The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1
Danger of Civil Commotion in Bau
Danger of Civil Commotion in Bau.
The Vunivalu was not only hard pushed by ammunition being short,—places revolting, and rumours of an op-position-party being in Bau,—but he was dispirited and severely afflicted; brought on, in a great measure, by the things which had befallen him. I felt much for him. I feared that danger was at hand; mainly, I thought, through Koli i Visa Wangga, head Chief of the Bau fishermen, who was holding intercourse with Mara, the rebel Bau Chief who had joined the King of Rewa. As Koli had made me acquainted with the fair side of his movements, I clung to him, hoping to exert some influence if he really designed evil. We were often together, as Mr. Watsford and I were wont to be, with Thakombau, when we interceded for the lives of the women, whom he strangled in spite of all our entreaties. But the King was now greatly altered; had seen and felt his obstinacy and wickedness; and hoped that the Lord, in whom he trusted, might regard him in his low estate, undertake for, and rescue, him. We prayed to God continually for his safety. It was indeed a most critical time. I thought his safety might be in flight, and advised him to run away for a season; but he refused, saying, "I cannot do that. If evil comes, I must die. But I think the Lord will deliver me. I am lotu. If I do anything, (to my enemies, to conciliate them,) it will be disregarded. There is one thing that may be useful, which I desire: Do you keep close intercourse with Koli." This I particularly attended to; while Mr. Waterhouse was mindful to make special and unceasing efforts with another dangerous party in Bau, over whom he had gained the necessary influence. Yet it became probable that Bau would be divided: the fishermen (Lasakauans) were about to put up a fence for civil war. Previous to which, Koli came over to Vewa on the 23d of October. I had been to see Mr. Water-house at Bau, who felt the dangerous position of the Vunivalu, which would undoubtedly also endanger the Mission-premises, and perhaps the lives of our friends. Mara had given property to Koli, and promises. The King of Rewa had promised him one hundred canoes, many of which were building. Weighty reasons were promptly needed to keep him from taking the bait. After showing him the gross sin, in this enlightened age, of taking life, which could not be stayed, if once commenced, until many had been killed; and the danger to himself, as it would end by the club being brought on his own head; I gave him twelve dozen hatchets and ten wedge axes, earnestly intreating him to resist every inward and outward temptation to shed blood. This was a bird in the hand—a heavy one; whereas many of the canoes promised were yet living in the forest, and his personal danger was a consideration. The desires and plans of the enemy were for the present frustrated, by being postponed.