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Title: The Cruise of the "Janet Nichol" Among the South Sea Islands - A Diary
Author: Stevenson, Fanny Van de Grift
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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The Cruise of the "Janet Nichol"

[Illustration: _Mr. and Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson on the bridge of
the "Janet Nichol"_]



The Cruise of the
"Janet Nichol"
Among the
South Sea Islands


A Diary by
Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson



New York
Charles Scribner's Sons
1914



Copyright, 1914, by
Charles Scribner's Sons

Published October, 1914

[Illustration]



PREFACE


It is always necessary to make certain elisions in a diary not
meant for publication at the time of writing. For many reasons "The
Cruise of the _Janet Nichol_" has been pruned rather severely. It
was, originally, only intended to be a collection of hints to help
my husband's memory where his own diary had fallen in arrears;
consequently, it frequently happened that incidents given in my diary
were re-written (to their great betterment), amplified, and used
in his. I have deleted these as far as possible, though not always
completely; also things pertaining to the private affairs of other
persons, and, naturally, our own. I fear the allusions to the _Devil
Box_ may seem obscure. It happened that my husband wrote a complete
description of the purchase of the _Devil Box_ in his own diary, so it
seemed necessary for me to note further references to it, but nothing
more. In the minute description, almost like a catalogue, of the
articles in the different buildings in the island of Suwarrow, I must
appear to have gone to the opposite extreme. At that time my husband
had an idea of writing a South Sea island romance where he might wish
to use such pathetic and tragic flotsam and jetsam from wrecked ships
and wrecked lives. At the risk of tedium I have let it stand, hoping
that some one else may see the intangible things I beheld.

One reason I have hesitated a little to give for publishing this diary,
is the extraordinary number of books now being printed purporting
to give accurate accounts of our lives on board ship and elsewhere,
by persons with whom we were very slightly acquainted, or had never
consciously met. I have read, among other misstatements, of the making
of the flag for Tembinoka, by the writer and my daughter on the
beach at Apemama. The flag was designed by me, on board the schooner
_Equator_, and made, in the most prosaic manner, by a firm in Sydney.
No one, outside our immediate family, sailed with us on any of our
cruises. All the books "With Stevenson" here, and "With Stevenson"
there, are manufactured out of "such stuff as dreams are made on," and
false in almost every particular. Contrary to the general idea, my
husband was a man of few intimate friends, and even with these he was
reticent to a degree.

This diary was written under the most adverse conditions--sometimes
on the damp, upturned bottom of a canoe or whaleboat, sometimes when
lying face down on the burning sands of the tropic beach, often in
copra sheds in the midst of a pandemonium of noise and confusion,
but oftener on board the rolling _Janet_ (whose pet name was the
_Jumping Jenny_) to the accompaniment of "Tin Jack's" incessant and
inconsequent conversation--but never in comfortable surroundings. For
such inadequate results the labour required was tremendously out of
proportion, giving my diary a sort of fictitious value in the eyes of
my husband, who wished to save it from oblivion by publication. The
little book, however dull it may seem to others, can boast of at least
one reader, for I have gone over this record of perhaps the happiest
period of my life with thrilling interest.

     FANNY V. DE G. STEVENSON.



  ILLUSTRATIONS


  Mr. and Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson on the
  bridge of the _Janet Nichol_                          _Frontispiece_

                                                           FACING PAGE

  Map to illustrate the cruise of the _Janet Nichol_,
  April 11th-July 25th, 1890                                         1

  Outside of the great dance-house, Butaritari, during
  the competition between the dancers of Butaritari
  and those of Little Makin                                          2

  Maka and Mary Maka, Kanoa and Mrs. Maria Kanoa,
  Hawaiian missionaries of the American Board of
  Missions, Honolulu, on the Island of Butaritari, one
  of the Gilbert Islands                                             4

  Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson in company with Nan Tok
  and Natakanti on Butaritari Island                                 6

  The _Janet Nichol_ with ship's company                            20

  The King of Manihiki in the centre, with the island
  judge on his right and Tin Jack, seated, on his left              40

  Natives dancing                                                   48

  Penrhyn Island                                                    52

  Figurehead from a wrecked ship on the veranda of the
  white trader's house, Penrhyn Island                              56

  The _Janet Nichol_ at anchor off Penrhyn Island                   64

  View of deserted buildings on Suwarrow Island. The
  man seated in the centre is Tin Jack                              74

  The settlement on Nassau Island                                   78

  Missionary from a civilized island, and some of her
  converts                                                          80

  Native boys setting sail on S. S. _Janet Nichol_                  96

  Tom Day--a trader of Noukanau Island                             120

  "Equator Town," showing corner of the sleeping-house,
  and cook-house                                                   128

  "The Baron and Baroness," Butaritari, one of the
  Gilbert Islands                                                  132

  Interior of the moniop of Tembinoka's harem                      136

  A Marshall Island canoe                                          140

  Speak House, Island of Maraki                                    144

  White trader and his wife "Topsy," Majuro Island                 152

  Kaibuke--one of the kings of Majuro                              158

  Harem and little son of King Tembinoka on board the
  _Janet Nichol_ passing from Aranuka to Apemama                   162

  Dance at Apemama                                                 166



The Cruise of the "Janet Nichol"

[Illustration: _Map to illustrate the cruise of the "Janet Nichol,"
April 11th-July 25th, 1890_]



THE CRUISE OF THE "JANET NICHOL"


The _Janet Nichol_ was an iron-screw cargo boat, topsail schooner
rigged, of some six hundred tons gross. Her large, airy saloon and
cabins were placed amidship on the main deck, with ports opening
forward, the "trade room" being at the extreme aft. There was a
comfortable bathroom and space enough on deck for exercise; but, for
that matter, we might walk, sit, or sleep where we would. I have slept
in the chart room and on the platform of the captain's bridge; though
the after hatch, over which a great awning was spread, was the place
chosen by the most of us for permanent night quarters. Here some
swung in hammocks, some lay on mats, while the more luxurious carried
blankets and pillows back and forth each night and morning. For me
four mats were hung in a square; the mats, being loosely woven, did
not cut off the current of air that usually swept over the hatch nor,
unfortunately, the terrible groans of one of the mates who slept near
me and was subject to nightmares.

Our mess consisted of Mr. Henderson, a member of the company that owned
the vessel; Captain Henry, sailing-master; Mr. Hird, supercargo; Mr.
Stoddard, engineer; Mr. Buckland, commonly called Tin Jack (Tin being
the island equivalent for Mr.), a trader of the company returning to
his station, my husband, my son Lloyd, and myself. The _Janet_ carried
a crew of about nine white men and some forty-odd black boys from the
different islands of the Solomons and the New Hebrides.

We left Sydney on the 11th of April with a head wind and heavy seas
until we arrived at Auckland, making seven days from port to port.

       *       *       *       *       *

_April 18th, 1890._--At Auckland in time for dinner. Went on shore and
dined at a hotel with the supercargo and Tin Jack. Louis and I slept at
the hotel with the understanding that Tin Jack and Lloyd should meet
us in the morning with a shopping list. Immediately on our arrival in
Auckland a strange cat jumped through a port-hole and now remains on
board.

[Illustration: _Outside of the great dance-house, Butaritari, during
the competition between the dancers of Butaritari and those of Little
Makin. Robert Louis Stevenson can be seen near the centre, just bending
over to enter_]

_19th._--Bought a broadcloth coat for Maka and a good black silk dress
for Mary. As the _Janet_ was bound for "the South Seas" and nothing
more definite, we thought it better to carry presents in case we found
ourselves in the neighbourhood of Butaritari.[1] I came back to the
hotel in advance of Tin Jack and Lloyd, who stopped to buy fireworks
for the entertainment of Tin Jack's native retainers. Besides the
fireworks, which included ten pounds of "calcium fire," Tin Jack has
also purchased cartridges, grease-paints, a false nose, and a wig.

[Illustration: _Maka and Mary Maka, Kanoa and Mrs. Maria Kanoa,
Hawaiian missionaries of the American Board of Missions, Honolulu, on
the Island of Butaritari, one of the Gilbert Islands_]

  [1] We had met the Hawaiian missionary Maka and his wife Mary on
  our second South Sea cruise at Butaritari, one of the low islands
  belonging to the Kingsmill group. Maka and his wife being away at
  the time, by the advice of the resident trader we had burglariously
  entered and taken possession of the missionaries' comfortable little
  wooden house, where we made ourselves at home while we complacently
  awaited the arrival of our involuntary host. Having thus identified
  ourselves with the missionary party, and laid ourselves under such
  heavy obligations to them, we felt bound to forego many amusements
  and friendships, otherwise interesting, that would have been
  objectionable to Maka. However, during the time of the great
  festival, when the neighbouring islanders of Little Makin (called by
  the traders "Little Muggin") came over, in answer to a challenge
  from the Butaritaris to dance against them for what sportsmen would
  call "the championship," Maka retired into discreet obscurity,
  giving us an opportunity to become acquainted with the King of
  Little Makin and to attend the heathen dances. But Maka and Mary
  remained our most real friends in spite of our momentary defection
  toward Makin. When we left Butaritari we could find nothing
  suitable to offer them as parting gifts, in the island fashion, and
  to show our gratitude for their many almost overwhelming kindnesses;
  hence the silk dress and clergyman's frock coat. Two other friends,
  consistent converts to Christianity, to whom we also carried
  presents, we left behind us with regret, Nan Tok and his wife; but
  they were of a different sort from Maka and Mary, being natives of
  Butaritari and, from Maka's point of view, quite uncivilised, as, in
  ordinary life the lady (there are only _ladies_ in the South Seas,
  woman being a word that is tapu in all society, high or low), a
  rich, high chief woman, wore the _ridi_ only, while for full dress
  she appeared in a white chemise fresh from the trader's shelves with
  the marks where it had been folded still showing. My first meeting
  with Nan Tok and his wife was rather alarming. The King had raised
  the tapu from drink, consequently, the entire island, including his
  dull majesty, was wildly drunk on "sour toddy" (the fermented sap of
  the flower-stalk of the cocoanut), which is the most dangerous
  intoxicant in the world, as it incites in its users a frenzied
  desire to shed blood. During this period of licence I accidentally
  came upon two women fighting together like wild beasts, their teeth
  sunk into each other's faces, which were streaming blood. "Oh, what
  is the matter?" I cried. "Sour toddy," replied the woman to whom I
  spoke, casting a contemptuous glance over her shoulder as she passed
  on.

  In the circumstances it was thought unsafe for me to leave our own
  small premises, but one quiet afternoon I broke bounds and went over
  to the weather side of the island to hunt for shells. Here a strange
  man and woman joined me; they were not reassuring companions,
  judging from outer appearances, as they were unkempt, clad in
  nothing but a small fragment, each, of dirty, old gunny sack, and
  their faces were haggard and anxious. At first they walked with me
  as I went about my business of gathering shells, but presently,
  seeming to tire of this amusement, they began to crowd me off the
  beach toward the land; then seizing me by the arms, one on either
  side, they boldly marched me into a narrow, crooked path that led
  through the clustering cocoanut-trees with which the island was
  heavily wooded. As I reluctantly moved along beside my captors, the
  lady, evidently with a kindly feeling for my comfort, drew a clay
  pipe from out an enormous hole in her ear, stuffed it with strong,
  coarse tobacco, lighted it, puffed a moment, and then placed it in
  my mouth. As I could not guess whether their intentions were hostile
  or otherwise and all the warnings I had received flashed through my
  mind, with sublime courage I accepted the situation. But it was a
  solemn experience. We emerged from the palms to find the town in a
  turbulent uproar, the street in front of our house filled with a
  howling, fighting, drunken mob. It was a great relief to find we
  were just in front of my own door; the two natives held me fast
  until we were safely on the little veranda, when, to my
  astonishment, the man fell on his knees and offered up a fervent
  prayer.

  So began our friendship with Nan Tok and his wife (my husband always
  called them the "baron and baroness"). They told us afterward with
  what anxiety they had watched me wander through the woods alone;
  then how, after a heated argument as to the proper means to pursue,
  they concluded to force me back to safety. The incident of the pipe
  was an attempt to conciliate me because of a supposed fiery gleam in
  my eyes that disconcerted them. The prayer was one of thanks for the
  outcome of their adventure and a petition that this should prove the
  beginning of a new friendship that should be blessed to us all.

         *       *       *       *       *

Lloyd was a little doubtful about the calcium fire and questioned
the man at the chemist shop rather closely, particularly as to its
inflammability, explaining that it was to be carried on board ship.
The man declared that it was perfectly safe, "as safe," said he,
"as a packet of sugar," adding that fire from a match would not be
sufficient to ignite it. "Will you have it with or without fumes?"
he asked as he turned to make up the parcel. The thrifty trader
thought that he might as well get all he could for the money expended,
therefore took it with fumes.

[Illustration: _Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson in company with Nan Tok and
Natakanti on Butaritari Island_]

_On Board in the Afternoon._--A little trouble with the trades-union,
but nothing serious. Mr. W----, a bookseller, who had recognised Louis
from a published portrait, called in the evening. He kindly offered to
get pistol cartridges for us, and after a few minutes' conversation
ran away after them, returning just as we were about to leave, with a
couple hundred or thereabouts. The fireworks were sent aboard with
other parcels, and, having no distinguishing marks, Lloyd put them all,
along with our cartridges, on his bunk until Tin Jack, whose cabin he
shared, should come below and sort them out. Among them should be a
pistol Tin Jack had taken to have mended, belonging to Louis.

_20th._--We left Auckland last evening at about eight, the streaming
lights from the town following us a long way. A small, half-grown dog
has joined the ship's company.

Between ten and eleven Louis was lying in his cabin very tired and glad
to rest. Tin Jack and Lloyd were in Mr. Henderson's cabin drinking
coffee and discussing "land booms." I sat at the saloon table eating
brown bread and butter. Suddenly, from the cabin occupied by Tin
Jack and Lloyd, came a spitting puff, almost immediately followed by
gorgeous flames and the most horrible chemical stench. The calcium
fire that was as safe as a packet of sugar had gone off and ignited
the rest of the fireworks. Only Lloyd and I knew of the cartridges in
their midst, but we discreetly held our tongues, though every moment
we expected to hear the ping of flying bullets. I ran into our cabin
and snatched a heavy red blanket. At the same time Mr. Henderson was
fetching a large, handsome woollen rug from his cabin. I felt for a
hand to put the blanket in, for the place was so full of suffocating
vapour that one could see nothing but the many-hued flames darting
through it. Fortunately, it was the captain's hand I delivered my
blanket into. Rid of my blanket, I ran back and thrust my head out of
a port to get a breath of air; the ports, although they were the means
of fanning the flames, could not be shut on account of the strangling
fumes. Here Mr. Henderson, who had been for some minutes lying on the
stairs quite insensible, came to fetch me out; so, catching his hand, I
ran through the saloon to the companionway and up to the deck.

Louis, who knew nothing of the fireworks having been brought on board,
was thunderstruck by the vivid changing colours of the spouts of flame,
and stood for some time gazing at the extraordinary scene and inhaling
the poisonous vapours. "Why," he thought with wonder, "should a fire at
sea look like a Christmas pantomime?" His amazement was so great that
he was hardly conscious of the fumes.

The captain, from the bridge, had seen heavy vapour pouring upward and
was both puzzled and angry, thinking the engineer was letting off
steam for purposes of his own. The stuff must, therefore, have been
smouldering for a considerable time before it burst into flames, the
draught carrying the smoke out of the open port instead of into the
saloon, so that our first knowledge of anything amiss came from the
bursting of rockets into the saloon. As the captain was looking at
the supposed column of steam there suddenly shot through it, rising
high into the air, a shaft of blue, green, and red fire. Ordering the
donkey-engine to pump water and the hose to be put on, he ran below
and crawled into the very centre of the fire with the blanket, rug,
and hose, and succeeded in smothering the flames none too soon for the
safety of the ship; he said afterward that had the wind come from a
different quarter, or had the cartridges exploded, nothing could have
saved us.

There was no panic among our black boys, who worked swiftly and
obediently; I rather suspect they enjoyed the excitement of the affair.
Talking it over, the captain said how lucky it was that he had a man at
the wheel that he could trust. Lloyd and I said nothing, but we both
knew there had been no man at the wheel; the trusted one ran below with
the rest. It was a rather dangerous moment to leave the ship drifting,
for we were not nearly out of the harbour, being just opposite the
lighthouse when the fire broke out. A steamer passed us quite closely
when the scene was at its wildest. Coloured fire and thick white vapour
belching from our ports must have given us a very strange and alarming
aspect. Lloyd looked over the opposite side of our ship and saw the
ports there, also, vomiting vapour like a factory.

To our surprise the cartridge-boxes were only slightly scorched. Our
personal loss, however, has been very severe. About ninety photographs
were destroyed and all of Lloyd's clothes except those on his back.
Neither he nor I have even a tooth-brush left. The annoying thing is
that Tin Jack has lost nothing whatever. Lloyd is very bitter about the
discrimination shown in the matter of trousers by the fire. I stopped
a couple of black boys just in time to prevent them throwing overboard
a blazing valise containing four large boxes of Louis' papers. A black
bag, its contents at present unknown, is burned, and innumerable small
necessaries that conduce to comfort on shipboard are lost. I have ever
since been in a tremor lest Louis have a hæmorrhage. If he does I shall
feel inclined to do something very desperate to the chemist, who, for
the sake of a few shillings, put us all in such deadly peril. A horrid
smell still hangs about the place and every one feels ill. Though I
hardly breathed in the room, I have a heavy oppression on my chest,
and my throat and lungs burn as though I were inhaling pepper. From
the time we left Auckland the water has been as smooth as glass, and
there has been no jarring or knocking about; the stuff must have gone
off by simple spontaneous combustion. Had it taken place a very little
later, Tin Jack must have been sleeping in the berth above, and should
undoubtedly have been suffocated.

_2lst._--Still drying the remains of Lloyd's clothes, burned and wet in
the fire, and discovering more and more losses. Fortunately, the flag I
had made for King Tembinoka was not injured at all (a royal standard I
invented for him). The flag for the island I had already sent, and the
cartridge-belt Lloyd is taking to him for a present is only a little
smudged.[2] Both our cameras escaped as by magic.

  [2] This flag was designed on a former cruise after we had left
  Apemama, the principal of the three islands comprising the group
  under King Tembinoka, the last of the absolute monarchs of the
  South Seas. The King had asked that we send him a flag, so one
  evening, on board the schooner _Equator_, we each drew and
  coloured a flag. These were voted on by the ship's company. It
  happened that mine was unanimously chosen. The three cross-bars,
  red, yellow, and green, were intended to stand for the three
  islands, while the black shark lying across the bars was meant
  to be typical of Tembinoka's ancestry. The King's line was not
  lost in obscurity; he gave us almost embarrassing details of the
  first of his forebears, who sprang from a liaison between a
  beautiful lady and a shark. The drawings I made on the _Equator_
  were taken to a firm in Sydney that did such work; they turned out
  a couple of very gorgeous flags that were quite to the taste of his
  majesty. The house flag had a white crown over the head of the
  shark (a little different shape from that on the island flag). I
  chose for the motto "I bite triply," which referred not only to the
  King's three islands, but to the three rows of teeth peculiar to the
  shark.

Louis has been playing chess with the captain, who has not played
before for many years. I have been making wreaths of artificial flowers
for presents to the natives. I bought in Sydney several large boxes
of old-fashioned artificial flowers, perfectly fresh and pretty, also
green leaves unwired. For one pound and three shillings I got enough
for twenty full wreaths and eighteen more to be worked up with coloured
feathers. I do not think the natives will enjoy getting the wreaths any
more than I enjoy making them.[3] (One of our sailors appeared on duty
in a garland and necklace of orange-peel.) The sea is smooth and the
weather perfect.

  [3] Very few flowers are found in the atolls, wherefore the natives,
  who use wreaths for every festive occasion, are forced to devise
  all sorts of makeshifts for the garlands that are considered almost
  necessities. I have seen only two flowers that seem indigenous to
  the true atoll, one quite insignificant, that looked like the
  blossom of the male _papaia_, the other a sort of "spider lily";
  both these were of a whitish colour, and, as far as I could see,
  were worn only by people of position, and not by the common herd,
  who contented themselves with imitations made from some part of the
  cocoanut-tree. I wish those artistic souls, who so scorned my
  purchases at the milliner's, could have seen with what frantic joy
  they were received. Many times staid matrons burst into sudden
  hysterical weeping when I offered them my wreaths, while kings,
  chiefs, and even white traders intrigued to gain one of these
  coveted possessions.

_22d._--The weather still lovely. Saw a small island called Curtis
Island, and at half past ten sighted Sunday Island. The captain kindly
took us very close in that we might get a good photograph. A puff
of smoke appeared on the horizon, supposed to be a steamer; great
excitement. I ran to write letters and found Mr. Henderson doing the
same; but alas, the ship, which looked like a man-of-war, moved away
from us nearer to the island, and it was too late to venture to chase
her, so our letters must wait. Sunday is the island where an American
family once took up their residence, remaining until it began to blow
up. Some settlers have lately gone there. Lloyd reminds me that this
was the place Louis and he once proposed to try and get possession of,
and I refused to hear of the plan because of the volcano and the hordes
of rats that infest the place. I repented when I saw it, and my heart
is now set upon owning an island. It grows warmer daily, and I hope
soon to be able to put away my shoes and stockings.[4] Mr. Henderson is
looking for an island about the existence of which there is some doubt.
Lloyd tells me that Mr. Low, the artist in New York, once said that he
had a friend who had actually been upon this very island.

  [4] As all mine and most of Louis's were burned, except what I had
  on my feet, I wished to preserve these for such times as it might
  seem necessary to make a civilised appearance.

_26th._--I have not been able to put away my shoes and stockings, for
the sun disappeared soon after my last entry; for several days we have
been knocking about in a gale of wind with almost continuous rain. The
air is thick and breathless, hot, and at the same time chill. To my
discomfort, I caught a cold and developed a smart attack of rheumatism.
The captain has also been unfortunate; he, too, took cold, and in
addition had a heavy door slam upon one of his fingers, crushing
the nail. Some time ago a cinder blew into one of his eyes, causing
an inflammation, and now the other is as bad in consequence of the
poisonous fumes of our involuntary firework display.

To-day we came to anchor off Savage Island, or Nuieue, having on board
some eight natives of the place who were being returned home by the
company. It was pleasant to see the happy, excited faces of the "boys"
as we drew near their native land. They were all dressed for the
occasion in new clothes, every man with a pair of strong new boots on
his feet. A couple of dandies wore velvet smoking-caps with tassels,
and red sashes. It is a smaller and lighter-coloured race than we
have been accustomed to, their features and expression reminding one
of pretty, sweet-faced Chinamen. Before we had anchored, neatly made
outriggers were circling round the ship and cries of greeting arose
from all sides. When the steam-whistle sounded a joyful answering shout
ran along the beach. No women came out to us. To them a ship is tapu,
but numbers of small boys accompanied the men. Soon they were all
wandering over the ship, marvelling at the strange sights, but also
cannily ready to make an honest or dishonest penny. I bought a couple
of sticks of sugar-cane for a stick of tobacco and ordered a hat from
a man for which I am to pay two shillings. The man had a hat with him
but charged four shillings for it on account of its trimming, a small
bit of red flannel laid round the crown. I also bought a couple of
little model canoes (one for Tin Jack) for two shillings.

Our sailors are "black fellows," some from the New Hebrides, some from
the Solomons and various other places. They seem to find it easier to
speak to one another in English than in their own tongues; I heard one
say: "I wouldn't like to go across that water in that fellow's canoe."
The men from Nuieue looked at those black fellows with great curiosity
and asked in what island did they find men like that. One of these
black sailors has his name signed as Sally Day. To-day I heard one of
the others politely call him Sarah. Savage Island is a high-low island;
that is, it is a coral atoll with a soil, raised more or less unevenly,
some two hundred feet above the sea-level. It produces copra, bananas,
cotton, breadfruit, _bêche-de-mer_, and fungus, and is governed by a
king with the assistance of four chiefs and four sub-chiefs. Food trees
and plants are carefully cultivated, and the people have the reputation
of being industrious and willing to work. Captain Henry wished to take
a little girl home to his wife, but was not allowed, it being against
the law that a female should leave the island.

In at least one of the villages of Nuieue a singular custom prevails.
One day in the year is fixed as a day of judgment. Every soul, man,
woman, and child, gathers together on the village green. Votes are
cast for a whipper, and a jury, composed of half Christians and half
heathens, is chosen. One by one the people come forward and publicly
confess their sins, while the jury fixes the punishment, which is
whipping or an equivalent fine. The fines may be paid in goods of
any sort, the value of the article offered being rated at the price
originally paid for it. For instance, a man fined a dollar may bring
the unwearable remains of a tattered hat that cost him a dollar the
year before. The elected officials do not escape punishment by virtue
of their position. After the jury has confessed and fixed its own
punishment, the whipper must do the same, and, if whipping is his doom,
must proceed to whip himself. So, next day, every soul starts afresh
with consciences sponged clean, ready for a new record of sins. The
confessions seem to be genuine and sometimes cause the utmost surprise
and consternation to those who have been sinned against.

The desire to own an island is still burning in my breast. In this
neighbourhood, nearer Samoa, is just the island I want, owned,
unfortunately, by a man in Tahiti. It is called Nassau and is said to
be uninhabited.

Last night an immense rat ran over me in bed, and Mr. Henderson had the
same unpleasant experience. In the hold of the _Janet_ are a number
of pure white rats with red eyes, which appeared of themselves quite
mysteriously. The captain will not allow them to be harmed, which
I think is very nice and sentimental of him. It was amusing to see
our dog's perplexity when we came to anchor, and he put his head out
of a port-hole to have a look at Auckland. His very tail expressed
alarmed surprise. Our second steward (a white man) is in a state of
wild delight. He took his "billet" under the head steward from a
romantic hope of seeing Samoa, of which he had once read a description
in a newspaper. Every little while I hear his voice, quivering with
excitement: "What do you think of it, Mrs. Stevens?" One moment he is
thrusting sugar-cane into my hand: "Taste it, Mrs. Stevens, it's sugar
stick! I never saw it before!" and the next is: "_Cocoanut! cocoanut!_
It's _green cocoanut_, Mrs. Stevens; I never saw it before in my life!"
It is of no use to tell him that it is all an old story to me; he
hears nothing but babbles on with shining eyes. I have just overheard
this from a white stoker who had also never been in the tropics before:
"He's been and swindled me, that native! There's nothing inside this
green cocoanut but some kind of water."

Mr. Henderson has just told us as a secret that our next island will be
Upolu, Samoa, and we are now as wildly excited as the second steward.
On Wednesday afternoon, at four o'clock, we shall arrive at Apia, and
the next morning, at break of day, off we fly to Vailima. As we were
discussing the subject, the captain called out that there was a white
rat in his cabin and he wished to catch and tame it, so I ran to help
him. It was under his bed, he said, and the loveliest rat in the world.
As he was dilating on its beauty, out it flashed, jumping on him and
rebounding against my breast like a fluff of white cotton wool. The
captain laughed and screamed with shrill, hysterical cries, in which I
joined, while the loveliest rat in the world scurried away.

