapping them in cloth 
made of mulberry bark, he clapped them on the clay plaster. 
First the clay steamed and seemed to scald right through me, then 
it burnt hard and set up a steady roasting ,heat, but it certainly 
chased away my lumbago. I had, at the time, a Pondicherry 
Indian as a cook ; and he — attracted by my language — appeared, 
gave a glance at what was happening, and then came back shortly 
afterwards with some heated flat-irons and flannel, with which he 
too proceeded to rub my back. The next day I was well, bar a 
feeling of stiffness and a general sensation of having been scorched. 
" What pay do you want i " I asked the " doctor " ; "I will pay 
you well." He had meanwhile been living in the barracks, and 
had been entertained by the police with tales of what would 
happen to him if I died. " I want those things that your back 
was rubbed with by the cook," he said, meaning my flat-irons ; 
" they will get me a great name." Accordingly I gave him tlie 
flat-irons ; and I venture to say, that to this day there will be 
found on the north-east coast of New Guinea an eminent and 
famed medical practitioner, using among his stock-in-trade a set 
of flat-irons. 

About a year later I nearly lost Toku, the boy by whom my 
highly satisfactory attendant had been summoned, in a peculiar 
way. I was returning from the second Doriri expedition, and 


we were marching before a strong rear-guard, behind which no 
one was permitted to lag ; Toku was carrying my belts with a 
very heavy revolver, and I was marching at ease in the middle of 
the column. I noticed a rare or new orchid in a tree, and sent 
Toku up to get it, signing to the rear-guard as they came up to 
pass on with the column ; Toku came down with the orchid, 
and we caught up to the rear-guard, through wliich I passed, not 
noticing that tiie young imp had sneaked back to the tree to catch 
an iguana he had seen in it. Suddenly I missed Toku, and halted 
the line to search for him ; I found him absent, and hastily 
retraced my steps with several of the police. We heard a shot, 
in the direction of which we ran, and found the imp seated upon 
the corpse of a fully armed native, and holding my smoking pistol 
in his hand. *' I killed him, master," said the young villain. 
What had happened was this : Toku had dodged behind the rear- 
guard and caught his iguana ; then, as he descended the tree, he 
had been snapped up by one of the numerous natives, who were 
hovering on our rear and flank out of sight, in readiness to snap 
up any stragglers. The man had clapped his hand over Toku's 
mouth to prevent him calling out, and had then started to carry 
him off into the bush beyond earshot of my force ; Master Toku, 
having one hand free, had contrived to draw my revolver, and 
pressing it against his captor's head, had fired and blown the skull 
to fragments. I regret to say that the hero was hoisted upon 
the back of a policeman, and soundly spanked by me for 
" lagging behind the rear-guard, and nearly losing my belts and 

" Fine boy of mine that," remarked old Giwi to me when he 
heard the tale, " nearly as good as I was in my youth ; the people 
tell me that it was a very large strong man he killed ; I think I 
had better see about arranging v/ives for him." " You will do 
nothing of the sort, you match-making old begetter of strong sons," 
I said ; " he will remain looking after my shirts and things for 
two years, and be whacked at intervals for his good ; then I will 
draft him into the constabulary, and, when he is a second-year man, 
I will find the price of a really good wife for him." 

Again I find I have digressed. Muzzy once remarked to 
me — after telling me the same story for about the fiftieth time — 
that he trusted he was not getting into his " anecdotage." As a 
matter of fact he was, but I was wise enough not to tell him 
so ; now I sometimes wonder whether I am not going the same 

I have written about benevolent sorcerers as opposed to the 
ordinary ones in New Guinea. The latter are about the most 
malevolent and malignant brutes unhung : they undoubtedly 
possess certain powers, such as a rough knowledge of the poisonous 


properties of some plants or fish for internal administration ; and 
how to set up a virulent form of blood poisoning ending in tetanus, 
by the application to a wound — or the weapon causing the wound 
— of either a dried serum obtained from decomposing human 
bodies, or from the mud of a mangrove swamp. The statement 
that New Guinea natives poison their spears or arrows has 
frequently been made, and as often denied, but seldom has any 
direct evidence been adduced that they do so poison them. 
Personally, I am of opinion that the actual fighting man never 
stoops to use poison ; but I think in some cases he pays a sorcerer, 
or perhaps his wife or father does, to " strengthen " his arms, and 
that then the sorcerer does poison them. For instance, on the 
Stuart-Russell expedition, Russell lost a carrier by death and 
buried him : when I picked up Russell, we found the body of that 
carrier had been disinterred and was acting as a pincushion 
for dozens of spears ; sharp slivers of wood had also been in- 
serted, these being intended for use as foot spears or stakes 
to be planted in the ground to catch the unwary traveller's 

New Guinea sorcerers, in my experience, kill their subjects by 
two methods : firstly, by material means, that is, by the administra- 
tion of actual poison ; secondly, by esoteric means, that is, by work- 
ing on the fear of the intended victim. Sir Francis Winter once 
told me that though he had tried many murder cases in which 
sorcery was alleged, he had never found any direct evidence that 
the sorcerer had caused the death ; notwithstanding the fact that 
in some cases the sorcerer had actually admitted his guilt. To 
this I reply, that poisoning by animal or vegetable poisons is 
always very difficult to trace, or bring home to the prisoner ; even 
when the poisons used are common or well known, and when 
highly skilled chemists are employed to detect them. In New 
Guinea there were no chemists, and the poisons used were probably 
either very rare or quite unknown to science. The second method 
to which I referred, as being employed by the sorcerer, namely, 
that of fear, was worked in this way : the sorcerer sent a message 
to his intended victim, telling him that he had bewitched or 
poisoned him, thus so preying upon the mind of the unfortunate 
receiver of the threat as to cause him either to fret himself into 
a fever or commit suicide — usually the latter. In New Guinea 
the law warranted a magistrate sending any native convicted of 
sorcery to gaol, for a term of six months. This was all very fine ; 
but the sorcerer always over-awed the witnesses by saying, "I 
may get six months, but then I shall be free again and you will 

Among the Binandere people on the Opi River were two 
distinct tribes, speaking different dialects. Tabe, the village 


constable of the lower tribe, who was quite one of the most 
intelligent of the natives, once gave me an instance of the manner 
in which the emotions will overcome the habits of order and 
control instilled into the Papuan. I sent him to arrest a noted 
sorcerer : after a struggle, in which many men took part, he 
effected his object ; then, securing all the sorcerer's charms and 
drugs, he placed them in a canoe, together with the sorcerer, now 
securely tied up with native ropes, and started for the Government 
Station at Tamata. On the way thither, among the chattels of 
the sorcerer, a small net was found into which was plaited twenty- 
seven small pieces of wood. Inquiry on the part of the village 
constable elicited the fact that it was the sorcerer's tally of lives, 
claimed to have been taken by him, or of deaths induced by his 
arts. The sorcerer bragged to Tabe that among the number were 
certain relations of his, whom he named ; and he also threatened 
that he would add some more, including Tabe's wife and children, 
when his six months were done. Whereupon Tabe, incited by 
this threat and also by the relations of the dead people, decided to 
try his own methods of curing a sorcerer, which he did by sinking 
him in twelve feet of water for an hour. He then made inquiries 
as to whether there were any others requiring his treatment ; an 
inquiry which resulted in the immediate and hasty departure of 
several prominent sorcerers of the community. Proceeding to 
Tamata, he surrendered himself on a charge of murder laid by 
himself, and in which the principal evidence was his own 

In connection with this man's action, the following is an 
instance of the power ascribed to and claimed by a sorcerer, 
which is generally accepted by the natives as true. Some 
sorcerers possess the power of transmitting their spirits to a 
crocodile, whereupon the crocodile becomes a devil with power 
to assume the shape of any person known to the sorcerer j the 
devil-crocodile then, at the instigation of the sorcerer, waits near 
a village, until it sees the man against whom it is to act, go alone 
down a track or to a garden ; then it assumes the shape of a 
young married woman or girl well known to the intended victim, 
and follows him. Upon a sufficiently secluded spot being reached, 
the sorcerer-cum-crocodile-cum-girl approaches the man and 
endeavours to induce him to have sexual intercourse : should he 
do so, he will not discover his error until evening, when he will 
feel a desire to go to the river, there to vanish for ever. It is 
not until the sorcerer claims the result as his work, that the people 
know what has become of him, and that he has fallen a prey to 
the crocodile. Sometimes the shape assumed by the witch-crocodile 
is that of a well-known and good-looking young man, and then a 
young married woman or girl is seduced. In such case the 


woman's first male child will be taken by the crocodile, and the 
disembowelled body be later discovered floating in the water. 
Occasionally, I have been told, the most careful of persons and 
the most moral are entrapped by the actual shape of husband or 
wife being assumed by the crocodile ; and so any one may be 
tricked to his or her death. 

From the point of view of a native constable, thoroughly 
believing in all this, and infuriated by the loss of those dear to 
him, it is an injustice that a sorcerer claiming occult powers of 
this awful description should be lightly punished, and then released 
to seek vengeance by the exercise of dreadful esoteric means. 
Should he not rather, he argues, be sought out and killed in a 
public, violent, and showy manner, that will deter others from 
following in his footsteps ? 

Absurd though sorcerers' claims to such powers be, as the 
foregoing instance portrays, yet sorcery or witchcraft on the north- 
east coast is no child's play, and the shadow of the fear of it is 
over the whole tribal life. Much of it, I am convinced, is due to 
the administration of poison, but a great deal more is eft'ected by 
suggestion ; and, to my mind, there is little difference in the 
measure of guilt of one who hits his enemy on the head with a 
club, and of him who secretly gives a poisonous drug and causes 
death by physical means, or of him again, who, by acting on a 
man's fears, administers a moral poison to the mind and frighten 
his victim to death. 

Some sorcerers claim to possess the power of sending forth 
their spirits to work evil during the dark watches of the night or 
while they slept. The Binandere people hold that the spirit of a 
sorcerer is the only really dangerous one, for though two other 
kinds of spirits exist, namely, " devils " and ghosts of the dead, such 
ghosts and devils are innocuous ; in fact Oia, a son of Bushimai's, 
once told me that he considered they served a useful purpose in 
frightening the women and children from straying out of the 
village at night. Most New Guinea natives have a great dread of 
the dark ; not so, however, the Binandere ; a man of that tribe 
thinks nothing of travelling all night along lonely unfrequented 
paths by forest, jungle, mountain or swamp, devil-haunted though 
he believes them to be : whereas a Suau, Motuan or Kiwai would 
die of funk. The Suau believes that when a man is asleep, his 
spirit has gone forth from him, and they are very careful how they 
wake one another, in order that time may be allowed for the 
sleeper's spirit to return ; the Binandere does not care two straws 
how rapidly or noisily he stirs up a sleeper. 

I remember once an epidemic of measles breaking out at Paiwa 
on Cape Vogel, and the cheerful sorcerers persuading the people 
that it would continue until a live man was cut open by them, 


which was accordingly done. On another occasion, at the back 
of Collingwood Bay, Oclrichs, who was then my Assistant R.M., 
heard of a case where they shoved lawyer vines, with thorns like 

this ' ""»» - !;''X>» down the throats of some of the people, and then 

tore them up again. I caught the natives responsible for the 
cutting open of the man, really by a great streak of luck. The 
relations of the murdered man had complained to me about the 
affair ; but when I came with the police, the whole of the people 
had run away from their villages to some bush refuge. We 
searched and we hunted, but no sign of them could wc find ; 
until at last we found a man crippled by elephantiasis, struggling 
along a track. When we caught him, he was without food and 
in a great fright, thinking that we should kill him ; I questioned 
him as to the whereabouts of his people, but could get no satis- 
faction. Then, telling the police to leave him a supply of cooked 
food, I gave him a stick of trade tobacco and a baubau or native 
pipe, and marched on ; a few minutes after we left him, we heard 
yells, and sending back I found that he was willing to guide us to 
the refuge of his people. " They left mc," he said, " to be killed 
or to starve ; you have given me food and tobacco, and if your men 
will carry me, I'll show you the hiding place." Promptly he was 
picked up and carried ; and in two hours, we were marching for 
the coast with the murderers on a chain. 


SINCE my first arrival at Cape Nelson, three months had 
gone by, during which period the Kaili Kaili and my men 
had become sworn friends and allies. The Station was 
nearly finished, and we began to look anxiously for the 
return of the Merrie England ; more especially so, as our stores 
were running very low and a drought was preventing our 
purchasing very much in the way of provisions from the natives. 
The drought brought another complication : for the missionary at 
Cape Vogel sent me a letter, stating that the women of the 
villages were killing their infants. The practice of abortion and 
infanticide is always common among the weaker non-warlike or 
non-cannibal tribes of New Guinea, though unknown among the 
head hunters or cannibals. I accordingly went hurriedly to Cape 
Vogel by boat, and threatened and bullied the people on the 
subject of infanticide, and sent five women, who had murdered 
their babies, to gaol ; later, I had these women transferred to Port 
Moresby to serve their time, as there was better accommodation for 
female prisoners at Headquarters than at Cape Nelson. Some 
months afterwards, I received an indignant letter from the gaoler, 
asking whether I thought the Port Moresby gaol was a lying-in 
hospital, as all the imprisoned ladies had either added to the popu- 
lation or were about to do so. 

At Mukawa, I found that, a day or so before my arrival, a 
large fleet of Maisina canoes had put in an appearance, bullying 
and blackmailing the inhabitants ; but upon hearing that I was 
hourly expected with the police, they had departed to raid else- 
where. Running up the coast before a fair wind, I sighted the 
fleet of canoes leaving a small island, but as they ran inshore I did 
not bother to follow them ; later, I found that an old chief, named 
Bogege, had been down the coast with a party of raiders, generally 
raising sheol. At the island, where I had sighted the canoes, he 
had landed and discovered a bcche-de-mer trader's house and Station, 
occupied by a man, his native wife, and a dozen Suau natives. 
The owner was away fishing ; but Bogege's men had outraged the 
women, beaten the boys, stolen everything they could lay their 
hands upon, and would probably have wound up their performances 


with murder, but for my boat heaving in sight. I sent Bogege a 
polite message to the effect, that when I had time to attend to the 
Maisina, they would have something to remember ; to which he 
replied, " My people have taken the feathers off their spears." A 
civil Papuan declaration of war. The fight between Bogege and 
myself, however, came sooner than he expected, though, for the 
present, being delayed by pressure of more urgent work. 

Briefly, the following^required my immediate attention. Firstly, 
a tribe named the Mokoru, lying to the north of Cape Nelson, 
captured and ate a number of runaway Mambare carriers : they 
calmly told me that they would do the same to the police, if I 
interfered with them, but added, that I myself was so repulsively 
coloured that they would not dream of eating me, but would teed 
me to the pigs instead 1 " Pigs having stronger stomachs than 
men ! '* Next, the Arifamu, to the south, ate some carriers and 
snapped up one of my constabulary ; he, however, escaped from 
them and was rescued by us. Then the Winiapi tribe, also in the 
south, plundered a trader's vessel and defied me. " The police are 
but women, and go clothed like women," was their reply to my 
demand that they surrender the offenders. 

I fell upon the Mokoru first, and with good result. One dark 
night, Seradi piloted the whaler up a creek leading to the house of 
the principal chief, and we collared him and his son at dawn. The 
Mokoru, who lived in hamlets scattered over the grassy ridges, 
attempted to attack and ambush my force ; but in half an hour 
they had learnt so much about the effect of rifle fire in the open 
as to compel them to decide that eating carriers did not pay, and 
also, that they had better join the Kaili Kaili by throwing in their 
lot with the Government. The Mokoru chief we caught was 
named Paitoto ; he later turned out to be an excellent man, and I 
made him Government chief and village constable for his tribe. 
He 'told me one tale, however, that rather sickened me. " You 
remember," said Paitoto, " the morning you caught me, you were 
very bad and sick from fever ? " " Yes," I replied. " Poruta 
made you some soup in one of my small pots, from a pigeon he 
shot," he went on, "and you complained about the pot being 
greasy and made him scrub it very clean." " Well, what of it ? " 
I asked. "That was the pot in which my wife had made a stew 
of carriers' hands." 

Paitoto only did about a fortnight's gaol, and was then released 
to take up his duties] as v.c. Afterwards, he did a very plucky 
thing, when securing a sorcerer whom I badly wanted : having 
made the arrest, he locked one ring of the handcuffs on to the 
sorcerer and the other on to his own wrist; and for fear that the 
sorcerer, on the journey, might over-awe him, he threw the key 
of the handcuffs over a precipice. Unfortunately, he then told 



the sorcerer such dreadful tales of what I should do to him, that 
the man hurled himself over a small cliff, carrying Paitoto with 
him ; with the result, that Paitoto's handcuffed arm was badly 
smashed, and I had an awful job repairing it. 

At last the Merrie England turned up, weeks overdue, and 
renewed my supplies. She also brought Richard De Molynes, a 
brother-in-law of the then Governor-General of Australia, who 
was engaged hunting for lands suitable for sugar growing, on 
behalf of some syndicate or other : I believe the De Molynes 
brothers had previously gone in extensively for sugar planting in 
Queensland. He remained with me, as a guest, after the departure 
of the ship, in order to pursue his search throughout the north- 
east. The Merrie England also brought me old Bushimai and 
his son Oia, from the Mambare ; they had been sentenced to gaol 
for murder by the Central Court, but were now to be held by me 
at Cape Nelson on a sort of parole, during the Governor's pleasure. 
Bushimai had already broken out of the Port Moresby gaol, with 
five companions, and crossed the island to his home ; but of his 
five companions, only one remained, when he reached the 
Mambare ; and the fate of the others has always been shrouded in 
mystery. Bushimai said they died of exposure and cold on the 
high mountains ; but when 1 asked him what they had found to 
eat on the way, he told me that they had caught an alligator ! 
He may have caught an alligator ; but if so, it is the first alligator 
I have ever known or heard of as having its habitation on the 
side of a bleak mountain range ! Subsequently, after having been 
re-arrested, he also succeeded in escaping from the gaol at Tamata. 

Bushimai was sent to my care at Cape Nelson at his own 
request. I now had one of his sons, Oia, in prison for man- 
slaughter ; and Poruta (who was another) serving as a private in 
my detachment of constabulary. Bushimai, by all conventional 
rules, should have been my mortal enemy, as I had once flogged 
him for mutiny, and he had killed my brother magistrate ; but, as 
a matter of fact, we were always rather dear friends. He was 
allowed to bring one wife, and a small son, with him to Cape 
Nelson ; I made his wife matron to the gaol, and general over- 
looker of the wives of the police. Bushimai, on his first day at 
the Station, began by sitting on the steps of my house ; on the 
second day, he had oiled himself into my office, where he sat 
upon the floor, whilst I did my work or heard native cases, 
throwing in a little advice at intervals ; on the third day, he 
had made up his bed in my room ; and on the fourth day, he had 
picked out the largest axe on the Station, and was acting as 
general overseer and adviser. " The master," said Poruta, " gives 
an order, and hits us if we are not quick ; my father hits us first 
to make us quick," 



I now found that a gold-prospecting party of miners had set 
their hearts on penetrating into the country to the south of 
CoUingwood Bay, up a stream named the Laku, their cupidity 
having been excited by a tomahawk stone, which had been 
purchased by a trader in the Bay, and which was shot through 
with veins of gold. I knew quite well that if they went in alone 
among the uncivilized tribes they would only end in stirring 
up a lot of trouble for me ; I therefore decided to escort them 
beyond the range of the coastal people. Accordingly 1 left for 
the Laku, accompanied by my police, De Molynes, the miners 
and their Suaus. 

Arriving there, we camped on a low-lying sandy beach at the 
mouth of the river, in the midst of heavy rain. The stream rose 
and rose in height, until I became anxious as to the safety of my 
camp; and in order to make it quite secure, shifted, late in the 
evening, some four miles up stream on to higher and more solid 
country, and among the Kuveri people. The Kuveri were at 
first much alarmed at our incursion into their territory, and 
inclined from fear to be hostile ; but at last, finding that we 
intended no harm, and instead of interfering with them, paid 
them well for any assistance they gave us, they became very 
friendly. They told us that they were shut in between the 
Maisina on one side, and the hostile Kikinaua tribe on the other : 
the former descended periodically upon them, and carried off all 
their best-looking young women, as well as levying a blackmail 
of pigs ; while the latter tribe constantly swooped down on their 
villages, murdered and carried off — for culinary purposes — any 
one they could lay hands on. Our advent they had at first 
regarded as their crowning misfortune, thinking that we were 
yet another enemy. As they to me afterwards, they would 
have " run away at sight of my force, but had nowhere to run 
to." I told the poor devils that, instead of adding to their woes, 
we would protect them from their enemies — a promise they at 
first apparently regarded as mere words. "The Maisina," they 
said in awed accents — " the Maisina are very brave and very 
numerous." Old Bushimai, who was sitting in my tent during 
the discussion and listening to it with growing impatience, got 
up and, leaving the tent, soon returned with his hand covered 
with biting crawling ants. " Look at this," he said to the 
trembling deputation through the interpreter ; " these things are 
even as the Maisina, and thus will we treat them." Then with 
a couple of sharp smacks he smashed the ants, and sat down to 
smoke. That deputation left much impressed ; meanwhile my 
sentries were being posted for the night. 

We had a fine, clear, starry night, and the whole camp of 
tired men settled down for a comfortable rest. Bushimai slept 


under my hammock. An hour before dawn, I awoke in a jumpy 
state of nerves, and called to Bushimai but got no reply. More 
and more jumpy, I got out of my hammock, buckled on my belts 
and revolver and, taking my rifle, walked out through the sleeping 
camp to the sentries ; as I did so, I met Bushimai walking slowly 
backwards and forwards with his axe on his shoulder. "Why 
don't you sleep ?" I asked him. "I felt danger in my sleep," he 
answered ; " did you too ? " " Yes," I replied, " I fear I don't 
know what." We both walked towards the sentries and met the 
sergeant. " Sergeant, why are you not asleep ? " I asked ; " the 
corporal is in charge of the sentries." "I cannot sleep, sir," he 
answered, " I woke feeling trouble ; I should like to turn out the 
men, but there is no reason." Bushimai, the sergeant and I 
waited until dawn, roosting round a small fire, and watching 
the different men being relieved by a puzzled corporal ; then, 
yawning, we went off to bed again. 

Later, I learnt that the Maisina had heard I was camped at 
the mouth of the Laku — the camp I had vacated a few hours 
before — and had flung three separate bodies of men upon it just 
before dawn, only to find my expiring fires. Had we been in 
that camp, I am convinced that they would have smashed us, as 
we should have been taken by surprise. I leave it, however, to 
the pyschologist to say why an attack upon a vacated camp 
should affect the nerves of men four miles distant, and why it 
should only affect the nerves of three men out of over one 

The following morning we marched inland into uninhabited 
country. The three miners I was taking in and protecting were 
named Driscoll, Ryan, and Gallagher; three wild Irishmen, 
whose sole topic of conversation was the wrongs of Ireland, as 
extracted by them from a Fenian "History of Ireland" which 
they carried. De Molynes was fool enough to argue with them ; 
but, after the first day, I confined myself to the society of my 
police and Bushimai, in consequence of being asked : " Phwat is 

the Government making out of us ? " I felt annoyed, as, 

at the time, I was feeding the men from my personal stores, and 
the Government was incurring considerable expense in protecting 
them during a search for gold for their own private benefit. 
" Blank, purse-proud Englishman, too stuck up to speak," I was 
then termed. As a matter of fact, I happened to have been born 
in New Zealand, and my pay was considerably less than that of 
any working miner in New Guinea. 

We marched inland on a straight compass line, through 
jungle and forest, cutting a track as we went ; De Molynes, 
some police and I were ahead, then followed a long line of 
carriers, then the miners and their boys, all brought up by a 


rear-guard of police. At last we struck an extensive plain, covered 
with wild sugar-cane from ten to twelve feet high, through which 
we began to bore our way ; the stuff grew as closely together as 
raspberry canes, was as dry as tinder, and as tough to cut as 
galvanized wire rope, the knives of the men rebounding from it 
like peas oft' a drum. We cut our tunnel through it for about 
a mile ; then, noticing how extremely dry and inflammable it 
looked, I asked De Molynes how sugar-cane burnt. *' Like 
a Jew dealer's over-insured second-hand old clo' shop," he 
remarked ; "if this catches fire, we shall have less chance than a 
snowball in hell." I halted the line, called back to the rear-guard 
that there was to be no smoking, and any tinder carried by the 
carriers was to be put out at once ; and again we went on. 
Suddenly, I heard an ominous crackling sound from behind and, 
gazing back, saw a black pall of smoke rising over the rear of the 
line ; fortunately, there was little or no wind. 

At once the long line of men in single file began to press 
hard on our heels, screaming with fright : frantic with rage, I 
joined the police in a solemn oath that, if we escaped, we would 
kill without mercy the man or men responsible for the fire. 
Then in frenzied haste we cut on, two men chopping until 
they fell from heat and exhaustion, then others dashing over 
their prostrate bodies, seizing their tools and taking their places, 
while behind came the ever-increasing roar of the fire. Old 
Bushimai toiled like a man possessed of devils, dashing repeatedly 
at the wall in front, and smashing with his axe, whenever the 
two choppers slacked for a moment in their efforts. At last, 
when the situation was apparently desperate, I sent word along 
the line to the constabulary to blow out their brains as the flames 
reached them, after shooting any carriers within their reach, who 
might prefer a bullet to roasting. Suddenly we cut into a 
cabbage tree, up which one of the men climbed. " Master," he 
yelled, " the fire comes fast and the cane extends for miles, but I 
see a green swampy patch with trees on the left, close to us." 
Magi, the man up the tree, extended his arm in the direction of 
the wet patch, and by it I took a compass bearing, along which 
we cut, emerging after about two hundred yards into an oasis 
formed by springs, of about two acres of green swampy land. 
Man after man struggled through by the cut track, until all were 
there ; then, with our clothes saturated with water and plastered 
with mud, we buried our faces in moss and wet plants, and that 
stifling fire rolled past and over our sanctuary. 

Once safe, I inquired into the cause of the fire : as I held 
the inquiry with my revolver pouch opened, and Bushimai 
standing alongside me fingering the edge of his axe, it was 
sufficiently impressive. " It was no fault of ours," said the 


corporal in charge of the rear-guard, "it was these fools of white 
men, they lit it." I then found that, as my order that there 
should be no fire or smoking had been passed back in the 
vernacular, the white men had asked what was happening, and 
had been told in pidgin English, " It is about fire " ; whereupon 
they had concluded that the advance was out of the cane on the 
far side, and wished the patch burned to make the homeward 
march easier, and had accordingly fired the cane before the police 
could prevent them. 

At last we left the miners to their prospecting, in uninhabited 
country, and retraced our steps to the Laku camp among the 
Kiiveri. These people told me that, during my absence, the 
Kikinaua had swooped upon them and killed several of 
the villagers, whilst at the same time the Maisina had sent in 
demanding the usual tribute of pigs and young women ; the 
Kuveri, however, had declined to pay, relying upon the support 
of myself and the police. The Maisina, receiving no response to 
their demands, had then changed their tactics ; professing extreme 
friendship towards the Kuveri, they suggested, that as the latter 
were on terms of friendship with me, they should humbug us 
and join with the Maisina in making a sudden attack upon my 
unsuspecting camp ; a proposition that the Kuveri had the good 
sense to decline, and to report to me. I now had a very large 
bone to pick with the Maisina ; but before I could do that, I had 
to break the Kikinaua, and render the Kuveri safe from inland 
attack by them. Accordingly, accompanied by many Kuveri, 
I marched on the first Kikinaua village. 

After leaving the Kuveri district, I discovered that the 
Kikinaua lived across and in the midst of some particularly vile 
swamps, full of plants which possessed extremely long and sharp 
thorns. After passing the first swamp, we came to a strongly 
stockaded village named Aparu, which, I was informed by the 
Kuveri, was a colony pushed out by the Kikinaua, who appeared 
to be conquering and holding the country as they advanced. This 
village we passed, as it had been abandoned ; we soon, however, 
approached a large village named Bonarua, the action of whose 
inhabitants did not leave much room for doubt as to the reception 
with which we were to meet at their hands. Yells of defiance 
were set up as soon as our approach was perceived, and pre- 
parations for a fight made by the natives. The village of 
Bonarua was one splendidly designed for defence, being approached 
through a long tunnel cut through dense undergrowth for about one 
hundred yards, down which one had to crawl bent nearly double, 
and up to one's knees in an unusually sticky mud : the tunnel 
ended at a strong stockade, behind which was a small square 
courtyard, backed by a second and much stronger stockade. 


flanked by houses from wliich spears could be thrown on the 
heads of an enemy attempting to force the gate. 

Finding that it was impossible to go round the stockade 
owing to the dense undergrowth, we rushed and carried the first 
one, the defenders hastily falling back on the second and stronger 
one of the two. The first attempt to take the second stockade 
failed, owing to some of the police being delayed at the first one. 
On the whole of the men, however, making a second rush at it, 
and Bushimai chopping away with his axe the plaited rope hinges 
of the heavy wooden stockade door, it was also carried, the 
defenders losing three men killed and two or three wounded. 
Four prisoners were taken. News of our coming had plainly 
been sent to the village, as no women or children were in it, nor 
any articles such as natives value ; while large quantities of food 
were stacked inside the stockade, and many spears in the village 
itself. There were also many more men engaged in the fight than 
could have been furnished by the one village. The prisoners, 
upon being questioned, admitted having constantly raided in the 
Kuveri district ; but pleaded in extenuation, that they themselves 
were constantly being raided and murdered by a mountain tribe 
at the back of the Kikinaua country, by whom they (the 
Kikinaua) were being driven in upon the Kuveri. Two of the 
prisoners were released to carry a message to their tribe, explaining 
why the visit had been made, and pointing out that the punish- 
ment received by them was the result of their own action in 
receiving us in an unfriendly manner. They were also informed 
that the two men taken away would be returned, as soon as 
friendly relations had been established between them and the 
Kuveri tribe. From what I could gather from the prisoners later 
on, it appeared that the Kikinaua were only attacked at long 
intervals of time by the Doriri mountaineers, and that they could 
then generally manage to defend their villages. Some time after- 
wards, the remaining two prisoners were returned, and a promise 
of Government assistance made to their tribe, should they in 
future be attacked by the Doriri. After this the Kikinaua and 
the Kuveri were the best of friends and allies. 

Returning to the coast after dealing with the Kikinaua, 
I found that the Maisina bucks, and about a hundred of the 
Winiapi, had been raiding and generally playing hell on the 
coast as far south as Cape Vogel, though they had all now 
returned to their homes. I accordingly at once went to Uiaku, 
their chief village, where I succeeded in surprising them and 
grabbing half a dozen men concerned in the raiding. Whilst I 
was engaged in securing these men, however, I nearly lost one of 
my police, who incautiously ventured some distance from our 
main body and got cut off by the Maisina ; fortunately, he 


managed to get his back against a tree, and to defend himself 
until we rescued him. We had hardly saved this man, before 
the sound of firing from the whaleboat told me that the privates 
I had left in charge of her were in trouble; rushing back, we 
found that they had been attacked by a strong force of Maisina ; 
they had immediately pushed out to sea, and from there, were 
firing upon their assailants. One of the arrested men was 
released and sent back to his friends, with a demand that the 
chiefs and others concerned in the recent raid should be sur- 
rendered to Government, and that the remainder of the tribe 
should at once lay down their arms ; also, with an intimation, 
that obedience to this order would be compelled by force if 
necessary. No notice whatever was taken of this message, nor 
were any natives visible on the beach on the following morning. 
On proceeding down a bush track, two of the police were again 
attacked, and a general fight ensued ; this fight continued for 
three days, with endless manoeuvres on their part and counter- 
moves on mine : it ended in the hostile Maisina being driven 
through and out of a large swamp, which they evidently 
regarded as their great stronghold, with the loss of three killed 
and several wounded, they finally fleeing in a state of utter 

A second prisoner was then released and sent with a message 
to our late opponents, pointing out the futility of attempting to 
resist arrest by force of arms, as they had been doing ; and 
allowing them a week in which to send in the offenders wanted 
in the matter of the coastal raid. Again no notice was taken by 
the Maisina people of the message. From the prisoners, I learnt 
later on, that Bogege, their principal chief, was mainly responsible 
for the raiding at Kuveri, and had personally conducted the party 
by whom the Station of the trader Clancy had been looted and 
his wife subjected to ill-usage. It was palpable that little could be 
done towards establishing order at Maisina, so long as Bogege 
went unpunished, and was at large to influence his people in 
resistance to Government authority, " Well," I thought, " in 
the meantime I'll cripple the raiding powers of the villains as 
much as I can," and, accordingly, destroyed every large canoe 
belonging to them that I could find. 

Some little time later, I caught Bogege by a very lucky chance. 
He always knew when I was moving with anything like a force 
in his vicinity, and skipped for the sago swamps, where I could 
not find him ; he was too strong for a village constable to arrest, 
or for me to do so, for that matter, except in strength. Bogege's 
capture came about in this way, A steamer came in from the 
Mambare, and the captain told me that a launch was coming up 
from Samarai in a couple of days, " Ah ! " I thougiit, " as there 


are a number of petty cases of theft, assault, and that sort of thing, 
to attend to at the Mission Station at Cape Vogcl, I'll run down 
there in this vessel, clean up tlie work, and come back by the 
launch ; that will save mc a good fortnight." Accordingly off I 
went, taking with mc only a corporal, my orderly, and a private 
whom I had recruited at Cape Vogel as interpreter. 

We arrived at Cape Vogel : I finished my work there, and at 
the end found myself with two men and three women prisoners, the 
latter for infanticide. The beastly launch never put in an appear- 
ance, and later I learnt she had broken her shaft. At last I went 
to the Rev. Samuel Tomlinson and borrowed his whaleboat ; it 
was the South-East season, and consequently a fair wind from 
Cape Vogel to Cape Nelson, so that my crew of three constabulary 
would be ample. " Who is going to look after the women ? " 
asked my corporal. " We may have to camp for two or three 
nights on the way." Private Agara, the Cape Vogel recruit, 
suggested that he should take his wife for that pleasant task, she 
being then in her village. This was really rather artful on the 
part of Agara, it being one for me and two for himself, as first 
year's men, such as he was, lived in the barracks, and were not 
allowed to have their wives with them ; while the married men 
of longer service lived in separate houses, and had altogether a 
better time. Agara knew that if he once got his wife landed into 
married quarters, the chances were that I could be persuaded into 
allowing her to remain. "Very good, bring your wife; but 
remember she must return by the first vessel," I replied. 
Accordingly Mrs. Agara came with us. 

We set sail, my argosy's complement consisting of myself, 
three constabulary, one acting wardress, two men and three 
women prisoners. While running up the coast, just ofF the 
Lakekamu River, as night was closing in, we met a Kuveri canoe, 
which Agara hailed ; he spoke to them for a few minutes, then 
turned to me and, with his eyes bulging with excitement, said, 
"They say Bogege is camped on a small island close to Uiaku, 
fishing ; he thinks you went to Samarai in the steamer." I sat 
and thought : montlis might elapse before I got such a chance 
again ; but then, only three fighting men with me, and a small 
whaleboat already cluttered up with prisoners ! Prudence told 
me to go on to Cape Nelson and get the detachment, common 
sense told me that by the time I had done that, Bogege would 
probably have heard of my return and retreated to a safer spot. 
" Ask them, Agara, if they know how many men he has with 
him." The reply came that, with the exception of two minor 
chiefs whom they named, they had not heard who was with him. 
The two men they mentioned I also wanted badly for certain 
devilries ; they acted as Bogege's lieutenants in most of his 




villainies. " Any women or children with him ? " I asked ncxl. 
"VVc arc not certain, but don't think so," was the reply. 
"Canoes .'""'I next queried. " Yes, some new big ones he has 
built, how many we don't know." " Hm ! " I thought, " it may 
be a peaceful fishing party, but Bogege, his two chief scoundrels 
and new canoes, looks more like fresh devilment ; especially as he 
thinks I am out of the way, and knows the police are all at 
Cape Nelson. 

I looked at my men. "Well, shall we take Bogege r You 
have heard the tale ; he may have fifty or he may have a hundred 
men with him, and we can't find out until we are amongst 
them." They looked at one another, then they looked at me ; 
then Corporal Barigi said, " It is for you to say." " Yes, you 
mutton head," I snapped at him, " but what do you think r " 
" I don't think," he answered. " You say we are to try and take 
Bogege ; all right, we try ; you say Bogege too strong ; all right, 
we go to Cape Nelson." At last I decided that the chance of 
catching the old scorpion was too good to lose, and told the police 
we would make the attempt ; clearly they thought we were 
taking on the devil of a tall order, but even so, the prospect of an 
uncommonly good scrap pleased them. The men prisoners were 
then taken into our council ; their villages had frequently been 
raided by our quarry, and they both hated and feared him. My 
plan was to approach the island at about an hour before dawn, 
find out by the fires on which side the natives were encamped, 
and then sneak up on the other side. The police and I would 
land with handcuffs, whil^^ the prisoners looked after the boat ; if 
anything happened to us, they were to bolt at once for Cape 
Nelson, and there tell the constabulary what had occurred. 

We sneaked up to the island in the dark, feeling our way on 

a falling tide, over the deep patches and channels of a wide coral 

reef. Then the four of us crept slowly across the island, until 

we found ourselves in a large camp of mostly sleeping natives ; to 

locate Bogege was the work of a moment, while the camp awoke 

with a clamour. Agara and I got up to him. " Up with your 

hands, Bogege ! The Government has come for you ! " said 

Agara. Bogege saw the uniforms and rifles, and promptly 

surrendered, with the sole remark, " Those lying Winiapi told 

me that ' The Man ' had gone to Samarai." (" The Man," by 

the way, was my name amongst the natives.) We got five other 

offenders as well, Agara yelling all the time to the natives, that 

they were covered by the rifles of the police hidden in the scrub. 

Then we marched our handcuffed gang back to the whaleboat, 

and dumped them in, just as the remaining natives discovered 

our weakness and the bluff" we had put up, and flew for their 



The whalcboat was now so far aground that, with her in- 
creased load, we could not hope to get her off before dawn, which 
was fast approaching. Hastily pulling out my revolver, I lianded 
it to Mrs. Agara, ordering Agara to tell Bogege and his fellow 
prisoners that Mrs. Agara would shoot them, and the Cape Vogel 
prisoners knockout their brains with tomahawks, if they attempted 
to escape or take part in the coming fight. As they were all 
linked together with handcuffs, they were fairly helpless. 

The three police and I went ashore again, and took cover 
between the boat and the now thoroughly incensed natives ; a 
scrappy, desultory fight then took place, lasting until daylight. 
Neither side could see the other ; the scrub, the dark and general 
uncanniness of the thing, confused the natives and prevented 
them from charging. Spears thrown at random, or at our rifle 
flashes, rattled amongst us and the stones and bushes in which wc 
were sheltering ; whilst every now and then a yelp or a falling 
body told that some of our shots were taking effect. As soon as 
dawn broke the natives drew off a little ; whereupon we rushed 
our whaler out a couple of hundred yards over the reef, Bogege 
and his fellows being made to wade and haul with the rest. We 
then hastily pulled round the island to where Bogege's camp was 
situated ; here, standing off in deep water, at about a hundred 
yards' range, the police made such practice that, in a few minutes, 
the now thoroughly demoralized natives bolted across the island. 
Covered by our rifles, our two Cape Vogel prisoners then landed, 
and chopped holes with tomahawks in the bottoms of about a 
dozen large canoes. Then, very pleased indeed with ourselves, 
we hurried home as fast as sail and paddle could drive us to Cape 
Nelson ; the two Cape Vogel prisoners had taken some paddles 
from Bogege's canoes, so he and his friends had the pleasure of 
speeding their way to gaol with their own paddles. 

On the way back, Agara thought he would take advantage of 
my pleased mood to broach the subject of his wife remaining 
permanently on the strength at the Station. " My wife was very 
useful last night," he began, " she is a very clever, hard-working 
woman ; she can wash clothes better than any of the wives of the 
police at the Station, white clothes and tablecloths and things 
like that. Mrs. Tomlinson taught her at the Mission." " It 
must be very pleasant for you to have a wife like that," I re- 
marked, apparently not rising to the occasion. " Yes, sir ! Yes, 
sir ! But I thought perhaps you might like her to remain with 
me at the Station to wash your clothes." " Yes, Agara, but you 
know ' ten bobbers ' are not allowed on the strength." (" Ten 
bobbers" are first year's men at loy. a month.) Agara's face fell 
as he repeated this to his wife, who had been hopefully watching 
us, and trying to follow the conversation ; great tears rolled down 


that lady's face and fell splash on the gunwale. "Tell your wife, 
Agara, that if she howls now, I'll put her with the sergeant's 
wife, and you in barracks." Agara, snuffling slightly himself, 
told her ; whereupon she scandalized every one by hurling herself 
into the bottom of the boat and howling dismally. " Corporal, 
will you kindly tell this husband of a contumacious and mutinous 
wife, that though ' ten bobbers ' are not allowed wives, full privates 
are ; and that after last night he is a full private at a pound." Mrs. 
Agara dried her tears, while Agara showed his gratitude by quite 
unnecessarily assisting my orderly to clean my belts and arms. 

A few days after my return to the Station, a large number of 
Maisina canoes appeared and landed some minor chiefs, by whom 
I was informed that the Maisina desired to make peace with the 
Government, and would consent to the appointment of a village 
constable ; they brought with them the son of a late very prominent 
chief as a candidate for the office. The man was given the 
appointment, and subsequently I had little trouble with that 
people ; individual crime, of course, took place, but organized 
collective communal crime, such as raiding and plundering, be- 
came a thing of the past, and the coastal people enjoyed a security 
previously undreamt of by them. 

Bogege and his friends were sentenced to six months' imprison- 
ment ; after which, as he then saw the error of his ways, I made 
him also a village constable. 


ONE day, whilst I was busily engaged with my police in 
the erection of our Station buildings, I being, as I 
thought, the only European within miles of Cape 
Nelson, I was told that a diminutive whaleboat, with 
a white man and a native woman as its sole crew, was crawling 
up to the Station ; and soon Mr. Ernie Patten, late ship's boy on 
the Myrtle and prisoner at Samarai, appeared. " What the devil 
are you doing here?" I asked. "This coast is no place for 
solitary traders." "Trading for beche-de-mer and black-lipped 
shell with a tribe called Winiapi, just south of the Cape," he 
replied, " and been doing well." " You are mad," I told him. 
"I have no village constable at or near that point, and the Winiapi 
are particularly unsafe at present. I cannot guarantee you even 
the slightest measure of protection thei e ; in fact, I have a large 
bone to pick with them on my own account." "I go at my 
own risk," he said, " and there is no law to prevent me." " Very 
true," I answered ; " if you are determined to commit suicide, I 
can't stop you. I'll send a message to the Winiapi though, that 
if you should happen to get killed by them, I will bring all the 
constabulary, Kaili Kaili, and Mokuru, and fight them at once ; 
the trouble is, that they think they are safe among the gorges, 
rugged hills, and spurs of Mount Trafalgar. That is the best I 
can do for you, and I warn you that it is a poor best. Now, what 
do you want with me ? I presume this is not a social call." " A 
divorce from my wife," he replied. " Who married her to you ? " 
I asked. Patten told me, and I looked up the name of the man, 
and the Gazette notices of those empowered to celebrate 
marriages, and found it. " The Governor, Council, and all the 
Courts of New Guinea can't undo that marriage," I told him ; 
" or, so far as I know, any Court in the world. In the Royal 
Letters of Instruction, granting our Constitution, it is expressly 
stated that no Ordinance permitting divorce shall be passed by 
Legislative Council. You had better fix up things with your 
wife, or tell me all about it ; has she been going wrong ? " 

" It was like this," said Patten. " My wife went ashore in a 
small canoe we had got from the natives to cook our dinner, and 


took my revolver with her ; she was a long time, and suddenly 
noticed that she had gone to sleep alongside the cooking fire. I 
yelled at her, and threw a piece of ballast that got her in the ribs," 
" What did you say to her ? " I asked curiously. "I said, ' You 
black daughter of a bitch, come and get a hiding.' She said, 

* You ! ! ! ! ' " (Here some awful language 

came.) " I got a rope's end and showed it to her, then I started to 
pull up the anchor to shove the boat ashore, when she said, 

' You ! ! Stop it ! ' and ups with the revolver and lets fly 

at me. I dodged below the gunwale, and every time I put my head 
up, she lets go at me again ; she kept me like that for hours, until I 
swore that I would not touch her." " How did you swear ? " I 
asked, wondering what sort of oath this interesting couple would 
consider binding. He told me ; it is not fit to be set down here, 
being a weird compound of blasphemy and obscenity. " Fetch 
your wife. Patten," I told him, and he did so. " Mrs. Patten, 
what do you mean by potting at your husband ?" "I am tired 
of being hided on the bare skin with a rope's end," replied that 
injured lady. "Well, Patten," I remarked, "the only thing that 
I can see for it, is to shove you both into gaol : you, for licking 
your wife ; her, for shooting at you, I can make you both very 
useful ; but, of course, you will occupy separate cells, and will not 
be allowed to see one another." Patten and his missus gazed 
dismally at me, then at one another, and then jawed rapidly 
together in Suau, a language I don't understand. At last Patten 
said, " We want to make it up, please let us off." Mrs. Patten 
also clamoured to be let off, and turned on tears. " All right ; 
clear out, the pair of you," I said ; " but don't let me hear any 
more of rope's ending or revolver practice." Patten then asked 
me to store the collection of shell and trepang he had already got, 
and also to lend him some trade goods. The reunited couple 
then left, to resume their dangerous trade. 

The next thing I saw or heard of this pair, was their re- 
appearance, some time later, in a very distressed condition. The 
Winiapi had one day seized, tied up and beaten Patten, outraged 
his wife, and, after plundering his boat, turned them adrift in 
her ; they had then fallen in with a Kaili Kaili canoe, whose 
crew had assisted them to make my Station. The Winiapi had 
not killed them, for fear of my vengeance ; but had decided that, 
if they were merely ill-treated and looted, I should not bother my 
head about such palpably poor and unimportant people. 

