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Title: Journal of Residence in the New Hebrides, S.W. Pacific Ocean
Author: Bice, C., Brittain, A.
Language: English
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                                JOURNAL

                   OF RESIDENCE IN THE NEW HEBRIDES,
                          S.W. PACIFIC OCEAN.


                     WRITTEN DURING THE YEAR 1886,

                                  BY

                    REVDS. C. BICE AND A. BRITTAIN.


                                TRURO:

                  NETHERTON AND WORTH, LEMON STREET.

                                 1887.



PREFACE.


I have been induced to publish the following Journals at the request of
some friends who have perused them, and think they will prove
interesting to others. The Journal of the Rev. A. Brittain arrived too
late for insertion in the ‘Island Voyage’ for this year, and I have been
requested by the Rev. William Selwyn, the Secretary of the Melanesian
Mission, to print it with my own. I do this with the greater pleasure,
because his report will not only supply me with a good excuse for
rushing into print, but will furnish others with a more full and
complete account of the work of the Melanesian Mission in the New
Hebrides.

The three islands herein spoken of are the Northernmost of the
above-mentioned group--the New Hebrides--and form the Southern boundary
of the Melanesian Mission work in the islands of the South-west Pacific
Ocean.

Araga (or Pentecost) and Maewo (or Aurora) are long and mountainous
islands running almost North and South, about forty miles each in
length, and separated by a narrow channel three miles wide. Opa (or
Leper’s Island) runs at right angles to these, a broad, massive, grand
looking country, resembling in appearance a huge whale, the hump of
which rises to a height of over 4000 feet.

Araga and Opa are thickly populated, but Maewo has a scattered and
sparse population. Opa is about sixteen miles from Araga, but a channel
of only five miles in width separates it from Maewo.

The languages and dispositions of these neighbouring lands are much more
varied and dissimilar than would naturally be inferred from their close
propinquity. And the majority of the people, too, seem to prefer an
inland situation, all which serve to make the work of the Missionary the
more arduous and difficult. On these islands every outward prospect is
pleasing, and the inhabitants themselves not so far gone in vileness as
to be incapable of improvement, as I hope the following pages will show.
The work of the Melanesian Mission has been established in these islands
a good many years now, with more or less success, and schools are in
active operation as follows:--

At ARAGA--Wonor, on the Southern face of the island, and Lamoru and
Qatvenua on the North.

At MAEWO--Tanrig, Tasmouri, Tasmate, Mandurvat, Naruru, and Uta. All
these stations are on the North of the island.

At OPA--Tavolavola, Lobaha, Walurigi, the most flourishing of which is
that first mentioned.

With these few preliminary remarks and explanations I leave the
following simple pages to tell their own story.

                                           CHARLES BICE.


N.B.--The vowels in the Melanesian languages are pronounced as in
     Italian: a = _ah_, e = _a_, i = _e_.

      The letter written [¨n] = _ng_ in _singer_; d = _nd_, b = _mb_.



                               JOURNAL.

                                _1886._


_Friday, 9th July._--The weather seaward looked very threatening as we
stood on the Pier at the Settlement in readiness to embark. All the
Melanesians, boys and girls, to the number of about 50 had already gone
off to the ship which lay tossing and tumbling at her anchorage as if
anxious to be let free. A considerable number of Norfolk Island friends
were on the Pier, in addition to most of the Members of the Mission, to
bid us Farewell and wish us GOD speed. Many thoughtful little mementos,
too, found their way into our hands from our warm-hearted and well
wishing friends. The process of shaking hands took some time in
execution, but one could not but feel the absence of many who were
unavoidably absent on the occasion. My own little ones were the last to
bid me good-bye, and poor little Walter (my youngest son) was very
tearful. Shortly after, we were all in the boat, and “let go” was called
out. The landing was very smooth, and we got out with very little
difficulty. Besides the Captain, Mr. Turnbull and myself were the only
passengers. It was close upon 5 o’clock p.m. when we got on board, and
some of the passengers had already begun to feel the motion of the
ocean. After things were put into some order and the shore boat
dismissed with Captain Bates and the Norfolk Island crew, the command to
“heave away” was given, and then I saw for the first time the steam
winch at work. Before many minutes the anchor was in its place in the
bows of the ship, and the long process of raising the anchor in old
days, performed by manual labour, reduced to a minimum. We slipped
quietly down the leeside of the island, and had ample time to get into
some amount of order and readiness for a very dirty, rough night.
Opposite the Mission, the boys ashore had lit a large bonfire, and we
could hear their shouts, borne seaward by the raging gale. As night
closed in the sky became very dark and lowering, and we knew full well
what we were to expect. We had dinner while still under the lee of the
island, but before the meal was finished, we were knocking about in the
heavy head gale. Of course any where but at Norfolk Island, where there
is no certain shelter, it would be approaching madness to put to sea
with such a crowd of people in a small ship on a night like this, but
here there is no help for it. Perhaps had we not got away as we did, we
might have been detained another week, from the uncertainty of wind
changes and the insecurity of the anchorages. All night it blew very
heavily, with a nasty head sea. Of course, the wind being very strong
and dead ahead, we made little or no progress, and were in fact hove to.
Most of the passengers spent a very unpleasant night, and the poor
little children, of whom we had four on board, suffered like the others.
The poor boys in the schoolroom had a disagreeable time, owing to the
large amount of cargo on board, in addition to their own luggage. The
_Southern Cross_, however, is a magnificent sea boat, although slightly
lively, and being at sea was, to me at least, the worst of the evils we
experienced that first night. Mr. Turnbull is a good sailor, and he and
I were alone in the saloon. Poor old Manekalea I invited also to sleep
there, on account of his blindness, and I asked Silas Kema to sleep
there and look after him. Poor fellow, his sight seems quite gone, but
he is wonderfully patient and resigned. I think now he begins to feel
that there is no hope of his ever seeing again, and he begins to try and
help himself and get about alone a great deal more than before. The loss
of so young, active, and intelligent a Teacher must be much felt in the
district of Ysabel, formerly under his charge.


_Saturday, 10th._--The wind had abated little, if any, this morning, and
the vessel was making little or no headway. It rained a good deal
throughout the day, and that allayed both wind and sea by evening. Very
few of the boys appeared on deck, and I myself was quite _hors de
combat_. Mr. Turnbull kindly offered to read prayers in English for me
in the Evening, and I managed the Mota with a few who were able to
attend. These first days on board ship are very trying, one feels quite
out of it altogether, and the sea legs are somewhat long in returning
when one has been ashore for any length of time. Towards evening the
weather moderated a little, but there was very little life about the
ship. These unhappy days when one is the victim of _mal de mer_ leave a
very unsatisfactory impression behind them, and if any recollection is
left, it is always painful. I was not actually seasick myself, but I
felt uncomfortable enough for a time, and did not care for ship’s fare.


_Sunday, 11th._--The weather more moderate. I conducted Morning Prayer
both in English and Mota, and generally our passengers were getting over
their indisposition. It was not a very profitable day however to me, for
I could not settle to anything: our Service hours on Sunday, at sea, are
English Mattins at 9 o’clock a.m. and Evensong at 7 p.m. Mota 11 a.m.
and 7.30 p.m. Our daily hours for meals are 8 a.m. breakfast, 12 noon
lunch, 5 p.m. dinner. On Sunday this is slightly changed, and we dine at
1, and tea at 5 p.m. At anchor, too, the English Morning Service is
postponed to 10 a.m., and all the sailors are enabled to attend. Usually
only one watch can be present while the vessel is at sea. This year we
have a crew composed entirely of Englishmen. We have generally had
previously a strong admixture of foreigners. The steward, indeed, is a
German, but he has been with us so many voyages, speaks and reads
English so well, that one quite forgets his nationality. The crew are a
very nice, quiet, well-behaved set of men, and all look so respectable.
I believe the Captain has many applications for billets on board the
_Southern Cross_, she being a popular vessel now-a-days, besides, a trip
in her is a paying affair, for I am told that sometimes the men realize
from £10 to £30 and £40 by the sale of curios alone. The great collector
on board now is John Brown the boatswain, and he has accumulated quite a
museum, which he meditates taking to England for sale next year. Brown
is an old Island Trader, and knows all the specialities of the trade and
what will captivate the native taste. Penny whistles and half-penny
looking glasses, I believe, are the line this trip. There is very keen
competition too on board when the curio fields are reached, chiefly at
Santa Cruz and some of the Solomon Islands. Sunday passed away somewhat
profitlessly, and evening once more closed over a day past and gone. I
did not give the sailors a Sermon, but reserved my efforts for the
Melanesians, many of whom were able to attend. I naturally chose the
subject of the Gospel as the basis of my remarks, viz: the recovery of
the lost sheep and the piece of money, which I applied to the condition
of the heathen to whom we were going, and our duty as seekers of those
who were still wandering upon the mountains and upon every high hill,
with none caring for them or seeking them out. We had some singing after
the service, and the termination of the day at least was pleasant, and I
hope profitable. One’s thoughts naturally wandered away back to Norfolk
Island, and one thought of the quiet peaceful Sunday evenings there, and
the love of those we had left. The vessel was much more at her ease this
evening, and we could undress and rest in bed with more comfort.

It was a great pleasure to me from this time forward, to see the boys
dropping into the cabin one by one to say their prayers, unbidden but
none the less welcome.


_Monday, 12th July._--This morning the wind has moderated very
considerably, and the sea is going down. The vessel moving along much
more gently and easily, sometimes towards our destination. Life on board
is almost utterly devoid of interest or excitement. There is little or
nothing stirring, and out of our element we feel restless and not fit
for much. We begin now however, to fall into ship-shape ways, and things
begin to look a little straighter than they did. The boys are divided
into sets of cooks, and have to take their turn in order to cook and
keep the schoolroom clean. The Melanesians have three meals a day, and
they are supposed to look after their own food, the cook giving
directions as to what he wants doing. After the misery and prostration
of _mal de mer_ have passed off, the boys get very lively, and do not
easily again succumb.

In the evening we had music. Brown the boatswain has a most ingenious
instrument called, I think, the “Cabinetto,” which plays almost any
tune; a piece of perforated paper is turned over a sort of key-board,
like a mouth organ, by means of a handle, and the closed notes are kept
silent, while the open ones speak according to the length of the
perforation. Its tone is somewhat harsh, but the music is very correct,
and there is plenty of it. Brown bought this instrument, which cost him
some £15 or £16, for the special amusement of his young Melanesian
friends. The girls never seem to tire of turning the handle, and the
more it is turned the better the owner seems pleased. Forward there is a
very good concertina, exceptionally well played by one of the sailors, a
banjo played by another, and a tin plate beaten by a third makes a very
fair tambourine. Altogether, the hour between 5 and 6 p.m. is very
lively with strains of music and other enlivenments. The boys most
thoroughly enjoy the music, and are very attentive and enthusiastic
listeners, breaking in with a good chorus when they happen to know any
of the pieces played. At 7 p.m. English Prayers, a shortened form of
Evensong with a hymn, and afterwards full Evensong in Mota with a good
deal of singing. We have many nice voices on board this time, and the
singing is exceptionally good. Owing to the crowded state of the
schoolroom, service is held in the saloon, which is inconveniently small
for the large number who attend. The girls who hitherto have been
prevented from attending, by reason of sea-sickness, this evening put in
a very fairly large appearance. Most Melanesian ladies are bad sailors,
and some never get over the inconveniences of the uncongenial sea
element.


_Tuesday, 13th July._--The weather this morning was somewhat finer, but
still a good deal unsettled. We have failed as yet to get hold of the
S.E. Trades, but are living in hopes that a favourable breeze will soon
waft us onward to our destination. The great excitement this morning was
the smoke of a steamer, which at first we wildly imagined must be the
vessel expected from Sydney to meet us at Norfolk Island, giving us
chase. However, wiser heads, by the direction of the ship’s head and the
course of the smoke, made it out to be the _Rockton_ or some steamer
from Fiji towards New Caledonia. Whatever ship it may have been, the
excitement all ended in smoke. Beyond this, we have had nothing stirring
all day. The moon at night dispersed the clouds, and the concertina
forward enlivened the monotony of the evening. And so has passed another
day, leaving little record of any work done.


_Wednesday, 14th July._--We were to-day somewhere in the neighbourhood
of Walpole Island, a flat, uninhabited island lying by itself in mid
ocean, on which myriads of sea birds have their dwelling, and lay their
eggs and hatch their young. The weather was somewhat hazy, so we got no
sight of the sun although the Captain was anxious to do so, not having
been able to see that orb either to-day or yesterday. The ‘dead
reckoning’ alone showed him our probable whereabouts, but he was not
able to get any definite position laid down. Shoals of fish were seen
about the ship to-day, and the boys perched on the bowsprit end
succeeded in cleverly catching two fine skipjacks, one of which we had
cooked for dinner, and which was pronounced as very good eating. No bait
is required for these fish, a line, rod, and hook to which a piece of
red rag is attached, are requisite, and the motion of the vessel makes
the tempting object skip along the surface of the water, to which the
fish rises and swallows hook and all. They are large fish, and
peculiarly strong, especially with their tails. At times they breach out
of the water to a great height, the motive power being seated in their
tails. One of the boys unadvisedly took hold of one of those caught
to-day too near the tail, and the fish lashing out struck him on the
forefinger, and at first I fancied had sprained it, for the whole hand
swelled, and he was in considerable pain for some time. This evening it
was very quiet and pleasant, and the moon added to the pleasantness of
the occasion. It is wonderful to mark how the days lengthen as we go
further North, and how the weather grows warmer. Soon we shall dispense
with waistcoats, and bye and bye coats will likewise go, except at meals
and at prayers. We saw nothing of Walpole Island, and the Captain got no
sight of the sun again to-day.


_Thursday, 15th July._--This morning we were well up with Anaiteum, the
first of the New Hebrides group, and belonging to the Presbyterians who
have been established there a great number of years. Soon after Tanna
appeared in view, and later on in the day Eromango. We could not see the
volcano at Tanna, so that we cannot speak of its activity or otherwise.
We passed close under Eromango, and for some time the water was quite
smooth. We had a most beautiful wind all day, the real S.E. Trades, and
we were enabled to make good progress towards our first place of call.
Everyone on board seems to have sprung into life with the sight of land,
and no doubt many see in the islands we are passing the anticipation of
their own homes. Most of our passengers are from the New Hebrides and
Banks’ groups, of which these three islands are the commencement. It was
most beautiful all day and the evening especially enjoyable; the Captain
wisely remarked that if it were always so fine, there would be too many
sailors, or at least persons who would want to go to sea. Melanesian
islands are disappointing as viewed at a distance from the sea, for they
are like any other place, but the great beauty of them is seen on nearer
inspection and ashore. These three islands and the Loyalty group are not
so thickly wooded as some farther North.


_Friday, July 16th._--Strong S.E. Trades, and we moved along rapidly all
day, doing over two hundred miles. We found ourselves in the evening
running through the passage between Ambrym and Pentecost at the South
end of which we expected to find Mr. Brittain, who had been left there
when the ship went back to Norfolk Island. We stood quite close into
the place, but receiving no manner of response from the shore we began
to suspect that after all the bird had flown. The vessel stood off and
on all the night, and it certainly was more comfortable than usually is
the case under the like circumstances. The vessel rode very quietly all
night, and on


_Saturday, July 17th._--We were early off our place of call, and seeing
no signs ashore the boat was lowered and I took the steer oar in a
furious wind and a heavy sea. The approach to and departure from this
place were as nasty as could be, and I was not sorry to be on board all
right again. Mr. Brittain had left some time before, and our visit was
futile except that we brought off his things. The people were quiet and
well behaved, and Tom (the teacher) was in great form. Tom, having been
educated in Sydney, speaks remarkably good English and is evidently held
in respect by his people. Their dress and appearance are very like their
neighbours of Ambrym, and the women wear the flaxen petticoat also like
the Ambrymese. Their language, too, I believe, is akin, the distance
separating the two islands not being more than five or six miles. Tom is
building a very nice school, and there seems a large population. A big,
chiefly looking man was sitting on the beach as we were coming away, and
Tom told me that he was the chief of the place. I had brought nothing
with me from the ship, and the boys had nothing, so the best I could do
for the great man was to give him a tin of sardines which I got out of
one of Mr. Brittain’s boxes. I dare say he would have preferred tobacco,
but he seemed as satisfied as natives usually appear to be, for they are
not generally very demonstrative or profuse in their thanks. The tide
was falling fast so we had to beat a hasty retreat and got off with some
considerable difficulty.

Poor Tom must find life at home somewhat of a change to the ‘easy life’
he enjoyed in Sydney. I believe he was very much scandalized when he
first got home at the outrageously indecent dress of his countrymen. He
himself still dons the Sydney costume, but minus boots. Poor boy! I dare
say he dreamed in Sydney of the reforms he would endeavour to effect
when he got home, but the stern difficulties in the way he now begins to
realize. Oh! Missionary work seems easy enough when viewed from an arm
chair at a distance of many thousand miles, the difficulties only become
apparent when the man is brought into close connection with his work,
and has to grapple in a stubborn, persistant hand to hand fight with the
Evil one. Poor Tom! I suppose he will try a little at first to stem the
tide, and failing in that, will drift along with the stream. To a poor
youth like that the difficulties of his position must seem stupendous
and insurmountable. Nothing but the grace of God is sufficient for such.
I dare say ere now his bright vistas and day dreams are being only too
rudely dispelled, for he will have to find out like all other
Missionaries that Christians are not made by machinery, or believers
made such in a day; it is a long and weary process, but labour is not in
vain in the Lord. Once more on board, the boat was hauled up, and on we
started for the North end of the island where now we hoped to find Mr.
Brittain. We saw a Labour vessel at anchor along the coast, and got to
our own anchorage about 4 p.m. Mr. Brittain came off in his boat very
sick, and with some difficulty got on board. He has been ill three weeks
and was very anxious for the return of the vessel. During the evening he
brightened up a good deal and I dare say felt much better for the
society of his white brethren. He gave a very sad account of the state
of things ashore, great sickness and considerable mortality. We had a
very quiet night at anchor, and determined to stay here till Monday. We
had some boys to land, and the boats were going forth and back all the
evening. The clatter alongside was fearful owing to the large number of
canoes that put off to the ship and every occupant speaking at the same
time. They used to be a very noisy crowd, but have much improved of late
years. It was a most glorious night at anchor and not excessively hot.
We consider that we have done very well to be here so soon with the bad
start from Norfolk Island. How the boys and girls did enjoy the fruits
of their own islands again, especially green cocoanuts and soft sugar
cane! And how pleasing was it too, as well as entertaining, as the
shades of evening closed in, to watch the coy and shy flirtations of the
young married couples on board; one or two were quite oldfashioned at
the process, but Charles and Monica especially were somewhat more
bashful. The young bridegrooms were most attentive to their respective
spouses on the voyage but necessarily lived apart. The boys and men all
live together in the schoolroom, and the girls and married women aft.
There are as yet no married people’s apartments, we shall look for those
when we get a bigger ship.


_Sunday, 18th July._--Quiet and peaceful day at Araga. The natives
regarded the observance of Sunday so strictly that they troubled us very
little with their noisy chatter, indeed very few canoes came off at all
to the ship, and we were able to have an uninterrupted day of rest. Our
services began at 10 a.m. with English Prayers. We chanted the Venite,
read the Te Deum, and sang the Jubilate besides singing the Glorias in
the Psalms, and two hymns. We had therefore full Mattins with a short
address to which the men paid very good attention. I tried to make the
discourse as easy and lively as possible, and interspersed a few
anecdotes among my remarks, which I think, being appropriate, were
appreciated. The service lasted just three quarters of an hour so that
the men were not wearied. It was not a very hot day, but beautifully
bright and glorious. Shorewards it looked most lovely, the bright
sunshine lighting up the vegetation with a silver sheen, everything
seeming to catch the infection from the King of Day, who rejoiced as a
giant to run his course. On board a gentle breeze cooled the air, and
under the awning and down below alike it was bearably comfortable and
refreshing.

At 11 o’clock we had service in Mota, at which we had the attendance of
all the Melanesians of both sexes in the ship, and a very hearty,
cheering service it was. I reserved my address to them for the evening
and before noon our religious duties for the morning were over. We dined
at 1 o’clock and in the afternoon Mr. Turnbull and myself went ashore.
This was his first experience in these islands and he was duly impressed
with the natural beauty everywhere apparent, and the good nature of the
people. It was nearly high water when we went in over the reef, and the
clearness of the sea, the beauty of the coral bed, the dear little blue
and vari-coloured fish which flitted about produced their due effect on
him. The white beach, too, with its background of most luxuriant green
rising from the base and clothing in marvellous profusion the tops of
the hills greatly delighted him. The climb up the hill somewhat
dispelled the fancy, but one could well imagine oneself in some
semi-fairy land so strangely beautiful as it all looked. We were in a
very liquid state when we reached the school about three quarters of a
mile up the hill, and green cocoanuts were very acceptable. Here we
found in the midst of all the loveliness a poor little child dying amid
squalor and destitution. The poor young mother was sitting over it and
crying her heart out. Her son had been buried the day before and there
seemed not a particle of hope for the elder sister. I said what I could
to comfort the mother, but it was too late to do anything for the child.
The father with a third child was walking up and down disconsolately
outside. The sight had its effect on me, for the father bears the
honoured name of my great friend Bishop Key of Kaffraria, the mother
bears my wife’s name, and the little dying one the name of my own
daughter, the boy too who died the day before was called “Bailey” a
cognomen revered by all Augustinians as the name of its late Warden.

Poor things! May God give them all the comfort of His grace, the only
balm for a troubled and afflicted soul.

We walked about the village for a time and everything being utterly new
and strange to Mr. Turnbull he was very much charmed. We visited old
Sarawia who was once, and I dare say now is, the chief man in the place.
He still looks much the same as ever but professed himself to be failing
in health, and suffering from a sort of paralysis in his left leg. It
does not seem however as if he intended to die just yet for he has
lately taken two or three additional wives. We also saw the great wind
and rain maker, but he said he had given up the trade now, and came to
school regularly. Formerly he used to derive a good income from it I
believe.

The houses and gamals (men’s quarters) here are most squalid and
wretched, but the people seem content, and don’t trouble themselves much
about their habitations, but what they shall eat or drink is a prominent
consideration in all their minds. Their great treasures here are pigs
and mats, and a man’s wealth and standing is measured by his possession
in these. After proceeding through various grades if a man can kill one
hundred pigs at a feast he is looked upon as a man of importance and his
name is handed down to posterity as a great man, and I believe by that
means his fare is prepaid to the realms of the Blest. The reverse I
believe obtains with those who possess no treasures and kill no pigs.
Everyone therefore in the interval between his advent into this world
and his departure from it, endeavours to slaughter according to custom
one pig or more, or the consequences will be terrible if not here at
least hereafter.

This is a cheap way at all events of purchasing blessedness and no
wonder they are eager with the small price for it. A fighting man
formerly was looked upon as having more claim to their Walhalla than a
man who refused or who had failed to take blood. This title certainly of
late years has not been so eagerly coveted, and so far it is,
thankworthy, but “when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness
and doeth that which is lawful and right he shall save his soul alive,”
this last clause as yet is omitted from their programme.

On our way back I could not refrain from paying another visit to the
dying child. There still sat the faithful mother, and there still lay
her pretty child, life was not yet extinct, and she had turned since I
saw her before. I determined when I got off to the ship to try and get
some medicine as a sort of dernier resort. I doubt if medicine will ever
more do any good. We got off to the ship before 5 p.m., and at that hour
had tea, bread and sardines, and cake which the cook had concocted. The
“Cabinetto” was going most of the evening, Brown having thoughtfully
brought some sacred sheets for Sundays. At 7 p.m. we had Evensong in
English and afterwards in Mota with an address on the Gospel, “Be ye
therefore merciful,” “not only were we to ask mercy for ourselves I
said, but we too must extend it to others, and we should find plenty of
opportunity of doing so, in the places to which we were going. If we
only felt for a moment the mercy of God towards us as revealed in Christ
Jesus, we must be merciful to our fellows, and we must show them the
same mercy we had experienced and known in our Saviour’s dealings with
our own souls.”

We had great singing afterwards, which they always enjoy. It was most
resplendent on deck afterwards, and one was thankful for the quiet and
refreshment throughout of the day of rest.


_Monday, 19th July._--Mr. Brittain well enough this morning to go ashore
to collect his things and make arrangements with his teachers. It is his
intention if health permits to stay ashore in Mr. Palmer’s district at
Mota and the Banks’ Islands, but in his present condition such a step
would scarcely be wise. However, time will tell. While he was ashore Mr.
Huggett, the mate, always ready to lend a helping hand, and myself put
the teacher’s things together, and when he came off Mr. Brittain had
nothing to do but give them out according as they had been deserved.
Meanwhile there were crowds of people round about the ship, and much
trading was carried on by the boys and girls on board. They use here
canoes with outriggers, and the larger ones are very clumsy, unwieldy
monsters. The Captain hates the sight of them alongside for they rub the
paint off the ship, and sometimes even damage the copper. In the Solomon
Islands they have no outriggers, and the natives are much more expert in
the management of their canoes, both large and small.

Here at Araga they have a very large number of canoes, but they are very
bad.

We weighed anchor at noon and stood across to Opa and were at anchor at
Tavolavola by about 3.30 p.m.; a very nice breeze took us across, and
on arrival there we made preparations for going ashore at once. I found
matters satisfactory ashore, and the school in full swing, the young
teachers all neatly and nicely dressed.

They were glad to have Charles back again and the women walked off with
his pretty wife, dressed in all her bit of best. She had done a good
deal of weeping between the ship and shore, evidently being very
reluctant to leave her friends on board. Her eyes therefore were
slightly tear bedyed, and her cheeks also, before she got ashore. The
school looked cared for, and I was pleased to see a very nice new house
built for me. The people were very glad to have me back and received me
in their usually cordial fashion. An English Trader had built a house,
and had resided some months near the village, but had lately taken his
departure, why I know not, but I believe there was not trade enough.

There are a number of white men now trading all over the island, the
mystery is how they can make it pay. Monica was very tearful again when
I bid her good-bye, poor girl I dare say she will have a hard struggle
at first among her own country women, but I trust she may have strength
given her to resist the wiles of the Evil one and his agents among them.
She is a pretty, flighty girl, but much improved of late, and became a
great favourite on board. She has a most estimable husband and I hope
she will make him a good helpmeet.

We passed a very pleasant night at the snug anchorage and all the boys
came off to the ship next morning.


_Tuesday, 20th July._--We weighed anchor and dropped down to Lobaha,
about four miles along the coast to the Westward. Here we found Herbert
Arudale well. He came off to the ship with his wife Mary who was not
well. They seem to live much happier now, and both were beaming over
with smiles. He gives but a poor account of his work, which is much in
_statu quo_. The fact is his field is very limited if he must confine
himself to his own people, and it never suggests itself to a Melanesian
to go farther a-field. The mountain must come to Mahomet, for Mahomet
never dreams of going to the mountain. However, now with Didi and his
wife, a most exemplary pair, and seemingly very devoted, they ought to
make a fresh start. Baitagaro I saw ashore and he seems to have
improved, but it must be heart breaking work to labour on year after
year, and get little or no attention to what you say, no appreciation of
the message you bring, and no interest taken in all you endeavour to
do. However, it is what the Man of Sorrows passed through, and it is
what His true followers have to experience also.

Here we almost filled the ship with fruit, especially a kind ardently
longed for by the Norfolk Islanders, which they call the Vee apple, but
which the Opa people term “Uhi.” Some very sweet oranges too were
offered for sale, and the ship looked like a fruit market.

We hoisted our anchor before noon and stood across to Maewo where we
anchored in the evening. No one being down on the beach, I started off
Arthur Huqe and Duwu to Tanrig to tell the people to come down in the
morning.

The village is three or four miles from the watering place and except
the ship is there, the Tanrigese seldom come down to this beach, the sea
being nearer on the other side of the island. Mr. Turnbull and I with
some of the boys went in and had a most delicious bath, after so many
days privation all the nicer. The river we found very full and the rush
very great, but the water was most beautifully cool and refreshing. This
now is the chief and best watering place in the islands, and the water
itself is most excellent. Late in the evening a boy arrived who had
rowed a long distance in his canoe, and he gave us the news, which was
good on the whole. He told me again the tragic story enacted at [¨N]adui,
a village not far from the watering place. One Vulatewa was a reputed
disease-maker, and he resided there. Lately there had been a great
mortality at Maewo, and especially among the still heathen people of
Tanrowo, a coastal district bordering on [¨N]adui. The great man,
Melkalano’s son died and his brother and many others, and Vulatewa
insisted that he had made the sickness, and would kill many more except
he were propitiated. However, propitiation by the gift of pigs or money
was not in Melkalano’s line, and collecting his followers he made a raid
on poor Vulatewa and killed him and two others, cutting them into small
pieces, and leaving them as they were killed.

They then drove out the other inhabitants, or rather fear had already
lent them wings for flight, and destroyed the village. The poor people
left everything they possessed behind, and took refuge in all directions
among their friends. The people at the next village, where there was a
flourishing school, took fright also, and cleared out of their homes
leaving a fine handsome school-house and a new church almost finished.
The boy added that as soon as Vulatewa was dead the sickness was stayed.
We did no watering this evening as the tide did not suit. After a very
quiet night at anchor on


_Wednesday, 21st July._--We started watering ship. This is a busy
process and keeps everyone on board well employed. Two large canvas
tanks are fitted into each boat, and fastened underneath the thwarts.
Into these the water is poured from buckets until both are full, a
suction pump and hose on board empties these canvas tanks into iron
receptacles under the floor of the schoolroom, and one boatload fills
about a tank and a half. Seven or eight loads of water therefore
finished the watering to-day. When everything was finished, the boys and
girls went ashore to wash their clothes and bathe, and this day here is
always looked forward to. The people came down from Tanrig in the
morning, and I was busy packing up my things. After lunch I went ashore
and started away the bearers with my belongings. How they managed to
carry all the heavy boxes and a big harmonium up the hill and on for
three or four miles, I don’t know, but they did it, and did not think
much of it. I went on board again, and thanks to the Captain’s kindness,
I got the loan of one of the ship’s boats, my own having been stolen by
a labour ship last year. After an early dinner, escorted by Arthur, &c.,
I left for Tanrig. It was just getting dusk when I arrived, and I had no
time to put anything straight. We had Evensong, and after that I
prepared for bed. The mosquitos were somewhat numerous, but it was too
late to get out my net, and so I put up with their music, and soon was
oblivious of their singing or teasing. It seems quite natural to be here
again, and as is usual the place has not changed at all. The boys
however, have built me a beautiful new house, and I shall live in great
comfort. I miss several faces too from the congregation, whom death has
removed.


_Thursday, 22nd July._--I left the _Southern Cross_ last night expecting
to get away early this morning, which I suppose she did. However I am so
far away from the sea, that I have no means of knowing what she did.
Naturally too, I was very busy this first day ashore. The first business
after Morning Prayer, was to start off Samuel and the Tasmouri
contingent who had spent the night here. They had a good many things to
receive, but they got away in time to reach home before night. There
were numbers of other things to be done also, such as putting the new
window in the Church, unpacking the harmonium, making a platform for it,
&c. The old mode of life seems to come back wonderfully naturally to me.
Breakfast of rice, with sugar and cocoanut milk, and afterwards a cup
of delicious Norfolk Island coffee, for which delicacy I am indebted to
my kind friends Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher Nobbs. My midday meal is a bit of
biscuit or roasted yam, and I reserve myself for the great meal of the
day in the evening, not sumptuous but amply sufficient, fried rasher of
bacon, fried taro pancake, and most excellent potatoes, for which I am
indebted to Mr. Alfred Nobbs at Norfolk Island. After this I have a cup
of milkless tea, which I brew in that charming teapot sent me from China
by Dr. Codrington. They say ‘enough is as good as a feast,’ and I
suppose this is why I am perfectly satisfied with this rough meal. After
dinner I have nothing again till next morning.