_27th._--The weather really abominable, so cold that I have had to put
on a flannel bodice. Tin Jack and Lloyd went to the station last night
and returned with the white trader, a thin, pallid man, with a large,
hooked nose and soft, frightened brown eyes. For very dullness I was
about to go to sleep, when Mr. Henderson ran up, crying: "Sail ho!"
Sure enough, there was a large vessel wallowing in the great seas.
Captain Henry thought her an American driven in by the heavy weather.
Round the point of the island the breakers were rising, he said, some
forty feet high. While we were watching the strange craft she turned
about and sailed away, to our great disappointment, no doubt having
only come up to take her bearings. After I had closed my diary last
night Mr. Henderson got out the chart and showed us his own islands and
the supposed location of Victoria Island which he is looking for. I
offered to toss him for the latter, to which he agreed. Louis threw up
a piece of money and I won. I have yet, however, to find Victoria.

Nuieue has not yet recovered from the effects of last year's hurricane,
and we shall not get many delicacies here. There are no ripe cocoanuts,
few bananas, and no breadfruit. Some one said that I could get spring
onions. "How do they grow them?" I asked; meaning did they sow seeds or
plant sets. "On the graves," was the rather startling answer.

[Illustration: _The "Janet Nichol" with ship's company_]

Last night Mr. Henderson pulled off a rat's tail. He thought to pull
the rat from a hole from which the tail protruded, but the tail came
off, and the rat ran away. The captain tells me that there is generally
a plague of flies in Nuieue. It is too cold for them now, but usually
when the natives come out in their canoes their backs, especially,
are black with flies. Some one has sent me a basket of bananas almost
too sweet and rich; also some excellent oranges. I have mended the
bellows of our camera, where it has been eaten by cockroaches, with
sticking-plaster.

_28th._--Steamed round to the other side of the island to the
missionary station, carrying with us the trader and a young Irishman
named Hicks; also a native woman and a boy. Here, to our surprise, we
saw the vessel we had sighted and lost; she proved to be the _John
Williams_.

We watched her plunging to and fro, now close under the cliffs, now
skirting the _Janet_, now fetching our hearts in our mouths as she
stayed, and forereached in staying, till you would have thought she
had leaves on her jib-boom. We actually got up the camera to take a
photograph of the expected shipwreck. We were told afterward that it
was only Captain Turpie showing off his seamanship.

The _John Williams_ is a missionary ship on her way to Samoa with an
English missionary and his family and a German lady who is going to
open a school for Samoan girls. Mr. Lawes is the Nuieue missionary,
a dark, foreign-looking man. We heard nothing but good of him from
traders and natives.

We landed and climbed up the part path, part stairs of the cliff,
our boys already trailing down it with copra sacks, the ship's boat
slamming away at the jetty with a couple of black fellows holding on
to it like grim death. The missionary natives were ranged in bodies on
the path to meet us. First the men pressed forward, giggling, and shook
hands; then the women, whose many-coloured garments we had remarked
even from the ship, glowing on the cliff like a bank of flowers. The
children who followed after pretended alarm and fled, but laughed as
they ran. I was some distance from Louis, who has written the following
in my diary[5] "They closed in on me like a sea; I was in the close
embrace of half a dozen outstretched hands, with smiling faces all
round me, and a perfect song of salutation going up. From the sirens
I escaped by means of a present of tobacco, which was the cause of my
ruin, later on, when Lloyd and I went out to photograph. A bevy of
girls followed, hugging and embracing me, and going through my pockets.
It was the nearest thing to an ugly sight, and still it was pretty;
there was no jeering, no roughness, they fawned upon and robbed me
like well-behaved and healthy children with a favourite uncle. My own
cut tobacco and my papers they respected; but a little while after, on
making a cigarette, I found my match-box gone. There was small doubt
in my mind as to the culprit; a certain plump little maid, more like a
Hawaiian, with a coquettish cast of face and carriage of the head, and
conspicuous by a splendid red flower stuck in her ear, had visited me
with a particular thoroughness. I demanded my matches. She shook her
head at first; and then from some unknown receptacle produced my box,
drew out a single match, replaced the box, and with a subtle smile and
considerable grace of demeanour, something like a courtly hostess,
passed me on the match!"

  [5] He used this afterward, but as it seems to belong to my diary I
  thought I might let it stand.

Tin Jack was shown some spies who were taking names of women who had,
against rules, been aboard ship. They will all be fined to-morrow.
Levity of conduct, they tell us, is not allowed and is met by fines. I
should imagine the public funds to be in a plethoric condition.

Before I knew where I was the trader had swept me up to the mission
house, well built of coral, with a high, wide roof of cocoanut thatch
beautifully braided together and tied with cocoanut sennit. In an
inner room we found the passengers from the _John Williams_, Mr. and
Mrs. Marriott and the German teacher. The Marriotts had with them the
loveliest little twins imaginable, two years old, and almost exactly
alike. Louis and Lloyd disappeared at once in search of photographs.
The king, who seems to be liked and respected, was off in the bush,
so they were disappointed in his likeness. After a reasonable time
of worship before the twins, I started to follow the photographers,
the trader conducting me, the _John Williams_ party and Mr. Lawes
(the resident missionary) following. We passed a cow, a bull, and
two horses, strange sights for these latitudes. There were a great
many flowers blooming in the underbrush--jasmine, the flamboyant, and
a yellow blossom like a "four-o'clock"--and where a space had been
cleared grass was growing. There is no running water, but through small
fissures in the rock brackish water is found at the depth of seven
fathoms. I was told of one great fissure, into which stone steps had
been cut, where a subterranean stream gushes out in a waterfall.

The trader, who had already sold us three tappa (native bark-cloth)
table-cloths at an exorbitant price, clung to me pertinaciously,
taking me into his house, where he showed me a mat he wished a pound
for, whereas it was worth but a couple of dollars. I refused to buy
it, whereupon he presented me with two small rather pretty mats. I
thought he owed them to me, so I accepted them without compunction. The
young Irishman, who had followed us in, opened his box and took out an
immense yellow shell necklace, a cocoa-shell basket, and a strange,
very heavy, carefully shaped stone, which the natives use in fighting.
All these articles he insisted on my accepting. I was greatly pleased
with the fighting stone. The trader promised to get me a couple of
"peace sticks" when we return to his side of the island. These are used
by the women when they think a fight has lasted long enough. They rush
between the combatants, waving their "peace sticks," and the affair
ends. These peace sticks are made of dark, almost black ironwood, are
about three feet long, shaped like spears, and ornamented, where the
hand naturally holds them, with cocoa-fibre sennit and yellow bird
feathers. The feathers looked to be the same as were used in Hawaii
for the royal cloaks. As I write Tin Jack appears in a hat of Nuieue
manufacture, braided pandanus, in shape an exact reproduction of the
civilised high silk hat, and indescribably comic.

Returning to the mission house, we stopped at the king's newly built
palace for a piece of ironwood that I wanted to mend the camera stand.
The queen, a pretty, smiling, young woman, stood in the doorway
directing us where to look. Arriving at the house, I examined the
house dog's ear, and found he was suffering from canker. Louis and I,
together, remembered the remedy for him, and told it to Mr. Lawes. I
begged that Louis and Lloyd might see the twins. The little fairies
were heavy-eyed from the knocking about and the close air of the
_John Williams_. Each had had a convulsion during the last two days.
I thought they looked rather too much like little angels. I tried,
without success, to make our party refuse Mrs. Lawes's invitation
to high tea. It did seem very hard; month after month passes in the
most deadly monotony. Suddenly here are two ships at her door, each,
incredible fact, with white women on board, and she has almost no
time to speak to either, and in an hour or two they are gone. Poor
Mrs. Lawes had wild eyes when the two sets of passengers and most of
the officers gathered in a great circle round her board. It was an
excellent meal, which I should have thoroughly enjoyed had I not felt
like a cannibal and that I was eating Mrs. Lawes. But this it is to
be a missionary's wife. I am sure she must have had a nervous fever
after we were gone. She found a moment to bewail her fate to Louis;
if only we had come piecemeal, as it were, and not all at once, like
a waterspout, she would have been so happy. We shall leave behind us
only a memory of hurry and flurry and confusion worse confounded. While
we were at table the _John Williams_ ran so close inshore that we were
frightened, and Mr. Marriott very anxious, as all his worldly goods
were on board. The _John Williams_ left Sydney on Friday the 11th,
the same day we did, and now we meet here and possibly may meet again
in Samoa. We had just finished our meal when the steam-whistle blew
for us, and away we all trooped to the boat. The _John Williams_ was
leaving also.

We had some trade stuff to be landed at the other side of the island.
There Lloyd went ashore and got my peace sticks for which he paid two
shillings the pair. A great many natives came aboard, among the rest
the handsome sister and daughter of a chief. I gave them both a wreath,
to their great pride and joy. Tin Jack dressed up in his wig and
whiskers and false nose. The natives at first were much alarmed and
some of the women inclined to cry.

_29th._--Squally all night, but this morning the sun has come out and
it really looks hopeful. The captain has been working all day until
four o'clock at my device for mending the camera with Nuieue ironwood.
I hardly slept last night for the heavy rolling and pitching of the
_Janet_. A black cat has appeared, brought on board from Nuieue. It was
proposed to have a rat hunt with the Auckland dog. I meanly intended to
inform the captain, but I need not have troubled myself, for when a rat
was shown to the dog he nearly went into a fit with terror. I have all
my things ready packed to go on shore at Samoa.

_30th._--Passed Tutuila in the morning. Almost despair of reaching
Upolu before to-morrow, owing to an adverse current, but make it just
after sundown. We ran along Upolu for a couple of hours, the scenery
enchanting; abrupt mountains, not so high as in Tahiti or Hawaii,
nor so strangely awful as the Marquesan highlands, but with a great
beauty of outline and colour, the thick jungle looking from the deck of
the ship like soft green moss. Through the glass I could see a high,
narrow waterfall drop into the sea. Breaths of the land breeze began
to come out to us, intoxicating with the odours of the earth, of
growing trees, sweet flowers and fruits, and dominating all, the clean,
wholesome smell of breadfruit baking in hot stones. Soon masts of ships
began to show, and the smoke of Apia. The signal-flag was carried up to
the foretopmast and laboriously tied on by a black boy, when the pilot
came quickly on board. It was not quite dark, but we thought it better
to dine on the _Janet_, though we were burning to get on shore. While
we were eating, people began to arrive in boats to offer their welcome
to Samoa. Louis and I started off, leaving Lloyd to follow in the
ship's boat. It was a dream-like thing to find oneself walking along
Apia beach, shaking hands and passing _talofas_ on every side. We spent
the evening on shore and, after ordering horses for the early morning,
went to bed tired out.

_May 1st._--Woke at six to hear the horses coming for us. When last we
rode out to Vailima the road was but a bridle-path almost closed in by
the bush. We can now ride two abreast, or even three, if we like. Tin
Jack was much delighted to see pineapples growing wild, and bewailed
his mistake in having settled on a low island. Lloyd rode ahead to a
native village on the road with a packet of sweeties for some little
girls who used to dance for us when we lived in the bush near by. We
found Lloyd waiting for us; only one of the little girls was about.
After we left the village the road plunged into the forest. The tall,
liana-draped trees, carrying ferns in the forks of their branches, cast
a grateful shade, and we rode slowly, to enjoy all to the utmost.

There was a crowd of black boys at Vailima cutting down and burning
trees and brush. I believe they are runaways from the German
plantations. There are a good many noble trees, of great height and
girth, left standing. A little, wooden house has been run up, from the
balcony of which we could see the masts of the _Janet_ as she lay at
anchor and past her far out over the sea.

It is odd how little is known of Samoa, even by its inhabitants. In
Sydney I asked particulars concerning a turbine wheel in case I should
want one in Vailima. The man I consulted assured me it would be quite
useless to attempt such a thing, as a friend of his just from Samoa,
who had lived there a long time, told him there was not a tree of any
size in Upolu, and none whatever of hardwood. On the contrary, in the
bush are numbers of magnificent timber-trees, very hard and beautiful
in colour. One in particular, a light yellow, is very like satinwood
and another seems to be a sort of mahogany. We took photographs, and
after a couple of hours reluctantly tore ourselves away.

A native man, an old friend, stopped us on the way back to Apia,
holding the bridles of our horses that we should not escape him. A
woman we were acquainted with passed; she turned and stopped, cooing
like a dove, every limb and feature expressing surprise and delight.

After an inordinate luncheon I opened some boxes we had left here and
took out various articles suitable for presents. At the main store we
found our bush friend and his little daughter waiting for us with a
large basket of oranges. Louis gave the child a shilling and told her
to choose from the shelves a piece of cotton print. She was dazzled
by the magnificence of the offer, and after long deliberation chose
the ugliest piece of the lot. I gave an old woman a print gown, upon
which she purred like a cat and kissed my hands. Our old friend Sitione
(wounded in the late war) came up and spoke to us, looking very ill,
his arm bandaged and in a sling. The doctor tells Louis he thinks very
badly of the arm and fears he must amputate it.[6] There was also
something wrong with Sitione's eye which was bandaged.

  [6] Sitione was suffering from the effects of an old wound got in
  the last wars, some of the bones in his shoulder being shattered;
  they were finally removed, and Sitione recovered entirely with only
  a scar or two to show where the doctor had operated. Sitione, I was
  told, received this wound while doing a very brave and dashing act.
  During one of the many Samoan wars his party had fallen back a short
  distance, leaving an open space between them and the enemy; in this
  opening Sitione perceived that a friend of his had fallen and was
  unable to arise. The enemy were already rushing forward to take the
  man's head, as is their custom, when Sitione bounded back in the
  face of their guns, caught up his friend, and brought him into
  safety with a hail of bullets whizzing after him, and a shattered
  shoulder.

       *       *       *       *       *

A little boy brought a basket of chilli peppers I wanted to carry on
board with me. There were no vegetables to be had, as the Chinaman's
garden, the only one in Samoa, had been washed away by a freshet. At
half past three we returned to the _Janet_, where Doctor Steubel, the
German consul-general, Baron von Pritzfritz, captain of the German
man-of-war lying in Apia harbour, and another German whose name I
forget paid us a visit. We talked a few moments and drank a glass of
champagne; then the whistle sounded, our friends bade us good-bye, and
at about four we steamed out. Our little house in the bush was visible
to the naked eye from the deck of the steamer.

_3d._--At about three o'clock we sighted an island known by various
names--Swayne's Island, Quiros, or Olesenga--a small, round, low island
surrounding a triangular brackish lagoon like an ornamental lake in a
park. It is inhabited by a half-caste man known as King Jennings, his
family, and about eighty people from different islands. The original
Jennings was an American who married a Samoan wife. He left Samoa in
a huff after having built a man-of-war for the government, for which
payment was refused. As the motive power of the ship came from wooden
paddle-wheels, turned with a crank by hand, it is hardly surprising
that the complaint of her extreme slowness and the great labour
involved in working her should have been brought forward as reasons
for non-payment. She had a complete armament of great guns and all the
equipments of a proper man-of-war. Jennings, in a fury of indignation
and disappointment, shook the dust of Samoa off his feet, and with his
wife and family set up a little kingdom of his own in Quiros. Here he
blew out a passage through the reef, built two schooners of island
wood, floated them off with barrels, and sold them to the German firm
at Samoa.

A flag was hoisted on Quiros, the stars and stripes, with what appeared
to be a dove in the field. We asked with some curiosity what the
dove indicated. They told us that a night-bird came and cried about
the settlement for months; this was supposed to bode sickness; so to
propitiate the ill-omened bird it was added to the flag.

There is a good road on the island, excellent houses, a church, and a
schoolhouse containing an imported half-caste schoolmaster. From a tall
building used for storing copra men were already laying a temporary
wooden track down to the landing for the copra trucks to run upon. This
busy scene was brought to an end by Mr. Henderson's information that he
would not take in cargo until our return voyage. This is a rich, low
island with plenty of soil, and is said to bring in a very comfortable
revenue, which might be still larger did King Jennings care to make it
so.

Mr. Henderson and Louis went on shore; while they were away I tried
to make a Mexican sauce, called _salsa_, with the chillis from Samoa
and the onions from the Nuieue graves. The chillis burned my hands
dreadfully, and the sauce turned out to be too hot to be used except as
a flavouring for soups, for which it was excellent.

Mr. Henderson and Louis came back with some return labour boys for
Danger Island. One who had signed to serve five years had been waiting
another three for a vessel to take him home. He was once disappointed,
and nearly died of it. I am thankful he had this opportunity.[7] I can
see a horse eating grass on the island, and Louis has seen a carriage.

  [7] The "labour boys" do, sometimes, die of homesickness. A black
  boy called Arriki whom we hired from the German firm, did so die
  after we left Samoa. The man to whom he was assigned by the German
  firm told me that both Arriki and a friend of his began to droop and
  become sullen, and then went quite mad; soon after they died at
  about the same time from no apparent disease, but he said he knew
  the symptoms--"just plain homesickness for a cannibal island."
  Arriki, in a moment of confidence, once described to me his life in
  his own land. It seemed to consist of flight from one unsafe spot to
  another, with death hunting on every hand. Both his father and mother
  had been killed and eaten, with the most of his friends; and yet
  Arriki died of homesickness.

_4th._--Ran through a light squall in the night and sighted Danger
Island at four in the morning. At the first landing is a place in the
reef where people upset in boats are sucked under, never to be seen
again. Our Quiros passengers are in a wild state of excitement; ladies
on the after hatch slipping on their clean shifts, and the comb going
from hand to hand. The eight-year exile clutched Louis's hand, and
in a voice trembling with emotion ejaculated "coco nuk." As we drew
nearer the three islands of the group began to detach themselves.
Danger Island, or Pukapuka, is the only one inhabited. It is governed
by a king who allows none of his subjects to gather cocoanuts without
his royal permission, and as he seldom lets any one have more than is
sufficient for his food, very little copra is made. Here the nuts,
contrary to the usual custom, are dried in the shell to prevent
cockroaches from devouring the meat, and consequently the copra is very
fine and white; but the quantity made is so small that it does not pay
to keep a trader on the island.

       *       *       *       *       *

We could see the natives gathering on the beach in great force. They
seemed thunderstruck at the sight of a vessel with furled sails moving
so rapidly against a strong head wind, the _Janet_ being the first
steamer that had touched at Pukapuka. As soon as our passengers were
recognised, a joyful shout ran up and down the beach, and, canoes were
launched and paddled out to meet us. When they were just abreast of us
Captain Henry blew the steam-whistle. The natives were appalled; every
paddle stopped short, and the crowds on the beach seemed stricken to
stone. Our Pukapuka passengers tried to encourage the people in the
canoes to come nearer, calling to them from the deck of the ship, but
it was some time before they took heart and resumed their paddling. The
King, a shabbily clad man of rather mean appearance, was among them.

The meeting between the long-parted friends was very pretty and
touching. I like their mode of showing affection better than ours. They
took hands and pressed their faces together lightly with a delicate
sniff, as I have often seen a white mother caress her baby. One elderly
woman, I was sorry to see, had bad news; she looked very sorrowful,
and when a young boy came up to greet her she threw her arms round him
and wept aloud. All the rest, however, were sparkling with excitement
and joy. The sheep, which the strangers saw for the first time, were
studied with much interest. A group of middle-aged, respectable men
stood off at some distance and whistled to the sheep as though they
were dogs; getting no response, they ventured a little nearer, when one
of the sheep happened to move. The crowd fell back in dire confusion,
and one man who had been in the van, but now occupied a rear position,
asked in a trembling voice if the bite of those animals was very
dangerous.

Before our passengers left us, each shook hands with all on board and
bade us farewell; they said "good-bye, sir," to Louis and "good-bye,
mister," to me. As they paddled away I took out my handkerchief and
waved it. One woman, the proud possessor of a handkerchief of her own,
waved hers in reply and kept it up until I, at least, was tired. I like
to think of the pleasant evening at Pukapuka, the gossip, the news,
the passing of presents, and the exhibition of treasures and foreign
curiosities.

_6th._--Sighted Manihiki at half past twelve, an outlying, low coral
island with enclosed lagoon, very thinly wooded with cocoa-palms and
pandanus trees.

Quiros, the first Spanish navigator of the Pacific, gave to an island
the name "Gente Hermosa" (Beautiful People), which has always been
ascribed to Olesenga or Quiros Island; but since the memory of man
Quiros has been uninhabited until the advent of the American Jennings.
It is very possible that the navigator meant Manihiki, or its
neighbouring island Rakahoa, as the isle of beautiful people. It is
significant that Manihiki is always conspicuously marked on even the
smallest maps of the world, no doubt from the fact that its delightful
people have attracted so much attention from seamen that the place
has acquired an artificial importance out of all proportion to its few
square miles of reef.

The regular diet of the Manihikians is composed almost entirely of
cocoanuts. The pandanus seeds are boiled and chewed, but never made
into foodstuff as is done in the Gilberts. There are pigs and fowls
in abundance, but these are only killed on great occasions, such as
marriages or deaths. Sucking pigs are not killed, but only large ones,
the larger the better. There are no white women on Manihiki, and but
three white men--an absconding produce-merchant, a runaway marine, and
a young Englishman who was wrecked on a neighbouring island. These
men live on the bounty of the natives, and though they dislike eating
copra, or "cocoanut steak," as it is called, they seem to thrive very
well upon it.

We landed on the beach as there was no entrance to the lagoon. The
aspect of the reef was not very reassuring as we rowed toward it,
but our men took us through a narrow, tortuous passage, and in a few
minutes we were shaking hands and exchanging salutations with the
natives, a pleasant, smiling crowd with many beautiful children. We
were delighted to find that we had arrived at a most interesting
period, that of the yearly jubilee. No one could tell us how this
institution, which is known in other islands besides Manihiki, first
arose. For one week out of every year all laws are held in abeyance,
and the island gives itself up to hilarious enjoyment without fear of
consequences, singing, beating the cocoanut-wood drum, and dancing
according to the old heathen customs. At any other time the punishment
for heathen dances is most severe.

[Illustration: _The King of Manihiki in the centre, with the Island
Judge on his right and Tin Jack, seated, on his left. The man squatting
in the foreground is one of the beach-combers._]

The three "beach-combers" were all well dressed, in coats and trousers,
and very good-looking. One man said his present way of life "had an air
of loafing on the natives" which he disliked, but they all seemed proud
of their high position as whites, with the exception of the ex-marine,
who had fallen under the scorn of his companions for becoming
"kanaka-ised." Still, that they were under some subjection, we could
see, but owned themselves well used. They do not exactly _like_ copra,
but, as one said: "We have no right to complain; they give us what they
have." They had had no tobacco for months, which they felt a great
privation. When a ship comes in, the natives, men, women, and children,
often smoke the strong trade tobacco until they fall down insensible,
sometimes becoming convulsed as in epilepsy.

The trader, a half-caste, had already boarded the _Janet_ in a boat of
his own, but his wife, a stout, good-natured, sensible-looking woman,
was waiting on the beach to receive us. She at once took possession of
me as her right, and I was triumphantly swept off to her house, the
crowd at our heels; here we were regaled on cocoanuts, while all the
population who could crowd into the room gazed on us unwinking. The
windows, also, were filled, which cut off the air and made the place
rather suffocating. The children were made to sit down in the front row
so that the older people could see over their heads. One old woman made
me feel quite uncomfortable. Her eyes remained fixed, her jaw dropped,
and nothing for a single moment diverted her attention from what she
evidently regarded as a shocking and wonderful spectacle. Natives have
said that the first sight of white people is dreadful, as they look
like corpses walking. I have myself been startled by the sight of a
crowd of whites after having seen only brown-skinned people for a
long time. Louis has a theory that we whites were originally albinos.
Certainly we are not a nice colour. I remember as a child the words
"flesh colour" were sickening to me, and I could not bear to see them
in my paint-box.

The room was neat and clean, as were all the houses in the village.
Most of them contained a bedstead cut out of imported hardwood with a
spread of gay patchwork, and a mat-covered sofa, very high and wide.
In an inner room were great stacks of pearl shell, not, I should say,
of the very best quality, and much smaller than the law allows in the
Paumotus. The shell is gathered in the lagoon by native divers. Very
few pearls are found, probably because the shell is taken so young.
Leaving the trader's house, we started to cross the island, which is
very narrow; Louis thought about one hundred and fifty yards and I no
more than one hundred yards. On the way we passed a crowd of dancers,
ranged in two rows, the women on one side, the men on the other, in
front of the "speak-house." The dance was more like the Marquesans'
than we had ever seen. The European costumes in which most of the
people had dressed for our reception rather spoiled the effect, though
many wore wreaths and head-dresses made of dyed leaves. The native dyes
give beautiful, soft colours, yellow, red, and pink, which they also
use in hats and mats, some of the latter being exquisitely fine and as
pliant as cloth.

We found the lagoon of crystal clearness and dotted with little
islands. Numbers of small vessels were lying at anchor; no doubt they
had been collecting the shell. Though it was very lovely to look at,
we did not stay long on the borders of the lagoon, being driven away
by an ancient and fishlike smell. On our way back we went into the
church and the speak-house. In the speak-house, a very good building of
coral, were stocks which were used to punish malefactors. These stocks
consisted of a couple of ring-like handcuffs fastened, one above the
other, a foot from the ground, at the side of a post. The church, a
thatched coral building without flooring, was really beautiful. The
seats, with backs, are in rows, each with a fine, narrow mat spread
over it. On either side run galleries, the balustrades elaborately
carved and stained with yellow, red, and pink dyes. In the middle of
one balustrade the word "Zion" was carved. The pulpit was a mass of
carving and inlaid mother-of-pearl; the altar, which ran round it, was
covered with fringed mats extremely fine and flexible and worked in
different colours.

Among many others we made the acquaintance of a man who had been in
Samoa, blown there in a storm. There were with him one other man and
three little girls. It began to blow, he said, the sea rose very high,
and the air and sky grew black. Suddenly his boat capsized and "my
girls," he said, "swim--swim--swim in the sea." With their help he got
the boat righted and gathered up what he could of his cargo, green
cocoanuts and copra, and ran for Samoa. "Was any one frightened?" I
asked. "Only the other man," he said. We met two of his little girls;
one seemed clever and had picked up a little Samoan and a little
English while she was in Apia. We asked her name. "Anna," she proudly
answered. The other called herself Anna Maria.

