Page:Voyage in search of La Perouse, volume 2 (Stockdale).djvu/310

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[1793.
VOYAGE IN SEARCH

south-east of our ship, I could not doubt but that they set a great value on this tree; it was planted in a very good soil, and surrounded with strong palisades. Neither of those trees yielded fruit at that time, but had a great number of male flowers.

We had already advanced a great way up the mountain, when some of the people belonging to our vessel, who went on shore, discharged their pieces before they returned on board. The report of the musketry made us resolve to direct our course toward them immediately, apprehensive of their being engaged with the savages.

Night approached, and we went off to go on board our vessel, but the wind blew from east-south-east with such violence, and the current was so strong, that they were driven rapidly to westward; we had even great difficulty in making the Esperance, which we left half an hour afterwards to go on board the Recherche, as the weather had become more favourable.

The natives of New Caledonia are in general of the middle size, we however, saw one who was more than six feet in height, but very ill built. Their hair is woolly; their custom of pulling it up by the roots is very general; but we saw some of them who let their beards grow. The colour of their skin is as dark as that of the

inhabitants