A party of six or eight canoes
came into the cove where they remained
looking at us for some time,
and then retired
without coming alongside the ships.
that our old friends who were
more numerous about us
than these new visitors
would not permit them
to have intercourse with us.
We also found that
many of the principal natives
who lived near us carried on
a trade with more distant tribes
in articles they had procured from us
for we observed that they would
frequently disappear for four or five days
at a time, and then return
with fresh cargoes
of skins and curiosities, which
our people were so passionately fond of
that they always came to a good market.
We purchased while here
about 1500 beaver, besides other skins,
but took none but the best,
having no thoughts at the time
of using them to any other advantage
than the purpose of clothing.
But it afterwards happened that the skins,
which did not cost the purchaser
sold in China for a hundred dollars.
Neither did we purchase a quarter part
of the beaver and other furskins
we might have done
had we known of the opportunity of
disposing of them
to such an astonishing profit.
The arrival and presence of the aliens
changes the patterns of power, upsetting previous
economic balances, intensifying rivalries,
the Mooachahts isolating and insulating
this unexpected source of wealth and prestige,
treating the two ships as a windfall fortune, like the
carcasses of whales beached by the storm.
They measure the distances and make their maps. The more detail they include, the longer the coastline grows. It is like writing a poem, or examining your life. Recollect each experience in infinite detail, and it will unfold endlessly.