Lloyd had photographed the King in his royal robes, a pair of white
duck trousers and a black velveteen coat; over all was worn a sort of
black cloth poncho bordered with gold fringe. Suspended from the neck
of royalty was a tinsel star and on his head a crown of red and white
pandanus leaves. Later in the evening he appeared in a pair of black
trousers and a frock coat. In common with his subjects, the King is
not of commanding stature. None of the islanders we have yet seen on
this cruise can compare with the Kingsmill people in haughty grace of
carriage, nor are they in any way so fine a race physically though most
charming in manner. After dinner, finding the trader's wife and the
missionary's wife having tea on deck, I gave them each a wreath, which
delighted them extremely. We hired a native boat to take us on shore
again for the evening; the man to whom the boat belonged begged us to
go to his house, but I wished first to take a present, a print dress,
to Anna.

Found Anna's house and gave my present. We were offered cocoanuts, to
our great embarrassment, but Louis fortunately thought of saying "paea"
(a rather vulgar Tahitian word signifying "I am full to repletion").
They understood at once and seemed greatly amused. Anna gave me a hat
of her own manufacture and then we went with the boatman to his house.
A party of young girls followed us, wrangling together as to which had
chosen me first. It seemed to be settled amicably, for one girl ran
up to me while the rest held back, and catching me by the hand said:
"You belong me." The boatman's wife, a sensible-looking woman with a
pathetic smile, was ill, he said; we were afterward told that she had
consumption. Again cocoanuts, and once more we got off with "paea."
When we left, the lady presented me with a large mat and a fine hat.
I had nothing with me to give in return, so took the wreath from my
own hat (I always wear one in case of an emergency) and also gave her
an orange (a rare luxury) I had in my pocket. I afterward sent her a
piece of print of the best quality. From the boatman's we went to the
speak-house, where the dancers were assembled. As we came out of the
bush toward the main road we heard a clapping of hollow sticks and
whelp-like cries; at intervals a sentence was shouted. It was curfew.
At eight o'clock several high officials parade the street, clapping
sticks together and crying out: "Remain within your houses." No one
obeys, but it is etiquette to keep off the main road when the officers
march. We saw that the people kept to the coral on either side, so we
did the same. When we first came on shore this evening, Louis, seeing
a little girl about four carrying a naked boy, patted him on the
shoulder; he howled, whereupon the little girl laughed and ran away. As
we waited for the procession to pass, the little girl came up behind
Louis in the darkness and, slipping her hand in his, nestled close to
him. Her name was Fani, also Etetera; she was neat as a little statue,
as tight as india-rubber; so was her sister; so was "Johnny Bull," who
had walked hand in hand with Louis all afternoon. The type is well
marked: forehead high and narrow, cheek-bones high and broad, nose
aquiline and depressed (the depression probably artificial), the mouth
large, with finely chiselled lips, the bow of the upper lip sharply
defined, the eyes, of course, admirable; and altogether there is a
strong appearance of good nature and good sense.

Part of the night Louis had a second satellite in the form of a
beautiful boy, so that he walked between him and Fani, hand in
hand with each; but Fani was his affinity. The whole island seemed
interested; the King, not too well pleased, suffered Fani to sit beside
Louis in the speak-house on the sofa of honour during the dance. Women
came up and commented on the resemblance between Fani and Fanny and
Etetera and Teritera (Louis's Tahitian name). On a table in front of
us were the lights--a half shell of cocoanut-oil with a twist of fibre
swimming on top and a glass bottle with the same oil and a wick. In the
side of the bottle a round hole had been ingeniously cut through the
glass for the convenience of cigarette smokers. While we were sitting
there, waiting for the dance, Tin Jack came in wearing the false nose
and wig. At first there was a general feeling of alarm, but most of
the people soon penetrated the disguise and were greatly amused. One
old dignitary, however, never discovered the jest, and was very much
frightened, asking me several times in a trembling voice if it was the
white man's devil. Louis's little girl did not even shrink, but looked
up into his face with smiling confidence.

[Illustration: _Natives dancing_]

The room was so dark that we could hardly see the dancers, so Louis
and I concluded to make a few calls and go back to the ship. We had
been asked to spend the night by some people as we passed their house
in the afternoon, so we thought to go there first. However, the man
who had been blown to Samoa caught us at the door and would have us go
to his house first. By this time all the people knew my name and were
calling me Fanny. When we thought we had done our duty by the mariner
we said we must now visit the people who had asked us to sleep in their
house; the man offered to guide us there, but instead took us to the
house where Fani belonged. It was a very large house and the people
seemed to be all asleep; but in a moment they were broad awake and in a
state of lively excitement, with the exception of one very old man who
remained lying in his bed and yawned drearily. Louis tried conversing
in a mélange of Samoan and Tahitian, with appreciable success. We
drank cocoanuts until we were "paea," and rose to go. A large fish was
laid at our feet in a plaited basket, then taken up and carried to our
boat. This was a handsome present, as fish is a great rarity. Fani's
father followed me with an immense number of large sponges tied on a
long pole. We were again haled away from our destination, this time by
the boatman, who took us back to his house, waking, I fear, his sick
wife, who, however, was all smiles. Pleaded "paea" and turned our faces
toward the boat, having given up our first intention in despair.

On the road we passed the schoolhouse compound where a double row
of people were singing and dancing. The men were squatted on their
haunches on one side of the path, the women on the other; down the
centre an oldish, very respectable-looking man, with the appearance of
a deacon, directed the dance, a staff in his hand. We were received
with shouts of welcome and a bench set out for us. I was envious of the
big town drum, made of hollowed cocoanut wood and covered with shark
skin, very like one I had already got from the Marquesas, and deputed
the trader to buy it for me. With the arrival of Mr. Henderson, who
came sauntering down the road, the deacon heartened up to a sort of
frenzy, suddenly bounding along the path and throwing his body and legs
about with the most grotesque and mirth-provoking contortions. We sat
here yet awhile, and at last tore ourselves away from the most charming
low island we have yet seen, Fani's father still following with the
sponges. I sent back, by the boatman, a piece of print for Fani,
sufficient to make a gown for her mother as well as herself. It was the
correct thing to do from the island point of etiquette, but all the
same a pity, for the less Fani covered her pretty brown body the better
she looked.

_7th._--Fani, her papa and her sister, first thing in the morning with
a basket of green cocoanuts and three packets of dyed pandanus leaves.
Fani at once possessed herself of one of Louis's hands, the sister the
other, while the lovely "Johnny Bull," who was on board almost as soon
as they were, hovered about smiling, and when he saw a chance slipped
an arm round Louis's neck. Johnny Bull was a tall lad of fifteen, and
I was told a half-caste, though he did not look it. Louis, having been
taken up by Fani, was considered quite one of the family. It is easy
to see how the copra eaters came by their "billets," and how decently
whites must have behaved here, that this little creature should have
come up to Louis in the dark as naturally as a child to its mother. The
sisters stayed by him until the whistle sounded. They were thoroughly
well-behaved, obedient children, neither shy nor forward. No doubt
Louis could have eaten copra from that day forth at the father's
expense.

One of the beach-combers was wrecked on Starbuck Island, his ship the
_Garston_; he lost all he possessed, and says he is passionately eager
to get away and very sick of living on cocoanuts; and yet, when offered
a chance to work his way home on the _Janet_, he asked anxiously if it
were a "soft job," refusing any other. Louis gave him the better part
of a tin of tobacco, but he got very little good from it. The hands of
the natives who had adopted him were stretched out on every side, and
one cigarette was his sole portion.

Have gone to another station on the same island, a very bad landing,
so Lloyd and I concluded to remain on the ship, but Louis, more
venturesome, went on shore with Mr. Hird. They were nearly pitched into
the water as the boat struck on her side on the reef. The black boys
all went, with the seas breaking over them, to shove her off. The town
is described as most delightful; very neat, with one straight, sanded
thoroughfare bordered by curbstones; the houses with verandas, some of
the verandas with carved balustrades. The heat is very great. Louis sat
on the sofa in the missionary's house, the boat's crew lying on the
floor and being fed with dried clams strung on cocoanut-fibre sennit.
At the same time they were interviewed by the missionary himself, a
fine, bluff, rugged, grizzled Raratongan, universally respected. Two
old men asked for the news, giving theirs in return, their latest being
that Tahiti had been taken by the French; they added a rider that the
French were "humbug," which was refreshingly British. "One white man
he say Queen he dead?" queried one man anxiously. They were assured
that it was the Queen of Germany, and not Victoria. "Methought," said
Louis, "in petto, it was perhaps Queen Anne." They are all well up in
the royal family, and most loyal subjects, the island flying the Union
Jack. The only "white man" in the settlement was a Chinaman, dying
for curry-powder. It seemed impossible to get away without carrying
half the settlement with us, and even after we thought they were all
off, two young girls and a boy were discovered trying to stow away. We
returned to the first landing yet again, but by that time I was sound
asleep.

[Illustration: _Penrhyn Island_]

_8th._--Sighted Penrhyn at five o'clock, but did not attempt to go in
as it is an exceedingly dangerous passage, and the night was black,
with heavy squalls. Lloyd and I had to leave our sleeping place on
the after hatch and take refuge in the trade room where we slept on
the floor. In the morning I went to look up my wet pillows and mats.
Suddenly I heard a shout: "Mrs. Stevenson, don't move!" I stopped
short, hardly moving an eyelash, but curious to know the reason of
this command. I soon found out; the captain threw up one corner of a
large tarpaulin showing me the open hatch on the brink of which I was
standing. On the last voyage a seaman was terribly injured by falling
down the fore-hatch. He lay two hours insensible before he was reported
missing and a search made.

_9th._--We enter the lagoon very early in the morning; a most perilous
passage, the way through the reef seeming but little wider than the
ship itself; the captain calls it two ship widths. Our route, until we
dropped anchor, was studded with "horses' heads" as thick as raisins
in a pudding. There would be a rock just awash on either side of us, a
rock in front almost touching our bows, and a rock we had successfully
passed just behind us. We were all greatly excited and filled with
admiration for the beautiful way Captain Henry managed his ship. She
would twist to the right, to the left, dash forward--now fast, now
slow--like a performing horse doing its tricks. The native pilot was
on the masthead nearly mad with anxiety. It was the first he had had
to do with a steamer, and he was convinced that the _Janet_ was on
the point of destruction every moment. At last, quite worn out with
such breathless excitement, we came safely to anchor in front of the
village, a cluster of native houses gathered together on a narrow spit
of land, or rather coral. A big wave, a short time ago, washed over the
village from sea to sea. Our men are working hard getting out the boxes
for the shell we are to take in, and the mates are making new boxes,
hurrying as fast as their natures allow. There is quite a fleet of
pearling boats hanging about. One has just come in filled with natives;
the colours are enchanting: the opaline sea, the reds and blues of the
men's clothing, running from the brightest to the darkest shades, the
yellow boats wreathed with greenery, the lovely browns of the native
skin, with the brilliant sun and the luminous shadows. Boys are already
swimming out to the ship, resting on planks (bits of wreckage), their
clothes, tied in a bundle and hanging over their heads, dependent from
sticks. I can hear the voices of the girls and the clapping of their
hands as they sing and dance on the beach. I see a man hurrying along
a path, a little child with him and their black pig following like a
terrier. Sometimes piggy stops a moment to smell or root at the foot
of a palm, but always with a glance over his shoulder; if the distance
seems growing too wide between himself and his family, he rushes after
them, and for a moment or two trots soberly at his master's side.

After luncheon we went over to the village in one of the boats going
for shell, landing at the white trader's house. From the first, I had
been puzzled by a strange figure on the trader's veranda. When we were
nearer I discovered it to be the figurehead of a wrecked ship, a very
haughty lady in a magnificent costume. She held her head proudly in
the air and had a fine, hooked nose. All about the trader's house were
great piles of timber, and in one of the rooms a piano woefully out
of tune, and other signs of the wreck of a big ship. It was a timber
vessel, they told us, this last one, that went to pieces just outside
the reef. Numbers of houses are being built of the boards by the more
thrifty-minded of the islanders. One of the sailors cast ashore still
remains here, a gentle, soft-eyed youth from Edinburgh, now fairly on
the way to become a beach-comber. Fortunate lad! His future is assured;
no more hard work, no more nipping frosts and chilly winds; he will
live and die in dreamland, beloved and honoured and tenderly cared for
all the summer days of his life. He already speaks the native tongue,
not only fluently, but in the genteelest native manner, raising and
lowering his eyebrows in the most approved fashion as he whispers to
the elderly dames matter that is no doubt better left untranslated.

[Illustration: _Figurehead from a wrecked ship on the veranda of the
white trader's house, Penrhyn Island_]

When the figurehead came ashore people were terribly alarmed by the
appearance of the "white lady." The children are still frightened into
submission by threats of being handed over to her. The trader's wife
is a Manihiki woman, very neat and well-mannered; we drank cocoanuts
with her, and were introduced to the native missionary's daughter, an
enormously large, fat girl of thirteen, but looking twenty. I believe
her parents are from another island. Lloyd photographed the proud lady
with a lot of children and girls grouped round her, the soft-eyed
Scot familiarly leaning against her shoulder. The girls went through
an elaborate affectation of terror and had to be caught and dragged
to the place, whence, I believe, nothing could have dislodged them.
After this photography was finished we wandered through the village, a
large chattering crowd at our heels. This is the least prepossessing
population I have seen since Mariki, and I am assured they are no
better than they look. As we walked along I happened to pick up a
pretty little shell from the beach; the missionary's fat daughter
instantly gathered and pressed upon me four other shells, but as I
held them in my hand living claws projected from inside and pinched me
so that I cried out in alarm and threw them to the ground. Every one
laughed, naturally, but an impudent young man picked up and offered
me a worn aperculum, saying with a grin: "Buy; one pearl." "I could
not," I assured him with mock courtesy, "deprive you of so valuable
an ornament; tie it round your neck." This feeble jest seemed to be
understood and was greeted with shouts of laughter. The lad was cast
down for a moment, and fell behind; pretty soon he came forward again,
with a dog's bone. "Buy," he said; "very good; twenty pounds." "I could
not," I returned, "take from you a weapon so suitable to your courage."
Of course I used pantomime as well as speech. The other young men,
with shrieks of laughter, pretended to be terrified by his warlike
appearance, and he shrank away to annoy me no further. Several men and
women offered us very inferior pearls at the most preposterous prices,
at which Tin Jack and I jeered them, when the pearls were hidden
shamefacedly. They knew as well as we that their wares were worthless.

Lloyd and Louis planted their camera stand in the centre of the
village, and walked about to look for good points of view. While
they were away a serious-looking man delivered a lecture upon the
apparatus, to the evident edification and wonder of the crowd. During
his explanation he mimicked both Louis's and Lloyd's walk, showing how
Lloyd carried the camera, while Louis walked about looking round him.
I sat down on a log to wait, when immediately all the women and girls
seated themselves on the ground, making me the centre of a half circle
and gazing at me with hard, round eyes.

After the photography Louis and I went to call on the missionary.
He and his wife were at home, evidently expecting us. His wife is
enormously stout, with small features and an unpleasant expression;
the man rather sensible and superior-looking. A number of women and
the pilot who had brought us into the lagoon ranged themselves on
the floor in front of us. One of the ladies, a plain body, seeming
more intelligent than the rest, possessed a countenance capable of
expressing more indignation than one would think possible. She wished
to have our relationship explained to her. Louis and I were husband
and wife; this statement was received with a cry of anger, but at
the announcement that Lloyd was our son, she fairly howled; even
Lloyd's name seemed objectionable. About mine there was a good deal
of discussion, as they appeared to have heard it before. We drank
cocoanuts under the disapproving eye of the intelligent lady, and,
after receiving as a present a pearl-shell with a coral growth on its
side from the missionary's wife, and another, somewhat battered, from
his daughter, I gave, in return, the wreath from my hat and we departed.

Louis and Lloyd went back to the ship, but I remained, with Tin Jack,
to see the church. All but three little girls were too lazy to show
us the way; so, accompanied by the trio, we started on a broad path
of loose, drifting coral sand. The church was a good, substantial
structure of white coral, with benches and Bible rests, but there was
no attempt at decoration. The room was large enough to hold all the
inhabitants of the village twice over. As in most of the other islands,
being "missionary"--religious--goes by waves of fashion. In Penrhyn,
at any moment, the congregation may turn on the pastor and tell him
he must leave instantly, as they are tired of being missionary. They
have the "week of jubilee," which means the whole island goes on a
gigantic "spree," when Penrhyn is not a pleasant, or hardly a safe,
abiding-place. We stopped at the schoolhouse on the way back, a large,
ill-smelling room, containing for furniture one table with pearl-shell
disks let into the legs, standing on a dais. The only really neat house
was the trader's, and he had a Manihikian wife.

The laws of Penrhyn, some of them very comical, are stringently
enforced. There is no nonsense about "remain within your houses" here,
for, after nine o'clock, remain you must. Last night our cook was
shut into a house where he was paying a visit, and was not allowed
out until after the breakfast hour. There was also a rumour that Tin
Jack, being seen after curfew, had to run, the police after him, to
the house of the trader, where he remained until morning. Our sailors,
to-day, somehow offended the natives and came running back to the
ship pursued by a crowd. The children are much more prepossessing
than their parents, some of them, especially the little girls, being
quite pretty and well-behaved. It is much easier to restrain them and
keep them within bounds than if they were white children in similar
case. Every scrap of orange-peel thrown overboard was gathered up by
them to be converted into ornaments. A bit of peel cut into the shape
of a star, with a hole in the centre for the purpose, would be drawn
over the buttons of their shirts and gowns, while long strings were
worn hanging over the breast, or twined round the head and neck. The
trader's little half-caste boy was clad in the tiniest imaginable pair
of blue jeans, with a pink cotton shirt, and had little gold earrings
in his ears.

_10th._--None of our party cared to go on shore. I sent a chromo
representing a "domestic scene" to the trader's wife in return for
her present of a coral-grown shell. The shell I afterward gave to the
cook and another to the second steward, who, by this time, was almost
insane with excitement and pleasure. We had a very busy day receiving
shell and packing it in the wooden cases that are still being made on
the forward deck. The black sailors work extraordinarily well and with
perfect willingness and good nature. They make play of everything, and
in spite of their small stature and slender, elegant figures, handle
great weights with the utmost ease and dexterity. The little native
boys work as hard as any in helping pack the shell. One little naked
fellow of about ten, I was told, was deaf and dumb, but I should never
have guessed it.

As soon as there was a movement on the ship the young girls came
swimming out to us like a shoal of fish. The sea was dotted with the
black heads over which they held their parcel of clothes in one hand
to keep them dry, making their toilets on the lower rungs of the ship's
ladder. One girl would stand at the foot of the ladder where she
received the clothes of the newcomer; as the latter emerged dripping
from the sea her garment was dexterously dropped over her head, so that
she rose with the utmost decorum fully clad.

Louis soon had his particular following, some three or four little
girls eight or ten years of age. They made him sit down and then sang
to him. One of these children must have been the daughter of the
indignant lady we met at the missionary's house, for her powers of
expression were the same. She was, however, pleased to signify approval
of Loia (Lloyd). If Louis attempted to leave these small sirens he was
peremptorily ordered to resume his seat, and the singing redoubled in
vigour. They had shrill voices and sang not badly. Louis bought a tin
of "lollies" from the trade room and regaled his little maids on that
and plug tobacco. Oranges and biscuits were given to the people quite
freely, and the leavings from our table were continually passing about.
The cook said the contents of the swill-pail were eaten clean, pumpkin
rinds being a favourite morsel. Except for the "lollies," the little
girls generously divided with their friends, but the boys were more
selfish. One little fellow who had secured a whole pumpkin rind ran
about the deck with a wolfish terror, trying to find a hiding-place
where he could devour his prize safe from the importunities of his
mates.

Tin Jack, without my knowledge (I should have stopped him had I known)
donned the wig and beard and false nose; his appearance created a real
panic. One girl was with difficulty restrained from jumping overboard
from the high deck, and many were screaming and rushing about, their
eyes starting with terror; Louis's little girls ran to him and me and
clung to us. A fine, tall young woman kept up a bold front until Tin
Jack took hold of her, when she slipped through his hands, a limp heap
on the deck. I tried in vain to get near him to make him cease with his
cruel jest, but he was running among the frightened crowd, and I could
not make him hear me through the confusion and noise. The girl who
tried to jump overboard collapsed among some bags on top of the shell,
where, covering her face, she wept aloud. I climbed over to her and
soothed her, and tried to explain that it was not the devil but only
Tin Jack with a mask. The children were the first to recover from their
terror, soon recognising Tin Jack, either from his voice, or his walk,
or something that marked his individuality, for in the afternoon they
returned to the ship, fetching other children, and boldly demanded that
these, too, should be shown the foreign devil. All evil spirits, and
there are many in Penrhyn, are called devils.

Speaking about the superstitions of Penrhyn, Mr. Hird recalls the
following grisly incident that occurred when he was stopping on the
island. A man who was paralysed on one side had a convulsion which
caused spasmodic contractions on the other side. One of the sick man's
family began at once to make a coffin. "But the man's not dead," said
Mr. Hird. "Oh yes," was the reply; "he's dead enough; it's the third
time he has done this, so we are going to bury him." Mr. Hird went to
the native missionary, but his remonstrances had no effect; he kept on
protesting until the last moment. "Why look," he said, "the man's limbs
are quivering." "Oh that's only live flesh," was the reply, and some
one fell to pommelling the poor wretch to quiet the "live flesh." The
belief was that the man's spirit had departed long before and a devil
who wished to use the body for his own convenience had been keeping the
flesh alive. Mr. Hird thinks that the man was insensible when buried
and must soon have died.

[Illustration: _The "Janet Nichol" at anchor off Penrhyn Island_]

At another time some natives had been "waking" a corpse; tired out,
they all fell asleep except a single man who acted as "watcher." By
and by he, too, dropped off. The party were awakened by a great noise.
The watcher explained that he had been napping and suddenly opened his
eyes to behold the dead man sitting up. "A corpse sitting up just like
this!" he exclaimed indignantly; "but I was equal to him; I ran at him
and knocked him down, and now he's decently quiet again." And so he
was, dead as a door-nail from the blow he had received.

Another thing Mr. Hird saw in Penrhyn. A very excellent man, but a
strict disciplinarian, died and his family were sore troubled by the
appearance of his ghost. They had suffered enough from his severity
during his lifetime, and were terrified lest his spirit had returned to
keep them up to the standard he had marked out for them. The day after
the apparition was seen, the grave was opened, the body taken out, and
the hole deepened till they came to water; the corpse was then turned
over in the coffin and reburied face down.

At about five o'clock we weighed anchor and went through the exciting
ordeal of the passage out of the lagoon, taking with us as passengers
to Manihiki a woman and her two children. After we were quite away,
outside the lagoon, a boat came after us with a quantity of timber from
the wreck; this extra and unexpected work of taking the timber on board
and stowing it away, instead of being received with grumbling by our
black boys, was taken as gleefully as though it were a pleasant game of
their own choosing.

The passengers slept on the after hatch with us. The baby cried in
the night, and the mother quieted it by clapping her hands, yawning,
meanwhile, with a great noise like the snarling of a wild beast;
consequently I did not sleep well. For the first time the wind is aft
and the ship very airless and close.

_11th._--The captain's eyes, which have been dreadfully inflamed, are
much better, thanks to an eye lotion from Swan, the chemist at Fiji,
that we had in our medicine-chest.

In the evening, about nine, we made Manihiki. Mr. Henderson burned a
blue light which was answered by bonfires on shore. We did not anchor,
but lay off and on, as we were only to stay long enough to land our
passengers. Louis wished to go on shore with the boat, but as it did
not get off until ten he gave it up and went to bed. I made up a
little parcel for him to send to Fani, and Mr. Hird carried it to her,
a few sweeties carefully folded up in a Japanese paper napkin and tied
with a bright-green ribbon. The child was in bed and asleep, but waked
to receive her parcel which she resolutely declined to open until the
next day, though earnestly persuaded by the whole family to let them
have a peep inside. She appealed to Mr. Hird, who upheld her decision,
so she returned to her mat and fell asleep holding her present in her
hands.

I am trying to paint a small portrait of Tin Jack, who is a beautiful
creature, but during the reluctant moments he poses he sits with his
back toward me, his eye fixed on the clock, counting the minutes
until his release. We took from the island a man, woman, and boy for
Suwarrow, our next stopping-place. Mr. Hird had a singular dream, or
rather vision, of the white trader in Suwarrow lying dead and ready for
burial. He was so impressed by this that he took note of the time and
feels very anxious.

_13th._--I awoke at six, after a night's struggle with my mats, which
the wind nearly wrested from me several times, to find we are just
off Suwarrow. At breakfast Captain Henry presented me with a gorgeous
hibiscus flower and Mr. Henderson laid beside my plate a couple of
bananas and a vi-apple, products of the island. At present there are
only six people living on Suwarrow; our three passengers, counting the
boy, will make nine.

I went on deck to look at the island and was told that the flag was
at half-mast. Sure enough, the trader was dead; the date of his death
tallied with that of Mr. Hird's vision. The poor fellow was most
anxious to be relieved the last time the ship was here, wherefore one
of the native passengers was brought to take his place. A neat white
paling fence enclosed the grave. I asked from what disease he died.
"Sickness in here," was the answer, indicating the liver; "a long time
he no stand up; all the time lie down. Pain--cry out--cry out--then
die."

Suwarrow and its attendant isles have been planted in cocoanuts by Mr.
Henderson. A few pandanus are here and there and more varieties of
small weeds than is usual in low islands. There is, also, a great deal
of fine, feathery grass, worthless, unfortunately, for feeding animals.
Mr. Henderson tried goats upon it, and sheep, also, I believe; they ate
the grass greedily but did not thrive, and soon dwindled and died. It
was found, on examination, that the grass did not digest but remained
in balls in the intestines. The cocoanuts, though most of them were
planted eight years ago, do not bear very heavily; Mr. Henderson thinks
they were not planted deep enough. He says they should be planted
four feet under the soil, the sprouts being about five feet high.
Bananas planted in imported earth are growing well, and some have taken
kindly to the native soil; also chilli peppers from the high islands.
Vi-trees are in full bearing, the hibiscus is gaudy with blossoms,
and cotton-plants, not indigenous, but now become wild, flourish
luxuriantly.

Suwarrow at some former period must have been a thriving and important
settlement. One has the feeling that stirring events have happened here
and that its history should be wild and romantic. At present it is
very like the desert stronghold of a pirate. The pier is a very fine
one and must have cost much money and labour; a number of houses are
clustered near it, giving at first sight the impression of a village;
there are beacons to guide the mariner and a "lookout" on the opposite
side of the island. Turtles are caught occasionally, and large crabs
and excellent fish. There are also birds, very good eating, and in the
season innumerable eggs of a fine flavour may be gathered. One bird,
no larger than a dove, lays an egg as big as a hen's, out of all
proportion to her size.

