Accordingly, accompanied by Poruma 밤일알바 and Warapas, I went off to his village, first sending one of the local natives ahead to tell him I was coming. Poruma wore Moreton’s revolver under his jumper, and I, a couple of revolvers under a loose shirt: Warapas carried my gun, for the ostensible purpose of shooting pigeons, but had a supply of ball cartridges in his pouch. For fighting in scrub, a double-barrelled fowling piece with ball is just as effective as a rifle—shot, of course, is not much use against men carrying thick shields. Passing through the numerous villages on the way to the centre one, where the old chief lived, I noticed everywhere fresh graves under the houses, and found there were large numbers of the villagers sick and dying from dysentery. Arriving at my destination, I found the chief seated on a sort of raised platform, surrounded by at least two hundred men, who all set up a tremendous clamour as I walked up to him. “Tell him, Poruma, that I have come to have a little friendly conversation with him,” I said, as I climbed up on to the platform alongside old Enamakala, who was an enormously fat man with a shaved and shining head. Poruma told him what I said, and he replied that it was good and he was pleased to see me. Then he wanted to know why Warapas and Poruma did not stoop half-double before him as did his own people. “Because they serve the great white Queen whom the Governor told you about,” I replied, “and stoop before no man.” Old Enamakala gave me some fruit, and I presented him with some cigarettes; then we settled down to business. First of all I asked him to make his people stop yelling, as it was89 not fitting that our conversation should be carried on in such a babel; a sort of grand vizier person, with a face like a fowl, screeched at the crowd and the noise fell to a murmur. The chief suddenly bent over to me and ran his hands over my waist; as they came in contact with the pistol butts he smiled knowingly at me and said: “That is good. Poruma, tell your master I wanted to know whether he was fool enough to walk the bush paths unarmed.” Poruma told him, that as an act of politeness to him I had covered up my arms (great always was the cheek of Poruma), as I did not wish to make him nervous, but that now, as we were on such friendly terms, I should wear them openly. Accordingly I slipped my hand inside my shirt, unhooked my belt and fastened it on again outside, Poruma doing the same.

Then, through Poruma, I told him the Government was exceedingly displeased with him for allowing his people to steal from the Mission, and for threatening the teachers with spears; also for permitting the burial of the dead in the villages, and for refusing to send the children to school. Then I demanded that some six men, whose names the missionary had given me as having behaved in a particularly outrageous manner, should be given up; also that he should come out with me to the coast and attend at the Court, at which I should punish the wrongdoers, as a sign that he supported the authority of the Government. The chief said he did not want to go to the coast, and that he did not know where the men were. “If I don’t get the men I want,” I said, “I shall keep you in gaol until I do get them; as for coming to the coast, you must do that, whether you like it or not; I promise you safety and release when I get them.” The devil’s own clatter was set up by the natives at this, but Poruma yelled at them to shut up. “Tell the chief, Poruma, that I have twelve lives at my belt, and if there is any hostility, I’ll blow a hole through him as a start.” Old Enamakala said, that he would not have seen me, if he had known I was going to treat him in such a fashion. “Tell the old reprobate, Poruma, that I know he thought he was safe, when he heard there were only three of us coming; and that I also knew, that if I had come with a strong force, he would have slipped into the bush, and set his people chucking spears.” The chief argued and protested for some time; then he said that he would come in his own palanquin, as he was fat, and also that it was not dignified for him to walk so far. “You tell him that the Governor is the biggest chief in New Guinea, and he walked right across the island, so that he can walk to the coast. I walk first, then he comes, then follow you and Warapas, and Enamakala can have as many men as he likes bringing up the rear.” The chief grumbled and complained, but at last we set off in the order named, with Heaven only knows how90 many hundred men following us, and the women all howling behind. Half an hour after we started on our journey to the coast, a messenger caught us up and told me that the six men I wanted were coming after us to surrender themselves.