_Friday, 23rd July._--A most superb morning, and the place looks very
charming early in the day and in the evening, at midday there is a
strong glare and it is almost too dazzling. The church looks most
picturesque and pretty, nestling in a perfect forest of bright coloured
shrubs, among which are many European representatives, _e.g._ the
Poinsettia, the Geranium, Marvel of Peru, and others imported from
Norfolk Island. Arthur certainly has expended great pains and taste in
the plantation, and it amply rewards him. Outside the stone fence is an
orange grove, the dark green of which stands out in bold relief against
the bright colours within. The church is still in a good state of
preservation and will last for some time yet. It is getting
inconveniently small however, and will soon want enlarging. It bears
evident signs of being made good use of, and they tell me the
congregation morning and evening is never short of 50 or 60. In a very
short time I hope this will be a purely Christian village, and that not
only in name, but in deed and in truth. I see considerable change here
since I left in the number of the new houses, and the care of the town,
for such it now has a right to be called. Before long the Church will be
the centre of a number of private residences, and the people begin to
build better houses. Arthur has constructed his like mine with high
walls caned all round, and made it very comfortable.

Except the ground floor my house is quite as nice as a one roomed
boarded house. The school and church are almost contiguous, and both are
strong, substantial buildings. There are at present 80 names of scholars
on the books, and these are regular attendants. I hope before I leave,
please God, to see that number augmented. At present we are strong in
teachers, with the two Arthurs, Patrick, Harry, Duwu, Tilegi, Kate and
Agnes. This morning after service, a shortened form of Mattins with a
hymn, we had school, and I hope progress has been made. I was pleased to
hear the teachers questioning their classes on the subject about which
they had been reading. The perseverance of the old men in puzzling out
the dreary sheets is perfectly astonishing, but they will not be denied.
They have, however, learnt much by heart, e.g. Lord’s Prayer, Creed, Te
Deum, &c. The women are quite as persevering, if not more so, and I
don’t like to damp their ardour by forbidding them to try and learn to
read. The first class of girls are far away ahead of the boys, and know
a very great deal. These same girls used to sing very nicely, but they
have got into the most disagreeable drawl, and so far from following a
leader, they take the bit between their teeth, and sing as fancy
dictates. This I shall try and remedy before I leave again. We have now
a harmonium for our services, thanks to the very great kindness of my
friend and benefactress in England, Miss Mount, who is far more
beneficent than I at all deserve. The two Arthurs play very fairly well,
but Arthur Huqe is organist at present. After school I had visitors from
Golvanua, a populous district some ten or twelve miles from here. They
are very peculiar people and very wild, I am sorry to say I have only
been there once, and that only a flying visit. I told them I was coming
again soon, and they seemed pleased. I gave the head man some tobacco,
and he said when I came to their place he would give me food and take
care of me. Our people here are rather terrified of them, and the
distance is so great that very few have ever been there. There were two
nice little boys with them, and I asked them if they were not tired, but
they scouted the idea.

I was so busy all day that I did not get away from home, and things
begin to be a bit more ship-shape. I begin to feel very comfortable in
my new house, but I dare say if my friends saw me, they would fancy it
was far from comfort. However, I have a continual feast in a contented
mind. In the evening, instead of school, we had singing, into which I
endeavoured to infuse some life and harmony, and partially succeeded,
but not to my taste quite yet. Then in the evening I held a teacher’s
class, and we had much profitable conversation.


_Saturday, 24th July._--This is observed by us as a whole holiday, and
after Morning Prayer nothing is required of the school till the evening
service. Arthur Aruduliwar decided to have his house thatched to-day,
and a large party assembled to help him. Here they do everything by
means of ‘Bees,’ (working parties). ‘Bees’ dig the gardens, plant the
crops, dig the food, build the houses. The women do the cooking, and the
owner of the house makes the feast, this is all he has to do, he is not
supposed himself to do any work. Next week they are going to thatch a
gamal, more stupendous work, and a great many people are going to be
engaged, and there is to be much feasting, and I believe a dance.
Marvellous harmony prevails in this community at present, and I never
hear a harsh expression, nor witness a passionate action. They are the
merriest, happiest, most contented people I ever saw, and I think the
best natured. A party from Tasmouri appeared during the morning, and
Thomas Aruloli among them. I asked him to stay the night, but he replied
that it was his Sunday at Tasmate to-morrow, and he would not like to
miss. I was pleased at this, for it showed the boy’s conscientiousness
with respect to his self-imposed duty. I gave him his goods, and he and
the others started again soon after for home. These natives don’t seem
to know what fatigue is, and this double journey, which I should be
sorry to undertake, they make nothing of it. After a frugal lunch the
boys and I went to Ruos, where we bathed and washed our clothes. The
river is certainly a boon and a blessing, and a good bathe has a most
invigorating effect on one. In the evening the teachers came in and sat
a long time with me, and we had much suitable conversation. While they
were sitting here, a sound, which I had heard all day and couldn’t find
the reason of, kept going on continually, and I asked Arthur what it
was. He told me it was a bamboo placed high up on a top branch of a
banyan tree in front of my house, in which notches were cut below each
joint, and when the wind blew strong it sounded in the bamboo with the
same effect that would be produced by so many persons blowing at once
into the several orifices. This seemed to me very ingenious, but Arthur
Huqe tells me they have the same practice at Opa. They say when the wind
blows strong the sound is heard a great distance off, and I can quite
imagine it.

We heard this evening the reports of two big guns in the direction of
the watering place, so it is conjectured that a vessel is at anchor
there. However it was too late to go and see.


_Sunday, 25th July._--First Sunday ashore at Maewo, and a very quiet and
pleasant day it has been. I think too, it has been one of the most
gloriously brilliant days I have ever seen. The morning was beautiful,
the midday marvellously resplendent, and the evening indescribably
lovely. The place did look so beautiful too. I told the people they
ought never to cease praising God for so beautiful a heritage as He had
given them. They have not a want or a care, but I fear they fail to
appreciate the beauty, according to the truth of the old adage which
speaks of familiarity breeding contempt. We had Sunday school very
early, for two reasons more especially, (1) because it is cooler in the
morning, (2) because we are not plagued with blowflies which appear in
untold numbers wherever there is any congregation of people.

After a short interval devoted to breakfast, we had Mattins, and after
this a short service and an address for the teachers. We had a very few
strangers present to-day, but all our own people turned up. We did away
with the great midday feast to-day for the first time for many years,
but some of the women cooked a large quantity of food which was
distributed to the boys in the usual way. This food business had become
too laborious, and too much the chief part of the day, so that I fancied
a relaxation for a time would be beneficial.

Patrick went to Mandurvat to take service there, but I stayed at Tanrig.
At six different stations, school and service have been held and the day
duly observed.

Evensong was a pleasant service here, and the church looked very nice
lit up with the new lamps. The strains of the harmonium too, gave an
additional pathos and homeliness to the occasion. I gave an address on
the Gospel for 5th Sunday after Trinity, which I think was understood
and appreciated. We had much singing afterwards and the public part of
the day ended with the Blessing. May that blessing ever rest upon us
here and elsewhere, and may we always endeavour to do all to God’s
glory.


_Monday, 26th July._--I reckoned without my host last night when I
rashly permitted Agnes and Kate to cook for me this week at their own
request. They made a tremendous fuss about it, but the rice came to
table uncooked, and in such a small quantity that my breakfast was
spoilt and the coffee was anything but good. However they did their best
and I dare say to-morrow they will do all right. They were both
wonderfully good, and not only washed up for me but gave my premises a
good sweep as well. Poor Agnes, she is hideously lame, but she pretends
to the liveliness of a kitten. The fence around the school is rather
high and I watched her endeavours to get over with her lameness and her
petticoats. She managed better than I expected, but I stood by in
readiness to lend her a helping hand in case she fell. She comes back
fully impressed with a sense of her importance and dignity after so
many years absence, and her friends made a great deal of her. To-day she
is off with the other women on some excursion or other, and is fully
convinced that she is as active as any of them. Before long no doubt she
will fancy herself useful and engaging enough to be the life partner of
Tilegi, and to be the faithful companion of his joys and sorrows. She is
an intelligent girl, and her long training at Norfolk Island ought to
make her useful here. She is perfectly charmed with her home, and she
sees very plainly the beneficial results produced by Christianity. When
she left, she herself was among the few baptized, now she comes back to
the bosom of a Christian community with a good church and school, daily
Morning and Evening Prayers, and perfect harmony and good will among all
men. She will miss little at home now of what she has grown accustomed
to at Norfolk Island, and it must be a pleasant realization to her. The
girls, too, with whom she will have daily association are all
Christians, and she will be spared the shock and repulsion of heathen
women’s talk and actions. Her father has died in the interval, a truly
godly man in his life, and a believer at the time of his death.

There is no face I miss here more than that of James, a true and
faithful friend to me, and I firmly believe, too, of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ. Arthur tells me his death was perfectly peaceful
and happy, and he desired at the last to depart and be with Christ which
was far better. His two children followed him, and the three lie side by
side in the quiet and rest of the grave. A reputed mother, but one who
is really an aunt, Amina, takes charge of Agnes until Tilegi or some one
else claims her as a bride, for in spite of her deformity I suppose she
will not eschew marriage herself, or be allowed to remain in single
blessedness by her friends, for here young ladies are not over
plentiful, and to judge by the appearance of some already married there
is no accounting for taste among the men of the place. Elizabeth, the
wife of James, has found solace in another partner, but she spoke of her
former husband with a due amount of grief and tears, and said to me,
pointing in the direction of his grave, “He lies asleep over there.”

Yet there are here those who are ‘widows indeed,’ and good old Dorcas is
one such. This old lady well deserves her name, for she is full of alms
deeds, and kindness to all, and I firmly believe is a true follower of
Jesus Christ. She lives alone with a little grandchild in her own hut
and trains up dutifully the child in the way she should go. Very seldom
is old Dorcas away from her seat in church, and she exercises a benign
and gentle influence over her own sex in the village. Anna, another good
old widow, has died in my absence, and the loss of such is much felt.
Among the younger women there is a perfect colony of children, and this
is most thankworthy as being a proof that infanticide has been quite
stamped out, and formerly it seemed to be a sort of religious duty here.
Children were looked upon as being uncanny as well as a nuisance, and if
the mother did not kill her offspring herself, she found plenty of
aiders and abettors in the old midwives who attended her. The father
seemed utterly impotent to prevent the evil. Now the fathers have turned
head nurses and are abundantly proud of their children.

This morning after Prayers and school I walked down to the river side at
Rarava, whither almost the entire population had preceded me, and where
I lit upon a busy scene. It was a most resplendent day, but the
overhanging branches of the wide spreading foliage lent a charm and
grateful shade to the occasion. The men were engaged in digging the
‘taro’ roots, from their irrigated beds, and the women busy washing and
preparing them for culinary purposes. The ladies here, present no
exception to a proverbial excess in the use of the ‘unruly member’ as
the especially noticeable characteristic of the gentler sex in more
favoured parts of the world, and a Babel-like clatter of tongues formed
a striking accompaniment to the quietness and order of the work in hand.
The taro beds of course are mud, pure and simple, and the taro when dug
is a very dirty vegetable, it is covered over besides with long
tenacious feelers for roots, and these are picked off with the fingers
in the most skilled and practised manner much after the fashion of
plucking and preparing a bird for table. When the cleaning and plucking
process is perfected, the long stalks are collected to a head and tied
up in convenient bundles with one of their own parts in the most
ingenious and knowing manner. Two bundles are then arranged on one long
pole, and carried by one bearer on the shoulder, one bundle before and
another behind their backs. The weight is considerable, but here the
burden is borne by the men, the women carry the broad leaves and other
concomitants of native cookery. Beyond the cackle there was very much
merriment which all seemed in accord with the dancing sparkling waters
of the clear flowing river. The prospect around was most beautiful and
although not extensive the landscape was most bewitching, and the eye
was never tired with seeing.

These natives have great natural taste, which is displayed to a far
greater degree in the arrangement and beautifying of their yam and taro
gardens here, than in any other island I have seen.

The broad, handsome evergreen taro leaf spreads its verdure right and
left, and all around, amid the friendship of the gay-leaved croton, the
majestic dracæna, and the vari-coloured hibiscus, while here and there,
to vary the prospect, the graceful cocoanut lends the beauty and
elegance of its chastely spreading branches; all this beauty is thrown
into relief by a back ground of the most marvellously beautiful bush,
which shuts it in as with a natural fence, and leaves the only wish and
feeling with the observer just to get for a moment a peep of what lies
beyond. Breaks here and there however, in the background, revealed
distant hills clad to their very summits with a richness and profusion
of vegetation such as always abounds in these lovely islands where
‘every prospect pleases.’ I could select so many subjects for pictures
here as almost to finish up all my dry plates, my only hope is that I
may meet with some measure of success when by and bye I try my hand at
photography. A header into the cool waters and a swim up and down stream
was very refreshing. The boys enlivened the scene by their merriment and
gambolling in the water, and altogether it was an occasion of much
delight, and not the less so to me when I considered that all these
people, almost without exception, had passed before through the healing
waters of Holy Baptism. As possessing so much of the element, it is
perhaps only natural that these people should love the water, and bathe
a great deal more than their appearance would give one reason to
suspect. The boys, and more especially, I think, the girls, are very
fond of the water, and never seem tired of bathing when near the
river-side. ‘Tanrig’ is distant about two miles from the river, and this
distance, although inconvenient for many reasons, is very convenient for
others, and especially because of the mosquitos which abound in the
neighbourhood. Here some times they are bad enough, but by the
water-side they are, I believe, unbearable. I know I find them
troublesome enough there by day, and I don’t care to experience the
worry and misery of them by night. They are called here ‘namu,’ and are
said to be particularly troublesome at a certain period in the growth
and maturity of the yam.

Any one who has not lived in a tropical country can have very little
conception of the discomfort and worry of these little maddening
tormentors. Yet there are others whose attacks produce more serious
consequences, and an illustration was afforded this evening. “Kate
Tevano” (Arthur’s wife) was coming across to my house, and when almost
at my door she gave a scream of terror and retired at once back again. I
rushed out to learn the cause, and found she had been bitten by a
centipede in the toe. The blood was just oozing out, and there were the
distinct marks of his two fangs. In about ten minutes she was in great
agony, and in the course of the evening her foot swelled and the pain
was most terrible, and she couldn’t bear anything near it. Poor child, I
left her in floods of bitter tears before going to bed, and she expected
to be in pain all night long. The natives have some antidote for it, and
the women were applying that all the evening. I confess that I did not
know myself what to do, except to bathe it with hot water. There was a
great hunt for the venomous little reptile, but of course he had made
himself scarce. How he got on her foot, and why he bit her, no one
knows, but there are multitudes of the creatures here, and perhaps the
mystery is that people are not more often bitten. They have scorpions
too here whose bite is very venomous, but one doesn’t often hear of
their biting. There is a very large ant here called the ‘gandee’ to
which I have a great aversion, and its bite is very sharp. Snakes here
are not venomous, but the people have an instinctive dread of them, but
they do not trouble us much. There is a hideous creature which lives in
the thatch of the houses, an ugly toad-like lizard, with large red
prominent eyes, which has such a tenacity of grasp with its feet that it
sometimes even sticks so tight to the person it attacks as to take away
the very skin in its grasp. Indeed, to me there are many strange and
uncanny creatures in these islands to which I give as wide a berth as
possible. Even in putting on your clothes you may find that a scorpion
or centipede have taken up their quarters, in your hat you may find
another monster, while most likely your shoes will be the tenement of
some hideous reptile. Use and experience cannot rid one of a shudder
when one thinks what may be, and yet if one is always anticipating these
evils one’s very life becomes a burden.


_Tuesday, 27th July._--I visited poor Kate this morning as soon as I got
up, and found her still in considerable pain and her foot a good deal
swollen. She had slept but little during the night, and was still very
tearful. However, her friends assured her that the poisonous effects
would soon pass away, and it proved true, for I saw her walking, or
rather limping about during the course of the forenoon. I was anxious to
see a centipede this morning, and by and bye a man came bringing one
which he held tightly by head and tail. It was a pretty creature and not
so black as some I have seen, the legs indeed were of an orange yellow
colour. It tried very hard to riggle away, but the ruthless boys soon
put an end to its existence. How many legs it actually has I did not
stop to count, but I saw its nasty fangs and preferred keeping a
respectable distance from them.

A nasty lizard such as I have before mentioned was shortly after
discovered in the thatch of my house just over my head, and captured
after an exciting hunt. One creeps when these creatures are brought so
near one, and is thankful for daily protection from them.

To-day has been the occasion of an important event here, viz: the
thatching of a gamal (men’s quarters). This, indeed, is one of the
greatest events known here, and there has been much feasting and
festivity. The men do the thatching, and neighbours and strangers from a
distance come to assist. There must have been quite a hundred men at
work to-day, and it was the part and duty of the women to prepare food
for them, and judging by the quantity spread out to-night they must have
been kept pretty busy at work.

The house was a large one, and it took most of the day to finish it. The
roof when complete was most neat, and a perfect protection from heat and
wet for many years to come. The thatch is made from the frond of the
sago palm and very durable. Cocoanut fronds are sometimes used, but they
do not make so neat a roof nor nearly so lasting.

These native houses, although seemingly such poor structures, take some
time and skill in building, and are very fair habitations when finished.
They are rather low according to our ideas of comfort, but the natives
grow accustomed to a crouching posture within doors, and they say the
low roof does not catch the wind so easily, nor is the interior so cold.
This is a consideration for people with no clothing, and I know myself
from experience how cool it sometimes is here. Indeed, this very year I
have never passed a night without being covered with a blanket, and even
then I have not quite kept the cold away. A native, however, generally
sleeps near a fire, and the interior of their houses are very snug.
After the work was done this evening there was a great brew of kava, a
drink made from the root of the kava plant, but here called “Malowo,”
and highly intoxicating. There is much ceremony in connection with the
drinking of this beverage, which as far as I have seen, if taken in fair
moderation, produces strong inebriation, but is not an excitant, nor
does it leave any ill effects when once the narcotic effects pass off.
Any one who drinks is supposed to do so fasting, in order, I believe,
that the draught may have the more effect. One or two cups are enough to
produce intoxication, but of course men will make beasts of themselves
in the drinking of kava, as well as of any other strong drink. Here it
is prepared from the green root, and grated up with a rough, round coral
stone, then squeezed into cups made of the half of a cocoanut shell,
strained and mixed with water, after which it is ready for imbibation.
To look at it is like soap suds, and to the taste it is like what I
should suppose that compound resembled, with an additional admixture of
rhubarb and magnesia, with a suspicion of strong senna or black draught.
Indeed I think it is about the nastiest potion conceivable, and no
wonder the drinker takes an unconscionably long time in swallowing the
compound, and when finished would almost rather he had never drunk it. I
was very glad to see most of our own people at school and prayers, but I
believe some have reserved the ‘nightcap’ till nearer bed-time. When the
drowsiness is over I believe a craving for food results, and then the
appetite is appeased even if it be in the middle of the night.
Certainly, however, a man is never quarrelsome over his cups, but a
drowsiness and torpor creep over the most quarrelsome and irrepressive
after the draught. The mode of preparation similar to that practised
here obtains in all the Northern New Hebrides, as far as I know, but at
Mota and the Banks’ Islands generally, and in Fiji it is prepared by a
process of mastication, and is not nearly so intoxicating in its
effects. At Santa Cruz and in the Solomon Islands the use of the kava is
unknown, but instead they chew the betel nut.

I had the old men for school to-night, and very interesting it was, old
blind Sulu (Daniel) was among the number and paid the greatest
attention, assenting in a marked fashion when anything especially
pleased him. Poor fellow, he finds wonderful comfort in his religion,
and is a most regular attendant at all services and at school. He gets
about wonderfully in spite of his blindness, and does wonderful things
for a man so totally blind. His patience and cheerfulness under his
affliction are marvellous, and he seems to live in hopeful anticipation
of the time when he shall see his Lord and Master face to face, Whom now
he sees with the inward eyes of his spirit. He is the only blind man
here, and I have never seen but one dumb man in these islands.


_Wednesday, 28th July._--Our people had a great dance last night after
school which they kept up with great spirit and vigour until an early
hour this morning. The occasion was the thatching of the new gamal, and
a great many took part, and never once intermitted their vigour from the
start to the finish. The dance is called a “Sagoro,” but the chief part
of it consists of singing with a clapping of hands and peculiar dancing
in time. It is no easy work, and when I went to see them about the
middle of the performance the perspiration was running down their
bodies. Some of the songs are very pretty, but the movement of the dance
is not particularly graceful or elegant. The women stand in a ring
outside, and what is called “weluwelu.” This ‘weluing’ consists in
keeping the feet close together and moving the knees from right to left
besides joining in the chorus. Their shrill voices sound quite weird
along with the deep tones of the males, but by no means discordant.
Native songs have mostly an air sung by one voice, and a chorus joined
in by all, and these Maewoese are noted for their songs. I did not
attempt to go to sleep before the performance was over, and the
consequence was a slight dilatoriness this morning, which as might be
expected, was not only manifest in my case. However, after morning
duties here I started with Arthur Huqe and Patrick for Mandurvat,
passing through the pretty snug little village of Naruru on the way.
Here we found a man by name ‘Tamaragai’ sitting with his pretty wife and
child in the neat enclosure in front of his house. All the other
denizens of the village according to the invariable custom which
prevails here, had scattered to the four winds. After the dew is off the
bushes here there is a general exodus from all the villages, and at noon
it is useless to look for any one at home, for all are abroad. They are
very industrious people and find perpetual occupation in their gardens
or elsewhere from morning till evening. They say if they stay at home
they do nothing but sleep, and a native has not many resources for
occupying his time indoors. They have a great dread of the dew, for they
say it engenders elephantiasis. Cases of this unpleasant disease are
very prevalent here, and it looks very odd to see men and women with
great swollen legs and feet and monster hands and arms. However, those
afflicted with it do not seem to suffer so much pain as discomfort.

We reached our destination after a somewhat weary walk on account of the
dampness of the roads after the heavy rain in the night. I found a nice
new school, and the teachers awaiting my arrival. The population is
small, but the people are well-intentioned and anxious for instruction
as exhibited by their having built the school entirely themselves. The
leading spirit there and his wife came to-day and asked for Baptism, and
desired that they should at once be put under instruction for that
sacred Rite. This was cheering, and I hope the example thus set will be
largely followed. Food according to native custom had been prepared, and
green cocoanuts, and we spent some considerable time with the kind
hearted people. They have only an inferior teacher, but he is very
zealous to do his best according to the amount of wisdom and knowledge
he possesses. They have some sort of daily service and school, but it
must of necessity be very elementary.

It is etiquette here for the host or someone appointed by him to see you
off the premises, and this afternoon we were escorted some distance from
the village by most of the male population, and when at what was looked
upon as a respectable distance they stepped to one side, a sign that
that was the last we should have of their society, and calling my name
the host said, “Iya, go sage,” which is perhaps equal to “There, you go
up,” to which I was supposed to respond calling his name, “Io, go toga,”
“All right, you stop.” We then started for home. Arriving at Na Ruru the
major part of the population were awaiting us, and Anthony the teacher
with them, fear has driven him and his little flock to take refuge here,
the third exodus they have made from their homes, and it is hoped that
at last they will be safe from the ruthless incursions of the heathen
bushmen. Poor fellow, he had begun to build a substantial new church,
which was left with the other houses in their precipitate flight, but
nothing daunted he has begun a third time to collect materials for
another building. Had they continued however where they were, I doubt if
they would have been molested. The only excuse for so doing would have
been that they were friends of the villagers attacked by the bushmen. We
sat for some time in conversation with the friendly people until the
sinking sun warned us to be up and moving homewards. After prayers and
singing, which we always have by an unvariable custom instead of school
on Wednesday evenings, I received a request from some heathen strangers,
twenty in number, that they might dance before me. I assented, and now
at a late hour they are still at it, and going ahead with such vigour
that I do not like to stop them. This dance is a piece of policy, for I
am supposed to give them a handsome gratuity at the end, and the request
to-night has been for tobacco. I am supposed also to be very liberal on
these occasions, and certainly they have earned their wages. Their dance
is very like that of the Tanrig people, but of course the songs are
somewhat different, and to my taste not so pleasing. It is certainly
curious that people living really in such close proximity should speak a
dialect so utterly different that I can scarcely understand a word they
say. I always assent to their dancing for it brings them here in large
numbers, and for no ulterior purposes, and I like in every way to
cultivate all friendly feeling between ourselves and our neighbours.
Their powers of endurance are wonderful, there were many small boys
among the dancers to-night, and the hands of my watch pointed to nearly
2 o’clock a.m. before they finished, and previously they must have
walked some twelve or fifteen miles over very rugged country. It must be
considered too that these dances are performed without any intermission,
and carried through with great vigour to the very end. I believe they
had contemplated going on till morning, but that would be too terrible.
Now as I write this they are gone, and the place is as quiet as if I
were alone the sole inhabitant. I am now quite ready for bed and have
really been so for hours, but the din and noise would render sleep an
impossibility. God grant that in time these heathen songs may be changed
for Christian hymns.


_Thursday, 29th July._--My house has been thronged all day with heathen
visitors, and I have tried to say something about our blessed religion.
I hope they were duly impressed. They certainly gave me a warm
invitation to visit them which I shall not be backward to accept, and
moreover they promised to pick me out two or three boys to go to Norfolk
Island. One man was most anxious to visit Norfolk Island, and I promised
him that if he were so minded when the ship came back his wish should be
gratified. I dare say I was quite safe in my promise, for no doubt he
will cry off at the last. However, I hope I may get the boys. Everything
was a matter of astonishment to these poor people, who have rarely if
ever seen a white man, and a trumpet and pop gun which I gave a small
boy produced the most unbounded delight. I wish my good friend
Archdeacon Stock and Miss Kreeft had been here to see what unfeigned joy
their kind gifts produced. A prettily dressed doll I brought with me,
and which came too, I think, from Wellington, has been the seven day
wonder during my visit. Yesterday one of the boys threw it down by
accident, and the frail waxwork fell to pieces. There has been more
lament over that lifeless toy than over half a dozen ordinary female
human beings. Agnes, however, this morning disgorged a beautiful doll of
her own, which she got from a Christmas tree, carefully wrapped in ample
folds of calico, and the Bushmen I think will never lose the impression
the revelation of its beauty produced upon them.

How true it is that little things please little minds, and what a boon
it is that the adage is so true. To us, whom civilization and the
natural fitness of things have raised so far above nature, it is a
matter of a striking character to see these heathens on their travels.
They are burdened with absolutely nothing except a club or bow and
arrows in their hands. Their dress is but a slight remove from the
original fig leaf of the garden of Eden, and they carry neither bedding
nor food. They sleep anywhere and eat what they can get. Their endurance
in the matter of food too is extraordinary, whether they eat or whether
they eat not does not seem to affect them, and in this way they beat us
all to fits on the march. These Bushmen tell me they prefer making a
journey in rain for it is cooler, and the only change of raiment they
need at the end is to dry nature’s clothing before a fire. They are a
very hardy race, I suppose from being inured to hardship all their
lives.

I missed poor blind Sulu from school to-day, and on enquiring for him
was told that his pet pig, whose tusks are getting long and very sharp,
importuned him beyond bearing, and that in kicking out to get rid of him
the tusk ran into his foot and almost right through it. Poor old fellow,
I am going by and bye to see what I can do to administer comfort to him.

Arthur too is very much out of sorts, and could not put in an appearance
at school to-day. For some months he has suffered from lassitude and
weakness, and has been troubled with nasty sores. Fortunately I have a
bottle of Hop Bitters with me, the effect of which I am going to try
with him. Fancy the popularity of this wonderful tonic when it even
finds its way to these distant islands! I have known it used with very
beneficial results, and I hope Arthur may improve under its influence
and strengthening properties.


_Friday, July 30th._--A somewhat idle and prurient curiosity led me with
some of our people to ‘Uta’ this morning to witness a sort of masked
ball about which I had heard a great deal, and which was supposed to be
something quite extraordinary. We started fairly early in the morning,
and arrived at the place after a long, hot, and fatiguing walk. The
ceremonies were not perfectly arranged when we got there, and we waited
a long, weary time. It was mainly through my urging that they began when
they did, and after all the affair was disappointing.

The initial performance was a song sung by four men to an accompaniment
beaten on bamboos, but that was by no means impressive. The females
during this performance advanced and squatted around the performers and
poor things were almost roasted alive under the blazing rays of the
midday sun. When the song was finished the maskers rushed out, 17 in
number with very curious and savage-looking head pieces, and petticoats
of long sago palm leaves reaching almost to the ground. They presented a
very weird and uncanny appearance certainly as they danced forth and
back and uttered their gruff “Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh.” I do not wonder at
weak minded females and small children being very terrified of them. The
head pieces were decided works of art, and very well made. Thirteen were
almost entirely of the same make and pattern and are called “Rauwe,”
three were again somewhat of a different shape and fashion called
“Tamate,” and one very elongated and strangely devised mask also called
a ‘Tamate’ completed the list. When the dancing was over which was
called ‘Welu,’ the Rauwes rushed flying about all over the place, and
the wiser course was to keep out of their way. In former days I believe
they carried heavy sticks, or even clubs, and struck at anyone who
failed to get out of their way. Boys and females were the chief objects
of their attacks, and sometimes considerable injury resulted. Of course
if any one retaliated and gave blow for blow, a skrimmage of perhaps
serious and general nature resulted, and ended probably in lives being
sacrificed.