I first walked over to the weather side; here I found it delightfully
cool, but the tide was high, forcing me to the shingle, so I returned,
marking on the way a fine, clear pool where I mean to have a bath
to-morrow. The room where I am writing looks as though it were meant
for a church or a schoolhouse; but of course that is only conjecture.
It is a large room, long and narrow, with double doors at each side,
a single door at one end, and four unglazed windows. The windows are
protected by foot-wide slats arranged to move up and down like Venetian
blinds; both doors and slats are painted green. The roof, open to the
peak, is neatly thatched with either pandanus or cocoanut leaves, I
am not sure which. A table, originally very sturdy, but now fallen
into the rickets, holds the dead man's books: "Chetwynd Calverly" by
W. Harrison Ainsworth, "The Mystery of Orcival," by Gaboriau, and an
advertisement book about next of kin. Behind the table is a cotton-gin,
the "Magnolia," with a picture of the flower indifferently well done
on its front. I sat awhile on one of the two wooden benches that help
furnish the room and studied the walls, over which are scrawled names:
Etelea, Mitemago, Saviti, Patawe, Polohiu, Atolioinine, Salhisi, Kari,
Fuehau, Laku, Mitima, Paopave, Munokoa, and many others.

In another large house of a single room, roofed with corrugated iron,
I found all sorts of treasure-trove from vessels that had been wrecked
on Suwarrow. Piled up in one end of the house are ship's blocks, oakum,
strange, antiquated firearms, iron parts of a ship, and the two stairs
of her companionway. There is a single oar, and a tool-chest with rope
handles at either end, the word SWEDEN on it, and the top covered
with canvas; an iron gate, two steering-wheels, a winch, a copper
blubber dipper green with verdigris, the handle of wood and iron; two
life-preservers, one marked _Levi Stevens_; small, glass-bottomed boxes
for searching the bottom of the sea, wheels, hatch-covers, and I know
not what. At the other end of the room a ladder leads up to a loft,
where sieves for guano, a harpoon, a double-handed saw, and iron shell
baskets are heaped together. Two immense iron tanks, painted red, stand
at either side of the seaward doors.

Next to this house came the "office," with a little cubby partitioned
off one side. I looked through the pigeonholes of the cubby and found a
packet of thin sheets of tortoise-shell and a large parcel of a native
woman's hair. Mildewed maps hang on the walls, the ceiling is adorned
with ten rusty cutlasses, old ledgers lie about, and a bag of cotton
lies on the floor as though it had just been dropped there. On one of
the sides of the room is a broad, white band with painted black letters
"PEERLESS wrecked on Suwarrow Island." In one corner stands a box of
bits of old iron which are put in with cocoanuts when they are planted.
It is called "cocoanut manure." This reminds me that the Paumotuans
plant with their cocoanuts a rusty nail and a ship's biscuit. In the
outer room sixteen decaying muskets are ranged in a rack. Shelves are
filled with all sorts of tools, nails, axes, bush knives, tins of
sardines and salmon, and a quantity of mouldy shoes in children's sizes
only; among the shoes were a toy chest of drawers and a box of moulting
feathers.

Passing another building containing miscellaneous wreckage, blue and
white china among the rest, I came to the manager's house, a large,
wooden-floored structure with a thatched roof. Here I found a native
man at work on accounts, his old dog at his feet, which were wrapped up
in the Union Jack to keep them warm. This room was evidently designed
by a sailor and gave one quite the feeling of being on board ship.
Instead of windows there were port-holes, three on either side, with
a couple flanking the front door. Covers, painted black to imitate
iron, could be screwed over the ports like deadlights on shipboard. The
doors, one in either end, opened in two parts, being divided across
the middle. The furniture consisted of two bedsteads of native wood
with cocoa sennit laced across them to serve for mattresses. A couple
of bunches of bananas hung from the roof. Against the wall hung the
death certificate of the dead man, which, in such cases, must be the
only proof that the death was due to natural causes, and not a crime. I
copied the certificate.

     Samuli lee aho 2 ....
     he motu nai mate he malu va he tau
     fro ia gauali 2 1889 Ka Papu
     Ko Maro tolu ne ha nie ne tamu
     Ka Patiti ma miti San ma
     J ketiti ma Paemani Koe tau wine
     Kwenia kia mounina kelie iki lagi ke
     he tan ban nei kua hobooko kiai a tautala
     June ati 2--1890

Next comes "government house," as Louis calls it, neatly thatched, the
floors of wood, and separated into two rooms by panelled wood from a
wreck; the rooms are connected by a wide, open doorway, the arched
top and sides edged with brass. In one room is a table with a Bible
and other books lying on it, a home-made sofa covered with a mat; two
corner shelves, spread with newspapers cut in points where they hang
over, are filled with miscellaneous books; chests, a compass-box,
and a water-monkey with its neck gone stand about. On the walls are
some rather pretty engravings, a few framed and one glazed. On each
side of the house are small, square windows protected by solid wooden
shutters that drop down when not upheld by a stick. The front and
back doors are strong and divided across the middle. In the back room
are two home-made bedsteads, sennit crossed, one with a mosquito
curtain. Chests are on the floor, mats lie about, and a roll of fine
mats is lashed to the ceiling. In front of the house, the gable end,
are two large, rusty, iron boilers such as are used on ships. Inside
the compound, which is neatly fenced with whitewashed palings, are
two small, mounted cannon with a couple of vi-trees growing beside
them. Returning to what I call the church, I passed a tool house, a
large room filled with rusting tools. Two small casks of fresh water
lie waiting there in case a boat should come ashore in distress for
water. There is also an immense cistern sunk in the ground, filled
with rain-water caught on the iron roofs, but that, I believe, is kept
locked.

[Illustration: _View of deserted buildings on Suwarrow Island. The man
seated in the centre is Tin Jack_]

Leaving the dog that boarded us at Auckland, and some cats, we departed
from the most romantic island in the world, regretting that to us its
history must always remain a mystery unsolved.

_16th._--Arrived at Danger Island. Boats put out to inform Mr.
Henderson that, despite all their promises when we were here before,
there is no copra ready, it being the season when the natives collect
subscriptions for the church and hold the "Me" meeting. "No tobacco,"
says Mr. Henderson with malicious glee as he orders the people off the
ship. To my joy he says to the captain: "Can you make Nassau by night!"
The captain can; and we arrive the same night and lie off and on until
morning. We give Nassau a blue light, and the inhabitants respond with
a bonfire, keeping it blazing all night, apparently afraid if they let
it go out we may steam away.

_17th._--Nassau is a small, high-low island enclosing a lagoon which
has now dwindled to a pond. It is triangular in shape and roughly
measures five miles round. We could see that the ground rose up from
the beach at a considerable slope, and between the ti-trees I could
make out that grass was growing. With a glass I could distinguish a
breadfruit tree. Nassau has no anchorage and the landing was thought to
be too dangerous for me to attempt, so, to my great disappointment, the
men went without me; from the description they gave when they returned,
and from the outside view, it must be the loveliest of all the high-low
islands. There are many pigs and fowls, and all the high-island fruits
flourish exceedingly; turtle abound, both the green turtle beloved of
aldermen and the turtle that produces the shell of commerce. The owner
of the island had not visited the place for two years, so the few
people living there felt as though they had been marooned. They sent
two pigs on board, and offered Mr. Hird a large piece of tortoise-shell
which he refused because of its value. There were some forty boxes of
copra ready for sale, but, as the sea was high and the landing bad, Mr.
Hird did not care to take it. Mr. Henderson, however, gave them what
"trade" they wanted, some fifteen dollars' worth, as a present.

When Louis came back he gave me the following account of his visit,
starting from the very beginning:

"First thing in the morning we saw the whole population gathered on the
beach. As we came nearer in and lowered a boat it was a strange thing
to see the two women dancing like jumping-jacks for joy. All three men
came down to the edge of the reef. H. signed to them from the bridge
to jump in, and swim, which two of them, Joe and Jim, did, the boat
meeting them half way. We could see them scramble in solemnly and shake
hands with Johnny, who was at the steer oar, and sit down. They had a
good many old friends on board, Joe especially, and it was a treat to
see the absurd creature dance up to them for all the world like a clown
in a pantomime. A little later, seeing Lloyd come out from under a
blanket where he had been changing plates in the camera, he made us all
nearly die laughing with his pantomime of terror. He called everybody
'old man'; and was always either laughing himself or the cause of
laughter in others. He said they had no fish; 'got no canoe,' he said,
'why not make one,' asked one of us; 'Too much wo'k!' cried Joe with
infinite gusto. He is very strong, and in reality most industrious,
only he is simply marooned and means to do nothing needless. After
breakfast we go ashore. The third man and a dog met us on the reef; and
singular thing, the dog is afraid of us. At the house we are introduced
to Mrs. Joe, Mrs. Jim and the five children, the whole party like
crazy folk, dancing and clapping their hands and laughing for mere
excitement. On into the island, a garden-like place, with limes,
bananas, and figs growing, and the ground in many places carpeted with
turf. Not in all, however, and as I had bare feet, and the morning was
hot, I presently turned back and arrived alone at the settlement. Mrs.
Joe was out waiting for me with a green cocoanut; while I was drinking
she tried to abstract my ring. Failing in this she led me into a shed
where Mrs. Jim was, piled up pillows at my back, supported me in her
arms and proceeded to feed me like an infant with cocoanut pudding.
Mrs. Jim, meanwhile, patted and smoothed me, and both at the pitch of
their excited voices plied me with questions as to my age, country,
family, wife and business. When they heard my wife was on board, they
cried out with regret that she had not come; and Mrs. Joe intimated
that she was dying to go on board to see her but lacked clothes. (Both
were quite well dressed,) Mrs. Joe a comely fellow, in blue, Mrs. Jim
in red; they began at once to build up a heap of presents for the
_fafine_ (lady). In the meanwhile, or concurrently, they were all
through my pockets and robbed me of all I possessed; all my money,
tobacco, matches, and my pocket handkerchief; some capsules I saved,
telling them they contained poison, and (more fortunate than the rest)
my cap. They were perfectly good natured when refused anything, but
returned again to the assault like flies. Mrs. Jim offered to give
me her baby in exchange for Lloyd, which I accepted. When the party
arrived they were all subjected to similar pillage; though, being so
many, scarcely to the same endearments. (I was simply petted, smoothed,
caressed, and fed like a pet animal.) The scene was one of the wildest
excitement and I am sure they all had headaches. All came down to the
reef to see us off; Joe and Jim were to take us out; the ladies stood
a little back up to their knees, and when the boat was launched, I saw
Mrs. Joe make a sudden plunge under her skirts, and next moment her
gaudy _lava-lava_ was flying in the air for a signal of farewell. When
a native woman dons a civilised garment she still retains her native
garment, the _lava-lava_ twisted round her body. Once we were clear of
the breakers under the able pilotage of Joe, 'this is very beastiness'
said he severely, to one of our black boys who volunteered advice. Jim
and he stood upon the thwarts, 'good-bye, old man,' heels up, head
down, and next moment they were pushing for the shore."

[Illustration: _The settlement on Nassau Island_]

_19th._--Quiros (the Jennings) in the morning. After Nassau it seems
commonplace and tamely prosperous. We walked across to the lagoon which
is very large and only slightly brackish. Lloyd and Tin Jack took a
swim, and I went back to the women. After drinking many cocoanuts we
returned to the ship.

_20th._--Mrs. Jennings and her sister-in-law, with a singing boat's
crew Samoan fashion, visited us. Unfortunately, one of the ladies
became seasick, which cut their visit short.

_21st._--Fakaafo, of the Tokalau group. Louis and I went on shore
very early in the morning. There was a big swell and all our boatmen
had different views at the same moment, the consequence being that we
broached to and were nearly swamped. I got drenched from head to foot
and felt very cold. We walked about the village and were taken to the
house of the King. The Queen spread a mat on the ground for us and we
sat down beside her; she was holding a precocious little baby in her
arms, her grandchild, I presume, for she looked quite an old woman. The
King came to the opening of the hut and, thrusting out his head and
shoulders, shook hands with us and tried to converse. Cocoanuts were
offered us, but I felt too chilly for that refreshment. It seemed a
languid place; the very children soon tired of following us.

[Illustration: _Missionary from a civilized island, and some of her
converts_]

As I felt symptoms of rheumatism from the wetting I had got, I hunted
up the trader, a pallid Portuguese, and asked if his wife could lend me
a gown. He said if we crossed the island we would find a board house,
belonging to him, where his wife would give me a native dress. As we
drew near the place several handsome, smiling women joined us; we all
sat down on the veranda and waited for the trader, who was not far
behind us, and I was soon clad in comfortable dry clothes. We refused
cocoanuts but accepted brandy and water. I gave the trader's wife the
wreath from my head and a gold ring, after which we came back to the
ship, very nearly upsetting our boat in the surf. I had with me a
number of plain gold wedding rings; I always wore a few that I might
take them from my own hand to offer as presents.

In the afternoon the trader's wife sent me a present of a hat. The
trader used the most puzzling English possible; in passing Lloyd's room
he caught sight of a guitar. "Who that music?" he asked. When told, he
asked to have the guitar put in his hands and demanded that Lloyd be
sent for. In the meantime he examined the instrument and found two
broken strings. When Lloyd came the trader said he wanted two fine
guitar strings. Not having too many, Lloyd was loath to part with the
strings, but the man was so bent on having them that the box of strings
was sent for. On Lloyd asking the man about his own guitar, to our
surprise he said he had none at all, and yet he went on choosing out
strings with the utmost excitement. "Really," said Lloyd, "I can't let
you have _all_ those; I will give you this lot but no more; and I don't
see what you want with them if you have no guitar"; apparently, he
wanted them to "play with." Then it occurred to us that he might have
some other sort of instrument on which guitar strings could be used;
but no, he said he had no sort of instrument whatever. At last, after
great perplexity and wild endeavours to find out what he would be at,
Lloyd suddenly, as if by inspiration, asked: "Do you want to buy _this_
guitar?" That was the mystery. As we had only one guitar we could not
give it to him, so the poor fellow sadly returned both strings and
instrument.

_22d._--We celebrated the anniversary of our marriage[8] in front of
the trade room. Champagne was set to cool in wet towels, and at about
four we gathered together at the appointed place, each person to do
what he could for the amusement of the others. Tin Jack gave a reading
from Shakespeare, standing in a pulpit that was part of our cargo. Mr.
Hird sang "Afton Water" charmingly with much grace and feeling. Lloyd
sang, and Louis, taking what he saw before him as a text (it was an
advertisement of St. Jacob's oil), mounted the pulpit and delivered a
sermon.

  [8] We forgot it on the nineteenth, which was the real anniversary,
  but thought there would be no harm in a belated celebration.

Sight land, Atafu, where I hope to get Tokalau buckets, which are very
useful in place of portmanteaus.

_23d._--Mr. Henderson went ashore very early this morning, at Atafu.
He boasts that he ate three chicken legs as well as half a breast and
quantities of taro. As I have a little rheumatism from wearing my wet
clothes so long at Fakaafo, and it rains, I decided to stay on board
and take a dose of salicylate. Later the sun comes out; my rheumatism
flies before the salicylate, but too late; Louis has gone in the boat
and there is no other for me. I spend a dreary time watching the
people with an opera-glass. The wind occasionally brings the sound of
singing to my ears. Then the opera-glass gives me a headache, and I try
reading, first "Olla Podrida," which I cannot manage, and afterward
the South Pacific Directory, with which I succeed better. The boat
comes back at dinner time, everybody talking at once about the curious
experiences they have had.

_24th._--To my regret I did not feel well enough to go on shore. A
trader, the brother of the man who wished to buy the guitar, told me
his wife was coming to see me and introduced his son, a fine, little,
brown fellow of about eleven. Mr. Hird informed me that he is quite a
travelled youth. He, himself, told me he had been to Sydney, and when I
asked, "To San Francisco?" he replied: "No, but I have been to Frisco."
This child was on board a schooner when she was nearly destroyed by
fire, and also when she was in imminent danger of being shipwrecked.
The fire was an incendiary act. One of the sailors had several times
been very impudent to the captain of the schooner and was regarded as a
dangerous character. He, one day, in a fit of rage, attacked the cook
with a knife and nearly murdered him. The captain, who seemed a pitiful
fellow, was frightened at the thought of putting the man in irons
and bungled to such an extent with the handcuffs that the culprit,
himself, obligingly put them on. The supercargo asked that the culprit
be confined in the cabin next his, but the captain was alarmed at the
idea of having him so near. It was not long before he managed to get
loose, set the ship on fire, and jump overboard. A few hours after the
fire they were nearly driven on a rock before a heavy squall. When
they were so close that they could almost have jumped on the rock, the
vessel stopped dead and remained perfectly quiet. The rock had taken
the wind out of her sails, and the backwash held them off.

By and by the trader's wife and her friend, a handsome woman with a
haughty, high-bred expression, came on board. With a simplicity that
was almost cynical, the trader explained that at one time there had
been a great many German sailors about the islands, so, as his wife
had yellow hair, he just took it for granted that she was a German
half-caste. She certainly did look very like a sentimental German
governess, with her yellow hair and blinking eyes, but I perceived at
once that whatever else she might be, she was certainly an albino. She
brought me a basket and a small Tokalau bucket. In return I gave her
a gold ring which she replaced with three tortoise-shell rings and a
thicker one ingeniously tied in a true-lovers' knot. I gave the friend
a wreath and received a hat as an exchange present. These people are
desperate flatterers; we call this "The Isle of Flatterers." A native
met Mr. Henderson in Louis's hearing. "You _handsome_ man!" he cried,
his voice thrilling with emotion as he eagerly studied Mr. Henderson's
face. "You _good_ woman!" said Mrs. Trader to me continually, her
eyes melting into mine with admiration and affection as she tenderly
embraced me. I asked for a lock of her beautiful hair, which, after
asking permission of her husband, she gave me; I pinned it in my diary
and she wrote under it, "_Fani mai feleni_" (Fanny, my friend) and
her own name, "Amalaisa"; then she fanned me, and caressed me, and
flattered me, and finally, getting hold of my photograph, pressed it
to her bosom and face, saying: "All same you." I wonder if they really
do "rub noses" anywhere! All I have seen is a pressing together of
the two faces with a slight inspiration through the nostrils. While I
was sitting with Amalaisa and her friend, holding a hand of each, I
became aware that a very ragged but superior-looking young native man
had joined our party. "That boy, King," whispered Amalaisa, so I shook
hands with his majesty and called Louis to be introduced. The last
words of royalty were "You _good_ woman," delivered in most seductive
tones.

Most of these natives are suffering from a skin disease which covers
them with whitish scales and is contagious. I trust we have not all
caught it. The scaliest boy in the island has been walking about all
day with his arm round Louis's waist, patting and smoothing down his
hands with a purring: "You good _papalagi_" (foreigner).

When it came time to part Amalaisa gave me another hat and put more
sentimental expression into her _tofa_ (farewell) than one would think
possible. We shook hands, Amalaisa suddenly kissed me and was gone in a
flash.

Louis has written here the following account of his adventures in
Atafu: "Immediately on landing I was surrounded by boys more or
less scaly; the little girls fled before us in a squadron, looking
coquettishly back; if they came too near the boys cast handfuls of
stones upon the ground by way of a hint. 'You Peletania?' (British)
they asked, one after another and again and again, always receiving my
affirmative with '_Peletania--Aloha!_' taken in an indrawn breath. One
boy walked all the way, caressing me. 'You good _papalagi_,' he cried
at intervals. I suppose I had fifty of our escort. Presently we found
some twelve stalwart dames sitting on a wall. They made me sit by them,
sent for cocoanuts, caressed me with the most extraordinary fervour
of admiration, and breathed, from time to time, in an emotional
chorus: '_Peletania--Aloha!_' Although not accustomed to the offer of
gallantry based upon political considerations, I suspected something
was intended; and presently one of the boys was called by the ladies
and stood forth as an interpreter. 'All these girls he laugh at you'
(these ladies smile upon you is what he meant). 'You flatter me,' said
I. The disappointment caused by this miscarriage was inconceivable. A
little later one of the boys asked me: 'You want wife?' 'I got wife
on board,' I said. 'Wife on board,' cried he with unmistakable scorn,
'no good!' The newcomers laid traps for me as to my nativity. I could
hear them asking and hearing what I claimed to be; and then they would
come up and ask in a fine, offhand manner: 'You Melican?' (American).
Certainly we have no possession more loyal than Atafu. Another specimen
of Atafu English (they all speak some) is this: I had given a boy a
stick of tobacco; another asked for one. 'No,' I said, 'all done.' 'Eet
ees feenished,' said the boy who had the stick; but the boy who had it
not regarded me with a playful smile. 'You go hell! no done.'

"I saw the cure for scaly itch, invented by old Jennings of Olesenga--a
barrel sunk in the earth where they are smoked with sulphur. The girl
who was undergoing treatment was the most European little soul--skin of
a fair brown, eyes a light hazel, hair golden chestnut. Strange that
folk of a low island should so incline to fairness. Amalaisa first
claimed me as '_mai feleni_'; hearing of my wife, she transferred her
allegiance and began to write her love-letters; the factitious nature
of this sentiment (_me judice_) didn't prevent its being an immense
success."

_27th._--We expect to make Funafuti, the first of the Ellices, by
daybreak; at nine o'clock there was no sign of the island. "Bad
steering," growled the captain. "We've run past it, and now we have
to turn round and run back." At about two we anchor in the lagoon,
and almost immediately the traders are aboard, two wretched-looking
objects. One was a half-caste from some other island, with
elephantiasis, very bad, in both legs. There were recent scarifications
as though he had been attempting the Samoan plan of tapping. The other
trader was not thin but the most bloodless creature I ever saw; his
face, hands, legs, and feet were without sunburn, smooth, and of a
curious transparent texture like wax. It seemed an over-exertion to
raise his large, heavy eyes when he spoke to us. The two men had pulled
the boat in which they came. The pallid one panted and held both hands
over his heart as though suffering acutely. I asked him if he liked the
island. "Not at all," he answered and went on to describe the people;
he said he could not keep chickens, ducks, or pigs; no one could, for
their neighbours, jealous that another should have what they had not,
would stone the creatures to death. The same with the planting of
fruit-trees; the soil was good, and there were a few breadfruits and
bananas, but any attempt to grow more is frustrated. The young trees
are torn up and even the old ones are occasionally broken and nearly
destroyed. Before the great earthquake in Java there were plenty of
good fish fit for eating. The half-caste can remember when a poisonous
fish was a thing unknown; now all outside the reef are poisonous, and
many inside. The worst of it is that a fish, to-day innocuous, may
to-morrow become deadly. Turtle do not come to the islands at all; so
there is no food besides copra except what chance vessels may bring.
I fear this poor man is simply dying of starvation. A steward on
board the missionary ship, who knew a little about medicine, had told
him that he only needed iron and good food. "They gave me a bottle
of iron," he said, "and I got better on that, or I'd be dead by now,
but how could I get the nourishing food?" I suggested his leaving the
island, but the loyal soul replied that, though he knew he could save
his life by doing so, he would not desert his native wife and children.

The half-caste told us several stories that sickened us to hear and
yet were most interesting. In 1886 he was away from Funafuti. During
his absence two American vessels, under the Peruvian flag, came to
the island and distributed presents right and left to all who came to
receive them. Naturally, the people were delighted, and when it was
proposed that as many as liked should go to Peru to be educated by
these kind people, they flocked on board in crowds. The King, anxious
that as many as possible should participate in this good fortune, blew
his horn, which is the royal summons. On the return of the half-caste
two thirds of the population had gone, and the King was in the very
act of blowing his horn again to gather in his remaining subjects, now
reduced to the very young and the very old. It is needless to add that
the vessels were slavers, and the entrapped islanders were never seen
again.

Throughout the islands (Funafuti and her chicks, one might call
them) there are not now above one hundred and fifty inhabitants all
together. They have a bad name--are said to be a dirty, rough,
dishonest lot; dishonest, that is, as far as cheating goes, but they
do not steal. No wonder they are dishonest, for they learned in a good
school. Here is another tale of the half-caste. Mata, of Samoa, come to
buy copra; there was none but what had been engaged by another vessel,
the price being one and a quarter cents. "I'll give you two," said
Mata promptly, which offer was as promptly accepted. But Mata's scales
weighed nothing higher than one hundred and four pounds; so, though he
paid two cents, he left with tons for which he paid nothing.

Resterau, the pallid trader, had sailed with both "Bully Hayes" and
"Bully Pease,"[9] of whose names I am quite sick and hope I'll never
hear them again. Louis and I went with Mr. Henderson over to the
island, where we met the wives and children of the traders, handsome,
healthy, and with excellent manners; two young girls were quite
beautiful. Resterau's wife had but one eye and was a plain, kindly old
body.

  [9] Two somewhat picturesque desperadoes of the South Seas, now
  dead fortunately for the rest of the world.

After a little, Louis and I strolled across the island, becoming more
and more amazed by what we saw. Everything that one naturally expects
to find on a low island is here reversed. To begin with, the fact of
the poisonous fish being outside the reef is contrary to what one has
reason to expect. The soil is very rich for a low island, with ferns
and many shrubs and flowering plants growing. We saw a little taro and
quite a large patch, considering, of bananas. There was much marsh and
green stagnant pools, and the air was heavy with a hothouse smell.
The island seemed unusually wide, but what was our astonishment when
we pushed through the bushes and trees to find ourselves not on the
sea beach, as we had expected, but on the margin of a large lagoon
emptied of its waters almost entirely by the low tide. The lagoon was
everywhere enclosed, but the traders told us there was a blow-hole
outlet into which the natives had thrown piles of coral hoping to block
it up. A little girl had once fallen into the lagoon when the tide
was turning; three days after her body was found far out at sea. It
was then that the blow-hole, where she had been sucked through, was
discovered. Off on one side there seemed to be an opening by which we
hoped to reach the beach. We crossed a bit of mangrove swamp, climbed
over loose piled-up shingle that rang with a metallic sound very
unlike coral, and at last reached the beach. I wandered away from
Louis, gathering shells, but was recalled by a wild shout. I found
Louis bending over a piece of the outer reef that he had broken off.
From the face of both fractures innumerable worms were hanging like a
sort of dreadful, thick fringe. The worms looked exactly like slender
earthworms, more or less bleached, though some were quite earthworm
colour. They lengthened out and contracted again until I felt quite
sick and had to fly from the sight. Afterward Louis broke other pieces
of rock; one kind always contained worms; another kind, lighter in
colour and firmer in texture, contained much fewer worms, also empty
holes in the process of closing up; still others were close and hard
and white, like marble. I got a good many shells, and after a fruitless
search for some other way across the island than round the inland
lagoon, I gave it up and we retraced our footsteps; that is, for a
certain time, when we became lost, or as Louis indignantly put it: "Not
lost at all; we only could not find our way."

The two traders dined with us, and I was glad to see that the bloodless
man ate a large double helping of meat. Lloyd, fortunately, thought
of giving him some stout and asked Mr. Henderson if the man were the
sort to give stout to; Mr. Henderson thought it a good thing to do, and
Louis explained to the trader that it was given him as medicine, not
as a beverage to be handed round to others, asking him to promise that
he would drink it all himself. He readily enough gave the promise but
said in that case Mr. Henderson would have to smuggle it over to him,
as he must drink it in secret. I also gave him a large and small bottle
of iron, all that we had, telling him when that was done to put nails
in his drinking water. I went to bed early, very tired, but was driven
below by repeated squalls, and slept on the saloon floor.

