ecember 23rd - At a place called Waimate, about 15 miles from the Bay of Islands, and midway between the eastern and western coasts, the missionaries have purchased some land for agricultural purposes. I had been introduced to the Rev W Williams, who, upon my expressing the wish, invited me to pay him a visit there. Mr Bushby, the British Resident, offered to take me in his boat by a creek, where I should see a pretty waterfall, and by which means my walk would be shortened. He likewise procured for me a guide. Upon asking a neighbouring chief to recommend a man, the chief himself offered to go; but his ignorance of the value of money was so complete, that at first he asked how many pounds I would give him; but, afterwards was well contented with two dollars. When I showed the chief a very small bundle, which I wanted carried, it became absolutely necessary to take a slave for that purpose. These feelings of pride are beginning to wear away; but formerly a leading man would sooner have died than undergone the indignity of carrying the smallest burden. My companion was a light active man, dressed in a dirty blanket, and with his face completely tattooed. He had formerly been a great warrior. He appeared to be on very cordial terms with Mr Bushby, but at various times they had quarrelled violently. Mr Bushby remarked that a little quiet irony would frequently silence any one of these natives in their most blustering moments. This chief has come and harangued Mr Bushby in a hectoring manner, saying, "A great chief, a great man, a friend of mine, has come to pay me a visit - you must give him something good to eat, some fine presents, &c." Mr Bushby has allowed him to finish his discourse, and then has quietly replied by some such answer as, "What else shall your slave do for you?" The man would then instantly, with a very comical expression, cease his braggadocio.
This excerpt has been taken from a work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us: a) where is the action taking place? b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will award pounds 30-worth of book tokens to the first correct answer out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Usual competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by this Thursday. Literally lost 74: The book was 'The Worst Journey in the World' by Apsley Cherry Garrard. The action took place in Antarctica. The winner is Robert Thompson of Dover, Kent.