Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/451

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tentious palace. It was a smiling landscape, very lush and green, with cultivated fields of yams and cocoanuts and a contented people. The war with the islanders of Artingall was unfinished, it seemed, and they deserved severe chastisement because of several murders committed. Another expedition was therefore planned, and ten of the British sailors took part with Captain Wilson's approval. The details were arranged during this meeting at Pelew.

A naval action was fought, and the strategy of General Raa Kook was so brilliant that it deserves mention. The enemy's squadrons of canoes held a position close under the land and refused to sail out ind join battle. Raa Kook thereupon detached one of his own squadrons and concealed it behind a promontory during the night. In the morning the main fleet of canoes closed in, led by King Abba Thulle, and fought at long range. Pretending to be thrown into disorder, he ordered the conch-shells to sound the retreat, and this main fleet fled seaward. In hot pursuit dashed the squadrons of Artingall. No sooner were they well clear of the land than Raa Kook told his hidden squadron to advance and cut the enemy off. The luckless warriors of Artingall were between the devil and the deep sea, attacked ahead and astern, and mercilessly bucketed