I was on the point of starting with Patten for Winiapi, wher 
the Merrie England hove in sight, with Sir George Le Hunte 
and Barton, the Commandant, on board ; and his Excellency 
decided to come with me. I took a couple of Kaili Kaili with 
us to act as interpreters, and, upon our arrival at Winiapi, induced 


the Governor to allow mc to go first into tlic bush with these 
two men and endeavour to get into communication with tlie 
people, before skipped for the hills. I had gone some 
distance inland, when the Kaili Kaili said it was not good 
enough, and refused to go without the police ; accordingly I sent 
one back with a note for Barton, asking him to send on my 
detachment. He, Captain Harvey of the Merrle England^ and 
all the constabulary, followed at once, leaving the Governor 
behind, as the country was too rough and hilly for him ; Patten 
also came with them to point out his assailants. At last I, or 
rather the remaining Kaili Kaili with me, induced a number of 
Winiapi to come and talk, while the police silently sneaked up ; 
Barton, Harvey and I, having got the natives engaged in con- 
versation. Patten appeared and indicated about six of the offenders 
among the crowd. At the sight of Patten they tried to make a 
bolt, but too late ; one of Harvey's sailor fists shot out and took 
the man nearest to him in the eye, knocking him over, where- 
upon Harvey sat upon him and pounded him into submission ; 
several others were caught by the police. War horns now blew 
and drums beat ; but though there was a large crowd of natives 
at a short distance, they were apparently not inclined to try 
conclusions with us, and at length we departed, with our 
prisoners, unmolested. Patten, who had suffered a severe fright, 
now decided, much to my relief, to confine his trading operations 
on the north-east coast to localities such as Capes Nelson and 
Vogel, where village constables were established ; but I continued 
my feud with the Winiapi, after the Merrie England hud dcpa.ned 
with the Governor and Barton. 

They retaliated for the capture of the men responsible for the 
Patten outrage, by murdering in cold blood an Arifamu man who 
was friendly to the Government ; I then chased them over their 
hills and looted their gardens, but could not catch a single man, 
for they were much too smart to meet me in open fight. This 
time tliey had their revenge by killing and eating some Mambare 
carriers, whereupon I seized and destroyed as many of their 
canoes as I could lay my hands upon ; they then built fresh ones 
and hid them. At last I seized their fishing grounds and boy- 
cotted them ; threatening with severe punishment any tribe, 
living to the north or south of Winiapi, whom I might find 
trading or having any relations with them, and offering a reward 
for any Winiapi native caught outside his own district and 
brought to me. The result was, that they became afraid to 
venture forth in small parties to fish or visit other tribes, lest they 
should encounter a village constable from an adjacent tribe, who 
would most assuredly have summoned help and hauled them 
away to the Government Station, After being thus bottled up 


in their own district for some time, the Winiapi tribe became 
rather tired of this state of affairs ; and they soon sent their 
principal chief, with about one hundred followers, to promise to 
obey the laws in the future, and to request that the chief's son 
should be made a village constable. 

About this time, April, 1901, I received loud squeals and 
complaints from the Maisina ; they said in effect, " You have 
broken us and prevented us from fighting other people, but we 
have lost over thirty men by attacks from the Doriri in the last 
few months, and very many people by them before that ; if 
others are to be protected from us, surely we should be defended 
from our enemies." I was now placed in a very awkward 
position. The Maisina's appeal for help was a very natural one : 
if they were forced to obey the laws and behave themselves, they 
were quite justified in requiring the power forcing them into that 
position, to see that others also complied with the same conditions ; 
but I had only fifteen constabulary to police a large Division, 
and I had no assistant officer, or responsible person, to leave in 
charge of my Station. The Doriri were a mere name, in so far 
as Government was concerned ; no one knew their strength, the 
locality they inhabited, or anything else about them. All we 
knew definitely was that a previous expedition, under Sir Francis 
Winter, Captain Butterworth the Commandant, and Moreton, 
R.M., had utterly failed to reach their country or deal with them, 
and left as a record of its sole result, a surmise by Sir Francis 
Winter, " that the Doriri were a tribe inhabiting the Upper 
Waters of the Musa River." This was a very vague geographical 
definition, for the Musa River split into three widely divergent 
branches, namely, the Adaua, the Domara, and the Moni ; the 
Doriri, therefore, might be five, ten, or twenty days' journey 
inland, over uninhabited country. 

Still, something had to be done, if the prestige of the Govern- 
ment was to be upheld ; and I knew that every tribe was now 
watching to see what that something would be. "I will soon go 
to the country of the Doriri and break them," I told the Maisina, 
" but you must find me carriers." "If you go to the land of the 
Doriri," was the unbelieving reply, "we will find you carriers.'* 
" Yes," I said, " and you will bolt at night, leaving me in the 
lurch, as you did when Sir Francis Winter trusted you. Now, 
you are distinctly to understand this : when I go after the Doriri, 
I am going to find them and fight them ; if you people desert and 
prevent me from finding and fighting them, I shall come back 
and fight you instead, and anything the Doriri have done to you 
in the past will be as nothing in comparison to what I shall 
make you suffer." " We will see," said the Maisina, " when you 
go after the Doriri, instead of talking." 


Shortly afterwards the Merne Rnglnnd came in, with the 
Governor, Sir Francis Winter, Captain Barton, and a strong force 
of constabulary on board. I went to Sir George Le Hunte, 
taking with me a list of the more recent Doriri outrages. 
"Something must be done at once, sir, to stop these marauders ; 
I can go with my men, but I am not strong enough ; also it is 
work requiring a second officer," I reported. His Excellency 
and Sir Francis Winter discussed the matter, and then the 
Governor said, "You can have Captain Barton and his police, 
for the Doriri apparently require attention urgently. Discuss 
the matter with the Commandant." " What are you going to 
do when you find the Doriri, Monckton ? " asked Barton. 
" Demand the surrender of the men responsible for the more 
recent murders," I replied, " I won't bother about anything 
that took place more than two months ago." "If you don't get 
them, what then ?" asked Barton. " Shoot and loot," I answered 
laconically. "I don't think we should do anything of the sort," 
said Barton. "I think that we should warn the people that they 
must not raid the coastal tribes." " Rats ! " I said. " They 
would regard us then as fools, and promptly come and butcher a 
score or two more of people living under my protection. The 
only way you can stop these beggars hunting their neighbours 
with a club, is to bang them with a club." Sir George and Sir 
Francis sat silently listening to our conversation, and afterwards 
in our official minutes of instruction I found this embodied : " In 
the event of your finding the natives, and their opposing you, 
you will take such steps as may be necessary to bring them into 
submission ; if they do not show opposition, you will use your 
best effiarts to bring them into friendly intercourse, but in any 
case you will arrest or require the delivery of the principals 
concerned in the recent murders of the Wanigela natives (nine 
people). I have carefully considered the different views I have 
heard expressed as to this, and I am satisfied that, under the 
circumstances, the right course is to exercise the power of the 
Government by doing its duty in bringing them to trial if 
possible, whatever views may subsequently be taken of their 
having been accustomed to make their murderous raids without 
knowing that they were breaking the laws of a power of which 
they knew nothing ... it will produce a more lasting effect 
than merely telling the natives that they are not to do it again 
and returning without any visible results." "Thank the Lord 
for that," I remarked to myself, as I read the instructions ; " if 
we had gone in and been defied by the Doriri, as we inevitably 
shall be, and then had contented ourselves with telling them to 
be good children, I should have been the laughing-stock of every 
tribe on the coast, and especially the Maisina." This was my 





first experience oi jBarton'b extremely humane and, as I thought, 
mistaken feelings. " Is it not better," I once urged him, " that 
a blood-thirsty cannibal should be hanged, or some of his crime- 
stained followers shot, than that a peaceful district of husbandmen 
should be raided, their houses burnt, and men, women and 
children slaughtered and eaten ? Not to speak of the indescribable 
suffering and torture, both mental and physical, that the wretched 
victims often undergo." Barton agreed, but it did not alter his 
nature : he was a man who instinctively shrank from inflicting 
suffering in any form ; if he had been a surgeon, and a patient 
had come to him suffering from cancer, rather than cause him 
pain by using the knife, he would put off the inevitable until too 
late to be of any material benefit, and thus the patient would 
have died. 

The dispatch of the expedition was now decided upon ; the 
only questions remaining to be settled were, firstly, the route to be 
followed, and, secondly, its transport. At first I was decidedly of 
the opinion that the best route would be the one previously 
followed by me through the Kuveri District, when escorting the 
miners, and then to strike, from the end of my cut track, north- 
east towards the head waters of the Musa ; this route, though 
longer, would avoid the swamps which I believed, at the time, 
entirely surrounded the coastal district of the Maisina and CoUing- 
wood Bay. From later inquiry, however, among the Maisina, I 
found that they knew of a track which led from their principal 
village of Uiaku, and which would in one day carry us clear of 
the swamp, and effect a very considerable shortening of the 
distance. This route was accordingly determined upon. The next 
question was one of carriers : though the Maisina were freely 
offering for the work, I had my doubts as to whether they would 
not desert me, as they had Sir Francis, if I got into a position of 
difficulty or danger ; and an expedition in New Guinea, deserted 
by its carriers, much resembled the position of a stage coach 
without its horses. 

I now wanted advice, and wanted it badly ; but the advice I 
wanted I knew could only be supplied by my own people, and not 
by the Governor, Judge or Commandant. Accordingly I sent 
for Giwi of the Kaili Kaili and Paitoto of the Mokoru, and, 
with my sergeant, called them into consultation. " You know 
the Doriri," I began, " they are bad people ? " Giwi and Paitoto 
said in effect that the wickedness of the Doriri was beyond belief, 
but that they were uncommonly good fighting men. " Well," I 
remarked, " I am going to smash the Doriri and make good people 
of them ; but it is essential that when I find their country, I have 
full supplies, and my constabulary in first-class fighting order : 
to ensure that, I must have men I can rely upon to carry the 



camp equipment, stores, and ammunition ; the constabulary can't 

fight if they are burdened with that. Can I rely upon the 

Maisina for the work r " " No," was the unhesitating reply; " but 

you can upon the Kaili Kaili and Mokoru ; the Maisina arc too 

much afraid of the Doriri to be reliable. Take fifty men from 

our people for the actual work among the Doriri, and the Maisina 

can carry as far as the borders of the Doriri country and then be 

sent back. Our people can't bolt, if you get into trouble, for 

they will have nowhere to run to." "Very good," I said, "pick 

me out about fifty good men from your tribe to come with me, 

and I will fill up from among the Maisina." Then Giwi said, " I 

am getting old and too stiff for such work as you have on hand, 

but 1 will send my son, Mukawa, and some chosen men with 

you." Paitoto said, " I am neither old nor stiff, and can well use 

spear and war club, and go with you. I, myself, will lead my 

men ; but for my greater honour among my people, give and 

teach me how to use the fire spear of the white man." " Good," 

I said, "you are two brave men; it shall be as you say. 

Sergeant, give Paitoto a rifle and detail a man to teach him to 


Accordingly, on the 5th April, 1901, Captain Barton and I 
marched out of Uiaku village in Collingwood Bay, in quest of the 
Doriri, at the head of 159 men, 20 of whom were regular con- 
stabulary, 6 village constables (armed), and about 50 Kaili 
Kaili and Mokoru, the balance being composed of Maisina and 
Collingwood Bay natives. I think that, up to this date, this 
was the best organized and most carefully thought-out punitive 
expedition that had ever been dispatched by a New Guinea Govern- 
ment. In one respect, however, we were handicapped, and that 
was that, owing to the non-arrival of the s.s. President with stores 
for the expedition, I was obliged to purchase a quantity of rice 
from the miners (to whom I have previously referred as being 
left in the Kuveri District, and who were now abandoning their 
quest), and this rice, instead of being packed in fifty-pound mats, 
was contained in sacks weighing altogether seventy-five pounds, a 
cruel load for one man, and too little for two carriers ; unfortunately 
we had no extra mats or bags to divide it up into again. The 
Kaili Kaili, however, came to my rescue, by expressing themselves 
as able and willing to carry the heavy bags, until they were 
reduced by daily consumption. The Kaili Kaili and Mokoru 
were from first to last ideal carriers, never grumbling or com- 
plaining at hard work, and quite prepared to follow anywhere or 
do anything, and forming a pleasing contrast to the Maisina, who 
began to suffer from nerves the moment that we had fairly set 
our faces towards the country of the Doriri. We purposed 
sending back the Maisina as soon as the food they carried was 


exhausted, and then to rely entirely upon the Kaili Kaili and 

The Maisina guided us by a winding and villainous track, 
across a pestilential sago swamp, humming with mosquitoes ; the 
track in places was like a maze, for the purpose of confusing the 
Doriri when attempting to follow it to the coast ; it was set at 
intervals with deadly spear pits, i.e. deep holes, the tops of which 
were masked and the bottoms studded with firmly fixed, sharp- 
pointed spears — pleasing contrivances arranged by the Maisina for 
the benefit of their Doriri visitors. At length we emerged into 
solid country of jungle and forest, and camped upon the bank of 
a narrow, rapid, and clear river. I regret to say that, in his official 
report. Captain Barton subseqviently referred to my carriers as 
" crude savages of the wildest kind ! " They certainly did yell 
and dance, and indulge in mimic warfare, half the night, until at 
my request they were rudely thumped by either their chiefs or 
village constables ; but that was merely light-heartedness ! Upon 
the following morning we resumed our march, the constabulary 
now cutting our own track on a compass line through heavy jungle 
and forest, until we came to a river bed of some two hundred 
yards in width, down the middle of which a rapid torrent flowed. 
This we forded by extending a long light cotton rope, and all 
hanging on to it together, until the expedition resembled a 
straggling long-legged centipede. Upon the other side, we found 
our track-cutting much obstructed by masses of fallen trees, that 
had been blown down by a whirlwind. In the early afternoon, 
we struggled out of the tangle of timber on to the banks of a 
watercourse, that was much wider than the last, and were here 
told by the Maisina that we could not reach any further water 
before night ; we accordingly camped, in order to have a clear 
day in which to cross the supposed waterless track. This state- 
ment afterwards proved to be a lie on the part of the Maisina, who 
were beginning bitterly to repent having been fools enough to 
consent to venture near the Doriri, and wanted to prevent us 
from going any further. I think though, that we should have 
been forced to camp in any case, as Barton had developed some 
colicky pains in his tum-tum, which later turned into a mild 
attack of dysentery. 

The river we were camped upon, the Wakioki, is a most extra- 
ordinary stream : its waters are of a greyish milky colour, and 
highly charged with some fine substance which does not precipitate 
when the water is allowed to stand ; the consistency of the water 
was that of thin treacle, and not that of water in which a man 
could swim. A private slipped in his leg and foot, with- 
drawing them immediately, and the water dried upon his skin like 
a coating of whitewash. This was the point at which Sir Francis 


Winter was deserted by the Maisina, in his attempt to reach and 
deal with the Doriri. The country here was full of wild pigs, 
cassowary, wallaby, and the enormous Goiira pigeon, a bird nearly 
as big as a turkey ; duck and pigeon of all sorts were plentiful, 
and the Kaili Kuili carriers spent a happv afternoon hunting. 
Grubs, snakes, pigs, etc., all were game to them, and vanished down 
their ever-hungry gullets. The Maisina hung about the camp, 
listening with apprehensive ears to every distant sound. Two of 
the constabulary, who had gone scouting in advance, returned at 
night and reported having discovered fresh human footprints ; 
these, the Maisina said, certainly belonged to the Doriri, as no 
Collingwood Bay native would venture so far inland ; and, from 
the nearness to the coast, they thought the Doriri must be bent 
on mischief. 

Here was a pretty pickle ! What were we to do ? If we 
went straight on, and there was a Doriri war party in the neighbour- 
hood, they would probably fall upon the Collingwood Bay villages, 
from which we had drawn the best of the fighting men, and 
generally play the devil, while we were laboriously wending our 
way to their country. At last we decided to follow the footprints 
found by the police ; and, in the event of their leading us to a 
Doriri war party, fall upon and destroy that party, or at all events 
drive it from the vicinity of Collingwood Bay, before proceeding 
on our journey. Much of the country here showed signs of 
extensive periodic inundation. Next day we struck camp at dawn, 
and marched for the point at which the police had found the foot- 
prints. Barton's tum-tum being better, having been treated with 
brandy, and lead and opium pills. Late in the afternoon, after 
marching over rough, well-watered country, we came to a stream 
running into a much larger one, and upon the banks of which we 
discovered a freshly erected lean-to bush shelter, such as are used 
by travelling natives, and a large number of newly cut green 
boughs of trees, which had been used for making crude weirs for 
catching fish. From the bush shelter, there led away in a 
westerly direction — the direction of the land of the Doriri — a 
plainly defined hunting track ; this track we followed, until it 
was time to camp for the night, finding everywhere signs of the 
recent prolonged occupation by natives of the country through 
which we were passing. As we pitched camp, we sent out some 
constabulary scouts, and they returned after dark bringing with 
them some burning fire sticks, and reported that upon the bank 
of the Wakioki they had discovered some large lean-to shelters, 
only just vacated, and with the cooking fires still burning in 

Upon the following day we marched for this spot, and found 
the shelter, as described by the police, situated at the junction of 




the Buna and Wakioki Rivers, Here, by the size of the shelter 
and the number of footprints, we came to the conclusion that it 
had contained about thirty Doriri, who were probably attached to 
a much larger party. We discovered here a curious and most 
ingenious contrivance, in the shape of a litter, for conveying a sick 
or wounded man. It consisted of a pole about eight feet long, 
passed through three hoops or circles of rattan about two feet apart, 
the hoops being thus suspended from the pole when carried on 
men's shoulders ; round the inside of the circumference of the 
lower semi-diameter of the circles or hoops, longitudinal strips or 
battens of finely split palm were lashed, forming a soft and springy 
litter, upon which an injured man could suffer very little from 
jolting on the roughest track, or from out of which it was im- 
possible to fall, or, with any precaution at all on the part of the 
bearers, sustain any injury ; the central hoop was made to unfasten 
at the top, plainly as a means of placing a man inside with least 
effort to himself. I have made a rough sketch of the contrivance, 
which is decidedly superior to any form of hand ambulance I 
have ever read of. 

AAA. Carrying pole. 

BB. Lathes of split palm. 

CCC, Coir rope interlaced through lathes made to untie at pole. 

The Maisina now said that the Doriri had undoubtedly gone 
down to the extensive sago swamps surrounding the Collingwood 
Bay villages ; but careful scouting, and full examination of the 
direction of the Doriri footprints, which we now found to be 
very numerous, all showed that they led up the Wakioki towards 
their own country. We were now of the opinion that possibly 
the Doriri had discovered our presence, and were retreating upon 
their own villages ; in any case, they were moving in that 
direction. Pursuit, and that by forced marches, was now the 
order of the day. With far-flung scouts, endeavouring to locate 
the Doriri ahead, we began the chase, straining the endurance of 
the carriers to the last ounce ; the rear-guard of six constabulary 
and four village constables mercilessly drove on the skulking 
Maisina, or helped the truly failing Kaili Kaili with his load. 

The bed of the Wakioki, up which we were now proceeding, 
is of a most remarkable nature. It varies in width from 300 to 
600 yards, the banks being difficult to define, owing to the dens? 


overgrowth of young casuariiia trees, through which many 
channels flow. Gaunt, dead and dying casuarinas of huge size 
reared their enormous bulk from the torn, boulder-strewn bed of 
the river ; huge tree trunks and lumps of wood, the bark stripped 
from them, and polished by eternal friction, lay everywhere. In 
one place, where Mount MacGregor descends to the river, the 
foot of the mountain was cut sheer oflF, as though cleanly severed 
by the axe of some superhuman giant. It was evident that the 
floods, which overwhelmed the country, fell as rapidly as they 
rose, for light and heavy tree trunks were deposited at every point, 
from tlie highest to the lowest ; the fall of the watercourse, 
where we first met it, was about one foot in two hundred, and it 
increased in steadily growing gradient as we ascended. We came 
to the conclusion (the right one, as I afterwards ascertained on 
the second Doriri Expedition) that the floods and inundations 
were due to enormous land-slips or avalanches, comprised of 
hundreds of thousands of tons of rock, earth, and timber, suddenly 
descending from Mount MacGregor into the narrow gorge of the 
Wakioki, which skirted its spurs, thus blocking and damming the 
river, until its growing weight and strength burst the barriers and 
swept in one devastating wave over the lower country. The 
colour and consistency of the river were due, I found out later, 
to a wide stream of clayey substance, flowing from Mount 
MacGregor, between rocky walls, into the river. 

Early in the afternoon, we reached a point near the gorge 
from which the Wakioki emerged ; and there the track scrambled 
up a loose boulder-strewn bank about thirty feet high, up which 
we likewise clawed. Here we found, that though young 
casuarinas were growing there, it yet bore signs, in the shape of 
boulders, drift-wood and tree trunks, of being the bed of the 
river. We found many Doriri shelters, that had only just been 
vacated, and still had the fires burning in them. Here we pitched 
camp, right under the magnificent Mount MacGregor, and gazed 
at the mountain pines on its spurs, towering high above the 
surrounding tall forest trees. Our day had been an interesting 
one : sometimes we were marching over huge loose boulders, 
sometimes wading through a wet cream-cheesy sort of pipe-clay, 
sometimes making our way over a hard-baked cement of the 
same stuff, full of cracks, and throwing off a dry and penetrating 
dust under our feet, which clogged our sweating skins and choked 
our panting lungs ; over all of which came the distant angry 
voices of the likewise sweating rear-guard, as they " encouraged " 
the labouring carriers to keep up with the column. 

Shortly after our pitching camp, a violent thunder-storm rolled 
down upon us from the mountains ; streaks of vivid fork lightning 
being succeeded by instantaneous claps of thunder, the whole 


being followed by a torrential burst of rain ; the river rose 
rapidly, and the grinding roar of the enormous rolling boulders, 
swept before its flood, made a din indescribable. The carriers 
whimpered with funk, and I called in the sentries, feeling that 
that awful storm and night were more than mortal man, standing 
at a solitary post, could be expected to endure. I was also firmly 
convinced that no human being, Doriri or otherwise, would be 
fool enough to be abroad on such a night. We struck camp 
very early the next morning, only too glad to get away from such 
a storm-torn, uncanny spot. After marching a few miles, we 
found a Doriri track leaving the Wakioki, and leading across the 
Didina ranges towards the Doriri country at the head of the 
Musa River. The Maisina were now blue with funk, and we 
greatly feared that they would bolt ; but curses from us, threats 
from the constabulary, and jeers from the Kaili Kaili, who told 
them that if they left us, they (the Kaili Kaili) would make 
them tile laughing-stock of the coast as a set of women and 
weaklings, made them pluck up their courage enough still to 
follow us. We found growing on this track an extraordinary 
tough climbing bamboo, of a vine-like nature, which, when cut 
with a knife, oozed from each joint about a wineglassful of 
clear sweet water. 

A severe march went on all day. Barton, who had now 
added a very bad toothache to dysentery, was in command of 
the advance, and feeling hard with his scouts for touch with the 
Doriri party ahead ; I was in charge of the rear-guard, and was 
severely driving the fearful Maisina carriers. Night was closing 
in, the head of the line had halted to camp, when back to me 
came an orderly, with a message from Barton. " Hurry up ; we 
are within touch of the Doriri." The Maisina, on hearing the 
magic word Doriri, rushed like scared rabbits for the camp. 
Upon the rear-guard coming up with me. Barton told me that 
the scouts ahead had seen a man up a tree, who was calling to a 
party of Doriri ahead of him. The Maisina now fairly collapsed 
with fright, and begged us to go back, saying that we should all 
be eaten if we stayed. Barton and I consulted as to what was to 
be done with them : to send them back was our best course, but 
then, if by any remote chance there happened to be any Doriri 
left in the country we had traversed, they would stand a good 
chance of being cut to pieces, as wc could not weaken our force, 
on the eve of a fight, by detaching constabulary to escort them. 
They, however, settled the question for themselves. Fearful as 
they were of going on vvith us into the land of the dreaded 
Doriri, they were still more afraid of leaving us and having to 
follow a lonely road back ; finding that we were determined to go 
on, and that the constabulary and Kaili Kaili apparently treated 


the Doriri with contempt, they quaveiingly said they would 

We felled trees, and made our camp as strongly defensive as 
possible; needless to say, the Maisina required no pressing to do 
their share of this work, but toiled like veritable demons, clearing 
scrub and dragging trees into a stockade, long after the order had 
been given, "That will do the camp; post the night guard." 
Everything now pointed to the one conclusion, and that was that 
if the party, on whose heels we had followed all the way from 
Collingwood Bay, did not include the actual murderers by whom 
the murders of six weeks ago had been committed, it undoubtedly 
consisted of the tribe by whom innumerable murders had been 
done previously, and who had kept a whole district in a state of 
tension and misery for years. We were now right on the 
borders of the Doriri country, for during the day we had ascended 
the summit of the Didina Range, which formed the watershed 
between the streams of Collingwood Bay and the Musa River. 
We had then crossed a fine plateau and descended a small stream 
flowing towards the Musa, which suddenly fell, by a series of 
cascades, over a precipice into a valley ; the track made a difficult 
circuit round this cascade, and when we had descended into the 
valley we found tlie bottom covered with stagnant water, forming 
a veritable quagmire, impassable to our heavily laden men, although 
the Doriri had somehow or other gone through it. Round this, 
we found it necessary to cut a siding, which led us to the banks 
of the Ibinamu, the most eastern affluent of the Musa River, 
which rose in Mount MacGregor and was now seen by Europeans 
for the first time. The Maisina guides had long since left the 
country with which they were acquainted, and in any case would 
have been quite useless from fright. 

While in camp that night. Barton and I consulted together. 
There appeared to us to be very little doubt, that the party just 
ahead of us must be now quite aware of our presence in their 
vicinity, and be laying their plans accordingly ; as a matter or 
fact, we found out afterwards that they were in a state of blissful 
ignorance. It never for one moment entered the heads of the 
Doriri that any possible danger could come to them from the 
cowed people of Collingwood Bay, and Government or police 
they had merely heard of as a sort of vague fable ; of the effect of 
rifle fire they knew nothing, and with spears they had never as 
yet met their match. " What are we going to do now ? " said 
Barton. " Capture or entirely destroy the party ahead," I replied. 
" I hate scientifically slaughtering unfortunate savages, who are 
quite ignorant of a sense of wrongdoing," said Barton. "By 
every code in the world," I said, "civilized or savage, the people 
who commit wanton and unprovoked murder can expect nothing 



else than to be killed themselves. Besides, our instructions are 
plain and our duty clear." The Maisina spent the night in a 
miserable state of apprehension and fear, having quite made up 
their minds that the cooking pots of the Doriri would be the 
ultimate fate of the whole lot of us ; the constabulary and Kaili 
Kaili were in a great state of joy at the prospect of a fight, and 
the scroop-scrape of stones on the edges of the Kaili Kaili toma- 
hawks, the nervous chatter of the Maisina, and restless prowling 
of the constabulary went on all night. Poor Barton was writhing 
in agony from toothache, and begged me to keep my " infernal 
savages " quiet ; but it was a hopeless task. 

Dawn broke, and no time was lost in striking camp, and 
resuming our march down the river in the direction of the voices 
heard by the scouts on the previous day, and towards the Doriri 
villages. Barton and I had an arrangement by which we took 
alternate days in advance or rear, as the rear-guard work was 
fatiguing and disagreeable in the extreme ; on this day it happened 
to be my turn in front. I saw plainly that unless something was 
done soon to give the Maisina confidence in us, and in the power 
of the constabulary to protect them, they would all knock up ; 
they were sick already from funk and want of sleep. First went 
the four scouts, comprising two constabulary recruited from the 
Binandere people and two village constables of the Kaili Kaili, 
hawk-eyed men, oiling their way silently in advance, feeling for 
an ambush or touch with the Doriri, and marking the track to be 
followed. Then I came, with the advance-guard composed of my 
own men ; next the Kaili Kaili, then the Maisina, with village 
constables and constabulary scattered at intervals among them, in 
order to hearten them ; and last, Barton and his police. The 
carriers had strict orders, in the event of fighting in front, to rally 
on the rear-guard. 

While a difficult piece of walking was causing the carriers to 
straggle rather more than usual, and thus delaying Barton and 
the rear-guard, two of the scouts came back and reported that 
they had discovered men, how many they could not ascertain, in 
the bush on one side of the river. These men were, in my 
opinion, the party whom we had been following all along, with 
possibly others ; and from their silence, I concluded that they had 
either laid an ambush, or still more probably formed a portion of 
a body of men coming round on to the flank of our extended line. 
I dared not risk sending the scouts out again, with a probability 
of their falling into the hands of a strong party of Doriri, and 
should I delay to communicate with Barton, and lose time in 
waiting for the rest of the police and carriers to come up, T might 
allow time for an attack to develop on our dangerously straggling 
line, with an absolute certainty of a stampede on the part of the 


Maisina on top ot IJarton aiul the rear-guard, and a possible bad 
slaughter before Barton knew what was occurring or could clear 
his police. I therefore hastily detached seven police ; and 
ordered the others, with the village constables and Kaili Kaili 
carriers who were nearest to the front, to draw out into the clear 
ri\ er bed and there wait tor the Commandant, who I knew would 
be steadily coming up. In the meanwhile I, and my seven men, 
made a detour into the scrub on the exposed side of our line, 
with the object of both intercepting any attack that might be 
coming, so as to allow oi a better fighting formation being 
adopted, and to come out on the rear and flank of the men seen 
by our scouts. 

After we had crawled and forced our way for some distance 
under a dense tangled undergrowth over marshy ground, we 
suddenly emerged upon a couple of bush shelters, from one of 
which a Doriri sprang up in front of us with a frightful howl of 
surprise and alarm, and armed with spear and club. In response 
to a hasty order from me, the man was shot dead and a rush made 
upon the shelters, from which three more men leaped, all armed. 
Two of these men were at once knocked over by the police, and 
secured uninjured ; a fourth, who fought most desperately, 
frantically dashing about with a club, leaped into the river, and 
though evidently wounded in half a dozen places, still stuck to 
his club and made his way across to the scrub on the opposite side 
of the river, hotly pursued by two police. Never have I known 
a man so tenacious of life as that Doriri. I m.yself sent four '303 
solid bullets through him as he bolted, and yet he ran on. We 
found him afterwards dead in the scrub, quite half a mile away. 
On gaining time to look round, I saw about a dozen Kaili Kaili, 
who, in defiance of my order that they were to remain on the 
river bed and wait for Barton, had thrown down their loads and 
were rushing to join the two police chasing the man across the 
river ; while tearing, like devils possessed, through the tangled 
undergrowth towards me came the remainder of the Kaili Kaili 
and Mokoru, under the leadership of old Giwi's son, Mukawa. 
They afterwards explained that they were coming to the help of 
the police and me. Knowing the awful job Barton must be 
having to keep the Maisina together when the firing broke out 
suddenly in front, and still expecting at any moment to see 
a rush of Doriri on our now demoralized line, I recalled the 
police and proceeded to collect carriers in the bed of the 
river, while Barton, with the remaining carriers, was getting up 
to us. 

When Barton finally arrived, I found the poor old chap had 
undergone a dreadful time. Firstly, his toothache had prevented 
him from tating any breakfast ; then, as he had painfully struggled 


\ ■ 



over the rough track shepherding the terror-stricken Maisina, the 
roughness of the track and his empty condition had brought on a 
recurrence of his dysentery. Halting, he had removed his 
revolver and belts, and was in a helpless state, when suddenly 
the crack of rifles came from the front, and his personal servant 
rushed at him and endeavoured to buckle on his discarded 
accoutrements ; the Maisina were howling with terror and 
crowding all round him ; his constabulary, fairly foaming witli 
impatience to be in the fight, were endeavouring to make a break 
for me and took him all his time to hold ; while the Kaili Kaili 
threw all restraint to the winds, as they cast their loads on the 
ground, and, flourishing their tomahawks, flew to the sound of 
the firing. " Their own white master and their own police " 
were fighting, tliat was enough for the Kaili Kaili ; they 
should not lack the assistance of their own people, be hanged 
to the Port Moresby police ! Kaili Kaili into the fighting 
line ! 

Three Dove Baruga men had accompanied the expedition as 
carriers ; they had been staying with the Kaili Kaili just before 
we started, and, as they came from a village situated on the lower 
Musa, the Doriri prisoners could understand their language ; 
therefore I used them as interpreters. The prisoners, upon being 
questioned, said that they had formed a portion of a large party 
returning from CoUingwood Bay ; and in response to a possibly 
not quite fair question as to who had killed the CoUingwood Bay 
people a fews weeks ago, they proudly said that they had them- 
selves, or rather the party to which they belonged. The 
remainder of them had gone down the river to their village early 
that morning, and were quite in ignorance of our presence in 
the valley. So accordingly we started in pursuit. 

The river bed had now widened to a bare boulder-strewn 
watercourse, along which we could march in a close column 
instead of the long straggling line of men in single file. About 
four in the afternoon, during a period of intense still muggy heat, 
a rolling crashing thunder-storm descended upon us from Mount 
MacGregor, worse even than the last we had experienced. Fork 
and chain lightning struck the boulders of the river bed, while 
balls of blue fire rolled among them. " Better extend the men," 
said Barton ; " a close column of men on the march gives off an 
emanation that is said to attract lightning; and one of those 
flashes among our packed lot might play hell." I watched the 
course of the storm for a moment, and then pointed out to Barton 
how the lightning only seemed to strike among the boulders of the 
river bed, and not among the forest trees bordering it. " I am all 
for camping in the tall timber," I said ; " when the dry electrical 
disturbance has passed, the skies will probably open and let go a 


veritable lake on top ot' us." "It is said," remarked Barton, "that 
the neisihbourliood of tall trees should be avoided in a thunder- 
Storm ; but I'm hanged if I don't think they are safer than this 
place." The Doriri prisoners were the only natives with us at 
all apprclicnsive of the lightning, they knew the peculiar beauties 
of their own storms, and were greatly relieved when they found 
us wending our way to the trees ; the Dove Baruga men had by 
this time told them that we were a peculiar people, who did not 
kill prisoners nor eat the bodies of the slain. 

Before we were safely in camp, and during the operation of 
pitching the tents, down came a torrential downpour of rain, 
soaking us all to the skin. No one, who has not undergone the 
experience, can possibly realize what a tropical rainstorm can be 
like ; the water does not fall in drops, but appears to be in 
continuous streams, the thickness of lead pencils ; it fairly bends 
one under its weight, and half chokes one with its density ; and 
all this in a steaming atmosphere of heat that reduces one to the 
limpness of a dead and decaying worm. In Captain Barton's 
case, his misery was increased by the spiky pangs of toothache and 
the slow gnawing of dysentery. 

Tents were pitched at last, rain and storm passed, leaving a 
cool and pleasant evening, camp fires burnt cheerily and cooks 
were busy preparing the evening meal. Barton had stopped his 
toothache by dint of holding his mouth full of raw whisky, and 
eased his tum-tum with a prodigious dose of chlorodyne ; pyjamas 
had replaced our sodden clothing, the Kaili Kaili were gaily 
chattering, and even theMaisina were plucking up their spirits, 
safe as they all thought in a ring of watching sentries, when bang 
went a rifle some distance away. I ran down to where a couple 
of sentries had been posted, at the mouth of a stream leading into 
the camp ; they had vanished. I whistled for them, thinking 
that they had merely moved a few yards away, and were con- 
cealed in the scrub ; Barton heard my whistle, thought that I 
wanted assistance, and came to me with a number of constabulary. 
We then hastily dispatched half a dozen police to find out what 
had become of the sentries ; they did not return until after dark, 
and then appeared bringing the missing men and another private 
of constabulary with them. The latter bright individual had 
quitted the camp withovU leave, and run into half a dozen Doriri, 
at whom he had promptly fired ; the Doriri decamped, as the 
sentries deserted their posts and rushed to his assistance. The 
sentries were told in chosen language exactly what was thought of 
them, and fearful threats made as to the fate of the next men who 
left their posts without orders. The roaming private was 
" punished," as the Official Report put it ; as a matter of fact, he 
was soundly walloped on the bare stern by his sergeant with n 


belt, a highly illegal but most efficacious means of inducing him 
to see the error of his ways. 

That night we had a little conversation with the Doriri 
prisoners, and learnt that their villages were small and widely 
scattered, and that their food supplies were none too good. They 
really made their expeditions to CoUingwood Bay in order to hunt 
game and make sago, and the killing of the people there was only 
a supplementary diversion, though of course the bodies of the slain 
gave them an agreeable change of diet. " Will your people 
fight ? " I asked, "Yes," was the reply, "of course they will ; 
but those fire spears of yours are dreadful things to meet. If it 

was the Maisina, now " Here they stared contemptuously at 

those unhappy people, who wilted accordingly. " Never mind the 
Maisina, they are my people now," I cut in; " will 'the Doriri 
fight us ? " " Yes, once," was the reply, " until they have 
learnt all about those fire spears." "Yes, what then?" I 
queried. " They will bolt for the hills, where you can't find 
them, and starve there, for we have little food." " Monckton," 
said Barton, " you arc not going to be callous brute enough to 
starve those unfortunate devils in the hills r " " No," I answered, 
" but I am going to break their fighting strength, and teach them 
the futility of resisting a Government order before I leave." 

The carriers now put in a request to me that they might be 
allowed to eat any future Doriri killed ; urging that, if they did 
so, it would not only be a great satisfaction to them but also a 
considerable saving to the stores of the expedition. " Really," 
they urged, " there was no sense in wasting good meat on account 
of a foolish prejudice." "You saw what happened to the dis- 
obedient private to-day r " I said to them. " Yes, he was most 
painfully beaten on the stern by the sergeant," they said. "Quite 
so," I replied. " Well, the carrier, be he Kaili Kaili or Maisina, 
who as much as looks with a hungry eye upon the body of a dead 
Doriri, will first be beaten in the same way by the sergeant, then 
by the corporals and lance-corporals, and then by the privates, 
until his stern is like unto the jelly of baked sago." Tin's fear- 
some threat curbed the man-meat hunger of the anthropophagi. 
After this we put in a peaceful and undisturbed night ; even the 
Maisina sleeping soundlj', happy at last in the belief that the 
dreaded Doriri would meet their match in the constabulary, and 
that the chances of their going down Doriri gullets were quite 


WE struck camp at daylight and moved down the river, 
soon coming upon a number of well-built native lean- 
to shelters, showing signs of' having been recently and 
hastily vacated ; many articles of value to natives had 
been abandoned, including some cleverly split slabs of green jade 
from the hills of CoUingwood Bay, which they used for making 
stone heads for disc clubs, tomahawks or adzes ; also earthenware 
cooking pots, which the Maisina identified by the pattern as of 
their manufacture. A little later we espied a small village 
situated upon a spur of the Didina Range ; a patrol of police 
searched the village, but the inhabitants had decamped ; a number 
of spears, however, were taken and destroyed. Next we dis- 
covered, situated upon a rise in the river bed, a village of about 
eighteen houses ; this village was also deserted, so we took 
possession and occupied it. In this village we found ample 
evidence, in the shape of articles manufactured by the Maisina and 
identified by them, of the complicity of its inhabitants in the 
raiding ; a large store also of recently manufactured sago, clearly 
proved that they had only just returned from the CoUingwood 
Bay District. 

Here we camped, in order to dry our clothes and give our 
carriers a well-earned and much-needed rest. The prisoners told 
us that the village was named Boure, and they looked on dismally 
while the police and carriers slaughtered all the village pigs, and 
ravished and devastated the gardens, which were but of small 
extent. Barton, as he thought of the grief of the evicted in- 
habitants, looked quite as unhappy as the prisoners, while the 
work of destruction went on, and many "a crack from his stick a 
too exultant yelling Kaili Kaili received, if he incautiously 
approached too near that humanitarian. "You know now what 
it feels like to have your villages raided," said the DoveBaruga to 
the prisoners ; " we and the Maisina have had years of it at your 
hands." Our now happy carriers spent a cheery night, gorging 
and snoring alternately, and well housed from the rain. 

Upon leaving Boure next morning, the track led down the 
river bank through thick clumps of pampas-like grass, twelve feet 
high ; beastly dangerous country to traverse amongst a hostile 


people. I was with the advance, when suddenly we heard the 
loud blowing of war horns and the defiant shouting of a large 
force of men moving up the river on our left, I at once changed 
our line of march towards the direction of the Doriri, but after 
going on a short distance, the grass became so thick and the 
track so narrow, as to prevent any safe fighting formation being 
retained. A halt, therefore, was made, and the constabulary 
formed into two bodies, fronting two lanes in the tall grass, from 
cither of which the now expected attack might develop, the 
carriers being packed between the two lines of police. The 
voices of Doriri calling, and horns blowing, could now be heard 
on our front, rear, and, alternately, on each side, which looked as 
if we were to receive an attack simultaneously on front, rear and 
flanks. A worse position to defend it was almost impossible 
to conceive : spearmen could approach unperceived, and launch 
their spears, from the cover of the grass, into our packed men ; 
while club men could get right on top of us, before we could see 
to shoot with any degree of certainty of hitting what we were 
shooting at ; and once amongst us, shooting would be out of the 
question for fear of killing our own carriers. In the event of our 
advancing towards a better position, we should be forced to 
straggle in a long line of single file, which would expose our 
carriers to flank attack ; and in the case of a Doriri rush we 
should be in imminent danger of our line being cut in two. The 
prisoners told us that the Doriri were now shouting challenges 
and explaining that they were about to make an end of the 
whole lot of us. We waited some time : the Maisina whining 
and collapsing from funk, and the constabulary strung up to the 
last pitch of nervous tension, waiting with finger on trigger for 
the expected attack j one private, in his excitement, accidentally 
exploding his rifle. I fancy that the Doriri were not quite 
certain of our exact position, as we kept very quiet and the report 
of a rifle is diflUcult to locate in thick cover, also I think they 
were no more anxious to engage us in that horrible spot than we 
were anxious to receive them there. 

Barton and I consulted, for something had to be done, as the 
Maisina were getting into a state of hysteria ; wc decided to 
bring matters to a head by sending ten of the constabulary to 
crawl through the grass and locate the Doriri, with a view to ad- 
vancing then our whole force. The ten men left, and shortly after 
yelled to us to come on. Advancing, we found that the police 
had emerged from the grass upon a long open stretch of sandy 
river bed, dowai which a large body of armed natives were dancing 
towards them, yelling furiously and brandishing spears, clubs and 
shields. The police were standing in line, holding their fire for 
orders ; I ran up to them, with some additional police, and 


ordered them to fire into the advancing natives. Crash went a 
volley, two men fell, shot dead, while many others staggered into 
the smrounding long grass, more or lej^s badly wounded. The 
Doriri, though apparently frightfully surprised at the effect of the 
rifle fire, still held their ground ; but, as the steadily firing 
constabulary line moved rapidly towards them, they began an 
orderly retreat. Barton then came up ; but, with a long line of 
straggling carriers in the rear open to attack, we did not consider 
it expedient to permit a police pursuit, and they were accordingly 
recalled. We followed the tracks of the retreating party down 
the Ibinamu, till it junctioned with the Adaua ; here we found 
that the greater portion of the attacking force had crossed to the 
other side of the river. 

The Maisina, from a state of utter collapse, had now ascended 
to the highest pinnacle of jubilation ; loud were their crows and 
great their boasting. "The hitherto undefeated Doriri had met 
a force comprising Maisina, and had retired before it with loss, 
and were now in full retreat ! " They made no allowance in 
their savage brains for the fact that the unfortunate Doriri had 
encountered, for the first time, a strange, powerful, and terrifying 
weapon in the shape of our rifles — things which flashed fire, 
accompanied by a terrible noise, and dealt death by invisible 
means at great distances. " I have never known such damnable 
rotters as the Maisina," said Barton, " they are howling and 
paralysed with funk one minute, and gloating over a few dead 
Doriri the next. They are like a costcrmonger rejoicing at a 
victory over his wife or mother, gained by dint of kicking her in 
the ribs." 

We now prepared to cross the river in pursuit of the retreat- 
ing Doriri : rafting was out of the question, as the river was 
eighty yards wide, ran shoulder high, and was as swift as a mill- 
race. The first thing to do was to place a piquet on the opposite 
bank to cover our crossing ; accordingly, some of the strongest 
swimmers amongst the constabulary waded and swam across, with 
their rifles strapped on their shoulders and cartridges tied on the 
tops of their heads, while they were covered by watching men on 
our bank. Having crossed, they yelled that there was a shallow 
bank in the middle of the river, aflfording secure foothold ; this 
information was a great relief to us, as our cotton rope was not 
long enough to stretch across the full ri\ cr, and our lighter men 
(including Barton and myself) were not strong enough to wade 
without its assistance. On that shoal, therefore, we stationed some 
strong men, who held the end of our rope ; then we all crossed 
safely on to it, and there clung together, until the constabulary, 
after repeated attempts, succeeded in carrying the rope over the 
remainder of the river, where they tied it to a tree. We then left 


our strongest men to hold on to tlic mid-river end, and struggled 
across, with the loss only of a few bags of rice ; after which we 
hauled the rest of the men across, they clinging to the end of the 
rope. Thus our crossing was accomplished. 

Following the track of the retreating natives, we came to the 
Domara River, where the Doriri foot-tracks dispersed in various 
directions. The Domara had a fine wide sandy beach, admirable 
country to fight in from our point of view. The prisoners now 
told us that Domara village was close at hand, and there accord- 
ingly we went, only to find it freshly deserted. It was a village 
containing, I should estimate, about 180 to 200 men ; it was 
circular in shape, and surrounded by a moat, partly natural and 
partly artificial, ranging from fifteen to twenty feet in width, and 
about ten feet in depth, and clean and well kept. The houses were 
elevated on poles of from twenty to thirty feet high ; the poles 
were merely props, as the main weight of the house was sustained 
by stout tree trunks, forming a central king post ; sometimes 
additional support was given by pieces of timber fastened to live 
areca-nut palms. The village was certainly an example of high 
barbaric engineering skill ; moated as it was, and with its high and 
easily defended houses, a very few of its male inhabitants would 
be necessary for its defence against any force armed only with 
spear and club. Hence it was easily seen how the Doriri were 
enabled to keep so many men absent in CoUingwood Bay for so 
long a period. Some small gardens near were remorselessly 
stripped to furnish the carriers with their evening meal, and every 
village pig and dog was slaughtered ; many spears and arms were 
also found and burnt, the Maisina taking keen delight in cooking 
Doriri pig over a fire made of Doriri spears. We remained two 
days in this village, while patrols of police went out and en- 
deavoured ^gain to get in touch with, or capture, Doriri ; and the 
carriers plundered and destroyed gardens to their hearts' content 
and Barton's grief. The Doriri, however, had apparently had a 
bellyful of the awesome, magic fire-spear, and had departed from 
their villages for the hills. We found in the village, of all 
extraordinary articles, the brass chain plate of a small vessel, now 
ground into an axe head. 