To-day these rough maskers carried clubs and long handled axes, and
nothing was feared from them. The tamates were much more quiet and
danced quietly about like so many kiwis (native New Zealand bird), and
molested no one. They represent a higher grade in the social scale and
their intentions are always pacific. For some days after the ceremony
they are allowed to sail about the country and take what they please in
the shape of food, &c. if it happens to come in their way, indeed I
believe the people put it out for them and render every assistance to
send them away full handed. The tamate mask has no eyehole, but the
rauwe head piece has every facility for observation to facilitate its
hilter skilter rush. The native idea of these things I believe is that
if anyone dies who has not paid for these masks, he is haunted by them
in the hereafter, at their places of departed spirits, “Banoi.” The
tamates protect the disembodied spirits and conduct them safely to their
final destination in Banoi. Moreover, I believe that those who die
without propitiating these tamates and rauwes by gifts of pigs and mats
are transformed into flying foxes, and adorn for ever the courts of an
ill-fated Banoi. When the ‘welu’ was over, great cakes of cooked food
were disgorged from their covering of leaves and distributed, the men
behind a very curious screen called “Bugoro” distributing to men, and
the women on one side of the village square distributing to women. The
busy and animated scene was often disturbed by one or more of the rauwes
rushing wildly about, and the women utterly regardless of food or
hospitality, tore hilter skilter in screams of terror to some place of
temporary security. It was now getting late, and as we had a journey
before us and the performance was virtually over, except the kava
drinking, we wished our friend good-bye and started for home, getting
here in time for dinner, both by the time of day and by the condition of
an appetite which had not been appeased since morning. On the whole I do
not think the ceremony was at all worth the labour it cost to witness,
and having seen it once, one would scarcely care to trouble about it a
second time. However, it has its due effect upon the natives of both
sexes, and it is looked upon by many as of paramount importance as
regards both the present time and the future. To the newly initiated it
gives certain social rights and privileges, but the strict observance
with many is a thing of the past. It has only to do with the males,
females may enjoy no special benefit from the practice except to assist
as ornamental observers, and to bring beast burdens of food for
distribution. What becomes of their poor souls hereafter is a matter for
no anxiety or consideration, indeed I suppose the doubt is as to their
possessing such things as souls at all, so that their final destination
can only be a matter of supreme indifference and of the most
insignificant importance. A hazy indefinite belief therefore these
people have in some hereafter, and they endeavour to make some provision
for it while they can, but they have no distinct form of religion, nor
any images to which they offer worship. They have some kind of
propitiatory sacrifice however of food and shell money, and whatever
prayer they have is made to the spirits of their ancestors. Almost
invariably a dying man calls to his father, and we have frequently
noticed that when a sick person arrives at this stage of illness, his
case is very bad indeed, if not hopeless. Yesterday as we were waiting
at the entrance to the village, the people called my attention to a
peculiar kind of red grass which had been chewed up, and the refuse
strewn about all over the path, and they told me that this was done by
the master of ceremonies to make the visitors take delight and interest
in the festivities, and to raise the wish in the minds of the
uninitiated to swell the ranks of those who had already taken the
initiatory steps in social rank. Like all natives of course these people
are utterly superstitious, and any little thing of a slightly
extraordinary nature serves to determine or deter their mode of action.
There is a certain class of persons among them who read these signs and
comment upon them, just as the ancient oracles, and these persons are
consulted in every matter of public or private interest. No one takes a
journey or engages in any matter without recourse to this oracle, but as
of old in case of failure, the matter is explained ambiguously.
Superstition indeed creeps into almost every concern of daily life, and
its effect upon one would be very wearying and irritating, except of
course that superior mindedness ought to condescend and bear with such
human frailties when one considers the education under which these poor
folks have been brought up from generation to generation. Much, I think,
of this weak mindedness is passing away under Christian regime, and more
and more I suppose will it disappear as the day breaks and the shadows
flee away.


_Saturday, July 31st._--A peculiarly cold night, so cold indeed that I
could not sleep even under a blanket. The people all experienced the
same cold, and they said it was because of the calmness of the night and
the heavy dew. Had there been a fire near, I could readily have got up
to sit over it. The nights here are generally cool, but last night was
absolutely cold. What shall I do when I go to England? This morning
however, it is supremely lovely, and the wind in the S.W. for a wonder,
for the S.E. Trades usually blow nine months out of the twelve. This
morning I tried a photograph, which I dare say will prove a failure,
from the extra care I took to prevent all mistakes. I only attempted
one, but I hope I shall gain courage and experience as I go on and be
able to reproduce some of these lovely views here. Of course every view
is shut in more or less by the density of the surrounding bush, but this
village has a considerable clearing and a good long vista for a
photograph. My first attempt was on the church with some natives in the
foreground, but the view will miss a great deal in a picture, owing to
the absence of the beautiful colouring. It seems the fashion now-a-days
here to build houses, and large parties to-day were busy thatching two
new ones. I went with Patrick, Arthur Huqe and some more of the boys to
Ruosi where we had a delicious bathe in the river, washed our clothes,
caught prawns which we cooked very ingeniously in a bamboo. The prawns
are put into the bamboo with water, and then placed on the fire with the
orifice slightly elevated. It soon starts boiling, and to prevent the
bamboo (always a green one) burning through it is constantly turned
round and round, and in a very short time the prawns come out cooked
red, and ready for eating. Cooked in salt water they are very nice, and
they are looked upon as an especial delicacy when eaten with cocoanut
cream. It is perfectly surprising what a number of dishes these natives
wot of, and how frequently they vary their menu. Here they are
especially good cooks, and I like most of their dishes very much. They
are all slightly indigestible, but that one somehow expects. In most
Melanesian islands the yam is the staple article of diet, but here the
taro has the preference, and is planted in larger quantities. The yam
likes a dry situation, but the kind of taro in common use here
flourishes in a damp soil, and this is prepared for it by a neat and
skilful system of irrigation.

While we were sitting there at Ruosi one of the men told me a curious
custom they have here. I knew him of old to be an habitual and heavy
kava drinker, now he told me he never drank it and had not for months.
It appears that persons who enjoy a certain rank can deny the use of
this beverage to any one they like, and they place a sort of ‘tabu’ over
the kava bowl, and this tabu is not taken off again until a pig or its
equivalent is paid. A short time ago kava drinking became so general in
the school as to impede the working of it, for teachers and scholars
drank alike. The boys and young men therefore met together and laid
mutual tabus upon each other, and for some time past very little kava
has been drunk by those attending, and no one of those on whom the tabu
was laid has chosen yet to take it off.

This same man told me another curious custom they have with respect to
revenge. If a man has a grudge against another and he wishes to kill
him, or if he wishes to kill someone as a set off against someone
belonging to him having been killed, he refuses to wash his hands until
such time as they can be washed with blood. He told me of three
brothers, Bushmen, who swore to kill a man apiece, the two younger
brothers have already performed their part of the contract, but the dirt
is still thick on the hands of the eldest, and he still means murder
when he can get the convenient opportunity. It does not matter much, I
believe, who the victim is as long as he has not many friends to
retaliate. Poor weak inoffensive mortals in this way often lose their
lives, innocent sacrifices to heathen brutalism and bloodthirstiness. We
came home in the cool of the most glorious evening, a strange contrast
in its peace and loveliness to the rage and horror of savage brutalism.
A quiet evening service and the song of melody seemed more in tune with
the scene without, and I trust that the Peace of God which passeth all
understanding may ever keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and
love of God and of His Son Jesus Christ.

I gave notice last Sunday of Holy Communion to-morrow, and this evening
I held a Communicants’ class at which were present the two Arthurs and
Patrick. Anthony and Samuel are too far away to be able to attend. I
cannot but esteem it a high privilege and blessing to be enabled to
receive and dispense the Bread of Life here in this once heathen
village, and I pray that we may be strengthened and refreshed for our
work, and show forth God’s praise not only with our lips but in our
lives, and by giving up ourselves more fully to His service. May the
time too be hastened when some of these good people may be permitted to
partake of the visible tokens of redeeming love.

It is now late, and except for the singing of crickets, perfectly still,
fit prelude, I trust, to a peaceful Sabbath.


_Sunday, August 1st._--Another peculiarly cold night, so cold indeed
that I could not sleep although I had taken care to make proper
preparations against it. How these poor ill clad, blanketless people
fare I cannot make out, but no doubt they pile on the wood. It was most
perfectly calm all through the night, and this morning there was a very
heavy dew. The wind was blowing from some westerly quarter, and it has
continued there with some strength all the day. We began our day very
early with a Celebration of the Holy Communion. The two Arthurs,
Patrick, and myself made up the quorum. It was a nice, quiet, refreshing
time, and a fresh and green oasis in a somewhat arid, spiritual desert.
I think, perhaps, it belongs to the native character and disposition to
do without certain things which are to us essential, and the loss even
of the Holy Communion is not so serious deprivation to them as to us.
Native minds, I fancy, adapt themselves too readily to the existing
condition of things, and because they live in the desert they must never
even pine for the food and water which is not directly attainable.
Unless the Holy things of our religion are kept before them in constant
practice they are too wont to dispense with them, and be content with
the dry husks such as their neighbours around feed upon. I shall
therefore try to keep up the regular administration of the Holy
Communion both for the present strengthening and refreshing of their
souls, and for a continual remembrance that the reception of it is
necessary to salvation. Easy native natures are too apt to float along
with the popular stream, and to be content with dry, dull teaching and
drier, duller services, and I sometimes long for the time when we shall
have a more ornate church and appointments, and a more elaborate ritual.
I firmly believe it would be helpful to the congregation. Now we are too
content with such things as we have, and they are poor at the best.

After the Celebration we had school. We assembled first in the
schoolhouse, sang a hymn and I said a Prayer, then divided into classes,
I myself taking all the old men into the Church, and trying to explain
the sense of the collect to them. I told them how God had prepared for
them that love Him such good things as pass man’s understanding, and I
asked them how we knew that. I told them that God had revealed these
things to us by His Son Jesus Christ, and He had left His testimony with
us in His Gospel, and the books which persons chosen by Him had written
under the influence and direction of His Holy Spirit. Their religion was
a matter of mere hearsay and conjecture, and had been handed on from
mouth to mouth, and had grown as it came down after the manner of mere
verbal testimony. There could be no doubt with us because we have the
living testimony of Christ’s own words which never pass away. Their
religion came from nowhere and no one knew of its beginning; of ours at
all events we were sure. I told them too that in England and other
countries, where arts and sciences were known and practised far beyond
anything they could conceive of, there were things so marvellous that
their understanding could not grasp even the faintest idea of them, and
how much more marvellous, wonderful, and glorious must the things be
which God has prepared for such as love Him. Why even here below we see
great and wonderful and mysterious things which pass the understanding
of the world’s wisest minds, and how much more wonderful still must the
things be which are to be revealed hereafter, when the eye shall be
purified to see, the ear to hear, and the senses to discern the beauty
and true glory of them. And what does God, who thus prepares these
blessed things for us, require of us? Why to love Him above all things.
Each one of us had some darling idol, to which we offered the devotion
of our hearts, but it must be torn down and removed if it comes before
our love to God. And the end of this love was God Himself, and to dwell
with Him for ever as inheritors of His gracious promises which exceed
all that we can desire. The old fellows were very attentive, and
interspersed running remarks, and when I had done I asked them to kneel
down, and I said the Collect as a Prayer for them. Meanwhile the other
teachers had school with their scholars in the schoolhouse. The first
class of boys and girls had to say their Collect by heart, and after
that they were questioned on its meaning. School was closed with Prayer
and a Hymn, and then I was ready for breakfast, very dry, uncooked rice
with sugar and cocoanut cream, and a cup of delicious Norfolk Island
coffee. Morning Prayer followed in due course before the day got too
hot, and after this everyone was busy with their Sunday meal for the
afternoon. The day was as hot as the night was cold, but it was most
glorious, and all nature seemed to be keeping its Sabbath. The evening
was perfectly serene and peaceful, a fit termination to a quiet, restful
day.

In the evening I had the teachers, and after that service at which I
preached from the gospel of the day, “Except your righteousness exceed
the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees.” They were very
attentive during my remarks, so I trust I was understood. I told them
God did not want us merely to come to school and church but He wanted
the devotion of the heart, it was not outward righteousness He wished
for, but inward truth and honesty and straightness. The Pharisees were
very good Churchgoers, but their heart was not right with God, &c., &c.

After Service we had singing which they always enjoy, and even now I
hear their voices in the School house singing “There’s a friend for
little children.” I had intended to have made an excursion to the
neighbouring villages to-day but I could not manage the time, the day
having gone so rapidly. Now it is very cool and betokens another cold
night but Oh! how calm and peaceful!


_Monday, August 2nd._--Another peculiarly cold night ushered in a most
glorious day. A very heavy dew lay all round, and until the sun was
quite high in the heavens the cold was very perceptible, and a flannel
coat was very agreeable. I took two photographs early and trust they are
good, but it would be very hard to reproduce the original so lovely as
it appeared in the morning light. The scene too was animated with the
cheery voices of the people, the crowing of the cocks, the merry
laughter of the boys, and even the squealing of the pigs as they
followed their owners for their morning food, lent additional and
characteristic charm to the occasion. All this one cannot photograph,
but it is necessary to suppose all this to give an idea of the village
as it is on these glorious mornings. Here we are several hundred feet
above the sea level, and a good way inland so that a pleasant day breeze
always fans the air, and keeps the place gratefully cool under cover of
a roof, or in the shade. I believe one could live here quite comfortably
all the year round, and for myself I never feel better than I do here.
There is such a freedom too about life here that one can carry a light
heart and a contented mind in a healthy body. To-day almost without
exception the people are off to the beach to windward. At this time of
year the tides are very low, and leave the reefs almost entirely
uncovered. Fish and crabs and other sea oddities are therefore left
exposed, and the first named are shot by the men in the pools, and the
women collect the latter, which are looked upon as choice articles of
diet. Just now I am left quite solitary, but I have just dismissed a
bevy of ladies who came to see the present seven days wonder, my
magnetic fish. They cannot fathom the mystery at all why when one point
of the fishing rod as they call it, is presented to the fish they
eagerly rush at it, and why when the other they rapidly retire. They
solve the problem by saying it is a “Wui,” (spirit). And it must seem
strange to them as all our belongings must being of an order of art, so
far removed from their conceptions or achievements. A kerosene lamp to
this day is a marvel to them, and the manipulation equally mysterious,
why it should flare up when turned one way, and why it should die when
turned the other. One old woman who has been very sick and up to-day for
the first time, came with the crowd and greeted me in the most maternal
manner, grasping my hand in both her own, and calling me “Baua,” an
obsolete word now, but belonging to a district called “Loqala” which was
utterly devastated years ago by enemies among whom were these very
people of Tanrig. This old lady and her son Samuel, now my head teacher
at Tasmouri, are the sole survivors I believe, and she retains the
expression or appelation by which a grandmother greets her grandson.

I brought a box of refuse toys from Norfolk Island to which our boys and
girls there have grown superior, and the exhibition and distribution of
them created quite a furore. One would never suppose in these days of
superior enlightenment that any people could be found simple enough to
go into ecstacies over a halfpenny toy, but these women and children
have gone off perfectly enraptured with their new possessions, and I
dare say they will treasure them up for many a day and find pleasure in
the contemplation and exhibition of them. One poor young mother has just
brought in great distress her infant child which she says is suffering
from a pain in its side, and the only remedy I can conceive of is a dose
of castor oil. The father comes around to my side of the table, and
whispers that it has not been ‘washed’ yet, meaning that it has not been
Baptized, and that it has no name. While writing this Samuel appeared
with another friend from Tasmouri, and I went with them to the beach
where all the population had previously gone. Our path lay through the
carefully and skilfully irrigated taro fields, and of course it was very
bad in some places. Crossing one place I made a false step and went up
to my knees, it was a fitting judgment on my pride for I refused the
assistance of a stalwart follower’s back, which had borne me dry and
safely over two such places before. I presented a strangely harlequin
appearance with white flannel trowsers above the knee, and black mud
gaiters below. However appearances are easily pardoned here, and the
only grief was at my own discomfort. The people of course all said it
was because the roads were so bad, but that was too palpable a truism,
and was no relief to my feelings. Bootless and trowserless, these paddy
paths make no difference to them, and mud has not the same appearance on
a black skin. However we went to the sea-shore and saw the sport which
was not much. One very large fish was caught with a hook and line, and
the women had great horse-loads of shell fish, but generally the bowmen
came off badly. The tide was out to the utmost limit of the reef, and
quite half-a-mile from the shore the rocks were entirely exposed. Of
course there was some very good reason for the failure and ill luck, and
I was somewhat surprised to hear the wind blamed. It so happened that
what of that element there was, was off shore, but if it had been only
blowing in shore it would have driven in the fish. However there was
disappointment depicted on every countenance, and there was some
trifling relief to the feelings in putting the blame on the wind.
Probably if the wind is all right to-morrow something else will be
wrong, and so on. What a wonderful place in the English language those
two little words ‘if’ and ‘but’ have, and how they qualify almost every
action of mankind, and how usually are they made use of in
self-extenuation. How scarcely possible is it to describe a single
character without the use of one or other of them! He would be a very
nice fellow ‘if.’ She would be an estimable woman ‘but.’ On our homeward
road I marched boldly through mud and water taking pride I suppose in
revenging myself, and showing my unmentionables that now the pink of
their whiteness was off, they might just as well be a little more dirty.
However, a refreshing bath was some return for my chagrin and
discomfort, and I hastened home for a clean change. The cooks brought me
two deliciously cooked fish for dinner, and were very disappointed when
I sent them back untasted. I am never very partial to fish, and in these
latitudes my digestive organs rebel even against the smell of them.
However, the boys very soon picked the bones, and perhaps were not sorry
that I had not partaken. There is great feasting going on to-night with
both sexes, the men with their fish supper and the women with
shell-fish.

Everywhere to-day we saw the bush lit up with the bright red “Rarava,” a
gorgeous tree, which flowers at this time of the year, and gives its
name to the winter season. The other season is called “Magoto” from a
reed of that name which shoots in spring, and these are the only native
seasons of the year. There does not seem to be however any very marked
distinction or peculiar line of demarcation between summer and winter as
regards the heat and cold, but in fact it does seem to be warmer in the
“Magoto” and cooler in the “Rarava.” To an Englishman however it is
always hot, and he does not detect any material difference. One shivers
now to think of ice and snow and of such concomitants of the winter
season, for here of course they are absolutely unknown.


_Tuesday, August 3rd._--It gets somewhat monotonous to write every day
of cold nights, but this last one has been no exception. The cold is so
peculiar and penetrating that clad in flannel from head to foot, and
covered with a blanket and rug, I failed to keep it out, and slept very
badly in consequence. When I did sleep, too, I was troubled with dreams
and fancied myself in Ireland hunted by ‘Moonlighters.’ I had proposed
to go to a very distant district called “Golvanua” to-day, but at the
eleventh hour my escort cried off and I could not go alone. I cannot
quite say why it is, but natives when they are about to make an
excursion almost invariably start on the spur of the moment without
making any previous appointment, or specifying any distinct time.
Whether they wish to elude ‘Fate’ and deprive it of the chance of being
unpropitious by stealing a march, or whether the fear of material foes
induces them to do these things secretly so that they may not be
cognizant of their movements, or what it is I do not know, but fact it
is that if you want to make a journey, you must abide the native’s time
and conveniences for they will seldom assent to yours if premeditated or
prearranged.

I quite expect that some fine morning, before I am out of bed perhaps,
my escort will be awaiting me outside my door, and anxiously and
impatiently desiring to start at once. Natives make no preparation for a
journey, they have no impedimenta of travel, and lightly clad, and
lightly weighted, they are ready at any moment to start, and a long or
short stay is all the same to them. They want no canteens or bedding or
change of clothing, and they can lay their heads down in any spot, and
rest and refresh themselves, and be ready for any emergency. They do not
even need as much as a tooth brush and pair of slippers for their
excursions, and marvel at our wanting so much to them unnecessary
luggage. I believe I should make many more journeys, if I could
accomplish them with so little inconvenience and discomfort.

Samuel went back this morning, and I am to go to Tasmouri on Friday for
a week. He gives a very good account of his work there and I am anxious
to see and judge for myself. The whole Community there are Baptized, and
most exemplary Christians they are. They are very nice lively
good-natured people too, but are not very numerous. Indeed these Maewo
villages have dwindled down to very few inhabitants, from one cause and
another, and a large measure of the decrease is owing to the wide spread
practice of infanticide. Now in this district that practice, thank God,
is checked and the population is again on the increase. Moses who was
here with Samuel to-day asked me to Baptize while at Tasmouri his fourth
child, three boys of his are already Baptized, and such mothers as his
wife are a blessing to the race. Here two mothers have three children
apiece, and several have two. I wish however the mothers would bring up
their children a little better, they are the perfect slaves of their
offspring, and give into them in everything. Talk about spoilt children,
I have to roar every day of my life to some little urchin, screaming his
lungs out because his mother does not do at once what he wants. The
mother beats at one moment and coaxes at another, and the child grows up
anyhow, a burden to himself and a nuisance to his neighbours. I want a
good superior minded and well educated mother here to give some
practical advice. Arthur’s wife is but a child herself, and as devoid of
gumption as the rest of them. Poor people, they do not know what trouble
and misery they entail upon themselves and their children from a want of
a little firmness, and well timed correction.

It has been a most glorious day, and this morning I accepted an
invitation from the boys to go to ‘Kerepei.’ The tide was very low and
many of the people had preceded us, and were busy searching the reef and
rocks for the much prized products of the sea shore. The little fellows
got me most deliciously sweet green cocoanuts, and while I was bathing
caught me a nice lot of prawns for my tea. Days spent in this way are
very pleasant, for we get to know each other all the better, and I can
exercise a continual supervision over their actions. I generally carry a
paper or portable volume with me, and to-day the Church Times was my
companion. The evening was most glorious and peaceful, but when the sun
went down peculiarly cold. Now as I write I have a blazing fire in my
house, and I feel the comfort of it. The poor ill clad people are
shivering all around, and are off to their several domiciles to try and
get some heat. The attendance at school to-night was worse than I have
known it yet, and the cold was said to be the reason of it.


_Wednesday, August 4th._--There seems a perfect rage for fishing just
now, when the exceptionally low tides afford such advantages for the
pursuit. School was no sooner over to-day, than there was a general
exodus seaward of all the able bodied inhabitants of the place. They
talk to-day of trying the “Tasigoro” to see what it yields. This
Tasigoro is a tabu’d enclosure of so much of the reef as those who make
it choose, and it is made in this way--one, two, three or indeed any
number of people who have reached the rank of “welu” kill a certain kind
of pig, and for ten days the killer or killers are supposed to subsist
on pig’s flesh, at the end of ten days they go to the beach, and mark
off the chosen portion of the beach with a long bamboo at either end,
like a base for football, but on a somewhat larger scale, and tie on to
the bamboo the leaf of a certain palm tree; the person or persons then
bathe in that part of the sea, and the juice of the pig’s flesh which
they have eaten, is supposed to have the effect of sanctifying in some
way the place, and no one fishes within the enclosure until the “welus”
choose to take the “tabu” off. There is a talk of doing this to-day, and
the whole population turns out to it. Of course the whole length and
breadth of the reef during these low tides is left high and dry, and the
fish have wisdom enough to retire as the tide goes out, but some are
dilatory like Lot in his flight from Sodom, and some stop to have a look
back like his wife, these are therefore left behind in the several pools
that are everywhere dotted about of more or less depth. Some fish again
which feed upon the reef have natural channels of escape into deep
water, but these are very skilfully guarded by the natives with large
nets, and the fish are captured while making a rush to get out into the
open sea. All these channels are carefully guarded, and a very large
number of fish shut in from escape on the more or less exposed reef. The
leaves of a certain shrub are used for the purpose of stupifying the
fish in the deeper pools, and they are easily caught when under the
influence of the stupification. Others again are shot with bows and
arrows, others speared, others caught by hand until at times the haul
numbers several thousands, of all sorts, sizes and descriptions. After
this great catch of course there is much feasting and rejoicing, and
according to their own old heathen superstitious ideas there is
something sacred in the fish so caught. ‘Kava’ is largely drunk on these
occasions and the festivities are prolonged for many days. After my
experience the other day I did not care to go again, and followed Arthur
and some others to ‘Rarava,’ whither I took my photographic camera, and
shot off a most beautiful picture in nature. I hope it may prove so in
development.

William, one of the men, lit a fire and soon produced some fine large
bread-fruit which were placed on the embers, and deftly turned over and
over so as to be properly cooked all round. The result was that in about
a quarter of an hour I was engaged upon a smoking hot loaf of bread,
which eaten with scraped cocoa-nut is very nice indeed. Breadfruit is
too much like boiled dough to be really very nice, but to me it is very
palatable food. The black outside coating peels off very readily when
well cooked, and leaves a round puddingy sort of compound to be eaten.
Inside are seeds somewhat bigger than a marble, not unlike filberts,
and these are generally eaten with the breadfruit, the hard outside husk
easily peeling off, and leaving a large bean like kernel. “Duwu”
prepared his in quite a new way to me. Having pealed off the outside
crust caused by the cooking, he wrapped the whole fruit up in the long
dracæna leaves, and tied up the neck very carefully. He then took a
small bamboo, and beat the breadfruit into a soft pulp, giving it a few
final bangs on the ground, the leaves were opened, and the pudding
turned out on leaves resembling very much a squash, and then cut up like
a vegetable marrow into slices and eaten with scraped cocoanut. This I
think was nicer than the bare breadfruit. We were a little party of
twelve of both sexes, and all shared alike, men and women eating
together in the most friendly manner, and not only so but the men did
the cooking and helped the women in the nicest way. I could not help
thinking what a contrast it was to years gone by. There we were sitting
every man under his own vine and under his own fig, with no apparent
fear or apprehension of evil, and the most perfect harmony of the two
sexes existing among us. Here you scarcely ever now see the husband
without the wife, and where you see the wife you may know the husband is
not far off. Amina and Eliza kindly got me some land crabs which I
enjoyed for tea. These and prawns are readily obtainable, and make a
nice occasional change.


_Thursday, August 5th._--A strong Trade wind blowing fresh all night,
and this morning it is still very gusty and disagreeable.

To-morrow there is another house to be thatched, and those who are not
crazed about fishing are off getting food. From the commencement to the
finish, house building here is a matter of great importance. There are
four kinds of houses, of which the ‘gamal’ is the chief. This is the
men’s club, and the young men’s sleeping quarters. Within its walls the
women may not enter, and there is a certain circumscribed boundary into
which they may not trespass. All food cooked in the ‘gamal’ is partaken
of by the men only, and a woman may not eat of it under any
consideration. ‘Kava’ is prepared and drunk there also, and of this a
woman may not drink. Within the gamal are various ovens according to the
several degrees of rank, and those of the same grade eat out of one
oven, and the rules of precedence are strictly adhered to. Fire used
within the gamal may not be used in a private house. After a certain age
all boys are supposed to live in the gamal, and that becomes their
proper quarters until they marry and build houses of their own. Any man
may sleep in the gamal and eat food there.

The next house in importance is the “ima” or married man’s residence.
Within this house the cooking of the food for the family is done, and
the married couples live. This house is known from the rest, by having
the front and back end worked with cane, and more pains are expended on
the building of it. The third kind of house is the “vale,” within which
there is no fire place for cooking, and this is used mostly as the
apartments of the young females before marriage, and for stowing any
treasures which may be inconvenient in the “ima.” The front and end of
the ‘vale’ are made only of bamboos. A fourth kind of house is the “ima
somu” (the Bank). In this house is kept the treasures of the village,
and it is always known by a peculiarly neat front of reeds, and by a
very curious sort of pallisade of reeds placed in a sort of semicircle
around the front door. Within this house a fire is kept continually
burning night and day, and the reason for this is that the most prized
and valuable article of barter here is the smoked mat, and the blacker
it can be smoked the more does it increase in value. As may be supposed,
within these houses a most weird and odd sight presents itself. The
gross darkness being only relieved by the glowing embers of the undying
fire, the fresh black mats look like so many great flying foxes
suspended over it.

The importance of the several houses is therefore in this order, the
“gamal,” “ima,” “vale,” and “ima somu.” When a building is finished
there is always a great ceremony ranging in importance according to the
description of the house. For the gamal the ‘house warming’ is a matter
of much ceremonial called “nasu,” and a man is supposed to “nasu gamal”
with a pig at least. Any live stock may be slaughtered in “nasu ima,”
and fowls, or if possible fish, are mostly in requisition. Plain food
only is required for the two latter, but all the same there must be some
house warming, or the building would not be properly finished. The house
I occupy is an “ima,” and being a proprietor of many pigs, I am going to
add to the dignity and full completion of my residence, by slaughtering
two innocent animals next Thursday (D.V.) and the school will get a
general holiday and a pleasant evening. I do this partly because I want
to give the boys some slight return for the pains they have been at in
building the house, to get a piece of pork myself, and to give a holiday
in honour of my return among them. They say they must dig an oven
within the ‘ima’ to make the thing complete, but to this I object.
To-morrow, all being well, I go to Tasmouri.


_Friday, August 6th._--Morning Prayer, school and breakfast at Tanoriki,
and then started with three others for Tasmouri. It was a most lovely
day, and a fresh Trade wind fanned the air and kept the paths pleasantly
cool. Beneath the deep, dark shade of the native forest, the strong
burning heat of the morning sun was not oppressive, and the roads and
bush were fortunately very dry. However, any exertion in this climate
induces perspiration, and that one expects.

The native guide swung along at a rapid pace, and we were not long in
reaching “Uta,” where we rested for some time in the neat little school,
and Takele regaled us with green cocoanuts, which were very acceptable.
Poor Takele, who has only one enlightened friend to help him, finds a
difficulty in getting his scholars together on a week day, and no
wonder, as I suppose he knows very little more than they do themselves,
and it is irksome to old people to spell over their A.B.C. day after
day, and get no oral instruction. It is far more in consonance with
their feelings and habits to go out for the day, either to the seashore
or to their gardens, than to be trammelled with the cares and labour of
school. On Sundays he says they turn up in large numbers, and generally
some one goes to them from Tanoriki. I promised him a visit for Sunday
week, all being well, and I shall try to keep my promise, for he
deserves all the help we can extend to him. He has never been away, is a
man now of middle age, and entirely self-taught. He is a most excellent,
conscientious man, and tries to do all he can for his people, according
to his limited amount of knowledge.

He built the school himself and keeps it in most extraordinary order. In
many cases he has acted as a deterrent on his countrymen, when they have
proposed some heathen act which he has not thought to be within the
bounds of strict rectitude, and I believe he tries to lead a good life
as far as he knows. As far as morality goes, I do not think anyone would
venture to bring an accusation against him. I have always intended to
Baptize him, and perhaps this year I may put my intentions into effect.
Leaving “Uta” we still marched on in single file, till we reached the
brow of the cliff down which, of necessity, we had to descend, Tasmouri
being on the other side of the island to windward. A striking and broad
prospect greeted us from the hill top, and we saw besides Meralava and
the wide expanse of ocean before us, the grand fertile plain belonging
to the Tasmouri district, and the church and school visible in the far
distance. At the foot of the steep cliff our way lay through the
beautifully irrigated taro beds, and of course I had to pick my way to
prevent being buried in mud. Leaving the gardens, we had a grand stretch
of level country before us, and before long we came upon a merry party
of Tasmouri people awaiting our arrival, some distance from their
village. Being tired and hungry I pushed on ahead with some of the boys,
and enjoyed a refreshing bathe and change of garments. Then came what I
suppose I must dignify by the name of dinner, mostly native food, but
eaten with the best sauce was as good as the best Lord Mayor’s feast,
and I dare say as digestible. The Bishop’s kind present was most useful,
and the canteen contained every article requisite for out of the way
travellers. After the meal the people came home, and before long we had
Evensong. I was quite surprised at the heartiness of the responses, the
fluency of the reading, and the general brightness of the singing and
service.

The women sang out lustily with a good courage, and although a trifle
slow the result was pleasing on the whole. With a little teaching the
singing and service will be very nice. I find I have Baptized forty-six
people here, two of whom have died, two have gone away in a labour
vessel, and forty-two still remain. They are a very nice, genuine,
exemplary community, and Samuel has kept them well together. They seem
to me beyond the Tanrigese in point of mental ability, and readily take
in fresh ideas. One or two of the young men are very superior fellows.
This evening I felt the warmth of this place, by comparison with Tanrig,
and for the first time for the year I have slept without any kind of
covering. The reed bed I found somewhat hard, but one cannot expect
everything, and is content with such things as one has. The condition of
the people morally, socially and spiritually, simply reconcile one to
any amount of bodily inconvenience. I can thank God and take courage.


