New Zealand - A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 14 - By Robert Kerr









































































 -  The moment a theft of this kind was committed, it spread
like the wind over the whole neighbourhood. They judged - Page 562
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The Moment A Theft Of This Kind Was Committed, It Spread Like The Wind Over The Whole Neighbourhood.

They judged of the consequences from what they had got.

If it were a trifle, and such an article as we usually gave them, little or no notice was taken of it; but if the contrary, every one took the alarm, and moved off with his moveables in all haste. The chief then was mataoued, giving orders to bring us no supplies, and flying to some distant part. All this was sometimes done so suddenly, that we obtained, by these appearances, the first intelligence of our being robbed. Whether we obliged them to make restitution or no, the chief must be reconciled before any of the people were permitted to bring in refreshments. They knew very well we could not do without them, and therefore they never failed strictly to observe this rule, without ever considering, that all their war-canoes, on which the strength of their nation depends, their houses, and even the very fruit they refused to supply us with, were entirely in our power. It is hard to say how they would act, were one to destroy any of these things. Except the detaining some of their canoes for a while, I never touched the least article of their property. Of the two extremes I always chose that which appeared the most equitable and mild. A trifling present to the chief always succeeded to my wish, and very often put things upon a better footing than they had been before.

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