Not long ago the _George Noble_ called at this island, her destination
being the island of Piru (pronounced Peru). The natives who were
on board heard the word and fled incontinently, nor could they be
persuaded to go back; the dread word "Peru" was enough.

_28th._--Left Funafuti early this morning. After every one was off,
Lloyd photographed the ship's company to the delight of the black boys,
who posed themselves with great dramatic effect.

[Illustration: _Native boys setting sail on S. S. "Janet Nichol"_]

Arrived at Natau after dark. Mr. Hird called to us that there was
another vessel close at hand. We rushed on deck and saw a schooner
putting up a light. In a few moments the mate was on board the _Janet_.
There is no landing at this island, and an unusually heavy swell will
make a big surf in the morning. The only one of the Ellices I have as
yet seen gave me such an unpleasant impression that I shall not be
disappointed if I cannot go ashore.

_29th._--Early this morning we anchor near the schooner. She is painted
white and looks just like the _Equator_.[10] Louis says that every
time he looks at her he expects to see ourselves. There seems to be
great excitement aboard the little vessel; canoes filled with people
are going to and fro, continually, between her and the shore. Only one
canoe has as yet come near us; it was filled with women who paddled
about the ship, following my movements; one of the women handsome, and
the others by no means plain. The canoe was very long, tapering off
into a beautiful fish's tail, something like this: [Illustration of
fish's tail] and was ornamented at both ends with mother-of-pearl let
into the wood in bands and patterns. The people here wear _ridis_, not
so good as the Gilberts, however. The _ridis_ are too full, too much
like ballet-dancers' skirts, though the colour is pleasantly gay, a
mixture of dull red, blackish maroon, and faded yellow. The surf, as
I expected, was too high for us to get on shore dry, so we did not
attempt it.

  [10] We made a former cruise, our second, in the _Equator_, a
  little trading schooner.

In the afternoon the schooner (of 80-ton burden) began to fill up with
natives; we were told that she was going to take a party of one hundred
and eighty people on an excursion round the group, for which a lump sum
of twenty-five tons of copra was paid. The decks of the little vessel
were closely packed with laughing, chattering people; the hum of their
voices came to us like the sound of bees. It was just so, not very long
ago, that slave-ships used to carry them away. "What a haul that would
be for labour!" remarked Tin Jack when he first caught sight of them.

There is a small enclosed lagoon in this island. Tin Jack, while on
shore, broke off some of the reef coral and found it full of the same
living worms as Louis discovered before on the other island, only here
there were two varieties; one like a pallid earthworm and the other
something like a small centipede. Tin Jack brought me a wreath of
gardenias, and a spray of scarlet leaves. Mr. Hird brought me a bunch
of jack-fruit leaves to polish my Tokalau buckets with. Some young
banana plants were sent on board, I suppose for friends on another
island.[11] Tin Jack was strongly tempted to stop here as is his custom
at most islands. The trader at Natau was a rather dreadful-looking
person, apparently afflicted with leprosy. He shook hands with me, to
my dismay, for his fingers were dropping off. "I think I've got some
native disease," said the poor fellow as he held out his hand.

  [11] This must have been a high-low island, though in many atolls
  the earth is brought in schooner loads in which trees and flowers
  flourish.

_30th._--Still a heavy swell and the surf too strong for boats to
venture in. A great crowd of natives on shore and many canoes drawn up
on the beach. Pretty soon the canoes swarmed about the ship and we were
overrun with eager venders of merchandise, mats, chickens, and eggs.
One man followed me about beseeching me to buy a silver half dollar.
"You want buy money?" said he. "How much tobac you give?" I bought one
mat for ten sticks of tobacco, one for a comb, and one for a pattern
of calico. I saw Mr. Henderson, in the midst of the harassing business
of weighing copra, stop and paint a broad mark, with violet ink, down
the breast of a fine young lad who swaggered about afterward with a
conscious air of superiority.

For a long time we saw no women, but at last a canoe containing two,
pretty and young, was seen paddling wildly up and down beside the
ship; the women were shouting for a sight of the "_Beretani fafine_"
(white woman). I was called, and showed myself, whereupon they threw
up their hands and shouted with excitement. Soon after this I met on
the companion stairs the captain, half dragging, half persuading one
of the young women I had seen in the canoe to come down to the saloon.
Naturally she did not understand that he was only trying to bring her
to me. At the sight of me she gave a cry and, breaking loose from the
captain, flung herself upon me and clung to me like a frightened child.
I could feel her heart beating against my breast and she was trembling
from head to foot. As she held me she bent down, for she was taller
than I, and smiled in my face. Plainer than words her smile said: "You
are a woman, too; I can trust you; you will protect me, will you not?"
I put my arm round her and talked to her in English and tried to soothe
her fears. She understood my English as well as I her smiles. I brought
her into the saloon and Louis gave her sweetmeats; she turned to me
with a gesture that asked if they were safe to eat. She had already a
bit of ship's biscuit tightly clinched in her hand, and of that she
alternately took a bite with the sweetmeats; but at the sound of a
footstep she was trembling again and would throw her arms round me with
the same pathetic, questioning smile. I placed a wreath of yellow and
red tulips on her pretty head--she was a lovely young creature--and
the captain brought her a necklace of large blue beads and a pair of
earrings. All the while, though I did not know it, the girl's father
was hanging about the companion way with a very dangerous expression on
his countenance.

After a little, another woman, seeing that no harm came to the first,
was persuaded to come down to the saloon where she stood, quivering
and starting like a timid, wild animal, ready to fly at a sound. The
difference between this place and Manihiki is very marked. So far
from there being any fear shown in Manihiki, the very children pushed
through the darkness to clasp the white man's hand, and after that
there was no getting rid of the gentle, affectionate, little creatures.
I remember, at Manihiki, seeing Louis sitting with a tall boy of
fourteen, beautiful as an angel, holding him round the neck, a young
girl leaning over his shoulder, while a little child nestled up to his
breast. But these islands were a favourite recruiting place for slavers
and, worse still, a haunt of the loathsome "Bully Hayes." I gave a
wreath to the other girl also, and after Lloyd (they seemed to have
no instinctive fear of either Lloyd or Louis) had sprinkled them with
scent from a bottle of "Jockey Club" they paddled to the shore to be
met by a crowd of friends who rushed into the surf up to their necks to
hear the news. The wreaths, necklaces, and earrings were taken off and
examined, criticised, and tried on by all who could get hold of them;
the excitement was tremendous. All the while the young girl was in the
saloon the three large port-holes were entirely closed up by the faces
of men, who watched every movement with the keenest anxiety.

In the meantime the ship was noisy with the squawking of fowls and the
squealing of pigs. The latter are of a curious mouse colour and most
amiable creatures. Later on our pretty girl, accompanied by an elder
sister, very handsome, and the startled one who had visited me before,
came back to the ship. Lloyd took the younger girl's photograph at the
end of the bridge. I had to stand beside her with my arm round her
for some time before she would keep in one spot long enough for the
camera to be pointed at her. Though much less frightened, she was still
suspicious. She brought a chicken and some cocoanuts for a present to
me, also another fowl which she wished to exchange for a comb, and
a mat to exchange for cotton print, both of which I gave her. The
startled one brought some shells which she wished to have me understand
cancelled the gift of the wreath. I wish I knew how to explain that I
do not want return gifts; but that might be an unpardonable breach of
etiquette.

I was sitting on a box near the trade room when a fine,
intelligent-looking man, a missionary from another island, came up and
began talking to me. Unfortunately, his English was so hopeless that
I could understand but little that he said, except that a native he
presented to me was the King, and that if we would call at the island
on our way back there would be an immense load of copra ready. The King
had a look of breeding, and only one of his ear-lobes hung down to his
shoulder in the native fashion, the other having somehow miscarried.
The outer rim of the ear is sliced round and grafted against the jaw,
thus making a much larger hole than can be managed at the Gilberts with
mere boring and stretching.

Moving through the crowds on deck were three unmistakable lepers,
one with elephantiasis also. The toes of the man with elephantiasis
were dripping blood, not very pleasant for us barefooted people. I
have asked the steward to hang all the mats, some of which are very
handsomely decorated, over the side when next we anchor and let them
be thoroughly washed by the sea. Just before we left the King asked
for me; he had brought me a present of a large mat, a bunch of husked
cocoanuts, and a very fine _ridi_[12] of different colours. I bought
one, also, not so fine, from a woman for seven sticks of tobacco. I had
nothing to give the King in return for his present--I am bound to say
he seemed to expect nothing--so I pulled a gold ring from my finger and
gave him that. He was overcome by the magnificence of the gift, as were
the crowd who gathered round him to examine it.

  [12] The _ridi_ is the only garment worn by the women in most of
  the atolls. It is a thick fringe, shorter or longer, according to
  the prevailing fashion in _ridis_, made of pandanus leaves cut in
  strips, oiled, and smoked. In the Gilberts a man may not lay his
  hands on a _ridi_ under penalty of death, even when the garment is
  not in active service.

During dinner we weighed anchor and shoved off. The captain had
expected to meet the schooner at this island; there were no signs of
her until late at night, when she was sighted, apparently on a wrong
tack. The captain fears they may be out longer than they expected and
the provisions run out; however, there are always the twenty-five
tons of copra at hand in case of an emergency, and the passengers can
eat their currency, which is more than we would be able to do. The
_Janet_ has taken to her old trick of rolling, which makes things very
uncomfortable. When I went to bed the cackling of hens, the crowing of
cocks, and the grunting of pigs gave quite the effect of a farmyard.
Our three cats seem to be getting the "rattage" well under; at least
there are no more rats on deck and the old, businesslike Tom now takes
his ease and sleeps all night.

_31st._--The Island of Nanui. A very violent surf and very broad. Louis
goes on shore and returns with a mat. Tin Jack is in great feather
as the Nanui people speak the Gilbert Island tongue which he knows.
Louis is instantly accepted as a kaupoi (rich man), though he cannot
imagine why, as he was clothed only in an old, ragged undershirt and a
_lava-lava_.

_June 1st, Sunday._--Still at Nanui. Mr. Henderson asked his black
boys, as he was afraid of a change of weather, to work to-day. He said
it was a case of necessity, so they consented and fell to like good
fellows. After work was done they all gathered together, as is their
custom on Sunday, and held a service. It was strange to hear them
singing a Scotch hymn tune with words in their own tongue--or tongues,
I should say.

_2d._--Still taking on copra. Johnny, one of our men, the cleverest
one, brought his wife, a native of Nanui, to see me--a strapping fat
wench of sixteen, though she looks twenty-five. I gave her some cotton
print and a silk handkerchief. A little after Johnny came, with a most
serious countenance, to ask Louis to go on deck, where he found a
large, mouse-coloured pig and a great pile of cocoanuts awaiting him.
Among the people on deck I saw a man the facsimile of the leper at the
last island; involuntarily, I looked at his feet, and, sure enough, the
poor fellow had elephantiasis also.

The captain offers to make me a plan of a surfriding canoe. There was
a light rain last night which the captain thinks must have fallen on
my eyes, as they are inflamed and swollen to-day. When rain in these
latitudes touches the captain's eyes, which happens often on the
bridge, he is affected in the same way.

_4th._--At the Island of Nanomea. Two traders come on board, the
company's trader known through the groups as "Lord ----" and an
"independent" trader, a pathetic figure of an old man with both legs
bound up; he said he suffered from boils. Soon after, the missionary
and his wife came on board, both Samoans, the woman a fine, kindly
looking creature with a very sad expression. I said as much to Louis
and she wished my remark translated. With the aid of a dictionary Louis
told her what I had said. "I am sad," was the reply. She brought me a
present of a mat, and I gave her a print gown. I bought, also, a few
mats from the people. One man, followed me about, insisting that he
and I should be brothers. He had a mercenary countenance, wherefore I
refused steadily the proffered relationship. In spite of me, however,
he managed to thrust a bunch of cocoanuts into my cabin door to ratify
the tie.

The surf is very high. When the boats went off, the one containing the
traders and the missionaries turned over, end for end, and the poor,
old "independent" was nearly drowned. The missionary woman dived for
him again and again, and we could see people carrying him along the
beach after she rescued him. Several canoes smashed during the day and
some bags of copra were lost. In the evening we had a long discussion
as to whether Lord ---- is a gentleman, I taking the affirmative with
no more to go upon than the way he raised his hat.

_7th._--Have been lying at Nanomea, the last of the Ellices we shall
visit, for three days, unable to get the cargo on board till to-day
owing to the fearful surf. A good many canoes are broken to pieces, and
our own boats have had many escapes. While I was looking through the
glasses a great wave swamped one of our boats and pressed her down out
of sight. In a moment black heads popped up everywhere and the boat was
hauled on shore. Another boat was just on the point of crossing when
the steersman was snapped off his perch and flung into the sea; he was
almost instantly back and crossed in triumph. Every success was cheered
from the ship by the watching men.

It is always a great pleasure to the natives to help raise the ship's
boats to the davits for the night. They know that white sailors make a
sort of cry or "chanty" when hauling on a rope, so they, too, try to do
the correct thing. The result is a noise very like a mob of schoolgirls
let loose, a confusion of soprano screams. No one would suspect the
sounds to come from the throats of men. Our own black sailors are the
same; we hear them screaming and laughing in the forecastle exactly
like girls. We are so used to island life that it has but just struck
us as odd and picturesque that our almost naked sailors (they wear only
a short _lava-lava_ round their loins) should be working in wreaths
like queens of the May.

It is only to-day that any women have been able to get on board. Not
knowing there were any on deck, I started toward the trade room. There
was an instant loud cry of "_Fafine! Beretani fafine!_" and I was in
the midst of them. The two who seemed of higher rank than the others
took possession of me, and it was explained to me by our Johnny that
they had come prepared to make a trade. Each had an elaborate _ridi_
for which she wanted two patterns of cotton print. The bargain seemed
so unfair that I added a necklace apiece of yellow and white beads.
They were enchanted with the necklaces, calling everybody to look at
them. Then they began pulling off their rings to put on my hands; I did
not like taking their rings, but I need have had no scruples, for one
of them with prompt energy removed a gold ring from my finger to her
own. These exchanges made, they fell to examining my clothes, which
filled them with admiration. The next thing, they were trying to
take my clothes off; finding this stoutly resisted, they turned up my
sleeves to the shoulders. Their taste differed from mine, for, while I
was thinking what a cold, ugly colour a white arm looked beside their
warm, brown ones, they were crying out in admiration. One woman kissed
my feet (the island kiss) and sniffed softly up and down my arms. She
was plainly saying to the others, "She's just like a pickaninny; I
would like to have her for a pet," holding out her arms as she spoke
and going through the motions of tossing and caressing a baby. My hands
and feet were measured by theirs and found to be much smaller (they
were large women made on a more generous scale than I). "Pickaninny
hands and feet," they said. The discovery of vaccination marks caused
great excitement, especially as one of them could proudly show similar
"_Beritani_" marks. Whether they were real vaccination scars or only
accidental, I could not be sure. She, however, declared that they were
true _Beritani_. Suddenly they all began calling out names; there were
now five or six women sitting in a circle round me on the floor of the
corridor at the head of the companion stairs. In a moment all their
husbands' heads appeared at the doors and windows. My sleeves, in spite
of my struggles, were dragged to my shoulders and, to my dismay, my
petticoats were whipped up to my knees. At that I began to cry, when
the men instantly disappeared, and except for an occasional sniffing
the women behaved with more decorum. One woman was most anxious that I
should stop on the island with her. I really think she had some hope
that she might keep me as a sort of pet monkey. At last they were
warned that the ship would be off soon, so they fled to their canoes.

For some time eight or ten canoes, loaded with people, hung to the
ship's sides, rocking to and fro with her as she rolled. It was a
beautiful sight, and Louis and I leaned over admiring them. Suddenly a
lovely young girl (we were told she is to be married next week) climbed
up to me like a cat, pulled off a ring, and pushed it on my finger. I
ran back and got a blue-bead necklace for her and she climbed down in
a state of great delight. The beads will doubtless serve as wedding
jewels, for she did not put them on but tied them up carefully in a bit
of cotton stuff. We watched the canoes go over the surf; one, filled
with women, upset, but nobody appeared to mind so small a mishap.

Mr. Hird tells us a story it is well to remember. There was some sort
of disturbance at Penrhyn, where his vessel was trading, and all on
the ship were afraid for their lives to go ashore except himself. The
moment his boat touched ground he dashed up to a little maid of seven,
the chief's daughter, and, taking her by the hand, calmly walked to
where he wished to go.

Last night, as we were sitting round the lamp, some one looked up and
perceived that all three port-holes had as many faces looking through
them as could find an eyehole. Mr. Henderson went into his room and
arranged a few conjuring tricks. When he returned he made money
disappear in a box, bits of cork change places, etc. While speaking
to one of us he carelessly tore off a piece of newspaper and handed
it to a man at the port-hole, but as the man's fingers closed on it
the paper disappeared. "_Tiaporo!_" (the devil!) he cried, his eyes
almost starting from his head. This was followed by the throwing up of
money which apparently fell back through the crown of a hat and jingled
inside. The last and most thrilling feat was after Mr. Henderson had
been pulling money from all our heads, noses, and ears. He seemed to be
retiring quietly to his room when he gave a start, looked up in the air
over his head, and with a leap caught a silver dollar that seemed to be
falling from the ceiling.

I forgot to say that in the afternoon Louis was dictating to Lloyd,
who used his typewriter. All the air and most of the light was cut off
from them by heads at the port-holes. I watched the faces and saw one
intelligent old man explaining to the others that Lloyd was playing an
accompaniment to Louis's singing; the old man several times tried to
follow the tune but found it impossible. He did not appear to think it
a good song, and once, with difficulty, restrained his laughter.

_9th._--We should have picked up Arorai yesterday at four o'clock, but
somehow missed it and did not arrive until this morning. An atoll about
six miles long, the first of the Kingsmills (or Gilberts). Natives
swarmed round the ship in canoes built somewhat after the pattern of
the American Indian birch-bark canoe. The pieces are tied together with
cocoanut sennit and the boats leak like sieves. Louis, Lloyd, and I
went on shore in the afternoon; Louis, to my distress, for it was very
hot, with a hammer to break off bits of the reef for examination and
Lloyd with the camera. Louis found the rock he wished to break but was
a little afraid to use the force necessary. Seeing a powerful young man
standing near, he offered a stick of tobacco for the job. The fellow
smiled with delight, took the hammer, and struck one blow. "Too much
work," said he, dropping the hammer.

Lloyd and I were taken in tow by an old man and led to the house of
the missionary, who was himself on board the ship; but his wife and
family, a handsome young Samoan woman with a pair of sickly twins, were
at the door to give us welcome. We drank cocoanuts with her and took a
photograph of the group.

There is very little soil on the island, which is subject to severe
droughts; yet there are a number of breadfruit and jack-fruit trees
growing luxuriantly, not many, however, old enough to bear. The village
looked clean and prosperous. Children and women were pulling weeds and
carrying them away in baskets. Lloyd and I strolled along a wide avenue
that ran through the town for about a quarter of a mile, stopping once
to photograph an old woman who had evidently dressed up for the ship.
She was standing in the doorway of a neat house built of stockades tied
together--the first I've seen in these islands. The house belonged
to a trader who was abroad at the time. Returning, we saw two women,
tall and superior in carriage and looks to the common people, marching
abreast toward us; they were dressed in gala-day _ridis_ of smoked and
oiled pandanus strips and swung the heavy fringe from side to side,
as they walked, in the most approved and latest style. As they came
nearer to us their four eyes were fixed on the horizon behind us, and
they swaggered past as though unaware of our existence, though we were
attended by a following of the greater part of the village. I stopped
and looked after them, but neither turned a head.[13]

  [13] At this island I remember that the women wore what looked like
  doll's hats as ornaments on their heads. They were about the size
  of the top of a tumbler.

At the veranda of the mission house we found Louis entertained by the
old man and indignant at receiving no attention from the missionary
people; we suggested that his chopping at the reef in the hot sun had
convinced them that he was a lunatic.

We had heard of a sick trader, so we all three went to his house with
an immense tail of followers, who seated themselves outside in a circle
eight or ten deep while we talked to the sick man. A forlorn being he
looked, lying on a mat, his head thrust out into the open through the
thatched sides of the hut to catch what air there was. He had been
ill a month and a half, he said; the whole population had been ill,
also, his wife and children with the rest. With them it came first as
a rash, then a fever, followed by convalescence. He had no rash, but
after feeling very badly for a week or two, fell down in a fit, foaming
at the mouth and black in the face. Since then he had been suffering
from an intolerable pain in the head and could not stand for weakness.
I asked if he had proper food, which Louis followed by asking if his
appetite was good. When he could get anything to eat, he replied, he
liked it well enough; but he could not get anything. A bit of fish or
a chicken he could relish, but the people seldom fished and a chicken
was impossible. His food consisted almost entirely of pounded pandanus
seeds, in which there was about as much nourishment as in chopped
straw. His hands and feet were pallid and bloodless and he looked very
near the end. He was born, he said, in Colton Terrace, Edinburgh. "I'm
frae Edinburgh mysel'," said Louis. "We are far frae hame," returned
the poor fellow with a sigh. We went at once to the beach to get a
boat, intending to consult "Hartshorn," our medical authority, as to
his case, which I believed to be suppressed measles. Louis spoke to Mr.
Henderson about sending the man a case of soups to begin with, anything
heavier being dangerous in his weak state and semistarved condition.
Mr. Henderson, who is generosity itself, seemed rather hurt that we
had not taken it for granted that anything the man needed would be
supplied him at once. Mr. Henderson's only fear was that the man would,
in the usual native custom, give all the food away. He first divides
with his family, and then they divide with the outside relations, so
that provisions sufficient for a month may only last a day. It is an
amiable weakness, certainly, but one could wish that the recipients of
his bounty showed a little more gratitude. Fishing would be no more
than play for them; but I fear neither fish, flesh, nor fowl can save
him now.

The missionary who came aboard showed Louis his eye, in which he was
blind, the effect of measles, and begged for a cure. Of course there
was none, but Louis advised him to live as generously as possible and,
instead of a continual diet of pandanus seeds, to try and get some
fish. As soon as it was dark the sea was crowded with fishing-boats,
lighted up with flaring torches, made by wrapping sennit round a dry
cocoanut leaf; so we hope our poor trader may receive some benefit,
also. We could see that they were scooping up in their nets many
flying-fish. The light from the torch attracts the fish, which come
to the surface of the water round the boats and are then dipped up in
little nets on the ends of long poles.

While I was resting after my excursion to the island I heard a great
commotion; a native had been discovered trying to stow away in the
hold among the coal. Two large men could not overpower him, and for
a long time he refused to come out. One of the white firemen finally
leaned over the open hatch and held out a stick of tobacco. "Won't you
come out for that?" he asked with an insinuating smile. "He is making
signs that he will," he continued, looking at me quite proud of his
cleverness. Sure enough, up came the native, a beautiful youth with a
sullen face and blazing eyes. He strode haughtily past the fireman,
looking neither at him nor his proffered tobacco, sprang upon the side
of the ship, where he balanced himself a moment, and then jumped into
the sea and swam ashore. I sympathised with the boy and was sorry he
was caught, the more especially that another man had chosen a better
hiding-place and was not discovered until we were well at sea.

When we left the island we should have signalled a boat, but a canoe
lying at hand, we took that instead. We waded out toward the canoe,
but, as the water began rising above my knees, I stopped in alarm when
a native caught me up in his arms, unawares, before I had time to
arrange my skirts, and I was carried out, willy-nilly, my legs waving
frantically in the air. I tried to shield them from the view of the
ship with my umbrella, which I was unable to open, but I fear my means
were inadequate. The canoe was a fourth filled with water; its owner
sternly commanded Louis and me to bail and Lloyd to paddle.

From the last island we took on some passengers--two cats in an onion
crate--and at this island exchanged them for a woman and a sickly baby.
I was much amazed at seeing the mother spread a thick, dry mat on
the wet deck for her own comfort, her baby being planted on the cold
boards. I made her take it up and lay it beside her on the mat, which
seemed to amuse her a great deal. As the baby still shivered, I got an
old _lava-lava_ of Tin Jack's and wrapped it up in that, charging the
mother not to dare remove the _lava-lava_.

This is the island where, in 1871, three slave-ships, the _Moroa_
(bark), _Eugenie_ (schooner), and a barkentine, name unknown, came for
"recruits." The King, in his fright, offered them all his people except
the very young, the very old, and a few young girls reserved for his
harem. It is needless to say that his offer was accepted. I have since
met and conversed with a man who was on board one of these ships.

_12th._--Arrived early this morning at Onoatoa. The missionary's child
is named Painkiller.

_13th._--Noukanau in the morning. Met the German "labour" brig _Cito_,
after recruits, doubtless for Samoa; then ran over to Piru and back
again to Noukanau at night. At Piru we met the American schooner
_Lizzie_ with two passengers.

At Piru came on board a man named Cameron, another named Briggs, and
a person with an Italian name I forget. Briggs said he made much more
money by "doctoring" than by trading. A strange disease, he told us,
had broken out in the island; the Samoan wife of a trader had died the
night before and many others were down with it. It is contagious, and
the natives take no care to avoid infection. I said it was measles,
which Briggs denied, declaring it was typhus. I asked him where he got
his knowledge of "doctoring." "Straight from my father," said he; "my
father was the celebrated Doctor Briggs, and if you buy a bottle of his
patent medicine you can read an account of his life on the wrapper."

[Illustration: _Tom Day--a trader of Noukanau Island_]

Cameron is a Scotsman with a twinkling, hard blue eye, the daft Scotch
eye. He followed every word we said with sly caution (partly, no doubt,
in consequence of drink) as though he feared being trapped into some
dangerous admission. He was one of the men of the _Wandering Minstrel_
that was so mysteriously wrecked on Midway Island, and was afterward
charged by the captain with not reporting the fact of there being other
starving castaways left on Midway when he was rescued. To us he denied
this vehemently, and said he at once delivered a letter written by
the captain. Louis tried to get a hint of how and why the vessel was
wrecked, but failed. "Mosey," the Chinaman who was in the boat with
Cameron, was afterward wrecked again on the _Tiernan_, the schooner
we so nearly took passage in ourselves.[14] Louis got this much from
Cameron--but I am sure very little, if any, of it is true--that he had
written an account of the wreck which, with the log he kept on the
boat, had been left on one of the islands we are about to visit, for
safe-keeping. Before Cameron left he had given Louis a signed order for
the apocryphal manuscript. Of the two men we brought one back with us,
Captain Smith, who, having lost his schooner on this island, remained
as a trader. He seemed a modest, intelligent young man, rather above
the South Sea average. Tom Day, however, is--must be--the "flower of
the Pacific." Tom is fifty years of age, with a strong, alert figure
and the mobile face of an actor; his eyes are blue-grey in deep orbits,
blazing with energy and drink and high spirits. "Tom Day" is not his
real name, he says, and Tom Drunk would do quite as well; he had found
it necessary to go to the expense of a shilling to have it changed, as
he had three times deserted from men-of-war. "I've been in prison for
it," he said cheerfully, "and I got the cat for it, and if you like
you can see the stars and stripes on my back yet." He took pleasure
in representing himself as the most desperate of ruffians. Tin Jack
asked him to go back to Sydney with him. "I couldn't leave my old woman
behind," said he; "and besides, you see, I got into trouble there. The
fact is, I've got another wife there, and I think I'd do better to keep
away." He then began to tell of a quarrel he'd had with his "old woman"
when he took her to Auckland. How she chased him along the street with
a knife in one hand and a bag of sovereigns--his entire fortune--in
the other; he begged for the bag of sovereigns, trying to lay hold of
it and at the same time avoid the knife wielded by the "old woman"
(a young native girl, no doubt), who alternately lunged at him with
the knife and cracked him over the head with the bag of sovereigns.
The bursting of the bag, which scattered the sovereigns in every
direction, fortunately ended the quarrel. He mentioned Maraki, on which
Louis called to mind a story he had been told many times over.

