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´╗┐Title: Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas
Author: Melville, Herman, 1819-1891
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas


Herman Melville








IT WAS the middle of a bright tropical afternoon that we made good our
escape from the bay. The vessel we sought lay with her main-topsail
aback about a league from the land, and was the only object that
broke the broad expanse of the ocean.

On approaching, she turned out to be a small, slatternly-looking
craft, her hull and spars a dingy black, rigging all slack and
bleached nearly white, and everything denoting an ill state of
affairs aboard. The four boats hanging from her sides proclaimed her
a whaler. Leaning carelessly over the bulwarks were the sailors,
wild, haggard-looking fellows in Scotch caps and faded blue frocks;
some of them with cheeks of a mottled bronze, to which sickness soon
changes the rich berry-brown of a seaman's complexion in the tropics.

On the quarter-deck was one whom I took for the chief mate. He wore a
broad-brimmed Panama hat, and his spy-glass was levelled as we

When we came alongside, a low cry ran fore and aft the deck, and
everybody gazed at us with inquiring eyes. And well they might. To
say nothing of the savage boat's crew, panting with excitement, all
gesture and vociferation, my own appearance was calculated to excite
curiosity. A robe of the native cloth was thrown over my shoulders,
my hair and beard were uncut, and I betrayed other evidences of my
recent adventure. Immediately on gaining the deck, they beset me on
all sides with questions, the half of which I could not answer, so
incessantly were they put.

As an instance of the curious coincidences which often befall the
sailor, I must here mention that two countenances before me were
familiar. One was that of an old man-of-war's-man, whose acquaintance
I had made in Rio de Janeiro, at which place touched the ship in
which I sailed from home. The other was a young man whom, four years
previous, I had frequently met in a sailor boarding-house in
Liverpool. I remembered parting with him at Prince's Dock Gates, in
the midst of a swarm of police-officers, trackmen, stevedores,
beggars, and the like. And here we were again:--years had rolled by,
many a league of ocean had been traversed, and we were thrown
together under circumstances which almost made me doubt my own

But a few moments passed ere I was sent for into the cabin by the

He was quite a young man, pale and slender, more like a sickly
counting-house clerk than a bluff sea-captain. Bidding me be seated,
he ordered the steward to hand me a glass of Pisco. In the state I
was, this stimulus almost made me delirious; so that of all I then
went on to relate concerning my residence on the island I can
scarcely remember a word. After this I was asked whether I desired to
"ship"; of course I said yes; that is, if he would allow me to enter
for one cruise, engaging to discharge me, if I so desired, at the
next port. In this way men are frequently shipped on board whalemen
in the South Seas. My stipulation was acceded to, and the ship's
articles handed me to sign.

The mate was now called below, and charged to make a "well man" of me;
not, let it be borne in mind, that the captain felt any great
compassion for me, he only desired to have the benefit of my services
as soon as possible.

Helping me on deck, the mate stretched me out on the windlass and
commenced examining my limb; and then doctoring it after a fashion
with something from the medicine-chest, rolled it up in a piece of an
old sail, making so big a bundle that, with my feet resting on the
windlass, I might have been taken for a sailor with the gout.  While
this was going on, someone removing my tappa cloak slipped on a blue
frock in its place, and another, actuated by the same desire to make
a civilized mortal of me, flourished about my head a great pair lie
imminent jeopardy of both ears, and the certain destruction of hair
and beard.

The day was now drawing to a close, and, as the land faded from my
sight, I was all alive to the change in my condition. But how far
short of our expectations is oftentimes the fulfilment of the most
ardent hopes. Safe aboard of a ship--so long my earnest prayer--with
home and friends once more in prospect, I nevertheless felt weighed
down by a melancholy that could not be shaken off. It was the thought
of never more seeing those who, notwithstanding their desire to
retain me a captive, had, upon the whole, treated me so kindly. I was
leaving them for ever.

So unforeseen and sudden had been my escape, so excited had I been
through it all, and so great the contrast between the luxurious
repose of the valley, and the wild noise and motion of a ship at sea,
that at times my recent adventures had all the strangeness of a
dream; and I could scarcely believe that the same sun now setting
over a waste of waters, had that very morning risen above the
mountains and peered in upon me as I lay on my mat in Typee.

Going below into the forecastle just after dark, I was inducted into a
wretched "bunk" or sleeping-box built over another. The rickety
bottoms of both were spread with several pieces of a blanket. A
battered tin can was then handed me, containing about half a pint of
"tea"--so called by courtesy, though whether the juice of such stalks
as one finds floating therein deserves that title, is a matter all
shipowners must settle with their consciences. A cube of salt beef,
on a hard round biscuit by way of platter, was also handed up; and
without more ado, I made a meal, the salt flavour of which, after the
Nebuchadnezzar fare of the valley, was positively delicious.

While thus engaged, an old sailor on a chest just under me was puffing
out volumes of tobacco smoke. My supper finished, he brushed the stem
of his sooty pipe against the sleeve of his frock, and politely waved
it toward me. The attention was sailor-like; as for the nicety of the
thing, no man who has lived in forecastles is at all fastidious; and
so, after a few vigorous whiffs to induce repose, I turned over and
tried my best to forget myself. But in vain. My crib, instead of
extending fore and aft, as it should have done, was placed athwart
ships, that is, at right angles to the keel, and the vessel, going
before the wind, rolled to such a degree, that-every time my heels
went up and my head went down, I thought I was on the point of
turning a somerset.  Beside this, there were still more annoying
causes of inquietude; and every once in a while a splash of water
came down the open scuttle, and flung the spray in my face.

At last, after a sleepless night, broken twice by the merciless call
of the watch, a peep of daylight struggled into view from above, and
someone came below. It was my old friend with the pipe.

"Here, shipmate," said I, "help me out of this place, and let me go
on deck."

"Halloa, who's that croaking?" was the rejoinder, as he peered into
the obscurity where I lay. "Ay, Typee, my king of the cannibals, is
it you I But I say, my lad, how's that spar of your'n? the mate says
it's in a devil of a way; and last night set the steward to
sharpening the handsaw: hope he won't have the carving of ye."

Long before daylight we arrived off the bay of Nukuheva, and making
short tacks until morning, we then ran in and sent a boat ashore with
the natives who had brought me to the ship. Upon its return, we made
sail again, and stood off from the land. There was a fine breeze; and
notwithstanding my bad night's rest, the cool, fresh air of a
morning at sea was so bracing, mat, as soon as I breathed it, my
spirits rose at once.

Seated upon the windlass the greater portion of the day, and chatting
freely with the men, I learned the history of the voyage thus far,
and everything respecting the ship and its present condition.

These matters I will now throw together in the next chapter.



FIRST AND foremost, I must give some account of the Julia herself; or
"Little Jule," as the sailors familiarly styled her.

She was a small barque of a beautiful model, something more than two
hundred tons, Yankee-built and very old. Fitted for a privateer out
of a New England port during the war of 1812, she had been captured
at sea by a British cruiser, and, after seeing all sorts of service,
was at last employed as a government packet in the Australian seas.
Being condemned, however, about two years previous, she was purchased
at auction by a house in Sydney, who, after some slight repairs,
dispatched her on the present voyage.

Notwithstanding the repairs, she was still in a miserable plight. The
lower masts were said to be unsound; the standing rigging was much
worn; and, in some places, even the bulwarks were quite rotten.
Still, she was tolerably tight, and but little more than the ordinary
pumping of a morning served to keep her free.

But all this had nothing to do with her sailing; at that, brave Little
Jule, plump Little Jule, was a witch. Blow high, or blow low, she was
always ready for the breeze; and when she dashed the waves from her
prow, and pranced, and pawed the sea, you never thought of her
patched sails and blistered hull. How the fleet creature would fly
before the wind! rolling, now and then, to be sure, but in very
playfulness. Sailing to windward, no gale could bow her over: with
spars erect, she looked right up into the wind's eye, and so she went.

But after all, Little Jule was not to be confided in. Lively enough,
and playful she was, but on that very account the more to be
distrusted. Who knew, but that like some vivacious old mortal all at
once sinking into a decline, she might, some dark night, spring a
leak and carry us all to the bottom. However, she played us no such
ugly trick, and therefore, I wrong Little Jule in supposing it.

She had a free roving commission. According to her papers she might go
whither she pleased--whaling, sealing, or anything else. Sperm
whaling, however, was what she relied upon; though, as yet, only two
fish had been brought alongside.

The day they sailed out of Sydney Heads, the ship's company, all told,
numbered some thirty-two souls; now, they mustered about twenty; the
rest had deserted. Even the three junior mates who had headed the
whaleboats were gone: and of the four harpooners, only one was left,
a wild New Zealander, or "Mowree" as his countrymen are more commonly
called in the Pacific. But this was not all. More than half the
seamen remaining were more or less unwell from a long sojourn in a
dissipated port; some of them wholly unfit for duty, one or two
dangerously ill, and the rest managing to stand their watch though
they could do but little.

The captain was a young cockney, who, a few years before, had
emigrated to Australia, and, by some favouritism or other, had
procured the command of the vessel, though in no wise competent.
He was essentially a landsman, and though a man of education, no more
meant for the sea than a hairdresser. Hence everybody made fun of
him. They called him "The Cabin Boy," "Paper Jack," and half a dozen
other undignified names. In truth, the men made no secret of the
derision in which they held him; and as for the slender gentleman
himself, he knew it all very well, and bore himself with becoming
meekness. Holding as little intercourse with them as possible, he
left everything to the chief mate, who, as the story went, had been
given his captain in charge. Yet, despite his apparent unobtrusiveness,
the silent captain had more to do with the men than they thought. In
short, although one of your sheepish-looking fellows, he had a sort
of still, timid cunning, which no one would have suspected, and which,
for that very reason, was all the more active. So the bluff mate,
who always thought he did what he pleased, was occasionally made a
fool of; and some obnoxious measures which he carried out, in spite
of all growlings, were little thought to originate with the dapper
little fellow in nankeen jacket and white canvas pumps. But, to all
appearance, at least, the mate had everything his own way; indeed,
in most things this was actually the case; and it was quite plain
that the captain stood in awe of him.

So far as courage, seamanship, and a natural aptitude for keeping
riotous spirits in subjection were concerned, no man was better
qualified for his vocation than John Jermin. He was the very
beau-ideal of the efficient race of short, thick-set men. His hair
curled in little rings of iron gray all over his round bullet head. As
for his countenance, it was strongly marked, deeply pitted with the
small-pox. For the rest, there was a fierce little squint out of one
eye; the nose had a rakish twist to one side; while his large mouth,
and great white teeth, looked absolutely sharkish when he laughed. In
a word, no one, after getting a fair look at him, would ever think of
improving the shape of his nose, wanting in symmetry as it was.
Notwithstanding his pugnacious looks, however, Jermin had a heart as
big as a bullock's; that you saw at a glance.

Such was our mate; but he had one failing: he abhorred all weak
infusions, and cleaved manfully to strong drink.. At all times he was
more or less under the influence of it. Taken in moderate quantities,
I believe, in my soul, it did a man like him good; brightened his
eyes, swept the cobwebs out of his brain, and regulated his pulse.
But the worst of it was, that sometimes he drank too much, and a more
obstreperous fellow than Jermin in his cups, you seldom came across.
He was always for having a fight; but the very men he flogged loved
him as a brother, for he had such an irresistibly good-natured way of
knocking them down, that no one could find it in his heart to bear
malice against him. So much for stout little Jermin.

All English whalemen are bound by-law to carry a physician, who, of
course, is rated a gentleman, and lives in the cabin, with nothing
but his professional duties to attend to; but incidentally he drinks
"flip" and plays cards with the captain. There was such a worthy
aboard of the Julia; but, curious to tell, he lived in the forecastle
with the men.  And this was the way it happened.

In the early part of the voyage the doctor and the captain lived
together as pleasantly as could be. To say nothing of many a can they
drank over the cabin transom, both of them had read books, and one of
them had travelled; so their stories never flagged. But once on a
time they got into a dispute about politics, and the doctor,
moreover, getting into a rage, drove home an argument with his fist,
and left the captain on the floor literally silenced. This was
carrying it with a high hand; so he was shut up in his state-room for
ten days, and left to meditate on bread and water, and the
impropriety of flying into a passion. Smarting under his disgrace, he
undertook, a short time after his liberation, to leave the vessel
clandestinely at one of the islands, but was brought back
ignominiously, and again shut up. Being set at large for the second
time, he vowed he would not live any longer with the captain, and
went forward with his chests among the sailors, where he was received
with open arms as a good fellow and an injured man.

I must give some further account of him, for he figures largely in the
narrative. His early history, like that of many other heroes, was
enveloped in the profoundest obscurity; though he threw out hints of
a patrimonial estate, a nabob uncle, and an unfortunate affair which
sent him a-roving. All that was known, however, was this. He had gone
out to Sydney as assistant-surgeon of an emigrant ship. On his
arrival there, he went back into the country, and after a few months'
wanderings, returned to Sydney penniless, and entered as doctor
aboard of the Julia.

His personal appearance was remarkable. He was over six feet high--a
tower of bones, with a complexion absolutely colourless, fair hair,
and a light unscrupulous gray eye, twinkling occasionally at the very
devil of mischief. Among the crew, he went by the name of the Long
Doctor, or more frequently still, Doctor Long Ghost.  And from
whatever high estate Doctor Long Ghost might have fallen, he had
certainly at some time or other spent money, drunk Burgundy, and
associated with gentlemen.

As for his learning, he quoted Virgil, and talked of Hobbs of
Malmsbury, beside repeating poetry by the canto, especially Hudibras.
He was, moreover, a man who had seen the world. In the easiest way
imaginable, he could refer to an amour he had in Palermo, his
lion-hunting before breakfast among the Caffres, and the quality of
the coffee to be drunk in Muscat; and about these places, and a
hundred others, he had more anecdotes than I can tell of. Then such
mellow old songs as he sang, in a voice so round and racy, the real
juice of sound. How such notes came forth from his lank body was a
constant marvel.

Upon the whole, Long Ghost was as entertaining a companion as one
could wish; and to me in the Julia, an absolute godsend.



OWING to the absence of anything like regular discipline, the vessel
was in a state of the greatest uproar. The captain, having for some
time past been more or less confined to the cabin from sickness, was
seldom seen. The mate, however, was as hearty as a young lion, and
ran about the decks making himself heard at all hours.  Bembo, the
New Zealand harpooner, held little intercourse with anybody but the
mate, who could talk to him freely in his own lingo. Part of his time
he spent out on the bowsprit, fishing for albicores with a bone hook;
and occasionally he waked all hands up of a dark night dancing some
cannibal fandango all by himself on the forecastle. But, upon the
whole, he was remarkably quiet, though something in his eye showed he
was far from being harmless.

Doctor Long Ghost, having sent in a written resignation as the ship's
doctor, gave himself out as a passenger for Sydney, and took the
world quite easy. As for the crew, those who were sick seemed
marvellously contented for men in their condition; and the rest, not
displeased with the general licence, gave themselves little thought
of the morrow.

The Julia's provisions were very poor. When opened, the barrels of
pork looked as if preserved in iron rust, and diffused an odour like
a stale ragout. The beef was worse yet; a mahogany-coloured fibrous
substance, so tough and tasteless, that I almost believed the cook's
story of a horse's hoof with the shoe on having been fished up out of
the pickle of one of the casks. Nor was the biscuit much better;
nearly all of it was broken into hard, little gunflints, honeycombed
through and through, as if the worms usually infesting this article
in long tropical voyages had, in boring after nutriment, come out at
the antipodes without finding anything.

Of what sailors call "small stores," we had but little. "Tea,"
however, we had in abundance; though, I dare say, the Hong merchants
never had the shipping of it.  Beside this, every other day we had
what English seamen call "shot soup"--great round peas, polishing
themselves like pebbles by rolling about in tepid water.

It was afterward told me, that all our provisions had been purchased
by the owners at an auction sale of condemned navy stores in Sydney.

But notwithstanding the wateriness of the first course of soup, and
the saline flavour of the beef and pork, a sailor might have made a
satisfactory meal aboard of the Julia had there been any side
dishes--a potato or two, a yam, or a plantain. But there was nothing
of the kind. Still, there was something else, which, in the estimation
of the men, made up for all deficiencies; and that was the regular
allowance of Pisco.

It may seem strange that in such a state of affairs the captain should
be willing to keep the sea with his ship. But the truth was, that by
lying in harbour, he ran the risk of losing the remainder of his men
by desertion; and as it was, he still feared that, in some outlandish
bay or other, he might one day find his anchor down, and no crew to
weigh it.

With judicious officers the most unruly seamen can at sea be kept in
some sort of subjection; but once get them within a cable's length of
the land, and it is hard restraining them. It is for this reason that
many South Sea whalemen do not come to anchor for eighteen or twenty
months on a stretch. When fresh provisions are needed, they run for
the nearest land--heave to eight or ten miles off, and send a boat
ashore to trade. The crews manning vessels like these are for the most
part villains of all nations and dyes; picked up in the lawless ports
of the Spanish Main, and among the savages of the islands. Like
galley-slaves, they are only to be governed by scourges and chains.
Their officers go among them with dirk and pistol--concealed, but
ready at a grasp.

Not a few of our own crew were men of this stamp; but, riotous at
times as they were, the bluff drunken energies of Jennin were just
the thing to hold them in some sort of noisy subjection. Upon an
emergency, he flew in among them, showering his kicks and cuffs right
and left, and "creating a sensation" in every direction. And as
hinted before, they bore this knock-down authority with great
good-humour. A sober, discreet, dignified officer could have done
nothing with them; such a set would have thrown him and his dignity

Matters being thus, there was nothing for the ship but to keep the
sea. Nor was the captain without hope that the invalid portion of his
crew, as well as himself, would soon recover; and then there was no
telling what luck in the fishery might yet be in store for us. At any
rate, at the time of my coming aboard, the report was, that Captain
Guy was resolved upon retrieving the past and filling the vessel with
oil in the shortest space possible.

With this intention, we were now shaping our course for Hytyhoo, a
village on the island of St. Christina--one of the Marquesas, and so
named by Mendanna--for the purpose of obtaining eight seamen, who,
some weeks before, had stepped ashore there from the Julia. It was
supposed that, by this time, they must have recreated themselves
sufficiently, and would be glad to return to their duty.

So to Hytyhoo, with all our canvas spread, and coquetting with the
warm, breezy Trades, we bowled along; gliding up and down the long,
slow swells, the bonettas and albicores frolicking round us.



I HAD scarcely been aboard of the ship twenty-four hours, when a
circumstance occurred, which, although noways picturesque, is so
significant of the state of affairs that I cannot forbear relating

In the first place, however, it must be known, that among the crew was
a man so excessively ugly, that he went by the ironical appellation
of "Beauty." He was the ship's carpenter; and for that reason was
sometimes known by his nautical cognomen of "Chips." There was no
absolute deformity about the man; he was symmetrically ugly. But ill
favoured as he was in person, Beauty was none the less ugly in
temper; but no one could blame him; his countenance had soured his
heart.  Now Jermin and Beauty were always at swords' points. The
truth was, the latter was the only man in the ship whom the mate had
never decidedly got the better of; and hence the grudge he bore him.
As for Beauty, he prided himself upon talking up to the mate, as we
shall soon see.

Toward evening there was something to be done on deck, and the
carpenter who belonged to the watch was missing. "Where's that skulk,
Chips?" shouted Jermin down the forecastle scuttle.

"Taking his ease, d'ye see, down here on a chest, if you want to
know," replied that worthy himself, quietly withdrawing his pipe from
his mouth. This insolence flung the fiery little mate into a mighty
rage; but Beauty said nothing, puffing away with all the tranquillity
imaginable. Here it must be remembered that, never mind what may be
the provocation, no prudent officer ever dreams of entering a ship's
forecastle on a hostile visit. If he wants to see anybody who happens
to be there, and refuses to come up, why he must wait patiently until
the sailor is willing. The reason is this. The place is very dark:
and nothing is easier than to knock one descending on the head,
before he knows where he is, and a very long while before he ever
finds out who did it.

Nobody knew this better than Jermin, and so he contented himself with
looking down the scuttle and storming. At last Beauty made some cool
observation which set him half wild.

"Tumble on deck," he then bellowed--"come, up with you, or I'll jump
down and make you." The carpenter begged him to go about it at once.

No sooner said than done: prudence forgotten, Jermin was there; and by
a sort of instinct, had his man by the throat before he could well
see him. One of the men now made a rush at him, but the rest dragged
him off, protesting that they should have fair play.

"Now come on deck," shouted the mate, struggling like a good fellow to
hold the carpenter fast.

"Take me there," was the dogged answer, and Beauty wriggled about in
the nervous grasp of the other like a couple of yards of

His assailant now undertook to make him up into a compact bundle, the
more easily to transport him. While thus occupied, Beauty got his
arms loose, and threw him over backward. But Jermin quickly recovered
himself, when for a time they had it every way, dragging each other
about, bumping their heads against the projecting beams, and
returning each other's blows the first favourable opportunity that
offered.  Unfortunately, Jermin at last slipped and fell; his foe
seating himself on his chest, and keeping him down. Now this was one
of those situations in which the voice of counsel, or reproof, comes
with peculiar unction. Nor did Beauty let the opportunity slip. But
the mate said nothing in reply, only foaming at the mouth and
struggling to rise.

Just then a thin tremor of a voice was heard from above. It was the
captain; who, happening to ascend to the quarter-deck at the
commencement of the scuffle, would gladly have returned to the cabin,
but was prevented by the fear of ridicule. As the din increased, and
it became evident that his officer was in serious trouble, he thought
it would never do to stand leaning over the bulwarks, so he made his
appearance on the forecastle, resolved, as his best policy, to treat
the matter lightly.

"Why, why," he begun, speaking pettishly, and very fast, "what's all
this about?--Mr.  Jermin, Mr. Jermin--carpenter, carpenter; what are
you doing down there? Come on deck; come on deck."

Whereupon Doctor Long Ghost cries out in a squeak, "Ah! Miss Guy, is
that you?  Now, my dear, go right home, or you'll get hurt."

"Pooh, pooh! you, sir, whoever you are, I was not speaking to you;
none of your nonsense. Mr. Jermin, I was talking to you; have the
kindness to come on deck, sir; I want to see you."

"And how, in the devil's name, am I to get there?" cried the mate,
furiously. "Jump down here, Captain Guy, and show yourself a man. Let
me up, you Chips! unhand me, I say! Oh! I'll pay you for this, some
day! Come on, Captain Guy!"

At this appeal, the poor man was seized with a perfect spasm of
fidgets. "Pooh, pooh, carpenter; have done with your nonsense! Let
him up, sir; let him up! Do you hear?  Let Mr. Jermm come on deck!"

"Go along with you, Paper Jack," replied Beauty; "this quarrel's
between the mate and me; so go aft, where you belong!"

As the captain once more dipped his head down the scuttle to make
answer, from an unseen hand he received, full in the face, the
contents of a tin can of soaked biscuit and tea-leaves. The doctor
was not far off just then. Without waiting for anything more, the
discomfited gentleman, with both hands to his streaming face,
retreated to the quarter-deck.

A few moments more, and Jermin, forced to a compromise, followed
after, in his torn frock and scarred face, looking for all the world
as if he had just disentangled himself from some intricate piece of
machinery. For about half an hour both remained in the cabin, where
the mate's rough tones were heard high above the low, smooth voice of
the captain.

Of all his conflicts with the men, this was the first in which Jermin
had been worsted; and he was proportionably enraged. Upon going
below--as the steward afterward told us--he bluntly informed Guy
that, for the future, he might look out for his ship himself; for his
part, he had done with her, if that was the way he allowed his
officers to be treated. After many high words, the captain finally
assured him that, the first fitting opportunity, the carpenter should
be cordially flogged; though, as matters stood, the experiment would
be a hazardous one. Upon this Jermin reluctantly consented to drop
the matter for the present; and he soon drowned all thoughts of it in
a can of flip, which Guy had previously instructed the steward to
prepare, as a sop to allay his wrath.

Nothing more ever came of this.



LESS than forty-eight hours after leaving Nukuheva, the blue, looming
island of St.  Christina greeted us from afar. Drawing near the
shore, the grim, black spars and waspish hull of a small man-of-war
craft crept into view; the masts and yards lined distinctly against
the sky. She was riding to her anchor in the bay, and proved to be a
French corvette.

This pleased our captain exceedingly, and, coming on deck, he examined
her from the mizzen rigging with his glass. His original intention
was not to let go an anchor; but, counting upon the assistance of the
corvette in case of any difficulty, he now changed his mind, and
anchored alongside of her. As soon as a boat could be lowered, he
then went off to pay his respects to the commander, and, moreover, as
we supposed, to concert measures for the apprehension of the

Returning in the course of twenty minutes, he brought along with him
two officers in undress and whiskers, and three or four drunken
obstreperous old chiefs; one with his legs thrust into the armholes
of a scarlet vest, another with a pair of spurs on his heels, and a
third in a cocked hat and feather. In addition to these articles,
they merely wore the ordinary costume of their race--a slip of native
cloth about the loins.  Indecorous as their behaviour was, these
worthies turned out to be a deputation from the reverend the clergy
of the island; and the object of their visit was to put our ship
under a rigorous "Taboo," to prevent the disorderly scenes and
facilities for desertion which would ensue, were the natives--men and
women--allowed to come off to us freely.

There was little ceremony about the matter. The priests went aside for
a moment, laid their shaven old crowns together, and went over a
little mummery. Whereupon, their leader tore a long strip from his
girdle of white tappa, and handed it to one of the French officers,
who, after explaining what was to be done, gave it to Jermin. The
mate at once went out to the end of the flying jib boom, and fastened
there the mystic symbol of the ban. This put to flight a party of
girls who had been observed swimming toward us. Tossing their arms
about, and splashing the water like porpoises, with loud cries of
"taboo! taboo!" they turned about and made for the shore.

The night of our arrival, the mate and the Mowree were to stand "watch
and watch," relieving each other every four hours; the crew, as is
sometimes customary when lying at an anchor, being allowed to remain
all night below. A distrust of the men, however, was, in the present
instance, the principal reason for this proceeding.  Indeed, it was
all but certain, that some kind of attempt would be made at
desertion; and therefore, when Jermin's first watch came on at eight
bells (midnight)--by which time all was quiet--he mounted to the deck
with a flask of spirits in one hand, and the other in readiness to
assail the first countenance that showed itself above the forecastle

Thus prepared, he doubtless meant to stay awake; but for all that, he
before long fell asleep; and slept with such hearty good-will too,
that the men who left us that night might have been waked up by his
snoring. Certain it was, the mate snored most strangely; and no
wonder, with that crooked bugle of his. When he came to himself it
was just dawn, but quite light enough to show two boats gone from the
side. In an instant he knew what had happened.

Dragging the Mowree out of an old sail where he was napping, he
ordered him to clear away another boat, and then darted into the
cabin to tell the captain the news.  Springing on deck again, he
drove down into the forecastle for a couple of oarsmen, but hardly
got there before there was a cry, and a loud splash heard over the
side. It was the Mowree and the boat--into which he had just leaped
to get ready for lowering--rolling over and over in the water.

The boat having at nightfall been hoisted up to its place over the
starboard quarter, someone had so cut the tackles which held it
there, that a moderate strain would at once part them. Bembo's weight
had answered the purpose, showing that the deserters must have
ascertained his specific gravity to a fibre of hemp. There was
another boat remaining; but it was as well to examine it before
attempting to lower.  And it was well they did; for there was a hole
in the bottom large enough to drop a barrel through: she had been
scuttled most ruthlessly.

Jermin was frantic. Dashing his hat upon deck, he was about to plunge
overboard and swim to the corvette for a cutter, when Captain Guy
made his appearance and begged him to stay where he was. By this time
the officer of the deck aboard the Frenchman had noticed our
movements, and hailed to know what had happened.  Guy informed him
through his trumpet, and men to go in pursuit were instantly
promised. There was a whistling of a boatswain's pipe, an order or
two, and then a large cutter pulled out from the man-of-war's stern,
and in half a dozen strokes was alongside. The mate leaped into her,
and they pulled rapidly ashore.

Another cutter, carrying an armed crew, soon followed.

In an hour's time the first returned, towing the two whale-boats,
which had been found turned up like tortoises on the beach.

Noon came, and nothing more was heard from the deserters. Meanwhile
Doctor Long Ghost and myself lounged about, cultivating an
acquaintance, and gazing upon the shore scenery. The bay was as calm
as death; the sun high and hot; and occasionally a still gliding
canoe stole out from behind the headlands, and shot across the water.

And all the morning long our sick men limped about the deck, casting
wistful glances inland, where the palm-trees waved and beckoned them
into their reviving shades.  Poor invalid rascals! How conducive to
the restoration of their shattered health would have been those
delicious groves! But hard-hearted Jermin assured them, with an oath,
that foot of theirs should never touch the beach.

Toward sunset a crowd was seen coming down to the water. In advance of
all were the fugitives--bareheaded--their frocks and trousers hanging
in tatters, every face covered with blood and dust, and their arms
pinioned behind them with green thongs.  Following them up, was a
shouting rabble of islanders, pricking them with the points of their
long spears, the party from the corvette menacing them in flank with
their naked cutlasses.

The bonus of a musket to the King of the Bay, and the promise of a
tumblerful of powder for every man caught, had set the whole
population on their track; and so successful was the hunt, that not
only were that morning's deserters brought back, but five of those
left behind on a former visit. The natives, however, were the mere
hounds of the chase, raising the game in their coverts, but leaving
the securing of it to the Frenchmen. Here, as elsewhere, the
islanders have no idea of taking part in such a scuffle as ensues
upon the capture of a party of desperate seamen.

The runaways were at once brought aboard, and, though they looked
rather sulky, soon came round, and treated the whole affair as a
frolicsome adventure.



FEARFUL of spending another night at Hytyhoo, Captain Guy caused the
ship to be got under way shortly after dark.

The next morning, when all supposed that we were fairly embarked for a
long cruise, our course was suddenly altered for La Dominica, or
Hivarhoo, an island just north of the one we had quitted. The object
of this, as we learned, was to procure, if possible, several English
sailors, who, according to the commander of the corvette, had
recently gone ashore there from an American whaler, and were desirous
of shipping aboard one of their own country vessels.

We made the land in the afternoon, coming abreast of a shady glen
opening from a deep bay, and winding by green denies far out of
sight. "Hands by the weather-main-brace!" roared the mate, jumping up
on the bulwarks; and in a moment the prancing Julia, suddenly
arrested in her course, bridled her head like a steed reined in,
while the foam flaked under her bows.

This was the place where we expected to obtain the men; so a boat was
at once got in readiness to go ashore. Now it was necessary to
provide a picked crew--men the least likely to abscond. After
considerable deliberation on the part of the captain and mate, four
of the seamen were pitched upon as the most trustworthy; or rather
they were selected from a choice assortment of suspicious characters
as being of an inferior order of rascality.

Armed with cutlasses all round--the natives were said to be an ugly
set--they were followed over the side by the invalid captain, who, on
this occasion, it seems, was determined to signalize himself.
Accordingly, in addition to his cutlass, he wore an old boarding
belt, in which was thrust a brace of pistols. They at once shoved

My friend Long Ghost had, among other things which looked somewhat
strange in a ship's forecastle, a capital spy-glass, and on the
present occasion we had it in use.

When the boat neared the head of the inlet, though invisible to the
naked eye, it was plainly revealed by the glass; looking no bigger
than an egg-shell, and the men diminished to pigmies.

At last, borne on what seemed a long flake of foam, the tiny craft
shot up the beach amid a shower of sparkles. Not a soul was there.
Leaving one of their number by the water, the rest of the pigmies
stepped ashore, looking about them very circumspectly, pausing now
and then hand to ear, and peering under a dense grove which swept
down within a few paces of the sea. No one came, and to all
appearances everything was as still as the grave. Presently he with
the pistols, followed by the rest flourishing their bodkins, entered
the wood and were soon lost to view. They did not stay long; probably
anticipating some inhospitable ambush were they to stray any distance
up the glen.

In a few moments they embarked again, and were soon riding pertly over
the waves of the bay. All of a sudden the captain started to his
feet--the boat spun round, and again made for the shore. Some twenty
or thirty natives armed with spears which through the glass looked
like reeds, had just come out of the grove, and were apparently
shouting to the strangers not to be in such a hurry, but return and
be sociable. But they were somewhat distrusted, for the boat paused
about its length from the beach, when the captain standing up in its
head delivered an address in pantomime, the object of which seemed to
be, that the islanders should draw near.  One of them stepped forward
and made answer, seemingly again urging the strangers not to be
diffident, but beach their boat. The captain declined, tossing his
arms about in another pantomime. In the end he said something which
made them shake their spears; whereupon he fired a pistol among them,
which set the whole party running; while one poor little fellow,
dropping his spear and clapping his hand behind him, limped away in a
manner which almost made me itch to get a shot at his assailant.

Wanton acts of cruelty like this are not unusual on the part of sea
captains landing at islands comparatively unknown. Even at the Pomotu
group, but a day's sail from Tahiti, the islanders coming down to the
shore have several times been fired at by trading schooners passing
through their narrow channels; and this too as a mere amusement on
the part of the ruffians.

Indeed, it is almost incredible, the light in which many sailors
regard these naked heathens. They hardly consider them human. But it
is a curious fact, that the more ignorant and degraded men are, the
more contemptuously they look upon those whom they deem their

All powers of persuasion being thus lost upon these foolish savages,
and no hope left of holding further intercourse, the boat returned to
the ship.



ON the other side of the island was the large and populous bay of
Hannamanoo, where the men sought might yet be found. But as the sun
was setting by the time the boat came alongside, we got our offshore
tacks aboard and stood away for an offing.  About daybreak we wore,
and ran in, and by the time the sun was well up, entered the long,
narrow channel dividing the islands of La Dominica and St. Christina.

On one hand was a range of steep green bluffs hundreds of feet high,
the white huts of the natives here and there nestling like birds'
nests in deep clefts gushing with verdure. Across the water, the
land rolled away in bright hillsides, so warm and undulating that
they seemed almost to palpitate in the sun. On we swept, past bluff
and grove, wooded glen and valley, and dark ravines lighted up far
inland with wild falls of water. A fresh land-breeze filled our
sails, the embayed waters were gentle as a lake, and every wave broke
with a tinkle against our coppered prow.

On gaining the end of the channel we rounded a point, and came full
upon the bay of Hannamanoo. This is the only harbour of any note
about the island, though as far as a safe anchorage is concerned it
hardly deserves the title.

Before we held any communication with the shore, an incident occurred
which may convey some further idea of the character of our crew.

Having approached as near the land as we could prudently, our headway
was stopped, and we awaited the arrival of a canoe which was coming
out of the bay. All at once we got into a strong current, which swept
us rapidly toward a rocky promontory forming one side of the harbour.
The wind had died away; so two boats were at once lowered for the
purpose of pulling the ship's head round. Before this could be done,
the eddies were whirling upon all sides, and the rock so near that it
seemed as if one might leap upon it from the masthead. Notwithstanding
the speechless fright of the captain, and the hoarse shouts of the
unappalled Jennin, the men handled the ropes as deliberately as
possible, some of them chuckling at the prospect of going ashore, and
others so eager for the vessel to strike, that they could hardly
contain themselves. Unexpectedly a countercurrent befriended us, and
assisted by the boats we were soon out of danger.

What a disappointment for our crew! All their little plans for
swimming ashore from the wreck, and having a fine time of it for the
rest of their days, thus cruelly nipped in the bud.

Soon after, the canoe came alongside. In it were eight or ten natives,
comely, vivacious-looking youths, all gesture and exclamation; the
red feathers in their head-bands perpetually nodding. With them also
came a stranger, a renegade from Christendom and humanity--a white
man, in the South Sea girdle, and tattooed in the face. A broad blue
band stretched across his face from ear to ear, and on his forehead
was the taper figure of a blue shark, nothing but fins from head to

Some of us gazed upon this man with a feeling akin to horror, no ways
abated when informed that he had voluntarily submitted to this
embellishment of his countenance.  What an impress! Far worse than
Cain's--his was perhaps a wrinkle, or a freckle, which some of our
modern cosmetics might have effaced; but the blue shark was a mark
indelible, which all the waters of Abana and Pharpar, rivers of
Damascus, could never wash out. He was an Englishman, Lem Hardy he
called himself, who had deserted from a trading brig touching at the
island for wood and water some ten years previous. He had gone ashore
as a sovereign power armed with a musket and a bag of ammunition, and
ready if need were, to prosecute war on his own account.  The country
was divided by the hostile kings of several large valleys. With one
of them, from whom he first received overtures, he formed an
alliance, and became what he now was, the military leader of the
tribe, and war-god of the entire island.

His campaigns beat Napoleon's. In one night attack, his invincible
musket, backed by the light infantry of spears and javelins,
vanquished two clans, and the next morning brought all the others to
the feet of his royal ally.

Nor was the rise of his domestic fortunes at all behind the
Corsican's: three days after landing, the exquisitely tattooed hand
of a princess was his; receiving along with the damsel as her
portion, one thousand fathoms of fine tappa, fifty double-braided
mats of split grass, four hundred hogs, ten houses in different parts
of her native valley, and the sacred protection of an express edict
of the Taboo, declaring his person inviolable for ever.

Now, this man was settled for life, perfectly satisfied with his
circumstances, and feeling no desire to return to his friends.

"Friends," indeed, he had none. He told me his history. Thrown upon
the world a foundling, his paternal origin was as much a mystery to
him as the genealogy of Odin; and, scorned by everybody, he fled the
parish workhouse when a boy, and launched upon the sea. He had
followed it for several years, a dog before the mast, and now he had
thrown it up for ever.

And for the most part, it is just this sort of men--so many of whom
are found among sailors--uncared for by a single soul, without ties,
reckless, and impatient of the restraints of civilization, who are
occasionally found quite at home upon the savage islands of the
Pacific. And, glancing at their hard lot in their own country, what
marvel at their choice?

According to the renegado, there was no other white man on the island;
and as the captain could have no reason to suppose that Hardy
intended to deceive us, he concluded that the Frenchmen were in some
way or other mistaken in what they had told us. However, when our
errand was made known to the rest of our visitors, one of them, a
fine, stalwart fellow, his face all eyes and expression, volunteered
for a cruise. All the wages he asked was a red shirt, a pair of
trousers, and a hat, which were to be put on there and then; besides
a plug of tobacco and a pipe. The bargain was struck directly; but
Wymontoo afterward came in with a codicil, to the effect that a
friend of his, who had come along with him, should be given ten whole
sea-biscuits, without crack or flaw, twenty perfectly new and
symmetrically straight nails, and one jack-knife. This being agreed
to, the articles were at once handed over; the native receiving them
with great avidity, and in the absence of clothing, using his mouth as
a pocket to put the nails in. Two of them, however, were first made
to take the place of a pair of ear-ornaments, curiously fashioned out
of bits of whitened wood.

It now began breezing strongly from seaward, and no time was to be
lost in getting away from the land; so after an affecting rubbing of
noses between our new shipmate and his countrymen, we sailed away
with him.

To our surprise, the farewell shouts from the canoe, as we dashed
along under bellied royals, were heard unmoved by our islander; but
it was not long thus. That very evening, when the dark blue of his
native hills sunk in the horizon, the poor savage leaned over the
bulwarks, dropped his head upon his chest, and gave way to
irrepressible emotions. The ship was plunging hard, and Wymontoo, sad
to tell, in addition to his other pangs, was terribly sea-sick.



FOR a while leaving Little Jule to sail away by herself, I will here
put down some curious information obtained from Hardy.

The renegado had lived so long on the island that its customs were
quite familiar; and I much lamented that, from the shortness of our
stay, he could not tell us more than he did.

From the little intelligence gathered, however, I learned to my
surprise that, in some things, the people of Hivarhoo, though of the
same group of islands, differed considerably from my tropical friends
in the valley of Typee.

As his tattooing attracted so much remark, Hardy had a good deal to
say concerning the manner in which that art was practised upon the

Throughout the entire cluster the tattooers of Hivarhoo enjoyed no
small reputation.  They had carried their art to the highest
perfection, and the profession was esteemed most honourable. No
wonder, then, that like genteel tailors, they rated their services
very high; so much so that none but those belonging to the higher
classes could afford to employ them. So true was this, that the
elegance of one's tattooing was in most cases a sure indication of
birth and riches.

Professors in large practice lived in spacious houses, divided by
screens of tappa into numerous little apartments, where subjects were
waited upon in private. The arrangement chiefly grew out of a
singular ordinance of the Taboo, which enjoined the strictest privacy
upon all men, high and low, while under the hands of a tattooer.  For
the time, the slightest intercourse with others is prohibited, and the
small portion of food allowed is pushed under the curtain by an
unseen hand. The restriction with regard to food, is intended to
reduce the blood, so as to diminish the inflammation consequent upon
puncturing the skin. As it is, this comes on very soon, and takes
some time to heal; so that the period of seclusion generally embraces
many days, sometimes several weeks.

All traces of soreness vanished, the subject goes abroad; but only
again to return; for, on account of the pain, only a small surface
can be operated upon at once; and as the whole body is to be more or
less embellished by a process so slow, the studios alluded to are
constantly filled. Indeed, with a vanity elsewhere unheard of, many
spend no small portion of their days thus sitting to an artist.

To begin the work, the period of adolescence is esteemed the most
suitable. After casting about for some eminent tattooer, the friends
of the youth take him to his house to have the outlines of the
general plan laid out. It behoves the professor to have a nice eye,
for a suit to be worn for life should be well cut.

Some tattooers, yearning after perfection, employ, at large wages, one
or two men of the commonest order--vile fellows, utterly regardless
of appearances, upon whom they first try their patterns and practise
generally. Their backs remorselessly scrawled over, and no more
canvas remaining, they are dismissed and ever after go about, the
scorn of their countrymen.

Hapless wights! thus martyred in the cause of the Fine Arts.

Beside the regular practitioners, there are a parcel of shabby,
itinerant tattooers, who, by virtue of their calling, stroll
unmolested from one hostile bay to another, doing their work
dog-cheap for the multitude. They always repair to the various
religious festivals, which gather great crowds. When these are
concluded, and the places where they are held vacated even by the
tattooers, scores of little tents of coarse tappa are left standing,
each with a solitary inmate, who, forbidden to talk to his unseen
neighbours, is obliged to stay there till completely healed. The
itinerants are a reproach to their profession, mere cobblers, dealing
in nothing but jagged lines and clumsy patches, and utterly incapable
of soaring to those heights of fancy attained by the gentlemen of the

All professors of the arts love to fraternize; and so, in Hannamanoo,
the tattooers came together in the chapters of their worshipful
order. In this society, duly organized, and conferring degrees,
Hardy, from his influence as a white, was a sort of honorary Grand
Master. The blue shark, and a sort of Urim and Thummim engraven upon
his chest, were the seal of his initiation. All over Hivarhoo are
established these orders of tattooers. The way in which the renegado's
came to be founded is this. A year or two after his landing there
happened to be a season of scarcity, owing to the partial failure of
the breadfruit harvest for several consecutive seasons. This brought
about such a falling off in the number of subjects for tattooing that
the profession became quite needy. The royal ally of Hardy, however,
hit upon a benevolent expedient to provide for their wants, at the
same time conferring a boon upon many of his subjects.

By sound of conch-shell it was proclaimed before the palace, on the
beach, and at the head of the valley, that Noomai, King of
Hannamanoo, and friend of Hardee-Hardee, the white, kept open heart
and table for all tattooers whatsoever; but to entitle themselves to
this hospitality, they were commanded to practise without fee upon
the meanest native soliciting their services.

Numbers at once flocked to the royal abode, both artists and sitters.
It was a famous time; and the buildings of the palace being "taboo"
to all but the tattooers and chiefs, the sitters bivouacked on the
common, and formed an extensive encampment.

The "Lora Tattoo," or the Time of Tattooing, will be long remembered.
An enthusiastic sitter celebrated the event in verse. Several lines
were repeated to us by Hardy, some of which, in a sort of colloquial
chant he translated nearly thus:

    "Where is that sound?
    In Hannamanoo.
    And wherefore that sound?
    The sound of a hundred hammers,
    Tapping, tapping, tapping
    The shark teeth."

    "Where is that light?
    Round about the king's house,
    And the small laughter?
    The small, merry laughter it is
    Of the sons and daughters of the tattooed."



THE night we left Hannamanoo was bright and starry, and so warm that,
when the watches were relieved, most of the men, instead of going
below, flung themselves around the foremast.

Toward morning, finding the heat of the forecastle unpleasant, I
ascended to the deck where everything was noiseless. The Trades were
blowing with a mild, steady strain upon the canvas, and the ship
heading right out into the immense blank of the Western Pacific. The
watch were asleep. With one foot resting on the rudder, even the man
at the helm nodded, and the mate himself, with arms folded, was
leaning against the capstan.

On such a night, and all alone, reverie was inevitable. I leaned over
the side, and could not help thinking of the strange objects we might
be sailing over.

But my meditations were soon interrupted by a gray, spectral shadow
cast over the heaving billows. It was the dawn, soon followed by the
first rays of the morning. They flashed into view at one end of the
arched night, like--to compare great things with small--the gleamings
of Guy Fawkes's lantern in the vaults of the Parliament House.
Before long, what seemed a live ember rested for a moment on the rim
of the ocean, and at last the blood-red sun stood full and round in
the level East, and the long sea-day began.

Breakfast over, the first thing attended to was the formal baptism of
Wymontoo, who, after thinking over his affairs during the night,
looked dismal enough.

There were various opinions as to a suitable appellation. Some
maintained that we ought to call him "Sunday," that being the day we
caught him; others, "Eighteen Forty-two," the then year of our Lord;
while Doctor Long Ghost remarked that he ought, by all means, to
retain his original name,--Wymontoo-Hee, meaning (as he maintained),
in the figurative language of the island, something analogous to one
who had got himself into a scrape. The mate put an end to the
discussion by sousing the poor fellow with a bucket of salt water,
and bestowing upon him the nautical appellation of "Luff."

Though a certain mirthfulness succeeded his first pangs at leaving
home, Wymontoo--we will call him thus--gradually relapsed into his
former mood, and became very melancholy. Often I noticed him
crouching apart in the forecastle, his strange eyes gleaming
restlessly, and watching the slightest movement of the men.  Many a
time he must have been thinking of his bamboo hut, when they were
talking of Sydney and its dance-houses.

We were now fairly at sea, though to what particular cruising-ground
we were going, no one knew; and, to all appearances, few cared. The
men, after a fashion of their own, began to settle down into the
routine of sea-life, as if everything was going on prosperously.
Blown along over a smooth sea, there was nothing to do but steer the
ship, and relieve the "look-outs" at the mast-heads. As for the sick,
they had two or three more added to their number--the air of the
island having disagreed with the constitutions of several of the
runaways. To crown all, the captain again relapsed, and became quite

The men fit for duty were divided into two small watches, headed
respectively by the mate and the Mowree; the latter by virtue of his
being a harpooner, succeeding to the place of the second mate, who
had absconded.

In this state of things whaling was out of the question; but in the
face of everything, Jermin maintained that the invalids would soon be
well. However that might be, with the same pale Hue sky overhead, we
kept running steadily to the westward. Forever advancing, we seemed
always in the same place, and every day was the former lived over
again. We saw no ships, expected to see none. No sign of life was
perceptible but the porpoises and other fish sporting under the bows
like pups ashore. But, at intervals, the gray albatross, peculiar to
these seas, came flapping his immense wings over us, and then skimmed
away silently as if from a plague-ship. Or flights of the tropic
bird, known among seamen as the "boatswain," wheeled round and round
us, whistling shrilly as they flew.

The uncertainty hanging over our destination at this time, and the
fact that we were abroad upon waters comparatively little traversed,
lent an interest to this portion of the cruise which I shall never

From obvious prudential considerations the Pacific has been
principally sailed over in known tracts, and this is the reason why
new islands are still occasionally discovered by exploring ships and
adventurous whalers notwithstanding the great number of vessels of
all kinds of late navigating this vast ocean. Indeed, considerable
portions still remain wholly unexplored; and there is doubt as to the
actual existence of certain shoals, and reefs, and small clusters of
islands vaguely laid down in the charts. The mere circumstance,
therefore, of a ship like ours penetrating into these regions, was
sufficient to cause any reflecting mind to feel at least a little
uneasy. For my own part, the many stories I had heard of ships
striking at midnight upon unknown rocks, with all sail set, and a
slumbering crew, often recurred to me, especially, as from the
absence of discipline, and our being so shorthanded, the watches at
night were careless in the extreme.

But no thoughts like these were entertained by my reckless shipmates;
and along we went, the sun every evening setting right ahead of our
jib boom.

For what reason the mate was so reserved with regard to our precise
destination was never made known. The stories he told us, I, for one,
did not believe; deeming them all a mere device to lull the crew.

He said we were bound to a fine cruising ground, scarcely known to
other whalemen, which he had himself discovered when commanding a
small brig upon a former voyage. Here, the sea was alive with large
whales, so tame that all you had to do was to go up and kill them:
they were too frightened to resist. A little to leeward of this was a
small cluster of islands, where we were going to refit, abounding with
delicious fruits, and peopled by a race almost wholly unsophisticated
by intercourse with strangers.

In order, perhaps, to guard against the possibility of anyone finding
out the precise latitude and longitude of the spot we were going to,
Jermin never revealed to us the ship's place at noon, though such is
the custom aboard of most vessels.

Meanwhile, he was very assiduous in his attention to the invalids.
Doctor Long Ghost having given up the keys of the medicine-chest,
they were handed over to him; and, as physician, he discharged his
duties to the satisfaction of all. Pills and powders, in most cases,
were thrown to the fish, and in place thereof, the contents of a
mysterious little quarter cask were produced, diluted with water from
the "butt." His draughts were mixed on the capstan, in cocoa-nut
shells marked with the patients' names. Like shore doctors, he did
not eschew his own medicines, for his professional calls in the
forecastle were sometimes made when he was comfortably tipsy: nor did
he omit keeping his invalids in good-humour, spinning his yarns to
them, by the hour, whenever he went to see them.

Owing to my lameness, from which I soon began to recover, I did no
active duty, except standing an occasional "trick" at the helm. It
was in the forecastle chiefly, that I spent my time, in company with
the Long Doctor, who was at great pains to make himself agreeable.
His books, though sadly torn and tattered, were an invaluable
resource. I read them through again and again, including a learned
treatise on the yellow fever. In addition to these, he had an old
file of Sydney papers, and I soon became intimately acquainted with
the localities of all the advertising tradesmen there. In particular,
the rhetorical flourishes of Stubbs, the real-estate auctioneer,
diverted me exceedingly, and I set him down as no other than a pupil
of Robins the Londoner.

Aside from the pleasure of his society, my intimacy with Long Ghost
was of great service to me in other respects. His disgrace in the
cabin only confirmed the good-will of the democracy in the
forecastle; and they not only treated him in the most friendly
manner, but looked up to him with the utmost deference, besides
laughing heartily at all his jokes. As his chosen associate, this
feeling for him extended to me, and gradually we came to be regarded
in the light of distinguished guests. At meal-times we were always
first served, and otherwise were treated with much respect.

Among other devices to kill time, during the frequent calms, Long
Ghost hit upon the game of chess. With a jack-knife, we carved the
pieces quite tastefully out of bits of wood, and our board was the
middle of a chest-lid, chalked into squares, which, in playing, we
straddled at either end. Having no other suitable way of
distinguishing the sets, I marked mine by tying round them little
scarfs of black silk, torn from an old neck-handkerchief. Putting
them in mourning this way, the doctor said, was quite appropriate,
seeing that they had reason to feel sad three games out of four. Of
chess, the men never could make head nor tail; indeed, their wonder
rose to such a pitch that they at last regarded the mysterious
movements of the game with something more than perplexity; and after
puzzling over them through several long engagements, they came to the
conclusion that we must be a couple of necromancers.



I MIGHT as well give some idea of the place in which the doctor and I
lived together so sociably.

Most persons know that a ship's forecastle embraces the forward part
of the deck about the bowsprit: the same term, however, is generally
bestowed upon the sailors' sleeping-quarters, which occupy a space
immediately beneath, and are partitioned off by a bulkhead.

Planted right in the bows, or, as sailors say, in the very eyes of the
ship, this delightful apartment is of a triangular shape, and is
generally fitted with two tiers of rude bunks. Those of the Julia
were in a most deplorable condition, mere wrecks, some having been
torn down altogether to patch up others; and on one side there were
but two standing. But with most of the men it made little difference
whether they had a bunk or not, since, having no bedding, they had
nothing to put in it but themselves.

Upon the boards of my own crib I spread all the old canvas and old
clothes I could pick up. For a pillow, I wrapped an old jacket round
a log. This helped a little the wear and tear of one's bones when the
ship rolled.

Rude hammocks made out of old sails were in many cases used as
substitutes for the demolished bunks; but the space they swung in was
so confined that they were far from being agreeable.

The general aspect of the forecastle was dungeon-like and dingy in the
extreme. In the first place, it was not five feet from deck to deck
and even this space was encroached upon by two outlandish
cross-timbers bracing the vessel, and by the sailors' chests, over
which you must needs crawl in getting about. At meal-times, and
especially when we indulged in after-dinner chat, we sat about the
chests like a parcel of tailors.

In the middle of all were two square, wooden columns, denominated in
marine architecture "Bowsprit Bitts." They were about a foot apart,
and between them, by a rusty chain, swung the forecastle lamp,
burning day and night, and forever casting two long black shadows.
Lower down, between the bitts, was a locker, or sailors' pantry, kept
in abominable disorder, and sometimes requiring a vigorous cleaning
and fumigation.

All over, the ship was in a most dilapidated condition; but in the
forecastle it looked like the hollow of an old tree going to decay.
In every direction the wood was damp and discoloured, and here and
there soft and porous. Moreover, it was hacked and hewed without
mercy, the cook frequently helping himself to splinters for
kindling-wood from the bitts and beams. Overhead, every carline was
sooty, and here and there deep holes were burned in them, a freak of
some drunken sailors on a voyage long previous.

From above, you entered by a plank, with two elects, slanting down
from the scuttle, which was a mere hole in the deck. There being no
slide to draw over in case of emergency, the tarpaulin temporarily
placed there was little protection from the spray heaved over the
bows; so that in anything of a breeze the place was miserably wet.
In a squall, the water fairly poured down in sheets like a cascade,
swashing about, and afterward spirting up between the chests like the
jets of a fountain.

Such were our accommodations aboard of the Julia; but bad as they
were, we had not the undisputed possession of them. Myriads of
cockroaches, and regiments of rats disputed the place with us. A
greater calamity than this can scarcely befall a vessel in the South

So warm is the climate that it is almost impossible to get rid of
them. You may seal up every hatchway, and fumigate the hull till the
smoke forces itself out at the seams, and enough will survive to
repeople the ship in an incredibly short period. In some vessels, the
crews of which after a hard fight have given themselves up, as it
were, for lost, the vermin seem to take actual possession, the
sailors being mere tenants by sufferance. With Sperm Whalemen,
hanging about the Line, as many of them do for a couple of years on a
stretch, it is infinitely worse than with other vessels.

As for the Julia, these creatures never had such free and easy times
as they did in her crazy old hull; every chink and cranny swarmed
with them; they did not live among you, but you among them. So true
was this, that the business of eating and drinking was better done in
the dark than in the light of day.

Concerning the cockroaches, there was an extraordinary phenomenon, for
which none of us could ever account.

Every night they had a jubilee. The first symptom was an unusual
clustering and humming among the swarms lining the beams overhead,
and the inside of the sleeping-places. This was succeeded by a
prodigious coming and going on the part of those living out of sight
Presently they all came forth; the larger sort racing over the chests
and planks; winged monsters darting to and fro in the air; and the
small fry buzzing in heaps almost in a state of fusion.

On the first alarm, all who were able darted on deck; while some of
the sick who were too feeble, lay perfectly quiet--the distracted
vermin running over them at pleasure.  The performance lasted some
ten minutes, during which no hive ever hummed louder. Often it was
lamented by us that the time of the visitation could never be
predicted; it was liable to come upon us at any hour of the night, and
what a relief it was, when it happened to fall in the early part of
the evening.

Nor must I forget the rats: they did not forget me. Tame as Trenck's
mouse, they stood in their holes peering at you like old grandfathers
in a doorway. Often they darted in upon us at meal-times, and nibbled
our food. The first time they approached Wymontoo, he was actually
frightened; but becoming accustomed to it, he soon got along with
them much better than the rest. With curious dexterity he seized the
animals by their legs, and flung them up the scuttle to find a watery

But I have a story of my own to tell about these rats. One day the
cabin steward made me a present of some molasses, which I was so
choice of that I kept it hid away in a tin can in the farthest corner
of my bunk.. Faring as we did, this molasses dropped upon a biscuit
was a positive luxury, which I shared with none but the doctor, and
then only in private. And sweet as the treacle was, how could bread
thus prepared and eaten in secret be otherwise than pleasant?

One night our precious can ran low, and in canting it over in the
dark, something beside the molasses slipped out. How long it had been
there, kind Providence never revealed; nor were we over anxious to
know; for we hushed up the bare thought as quickly as possible. The
creature certainly died a luscious death, quite equal to Clarence's
in the butt of Malmsey.



GRAVE though he was at times, Doctor Long Ghost was a decided wag.

Everyone knows what lovers of fun sailors are ashore--afloat, they are
absolutely mad after it. So his pranks were duly appreciated.

The poor old black cook! Unlashing his hammock for the night, and
finding a wet log fast asleep in it; and then waking in the morning
with his woolly head tarred. Opening his coppers, and finding an old
boot boiling away as saucy as could be, and sometimes cakes of pitch
candying in his oven.

Baltimore's tribulations were indeed sore; there was no peace for him
day nor night.  Poor fellow! he was altogether too good-natured. Say
what they will about easy-tempered people, it is far better, on some
accounts, to have the temper of a wolf. Whoever thought of taking
liberties with gruff Black Dan?

The most curious of the doctor's jokes, was hoisting the men aloft by
the foot or shoulder, when they fell asleep on deck during the

Ascending from the forecastle on one occasion, he found every soul
napping, and forthwith went about his capers. Fastening a rope's end
to each sleeper, he rove the lines through a number of blocks, and
conducted them all to the windlass; then, by heaving round cheerily,
in spite of cries and struggles, he soon had them dangling aloft in
all directions by arms and legs. Waked by the uproar, we rushed up
from below, and found the poor fellows swinging in the moonlight from
the tops and lower yard-arms, like a parcel of pirates gibbeted at
sea by a cruiser.

Connected with this sort of diversion was another prank of his. During
the night some of those on deck would come below to light a pipe, or
take a mouthful of beef and biscuit. Sometimes they fell asleep; and
being missed directly that anything was to be done, their shipmates
often amused themselves by running them aloft with a pulley dropped
down the scuttle from the fore-top.

One night, when all was perfectly still, I lay awake in the
forecastle; the lamp was burning low and thick, and swinging from its
blackened beam; and with the uniform motion of the ship, the men in
the bunks rolled slowly from side to side; the hammocks swaying in

Presently I heard a foot upon the ladder, and looking up, saw a wide
trousers' leg.  Immediately, Navy Bob, a stout old Triton, stealthily
descended, and at once went to groping in the locker after something
to eat.