_Saturday, August 7th._--Most beautiful morning at Tasmouri. After
Prayers and breakfast we all went for a picnic to a pretty place called
“Ro[¨n]o nawo” meaning the sound of the surf, but why I don’t know. It is
curious how the Mota word has got in here “nawo.” The word here for surf
is “togovi” but nawo comes probably from Meralava. We all turned out for
the holiday, men, women and children. The women did the cooking while
the men and boys amused themselves in various ways, fishing, shooting,
bathing or playing an animated game called “buka,” something between
“prisoner’s base” and the old game of “tig.” Some of the young men
amused themselves by shooting at a mark about thirty or forty yards
distant. They made such good shooting at that distance, that I should be
very sorry to give them a shot at me with a good well balanced poisoned
arrow. At short distances of course they make very good work, and in
their own skirmishes they don’t want to make long shots. I dare say by
the side of a good English archer they would cut a sorry figure at a
long shot, but for their own purposes they are excellent shots, and
custom of course engenders skill. Their arrows are unfeathered, and I
don’t expect will carry as true as the better made English arrow. Their
bows are very strong and durable, being made curiously enough from a
tree called the “Aru” (she oak). I spent my day pleasantly enough in
reading and making pencil notes. Crabs and breadfruit was my luncheon,
and a green cocoanut. The whole party assembled in the course of the
afternoon, and the ovens were opened and their plentiful supply of food
disgorged. I said grace and then there was a general fall to. The meal
over we made preparation for a start homewards which we reached some
time before sunset. On the way home the boys showed me in the water
course a cocoanut tree which time had failed to rot or destroy, and the
story according to native ideas was that this same tree was coexistant
with the upheaval of the island, and had never changed, generation after
generation handing on the fact of its existence and whereabouts.

In the evening we had Prayers in the church and a nice hearty Service.
Poor “Samuel” the head teacher is sick and has not been able to be with
us to-day. I gave a short address at Evensong explanatory mostly of
to-morrow’s programme. It is very warm here and one’s thoughts either
cease to flow or one’s hand to write, anyhow I find a difficulty in
inducing energy to write or my brain to cogitate.

Except for the perpetual boom and surge of the restless ocean all is
still and peaceful here at present.

On Saturdays following the general and long prevailing custom of the
Mission we have a whole holiday, and consequently this morning we had
only the shortened form of Mattins such as we use here. Breakfast
followed consisting of yam scraped and cooked in leaves, and the
particular kind presented for my discussion this morning is called
“laqa[¨n]a.” The natives are great cooks and have a very long list of
various dishes on their menu.

There are three principal modes of cooking food, however, such as yams
and taro, (1) Roasted on the embers and the outside skin carefully
scraped off as it gets hardened, this is called “tutunu,” (2) scraped on
the rough edge of the tree fern, then wrapped in leaves like a large
pudding and cooked in the hot stones, this is termed “loko,” (3) roasted
on the fire until cooked, then beaten on a large wooden dish until as
thin about as biscuit pastry, and cocoanut cream poured over, this is
named “lutu.” The first two are the most common preparations, and the
first perhaps most generally in use.

The different kinds of “loko and lutu” are wonderful, and it would
puzzle any one but a skilled native cook, to make any distinct varieties
of dishes out of such unpromising materials.

Both sexes are good cooks, and no wonder, as from the time they are able
properly to run about, until the infirmities of old age creep on they
are accustomed to shift for themselves. An English boy would fare very
badly if he had to cook his own dinner, and provide for his own wants as
early as some of these native children. But education and habit are
everything, the latter of course is second nature.


_Sunday, August 8th._--At Tasmouri. Beautiful but very warm morning.
After breakfast we had Sunday School, at which every member of the
village population was present. I was much pleased with the way four or
five classes repeated by heart their catechism, and the collect for the
week, and answered general questions on the subject. It showed one that
school was a serious and important business both with teacher and pupil.
We went from the school into church, where we had full Morning Service
but without any Sermon. Service over, I was followed by the whole male
population to Tasmate. The day was very hot, and we had been obliged to
choose the hottest part of it for our walk. However we tumbled over the
same creepers, knocked our heads against the same branches, brushed
against the same bristly bushes, that the natives of Maewo have done
ever since they peopled the island. No one ever thinks of trying to
improve his own or his neighbour’s ways, and from being accustomed so
long to the present condition of the paths, they are quite content to
experience the discomfort for ever and aye, they were good enough for
their own forefathers, why should not they be good enough for them.
Being head and shoulders taller than most of our natives, I suffered
untold agonies mentally and physically, but I submit to the necessity,
knowing that unless I commence to improve matters myself, I may expect
the same discomforts to the end of the chapter. My helmet on more than
one occasion has saved my head very severe concussions, and to be
bonnetted is no uncommon occurence. However, on we swung, I being
thankful that the road was so level as it was, and at length arrived at
Tasmate more fit to be comforted than to think of administering comfort
to others. They have built a nice little school here, and by the way
they turned up at the subsequent service it was manifest that they knew
the use of it. Augmented by the Tasmouri people the little place was
crowded to its fullest capabilities, and the heat and flies were not
such as one would choose for ordinary enjoyment, but personal comforts
with Missionaries are a secondary consideration. We had a nice service,
and I gave a somewhat long address in spite of inconveniences, and when
it was over I retired to the cool refreshing shade by the sea shore, and
all at once everyone began to feel the heat and followed me there.
However, our conversation ran in an edifying course, and I hope some
were profited by it. The return home was the next consideration, and I
must say it seemed formidable for a Sunday afternoon. We reached a place
called “Na Seu,” and there I could not resist a bathe in the natural
bathing place, under such a deliciously cool shoot of water. We came
home by a new route which was said to be much shorter, but it turned out
to be quite as long I think, and not nearly so pleasant walking.

At “Uta riki,” where I formerly remember a good population, one man and
a small child are the only surviving remnant. The rest are all scattered
or dead. We asked him to come to Tasmouri and live there, but he would
not consent on the spur of the moment. His son and relations left are
mostly there. In matter of wives he has been a regular Blue Beard, and
the last of a long list has just died, and left him a widower.

We arrived in due course at Tasmouri, and after dinner all together,
which the women had provided in our absence, we had Evensong, a very
nice service with a Sermon from me. The women proposed singing
afterwards, and this went on till late. At the Evening Service I
Baptized the infant daughter of Moses, naming her Anika. Moses, wife,
and four children are now a Christian family. His care of, and love for,
his children gave me good food for my discourse afterwards, as did the
case of ‘Dimeli’ and the remnant of his people migrating from the place
where many had died, to a place where all were going to keep well and
live, with the result that all have died with the exception of himself.
There was no hope of life apart from God.


_Monday, August 9th._--Very hot, oppressive day, and I was so ill
throughout I did little or nothing. My efforts to get cool were utterly
abortive. Great Christening festivities were going on all day. The
fatted pig was killed and eaten with much thankfulness and rejoicing in
the evening. At Evensong I screwed my courage up to a Sermon which was
better listened to than delivered. Afterwards there was a dance.


_Tuesday, August 10th._--I saw this morning a beardless youth, who is
the tenth husband of a woman in the district. One of her sons is a
full-gown man at Tasmouri, himself married many years. There is no
accounting for taste, but on which side the love or taste is I do not
know. Beauty of face and figure have little weight generally with
natives, they think more of utility and position. They seem to me to
have no idea of the sublime and beautiful either in woman or in nature
according to our ideas, and in a very matter of fact way look to the
practical side of the business. Polygamy here is the exception, and
there is not so large a percentage of females as is found in some of the
islands. However, if they are all as easily satisfied as the youth
mentioned above, young girls will be at a premium. There is one man here
at Tasmouri who has two wives, and he steadily refuses to divorce one or
the other with a view to Baptism, and according to our present practice
in the administration of that Holy Rite, we insist on monogamy.
Strangely enough the son of this very man had five wives, four of whom
he divorced in order to be Baptized. All the four divorced are now
married and Baptized at Tasmouri.

It was so intolerably hot in the village, I proposed that we should go
to Ro[¨n]onawo, as I was going to Tasmate to sleep and that was about a
half-way house. All the population followed me, and there we cooked our
dinner and rested. After the meal we had a short service there on the
beach which was very quiet and solemn, and then with most of the men I
turned my steps towards Tasmate, Samuel and a few others, with the women
going back to Tasmouri. There was a great shaking of hands, some
profusion of tears among the women, and a great deal of Christian
harmony between us all.

Arriving at Tasmate we found another dinner awaiting us, and a hearty
welcome. We had Prayers after dinner with a sermon from myself, in which
I contrasted the present visit with those they must remember to have
known in heathen days. Then the hands were full, but the heart was
empty, now the heart was full of love and the hands carried no bow and
arrows. We had great Hymn singing afterwards, and the men sat and
talked outside about the present and the past. There are a few hearts
here I can see being prepared for the good seed which may God sow in His
good time, quickly if it may be, and water the plant of grace with the
dew of His Holy Spirit.

We were rather late before we thought of retiring, and I was not sorry
at length when it was proposed, for without chair or seat, except a
native tree, there was no great pleasure in sitting.


_Wednesday, August 11th._--Spent a very uncomfortable night at Tasmate.
The kind people had done all they could to make me comfortable, but I
found the bed very hard, the sleeping quarters very rough, the fleas in
large numbers, and the mosquitos very lively. However, I have been more
uncomfortable, and I was not unthankful to be brought safely to the
beginning of another day. A place was named to me last evening called
“Beitabu,” as being a most choice spot for a bathe, and it was said to
be near at hand. Having not many toilet requisites with me, I proposed
to one “Lulu” a denizen of the place to pilot me there. I was very
“breakfasty” and most unrefreshed, but away we started for “Beitabu.” It
was a fearful grind to get there, and the distance seemed to me
interminable. Of course being well watered there were irrigated taro
beds, and I slipped off a bank clean into the mud. Yet when the spot was
reached it made up for all difficulties and distresses and proved to be
a most marvellous natural bath, a large, clear, deep pool, with water
pouring in from a charming little waterfall, and flowing out rapidly
over the rocks below. I do not know when I have enjoyed a bath more, or
when water had a more invigorating and refreshing effect on me.
Fortunately my host had what breakfast there was ready for me when I got
back, and in my state of exhaustion it did not much matter what it was.
After breakfast we had Morning Prayer with a short address from me
instead of school. Not long after “sail oh!” was cried and my boat
appeared to bring me back here to Tanrig, and heartily glad am I to be
back here again in comparative comfort. We had a pleasant but rather
heavy row up the coast, our party on board numbering twenty-eight.
Fortunately the sea was very smooth, and not much wind, or probably we
should not have fared so well. All my Tasmouri friends came on with me
and are spending the night. All were well here and the place looked much
as usual. One little baby had died unbaptized during my absence, a
matter of great regret to everybody, and very much so to me. I had known
of the child’s illness, and it was better before I left. I had
therefore postponed its Baptism until I could make it convenient to
Baptize three or four more infants now waiting for the Rite.


_Thursday, August 12th._--General holiday. Arthur took occasion to “nasu
ima” at the same time with me, and the great event of two house warmings
drew together a large concourse of people. Fire was lit in my house, and
part of a pig and two fowls were cooked in the oven. It is the custom
here to have as many kinds of flesh as possible on these occasions, and
as many kinds of vegetables, representing I suppose all the different
sorts of food that will hereafter be cooked therein. There has been
great preparation for this day, and great excitement to-day. Every
household added its mite to the feast, and in the evening when the feast
was spread out there was a grand display. Everyone had huge pieces of
yam and taro and banana cake, and a large piece of fish, fowl and pork.
The pork takes precedence, but the fish costs the greatest pains in
provision, not being so easily within their reach or means of
acquisition. Fish in these countries do not seem to take hook and bait
readily, and the poor natives have to resort to all manner of odd
expedients to secure them. There were many strangers here, and quite 150
people or more must have partaken. The pork was very nice and most
beautifully cooked in the native oven. The females presided over the
cutting up, but Arthur as co-host with myself gave directions as master
of the feast. He gave a sigh of relief when he came into my house after
it was all over, and said “there, what a poor return for so much
labour.” That always strikes me as the most pitiable thing about a
feast, it is all over in the twinkling of an eye, and what have you for
your pains?

This evening there is a great dance, a vast crowd of people has already
congregated, and it is to go on till morning light. It is done as a
special compliment to myself, and I do not like to stop them. The
patient endurance of some of the dancers is wonderful. From the start to
the finish, say from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., they never leave the ranks of the
dance but keep at it all the time, singing, clapping the hands and
dancing. There is no rest for a good supper at midnight, but the dance
is carried right through to the bitter end. I am going to attempt sleep,
but I fear the noise will prove too much for me. They have certainly a
most beautiful night for their dance, but I should be sorry to be one of
the performers. The songs are certainly very pretty, and they show
wonderful power of memory to keep up the succession all through the
night, without a book of words or musical score.

I can imagine too, as the enthusiasm of the dance increases, that there
must be a sort of fascination about the performance.


_Friday, August 13th._--The dance was kept up till daylight, and I got
little or no sleep before that. When I did get to sleep, I slept so
soundly that it was late on in the morning before I awoke, and then I
was driven to it. Arthur Huqe appeared at my bedside and asked me if he
should ring the bell for prayers, and I was obliged to consent. The
whole day afterwards was somewhat of a blank to me, and I went no
whither and did little till evening. The duties of the day however, were
carried on as usual.


_Saturday, August 14th._--The usual holiday. We had Prayers very early,
and before breakfast I took a picture of most of the congregation in
front of the church, which I hope will turn out good. It was not a
pleasant day indoors, there was a strong wind blowing, and clouds of
dust penetrating my house from all quarters, and I was not sorry to
accept Arthur’s offer to go with himself and most of the people to the
riverside. There it is always cool and pleasant, and the luxury of a
bathe, although almost a daily occurence, is always appreciated. I took
my photographic Camera with me, and after almost burying myself in mud,
succeeded in getting a good view of the pretty taro gardens. On our way
to Rarava the monotony of the road was relieved by our starting a
“malau,” the ornithological name of which I know not, but it is a kind
of bush turkey, it has a red head, yellow legs and black feathers, and
is really like a common hen in shape and appearance. The poor thing was
evidently startled from her peculiar nest, where she was about to
deposit her eggs. These strange birds after securing a favourable spot,
lay their eggs some depth beneath the upper soil, and leave them there
uncared for until the young ones hatch themselves, and when strong
enough burst their earthly tenement, and come forth to the light of day.
Some say the parent comes occasionally back to her nest to see how
matters are progressing, and even digs at the earth to find out how the
process of hatching goes on. If she finds her progeny ready to walk, she
drives them on before her to a place of security, but the general belief
is that she allows them to shift for themselves. These curious birds are
said to feed principally on the large ants here called “gandee.”

In Savo and some of the Solomon Islands, these birds are tamed and
fenced in, to lay their eggs in the hot sand, but here they are wild and
rare. Their eggs which are very numerous are esteemed a great delicacy.
This poor bird in question tried very hard to get away by flight, but
getting entangled in the thick bush, was shot by a cruel arrow. The
capture was the food for conversation throughout the day, and I listened
to the relation and re-relation of the narrative of it times without
number, with all the little details with which natives are wont to
embellish and amplify their narration of the smallest fact. It is
perfectly wonderful how the smallest matter affords pasture for native
conversation, and what a wonderful faculty they have of making multum
out of parvum. In powers of conversation and flow of language, I think
natives are far before our European working classes. A native never
seems at a loss for something to say, and certainly never fails to
express himself from lack of words.

I have frequently heard an European confess that he had a great deal to
say, but he could not express himself for want of words. The fluency of
speech, and powers of conversation are not confined here to the weaker
sex, and I think the men have quite as long tongues as the women,
although I do not think they chatter so much or make such a clatter.
Some of the men are great wits, and make fun for the multitude, but I do
not think this applies to the women. The Maewo folks are great
“laughers,” and go off into fits of cacchination at the smallest joke.
They are a most simple, good-natured race certainly, and it is hard to
conceive of their being such depraved savages, so gentle are they in
their ways.

After school with the teachers in the evening, during which we discussed
our Sunday programme, we had Evensong, and afterwards a long singing
practice. Miss Mount’s generous gift is a most welcome addition to our
singing, and Arthur Huqe begins to play the harmonium very nicely at the
services. Our singing is very fair on the whole, but there is room for
improvement, and we have the ability if I could get the girls to use
their very nice voices. In the old familiar hymns and chants they sing
out lustily, but when we attempt anything new, they shut up altogether,
without making a trial to join in.


_Sunday, August 15th._--There are two very homely sounds which break the
stillness of the early morning here, and the first is the cock which
seems to have a peculiar faculty for crowing in these latitudes, he
starts his chant before commerce is awake and he keeps religiously at it
all day long. Here at Maewo, too, these birds are in prodigal abundance,
their flesh is esteemed very delicate food, and is kept for great and
exalted occasions. Here the male takes precedence of the female even in
the matter of dumb animals, and sows and hens are looked upon as only
fit food for women. The crow of the first cock is a signal for a general
chorus, and then the natives begin to stir. As soon as they appear on
the threshold of their doors another chorus takes up the morning song,
and the pigs begin their squealing. Whether it is that one looks for
more peace on Sunday morning, or whether one perchance is a trifle more
inclined to take a little more sleep or a little more slumber, whatever
the actual cause may be, I always notice that on Sundays there is always
a greater noise from the domestic animals than on ordinary days. The
pigs here are hand fed, and will not be denied, they squeal to their
hearts’ content until they have their morning meal, and being in
considerable numbers the noise is not sleep producing. In old days these
animals were kept for their heathen feasts, but as of late these have
fallen into disuse, so the pigs have increased until they have become
one of the features of the place. At a Baptism or any great Church
Festival such as Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, one or more male animals
have to die, and although the possession of a flock is as much valued as
an Englishman’s stud, no one ever grumbles to kill his animal when his
turn comes round.

Being very hot this morning, and there being a prospect of the
repetition of the Egyptian plague of flies, who always add to the
discomfort of a congregation, we had school very early. Our numbers were
slightly augmented by outsiders, but not quite to my satisfaction. After
a hasty breakfast I started for Uta. This is a good long distance from
here, and I was in a state of dripping perspiration when I arrived
there. I found everyone keeping a Sabbath, but very few appreciating the
idea of a Christian Sunday.

However, I had quite a large congregation in the neat little school but
the ladies preponderated in point of numbers. We had quite a nice hearty
little service, and they listened patiently to an address from myself. I
wish from my heart I had a good teacher to place here, for I know he
would be the means of doing much good work to God’s glory. The present
teacher is a very good, conscientious fellow, but his own knowledge is
not much above that of his own countrymen, and they grow weary of
hearing continually the same thing. I was quite pleased with my visit,
and amply rewarded for any discomfort I experienced in the journey. I do
not expect that any immediate result will issue from such spasmodic
efforts, but there is no knowing the power of grace, and God’s ways are
not as our ways. Often it is that the last becomes first, and the first
last. At all events I keep the door open, and I hope before long someone
else may be raised up to settle among them as a permanent teacher. After
resting awhile I took my homeward journey, escorted according to custom
by the denizens of the village beyond their own boundary. I returned by
way of “Na Ruru,” where “Anthony” one of our Norfolk Island trained boys
has a school. He seems to be doing fairly well there, and has a nice
school. After sitting with him for some time, the shades of evening
began to close in, and I to feel somewhat famished, having had but
little since morning. Bidding him goodbye I started for Tanrig, where I
arrived in due course. After dinner I baptized three children, Maida,
Victoria and Matthew respectively. The Font was very prettily arranged
and decorated by Arthur Huqe, and the service generally, very nice.
Later on we had Evensong, quite a refreshing and stirring service, at
which I preached, and never before do I remember to have secured more
attention. These children I Baptized this evening make up the number of
Christians here to 100, under God, the fruits of my own, and my
teacher’s work, and I feel that by the orderly and consistent lives of
most of them, I can thank God and take courage.

I took as the basis of my remarks, our Lord’s last command to His
Disciples, and I urged those who had already been admitted into the
fellowship of Christ’s religion, to eschew all those things which were
contrary to their profession, and to follow all such things as were
agreeable to the same, and those still without the pale to lose no time
in applying for that rite, the absence of which our Lord declared must
be condemnation. Those words have a strong sound here for Missionary and
heathen--“He that believeth and is Baptized shall be saved, but he that
believeth not shall be dammed.” One realizes here their full weight, and
solemnity, and power. Quite three parts of the congregation have dropped
in to wish me good night, and by the hushed stillness over the place I
can tell that God’s Word has not fallen to the ground. God grant that it
may minister grace to hearer and preacher.


_Monday, August 16th._--The night was made perfectly hideous by the
howling of the fiendish curs which are dignified with the name of dogs,
the squealing of hungry swine, and the cackling of a poor forlorn goose
whose kith and kin have left her a solitary representative of her
species, and who seems to find her only solace in sitting outside my
door and calling to her lost companions. The dogs are simply a pest to
the place, they keep up their incessant bark all the day long, and all
night they howl and prowl around. They are hideously ugly, undersized
creatures, and are the more loathsome because they are the acknowledged
scavengers of the place. They are not worthy to be called dogs, and any
one except he was assured of the fact, would scarcely believe that they
were dogs. They are supposed to be useful in catching wild pigs, but
from their appearance you would fancy that it must be a poor specimen of
a pig they would dare to tackle. It was a beautiful moonlight night, and
all these sounds rending the still night air simultaneously drove sleep
from my eyes, and produced such inward irritation and disgust that if a
thought could have killed the lot, none of them would have troubled the
world again with their noises. A most glorious morning enticed me up
very early, and certainly the early dawn was very fresh and beautiful.
We had Prayers very soon after daylight and even then the blue bottles
had collected in great numbers and were by no means a help to devotion.
These pests spring into existence at once as soon as any number of human
bodies are congregated together, and are particularly active in church
and school. The idea of them apart from their propensities is very nasty
and disgusting, and when in a country like this without the concomitants
of devotion, one wants all the solemnity one can possibly obtain, their
presence and irritation are the more odious and nauseating.

To-day, according to custom, we kept the Christening Feast of the
children who were Baptized last night. The parents of the children gave
a most beautiful pig, and the women attended to the cooking, the men
dispersing in many directions each in quest of his own business or
pleasure. I went with a party to Ruosi where we bathed, and got back in
time for the opening of the ovens, and the division of the feast. I said
grace and then each one partook of his or her share of the plentiful
repast, all eating together in the most harmonious fashion, and not as
in old days the sexes keeping religiously apart. This middle wall of
separation has been almost entirely broken down, and family life and
sociability have taken the place of the old seclusion and division. It
was a most glorious night but the people were too tired to dance, and we
all retired early to our houses. I kept busy till very late writing up
arrears of correspondence and reading, and was the last in the village
out of bed.


_Tuesday, August 17th._--The most glorious day from earliest morning
till now at night, the evening one of the most beautiful I ever saw,
when the moon rose it was a most perfect night above and below, the sky
studded with myriads of stars and absolutely cloudless, here everything
hushed in peaceful slumber, except the restless, ever-singing crickets,
whose buzz is continuously kept up by night and day. At the heathen end
of the village there was a sort of Irish wake kept up to-day, but there
was no “tangi” or any ceremony except a pig being killed, and a great
feast being prepared. Formerly, death days were kept with great
strictness, and the day of death and the 100th were observed with great
festivities. I have seen nothing of the kind now for years, and I
fancied the custom had quite died out. It was supposed in old days when
the people were still heathen, that the disembodied spirit, after it
left its earthly tenement, hung about hungry and restless on the thick
creepers in the bush, and on the day of death a great feast was prepared
for it, after which it retired to the place of departed spirits called
Banoi. This same Banoi is near Tasmouri, but I have never seen it. The
idea, I believe, is that when the spirit is at length at rest, its stone
is placed in a certain cave or pit there exists there, and the people
who have seen the place, tell me that certainly there far inland are
smooth seaside stones laid in wonderful regularity, and in old days
supposed to be put there by successive spirits in order as they died.
Until quite recently, no one ventured into this ghostly place, and it
was regarded as eminently sacred. Some day I hope to go there and
examine it for myself.

I cannot find out the rationale of the subsequent death days, but they
seem to have more to do with the living than the dead, and are supposed
to show the departed one that he or she is still kept in faithful and
affectionate memory.

In old days everyone was careful to have one good pig at least, in
readiness for the day of his death, and any others which he might
possess at the time of his departure, his friends were careful to kill
in his honour.

They carefully kept the days, principally the tens, I think, and
religiously observed the 100th, after which remembrance seemed no longer
necessary, but before that, I am afraid, there was a large amount of
selfishness about the death days, and more was thought of the living in
them than of the dead. The people tell me how strictly these days were
kept formerly, they dispensed with their regular ordinary food sometimes
for the whole 100 days, and ate only such roots and fruits as grow wild
in the bush, religiously abstaining from all garden produce until the
full time had expired. Some went even beyond this when a very particular
person died, and for the whole 100 days ate only one kind of root, and
that the most difficult to obtain, strenuously refusing to partake of
food in common with others. I have known a man myself adhere to this
rigid, self-imposed abstention, in the case of the death of a son, and
of a wife, not here however, but at Opa. A man once came into my house
over there, tired and hungry after a long fast and a laborious journey,
but he strictly refused a biscuit or other food which I ventured to
offer him, and when or where he ate I do not know, for the particular
food he had chosen to eat was most rare in the neighbourhood, I doubt
even if it was obtainable at all. Yet no privation or distress would
force him to break his rule, and eat promiscuously until the proper time
had elapsed. In the keeping of their days they are wonderfully accurate,
and you seldom find them wrong in their calculations. Their fingers are
their ready reckoners, and they have to do a great deal more work than
ours in assisting a weak memory, where the use of slate and pencil are
unknown. I very often ask people to count over the names of persons in
the place or neighbourhood, just to see how clever and correct they are
with their numbers. Here the whole ten fingers are used, at Opa only the
left hand, five fingers down being five, the first finger up and the
rest down six, and so on until all are up which makes ten, then two
tens, three tens, up to ten tens or one hundred. In the distribution of
food, too, it is wonderful how accurate they are, and it is very rarely
that any one is left out of the count. Of course, where the science of
numbers is unknown, nature teaches by a more roundabout, but scarcely
less accurate process. For all practical purposes and uses, their
fingers help them a great deal, indeed almost as far as their
requirements go, for their lives are very simple and their ways
uncomplicated. The leaves of a certain palm, however, lends them some
assistance, especially in the distribution of food, and as the person is
seen, or his name thought of, a leaf is broken off, and then the broken
leaves are counted. I have never heard of the toes being used as
assistants, although one might fancy their being of service.


_Wednesday, August 18th._--About midnight as I lay reading in bed, and a
perfect stillness reigned around, we experienced a very sharp shock of
an earthquake. My house shook so uncomfortably, that I really feared it
was coming down, and I had the sort of feeling as of some one trying to
upset it, and I felt as if I must say “Oh! do not, please leave off, you
will have it down.” My neighbour’s fence was shaken so, that I fancied
some considerable damage had been done. The vibration lasted a good long
time, some seconds I should say, after the real shock was over, and I
felt myself, a sort of palpitation for some considerable period. I was
not afraid, but no one can feel an earthquake without some instinctive
dread. Nothing, I think, makes one feel one’s littleness and
helplessness and insecurity more, and there is such a solemnity attached
to it, that you are very thankful when it is fairly over. Man, bird and
beast were roused into action at once, and there was quite an excitement
here for a time. Curiously enough, in the evening there was a very
bright and exceedingly beautiful after-glow, and I remarked to the boys
how like it was to the time when the terrible destruction was caused in
the gulf of Sunda, and I said casually, that I should not be surprised
if we had more earthquakes soon. The natives have a firm idea that they
are the precursors of rain, and certainly this morning we have had a
very heavy downpour. This is the first rain we have had for the whole
month I have been here, and the first day I have been kept to solitary
confinement. Most of the day I have been absolutely alone, and my pen
has been kept very busy writing letters and hymns and songs. With the
latter I have been very successful, and have managed four. One,
particularly successful, goes to the chorus of “Wait till the clouds
roll by,” and is as follows:--

    Ge togatoga ririkqa.
    Mati ni van ra[¨n]ai,
    A la[¨n]i ni rowo na wia,
    Tavi dago na tasgoro.

    Gana sako na usu maraga,
    Gana toura na gabe tar,
    Gana tura goro na masi
    Gana koko betegag.

    Gana unui vagamatera
    A le[¨n]ele[¨n]e mas
    Gana tuwur, sogon le gete
    Toli tasgoro rik ka sem.

of which the translation is:--

    Wait a little bit longer,
    Wait till the tide is low,
    Wait till the wind blow fairer,
    And then make the tasgoro.

    Then we will take bow and arrow,
    Then we will carry our nets,
    Then we will stop in the fishes
    And gather them properly up.

    We will kill them dead with poison,
    All and every kind of fish,
    We will gather and lay them in baskets,
    What a glorious tasgoro!

The _tasgoro_ I have before described. Part of beach enclosed, tabu’d,
and after lapse of time opened again to the public.

This evening we have sung this chorus with grand effect, and high as I
was previously in popular estimation as a poet, I have gone still higher
now. What a little thing wins popularity, how little is a thing so
easily purchased worth the having! One other song goes very prettily and
smoothly to “Home sweet Home,” and is much appreciated. It is, as far as
I could adapt it, the reproduction of the English song into Maewo.
“Dream Faces” supplied me with another very pretty little song, which
runs very well, the theme of which is the “moonlight.” “Our Jack’s come
home to-night,” lent me the music of a fourth song, which is peculiarly
native in expression, and slightly more comic than the two above
mentioned.

The production of this last was received with such peals of laughter,
that for a time confusion and merriment took the place of composure and
perfect gravity. It would lose its charm and half its meaning if I were
to attempt to translate it into English. Here, however, is the Maewo:--

  Ta disava qarik             Isei ni tau na as?
  Eh? Ro[¨n]o lolora va!      Ki isei qa ni sawu?
  Wa sagoro ta sagoro         Ki gida, sem, ta lai ra[¨n]ai!
      Ro[¨n]o lolora va!          Toli sagoro rik!

  Da! ta sagoro da!           Ge riri betigag!
  Ta sagoro tei rik           Ga laia ra[¨n]ai sag!
  Kare mawmaw, tei riki vak!  Ge wosawosa limamu!
      A wula marama!          Tolina rik ka sem!

The “Dream Faces” song is as follows:-

 Nan ligo asik suri marama,    --I’ll make my song about the moonlight,
 Tolina rik sem a wula marama, --Charming indeed is the light of the moon,

 Osoos ti rasu mera na maran,  --Darkness has flown, it is light as the day,
 Non eteete ti lita soun na    --His brightness chased the night far away.
       qo[¨n].

 Nan ligo asik suri marama,    --I’ll make my song about the moonlight,
 A[¨n]eisa tea le isi Tamada,  --Some day I ween in our great Father’s land,

 Ala na maran vagatewa tau,    --There day unending for ever will be,
 Qon tigai ala, moa marama,    --Night is unknown there, light only endless.

The light called “marama,” is looked upon by natives as the perfection
of light, because it is, I suppose, unaccompanied by the burning heat of
the sun. I therefore use it as illustrating better the idea of heaven’s
light. Maran is the light of day.


_Thursday, August 19th._--The village was hushed in the stillness of
slumber again about midnight, and I was preparing for bed, too, and
kneeling down to say my prayers, when another quite sharp earthquake
shock was felt, and the sensation came upon me very solemnly and
impressively while so engaged. I cannot say why I trembled, but I did,
and it was quite instinctive. However, I went to bed and slept
profoundly. We have had another slight shock of domestic earthquake here
this morning, and Ann, one of our young married women, after rating her
husband, started off for Naruru, and we were quite in a ferment here for
a short time. However, this evening, her parents went for her, and I
have had to give her a scolding. I told her that anger was like a charge
of dynamite, it not only exploded itself, but it produced destructive
effects far and wide, indeed there was no knowing what the extent of its
mischief might be. She seemed penitent, and was utterly ashamed of her
unchristian conduct. I am thankful to say that scenes of domestic
warfare are uncommon here, and, generally speaking, a great deal of
harmony prevails, but of course there are clouds in the most perfect
day, and the smoothest ocean is at times ruffled by the sudden breeze.
Beyond this, our day has been like most other days, except for the
thatching of Peter’s “gamal,” which has brought together a large
concourse of people, and has been the occasion of a great festivity this
evening. Arthur, Patrick and myself walked down to Ruosi in the
afternoon, where we bathed, and returned in the evening. Our evening
duties as usual.