  [14] When we were accidentally marooned at Apemama during a former
  cruise.

"You are the Tom Day who had a native's head cut off," said he; "now
tell me the story," which Tom presently did. A native had shot at him
without provocation. Some one said: "Don't shoot; it's a white man."
"A white man can cut a bullet as well as another," was the native's
reply as he fired. Tom put his hand to his ear, found that the shot
had grazed it and his head, and the blood was running from the wound.
Infuriated, he rushed into the house for his rifle, but when he got
back, the man frightened at what he had done, had disappeared. Tom
tried to persuade the people standing about to go after the man, pinion
him, and fetch him back to be tried. To this they objected; they could
not get him, they said, as he was a chief and had people to protect
him. One of the men came close to Tom. "Better we kill him," he said in
a low voice, which Tom imitated. "If you do," was Tom's answer, "fetch
me the head." Then turning to us with an apologetic air he explained
that "If I had not asked to see the head they'd just have gone and
killed some poor, inoffensive fellow and I'd never have known the
difference." That night he was called up by the men who had the head,
sure enough. "I made 'em stick it up on the wall," said Tom, "and then
I got a light and looked at it. I jerked it down and slung it as far as
I could; and, by golly, the old woman was in the way, half scared to
death, and it took her on the side of the head and knocked her down,
and I had to pour three or four pails of water over her, for she had
fainted dead away."

"And after that," he continued with an air of virtuous indignation,
"they wanted to make trouble about it in Sydney--they said I had killed
a man. What did they mean by it, I'd like to know? I never killed no
man; I only told them to fetch his head so I could be sure it was him."

It was very cold last night and my bed and tent and things nearly blew
away; I could not leave them and go below where it was warmer, but had
to stay and hold on to my belongings lest I should lose them entirely;
so to-day I lashed everything securely. No one stayed on the hatch but
Lloyd and me. The onions alongside Lloyd's and my beds are decaying,
and smell horrid, as do a great lot of sharks' fins drying over our
heads.

_15th._--Waked to find that we were lying off Tapituea, Tin Jack's
station. He had packed the day before and was all ready to land, his
pig tied up and lying on deck. Tapituea looks a large and dreary
island, the whole lee side submerged, making it very dangerous. We
could not venture inside the lagoon, and even if we did we should have
to anchor far away from the landing-place. It was a long time before
any one came on board, but finally a Hawaiian who spoke a little
English came out in his canoe. As Tin Jack appeared to be rather
depressed with the news from his place, and it was almost impossible
to land his stuff, we left Tapituea and ran on to Nanouti, where he
thought he might prefer to stop. He has a sort of partner at Nanouti,
known as "Billy Jones's cousin." The partner was soon on board, a man
with a big head and one hand blown off by dynamite. A new arrangement
was made with Tin Jack, who said he preferred staying in the ship as
long as possible. We are now to carry him on with us, and land him at
Nanouti as we return. A pleasant-looking young native came on board
with the trader. He wore a rosary round his neck, which reminded me
that there were Catholic missionaries on the island; I therefore made a
little parcel of four Catholic pictures for them, and Louis put in his
card; Tin Jack added a bag of garlic.

We left Nanouti before dinner, had a beautiful golden sunset, and are
now steaming on to somewhere else, Apemama,[15] I trust. To-night
the evening star is extraordinarily brilliant, with the blue fire of
a diamond. Last night Mr. Hird came to the hatch and called out in a
most excited voice: "Osbourne, we are just passing the equator!" Lloyd
jumped out of a sound sleep and ran aft, crying: "Where is she? I don't
see her!" It was a sorry joke; we were crossing the line, and it was
not Captain Reid's schooner, on which we had passed so many delightful
months.

  [15] It seems easier to explain our relation with Tembinoka, King of
  Apemama, at whose island I hoped we would call, by giving an extract
  from a former diary written on the trading schooner _Equator_:

  We have been now about a month on the island of the redoubtable
  Tembinoka, an absolute monarch, who holds the lives of his subjects
  (our own also) in the hollow of his hand. He says: "I kill plenty
  men, him 'praid (afraid) now. I no kill any more." That he does not
  mean to kill any more his subjects do not believe, nor I, quite,
  myself. He once shot five men, one after another, as they sat in a
  "_moniap_" (native house) where they had been brought to be examined
  by him concerning some breach of his laws. There were seven men in
  all, but two escaped and are still at large in another island. He
  says his father had a head house where he hung up the decapitated
  heads of his enemies--or in other words, people who differed in
  their opinion from him or whom he did not like (a friend of ours
  afterward saw this _moniap_ with its grisly decoration of skulls).
  No missionaries and no white people are allowed on Tembinoka's
  islands (he rules over three) with the exception of Johnny, an
  inoffensive, dying "poor white," who lives some four miles from the
  village. We did not know in the least whether we should be allowed
  to remain, and waited with some anxiety for the appearance of his
  Majesty. In the meantime the whole ship was in a commotion, scouring
  the decks and getting everything into apple-pie order. I did not
  know that the _Equator_ could be brought to such a pitch of
  cleanliness. Finally the King's steps arrived, were made fast to the
  sides, and the royal boat was seen to put out. We thought it more
  dignified to remain in the cabin and show none of the curiosity we
  felt concerning this very remarkable man. We had been told
  that he was grossly stout, and that was all the description we had
  been able to get from the stupid people we had talked with;
  consequently, we were not prepared to meet the most magnificently
  royal personage that it has yet been our lot to behold, a gentleman
  by nature and a king every inch of him. He gave us a long and
  careful study; afterward he said it was first the eyes and then the
  mouth he judged by. We passed muster, Louis's eyes being specially
  commended, and were told to come ashore and remain as long as we
  liked as his guests. The next day we chose a spot where we thought
  it would be pleasant to live, and Tembinoka ordered his men to carry
  houses and set them up there for us. The captain and Lloyd stayed at
  the King's palace all night; the next morning they were alarmed to
  see Tembinoka shooting into the village with a rifle. He explained
  that his men were lazy and should be at work, so he was reminding
  them that accidents were possible. The whole trembling village set
  to work like bees, and by the time I came over, one sleeping house
  was up, a little thatched bird-cage with flaps on all sides to raise
  or lower as one likes, and an opensided cook house for Ah Foo (a
  Chinese servant we brought from the Marquesas). The King
  sat on a mat and directed proceedings. He motioned me to sit beside
  him and asked for a cigarette, of which he is very fond. Whenever a
  native has to pass the King, or come near him for any purpose, he
  must crouch and crawl; even his Majesty's own sister did so when she
  came to join our party.

         *       *       *       *       *

  We have had a little ripple of excitement on the usually smooth
  current of our existence. To go back to the beginning: Soon after we
  were settled in "Equator town," as we call our hamlet, the King
  proposed sending the royal cook to learn from Ah Foo. The man was an
  insolent, handsome fellow, with no intention of either learning or
  working, and either lay on the floor of the kitchen or squatted
  smoking, while Ah Foo, who was in mortal terror of Tembinoka,
  prepared the dishes which the royal cook, without doubt, passed off
  as his own productions. This went on for some time, and as the
  King's meal hours are the same as our own, interfered a good deal
  with Ah Foo's work and consequently our comfort. The climax was
  reached when the cook, too lazy to walk down to the well for a can
  of water for himself, came softly behind me as I was watering my
  plants and impudently snatched a dipperful from my pail. We then
  took the first opportunity to let the King know how things
  were going, advising him to send a man who was willing to learn.
  Since then his Majesty's steward, a capable, serious man, has
  accompanied the cook. Shortly after our complaint we heard several
  rifle-shots from the palace, and soon after met the cook, who
  passed us hurriedly, without the usual salutations, his countenance
  bearing the marks of furious anger and fear. It seems that he had
  been the King's target, running and crouching behind piles of
  stones, the bullets flying after him. Tembinoka came over a few days
  later and apologised for having possibly alarmed or annoyed us. He
  said he had no intention of killing the man, which he might have
  done easily, being a dead shot, but only wished to frighten him. He
  said he had killed enough people to show the rest what he could do,
  but thought it a good plan to remind them occasionally that he had
  a rifle and the power to use it as he pleased. "More better him
  'praid" (afraid), were his words. As may be imagined, the cook bears
  us no good will, knowing that our complaints had turned that fearful
  rifle against him. However, he dropped his insolent airs and became
  almost obsequious.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Since we have been here, the schooner _Tiernan_ came in for copra.
  While she was lying in the lagoon, the King spent most of his time
  aboard and some seven hundred dollars of his money (he spent neatly
  one thousand on the _Equator_); then he got very drunk, going on
  steadily a little worse or a little better, according to his
  headaches. Day before yesterday, he gave a feast and dance to which
  he did not invite us. At noon he came to say he would lunch with us.
  His eyes were wandering and his voice excited and almost boisterous.
  It was plain that royalty was not far from being vulgarly drunk. We
  could see that he had been worried by our visits to the palace
  having ceased and wished to have an understanding that there was no
  ill feeling on either side. He demanded beer, saying that he had
  been drinking gin and port wine, and dozed off in his chair,
  starting up in a few moments much mortified. I noticed that even in
  this stage of semi-intoxication, he used his knife and fork in our
  fashion, and not as he had learned from the "South Sea merchants."
  It is an unending pleasure to hear the King say: "I want to go
  home." There is an element of appeal in it, reminding one of a
  child who can bear the tedium no longer. It is always directed to
  Louis or, he being absent, to me as his representative. He wanted
  to go home very soon after that luncheon. In the evening we could
  hear the dancers in the big "speak house," clapping, stamping, and
  singing. The sounds were so savage, so like an immense pack of dogs
  fighting in a mass, that we did not realise what it was, but thought
  that some form of riot was going on. An absolute tyrant like
  Tembinoka walks amid dangers of which he is fully conscious.
  Tembinoka dead drunk was not an idea to contemplate with serenity,
  and the sound of a single shot did not tend to reassure us, so we
  laid our pistols where they would be handy. Louis's idea is that no
  one would attack the King unless he were absolutely certain of
  killing him instantly, in which case we had better wait here until
  the enemy came for us. I think on the contrary, that the commission
  of so enormous a crime would make a pause. The terrors of the deed
  would fill the childish minds of the natives to the exclusion of
  anything else and there would be a short time of confusion in which
  nothing would take place but shoutings and aimless running about;
  then would be our time to rush in and take possession of a stout
  wooden house inside the palace walls, and the King's arms, and
  really the King's throne. There would always be the chance, a very
  slight one, to be sure, that we might still be in time to save the
  King's life. I do not quite understand what Louis's tactics would
  be, but aside from any other consideration, there must be but one
  commander and he should be absolute even though the others do not
  agree with him.

  After the shot (which was only aimed at a dog, though that we could
  not know) we listened and found that there was no interruption to
  the singing and dancing, which reassured us. In the night, Louis,
  being restless and not sleepy, took his flageolet and wandered off
  into the woods, playing as he walked, until I lost hearing of him.
  About midnight, or a little later, I was out a short distance from
  the house watching with some anxiety for his return. Pretty soon I
  saw him coming along the main path toward our house. I also saw a
  dark figure dogging his steps. I called to him, telling him what I
  had seen. He was convinced that it was an hallucination of mine and
  I was quite ready to believe him, but as we talked I caught sight of
  the man running toward the palace. I pointed him out to Louis, who
  dashed off in pursuit. When the man saw he was outdistanced, for
  Louis is a fine sprinter, he turned the face of the cook, smiling
  suavely. I heard "sea language" in Louis's biggest voice, and saw
  him leaping strangely in the moonlight, like a grasshopper. He came
  back in fits of laughter, saying he had kicked the cook, who fled
  in terror.

  Ever since the cook found we had turned against him I have had an
  uneasy feeling that some one was about our sleeping house in the
  night, and several times I was certain a hand was cautiously feeling
  about inside our door flap. It seemed a foolish notion, so I had
  said nothing about it until this night, then Louis said he, too, had
  distinctly heard the same thing. We cannot complain to the King for
  he would kill the man instantly, and we do not go so far as to
  desire his death. We have not seen or heard from him since. Ah Foo
  thinks he has gone away in fear of his life. I have it in my heart
  to be sorry for the fellow, for his terror must be extreme, and we
  who have brought this upon him belong to the feared and hated white
  race.

         *       *       *       *       *

  We are getting to be rather anxious concerning the _Equator_. She
  was to be gone two weeks, but it is now over a month since she left
  us. The _Tiernan_ met her at Butaritari, she leaving the day before
  Captain Saxe of the _Tiernan_. Captain Reid intended to go to Maraki
  to take a man known as "the poisoner" over to another island,
  Taravao, I think. Now Taravao is so near to Maraki that Peter Grant
  had been over there in a small boat. There may have been trouble in
  Maraki--certainly it was imminent--which has kept the captain, but
  still it is a long time. He promised, if the schooner were lost and
  he was saved, that he would make his way here somehow. In these
  dangerous and uncertain waters one is easily made uneasy. Fortunately
  for us, the _Tiernan_ was able to let us have some stores. Our salt
  beef was finished, and we were absolutely sickened of wild chickens
  shot by Ah Foo with the King's gun.

  I had a little strip of coral dug out, got rotted leaves from under
  a tree, put them into the hole, and into this I emptied the
  half-decayed filth that was left in the onion basket. I should think
  I have nearly two dozen onions now growing finely. I have invented
  a salad for Louis of which he is extremely fond. In all these
  islands there is one cocoanut that has a sweet husk, used for
  cleaning the teeth. In Butaritari the baron often caused me great
  embarrassment by chewing a brush for me. This sweet nut when green
  has a little crisp portion at the stem end which I cut up and made
  into salad with oil and vinegar, or rather oil and lime-juice, as
  we have no vinegar. We have put out a bottle of sour toddy hoping
  to get vinegar from that.

         *       *       *       *       *

  My diary ends here, abruptly; I had too much on my hands to find any
  further time for writing diaries, for Ah Foo fell ill, and I must be
  cook, purveyor, housemaid, and what not, as well as nurse. Ah Foo
  announced his illness (something alarmingly like diphtheria) in
  these words, "Me sick: no can work; no can cook--no good any
  more--more better you kill me, now," offering Louis, as he spoke, a
  large, keenly sharpened carving knife and his bared throat ready for
  the sacrifice. He was severely ill for some days, needing almost
  constant attention. His undisguised surprise that I would stoop to
  nurse a Chinaman was pathetic, and his gratitude afterward was
  sometimes shown in unexpected and embarrassing ways, as, for
  instance, when he insisted on shooting several men who waked me
  from an afternoon nap by singing Christmas songs beneath my window;
  or when he proposed to burglariously enter a trader's house to steal
  something for me that could not be procured otherwise.

  It seemed a rash thing to let the _Tiernan_ sail away without us as
  we had finished, not only our own supplies, but the King's also.
  True, Mr. Lauterbach, the mate of the _Tiernan_, let us have several
  kegs of salt beef, and Reuben (which was the nearest we could come
  to pronouncing his name), the King's majordomo, had fetched three
  big hawkbill turtles from another island. The turtles were for the
  King's own larder, but he sent us a generous portion of each; we, of
  course, divided accordingly when we opened our kegs of beef. But
  these provisions would soon be finished, and if, as we each feared
  but dared not say, the _Equator_ were lost, "cocoanut steaks" might
  become our sole diet. Indeed, I had packed the most of our
  belongings in some large camphor-wood chests ready to go on board,
  and we had even chosen our bunks when a picture of Captain Reid's
  face if he arrived to find us gone rose before my mind's eye.
  "Louis," I suddenly whispered, "I don't want to go." Without a
  question Louis immediately cancelled our passage and the _Tiernan_
  sailed away without us. Not many days afterward she capsized and
  sank in a very odd way. A heavy gale that had piled the sea up into
  enormous waves was followed by a dead calm. The _Tiernan_, lying
  quite helpless, was rolled over, further and further, until she
  "turned turtle" and sank. Years after the mate, Mr. Lauterbach,
  whom I had supposed to be drowned, came to see me in San Francisco.
  He, he told me, with some natives, managed to turn over a boat that
  floated out upside down from the schooner. With only the carcass of
  the ship's pet pig which they had picked up and what rain fell from
  the sky for sustenance, the boat went drifting off. I am not sure
  that they had an oar, but Mr. Lauterbach caught a native
  sleeping-mat that was floating on the water; the castaways took
  turns in holding up this mat, which thus served as a sail. They
  could not hope for a rescue in these unfrequented waters, so
  Mr. Lauterbach tried to work toward an inhabited island with only
  the position of sun and stars for guidance. When he did make land,
  after an incredible length of time to have lived without food or
  water, there were, as I remember, only himself, one man and a
  demented woman left living in the boat. None of our party, except,
  perhaps, Ah Foo, would have been able to endure such hardships--if,
  indeed, we had not gone straight down with the schooner--the most
  likely thing to happen. So it was as well that I asked to go back
  to our meagre fare to await the _Equator_.

[Illustration: _"Equator Town," showing corner of the sleeping-house
and cook-house_]

_16th._--Early this morning we were lying outside the lagoon of
Apemama, just alongside the little island at the entrance. There was
no sign of life, so, after waiting awhile, a boat with Mr. Henderson,
Tin Jack, and Louis went to find out the reason. They came back with
the news that the King was away visiting his island of Kuria, so off
we started to hunt for him. Arrived at Kuria, a boat came out to tell
us that the King was ill from the sequelæ of measles; also it brought
an insulting letter to Mr. Henderson, signed by the King but written
in a white man's hand; Mr. Henderson, very angry, showed the letter
to Louis, who proposed that he should be present at the interview
with the King. To this Mr. Henderson consented. Of course we all
went on shore; Louis and Lloyd and I took our presents with us; from
Louis a chibouk, from Lloyd a filled cartridge-belt with a sheathed
dagger, mine being the King's own flag after my design. I thought it
very generous of Mr. Henderson that he advised me to keep my flag
back in case the King came on board, so we might get a better effect
by breaking his colours man-of-war fashion--this after the insulting
letter and before what promised to be a very unpleasant interview.

[Illustration: _"The Baron and Baroness," Butaritari, one of the
Gilbert Islands_]

Our black fellows pulled us across in splendid style, passing the
King's returning messenger, who made a fine though unsuccessful spurt
to catch up with us. As we rowed along the beach surprised cries
of "Pani! Pani!" (Fanny! Fanny!) ran through the _moniaps_ (native
houses) where the King's wives were sitting. The King, looking older
and thinner, received us in the native fashion with no apparent
astonishment. The presents were given, and then Lloyd and I left the
party to get their explanations over, the King smoking his chibouk the
while with great enjoyment, while the cartridge-belt hung over his
shoulder.

[Illustration: _Interior of the moniap of Tembinoka's harem_]

We soon found the _moniap_ of the harem and sat down beside the King's
mother. The women received us with fervent expressions of welcome and
pleasure. We passed through several houses on our way, and in every one
our attention was called to a "devil box" similar to one we bought from
the medicine-man at Apemama, then the only one in the three islands.
In the centre of the big _moniap_ was a circular piece of "devil work"
with a ring of sacred white shells about it. Tin Jack followed after
us, and we got him to act as interpreter. It seems they have been
suffering here severely with measles, though there were only four
deaths, two men and two women. Children escaped with slight attacks,
but grown people were very ill, the King himself being at one time very
near death. The first question put to us by the women was concerning
Louis's health; then what had we done with our devil box? I fear that
our accidental reconversion of Butaritari to Christianity[16] has
been offset by our having inadvertently strengthened these Apemamans
in their heathen superstitions. A sick foreigner comes, is cured
by means of a devil box manipulated by a "dog-star" (doctor), and
naturally he desires to possess an article so valuable, going so high
in his offers for it as the worth of a ton of copra. The foreigner is
a very clever and learned man. "He savee too much," they say. And when
measles falls upon the land the first thought is the devil box, and a
praying place for devil worship is erected in the very centre of their
_moniap_. I wish I could find out if they really worship the spirit
of evil or whether, having been enlightened by the missionaries, they
have not given their god that name. If the latter, how much better to
have accepted their god and shown them where they had mistaken his
attributes? And that reminds me that when I heard the people with the
scaly disease on the other islands erroneously called lepers I wondered
if that could have been the leprosy of the Bible that was miraculously
cured. The darkest people turn quite white when covered with the scales.

  [16] Butaritari had lapsed into heathenism when we arrived there,
  but, by showing a magic lantern which included some Bible pictures
  among the slides, we quite unconsciously reconverted the whole
  island, King and all.

But to return to Tembinoka, the King. Louis, fortunately, was able to
clear up the misunderstanding caused, no doubt, by a white man, though
the King loyally refused to give the name. Louis proposed that the
King should apologise for the insulting letter, at which his Majesty
looked very black, indeed; but when Louis told him that under the same
circumstances an English gentleman would certainly offer an apology,
his countenance cleared, the apology was handsomely made and accepted,
and so, all being well, the King proposed to go on board. We wished
some of our party to be on the ship to break out the flag at the right
moment, so hunted up our black boys who were filling bags with grass
for the ship's sheep; Mr. Hird went off with them, and the rest of
us begged permission to accompany the King, who invited us to ride
out with him to his boat in the royal litter. I was told to get in
first, then Lloyd, then Louis and Mr. Henderson together, and then his
Majesty. The black boys passed us on the way with Mr. Hird, and afraid
that the flag might be forgotten by some mischance, Mr. Henderson
shouted: "Hird, elevate the royal bunting." That was because the King
would have understood had he said: "Break the flag." The black boys put
their elegant backs into it and were in time to send up the flag in
fine style. Every one cried out in admiration; it could not have had a
better setting than the "long, low, rakish black" steamer. The King,
who steered his own boat, and was greatly pleased to learn that the
Hawaiian King was a good sailor as well as himself, had been smiling
on Louis, and Louis on him, in the most melting way. He now directed
his attention to the flag, and there was no doubt but the sight gave
him the keenest gratification. We came down to the cabin, where
"champagne was opened," and then Mr. Henderson left Louis and me alone
with the King.

The moment that Mr. Henderson was gone the apathy that in these islands
"doth hedge in a king" broke down. The dear old man clasped Louis in
one arm and me in the other and kissed us and wept over us for joy. He
told us how, day after day, he looked through his glass out over the
sea pretending to himself that he could see us coming back. Sometimes,
he said, he deluded himself so far that he beheld our very faces. This
day he had been looking out as usual and was not surprised when our
boat came near; he had seen it all like that before in his day-dreams.
Suddenly he recognised a particular dress I wore that he had given me.
"Then I felt like this," he said, making a gasping sound of surprise
and emotion--"O-o-oh!"--and pressing his hand on his breast with a
dramatic gesture. Often, he said, he made an errand over to his taro
pits that he might look upon the place where our houses had stood. "I
too much sorry," he said; "I want see you."

[Illustration: _A Marshall Island canoe_]

The time came to say good-bye until the _Janet_ came back on her return
voyage; the flag was hauled down and presented to the King, and he went
off in his boat with a very depressed countenance.

Reuben is now called "the governor." As we were sitting at dinner some
one said: "The anchor's coming up. There's a man at the port wants to
speak to you, Mr. Stevenson." We all looked up, and there, grinning
like an ape, was "Uncle Parker!" (Uncle Parker was a servant the King
had lent us when we visited him before.) He thrust as much of himself
through the port-hole as was possible, and we all climbed up and shook
hands with him. He told us that there had been further trouble with the
impudent cook, and in consequence the King had shot him. Louis gave
Uncle Parker a magnificent gift of six sticks of tobacco. The King said
he had sent us ten mats by Captain Reid. On this island is a house
of refuge, an octagon to which criminals may run. I am told that the
people have a system of palmistry.

_17th._--Maraki. We stopped at the wrong settlement, and, as men were
seen on the beach, Mr. Henderson sent a boat for them in case they
wished to go on with us to the other settlement. One was a stranger,
the other an old friend known as the "passenger".[17] We heard his
meagre news and he heard ours, and drank stout with Louis and Lloyd.
It was pleasant to meet him again. He expects to be in Samoa in a
twelvemonth. Left the silk dress, "blackee coat," and other presents
with him to forward to Maka and the Nan Toks, and I gave a gold ring
to the Hawaiian missionary for his wife. This missionary expects to
return to Honolulu on the _Morning Star_ in company with Maka, so our
presents will fall in at the right moment. Louis also sent one of his
photographs to a young Hawaiian I met under peculiar circumstances when
we were here before.[18] We stayed a very short time, and then, with
several sails set, took our way toward Jaluit. A sheep and a pig struck
attitudes and dared each other to fight--a comical sight. Both were
delighted when the strained situation was broken by a chance passerby.
The black boys are playing cards in the forecastle. Mr. Hird and
Foo-foo (black boy) sang in the evening.

  [17] We were forced to kidnap "the passenger," Paul Hoeflich, a
  very pleasant, agreeable German, when we were on the _Equator_.
  Mr. Hoeflich had taken passage on the schooner from Butaritari
  to another island, only a few miles distant, where he meant to
  start business as an independent trader. All his worldly goods,
  including the stuff for stocking his store, were on board the
  _Equator_. It was the beginning of the bad season, and we had
  continual contrary winds with heavy seas. In vain we cruised
  round and round his island--we could not make a landing. We
  were losing much time, so my husband informed Mr. Hoeflich
  that he must join us in a trip to Samoa, our next destination.
  It so fell out that Mr. Hoeflich, who had helped greatly to
  lighten the tedium of a long voyage in bad weather (we arrived
  at Apia in a somewhat wrecked condition, with one foretopmast
  gone), took an immense liking to Samoa and remained there
  instead of returning to the Gilberts. He has prospered
  exceedingly and blesses the day he was kidnapped. At this
  time, when we met him he had come back to the line islands
  for a final arrangement of his affairs preliminary to settling
  permanently in Samoa.

