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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

Dailey was interrogated as to the place


What

reason they could have had for this treacherous kind of conduct, I am wholly at a loss to guess, for nothing hostile or mischievous had appeared on our part; on the contrary, the most friendly disposition had been manifested in every thing we said or did; even when their women took the alarm upon our approach, I spoke to them, and made such signs of friendship as we judged they would understand, and went round at a distance to prevent their apprehension of any insult. It was perhaps fortunate that my gun did not go off; as I was so displeased at their treachery, that it is highly probable I might have shot one of them.

On comparing the accounts, which were taken by the different boats employed upon this business, it appeared that we had seen--Canoes 67--men 94--women 34--children 9,--which is by no means a just account of the numbers who, at that time, lived in and about this harbour; for I have since seen in one part of the harbour more than that number.

On the 27th, the Supply tender arrived from Norfolk Island, where she had been with a quantity of provisions and stores for that settlement; she brought the melancholy account of the loss of Mr. James Cunningham, and four others, who were drowned in the surf, by their boat being overset in landing the stores from the Supply; so exceedingly difficult of access is the shore of that island, from an almost continual surf breaking on a reef which encompasses the

coast on that part where the settlement is formed.

In this month a report prevailed in the settlement, which seemed at first to gain some credit:--It was, that one -Dailey_, a convict, had discovered a piece of ground, wherein he had found a considerable quantity of a yellow coloured ore, which, upon its being tried, appeared to have a certain proportion of gold in it; at this time the governor happened to be absent on a short excursion into the country, to the northward: the report having been made to the lieutenant-governor, he, of course, examined the man, who had made the discovery, and who told his story with so much plausibility, that it was not doubted but an ore of some kind had been sound.

Dailey was interrogated as to the place, but this he refused to give any information of until the return of the governor, to whom he would give a full account of the discovery, provided he would grant him what the discoverer considered as but a small compensation for so valuable an acquisition; this reward was, (as there were ships upon the point of sailing) his own and a particular woman convict's enlargement, and a passage in one of the ships to England, together with a specified sum of money, which I do not now recollect. The lieutenant-governor insisted, that as he had already mentioned the discovery he had made, he should also show what part of the country it was in, otherwise he might expect punishment, for daring to impose upon those officers to whom he had related this business: the fear of punishment disposed him to incline a little, though apparently with much reluctance; he proposed to the lieutenant-governor, that an officer should be sent down the harbour with him, for the mine, which, he said, was in the lower part of the harbour, and near the sea shore, and he would show the place to the officer.


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