_Friday, August 20th._--Certainly we are blessed with the most glorious
weather. This morning was simply perfect, and one almost wishes one
could keep some of its coolness for the middle of the day, when the heat
is very great.

After school and breakfast this morning, some of the people invited me
to go with them eel catching. As the performance was new to me, I gladly
assented. The scene of the sport lay in the direction of the water fall,
and I took my camera, hoping to get a good view of it.

We followed the course of the stream, and waded through the taro
gardens, and finally found ourselves in the most advantageous position
for a photograph. It ought to be good, after all my efforts to secure
the picture, but I could not get far enough away. While I have been
writing this, since I began the last sentence, an earthquake shock has
shaken the place very perceptibly, and, why I know not, has left a
tremour all over me, which I cannot explain. The picture being shot
off, I hastened back to where the eel catching was going on. The water
was cleverly dammed off above two large pools, and then one pool
“teemed” out with buckets. In the first pool nothing was discovered, and
the next proceeding was to empty the full pool into the now empty one.
This took some time, but it was finally accomplished, and one large eel
was captured, the sole occupant of the pool, and the only sport afforded
after a long day’s work. Disappointment was depicted on all
countenances, and I was rather disgusted too, having expected to see
some sport. I comforted myself with a most glorious bathe in the broad
flowing river, and hastened home to drown my disappointment in a cup of
tea.

After school this evening, I was sitting here alone, when four men came
in, in whispers, and shut the door behind them, and when they had sat
down, they said, still in the lowest accents, “we wish to see your
Eucharistic vessels.” I proceeded to exhibit them, and they seemed quite
awe struck. Miss Patteson would have been pleased to have seen how her
noble gift was valued and appreciated. The exhibition of the beautiful
vessels gave me much food for conversation with these men, and I told
them I hoped the day was not far distant when they would be regularly
used in the Church here, and they themselves be partakers from them of
the Blessed Tokens of Redeeming Love, the bread of the world in mercy
broken, the wine of the soul in mercy shed.


_Saturday, August 21st._--General holiday as usual. Nothing of
particular importance marked the day, except the visit of three nice
fellows from Uta. The British Workman’s Almanac adorns my walls, and
they were particularly struck with the picture of Lord Shaftesbury which
occupies the centre. Curiously, many others have admired this same
picture, why I do not know, except perhaps from its size. I told these
visitors all about the late Earl, of his philantrophy and the goodness
of his life, and I told them too, of the philantrophy and goodness of a
greater than he, “who went about doing, and healing all manner of
diseases and sicknesses among the people.” They asked me if I had heard
the earthquake of late, to which I responded in the affirmative, and
told them of the terrible outburst of volcanic power at Tarawera, and
the fearful and alarming results, and I said there was no knowing but it
might be our turn next, and we ought to try and be prepared for whatever
lay before us. I urged them to fly, while they had the opportunity, to
the Higher Rock, for there we should find shelter and protection until
the tyranny were overpast, and any such visitation would be but to bring
us the quicker to a haven of rest and safety, whither such things never
come. They asked me if I could not spare some regular teacher to come
and live with them, to teach them the wonderful things of God’s law, and
expound more fully to them, the things concerning the Kingdom of God. I
promised them a weekly service, but I could do no more just yet.


_Sunday, August 22nd._--A most glorious Sabbath morning. We had school
before breakfast, both because it was cooler and also on account of the
blue bottle flies, which become very troublesome in the heat of the day,
where people are congregated together. Before our school duties were
over, they became very numerous, and I was not sorry to get back to the
refuge and quiet of my own house. After breakfast we had Morning Prayer,
a very nice service, but not rendered more solemn by the presence, in
crowds, of those disgusting pests, the flies. However, they are an
inevitable worry, from which there seems no chance of escape. After
Prayers I went to the Unduna villages, and talked to the few people I
found there. They were keeping Sunday, they said, i.e. they were doing
no work and were generally idling. I asked why they did not come to
Church as formerly, and they said it was too far. I asked why then did
not they build a school there, and I would be responsible for the
teaching in it. They so far assented as to say that they would see about
it, when they had got through with their yam planting. There is a nice
little population there, and I have always had it on my conscience that
nothing practical or definite had been done for them. Natives do not
care to go to the trouble of a few yards more or less for religion, so I
suppose the alternative is that religion must go to them. One very nice
man called “Vangoro,” was most energetic about the building, in
promising to get it done and helping all he could, he is a leading man
there too, and I hope my desire will be accomplished.

It was very hot coming back, and I was in a liquid state when I got
home. The evening was deliriously cool and fine, and I enjoyed it
outside my house with several of the people.

Evensong was a very nice quiet service, and I preached on the subject of
the Collect (9th Sunday after Trinity), the “spirit to think and do
always such things as were rightful.” I hope I got intelligent
attention. We had some nice singing afterwards, and the people went very
quietly home.


_Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday._--Blank days.

On Monday there were great festivities here, and a dance till morning. I
began to feel ill in the evening, and spent a most wretched night. On
Tuesday I was unwell all day, and could do nothing. On Wednesday I was
fearfully ill all day with a severe attack of fever and ague, and lay
down under all the wraps I could secure, until the hot fit came on with
a very severe headache. In the evening the boys surprised me by saying
there was a white man outside, and I was glad to welcome Mr. Blackburne,
Government agent of the Sybil, from Queensland. The vessel anchored at
the watering place, and the boys told him “Missionary he plenty sick.”
He therefore very kindly came up and spent the night with me. He has
just left me now, and I have not strength to go with him to the ship.
However, I am better to-day, and hope after a big dose of Quinine he has
given me, that I shall be better.


_Tuesday, August 31st._--I have wasted a whole week, and only to-day
feel equal to doing anything or going anywhere. To-day for the first
time for a week, I have moved out of the village boundaries, and have
been to the river with the boys and bathed.

It has been a sickly time here all together, and many besides myself
have been laid by. It is bearably pleasant to be pent up day by day
within doors when feeling well, but almost unbearably so when one feels
ill and out of sorts. However, I trust it is all over now, please God,
and I must endeavour to make up for lost time. Several of the people,
Arthur included, have been quite ill through eating a certain eel,
caught somewhere in the sea and very poisonous. They all detected the
burning, stinging sensation on their lips, tongue and palate as soon as
they had eaten it, but fancied it was the taro. From that time till the
end of the week, they have been all laid up, and one or two have been
very bad indeed. They have experienced not only burning, sharp pains
internally, and pricking, poignant stabbing pains in the palms of the
hands and soles of the feet, but have suffered a great deal also from
strong and utter prostration with an abhorrent distaste for food.
Several others were warned betimes from partaking, or the poisoning
might have been more general. This particular eel was caught by a
heathen on a Sunday, and therefore its peculiarly deleterious and
poisonous qualities have been traced by the more virtuous to that fact,
of which no cognizance was taken before it was cooked and eaten, nor
would have been afterwards, but for its effects. The really admitted
fact, however, I believe, is that certain fish caught at certain parts
of the beach at particular seasons of the year, have all a more or less
poisonous effect on those who eat them. The people themselves say it is
the feed they find there which makes them poisonous, but it may be
inherent in the nature of the particular fish. I remember on many
occasions on board the _Southern Cross_, the natives looking askance at
some very tempting looking fish which had been caught, and pronouncing
them dangerous to eat. On one very memorable occasion, when dinner was
over, one of the senior boys being cook, and one of the most poisonous
of fish having been served and partaken of by all, this youth without a
change of feature saying to some remark that was passed, “Oh! Yes, we
die in our country if we eat that fish.” This was reassuring after what
had passed, and we eyed one another with wistful and anxious faces,
thinking whether or not perchance our end may have been hastened by our
wilful inadvertence in thus partaking of deadly poison. But we neither
swelled, nor fell down dead, and felt no ill effects. Many a time, too,
since, I have eaten the same fish with the like happy and successful
result. This particular kind of eel, however, has played the same _post
mortem_ tricks before, and taken his revenge for wrongs received before
going into the oven. The people tell me that those who have eaten, have
become like mummies, their hair and skin have changed to a ghastly
leaden hue, and have fallen off like a snake’s skin. How far this is
true or fable, I know not, but it may be partially credible. Nothing of
the sort has happened fortunately, at this present crisis, and the
sufferers are about again.

A dull, dark evening ushered in a blustery, rough night, and the coughs
and sneezings and other demonstrative sounds peculiar to people who do
not carry pocket handkerchiefs, bore testimony to the fact of an
epidemic catarrh, contracted during a very inclement week. Like the
Norfolk Islanders, they look for the source of such things in the world
without, and accuse my friend Mr. Blackburne of having brought it here,
all the way from Queensland. In what part of his luggage he secreted so
desirable a communication I know not, but they are decidedly of opinion
that he it was who ‘gave them’ the cold, and they were unwise enough to
‘catch it’ from him. He ‘had’ the cold, they said, when he came here,
and certainly said I, I believe he took it away again. However, as colds
are catching, I suppose they must be left content with their belief, and
to ‘bless him,’ I hope, every time they sneeze.


_Wednesday, September 1st._--Another full month past and gone, and
leaving I fear, but a poor memory of much good done behind it. The days
here certainly fly past one after another in rapid flight, and the very
monotony of existence speeds their departure. One day is so like another
that it passes unmarkedly by, and one finds oneself, all at once, at the
end of the week, and is brought to final consciousness of the rapid
rotation of time’s wheels at the end of the month. What has been done in
the month? I fear there is but a poor record. God grant that I myself
may have, by His Grace, made one step forward, and have been
instrumental in leading others also onward to a higher and better life,
and to that final epoch where the flight of time is unmarked by days and
weeks and months and years, for time itself will be swallowed up in
eternity.

Nothing much happened to-day. A bright morning seemed likely to usher in
a fine and brilliant day, but in the forenoon the rain pelted down, and
for some hours we had a glorious downpour. The “blue bottles” gave
indication of this at Prayers and morning school, and I have never known
them in such numbers or so troublesome. One perfectly loathed oneself,
but escape from them was impossible, they crowded my house, which is
generally free from their incursions, and the poor people seemed quite
distracted. This is the great yam planting season, and everyone was away
after school busy at his garden. The heavy rain, however, drove them
home, and some took refuge here with me. Natives are not great hands for
introducing originality into their conversation, nor do they go much
beyond the sight of their eyes, or the hearing of their ears for their
subject matter. Any prominent object which attracts their attention is
made the subject of remark. This is a specimen of the sort of
conversation which goes on. I was writing when my friends came in, “Oh!
you are writing!” “Yes, what else did you suppose I should be doing with
pen, ink and paper?” “Oh! this is a curious tin, what is in it? Meat?”
“You are the 101st person who has asked that self-same question, I
answered the 100 before you with the monosyllabic negative, No, and I
give you the same answer.” “What then is in it? Fish?” “No.” “Fruit?”
“Yes, I hope you are satisfied.” “Oh! I see you have a “kove” (native
flute) up there in the thatch, who gave it you?” “You yourself have
asked that same question ten times before, and I have always given the
same answer, ‘Arthur,’ next time perhaps you will know without asking.”
“You have a bow and arrow there, where did you get them?” “Considering
that every person in the village knows from whence they came, and has
made them the subject of general conversation for weeks, I wonder you
should be the only person ignorant of their origin, especially as you
were here when I brought them from Tasmouri.” This is the style of thing
which goes on, and except that one is glad to accede to any means for
introducing conversation, one would soon weary of it. They themselves do
not seem to mind going over and over again the same conversation, and
wading through the same minutiæ of detail, and they expect one to be
equally patient. The rain gave me a good opportunity of planting my new
fence, and I planted, as a start, a number of oranges around my house.
The evening was fine, and the moon already quite sizeable. We had the
usual singing school after Prayers, with very good success. When the
practice was over, I asked the older men to sing some of their own
songs, and they readily complied. Old blind Daniel is the great leader,
and knows all the songs. There are three parts to the native song, (1)
the person who starts and sings the air as in a Gregorian tone, and then
follows (2) a chorus, then (3) a single voice takes up the air again,
and this is followed by the chorus. The first singer is said to “tau”
the song, the second to “sawu,” and the chorus to “lai.” The songs are
very pretty, and they kept them up with spirit for quite an hour. Some
of the singers beat a weird kind of accompaniment with bamboos, and kept
most excellent time. When the performance was over, it was time to
retire, and soon quietness warned me that it was time for me, too, to be
going to rest.


_Thursday, September 2nd._--How the days seem to chase one another in
ever too hasty flight! It seems no sooner morning than the night is here
again. We tried the experiment to-day of having prayers even earlier
than usual, to be rid of the noxious blue bottles, but only partially
succeeded in anything like freedom from them. At the school subsequently
they were more troublesome, I think, than ever, and it was not an easy
matter to keep one’s own or one’s pupils’ attention, with these hideous
creatures buzzing about. After Prayers and school one is fairly ready
for breakfast, and by the time that is over the day has already worn on
towards Noon.

It is the commencement of planting time now, and the people are very
busy day after day in their yam gardens preparing the soil. It is by no
means easy work, and they certainly make a very good show by the end of
the day.

I always like to get out somewhere if I can every day, for I find my
health is better for the constant out-door exercise. This morning the
people were all going shrimping, and I accepted an invitation to go with
them to a place called ‘Niewotu.’ I had never been there before, and I
was charmed with the picturesque beauty of it. A clear, flowing river is
utilized for the purpose of irrigation, and there one saw again the
quaint little taro beds so deftly laid out, and the showy crotons and
dracænas ornamenting the immediate view, while all round the bush was
thickly matted with innumerable, and almost impenetrable creepers with
masses of white and pink flowers. In the direct foreground one got a
peep of the bright blue sea sparkling in the midday heat. A bathe, and
green cocoanuts were very agreeable and most refreshing. The boon of
abundance of water in these hot countries is inestimable, and this
island is rich in its water supply. Araga again on the other hand is
very badly off, and Opa not much better.

Evening duties as usual, and some hymn singing afterwards.


_Saturday, September 4th._--After Prayers and breakfast, the boys and I
started for a long meditated journey up the coast. It was a most
glorious day, but very hot, the sun scorching down with pitiless heat.
We embarked at Kerepei, sixteen of us all told, and rowed away against
the Trade wind which was blowing strong down the coast. We were a merry
party, and the shore view was very beautiful as we coasted along. From
the point of embarkation to Tanrowo, a distance of eight or ten miles,
there is not a single “salt water” native, and it seems a great pity to
see so much valuable land lying fallow, when it might be utilised for
almost any purpose. As we rounded the Point between us and Tanrowo,
called “Vaturowa,” we saw a vessel at anchor in the distance. The heat
on the water was intense, and I felt myself being scorched about the
face and hands. The natives, hatless and clotheless, did not seem to
mind it, and their exuberant spirits were proof against almost any outer
evil. We saw some people along the coast, and conversed with them at
several places. Arriving at “Beitarara,” we saw a number of people we
knew. We of course asked about the “schooner” at anchor, and they said
they did not know what she was, as she had only just a short time before
come to her anchorage. However, the boat painted red was coming towards
us, and soon we were within speaking distance. I asked where she was
from, and what was her errand. As they came close to us, I heard my name
called, and found myself shaking hands with Captain Martin of the
schooner “Idaho” from Noumea. I met him years ago when he was in charge
of the “John S. Lane,” Captain McCleod owner, and he very kindly then
towed me across from Opa to Pentecost Island. He seemed very glad to see
me, and invited me on board. He now belongs to the “Nouvelles Hebrides”
Company, and was recruiting labour for “Port Sandwich” in Mallicollo.
The Company had bought land here at “Beitarara,” and he just dropped in
to see the people. He was very kind and amiable, and I spent some time
on board, and made some purchases.

The boat then started for our destination, where we found many amiable,
friendly people awaiting us, and although they had sold their land, they
had very hazy notions as to how much had been purchased, or what was to
be done with it. After spending some time with them, we gave them some
presents, and then found it was time to be getting homeward. A strong
favourable breeze took us rapidly to the Kerepei. Arriving at “Ruosi,”
we found a large number of our people awaiting us, with a smoking hot
supper they had cooked for us there. We arrived here tired and sunburnt
just before dark. Evensong followed, and a singing practice for Sunday.


_Sunday, September 5th._--School very early on account of the blue
bottles. I took all the old men into the Church and talked to them
there. They paid good attention, and I hope remembered something of what
they were taught. I tried to explain how God declared His Almighty Power
most chiefly in showing mercy and pity. There were times when He
revealed Himself as a consuming fire, but that was in His attitude
towards sin, but the whole being and essence of God was love. After
breakfast I started with Patrick for “Mandurvat” by way of “Naruru.”
Anthony had already had Morning Prayer, so I did not stay long there,
but pushed on for my destination. It was very hot walking, and I was
very liquid when I arrived at Mandurvat. Sunday travelling here is much
more tiring than week-day work, for you are obliged to respect the day a
little, as regards the clothing you wear. I had not a very large
congregation, and when service was over I asked the reason. The people
then told me that a certain man called “Ala” had “tabu’d” (_i.e._ made
sacred) the school, and prevented the people of his village from
attending service. I protested against this, and when I had said my say,
the plucky young teacher “Tarione” at once went to the village, and
broke the “tabu,” rendering himself liable to a fine of pigs or perhaps
a knock on the head. “Ala” was not at home or I would have gone to see
him. However, I believe Tarione did all I could do, and perhaps more. I
was very much pleased with the way some of the scholars had been taught,
and two females especially, took me quite by surprise. These people have
no baptized teacher, and the efficiency of the school is entirely owing
to the exertion and perseverance of two young men, Tarione
aforementioned and “Livotari.” The latter requested Baptism for himself,
wife and child, and Tarione has previously expressed the same wish. Now
that the tabu is taken off, or at least broken, no doubt the scholars
will increase, but it reflects great credit on these young fellows that
they have built the school themselves, taught themselves to read, and do
their best to teach their people. They are a most friendly, good-natured
people, and act up to their limited light and knowledge. They have
prayers and school every day, and this is very wonderful, when one
considers the few advantages they have had. “Masa,” the leading man of
the district, was present at the service, and was very enthusiastic in
the after conversation. They gave us a sumptuous luncheon of various
kinds of “loko,” and we started for Tanrig when the sun’s rays began
somewhat to decline. At “Naruru” we stopped some time, and I addressed
the people. Anthony afterwards came on with me to Tanrig. Here, in the
evening, I preached on the subject of the Gospel, the Pharisee and the
Publican, and tried to adduce some healthful lessons from the parable.
We were somewhat inclined by nature to think more highly of ourselves
than we ought to think, and not to be sober and humble in our self
consideration. Because we attended service regularly, and were very
accurate in our daily lives, we were apt to despise others around us,
who were not so exact, and were still living heathen lives. When we came
before God, our thought ought not to be of our own worthiness or
goodness in His sight, still less of the depravity and wickedness of
others, but our attitude and our language should be that of our own
utter unworthiness and sinfulness, we should imitate the action and
adopt the words of the Publican rather than that of the Pharisee, and
smite our breasts and say, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” What we
sought from all our services was to go down to our houses justified, and
the only road to justification and righteousness was humility. That was
the only road for white and black people alike, for teacher and taught,
for Priest and people. How many of us would be justified that night? How
many of us were growing day by day in grace, and in the knowledge of
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?


_Monday, September 6th._--Captain Martin had kindly offered to tow me
and my boat’s crew across to Opa if I could manage to be ready. He would
come down and anchor at Kerepei, and fire a gun as a signal for me. The
gun went, but I was not ready, and after breakfast I went down to tell
him so. Being a French ship they kept French hours, and I found a second
breakfast awaiting me on board. Twelve people had recruited at Tanrowo,
and all had been bought with snider rifles, and plenty of ammunition.
French and English recruiting laws are very different. Vessels from
Queensland and Fiji are not allowed to give guns or ammunition to the
natives, but the French do just as they like. While I was on board,
another silly female was recruited. In one of her humours she had run
away from her husband, and had come a distance of twelve or fifteen
miles, to be engaged for three years as the slave and tool of some
depraved Frenchman on one of the island stations. I could say nothing,
although I knew the result of the embarkation. However, the Captain
promised me that he would call again at the place, and see the woman’s
friends, and if they consented to her going, he would keep her and pay
for her, but if not, she should be put on shore again. How far or how
truly he will carry out his promise I do not know, but he is a tender
hearted and, I think, an upright man in his dealings with the natives.
As soon as I was ashore, he lifted his anchor and went up the coast, but
I have not yet heard what he did. He was very kind to our boys, and gave
them several tins of meat and biscuits. We made a fire at Ruosi, and
there they cooked their dinner, while after a bathe I came home. In the
evening it rained very hard, and just before the bell went for Prayers,
our congregation was therefore not so large as usual, and our numbers
thinner at school. I was very tired, and went early to bed.


_Wednesday, September 7th._--Very heavy rain during the night succeeded
this morning by a northerly wind, and a hot, close, oppressive day. I
have not felt it so warm since I have been here, and I was glad that my
duties kept me at home, and mostly in doors all the day. Nothing here
seems possible to be done without a feast and a dance, and all work was
postponed to-day to do my new fence the honour of having a supper
prepared for it. Any excuse for eating and dancing. The women were kept
busy at the ovens cooking, and the men away at the seaside endeavouring
to get a meal of fish, seemingly the choicest compliment possible to be
paid to the exterior decoration of my house. The fence making certainly
was a most laborious business, and the result, if not strikingly
beautiful, has the advantage of being strong and durable, and hitherto
pig-proof.

The men returned in the afternoon with about thirty nice fish, which
were at once consigned to the oven, and in the evening the feast was
spread here in front of my house, and the whole village assembled to
partake. Grace was said, and the huge quantities of food distributed,
and eaten with very evident relish. Postprandial grace having been said,
the company dispersed, and soon all the festal remnants, too,
disappeared. The evening was one of the most glorious I have ever seen,
and I sat outside my house for a long time talking with the people. Many
were prevented attending by reason of sickness, and our numbers at
Prayers and school were not so full as usual. After school a dance was
proposed, but did not come off. Instead thereof, a few of the men came
and serenaded me, very quietly and softly, and much more in consonance
with my feelings than the noisy songs and clappings of the dance. It was
one of those nights in which it was a “shame to go to bed,” but tired
nature seeks repose, and soon the village was sunk in silent slumber.


_Wednesday, September 8th._--Another most glorious morning followed by a
very hot and ennervating day. After our morning duties here, public and
private, I went with some of the boys to Ruosi. It was very pleasant
there by the water side, and one got a perfect freedom from the blue
bottles, which invaded my house in such numbers, this morning, that I
had to retire. The discomfort of these loathsome creatures is excessive,
and one gets away from them as far as possible. Not having had a washing
day for some days, I made one to-day, and myself turned washerwoman. The
one idea of natives with respect to clothes washing, is to pile on the
soap agony, and leave your garments as stiff as a board, and almost as
uncomfortable to wear. I entrusted a pair of white flannel trowsers, and
a white flannel coat to one of the boys to wash, but I tremble to think
what the result will be. On our way homeward we were stopped by loud
“cooes” from the rear rank, and Patrick came running forward to say
“They are here.” Soon a white hat appeared, and I fancied at once it
must be the “Southern Cross,” but wondered why she had come so quickly.

However, I was soon undeceived, and was greeted by Mr. Coates,
Government Agent of the “Lord of the Isles” from Fiji. He was
photographing the Falls, and the boys brought him on here. He was very
amiable, and followed me on to the village. He took three views of
different parts of the place, and after staying a short time returned
again to the ship as night was rapidly approaching. It is so seldom that
a white man ventures up here, that the sight of one is a seven days’
wonder. He came quite unarmed, and was evidently not frightened by the
ferocity of our people. It is customary to look upon natives as
naturally wild and ferocious, and few white men trust themselves among
them without arms. However, of course we always go armed with a Power
more protective than a Colt’s revolver, and we, I suppose, engender
trust in the natives by trusting them.

The “Lord of the Isles” is a large ship of 300 tons, and has brought
over two hundred natives from Fiji as returned labour.

Mr. Coates told me that the Conservative Government was in power with
Lord R. Churchill as Premier, and that the English Government had sent
an ultimatum to the French to withdraw their troops from the New
Hebrides, or their action in sending them there would be looked upon as
a breach of faith and an act of aggression. There will be troubles down
here yet I fear, with all the shilly-shallying there is over the
annexation of these islands. The French are evidently intending some
forward step, for they have troops both in Havannah Harbour, and Port
Sandwich (Mallicollo), and the Nouvelles-Hebrides Company are buying
land right and left all over these islands. It would not be pleasant to
find myself a prisoner in France instead of a free man in England, and I
hope there may be no fear of such a criterion.

Our evening duties as usual ended with singing.


_Thursday, September 9th._--Another most glorious morning, and a bright
warm day. My home duties kept me here till far on in the day, when I
joined a large picnic party at Ruosi. Certainly these natives take life
easily, and in their own way get a good deal of enjoyment out of it.
They seem utterly devoid of that care and worry which kills so many of
us, and certainly follow the Scripture injunction as to taking no
anxious thought. Nature affords them all they want for their bodily
comfort, and I trust religion supplies the rest. It is perfectly
wonderful how far more merry and light hearted they are than their
heathen neighbours, and I fondly hope the secret is within, such jolly,
amiable, good-natured creatures they are, and so happy and friendly and
harmonious among themselves. The sportsmen to the number of twelve or
fifteen went off in search of wild fowl, or any other of the feathered
tribe they might come across, the cooks setting to work to get the oven
alight and start the cooking. Prawns were caught in abundance, and were
eaten with roasted taro, as a sort of lunch, and green cocoanuts were
secured as the refreshing beverage. It was an animated and picturesque
scene, and in the evening the sportsmen returned with five fowls and one
owl, an odd looking object, as the result of their day’s sport. These
birds were soon consigned to the oven with the other food, and were
partaken of in the evening. I came away beforehand and had my dinner
here. It was a most gloriously still and beautiful evening and the
native songs sung by the boys coming home, sounded very pretty in the
distance. There seems to have been an exuberant joyous spirit about
to-day, animating everyone, and never since I have been here, have I
known so hearty and bright a service as we had this evening.

After school most of the boys and younger men went to “Unduna,” a
_suburb_ of Tanrig, to a great dance, which is to be kept up till
morning light. The occasion of it is the ‘nasu’ing of two gamals
to-morrow, and nothing can be done without a dance. Arthur, who has
neither the strength nor the inclination to go, has been keeping me
company, and we have had some nice and profitable conversation. He has
left me now, and in the stillness of the most glorious night, the song
of the dancers breaks upon one’s ear, and makes one conscious that one
is in the Melanesian Islands. Besides that one sound, nothing else is
audible, and I myself am going to prepare for the quiet and rest of my
humble couch.


_Saturday, September 11th._--Started this morning after breakfast for
Tasmate by boat, and saw a vessel heading in for the watering place.
This was the _Southern Cross_ from the islands, and before long she came
to anchor and we were on board shaking hands. We were somewhat surprised
to see the Bishop, but he was not well and was going for the change to
Norfolk Island. None of the party on board looked very well, but they
were going South and would soon feel the benefit of the colder weather.
Mr. Turnbull came back with me and spent the night here. After service I
held a consultation with the teachers as to Arthur’s going to Norfolk
Island, and they were unanimous that he ought to go. A. P. Huqe offered
to stay in his place. The vessel was much earlier than I expected her,
but none too early. The news generally, very good.

There were five earthquake shocks to-day, one of which was very severe,
felt equally on shore and at sea. The Captain fancied the ship was on a
rock.


_Monday, September 13th._--Yesterday I spent at Tanrig. Mr. Turnbull
slept the night with me, and spent the whole of Sunday. We had school in
the early morning and after that, breakfast. Then followed Morning
Prayer with a very large congregation. In the afternoon Mr. Comins, Mr.
Plant, Mr. Brittain, the Captain, Engineer, and a large number of
Melanesians came up to see the village and stayed to our social meal in
the evening. They were all quite charmed with the people and the place,
and enjoyed very much the pleasant walk. Mr. Turnbull took his
departure, and Mr. Brittain spent the night with me. The party, with the
exception of Mr. Comins, were not successful on the return journey and
missing the track got into the taro gardens, and floundered about in the
mud in the most helpless confusion. Not finding a way out of their
difficulty they tried back, and hit happily upon the right track. This
little episode threw somewhat of a damper upon the visit, and the party
returned rather wet and crestfallen to the ship. Mr. Comins was accused
of being the cause of the misfortune, and I believe those who fared
worse than he heaped their approbrium on him when they got on board. The
Bishop was not well, and we were all disappointed not to see him at our
head quarters. Naturally, a visit from our Bishop is looked upon as a
red letter day by our people, and if he cannot come the disappointment
is very apparent. Mr. Brittain and I dined together and spent a most
pleasant evening. It was a most glorious evening, and the calm peace of
a cloudless sunset gave place to the most brilliant moonlight. We sat
outside the house talking to the people until Prayer time. The service
was a very impressive one, for I got Arthur to say a few words to his
people before leaving them, and the thought of going away raised a great
lump in his throat, and for some moments, although generally so ready
and so eloquent, he could not say a word. Several times there was a
tremble in his voice and he was nigh to breaking down, and his own
undisguisable emotion produced a visible effect on his congregation. He
said in the course of his remarks, that to-day they had seen a great
concourse of people at their village, of many colours and nationalities.
But though divided by race, differing in speech, and separated in
locality, they were all one people with them, because through Christ
they were all united in one, owning one God and Father of all, believing
one Common Saviour, knit together by one Spirit, and professing one
religion. Though so many and so various we were all one in Christ. And
then he went on to speak of himself and them, still carrying on the same
idea, and he said that although divided in bodily presence, unseen by
the bodily eye, and separated by the wide ocean, they were still one in
spirit and in heart. Oceans could not separate those whom God had joined
together, and whether near or far they were still all one in Christ. And
then almost overcome, he said it might be God’s will that they should
never again see each others’ faces, but they must look forward to the
great meeting time beyond the grave, where parting would again be
unknown, and those whom Christ had joined together, and made one in
Himself should be one for ever with Him and behold His glory. Because
they were going to be separated it was no reason that they should forget
each other, but day by day they should remember each other at the Throne
of Grace, until such time as they should be reunited in this world, or
if not, in the world to come. I followed with a few remarks, and a very
impressive service concluded with the Blessing. After the service I
called the teachers together to make final arrangements for our
departure to-morrow, and Patrick was quite content to take charge of the
school. I am very glad that he should, and I quite feel that the extra
responsibility will be good for him.

Arthur Huqe will go with me to Opa for the change, and return again with
me when the ship comes back from Norfolk Island. Two Maewo lads have
expressed a wish to go with us to Opa, and I am very glad of any
exchange of friendship between the two islands. It will do them good to
see other places, and enlarge their minds and ideas to see other people
beside themselves. Moreover, being with Arthur, a native of Opa, they
will not feel so lonely as if going by themselves. They are two nice
boys, and I hope they will profit by the little outing.

Mr. Brittain’s enthusiasm was quite cheering, and we were very late in
getting to bed, being so busy talking over our mutual work, inasmuch as
our district is one, and he knows the people here so well.