Now evidently had come the time for departure : the Doriri 
had learnt that there was a power stronger than themselves, and 
a power, too, that could make itself unpleasantly evident. The 
most essential thing to do was to convey a message to them, 
telling them to abstain from raiding CoUingwood Bay in the 
future, if they did not wish again to incur the anger of that power. 
This we were shortly able to do. We then left on our return 
journey, though by a different route. 

Leaving Domara village wc marched, for about five miles, 



through jungle interspersed at intervals with small, old, and new 
gardens ; but nowhere did our scouts get into touch with the 
natives, until wc came to the Adaua again, near its confluence 
with the Domara. The river, at this point, was about one hundred 
yards wide and in flood, quite unfordablc, and far too dangerous 
tor rafts, as the cataracts and rapids of the Musa, passing through 
the Diilina Range, were but a short distance below. The Doriri 
use a small, triangular raft made of bamboo, and are much skilled 
in its use ; our men, however, were quite unable to manage the 
contrivance, it requiring as much knack as a coracle. Ilimo 
village, to which one of our prisoners belonged, was situated on a 
spur on the opposite bank ; and from thence we could hear the 
voices of natives calling to one another as they watched our party. 
The scouts reported a small village lower down the river, and 
upon the same bank, which our prisoners told us was called Bare 
Bare ; so there we went for the night, or until the river went 
down suflticiently to permit of our passage across. Bare Bare 
village was deserted, and apparently had been so for some weeks ; 
it was approached by narrow winding tracts leading through a 
dense tall jungle of wild sugar-canes, which were well sprinkled 
with spear pits. We cut a wide straight lane through the jungle 
to the river, in order that our people might go and come with 
water in safety. The scouts found near here a new and much 
better ford than the one we had seen in the morning, and which 
our lying prisoners had said was the only one. 

Doriri yelled, howled, and blew horns on the opposite bank 
most of the night, but did not venture to cross or interfere with 
us. In the morning the scouts reported that the passage of the 
river was possible at the new ford, so there we went. As we 
prepared to cross, eight Doriri appeared on the opposite bank, in 
full war array, dancing, yelling, turning and smacking their sterns 
at us. An ominous sound of opening breech blocks spoke plainly 
of the opinion the constabulary had formed of what would occur 
before we passed the ford. " We must clear that bank of natives 
and place a guard there, before the carriers attempt the river," I 
said to Barton ; " there are only eight men in sight, but the scrub 
may swarm with them, and if a man were swept off his feet by 
the current and carried down the river, he would most certainly 
be speared before help could reach him." Barton agreed, and I 
ordered the six strongest of the constabulary and a corporal to 
cross the river and guard the landing point. The men started 
across, and had got within about fifty yards of the dancing, yelling 
natives, who still defiantly remained there, when I yelled to 
them : " Corporal, shoot those men ! " The corporal halted his 
men, and, shoulder high as they were in the fast-flowing water, 
fell them into line ; then slowly and deliberately, as if parading 


at the butts, he put them through the movements of firing 
exercise. " At one hundred yards with ball cartridge, load ! " 
came his voice ; " ready ! " " My God ! " said Barton, " it is like 
witnessing an execution ! " and covered his face with his hands. 
" Present ! " came the corporal's voice again ; " fire ! " One man 
leapt into the air and rolled over, some of the others jumped as 
though stung ; then they picked up the fallen man and bolted 
into the scrub, while the constabulary occupied the spot just 
vacated by them. " It is early in the morning," said Barton, 
" but I am going to have a little whisky after that." 

All that day and the next we spent in crossing some very 
steep country in the Didina Range, in pouring rain, having 
awful difficulty in starting fires with which to cook our food, as 
all the dead wood was sodden with water. My personal servant, 
Toku, son of Giwi, at last, however, found a species of tree, or 
which he had heard from his father, that burnt readily even in its 
green state ; after this we always carried a supply of this tree with 
us, with which to start the other wood. Getting fires lighted in 
rain on the mountains is not the least of the minor discomforts of 
inland work in New Guinea, and without fires one's carriers are 
foodless, cold, and miserable. On future expeditions, from the 
experience I gained on this one, I always made my carriers make 
their carrying poles of a light, dry, highly inflammable wood, and 
when the worst came to the worst, took their poles to start the 
fires with, and made them cut fresh green ones for use until we 
could again get light dry poles. 

Scrub itch and leeches made things very interesting for us in 
the Didina hills. The former is a tiny little insect, almost 
invisible to the naked eye, that falls in myriads like a shower from 
certain shrubs, and promptly burrows under one's skin ; it is not 
until one is warm under the blankets at night, that it gets its fine 
work in and renders sleep impossible, until one collapses from 
exhaustion. Stinging trees are another joy ; they are harmless- 
looking shrubs with a pretty glossy leaf, that sting one more than 
the worst of nettles ; one of my carriers, on the second Doriri 
expedition, fell over a bank into a clump of the infernal things, 
and was in such agony that I had to put him in irons to prevent 
him from destroying himself, while we greased him all over with 
warm rifle oil. Leeches don't need any describing, only cursing, 
which they got very freely indeed from our bare-legged police 
and carriers, as they beguiled their leisure moments scraping 
festoons of the brutes off their legs ; they wriggled through one's 
putties and breeches in a marvellous manner, and rare indeed was 
the night when we did not find half a dozen gorged brutes some- 
where in our clothing, and knew tiiat one would later develop a 
like number of nasty little ulcers. 


After crossing the Diilina Range, we dropped down to a 
clear stream, the Dudura, upon which was situated a village of 
the same name ; the inhabitants fled, but the constabidary 
succeeded in catching one man and his wife. The Collingwood 
Ixiv carriers knew of the village, both by name and reputation, 
and swore it was one of the worst offenders in raiding them. I 
put a very unfair direct question to the man. "Do you go to 
Maisina to kill people ? " " Yes," he naively answered, " of 
course I do," as if it was the most natural thing in tlie world. 
" I am very sorry," I told him, " but Government disapproves of 
the promiscuous killing of people, and you must come with me 
until you have learnt better." The man's wife was then told 
that we were taking him away in order to complete his education, 
but that later he would be safely returned to her. "You are a 
set of murdering thieves," she said. (She was, I may remark, a 
strong-minded woman I) " I have not killed the Maisina, but 
you have looted my house." " Point out any man of ours, by 
whom you have been robbed," was the reply, as we ordered the 
whole expedition to fall into line. Unerringly she picked out 
several of the Kaili Kaili, incorrigible looters, and abused them 
vehemently, the while they reluctantly made restitution. Her 
confidence was then gained by a present of trade goods, to 
maintain her during the enforced absence of her husband, and as 
payment for conveying from us to the Doriri a full explanation 
as to the reason of our visit and hostility to them : she was a 
most talkative dame, and I doubt not held forth at length to the 
Doriri. Her husband seemed to regard the prospect of a sojourn 
in gaol as rather a relief from the company of his very masterful 

When we were leaving Dudura, Barton put in a plea for the 
natives. " Monckton," he said, "let us now avoid any conflict 
with the natives ; the poor devils did not know what they were 
doing in the past, they have now had their warning, and I can no 
longer stand seeing you use your police against them, coldly and 
mechanically, as if they were a guillotine." " All right, Barton," 
I replied, " the role of executioner does not appeal to me any 
more than it does to you, but it is sometimes a necessary one ; 
still, I will defer to your views, and spare the people if possible. 
I only trust that the lesson we have already read them has been 
sufficiently severe." Afterwards I had cause to repent my 
moderation, as the Doriri mistook our clemency, as savages in- 
variably do, for a sign of weakness, and went on the raid again. 

Taking our Dudura man with us and walking down the 
Dudura stream, we soon emerged upon the banks of the Musa, 
which at this point was a headlong tearing torrent, quite un- 
crossable ; gradually, as we descended the banks of the river, the 


valley widened and the beach became better. In the afternoon, 

sounds of chopping were heard, and a native was discovered busily 

engaged in felling a tree. " I want that man alive and uninjured," 

I said to the police. " He has got an axe and looks a sturdy 

fellow," they replied ; "it looks difficult." Still, the constabulary, 

when told to do a thing, generally managed to accomplish it, 

difficult or not. Four of them noiselessly slipped away into the 

scrub, crept up on four sides and within a few yards of the working 

man, unpcrceived by him ; a private then attracted his attention 

by yelling suddenly at him from behind ; he gave a howl of 

surprise and alarm, and sprang round to defend himself, with his 

axe raised ready to strike. Then silently and swiftly as a 

springing greyhound, a Mambare private rushed in and leapt 

upon his back, bearing man and axe to the ground with the 

impetus of his rush ; the others sprang and threw themselves upon 

the pair, and after a minute of a yelling, tangled, scrambling worry, 

during which he used his teeth with good effect, our quarry was 

disarmed and handcuffed. He was a fine, powerful, intelligent 

man, and, after he had been induced to stop yelling and made to 

understand that he was not going to be killed, he answered 

questions readily. " Who are you ? " we asked. *' Gabadi, of the 

village of Dugari, lower down the Musa," he replied. The 

Maisina here said that Dugari was a most iniquitous village, and 

concerned in all the raiding. It was, however, imperatively 

necessary that we should get into friendly communication with 

some of the tribes of the Upper Musa, and if we retained Gabadi 

as a prisoner, we could not attain that end ; we now wished to 

make the object of our expedition clear beyond any possibility of 

misconception in the minds of the Doriri. Gabadi was therefore 

released, returned his axe, and given some tobacco, to ease his mind 

of any feeling of fright or annoyance at the sudden manner in 

which we had effected our introduction to him. 

We then asked him to go down the river to his village, and 
tell the people where we were, and that we wished to be friendly ; 
also, that we would buy all the food they chose to bring us. 
Gabadi said that his wives had been in a camp some little distance 
away from the place where we had caught him, and that they 
had fled while we were engaged in making his acquaintance ; he 
would therefore like first to find them, in order to leave them safe 
in our camp while he went off to Dugari. During his absence 
we pitched camp. After howling for some time in the forest for 
his wives, he returned to us in disgust ; and, after remarking that 
the silly women would probably alarm half the river, proceeded to 
make himself comfortable for the niirht among: the carriers. The 
intrusion of Gabadi was regarded by the Maisina portion of the 
carriers in much the same light as a roomful of rats might be 


expected to view the sudden introduction of a bull terrier into 
their midst. Continuing our way down the river, we came to a 
small village on the opposite bank ; Gabadi, whose night with us 
had now given him full confidence, called to the people and told 
them who wc were, and asked them to bring food to us. They 
soon rafted across a quantity of vegetables and a pig, for all of 
which they were well paid. Then, at great length, we explained 
to the people who we were, where we had been, what we had 
done, and whv we did it ; and they promised faitlifully to repeat 
it to the Doriri. Upon seeing the prisoners, all of whom they 
appeared to know, and especially the last man captured at Dudura, 
who, from the concern they showed at his being in our hands, 
was certainly a person of considerable importance, they were most 
eager to ransom him ; for which purpose pigs and goods were 
freely offered. They were told, however, that he would be 
returned when he had learnt the ways of the Government, but 
not till then. 

We were now informed by Gabadi that a large and very bad 
sago swamp lay between us and Dove village on the right bank of 
the river, while a good track led down the left bank through 
Gewadura. We accordingly made rafts and crossed the river, 
which proved to be no light matter. I got a scare during this 
operation, for I foolishly crossed first with only Toku and Gabadi 
with me, before any of the constabulary had come across, as they 
were busily engaged in making rafts ; when, suddenly, a whole 
mob of truculent-looking natives appeared, who said they came 
from Mbese village, and who, it was plain, did not regard us in 
any too friendly a light. The watchful Barton saw me surrounded 
by strange natives, and promptly sent my constabulary across, and 
gladly I welcomed them. A few of the Mbese men subsequently 
helped in the crossing of the rafts, but mainly they stood sullenly 
aloof, gazing sympathetically at our chained prisoners and savagely 
at us, plainly wondering whether an attempt at a rescue was worth 
while or not, and eventually coming to the conclusion that we 
looked too strong. They flatly refused to guide us to Gewadura, 
or point out the track there. "Some day, rude people of the 
Mbese," said the Kaili Kaili, " we will meet again, and our master 
will tell us to teach you manners ; you are only bush rats, and the 
police and we will drive you through the bush like rats I " 
Gabadi stuck steadily to us, and for a consideration in the shape of 
a tomahawk, undertook to guide us as far as the Gewadura track, 
but no further. From this point to the sea coast, the course of 
the river had been traversed and mapped by Sir William MacGregor, 
therefore our troubles and difficulties were now very considerably 

At midday we came to a large abandoned village and extensive 


deserted gardens, which had originally been marked on the map as 
Gewadura, but the former inhabitants had been slaughtered and 
driven out by incursions of Doriri, and had built a new, strongly 
stockaded village lower down the Musa. At about five in the 
afternoon, during very heavy rain, we were preparing to camp in 
low-lying country plainly subject to inundation, when Barton, who 
was gazing disgustedly at our unpromising looking camp site, sent 
on his corporal to see if there was not a better spot for camping 
that could be reached before night. The corporal returned and 
reported a large village in sight round a bend, which the Dove 
men said must be Gewadura, a village friendly to them ; so they 
at once went on to announce our presence. Back they came, 
bringing four most friendly natives, who guided us to a splendid 
camp site alongside the village, where men, women and children 
brought us huge quantities of food and pigs, and assisted us in 
clearing the camping ground. The villagers left us as soon as night 
had fallen, retiring within the gates of their stockade. The next 
morning, taro and all native vegetables were brought to us in 
abundance, for which we paid well. Gewadura village was new, 
large, and very clean, and had in its midst a number of houses built 
in the very tops of gigantic trees. The people were delighted to 
hear that at last the Doriri had been called to account for their 
murderous raids, and had been taught that even the land of the 
Doriri was not secure from the anger of the Government. Three 
men volunteered to guide us to Dove, and exclamations of deliirhted 
wonder came from the people as the expedition filed through the 
gates of their stockade, and they saw some of their ancient enemies, 
the Doriri, led past by the village constables. 

We arrived at Dove in the evening, and were received with 
every sign of pleased welcome natives can show ; they ferried us 
across the river in their canoes. Two of our carriers belonged to 
the village. The good wives rushed to the cooking pots, while the 
good men hunted the family pig with a spear, and the village dogs 
streaked for the bush, some, alas ! being too slow and furnishing 
a portion of many a savoury stew. Some of the manifestation 
of joy we could well have dispensed with : leeches, scrub-itch, 
mosquitoes, stinging trees, lawyer vines, rough tracks, all had done 
their worst to our suffering skins, and covered as we were with 
sores and abrasions, we submitted, as perforce we must, with but 
ill grace to being violently embraced, hugged, stroked and handled. 
The two Dove men acted as showmen, and exhibited the prisoners 
to all and sundry, who cautiously inspected the disgusted Doriri, 
much as country children peep at a caged tiger in a menagerie ; 
while the Doriri's feelings, under the regard, seemed much the 
same as those of the said tiger. 

The next day Barton and I, v^ith the prisoners and two of the 


constabulary, went down the river in a canoe to Yagisa, the 
police and carriers proceeding overland to that village. From 
thence, a native track led behind Mount Victory to VVanigcla 
village in Collingwood Bay, over which the Dove men undertook 
to guide us ; they said it was a good track and would take us to 
Wanigela in two days. It might be considered a good track by 
an eel, an alligator, or a Dove Baruga native, but wc discovered 
that, from our point of view, it was one of the most infamous 
roads in New Guinea. First we marched through sticky bogs, 
painfully dragging our booted legs, laden with pounds of mud, 
through a glutinous substance varying in depth from six inches to 
two feet, and punctuated with sludgy holes, anything from four to 
six feet deep, which looked exactly the same, and into which we 
repeatedly fell ; the frantic cursing of the just engulfed man 
being aggravated by the half-concealed smiles of the lucky one 
who had, on that occasion, escaped. All this under deluges of 
rain and in an atmosphere of steaming heat, with fresh leeches 
getting into one's clothes on every side. We then came into a 
pandanus swamp, through which we walked up to our waists in 
water and treading upon roots; every time we slipped upon the 
greasy things, and grabbed at the nearest tree to recover our 
balance, we caught hold, with festering hands, of a spiky thorny 
pandanus stem and got yet a fresh supply of prickles in them ; if 
we missed our hold, we rolled over into the nearest spiky tree 
and got the thorns into some other portion of our anatomy. 

At last we emerged on to rolling hills and the spurs of 
Mount Victory, passing on the way a village site, the former 
inhabitants of which had been slaughtered and scattered by the 
Doriri ; on the third day we reached a Collingwood Bay village, 
named Airamu, two miles from the coast and Wanigela, Airamu 
village is fortified in a peculiar way : it is circular in shape and is 
built round half a dozen very tall trees, the tops of which are 
occupied by houses, stuffed with stones, spears and missiles, for 
the reception of raiding Doriri ; the whole is enclosed within 
two circular stockades, the outer of which is built almost hori- 
zontally. A peculiar feature of the houses is, that each one has 
its separate dog entrance ; this consists of a hollow trough, cut 
out from a palm, and running from the ground through a hole in 
the floor, up and down which the dogs run constantly in and out 
of their owners' houses. 

Our work was now done : the Doriri had been found, 
punished to a certain extent, and warned what would be the 
result of further raiding ; time alone would show whether the 
warning was sufficient. The Upper Musa tribes, also concerned 
in the raiding, had likewise received an object lesson as to their 
fate, if they did not mend their ways. 


BARTON and I returned to Cape Nelson on the 24th of 
April, and found all in order ; we waited there for the 
return of the Mcrr'ie England^ as she was to take 
Barton and his men away, and bring stores for me. 
Day after day, week after week, went by ; our supplies of 
European food were soon finished : tea, coffee, sugar, meat, 
biscuits, tobacco, shot cartridges, all were done ; fish and native 
vegetables, washed down with cold water, our sole fare ; and 
still, daily, we scanned the horizon for the hourly expected 
Merrie England^ or any vessel from which we could get stores, 
but none came : until, on the 14th of June, the Merrie England 
put in a belated appearance, and we were told that the Revs. J. 
Chalmers and O. F. Tomkins had been murdered in the Western 
Division ; so we had been left, while she hunted the murderers. 
I thought then, as I think now, that however great the excite- 
ment might have been over the murders, still some little thought 
should have been given to two isolated officers on the north-east 
coast and their possible plight ; if a Government vessel were not 
available, a Mambare trader might have been instructed to call 
in at Cape Nelson (several passed in the distance), instead of our 
being left, as we were, from March until June, entirely cut off 
from the world, newsless and semi-starved. 

Captain Harvey and I had a slight breeze over something or 
other, I have forgotten now exactly what it was, on the occasion 
of this visit ; which resulted in my turning sheep-stealer. The 
ship had got a pen of sheep for fresh meat, some half dozen or so, 
on which I cast a hungry eye. " Harvey, old chap," I said, 
" tell the butcher to kill one of the muttons, and leave me a 
joint." "You did not call me * old chap' this morning," said 
Harvey, " you called me a ' marine Fenian,' and said my voice 
was worse than that of the wooden bird in a cuckoo clock ; you 
also said that you were surprised at my being entrusted with the 
navigation of anything more valuable than the gaol sanitary punt ; 
there were several other things you said, including that you 
would ask the medical officer at Samarai to examine me for 
incipient softening of the brain." " That was in the heat of 


argument," I answered ; " you must remember that you used 
language that, it" I did my duty as a beak, would be well worth 
five bob a word to the revenue ; but I made allowances, because 
I fancied you must have put in some of your early training as 
apprentice to a Bargee. How about my mutton ? " " You will 
sec," said Captain Harvey, and sent for the chief steward. 
"Thanks, Harvey," I said, and waited. "Steward," said 
Harvey, on that functionary's arrival, "see that no sheep are 
killed before we are back at Samarai." " All right, skipper," 
I said, " I will make you sit up for that before long." " I don't 
think you should have meat," commented Harvey, "you have 
been living too well, and your blood has got heated." 

■.The ship was to sail at dawn ; accordingly I went ashore 
and called my constabulary into consultation. " To-night," I 
said, " you are to steal a sheep from the Merr'ie England. Can 
you grab and lower the brute into a boat, without making a 
noise and causing it to baa ? " " Very simple to do," they said, 
" but what about the watch on board ? " " The constabulary 
are all on shore, and wouldn't tell in any case," I told them ; 
" and at anchor, there is only one night watchman on duty ; 
I'll settle him." That night I went off, and remained on board 
until all the officers had gone to bed ; then I waylaid the night 
watchman. " Lonely work, yours," I said, " come to the saloon 
and I'll give you a drink ; I've got a bottle down there. My 
police will look out while you come." He rose like a trout at a 
May fly, and I called out to my corporal, " Corporal, the watch- 
man goes below with me for a few minutes, you must look out 
sharply." "I understand, sir," replied that smart non-com. 
Five minutes later he came to the saloon, where the watchman 
was indulging in his second drink. "The men are getting very 
sleepy, sir, will you be long ? " I left at once ; a shapeless 
bundle of sail at the bottom of the boat containing a large fat 
sheep, with its mouth securely tied, showed how successful the 
raid had been. 

Captain Harvey had a happy Irish knack of leading me into 
crime ; from sheep stealing he led me later into body snatching, 
a still more heinous offence. Time had elapsed ; Oelrichs was 
my Assistant R.M., when the Merr'ie England one day appeared, 
and after I had completed my work in the Governor's cabin and 
was leaving, Harvey waylaid me and wiled me into his cabin ; 
where, after producing vessels of strong waters and cigars, he 
mysteriously whispered, " Monckton, I want you to do me a 
very great favour." " Well, what is it ? " I asked. " Do you 
want me to let you down lightly if you come before me in my 
official capacity, or what ? " " Well, the fact is," said Harvey, 
"I am under great obligations to a doctor in Brisbane, who has 



been most good to my family ; he has an ethnological turn of 
mind, and hankers for the skull and skeleton of a New Guinea 
mountaineer, a Doriri for choice." " Do you expect me, a 
senior officer of the Service, apart from my judicial position, to 
go out, shoot and stuff a Doriri for your medical scientific 
friend r " I asked in surprise ; " if so, I must tell you that I 
draw the line at homicide, even of Doriri." " Don't be a fool," 
said Harvey, " I am serious ; you can buy me a skeleton some- 
where, I don't care how old or decayed." " I can't," I said ; 
" such a request on my part would, in the first instance, start all 
sorts of yarns of sorcery ; and secondly, since one trader bought 
up a lot of skulls and grew orchids in them like flower pots, 
afterwards selling them in Europe as sacred or devil orchids 
worshipped by Papuans, and another chap cleaned out a lot of 
caves of skeletons and sold them to make bone dust for manure, 
there has been an Ordinance prohibiting traffic in human 
remains." " There is no question of traffic," said Harvey, 
" you must find plenty of graves in abandoned villages, and can 
easily dig me up a skeleton." "'Desecration of Sepulchre ' 
happens to be a penal offence, my dear Harvey," I remarked ; 
"I wish the favour you ask did not contain a considerable risk 
of free lodging for the pair of us in one of his Majesty's houses 
of entertainment ; neither the diet nor the lodging appeal to me." 
" Damn your scruples," said Harvey. " Museums and savants 
always manage to get skeletons ; if you were an Irishman, instead 
of a cold-blooded Englishman, you would do it for the fun of the 
thing, not to speak of obliging a pal." " Skipper," I said, "my 
father came from Kent, but my mother came from the Curraugh 
of Kildare, and the Irish strain is always getting me into trouble, 
as it will probably do once more over this night's work. I will 
give you your bones ; though you don't deserve them after your 
action last year in turning an eminently respectable magistrate 
and his police into sheep-stealers. Tell one of your crew to blow 
your whistle for my boat, and come ashore with me." The 
night happened to be very dark, wet and windy, and my boat's 
crew had departed for the shelter of the boat shed on shore. 

" Where will you get the bones ? " asked Harvey. 1 ex- 
plained that some five or six months before, the Collingwood 
Bay people had found a Doriri man badly wounded by a wild 
boar in the forest, and had brought him to me ; he was too far 
gone to cure, when I got him, and died without our being able 
to ascertain his name or village, and his corpse had been planted 
in our cemetery. Going ashore, I summoned Oelrichs and my 
sergeant, a Kiwai man named Kimai, and explained to them 
that I wanted them to go and disinter the Doriri. Oelrichs 
said that he did not think that body-snatching, in the middle of 


the night, was included in the duties of an Assistant R.M. ; and 
Scrtrcant Kimai said that nothing; would induce the Western or 
Eastern men in the constabulary to go corpse hunting in a 
cemetery after dark. I persuaded them into undertaking the 
job, however ; and, accompanied by half a dozen Northern 
police, who had no fear of ghost or devil, they departed on their 
cheerful quest. Harvey and I waited hours, listening to the rain 
and wondering why they did not return ; at last, about two in 
the morning, I took Harvey back to the ship, fearing that he 
would be missed and inquiry made as to what we were up to. 

A couple of hours later, alongside came my boat, and a 
dripping Oelrichs crawled into Captain Harvey's cabin, followed 
by Sergeant Kimai and a Mambare corporal bearing a very 
smelly sack. " My God ! " gasped Oelrichs, " give me a drink, 
and Sergeant Kimai one too ; he has seen seventeen ghosts and 
quite a score of devils. If it had not been for, the Mambares, I 
never should have got the corpse." " What do you mean, 
Oelrichs," I asked, " by keeping me sitting up all night wondering 
what had become of you ? I did not tell you to picnic all night 
in the graveyard, I told you to bring the Doriri." Oelrichs 
flung up his hands and appealed to the universe at large to 
witness my appalling ingratitude. " The Kiwai men buried 
that Doriri," he said, "and the sergeant was not there, so no one 
knew where he was, and the grass had grown over his grave ; we 
dug up about an acre, and quite six other corpses, before we 
found him. The smell nearly killed me, and Kimai saw spooks 
all the time." " You look out that no one discovers this," I said 
to Harvey, " or we shall all be in the devil of a row." Harvey 
shoved the smellful remains into a drawer under his bunk, where 
he kept them until he reached Samarai and got the doctor to fix 
them up in a cask with disinfectants. He certainly went through 
a lot for his medical friend. 

But I must return to more serious affairs. I have referred 
in this chapter to the reason of the Merrie England re- 
maining away for such a length of time from Cape Nelson, 
namely, the murder of the Revs. Chalmers and Tomkins by 
natives in the Western Division. The death of such a well-known 
pioneer missionary as Chalmers, of course excited intense interest 
and sympathy throughout the Empire ; much was written at the 
time in the Press, missionary publications, and by New Guinea 
officials through official channels, but something yet remains to 
be said from the point of view of an onlooker, neither swayed by 
sentiment nor eager to praise or condemn. Firstly, in order to 
arrive at a proper sense of proportion, one must consider the 
characteristics of the European actors in the tragedy ; the natives 
we can eliminate, for from their point of view — as it is from my 


own — the killing of Chalmers and the looting of the vessel was 
no greater crime than would have been the killing of a wandering 
trader, at whose hands they had suffered no hurt. 

Chalmers, one must remember, was not of the ordinary type 
of missionary, but was of the type of a David Livingstone ; and, 
though belonging to the London Missionary Society, was — like 
Livingstone — as much an explorer as a missionary. He was a 
man of particularly forceful character, who was inclined to take 
unnecessary risks, and this trait had been accentuated by the 
recent death of his wife ; the very boat he was using on the 
fateful journey was her last gift to the Mission, or really to him. 
Tomkins calls for no remark : a young man, but recently from a 
religious training school, always taught to regard Mr. Chalmers as 
the wisest and best of men, he was not likely either to understand 
the danger of the action they were about to take, or to differ in 
any degree from Chalmers' views. Next we come to the Resident 
Magistrate in charge of the Division, who should oe, in the first 
instance, responsible for the lives of all in his district, missionary, 
trader or native. This officer, at the time, was the Hon. C. G. 
Murray, who had recently succeeded the experienced Bingham 
Hely. Murray had arrived in New Guinea as assistant private 
secretary to Sir George Le Hunte, not so very long before ; he 
had then been transferred to the Government Secretary's Office 
as a clerk, and from thence been promoted to be Resident 
Magistrate of the Western Division, without the slightest district 
or divisional experience, or training of any description ; if Murray 
had any knowledge of natives, it could only have been acquired 
at Eton, the Bachelors' Club, West End drawing-rooms and 
country houses, or by dint of working a typewriter under Mr. 
Musgrave's fostering eye in the Government Secretary Depart- 
ment at Port Moresby, where an irate washerwoman, demanding 
payment for an overdue account, was the most dangerous native 
likely to be encountered. 

Now Mr. Chalmers, before leaving on the journey that was 
to end in the death of himself and his young companion, as well 
as that of many friendly natives, and was eventually to lead to a 
great deal of bloodshed, culminating in the suicide of one of the 
most promising officers New Guinea ever possessed — Judge 
Robinson — had been to Murray and told him what he proposed 
doing, and said that " he intended that it should be his last 
journey of any importance"; and Murray made no effort to 
dissuade him, nor did he, in the absence of dissuasion, make any 
effort to secure the safety, by means of his constabulary, of the 
Mission party, in admittedly one of the most dangerous parts of 
New Guinea. The natives in the vicinity of Cape Blackwood 
had an exceedingly bad reputation, of which Murray either was, 


or should have been, aware. In the year 1845, they had attacked 
the boats of H. M.S. Fl\\ tlic Cape having been named Blackwood 
after her captain, and the Fly River after the ship. The only 
subsequent occasions upon which they had been visited were in 
1892 and 1898 by Sir William MacGregor, when his Excellency, 
skilled as he was in native ways and backed by his trained men, 
had but narrowly averted hostilities with them. To the ex- 
perienced eye, a number of men embarking in a punt to shoot 
Niagara falls, would go to no more certain death than would a 
few unarmed men landing, at that time, in any village on Cape 
Blackwood ; and Murray should have used every means in his 
power to prevent it. There can be no two opinions about this. 

Chalmers went to Cape Blackwood, and the inevitable result 
followed. I now give the exact wording of the official report, 
first notifying the tragedy to Headquarters, and sent by Murray's 
assistant, Jiear : — 

" Sir, 

" I have to report that the London Missionary Society's 
schooner Niue returned to Daru late last night from what was 
intended to be a trip to Cape Blackwood, and thence along the 
coast back to Daru. The captain of the Niue states that on the 
8th instant, while anchored off Risk Point on Goaribari Island, 
near the mouth of the River Omati, a party consisting of the 
Rev. James Chalmers, Rev. Oliver Tomkins, nine Mission 
students, natives of various villages on Kiwai Island, Naragi, the 
chief of Ipisia, and James Walker, a half-caste native of Torres 
Straits, left in their whaleboat and landed in a small creek near 
the village on the island. The landing took place about 7 a.m. 
on the 8th instant, and it was the intention of the party to return 
in about half an hour to have breakfast. 

" The party was totally unarmed. After waiting until about 
midday the Niue moved off about half a mile to await the return 
of the party. 

" The Ntue was surrounded here by a large number of canoes, 
full of armed natives, who boarded the schooner and took away 
all the " trade," tools, and clothing belonging to the Mission 
party. The Niue stayed at this place until the next morning, and 
then sailed round the island, but could not see or hear anything of 
the party, and so the captain decided to return to Daru to report, 
taking seven days to reach here. 

" The natives were naked and had on their war paint, and 
were yelling the whole of the time the Niue remained in the 

"The people on the Niue are quite sure that all the party 
were murdered. 


" The Resident Magistrate is at present away on a trip to the 
Bamu River district, and is probably not aware of the occurrence. 
I am therefore sending a small cutter with all the available police 
and some cx-constables, with the necessary arms and rations ; also 
a report of the occurrence to him, in case he should see fit to 
proceed to the spot before returning to Daru. 
" I have, etc., 

" A. H. JiEAR, Subcollector of Customs." 

From this dispatch, three things are clear : — 

1. Chalmers, Tomkins, and a considerable number of 

Christian natives, were in the hands of the Goaribari. 

2. A surmise might be made that they were already 

murdered, but there was not a single shred of evidence 
to that effect. 

3. Mr. Jiear clearly expected the Resident Magistrate at once 

to proceed to the spot and effect a rescue, if such rescue 
were yet possible ; and for that purpose had sent 
additional police and reservists to strengthen the force 
that the R.M. then had with him. 
How then would an e;cperienced officer — such as the senior 
officer in charge of a Division should be — have reasoned ? The 
answer is plain. He would have placed himself in the position of 
a chief of the tribe holding the captives, and reasoned thus : " We 
have got a certain number of a strange tribe in our hands, the 
vessel in which they came has escaped, and probably fled back to 
that tribe with the news ; before we kill our captives, perhaps it 
would be better to wait a short time and see what that tribe will 
do." Never, in my opinion, was the need of haste more evident ; 
and how did Murray rise to the occasion ? It must be remembered 
that Chalmers' party landed at Goaribari on the 7th of April ; 
well, on the 22nd of that month, while Murray was in the Gulf, 
he was given a circumstantial account of the affair, and at once 
started for Daru, which lay in the opposite direction ; it is true 
that he missed the cutter sent to him by Jiear, with additional 
police, but he reached Daru on the 24th of April, when the news 
was confirmed by his own assistant, and then wasted precious 
moments in sending a report, of which I give the following 
extracts : — 

" On hearing the fuller particulars, and from my knowledge 
of the natives near that part, I could no longer believe that any of 
the party were alive ; and although I should have liked to have at 
once proceeded to the spot, it was impossible ; the means suitable 
for the conveyance of even the small detachment of police under 
my command being wanting. 

" I therefore decided to wait for the return of the Niue^ or 


possibly the arrival of the Merrie Englandy with your Excellency 
on board, as it also occurred to me that you would wish to deal 
with such a grave matter yourself j besides, all the survivors had 
departed in the Niufy and thus I was left without a guide." 

And then he continues : — 

" I may also mention that this massacre has created the 
intensest state of ?'^' excitement, and revenge on the part of 

the Kiwai Island s, both for the death of Messrs. Chalmers 

and Tomkins, and for the ten Kiwai boys who were with them. 
Their great desire was to be allowed to muster all the large 
canoes on Kiwai, go to the spot, wipe out the offending tribes, 
and bring their heads to Kiwai. I, of course, informed them that 
I could not allow such a proceeding, and that the Government 
would take care that the offenders were properly punished." 

Murray first shows that he had no means of transport, and 
then conclusively proves that he had at his disposal a fleet of 
canoes, capable of transporting a regiment from one end of New 
Guinea to the other. And yet Murray sat doing nothing until 
the 26th of April, when he reported : — 

" At 3 p.m. on the 26th of April, the s.s. Parua arrived from 
Thursday Island, having on board a detachment of the Royal 
Australian Artillery under Lieutenant Brown in connection with 
the massacre." 

Murray enclosed a copy of the letter brought to him by the 
soldiers from the Officer Commanding at Thursday Island, which 
was as follows : — 

« Sir, 

" I have the honour to inform you that I have received 
instructions from the Artillery Staff Officer in Brisbane to furnish 
a detachment consisting of one officer, two non-commissioned 
officers, and eight gunners of the Royal Australian Artillery to 
leave here by the s.s. Parua at daybreak to-morrow, 25th instant, 
to act in defence of the ship, and also protect, if required, the 
Resident Magistrate and his followers. 

" The detachment will be under the command of Lieut. Brown, 
Royal Australian Artillery, and are armed with rifles and 100 
rounds per man. I have instructed Lieut. Brown to report to 
you on arrival and to place his detachment at your disposal, and 
act solely under your instructions. 
"I have, etc., 

" Walter A. Coxen. Captain, R.A.A." 

Murray now had at his command the strongest fighting force 
that any district officer had ever had available in New Guinea : 
he had twelve white soldiers, all picked shots ; he had eighteen 


regular constabulary, well armed, and he could have called up fifty 
or more time-expired men of the constabulary, if he had required 
them ; also as many bowmen as he pleased, the latter in companies 
under the discipline and control of village constables and Govern- 
ment chiefs, not a savage horde, but a controlled force as well 
armed as the Goaribari. There was no possible further excuse 
for delay : Murray's alleged grounds for such, namely, weakness 
of force and lack of transport, had been cut from under his feet ; 
but the only action taken by him was to steam for Port Moresby, 
on the possible chance of finding the Merr'ie England there, first 
forwarding this interesting epistle to the Officer Commanding at 
Thursday Island : — 

« Sir, 

" In reply to your letter of the 24th April, I have the 
honour to inform you that the Parua arrived to-day at 3 p.m. 
with the detachment of the R.A.A. under Lieut. Brown. 

"Even with the addition of the native contingent of police 
stationed here, I do not consider^there would be sufficient force to 
cope with the villages concerned, certainly not as effectually as 
they should be. 

"I have therefore decided to proceed in the Parua to Port 
Moresby, collect some more police there, then return to Daru, 
pick up my^Daru police and interpreters ; from Daru proceed to 
the place of the massacre. 

" I have instructed Lieutenant Brown to this effect. 
" I have, etc., 

« C. G. Murray, R.M., W.D." 

In this report Murray clearly showed an entire lack of initiative, 
judgment, nerve, or grasp of the situation. He was not in 
command of a punitive expedition — such could always follow at a 
later date, if the worst had happened — but of a force more than 
sufficient to effect a rescue,' if the missionaries were still alive, or 
so to overawe the natives as to prevent their immediate murder. 
Another most imperative reason for haste on Murray's part was 
that the South-East Monsoon was due, during which it was 
impossible for any landing to be effected at Goaribari ; in fact, it 
did come on while the Merr'ie England was there and expedited her 
departure, gravely endangering a launch and whaleboat returning 
from the shore to the ship. 

As a matter of fact, it was afterwards ascertained that 
Chalmers and his party had been murdered soon after landing, 
and no action on Murray's part, however prompt, could have 
saved them ; but nothing in Murray's then knowledge justified 
him in not taking immediate action to ascertain whether they 



were killed or not ; and nothing justifies the Governor in not 
having calleil him to account for lack of initiative. I do not wish 
to inter in this that Murray was guilty of personal cowardice, for 
I knew him well, and he was no coward ; hut I do think that 
the placing of a very young untried man in a responsible position, 
and that a position in which he could not obtain the advice of 
older or more experienced officers when grave matters aflfecting 
human life were at stake, was a lamentable blunder, which 
brought about the foregone and inevitable result. Had Moreton, 
Hely, or Armit been in charge of the Western Division, or Sir 
William MacGregor been Governor of New Guinea, I feel certain 
that Chalmers would not have been permitted to meet his death 
in such a way. 

Murray reached Port Moresby, only to find that the Governor 
and the Merrie England had already left for Goaribari, to which 
point Sir Francis Winter then instructed him to proceed. The 
following telegram from the Lieutenant-Governor of New 
Guinea to the Governor of Queensland gives a concise history of 
the action then taken : — 

"'6.T. Merrie England^ off Cape Blackwood. 

"Gulf of Papua, 5th May, 1901. 

^*- Merrie England V!Z% starting for Cooktown 27th April in 
accordance with my telegram of that date, when London 
Missionary Society's schooner Niue arrived Port Moresby, report- 
ing massacre of Mission party and looting of the schooner at 
Goaribari Island, mouth of Omati River, 12 miles west of Cape 
Blackwood, Gulf of Papua, on 8th April, hitherto hardly known 
and not yet under Government control, visited by Sir William 
MacGregor in 1892 and 1898. I should have visited it two 
months ago if I had not been called away to North-East by death 
of Armit, R.M., and murder of miners on Upper Kumusi, in 
which case it would probably not have happened. I left at day- 
light 28th in Merrie England with Ruby launch in tow. Govern- 
ment party and Rev. Hunt, L.M.S., called at Hall Sound for 
additions to party and Rev. Dauncey, L.M.S. Smaller steamer 
Parua chartered by Queensland Government joined us off Orokolo 
ist May with Murray, R.M., Western Division and detachment 
of R.A. under Lieutenant Brown from Thursday Island via Daru 
and Port Moresby. Proceeded together to island, arrived noon 
2nd May, Merrie England anchored three and a half miles outside, 
and Parua entering channel inside island, low and thick bush, 
five miles across. Boats landed at three villages simultaneously, 
natives immediately commenced hostilities. We fired on them 
and occupied villages, total killed twenty-four and three wounded 
as far as is known. No casualties in our party except native 


constable on sentry at night slightly wounded by sniping arrow. 
Captured one prisoner belonging to neighbouring island. Obtained 
names of principal murderers and villages concerned. Mission 
party consisting of Chalmers, Tomkins, a native chief of Kiwai 
Fly River Estuary and ten Kiw^ai Mission boys all killed and 
eaten and whaleboat broken up at Dopima Island, where massacre 
planned. Some articles and pieces of boat recovered, some human 
remains not recognizable. After careful consideration I decided 
to visit all villages on island and vicinity, reported to be implicated, 
burning the large fighting men's houses but no other dwelling- 
houses of women and children. Villages at top of soft mud, thick 
impracticable bush and swamp behind, very strong tides. Found 
it impossible to get prisoners. Ten villages, nearly all large, 
visited by us. Camped night in two of them. Burnt all fighting 
men's houses, except in the prisoner's village, small, spared on 
account of assistance given by him. Some fighting canoes de- 
stroyed. Regret to say at last village visited by one party, wind 
sprung up after large house fired and carried flames to several 
other houses, ipurely accidental. Returned to ship evening fourth. 
South-east fortunately held off, as coast unapproachable during it. 
Canj do nothing further until next North-West season, when I 
shall return. There will be no further fighting or burning. I 
am satisfied this is last massacre of this kind on coast of British 
New Guinea. Regret nature of punishment but action absolutely 
necessary at once, and best in the end. Further report will 
follow, but above contains all material particulars. Please convey 
my best thanks to Queensland Government for prompt action in 
sending Parua and assistance to Murray, and to Commandant 
Defence Force my grateful appreciation of Lieutenant Brown and 
the men under his command. Parua leaves this morning fifth 
for Thursday Island for coal. Return Port Moresby and send 
ship Cooktown for stores, and finish eastern cruise as formerly 
arranged on her return. 

" To his Excellency Lord Lamington, G.C.M.G., Brisbane." 

Then, if we take the following statement made by the only 
prisoner taken at the time, we have the whole history of the 
events which took place up to the departure of the punitive party 
from Goaribari on board the Merrie England. 

Statement of Kemere of Dubumuba, taken prisoner at Dopima, 
Goaribari Island : — 

" The name of the village that I was captured in is Dopima. 
I, however, belong to Dubumuba, a village on Baiba Bari Island. 
I, myself, was not present at the massacre ; only the big men of 
the village went. I have, however, heard all about it. My 
father, Marawa, sent me to Dopima to get a tomahawk to build 


a canoe. The name of the village you camped in the first night 
is Turotere. The first suggestion for massacring the L.M.S. 
party came from Garopo, oft whose village, Dopima, the Niiw v/^s 
anchored. Word v/as at once sent round that night to villages 
in the vicinity to come to help. It is the usual custom for people 
of surrounding villages, when a large boat is sighted, to congregate 
in one place. The following villages were implicated : Dopima, 
Turotere, Bai-ia, Aidio, Eheubi, Goari-ubi, Aimaha, Gewari-Bari, 
Ubu-Oho, Dubumuba. The next morning all the canoes went 
off and persuaded Messrs. Chalmers and Tomkins and party to 
come on shore in the whaleboat. Some of the natives remained 
to loot the Niue. When they got on shore Messrs. Chalmers 
and Tomkins and a few boys entered the long house, the rest of 
the boys remaining to guard the boat. These last, however, 
were also enticed inside the house on pretence of giving them 
something to eat. The signal for a general massacre was given 
by knocking simultaneously from behind both Messrs. Chalmers 
and Tomkins on the head with stone clubs. This was performed 
in the case of the former by Like of Turotere, in that of the 
latter by Arau-u of Turotere. Kaiture, of Dopima, then stabbed 
Mr. Chalmers in the right side with a cassowary dagger, and 
then Muroroa cut off his head. Ema cut off Mr. Tomkins' head. 
They both fell senseless at the first blow of the clubs. Some 
names of men concerned in the murder of the rest of the party 
are : Baibi, Adade, Emai, Utuamu, and Amuke, all of Dopima ; 
also Wahaga and Ema, both of Turotere. 

" All the heads were immediately cut off. We, however, lost 
one man, Gahibai, of Dopima. He was running to knock a big 
man [Note : this must be Naragi, chief of Ipisia] on the head, 
when the latter snatched a stone club from a man standing near, 
and killed Gahibai. He (Naragi) was, however, immediately 
overpowered, j- The other boys were too small to make any 
resistance. In the meantime the people in canoes left at the 
A^iue had come back after looting her of all the tomahawks, etc. 
This party was led by Kautiri, of Dopima. Finding the party 
on shore dead, it was determined to go back to the Niue and kill 
those on board. However, the Niue got under way, and left, so 
they could not accomplish their purpose. I think the crew of the 
Niue were frightened at the noise on shore. Then Pakara, of 
Aimaha, called out to all the people to come and break up the 
boat, which had been taken right inside the creek, it being high 
water. This was done, and the pieces were divided amongst 
people from the various villages. Pakara is the man who followed 
and talked to you in the Aimaha Creek for a long time. Directly 
the heads had been cut off the bodies, some men cut the latter 
up and handed the pieces over to the women to cook, which 


they did, mixing the flesh with sago. They were eaten the 
same day. 

" Gcbai has got Mr. Chalmers' head at Dopima, and Mahikalia 
has got Mr. Tomkins' head at Turotere. The rest of the heads 
are divided amongst various individuals. Anybody having a new 
head would naturally, on seeing strange people coming to the 
village, hide them away in the bush, and leave only the old skulls 
in the houses. The same applies to the loot from the Nine. 