  [18] As we neared the end of our walk we came into quite a
  large village. The aspect of the people was more savage and
  ugly than we had heretofore seen, the faces brutal and
  unintelligent. Half-grown children, and, indeed, some more
  than half-grown, were entirely naked. The young boys were
  like little old men, their faces hard and their eyes haggard
  and anxious. I saw one with St. Vitus's dance, several with
  hydrocephalus, and a number who had affections of the
  eyes. Many of the little girls had their heads entirely
  shaved, with the exception of a small tassel at the nape of
  the neck which gave a very curious effect. The older ones
  wore their hair bushed out to a great size. Almost all wore
  necklaces of braided hair with an oval bit of red or white
  shell hanging to it like a locket. One haughty, impudent,
  fat young fellow, evidently a beau, swaggered about with a
  white handkerchief, twisted most ingenuously into a crown,
  on his head. Almost all of the women wore a girdle of flat,
  round beads (made of cocoanut shells) above the _ridi_.

  As we walked along the village street the whole population
  joined us. We stopped at the sight of a church neatly made
  of wattled cocoanut leaves bearing at the peak of its front
  gable a belfry of braided leaves. There was actually a bell
  in this belfry which looked as though a breath would disperse
  it. The floor of the church is covered with mats, which are
  renewed each new year. A very odd thing was an arrangement
  of strings which, inside of the building, crossed each
  other with a sort of pattern just above a tall man's height.
  All along these strings, at regular intervals, strips of
  bright-hued calico were tied--I thought in an attempt at
  ornamentation, but was told it was for a game of the
  children. I should like to see the game played. Indeed, I
  do not believe it to be a game. (We found afterward that
  these decorations were for the purpose of propitiating
  "chinch," a terrible evil spirit--the devil, in fact.) We
  asked for the missionary; a fine-looking young Hawaiian
  came up to us, saluting us with the pleasant "_Aloha!_"
  His house was our appointed place of meeting with the
  captain. The missionary, we were told, was in council
  with the "old men."

  This island is a republic governed by the "old men." To
  arrive at the distinction of being an "old man," one must
  be either very rich or have performed some prodigy of
  valour in war time. Accompanied by the Hawaiian, we
  wandered along to the Council House. The missionary
  looked extremely like a mixture of native and Chinese--a
  large, imposing man with a long, thin, white moustache
  and thick, grey hair. As we sat outside in the circle
  surrounding the Council House, conversing with the
  Hawaiian, it occurred to me that I might buy one of the
  cocoanut beaded girdles worn by most of the women. The
  Hawaiian turned to one of them and asked what she would
  take for her girdle; a dollar was the answer; at that I
  handed a half dollar and two quarters to the young man
  who, saying that it was too much, gave me back half the
  money. "They sell them for two fish-hooks," he said,
  "and this is simply extortion; however, as she has seen
  the money she will do her best to get it, so you might
  as well give her the half dollar." The exchange was made,
  and after a moment's confabulation with a crowd of her
  neighbours the woman demanded the other half dollar. At
  this the Hawaiian asked for the piece of money she had,
  took it, and gave back the girdle. In an instant the
  whole place was in an uproar. Men bounded up with
  furious gestures; the old men in the Council House
  shouted with threatening yells, while the Hawaiian,
  leaping to his feet, his eyes flashing like a cat's in
  the dark, defied them all. Fearful that harm might come
  to him after we were gone, I begged him to let me give
  the people whatever they might ask for, but he would not
  hear of it, and matters were the worse for my offer, as
  the people evidently understood it had been made.
  Finally, leaving the crowd in a state of ferment, we
  walked away with the Hawaiian to his very pleasant house,
  he entertaining us on the way with a list of the laws
  made that day by the "old men." They were as follows:
  "Dancing, one dollar fine; concealed weapons, five
  dollars; murder, fifteen; stealing, twenty-five, and
  telling a lie, fifty dollars." Pretty soon the crowd
  began surging round us; there was more furious talk,
  the Hawaiian looking very fine as he walked toward the
  mass of people, shaking his fists and, I am bound to
  say, interlarding his language with English oaths. When
  he had forced the crowd back by, I really think, the
  fire of his eye, he laughed in their faces contemptuously
  and turned to me translating the meaning of the scene.
  The "old men" had made another law, against him, placing
  him under tapu so that he could neither trade nor be
  traded with. I felt very miserable at being the innocent
  cause of so much trouble. He said he did not care a rush
  and meant to leave the island anyway. He had married a
  native of Maraki, bringing her home to visit her people,
  with whom she had proposed they should stop, but now, he
  said, she was as eager to go as he was. When we left he
  presented us with a girdle that he had somehow got hold
  of and his wife gave me a young fowl. I, very fortunately,
  had a handsome wreath of flowers on my hat which I took
  off and gave the wife. It was amusing to watch the dandy
  of the village, the haughty and insolent fat young man who
  had been too languid to see us before, trying to keep all
  speculation out of his eyes when I passed over the wreath.
  He could not do it. The red imitation currants held his
  gaze like fish-hooks.

  We sailed away quite gaily from Maraki, fell into a calm,
  and had to turn and come back again, so had yet another day,
  and all together four, before we really got away. All the
  time, more or less, we were overrun by the traders, who came
  to beg drink and buy and sell.

  We have now seen the South Sea "bad man" of the story-books,
  Peter Grant. He always comes with "Little Peter," a kindly,
  simple lad who has been on the island since he was thirteen
  and speaks excellent English with the native tossing and
  eyebrow lifting. (Little Peter died from poisoning some years
  after; it was supposed to be a murder.) Peter Grant is the
  most hideous ruffian I have ever beheld. The skin of his
  face has the quality of a burn scar and is crossed with
  wrinkles in places where no other human being has wrinkles.
  His forehead is narrow and retreating, his eyes very light,
  with a strange scaly look, not a pair in size, colour, or
  movement, and set too close together in a large, gaunt face.
  His nose, hooked at the end until it almost touches his upper
  lip, is unusually bony and is bent over to the left as though
  from a blow. His coarse-lipped, stupid mouth is creased with
  slashes like cuts. One of his unpleasant peculiarities is what
  Louis calls "crow's-feet between the eyes."

  The next to the last day at Maraki Lloyd and I went ashore with
  the captain, who had, as he said, "business to attend to" with
  a missionary. (The Hawaiian missionary who was to travel in the
  _Morning Star_ with our dear Maka of Butaritari.) I knew the
  business had something to do with a tapu put upon Peter Grant
  some six months ago, but that a concerted attack was to be made
  upon the old missionary I did not suspect or I should never have
  gone. We were met by my friend the young Hawaiian, who
  accompanied us to the missionaries' house. There the best seat
  was offered me, all being received with dignified hospitality
  as they dropped in, one horror after another. Little Peter was
  appointed interpreter. The missionary was charged, first, with
  having instigated the natives to tapu Peter Grant. It was
  supposed he denied this, but in reality he did not. Head and
  shoulders above the rest he sat, a fine, massive figure, with
  impenetrable Chinese eyes, master of the situation. I only
  noticed once any sign of perturbation in him; that was when the
  head of the "old men" was brought in to be questioned. The
  missionary made a quick attempt to put the old man on his guard,
  but was instantly checked by a trader, who leaped to his feet
  and shook his fist in the missionary's face, ordering him to
  be silent. The missionary smiled contemptuously, but a thick
  sweat gathered upon his face and neck, his hands trembled
  slightly, and his great chest rose and fell, slowly and heavily.
  Feeling that to gaze upon him was an indelicacy, though I was
  doing so in sympathy and admiration, I made a slight movement to
  turn away; as though he knew my thought, the missionary suddenly
  looked me in the eyes with a charming smile, fanned me a moment
  with a fan that lay beside him, then handed me the fan with a bow.

  Fortunately, the attempt to warn the "old man" had been enough,
  for he seemed idiotic in his apparent endeavours to understand
  what was wanted of him. The charge against the missionary then
  changed to theft. He was said to have stolen a murdered man's
  property. In answer to that he said: "Then place the affair in
  the hands of either the first man-of-war that comes to the group
  or the _Morning Star_," which is daily expected. The traders all
  cried out with fury at the mention of the _Morning Star_, and,
  all speaking at once, charged him with instigating the natives
  to all sorts of evil when he should be setting them a good example.
  For the first time he retorted, saying that the missionaries came
  only to try to make the people better, and that the only difficulty
  was the wickedness of the white men. I am sorry to say that I got
  the impression that there was something in danger of being
  discovered which would have been to the disadvantage of the
  missionary, but not exactly what the traders were looking for.
  They were too stupid to see that, and were forced to come to a
  pause, having gained nothing. Both Lloyd and I had a distressed
  feeling that we might be confounded with their party in the mind
  of the missionary, but he reassured us with his eyes, and, pushing
  aside those in his way, shook hands with Lloyd and then with me.
  I held his hand and pressed it and said all that eyes and smile
  could manage.

  As we went out of the house the missionary's wife made me a present
  of a fowl. The Hawaiian joined us as we passed his place and his
  wife ran out with another fowl. I had made up a little parcel for
  her, a red comb, a bead necklace, a bottle of fine scent, and a
  striped blue-and-white summer jersey, with a large silk handkerchief
  for her husband. The next day they, with their little daughter, came
  to pay us a visit on board, fetching with them three young fowls and
  a very fine, beautiful mat of a pattern I had not seen before. Louis
  was greatly pleased with my friends and promised to send the man his
  photograph. When he said good-bye, to our surprise he asked for
  Louis's card, which was a piece of civilisation we were not prepared
  for. We have touched at no island where there has not been at least
  one person we were sorry to leave and should be glad to meet again,
  though this was the only place where these friends were foreign to
  the land.

         *       *       *       *       *

_18th._--Very hot weather. Our sails are still up, and one of the
boats hanging over the side has its sail also set. It looks very odd.

[Illustration: _Speak House, Island of Maraki_]

_19th._--Jaluit, the German seat of government for the Marshalls. We
could see the commissioner's house, painted a terra-cotta red, looking
very pretty under the green trees. Went on shore, a blazing hot day. We
were all dressed up for the occasion, Louis with his best trousers,
yellow silk socks of a very odd shape, knitted by his mother for a
parting present, dirty white canvas shoes, and a white linen coat from
the trade room that could not be buttoned because of its curious fit.
It was hoped, however, that a gold watch and chain might cover all
deficiencies. I wore a blue linen native dress, entirely concealed
by a long black lace cloak, and on my head a black turban with a
spotted veil. Our feet were certainly the weak point, my stockings
being red and my shoes cut in ribbons by the coral. Not having gloves,
I put on all my rings which flashed bravely in the sun. On board
ship our appearance caused a decided sensation and was considered
most respectable, and reflecting great credit on the _Janet_. The
commissioner received us at his door, offered us wine, and while we
were drinking it in came Captain Brandeis,[19] a slender, sallow
man with a small head and the most extraordinary eyes of glittering
blackness which seemed to shrink from meeting one's gaze and yet to
challenge it with a nervous defiance. He was pale, and I thought he
was prepared for an unpleasant meeting with Louis; that wore off very
quickly, and the two were soon deep in conversation, I talking twaddle
with the commissioner that Louis might have the captain alone. Louis is
fascinated by the captain and I do not wonder; but his eye is too wild,
he is too nervous, and his nose is not to be depended on--a weak and
emotional nose. A man, I should say, capable of the most heroic deeds,
sometimes preternaturally wise, and sometimes proportionately foolish;
a born adventurer, but never a successful one.

  [19] A political refugee from Samoa.

The commissioner showed me the "garden," an acre or so of high-island
plants grown in foreign soil brought in vessels. The commissioner's
room was decorated with trophies of native arms, armour, etc. He
promised to have a native sailing chart made for Louis. These charts
are very curious things, indeed, made of sticks, some curved, some
straight, caught here and there by a small yellow cowry. The cowries
represent islands, the sticks both currents and winds and days'
sailing. The distances between the islands have nothing to do with
miles, but with hours only. These charts are very little used now,
only one old chief knowing how to make them, but the time was when
each young chief must pass his examination in the charts, knowing
them by heart, as they were never taken to sea but kept at home for
reference and continual study. We lunched with the commissioner and,
the steam-whistle calling us soon after, we went on board to start
immediately for Majuro.

_20th._--At Majuro early in the morning, a pearl of atolls. The lagoon,
large and round, but not so large that we cannot distinctly follow the
coastline. At the entrance it is broken into the most enchanting small
islets, all very green and soft, the lagoon clear and in colour like a
chrysoprase. Mr. Henderson offered us a little house on the windward
side, so we took our mats and blankets and a lantern with us in the
boat. The house was the old "lookout" consisting of a single room with
latticework running along two sides of the wall under the roof; this
lattice served for windows. The door had a padlock so we could lock it
as we came and went.

[Illustration: _White trader and his wife "Topsy," Majuro Island_]

I had taken my paints with me and made a little portrait of a native
girl called "Topsy" by her white husband. She was a very small, very
thin creature, greatly given to dress. She seemed to live with several
other women in a sort of boatbuilders' shed, where I would always find
her, her thick hair shining with oil and carefully braided, a different
head-dress for a different hour--her keys hanging below her rows of
necklaces, busily employed at something or other; sometimes it was a
necklace she was stringing on shreds of pandanus leaves, sometimes a
new print gown she was cutting out with a most capable, businesslike
air; or she might be feeding her monkey ("_monkaia_," she called it)
or her gentle-eyed dog; or, most interesting task of all, sorting her
possessions into order. She had two pretty large camphor-wood chests
quite filled up with cotton prints, coloured handkerchiefs, and various
accessories of the toilet. She dressed for the portrait in a gown of
cheese-cloth drawn in at the waist by a white cotton belt edged with
blue and white; the yoke of the bodice and the sleeves were trimmed
to match, and the hem of the skirt was marked with a black braid. Her
hair, smoothly drawn back over her little rabbit head, was ornamented
by two bands worked in a design with beads, and her necklaces were
innumerable. On one arm she proudly showed me the word Majuro tattooed
and on the other, Topsy. It seems that she was a castaway from another
island, every other soul in the canoe being lost. She was absolutely
ignorant, and when something was said about her heart, gravely assured
us that she had no heart, being solid meat all through. Topsy sat for
her portrait most conscientiously as though it were a photograph, not
moving a hair's breadth, nor hardly winking. After each sitting she
returned to exactly the same position. I tried in vain to make her take
it more easily; when I talked to her (she knew half a dozen words of
English) she responded with stiff lips, trying to speak without moving
them. I took her a wreath which delighted her, and just before we left
I came across a red silk bodice with a smocked yoke and embroidered
cuffs; just the thing, I felt, for Topsy. The captain, Louis, and Lloyd
were with me when I gave it to her. She instantly slipped off her upper
garments, showing a very pretty little figure, and we all together
robed her in the bodice. Topsy is quite a great lady with her female
attendants, living in her boat-house, sleeping on her mat beside her
two chests with her dog, and that rich possession the "_monkaia_." Some
one the captain knew took a large monkey to Savage Island, but the
people would not allow it to remain; it was, they said, derogatory to
their dignity.

There are broad, well-kept walks on Majuro, and to cross the island
to our cabin was like passing through a palm-house. When somebody
remembered it, fresh palm toddy[20] was brought to us in the early
morning, and once tea. Louis slept on shore with me one or two nights,
and then, as it rained a good deal, it was judged better for him to
remain on board. The next night I slept alone. At about two in the
morning I waked with the consciousness that some one was in the room
besides myself. I peered about without moving and saw two native men
who moved into the moonlight so I could see them distinctly. I said,
"Who's there? What do you want? Get away with you!" in the gruffest
voice I could assume, and after a few moments' hesitation, they made
off. One evening, while Louis still slept in the lookout, quite late,
the room became filled with a peculiar and pleasant fragrance. For some
time we could not make it out, but it finally occurred to us that it
was the scent of pandanus nut. Some native, overcome by curiosity, must
have crept to the house so softly that we did not hear him, but the
pandanus he had been chewing betrayed him. As they all seemed to think
that I should not stop alone so far away, Lloyd came over and slept on
Louis's mat. Some of the pandanus nuts here I like very much; they are
juicy and of fragrant, tart flavour like a good apple.

  [20] Fresh palm toddy tastes like sweet champagne and is very
  wholesome; sour or fermented toddy is quite another thing.

One day while I was talking to Topsy at her door, the monkey being
fastened by a long, light chain to a tree close by, a girl fell down
in a fit. Her head struck a woman's lap, but the woman hastily thrust
her off so that she lay, half smothering, face down, in the sand.
She sniffed, and moaned, and clicked her teeth together, but neither
frothed at the mouth, nor protruded her tongue, as I supposed people
did in fits. Not a soul moved to help her, but "_monkaia_" leaped on
her head like a demon and began biting and plucking at her hair and
face. I tore him off with difficulty, the men and women standing by
quite helpless with laughter. I had to threaten a woman with physical
violence before she would drag the girl away from the monkey while
I held the brute. The next morning, while I was painting at Topsy's
portrait, the girl who had the fit sat on the floor beside me watching
the process. My bottle of oil and a basket of coral just given me were
standing between the legs of the easel. Suddenly the girl lurched
forward, upsetting the bottle of oil, and had a fit with her face in
the basket of coral. The instinct of saving property brought Topsy to
my aid this time, however, and together we dragged the girl to a safer
position.

One afternoon I asked the name of a particularly bright-looking girl
who came to visit the ship. "Neel," was the reply. "How did she get
that name?" I asked. "Oh, it came in this way: She was a sharp little
child, and some white man said she was sharp as a needle, so they
called her needle." Neel is the nearest they come to pronouncing it. I
was told that Neel was a capital mimic and actress. I made an offering
of a wreath and she agreed to give me an example of her skill if
all the white men went away. First, she said (Johnny, a half-caste,
interpreting), she would represent a well-known native woman, with an
impediment in her speech, on a visit to a neighbour; immediately her
round, fat face twisted itself into a thousand wrinkles, and her thick,
protruding lips became pinched and thin, on one side lifted like a
harelip. She spoke like a person with a cleft palate, very garrulously,
making polite inquiries about different members of the family she
was supposed to visit, but never waiting for an answer. After this
impersonation she assumed a prim air and, with a dry, nipping precision
of speech, and neat little persuasive gestures, gave us a bit of an
English missionary's sermon. The voice was a man's voice, and the
English accent in speaking the native words perfect. Had I not been
aware that the girl was speaking, I should have felt certain I could
pick out the man by his face; I knew it, and his figure, and his
umbrella.

I am told they go in for "devil work" here; they call it "bu-bu,"
which reminds one of the negro word. When their old witch women (they
are always old) wish to lure a vessel to destruction they run up and
down the beach shouting their incantations, waving, as they run, a
long stick with a red rag on the end. A man whose vessel was wrecked
on these islands told me that as the ship neared the rock where they
struck they could distinctly see an old woman rushing along the beach
waving her red rag.

A Mr. R---- told Lloyd that in New Ireland he had had a similar
experience to that of Tom Day. A man had attacked him, and he had said
to the bystanders: "I'll give an axe for that man's head." The next
morning he discovered the head stuck on his gate-post. He said he had
often bought victims set apart to be eaten for ten sticks of tobacco.
If he paid up honourably, the natives were honourable in return, and
never after molested his man.

One evening I stopped at Mr. M----'s to wait while some one went on
board for my key, which I had forgotten. Tin Jack, who was there,
promptly presented me with a fine piece of staghorn coral belonging to
our host, following up the coral with presents of elaborately worked
mats, some of which he gave in his own name and some in Mr. M----'s,
until he had made me the embarrassed recipient of four. The captain,
who dropped in, was also requested to make choice of a pair of the
best. Poor Mr. M----, feeling that it would be more graceful to give
his own presents, then offered me a curious fish preserved in a bottle
which Mr. Hird, much to my distress, scornfully refused on my behalf as
a present "unfit for a lady."

The Marshalls seem a very damp, rainy group of islands, but, in
consequence, breadfruit grows on most of them, and bananas on many.
We had expected to fill up with copra at Majuro, but measles has been
ravaging the islands. The King himself, whom we had wished greatly to
see, old Jebberk, lay dying and tapued to whites. Two other Kings came
to visit us on the vessel, both very fine, intelligent-looking men. One
was dressed in a mat breech-clout and a comical red shirt or jacket,
and had his hair done up on the top of his head Japanese fashion. The
other wore a red-and-blue-figured petticoat, very full at the waist,
where it was gathered in with native cord. Around his neck he had a
pink shell necklace, and his hair was done in the same high knot as
affected by the first King. We had finished luncheon when the last
king came, so he had his alone spread at one corner of the table. I
gave him a wreath, of the best, for his queen; he admired it greatly,
and examined it over and over. Finally he turned to me saying, "What
you want?" pointing to the wreath. He meant to ask what would I like
for a return present. I said "Nothing," which was a mistake, afterward
cleverly rectified by Louis. The King asked through an interpreter how
long it would be before the _Janet_ sailed, as all his things were at
his own village, and he wanted to get some mats for me. Louis replied
that we were sailing almost immediately but that when we returned we
would be most happy to receive his present. This proved satisfactory,
and the King was put at his ease.

[Illustration: _Kaibuke--one of the kings of Majuro_]

_24th._--Left Majuro.

_26th._--Again at Jaluit. Went to see the commissioner, where we found
our island charts awaiting us. Louis and the commissioner and Captain
Brandeis tried to make out the names of the islands by comparing the
charts with our European map, but failed; a man who had been thirty
years in the islands was consulted, and afterward a native, but still
they were baffled. It was finally settled that the thirty-year resident
should see the maker of the charts (now absent) and get a complete key
to be sent to Samoa. Lloyd bought some German beer, which is excellent,
and I bought two jars of sweeties, a couple of Pleasant Island baskets,
several pieces of tortoise-shell, and some abominable sausages. The
commissioner gave me two shells and Captain Brandeis gave me a lovely
one, also a black mother-of-pearl shell, such as the Gilbert Islanders
use for trade.

Left the same day, towing out a schooner.

_27th._--Arrived at Namorik. Louis went on shore and met a wicked old
man who afterward appeared in the "Beach of Falesa."

_28th._--First thing in the morning at Ebon; anchored in the passage
nearly opposite the wreck of the _Hazeltine_, American schooner. Left
early in the afternoon.

_July 1st._--Arrived Apiang, lay outside. Louis ill. Captain Tierney
came off in a canoe. No copra. The missionaries in power and a general
tapu. On to Tarawa.

_3d._--Aranuka, one of Tembinoka's islands. Louis still ill. He was
lying in his bunk when the King and his people came on board. A
pleasant-faced man, who, with the rest, was shaking hands with me,
asked for Louis. I said he was ill, whereupon he demanded to be taken
at once to the sick man. I guessed that he was a medicine-man. Louis
said he stood beside his bed, with the gently soothing, insinuating,
professional manner of the European practitioner, asking his symptoms
and very anxious to know if there was a "dog-star" in Samoa.

A little later a soft hand tapped me on the shoulder; I turned--it was
the King, Tembinoka himself, smiling and holding out both hands to me.
He looked much better and was greatly concerned at Louis being ill. Mr.
Henderson is going to take the King's boat back to Apemama for him with
his harem and court.

_4th._--Got under way at eight o'clock with about two hundred deck
passengers--all the King's wives and body-guard and retainers
generally--and steamed down to Apemama flying the royal ensign at the
main truck. The whole ship, every plank of her, covered at night with
sleeping natives. Among the rest were babies and three dogs, the
latter with strange, glassy, white eyes. The King's favourite wife
had a snub-nosed puppy, which, when it became restless and whined,
she put to her breast and suckled. All the head women had their devil
boxes, taking the greatest care of them. They consulted me about ours
through every interpreter they could find. They always referred to
the box indirectly; the interpreter would be told first to ask if I
had not carried away from Apemama something very precious. Upon my
answering that I had, questions were then put as to its whereabouts,
etc. Louis and I were talking to the King on a different matter in
which the escape of hissing steam was mentioned. His Majesty jumped
to the conclusion that we were speaking of the devil box, and assured
us that we need feel no alarm when the shell inside (representing the
devil, Tiaporo) made a noise. We had only to give it a very small
bit of tobacco and that would settle him. He thought it a good sign,
and that the shell was in proper mediumistic order when Tiaporo was
noisy, though he confessed it would be better if we had a "dog-star"
handy. A quarter of an hour later all the King's women were in a state
of ferment concerning our devil box, the news of Tiaporo's behaviour
causing the most excited comments.

[Illustration: _Harem and little son of King Tembinoka on board the
"Janet Nichol," passing from Aranuka to Apemama_]

The getting on board of the people was a wild affair of noise and
confusion. Boat after boat was unladen, and piles of the most
extraordinary household goods blocked up every space that should have
been kept clear; at least twenty-five large zinc pails came from one
boat. There were sewing-machines, large rosewood musical boxes, axes
and spades, cutlasses, unwieldy bag pillows, every conceivable sort of
bag and basket, cocoanut shells of toddy syrup, and shells of water;
old nuts, new nuts, every sort of nut; also large packages of the
native pudding (giant taro pounded up with pandanus syrup and cocoanut
milk, baked underground in taro leaves), and piles of neatly done up
sticks of what we call sweet sawdust, made of the beaten pandanus
nut. There were camphor-wood chests of every size, and mat packages
without end. One woman was trying in vain to find a place for her ear
piercer, a stick of hard, black seaweed, some two feet long, tapering
from the circumference of a couple of inches in the middle to a smooth,
sharp point at either end; round each side of the centre, where it was
intended the hand should grasp it, was a ring of yellow feathers worked
with human hair; these looked just the same as the royal Hawaiian
feathers--also those on the peace spears I got at Savage Island--but I
have never seen the bird that produces them.

Our black boys are almost insane with excitement and "Tom Sawyered"
to such a degree, showing off before the court ladies, that it was a
wonder and mercy none were killed. When they were raising the boats to
the davits, Louis said they were upside down more often than not, doing
herculean feats of strength. The harem ladies were gathered together
aft and a tapu placed round them. Ladies of a lower station found what
places pleased them best and had a much gayer time than the great
ones, for the black boys sang, and danced, and shouted with merriment
the whole night through. The very old ladies of high rank--the King's
mother, hopelessly drunk on gin, which she carried everywhere with
her, the King's aunt, and one or two others--spent the night on the
captain's bridge. The people all showed the utmost affection for us,
our old friend and servant "Snipe" in particular. ("Snipe" was one of
three slave girls lent us by Tembinoka when we lived at Apemama, in
Equator Town. The other two we called Stodge and Fatty.) She would
seize every opportunity to get beside me, when she would smooth my
hair, fondle my hands, and alternately put her arm round my waist and
poke me in the ribs with her elbows, giggling sentimentally the while.

Quite late at night Uncle Parker sneaked down to the saloon and
squatted on the floor with a kindly grin. He was not in the least
surprised nor offended when Louis hustled him out. I had not had the
heart to do it myself, as I should.