Supper ended, he proceeded to load his pipe. Now, for a good
comfortable smoke at sea, there never was a better place than the
Julia's forecastle at midnight. To enjoy the luxury, one wants to
fall into a kind of dreamy reverie, only known to the children of the
weed. And the very atmosphere of the place, laden as it was with the
snores of the sleepers, was inducive of this. No wonder, then, that
after a while Bob's head sunk upon his breast; presently his hat fell
off, the extinguished pipe dropped from his mouth, and the next
moment he lay out on the chest as tranquil as an infant.

Suddenly an order was heard on deck, followed by the trampling of feet
and the hauling of rigging. The yards were being braced, and soon
after the sleeper was missed: for there was a whispered conference
over the scuttle.

Directly a shadow glided across the forecastle and noiselessly
approached the unsuspecting Bob. It was one of the watch with the end
of a rope leading out of sight up the scuttle. Pausing an instant,
the sailor pressed softly the chest of his victim, sounding his
slumbers; and then hitching the cord to his ankle, returned to the

Hardly was his back turned, when a long limb was thrust from a hammock
opposite, and Doctor Long Ghost, leaping forth warily, whipped the
rope from Bob's ankle, and fastened it like lightning to a great
lumbering chest, the property of the man who had just disappeared.

Scarcely was the thing done, when lo! with a thundering bound, the
clumsy box was torn from its fastenings, and banging from side to
side, flew toward the scuttle. Here it jammed; and thinking that Bob,
who was as strong as a windlass, was grappling a beam and trying to
cut the line, the jokers on deck strained away furiously. On a
sudden, the chest went aloft, and striking against the mast, flew
open, raining down on the heads of a party the merciless shower of
things too numerous to mention.

Of course the uproar roused all hands, and when we hurried on deck,
there was the owner of the box, looking aghast at its scattered
contents, and with one wandering hand taking the altitude of a bump
on his head.



THE mirthfulness which at times reigned among us was in strange and
shocking contrast with the situation of some of the invalids. Thus at
least did it seem to me, though not to others.

But an event occurred about this period, which, in removing by far the
most pitiable cases of suffering, tended to make less grating to my
feelings the subsequent conduct of the crew.

We had been at sea about twenty days, when two of the sick who had
rapidly grown worse, died one night within an hour of each other.

One occupied a bunk right next to mine, and for several days had not
risen from it.  During this period he was often delirious, starting
up and glaring around him, and sometimes wildly tossing his arms.

On the night of his decease, I retired shortly after the middle watch
began, and waking from a vague dream of horrors, felt something
clammy resting on me. It was the sick man's hand. Two or three times
during the evening previous, he had thrust it into my bunk, and I had
quietly removed it; but now I started and flung it from me.  The arm
fell stark and stiff, and I knew that he was dead.

Waking the men, the corpse was immediately rolled up in the strips of
blanketing upon which it lay, and carried on deck. The mate was then
called, and preparations made for an instantaneous' burial. Laying
the body out on the forehatch, it was stitched up in one of the
hammocks, some "kentledge" being placed at the feet instead of shot.
This done, it was borne to the gangway, and placed on a plank laid
across the bulwarks. Two men supported the inside end. By way of
solemnity, the ship's headway was then stopped by hauling aback the

The mate, who was far from being sober, then staggered up, and holding
on to a shroud, gave the word. As the plank tipped, the body slid off
slowly, and fell with a splash into the sea. A bubble or two, and
nothing more was seen.

"Brace forward!" The main-yard swung round to its place, and the ship
glided on, whilst the corpse, perhaps, was still sinking.

We had tossed a shipmate to the sharks, but no one would have thought
it, to have gone among the crew immediately after. The dead man had
been a churlish, unsocial fellow, while alive, and no favourite; and
now that he was no more, little thought was bestowed upon him. All
that was said was concerning the disposal of his chest, which, having
been always kept locked, was supposed to contain money. Someone
volunteered to break it open, and distribute its contents, clothing
and all, before the captain should demand it.

While myself and others were endeavouring to dissuade them from this,
all started at a cry from the forecastle. There could be no one there
but two of the sick, unable to crawl on deck. We went below, and
found one of them dying on a chest. He had fallen out of his hammock
in a fit, and was insensible. The eyes were open and fixed, and his
breath coming and going convulsively. The men shrunk from him; but
the doctor, taking his hand, held it a few moments in his, and
suddenly letting it fall, exclaimed, "He's gone!" The body was
instantly borne up the ladder.

Another hammock was soon prepared, and the dead sailor stitched up as
before.  Some additional ceremony, however, was now insisted upon,
and a Bible was called for. But none was to be had, not even a Prayer
Book. When this was made known, Antone, a Portuguese, from the
Cape-de-Verd Islands, stepped up, muttering something over the corpse
of his countryman, and, with his finger, described upon the back of
the hammock the figure of a large cross; whereupon it received the

These two men both perished from the proverbial indiscretions of
seamen, heightened by circumstances apparent; but had either of them
been ashore under proper treatment, he would, in all human
probability, have recovered.

Behold here the fate of a sailor! They give him the last toss, and no
one asks whose child he was.

For the rest of that night there was no more sleep. Many stayed on
deck until broad morning, relating to each other those marvellous
tales of the sea which the occasion was calculated to call forth.
Little as I believed in such things, I could not listen to some of
these stories unaffected. Above all was I struck by one of the

On a voyage to India, they had a fever aboard, which carried off
nearly half the crew in the space of a few days. After this the men
never went aloft in the night-time, except in couples. When topsails
were to be reefed, phantoms were seen at the yard-arm ends; and in
tacking ship, voices called aloud from the tops. The carpenter
himself, going with another man to furl the main-top-gallant-sail in a
squall, was nearly pushed from the rigging by an unseen hand; and his
shipmate swore that a wet hammock was flirted in his face.

Stories like these were related as gospel truths, by those who
declared themselves eye-witnesses.

It is a circumstance not generally known, perhaps, that among ignorant
seamen, Philanders, or Finns, as they are more commonly called, are
regarded with peculiar superstition. For some reason or other, which
I never could get at, they are supposed to possess the gift of second
sight, and the power to wreak supernatural vengeance upon those who
offend them. On this account they have great influence among sailors,
and two or three with whom I have sailed at different times were
persons well calculated to produce this sort of impression, at least
upon minds disposed to believe in such things.

Now, we had one of these sea-prophets aboard; an old, yellow-haired
fellow, who always wore a rude seal-skin cap of his own make, and
carried his tobacco in a large pouch made of the same stuff. Van, as
we called him, was a quiet, inoffensive man, to look at, and, among
such a set, his occasional peculiarities had hitherto passed for
nothing. At this time, however, he came out with a prediction, which
was none the less remarkable from its absolute fulfilment, though not
exactly in the spirit in which it was given out.

The night of the burial he laid his hand on the old horseshoe nailed
as a charm to the foremast, and solemnly told us that, in less than
three weeks, not one quarter of our number would remain aboard the
ship--by that time they would have left her for ever.

Some laughed; Flash Jack called him an old fool; but among the men
generally it produced a marked effect. For several days a degree of
quiet reigned among us, and allusions of such a kind were made to
recent events, as could be attributed to no other cause than the
Finn's omen.

For my own part, what had lately come to pass was not without its
influence. It forcibly brought to mind our really critical condition.
Doctor Long Ghost, too, frequently revealed his apprehensions, and
once assured me that he would give much to be safely landed upon any
island around us.

Where we were, exactly, no one but the mate seemed to know, nor
whither we were going. The captain--a mere cipher--was an invalid in
his cabin; to say nothing more of so many of his men languishing in
the forecastle.

Our keeping the sea under these circumstances, a matter strange enough
at first, now seemed wholly unwarranted; and added to all was the
thought that our fate was absolutely in the hand of the reckless
Jermin. Were anything to happen to him, we would be left without a
navigator, for, according to Jermin himself, he had, from the
commencement of the voyage, always kept the ship's reckoning, the
captain's nautical knowledge being insufficient.

But considerations like these, strange as it may seem, seldom or never
occurred to the crew. They were alive only to superstitious fears;
and when, in apparent contradiction to the Finn's prophecy, the sick
men rallied a little, they began to recover their former spirits, and
the recollection of what had occurred insensibly faded from their
minds. In a week's time, the unworthiness of Little Jule as a sea
vessel, always a subject of jest, now became more so than ever. In the
forecastle, Flash Jack, with his knife, often dug into the dank,
rotten planks ribbed between us and death, and flung away the
splinters with some sea joke.

As to the remaining invalids, they were hardly ill enough to occasion
any serious apprehension, at least for the present, in the breasts of
such thoughtless beings as themselves. And even those who suffered
the most, studiously refrained from any expression of pain.

The truth is, that among sailors as a class, sickness at sea is so
heartily detested, and the sick so little cared for, that the
greatest invalid generally strives to mask his sufferings. He has
given no sympathy to others, and he expects none in return. Their
conduct, in this respect, so opposed to their generous-hearted
behaviour ashore, painfully affects the landsman on his first
intercourse with them as a sailor.

Sometimes, but seldom, our invalids inveighed against their being kept
at sea, where they could be of no service, when they ought to be
ashore and in the way of recovery. But--"Oh! cheer up--cheer up, my
hearties!"--the mate would say. And after this fashion he put a stop
to their murmurings.

But there was one circumstance, to which heretofore I have but barely
alluded, that tended more than anything else to reconcile many to
their situation. This was the receiving regularly, twice every day, a
certain portion of Pisco, which was served out at the capstan, by the
steward, in little tin measures called "tots."

The lively affection seamen have for strong drink is well known; but
in the South Seas, where it is so seldom to be had, a thoroughbred
sailor deems scarcely any price too dear which will purchase his
darling "tot." Nowadays, American whalemen in the Pacific never think
of carrying spirits as a ration; and aboard of most of them, it is
never served out even in times of the greatest hardships. All Sydney
whalemen, however, still cling to the old custom, and carry it as a
part of the regular supplies for the voyage.

In port, the allowance of Pisco was suspended; with a view,
undoubtedly, of heightening the attractions of being out of sight of

Now, owing to the absence of proper discipline, our sick, in addition
to what they took medicinally, often came in for their respective
"tots" convivially; and, added to all this, the evening of the last
day of the week was always celebrated by what is styled on board of
English vessels "The Saturday-night bottles." Two of these were sent
down into the forecastle, just after dark; one for the starboard
watch, and the other for the larboard.

By prescription, the oldest seaman in each claims the treat as his,
and, accordingly, pours out the good cheer and passes it round like a
lord doing the honours of his table. But the Saturday-night bottles
were not all. The carpenter and cooper, in sea parlance, Chips and
Bungs, who were the "Cods," or leaders of the forecastle, in some way
or other, managed to obtain an extra supply, which perpetually kept
them in fine after-dinner spirits, and, moreover, disposed them to
look favourably upon a state of affairs like the present.

But where were the sperm whales all this time? In good sooth, it made
little matter where they were, since we were in no condition to
capture them. About this time, indeed, the men came down from the
mast-heads, where, until now, they had kept up the form of relieving
each other every two hours. They swore they would go there no more.
Upon this, the mate carelessly observed that they would soon be where
look-outs were entirely unnecessary, the whales he had in his eye
(though Flash Jack said they were all in his) being so tame that they
made a practice of coming round ships, and scratching their backs
against them.

Thus went the world of waters with us, some four weeks or more after
leaving Hannamanoo.



IT was not long after the death of the two men, that Captain Guy was
reported as fast declining, and in a day or two more, as dying. The
doctor, who previously had refused to enter the cabin upon any
consideration, now relented, and paid his old enemy a professional

He prescribed a warm bath, which was thus prepared. The skylight being
removed, a cask was lowered down into the cabin, and then filled with
buckets of water from the ship's coppers. The cries of the patient,
when dipped into his rude bath, were most painful to hear. They at
last laid him on the transom, more dead than alive.

That evening, the mate was perfectly sober, and coming forward to the
windlass, where we were lounging, summoned aft the doctor, myself,
and two or three others of his favourites; when, in the presence of
Bembo the Mowree, he spoke to us thus:

"I have something to say to ye, men. There's none but Bembo here as
belongs aft, so I've picked ye out as the best men for'ard to take
counsel with, d'ye see, consarning the ship. The captain's anchor is
pretty nigh atrip; I shouldn't wonder if he croaked afore morning. So
what's to be done? If we have to sew him up, some of those pirates
there for'ard may take it into their heads to run off with the ship,
because there's no one at the tiller. Now, I've detarmined what's
best to be done; but I don't want to do it unless I've good men to
back me, and make things all fair and square if ever we get home

We all asked what his plan was.

"I'll tell ye what it is, men. If the skipper dies, all agree to obey
my orders, and in less than three weeks I'll engage to have five
hundred barrels of sperm oil under hatches:  enough to give every
mother's son of ye a handful of dollars when we get to Sydney.  If ye
don't agree to this, ye won't have a farthing coming to ye."

Doctor Long Ghost at once broke in. He said that such a thing was not
to be dreamt of; that if the captain died, the mate was in duty bound
to navigate the ship to the nearest civilized port, and deliver her
up into an English consul's hands; when, in all probability, after a
run ashore, the crew would be sent home. Everything forbade the
mate's plan. "Still," said he, assuming an air of indifference, "if
the men say stick it out, stick it out say I; but in that case, the
sooner we get to those islands of yours the better."

Something more he went on to say; and from the manner in which the
rest regarded him, it was plain that our fate was in his hands. It
was finally resolved upon, that if Captain Guy was no better in
twenty-four hours, the ship's head should be pointed for the island
of Tahiti.

This announcement produced a strong sensation--the sick rallied--and
the rest speculated as to what was next to befall us; while the
doctor, without alluding to Guy, congratulated me upon the prospect
of soon beholding a place so famous as the island in question.

The night after the holding of the council, I happened to go on deck
in the middle watch, and found the yards braced sharp up on the
larboard tack, with the South East Trades strong on our bow. The
captain was no better; and we were off for Tahiti.



WHILE gliding along on our way, I cannot well omit some account of a
poor devil we had among us, who went by the name of Rope Yarn, or

He was a nondescript who had joined the ship as a landsman. Being so
excessively timid and awkward, it was thought useless to try and make
a sailor of him; so he was translated into the cabin as steward; the
man previously filling that post, a good seaman, going among the crew
and taking his place. But poor Ropey proved quite as clumsy among the
crockery as in the rigging; and one day when the ship was pitching,
having stumbled into the cabin with a wooden tureen of soup, he
scalded the officers so that they didn't get over it in a week. Upon
which, he was dismissed, and returned to the forecastle.

Now, nobody is so heartily despised as a pusillanimous, lazy,
good-for-nothing land-lubber; a sailor has no bowels of compassion
for him. Yet, useless as such a character may be in many respects, a
ship's company is by no means disposed to let him reap any benefit
from his deficiencies. Regarded in the light of a mechanical power,
whenever there is any plain, hard work to be done, he is put to it
like a lever; everyone giving him a pry.

Then, again, he is set about all the vilest work. Is there a heavy job
at tarring to be done, he is pitched neck and shoulders into a
tar-barrel, and set to work at it.  Moreover, he is made to fetch and
carry like a dog. Like as not, if the mate sends him after his
quadrant, on the way he is met by the captain, who orders him to pick
some oakum; and while he is hunting up a bit of rope, a sailor comes
along and wants to know what the deuce he's after, and bids him be
off to the forecastle.

"Obey the last order," is a precept inviolable at sea. So the
land-lubber, afraid to refuse to do anything, rushes about
distracted, and does nothing: in the end receiving a shower of kicks
and cuffs from all quarters.

Added to his other hardships, he is seldom permitted to open his mouth
unless spoken to; and then, he might better keep silent. Alas for
him! if he should happen to be anything of a droll; for in an evil
hour should he perpetrate a joke, he would never know the last of it.

The witticisms of others, however, upon himself, must be received in
the greatest good-humour.

Woe be unto him, if at meal-times he so much as look sideways at the
beef-kid before the rest are helped.

Then he is obliged to plead guilty to every piece of mischief which
the real perpetrator refuses to acknowledge; thus taking the place of
that sneaking rascal nobody, ashore. In short, there is no end to his

The land-lubber's spirits often sink, and the first result of his
being moody and miserable is naturally enough an utter neglect of his

The sailors perhaps ought to make allowances; but heartless as they
are, they do not. No sooner is his cleanliness questioned than they
rise upon him like a mob of the Middle Ages upon a Jew; drag him into
the lee-scuppers, and strip him to the buff. In vain he bawls for
mercy; in vain calls upon the captain to save him.

Alas! I say again, for the land-lubber at sea. He is the veriest
wretch the watery world over. And such was Bope Tarn; of all
landlubbers, the most lubberly and most miserable. A forlorn,
stunted, hook-visaged mortal he was too; one of those whom you know
at a glance to have been tried hard and long in the furnace of
affliction. His face was an absolute puzzle; though sharp and sallow,
it had neither the wrinkles of age nor the smoothness of youth; so
that for the soul of me, I could hardly tell whether he was
twenty-five or fifty.

But to his history. In his better days, it seems he had been a
journeyman baker in London, somewhere about Holborn; and on Sundays
wore a Hue coat and metal buttons, and spent his afternoons in a
tavern, smoking his pipe and drinking his ale like a free and easy
journeyman baker that he was. But this did not last long; for an
intermeddling old fool was the ruin of him. He was told that London
might do very well for elderly gentlemen and invalids; but for a lad
of spirit, Australia was the Land of Promise. In a dark day Ropey
wound up his affairs and embarked.

Arriving in Sydney with a small capital, and after a while waxing snug
and comfortable by dint of hard kneading, he took unto himself a
wife; and so far as she was concerned, might then have gone into the
country and retired; for she effectually did his business. In short,
the lady worked him woe in heart and pocket; and in the end, ran off
with his till and his foreman. Ropey went to the sign of the Pipe and
Tankard; got fuddled; and over his fifth pot meditated suicide--an
intention carried out; for the next day he shipped as landsman aboard
the Julia, South Seaman.

The ex-baker would have fared far better, had it not been for his
heart, which was soft and underdone. A kind word made a fool of him;
and hence most of the scrapes he got into. Two or three wags, aware
of his infirmity, used to "draw him out" in conversation whenever the
most crabbed and choleric old seamen were present.

To give an instance. The watch below, just waked from their sleep, are
all at breakfast; and Ropey, in one corner, is disconsolately
partaking of its delicacies.  "Now, sailors newly waked are no
cherubs; and therefore not a word is spoken, everybody munching his
biscuit, grim and unshaven. At this juncture an affable-looking
scamp--Flash Jack--crosses the forecastle, tin can in hand, and seats
himself beside the land-lubber.

"Hard fare this, Ropey," he begins; "hard enough, too, for them that's
known better and lived in Lun'nun. I say now, Ropey, s'posing you
were back to Holborn this morning, what would you have for breakfast,

"Have for breakfast!" cried Ropey in a rapture. "Don't speak of it!"

"What ails that fellow?" here growled an old sea-bear, turning round

"Oh, nothing, nothing," said Jack; and then, leaning over to Rope
Yarn, he bade him go on, but speak lower.

"Well, then," said he, in a smuggled tone, his eyes lighting up like
two lanterns, "well, then, I'd go to Mother Moll's that makes the
great muffins: I'd go there, you know, and cock my foot on the 'ob,
and call for a noggin o' somethink to begin with."

"What then, Ropey?"

"Why then, Flashy," continued the poor victim, unconsciously warming
with his theme:  "why then, I'd draw my chair up and call for Betty,
the gal wot tends to customers.  Betty, my dear, says I, you looks
charmin' this mornin'; give me a nice rasher of bacon and h'eggs,
Betty my love; and I wants a pint of h'ale, and three nice h'ot
muffins and butter--and a slice of Cheshire; and Betty, I wants--"

"A shark-steak, and be hanged to you!" roared Black Dan, with an oath.
Whereupon, dragged over the chests, the ill-starred fellow is
pummelled on deck.

I always made a point of befriending poor Ropey when I could; and, for
this reason, was a great favourite of his.



BOUND into port, Chips and Bungs increased their devotion to the
bottle; and, to the unspeakable envy of the rest, these jolly
companions--or "the Partners," as the men called them--rolled about
deck, day after day, in the merriest mood imaginable.

But jolly as they were in the main, two more discreet tipplers it
would be hard to find.  No one ever saw them take anything, except
when the regular allowance was served out by the steward; and to make
them quite sober and sensible, you had only to ask them how they
contrived to keep otherwise. Some time after, however, their secret
leaked out.

The casks of Pisco were kept down the after-hatchway, which, for this
reason, was secured with bar and padlock. The cooper, nevertheless,
from time to time, effected a burglarious entry, by descending into
the fore-hold; and then, at the risk of being jammed to death,
crawling along over a thousand obstructions, to where the casks were

On the first expedition, the only one to be got at lay among others,
upon its bilge with the bung-hole well over. With a bit of iron hoop,
suitably bent, and a good deal of prying and punching, the bung was
forced in; and then the cooper's neck-handkerchief, attached to the
end of the hoop, was drawn in and out--the absorbed liquor being
deliberately squeezed into a small bucket.

Bungs was a man after a barkeeper's own heart. Drinking steadily,
until just manageably tipsy, he contrived to continue so; getting
neither more nor less inebriated, but, to use his own phrase,
remaining "just about right." When in this interesting state, he had
a free lurch in his gait, a queer way of hitching up his waistbands,
looked unnecessarily steady at you when speaking, and for the rest,
was in very tolerable spirits. At these times, moreover, he was
exceedingly patriotic; and in a most amusing way, frequently showed
his patriotism whenever he happened to encounter Dunk, a
good-natured, square-faced Dane, aboard.

It must be known here, by the bye, that the cooper had a true sailor
admiration for Lord Nelson. But he entertained a very erroneous idea
of the personal appearance of the hero. Not content with depriving
him of an eye and an arm, he stoutly maintained that he had also lost
a leg in one of his battles. Under this impression, he sometimes
hopped up to Dunk with one leg curiously locked behind him into his
right arm, at the same time closing an eye.

In this attitude he would call upon him to look up, and behold the man
who gave his countrymen such a thrashing at Copenhagen. "Look you,
Dunk," says he, staggering about, and winking hard with one eye to
keep the other shut, "Look you; one man--hang me, half a man--with
one leg, one arm, one eye--hang me, with only a piece of a carcase,
flogged your whole shabby nation. Do you deny it you lubber?"

The Dane was a mule of a man, and understanding but little English,
seldom made anything of a reply; so the cooper generally dropped his
leg, and marched off, with the air of a man who despised saying
anything further.



THE mild blue weather we enjoyed after leaving the Marquesas gradually
changed as we ran farther south and approached Tahiti. In these
generally tranquil seas, the wind sometimes blows with great
violence; though, as every sailor knows, a spicy gale in the tropic
latitudes of the Pacific is far different from a tempest in the
howling North Atlantic. We soon found ourselves battling with the
waves, while the before mild Trades, like a woman roused, blew
fiercely, but still warmly, in our face.

For all this, the mate carried sail without stint; and as for brave
little Jule, she stood up to it well; and though once in a while
floored in the trough of a sea, sprang to her keel again and showed
play. Every old timber groaned--every spar buckled--every chafed cord
strained; and yet, spite of all, she plunged on her way like a racer.
Jermin, sea-jockey that he was, sometimes stood in the fore-chains,
with the spray every now and then dashing over him, and shouting out,
"Well done, Jule--dive into it, sweetheart. Hurrah!"

One afternoon there was a mighty queer noise aloft, which set the men
running in every direction. It was the main-t'-gallant-mast. Crash!
it broke off just above the cap, and held there by the rigging,
dashed with every roll from side to side, with all the hamper that
belonged to it. The yard hung by a hair, and at every pitch, thumped
against the cross-trees; while the sail streamed in ribbons, and the
loose ropes coiled, and thrashed the air, like whip-lashes. "Stand
from under!" and down came the rattling blocks, like so many shot.
The yard, with a snap and a plunge, went hissing into the sea,
disappeared, and shot its full length out again. The crest of a great
wave then broke over it--the ship rushed by--and we saw the stick no

While this lively breeze continued, Baltimore, our old black cook, was
in great tribulation.

Like most South Seamen, the Julia's "caboose," or cook-house, was
planted on the larboard side of the forecastle. Under such a press of
canvas, and with the heavy sea running the barque, diving her bows
under, now and then shipped green glassy waves, which, breaking over
the head-rails, fairly deluged that part of the ship, and washed
clean aft. The caboose-house--thought to be fairly lashed down to its
place--served as a sort of breakwater to the inundation.

About these times, Baltimore always wore what he called his "gale
suit," among other things comprising a Sou'-wester and a huge pair of
well-anointed sea-boots, reaching almost to his knees. Thus equipped
for a ducking or a drowning, as the case might be, our culinary
high-priest drew to the slides of his temple, and performed his sooty
rites in secret.

So afraid was the old man of being washed overboard that he actually
fastened one end of a small line to his waistbands, and coiling the
rest about him, made use of it as occasion required. When engaged
outside, he unwound the cord, and secured one end to a ringbolt in
the deck; so that if a chance sea washed him off his feet, it could
do nothing more.

One evening just as he was getting supper, the Julia reared up on her
stern like a vicious colt, and when she settled again forward, fairly
dished a tremendous sea.  Nothing could withstand it. One side of the
rotten head-bulwarks came in with a crash; it smote the caboose, tore
it from its moorings, and after boxing it about, dashed it against
the windlass, where it stranded. The water then poured along the deck
like a flood rolling over and over, pots, pans, and kettles, and even
old Baltimore himself, who went breaching along like a porpoise.

Striking the taffrail, the wave subsided, and washing from side to
side, left the drowning cook high and dry on the after-hatch: his
extinguished pipe still between his teeth, and almost bitten in two.

The few men on deck having sprung into the main-rigging, sailor-like,
did nothing but roar at his calamity.

The same night, our flying-jib-boom snapped off like a pipe-stem, and
our spanker-gaff came down by the run.

By the following morning, the wind in a great measure had gone down;
the sea with it; and by noon we had repaired our damages as well as
we could, and were sailing along as pleasantly as ever.

But there was no help for the demolished bulwarks; we had nothing to
replace them; and so, whenever it breezed again, our dauntless craft
went along with her splintered prow dripping, but kicking up her
fleet heels just as high as before.



HOW far we sailed to the westward after leaving the Marquesas, or what
might have been our latitude and longitude at any particular time, or
how many leagues we voyaged on our passage to Tahiti, are matters
about which, I am sorry to say, I cannot with any accuracy enlighten
the reader. Jermin, as navigator, kept our reckoning; and, as hinted
before, kept it all to himself. At noon, he brought out his quadrant,
a rusty old thing, so odd-looking that it might have belonged to an

Sometimes, when rather flustered from his potations, he went
staggering about deck, instrument to eye, looking all over for the
sun--a phenomenon which any sober observer might have seen right
overhead. How upon earth he contrived, on some occasions, to settle
his latitude, is more than I can tell. The longitude he must either
have obtained by the Rule of Three, or else by special revelation. Not
that the chronometer in the cabin was seldom to be relied on, or was
any ways fidgety; quite the contrary; it stood stock-still; and by
that means, no doubt, the true Greenwich time--at the period of
stopping, at least--was preserved to a second.

The mate, however, in addition to his "Dead Reckoning," pretended to
ascertain his meridian distance from Bow Bells by an occasional lunar
observation. This, I believe, consists in obtaining with the proper
instruments the angular distance between the moon and some one of the
stars. The operation generally requires two observers to take sights,
and at one and the same time.

Now, though the mate alone might have been thought well calculated for
this, inasmuch as he generally saw things double, the doctor was
usually called upon to play a sort of second quadrant to Jermin's
first; and what with the capers of both, they used to furnish a good
deal of diversion. The mate's tremulous attempts to level his
instrument at the star he was after, were comical enough. For my own
part, when he did catch sight of it, I hardly knew how he managed to
separate it from the astral host revolving in his own brain.

However, by hook or by crook, he piloted us along; and before many
days, a fellow sent aloft to darn a rent in the fore-top-sail, threw
his hat into the air, and bawled out "Land, ho!"

Land it was; but in what part of the South Seas, Jermin alone knew,
and some doubted whether even he did. But no sooner was the
announcement made, than he came running on deck, spy-glass in hand,
and clapping it to his eye, turned round with the air of a man
receiving indubitable assurance of something he was quite certain of
before. The land was precisely that for which he had been steering;
and, with a wind, in less than twenty-four hours we would sight
Tahiti. What he said was verified.

The island turned out to be one of the Pomotu or Low Group--sometimes
called the Coral Islands--perhaps the most remarkable and interesting
in the Pacific. Lying to the east of Tahiti, the nearest are within a
day's sail of that place.

They are very numerous; mostly small, low, and level; sometimes
wooded, but always covered with verdure. Many are crescent-shaped;
others resemble a horse-shoe in figure. These last are nothing more
than narrow circles of land surrounding a smooth lagoon, connected by
a single opening with the sea. Some of the lagoons, said to have
subterranean outlets, have no visible ones; the inclosing island, in
such cases, being a complete zone of emerald. Other lagoons still,
are girdled by numbers of small, green islets, very near to each

The origin of the entire group is generally ascribed to the coral

According to some naturalists, this wonderful little creature,
commencing its erections at the bottom of the sea, after the lapse of
centuries, carries them up to the surface, where its labours cease.
Here, the inequalities of the coral collect all floating bodies;
forming, after a time, a soil, in which the seeds carried thither by
birds germinate, and cover the whole with vegetation. Here and there,
all over this archipelago, numberless naked, detached coral
formations are seen, just emerging, as it were from the ocean. These
would appear to be islands in the very process of creation--at any
rate, one involuntarily concludes so, on beholding them.

As far as I know, there are but few bread-fruit trees in any part of
the Pomotu group.  In many places the cocoa-nut even does not grow;
though, in others, it largely flourishes. Consequently, some of the
islands are altogether uninhabited; others support but a single
family; and in no place is the population very large. In some
respects the natives resemble the Tahitians: their language, too, is
very similar. The people of the southeasterly clusters--concerning
whom, however, but little is known--have a bad name as cannibals; and
for that reason their hospitality is seldom taxed by the mariner.

Within a few years past, missionaries from the Society group have
settled among the Leeward Islands, where the natives have treated
them kindly. Indeed, nominally, many of these people are now
Christians; and, through the political influence of their
instructors, no doubt, a short time since came tinder the allegiance
of Pomaree, the Queen of Tahiti; with which island they always
carried on considerable intercourse.

The Coral Islands are principally visited by the pearl-shell
fishermen, who arrive in small schooners, carrying not more than five
or six men.

For a long while the business was engrossed by Merenhout, the French
Consul at Tahiti, but a Dutchman by birth, who, in one year, is said
to have sent to France fifty thousand dollars' worth of shells. The
oysters are found in the lagoons, and about the reefs; and, for
half-a-dozen nails a day, or a compensation still less, the natives
are hired to dive after them.

A great deal of cocoa-nut oil is also obtained in various places. Some
of the uninhabited islands are covered with dense groves; and the
ungathered nuts which have fallen year after year, lie upon the
ground in incredible quantities. Two or three men, provided with the
necessary apparatus for trying out the oil, will, in the course of a
week or two, obtain enough to load one of the large sea-canoes.

Cocoa-nut oil is now manufactured in different parts of the South
Seas, and forms no small part of the traffic carried on with trading
vessels. A considerable quantity is annually exported from the
Society Islands to Sydney. It is used in lamps and for machinery,
being much cheaper than the sperm, and, for both purposes, better
than the right-whale oil. They bottle it up in large bamboos, six or
eight feet long; and these form part of the circulating medium of

To return to the ship. The wind dying away, evening came on before we
drew near the island. But we had it in view during the whole

It was small and round, presenting one enamelled level, free from
trees, and did not seem four feet above the water. Beyond it was
another and larger island, about which a tropical sunset was throwing
its glories; flushing all that part of the heavens, and making it
flame like a vast dyed oriel illuminated.

The Trades scarce filled our swooning sails; the air was languid with
the aroma of a thousand strange, flowering shrubs. Upon inhaling it,
one of the sick, who had recently shown symptoms of scurvy, cried out
in pain, and was carried below. This is no unusual effect in such

On we glided, within less than a cable's length of the shore which was
margined with foam that sparkled all round. Within, nestled the
still, blue lagoon. No living thing was seen, and, for aught we
knew, we might have been the first mortals who had ever beheld the
spot. The thought was quickening to the fancy; nor could I help
dreaming of the endless grottoes and galleries, far below the reach of
the mariner's lead.

And what strange shapes were lurking there! Think of those arch
creatures, the mermaids, chasing each other in and out of the coral
cells, and catching their long hair in the coral twigs!



AT early dawn of the following morning we saw the Peaks of Tahiti. In
clear weather they may be seen at the distance of ninety miles.

"Hivarhoo!" shouted Wymontoo, overjoyed, and running out upon the
bowsprit when the land was first faintly descried in the distance.
But when the clouds floated away, and showed the three peaks standing
like obelisks against the sky; and the bold shore undulating along
the horizon, the tears gushed from his eyes. Poor fellow! It was not
Hivarhoo. Green Hivarhoo was many a long league off.

Tahiti is by far the most famous island in the South Seas; indeed, a
variety of causes has made it almost classic. Its natural features
alone distinguish it from the surrounding groups. Two round and lofty
promontories, whose mountains rise nine thousand feet above the level
of the ocean, are connected by a low, narrow isthmus; the whole being
some one hundred miles in circuit. From the great central peaks of
the larger peninsula--Orohena, Aorai, and Pirohitee--the land radiates
on all sides to the sea in sloping green ridges. Between these are
broad and shadowy valleys--in aspect, each a Tempe--watered with fine
streams, and thickly wooded. Unlike many of the other islands, there
extends nearly all round Tahiti a belt of low, alluvial soil, teeming
with the richest vegetation. Here, chiefly, the natives dwell.

Seen from the sea, the prospect is magnificent. It is one mass of
shaded tints of green, from beach to mountain top; endlessly
diversified with valleys, ridges, glens, and cascades. Over the
ridges, here and there, the loftier peaks fling their shadows, and
far down the valleys. At the head of these, the waterfalls flash out
into the sunlight, as if pouring through vertical bowers of verdure.
Such enchantment, too, breathes over the whole, that it seems a fairy
world, all fresh and blooming from the hand of the Creator.

Upon a near approach, the picture loses not its attractions. It is no
exaggeration to say that, to a European of any sensibility, who, for
the first time, wanders back into these valleys--away from the haunts
of the natives--the ineffable repose and beauty of the landscape is
such, that every object strikes him like something seen in a dream;
and for a time he almost refuses to believe that scenes like these
should have a commonplace existence. No wonder that the French
bestowed upon the island the appellation of the New Cytherea.
"Often," says De Bourgainville, "I thought I was walking in the
Garden of Eden."

Nor, when first discovered, did the inhabitants of this charming
country at all diminish the wonder and admiration of the voyager.
Their physical beauty and amiable dispositions harmonized completely
with the softness of their clime. In truth, everything about them was
calculated to awaken the liveliest interest. Glance at their civil
and religious institutions. To their king, divine rights were paid;
while for poetry, their mythology rivalled that of ancient Greece.

Of Tahiti, earlier and more full accounts were given, than of any
other island in Polynesia; and this is the reason why it still
retains so strong a hold on the sympathies of all readers of South
Sea voyages. The journals of its first visitors, containing, as they
did, such romantic descriptions of a country and people before
unheard of, produced a marked sensation throughout Europe; and when
the first Tahitiana were carried thither, Omai in London, and
Aotooroo in Paris, were caressed by nobles, scholars, and ladies.

In addition to all this, several eventful occurrences, more or less
connected with Tahiti, have tended to increase its celebrity. Over
two centuries ago, Quiros, the Spaniard, is supposed to have touched
at the island; and at intervals, Wallis, Byron, Cook, De
Bourgainville, Vancouver, Le Perouse, and other illustrious
navigators refitted their vessels in its harbours. Here the famous
Transit of Venus was observed, in 1769. Here the memorable mutiny of
the Bounty afterwards had its origin. It was to the pagans of Tahiti
that the first regularly constituted Protestant missionaries were
sent; and from their shores also, have sailed successive missions to
the neighbouring islands.

These, with other events which might be mentioned, have united in
keeping up the first interest which the place awakened; and the
recent proceedings of the French have more than ever called forth the
sympathies of the public.



THE sight of the island was right welcome. Going into harbour after a
cruise is always joyous enough, and the sailor is apt to indulge in
all sorts of pleasant anticipations.  But to us, the occasion was
heightened by many things peculiar to our situation.

Since steering for the land, our prospects had been much talked over.
By many it was supposed that, should the captain leave the ship, the
crew were no longer bound by her articles. This was the opinion of
our forecastle Cokes; though, probably, it would not have been
sanctioned by the Marine Courts of Law. At any rate, such was the
state of both vessel and crew that, whatever might be the event, a
long stay, and many holidays in Tahiti, were confidently predicted.

Everybody was in high spirits. The sick, who had been improving day by
day since the change in our destination, were on deck, and leaning
over the bulwarks; some all animation, and others silently admiring
an object unrivalled for its stately beauty--Tahiti from the sea.

The quarter-deck, however, furnished a marked contrast to what was
going on at the other end of the ship. The Mowree was there, as
usual, scowling by himself; and Jermin walked to and fro in deep
thought, every now and then looking to windward, or darting into the
cabin and quickly returning.

With all our light sails wooingly spread, we held on our way, until,
with the doctor's glass, Papeetee, the village metropolis of Tahiti,
came into view. Several ships were descried lying in the harbour, and
among them, one which loomed up black and large; her two rows of
teeth proclaiming a frigate. This was the Reine Blanche, last from
the Marquesas, and carrying at the fore the flag of Rear-Admiral Du
Petit Thouars. Hardly had we made her out, when the booming of her
guns came over the water. She was firing a salute, which afterwards
turned out to be in honour of a treaty; or rather--as far as the
natives were concerned--a forced cession of Tahiti to the French,
that morning concluded.

The cannonading had hardly died away, when Jermin's voice was heard
giving an order so unexpected that everyone started. "Stand by to
haul back the main-yard!"

"What's that mean?" shouted the men, "are we not going into port?"

"Tumble after here, and no words!" cried the mate; and in a moment the
main-yard swung round, when, with her jib-boom pointing out to sea,
the Julia lay as quiet as a duck. We all looked blank--what was to
come next?

Presently the steward made his appearance, carrying a mattress, which
he spread out in the stern-sheets of the captain's boat; two or three
chests, and other things belonging to his master, were similarly
disposed of.

This was enough. A slight hint suffices for a sailor.

Still adhering to his resolution to keep the ship at sea in spite of
everything, the captain, doubtless, intended to set himself ashore,
leaving the vessel, under the mate, to resume her voyage at once; but
after a certain period agreed upon, to touch at the island, and take
him off. All this, of course, could easily be done without
approaching any nearer the land with the Julia than we now were.
Invalid whaling captains often adopt a plan like this; but, in the
present instance, it was wholly unwarranted; and, everything
considered, at war with the commonest principles of prudence and
humanity. And, although, on Guy's part, this resolution showed more
hardihood than he had ever been given credit for, it, at the same
time, argued an unaccountable simplicity, in supposing that such a
crew would, in any way, submit to the outrage.

It was soon made plain that we were right in our suspicions; and the
men became furious. The cooper and carpenter volunteered to head a
mutiny forthwith; and while Jermin was below, four or five rushed aft
to fasten down the cabin scuttle; others, throwing down the
main-braces, called out to the rest to lend a hand, and fill away for
the land. All this was done in an instant; and things were looking
critical, when Doctor Long Ghost and myself prevailed upon them to
wait a while, and do nothing hastily; there was plenty of time, and
the ship was completely in our power.

While the preparations were still going on in the cabin, we mustered
the men together, and went into counsel upon the forecastle.

It was with much difficulty that we could bring these rash spirits to
a calm consideration of the case. But the doctor's influence at last
began to tell; and, with a few exceptions, they agreed to be guided
by him; assured that, if they did so, the ship would eventually be
brought to her anchors without anyone getting into trouble. Still
they told us, up and down, that if peaceable means failed, they would
seize Little Jule, and carry her into Papeetee, if they all swung for
it; but, for the present, the captain should have his own way.

By this time everything was ready; the boat was lowered and brought to
the gangway; and the captain was helped on deck by the mate and
steward. It was the first time we had seen him in more than two
weeks, and he was greatly altered. As if anxious to elude every eye,
a broad-brimmed Payata hat was pulled down over his brow; so that his
face was only visible when the brim flapped aside. By a sling, rigged
from the main-yard, the cook and Bembo now assisted in lowering him
into the boat. As he went moaning over the side, he must have heard
the whispered maledictions of his crew.

While the steward was busy adjusting matters in the boat, the mate,
after a private interview with the Mowree, turned round abruptly, and
told us that he was going ashore with the captain, to return as soon
as possible. In his absence, Bembo, as next in rank, would command;
there being nothing to do but keep the ship at a safe distance from
the land. He then sprang into the boat, and, with only the cook and
steward as oarsmen, steered for the shore.

Guy's thus leaving the ship in the men's hands, contrary to the mate's
advice, was another evidence of his simplicity; for at this
particular juncture, had neither the doctor nor myself been aboard,
there is no telling what they might have done.

For the nonce, Bembo was captain; and, so far as mere seamanship was
concerned, he was as competent to command as anyone. In truth, a
better seaman never swore.  This accomplishment, by the bye, together
with a surprising familiarity with most nautical names and phrases,
comprised about all the English he knew.

Being a harpooner, and, as such, having access to the cabin, this man,
though not yet civilized, was, according to sea usages, which know no
exceptions, held superior to the sailors; and therefore nothing was
said against his being left in charge of the ship; nor did it
occasion any surprise.

Some additional account must be given of Bembo. In the first place, he
was far from being liked. A dark, moody savage, everybody but the
mate more or less distrusted or feared him. Nor were these feelings
unreciprocated. Unless duty called, he seldom went among the crew.
Hard stories too were told about him; something, in particular,
concerning an hereditary propensity to kill men and eat them. True, he
came from a race of cannibals; but that was all that was known to a

Whatever unpleasant ideas were connected with the Mowree, his
personal appearance no way lessened them. Unlike most of his
countrymen, he was, if anything, below the ordinary height; but then,
he was all compact, and under his swart, tattooed skin, the muscles
worked like steel rods. Hair, crisp and coal-black, curled over
shaggy brows, and ambushed small, intense eyes, always on the glare.
In short, he was none of your effeminate barbarians.

Previous to this, he had been two or three voyages in Sydney whalemen;
always, however, as in the present instance, shipping at the Bay of
Islands, and receiving his discharge there on the homeward-bound
passage. In this way, his countrymen frequently enter on board the
colonial whaling vessels.

There was a man among us who had sailed with the Mowree on his first
voyage, and he told me that he had not changed a particle since then.

Some queer things this fellow told me. The following is one of his
stories. I give it for what it is worth; premising, however, that
from what I know of Bembo, and the foolhardy, dare-devil feats
sometimes performed in the sperm-whale fishery, I believe in its
substantial truth.

As may be believed, Bembo was a wild one after a fish; indeed, all New
Zealanders engaged in this business are; it seems to harmonize
sweetly with their blood-thirsty propensities. At sea, the best
English they speak is the South Seaman's slogan in lowering away, "A
dead whale, or a stove boat!" Game to the marrow, these fellows are
generally selected for harpooners; a post in which a nervous, timid
man would be rather out of his element.

In darting, the harpooner, of course, stands erect in the head of the
boat, one knee braced against a support. But Bembo disdained this;
and was always pulled up to his fish, balancing himself right on the

But to my story. One morning, at daybreak, they brought him up to a
large, long whale. He darted his harpoon, and missed; and the fish
sounded. After a while, the monster rose again, about a mile off, and
they made after him. But he was frightened, or "gallied," as they
call it; and noon came, and the boat was still chasing him. In
whaling, as long as the fish is in sight, and no matter what may have
been previously undergone, there is no giving up, except when night
comes; and nowadays, when whales are so hard to be got, frequently
not even then. At last, Bembo's whale was alongside for the second
time. He darted both harpoons; but, as sometimes happens to the best
men, by some unaccountable chance, once more missed. Though it is
well known that such failures will happen at times, they,
nevertheless, occasion the bitterest disappointment to a boat's crew,
generally expressed in curses both loud and deep. And no wonder. Let
any man pull with might and main for hours and hours together, under
a burning sun; and if it do not make him a little peevish, he is no

The taunts of the seamen may have maddened the Mowree; however it was,
no sooner was he brought up again, than, harpoon in hand, he bounded
upon the whale's back, and for one dizzy second was seen there. The
next, all was foam and fury, and both were out of sight. The men
sheered off, flinging overboard the line as fast as they could; while
ahead, nothing was seen but a red whirlpool of blood and brine.

Presently, a dark object swam out; the line began to straighten; then
smoked round the loggerhead, and, quick as thought, the boat sped
like an arrow through the water.  They were "fast," and the whale was

Where was the Mowree? His brown hand was on the boat's gunwale; and he
was hauled aboard in the very midst of the mad bubbles that burst
under the bows.

Such a man, or devil, if you will, was Bembo.



AFTER the captain left, the land-breeze died away; and, as is usual
about these islands, toward noon it fell a dead calm. There was
nothing to do but haul up the courses, run down the jib, and lay and
roll upon the swells. The repose of the elements seemed to
communicate itself to the men; and for a time there was a lull.

Early in the afternoon, the mate, having left the captain at Papeetee,
returned to the ship. According to the steward, they were to go
ashore again right after dinner with the remainder of Guy's effects.

On gaining the deck, Jermin purposely avoided us and went below
without saying a word. Meanwhile, Long Ghost and I laboured hard to
diffuse the right spirit among the crew; impressing upon them that a
little patience and management would, in the end, accomplish all that
their violence could; and that, too, without making a serious matter
of it.

For my own part, I felt that I was under a foreign flag; that an
English consul was close at hand, and that sailors seldom obtain
justice. It was best to be prudent. Still, so much did I sympathize
with the men, so far, at least, as their real grievances were
concerned; and so convinced was I of the cruelty and injustice of what
Captain Guy seemed bent upon, that if need were, I stood ready to
raise a hand.

In spite of all we could do, some of them again became most
refractory, breathing nothing but downright mutiny. When we went
below to dinner these fellows stirred up such a prodigious tumult
that the old hull fairly echoed. Many, and fierce too, were the
speeches delivered, and uproarious the comments of the sailors. Among
others Long Jim, or--as the doctor afterwards called him--Lacedaemonian
Jim, rose in his place, and addressed the forecastle parliament in the
following strain:

"Look ye, Britons! if after what's happened, this here craft goes to
sea with us, we are no men; and that's the way to say it. Speak the
word, my livelies, and I'll pilot her in.  I've been to Tahiti before
and I can do it." Whereupon, he sat down amid a universal pounding of
chest-lids, and cymbaling of tin pans; the few invalids, who, as yet,
had not been actively engaged with the rest, now taking part in the
applause, creaking their bunk-boards and swinging their hammocks.
Cries also were heard, of "Handspikes and a shindy!" "Out
stun-sails!" "Hurrah!"

Several now ran on deck, and, for the moment, I thought it was all
over with us; but we finally succeeded in restoring some degree of

At last, by way of diverting their thoughts, I proposed that a "Round
Robin" should be prepared and sent ashore to the consul by Baltimore,
the cook. The idea took mightily, and I was told to set about it at
once. On turning to the doctor for the requisite materials, he told
me he had none; there was not a fly-leaf, even in any of his books.
So, after great search, a damp, musty volume, entitled "A History of
the most Atrocious and Bloody Piracies," was produced, and its two
remaining blank leaves being torn out, were by help of a little pitch
lengthened into one sheet. For ink, some of the soot over the lamp
was then mixed with water, by a fellow of a literary turn; and an
immense quill, plucked from a distended albatross' wing, which,
nailed against the bowsprit bitts, had long formed an ornament of the
forecastle, supplied a pen.

Making use of the stationery thus provided, I indited, upon a
chest-lid, a concise statement of our grievances; concluding with the
earnest hope that the consul would at once come off, and see how
matters stood for himself. Eight beneath the note was described the
circle about which the names were to be written; the great object of
a Round Robin being to arrange the signatures in such a way that,
although they are all found in a ring, no man can be picked out as
the leader of it.

Few among them had any regular names; many answering to some familiar
title, expressive of a personal trait; or oftener still, to the name
of the place from which they hailed; and in one or two cases were
known by a handy syllable or two, significant of nothing in
particular but the men who bore them. Some, to be sure, had, for the
sake of formality, shipped under a feigned cognomen, or "Purser's
name"; these, however, were almost forgotten by themselves; and so,
to give the document an air of genuineness, it was decided that every
man's name should be put down as it went among the crew.

It is due to the doctor to say that the circumscribed device was his.

Folded, and sealed with a drop of tar, the Round Robin was directed to
"The English Consul, Tahiti"; and, handed to the cook, was by him
delivered into that gentleman's hands as soon as the mate went

On the return of the boat, sometime after dark, we learned a good deal
from old Baltimore, who, having been allowed to run about as much as
he pleased, had spent his time gossiping.

Owing to the proceedings of the French, everything in Tahiti was in an
uproar.  Pritchard, the missionary consul, was absent in England; but
his place was temporarily filled by one Wilson, an educated white
man, born on the island, and the son of an old missionary of that
name still living.

With natives and foreigners alike, Wilson the younger was exceedingly
unpopular, being held an unprincipled and dissipated man, a character
verified by his subsequent conduct. Pritchard's selecting a man like
this to attend to the duties of his office, had occasioned general
dissatisfaction ashore.

Though never in Europe or America, the acting consul had been several
voyages to Sydney in a schooner belonging to the mission; and
therefore our surprise was lessened, when Baltimore told us, that he
and Captain Guy were as sociable as could be--old acquaintances, in
fact; and that the latter had taken up his quarters at Wilson's
house. For us this boded ill.

The mate was now assailed by a hundred questions as to what was going
to be done with us. His only reply was, that in the morning the
consul would pay us a visit, and settle everything.

After holding our ground off the harbour during the night, in the
morning a shore boat, manned by natives, was seen coming off. In it
were Wilson and another white man, who proved to be a Doctor Johnson,
an Englishman, and a resident physician of Papeetee.

Stopping our headway as they approached, Jermin advanced to the
gangway to receive them. No sooner did the consul touch the deck,
than he gave us a specimen of what he was.

"Mr. Jermin," he cried loftily, and not deigning to notice the
respectful salutation of the person addressed, "Mr. Jermin, tack
ship, and stand off from the land."

Upon this, the men looked hard at him, anxious to see what sort of a
looking "cove" he was. Upon inspection, he turned out to be an
exceedingly minute "cove," with a viciously pugged nose, and a
decidedly thin pair of legs. There was nothing else noticeable about
him. Jermin, with ill-assumed suavity, at once obeyed the order, and
the ship's head soon pointed out to sea.

Now, contempt is as frequently produced at first sight as love; and
thus was it with respect to Wilson. No one could look at him without
conceiving a strong dislike, or a cordial desire to entertain such a
feeling the first favourable opportunity. There was such an
intolerable air of conceit about this man that it was almost as much
as one could do to refrain from running up and affronting him.

"So the counsellor is come," exclaimed Navy Bob, who, like all the
rest, invariably styled him thus, much to mine and the doctor's
diversion. "Ay," said another, "and for no good, I'll be bound."

Such were some of the observations made, as Wilson and the mate went
below conversing.

But no one exceeded the cooper in the violence with which he inveighed
against the ship and everything connected with her. Swearing like a
trooper, he called the main-mast to witness that, if he (Bungs) ever
again went out of sight of land in the Julia, he prayed Heaven that a
fate might be his--altogether too remarkable to be here related.

Much had he to say also concerning the vileness of what we had to
eat--not fit for a dog; besides enlarging upon the imprudence of
intrusting the vessel longer to a man of the mate's intemperate
habits. With so many sick, too, what could we expect to do in the
fishery? It was no use talking; come what come might, the ship must
let go her anchor.

Now, as Bungs, besides being an able seaman, a "Cod" in the
forecastle, and about the oldest man in it, was, moreover, thus
deeply imbued with feelings so warmly responded to by the rest, he
was all at once selected to officiate as spokesman, as soon as the
consul should see fit to address us. The selection was made contrary
to mine and the doctor's advice; however, all assured us they would
keep quiet, and hear everything Wilson had to say, before doing
anything decisive.

We were not kept long in suspense; for very soon he was seen standing
in the cabin gangway, with the tarnished tin case containing the
ship's papers; and Jennin at once sung out for the ship's company to
muster on the quarter-deck.



THE order was instantly obeyed, and the sailors ranged themselves,
facing the consul.

They were a wild company; men of many climes--not at all precise in
their toilet arrangements, but picturesque in their very tatters. My
friend, the Long Doctor, was there too; and with a view, perhaps, of
enlisting the sympathies of the consul for a gentleman in distress,
had taken more than ordinary pains with his appearance. But among the
sailors, he looked like a land-crane blown off to sea, and consorting
with petrels.

The forlorn Rope Yarn, however, was by far the most remarkable figure.
Land-lubber that he was, his outfit of sea-clothing had long since
been confiscated; and he was now fain to go about in whatever he
could pick up. His upper garment--an unsailor-like article of dress
which he persisted in wearing, though torn from his back twenty times
in the day--was an old "claw-hammer jacket," or swallow-tail coat,
formerly belonging to Captain Guy, and which had formed one of his
perquisites when steward.

By the side of Wilson was the mate, bareheaded, his gray locks lying
in rings upon his bronzed brow, and his keen eye scanning the crowd
as if he knew their every thought. His frock hung loosely, exposing
his round throat, mossy chest, and short and nervous arm embossed
with pugilistic bruises, and quaint with many a device in India ink.

In the midst of a portentous silence, the consul unrolled his papers,
evidently intending to produce an effect by the exceeding bigness of
his looks.

"Mr. Jermin, call off their names;" and he handed him a list of the
ship's company.

All answered but the deserters and the two mariners at the bottom of
the sea.

It was now supposed that the Round Robin would be produced, and
something said about it. But not so. Among the consul's papers that
unique document was thought to be perceived; but, if there, it was
too much despised to be made a subject of comment. Some present, very
justly regarding it as an uncommon literary production, had been
anticipating all sorts of miracles therefrom; and were, therefore,
much touched at this neglect.

"Well, men," began Wilson again after a short pause, "although you all
look hearty enough, I'm told there are some sick among you. Now then,
Mr. Jermin, call off the names on that sick-list of yours, and let
them go over to the other side of the deck--I should like to see who
they are."

"So, then," said he, after we had all passed over, "you are the sick
fellows, are you?  Very good: I shall have you seen to. You will go
down into the cabin one by one, to Doctor Johnson, who will report
your respective cases to me. Such as he pronounces in a dying state I
shall have sent ashore; the rest will be provided with everything
needful, and remain aboard."

At this announcement, we gazed strangely at each other, anxious to see
who it was that looked like dying, and pretty nearly deciding to stay
aboard and get well, rather than go ashore and be buried. There were
some, nevertheless, who saw very plainly what Wilson was at, and they
acted accordingly. For my own part, I resolved to assume as dying an
expression as possible; hoping that, on the strength of it, I might
be sent ashore, and so get rid of the ship without any further

With this intention, I determined to take no part in anything that
might happen until my case was decided upon. As for the doctor, he
had all along pretended to be more or less unwell; and by a
significant look now given me, it was plain that he was becoming
decidedly worse.

The invalids disposed of for the present, and one of them having gone
below to be examined, the consul turned round to the rest, and
addressed them as follows:--

"Men, I'm going to ask you two or three questions--let one of you
answer yes or no, and the rest keep silent. Now then: Have you
anything to say against your mate, Mr.  Jermin?" And he looked
sharply among the sailors, and, at last, right into the eye of the
cooper, whom everybody was eyeing.

"Well, sir," faltered Bungs, "we can't say anything against Mr.
Jermin's seamanship, but--"

"I want no buts," cried the consul, breaking in: "answer me yes or
no--have you anything to say against Mr. Jermin?"

"I was going on to say, sir; Mr. Jermin's a very good man; but then--"
Here the mate looked marlinespikes at Bungs; and Bungs, after
stammering out something, looked straight down to a seam in the deck,
and stopped short.

A rather assuming fellow heretofore, the cooper had sported many
feathers in his cap; he was now showing the white one.

"So much then for that part of the business," exclaimed Wilson,
smartly; "you have nothing to say against him, I see."

Upon this, several seemed to be on the point of saying a good deal;
but disconcerted by the cooper's conduct, checked themselves, and the
consul proceeded.

"Have you enough to eat, aboard? answer me, you man who spoke

"Well, I don't know as to that," said the cooper, looking excessively
uneasy, and trying to edge back, but pushed forward again. "Some of
that salt horse ain't as sweet as it might be."

"That's not what I asked you," shouted the consul, growing brave quite
fast; "answer my questions as I put them, or I'll find a way to make

This was going a little too far. The ferment, into which the cooper's
poltroonery had thrown the sailors, now brooked no restraint; and one
of them--a young American who went by the name of Salem--dashed out
from among the rest, and fetching the cooper a blow that sent him
humming over toward the consul, flourished a naked sheath-knife in
the air, and burst forth with "I'm the little fellow that can answer
your questions; just put them to me once, counsellor." But the
"counsellor" had no more questions to ask just then; for at the
alarming apparition of Salem's knife, and the extraordinary effect
produced upon Bungs, he had popped his head down the companion-way,
and was holding it there.

Upon the mate's assuring him, however, that it was all over, he looked
up, quite flustered, if not frightened, but evidently determined to
put as fierce a face on the matter as practicable. Speaking sharply,
he warned all present to "look out"; and then repeated the question,
whether there was enough to eat aboard. Everyone now turned
spokesman; and he was assailed by a perfect hurricane of yells, in
which the oaths fell like hailstones.

"How's this! what d'ye mean?" he cried, upon the first lull; "who told
you all to speak at once? Here, you man with the knife, you'll be
putting someone's eyes out yet; d'ye hear, you sir? You seem to have
a good deal to say, who are you, pray; where did you ship?"

"I'm nothing more nor a bloody beach-comber," retorted Salem, stepping
forward piratically and eyeing him; "and if you want to know, I
shipped at the Islands about four months ago."

"Only four months ago? And here you have more to say than men who have
been aboard the whole voyage;" and the consul made a dash at looking
furious, but failed.  "Let me hear no more from you, sir. Where's
that respectable, gray-headed man, the cooper? he's the one to answer
my questions."

"There's no 'spectable, gray-headed men aboard," returned Salem;
"we're all a parcel of mutineers and pirates!"

All this time, the mate was holding his peace; and Wilson, now
completely abashed, and at a loss what to do, took him by the arm,
and walked across the deck. Returning to the cabin-scuttle, after a
close conversation, he abruptly addressed the sailors, without taking
any further notice of what had just happened.

"For reasons you all know, men, this ship has been placed in my hands.
As Captain Guy will remain ashore for the present, your mate, Mr.
Jermin, will command until his recovery. According to my judgment,
there is no reason why the voyage should not be at once resumed;
especially, as I shall see that you have two more harpooners, and
enough good men to man three boats. As for the sick, neither you nor I
have anything to do with them; they will be attended to by Doctor
Johnson; but I've explained that matter before. As soon as things can
be arranged--in a day or two, at farthest--you will go to sea for a
three months' cruise, touching here, at the end of it, for your
captain. Let me hear a good report of you, now, when you come back.
At present, you will continue lying off and on the harbour. I will
send you fresh provisions as soon as I can get them. There: I've
nothing more to say; go forward to your stations."