"As regards the skulls in the houses, those having artificial 
noses attached to them are of people who have died natural 
deaths ; those that have no noses attached have been killed," 

"Taken by me C. G. Murray, R.M,, W,D," 

Time went on : Murray, who had only taken the billet 
while he waited for a more congenial appointment, heard of a 
private secretaryship in South Africa and promptly left for there ; 
Jiear, whose sole experience in handling natives had been gained 
under Murray, succeeded him as R,M, ; Sir George Le Hunte 
was appointed Governor of South Australia and departed ; and a 
young lawyer, Christopher Stansfield Robinson, who had but 
recently been appointed Chief Justice in lieu of Sir Francis 
Winter, recently resigned, acted as Administrator ; it had always 
been the custom in New Guinea for the Chief Justice to perform 
that duty in the absence of the Lieutenant-Governor, in place — 
as in most Crown Colonies — of the Colonial Secretary, Robinson 
was a young man, for whom one might reasonably predict a 
brilliant career. He was the son of the Venerable Archdeacon 
Robinson of Brisbane, and therefore his early training had been 
hardlv that of the swashbuckler he was later made out to be ; but 
Robinson had not previously been in command of other men, 
nor had he any administrative experience. That he was a humane 
man was proved by the fact that almost his first work was to 
endeavour to improve the conditions under which the European 
miners on the gold-fields lived ; his second, to prepare Amend- 
ments to the Native Labour Ordinance, with a view to better 
care being taken of native indentured labourers; and his third, 
to endeavour to better the conditions under which the officers in 
the Service worked. 

At the time Sir George Le Hunte left, the heads of Chalmers 
and Tomkins were still in the hands of the Goaribari natives, 
and some of the actual murderers were still uncaptured, although 
the men and their names were known. It was essential, in 
Robinson's opinion, that the heads should be recovered, and the 
murderers apprehended and brought to trial ; for, even in the 
eyes of the natives of the Western Division, the killing of 
the Mission party had not been an act of war or revenge, but 


patently a cold-blooded treacherous murder of men who were, at 
the time, in the position of guests and entitled to the protection 
of the very men by whom they were done to death. Robinson 
decided to go to Goaribari and get the murderers and heads. 

The point of interest now is the composition of his party : 
firstly, Robinson himself, Governor of the Possession and in 
Supreme Command, but quite inexperienced in the work he was 
undertaking; next, Jiear, R.M. of the Division, to whom the 
Governor would naturally look for advice and guidance in the 
matter; but Jiear, as I have already shown, was also inexperienced, 
being only a Customs clerk, who had suddenly found himself in 
the position of officer in charge of a Division, after a short 
training under a man as ignorant as himself. Next we have 
Bruce, Commandant of Constabulary, also a recent arrival in the 
country, inexperienced in dealing with natives, a soldier pure and 
simple, and incompetent to advise as to any action other than a 
purely military movement ; lastly, Jev/ell, secretary to Robinson, 
a young Englishman recently imported by Sir George Le Hunte, 
and until now, engaged in copying letters in the Government 
Secretary's Office. Robinson, Bruce, and Jewell had all arrived 
in New Guinea at the same time. There was, therefore, on 
board the Merr'ie England^ from the Administrator downwards, 
not one man who had previously been engaged in similar work 
to that which they were about to attempt ; the ship's officers do 
not count, as they have nothing to do with either the planning 
or carrying out of district work. 

Robinson told me, when he was with me in the Northern 
Division, what he purposed in the way of recovering the heads 
and arresting the men in the Western Division ; and I expressed 
a hope that he would take one of the more experienced officers 
with him, and volunteered to accompany him as A.D.C., for I 
had some leave due to me and was prepared to spend it in that 
way. I was, however, at the time very weak from protracted 
malaria, work and worry ; so his Excellency said, " You are 
worn out and need change and rest ; take your leave and 
go south." 

Judge Robinson went to Goaribari in 1903, within a year of 
his appointment. Soon after their arrival a number of natives 
were induced, by the display and gift of trade goods, to go on 
board the Merrie England ; among them were several of the men 
who had actually participated in the murders, and were identified 
by a Goaribari man, whom they had brought back with them in 
the ship. It was decided that, upon a given signal, these men 
were to be seized by the constabulary. This was done : a violent 
struggle then began on different parts of the ship's deck, between 
the suddenly grabbed men and the police; the other natives fled 


over the side into their canoes, and then, in conjunction with 
their friends in other canoes, opened arrow fire on the ship, upon 
whose deck the struggle was still going on. The constabulary 
promptly answered with rifle fire ; by whom the first order to 
fire was given has never been quite clear. Several natives were 
hit, others jumped overboard from their canoes and swam for the 
shore. Every man on that ship, with one exception, then lost 
his head : Robinson grabbed his rifle and began wildly blazing at 
every canoe in sight ; Jewell saw a man hit with a bullet, and 
promptly went into screeching hysteria; what the R.M. did. 
Heaven and he alone know ; some of the European crew of the 
ship took shelter in the chart house and other refuges, and one 
of the officers, at least, got his fowling-piece and blazed away. 
Bruce alone kept his head, ordered the " cease fire," and thumped 
every man he found firing; but most of the men were out of 
sight of one another behind deck' houses, etc., and each man 
imagined that, as long as the firing continued, a fight was going 
on and blazed away. As a matter of fict, I am convinced that 
the damage done to the Goaribari was very slight; canoes were 
emptied, but principally by the men in them diving over the side 
and making for the shore. The Governor, at the best, was a vile 
shot ; the detachment of constabulary on board came from the 
Central Division, where, under Captain Barton's regime, their 
musketry practice had become a farce, and Bruce had not had 
time as yet to get it up again. 

The Merrie England returned to Port Moresby : the European 
crew, most of whom had been planted in safe security, described 
the dreadful battle in which they had taken part ; the constabulary 
bragged of their prowess, and the number of Goaribari each 
individual had shot ; many of the police were related to the tribe 
from which the Kiwai boys came who had been murdered with 
Chalmers, and therefore were only too prone to magnify their 
deeds for the benefit of their relations ; while Jewell's hysteria 
had evolved at least ten men shot by the Governor, from the one 
he had seen struck by a bullet, fired by some hand unknown. 

Now appears upon the scene the Rev. Charles Abel of the 
London Missionary Society, on his way south to incur the 
greatest danger he was ever likely to shove his head into, namely, 
that of being choked to death at some suburban muffin worr)^, or 
dying from mental strain induced by the necessity of telling tales 
of dire peril incurred in his work, or clergyman's sore throat 
from relating stories of cannibalism and crime. He had not been 
within hundreds of miles of Goaribari, but on his way down 
the Queensland coast he found an enterprising reporter, and 
unburdened his soul of a circumstantial tale of treachery, bloody 
murder and slaughter, on the part of the Governor of New 


Guinea. " Nothing less than a Royal Commission will satisfy 
the European population of Port Moresby ; their indignation is 
profound," he announced, and quite forgot to say that the 
European population of Port Moresby consisted of a handful of 
public officials, half of whom were jealous of so young a man as 
Robinson being put over their heads, and that the rest of the 
men were profoundly uninterested in the whole affair. 

It was a dull season at the time for the Australian papers ; 
they had not had a fight in their Parliaments, or a sensational 
murder for some time. Here was a chance of selling; their rai2;s ! 
Never mind sacrificing a good man, on the unsubstantial hearsay 
statement of an individual whose living greatly depended upon 
his power of romancing. The Press fairly howled for the 
head of Robinson, as did also certain Australian members of 
Parliament ; according to them, he was a man to whom the 
Emperor Nero or Captain Kidd were as angels in comparison ; 
while happy comparisons were drawn between the Merrie 
England and the " blood-drenched Carl^ brig," a notorious and 
particularly infamous early Australian " black birder." The 
Administration in Australia bowed to the storm, votes might be 
at stake, and the announcement was made that a Royal Com- 
mission would be appointed to inquire into the matter, and that 
though Robinson would not in the meantime be suspended, he 
would be summoned to Sydney, while an Administrator would 
at once be sent to succeed him. Practically the attitude of the 
authorities amounted to this : " We intend to offer up Robinson 
as a sacrifice, but we must give him some form of trial before we 
judge and immolate him; in the meantime we will fill his job, 
in case there should be any doubt as to our intentions." 

Sir George Le Hunte was then asked to suggest the name of 
an officer, then in the Service, suitable as an Administrator ; and 
his Excellency replied, " Captain Barton." This was rubbing it 
into Judge Robinson with a vengeance ; Captain Barton was a 
junior magistrate, under Robinson in both his judicial and ad- 
ministrative capacities, and he was now to regard Barton as his 
chief. Jewell was transferred to Captain Barton as private 
secretary. Robinson had fallen, unheard and untried, from the 
highest position in the country to that of a man looked at with 
eyes askance by those by whom he had formerly been regarded 
with awe, and who now were afraid that they might possibly 
become involved in his downfall. 

Now, to Robinson there only appeared to be one course left, 
and he took it. Every vessel brought fresh gusts of execration 
against him from Australia ; Bruce alone in Port Moresby 
sympathized with him ; Moreton and myself, the only two men 
he could call friends in the Service, were hundreds of miles away, 


ignorant of his plight, and in any case powerless to help ; the 
very native servants at Government House knew^ that he was a 
disgraced man, and that on the morrow the Jack on the flagstaff 
would fly in honour of another, while he went in humiliation to 
trial and possible dishonour. Whilst all the house was plunged in 
sleep, Robinson sat late at night writing an account of his views 
and actions, and the troubles of his Administratorship, and con- 
cluded by fully accepting all responsibility for the action taken at 
Goaribari, and exonerating all others concerned. He then took 
his revolver, and walking out under the flagstaff, there blew 
out his brains. So died Christopher Stansfreld Robinson, first 
Australian Administrator of New Guinea, murdered as clearly as 
ever a man was murdered, by the lying sensation-mongers who 
had hounded him to a suicide's grave. 

The Royal Commission was held, and the ofHccr concerned 
exonerated from blame ; Robinson had gone to answer for his act 
and alleged misdeed at the Highest Court of all, the Court before 
which his traducers will some day stand and be judged. The 
surprised man was the Rev. Cliarles Abel ; he was proceeding 
south to give evidence, when he suddenly heard that the Judge, 
by whom the Royal Commission was conducted, [held the — to 
him — extraordinary view, that the evidence of a man who had 
been at the time six hundred miles distant from the scene, and 
only heard various garbled versions at second, third, fourth and 
fifth hand, was not admissible. This was hard luck for Abel ! He 
had made himself prominent in the limelight as a principal per- 
former on the stage, and suddenly the stage manager said, " What 
is that super doing there ? Send him back to his own job of 
selling programmes ! " Robinson, however, had gone ; nothing 
now could bring him back. 

Apart from the loss to the Service caused by Robinson's death, 
a very bad example had been set, and the Service and public had 
been taught that clamour, abuse and misrepresentation,if sufficiently 
persisted in, could pull down any officer, however highly placed, 
even to the King's Representative ; and soon indeed, later. Barton, 
the Governor ; Ballantine, the Treasurer ; and Bruce, the Com- 
mandant, all went down before the same methods. 


I FIND that I liave wandered too far in advance of my time, 
and also away from the North-Eastern Division. Some six 
months after I had opened the new Station at Cape Nelson, 
the Government Secretary, the Judge and Treasurer, and in 
addition, my old enemies of the Government Store, all came down 
upon me for irregularities in making and sending in Court and 
Gaol returns, copies of the Station Journal, and receipts for stores 
received : the Treasurer and Government Store-keeper complained 
bitterly that I was seriously delaying the clerical work of their 
Department in consequence. I reported that nothing else was to 
be expected ; that I had an enormous new district to bring into 
order, the work in which necessitated frequent and long absences 
from my Station, and that when I was away, my Station was 
solely in charge of a Corporal of Native Constabulary, who could 
neither read nor write, and I begged that a Malay or Manilla 
man, like Lario or Basilio, might be sent to me to act as native 
clerk and overseer. The Governor was away in Australia, and 
the Judge in the Western Division ; accordingly Mr. Musgrave 
dealt with my request. In due course, a vessel came in bringing 
a sallow, lank, unwholesome-looking youth of about twenty years 
of age, a cockney, bearing a letter from Muzzy saying that he 
was to act for me as clerk and overseer. 

" Do you know anything about book-keeping ? " I asked him. 
" No, your worship," he replied, " Don't call me that, except in 
Court, you fat-head ; Sir is quite enough," I said. " Do you 
understand building ? There is much of that going on at present." 
" No ! " was the reply. " Agriculture, then ? We grow most of 
our food here." " No ! " " Drill ? " « No ! " " Can you shoot ? " 
" No ! " " What in Heaven's name can you do ? " I asked ; 
" surely something ? " " I was a fishmonger's boy in London ; then 
I got a job as steward on a tramp steamer ; I left her at Thurday 
Island, and learnt billiard marking in a pub there, while I was 
employed as a waiter ; then, hearing that there were some billiard 
tables in Port Moresby, I went there to try for a job ; I could 
not get employment, and went to the Government Secretary to 
apply for a free passage out of the country, and he sent me here." 


" Holy Moses ! " I said to myself, " this is exactly what I 
expected Muzzy to do ; I suppose I am lucky that he did not 
send me a mid-wife ! " " You don't seem very promising 
material for me to work upon," I remarked aloud, " but I will 
see what we can make of you. First, I will render you able to 
defend yourself. Sergeant, take away this man and teach him to 
shoot ; then tell off a couple of men to teach him to swim." 
" What will the police call me ? " he asked ; " Sir or Mister ? " 
" Hoity toity ! " I said, " this is beginning early ! What were 
you called when you were a waiter ? " "Bert." "Very good. 
Bert you will be to the constabulary, until we have made some- 
thing of you ; and I shall call you by your surname without any 
prefix at all." " Shall I live with you or the constabulary r " he 
next queried. " I don't like niggers." I saw my orderly, who 
was standing stiffly at attention, watching for an opportunity to 
tell me something, give a quick glance at the sergeant, who still 
waited with a motionless face. "With neither," I replied; "I 
will send the gaoler into barracks and give you his house, until 
we have one of your own built. But remember this : the term 
nigger, as applied to a native of this country, is strictly forbidden ; 
it is an objectionable term of contempt, and especially so when 
applied to men wearing the King's uniform. You have already 
done yourself harm by using it in the presence of men who are 
at present in the position of your teachers." 

I was at my Station for about a month after that, endeavouring 
to make the man useful, but he was exceedingly useless for any- 
thing except copying letters and keeping check of the stores that 
had been used. I then went away for a couple of weeks, and on 
my return found that a blackguard, beach-combing trader, whom 
I had once gaoled for four months and whom Sir Francis Winter 
had also incarcerated for another period, had called at the Station 
and fraternized with the agreeable "Bert " ; the pair of them had 
then scandalized the whole Station by going on a wild drunk for 
three days and nights, during which period, the constabulary told 
me, a large whaler had passed the Cape, filled, they believed, with 
runaway carriers from the gold-fields. The police had not cared 
to leave the Station while the drunken riot was going on, for fear 
that the drunks should do some damage either to themselves or 
the Station, therefore the whaler passed unchallenged. I was 
exceedingly annoyed ; the more so, that recently I had been 
keeping a strict watch on large and strange canoes or boats passing, 
on account of a habit miners' carriers had developed of stealing 
their employers' fire-arms and goods, and making a bolt for their 
homes in either stolen boats or canoes. They then, in some 
instances, added to their crimes by shooting stray natives or 
plundering the gardens of small, weak, outlying villages j on one 


occasion the offenders had had impudence enough to refuse to 
produce or surrender their stolen fire-arms, when they were over- 
hauled by my whaleboat, under command of my corporal ; and it 
was not until the corporal had ordered the police to load their 
rifles, and had clearly shown that he meant fight, that they yielded 
to the superior force. " Bert" begged hard to be let oft' this time, 
and swore that he would be good in future ; he wailed that he 
had been lonely and miserable when the trader arrived, and, in his 
joy at having a white man to talk to, had lost his head. 

I overlooked his offence upon that occasion, at the same time 
administering a severe reprimand ; butj his culminating act came 
when, on my next absence, a large canoe was sighted, and he 
went in the whaleboat with the police in pursuit. When they 
got within a short distance of the canoe, the police hailed her 
and found she was a Kaili Kaili canoe loaded with fish, which 
her crew were in a great hurry toj land and smoke ; the 
constabulary told " Bert " this, whereupon he demanded that 
the canoe should stop and give him some fish. The Kaili 
Kaili did not like him in the first instance, and, in the second, 
they knew that he had no right to demand their fish so they 
continued on their way ; whereupon the jackass fired several shots 
at them with a rifle, fortunately killing no one. Upon my return, 
an indignant deputation of Kaili Kaili waited upon me to know 
why " the man without either strength or sense " had fired at 
them. I sent for " Bert " and demanded an explanation, which 
he gave thus: "These natives don't treat me with enough 
respect ; I must do something to show my authority." Accord- 
ingly, I showed my own authority by telling him to pack his 
goods and get away next day to Samarai, by the s.s. President. 

To that point I also went in the same vessel, with the 
intention of trying to find a more suitable man. I did get one, 
a splendid chap named William Mayne, a Scotch ex-ship's 
carpenter, who had gone broke at the gold-fields, got loaded up 
with fever, and wanted to recuperate. He was, like most Scots- 
men, a man of good education. I made him acting gaoler and 
overseer, pending the Governor's approval. When the Merrie 
England with Sir George arrived, some months afterwards, I sang 
Mayne's praises. " A really good man, sir ; he can repair a boat 
and build a house ; he has taught some of my men blacksmithing 
and armourers' work ; he keeps his books well and cleanly, and 
only gets drunk on New Year's Eve. He has an old certificate 
of character from a Scotch minister, and all his ship's discharges 
are marked V.G." " He seems to be the very man I require as 
Head Gaoler and Overseer of Works at Samarai," said his 
Excellency ; " I have had great difficulty in finding a suitable man 
for the post." " But, sir," I wailed, " I found him, and really I 


cannot get on with ex-billiard markers, waiters or tailors ; they 
are no use to me, and they get on my nerves the whole time." 
The Governor laughed. " I shall not ask you to," he said ; " I 
will give you a full Assistant R.M., young, strong, competent, 
and a gentleman. Barton, send Mr. Yaldwyn here." Yaldwyn 
came, was introduced to me, and then left the cabin. " He will 
do, sir," I said, " I like his cut." Poor Yaldwyn ! I did not 
foresee, within a few months, firstly, his disgrace, and then his death. 
Yaldwyn proved to be an uncommonly cheerful and bright 
person ; nothing ever made him down-hearted, and the more I 
worked him the better he liked it. He became very popular on 
the Station, both with the constabulary, prisoners, and natives at 
large ; he was perpetually doing them small kindnesses. A child 
of the wife of one of my constabulary would be sick, Yaldwyn 
would mix up condensed milk or meat lozenges for her, and show 
her how to give them. Once, an elderly prisoner moped and 
pined, and Yaldwyn came to me. " Old so-and-so is bad, I 
think he should be let go." " Do you, Mr. Yaldwyn ? But 
only the Governor has power to remit a sentence once passed," 
I remarked. " Yes, I know ; but he won't be here for months, 
and the poor old blighter, who has only got six months, will die 
unless he sees his home, he's fretting awfully ; do let him go for 
a week or two." " Can't be done, my dear man, by the visiting 
justice for gaols. I am here to administer and uphold the law, not 
to break it," I said. The first time he turned dolefully away ; 
then I called him back. " Mr. Yaldwyn, I am going to Cape 
Vogel to-morrow, and shall be away for a fortnight ; if so-and-so 
should happen to spend that time in his village, and be safe in gaol 
and in good health upon my return, of course I cannot be 
expected to know of it, and it is no one else's business." " Yes, 
but you would know ; you always find out everything," he said. 
" Perhaps if you dropped a hint to my orderly that I did not wish 
to know on this occasion, I might remain in ignorance ; in fact, 
I might be even as dense as you appear to be ! " Yaldwyn 
thought forfi a moment, then permitted himself the liberty or 
winking at his superior officer before departing. Yaldwyn loved 
to sing, and thought he had a singer's voice. He had : it was as 
bad as mine — only useful for scaring crows ! As a general rule, 
I forbade him to sing ; but when I felt unusually cheerful and 
strong, I would permit him a stave or two in the evening. He 
would begin " Maid of Athens," in a bass that shook the window, 
and then wander into a rusty baritone, streaked with falsetto 
screeches. On one occasion, after suffering in silence for quite 
ten minutes, I broke in upon the melody. "Yaldwyn, did your 
voice ever break when you were a boy ? " I asked. " Yes, of 
course it did. Why ? " " Because I wondered why your parents 


did not have it mended with giant cement or seccotine or 
something," I remarked, as I went off to the barracks, leaving 
him thinking. When I returned, half an hour later, I found him 
chuckling, having at last grasped my very feeble joke. "I've seen 
it," he said, " it is very clever ; I've written it down to use on 
some one else ! " 

Some time afterwards, Macdonncll, district surveyor, was 
attached to the North-Eastcrn Division staff ; he had a very nice 
trained voice, and was in the habit of singing as he worked at his 
plans. He came to me one day and said, "I say, R.M., is 
Yaldwyn all there ?" " Yes," I answered, " a little slow in the 
uptake, but he has plenty of brains. Why do you ask ? " " Oh," 
replied the surveyor, " I was singing at my work just now, when he 
came in and looked at a piece of paper ; then he said to me, ' Why 
did your parents not have your voice mended with cement or 
gum ? ' and sat down and roared with laughter. When I said 
that I could see no joke, and only thought the remark rude 
and pointless, he said it was something very clever you had said to 
him." " I did say something of the sort, I remember now ; but 
you tell him a story and then hear him repeat it later, and you 
will understand," I replied. 

Shortly after Yaldwyn's arrival, I went to Samarai in search of 
Mr. Macdonnell and his assistant, both of whom had been 
appointed to the North-Eastern Division some time before, and 
had failed to put in an appearance. I found them there, engaged 
with a boat's crew of six survey boys, superintending the 
reclamation of land ; they had a whaleboat and full camp equip- 
ment. They had received instructions from the Chief Govern- 
ment Surveyor to proceed by steamer to Samarai, do any little 
thing that required doing there, and then come on to the North- 
Eastern Division, where I had plenty of work for them. "What 
the dickens are you doing here ? " I asked Macdonnell. " You 
are a charge upon my Division, the poorest in the Possession, and 
here you are doing gratuitous work for the richest ! " " The 
fact is," he answered, " there has not been an opportunity of 
getting up to you." " You had your whaler and crew," I replied, 
"and it's a fair wind all the way at this time of year ; trot out 
another excuse." " I can't get Turner, my assistant, away ; he 
has fallen in love with the publican's daughter, and spends all 
his time spooning with her. He has got a couple of hundred a 
year of his own, as well as his pay, and is deuced independent." 
" Oh, he is, is he ! " I said ; " well, we sail at midnight, with or 
without him." 

Moreton, R.M., was away on leave, and Symons acting in his 
place ; accordingly, I went to him. " Mr. Symons, I want the 
Siai to take the Survey party and myself to Cape Nelson." "J 


am very sorry, but I can't let you have her without orders from 
Headquarters," he said. " I w\\\ give you a written requisition 
for the vessel's services," I replied. Symons would not let me 
have her, however ; afterwards I heard that he had arranged a 
picnic party on board her for the white women of Samarai, for 
two days ahead ; it was a case of while the cat, in the shape ot the 
R.M., was away, he — the mouse — was to play. I then chartered 
a cutter for Cape Nelson, and sent Macdonnell a formal notice 
that we left, as previously arranged, at midnight. He replied, that 
Turner had said that he could not be ready, and would not come. 
" Very good, Mr. Macdonnell," I said, " he is your subordinate, 
not mine ; but you, your whaler and boat's crew, come with me. 
I shall report to Headquarters, that Mr. Turner having refused 
duty, I shall act as your assistant myself until a substitute is sent 
to you, or lend you Yaldwyn. I shall also report that I have 
taken upon myself to suspend Mr. Turner, until the decision of 
the Chief Government Surveyor be known." Turner then 
resigned himself to his fate and the missing of Symons' picnic, and 
sailed with us. 

I had taken a strong liking to Macdonnell, who was a most 
pleasant companion, and on one occasion, I flatter myself, I saved 
his life. As we were very crowded and he was a much older 
man than the others, I asked him to share my bedroom, for I had 
a spare field bed and there was plenty of room for two. One 
night, a beastly hot close night with a thunder-storm on the point 
of bursting, we both woke up sweating from the heat, and 
Macdonnell said he would go into the next room and get a 
whisky ; I declined, and he left to help himself ; then, changing 
my mind, I got up and followed him into the ante-room. He 
always drank his whisky — Scotch custom — neat, and took the 
water afterwards ; he poured out a tot and waited a minute while 
I did the same, then, just as I poured water into mine and started 
with surprise at seeing it turn a milky white and hastily sniffed 
at it, he tossed his off. I did not wait to look at him — he had got 
hold of a whisky bottle full of pure carbolic acid, which I had 
filled that day, and had never noticed the large red " Poison " I 
had written across it — but I made one jump for the medicine 
shelf, snatched down a pint bottle of olive oil, shoved him on to his 
back, and poured the oil down his throat ; then, yelling loudly for 
Yaldwyn and Turner, I found and poured about half a pint of 
Ipecacuanha wine after it. "Is it burning?" I asked. "No," 
gasped Macdonnell, " only my lips." Yaldwyn and Turner 
appeared. " Macdonnell's poisoned by carbolic acid," I said, 
" bring me a pound of butter, and tell my cook to make a quart 
of luke-warm salt and water, and tell him to jump like hell about 
it, or I'll murder him." 


The butter came, of course in a semi-melted state, as tinned 
butter always was, there ; then, with my fingers I began to cram 
it into his mouth and throat. " I shall be sick," groaned 
Macdonnell, as he tried to shove me away. "You infernal idiot," 
I replied, " that is just what I want you to be." Then came the 
hastily prepared luke-warm salt and water. "Down with this," 
I told him. He took a gulp or two. " I can't," he gasped, "it's 
too beastly." " If you don't take it," I said, " Yaldwyn and I 
will belt the very life out of you." He got it down, though, at 
the finish, he was swelling like a bull frog. "Can you be sick 
now?" I asked. "No," he said. "Hell!" said Yaldwyn, 
" either his guts are clean burnt out, or he has got an inside like 
an ostrich ! " " Get some cotton wool and some string," I 
ordered. " What are you going to do now ? " asked the un- 
fortunate victim. " Shove the cotton wool down your gullet, 
and haul it up and down, until that copper-lined still, you call 
your stomach, rejects something," I said. " Help me to the edge 
of the verandah," said Macdonnell. "Verandah be damned ; be 
sick here on the floor at once if you can," I ordered. He 
shoved two fingers down his^throat, and then vomited like Jonah's 
whale. I retired hastily, and did a minor performance on my 
own account, from sympathy. Macdonnell went on at intervals, 
once he had begun, for quite two hours ; then he got better 
and complained of hunger. " As much milk as you like until 
midday to-morrow, but nothing else," I said. The sole 
ill-effects Macdonnell suffered from half a gill of pure carbolic 
acid were badly burnt lips, where the oil had not at first 
touched, as it had been poured direct into his mouth from the 

I have mentioned an approaching thunder-storm as the reason 
of Macdonnell and myself wandering from our room in search of 
the drink that had such dire effects upon him. Well, Cape 
Nelson, and in especial the point upon which our Station was 
built, was very subject to* thunder-storms ; and, until I at length 
induced the Government to give me a lightning conductor for my 
house, it was our invariable custom, when a really bad one came 
on, to bolt for the gaol or lower ground, where the lightning 
apparently never struck. When Captain Barton was staying with 
me after the first Doriri expedition, I had, stored in my house, 
several cases of gelignite and dynamite, which I used for blasting 
a road up a rocky precipice ; when it first arrived I noticed that 
the nitro-glycerine was oozing through the paper covers of the 
cartridges, and that it was really unsafe ; but, as it had been very 
expensive, I did not like destroying it as my Station could not 
afford a further supply, and I knew that the Government Store 
people would swear it was quite good, and that I should get no 


refund ; accordingly, I found a place for it in my house, where I 
could keep an eye on it, and watch whether it got worse. 

One night there came on a most awful thunder-storm, and I 
thought of the stuff and showed it to Barton. " You understand 
iiigh explosives," I said ; "there is enough gelignite here to blow 
this house and ourselves into atoms so small that one would have 
to search the universe at large with a fine tooth-comb to find any 
remains. I am doubtful as to the effect of an electrical dis- 
turbance upon it ; have a look at it." Barton looked. " The stuff 
is fairly oozing nitro-glycerinc ; get rid of it, or put it in a safe 
place at once, is my advice." I called my orderly. Private Oia, 
and told him to get a couple of men and remove the stuff with 
great care to a safe place. " Where shall I put it, sir ? " he 
asked. " Oh, chuck it into the sea," I replied. " Very good, sir," 
and he called a couple of men and removed the boxes. Twenty 
minutes later there came a terrific flash of lightning ; deafening 
thunder and an awful sound on the iron roof of the house followed 
instantaneously. My flagstaff, seventy feet high and three feet 
thick at the base, situated only twenty feet away from the house, 
had been struck and splintered into shivers, some as small as 
wooden matches, which had fairly rained on the roof. "Thank 
the Lord," I remarked, as we gazed at the spot where once had 
stood that lordly pole, " that we had first got rid of that gelignite." 

The next morning, I walked into the storeroom under the 
house, and the first thing my eyes lighted upon was the gelignite ! 
My very blood froze ! " Oia," I yelled, " come here and be 
killed I " " What is the matter, sir ? " asked he. " I told you to 
remove that stuff to a safe place, and you have put it here. Do 
you call this a safe place ? " I asked. " You told me, sir, to put it 
in a safe place ; there was nowhere else I could put it last night 
without it getting wet ; and when I asked you where I was to 
put it, you told me with the double meaning you often iuse, 
[i.e. irony] ' to put it in the sea. ' " Oia, poor man, had thought 
I was being sarcastic at his expense, by way of impressing on his 
mind the necessity of keeping the stuff extra dry. 

The time came for me to go again to Samarai, a quinsy in my 
throat forcing me to visit the nearest doctor — Vaughan, medical 
officer at Samarai. Vaughan was not really a fully qualified 
doctor, but was a man who had been for a length of time in the 
Indian Medical Service, in which he had gained a considerable 
amount of experience. He had come to the country as the 
manager of a company, which he had formed himself in Australia, 
to exploit the rubber lands of the Musa River, but his company 
had gone bang, and Sir George Le Hunte had appointed him to 
act as medical officer at Samarai ; this appointment was afterwards 
much questioned, but really at the time there was no duly qualified 


man available. Morcton, R.M., was back, and accordingly — as 
of old — I took up my quarters with him. In gossiping with 
Vaughan, who, by the way, was a great friend of the Rev. Charles 
Abel, he told me that the Mission had got hold of some serious 
outrages perpetrated by miners in Milne Bay, and in which they 
alleged Symons was concerned. " But Moreton is in entire 
ignorance of all this," I said. " Yes, Abel is going to spring it on 
the Governor, upon his return from Australia," said Vaughan, 
'' That is a nice Christian performance," I thought, and then said 
to Vaughan : " It is probably only some cock-and-bull Mission 
yarn." He answered, " It is nothing of the sort, I know the 
evidence they have got." " Pooh ! Medical officers are like 
missionaries, hardly competent to know what is evidence and 
what is assertion or mere rumour." Vaughan had a warm temper, 
and I saw that I was working him the right way. " If I had not 
promised Abel not to say anything definite about the charges, I 
would soon shatter your self-conceited sufficiency," he snapped. 
" All right, don't get warm, I am going to look at my men," I 
replied. " I'll leave you sitting on your mare's nest," and off I 
went, leaving Vaughan snorting. 

I then strolled over to the house Moreton had allotted to my 
men ; they were sitting, chatting and smoking, on the verandah. 
" I hear," I said, after a little casual conversation, " that these 
Samarai boys say, that we, of the North-Eastern Division, are 
ignorant bushmen * with no knowledge,' that we only come here 
at rare intervals because the Samarai people are ashamed of our 
being seen by strangers." " They shall pay for that," said my 
men. " Yes, but how ? " I asked ; " I can't let you fight them." 
" Can't you put them in gaol, sir ? " asked they. " No, not 
without first finding out something they have done for which to 
punish them." " Perhaps we can find out something about 
them," said my men. " You are wise men," I said, " not fools, 
as these Samarai people say ; that is the thing to do. Now, you 
keep your mouths shut, put on your smartest uniforms and 
swagger down the street and buy cigarettes, then go to the 
ginger-beer shop, buy ginger beer and drink it there. Some of 
them are bound to notice you, and follow to watch ; offer any 
that do so, cigarettes and ginger beer ; then go to the stores and 
buy sardines, salmon, and sweet biscuits, that will attract more 
attention ; they won't miss a feed like that, if you give them the 
slightest encouragement. Get them back here and, as you feed, 
brag of all your fights and the arrests you have made ; they will 
almost certainly answer by telling you what they have done 
lately, then keep your ears open and your mouths shut." " Oh, 
master, it is good. W^e go dig a pit for a pig, a deep pit. But 
what about money .'' " questioned they. " You put in one 


shilling each, and here is a sovereign. To-night my orderly will 
bring me what news he can, to-morrow you will parade near 
Mr. Moreton's house, and each man will tell me what he has 
learnt," I answered. Then off I went to Moreton's, where, later, 
I heard sounds of laughter and revelry coming from my own 
men's house, and concluded the pig was in the pit. 

Shortly afterwards, my orderly appeared. " Master, we have 
a fence round the pig and it does not know it." " Where is the 
fence?" I asked. "In Milne Bay; some white men and the 
Samarai boat boys caught some men there and killed many pigs, 
and the white men killed some people." "In fight ?" I asked. 
" No, murder. One man was led away into the bush by the 
white men, with a rope round his hands, and was never seen alive 
again." "Was Mr. Symons there?" I inquired. "At the 
killing, we do not know ; at the capture, yes," he returned, in 
answer. "Phew !" I whistled, "the Mission have got a bomb 
for Moreton ! This sort of thing twenty miles from his Head- 
quarters, and he in ignorance of it ! " Then, to my orderly, " Go 
back to your house, and tell our men not to let the pig discover 
the fence." It was high time now that I sought Moreton. 
" Did Symons tell you anything about trouble in Milne Bay ? " I 
asked him. " Yes, he said that there had been some gold stealing, 
but that he had arrested the offenders and all was quiet again," he 
replied. " Well, Moreton, there have apparently been some 
serious outrages there, in which Symons is alleged to be con- 
cerned ; the Mission have got hold of it and are waiting until his 
Excellency returns to report direct to him, in order to get you 
into grave trouble for being in ignorance of the matter," I told 
him. " How do you know this ? " he asked. " A hint dropped 
by Vaughan of knowledge possessed by Abel, in the first instance ; 
next, I have had my boys pumping Symons' boat's crew, and they 
confirm it," I replied. 

" It is a bad business," said Morton, " but I don't see how I 
can be held responsible. Symons has had charge of Milne Bay 
for a considerable time. These things have also occurred during 
my leave of absence, and while Symons was acting as R.M." *'I 
see plainly how you will be held responsible," I said ; " Symons 
was your subordinate, and if you choose to give him entire charge 
of a district in your Division, you should have occasionally looked 
in there, to see how things were going ; you know perfectly well 
that the R.M. is the person responsible for anything wrong in the 
Division, whether his fault or not, and to plead ignorance is the 
worst excuse you can make. It is clear to me, that you must 
have lost entire touch with the village constables in Milne Bav, 
for they are trotting in and out of Samarai every second day, and 
yet you have heard nothing." " I have allowed Symons control 


of the Milne Bay village constables ; they report to him and are 
paiti by him," said Moreton. " What ! " I exclaimed, " have you 
been egregious ass enough deliberately to allow the control of a 
district of village constables to pass out of your hands, the one 
service that allows you to keep your hand on the pulse of the 
district, and informed of what is going on i" Moreton, if the 
crimes have taken place in Milne Bay, that I believe have been 
committed, then a fairly big scapegoat will be wanted by the 
Governor, and you will about fill the bill." " Symons had charge 
of Milne Bay with the Governor's consent and approval, and 
Symons did not like to be interfered with there," said Moreton. 
" The fact remains that Symons was an officer subordinate to you, 
he had not joint control with you, he had control subject to your 
approval of his management of the district ; anything he has done 
there, unless expressly disapproved of by you, can only be held as 
done with your approval," I replied. " Symons reports direct to 
Port Moresby," said Moreton. " Don't you ever read his reports, 
or the copies ? " I asked. " No," said Moreton, " Then you are 
in the soup up to your neck," I remarked ; " for, on your own 
showing, you have entirely neglected and ignored one portion of 
your Division, and that portion a district right under your nose." 
" What am I to do now ? " said Moreton, " A little advice would 
be better than a scolding." " Do I " I said ; " investigate at once, 
and if there is anything in the charges, take immediate action 
against all concerned ; you will then have shown that you are 
alive to what is going on in your Division, and that you are doing 
your duty," "Will you see Vaughan and the Mission, and first 
find out for me what they know ?" he asked, "Yes, I will do 
it at once, though it is not my affair," I replied. 

Off to Vaughan I then went. "Doctor, I have been talking 
over what you told me yesterday about Milne Bay with Moreton ; 
he has decided to make immediate and full inquiry, and has asked 
me to ascertain what direct charges the Mission is prepared to 
bring against any person or persons. Can you arrange that I see 
the Rev, Charles Abel in the matter ? " Vaughan arranged it, 
and I saw Abel, who, after some demur, gave me a list of alleged 
murders and outrages in Milne Bay, committed by three miners 
attached to a Government party commanded by Symons, I took 
the list to Moreton ; and then, at his request, went to Milne Bay, 
where I obtained sufficient evidence to show that one miner had 
deliberately shot an unarmed native, and that another had shot a 
woman : there was also evidence to the effect that a man arrested 
by Symons' boat's crew had been handed over to the miners and 
led away into the bush, after which he had never been seen alive 
again, though there was no evidence of his death, other than that 
the natives had found a body too far gone to identify. There 


were a lot of other charges, in which the evidence was not clear. 
" What is to be done now ? " asked Moreton. " Arrest the miners, 
charge them with murder, suspend Symons from magisterial duties, 
and leave at once for Port Moresby to consult with Sir Francis 
Winter," was my advice. 

On the top of everything else, there was a village constable 
missing, named Lailai ; he had been appointed by Symons some 
nine months previously. Symons, by the way, had no authority 
to appoint village constables ; this could only be done by the 
Governor, or by the Resident Magistrate by delegated authority. 
Lailai belonged to a village named Daiogi, one of a group burned 
by the miners accompanying Symons' party. The following, an 
extract taken from my notes at the time, is the sort of evidence 
I elicited : — 

" Lulubeiai, of the village of Daiogi, says, ' I am the only 
child and daughter of Lailai. Lailai is dead. I know he is dead 
though I have not seen the body. He was a village constable. 
He went one day to the camp of the white men ; he never came 
back. Gamadaudau, of my village, told me that he had seen my 
father tied up and beaten by the white man, Steve WolflF. My 
village is burnt and my people scattered. I know no more.' 
Gamadaudau says, 'I am a native labourer in the employ of 
Robert Lindsay, a miner, and I knew Constable Lailai. He came 
to the white men's camp, and was tied up and beaten by Wolff 
and Morley, and his uniform was taken away by Wolff. Lailai 
was thrice flogged during the day by Wolff, and was left tied up 
to a tree for two or three nights ; he was then led away by Wolff, 
Lindsay, and two other white men whom I do not know. He 
was tied up with ropes, but in such a fashion that he could walk. 
What happened after that I do not know.' Two months later a 
native of Euhutu found the skull and some portion of a human 
skeleton in the bush, and from the fact that Lailai was the only 
man dead and not accounted for, and from the fact that near the 
remains were a pair of arm rings such as Lailai was in the habit 
of wearing, he came to the conclusion that he had found Lailai's 
body, and so informed his fellow villagers. Then this. Charles 
Ward, miner, sworn. ' I remember going with Mr, Symons to 
Wolft's house, Wolff gave Mr. Symons Lailai's uniform. Mr. 
Symons asked where he had got them. Wolff said he had found 
them in a deserted house.' " 

This case afterwards broke down in the Central Court, for 
though Moreton and I conclusively proved that Lailai was missing, 
the evidence of his death was not strong enough ; and even if we 
could establish that, then the only thing that we could prove was, 
that he had been maltreated by the miners, but not that they had 
murdered him. I had listened to the dead Lailai's daughter, and 


seen her grief at losing her only relation ; and I swore that, even 
if Wolff escaped on technical grounds on the first charge, he 
should not on a second, if effort on my part could prevent it. 
There was a second charge. Wolff had shot a man, who was 
running away, and a native with Wolff had seen the shot fired, 
and knew the running man well, while others with him had seen 
the killing, but could not swear to the identity of the dead man. 
The dead man's relations, however, were able to identify his body. 
In this case there was no possible weak link, I arrested, upon 
Moreton's warrant, Lindsay and Morley in Samarai ; they were 
on their way to a new gold rush at Cloudy Bay, whither Wolff 
had already gone. 

There was now no doubt that very grave offences had taken 
place in Milne Bay ; and that if Symons had not condoned them, 
he had at all events shown a lamentable ignorance of such things 
as a missing village constable, a shot woman, and sundry other 
strange events, such as the always strictly forbidden burning ot 
villages ; and all these things had taken place in a locality in 
which a village constable's truncheon was the only force likely to 
be required. 

Moreton was frightfully distressed when he learnt the full 
extent of the mischief done. " What am I to do, Monckton ? " 
he asked ; " it is dreadful to think that these things have occurred 
in my Division." " If it were my Division," I answered, " I 
should arrest every one, however remotely concerned. Government 
official, boat boy or miner, and send them for trial to the Central 
Court ; but as such a measure might appear too drastic a one, 
and you would bear sole responsibility for it, up sticks and away 
for Port Moresby and Sir Francis Winter is still my advice. You 
have to go half-way there, in any case, to arrest Wolff at Cloudy 
Bay. In the meantime, I will hie me back to my own Division 
and work." " For the Lord's sake, don't leave me now, laddie," 
said Moreton, using the old name by which he had called me 
when first I came to the Possession ; " I would not leave you in 
the lurch." " All right, I will stick by you, old man," I said ; 
" but we must sail at once to Sir Francis, report, and get his 
authority for me to remain with you until this matter is cleared 

That night we sailed for Port Moresby in the Siai^ reaching 
there after a prolonged passage. Sir Francis Winter instructed 
me to remain with Moreton, and that we were jointly to investi- 
gate every criminal charge brought by either the Mission or others 
against any person, but not to bother about vague assertions or 
rumours unsubstantiated by some concrete evidence. 

On our way back from Port Moresby to Samarai, we arrested 
Wolff at Cloudy Bay : Moreton was rather bad at the time from 


malaria, and asked me to do it ; he also asked me to effect the 
arrest personally and not to use the police, as the miners objected 
to being arrested by natives. Accordingly I went ashore ; and, 
leaving the police in the boat, I walked up to Whitten Brothers' 
store, which was crowded with newly arrived Australian diggers, 
strangers to me. Robert Whitten was in charge of the store, and 
I went to him at once. " Hello, stormy petrel ! " he said, as 
soon as he saw me. "There is no trouble here, what do vou 
want?" "I want a man named Wolff," I answered; "point 
him out, if here; or tell me where he is." "There is your 
man," said Whitten, pointing to a black-bearded Russian Finn 
with a villainous countenance, and plainly more that half drunk. 
I went up to Wolfi^, while the whole crowd of diggers watched 
me. " Your name is Stephen Wolff" ? " I asked. " Yes," he 
said, " and what the hell has it to do with you ? " " Oh, nothing 
to do with me personally," I said ; " but I happen to have a 
warrant for your arrest upon charges of wilful murder, and sundry 
other felonies." "Where?" asked Wolff". "Milne Bay," I 
answered ; " you must come with me." He broke into a storm 
of blasphemy and abuse of Moreton, Symons, and the Govern- 
ment, and swore that he would not come ; several sympathizers 
among the miners also murmured. 

I let Wolff* blow off" steam ; then I said very quietly, 
"Stephen Wolff", in the King's name I command you to yield 
yourself." Wolff" still cursed and raved. " Stephen Wolff", 
twice in the King's name." Wolff made a grab at a bottle to 
throw at me. I slipped my hand inside my jacket, grasped and 
cocked my revolver, while Robert Whitten and a miner grabbed 
Wolff". " Wolff", I mean to have you alive or dead ; I don't care 
which. For the third and last time, in the King's name, 
chuck up your hands, quick ! " Wolff" was a wise man, he 
surrendered promptly, the urging of Whitten and the miners 
being hardly necessary ; but he had gone very near to dying in 
his boots. 

We got back to Samarai to find our troubles only beginning. 
Lindsay and Morley, who were awaiting trial in gaol, had made 
up their minds that their present predicament was due to the 
Mission and Vaughan ; accordingly, in order to get even with 
Vaughan, they made a sworn confession that they, with him, had 
outraged certain native women, while they were in his employ- 
ment on the Musa River. Rape at that time was a capital 
off"ence in New Guinea. Moreton and I had perforce to investi- 
gate this charge ; but could find no evidence to its truth, other 
than the unsupported testimony of the men already under 
commitment for murder, whose motive for charging Vaughan was 
only too evident. We finished our cases ; and the defendants 


were all lodgcii in gaol pending the return ot tlic Governor and 
the sitting ot the Centra! Court. 

Unfortunately the luillahalloo and scandal over the whole 
affair had thoroughly alarmed the Mihie Bay natives. The trial 
of Vaughan, whom they regarded as partly responsible for the 
bringing to justice of the miscreants by whom they had been 
maltreated, finally convinced them that no one who stood on 
their side was safe, and accordingly they prepared to skip for the 
bush ; which, if they succeeded in doing, would deprive us of all 
or most of our witnesses. Something had to be done to 
reassure them, and that something at once. Moreton and I 
discussed the matter and decided that an officer with police should 
be stationed there. It was now imperatively necessary that I 
should return for a time to my own Division ; accordingly I 
volunteered to lend Moreton, Yaldwyn and six good constabulary, 
until such time as the Mcrrie England and the Governor returned ; 
assuring him that Yaldwyn's happy disposition made him a 
general favourite among natives, and that he was the very man to 
undo the harm that Symons' unhappy associations with the Milne 
Bay outrages had caused. 