This morning we were astir very early, and after Prayers and breakfast
were very busy getting ready for our departure. Many hands made light
work, and soon our impedimenta were shouldered by willing bearers, and
we were on our way for the Kerepei. We had a most pleasant walk down,
Mr. Brittain most cheery and appreciative all the way, and we were all
on board very soon after the stipulated time, 10 o’clock. We had a
light wind to start with, but it soon fell calm, and the engineer’s
services were called into requisition. It is very hot work steaming in
these latitudes, and the cabin especially gets very stuffy. We anchored
at Opa between five and six o’clock, and I got my things ready for the
start ashore in daylight. Mr. Brittain and Mr. Turnbull came with me,
and we visited the French Trader ashore, who was said to have the latest
telegrams. We were quite astonished, not only at the polite manner in
which we were received, but by the neat and tastey appearance of the
little man’s premises and dwelling house. He is evidently a man of
considerable genius, and far more energy than most of the Traders down
in these parts.

His kitchen garden was a sight to behold, and although for three months
he has had no rain he has an abundance of cabbages, carrots, onions,
shalots, garlick, parsley, spinnach, lettuce, &c. The whole garden too
is laid out in the most natty matter, showing wonderful care and
perseverance. Inside his house it was equally neat, and the walls were
decorated with an enormous number of island curiosities. During the
slack time of the year when cocoanuts are scarce he makes very curious,
but extremely chaste, ornaments out of shells, and sells them to Traders
at about fifteen shillings the pair. He also makes sleeve links out of
opercules, and many other ornaments of personal adornment. He gave us a
great basket full of eggs, and some green food for the ship. We bade the
amiable and loquacious little man good-bye, and thanked him for his
kindness, and then pushed on for Tavalavola where we found the whole
village waiting for us, and Charles and Monica heading the party. I was
most pleased to see the happy and affectionate relations which existed
between them, and the natural and unaffected way in which she came into
my house, and the kind care she exhibited in the bestowal of my goods
and chattels. Afterwards when we went off to the ship she came with us,
and went down of her own accord to see the Bishop in the cabin. We did
not stay long on board, but bidding farewell to them all we came ashore
for the night. I should have liked of course to stay till morning, but
they were so crowded on board I thought it was better we were out of the
way. It was near midnight when we finally retired for the night, and I
was very tired and glad to get to bed. The boys are so nice and
friendly, and come in and out of my house so naturally, that it gives
one quite a homely feeling, and when they call me “Mama” (Father) I feel
quite proud of the spiritual relationship. I quite look forward to my
stay here, and I hope under it God may be the means of much good.


_Tuesday, September 14th._--Most beautiful morning, but the night was
very cold, and I was very glad of a blanket over me. We had Prayers and
school before breakfast, the scholars numbering about 50 of both sexes.
I was quite astonished at the admirable way most of them read and
answered, and equally struck with the diligent and painstaking manner in
which the boys were teaching. The school is admirably conducted, and
peculiarly well and thoroughly taught. The scholars are evidently very
sharp, and one or two little boys and a very little wee girl read
surprisingly well. Charles, the head teacher, is a most steady and
excellent young fellow, and to him the credit of the efficiency of the
school is mainly due. All the other boys however, work well and steadily
with him, and I was particularly gratified to see what a helpmeet his
wife Monica is to him. In the course of the day the older people were
about, and I told them I wanted them to come and get instruction also,
to which they consented. While I was at breakfast the French Trader
called on me and brought me a most noble present of green food, for
which I was deeply grateful. He was very amiable, most polite and
peculiarly loquacious, and I was quite interested in listening to his
broken English. He is a Parisian and was in the ‘garde mobile’ during
the siege by the Prussians, which of course means that he is a
Communist. He left me after a time, and I set to work to put my house in
order. The boys went to ‘Tahi mamavi,’ where we have a school, which I
hope we shall be able now to teach regularly. Meramaeto (Paskal) had
been there living, but some trouble broke out and he had to come away in
consequence. Now all is pacific again, and we hope to make another fresh
and vigorous start, which I hope will be permanent. In the afternoon I
went to see a Trader who had sent me a request to visit him, not having
a boat of his own. His complaint was, that having a Frenchman on either
side of him, and he doing a better trade than either they were jealous
of him, and had threatened him with violence if he did not leave. He is
a Scotchman and a very decent fellow. The Frenchmen had threatened also
to lay hands on his copra, looking on him as an interloper, inasmuch as
they suppose the French are about to annex the New Hebrides group. I did
all I could to explain his position to the natives, and ‘Tabi’ the
chief, and really a big man, said that while he dealt fairly with them
he would see that he was properly protected and fairly dealt with. I
told him that he and I were subjects of one Queen, and of a different
nationality to the Frenchmen, and that being a steady and well-behaved
and honest man he ought to help him all he could. He had a great many
nuts, and a large amount of copra, and I should say he was doing very
well. He does not trade with powder, or guns, or spirit, and is
evidently a very temperate man. He asked me to tell the natives not to
bring the coconuts on Sunday as he wanted that as a day of Rest, and he
asked me if I could make it convenient to come and see him sometimes on
that day, because he wished not to forget his God in the midst of his
mundane pursuits. He has been a sailor all his life, and has a mate’s
certificate, I think. He has only been here five weeks from Sydney, and
hitherto has done very well. I got back to dinner, and then went to see
David, one of our teachers, who is sick. He was very full of his child,
about three years old, a perfect prodigy. He told me the child would get
into a perfect frenzy if he were not allowed to go to school and
Prayers, and when once or twice he has been left at home he has knelt
down in their house and gone through the form of prayer by himself. He
will never go without his clothes, and the only time they can get him to
take them off is to bathe. Even at night he must have on a garment. His
mother told me too that his first thought in the morning, even before
eating, was the bell, and he would tug at her sleeve until she took him
up and started for the school. The same was the case too, in the
evening. They also told me of a poor girl who had died about a fortnight
ago. She has been most regular at school for years past, and was far
away ahead of all the others in knowledge. She never would marry because
she was afraid she should be debarred from attending school. She was
most anxious to be Baptized, and when she was taken ill she still longed
for Baptism. She importuned Charles so on the subject that just before
her death, he sprinkled her with water in the Name of the Trinity, and
signed the sign of the Cross on her forehead. She died perfectly happy
and at peace, and her devoted life and peaceful death have produced a
great and profound impression in the village.

While talking with David, his old grandmother came in, and she is a
woman of great age, and marvellous energy. She is now a great
grandmother, and a bright, cheery old lady. I asked her how old she
thought she was, and she said she really did not know, but she was very
aged. She said that I had always told her that she “tugi vetu” (was as
hard as flint) and it seemed as if she really was. She comes regularly
to school, but her eyes are so dim that she can only sit and listen.
Several old ladies attend school only to sit and listen, and they take
great interest in coming. In the evening we had Prayers, and a very nice
school afterwards.

So ends my first day, and I hope all the other days I am here may be as
pleasant and as happy.


_Wednesday, September 15th._--A beautiful morning but a strong Trade
wind blowing. After our morning duties here we sailed down to ‘Lobaha’
to see Arudale, Didi and the school there. We pulled the boat up on the
beach, no very easy work with the sand so soft. Most of the boys were
down at the beach and we all went up together to the village. It was a
hot, steep climb and we were very liquid when we got there. The boys
brought us a plentiful supply of young coconuts and with these we
quenched our thirst. I was glad to see the amiability which was
manifested one towards another by our people and the Lobaha folks, for
lately the relations have been somewhat strained.

It appears that not long ago, the chief wife of our Head man took
offence at his scolding her, and ran away to his younger brother who
lives at Lobaha. Our great man was very fond of this wife, for they had
grown up together from childhood, and she had always presided over his
establishment in a most devoted manner. She is most queenly in
deportment, and quite one of the finest native women I have ever seen.
However, she went off, and “Virclumlum” was not only incensed, but very
sorely grieved. He told the boys in most pathetic words how he missed
his wife, how that it seemed unbearable to do without her, how that
everything seemed void and empty now that she was away. However, once
away it seems she was away for good, and very soon a pig arrived and
that he had to accept in lieu of her. For a long time the people here
have never been to Lobaha and contrariwise the Lobaha people here.
However, we have, I hope, broken the ice again, although I am
particularly sorry to lose so nice a woman from the place, and I believe
she has deeply repented already of her conduct and would give worlds to
be back again. I was glad to see a new school in course of erection, and
the old men and women told me they were only waiting for it to be
finished to all coming to school. Herbert has already a nice little
building at his own place, but the people say it is too far away, and
any excuse is enough to keep people away from religious duties. Herbert
shewed me with manifest pride, the most beautiful tool chest sent by his
English “mother” (Miss Mount). He has been trying to use the tools, and
I saw an attempt at some amount of straightness in the new building at
which he was assisting. We stayed some time with him, talking over
matters in connection with the school, &c., and then we made
preparations for home. The wind was blowing strong down the coast, so
that a sail was useless, and we had a heavy pull. However, the boys are
very good oarsmen, and we got along famously. I anchored the boat off
for the night, having use for her again to-morrow. It was a very
miserable evening, the wind blowing in strong gusts, and the threatened
rain falling at short intervals. We had Prayers and a very long
interesting school afterwards. The boys and girls here are very sharp,
and learn very rapidly, and seem to understand well what they read.
There are three classes of Catechumens preparing for Baptism, adults,
boys and girls, all more or less proficient. Altogether, this school is
very cheering, and with such an excellent head teacher as Charles, one
need not fear of its stability.


_Thursday, September 16th._--After our morning duties were over here we
rowed up to “Lo tahi mamavi,” and had school there with a large number
of people, who were very enthusiastic to know more and to be regularly
taught.

There are a nice lot of boys here, and some already know how to read.
The old men I had school with, and they seemed quite delighted to say
the letters one by one, and afterwards to put them together, and find
out that they made Opa words. I told them as far as I could about our
religion, and that I had left home, and all to come and live with them
and teach them, but that Jesus Christ pitied and loved us so much that
He left heaven, and His Father’s glory to come down into our world to
live and die for us. They were very attentive, and asked me to come
again, which I promised to do on Sunday, all being well. They gave us a
handsome present of food according to native custom, and we left for
home. It was raining heavily and we got very wet, but the distance was
not very great. It was a most unpleasant evening, and I was cold and
miserable, and I began to fear ague again. Last night was most wretched,
my house was not properly finished, and the strong gusts of wind blew me
almost out of bed, and brought in clouds of dust. To-day the boys have
been patching up the holes, and it is more snug and comfortable.


_Friday, September 17th._--Fine morning and very close and hot after the
rain. After breakfast I received a visit from an English Trader, who
lives about two miles from me. Poor fellow, in my honour he had put on a
coat, and he was literally running with perspiration when he reached my
house, and he did not succeed in getting cool again before he left
although he stayed some time. He seems to be doing a very fair trade
here in copra, and although he has not been long on the island, he has
already several tons of the dried coconut (copra). After he left I was
attacked with a good-for-nothing fit and did nothing all day. In the
evening I was very queer, and thought I was going to have rheumatism, my
legs were so cold and my limbs generally so frail. However I managed
Evensong and school, and was not sorry to be ready early for bed.


_Saturday, September 18th._--General holiday here. The boys wished me to
take them to Vuinago, fishing, to which I rashly consented. It was a
perfectly windless day and, oh! so hot. We had a long weary pull up, but
were very successful when we got there, and came home late in the
evening with about eighty fish. I was very glad to be able to send ten
to the French Trader, as a return for all his many kindnesses to me, the
rest were divided out to different great people, and about thirty were
kept for to-morrow’s dinner. I was very glad the boys did not forget the
women in their distribution. I had a nice fish for my own tea, a kind of
mackarel. Very soon after dinner it was Prayer time, and I am now
preparing for bed being very tired, sunburnt, and sleepy.

The boys are having great fun over the way, and it is evident the outing
has not had much ill effect on their spirits.


_Sunday, September 19th._--Yesterday was perfectly calm and cloudless,
and to-day again it is blowing very hard, with rain squalls at
intervals. We began the day with school, and then after an interval for
breakfast we had Mattins with a fair congregation. The females are very
enthusiastic and attend very regularly, and the same applies to the
boys, but the older men are very callous. There are one or two who never
miss, but the majority are much more concerned with the affairs of this
world, than about the one thing needful. There are one or two old
fellows who are very regular, and who seem really to like being taught,
but most of the men prefer the free and careless life to which they have
always been accustomed. There are many who feel the beauty of
Christianity, but it is so hard to them to practise it. They think it
is all right for boys and women, but they themselves cannot stand the
bother and burden it entails.

After Prayers we went up to “Tahi mamavi” and found the whole population
awaiting us. We divided them into five sets, two of boys, one of youths,
and two of old men. Charles and I taught the old men, and found them
very attentive. Walter Tarigisibue addressed the youths who seemed
appreciative, and Paschal and Peter taught the boys who were said to
learn very quickly. They asked us to fix a day for coming again, and
said they should expect us every Sunday. I had been feeling sick and
queer all day, and coming home was violently sick in the boat. I got
home as quickly as possible, but the sickness continued, accompanied by
ague, and afterwards strong fever headache, and then strong
perspiration, and this morning, (Monday) convalescence.

However, I am very washed out and good for nothing, and shall rest at
home. I am disappointed however, for I meant to have gone to the other
side of the island in the boat, and had made all my preparations. Now I
must wait a bit.


_Tuesday, September 21st._--Reasonably convalescent again, but weak and
not fit for much. It was a most unpleasant day however, with fitful
squalls of rain and wind, and I could not have gone far even if I had
wanted. The boys were busy planting “Virelumlum’s” yam garden, and were
kept hard at work all day. I was not surprised, for I previously knew it
to be the custom here for the chief’s wives to prepare his food in the
gamal. Generally speaking, women are not admitted within these edifices,
and more especially here, but to-day Virelumlum’s wives, three or four
in number, were busy with the men getting ready the evening meal. I
asked them where they were going to eat themselves, and they said with
some naïvete, “Oh! that is a secondary matter, we have to get our
masters’ dinner ready and shift for ourselves as best we may.” It would
be impossible for them to eat any food cooked in the gamal, and so
religiously have they been brought up under this restriction, that they
would probably sooner die of hunger than attempt to appease their
appetites with what to them is sacred food, or at least forbidden, and
they are more faithful to the laws of men, than was Eve to the law of
God. And, I suppose as spiritual death was the judgment on Eve’s
disobedience, so would physical death be the penalty in case of their
transgression. Human life is not more highly valued here than it is in
Ireland, and a woman’s life is not much accounted of, and death is the
common penalty for very trivial offences. Here it is universally
averred that woman is at the root of all the evil that transpires, and
poor things, they are too often the victims where the men go scott free.
Here the females are much in excess of the males, and naturally polygamy
is widely practised. The big men however, get the lion’s share, and it
is no uncommon thing to find a troop of women in the households of the
chiefs, varying from ten to fifty or even one hundred. All no doubt are
not wives, but slaves and beasts of burden, and these big guns do
nothing themselves but impose all the duties of the house and garden on
their women. I do not think I am maligning the Opa men when I say that I
look upon them as hideously lazy, but of course that results in large
measure from their imposing their own natural duties on others, whom
they find ready or obliged to do it for them. It is quite different at
Maewo, where monogamy now mostly obtains, and where the men take an
active and a man’s share in all out door employments. However Virelumlum
was very active bustling about among his women, and I saw him
shouldering off a big burden of yams, following up the rear of a troop
of preceding females.

Here time seems of no importance and no account, and it wearies me
sometimes to see people squatting about for hours at a time, whistling
or otherwise killing time. It is an ennervating climate no doubt, but
that is no excuse for laziness in people who have been born and brought
up in the country. I often urge laggards and idlers, who make my house a
convenient lounge, to go to work and plant their fences, but as nothing
can be done out of due course, what was, is, and ever must be the same.

In the evening there was a great feast spread for the workers, and the
day finished like all days here, with Evensong and school. This little
village is a bright spot in the surrounding darkness, and I trust in
time its influence for good will be more widely felt than even now. The
attendants at the school seem wonderfully staunch, and the teachers very
earnest, and I pray God that their vigorous instruction may not be lost
on the heathen people around them. But there is the same callousness
attending religious practice as about everything else here, and although
they see the beauty and the benefit of Christianity, the effort is too
great to reduce its blessed precepts to daily practice.


_Wednesday, September 22nd._--By-and-bye I shall have as much trouble
with my white flock, as with the black. The white Traders have got some
feud one against the other because of difference of nationality, and I
had to listen again to accusations from an Englishman against a
Frenchman, as to plots against his life and property. Poor man, he is
new to the business, is doing well, and fancies that he is taking the
bread out of the Frenchmen’s mouths, but there is room for all. I found
he was not only filled with gloomy fears himself, but had imbued the
chief under whom he lives with warlike intentions also, and I had to put
a veto upon any resort to open violence. I told the chief “Tabi,” that
he must keep his hands from all white men, and if he had any complaints
to make, to make them in the proper quarter, and not take the law into
his own hands. He must learn the sacredness of human life, and not rush
to bow and arrow and club for every fancied affront or grievance. As
long as I was here I would do my best to see that peace and harmony
reigned among whites and blacks, but I would countenance no violence or
bloodshed. After this I went to the Frenchman at La[¨n]a[¨n]qa, and he
seemed very surprised to think that he was accused of any ill feeling,
and judging from his good nature I should imagine his surprise was
genuine. However, I said it was very hard if a few white men living on
so large an island, could not live at peace, even if their nationalities
were various, and if they could not agree among themselves, what could
be expected of the natives? I quite like the natty little man, and
certainly he is the best colonist I have ever seen down here. He is a
most handy man and always employed, and as far as industry goes, he sets
the natives a very excellent example. The neatness of his house and
surroundings too, ought to have a good effect.

The fine day turned into a most dirty, rough, unpleasant evening, and we
went to Prayers in a perfect downpour of rain. After Church there were
great searchings of heart among the elders, and I publicly announced
that I wanted the names of those who wished for Baptism. To the surprise
of everybody, and to the delight of not a few, four women stood up and
said almost simultaneously “Inew” (I). These quiet, demure creatures,
generally so terribly afraid of the men, and always so shy in public,
must have been influenced by a stronger Power than any they had hitherto
known to make this public profession, and it produced no small sensation
on all present. Two men also said they wished to be admitted to the
Sacred Rite, and I hope they will soon be followed by many more. Charles
Tariqatu’s influence here is great, and the fruits of his thorough and
earnest teaching are beginning to be felt. He is so thorough and good
himself, that his example and influence have all the more effect. There
will be about twenty to be baptized on Sunday, the nucleus I trust, of a
good Christian population hereafter.


_Thursday, September 23rd._--A thoroughly wet and disagreeable day.
Fortunately there was a great festivity here, and I was not left without
something to do all day. I trust I did not spend quite an unprofitable
time. I begin to see distinct light through my work here now, and I can
see how the seed sown through long years is at last beginning to bear
fruit. I am eminently satisfied with the work of the boys here, and I
can see that Charles’s influence pervades everything. One man to-day,
who never has taken much interest in our teaching, came to ask me if
Martin Ta[¨n]abei might not come back from Norfolk Island, and live with
him and his people as teacher. Another told me that my words to him of
former years have quite changed the course of his life, and no doubt he
is as different as possible to what he formerly was. I was under
engagement to go to Tahimamavi, but when we were launching the boat the
rain came down in such torrents that I reluctantly turned back. The
evening was as bad as the day, and most uncomfortable it was in my
leaking, cold house. We had Evensong with a good congregation, but a
great gust of wind put out the principal lamp in the very middle of the
service, and made it somewhat dismal.


_Friday, September 24th._--Fine bright morning and a very hot day.
Having failed to go to “Tahimamavi” yesterday I resolved to go instead
this morning. We had a hot, but a most pleasant row up the coast about
three miles, and found the people awaiting our arrival. They had been
disappointed that we did not come yesterday, but supposed that the rain
was the occasion of our failing in our promise. Such a nice number of
bright boys assembled for school, and a great many grown-up people. The
boys were divided into two classes, and two of the boys taught them
their letters. The older men I undertook to teach myself with the help
of Peter. I made a few remarks at first and then told Peter to say a few
words. I was quite unprepared for what followed. It is not often I have
seen such an effect on a native audience, and his flow of natural
eloquence from beginning to end quite held the men enchained. With a
great deal of energy, and a vast amount of earnestness, he went into the
thick of his subject, and left an impression which I feel sure must,
under God, have a good effect. At the end of his remarks he said very
modestly, “You may perhaps think it presumptuous in me to stand here in
your presence and speak like this, you who are old enough to be my
fathers, and so high in rank all of you as to look upon me as a mere
nonentity, and indeed I am amazed at my own audacity. But I speak about
things of so momentous import that I take the chance of your
displeasure, and submit myself to whatever verdict you may choose to
return. Were I only concerned about things which belong to our heathen
state, I should take the place of a humble listener and you should do
the talking, but here all is different, for out of the abundance of the
heart the mouth must speak, and that heart and mouth, thank God, are
mine.” There was not even an assent of approval, all were so impressed
with the message delivered so eloquently by a mere boy. I said at the
end, after a long pause, for I did not like to break the spell which
seemed to hold them all, “Our son has spoken good words to you which I
hope you will not soon forget.” And they all said, “Who can forget
them?” I was also much pleased with the way the boys had got on with
their reading after so few lessons, and altogether I felt that a “great
door and effectual had been opened here,” for which I was most thankful
to Almighty God. Now it remains but to put a good teacher there, and I
think a wide harvest may by God’s blessing be soon gathered in. We came
back with a fair wind in the afternoon, and in the evening again we had
torrents of rain. However, we had our full complement at Prayers, and a
very nice time afterwards.


_Saturday, September 25th._--I had intended to-day to have gone to
Walurigi, but it set in to a wet day, and I was obliged to stay at home.
However, I had a succession of visitors, and among them some Bushmen
from a long way inland. The boys told me some odd stories about them,
how ignorant they formerly were and what strange things they did in
consequence. When they first came down to the sea they fancied it was
hungry, because the surf came rolling in, as they said, “mouth wide
open.” They therefore gave it food to eat. Knowing only the taro root,
when first getting possession of a yam, they fancied it was firewood and
put into the fire. Some many years ago they came down here in quest of a
pig, and while waiting in the gamal their eyes caught sight of a tin
with the picture of a lobster outside. Thinking this was something very
wonderful they stole it, and marched off homewards with it instead of
their pig. Arriving at their village home the chief made a great feast
for it, and placed it in the midst of the village dancing ground, and
went through the various ceremonies as if it were a pig in verity. The
ceremonies over, the chief advanced to the tin, and with his foot,
squashed up the tin as if he was treading the life of a pig out, with
the inevitable result that he almost cut his foot off. Now-a-days of
course they are more enlightened, and the men who were here to-day I
found very amiable and intelligent. All “salt water” natives despise
Bushmen, and they have always stories to tell of them. There is somehow
a natural feud existing between them, but the agression I must say,
comes generally from the Bushmen. They do, certainly, very unaccountable
things, but they are always forgiven, and their conduct explained by
saying, “Oh, they are only Bushmen,” or as they say here “(Taute).” A
small vessel passed here in the afternoon, and anchored off M. Moussu’s
place “Ia[¨n]a[¨n]qa.” In the evening there was the greatest excitement, the
boys returning from fishing saw a boat under sail coming down the coast,
and the general idea was that it was Mr. Brittain. I was led into the
swim, and made active preparations for his reception, but he never
turned up, the sail belonged to some other boat.

Heavy rain and strong wind squalls again in the evening.


_Sunday, September 26th._--A day which will ever be memorable to me,
here at Tavolavola. To-day I Baptized twenty-five people, and it has
been indeed a day of great spiritual enjoyment to me. Before I was up in
the very early morning, I heard boys in the school house reading their
baptismal service over, and all through the day there are some who have
never had their books out of their hands. The teachers have done their
part most admirably, and I thank God for such earnest children. We had
school before breakfast, and a most excellent school too. I went from
class to class leaving A. P. Huqe to discourse the older men. The boys,
nothing daunted by my presence, kept their instruction going, which was
generally very thorough and good. The earnestness of all was quite
remarkable. After school and breakfast we had Morning Prayers, a nice
hearty service, and after that we started by boat for “Tahimamavi.” Here
we found the people awaiting us, and soon we were assembled for school.
Charles gave the old men a very good and eloquent address, and three
other classes were provided for. On our way home we stopped for a few
minutes to learn the news from the schooner at anchor, but they had none
except that the French troops were still at Port Sandwich, and did not
intend to move at present, and moreover, that the Mail Steamer had a
contract to come as far North as that Port. This does not look like
clearing out of the group, and the Captain told me they had not the
least intention of moving at present. Before long we shall know the fate
of these islands, but I sincerely trust they may not fall into the hands
of the French. In the afternoon I was most pleased to see the teachers
selecting boys and youths, more especially connected with them by ties
of kindred, and taking them for a walk and serious talk, as is the
custom at Norfolk Island. Everyone was so filled with enthusiasm that
the chief himself sent to say he wished to be Baptized, but inasmuch as
he has already four or five wives, and contemplates taking more, I could
not listen to his petition for a moment. To put away his wives would
lower him in rank at once, and in the choice between God and Mammon, he
felt the difficulty of putting away any of his women, and I was obliged
to leave him with his god Mammon.

In the early evening we decorated the Font, and when the building was
lit up at night with lots of candles, it looked quite nice. The service
was quite one of the most stirring I have ever taken part in, and the
ready responses one by one, of men and women, produced a great effect on
every one present. The women, generally like poor frightened, startled
creatures, answered out marvellously, with a vigour and earnestness,
such as no one was prepared for. The ceremony of Baptizing twenty-five
people took some time, but no one seemed fatigued, so interested were
they in what was going on. Among the number Baptized were a blind man,
and a blind woman, but they, like the rest, were wonderfully
self-possessed. Poor Diu, whom I called Kate, after Miss Lodge, who had
nursed her so faithfully at Norfolk Island, was perfectly ecstatic in
her delight, and seemed endued with special strength, having risen from
a bed of sickness on purpose to be present.

I gave a short address afterwards, and was followed by Charles, who
spoke well to the subject, and in very good taste considering the number
of outsiders present.

We finished with the Nunc Dimittis, a fitting conclusion to a most
beautiful service.


_Monday, September 27th._--A most beautiful day, and a whole holiday. I
told the scholars in the morning that I wished to see only smiling and
happy faces all day, and to hear of nothing but joy and gladness because
of the occasion of the holiday, viz., to celebrate the spiritual
birthday of twenty-five brothers and sisters. Food in large quantities
was provided, and we managed to secure two pigs for the feast. I think
it was the brightest and happiest day I have ever known here, and our
festivities were shared in by a number of neighbours. Contrary to
strict custom here, the women and girls of the school prepared the food
under the trees on the beach, the boys chopping the wood and doing the
heavy work. The scene was a very animated one, and all seemed to be in
the very best of tempers. In the evening the ovens were opened, and the
distribution of the food was made. Unfortunately I was not very well
myself, but that did not interfere very much with the rest. In the cool
of the evening the boys played a number of their native games, very
pretty and very picturesque, with a pretty song to each. When darkness
closed in we had Evensong, and then the happy day was brought to an end.


_Tuesday, September 28th._--This morning after our duties here, we
started for a long voyage to “Vagebeo,” which means something like “down
West.” “Beo” is the word used there for “down,” while ours here is
“Hivo.” “Vage” is a particle put before the name of a place with a sense
of motion towards the place, thus when we are going to Maewo we are here
going “vage Maewo,” or Araga “vage Raga,” or Marino “vage Marino,” and
so when we are going to the Beo people we are going “Vage Beo.” We call
the people of those parts “Meraibeo.” They, on the other hand, term
these parts “Taulu,” “up East,” and when coming here they say they are
going “Vageulu,” because our word for “up” here is “Ulu.” We here are to
them “Natiulu.”

We had a light, fair wind down, and did the journey in good time. We
hauled up our boat at a place called “Duidui,” where a Mr. Wilber,
commonly called “Jim” by white traders, and by the natives, “Timi,”
lives.

He came down to welcome us, and extended his hospitality to me as long
as I chose to stay. I was not sorry to accept it, and I made his
residence the basis of my operations. He has been here for many years,
and is well known and very much liked by the natives. He does a very
extensive business there in copra (the dried coconut), &c., and deals
very kindly, liberally, and most honourably with the people. He has very
nice premises there, and a large establishment. He got us refreshments
served as soon as we arrived, and after resting for a time he went with
me to the village of the great man of those parts “A[¨n]ga,” or as the
Traders call him, “anchor.” I knew him formerly as a very large and
powerful man, but long sickness has reduced him to a terrible and
pitiable state of weakness and leanness. He asked me to come and settle
in those parts and start a school for his people. The natives there are
very numerous and extremely amiable, and I feel sure a great deal might
be done if I could see my way to settling there. A fine young fellow,
his son, was very friendly, and also asked me to come and teach them. I
said I would see what I could do if they would spare me some boys to go
to Norfolk Island to be taught. This they said they would do, as they
were tired of the Labour ships. We got back, and Mr. Wilber indulged us
in a most sumptuous repast. The boys, my boat’s crew, being tired, we
had Prayers early, and they retired for the night in very comfortable
quarters provided for them. We, Mr. Wilber, another white man and
myself, sat talking till far on into the night, and when I retired it
was to the ample recesses of a large four poster, with sheets and other
delights and comforts of civilization. I felt I had turned my host out
of his bed, but he would insist on my sleeping where he had put me, and
I acquiesced. The next morning, _Wednesday, 29th September_, it was very
hot and calm, and I determined not to start till the afternoon. After a
sumptuous lunch I went to another great man’s village, and received a
warm welcome. There they told me that they would build me a schoolhouse
and give me boys, and would sell their land to no one else if I would
come there and occupy it. Altogether the cry from Macedonia to come over
and help them was very cheering, and I must try what I can do for them.

At the end of this period of my work, it is pleasant and thankworthy to
find the Morian’s land stretching out her hands unto God. We started
soon after I got back for “home,” and had a long, toilsome journey up.
However, the boat’s crew were very plucky and merry, and didn’t seem
much to mind as the boat’s head was towards Tavolavola. I myself was
very seasick in the smooth water, and very soon was in the shivering fit
of the ague. I made as good a bed as possible in the boat, and lay down
till I got here. On arrival I found Mr. Brittain and party here, and
felt sorry for him that I was such a sorry host. I certainly felt
cheered by his society, and we sat quite late talking about matters of
mutual interest.


_Thursday, September 30th._--After a night of fever and strong
perspiration I got up this morning feeling fairly refreshed, and a good
deal better, but weak and not fit for much. Mr. Brittain and his party
went to Lobaha by boat, but I stayed at home to rest. In the afternoon
we walked up to M. Moussu’s place, and he showed us with great pride his
garden and poultry yard, and all the other many things which his
ingenuity devised, and his cunning hand has fashioned. He gave a
splendid quantity of green food, which we afterwards enjoyed for
dinner. Prayers concluded the public part of the day, and Mr. B. and
myself sat till late talking here in the quiet of a most pacific and
mild evening.


_Friday, October 1st._--Fine day. After our morning duties here were
over, Mr. Brittain and I went up to Tahimamavi, and stayed some time
with the kind-hearted people.

Before leaving, Mr. Brittain bought a number of native Opa mats, which
are much treasured at his station at Araga. The Opa people are great
hands at mat weaving, and are possessors of a greater quantity and
variety than any natives I know. Since the introduction of European
calico the manufacture has somewhat diminished. However, when it comes
to getting so much tobacco, a great many still turn up, and for the
labour it must be to make them, the price is perhaps inadequate except
they get all they ask.

We came home in the very hot sun, and Mr. Brittain sat down to dinner
alone, I myself being too sick to join him. All the evening I was fit
for nothing, and lay down all the time. I did not get up for church, and
only finally left my bed to go back to it again for the night. I felt
miserably shabby in my position as host to treat my guest so, but I
could not help it.