And, without another word, he wheeled round to descend into the cabin.
But hardly had he concluded before the incensed men were dancing
about him on every side, and calling upon him to lend an ear. Each
one for himself denied the legality of what he proposed to do;
insisted upon the necessity for taking the ship in; and finally gave
him to understand, roughly and roundly, that go to sea in her they
would not.

In the midst of this mutinous uproar, the alarmed consul stood fast by
the scuttle. His tactics had been decided upon beforehand; indeed,
they must have been concerted ashore, between him and the captain;
for all he said, as he now hurried below, was, "Go forward, men; I'm
through with you: you should have mentioned these matters before: my
arrangements are concluded: go forward, I say; I've nothing more to
say to you." And, drawing over the slide of the scuttle, he
disappeared. Upon the very point of following him down, the attention
of the exasperated seamen was called off to a party who had just then
taken the recreant Bungs in hand. Amid a shower of kicks and cuffs,
the traitor was borne along to the forecastle, where--I forbear to
relate what followed.



DURING THE scenes just described, Doctor Johnson was engaged in
examining the sick, of whom, as it turned out, all but two were to
remain in the ship. He had evidently received his cue from Wilson.

One of the last called below into the cabin, just as the quarter-deck
gathering dispersed, I came on deck quite incensed. My lameness,
which, to tell the truth, was now much better, was put down as, in a
great measure, affected; and my name was on the list of those who
would be fit for any duty in a day or two. This was enough. As for
Doctor Long Ghost, the shore physician, instead of extending to him
any professional sympathy, had treated him very cavalierly. To a
certain extent, therefore, we were now both bent on making common
cause with the sailors.

I must explain myself here. All we wanted was to have the ship snugly
anchored in Papeetee Bay; entertaining no doubt that, could this be
done, it would in some way or other peaceably lead to our
emancipation. Without a downright mutiny, there was but one way to
accomplish this: to induce the men to refuse all further duty, unless
it were to work the vessel in. The only difficulty lay in restraining
them within proper bounds. Nor was it without certain misgivings,
that I found myself so situated, that I must necessarily link myself,
however guardedly, with such a desperate company; and in an
enterprise, too, of which it was hard to conjecture what might be the
result.  But anything like neutrality was out of the question; and
unconditional submission was equally so.

On going forward, we found them ten times more tumultuous than ever.
After again restoring some degree of tranquillity, we once more urged
our plan of quietly refusing duty, and awaiting the result. At first,
few would hear of it; but in the end, a good number were convinced by
our representations. Others held out. Nor were those who thought with
us in all things to be controlled.

Upon Wilson's coming on deck to enter his boat, he was beset on all
sides; and, for a moment, I thought the ship would be seized before
his very eyes.

"Nothing more to say to you, men: my arrangements are made. Go
forward, where you belong. I'll take no insolence;" and, in a tremor,
Wilson hurried over the side in the midst of a volley of execrations.

Shortly after his departure, the mate ordered the cook and steward
into his boat; and saying that he was going to see how the captain
did, left us, as before, under the charge of Bembo.

At this time we were lying becalmed, pretty close in with the land
(having gone about again), our main-topsail flapping against the mast
with every roll.

The departure of the consul and Jermin was followed by a scene
absolutely indescribable. The sailors ran about deck like madmen;
Bembo, all the while leaning against the taff-rail by himself,
smoking his heathenish stone pipe, and never interfering.

The cooper, who that morning had got himself into a fluid of an
exceedingly high temperature, now did his best to regain the favour
of the crew. "Without distinction of party," he called upon all hands
to step up, and partake of the contents of his bucket.

But it was quite plain that, before offering to intoxicate others, he
had taken the wise precaution of getting well tipsy himself. He was
now once more happy in the affection of his shipmates, who, one and
all, pronounced him sound to the kelson.

The Pisco soon told; and, with great difficulty, we restrained a party
in the very act of breaking into the after-hold in pursuit of more.
All manner of pranks were now played.

"Mast-head, there! what d'ye see?" bawled Beauty, hailing the
main-truck through an enormous copper funnel. "Stand by for stays,"
roared Flash Jack, bawling off with the cook's axe, at the fastening
of the main-stay. "Looky out for 'quails!" shrieked the Portuguese,
Antone, darting a handspike through the cabin skylight. And "Heave
round cheerly, men," sung out Navy Bob, dancing a hornpipe on the



TOWARD sunset, the mate came off, singing merrily, in the stern of his
boat; and in attempting to climb up the side, succeeded in going
plump into the water. He was rescued by the steward, and carried
across the deck with many moving expressions of love for his bearer.
Tumbled into the quarter-boat, he soon fell asleep, and waking about
midnight, somewhat sobered, went forward among the men. Here, to
prepare for what follows, we must leave him for a moment.

It was now plain enough that Jermin was by no means unwilling to take
the Julia to sea; indeed, there was nothing he so much desired;
though what his reasons were, seeing our situation, we could only
conjecture. Nevertheless, so it was; and having counted much upon his
rough popularity with the men to reconcile them to a short cruise
under him, he had consequently been disappointed in their behaviour.
Still, thinking that they would take a different view of the matter,
when they came to know what fine times he had in store for them, he
resolved upon trying a little persuasion.

So on going forward, he put his head down the forecastle scuttle, and
hailed us quite cordially, inviting us down into the cabin; where, he
said, he had something to make merry withal. Nothing loth, we went;
and throwing ourselves along the transom, waited for the steward to
serve us.

As the can circulated, Jermin, leaning on the table and occupying the
captain's arm-chair secured to the deck, opened his mind as bluntly
and freely as ever. He was by no means yet sober.

He told us we were acting very foolishly; that if we only stuck to the
ship, he would lead us all a jovial life of it; enumerating the casks
still remaining untapped in the Julia's wooden cellar. It was even
hinted vaguely that such a thing might happen as our not coming back
for the captain; whom he spoke of but lightly; asserting, what he had
often said before, that he was no sailor.

Moreover, and perhaps with special reference to Doctor Long Ghost and
myself, he assured us generally that, if there were any among us
studiously inclined, he would take great pleasure in teaching such
the whole art and mystery of navigation, including the gratuitous use
of his quadrant.

I should have mentioned that, previous to this, he had taken the
doctor aside, and said something about reinstating him in the cabin
with augmented dignity; beside throwing out a hint that I myself was
in some way or other to be promoted. But it was all to no purpose;
bent the men were upon going ashore, and there was no moving them.

At last he flew into a rage--much increased by the frequency of his
potations--and with many imprecations, concluded by driving everybody
out of the cabin. We tumbled up the gangway in high good-humour.

Upon deck everything looked so quiet that some of the most pugnacious
spirits actually lamented that there was so little prospect of an
exhilarating disturbance before morning. It was not five minutes,
however, ere these fellows were gratified.

Sydney Ben--said to be a runaway Ticket-of-Leave-Man, and for reasons
of his own, one of the few who still remained on duty--had, for the
sake of the fun, gone down with the rest into the cabin; where Bembo,
who meanwhile was left in charge of the deck, had frequently called
out for him. At first, Ben pretended not to hear; but on being sung
out for again and again, bluntly refused; at the same time, casting
some illiberal reflections on the Mowree's maternal origin, which the
latter had been long enough among the sailors to understand as in the
highest degree offensive. So just after the men came up from below,
Bembo singled him out, and gave him such a cursing in his broken
lingo that it was enough to frighten one. The convict was the worse
for liquor; indeed the Mowree had been tippling also, and before we
knew it, a blow was struck by Ben, and the two men came together like

The Ticket-of-Leave-Man was a practised bruiser; but the savage knew
nothing of the art pugilistic: and so they were even. It was clear
hugging and wrenching till both came to the deck. Here they rolled
over and over in the middle of a ring which seemed to form of itself.
At last the white man's head fell back, and his face grew purple.
Bembo's teeth were at his throat. Rushing in all round, they hauled
the savage off, but not until repeatedly struck on the head would he
let go.

His rage was now absolutely demoniac; he lay glaring and writhing on
the deck, without attempting to rise. Cowed, as they supposed he was,
from his attitude, the men, rejoiced at seeing him thus humbled, left
him; after rating him, in sailor style, for a cannibal and a coward.

Ben was attended to, and led below.

Soon after this, the rest also, with but few exceptions, retired into
the forecastle; and having been up nearly all the previous night,
they quickly dropped about the chests and rolled into the hammocks.
In an hour's time, not a sound could be heard in that part of the

Before Bembo was dragged away, the mate had in vain endeavoured to
separate the combatants, repeatedly striking the Mowree; but the
seamen interposing, at last kept him off.

And intoxicated as he was, when they dispersed, he knew enough to
charge the steward--a steady seaman be it remembered--with the
present safety of the ship; and then went below, when he fell
directly into another drunken sleep.

Having remained upon deck with the doctor some time after the rest had
gone below, I was just on the point of following him down, when I saw
the Mowree rise, draw a bucket of water, and holding it high above
his head, pour its contents right over him.  This he repeated several
times. There was nothing very peculiar in the act, but something else
about him struck me. However, I thought no more of it, but descended
the scuttle.

After a restless nap, I found the atmosphere of the forecastle so
close, from nearly all the men being down at the same time, that I
hunted up an old pea-jacket and went on deck; intending to sleep it
out there till morning. Here I found the cook and steward, Wymontoo,
Hope Yarn, and the Dane; who, being all quiet, manageable fellows,
and holding aloof from the rest since the captain's departure, had
been ordered by the mate not to go below until sunrise. They were
lying under the lee of the bulwarks; two or three fast asleep, and
the others smoking their pipes, and conversing.

To my surprise, Bembo was at the helm; but there being so few to stand
there now, they told me, he had offered to take his turn with the
rest, at the same time heading the watch; and to this, of course,
they made no objection.

It was a fine, bright night; all moon and stars, and white crests of
waves. The breeze was light, but freshening; and close-hauled, poor
little Jule, as if nothing had happened, was heading in for the land,
which rose high and hazy in the distance.

After the day's uproar, the tranquillity of the scene was soothing,
and I leaned over the side to enjoy it.

More than ever did I now lament my situation--but it was useless to
repine, and I could not upbraid myself. So at last, becoming drowsy,
I made a bed with my jacket under the windlass, and tried to forget

How long I lay there, I cannot tell; but as I rose, the first object
that met my eye was Bembo at the helm; his dark figure slowly rising
and falling with the ship's motion against the spangled heavens
behind. He seemed all impatience and expectation; standing at arm's
length from the spokes, with one foot advanced, and his bare head
thrust forward. Where I was, the watch were out of sight; and no one
else was stirring; the deserted decks and broad white sails were
gleaming in the moonlight.

Presently, a swelling, dashing sound came upon my ear, and I had a
sort of vague consciousness that I had been hearing it before. The
next instant I was broad awake and on my feet. Eight ahead, and so
near that my heart stood still, was a long line of breakers, heaving
and frothing. It was the coral reef girdling the island. Behind it,
and almost casting their shadows upon the deck, were the sleeping
mountains, about whose hazy peaks the gray dawn was just breaking.
The breeze had freshened, and with a steady, gliding motion, we were
running straight for the reef.

All was taken in at a glance; the fell purpose of Bembo was obvious,
and with a frenzied shout to wake the watch, I rushed aft. They
sprang to their feet bewildered; and after a short, but desperate
scuffle, we tore him from the helm. In wrestling with him, the
wheel--left for a moment unguarded--flew to leeward, thus, fortunately,
bringing the ship's head to the wind, and so retarding her progress.
Previous to this, she had been kept three or four points free, so as
to close with the breakers. Her headway now shortened, I steadied the
helm, keeping the sails just lifting, while we glided obliquely
toward the land. To have run off before the wind--an easy
thing--would have been almost instant destruction, owing to a curve of
the reef in that direction. At this time, the Dane and the steward
were still struggling with the furious Mowree, and the others were
running about irresolute and shouting.

But darting forward the instant I had the helm, the old cook thundered
on the forecastle with a handspike, "Breakers! breakers close
aboard!--'bout ship! 'bout ship!"

Up came the sailors, staring about them in stupid horror.

"Haul back the head-yards!" "Let go the lee fore-brace!" "Beady about!
about!" were now shouted on all sides; while distracted by a thousand
orders, they ran hither and thither, fairly panic-stricken.

It seemed all over with us; and I was just upon the point of throwing
the ship full into the wind (a step, which, saving us for the
instant, would have sealed our fate in the end), when a sharp cry
shot by my ear like the flight of an arrow.

It was Salem: "All ready for'ard; hard down!"

Round and round went the spokes--the Julia, with her short keel,
spinning to windward like a top. Soon, the jib-sheets lashed the
stays, and the men, more self-possessed, flew to the braces.

"Main-sail haul!" was now heard, as the fresh breeze streamed fore and
aft the deck; and directly the after-yards were whirled round.

In a half-a-minute more, we were sailing away from the land on the
other tack, with every sail distended.

Turning on her heel within little more than a biscuit's toss of the
reef, no earthly power could have saved us, were it not that, up to
the very brink of the coral rampart, there are no soundings.



THE purpose of Bembo had been made known to the men generally by the
watch; and now that our salvation was certain, by an instinctive
impulse they raised a cry, and rushed toward him.

Just before liberated by Dunk and the steward, he was standing
doggedly by the mizzen-mast; and, as the infuriated sailors came on,
his bloodshot eye rolled, and his sheath-knife glittered over his

"Down with him!" "Strike him down!" "Hang him at the main-yard!" such
were the shouts now raised. But he stood unmoved, and, for a single
instant, they absolutely faltered.

"Cowards!" cried Salem, and he flung himself upon him. The steel
descended like a ray of light; but did no harm; for the sailor's
heart was beating against the Mowree's before he was aware.

They both fell to the deck, when the knife was instantly seized, and
Bembo secured.

"For'ard! for'ard with him!" was again the cry; "give him a sea-toss!"
"Overboard with him!" and he was dragged along the deck, struggling
and fighting with tooth and nail.

All this uproar immediately over the mate's head at last roused him
from his drunken nap, and he came staggering on deck.

"What's this?" he shouted, running right in among them.

"It's the Mowree, zur; they are going to murder him, zur," here sobbed
poor Rope Yarn, crawling close up to him.

"Avast! avast!" roared Jermin, making a spring toward Bembo, and
dashing two or three of the sailors aside. At this moment the wretch
was partly flung over the bulwarks, which shook with his frantic
struggles. In vain the doctor and others tried to save him: the men
listened to nothing.

"Murder and mutiny, by the salt sea!" shouted the mate; and dashing
his arms right and left, he planted his iron hand upon the Mowree's

"There are two of us now; and as you serve him, you serve me," he
cried, turning fiercely round.

"Over with them together, then," exclaimed the carpenter, springing
forward; but the rest fell back before the courageous front of
Jermin, and, with the speed of thought, Bembo, unharmed, stood upon

"Aft with ye!" cried his deliverer; and he pushed him right among the
men, taking care to follow him up close. Giving the sailors no time
to recover, he pushed the Mowree before him, till they came to the
cabin scuttle, when he drew the slide over him, and stood still.
Throughout, Bembo never spoke one word.

"Now for'ard where ye belong!" cried the mate, addressing the seamen,
who by this time, rallying again, had no idea of losing their victim.

"The Mowree! the Mowree!" they shouted.

Here the doctor, in answer to the mate's repeated questions, stepped
forward, and related what Bembo had been doing; a matter which the
mate but dimly understood from the violent threatenings he had been

For a moment he seemed to waver; but at last, turning the key of the
padlock of the slide, he breathed through his set teeth--"Ye can't
have him; I'll hand him over to the consul; so for'ard with ye, I
say: when there's any drowning to be done, I'll pass the word; so
away with ye, ye blood-thirsty pirates."

It was to no purpose that they begged or threatened: Jermin, although
by no means sober, stood his ground manfully, and before long they
dispersed, soon to forget everything that had happened.

Though we had no opportunity to hear him confess it, Bembo's intention
to destroy us was beyond all question. His only motive could have
been a desire to revenge the contumely heaped upon him the night
previous, operating upon a heart irreclaimably savage, and at no time
fraternally disposed toward the crew.

During the whole of this scene the doctor did his best to save him.
But well knowing that all I could do would have been equally useless,
I maintained my place at the wheel. Indeed, no one but Jermin could
have prevented this murder.



DURING the morning of the day which dawned upon the events just
recounted, we remained a little to leeward of the harbour, waiting
the appearance of the consul, who had promised the mate to come off
in a shore boat for the purpose of seeing him.

By this time the men had forced his secret from the cooper, and the
consequence was that they kept him continually coming and going from
the after-hold. The mate must have known this; but he said nothing,
notwithstanding all the dancing and singing, and occasional fighting
which announced the flow of the Pisco.

The peaceable influence which the doctor and myself had heretofore
been exerting, was now very nearly at an end.

Confident, from the aspect of matters, that the ship, after all, would
be obliged to go in; and learning, moreover, that the mate had said
so, the sailors, for the present, seemed in no hurry about it;
especially as the bucket of Bungs gave such generous cheer.

As for Bembo, we were told that, after putting him in double irons,
the mate had locked him up in the captain's state-room, taking the
additional precaution of keeping the cabin scuttle secured. From this
time forward we never saw the Mowree again, a circumstance which will
explain itself as the narrative proceeds.

Noon came, and no consul; and as the afternoon advanced without any
word even from the shore, the mate was justly incensed; more
especially as he had taken great pains to keep perfectly sober
against Wilson's arrival.

Two or three hours before sundown, a small schooner came out of the
harbour, and headed over for the adjoining island of Imeeo, or
Moreea, in plain sight, about fifteen miles distant. The wind
failing, the current swept her down under our bows, where we had a
fair glimpse of the natives on her decks.

There were a score of them, perhaps, lounging upon spread mats, and
smoking their pipes. On floating so near, and hearing the maudlin
cries of our crew, and beholding their antics, they must have taken
us for a pirate; at any rate, they got out their sweeps, and pulled
away as fast as they could; the sight of our two six-pounders, which,
by way of a joke, were now run out of the side-ports, giving a fresh
impetus to their efforts. But they had not gone far, when a white
man, with a red sash about his waist, made his appearance on deck,
the natives immediately desisting.

Hailing us loudly, he said he was coming aboard; and after some
confusion on the schooner's decks, a small canoe was launched
over-hoard, and, in a minute or two, he was with us. He turned out to
be an old shipmate of Jermin's, one Viner, long supposed dead, but
now resident on the island.

The meeting of these men, under the circumstances, is one of a
thousand occurrences appearing exaggerated in fiction; but,
nevertheless, frequently realized in actual lives of adventure.

Some fifteen years previous, they had sailed together as officers of
the barque Jane, of London, a South Seaman. Somewhere near the New
Hebrides, they struck one night upon an unknown reef; and, in a few
hours, the Jane went to pieces. The boats, however, were saved; some
provisions also, a quadrant, and a few other articles. But several of
the men were lost before they got clear of the wreck.

The three boats, commanded respectively by the captain, Jermin, and
the third mate, then set sail for a small English settlement at the
Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Of course they kept together as much
as possible. After being at sea about a week, a Lascar in the
captain's boat went crazy; and, it being dangerous to keep him, they
tried to throw him overboard. In the confusion that ensued the boat
capsized from the sail's "jibing"; and a considerable sea running at
the time, and the other boats being separated more than usual, only
one man was picked up. The very next night it blew a heavy gale; and
the remaining boats taking in all sail, made bundles of their oars,
flung them overboard, and rode to them with plenty of line. When
morning broke, Jermin and his men were alone upon the ocean: the
third mate's boat, in all probability, having gone down.

After great hardships, the survivors caught sight of a brig, which
took them on board, and eventually landed them at Sydney.

Ever since then our mate had sailed from that port, never once hearing
of his lost shipmates, whom, by this time, of course, he had long
given up. Judge, then, his feelings when Viner, the lost third mate,
the instant he touched the deck, rushed up and wrung him by the hand.

During the gale his line had parted; so that the boat, drifting fast
to leeward, was out of sight by morning. Reduced, after this, to
great extremities, the boat touched, for fruit, at an island of which
they knew nothing. The natives, at first, received them kindly; but
one of the men getting into a quarrel on account of a woman, and the
rest taking his part, they were all massacred but Viner, who, at the
time, was in an adjoining village. After staying on the island more
than two years, he finally escaped in the boat of an American whaler,
which landed him at Valparaiso. From this period he had continued to
follow the seas, as a man before the mast, until about eighteen
months previous, when he went ashore at Tahiti, where he now owned the
schooner we saw, in which he traded among the neighbouring islands.

The breeze springing up again just after nightfall, Viner left us,
promising his old shipmate to see him again, three days hence, in
Papeetee harbour.



EXHAUSTED by the day's wassail, most of the men went below at an early
hour, leaving the deck to the steward and two of the men remaining on
duty; the mate, with Baltimore and the Dane, engaging to relieve them
at midnight. At that hour, the ship--now standing off shore, under
short sail--was to be tacked.

It was not long after midnight, when we were wakened in the forecastle
by the lion roar of Jermin's voice, ordering a pull at the
jib-halyards; and soon afterwards, a handspike struck the scuttle,
and all hands were called to take the ship into port.

This was wholly unexpected; but we learned directly that the mate, no
longer relying upon the consul, and renouncing all thought of
inducing the men to change their minds, had suddenly made up his own.
He was going to beat up to the entrance of the harbour, so as to show
a signal for a pilot before sunrise.

Notwithstanding this, the sailors absolutely refused to assist in
working the ship under any circumstances whatever: to all mine and
the doctor's entreaties lending a deaf ear. Sink or strike, they
swore they would have nothing more to do with her. This perverse-ness
was to be attributed, in a great measure, to the effects of their
late debauch.

With a strong breeze, all sail set, and the ship in the hands of four
or five men, exhausted by two nights' watching, our situation was bad
enough; especially as the mate seemed more reckless than ever, and we
were now to tack ship several times close under the land.

Well knowing that if anything untoward happened to the vessel before
morning, it would be imputed to the conduct of the crew, and so lead
to serious results, should they ever be brought to trial; I called
together those on deck to witness my declaration;--that now that the
Julia was destined for the harbour (the only object for which I, at
least, had been struggling), I was willing to do what I could toward
carrying her in safely. In this step I was followed by the doctor.

The hours passed anxiously until morning; when, being well to windward
of the mouth of the harbour, we bore up for it, with the union-jack
at the fore. No sign, however, of boat or pilot was seen; and after
running close in several times, the ensign was set at the
mizzen-peak, union down in distress. But it was of no avail.

Attributing to Wilson this unaccountable remissness on the part of
those ashore, Jermin, quite enraged, now determined to stand boldly
in upon his own responsibility; trusting solely to what he remembered
of the harbour on a visit there many years previous.

This resolution was characteristic. Even with a competent pilot,
Papeetee Bay, is considered a ticklish, one to enter. Formed by a
bold sweep of the shore, it is protected seaward by the coral reef,
upon which the rollers break with great violence.  After stretching
across the bay, the barrier extends on toward Point Venus, in the
district of Matavia, eight or nine miles distant. Here there is an
opening, by which ships enter, and glide down the smooth, deep canal,
between the reef and the shore, to the harbour. But, by seamen
generally, the leeward entrance is preferred, as the wind is
extremely variable inside the reef. This latter entrance is a break in
the barrier directly facing the bay and village of Papeetee. It is
very narrow; and from the baffling winds, currents, and sunken rocks,
ships now and then grate their keels against the coral.

But the mate was not to be daunted; so, stationing what men he had at
the braces, he sprang upon the bulwarks, and, bidding everybody keep
wide awake, ordered the helm up. In a few moments, we were running
in. Being toward noon, the wind was fast leaving us, and, by the time
the breakers were roaring on either hand, little more than
steerage-way was left. But on we glided--smoothly and deftly; avoiding
the green, darkling objects here and there strewn in our path; Jermin
occasionally looking down in the water, and then about him, with the
utmost calmness, and not a word spoken. Just fanned along thus, it
was not many minutes ere we were past all danger, and floated into
the placid basin within. This was the cleverest specimen of his
seamanship that he ever gave us.

As we held on toward the frigate and shipping, a canoe, coming out
from among them, approached. In it were a boy and an old man--both
islanders; the former nearly naked, and the latter dressed in an old
naval frock-coat. Both were paddling with might and main; the old
man, once in a while, tearing his paddle out of the water; and, after
rapping his companion over the head, both fell to with fresh vigour.
As they came within hail, the old fellow, springing to his feet and
flourishing his paddle, cut some of the queerest capers; all the
while jabbering something which at first we could not understand.

Presently we made out the following:--"Ah! you pemi, ah!--you
come!--What for you come?--You be fine for come no pilot.--I say, you
hear?--I say, you ita maitui (no good).--You hear?--You no
pilot.--Yes, you d---- me, you no pilot 't all; I d---- you; you

This tirade, which showed plainly that, whatever the profane old
rascal was at, he was in right good earnest, produced peals of
laughter from the ship. Upon which, he seemed to get beside himself;
and the boy, who, with suspended paddle, was staring about him,
received a sound box over the head, which set him to work in a
twinkling, and brought the canoe quite near. The orator now opening
afresh, it turned out that his vehement rhetoric was all addressed to
the mate, still standing conspicuously on the bulwarks.

But Jermin was in no humour for nonsense; so, with a sailor's
blessing, he ordered him off. The old fellow then flew into a regular
frenzy, cursing and swearing worse than any civilized being I ever

"You sabbee me?" he shouted. "You know me, ah? Well; me Jim, me
pilot--been pilot now long time."

"Ay," cried Jermin, quite surprised, as indeed we all were, "you are
the pilot, then, you old pagan. Why didn't you come off before this?"

"Ah! me scibbee,--me know--you piratee (pirate)--see you long time,
but no me come--I sabbee you--you ita maitai nuee (superlatively

"Paddle away with ye," roared Jermin, in a rage; "be off! or I'll dart
a harpoon at ye!"

But, instead of obeying the order, Jim, seizing his paddle, darted the
canoe right up to the gangway, and, in two bounds, stood on deck.

Pulling a greasy silk handkerchief still lower over his brow, and
improving the sit of his frock-coat with a vigorous jerk, he then
strode up to the mate; and, in a more flowery style than ever, gave
him to understand that the redoubtable "Jim," himself, was before
him; that the ship was his until the anchor was down; and he should
like to hear what anyone had to say to it.

As there now seemed little doubt that he was all he claimed to be, the
Julia was at last surrendered.

Our gentleman now proceeded to bring us to an anchor, jumping up
between the knight-heads, and bawling out "Luff! luff! keepy off!
leeepy off!" and insisting upon each time being respectfully
responded to by the man at the helm. At this time our steerage-way
was almost gone; and yet, in giving his orders, the passionate old
man made as much fuss as a white squall aboard the Flying Dutchman.

Jim turned out to be the regular pilot of the harbour; a post, be it
known, of no small profit; and, in his eyes, at least, invested with
immense importance. Our unceremonious entrance, therefore, was
regarded as highly insulting, and tending to depreciate both the
dignity and lucrativeness of his office.

The old man is something of a wizard. Having an understanding with the
elements, certain phenomena of theirs are exhibited for his
particular benefit. Unusually clear weather, with a fine steady
breeze, is a certain sign that a merchantman is at hand; whale-spouts
seen from the harbour are tokens of a whaling vessel's approach; and
thunder and lightning, happening so seldom as they do, are proof
positive that a man-of-war is drawing near.

In short, Jim, the pilot, is quite a character in his way; and no one
visits Tahiti without hearing some curious story about him.



THE village of Papeetee struck us all very pleasantly. Lying in a
semicircle round the bay, the tasteful mansions of the chiefs and
foreign residents impart an air of tropical elegance, heightened by
the palm-trees waving here and there, and the deep-green groves of
the Bread-Fruit in the background. The squalid huts of the common
people are out of sight, and there is nothing to mar the prospect.

All round the water extends a wide, smooth beach of mixed pebbles and
fragments of coral. This forms the thoroughfare of the village; the
handsomest houses all facing it--the fluctuation of the tides being
so inconsiderable that they cause no inconvenience.

The Pritchard residence--a fine large building--occupies a site on one
side of the bay: a green lawn slopes off to the sea: and in front
waves the English flag. Across the water, the tricolour also, and the
stars and stripes, distinguish the residences of the other consuls.

What greatly added to the picturesqueness of the bay at this time was
the condemned hull of a large ship, which, at the farther end of the
harbour, lay bilged upon the beach, its stern settled low in the
water, and the other end high and dry.  From where we lay, the trees
behind seemed to lock their leafy boughs over its bowsprit; which,
from its position, looked nearly upright.

She was an American whaler, a very old craft. Having sprung a leak at
sea, she had made all sail for the island, to heave down for repairs.
Found utterly unseaworthy, however, her oil was taken out and sent
home in another vessel; the hull was then stripped and sold for a

Before leaving Tahiti, I had the curiosity to go over this poor old
ship, thus stranded on a strange shore. What were my emotions, when I
saw upon her stern the name of a small town on the river Hudson! She
was from the noble stream on whose banks I was born; in whose waters
I had a hundred times bathed. In an instant, palm-trees and
elms--canoes and skiffs--church spires and bamboos--all mingled in one
vision of the present and the past.

But we must not leave little Jule.

At last the wishes of many were gratified; and like an aeronaut's
grapnel, her rusty little anchor was caught in the coral groves at
the bottom of Papeetee Bay. This must have been more than forty days
after leaving the Marquesas.

The sails were yet unfurled, when a boat came alongside with our
esteemed friend Wilson, the consul.

"How's this, how's this, Mr. Jermin?" he began, looking very savage as
he touched the deck. "What brings you in without orders?"

"You did not come off to us, as you promised, sir; and there was no
hanging on longer with nobody to work the ship," was the blunt reply.

"So the infernal scoundrels held out--did they? Very good; I'll make
them sweat for it," and he eyed the scowling men with unwonted
intrepidity. The truth was, he felt safer now, than when outside the

"Muster the mutineers on the quarter-deck," he continued. "Drive them
aft, sir, sick and well: I have a word to say to them."

"Now, men," said he, "you think it's all well with you, I suppose. You
wished the ship in, and here she is. Captain Guy's ashore, and you
think you must go too: but we'll see about that--I'll miserably
disappoint you." (These last were his very words.) "Mr.  Jermin, call
off the names of those who did not refuse duty, and let them go over
to the starboard side."

This done, a list was made out of the "mutineers," as he was pleased
to call the rest.  Among these, the doctor and myself were included;
though the former stepped forward, and boldly pleaded the office held
by him when the vessel left Sydney. The mate also--who had always
been friendly--stated the service rendered by myself two nights
previous, as well as my conduct when he announced his intention to
enter the harbour. For myself, I stoutly maintained that, according
to the tenor of the agreement made with Captain Guy, my time aboard
the ship had expired--the cruise being virtually at an end, however
it had been brought about--and I claimed my discharge.

But Wilson would hear nothing. Marking something in my manner,
nevertheless, he asked my name and country; and then observed with a
sneer, "Ah, you are the lad, I see, that wrote the Round Robin; I'll
take good care of you, my fine fellow--step back, sir."

As for poor Long Ghost, he denounced him as a "Sydney Flash-Gorger";
though what under heaven he meant by that euphonious title is more
than I can tell. Upon this, the doctor gave him such a piece of his
mind that the consul furiously commanded him to hold his peace, or he
would instantly have him seized into the rigging and flogged.  There
was no help for either of us--we were judged by the company we kept.

All were now sent forward; not a word being said as to what he
intended doing with us.

After a talk with the mate, the consul withdrew, going aboard the
French frigate, which lay within a cable's length. We now suspected
his object; and since matters had come to this pass, were rejoiced at
it. In a day or two the Frenchman was to sail for Valparaiso, the
usual place of rendezvous for the English squadron in the Pacific;
and doubtless, Wilson meant to put us on board, and send us thither to
be delivered up. Should our conjecture prove correct, all we had to
expect, according to our most experienced shipmates, was the fag end
of a cruise in one of her majesty's ships, and a discharge before
long at Portsmouth.

We now proceeded to put on all the clothes we could--frock over frock,
and trousers over trousers--so as to be in readiness for removal at a
moment's warning. Armed ships allow nothing superfluous to litter up
the deck; and therefore, should we go aboard the frigate, our chests
and their contents would have to be left behind.

In an hour's time, the first cutter of the Reine Blanche came
alongside, manned by eighteen or twenty sailors, armed with cutlasses
and boarding pistols--the officers, of course, wearing their
side-arms, and the consul in an official cocked hat borrowed for the
occasion. The boat was painted a "pirate black," its crew were a
dark, grim-looking set, and the officers uncommonly fierce-looking
little Frenchmen. On the whole they were calculated to intimidate--the
consul's object, doubtless, in bringing them.

Summoned aft again, everyone's name was called separately; and being
solemnly reminded that it was his last chance to escape punishment,
was asked if he still refused duty. The response was instantaneous:
"Ay, sir, I do." In some cases followed up by divers explanatory
observations, cut short by Wilson's ordering the delinquent to the
cutter. As a general thing, the order was promptly obeyed--some
taking a sequence of hops, skips, and jumps, by way of showing not
only their unimpaired activity of body, but their alacrity in
complying with all reasonable requests.

Having avowed their resolution not to pull another rope of the
Julia's--even if at once restored to perfect health--all the
invalids, with the exception of the two to be set ashore, accompanied
us into the cutter: They were in high spirits; so much so that
something was insinuated about their not having been quite as ill as

The cooper's name was the last called; we did not hear what he
answered, but he stayed behind. Nothing was done about the Mowree.

Shoving clear from the ship, three loud cheers were raised; Flash Jack
and others receiving a sharp reprimand for it from the consul.

"Good-bye, Little Jule," cried Navy Bob, as we swept under the bows.
"Don't fall overboard, Ropey," said another to the poor landlubber,
who, with Wymontoo, the Dane, and others left behind, was looking
over at us from the forecastle.

"Give her three more!" cried Salem, springing to his feet and whirling
his hat round.  "You sacre dam raakeel," shouted the lieutenant of
the party, bringing the flat of his sabre across his shoulders, "you
now keepy steel."

The doctor and myself, more discreet, sat quietly in the bow of the
cutter; and for my own part, though I did not repent what I had done,
my reflections were far from being enviable.



IN a few moments, we were paraded in the frigate's gangway; the first
lieutenant--an elderly yellow-faced officer, in an ill-cut coat and
tarnished gold lace--coming up, and frowning upon us.

This gentleman's head was a mere bald spot; his legs, sticks; in
short, his whole physical vigour seemed exhausted in the production
of one enormous moustache.  Old Gamboge, as he was forthwith
christened, now received a paper from the consul; and, opening it,
proceeded to compare the goods delivered with the invoice.

After being thoroughly counted, a meek little midshipman was called,
and we were soon after given in custody to half-a-dozen
sailor-soldiers--fellows with tarpaulins and muskets. Preceded by a
pompous functionary (whom we took for one of the ship's corporals,
from his ratan and the gold lace on his sleeve), we were now escorted
down the ladders to the berth-deck.

Here we were politely handcuffed, all round; the man with the bamboo
evincing the utmost solicitude in giving us a good fit from a large
basket of the articles of assorted sizes.

Taken by surprise at such an uncivil reception, a few of the party
demurred; but all coyness was, at last, overcome; and finally our
feet were inserted into heavy anklets of iron, running along a great
bar bolted down to the deck. After this, we considered ourselves
permanently established in our new quarters.

"The deuce take their old iron!" exclaimed the doctor; "if I'd known
this, I'd stayed behind."

"Ha, ha!" cried Flash Jack, "you're in for it, Doctor Long Ghost."

"My hands and feet are, any way," was the reply.

They placed a sentry over us; a great lubber of a fellow, who marched
up and down with a dilapidated old cutlass of most extraordinary
dimensions. From its length, we had some idea that it was expressly
intended to keep a crowd in order--reaching over the heads of
half-a-dozen, say, so as to get a cut at somebody behind.

"Mercy!" ejaculated the doctor with a shudder, "what a sensation it
must be to be killed by such a tool."

We fasted till night, when one of the boys came along with a couple of
"kids" containing a thin, saffron-coloured fluid, with oily particles
floating on top. The young wag told us this was soup: it turned out
to be nothing more than oleaginous warm water. Such as it was,
nevertheless, we were fain to make a meal of it, our sentry being
attentive enough to undo our bracelets. The "kids" passed from mouth
to mouth, and were soon emptied.

The next morning, when the sentry's back was turned, someone, whom we
took for an English sailor, tossed over a few oranges, the rinds of
which we afterward used for cups.

On the second day nothing happened worthy of record. On the third, we
were amused by the following scene.

A man, whom we supposed a boatswain's mate, from the silver whistle
hanging from his neck, came below, driving before him a couple of
blubbering boys, and followed by a whole troop of youngsters in
tears. The pair, it seemed, were sent down to be punished by command
of an officer; the rest had accompanied them out of sympathy.

The boatswain's mate went to work without delay, seizing the poor
little culprits by their loose frocks, and using a ratan without
mercy. The other boys wept, clasped their hands, and fell on their
knees; but in vain; the boatswain's mate only hit out at them; once
in a while making them yell ten times louder than ever.

In the midst of the tumult, down comes a midshipman, who, with a great
air, orders the man on deck, and running in among the bows, sets them
to scampering in all directions.

The whole of this proceeding was regarded with infinite scorn by Navy
Bob, who, years before, had been captain of the foretop on board a
line-of-battle ship. In his estimation, it was a lubberly piece of
business throughout: they did things differently in the English navy.



I CANNOT forbear a brief reflection upon the scene ending the last

The ratanning of the young culprits, although significant of the
imperfect discipline of a French man-of-war, may also be considered
as in some measure characteristic of the nation.

In an American or English ship, a boy when flogged is either lashed to
the breech of a gun, or brought right up to the gratings, the same
way the men are. But as a general rule, he is never punished beyond
his strength. You seldom or never draw a cry from the young rogue. He
bites his tongue and stands up to it like a hero. If practicable
(which is not always the case), he makes a point of smiling under the
operation. And so far from his companions taking any compassion on
him, they always make merry over his misfortunes. Should he turn baby
and cry, they are pretty sure to give him afterward a sly pounding in
some dark corner.

This tough training produces its legitimate results. The boy becomes,
in time, a thoroughbred tar, equally ready to strip and take a dozen
on board his own ship, or, cutlass in hand, dash pell-mell on board
the enemy's. Whereas the young Frenchman, as all the world knows,
makes but an indifferent seaman; and though, for the most part, he
fights well enough, somehow or other he seldom fights well enough to

How few sea-battles have the French ever won! But more: how few ships
have they ever carried by the board--that true criterion of naval
courage! But not a word against French bravery--there is plenty of
it; but not of the right sort. A Yankee's, or an Englishman's, is the
downright Waterloo "game." The French fight better on land; and not
being essentially a maritime people, they ought to stay there. The
best of shipwrights, they are no sailors.

And this carries me back to the Reine Blanche, as noble a specimen of
what wood and iron can make as ever floated.

She was a new ship: the present her maiden cruise. The greatest pains
having been taken in her construction, she was accounted the "crack"
craft in the French navy.  She is one of the heavy sixty-gun frigates
now in vogue all over the world, and which we Yankees were the first
to introduce. In action these are the most murderous vessels ever

The model of the Reine Blanche has all that warlike comeliness only to
be seen in a fine fighting ship. Still, there is a good deal of
French flummery about her--brass plates and other gewgaws stuck on
all over, like baubles on a handsome woman.

Among other things, she carries a stern gallery resting on the
uplifted hands of two Caryatides, larger than life. You step out upon
this from the commodore's cabin. To behold the rich hangings, and
mirrors, and mahogany within, one is almost prepared to see a bevy of
ladies trip forth on the balcony for an airing.

But come to tread the gun-deck, and all thoughts like these are put to
flight. Such batteries of thunderbolt hurlers! with a
sixty-eight-pounder or two thrown in as make-weights. On the spar-deck,
also, are carronades of enormous calibre.

Recently built, this vessel, of course, had the benefit of the latest
improvements. I was quite amazed to see on what high principles of
art some exceedingly simple things were done. But your Gaul is
scientific about everything; what other people accomplish by a few
hard knocks, he delights in achieving by a complex arrangement of the
pulley, lever, and screw.

What demi-semi-quavers in a French air! In exchanging naval
courtesies, I have known a French band play "Yankee Doodle" with such
a string of variations that no one but a "pretty 'cute" Yankee could
tell what they were at.

In the French navy they have no marines; their men, taking turns at
carrying the musket, are sailors one moment, and soldiers the next; a
fellow running aloft in his line frock to-day, to-morrow stands
sentry at the admiral's cabin door. This is fatal to anything like
proper sailor pride. To make a man a seaman, he should be put to no
other duty. Indeed, a thorough tar is unfit for anything else; and
what is more, this fact is the best evidence of his being a true

On board the Reine Blanche, they did not have enough to eat; and what
they did have was not of the right sort. Instead of letting the
sailors file their teeth against the rim of a hard sea-biscuit, they
baked their bread daily in pitiful little rolls. Then they had no
"grog"; as a substitute, they drugged the poor fellows with a thin,
sour wine--the juice of a few grapes, perhaps, to a pint of the juice
of water-faucets.  Moreover, the sailors asked for meat, and they
gave them soup; a rascally substitute, as they well knew.

Ever since leaving home, they had been on "short allowance." At the
present time, those belonging to the boats--and thus getting an
occasional opportunity to run ashore--frequently sold their rations
of bread to some less fortunate shipmate for sixfold its real value.

Another thing tending to promote dissatisfaction among the crew was
their having such a devil of a fellow for a captain. He was one of
those horrid naval bores--a great disciplinarian. In port, he kept
them constantly exercising yards and sails, and maneuvering with the
boats; and at sea, they were forever at quarters; running in and out
the enormous guns, as if their arms were made for nothing else. Then
there was the admiral aboard, also; and, no doubt, he too had a
paternal eye over them.

In the ordinary routine of duty, we could not but be struck with the
listless, slovenly behaviour of these men; there was nothing of the
national vivacity in their movements; nothing of the quick precision
perceptible on the deck of a thoroughly-disciplined armed vessel.

All this, however, when we came to know the reason, was no matter of
surprise; three-fourths of them were pressed men. Some old merchant
sailors had been seized the very day they landed from distant
voyages; while the landsmen, of whom there were many, had been driven
down from the country in herds, and so sent to sea.

At the time, I was quite amazed to hear of press-gangs in a day of
comparative peace; but the anomaly is accounted for by the fact that,
of late, the French have been building up a great military marine, to
take the place of that which Nelson gave to the waves of the sea at
Trafalgar. But it is to be hoped that they are not building their
ships for the people across the channel to take. In case of a war,
what a fluttering of French ensigns there would be!

Though I say the French are no sailors, I am far from seeking to
underrate them as a people. They are an ingenious and right gallant
nation. And, as an American, I take pride in asserting it.



FIVE days and nights, if I remember right, we were aboard the frigate.
On the afternoon of the fifth, we were told that the next morning she
sailed for Valparaiso.  Rejoiced at this, we prayed for a speedy
passage. But, as it turned out, the consul had no idea of letting us
off so easily. To our no small surprise, an officer came along toward
night, and ordered us out of irons. Being then mustered in the
gangway, we were escorted into a cutter alongside, and pulled ashore.

Accosted by Wilson as we struck the beach, he delivered us up to a
numerous guard of natives, who at once conducted us to a house near
by. Here we were made to sit down under a shade without; and the
consul and two elderly European residents passed by us, and entered.

After some delay, during which we were much diverted by the hilarious
good-nature of our guard--one of our number was called out for,
followed by an order for him to enter the house alone.

On returning a moment after, he told us we had little to encounter. It
had simply been asked whether he still continued of the same mind; on
replying yes, something was put down upon a piece of paper, and he
was waved outside. All being summoned in rotation, my own turn came
at last.

Within, Wilson and his two friends were seated magisterially at a
table--an inkstand, a pen, and a sheet of paper lending quite a
business-like air to the apartment. These three gentlemen, being
arrayed in coats and pantaloons, looked respectable, at least in a
country where complete suits of garments are so seldom met with. One
present essayed a solemn aspect; but having a short neck and full
face, only made out to look stupid.

It was this individual who condescended to take a paternal interest in
myself. After declaring my resolution with respect to the ship
unalterable, I was proceeding to withdraw, in compliance with a sign
from the consul, when the stranger turned round to him, saying, "Wait
a minute, if you please, Mr. Wilson; let me talk to that youth.  Come
here, my young friend: I'm extremely sorry to see you associated with
these bad men; do you know what it will end in?"

"Oh, that's the lad that wrote the Round Robin," interposed the
consul. "He and that rascally doctor are at the bottom of the whole
affair--go outside, sir."

I retired as from the presence of royalty; backing out with many

The evident prejudice of Wilson against both the doctor and myself was
by no means inexplicable. A man of any education before the mast is
always looked upon with dislike by his captain; and, never mind how
peaceable he may be, should any disturbance arise, from his
intellectual superiority, he is deemed to exert an underhand
influence against the officers.

Little as I had seen of Captain Guy, the few glances cast upon me
after being on board a week or so were sufficient to reveal his
enmity--a feeling quickened by my undisguised companionship with Long
Ghost, whom he both feared and cordially hated. Guy's relations with
the consul readily explains the latter's hostility.

The examination over, Wilson and his friends advanced to the doorway;
when the former, assuming a severe expression, pronounced our
perverseness infatuation in the extreme. Nor was there any hope left:
our last chance for pardon was gone. Even were we to become contrite
and crave permission to return to duty, it would not now be

"Oh! get along with your gammon, counsellor," exclaimed Black Dan,
absolutely indignant that his understanding should be thus insulted.

Quite enraged, Wilson bade him hold his peace; and then, summoning a
fat old native to his side, addressed him in Tahitian, giving
directions for leading us away to a place of safe keeping.

Hereupon, being marshalled in order, with the old man at our head, we
were put in motion, with loud shouts, along a fine pathway, running
far on through wide groves of the cocoa-nut and bread-fruit.

The rest of our escort trotted on beside us in high good-humour;
jabbering broken English, and in a hundred ways giving us to
understand that Wilson was no favourite of theirs, and that we were
prime, good fellows for holding out as we did. They seemed to know
our whole history.

The scenery around was delightful. The tropical day was fast drawing
to a close; and from where we were, the sun looked like a vast red
fire burning in the woodlands--its rays falling aslant through the
endless ranks of trees, and every leaf fringed with flame. Escaped
from the confined decks of the frigate, the air breathed spices to
us; streams were heard flowing; green boughs were rocking; and far
inland, all sunset flushed, rose the still, steep peaks of the

As we proceeded, I was more and more struck by the picturesqueness of
the wide, shaded road. In several places, durable bridges of wood
were thrown over large water-courses; others were spanned by a single
arch of stone. In any part of the road, three horsemen might have
ridden abreast.

This beautiful avenue--by far the best thing which civilization has
done for the island--is called by foreigners "the Broom Road," though
for what reason I do not know. Originally planned for the convenience
of the missionaries journeying from one station to another, it almost
completely encompasses the larger peninsula; skirting for a distance
of at least sixty miles along the low, fertile lands bordering the
sea. But on the side next Taiarboo, or the lesser peninsula, it
sweeps through a narrow, secluded valley, and thus crosses the island
in that direction.

The uninhabited interior, being almost impenetrable from the
densely-wooded glens, frightful precipices, and sharp mountain ridges
absolutely inaccessible, is but little known, even to the natives
themselves; and so, instead of striking directly across from one
village to another, they follow the Broom Road round and round.

It is by no means, however, altogether travelled on foot; horses being
now quite plentiful. They were introduced from Chili; and possessing
all the gaiety, fleetness, and docility of the Spanish breed, are
admirably adapted to the tastes of the higher classes, who as
equestrians have become very expert. The missionaries and chiefs
never think of journeying except in the saddle; and at all hours of
the day you see the latter galloping along at full speed. Like the
Sandwich Islanders, they ride like Pawnee-Loups.

For miles and miles I have travelled the Broom Road, and never wearied
of the continual change of scenery. But wherever it leads
you--whether through level woods, across grassy glens, or over hills
waving with palms--the bright blue sea on one side, and the green
mountain pinnacles on the other, are always in sight.



ABOUT a mile from the village we came to a halt.

It was a beautiful spot. A mountain stream here flowed at the foot of
a verdant slope; on one hand, it murmured along until the waters,
spreading themselves upon a beach of small, sparkling shells,
trickled into the sea; on the other was a long defile, where the eye
pursued a gleaming, sinuous thread, lost in shade and verdure.

The ground next the road was walled in by a low, rude parapet of
stones; and, upon the summit of the slope beyond, was a large, native
house, the thatch dazzling white, and in shape an oval.

"Calabooza! Calabooza Beretanee!" (the English Jail), cried our
conductor, pointing to the building.

For a few months past, having been used by the consul as a house of
confinement for his refractory sailors, it was thus styled to
distinguish it from similar places in and about Papeetee.

Though extremely romantic in appearance, on a near approach it proved
hut ill adapted to domestic comfort. In short, it was a mere shell,
recently built, and still unfinished. It was open all round, and
tufts of grass were growing here and there under the very roof. The
only piece of furniture was the "stocks," a clumsy machine for
keeping people in one place, which, I believe, is pretty much out of
date in most countries. It is still in use, however, among the
Spaniards in South America; from whom, it seems, the Tahitians have
borrowed the contrivance, as well as the name by which all places of
confinement are known among them.

The stocks were nothing more than two stout timbers, about twenty feet
in length, and precisely alike. One was placed edgeways on the
ground, and the other, resting on top, left, at regular intervals
along the seam, several round holes, the object of which was evident
at a glance.

By this time, our guide had informed us that he went by the name of
"Capin Bob" (Captain Bob); and a hearty old Bob he proved. It was
just the name for him. From the first, so pleased were we with the
old man that we cheerfully acquiesced in his authority.

Entering the building, he set us about fetching heaps of dry leaves to
spread behind the stocks for a couch. A trunk of a small cocoa-nut
tree was then placed for a bolster--rather a hard one, but the
natives are used to it. For a pillow, they use a little billet of
wood, scooped out, and standing on four short legs--a sort of

These arrangements completed, Captain Bob proceeded to "hanna-par," or
secure us, for the night. The upper timber of the machine being
lifted at one end, and our ankles placed in the semicircular spaces
of the lower one, the other beam was then, dropped; both being
finally secured together by an old iron hoop at either extremity.
This initiation was performed to the boisterous mirth of the natives,
and diverted ourselves not a little.

Captain Bob now bustled about, like an old woman seeing the children
to bed. A basket of baked "taro," or Indian turnip, was brought in,
and we were given a piece all round. Then a great counterpane of
coarse, brown "tappa," was stretched over the whole party; and, after
sundry injunctions to "moee-moee," and be "maitai"--in other words,
to go to sleep, and be good boys--we were left to ourselves, fairly
put to bed and tucked in.

Much talk was now had concerning our prospects in life; but the doctor
and I, who lay side by side, thinking the occasion better adapted to
meditation, kept pretty silent; and, before long, the rest ceased
conversing, and, wearied with loss of rest on board the frigate, were
soon sound asleep.

After sliding from one reverie into another, I started, and gave the
doctor a pinch. He was dreaming, however; and, resolved to follow his
example, I troubled him no more.

How the rest managed, I know not; but for my own part, I found it very
hard to get to sleep. The consciousness of having one's foot pinned;
and the impossibility of getting it anywhere else than just where it
was, was most distressing.

But this was not all: there was no way of lying but straight on your
back; unless, to be sure, one's limb went round and round in the
ankle, like a swivel. Upon getting into a sort of doze, it was no
wonder this uneasy posture gave me the nightmare. Under the delusion
that I was about some gymnastics or other, I gave my unfortunate
member such a twitch that I started up with the idea that someone was
dragging the stocks away.

Captain Bob and his friends lived in a little hamlet hard by; and when
morning showed in the East, the old gentleman came forth from that
direction likewise, emerging from a grove, and saluting us loudly as
he approached.

Finding everybody awake, he set us at liberty; and, leading us down to
the stream, ordered every man to strip and bathe.

"All han's, my boy, hanna-hanna, wash!" he cried. Bob was a linguist,
and had been to sea in his day, as he many a time afterwards told us.

At this moment, we were all alone with him; and it would have been the
easiest thing in the world to have given him the slip; but he seemed
to have no idea of such a thing; treating us so frankly and
cordially, indeed, that even had we thought of running, we should
have been ashamed of attempting it. He very well knew, nevertheless
(as we ourselves were not slow in finding out), that, for various
reasons, any attempt of the kind, without some previously arranged
plan for leaving the island, would be certain to fail.

As Bob was a rare one every way, I must give some account of him.
There was a good deal of "personal appearance" about him; in short,
he was a corpulent giant, over six feet in height, and literally as
big round as a hogshead. The enormous bulk of some of the Tahitians
has been frequently spoken of by voyagers.

Beside being the English consul's jailer, as it were, he carried on a
little Tahitian farming; that is to say, he owned several groves of
the bread-fruit and palm, and never hindered their growing. Close by
was a "taro" patch of his which he occasionally visited.

Bob seldom disposed of the produce of his lands; it was all needed for
domestic consumption. Indeed, for gormandizing, I would have matched
him against any three common-council men at a civic feast.

A friend of Bob's told me that, owing to his voraciousness, his visits
to other parts of the island were much dreaded; for, according to
Tahitian customs, hospitality without charge is enjoined upon
everyone; and though it is reciprocal in most cases, in Bob's it was
almost out of the question. The damage done to a native larder in one
of his morning calls was more than could be made good by his
entertainer's spending the holidays with them.

The old man, as I have hinted, had, once upon a time, been a cruise or
two in a whaling-vessel; and, therefore, he prided himself upon his
English. Having acquired what he knew of it in the forecastle, he
talked little else than sailor phrases, which sounded whimsically

I asked him one day how old he was. "Olee?" he exclaimed, looking very
profound in consequence of thoroughly understanding so subtile a
question--"Oh! very olee--'tousand 'ear--more--big man when Capin
Tootee (Captain Cook) heavey in sight." (In sea parlance, came into

This was a thing impossible; but adapting my discourse to the man, I
rejoined--"Ah!  you see Capin Tootee--well, how you like him?"

"Oh! he maitai: (good) friend of me, and know my wife."

On my assuring him strongly that he could not have been born at the
time, he explained himself by saying that he was speaking of his
father, all the while. This, indeed, might very well have been.

It is a curious fact that all these people, young and old, will tell
you that they have enjoyed the honour of a personal acquaintance with
the great navigator; and if you listen to them, they will go on and
tell anecdotes without end. This springs from nothing but their great
desire to please; well knowing that a more agreeable topic for a
white man could not be selected. As for the anachronism of the thing,
they seem to have no idea of it: days and years are all the same to

After our sunrise bath, Bob once more placed us in the stocks, almost
moved to tears at subjecting us to so great a hardship; but he could
not treat us otherwise, he said, on pain of the consul's displeasure.
How long we were to be confined, he did not know; nor what was to be
done with us in the end.

As noon advanced, and no signs of a meal were visible, someone
inquired whether we were to be boarded, as well as lodged, at the
Hotel de Calabooza?

"Vast heavey" (avast heaving, or wait a bit)--said Bob--"kow-kow"
(food) "come ship by by."

And, sure enough, along comes Rope Tarn with a wooden bucket of the
Julia's villainous biscuit. With a grin, he said it was a present
from Wilson: it was all we were to get that day. A great cry was now
raised; and well was it for the land-lubber that lie had a pair of
legs, and the men could not use theirs. One and all, we resolved not
to touch the bread, come what come might; and so we told the natives.

Being extravagantly fond of ship-biscuit--the harder the better--they
were quite overjoyed; and offered to give us, every day, a small
quantity of baked bread-fruit and Indian turnip in exchange for the
bread. This we agreed to; and every morning afterward, when the
bucket came, its contents were at once handed over to Bob and his
friends, who never ceased munching until nightfall.

Our exceedingly frugal meal of bread-fruit over, Captain Bob waddled
up to us with a couple of long poles hooked at one end, and several
large baskets of woven cocoa-nut branches.

Not far off was an extensive grove of orange-trees in full bearing;
and myself and another were selected to go with him, and gather a
supply for the party. When we went in among the trees, the
sumptuousness of the orchard was unlike anything I had ever seen;
while the fragrance shaken from the gently waving boughs regaled our
senses most delightfully.

In many places the trees formed a dense shade, spreading overhead a
dark, rustling vault, groined with boughs, and studded here and there
with the ripened spheres, like gilded balls. In several places, the
overladen branches were borne to the earth, hiding the trunk in a
tent of foliage. Once fairly in the grove, we could see nothing else;
it was oranges all round.

To preserve the fruit from bruising, Bob, hooking the twigs with his
pole, let them fall into his basket. But this would not do for us.
Seizing hold of a bough, we brought such a shower to the ground that
our old friend was fain to run from under. Heedless of remonstrance,
we then reclined in the shade, and feasted to our heart's content.
Heaping up the baskets afterwards, we returned to our comrades, by
whom our arrival was hailed with loud plaudits; and in a marvellously
short time, nothing was left of the oranges we brought but the rinds.

While inmates of the Calabooza, we had as much of the fruit as we
wanted; and to this cause, and others that might be mentioned, may be
ascribed the speedy restoration of our sick to comparative health.

The orange of Tahiti is delicious--small and sweet, with a thin, dry
rind. Though now abounding, it was unknown before Cook's time, to
whom the natives are indebted for so great a blessing. He likewise
introduced several other kinds of fruit; among these were the fig,
pineapple, and lemon, now seldom met with. The lime still grows, and
some of the poorer natives express the juice to sell to the shipping.
It is highly valued as an anti-scorbutic. Nor was the variety of
foreign fruits and vegetables which were introduced the only benefit
conferred by the first visitors to the Society group. Cattle and
sheep were left at various places. More of them anon.

Thus, after all that of late years has been done for these islanders,
Cook and Vancouver may, in one sense at least, be considered their
greatest benefactors.



AS I happened to arrive at the island at a very interesting period in
its political affairs, it may be well to give some little account
here of the proceedings of the French, by way of episode to the
narrative. My information was obtained at the time from the general
reports then rife among the natives, as well as from what I learned
upon a subsequent visit, and reliable accounts which I have seen
since reaching home.

It seems that for some time back the French had been making repeated
ineffectual attempts to plant a Roman Catholic mission here. But,
invariably treated with contumely, they sometimes met with open
violence; and, in every case, those directly concerned in the
enterprise were ultimately forced to depart. In one instance, two
priests, Laval and Caset, after enduring a series of persecutions,
were set upon by the natives, maltreated, and finally carried aboard
a small trading schooner, which eventually put them ashore at Wallis'
island--a savage place--some two thousand miles to the westward.

Now, that the resident English missionaries authorized the banishment
of these priests is a fact undenied by themselves. I was also
repeatedly informed that by their inflammatory harangues they
instigated the riots which preceded the sailing of the schooner. At
all events, it is certain that their unbounded influence with the
natives would easily have enabled them to prevent everything that
took place on this occasion, had they felt so inclined.

