Taming New Guinea (Classic Reprint)

C. A. W. Monckton


Taming New Guinea (Classic Reprint) - C. A. W. Monckton

Excerpt from Taming New Guinea

It appears to be the custom, for writers of books of this description, to begin with apologies as to their style, or excuses for their production. I pretend to no style; but have simply written at the request of my wife, for her information and that of my personnel friends, an account of my life in New Guinea. To the few "men that know" who still survive, in one or two places gaps or omissions may appear to occur; these omissions are intentional, as I have no wish to cause pain to broken men who are still living, nor to distress the relations of those who are dead. Much history is better written fifty years after all concerned in the making are dead. Governor or ruffian, Bishop or cannibal, I have written of all as I found them; I freely confess that I think when the last muster comes, the Great Architect will find - as I trust my readers will - some good points in the ruffians and the cannibals, as well, possibly, as some vulnerable places in the armour of Governors and Bishops.

I do not pretend that this book possesses any scientific value; such geographical, zoological, and scientific work as I have done is dealt with in various journals; but it does picture correctly the life of a colonial officer in the one-time furthest outpost of the Empire - men of whose lives and work the average Briton knows nothing.

Conditions in New Guinea have altered; where one of Sir William MacGregor's officers stood alone, there now rest a number of Australian officials and clerks. Much credit is now annually given to this host; some little, I think, might be fairly allotted to the dead Moreton, Armit, Green, Kowold, De Lange, and the rest of the gallant gentlemen who gave their lives to win one more country for the flag and to secure the Pax Britannica to yet another people.

I have abstained from putting into the mouths of natives the ridiculous jargon or "pidgin English" in which they are popularly supposed to converse. The old style of New Guinea officer spoke Motuan to his men, and I have, where required, merely given a free translation from that language into English.

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