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The Old Whaling Days

Pery's Depositions

Pery's Depositions.

Mr. Gordon Davies Browne being sworn to interpret truly between the Court and PERY; saith—PERY.

I am a native of Hakaroa at Bank's, and came to Sydney in a ship, the captain of which saw me ashore, and promised to take me to Europe. A vessel had arrived at page 386 Bank's, and the Rassar had a chief of Kasiti (Entry Island), who was their enemy, concealed on board, and the natives of Bank's did not know it. I was at Bank's when the vessel arrived there, and was informed by the white people on board that they had plenty of muskets to purchase flax, and Mara Nui (our principal chief) was invited to come on board. He did go on board and the chief mate of the vessel put irons on his wrists and on his legs. He did not suspect any danger. Mara Nui's wife was also taken on board, with a female child of theirs. I saw them on board. I do not know how the child died, but I saw the dead body thrown into the sea by the Chief Mate and other persons. After Mara Nui was put in irons, the natives of Entry went on shore at Bank's in the ship's boats and destroyed the village where Mara Nui was chief. They burnt all the place, and a great number of people were taken prisoners on board the ship. In the fight that took place I saw the white people of the ship take prisoners many of the Bank's people and hand them over to the natives of Entry. I am the son of Mara Nui's younger brother. I am a slave here, for I have been brought here by force. I did not see the fight that took place on shore, but I was told of it. The people of Entry brought on board a great quantity of human flesh in baskets but it was drest on shore, not in the ship. On the ship heaving up the anchor 10 guns were fired. The ship remained about 10 nights at Bank's. We were 5 nights in the passage to Kasiti. On arriving there the prisoners were delivered over to the Rassarhan, and taken ashore in canoes. I was the only one of our tribe who remained on board the ship. I heard that the price of the service was to be paid in flax, and the people of the ship were very angry at not getting the payment. The people of the ship expected the flax would have been a free gift, but they had to pay muskets and powder for it. I heard that the Mara Nui and his wife were taken ashore and killed. The Mara Nui had a cord around his neck and was killed with a knife and cooked. One of the sailors brought two of his fingers page 387 aboard the ship. I ran away from the ship. I came in here for fear, and went aboard another ship.

Taken before me this 5th February 1831
The mark of


F Rossi J.P.
P. Superintendent of Police.