Melancholy as such an example of intolerance on the part of Protestant
missionaries must appear, it is not the only one, and by no means the
most flagrant, which might be presented. But I forbear to mention any
others; since they have been more than hinted at by recent voyagers,
and their repetition here would perhaps be attended with no good
effect. Besides, the conduct of the Sandwich Island missionaries in
particular has latterly much amended in this respect.

The treatment of the two priests formed the principal ground (and the
only justifiable one) upon which Du Petit Thouars demanded
satisfaction; and which subsequently led to his seizure of the
island. In addition to other things, he also charged that the flag of
Merenhout, the consul, had been repeatedly insulted, and the property
of a certain French resident violently appropriated by the
government. In the latter instance, the natives were perfectly in the
right. At that time, the law against the traffic in ardent spirits
(every now and then suspended and revived) happened to be in force;
and finding a large quantity on the premises of Victor, a low,
knavish adventurer from Marseilles, the Tahitians pronounced it

For these, and similar alleged outrages, a large pecuniary restitution
was demanded (10,000 dollars), which there being no exchequer to
supply, the island was forthwith seized, under cover of a mock
treaty, dictated to the chiefs on the gun-deck of Du Petit Thouars'

But, notwithstanding this formality, there seems now little doubt that
the downfall of the Pomarees was decided upon at the Tuilleries.

After establishing the Protectorate, so called, the rear-admiral
sailed; leaving M. Bruat governor, assisted by Reine and Carpegne,
civilians, named members of the Council of Government, and Merenhout,
the consul, now made Commissioner Royal. No soldiers, however, were
landed until several months afterward. As men, Reine and Carpegne
were not disliked by the natives; but Bruat and Merenhout they
bitterly detested. In several interviews with the poor queen, the
unfeeling governor sought to terrify her into compliance with his
demands; clapping his hand upon his sword, shaking his fist in her
face, and swearing violently. "Oh, king of a great nation," said
Pomaree, in her letter to Louis Philippe, "fetch away this man; I and
my people cannot endure his evil doings. He is a shameless man."

Although the excitement among the natives did not wholly subside upon
the rear-admiral's departure, no overt act of violence immediately
followed. The queen had fled to Imeeo; and the dissensions among the
chiefs, together with the ill-advised conduct of the missionaries,
prevented a union upon some common plan of resistance. But the great
body of the people, as well as their queen, confidently relied upon
the speedy interposition of England--a nation bound to them by many
ties, and which, more than once, had solemnly guaranteed their

As for the missionaries, they openly defied the French governor,
childishly predicting fleets and armies from Britain. But what is the
welfare of a spot like Tahiti to the mighty interests of France and
England! There was a remonstrance on one side, and a reply on the
other; and there the matter rested. For once in their brawling lives,
St.  George and St. Denis were hand and glove; and they were not
going to cross sabres about Tahiti.

During my stay upon the island, so far as I could see, there was
little to denote that any change had taken place in the government.

Such laws as they had were administered the same as ever; the
missionaries went about unmolested, and comparative tranquillity
everywhere prevailed. Nevertheless, I sometimes heard the natives
inveighing against the French (no favourites, by the bye, throughout
Polynesia), and bitterly regretting that the queen had not, at the
outset, made a stand.

In the house of the chief Adeea, frequent discussions took place
concerning the ability of the island to cope with the French: the
number of fighting men and muskets among the natives were talked of,
as well as the propriety of fortifying several heights overlooking
Papeetee. Imputing these symptoms to the mere resentment of a recent
outrage, and not to any determined spirit of resistance, I little
anticipated the gallant, though useless warfare, so soon to follow my

At a period subsequent to my first visit, the island, which before was
divided into nineteen districts, with a native chief over each, in
capacity of governor and judge, was, by Bruat, divided into four.
Over these he set as many recreant chiefs, Kitoti, Tati, Utamai, and
Paraita; to whom he paid 1000 dollars each, to secure their
assistance in carrying out his evil designs.

The first blood shed, in any regular conflict, was at Mahanar, upon
the peninsula of Taraiboo. The fight originated in the seizure of a
number of women from the shore by men belonging to one of the French
vessels of war. In this affair, the islanders fought desperately,
killing about fifty of the enemy, and losing ninety of their own
number.  The French sailors and marines, who, at the time, were
reported to be infuriated with liquor, gave no quarter; and the
survivors only saved themselves by fleeing to the mountains.
Subsequently, the battles of Hararparpi and Fararar were fought, in
which the invaders met with indifferent success.

Shortly after the engagement at Hararparpi, three Frenchmen were
waylaid in a pass of the valleys, and murdered by the incensed
natives. One was Lefevre, a notorious scoundrel, and a spy, whom
Bruat had sent to conduct a certain Major Fergus (said to be a Pole)
to the hiding-place of four chiefs, whom the governor wished to seize
and execute. This circumstance violently inflamed the hostility of
both parties.

About this time, Kitoti, a depraved chief, and the pliant tool of
Bruat, was induced by him to give a great feast in the Vale of Paree,
to which all his countrymen were invited. The governor's object was
to gain over all he could to his interests; he supplied an abundance
of wine and brandy, and a scene of bestial intoxication was the
natural consequence. Before it came to this, however, several speeches
were made by the islanders. One of these, delivered by an aged
warrior, who had formerly been at the head of the celebrated Aeorai
Society, was characteristic. "This is a very good feast," said the
reeling old man, "and the wine also is very good; but you evil-minded
Wee-Wees (French), and you false-hearted men of Tahiti, are all very

By the latest accounts, most of the islanders still refuse to submit
to the French; and what turn events may hereafter take, it is hard to
predict. At any rate, these disorders must accelerate the final
extinction of their race.

Along with the few officers left by Du Petit Thouars were several
French priests, for whose unobstructed exertions in the dissemination
of their faith, the strongest guarantees were provided by an article
of the treaty. But no one was bound to offer them facilities; much
less a luncheon, the first day they went ashore. True, they had
plenty of gold; but to the natives it was anathema--taboo--and, for
several hours and some odd minutes, they would not touch it.
Emissaries of the Pope and the devil, as the strangers were
considered--the smell of sulphur hardly yet shaken out of their
canonicals--what islander would venture to jeopardize his soul, and
call down a blight on his breadfruit, by holding any intercourse with
them! That morning the priests actually picknicked in grove of
cocoa-nut trees; but, before night, Christian hospitality--in
exchange for a commercial equivalent of hard dollars--was given them
in an adjoining house.

Wanting in civility, as the conduct of the English missionaries may be
thought, in withholding a decent reception to these persons, the
latter were certainly to blame in needlessly placing themselves in
so unpleasant a predicament. Under far better auspices, they might
have settled upon some one of the thousand unconverted isles of the
Pacific, rather than have forced themselves thus upon a people
already professedly Christians.



OUR place of confinement being open all round, and so near the Broom
Road, of course we were in plain sight of everybody passing; and,
therefore, we had no lack of visitors among such an idle, inquisitive
set as the Tahitians. For a few days, they were coming and going
continually; while, thus ignobly fast by the foot, we were fain to
give passive audience.

During this period, we were the lions of the neighbourhood; and, no
doubt, strangers from the distant villages were taken to see the
"Karhowrees" (white men), in the same way that countrymen, in a city,
are gallanted to the Zoological Gardens.

All this gave us a fine opportunity of making observations. I was
painfully struck by the considerable number of sickly or deformed
persons; undoubtedly made so by a virulent complaint, which, under
native treatment, almost invariably affects, in the end, the muscles
and bones of the body. In particular, there is a distortion of the
back, most unsightly to behold, originating in a horrible form of the

Although this, and other bodily afflictions, were unknown before the
discovery of the islands by the whites, there are several cases found
of the Pa-Fa, or Elephantiasis--a native disease, which seems to have
prevailed among them from the earliest antiquity. Affecting the legs
and feet alone, it swells them, in some instances, to the girth of a
man's body, covering the skin with scales. It might be supposed that
one, thus afflicted, would be incapable of walking; but, to all
appearance, they seem to be nearly as active as anybody; apparently
suffering no pain, and bearing the calamity with a degree of
cheerfulness truly marvellous.

The Fa-Fa is very gradual in its approaches, and years elapse before
the limb is fully swollen. Its origin is ascribed by the natives to
various causes; but the general impression seems to be that it
arises, in most cases, from the eating of unripe bread-fruit and
Indian turnip. So far as I could find out, it is not hereditary. In no
stage do they attempt a cure; the complaint being held incurable.

Speaking of the Fa-Fa reminds me of a poor fellow, a sailor, whom I
afterward saw at Roorootoo, a lone island, some two days' sail from

The island is very small, and its inhabitants nearly extinct. We sent
a boat off to see whether any yams were to be had, as, formerly, the
yams of Roorootoo were as famous among the islands round about, as
Sicily oranges in the Mediterranean.  Going ashore, to my surprise, I
was accosted, near a little shanty of a church, by a white man, who
limped forth from a wretched hut. His hair and beard were unshorn,
his face deadly pale and haggard, and one limb swelled with the Fa-Fa
to an incredible bigness. This was the first instance of a foreigner
suffering from it that I had ever seen, or heard of; and the
spectacle shocked me accordingly.

He had been there for years. From the first symptoms, he could not
believe his complaint to be what it really was, and trusted it would
soon disappear. But when it became plain that his only chance for
recovery was a speedy change of climate, no ship would receive him as
a sailor: to think of being taken as a passenger was idle.  This
speaks little for the humanity of sea captains; but the truth is that
those in the Pacific have little enough of the virtue; and, nowadays,
when so many charitable appeals are made to them, they have become

I pitied the poor fellow from the bottom of my heart; but nothing
could I do, as our captain was inexorable. "Why," said he, "here we
are--started on a six months' cruise--I can't put back; and he is
better off on the island than at sea. So on Roorootoo he must die."
And probably he did.

I afterwards heard of this melancholy object, from two seamen. His
attempts to leave were still unavailing, and his hard fate was fast
closing in.

Notwithstanding the physical degeneracy of the Tahitians as a people,
among the chiefs, individuals of personable figures are still
frequently met with; and, occasionally, majestic-looking men, and
diminutive women as lovely as the nymphs who, nearly a century ago,
swam round the ships of Wallis. In these instances, Tahitian beauty
is quite as seducing as it proved to the crew of the Bounty; the
young girls being just such creatures as a poet would picture in the
tropics--soft, plump, and dreamy-eyed.

The natural complexion of both sexes is quite light; but the males
appear much darker, from their exposure to the sun. A dark
complexion, however, in a man, is highly esteemed, as indicating
strength of both body and soul. Hence there is a saying, of great
antiquity among them.

"If dark the cheek of the mother, The son will sound the war-conch; If
strong her frame, he will give laws."

With this idea of manliness, no wonder the Tahitians regarded all pale
and tepid-looking Europeans as weak and feminine; whereas, a sailor,
with a cheek like the breast of a roast turkey, is held a lad of
brawn: to use their own phrase, a "taata tona," or man of bones.

Speaking of bones recalls an ugly custom of theirs, now obsolete--that
of making fish-hooks and gimlets out of those of their enemies. This
beats the Scandinavians turning people's skulls into cups and

But to return to the Calabooza Beretanee. Immense was the interest we
excited among the throngs that called there; they would stand talking
about us by the hour, growing most unnecessarily excited too, and
dancing up and down with all the vivacity of their race. They
invariably sided with us; flying out against the consul, and
denouncing him as "Ita maitai nuee," or very bad exceedingly. They
must have borne him some grudge or other.

Nor were the women, sweet souls, at all backward in visiting. Indeed,
they manifested even more interest than the men; gazing at us with
eyes full of a thousand meanings, and conversing with marvellous
rapidity. But, alas! inquisitive though they were, and, doubtless,
taking some passing compassion on us, there was little real feeling
in them after all, and still less sentimental sympathy. Many of them
laughed outright at us, noting only what was ridiculous in our

I think it was the second day of our confinement that a wild,
beautiful girl burst into the Calabooza, and, throwing herself into
an arch attitude, stood afar off, and gazed at us. She was a
heartless one:--tickled to death with Black Dan's nursing his chafed
ankle, and indulging in certain moral reflections on the consul and
Captain Guy. After laughing her fill at him, she condescended to
notice the rest; glancing from one to another in the most methodical
and provoking manner imaginable. Whenever anything struck her
comically, you saw it like a flash--her finger levelled
instantaneously, and, flinging herself back, she gave loose to
strange, hollow little notes of laughter, that sounded like the bass
of a music-box, playing a lively air with the lid down.

Now, I knew not that there was anything in my own appearance
calculated to disarm ridicule; and indeed, to have looked at all
heroic, under the circumstances, would have been rather difficult.
Still, I could not but feel exceedingly annoyed at the prospect of
being screamed at, in turn, by this mischievous young witch, even
though she were but an islander. And, to tell a secret, her beauty
had something to do with this sort of feeling; and, pinioned as I was
to a log, and clad most unbecomingly, I began to grow sentimental.

Ere her glance fell upon me, I had, unconsciously, thrown myself into
the most graceful attitude I could assume, leaned my head upon my
hand, and summoned up as abstracted an expression as possible. Though
my face was averted, I soon felt it flush, and knew that the glance
was on me; deeper and deeper grew the flush, and not a sound of

Delicious thought! she was moved at the sight of me. I could stand it
no longer, but started up. Lo! there she was; her great hazel eyes
rounding and rounding in her head, like two stars, her whole frame in
a merry quiver, and an expression about the mouth that was sudden and
violent death to anything like sentiment.

The next moment she spun round, and, bursting from peal to peal of
laughter, went racing out of the Calabooza; and, in mercy to me,
never returned.



A FEW days passed; and, at last, our docility was rewarded by some
indulgence on the part of Captain Bob.

He allowed the entire party to be at large during the day; only
enjoining upon us always to keep within hail. This, to be sure, was
in positive disobedience to Wilson's orders; and so, care had to be
taken that he should not hear of it. There was little fear of the
natives telling him; but strangers travelling the Broom Road might. By
way of precaution, boys were stationed as scouts along the road. At
sight of a white man, they sounded the alarm! when we all made for
our respective holes (the stocks being purposely left open): the beam
then descended, and we were prisoners. As soon as the traveller was
out of sight, of course, we were liberated.

Notwithstanding the regular supply of food which we obtained from
Captain Bob and his friends, it was so small that we often felt most
intolerably hungry. We could not blame them for not bringing us more,
for we soon became aware that they had to pinch themselves in order
to give us what they did; besides, they received nothing for their
kindness but the daily bucket of bread.

Among a people like the Tahitians, what we call "hard times" can only
be experienced in the scarcity of edibles; yet, so destitute are many
of the common people that this most distressing consequence of
civilization may be said, with them, to be ever present. To be sure,
the natives about the Calabooza had abundance of limes and oranges;
but what were these good for, except to impart a still keener edge to
appetites which there was so little else to gratify? During the height
of the bread-fruit season, they fare better; but, at other times, the
demands of the shipping exhaust the uncultivated resources of the
island; and the lands being mostly owned by the chiefs, the inferior
orders have to suffer for their cupidity. Deprived of their nets, many
of them would starve.

As Captain Bob insensibly remitted his watchfulness, and we began to
stroll farther and farther from the Calabooza, we managed, by a
systematic foraging upon the country round about, to make up some of
our deficiencies. And fortunate it was that the houses of the
wealthier natives were just as open to us as those of the most
destitute; we were treated as kindly in one as the other.

Once in a while, we came in at the death of a chiefs pig; the noise of
whose slaughtering was generally to be heard at a great distance. An
occasion like this gathers the neighbours together, and they have a
bit of a feast, where a stranger is always welcome. A good loud
squeal, therefore, was music in our ears. It showed something going
on in that direction.

Breaking in upon the party tumultuously, as we did, we always created
a sensation.  Sometimes, we found the animal still alive and
struggling; in which case, it was generally dropped at our approach.

To provide for these emergencies, Flash Jack generally repaired to the
scene of operations with a sheath-knife between his teeth, and a club
in his hand. Others were exceedingly officious in singeing off the
bristles, and disembowelling. Doctor Long Ghost and myself, however,
never meddled with these preliminaries, but came to the feast itself
with unimpaired energies.

Like all lank men, my long friend had an appetite of his own. Others
occasionally went about seeking what they might devour, but he was
always on the alert.

He had an ingenious way of obviating an inconvenience which we all
experienced at times. The islanders seldom use salt with their food;
so he begged Rope Yarn to bring him some from the ship; also a little
pepper, if he could; which, accordingly, was done. This he placed in
a small leather wallet--a "monkey bag" (so called by sailors)--usually
worn as a purse about the neck.

"In my opinion," said Long Ghost, as he tucked the wallet out of
sight, "it behooves a stranger, in Tahiti, to have his knife in
readiness, and his castor slung."



WE had not been many days ashore, when Doctor Johnson was espied
coming along the Broom Road.

We had heard that he meditated a visit, and suspected what he was
after. Being upon the consul's hands, all our expenses were of course
payable by him in his official capacity; and, therefore, as a friend
of Wilson, and sure of good pay, the shore doctor had some idea of
allowing us to run up a bill with him. True, it was rather awkward to
ask us to take medicines which, on board the ship, he told us were
not needed. However, he resolved to put a bold face on the matter, and
give us a call.

His approach was announced by one of the scouts, upon which someone
suggested that we should let him enter, and then put him in the
stocks. But Long Ghost proposed better sport. What it was, we shall
presently see.

Very bland and amiable, Doctor Johnson advanced, and, resting his cane
on the stocks, glanced to right and left, as we lay before him.
"Well, my lads"--he began--"how do you find yourselves to-day?"

Looking very demure, the men made some rejoinder; and he went on.

"Those poor fellows I saw the other day--the sick, I mean--how are
they?" and he scrutinized the company. At last, he singled out one
who was assuming a most unearthly appearance, and remarked that he
looked as if he were extremely ill. "Yes," said the sailor dolefully,
"I'm afeard, doctor, I'll soon be losing the number of my mess!" (a
sea phrase, for departing this life) and he closed his eyes, and

"What does he say?" said Johnson, turning round eagerly.

"Why," exclaimed Flash Jack, who volunteered as interpreter, "he
means he's going to croak" (die).

"Croak! and what does that mean, applied to a patient?"

"Oh! I understand," said he, when the word was explained; and he
stepped over the stocks, and felt the man's pulse.

"What's his name?" he asked, turning this time to old Navy Bob.

"We calls him Jingling Joe," replied that worthy.

"Well then, men, you must take good care of poor Joseph; and I will
send him a powder, which must be taken according to the directions.
Some of you know how to read, I presume?"

"That ere young cove does," replied Bob, pointing toward the place
where I lay, as if he were directing attention to a sail at sea.

After examining the rest--some of whom were really invalids, but
convalescent, and others only pretending to be labouring under divers
maladies, Johnson turned round, and addressed the party.

"Men," said he, "if any more of you are ailing, speak up, and let me
know. By order of the consul, I'm to call every day; so if any of you
are at all sick, it's my duty to prescribe for you. This sudden
change from ship fare to shore living plays the deuce with you
sailors, so be cautious about eating fruit. Good-day! I'll send you
the medicines the first thing in the morning."

Now, I am inclined to suspect that with all his want of understanding,
Johnson must have had some idea that we were quizzing him. Still,
that was nothing, so long as it answered his purpose; and therefore,
if he did see through us, he never showed it.

Sure enough, at the time appointed, along came a native lad with a
small basket of cocoa-nut stalks, filled with powders, pill-boxes,
and-vials, each with names and directions written in a large, round
hand. The sailors, one and all, made a snatch at the collection,
under the strange impression that some of the vials were seasoned
with spirits. But, asserting his privilege as physician to the first
reading of the labels, Doctor Long Ghost was at last permitted to
take possession of the basket.

The first thing lighted upon was a large vial, labelled--"For
William--rub well in."

This vial certainly had a spirituous smell; and upon handing it to the
patient, he made a summary internal application of its contents. The
doctor looked aghast.

There was now a mighty commotion. Powders and pills were voted mere
drugs in the market, and the holders of vials were pronounced lucky
dogs. Johnson must have known enough of sailors to make some of his
medicines palatable--this, at least, Long Ghost suspected. Certain it
was, everyone took to the vials; if at all spicy, directions were
unheeded, their contents all going one road.

The largest one of all, quite a bottle indeed, and having a sort of
burnt brandy odour, was labelled--"For Daniel, drink freely, and
until relieved." This Black Dan proceeded to do; and would have made
an end of it at once, had not the bottle, after a hard struggle, been
snatched from his hands, and passed round, like a jovial decanter.
The old tar had complained of the effects of an immoderate eating of

Upon calling the following morning, our physician found his precious
row of patients reclining behind the stocks, and doing "as well as
could be expected."

But the pills and powders were found to have been perfectly inactive:
probably because none had been taken. To make them efficacious, it
was suggested that, for the future, a bottle of Pisco should be sent
along with them. According to Flash Jack's notions, unmitigated
medical compounds were but dry stuff at the best, and needed
something good to wash them down.

Thus far, our own M.D., Doctor Long Ghost, after starting the frolic,
had taken no further part in it; but on the physician's third visit,
he took him to one side, and had a private confabulation. What it
was, exactly, we could not tell; but from certain illustrative signs
and gestures, I fancied that he was describing the symptoms of some
mysterious disorganization of the vitals, which must have come on
within the hour. Assisted by his familiarity with medical terms, he
seemed to produce a marked impression. At last, Johnson went his way,
promising aloud that he would send Long Ghost what he desired.

When the medicine boy came along the following morning, the doctor was
the first to accost him, walking off with a small purple vial. This
time, there was little else in the basket but a case-bottle of the
burnt brandy cordial, which, after much debate, was finally disposed
of by someone pouring the contents, little by little, into the half of
a cocoa-nut shell, and so giving all who desired a glass. No further
medicinal cheer remaining, the men dispersed.

An hour or two passed, when Flash Jack directed attention to my long
friend, who, since the medicine boy left, had not been noticed till
now. With eyes closed, he was lying behind the stocks, and Jack was
lifting his arm and letting it fall as if life were extinct. On
running up with the rest, I at once connected the phenomenon with the
mysterious vial. Searching his pocket, I found it, and holding it up,
it proved to be laudanum. Flash Jack, snatching it from my hand in a
rapture, quickly informed all present what it was; and with much
glee, proposed a nap for the company. Some of them not comprehending
him exactly, the apparently defunct Long Ghost--who lay so still that
I a little suspected the genuineness of his sleep--was rolled about as
an illustration of the virtues of the vial's contents. The idea
tickled everybody mightily; and throwing themselves down, the magic
draught was passed from hand to hand.  Thinking that, as a matter of
course, they must at once become insensible, each man, upon taking
his sip, fell back, and closed his eyes.

There was little fear of the result, since the narcotic was equally
distributed. But, curious to see how it would operate, I raised
myself gently after a while, and looked around. It was about noon,
and perfectly still; and as we all daily took the siesta, I was not
much surprised to find everyone quiet. Still, in one or two instances,
I thought I detected a little peeping.

Presently, I heard a footstep, and saw Doctor Johnson approaching.

And perplexed enough did he look at the sight of his prostrate file of
patients, plunged, apparently, in such unaccountable slumbers.

"Daniel," he cried, at last, punching in the side with his cane the
individual thus designated--"Daniel, my good fellow, get up! do you

But Black Dan was immovable; and he poked the next sleeper.

"Joseph, Joseph! come, wake up! it's me, Doctor Johnson."

But Jingling Joe, with mouth open, and eyes shut, was not to be

"Bless my soul!" he exclaimed, with uplifted hands and cane, "what's
got into 'em? I say, men"--he shouted, running up and down--"come to
life, men! what under the sun's the matter with you?" and he struck
the stocks, and bawled with increased vigour.

At last he paused, folded his hands over the head of his cane, and
steadfastly gazed upon us. The notes of the nasal orchestra were
rising and falling upon his ear, and a new idea suggested itself.

"Yes, yes; the rascals must have been getting boozy. Well, it's none
of my business--I'll be off;" and off he went.

No sooner was he out of sight, than nearly all started to their feet,
and a hearty laugh ensued.

Like myself, most of them had been watching the event from under a sly
eyelid. By this time, too, Doctor Long Ghost was as wide awake as
anybody. What were his reasons for taking laudanum,--if, indeed, he
took any whatever,--is best known to himself; and, as it is neither
mine nor the reader's business, we will say no more about it.



WE HAD been inmates of the Calabooza Beretanee about two weeks, when,
one morning, Captain Bob, coming from the bath, in a state of utter
nudity, brought into the building an armful of old tappa, and began
to dress to go out.

The operation was quite simple. The tappa--of the coarsest kind--was
in one long, heavy piece; and, fastening one end to a column of
Habiscus wood supporting the Calabooza, he went off a few paces, and
putting the other about his waist, wound himself right up to the
post. This unique costume, in rotundity something like a farthingale,
added immensely to his large hulk; so much so that he fairly waddled
in his gait. But he was only adhering to the fashion of his fathers;
for, in the olden time, the "Kihee," or big girdle, was quite the
mode for both sexes. Bob, despising recent innovations, still clung
to it. He was a gentleman of the old school--one of the last of the

He now told us that he had orders to take us before the consul.
Nothing loth, we formed in procession; and, with the old man at our
head, sighing and labouring like an engine, and flanked by a guard of
some twenty natives, we started for the village.

Arrived at the consular office, we found Wilson there, and four or
five Europeans, seated in a row facing us; probably with the view of
presenting as judicial an appearance as possible.

On one side was a couch, where Captain Guy reclined. He looked
convalescent; and, as we found out, intended soon to go aboard his
ship. He said nothing, but left everything to the consul.

The latter now rose, and, drawing forth a paper from a large roll tied
with red tape, commenced reading aloud.

It purported to be, "the affidavit of John Jennin, first officer of
the British Colonial Barque Julia; Guy, Master;" and proved to be a
long statement of matters, from the time of leaving Sydney, down to
our arrival in the harbour. Though artfully drawn up so as to bear
hard against every one of us, it was pretty correct in the de-.
tails; excepting that it was wholly silent as to the manifold
derelictions of the mate himself--a fact which imparted unusual
significance to the concluding sentence, "And furthermore, this
deponent sayeth not."

No comments were made, although we all looked round for the mate to
see whether it was possible that he could have authorized this use of
his name. But he was not present.

The next document produced was the deposition of the captain himself.
As on all other occasions, however, he had very little to say for
himself, and it was soon set aside.

The third affidavit was that of the seamen remaining aboard the
vessel, including the traitor Bungs, who, it seemed, had turned
ship's evidence. It was an atrocious piece of exaggeration, from
beginning to end; and those who signed it could not have known what
they were about. Certainly Wymontoo did not, though his mark was
there. In vain the consul commanded silence during the reading of this
paper; comments were shouted out upon every paragraph.

The affidavits read, Wilson, who, all the while, looked as stiff as a
poker, solemnly drew forth the ship's articles from their tin case.
This document was a discoloured, musty, bilious-looking affair, and
hard to read. When finished, the consul held it up; and, pointing to
the marks of the ship's company, at the bottom, asked us, one by one,
whether we acknowledged the same for our own.

"What's the use of asking that?" said Black Dan; "Captain Guy there
knows as well as we they are."

"Silence, sir!" said Wilson, who, intending to produce a suitable
impression by this ridiculous parade, was not a little mortified by
the old sailor's bluntness.

A pause of a few moments now ensued; during which the bench of judges
communed with Captain Guy, in a low tone, and the sailors canvassed
the motives of the consul in having the affidavits taken.

The general idea seemed to be that it was done with a view of
"bouncing," or frightening us into submission. Such proved to be the
case; for Wilson, rising to his feet again, addressed us as

"You see, men, that every preparation has been made to send you to
Sydney for trial.  The Rosa (a small Australian schooner, lying in
the harbour) will sail for that place in the course of ten days, at
farthest. The Julia sails on a cruise this day week. Do you still
refuse duty?"

We did.

Hereupon the consul and captain exchanged glances; and the latter
looked bitterly disappointed.

Presently I noticed Guy's eye upon me; and, for the first time, he
spoke, and told me to come near. I stepped forward.

"Was it not you that was taken off the island?"

"It was."

"It was you then who owe your life to my humanity. Yet this is the
gratitude of a sailor, Mr. Wilson!"

"Not so, sir." And I at once gave him to understand that I was
perfectly acquainted with his motives in sending a boat into the bay;
his crew was reduced, and he merely wished to procure the sailor whom
he expected to find there. The ship was the means of my deliverance,
and no thanks to the benevolence of its captain.

Doctor Long Ghost also had a word to say. In two masterly sentences he
summed up Captain Guy's character, to the complete satisfaction of
every seaman present.

Matters were now growing serious; especially as the sailors became
riotous, and talked about taking the consul and the captain back to
the Calabooza with them.

The other judges fidgeted, and loudly commanded silence. It was at
length restored; when Wilson, for the last time addressing us, said
something more about the Rose and Sydney, and concluded by reminding
us that a week would elapse ere the Julia sailed.

Leaving these hints to operate for themselves, he dismissed the party,
ordering Captain Bob and his friends to escort us back whence we



A DAY or two after the events just related, we were lounging in the
Calabooza Beretanee, when we were honoured by a visit from three of
the French Priests; and as about the only notice ever taken of us by
the English missionaries was their leaving their cards for us, in the
shape of a package of tracts, we could not help thinking that the
Frenchmen, in making a personal call, were at least much better bred.

By this time they had settled themselves down quite near our
habitation. A pleasant little stroll down the Broom Road, and a
rustic cross peeped through the trees; and soon you came to as
charming a place as one would wish to see: a soft knoll, planted with
old breadfruit trees; in front, a savannah, sloping to a grove of
palms, and, between these, glimpses of blue, sunny waves.

On the summit of the knoll was a rude chapel, of bamboos; quite small,
and surmounted by the cross. Between the canes, at nightfall, the
natives stole peeps at a small portable altar; a crucifix to
correspond, and gilded candlesticks and censers.  Their curiosity
carried them no further; nothing could induce them to worship there.
Such queer ideas as they entertained of the hated strangers. Masses
and chants were nothing more than evil spells. As for the priests
themselves, they were no better than diabolical sorcerers; like those
who, in old times, terrified their fathers.

Close by the chapel was a range of native houses; rented from a chief,
and handsomely furnished. Here lived the priests; and very
comfortably, too. They looked sanctimonious enough abroad; but that
went for nothing; since, at home, in their retreat, they were a club
of Friar Tucks; holding priestly wassail over many a good cup of red
brandy, and rising late in the morning.

Pity it was they couldn't marry--pity for the ladies of the island, I
mean, and the cause of morality; for what business had the
ecclesiastical old bachelors with such a set of trim little native
handmaidens? These damsels were their first converts; and devoted
ones they were.

The priests, as I have said before, were accounted necromancers: the
appearance of two of our three visitors might have justified the

They were little, dried-up Frenchmen, in long, straight gowns of black
cloth, and unsightly three-cornered hats--so preposterously big that,
in putting them on, the reverend fathers seemed to extinguish

Their companion was dressed differently. He wore a sort of yellow,
flannel morning gown, and a broad-brimmed Manilla hat. Large and
portly, he was also hale and fifty; with a complexion like an
autumnal leaf--handsome blue eyes--fine teeth, and a racy Milesian
brogue. In short, he was an Irishman; Father Murphy, by name; and, as
such, pretty well known, and very thoroughly disliked, throughout all
the Protestant missionary settlements in Polynesia. In early youth,
he had been sent to a religious seminary in France; and, taking
orders there, had but once or twice afterwards revisited his native

Father Murphy marched up to us briskly; and the first words he uttered
were, to ask whether there were any of his countrymen among us.
There were two of them; one, a lad of sixteen--a bright, curly-headed
rascal--and, being a young Irishman, of course, his name was Pat. The
other was an ugly, and rather melancholy-looking scamp; one M'Gee,
whose prospects in life had been blasted by a premature
transportation to Sydney. This was the report, at least, though it
might have been scandal.

In most of my shipmates were some redeeming qualities; but about
M'Gee, there was nothing of the kind; and forced to consort with him,
I could not help regretting, a thousand times, that the gallows had
been so tardy. As if impelled, against her will, to send him into the
world, Nature had done all she could to insure his being taken for
what he was. About the eyes there was no mistaking him; with a
villainous cast in one, they seemed suspicious of each other.

Glancing away from him at once, the bluff priest rested his gaze on
the good-humoured face of Pat, who, with a pleasant roguishness, was
"twigging" the enormous hats (or "Hytee Belteezers," as land beavers
are called by sailors), from under which, like a couple of snails,
peeped the two little Frenchmen.

Pat and the priest were both from the same town in Meath; and, when
this was found out, there was no end to the questions of the latter.
To him, Pat seemed a letter from home, and said a hundred times as

After a long talk between these two, and a little broken English from
the Frenchmen, our visitors took leave; but Father Murphy had hardly
gone a dozen rods when back he came, inquiring whether we were in
want of anything.

"Yes," cried one, "something to eat." Upon this he promised to send us
some fresh wheat bread, of his own baking; a great luxury in Tahiti.

We all felicitated Pat upon picking up such a friend, and told him his
fortune was made.

The next morning, a French servant of the priest's made his appearance
with a small bundle of clothing for our young Hibernian; and the
promised bread for the party. Pat being out at the knees and elbows,
and, like the rest of us, not full inside, the present was acceptable
all round.

In the afternoon, Father Murphy himself came along; and, in addition
to his previous gifts, gave Pat a good deal of advice: said he was
sorry to see him in limbo, and that he would have a talk with the
consul about having him set free.

We saw nothing more of him for two or three days; at the end of which
time he paid us another call, telling Pat that Wilson was inexorable,
having refused to set him at liberty, unless to go aboard the ship.
This, the priest now besought him to do forthwith; and so escape the
punishment which, it seems, Wilson had been hinting at to his
intercessor. Pat, however, was staunch against entreaties; and, with
all the ardour of a sophomorean sailor, protested his intention to
hold out to the last. With none of the meekness of a good little boy
about him, the blunt youngster stormed away at such a rate that it
was hard to pacify him; and the priest said no more.

How it came to pass--whether from Murphy's speaking to the consul, or
otherwise, we could not tell--but the next day, Pat was sent for by
Wilson, and being escorted to the village by our good old keeper,
three days elapsed before he returned.

Bent upon reclaiming him, they had taken him on board the ship;
feasted him in the cabin; and, finding that of no avail, down they
thrust him into the hold, in double irons, and on bread and water.
All would not do; and so he was sent back to the Calabooza.  Boy that
he was, they must have counted upon his being more susceptible to
discipline than the rest.

The interest felt in Pat's welfare, by his benevolent countryman, was
very serviceable to the rest of us; especially as we all turned
Catholics, and went to mass every morning, much to Captain Bob's
consternation. Upon finding it out, he threatened to keep us in the
stocks if we did not desist. He went no farther than this, though;
and so, every few days, we strolled down to the priest's residence,
and had a mouthful to eat, and something generous to drink. In
particular, Dr. Long Ghost and myself became huge favourites with
Pat's friend; and many a time he regaled us from a quaint-looking
travelling case for spirits, stowed away in one corner of his
dwelling. It held four square flasks, which, somehow or other, always
contained just enough to need emptying. In truth, the fine old
Irishman was a rosy fellow in canonicals. His countenance and his
soul were always in a glow. It may be ungenerous to reveal his
failings, but he often talked thick, and sometimes was perceptibly
eccentric in his gait.

I never drink French brandy but I pledge Father Murphy. His health
again! And many jolly proselytes may he make in Polynesia!



TO MAKE good the hint thrown out by the consul upon the conclusion of
the Farce of the Affidavits, we were again brought before him within
the time specified.

It was the same thing over again: he got nothing out of us, and we
were remanded; our resolute behaviour annoying him prodigiously.

What we observed led us to form the idea that, on first learning the
state of affairs on board the Julia, Wilson must have addressed his
invalid friend, the captain, something in the following style:

"Guy, my poor fellow, don't worry yourself now about those rascally
sailors of yours.  I'll dress them out for you--just leave it all to
me, and set your mind at rest."

But handcuffs and stocks, big looks, threats, dark hints, and
depositions, had all gone for nought.

Conscious that, as matters now stood, nothing serious could grow out
of what had happened; and never dreaming that our being sent home for
trial had ever been really thought of, we thoroughly understood
Wilson, and laughed at him accordingly.

Since leaving the Julia, we had caught no glimpse of the mate; but we
often heard of him.

It seemed that he remained on board, keeping house in the cabin for
himself and Viner; who, going to see him according to promise, was
induced to remain a guest.  These two cronies now had fine times;
tapping the captain's quarter-casks, playing cards on the transom,
and giving balls of an evening to the ladies ashore. In short, they
cut up so many queer capers that the missionaries complained of them
to the consul; and Jermin received a sharp reprimand.

This so affected him that he still drank more freely than before; and
one afternoon, when mellow as a grape, he took umbrage at a canoe
full of natives, who, on being hailed from the deck to come aboard
and show their papers, got frightened, and paddled for the shore.

Lowering a boat instantly, he equipped Wymontoo and the Dane with a
cutlass apiece, and seizing another himself, off they started in
pursuit, the ship's ensign flying in the boat's stern. The alarmed
islanders, beaching their canoe, with loud cries fled through the
village, the mate after them, slashing his naked weapon to right and
left.  A crowd soon collected; and the "Karhowree toonee," or crazy
stranger, was quickly taken before Wilson.

Now, it so chanced that, in a native house hard by, the consul and
Captain Guy were having a quiet game at cribbage by themselves, a
decanter on the table standing sentry. The obstreperous Jermin was
brought in; and finding the two thus pleasantly occupied, it had a
soothing effect upon him; and he insisted upon taking a hand at the
cards, and a drink of the brandy. As the consul was nearly as tipsy as
himself, and the captain dared not object for fear of giving offence,
at it they went--all three of them--and made a night of it; the
mate's delinquencies being summarily passed over, and his captors
sent away.

An incident worth relating grew out of this freak.

There wandered about Papeetee, at this time, a shrivelled little
fright of an Englishwoman, known among sailors as "Old Mother Tot."
From New Zealand to the Sandwich Islands, she had been all over the
South Seas; keeping a rude hut of entertainment for mariners, and
supplying them with rum and dice. Upon the missionary islands, of
course, such conduct was severely punishable; and at various places,
Mother Tot's establishment had been shut up, and its proprietor made
to quit in the first vessel that could be hired to land her
elsewhere. But, with a perseverance invincible, wherever she went she
always started afresh; and so became notorious everywhere.

By some wicked spell of hers, a patient, one-eyed little cobbler
followed her about, mending shoes for white men, doing the old
woman's cooking, and bearing all her abuse without grumbling. Strange
to relate, a battered Bible was seldom out of his sight; and whenever
he had leisure, and his mistress' back was turned, he was forever
poring over it. This pious propensity used to enrage the old crone
past belief; and oftentimes she boxed his ears with the book, and
tried to burn it. Mother Tot and her man Josy were, indeed, a curious

But to my story.

A week or so after our arrival in the harbour, the old lady had once
again been hunted down, and forced for the time to abandon her
nefarious calling. This was brought about chiefly by Wilson, who, for
some reason unknown, had contracted the most violent hatred for her;
which, on her part, was more than reciprocated.

Well: passing, in the evening, where the consul and his party were
making merry, she peeped through the bamboos of the house; and
straightway resolved to gratify her spite.

The night was very dark; and providing herself with a huge ship's
lantern, which usually swung in her hut, she waited till they came
forth. This happened about midnight; Wilson making his appearance,
supported by two natives, holding him up by the arms. These three
went first; and just as they got under a deep shade, a bright light
was thrust within an inch of Wilson's nose. The old hag was kneeling
before him, holding the lantern with uplifted hands.

"Ha, ha! my fine counsellor," she shrieked; "ye persecute a lone old
body like me for selling rum--do ye? And here ye are, carried home
drunk--Hoot! ye villain, I scorn ye!" And she spat upon him.

Terrified at the apparition, the poor natives--arrant believers in
ghosts--dropped the trembling consul, and fled in all directions.
After giving full vent to her rage, Mother Tot hobbled away, and left
the three revellers to stagger home the best way they could.

The day following our last interview with Wilson, we learned that
Captain Guy had gone on board his vessel for the purpose of shipping
a new crew. There was a round bounty offered; and a heavy bag of
Spanish dollars, with the Julia's articles ready for signing, were
laid on the capstan-head.

Now, there was no lack of idle sailors ashore, mostly "Beachcombers,"
who had formed themselves into an organized gang, headed by one Mack,
a Scotchman, whom they styled the Commodore. By the laws of the
fraternity, no member was allowed to ship on board a vessel unless
granted permission by the rest. In this way the gang controlled the
port, all discharged seamen being forced to join them.

To Mack and his men our story was well known; indeed, they had several
times called to see us; and of course, as sailors and congenial
spirits, they were hard against Captain Guy.

Deeming the matter important, they came in a body to the Calabooza,
and wished to know whether, all things considered, we thought it best
for any of them to join the Julia.

Anxious to pack the ship off as soon as possible, we answered, by all
means. Some went so far as to laud the Julia to the skies as the best
and fastest of ships. Jermin too, as a good fellow, and a sailor
every inch, came in for his share of praise; and as for the
captain--quiet man, he would never trouble anyone. In short, every
inducement we could think of was presented; and Plash Jack ended by
assuring the beachcombers solemnly that, now we were all well and
hearty, nothing but a regard to principle prevented us from returning
on board ourselves.

The result was that a new crew was finally obtained, together with a
steady New Englander for second mate, and three good whalemen for
harpooners. In part, what was wanting for the ship's larder was also
supplied; and as far as could be done in a place like Tahiti, the
damages the vessel had sustained were repaired. As for the Mowree,
the authorities refusing to let him be put ashore, he was carried to
sea in irons, down in the hold. What eventually became of him we
never heard.

Ropey, poor poor Ropey, who a few days previous had fallen sick, was
left ashore at the sailor hospital at Townor, a small place upon the
beach between Papeetee and Matavai. Here, some time after, he
breathed his last. No one knew his complaint: he must have died of
hard times. Several of us saw him interred in the sand, and I planted
a rude post to mark his resting-place.

The cooper, and the rest who had remained aboard from the first, of
course, composed part of the Julia's new crew.

To account for the conduct, all along, of the consul and captain, in
trying so hard to alter our purpose with respect to the ship, the
following statement is all that is requisite. Beside an advance of
from fifteen to twenty-five dollars demanded by every sailor shipping
at Tahiti, an additional sum for each man so shipped has to be paid
into the hands of the government, as a charge of the port. Beside
this, the men--with here and there an exception--will only ship for
one cruise, thus becoming entitled to a discharge before the vessel
reaches home; which, in time, creates the necessity of obtaining
other men, at a similar cost. Now, the Julia's exchequer was at
low-water mark, or rather, it was quite empty; and to meet these
expenses, a good part of what little oil there was aboard had to be
sold for a song to a merchant of Papeetee.

It was Sunday in Tahiti and a glorious morning, when Captain Bob,
waddling into the Calabooza, startled us by announcing "Ah--my
boy--shippy you, harre--maky sail!" In other words, the Julia was

The beach was quite near, and in this quarter altogether uninhabited;
so down we ran, and, at cable's length, saw little Jule gliding
past--top-gallant-sails hoisting, and a boy aloft with one leg thrown
over the yard, loosing the fore-royal. The decks were all life and
commotion; the sailors on the forecastle singing "Ho, cheerly men!"
as they catted the anchor; and the gallant Jennin, bare-headed as his
wont, standing up on the bowsprit, and issuing his orders. By the man
at the helm stood Captain Guy, very quiet and gentlemanly, and
smoking a cigar.

Soon the ship drew near the reef, and, altering her course, glided out
through the break, and went on her way.

Thus disappeared little Jule, about three weeks after entering the
harbour: and nothing more have I ever heard of her.



THE ship out of the way, we were quite anxious to know what was going
to be done with us. On this head, Captain Bob could tell us nothing;
no further, at least, than that he still considered himself
responsible for our safe-keeping. However, he never put us to bed any
more; and we had everything our own way.

The day after the Julia left, the old man came up to us in great
tribulation, saying that the bucket of bread was no longer
forthcoming, and that Wilson had refused to send anything in its
place. One and all, we took this for a hint to disperse quietly, and
go about our business. Nevertheless, we were not to be shaken off so
easily; and taking a malicious pleasure in annoying our old enemy, we
resolved, for the present, to stay where we were. For the part he had
been acting, we learned that the consul was the laughing-stock of all
the foreigners ashore, who frequently twitted him upon his hopeful
proteges of the Calabooza Beretanee.

As we were wholly without resources, so long as we remained on the
island no better place than Captain Bob's could be selected for an
abiding-place. Beside, we heartily loved the old gentleman, and could
not think of leaving him; so, telling him to give no thought as to
wherewithal we should be clothed and fed, we resolved, by extending
and systematizing our foraging operations, to provide for ourselves.

We were greatly assisted by a parting legacy of Jermin's. To him we
were indebted for having all our chests sent ashore, and everything
left therein. They were placed in the custody of a petty chief living
near by, who was instructed by the consul not to allow them to be
taken away; but we might call and make our toilets whenever we

We went to see Mahinee, the old chief; Captain Bob going along, and
stoutly insisting upon having the chattels delivered up. At last this
was done; and in solemn procession the chests were borne by the
natives to the Calabooza. Here, we disposed them about quite
tastefully; and made such a figure that, in the eyes of old Bob and
his friends, the Calabooza Beretanee was by far the most sumptuously
furnished saloon in Tahiti.

Indeed, so long as it remained thus furnished, the native courts of
the district were held there; the judge, Mahinee, and his associates,
sitting upon one of the chests, and the culprits and spectators
thrown at full length upon the ground, both inside of the building
and under the shade of the trees without; while, leaning over the
stocks as from a gallery, the worshipful crew of the Julia looked on,
and canvassed the proceedings.

I should have mentioned before that, previous to the vessel's
departure, the men had bartered away all the clothing they could
possibly spare; but now, it was resolved to be more provident.

The contents of the chests were of the most miscellaneous
description:--sewing utensils, marling-spikes, strips of calico, bits
of rope, jack-knives; nearly everything, in short, that a seaman
could think of. But of wearing apparel, there was little but old
frocks, remnants of jackets, and legs of trousers, with now and then
the foot of a stocking.

These, however, were far from being valueless; for, among the poorer
Tahitians, everything European is highly esteemed. They come from
"Beretanee, Fenooa Pararee" (Britain, Land of Wonders), and that is

The chests themselves were deemed exceedingly precious, especially
those with unfractured looks, which would absolutely click, and
enable the owner to walk off with the key. Scars, however, and
bruises, were considered great blemishes. One old fellow, smitten
with the doctor's large mahogany chest (a well-filled one, by the
bye), and finding infinite satisfaction in merely sitting thereon,
was detected in the act of applying a healing ointment to a shocking
scratch which impaired the beauty of the lid.

There is no telling the love of a Tahitian for a sailor's trunk. So
ornamental is it held as an article of furniture in the hut, that the
women are incessantly tormenting their husbands to bestir themselves
and make them a present of one. When obtained, no pier-table just
placed in a drawing-room is regarded with half the delight. For these
reasons, then, our coming into possession of our estate at this time
was an important event.

The islanders are much like the rest of the world; and the news of our
good fortune brought us troops of "tayos," or friends, eager to form
an alliance after the national custom, and do our slightest bidding.

The really curious way in which all the Polynesians are in the habit
of making bosom friends at the shortest possible notice is deserving
of remark. Although, among a people like the Tahitians, vitiated as
they are by sophisticating influences, this custom has in most cases
degenerated into a mere mercenary relation, it nevertheless had its
origin in a fine, and in some instances, heroic sentiment, formerly
entertained by their fathers.

In the annals of the island are examples of extravagant friendships,
unsurpassed by the story of Damon and Pythias: in truth, much more
wonderful; for, notwithstanding the devotion--even of life in some
cases--to which they led, they were frequently entertained at first
sight for some stranger from another island.

Filled with love and admiration for the first whites who came among
them, the Polynesians could not testify the warmth of their emotions
more strongly than by instantaneously making their abrupt proffer of
friendship. Hence, in old voyages we read of chiefs coming off from
the shore in their canoes, and going through with strange antics,
expressive of the desire. In the same way, their inferiors accosted
the seamen; and thus the practice has continued in some islands down
to the present day.

There is a small place, not many days' sail from Tahiti, and seldom
visited by shipping, where the vessel touched to which I then
happened to belong.

Of course, among the simple-hearted natives, We had a friend all
round. Mine was Poky, a handsome youth, who never could do enough for
me. Every morning at sunrise, his canoe came alongside loaded with
fruits of all kinds; upon being emptied, it was secured by a line to
the bowsprit, under which it lay all day long, ready at any time to
carry its owner ashore on an errand.

Seeing him so indefatigable, I told Poky one day that I was a virtuoso
in shells and curiosities of all kinds. That was enough; away he
paddled for the head of the bay, and I never saw him again for
twenty-four hours. The next morning, his canoe came gliding slowly
along the shore with the full-leaved bough of a tree for a sail. For
the purpose of keeping the things dry, he had also built a sort of
platform just behind the prow, railed in with green wicker-work; and
here was a heap of yellow bananas and cowree shells; young cocoa-nuts
and antlers of red coral; two or three pieces of carved wood; a
little pocket-idol, black as jet, and rolls of printed tappa.

We were given a holiday; and upon going ashore, Poky, of course, was
my companion and guide. For this, no mortal could be better
qualified; his native country was not large, and he knew every inch
of it. Gallanting me about, everyone was stopped and ceremoniously
introduced to Poty's "tayo karhowree nuee" or his particular white

He showed me all the lions; but more than all, he took me to see a
charming lioness--a young damsel--the daughter of a chief--the
reputation of whose charms had spread to the neighbouring islands,
and even brought suitors therefrom. Among these was Tooboi, the heir
of Tamatory, King of Eaiatair, one of the Society Isles. The girl was
certainly fair to look upon. Many heavens were in her sunny eyes; and
the outline of that arm of hers, peeping forth from a capricious
tappa robe, was the very curve of beauty.

Though there was no end to Poky's attentions, not a syllable did he
ever breathe of reward; but sometimes he looked very knowing. At last
the day came for sailing, and with it, also, his canoe, loaded down
to the gunwale with a sea stock of fruits. Giving him all I could
spare from my chest, I went on deck to take my place at the windlass;
for the anchor was weighing. Poky followed, and heaved with me at the
same handspike.

The anchor was soon up; and away we went out of the bay with more than
twenty shallops towing astern. At last they left us; but long as I
could see him at all, there was Poky, standing alone and motionless
in the bow of his canoe.




THE arrival of the chests made my friend, the doctor, by far the
wealthiest man of the party. So much the better for me, seeing that I
had little or nothing myself; though, from our intimacy, the natives
courted my favour almost as much as his.

Among others, Kooloo was a candidate for my friendship; and being a
comely youth, quite a buck in his way, I accepted his overtures. By
this, I escaped the importunities of the rest; for be it known that,
though little inclined to jealousy in love matters, the Tahitian will
hear of no rivals in his friendship.

Kooloo, running over his qualifications as a friend, first of all
informed me that he was a "Mickonaree," thus declaring his communion
with the church.

The way this "tayo" of mine expressed his regard was by assuring me
over and over again that the love he bore me was "nuee, nuee, nuee,"
or infinitesimally extensive.  All over these seas, the word "nuee"
is significant of quantity. Its repetition is like placing ciphers at
the right hand of a numeral; the more places you carry it out to, the
greater the sum. Judge, then, of Kooloo's esteem. Nor is the allusion
to the ciphers at all inappropriate, seeing that, in themselves,
Kooloo's profession turned out to be worthless. He was, alas! as
sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; one of those who make no music
unless the clapper be silver.

In the course of a few days, the sailors, like the doctor and myself,
were cajoled out of everything, and our "tayos," all round, began to
cool off quite sensibly. So remiss did they become in their
attentions that we could no longer rely upon their bringing us the
daily supply of food, which all of them had faithfully promised.

As for Kooloo, after sponging me well, he one morning played the part
of a retrograde lover; informing me that his affections had undergone
a change; he had fallen in love at first sight with a smart sailor,
who had just stepped ashore quite flush from a lucky whaling-cruise.

It was a touching interview, and with it, our connection dissolved.
But the sadness which ensued would soon have been dissipated, had not
my sensibilities been wounded by his indelicately sporting some of my
gifts very soon after this transfer of his affections. Hardly a day
passed that I did not meet him on the Broom Road, airing himself in a
regatta shirt which I had given him in happier hours.

He went by with such an easy saunter too, looking me pleasantly in the
eye, and merely exchanging the cold salute of the road:--"Yar onor,
boyoee," a mere sidewalk how d'ye do. After several experiences like
this, I began to entertain a sort of respect for Kooloo, as quite a
man of the world. In good sooth, he turned out to be one; in one
week's time giving me the cut direct, and lounging by without even
nodding. He must have taken me for part of the landscape.

Before the chests were quite empty, we had a grand washing in the
stream of our best raiment, for the purpose of looking tidy, and
visiting the European chapel in the village. Every Sunday morning it
is open for divine service, some member of the mission officiating.
This was the first time we ever entered Papeetee unattended by an

In the chapel there were about forty people present, including the
officers of several ships in harbour. It was an energetic discourse,
and the pulpit cushion was well pounded. Occupying a high seat in the
synagogue, and stiff as a flagstaff, was our beloved guardian,
Wilson. I shall never forget his look of wonder when his interesting
wards filed in at the doorway, and took up a seat directly facing

Service over, we waited outside in hopes of seeing more of him; but
sorely annoyed at the sight of us, he reconnoitred from the window,
and never came forth until we had started for home.



SCARCELY a week went by after the Julia's sailing, when, with the
proverbial restlessness of sailors, some of the men began to grow
weary of the Calabooza Beretanee, and resolved to go boldly among the
vessels in the bay, and offer to ship.

The thing was tried; but though strongly recommended by the commodore
of the beachcombers, in the end they were invariably told by the
captains to whom they applied that they bore an equivocal character
ashore, and would not answer. So often were they repulsed that we
pretty nearly gave up all thoughts of leaving the island in this way;
and growing domestic again, settled down quietly at Captain Bob's.

It was about this time that the whaling-ships, which have their
regular seasons for cruising, began to arrive at Papeetee; and of
course their crews frequently visited us.  This is customary all over
the Pacific. No sailor steps ashore, but he straightway goes to the
"Calabooza," where he is almost sure to find some poor fellow or other
in confinement for desertion, or alleged mutiny, or something of that
sort. Sympathy is proffered, and if need be, tobacco. The latter,
however, is most in request; as a solace to the captive, it is

Having fairly carried the day against both consul and captain, we were
objects of even more than ordinary interest to these philanthropists;
and they always cordially applauded our conduct. Besides, they
invariably brought along something in the way of refreshments;
occasionally smuggling in a little Pisco. Upon one occasion, when
there was quite a number present, a calabash was passed round, and a
pecuniary collection taken up for our benefit.

One day a newcomer proposed that two or three of us should pay him a
sly, nocturnal visit aboard his ship; engaging to send us away well
freighted with provisions. This was not a bad idea; nor were we at
all backward in acting upon it.  Right after night every vessel in
the harbour was visited in rotation, the foragers borrowing Captain
Bob's canoe for the purpose. As we all took turns at this--two by
two--in due course it came to Long Ghost and myself, for the sailors
invariably linked us together. In such an enterprise, I somewhat
distrusted the doctor, for he was no sailor, and very tall; and a
canoe is the most ticklish of navigable things.  However, it could
not be helped; and so we went.

But a word about the canoes before we go any further. Among the
Society Islands, the art of building them, like all native
accomplishments, has greatly deteriorated; and they are now the most
inelegant, as well as the most insecure of any in the South Seas. In
Cook's time, according to his account, there was at Tahiti a royal
fleet of seventeen hundred and twenty large war canoes, handsomely
carved, and otherwise adorned. At present, those used are quite
small; nothing more than logs hollowed out, sharpened at one end, and
then launched into the water.

To obviate a certain rolling propensity, the Tahitians, like all
Polynesians, attach to them what sailors call an "outrigger." It
consists of a pole floating alongside, parallel to the canoe, and
connected with it by a couple of cross sticks, a yard or more in
length. Thus equipped, the canoe cannot be overturned, unless you
overcome the buoyancy of the pole, or lift it entirely out of the

Now, Captain Bob's "gig" was exceedingly small; so small, and of such
a grotesque shape, that the sailors christened it the Pill Box; and
by this appellation it always went.  In fact, it was a sort of
"sulky," meant for a solitary paddler, but, on an emergency, capable
of floating two or three. The outrigger was a mere switch, alternately
rising in air, and then depressed in the water.

Assuming the command of the expedition, upon the strength of my being
a sailor, I packed the Long Doctor with a paddle in the bow, and then
shoving off, leaped into the stern; thus leaving him to do all the
work, and reserving to myself the dignified sinecure of steering. All
would have gone on well, were it not that my paddler made such clumsy
work that the water spattered, and showered down upon us without
ceasing. Continuing to ply his tool, however, quite energetically, I
thought he would improve after a while, and so let him alone. But by
and bye, getting wet through with this little storm we were raising,
and seeing no signs of its clearing off, I conjured him, in mercy's
name, to stop short, and let me wring myself out. Upon this, he
suddenly turned round, when the canoe gave a roll, the outrigger flew
overhead, and the next moment came rap on the doctor's skull, and we
were both in the water.

Fortunately, we were just over a ledge of coral, not half-a-fathom
under the surface.  Depressing one end of the filled canoe, and
letting go of it quickly, it bounced up, and discharged a great part
of its contents; so that we easily baled out the remainder, and again
embarked. This time, my comrade coiled himself away in a very small
space; and enjoining upon him not to draw a single unnecessary
breath, I proceeded to urge the canoe along by myself. I was
astonished at his docility, never speaking a word, and stirring
neither hand nor foot; but the secret was, he was unable to swim, and
in case we met with a second mishap, there were no more ledges
beneath to stand upon. "Crowning's but a shabby way of going out of
the world," he exclaimed, upon my rallying him; "and I'm not going to
be guilty of it."

At last, the ship was at hand, and we approached with much caution,
wishing to avoid being hailed by anyone from the quarter-deck.
Dropping silently under her bows, we heard a low whistle--the signal
agreed upon--and presently a goodly-sized bag was lowered over to us.

We cut the line, and then paddled away as fast as we could, and made
the best of our way home. Here, we found the rest waiting

The bag turned out to be well filled with sweet potatoes boiled, cubes
of salt beef and pork, and a famous sailors' pudding, what they call
"duff," made of flour and water, and of about the consistence of an
underdone brick. With these delicacies, and keen appetites, we went
out into the moonlight, and had a nocturnal picnic.



THE Pill Box was sometimes employed for other purposes than that
described in the last chapter. We sometimes went a-pleasuring in it.

Right in the middle of Papeetee harbour is a bright, green island, one
circular grove of waving palms, and scarcely a hundred yards across.
It is of coral formation; and all round, for many rods out, the bay
is so shallow that you might wade anywhere. Down in these waters, as
transparent as air, you see coral plants of every hue and shape
imaginable:--antlers, tufts of azure, waving reeds like stalks of
grain, and pale green buds and mosses. In some places, you look
through prickly branches down to a snow-white floor of sand,
sprouting with flinty bulbs; and crawling among these are strange
shapes:--some bristling with spikes, others clad in shining coats of
mail, and here and there, round forms all spangled with eyes.