Moreton gratefully accepted my offer : therefore, on my 
return to Cape Nelson, I instructed Yaldwyn to proceed to Milne 
Bay with a detail of the North-Eastern detachment of con- 
stabulary. " I don't want you to do any work, Yaldwyn," I told 
him, "I want you to sit down quietly in Milne Bay and smooth 
down the natives. Do nothing there, and above all things avoid 
any row or fuss with the Mission ; Moreton has got a peck 
of trouble already, and it does not need adding to." The next 
event was the arrival of the Merr'ie England at Cape Nelson with 
Sir George and Sir Francis on board, and the first thing I was 
told was, that they were going to take me to Samarai to hear — 
amongst other cases — a charge laid by a missionary against 
Yaldwyn of outraging a native girl attached to the Mission. I 
was simply flabbergasted. " I can't understand this at all," I told 
Sir Francis, " Yaldwyn is the last man in the Service to do any- 
thing brutal or unkind ; why, I can't even order a recalcitrant 
private half an hour's pack drill without his trying to beg him off^! 
There is something damned fishy about this business." " That is 
exactly what I think," said Sir Francis, "and that is why I want 
you to take the case." 

The Merr'ie England brought me Mr. A. E. Oelrichs to take 
Yaldwyn's place as Assistant R.M. He was a very competent 
man, and remained with me up to the time I left the country for 
good and all ; he had, however, one decided drawback in my 
eyes, and tha,t was his enormous size ; he was an elephant of a 
man, weighing, when in fine trim, nineteen stone, and plainly 




~ u 




as C 

z~ o 




only suited for Station or boat work. " What on earth did you 
bring mc that giant for? " I asked Captain Barton ; "you know 
what patrol work here is like, and this means that I shall have to 
do the lot." " He was due for promotion," said Barton, " and so 
I suiz;2;csted to the Governor that he should be sent here." " In 
order to get him out of your own Division," I suggested ; " thank 
you, Barton ! " Barton was taking the Resident Magistrateship 
of the Central Division. Oelrichs, however, turned out a good, 
loyal assistant, a good drill instructor and disciplinarian, and very 
competent generally. 

He afterwards told me that his first impression of me was, 
that I was the most callous brute in the Service, for he had 
hardly been half an hour at the Station before he was seized with 
violent colic and collapsed in a heap on the floor of my office, 
groaning like a horse with gripes. " Here ! " I yelled to the 
police, " get some blankets and put them in a corner out of the 
way J then put this man on top of them and undress him." I 
then gave the " fat man," as he was ever after called in the 
Division, a dose of opium and brandy. *' How do you feel now ? " 
Tasked. "I am dying," groaned Oelrichs. " Well, I consider 
it a most ungcntlemanly thing, your coming here and choosing 
my office as the most fitting place to die in : still, I suppose the 
dying wishes of a man should be respected ; die there, by all 
means, but do it as quietly as possible," I remarked. " What 
is all this ? " asked Macdonnell, as he came in and gazed 
surprisedly at the quaking mountain of misery. "A dying 
elephant, and a particularly noisy one," I replied, looking up from 
my papers; "see what you can do for him, I've no time. He 
is grieved also at the lack of a coffin ; I've told him such 
luxuries as coffins are unknown north of Cape Vogel, but I will 
allow him a blanket to be sewn up in, perhaps as he is extra 
large, two blankets." Off then I went to the Merrie England 
and Samarai. 

Arriving at Samarai, I went in search of Moreton, and found 
him fairly broken up. "This last affair of Yaldwyn's is the 
finishing touch," he said, "and the Judge has been giving me hell 
for accepting the charge xn its present form ; also for allowing a 
missionary to remove a female witness from my Court, and 
adjourning the Court until your arrival, instead of fining or jugging 
the man for 'contempt. The fact is, there is such a stew of 
trouble already, that I didn't want jugged missionary added to 
it." "Well," I remarked, "we had better begin at once on 
Yaldwyn's case ; you send for Yaldwyn and I will send a couple 
of my own men for the missionary and the girl." 

We held and concluded our inquiry. The evidence showed 
plainly that, though Yaldwyn had been with the girl in his own 


camp, yet she was there of her own will and accord. Some 
Mission natives knew of tlic affair and told the missionary, by 
whom the girl was promptly taxed with her off'cncc, and she 
naturally said that she had been unwilling ; whereupon the 
missionary — not the girl or her father — had laid the charge. 
The criminal charge against Yaldwyn was dismissed ; and I 
submitted the evidence to Sir Francis Winter, who noted, "The 
magistrates were quite right in dismissing this case; there is not 
the slightest criminal element in it." The Governor's minute 
was short and sweet. " R.M., North-Eastern Division, dismiss 
Yaldwyn at once." I went to his Excellency and begged him to 
permit Yaldwyn to resign ; pointing out that, though his conduct 
had been highly improper, he had been most unfairly charged 
with a horrible crime of which he was not guilty, and that the 
disgrace of that alone was a punishment he felt severely. It was 
no use, however ; Yaldwyn was dismissed. He then slunk away 
to Milne Bay, where he moped and pined for a month, and then 
died. Symons, the man responsible for the state the district had 
got into, was reduced from magisterial rank, and sent as a clerk 
to the Treasury ; the fact of his being a married man with a 
family being taken into consideration by Sir George. Moreton 
was reduced and transferred to the South-Eastern Division, the 
R.M. there being sent to Samarai in his stead. This was rough 
luck on Moreton, who was innocent of all wrongdoing, and had 
married in Australia during his last leave ; for, when he was 
transferred from pleasant Samarai to unpleasant Woodlark, his 
wife refused to come up and live with him. The miners received 
varying punishments, from fines up to sentences for manslaughter. 
A man was now wanted for Milne Bay, pending the arrival 
of Campbell, the new R.M. ; and Turner, Macdonnell's assistant 
— who had consistently loafed ever since he had been in the Service 
— applied for and got the job, he pointing out to his Excellency 
that he intended to marry at once ; that was enough for Sir 
George, the domestic virtues always appealed to him, and so 
Turner got the easiest job in New Guinea at fifty pounds a year 
more salary than the sweating Assistants of the Northern and 
North-Eastern Divisions. Macdonnell, his late chief, who had 
toiled like a tiger, had his services dispensed with ; mainly 
because Turner's supineness and laziness on the north-east coast 
had prevented Macdonnell doing the amount of work his chief 
expected. Turner's appointment always struck me as a particularly 
silly one : the reason that he received it was undoubtedly owing 
to the fact that he was about to marry ; but Turner was to marry 
the daughter of Mrs. Mahony, a Samarai publican. Now, of all 
things the natives were to be guarded against, it had always been 
instilled into us that the chief one was any suspicion of their 


obtaining liquor ; and yet here, one of the watch-dogs appointed 
was to have a direct and intimate connection with the liquor 
trade in his own district : a man could hardly be expected to 
watch, gaol, or heavily fine his own wife's mother. My work in 
Samarai was now done, and it behoved me to return to my 
regular duties ; accordingly, I went back to Cape Nelson. 


ON my return to Cape Nelson, I found that Oelrichs had 
recovered, and had made a start with his new duties ; 
he had begun them very vigorously too ; for, as we 
sat at lunch on board the Merrie England while she 
steamed in for the harbour, an officer ran down to report that 
my whaler was chasing a lugger, and after that lugger the 
steamer accordingly went. When caught, she proved to be full 
of villainous-looking Frenchmen, probably escapees from New 
Caledonia ; they had landed at Cape Nelson for water and 
vegetables, and Oelrichs, having his suspicions of them, had 
requested them to await the arrival of the Merrie England^ whose 
smoke was then on the horizon. They had, however, seized a 
favourable opportunity and bolted. They said they were bound 
round New Guinea for Singapore ; so we got rid of them by 
towing them up, and turning them adrift well within the German 
Frontier, for which gift I trust the Kaiser's subjects were duly 

Shortly after my return I received a complaint from the 
Arifamu, a tribe living to the north of my Station, that they had 
been raided, and some of their people killed, by a strange tribe 
from the north ; so, taking a dozen constabulary and my whaler, 
I set off in search of the raiders. I found them all right ; or 
rather, to their sorrow, they found me ! One night we landed 
and camped at the mouth of a small river, the Barigi, quite in 
ignorance of the fact that the country near-by was inhabited, 
and that by the very people we were after. My camp was 
surrounded on three sides by an impenetrable swamp, and upon 
the fourth by a smooth strip of beach, which fronted the river ; 
upon this strip I posted a sentry. Late at night, my corporal 
woke me up and said, " Bia [the sentry] says that there are canoes 
approaching, which will not reply to his challenge." I jumped 
up and grabbed my rifle, while the corporal alarmed the men, 
and ran down to the sentry who, just as I got up to him, again 
sharply challenged : " Who goes ? Stop or I fire ! " Suddenly, 
close into the beach there shot a canoe, the men in which were 
paddling standing up, fully armed and plumed for war ; while 


behind it, again, we heard the splash of other paddles. " Fire, 
Bia ! " I said, as I drove a bullet through the steersman and 
started to empty the magazine of my rifle into the canoes. 
Corporal Barigi ran up to me and began firing at the still 
advancing canoes, followed almost immediately by the remaining 
police, who sent a crashing volley into the first canoe, which 
fairly emptied it of all but one man, and it drifted away with 
the current ; the sound of retreating paddles was now heard, 
and we were not again disturbed until just before dawn, when 
I was again aroused to listen to a strange splashing and snorting. 
We then lay on our arms on the beach until day broke, when we 
found that the sound was caused by crocodiles worrying the 
bodies of the killed, and tearing them away from each other's 
jaws. We made things extremely interesting for those crocodiles 
for a few minutes, and then sat down to wonder why we had 
been so suddenly and viciously attacked during the night by the 

Paddling slowly up the river after breakfast, we heard a slight 
sound in the mangrove swamp on one side, and on investigating, 
the police captured a man with his hand badly shattered with a 
bullet ; I dressed and bandaged the wound, pending our return 
to the Station, when I could amputate it. We then found out 
that the attack upon us was a mistake on the part of the natives : 
it appeared that some distance up tht ' river there lived a tribe, 
an offshoot of the Baruga, under a chief named Oiogoba Sara, 
a mighty fighting man ; these people had recently raided the 
Arifamu, and were full of pride at their exploit. My camp fire 
had been seen by a prowling canoe, which had reported it to 
Oiogoba Sara, who had concluded that it belonged to a small 
travelling fishing party of Kaili Kaili or Arifamu, and had 
dispatched two canoes, with instructions to rush the camp and 
slay every one in it. 

"It was most kind and considerate of Mr. Oiogoba Sara to 
call upon us so soon after our arrival," I said to the police ; " I 
think we will return the compliment by taking him to Cape 
Nelson for a few months." So inland, in search of Oiogoba Sara 
and his village, we accordingly went ; eventually we discovered 
the village quite unperceived by the villagers. The wailing of 
women showed clearly, as we crept up, that the reverse of the 
night before was already known. Oiogoba was keeping no 
watch, and before he knew what was upon him, we were in his 
village and he was seized by two police, from whom he at once 
broke away and seized his club ; some of his people fled 
immediately, others began to put up a fight to rescue him, but, 
upon two being killed and others wounded, they broke and fled. 
Oiogoba was an enormously powerful man and fought like a 


veritable tiger. "Take him alive," I yelled at the police, as they 
dodged his club and made repeated attempts to spring upon his 
back. Oiogoba, charging like a wild boar, broke through the 
circle and leapt into the river, which was about up to his waist, 
hotly followed by the police ; one private dived and grabbed him 
by the ankles, whereupon Oiogoba tried to get at him with his 
club, but another private sprang in and caught him on the club 
arm with the butt of his rifle, smashing that member ; a few 
seconds then saw Oiogoba pulled down and secured. 

I set his arm in splints, and then said, " What do you mean, 
you old scoundrel, by killing the Arifamu, who are my people, 
and attacking my camp ? " "I did not know the Arifamu were 
your people, I know nothing about you ; if I had known, I 
certainly should not have been fool enough to interfere with 
you," he said. "What are you going to do with me ? Kill and 
eat me ? " " No. Take you home with me, mend your arm, 
and teach you the ways of the Government ; then return you to 
govern your district for the Government. You are a strong 
brave man like Bushimai of the Mambare." " I have heard of 
Bushimai," said old Oiogoba Sara ; " is he one of your people ? " 
" Yes," I answered ; " the man who held your arm, while I tied 
it up, is his son." I kept him for some months at Cape Nelson, 
and then returned him to his tribe as Government chief, and he 
proved a very useful man. 

Complaint was often made in New Guinea that the Govern- 
ment recruited its constabulary and village constables from the 
gaols. This was true in many instances ; but it must be 
remembered that many of the prisoners were not criminals in 
the European sense of the word, they were merely men of strong 
personality, like Oiogoba Sara, who had found their way to gaol 
from simply following the ancient customs of their people, and 
were quite ignorant of any feeling of wrongdoing ; and such 
men almost invariably proved the best servants of the Govern- 
ment, for they brought their already existing authority among 
their people to aid them in enforcing their newly conferred 
strange authority from Government. The result was, that a 
strange tribe of raw savages could frequently be brought into a 
state of law and order, without their perceiving the real change 
that was being effected, and without undue disturbance of the 
tribal or communal life. 

The village constable and Government chief system in New 
Guinea had been originated by that very wise man. Sir William 
MacGregor, with the assistance and advice of Sir Francis Winter ; 
it was a splendid thing, for by it one was enabled to make the 
people govern themselves, and that without their feeling that 
any undue restriction or coercion had been used. I think after 

'■ I 



the departure of Sir William, I was the sole man in the country 
who really realized the value and potentialities for good work of 
this service, and also utilized it to its fullest extent ; and it always 
seemed to me ten thousand pities that this was so, and tliat it had 
not been developed to its uttermost limits. Only a brilliant brain 
such as that of Sir William MacGregor, or Sir Francis Winter, 
could have originated the scheme. Let me take an example : 
assuming a murder, or any serious crime, had taken place in a 
village of raw natives without a village constable or Government 
chief, and I heard of it ; then, the arrest of the offender would 
be made by constabulary — strange armed men — and the whole 
community would be alarmed ; the women, children and 
witnesses would all fly for the bush, and regard the whole matter 
in the light of a hostile raid by a foreign enemy. Take the 
same village and the same offence with a village constable or 
Government chief firmly established ; then, upon the offence 
being reported, it was only " old so-and-so," whom the villagers 
knew well, who donned his uniform and, accompanied by the 
elders of the village, seized the offender and hauled him forth 
for judgment ; and this without in the slightest degree disturbing 
the village life or alarming the uninvolved people. The 
difference, to draw a parallel, was simply this : supposing some 
English villagers saw one of their number seized by a patrol of 
Russian or German soldiers,* they would be alarmed and 
indignant ; but if they saw him collared by their own local 
bobby, they would not bother their heads further than to gossip. 

In weak villages, the village constable gave the villagers a 
sense of protection, for he was a constant reminder that a force 
existed able to protect them from their enemies, with which he 
was intimately connected ; whilst in strong and turbulent 
villages, his presence was a constant reminder of a watching 
Government, and therefore a deterrent to crime. They were 
not without their faults and drawbacks, of course, but no people 
are, unless kept under constant supervision ; their main fault was 
to levy blackmail. The natives, however, very soon learnt 
what their constable's powers were, and then would lose no time 
in reporting any abuse of them. In the North-Eastern Division, 
I had the younger village constables drilled, and they formed an 
excellent reserve for the constabulary. 

In the Northern Division, in later years, I had in one instance 
a woman as village constable ; she had a very masterful 
personality and had ruled her village before the advent of the 
Government. She did splendid work and only once gave me 
trouble, and that was when she summarily divorced her husband ; 
he was rather glad than otherwise, as the position of consort to 

* Written before the War. 


the official lady was not altogether a bed of roses. But then 
she picked out a fine-looking; young man of her village, about 
ten years younger than iierself, and ordered him to marry iier. 
He was struck with consternation at the prospect, and bolted for 
an adjoining village ; she pursued him, and ran him in upon the 
charge of disobeying the village constable. Two other village 
constables near-by were scandalized at the affair ; they ran in 
the pair and brought them before me, when, in answer to my 
inquiries, the lady official stated her grievance. "Why won't 
you marry her ? " I asked the man. " It seems the best way to 
settle the matter." " I'd sooner go to gaol," he said briefly. 
" Well, I am blessed if I see any way out of it," I said ; " if you 
return to your village, I believe she will marry you sooner or 
later. Wanting to marry you is not a crime." " Can I enlist in 
the Armed Constabulary ? " he asked ; " I should be safe there." 
" Yes, that will be the best ; I'll send you to Cape Nelson," 
" Are you not going to make him marry me ? " asked the re- 
doubtable dame. I shook my head. " Then I suppose I'll have 
to take so-and-so back again," she remarked, naming her recently 
divorced husband ; which I may mention she finally did. 

I have mentioned crocodiles tearing at the bodies of the dead 
in the mouth of the Barigi River. In New Guinea there appear 
to be two different species of the brute, for in some rivers they are 
small and innocuous, while in others they are large and of extreme 
ferocity ; the latter species I have known to attack and take a man 
out of a canoe — Crocod'ilus porosus I believe the reptile is named. 
On another occasion one of the beasts, sleeping partly submerged 
in the mouth of the Vanapa River, was struck by the prow of the 
Ruby launch, and promptly came open-mouthed after her ; and 
yet another time one rose out of the sea in Buna Bay and nearly 
grabbed one of the crew of the lugger PeuUuliy whilst he was 
painting the vessel's side. This particular species is equally at 
home in either salt water or fresh ; it ranges from China to Persia, 
and south to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Dr. Gray, 
in his " Catalogue of the Crocodilia," refers to this particular 
reptile as "the salt-water crocodile"; but I have found the 
Crocodilus porosus in fresh-water streams in New Guinea, miles 
inland, and just as savage and dangerous as in the mouths of tidal 

On one occasion, in order to cross a flooded stream at the 
head of the Kumusi River, my men felled an enormous tree, which 
fell with a resounding splash into the water, sufficient, one would 
think, to scare away every reptile within half a mile. Hardly had 
the sound ceased and the splash subsided, before a private of the 
constabulary was running across the tree trunk, which was a few 
inches under the surface of the water ; before he could reach the 


other bide, a crocodile arose and made a grab at him, catching him 
by the red sash about his waist ; fortunately, however, the man 
managed to slip off his sash, and then tore across the tree, while 
the crocodile disappeared under the surface with the sash. I have 
been told by the Mambare natives that the brute has a trick, if 
any person unwarily stands on the edge of a muddy river, of 
swimming rapidly past and knocking that person into the river 
with a blow from its powerful tail, after which it disposes of its 
victim at its leisure. The brute makes a sort of nest and lays its 
eggs in marshy jungles, which occur on the banks of rivers, and I 
have found them a hundred miles from salt water. 

Some of the ancients among the crocodiles get marvellously 
cunning : there was one beast of my acquaintance that inhabited 
a deep pool in a small stream at Wanigcla in Collingwood Bay, 
and he was a great thorn in the fiesh of the villagers ; for, watch 
as they would, they could never see him in daylight, whilst pigs 
and people disappeared at night with unpleasant frequency, and in 
the morning, no more was to be seen than the trail of his tail and 
claws. The villagers sent me complaint after complaint about 
the beast, alleging that it was a devil and no real crocodile. I 
sent the police to watch for it, but they did no better than the 
natives. At last the people complained that they did not think 
much of a Government that could not rid them of such a pest ; 
and I became really annoyed with the crocodile. " Kill a pig, a 
fat pig, and let it go rotten," I advised the villagers, " then I will 
come and deal with the brute." 

I went to Wanigcla in about a week's time ; the pig was 
really high by then and a choice morsel for a crocodile. On to 
that pig's corpse I tied about a pound of dynamite, with a yard of 
fuse attached ; then, pulling the whaler into the middle of the 
hole the beast was supposed to inhabit, I lit the fuse and chucked 
the pig over the side. We had an exciting time then, for piggy 
was too far gone to sink and began to drift on the surface towards 
the houses in the village, where all the inhabitants were assembled 
to watch our operations ; hastily we chased the carrion and tore 
off the burning fuse ; then we got a number of large stones and 
weighted piggy well, before tilting him over the side again ; he 
sank this time, and we hurriedly vacated the spot. I had fixed a 
five-minute fuse, time sufficient, I thought, for the crocodile to 
discover the delicious morsel we had sent him : soon came the 
explosion, and a few seconds later, out crawled on to the sand- 
bank an enormous old crocodile, only to be greeted with a veritable 
hail of bullets, spears and curses, whereupon he flopped back once 
more into his uncomfortable domicile. " I don't think he will 
trouble you again," I told the Wanigcla people, and went off home. 
The next day they sent and told me that they had found the 


crocodile's body and were eating it ; 1 thought that eating your 
enemy after having destroyed him was certainly the most complete 
revenge possible. Afterwards I saw the jaw bones, and, to my 
amazement, discovered that some of the teeth were decayed ; I 
then thanked my stars that I had not the teeth of a crocodile in 
which to have toothache, for it seemed too awful to contemplate 
altogether ! 

Again I find I have digressed ; the subject of village constables 
was always a weakness of mine, and the crocodiles seem to have 
crept in, just in the same manner as they sneak into villages. 
Return I now to Oiogoba Sara. This old chief gave me much 
information about the geography of his district, and the relations 
of one tribe with another ; he also told me a marvellous tale of a 
strange aquatic tribe inhabiting a huge morass, not more than half 
a dozen miles from his principal village, who, he declared, were 
unable to walk on hard dry country. At first I did not believe 
him, but he stuck to his story, and Giwi of the Kaili Kaili told me 
that he had often heard rumours to tlie same effect ; accordingly I 
determined to investigate the truth for myself. 

Some time after, about September, 1902, old Oiogoba Sara 
was released from gaol and returned to his village as Government 
chief; and just then two friends of mine, L. G. Dyke Acland and 
Wilfred Walker, arrived on a visit to me. They were both men 
who were fond of shoving their noses into the little-known parts 
of the globe : Walker had a mania for collecting strange birds, and 
had been everywhere on the earth in search of them ; Acland 
possessed a mercurial disposition that led him into all sorts of 
trouble, from fighting in South Africa and prowling in Siberia, to 
eventually — after he left me — tiger hunting in India, where he 
succeeded in getting very thoroughly chewed up by a tiger, and 
losing an arm. I told them I had little to offer in the way of 
amusement or sport, but that if they chose to accompany me, I 
was going in search of a very strange aquatic tribe I had heard of, 
and then on to a fight with a lot of raiding cannibals. The former 
appealed to Walker, the latter to Acland ; therefore they both 
decided to come with me. 

The people, of whom we were going in search, were styled by 
Oiogoba Sara, " Agai Ambu " : " Ambu" is the Binandere word for 
man, "Agai " for duck; therefore the translation of the name "Agai 
Ambu," which was used generally among the tribes, is the " duck- 
or web-footed people." We went to old Oiogoba's village on the 
Barigi River, this time in friendly fashion, and were warmly 
welcomed. The old chief insisted, much to my disgust, upon his 
wives cooking my food, and the village women, that of my police ; 
the constabulary got on all right, but Acland, Walker, and I 
preferred a frugal meal of sardines and biscuits to the feast prepared 


for us of fat pork and stewed dog ! Leaving old Oiogoba's village, 
we were guided by him in a westerly direction towards the Musa 
River and the morass alleged to be inhabited by the strange 

As we receded from the banks of the Barigi, the country got 
lower and more marshy, showing signs of prolonged submersion 
under water. It was, I may remark, the driest year experienced 
for a long period on the north-east coast. At last we emerged 
upon the reed-covered bank of a huge shallow lake or «lagoon, and 
within sight of a village built on tall poles, in the midst of reeds 
and water, some half a mile distant from the shore. "There," 
said Oiogoba Sara, " there are the houses of the Agai Ambu, the 
duck-footed people, whose feet are so tender that they cannot 
walk on dry land." " How long have they been there ? " I asked. 
" From a time extending beyond the memory of my father's 
father," he said ; which is about the length of reliable native 
tradition in New Guinea. 

The bank of the lagoon, upon which we stood, was in reality 
neither soil nor earth, but a springy substance composed of 
decaying humus and marsh plants, upon which one had constantly 
to shift one's position to avoid sinking up to one's knees in water; 
it fairly hummed with mosquitoes and swarmed with large black 
hairy spiders. The surface of the water was alive with wild duck, 
teal, grebe, plover, and geese, beyond counting, and all remarkaby 
tame ; it was covered also with water-lilies, over the floating 
leaves of which, water-fowl ran. Never have I seen a spot so 
abundant in bird life. The water itself teemed with fishes of a 
carp-like variety, some of which I caught and sent to the British 
Museum, where they were discovered to be a species new to 
science. The name allotted to these by the British Museum 
authorities is Electrh Moncktom. At intervals there jutted in upon 
the bank of the lagoon, lake, or morass, whatever one likes to call 
it, extensive sago swamps. The lagoon is fed by the overflow 
waters of the Musa River : I had previously been much puzzled, 
when upon the second Doriri expedition (which, by the way, I 
refer to later), by finding flooded waters from the river flowing in 
well-defined streams, and apparently contrary to all known habits 
of rivers, away from the river proper in a north-easterly direction ; 
and with no known outfall for flood waters on the coast north of 
the mouth of the river ; — flood waters from a river such as the 
Musa have such a distinct yellow colour, that their advent to the 
sea could hardly be missed by any passing vessel. Now, this 
apparently unnatural phenomenon was accounted for ; the flood 
waters of the Musa were discharged into this reedy lake, and there 
precipitated their mud and sediment, thence finding their way to 
the sea by many swampy — but clear — streams. 


At Oiogoba's suggestion, I concealed our party in the reeds, 
as he explained tliat though the Agaiambu were on friendly 
terms with his people, they were mortally afraid of every one else, 
as they were so helpless on dry land, and that if they thought 
strangers were present nothing would induce them to leave their 
canoes. Oiogoba's people maintained trading relations with 
them, exchanging vegetables in times of plenty, and at other 
times, stone implements and earthenware pots for sago and 
smoked or fresh fish. The Baruga natives (Oiogoba's people) 
now yelled to them, asking them to come ashore to trade with 
them ; and forthwith several canoes set out from the village to 
the shore. As soon as the first canoe arrived, containing two 
men, the Baruga called to me to come up, and they attempted to 
seize the men to retain them for me, but they struggled into the 
water, where the semi-amphibious Agaiambu easily escaped from 
the clutches of Baruga and the police, who had hastily rushed 
to their assistance ; they then swam back through the water- 
lilies and clinging weeds of the lake to their village, their retreat 
being covered by other Agaiambu canoes, the crews of which 
brandished spears, paddles, and poles, and hurried to the help of 
their friends. The police and Baruga, who were all powerful 
men — much stronger men physically than the Agaiambu — and 
strong swimmers, could no more succeed in holding those men in 
the water while swimming than they could hold a large eel. 

"Here is a pretty mess!" I said to old Oiogoba Sara. "I 
have thoroughly frightened those people, who have done us 
no harm, and now we shall see nothing further of them." 
Fortunately we had in our hands the canoe in which the first 
two men had come ; it was unlike any other Papuan canoe on 
the north-east coast, being hollowed from a single log and with- 
out an outrigger; it was also as thin as an egg-shell, round 
bottomed and extremely light, and neither my constabulary nor 
the Baruga could get into it without its capsizing immediately. 
I might just as well have asked them to mount and ride at once 
an old-fashioned high bicycle, as expect them to navigate that 
thing without long practice. " If I could only get some of my 
people over to the village of the Agaiambu with presents, I think 
that we could get at least one man to come here, and then the 
rest would be easy ; they have no steel tools, and would run any 
risk to possess your tomahawks or adzes ! " said Oiogoba. " Fit 
the canoe with an outrigger," I told the police. " It's too fragile 
to stand such," they reported, after examination of the craft. 
" Make two outriggers, then," I ordered, " and lash the canoe 
firmly between them to the cross-pieces." This was done; two 
Baruga then embarked, taking with them a new tomahawk, a 
long knife, and some bright-coloured beads and print, and started 


for the agitated Agaiambu village, in which we could see great 
excitement was prevailing. 

As our embassy approached, the inhabitants hastily crowded 
into their fragile cranky canoes, and began to bolt from their village. 
The two Baruga, shouting and yelling professions of friend- 
ship, held up their gifts and slowly forced their canoe through 
the water-lilies and weeds ; the Agaiambu, seeing the slow progress 
of the captured canoe encumbered with its ovitriggers, hovered in 
the close vicinity, until the two Baruga had deposited our gifts 
upon the platform of one of the houses; after which they retired ; 
whereupon the Agaiambu returned and inspected the — to them — 
untold wealth. "There is plenty more like that," yelled the 
two Baruga, " if you will only come ashore and sell us fish, and 
let our master look at yoiu- feet." 

The Agaiambu discussed the matter, and then picked out one 
of their number, whom they apparently considered of slight value 
or little loss if we did kill him, and handed him over to the 
two Baruga, who brought him to me. The man selected kept 
up an unholy wailing all the way, and then nearly died of funk 
when he saw the — to him — awful colour of Acland, Walker, and 
myself. Hastily I gave him an adze, a tomahawk, some print, 
beads, and a mirror, and ordering the police to strip the outriggers 
from the canoe, told him he could take it and return to his people 
whenever he liked ; immediately if he saw fit ; he got into the 
canoe with his 'gifts, and pushing off a few yards from the edge, 
conversed with us at ease. " What do you want with us ? " 
he asked. " Only to look at you and your village," I replied, 
*' through Oiogoba your fame as swimmers and fishers has spread 
through the land, and I wanted to know whether you were as 
clever as he said you were ; also I want some of those birds," at 
the same time pointing to the geese and ducks that w^ere crowding 
in the vicinity. "We can get you those," he answered. Mean- 
while his fellow villagers, seeing he had not been hurt, approached 
in canoes. "Tell him, Oiogoba," I said, "that I'll get some for 
myself with a noise and in a manner strange to him, and that if 
he is not frightened and brings me the birds I have killed, I will 
give him yet another tomahawk." Oiogoba told him, and added 
that he was to yell to the approaching canoes that he was all 
right and not to be frightened ; which he did. 

I then hastily beckoned to my boy to bring my gun, and shot 
a duck, blazing the second barrel into the brown of a rising flock, 
lialf a dozen of which fell, some of the cripples scurrying off; the 
Agaiambu man collapsed with a yell of funk, and was just making 
a bolt of it, when Oiogoba yelled, " Catch our birds ! It is all 
right ! "' The man looked at the birds, picked up the dead, and 
then started off after the cripples, and within one minute wa.% 


yelling to the other hastily departing canoes to come and help 
him catch them. The instinct of the chase had overcome his 
fears ; we were now brother hunters in pursuit of a common 
quarry. A very few minutes now saw the remaining Agaiambu 
landing amongst us; I ordered the police to start pitching camp 
and to take no notice of them, whilst I sat on the ground with 
Oiogoba Sara, and merely noticed the still very timid Agaiambu 
by chucking any man he induced to come within a few yards of 
us, a gift of some sort. 

" What is this strange-coloured being ? " they asked Oiogoba, 
"a man or a devil?" "A man, whom I now serve," he 
answered ; " he is very wise and very powerful, and, if you don't 
offend him, very kind ; if you wish to please him, bring fish and 
sago for his people, and he will pay you most generously." Off 
went the Agaiambu, and shortly returned with vast quantities of 
fish and sago ; also a pig, very fat indeed, but whose feet were as 
soft and tender as a blancmange; this tJiey brought as an offering 
to me. • They were getting reassured by now, and my gifts in 
return for the pig included penny whistles and Jews' harps, which 
delighted their simple souls ; soon indeed their women, who were 
hovering in canoes a short distance away, and whose curiosity 
had brought them, were told by their lords and masters to come 
ashore as we were quite safe people. 

The work of pitching camp was steadily going on, and 
beastly work it was, for the police had to drive poles into the 
squidgy marsh and build platforms on them, upon which to pitch 
the tents; at last my tent was complete, whither I at once 
retired to change my wet things, followed by the curious eyes of 
the Agaiambu. My cook, Toku, was busily engaged outside 
preparing our midday meal, when suddenly I heard his voice 
raised in exhortation. " Oh ! " he said, " you must not come 
here ! " and peeping out, I saw an Agaiambu woman depositing 
at his feet a string of fish. " What does she say ? " I asked 
Oiogoba, who" was sitting on my platform ready to act as 
interpreter if necessary. *' She says they are for you," he 
answered. "Tell her to send her husband for payment," I 
replied. This being done the husband waddled up. " I don't 
want paying," he said, "you are good people, I give the fish to 
you." On the man's shoulder he had suspended a stone-headed 
adze for hollowing canoes, a clumsy tool at the best. "Ask him, 
Oiogoba, to give me that adze," I said. Somewhat reluctantly 
he handed over his most valued tool. "Barigi," I then said to 
that worthy, who, although my corporal, always insisted upon 
fussing about me and my clothes when camp was being pitched, 
"fit a plane iron to the head of this, instead of the stone, and 
give it back to him," Barigi did so, and that Agaiambu sat 



and gloated over a tool such as in his wildest dreams he had 
never previously imagined. I had now gained the full confidence 
of the Agaiambu : taking advantage of this, Walker, Acland, 
and I put in that afternoon shooting ducks and geese, assisted 
by them and furnished with their canoes, they rendering them 
suitable for our purpose by lashing them together in groups of 
two or three ; they also acted as retrievers of the shot game. 

Now for a description of this remarkable people, the only 
authentic account that can ever be written, as they are now 
practically extinct ; and Acland, Walker, and I are the only 
Europeans who ever had an opportunity of fully observing them 
and their habits. Sir Francis Winter, when Acting Governor, 
saw them on a later occasion, and described such as he saw ; and 
after that Captain Barton ; I accompanied both Administrators, 
but neither had as full nor as good an opportunity as I, their 
discoverer, had upon my first visit. 

Firstly, the true type of Agaiambu differed from other natives 
in these respects — I say advisedly the true type, because there 
were certain members of the tribe who nearly approached the 
ordinary type of Baruga native; but this was explained by the 
purchase of their mothers from the Baruga people. Placing an 
Agaiambu man alongside a Baruga native of the same height, 
one found that his hip joints were three or four inches lower than 
that of the Baruga, one also found that his chest measurement 
was at least on an average three inches greater, while his chest 
expansion ran to as much again. The nostrils of the Agaiambu 
were twice the size of those of any native I have ever seen, they 
appeared to dilate and contract like those of a racehorse. Above 
the knee on the inside of the leg was a large mass of muscle ; on 
the leg below the knee there was no calf whatsoever, but on the 
shin bone in front there was a protuberance of a sinewy nature. 
The knee joints were very wrinkly, with a scale-like appearance ; 
the feet were as flat as pancakes, with practically no instep, 
and the toes long, flaccid, and straggling. Walking on hard 
ground or dry reeds, the Agaiambu moved with the hoppity gait 
of a cockatoo. Across the loins, instead of curving in fine lines 
as most natives do, there was a mass of corrugated skin and 
muscle. The skin of their feet was as tender as wet blotting- 
paper, and they bled freely as they crawled about upon the reeds 
and marshy ground of our camp. They had a slight epidermal 
growth between the toes, but nothing resembling webbing as 
alleged by the Baruga ; the term " duck footed," therefore, had 
only meant tender footed, or, more literally, "water-bird footed." 

They were extraordinarily adept at handling their light, cranky 
canoes, and they were more at home in the water than any 
people I have either seen or heard of, and appeared to stand 


upright in that element without any perceptible effort ; the one 
thing that my Mambarc police feared, who were all very powerful 
swimmers, was entangling clinging water-weeds, but the Agaiambu 
would dive among them without the slightest fear. They told 
me they caught duck and water-fowl by squatting in a bunch of 
reeds, or covering their heads with water-weeds, until a flock 
settled near, whereupon thev would dive under the flock and 
pull a bird or two under without disturbing tlie rest ; then, 
regaining their reeds or lump of weed, they would draw breath 
and repeat the performance. They told me that they had once 
been a numerous tribe, but that about thirty years before some 
epidemic had swept through them and killed most of the people. 
They did not know how long they had occupied the marsh or 
from whence they came ; they had, however, a vague tradition to 
the effect that their ancestors had originally taken refuge in the 
marsh, and built a village on an island to escape from raiding 
enemies — the island, however, had long since disappeared. Their 
language was a dialect of the Baruga of the Musa River ; so I 
conclude they originally came from that part, probably bolting in 
canoes before the attack of some raiders down the flood waters of 
that river, which had'borne them to the site of their present abode. 

Their diet consisted principally of fish, water-fowl, sago, and 
the roots of water-lilies. They kept pigs swung in cradles under- 
neath their houses, lying on their bellies with their legs stuck 
through the bottom, and fed them upon fish and sago ; the pigs 
never had any exercise, and most of them were procured as 
suckers from the Baruga, but some they bred in their houses. 
The Agaiambu houses were of rectangular oblong shape, and built 
on poles stuck in a depth of about ten feet of water. Their dead 
they disposed of by wrapping the body in mats made from 
pandanus leaves, and then tying it upon a stake stuck in the water ; 
the body itself was secured well above flood level. I both saw 
and smelt two of their " graves." At one house they had a tame 
half-grown crocodile tied up at the end of a rope. I tried to 
induce two of them to return with me to Cape Nelson, as I knew 
my account of them would be ridiculed ; but their fear of the 
hard dry land was too great to overcome. 

Captain Barton later took a photograph of an Agaiambu man, 
which I here insert, but the individual he photographed was by no 
means a good specimen of this strange people ; for, by the time I 
took Barton there, most of the tribe had been decoyed ashore and 
slaughtered by a raiding party of Doriri, an event I refer to later. 
Sir Francis Winter, who also on one occasion went with me to see 
them, gives the following account in an official dispatch to the 
Governor-General of Australia : — 

"The Ahgai-ambo have for a period that extends beyond 




native traditions lived in this swamp. At one time they were 
fairly numerous, but a few years ago some epidemic reduced them 
to about forty. They never leave their morass, and the Baruga 
assured us that they are not able to walk properly on hard ground, 
and that their feet soon bleed if they try to do so. The man 
that came on shore was for a native middle-aged. He would have 
been a fair-sized native, had his body, from the hips downwards, 
been proportionate to the upper part of his frame. He had a 
good chest, and, for a native, a thick neck, and his arms matched 
his trunk. His buttocks and thighs were disproportionately small, 
and his legs still more so. His feet were short and broad, and 
very thin and flat, with, for a native, weak-looking toes. This 
last feature was still more noticeable in the woman, whose toes 
were long and slight and stood out rigidly from the foot as though 
they possessed no joints. The feet of both the man and the 
woman seemed to rest on the ground something as wooden feet 
would do. The skin above the knees of the man was in loose 
folds, and the sinews and muscles around the knee were not well 
developed. The muscles of the shin were much better developed 
than those of the calf. In the ordinary native the skin on the 
loins is smooth and tight, and the anatomy of the body is clearly 
discernible ; but the Ahgai-ambo man had several folds of thick 
skin or muscle across the loins, which concealed the outline of 
his frame. On placing one of our natives, of the same height, 
alongside the marsh man, we noticed that our native was about 
three inches higher at the hips. 

" I had a good view of our visitor, while he was standing 
sideways to me, and in figure and carriage he looked to me more 
ape-like than any human being that I have ever seen. The 
woman, who was of middle age, was much more slightly formed 
than the man, but her legs were short and slender in proportion 
to her figure, which from the waist to the knees was clothed in 
a wrapper of native cloth." 



T the time we were camped on the shore of the Agaiambu 
lake, I noticed growing on the bank of a stream leading 
into it, a D'Albertia creeper, with white blossoms 
instead of the usual vivid scarlet ; I had never seen a 
white one before, and have never seen it since. The D'Albertia, 
whose botanical name, by the way, is Mucuna Bennetti, is quite 
the most marvellous and beautiful creeper in the world ; but as 
yet all attempts to transplant it, or introduce it into cultivation, 
have failed. No water colour nor slickness of oils can reproduce 
the wonderful brilliance of scarlet colour of the ordinary variety 
of this plant ; its blossoms simply strike one dumb with their 
startling beauty. Perhaps, in time to come, some Yankee 
millionaire may charter a special steamer and transplant a 
D'Albertia, as they transplant grown pine trees ; but, until that 
day comes, the people, who do not care to seek it in its haunts, 
will lack the sight of the most wonderful plant in the world. 

From the Barigi River, I went on to investigate complaints 
made by a tribe named Notu, situated at Oro Bay on the north-east 
coast, of attacks made upon them by an inland tribe named 
Dobuduia. The Notu, who were a set of murdering blackguards 
themselves and a curse to the coast, told me that they had hitherto 
been on most friendly terms with the Dobudura, but that lately 
the latter tribe had been raiding them, and killing by torture any 
people they captured. " We don't mind fighting," said the Notu, 
" and we don't mind being killed and eaten, for that is the lot of 
men, but we do object to having our arms ripped up and being 
tied to posts or trees by our own sinews, and having meat chopped 
off us until we die ! " "I will deal with the Dobudura," I told 
them, " but afterwards I am going to make you sit up and squeal ; 
for, to my certain knowledge, you have recently killed and eaten 
two Mambare carriers ; also, I have heard of quite a number of 
mysterious disappearances of people in the vicinity of your villages." 
" Crocodiles," said the Notu, " they are bad here." " Yes," I 
told them, " two-legged crocodiles. Now, what started your row 
with the Dobuduras ? " " Sorcery," they said. " Have you 
coundrels been playing with sorcery ? " I asked. " No," they 


answered, and assured me that their virtue in that respect was 
almost beyond beh'ef; to which I answered that I thought it was ! 

They then told me that the prevaiHng drought had badly 
affected the Dobudura country, and many of that people's gardens 
had perished ; while a sago swamp, upon which they relied in 
times of scarcity, had got as dry as tinder and been swept by fire. 
Some rain had fallen in the immediate vicinity of the Notu 
villages at Oro Bay and had saved the Notu gardens ; whereupon 
the Dobudura people had ascribed their misfortunes to the work 
of Notu sorcerers, and set out to make things extremely un- 
pleasant for the Notu. " Is the Dobudura tribe a numerous one ? " 
I asked. "Yes, much more numerous than we are," they told 
me. The Notu could muster about three hundred fighting men, 
and, therefore, I concluded that the Dobudura had probably about 
four or five hundred men. 

At dawn I marched inland in search of the Dobudura country, 
accompanied by Acland and Walker, and taking with me about 
seventy Notu armed with spear, club, and shield, to act as scouts 
and guides, twenty-five constabulary and village constables, and 
about sixty Kaili Kaili under old Giwi. The track, after clearing 
the coastal swamp, ran through alternate belts of tall forest and 
grass, and was well worn and defined ; it showed signs of the 
recent passage of large bodies of men. The Notu marched in 
front, flung out as a screen of scouts, a position they were not at 
all keen on occupying. We marched until about noon, when, as 
we neared the edge of a belt of forest we were passing through, 
the Notu came running back and got behind the column, saying 
that the Dobudura were in sight. We emerged on to a grassy 
plain, and sighted a village surrounded by a thick grove of cocoa- 
nut and betel-nut palms ; three or four Dobudura were standing, 
fully armed and plumed, watching for us to emerge from the 
forest ; they had evidently discovered our advance into their 

They at once gave tongue to a prolonged blood-curdling war- 
cry, " Oooogh ! Aarrr ! " which was taken up by a number of 
other men invisible to us ; then came the long deep boom of the 
conch shells and wooden war horns ; the beggars clearly meant 
fight. I ordered the police to kneel in line just inside the edge of 
the forest, and then sent the Notu into the open to yell their own 
war-cry, and draw the Dobudura into the open. We could now 
see dozens of plumed Dobudura heads bobbing up and down in 
the tall grass, about a mile away ; but, though the Notu came 
tearing back several times in alarm at having discovered a 
Dobudura scout close to them, no further advance was made by 
them, though their war-cry was going on constantly. " Those 
fellows are waiting for reinforcements," I said, " I'll take them in 


detail " ; aiul advanced upon the village, while the Dobudura 
scouts hung on our flank and rear. 

Approaching close to the village, I ordered the police to rush 
it, which they did, only, however, just as rapidly as the Dobudura 
vacated it on the other side. I judged, from the number of holes 
in the ground made by the Dobudura sticking their spears 
upright in the ground while they rested, that about a hundred and 
fifty men had been in the village. In the centre of the village 
there was a platform, about four feet high, stacked with skulls, 
some quite fresh and with morsels of flesh adhering to them. 
*' Ours," said the Notu. " Sec that hole in the side of each skull ? 
That is where they scrape out the fresh brains ! " Every skull 
had a hole in exactly the same place, varying in size, but uniform 
in position. The village was full of pigs and fowls, which the 
police and carriers killed. Dobudura scouts still hung about us, 
but their main body had vanished. A group of four or five of 
them got up a tree, about five hundred yards distant, and, as we 
continued our march, watched us and shouted directions and 
information of our movements to invisible Dobudura ahead. I 
ordered half a dozen constabulary to fire at the men in the tree, 
which they did, Walker and Acland also firing ; the men dropped 
rapidly from the tree, but none of them were hit, though the sound 
of rifles, heard by them for the first time, must have disturbed their 
nerves a little. 

As we continued our march, we fovmd that we were sur- 
rounded by a thin ring of Dobudura, who were now quite silent. 
They gave one a funny feeling — the feeling of being surrounded 
by a thin invisible net which always gave when pressed, only to 
close again when we relaxed our pressure. " Master, be cautious ; 
I think we shall find a big fight," said Barigi. " Keep close 
together, and your tomahawks ready," old Giwi told his Kaili 
Kaili, I detached half a dozen constabvdary and told them to 
sneak through the long grass and break the ring of Dobudura 
scouts. They left ; and soon I heard shots. The police returned, 
bringing with them the spears, clubs, and shields of two men they 
had shot ; but, hardly had they returned, when the ring reformed. 
We marched on once more, my flanking police constantly having 
slight skirmishes with small bodies of the Dobudura, but nothing 
like a fight taking place. The Dobudura were clearly carrying 
out some well-defined plan : they were not afraid of us, that was 
certain, or they would have bolted altogether ; neither did they 
mean to come into open collision with us yet. 

