Caulfeild, With His Mission Boys, Arrived In His Whale-Boat To Help.
When the Minota first struck, there was not a canoe in sight; but
like vultures circling down out of the blue, canoes began to arrive
from every quarter.
The boat's crew, with rifles at the ready, kept
them lined up a hundred feet away with a promise of death if they
ventured nearer. And there they clung, a hundred feet away, black
and ominous, crowded with men, holding their canoes with their
paddles on the perilous edge of the breaking surf. In the meantime
the bushmen were flocking down from the hills armed with spears,
Sniders, arrows, and clubs, until the beach was massed with them.
To complicate matters, at least ten of our recruits had been
enlisted from the very bushmen ashore who were waiting hungrily for
the loot of the tobacco and trade goods and all that we had on
The Minota was honestly built, which is the first essential for any
boat that is pounding on a reef. Some idea of what she endured may
be gained from the fact that in the first twenty-four hours she
parted two anchor-chains and eight hawsers. Our boat's crew was
kept busy diving for the anchors and bending new lines. There were
times when she parted the chains reinforced with hawsers. And yet
she held together. Tree trunks were brought from ashore and worked
under her to save her keel and bilges, but the trunks were gnawed
and splintered and the ropes that held them frayed to fragments, and
still she pounded and held together.
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