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Page 69. " trying a landing at the Marquesas "
Hiva Oa, one of the Marquesas Islands
GNU Free Documentation LicenseHiva Oa, one of the Marquesas Islands - Credit: Sémhur/Wikimedia Commons

The Marquesas are a group of islands in French Polynesia, located in the southern Pacific Ocean.

It is unclear why landing on them should have been perilous as the islands had been under French control since 1870.  Could it be that Holmwood and Morris were up to no good?