_Saturday, October 2nd._--Dull threatening morning and squally. Mr.
Brittain and party decided to go although we tried to detain them. The
day, however, cleared, and as they did not return we concluded that they
had stood across for Maewo. I was feeling weak and miserable when the
kind little Frenchman, M. Moussu, appeared to take me away to have lunch
with him. I had agreed to partake of his hospitality on this day, but
had quite forgotten all about it. However, my seediness was excuse
enough for my forgetfulness, and here he was with his boat to take me
off. He is a first rate cook, and treated me to such a display of
luxuries as I have never before seen in these parts. The choicest soup,
&c., &c., and later on in the feast a most excellent dish of beche de
mer. This I liked very much, and should fancy it was very nourishing. He
complained of my want of appetite, and J. was sorry I had not more when
so many good things were there to be eaten. He brought me back again in
his boat, and I felt pretty well all the evening. We had Prayers, and
singing practice afterwards, preparatory to Sunday. The evening was
fine, and I trust Mr. Brittain and party are well on their homeward way.
I wished him to stay till Monday, but he was anxious to get back for
Sunday.


_Sunday, October 3rd._--Last night I fancied A. P. Huqe was at the point
of death. To-day I felt very ill myself, and have been fit for very
little all day. I managed to get through my Sunday duties here, however,
and Charles, Mera, and some others went to Tahimamavi, where they had
the usual school. I feel very comforted at the earnest manner with which
these good people are stretching out their hands at last unto God. I
pray that His Spirit may descend upon them in ample measure, that they
may continue as earnest to the end as they have now begun to be. I
trust, too, the zeal and perseverance of the boys may keep up, so that
the teaching may be regularly carried on, and the Word of God become a
savour of life unto life.

At present they are very earnest and even indefatigable, but I am
somewhat afraid lest white supervision may have something to do with
this, and when I am away the present enthusiasm may die down, and things
be allowed to go on as they were before.

Would to God I had a few more teachers like Charles Tariqatu, a man in
whom truly the Spirit of God is, the most earnest, humble, patient,
God-fearing, Gospel-loving youth Opa has ever known. I can only commit
the matter to God, and He will provide as seemeth Him best.

In the evening I was very sick and could eat no dinner, and went to bed
with ague. Could not go to Church, and Charles took the service and
preached.


_Monday, October 4th._--Not very well. I had promised, if well enough,
to go to Lobaha to-day, but I had to put off my journey. It was a fine
day with a strong Trade wind blowing. In the evening A. P. Huqe was very
ill, and I began to be quite alarmed about him. However, we applied hot
flannels, which relieved the pain and the vomitting. When he was quieted
a little, we removed him to the chief’s house, where he was quiet and
comfortable. Some of the boys sat with him, but before I went to bed he
was decidedly better, but painfully weak. The only thing I could give
him was arrowroot and brandy, which fortunately he liked, and it did him
good. I forgot my own ailments in my anxiety for him, and I went to bed
aguish and shivering.


_Tuesday, October 5th._--We had got through our morning duties, and I
had already secured my boat’s crew, and were on the point of starting
for Lobaha, when, “Sail oh!” was cried, and there was the veritable
_Southern Cross_ close at hand. It was not long before she was at
anchor, and we were rowing off to her. I saw the Bishop and Mr. Palmer
on board from some distance off, and when we got alongside, the first
question I asked was of course about the Norfolk Island news, which was
good. When I got over the side of the ship and had greeted the Bishop
and all, I almost fell overboard again with astonishment, for there was
Mrs. Selwyn in _proporia persona_, and I could hardly believe my eyes. I
was, as they say, perfectly “flabergastered,” and could only shake her
by the hand without saying a word, so surprised was I. Yet I was most
glad to see her, and she makes quite a new light and life to our
ship-board life. Having all my things in the boat, I did not go in again
ashore, but the Bishop kindly rowed in to bring off my party who were
going to Maewo. When I had settled down a little, and got over my
surprise at seeing Mrs. Selwyn, I devoured my home letters, which were
very numerous and most welcome. Thank God, all were well and prosperous
at Norfolk Island.

One begins a new life now with good news, and a great slice of home on
board in the beloved presence of our Bishop’s wife, and the past is
forgotten in the present. When the Bishop came off, we got away under
steam for Maewo. We had a quick passage over, and were at anchor about
8.30 p.m. It was a glorious evening with a nice bright moon overhead,
and the Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn went for a row in the quiet of the night.
In due course, we retired, but I found it very hot and stuffy after the
cool night air ashore.


_Wednesday, October 6th._--On board the _Southern Cross_. The tide did
not serve till nearly noon, and then the watering began. I took no part,
because I was not very well, and I had to get my things together
preparatory to going ashore. In the afternoon the Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn
went ashore for a scramble, and her enthusiasm when she came off was
quite refreshing and most charming to see and hear. The watering, too,
was finished, and I was to have gone ashore, but I stayed for another
night on board, intending to start very early the next morning. However,
I was not very well, and the Bishop kindly postponed the time of
sailing, so that the vessel did not leave till after breakfast on


_Thursday, October 7th._--Mrs. Selwyn kindly came in with the Bishop to
see the last of me, and A. P. Huqe and myself sat some time after our
farewells had been said, deliberating the stupendous undertaking of
getting to Tanrig. We were both much refreshed by our stay on board, and
quite ready for our stay on shore again. I shall certainly not want for
medical comforts and dainties, or even medicines, for the Bishop was
kindness itself in lading me with one good thing after another, until my
paraphernalia of travel have increased to the no small consternation of
my bearers. When the vessel was well away we made our start, and with
the expenditure of most of our strength, and certainly of all our
moisture, we got at length to the top of the first hill. Then it was all
plain sailing, and we got to Ruosi, where we rested and bathed. In that
refreshing water I seemed to have left all my ailments and distresses,
and I was quite another being when I started again for Tanrig. Hither we
arrived in due course, and Huqe, too, seemed quite like another being.
It is so nice getting back here again, with the cool invigorating air
and the cheery welcoming faces all so pleasant. I miss Arthur, though,
very much, and now that Patrick has gone in the ship, the place is
almost devoid of teachers, ourselves excepted. The first evening ashore
was fine, and the moon shone out brightly as we were coming from
Prayers.


_Friday, October 8th._--It rained very heavily during the night, and
this morning and all day it blew very hard, with heavy rain squalls at
intervals. I did not go out all day, and indeed, I had enough to keep me
at home. The people were away busy with their gardens, and the women at
home preparing the food for the men. I had almost interminable visits
from one and another, during the day, to see the pictures which I had
taken of the place, and which Dr. Codrington has printed and sent down
to me. They were quite charmed with them, and were much more clever in
finding out faces and details, than ever I expected they would be. The
day drew rapidly to a close, and the evening was fairly pleasant, but
somewhat cold and damp. We had a fair attendance at evening school, and
I gave them an address instead of school.


_Saturday, October 9th._--A thoroughly wet and disagreeable day. The
rain poured down, and the village looked as if it were going to be
flooded. It kept on, too, without intermission almost the whole day, and
I could not stir out of doors. However, I had plenty of occupation, and
the time passed rapidly. It cleared slightly towards evening, and it was
fine overhead for Evensong. Nothing seems to keep these hardy people
indoors, and most of them have been paddling about all day in their taro
gardens, utterly regardless of the state of the elements. In spite of
all inconveniences we had quite a large evening congregation, and few
seemed the worse in any way for the unpleasant day. It was a cold, raw
evening, and I am not sorry that bed-time is so near.


_Sunday, October 10th._--The day somewhat finer overhead, but still very
squally and boisterous. As soon as I was up and dressed we had morning
school, with a large and general attendance. The first two classes are
supposed to say their Sunday Collect at this school, and answer
questions on it. The school begins with a Hymn and Prayer, and finishes
with the Lord’s Prayer and the Grace. The third class learn the Church
Catechism, and the remainder of the school read from a small manual
containing the first seven chapters of S. Matthew’s Gospel. The school
lasts about an hour. After breakfast we had Morning Prayer, a very nice
service, and I Baptized the infant son of Thomas and Lily by name and
special request--Penny. A. P. Huqe, Harry, and Agnes stood sponsors. The
Font was very tastefully and prettily decorated by Arthur, and the
service was very solemn.

After Matins I assembled the Catechumens for instruction, and I told
them that I wished everyone present fully to make up his or her mind to
the dignity, the solemnity, and responsibility of what they were
undertaking. They are the last unbaptized inhabitants of Tanrig, and of
their own accord have pressed for Baptism. They number over twenty, and
seem very much in earnest, especially the older men and women. It is
most gratifying to me, and a matter for which I cannot sufficiently
thank God, that just at the end of this era of my missionary life, I
should see such zeal and earnestness exhibited by the people among whom
I have worked so long, and apparently with so little result. I shall
leave behind me here, please God, an entirely Christian village, in
profession at least, and I trust in reality also. There are one or two I
wanted to leave out, but they seem so anxious to be Baptized, that I
leave their future with God and the blessing of His spirit, and accede
to their request. We have here now, all the organizations of a Christian
community, a good school, an excellent Church, and a zealous
congregation. Surely one can labour on steadfast and unmoveable, seeing
that one’s labour is not in vain in the Lord. At other stations also,
people are crying out for Baptism, and before I leave, please God, I
shall admit many into the Fold of Christ’s Flock.

It was too wet to get about during the afternoon, but we had our usual
social meal in the school-house, and in due course, Evensong. This was
one of the heartiest and most inspiriting services I have ever known
here, and the congregation felt the same, the singing, the responses and
all, went with a swing and harmony which shewed that the people’s hearts
were in it. I gave a discourse on the Gospel for the day, the story of
the widow’s son at Nain, and likened them to the young man, and Christ
coming and touching the bier and saying stop! to the powers of evil who
were carrying them, dead in trespasses and sins, out to their burial.
The young man sat up and began to speak, and our first act, when
delivered from the wrath to come, should be to sit up and speak and
declare God’s praises for all He has done for us in His dear Son our
Saviour. We had singing afterwards, and then dispersed for the night. A
great many of the congregation lingered outside, to wish me good-night.
Thank God for these real days, how different to the old heathen times,
when the people were still lying in the darkness and shadow of death.
God grant that they may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and
be filled with His fulness and grace.


_Monday, October 11th_, was much finer, and the sun shone out in rich
splendour. The people at this time of the year are very busy planting
their yam gardens, and every day they are at work from morning until
night. The men do the toiling part, the women the cooking. They work in
parties, and many hands make light work. The harmonium being out of
order I stayed to try and mend it. I was interrupted in the midst of my
work by visitors from Tasmouri and Tasmate, and retired to my house to
talk with them. When they left I finished my job, and was far more
successful than ever I dared to hope. The bellows had burst, and the
wind escaped in such quantities that it was hard to get any music at all
out of the instrument. I could only make a patch up affair of it, but it
was so far successful that a volume of sound was emitted such as I have
never heard from it before, and the addition to the singing in the
evening was very marked. I had intended to have made an excursion during
the day, but it was too late when I had finished, and I had to content
myself at home. After Evensong I took the Catechumens for a lesson, and
afterwards joined my own class in the school previous to the Roll Call.
The evening was fine, but blustery and raw, and I fancy the people were
tired, for there was quietness soon after school.


_Tuesday, October 12th._--Very rough, squally morning and a terribly
windy night. Sometimes I fancied I was going to be blown over altogether
in my frail native hut. However, these little tenements stand a great
deal, and here I am safe and sound at the beginning of a new day.

After early Morning Prayer we had our usual school, and breakfast
followed. I have no refreshment before this meal, and sometimes I feel a
little famished, but am generally ready for the breakfast when it comes.
It is not a very sumptuous meal at the best of times, plain rice and a
cup of coffee, but it does very well, and stops the craving of the
appetite as well as anything else. The strange thing is that at home I
scarcely ever touch rice, having a positive aversion to it, but here I
make my breakfast on it nine mornings out of ten.

After breakfast I had school with a very earnest Candidate for Baptism
who comes from Mandurvat, and wished for special instruction. I hope I
managed to explain to him any difficulties he has experienced in the
nature and meaning of the service. When he was dismissed I wended my way
with some of the boys to Ruosi, where I bathed and washed my clothes. I
do not know what it was, but when I got home I was quite exhausted, and
somehow I don’t feel as strong as I did at the beginning of the season.
We had very hearty Evensong, and a nice class with the Catechumens, who,
I think, are very much in earnest, especially the older men. There are
about twenty in this class, the last remnant of the heathen population.
With their Baptism, Tanrig will cease to have any remains of heathenism,
and in name at least will be able to call itself Christian. The usual
school was held, and the first two classes were engaged in solving the
mysteries of simple addition, one of the girls succeeding in doing a six
line sum without a fault. This same girl, Emily by name, is rather a
creditable production for this out of the world place. She reads well,
answers well, and writes well, besides being quite an adept at figures.
A couple of years at Norfolk Island would make a very useful woman of
her. There are seven others in her class who all are very fair scholars,
and take their turn at teaching.


_Wednesday, October 13th._--Very fine morning and very warm. After our
morning duties were over there was soon a dead silence over the village,
the people all going off to their several occupations in their gardens.
I busied myself, and got very hot over a little simple carpentering--but
oh! the tools, they were so blunt and so rusty. However, I managed to do
fairly well what I wanted to do, viz. to enlarge the Communion table,
and generally to give a more Churchy appearance to the East end of our
Church. I proposed to myself a bathe after my labours were over, but I
was too exhausted, and stayed at home in preference. However, the shades
of evening soon stole on, and my little cooks came to get my dinner,
which, frugal as it was, I enjoyed with the best of sauce--hunger. The
evening was calm and fine, and I sat outside my house and enjoyed myself
with a book. In the evening they came to tell me of the death of a poor
heathen woman who has lately come here, and has been for years past a
confirmed invalid. Poor thing! the women came back in the evening to
find her cold and stiff in death, without a soul near her to say a word
of comfort or to close her eyes in dying. She was buried in the
moonlight, and her memory consigned to oblivion with her body. Her sad
story afforded me a fitting text for the Catechumens afterwards, which I
trust was not unproductive of seasonable lessons and wholesome and
solemn warnings. Our singing school subsequently was very nice, after
which everyone seemed glad to turn in for the night.


_Thursday, October 14th._--Fine bright morning, and a most beautiful day
with a strong Trade wind blowing. After our morning duties I was left
alone, the people being away almost at once to their gardens. They work
very hard at this season, and the men do the heaviest part of the
labour. At present they are engaged in fence making, usually here with
bamboos, and very neatly they make them. It is very hot, fatiguing work
for them in the broiling sun, but I suppose habit has so far become
second nature with them, that they don’t seem to notice the heat or mind
a little extra perspiration. The cool waters of the river always afford
a grateful and refreshing anticipation when the work is once over.

I amused myself with making a Cross to surmount the Communion table, and
give a little more of a sacred nature to the Chancel of the Church. With
my poor tools and limited necessaries at my disposal I flattered myself
that I had done fairly well, and I afterwards attempted a picture
gallery on the walls of my house, which has attracted all the boys in
the village this evening, and they have taken more interest in these
pictures than ever I have seen them before display. The launching of a
life boat, and the English Bishops have been the chief attractions, and
everyone, I think, has counted over the Bishops dozens of times. There
being no one here in the afternoon I went alone to the river and enjoyed
a refreshing bath. This evening it is blowing heavily, but there is a
good moon and it is fine overhead. Instruction to the Catechumens, and
the evening school finished a nice day.


_Friday, October 15th._--After our morning duties here and breakfast I
started with a party of four for Tasmouri. It had rained a little
during the night, and the bush was still wet this morning. The sun,
however, shone out in Tropical brilliancy, and travelling was very
unpleasant. The hottest time is just after a shower, and to-day proved
no exception to the native idea on the subject. I don’t know when I have
felt so hot and disinclined for exertion. However, the journey had to be
made, and on I went somewhat mechanically. We arrived in due course at a
rippling brook which the natives call “Na Marou,” and here we refreshed
ourselves with its cooling waters and quaffed away our thirst. We
rested, too, awhile, and then shouldering our impedimenta on we trudged
again. The dense bush afforded a grateful shade generally, but every now
and then we came out into the open glade, and we felt by experience for
how much we were indebted to the shelter from the sun’s rays. Our next
resting place was “Qaruqatu,” and then we were in a very liquid
condition, and could gladly have lain down and given up further exertion
for the day, but we were not half-way to our destination yet, and when
we had cooled a bit we moved on to the village, where we found the “Uta”
natives awaiting our arrival. They had prepared food for us and procured
a good supply of coconuts, and we stopped for some time with them.
However, the day was hastening on to-night, and we were driven to move
on when we would willingly have sat on in idleness and inactivity. We
started again for “Vanua garaqa” where the school house is, and there I
found my friend and teacher “Takele,” whom I was going to Baptize on
Sunday, and with whom I was anxious to have some previous conversation.
He is a good man, and a staunch, and “Uta” owes him a great deal for his
steadfast and consistent upholding of the Truth, and his fearless and
bold protestations against evil. He had also food and coconuts ready for
us, and I am afraid I went to sleep for a while, as the boys were
refreshing the inner man. However, we were not yet at our journey’s end,
and shouldering our traps, on we went again.

After leaving Uta there is a very steep descent, really down the face of
the cliff, Tasmouri being on the other side of the island to windward.
The road, however, is good, if somewhat precipitous, and my poor long
shins ached again before I got to the bottom. Yet we did get to the
bottom, and there we found a most lovely natural bathing place, the
delight and comfort of which we were not long in testing. One can
imagine how refreshing it must inevitably be to get off one’s dripping
garments, and get under a cool and delicious shower-bath. I felt much
more “fit” when I got on my walking garments again and prepared for
another advance towards Tasmouri, which I must say has never seemed so
far and the journey towards it so fatiguing. We found Samuel and the
Tasmouri people waiting from the village, and of course had food and
drink in readiness for us. It was very cool and nice there, and being
now near our destination we were not in a great hurry to move. Tasmouri,
however, was reached towards evening, but oh! how hot the place is! a
change of raiment scarcely mended matters, and I was soon almost as
liquid as before. My evening meal made matters worse, and didn’t I long
for a little grateful coolness? However, that seems an unknown quantity,
and I gave up the idea of discovering it more here than anywhere else.
Evensong followed in due course, and afterwards I had the Catechumen
class for a short instruction. When these duties were over I was fit for
bed, and this is the reason of the shortness and scantiness of my
account of this day.


_Saturday, October 16th._--At Tasmouri. Most beautiful morning, but oh!
so hot. Within doors it was absolutely unbearable, and I was glad when
the people proposed to go to the seaside. The place selected was
“Ro[¨n]onawo,” and there it was bearably cool. A “Guardian” supplied me
with companionship, and it proved to be so pleasant there that we spent
most of the day, the boys bathing, fishing, and generally enjoying life,
and I reading and seeking new names for the Baptismal Candidates. The
heat again in the evening when we came home was very oppressive, and so
great had it been in the house during the day that my candle I found all
melted and doubled down in the candlestick.

My dinner did not mend matters, but rather made the heat the hotter. I
could not get cool for the life of me, and I had to grin and bear the
discomfort. I do not know a much hotter place than Tasmouri and trust I
never may, the wonder is how people live there at all. The fact I
suppose is that the natives live very little within doors except at
night, but during the day are engaged in their gardens, or otherwise
enjoying the free and easy life to which they are the heirs by nature.
It was intensely hot at Evensong, and oh! how one sighed for relief! An
interesting Class with the Catechumens finished a pleasant day, on the
whole, in spite of the heat. While we were at Evensong, and even while
praying for her, one of the Christian young women, by name “Nesta,” was
given a happy issue out of all her afflictions. She has been lying in a
state ‘twixt life and death for more than two months, and died this
evening. She was one of the first baptized here, and a nice, clever girl
she was, and a great favourite. The people asked me to bury her
to-night, and I consented. About midnight the grave was finished, and I
went with the people to the graveside. A weird, but picturesque scene it
was, the moon in full splendour high up in the heavens, the blazing
native torches casting a lurid glare upon the quiet figure of the dead,
resting in her final bed and wrapped in native mats, the husband
seemingly heart-broken, wailing beside the open grave, the women sobbing
all around, myself with a lantern and vested in a surplice at the head
of the grave, and the people all subdued and solemn around. I read the
Burial Service, and when I came to “earth to earth,” “ashes to ashes,”
“dust to dust,” Samuel threw on the earth according to custom, and at
the end of the service we sang a funeral hymn, which sounded very solemn
in the strange stillness of the night. I gave an address to the people,
and words never seem to me more appropriate, and apposite than on this
occasion. When I had finished my part of the service I came away, and
left the grave diggers to their unenviable duty.


_Sunday, October 17th._--Most glorious morning and meltingly hot. We had
school before breakfast, and I took a class of adult women. I was quite
surprised at their readiness in the Church Catechism, which they said by
heart from beginning to end. The Collect also they had got by heart and
read with great facility. With the proficiency of the school generally I
was amply satisfied, and teaching has evidently not been thrown away on
the majority of the scholars. After breakfast we had Prayers, and the
discomfort of the heat was not lessened by the hateful buzz and presence
of the blue bottles. The service was hearty and comforting, however, and
I asked the Catechumens to stay afterwards.

With them I had a nice class, and was satisfied that they were in
earnest. One man who has two wives, and has long held out against
Baptism, has now given in and put away one of his wives. It is a
peculiarly hard case, as he has children by both, and the women have
both lived with him for a great number of years. Both offered to go, and
gave him his free choice as to the one he chose to retain and which to
banish. He chose the elder of the two, his first wife, and the other
consequently left, but I could not help being sorry for them all, and at
the earnest supplication of the divorced wife I admitted her and her
young child to Holy Baptism. It was no inconsiderable pang to the
husband to relinquish his second wife, and I could see that the
sacrifice both he and she were making had cost them a great deal of
suffering, but the rule is hard and fast, and I could not go beyond our
invariable practice to admit a man with one wife only to the Rites of
our Holy Church.

In the evening I Baptized seventeen people of all sizes, ages, and
sexes, and Tasmouri now lays claim to the proud title of being the first
entirely Christian village in Maewo. It has not now a single heathen
member, and I thank God and take courage from the success which His Word
has had here through His Grace, and to Him alone be the honour and
glory.

After the Baptism, and at the end of Evensong, I gave an address, and
was listened to with marked attention, and I pray God my words may not
have been spoken in vain. It was indeed to me an occasion of rejoicing
in the Spirit, and I do not think I shall soon forget the reality and
heartiness of that service. As I sat here in my house afterwards, all
the newly Baptized came to bid me good-night, and the woman and child
who were going into new quarters were not among the last or the least
grateful for the events of the evening, for their present loss will be
their eternal gain, and to have Jesus as Friend and Husband must
compensate any one, with a grain of mustard-seed faith in their hearts,
for the loss of husband and earthly father. None the less I could not
help feeling sorry for the pretty, gentle creature who will begin
henceforth a new and different life--this, of course, humanly speaking.
I was very tired when the day was over, and everyone seemed glad that
resting time had come.


_Monday, October 18th._--Fine, indeed glorious day, but consequently
very hot. According to standing custom here, I gave a whole holiday to
the school and, we went for our usual picnic. The fatted pig was killed,
and we all proceeded to Ro[¨n]onawo to prepare it for dinner. The women
did the cooking, the men lending ready and very efficient aid in getting
and cutting firewood, &c. A book gave me employment throughout the day,
and there was a good deal to interest one going on. The scene was far
from being unanimated and devoid of interest, and the day soon hastened
on to its termination and natural darkness. The ovens were opened in due
course, and disgorged their plentiful contents. After grace the food was
distributed, and before long we were wending our way homewards.

After Evensong a request was brought me that the people might have a
dance, and of course I consented. There was not a very numerous company
of dancers, but they kept up their energy for an hour or two in a
manner in which I should be very sorry to imitate them, and the result
may be imagined in a place where the smallest movement throws you into a
bath of perspiration. This evening appeared those mysterious things like
seaworms. They only come about one night in the year, but the people not
only know the very night of their appearance, but almost the very hour.
When they are expecting them they get ready a peculiar kind of deep
basket with a wide mouth, and long cane torches, and when these worms of
the sea are observed, the people shovel them by handsful into their
baskets, and great quantities are in this way taken. They are of course
esteemed a great delicacy, and by cooking and re-cooking, they are kept
for a very long time as an accompaniment to their different kinds of
food. Their flavour is somewhat peculiar, but by no means disagreeable,
and I can quite understand a native esteeming them a delicacy. Their
wormy nature, I am afraid, gives me a false sentiment against their
niceness. Considerable numbers were secured this evening, but the “haul”
was said not to be a very successful one.


_Tuesday, October 19th._--This morning we were early astir and getting
ready for our homeward journey. We had Prayers and school and then
breakfast, after which we put our traps together and prepared to start.
The boat was coming for me, so that our first journey was to Tasmate,
and no joke at that, hot as it was. However, we got there finally, and
before the boat. It was very warm walking, and I was very liquid again
by the time Tasmate was reached. While we were there waiting for the
boat a big steamer passed Southwards. She had not the appearance of a
man-of-war, but was too large to be down this way for no purpose. She
was steaming fast and well, but looked to be rather battered and
dilapidated. She appeared to have come from Fiji or from somewhere in
that direction. Later on we saw her again up the coast, whither perhaps
she may have gone for water. Our row homewards was terrible--the heat
was simply awful and pelted down upon us piteously without a breath of
wind. However, we got to our boat cove eventually, and hauled up our
boat, and then, as night was drawing nigh, we prepared to start at once
for Tanrig. We had scarcely got off before we were caught in a heavy
thunderstorm, and the rain came down in torrents. The roads, always bad,
were now fearful, and having a good deal of water before us to wade
through I had taken off my shoes and socks. My feet were very sore when
I got to Ruosi, where, in spite of present dripping condition, we all
bathed, and we got home like drowned rats, to find that very little rain
had fallen here. After tea and Evensong I was ready for bed, being very
tired and foot-sore.


_Wednesday, October 20th._--I was very glad of a good excuse for a
thoroughly quiet day, and this was given me in a perfect downpour of
rain, which continued without cessation until past midday, and I could
not possibly get out. It cleared, however, in the evening, and I got out
to church and to my Catechumen class, after which we had our usual
secular singing. These Wednesday evenings are certainly looked forward
to, but they do not satisfy me that much is taught by them. The people
are very slow at picking up new things, and except occasionally are far
from enthusiastic about the performance, yet I suppose they enjoy it or
they would not attend in such numbers. I was perfectly inundated
afterwards by people coming to wish me good-night. Shaking hands has
become quite an institution here now, and you cannot meet or quit anyone
except the process of hand grasping be gone through. However, it is a
good step to the right direction and I give so much encouragement to it
that my own arm runs the risk often of being wrung off.


_Thursday, October 21st._--Busy here all the morning, and having got
very hot and tired with what I was doing, I came to get my towel to go
for a bathe, when lo and behold, down came the rain in a perfect
torrent, and I had to swallow my disappointment and stay at home.
However, I started again at my picture gallery, and got a good deal
done. I must try and finish it at some future time. It is a source of
immense diversion to not a few, and some of the boys are never tired of
coming to find out what the pictures mean. I was not very well all day,
and after the Catechumen Class was very glad to retire for the night.


_Friday, October 22nd._--Was very sick all the morning, and went to
Ruosi to try and drown my cares in the river, but was only partially
successful. Came back appetiteless to an uninviting dinner, and did not
feel equal to much during the evening.


_Saturday, October 23rd._--Very busy all day with preparations for
to-morrow. Anthony came to make final arrangements about his Candidates.
Determined to go to “Naruru” for the ceremony. Was not well all day, and
everything seemed a business. Final class with Catechumens.


_Sunday, October 24th._--A very full but an exceptionally joyous day. We
had school before breakfast, but that meal followed directly after. Then
came Mattins. Then, followed by all the male population of Tanrig, I
went to Naruru. The house there being very small I determined to have
the Baptism out of doors. I would have gone to the river-side but it was
too far. While Anthony and the others were getting ready the place and
the Font, I said a few final words to the Candidates, who were already
well prepared. Anthony’s wife was among the number, and a fine,
intelligent young woman she is. There were nine Candidates in all, and
the service was a very solemn and impressive one. It was the first time
I had ever Baptized anyone in the open air, but a great deal of
solemnity was not lost by it. The whole service went very nicely, and I
hope the Candidates were fully alive to the importance and dignity of
the occasion. When it was over I said a few words to the Congregation
and Baptized, and soon after we hastened home, having another Baptism at
Tanrig. During my absence A. P. Huqe had made a most chastely pretty
Font, and brightened up the Church with flowers, &c., until it looked
quite charming. The Baptism took place in the evening, and seeing that
there were as many as twenty-eight Candidates it was not a short
service. It passed off very nicely, and I think made a great impression.
I preached afterwards, and told them that this would be my final Baptism
for some time to come, and urged them all to remember their Baptismal
vows and to try and live more and more up to them, by the grace of God.
Tanrig is now a Christian village, and the number Baptized here is
considerably over a hundred. There are suburbs, however, which are still
lying in comparative heathen darkness, and these we shall now have time,
please God, to attack. There is much rejoicing here to-day, and a fresh
start has again been made. I have Baptized thirty-seven people to-day,
and I thank God and take courage.


_Monday, October 25th._--General holiday, and great Christening Feast at
Ruosi. All the world turned out from here, and we were joined by many
from Naruru. Four large pigs were slaughtered, and a prodigious quantity
of yams and taro prepared. It was a most lovely day, and the sunshine
overhead seemed to have found its way into every heart, for there was
the greatest harmony and good will manifest on all sides. Men and women
shared the burden of the day alike, and the result in the evening was a
most grand spread of perfectly cooked food, more than sufficient for
all the great number present. All shared alike, and the females had
great junks of pork as well as the men. Formerly the women ate very
little animal food, but now Christianity has broken down the middle wall
of partition, and taught them that all are One in Christ. We came home
in the evening, and dinnerless I had to go to bed with an attack of ague
which lasted me far on into the hours of midnight. I did not go to
Prayers, and indeed I don’t know what happened. There was a dance, I
believe, but I didn’t hear anything of it.


_Tuesday, October 26th._--Very weak and seedy all day--did not go out
anywhere. However, I had lots of little things to do here at home, and I
busied myself over them. Visitors from Uta came in the evening. The
people told me they wanted to take away one of our women whose husband
is just dead, but I refused and told them they had women enough already.
They were very frightened I believe, and I don’t care, I trust they
were, for I meant what I said. They are quite enough as they are to live
and die in heathen darkness, while here the poor woman will have a
chance at all events of hearing and living.


_Wednesday, October 27th._--Beautiful day, but I was not particularly
well to enjoy it. I was up betimes though, and got through our morning
duties before breakfast.

Perhaps this is not a wise plan, but it is more convenient and therefore
I submit to it. You certainly get leisure and quiet afterwards, which
one would fail to secure previously to Prayers and school. I like to
give the people every opportunity of getting away early to their
gardens, and therefore, perhaps, I sacrifice myself. Many people could
not stand this going without breakfast so long, but it is a meal I was
never very hearty at, and the want of which very strangely I feel the
least.

Our “Bush” friends brought down some prints for sale this morning, and
there has been a tremendous competition for them. There were six yards
of Turkey red handkerchief stuff, which were finally bought by a young
married lady, “Ann,” for a large pig. The Bushmen still go
“clothesless,” and returned Labourers find a ready market here for their
linen goods, which they bring home from Queensland or Fiji. Pigs are of
much more value to them, for of course they still keep up the old native
custom of purchasing rank by means of these animals, while here now they
are only looked upon as so much meat. I have been long trying to get a
proper hold on these people, but I cannot flatter myself that I have yet
succeeded very far. They live a long distance off, and the road is very
inaccessible, but I trust in time they may be reached from hence. They
are very amiable and very friendly, but they are somewhat terrified at
anything new. However, they come here very often, and I don’t think they
go away unprofited.