At last, still accompanied by the watching ring of men, we 
came to the bank of a river, upon the opposite bank of which an 
armed Dobudura was standing, shouting to others behind. 
"Get me that man alive 1" I ordered,. Ten police at once 


plunged into and across the river, and tore after him as lie fled. 
Walker, like an idiot, imagined that he could keep up with the 
swift police, and went after them, before I saw what he was 
doing. He paid for his folly, for he got the fright of his life. He 
was, of course, soon easily out-distanced by the constabulary, who 
did not for a moment imagine that any white man would be fool 
enough to try and keep up with them, and suddenly he came to a 
place where the track divided, and could not tell which one the 
police had taken ; he also now became conscious that the forest 
around him was full of Dobudura, he could hear their voices, and 
he did not dare to attempt to return to my party alone, for he 
had gone too far. Accordingly, at a venture he took one of the 
tracks, and luckily for him it was the right one, for in a few 
minutes he walked right into the returning police, who had 
captured a woman ; she turned out to be a Notu woman, 
captured some time before by the Dobudura. If Walker had 
taken the other track, he would most certainly have been 
killed, as the police reported that it was held by a strong force of 
Dobudura. I gave him a severe lecture, telling him that work of 
this description was worry enough for me, without its being com- 
plicated by the escapades of congenital idiots. " I suppose next," 
I said, " if you see a native climb a cocoanut tree like a monkey, 
you will imagine that you can do it too ! If you do try, please 
take care and fall on your head, and then you will come to no 
harm." Walker was extremely annoyed, and said that he did not 
believe the Dobudura would fight at all. 

Villa2;e after village we entered, all beino; deserted at our 
approach. At one spot on our line of march, a very big Dobudura 
nearly got Sergeant Kimai, who was slightly away from his men 
on one flank. The man crept up, and then rushed silently at 
Kimai with a club ; fortunately he caught sight of him, and, 
dropping on his knee, blew the man's stomach in at a yard's 
distance. My young devil, Toku, and some Kaili Kaili, dis- 
covered a Dobudura sneaking up, and the man fled finding that he 
was discovered ; whereupon Toku shot him in the stern with a 
small pea rifle of mine he was carrying. The man clapped his 
hand to the place, and went oft' in a series of jumps, or, as Toku 
put it, like a kangaroo ! Each village we entered had the same 
platform filled with skulls, some years old, others but a few days ; 
while in some villages an additional decoration in the form of 
ropes hung with human jawbones was provided. The skulls 
were all those of people killed and eaten, and were of both sexes 
and all ages, from that of an infant to that of a senile old man or 

At last we came to a big village of two hundred houses, 
where two men were shot in a skirmish, and a man and a woman 


captured by the scouting police. The man was sullen and would 
not answer questions ; the woman talkative, when once she 
found that she was not going to be killed. She told me that 
most of the men were away fighting the Sangara, but that swift 
messengers had gone tor them, to tell them of our invasion. I 
gave the man and the woman some tobacco, and then showed 
them how a bullet would pass tinough a shield or even a cocoanut 
tree; then I told them to seek out their chief and tell him that it 
was useless his fighting me, but that I must stop him fighting the 
Notu people, and that he had better come and see me himself 
next day, offering him safe conduct. So off they went. 

Platforms of skulls were at each end of this village; hundreds 
of skulls, and there was one heap of about thirty quite fresh ones, 
the adhering flesh had hardly had time to go bad. I nearly lost 
Private Oia here : he had leant his rifle against a tree a little 
distance away from the main body, and was squatting on the 
ground, when a Dobudura crept up and rushed him with a club ; 
Oia sprang up towards the enemy, just as the ^club swung down 
for his head, and succeeded in catching the blow from the 
wooden handle on his shoulder, instead of the cutting-stone disc 
on his head. Oia then tore the club from the man's grasp and 
dashed out his brains with it. "These Dobudura may be all 
right with the spear, but they are no good with the club," said 
Oia to me. " Why ? " asked I. " If that fool had been close 
enough to make a side cut at my, knee instead of a down cut at 
my head, he would have got me," he said ; " to use the down cut 
against a stooping man is folly, as it is so easily avoided ! " Oia, 
like his father, old Bushimai, was an expert in the use of a club. 
The old man despised a shield, considering it a useless encum- 
brance, and trusted to his clever manipulation of his club to ward 
off missiles. 

Night was now closing in, with threatening rain, and then the 
Notu calmly told me that the Dobudura preferred to fight at 
night, which was quite contrary to all usual native custom ; this 
to me was a very alarming statement, as it was also to the police, 
" I don't like this at all," I told Acland, " I have been an absolute 
fool. This village alone must be able to furnish quite three 
hundred men, and the other villages we passed through a like 
number at least, which makes six hundred ; while there may be a 
dozen other villages within easy reach, for all I know. I should 
have camped early in the day in the forest, and built a stockade 
for the night. If these beggars choose to rush us in the dark, the 
police won't be able to distinguish carriers from Dobudura in the 
tangled mess there will be ; and I have not enough police to 
keep up a sufficiency of sentries round the camp, without the 
whole force being on duty all night." Just before dark, our late 


prisoner walked in and told us that the men from the Sangara 
district had returned, and the chief proposed to pay us a visit that 
night. My sentries were posted at the time, but the man had 
got through them and right up to me, unchallenged. My police 
and the Notu protested strongly against our receiving visitors 
at night. " It's contrary to all our customs to receive visitors at 
night, and there is something behind this," they said. "Return to 
your chief, and tell him I will receive him in the morning," I 
told the messenger, " but that any one coming near my camp to- 
night will be shot immediately," and off he went. 

" If there is a fight to-night, how are we to distinguish the 
carriers from the Dobudura ? " I asked Barigi. " Let each carrier 
keep by him a glowing fire-stick, and seize and wave it when the 
fight comes," he replied, " then we can shoot at the men without 
fire in their hands," It was good advice, and I took it ; and each 
carrier took good care that — like the wise virgins — he kept his light 
burning. The night wore on : we three Europeans lying on the 
ground with our revolvers buckled on, our rifles ready to grasp, 
and with our pockets uncomfortably full of cartridges ; the police, 
that were not on duty, lay on their rifles, and each carrier kept 
spear or tomahawk handy. Old Giwi croaked about the folly or 
our camp, and exhorted the Kaili Kaili and his two sons, Makawa 
in my police and Toku my servant, to fight strongly. I stationed 
men at houses at each end and side of the village, with fire-pots 
full of live embers,, and instructed them — in the case of an attack 
— at once to set fire to the dry sago-leaf roofs, in order to give us 
light to fire by. The nerves of the whole party were now in a 
state of tense expectation, and the Notu quietly bewailed their 
folly in coming with me. " If we are smashed up," I told Walker 
and Acland, " don't let those beggars get you alive." 

All at once I heard the voice of a village constable, in the 
circle of sentries, raised in anger, " What two fools are you, 
walking past me without fire-sticks ? You know the orders ! " 
The order had been given by me that any carrier moving about 
the camp was to carry his fire-stick. The men made no reply, 
but rushed past him from our camp into the night ; whereupon 
he fired after them, and immediately there broke out a blaze of 
fire from the rifles ot the sentries all round the camp. I found 
out later that the two men were Dobudura who, unperceived, 
had been right through our camp, studying the disposition of my 

Then came the blood-curdling war-cry of the Dobudura all 
round us, which was answered by a yell of defiance from the 
Kaili Kaili, and a howl of terror from the Notu. "Fire the 
houses I Fall in the constabulary 1 " I yelled amid the din. 
Suddenly bang went a rifle at my side ; I turned and saw Walker. 


'Hien came a yell of |)rotC!>t from the Kaili Kaili. " What the 
devil do you think you are doing?" I demanded. "Firing at 
the enemy ! " he answered, wild with nervous excitement. 
"Trying to murder my Kaili Kaili!" I told him shortly. 
Walker calmed down and ceased firing. The houses shot up into 
a blaze, and lit up the village and surrounding grass for fifty 
yards ; the constabulary and village constables rapidly formed in 
line, and the Kaili Kaili and Notu, who were frantically waving 
their fire-sticks, lay down, in order that we might fire over them. 
The noise died away as quickly as it had risen, and the Dobudura 
departed as swiftly as they had come, without pushing their attack. 
I was extremely puzzled, but decided that perhaps they would 
yet come ; so the men stood as they were, in the light of the 
burning houses, until three in the morning, when rain fell upon 
us, and the Notu said we were now all right, as nothing would 
induce the Dobudura to fight in the rain. 

It was not until long afterwards, when I was on really friendly 
terms with the Dobudura, that I learnt what had saved us that 
night. They had discovered our advance into their country, 
almost immediately after we had left the coast, and had decided 
to draw us as far as possible into their district and avoid a fight 
until the men from Sangara could return ; then to throw every 
available fighting man upon my camp just before dawn. They 
knew a large portion of my force was comprised of Notu, whom 
they despised, and expected would bolt at the first attack. Their 
chief, who devised the scheme, had wished to visit my camp to 
see for himself how my force was disposed ; finding he could not 
do this, he had sent men who had crept unperceived past tlie 
sentries. Some of the men had already '■returned to him with 
news, and he was waiting for the others, when bang went the 
village constable's rifle and he fell dead, shot through the heart. 
The fire from the ring of sentries had also killed and wounded 
several others. Struck with dismay at the loss of their leader, 
and appalled by the flashes and sound of the rifles, they had then 
drawn oft until dawn should come ; but with the dawn came the 
rain, and that damped their fighting ardour. I, however, did not 
know this at the time, and was considerably surprised at the whole 
behaviour of the Dobudura. Glad was I when dawn came, for, 
on top of the nervous tension of the whole night, I knew that I 
was the person responsible for having got my party into such a 
dangerous position. 

In the morning, there were the ever present encircling 
Dobudura scouts, silent and watchful. " Damn these people ! " 
I said, " they have got upon my nerves. I am going to run 
away and get more police ; my men can't march and hunt them 
all day, and keep watch all night." Back for the coast we 


marched, the Notu scouting in advance, while the rear-guard was 
composed of constabulary. As we passed through and vacated 
each village, it was at once reoccupied by many people, and a 
gradually increasing body of Dobudura followed on our track. 
At one point, as we entered the forest, I sent a man up a tree to 
look back, and he reported large numbers of men creeping after 
us in the grass. I halted my men and faced about, thinking that 
perhaps they had at last made up their minds to come to con- 
clusions with me ; the men in the grass halted too, and after 
waiting some time for an attack to develop and none coming, I 
sent out a flanking party to try and get round them, but their ever- 
watching scouts detected my manoeuvres and the Dobudura 

We reached the Notu village again that night, when the old 
people of the village thanked me for fighting the Dobudura, and 
proffered gifts of necklaces made from dogs' teeth and shells. 
That night we slept like stone dogs, police, Kaili Kaili, and all 
our party, while the Notu people kept watch. The following 
day I took the whaler, and with half a dozen police, Acland, and 
Walker, sailed for the Kumusi River ; from which point I could 
send a message overland to Elliott, Assistant R.M. at Tamata, 
asking him for more police. The Kaili Kaili and the remainder 
of the constabulary I left encamped at Notu. 

We nearly got swamped crossing the bar of the Kumusi 
River, a beastly shark and alligator infested spot. " Lord love a 
duck ! " said Acland, " yesterday you nearly got us eaten by 
cannibals ! To-day you offer us a choice between drowning, 
sharks, or crocodiles ! If I ever hear any one saying that your 
guests are not provided with plenty of excitement and variety, I 
shall call the speaker a liar, if he's small enough ! " Oates kept 
a store for Whitten Brothers at the mouth of the Kumusi, from 
which the Yodda Gold-field was supplied per medium of the river ; 
so here we waited for a week for the return of my messenger to 
Elliott. We spent our time catching big sharks and groper on a 
stout cotton line ; wc got one groper of four hundred pounds 
weight, and some enormous sharks, which our men ate. The 
fish had a curious effect upon Private Oia, for he suddenly went 
into high fever, and then his outer skin crackled all over and 
peeled off; he told me that the same thing had happened to him 
once before, after he had eaten a large quantity of shark. 

A. W. Walsh, Assistant R.M. from Papangi Station, now put 
in an appearance with a trader named Clark ; they had been 
searching for a track from Bogi on the Kumusi River to the 
Mangrove Isles on the coast. I at once commandeered Walsh's 
services, together with his nine police, for service against the 
Dobudura. Walsh was an Irishman, a happy-go-lucky fellow 



who had gone broke farming in Australia, and had then been 
given a small appointm.ent in New Guinea. His detail of police 
were very slack and untidy : he afterwards served under me in 
the Northern Division, and I had a devil of a job straightening up 
his men. Then arrived from Tamata ten police, sent me by 
Elliott, a smart, well-drilled lot ; also old Bushimai appeared, with 
about fifty fighting men in canoes, Bushimai stating that he had 
heard I had sent for help to Tamata, and thought that he would 
bring some men to my assistance. I now had a force, I considered, 
sufficient to smash up any tribe in New Guinea ; namely, forty- 
four constabulary, an extra European officer, and carriers com- 
prised of such redoubtable fighting men as Giwi's Kaili Kaili, 
and Bushimai's Mambare — Bushimai's men were also good night 

Once more, accordingly, I returned to Oro Bay to march 
against the Dobudura. I found the constabulary and carriers that 
I had left at that point in good health and spirits, except one man 
who had suddenly died and been buried by the police. The 
Notu, however, had all bolted for the bush ; and, upon asking for 
the reason, I found that while I was at the Kumusi they had 
captured, killed and eaten two runaway Kumusi carriers, and 
they knew that I should call them to account for it, also they 
were by no means keen upon putting in another night at 
Dobudura, the big village where we were previously attacked. 
The Notu and their offences, however, could wait, first I had to 
finish with the Dobudura; accordingly I again marched for their 
villages, this time full of confidence. 

We found that the Dobudura had planted concealed spears on 
the track, as well as spear pits ; but they were easily discovered 
by the scouting Mambare, and avoided by us. "These bush 
fools think we are children ! " said old Bushimai, when we found 
the things; "perhaps before we leave they will know different ! " 
At the first sight of the out-lying Dobudura village, we saw that 
it was crowded with armed plumed men, back to whom rapidly 
fled four of their scouts, as my force emerged from the forest, I 
hastily detached the Papangi and Tamata constabulary respectively 
as right and left flanking parties, and advanced straight upon the 
village with my own men ; the police had orders to take as many 
prisoners as possible. Getting close to the village, I ordered my 
men to rush it, which they did ; but the Dobudura, suddenly 
discovering that they were being attacked upon three sides at once, 
hastily decamped, and the police only succeeded in capturing two 
old men and a youth who were not swift-footed enough to escape 
them. All the other villages were also vacated at our approach, 
rows of grinning skulls alone receiving us ; and again we had an 
encircling screen of Dobudura scouts around us, but this time 


thev had a lively time, as now I did not care what attack was 
made upon my main body, and could therefore detail plenty or" 
side patrols of police to chase or shoot them, 

AH that day I drove the Dobudura before us : whenever they 
showed any signs of forming, or putting up a serious fight, I at 
once flung out my flanking parties and developed so severe an 
attack upon their front and sides as to send them flying back to 
the next village ; until we came to the big village of the night 
alarm. Here apparently their full force was assembled, and 
prepared to make a stand. I at once united the two flanking 
parties into one under Walsh, with orders to make a flank attack, 
whilst I made a direct one. The Dobudura had, however, lost 
their leader ; and, as my force advanced, some fled, while others 
tried to put up a fight but without method or order, until several 
were killed, and again they fled as my force occupied the village. 
A good number of prisoners were taken, including several women, 
whose presence showed that the Dobudura had been fairly 
confident of holding their village against us. 

Night was now fast coming ; and, made cautious by first 
experience, I vacated the village for the forest on the bank of the 
Samboga River, where the Kaili Kaili and Mambare hastily felled 
trees and built a stockade, while half the police were dispatched 
in pursuit of the scattered Dobudura. Several they shot, others 
they captured ; but that night we passed in sweet security within 
the walls of our stockade, though Walker was the only white 
member of the party not down with fever. I questioned the 
prisoners, who told me that the spirit of the Dobudura was 
broken, and that though some of that tribe wished for a pitched 
fight with me, others were afraid, while the death of their chief 
had caused divided councils in the tribe. " Why do you kill the 
Notu ? " I asked, " that is the sole reason why I fight with you." 
" We were always friendly with the Notu, until two years ago," 
they replied, " but then their sorcerers began making a drought, 
and we had nothing except sago to eat ; then the sorcerers 
destroyed that also, so we had to eat the Notu ! The proof of the 
wickedness of the Notu is that they had rain while we had none." 
Here, in the early morning, I nearly lost one of my men : my 
party was scattered over an area of about an acre, chatting and 
tending their cooking-fires, when a Dobudura man crawled 
unperceived right amongst them and hurled a spear into the loins 
of a man ; the man staggered forward and plucked out the spear, 
turning round as he did so to face his assailant, and then received 
a second spear clean through the forearm ; this also he plucked out, 
and hurled it at the Dobudura completely transfixing him, just as 
that individual was struck by spears, tomahawks, and bullets from 
all directions. I made certain after I had examined my man's 


wounds, that he could not possibly live; but as a matter of fact 
he did, and in a month was a whole man again. In this instance 
I did not know which to admire most, the pluck of my own man 
or the courage of the Dobudura who had come to what he must 
have known was certain death. *' I wish he had been taken alive," 
I remarked, as I looked at the corpse, " he would have made a 
fine village constable." 

Another Dobudura also lost his life in a valiant attempt to bag 
a man of mine : we were marching in single file through an open 
space covered with grass about two feet high, when suddenly a 
Dobudura rose out of the grass and hurled a spear at a Kaili 
Kaili carrier ; the Kaili Kaili saw it coming and dodged, with the 
result that the spear merely grazed his ribs. As the man was in 
the act of launching a second spear, another Kaili Kaili reached 
him and clove his skull to the teeth. 

All that day I endeavoured to bring the Dobudura to a final 
fight, but engage my full force they would not. Several of their 
scouts were shot and others taken prisoners, and in one place half 
a dozen constabulary and a score of Mambarc were vigorously 
attacked by a strong force ; but upon more constabulary and the 
Kaili Kaili running up to the sound of the firing, the Dobudura 
retreated. I began to feel very sorry for the Dobudura, their 
resistance to me was so courageous and so hopeless. The Cape 
Nelson constabulary, at the time, were far and away the best 
detachmentiin New Guinea, and the Mambare and Kaili Kaili 
with J me among the very best fighters ; while in Giwi and 
Bushimai,' I had as lieutenants the two most wary, wily, and 
cautious fighting chiefs in the Possession, Prisoner after prisoner 
I released to carry messages to them, telling them that I did not 
wish to fight or kill any more of them, and pointing out the 
futility of resistance to my force ; but still they went on, 
apparently hoping- that sooner or later I should give them an 
opening to get home upon me ; still, to my request that their 
chiefs ishould meet me in a neutral spot and discuss their killing of 
the Notu, they turned a deaf ear. 

At last I marched for the coast again, feeling that my only 
hope of settling the Notu-Dobudura difficulty was by training the 
prisoners I had captured, and making them realize the strength of 
the power they were up against. As I vacated each village on 
our return march, it was at once reoccupied by the Dobudura, still 
defiant and unconquered. In the last village, I left ten constabulary 
concealed in the houses, who made things very hot indeed for 
them when they attempted to enter the apparently vacated village. 
Afterwards, through my prisoners, I got upon good terms with 
them and turned their chief into a village constable, and they 
furnished me with carriers for many a future expedition. 


I learnt much later that, after I had left their district, the 
Dobudura had a very rotten time ; for the Sangara — against whom 
they had dispatched and recalled a war party at the time of my 
first appearance in their district — had been apparently watching 
events very closely, and I had hardly withdrawn before they fell 
upon and remorselessly slaughtered the Dobudura, before they 
had time to recover from the disorganization caused by me. 

The wife of the old chief of the Dobudura, whom I later made 
village constable, was one of the finest charactered women I have 
ever known, either white or brown. I remember once, when 
returning with Tooth from the Lamington Expedition, camping 
in the village, worn, tired, and with a hungry lot of carriers. 
She received us, and explained that her husband, the chief and 
village constable, was away, so that she was making all arrange- 
ments for a supply of food for us. In thanking her and talking to 
her before I left, I asked, " Have you no children ? " "I had two 
sons," she replied, " but they are dead." j, " How did they die ? " 
I asked. " You killed them," she said. "Good gracious!" I 
answered in surprise, " how do you make that out ? " " One was 
killed in the night, when about to attack your camp," she said, 
**the other speared one of your people and was killed in your 
camp." " I am very sorry," I said, " I wish I had your two sons 
marching there," pointing to the constabulary, " for they were 
very brave men." " It was not your fault, I don't blame you," 
said the old dame,-"wc were a foolish people; but my husband 
and myself wish we had our two sons again." 


ABOUT this time I received a message that Sir Francis 
Winter had departed, and that Mr. Musgrave had 
assumed the administratorship, pending the appoint- 
ment of a successor to that official, or the return of Sir 
George Le Hunte. Likewise I received orders at once to prepare 
to accompany the Acting Administrator on a journey of explora- 
tion, for the purpose of discovering a practicable road from Oro 
Bay to the Yodda Gold-field, together with instructions to collect 
carriers for the said expedition. 

I therefore hastily departed for Cape Nelson ; and on my 
arrival at that point, at once hoisted about sixteen feet of turkey- 
red at the flagstaff — the signal that I wanted carriers for an 
important expedition, and also that all village constables and chiefs 
were to come to me immediately. Within a few hours the men 
began pouring into the Station, generally accompanied by their 
wives and relations, who were prepared to camp there until they 
knew what was in the wind, or until their husbands and relatives 
had departed with me. 

A few hours after my arrival the Merrie England came in, and 
when I went on board I was informed that the Acting Adminis- 
trator did not intend to make the proposed journey in person, but 
that he had decided that I should act for him and that I should be 
accompanied by Mr. Tooth, a Government surveyor, whom he 
had brought with him for that purpose. The Merrie England wa.s 
swarming with extra Central Division police, who were landed to 
camp for the night in my barracks. His Excellency also informed 
me that, as he suffered from nausea on board, he wished to sleep 
at the Residency ; upon which I sent for my house boys and told 
them to prepare my bedroom for the Actmg Governor and to 
make up a bed for me in my private office, which they did. 
Upon my landing from the Alerrie England, Oia, my orderly, 
remarked, " What are we to do with the bones of the white man 
in your room ? " " Oh, shove them under my bed until this trip 
is over, and I have time to attend to them," I said. For a short 
time before Oiogoba had brought me the bones of a man, which 
he informed me he suspected from the decayed state of the teeth 


in the jaw to be those of a white man : he, or rather his sorcerer, 
had roughly articulated them, after the manner in which they had 
previously seen me prepare the skeletons of the smaller mammals. 
Night came, the whole station was plunged in the most 
profound sleep, with the exception of the sentries and myself. I 
was sitting in a bath, and was taking advantage of my first spare 
moments in order to read my private mail brought by the Merrie 
England^ when suddenly a shriek rent the air from the Acting 
Governor's room, followed by a scamper of feet across the 
verandah, a loud yell, and then a shot. Hastily I jumped from my 
tub, donned my pyjamas and arms, and bolted for the Governor's 
room, while the noise of an alarmed Station became louder and 
yet louder. 

When I reached His Excellency's room I found the mosquito 
nets surrounding the bed in a blaze, whilst he was capering up 
and down the room, jibbering something to which I had no time 
to listen. I hurriedly tore down the burning nets and trampled 
them underfoot ; the need for haste is evident, when I mention 
that thousands of rounds of cordite cartridges and several hundred- 
weight of gelignite and dynamite were stored in cells beneath my 
room. Just as I finished trampling out the flames, a rush of feet 
came ; Sergeant Barigi on the one side and Corporal Bia on the 
other, with their respective squads, swarmed into the house, 
mother naked, except for bandoliers, bayonets and rifles, and 
prepared to kill at sight. Before I had time to question his 
Excellency as to what was the reason of the alarm, the sentry 
dumped up upon the verandah the stunned body of the Governor''s 
boy, with the remark, "IVe got him, sir ! " Then came screams, 
shrieks, and howls from the women and children in the married 
quarters, coupled with the yells of the non-commissioned officers 
of the respective detachments falling-in their men on the parade 
ground, and the shrill call of a bugle from the gaol compound, a 
quarter of a mile away, calling for the night guard ; mix with 
that the beating of the drums of the native chiefs in charge of the 
carriers assembled for the expedition, crown it all with the 
bellowing of the Merrie England'' s fog horn hysterically calling for 
her boats, and it may be imagined that a fair state of pandemonium 
reigned ! 

And all about nothing ! His Excellency had gone to bed ; 
then, in the dark had got up and felt for an object under his bed, 
and had inserted his fingers into the eye-holes of my skeleton's 
skull, and being rather puzzled, had called for his Motuan boy to 
bring a candle. The boy groped under the bed, grabbed the 
skeleton, and, being a superstitious Motuan, had given a yell and 
promptly dropped the candle, which fired the mosquito nets ; he 
had then bolted over the verandah, where he had instantly been 


flattened out by the sentry, who immediately afterwards fired his 
rifle to alarm the guard. 

The prisoners in the gaol, most of whom were runaway 
carriers from the Mambare, had heard the riot and imagined that 
the Station was attacked or taken ; they accordingly had made 
frantic efforts to break out and escape, for fear of being murdered 
— efforts which the ordinary warders were powerless to restrain j 
hence the wild bugling for assistance. In twenty minutes, how- 
ever, peace reigned once more ; some one yelled to the Merr'ie 
England that it was not battle, murder, or sudden death, but 
merely a compound of funk and imbecility. Sergeant Barigi's 
squad went and quietened the agitated prisoners, while Corporal 
Oia and his men explained to the rest of the Station that the 
trouble was only due to a fool of a Motuan having been scared of 
my skeleton ! 

Tooth, the surveyor the Governor had brought with him, 
was a most peculiar individual ; he had spent most of his life 
surveying in the arid wastes of Northern Australia, and had 
there lost every ounce of superfluous flesh, (as well as acquiring 
two delusions ; one of which was, that his frame and constitution 
were like cast-iron and not susceptible to fatigue, and the other, 
that an extraordinary Calvinistic brand of religion that he had 
invented was the only true means of ,' grace. He had only 
made one convert, so far as I could understand, namely, his 

I discovered Tooth's idiosyncracies during the first ten 
minutes we were alone together, while we were discussing the 
arrangements for our expedition. I noticed two large S's 
embroidered on his collar. " Mr. Tooth," I asked, " what do 
those S's mean ? Surveyor ? " " No," he replied, " Salvation." 
" Are you a member of the Salvation Army, Mr. Tooth ? " " I 
was," he said, " but I differ with them," and |.then began to 
explain his own particular brand of dogma. " Oh, Lord ! " I 
thought, " what am I in for ? " . Then I cut in hurriedly to the 
discourse, as a dreadful thought struck me. " Mr. Tooth, are 
you a teetotaller as well ? " " No," said Tooth, " that is one of 

my differences with the " I hastily interrupted him by 

yelling for a boy and telling him to bring drinks j then, before 
Tooth could get going again, I struck in, ' This expedition of 
ours will in no way resemble a Methodist picnic. We shall 
first have to penetrate a coastal belt full of swamps and rotten 
with fever of the most malignant type ; there, forced marches 
will be the order of the day, and sometimes it will be necessary 
to use other than Kindergarten methods to persuade carriers of 
the type I shall have with me, that such marches are for their 
own benefit ; next, we shall skirt Mt. Lamington, and that 


mountain is the haunt of some particularly venomous tribes, who 
are perpetually fighting, and who regard every stranger as an 
enemy to be slain at sight ; we shan't have a chance to get into 
anything like friendly relations with them, for Walker and De 
Molynes have had one scrap with them, Elliott another, and 
they chased Walsh clean out of their district. Now, what 1 
want to know is this, have you any conscientious scruples about 
shedding blood ? You can't make an omelette without breaking 
eggs, and you can't take an expedition past Mt. Lamington 
without some one being killed on one side or the other. 
Personally I have a strong aversion to being coarsely speared in 
the midriff or rudely clubbed on the head, or having similar 
things done to my constabulary or carriers, and should prefer 
the casualties to be on the other side." " If the heathen in his 
wickedness rageth," said Tooth, " the heathen in his wickedness 
must die, also I have a wife to think of ; but it is sad to contem- 
plate that his soul will be damned." " That's right, Mr. Tooth," 
I said, " when the heathen rageth, you think of Mrs. Tooth and 
be hanged to the heathens' souls." He then got up and groped 
in his bag, producing therefrom an antiquated ivory-handled 
revolver of Brobdingnagian proportions ; a thing throwing a ball 
about the size of a Snider bullet. " What do you think of that ? " 
remarked the proud owner. " I've had it twenty-five years ! " 
" The Lord help the heathen you shoot with that thing ; you'll 
disembowel him,"- I said, as I gazed in awe at the ponderous 
piece of artillery and shoved a finger into its cavernous muzzle ; 
" also the ammunition will be the devil's own weight for you to 
carry. Let me lend you a service revolver ; it will be quite as 
effective and half the weight." He, however, declined to be 
parted from his beloved piece of ironmongery, explaining to me 
that weight did not matter to his iron constitution ; he, however, 
consented to take a service rifle, instead of an enormous American 
repeating fowling-piece he had as his second armament. 

After viewing Tooth's provision of what he considered suit- 
able arms for a difficult expedition, curiosity compelled me to 
ask him what instruments he proposed taking. He thereupon 
departed for the Mcrrle England^ and returned followed by about 
a dozen carriers, bringing one six-inch theodolite, one five-inch 
ditto, one three-inch ditto, one sextant, one artificial horizon, 
two hypsometers, two chronometers, two aneroid barometers, a 
circumferenter and two prismatic compasses, one Gunter's chain, 
one six-chain tape, one table, one chair, a complete set of 
mathematical instruments, three large bottles of different coloured 
inks, a paint box, a large stand telescope, an enormous roll of 
plan paper, together with at least six flat field-books and several 
tomes of logarithmical tables, astronomy, bridge building, etc. 


" Thunder and sealing-wax ! " I exclaimed, " have you plundered 
the entire Survey Office ? Or do you think we have an elephant 
transport ?" "Oh no. The Hon. A. Musgravc and I compiled 
the list, and he gave me an order to draw the things from the 
Survey Department," said Tooth. "It's damned hard luck," I 
remarked, "that whenever Muzzy tries his hand at an inland 
expedition, I should invariably be dragged into it ; it is about up 
to him to light on some other unfortunate for a change. It 
seems to me that there is little to choose between the command 
of one of Muzzy *s expeditions, and that hell you have in store 
for the souls of the heathen ! " I then carefully selected from 
the stock a three-inch theodolite, a prismatic compass, an aneroid, 
and a hypsometer ; and from the library, a Trautwine's Pocket 
Book and a Nautical Almanack. " There you are, Mr. Tooth," 
I told him ; "that is all I can transport, and it is ample. We 
are not making an exact survey of the German frontier, or laying 
out a Roman road, but are looking for the easiest and most 
practicable route from a point on the coast to another in the 
interior; a meridian altitude by day, and a star by night, are all 
the observations we require. You have what we need for that 
in my selection, the rest is but lumber." 

Before continuing the tale of our expedition, a little story 
about Tooth will fit in here. We had long since found the 
route for the road, and Tooth, Elliott, Walsh, and myself, with 
several hundred Kaili Kaili and Binandere, were engaged in 
cutting it through an immensely high forest. Elliott and Walsh 
were both assistant officers of mine, and were, as a rule, stationed 
with small detachments of constabulary at different posts amongst 
difficult tribes ; they differed one from the other in every respect 
save one, but were close friends. Walsh was a public-school boy 
and the son of an Irish baronet ; Elliott, a working miner of 
little education, who had received a temporary appointment at 
Tamata Station to fill a vacancy caused by the rapid deaths of 
the officers previously stationed at that salubrious spot; he had 
proved himself to be so useful at police patrol work and work 
among the miners, as to be permanently retained. The respect 
in which the two men were alike was, that both possessed happy 
mercurial temperaments, and neither feared anything on earth 
except me — it being my business to stand between them and the 
hot water they were perpetually getting into at Port Moresby, 
also to chasten them at frequent intervals (too frequently I fear 
they thought), for the good of the district and their own welfare. 
Take them either apart or together, neither could be taken for 
promising members of the Young Men's Christian Association, 
but Tooth chose to consider them as possible brands to be 
plucked from the burning ; if he had raked New Guinea through, 


he could hardly have found a brace of more unlikely converts 
than v/ere that bright pair. 

Well, we had got a strip of tall trees chopped ofF at the butts, 
of about a quarter of a mile in length and twenty-tv/o yards in 
width, and the infernal things were so tangled up at the tops with 
a network of vines and creepers, as to refuse to come down. 
Natives crawled about the trunks chopping, others climbed 
neighbouring trees and hacked at the vines ; the work was 
frightfully dangerous, as the men swarmed underneath every- 
where, and one never knew the moment when the whole mass 
of timber would come crashing down on top of them. Suddenly 
the expected happened, down came the lot, the workers scuttling 
like rabbits into the adjoining forest ; all but one escaped, but a 
huge pandanus top fell upon him and flattened him out. The 
crashing, tearing and rending of that avalanche of falling timber 
then ceased, and from under the pandanus trees came the screams 
of a man apparently in mortal agony. " Cut him out ! " I 
yelled. " Who the devil is it ? " " Komburua," was the reply, 
as fifty naked natives flew with their axes to the spot, and almost 
immediately turned tail and fled howling into the surrounding 
forest, while the howls of Komburua continued, containing if 
anything a still keener note of agony. " Curse it ! Have the 
choppers gone mad ? " I howled. " Forward the Bogi and 
Papangi detachments ! Cut that man out at once ! " Walsh and 
Elliott seized axes and, followed by their respective squads, 
attacked the tree under which lay the screaming Komburua. 
Then we found trouble thick and plenty ; about a dozen nests 
of hornets, as big as bumble bees, had come down with the 
timber and got busily to work ; they had routed the naked 
choppers in one act, but the constabulary, under the storm of 
blasphemy and threats showered by Walsh, Elliott and myself, 
stuck to the work, in spite of hornet stings, until the man was 
released. I then examined Komburua, who kept up a constant 
moaning, but could find nothing broken or any sign of internal 
injuries. "Damn you," I said, as I cuffed his head, "there is 
nothing the matter with you, and you have got us all badly 
stung by beasts with stings like red-hot fish-hooks I " " Nothing 
the matter 1 " wailed Komburua. " Nothing the matter ! First 
the whole forest falls on top of me, and then all the red and green 
ants in the country begin to eat me ! " It was quite true ; that 
pandanus top had contained several nests of savagely biting red 
and green ants, which had shaken out on top of the pinned 
Komburua ; when I looked again closely at his skin, I found he 
was bitten all over. He afterwards said that the ants had been 
so thick that they had to take turns in biting him, as there was 
not enough room on his skin for them all at once. But I think 
this was an exaggeration. 


Tooth didn't get stung, he had been some distance away 
when the accident occurred, and only arrived in time to hear the 
language used in the culminating stage of the extrication of 
Komburua ; and at that language Tooth was greatly grieved. He 
saw three souls bound for one of the worst lodgings in that 
particularly vivid hell of his creation, souls, too, of men with whom 
Tooth was on terms of cordial friendship ; it therefore behoved 
him to do something to save those friends. Now, a New Guinea 
Resident Magistrate's relations with his officers in my day were 
very much the same as those of a captain of a man-of-war with 
his ; they might be on most cordial terms of friendship, but they 
lived apart and fed apart ; or if, as usually happened, these rules 
were relaxed when we were engaged on work such as the present, 
still no comment would be caused by the R.M. having his dinner 
in his own tent or absenting himself from the nightly conclave, and 
it would be a gross breach of etiquette to intrude upon him then. 

That night I dined in my own tent, and afterwards I neither 
visited the general mess-tent, nor sent and invited any officer to 
mine. Tooth felt the fervour of his creed working in him ; 
some one must be saved. Elliott had used the worst language ; 
he would begin with him. He waited until Elliott had turned 
into his hammock, then wended his way thereto. Walsh, whose 
tent was alongside, overheard the conversation, and told it to mc 
some time afterwards. Tooth began in this wise : " Alec, I want 
something from you." " It's no good. Tooth, I haven't a blanky 
bob ; if I had, you would be welcome to it," replied Elliott. 
*' It's not that," said Tooth, in sepulchral tones, " neither a lender 
nor a borrower be. It is something more precious than gold." 
*'Osmiridium," hazarded Elliott, " I had some that I got on the 
Yodda, but I gave it to a barmaid in Sydney." Tooth changed 
his tactics, "Alec, I want to probe into your being," he said. 
" After those blasted hornet stings, I suppose ; I'll see you damned 
first. Ade has dug them out with a needle already, and anyhow 
I would not have a bull-fisted blunderer like you digging at me." 
" No," said Tooth, " it is your immortal soul I wish to cleanse and 
save." " Hell's flames ! " said Elliott, sitting up in surprise, 
*' are you mad ? " " No," replied Tooth, " I am not mad, and 
hell's flames consume souls, they do not cleanse ; I wish to save 
you from them. The language that you and Walsh and the 
R.M. used to-day was enough to damn you to all eternity, and 
you all constantly use it and worse." " If you have ever heard 
the R.M. or Walsh use worse language than they used to-day 
under the hornets, you are a lucky man ; it must have been some- 
thing quite out of the common, and an education to any ordinary 
man. Why, a college of parsons could not have improved upon 
it, or you, Tooth, could not have equalled it." 


Tooth then preached Elliott a fearsome sermon, according to 
Walsh ; which was interrupted by Elliott in this way. " Look 
here, Tooth, I'm damned if I see what my soul has got to do 
with you, or why you should take on a parson's job ; but, anyhow, 
the best thing that you can do is to save the soul of the R.M. ! 
Then you will get the lot of us, Walsh and Griffin, Bellamy, the 
two Higginsons and fat Oelrichs ; if you convert the *01d Man,' 
he'll make things so hot that we'll have to get saved or clear out ! 
In fact, I think you would get all the police as well. Now, get 
out of my tent ! " 

The following evening, as we all sat round a camp fire after 
having messed together, I noticed that Tooth seemed to be 
labouring with some deep thought, while Elliott and Walsh kept 
exchanging meaning glances. At last the latter pair got up and 
went off to their tents, telling me that they had their journals to 
write up, a palpable lie, as the sole report they had to make was* a 
line to the effect that they were upon duty with me. Then, after 
a little beating about the bush. Tooth brought the conversation 
round to religion, and suddenly it dawned upon me that he was 
endeavouring to convert me ; anger was my first feeling, then I 
smiled to myself and broke in on his discourse. "My dear chap, 
to prevent misunderstanding we had better come to some agree- 
ment at once. Like you, I also have a peculiar religion, I am an 
esoteric High Churchman, and it is one of the tenets of my faith 
that laymen belonging to that creed do not discuss it with any 
other than a fellow esoteric High Churchman or a Lady of the 
Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Our conversions are all made 
by retired celibate bishops of not less than sixty years of age. 
You may have noticed that I never eat butter or fat, or touch 
milk in any form, these are rules of esoteric High Churchism, 
imposed as a penance to mortify the flesh. Please do not say 
any more." (As a matter of fact I hate milk, butter, or grease in 
any form.) Tooth gasped with surprise, then simply remarking, 
*' that to each man his own belief, but he did not see how I 
reconciled mine with the language of yesterday," went off to bed. 
" Very good, Mr, Tooth," I thought, " I'll teach you before long 
not to go soul hunting among the New Guinea R.M.'s," and lay 
low for him accordingly. 

I eventually squared accounts with Tooth in this way. He, 
like many other strong healthy men, had a great horror of illness ; 
he also was strangely ignorant of all disease other than malaria. 
Now, Tooth got a boil on his stern, he also got scrub-itch on the 
back of his neck and scratched it until it was raw, then he cut his 
arm and came to me for treatment ; I put some iodoform dusting 
powder on the cut and bandaged it up. Next day his arm was 
worse, and I discovered that he was one cff those people whom 


iodoform poisons, instead of healing ; accordingly I washed it off 
and dressed his arm with horacic acid. Tooth was now very 
alarmed. " Do you think there is any danger ? " he asked. " I 
don't like your symptoms," I answered, " now we will just detail 
them, in order to see whether my suspicions are correct. Firstly, 
you have a big boil on your sit-upon." " Yes," quaked Tooth. 
*' Secondly, you have an irritant eruption on the back of your 
neck." "Yes." "Then your blood is in such a bad state that 
a strong drug like iodoform won't heal a simple cut." "Yes." 
" Now, look here. Tooth, be very careful how you answer this : 
have you got a rash on your body ? " I knew he must have one, 
for we were all covered with prickly heat. " Yes," said Tooth, 
*' look at it." I looked at it, and then pulled a face that I flatter 
myself would have been worth something to an undertaker as a 
stock-in-trade. " My God 1 " said he, " what is it ? " " One 
more question. Tooth, before my worst suspicions are confirmed. 
Do you feel devilish hungry half an hour before meals?" (His 
appetite, I may remark, was proverbial in the camp.) "Yes," he 
groaned, "sometimes so hungry that I have a sinking feeling. 
Oh, what is it ? " " Tooth,"^I said, " I hardly like to tell you.^" 
" Tell me the worst ; anything is better than this suspense." 
" Phytosis, poor old chap. It is a horrible disease, and passes on 
in a family for generations when once it is acquired ; it is mentioned 
in [the Bible, King Solomon suffered from it." Tooth's groans 
would now have melted a heart of stone, but I remembered his 
attempted conversion of me, and hardened mine. 

" I have never heard of it in my family," he said. " No," I 
replied, " the symptoms point to your having acquired it off your 
own bat." " How do you catch it ? " he asked in despair. 
" Usually from evil living," I replied. Tooth fairly howled, " But 
I have never lived evilly." " Perhaps not. Tooth ; but you can 
catch it by sitting on a seat that a person suffering from it has sat 
upon, or drinking from a vessel from which that person has 
drunk." Tooth's groans now were heart-rending ; then a 
glimmer of hope came to him. " But," said he, " there is no one 
in this camp suffering from it." "No," was my reply, "that is 
very true ; but this disease takes exactly two months and seven 
days to develop, and that takes us back to the Merr'ie England^ 
where I have grave suspicions of one of the stewards, the one who 
looked after your cabin." I regret to say that at this point Tooth 
used language concerning that unjustly slandered steward that 
was nearly as strong as that used by my team in the affair of the 
hornets. " What is the course of the disease ? " then wailed 
Tooth. "If my diagnosis be correct," I answered, "you now 
have the first symptoms, the second will be that your hair and 
teeth will fall out, the third your nose will drop off, and after that 


you will smell so badly that small hoses, charged with disinfectants, 
will have to be played upon you until you die." " Can you do 
anything for me, until I can consult a doctor ?" he asked despair- 
ingly. " Oh yes," I answered, " the lugger Peupiuli will be at 
Buna Bay in a fortnight, and she can take you to Samarai ; but in 
the meantime my treatment must be a drastic one." " Anything, 
anything," said the persecuted man. "All right, Tooth; one 
packet of Epsom's salts, hot, before breakfast every morning, and 
every Saturday night I will mix you a bolus." 

Poor Tooth began the treatment ; at the end of a week he 
was a very limp man indeed, but his boil had gone and his cut 
was healed. Then he complained that my treatment was too 
drastic, and that he was getting as weak as a schoolgirl and being 
starved to death, for his food could not benefit him. I asked him 
whether he expected me to be able to cure a dreadful disease like 
his with babies' soothing powders, and then explained that his 
hunger and weakness were due to a failing circulation, which I 
hoped it would not be necessary for me to stimulate with blisters 
on his stomach and back. 

Tooth continued my treatment until the Peupiuli arrived, 
when he departed hastily in her to Samarai ; and there, to his rage 
and relief, he was of course told by the doctor that there was 
nothing the matter with him. Oelrichs told me afterwards that 
he had sworn he would report me for misusing Government drugs, 
but Oelrichs then told him, that if he did, the R.M. would 
probably reply, " that he might have been mistaken in the nature 
of the surveyor's disease, but the latter must have had a bad 
conscience to cause him to submit to the treatment." Poor 
Tooth choked with rage ; but he was not a man that bore grudges 
or carried a bitterness long, and we were soon the best of friends 

" What was the matter with Tooth ? " asked Walsh, as he, 
Elliott, and I sat round the camp fire on the night of the victim's 
departure. " Nothing," I replied. " Good Lord ! Then what 
did you scour him to the bone for ? " " Excess of religious 
fervour ! " I answered. " By the way, which of you two 
ornaments to the Service had the cheek to set him on to your 
chief? I think that requires looking into!" Both looked 
uneasy. " Is it Pax ? " asked Walsh. I nodded. Then I heard 
about Tooth and Elliott. 

I have decided not to continue the tale of this expedition. It 
has been published in official reports, and is simply a story of 
swamps, mountains, fever, and fights, a common sort of tale lacking 
all interest, hence I go on to Robinson's more important 
Hydrographer's Expedition. 


ON the first of July, 1903, the Merr'ie England arrived at 
Cape Nelson, bringing the Administrator, Mr. Justice 
Robinson. His Excellency informed me that he 
intended to visit the Yodda Gold-field at once, and to 
proceed with all possible speed towards the construction of a road 
to that point, also that he wished to know before the work was 
begun whether there was any possible alternative route to that 
already explored, and recommended by Mr. Surveyor Tooth and 
myself from Oro Bay. I replied that it was possible that a route 
existed leading from Porloch Bay, behind the Hydrographcr's 
Ivange to Papaki (or Papangi, as my men called it). Sir William 
MacGrcgor's map showed the Yodda River as heading there ; 
this, however, I knew from my own explorations to be incorrect ; 
but Sir William must have some reason for thinking that a long 
valley ran between the Hydrographcr's and the Main Ranges, 
and this was also my own belief. Walker, R.M., and De 
Molynes, A.R.M., had sent in a report and map of their explora- 
tions in that part of the country, also showing a valley, but they 
said it was the valley of the south branch of the Kumusi. " I 
have that report and map," said his Excellency. " Well, both 
are pure fiction," I replied. " What do you mean by that ? " he 
asked. "One moment, sir, and you will know," I answered, 
and sent an orderly for Private Arita, and upon his appearance 
questioned him as follows. 