The island is called Hotoo-Otoo; and around Hotoo-Otoo have I often
paddled of a white moonlight night, pausing now and then to admire
the marine gardens beneath.

The place is the private property of the queen, who has a residence
there--a melancholy-looking range of bamboo houses--neglected and
falling to decay among the trees.

Commanding the harbour as it does, her majesty has done all she could
to make a fortress of the island. The margin has been raised and
levelled, and built up with a low parapet of hewn Hocks of coral.
Behind the parapet are ranged, at wide intervals, a number of rusty
old cannon, of all fashions and calibres. They are mounted upon lame,
decrepit-looking carriages, ready to sink under the useless burden of
bearing them up. Indeed, two or three have given up the ghost
altogether, and the pieces they sustained lie half buried among their
bleaching bones. Several of the cannon are spiked; probably with a
view of making them more formidable; as they certainly must be to
anyone undertaking to fire them off.

Presented to Pomaree at various times by captains of British armed
ships, these poor old "dogs of war," thus toothless and turned out to
die, formerly bayed in full pack as the battle-hounds of Old England.

There was something about Hotoo-Otoo that struck my fancy; and I
registered a vow to plant my foot upon its soil, notwithstanding an
old bareheaded sentry menaced me in the moonlight with an unsightly
musket. As my canoe drew scarcely three inches of water, I could
paddle close up to the parapet without grounding; but every time I
came near, the old man ran toward me, pushing his piece forward, but
never clapping it to his shoulder. Thinking he only meant to frighten
me, I at last dashed the canoe right Up to the wall, purposing a
leap. It was the rashest act of my life; for never did cocoa-nut come
nearer getting demolished than mine did then. With the stock of his
gun, the old warder fetched a tremendous blow, which I managed to
dodge; and then falling back, succeeded in paddling out of harm's

He must have been dumb; for never a word did he utter; but grinning
from ear to ear, and with his white cotton robe streaming in the
moonlight, he looked more like the spook of the island than anything

I tried to effect my object by attacking him in the rear--but he was
all front; running about the place as I paddled, and presenting his
confounded musket wherever I went. At last I was obliged to retreat;
and to this day my vow remains unfulfilled.

It was a few days after my repulse from before the walls of Hotoo-Otoo
that I heard a curious case of casuistry argued between one of the
most clever and intelligent natives I ever saw in Tahiti, a man by
the name of Arheetoo, and our learned Theban of a doctor.

It was this:--whether it was right and lawful for anyone, being a
native, to keep the European Sabbath, in preference to the day set
apart as such by the missionaries, and so considered by the islanders
in general.

It must be known that the missionaries of the good ship Duff, who more
than half-a-century ago established the Tahitian reckoning, came
hither by the way of the Cape of Good Hope; and by thus sailing to
the eastward, lost one precious day of their lives all round, getting
about that much in advance of Greenwich time. For this reason,
vessels coming round Cape Horn--as they most all do nowadays--find it
Sunday in Tahiti, when, according to their own view of the matter, it
ought to be Saturday. But as it won't do to alter the log, the
sailors keep their Sabbath, and the islanders theirs.

This confusion perplexes the poor natives mightily; and it is to no
purpose that you endeavour to explain so incomprehensible a
phenomenon. I once saw a worthy old missionary essay to shed some
light on the subject; and though I understood but a few of the words
employed, I could easily get at the meaning of his illustrations.
They were something like the following:

"Here," says he, "you see this circle" (describing a large one on the
ground with a stick); "very good; now you see this spot here"
(marking a point in the perimeter):  "well; this is Beretanee
(England), and I'm going to sail round to Tahiti. Here I go, then
(following the circle round), and there goes the sun (snatching up
another stick, and commissioning a bandy-legged native to travel
round with it in a contrary direction). Now then, we are both off,
and both going away from each other; and here you see I have arrived
at Tahiti (making a sudden stop); and look now where Bandy Legs is!"

But the crowd strenuously maintained that Bandy Legs ought to be
somewhere above them in the atmosphere; for it was a traditionary
fact that the people from the Duff came ashore when the sun was high
overhead. And here the old gentleman, being a very good sort of man,
doubtless, but no astronomer, was obliged to give up.

Arheetoo, the casuist alluded to, though a member of the church, and
extremely conscientious about what Sabbath he kept, was more liberal
in other matters.  Learning that I was something of a "mick-onaree"
(in this sense, a man able to read, and cunning in the use of the
pen), he desired the slight favour of my forging for him a set of
papers; for which, he said, he would be much obliged, and give me a
good dinner of roast pig and Indian turnip in the bargain.

Now, Arheetoo was one of those who board the shipping for their
washing; and the competition being very great (the proudest chiefs
not disdaining to solicit custom in person, though the work is done
by their dependants), he had decided upon a course suggested by a
knowing sailor, a friend of his. He wished to have manufactured a set
of certificates, purporting to come from certain man-of-war and
merchant captains, known to have visited the island; recommending him
as one of the best getters up of fine linen in all Polynesia.

At this time, Arheetoo had known me but two hours; and, as he made the
proposition very coolly, I thought it rather presumptuous, and told
him so. But as it was quite impossible to convey a hint, and there
was a slight impropriety in the thing, I did not resent the insult,
but simply declined.



ALTHOUGH, from its novelty, life at Captain Bob's was pleasant enough,
for the time; there were some few annoyances connected with it
anything but agreeable to a "soul of sensibility."

Prejudiced against us by the malevolent representations of the consul
and others, many worthy foreigners ashore regarded us as a set of
lawless vagabonds; though, truth to speak, better behaved sailors
never stepped on the island, nor any who gave less trouble to the
natives. But, for all this, whenever we met a respectably-dressed
European, ten to one he shunned us by going over to the other side of
the road. This was very unpleasant, at least to myself; though,
certes, it did not prey upon the minds of the others.

To give an instance.

Of a fine evening in Tahiti--but they are all fine evenings there--you
may see a bevy of silk bonnets and parasols passing along the Broom
Road: perhaps a band of pale, little white urchins--sickly
exotics--and, oftener still, sedate, elderly gentlemen, with canes;
at whose appearance the natives, here and there, slink into their
huts. These are the missionaries, their wives, and children, taking a
family airing. Sometimes, by the bye, they take horse, and ride down
to Point Venus and back; a distance of several miles. At this place
is settled the only survivor of the first missionaries that
landed--an old, white-headed, saint-like man, by the name of Wilson,
the father of our friend, the consul.

The little parties on foot were frequently encountered; and,
recalling, as they did, so many pleasant recollections of home and
the ladies, I really longed for a dress coat and beaver that I might
step up and pay my respects. But, situated as I was, this was out of
the question. On one occasion, however, I received a kind, inquisitive
glance from a matron in gingham. Sweet lady! I have not forgotten
her: her gown was a plaid.

But a glance, like hers, was not always bestowed.

One evening, passing the verandah of a missionary's dwelling, the
dame, his wife, and a pretty, blonde young girl, with ringlets, were
sitting there, enjoying the sea-breeze, then coming in, all cool and
refreshing, from the spray of the reef. As I approached, the old lady
peered hard at me; and her very cap seemed to convey a prim rebuke.
The blue, English eyes, by her side, were also bent on me. But, oh
Heavens! what a glance to receive from such a beautiful creature! As
for the mob cap, not a fig did I care for it; but, to be taken for
anything but a cavalier, by the ringleted one, was absolutely

I resolved on a courteous salute, to show my good-breeding, if nothing
more. But, happening to wear a sort of turban--hereafter to be
particularly alluded to--there was no taking it off and putting it on
again with anything like dignity. At any rate, then, here goes a how.
But, another difficulty presented itself; my loose frock was so
voluminous that I doubted whether any spinal curvature would be

"Good evening, ladies," exclaimed I, at last, advancing winningly; "a
delightful air from the sea, ladies."

Hysterics and hartshorn! who would have thought it? The young lady
screamed, and the old one came near fainting. As for myself, I
retreated in double-quick time; and scarcely drew breath until safely
housed in the Calabooza.



ON Sundays I always attended the principal native church, on the
outskirts of the village of Papeetee, and not far from the Calabooza
Beretanee. It was esteemed the best specimen of architecture in

Of late, they have built their places of worship with more reference
to durability than formerly. At one time, there were no less than
thirty-six on the island--mere barns, tied together with thongs,
which went to destruction in a very few years.

One, built many years ago in this style, was a most remarkable
structure. It was erected by Pomaree II., who, on this occasion,
showed all the zeal of a royal proselyte. The building was over seven
hundred feet in length, and of a proportionate width; the vast
ridge-pole was at intervals supported by a row of thirty-six
cylindrical trunks of the bread-fruit tree; and, all round, the
wall-plates rested on shafts of the palm. The roof--steeply inclining
to within a man's height of the ground--was thatched with leaves, and
the sides of the edifice were open. Thus spacious was the Royal
Mission Chapel of Papoar.

At its dedication, three distinct sermons were, from different
pulpits, preached to an immense concourse gathered from all parts of
the island.

As the chapel was built by the king's command, nearly as great a
multitude was employed in its construction as swarmed over the
scaffolding of the great temple of the Jews. Much less time, however,
was expended. In less than three weeks from planting the first post,
the last tier of palmetto-leaves drooped from the eaves, and the work
was done.

Apportioned to the several chiefs and their dependants, the labour,
though immense, was greatly facilitated by everyone's bringing his
post, or his rafter, or his pole strung with thatching, ready for
instant use. The materials thus prepared being afterwards secured
together by thongs, there was literally "neither hammer, nor axe, nor
any tool of iron heard in the house while it was building."

But the most singular circumstance connected with this South Sea
cathedral remains to be related. As well for the beauty as the
advantages of such a site, the islanders love to dwell near the
mountain streams; and so, a considerable brook, after descending from
the hills and watering the valley, was bridged over in three places,
and swept clean through the chapel.

Flowing waters! what an accompaniment to the songs of the sanctuary;
mingling with them the praises and thanksgivings of the green
solitudes inland.

But the chapel of the Polynesian Solomon has long since been deserted.
Its thousand rafters of habiscus have decayed, and fallen to the
ground; and now, the stream murmurs over them in its bed.

The present metropolitan church of Tahiti is very unlike the one just
described. It is of moderate dimensions, boarded over, and painted
white. It is furnished also with blinds, but no sashes; indeed, were
it not for the rustic thatch, it would remind one of a plain chapel
at home.

The woodwork was all done by foreign carpenters, of whom there are
always several about Papeetee.

Within, its aspect is unique, and cannot fail to interest a stranger.
The rafters overhead are bound round with fine matting of variegated
dyes; and all along the ridge-pole these trappings hang pendent, in
alternate bunches of tassels and deep fringes of stained grass. The
floor is composed of rude planks. Regular aisles run between ranges
of native settees, bottomed with crossed braids of the cocoa-nut
fibre, and furnished with backs.

But the pulpit, made of a dark, lustrous wood, and standing at one
end, is by far the most striking object. It is preposterously lofty;
indeed, a capital bird's-eye view of the congregation ought to be had
from its summit.

Nor does the church lack a gallery, which runs round on three sides,
and is supported by columns of the cocoa-nut tree.

Its facings are here and there daubed over with a tawdry blue; and in
other places (without the slightest regard to uniformity), patches of
the same colour may be seen.  In their ardour to decorate the
sanctuary, the converts must have borrowed each a brush full of
paint, and zealously daubed away at the first surface that offered.

As hinted, the general impression is extremely curious. Little light
being admitted, and everything being of a dark colour, there is an
indefinable Indian aspect of duskiness throughout. A strange, woody
smell, also--more or less pervading every considerable edifice in
Polynesia--is at once perceptible. It suggests the idea of worm-eaten
idols packed away in some old lumber-room at hand.

For the most part, the congregation attending this church is composed
of the better and wealthier orders--the chiefs and their retainers;
in short, the rank and fashion of the island. This class is
infinitely superior in personal beauty and general healthfulness to
the "marenhoar," or common people; the latter having been more
exposed to the worst and most debasing evils of foreign intercourse.
On Sundays, the former are invariably arrayed in their finery; and
thus appear to the best advantage. Nor are they driven to the chapel,
as some of their inferiors are to other places of worship; on the
contrary, capable of maintaining a handsome exterior, and possessing
greater intelligence, they go voluntarily.

In respect of the woodland colonnade supporting its galleries, I
called this chapel the Church of the Cocoa-nuts.

It was the first place for Christian worship in Polynesia that I had
seen; and the impression upon entering during service was all the
stronger. Majestic-looking chiefs whose fathers had hurled the
battle-club, and old men who had seen sacrifices smoking upon the
altars of Oro, were there. And hark! hanging from the bough of a
bread-fruit tree without, a bell is being struck with a bar of iron by
a native lad. In the same spot, the blast of the war-conch had often
resounded. But to the proceedings within.

The place is well filled. Everywhere meets the eye the gay calico
draperies worn on great occasions by the higher classes, and forming
a strange contrast of patterns and colours. In some instances, these
are so fashioned as to resemble as much as possible European
garments. This is in excessively bad taste. Coats and pantaloons,
too, are here and there seen; but they look awkwardly enough, and take
away from the general effect.

But it is the array of countenances that most strikes you. Each is
suffused with the peculiar animation of the Polynesians, when thus
collected in large numbers. Every robe is rustling, every limb in
motion, and an incessant buzzing going on throughout the assembly.
The tumult is so great that the voice of the placid old missionary,
who now rises, is almost inaudible. Some degree of silence is at
length obtained through the exertions of half-a-dozen strapping
fellows, in white shirts and no pantaloons.  Running in among the
settees, they are at great pains to inculcate the impropriety of
making a noise by creating a most unnecessary racket themselves. This
part of the service was quite comical.

There is a most interesting Sabbath School connected with the church;
and the scholars, a vivacious, mischievous set, were in one part of
the gallery. I was amused by a party in a corner. The teacher sat at
one end of the bench, with a meek little fellow by his side. When the
others were disorderly, this young martyr received a rap; intended,
probably, as a sample of what the rest might expect, if they didn't

Standing in the body of the church, and leaning against a pillar, was
an old man, in appearance very different from others of his
countrymen. He wore nothing but a coarse, scant mantle of faded
tappa; and from his staring, bewildered manner, I set him down as an
aged bumpkin from the interior, unaccustomed to the strange sights
and sounds of the metropolis. This old worthy was sharply reprimanded
for standing up, and thus intercepting the view of those behind; but
not comprehending exactly what was said to him, one of the
white-liveried gentry made no ceremony of grasping him by the
shoulders, and fairly crushing him down into a seat.

During all this, the old missionary in the pulpit--as well as his
associates beneath, never ventured to interfere--leaving everything
to native management. With South Sea islanders, assembled in any
numbers, there is no other way of getting along.



SOME degree of order at length restored, the service was continued, by
singing. The choir was composed of twelve or fifteen ladies of the
mission, occupying a long bench to the left of the pulpit. Almost the
entire congregation joined in.

The first air fairly startled me; it was the brave tune of Old
Hundred, adapted to a Tahitian psalm. After the graceless scenes I
had recently passed through, this circumstance, with all its
accessories, moved me forcibly.

Many voices around were of great sweetness and compass. The singers,
also, seemed to enjoy themselves mightily; some of them pausing, now
and then, and looking round, as if to realize the scene more fully.
In truth, they sang right joyously, despite the solemnity of the

The Tahitians have much natural talent for singing; and, on all
occasions, are exceedingly fond of it. I have often heard a stave or
two of psalmody, hummed over by rakish young fellows, like a snatch
from an opera.

With respect to singing, as in most other matters, the Tahitians
widely differ from the people of the Sandwich Islands; where the
parochial flocks may be said rather to Heat than sing.

The psalm concluded, a prayer followed. Very considerately, the good
old missionary made it short; for the congregation became fidgety and
inattentive as soon as it commenced.

A chapter of the Tahitian Bible was now read; a text selected; and the
sermon began.  It was listened to with more attention than I had

Having been informed, from various sources, that the discourses of the
missionaries, being calculated to engage the attention of their
simple auditors, were, naturally enough, of a rather amusing
description to strangers; in short, that they had much to say about
steamboats, lord mayor's coaches, and the way fires are put out in
London, I had taken care to provide myself with a good interpreter, in
the person of an intelligent Hawaiian sailor, whose acquaintance I
had made.

"Now, Jack," said I, before entering, "hear every word, and tell me
what you can as the missionary goes on."

Jack's was not, perhaps, a critical version of the discourse; and at
the time, I took no notes of what he said. Nevertheless, I will here
venture to give what I remember of it; and, as far as possible, in
Jack's phraseology, so as to lose nothing by a double translation.

"Good friends, I glad to see you; and I very well like to have some
talk with you to-day. Good friends, very bad times in Tahiti; it make
me weep. Pomaree is gone--the island no more yours, but the Wee-wees'
(French). Wicked priests here, too; and wicked idols in woman's
clothes, and brass chains.

"Good friends, no you speak, or look at them--but I know you
won't--they belong to a set of robbers--the wicked Wee-wees. Soon these
bad men be made to go very quick. Beretanee ships of thunder come and
away they go. But no more 'bout this now. I speak more by by.

"Good friends, many whale-ships here now; and many bad men come in
'em. No good sailors living--that you know very well. They come here,
'cause so bad they no keep 'em home.

"My good little girls, no run after sailors--no go where they go; they
harm you. Where they come from, no good people talk to 'em--just like
dogs. Here, they talk to Pomaree, and drink arva with great Poofai.

"Good friends, this very small island, but very wicked, and very poor;
these two go together. Why Beretanee so great? Because that island
good island, and send mickonaree to poor kannaka In Beretanee, every
man rich: plenty things to buy; and plenty things to sell. Houses
bigger than Pomaree's, and more grand. Everybody, too, ride about in
coaches, bigger than hers; and wear fine tappa every day. (Several
luxurious appliances of civilization were here enumerated, and

"Good friends, little to eat left at my house. Schooner from Sydney no
bring bag of flour: and kannaka no bring pig and fruit enough.
Mickonaree do great deal for kannaka; kannaka do little for
mickonaree. So, good friends, weave plenty of cocoa-nut baskets, fill
'em, and bring 'em to-morrow."

Such was the substance of great part of this discourse; and, whatever
may be thought of it, it was specially adapted to the minds of the
islanders: who are susceptible to no impressions, except from things
palpable, or novel and striking. To them, a dry sermon would be dry

The Tahitians can hardly ever be said to reflect: they are all
impulse; and so, instead of expounding dogmas, the missionaries give
them the large type, pleasing cuts, and short and easy lessons of the
primer. Hence, anything like a permanent religious impression is
seldom or never produced.

In fact, there is, perhaps, no race upon earth, less disposed, by
nature, to the monitions of Christianity, than the people of the
South Seas. And this assertion is made with full knowledge of what is
called the "Great Revival at the Sandwich Islands," about the year
1836; when several thousands were, in the course of a few weeks,
admitted into the bosom of the Church. But this result was brought
about by no sober moral convictions; as an almost instantaneous
relapse into every kind of licentiousness soon after testified. It
was the legitimate effect of a morbid feeling, engendered by the
sense of severe physical wants, preying upon minds excessively prone
to superstition; and, by fanatical preaching, inflamed into the belief
that the gods of the missionaries were taking vengeance upon the
wickedness of the land.

It is a noteworthy fact that those very traits in the Tahitians, which
induced the London Missionary Society to regard them as the most
promising subjects for conversion, and which led, moreover, to the
selection of their island as the very first field for missionary
labour, eventually proved the most serious obstruction. An air of
softness in their manners, great apparent ingenuousness and docility,
at first misled; but these were the mere accompaniments of an
indolence, bodily and mental; a constitutional voluptuousness; and an
aversion to the least restraint; which, however fitted for the
luxurious state of nature, in the tropics, are the greatest possible
hindrances to the strict moralities of Christianity.

Added to all this is a quality inherent in Polynesians; and more akin
to hypocrisy than anything else. It leads them to assume the most
passionate interest in matters for which they really feel little or
none whatever; but in which, those whose power they dread, or whose
favour they court, they believe to be at all affected. Thus, in their
heathen state, the Sandwich Islanders actually knocked out their
teeth, tore their hair, and mangled their bodies with shells, to
testify their inconsolable grief at the demise of a high chief, or
member of the royal family. And yet, Vancouver relates that, on such
an occasion, upon which he happened to be present, those apparently
the most abandoned to their feelings, immediately assumed the utmost
light-heartedness on receiving the present of a penny whistle, or a
Dutch looking-glass. Similar instances, also, have come under my own

The following is an illustration of the trait alluded to, as
occasionally manifested among the converted Polynesians.

At one of the Society Islands--Baiatair, I believe--the natives, for
special reasons, desired to commend themselves particularly to the
favour of the missionaries.  Accordingly, during divine service, many
of them behaved in a manner, otherwise unaccountable, and precisely
similar to their behaviour as heathens. They pretended to be wrought
up to madness by the preaching which they heard. They rolled their
eyes; foamed at the mouth; fell down in fits; and so were carried
home. Yet, strange to relate, all this was deemed the evidence of the
power of the Most High; and, as such, was heralded abroad.

But, to return to the Church of the Cocoa-nuts. The blessing
pronounced, the congregation disperse; enlivening the Broom Road with
their waving mantles. On either hand, they disappear down the shaded
pathways, which lead off from the main route, conducting to hamlets
in the groves, or to the little marine villas upon the beach. There
is considerable hilarity; and you would suppose them just from an
old-fashioned "hevar," or jolly heathen dance. Those who carry Bibles
swing them carelessly from their arms by cords of sinnate.

The Sabbath is no ordinary day with the Tahitians. So far as doing any
work is concerned, it is scrupulously observed. The canoes are hauled
up on the beach; the nets are spread to dry. Passing by the hen-coop
huts on the roadside, you find their occupants idle, as usual; but
less disposed to gossip. After service, repose broods over the whole
island; the valleys reaching inland look stiller than ever.

In short, it is Sunday--their "Taboo Day"; the very word formerly
expressing the sacredness of their pagan observances now proclaiming
the sanctity of the Christian Sabbath.



A WORTHY young man, formerly a friend of mine (I speak of Kooloo with
all possible courtesy, since after our intimacy there would be an
impropriety in doing otherwise)--this worthy youth, having some
genteel notions of retirement, dwelt in a "maroo boro," or
bread-fruit shade, a pretty nook in a wood, midway between the
Calabooza Beretanee and the Church of Cocoa-nuts. Hence, at the latter
place, he was one of the most regular worshippers.

Kooloo was a blade. Standing up in the congregation in all the bravery
of a striped calico shirt, with the skirts rakishly adjusted over a
pair of white sailor trousers, and hair well anointed with cocoa-nut
oil, he ogled the ladies with an air of supreme satisfaction. Nor
were his glances unreturned.

But such looks as the Tahitian belles cast at each other: frequently
turning up their noses at the advent of a new cotton mantle recently
imported in the chest of some amorous sailor. Upon one occasion, I
observed a group of young girls, in tunics of course, soiled
sheeting, disdainfully pointing at a damsel in a flaming red one.
"Oee tootai owree!" said they with ineffable scorn, "itai maitai!"
(You are a good-for-nothing huzzy, no better than you should be).

Now, Kooloo communed with the church; so did all these censorious
young ladies.  Yet after eating bread-fruit at the Eucharist, I knew
several of them, the same night, to be guilty of some sad

Puzzled by these things, I resolved to find out, if possible, what
ideas, if any, they entertained of religion; but as one's spiritual
concerns are rather delicate for a stranger to meddle with, I went to
work as adroitly as I could.

Farnow, an old native who had recently retired from active pursuits,
having thrown up the business of being a sort of running footman to
the queen, had settled down in a snug little retreat, not fifty rods
from Captain Bob's. His selecting our vicinity for his residence may
have been with some view to the advantages it afforded for
introducing his three daughters into polite circles. At any rate, not
averse to receiving the attentions of so devoted a gallant as the
doctor, the sisters (communicants, be it remembered) kindly extended
to him free permission to visit them sociably whenever he pleased.

We dropped in one evening, and found the ladies at home. My long
friend engaged his favourites, the two younger girls, at the game of
"Now," or hunting a stone under three piles of tappa. For myself, I
lounged on a mat with Ideea the eldest, dallying with her grass fan,
and improving my knowledge of Tahitian.

The occasion was well adapted to my purpose, and I began.

"Ah, Ideea, mickonaree oee?" the same as drawling out--"By the bye,
Miss Ideea, do you belong to the church?"

"Yes, me mickonaree," was the reply.

But the assertion was at once qualified by certain, reservations; so
curious that I cannot forbear their relation.

"Mickonaree ena" (church member here), exclaimed she, laying her hand
upon her mouth, and a strong emphasis on the adverb. In the same way,
and with similar exclamations, she touched her eyes and hands. This
done, her whole air changed in an instant; and she gave me to
understand, by unmistakable gestures, that in certain other respects
she was not exactly a "mickonaree." In short, Ideea was

"A sad good Christian at the heart--A very heathen in the carnal

The explanation terminated in a burst of laughter, in which all three
sisters joined; and for fear of looking silly, the doctor and myself.
As soon as good-breeding would permit, we took leave.

The hypocrisy in matters of religion, so apparent in all Polynesian
converts, is most injudiciously nourished in Tahiti by a zealous and
in many cases, a coercive superintendence over their spiritual
well-being. But it is only manifested with respect to the common
people, their superiors being exempted.

On Sunday mornings, when the prospect is rather small for a full house
in the minor churches, a parcel of fellows are actually sent out with
ratans into the highways and byways as whippers-in of the
congregation. This is a sober fact.

These worthies constitute a religious police; and you always know them
by the great white diapers they wear. On week days they are quite as
busy as on Sundays; to the great terror of the inhabitants, going all
over the island, and spying out the wickedness thereof.

Moreover, they are the collectors of fines--levied generally in grass
mats--for obstinate non-attendance upon divine worship, and other
offences amenable to the ecclesiastical judicature of the

Old Bob called these fellows "kannakippers" a corruption, I fancy, of
our word constable.

He bore them a bitter grudge; and one day, drawing near home, and
learning that two of them were just then making a domiciliary visit
at his house, he ran behind a bush; and as they came forth, two green
bread-fruit from a hand unseen took them each between the shoulders.
The sailors in the Calabooza were witnesses to this, as well as
several natives; who, when the intruders were out of sight, applauded
Captain Bob's spirit in no measured terms; the ladies present
vehemently joining in. Indeed, the kannakippers have no greater
enemies than the latter. And no wonder: the impertinent varlets,
popping into their houses at all hours, are forever prying into their

Kooloo, who at times was patriotic and pensive, and mourned the evils
under which his country was groaning, frequently inveighed against
the statute which thus authorized an utter stranger to interfere with
domestic arrangements. He himself--quite a ladies' man--had often
been annoyed thereby. He considered the kannakippers a bore.

Beside their confounded inquisitiveness, they add insult to injury, by
making a point of dining out every day at some hut within the limits
of their jurisdiction. As for the gentleman of the house, his meek
endurance of these things is amazing. But "good easy man," there is
nothing for him but to be as hospitable as possible.

These gentry are indefatigable. At the dead of night prowling round
the houses, and in the daytime hunting amorous couples in the groves.
Yet in one instance the chase completely baffled them.

It was thus.

Several weeks previous to our arrival at the island, someone's husband
and another person's wife, having taken a mutual fancy for each
other, went out for a walk. The alarm was raised, and with hue and
cry they were pursued; but nothing was seen of them again until the
lapse of some ninety days; when we were called out from the Calabooza
to behold a great mob inclosing the lovers, and escorting them for
trial to the village.

Their appearance was most singular. The girdle excepted, they were
quite naked; their hair was long, burned yellow at the ends, and
entangled with burrs; and their bodies scratched and scarred in all
directions. It seems that, acting upon the "love in a cottage"
principle, they had gone right into the interior; and throwing up a
hut in an uninhabited valley, had lived there, until in an unlucky
stroll they were observed and captured.

They were subsequently condemned to make one hundred fathoms of Broom
Road--a six months' work, if not more.

Often, when seated in a house, conversing quietly with its inmates, I
have known them betray the greatest confusion at the sudden
announcement of a kannakipper's being in sight. To be reported by one
of these officials as a "Tootai Owree" (in general, signifying a bad
person or disbeliever in Christianity), is as much dreaded as the
forefinger of Titus Gates was, levelled at an alleged papist.

But the islanders take a sly revenge upon them. Upon entering a
dwelling, the kannakippers oftentimes volunteer a pharisaical
prayer-meeting: hence, they go in secret by the name of
"Boora-Artuas," literally, "Pray-to-Gods."



EXCEPT where the employment of making "tappa" is inflicted as a
punishment, the echoes of the cloth-mallet have long since died away
in the listless valleys of Tahiti.  Formerly, the girls spent their
mornings like ladies at their tambour frames; now, they are lounged
away in almost utter indolence. True, most of them make their own
garments; but this comprises but a stitch or two; the ladies of the
mission, by the bye, being entitled to the credit of teaching them to

The "kihee whihenee," or petticoat, is a mere breadth of white cotton,
or calico; loosely enveloping the person, from the waist to the feet.
Fastened simply by a single tuck, or by twisting the upper corners
together, this garment frequently becomes disordered; thus affording
an opportunity of being coquettishly adjusted. Over the "kihee," they
wear a sort of gown, open in front, very loose, and as negligent as
you please. The ladies here never dress for dinner.

But what shall be said of those horrid hats! Fancy a bunch of straw,
plaited into the shape of a coal-scuttle, and stuck, bolt upright, on
the crown; with a yard or two of red ribbon flying about like
kite-strings. Milliners of Paris, what would ye say to them!  Though
made by the natives, they are said to have been first contrived and
recommended by the missionaries' wives; a report which, I really
trust, is nothing but scandal.

Curious to relate, these things for the head are esteemed exceedingly
becoming. The braiding of the straw is one of the few employments of
the higher classes; all of which but minister to the silliest vanity.

The young girls, however, wholly eschew the hats; leaving those dowdy
old souls, their mothers, to make frights of themselves.

As for the men, those who aspire to European garments seem to have no
perception of the relation subsisting between the various parts of a
gentleman's costume. To the wearer of a coat, for instance,
pantaloons are by no means indispensable; and a bell-crowned hat and
a girdle are full dress. The young sailor, for whom Kooloo deserted
me, presented him with a shaggy old pea-jacket; and with this buttoned
up to his chin, under a tropical sun, he promenaded the Broom Road,
quite elated.  Doctor Long Ghost, who saw him thus, ran away with the
idea that he was under medical treatment at the time--in the act of
taking, what the quacks call, a "sweat."

A bachelor friend of Captain Bob rejoiced in the possession of a full
European suit; in which he often stormed the ladies' hearts. Having a
military leaning, he ornamented the coat with a great scarlet patch
on the breast; and mounted it also, here and there, with several
regimental buttons, slyly cut from the uniform of a parcel of drunken
marines sent ashore on a holiday from a man-of-war. But, in spite of
the ornaments, the dress was not exactly the thing. From the
tightness of the cloth across the shoulders, his elbows projected
from his sides, like an ungainly rider's; and his ponderous legs were
jammed so hard into his slim, nether garments that the threads of
every seam showed; and, at every step, you looked for a catastrophe.

In general, there seems to be no settled style of dressing among the
males; they wear anything they can get; in some cases, awkwardly
modifying the fashions of their fathers so as to accord with their
own altered views of what is becoming.

But ridiculous as many of them now appear, in foreign habiliments, the
Tahitians presented a far different appearance in the original
national costume; which was graceful in the extreme, modest to all
but the prudish, and peculiarly adapted to the climate. But the short
kilts of dyed tappa, the tasselled maroes, and other articles
formerly worn, are, at the present day, prohibited by law as
indecorous. For what reason necklaces and garlands of flowers, among
the women, are also forbidden, I never could learn; but, it is said,
that they were associated, in some way, with a forgotten heathen

Many pleasant, and, seemingly, innocent sports and pastimes, are
likewise interdicted. In old times, there were several athletic games
practised, such as wrestling, foot-racing, throwing the javelin, and
archery. In all these they greatly excelled; and, for some, splendid
festivals were instituted. Among their everyday amusements were
dancing, tossing the football, kite-flying, flute-playing, and
singing traditional ballads; now, all punishable offences; though
most of them have been so long in disuse that they are nearly

In the same way, the "Opio," or festive harvest-home of the
breadfruit, has been suppressed; though, as described to me by
Captain Bob, it seemed wholly free from any immoral tendency. Against
tattooing, of any kind, there is a severe law.

That this abolition of their national amusements and customs was not
willingly acquiesced in, is shown in the frequent violation of many
of the statutes inhibiting them; and, especially, in the frequency
with which their "hevars," or dances, are practised in secret.

Doubtless, in thus denationalizing the Tahitians, as it were, the
missionaries were prompted by a sincere desire for good; but the
effect has been lamentable. Supplied with no amusements in place of
those forbidden, the Tahitians, who require more recreation than
other people, have sunk into a listlessness, or indulge in
sensualities, a hundred times more pernicious than all the games ever
celebrated in the Temple of Tanee.



AS IN the last few chapters, several matters connected with the
general condition of the natives have been incidentally touched upon,
it may be well not to leave so important a subject in a state
calculated to convey erroneous impressions. Let us bestow upon it,
therefore, something more than a mere cursory glance.

But in the first place, let it be distinctly understood that, in all I
have to say upon this subject, both here and elsewhere, I mean no
harm to the missionaries nor their cause; I merely desire to set
forth things as they actually exist.

Of the results which have flowed from the intercourse of foreigners
with the Polynesians, including the attempts to civilize and
Christianize them by the missionaries, Tahiti, on many accounts, is
obviously the fairest practical example.  Indeed, it may now be
asserted that the experiment of Christianizing the Tahitians, and
improving their social condition by the introduction of foreign
customs, has been fully tried. The present generation have grown up
under the auspices of their religious instructors. And although it
may be urged that the labours of the latter have at times been more
or less obstructed by unprincipled foreigners, still, this in no wise
renders Tahiti any the less a fair illustration; for, with obstacles
like these, the missionaries in Polynesia must always, and everywhere

Nearly sixty years have elapsed since the Tahitian mission was
started; and, during this period, it has received the unceasing
prayers and contributions of its friends abroad. Nor has any
enterprise of the kind called forth more devotion on the part of
those directly employed in it.

It matters not that the earlier labourers in the work, although
strictly conscientious, were, as a class, ignorant, and, in many
cases, deplorably bigoted: such traits have, in some degree,
characterized the pioneers of all faiths. And although in zeal and
disinterestedness the missionaries now on the island are, perhaps,
inferior to their predecessors, they have, nevertheless, in their own
way at least, laboured hard to make a Christian people of their

Let us now glance at the most obvious changes wrought in their

The entire system of idolatry has been done away; together with
several barbarous practices engrafted thereon. But this result is not
so much to be ascribed to the missionaries, as to the civilizing
effects of a long and constant intercourse with whites of all
nations; to whom, for many years, Tahiti has been one of the principal
places of resort in the South Seas. At the Sandwich Islands, the
potent institution of the Taboo, together with the entire paganism of
the land, was utterly abolished by a voluntary act of the natives
some time previous to the arrival of the first missionaries among

The next most striking change in the Tahitians is this. From the
permanent residence among them of influential and respectable
foreigners, as well as from the frequent visits of ships-of-war,
recognizing the nationality of the island, its inhabitants are no
longer deemed fit subjects for the atrocities practised upon mere
savages; and hence, secure from retaliation, vessels of all kinds now
enter their harbours with perfect safety.

But let us consider what results are directly ascribable to the
missionaries alone.

In all cases, they have striven hard to mitigate the evils resulting
from the commerce with the whites in general. Such attempts, however,
have been rather injudicious, and often ineffectual: in truth, a
barrier almost insurmountable is presented in the dispositions of the
people themselves. Still, in this respect, the morality of the
islanders is, upon the whole, improved by the presence of the

But the greatest achievement of the latter, and one which in itself is
most hopeful and gratifying, is that they have translated the entire
Bible into the language of the island; and I have myself known
several who were able to read it with facility. They have also
established churches, and schools for both children and adults; the
latter, I regret to say, are now much neglected: which must be
ascribed, in a great measure, to the disorders growing out of the
proceedings of the French.

It were unnecessary here to enter diffusely into matters connected
with the internal government of the Tahitian churches and schools.
Nor, upon this head, is my information copious enough to warrant me
in presenting details. But we do not need them. We are merely
considering general results, as made apparent in the moral and
religious condition of the island at large.

Upon a subject like this, however, it would be altogether too assuming
for a single individual to decide; and so, in place of my own random
observations, which may be found elsewhere, I will here present those
of several known authors, made under various circumstances, at
different periods, and down to a comparative late date. A few very
brief extracts will enable the reader to mark for himself what
progressive improvement, if any, has taken place.

Nor must it be overlooked that, of these authorities, the two first in
order are largely quoted by the Right Reverend M. Kussell, in a work
composed for the express purpose of imparting information on the
subject of Christian missions in Polynesia.  And he frankly
acknowledges, moreover, that they are such as "cannot fail to have
great weight with the public."

After alluding to the manifold evils entailed upon the natives by
foreigners, and their singularly inert condition; and after somewhat
too severely denouncing the undeniable errors of the mission,
Kotzebue, the Russian navigator, says, "A religion like this, which
forbids every innocent pleasure, and cramps or annihilates every
mental power, is a libel on the divine founder of Christianity. It is
true that the religion of the missionaries has, with a great deal of
evil, effected some good. It has restrained the vices of theft and
incontinence; but it has given birth to ignorance, hypocrisy, and a
hatred of all other modes of faith, which was once foreign to the
open and benevolent character of the Tahitian."

Captain Beechy says that, while at Tahiti, he saw scenes "which must
have convinced the great sceptic of the thoroughly immoral condition
of the people, and which would force him to conclude, as Turnbull
did, many years previous, that their intercourse with the Europeans
had tended to debase, rather than exalt their condition."

About the year 1834, Daniel Wheeler, an honest-hearted Quaker,
prompted by motives of the purest philanthropy, visited, in a vessel
of his own, most of the missionary settlements in the South Seas. He
remained some time at Tahiti; receiving the hospitalities of the
missionaries there, and, from time to time, exhorting the natives.

After bewailing their social condition, he frankly says of their
religious state, "Certainly, appearances are unpromising; and however
unwilling to adopt such a conclusion, there is reason to apprehend
that Christian principle is a great rarity."

Such, then, is the testimony of good and unbiassed men, who have been
upon the spot; but, how comes it to differ so widely from impressions
of others at home?  Simply thus: instead of estimating the result of
missionary labours by the number of heathens who have actually been
made to understand and practise (in some measure at least) the
precepts of Christianity, this result has been unwarrantably inferred
from the number of those who, without any understanding of these
things, have in any way been induced to abandon idolatry and conform
to certain outward observances.

By authority of some kind or other, exerted upon the natives through
their chiefs, and prompted by the hope of some worldly benefit to the
latter, and not by appeals to the reason, have conversions in
Polynesia been in most cases brought about.

Even in one or two instances--so often held up as wonderful examples
of divine power--where the natives have impulsively burned their
idols, and rushed to the waters of baptism, the very suddenness of
the change has but indicated its unsoundness. Williams, the martyr of
Erromanga, relates an instance where the inhabitants of an island
professing Christianity voluntarily assembled, and solemnly revived
all their heathen customs.

All the world over, facts are more eloquent than words; the following
will show in what estimation the missionaries themselves hold the
present state of Christianity and morals among the converted

On the island of Imeeo (attached to the Tahitian mission) is a
seminary under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Simpson and wife, for the
education of the children of the missionaries, exclusively. Sent
home--in many cases, at a very early age--to finish their education,
the pupils here are taught nothing but the rudiments of knowledge;
nothing more than may be learned in the native schools.
Notwithstanding this, the two races are kept as far as possible from
associating; the avowed reason being to preserve the young whites
from moral contamination. The better to insure this end, every effort
is made to prevent them from acquiring the native language.

They went even further at the Sandwich Islands; where, a few years
ago, a playground for the children of the missionaries was inclosed
with a fence many feet high, the more effectually to exclude the
wicked little Hawaiians.

And yet, strange as it may seem, the depravity among the Polynesians,
which renders precautions like these necessary, was in a measure
unknown before their intercourse with the whites. The excellent
Captain Wilson, who took the first missionaries out to Tahiti,
affirms that the people of that island had, in many things, "more
refined ideas of decency than ourselves." Vancouver, also, has some
noteworthy ideas on this subject, respecting the Sandwich Islanders.

That the immorality alluded to is continually increasing is plainly
shown in the numerous, severe, and perpetually violated laws against
licentiousness of all kinds in both groups of islands.

It is hardly to be expected that the missionaries would send home
accounts of this state of things. Hence, Captain Beechy, in alluding
to the "Polynesian Researches" of Ellis, says that the author has
impressed his readers with a far more elevated idea of the moral
condition of the Tahitians, and the degree of civilization to which
they have attained, than they deserve; or, at least, than the facts
which came under his observation authorized. He then goes on to say
that, in his intercourse with the islanders, "they had no fear of
him, and consequently acted from the impulse of their natural
feeling; so that he was the better enabled to obtain a correct
knowledge of their real disposition and habits."

Prom my own familiar intercourse with the natives, this last
reflection still more forcibly applies to myself.



WE have glanced at their moral and religious condition; let us see how
it is with them socially, and in other respects.

It has been said that the only way to civilize a people is to form in
them habits of industry. Judged by this principle, the Tahitians are
less civilized now than formerly.  True, their constitutional
indolence is excessive; but surely, if the spirit of Christianity is
among them, so unchristian a vice ought to be, at least, partially
remedied. But the reverse is the fact. Instead of acquiring new
occupations, old ones have been discontinued.

As previously remarked, the manufacture of tappa is nearly obsolete in
many parts of the island. So, too, with that of the native tools and
domestic utensils; very few of which are now fabricated, since the
superiority of European wares has been made so evident.

This, however, would be all very well were the natives to apply
themselves to such occupations as would enable them to supply the few
articles they need. But they are far from doing so; and the majority
being unable to obtain European substitutes for many things before
made by themselves, the inevitable consequence is seen in the present
wretched and destitute mode of life among the common people. To me so
recently from a primitive valley of the Marquesas, the aspect of most
of the dwellings of the poorer Tahitians, and their general habits,
seemed anything but tidy; nor could I avoid a comparison,
immeasurably to the disadvantage of these partially civilized

In Tahiti, the people have nothing to do; and idleness, everywhere, is
the parent of vice. "There is scarcely anything," says the good old
Quaker Wheeler, "so striking, or pitiable, as their aimless,
nerveless mode of spending life."

Attempts have repeatedly been made to rouse them from their
sluggishness; but in vain. Several years ago, the cultivation of
cotton was introduced; and, with their usual love of novelty, they
went to work with great alacrity; but the interest excited quickly
subsided, and now, not a pound of the article is raised.

About the same time, machinery for weaving was sent out from London;
and a factory was started at Afrehitoo, in Imeeo. The whiz of the
wheels and spindles brought in volunteers from all quarters, who
deemed it a privilege to be admitted to work: yet, in six months, not
a boy could be hired; and the machinery was knocked down, and packed
off to Sydney.

It was the same way with the cultivation of the sugar-cane, a plant
indigenous to the island; peculiarly fitted to the soil and climate,
and of so excellent a quality that Bligh took slips of it to the West
Indies. All the plantations went on famously for a while; the natives
swarming in the fields like ants, and making a prodigious stir. What
few plantations now remain are owned and worked by whites; who would
rather pay a drunken sailor eighteen or twenty Spanish dollars a
month, than hire a sober native for his "fish and tarro."

It is well worthy remark here, that every evidence of civilization
among the South Sea Islands directly pertains to foreigners; though
the fact of such evidence existing at all is usually urged as a proof
of the elevated condition of the natives. Thus, at Honolulu, the
capital of the Sandwich Islands, there are fine dwelling-houses,
several hotels, and barber-shops, ay, even billiard-rooms; but all
these are owned and used, be it observed, by whites. There are
tailors, and blacksmiths, and carpenters also; but not one of them is
a native.

The fact is, that the mechanical and agricultural employment of
civilized life require a kind of exertion altogether too steady and
sustained to agree with an indolent people like the Polynesians.
Calculated for a state of nature, in a climate providentially adapted
to it, they are unfit for any other. Nay, as a race, they cannot
otherwise long exist.

The following statement speaks for itself.

About the year 1777, Captain Cook estimated the population of Tahiti
at about two hundred thousand. By a regular census, taken some four
or five years ago, it was found to be only nine thousand. This
amazing decrease not only shows the malignancy of the evils necessary
to produce it; but, from the fact, the inference unavoidably follows
that all the wars, child murders, and other depopulating causes,
alleged to have existed in former times, were nothing in comparison to

These evils, of course, are solely of foreign origin. To say nothing
of the effects of drunkenness, the occasional inroads of the
small-pox, and other things which might be mentioned, it is
sufficient to allude to a virulent disease which now taints the blood
of at least two-thirds of the common people of the island; and, in
some form or other, is transmitted from father to son.

Their first horror and consternation at the earlier ravages of this
scourge were pitiable in the extreme. The very name bestowed upon it
is a combination of all that is horrid and unmentionable to a
civilized being.

Distracted with their sufferings, they brought forth their sick before
the missionaries, when they were preaching, and cried out, "Lies,
lies! you tell us of salvation; and, behold, we are dying. We want no
other salvation than to live in this world. Where are there any saved
through your speech? Pomaree is dead; and we are all dying with your
cursed diseases. When will you give over?"

At present, the virulence of the disorder, in individual cases, has
somewhat abated; but the poison is only the more widely diffused.

"How dreadful and appalling," breaks forth old Wheeler, "the
consideration that the intercourse of distant nations should have
entailed upon these poor, untutored islanders a curse unprecedented,
and unheard of, in the annals of history."

In view of these things, who can remain blind to the fact that, so far
as mere temporal felicity is concerned, the Tahitians are far worse
off now, than formerly; and although their circumstances, upon the
whole, are bettered by the presence of the missionaries, the benefits
conferred by the latter become utterly insignificant when confronted
with the vast preponderance of evil brought about by other means.

Their prospects are hopeless. Nor can the most devoted efforts now
exempt them from furnishing a marked illustration of a principle
which history has always exemplified. Years ago brought to a stand,
where all that is corrupt in barbarism and civilization unite, to the
exclusion of the virtues of either state; like other uncivilized
beings, brought into contact with Europeans, they must here remain
stationary until utterly extinct.

The islanders themselves are mournfully watching their doom.

Several years since, Pomaree II. said to Tyreman and Bennet, the
deputies of the London Missionary Society, "You have come to see me
at a very bad time. Your ancestors came in the time of men, when
Tahiti was inhabited: you are come to behold just the remnant of my

Of like import was the prediction of Teearmoar, the high-priest of
Paree; who lived over a hundred years ago. I have frequently heard it
chanted, in a low, sad tone, by aged Tahitiana:--

    "A harree ta fow,
     A toro ta farraro,
     A now ta tararta."

    "The palm-tree shall grow,
     The coral shall spread,
     But man shall cease."



WE will now return to the narrative.

The day before the Julia sailed, Dr. Johnson paid his last call. He
was not quite so bland as usual. All he wanted was the men's names to
a paper, certifying to their having received from him sundry
medicaments therein mentioned. This voucher, endorsed by Captain Guy,
secured his pay. But he would not have obtained for it the sailors'
signs manual, had either the doctor or myself been present at the

Now, my long friend wasted no love upon Johnson; but, for reasons of
his own, hated him heartily: all the same thing in one sense; for
either passion argues an object deserving thereof. And so, to be
hated cordially, is only a left-handed compliment; which shows how
foolish it is to be bitter against anyone.

For my own part, I merely felt a cool, purely incidental, and passive
contempt for Johnson, as a selfish, mercenary apothecary, and hence,
I often remonstrated with Long Ghost when he flew out against him,
and heaped upon him all manner of scurrilous epithets. In his
professional brother's presence, however, he never acted thus;
maintaining an amiable exterior, to help along the jokes which were

I am now going to tell another story in which my long friend figures
with the physician:  I do not wish to bring one or the other of them
too often upon the stage; but as the thing actually happened, I must
relate it.

A few days after Johnson presented his bill, as above mentioned, the
doctor expressed to me his regret that, although he (Johnson) 'had
apparently been played off for our entertainment, yet, nevertheless,
he had made money out of the transaction. And I wonder, added the
doctor, if that now he cannot expect to receive any further pay, he
could be induced to call again.

By a curious coincidence, not five minutes after making this
observation, Doctor Long Ghost himself fell down in an unaccountable
fit; and without asking anybody's leave, Captain Bob, who was by, at
once dispatched a boy, hot foot, for Johnson.

Meanwhile, we carried him into the Calabooza; and the natives, who
assembled in numbers, suggested various modes of treatment. One
rather energetic practitioner was for holding the patient by the
shoulders, while somebody tugged at his feet. This resuscitatory
operation was called the "Potata"; but thinking our long comrade
sufficiently lengthy without additional stretching, we declined
potataing him.

Presently the physician was spied coming along the Broom Road at a
great rate, and so absorbed in the business of locomotion, that he
heeded not the imprudence of being in a hurry in a tropical climate.
He was in a profuse perspiration; which must have been owing to the
warmth of his feelings, notwithstanding we had supposed him a man of
no heart. But his benevolent haste upon this occasion was
subsequently accounted for: it merely arose from professional
curiosity to behold a case most unusual in his Polynesian practice.
Now, under certain circumstances, sailors, generally so frolicsome,
are exceedingly particular in having everything conducted with the
strictest propriety. Accordingly, they deputed me, as his intimate
friend, to sit at Long Ghost's head, so as to be ready to officiate
as "spokesman" and answer all questions propounded, the rest to keep

"What's the matter?" exclaimed Johnson, out of breath, and bursting
into the Calabooza: "how did it happen?--speak quick!" and he looked
at Long Ghost.

I told him how the fit came on.

"Singular"--he observed--"very: good enough pulse;" and he let go of
it, and placed his hand upon the heart.

"But what's all that frothing at the mouth?" he continued; "and bless
me! look at the abdomen!"

The region thus denominated exhibited the most unaccountable
symptoms.  A low, rumbling sound was heard; and a sort of undulation
was discernible beneath the thin cotton frock.

"Colic, sir?" suggested a bystander.

"Colic be hanged!" shouted the physician; "who ever heard of anybody
in a trance of the colic?"

During this, the patient lay upon his back, stark and straight,
giving no signs of life except those above mentioned.

"I'll bleed him!" cried Johnson at last--"run for a calabash, one of

"Life ho!" here sung out Navy Bob, as if he had just spied a sail.

"What under the sun's the matter with him!" cried the physician,
starting at the appearance of the mouth, which had jerked to one
side, and there remained fixed.

"Pr'aps it's St. Witus's hornpipe," suggested Bob.

"Hold the calabash!"--and the lancet was out in a moment.

But before the deed could be done, the face became natural;--a sigh
was heaved;--the eyelids quivered, opened, closed; and Long Ghost,
twitching all over, rolled on his side, and breathed audibly. By
degrees, he became sufficiently recovered to speak.

After trying to get something coherent out of him, Johnson withdrew;
evidently disappointed in the scientific interest of the case. Soon
after his departure, the doctor sat up; and upon being asked what
upon earth ailed him, shook his head mysteriously. He then deplored
the hardship of being an invalid in such a place, where there was not
the slightest provision for his comfort. This awakened the compassion
of our good old keeper, who offered to send him to a place where he
would be better cared for. Long Ghost acquiesced; and being at once
mounted upon the shoulders of four of Captain Bob's men, was marched
off in state, like the Grand Lama of Thibet.

Now, I do not pretend to account for his remarkable swoon; but his
reason for suffering himself to be thus removed from the Calabooza
was strongly suspected to be nothing more than a desire to insure
more regularity in his dinner-hour; hoping that the benevolent native
to whom he was going would set a good table.

The next morning, we were all envying his fortune; when, of a sudden,
he bolted in upon us, looking decidedly out of humour.

"Hang it!" he cried; "I'm worse off than ever; let me have some
breakfast!" We lowered our slender bag of ship-stores from a rafter,
and handed him a biscuit. While this was being munched, he went on
and told us his story.

"After leaving here, they trotted me back into a valley, and left me
in a hut, where an old woman lived by herself. This must be the
nurse, thought I; and so I asked her to kill a pig, and bake it; for
I felt my appetite returning. 'Ha! Hal--oee mattee--mattee
nuee'--(no, no; you too sick). 'The devil mattee ye,' said I--'give me
something to eat!' But nothing could be had. Night coming on, I had
to stay. Creeping into a corner, I tried to sleep; but it was to no
purpose;--the old crone must have had the quinsy, or something else;
and she kept up such a wheezing and choking that at last I sprang up,
and groped after her; but she hobbled away like a goblin; and that was
the last of her. As soon as the sun rose, I made the best of my way
back; and here I am." He never left us more, nor ever had a second



ABOUT three weeks after the Julia's sailing, our conditions began to
be a little precarious. We were without any regular supply of food;
the arrival of ships was growing less frequent; and, what was worse
yet, all the natives but good old Captain Bob began to tire of us.
Nor was this to be wondered at; we were obliged to live upon their
benevolence, when they had little enough for themselves. Besides, we
were sometimes driven to acts of marauding; such as kidnapping pigs,
and cooking them in the groves; at which their proprietors were by no
means pleased.

In this state of affairs, we determined to march off to the consul in
a body; and, as he had brought us to these straits, demand an
adequate maintenance.

On the point of starting, Captain Bob's men raised the most outrageous
cries, and tried to prevent us. Though hitherto we had strolled about
wherever we pleased, this grand conjunction of our whole force, upon
one particular expedition, seemed to alarm them. But we assured them
that we were not going to assault the village; and so, after a good
deal of gibberish, they permitted us to leave.

We went straight to the Pritchard residence, where the consul dwelt.
This house--to which I have before referred--is quite commodious. It
has a wide verandah, glazed windows, and other appurtenances of a
civilized mansion. Upon the lawn in front are palm-trees standing
erect here and there, like sentinels. The Consular Office, a small
building by itself, is inclosed by the same picket which fences in the

We found the office closed; but, in the verandah of the
dwelling-house, was a lady performing a tonsorial operation on the
head of a prim-looking, elderly European, in a low, white
cravat;--the most domestic little scene I had witnessed since leaving
home. Bent upon an interview with Wilson, the sailors now deputed the
doctor to step forward as a polite inquirer after his health.

The pair stared very hard as he advanced; but no ways disconcerted, he
saluted them gravely, and inquired for the consul.

Upon being informed that he had gone down to the beach, we proceeded
in that direction; and soon met a native, who told us that, apprised
of our vicinity, Wilson was keeping out of the way. We resolved to
meet him; and passing through the village, he suddenly came walking
toward us; having apparently made up his mind that any attempt to
elude us would be useless.

"What do you want of me, you rascals?" he cried--a greeting which
provoked a retort in no measured terms. At this juncture, the natives
began to crowd round, and several foreigners strolled along. Caught
in the very act of speaking to such disreputable acquaintances,
Wilson now fidgeted, and moved rapidly toward his office; the men
following. Turning upon them incensed, he bade them be off--he would
have nothing more to say to us; and then, hurriedly addressing Captain
Bob in Tahitian, he hastened on, and never stopped till the postern
of Pritchard's wicket was closed behind him.

Our good old keeper was now highly excited, bustling about in his huge
petticoats, and conjuring us to return to the Calabooza. After a
little debate, we acquiesced.

This interview was decisive. Sensible that none of the charges brought
against us would stand, yet unwilling formally to withdraw them, the
consul now wished to get rid of us altogether; but without being
suspected of encouraging our escape. Thus only could we account for
his conduct.

Some of the party, however, with a devotion to principle truly heroic,
swore they would never leave him, happen what might. For my own part,
I began to long for a change; and as there seemed to be no getting
away in a ship, I resolved to hit upon some other expedient. But
first, I cast about for a comrade; and of course the long doctor was
chosen. We at once laid our heads together; and for the present,
resolved to disclose nothing to the rest.

A few days previous, I had fallen in with a couple of Yankee lads,
twins, who, originally deserting their ship at Tanning's Island (an
uninhabited spot, but exceedingly prolific in fruit of all kinds),
had, after a long residence there, roved about among the Society
group. They were last from Imeeo--the island immediately
adjoining--where they had been in the employ of two foreigners who had
recently started a plantation there. These persons, they said, had
charged them to send over from Papeetee, if they could, two white men
for field-labourers.

Now, all but the prospect of digging and delving suited us exactly;
but the opportunity for leaving the island was not to be slighted;
and so we held ourselves in readiness to return with the planters;
who, in a day or two, were expected to visit Papeetee in their boat.

At the interview which ensued, we were introduced to them as Peter and
Paul; and they agreed to give Peter and Paul fifteen silver dollars a
month, promising something more should we remain with them
permanently. What they wanted was men who would stay. To elude the
natives--many of whom, not exactly understanding our relations with
the consul, might arrest us, were they to see us departing--the
coming midnight was appointed for that purpose.

When the hour drew nigh, we disclosed our intention to the rest. Some
upbraided us for deserting them; others applauded, and said that, on
the first opportunity, they would follow our example. At last, we
bade them farewell. And there would now be a serene sadness in
thinking over the scene--since we never saw them again--had not all
been dashed by M'Gee's picking the doctor's pocket of a jack-knife, in
the very act of embracing him.

We stole down to the beach, where, under the shadow of a grove, the
boat was waiting. After some delay, we shipped the oars, and pulling
outside of the reef, set the sail; and with a fair wind, glided away
for Imeeo.

It was a pleasant trip. The moon was up--the air, warm--the waves,
musical--and all above was the tropical night, one purple vault hung
round with soft, trembling stars.

The channel is some five leagues wide. On one hand, you have the three
great peaks of Tahiti lording it over ranges of mountains and
valleys; and on the other, the equally romantic elevations of Imeeo,
high above which a lone peak, called by our companions, "the
Marling-pike," shot up its verdant spire.

The planters were quite sociable. They had been sea-faring men, and
this, of course, was a bond between us. To strengthen it, a flask of
wine was produced, one of several which had been procured in person
from the French admiral's steward; for whom the planters, when on a
former visit to Papeetee, had done a good turn, by introducing the
amorous Frenchman to the ladies ashore. Besides this, they had a
calabash filled with wild boar's meat, baked yams, bread-fruit, and
Tombez potatoes.  Pipes and tobacco also were produced; and while
regaling ourselves, plenty of stories were told about the
neighbouring islands.

At last we heard the roar of the Imeeo reef; and gliding through a
break, floated over the expanse within, which was smooth as a young
girl's brow, and beached the boat.



WE went up through groves to an open space, where we heard voices, and
a light was seen glimmering from out a bamboo dwelling. It was the
planters' retreat; and in their absence, several girls were keeping
house, assisted by an old native, who, wrapped up in tappa, lay in
the corner, smoking.

A hasty meal was prepared, and after it we essayed a nap; but, alas! a
plague, little anticipated, prevented. Unknown in Tahiti, the
mosquitoes here fairly eddied round us. But more of them anon.