Among the rest of the people was a man who had known us in Butaritari;
he gave us full news of our Cowtubs[21] there. Tembinoka's governor,
whom we had known as Reuben, who now says his name is Raheboam, begged
that I would speak to the King and ask that he might go away with us. I
assured him that it would be useless; the King could not afford to part
with a man of his talents and acquirements, which is quite true. In the
forecastle were the unfortunate exiles of Piru, among them our "Boat's
crew" looking very pretty and pert but grown no larger. Some years ago,
I do not know how many, a large party of the natives of Piru, thinking
to see the world, bought return tickets from the Wightman line to
one of the other islands. They were warned that they must take their
chances of a schooner going back to their own place. No schooner did;
but they were carried on from island to island, each trip getting a
little nearer home. The boy called "Boat's crew" had been a servant of
ours at Apemama, one of their halting places. They are to be taken
on to Nanouti, a station so much the nearer home. An old man who was
anxious to die on his native soil is still living and looks a hundred
years old, his head entirely bald except for a tuft at the nape of his
neck.

  [21] Retainers

_5th._--At Apemama, landing the court. Tin Jack had to sell a pet canoe
he was taking to his station to the King, who insisted on having it. It
cost five dollars and the King gave twenty for it; so, as a commercial
speculation, it was no loss. When the King came on board this morning
he laid a fine mat on my lap.

Later a great wailing arose from the forward deck. A woman who had
taken possession of another woman's husband was being sent away with
her people of the Piru party, and conceived it her duty to have an
attack of nerves. She did not do it so well as they manage in France,
but it was of the same order, and reasonably creditable. Her hysterical
kicking and choking cries, when held back by her companions from
drowning herself, was the most effective part of the performance. She
soon gave it up, probably because of the lack of interest shown by the
bystanders.

[Illustration: _Dance at Apemama_]

In the evening we had a farewell dinner with Tin Jack, champagne,
toasts, speeches, etc. At night a party went on shore with fireworks;
Mr. Henderson answered with a display from the ship. As I was watching
them I overheard a conversation between a white fireman and our cook
about the dangers of the land. "Why, one of my mates," said the
fireman, "got lost in the bush once, and it was a whole day before he
got a drink of water. I wouldn't take the chance of that for all the
money you could give me." I reminded him that wrecked sailors had been
known to suffer from thirst; he had never thought of that, he said, but
anyhow it didn't seem the same. The fireworks were very successful,
and I think pleased our black boys more than any one else. The ship
rang with their shouts and musical, girlish laughter. All afternoon
they had been scraping the ship's sides under water; it looked very
odd to see them kicking like frogs and working at the same time; yet,
after all this, they were ready for more dancing and songs. Louis and
I agreed that we would willingly pay a high price for only Sally Day's
superfluous energy to use at our discretion. All these men are from
cannibal islands, but do not like that fact referred to. When Mr. Hird
teases them about it they declare they were mere infants when they were
taken away and can remember nothing about the savage customs of their
people.

_6th._--Off Apemama, our black boys lying in a row under the awning,
one reading the Bible (it was Sunday) and another playing hymns on an
accordion. The King took breakfast with us, and we bade him good-bye,
not so sadly as before, because now we have some hope of seeing him
again.

_7th._--Nanouti first thing in the morning. Went on shore after
breakfast to "Billy Jones's cousin's" place where British colours were
flying. Tin Jack wished to be photographed in his new place in the
midst of his new surroundings, so we had the camera with us. Lloyd and
I wandered about and were astonished at the number of houses we saw
piled up with dried cocoanuts not yet made into copra. We were told
that a famine was feared and these nuts were stored as provisions.
Speaking of provisions, we were struck by the difference in the
condition of our Piru friends since we were fellow passengers with them
on the schooner _Equator_. Then they were in the most abject poverty,
hardly a mat among them, no food, only a few shells of water and a few
old nuts. When we took them off Apemama they came as rich people, with
bundles of fine mats, stacks of "sawdust" food and dried pandanus
fruit (very good, tasting like dried figs) and quantities, generally,
of the best food produced in Apemama. The people all have cotton-print
clothing as well as fine _ridis_ and baskets full of tobacco with
plenty of pipes.

While Lloyd and I were walking about in Nanouti, Tin Jack went back
to the ship quite oblivious of the fact that we were left prisoners
on account of the tide, for the entire day. When we arrived we had to
take down part of the wall of a fishing ground to land at the house. We
left the ship at ten and were tired, hungry, and very cross at being
so deserted. Lloyd finally went off to try and find a canoe, hoping
to reach the ship in that way and get something for me to eat. I had
got very wet in crossing the surf in our own boat and was dressed in
a filthy gown and chemise lent me by a native woman. I asked for a
dry gown when I arrived and the woman gave me one she had cast off;
I did not know what to do, as it was quite transparent, so I had to
stay in the inner room. Tin Jack, hearing of this, demanded a chemise
for me. The woman removed the one she was wearing, in a dark corner,
folded it up, and then pretended to take it out of a trunk which she
opened for the purpose. After this piece of either pride or delicacy
I felt bound to put it on. As my head ached, I lay down on a mat,
with an indescribably filthy pillow under my head, and tried to sleep.
The people of the house, some twenty in number, came in every few
moments to look at me; if the children made a noise they were smacked,
thereupon bawling loudly enough to raise the roof, and occasionally a
crowd of outside children would be beaten from the house with howls
and yells. I never saw so much "discipline" administered before in any
of the islands. Outside my window a child was steadily smacked for
crying for at least half an hour. I actually did fall asleep once, but
was quickly awakened by a savage dog fight just under where I lay, the
house standing high on piles. This house, belonging to the trader,
was one of the best I had seen, containing four rooms separated by
stockades, with a lofty, airy roof, while along the shady side ran a
neat veranda. The whole house was tied together with sennit the sides
and ends thatched as well as the roof.

Lloyd, having searched for about an hour and a half, had found a canoe,
and a native willing to take him off for the high price of ten sticks
of tobacco. In the meantime, Tin Jack, awakening to a sense of the
enormity of his behaviour, had dispatched another canoe from the ship
with some sandwiches, a tin of sardines (useless with no tin opener),
and a bottle of stout without a corkscrew. When Lloyd discovered this,
he would not wait a moment, but tried to get back to me. In spite of
all he could do, he was landed in the surf some two miles short of
where I was. He struggled along the reef, sometimes knocked down by the
surf and most of the time up to his armpits in water. He had on shoes
of leather which became water-logged, and the nails, coming loose, tore
the soles of his feet, adding to the difficulty of walking. He also cut
his ankle on the reef and grazed his leg, both serious things to have
happen here. (A scratch from dead coral is apt to cause blood-poisoning
and is greatly feared. The captain of a man-of-war was said to have
lost his leg in this way.) There was also the fear in his mind that,
thinking he had landed, I might have given my leavings to the natives.
I really cannot imagine why I did not; I several times made a movement
to do so and then something distracted my attention. It was quite dark
before the ship's boat could get in for us, and very chill. Tin Jack,
most eager in his apologies, had a bad quarter of an hour.

A cat, I hear, has been added to our ship's company. At Majuro a man
who had been shipwrecked there, and was taken on board the _Janet_ for
Sydney, had a pet cat. One of the sailors found her swimming round the
ship trying to climb up the steep sides. An oar was put out for her and
she climbed in, almost drowned.

I begged a fish from one of the black boys, and with a nut, a pinch
of cayenne pepper, an old dried lemon, and some sea water, I made
"miti" sauce and gave Louis a nice dish of raw fish for his dinner. He
relished it very much, and ate all I prepared.[22]

  [22] Raw fish may seem a strange delicacy for a sick man, but,
  properly prepared, there is nothing better than fresh raw mullet. I
  first learned this in Tautira, a lovely native village on the "wild
  side" of Tahiti. My husband was alarmingly ill with pneumonia, and
  had sunk into a state of coma. There was no way to reach
  civilisation except by means of our yacht, the _Casco_--and the
  _Casco_--was gone to Papeete to have her masts repaired. Crushed by
  this catastrophe I was gazing stupidly out over the village green,
  trying to gather my wits together, when my attention was distracted
  for a moment by the spectacle of a tall, graceful, native woman
  entering the house of the chief of Tautira, amid the acclamations
  of a great crowd. I vaguely remembered that for many days there had
  been preparations making for an expected visit from Moe, "the great
  princess." In about half an hour there was a tap at our door; there
  stood Moe with a plate of raw fish prepared with miti sauce.
  Speaking perfect English, she told me that she had heard there was
  a sick foreigner in the village whose wife was troubled because he
  would not eat, so, she said, she had made this dish herself, and
  if we could only get him to taste it he would eat more, and
  convalescence would follow immediately. At first Louis turned his
  head to one side wearily without opening his eyes, but by the
  advice of the princess I slipped a morsel between his lips; to my
  surprise he swallowed the bit, then another, and finally opened
  his eyes and asked: "What's that?" Several times a day the
  princess came with her plate of fish and miti sauce, which was
  soon eagerly watched for and devoured by my invalid, and within
  the week Louis had so far recovered as to be able to walk over to
  the chief's house, where we took up our abode with him and Moe.

  The raw fish, as prepared in Tahiti, instead of being revolting
  in appearance, as one might imagine, is as pleasing to the sight as
  to the taste. The fresh white meat of the mullet is cut into neat
  little strips about half an inch wide and a couple of inches long
  and laid side by side on a plate--of course it is carefully freed
  from skin and bones--and covered with miti sauce. Miti sauce is
  made of milk pressed from cocoanut meats (an entirely different
  thing from the refreshing water of the green drinking nut), mixed
  with about one third the quantity of lime-juice, a few tiny bits
  of the wild red pepper, and a little sea water. This sauce seems
  to cook the fish, which takes on a curdled look, and curls up a
  little at the edges as though it had just been boiled.

_8th._--Remained all day and left at night. A long reef, and much
trouble in getting Tin Jack's things clear of the ship. Heard the
labour brig _Cito_ had been landing rifles and cartridges. Tin Jack
gone; he left late in the afternoon, the boat taking him to the reef,
where we could see him being carried over it on a native's back. There
were still fifty bags of copra to come on board; these were packed out
to the boat on the backs of natives and our black boys. Mr. Henderson
gave Tin Jack two black pigs and a very fine, handsome mat; I gave him
a supply of medicines carefully labelled, and a pillow with an extra
case. When we left we blew the steam-whistle in farewell, burned a blue
light, and let off two rockets, to which he responded with a rocket
from the shore. One of our rockets was let off by the captain (who is
quite ill) on the bridge. It shot at us and fire was sputtering all
about the bridge, to our terror. A woman has been following me about
all day trying to get me to adopt her little half-caste boy. She tried
to bribe me with a mat, which in the end she gave me as a present. I
gave her a bottle of scent. Everybody bargaining for shells, even the
black boys and Mr. Stoddard, the engineer. When the boat returned from
landing Tin Jack it brought me from him an immense spear, very old and
curious.[23]

  [23] Tin Jack came to a sad end. He possessed a certain fixed
  income, which, however, was not large enough for Jack's ideas, so
  he spent most of the year as a South Sea trader, using the whole of
  his year's income in one wild burst of dissipation in the town of
  Sydney. One of his favourite amusements was to hire a hansom cab for
  the day, put the driver inside, and drive the vehicle himself,
  calling upon various passers-by to join him at the nearest public
  house. Some years ago when Jack was at his station he received word
  that his trustee, who was in charge of his property, had levanted
  with it all. Whereupon poor Jack put a pistol to his head and blew
  out what brains he possessed. He was a beautiful creature, terribly
  annoying at times, but with something childlike and appealing--I
  think he was close to what the Scotch call a natural--that made one
  forgive pranks in him that would be unforgivable in others. He was
  very proud of being the original of "Tommy Hadden" in the "Wrecker,"
  and carried the book wherever he went.

_9th._--Piru. I am disgusted by the apathy of our exiles. Except one
woman, they did not even raise their heads to look on their native
land. There was no excitement, no appearance of interest. The Samoan
missionary and friends of his, all well-dressed, superior-looking
people, came on board. The missionary demanded, in a high and mighty
way, that paper, and envelopes, and pen and ink be brought him. Lloyd
was working the typewriter to my dictation, which amused them all
extremely. Mr. Clark, the missionary from Samoa, has just been here. To
our disappointment we have missed him by only twenty-four hours. He
has gone, they say, to Apemama, to try and persuade the King to allow
them to land a missionary. I think he will not succeed. The King fears
the power missionaries get over the people. The traders have also been
on board, the braggart Briggs and a Mr. Villiero from the Argentine
Republic. Mr. Villiero's father was Italian, his mother Tyrolese. He
seems an intelligent, pleasant fellow, and I talked a long time with
him. A few years ago, he tells me, a man died on this island who was
once secretary to Rajah Brooke. He asked to bring his wife and his
adopted daughter, a half-caste Tahitian named Prout, to see me.

I was talking to the two traders to-day when Briggs said that he used
to carry the lepers from Honolulu to Molokai. "Did he know Father
Damien?" I asked. After much searching in his memory, at last he said
he did. "A Catholic priest he was, who seemed to be all right when I
knew him, but some pretty ugly stories have come out about him since in
Honolulu, I understand." I gave them Louis's pamphlet without a word
more.

The tides very low; there is a good deal of copra here, and our black
boys worked last night until two in the morning, and to-night they
expect to be up still later. One of the black boys is ill with a sore
throat, headache, and diarrhoea. We gave him some castor-oil and
laudanum, not knowing what else to do. The captain very weak, indeed,
with intense headache, sickness, and an intolerable burning in his
stomach. There is an odd dryness of his skin, not like fever. He has
taken no nourishment but barley-water for days. Louis is better, the
hæmorrhage having stopped.

_10th._--Still lying off Piru. Mr. Hird came back yesterday with
a sickening account of the man Blanchard who was supposed to be
implicated in what was called "the Jim Byron poisoning case." Blanchard
has contracted some terrible disease which makes it necessary for him
to lift up his eyelids with his fingers when he wishes to look at
one, and has swelled his nose to a monstrous size. Blanchard is, he
says, an American, and when he first met the man, some years ago, had
some pretentions of being a gentleman, but has now fallen to a state
of degradation that is horrible. Blanchard spoke of the murder and
confessed that he knew it was to be done and that he was there when it
was done.

_11th._--Still at Piru at ten o'clock P.M. Mr. Villiero has come on
board with his wife, a handsome young woman, to whom I gave a wreath,
some lollies for the children (all adopted, her own being dead), and a
piece of lace. A little later Mr. Hird brought in several traders and
gave them luncheon.

Lifting anchor.

_12th._--Left Piru last night, arriving at Noukanau this morning. We
carry with us a native man, as an exile, to this island. The Samoan
native missionaries told their people that for certain crimes it was
allowable to kill the offender. Such a case occurred, and the guilty
person, who richly deserved his fate, was put to death. Then the
native missionaries said that the taking of life called for capital
punishment. Fortunately, at this juncture, a white missionary from
Samoa appeared in the missionary ship, and it was arranged that the
avenger be exiled for an indefinite period. As this man has large
possessions in Noukanau, it is to be hoped that he may not experience
much discomfort. He is a fine-looking, respectable man of early middle
age and had his family with him.

The ship all morning has been filled with crowds of natives (among them
the inevitable leper with elephantiasis), all chattering like monkeys.
I have bought from them three pronged shark's-tooth spears, one for
a striped undershirt, the other two for a couple of patterns apiece
of cotton print. I also bought a mat with rows of openwork running
through it, just like hemstitching, and for a florin I got an immense
necklace of human teeth. A little while ago, in some of these islands,
especially Maraki, a good set of teeth was a dangerous possession, as
many people were murdered for them. I trust mine were honestly come
by--at least taken in open warfare.

Last evening our pigs fought like dogs, biting each other and rushing
about the deck like mad. The noise they made was more like barking
than grunting or squealing. The cook has cut his leg; Mr. Hird has a
bad cold; the engineer, Mr. Stoddard, is sneezing, and Louis feels
as though he had caught the cold also; the captain still very bad;
he caught more cold last night. Lloyd's wounds, from the reef on Tin
Jack's island much better. I bound them with soap and sugar first and
then covered them with iodoform.

We have been to two settlements to-day and are now returning to the
first. At the second Tom Day came on board and had a meal; also Captain
Smith. Our coal is very low; hardly any left, in fact, and we are all
burning with curiosity as to where we are going next--to the Hebrides,
Fiji--or perhaps to Brisbane. Spent the evening talking to Tom Day. He
told many tales of Bishop Patterson and of hunts for necklace teeth.
A father who has good teeth often leaves them as a heritage to his
children. They are worth a great deal--or were. He has known many
murders for teeth. My necklace seems a gruesome possession.

_13th._--Left Noukanau in the morning; arrived at Piru at eleven
o'clock; left at one, Monday morning, for Onoatoa. Louis had a long
talk there with Frank Villiero. Land here is divided into large and
small lots; the large, one and a half acres, the small, half an acre.
There are never any smaller divisions. A large lot is quite enough
for a family to live on. Some great families own many lots and have
picked as many as fifteen hundred nuts in one month. Pieces of land
are confiscated for theft, or murder, by those who suffer loss through
the crime. A piece of land so taken from a murderer can be regained
by the criminal pouring a bottle of oil over the body of the man he
has murdered. But this is never done if the person fined bears malice
or enmity toward the dead man. The island was formerly in a far more
prosperous state owing to the fact that a large proportion of the
inhabitants were then kept as slaves.

The duties of the "old men" (the democratic islands are supposed
to be ruled by the "old men," who meet in a body to make laws) are
really the demarcation and recording of lands; they can go back for
generations in the division of island lands. The population of Piru
is about twenty-five hundred; the police, at present, number about
one thousand men uniformed in blue jumpers, jean trousers, and a wisp
of red on the arm. There are three districts, each being patrolled at
night by the police, who call the roll of every grown person, and must
be answered. The fines go one half to the teacher (for his private
benefit) one fourth to the old men, one fourth to the police. Villiero
has seen a policeman receive no more than ten cocoanuts for a whole
year's work, and he must find his own uniform of which he is not proud.
Every portion of the island is owned and the demarcations owned. They
are a mean lot here; their fights mere broils, and very little feeling
is shown for each other. A canoe drifted away, or a man dead, is
almost instantly forgotten. Little or no sour toddy is drunk since the
missionaries came. Mr. Clark, the missionary from Samoa, told them that
on Sundays when a ship came up to the island they must allow a couple
of men to take the trader off; formerly these boatmen were always fined.

Mr. Villiero brought his wife and adopted daughter, Miss Prout, to see
me in the afternoon. It was very embarrassing, for they came laden
with gifts, and I had nothing suitable to offer in return. We had an
adoption ceremony by which I became either mother, or daughter, to
Mrs. Villiero, no one quite knew which, not even her husband. Miss
Mary Prout was quite the "young person," shy and silent. Both were
well dressed and wore European rings. Mrs. Villiero makes all her
husband's clothes. The presents consisted of a little full-rigged ship
inside a bottle, the mouth of which it could not pass. Mr. Villiero
was three weeks in making it, working all the time, a regular sailor's
present; also a large, fine mat with a deep fringe of red wool, in
very bad taste, a couple of plaited mats, a pair of shells, and an
immense packet of pandanus sweetmeat. When we met Mrs. Villiero she
threw round my neck a string of porpoise teeth, thick and long, the
preliminary to adoption. With Louis's help, Mr. Villiero made his will.
(He was afterward lost in a labour vessel--virtually a slaver--that
sank with many unfortunate natives on board as well. It was on the
way to South America.) He has a feeling that his life is not safe
here with some of the other traders, the poisoners, in fact. He told
Louis of an unfortunate affair that happened on the fourth of July.
Villiero, Briggs, and the Chinese trader made a signed bargain that
they would all buy copra at a certain fixed price, with a fine of two
hundred dollars to be paid by the one breaking the bargain. Soon all
the custom had fallen into the hands of the Chinaman. On inquiry it
came out that while the Chinaman ostensibly bought at the agreed price,
he gave a present of tobacco besides, thereby evading the letter of the
bargain. Following Briggs's foolish advice, the other traders armed
themselves to the teeth and went at night to the Chinaman's house.
Briggs and Blanchard guarded the door, while Villiero, holding a pistol
to the Chinaman's head, demanded the two hundred dollars fine. Of
course it was paid. When the missionary ship came in Villiero told this
tale to the white missionary who advised immediate restitution of the
money, and said he was bound to report the traders' conduct. I wonder
that a man of Villiero's intelligence should have been led by a person
like Briggs.

The captain is very weak, but Louis better.

_14th._--Onoatoa Island.

_15th._--At Tamana early in the morning. One of our passengers taken
on at Tom Day's island and introduced by Tom as "Captain Thomas,
this old Cinderella," went on shore with all his belongings. Another
passenger whom we are taking to Sydney made me a native drill which
will cut through the most delicate shell, or through the iron of a
boiler, or a dish, or a glass tumbler. I made holes through some red
and white bone whist counters and strung them into necklaces, really
very pretty. Since we were at Tamana before there has been a murder and
an execution. A man from another island, indignant at being worsted
in a wrestling match, watched at the church and struck a spear into
his victim, who soon died. The execution was by hanging. They dragged
the man up by the neck, then let him down to see if he was dead, then
pulled him up again only to lower him for another look, continuing this
barbarity until they were satisfied no life was left in the wretch.

_16th._--Arorai in the morning. The first thing we hear is that poor
McKenzie, the man who was starving, is dead, supposedly from a surfeit
on the soups we left him. He ate ravenously; said in reply to a
question of how he felt, "I feel full," immediately became insensible,
and so remained for three days, when he died. It did not occur to me to
warn him against overeating; soup seemed such an innocent thing; I was
afraid to let him have solid food at first.

"Cockroach," one of our black boys, has got his fingers badly crushed.
He has been crying like a child ever since. The captain still very ill;
he and I went through two medical books and both came to the conclusion
that he must be suffering from inflammation of the stomach. He says he
has been worse ever since one day when three black boys refused to
work on a Sunday. Sally Day, he says, was very impudent, and he was too
weak to knock Sally down, which fact preys on his spirits.

To-day one of the boats steered by Mr. Hird suddenly disappeared in
the surf, and Mr. Henderson at once put out for her. She had capsized
and stove a small hole in one end. Mr. Hird came dripping from his
involuntary bath. Fortunately, no one was injured but the engineer and
Mr. B---- (a passenger from Jaluit) and they only in their feelings.
They were waiting a long way down the reef when the accident happened,
and could not get another boat in time for dinner. We killed a pig
to-day, the first, our sheep being now done. Charley, passenger from
Jaluit, working his way, gave me a belt of human hair. Some natives
brought off a shark they had just killed, hoping to sell it to us for
food. Mr. Hird told a story of a shark he had seen chasing a fish. The
shark could easily catch the fish, swimming in a straight line, but
could not turn quickly, so the fish knowingly swam round and round him.
They were very near the ship when the fish jumped out of the water.
With the quickness of lightning the shark struck it with his tail
straight into his mouth. There is a swordfish here with a snout like a
spear, long and sharp, which follows the flying-fish. When the natives
are fishing they have to be on the lookout, as he jumps at them and
tries to stab them with his sword. One of our passengers knew a man
who was killed by such a stab. I forgot to mention that Tom Day told
me that during this present epidemic of measles he saw a woman buried
alive. "She was too weak to resist, so her husband just buried her";
the same sort of tale as Mr. Hird's of Penrhyn.

_17th._--Had a sharp squall in the night. Lloyd slept through it all,
his things swimming in the water. I put my head out of the port and
watched the rain-drops strike the sea, each producing a spark like a
star. It looked as though the heavens were reversed. I often find my
bath, when I take it after dark, blazing like liquid fireworks. The
weather continues bad, and we are rolling a good deal. Louis much
better; the captain very weak and ill. Lloyd's leg, hurt on the reef
at Tin Jack's island, shows uncomfortable symptoms. I suppose I should
burn it out, but it requires courage to perform that operation.

_18th._--Arrived at Vanumea at ten o'clock. Left at nightfall under
sealed orders, steering S.S.W.

_24th._--First thing in the morning sighted Eromango about fifteen
miles away, and a little later, Tanna. Eromango is the place where the
missionary John Williams (always spoken of as "the martyr Williams")
was killed by the natives.

Some time ago a good deal of amusement was got from discussions
concerning the mango and the proper way to eat it. Mr. Stoddard said it
should be eaten with a spoon, which is impossible. We soon discovered
that he had confused the mango with the barbadine, though he would not
confess it. One evening when the bread was underbaked I pressed the
crumb into the semblance of a spoon and solemnly presented it to him
as a "mango spoon." This morning I found a large pumpkin hanging up to
ripen. I borrowed it from the cook, and Mr. Hird and I tied it up in an
enormous parcel, while Louis wrote out a card in printing letters to go
with it.

     For Walter Stoddard Esq.,
         --One Mango--
     With the fond love of the
            inhabitants of Eromango.

 (This is gathered, with a spoon, from the finest mango swamp in the
 island. But beware of the fate of the martyr Williams, who died from
 trying to eat one with too short a spoon. O mango and do likewise.)

To make the presentation scene more impressive, I made a pair of false
eyes to be worn like spectacles by hooking wire round the edges of
a very large pair of green cat's-eye opercula, which Mr. Henderson
donned at the appearance of the pumpkin. The parcel was brought in at
dinner by the chief steward with the assurance that it had come off in
a boat from Eromango, sent by the people of the island. Anything more
truly diabolical than the expression of the cat's-eyes cannot be well
conceived. I chose very clear, dark ones, with a well-marked white ring
on one side, which I made the upper, so that the eyes were apparently
starting from their sockets with fiendish surprise and malevolence.

_25th._--Mare Island, Loyalty group; lay off the Sarcelle passage all
night, about forty-five miles from Noumea, our first civilised port and
the last we shall make until we reach the end of our cruise at Sydney.
A large, most strange, and picturesque island. At first sight it seemed
only desolate cliffs and terraces. Here and there at wide intervals a
tree, very tall and close-growing, stood up straight like a needle. As
we drew nearer, however, enchanting little bays began to open up. We
could make out groves of cocoa-palms and the needle trees clustered
together, making a curious edging to the cliffs. In one of these bays
was the mission station; we could see the white wooden house smothered
in trees, the plantation of palms following the indentations of the
shore-line, and stretching far back to the white and coloured cliffs
that ran up into the precipitous hills. In a niche on a cliff side was
a great statue of the Virgin, dazzling white in the sun. Before the
mission house ran a broad, smooth beach. We could distinguish many
people standing there, and a fine large boat.

_26th._--At half past one, Noumea. A succession of the most lovely bays
began to open up as we steamed nearer. The surf runs out some forty
miles and is studded with small islands, some like little hills rising
from the sea, and some miniature low islands fringed with cocoa-palms.
We all don the clothes of civilisation to go on shore, looking very
strange to each other.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE:

Obvious printer errors have been corrected. Otherwise, the author's
original spelling, punctuation and hyphenation have been left intact.





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