10th July 1769

The 2 Marines not returning this morning, I began to enquire after them, and was inform'd by some of the Natives that they were gone to the Mountains, and that they had got each of them a Wife and would not return; but at the same time no one would give us any certain intelligence where they were, upon which a resolution was taken to seize upon as many of the Chiefs as we could. This was thought to be the readiest method to induce the other natives to produce the 2 Men. We had in our custody Obariea, Toobouratomita, and 2 other Chiefs, but that I know'd Tootaha would have more weight with the Natives than all these put together, I dispatched Lieutenant Hicks away in the Pinnace to the place where Tootaha was, to endeavour to decoy him into the Boat and bring him on board, which Mr. Hicks performed without the least disturbance. We had no sooner taken the other Chiefs into Custody in Mr. Banks's Tent than they became as desirous of having the Men brought back has they were before of keeping them, and only desir'd that one of our people might be sent with some of theirs for them. Accordingly I sent a petty officer and the Corporal of Marines with 3 or 4 of their People, not doubting but they would return with the 2 Men in the evening; but they not coming as soon as I expected, I took all the Chiefs on board the ship for greater safety. About 9 o'Clock in the evening Webb, the Marine, was brought in by some of the natives and sent on board. He informed me that the Petty Officer and Corporal that had been sent in quest of them were disarm'd and seiz'd upon by the natives, and that Gibson was with them. Immediately upon getting this information I dispatch'd Mr. Hicks away in the Long boat with a strong party of men to rescue them but before he went Tootaha and the other Chiefs was made to understand that they must send some of their People with Mr. Hicks to shew him the place where our men were, and at the same time to send orders for their immediate releasement, for if any harm came to the men they (the Chiefs) would suffer for it; and I believe at this time they wished as much to see the Men return in safety as I did, for the guides conducted Mr. Hicks to the place before daylight, and he recovered the men without the least opposition, and return'd with them about 7 o'Clock in the morning of the 11th.

Joseph Banks Journal
We are told by the Indians this morn that our people do not intend to return; they are they say gone up into the mountains where our people cannot get at them and one is already married and become an inhabitant of Otahite. After some deliberation however Tuanne matte and Patea undertook to carry our people to the place where they were; they were known to have no arms so two were thought sufficient for the service, a midshipman and a marine, who set off without loss of time. We were now quite ready for the sea so no time was to be lost in recovering the deserters. The Indians gave us but little hopes of our people bringing them back: one certain method remaind however in our power, the seizing of some of their principal people and detaining them, which was immediately resolvd upon. Oborea, Potattow, Polotheara, Tubourai, Tamio, Tuarua, Otheothea and Tetuahitea and Nuna were in the fort and were told that they would not be permitted to go from it till our people returnd. At first they were not at all alarmd, they hardly beleivd us in earnest till they saw the Pinnace come ashore and soon after go away to the westward, the[y] immediately suspected what was the case, that she was gone to fetch Dootahah. They were now alarmd but depending on our having usd them well on all occasions shewd but little signs of either discontent or fear, but assurd us that the people should be brought back as soon as possible. In the evening Dootahah was brought on board, Lieutenant Hickes who had been sent on the service found him at Tettahah and easily took him or rather stole him from the people. Night came on, it was thought unsafe to let the prisoners remain in the fort, which was totaly dismantled; Oborea, Potattow and Tubourai were orderd to the ship; in going into the boat they expressd much fear and shed many tears. The Captn staid on board with them, I slept ashore and the rest of the prisoners in my tent. About 8 our Indians came back with the two deserters but brought the disagreable news of one of the people who had been sent after them being seizd by the Indians, who declard that they would not release them till Dootahah had his liberty. The news was sent aboard and a boat came off immediately for Nuna and Tuanne matte. They were sent to the ship, a boat armd went immediately in search of the people and in her the latter and Tupia who was our voluntary prisoner.

Sydney Parkinson’s Journal
Hearing no tidings of the two men who deserted us, we resolved to seize several of the principal people, and detain them till we could recover them: we also sent a party in the pinnace who apprehended Tcotahau, and brought him to the ship; upon which Oboreah, and several other of the chiefs, sent out their servants, who returned in the evening with one of them, and re-page 36ported that the Indians had detained one of our officers who commanded the party sent out after him; also one of the men who accompanied him, and, having seized their arms, used them very roughly; upon which the marines were dispatched in the long-boat after them, taking with them some of the natives. In the mean time, the natives, whom we had made prisoners, not knowing what would be their fate, were much alarmed; but the next morning the marines returned with the men that had been detained, with the others that had deserted; and the natives, whom we had imprisoned, were released. After making strong professions of friendship, they left us; and, as soon as they reached the shore, bent their course, as fast as possible, to Opare, shewing tokens of displeasure as they went along.

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