" You were with Mr. Walker and Mr. De Molynes when 
they went up the Kumusi to Papangi ? " " Yes, sir." " How 
far did they go beyond Papangi?" "Two hours' journey, to 
where the Kumusi emerges from the hills ; then we came back," 
was the reply. " Did Mr. Walker ever visit that part of the 
country again?" I asked. "No, sir." "There you are, your 
Excellency," I said, " Walker drew a map and furnished a report 
upon a country scores of miles beyond the furthest point he 
reached. The whole thing is simply guess-work." " Why do 
you think Sir William MacGregor placed a long valley there ? " 
asked the Governor. " He probably saw a valley, or what looked 
like a valley, from the summit of the Main Range on his Victoria 


Expedition, and from a height of twelve or thirteen thousand feet, 
hills of two or three thousand might look like a flat. Anyhow 
he was wrong in his assumption that the Yodda River headed 
there ; and in any case he never made any definite statement to 
that effect, he simply noted it as a possibility. The fact now 
remains that we know absolutely nothing of the country between 
the Hydrographer's Range and the Main Range ; Sir William 
MacGregor's theory has been proved wrong by later explorations 
of the Yodda, while Walker's map and report are not to be 
seriously considered." 

" What do you think about it ? " asked Robinson. " I can- 
not tell," I answered. " It is possible or probable that there is a 
long fertile valley drained either by the Barigi River into Porloch 
Bay, or by an affluent of the Kumusi, or by both ; or the country 
may be auriferous ; or again it may be a succession of hills and 
ranges of a few thousand feet ; it is impossible to know without 
traversing it. If there is a long valley there it would be the best 
route to the Yodda." "Well, I am going to find out," said 
Robinson, "and you are coming with me; the details of the 
equipment and personnel of the expedition are now in your 
hands. When can we start ? " " To-morrow, sir," I answered, 
as I went off to warn my men and send for carriers, wondering 
why everything hot and unwholesome alv/ays fell to my lot. I 
was not at all enamoured of the prospect, for neither Robinson, 
Bruce, nor Manning was acclimatized to the country or knew 
anything about the work, and I saw that if anything went wrong 
— as well it might — I should be the scapegoat. 

The following day I left with the Governor for Porloch Bay, 
taking with me ten of my constabulary, a dozen armed village 
constables, and about 130 Kaili Kaili as carriers; to which were 
added the Governor's boat's crew of eight constabulary and the 
Commandant's travelling patrol of twenty. At Porloch Bay my 
old enemy but now dear friend, Oiogoba Sara, appeared and gave 
us much assistance. He had all his fighting men under arms to 
repel a threatened attack from a raiding hill tribe, and wanted us 
to stop and help him ; but as I very soon found out that he was 
confident of beating off his enemies, the Governor decided to go 
on with our more important work, especially as I told him that 
the mere passage of our force through Oiogoba's country would 
discourage the raiders, as indeed old Oiogoba himself thought. 

Here, I went through the stores and equipment provided by 
Manning for the Governor's use, and remorselessly cast out such 
things as lager beer, potatoes, tinned fruit, etc. These things, I 
told Manning, were about as useful to an expedition of this 
sort as a pair of bathing drawers to a conger eel. "But his 
Excellency may wish to invite some one to lunch or dinner at 



the Yodda," squealed Manning. " Then his Excellency's guests 
can share his Excellency's fare of bully beef, biscuits, rice, and 
yams." "Mr. Monckton, sir," appealed Manning, "is leaving 
behind a great deal of your private stores." "Exactly what I 
expected he would do. Manning. I am glad my impression of 
him is confirmed. Perhaps you are fortunate that he has not 
left you behind as well ! " replied Robinson, who was a man 
all through. 

Our first camp was at old Oiogoba's village of Neimbadi on 
the Barigi River, which the old boy, by dint of building new 
stockades and tree houses, had now turned into a strong position. 
At dawn on the following morning we struck camp, and, guided 
by Oiogoba and his escort of spearmen, struck inland to where 
the Barigi River forks, and thence followed the northern branch, 
the Tamberere, along its tortuous and rocky course until noon, 
being compelled to cross and rccross the beastly stream no less 
than five times. In the afternoon, after ascending a rocky gorge, 
we emerged on to rolling grass hills, and eventually camped for 
the night at an altitude of about looo feet. From here bearings 
on Mounts MacGregor and Lamington gave me my position ; 
and I told his Excellency that a line as near west-north-west as 
possible was our route, and one that would determine whether a 
valley suitable for a road existed behind Mount Lamington or 
not. Personally, however, I was of the opinion that from the 
look of the land ahead some rough country lay between the 
supposititious valley and us. 

The country we were camped in was a sort of " no man's 
land " or border land lying between the Baruga tribe and their 
mountain enemies, amongst whom could be numbered the Aga, 
who inhabited the inland slopes of the Hydrographer Range, and 
were now right ahead of us. This tribe I had heard was in the 
habit of poisoning its spears ; but, like almost every other story to 
that effect in New Guinea, this proved untrue. Oiogoba and his 
escort left us here ; he returning to take charge of the defence of 
his village against the expected raid. I, however, kept his village 
constable with me to act as an interpreter. 

From this point our way now led over steep-sided hills of two 
to three thousand feet in height, at the bottom of which there 
were deep rocky gorges through which ran very rapid streams. 
From the top of one big hill we espied in the distance high tree 
houses, belonging to an outpost of a tribe named Gogori, so my 
village constable told me. The country lying between us and 
the houses was frightfully precipitous and rough, and the descent 
and ascent of the slopes made extremely interesting by loose 
boulders accidentally dislodged by the men above falling on those 
below. In most places it was only possible to proceed in Indian 


file, which of course meant that when a boulder was dislodged it 
practically enfiladed the long line. 

Boulder dodging on a very steep slope is interesting because 
one never knows where it is coming, and therefore has to wait to 
dodge until it is almost into one, in order to prevent stepping 
into instead of out of its track. Sometimes the loaded men in 
endeavouring to avoid one stone would start others, whereupon 
all of us at the lower end had a truly lively time; though I never 
knew a man actually struck. There is an art in dodging a 
boulder on a hillside. One hears a sudden yell of warning from 
the individual by whom it has been started on its career, then a 
running fire of curses and laughter from the men ; curses, as each 
man watches the course of the boulder and waits to jump aside ; 
laughter, as — the feat accomplished — he* watches the expressions 
and listens to the language of those below awaiting their turn ! 

Our order of march was as follows. First went four con- 
stabulary scouts, two Mambare and two Kaili Kaili, keeping from 
one to three hundred yards ahead, and making the easiest line to 
be followed ; then I came with the interpreters and ten of the 
constabulary, followed by the Governor, Manning, and his 
Excellency's armed boat's crew ; behind them again came a long 
line of carriers, studded at intervals with armed village constables ; 
while Bruce and his constabulary brought up the rear. 

The country now in front of us was very broken and 
precipitous, and after descending one particularly steep slope of 
about a thousand teet we found it terminated in a deep gorge, into 
which we descended by means of vines, which we tied to trees at 
the top and slid down. We followed the gorge for some four 
miles or so, wading sometimes up to our waists in water, until we 
suddenly found ourselves in a sort of huge cup or amphitheatre 
surrounded on all sides by precipices and high hills. I asked the 
Baruga village constable if he had ever been there before. He 
replied, " No," though he had heard of the place, and vowed if it 
had not been for the police and myself nothing would have 
induced him to come, as it was haunted by devils ! He had 
hardly spoken, when crack ! crack ! crack ! went the rifles of the 
scouts. " There ! What did I tell you ? " said that v.c, turning 
pale under his dusky skin, *'the devils have found the scouts!" 
" Then I am sorry for the devils," I remarked ; as, in response to 
a nod from me, half a dozen police tore off to support the scouts. 

"The devils" turned out to be a small party of mountaineers, 
who had discovered and suddenly attacked my scouts. No 
damage was done by them, other than a spear hole through 
Private Mukawa's haversack. Several of the mountaineers were 
wounded and two captured ; they had been demoralized and 
terrified by the — to them — appalling noise and effect of the rifle 


fire. One of the captured men was a leper. Wc could not 
make them understand a word we said ; their language was 
quite strange to the Baruga village constable ; but by signs we 
endeavoured to explain to them that we were not enemies, and 
we gave them a few small presents, and sent them off to rejoin 
their friends. 

Leaving the amphitheatre, we followed a steep gorge until our 
way was barred by a waterfall 150 feet in. height, which brought 
us to a full stop. It was not a particularly enviable situation in 
which' we found ourselves, for in the event of natives on the top 
discovering us, they would be quite likely to begin dropping 
stones, spears, tree trunks, etc., on our heads, without our being 
able to retaliate. Until one has taught him differently, the 
inland Papuan holds the simple creed that every stranger is an 
enemy to be killed at sight. 

At last Sergeant Barigi discovered a faint track leading up a 
narrow side gorge ; so, taking half a dozen police with me, I 
followed it for about a mile, the bottom gradually rising the whole 
time, until it also terminated in a waterfall about twenty feet in 
height. Resting against the side of the waterfall was a smooth 
pole, up which the local natives apparently climbed. After many 
efforts Corporal Bia and four police succeeded in climbing up it, 
and stationed themselves as a guard at the lop, while I sent word 
to the Governor to come on. When more police arrived, they 
made a ladder of poles and vines, and by its help we emerged 
from the ".abode of devils" on to a steep hillside, up which 
we climbed with considerable difficulty in the wake of the 
scouts, who were now reinforced by Corporal Bia and his four 

At the top of the hill there was a small stockaded village 
vacated by its inhabitants, into which Bia and his scouts carefully 
crawled. Whizz I suddenly came a spear from the air, passing 
between the crawling Bia's arm and body, and pinning him to 
the ground by his jumper. He looked up and spotted a busliman 
on a platform at the top of an enormous tree. Whizz I Whizz ! 
came a couple more spears, which he dodged. The bushman 
leant over for a more deliberate shot at him. "You have had 
three shots at me," said Bia ; " now here is something for your- 
self I " And he potted that bushman like a rook. There was a 
large garden near the village full of yams, to which the carriers 
and police helped themselves, leaving, however, salt and tobacco 
in payment. 

From here we followed native tracks from one hilltop to 
another; each hilltop crowned with a small stockaded village 
the inhabitants of which always fled at the hail of our scouts, and 
reoccupied the village after we had passed through j at each 


village we left small presents as a sign that we were not hostile 

After leaving the village wc got into a waterless rocky volcanic 
country, consisting of a sort of scoria, and soon were all suffering 
from the pangs of thirst. From early morning until late in the 
forenoon of the following day we went without water, the scouts 
ranging for miles on a fruitless quest, till the laden carriers showed 
signs of severe distress. At last the scouts discovered a garden 
with a man at work in it, and captured him. We gave the man 
a few beads and a zinc mirror, and he soon got over his fright ; 
he spoke a peculiarly musical language, but none of my m.en 
could make head or tail of it. We made him understand by signs 
that we wanted water, and that we would give him a long-knife 
and a tomahawk as a reward if he guided us to it ; he, in his 
turn, made signs that he would do so, and went off with Sergeant 
Kimai and a few police. After a couple of hours the sergeant 
came back, and reported that the man had led him north, south, 
east, and west, and had then tried to bolt. " Take him out or 
the Governor's hearing, and give him a taste of your belt," I told 
Kimai. " I have already done that," replied that worthy sergeant ; 
" I had to do it carefully for fear of leaving marks, but he is a very 
pig for obstinacy." " There must be water somewhere near his 
garden," I said. " Take him to a sunny spot and fill his mouth 
with salt ; then run him up and down, and when he blows 
sprinkle his nose with dry wood ashes I " In about an hour's 
time the man was brought back, and I could plainly see that he 
had a thirst sufficient to make a drunkard of an Archbishop ! 
He eagerly made signs of drinking, and pointed in the direction 
we wished to go. In half an hour he had taken us to a pool of 
indifferent water, which we drank up ; and in another twenty 
minutes to a fine stream. 

At about four o'clock on the afternoon of this day we came 
upon a group of villages surrounded by gardens. The scouts 
waved calico and green boughs, and yelled " Ovakaiva " (peace) ; 
the inhabitants, however, would have nothing to do with us in a 
friendly way. One enterprising individual stalked Sergeant Barigi, 
and knocked him over with a stone-headed club ; before he had 
time to finish him, however. Private Tamanabai noticed what 
was going on and shot his assailant. 

Just ahead of us there was a stockaded village, situated on a 
spur in a very strong position, and right across the track that we 
should be obliged to follow. Fortunately most of the men 
belonging to it were away, and I was able to take the village 
without bloodshed, by threatening a flank attack, and then 
suddenly rushing my men into it. Its inhabitants retreated to 
another village, from whence they hurled abuse and defiance at 


us. Private Maione was able to talk to these people, as they 
spoke a language resembling that of the Sangara tribe, which he 
knew. They demanded what we meant by " polluting their 
country and village by our obscene presence ! ' Maione replied 
that we were but travellers passing through their country, and 
that we did not want to fight, but would pay well for food, guides, 
and assistance. They replied that they would " provide us with 
all the fighting we wanted I" 

The Governor now told me that he did not wish any fighting 
to take place, nor any natives to be shot, and personally gave an 
order to this effect to the police. I told his Excellency that the 
last thing either myself or my police wanted was to fight, but that 
I certainly had no intention of allowing either my men or my 
Kaili Kaili carriers to be killed by bushmen. Whereupon his 
Excellency said, that as I could not see eye to eye with him in 
the matter, he would release me from the command and place 
Bruce in charge : which he did. 

The immediate result of Bruce's disposition of our force was 
that Maione, my personal orderly, and our only interpreter, was 
badly speared, and a strong attack was developed against us. We 
had a very bad time during the night staving off attack after 
attack. Then Bruce came to Robinson, and said, " I don't under- 
stand this sort of fighting, neither do my men, and their nerves 
are going. Monckton^'s men do ; but they are all sulking badly, 
and the carriers are following suit." 

Bruce also asked me to look at some of his own and the 
Governor's men who appeared to be sickening for something or 
other ; which I did ; and also questioned them. They told me 
that a strange sickness was sweeping through the native villages at 
Port Moresby just about the time they left. " Measles ! as I am a 
living sinner I " I exclaimed, and went off to the Governor, " Some 
epidemic has broken out amongst the men, sir ; and they say it is 
similar to a new illness in Port Moresby. I am afraid it is 
measles," I told him. " The Chief Medical Officer told me that 
there was a slight outbreak of German measles, but said that he 
did not consider that it was dangerous," replied his Excellency. 
*' It might not be dangerous to well-housed European children or 
natives at Port Moresby ; but with hard work and the wet of the 
mountains, not to speak of having to wade through streams, these 
men of mine will die like flies. Besides, each man that sickens 
overloads the others, and we already have one dangerously wounded 
man to carry, with a probability of more." " What do you 
advise ? " asked the Governor. " Make for the coast, where 
shelter can be obtained for the men, as fast as we possibly can," 
was my answer. " How ? " he asked. " A bee line over the 
Hydrographers," I replied. " That is, abandon the work we are 


on and confess failure ! That will never do : my very first work ! 
Did Sir William MacGregor ever do such a thing ? " he asked. 
" I have never heard of his doing so," I replied. " Then why do 
you advise me to take such a course ? " he demanded. " For the 
sake of the lives of my men, and for your Excellency's own sake. 
If we continue to lose a large number of men, the press and public 
will kick up a fuss." The Governor then called Bruce into con- 
sultation ; after which he called for me again. 

"This fiasco is most distressing to me," he said. "But Mr. 
Bruce agrees with you that the risk in going on is too great; in 
fact, he goes further, and says that we should not reach Papangi 
with sick men." " I do not think that the risk is too great, and I 
would undertake to reach Papangi with little or no loss, if I were 
allowed to do it in my own way ; but I could not do it in the 
manner we are attempting it, and therefore recommend making 
for the coast." " How would you do it ? " " Fling my scouts 
ahead for miles to examine the country and report to me, who 
would be with an advance party ; and then keep bringing up the 
main body on the best route by forced marches. The sick men 
would then have only the easiest country to cross, and would 
know that they were going to camp every night in a carefully 
chosen site with good wood and water. But if they are going to 
blunder over the country, sometimes without fire, at others with- 
out water, and subject to perpetual alarms from hostile natives, 
they can never do it." " Very good, then ; you are to take full 
command once, more, and get us to Papangi," ordered the 
Governor. "I understand, then, sir, that my men are not in the 
future to wait until they are speared before defending themselves ? " 
** Give the orders you think best," he replied. 

That night no one got any sleep ; natives beating drums, 
blowing war-horns and yelling at intervals, the whole night 
through, and trying hard to stalk the sentries; the latter, lying 
flat on their stomachs, potted religiously at every moving object 
that came within their vision. Just before dawn, the people — 
who, by the way, were called Kaina — massed in the scrub for a 
rush ; but the sentries had marked the manoeuvre and warned me. 
Whereupon I ordered a volley to be fired into the spot; which, 
judging from the yelps, yells, and sound of men running through 
bushes, apparently had a considerable effect. After dawn they 
had all disappeared. 

" What would they do to us, if they caught us ? " asked the 
Governor, who was looking very haggard from want of sleep, and 
from worrying over the ultimate fate of the expedition. "At the 
best, kill and eat us," I answered, " perhaps torture us first. 
They are a bad lot in this part. A short time ago some similar 
natives caught two miners, Campion and King, on the Upper 


Kumusi, the part wc arc making for, and stuck stakes through 
their stomachs and roasted the pair alive. When a native woman 
interceiicd, they stunned her and chucked her on the fire also. 
Ask Maione about them, if you are interested ; he knows all 
about their nice little ways." 

All that day natives hung round our line of march, but 
avoided a fight ; and the scouts discovered numerous spear pits, 
six and eight feet deep, studded at the| bottom with sharply 
pointed spears, pointed upwards and covered with twigs, leaves, 
and earth — horrible traps for the unwary. Other delicate 
attentions were small, exceedingly sharp spears, fixed at an angle in 
grass or scrub to catch one about the knee or thigh. But I will 
leave the tale of the rest of the expedition to Judge Robinson, and 
give an extract from his Official Dispatch |to the Governor- 
General of Australia. 

" On loth June we left camp at 9 a.m. and found the track 
very sticky and slippery. After walking about three miles Mr. 
Monckton who was in front with half a dozen police surprised a 
native in a garden. He nearly succeeded in spearing Tama- 
nambai, who wounded him in return. The surprised native was 
evidently a sorcerer, and while we were examining his bag of 
tricks and charms, consisting of pebbles, pieces of bone, stained 
pieces of wood, etc., we heard the sound 1 of war-shells and war- 
cries. Some of the carriers were some distance behind and we 
had some difliculty in hurrying them up, and an attempt was 
made to attack them in our rear which was repelled. This was 
followed by a frontal attack in which four of the hillmen were 
killed. We then followed circuitous native tracks affording good 
cover in the grass for the enemy's spearmen, and|two or three 
met their fate in this way. We were evidently well watched ; 
and turning suddenly on to another track we reached the foot of 
a steep and slippery hillock upon which was a.large village of about 
forty houses. We were evidently expected to come by another 
track, and our arrival by the steep path was apparently unexpected. 
Only two hillmen were killed in the encounter at this village. 
Although they were in a position to have caused some loss 
amongst our party as we came up the hill, none of the police 
received any hurt, possibly owing to our having surprised the 
village as already described. After we had left this village 
our scouts were attacked several times. Two men were shot. 
One sprang out upon the path ten feet from Arita, who, without 
having time to unsling his rifle from his shoulder, shot his 
assailant dead before the poised spear had time to leave his hand. 
The natives here were of good stature and warlike. I saw no 
evidence of steel tools and they are apparently not yet emerged 


from the stone age. They were all armed with formidable 

spears, shields, and stone clubs. The country is rather thickly 

populated, and the natives do not trouble to build stockades 

to their villages. We found tobacco growing in the gardens in 

great quantities and of the most excellent quality. I see no 

reason why these hills should not in the future produce all the 

tobacco required for Australian consumption. Tobacco is 

apparently indigenous to New Guinea, and I have been informed 

that some leaf which Sir William MacGregor sent to England 

was sold for i8s. per lb. When burnt the tobacco in these hills 

emits an excellent aroma ; the flavour also is good, but of course 

what we smoked was not properly dried and prepared. In almost 

every garden were quantities of sugarcane, paupau, pumpkins, 

sweet potatoes and, of course, the inevitable taro and yams. 

There are also quantities of an excellent nut, probably the 

Terminalia Katappa (?) superior to a walnut in flavour. I looked 

for nutmegs but did not find any, although the bark of a 

tree found has a taste and scent resembling the mace of commerce. 

The country abounds in a variety of fibrous plants which could 

probably be turned to valuable account. We camped for the night 

on the site of a village situated on a spur of a mountain 2329 feet 

in height, from which we located the southern peak of Mount 

Lamington, 55° N.E. We also saw a high peak 6280 feet high 

bearing 109^ S.E., apparently behind Oro Bay. This mountain 

peak is higher than Mount Lamington. It has hitherto borne no 

name, and I have named it Mount Barton in honour of the first 

Premier of the Australian Commonwealth. I have since located the 

mountain from the sea, land although the clouds considerably 

obscured the view, it is probably the most conspicuous point in the 

Hydrographer's Range. 

*' I was aroused before daybreak the next morning by the now 
familiar war-cries of natives ; and the sentries were speedily 
reinforced by a line of police at each end of the spur upon which 
we were camped, prepared to repel a rush. The hour just before 
dawn appears to be a favourite time for an attack amongst 
Papuans, and we found evidence afterwards that these natives had 
camped for a portion of the night in some numbers in the scrub 
at the edge of the clearing, and had denied themselves the 
comfort of a fire, so that their presence might not be disclosed, 
making small shelters of branches to protect them from the chill 
mountain air. They evidently intended to take us by surprise, 
and to rush our camp, but finding it so well guarded and no 
doubt feeling very cold, their spirits failed them and they con- 
tented themselves with loud challenges, threats, and blowing of 
war-shells, which were responded to, I have no doubt, in equally 
uncomplimentary language by our police and carriers. We could 


hear them moving in the undergrowth, but they wisely refrained 
from emerging into the clearing. Mr. Bruce fired at a dark form 
in the dim light, and after continuing their warlike demonstrations 
for some little time longer, they retreated when the first streaks of 
dawn began to appear. 

" The panorama when the sun rose was one of great beauty. 
Looking backward in the direction of our route, the valley at our 
feet and the bases of the surrounding mountains were swathed in 
thick white clouds, heavy with mist, like banks of snow ; Mount 
Barton and Mount Lamington showed clear out against the 
morning sky, and far more distant rose the lofty heights of Mount 
MacGregor, soon to be enveloped in the gradually rising clouds. 

" We obtained no view of Mount Victoria, but Mr. Monckton 
recognized the gap in the Owen Stanley Range, and Mount 
Nisbet in a S.W. direction from it. 

" I omitted to mention that one of the village constables 
captured a woman of exceptionally dour and unprepossessing 
exterior on the previous evening who was able to speak to Maione. 
She informed him she knew the way to Papaki, and pointed in 
the direction which Mr. Monckton had approximately estimated 
it to be, viz. W.N.W. from the point. I decided to bring the 
woman with me some distance as a guide, but we subsequently 
found that she did not appear able to show us any native tracks, 
and we were obliged, as heretofore, to rely on the compass, 
which had for some days shown a considerable northerly deviation 
in the direction of Notu, possibly due to the close proximity of the 
ironstone formation of Mount Lamington. I subsequently left 
the woman at Bogi and instructed the Assistant Resident 
Magistrate there to endeavour through her to get into friendly 
relations with her people. 

" Endeavouring unsuccessfully to find a spur running in the 
direction in which we wished to go, we were obliged to continue 
our mountain climbing, which seemed to become steeper and 
more arduous as we proceeded. As we skirted a village a native 
called to us from the distance, and although we did our utmost to 
induce him to approach us, and made signs of friendship, we 
could not encourage him to do so. At evening we camped at 
an altitude of 2639 feet. Twenty-five cases of measles among 
the carriers. 

"Next day, I2th of July, was repetition of the day before. 
The route was even more steep and it was not possible to follow 
a N.W. course. Moreover there was no indication of any 
alteration in the configuration of the country. More carriers 
suffering from measles. 

" 13th July. After discussing the position it was decided to 
remain in camp to-day and rest the carriers, Mr. Monckton to 


take eight police and to investigate the country ahead. After 
breakfast, accompanied by Mr. Bruce and Mr. Manning, I 
ascended to the top of the hill upon which our camp was 
situated, and upon cutting some timber obtained a view of the sea 
to the north, and of a hill in the distance which one of the police 
said he recognized as the Opi Hill. Upon our return to the 
camp we found that the bushmen, who were apparently watching 
our movements and had evidently seen Mr. Monckton's departure 
and imagined that possibly most of the rifles had gone with him, 
threatened an attack. They called out from the thick jungle as 
before. We waited for some time, but could not see any of our 
visitors, whom we judged to be a distance of a hundred yards on 
the steep slope of the hill opposite our camp. We fired a volley 
in that direction and a second one also, which had the desired 
effect. A subsequent inspection did not disclose any traces of our 
shots having taken effect, although bullet marks were plainly seen 
all round where the natives' footprints were. 

" Mr. Monckton returned at 4 p.m. with the report that 
by making a rather precipitous descent he had found a small 
creek which led into much more even country by native tracks. 
He had seen signs of natives everywhere, and a tree had been cut 
in one place only a short time before he passed. 

"The carriers had fa bad night, thirty of them ill with 
measles, added to which they felt the cold very much at 

" Next day, 14th July, we made the descent mentioned by Mr. 
Monckton to a height of 1856. feet, following the creek. At 
luncheon time we threw [out scouts, one of whom was attacked 
by a native who hurled a spear at him, and was shot. Travelled 
in all nine miles and camped in an old garden over-run with sweet 
potatoes. The native denizens, anticipating our doing so, had 
sown the place with foot spears, and one carrier was slightly 
wounded in the foot. 

" Next morning going to the bank of the creek which flowed 
close to the camp, I suddenly looked up and saw the head of a 
native peering at me from the high bank opposite. Upon seeing 
that he was observed he disappeared, but in a few moments thirty 
or forty of them disclosed themselves. These we endeavoured to 
conciliate also but ineffectually, and upon taking our departure 
fixed on a prominent tree in the garden were left two steel adzes 
as payment for the potatoes eaten by the party, surmounted by a 
green bough. 

" Following the bed of the creek all day and thereby avoiding 
the mountains drained by it, up to our waists in the cold stream, 
we made fairly good progress. It rained in torrents in the 
afternoon and wc were all very cold and uncomfortable. At night 


(1539 feet) the whole camp could be heard coughing; one or two 
cases of scurvy appeared. 

" 1 6th and 17th July. We continued to make our way, often 
with much difficulty, along the bed of the same creek which, 
increased by several affluents, had become a mountain torrent. 
Its general course was W. by N., and its many windings at the 
base of the surrounding hills lengthened our journey. Occasionally 
we were able to cut off a corner, and at other times were compelled 
to take to the mountains to avoid an impassable gorge. The 
fording of the river moreover had become difficult; it was as much 
as one could do to breast the swiftly running current. We saw 
some small speckled mountain ducks with yellow bills of a species 
probably new to science. One of these was shot and skinned by 
Mr. Monckton for the British Museum. It was satisfactory to 
learn from the hypsometer that we were dropping to a lower 
altitude, and on the evening of the 17th, after being obliged to 
leave the river and to take to the mountains, and after having 
negotiated a rather difficult precipice, the side of which dropped 
sheer some hundred feet into a torrent below, we struck a native 
track and emerged at dark once more on the right bank of the river, 
now become well entitled to the name, and opposite to a suspension 
bridge of vines, where were some native huts, and clear evidence, 
in the shape of an improvised oven constructed of large round 
stones such as are used to cook human flesh, that not long before a 
cannibal hunting-party had encamped there. One of the police 
who comes from this part of the country now recognized the river 
which we followed from its source as the Kumusi (the right 
branch), information which relieved me not a little as, in view of 
the fact that our supply of rice for the carriers and police was fast 
diminishing (we arrived at Papangi with only five bags), I confess 
to have felt some anxiety during the last few days on that score, 
and none the less when I learnt some days previously that Mr. 
Monckton's orderly had inquired of him as to what we should do 
if all the food were finished before we had reached Papaki. Mr. 
Monckton replied that we should still go on until we reached 
Papaki. The orderly suggested that the better course would be 
for Mr. Monckton and the Cape Nelson police to clear out and 
leave the others of the .party to do the best they could. Mr. 
Monckton replied that that would never do, and asked him what 
he proposed to do with Maione, his wounded comrade ; but he had 
evidently left him out of his calculations ! 

" We all suffered not a little from scrub-itch, an invisible, 
microscopic tick, which, burrowing under one's skin, raises a lump 
and causes intense irritation. Leeches were also very troublesome 
in the scrub, and whenever there was a slight halt one became 
covered with these bloodthirsty creatures. If one adds to these 


pests, bulldog ants of the most aggressive kind, trailing vines to trip 
one whenever vigilance is relaxed, and a variety of prickly trees 
and vines, it vi^ill be understood that exploration in New Guinea, 
as in most tropical lands, has its discomforts. 

"On the morning of the i8th July, however, none of these 
small discomforts were rememberedj and still following along the 
course of the Kumusi River, we passed through an unfinished 
garden at which was a hut containing a quantity of yams. These 
I instructed the carriers to take, leaving a pound of tobacco — more 
than the equivalent for the yams — in payment. From here we 
could descry Mount Victoria, 270° due west, and also Papaki 
about seven or eight miles distant. Proceeding a little further we 
came to more gardens in which were natives at work, but instead 
of their being friendly, as I expected they would be, so near the 
Government Station, they quickly disappeared and presently were 
heard the blowing of the war-shells and loud cries. A village 
through which we passed had evidently just been deserted, and we 
could hear the occupants calling to one another in the bush. I 
learnt later that these natives had recently driven out or exter- 
minated the tribe that formerly occupied the country, which would 
account for the number of deserted gardens we passed. 

" Later in the afternoon Arita, one of the police who accom- 
panied the late Mr. Walker, R.M., on his expedition to punish the 
murderers of the two miners. Campion and King, pointed out the 
furthermost point reached by him. I knew Campion when he 
was seeking his fortune as a miner on the Etheridge Gold-field, 
North Queensland. I grieved to learn of the manner of his death 
at the hands of these treacherous natives, to whom he had shown 
nothing but kindness, and who had affected to be friendly disposed 
towards him. The natives in this vicinity have not yet been 
brought into subjection, and require, in my opinion, a severe lesson. 
They are certainly difficult to deal with, as when attacked they 
betake themselves to the mountains, where it is difficult to follow 
them. So impudent are they that only a month prior to my visit 
they threw spears into Papaki Station, which is, by the way, the 
worst site that could possibly be chosen for a Station, being three- 
quarters of a mile from water which is in abundant supply all 
round, and flanked by an open plain leading to the creek covered 
with long coarse grass affording excellent cover for an inimical 
attack. I propose removing this Station to a point on the proposed 
road to the Gold-field in the near future. 

" Our camp at eventide was on the banks of the Kumusi a 
couple of hundred yards above the rapids and opposite to Papaki. 

" The river had been spanned here by a native suspension bridge 
of vines, which had been cut, but by next morning, 19th July, the 
police and carriers had cons-tructed rafts, and in a comparatively 


short space of time the whole party had safely crossed to the other 
side. A few hours' walk and Papaki Station was reached. There 
I was received by the A.R.M., Mr. Walsh, and by Mr. Elliott, 
A.R.M. at Bogi. 

» « * « * 

" From Papaki Mount Lamington and Mount Barton can be 
distinctly seen ; the former, called by the local natives Bapapa, 
bears easterly 86°, and the peaks of the latter (Koriva) 92° and 98°. 
A high mountain to the south-west, probably Mount Bellamy, 
called by the natives Ufumba, bears 250°, and Mount Victoria 
(Paru) 265°. Peaks bearing 194° and 110° from Papaki, forming 
what the miners call "The Divide" between the Kumusi and 
Yodda Rivers, are called by the natives here Burupurari, and are 
comparatively close to the Station. They do not appear to have 
any European name, and I called the highest Mount Monckton. 
* * » * * 

" I should like here to record my high appreciation of the good 
work performed by Mr. Monckton upon this somewhat trying 
journey inland. His knowledge of bushworkand experience with 
natives made it possible for me successfully to make the inland 
expedition, and to see for myself the real condition of affairs in the 
interior ; and the knowledge and experience thus gained I trust 
may prove useful in the administration of this new country." 

Here I resume again my own tale. Our arrival at Papangi 
practically ended my labour in connection with finding our way 
through new country, as from that point to the coast our route 
lay through well-known policed country, where Walsh, Assistant 
R.M., held his sway ; and where, therefore, it was his duty to 
pick the stages and camp sites. Bruce, Elliott, and I marched in 
advance with the whole of my constabulary and the sick, who 
were carried and helped along by their stronger friends. Papangi 
carriers, engaged by Walsh, carried our luggage. Then came the 
Governor, Walsh, and Manning ; while the Papangi detachment 
of constabulary brought up the rear. 

At about four in the afternoon I decided to camp, in order to 
get my sick under cover before the evening rains came on ; I 
expecting the Governor's party to arrive within a few minutes. 
An hour went by : the Papangi carriers came in, and reported 
that Walsh, the Governor, and Manning had dropped behind to 
gather orchids and land shells. More time elapsed, and I began to 
get anxious and sent back Sergeant Barigi and ten men to look for 
them, also Elliott's corporal, who knew the country well. The 
night was coming on fast when the corporal returned to say that 
they had found the Governor and the rest of the party, sitting 
between the Kumusi and another big river, just above their 


confluence. They should have crossed the former by a native 
bridge three miles further back ; and the Governor, being tired, was 
in an awful rage with Walsh and had sent to tell me to get him 

Cursing bitterly all wild Irishmen who lost their ways in their 
own districts, and incidentally put Governors in a passion,!, together 
with Elliott, wended my way to the spot ; only to sight across 
fifty yards of dark, murky-looking water a very angry potentate, 
sitting with his private secretary on a sand-bank, while a disconsolate 
Walsh sat some twenty feet away, plainly in deep disgrace ! 
" What are you doing there, sir ? " I yelled. " Mr. Walsh has 
contrived to land me here, and now suggests that I shall walk three 
miles back along a most infernal track, and then on an unknown 
distance to camp, in the dark ! " he fairly bellowed ; " get me out 
of this ! " By this time it was raining steadily. " The only way 
that I can bring you over is by making rafts," I yelled ; *'and by 
the time I get back, and the rafts are made, it will be late at night. 
Can you swim ? " " Yes." " The damned place has alligators," 
whispered Elliott. "That's all right, Elliott; you and I are 
going over with the detachment to fetch him. Strip ! " And I 
yelled again to the Governor, " We are coming for you, sir ! " 

Then Elliott and I, together with all the police, swam across. 
When we landed at the other side, we found a naked repre- 
sentative of his Majesty, accompanied by an equally naked P.S., 
waiting on the bank. Walsh was trying to make protests, but 
was having a literally cold shoulder turned on him. His 
Excellency's escort were making bundles of his and their clothes, 
and tying them on their heads, my men relieved them of some, 
and while they were tying them on, Walsh, who was frantically 
undressing in an hysterical condition, squeaked, " R.M., the 
damned crocodiles will get him, and we shall get the sack ! " 
"In you go first, Walsh," I coldly replied, 

" Though it was necessary for me to swim across, Monckton," 
remarked his Excellency, as he dressed and glowered at Walsh, 
" pray tell me why it was necessary for you, Elliott, and the police 
to do it twice ? " " To give the crocodiles a larger choice, sir," 
I answered. " Not even a crocodile would be fool enough to 
mistake Walsh for a Judge or a Governor ! " 

That night we arrived at Bogi Station, a police post, where 
Mr. Alexander Clunas, the local big-wig, waited upon the 
Governor and invited the whole party to dinner ; an invitation 
that circumstances prevented both his Excellency and myself from 
accepting. The remainder of the party, however, went, with 
somewhat ill results ! The reason for ray being unable to accept 
Clunas' invitation was that I had to attend one of my carriers, 
who was very ill with measles. At two in the morning my poor 


man died, game to the last, and so long as a flicker of strength 
remained, faintly smiling his thanks for any little attention paid to 

A few minutes after his death I heard the distant bellowing of 
a huge voice uplifted in song, and correctly guessed it. was the 
" tea party " returning home up the hill through the gardens, and 
judging by the voices, in a lamentable state — 

" There washe flicsh 'pon wasscr 
But she wash flier shtill," 

came through the night in Bruce's bull voice. Then, as the 
noise got nearer, there came crashing sounds of heavy bodies 
falling into banana trees and sugar-cane, mingled with exhorta- 
tions from the police and European curses. "Shove, corporal, 
shove!" came the voice of Sergeant Antony. "I am shoving, 
shoving strongly, but I can't shove a whole bullock alone," snarled 
the corporal. Then came further crashes, and the sound of 
panting, labouring men. " Better carry him," a suggestion by a 
private. "Wontsh be carried, Wontsh go home till morning." 
Bruce was getting musical again. His Excellency was awakened 
by the riot, and came out to me. " What is all this, Monckton ? " 
he asked severely. "I imagine, sir, it is the return of the tea 
party. I think you had better not hear or see anything," I 
replied. " Disgraceful 1 " said Robinson, as he snorted and went 
back to bed. 

Then Manning appeared, supported by two police, his arms 
round their necks and theirs round his waist ; while a third pushed 
behind. " This is a damned nice drunken state to return in, with 
the Governor present," I said, as the police held him up as an 
exhibit to me. " Not drunksh, ill, verysh ill," he squeaked feebly. 
" Thinksh got measles." " Undress him, and shove him into 
bed," I told the police. Then a heaving, struggling, revolving 
mass of about six police appeared, dragging and shoving the 
unwieldy bulk of Bruce. " Don't make such an infernal noise, 
Bruce," I said ; " if you rouse out the Governor you will get hell, 
and you are disturbing my sick. I am surprised at you ; I 
thought you had a head." Bruce pulled himself together in some 
marvellous manner known only to himself, and I managed with 
the help of the police to get him quietly into a hammock. 
" Where is Walsh ? " I demanded. Bruce smiled fatuously and 
snored. " Mr. Walsh, the two store-keepers, and the engineer of 
the Bulldog launch, are all under the table ; Mr. Bruce told us 
to lay them there like sardines," said Sergeant Antony. "All 
right," I answered, " tell the sentry to call me at the first peep of 
dawn," and then turned in. 

At daylight I routed • out the erring ones, gave them a strong 
dose of bromide and calomel (they did not know about the 


calomel), and sent them off to swim in the river, then to go on to the 
store where they could get shaved, and where I promised to send 
them clean shirts and things. " You, Bruce, are inspecting the 
pay sheets and returns of the Bogi detachment. You, Manning, 
are making arrangements for me for the burial of my dead man. 
Don't come back until after breakfast, and remember your lies ; 
also try to look as sober as you can. Walsh can stop away until 
the evening." 

" Where are Bruce and Manning ? " asked his Excellency, as 
we met at breakfast. " I must take action of some sort over 
their disgraceful conduct of last night." " Don't know anything 
about it officially, sir," I said, " they will appear in a presentable 
state in about an hour, with plausible lies to account for their 
absence. As a matter of fact, I sent them in the cold, damp dawn 
to dree their weird in the river. They have been through a 
devil of a time late'y, and old Clunas would make an Archbishop 
drunk ; they will be sorry enough for themselves when the bolus 
I have given them gets in its work." Some time later the culprits 
appeared, looking wonderfully fresh, considering everything. 
" Where have you been so early. Commandant ? " asked Robinson. 
*' Auditing the pay sheets of the local detachment, sir," promptly 
answered the unrepentant prodigal unwinkingly. "And you. 
Manning?" "The R.M. was rather tired this morning, sir, 
and I went to make some arrangements for him about the burial 
of the dead man," lied Manning. Robinson stared at the pair of 
them for a few seconds, then, taking his stick, went off for a walk 
in the gardens. 

" Did he believe us ? " asked Bruce. " Of course not, you 
asses ! " I said, " he both saw and heard you last night ; 
besides, I told him all this morning. But he is pretending to 
believe you in order to avoid having to take official notice. Why 
didn't you two fools stick to lager ? " " Clunas had such a feed 
for us, turkey, goose, ham, bottled asparagus, and real potatoes," 
said Bruce. "All right," I interrupted, "I know what Clunas' 
feeds are like ; get to the drinks." " You need not be so blank 
pious,'* growled Bruce ; " if you had been there you would not 
have come home at all, you would have stopped under the tabic 
with Walsh ! " " You are a slanderous and ungrateful brute, 
Bruce ! " I replied. " What did you drink ? " " Clunas had some 
bottled cocktails, and insisted upon our having one each as an 
aperitif; then he made us have another to prevent the first feeling 
lonely ; then at the feed we asked for lager beer. ' Lager be 
damned I ' said Clunas, ' this is no Methodist Sunday School ! ' 
and shoved a pint bottle of still Burgundy in front of us. When 
we got to coffee he gave us a fine old liqueur brandy, and then he 
insisted upon showing us how his father brewed punch. By God I 


Clunas' father must have been a strong man ! That punch 
would make an elephant drunk ! I don't know how many 
glasses we had, but Manning went and lay outside and was sick, 
and I stuck to my guns until I had them all under the table, and 
then I came away." For a few days after this there was a 
distinct chill in his Excellency's manner towards the erring ones ! 

From Bogi we went down the Kumusi River in whaleboats 
and canoes, meeting on our way one Ambushi, the chief of a 
Kumusi tribe and a village constable, whom I at once arrested. 
" I have a little list of nine recent murders by that man," I told 
the Governor ; " he is one of the most dangerous thugs in New 
Guinea, and always manages to bamboozle that weak ass Ilislop. 
I have sent this man message after message, that unless he mended 
his ways I should hang him on his own cocoanut tree, and the only 
notice he has taken is to add yet another crime to his list. One 
of his most recent performances was the deliberate and cold- 
blooded murder of a child of ten years old, who was staying with 
its mother in his village. The old blackguard had some guests at 
a feast ; he had plenty of pig, dog, and fish, but that wasn't good 
enough ; so he called to the unsuspecting woman to bring her boy 
vip to him, and when she obeyed he dashed out the child's brains 
before the mother, and added them to the menu. The woman 
knew it was useless going to Hislop, so she sent to me through 
Sergeant Barigi. I don't believe the old reprobate is ever without 
human meat." 

" Ah ! Mr. Ambushi ! " I remarked to that worthy, " I have 
been long in coming, but I have come now, and a strong rope, a 
long drop, and your own cocoanut tree is your fate ! And I have 
a little list of some of your friends who are due for seven years' 
hard labour." " Only I can hang, Monckton," said the Governor. 
" Yes, sir," I said, " and when you have heard the evidence that 
I shall produce, you will be only too anxious to exercise that 
right." We reached the beach, and I sent for the witnesses ; 
when they heard that Ambushi was safely in custody, they were 
only too anxious to come. I sent Ambushi before the Judge on 
three separate and distinct charges of murder fully proved ; I also 
sent a list of other murders I was bringing against him, without 
counting such minor crimes as robbery with violence, abduction, 
rape, and assault ! The Judge heard the cases, then he told me to 
stop. " I can hang the man three times over already," he said, 
" and he has richly deserved it in each case." Ambushi was then 
sentenced to death. " I want to make certain, sir, that he does hang 
instead of having his sentence commuted by Executive Council at 
the last minute, so I shall keep my list, and have another go at 
him if he escapes the death penalty." "The last decision as to 
the Royal clemency lies with me as administrator," replied his 


Excellency. " Ambushi shall be hanged ; and furthermore he 
shall be hanged, as you promised, on his own cocoanut tree in his 
own village." 

The final scene took place in Ambushi's village some weeks 
later, A wet, dull morning, the Kumusi rolling by in heavy yellow 
flood, a launch containing a white-faced ship's officer, engineer, and 
seamen, hanging on to the bank, a crowd of sullen natives, silent 
and watchful, and myself shivering with fever, holding a warrant 
in my hand, whilst a ring of the North-Eastern constabulary, 
with bayonets fixed, stood round a cocoanut tree, to which was 
attached an ominous-looking cross-piece with two dangling ropes ; 
a sergeant, with a sharpened tomahawk, sat on the cross-piece. 
One noose was adjusted round Ambushi's waist, a file of con- 
stabulary seized the other end, and Ambushi swung up until his 
shoulders touched the cross-beams, where the sergeant fitted the 
second noose round his neck. " All clear, sir ! " called the 
sergeant, raising his tomahawk. " Cut, sergeant ! " Down fell 
the tomahawk on the rope round his waist and exit Ambushi. 
" Oh, people of the Kumusi, take warning by the fate of Ambushi 
and do no murder ! " called Barigi, as the launch swung into the 
swollen river, and we hastened away from the spot. 


SINCE the writing of the last chapter much has happened ; 
war has broken out, and I must go and fight in 
Kitchener's Army. I had intended to conclude my book 
with a description of the ascent of Mount Albert Edward, 
and Journey right across New Guinea from Kaiser Wilhelm's 
Landf to the Gulf of Papua. Both these expeditions were full 
of interest : men who wore wooden armour, a huge new mammal, 
prehistoric pottery, all had their part. Perhaps if this book proves 
of interest to people and all goes well, I may write an account of 
these expeditions at a later date. 



