« PreviousContinue »
PROPERTY GIVEN UP.
interest to prevent the natives robbing the house, and his servants were appointed to guard it by night. In what manner they guarded it, you will soon hear. The missionaries hoped that, having now given up all their worldly cares, they should be able to serve the Lord more earnestly, and to watch more diligently for the souls of the poor heathen.
Both Pomare and Idia were delighted in being permitted to take what they pleased from the brethren. Both night and day they walked from room to room, looking on everything with a covetous eye, and carrying away a great quantity.
The natives, like greedy birds, hovered about the outside of the house, and invented cunning plans of stealing. One of these was to hook away things with a very long stick, which they poked between the posts that formed the walls of part of the house : so that the missionaries placed anything, that they were very much afraid of losing, under the care of some chief.
One night Mr. Harris was awakened by the noise of thieves ransacking a box in his room ; the men ran off the instant he saw them, taking with them many books and clothes.
Another night Mr. Eyre woke, and saw, by the light he always kept burning in his room, two of the natives, who were appointed to be
watchmen by Pomare, getting over a partition, placed before his door. He asked them what they wanted, when one of them cunningly replied, “I thought I heard some thieves within, and was coming to look for them.”
One day Mr. Broomhall missed two cases out of his room, one containing all things necessary for cupping, and the other for cutting off limbs. He was surprised by Idia bringing back the cases next morning, with nothing missing but two little saws. In a little time afterwards she restored these also. The missionaries wondered how she had got possession of the things; at the same time, they thought it was honest of her to give them back. A few months afterwards they discovered that she encouraged her servants to steal things for her ; for they found she had an axe in her possession, that had been missed two months before.
She visited the missionaries very often, for she now lived close to them in the little house Mr. Main had built for himself. She had chosen Mrs. Eyre for her particular friend, and often drank tea with her, and paid her much attention, and promised that no one should hurt her. Yet she not only continued to steal, but this summer she killed her own infant as soon as it was born. She looked ashamed when she next came to see the missionaries, knowing that they abhorred her conduct. She
REASON OF THE WAR.
soon, however, recovered her confidence, and presented Mr. and Mrs. Eyre with two hogs and a quantity of fruit. They received her well, and accepted the present; for all the brethren had agreed that it was useless to be angry with the heathen for their crimes. St. Paul says, “What have I to do to judge them that are without? (that is, the heathen.) Them that are without, God judgeth.” 1 Cor. v. 12, 13.
About a fortnight after the departure of the Nautilus, the missionaries were much alarmed by hearing that a war would soon break out. I will now relate the reason of the war.
The part of the island where the missionaries had been injured was called Pare. The people of that district were very angry with Pomare for having punished two of the men who had behaved ill to the brethren, and were determined to revenge their death. Accordingly they declared war against Pomare, as well as against Otu, who had consented to the death of the offenders. Are you not surprised to hear, that Otu had permitted the men to be punished, for doing what he had commanded them? This was indeed an act of horrible treachery, but it was like Otu to commit it. He had hoped by this means to appear innocent, but his wickedness came to light some time afterwards.
One evening Pomare came to the missiona
MISSIONARIES' REFUSAL TO FIGHT.
ries' house with a present of four hogs. The
know how to make war?” Mr. Nott boldly answered, “ We know nothing of war." For the brethren had determined, as they were messengers of the Prince of Peace, not to lift up a sword, even in their own defence. They all joined in My. Nott's reply, and Pomare left them. They felt alarmed at the prospect of war and bloodshed; but they were comforted by uniting together immediately in prayer to the God of their strength, their shield, and their hiding-place.
The two sailors excused themselves from going to war, by promising Pomare to finish for him the boat that Mr. Puckey had begun to build, in case they were not obliged to fight. Pomare endeavoured to prevent the war,
but was not able to make peace with the people of Pare.
The evening before the day of battle the missionaries saw the native, who was usually working in the blacksmith's shop, making a terrible iron point, to fix at the end of a lance. They were grieved to think that the tools they had brought should be used to make so bloody
THE FIRST BATTLE.
an instrument, but they could do nothing to prevent it.
On the morning of April the 24th, by eight o'clock, the warriors had set out towards Pare. Idia herself went to the battle, with a small gun, or fowling-piece.
At six o'clock that evening, a messenger arrived at the brethren's house, with tidings of the events of the day. He was the king's orator, or speech-maker, and, according to the custom of his office, he delivered his message in a violent manner, moving about his body and arms, while he spoke. He said that Otu had driven the enemy to the mountains, and had burnt some houses, but that no blood had been shed on either side. The news of Otu's success of course pleased the missionaries, as they would have been in danger of their lives if the rebels had conquered. The war, however, was not yet over.
The messenger, who had been sent by Idia, asked for some tea and a tea-kettle to bring back to her, for she was remarkably fond of drinking tea.
Pomare also sent the brethren a message to warn them against the enemies, setting their house on fire in the night; therefore they watched the house by turns, with the help of a few of Pomare's servants, all night. No disturbance, however, took place. Another night