We were up betimes, and strolled out to view the country. We were in
the valley of Martair; shut in, on both sides, by lofty hills. Here
and there were steep cliffs, gay with flowering shrubs, or hung with
pendulous vines, swinging blossoms in the air. Of considerable width
at the sea, the vale contracts as it runs inland; terminating, at the
distance of several miles, in a range of the most grotesque
elevations, which seem embattled with turrets and towers, grown over
with verdure, and waving with trees.  The valley itself is a
wilderness of woodland; with links of streams flashing through, and
narrow pathways fairly tunnelled through masses of foliage.

All alone, in this wild place, was the abode of the planters; the only
one back from the beach--their sole neighbours, the few fishermen and
their families, dwelling in a small grove of cocoa-nut trees whose
roots were washed by the sea.

The cleared tract which they occupied comprised some thirty acres,
level as a prairie, part of which was under cultivation; the whole
being fenced in by a stout palisade of trunks and boughs of trees
staked firmly in the ground. This was necessary as a defence against
the wild cattle and hogs overrunning the island.

Thus far, Tombez potatoes were the principal crop raised; a ready sale
for them being obtained among the shipping touching at Papeetee.
There was a small patch of the taro, or Indian turnip, also; another
of yams; and in one corner, a thrifty growth of the sugar-cane, just

On the side of the inclosure next the sea was the house; newly built
of bamboos, in the native style. The furniture consisted of a couple
of sea-chests, an old box, a few cooking utensils, and agricultural
tools; together with three fowling-pieces, hanging from a rafter; and
two enormous hammocks swinging in opposite corners, and composed of
dried bullocks' hides, stretched out with poles.

The whole plantation was shut in by a dense forest; and, close by the
house, a dwarfed "Aoa," or species of banian-tree, had purposely been
left twisting over the palisade, in the most grotesque manner, and
thus made a pleasant shade. The branches of this curious tree
afforded low perches, upon which the natives frequently squatted,
after the fashion of their race, and smoked and gossiped by the hour.

We had a good breakfast of fish--speared by the natives, before
sunrise, on the reef--pudding of Indian turnip, fried bananas, and
roasted bread-fruit.

During the repast, our new friends were quite sociable and
communicative. It seems that, like nearly all uneducated foreigners,
residing in Polynesia, they had, some time previous, deserted from a
ship; and, having heard a good deal about the money to be made by
raising supplies for whaling-vessels, they determined upon embarking
in the business. Strolling about, with this intention, they, at last,
came to Martair; and, thinking the soil would suit, set themselves to
work. They began by finding out the owner of the particular spot
coveted, and then making a "tayo" of him.

He turned out to be Tonoi, the chief of the fishermen: who, one day,
when exhilarated with brandy, tore his meagre tappa from his loins,
and gave me to know that he was allied by blood with Pomaree herself;
and that his mother came from the illustrious race of pontiffs, who,
in old times, swayed their bamboo crosier over all the pagans of
Imeeo. A regal, and right reverend lineage! But, at the time I speak
of, the dusky noble was in decayed circumstances, and, therefore, by
no means unwilling to alienate a few useless acres. As an equivalent,
he received from the strangers two or three rheumatic old muskets,
several red woollen shirts, and a promise to be provided for in his
old age: he was always to find a home with the planters.

Desirous of living on the cosy footing of a father-in-law, he frankly
offered his two daughters for wives; but as such, they were politely
declined; the adventurers, though not averse to courting, being
unwilling to entangle themselves in a matrimonial alliance, however
splendid in point of family.

Tonoi's men, the fishermen of the grove, were a sad set. Secluded, in
a great measure, from the ministrations of the missionaries, they
gave themselves up to all manner of lazy wickedness. Strolling among
the trees of a morning, you came upon them napping on the shady side
of a canoe hauled up among the bushes; lying on a tree smoking; or,
more frequently still, gambling with pebbles; though, a little
tobacco excepted, what they gambled for at their outlandish games, it
would be hard to tell.  Other idle diversions they had also, in which
they seemed to take great delight. As for fishing, it employed but a
small part of their time. Upon the whole, they were a merry,
indigent, godless race.

Tonoi, the old sinner, leaning against the fallen trunk of a cocoa-nut
tree, invariably squandered his mornings at pebbles; a gray-headed
rook of a native regularly plucking him of every other stick of
tobacco obtained from his friends, the planters.  Toward afternoon,
he strolled back to their abode; where he tarried till the next
morning, smoking and snoozing, and, at times, prating about the
hapless fortunes of the House of Tonoi. But like any other easy-going
old dotard, he seemed for the most part perfectly content with
cheerful board and lodging.

On the whole, the valley of Martair was the quietest place imaginable.
Could the mosquitoes be induced to emigrate, one might spend the
month of August there quite pleasantly. But this was not the case
with the luckless Long Ghost and myself; as will presently be seen.



THE planters were both whole-souled fellows; but, in other respects,
as unlike as possible.

One was a tall, robust Yankee, hern in the backwoods of Maine, sallow,
and with a long face;--the other was a short little Cockney, who had
first clapped his eyes on the Monument.

The voice of Zeke, the Yankee, had a twang like a cracked viol; and
Shorty (as his comrade called him), clipped the aspirate from every
word beginning with one. The latter, though not the tallest man in
the world, was a good-looking young fellow of twenty-five. His cheeks
were dyed with the fine Saxon red, burned deeper from his roving
life: his blue eye opened well, and a profusion of fair hair curled
over a well-shaped head.

But Zeke was no beauty. A strong, ugly man, he was well adapted for
manual labour; and that was all. His eyes were made to see with, and
not for ogling. Compared with the Cockney, he was grave, and rather
taciturn; but there was a deal of good old humour bottled up in him,
after all. For the rest, he was frank, good-hearted, shrewd, and
resolute; and like Shorty, quite illiterate.

Though a curious conjunction, the pair got along together famously.
But, as no two men were ever united in any enterprise without one
getting the upper hand of the other, so in most matters Zeke had his
own way. Shorty, too, had imbibed from him a spirit of invincible
industry; and Heaven only knows what ideas of making a fortune on
their plantation.

We were much concerned at this; for the prospect of their setting us,
in their own persons, an example of downright hard labour, was
anything but agreeable. But it was now too late to repent what we had

The first day--thank fortune--we did nothing. Having treated us as
guests thus far, they no doubt thought it would be wanting in
delicacy to set us to work before the compliments of the occasion
were well over. The next morning, however, they both looked
business-like, and we were put to.

"Wall, b'ys" (boys), said Zeke, knocking the ashes out of his pipe,
after breakfast--"we must get at it. Shorty, give Peter there (the
doctor), the big hoe, and Paul the other, and let's be off." Going to
a corner, Shorty brought forth three of the implements; and
distributing them impartially, trudged on after his partner, who took
the lead with something in the shape of an axe.

For a moment left alone in the house, we looked at each other,
quaking. We were each equipped with a great, clumsy piece of a tree,
armed at one end with a heavy, flat mass of iron.

The cutlery part--especially adapted to a primitive soil--was an
importation from Sydney; the handles must have been of domestic
manufacture. "Hoes"--so called--we had heard of, and seen; but they
were harmless in comparison with the tools in our hands.

"What's to be done with them?" inquired I of Peter.

"Lift them up and down," he replied; "or put them in motion some way
or other. Paul, we are in a scrape--but hark! they are calling;" and
shouldering the hoes, off we marched.'

Our destination was the farther side of the plantation, where the
ground, cleared in part, had not yet been broken up; but they were
now setting about it. Upon halting, I asked why a plough was not
used; some of the young wild steers might be caught and trained for

Zeke replied that, for such a purpose, no cattle, to his knowledge,
had ever been used in any part of Polynesia. As for the soil of
Martair, so obstructed was it with roots, crossing and recrossing
each other at all points, that no kind of a plough could be used to
advantage. The heavy Sydney hoes were the only thing for such land.

Our work was now before us; but, previous to commencing operations, I
endeavoured to engage the Yankee in a little further friendly chat
concerning the nature of virgin soils in general, and that of the
valley of Martair in particular. So masterly a stratagem made Long
Ghost brighten up; and he stood by ready to join in.  But what our
friend had to say about agriculture all referred to the particular
part of his plantation upon which we stood; and having communicated
enough on this head to enable us to set to work to the best
advantage, he fell to, himself; and Shorty, who had been looking on,
followed suit.

The surface, here and there, presented closely amputated branches of
what had once been a dense thicket. They seemed purposely left
projecting, as if to furnish a handle whereby to drag out the roots
beneath. After loosening the hard soil, by dint of much thumping and
pounding, the Yankee jerked one of the roots this way and that,
twisting it round and round, and then tugging at it horizontally.

"Come! lend us a hand!" he cried, at last; and running up, we all four
strained away in concert. The tough obstacle convulsed the surface
with throes and spasms; but stuck fast, notwithstanding.

"Dumn it!" cried Zeke, "we'll have to get a rope; run to the house,
Shorty, and fetch one."

The end of this being attached, we took plenty of room, and strained
away once more.

"Give us a song, Shorty," said the doctor; who was rather sociable, on
a short acquaintance. Where the work to be accomplished is any way
difficult, this mode of enlivening toil is quite efficacious among
sailors. So willing to make everything as cheerful as possible,
Shorty struck up, "Were you ever in Dumbarton?" a marvellously
inspiring, but somewhat indecorous windlass chorus.

At last, the Yankee cast a damper on his enthusiasm by exclaiming, in
a pet, "Oh!  dumn your singing! keep quiet, and pull away!" This we
now did, in the most uninteresting silence; until, with a jerk that
made every elbow hum, the root dragged out; and most inelegantly, we
all landed upon the ground. The doctor, quite exhausted, stayed
there; and, deluded into believing that, after so doughty a
performance, we would be allowed a cessation of toil, took off his
hat, and fanned himself.

"Rayther a hard customer, that, Peter," observed the Yankee, going up
to him: "but it's no use for any on 'em to hang back; for I'm dumned
if they hain't got to come out, whether or no. Hurrah! let's get at
it agin!"

"Mercy!" ejaculated the doctor, rising slowly, and turning round.
"He'll be the death of us!"

Falling to with our hoes again, we worked singly, or together, as
occasion required, until "Nooning Time" came.

The period, so called by the planters, embraced about three hours in
the middle of the day; during which it was so excessively hot, in
this still, brooding valley, shut out from the Trades, and only open
toward the leeward side of the island, that labour in the sun was out
of the question. To use a hyperbolical phrase of Shorty's, "It was
'ot enough to melt the nose h'off a brass monkey."

Returning to the house, Shorty, assisted by old Tonoi, cooked the
dinner; and, after we had all partaken thereof, both the Cockney and
Zeke threw themselves into one of the hammocks, inviting us to occupy
the other. Thinking it no bad idea, we did so; and, after skirmishing
with the mosquitoes, managed to fall into a doze. As for the
planters, more accustomed to "Nooning," they, at once, presented a
nuptial back to each other; and were soon snoring away at a great
rate. Tonoi snoozed on a mat, in one corner.

At last, we were roused by Zeke's crying out, "Up b'ys; up! rise, and
shine; time to get at it agin!"

Looking at the doctor, I perceived, very plainly, that he had decided
upon something.

In a languid voice, he told Zeke that he was not very well: indeed,
that he had not been himself for some time past; though a little
rest, no doubt, would recruit him. The Yankee thinking, from this,
that our valuable services might be lost to him altogether, were he
too hard upon us at the outset, at once begged us both to consult our
own feelings, and not exert ourselves for the present, unless we felt
like it. Then--without recognizing the fact that my comrade claimed
to be actually unwell--he simply suggested that, since he was so
tired, he had better, perhaps, swing in his hammock for the rest of
the day. If agreeable, however, I myself might accompany him upon a
little bullock-hunting excursion in the neighbouring hills. In this
proposition, I gladly acquiesced; though Peter, who was a great
sportsman, put on a long face. The muskets and ammunition were
forthwith got from overhead; and, everything being then ready, Zeke
cried out, "Tonoi! come; aramai! (get up) we want you for pilot.
Shorty, my lad, look arter things, you know; and if you likes, why,
there's them roots in the field yonder."

Having thus arranged his domestic affairs to please himself, though
little to Shorty's satisfaction, I thought, he slung his powder-horn
over his shoulder, and we started.  Tonoi was, at once, sent on in
advance; and leaving the plantation, he struck into a path which led
toward the mountains.

After hurrying through the thickets for some time, we came out into
the sunlight, in an open glade, just under the shadow of the hills.
Here, Zeke pointed aloft to a beetling crag far distant, where a
bullock, with horns thrown back, stood like a statue.



BEFORE we proceed further, a word or two concerning these wild cattle,
and the way they came on the island.

Some fifty years ago, Vancouver left several bullocks, sheep and
goats, at various places in the Society group. He instructed the
natives to look after the animals carefully; and by no means to
slaughter any until a considerable stock had accumulated.

The sheep must have died off: for I never saw a solitary fleece in any
part of Polynesia. The pair left were an ill-assorted couple,
perhaps; separated in disgust, and died without issue.

As for the goats, occasionally you come across a black, misanthropic
ram, nibbling the scant herbage of some height inaccessible to man,
in preference to the sweet grasses of the valley below. The goats are
not very numerous.

The bullocks, coming of a prolific ancestry, are a hearty set, racing
over the island of Imeeo in considerable numbers, though in Tahiti
but few of them are seen. At the former place, the original pair must
have scampered off to the interior since it is now so thickly
populated by their wild progeny. The herds are the private property
of Queen Pomaree; from whom the planters had obtained permission to
shoot for their own use as many as they pleased.

The natives stand in great awe of these cattle; and for this reason
are excessively timid in crossing the island, preferring rather to
sail round to an opposite village in their canoes.

Tonoi abounded in bullock stories; most of which, by the bye, had a
spice of the marvellous. The following is one of these.

Once upon a time, he was going over the hills with a brother--now no
more--when a great bull came bellowing out of a wood, and both took
to their heels. The old chief sprang into a tree; his companion,
flying in an opposite direction, was pursued, and, in the very act of
reaching up to a bough, trampled underfoot. The unhappy man was then
gored--tossed in the air--and finally run away with on the bull's
horns. More dead than alive, Tonoi waited till all was over, and then
made the best of his way home. The neighbours, armed with two or
three muskets, at once started to recover, if possible, his
unfortunate brother's remains. At nightfall, they returned without
discovering any trace of him; but the next morning, Tonoi himself
caught a glimpse of the bullock, marching across the mountain's brow,
with a long dark object borne aloft on his horns.

Having referred to Vancouver's attempts to colonize the islands with
useful quadrupeds, we may as well say something concerning his
success upon Hawaii, one of the largest islands in the whole
Polynesian Archipelago; and which gives the native name to the
well-known cluster named by Cook in honour of Lord Sandwich.

Hawaii is some one hundred leagues in circuit, and covers an area of
over four thousand miles. Until within a few years past, its interior
was almost unknown, even to the inhabitants themselves, who, for
ages, had been prevented from wandering thither by certain strange
superstitions. Pelee, the terrific goddess of the volcanoes Mount Eoa
and Mount Kea, was supposed to guard all the passes to the extensive
valleys lying round their base. There are legends of her having chased
with streams of fire several impious adventurers. Near Hilo, a
jet-black cliff is shown, with the vitreous torrent apparently
pouring over into the sea: just as it cooled after one of these
supernatural eruptions.

To these inland valleys, and the adjoining hillsides, which are
clothed in the most luxuriant vegetation, Vancouver's bullocks soon
wandered; and unmolested for a long period, multiplied in vast herds.

Some twelve or fifteen years ago, the natives lost sight of their
superstitions, and learning the value of the hides in commerce, began
hunting the creatures that wore them; but being very fearful and
awkward in a business so novel, their success was small; and it was
not until the arrival of a party of Spanish hunters, men regularly
trained to their calling upon the plains of California, that the work
of slaughter was fairly begun.

The Spaniards were showy fellows, tricked out in gay blankets,
leggings worked with porcupine quills, and jingling spurs. Mounted
upon trained Indian mares, these heroes pursued their prey up to the
very base of the burning mountains; making the profoundest solitudes
ring with their shouts, and flinging the lasso under the very nose of
the vixen goddess Pelee. Hilo, a village upon the coast, was their
place of resort; and thither flocked roving whites from all the
islands of the group. As pupils of the dashing Spaniards, many of
these dissipated fellows, quaffing too freely of the stirrup-cup, and
riding headlong after the herds, when they reeled in the saddle, were
unhorsed and killed.

This was about the year 1835, when the present king, Tammahamaha III.,
was a lad.  With royal impudence laying claim to the sole property of
the cattle, he was delighted with the idea of receiving one of every
two silver dollars paid down for their hides; so, with no thought for
the future, the work of extermination went madly on. In three years'
time, eighteen thousand bullocks were slain, almost entirely upon the
single island of Hawaii.

The herds being thus nearly destroyed, the sagacious young prince
imposed a rigorous "taboo" upon the few surviving cattle, which was
to remain in force for ten years. During this period--not yet
expired--all hunting is forbidden, unless directly authorized by the

The massacre of the cattle extended to the hapless goats. In one year,
three thousand of their skins were sold to the merchants of Honolulu,
fetching a quartila, or a shilling sterling apiece.

After this digression, it is time to run on after Tonoi and the



AT THE foot of the mountain, a steep path went up among rocks and
clefts mantled with verdure. Here and there were green gulfs, down
which it made one giddy to peep. At last we gained an overhanging,
wooded shelf of land which crowned the heights; and along this, the
path, well shaded, ran like a gallery.

In every direction the scenery was enchanting. There was a low,
rustling breeze; and below, in the vale, the leaves were quivering;
the sea lay, blue and serene, in the distance; and inland the surface
swelled up, ridge after ridge, and peak upon peak, all bathed in the
Indian haze of the Tropics, and dreamy to look upon. Still valleys,
leagues away, reposed in the deep shadows of the mountains; and here
and there, waterfalls lifted up their voices in the solitude. High
above all, and central, the "Marling-spike" lifted its finger. Upon
the hillsides, small groups of bullocks were seen; some quietly
browsing; others slowly winding into the valleys.

We went on, directing our course for a slope of these hills, a mile or
two further, where the nearest bullocks were seen.

We were cautious in keeping to the windward of them; their sense of
smell and hearing being, like those of all wild creatures,
exceedingly acute.

As there was no knowing that we might not surprise some other kind of
game in the coverts through which we were passing, we crept along

The wild hogs of the island are uncommonly fierce; and as they often
attack the natives, I could not help following Tonoi's example of
once in a while peeping in under the foliage. Frequent retrospective
glances also served to assure me that our retreat was not cut off.

As we rounded a clump of bushes, a noise behind them, like the
crackling of dry branches, broke the stillness. In an instant,
Tonoi's hand was on a bough, ready for a spring, and Zeke's finger
touched the trigger of his piece. Again the stillness was broken; and
thinking it high time to get ready, I brought my musket to my

"Look sharp!" cried the Yankee; and dropping on one knee, he brushed
the twigs aside. Presently, off went his piece; and with a wild
snort, a black, bristling boar--his cherry red lip curled up by two
glittering tusks--dashed, unharmed, across the path, and crashed
through the opposite thicket. I saluted him with a charge as he
disappeared; but not the slightest notice was taken of the civility.

By this time, Tonoi, the illustrious descendant of the Bishops of
Imeeo, was twenty feet from the ground. "Aramai! come down, you old
fool!" cried the Yankee; "the pesky critter's on t'other side of the
island afore this."

"I rayther guess," he continued, as we began reloading, "that we've
spoiled sport by firing at that 'ere tarnal hog. Them bullocks heard
the racket, and are flinging their tails about now on the keen jump.
Quick, Paul, and let's climb that rock yonder, and see if so be
there's any in sight."

But none were to be seen, except at such a distance that they looked
like ants.

As evening was now at hand, my companion proposed our returning home
forthwith; and then, after a sound night's rest, starting in the
morning upon a good day's hunt with the whole force of the

Following another pass in descending into the valley, we passed
through some nobly wooded land on the face of the mountain.

One variety of tree particularly attracted my attention. The dark
mossy stem, over seventy feet high, was perfectly branchless for many
feet above the ground, when it shot out in broad boughs laden with
lustrous leaves of the deepest green. And all round the lower part of
the trunk, thin, slab-like buttresses of bark, perfectly smooth, and
radiating from a common centre, projected along the ground for at
least two yards. From below, these natural props tapered upward until
gradually blended with the trunk itself. There were signs of the wild
cattle having sheltered themselves behind them. Zeke called this the
canoe tree; as in old times it supplied the navies of the Kings of
Tahiti. For canoe building, the woods is still used. Being extremely
dense, and impervious to worms, it is very durable.

Emerging from the forest, when half-way down the hillside, we came
upon an open space, covered with ferns and grass, over which a few
lonely trees were casting long shadows in the setting sun. Here, a
piece of ground some hundred feet square, covered with weeds and
brambles, and sounding hollow to the tread, was inclosed by a ruinous
wall of stones. Tonoi said it was an almost forgotten burial-place, of
great antiquity, where no one had been interred since the islanders
had been Christians.  Sealed up in dry, deep vaults, many a dead
heathen was lying here.

Curious to prove the old man's statement, I was anxious to get a peep
at the catacombs; but hermetically overgrown with vegetation as they
were, no aperture was visible.

Before gaining the level of the valley, we passed by the site of a
village, near a watercourse, long since deserted. There was nothing
but stone walls, and rude dismantled foundations of houses,
constructed of the same material. Large trees and brushwood were
growing rankly among them.

I asked Tonoi how long it was since anyone had lived here. "Me,
tammaree (boy)--plenty kannaker (men) Martair," he replied. "Now,
only poor pehe kannaka (fishermen) left--me born here."

Going down the valley, vegetation of every kind presented a different
aspect from that of the high land.

Chief among the trees of the plain on this island is the "Ati," large
and lofty, with a massive trunk, and broad, laurel-shaped leaves. The
wood is splendid. In Tahiti, I was shown a narrow, polished plank fit
to make a cabinet for a king. Taken from the heart of the tree, it
was of a deep, rich scarlet, traced with yellow veins, and in some
places clouded with hazel.

In the same grove with the regal "AH" you may see the beautiful
flowering "Hotoo"; its pyramid of shining leaves diversified with
numberless small, white blossoms.

Planted with trees as the valley is almost throughout its entire
length, I was astonished to observe so very few which were useful to
the natives: not one in a hundred was a cocoa-nut or bread-fruit

But here Tonoi again enlightened me. In the sanguinary religious
hostilities which ensued upon the conversion of Christianity of the
first Pomaree, a war-party from Tahiti destroyed (by "girdling" the
bark) entire groves of these invaluable trees. For some time
afterwards they stood stark and leafless in the sun; sad monuments of
the fate which befell the inhabitants of the valley.



THE NIGHT following the hunting trip, Long Ghost and myself, after a
valiant defence, had to fly the house on account of the mosquitoes.

And here I cannot avoid relating a story, rife among the natives,
concerning the manner in which these insects were introduced upon the

Some years previous, a whaling captain, touching at an adjoining bay,
got into difficulty with its inhabitants, and at last carried his
complaint before one of the native tribunals; but receiving no
satisfaction, and deeming himself aggrieved, he resolved upon taking
signal revenge. One night, he towed a rotten old water-cask ashore,
and left it in a neglected Taro patch where the ground was warm and
moist. Hence the mosquitoes.

I tried my best to learn the name of this man; and hereby do what I
can to hand it down to posterity. It was Coleman--Nathan Cole-man.
The ship belonged to Nantucket.

When tormented by the mosquitoes, I found much relief in coupling the
word "Coleman" with another of one syllable, and pronouncing them
together energetically.

The doctor suggested a walk to the beach, where there was a long, low
shed tumbling to pieces, but open lengthwise to a current of air
which he thought might keep off the mosquitoes. So thither we went.

The ruin partially sheltered a relic of times gone by, which, a few
days after, we examined with much curiosity. It was an old war-canoe,
crumbling to dust. Being supported by the same rude blocks upon
which, apparently, it had years before been hollowed out, in all
probability it had never been afloat.

Outside, it seemed originally stained of a green colour, which, here
and there, was now changed into a dingy purple. The prow terminated
in a high, blunt beak; both sides were covered with carving; and upon
the stern, was something which Long Ghost maintained to be the arms
of the royal House of Pomaree. The device had an heraldic look,
certainly--being two sharks with the talons of hawks clawing a knot
left projecting from the wood.

The canoe was at least forty feet long, about two wide, and four deep.
The upper part--consisting of narrow planks laced together with cords
of sinnate--had in many places fallen off, and lay decaying upon the
ground. Still, there were ample accommodations left for sleeping; and
in we sprang--the doctor into the bow, and I into the stern. I soon
fell asleep; but waking suddenly, cramped in every joint from my
constrained posture, I thought, for an instant, that I must have been
prematurely screwed down in my coffin.

Presenting my compliments to Long Ghost, I asked how it fared with

"Bad enough," he replied, as he tossed about in the outlandish rubbish
lying in the bottom of our couch. "Pah! how these old mats smell!"

As he continued talking in this exciting strain for some time, I at
last made no reply, having resumed certain mathematical reveries to
induce repose. But finding the multiplication table of no avail, I
summoned up a grayish image of chaos in a sort of sliding fluidity,
and was just falling into a nap on the strength of it, when I heard a
solitary and distinct buzz. The hour of my calamity was at hand. One
blended hum, the creature darted into the canoe like a small
swordfish; and I out of it.

Upon getting into the open air, to my surprise, there was Long Ghost,
fanning himself wildly with an old paddle. He had just made a
noiseless escape from a swarm which had attacked his own end of the

It was now proposed to try the water; so a small fishing canoe, hauled
up near by, was quickly launched; and paddling a good distance off,
we dropped overboard the native contrivance for an anchor--a heavy
stone, attached to a cable of braided bark. At this part of the
island the encircling reef was close to the shore, leaving the water
within smooth, and extremely shallow.

It was a blessed thought! We knew nothing till sunrise, when the
motion of our aquatic cot awakened us. I looked up, and beheld Zeke
wading toward the shore, and towing us after him by the bark cable.
Pointing to the reef, he told us we had had a narrow escape.

It was true enough; the water-sprites had rolled our stone out of its
noose, and we had floated away.



FAIR dawned, over the hills of Martair, the jocund morning of our

Everything had been prepared for it overnight; and, when we arrived at
the house, a good breakfast was spread by Shorty: and old Tonoi was
bustling about like an innkeeper. Several of his men, also, were in
attendance to accompany us with calabashes of food; and, in case we
met with any success, to officiate as bearers of burdens on our

Apprised, the evening previous, of the meditated sport, the doctor had
announced his willingness to take part therein.

Now, subsequent events made us regard this expedition as a shrewd
device of the Yankee's. Once get us off on a pleasure trip, and with
what face could we afterward refuse to work? Beside, he enjoyed all
the credit of giving us a holiday. Nor did he omit assuring us that,
work or play, our wages were all the while running on.

A dilapidated old musket of Tonoi's was borrowed for the doctor. It
was exceedingly short and heavy, with a clumsy lock, which required a
strong finger to pull the trigger.  On trying the piece by firing at
a mark, Long Ghost was satisfied that it could not fail of doing
execution: the charge went one way, and he the other.

Upon this, he endeavoured to negotiate an exchange of muskets with
Shorty; but the Cockney was proof against his blandishments; at last,
he intrusted his weapon to one of the natives to carry for him.

Marshalling our forces, we started for the head of the valley; near
which a path ascended to a range of high land, said to be a favourite
resort of the cattle.

Shortly after gaining the heights, a small herd, some way off, was
perceived entering a wood. We hurried on; and, dividing our party,
went in after them at four different points; each white man followed
by several natives.

I soon found myself in a dense covert; and, after looking round, was
just emerging into a clear space, when I heard a report, and a bullet
knocked the bark from a tree near by. The same instant there was a
trampling and crashing; and five bullocks, nearly abreast, broke into
View across the opening, and plunged right toward the spot where
myself and three of the islanders were standing.

They were small, black, vicious-looking creatures; with short, sharp
horns, red nostrils, and eyes like coals of fire. On they came--their
dark woolly heads hanging down.

By this time my island backers were roosting among the trees. Glancing
round, for an instant, to discover a retreat in case of emergency, I
raised my piece, when a voice cried out, from the wood, "Right
between the 'orns, Paul! right between the 'orns!" Down went my
barrel in range with a small white tuft on the forehead of the
headmost one; and, letting him have it, I darted to one side. As I
turned again, the five bullocks shot by like a blast, making the air
eddy in their wake.

The Yankee now burst into view, and saluted them in flank. Whereupon,
the fierce little bull with the tufted forehead flirted his long tail
over his buttocks; kicked out with his hind feet, and shot forward a
full length. It was nothing but a graze; and, in an instant, they
were out of sight, the thicket into which they broke rocking
overhead, and marking their progress.

The action over, the heavy artillery came up, in the person of the
Long Doctor with the blunderbuss.

"Where are they?" he cried, out of breath.

"A mile or two h'off, by this time," replied the Cockney. "Lord, Paul
I you ought to've sent an 'ailstone into that little black 'un."

While excusing my want of skill, as well as I could, Zeke, rushing
forward, suddenly exclaimed, "Creation! what are you 'bout there,

Peter, incensed at our ill luck, and ignorantly imputing it to the
cowardice of our native auxiliaries, was bringing his piece to bear
upon his trembling squire--the musket-carrier--now descending a tree.

Pulling trigger, the bullet went high over his head; and, hopping to
the ground, bellowing like a calf, the fellow ran away as fast as his
heels could carry him. The rest followed us, after this, with fear
and trembling.

After forming our line of march anew, we went on for several hours
without catching a glimpse of the game; the reports of the muskets
having been heard at a great distance. At last, we mounted a craggy
height, to obtain a wide view of the country.  Prom this place, we
beheld three cattle quietly browsing in a green opening of a wood
below; the trees shutting them in all round.

A general re-examination of the muskets now took place, followed by a
hasty lunch from the calabashes: we then started. As we descended the
mountainside the cattle were in plain sight until we entered the
forest, when we lost sight of them for a moment; but only to see them
again, as we crept close up to the spot where they grazed.

They were a bull, a cow, and a calf. The cow was lying down in the
shade, by the edge of the wood; the calf, sprawling out before her in
the grass, licking her lips; while old Taurus himself stood close by,
casting a paternal glance at this domestic little scene, and
conjugally elevating his nose in the air.

"Now then," said Zeke, in a whisper, "let's take the poor creeturs while
they are huddled together. Crawl along, b'ys; crawl along. Fire
together, mind; and not till I say the word."

We crept up to the very edge of the open ground, and knelt behind a
clump of bushes; resting our levelled barrels among the branches. The
slight rustling was heard. Taurus turned round, dropped his head to
the ground, and sent forth a low, sullen bellow; then snuffed the
air. The cow rose on her foreknees, pitched forward alannedly, and
stood upon her legs; while the calf, with ears pricked, got right
underneath her. All three were now grouped, and in an instant would be

"I take the bull," cried our leader; "fire!"

The calf fell like a clod; its dam uttered a cry, and thrust her head
into the thicket; but she turned, and came moaning up to the lifeless
calf, going round and round it, snuffing fiercely with her bleeding
nostrils. A crashing in the wood, and a loud roar, announced the
flying bull.

Soon, another shot was fired, and the cow fell. Leaving some of the
natives to look after the dead cattle, the rest of us hurried on
after the bull; his dreadful bellowing guiding us to the spot where
he lay. Wounded in the shoulder, in his fright and agony he had
bounded into the wood; but when we came up to him, he had sunk to the
earth in a green hollow, thrusting his black muzzle into a pool of his
own blood, and tossing it over his hide in clots.

The Yankee brought his piece to a rest; and, the next instant, the
wild brute sprang into the air, and with his forelegs crouching under
him, fell dead.

Our island friends were now in high spirits; all courage and alacrity.
Old Tonoi thought nothing of taking poor Taurus himself by the horns,
and peering into his glazed eyes.

Our ship knives were at once in request; and, skinning the cattle, we
hung them high up by cords of bark from the boughs of a tree.
Withdrawing into a covert, we there waited for the wild hogs; which,
according to Zeke, would soon make their appearance, lured by the
smell of blood. Presently we heard them coming, in two or three
different directions; and, in a moment, they were tearing the offal to

As only one shot at these creatures could be relied on, we intended
firing simultaneously; but, somehow or other, the doctor's piece went
off by itself, and one of the hogs dropped. The others then breaking
into the thicket, the rest of us sprang after them; resolved to have
another shot at all hazards.

The Cockney darted among some bushes; and, a few moments after, we
heard the report of his musket, followed by a quick cry. On running
up, we saw our comrade doing battle with a young devil of a boar, as
black as night, whose snout had been partly torn away. Firing when
the game was in full career, and coming directly toward him, Shorty
had been assailed by the enraged brute; it was now crunching the
breech of the musket, with which he had tried to club it; Shorty
holding fast to the barrel, and fingering his waist for a knife.
Being in advance of the others, I clapped my gun to the boar's head,
and so put an end to the contest.

Evening now coming on, we set to work loading our carriers. The cattle
were so small that a stout native could walk off with an entire
quarter; brushing through thickets, and descending rocks without an
apparent effort; though, to tell the truth, no white man present
could have done the thing with any ease. As for the wild hogs, none
of the islanders could be induced to carry Shorty's; some invincible
superstition being connected with its black colour. We were,
therefore, obliged to leave it. The other, a spotted one, being slung
by green thongs to a pole, was marched off with by two young natives.

With our bearers of burdens ahead, we then commenced our return down
the valley.  Half-way home, darkness overtook us in the woods; and
torches became necessary.  We stopped, and made them of dry palm
branches; and then, sending two lads on in advance for the purpose of
gathering fuel to feed the flambeaux, we continued our journey.

It was a wild sight. The torches, waved aloft, flashed through the
forest; and, where the ground admitted, the islanders went along on a
brisk trot, notwithstanding they bent forward under their loads.
Their naked backs were stained with blood; and occasionally, running
by each other, they raised wild cries which startled the hillsides.



TWO BULLOCKS and a boar! No bad trophies of our day's sport. So by
torchlight we marched into the plantation, the wild hog rocking from
its pole, and the doctor singing an old hunting-song--Tally-ho! the
chorus of which swelled high above the yells of the natives.

We resolved to make a night of it. Kindling a great fire just outside
the dwelling, and hanging one of the heifer's quarters from a limb of
the banian-tree, everyone was at liberty to cut and broil for
himself. Baskets of roasted bread-fruit, and plenty of taro pudding;
bunches of bananas, and young cocoa-nuts, had also been provided by
the natives against our return.

The fire burned bravely, keeping off the mosquitoes, and making every
man's face glow like a beaker of Port. The meat had the true
wild-game flavour, not at all impaired by our famous appetites, and a
couple of flasks of white brandy, which Zeke, producing from his
secret store, circulated freely.

There was no end to my long comrade's spirits. After telling his
stories, and singing his songs, he sprang to his feet, clasped a
young damsel of the grove round the waist, and waltzed over the grass
with her. But there's no telling all the pranks he played that night.
The natives, who delight in a wag, emphatically pronounced him

It was long after midnight ere we broke up; but when the rest had
retired, Zeke, with the true thrift of a Yankee, salted down what was
left of the meat.

The next day was Sunday; and at my request, Shorty accompanied me to
Afrehitoo--a neighbouring bay, and the seat of a mission, almost
directly opposite Papeetee. In Afrehitoo is a large church and
school-house, both quite dilapidated; and planted amid shrubbery on a
fine knoll, stands a very tasteful cottage, commanding a view across
the channel. In passing, I caught sight of a graceful calico skirt
disappearing from the piazza through a doorway. The place was the
residence of the missionary.

A trim little sail-boat was dancing out at her moorings, a few yards
from the beach.

Straggling over the low lands in the vicinity were several native
huts--untidy enough--but much better every way than most of those in

We attended service at the church, where we found but a small
congregation; and after what I had seen in Papeetee, nothing very
interesting took place. But the audience had a curious, fidgety look,
which I knew not how to account for until we ascertained that a
sermon with the eighth commandment for a text was being preached.

It seemed that there lived an Englishman in the district, who, like
our friends, the planters, was cultivating Tombez potatoes for the
Papeetee market.

In spite of all his precautions, the natives were in the habit of
making nocturnal forays into his inclosure, and carrying off the
potatoes. One night he fired a fowling-piece, charged with pepper and
salt, at several shadows which he discovered stealing across his
premises. They fled. But it was like seasoning anything else; the
knaves stole again with a greater relish than ever; and the very next
night, he caught a party in the act of roasting a basketful of
potatoes under his own cooking-shed. At last, he stated his
grievances to the missionary; who, for the benefit of his
congregation, preached the sermon we heard.

Now, there were no thieves in Martair; but then, the people of the
valley were bribed to be honest. It was a regular business
transaction between them and the planters. In consideration of so
many potatoes "to them in hand, duly paid," they were to abstain from
all depredations upon the plantation. Another security against roguery
was the permanent residence upon the premises of their chief, Tonoi.

On our return to Martair in the afternoon, we found the doctor and
Zeke making themselves comfortable. The latter was reclining on the
ground, pipe in mouth, watching the doctor, who, sitting like a Turk,
before a large iron kettle, was slicing potatoes and Indian turnip,
and now and then shattering splinters from a bone; all of which, by
turns, were thrown into the pot. He was making what he called
"Bullock broth."

In gastronomic affairs, my friend was something of an artist; and by
way of improving his knowledge, did nothing the rest of the day but
practise in what might be called Experimental Cookery: broiling and
grilling, and deviling slices of meat, and subjecting them to all
sorts of igneous operations. It was the first fresh beef that either
of us had tasted in more than a year.

"Oh, ye'll pick up arter a while, Peter," observed Zeke toward night,
as Long Ghost was turning a great rib over the coals--"what d'ye
think, Paul?"

"He'll get along, I dare say," replied I; "he only wants to get those
cheeks of his tanned." To tell the truth, I was not a little pleased
to see the doctor's reputation as an invalid fading away so fast;
especially as, on the strength of his being one, he had promised to
have such easy times of it, and very likely, too, at my expense.



DOZING in our canoe the next morning about daybreak, we were awakened
by Zeke's hailing us loudly from the beach.

Upon paddling up, he told us that a canoe had arrived overnight, from
Papeetee, with an order from a ship lying there for a supply of his
potatoes; and as they must be on board the vessel by noon, he wanted
us to assist in bringing them down to his sail-boat.

My long comrade was one of those who, from always thrusting forth the
wrong foot foremost when they rise, or committing some other
indiscretion of the limbs, are more or less crabbed or sullen before
breakfast. It was in vain, therefore, that the Yankee deplored the
urgency of the case which obliged him to call us up thus early:--the
doctor only looked the more glum, and said nothing in reply.

At last, by way of getting up a little enthusiasm for the occasion,
the Yankee exclaimed quite spiritedly, "What d'ye say, then, b'ys,
shall we get at it?"

"Yes, in the devil's name!" replied the doctor, like a snapping
turtle; and we moved on to the house. Notwithstanding his ungracious
answer, he probably thought that, after the gastronomic performance
of the day previous, it would hardly do to hang back. At the house,
we found Shorty ready with the hoes; and we at once repaired to the
farther side of the inclosure, where the potatoes had yet to be taken
out of the ground.

The rich, tawny soil seemed specially adapted to the crop; the great
yellow murphies rolling out of the hills like eggs from a nest.

My comrade really surprised me by the zeal with which he applied
himself to his hoe.  For my own part, exhilarated by the cool breath
of the morning, I worked away like a good fellow. As for Zeke and the
Cockney, they seemed mightily pleased at this evidence of our
willingness to exert ourselves.

It was not long ere all the potatoes were turned out; and then came
the worst of it:  they were to be lugged down to the beach, a
distance of at least a quarter of a mile.  And there being no such
thing as a barrow, or cart, on the island, there was nothing for it
but spinal-marrows and broad shoulders. Well knowing that this part of
the business would be anything but agreeable, Zeke did his best to
put as encouraging a face upon it as possible; and giving us no time
to indulge in desponding thoughts, gleefully directed our attention
to a pile of rude baskets--made of stout stalks--which had been
provided for the occasion. So, without more ado, we helped ourselves
from the heap: and soon we were all four staggering along under our

The first trip down, we arrived at the beach together: Zeke's
enthusiastic cries proving irresistible. A trip or two more, however,
and my shoulders began to grate in their sockets; while the doctor's
tall figure acquired an obvious stoop. Presently, we both threw down
our baskets, protesting we could stand it no longer. But our
employers, bent, as it Were, upon getting the work out of us by a
silent appeal to our moral sense, toiled away without pretending to
notice us. It was as much as to say, "There, men, we've been boarding
and lodging ye for the last three days; and yesterday ye did nothing
earthly but eat; so stand by now, and look at us working, if ye
dare." Thus driven to it, then, we resumed our employment. Yet, in
spite of all we could do, we lagged behind Zeke and Shorty, who,
breathing hard, and perspiring at every pore, toiled away without
pause or cessation. I almost wickedly wished that they would load
themselves down with one potato too many.

Gasping as I was with my own hamper, I could not, for the life of me,
help laughing at Long Ghost. There he went:--his long neck thrust
forward, his arms twisted behind him to form a shelf for his basket
to rest on; and his stilts of legs every once in a while giving way
under him, as if his knee-joints slipped either way.

"There! I carry no more!" he exclaimed all at once, flinging his
potatoes into the boat, where the Yankee was just then stowing them

"Oh, then," said Zeke, quite briskly, "I guess you and Paul had better
try the 'barrel-machine'--come along, I'll fix ye out in no time";
and, so saying, he waded ashore, and hurried back to the house,
bidding us follow.

Wondering what upon earth the "barrel-machine" could be, and rather
suspicious of it, we limped after. On arriving at the house, we found
him getting ready a sort of sedan-chair. It was nothing more than an
old barrel suspended by a rope from the middle of a stout oar. Quite
an ingenious contrivance of the Yankee's; and his proposed
arrangement with regard to mine and the doctor's shoulders was
equally so.

"There now!" said he, when everything was ready, "there's no
back-breaking about this; you can stand right up under it, you see:
jist try it once"; and he politely rested the blade of the oar on my
comrade's right shoulder, and the other end on mine, leaving the
barrel between us.

"Jist the thing!" he added, standing off admiringly, while we remained
in this interesting attitude.

There was no help for us; with broken hearts and backs we trudged back
to the field; the doctor all the while saying masses.

Upon starting with the loaded barrel, for a few paces we got along
pretty well, and were constrained to think the idea not a bad one.
But we did not long think so. In less than five minutes we came to a
dead halt, the springing and buckling of the clumsy oar being almost

"Let's shift ends," cried the doctor, who did not relish the blade of
the stick, which was cutting into the blade of his shoulder.

At last, by stages short and frequent, we managed to shamble down the
beach, where we again dumped our cargo, in something of a pet.

"Why not make the natives help?" asked Long Ghost, rubbing his

"Natives be dumned!" said the Yankee, "twenty on 'em ain't worth one
white man.  They never was meant to work any, them chaps; and they
knows it, too, for dumned little work any on 'em ever does."

But, notwithstanding this abuse, Zeke was at last obliged to press a
few of the bipeds into service. "Aramai!" (come here) he shouted to
several, who, reclining on a bank, had hitherto been critical
observers of our proceedings; and, among other things, had been
particularly amused by the performance with the sedan-chair.

After making these fellows load their baskets together, the Yankee
filled his own, and then drove them before him down to the beach.
Probably he had seen the herds of panniered mules driven in this way
by mounted Indians along the great Callao to Lima. The boat at last
loaded, the Yankee, taking with him a couple of natives, at once
hoisted sail, and stood across the channel for Papeetee.

The next morning at breakfast, old Tonoi ran in, and told us that the
voyagers were returning. We hurried down to the beach, and saw the
boat gliding toward us, with a dozing islander at the helm, and Zeke
standing up in the bows, jingling a small bag of silver, the proceeds
of his cargo.



SEVERAL quiet days now passed away, during which we just worked
sufficiently to sharpen our appetites; the planters leniently
exempting us from any severe toil.

Their desire to retain us became more and more evident; which was not
to be wondered at; for, beside esteeming us from the beginning a
couple of civil, good-natured fellows, who would soon become quite
at-home with them, they were not slow in perceiving that we were far
different from the common run of rovers; and that our society was
both entertaining and instructive to a couple of solitary, illiterate
men like themselves.

In a literary point of view, indeed, they soon regarded us with
emotions of envy and wonder; and the doctor was considered nothing
short of a prodigy. The Cockney found out that he (the doctor) could
read a book upside down, without even so much as spelling the big
words beforehand; and the Yankee, in the twinkling of an eye,
received from him the sum total of several arithmetical items, stated
aloud, with the view of testing the extent of his mathematical lore.

Then, frequently, in discoursing upon men and things, my long comrade
employed such imposing phrases that, upon one occasion, they actually
remained uncovered while he talked.

In short, their favourable opinion of Long Ghost in particular rose
higher and higher every day; and they began to indulge in all manner
of dreams concerning the advantages to be derived from employing so
learned a labourer. Among other projects revealed was that of
building a small craft of some forty tons for the purpose of trading
among the neighbouring islands. With a native crew, we would then
take turns cruising over the tranquil Pacific; touching here and
there, as caprice suggested, and collecting romantic articles of
commerce;--beach-de-mer, the pearl-oyster, arrow-root, ambergris,
sandal-wood, cocoa-nut oil, and edible birdnests.

This South Sea yachting was delightful to think of; and straightway,
the doctor announced his willingness to navigate the future schooner
clear of all shoals and reefs whatsoever. His impudence was
audacious. He enlarged upon the science of navigation; treated us to
a dissertation on Mercator's Sailing and the Azimuth compass; and
went into an inexplicable explanation of the Lord only knows what
plan of his for infallibly settling the longitude.

Whenever my comrade thus gave the reins to his fine fancy, it was a
treat to listen, and therefore I never interfered; but, with the
planters, sat in mute admiration before him. This apparent
self-abasement on my part must have been considered as truly
indicative of our respective merits; for, to my no small concern, I
quickly perceived that, in the estimate formed of us, Long Ghost
began to be rated far above myself.  For aught I knew, indeed, he
might have privately thrown out a hint concerning the difference in
our respective stations aboard the Julia; or else the planters must
have considered him some illustrious individual, for certain
inscrutable reasons, going incog. With this idea of him, his
undisguised disinclination for work became venial; and entertaining
such views of extending their business, they counted more upon his
ultimate value to them as a man of science than as a mere ditcher.

Nor did the humorous doctor forbear to foster an opinion every way so
advantageous to himself; at times, for the sake of the joke, assuming
airs of superiority over myself, which, though laughable enough, were
sometimes annoying.

To tell the plain truth, things at last came to such a pass that I
told him, up and down, that I had no notion to put up with his
pretensions; if he were going to play the gentleman, I was going to
follow suit; and then there would quickly be an explosion.

At this he laughed heartily; and after some mirthful chat, we resolved
upon leaving the valley as soon as we could do so with a proper
regard to politeness.

At supper, therefore, the same evening, the doctor hinted at our

Though much surprised, and vexed, Zeke moved not a muscle. "Peter,"
said he at last--very gravely--and after mature deliberation, "would
you like to do the cooking?  It's easy work; and you needn't do
anything else. Paul's heartier; he can work in the field when it
suits him; and before long, we'll have ye at something more
agreeable:--won't we, Shorty?"

Shorty assented.

Doubtless, the proposed arrangement was a snug one; especially the
sinecure for the doctor; but I by no means relished the functions
allotted to myself--they were too indefinite. Nothing final, however,
was agreed upon;--our intention to leave was revealed, and that was
enough for the present. But, as we said nothing further about going,
the Yankee must have concluded that we might yet be induced to remain.
He redoubled his endeavours to make us contented.

It was during this state of affairs that, one morning, before
breakfast, we were set to weeding in a potato-patch; and the planters
being engaged at the house, we were left to ourselves.

Now, though the pulling of weeds was considered by our employers an
easy occupation (for which reason they had assigned it to us), and
although as a garden recreation it may be pleasant enough, for those
who like it--still, long persisted in, the business becomes
excessively irksome.

Nevertheless, we toiled away for some time, until the doctor, who,
from his height, was obliged to stoop at a very acute angle, suddenly
sprang upright; and with one hand propping his spinal column,
exclaimed, "Oh, that one's joints were but provided with holes to
drop a little oil through!"

Vain as the aspiration was for this proposed improvement upon our
species, I cordially responded thereto; for every vertebra in my
spine was articulating in sympathy.

Presently, the sun rose over the mountains, inducing that deadly
morning languor so fatal to early exertion in a warm climate. We
could stand it no longer; but, shouldering our hoes, moved on to the
house, resolved to impose no more upon the good-nature of the
planters by continuing one moment longer in an occupation so
extremely uncongenial.

We freely told them so. Zeke was exceedingly hurt, and said everything
he could think of to alter our determination; but, finding all
unavailing, he very hospitably urged us not to be in any hurry about
leaving; for we might stay with him as guests until we had time to
decide upon our future movements.

We thanked him sincerely; but replied that, the following morning, we
must turn our backs upon the hills of Martair.



DURING the remainder of the day we loitered about, talking over our

The doctor was all eagerness to visit Tamai, a solitary inland
village, standing upon the banks of a considerable lake of the same
name, and embosomed among groves.  From Afrehitoo you went to this
place by a lonely pathway leading through the wildest scenery in the
world. Much, too, we had heard concerning the lake itself, which
abounded in such delicious fish that, in former times, angling parties
occasionally came over to it from Papeetee.

Upon its banks, moreover, grew the finest fruit of the islands, and in
their greatest perfection. The "Ve," or Brazilian plum, here attained
the size of an orange; and the gorgeous "Arheea," or red apple of
Tahiti, blushed with deeper dyes than in any of the seaward valleys.

Beside all this, in Tamai dwelt the most beautiful and unsophisticated
women in the entire Society group. In short, the village was so
remote from the coast, and had been so much less affected by recent
changes than other places that, in most things, Tahitian life was
here seen as formerly existing in the days of young Otoo, the
boy-king, in Cook's time.

After obtaining from the planters all the information which was
needed, we decided upon penetrating to the village; and after a
temporary sojourn there, to strike the beach again, and journey round
to Taloo, a harbour on the opposite side of the island.

We at once put ourselves in travelling trim. Just previous to leaving
Tahiti, having found my wardrobe reduced to two suits (frock and
trousers, both much the worse for wear), I had quilted them together
for mutual preservation (after a fashion peculiar to sailors);
engrafting a red frock upon a blue one, and producing thereby a
choice variety in the way of clothing. This was the extent of my
wardrobe. Nor was the doctor by any means better off. His
improvidence had at last driven him to don the nautical garb; but by
this time his frock--a light cotton one--had almost given out, and he
had nothing to replace it. Shorty very generously offered him one
which was a little less ragged; but the alms were proudly refused;
Long Ghost preferring to assume the ancient costume of Tahiti--the

This garment, once worn as a festival dress, is now seldom met with;
but Captain Bob had often shown us one which he kept as an heirloom.
It was a cloak, or mantle, of yellow tappa, precisely similar to the
"poncho" worn by the South-American Spaniards. The head being slipped
through a slit in the middle, the robe hangs about the person in
ample drapery. Tonoi obtained sufficient coarse brown tappa to make a
short mantle of this description; and in five minutes the doctor was
equipped. Zeke, eyeing his toga critically, reminded its proprietor
that there were many streams to ford, and precipices to scale,
between Martair and Tamai; and if he travelled in petticoats, he had
better hold them up.

Besides other deficiencies, we were utterly shoeless. In the free and
easy Pacific, sailors seldom wear shoes; mine had been tossed
overboard the day we met the Trades; and except in one or two tramps
ashore, I had never worn any since. In Martair, they would have been
desirable: but none were to be had. For the expedition we meditated,
however, they were indispensable. Zeke, being the owner of a pair of
huge, dilapidated boots, hanging from a rafter like saddlebags, the
doctor succeeded in exchanging for them a case-knife, the last
valuable article in his possession. For myself, I made sandals from a
bullock's hide, such as are worn by the Indians in California. They
are made in a minute; the sole, rudely fashioned to the foot, being
confined across the instep by three straps of leather.

Our headgear deserves a passing word. My comrade's was a brave old
Panama hat, made of grass, almost as fine as threads of silk; and so
elastic that, upon rolling it up, it sprang into perfect shape again.
Set off by the jaunty slouch of this Spanish sombrero, Doctor Long
Ghost, in this and his Eoora, looked like a mendicant grandee.

Nor was my own appearance in an Eastern turban less distinguished. The
way I came to wear it was this. My hat having been knocked overboard
a few days before reaching Papeetee, I was obliged to mount an
abominable wad of parti-coloured worsted--what sailors call a Scotch
cap. Everyone knows the elasticity of knit wool; and this Caledonian
head-dress crowned my temples so effectually that the confined
atmosphere engendered was prejudicial to my curls. In vain I tried to
ventilate the cap: every gash made seemed to heal whole in no time.
Then such a continual chafing as it kept up in a hot sun.

Seeing my dislike to the thing, Kooloo, my worthy friend, prevailed
upon me to bestow it upon him. I did so; hinting that a good boiling
might restore the original brilliancy of the colours.

It was then that I mounted the turban. Taking a new Regatta frock of
the doctor's, which was of a gay calico, and winding it round my head
in folds, I allowed the sleeves to droop behind--thus forming a good
defence against the sun, though in a shower it was best off. The
pendent sleeves adding much to the effect, the doctor called me the
Bashaw with Two Tails.

Thus arrayed, we were ready for Tamai; in whose green saloons we
counted upon creating no small sensation.



LONG before sunrise the next morning my sandals were laced on, and the
doctor had vaulted into Zeke's boots.

Expecting to see us again before we went to Taloo, the planters wished
us a pleasant journey; and, on parting, very generously presented us
with a pound or two of what sailors call "plug" tobacco; telling us
to cut it up into small change; the Virginian weed being the
principal circulating medium on the island.

Tamai, we were told, was not more than three or four leagues distant;
so making allowances for a wild road, a few hours to rest at noon,
and our determination to take the journey leisurely, we counted upon
reaching the shores of the lake some time in the flush of the

For several hours we went on slowly through wood and ravine, and over
hill and precipice, seeing nothing but occasional herds of wild
cattle, and often resting; until we found ourselves, about noon, in
the very heart of the island.

It was a green, cool hollow among the mountains, into which we at last
descended with a bound. The place was gushing with a hundred springs,
and shaded over with great solemn trees, on whose mossy boles the
moisture stood in beads. Strange to say, no traces of the bullocks
ever having been here were revealed. Nor was there a sound to be
heard, nor a bird to be seen, nor any breath of wind stirring the
leaves.  The utter solitude and silence were oppressive; and after
peering about under the shades, and seeing nothing but ranks of dark,
motionless trunks, we hurried across the hollow, and ascended a steep
mountain opposite.

Midway up, we rested where the earth had gathered about the roots of
three palms, and thus formed a pleasant lounge, from which we looked
down upon the hollow, now one dark green tuft of woodland at our
feet. Here we brought forth a small calabash of "poee" a parting
present from Tonoi. After eating heartily, we obtained fire by two
sticks, and throwing ourselves back, puffed forth our fatigue in
wreaths of smoke. At last we fell asleep; nor did we waken till the
sun had sunk so low that its rays darted in upon us under the

Starting up, we then continued our journey; and as we gained the
mountain top--there, to our surprise, lay the lake and village of
Tamai. We had thought it a good league off. Where we stood, the
yellow sunset was still lingering; but over the valley below long
shadows were stealing--the rippling green lake reflecting the houses
and trees just as they stood along its banks. Several small canoes,
moored here and there to posts in the water, were dancing upon the
waves; and one solitary fisherman was paddling over to a grassy
point. In front of the houses, groups of natives were seen; some
thrown at full length upon the ground, and others indolently leaning
against the bamboos.

With whoop and halloo, we ran down the hills, the villagers soon
hurrying forth to see who were coming. As we drew near, they gathered
round, all curiosity to know what brought the "karhowrees" into their
quiet country. The doctor contriving to make them understand the
purely social object of our visit, they gave us a true Tahitian
welcome; pointing into their dwellings, and saying they were ours as
long as we chose to remain.

We were struck by the appearance of these people, both men and women;
so much more healthful than the inhabitants of the bays. As for the
young girls, they were more retiring and modest, more tidy in their
dress, and far fresher and more beautiful than the damsels of the
coast. A thousand pities, thought I, that they should bury their
charms in this nook of a valley.

That night we abode in the house of Rartoo, a hospitable old chief. It
was right on the shore of the lake; and at supper we looked out
through a rustling screen of foliage upon the surface of the starlit

The next day we rambled about, and found a happy little community,
comparatively free from many deplorable evils to which the rest of
their countrymen are subject.  Their time, too, was more occupied. To
my surprise, the manufacture of tappa was going on in several
buildings. European calicoes were seldom seen, and not many articles
of foreign origin of any description.

The people of Tamai were nominally Christians; but being so remote
from ecclesiastical jurisdiction, their religion sat lightly upon
them. We had been told, even, that many heathenish games and dances
still secretly lingered in their valley.

Now the prospect of seeing an old-fashioned "hevar," or Tahitian reel,
was one of the inducements which brought us here; and so, finding
Rartoo rather liberal in his religious ideas, we disclosed our
desire. At first he demurred; and shrugging his shoulders like a
Frenchman, declared it could not be brought about--was a dangerous
matter to attempt, and might bring all concerned into trouble. But we
overcame all this, convinced him that the thing could be done, and a
"hevar," a genuine pagan fandango, was arranged for that very night.



THERE were some ill-natured people--tell-tales--it seemed, in Tamai;
and hence there was a deal of mystery about getting up the dance.

An hour or two before midnight, Rartoo entered the house, and,
throwing robes of tappa over us, bade us follow at a distance behind
him; and, until out of the village, hood our faces. Keenly alive to
the adventure, we obeyed. At last, after taking a wide circuit, we
came out upon the farthest shore of the lake. It was a wide, dewy,
space; lighted up by a full moon, and carpeted with a minute species
of fern growing closely together. It swept right down to the water,
showing the village opposite, glistening among the groves.

Near the trees, on one side of the clear space, was a ruinous pile of
stones many rods in extent; upon which had formerly stood a temple of
Oro. At present, there was nothing but a rude hut, planted on the
lowermost terrace. It seemed to have been used as a "tappa herree,"
or house for making the native cloth.

Here we saw lights gleaming from between the bamboos, and casting
long, rod-like shadows upon the ground without. Voices also were
heard. We went up, and had a peep at the dancers who were getting
ready for the ballet. They were some twenty in number;-waited upon by
hideous old crones, who might have been duennas. Long Ghost proposed
to send the latter packing; but Rartoo said it would never do, and so
they were permitted to remain.

We tried to effect an entrance at the door, which was fastened; but,
after a noisy discussion with one of the old witches within, our
guide became fidgety, and, at last, told us to desist, or we would
spoil all. He then led us off to a distance to await the performance;
as the girls, he said, did not wish to be recognized. He,
furthermore, made us promise to remain where we were until all was
over, and the dancers had retired.

We waited impatiently; and, at last, they came forth. They were
arrayed in short tunics of white tappa; with garlands of flowers on
their heads. Following them were the duennas, who remained clustering
about the house, while the girls advanced a few paces; and, in an
instant, two of them, taller than their companions, were standing,
side by side, in the middle of a ring formed by the clasped hands of
the rest. This movement was made in perfect silence.