Arel, Rev. Charles, of the L.M.S., 

247-249, 258-260 
Acland, L. G. Dyke, at Cape Vogel, 

— , — , accompanies the expedition to 
the Agaiambu and Dobudura, 
274-279, 282-293 
AJ^, lugger, expeditions of, 32-57^ 
Adade, of Dopima, 244 
A(iaua River, the, 207, 226 
Ade, Private, 154, 157, 300 
Admiralty Islands, the, 62 
Aga tribe, the, 306 
Agaiambu Lake, 275, 282 
— tribe, description of the, 274-281 
Agara, Private, and his wife, 200-203 
Ahgai-ambo tribe, the, 280 
Aia Kapimana, father and son, 127, 

128, 130, 131, 136 . 
Aidio, village of, 244 
Aimaha, village of, 244 
Airamu, village of, 232 
Albert McLaren, schooner, 54, 169- 

Alligator Jack, 173 
Alligators, stories of, 54, 103-105, 

132, 160, 161, 193, 319 
Ambushi, chief, 322, 323 
America, pearls in, 45 
Amphibious tribe, an, 274-281 
Amuke of Dopima, 244 
Anglican Mission, the, 31, 54, 105 
Anson, Captain, of H.M.S. Orlando, 

Antoinette, Sister, 136 

Antony, Sergeant, 320 

Ants, 159, 299, 317 

Aparu, village of, 197 

Arabia, 68 

Arau-u of Turotere, 244 

Arbouine, Charles, at Samarai, 28, 

59. 75. »" 

— , — , on sponges, 56 

Arifamu tribe, the, 206 

— , — , cannibalism among, 192 

— , — , raid on, 268-270 

Arita, Private, 172, 304, 312, 317 

Armit, R.E., 75, 145, 242 

— , — , appointed to the Northern 

Division, 143, 147, 172 
— , — , at Samarai, v, 3, 4, 28, 75, 82 
— , — , his advice, 85, 100, 11 1 
— , — , his snakes, 134 
— , — , murder of, 242 
— , — , on ghosts, I n 
— , — , trades in rubber, 72 
Aru Islands, the, 62 
Australasia, Federation of, 10 
Australasian Parliament, 62 
Australia, bubonic plague in, 64 
— , Commonwealth of, 313 
— , De Molynes, Governor-General 

of, 193, 312 
— , gold-fields of, 13, 14 
— , Labour Government of, 62 
— , Marine Board, 65 
— , population of Northern, 61, 62 
— , sale of pearls in, 4 
Australian Artillery, Royal, 240 
Awaiama Bay, 53, 55, 56 
Awaiama, murder at, 73 

Bachelors' Club, 154, 237 

Baiba Bari Island, 243 

Baibi, of Dopima, 244 ! 

Bai-ia, village of, 244 

Ballantine, Treasurer and Collector of 

Customs, 111-113, 249 
— , at Port Moresby, 136, i6i, 163- 

— , his relief expedition, 154, iSx 
Bamu River, the, 239 
Bapapa, 318 

Bare Bare, village of, 226 
Barigi River, the, 104, 268, 272, 274 
305, 306 



Barigi, Sergeant, 201, 269, 278, 284, 
287, 295, 296, 308, 309, 318, 322, 

Bartlc Bay, 153 

Barton, Captain, appointed Adminis- 
trator, 248, 253 

— , — , as Commandant, 151, 166, 
205, 208 

— , — , as private secretary to Sir G. 
Le Hunte, 149, 150, 153, 157, 

— , — , as R.M. of the Central Divi- 
sion, 119, 247, 265, 266 

— , — , at Winiapi, 206 

— , — , cures a snake-bite, 135 

— , — , proceeds against the Doriri, 
208-232, 256 

— , — , visits the Agaiambu, 279, 280 

Baruga tribe, the, 219, 269, 276, 
279-281, 306-308 

, defence of the, 175 

Basilaki, island of, S3, 57 

Basilio of Manilla, 11 7-1 24, 135, 250 

Beche-de-mer, trade in, 4, 41, 56, 

191, 204 
Bellamy, 301 

Bert, my clerk, 250-253 
Betel-nut, trading for, 150, 167 
Bia, Corporal, 185, 268, 269, 295,308 
"Bill the Boozer," 14, 21 
Billy the Cook, his pub, 73, 75, 83, 
94, 95, 100 

. See Wisdell. 

Binandere tribe, the, 172, 173, 217, 

274, 298 
Binandere, Bushimai chief of, 132 
— , fearlessness of the, 115, 135, 189 

— sorcerers, 187, 189 

— warfare, 175 
Black Maria, 55 
Black -water fever, 135 

Blayney, Dr., R.M. for Central Divi- 
sion, acts as Treasurer and Col- 
lector, 113, 117, 126 

Body snatching, 234-236 

Bogege, chief of the Maisina, 191, 

192, 199-203 

Bogi, village of, 154, 289, 299, 314, 

— mining camp, 54 

Boianai, punitive expedition to, 106- 

Bonarua, village of, 197 
Bouellard, Father, at Makeo, 121, 

i35> 140-143 
Boure, village of, 222 i 

Brady, Jim, gold-digger, 23-26, 62, 


Bramell, Government Agent, acts as 
Customs Clerk, 113, 114 

— at Mekeo, 1 13-1 16, 118, 129, 

— , attempted murder of, 129, 130 

Brisbane, 161 

— , Archdeacon Robinson of, 245 

— , doctor, 234 

— , Royal Australian Artillery, 240 

British Museum, 37, 275, 316 

Bromiiow, Rev. William, of the 

Weslcyan Methodist Mission, 31, 

48, 73, 84, 85 
" Brother John," timber merchant, 60 
Brown, ex-pugilist, at Woodlark, 

Brown, Lieutenant, R. A.A., 240, 242, 

Brown River, 155-161 
Bruce, Commandant of Constabulary, 

246-249, 305-322 
Bubonic plague in Australia, 64 
Buhutu, village of, 261 
Bulldog launch, 320 
Bullen, quoted, 12 
Buna Bay, 54, i8o, 272, 303 

— River, the, 213 

Burial of the dead, native customs of, 

87, 122-127 - ' 
Burns, Philp and ^Co., Messrs., of 
Sydney, 1, 4, 24, 28, 29 
70, 73, III, 136, 153 
— , — , — , charter the Nabua, 58, 59 
Burroughs & Wellcome, Messrs., 22, 

Burton, Richard, 37 
— , — , accompanies the author, 62—69 
Burupurari, 318 
Bushai valley, gold in, 22 
Bushimai, chief, 189, 270, 286 
— , — , at Cape Nelson, 193-196 
— , — , crime and punishment of,_8o 

81, 85, 99, 114 
— , — , his scars, 132 ' 
— , — , joins expedition against the 

Dobudura, 290, 292 
Butterworth, Captain, Commandant 

of Constabulary, 143, 168 
— , — , accompanies the author on a 

punitive expedition, 99, loi- 

— , — , deals with the Dorm, 176, 




Cachalot, the, 33 

Cx'sar, Julius, 9 

Cairn Islands, climate of, 61 

Cameron, Chief Government Sur- 

veyor, 12, 13 
Campbell, A. M., R.M. of the South- 

Eastern Division, 143-145, 148, 266 
Campion, miner, 311, 317 
Cannibalism amung the Molcuru, 192 

the Notu and Dobudura, 282, 

284-286, 290 

— at Cape Nelson, 174 

— on board ship, 63 

— on Goodenough Island, 36, 152 

— on the Kumusi, 182, 311, 316, 

Cape Blackwood, Chalmers at, 237, 

238, 242 
Cape Nelson, 50, 104, 128, 134 

— — Constabulary, 1 66-1 68, 180, 

189, 201, 229, 236, 251, 292, 

294, 316 

, Judge Robinson at, 294-296 

, raids on tribe of, 173-176 

, station at, 165-169, 177, 233, 


, thunderstorms at, 256, 257 

, whaleboat at, 169 

Cape Vogel, 49, 50,53, 55, 198, 253, 


, alligator at, 104 

Mission Station, 73, 170, 191, 

Carl, brig, 248 
Carruth, trial of, 73, 94, 95 
Central Court of New Guinea, 21, 
92, 193, 261, 262, 264 

— Division Constabulary, 294 
Ceylon, pearl fisheries of, 44 
Chalmers, Rev. James, murder of, 

233. 236-249 
Changsha, China steamer, 62 

Chasseurs d'Afriqiie, les, 14, 48 

Cheltenham College of Agriculture, 

Chester at Port Moresby, 155, 163, 

China, 272 
— , pearls in, 44 

— , sandalwood trade with, 60, 61 
China Straits, the, 18, 27 

, mother-of-pearl shell in, 44 

, Nabua founders in, 59 

Chinese, the, beche-de-mer soup, 56 

— ineligible as diggers, 17 
Chirrese on Rossel Island, 13 

Chinese on Thursday Island, 61 

Clancy, at Nivani, 144, 145, 191, 199 

Clara Ethel, s.s., 75, 136 

Clarence River, the, 67 

Clark, murder of, 9, 78, 81 

Clark, Rev., at Taupota, 105 

Clark, trader, 289 

Close, death of, 82 

Cloudy Bay, gold rush at, 262, 263 

Clunas, Alexander, 319—322 

Clyde, the river. New Guinea, 78 

Cocoanut palms in Samarai, 5 

— , trade in, 56 

Codfish, dreaded by divers, 33 

Collingwood Bay, Maisina tribe, 173, 

176, 190, 216, 219, 225 
mining expedition, 194 

— — , swamps roimd, 209, 213, ^16, 


, Uiaku, 210 

Colonial Office, the, 165 

Conflict Islands, 56 

Constabulary, native, at Mekeo, 114- 

117, 138, 145 
— , — , at Nivani, 144 
— , — , system of, 79, 165, 270 
— , — , their medal, 165 
Cook's Passage, 69 
Cooktown, Queensland, i, 3, 65, 67, 

75, 242, 243 
— , — , Diamond Jubilee celebrations 

at, 68, 69 
Copra at Dobu, 48 

— at Iwa, 20 

Coral Island, rats on a, 46 

— mushrooms, 40, 47 

— Sea, the, charts of, 13 

, pearl fishing in, 32 

Court mourning, 45 

Cox, Alfred, accompanies the author, 

Coxen, Walter A., Captain, R.A.A,, 

Crimean War, the, loi 
Crocodiles, stories of, 188, 272-2^4 

Cromwell, Oliver, 9 
Crow, Mat, miner, 173 
Curler, lugger, 32-157 
Curragh of Kildare, 235 
Curtis, Commander, 137 
— , — , acts as surveyor, 1 1 

Daiogi, village of, 261 
D'Albertia creeper, the, 282 
Daru, 137 



Dam, Murray at, 238-242 
Daunccy, Rev., 242 j 
Dawson Straits, 34, 36 
De Lange, Assistant R.M., v 

at Darn, 137, 138 

De Molynes, Richard, as Assistant 

Resident Magistrate, 297, 

— — , — , at Cape Nelson, 193-196 
Didina Ranges, the, 215, 216, 222, 

Dinner Island, 3, 4 
Divers, methods of, 33-35, 40, 47, 

Divorce, laws on, 204 
Dobu, Island of, 48, 49 
^, Bromilow at, 73, 84 

carriers, 181 

— , on the Fly River, 151 
Dobuan language, the, 36 
Dobudura tribe, the, their feud with 

the Notu, 282-293 
Domara River, the, 207, 225, 226 
Dopima Island, implicated in murder 

of Chalmers, 243-245 
Doriri tribe, the, cannibalism among, 

— , — , expeditions against, 185, 208- 

232, 256, 275 
— f — , procuring a skeleton of, 234- 

— , — , raids of, i73-i76,'i98, 207, 

"Dove, The," 14 
Dove village, 230-232 

— Baruga men, 219, 220, 222, 231- 

Drake, Sir Francis, 9 

Driscoll, miner, 195 

Dubumuba, village of, 243, 244 

Ducie, Earl of, 12 

Duck shooting, 277, 316 

Dudura River and village, 228, 230 

Dugari, village of, 229 

Dumai, of Mambare, 78-81 

Dutch New Guinea, 62 

\ , Tugere, 165 

Duvira Bay, 78 
, the Siai in, 81 

— village, 80 

East Cape, 32, ss^ 58, 139, 153 
Eastern Division, 143 

, alligators in, 103 

, Resident Magistrate of the, 36 

East India Islands, fauna of, 37 

Eboa, S.S., 30 

— , chase of the, 85, 86 

Ede, trader, 14, 19 

Ehcubi, village of, 244 

Elect ris Moncktoni, 275 

Eley Brothers, 168 

Elliott, Alexander, miner, on the 

Mambare, 78, 81 
Elliott, Assistant R.M,, 289, 297- 

303, 318 
Ema, of Turotere, 244 
Emai, of Dopima, 244 
Enamakala, chief, 149, 152 
— , — , discipline administered to, 88- 

Endeavour River, 2 
Epidemics, enteric, 122-127 
— , measles, 189, 310—319 < 
— , small-pox, 152 

Etheridge Gold-field, North Queens- 
land, 317 
Eton College, 13, 62, 237 

Fanshawe, Captain, 101 

Farquhar, at the Golden Fleece, 29, 

— sails in the Guinevere , 70, 71 
Fear of heights, 158, 159 
Fellows, Rev. — , on the Trobriands, 

43. 73. 85-90 
Ferguson Island, 34, 39, 146, 148 

, cannibal raid on, 93 

, native shot at, 73 

, pearl fishing off, 48 

Fielden, Captain, 164, 165 
Fijian teachers in New Guinea, 124 
Fiji Islands, the, MacGregor repre- 
sentative of, 10 
— , — , Winter, law officer in, 12 
Finn, miner, 134, 135 
Fires, camp, 227 
Fish, Electris Moncktoni, 275 
Fish-bringer, profession of, 184 
Fisherman Island, 69 
Fishing, methods of, 46, 152 
Fly, H.M.S., 238 

Fly River, De Lange drownedjin, 137 
— , — , Le Hunte on, 1 5 1 
— , — , MacGregor on, 238 
French convicts, escaped, 75 
"French Pete," 14 

Gabadi, of Dugari, 229, 230 
Gahibai of Dopima, 244 
Galatea, s.s., 23, 92 
Gallagher, miner, 195 


Gamadauclau of Daiogi, 261 

Game, pursuit of, 141-143, 161, 212 

Garopo, village of, 24.4 

Gebai of Dopima, 245 

German Harry on the Galatea, 23, 

73. 92 

, stories of, 7, 8 

German New Guinea, i, 62, 268, 324 

, coal trade with, 1 1 1 

, Graham in, 86, 87 

, small-pox in, 74 

German trade in New Guinea, 2 
German trader in the Gulf of Papua, 

Gewadura, village of, 230, 231 
Gewari-Bari, village of, 244 
Ghosts at Mekeo, 129 

— at Samarai, 109-1 1 1 

Giorgi, ex-private, 97, 103, 106, 109 

Gira River, the, 8 1 

Gisavia, " boy," 21 

Giulianetti, Amedeo, at Port Moresby, 

— •, — , his death at Mekeo, 1 1, 127- 

Giwi, chief of the Kaili Kaili, 173- 
175, 181, 209, 210, 227,274, 283, 
284, 287, 292 
— , his son Toicu, 184, 186 
Glasgow, Earl of, Governor of New 

Zealand, i 
Goaribi tribe, the, .murder of Chal- 
mers by, 238-249 
Goari-ubi, village of, 244 
Gogori tribe, the, 306 
Gold-fields on Sudest Island, 13 
■— — on Woodlark Island, 12, 14, 

16-26, 62, 76 
— - — , runaway carriers from, i8i, 

192, 206, 251 

, Yodda, 172 

Goodenough Island, cannibalism on, 

36, 93. 152 
, cocoanut plantation on, 73, 94 

— — , natives of, 38 

, pearl fishery off, 32-40 

— — , punitive expeditions to, 55, 92, 

94-105, 148 

, signs of mourning, 139 

, sling throwing on, 38, 152 ; 

— Bay, murder at, 105—108 
Goria, murderer, 85, 99 
Gorman, Siebe, Messrs., 13 
Gors at Port Moresby, 1 1 1 
Gorupa, the, 33, 289 
Goura pigeons, 141, 212 

Government Stations, composition of, 

177, 250 
— Store, feud with, 163, 166-169, 

250, 256 
Graham, John, gold digger, 26, 27, 

— , — , steals anchor and chain, 73, 

Gray, Dr., on crocodiles, 272 
"Greasy Bill," 14 
Great Barrier Reef, 69 
Green, John, R.M., v, 9, 143 
— , — , at Mekeo, 113 
— , — , murder of, 73, 77-82, 181 
Griffin, 301 

Griffiths, Sir Samuel, 10 
Groper. See Gorupa, 
Guba, experience of a, 85 
Guine'vere, the, expeditions in, 64, 95 
Gulf of Papua, 137, 149, 242, 324 
, German trader in, 118 

Haddon, Professor, anthropologist, 

37, 13^ 
Hall Sound, 118, 138, 140, 242 
Hampden, Lord, 164 
Hancock, storekeeper at Tamata, 

134, 135 

Hanuabada boys, 130, 154-156 

Harte, Bret, 25 

Harvey, Captain, at Winiapi, 206 

— , — , leads me into crime, 233-236 

Hastings, H.M.S,, 101 

Hector, Sir James, 37 

Heinke, Messrs., 23 

Hely, Bingham, 242 

— , — , death of, 137 

Heron, Squire and Francis, Messrs., 

Higginsons, Messrs., 301 

Hislop, R.M., 322 

Holmes, Rev. W. J., his alligator 
story, 104 

Hornet, lugger, 32-57 

Howards* Sulphate of Quinine, 168 

Hunt, Rev., 242 

Hunter, " The Sandalwood King," 60 

Hurricanes, wrecks in, 58 

Hydrographer's Expedition, Robin- 
son's, 303-323 

Jake of Turotere, 244 

lasa lasi, 49, 50 

Ibinamu River, the, a 16, 224 

Iguanas, 132, 186 

Ilimo, village of, 226 



Illustrated London Nfovs, 7 1 
India, tiger-hunting in, 274 
Indian Mrdical Service, the, 257 
— Rajahs, buy pink pearls, 45 
Infanticide at Cape Vogel, 191, 200 
Inman, Captain, i, 3, 70, 136, 171 
Insect pests, 227 

Ipisia, Nalaki, chief of, 238, 244 
I-van/we, schooner, 17, 75, 76 
Iwa, island ot, 19-21 

Jade, slabs of, 222 

Japanese on Thursday Island, 61 

Jesuit Mission, French, 23 

Jewell, secretary to C. S, Robinson, 

Jews, the, sponge trade in hands ot, 

Jiear, A. H., Subcollector of Customs, 

238, 239» 2+5-2+7 
"Jimmy from Heaven," 14 
John IVtlUams, L.M.S, steamer, 64 
Jones, Doctor, health officer in New 

Guinea, 5 
Jones, Mervyn, Commander of the 

Merrie England, 12, 13, 137 

Kail I Kaili tribe, the, as carriers, 
210-232, 283-292, 305, 

, raids on, 173-176 

, signs of mourning, 137 

, sorcerers among, 182 

, work at Cape Nelson, 178, 

180, 191, 204, 298 
Kaina tribe, the, 307-311 
Kaiva Kuku, secret society of, 119 
Kanakas, the, 61-64 
Kautiri of Dopima, 244 
Kavitari, exhuming the dead at, 87, 

— , trade at, 47 
Keke, Corporal, at Cape Nelson, 166, 

— , — , at Mekeo, 116, 138 
— , — , on the relief expedition, 154, 

Kemere, his report of massacre, 243- 


Kikinaua tribe, the, cannibalisnt 
among, 194 

, expedition against, 197, 198 

Kimai, Sergeant, 129, 165, 235, 236, 

285, 309 
King, miner, 311, 317 

Kipling, Rudyard, defines a native 


Kitchener's Army, 324 

Kiwai Island, 238, 240 

— tribe, the, 179, 189, 235, 236 

Mission boys, 243, 247 

Kombunia, anecdotes of, 178-1&1, 

Koriva, 3 1 8 
Kove, Private, 172 
Kowold, German, v, 11, 12 

— at Mekeo, 113, 117 
Kuku Kuku tribe, the, 1 19 
Kulamadau mine, the, 22 

Kumusi River, the, 54, 104, 154, 
272, 289, 304, 312, 316, 318, 

carriers, 290 

, murder of miners on, 242 

Kuveri district, 199, 209, 210 

— tribe, the, protection of, 194, 197, 
198, 200 

Lailai, constable, 261 

Lakekamu River, the, 200 

Laku, the river camp at, 194, 195, 

Laloki River, camp at, 155, 156, 160 
Lamington Expedition, 293 
— , Lord, Governor of Queensland, 

Land, laws re possession of, 53, 148 

Languages of New Guinea, 78 

Lario, Malay, 250 

— , — , on the relief expedition, 158- 


Laughlan Isles, the, 14 

Lawryer vines, 190, 231 

Leeches, 227, 231, 316 

Legislative Council of New Guinea, 

12, 48 

Le Hunte, Sir George, appointed 

Lieutenant-Governor of New 

Guinea, 148, 149 
— , — , appointed Governor of South 

Australia, 245 
— , — , appoints me to Jthe North- 

Eastern Division, 163-167, 

— , — , at Cape Nelson, 208 
— , — , at Winiapi, 205 
— , — , awards medals, 165 
— , — , his appointments, 253, 257, 

— , — , his instructions to Russell 



Lc Hunte, Sir George, his sentence on 

Yaldwyn, 266 
— , — , impulsiveness of, 151, 152 
— , — , investigates murder of Chal- 
mers, 241-243, 248 
— , — , on the Fly River, 151 
— , — , on Pusa Pusa, 50 
— , — , on the Tiobriands, 149-151 
Lindsay, Robert, miner, 261-263 
Liquor laws of New Guinea, 94, 266 
Lithium, lake containing, 39 
Litter, native, 2 1 3 
Livingstone, David, 237 
Lloyds' underwriters, 58 J 
Lobb, gold prospector, 14, 19 
Logia Island, cemetery on, 74 
London, 56 
— , money-lender, 64 
London Missionary Society at Melceo, 

, "John Williams, 64 

, murder of Chalmers of, 

, Rev. W. J. Holmes of, 104 

, Samoan teachers of, 81, 


Longner Hall, Shrewsbury, 37, 62 

Louis, of the Chasseurs d'Afrique, 

14, 48, 49 

Louisade Islands, 6 

Lulubeiai, of Daiogi, 261 

Lumbago, cure for, 184 

Lynch, 82 

Mac DONALD, head gaoler, 160, 161 
Macdonnell, district surveyor, 254- 

256, 265, 266 
MacGregor, Lady, loo 

Sir William, Governor of New 
Guinea, v, vi, i, 162 

— — , appoints me as Collector 
of Customs, III— 113 

, at Mohu, 133 

, at Port Moresby, 70 

— — , defeats the Okein, 175 
, determines Mission spheres, 

, forbids cutting cocoanut 

trees, 139 

, his map, 304, 305 

, his native constabulary, 

4, 270, 271 
, his Native Labour Ordi- 

nance, 6 
, his Ordinance re liquor, 94 

MacGregor, Sir William, his qualifi- 
cations, 10, II, 126, 13 

, inspects the gaol, 10 1 

, interview with, 9 

, leaves New Guinea, 140 

, on the duties of Resident 

Magistrates, 72, 100, 105 

, on Enamakala, 91 

, on flogging, 99-101 

, on Fly River, 238, 242 

, on the Mambare River, 77, 

78, 81 

, on the Musa River, 9, 


, on Patten, 94 

, on the trouble in the Tro- 

briands, 43, 90 

, recommends medals, 165 

, sends tobacco to England, 


, stamps out malaria, 5 

, story of his appointment, 10 

Mackay, C.B., Colonel Kenneth, 
his " Across Papua," 5 

Mackenzie, gold digger, 22, 24 

Magi, Private, 196 

Mahikaha of Turotere, 245 

Mahony, Mrs., publican, 266 

Main Ranges, 304 

Maina, village constable, 1 24 

Maione, Private, 310, 312, 314, 316 

Maisina tribe as carriers, 207, 209, 

, the, expeditions against, 191- 

203, 207 

, the, raids on, 173-176 

Maiva, epidemic at, 120 

— , Missions at, 140 

Makawa, 287 

Malaria in New Guinea, 5, 16 

Malay Archipelago, 63 

— crews, discipline of, 41, 42 
Malays on Thursday Island, 61 
— , prohibition for, 95 
Mambare, the, 9, 47 

— , Armit on, 143 

— , Bishop Stone- Wigg visits, 169, 

— constabulary, 229, 236, 280 

— crocodiles, 273 

— fighting men, 290-292 

— gold-fields, 55, 78 

— miners, 76, 80, 92, 147, 148 

— murderers at Samarai, 73, 77, 85, 

— , punitive expedition to, 78, 81 



Mambarc, runaway carriers from, 1 8 1, 

i8;, 192, 206, 251, 282, 296 
■ — traders, 233 

— snakes, 134, 135 
Mangrove Isles, the, 289 

— ulcers, 16 
Manigugii, gaoler, no 
Manning, on the Hydrographer's Ex- 
pedition, 305-322 

Marawa, father of Kemere, 243 
Mayne, William, Head Gaoler, 252 " 
Mbese, village oi\ 230 
Mcllwraith, Sir Thomas, 10 
Medicine, practice of, 184, 185 
Mekeo carriers, 156, 158 

— constabulary, 114-117, 138,1145, 

— , economic plants at, 117 

— , experiences in the district of, 

1 1 3-143 
— , ghosts at, 129 
— , Sacred Heart Mission at, 60 
— , sharks at, 104 
— , shooting parties at, 141-143 
— , snakes at, 134 
— , sorcerers at, 114, 120-128, 130 
Melanesians, the, 61 
Meredith, head gaoler, 12 
Merrie England, the, 49, 50, 59 
at Cape Nelson, 165-167, 182, 

191, 193, 205, 208, 233, 252, 

264, 268, 294 

*at Goaribi, 233, 241-243, 246- 

" 248 

at Nivani, 144, 148, 149 

at Samarai, 99, 105, n i 

at the Trobriands, 149, 151 

at Woodlark Island, 14 

, Komburua on, 180 

, Mervyn Jones, Commander of, 

12, 13 

, on the Musa River, 9 

, purser of, 72 

, sheep stealing from, 234 

, trips to Thursday Island in, 

137, 140 
Milne Bay, crime in, 258-267 

Mission Station, 258-264 

Miners at Milne Bay, 258-264 

— at Woodlark, 145-148 

— at the Yodda, 172 

Mining Act of New Guinea, 148 
Missions, Foreign, complain of sor- 
cery, 183 
— , — , organization of, 30, 31 
Mixpa/t, cutter, voyages in, 32-59 

Mohu, discipline of, ijz.'ijj 
Mokuru tribe, the, 204, 209 

— — , cannibalism among, 192 

carriers, 210, 211, 218 

Moni River, the, 207 

Monsoons, North- West, 27 

Moratau, Island of, 37 

Moresby, Admiral, 78 

Morley, miner, 261-263' 

Moreton, Hon. M, H., Resident 

Magistrate of the Eastern 
Division, v, 12, 21, 28, 43, 
55, 70, 111, 242 

— , ',31 Samarai, 145, 146 

, deals with the Doriri, 176, 


, ghostly feet in his house, 

109-11 1 

, goes on leave, 72-76, 254 

, goes unarmed, 149, 150 

, his responsibility for the 

Milne Bay affair, 258-267 

, methods of, 84, 93, 96, 98 

, on the Mambare, 77, 78, 8 1 

, on the Siai, 42, 47, 53, 

Mosquitoes at Mekeo, 128 
Mother-in-law, murder of a, 73, 105 
Mother-of-pearl, 32 1 
Motuan boy, 295 

— language, the, v, 78 

— tribe, 189 

Mount Albert Edward, 324 

— Barton, 313, 314, 318 

— Bellamy, 318 

Mount Kembla, pilot of the, in, 112 
Mount Lamington, tribes of, 296, 
297, 306, 313, 314, 318 

— MacGregor, 214, 216, 219, 306, 


— Monckton, 318 

— Nisbet, 314 

— Trafalgar, 204 

— Victoria, 304, 314, 317, 318 

— Victory, 232 
, eruption of, 173 

— York, Goodenough Island, 37 
Mourning, native signs of, 139 
Mukawa, son of Giwi, 191,210, 218, 

Muroroa, 244 

Murray, Hon. C. G., as R.M. for 
the Western Division, 237- 

— , — — , assistant private secretary, 
149, ifs, 152, 154, 16^ 



Murua, wreck and repair of the, 

144-146, 148 
Musa River, the, cannibals on, 9 

, — , Doriri tribe on, 207, 209, 

215-219, 228, 231 

, flood waters of, 275 

, Kowold's death on, 11, 113 

, rape on, 263-267 

, rubber on, 257 

, Sir William MacGregor on, 

Musgrave, Hon. Anthony, Govern- 
ment Secretary, as Acting 
Administrator, 294-298 

— , , at Port Moresby, 112, 113, 

136, 163, 184, 186, 237 

— , , investigates attempted 

murder, 129, 130 

— , , sends me a clerk, 250 

— , , organizes an expedition, 

154-162, 298 

Myrtle, mail schooner, i, 2, 32, 60, 
61, 204 

Nabua, wreck of the, 58, 59 
Nalaki, chief of Ipisia, 238, 244 
Napoleon I., Emperor, 9 
Native labour, 61, 62 

— Labour Ordinance, 6, 245 
Naval Reserve, 13 

Navarre, Archbishop of, 31, 140 

Neimbadi, village or, 306 

Nelson, Sir Hugh, 10 

New Britain, 75 

New Caledonia,'French convict settle- 
ment, 14, 75, 268 

Newcastle, Australia, storm off, 65, 

New Guinea, British, Lieutenant- 
Governors of. See Sir William 
MacGregor and Sir George Le 

, Protectorate of Southern, 57, 


sores, 16 

— — , steamship communication 

with, I 
New Zealand, farming in, 62, 145 
, Governor of. Earl of Glas- 
gow, I 

— — , holiday in, 59, 62 

, Sylvester in, 16 

Niagara Falls, 238 

Niccols, Harry, carpenter, 58, 59 
Nicholas the Greek, stories of, 6, 7, 

Nine, L.M.S. schooner, 238-245 
Nivani Government Station, 144, 

148, 149 
— , wreck of the Murua at, 144 
Nord Deutscher Lloyd, the, 2 
Normanby Island, gold prospecting 
on, 84 

, pearl fishing off, 48 

North-Eastern Division, appointment 
to, 162, 164-166 

, coast of, 49 

constabulary, 166-168, 271, 

'n 323 

, Resident Magistrate of, 50 

, tribes of, 173 

Northern Australia, 296 

, population of, 61, 62 

Northern Division constabulary, 271, 

, dangers of, 38, 82, 143 

North-West Monsoon, the, 27 

Notu, 314 

— tribe, the, 1 8 1 

, their feud with the Dobudura, 


Gates, Captain, 53-56 

— , storekeeper, 289 

Oelrichs, A. E., Assistant R.M., 190, 
234, 264, 268, 301, 303 

— , — , his body-snatching expedi- 
tion, 235, 236 

Oia, Private, at Cape Nelson, 193, 

257. 294, 296 
— , — , eats shark, 289 
— , — , son of Bushimai, 189, 286 
Oiogoba Sara, chief, 269, 270, 274- 

278, 294, 305 
Okein tribe, 181 
, attacks the Kaili^ Kaili and 

Maisina tribes, 173-176 
Omati River, the, 238, 242 
Opi Hill, 315 

— River, 81, 104, 187 

— villages, Bishop Stone-Wigg visits, 
171, 172 

Orchid, devil, 235 

O'Regan the Rager, 29, 30, 75, 76 

Orlando, H.M.S., 63 

Oro Bay, Notu of, 282, 283, 290, 304, 

Orokolo, 242 
Otto, seaman, 67-69 
Owen Stanley Range, the, 37, 154- 

162, 314 



Oysters, pearls In, 35 

— , Trobriand Islands, 42, 47 

— > varieties of, 38, 45 

Paitoto, chief of the Mokuni, 192, 

209, 210 
Paiwa, epidemic of measles at, 189 
Pakara of Aimaha, 244 
Palmer, crew, 95 
Papangi Station (Papaki), 289, 290, 

299> 304. 3". 314* 316-322 
Papuans, the, 13, 61 

— employed by diggers, 17 
Paris, beche-de-mer in, 56 
Park, Resident Magistrate, 82 
Paru, 318 

Parua, s.s., 240-243 

Patd de foie gras, curried, 75 

Patten, Ernest, his expeditions with 

his wife, 204-206 
— , — , punishment of, 73, 92, 94 
Pearl fishery, methods of, 23, 32-39? 

47. 49 

— trade in New Guinea, 4, 17 
Pearls, causation of, 3 5 

— , varieties and values of, 44, 45 

Pelicans, 66 

Persia, 272 

— , British Consul in, 68 

Peulittlif lugger, 272, 303 

Philp. See Burns, Philp and Co. 

Poisoning, cases of, 178, 187, 189, 

255, 306 
Pondicherry Indian cook, 185 
Pope, the, pearls presented to, 44 
Porloch Bay, 304, 305 
Port Macquarie, 66 
Port Moresby, 59,69-71,81, 130, 137 

, alligators at, 103, 104 

, Messrs. Burns, Philp and Co, 

of, I 

, carriers, 155 

gaol, 191, 193 

Government House, 153,237, 

247-249, 298 

, Judge Winter in, 262 

r— — , measles at, 3 1 o 

5 Murray at, 241, 242 

, post of Collector of Customs 

at, 111-114 

, presentation of medals at, 165 

, Sir William MacGregor leaves, 


, snakes at, 135 

Poruma, Moreton's attendant, 83,87- 
89, 93, 96, 100, 106-110 

Poruta at Cape Nelson, 166, 167, 178, 
192, 193 

— at Mekeo, 114-116, 120, 127 
Pottery, native, 222 

President, steamer, 169, 170,210, 252 
Prisons Ordinance, the, 100 
Pumpkin diet, 123, 133 
Pusa Pusa, harbour of, 50, 51 

Queensland, i, 7, 13 

— aborigines, 61 

— , beche-de-mer in, 56 

— , crew from, 69, 95, 97 

— , Etheridge Gold-Held, 317 

— , Lord Lamington, Governor of, 

242, 243 
— , miners from, 78 

— Mining Act, 17, 148 
— , Premier of, 10 

— , sugar planting in, 193 

Radava, murder at, Jo6 

Rain-makers, 183, 184 

Rape in New Guinea, laws on, 263 

Rats as crab fishers, 46 

Resident Magistrate, attempted con- 
version of, 298-303 

, attempts on the life of, 107, 

129, 133, 178 

, duties of a, 72-75, 153 

Rhodes, Cecil, 10 

Risk Point, 238 

Road cleaning in New Guinea, 132, 


— making in New Guinea, 60, 140, 

180, 256, 298-300, 304 
Robinson, Christopher Stansfield 
Chief Justice of New 
Guinea, 79, 237, 245-249 
— , , his Hydrographer's Ex- 
pedition, 304-323 
— , Venerable Archdeacon, 245 
Rcxk Lily, cutter, 55 
Rohu, his snakes, 134 
Rossel Island, 13, 149 
Ross-Johnston, as private secretary to 

Sir William MacGregor, 11, 70, 71 
Rothwell, officer, 13 
Rous, Tommy, proprietor of the 

Golden Fleece Hotel, 27-32, 74 
Royal Anthropological Institute, 37 
Rubber, New Guinea, 257 
— , first trader in, 72 
Ruby, launch, 8i, 242, 272 
Russell. See btuart-Russell. 
Russia, pearls in, 45 



Ryan, miner, 195 

— , — , shoots a native, 73, 84, 85 

Sacred Heart Mission, the, 11, 31 

at Mekeo, 60, 113, 116, 1 20, 

124, 132, 136, 139-143 

at Mohu, 133 

St. Aignan, Island of, 5, 45, 149 
St. Paul, 6.S., 13 

St. Vincent, Administrator of, 149 
Samarai, 19, 26, 32, 199, 200 

— Court House, 55, 76 

— gaol, 42, 47, 76, 77, 85, 101, 147 
— , Golden Fleece Hotel, 27-32 

— , Government Reserve, 3-6, 74, 

loi, 109 
— , investigation of outrages at, 262- 

— , Macdonnell at, 254 
— , medical officer at, 257-264 
— , Merrie England ^t, 233-236 
— , Messrs. Bums, Philp and Co. of, 

1. 4, 5» 24, 29 
— , official duties at, 70-74 
— , refuse hole in, 18 
— , Tooth at, 303 
Samboga River, the, 291 
Sandalwood, trade in, 60, 61 
Sandhurst, 62 

Sangara tribe, the, 286-2S8, 293, 310 
San Joseph River, the, 104, 124 
Sara, Corporal, at Cape Nelson, 166, 

— , — , at Mekeo, 1 15-117, 120 
Sariba, Island of, 57 
Satadeai acts as interpreter, 92, 95, 


— as police-constable, 37 ' 

— goes pearl fishing, 36-40 
— , sling thrower, 152 
Sawfish, 46 

Scratchley, General Sir Peter, Com- 
missioner of New Guinea, 4 
Scnib itch, 227, 231, 316 
Seaforth Highlanders, the, 12 
Secret societies, danger of, 119, 120 
Sedu, Corporal, 80 
Sefa, Sergeant, 165 
Seiigmann, Dr., F.R.S., at Yule 

Island, 136 
— , — , — , his Melanesiatis of Britis/i 

Neiv Guinea, 9 1 
Seradi, 192 

— turns informer, 179, 182 
Seymour Bay, 39 
Shanahan at Tamata, Si ^ 

Shanahan, death of, 143 
Sharks, cowardice of, 33 
— , cffiscts of eating, 289 
— , stories of, 104, 172 
Sheep shearing, 153 

— stealing, 234 
Shrewsbury, 37, 62 

Siai, S.S., 28, 42, 53, 55, 143, 254, 

— at Woodlark, 146-148 
— , my imprisonment on, 83 
— , on the Mambare, 8 1 

— , repairs to, 73, 94 

— runs on a shoal, 101 
Siberia, 274 

Silva, pearl fisher, 50, 51, 53 

Singapore, 268 

Sione, coxswain of the Siai, 21, 81 

83-85, 87 
— , Mrs., 83, 97, 99 
Slocum, " Captain," 64, 67 
Snakes at Mekeo, 134 
Solitary Isles, the, 66 
Solomon Islands, the, 62, 272 
Sorcerers at Cape Nelson, 178-182, 


— at Mekeo, 113, 114, 120-128, 130, 

135. 138 

— atjNotu, 282, 283, 291 
— , methods of, 183-190 

— on Goodenough Island, 152 

— on the Trobriands, 92I 
South Africa, Murray in, 245 
, war in, 165 

South Australia, Sir George Le Hunte 

Governor of, 245 
South-Eastern Division, 127 

, constabulary of, 144 

, duties of R.M. of, 143 

, Moreton R.M. of,J|266 

South Seas, slavers in the, i 
Sponge trade, the, 56 
Spooks in Samarai, 109-1 11 
Spray, yawl, 64, 67 
Steel, schooner master,! 
Stinging trees, 227 

Stone-Wigg, Rt. Rev. John Montagu, 
Bishop of New Guinea, vi, 10 

, his illness at Cape Nelson, 169 

, his sheep, 153 

, visits the Opi villages, 171 

, visits the Yodda Gold-field, 

, voyages with, 169-171 



Stuart-Russell, Chief Government 
Surveyor, ii 143, 154, 163, 
177 I 

— — , relief expedition after, 154- 

161, 187 
Suau tribe, the, beliefs of, 189 

carriers, 194 

, language of, 205 

, signs of mourning among, 139 

Sudest Island, 5, 45, 53, 149 

, gold reet on, 13, 14 

, pearl fishery of; 17, 32 

Sugar-cane, fire in, 196 

Sugar planting, 193 

Suicide, native methods of, 131 

Suloga Bay, 26, 27 

Sulphur, acres of, 39 

Surgery, cases of, 131, 157 

Sus Barbirusa, 37 

Swordfish, 45, 46 

Sydney, 168 

— , German Harry in, 8 

— , Messrs, Burns, Philp and Co. of, 


— , Gates family of, 53, 54 

— , purchase of a schooner in, 62-64 

Sylvester, F. H., goes to New Zealand, 

16, 19 
— , , his journey to New Guinea, 

—, , his marriage, 62 

Symons, SubcoUector at Samarai, 72- 

747 77. 85, 95, 145, 146, 254, 25s 
— , implicated in the Milne Bay out. 

rages, 258-267 

Tabe deals with a sorcerer, 188 
Tamanabai, Private, 309, 312 
Tamata, Armit and his snakes at, 

— , Elliott, Assistant R.M. at, 289 

290, 298 

— gaol, 193 

— Government Station, 188 

— , murder of John Green, Assistant 
Resident Magistrate, at, 77-82, 

Tambere River, the, 306 

Taro-grower, the profession of, 184 

Taupota, loi, 105 

— , Anglican Mission at, 105 

Taylor, officer, 13 

Teste Island, 19 

Thompson, his cocoanut plantation, 
73. 94. 98. »02, 103 

— , storekeeper, 24, 25 

Thursday Island, 59, 61, 83, 137, 

— — , centre of pearling industry, 61 
hospital, 49 

, Royal Australian Artillery at, 


, Sacred Heart Mission, 136 

, trips to, 137, 151 

Tobacco m New Guinea, 313 
Toku, Giwi's son, 184-186, 227, 230 

278, 285, 287 
Tomkins, Rev. O. F,, murder of, 

233, 236-249 
Tomlinson, Rev. Samuel and Mrs., at 

Cape Vogel, 200, 202 
Tonga Islands, Campbell in the, 145 
Tooth, surveyor, stories of, 293-304 
Torres Straits, 41, 238 

, pearl fisheries of, 44 

Totemism, 39 
Traitor's Bay, 78 
Trautwine's Pocket Book, 298 
Trobriand Islands, the, 4, 39, 146, 

, Enamakala, chief of, 88-91 

, Mission on, 43, 73, 85 

, native weapons,*9i 

— — , passage to, 40 

, pearl fisheries, 34, 44, 47 

, their claims to fame, 42 

Tubi Tubi, island of, 53, 56 

Tugere, battle of, 165 

Turner, assistant surveyor, 254, 255, 

Turotere, village of, 244, 245 

Ubu-Oho, village of, 244 
Ufumba, 318 

Uiaku, village of, 198, 200, 209, 210 
Upper Kumusi River, the, murder of 

miners on, 242 
Utuamu of Dopima, 244 

Vanapa River, the, 272 

Vaughan, medical officer at Samarai, 

Veipa, village of, 120-123 
Victor, Father, at Mohu, 133 
Victoria, gold rush in, 14 

— Expedition, the, 304 

— , Queen, Diamond Jubilee, 68 
Village constabulary, system of, 27a 
Vitali, Father, at Mekeo, 121, 136^ 

Wagipa, island of, 36, 38, 9? 
Wahaga of Turotere, 244 



Wakioki River, the, 211-215 
Walker, R.M., 82, 297, 304, 317 
— , James, murder of, 238 
— , Wilfred, accompanies the expedi. 
tion to the Agaiambu and 
Dobudura, 274-279, 282-293 
— , — , at Cape Vogel, 104 
Walsh, A. W., Assistant R.M., 289- 

291, 297-303, 304, 318 
Wanigela, chief, 174-176 
— tribe, 20S 
— , village of, 232, 273 
Warapas, mate of the Siai, 8t, 83, 

87-92, 106 
— , Mrs., 83, 97, 99 
Ward, Charles, miner, 261 
Wari boys, 19 
War Office, the, 165 
Watson's Bay, 64 

Weaver, market gardener, 153, 154 
Wedau, 105, 152, 153 
— , Bishop Stone- Wigg at, 169, 173 
— , Holy Week at, 170 
Wesleyan Methodist Mission, the, 

31. 43. 48 
West Australia, pearl fisheries of, 44. 
Western {^Division, the murder of 

Chalmers in, 233, 236, 245 
White Squall, the, 24, 25 
Whitten Brothers, Messrs., their 

business, 5, 29, 54, 263, 289 
Whitten,'Robert, at 'Cloudy Bay, 263 
— , — , at Samarai, 77 i 
Whitten, Hon. William, M.L.C., ac- 
companies the author, 

— , , — , his early days in New 

Guinea, 4, 28 
Wickham purchases the Conflict 

Islands, 56 
Wilsen, Karl, gold digger, on Wood- 
lark Island, 19, 21 
Winiapi tribe, the expeditions against, 
192, 198, 20I, 205-207 

, the. Patten trades writh, 204 

Winter, Sir Francis, Chief Justice of 
New ^Guinea, vi, 12, 59, 
107, 149, 251 

— , , advises re constabulary, 

270, 271 

Winter, Sir Francis, as Acting Ad- 
ministrator, 143, i6i, 163, 

— , , at Goodenough, 152 

— , — — , deals with the Doriri, 176, 
207-209, 212 

— , , goes to Thursday Island, 


— , , his resl^ation, 245, 294 

— , , on flogging, 100 

— , , on the Milne Bay out- 

rages, 261, 262, 264-266 

— , , on the North-Eastern Divi- 
sion, 166 

— , , on the Siai, 42, 47 

— , — — , on sorcerers, 187 

— , , on the Trobriands, 149- 

— , , visits the Agaiambu, 279- 

Wisdell, William, ship's cook, 2, 

32-42, 47-57 
Witchcraft. See Sorcerers. 
Wolff", Steve, miner, 261-263 
Woodlark Island, 149 
, discovery of gold on, 12,14, 

16-26, 62, 76 

, Moreton at, 266 

, troublesome miners o n, 74, 


Yagisa, village of, 232 

Yaldwyn, Assistant R.M. at Cape 

Nelson, 253-256 < 
— , his dismissal and death, 264-266 
Yams, cultivation of, 184 

— on the Trobriand Islands, 42 
Yodda Gold-field, the, 154, 159, i6c, 

i8o, 289, 300, 304 

, Bishop Stone- Wigg at, 1 72 

, Judge Robinson visits, 304 

— River, the, 304, 305, 318 
Yule Island, 59, 60, 119 

, convalescence on, 136 

, Sacred Heart Mission, 139 

Zanzibar, Sultan 
Minister,' 149 

of, his First 



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UUU1 0361 5065 


Monckton, Charles l\rth'^r 

Some experiences of a i^few 
Guinea resident magistrate 
^3d ed._,