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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

Departure from New Zealand

page 481

Departure from New Zealand.

The day of our departure arrived at last. It was the 4th of July that we left the coast of New Zealand, after having taken possession of the country for the King under the name of Austral-France.

Although we had strong enough proof of the murder of M. Marion, I should have liked to have carried away a young New Zealander, from whom it is presumable we could have learnt in time much information which could not fail to have been advantageous to us in every way, but we found it impossible to capture a single man.

I had forgotten to say that during the month of June a negro and two negresses, who were on board M. Marion's vessel, had deserted, and that a few days afterwards the natives brought back one of the women, who assured us that her comrade had been drowned whilst trying to escape in a canoe, and that, on arriving on the shore with the negro, he had abandoned her, and had apparently taken refuge in some village. Several of our company have maintained, and probably with reason, that this fugitive had helped to stir up the natives against us. The natives were already evilly disposed against M. Marion, who, having one day several of them on board his ship, had put into irons one of them who had stolen a sword—a treatment which frightened his comrades so much that they threw themselves in the sea and swam off to their canoes, threatening vengeance.

On leaving New Zealand we ran before the wind to the north-west to get up to the east of Rotterdam and Amsterdam Islands, where, according to Abel Tasman, we should find a peaceable race, and provisions in abundance. We did not, however, rely very much on this, in view of the inaccuracy we had discovered in his account of the King's Islands (the Three Kings).

A true copy.

The Keeper of the Records (Archivist) of the
Hydrographical Service of the Navy