Presently the two girls join hands overhead; and, crying out, "Ahloo!
ahloo!" wave them to and fro. Upon which the ring begins to circle
slowly; the dancers moving sideways, with their arms a little
drooping. Soon they quicken their pace; and, at last, fly round and
round: bosoms heaving, hair streaming, flowers dropping, and every
sparkling eye circling in what seemed a line of light.

Meanwhile, the pair within are passing and repassing each other
incessantly.  Inclining sideways, so that their long hair falls far
over, they glide this way and that; one foot continually in the air,
and their fingers thrown forth, and twirling in the moonbeams.

"Ahloo! ahloo!" again cry the dance queens; and coming together in the
middle of the ring, they once more lift up the arch, and stand

"Ahloo! ahloo!" Every link of the circle is broken; and the girls,
deeply breathing, stand perfectly still. They pant hard and fast a
moment or two; and then, just as the deep flush is dying away from
their faces, slowly recede, all round; thus enlarging the ring.

Again the two leaders wave their hands, when the rest pause; and now,
far apart, stand in the still moonlight like a circle of fairies.
Presently, raising a strange chant, they softly sway themselves,
gradually quickening the movement, until, at length, for a few
passionate moments, with throbbing bosoms and glowing cheeks, they
abandon themselves to all the spirit of the dance, apparently lost to
everything around. But soon subsiding again into the same languid
measure as before, they become motionless; and then, reeling forward
on all sides, their eyes swimming in their heads, join in one wild
chorus, and sink into each other's arms.

Such is the Lory-Lory, I think they call it; the dance of the
backsliding girls of Tamai.

While it was going on, we had as much as we could do to keep the
doctor from rushing forward and seizing a partner.

They would give us no more "hevars" that night; and Rartoo fairly
dragged us away to a canoe, hauled up on the lake shore; when we
reluctantly embarked, and paddling over to the village, arrived there
in time for a good nap before sunrise.

The next day, the doctor went about trying to hunt up the overnight
dancers. He thought to detect them by their late rising; but never
was man more mistaken; for, on first sallying out, the whole village
was asleep, waking up in concert about an hour after. But, in the
course of the day, he came across several whom he at once charged
with taking part in the "hevar." There were some prim-looking fellows
standing by (visiting elders from Afrehitoo, perhaps), and the girls
looked embarrassed; but parried the charge most skilfully.

Though soft as doves, in general, the ladies of Tamai are,
nevertheless, flavoured with a slight tincture of what we queerly
enough call the "devil"; and they showed it on the present occasion.
For when the doctor pressed one rather hard, she all at once turned
round upon him, and, giving him a box on the ear, told him to "hanree
perrar!" (be off with himself.)



THERE was a little old man of a most hideous aspect living in Tamai,
who, in a coarse mantle of tappa, went about the village, dancing,
and singing, and making faces. He followed us about wherever we went;
and, when unobserved by others, plucked at our garments, making
frightful signs for us to go along with him somewhere, and see

It was in vain that we tried to get rid of him. Kicks and cuffs, even,
were at last resorted to; but, though he howled like one possessed,
he would not go away, but still haunted us. At last, we conjured the
natives to rid us of him; but they only laughed; so we were forced to
endure the dispensation as well as we could.

On the fourth night of our visit, returning home late from paying a
few calls through the village, we turned a dark corner of trees, and
came full upon our goblin friend: as usual, chattering, and motioning
with his hands. The doctor, venting a curse, hurried forward; but,
from some impulse or other, I stood my ground, resolved to find out
what this unaccountable object wanted of us. Seeing me pause, he crept
close up to me, peered into my face, and then retreated, beckoning me
to follow; which I did.

In a few moments the village was behind us; and with my guide in
advance, I found myself in the shadow of the heights overlooking the
farther side of the valley. Here my guide paused until I came up with
him; when, side by side, and without speaking, we ascended the hill.

Presently, we came to a wretched hut, barely distinguishable in the
shade cast by the neighbouring trees. Pushing aside a rude sliding
door, held together with thongs, the goblin signed me to enter.
Within, it looked dark as pitch; so I gave him to understand that he
must strike a light, and go in before me. Without replying, he
disappeared in the darkness; and, after groping about, I heard two
sticks rubbing together, and directly saw a spark. A native taper was
then lighted, and I stooped, and entered.

It was a mere kennel. Foul old mats, and broken cocoa-nut shells, and
calabashes were strewn about the floor of earth; and overhead I
caught glimpses of the stars through chinks in the roof. Here and
there the thatch had fallen through, and hung down in wisps.

I now told him to set about what he was going to do, or produce
whatever he had to show without delay. Looking round fearfully, as if
dreading a surprise, he commenced turning over and over the rubbish
in one corner. At last, he clutched a calabash, stained black, and
with the neck broken off; on one side of it was a large hole.
Something seemed to be stuffed away in the vessel; and after a deal of
poking at the aperture, a musty old pair of sailor trousers was drawn
forth; and, holding them up eagerly, he inquired how many pieces of
tobacco I would give for them.

Without replying, I hurried away; the old man chasing me, and shouting
as I ran, until I gained the village. Here I dodged him, and made my
way home, resolved never to disclose so inglorious an adventure.

To no purpose, the next morning, my comrade besought me to enlighten
him; I preserved a mysterious silence.

The occurrence served me a good turn, however, so long as we abode in
Tamai; for the old clothesman never afterwards troubled me; but
forever haunted the doctor, who, in vain, supplicated Heaven to be
delivered from him.



"I SAY, doctor," cried I, a few days after my adventure with the
goblin, as, in the absence of our host, we were one morning lounging
upon the matting in his dwelling, smoking our reed pipes, "Tamai's a
thriving place; why not settle down?"

"Faith!" said he, "not a bad idea, Paul. But do you fancy they'll let
us stay, though?"

"Why, certainly; they would be overjoyed to have a couple of
Karhowrees for townsmen."

"Gad! you're right, my pleasant fellow. Ha! ha! I'll put up a
banana-leaf as a physician from London--deliver lectures on
Polynesian antiquities--teach English in five lessons, of one hour
each--establish power-looms for the manufacture of tappa--lay out a
public park in the middle of the village, and found a festival in
honour of Captain Cook!"

"But, surely, not without stopping to take breath," observed I.

The doctor's projects, to be sure, were of a rather visionary cast;
but we seriously thought, nevertheless, of prolonging our stay in the
valley for an indefinite period; and, with this understanding, we
were turning over various plans for spending our time pleasantly,
when several women came running into the house, and hurriedly
besought us to heree! heree! (make our escape), crying out something
about the Mickonarees.

Thinking that we were about to be taken up under the act for the
suppression of vagrancy, we flew out of the house, sprang into a
canoe before the door, and paddled with might and main over to the
opposite side of the lake.

Approaching Rartoo's dwelling was a great crowd, among which we
perceived several natives, who, from their partly European dress, we
were certain did not reside in Tamai.

Plunging into the groves, we thanked our stars that we had thus
narrowly escaped being apprehended as runaway seamen, and marched off
to the beach. This, at least, was what we thought we had escaped.

Having fled the village, we could not think of prowling about its
vicinity, and then returning; in doing so we might be risking our
liberty again. We therefore determined upon journeying back to
Martair; and setting our faces thitherward, we reached the planters'
house about nightfall. They gave us a cordial reception, and a hearty
supper; and we sat up talking until a late hour.

We now prepared to go round to Taloo, a place from which we were not
far off when at Tamai; but wishing to see as much of the island as we
could, we preferred returning to Martair, and then going round by way
of the beach.

Taloo, the only frequented harbour of Imeeo, lies on the western side
of the island, almost directly over against Martair. Upon one shore
of the bay stands the village of Partoowye, a missionary station. In
its vicinity is an extensive sugar plantation--the best in the South
Seas, perhaps--worked by a person from Sydney.

The patrimonial property of the husband of Pomaree, and every way a
delightful retreat, Partoowye was one of the occasional residences of
the court. But at the time I write of it was permanently fixed there,
the queen having fled thither from Tahiti.

Partoowye, they told us, was by no means the place Papeetee was. Ships
seldom touched, and very few foreigners were living ashore. A
solitary whaler, however, was reported to be lying in the harbour,
wooding and watering, and to be in want of men.

All things considered, I could not help looking upon Taloo as offering
"a splendid opening" for us adventurers. To say nothing of the
facilities presented for going to sea in the whaler, or hiring
ourselves out as day labourers in the sugar plantation, there were
hopes to be entertained of being promoted to some office of high
trust and emolument about the person of her majesty, the queen.

Nor was this expectation altogether Quixotic. In the train of many
Polynesian princes roving whites are frequently found: gentleman
pensioners of state, basking in the tropical sunshine of the court,
and leading the pleasantest lives in the world. Upon islands little
visited by foreigners the first seaman that settles down is generally
domesticated in the family of the head chief or king; where he
frequently discharges the functions of various offices, elsewhere
filled by as many different individuals. As historiographer, for
instance, he gives the natives some account of distant countries; as
commissioner of the arts and sciences, he instructs them in the use of
the jack-knife, and the best way of shaping bits of iron hoop into
spear-heads; and as interpreter to his majesty, he facilitates
intercourse with strangers; besides instructing the people generally
in the uses of the most common English phrases, civil and profane;
but oftener the latter.

These men generally marry well; often--like Hardy of Hannamanoo--into
the Wood royal.

Sometimes they officiate as personal attendant, or First Lord in
Waiting, to the king.  At Amboi, one of the Tonga Islands, a vagabond
Welshman bends his knee as cupbearer to his cannibal majesty. He
mixes his morning cup of "arva," and, with profound genuflections,
presents it in a cocoa-nut bowl, richly carved. Upon another island
of the same group, where it is customary to bestow no small pains in
dressing the hair--frizzing it out by a curious process into an
enormous Pope's head--an old man-of-war's-man fills the post of
barber to the king. And as his majesty is not very neat, his mop is
exceedingly populous; so that, when Jack is not engaged in dressing
the head intrusted to his charge, he busies himself in gently
titillating it--a sort of skewer being actually worn about in the
patient's hair for that special purpose.

Even upon the Sandwich Islands a low rabble of foreigners is kept
about the person of Tammahammaha for the purpose of ministering to
his ease or enjoyment.

Billy Loon, a jolly little negro, tricked out in a soiled blue jacket,
studded all over with rusty bell buttons, and garnished with shabby
gold lace, is the royal drummer and pounder of the tambourine. Joe, a
wooden-legged Portuguese who lost his leg by a whale, is violinist;
and Mordecai, as he is called, a villainous-looking scamp, going
about with his cups and balls in a side pocket, diverts the court with
his jugglery.  These idle rascals receive no fixed salary, being
altogether dependent upon the casual bounty of their master. Now and
then they run up a score at the Dance Houses in Honolulu, where the
illustrious Tammahammaha III afterwards calls and settles the bill.

A few years since an auctioneer to his majesty came near being added
to the retinue of state. It seems that he was the first man who had
practised his vocation in the Sandwich Islands; and delighted with
the sport of bidding upon his wares, the king was one of his best
customers. At last he besought the man to leave all and follow him,
and he should be handsomely provided for at court. But the auctioneer
refused; and so the ivory hammer lost the chance of being borne
before him on a velvet cushion when the next king went to be crowned.

But it was not as strolling players, nor as footmen out of employ,
that the doctor and myself looked forward to our approaching
introduction to the court of the Queen of Tahiti. On the contrary, as
before hinted, we expected to swell the appropriations of bread-fruit
and cocoa-nuts on the Civil List by filling some honourable office in
her gift.

We were told that, to resist the usurpation of the French, the queen
was rallying about her person all the foreigners she could. Her
partiality for the English and Americans was well known; and this was
an additional ground for our anticipating a favourable reception.
Zeke had informed us, moreover, that by the queen's counsellors at
Partoowye, a war of aggression against the invaders of Papeetee had
been seriously thought of. Should this prove true, a surgeon's
commission for the doctor, and a lieutenancy for myself, were
certainly counted upon in our sanguine expectations.

Such, then, were our views, and such our hopes in projecting a trip to
Taloo. But in our most lofty aspirations we by no means lost sight of
any minor matters which might help us to promotion. The doctor had
informed me that he excelled in playing the fiddle. I now suggested
that, as soon as we arrived at Partoowye, we should endeavour to
borrow a violin for him; or if this could not be done, that he should
manufacture some kind of a substitute, and, thus equipped, apply for
an audience of the queen. Her well-known passion for music would at
once secure his admittance; and so, under the most favourable
auspices, bring about our introduction to her notice.

"And who knows," said my waggish comrade, throwing his head back and
performing an imaginary air by briskly drawing one arm across the
other, "who knows that I may not fiddle myself into her majesty's
good graces so as to became a sort of Rizzio to the Tahitian



THE inglorious circumstances of our somewhat premature departure from
Tamai filled the sagacious doctor, and myself, with sundry misgivings
for the future.

Under Zeke's protection, we were secure from all impertinent
interference in our concerns on the part of the natives. But as
friendless wanderers over the island, we ran the risk of being
apprehended as runaways, and, as such, sent back to Tahiti.  The
truth is that the rewards constantly offered for the apprehension of
deserters from ships induce some of the natives to eye all strangers

A passport was therefore desirable; but such a thing had never been
heard of in Imeeo. At last, Long Ghost suggested that, as the Yankee
was well known and much respected all over the island, we should
endeavour to obtain from him some sort of paper, not only certifying
to our having been in his employ, but also to our not being
highwaymen, kidnappers, nor yet runaway seamen. Even written in
English, a paper like this would answer every purpose; for the
unlettered natives, standing in great awe of the document, would not
dare to molest us until acquainted with its purport.  Then, if it
came to the worst, we might repair to the nearest missionary, and have
the passport explained.

Upon informing Zeke of these matters, he seemed highly flattered with
the opinion we entertained of his reputation abroad; and he agreed to
oblige us. The doctor at once offered to furnish him with a draught
of the paper; but he refused, saying he would write it himself. With
a rooster's quill, therefore, a bit of soiled paper, and a stout
heart, he set to work. Evidently he was not accustomed to composition;
for his literary throes were so violent that the doctor suggested
that some sort of a Caesarian operation might be necessary.

The precious paper was at last finished; and a great curiosity it was.
We were much diverted with his reasons for not dating it.

"In this here dummed eliminate," he observed, "a feller can't keep the
run of the months, nohow; cause there's no seasons; no summer and
winter, to go by. One's etarnally thinkin' it's always July, it's so
pesky hot."

A passport provided, we cast about for some means of getting to

The island of Imeeo is very nearly surrounded by a regular breakwater
of coral extending within a mile or less of the shore. The smooth
canal within furnishes the best means of communication with the
different settlements; all of which, with the exception of Tamai, are
right upon the water. And so indolent are the Imeeose that they think
nothing of going twenty or thirty miles round the island in a canoe in
order to reach a place not a quarter of that distance by land. But as
hinted before, the fear of the bullocks has something to do with

The idea of journeying in a canoe struck our fancy quite pleasantly;
and we at once set about chartering one, if possible. But none could
we obtain. For not only did we have nothing to pay for hiring one,
but we could not expect to have it loaned; inasmuch as the
good-natured owner would, in all probability, have to walk along the
beach as we paddled in order to bring back his property when we had no
further use for it.

At last, it was decided to commence our journey on foot; trusting that
we would soon fall in with a canoe going our way, in which we might
take passage.

The planters said we would find no beaten path: all we had to do was
to follow the beach; and however inviting it might look inland, on no
account must we stray from it.  In short, the longest way round was
the nearest way to Taloo. At intervals, there were little hamlets
along the shore, besides lonely fishermen's huts here and there,
where we could get plenty to eat without pay; so there was no
necessity to lay in any store.

Intending to be off before sunrise the next morning, so as to have the
benefit of the coolest part of the day, we bade our kind hosts
farewell overnight; and then, repairing to the beach, we launched our
floating pallet, and slept away merrily till dawn.



IT was on the fourth day of the first month of the Hegira, or flight
from Tamai (we now reckoned our time thus), that, rising bright and
early, we were up and away out of the valley of Hartair before the
fishermen even were stirring.

It was the earliest dawn. The morning only showed itself along the
lower edge of a bank of purple clouds pierced by the misty peaks of
Tahiti. The tropical day seemed too languid to rise. Sometimes,
starting fitfully, it decked the clouds with faint edgings of pink
and gray, which, fading away, left all dim again. Anon, it threw out
thin, pale rays, growing lighter and lighter, until at last, the
golden morning sprang out of the East with a bound--darting its
bright beams hither and thither, higher and higher, and sending them,
broadcast, over the face of the heavens.

All balmy from the groves of Tahiti came an indolent air, cooled by
its transit over the waters; and grateful underfoot was the damp and
slightly yielding beach, from which the waves seemed just retired.

The doctor was in famous spirits; removing his Koora, he went
splashing into the sea; and, after swimming a few yards, waded
ashore, hopping, skipping, and jumping along the beach; but very
careful to cut all his capers in the direction of our journey.

Say what they will of the glowing independence one feels in the
saddle, give me the first morning flush of your cheery pedestrian!

Thus exhilarated, we went on, as light-hearted and care-free as we
could wish.

And here I cannot refrain from lauding the very superior inducements
which most intertropical countries afford, not only to mere rovers
like ourselves, but to penniless people generally. In these genial
regions one's wants are naturally diminished; and those which remain
are easily gratified; fuel, house-shelter, and, if you please,
clothing, may be entirely dispensed with.

How different our hard northern latitudes! Alas! the lot of a "poor
devil," twenty degrees north of the tropic of Cancer, is indeed

At last, the beach contracted to hardly a yard's width, and the dense
thicket almost dipped into the sea. In place of the smooth sand, too,
we had sharp fragments of broken coral, which made travelling
exceedingly unpleasant. "Lord! my foot!" roared the doctor, fetching
it up for inspection, with a galvanic fling of the limb. A sharp
splinter had thrust itself into the flesh through a hole in his boot.
My sandals were worse yet; their soles taking a sort of fossil
impression of everything trod upon.

Turning round a bold sweep of the beach, we came upon a piece of fine,
open ground, with a fisherman's dwelling in the distance, crowning a
knoll which rolled off into the water.

The hut proved to be a low, rude erection, very recently thrown up;
for the bamboos were still green as grass, and the thatching fresh
and fragrant as meadow hay. It was open upon three sides; so that,
upon drawing near, the domestic arrangements within were in plain
sight. No one was stirring; and nothing was to be seen but a clumsy
old chest of native workmanship, a few calabashes, and bundles of
tappa hanging against a post; and a heap of something, we knew not
what, in a dark corner. Upon close inspection, the doctor discovered
it to be a loving old couple, locked in each other's arms, and rolled
together in a tappa mantle.

"Halloa! Darby!" he cried, shaking the one with a beard. But Darby
heeded him not; though Joan, a wrinkled old body, started up in
affright, and yelled aloud. Neither of us attempting to gag her, she
presently became quiet; and, after staring hard and asking some
unintelligible questions, she proceeded to rouse her still slumbering

What ailed him we could not tell; but there was no waking him. Equally
in vain were all his dear spouse's cuffs, pinches, and other
endearments; he lay like a log, face up, snoring away like a cavalry

"Here, my good woman," said Long Ghost, "just let me try"; and, taking
the patient right by his nose, he so lifted him bodily into a sitting
position, and held him there until his eyes opened. When this event
came to pass, Darby looked round like one stupefied; and then,
springing to his feet, backed away into a corner, from which place we
became the objects of his earnest and respectful attention.

"Permit me, my dear Darby, to introduce to you my esteemed friend and
comrade, Paul," said the doctor, gallanting me up with all the
grimace and flourish imaginable.  Upon this, Darby began to recover
his faculties, and surprised us not a little by talking a few words
of English. So far as could be understood, they were expressive of
his having been aware that there were two "karhowrees" in the
neighbourhood; that he was glad to see us, and would have something
for us to eat in no time.

How he came by his English was explained to us before we left. Some
time previous, he had been a denizen of Papeetee, where the native
language is broidered over with the most classic sailor phrases. He
seemed to be quite proud of his residence there; and alluded to it in
the same significant way in which a provincial informs you that in
his time he has resided in the capital. The old fellow was disposed to
be garrulous; but being sharp-set, we told him to get breakfast;
after which we would hear his anecdotes. While employed among the
calabashes, the strange, antiquated fondness between these old
semi-savages was really amusing. I made no doubt that they were
saying to each other, "yes, my love"--"no, my life," just in the same
way that some young couples do, at home.

They gave us a hearty meal; and while we were discussing its merits,
they assured us, over and over again, that they expected nothing in
return for their attentions; more: we were at liberty to stay as long
as we pleased; and as long as we did stay, their house and everything
they had was no longer theirs, but ours; still more: they themselves
were our slaves--the old lady, to a degree that was altogether
superfluous. This, now, is Tahitian hospitality! Self-immolation upon
one's own hearthstone for the benefit of the guest.

The Polynesians carry their hospitality to an amazing extent. Let a
native of Waiurar, the westernmost part of Tahiti, make his
appearance as a traveller at Partoowye, the most easterly village of
Imeeo; though a perfect stranger, the inhabitants on all sides accost
him at their doorways, inviting him to enter, and make himself at
home. But the traveller passes on, examining every house attentively;
until, at last, he pauses before one which suits him, and then
exclaiming, "ah, eda maitai" (this one will do, I think), he steps
in, and makes himself perfectly at ease; flinging himself upon the
mats, and very probably calling for a nice young cocoa-nut, and a
piece of toasted breadfruit, sliced thin, and done brown.

Curious to relate, however, should a stranger carrying it thus bravely
be afterwards discovered to be without a house of his own, why, he
may thenceforth go a-begging for his lodgings. The "karhowrees," or
white men, are exceptions to this rule. Thus it is precisely as in
civilized countries, where those who have houses and lands are
incessantly bored to death with invitations to come and live in other
people's houses; while many a poor gentleman who inks the seams of
his coat, and to whom the like invitation would be really acceptable,
may go and sue for it. But to the credit of the ancient Tahitians, it
should here be observed that this blemish upon their hospitality is
only of recent origin, and was wholly unknown in old times. So told
me, Captain Bob.

In Polynesia it is esteemed "a great hit" if a man succeed in marrying
into a family to which the best part of the community is related
(Heaven knows it is otherwise with us). The reason is that, when he
goes a-travelling, the greater number of houses are the more
completely at his service.

Receiving a paternal benediction from old Darby and Joan, we continued
our journey; resolved to stop at the very next place of attraction
which offered.

Nor did we long stroll for it. A fine walk along a beach of shells,
and we came to a spot where, trees here and there, the land was all
meadow, sloping away to the water, which stirred a sedgy growth of
reeds bordering its margin. Close by was a little cove, walled in
with coral, where a fleet of canoes was dancing up and down. A few
paces distant, on a natural terrace overlooking the sea, were several
native dwellings, newly thatched, and peeping into view out of the
foliage like summer-houses.

As we drew near, forth came a burst of voices, and, presently, three
gay girls, overflowing with life, health, and youth, and full of
spirits and mischief. One was arrayed in a flaunting robe of calico;
and her long black hair was braided behind in two immense tresses,
joined together at the ends, and wreathed with the green tendrils of
a vine. From her self-possessed and forward air, I fancied she might
be some young lady from Papeetee on a visit to her country relations.
Her companions wore mere slips of cotton cloth; their hair was
dishevelled; and though very pretty, they betrayed the reserve and
embarrassment characteristic of the provinces.

The little gipsy first mentioned ran up to me with great cordiality;
and, giving the Tahitian salutation, opened upon me such a fire of
questions that there was no understanding, much less answering them.
But our hearty welcome to Loohooloo, as she called the hamlet, was
made plain enough. Meanwhile, Doctor Long Ghost gallantly presented
an arm to each of the other young ladies; which, at first, they knew
not what to make of; but at last, taking it for some kind of joke,
accepted the civility.

The names of these three damsels were at once made known by
themselves: and being so exceedingly romantic, I cannot forbear
particularizing them. Upon my comrade's arms, then, were hanging
Night and Morning, in the persons of Farnowar, or the Day-Born, and
Earnoopoo, or the Night-Born. She with the tresses was very
appropriately styled Marhar-Rarrar, the Wakeful, or Bright-Eyed.

By this time, the houses were emptied of the rest of their inmates--a
few old men and women, and several strapping young fellows rubbing
their eyes and yawning. All crowded round, putting questions as to
whence we came. Upon being informed of our acquaintance with Zeke,
they were delighted; and one of them recognized the boots worn by the
doctor. "Keekee (Zeke) maitai," they cried, "nuee nuee hanna hanna
portarto"--(makes plenty of potatoes).

There was now a little friendly altercation as to who should have the
honour of entertaining the strangers. At last, a tall old gentleman,
by name Marharvai, with a bald head and white beard, took us each by
the hand, and led us into his dwelling.  Once inside, Marharvai,
pointing about with his staff, was so obsequious in assuring us that
his house was ours that Long Ghost suggested he might as well hand
over the deed.

It was drawing near noon; so after a light lunch of roasted
breadfruit, a few whiffs of a pipe, and some lively chatting, our
host admonished the company to lie down, and take the everlasting
siesta. We complied; and had a social nap all round.



IT WAS just in the middle of the merry, mellow afternoon that they
ushered us to dinner, underneath a green shelter of palm boughs; open
all round, and so low at the eaves that we stooped to enter.

Within, the ground was strewn over with aromatic ferns--called
"nahee"--freshly gathered; which, stirred underfoot, diffused the
sweetest odour. On one side was a row of yellow mats, inwrought with
fibres of bark stained a bright red. Here, seated after the fashion
of the Turk, we looked out, over a verdant bank, upon the mild, blue,
endless Pacific. So far round had we skirted the island that the view
of Tahiti was now intercepted.

Upon the ferns before us were laid several layers of broad, thick
"pooroo" leaves; lapping over, one upon the other. And upon these
were placed, side by side, newly-plucked banana leaves, at least two
yards in length, and very wide; the stalks were withdrawn so as to
make them lie flat. This green cloth was set out and garnished in the
manner following:--

First, a number of "pooroo" leaves, by way of plates, were ranged
along on one side; and by each was a rustic nut-bowl, half-filled
with sea-water, and a Tahitian roll, or small bread-fruit, roasted
brown. An immense flat calabash, placed in the centre, was heaped up
with numberless small packages of moist, steaming leaves: in each was
a small fish, baked in the earth, and done to a turn. This pyramid of
a dish was flanked on either side by an ornamental calabash. One was
brimming with the golden-hued "poee," or pudding, made from the red
plantain of the mountains: the other was stacked up with cakes of the
Indian turnip, previously macerated in a mortar, kneaded with the
milk of the cocoa-nut, and then baked. In the spaces between the
three dishes were piled young cocoa-nuts, stripped of their husks.
Their eyes had been opened and enlarged; so that each was a
ready-charged goblet.

There was a sort of side-cloth in one corner, upon which, in bright,
buff jackets, lay the fattest of bananas; "avees," red-ripe: guavas
with the shadows of their crimson pulp flushing through a transparent
skin, and almost coming and going there like blushes; oranges,
tinged, here and there, berry-brown; and great, jolly melons, which
rolled about in very portliness. Such a heap! All ruddy, ripe, and
round--bursting with the good cheer of the tropical soil from which
they sprang!

"A land of orchards!" cried the doctor, in a rapture; and he snatched
a morsel from a sort of fruit of which gentlemen of the sanguine
temperament are remarkably fond; namely, the ripe cherry lips of Misa
Day-Born, who stood looking on.

Marharvai allotted seats to his guests; and the meal began. Thinking
that his hospitality needed some acknowledgment, I rose, and pledged
him in the vegetable wine of the cocoa-nut; merely repeating the
ordinary salutation, "Yar onor boyoee." Sensible that some
compliment, after the fashion of white men, was paid him, with a
smile, and a courteous flourish of the hand, he bade me be seated. No
people, however refined, are more easy and graceful in their manners
than the Imeeose.

The doctor, sitting next our host, now came under his special
protection. Laying before his guest one of the packages of fish,
Marharvai opened it; and commended its contents to his particular
regards. But my comrade was one of those who, on convivial occasions,
can always take care of themselves. He ate an indefinite number of
"Pee-hee Lee Lees" (small fish), his own and next neighbour's
bread-fruit; and helped himself, to right and left, with all the ease
of an accomplished diner-out.

"Paul," said he, at last, "you don't seem to be getting along; why
don't you try the pepper sauce?" and, by way of example, he steeped a
morsel of food into his nutful of sea-water. On following suit, I
found it quite piquant, though rather bitter; but, on the whole, a
capital substitute for salt. The Imeeose invariably use sea-water in
this way, deeming it quite a treat; and considering that their
country is surrounded by an ocean of catsup, the luxury cannot be
deemed an expensive one.

The fish were delicious; the manner of cooking them in the ground
preserving all the juices, and rendering them exceedingly sweet and
tender. The plantain pudding was almost cloying; the cakes of Indian
turnip, quite palatable; and the roasted bread-fruit, crisp as toast.

During the meal, a native lad walked round and round the party,
carrying a long staff of bamboo. This he occasionally tapped upon the
cloth, before each guest; when a white clotted substance dropped
forth, with a savour not unlike that of a curd. This proved to be
"Lownee," an excellent relish, prepared from the grated meat of ripe
cocoa-nuts, moistened with cocoa-nut milk and salt water, and kept
perfectly tight until a little past the saccharine stage of

Throughout the repast there was much lively chatting among the
islanders, in which their conversational powers quite exceeded ours.
The young ladies, too, showed themselves very expert in the use of
their tongues, and contributed much to the gaiety which prevailed.

Nor did these lively nymphs suffer the meal to languish; for upon the
doctor's throwing himself back, with an air of much satisfaction,
they sprang to their feet, and pelted him with oranges and guavas.
This, at last, put an end to the entertainment.

By a hundred whimsical oddities, my long friend became a great
favourite with these people; and they bestowed upon him a long,
comical title, expressive of his lank figure and Koora combined. The
latter, by the bye, never failed to excite the remark of everybody we

The giving of nicknames is quite a passion with the people of Tahiti
and Imeeo. No one with any peculiarity, whether of person or temper,
is exempt; not even strangers.

A pompous captain of a man-of-war, visiting Tahiti for the second
time, discovered that, among the natives, he went by the dignified
title of "Atee Poee"--literally, Poee Head, or Pudding Head. Nor is
the highest rank among themselves any protection.  The first husband
of the present queen was commonly known in the court circles as "Pot
Belly." He carried the greater part of his person before him, to be
sure; and so did the gentlemanly George IV.--but what a title for a
king consort!

Even "Pomaree" itself, the royal patronymic, was, originally, a mere
nickname; and literally signifies, one talking through his nose. The
first monarch of that name, being on a war party, and sleeping
overnight among the mountains, awoke one morning with a cold in his
head; and some wag of a courtier had no more manners than to
vulgarize him thus.

How different from the volatile Polynesian in this, as in all other
respects, is our grave and decorous North American Indian. While the
former bestows a name in accordance with some humorous or ignoble
trait, the latter seizes upon what is deemed the most exalted or
warlike: and hence, among the red tribes, we have the truly patrician
appellations of "White Eagles," "Young Oaks," "Fiery Eyes," and
"Bended Bows."



WHILE the doctor and the natives were taking a digestive nap after
dinner, I strolled forth to have a peep at the country which could
produce so generous a meal.

To my surprise, a fine strip of land in the vicinity of the hamlet,
and protected seaward by a grove of cocoa-nut and bread-fruit trees,
was under high cultivation.  Sweet potatoes, Indian turnips, and yams
were growing; also melons, a few pine-apples, and other fruits. Still
more pleasing was the sight of young bread-fruit and cocoa-nut trees
set out with great care, as if, for once, the improvident Polynesian
had thought of his posterity. But this was the only instance of native
thrift which ever came under my observation. For, in all my rambles
over Tahiti and Imeeo, nothing so much struck me as the comparative
scarcity of these trees in many places where they ought to abound.
Entire valleys, like Martair, of inexhaustible fertility are
abandoned to all the rankness of untamed vegetation. Alluvial flats
bordering the sea, and watered by streams from the mountains, are
over-grown with a wild, scrub guava-bush, introduced by foreigners,
and which spreads with such fatal rapidity that the natives, standing
still while it grows, anticipate its covering the entire island. Even
tracts of clear land, which, with so little pains, might be made to
wave with orchards, lie wholly neglected.

When I considered their unequalled soil and climate, thus
unaccountably slighted, I often turned in amazement upon the natives
about Papeetee; some of whom all but starve in their gardens run to
waste. Upon other islands which I have visited, of similar fertility,
and wholly unreclaimed from their first-discovered condition, no
spectacle of this sort was presented.

The high estimation in which many of their fruit-trees are held by the
Tahitians and Imeeose--their beauty in the landscape--their manifold
uses, and the facility with which they are propagated, are
considerations which render the remissness alluded to still more
unaccountable. The cocoa-palm is as an example; a tree by far the
most important production of Nature in the Tropics. To the
Polynesians it is emphatically the Tree of Life; transcending even
the bread-fruit in the multifarious uses to which it is applied.

Its very aspect is imposing. Asserting its supremacy by an erect and
lofty bearing, it may be said to compare with other trees as man with
inferior creatures.

The blessings it confers are incalculable. Tear after year, the
islander reposes beneath its shade, both eating and drinking of its
fruit; he thatches his hut with its boughs, and weaves them into
baskets to carry his food; he cools himself with a fan platted from
the young leaflets, and shields his head from the sun by a bonnet of
the leaves; sometimes he clothes himself with the cloth-like
substance which wraps round the base of the stalks, whose elastic
rods, strung with filberts, are used as a taper; the larger nuts,
thinned and polished, furnish him with a beautiful goblet: the
smaller ones, with bowls for his pipes; the dry husks kindle his
fires; their fibres are twisted into fishing-lines and cords for his
canoes; he heals his wounds with a balsam compounded from the juice
of the nut; and with the oil extracted from its meat embalms the
bodies of the dead.

The noble trunk itself is far from being valueless. Sawn into posts,
it upholds the islander's dwelling; converted into charcoal, it cooks
his food; and supported on blocks of stone, rails in his lands. He
impels his canoe through the water with a paddle of the wood, and
goes to battle with clubs and spears of the same hard material.

In pagan Tahiti a cocoa-nut branch was the symbol of regal authority.
Laid upon the sacrifice in the temple, it made the offering sacred;
and with it the priests chastised and put to flight the evil spirits
which assailed them. The supreme majesty of Oro, the great god of
their mythology, was declared in the cocoa-nut log from which his
image was rudely carved. Upon one of the Tonga Islands, there stands
a living tree revered itself as a deity. Even upon the Sandwich
Islands, the cocoa-palm retains all its ancient reputation; the
people there having thought of adopting it as the national emblem.

The cocoa-nut is planted as follows: Selecting a suitable place, you
drop into the ground a fully ripe nut, and leave it. In a few days, a
thin, lance-like shoot forces itself through a minute hole in the
shell, pierces the husk, and soon unfolds three pale-green leaves in
the air; while originating, in the same soft white sponge which now
completely fills the nut, a pair of fibrous roots, pushing away the
stoppers which close two holes in an opposite direction, penetrate
the shell, and strike vertically into the ground. A day or two more,
and the shell and husk, which, in the last and germinating stage of
the nut, are so hard that a knife will scarcely make any impression,
spontaneously burst by some force within; and, henceforth, the hardy
young plant thrives apace; and needing no culture, pruning, or
attention of any sort, rapidly advances to maturity. In four or five
years it bears; in twice as many more, it begins to lift its head
among the groves, where, waxing strong, it flourishes for near a

Thus, as some voyager has said, the man who but drops one of these
nuts into the ground may be said to confer a greater and more certain
benefit upon himself and posterity than many a life's toil in less
genial climes.

The fruitfulness of the tree is remarkable. As long as it lives it
bears, and without intermission. Two hundred nuts, besides
innumerable white blossoms of others, may be seen upon it at one
time; and though a whole year is required to bring any one of them to
the germinating point, no two, perhaps, are at one time in precisely
the same stage of growth.

The tree delights in a maritime situation. In its greatest perfection,
it is perhaps found right on the seashore, where its roots are
actually washed. But such instances are only met with upon islands
where the swell of the sea is prevented from breaking on the beach by
an encircling reef. No saline flavour is perceptible in the nut
produced in such a place. Although it bears in any soil, whether
upland or bottom, it does not flourish vigorously inland; and I have
frequently observed that, when met with far up the valley, its tall
stem inclines seaward, as if pining after a more genial region.

It is a curious fact that if you deprive the cocoa-nut tree of the
verdant tuft at its head, it dies at once; and if allowed to stand
thus, the trunk, which, when alive, is encased in so hard a bark as
to be almost impervious to a bullet, moulders away, and, in an
incredibly short period, becomes dust. This is, perhaps, partly owing
to the peculiar constitution of the trunk, a mere cylinder of minute
hollow reeds, closely packed, and very hard; but, when exposed at
top, peculiarly fitted to convey moisture and decay through the
entire stem.

The finest orchard of cocoa-palms I know, and the only plantation of
them I ever saw at the islands, is one that stands right upon the
southern shore of Papeetee Bay.  They were set out by the first
Pomaree, almost half a century ago; and the soil being especially
adapted to their growth, the noble trees now form a magnificent
grove, nearly a mile in extent. No other plant, scarcely a bush, is
to be seen within its precincts. The Broom Road passes through its
entire length.

At noonday, this grove is one of the most beautiful, serene, witching
places that ever was seen. High overhead are ranges of green rustling
arches; through which the sun's rays come down to you in sparkles.
You seem to be wandering through illimitable halls of pillars;
everywhere you catch glimpses of stately aisles, intersecting each
other at all points. A strange silence, too, reigns far and near; the
air flushed with the mellow stillness of a sunset.

But after the long morning calms, the sea-breeze comes in; and
creeping over the tops of these thousand trees, they nod their
plumes. Soon the breeze freshens; and you hear the branches brushing
against each other; and the flexible trunks begin to sway. Toward
evening the whole grove is rocking to and fro; and the traveller on
the Broom Road is startled by the frequent falling of the nuts,
snapped from their brittle stems. They come flying through the air,
ringing like jugglers' balls; and often bound along the ground for
many rods.



FINDING the society at Loohooloo very pleasant, the young ladies, in
particular, being extremely sociable; and, moreover, in love with the
famous good cheer of old Marharvai, we acquiesced in an invitation of
his to tarry a few days longer. We might then, he said, join a small
canoe party which was going to a place a league or two distant. So
averse to all exertion are these people that they really thought the
prospect of thus getting rid of a few miles' walking would prevail
with us, even if there were no other inducement.

The people of the hamlet, as we soon discovered, formed a snug little
community of cousins; of which our host seemed the head. Marharvai,
in truth, was a petty chief who owned the neighbouring lands. And as
the wealthy, in most cases, rejoice in a numerous kindred, the family
footing upon which everybody visited him was, perhaps, ascribable to
the fact of his being the lord of the manor. Like Captain Bob, he was,
in some things, a gentleman of the old school--a stickler for the
customs of a past and pagan age.

Nowhere else, except in Tamai, did we find the manners of the natives
less vitiated by recent changes. The old-fashioned Tahitian dinner
they gave us on the day of our arrival was a fair sample of their
general mode of living.

Our time passed delightfully. The doctor went his way, and I mine.
With a pleasant companion, he was forever strolling inland,
ostensibly to collect botanical specimens; while I, for the most
part, kept near the sea; sometimes taking the girls on an aquatic
excursion in a canoe.

Often we went fishing; not dozing over stupid hooks and lines, but
leaping right into the water, and chasing our prey over the coral
rocks, spear in hand.

Spearing fish is glorious sport. The Imeeose, all round the island,
catch them in no other way. The smooth shallows between the reef and
the shore, and, at low water, the reef itself, being admirably
adapted to this mode of capturing them. At almost any time of the
day--save ever the sacred hour of noon--you may see the fish-hunters
pursuing their sport; with loud halloos, brandishing their spears, and
splashing through the water in all directions. Sometimes a solitary
native is seen, far out upon a lonely shallow, wading slowly along,
with eye intent and poised spear.

But the best sport of all is going out upon the great reef itself by
torch-light. The natives follow this recreation with as much spirit
as a gentleman of England does the chase; and take full as much
delight in it.

The torch is nothing more than a bunch of dry reeds, bound firmly
together: the spear, a long, light pole, with an iron head, on one
side barbed.

I shall never forget the night that old Marharvai and the rest of us,
paddling off to the reef, leaped at midnight upon the coral ledges
with waving torches and spears. We were more than a mile from the
land; the sullen ocean, thundering upon the outside of the rocks,
dashed the spray in our faces, almost extinguishing the flambeaux;
and, far as the eye could reach, the darkness of sky and water was
streaked with a long, misty line of foam, marking the course of the
coral barrier. The wild fishermen, flourishing their weapons, and
yelling like so many demons to scare their prey, sprang from ledge to
ledge, and sometimes darted their spears in the very midst of the

But fish-spearing was not the only sport we had at Loohooloo. Right on
the beach was a mighty old cocoa-nut tree, the roots of which had
been underwashed by the waves so that the trunk inclined far over its
base. From the tuft of the tree a stout cord of bark depended, the
end of which swept the water several yards from the shore. This was a
Tahitian swing. A native lad seizes hold of the cord, and, after
swinging to and fro quite leisurely, all at once sends himself fifty
or sixty feet from the water, rushing through the air like a rocket.
I doubt whether any of our rope-dancers would attempt the feat. For
my own part, I had neither head nor heart for it; so, after sending a
lad aloft with an additional cord, by way of security, I constructed a
large basket of green boughs, in which I and some particular friends
of mine used to swing over sea and land by the hour.



BRIGHT was the morning, and brighter still the smiles of the young
ladies who accompanied us, when we sprang into a sort of family
canoe--wide and roomy--and bade adieu to the hospitable Marharvai and
his tenantry. As we paddled away, they stood upon the beach, waving their
hands, and crying out, "aroha! aroha!" (farewell! farewell!) as long
as we were within hearing.

Very sad at parting with them, we endeavoured, nevertheless, to
console ourselves in the society of our fellow-passengers. Among
these were two old ladies; but as they said nothing to us, we will
say nothing about them; nor anything about the old men who managed
the canoe. But of the three mischievous, dark-eyed young witches who
lounged in the stern of that comfortable old island gondola, I have a
great deal to say.

In the first place, one of them was Marhar-Rarrar, the Bright-Eyed;
and, in the second place, neither she nor the romps, her companions,
ever dreamed of taking the voyage until the doctor and myself
announced our intention; their going along was nothing more than a
madcap frolic; in short, they were a parcel of wicked hoydens, bent
on mischief, who laughed in your face when you looked sentimental, and
only tolerated your company when making merry at your expense.

Something or other about us was perpetually awaking their mirth.
Attributing this to his own remarkable figure, the doctor increased
their enjoyment by assuming the part of a Merry Andrew. Yet his cap
and bells never jingled but to some tune; and while playing the
Tom-fool, I more than suspected that he was trying to play the rake.
At home, it is deemed auspicious to go a-wooing in epaulets; but
among the Polynesians, your best dress in courting is motley.

A fresh breeze springing up, we set our sail of matting, and glided
along as tranquilly as if floating upon an inland stream; the white
reef on one hand, and the green shore on the other.

Soon, as we turned a headland, we encountered another canoe, paddling
with might and main in an opposite direction; the strangers shouting
to each other, and a tall fellow in the bow dancing up and down like
a crazy man. They shot by us like an arrow, though our fellow-voyagers
shouted again and again for them to cease paddling.

According to the natives, this was a kind of royal mail-canoe,
carrying a message from the queen to her friends in a distant part of
the island.

Passing several shady bowers which looked quite inviting, we proposed
touching, and diversifying the monotony of a sea-voyage by a stroll
ashore. So, forcing our canoe among the bushes, behind a decayed palm
lying partly in the water, we left the old folks to take a nap in the
shade, and gallanted the others among the trees, which were here
trellised with vines and creeping shrubs.

In the early part of the afternoon, we drew near the place to which
the party were going. It was a solitary house inhabited by four or
five old women, who, when we entered, were gathered in a circle about
the mats, eating poee from a cracked calabash. They seemed delighted
at seeing our companions, but rather drew up when introduced to
ourselves. Eyeing us distrustfully, they whispered to know who we
were. The answers they received were not satisfactory; for they
treated us with marked coolness and reserve, and seemed desirous of
breaking off our acquaintance with the girls. Unwilling, therefore,
to stay where our company was disagreeable, we resolved to depart
without even eating a meal.

Informed of this, Marhar-Rarrar and her companions evinced the most
lively concern; and equally unmindful of their former spirits, and
the remonstrances of the old ladies, broke forth into sobs and
lamentations which were not to be withstood. We agreed, therefore, to
tarry until they left for home; which would be at the "Aheharar," or
Falling of the Sun; in other words, at sunset.

When the hour arrived, after much leave-taking, we saw them safely
embarked. As the canoe turned a bluff, they seized the paddles from
the hands of the old men, and waved them silently in the air. This
was meant for a touching farewell, as the paddle is only waved thus
when the parties separating never more expect to meet.

We now continued our journey; and, following the beach, soon came to a
level and lofty overhanging bank, which, planted here and there with
trees, took a broad sweep round a considerable part of the island.

A fine pathway skirted the edge of the bank; and often we paused to
admire the scenery. The evening was still and fair, even for so
heavenly a climate; and all round, as far as the eye could reach, was
the blending blue sky and ocean.

As we went on, the reef-belt still accompanied us; turning as we
turned, and thundering its distant bass upon the ear, like the
unbroken roar of a cataract. Dashing forever against their coral
rampart, the breakers looked, in the distance, like a line of rearing
white chargers, reined in, tossing their white manes, and bridling
with foam.

These great natural breakwaters are admirably designed for the
protection of the land. Nearly all the Society Islands are defended
by them. Were the vast swells of the Pacific to break against the
soft alluvial bottoms which in many places border the sea, the soil
would soon be washed away, and the natives be thus deprived of their
most productive lands. As it is, the banks of no rivulet are firmer.

But the coral barriers answer another purpose. They form all the
harbours of this group, including the twenty-four round about the
shores of Tahiti. Curiously enough, the openings in the reefs, by
which alone vessels enter to their anchorage, are invariably opposite
the mouths of running streams: an advantage fully appreciated by the
mariner who touches for the purpose of watering his ship.

It is said that the fresh water of the land, mixing with the salts
held in solution by the sea, so acts upon the latter as to resist the
formation of the coral; and hence the breaks. Here and there, these
openings are sentinelled, as it were, by little fairy islets, green
as emerald, and waving with palms. Strangely and beautifully
diversifying the long line of breakers, no objects can strike the
fancy more vividly. Pomaree II., with a taste in watering-places
truly Tahitian, selected one of them as a royal retreat. We passed it
on our journey.

Omitting several further adventures which befell us after leaving the
party from Loohooloo, we must now hurry on to relate what happened
just before reaching the place of our destination.



IT MUST have been at least the tenth day, reckoning from the Hegira,
that we found ourselves the guests of Varvy, an old hermit of an
islander who kept house by himself perhaps a couple of leagues from

A stone's-cast from the beach there was a fantastic rock, moss-grown
and deep in a dell. It was insulated by a shallow brook, which,
dividing its waters, flowed on both sides until united below.
Twisting its roots round the rock, a gnarled "Aoa" spread itself
overhead in a wilderness of foliage; the elastic branch-roots
depending from the larger boughs insinuating themselves into every
cleft, thus forming supports to the parent stem. In some places these
pendulous branches, half-grown, had not yet reached the rock;
swinging their loose fibrous ends in the air like whiplashes.

Varvy's hut, a mere coop of bamboos, was perched upon a level part of
the rock, the ridge-pole resting at one end in a crotch of the "Aoa,"
and the other propped by a forked bough planted in a fissure.

Notwithstanding our cries as we drew near, the first hint the old
hermit received of our approach was the doctor's stepping up and
touching his shoulder, as he was kneeling over on a stone cleaning
fish in the brook. He leaped up, and stared at us. But with a variety
of uncouth gestures, he soon made us welcome; informing us, by the
same means, that he was both deaf and dumb; he then motioned us into
his dwelling.

Going in, we threw ourselves upon an old mat, and peered round. The
soiled bamboos and calabashes looked so uninviting that the doctor
was for pushing on to Taloo that night, notwithstanding it was near
sunset. But at length we concluded to stay where we were.

After a good deal of bustling outside under a decrepit shed, the old
man made his appearance with our supper. In one hand he held a
flickering taper, and in the other, a huge, flat calabash, scantily
filled with viands. His eyes were dancing in his head, and he looked
from the calabash to us, and from us to the calabash, as much as to
say, "Ah, my lads, what do ye think of this, eh? Pretty good cheer,
eh?" But the fish and Indian turnip being none of the best, we made
but a sorry meal. While discussing it, the old man tried hard to make
himself understood by signs; most of which were so excessively
ludicrous that we made no doubt he was perpetrating a series of
pantomimic jokes.

The remnants of the feast removed, our host left us for a moment,
returning with a calabash of portly dimensions and furnished with a
long, hooked neck, the mouth of which was stopped with a wooden plug.
It was covered with particles of earth, and looked as if just taken
from some place underground.

With sundry winks and horrible giggles peculiar to the dumb, the
vegetable demijohn was now tapped; the old fellow looking round
cautiously, and pointing at it; as much as to intimate that it
contained something which was "taboo," or forbidden.

Aware that intoxicating liquors were strictly prohibited to the
natives, we now watched our entertainer with much interest. Charging
a cocoa-nut shell, he tossed it off, and then filling up again,
presented the goblet to me. Disliking the smell, I made faces at it;
upon which he became highly excited; so much so that a miracle was
wrought upon the spot. Snatching the cup from my hands, he shouted
out, "Ah, karhowree sabbee lee-lee ena arva tee maitai!" in other
words, what a blockhead of a white man! this is the real stuff!

We could not have been more startled had a frog leaped from his mouth.
For an instant, he looked confused enough himself; and then placing a
finger mysteriously upon his mouth, he contrived to make us
understand that at times he was subject to a suspension of the powers
of speech.

Deeming the phenomenon a remarkable one, every way, the doctor desired
him to open his mouth so that he might have a look down. But he

This occurrence made us rather suspicious of our host; nor could we
afterward account for his conduct, except by supposing that his
feigning dumbness might in some way or other assist him in the
nefarious pursuits in which it afterwards turned out that he was
engaged. This conclusion, however, was not altogether satisfactory.

To oblige him, we at last took a sip of his "arva tee," and found it
very crude, and strong as Lucifer. Curious to know whence it was
obtained, we questioned him; when, lighting up with pleasure, he
seized the taper, and led us outside the hut, bidding us follow.

After going some distance through the woods, we came to a dismantled
old shed of boughs, apparently abandoned to decay. Underneath,
nothing was to be seen but heaps of decaying leaves and an immense,
clumsy jar, wide-mouthed, and by some means, rudely hollowed out from
a ponderous stone.

Here, for a while, we were left to ourselves; the old man placing the
light in the jar, and then disappearing. He returned, carrying a
long, large bamboo, and a crotched stick. Throwing these down, he
poked under a pile of rubbish, and brought out a rough block of wood,
pierced through and through with a hole, which was immediately
clapped on the top of the jar. Then planting the crotched stick
upright about two yards distant, and making it sustain one end of the
bamboo, he inserted the other end of the latter into the hole in the
block: concluding these arrangements by placing an old calabash under
the farther end of the bamboo.

Coming up to us now with a sly, significant look, and pointing
admiringly at his apparatus, he exclaimed, "Ah, karhowree, ena
hannahanna arva tee!" as much as to say, "This, you see, is the way
it's done."

His contrivance was nothing less than a native still, where he
manufactured his island "poteen." The disarray in which we found it
was probably intentional, as a security against detection. Before we
left the shed, the old fellow toppled the whole concern over, and
dragged it away piecemeal.

His disclosing his secret to us thus was characteristic of the "Tootai
Owrees," or contemners of the missionaries among the natives; who,
presuming that all foreigners are opposed to the ascendancy of the
missionaries, take pleasure in making them confidants, whenever the
enactments of their rulers are secretly set at nought.

The substance from which the liquor is produced is called "Tee," which
is a large, fibrous root, something like yam, but smaller. In its
green state, it is exceedingly acrid; but boiled or baked, has the
sweetness of the sugar-cane. After being subjected to the fire,
macerated and reduced to a certain stage of fermentation, the "Tee"
is stirred up with water, and is then ready for distillation.

On returning to the hut, pipes were introduced; and, after a while,
Long Ghost, who, at first, had relished the "Arva Tee" as little as
myself, to my surprise, began to wax sociable over it, with Varvy;
and, before long, absolutely got mellow, the old toper keeping him

It was a curious sight. Everyone knows that, so long as the occasion
lasts, there is no stronger bond of sympathy and good feeling among
men than getting tipsy together.  And how earnestly, nay, movingly, a
brace of worthies, thus employed, will endeavour to shed light upon,
and elucidate their mystical ideas!

Fancy Varvy and the doctor, then, lovingly tippling, and brimming over
with a desire to become better acquainted; the doctor politely bent
upon carrying on the conversation in the language of his host, and
the old hermit persisting in trying to talk English. The result was
that, between the two, they made such a fricassee of vowels and
consonants that it was enough to turn one's brain.

The next morning, on waking, I heard a voice from the tombs. It was
the doctor solemnly pronouncing himself a dead man. He was sitting
up, with both hands clasped over his forehead, and his pale face a
thousand times paler than ever.

"That infernal stuff has murdered me!" he cried. "Heavens! my head's
all wheels and springs, like the automaton chess-player! What's to be
done, Paul? I'm poisoned."

But, after drinking a herbal draught concocted by our host, and eating
a light meal, at noon, he felt much better; so much so that he
declared himself ready to continue our journey.

When we came to start, the Yankee's boots were missing; and, after a
diligent search, were not to be found. Enraged beyond measure, their
proprietor said that Varvy must have stolen them; but, considering
his hospitality, I thought this extremely improbable; though to whom
else to impute the theft I knew not. The doctor maintained, however,
that one who was capable of drugging an innocent traveller with "Arva
Tee" was capable of anything.

But it was in vain that he stormed, and Varvy and I searched; the
boots were gone.

Were it not for this mysterious occurrence, and Varvy's detestable
liquors, I would here recommend all travellers going round by the
beach to Partoowye to stop at the Rock, and patronize the old
gentleman--the more especially as he entertains gratis.



UPON starting, at last, I flung away my sandals--by this time quite
worn out--with the view of keeping company with the doctor, now
forced to go barefooted. Recovering his spirits in good time, he
protested that boots were a bore after all, and going without them
decidedly manly.

This was said, be it observed, while strolling along over a soft
carpet of grass; a little moist, even at midday, from the shade of
the wood through which we were passing.

Emerging from this we entered upon a blank, sandy tract, upon which
the sun's rays fairly flashed; making the loose gravel under foot
well nigh as hot as the floor of an oven. Such yelling and leaping as
there was in getting over this ground would be hard to surpass. We
could not have crossed at all--until toward sunset--had it not been
for a few small, wiry bushes growing here and there, into which we
every now and then thrust our feet to cool. There was no little
judgment necessary in selecting your bush; for if not chosen
judiciously, the chances were that, on springing forward again, and
finding the next bush so far off that an intermediate cooling was
indispensable, you would have to run hack to your old place again.

Safely passing the Sahara, or Fiery Desert, we soothed our
half-blistered feet by a pleasant walk through a meadow of long
grass, which soon brought us in sight of a few straggling houses,
sheltered by a grove on the outskirts of the village of Partoowye.

My comrade was for entering the first one we came to; but, on drawing
near, they had so much of an air of pretension, at least for native
dwellings, that I hesitated; thinking they might be the residences of
the higher chiefs, from whom no very extravagant welcome was to be

While standing irresolute, a voice from the nearest house hailed us:
"Aramai! aramai, karhowree!" (Come in! come in, strangers!)

We at once entered, and were warmly greeted. The master of the house
was an aristocratic-looking islander, dressed in loose linen drawers,
a fine white shirt, and a sash of red silk tied about the waist,
after the fashion of the Spaniards in Chili. He came up to us with a
free, frank air, and, striking his chest with his hand, introduced
himself as Ereemear Po-Po; or, to render the Christian name back again
into English--Jeremiah Po-Po.

These curious combinations of names among the people of the Society
Islands originate in the following way. When a native is baptized,
his patronymic often gives offence to the missionaries, and they
insist upon changing to something else whatever is objectionable
therein. So, when Jeremiah came to the font, and gave his name as
Narmo-Nana Po-Po (something equivalent to The-Darer-of-Devils-by-Night),
the reverend gentleman officiating told him that such a heathenish
appellation would never do, and a substitute must be had; at least
for the devil part of it. Some highly respectable Christian
appellations were then submitted, from which the candidate for
admission into the church was at liberty to choose. There was Adamo
(Adam), Nooar (Noah), Daveedar (David), Earcobar (James), Eorna (John),
Patoora (Peter), Ereemear (Jeremiah), etc. And thus did he come to
be named Jeremiah Po-Po; or, Jeremiah-in-the-Dark--which he certainly
was, I fancy, as to the ridiculousness of his new cognomen.

We gave our names in return; upon which he bade us be seated; and,
sitting down himself, asked us a great many questions, in mixed
English and Tahitian. After giving some directions to an old man to
prepare food, our host's wife, a large, benevolent-looking woman,
upwards of forty, also sat down by us. In our soiled and
travel-stained appearance, the good lady seemed to find abundant
matter for commiseration; and all the while kept looking at us
piteously, and making mournful exclamations.

But Jeremiah and his spouse were not the only inmates of the mansion.

In one corner, upon a large native couch, elevated upon posts,
reclined a nymph; who, half-veiled in her own long hair, had yet to
make her toilet for the day. She was the daughter of Po-Po; and a
very beautiful little daughter she was; not more than fourteen; with
the most delightful shape--like a bud just blown; and large hazel
eyes.  They called her Loo; a name rather pretty and genteel, and
therefore quite appropriate; for a more genteel and lady-like little
damsel there was not in all Imeeo.

She was a cold and haughty young beauty though, this same little Loo,
and never deigned to notice us; further than now and then to let her
eyes float over our persons, with an expression of indolent
indifference. With the tears of the Loohooloo girls hardly dry from
their sobbing upon our shoulders, this contemptuous treatment stung
us not a little.

When we first entered, Po-Po was raking smooth the carpet of dried
ferns which had that morning been newly laid; and now that our meal
was ready, it was spread on a banana leaf, right upon this fragrant
floor. Here we lounged at our ease, eating baked pig and breadfruit
off earthen plates, and using, for the first time in many a long
month, real knives and forks.

These, as well as other symptoms of refinement, somewhat abated our
surprise at the reserve of the little Loo; her parents, doubtless,
were magnates in Partoowye, and she herself was an heiress.

After being informed of our stay in the vale of Martair, they were
very curious to know on what errand we came to Taloo. We merely
hinted that the ship lying in the harbour was the reason of our

Arfretee, Po-Po's wife, was a right motherly body. The meal over, she
recommended a nap; and upon our waking much refreshed, she led us to
the doorway, and pointed down among the trees; through which we saw
the gleam of water. Taking the hint, we repaired thither; and finding
a deep shaded pool, bathed, and returned to the house.  Our hostess
now sat down by us; and after looking with great interest at the
doctor's cloak, felt of my own soiled and tattered garments for the
hundredth time, and exclaimed plaintively--"Ah nuee nuee olee manee!
olee manee!" (Alas! they are very, very old! very old!)