_Thursday, October 28th._--Fine day with strong fresh Trade wind
blowing. I was busy all day here at home doing little odds and ends of
things preparatory to my anticipated visit from Mrs. Selwyn. The people
were all away busy at their gardens, and I was left alone most of the
day. I could not find time to get to Ruosi, so I went without my
customary dip in the river.

The people were all back in the evening, and their lively chatter and
merriment were a pleasing contrast to the ghostly stillness which had
reigned throughout the day. We had Prayers late because the people were
late with their dinner.


_Friday, October 29th._--Not a very fine day, and threatening for rain.
Directly after school the people were away to their gardens, but three
or four boys were working for me here. They felt the slight shock of an
earthquake, but I did not perceive it. The undivided opinion here is
that earthquakes are the precursors of rain, and often indeed I have
known it so to result, but it seems rather an extraordinary law to lay
down. However, there are abundant signs of a no very distant downpour,
and the prophets may have a chance of being right in their present
conjecture. We were very busy all day, but towards evening snatched time
enough to go to Ruosi for a bathe. The rain kept off well, but there was
a sprinkle in the evening, and evident signs of a great deal more before
very long. I have felt the heat here very oppressive for the last few
days, and by the appearance of the sky we must soon have some dirty
weather with thunder.


_Saturday, October 30th._--The storm came on us with a vengeance this
morning at daylight, and kept on for a long time. At times the flashes
and thunder peals seemed simultaneous, and the crashes were peculiarly
heavy. I have never known a more severe storm in the Tropics, and as for
the rain it simply poured down in torrents.

I did not get up till late, and Mattins were later than usual. However,
being a holiday it did not so much matter. In my house it was as dark as
night, and all day it has been very sombre and dull. Rain has kept on
continuously all the time, and it has been impossible to move out. The
people, however, in spite of wet and dirt are up and about, and do not
seem to mind the weather. Many here, indeed, prefer the rain to the sun
for making journeys and doing certain works. Rain does not seem to give
them cold or ague, and I suppose that custom has become second nature.

I could not get out all day except to my duties, and these wet days at
home are somewhat trying, especially when you are anxious to be about.
It was somewhat finer in the evening at Prayer time, and we had a good
congregation, but it did pour down while we were at service, and this
gave us a good excuse for a long singing practice.


_Sunday, October 31st._--Another wet and intensely disagreeable day.
However, there were spells of fine weather, and during those we
performed our duties. School came first with a full house, the elder
classes saying the Collect for the day and the Church Catechism, and
answering questions on the former, the juniors reading from school books
and large printed sheets. When school was over I was quite prepared for
breakfast, and eschewed rice for once in a way for prawns which the boys
brought me. Sometime after breakfast we had Mattins, a very nice service
and especially well attended. I experienced much distress of mind from
the illness of my friend “Virelumlum,” the Opa chief who came over with
me. He has been very ill all day with acute inflammation of the lungs,
and we have had to keep hot water applications going, off and on, all
day. He moans for home, too, and there is no chance of getting him
there. While at Opa, A. P. Huqe was so ill, and here now I have my other
visitor a patient on my hands. In the evening I was down myself with
ague and could not go to Church, and had no dinner.


_Monday, November 1st._--Terribly stormy, rough night, and a most
unpleasant day, the disagreeableness of which was not decreased by the
continued serious illness of my visitor Virelumlum. All day yesterday
and again to-day it has been a continual anxiety and care to me, and I
have been dabbling about in the mud and wet dancing attendance upon him.
He has quite a serious attack of inflammation of the lungs, and I have
had to keep hot flannels going almost continuously, and rack my brains
to find out what to give him to keep up his rapidly decreasing strength.
In addition to his sickness he has developed a craving for home, and a
strong impression that he is going to die here, which with natives
sometimes is actually equivalent to mean that they will not recover, and
when a native makes up his mind to die, he in most cases does die. There
is no remote possibility of getting my friend home in such weather as
we are having, and he is killing himself with worry. If the weather were
fine I would willingly take him across to Opa in my boat, but that is
scarcely possible in a gale of wind and a downpour of rain. On the whole
it has been a most anxious and unpleasant day. Being “All Saints’” Day I
gave an address in the evening instead of School, and no one, I fancy,
was sorry to be indoors out of the cold and wet. I had to paddle off
after every one was quietly within doors to feed my patient and make him
comfortable for the night.


_Tuesday, November 2nd._--A most terrible night, wherein it blew with
almost hurricane violence in the squalls, with a perfect deluge of rain
accompanied by heavy thunder and lightning. I was not sorry or
ungrateful to be brought safely to the beginning of another day. My
first business when I got up, was to trudge off to my patient, whom,
thank God, I found better, but all day long since I have had to look
after him, for he is no exception to the idiocy of all natives, who when
they feel a bit better, rush off and do some extraordinarily foolish
thing. It was a terrible day throughout, and I was so fortunate in
keeping my man within doors, that this evening he was visibly on the
mend, and likely to make a good and I hope a rapid recovery. I read him
a most strong lecture this morning about his craving for home, and told
him he could not possibly get there in this weather, and that he was
better where he was even if he could. I said he never would recover if
he went on distressing himself about getting home, and told him that he
was killing me too, by continually crying for what he could not possibly
obtain. And what a lot of spilt milk I have cried over these last few
days in my regret at having brought a big man here at all. But the
inutility of weeping is more apparent to me than his crying for home is
to him. I can hardly say what I have done to-day either to benefit
anyone else or myself. This evening I have turned away from my dinner,
leaving it untasted, and I feel that I must go to bed.


_Wednesday, November 3rd._--An attack of ague last night has made me
feel weak and good for nothing this morning. However, I had to get up,
and the prospect outside was as dismal as ever. Rain and wind and
gloominess. My patient, thank God, is most decidedly better, and if he
takes care of himself will do very well now. I have had a fire in my
house all day, and with Dr. Codrington’s book on the Melanesian
languages, have got on very pleasantly. I should like, however, to see a
little sunshine, and one has a right to expect it now in the height of
summer. I am dreadfully afraid Mrs. Selwyn’s visit to me will be
impossible, when the ship arrives the roads will be so impassable.
Towards evening it cleared a bit and I was able to move out, but
generally speaking, everyone has been kept close prisoner to-day. The
people who always seem to me to love paddling about in the wet,
expressed a strong disinclination to move from their houses, and in the
absence of other occupation or amusement, have been asleep most of the
day I fancy. A native’s capacity for sleep is unbounded, and perhaps a
fortunate thing for him, but he can wake at any time, day or night, and
get up straight away. We had our usual Evensong and singing class, the
weather keeping fairer until we had all got indoors again in our several
houses, when down came the rain. There is a sweet, lulling, comfortable
sound in rain when you are safe indoors, or perchance in bed, and sleep
seems to come unwooed. I practice here what I seldom do anywhere else,
read in bed, and far on in the stillness of the solemn night, I read on
and on with keen enjoyment and a sense of rest, for one gets tired of
sitting in a land devoid of easy chairs and sofas. The usual posture of
a native is to squat on his heels or else to recline, naturally our high
seats are foreign and uncanny to them. I cannot myself squat for any
length of time, and at times I sigh for the comfort of a good easy
chair.


_Thursday, November 4th._--Very wet, dispiriting morning, and
threatening for another stormy day. It cleared off, however, and barring
showers we have had a fine day.

A most interesting ceremony took place here to-day called “uli meroana,”
(_i.e._ “untieing war.”) The event ought to have come off long ago, but
the chief actors in the sad drama which led to its necessity have been
somewhat dilatory. Sometime since the natives of “uta” (the inland as
distinguished from the shore) attacked a village in our district and
killed three people. They were the agressors and the sole actors--the
people did nothing but pack up their goods and clear out, some flying in
one direction and some in another. The majority took refuge in this part
of the island and have never done anything in the way of retaliation,
but have always gone armed since and been on the alert, not with the
object of revenging their injuries, but from fear of further attack.

However, thank God, all has been quiet since, and the Uta people have
the fire coals so heavily heaped on their head, that being first in
agression they have been the first to make amends. They came down
yesterday in great numbers, all armed, of course, and bringing three
pigs with them. Our people were all present too, very fully armed, and
also bringing three pigs. The chief man on the Uta side and the attacker
stood out in the open with his pig, and the chief among the injured
stepped out, and walking around the pig took it from the other, first
passing his hand over the pig’s back and head and the rope he was held
with, and then delivering the scape pig to the injured. This was done
thrice, _i.e._ with each several pig. Then the ceremony was changed to
our side and the like performance gone through, and the pigs delivered
one by one to the attackers. There was thus a mutual exchange and no one
was the loser, indeed so far from it that had the pigs been made for the
occasion and cast in the same mould, they could scarcely have been more
of a size, shape, and colour. It would seem, according to our ideas, as
if the aggressors ought to have paid all the pigs without receiving any
in exchange, but no, native custom seems to be different, and a fair
exchange must be made. After the pigs had been delivered, there was some
speechifying and a good deal of after talkey-talkey, and the quondam
enemies became the best of friends. I hope they will continue so, I am
sure, and I think they will. I made a little speech, in which I
glorified peace and good-will, and denounced fighting and bloodshed. I
have never seen such a concourse of people in Maewo, certainly, and the
place perfectly bristled with guns and poisoned arrows. The natives,
although they seem somewhat careless with these weapons, are really very
careful, and an accident seldom or never happens through carelessness. I
do not like the poisoned arrows, and keep clear always of them, for the
smallest prod from one would most probably prove fatal. Very soon the
vast concourse had dispersed, and the pigs, the mediators, were escorted
off to their new places of residence, but I do not fancy they felt the
weight of the aggressor’s repentance, or the forgiveness of the
attacked. A small coal of inward anger would very soon kindle again the
blaze of war, for after all I fancy there is not much love lost between
the two parties. With one of my Opa boys I came back here to get my
towels, and then made a start for Ruosi and Kerepei, being anxious to
bathe, and also to see the road the boys have made for Mrs. Selwyn’s
feet to tread in. I must say after my observation of it, that if her
anticipated visits everywhere have the same effect of causing people to
mend their ways, she may well be satisfied with her trip down here. The
road was not good before, neither is it perfect now, but the boys have
certainly made a most passable track, the question is whether a lady
can manage the first steep climb. In anticipation of this, they have
strained a strong climbing reed, like the rail of a balustrade, and by
this it is hoped she may be able to ascend. The road otherwise is now
very good. A delicious bath at Ruosi was made doubly delicious by some
days’ privation, and my present liquid condition.

We got home here in the evening, and I dined very late, but with much
more of an appetite than I have had for some time. In the evening A. P.
Huqe being laid up, I gave an address at Evensong, instead of school.


_Friday, November 5th._--The glorious 5th November, Guy Fawkes, of
unhappy memory! Very wet night, but fairly fine day. People very busy
to-day, so they asked me to relinquish school, which I did. I made
preparations for photographing a pretty part of the river, but the rain
came down and I had to give it up. However, my dry plates are at an end,
and the few I have left I must keep for a peradventure of something good
before I leave.


_Saturday, November 6th._--Squally, unsettled sort of day, after a very
rough night. Great preparations were being made here in the morning, for
the Bishop’s and Mrs. Selwyn’s advent. When it was done I went with the
boys to Ruosi, where I sat and watched their sports and gambols in the
water, and thought how the one touch of nature makes the whole world
kin. Human nature and boy nature is the same everywhere, and these boys
are just like every other boy except in colour. They had a great spur of
fun and frolic, and boy-like pleasure produced no languor or
tediousness. I made a descent to “Wosawosa,” and looked in vain for the
ship.

Back and dined, and everything as usual.


_Sunday, November 7th._--The Mission schooner arrived with all on board
well. After Morning Prayer I went down to the vessel, but it was too
dirty for Mrs. Selwyn to come up to the village, but in the evening Mr.
Cullwick came back to Tanrig and spent the night with me. The account of
the work in the islands farther North, was very cheering, and it had a
fresh and charming meaning, as told by Mrs. Selwyn in the full
enthusiasm of her first voyage into these new but beautiful regions. The
evening services in our little native Church was a sad and solemn one,
for I said my public farewell to the people, in prospect of my leaving
them for a long time, inasmuch as it was decided for me to go to
England. Mr. Cullwick was very much struck with the beauty of the
service, and the devotion of the worshippers. When we bid them “Good
night” they all said, “Ah! this will be the last good night for a long,
long time.”


_Monday, November 8th._--The Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn came to stay with me
at Tanrig. It was fortunately a most beautiful day, and Mrs. Selwyn,
partly carried and partly on foot, made the journey without any great
fatigue. Of her visit, she herself no doubt will write.


_Tuesday, November 9th._--We stood across to Opa, distant about
twenty-five miles from this part of Maewo. The people were in floods of
tears at the final parting, and a general wail went up from all, as the
boat drew off from the shore. At Opa we anchored for the night.


_Wednesday, November 10th._--The Bishop and I were rowed ashore early,
and examined the school at Lotahimamavi. This is as yet in embryo, but
the people were very nice and most friendly, and seemed quite in earnest
about their school duties. A proper school house has yet to be built,
but this they have undertaken to do as soon as they have dug their yams.
Their yam digging answers to our harvest. Leaving this place we went on
board the _Southern Cross_ to breakfast, and afterwards to examine the
school at Tavolavola. The Bishop was much pleased with the state of this
school, and the great proficiency attained to by some of the young
scholars. Prizes of knives, calico, beads, fish-hooks, &c., were
distributed and then we went to Lobaha, another school. Before leaving
Tavolavola, Mrs. Selwyn was anxious to see how the natives got up the
coconut trees. There are no branches of course, to hold on to, and many
natives tie a cord around their feet, and some use an ingenious
arrangement with cord for their hands. But these natives go up hand over
hand without any help or assistance. The lad in question was up the
tree, had thrown down green coconuts, and descended again with wonderful
and astonishing rapidity, with nothing on his hands or feet.

Before we got to Lobaha it began to rain heavily, and I was overtaken
with a fit of ague, and had to lie shivering on the beach while the
Bishop went alone to examine the school. It poured in torrents all the
way home, and I was very miserable.


_Thursday, November 11th._--Away early from Opa and started for Araga,
distant over twenty miles from this part of Opa. There the school was
examined, and we left in the evening for the South end of the island.
This we reached on


_Friday, November 12th_, the Bishop going ashore in a strong gale of
wind, and in pelting rain, to examine the school and bring off Mr.
Brittain, who had been spending some days there. They were not long
before both were on board, and Mr. Brittain, thank God, quite well.

When the boat was hauled up we stood out to sea, and so on our homeward
journey for Norfolk Island, which we reached after a stormy but quick
passage on November 18th, and found all well at home. “Praise thou the
Lord Oh! my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”



                           REV. A. BRITTAIN.


For the year 1886 my contribution will be concerned with the time
between April 3rd and November 18th. On the former date the _Southern
Cross_ left Norfolk Island on the first trip of the year, and on the
latter we reached it again at the end of our voyaging season. I had
never before left for the islands on the first voyage, but our plans
gave me a longer stay than usual. My own island, Araga, was to take up
the usual time, but I was to make a stay also in the Bank’s Islands,
which would be out of the ordinary course. As it turned out, however,
the arrangements were of necessity altered, and no stay was made in the
Bank’s Islands.

The _Southern Cross_ left Norfolk Island with a wind very strong, but
altogether fair. None of the regular Araga boys were on board, as they
were to return home on the second voyage, according to our plan. One
lad, however, we had with us, whose presence in the _Southern Cross_ was
quite out of the ordinary course. The explanation concerning him will
show something of the individual efforts made in various places to give
some sort of instruction to those who are taken from our islands to work
on the plantations and elsewhere. On the whole they are simply
neglected, with the result that they return home having learnt almost
all the vices, and none whatever of the virtues, of the white man.
Personal interest has in some cases induced thought and work for their
benefit. In Sydney was one instance of this. The visit of a young lady
to Norfolk Island on the occasion of the Consecration of the Memorial
Chapel increased her interest in the Mission, and on her return to
Sydney she sought some kindred work. A class was established for natives
from the islands engaged in different kinds of work in the city, and it
has proved most successful. Several of the lads are from our own
islands, and as it has happened that the Bishop has been in Sydney at
convenient times, he has twice held Baptisms of members of the Class.
One of these Baptized lads made a request that he might be taken home
in the _Southern Cross_. His home was Araga, and he came to Norfolk
Island in readiness for the first voyage of the _Southern Cross_. It was
apparently five or six years since he had been taken away in a labour
vessel to Noumea, whence he had found it possible to make a move to
Sydney. And this was the end of his life in foreign countries--he was
returning home a Christian, with, in some respects, a surprising
knowledge, with a perfectly good character from all who knew him, and
with a great desire to do something for the benefit of his
fellow-countrymen. All that had hitherto been done in Araga is in the
northern part of the island, the remainder of the island being partially
known only, while the extreme southern end was quite unknown and
inaccessible. The lad, Thomas Rorsal, gave us to understand that his
village was right in the south, close to the neighbouring island of
Ambrym, and we had then the prospect of breaking into new parts.

On April 8th, that is on the fifth day from Norfolk Island, we were in
the passage between Araga and Ambrym. A boat was lowered, Tom’s
belongings placed in it, and we pulled in shore to find his village,
which he could not distinguish from the vessel. A clump of cocoa-nuts
was recognised by him, and at last we pulled into a good sandy beach
with very good landing, where a crowd had already collected for our
reception. Their returning brother was at once recognised, and his goods
shouldered with great readiness. The Bishop’s bad foot forbade his
leaving the boat, but I landed and went up with the people to their
village, which was quite close at hand, though invisible from the beach
owing to the very thick bush. Tom had previously expressed his
determination to build a house for school purposes as soon as possible,
and I, through him, told the people of our plans and something of what
we hoped to do among them. We thereupon, in consequence of the readiness
they expressed, chose a convenient site for the house, and I promised to
make a boat voyage to them as soon as I could conveniently get away from
the northern district. It was evident that there could not be a great
population in the immediate neighbourhood, as there was only a small
level tract lying off the beach, backed up by somewhat high hills, which
would doubtless form a separate district from the beach villages.

On the next day, the 9th, we arrived at the north end of the island,
having been almost becalmed on the way thither. The _Southern Cross_
anchored, my belongings were put together, and in two or three hours I
landed at the usual place, and was at home again at Qatvenua. It was not
a bright reception--the unusual quietness all about, the absence of the
usual vociferous greetings, and the depressed looks of the teachers were
not enlivening, and it was easily seen that there were unpleasant
tidings to be heard. Gradually all became known. With regard to the
chief school at Qatvenua the report was altogether favourable. It had
decidedly advanced. Several outside adults, who had hitherto kept aloof
from us, had come forward and joined themselves to our congregation, and
the ordinary work had proceeded quite satisfactorily. But the other two
schools in the district had met with interruptions, and one was in a
state of temporary suspense. The cause of all was the fruitful source of
trouble to us, the labour vessel. Some short time before one had visited
that part, and a party of men and lads, almost entirely baptized or
scholars, had departed in her. It was all to be put down to one man who
had been of some importance. He had done wrong, and to avoid the
retribution that in some form or other would have fallen upon him, he
decided to leave the place, and then persuaded some of these men to
accompany him, and the rest followed them. Amongst them was the teacher
who had been in charge of the school at Lamoru, whose going was a great
surprise, as he had always been so quiet and well-conducted. Fortunately
his helpers were able to continue the school work by themselves without
any intermittence. At the other place, Vathuqe, the school was closed
for a time, as there was no one to take the erring teacher’s place. He
had been left there with some misgivings, as he was not of equal
standing with the teachers generally, but it was thought that his zeal
and expressed desire for the post would be equal to the demand made upon
his steadfastness. Some of the others that embarked were his relatives,
and so he had the unusual temptation before him, and gave way to it.

My first fortnight on shore was spent at Qatvenua. The landing was done
in very unfavourable weather. It rained very heavily, and the very steep
path leading up to the school village, bad enough in fine weather, was
extremely troublesome for carrying up my goods and chattels, and they
got very wet. My own little house was not in good condition, and until
we repaired it I slept in the large boys’ house.

Within a day or two we pulled some little distance down the coast to a
small bay, where I heard some white man had been recently buried. We saw
his grave, with an inscription, and in time I heard the story of his
death. No outrage on labour vessels has been made or attempted in Araga
for several years, but in January, as it appeared, when a vessel from
Samoa was visiting some place about thirty miles down the coast, one man
was shot by a native as he was on shore with several others from the
vessel bathing. It must be said that this man, a German, showed a great
lack of wisdom in his behaviour. The native had come down some distance
from the hills under the impression that his two wives, who had
disappeared, were on board the vessel then to be seen lying at anchor,
and in his rage the man was shot, while all the time the women were
elsewhere. The body was brought up along the coast, and buried near our
station. The whole affair had caused much excitement, even at the
Northern end of the island. Some time after the place was visited by a
German man-of-war, with results that will be spoken of further on.

The great man to the South, Viradoro, expressed his continued desire for
us to do something in his part, and we visited him several times, and
were well received and listened to always. There is a lad at Norfolk
Island who has connections with this place, and when they make a
beginning at a school-house we may begin work with him as teacher, but I
decline to put him there, as they desire, before this is done. Within a
fortnight of my going ashore two labour vessels anchored near us, one
from New Caledonia, and the other from Fiji. In the latter there
departed a young son, quite a small boy, of Viradoro’s, whom I had hoped
to take to Norfolk Island some time or other. His father was greatly put
out by his being taken away.

I had decided to remain at Qatvenua until Good Friday, and then to go on
to Tanrig in Maewo for Easter. There are several communicants there, and
I should have taken the Araga communicants with me that we might have
our Easter Communion together. During the whole of Holy Week the weather
was bad, and I feared that our voyage would not be practicable. On the
Saturday, when we should have left, there was a strong wind blowing from
the North, which would have been dead against us, with continuous rain,
and there was no possibility of our going. Our Easter, however, was very
pleasant, and the joyful hymns told of really joyful Christian hearts.

In Easter week we left for my first visit to Wonor, the village at the
Southern end where we had put Rorsal ashore. My intention and
arrangements for going there caused much talk. The distance would be
nearly forty miles, and I suppose no one had been more than half that
distance down the coast, and it was thought to be a very long journey.
More talked of even than the distance, however, was the belief that
attaches itself to a particular place at the extreme Southern end. To
this place were supposed to go all the spirits of the departed, and to
remain there in some sort of community. Of all places in Araga,
therefore, it is the one of the greatest superstitious interest and
fear, and many of my chosen boat’s crew’s relatives did their best to
dissuade them from accompanying me, but without effect. We started on
the appointed day, and as I knew we could not do the whole distance in
one day, as we went along the coast we made several calls at the
villages as they appeared, and fixed upon one not quite half-way, known
to some of the men, in which to pass the night. Our various stoppages,
however, so delayed us, that it became clear that we should not reach
our destination before night, and so when, upon rounding a point, we
came upon a labour vessel quietly at anchor, and were hospitably invited
on board for the night, I thought it wise to take advantage of it. It
was a Fijian vessel with a number of men on board, lately recruited, and
a Government agent whom I had met before. We passed the night quietly at
least, though not comfortably for any of us, and pulled away in the
morning, very grateful for the hospitality shown to us, and resumed our
journey. The evening found us ashore at Wonor, where there was
considerable excitement over our landing. Although the place is quite
open to the prevailing Trade wind, a reef and a sand bank that lie off
the shore shelter it quite effectually, and make the landing on the
shelving beach easy and pleasant. In the fortnight that had elapsed
since our calling here only a little had been done towards building the
school-house. The site was cleared of all its timber, and some of the
posts were ready. During our stay we had therefore to sleep in the men’s
common house, which, being much smaller than is usual in the northern
part of the island, we found rather inconvenient. On the whole our visit
of a week was a great success, and it excited much interest. The house
was proceeded with with great vigour, and all the people in the district
showed a very friendly spirit, making things look bright and promising
for the future. Thomas was doing all he could in the way of teaching,
and his Scripture Picture Books were all well thumbed. I confined my
doings to the immediate neighbourhood, and saw but little of the
adjacent country, though the report of our sojourn caused people to come
from a great distance to Wonor, and they were very desirous of being
visited. My boat’s crew were thoroughly well treated, and feasted to a
great extent, and our entertainers did us the honour of dancing to us
one evening. I had not intended to make a long stay this time, and
having made some arrangements in the North, which required my presence,
we left at the appointed time, in spite of the pressing invitation for a
longer stay. Our return journey was accomplished with a little
difficulty. The ordinary winds would have taken us back pleasantly in a
day, but we fell in with a contrary wind halfway up the coast, and were
delayed. Some time after night-fall we decided to land at a village then
quite close, but the tide being out the reef was uncovered, and not
wishing to have the boat injured we continued on our way, and at last
reached our own beach, after very hard pulling, two or three hours
before the dawn of the new day. It was not surprising that some of the
lads should be knocked up for a time after this, but it was thought to
be quite in accordance with the character of the place visited, that
they were all, one after the other, laid up for varying periods. It did
really seem peculiar that it should so happen at this particular time,
when so much was being said about the superstition connected with the
southern part.

After this there was a month’s stay at the two Northern schools. At
Lamoru a new house was built, larger and in better style than the old
one which had seen the beginning of the work, and new arrangements were
made concerning the teaching staff. At Qatvenua also repairs were made
to the various buildings, and a boat-house, sufficient for the purpose,
but not of any great size or beauty, was erected on the beach. The whole
of this time was more or less wet, and there was much sickness all
through the district. The infants suffered most, and very many died,
several being children of our congregations. A girl also died, one of
the two belonging to this place who had been to Norfolk Island. She had
been declining for about a year, and my attempts to improve her health
failed. Her lengthened sickness tried the patience of her friends
greatly, and it was suggested once or twice by relatives that her end
should be hastened. By these who made this suggestion it was of course
believed that the illness was due to some unfriendly person’s charms,
who would be rejoicing at seeing her suffering. One of our Catechumens
lost his only child, a very engaging little boy, and his account of how
he prayed that it might recover, and how he felt when death came, and
his prayer seemed to be in vain, was very touching. This child he had
been in the habit of bringing frequently for me to see, and when I once
gave him some beads for it, he was delighted. These, he told me
afterwards, he had buried with him.

On June 5 the _Southern Cross_ returned to me again from the Northern
islands, and I went on board to be put on shore at Wonor. It was my
intention to go there to stay until the vessel’s return again from the
South, which would be in about six weeks’ time. Two boys were to
accompany me for the stay, and I took my boat. We could not land until
the next day, after spending an unpleasant night on board. On pulling
in, the school-house appeared well on to completion, showing that they
had been working well at it since my last visit. It was not possible yet
to sleep in it, so I spread my rug again in the men’s house, but we
assembled the people together in the school-house for such instruction
and talking as were found possible. A large party of Ambrym men was
weather-bound here. Their home was plainly visible, about seven or eight
miles distant, but across a very disturbed passage. They had already
been here ten days, and were anxious to return. They had a sorrowful
tale to tell. A short time before they had come over from Ambrym to go
on an ordinary bartering expedition along our coast, and when the German
man-of-war, the Albatross, mentioned above, arrived to avenge the death
of the man who was killed in the beginning of the year, they happened to
be at the very place. Naturally they thought themselves quite safe from
any attack, and sat quietly on the beach awaiting the arrival of the
boat. They all knew that the culprit was in a village two or three miles
away on the hills, and they were prepared to assist in punishing him.
Suddenly however, without any warning, they were fired upon more than
once from some of the big guns of the ship. They at once fled in great
fear, and did not know until the evening, when they ventured out of the
bush again, what had been the result of the firing. One poor fellow had
part of one leg blown away, and was found lying in great agony. A day or
two after he died. Having thus fired and cleared the place of all
people, a large number of men went ashore from the man-of-war, and
succeeded in killing a few pigs, and in burning down the large men’s
house of the place, which belonged to perfectly innocent and unconcerned
people. Such a proceeding is not calculated to induce in the people any
thoughts either of the justice or of the courage of the white man. It
was a very weary time for them while waiting at Wonor, before reaching
home to tell of their missing brother, and it was not pleasant for the
people of Wonor, as the vessel had picked up two lads of the place as
guides, and they were on board when the firing occurred.

Instead of spending six weeks at this place we spent only ten days. They
were busy days, as we all worked at the house, and as I could not get
about very much to the neighbouring villages, I had to content myself
with talking to the people as they came about us. It soon became evident
that my two boys from the North were very home-sick. One I discovered
sitting in the dark one evening crying, and although they said nothing I
could see what they wished. I therefore decided to return with them, and
after some little difficulty got a crew together. We started on a not
very promising morning, but did not go far before the hearts of the
Wonor men failed them entirely. There was a good breeze blowing, and
some sea on, and the prospect of a long journey before them, and they
formally requested to be allowed to return. It would have been very
awkward to get back in the boat, as both wind and sea were dead against
us, so I decided to put them ashore at a convenient spot, and continued
the journey with the two boys. We had a fair wind, but rain commenced
and continued at intervals all through the day. At last we reached our
destination as evening came on, and never was home more welcome. Our
wonderful journey, as it was thought, with only three in the boat,
caused much talk. Had the wind failed us we should have been in a great
difficulty, but as it was we did the forty miles without much labour. I
hoped to be able to get a crew together, and to go South again to
complete my stay, but we were over-ruled. Three or four days after
reaching Qatvenua the place was greatly disturbed on hearing that a
large canoe, which had left Maewo with Araga people in it more than a
week before, had not been seen or heard of. They were either drowned or
had been blown over to Opa. After a day or two more of suspense I
decided to go to Opa to enquire. It was a relief to everybody when we
started, and the people at home rejoiced greatly when they saw our
signal fires in the evening to let them know that we had found the
missing ones. It was so--they had been blown away from Araga, and could
do nothing but steer for Opa. We remained there one night, and a Trader
who lives there kindly gave the hospitality, and next day we started on
our return with some of the canoe crew. A night had to be spent on the
way at Maewo, but early the next morning we reached home. This was on
Friday, and on the evening of the next day I commenced to be unwell,
and continued so for three weeks. All plans came to nought, as I found
it impossible to get rid of the ague and consequent fever, and only now
and then could I manage to rise at all. The arrival of the _Southern
Cross_ on July 17 was therefore very welcome, and I went on board at
once. All plans as regards the Bank’s Islands had to be given up, and
instead of my staying for a time in Mr. Palmer’s district at Mota and
Motalav, as I had anticipated with great pleasure, I was forced to see
the wisdom of remaining on board for the voyage up to the Solomon
Islands. Much of great interest occurred during the voyage, but the
greatest event was a visit we paid to Nukapu, where the Memorial cross
for Bishop Patteson had been erected two years previously. It was found
to be well cared for, the people were more than friendly, were most
hospitable, and there are bright hopes of something being done ere long
in the place where the Martyr’s death occurred.

I improved so much during the trip that on our arrival in the New
Hebrides again, I decided to continue my stay in Araga. I was on shore
therefore again from September 14 to November 12, and all the places
were visited, and I was no more hindered by bad health. Wonor advanced
most satisfactorily: my later visit found the house completed and quite
fit to sleep in, and I saw much of the surrounding districts and people.
At Lamoru we had the only adult Baptism of the year--five men were
Baptized after much preparation and a long time of trial. November 18
found us again off Norfolk Island, and the Island Voyages were a thing
of the past for 1886.


NETHERTON AND WORTH, PRINTERS, TRURO.





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