When Arfretee, good soul, thus addressed us, she thought she was
talking very respectable English. The word "nuee" is so familiar to
foreigners throughout Polynesia, and is so often used by them in
their intercourse with the natives, that the latter suppose it to be
common to all mankind. "Olee manee" is the native pronunciation of
"old man," which, by Society Islanders talking Saxon, is applied
indiscriminately to all aged things and persons whatsoever.

Going to a chest filled with various European articles, she took out
two suits of new sailor frocks and trousers; and presenting them with
a gracious smile, pushed us behind a calico screen, and left us.
Without any fastidious scruples, we donned the garments; and what
with the meal, the nap, and the bath, we now came forth like a couple
of bridegrooms.

Evening drawing on, lamps were lighted. They were very simple; the
half of a green melon, about one third full of cocoa-nut oil, and a
wick of twisted tappa floating on the surface. As a night lamp, this
contrivance cannot be excelled; a soft dreamy light being shed
through the transparent rind.

As the evening advanced, other members of the household, whom as yet
we had not seen, began to drop in. There was a slender young dandy in
a gay striped shirt, and whole fathoms of bright figured calico
tucked about his waist, and falling to the ground. He wore a new
straw hat also with three distinct ribbons tied about the crown; one
black, one green, and one pink. Shoes or stockings, however, he had

There were a couple of delicate, olive-cheeked little
girls--twins--with mild eyes and beautiful hair, who ran about the
house, half-naked, like a couple of gazelles. They had a brother,
somewhat younger--a fine dark boy, with an eye like a woman's. All
these were the children of Po-Po, begotten in lawful wedlock.

Then there were two or three queer-looking old ladies, who wore shabby
mantles of soiled sheeting, which fitted so badly, and withal had
such a second-hand look that I at once put their wearers down as
domestic paupers--poor relations, supported by the bounty of My Lady
Arfretee. They were sad, meek old bodies; said little and ate less;
and either kept their eyes on the ground, or lifted them up
deferentially. The semi-civilization of the island must have had
something to do with making them what they were.

I had almost forgotten Monee, the grinning old man who prepared our
meal. His head was a shining, bald globe. He had a round little
paunch, and legs like a cat. He was Po-Po's factotum--cook, butler,
and climber of the bread-fruit and cocoa-nut trees; and, added to all
else, a mighty favourite with his mistress; with whom he would sit
smoking and gossiping by the hour.

Often you saw the indefatigable Monee working away at a great rate;
then dropping his employment all at once--never mind what--run off to
a little distance, and after rolling himself away in a corner and
taking a nap, jump up again, and fall to with fresh vigour.

From a certain something in the behaviour of Po-Po and his household,
I was led to believe that he was a pillar of the church; though, from
what I had seen in Tahiti, I could hardly reconcile such a
supposition with his frank, cordial, unembarrassed air.  But I was
not wrong in my conjecture: Po-Po turned out to be a sort of elder,
or deacon; he was also accounted a man of wealth, and was nearly
related to a high chief.

Before retiring, the entire household gathered upon the floor; and in
their midst, he read aloud a chapter from a Tahitian Bible. Then
kneeling with the rest of us, he offered up a prayer. Upon its
conclusion, all separated without speaking. These devotions took
place regularly, every night and morning. Grace too was invariably
said, by this family, both before and after eating.

After becoming familiarized with the almost utter destitution of
anything like practical piety upon these islands, what I observed in.
our host's house astonished me much.  But whatever others might have
been, Po-Po was, in truth, a Christian: the only one, Arfretee
excepted, whom I personally knew to be such, among all the natives of



THEY put us to bed very pleasantly.

Lying across the foot of Po-Po's nuptial couch was a smaller one made
of Koar-wood; a thin, strong cord, twisted from the fibres of the
husk of the cocoa-nut, and woven into an exceedingly light sort of
network, forming its elastic body. Spread upon this was a single,
fine mat, with a roll of dried ferns for a pillow, and a strip of
white tappa for a sheet. This couch was mine. The doctor was provided
for in another corner.

Loo reposed alone on a little settee with a taper burning by her side;
the dandy, her brother, swinging overhead in a sailor's hammock The
two gazelles frisked upon a mat near by; and the indigent relations
borrowed a scant corner of the old butler's pallet, who snored away
by the open door. After all had retired, Po-Po placed the illuminated
melon in the middle of the apartment; and so, we all slumbered till

Upon awaking, the sun was streaming brightly through the open bamboos,
but no one was stirring. After surveying the fine attitudes into
which forgetfulness had thrown at least one of the sleepers, my
attention was called off to the general aspect of the dwelling, which
was quite significant of the superior circumstances of our host.

The house itself was built in the simple, but tasteful native style.
It was a long, regular oval, some fifty feet in length, with low
sides of cane-work, and a roof thatched with palmetto-leaves. The
ridgepole was, perhaps, twenty feet from the ground. There was no
foundation whatever; the bare earth being merely covered with ferns; a
kind of carpeting which serves very well, if frequently renewed;
otherwise, it becomes dusty, and the haunt of vermin, as in the huts
of the poorer natives.

Besides the couches, the furniture consisted of three or four sailor
chests; in which were stored the fine wearing-apparel of the
household--the ruffled linen shirts of Po-Po, the calico dresses of
his wife and children, and divers odds and ends of European
articles--strings of beads, ribbons, Dutch looking-glasses, knives,
coarse prints, bunches of keys, bits of crockery, and metal buttons.
One of these chests--used as a bandbox by Arfretee--contained
several of the native hats (coal-scuttles), all of the same pattern,
but trimmed with variously-coloured ribbons. Of nothing was our good
hostess more proud than of these hats, and her dresses. On Sundays,
she went abroad a dozen times; and every time, like Queen Elizabeth,
in a different robe.

Po-Po, for some reason or other, always gave us our meals before the
rest of the family were served; and the doctor, who was very
discerning in such matters, declared that we fared much better than
they. Certain it was that, had Ereemear's guests travelled with
purses, portmanteau, and letters of introduction to the queen, they
could not have been better cared for.

The day after our arrival, Monee, the old butler, brought us in for
dinner a small pig, baked in the ground. All savoury, it lay in a
wooden trencher, surrounded by roasted hemispheres of the breadfruit.
A large calabash, filled with taro pudding, or poee, followed; and
the young dandy, overcoming his customary languor, threw down our
cocoa-nuts from an adjoining tree.

When all was ready, and the household looking on, Long Ghost, devoutly
clasping his hands over the fated pig, implored a blessing. Hereupon,
everybody present looked exceedingly pleased; Po-Po coming up and
addressing the doctor with much warmth; and Arfretee, regarding him
with almost maternal affection, exclaimed delightedly, "Ah!
mickonaree tata matai!" in other words, "What a pious young man!"

It was just after this meal that she brought me a roll of grass
sinnate (of the kind which sailors sew into the frame of their
tarpaulins), and then, handing me needle and thread, bade me begin at
once, and make myself the hat which I so much needed. An accomplished
hand at the business, I finished it that day--merely stitching the
braid together; and Arfretee, by way of rewarding my industry, with
her own olive hands ornamented the crown with a band of
flame-coloured ribbon; the two long ends of which streaming behind,
sailor-fashion, still preserved for me the Eastern title bestowed by
Long Ghost.



THE following morning, making our toilets carefully, we donned our
sombreros, and sallied out on a tour. Without meaning to reveal our
designs upon the court, our principal object was, to learn what
chances there were for white men to obtain employment under the
queen. On this head, it is true, we had questioned Po-Po; but his
answers had been very discouraging; so we determined to obtain
further information elsewhere.

But, first, to give some little description of the village.

The settlement of Partoowye is nothing more than some eighty houses,
scattered here and there, in the midst of an immense grove, where the
trees have been thinned out and the underbrush cleared away. Through
the grove flows a stream; and the principal avenue crosses it, over
an elastic bridge of cocoa-nut trunks, laid together side by side.
The avenue is broad, and serpentine; well shaded from one end to the
other, and as pretty a place for a morning promenade as any lounger
could wish. The houses, constructed without the slightest regard to
the road, peep into view from among the trees on either side: some
looking you right in the face as you pass, and others, without any
manners, turning their backs. Occasionally you observe a rural
retreat, inclosed by a picket of bamboos, or with a solitary pane of
glass massively framed in the broadside of the dwelling, or with a
rude, strange-looking door, swinging upon dislocated wooden hinges.
Otherwise, the dwellings are built in the original style of the
natives; and never mind how mean and filthy some of them may appear
within, they all look picturesque enough without.

As we sauntered along the people we met saluted us pleasantly, and
invited us into their houses; and in this way we made a good many
brief morning calls. But the hour could not have been the fashionable
one in Partoowye, since the ladies were invariably in dishabille. But
they always gave us a cordial reception, and were particularly polite
to the doctor; caressing him, and amorously hanging about his neck;
wonderfully taken up, in short, with a gay handkerchief he wore there.
Arfretee had that morning bestowed it upon the pious youth.

With some exceptions, the general appearance of the natives of
Partoowye was far better than that of the inhabitants of Papeetee: a
circumstance only to be imputed to their restricted intercourse with

Strolling on, we turned a sweep of the road, when the doctor gave a
start; and no wonder. Right before us, in the grove, was a block of
houses: regular square frames, boarded over, furnished with windows
and doorways, and two stories high. We ran up and found them fast
going to decay: very dingy, and here and there covered with moss; no
sashes, no doors; and on one side, the entire block had settled down
nearly a foot. On going into the basement we looked clean up through
the unbearded timbers to the roof; where rays of light, glimmering
through many a chink, illuminated the cobwebs which swung all round.

The whole interior was dark and close. Burrowing among some old mats
in one corner, like a parcel of gipsies in a ruin, were a few
vagabond natives. They had their dwelling here.

Curious to know who on earth could have been thus trying to improve
the value of real estate in Partoowye, we made inquiries; and learned
that some years previous the block had been thrown up by a veritable
Yankee (one might have known that), a house-carpenter by trade, and a
bold, enterprising fellow by nature.

Put ashore from his ship, sick, he first went to work and got well;
then sallied out with chisel and plane, and made himself generally
useful. A sober, steady man, it seems, he at last obtained the
confidence of several chiefs, and soon filled them with all sorts of
ideas concerning the alarming want of public spirit in the people of
Imeeo. More especially did he dwell upon the humiliating fact of
their living in paltry huts of bamboo, when magnificent palaces of
boards might so easily be mortised together.

In the end, these representations so far prevailed with one old chief
that the carpenter was engaged to build a batch of these wonderful
palaces. Provided with plenty of men, he at once set to work: built a
saw-mill among the mountains, felled trees, and sent over to Papeetee
for nails.

Presto! the castle rose; but alas, the roof was hardly on, when the
Yankee's patron, having speculated beyond his means, broke all to
pieces, and was absolutely unable to pay one "plug" of tobacco in the
pound. His failure involved the carpenter, who sailed away from his
creditors in the very next ship that touched at the harbour.

The natives despised the rickety palace of boards; and often lounged
by, wagging their heads, and jeering.

We were told that the queen's residence was at the extreme end of the
village; so, without waiting for the doctor to procure a fiddle, we
suddenly resolved upon going thither at once, and learning whether
any privy counsellorships were vacant.

Now, although there was a good deal of my waggish comrade's nonsense
about what has been said concerning our expectations of court
preferment, we, nevertheless, really thought that something to our
advantage might turn up in that quarter.

On approaching the palace grounds, we found them rather peculiar. A
broad pier of hewn coral rocks was built right out into the water;
and upon this, and extending into a grove adjoining, were some eight
or ten very large native houses, constructed in the handsomest style
and inclosed together by a low picket of bamboos, which embraced a
considerable area.

Throughout the Society Islands, the residences of the chiefs are
mostly found in the immediate vicinity of the sea; a site which gives
them the full benefit of a cooling breeze; nor are they so liable to
the annoyance of insects; besides enjoying, when they please, the
fine shade afforded by the neighbouring groves, always most luxuriant
near the water.

Lounging about the grounds were some sixty or eighty
handsomely-dressed natives, men and women; some reclining on the
shady side of the houses, others under the trees, and a small group
conversing close by the railing facing us.

We went up to the latter; and giving the usual salutation, were on the
point of vaulting over the bamboos, when they turned upon us angrily,
and said we could not enter.  We stated our earnest desire to see the
queen; hinting that we were bearers of important dispatches. But it
was to no purpose; and not a little vexed, we were obliged to return
to Po-Po's without effecting anything.



UPON arriving home we fully laid open to Po-Po our motives in visiting
Taloo, and begged his friendly advice. In his broken English he
cheerfully gave us all the information we needed.

It was true, he said, that the queen entertained some idea of making a
stand against the French; and it was currently reported also that
several chiefs from Borabora, Huwyenee, Raiatair, and Tahar, the
leeward islands of the group, were at that very time taking counsel
with her as to the expediency of organizing a general movement
throughout the entire cluster, with a view of anticipating any further
encroachments on the part of the invaders. Should warlike measures be
actually decided upon, it was quite certain that Pomaree would be
glad to enlist all the foreigners she could; but as to her making
officers of either the doctor or me, that was out of the question;
because, already, a number of Europeans, well known to her, had
volunteered as such. Concerning our getting immediate access to the
queen, Po-Po told us it was rather doubtful; she living at that time
very retired, in poor health, and spirits, and averse to receiving
calls. Previous to her misfortunes, however, no one, however humble,
was denied admittance to her presence; sailors, even, attended her

Not at all disheartened by these things, we concluded to kill time in
Partoowye until some event turned up more favourable to our projects.
So that very day we sallied out on an excursion to the ship which,
lying land-locked far up the bay, yet remained to be visited.

Passing on our route a long, low shed, a voice hailed us--"White men
ahoy!" Turning round, who should we see but a rosy-cheeked Englishman
(you could tell his country at a glance), up to his knees in
shavings, and planing away at a bench. He turned out to be a runaway
ship's carpenter, recently from Tahiti, and now doing a profitable
business in Imeeo, by fitting up the dwellings of opulent chiefs with
cupboards and other conveniences, and once in a while trying his hand
at a lady's work-box. He had been in the settlement but a few months,
and already possessed houses and lands.

But though blessed with prosperity and high health, there was one
thing wanting--a wife. And when he came to speak of the matter, his
countenance fell, and he leaned dejectedly upon his plane.

"It's too bad!" he sighed, "to wait three long years; and all the
while, dear little Lullee living in the same house with that infernal
chief from Tahar!"

Our curiosity was piqued; the poor carpenter, then, had been falling
in love with some island coquette, who was going to jilt him.

But such was not the case. There was a law prohibiting, under a heavy
penalty, the marriage of a native with a foreigner, unless the
latter, after being three years a resident on the island, was willing
to affirm his settled intention of remaining for life.

William was therefore in a sad way. He told us that he might have
married the girl half-a-dozen times, had it not been for this odious
law: but, latterly, she had become less loving and more giddy,
particularly with the strangers from Tahar. Desperately smitten, and
desirous of securing her at all hazards, he had proposed to the
damsel's friends a nice little arrangement, introductory to marriage;
but they would not hear of it; besides, if the pair were discovered
living together upon such a footing, they would be liable to a
degrading punishment:--sent to work making stone walls and opening
roads for the queen.

Doctor Long Ghost was all sympathy. "Bill, my good fellow," said he,
tremulously, "let me go and talk to her." But Bill, declining the
offer, would not even inform us where his charmer lived.

Leaving the disconsolate Willie planing a plank of New Zealand pine
(an importation from the Bay of Islands), and thinking the while of
Lullee, we went on our way. How his suit prospered in the end we
never learned.

Going from Po-Po's house toward the anchorage of the harbour of Taloo,
you catch no glimpse of the water until, coming out from deep groves,
you all at once find yourself upon the beach. A bay, considered by
many voyagers the most beautiful in the South Seas, then lies before
you. You stand upon one side of what seems a deep green river,
flowing through mountain passes to the sea. Right opposite a majestic
promontory divides the inlet from another, called after its
discoverer, Captain Cook.  The face of this promontory toward Taloo
is one verdant wall; and at its base the waters lie still and
fathomless. On the left hand, you just catch a peep of the widening
mouth of the bay, the break in the reef by which ships enter, and,
beyond, the sea.  To the right, the inlet, sweeping boldly round the
promontory, runs far away into the land; where, save in one
direction, the hills close in on every side, knee-deep in verdure and
shooting aloft in grotesque peaks. The open space lies at the head of
the bay; in the distance it extends into a broad hazy plain lying at
the foot of an amphitheatre of hills. Here is the large sugar
plantation previously alluded to. Beyond the first range of hills,
you descry the sharp pinnacles of the interior; and among these, the
same silent Marling-spike which we so often admired from the other
side of the island.

All alone in the harbour lay the good ship Leviathan. We jumped into
the canoe, and paddled off to her. Though early in the afternoon,
everything was quiet; but upon mounting the side we found four or
five sailors lounging about the forecastle, under an awning. They
gave us no very cordial reception; and though otherwise quite hearty
in appearance, seemed to assume a look of ill-humour on purpose to
honour our arrival. There was much eagerness to learn whether we
wanted to "ship"; and by the unpleasant accounts they gave of the
vessel, they seemed desirous to prevent such a thing if possible.

We asked where the rest of the ship's company were; a gruff old fellow
made answer, "One boat's crew of 'em is gone to Davy Jones's
locker:--went off after a whale, last cruise, and never come back
agin. All the starboard watch ran away last night, and the skipper's
ashore kitching 'em."

"And it's shipping yer after, my jewels, is it?" cried a curly-pated
little Belfast sailor, coming up to us, "thin arrah! my livelies,
jist be after sailing ashore in a jiffy:--the divil of a skipper will
carry yees both to sea, whether or no. Be off wid ye thin, darlints,
and steer clear of the likes of this ballyhoo of blazes as long as ye
live. They murther us here every day, and starve us into the bargain.
Here, Dick, lad, har! the poor divil's canow alongside; and paddle
away wid yees for dear life."

But we loitered awhile, listening to more inducements to ship; and at
last concluded to stay to supper. My sheath-knife never cut into
better sea-beef than that which we found lying in the kid in the
forecastle. The bread, too, was hard, dry, and brittle as glass; and
there was plenty of both.

While we were below, the mate of the vessel called out for someone to
come on deck. I liked his voice. Hearing it was as good as a look at
his face. It betokened a true sailor, and no taskmaster.

The appearance of the Leviathan herself was quite pleasing. Like all
large, comfortable old whalers, she had a sort of motherly
look:--broad in the beam, flush decks, and four chubby boats hanging
at the breast. Her sails were furled loosely upon the yards, as if
they had been worn long, and fitted easy; her shrouds swung
negligently slack; and as for the "running rigging," it never worked
hard as it does in some of your "dandy ships," jamming in the sheaves
of blocks, like Chinese slippers, too small to be useful: on the
contrary, the ropes ran glibly through, as if they had many a time
travelled the same road, and were used to it.

When evening came, we dropped into our canoe, and paddled ashore;
fully convinced that the good ship never deserved the name which they
gave her.



WHILE IN Partoowye, we fell in with a band of six veteran rovers,
prowling about the village and harbour, who had just come overland
from another part of the island.

A few weeks previous, they had been paid off, at Papeetee, from a
whaling vessel, on board of which they had, six months before,
shipped for a single cruise; that is to say, to be discharged at the
next port. Their cruise was a famous one; and each man stepped upon
the beach at Tahiti jingling his dollars in a sock.

Weary at last of the shore, and having some money left, they clubbed,
and purchased a sail-boat; proposing a visit to a certain uninhabited
island, concerning which they had heard strange and golden stories.
Of course, they never could think of going to sea without a
medicine-chest filled with flasks of spirits, and a small cask of the
same in the hold in case the chest should give out.

Away they sailed; hoisted a flag of their own, and gave three times
three, as they staggered out of the bay of Papeetee with a strong
breeze, and under all the "muslin" they could carry.

Evening coming on, and feeling in high spirits and no ways disposed to
sleep, they concluded to make a night of it; which they did; all
hands getting tipsy, and the two masts going over the side about
midnight, to the tune of

  "Sailing down, sailing down, On the coast of Barbaree."

Fortunately, one worthy could stand by holding on to the tiller; and
the rest managed to crawl about, and hack away the lanyards of the
rigging, so as to break clear from the fallen spars. While thus
employed, two sailors got tranquilly over the side, and went plumb to
the bottom, under the erroneous impression that they were stepping
upon an imaginary wharf to get at their work better.

After this, it blew quite a gale; and the commodore, at the helm,
instinctively kept the boat before the wind; and by so doing, ran
over for the opposite island of Imeeo.  Crossing the channel, by
almost a miracle they went straight through an opening in the reef,
and shot upon a ledge of coral, where the waters were tolerably
smooth.  Here they lay until morning, when the natives came off to
them in their canoes. By the help of the islanders, the schooner was
hove over on her beam-ends; when, finding the bottom knocked to
pieces, the adventurers sold the boat for a trifle to the chief of
the district, and went ashore, rolling before them their precious cask
of spirits. Its contents soon evaporated, and they came to Partoowye.

The day after encountering these fellows, we were strolling among the
groves in the neighbourhood, when we came across several parties of
natives armed with clumsy muskets, rusty cutlasses, and outlandish
clubs. They were beating the bushes, shouting aloud, and apparently
trying to scare somebody. They were in pursuit of the strangers, who,
having in a single night set at nought all the laws of the place, had
thought best to decamp.

In the daytime, Po-Po's house was as pleasant a lounge as one could
wish. So, after strolling about, and seeing all there was to be seen,
we spent the greater part of our mornings there; breakfasting late,
and dining about two hours after noon. Sometimes we lounged on the
floor of ferns, smoking, and telling stories; of which the doctor had
as many as a half-pay captain in the army. Sometimes we chatted, as
well as we could, with the natives; and, one day--joy to us!--Po-Po
brought in three volumes of Smollett's novels, which had been found
in the chest of a sailor, who some time previous had died on the

Amelia!--Peregrine!--you hero of rogues, Count Fathom!--what a debt do
we owe you!

I know not whether it was the reading of these romances, or the want
of some sentimental pastime, which led the doctor, about this period,
to lay siege to the heart of the little Loo.

Now, as I have said before, the daughter of Po-Po was most cruelly
reserved, and never deigned to notice us. Frequently I addressed her
with a long face and an air of the profoundest and most distant
respect--but in vain; she wouldn't even turn up her pretty olive
nose. Ah! it's quite plain, thought I; she knows very well what
graceless dogs sailors are, and won't have anything to do with us.

But thus thought not my comrade. Bent he was upon firing the cold
glitter of Loo's passionless eyes.

He opened the campaign with admirable tact: making cautious
approaches, and content, for three days, with ogling the nymph for
about five minutes after every meal.  On the fourth day, he asked her
a question; on the fifth, she dropped a nut of ointment, and he
picked it up and gave it to her; on the sixth, he went over and sat
down within three yards of the couch where she lay; and, on the
memorable morn of the seventh, he proceeded to open his batteries in

The damsel was reclining on the ferns; one hand supporting her cheek,
and the other listlessly turning over the leaves of a Tahitian Bible.
The doctor approached.

Now the chief disadvantage under which he laboured was his almost
complete ignorance of the love vocabulary of the island. But French
counts, they say, make love delightfully in broken English; and what
hindered the doctor from doing the same in dulcet Tahitian. So at it
he went.

"Ah!" said he, smiling bewitchingly, "oee mickonaree; oee ready

No answer; not even a look.

"Ah I matai! very goody ready Biblee mickonaree."

Loo, without stirring, began reading, in a low tone, to herself.

"Mickonaree Biblee ready goody maitai," once more observed the doctor,
ingeniously transposing his words for the third time.

But all to no purpose; Loo gave no sign.

He paused, despairingly; but it would never do to give up; so he threw
himself at full length beside her, and audaciously commenced turning
over the leaves.

Loo gave a start, just one little start, barely perceptible, and then,
fumbling something in her hand, lay perfectly motionless; the doctor
rather frightened at his own temerity, and knowing not what to do
next. At last, he placed one arm cautiously about her waist; almost
in the same instant he bounded to his feet, with a cry; the little
witch had pierced him with a thorn. But there she lay, just as
quietly as ever, turning over the leaves, and reading to herself.

My long friend raised the siege incontinently, and made a disorderly
retreat to the place where I reclined, looking on.

I am pretty sure that Loo must have related this occurrence to her
father, who came in shortly afterward; for he looked queerly at the
doctor. But he said nothing; and, in ten minutes, was quite as
affable as ever. As for Loo, there was not the slightest change in
her; and the doctor, of course, for ever afterwards held his peace.



ONE DAY, taking a pensive afternoon stroll along one of the many
bridle-paths which wind among the shady groves in the neighbourhood
of Taloo, I was startled by a sunny apparition. It was that of a
beautiful young Englishwoman, charmingly dressed, and mounted upon a
spirited little white pony. Switching a green branch, she came
cantering toward me.

I looked round to see whether I could possibly be in Polynesia. There
were the palm-trees; but how to account for the lady?

Stepping to one side as the apparition drew near, I made a polite
obeisance. It gave me a bold, rosy look; and then, with a gay air,
patted its palfrey, crying out, "Fly away, Willie!" and galloped
among the trees.

I would have followed; but Willie's heels were making such a pattering
among the dry leaves that pursuit would have been useless.

So I went straight home to Po-Po's, and related my adventure to the

The next day, our inquiries resulted in finding out that the stranger
had been on the island about two years; that she came from Sydney;
and was the wife of Mr. Bell (happy dog!), the proprietor of the
sugar plantation to which I have previously referred.

To the sugar plantation we went, the same day.

The country round about was very beautiful: a level basin of verdure,
surrounded by sloping hillsides. The sugar-cane--of which there was
about one hundred acres, in various stages of cultivation--looked
thrifty. A considerable tract of land, however, which seemed to have
been formerly tilled, was now abandoned.

The place where they extracted the saccharine matter was under an
immense shed of bamboos. Here we saw several clumsy pieces of
machinery for breaking the cane; also great kettles for boiling the
sugar. But, at present, nothing was going on. Two or three natives
were lounging in one of the kettles, smoking; the other was occupied
by three sailors from the Leviathan, playing cards.

While we were conversing with these worthies, a stranger approached.
He was a sun-burnt, romantic-looking European, dressed in a loose
suit of nankeen; his fine throat and chest were exposed, and he
sported a Guayaquil hat with a brim like a Chinese umbrella. This was
Mr. Bell. He was very civil; showed us the grounds, and, taking us
into a sort of arbour, to our surprise, offered to treat us to some
wine.  People often do the like; but Mr. Bell did more: he produced
the bottle. It was spicy sherry; and we drank out of the halves of
fresh citron melons. Delectable goblets!

The wine was a purchase from, the French in Tahiti.

Now all this was extremely polite in Mr. Bell; still, we came to see
Mrs. Bell. But she proved to be a phantom, indeed; having left the
same morning for Papeetee, on a visit to one of the missionaries'
wives there.

I went home, much chagrined.

To be frank, my curiosity had been wonderfully piqued concerning the
lady. In the first place, she was the most beautiful white woman I
ever saw in Polynesia. But this is saying nothing. She had such eyes,
such moss-roses in her cheeks, such a divine air in the saddle, that,
to my dying day, I shall never forget Mrs. Bell.

The sugar-planter himself was young, robust, and handsome. So, merrily
may the little Bells increase, and multiply, and make music in the
Land of Imeeo.



IN Partoowye is to be seen one of the best-constructed and handsomest
chapels in the South Seas. Like the buildings of the palace, it
stands upon an artificial pier, presenting a semicircular sweep to
the bay. The chapel is built of hewn blocks of coral; a substance
which, although extremely friable, is said to harden by exposure to
the atmosphere. To a stranger, these blocks look extremely curious.
Their surface is covered with strange fossil-like impressions, the
seal of which must have been set before the flood. Very nearly white
when hewn from the reefs, the coral darkens with age; so that several
churches in Polynesia now look almost as sooty and venerable as famed
St. Paul's.

In shape, the chapel is an octagon, with galleries all round. It will
seat, perhaps, four hundred people. Everything within is stained a
tawny red; and there being but few windows, or rather embrasures, the
dusky benches and galleries, and the tall spectre of a pulpit look
anything but cheerful.

On Sundays we always went to worship here. Going in the family suite
of Po-Po, we, of course, maintained a most decorous exterior; and
hence, by all the elderly people of the village, were doubtless
regarded as pattern young men.

Po-Po's seat was in a snug corner; and it being particularly snug, in
the immediate vicinity of one of the Palm pillars supporting the
gallery, I invariably leaned against it:  Po-Po and his lady on one
side, the doctor and the dandy on the other, and the children and
poor relations seated behind.

As for Loo, instead of sitting (as she ought to have done) by her good
father and mother, she must needs run up into the gallery, and sit
with a parcel of giddy creatures of her own age; who, all through the
sermon, did nothing but look down on the congregation; pointing out,
and giggling at the queer-looking old ladies in dowdy bonnets and
scant tunics. But Loo, herself, was never guilty of these

Occasionally during the week they have afternoon service in the
chapel, when the natives themselves have something to say; although
their auditors are but few. An introductory prayer being offered by
the missionary, and a hymn sung, communicants rise in their places,
and exhort in pure Tahitian, and with wonderful tone and gesture.
And among them all, Deacon Po-Po, though he talked most, was the one
whom you would have liked best to hear. Much would I have given to
have understood some of his impassioned bursts; when he tossed his
arms overhead, stamped, scowled, and glared, till he looked like the
very Angel of Vengeance.

"Deluded man!" sighed the doctor, on one of these occasions, "I fear
he takes the fanatical view of the subject." One thing was certain:
when Po-Po spoke, all listened; a great deal more than could be said
for the rest; for under the discipline of two or three I could
mention, some of the audience napped; others fidgeted; a few yawned;
and one irritable old gentleman, in a nightcap of cocoa-nut leaves,
used to clutch his long staff in a state of excessive nervousness,
and stride out of the church, making all the noise he could, to
emphasize his disgust.

Right adjoining the chapel is an immense, rickety building, with
windows and shutters, and a half-decayed board flooring laid upon
trunks of palm-trees. They called it a school-house; but as such we
never saw it occupied. It was often used as a court-room, however;
and here we attended several trials; among others, that of a decayed
naval officer, and a young girl of fourteen; the latter charged with
having been very naughty on a particular occasion set forth in the
pleadings; and the former with having aided and abetted her in her
naughtiness, and with other misdemeanours.

The foreigner was a tall, military-looking fellow, with a dark cheek
and black whiskers.  According to his own account, he had lost a
colonial armed brig on the coast of New Zealand; and since then, had
been leading the life of a man about town among the islands of the

The doctor wanted to know why he did not go home and report the loss
of his brig; but Captain Crash, as they called him, had some
incomprehensible reasons for not doing so, about which he could talk
by the hour, and no one be any the wiser.  Probably he was a discreet
man, and thought it best to waive an interview with the lords of the

For some time past, this extremely suspicious character had been
carrying on the illicit trade in French wines and brandies, smuggled
over from the men-of-war lately touching at Tahiti. In a grove near
the anchorage he had a rustic shanty and arbour, where, in quiet
times, when no ships were in Taloo, a stray native once in a while
got boozy, and staggered home, catching at the cocoa-nut trees as he
went. The captain himself lounged under a tree during the warm
afternoons, pipe in mouth; thinking, perhaps, over old times, and
occasionally feeling his shoulders for his lost epaulets.

But, sail ho! a ship is descried coming into the bay. Soon she drops
her anchor in its waters; and the next day Captain Crash entertains
the sailors in his grove. And rare times they have of it:--drinking
and quarrelling together as sociably as you please.

Upon one of these occasions, the crew of the Leviathan made so
prodigious a tumult that the natives, indignant at the insult offered
their laws, plucked up a heart, and made a dash at the rioters, one
hundred strong. The sailors fought like tigers; but were at last
overcome, and carried before a native tribunal; which, after a mighty
clamour, dismissed everybody but Captain Crash, who was asserted to be
the author of the disorders.

Upon this charge, then, he had been placed in confinement against the
coming on of the assizes; the judge being expected to lounge along in
the course of the afternoon.  While waiting his Honour's arrival,
numerous additional offences were preferred against the culprit
(mostly by the old women); among others was the bit of a slip in
which he stood implicated along with the young lady. Thus, in
Polynesia as elsewhere;--charge a man with one misdemeanour, and all
his peccadilloes are raked up and assorted before him.

Going to the school-house for the purpose of witnessing the trial, the
din of it assailed our ears a long way off; and upon entering the
building, we were almost stunned.  About five hundred natives were
present; each apparently having something to say and determined to
say it. His Honour--a handsome, benevolent-looking old man--sat
cross-legged on a little platform, seemingly resigned, with all
Christian submission, to the uproar. He was an hereditary chief in
this quarter of the island, and judge for life in the district of

There were several cases coming on; but the captain and girl were
first tried together. They were mixing freely with the crowd; and as
it afterwards turned out that everyone--no matter who--had a right to
address the court, for aught we knew they might have been arguing
their own case. At what precise moment the trial began it would be
hard to say. There was no swearing of witnesses, and no regular jury.
Now and then somebody leaped up and shouted out something which might
have been evidence; the rest, meanwhile, keeping up an incessant
jabbering. Presently the old judge himself began to get excited; and
springing to his feet, ran in among the crowd, wagging his tongue as
hard as anybody.

The tumult lasted about twenty minutes; and toward the end of it,
Captain Crash might have been seen, tranquilly regarding, from his
Honour's platform, the judicial uproar, in which his fate was about
being decided.

The result of all this was that both he and the girl were found
guilty. The latter was adjudged to make six mats for the queen; and
the former, in consideration of his manifold offences, being deemed
incorrigible, was sentenced to eternal banishment from the island.
Both these decrees seemed to originate in the general hubbub. His
Honour, however, appeared to have considerable authority, and it was
quite plain that the decision received his approval.

The above penalties were by no means indiscriminately inflicted. The
missionaries have prepared a sort of penal tariff to facilitate
judicial proceedings. It costs so many days' labour on the Broom Road
to indulge in the pleasures of the calabash; so many fathoms of stone
wall to steal a musket; and so on to the end of the catalogue. The
judge being provided with a book in which all these matters are
cunningly arranged, the thing is vastly convenient. For instance: a
crime is proved,--say bigamy; turn to letter B--and there you have
it. Bigamy:--forty days on the Broom Road, and twenty mats for the
queen. Read the passage aloud, and sentence is pronounced.

After taking part in the first trial, the other delinquents present
were put upon their own; in which, also, the convicted culprits
seemed to have quite as much to say as the rest. A rather strange
proceeding; but strictly in accordance with the glorious English
principle, that every man should be tried by his peers. They were all
found guilty.



IT is well to learn something about people before being introduced to
them, and so we will here give some account of Pomaree and her

Every reader of Cook's Voyages must remember "Otto," who, in that
navigator's time, was king of the larger peninsula of Tahiti.
Subsequently, assisted by the muskets of the Bounty's men, he
extended his rule over the entire island. This Otto, before his
death, had his name changed into Pomaree, which has ever since been
the royal patronymic.

He was succeeded by his son, Pomaree II., the most famous prince in
the annals of Tahiti. Though a sad debauchee and drunkard, and even
charged with unnatural crimes, he was a great friend of the
missionaries, and one of their very first proselytes. During the
religious wars into which he was hurried by his zeal for the new
faith, he was defeated and expelled from the island. After a short
exile he returned from Imeeo, with an army of eight hundred warriors,
and in the battle of Narii routed the rebellious pagans with great
slaughter, and reestablished himself upon the throne. Thus, by force
of arms, was Christianity finally triumphant in Tahiti.

Pomaree II., dying in 1821, was succeeded by his infant son, under the
title of Pomaree III. This young prince survived his father but six
years; and the government then descended to his elder sister, Aimata,
the present queen, who is commonly called Pomaree Vahinee I., or the
first female Pomaree. Her majesty must be now upwards of thirty years
of age. She has been twice married. Her first husband was a son of
the old King of Tahar, an island about one hundred miles from Tahiti.
This proving an unhappy alliance, the pair were soon afterwards
divorced. The present husband of the queen is a chief of Imeeo.

The reputation of Pomaree is not what it ought to be. She, and also
her mother, were, for a long time, excommunicated members of the
Church; and the former, I believe, still is. Among other things, her
conjugal fidelity is far from being unquestioned. Indeed, it was upon
this ground chiefly that she was excluded from the communion of the

Previous to her misfortunes she spent the greater portion of her time
sailing about from one island to another, attended by a licentious
court; and wherever she went all manner of games and festivities
celebrated her arrival.

She was always given to display. For several years the maintenance of
a regiment of household troops drew largely upon the royal exchequer.
They were trouserless fellows, in a uniform of calico shirts and
pasteboard hats; armed with muskets of all shapes and calibres, and
commanded by a great noisy chief, strutting it in a coat of fiery
red. These heroes escorted their mistress whenever she went abroad.

Some time ago, the queen received from her English sister, Victoria, a
very showy, though uneasy, head-dress--a crown; probably made to
order at some tinman's in London. Having no idea of reserving so
pretty a bauble for coronation days, which come so seldom, her
majesty sported it whenever she appeared in public; and, to show her
familiarity with European customs, politely touched it to all
foreigners of distinction--whaling captains, and the like--whom she
happened to meet in her evening walk on the Broom Road.

The arrival and departure of royalty were always announced at the
palace by the court artilleryman--a fat old gentleman who, in a
prodigious hurry and perspiration, discharged minute fowling-pieces
as fast as he could load and fire the same.

The Tahitian princess leads her husband a hard life. Poor fellow! he
not only caught a queen, but a Tartar, when he married her. The style
by which he is addressed is rather significant--"Pomaree-Tanee"
(Pomaree's man). All things considered, as appropriate a title for a
king-consort as could be hit upon.

If ever there were a henpecked husband, that man is the prince. One
day, his carasposa giving audience to a deputation from the captains
of the vessels lying in Papeetee, he ventured to make a suggestion
which was very displeasing to her. She turned round and, boxing his
ears, told him to go over to his beggarly island of Imeeo if he
wanted to give himself airs.

Cuffed and contemned, poor Tanee flies to the bottle, or rather to the
calabash, for solace. Like his wife and mistress, he drinks more than
he ought.

Six or seven years ago, when an American man-of-war was lying at
Papeetee, the town was thrown into the greatest commotion by a
conjugal assault and battery made upon the sacred person of Pomaree
by her intoxicated Tanee.

Captain Bob once told me the story. And by way of throwing more spirit
into the description, as well as to make up for his oral
deficiencies, the old man went through the accompanying action:
myself being proxy for the Queen of Tahiti.

It seems that, on a Sunday morning, being dismissed contemptuously
from the royal presence, Tanee was accosted by certain good fellows,
friends and boon companions, who condoled with him on his
misfortunes--railed against the queen, and finally dragged him away
to an illicit vendor of spirits, in whose house the party got
gloriously mellow. In this state, Pomaree Vahinee I. was the topic
upon which all dilated--"A vixen of a queen," probably suggested one.
"It's infamous," said another; "and I'd have satisfaction," cried a
third. "And so I will!"--Tanee must have hiccoughed; for off he went;
and ascertaining that his royal half was out riding, he mounted his
horse and galloped after her.

Near the outskirts of the town, a cavalcade of women came cantering
toward him, in the centre of which was the object of his fury.
Smiting his beast right and left, he dashed in among them, completely
overturning one of the party, leaving her on the field, and
dispersing everybody else except Pomaree. Backing her horse
dexterously, the incensed queen heaped upon him every scandalous
epithet she could think of; until at last the enraged Tanee leaped
out of his saddle, caught Pomaree by her dress, and dragging her to
the earth struck her repeatedly in the face, holding on meanwhile by
the hair of her head. He was proceeding to strangle her on the spot,
when the cries of the frightened attendants brought a crowd of natives
to the rescue, who bore the nearly insensible queen away.

But his frantic rage was not yet sated. He ran to the palace; and
before it could be prevented, demolished a valuable supply of
crockery, a recent present from abroad.  In the act of perpetrating
some other atrocity, he was seized from behind, and carried off with
rolling eyes and foaming at the mouth.

This is a fair example of a Tahitian in a passion. Though the mildest
of mortals in general, and hard to be roused, when once fairly up, he
is possessed with a thousand devils.

The day following, Tanee was privately paddled over to Imeeo in a
canoe; where, after remaining in banishment for a couple of weeks, he
was allowed to return, and once more give in his domestic adhesion.

Though Pomaree Vahinee I. be something of a Jezebel in private life,
in her public rule she is said to have been quite lenient and
forbearing. This was her true policy; for an hereditary hostility to
her family had always lurked in the hearts of many powerful chiefs,
the descendants of the old Kings of Taiarboo, dethroned by her
grandfather Otoo. Chief among these, and in fact the leader of his
party, was Poofai; a bold, able man, who made no secret of his enmity
to the missionaries, and the government which they controlled. But
while events were occurring calculated to favour the hopes of the
disaffected and turbulent, the arrival of the French gave a most
unexpected turn to affairs.

During my sojourn in Tahiti, a report was rife--which I knew to
originate with what is generally called the "missionary party"--that
Poofai and some other chiefs of note had actually agreed, for a
stipulated bribe, to acquiesce in the appropriation of their country.
But subsequent events have rebutted the calumny. Several of these
very men have recently died in battle against the French.

Under the sovereignty of the Pomarees, the great chiefs of Tahiti were
something like the barons of King John. Holding feudal sway over
their patrimonial valleys, and on account of their descent, warmly
beloved by the people, they frequently cut off the royal revenues by
refusing to pay the customary tribute due from them as vassals.

The truth is, that with the ascendancy of the missionaries, the regal
office in Tahiti lost much of its dignity and influence. In the days
of Paganism, it was supported by all the power of a numerous
priesthood, and was solemnly connected with the entire superstitious
idolatry of the land. The monarch claimed to be a sort of bye-blow of
Tararroa, the Saturn of the Polynesian mythology, and cousin-german to
inferior deities. His person was thrice holy; if he entered an
ordinary dwelling, never mind for how short a time, it was demolished
when he left; no common mortal being thought worthy to inhabit it

"I'm a greater man than King George," said the incorrigible young Otoo
to the first missionaries; "he rides on a horse, and I on a man."
Such was the case. He travelled post through his dominions on the
shoulders of his subjects; and relays of mortal beings were provided
in all the valleys.

But alas! how times have changed; how transient human greatness. Some
years since, Pomaree Vahinee I., the granddaughter of the proud Otoo,
went into the laundry business; publicly soliciting, by her agents,
the washing of the linen belonging to the officers of ships touching
in her harbours.

It is a significant fact, and one worthy of record, that while the
influence of the English missionaries at Tahiti has tended to so
great a diminution of the regal dignity there, that of the American
missionaries at the Sandwich Islands has been purposely exerted to
bring about a contrary result.



IT WAS about the middle of the second month of the Hegira, and
therefore some five weeks after our arrival in Partoowye, that we at
last obtained admittance to the residence of the queen.

It happened thus. There was a Marquesan in the train of Pomaree who
officiated as nurse to her children. According to the Tahitian
custom, the royal youngsters are carried about until it requires no
small degree of strength to stand up under them. But Marbonna was
just the man for this--large and muscular, well made as a statue, and
with an arm like a degenerate Tahitian's thigh.

Embarking at his native island as a sailor on board of a French
whaler, he afterward ran away from the ship at Tahiti; where, being
seen and admired by Pomaree, he had been prevailed upon to enlist in
her service.

Often, when visiting the grounds, we saw him walking about in the
shade, carrying two handsome boys, who encircled his neck with their
arms. Marbonna's face, tattooed as it was in the ornate style of his
tribe, was as good as a picture-book to these young Pomarees. They
delighted to trace with their fingers the outlines of the strange
shapes there delineated.

The first time my eyes lighted upon the Marquesan, I knew his country
in a moment; and hailing him in his own language, he turned round,
surprised that a person so speaking should be a stranger. He proved
to be a native of Tior, a glen of Nukuheva.  I had visited the place
more than once; and so, on the island of Imeeo, we met like old

In my frequent conversations with him over the bamboo picket, I found
this islander a philosopher of nature--a wild heathen, moralizing
upon the vices and follies of the Christian court of Tahiti--a
savage, scorning the degeneracy of the people among whom fortune had
thrown him.

I was amazed at the national feelings of the man. No European, when
abroad, could speak of his country with more pride than Marbonna. He
assured me, again and again, that so soon as he had obtained
sufficient money to purchase twenty muskets, and as many bags of
powder, he was going to return to a place with which Imeeo was not
worthy to be compared.

It was Marbonna who, after one or two unsuccessful attempts, at last
brought about our admission into the queen's grounds. Through a
considerable crowd he conducted us along the pier to where an old man
was sitting, to whom he introduced us as a couple of "karhowrees" of
his acquaintance, anxious to see the sights of the palace.  The
venerable chamberlain stared at us, and shook his head: the doctor,
thinking he wanted a fee, placed a plug of tobacco in his hand. This
was ingratiating, and we were permitted to pass on. Upon the point of
entering one of the houses, Marbonna's name was shouted in
half-a-dozen different directions, and he was obliged to withdraw.

Thus left at the very threshold to shift for ourselves, my companion's
assurance stood us in good stead. He stalked right in, and I
followed. The place was full of women, who, instead of exhibiting the
surprise we expected, accosted us as cordially as if we had called to
take our Souchong with them by express invitation. In the first
place, nothing would do but we must each devour a calabash of "poee,"
and several roasted bananas. Pipes were then lighted, and a brisk
conversation ensued.

These ladies of the court, if not very polished, were surprisingly
free and easy in their manners; quite as much so as King Charles's
beauties. There was one of them--an arch little miss, who could
converse with us pretty fluently--to whom we strove to make ourselves
particularly agreeable, with the view of engaging her services as

As such, she turned out to be everything we could desire. No one
disputing her will, every place was entered without ceremony,
curtains brushed aside, mats lifted, and each nook and corner
explored. Whether the little damsel carried her mistress' signet,
that everything opened to her thus, I know not; but Marbonna himself,
the bearer of infants, could not have been half so serviceable.

Among other houses which we visited, was one of large size and fine
exterior; the special residence of a European--formerly the mate of a
merchant vessel,--who had done himself the honour of marrying into
the Pomaree family. The lady he wedded being a near kinswoman of the
queen, he became a permanent member of her majesty's household. This
adventurer rose late, dressed theatrically in calico and trinkets,
assumed a dictatorial tone in conversation, and was evidently upon
excellent terms with himself.

We found him reclining on a mat, smoking a reed-pipe of tobacco, in
the midst of an admiring circle of chiefs and ladies. He must have
noticed our approach; but instead of rising and offering civilities,
he went on talking and smoking, without even condescending to look at

"His Highness feels his 'poee,'" carelessly observed the doctor. The
rest of the company gave us the ordinary salutation, our guide
announcing us beforehand.

In answer to our earnest requests to see the queen, we were now
conducted to an edifice, by far the most spacious, in the inclosure.
It was at least one hundred and fifty feet in length, very wide, with
low eaves, and an exceedingly steep roof of pandannas leaves. There
were neither doors nor windows--nothing along the sides but the
slight posts supporting the rafters. Between these posts, curtains of
fine matting and tappa were rustling, all round; some of them were
festooned, or partly withdrawn, so as to admit light and air, and
afford a glimpse now and then of what was going on within.

Pushing aside one of the screens, we entered. The apartment was one
immense hall; the long and lofty ridge-pole fluttering with fringed
matting and tassels, full forty feet from the ground. Lounges of
mats, piled one upon another, extended on either side:  while here
and there were slight screens, forming as many recesses, where groups
of natives--all females--were reclining at their evening meal.

As we advanced, these various parties ceased their buzzing, and in
explanation of our appearance among them, listened to a few
cabalistic words from our guide.

The whole scene was a strange one; but what most excited our surprise
was the incongruous assemblage of the most costly objects from all
quarters of the globe.  Cheek by jowl, they lay beside the rudest
native articles, without the slightest attempt at order. Superb
writing-desks of rosewood, inlaid with silver and mother-of-pearl;
decanters and goblets of cut glass; embossed volumes of plates; gilded
candelabra; sets of globes and mathematical instruments; the finest
porcelain; richly-mounted sabres and fowling-pieces; laced hats and
sumptuous garments of all sorts, with numerous other matters of
European manufacture, were strewn about among greasy calabashes
half-filled with "poee," rolls of old tappa and matting, paddles and
fish-spears, and the ordinary furniture of a Tahitian dwelling.

All the articles first mentioned were, doubtless, presents from
foreign powers. They were more or less injured: the fowling-pieces
and swords were rusted; the finest woods were scratched; and a folio
volume of Hogarth lay open, with a cocoa-nut shell of some musty
preparation capsized among the miscellaneous furniture of the Rake's
apartment, where that inconsiderate young gentleman is being measured
for a coat.

While we were amusing ourselves in this museum of curiosities, our
conductor plucked us by the sleeve, and whispered, "Pomaree! Pomaree!
armai kow kow."

"She is coming to sup, then," said the doctor, staring in the
direction indicated. "What say you, Paul, suppose we step up?" Just
then a curtain near by lifted, and from a private building a few
yards distant the queen entered, unattended.

She wore a loose gown of blue silk, with two rich shawls, one red and
the other yellow, tied about her neck. Her royal majesty was

She was about the ordinary size, rather matronly; her features not
very handsome; her mouth, voluptuous; but there was a care-worn
expression in her face, probably attributable to her late
misfortunes. From her appearance, one would judge her about forty;
but she is not so old.

As the queen approached one of the recesses, her attendants hurried
up, escorted her in, and smoothed the mats on which she at last
reclined. Two girls soon appeared, carrying their mistress' repast;
and then, surrounded by cut-glass and porcelain, and jars of
sweetmeats and confections, Pomaree Vahinee I., the titular Queen of
Tahiti, ate fish and "poee" out of her native calabashes, disdaining
either knife or spoon.

"Come on," whispered Long Ghost, "let's have an audience at once;" and
he was on the point of introducing himself, when our guide, quite
alarmed, held him back and implored silence. The other natives also
interfered, and, as he was pressing forward, raised such an outcry
that Pomaree lifted her eyes and saw us for the first.

She seemed surprised and offended, and, issuing an order in a
commanding tone to several of her women, waved us out of the house.
Summary as the dismissal was, court etiquette, no doubt, required our
compliance. We withdrew; making a profound inclination as we
disappeared behind the tappa arras.

We departed the ground without seeing Marbonna; and previous to
vaulting over the picket, feed our pretty guide after a fashion of
our own. Looking round a few moments after, we saw the damsel
escorted back by two men, who seemed to have been sent after her. I
trust she received nothing more than a reprimand.

The next day Po-Po informed us that strict orders had been issued to
admit no strangers within the palace precincts.



DISAPPOINTED in going to court, we determined upon going to sea. It
would never do, longer to trespass on Po-Po's hospitality; and then,
weary somewhat of life in Imeeo, like all sailors ashore, I at last
pined for the billows.

Now, if her crew were to be credited, the Leviathan was not the craft
to our mind. But I had seen the captain, and liked him. He was an
uncommonly tall, robust, fine-looking man, in the prime of life.
There was a deep crimson spot in the middle of each sunburnt cheek,
doubtless the effect of his sea-potations. He was a Vineyarder, or
native of the island of Martha's Vineyard (adjoining Nantucket),
and--I would have sworn it--a sailor, and no tyrant.

Previous to this, we had rather avoided the Leviathan's men, when they
came ashore; but now, we purposely threw ourselves in their way, in
order to learn more of the vessel.

We became acquainted with the third mate, a Prussian, and an old
merchant-seaman--a right jolly fellow, with a face like a ruby. We
took him to Po-Po's, and gave him a dinner of baked pig and
breadfruit; with pipes and tobacco for dessert. The account he gave
us of the ship agreed with my own surmises. A cosier old craft never
floated; and the captain was the finest man in the world. There was
plenty to eat, too; and, at sea, nothing to do but sit on the windlass
and sail. The only bad trait about the vessel was this: she had been
launched under some baleful star; and so was a luckless ship in the
fishery. She dropped her boats into the brine often enough, and they
frequently got fast to the whales; but lance and harpoon almost
invariably "drew" when darted by the men of the Leviathan. But what of
that?  We would have all the sport of chasing the monsters, with none
of the detestable work which follows their capture. So, hurrah for
the coast of Japan! Thither the ship was bound.

A word now about the hard stories we heard the first time we visited
the ship. They were nothing but idle fictions, got up by the sailors
for the purpose of frightening us away, so as to oblige the captain,
who was in want of more hands, to lie the longer in a pleasant

The next time the Vineyarder came ashore, we flung ourselves in his
path. When informed of our desire to sail with him, he wanted to know
our history; and, above all, what countrymen we were. We said that we
had left a whaler in Tahiti, some time previous; and, since then, had
been--in the most praiseworthy manner--employed upon a plantation. As
for our country, sailors belong to no nation in particular; we were,
on this occasion, both Yankees. Upon this he looked decidedly
incredulous; and freely told us that he verily believed we were both
from Sydney.

Be it known here that American sea captains, in the Pacific, are
mortally afraid of these Sydney gentry; who, to tell the truth,
wherever known, are in excessively bad odour. Is there a mutiny on
board a ship in the South Seas, ten to one a Sydney man is the
ringleader. Ashore, these fellows are equally riotous.

It was on this account that we were anxious to conceal the fact of our
having belonged to the Julia, though it annoyed me much, thus to deny
the dashing little craft. For the same reason, also, the doctor
fibbed about his birthplace.

Unfortunately, one part of our raiment--Arfretee's blue frocks--we
deemed a sort of collateral evidence against us. For, curiously
enough, an American sailor is generally distinguished by his red
frock; and an English tar by his blue one: thus reversing the
national colours. The circumstance was pointed out by the captain; and
we quickly explained the anomaly. But, in vain: he seemed
inveterately prejudiced against us; and, in particular, eyed the
doctor most distrustfully.

By way of propping the tatter's pretensions, I was throwing out a hint
concerning Kentucky, as a land of tall men, when our Vine-yarder
turned away abruptly, and desired to hear nothing more. It was
evident that he took Long Ghost for an exceedingly problematical

Perceiving this, I resolved to see what a private interview would do.
So, one afternoon, I found the captain smoking a pipe in the dwelling
of a portly old native--one Mai-Mai--who, for a reasonable
compensation, did the honours of Partoowye to illustrious strangers.

His guest had just risen from a sumptuous meal of baked pig and taro
pudding; and the remnants of the repast were still visible. Two
reeking bottles, also, with their necks wrenched off, lay upon the
mat. All this was encouraging; for, after a good dinner, one feels
affluent and amiable, and peculiarly open to conviction. So, at all
events, I found the noble Vineyarder.

I began by saying that I called for the purpose of setting him right
touching certain opinions of his concerning the place of my
nativity:--I was an American--thank heaven!--and wanted to convince
him of the fact.

After looking me in the eye for some time, and, by so doing, revealing
an obvious unsteadiness in his own visual organs, he begged me to
reach forth my arm. I did so; wondering what upon earth that useful
member had to do with the matter in hand.

He placed his fingers upon my wrist; and holding them there for a
moment, sprang to his feet, and, with much enthusiasm, pronounced me
a Yankee, every beat of my pulse!

"Here, Mai-Mai!" he cried, "another bottle!" And, when it came, with
one stroke of a knife, he summarily beheaded it, and commanded me to
drain it to the bottom. He then told me that if I would come on board
his vessel the following morning, I would find the ship's articles on
the cabin transom.

This was getting along famously. But what was to become of the

I forthwith made an adroit allusion to my long friend. But it was
worse than useless.  The Vineyarder swore he would have nothing to do
with him--he (my long friend) was a "bird" from Sydney, and nothing
would make him (the man of little faith) believe otherwise.

I could not help loving the free-hearted captain; but indignant at
this most unaccountable prejudice against my comrade, I abruptly took

Upon informing the doctor of the result of the interview, he was
greatly amused; and laughingly declared that the Vineyarder must be a
penetrating fellow. He then insisted upon my going to sea in the
ship, since he well knew how anxious I was to leave. As for himself,
on second thoughts, he was no sailor; and although "lands--' men"
very often compose part of a whaler's crew, he did not quite relish
the idea of occupying a position so humble. In short, he had made up
his mind to tarry awhile in Imeeo.

I turned the matter over: and at last decided upon quitting the
island. The impulse urging me to sea once more, and the prospect of
eventually reaching home, were too much to be resisted; especially as
the Leviathan, so comfortable a craft, was now bound on her last
whaling cruise, and, in little more than a year's time, would be
going round Cape Horn.

I did not, however, covenant to remain in the vessel for the residue
of the voyage; which would have been needlessly binding myself. I
merely stipulated for the coming cruise, leaving my subsequent
movements unrestrained; for there was no knowing that I might not
change my mind, and prefer journeying home by short and easy stages.

The next day I paddled off to the ship, signed and sealed, and stepped
ashore with my "advance"--fifteen Spanish dollars--tasseling the ends
of my neck-handkerchief.

I forced half of the silver on Long Ghost; and having little use for
the remainder, would have given it to Po-Po as some small return for
his kindness; but, although he well knew the value of the coin, not a
dollar would he accept.

In three days' time the Prussian came to Po-Po's, and told us that the
captain, having made good the number of his crew by shipping several
islanders, had determined upon sailing with the land breeze at dawn
the following morning. These tidings were received in the afternoon.
The doctor immediately disappeared, returning soon after with a
couple of flasks of wine concealed in the folds of his frock. Through
the agency of the Marquesan, he had purchased them from an
understrapper of the court.

I prevailed upon Po-Po to drink a parting shell; and even little Loo,
actually looking conscious that one of her hopeless admirers was
about leaving Partoowye for ever, sipped a few drops from a folded
leaf. As for the warm-hearted Arfretee, her grief was unbounded. She
even besought me to spend my last night under her own palm-thatch;
and then, in the morning, she would herself paddle me off to the

But this I would not consent to; and so, as something to remember her
by, she presented me with a roll of fine matting, and another of
tappa. These gifts placed in my hammock, I afterward found very
agreeable in the warm latitudes to which we were bound; nor did they
fail to awaken most grateful remembrances.

About nightfall, we broke away from this generous-hearted household,
and hurried down to the water.

It was a mad, merry night among the sailors; they had on tap a small
cask of wine, procured in the same way as the doctor's flasks.

An hour or two after midnight, everything was noiseless; but when the
first streak of the dawn showed itself over the mountains, a sharp
voice hailed the forecastle, and ordered the ship unmoored.

The anchors came up cheerily; the sails were soon set; and with the
early breath of the tropical morning, fresh and fragrant from the
hillsides, we slowly glided down the bay, and were swept through the
opening in the reef. Presently we "hove to," and the canoes came
alongside to take off the islanders who had accompanied us thus far.
As he stepped over the side, I shook the doctor long and heartily by
the hand. I have never seen or heard of him since.

Crowding all sail, we braced the yards square; and, the breeze
freshening, bowled straight away from the land. Once more the
sailor's cradle rocked under me, and I found myself rolling in my

By noon, the island had gone down in the horizon; and all before us
was the wide Pacific.

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